d. hARRY
Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry: “A man’s got to know his limitations.”

Recently, forty people died in mass shootings in El Paso and Midland, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. We’ve had too many of these, and we need thoughtful and honest discussions about causes and solutions. But as usual, before the bodies are cold and the facts are in, progressives call to ban guns, confiscate guns and hyper-regulate lawful gun owners. Progressives attack the NRA as if the NRA and its members pulled the trigger. Many progressives oppose the 2nd Amendment. While some nominally support it, they could easily change their minds. What’s to stop them from legislating the 2nd A. out of existence?

Uber-progressive New York Governor Andrew Cuomo pretending to support the 2nd A.  Gun owners: Does seeing Cuomo with a gun make you feel better?

The fundamentals of progressivism should frighten all who value individual liberty as embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Progressives believe in a “living Constitution,” which means the Constitution changes with time and circumstances. But as if by magic, their reading of the Constitution always grows government and empowers progressives.

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Woodrow Wilson on the Constitution: “…It is modified by its environment, necessitated by its tasks, shaped to its functions by the sheer pressure of life.  Woodrow Wilson on government: “…no line can be drawn between private and public affairs which the state may not cross at will….”

Woodrow Wilson was a founding member of the progressive movement and our 28th President. For Wilson and present-day progressives the Constitution is an evolving document, which makes it possible to evolve the 2nd Amendment out of existence. I can hear the Democrats bleating now: “The 2nd Amendment was written for a different age. It doesn’t work in modern times. To protect our children we must outlaw all assault rifles.” They’ve already done it. Democrats passed an assault weapons ban in 1994. An assault weapon is a political construct. The ban did not reduce gun crime one bit but it did frighten voters, which was the point. And again, progressives attack so-called assault rifles—a stealth attack on semi-autos. That’s one trigger pull and one shot. What happens if the next madman uses a bolt action rifle? Then it will be: ban the bolt. Think it won’t happen here? It’s already happened in the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The Declaration of Independence and our Constitution are based on natural rights, the idea that we are born with rights that predate any government. Natural rights are rooted in our humanity. The will to survive and to protect our loved ones is as human as breathing. That is the basis of the 2nd Amendment. Progressives do not believe that we are born with rights. Instead, they believe that our rights come from government. But what the government gives – the government can take away.

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The Constitution codifies the principles of the Declaration of Independence.  Our freedoms are precious and worth fighting for. If we lose them, they’re gone forever.

Progressives are not bound by the principles embodied in the Declaration. Nor are they bound by the text of the Constitution, or by tradition. Theirs is a political philosophy motivated by the needs of the moment, a political movement with no limits, and they are the core of the Democrat party. To them, your right to defend hearth and home is obsolete, a relic of a bygone era and part of a deeply flawed Constitution that needs fixing. Deleting the Second Amendment is high on their to-do list. Don’t let them. They are absent internal limits so it falls to us, the freedom-loving people to impose limits via elections, law, political contributions, participation in political parties and joining organizations that will defend our rights. If they don’t know their limitations, let’s show them what limits are.

Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph. D.


The new NRA President, Oliver North, said this on the most recent school shooting in Texas:

The problem that we’ve got is we’re trying like the dickens to treat the symptom without treating the disease, and the disease in this case isn’t the Second Amendment. The disease is youngsters who are steeped in a culture of violence.”

Nearly all of these perpetrators are male, and they’re young teenagers in most cases, and they’ve come through a culture where violence is commonplace. All we need to do is turn on a TV, go to a movie. If you look at what has happened to the young people, many of these young boys have been on Ritalin since they were in kindergarten. Now, I am certainly not a doctor; I’m a Marine. But I can see those kinds of things happening.”

I have a lot of respect for North, but he stepped all over what should have been his message. Guns, especially semi-automatics, have been available for more than 100 years, but there were no mass shootings in schools until quite recently. North is absolutely right about the culture of violence in our country. Look at the graphically portrayed shootings, stabbings and explosions all across our media – blood and guts in sickening detail. Instead of hammering home a clear message of cultural decay and depravity, North handed the left a gift by mentioning Ritalin as a possible cause of school violence. The first step to cure a problem is admitting you have one and Col. North did as much when he said, “I’m certainly not a doctor, I’m a Marine.” Now, I’m not a Marine but I am a doctor. Psychiatric drugs like Ritalin, Prozac et. al., do not cause people to grab a gun and start shooting. The drugs are often prescribed for troubled people, some of whom have been mass shooters, to treat anxiety, depression, hyperactivity and a number of different psychiatric problems. The overwhelming majority of people on such medications are law-abiding.

North made a classic correlation error, which is mistaking things which are associated (found in common) for causes. For example, sick people are often found in doctors’ offices. Does this mean that doctors cause sickness? No. Sick people go to the doctor to relieve their suffering; the doctor does not cause their suffering.

North unwittingly conformed to the stereotype the left sets up for us as ignorant, stupid, insensitive and anti-science. Predictably, the left had a field day with North’s comments.


Usually, the left makes things up to attack us. In this case, Col. North gave them a talking point with an unforced error, while obscuring a valid issue about cultural depravity and violence.

Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph. D.


What is American exceptionalism? It means that we’re the exception, unique in the world, because our founding document, the Declaration of Independence, says our rights come from God or nature and predate any government. With one brilliant stroke, the Founders made Americans the freest people on earth because no government can grant us rights we already have – but of course government can take them away.

The Second Amendment to the Constitution, our right to self-defense, also marks us as an exception in the world. Few countries trust their citizens with guns. Progressives (Democrats) take a dim view of the 2nd Amendment – they don’t like it and would get rid of it if they could. They say the Founders meant for the 2nd Amendment to apply only to “well regulated militias.” This belief makes it logical for progressives to “well regulate” our guns away from us.

