Thursday, August 28, 2014

Dropping The Shackles Part 2

Second in a series

By Alan Johnson      
This series explores my efforts and journey to break away from a typical American style of living, a living based on debt and the financing of a lifestyle.

In my last entry I presented the events and reasons that brought me to the decision to explore this philosophy and lifestyle and the decision to make major changes in our lives to help us move to a more flexible and satisfying life.

My wife and I had discussed our current circumstances, and what we wanted for our future and decided that since our goals had changed over recent years and our financial strategies had not, it was time to make some big changes.

We still had mortgages, we still has consumer credit debt, we still spent more than we should each month with too little to show for it.

I had a good job, I was well compensated for my work, but I also knew that all good gigs eventually come to an end. I don't think I have ever had the same job, or even worked for the same company for more than five years. I was at the three year mark with my employer at that time, and I knew the game clock was ticking down. Eventually I would have to find another job, and when it came time to find a new gig, my goal was to not be stressed or panicked about it. The job market has not been in what I would call a favorable condition for job seekers in recent years, and a good job might take some time to find, so what that meant for me was not having a heavy burden of debt, having an emergency fund of at least a couple of months expenses in reserve cash.
My wife's goal was simply to be able to retire at fiftyfive years of age, and have time to be with our grandchildren when she chooses, and go where and when she chooses. Simple goals, right? Shouldn't exactly be a bridge too far.

This will be a multistep process, and take at least several years to complete, God willing. We may not live a luxurious lifestyle, but it should allow us more flexibility in our lives and a bit more peace of mind if we are successful in our goals.

To pull this off, we will need to unburden ourselves of many things that will be unnecessary in the future.
Our plan was to rent a couple of rooms from our eldest son, who lives near our home, for a couple of years, until my wife is ready to retire from her job.
My job involves traveling around the country each week, so it doesn't matter for me during the week, but I do need a place to land during the weekend and holidays. Fortunately, my son was open to us sharing his house.
Our current home is on a few acres, it has fruit tree orchards and all the things that go to maintaining the property, tractors, tools and equipment, all of that would no longer be needed if we short sell the place.

Time to get busy with Craigslist. We stated selling everything we no longer would need, and only kept what would be worth keeping in storage for a year or two.
We sold so much stuff I really think the dogs were worried they would be next.
All the proceeds from the sale of the stuff we no longer needed went into a lock box and was not to be touched or spent.
It really is amazing how much unnecessary things we tend to collect and hang onto, even though we haven't used it lately and maybe not even looked at for years.

At the same time we focused on getting any consumer debt paid off. We knocked them down gradually, thankfully none were more than a few thousand dollars. It took a great amount of self discipline to resist using the charge accounts. My wife is especially tempted when the ' Use your XYZ Card and save XX%' offers show up in the mail. We reminded each other about our goals and the time table we were working under.
When you have 40+ years of undisciplined spending habits to reverse, cash control can be a challenge. You must embrace the virtue of delayed gratification, or you will fail.

We worked at this strategy for months, gaining encouragement from seeing our cash reserves in the lock box grow, and seeing our debt levels gradually shrink. At the same time we interviewed real estate agents and a CPA to prepare for the short sale of our home.

In my next installment I will discuss the short sale strategy and how we made the best use of this option.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

