LDS President Nelson And Firearm Laws

Quick blurb: Fox13 caught some statement LDS President Nelson made about firearm laws and featured it for a bit on their website. The main part they focused on is:

“…Well, God allows us to have our agency, and men have passed laws that allow guns to go to people who shouldn’t have them.”

A spokesman for the LDS Church said the quote speaks for itself.

I’ll be blunt. LDS Public Affairs is useless on this since the quote doesn’t really speak for itself. Without a specific example of a law, I have no idea whatsoever what he’s talking about. Besides the current State & Federal laws, Baker Act (and variants), NICS requirements, and ATF Form 4473, there are plenty of laws disqualifying people under various conditions (yes, including mental disorders) from possessing a firearm. So, quite contrary, men have passed laws to block guns going to people who shouldn’t have them (and respect constitutional due process requirements in stripping an individual of the right). Of course, criminals don’t really care about laws so they’ll always try their best to violate them but the law-abiding care and follow them.

Meanwhile, in terms of the Parkland shooting, it’s seems clearer that rather than a lack of laws, we’re seeing a lack of enforcement and due diligence based on the plethora of legal/school/social services interactions with the shooter and the subsequent (in)action by Broward County Sheriff Deputies. Should we look at tweaking laws and mental adjudication/commitment (which also respect constitutional rights) to avoid the failures we’re seeing? Sure. Same with hardening soft targets. But it seems like the first priority will be to address the causes of the failures and determine if priorities and processes rather than laws are what really need to be addressed.

Anyway, back to the statement. I’m basically left shrugging and finding he was expressing a personal opinion and may not have all the facts on hand (he also called the shooter a “sniper” which was not the case). That may well be why Public Affairs put out the statement they did – it was his opinion, what else can they say.

If, on the other hand, he was targeting the 2nd Amendment as a whole and plans on initiating a departure from church being stalwart defender of the US Constitution (including in doctrine), it would be a massive upheaval. Even with the recent weakness on individual rights, I don’t see that at all here, especially with Public Affairs’ quick punt.

Further reading:
Founders: Why the Bill of Rights (including the 2nd Amendment) is pointless.
Yep, the right to bear arms was always clearly intended as a personal right.


LDS Church Renews Tempting Soft Target Status For 2018

Last month I posted my annual warning/reminder about staying vigilant when attending services at an LDS church, particularly given the specific Daesh (ISIS) threat against the church. This month, I checked if anything had changed in terms of the church allowing members and visitors to have defensive means. Nope. The LDS church renewed its status as one of two churches in Utah to ban law-abiding citizens from possessing a firearm.

The ban is in effect for another year. Thus, if you attend church (or any ‘gun-ban’ public venue) this year, be sure to click the linked post and review the terrorism defense tips/links at the end of the post. Stay safe and good luck.

Organizational Vs Individual Freedom: Elder M. Russell Ballard And Utah’s LGBT Law

In the LDS Church’s monthly publication, Ensign, which I recommend if you want some uplifting inspiration, I read through an article titled “The Eternal Importance of Family” written by M. Russell Ballard. The article was good as it related to traditional families and respecting those who disagree and/or don’t share those values. However, a portion caught my attention and caused some dismay. In reference to Utah’s 2015 LGBT non-discrimination law supported by the church, he states:

At the same time, religious conscience and the right to practice deeply held religious beliefs are protected by this robust legislation.

Back when the bill was developed and debated, I caught the discrepancy in the church’s justification to support the proposal:

Good For The Gander: LDS Church And LGBT Non-Discrimination Laws

LDS Church And LGBT Non-Discrimination Law Credibility

The disconnect is that the law protects organizations to practice deeply held religious beliefs via specific exemptions (see above links or the footnote 12 in the Ensign article). Individuals are not exempted; only certain organizations are.  It does not protect individual freedom, quite the contrary.

Individual freedom is the basis for freedom. Basically, it would be like saying there is only freedom of speech for specific organizations and if you aren’t working on behalf of it, you have no right and may be legally sanctioned for what you say; only specific organizations have protection from unreasonable search and seizure but you don’t and so forth.

While the church received an exemption and retained their right, individual members and non-members alike were thrown under the bus and lost their freedom. Meanwhile, we hear of Oregon upholding the fine against the cake bakers under the guise of non-discrimination. I don’t think Utah’s law is as bad as Oregon’s and, hopefully, won’t be construed or form the basis for similar actions here. Nevertheless, it doesn’t protect individual religious freedom and may open the door to exploitation in the future.

