On December 16, 2015, Southern Tier SCOPE, a branch of SCOPE NY, held a meeting at the Whitney Point, NY, American Legion Post 974. For that meeting the guest speaker was Michael Vasquez, president of M V Consulting Inc and political commentator.
The news media, local and statewide, were also invited to attend the event in advance, but declined to cover the event, denying the public access to the information shared. Thus we present the exclusive full unedited view of the speech made.
The topic of the event was the 2nd Amendment, gun restriction laws, and the push for gun ban lists like the no-fly list ban proposal. In addition to the videos we include the full transcript of the prepared speech by Michael Vasquez.
Transcript of Michael Vasquez speech: (Links added to source information)
Thank you all for being with me today.
I know that Christmas is around the corner, and that the 2016 elections are – for most people – far in the future. So I want to thank you for being aware that right now, this is one of the most critical times in the election process. Not just for the presidential race, but at all levels of the Government.
Since I was first asked to speak at this event, there has been a lot that has happened in the world. Paris was attacked by coordinated multipronged terrorist bombings and shootings. In the US, a husband and wife killed 14 and wounded the same at an office Christmas party in San Bernadino, CA. Our elected leaders, at all levels of Government, responded – each with a clear message about how the nation would be effected now and post-2016 elections.
We have heard from President Obama, and all the Democrat candidates, that the answer to domestic terrorists is more gun restriction legislation. Specifically in New York State, we have heard our Governor Andrew Cuomo agree and push for national acceptance of the NY SAFE Act, with both our Senators in unison with that push. Going even more locally, we have heard the Congressman of the NY 22nd Congressional District, Rep. Richard Hanna, imply that he supports imposing a no-fly list gun ban, and reject calls by County Sheriffs across the State that have asked for those with conceal carry licenses to be on guard for the safety of families, friends and communities.
How does this all connect? Where is the nation at this time, and where will we be going? What will be the consequences we all will have to live with? Let’s go point by point.
There is a push by anti-2nd Amendment groups to restrict our freedoms. That is what gun restriction laws do – restrict freedom, with the implied benefit of the nation being able to sleep at night secure in the thought that they are safer. I will stand before you and say that this is a lie. This is not about safety, but control.
It is a fact that California has all of the gun restriction legislation that President Obama and the Democrats insist are needed. They have a ban on guns and modifications. They have universal background checks. They have munitions bans and waiting periods. California, like every State across the nation, has gun free zones. Not one of these things have stopped gang shootings, criminals bent on violence, nor the criminally insane radical Islamist terrorists. In fact, in the San Bernadino case, pipe bombs, which are illegal across the nation, were being mass produced and used. Thankfully these bombs failed to work, or the death toll may have been significantly higher.
But the point is that these laws, like the NY Safe Act, failed. Why?
Because they are not designed to prevent a mass shooting or an act of terrorism. They are not meant to protect the public. They are meant to control the way people think, and deny the freedoms guaranteed by the constitution.
A ban on firearms is by definition useless. I have researched, several times since 2013, the number of deaths by various firearms. On average, rifles have been less than .2% of the weapons used to kill Americans. But you won’t see that statistic in the evening news, or reported by President Obama. Yet the numbers are available from the CDC and several studies.
Background checks can work. If the individual of the check has done something that puts them on a list. But, to my knowledge and in the research I have done, none of the mass shooters in any event since 2013, have ever been on any watch list in any State or at the Federal level. A watch list is only as good as the criteria of that list. Again, that is a fact downplayed by those against the 2nd Amendment.
Waiting periods and munitions bans don’t work either. Terrorists, like in San Bernadino, take time to stockpile what they need. These acts are premeditated, practiced and planned. They are rarely actions on the spur of the moment. Even for the non-terrorists, access to munitions and firearms are things that occur in some cases years prior to an attack – invalidating these bans effectiveness.
Gun free zones aren’t gun free. 92% of all the mass shootings on record, going back decades, have occurred in locations that either are, or retroactively would have been, gun free zones. Schools, malls, Government buildings, public spaces. The existence of a sign, just like gun restriction laws on the books, has no impact on the desire of these lunatics to kill innocent Americans.