America Can See Its Future In The Mirror

By Raul.Ilargi Meijer and originally published at theautomaticearth.com 
If Americans were less prone to self-deceit, they would have long since realized that the American Dream is over, for good, and that continuing to chase it is the worst of the few remaining options they get to choose between.
They could then look at themselves in the mirror and see their future.
As things are, however, the future is creeping up on them in small, slow and silent steps, until one day it will simply be there, no longer deniable or avoidable, and it will find them woefully unprepared.
This is not true only for Americans, the entire formerly rich world will undergo the same transformation. But it will be very pronounced stateside.
It’s impossible to follow events in Ferguson, Missouri and not recognize that there are thousands of – potential – Fergusons in-waiting spread across the USA. You don’t have to be particularly clever to recognize the patterns.
Segregation by race – a.k.a. racism – has never left the country, even though the courage of true American heroes like Martin Luther King and Muhammad Ali changed many things for the better.
Segregation by race has always remained inevitably linked to segregation by wealth and income. As a hugely disproportionate number of black kids continue to be incarcerated under a prison system that locks away more citizens than in any other country.
You could be forgiven for thinking that America went looking for trouble. And is now finding it. Like so many things, that trouble doesn’t stand out or float to the top in times of plenty. But when those times are over, trouble is the only thing remaining.
As long as the illusion of the American Dream, and the illusion of economic growth, can be kept alive, people will be inclined to take a lot of things for granted. When their eyes open and these illusions are shattered, matters can turn on a dime.
Bloomberg provides some of the background to Ferguson and all those other American communities. What’s happening in Ferguson shouldn’t come as a surprise, what’s surprising is that it’s not much more widespread yet.
• “We’ve passed this tipping point and there are now more poor people in the suburbs than the cities,” said Elizabeth Kneebone, author of [a July 31 Brookings Institution report]. “In those communities, we see things like poorer health outcomes, failing schools and higher crime rates.”
• [..] the city – which has lost more than 40% of its white population since 2000 – [has] a mostly white city council and police force. [..] The St. Louis metropolitan area ranks as one of the most segregated in the U.S. Ferguson, once a majority white community that’s now about two-thirds black, highlights that dynamic.
• Coinciding with the decline in white population is a rapid rise in poverty since 2000 [..]
• “Looking at the neighborhood poverty rates, it’s striking how much has changed over a decade,” Kneebone said. “In Ferguson in 2000, none of the neighborhoods had hit that 20% poverty rate. By the end of the 2000s, almost every census tract met or exceeded that poverty rate.
• The poverty rate in Ferguson was 22% in 2012, the most recent available, up from 10.2% in 2000. Suburban locales from the outskirts of Atlanta to Colorado Springs have seen similar trends. The number of poor people living in impoverished U.S. suburbs has more than doubled since 2000, comparing to a 50% rise in cities. More than half of the 46 million Americans in poverty now live in suburbs ..
• “The median income is so low in Ferguson that people are really struggling, living from check to check, and they’re even behind checks,” state Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal said.
• “For much of the latter half of the 20th century, it was a pattern of segregation by race, and that’s been displaced somewhat by a segregation by income, which is growing starker and starker in cities like St. Louis.”
While Americans have been – and still are – waiting for the recovery to come that the government and the media promise, their world is not standing still; it’s deteriorating at a fast pace. It just takes them a long time to notice, focused as they are on the illusions.
That is a dangerous dynamic in a country so loaded to the hilt with firearms. Something that the government, at all levels, has been acutely aware of for many years. The calls, in the wake of Ferguson, to de-militarize police forces, look somewhat less than timely or honest or genuine in that light.
The militarization of American police forces has been a very conscious choice by those who long since sensed a threat to their positions, their way of life, and their powers. Not everyone feels they can afford to stare blindly into illusions.
Another aspect of the demise of America as we once knew it, and one very much connected to Ferguson, because it’s economics that drives the whole machinery, is pensions. An amazing graph posted by Tyler Durden, along with some apt comments, explain.
… it is not the 1% that would suffer the most should the S&P have a post-Lehman like 50%+ wipe out, which also means that the Federal Reserve’s only mandate of pushing asset prices to ever higher levels while pretending it does so to boost employment and keep inflation at 2% is no longer for the benefit of the uber-wealthy.
So why can’t, or rather won’t, the Fed let the bubble market collapse once again? Simple – as the following chart shows, the illusion of wealth is now most critical when preserving the myth of the welfare state: some 50% of all US pension fund assets are invested in stocks and only 20% in Treasurys.
This compares to less than 10% for Japan which also explains why for Abe, the only lifeline left is pushing pension funds out of their existing asset allocation sweet spot and forcing them to buy stocks.
What is known is that in a country like Germany between 2005 and 2012 the Pension funds asset rotation out of stocks and into bonds has been truly unprecedented, with stocks plummeting from 30%+ of total exposure to less than 5%! It also explains why Germany was, is and always will be leery of allowing the ECB to pursue asset bubble-inflating policies which would barely benefit pension funds on the equity side …
But back to the US: while the 1%’s paper fungible, market-driven wealth has been long converted into other hard asset formats, it is the paper gains for the future retirees that are on the chopping block should the S&P 500 “get it.”
As such, it is the fate of future retirement funds, and in fact, the very core of the US welfare state that is at stake should there be a massive market crash. In which case what happened in Ferguson will be a polite stroll in the park compared to the chaos that would ensue should another generation of Americans wake up with half or more of their paper wealth wiped out overnight.
… will the Fed be able to avoid a market crash? The answer of course is no. But we will give the podium to Fred Hickey, aka the High-Tech Strategist, who gives a very poetic summary of what the Fed’s endgame will look like:
The Fed hasn’t made the world a better place with its interventions. It has created moral hazard, encouraged the formation of asset bubbles that eventually pop (leaving economic messes), widened the wealth inequality gap to record levels, discouraged savings and investment, severely penalized retirees on fixed incomes, encouraged spending, funded massive government deficit spending by monetizing the debts, lengthened the recession and likely reduced the number of jobs that would have been created if the economy had been allowed to take its normal course.
What Durden forgets to mention is that, given the incredibly outsized exposure US pensions funds have built up to stocks, it’s no wonder the S&P 500 has been setting records.
Another issue he omits is while one may claim the Fed can’t let the stock market crash, it has no such control, if only since because of that same outsized exposure pension funds have to the S&P, they are set and certain to cause their own demise by moving out of stocks and back into bonds.
Recent developments in geopolitics are not a one-off incident. They are merely a first step in the real battle for oil and gas, equals energy, equals power. It’s not going to stop if Ukraine and Russia sign some deal, or if Shi’ites beat Sunnis or the other way around. Every party that sees an opening to increase their share of oil and gas will do so, and increasingly with blunt force. That’s the geopolitics which will be a part of the global – and financial – landscape for the rest of our lives.
That necessarily means that the Fed controlled quiet boom in stocks is over. Volatility is back to stay. And volatility doesn’t rhyme with pension funds. Risk and potential losses are too great to even consider. So the funds will have to move back into Treasurys. A move that will hurt both stocks AND bonds. And cause more volatility. Rinse and repeat.
It would be suicide for pension funds to stay where they are. It will also be suicidal to move. They’re hugely overexposed to a market that’s only seemingly under control. They purchased themselves into a bind.
Just like America developed itself into a bind. By building an infrastructure around its city cores that is increasingly, and rapidly, becoming an expansive layer of cemeteries for the hopes and dreams of large numbers of its citizens, where millions of poorly constructed and insulated overpaid homes play the part of so many underwater mausoleums.
There is still time to take another look in the mirror. To see what is actually there in your reflection, not what you would like there to be. And make your decisions based on what you see when you do. But that time is not measured in decades, perhaps not even years.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

