As we approach the midterms, I am frequently asked who we, at Artemis, endorse for office.  Typically, we refer people to the CRPA website to see its endorsements and avoid staking a direct political position ourselves.

There is a thought-out reason behind this.

Artemis Defense Institute is, and always has been, dedicated to the preservation and protection of the Second Amendment.  Personally, I tend to go beyond this and focus on civil rights protections as a whole.  That said, I completely understand that not everyone shares my political philosophy.  Sandy, for instance, is far more socially conservative than I am.

Because our clients come from across the political spectrum, we tend to focus our public analyses on how elected representatives act to protect our Second Amendment rights.  Their political party, or other political positions, are not part of the study.  By relying on the CRPA, we know that the candidates it endorses have been vetted, and have views on the Second Amendment that are consistent with ours and our clients.

This week, though, I am going to violate that rule and specifically endorse and encourage you to vote for a couple of candidates. 

First on the list is Undersheriff Don Barnes.  There are two candidates who are running for Sheriff in Orange County:  Don Barnes and Duke Nguyen.  The differences between the two camps are stark.  Don has been a manager of the sprawling Sheriff’s Department, and Mr. Nguyen comes from the Los Angeles District Attorney Criminal Investigations Unit.  It is unclear what, if any, management experience Mr. Nguyen actually has.

More importantly is Mr. Nguyen’s apparent stance on the issuance of CCW permits.  Don Barnes built the CCW infrastructure in the Orange County Sheriff’s Department that took the number of permit holders from roughly 300 to well over 18,000 in less than four years.  He was the individual who removed the innocuous restriction that limited us to only three guns on our permit and replaced it with the current unlimited amount. 

This makes sense since Don is a shooter himself.  The rank and file of the Sheriff’s Department is solidly behind Don, and  has good reason to be.  He has, throughout his career, earned the respect and admiration of the deputies under him, and the endorsement of the retiring sheriff, Sandra Hutchens.

If you live in Orange County, are concerned about the continued efficient operation of the Sheriff’s Department and, more importantly, the continued CCW policy… then you must vote for Don Barnes.  The key word in that last sentence is “vote.”  Midterm elections typically have a moderate amount of enthusiasm attached to them… but more about this in a bit.

The other two candidates who require our support are Representative Dana Rohrbacher and Representative Mimi Walters.  Both candidates are fending off extremely coordinated efforts from a national level to flip their Congressional seats.  Both are ardent supporters of the Second Amendment so, on first blush, Artemis would have no issue in supporting them.

However, the nature of this election requires us to go beyond simple tacit support.

A vote for either of their opponents is, in actuality, a vote for Nancy Pelosi. 

The Democrats, who maintain a platform of continued restriction of your fundamental rights of self-defense and firearm ownership, see the opportunity to take control of the House of Representatives.  If this happens, the Speaker’s gavel will be handed back to Nancy Pelosi, and the serious gains we have made on a national level will be halted at best, and potentially reversed at worst. 

Both Walters and Rohrbacher are highly qualified patriots and deserve to retain their seats in their own right.  Both are somewhat independent of their parties as well.  Rohrbacher is far more of a libertarian, a passionate advocate for individual liberty and property rights.  Walters leans toward a more traditionally conservative political philosophy.  Both, though, are true patriots.

All that pales to the reality of what will happen if they were to lose their Congressional seats and allow the House to flip. 

There is a lot at stake here, not just for our county… but for the country as a whole.

That brings me back to a point I promised to expand on earlier… your need to vote.

If you read my blog, it means that you are a patriot (Yes… even my spooky friends up on the hill… you are patriots too!).  As a patriot, you have a moral obligation of personal sacrifice in the service of your country.  For some of us this sacrifice takes us away from our families and puts us in harm’s way.  For others, we must sacrifice our time for service to our nation.  Some of us… well… have made the ultimate sacrifice.  Yet, we all do have one unifying burden that we must bear… we are called upon by our country to vote.  This action is such a simple one, a minor inconvenience that has been made substantially less burdensome through mail-in voting.  Voting is a simple sacrifice that has potentially cosmic consequences. 

You have a duty…  a moral obligation.  Make the time, and get your vote counted.

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