Switzerland Narrowly Votes to Ban the Burqa, Niqab in National Referendum, and Why You should be Worried

Switzerland votes in favour of 'burqa ban' | The Independent

In a narrowly decided referendum, the people of Switzerland voted late last week to ban face coverings in public places. And yes, this includes religious garbs, such as the Islamic burka and niqab.

The referendum, supported by 51.2% of Swiss voters, was, according to critics, largely targeted towards Muslim religious attire, which range from covering the woman’s hair (hijab) to engulfing the entire body in a thick clothe, with the only opening being a small mesh eye slit.

According to NPR, the coverings are exceedingly rare among Swiss Muslims. “Niqabs and burqas, worn by almost no one even among the country’s Muslim population, will be banned outside of religious institutions. The new law doesn’t apply to facial coverings for health reasons,” NPR wrote.

Switzerland is not the first Western county to enact a facial coverings ban. Bans have been put in place as early as 2011. The small nation “will join several European countries that have implemented a ban on facial coverings, including France, Denmark, the Netherlands and Austria.”

“The proposal was put forward by the right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP) which campaigned with slogans such as ‘Stop extremism,’” the BBC reported. The ban was first proposed in 2017, and the referendum does not directly cite Islam, and was also aimed at preventing protestors and rioter from covering their faces during demonstrations that turn violent.

According to the BBC, only and estimated 30 Swiss Muslims actually choose to wear Niqabs. There are no reported consistent Burqa wearers.

In 2009, the Swiss People’s Party successfully pushed through a similar referendum banning the construction of minarets – Islamic towers used to play ‘calls to prayer.’

The referendum includes an exemption for medical face coverings, like N95 or surgical masks amid the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

Islamic Middle Eastern nations and some extreme communities will mandate women completely cover their faces, along with other draconian restrictions on women’s rights, with refusal punishable by severe legal consequences. In the West, full facial veils are typically enforced by local cultural and religious norms held by recent migrants. To many, the Niqab and Burqa are symbols of female suppression of a bygone era.

If you’re an American 1st amendment absolutist, that is you believe in the right to freely practice your religion and freely expression yourself, bans on facial coverings should be concerning. Even from a 4th amendment perspective, this referendum opens the door to potentially concerning practices.

Deciding which garbs are acceptable and which are not is a cultural decision, not a government mandate. After greenlighting restrictions on one religious practice, Pandora’s box is ripped wide open as further restrictions on the time and manor of religious expression becomes subject to a tyrannous 51% majority.

Beginning by banning a rare practice, there is potential for more mainstream religious traditions to fall head first onto the chopping block as societies gravitate towards secularism. A 51% vote to restrict new church construction would carry the same credence as a ban on minarets.

Though proponents of the referendum call it religiously neutral, not directly targeted towards any group of people, rather it was written so police could swiftly identify rioters who historically dawn masks and other facial coverings to avoid detection.

Again, there’s an inherent right to privacy all people share, and that includes the right to be secure in anonymity.

Years ago, the totalitarian Chinese government perfected and rolled out facial recognition and camera tracking technology to establish a social credit system used to open and close privileges to citizens based on said actions. It was also used by CCP operatives to track and crackdown on Hong Kong freedom protestors last year.

When the balance between freedom and security is in question, always air on the side of freedom and privacy; the future intent of the government is murky for anyone to wager their liberty on it. Now more than ever, in the age of Cancel Culture, openly expressing innocuous views can carry disproportionate social and economic consequences that were once blown off as impossible.

Biden, Pelosi Call for More Gun Control on the Anniversary of the Parkland Shooting; dub it ‘Common Sense’

Image result for biden gun control

In a pair of statements tailored to tug at Americans heart strings, the President and Speaker of the House call for unprecedently strict gun control measures on the anniversary of the Parkland school shooting.

On Valentines Day, three years ago, 14 students and 3 teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida were senselessly murdered during a shooting spree by a former student. While America mourned, some Democratic politicians capitalized on the opportunity to push a new wave of gun control measures. Even though their efforts did not result in any change to federal law, a new majority in the House, Senate, and control of the White House revamped their drive.

The then-Presidential candidate made it apparent on the campaign trial that he and his administration would make gun control a priority in his administration.

“For three years now,” Biden’s February 14th statement read, “the Parkland families have spent birthdays and holidays without their loved ones. They’ve missed out on the experience of sending their children off to college or seeing them on their first job after high school. Like far too many families, they’ve had to bury pieces of their soul deep within the Earth. Like far too many families — and, indeed, like our nation — they’ve been left to wonder whether things would ever be okay.”

Biden went on to list common areas which have tragically had deadly rampages tied to their setting, implying nowhere is safe. “All across our nation, parents, spouses, children, siblings, and friends have known the pain of losing a loved one to gun violence. And in this season of so much loss, last year’s historic increase in homicides across America, including the gun violence disproportionately devastating Black and Brown individuals in our cities, has added to the number of empty seats at our kitchen tables.” 

Violent crime and murder has spiked in 2020, despite most Americans being locked in their homes for the majority of the year. But these upticks in gun crimes are not happening in rural and suburban areas where gun laws are lax, they’re primarily occurring in major metropolitans where legal guns are few and far between, and the immense systemic hurdles are put in place preventing law abiding citizens from exercising their rights.

Over these three years, the Parkland families have taught all of us something profound. Time and again, they have showed us how we can turn our grief into purpose – to march, organize, and build a strong, inclusive, and durable movement for change.

The Parkland students and so many other young people across the country who have experienced gun violence are carrying forward the history of the American journey. It is a history written by young people in each generation who challenged prevailing dogma to demand a simple truth: we can do better. And we will.

This Administration will not wait for the next mass shooting to heed that call. We will take action to end our epidemic of gun violence and make our schools and communities safer. Today, I am calling on Congress to enact commonsense gun law reforms, including requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and eliminating immunity for gun manufacturers who knowingly put weapons of war on our streets. We owe it to all those we’ve lost and to all those left behind to grieve to make a change. The time to act is now.

White House statement on the 3rd anniversary of the Parkland Shooting

The President went on to use this national tragedy to push a radical change in American gun policy, rather, what he deems “commonsense gun law reforms.” Biden calls for Congress to institute mandatory background checks on all gun purchases, ban the undefined “assault weapon” & high-capacity magazines, and revoke liability protection from gun manufacturers.

Currently, all cartridge firing firearm transfers from a federal dealer requires a background check. Some states enacted a similar rule for transfers of used firearms between two private parties, while some states leave that area unregulated. In order to enforce universal background checks, the government would need to compile a complete and absolute catalog of every gun owner and their firearms if the ATF wants any hope of tracking who’s buying and who’s selling guns absent an FFL middleman. Many conservatives fear that would lead to easier future gun confiscations and an encroachment on privacy.

