Now, where was I?

First I want to revisit our time at the summit yesterday. It was, to say the least, a tonic. Stillness soothed restlessness. The clear, warm air calmed my thoughts. A playful puppy brought me joy beyond measure.

Smudge has been pretty good lately about returning to us when called, so we dropped the leash and let her explore — in other words, we let her be a dog. She had a lot more room than the bus allows for her “zoomies.” And like a cat with a cardboard box, all she needed to be entertained was a decades-old perc-test hole full of oak leaves.

She still has a long way to go, but really, we couldn’t be happier with this pup. She continues to sleep through the night without issue. Housebreaking is going well, if not perfectly just yet, and we’re working on the biting-and-chewing thing. And damn, she’s smart — probably the sharpest dog, for her age, that I’ve ever been around.

That’s typical of the breed. We expected it. Yeah, it presents a challenge.

She shuts down and sleeps when riding in the truck. In the Ranger she’ll look around as we get underway, then she flattens onto Deb’s lap ’til we stop the buggy and open the doors.

So far she’s been a little skittish around “foreign” dogs, especially beasts like Deb’s cousin’s Newfoundland. And she absolutely refuses to go down the steps out of the motorhome. She bounds happily up the stairs but is terrified of coming down. All that’ll come, I’m sure.

Most important, Smudge is comfortable with Deb and me (and Scout and Dipstick as well). She shows us that she feels safe, unthreatened. She trusts us. It lays a foundation for loyalty, and that’s huge.

After less than two weeks, Life with Smudge is going well. I’ll wrap this section with a one-minute video of the pup’s antics yesterday afternoon.

My phone buzzed this morning with a surprise text message from a friend and former colleague. He and a friend were in the area, distributing flyers for a gun show next weekend at a southern Missouri church. (Read that to yourself again, and smile.) He proposed that we get together for lunch.

I suggested Ranch House, of course.

In May of 2021 he was the first friend that Deb and I visited after we hit the road, dropping by his hometown on the Mississippi River north of St. Louis. We hadn’t seen him since. Today the four of us enjoyed a great meal and even better conversation, picking up right where we’d left off.

Such an unexpected pleasure. Good man. Like mind. It’s safe to say that we won’t let two years go by before getting together again.

(In case you’re wondering, we left Smudge in her crate in the bus during the short time we were away. She did just fine.)

“…I’ll say it over and over again: I am going to get assault weapons banned. I did it once, and I’m going to do it again.

“There’s no social redeeming value. Deer aren’t wearing Kevlar vests out there. What the hell do you need an assault — no, I’m serious. And ban the number of bullets that go in a magazine. There’s no — no need for any of that.

“I love my right-wing friends who talk about the tree of liberty is water of the blood of patriots. [sic] Give me a — if you need to worry about taking on the federal government, you need some F-15s. You don’t need an AR-15. I’m serious. Think about it. Think about the rationale for this. It’s about money — money, money, money.”

the current occupant of the Oval Office, from remarks delivered Monday

That quote prompted the post I drafted yesterday morning but didn’t publish. As much as I cringe at making the abrupt transition from a cute-puppy video and a friendly lunch to Doctor Dementia and his anti-American cabal, it’s something you needed to see.

Monday was the federal MLK observance, and ol’ Daffy McHairsniffer spent his heavily medicated waking hours pandering to Race Inc., in this case the “National Action Network.” (Remember, you can’t spell “Nanny State” without “NAN.”) All day long, he elevated entitlement and demeaned merit. He fanned flames of perceived persecution, painting scenes of oppression that hasn’t existed in generations.

And because he’s a hateful, anti-American progressive, he had to play the “gun control” card:

“I am going to get assault weapons banned. I did it once, and I’m going to do it again.”

This from the “shoot them in the leg” buffoon who, at the same event, said this:

“We have to retrain cops as to why shouldn’t you always shoot with deadly force. The fact is, if you need to use your weapon, you don’t have to do that.”

He’s an idiot. He understands nothing.

