Our Nation Needs More Leaders Like Stephen Benjamin Who Work For Gun Control

There is a limit as to how much violence and death the American public should have to deal with when it comes to guns.  There are those in the land who have heard the cries for gun control measures and are taking a leading role in working for changes.

One such man is Mayor Stephen Benjamin..  And he is one of our heroes. 

Stephen Benjamin’s transformation from an ordinary gun-owning Southern mayor to one who advocates limits on firearms began in the summer of 2015. That’s when the Ku Klux Klan and the New Black Panther Party came to his hometown, Columbia, South Carolina, to face off over the removal of a Confederate flag from the state Capitol.

Fearing a gunbattle, Benjamin and the City Council enacted an emergency ordinance banning firearms from an area surrounding the Statehouse.

The gambit worked.

No one was shot.

And an idea was born.

Today, Benjamin is helping to lead a movement among municipal governments to control the possession and use of firearms within their borders. Frustrated by state and federal lawmakers’ reluctance to address gun violence, local officials are taking on their lawmakers and governors, an uphill task given that all but seven states have laws prohibiting them from enacting measures that restrict the use of guns.

But their work is slowly catching on. In recent months, local governments have limited certain kinds of semi-automatic rifles, created “gun-free zones” and adopted zoning laws to keep out gun stores. Even though some of these measures have faced legal challenges, the movement’s leaders say they’re just getting started.

“The failure of the Congress to pass policies that keep our communities and children safe means towns feel compelled to act,” Benjamin said. He considers himself in a unique position to press the issue, because he strongly supports Second Amendment rights, is a former law enforcement official and is president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. “We don’t have to accept the carnage,” he said.

When The Center Held–Donald Rumsfeld Recalls One of the Darkest Days Of the Gerald Ford Administration 

An excerpt from Donald Rumsfeld’s latest book When the Center Held: Gerald Ford and the Rescue of the American Presidency. 

On Friday, September 5, 1975, President Ford was in the historic Senator Hotel in Sacramento, across from the California State Capitol building where he was scheduled to meet with the state’s new Governor, Jerry Brown. At approximately 10:00 a.m., he left the hotel with his Secret Service detail. He moved toward a sizable gathering of people, several rows deep, who had come out to greet the President. They were lined along the side of a path through the large park in front of the state Capitol. As Ford crossed L Street onto the Capitol grounds, he deviated from the plan—but in a way that hardly surprised anyone who worked with him. He moved immediately to- ward the many well-wishers who had gathered to see him and started shaking hands left and right.

The President was pulling—as he had on his trip to Japan—what is often called an unscheduled “grip and grin” session. This understandably raised the pulse of the Secret Service agents—as well as the concern of those whose task it was to keep the President on schedule—but it was certainly not a surprise. Gerald Ford was a man of the people. He had concluded it was worth the risks given the challenges the country and he had faced together—and overcome—to meet and engage personally with his fellow Americans. Further, very simply, he liked people and, given his midwestern friendliness, he truly appreciated their coming out to meet him.

As the President approached a stand of trees on the left, a woman in the second row of the crowd caught his eye. She was wearing, Ford later recalled, “an unusual red or orange dress.” The woman, he re- counted, “had gray-brown hair and a weathered complexion.” Ford assumed she was going to shake his hand, but he hesitated to greet her. His sensitivity and awareness was understandable. As a member of the Warren Commission, which had been assigned the responsibility to investigate the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Ford was fully aware of the dangers that lurked for prominent public figures surrounded by crowds. While he felt it was important to greet as many people as he could, he was still sensitive to the reality of the potential threats a President faces. Apparently something about this woman—perhaps her “unusual” brightly colored dress—stood out for him. Suddenly, when he was just a few feet away from her, he noticed she was gripping an object. It was a .45 caliber pistol, which she began to raise in the direction of the President.

 

We Need Jimmy Carter Now More Than Ever

Simply put–a must read.

In front of the congregation—in spring and summer, autumn and winter—he perambulates the green carpet like old people sometimes do, as if on the deck of a ship on a rolling sea. He wears a turquoise bolo, somewhere between groovy and huh? His face is still elastic, the zygomatic muscles reflexively drawing his mouth into that smile, but his voice sometimes turns phlegmy without notice—and he starts coughing. His mind is a churning thing of wonder. His recall is sharp, his barbs of humor unexpected.

“So you didn’t put ’em to sleep, right?” he says to the pastor, Brandon Patterson, on one April morning when he steps up to the lectern, flashing a mischievous grin. He turns to the overflow crowd. “You like our pastor okay?” Murmurings of assent. “Well, he just passed his 24th birthday and he got married and he got a dahwg.” Mr. Jimmy hangs on the word, and bends it, to laughter. “He and I used to argue about who loved their wife more, but now he’s divided his love between a dahwg and his wife, so I think I’m ahead of him!”