Legally purchased firearms are rarely used in crimes. Universal background checks would do little to stop criminals from using weapons to commit acts of violence if they’re all bought illegally. Only 7% prisoners who used a gun in the crime they were convicted of bought it from a retail source. 25% either received it as a gift from a family member or friends. Depending on the state, that is also illegal. More than half either stole the firearm or bought it on the black market.

Biden uses a lobbyist coined term not used by the firearm industry – assault weapons – to classify a large segment semi-automatic sporting arms with assorted and largely aesthetic features that add little to no lethality to the firearm. Examples include the AR-15 and other variants. Features like a pistol grip, threaded barrels, or a collapsible buttstocks are all under fire. The location of the firearm’s grip adds no functionality to a firearm’s potential danger. Threaded barrels allow users to add safety accessories such as compensators or suppressors – which bring noise levels down from a deafening 165 decibels to a manageable 132 decibels, though still louder than a chainsaw. An adjustable buttstock merely allows shooters of all sizes to comfortably and safely use the firearm. The only two components responsible for a guns lethality is its barrel and caliber.

Biden’s proposal is a misguided attack on a class of weapons that are by all available data almost never used in homicides. According to FBI data, of the 13,900 murders in 2019, only 364 were confirmed to be by rifle – any rifle, not just assault weapons. That’s less than 3% of yearly murders. Handguns made up almost 6,400 of those deaths, or nearly half. A similar trend is seen during mass shootings. Rifles, of any kind, were only used 28% of the time. While rifles are used in mass shootings at a rate of 10x more frequently, they still represent a small minority of incidents.

It’s also worth noting school shootings between 1992 and 2016 are on the decline. Incidents where at least one person was killed in a school by a firearm has dropped from 15-35 per year during the 90’s to less than 10 after 2005. Most years that number hovered around 5. Most years do not have a single incident with more than 4 fatalities – the FBI definition of a mass shooting – and incidents with at least two fatalities are also rare. The rate of children dying in a school shooting is also down to less than 1 in 10 million per year.

‘High capacity’ magazines is an arbitrary classification as standard magazine capacity varies from firearm to firearm and from era to era.

The firearm industry shares a privilege felt by literally every other manufacturing sector where they are not liable for injuries derived from product misuse. As long as a gun company does not market their product for criminal activity, they are not liable if their firearm is used in a crime. Ford is not liable if their vehicle is used during a drunk driving collision. Apple is not liable if a hacker used a MacBook. Those are not the intended uses of their products, just as firearm manufacturers do not intend for their product to be used in a mass shooting.

Unfortunately, Remington filed for bankruptcy in 2019 after family members of the Sandy Hook shooting sued the company because a maniac used their product in a way they never condoned. Even though firearm manufactures must sell through an FFL, a judge ruled they can be sued using a standard never applied to any other industry.

Speaker Pelosi, in a much shorter statement, shared in Biden’s call for Congress to pass “life-saving” background check enhancers. She adds, “Democrats join the American people to renew our commitment to our unfinished work to ensure that no family or community is forced to endure the pain of gun violence.”

This move echoes a draconian bill introduced by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX-18) earlier this year. H.R. 127 outlines a way for Democrats to accomplish what Biden called for and more. On top of the national ban on modern sporting rifles and universal background checks, the bill would establish a national publicly searchable registry of all gun owners and their firearms. Employers, neighbors, or strangers could look up anyone in their life and see which firearms they own. It would also require a federally issued firearms license and mandatory $800 per year firearm insurance, all of which would act as a ‘poll tax’ equivalent barrier to entry for gun owners. Violators would be subject to up to 25 years in prison and $150,000 in fines.

 

OPINION: Sen. Joe Manchin is Conservatives Last Hope to Stop the Democratic Agenda; He’s also a Democrat

Liberals Would Be Foolish To Primary Joe Manchin | FiveThirtyEight

The election is over, it’s been over for a while now, Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States on January 20th at noon. Unless thousands of votes mysteriously appear in Georgia, Democrats will hold control of the House, the Senate – with Vice President Kamala Harris acting as a tie breaker – and the White House.

Through executive action, activist judges, and ominous spending packages, the Biden administration will be the most progressive since FDR. But all is not lost. President Trump squeaked three Supreme Court justices onto the bench in four short years, giving us Justices Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett with a 5/6 majority. While we cannot avoid unilateral moves which have, through precedent, been unconstitutionally bestowed to the President, Republicans have an ace in the hole, and there’s a D next to his name.

Coming from the deep red state of West Virginia, Senator Joe Manchin, is quite the political anomaly. Even though Trump won the state with a 40% margin in both 2016 and 2020, Senator Manchin has been representing the state since 2010, even winning his most recent reelection bid by 3% in 2018.

In a Senate of 53 Republicans, Manchin was rated the 47th most conservative senator by Gov Track, ranking more right wing than Sen. Susan Collins [R-ME], Sen. Richard Shelby [R-AL], and Sen. Lisa Murkowski [R-AK]. He’s far from a progressive, describing himself as a centrist.

While Manchin is still a Democrat with 90’s liberal values, he has come out in opposition of radical changes to American institutions and has staunchly supported a Senate procedural rule designed to prevent a single party from forcing through legislation with a slim majority: the Filibuster.

As of right now, the Senate is split 50/50. In the event of a tie, the Vice President is given the deciding vote, as per the Constitution. In order to advance most bills to the floor, 60 Senators must vote to break debate, also known as Cloture. Until 60 Senators, who would presumably support the bill, vote to end debate, legislation can not be voted on and will not proceed.

The filibuster has been used by both parties since the 1850’s to block bills lacking overwhelming support. It’s one of the reasons why Congress rarely passes major legal changes.

Senate rules, however, are decided on by a 50%+1 majority, meaning if Senate Democrats wanted to remove the Filibuster to ram through radical legislation, they now technically have enough Democrats to do so, and the desire. Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer said “nothing is off the table” when asked back in August whether Democrats would move to ditch the filibuster if they regained the Senate.

With 50 Democrats and Harris as VP, the Filibuster was as good as gone and the far left agenda would go unchecked for two years… or so they thought.

Senator Joe Manchin, our very moderate Democrat from the Republican saturated West Virginia strongly stated his disapproval of efforts to end the filibuster in an interview immediacy following Joe Biden’s electoral victory.

“I commit to you tonight, and I commit to all of your viewers and everyone else that’s watching. I want to allay those fears, I want to rest those fears for you right now because when they talk about whether it be packing the courts, or ending the filibuster, I will not vote to do that,” Manchin said. “I will not vote to pack the courts … and I will not vote to end the filibuster.”

Democrats dream of also expanding the Supreme Court by creating and filling seats with left-friendly justices and offset the influence of Justices appointed by Trump, to green light unconstitutional executive actions done by Biden, also dies with Manchin in office.

