Mission statement:

Armed and Safe is a gun rights advocacy blog, with the mission of debunking the "logic" of the enemies of the Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms.

I can be reached at 45superman@gmail.com.You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/45superman.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

'Only One' vs. 'Only One'

Illinois State Representative (and Chicago Police Officer) Edward Acevedo suffered a bit of a setback recently when his lawsuit against fellow Chicago Police Officer Dennis Canterbury was soundly defeated--for the second time (at least it made it to the jury this time--the first time, the judge threw it out before Canterbury had even finished presenting his defense).

The lawsuit stems from an incident that occurred in 2001. After a fund-raiser, Acevedo's legislative assistant, Sylvia Idrovo, discovered that her car had been impounded (for reasons I have been unable to discover). Acevedo drove her to the impound lot, bringing along fellow officer Aaron del Valle. Del Valle, by the way, now has legal problems of his own, related to charges of illegal city hiring practices in which he was allegedly involved (that's odd--you mean corruption is illegal in Chicago?), in connection to his work with the Hispanic Democratic Organization (part of Mayor Daley's political machine--Acevedo also has connections to the HDO).

The "plan" (such as it was) apparently was to use the clout of the two "Only Ones" (one of whom was doubly privileged, by virtue of being both a police officer and a state representative) to bully the impound lot into releasing the car without Idrovo having to pay the fees that those of us without "Only One" backing would be charged.

Things got ugly when the impound lot supervisor failed, somehow, to be awed by Acevedo's and del Valle's presence, and refused to release the vehicle.

Acevedo did allegedly try to persuade an auto pound supervisor to release the car.

"Who the f--- do you think you are, you no good motherf-----! Don't you know who I am?" Acevedo told the supervisor, according to police reports.
Such modesty, and one would think that the supervisor would be happy to grant such a polite request. Alas, he instead called the police (er . . . the other police, I guess), bringing Officer Canterbury to the scene. Acevedo's and Canterbury's accounts of what happened next are, naturally, quite different. Whether Canterbury punched Acevedo for no reason (as claimed by Acevedo), or Acevedo charged Canterbury, who then pushed him back, causing a highly inebriated Acevedo to lose his balance (Canterbury's version of events), the end result was that Acevedo ended up with his backside on the ground.

By now, it was necessary to bring in still more law enforcement, so Police Sergeant Donald Rose appeared on the scene.
Rose described Acevedo as "belligerent, loud, hostile" because he was insistent and mouthing off to Rose, who is a superior officer to Acevedo, a patrolman.

"Besides smelling alcoholic beverage, I'm figuring this guy is just not being reasonable, he's not thinking, which made me think that that's another reason why this guy has been drinking, because you don't mouth off to a higher rank," Rose said.
Making friends all over the place, aren't you, Eddy (who is also quoted as having said to one of the officers, "You don't tell me what to do, I tell you what to do!")? Edward clearly needs to work on his professional courtesy.

Acevedo was charged with misdemeanor assault, although that charge was later dropped, when Canterbury did not show up for court (he claims he was never notified of the court date). Interestingly, Acevedo was never charged for drunk driving, despite having driven to the lot, and despite registering a blood alcohol level of .06% in a Breathalyzer test administered six hours after the confrontation, which would indicate that at the time of the incident, his blood alcohol level had been around .17%, or more than twice the legal limit for driving--it's good to be an "Only One," isn't it? Acevedo, by the way, denies he was intoxicated (he acknowledges drinking beer at the fund raiser, although the number of beers he admits to having consumed varies, apparently). Ah--don't you just love integrity in politics?

I can afford to be amused by all this, because I live in a part of the state far away from Chicago (thankfully). Chicago tax payers, on the other hand, will probably have more trouble seeing the humor in the situation, as the first lawsuit (and subsequent appeal) cost them more than $73,000, and the second is expected to cost "in the mid-five figures" (despite the city winning both times). By the way, Acevedo has not yet exhausted the appeals process, so the city's (and taxpayers') legal bills might not be done growing (it is not yet known whether or not he will appeal again).

So far, this story has been only quite marginally related to gun rights--but there is a connection. Making this particularly sweet is Acevedo's legislative history of outright hostility to Illinois gun owners. He, in fact, was the author last year of HB 2414, to ban so-called "assault weapons," .50 caliber rifles (and .50 caliber ammunition), and eleven round (and larger) magazines. This is how he justified his attack on the Constitution:
"The tragic events in Englewood sadly demonstrate that assault weapons have no place in our community," Acevedo said. "My heart goes out to the victims and their families. We cannot let their suffering be in vain. As a police officer, I can confirm that these are dangerous weapons, used only for acts of terrorism and violence. We must stand united against the gangs and criminals who use them to wreak havoc in our neighborhoods and terrorize children and families."
Ah--the irony of a civil rights lawsuit being filed by this aspiring tyrant.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Ron Paul campaign raises over $1 million in less than a week

You like apples?

Well how ya' like them apples?

New Jersey's state-mandated defenselessness, illustrated

Finding myself completely without inspiration for a topic today, I have decided to shamelessly plagiarize Sebastian, at Snowflakes in Hell, who makes an excellent point about the idiocy of "smart guns."

The illustration of his point starts with a link to this story of a woman who may very well have saved her life with her husband's handgun, when a home intruder pursued her into the bathroom.

The woman ran to her bedroom, locked the door and grabbed her husband’s handgun and ammunition, Traina said.

The gun is legally registered to the woman’s husband, he said.

She then ran into the bathroom, locked that door and loaded the weapon while sitting on the floor.
Note the "legally registered to the woman's husband" part (and ignore, for the moment, the hideous requirement to "register" one's Constitutional rights).

Now, consider the fact that New Jersey has adopted a law mandating that when the technology becomes available, all guns sold in the state (except those sold to law enforcement--more on that later) will be required to possess technology that will only allow the gun to be fired by the authorized user (presumably, the registered owner).

In short, if "smart gun" technology had been ready for prime time, thus allowing the New Jersey legislature to render a woman's husband's gun useless to her, the law could very well have been an accessory to her rape/torture/murder. I wonder what Ceasefire New Jersey and the Million ("million"--hah!) Marching Mommies would say about that:
Over the next several years, gun control groups, including Ceasefire New Jersey and the Million Mom March, made it their top legislative priority.
Now, about the law's exception for law enforcement--why would police want to be the "Only Ones" exempt from this law? Could it be that they don't want their loved ones to be unable to use lifesaving firepower registered to the officer? Could it be that they don't want to be helpless if an injury to their dominant hand forces them to use their off hand? Could it be that they don't want to be forced to rely on the vagaries of electronics and batteries in a mortal confrontation? Would not every one of those objections (and others) apply to even us lowly citizens?