It’s been almost 19 years since the last federal “assault weapons” ban was allowed to expire. The reason that could happen was because the original legislation was amended with a ten-year “out” to woo soft votes and get it passed. America-hating Democrats won’t make that mistake again.

This time it’ll be permanent. And yes, it’s coming.

It’d be unwise to pin our hopes on the prospect of a “grandfather clause” and downright foolish to believe that a slim GOP majority in the House has the political juice to prevent a ban. We need to approach this as inevitable — because it is.

Perhaps the only chance that the Left won’t make a hard run at banning “assault weapons” would be the determination that it (somehow) won’t serve them in 2024. That’d be a campaign calculus and, like the balance of political power, it’s beyond our control.

And there’s more.

This week the ATF will publish a new rule in the Federal Register changing the classification of firearms fitted with “stabilizing braces.” Millions of pistols based on the AR-15 platform (et al) will become “short-barreled rifles,” which requires their owners to secure a “tax stamp” involving another background check (including fingerprints), gun registration and a $200 fee.

In four years working behind the counter of an Ohio gun shop, I sold an estimated $1.5 million of firearms and ammunition. I moved probably a hundred brace-equipped AR pistols, maybe more. All of my customers bought them — and I sold them — knowing that ATF guidance classified them as ordinary pistols, not unconstitutionally regulated SBRs.

Now, unilaterally and without representation, the rules have changed in an ominous way — and those rules can be enforced as if they’re laws, which they’re not. When the 120-day grace period ends, many law-abiding Americans will become felons overnight.

The Second Amendment isn’t the only target of Democrats and other progressives. This week a maniacally stupid, race-obsessed congresswoman from Texas introduced the “Leading Against White Supremacy Act of 2023,” which aims to

“…prevent and prosecute white-supremacy-inspired hate crime and conspiracy to commit white-supremacy- inspired hate crime.”

In essence, it criminalizes speech — if, that is, the offending speech is uttered by white Americans.

(There’s no mention of “black supremacy,” which we know is rampant.)

Let’s get something straight here — speech is speech. The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States neither recognizes nor makes an exception for “hate speech.” Like “white supremacy,” “assault weapons” and similarly dishonest narratives, “hate speech” is an invention of the anti-American Left to punish and purge Patriots.

The measure is breathtakingly (and obviously) unconstitutional. Raising that point with its proponents, however, is as pointless aa quoting scripture to Satan. These people don’t recognize the Constitution. They hate America.

They have no shame because they have no principled connection to the American ideal, and we see examples of that every single day. A number of leftist states and cities are proposing payouts (aka “reparations”) to a range of minority (identity) groups. Hell, some excruciatingly progressive twit at the NHL even thought it was ok to advertise a job fair with this:

“Participants must… identify as female, Black, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino, Indigenous, LGBTQIA+, and/or a person with a disability.”

Just think about that. It was written either by a tool who believes that unlawful recrimination is perfectly acceptable, or by a wet-behind-the-ears intern who thinks that this is what anti-discrimination actually looks like — that is, discriminating against white, male, heterosexual, able, sane Americans.

One way or the other, and illegal or not, it demonstrates that destructive progressivism has taken root.

The Left holds The White House and the Senate, while Republicans have a largely meaningless margin in the House. Across the land, Democrats and useless “moderates” outnumber pro-Liberty conservatives. The Left also controls the culture.

Don’t kid yourself about that, any of it, and don’t buy the “silent majority” hype.

You voted in November, as every citizen should, but The Big Picture didn’t change. You ranted on social media, wrote your congressman and marched in (peaceful) protests — all of which did nothing but make you feel better (maybe). In the end you’ll still be subject to laws punishing the exercise of birthrights, rules enacted without the consent of the governed and an identity-obsessed culture that marginalizes you for being white, male, heterosexual, able, sane and patriotic.

This is a good time, it seems to me, to remind ourselves that Liberty can’t be taken from a person who doesn’t willingly give it up. We don’t live at the effect of a culture in which we refuse to participate. The margins of a poisoned society may be the only place that continues to sustain life.

It’s time to choose.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon #FJB

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