Ending January Right With Babies, Guns, and Photo Bombs

January is coming to a close, so I thought I’d share my thoughts on some recent happenings.

This past week was certainly eventful. Unfortunately, President Obama was coronated…er, inaugurated again for a second term. He called for communitarianism (basically, more class warfare policies) and made the same rallying cry for more “hope and change.” He still isn’t taking responsibility for adding over $6 trillion dollars in debt in his first term, and he’s overstepping his constitutional duties with respect to guns, immigration, and recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (which SCOTUS just ruled unconstitutional), to name a few. There are too many absurd policies and things to list, but you should grasp how disastrous this administration’s policies are and will continue to be these next four years. Oy vey!

On a more positive note, conservatives had something to celebrate this week. Although January 22, 2013, marked 40 years since that tragic and unfortunate  Roe v. Wade ruling, which legalized abortion, over 500,000 Americans-mostly young people-descended to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on Friday  to champion life.

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I went down to the National Mall with my co-workers to recruit students to our Campus Leadership Program. This being my first March for Life event, I couldn’t help but feel overjoyed by the sight of hundreds of thousands of fellow  pro-lifers from all walks of life coming together for this important occasion.

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Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss and for being a philanthropist to my alma mater UCSD, had this to say about  life: “A person’s a person, no matter how small.” May we continue to change the culture of death into one that champions life. L’chaim!

Yesterday I exercised my Second Amendment rights with my two good friends Celia Bigelow (think “gun girl” who appeared on the Piers Morgan Show recently) and Ron Meyer at Blue Arsenal Range in Chantilly, VA. The place was packed with many people rightfully scared by this administration’s plans to undermine Second Amendment rights. Americans still regard the right-to-bear arms as an unalienable right, and we’re not going to allow them to undermine it.

It’s undeniable that girls want to have guns. This is me shooting a CZ 75 9mm pistol – a semi-automatic handgun. And yes, shooting is fun – try it!

58270_10151381255032668_621120062_nAnd no end to a great week would be complete without crashing an event and seeing all your blogger/Twitter friends there.

Several of my friends and I ventured to Woodley Park in Washington, D.C., to meet up with some friends in town for the National Review Institute and soon enough, a party was underway at the hotel bar. It was great running into people and seeing good friends like Orit Sklar and Courtney Mattison there. (It was also nice finally meeting  Matthew Vadum, John La Rosa, and Brad Marston.)

One of the highlights from last night? #UnsustainableBarTab and schmoozing. Gotta love being a part of the conservative blogger community.

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Mark Steyn came sat down at our table, so we felt inclined to approach him about taking a picture with us. He obliged and offered this epic pose. Pretty awesome, right?

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…And then a group of us photo-bombed Jonah Goldberg.

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A drunk Dutchman who works for a conservative nonprofit (who shall remain nameless) crushed my Lithuanian amber ring, which kind of sucked. Amber is priceless and he just dismissed it as, “Oh, well, I have a forceful handshake.”

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When I asked him about Lithuania in relation to European politics, he scoffed and said, “Is Lithuania a country?” I answered, “It regained its independence in 1991.” Unlike Palestine, which has yet to be discovered, Lithuania is not a mythical place. I must confess, it was fun outsmarting a European scholar. But I digress…

This great night wouldn’t have been possible without the legendary Robert Stacy McCain (American Spectator/The Other McCain). Thank you for always looking out for us young conservatives and showing us a good time. Thanks, Stacy!

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And most of all, this weekend was made possible because good friends like Matt Vespa and Liz Thatcher. (Huntington gang for life!)

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This week, I’ll be meeting with students up in the frigid Northeast. You’re welcome to follow my musings on Twitter @Gabby_Hoffman. Expect more articles and blog posts in the coming days and weeks.

May you have a wonderful rest of January!

Smells Like Tyranny: Obama’s Directive Targets Second Amendment With 23 Executive Orders

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably heard President Obama unveil a detailed plan-23 executive orders, mind you- yesterday detailing how his administration will “properly address gun violence” in response to the Sandy Hook massacre.

It’s no secret that this administration and many on the Left disparage law-biding gun owners. This president claims to respect the Second Amendment and our Constitution, but his actions and abuses of power as President of the United States point to the opposite.