On a side note, this part of the article about "smart gun" technology further perturbs me:
Gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson was awarded a $1.7 million federal grant last year to work on developing the technology and has spent $5 million on development since 1993.
I had been willing to let bygones be bygones with regard to S&W's deal with the devil in 2000, because S&W is under new ownership--ownership that has renounced the HUD agreement. Now, I find that they're profiting from the very same kind of Bill of Rights erosion that sparked such (justifiable) outrage before. I realize that the "smart gun" article is almost five years old--I'll have to see if I can find anything more recent about S&W and "smart guns."

If they are still involved with this back door assault on the Second Amendment, perhaps a new boycott is in order.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Hi guys--don't be shy--stick around and chat!

Well, well--look who showed up today--apparently interested in what little old me had to say about Michael Sullivan. First, we have my pals from the Joyce Foundation:

(Click to enlarge)

Then, it was my other pals from the Victim Producing Center:

(Click to enlarge)

My guess is that neither one of them agrees with much of what I have said--too bad they apparently decided against the kind of "reasoned discourse" that the Brady Bunch claims to want to have.

Oh well, if you ever do decide to try to have a constructive debate, the invitation is open--unlike the Brady Blog, I'll never disable comments.

Latest Illinois pro-Second Amendment county resolution update

A few new developments, mostly good, since last time. First, Marion County has put the resolution on the agenda for an upcoming vote. In the not-so-good category, a Stark County board committee voted against taking the resolution up in front of the entire board, so we've hit a speedbump there. The big news is that Winnebago County voted to adopt the resolution last night, so Winnebago goes green.

This, then, is the current map:

(Click to enlarge)

As always, for more complete information, and more timely updates, check out Illinois Pro 2A Resolution.

Don't feel too bad, Cook County--maybe if the loneliness gets too hard to bear, you can talk Canada into taking you.

Any suggestions?

A bit of a departure here--this post is not about gun rights, although it is about guns. Back in April, I wrote about my plan to have an AR type pistol built, chambered for the .50 Beowulf. Don't ask me why--I can't really think of a practical use for it. I guess I just liked the idea of upsetting the bed-wetters on three fronts--it would be a handgun (sort of), it would be an "assault pistol," and it would be .50 caliber (I figure that most of the people I'm trying to upset wouldn't be aware that the .50 Beowulf has nowhere near the power of the .50 BMG that so terrifies them).

At the time, there actually was a company (Bohica Tool) that offered an AR pistol upper reciever in .50 Beowulf.

A completed gun would look like this:

I could not find a phone number for them, but I emailed them more than once. I didn't particularly worry about the lack of a response, because I had heard that they could be hard to get in touch with.

Well, by last week (I had kind of put the whole project on the back burner in the meantime), I figured that my original emails would have been answered by then, if they were going to be answered at all, so I looked again for contact information, only to find out that their website (and presumably the company) no longer exists.

So much for that idea. Actually, I had heard that someone at Olympic Arms had built a .50 Beowulf pistol based on Olympic's OA series pistols (which incorporate the buffer tube into the upper receiver, so it doesn't stick out the back, therefore saving the extra length of the buffer tube)--Oly Arms' "regular" OA series pistols (.223, instead of .50 Beowulf) look like this:

I (briefly) thought I had found the insane blaster of my dreams, until I came to understand that it's not particularly likely to ever hit the market.

So, does anyone have any ideas about how I can make this project, in some form or another, come about? I'm not quite married to the .50 Beowulf caliber--.458 SOCOM, .450 Bushmaster, .475 Tremor, and .499 Leitner-Weis (and probably others) would also be possibilities (although I'm still leaning to the Beowulf).

I have no mechanical skills, and can't drop a gazillion dollars on something for which I still haven't come up with a practical use, so I realize this request will be tough to grant, but if anyone has a suggestion, lay it on me.

The price of a box of ammo, to save the Constitution

I've already mentioned Gun Owners for Ron Paul, but I should probably also mention a way to help his campaign out. He won't be bankrolled by enormous corporate funds--everything he gets will come from everyday Americans who long for this country to return to its Constitutional roots. He has set a goal to raise $1,000,000 by midnight, Sept. 30th. It can be done, but it will take the kind of grassroots movement that the gun rights movement prides itself on being.

He doesn't need vast sums of money from any one person--a few dollars here, a few dollars there, multiplied by hundreds of thousands, adds up in a hurry. If we each send him what we typically pay for a range session, his campaign gets a big boost.

Look at his record on Second Amendment issues, and look at his platform on those same issues.

Can you name any other candidates who want to abolish the BATFE?

Still more reasons to be excited about Michael Sullivan as head of the BATFE

For those readers who don't appreciate irony, the above title is rather heavy on the sarcasm. Red's Trading Post and War on Guns have already pointed out some reasons to be concerned about the prospect of Michael Sullivan having BATFE stormtroopers at his command.

Someone on a gun forum I frequent has found some more . . . interesting information about him at the U.S. Attorney (Massachusetts District) website.

Sullivan continues his mission of protecting our youth and our communities by developing a Community Prosecution and Crime Reduction Unit which seeks to develop highly targeted gun violence reduction strategies consistent with the President's Project Safe Neighborhood Initiative. Through these innovative efforts Sullivan has elicited unprecedented cooperation amongst federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.
But how bad could that be? We all want safe neighborhoods, don't we? Well, why don't we take a look at Project Safe Neighborhoods' website?

The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) continues its valued PSN partnership by providing training opportunities and informative publications to law enforcement officials. For the latest IACP publications on firearms violence, please visit the IACP Gun Violence Reduction web site. You can also sign up for the free biweekly IACP email newsletter by visiting the IACP web site.

The National District Attorneys Association (NDAA) continues its PSN support by providing training opportunities and technical assistance to prosecutors, as well as publishing newsletters and other documents to update prosecutors on gun crime prosecution issues and promising practices. For the latest NDAA publications on firearms violence, please visit the NDAA Gun Violence Prosecution web site.
You will, of course, remember the IACP, and their masters (or paymasters, anyway) at the Joyce Foundation. Michael's apparently tight relationship with the IACP should serve him well if Giuliani gets elected, I guess.