In fact, when pressed to give an answer on this, Press Secretary Josh Earnest spoke on behalf of the White House and stated clearly what is the reality. When asked by reporter Byron Tau, on December 10, 2015, if there is a single case where a gun restriction ban or background check has prevented a mass shooting, Earnest declined to answer. When asked directly by Tau if the San Bernadino shooters were on the much hyped no-fly list, the answer from Earnest was, “Not that I’m aware of.”
Keep in mind that given all the above, when Press Secretary Earnest was asked on December 3, 2015, if President Obama believes that gun restriction legislation would stop terrorist mass shootings, asked by reporter Peter Doocy, he responded,
“Yes. The President believes that passing common sense gun laws, that makes it harder for people with bad intentions to get guns, makes the country safer.”
Now before I go further, detractors will say that I left out the no-fly list, or creation of other such lists to ban firearms from criminals, the mentally unstable, and religious fanatics. Let me address that more fully now.
Unlike Rep. Richard Hanna, who spoke on WUTQ on December 4, 2015, who support a no-fly list ban, Federal and State lists don’t work. Besides the fact that to-date these lists have yet to identify any mass shooter prior to their depraved acts, the problem is that these lists are used as catch alls. The no-fly list being touted includes 72 members of the Department of Homeland Security. It has included half a dozen members of Congress. It has included members of the military, returning home from active duty tours where they have protected our nation and values with honor. In fact there are thousands of Americans on this and other lists, that have no relation to threats to the safety of Americans – like the dozens of children that exist on these lists.
Worst of all, these lists are quasi-secrets of our Government. Any one of us here today, or listening to this on YouTube and social media, may in fact be on the no-fly or other lists. You will not know, until the moment that list directly restricts you. At that point, you must start the process to be removed from the list. It may, or may not, get you removed from the list but you won’t be told, nor is there a timeframe for any result. Does that sound like an act of safety, transparency, or control?
As Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina stated this month, in a recent Congressional Committee meeting,
“…can you name another constitutional right that we have that is chilled until you find out it’s chilled, and then you have to petition the Government to get it back? Is that true with the first Amendment?”
He goes on to say,
“Or my favorite, how about the 8th Amendment, we’re going to subject you to cruel and unusual punishment, until you petition the Government to get off the list. Is there another constitutional right that we treat the same way for American citizens that we do the 2nd Amendment? Can you think of one?”
So, given all facts to the contrary, the President – and echoed by Democrat candidates for the presidency and a horde of anti-2nd Amendment fanatics – believes America will be safer with less freedom. I must say it again, even in the face of empirical data disproving the argument to restrict constitutional freedom, the feelings of Democrats and the anti-2nd Amendment fringe, is to continue to march forward on this path. In my opinion, there can only be one of 2 reasons for this.
Either the President, and those that think like him, are insane – as defined by Ben Franklin who stated that doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results is insanity – or, and I think this is the actual case, there is another agenda. I believe that agenda is control.
When I say control, I don’t mean some conspiracy theory. Such defenses of the views by those that would destroy the 2nd Amendment is meant only to distract and discredit the reality. What I mean is the result of the actions that are being pushed onto the American people. Results that likely will not happen overnight, but will happen eventually.
If we can see that gun restriction legislation fails at its proposed purpose, and I think I have made that case, then what are we left with? We have one less freedom. Critically, this is the freedom that is the lynchpin of the entire constitution. The 2nd Amendment is the freedom that ensures all other rights are protected. Without it, there is nothing to restrict Government or guarantee freedom of speech besides the good will of our political leaders.
So let’s consider the good will of our elected leaders. Let’s look at our local leaders, who are more directly connected to the people they serve than say the President. For our region that would be Rep. Richard Hanna and another example I will use is Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi.
Rep. Hanna, as I previously noted, has stated his support of no-fly lists that have failed to stop a single mass shooting. He supports no-fly lists that include children, and his fellow members of Congress, and those serving honorably in our military. He supports the restriction of American freedom in a manner that as Rep. Gowdy eloquently states would not be allowed to restrict any other freedom guaranteed by the constitution. But the good will does not stop there. In the very same live on-air interview, Rep. Hanna dismisses the right of Americans to defend themselves.