The question beckons: Why must the few yet tragic criminal acts of violence define how guns should be viewed in our society? What about all the unreported stories of women and men using guns to defend themselves and their families against attack from burglars and other criminals? Why can’t this administration shed light on these positive stories rather than vilify the Second Amendment? Simple: they don’t care about the Second Amendment or what we think.

Below is an outline of the 23 executive orders you must make yourselves aware of:

The following is a list, provided by the White House, of executive actions President Obama plans to take to address gun violence.

1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.

2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.

3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.

4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.

5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.

6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.

7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.

8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).

9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.

10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.

11. Nominate an ATF director.

12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.

13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.

14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.

15. Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies.

16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.

17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.

18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.

19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.

20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.

21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.

22. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.

23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.

(Source: Fox News Politics)

No universal background check, no ban on high-capacity magazines, and certainly no ban on “assault” weapons will deter criminals from committing gun crimes. It comes from education and parenting.

Renowned conservative thinker Walter Williams expounded on this subject in this column titled, “Erosion of Traditional Values, Not Guns, to Blame for Senseless Violence” on January 15, 2013:

Today’s level of civility can’t match yesteryear’s. Many of today’s youngsters begin the school day passing through metal detectors. Guards patrol school hallways, and police cars patrol outside. Despite these measures, assaults, knifings and shootings occur. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010 there were 828,000 nonfatal criminal incidents in schools. There were 470,000 thefts and 359,000 violent attacks, of which 91,400 were serious. In the same year, 145,100 public-school teachers were physically attacked, and 276,700 were threatened.

What explains today’s behavior versus yesteryear’s? For well over a half-century, the nation’s liberals and progressives — along with the education establishment, pseudo-intellectuals and the courts — have waged war on traditions, customs and moral values. These people taught their vision, that there are no moral absolutes, to our young people. To them, what’s moral or immoral is a matter of convenience, personal opinion or a consensus.

During the ’50s and ’60s, the education establishment launched its agenda to undermine lessons children learned from their parents and the church with fads such as “values clarification.” So-called sex education classes are simply indoctrination that sought to undermine family and church strictures against premarital sex. Lessons of abstinence were ridiculed and considered passé and replaced with lessons about condoms, birth control pills and abortions. Further undermining of parental authority came with legal and extralegal measures to assist teenage abortions with neither parental knowledge nor consent.

Customs, traditions, moral values and rules of etiquette, not laws and government regulations, are what make for a civilized society. These behavioral norms — transmitted by example, word of mouth and religious teachings — represent a body of wisdom distilled through ages of experience, trial and error, and looking at what works. The importance of customs, traditions and moral values as a means of regulating behavior is that people behave themselves even if nobody’s watching. Police and laws can never replace these restraints on personal conduct so as to produce a civilized society. At best, the police and criminal justice system are the last desperate line of defense for a civilized society. The more uncivilized we become the more laws that are needed to regulate behavior.

Parents, not the government, should teach their kids right from wrong with respect to handling guns. It is also parents, not the government, that should reinforce values and raise their children to be productive members of society. Teaching children about proper gun use will not be a detriment to a child’s upbringing; it’ll prove to be a benefit.
The Second Amendment is not simply about hunting, fishing, or shooting. It’s there as a reminder to protect ourselves against any threat of tyranny. It reads, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
Learn more about “assault” weapons at The Truth About Assault Weapons.
Voice your opposition to Obama’s gun control agenda and hold your elected officials accountable. Take control of gun control!

Earth to Generation Y: You’ve Been Cheated By Obama’s Administration

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Last Saturday, I had the privilege of speaking at Maryland Conservative Action Network’s “Turning the Tides” conference in Annapolis, MD alongside three other young panelists – Brandon Cooper, Brian Meshkin, and Trae Lewis.

Our generation will be hardest hit by Obama’s disastrous economic policies. Therefore, it’s imperative that conservatives bolster their numbers with more young people. Conservatism, not a diluted version of it, will entice people to our side. Any attempts to abandon conservatism will lead to more elections lost and less voter turnout.

Those in attendance enjoyed hearing from us on the panel. Everyone gave wonderful speeches.