I had not, until now, been familiar with the NDAA, but from what I see at the webpage linked to by the Project Safe Neighborhoods website, it would seem that this organization is to prosecuting attorneys what the IACP is to police. One of their publications (in PDF format--you'll need Adobe Acrobat, or something similar), for example, waxes eloquent in its praise for Project Exile. Oh well, if he likes Project Exile, he and the NRA should get along beautifully, eh?

It's starting to look as if we had better hope the next Attorney General keeps the BATFE on a very short leash--hmm . . . why can't I muster much confidence in the likelihood of that happening?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Dial 911 . . . and be sent back into the clutches of your assailants

At Sharp as a Marble, we learn of a disabled man who may well have saved his life with a gun. This story had particular relevance for me, because I face the dual handicaps of being both paraplegic (and thus confined to a wheelchair), and an Illinois resident (and thus condemned to state-mandated defenselessness).

Probably the most shocking part of the entire incident is the nature of the "help" he got by dialing 911:

Holloway said he quickly drove away, but not before the thugs beat him and his Tahoe, even smashing his windows out. He called 911, but was shocked when the operator insisted he go back to the only Circle K in Christmas [the name of the town] to get an address.

"I said, 'Please don't make me go back there, because they're still there,'" he said.
So this 911 operator decides that it was too much work to simply look up the address of the only Circle K in town, and instead, sent the victim right back to his attackers. Kinda shoots a hole (and not just some little hole, either--more like the kind of massive, abyssal crater the civilian disarmament bed-wetters would have us believe .50 caliber rifles cause) in the idea that instead of a gun, one only needs to carry a phone, in order to summon armed "Only Ones" for assistance.

But surely that can't really be what happened--Holloway was certainly under a great deal of stress; perhaps he misunderstood what the operator said to him . . . nope:
Holloway's account is confirmed in the incident report, which also describes what happened when he finally went back.
Oh, and by the way, when I said that the 911 operator's "assistance" was the most shockingly egregious aspect of this entire ordeal, I was just preserving the punchline. Ready for the worst part? Here it comes.

Holloway is considered a "suspect," and his assailants are considered "victims":
The sheriff's office listed both Holloway and his attackers as victims and suspects. Apparently Holloway's mistake was firing his weapon to scare the men away. He said he did what he felt he had to do for his protection.
That's where you went wrong, apparently, John--you're not supposed to do what you have to do for your own protection. You're just supposed to . . . die, I guess.

So now, a crippled man who was beaten, threatened with death, and his truck expensively damaged, is a "suspect," while the thugs who terrorized him, and who suffered (as far as can be determined from the article) no injury whatsoever, are "victims." I find myself unable to escape the conclusion that not only can the police not be counted on to protect the citizenry, they cannot even be counted on not to add to the victimization.

Well, at least we know that the 911 operator is in trouble--or do we?
There was no word if the 911 operator will be reprimanded for sending Holloway back to the scene.
Remember when Florida became the first state to pass "Stand Your Ground" legislation, and all the bed-wetters claimed that not only would the streets run with blood, but the shooters would get away with it (actually, I guess they're still claiming that, aren't they)?

Chicago store clerk successfully defends himself--will he go to jail for it (that is illegal in Chicago, you know)?

A clerk at a Chicago hardware store shot an armed robber in the head, according to CBS 2 Chicago News (you can also see video of the news report). The store is one block away from another that was robbed at gun point last week. Now most of us might figure "one thug seriously wounded, and no one else hurt--sounds like a pretty good outcome, to me," but there is a hitch.

As one can learn in this excellent, concise history of the Chicago campaign against self-defense, all guns in Chicago must be registered, and in a deliberately engineered Catch-22, handguns that were not registered by 1982 cannot be registered. Granted, I suppose it's possible that this hardware store clerk registered his gun 25 years ago (and every two years since), but I find it unlikely. If my suspicion is correct, then the fact of the clearly self-defense nature of the shooting notwithstanding, his possession of the gun could land him in jail.

Fits, at Shooting the Messenger, believes that precisely that is what will happen (if, indeed, the gun was unregistered).

While he may very well be right, I'm not so sure. I realize I am risking accusations of racism here (but I have decided that I do not care enough about the opinions of people stupid enough to believe I am racist to worry about what they think or say)--there could be some significance in what a clerk at the currency exchange (next door to the hardware store) pointed out: "This was a black-owned business. Black-owned." As eager as Mayor Daley, Jesse Jackson, "Snuffy" Pfleger, etc. are to crush those who own guns under the wheels of their brand of "justice," they make quite a point of claiming that their efforts are geared in large part to helping the black community (Laura Washington clearly thinks the race card is the ace in the civilian disarmament lobby's hand)--throwing blacks under the bus for using guns to defend themselves from criminals might put more of a hole in that myth than they are willing to risk.

Frankly, the fight for gun rights in Illinois might benefit from a decision to prosecute the brave clerk (Parker, er . . . Heller v District of Columbia, anyone?) , but I cannot wish that nightmare on him. Besides, his courageous stand has already demonstrated the benefits of peaceable people having the power to fight back against thugs.

Therefore, the Chicago bosses may just decide to let this incident fade away quietly. Interestingly (but not particularly surprisingly), the media might be playing along with such an endeavor--the CBS 2 Chicago News story I linked to at the beginning of this post is the only one I can find.

I guess the defensive use of firearms is not as newsworthy as atrocities committed with them (and what does that say about the relative frequency of those two types of gun use?).

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A young man who gets it

I have written more than once (here and here, for example) about college students who have apparently had their views shaped more by the screaming hysteria of the civilian disarmament crowd than they have by learning about the Constitution and their own rights. Therefore, it is particularly refreshing to find a college student (a Virginia Tech student, no less) in whose heart the fires of liberty still burn brightly.

Patrick MacCormack is, I submit, one such student.

Is anyone else disgusted by how the article "Governor Kaine enacts review panel's proposals" (CT, Sept. 21) completely papers over any controversy?

The article calls groups such as The Million Mom March gun violence prevention groups, which is a quite the red herring (who is pro-gun violence?) because they're better known for their gun control platform.
Good point, Patrick--just how much "gun violence" have the Million Moms (all 24 of them) "prevented"? Apparently not much, or we wouldn't hear so much wailing about "the epidemic of 'gun violence.'"
The scary thing with adding background checks is that the laws can be written to make guns very difficult to obtain for law-abiding citizens, not just insane people. With extreme gun control groups backing these changes, I don't have high hopes that the laws will be written fairly.