He’s denounced efforts like the Green New Deal and movements by Democrats towards socialism, saying “that’s not who we are,” often butting heads with new progressive members of the party.

Senate Democrats, through measures like budget reconciliation, can still push through measures like tax increases, and other polices directly related to spending, revenue, or debt, with a simple majority. Peeling two or three members of the other party for a controversial bill is difficult enough, but getting 10 Republicans to side with Democrats on Medicare-for-all, or a national gun ban would be nearly impossible. Democrats will still have the power to pass spending related economic changes.

When it comes to fundamentally changing American institutions and swaying the balance of power so far left Republicans lose any hope of being competitive in future elections – ending the filibuster, expanding the Supreme Court, adding more Democratic states – Manchin, if he keeps his promises, will block their efforts from within.

Manchin is the most powerful Senator starting on January 20th. The nation’s eyes will glued to his every move. And, hopefully, he’ll stand as the last bulwark against the leftist tidal wave.

ATF Hands Win to Gun Rights Groups; Rescinds Notice of ‘Objective’ Factors Classifying “Pistol Braces”

Honey Badger vs. the ATF: What You Need To Know

On Wednesday, the ATF backed off on its recent push to roll back legal protections for armbraces designed for some firearms classified by federal regulators as handguns.

The ATF rescinded a 15-page document titled ‘Objective Factors for Classifying Weapons with ‘Stabilizing Braces’’ just five days after publications following widespread outcry from the firearm industry and shooting enthusiasts for the inconsistent classification standards.

Currently, rifles and shotguns with barrels under 16 inches and 18 inches respective are considered Short Barrel Rifles/Shotguns (SBR) and must be registered under the NFA.

Under ATF guidelines, a pistol is any firearm which is under 26 inches in total length, has a barrel shorter than 16 inches, and is not designed to be shouldered. Mounting a stabilizing brace, designed to be attached to the shooter’s forearm, was enough to legally meet that non-shouldering requirement.

Firearm manufactures were given a green light by the ATF in 2012 to produce and sell stabilizing braces for certain heavy handguns, like the Honey badger, without requiring consumers to register their firearm as an SBR under the National Firearms Act and pay the $200 tax stamp. The only catch: shooters could not shoulder the brace-attached pistol.

In 2015, the ATF stated in an open letter to Sig Saur and SB Tactical, the original maker of the pistol arm brace, that braced handguns could be regulated under the NFA if and only if they were shoulder fired.

Everything changed in 2017 when the ATF reversed their 2015 decision in a letter to SB Tactical, stating that simply firing a braced pistol from the shoulder does not “make” it into an SBR as it was not the intended use of the accessory.

However, seemingly out of nowhere the ATF decided to go back on their word and targeted one of the country’s most popular AR pistol manufacturer, Q. The ATF “informed firearm manufacturer Q, LLC that, in ATF’s view, Q’s “Honey Badger” pistol with stabilizing brace is actually a short-barreled rifle and therefore subject to the National Firearms Act,” the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action reported back in October.

The ATF arbitrarily targeted Q in an apparent test of strength and, in their mind, to hopefully drum up some favorable precedent to restricting pistol braced firearms. According to a letter sent by the ATF to Q, “the objective design features of the Honey Badger firearm, configured with the subject stabilizing brace, indicate the firearm is designed and intended to be fired from the shoulder. Since this firearm also contains a rifled barrel, it meets the definition of a ‘rifle.’ Further, since it has a barrel of less than 16 inches in length, this firearm also meets the definition of a ‘short-barreled rifle’ under the GCA and NFA.”

The Honey Badger’s arm brace is functionally and aesthetically identical to those offered by Sig and SB Tactical, which were green lit by the ATF less than four years ago, leaving many gun rights advocates wondering what makes Q’s design any more ‘objectively designed’ to be shouldered than competitors.

“The overall design of the SBT Honey Badger brace — commonly referred to as an ‘adjustable bifurcated flap with a strap’ — was blessed by the ATF in 2017 when it was introduced on the SIG Sauer MPX, the Free Range American, a popular firearms blow, reported back in October. It’s worth noting each proprietary model is subject to its own individual review by the ATF’s technology unit.

They added, the ATF “also cites the length of pull for the firearm’s adjustable brace” as one of the reasons why the Honey Badger is suddenly a SBR. The length of pull measures the distance between the butt plate and trigger. However, the Honey Badger’s length of pull is comfortably within ATF guidelines.

Per ATF guidelines, AR pistols equipped with braces may not have a length of pull longer than 13.5 inches — in other words, at full extension, the distance between the trigger and the rear edge of the brace cannot exceed 13.5 inches. The evaluation asserts that the Honey Badger’s length of pull exceeds 13.5 inches, but this has left many scratching their heads. Brittingham contends the ATF must have used a nonstandard method to obtain the measurement as, typically, the pistol at full extension measures 13.35 inches, well under the outer limit of 13.5. 

Free Range American

Q’s CEO, in an interview with Colin Noir, estimated there to be around 4 million pistol braces in circulation. The ATF’s ruling, if escalated like many fear, would turn every lawful owner into a felon seemingly overnight.

Last Friday’s ‘objective’ list of included many subjective tests used to determine whether an arm brace qualified as a stock and whether the firearm’s intended use is shouldering. Factors included weight, caliber, and model. They also consider the type of accessories that can be added. When determining whether a firearm is designed to be shoulder fired, the factors highlighted by the ATF are all subjective to the size, strength, and experience of the shooter. These are not codified standards, nor is there any way to forge a reasonable and known standard.

But the ATF now claims “the objective design features of the attached stabilizing brace itself are relevant to the classification of the assembled weapon.” Regulators will even look at the plastics and metals used in manufacturing when deciding the brace’s intended use. A ruling like this gives the federal agency virtually uncheck power to classify weapons without any measurable or observable differentiations. Firearm manufactures cannot comply with requirements dependent on the evaluator’s mood.

“Rather than create a clear set of rules that law-abiding gun owners and manufactures can follow,” the NRA-ILA wrote, the “ATF seems to be taking a ‘I’ll know it when I see it’ approach to classifying firearms.”

“This arbitrary approach is clearly inconsistent with the right to keep and bear arms and due process of law,” they added.

Luckily, the ruling was rescinded by the ATF less than a week later, signaling the agency’s decision to back down from trying to arbitrarily regulate arm braces out of the marketplace.

Survey: Half of Biden’s Voters Did Not Know This about their Candidate; It Would have Flipped 5 States

Biden, Harris to Make First Public Appearance Together as Running Mates |  Voice of America - English

A recent survey of Biden voters by Media Research Center shows the former Vice President’s hunker down strategy could be the reason he’s the presumptive winner of the 2020 election.

With a media heavily slanted to the left and Donald Trump’s tendency to shoot himself in the foot with pointless tweets and statements, all Joe Biden had to do was hide in his basement and avoid the spotlight to keep his scandals and more radical positions underlock. And it worked.