He states in that interview, that he sees no purpose for Americans, who are licensed and registered to carry concealed firearms, to actively be prepared to protect their families friends and communities in the face of a mass shooting. In fact, the exact words of Rep. Hanna about the call to defend the American people as stated by the Ulster County Sheriff (and echoed by several other County Sheriff’s across the State), was
“He can say what he likes, I don’t see the point of that.”
So the good will of the Representative of the NY-22, his concern for the safety of the people he was elected to serve, is comprised of his willingness to deny the public a right in a manner unacceptable to restrict any other right AND dismisses the ability of licensed members of the public to defend themselves at the request of law enforcement. This is the good will President Obama and Democrats want the American public to put their faith in.
But Rep. Hanna is only one elected official. What does Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi believe? And I will note I am picking on him in part because of his stated desire to potentially run for the congressional seat – a promotion to a higher office with more impact on the lives of an even greater number of Americans. What good will does Assemblyman Brindisi bring to the table?
In March 2015, Assemblyman Brindisi put forth a Bill to repeal portions of the SAFE Act. he also is on record as having voted against the SAFE Act. It would seem that he is a Democrat of a very different nature. But what seems the case is not the reality when considered in detail.
Assemblyman Brindisi, after voting against the SAFE Act went silent on the issue. For 2 years, as SCOPE and individual Americans fought in court (and continue to fight), Assemblyman Brindisi said nothing. He did nothing. Neither through words nor actions did he act in favor of the public he serves or the 2nd Amendment. Until it was time for an election year. Then suddenly he has an action.
But what happened with that rejection of the SAFE Act? Besides getting it written down as part of his voting record, besides the only news coverage he received beyond his local community. What happened? Nothing.
Assemblyman Brindisi allowed his repeal of the SAFE Act to die in the Assembly. He provided no defense of his Bill. He didn’t even appear at the hearing to have the Bill considered to be presented to the NY Assembly. Thus we must conclude the Bill he created was an act of self-aggrandizement. Especially since Assemblyman Brindisi has not offered another Bill or taken further action. Thus we must conclude that the presentation of the Bill was a means to an end, a self-serving action for the benefit of exactly one person – himself and his hope of greater political power.
Again I must ask, is this the good will that President Obama, Democrats, and those that would remove the 2nd Amendment want us to trust in? Are these people, and this incredulous disregard of facts, truly making a single American safer? Or is this a means to control the public under the guise of protection and superficial soothing of fears?
This all brings me back to my original point. The time is now to act. We, the people, must use the power guaranteed by our constitution to protect ourselves. Not just from the criminals that violate our laws. Not just from the mentally unstable who lash out without empathy or understanding. Not just from radical religious fanatics and terrorists that would kill every American, regardless of political belief, just because we exist. No, we must also protect our freedoms that have built the most free, prosperous and diverse nation in the world.
We can do this, protecting our families and freedoms, without violence or infringing on the rights of others. We don’t need to attack the lifestyles of tens of millions of Americans. We don’t need to control the actions or beliefs of the nation. All we need to do is vote, and be aware of who exactly we are voting for.
Each and every one of us have power. That power is our voice and our vote. We are sharing our voice right now, and on social media, and with our friends, co-workers, and families. But it’s the second part of that power that is just as important. Perhaps even more important.
The leaders we elect, especially in 2016, will determine the path our nation will take. Since 2008, the nation has believed by large majority, that we are on the wrong track. The restriction, and in essence destruction, of the 2nd Amendment is only one brick in the path that we are currently traveling, and as a nation we do not want to continue down. We can only change our course by making sure, on every elected level, that the people we choose to represent our voice actually are using our words.
Sitting back and not voting won’t work – that’s how we got to this point in history. Re-electing people who make grand promises and then act against our will, in fact acting against our freedoms, has made the problems almost intractable. Therefore we must do something that as a nation, as a State and community, that we have forgotten. We must vote with a clear and determined purpose.
I leave it to you to decide who you should vote for. Do your own research, look at the votes and words of those that seek to gain your vote. Evaluate what you think is best for your family, your friends, our community and nation. Because we can either give up our freedom and rights for a belief that has no basis in fact – what some may call a delusion – or we can defend the very things that created and grew our nation and once made us prosperous.
I thank you, and may God bless us all.