Equally offensive was the quote from the Virginia Million Mom March president that "students on Virginia's campuses should be assured that they are learning in safe, secure environments," referring to banning guns on campuses. Guess what? Guns were already illegal on Virginia Tech's campus on April 16.
Mr. MacCormack is a junior, and an aerospace engineering major. If his letter to the editor is any indication, I have little doubt that he has the intelligence to earn that rather hefty degree.

Still, I almost wish he were going into politics, rather than engineering--he might be just what the country needs.

'Reasoned discourse,' indeed

Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign, lamented (at least three times) this summer about what he claims to be the difficulty of having "reasoned discourse" with gun rights advocates. To illustrate that assertion, he pointed to some comments his blog posts had received--comments that were, admittedly, not helpful.

He (of course) did not bother to mention that the vast majority of the comments were not only intelligent, backed up by facts and logic, but cordial as well (and also overwhelmingly opposed to more gun legislation--the true source of his irritation?). In fact, most of the blog posts had dozens of well reasoned rebuttals to his points for every comment supporting them (and for every inappropriate comment).

Sometime this summer, the Brady Blog's comment feature was disabled. A gun rights advocate I have the honor to consider a friend noticed the seeming inconsistency in expressing regret that "reasoned discourse" was difficult, while at the same time blocking the means to have any discourse. In late August, he sent the following email to the Brady Blog site:

To Whom It May Concern:

I am curious as to why the comments feature has been disabled for all of the recent posts on your blog.

This is particularly puzzling given that Mr. Helmke wrote at least 3 essays lauding the importance of "reasoned discourse" regarding firearms and Second Amendment issues. It would seem that giving individuals the opportunity to opine about the topics Mr. Helmke posts on his blog would be an ideal way of fostering such discourse.

I eagerly await your response.


Matthew T.
Weeks later, having received no response whatsoever, he sent this follow-up:
To: blog@bradycampaign.org
Subject: Brady Blog Question
Date: Sun, 16 Sep 2007 10:36:28 -0500

Good morning,

I just wanted to verify that you received my email from several weeks ago regarding your blog site. I was hoping you could tell me why the comments feature had been disabled, particularly given Mr. Helmke's three separate essays emphasizing the importance of "reasoned discourse" regarding firearms and the Second Amendment?

I eagerly await your reply.

Thank you.


-Matthew T.-
And still, the silence was deafening, prompting yet another attempt:
To: blog@bradycampaign.org
Subject: FW: Brady Blog Question
Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2007 16:01:53 -0500

To Whom it May Concern:

Please see my correspondence below, dated September 16, 2007.

I would very much appreciate the courtesy of a response.


-Matthew T.-
[with a copy of the Sept. 16 correspondence included]
Yesterday, in his exemplary patience, he tried yet again:
Good afternoon,

I am still awaiting a response to my original question, which is copied below. I'm beginning to suspect that your organization's president, Paul Helmke, might be a hypocrite. It seems inappropriate for him to suggest gun owners are incapable of engaging in "reasoned discourse" when no one from his organization has been able to answer my legitimate question since it was originally posed over a month ago.


-Matthew T.-
[with copy of original correspondence included]
Well, Paul, the ball is in your court (and has been for rather a long time)--please edify us. Do you want a meaningful dialogue, or not, and if so, would we not need both sides to communicate?

By the way, I sent an email of my own to the "Brady Blog team," with a link to this blog post.
Please stop by the blog, and leave a response in the comment section: http://armedandsafe.blogspot.com/2007/09/reasoned-discourse-indeed.html

never disable comments.

Kurt Hofmann
I don't guess I should hold my breath waiting for a response.

Gun Owners For Ron Paul

If he isn't the best friend American gun owners (and taxpayers, and freedom lovers, and Constitutional advocates, and . . . ) could have, I would sure like to hear who is.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Rudy probably wishes the gun issue would just go away

Trying to play both ends against the middle doesn't seem to be working too well for him, and now the other side is making it just a little harder.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg took a rare, veiled swipe at his predecessor yesterday, challenging Rudolph W. Giuliani’s assertion that a lawsuit Mr. Giuliani filed as mayor against gun manufacturers had changed so much that he may no longer support it.
Isn't it sad to see a beautiful friendship go downhill?
Saying that the case had "not changed at all" since its inception, Mr. Bloomberg told reporters at a news conference at City Hall, "We believe that it’s a good case, and we hope to win it."
It's almost painful to say this, but I actually find myself in agreement with Bloomberg (referring to the first part of the sentence)--I, too, am at a loss as to what would be the "several twists and several turns" that (according to Rudy) the lawsuit has supposedly taken since the end of his direct involvement with it.

In another article about Bloomberg's disenchantment with Rudy, we learn of another bone of contention between the two of them.
Mr. Bloomberg offered an equally staunch condemnation of the Tiahrt amendment, which Mr. Giuliani had described as "sensible" to the NRA on Friday.

The legislation, named for the Republican congressman who sponsored it, has been inserted into congressional spending bills since 2003 and places restrictions on how gun trace data can be used. "The Tiahrt amendment is something that is not in the interest of people who want to be safe in this country," Mr. Bloomberg said. "It's an outrage."
I wonder how Rudy will respond to this new criticism . . .
A spokeswoman for the Giuliani campaign, Maria Comella, declined comment. She also declined to elaborate on Mr. Giuliani's position on the Tiahrt legislation or the city's lawsuit.
Probably a good move, Rudy--for as long as you can get away with it, anyway.

Pretty soon, though, he had better choose a side.

P.S. By the way, speaking of Bloomberg and lawsuits, SAF has news of a bit of a setback for our favorite aspiring emperor. It seems that one of the gun retailers (this one in Georgia) hit by Bloomberg's Junior G-Man "sting" operation is fighting back, and has gotten a boost from a federal court.
BELLEVUE, WA – A federal district court in Georgia has denied a request by attorneys for New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to transfer a lawsuit filed against the mayor and others by Adventure Outdoors, a Georgia retailer, to a federal court in New York State.

That lawsuit, supported by the Second Amendment Foundation, names as defendants Mayor Bloomberg, the Corporation Counsel of the City of New York, the city’s Criminal Justice Coordinator and police superintendent, and a private investigation company that was hired to conduct so-called “sting” operations against Adventure Outdoors and several other gun shops in at least five states. The lawsuit was filed in 2006 in federal court in Georgia, with former Congressman Bob Barr and Jasper, GA attorney Ed Marger representing Adventure Outdoors.

In a move that surprised the defendants, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia denied their attempts to have the case either moved, or dismissed. The lawsuit against Bloomberg and his co-defendants involves allegations of libel, slander and tortuous interference with business relations. . . .
What's wrong, Mike--don't you own any federal judges in Georgia?