Not only did the media’s willful suppression of bad publicity for Joe Biden and good press for Donald Trump boost Biden’s support, but based on the numbers found in one survey, if voters had known more about the VP’s past, the President would have easily won reelection.

Media Research Center polled 1,700 Biden voters from the toss up states which decided this years election – Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin to see whether they were aware of certain facts. As of now, Trump only won North Carolina.

MRC learned less than 30% of Democratic voters cast their ballot on election day. More than 50% of Biden’s votes came from absentee or mail-in ballots.

36% of his voters would be considered his base – people who vote blue down ballot every time. 39% of his voters made up their mind months in advance. Only 25% of his voters made up their mind within a month of election day.

Voters were least aware of the United State recently achieving energy independence, the economy’s V-shaped recovery, and evidence of Joe Biden and Hunter Biden’s business ties to the Chinese government. Keep in mind, this survey only questioned Americans who voted for Biden, yet 45% of them did not know emails found on Hunter Biden’s laptop tied the former VP to his son’s overseas business dealings.

Approximately half of Biden’s voters were aware of the peace agreements between Israel and the UAE, Bahrain, and Sudam – all brokered by the Trump administration.

53% of Democratic voters were also aware of Trump’s “unprecedented $10 billion effort to expedite effective treatments to fight COVID-19, with the promise of 300 million doses of a safe vaccine available to the public as soon as next year.” The administration’s forward thinking Coronavirus vaccine plan was unknown to approximately 36% of voters.

When asked about the #MeToo movement in 2018, and whether women who come forward with an allegation of sexual assault ought to be believed, Joe Biden told reporters that the public should presume what she is claiming is true. “For a woman to come forward in the glaring lights of focus, nationally, you’ve got to start off with the presumption that at least the essence of what she’s talking about is real, whether or not she forgets facts, whether or not it’s been made worse or better over time,” Biden said.

For someone who took such a strong stance against sexual assault no more than 2-years ago, it’s puzzling to see that more than 1/3 of his voters did not know about Tara Reade, the woman accusing Joe Biden of digitally assaulting her in the early 1990’s while she worked in his Senate office.

It’s not surprising. A media machine that fully mobilized behind baseless claims against now Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018 refused to even book Reade to defend her accusations. Nope, media blackout, largely because establishment media companies have become little more than Democratic cheerleaders. Granted, Reade’s allegations were also shaky, but it’s apparent there’s a double standard.

2/3’s of Biden voters knew Kamala Harris, his running mate, was rated the furthest left Senator in Washington, and 75% were aware of COVID-19’s resurgence in Europe.

Independents and Republicans who voted for Biden were more likely than Democrats to know about each statement except that Harris is the furthest left wing Senator.

79% of Biden voters who were unaware of Biden’s ties to an FBI investigation into Hunter’s business dealing would have voted for Joe Biden had they known about the case prior to casting their ballot. However, 16% would have either voted for Trump, stayed home, or voted third party.

20% of Biden voters who didn’t know about Biden’s alleged sexual assault would have not voted for the former VP had they known prior to voting.

12% of Biden voters would have voted differently if they had known Harris was the furthest left Senator. Considering Joe ran on a ‘return to normalcy’ moderate Democrat platform, this is no surprise.

For each question, between 9% and 20% of Biden voters would have voted differently, or not voted at all, if they were properly informed. Granted, 9% or even 20% of voters becomes increasing small when we adjust for the number of respondents who were not aware of a given statement. That number varied between 51% and a mere 18%.

The actual number of Biden voters in battleground states who would have changed their vote varies between 7.2% and 2.2%, depending on the statement.

Most Biden voters would have backed the Democrats regardless of whether this information was known ahead of time. “Biden voters were largely unaffected by the information included in this survey – more than 75% of voters that were not aware of the information prior to voting would not have changed their vote had they known the information,” MRC concluded.

“However,” MRC continued. “6% of Biden voters who were unaware of this information would have changed their vote to President Trump had they been aware of these messaging points.” 17% would have not voted for Joe in some way, shape, or form.

Many Republicans feared extensive early voting, which began in some states as many as 6-weeks before election day, could have contributed to this case of uninformed voter. With the abundance of new information coming out weeks or even days before the election, voters who head to the polls a month early could come to regret their vote as new stories break.

The search term “can I change my vote” peaked on Google Trends a week ahead of the election right after the second debate between President Trump and Vice President Joe Biden. Possibly because voters learned of many scandals associated with one or both candidates for the first time that evening, seeing as major media outlets have made it their mission to suppress certain stories.

Keep in mind the margin in most battleground states was within a fraction of a percent. The amount of voters who would’ve voted differently is small, but so is Biden’s margin of victory in each contested race. If every Biden voter was aware of these statements, MRC estimates Trump would have won 6 of the 7 states, flipping 5, instead of only winning North Carolina, giving the President 311 electoral votes.

Joe Biden Proposes Massive $34 Billion Tax on Gun Owners and Mandatory Buy Back

How Real or Possible is Gun Confiscation? | Concealed Carry Inc

With Joe Biden’s ascension to president seeming more likely by the day, the Democrat’s gun control proposals are making millions of gun owners fear losing their firearms and their wallets.

The former Vice President did little on the campaign trail to quell the uneasiness American gun owners felt when thinking of what a Biden administration might mean for their 2nd Amendment rights.

Among about a dozen proposals, Joe Biden’s campaign website promises two options for owners of assault weapons: mandatory forfeiture to the government, or registering their weapons under the National Firearms Act with the ATF and paying the $200 tax stamp – the standard fee for any firearm or firearm accessory registered with the ATF.

The most recent data suggests 20 million rifles and 150 million magazines would be subject to Joe Biden’s gun tax, according to the NSSF, the firearm industry trade association. Americans could be forced to pay upwards of $34 billion just to keep the rifles and magazines they already own.

Because the ATF requires the $200 tax stamp for rifle accessories like suppressors, it stands to reason a Biden administration would allow gun owners to keep their 30 round magazines if they cough up the cash. Biden’s website does promise to ban magazines with a capacity larger than 10 rounds.

30-rounds is considered the standard size for rifle magazines, and factory handgun magazines typically range between 7 and 18 rounds.

NSSF spokesman Mark Oliva told the Washington Free Beacon that numbers of that magnitude could inhibit Biden’s plans. “I think if [Biden and his team] were smart, they would look at those numbers and get an idea of where America stands on gun ownership and gun rights,” Oliva said.

“America’s attitude on gun control is shifting more toward the idea that we need to protect our rights and away from the idea we need government control of our destiny,” he continued.

The NSSF’s annual report found that 11.4 million firearms were produced or imported into the U.S., and half of “all rifles produced and imported (less exports) in 2018 were Modern Sporting Rifles.”