We’ve Opened the Gates of Hell


TEPCO WASTEWATER DEMON
Image by William Banzai

Submitted by George Washington via zerohedge.com
Preface: we’ve written thousands of articles on Fukushimaand radiation. But this post will spotlight recent articles from EneNews … with which we have no affiliation of any nature whatsoever.
The American media hasn't covered Fukushima for a long time. But that doesn't mean there hasn't been any news. It just means that the  U.S. and Japanese governments haveworked hard to cover it up.
Here’s a roundup of recent news (links to EneNews; click through to see original source material ... that's how the web WORKS):
Radiation
Coincidental Wildlife Death and Injury?
Impacts On Human Health?

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Deflation-Inflation Disaster




This train wreck isn’t simply going to hit a wall out of the blue. Actually, it has been forming and accumulating and expanding for many years now, and yet it has simply been ignored, particularly by the financial markets which have ridden this bubble to these extreme and historic heights. The only issue is, when does it hit the wall? The answer to that question is it’s not very far down the road, and I can promise you that is when all hell is going to break loose.
David Stockman at davidstockmanscontracorner.com
Originally published at woodpilereport.com
There's good evidence our current inflation is artificially induced to stave off an underlying deflation. Deflation is a slowing of the "velocity of money"—a measure of how often a dollar passes from one hand to another. Deflation theorists say the velocity of money became near-catatonic in 2007-2008. The ongoing "money printing" is intended to compensate for the lack of real circulation. It's this "money printing" that accounts for such inflation as exists, and even at that it's not been effective. More technically, in the last twenty five years the M2 money stock has gone up 700% while prices have gone up 200%. It's the dormant 500% we should worry about.