My speech beings at the 19:28 mark.  Let me know what you think!

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” – Ronald Reagan

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Media Alert: Counter Cultured’s Anna Maria Hoffman and Blogger/Actress Kira Davis To Appear on Dr. Phil Show

Today, my sister Anna Maria Hoffman (founder/editor of conservative socio-political blog Counter Cultured) and our friend Kira Davis (blogger/actress/commentator) are taping a segment about “slut shaming” on The Dr. Phil Show. The show will air on Friday.  I ask that you pray for them and have them in your thoughts. They will be going up against the “YouTube Slut” and a young feminist who uses vulgarity to advance her message. I look forward to Anna Maria and Kira demolishing their arguments.

Here is more about the show as listed on Dr. Phil’s website:

Friday – January 18, 2013

Girls Who Bash Girls Who Dress Sexy

Dr. Phil takes on the hot-button topic of what some are calling “slut-shaming” — when young women are taunted and harassed, often online, for their sexual behavior, such as having casual sex, having more than one sexual partner or dressing provocatively. This form of bullying, like others, can lead to tragic consequences. Fifteen-year-old Felicia Garcia sent her last tweet, “I cant, im done, I give up,” before jumping in front of a train, while many of her classmates looked on. Friends of the freshman say she was tormented by bullies for alleged sexual encounters with football players. Did her classmates go too far? And, what can parents and students do to prevent another senseless act? Grab your teen, sit them down and watch this powerful Dr. Phil together!

Anna Maria

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Kira

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Hope you tune in!

 

The Day Rush Limbaugh Said My Name On His Show

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Rush Limbaugh (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Today I went to work expecting to have a normal day at the office. You could say I lead  an ordinary life. I’m a recent college graduate and nonprofit employee. I’m young, curious about the world, and am a tireless champion of American exceptionalism.  I’m a recent refugee from California taking up residency in the Commonwealth of Virginia. And more importantly, I’m the proud daughter of Lithuanian immigrants who’s grateful to have been born in the greatest country in the world.

How do I stand out from my Generation Y peers?  I just happen to be politically active and aware of national/international issues. I also enjoy hunting and fishing. Moreover, I have great disdain for collectivism, tyranny, anti-Semitism, and communism. I reject big government, moral relativism, and appeasenik foreign policy. My activism consists of blogging, working with students, tweeting, and plotting with friends to reclaim this country. It pains me to see this country embrace elements of socialism…

Around 1pm ET today, I started receiving tweets and Facebook posts reading “You’ve been mentioned by Rush Limbaugh on his radio show!” Rush Limbaugh mentioning ME on HIS radio show? I was in disbelief. I’m not famous at all, nor do I aspire to be famous. Yes, I’m well-known in many conservative circles but I tout myself as a humble person. I’m honored by all the media attention I’ve received these past 72 hours on this interview I did for Fox News. Your kind messages, tweets, and words are greatly appreciated. Most of all, I made both of my parents very proud today – that’s what counts the most!

Admittedly, I became giddy after hearing Rush mention my name on his program today. My sister and I grew  up with Rush Limbaugh,  and yes – we’re “Rush-babies.” My dad started listening to Limbaugh when his show first aired in the late ’80s right after he and my mom came to this country in January 1986. Without a doubt, being mentioned by one of my political heroes is truly an honor. I’m blessed and thankful for it.

Here’s the transcript from The Rush Limbaugh Show today:

RUSH: Gabriella Hoffman. “Gabriella Hoffman, a 21-year-old Virginian who works at a nonprofit, her paycheck is a little lighter today thanks to a payroll tax increase that is forcing millions of Americans to make the kind of tough budget cuts their representatives in Washington lawmakers seem unwilling to tackle.” Well, see, Obama explained in his press conference the debt limit isn’t about new spending. Raising the debt limit isn’t about spending at all. It’s just about paying bills.

He’s gonna raise the debt limit to pay for what we’ve already spent, but there’s no new spending in the debt limit. (Well, it’s what he said.) Gabriella Hoffman is 21 years old. As I say, she works at a nonprofit. She “estimates her paycheck will be roughly $30 less this biweekly pay period, or about $780 annually, thanks to the end of a two-year cut on payroll taxes, which fund Social Security. The tax has risen back up to 6.2% from 4.2%, costing someone making $50,000 annually about $1,000 per year and a household with two high-paid workers up to $4,500.”