Since 1991, 214 million firearms were produced for the American market, adding to the cumulative 434 million firearms circulating the U.S. With the vast majority in the hands of private owners, a full fledged confiscation and enforcement of their buy back would be logistically impossible.

The Beacon adds the NSSF’s “estimates may actually be undercounts. While NSSF used the latest Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives manufacturer reports, those only cover up to 2018, and Oliva said AR-15s have continued to grow in popularity since then.”

Fear surrounding the 2020 election and Coronavirus lockdowns spurred record breaking firearm and ammunition purchasing.

NSSF President Joe Bartozzi said “the Modern Sporting Rifle continues to be the most popular rifle sold in America today, and with nearly 20 million in circulation, is clearly a commonly-owned firearm that is being used for lawful purposes every day in America. The continued popularity of handguns demonstrates a strong interest by Americans to protect themselves, their family and homes, as well as to participate in the recreational shooting sports.”

Biden’s campaign website also states “federal law does more to protect ducks than children” because using more a shotgun with a magazine capacity greater than three to hunt migratory birds is illegal on the federal level. I must’ve missed the memo that hunting children is now permitted?

He’s also pushing legislation that’ll prevent “prevent manufacturers from circumventing the law by making minor changes that don’t limit the weapon’s lethality.” However, designations used to classify a rifle as an “assault weapon” do not actually add to a bullet’s lethality or the rifle’s accuracy. The stock, grip, foregrip, style of magazine, or presence of rails are almost entirely cosmetic.

Assault weapons is a term popularized by Democratic politicians to segregate semi-automatic rifles with cool accessories for the purpose of compromising with the public to only ban “scary weapons.”

When asked whether Americans should be allowed to own “assault weapons,” Biden chided they “should be illegal. Period.”

Assault weapons are used in less than 3% of U.S. homicides and contrary to popular belief, less than 30% of all mass shootings.

On multiple occasions Biden told members of the press and voters alike that he is coming for their firearms, especially modern sporting rifles, commonly dubbed by the media as “assault weapons.” He went as far as promising to let former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, a notorious gun grabber, head the mission to restrict gun rights.

Biden would also remove legal protection from firearm dealers if their products were used in a crime. Under current law, victims of gun violence cannot sue the firearm’s manufacturer or retailer for damages provided the sale was entirely legal. If this ruler were revoked, gun producers would be under constant threat of lawsuits, all but ensuring their closure and killing 12,000 jobs.

Erroneous lawsuits from the families of Sandy Hook victims played a significant role in the bankruptcy of the 205-year-old Remington firearms company. Plaintiff’s allege Remington’s marketing significantly contributed to the tragic and evil massacre which claimed 26 innocent lives.

But under a Biden administration, every firearm manufacturer could be subject to the same fate.

My 2020 General Election Electoral College Map Prediction

Joining the leagues of internet pundits sharing their 270ToWin maps, I’ve decided to lend my two cents. We’re about 48 hours away from the polls closing on what will be an election to go down in the history books. To say this election is close would be an understatement.

While I was a reelection nihilist for the last couple months, Trump’s odds of winning on Tuesday have grown in recent weeks. Hunter Biden’s corruption scandal, Trump’s surprisingly strong 2nd debate performance, and consistent economic recovery are pointing to a narrow Trump victory. Will he win the popular vote? Not a chance, and while I wish he ran a less bombasic campaign, he did what he had to do in key states to earn a second term.

Before we get into the battleground elections and why they will end the way they will, it’s worth highlighting Trump’s stronger than predicted electoral base. States like Georgia, Ohio, South Carolina, Iowa, and even Texas are thought to be in play for Democrats. They’re not.

It’s an old trope, but the polls likely undercount Trump’s support among independents and even many Republicans. A study done by CloudResearch found more than 10% of Trump supporters admit to either lying to or would lie to pollsters about their political affiliation. Most respondents cite fear of social backlash should their response ever be made public. With the rampant cancel culture spreading like wildfire, their fears are not misguided. Holding once innocuous views could result in people being blacklisted from the community.

I’m beginning my analysis assuming polls undercount Trump’s support by 2-3% and they’re overcounting Biden’s support by 2-3%. Then, using a study from Gallup which estimates Democrats are twice as likely to vote early as Republicans, I can use early voting data to estimate which states are in play and which states are MAGA Country.

Without swing states, Biden has a stronger base, largely because of the Northeast, New York, and California. He leads Trump 185 to 168. When accounting for states that’ll likely lean one way or the other, but could theoretically switch, Biden’s lead increases slightly to 226 – 205. Trump is behind, but the race is close.

Unsurprisingly, 44% of the 84 million voters who requested a mail-in-ballot are Democrats. Only 31% were Republican. However, out of the 85 million ballots returned or early votes cast, 37% were from registered Republicans. The national polls are largely accurate, Biden is leading the national vote by leaps and bounds, but if the Gallup poll holds true, that 7% lead held by Biden will shrink come Tuesday. The 10% of Trump supporters who’re afraid to tell pollsters their leanings would likely apply more so to Independents rather than voters who’ve already registered as Republicans, and they’re the ones who are not voting early. Democrats are holding steady, Republicans are showing up to the polls in droves, and Independents, for whatever reason, are waiting until the last minute to make up their mind, which is good for Trump.

But the national polls don’t matter, we have an electoral college. Trump needs to win 270 delegates to stay in office, but the media already wrote off much of Trump’s core to be contested states. In Georgia, 51% of early votes were made by Republicans. Only 7% of the state’s Independents returned their ballots. In Iowa, Republican ballot returnees are down by 13%, but he’s leading by 1-2% in a the polls. Remember, Trump supporters are more likely to lie in polls and vote on November 3rd, so Trump’s lead could be high single digits come election day. In Texas and Ohio, the story is the same; double digit leads for Republicans returning their ballots and voting early, and he’s leading in polls.

That leaves us with 7 battleground states: Florida, North Carolina, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Michigan, and Wisconsin. All but Nevada were won by Trump, which gives him a small but important incumbent advantage.

Based on the increase in Republican voter registration numbers, enthusiasm, rally sizes, and closeness in the polls, I have to give Trump both Florida and North Carolina. It’ll be neck and neck, but the 2% and 5% lead Biden has among registered voters in early voting and polls can be made up rather easily as both states will have open in-person voting on election day. Trump is now leading 249 – 226 electorally. He’s not quite over the finish line yet!

Nevada and Pennsylvania are going blue. Trump’s early vote in Nevada and poll gap is just too much for him to make up. If you asked me two weeks ago which state Trump needed to win, I would have said Pennsylvania. Similarly to Nevada, the polling gap is a little too large and the Biden’s 3:1 advantage in early voting is too great for Trump to overcomb, but that’s okay. Even with those states Biden is only up 252 to 249. The race is close.