Disclaimer: I don’t advocate denying basic services – that sort of stuff isn’t my thing and goes against my beliefs. However, if there are plenty of alternative, willing sources for a basic need, then no law should be made and no freedom intruded upon (the issue is moot). Furthermore, economic and peer/societal consequences will be brought to bear as others use their free association to not conduct business  etc. with those denying the service. For fluff stuff like cakes, I think it absurd and unconstitutional to restrict freedom of the business or consumer.

Daesh (ISIS) Now Specifically Threatens LDS Church (Annual Threat Update)

Apparently, this is turning into an annual Christmas tradition here. Two years ago, I posted about Daesh (ISIS) stating they would target churches in the US and last year I noted that they had reaffirmed that threat. Both times, I have highlighted LDS churches have been made into tempting soft targets. Just a week ago, Daesh demonstrated their appetite to kill at religious sites and the bloody carnage that results. That brings us to our third anniversary. This year, Daesh decided to not only reissue their threat but treat us with imagery specific to the LDS church (Image with LDS temple, terrorist, circulating online).

(KUTV) A disturbing, concerning image is circulating online claiming that a group is targeting the LDS temple in San Deigo, California. The picture which was allegedly released by a pro-ISIS media group shows a burning temple with an alleged member of ISIS looking on and the bloody words “Coming Soon.”

The FBI says they are “not aware of any specific and credible threat to [the LDS] community”. However, lone wolf and terrorist’s whole purpose is to fly under the radar.  The FBI isn’t able to catch everything; evidenced by recent terror attacks here and the still unresolved Vegas shooting (not to mention Fox 13’s report about Daesh recruiting in Utah). It is still up to individuals and organizations to maintain vigilance and situational awareness and be, preferably, granted a means of defense.

Unfortunately, we’re three years into this and folks are still stripped of the some excellent individual means of defense and a simple means to harden an exploitable soft target (i.e. the church’s firearms ban).

The article concludes with a U of U counter-terrorism expert:

“I think it warrants attention,” Guiora said. “We have a tendency to dismiss things that seem this can’t happen. but I think what we’ve learned in the past period – literally anything can happen. Terrorists say what they mean and they mean what they say.”

At the same time, Guiora said the last thing we want to do is stay home.

“You don’t want people to stay home, because if you stay home then terrorism wins,” he said.

I have to admit that it’s a bit more tempting to stay home when you’re denied a defensive ability and hindered in fulfilling a God-given duty to protect the innocent. It’s not all that fun being told to be a sitting duck. Regardless, to reiterate last year’s conclusion: As you go to church, pray, be vigilant, look for improvised means of defense and be ready to act. Please also review the following (also linked on my prior two posts on this subject):
Recognizing 8 Signs of Terrorism
How Situational Awareness Can Save Your Life In A Terror Attack

Stay vigilant and have a Merry Christmas!

Repeating History: LDS Church And KSL Programming

Three years ago, I wrote about some of the LDS Church’s youthful members supporting gay marriage and the possible link to KSL programming which promoted and advocated for ‘alternative lifestyles’.

Rather than turning down this leftist advocacy, looks like they’re doubling down: Grateful cast, creators ready for ‘Will & Grace’ return (I also confirmed the show is on KSL’s program listings). What could go wrong?

Utah: De Facto Sanctuary State And Cities With Sanctuary Problems

Recently a criminal alien fugitive was caught in Utah. Jesus Guitron-Aguilera could be yet another poster child for the fruits of failure to enforce our immigration laws. He was convicted of sexual assault in 1992 yet able to hang around illegally, rack up some other convictions and ‘go on the lamb’ (and achieve ICE’s most wanted list). Well done ICE for catching this guy.

He appears to have been living in the Provo area for years. It really should come as no surprise since, with HB116, Utah and has put out the welcome mat for illegal and criminal immigrants of all stripes. Those putting out the welcome mat include Provo’s Mayor (John Curtis) who is now gunning for Chaffetz’s vacated seat in the House of Representatives.

Lifezette has an excellent write up (Criminal Aliens Taking Advantage of ‘Sanctuary’ Policies in Deep Red State) on why Guitron-Aguilera and others would feel quite comfortable here:

In Provo, both the mayor and the police department have made clear they’ll go soft on illegal immigrants, creating an ideal sanctuary for Guitron-Aguilera, who’d been convicted in Michigan in 1992 of felony sexual assault with an attempt to penetrate.

