A New Perspective on the 2nd Amendment

As seen in seacoastonline.com on September 3rd, 2019.

By: George Halsey

August 29th, 2019

To the Editor:

For years when we have tried to alleviate the problems of gun crime, many Americans have adopted a central philosophy of restricting people’s use and ownership of weapons (firearms).

This typically plays out with Democrats advocating for extreme government intervention whilst Republicans agree to compromise and deliver modest intervention. Legislation flows only in one direction and lawmakers only look through a singular prism, that is weapons = bad (government excepted). Fighting = bad (government excepted). Empowered citizens = bad.

Young Republicans believe in a different approach. We believe the same mindset behind the 2nd Amendment lies also at the core of individual success, enlightenment and achievement of happiness in life.

Our founders understood that being brave and free were crucial in the pursuit of happiness. They knew unlocking our full potential to be the best people we can be, that is to improve ourselves so we can better elevate the happiness of everyone, requires a warrior’s mindset. We say ‘conquer your fears’ for a reason! This means in order to thrive and overcome our own demons, we need a thick skin and a tenacious attitude. We need to take risks and leave our comfort zone, being courageous in knowing what is best for our own life. It means fighting for our own selves and what you know to be trueand to be willing and capable to fight for our lives if necessary.  

Before we discuss implementing new restrictive interventions, we must radically rethink the philosophies behind the current ones

George Halsey


Rockingham County Young Republicans

Draft a True Compromise Budget

This letter was published in the Union Leader on July 30th, 2019

Edited, bolded signatures below indicate RCYR Board Members Nick Gray, Cody Belanger, and Dan Gray

Dear Senate President Soucy and Speaker Shurtleff,

We the undersigned, a group of individual local municipal officials, write to you today to urge you to work with Governor Sununu in crafting a true compromise budget, with buy-in from both Democrats and Republicans. Like all Granite Staters, we have been following events in Concord with respect to the state budget. We believe Governor Sununu made the right decision in vetoing the proposed state budget.

We all agree — it is important for our cities and towns that the state passes a budget. But we also agree that Governor Sununu’s veto contained very important points.

Governor Sununu has made clear that he supports many of the proposals in the legislature’s budget to assist cities and towns with additional aid — many of which were also in his budget. But we believe that he is right to oppose a budget that leaves taxpayers on the hook for a nearly $100 million structural deficit. The last time the state carried such a deficit, it resulted in significant cuts at the state level and municipalities were left to pick up the tab. We cannot go back to those days.

Further, in opposing destructive tax increases, Governor Sununu has ensured that our economy will continue to grow and boost property values and provide for healthier revenue returns in our communities.

We encourage you to work with Governor Sununu to quickly find a compromise budget that will prioritize the needs of New Hampshire’s cities and towns but will not endanger our healthy economy or our state’s long-term finances.