Arizona is another tight race. Realistically, it could go either way. Trump’s down, but is within the margin of error, and Republicans narrowly lead early voting. There’s less stigma for being a conservative down South, but Trump supporters enthusiasm could tip the vote in his favor. For that reason, I’m flipping a coin and giving the once solidly red state to Trump, allotting him another 11 electoral votes and handing him the lead of 260 – 252.

Everything comes down to 2016’s wildcard states: Michigan and Wisconsin. If my predictions are correct, Biden needs to win both. Despite polls showing him down by 6.5% in Wisconsin and 3.4% in Michigan, Trump was able to pull off two utterly shocking political upsets four years ago. I predict the same will be seen in two days.

Trump has a narrow 2% lead over Biden in early voting in Michigan and and an 8% lead in Wisconsin. He may be down in the polls, by a lot, but early voting factors and the enthusiasm behind Trump’s reelection bid should hand him two narrow wins up North.

Trump will win 286 electoral votes on Tuesday… or whenever states finish counting the troves of early ballots. He’ll lose the popular vote by millions, but there’s always 2024. Polls suggest Democrats are supporting Biden because he’s not Trump. They’re not too fond of his stances, past performance, or mental fitness, but Orange Man Bad, so vote blue. Trump’s base worships the man. Passion for a candidate rather than hatred for another is what drives voters to polls.

Additionally, because Independents have been holding off on casting their mail-in-ballots to the very last minute, or even waiting until November 3rd, Trump will get the advantage of his October surprises. Early voting began 6-weeks ago when Trump was at his lowest. Since then, he’s had a steller debate performance, the economy continues to recover, and Joe Biden was accused of serious corruption. That will sway undecided voters and weary Democrats. Maybe by just enough to tip a state or two. If most ballots were returned promptly, you’d be reading a different story.

Congressional Democrats Push Party Leaders to ‘Pack’ the Supreme Court after the Senate Confirms Amy Coney Barrett

How Dems Plan to Lock In a Majority - WSJ

After Trump’s historic 3rd Supreme Court confirmation, adding Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the bench cementing a 6-3 majority appointed by Republican presidents, many prominent Democrats are rallying behind a call to pack the Supreme Court.

With the election less than a week away, a victory for Joe Biden could mean a formalized push to delegitimize the 3rd branch of government endorsed by up-and-comers to seasoned Democratic leaders alike.

Court Packing – arbitrarily adding Justices to the Supreme Court to garner more preferential rulings – was last seriously proposed in the late 1930’s by Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Despite FDR’s popularity, his own party largely dismissed the proposal which came about after the Supreme Court declared many components of the New Deal unconstitutional. If seriously pursued, Supreme Court opinions would carry the same influential authority as partisan executive orders.

The 2020 Democratic presidential primary renewed talks of the highly unpopular proposition after Trump appointed his second justice – Brett Kavanagh – to the Supreme Court. Beto O’Rourke, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, and Bernie Sanders, all leaders at some point in the race, endorsed the idea to some extent.

Now, with Justice Berrett confirmed, Democrats didn’t wait long to endorse packing the court.

NY Representative Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez tweeted “expand the court” immediately after the Senate vote.

She added, “Republicans do this because they don’t believe Dems have the stones to play hardball like they do. And for a long time they’ve been correct. But do not let them bully the public into thinking their bulldozing is normal but a response isn’t. There is a legal process for expansion.”

The remainder of the Progressive Squad also endorsed the idea.

Replying to AOC, Rep. Ilhan Omar also tweeted “expand the court.” Omar continued by calling the confirmation an “abuse of power.” Democrats “can’t let [Republicans] get away with their corruption and hypocrisy any longer. Let’s mobilize like hell these last 8 days to end their destructive reign,” she added. Rep. Ayanna Pressley ‘liked’ the tweet.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan called for fighting against the “illegitimately stacked judiciary,” adding, “We must expand the Court if we’re serious about the transformational change the people are crying out for.”

Ryan Grim from The Intercept tweeted out an open letter from “more than 20 New York progressive elected officials” calling to pack the court.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren posted a Twitter thread last night. “The Republicans are popping champagne tonight to celebrate how they for shoved aside the wishes of the American people to steal a Supreme Court seat & impose their radical agenda on the country,” Warren said. “Every option needs to be on the table to restore the Supreme Court’s credibility & integrity. Every option to expand our democracy. Every option to ensure that all Americans have equal justice in our courts & representation in our institutions,” Warren continued, presumably referencing calls to pack the court.

She referred to Originalism, the ideology of Justice Barrett and 5 of the 9 Justices on the bench, (I don’t consider Chief Justice Roberts an Originalist) as “overrepresented extremists” backed by billionaires. She says Barrett and co. will “cheat, steal, & write their own rules” into law.

Originalism, of course, is the radical belief that justices should interpret the law as it is written, and read the Constitution the way it was intended to be read; not write in their own cultural, political, or personal philosophies to warp the law into what the public – or they – want it to be.

Even Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is warming her heart to this push. When asked whether she’s “open to efforts” to add additional seats to the Supreme Court, Pelosi gave a vague answer, signaling an openness to the idea because of population changes.

“I think that Joe Biden has given us a good path. He’s going to have something that people can understand why this is important. Not just the Supreme Court but the other courts,” Pelosi responded. “In 1876, there were nine justices on the Court. Our population has grown enormously since then. Should we expand the Court? Well, let’s take a look and see. And that relates to the nine district courts. Maybe we need more district courts as well.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer warned Republicans that they will retaliate using the courts when they’re back in power. “The next time the American people give Democrats a majority in this chamber, you will have forfeited the right to tell us how to run that majority,” Schumer said on the Senate floor.

Senator Dick Durbin expanded on Schumer’s warning, saying Republicans will “regret the consequences of taking the Senate down this path.”

On the Rachel Maddow Show, Senator Chris Coons captured the Democrat’s willingness to alter time tested institutions. “We’ve got to look at our federal courts as a whole,” Coons said. “[W]e’ve got to have a wide-open conversation about how do we rebalance our courts … Because we’ve seen hundreds of conservative judges put on circuit courts and district courts all over this country in the last four years, in many cases, too young, too unqualified, and too far right to be allowed to sit peaceably without our re-examining the process, the results, and the consequences.”

In a Tweet, Joe Biden’s Vice Presidential nominee Kamala Harris said “today Republicans denied the will of the American people by confirming a Supreme Court justice through an illegitimate process—all in their effort to gut the Affordable Care Act and strip health care from millions with pre-existing conditions.” She also blamed the nomination process for the 225,000 Americans who’ve tragically died from COVID-19 in a formal statement. “We won’t forget this,” Harris added.

A recent Gallup Poll found 51% of Americans support the confirmation of Justice Barrett, and 58% of respondents to a NY Times poll disapprove of Democrats expanding the Supreme Court.

