- The Washington Times - Monday, August 29, 2016

It is a timely, revealing book — to be released just as the election season peaks. “Shall Not Be Infringed: The New Assaults on Your Second Amendment” by David A. Keene and Thomas L. Mason will be published Oct. 11. The authors offer a meticulous review of the gun control debate in America and an inside look at strategic operatives who use polls, studies and numbers to confuse the public and muddle facts.

“The battle over the Second Amendment right of Americans to keep and bear arms has been a central part of the political debate in this country since the late 1960s, with those blaming the availability of various kinds of firearms for crime, mass killings and much else lining up against those who believe strongly that the Constitution protects the age-old right of people to defend themselves, their families and their homes in an increasingly dangerous world,” said Mr. Keene, opinion editor of The Washington Times and former president of the National Rifle Association.

“We wanted to tell the story of how gun owners have successfully fought to preserve their rights in the face of a well-financed and unrelenting assault that may well decide the 2016 presidential election,” said Mr. Keene.

Co-author Thomas Mason is an attorney and a former state lawmaker. The book itself parses the skirmishes and all-out warfare over the Second Amendment in courts, Congress and state legislatures — and the role of a hostile news media during the crossfire.

“We chose this time to let people know how important these rights are, to dispel the myths about guns and crime that dominate the media and to suggest that if people would stop yelling, there are steps that can be taken to make our streets and cities safer without infringing on the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans,” Mr. Keene continues.

“The simple fact is that the Second Amendment and the rights it protects are on the ballot this year. For the first time, the gloves are off as Hillary Clinton claims the Supreme Court was wrong in deciding that Americans have an individual right to own a gun for protection and that Great Britain and Australia — two nations that have outlawed and confiscated most privately owned firearms within their borders — are models we should both admire and follow,” he added.

CADDELL’S REALITY CHECK

While both entertaining and alarming, the presidential election is also unusual and full of distractions. Sometimes the significant moments are hard to detect. Veteran pollster Pat Caddell offers some insight.

“Let me just point this out. Politico, along with The Washington Post — they are ground zero for the conventional political wisdom and for the political class. And they just assume the election’s over. They thought it’s been over for a long time,” Mr. Caddell told Matthew Boyle, host of he the SiriusXM program “Breitbart News Daily.”

“The people who don’t think it’s over are the Clinton people,” Mr. Caddell continued. “They’re very nervous, because they don’t have control of the dynamics. They’re doing everything they can to keep this a candidate-to-candidate election, which is their best ground.”

23 CHOICES FOR HOST

The American public is discerning when it comes to its taste in presidential debate moderators. These prime-time political hosts are part journalist, part gadfly — keeping viewers interested and credibility intact. No easy task. And some are perceived to be better at this than others. A new Morning Consult poll has asked 2,007 registered U.S. voters to rate their favorite moderator out of a field of 23 contenders. Here’s how it all turned out:

In first place, CNN’s Anderson Cooper garnered a third of the votes, followed by Fox News’ Megyn Kelly (22 percent), Fox News’ Chris Wallace (22 percent), CBS’ Bob Schieffer (17 percent), NBC’s Lester Holt (16 percent) CNN’s Wolf Blitzer (16 percent), Fox News’ Neil Cavuto (12 percent), Fox News’ Bret Baier (11 percent), MSNBC’s Rachael Maddow (10 percent), ABC’s Martha Raddatz (8 percent), NBC’s Chuck Todd (7 percent), CNN’s Chris Cuomo (6 percent), ABC’s George Stephanopoulous (5 percent), CNN’s Don Lemon (5 percent), CBS’ John Dickerson (4 percent), CNN’s Jake Tapper (4 percent), CNBC’s Becky Quick (3 percent), Salem Media’s Hugh Hewitt (3 percent), PBS’ Gwen Ifill (3 percent), CNBC’s Carl Quintanilla (3 percent) and CNBC’s John Harwood (2 percent).

CAVUTO’S RETURN

It’s been only four months since Fox News stalwart Neil Cavuto had open-heart surgery. He already has announced his return to the airwaves, however. The big day is Sept. 6, when the straightforward Mr. Cavuto will take his place in the anchor’s chair at high noon on the Fox Business Network, and 4 p.m. on Fox News. Mr. Cavuto, 57, serves as senior vice president, anchor and managing editor of business for both networks.

LET ICE BE ICE

Does the next president need to create a special “deportation force” to deal with illegal immigration? Some wonder if that’s just one more extra step.

“There is no need to create a deportation force to enforce this nation’s immigration laws because one already exists. It’s called Immigration and Customs Enforcement — ICE — and the Border Patrol,” notes Dan Stein, president of the Federation for Immigration Reform, which supports immigration policies that serve the national interest.

“ICE has all the authority it needs to enforce immigration laws at the workplace and in the interior of the nation, and the Border Patrol has all the authority it needs to intercept and return illegal aliens apprehended at the border or at ports of entry. The only true question that needs to be answered is whether or not the American people will insist the president enforce the immigration laws on the books,” Mr. Stein explains.

POLL AND STATS DU JOUR

95 percent of travel specialists have seen an increase in “adventure travel” inquiries in the past 12 months.

41 percent of adventure travelers are ages 50 to 65.

24 percent are ages 35 to 50; 21 percent are 65 and over; 14 percent are younger than 35.

The top adventure destinations: Iceland, followed by Galapagos/Ecuador, Costa Rica and Chile (tie), Peru, Cuba, Antarctica, Arctic/North Pole, South Africa, Australia.

The top activities for adventure travel: Hiking/trekking, followed by biking, kayaking, small-ship expeditions, safaris, walking, photography, scuba diving, arts and culture.

Source: A Virtuoso poll of 125 specialty travel advisers conducted from February to April and released Monday.

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