Tony Guinta, Mayor, City of Franklin

Scott Pope, City Council, City of Claremont

Joe Kelly Levasseur, Alderman, City of Manchester

Brian K. Chirichiello, Town Council, Town of Derry

Carl Thibodeau, Town Council, Town of Conway

Robert Hamilton, Chairman, Board of Selectmen, Town of Rindge

Bill Hutwelker, Chairman, Board of Selectmen, Town of Swanzey

Bruce Breton, Board of Selectmen, Town of Windham

Cody Belanger, Board of Selectmen, Town of Epping

Gene Chandler, Board of Selectmen, Town of Barlett

Gerard LeDuc, Board of Selectmen, Town of Pittsfield

Henry Viens, Board of Selectmen, Town of Center Harbor

John Tholl, Board of Selectmen, Town of Whitefield

Kathy Hoelzel, Board of Selectmen, Town of Raymond

Karen Testerman, City Council, City of Franklin

Bill Duschatko, Chairman, Town Council, Town of Bedford

Jim Morgan, Town Council, Town of Derry

Bill Boyd, Town Council, Town of Merrimack

Aboul Kahn, Chairman, Board of Selectmen, Town of Seabrook

Jason Grosky, Board of Selectmen, Town of Atkinson

Jim Adams, Board of Selectmen, Town of Pittsfield

Jim Allard, Board of Selectmen, Town of Pittsfield

Joe Guthrie, Board of Selectmen, Town of Hampstead

Joel Deslets, Board of Selectmen, Town of Windham

Omer Ahem, Board of Selectmen, Town of Wentworth

Reed Panasiti, Board of Selectmen, Town of Amherst

Kevin St. James, Board of Selectmen, Town of Kingston

Leon Rideout, Board of Selectmen, Town of Lancaster

Lou Gargiulo, Board of Selectmen, Town of Hampton Falls

Gary Daniels, Board of Selectmen, Town of Milford

Sean Murphy, Board of Selectmen, Town of Hampstead

Sylvester Karasinski, Board of Selectmen, Town of Swanzey

Beth Varney, Budget Committee, Town of Alton

Dan Gray, Budget Committee, Town of Exeter

Nick Gray, Budget Committee, Town of Exeter

Peter Torosian, Budget Committee, Town of Atkinson

Peter Edgerly, Budget Comittee, Town of Salem

In Opposition to Higher Business Taxes

As seen in seacoastonline.com on July 16, 2019.

By: Daniel Gray, Treasurer

June 11, 2019

To the Editor:

We live in one of the few states without a sales tax or an income tax. Politicians on both sides of the aisle tout this as a major advantage our state has over its neighbors. Low tax burden encourages household wealth and prosperity across all economic classes. As a result, not only does New Hampshire boast one of the highest median annual incomes in the US, but our state also boasts the lowest poverty rate in the country (with fewer than 8% of our residents below the federal poverty line), and a phenomenal 2.4% unemployment rate.
The vector our economy has traveled under Governor Sununu has produced a healthy, growing business climate, and has provided prosperity for our residents. Continuing on a proven path is the logical solution.

The NH Budget proposal championed by Dan Feltes reverses that course by increasing taxes on businesses.

The common political phraseology behind this is "we're taxing corporations to make them pay their fair share." (We've heard this plenty at the national level, haven't we?) Or, in response to the latest budget veto, Senate President Donna Soucy, D-Manchester, said that "It's deeply discouraging that the governor chose...to put big business before the people of New Hampshire". Those on the left that promote this do so with pride, a sin that can only be explained through a fundamental misunderstanding of economics.

It is important to understand that by increasing taxes on (big and small) businesses, taxes are raised on their books. The taxes are paid by people, not some abstract concept of "corporations"; either the stockholders, the customer, or the worker will pay the bill. Any well run business (big or small) will accomplish this by raising prices of their goods and services, by lowering the starting wages of new hires, or suspending raises throughout their companies.

An increase in business taxes will only result in that cost being passed down to the workers or the consumers. This hurts the very people that the left claims to protect and fight for. By contrast, decreasing taxes have provided wonderful consequences in our state: high median income, low unemployment, and lowest in the nation poverty rate. Low corporate taxes do not put corporations or businesses before the people of New Hampshire, they foster a healthy and prosperous economy for us all.

Daniel Gray

Rockingham County Young Republicans, Treasurer

Push Back on Age Discrimination

By: Josh Yokela, RCYR Member - State Representative - Rockingham District 33

July 03, 2019

Letter to the Editor:

If there is any recurring lesson learned in Concord in 2019, it is the need for more young adults to become active and repel any and all attempts to place age discrimination against anyone, including our younger citizens. What you are about to read rails against the freedoms of a voting class apparently now deemed not wise enough to make decisions for themselves. 

Raising the age to purchase tobacco to 21 from 18 was put in the New Hampshire budget at the last second. In combination with HB511, the limitation would also limit vaping without nicotine. It is an invasion of the self-determination of young adults by the Democrats in Concord. The age of majority is not something to be manipulated based on the issue. The age of majority should be based on being able to understand and accept legal responsibility for their actions. An argument could be made for changing the age of majority to 16 or 21, but setting different ages for different things is a step away from protecting rights to toward legislating the ruling class’s moral code into law. Your local Young Republicans group would be the perfect place to learn about what is brewing in Concord and help get people in office that will not try to institutionalize age discrimination against the young. Check them out today!

State Representative Josh Yokela

Rockingham District 33 (Brentwood, Danville, Fremont)

Member of Rockingham Young Republicans

As seen in seacoastonline.com, July 03, 2019

Unnecessary Burden of a Carbon Tax on New Hampshire Residents

As seen in seacoastonline.com, June 25th, 2019.