Last February, the Provo police chief instructed his officers that it was not their job to enforce federal immigration laws, and said that they would not work with federal authorities to detain or remove illegal aliens…

…In 2010, lawmakers were debating a bill to grant “guest worker” status to illegal immigrants — granting each a two-year work permit in the state. A similar bill passed the following year, with the support of the Republican governor, Gary Herbert. It did not take effect, however, as it would require a waiver from the federal government, which Utah is unlikely to ever get. But the bill was interpreted as a “message bill” — inviting illegal immigrants to come and work in the state without fear.

Please, read the article in full (it’s brief but I’m barely scraping the surface). The article quotes Chris Herrod who notes the pressure on the medical system and double standard law enforcement officers feel required to uphold. If we had a real E-Verify law, Guitron-Aguilera was probably using a false ID and would’ve been interdicted sooner but as Herrod notes:

“The establishment in this state has really pushed for sanctuary status,” said Herrod, saying there’s an “unhealthy relationship” between illegal aliens and big business in Utah.

“That lobby is very, very strong,” he told LifeZette.

No kidding. It includes the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce and LDS Church Public Affairs, among others.

Maybe States, Cities, and other enablers would think twice about perpetuating the problem if they were subject to the same fines we’re beginning to see private business face from the Trump admin.

Note: Changed “Provo” to “Provo area” as I’m not positive if he was in Provo itself the entire time.

Utah’s Sanctuary Link To An Illegal Immigrant Cop Killer

During President Trump’s address to Congress, he had the widows of Officers Michael Davis and Danny Oliver in attendance. An illegal immigrant, Luis Enrique Monroy-Bracamonte (aka Marcelo Marquez), had murdered them.

Looking up the case, one finds a Utah link of neglected opportunities in CBS Sacremento’s article “How Did Luis Enrique Monroy-Bracamonte Hide In United States Illegally Until Deputy Killings?” Apparently, Mr. Bracamonte was a return client to law enforcement and the revolving border door:

Luis Enrique Monroy-Bracamonte had a lot to hide. He was living in the United States illegally, had been convicted in Arizona for selling drugs and twice deported to Mexico.

Eventually, he and his wife moved from Arizona and settled in West Valley City. However, he still had brushes with the law:

A search of Utah court records for Marcelo Marquez shows a history of about 10 tickets and misdemeanor traffic offenses between 2003 and 2009, which typically don’t trigger a fingerprint check against immigration records. The records list one speeding ticket in 2009 and three small claims filings attempting to collect outstanding debts.

One of the traffic offenses was more than a minor parking ticket, it was a hit-and-run:

Police in West Valley City, Utah, said they took a fingerprint from a man using the name Marcelo Marquez during a misdemeanor hit-and-run arrest in 2003.

However, Utah authorities say fingerprints from such suspects are not regularly entered into a database that would flag other arrests in the US or deportations.

Fortunately, Utah is an accommodating State for illegal immigrants. Salt Lake City Police Chiefs consistently and explicitly state that they refuse to enforce immigration law. Meanwhile, the LDS Church monetarily assists illegal immigrants (via fast offerings), pushes “compacts” intended to lead to amnesty, and lobbies the state legislature to pass clearly unconstitutional legislation (among it’s myriad of flaws).

The Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce (via Senator Curt Bramble “Bramnesty”), in an apparent lust for cheap labor, heads up efforts at the Utah legislature as well for the aforementioned legislation and fights tooth-and-nail to block legislation that would address enforcement or even identity theft prevention measures like E-Verify (illegal immigrants frequently engage in employment-related ID theft, leaving victims in their wake).

This welcoming sanctuary coupled with flouting established law has consequences. In this case, enforcement officers bore those consequences:

Two deputies who approached the pickup while it was parked alongside a road were shot with an AR-15-type assault weapon, police said. Homicide Detective Michael David Davis Jr., 42, died at a hospital.

Despite being illegally in the United States and a convicted felon, Bracomonte, aka Marquez, had illegally obtained a firearm  and, despite multiple police stops while he was using his Driving Privilege Card which clearly identified him as someone who could not provide proof of legal presence in the United States,  no law enforcement officer saw fit to check with or hold him for immigration authorities nor even run his fingerprints. After all, they were just following the policy established by their police chiefs and elected officials. However, had just one officer checked his immigration status or entered his fingerprints in the above database, he could have been incarcerated for illegal re-entry and two lives would have been saved.

It’s no wonder the Mexican Consulate plans on aiding illegal immigrants in Utah with legal assistance to fight deportation. If you were Mexico, would you want someone like Mr. Bracamonte/Marquez to ‘come home’? No, especially when you have a state and with leaders so willing to enable his presence and turn a politically-correct blind eye to his crimes and the victims left behind.