Joe Biden has yet to come out on one side of the issue, going as far to say voters “don’t deserve” to know where he’d be open to packing the court. The former Vice President told reporters he’d reveal his position after the election.

Trump Told Woodward he ‘Played Down’ Coronavirus Pandemic in March during Interview; Fauci Disagrees

Readers React: Bob Woodward's Trump interview revelations should outrage  everyone - The San Diego Union-Tribune

New audio recordings of an interview between President Trump and life long investigative reporter Bob Woodward reveal Trump attempted to “downplay” the Coronavirus during its early days, but is that the whole story?

As part of his research for his latest book, Rage, Woodward interviewed the president 18-times on the record between December and July. Woodward, who famously broke the Watergate story during Nixon’s second term, recorded him and the president discussing a wide range of topics from his foreign policy to dealings with his cabinet, but the tapes he released Wednesday from February and March are making headlines.

On February 7th, Trump told Woodward, the Coronavirus “goes through the air. That’s always tougher than the touch. You don’t have to touch things. Right? But the air, you just breathe the air and that’s how it’s passed. And so that’s a very tricky one. That’s a very delicate one. It’s also more deadly than even your strenuous flus.” 

Throughout February, Trump repeatedly told the public not to worry, that the virus and its transmission was under control, that it was only spreadable on hard surfaces. He assured us the case count would soon approach zero.

More than six-weeks later, after originally telling Woodward that the virus was airborne and it was much deadlier than originally thought – initial estimates pegged the mortality rate above 3% – Trump said “I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.”

Trump, media critics say, lied about the virus’s threat to the public to prevent panic and in turn contributed to an unnecessarily high death count for the sake of preserving the economy.

However, that view is narrow and incomplete. Yes, Trump’s early communications of the virus’s severity were completely off, the continued spread and deaths act as a tragic reminder, and the behavior of many could have been altered if he took a different approach to addressing the American people. But, the contextualized data around the time of these statements show that while Trump should have been more blunt about the potential dangers, his approach was not all entirely erroneous and our current apocalyptic scenario was far from certain.

As of February 7th, when the first controversial interview was conducted, less than 10 Americans were infected with COVID-19, and there were zero domestic deaths. Cases were relatively contained in China, with about 3,500 global new cases and 86 deaths that day.

By March 19th when the second interview took place, only 15,000 Americans were confirmed to be infected, and 240 died from the disease. At that point, we were far from the first virus peak and those numbers are dwarfed by where we are today. By then, Americans were more aware of the risk and were taking voluntary precautions.

Taking a step back, the Trump administration wasn’t ignoring the growing pandemic. The CDC began issuing warning as early as January 6th, and began screening passengers from Wuhan, China, the virus’s known point of origin, on January 16th, five days before the first case was reported in the U.S. On January 31st, Trump was one of the first to ban travel from China. He would later restrict travel from Europe after cases began spiking over there.

Between the creation of the Coronavirus Task Force and Trump’s second interview in question with Woodard, Trump repeatedly told the public through tweets and press conferences that the virus was under control and would soon be vanquished in the United States. However, according to Trump’s interview, he knew this was a lie, but he said what he said in order to avoid panic.

We had multiple points of information coming in. The CDC, Dr. Fauci, Dr. Birks, the WHO, state and local health agencies, they all fed the American people information, and by all available information, Trump never tried to suppress their research.

Whether that’s a justifiable reason to delay the inevitable coast to coast panic is hotly contested, even among his supporters. If the goal were to slow the spread, Trump should have been blunt with the American people. The virus is 5x deadlier than the flu, but the risk is not equal. Older Americans with preexisting conditions are far more susceptible to complications. Telling the public it is no more dangerous than the flu is a lie and likely increased the initial transmission by negatively influencing people’s behavior.

But was Trump’s initial assertion accurate? Trump implied the virus was airborne, but that wasn’t common knowledge in February. It wasn’t until July when the World Health Organization released findings indicating the virus can linger in the air after leaving the body, which changes the dynamic of how we approach social distancing. If Trump announced the virus was airborne five months before researchers made those findings public, he would have been discredited by the media.

Woodward agreed with that assessment, telling the AP “he tells me this, and I’m thinking, ‘Wow, that’s interesting, but is it true?’ Trump says things that don’t check out, right?” He added, “If I had done the story at that time about what he knew in February, that’s not telling us anything we didn’t know.” 

The information regarding its health risks were already being disseminated by the CDC. Trump never hid the facts.

At the time, the estimated death rate hovered around 3%-4%, but it was later downgraded by the CDC to an average of 0.6%. Still much deadlier than the flu, but far less dangerous than originally believed.

Again, no one knew what we were dealing with. After China’s misinformation campaign to hide the virus from the rest of the world, officials weren’t sure what was propaganda and what was fact.

Nonetheless, two big questions remain: was Trump justified in trying to prevent panic, and did Trump’s dismissive rhetoric match his official actions?

The first answer is mixed. Again, he should have been straightforward; Americans can be trusted with creating our own risk assessments based on real data. Many Americans turn to the president as the funnel for expert analysis. But Trump was not the only one attempting to deintensify the conversation. Throwing the country into a panic over a disease with a dozen infections that could very well have blown over would be have been a disaster.

Dr. Fauci, the de facto expert on how to address Coronavirus according to the media, also attempted to prevent panic in the early onset of the pandemic by telling people masks did not work. According to The Hill, Fauci “acknowledged that masks were initially not recommended to the general public so that first responders wouldn’t feel the strain of a shortage of PPE.”

Public health experts “were concerned the public health community, and many people were saying this, were concerned that it was at a time when personal protective equipment, including the N95 masks and the surgical masks, were in very short supply,” Fauci said. 

“We wanted to make sure that the people, namely the health care workers, who were brave enough to put themselves in a harm way, to take care of people who you know were infected with the coronavirus and the danger of them getting infected.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo shared Trump’s approach, telling reporters on March 2nd he didn’t think New York’s outbreak would be as bad as other countries, adding the virus was primarily affecting the elderly. The next day, Cuomo continued by saying New York couldn’t contain the spread, but there’s no reason to panic.

But we already knew Trump’s angle. During a White House press conference on March 30th, Trump told reporters “I want to keep the country calm. I don’t want panic in the country.” Woodward’s revelations are nothing new from what Trump had been telling reporters for months. He’s been open about his attempts to quell fear.

Trump’s rhetoric at the time was both in line with heath experts and mirrored that made by other public officials. Other than comparing it to the flu, Trump was not dishonest in his attempts to prevent panic.

Did Trump’s attempt to cool the country interfere with his official actions? I’ve always said, look at what Trump does, not the stupid stuff he tweets on the toilet. Despite the rhetoric, the Trump administration took early action toward combating the spread of disease, including screening overseas travelers and halting travel from China all together, actions that were criticized by Democrats as fear mongering and unnecessary.