By: Nick Gray, Chairman

June 20, 2019

To the Editor:

Since gaining control of the New Hampshire Legislature, the Democrats have flooded the State House with harmful bills designed to increase taxes on hardworking Granite Staters.

HB 735-FN-A is a proposed carbon tax that, if passed, would levy a fee on wholesale distributors of fossil fuel products sold in New Hampshire. Over the next 11 years, this huge sales tax would seize $10.9B from the private sector, ~$1.0B/year, and grow the State’s current $6.0B annual budget by 16%.

A carbon tax, like all taxes, is a government intrusion into the free market that confiscates wealth from those that produce it and disincentivizes work and investment. That is reason enough to oppose the proposed legislation, but there are additional and more specific grounds for opposition to a New Hampshire carbon tax.

First, the legislation would exacerbate New Hampshire’s already high energy costs, which rank top five nationwide. Granite State residents and businesses would suffer from sharp increases in their electric, heat, and transportation costs, as well as pay a premium when purchasing any other product or service derived from fossil fuels.

A carbon tax would also grow New Hampshire’s government to outsized proportions by funneling ~$50M/year to state bureaucracies (DRA, DES, DPU). Unelected officials would wield immense power in collecting and redistributing the tax’s revenue with neither public accountability nor an understanding of their actions’ consequences.

Finally, the legislation would achieve only a negligible mitigation of climate change. Global CO2 concentrations would be curbed in no appreciable manner, yet New Hampshire, with 1/5500th of Earth’s population, would pay for the rest of the world’s consumption.

Having already failed in Canada and Australia, a carbon tax in New Hampshire would unnecessarily burden our citizens and offer minimal benefit to the environment. State legislators should reject HB 735-FN-A and direct their attention toward advancing the public good.

Nick Gray

Exeter GOP Chairman

Rockingham County Young Republicans Chairman

The Myth of the 'Assault Weapon'

By George Halsey, Secretary

May 21, 2019

To the Editor:

Of the anti-2nd Amendment legislation currently doing the rounds in Congress, two notions make a significant priority for Democrats (and certain Republicans): Universal background checks and ‘assault weapon’ bans. The former’s nonsense and unconstitutionality has been well covered by others, so allow me to tackle the latter. Quite simply, ‘assault weapon’ is a fake term used as cover to justify prohibition of the exact arms that the 2nd Amendment explicitly protects.

The word ‘assault’ only appears once in the world of firearms, within the term ‘assault rifle’. It is distinguished from a regular rifle by the presence of three features: capability of full-auto fire, use of a certain type of ammunition and having a detachable magazine. The first one, full-auto, has been highly regulated under federal law since 1934 so is irrelevant to this argument. The latter two have little to do with lethality in the wider context of firearms; any number of commonly available rifles, shotguns or pistols are comparable in this regard.

In contrast, when a layperson hears the phrase ‘assault weapon’, criminal assault comes to mind; a legal offense as opposed to defense. To that layperson the gun must be different from others supposedly intended for defensive use, by surely being designed to attack and injure individuals offensively. This is a complete misunderstanding - the term ‘Assault’ here actually refers to the small-unit infantry tactic, or combat action, of firing and advancing towards an enemy. It certainly does not concern violence towards an individual or relate to whether a weapon is wielded offensively or defensively.

Unfortunately, absent of this information or anything like it in the mainstream media, one might be persuaded to believe that these weapons are so dangerous only the correct authorities should be trusted to use them. This is the foundation upon which ‘assault weapon’ bans work, in practice prohibiting the sale of guns possessing features useful in combat. The designated features have nothing to do whatsoever with assault rifles or criminal violence but included things like pistol grips, which make a rifle slightly more comfortable to hold, flash hiders, which slightly reduce the muzzle blast at night and standard-capacity magazines, which are unrelated to the ‘assault’ definition.

The 2nd Amendment inarguably codifies the right to keep and bear arms for the purpose of combat, especially militia combat, which has always been the domain of any individual or unit of persons-at- arms. To prohibit arms exclusively because they are useful in combat is to obliterate the 2 nd Amendment.