When there’s a crime, Progressives always blame the gun. Next step: take the gun. When Democrats say they support the Second Amendment, that they’re hunters and they own guns, don’t believe them. They vote for gun-grabbers like Schumer and Pelosi.

The Second Amendment is an individual right. The Declaration and the Constitution were based on natural law. They acknowledged timeless principles and our basic humanity. The right to self-defense is obviously and deeply fixed in human nature – the will to survive and to protect those we love. The Second Amendment was part of the Bill of Rights, whose purpose was to guarantee individual rights.

That the 2nd Amendment is an individual right has been made plain by the brilliant Joyce Lee Malcolm. A link to an article about her follows.

Malcolm’s research demonstrates that an individual right to self-defense originated in England in the 1600’s. The Founders relied on this tradition when they wrote the Constitution.

Follow my logic here. This country was founded on individual rights in the Declaration, which informed the Bill of Rights, designed to protect our individual rights. Therefore, the Second Amendment is an individual right. What other conclusion is possible?

We must remain ever-vigilant to protect every one of the precious rights given to us by our Founders.


Michael A. Morrongiello Ph. D.


Street fights are nasty events with no rules except one: win. And so it is in the fight to keep our Second Amendment rights. A prime example is the dustup between Fox news host Laura Ingraham and gun control advocate David Hogg. First let’s call him what he is, an advocate, labeled as such by the NY Times. I am not calling him a victim, a child, an adolescent, traumatized or a survivor. While some or all may be true, they do not accurately describe Hogg and his fellow gun-control advocates from Parkland. In a political fight, accurate labeling is essential. You must define your opponent to put him in clear focus.

Laura Ingraham tweeted the following about Hogg:

David Hogg Rejected by Four Colleges To Which He Applied and whines about it. (Dinged by UCLA with a 4.1 GPA…totally predictable given the acceptance rates.)”

The tweet is snarky and deserves a reply, but Hogg promptly ran to the The New York Times, which is reliably left-wing and anti-gun, and said,

I’m not going to stoop to her level and go after her on a personal level, I’m going to go after her advertisers.”

Hogg’s response was to try to destroy and silence Ingraham, and by extension all of us. He tweeted a list of Ingraham’s sponsors and asked his Twitter followers to pick three and boycott them.

Later on in the NY Times piece Hogg is quoted: “we can show that if you continue to bully the students that survived a mass murder, there’s going to be consequences.”

Here’s the bait and switch, from movement leader to child-victim. Criticize a child and trauma survivor and you are heartless bully. But who asked for the boycott to intimidate and silence Ingraham?

The Times said, commenting on Hogg’s reply “In response, Mr. Hogg, who has rapidly become a prominent advocate for gun control policies, called on Ms. Ingraham’s advertisers to boycott her show.”

Who made Hogg a “prominent advocate for gun control policies”? The media did. The NY Times and CNN did.

Those of us who love our Constitution and our liberties didn’t ask for a fight with Hogg and his fellow political activists, but the fight is here. He may play the victim but he is an actor, and so are his friends. They have entered the arena. You can’t be both fighter and fragile victim. They chose to fight and as such their ideas, character and motives are subject to examination, criticism and rebuke. Let the battle begin.

Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph. D.


The left loves to use victims to score political points. A recent case in point: the survivors of the Parkland school shooting, who are everywhere on the mainstream news media. They are being re-victimized in a sick and twisted scam.

The news media grants victims expert status and moral authority, making them unassailable. To differ with the victims’ ideas is to be heartless and cruel, denying their suffering. The aim is to stop debate by shaming conservatives into silence.

Trotting out victims as spokesmen is a trick liberals have used for years. James Brady, President Reagan’s press secretary, was ignored and criticized by the left and the news media (same thing) until he was shot and became a spokesman for gun control. Thereafter he was lauded. Cindy Sheehan, who lost her son in Iraq, became an overnight media sensation when she began to criticize President Bush, a Republican, for the Iraq war.

Victims always speak for the left against Republicans and Conservatives. This is always amplified, if not initiated, by the leftist operatives that are the news media.

The most recent example is the CNN article titled Four Reasons the NRA Should Fear the Parkland Student Survivors.

The article is absurd, but let’s take a look at one of its points: kids lead and adults follow. Really? Churchill, Washington, Lincoln and Gandhi were grownups. Can you think of one adolescent who led a major political movement? This is a piece of propaganda that would make Goebbels blush. High school students don’t have the education, life experience or wisdom to be leaders. Of course, if the Parkville students were pro-Second Amendment, you’d never hear a word about them.

The same people who accuse conservatives of being anti-science ignore the neuroscience research on the adolescent brain. The teen brain is still developing. The amygdala, which is responsible for immediate emotional reactions, is developed in teens, which explains why teens are impulsive and emotionally over-reactive, but the frontal cortex, which enables us to think and make prudent decisions, is not. The frontal cortex is not fully developed until well into adulthood.

The left must always be victims. Therefore, NRA must be portrayed as a rich, all-powerful bully. In reality, according to, the NRA are pikers compared to public employees’ unions. In the 2016 elections the NRA’s campaign contributions totaled a little over a million dollars, given mostly to Republicans. Meanwhile, the SEIU gave over $39 million and the NEA gave over $29 million to Democrats. Who’s the little guy now?

The Marjory Stoneman students have been victimized three times: first by the shooter, second by the government that failed them at every level, and third by the political left, which is exploiting their grief, pain and suffering.

Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph. D.