In a classic deflation like the Great Depression of the 1930s, currency becomes all but unobtainable, everyone sits on it, in part because they believed "everything will be cheaper tomorrow." They weren't wrong. Faith in the currency was justified by real events so it became more valuable over time. The question is, if we revisit real deflation, what happens to the price of gold and silver? The only honest answer is, nobody knows. History says the price for precious metals—including coins—will drop just like prices for everything else. And that's the key, just like everything else. At minimum their relative value will be maintained and they'll probably do better in terms of purchasing power.

Paper traders and promise holders will take inescapable losses because debt doesn't fall with everything else, it becomes unpayable. Deflation incurs a relentless repudiation of debt—touchingly called "restructured debt" in its final phase—and the stair-step crumbling of everything connected to debt, including prices. Yes, gold and silver prices too.

1930s-style deflation is an economy's rigor mortis, proof it's well and truly dead and good evidence the regime may be next. Government will do anything to counteract deflation—or even talk of deflation. Which is about where we are now. The policy has been aggressive inflation—they call it stimulus or bailouts or quantitative easing—and it's done in the sorriest strongman's pest-hole and name brand empires. Political flavorings aside, there comes a time when inflation devolves into a frantic torrent of nearly worthless paper. It's here the purchasing power of gold and silver go to escape velocity while that of currency soars twenty feet into the ground and disappears. Long before that, gold and silver won't be on offer for any amount of currency.

By the time the handwriting is on the teleprompter it's already too late. Holders of precious metals are ahead of this curve. They know it can take mere weeks for ordinary inflation to metamorphosize into an outright repudiation of the currency, meaning hyper inflation.
Hyperinflation arises as a result of money printing leading to a currency collapse and not from demand pull. The slight deflation that we are experiencing currently is a prerequisite for hyperinflation. The fear of a deflationary implosion forces governments to print money, leading to a collapsing currency which historically has always been the cause of hyperinflation.
Egon Greyerz, Matterhorn Asset Managament AG
In passing, there are other dimensions to all this. Given our lawless police state, our institutional corruption and the collapse of official ethics and personal values art-link-symbol-tiny-grey-arrow-only-rev01.gif, we're closing fast on third world status. Already the lives of much of the population are indistinguishable art-link-symbol-tiny-grey-arrow-only-rev01.gif from the bottom reaches of the Third World. This protected subset of society, these professional voters, are paid to consume, know only consuming and despise all else. The coming debacle will be much less orderly than the one of the 1930s.

Don't imagine DC's 'public servants' would perform acts of selfless heroism in a currency collapse. They'll lack motivation, credibility and legitimacy, perceived or otherwise. One last note. It was rebellions and secessions that finally dissolved the Soviet Union, long in the making, short in the doing. They succeeded because police and armed forces are fractional like bank reserves—not enough by orders of magnitude. It's said the United States is nearly ungovernable even in times of stability and prosperity. Some states may save themselves in whole or in part. It's the least happy of unhappy endings for our former republic, but the most likely.

Deflation is historically more relentless than it is swift, typically it takes a year or two for the last holdouts to topple into the abyss. Inflation is historically as patient as rust, festering as a low-grade infection for decades. But hyper inflation goes from hint to full stride like a drag racer, typically blindsiding layman and professional alike. If deflation is a return to honest bookkeeping, hyper inflation is a book burning. And when the confetti blows away and takes its imaginary wealth with it, what remains are those things of enduring value: land, food, houses, clothing, tools, medicine—and gold and silver. History tells us this is so. All of history. In all places.

There's no predicting these things, but be aware socialist regimes consider any asset subject to eminent domain, including life itself. Government doesn't give, it takes. It's foolhardy to rely on government, ever, especially when things get sketchy. Whatever dire events lie ahead and however they unfold, precious metals will have their place, and bullion in the form of recognized coins is likely to have the widest acceptance. It may be wise to make them a part of your discreet holdings before government makes itself a party to every transaction.