Laura Washington just doesn't get it

Just when I was wondering if my stomach was strong enough to respond to this pack of civilian disarmament advocacy lies, I discovered that the work has already been done, and done well, by SayUncle. Snowflakes in Hell gives it a brief, but penetrating, look, as well.

Speaking of SayUncle's skillful demolition of Laura Washington's garbage, something she wrote when I was AWOL also got the SayUncle treatment.

Well done.

The cartoonist speaks (again)

I've taken exception to Martha Rosenberg's support for the civilian disarmament lobby, and their statist agenda, before (also briefly here). Now Martha has apparently decided that it's wrong for politicians to try to convince gun owners that they respect the Constitutionally guaranteed fundamental right of the individual to keep and bear arms.

The NRA's "Celebration of American Values" conference last week was supposed to be a ritual of public dotage in which presidential candidates kiss the hem of the NRA's camouflage jacket.
That's called campaigning, Martha, and a politician who doesn't do it is unlikely to be a politician for very long. I realize that you don't share the values being celebrated (that would be American values--this being America, it seems like a good place for them--but perhaps you would be happier elsewhere), but that does not change the fact that gun owners still (despite your efforts) wield considerable political power in this country.

Martha basically goes on to say that while this conference was going on, people were being shot to death in America . . . so, obviously, the Second Amendment doesn't matter, or something, I guess.

She mentions twice that "the NRA agenda" (by which she seems to mean the protection of the Second Amendment) has been run off the rails by the Virginia Tech murders:
Its very agenda is in a tailspin thanks to the Virginia Tech shootings and the school, church and assault weapon shootings which have followed.
And . . .
Nor is it likely the NRA can revive its pre-Cho campaigns for the right to bring weapons to work, to parks and on school yards.
Kinda looks as if she appreciates what she thinks Cho has done for the advancement of her agenda--but she would hardly be the first civilian disarmament advocate to be an enthusiastic blood dancer. By the way, Martha, are you saying that Cho's mass murder spree strengthens the case for rendering people defenseless at work and school?

Then there's the little matter of outright lying (again, hardly a new tactic for the civilian disarmament cheerleaders):
Faced with Somohano's death from a legally bought assault weapon . . . [emphasis mine]
Officer Somohano, you'll remember, was a Florida police officer, recently murdered by longtime criminal Shawn LaBeet. The problem is, LaBeet's murder weapon was not "legally bought"--the laws prohibiting someone with his criminal record from buying guns forced him to buy the gun under an assumed identity--quite illegal. Furthermore, the MAK-90 used by LaBeet is not a so-called "assault weapon" as defined by the now (thankfully) defunct "assault weapons" ban (which wasn't really a ban, but that's another topic).

She ends with this:
No, it's a new day for the NRA with a new sheriff coming to town who may not be sympathetic to the gun lobby--or even a white male. [emphasis mine]
Hmm--could it be that Martha's quarrel is not with gun rights advocacy, but with white males, instead? Yet another trait that seems to be more the rule than the exception in civilian disarmament advocacy circles, as Snowflakes in Hell points out, in reference to Laura Washington.

We see here that Martha is a staff cartoonist. I am not aware of ever having seen any of her cartoons, but I wonder if perhaps she would be better off sticking to those, rather than writing about gun politics.

Victory for self-defense in Wisconsin

Back in February, I wrote about a Wisconsin man (Andres Vegas) who defended himself (twice) with a firearm. After his first occasion defending himself (from muggers) with a gun, he was not charged with any crime (although his gun was confiscated and never returned)--but he was told that if he were "caught" again carrying a gun in Wisconsin (one of two states in which defenselessness is mandated by state law), he would be charged. Then he was mugged again, and being unarmed this time (and thus at a distinct disadvantage, of course), he was lucky to survive (he was "merely" beaten, robbed, and sprayed with pepper spray). He bought another pistol, and carried it for self-defense, apparently deciding that survival was more important than compliance with a decree that he must remain defenseless.

This being the Milwaukee area, he encountered muggers yet again, and again wounded one of the criminals. Although the District Attorney acknowledged that this shooting, too, was self-defense, and thus the shooting itself was not something for which he could be prosecuted, this time he was charged . . . for carrying the gun. In my earlier post, I made no attempt to hide my contempt for a "justice" system that would claim to recognize the right to defend oneself, but would outlaw the most effective (by far) means of doing so.

Yesterday, we learned that the Wisconsin courts, in a stunning display of good sense, vindicated Vegas, and dismissed the charges against him as being unconstitutional.

"Defendant Vegas has demonstrated the requisite extraordinary circumstances that warrant his concealed weapon…Vegas legally purchased his firearm for the purpose of security and protection. There is a strong inference that Vegas’ concealed firearm has saved his life during these violent assaults…Vegas has a substantial interest in being secure and protecting himself by carrying a concealed weapon."
Obviously, the requirement to demonstrate "extraordinary circumstances" to have the right to defend oneself is obscene (after all--doesn't everyone "have a substantial interest in being secure and protecting" himself/herself?). Still, I have to count the court's recognition of the unconstitutionality of Wisconsin's law against carrying a concealed firearm for self-defense as progress.

Wisconsin's Governor James Doyle has twice vetoed concealed carry legislation--vetoes that have twice been upheld by the narrowest of margins. As an enemy of his constituents' ability to defend themselves, he cannot be happy about this court ruling, as it puts concealed carry on a vastly firmer footing.

Doyle's probable unhappiness is almost as satisfying as Vegas' exoneration (although I could hardly blame Vegas for seeing it a bit differently). Deal with it, Doyle.

Monday, September 24, 2007

So is he their '80 percent friend,' too?

The civilian disarmament lobby has been making as much noise as possible recently about a new "study" released by the (notoriously anti-gun rights) International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), calling for (gasp!) more draconian firearms laws in the U.S. Both War on Guns and Of Arms and the Law have done an admirable job of pointing out that not only was this civilian disarmament manifesto largely sponsored by the rabidly anti-gun rights (and enormously deep-pocketed) Joyce Foundation--Joyce Foundation personnel apparently wrote the thing, too.

Interestingly, amid all the talk of Rudy "I support the Fourth . . . er, Second Amendment (as long as nothing 'dramatic' happens)" Giuliani's attempts to convince gun owners that he is on our side now, it seems that he will be an honored speaker at an IACP event in a few weeks. For an even richer helping of irony, the event will be held in New Orleans--too bad former New Orleans Police Superintendent Edwin "we're going to take all the weapons" Compass had to resign--this sounds like just his cup of tea.