Existing FDA guidelines on testing prevented the use of new testing devices and the use of existing testing methods at unauthorized labs. The administration allowed for more labs to test and new tests to fly through FDA approval.

He would later temporarily ban travel from Europe, promise government funded COVID-19 treatment, declare a national emergency, and initiate the 15-days to lower the curve stay at home order in between the two interviews with Woodward.

In fact, while we can all point out Trump’s silly commentary, Dr. Fauci disagrees with the assertion that Trump ‘downplayed’ the virus. “Fauci denied that he ever heard the president ‘distort’ the threat of the coronavirus and maintained that Trump’s presentations to the public were largely in line with discussions he’d had with medical experts,” Politico reported after the audio was released on Wednesday. “When asked whether he ever felt Trump was downplaying the severity of the coronavirus, Fauci said no.”

“I didn’t get any sense that he was distorting anything,” Fauci said. “In my discussions with him, they were always straightforward about the concerns that we had. We related that to him. When he would go out, I’d hear him discussing the same sort of things.”

Back in April, Fauci admitted Trump took his advice in when to and how to mitigate the spread of Coronavirus. Reuters reported, “top U.S. health expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Monday that President Donald Trump listened to his advice when he recommended that mitigation efforts be taken to stop the spread of the coronavirus.”

Based on the actions taken by the White House, Trump did not act to play down the outbreak and did what was recommended to combat the still largely unknown virus. Sure, he’s not perfect, and his attempts to maintain calmness amid early signs of disaster could have been done differently, hindsight is 20/20, but we knew for months, from his own public admission, that Trump was using his position as President to prevent panic.

It’s Time to Sanction China for their Cover-Up of COVID-19: Petition

*This article was taken from a Change.org Petition; found HERE*

China lied; people died. After enduring weeks of global economic shutdown due to the rampant spread of COVID-19, it’s become apparent that China covered up the initial outbreak, silenced whistleblowers, and lied to the world delaying research, costing well over 10,000 lives, and tens of trillions of dollars to the global economy leaving millions without jobs and wiped out savings as the world’s economy contracts and companies fold in on themselves. If the totalitarian regime’s abhorrent treatment of their own people wasn’t enough, then their blatant disregard for the people of the world should be enough to finally impose sanctions on China.

According to a timeline compiled by Axios, Wei Guixian, one of the first known cases of COVID-19, first fell ill on December 10th. As a worker at one of Wuhan’s infamous wet markets, his close proximity to the exotic, uncooked meats where sanitary regulations are all but nonexistent put him and others at an increased risk of contracting unknown diseases. Guixian was admitted to a hospital on December 16th, where, on December 27th, Wuhan health officials first learned a new virus was causing his severe symptoms.

On December 30th, Ai Fen, a director at Wuhan Central Hospital, and Dr. Li Wenliang discussed the new virus independently of each other on WeChat. Both doctors were called in for questioning by the Communist party and were reprimanded by the police.

Li Wenliang later died of complications from the coronavirus.

On January 1st, “an official at the Hubei Provincial Health Commission orders labs, which had already determined that the novel virus was similar to SARS, to stop testing samples and to destroy existing samples.”

On January 2nd, Chinese researchers map the complete COVID-19 genome. They don’t release this information until January 9th, leading to massive delays in creating vaccines and other preventative treatment.

On January 7th, China’s dictator, Xi Jinping becomes involved in a responsive effort. He does not make a public statement about the disease until January 21st.

On January 14th, Chinese authorities lied to the WHO, telling them there’s no evidence of human-to-human transmission. We now know the coronavirus is far more infectious than the flu. According to the NY Post, “news of the virus’ highly contagious nature didn’t surface publicly until Jan. 20.”

The first case of COVID-19 outside of China was reported on January 13th in Taiwan. The Communist Party did not place Wuhan under lockdown until January 23rd. At that time, 5 million people left Wuhan without being screened, likely spreading the disease across China and across the world.

China now has the audacity to claim American troops, not Wuhan wet markets selling disease-riddled animals, are responsible for the introduction of coronavirus in the Wuhan province.

China did everything in its power to downplay and hide the pandemic until they couldn’t hide it any longer. A quarter-million people are now infected with a disease that has a mortality rate between 10x and 30x higher than the flu. Why would China do this? Maybe to save face, maybe to maintain power, but who cares. The fact remains, China’s top-down actions and reckless oversight of wet markets are to blame.

In response to reports of China’s mishandling of the virus, the communist party expelled 5 major American news outlets – Voice of America, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and Time – from the country, in what can only be viewed as further attempts to cover up what really happened.

According to the National Review, wet markets are “open-air sites selling fresh meat, seafood, and produce. The meats often are butchered and trimmed on-site.” Unlike other countries, Chinese wet markets are home to “a wide variety of wild animals, including exotic and endangered species. Many are quite unsanitary, with blood, entrails, excrement, and other waste creating the conditions for disease that migrates from animals to people through virus, bacteria, and other forms of transmission.” They added, “such ‘zoonotic diseases’ that have emerged from China and other regions of the world include Ebola, HIV, bird flu, swine flu, and SARS.”

Though wet markets were just recently banned in the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak, such restrictions have come and gone in China’s past, and there’s no telling whether this ban on selling exotic meats will last. The markets were responsible for H1N1, SARS, and now COVID-19. No details about the new restrictions have been made public.

The National Review continued, so far, “we may just be seeing a repeat of the ‘crackdown’ after the SARS epidemic, which was quickly and quietly lifted.”

In the U.S., banks are predicting the 2nd quarter contractions to be in the neighborhood of 12%, and a loss of 1 million jobs each month the world is on lockdown. The Dow Jones is sinking to the lowest level in 4 years, losing over 30% of its value over a couple of weeks. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin warns if the U.S. doesn’t respond with the trillion-dollar stimulus packages proposed, we could suffer 20% unemployment rates.

Also, China imprisoned over a million Muslims in reeducation camps. Why does no one talk about this, or China’s long history of shipping dissidents off to gulags for questioning the communist government? If the country didn’t own so much U.S. debt and if our factories weren’t stationed there, we would treat China like North Korea or Iran.

China is a bad actor on the world stage. The oppression and restriction of their own people are second to none. Their cover-ups have cost too many lives and destroyed too many businesses globally for their actions to go unpunished. Until China apologies to the world, permanently shut down their wet markets, and takes an active role in fixing the problems they’ve created, the U.S. and the world need to sanction this oppressive dictatorship. There are more than enough poverty-stricken nations who would be absolutely thrilled to have global supply chains transferred to them. China’s economy is so intertwined with the world that even before the West began hunkering down, we faced massive supply shortages over Chinese factories closing. Dependence on an evil empire for our economic wellbeing is a grave mistake we can’t afford to make anymore. It’s time to diversify out of China. China must be held accountable, and no other punishment would fit their laundry list of crimes like sanctions.