Only a complete and irredeemable fool will store coins in a bank or any other off-premise location not under his direct control and personal access. Even the minimally prudent will keep them in a location unknown to anybody whose interest is not identical to his own. Nor will he generate avoidable documentation. We are deeper into the storm than most admit and many can imagine. While our well being is not assured by taking such measures, it's imperiled if we do not.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

God's Presence And Your Sanctification

By John MacArthur and originally published at gty.org 
The Lord’s presence in the lives of His people is a major theme throughout redemptive history. He is not aloof or distant. In fact, this reality is so important in the mind of God that He takes the name Immanuel—God with us—upon Himself.
And that reality of His presence with His people informs and defines His work in our lives. We see this clearly in Paul’s description of the process of spiritual growth in Philippians 2:12-13,
So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
The phrase, “God who is at work in you” points us to His presence in believers’ lives and helps us understand His role in our sanctification.
God with Us
The preposition “in” is often featured in Paul’s writings as he records the beloved truth that Jesus Christ dwellsin believers (cf. Romans 8:9–10Galatians 2:20Colossians 1:27). The Lord Himself spoke of His indwelling presence:
The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. (John 17:22–23)
David understood and gloried in the reality of the Lord’s continual presence with him: “You scrutinize my path and my lying down, and are intimately acquainted with all my ways” (Psalm 139:3). The Lord was David’s Shepherd, who never forsook or neglected him or failed to protect him and abundantly provided for his needs (Psalm 23).
In ways that are far beyond human comprehension, God indwells His people, both as individuals and collectively in the church. Jesus promised the disciples and all future believers:
I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. (John 14:16–17; cf. Acts 1:8)
Remembering God’s Presence
Perhaps because of their immaturity and worldliness, Paul reminded the Corinthians of that truth at least twice. “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16), he asked rhetorically. Later he added, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19).
In fact, Paul leaned heavily on the presence of God in him when describing his own ministry: “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me” (1 Corinthians 15:10). He understood his ministry as the fruit of Christ’s promise to His disciples prior to His ascension:
And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
The author of Hebrews similarly understood that it is the Lord who “equip[s] you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight” (Hebrews 13:21). Our good works are not our own—they are the product of God’s work through Christ and His Spirit in us.
False Gods Fall Short
False gods differ in many ways, but they all share the common traits of remoteness, transcendence, and aloofness. With them there is no comfort in sorrow, help in affliction, or empowerment for living. Just like the Pharisees, false religions “tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger” (Matthew 23:4). Man-made religions impose arbitrary standards and impossible expectations without providing the power to achieve them.
The God of the Bible is just the opposite. He loves. He cares. He takes up residence in the life of the believer. He is not an overbearing despot who makes demands on impotent people who are unable to comply, and then crushes them because of their non-compliance. Instead, He comes to live in them, supernaturally supplying grace and mercy and the means so that they can live lives of obedience.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