So, I wonder if Giuliani is going to say that he is their "80 percent friend," as well as that of gun owners. At least in front of that crowd, his confusion about the Bill of Rights shouldn't be a problem.

Now that's a smile!

Just over a year ago, I talked a bit about what I think of the gun "buybacks" that are so routinely implemented as a way of "getting guns off the streets." Perhaps, though, I was being unfair. This article isn't new, but I just recently discovered it, and it pleases me so much that I just have to shout it from the rooftops. How can you not like the idea of $1700 in "buyback" money going directly to a pro-gun rights organization?

On Saturday, July 21, Chicago held its largest and most generous city-sanctioned gun buy of junk and orphaned firearms. The organizers paid $100 for each firearm, regardless of age, functionality or type. Turn in locations were situated at 23 churches throughout the city.


Guns Save Life participated in this worthy event, attracted by the offer of $100 pre-paid credit cards for any firearms!
That's just an excerpt, of course--read the article for the whole story.

Father "Snuffy" Pfleger is often heavily involved in these Chicago area "buybacks"--I wonder if he was in on this one, and if so, what he thinks about helping to finance the fight against Chicago's civilian disarmament tyranny.

New Blog

Please stop by Chicago Handgun Rights (Chicagohandgun.org). This will be one to keep an eye on. It's brand new, and thus at this time has only one post--this first one is about the history of the handgun ban in Chicago. I hadn't been aware of (but should probably not be surprised by) the depth of corruption that led to that law.

Keep up the great work, DW.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Is the Constitution even taught anymore?

I hadn't really planned to keep talking about Giuliani's speech to the NRA (which I had mentioned here on Wednesday), but a few things I have read about that were said (a couple of them in Rudy's speech, and another about it) are egregious enough to provoke me to lobbing a virtual rotten tomato or two.

Not many surprises in Rudy's speech--it was pretty much what one would expect from a politician with a long, clear record of outright hostility to gun rights, who is now trying to pretend he's a balding version of Charlton Heston. Reuters, though, quoted him as saying something worthy of a look:

"You should know I understand that the right to bear arms is just as important a right in that Constitution as the right of free speech and the other rights ... It's not going to change, unless something dramatic has happened to make it change, and then I'll explain to you why," he said. [emphasis mine]
"Not going to change, unless something dramatic has happened"? What the hell do you mean, "dramatic"? The Cubs going to the World Series? The world coming to an end (but I repeat myself)? It seems to me that the kind of "dramatic" events that would tempt a president to revoke the Second Amendment (which would be an act of treason, and a capital offense) are likely to be just the kinds of things that make the Second Amendment so essential.

Another interesting segment of his speech somehow escaped my notice, until I read about it at War on Guns.
"After all the second amendment is a freedom every bit as important as the other freedoms in the first ten amendments. Just think of the language of it — ‘the people shall be secure’ –let’s see, this is my wife calling..."
I agree with Stop the ACLU that "What Rudy was quoting was most likely the 4th Amendment." But I'll go a step further and charge that the "well timed phone call [that] saved him" was a transparent manipulation of the audience--some of whom dutifully applauded. My money says it was a staffer telling him he was entering a swamp of no return.
I realize that it would be too much for today's Americans to ask that a person with aspirations to be president learn the entire Bill of Rights, but was it just too much work for him to learn the text of the Second Amendment before presenting a speech to gun rights advocates?

Speaking of mangling the Second Amendment, let's go to something said about Rudy's speech. This is from an article in RealClearPolitics, about a FOX News "roundtable" discussion about Giuliani's speech. This is the part that caught my eye (and raised my hackles, and threatened to induce vomiting).
MORT KONDRA[C]KE, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, ROLL CALL: I saw a clip of the head of another gun organization saying that Giuliani's problem is that he interprets the Second Amendment as applying differently in cities and in rural areas.

The Parker case, which is the D.C. case, where the court of appeals has thrown out the District of Columbia's restrictions on gun ownership is going to go to the U.S. Supreme Court.

And I hope that the U.S. Supreme Court will say it says there "A well regulated militia being necessary to protect the country, the right of the people to own guns should not be impaired," that they really think that a militia is part of the important thing, and will allow urban areas like New York under Rudy Giuliani to restrict gun sales, and that the Second Amendment does apply in different cases.

Of course, that is not the NRA position. They do have an extremist position. Any gun restriction on gun ownership is off the charts. Machine guns, bombs, whatever you want, you can have it, it's your constitutional right. I don't think that's what the framers had in mind.
His position, while I find it contemptible, does not surprise me--he's from Chicago, after all. What disturbs me is the absolute butchery he inflicted on the Second Amendment. I honestly don't know if he really is that ignorant of the Bill of Rights, or if by misquoting it so badly, he was trying to make some kind of point (although what that point would be, I have no idea).

I do agree with Mort (and with Rudy's old position, that he has now abandoned--wink wink, nudge nudge) on one thing, though--the NRA has become extreme. Extremely willing to compromise the rights of American citizens, that is; extremely conciliatory to the civilian disarmament lobby; and extremely committed to a policy of appeasement.

So when are gun owners going to get extremely fed up?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Positive new development (already) in county resolution campaign

And then there were forty-four . . .

Last night (or sometime yesterday, anyway), Logan County hopped aboard the freedom train (I guess my courageously anonymous commenter would say that more reproductive organ-challenged white boys have been heard from--hopefully he would say so with characteristic wit and cleverness).

The updated map thus looks like this:
(Click to enlarge)

By the way, speaking of the maps, a little clarification is probably in order. The Illinois Pro Second Amendment website lists two counties (Rock Island and Champaign) as "Failed," because committees on the respective boards voted against bringing the resolution to the full board for a vote. Illinois Carry, on the other hand, uses a different convention for the map, with the red counties (of which Cook is the only one--and likely to remain that way) are red to indicate a strong, largely county-wide opposition to the Constitutionally guaranteed fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms. Illinois Carry does not list any counties as "Failed," because the full county board has not voted against it. Arguments could be made for doing it either way.

I'm going to try to tiptoe around that "controversy" (if it can be called that), and use yet another convention (one of my own) that tries to incorporate elements of both viewpoints. That's why I have Rock Island and Champaign Counties listed in a category of my own devising: "Efforts to bring to full board for vote rebuffed (for now)," in order to indicate that the drive has hit a speedbump in those counties, but that the fight ain't over. It's a bit awkward, but that's how I plan to do it from now on.

Feeling lonely yet, Cook County?

Fatuous in Florida

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel editorial board has weighed in on* the Constitutionally guaranteed fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms--they don't like it.

The particular arms they currently claim citizens have no right to bear are those that the civilian disarmament lobby has labeled "assault weapons."

And with each shooting, there is one unmistakable truth — the average person has absolutely no need for an assault rifle. They have one purpose — to hurt or kill people, namely cops. And the assault weapons ban needs to be reinstated by Congress.
Who knew? When Mikhail Kalashnikov was lying in his hospital bed in 1941, he designed the AK-47--not to stop the Nazi murderers who were advancing across his country, bringing death and mayhem every step of the way--he just wanted to kill Florida cops.

The recent shooting death of a Miami-Dade police officer was, of course, too tempting a target for these guardians of the First Amendment to fail to exploit:
Earlier this month, Miami-Dade officer Jose Somohano was killed. An AK-47 was found at the scene of the shooting.
What our purveyors of journalistic excellence fail to point out is that the rifle the killer used was not an AK-47--it was a MAK-90, a firearm that the expired "assault weapon" ban did not address in any way (not to mention the fact that the "ban" did not actually ban any of the firearms it covered--any manufactured/imported before the law went into effect could be bought, sold, or possessed just like any other firearm). They also did not bother to mention that every firearm that Shawn LaBeet (the murderer) owned was in contravention of several firearms laws. Those gun laws certainly seem to work swimmingly, don't they?

Don't worry, though--our valiant journalists do not wish to ban homeland defense rifles (my preferred term) for everyone--the "Only Ones" can have them, and "people shouldn't be opposed to" that.
Understandably, officers in more South Florida police agencies have been arming themselves — at their own expense — with patrol rifles to be on more even footing with criminals — particularly gangs — they encounter.

Officers in Miami-Dade can, for the first time, carry assault-type rifles. Deputies with the Broward Sheriff's Office must take a 16-hour training course in the weapons, and take yearly qualifications tests. Some deputies have spent up to $1,800 to have specially-equipped, semi-automatic Colt AR-15s. And they have to be able to justify when they handle one on duty. The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office and city agencies like Delray Beach have also started training more officers to use the rifles.

People shouldn't be opposed to cops having these weapons. [my emphasis added]
And the editors aren't done telling the readers what they should think (very helpful of them to do our thinking for us, isn't it?).
What people should oppose — strongly — is the guy across the street having one.
I suppose it kind of depends on who lives across the street from you, but speaking personally, I certainly feel a whole lot better about lifesaving firepower being in the hands of anyone in my neighborhood than I do about a gun (and handcuffs, and pepper spray, and a nightstick, and a taser, and a badge) in the hands of paragons of law enforcement such as this "gentleman,", or this one, or any of these, or hell--you get the idea--I'll run out of energy to type long before I run out of examples of cops whom I wouldn't trust with a slingshot (thanks, War on Guns, and I hope you don't mind all of my borrowing, David).

In 1775, do you think the editors of the Sun-Sentinel would have supported the idea of muskets, powder, and ball in the hands of American patriots, or do you suspect that maybe they would have considered the British troops to be that era's equivalent of the "Only Ones"?

Bless the Sun-Sentinel editorial board, and may their chains rest lightly upon them.

*UPDATE: I notice that the South Florida Sun-Sentinel seems to have removed that op-ed piece from the archive, despite their usual practice being to keep articles freely available for thirty days (the article in question appeared on Sept. 22). Didn't like the attention, you suppose? But, for those who would like to see the article, all is not lost--for the moment it's available in Google's cache. If that goes (I'm not sure if it's kept around forever), I did a screen capture:

(click to enlarge)

Friday, September 21, 2007

H.R. 2640 in trouble (doomed by Democratic infighting)?

I have made no secret (here, here, and here, for example) of my opposition to H.R. 2640, the Carolyn McCarthy/NRA Gun Control Act of 2007 (not the official name, of course, but accurate nonetheless, I submit).

After its effortless passage in the House, I assumed that the Senate would be similarly eager to add to the list of people stripped of their Constitutional rights--but I seem to have forgotten the possibility that Senate Democrats could be so bogged down by their egos, turf wars, and general dysfunctionality, that they might run the risk of being unable to pass it.

It was a rare political alliance between the National Rifle Association and its foes on the left, who together seized the moment to try to make federal background checks on gun purchasers more effective. But with students back on campus the Democratic-controlled Senate has yet to act, and the bill is in jeopardy.

"I'm getting anxious," says Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence. "I get concerned that the longer we are away from Virginia Tech, folks are going to ignore the problem."
Don't you just hate it, Paul, when you try to exploit public grief and outrage while its still fresh, and it doesn't work out for you?

It turns out that an old feud between Senator Leahy (D-VT) and Senator Kennedy (D-Chappaquiddick MA) has some Congressional observers wondering if the bill can be passed this year.
Party leaders are dismayed, and a top Democrat predicts: "That bill is going nowhere."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) will be reluctant to devote floor time to a messy fight.
It is, of course, way too early to celebrate. Perennial enemy of freedom Senator Chucky Schumer (D-NY), for example, is apparently planning another strategy to attack our rights.

Still, it's fun to watch 'em squabble like spoiled 6-year-olds, and if it does fail, listening to Helmke, Sugarmann, and their ilk wailing about it would be about as much fun as one can have in public without risking arrest for public indecency.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Lots of progress on the Pro Second Amendment county resolution in Illinois

Over the course of my long, unplanned (and unearned) vacation from gun politics, I managed to fall very far behind in my efforts to keep readers apprised of the resolution sweeping Illinois, county by county, condemning the scourge of Cook County style civilian disarmament laws. I last mentioned this phenomenon on July 13th, when fifteen counties had passed the resolution.

That number, as of now, has nearly tripled, and stands at forty-three (along with Oswego Township, in Kendall County). I am glad (if somewhat ashamed) to note that apparently I was the only one AWOL from the fight for liberty--this amazing progress would never have happened without a great deal of hard work. While I was dropping the ball, Mark Mountain, one of the fathers of this movement, set up an excellent and informative website chronicling the progress of the resolution across the state. Please (especially those of you in Illinois) take a look at the Illinois Pro Second Amendment Resolution website. There, you can always find an up-to-date map, a timeline, links to relevant articles, and a great deal of other information.

Particularly interesting (and gratifying) is the fact that the sheriffs of Brown and Pike Counties have put some real teeth in the resolution, by declaring their refusal to prosecute any "violations" of any new restrictions on the Constitutionally guaranteed fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms (I hadn't known about that particular victory for freedom until I watched this YouTube segment from the homepage).

Here is the current map:
(Click to enlarge)

The claims that Chicago-style "gun control" is the will of the people are starting to look a bit frayed around the edges, aren't they?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Cowardly One

I should start by pointing out that I have not seen "The Brave One," the newly released Jody Foster movie, and I am therefore not trying to claim that it's a good movie--I simply don't know whether it is, or not. Actually, I seriously doubt I will, given Foster's avowed support for civilian disarmament. I do, however, have little patience (OK--I'll come clean--no patience) with Sandra Kobrin's objection to it--that it's a bad movie because it portrays a woman who uses a gun to fight back against the thugs who shattered her life. Kobrin apparently believes that the only acceptable movie portrayal of the relationship between women and guns is one of victim and destroyer, respectively.

The article is titled "'Brave One' Puts Wrong Weapon in Women's Hands," leading me, at first, to wonder if the author is a revolver aficionado (in the previews I've seen, Foster had some type of semi-automatic). There are, after all, valid reasons to choose a revolver over a semi-auto, in some cases. Alas, that was not Sandra's objection. No--the "wrong weapon," apparently, is any kind of gun (would a sword have made her happy?).

I'm disappointed that Foster--who won an Oscar for her intelligent and poignant performance as a rape survivor in "The Accused"--has chosen to portray a woman who buys a gun and turns into an almost cartoon-like shooting machine.
Interesting--she would evidently prefer seeing women portrayed as rape victims than as strong, armed survivors. That would not be a surprising sentiment in, say, a rapist, but I have trouble reconciling such a view expressed by a commentator for Women's eNews.

Even Foster's statement in an interview that her character "hates what she becomes" is not enough to mollify Sandra.
But the movie is nonetheless a bloody shooting fest and I'm not inclined to be too nuanced, subtle or ironic about this blast of big-budget violent entertainment as long as I'm living in the United States, the most heavily armed society in the world.

The 2007 Small Arms Survey by the Geneva-based Graduate Institute of International Studies finds that the United States has 90 guns for every 100 citizens. U.S. citizens own 270 million of the world's 875 million known firearms, and about 4.5 million of the 8 million new guns manufactured worldwide each year are purchased in the United States.
Ninety per one hundred, eh? Not bad, but we can do better--if just one person in ten gets another gun, we can have one (each) for everybody.

She goes on to claim that women sustain more gunshot injuries than they inflict--a claim that is no doubt quite true. There is, however, no law of nature stating that this is how things must be. Men are generally larger and physically stronger than women, thus putting women at a distinct disadvantage if forced to defend themselves (unarmed) from a violent man, but, in contrast, are no less capable of defending themselves with lifesaving firepower than men are. There are, after all, no cases I know of in which a man fired a gun by pulling the trigger with a specifically male portion of his anatomy (if there is such a man, remind me not to mess with him!).

She then comes up with a couple movie ideas of her own (I don't have much use for Hollywood, but I suppose I should be thankful that she isn't a producer).
How about a flick that shows formidable women using their brains, power and sex appeal to take the guns away from the guys without using physical force? Maybe Foster can play someone like, Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer Diane Feinstein, or Hillary Clinton; intelligent, powerful women who have consistently voted for gun control, getting them an F rating by gun lobbyists.
Wait a second--first she complains about what she clearly believes to be the inordinate number of guns in America, and now she's claiming that Pelosi, Boxer, Feinstein and Clinton have used their brains, power, and sex appeal (?) to disarm us. Which is it, Sandra?

The world can indeed be a dangerous place for women. Keeping women disarmed might be the most effective way to sustain that unfortunate state of affairs. Whose side is Sandra on?

Rudy for the Second Amendment? Yeah, right

I see that Rudy Giuliani will be speaking to the NRA Friday. I fervently hope (but am not counting on it) that the NRA doesn't buy what he tries to sell. Sure, I suppose it's possible that he was working deep under cover in the following picture, but somehow I doubt it:

At least Rudy's attempts to make nice with gun owners is upsetting the civilian disarmament advocates, although if I were them, I wouldn't be too worried about Rudy.

By the way, it isn't that I do not believe that a person can change his mind--that obviously happens all the time. However, this seems to be an awfully convenient change of position for him, and I have yet to hear him come out and say "I was wrong" to push for draconian gun laws. Does anyone really believe he would veto a new ban on "assault weapons," or any of the other myriad proposed federal laws designed to render the American people unarmed and docile?

If so, drop me a line--I'd like to sell you a bridge, or a pair of breeding mules.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Bloomberg supports bill that attacks gun rights--surprise, surprise

This time, I hope I really mean it about being back in the blogging business. I apologize for just shutting down for so long without a word--just a bad case of burnout, I guess. Anyway, I do still consider those who would disarm Americans to be enemies of liberty, and I am eager to get back in the ring with them.

Today we'll talk about Mayor Bloomberg's support (and that of his fellow tyranny enablers of Mayors Against Illegal Guns) for Senator Lautenberg's S. 1273 (which I have mentioned earlier, here, here, and here). This bill would grant the Attorney General the enormous (and enormously dangerous) power of stripping citizens of their Constitutionally guaranteed fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms, without any semblance of due process, simply by declaring them to be terrorist suspects. That, of course, is a terrifying amount of power to grant to one person, even if that person were an elected official, which the AG, of course, is not.

Representative Peter King (R-NY), the sponsor of the House version of the bill (H.R. 2074), had this to say:

It is unfathomable to me that we knowingly allow the transfer of firearms to these individuals. Changing this policy should be a no-brainer. Our role in Congress is to create laws that protect the American people, not to uphold those that give terrorists the right to bear arms.
Actually, Pete, I do agree with part (a small part) of that--this bill is definitely "a no-brainer"--making you the perfect kind of guy to push this abomination. The right to keep and bear arms is not "given" to anyone by any laws, or even by the Second Amendment--the Second Amendment guarantees that basic human right, the existence of which is not dependent on any document. Furthermore, your oath of office, swearing to uphold the Constitution, applies to the entire Constitution--not just the parts you happen to think are worthwhile. Finally, you seem to be confused about the difference between terrorists, and people on the terrorist watch list. I'm sure there is a bit of overlap between the two groups, but they can hardly be considered one and the same.

Don't get me wrong--I'm not thrilled about the idea of Ted Kennedy having a gun, either--but (unlike you and your ideological allies, apparently) I revere the Constitutional rights of all Americans (even those Americans for whom I have no personal respect).