The Right Scoop generously provided a clip from today’s show.

I will do my best to multiply the fruits of my labor and inspire other young conservatives to speak boldly. Hope you continue to follow my musings!

The Power of Twitter: Why Young Conservatives Should Tweet

Some of you are aware that I’m quite the Twitterholic. I tweet under the handle @Gabby_Hoffman and am not afraid to say that I tweet up quite the storm. My Twitter musings range from conservative politics to historical events. On occasion, I also include fashion and animal posts. Whenever I’m traveling for work or for leisure, I tweet pictures of monuments or interesting points of observation. All in all, I’ve grown to like and rely on Twitter.

Why would a young conservative like me use Twitter, you ask? Easy: we’ve got to win the social media war against the Left.

January 12, 2013 will mark three years since I started on Twitter. (In twitterspeak, I’ll be celebrating my third Twitterversary.)

At first I was reluctant to tweet. This social media medium was extremely confusing and foreign to me. I was perplexed by the RT symbol, follow button, and hashtags. It was not until a young conservative conference in Summer 2010 that I started to use Twitter. Once I got the hang of Twitter, I couldn’t stop using it.

In the nearly three years I’ve been on Twitter, I’ve garnered almost 22, 000 followers. What’s the key to this? Playing hashtag games, helping tweets turn into news stories, and promoting friends and fellow activists. I’ve also used Twitter to promote my articles.

Due to my politically charged tweets, I’ve been mentioned by Politico, Twitchy, National Review, got linked on Drudge Report, and was interviewed by Fox News.

If you’re not on Twitter, sign up for it and start tweeting. We’ve got a country to save!

My Thoughts on the Payroll Tax on FoxNews.com

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Earlier this week, I was interviewed by FoxNews.com reporter Joshua Rhett Miller about the payroll tax hike and its effects on Americans. Today my thoughts were published in this article, “Millions noticing paychecks lighter today, due to payroll tax hike,” which is the number one trending story on FoxNews.com right now.

As a recent college graduate and newly employed young person, I will see roughly $700-800 of my paycheck going to the government this year. Why should I – someone who maintains a job and contributes to society – surrender so much of my hard-earned money in taxes? Why should anyone with a job be punished with more taxes?

Here are my thoughts from the article:

Gabriella Hoffman’s paycheck is a little lighter today, thanks to a payroll tax increase that is forcing millions of Americans to make the kind of tough budget cuts their representatives in Washington lawmakers seem unwilling to tackle.

Hoffman, a 21-year-old Virginian who works at a nonprofit, estimates her paycheck will be roughly $30 less this biweekly pay period, or about $780 annually, thanks to the end of a two-year cut on payroll taxes, which fund Social Security. The tax has risen back up to 6.2 percent from 4.2 percent, costing someone making $50,000 annually about $1,000 per year and a household with two high-paid workers up to $4,500.

“As a newly-graduated person, someone coming straight out of college, I don’t like the idea of having less money coming to me due to the selfish interests of people in Congress who don’t have any interest in reducing our financial problems,” Hoffman told FoxNews.com. “This is an impediment for future economic growth. It’s going to make it harder for young people like myself to get married, find a better job, you name it.”

Hoffman admits the hike won’t completely alter her spending, but the University of California-San Diego graduate said she will definitely have it in mind when it comes to leisure activities and entertainment.

“Although it’s a small quantity on a monthly basis, just having less money going into my paycheck will prevent me from doing things and force me to be more frugal,” she said. “I’ll be more cautious with my spending.”

And I topped off my criticism of this tax  hike with this quote:
 

Hoffman, meanwhile, said she already has all the answers she needs.

“Any tax increase is not good for young people,” she said. “What it does is diminish your hard work and you’re slapped on the wrist. This administration is punishing people who are making money. They don’t like the concept of free enterprise. They think these problems will be solved in Washington by taking away more of people’s incomes.”

UPDATE:

The article was featured as the Drudge Report headline from Friday evening till Saturday afternoon.

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UPDATE II: I was also mentioned in Breitbart.com and on Twitchy.com.