ISIS Update, Militarized Police, Ukraine Crisis


ISIS Update, Militarized Police, Ukraine Crisis Update and MoreBy Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com
This may sound strange to you, but the top story is still the Ukraine crisis because it is far from over.  In my view, the West is still inching towards war with Russia.  The building of a new natural gas pipeline through Bulgaria has been stopped for the second time this week.  Nearly 200 troops and a dozen NATO F-15 fighter jets are also going to Bulgaria for more war games. Meanwhile, Germany’s Leader, Angela Merkel, is saying that NATO will defend the Baltic States, if needed.  On top of that, the fighting in Eastern Ukraine is still going full force in several towns in Eastern Ukraine with dozens of deaths and wounded on both sides.  I am sure there is going to be lots of talks to try to make nice between Russia and Europe, but I don’t see how this is going to be worked out without more violence.  Russia does not want NATO in Ukraine, and NATO has to know this.  It looks like war is intentional, or at the very least, inevitable.  By the way, McDonald’s in Russia is being inspected for health violations in many locations around the country.  This is just part of the ongoing financial war.
Well, it looks like ISIS (also known as ISIL) went from “JV” (as the President said earlier this year) to a full blown global terror problem in a short amount of time.  Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said that ISIS poses an “imminent threat” to the world.  Hagel also said, “This is way beyond anything we have seen. We must prepare for everything. Get Ready!”  I guess that means the U.S. is going to keep bombing ISIS in Syria and Iraq.  This statement comes out during a week when an American Journalist was beheaded on YouTube.  I guess this really is a threat and one that was caused in part by the U.S. helping arm the so-called rebels in Syria.  Texas Governor Rick Perry says because the border has been left open by a flood of illegals that ISIS may already be inside the U.S.  Perry is also under indictment for abuse of power, but I think they are going to have a hard time making that stick.
The ceasefire between Hamas and Israel is off, and this time, I predict it will stay off for a while.  Hamas has been shooting more rockets into Israel, and Israel has been bombing targets in Gaza.  The latest strikes killed the wife and child of the top Hamas military leader.  Other Israeli strikes killed some top Hamas commanders.  I see no end in sight for this bloody war.
It looks like the violence in Ferguson, Missouri, is winding down.  The National Guard has been recalled, and a Grand Jury is deciding whether to charge the officer who shot an unarmed teen.  At first, I thought this was an unjust shooting, but as more and more details and witnesses come forward, I am getting a different picture.  The shooter had his eye socket crushed by the victim, and the autopsy appears to show the teen was not shot with his hands up.  This could end up being a long drawn out case where we find out the officer was justified in shooting the victim.  That’s not the real take away here.  It’s the militarization of the police.  Multiply Ferguson by police departments across the nation.  The Federal Government is responsible for this militarization because they have supplied the military vehicles and arms.  This is a dangerous mix when you decrease Constitutional rights and increase police power.  The real question is why all the military firepower?  What is the government getting ready for?  I think the next financial collapse will be the big one, and most will wake up and realize they will never recover.
Join Greg Hunter as he analyzes these stories and more in the Weekly News Wrap-Up.

Friday, August 22, 2014

California Seeks To Ban Body Armor With HR 5344



EDITOR’S NOTE:  Everyday I wake up and say, if not out loud then quietly in my mind – “Thank God I don’t live in California…”  For those of you who do, the avalanche of anti-Constitutional provisions continues, and unfortunately, laws pursued by the establishment in California are laws they will eventually seek for all of us.  It is vital that we watch such legislation closely and work to obstruct it, even if we are not in CA.  Why do civilians “need” body armor?  It doesn’t matter.  We WANT body armor, and it is our Constitutional right not to mention our inborn right to be able to defend ourselves from modern weaponry and modern tyranny.  We do not need to explain to politicians why it is not wrong for citizens to own inert steel plates wrapped in cordura.  It is NOT their concern, and it is not a privilege they have the authority to take away.  Until said politicians finally grasp this simple reality, the problems between the public and the state are only going to grow…
By Brandon Smith and originally published at alt-market.com
The following article from NBC gives Californians the bad news:
Rep. Mike Honda, D-San Jose, has announced legislation that would block civilians from accessing military-grade body armor to prevent criminals from using them in gun battles with law enforcement.
Honda, speaking at a news conference in San Jose Wednesday morning with police chiefs and the district attorneys and sheriffs from Santa Clara and Alameda counties, said his proposal would discourage criminals from wearing enhanced body armor to commit mass shootings.
“This bill will keep military body armor out of the wrong hands,” Honda said. “It would ensure that only law enforcement, firefighters and other first responders would be able to access enhanced body armor.”
“We’re not talking about just a standard bullet-proof vest,” he said. “We’re talking about body armor that is designed for warfare, designed to protect against law enforcement ammunitions.”
Honda said shootings by armored assailants are becoming a trend in recent years and said that according to experts, “access to military-grade body armor emboldens criminals and mass shooters to act.”
“There’s nothing more dangerous than an unstoppable, well-armored shooter,” he said. “The law enforcement community sees an increase in use of body armor in violent, gun-related crimes.”
The congressman cited a shooting on July 22 in Riverside County, where a man wearing body armor and armed with an assault rifle shot and killed two sheriff’s deputies and wounded another.
“We should be asking ourselves, why is this armor available to just anyone, if it was designed to be used only by our soldiers to take to war?” Honda said.
He said he introduced the bill, H.R. 5344, the Responsible Body Armor Possession Act of 2014, in Congress last week.

READ MORE HERE: