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.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Spike in LEO shooting deaths--the real story

Forcible citizen disarmament advocates have been thrown off by the fact that shooting deaths have spent the last year (a year in which gun and ammunition sales have far exceeded anything we've ever seen), plummeting:

A Dec. 21 press release from the Second Amendment Foundation points to an inconvenient truth:
A ten percent drop in murders during the first six months of this year at a time when gun sales were up dramatically is more proof that there is no correlation between gun ownership and violent crime...
You can read the SAF release by clicking here, and the FBI preliminary report it references by clicking here.
In response, the gun prohibitionists point to a 2009 spike in shooting deaths of police officers.
Across the nation, 2009 was a particularly perilous year for officers involved in gun disputes.

The number of officers killed in the line of duty by gunfire increased 24 percent from 2008, according to preliminary statistics compiled by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, a national nonprofit organization that tracks officer-related deaths.
A 24% jump sounds pretty dramatic, but as the article points out, that's a bit deceptive, because that's 24% above 2008, in which the number of officers shot to death (38) was the lowest in over half a century (and yeah--a bit of perspective is useful, too--this "spike" is nine people).
As of Saturday, 47 police officers have died nationwide this year after being shot while on duty, up from 38 for the same time in 2008, which was the lowest number of gunfire deaths since 1956, according to the data.
In fact, looking at data compiled by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (the source of the data cited in the article), we see that if 2008 is dismissed as an outlier, 2009 has seen fewer such deaths than any year in the last ten (1999 had one fewer--and 1999 was the best in that respect since the early 60's.
(Click to enlarge)

Even the Associated Press article citing the spike in officer shooting deaths makes this observation:
In 1973, during a heyday of corruption and crime, there were around 600,000 officers and about 156 gunfire deaths. Currently, there are about 900,000 law enforcement officers nationwide and only 47 gunfire deaths this year — a per-capita decrease of nearly 21 percent.
Actually, though, the math is wrong there--going from 156 deaths among 600,000 officers, to 47 deaths among 900,000 officers, is a decline not of "nearly 21 percent," as the article states, but of nearly 80%. Officers are, in other words, very nearly five times less likely to be shot to death today than they were 36 years ago.

More guns=more violence? That's not what the facts say.

Online ammo retailer follows Ronnie Barrett's principled example

It is gratifying to see principle trump the bottom line at these companies, but without many others following their example, their principled stand will be largely symbolic. I can't afford a Barrett rifle (and would have trouble using one from a wheelchair, anyway) or an STI pisotl, but I do buy a fair amount of ammo online. Cheaper Than Dirt will be the first place I look when shopping for ammo. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Hope you like it, and hope everyone has a very Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Why sheriffs tend to be more supportive of gun rights than police chiefs are

A Seattle area blog laments the unlikelihood of forcible citizen disarmament advocates in Washington succeeding in exploiting a recent spike in murders of law enforcement officers in furtherance of the gun ban agenda:

You would think that if ever there was a political climate favorable for gun control legislation, it would be here. With the state reeling from the third police killing in two months, legislators surely feel the need to do something. A proposed assault weapons ban, to be introduced in the coming legislative session, would seem like a place to start.

Yet only one week after Washington CeaseFire held a press conference to announce the planned bill, its prospects look dim. "Frustrating, that would be the word," CeaseFire president Ralph Fascitelli says, speaking of the reaction he's getting from key politicians as he lobbies for the proposal.
I won't go into much detail about Nina Shapiro's (Nina is apparently an enthusiastic hater of the Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms, apparently)--there's very little there beyond "People ('Only Ones,' no less, in this case) are being killed--ban some guns--quick! Nothing, in other words, we haven't seen a thousand times before.

Toward the end, though, we do encounter something I find interesting. Washington Governor Christine Gregoire is apparently seeking guidance from various police groups before articulating her own stance on banning so-called "assault weapons," and the executive director of one of those organizations made a penetrating observation (my emphasis added):
One of those groups is the Washington Association of Sheriffs & Police Chiefs, which has decided not to take a position on the proposed bill. Don Pierce, the organization's executive director, says that members expressed mixed feelings at a meeting in November, with sheriffs trending more critical of gun control than police chiefs. Why? "They're elected," he explains.
Have you noticed that one rarely sees or hears the mission of police as being "to protect and serve"? It seems to me that those police chiefs who support restrictive gun laws--because they know that (being appointed, rather than elected) they can afford to ignore the will of the people--are quite right to have backed away from claiming to uphold that motto.

Brady Campaign says health care bill no threat to guns--but objects to gun rights amendment anyway

If no such potential for new gun restrictions ever existed in Obamacare, why would advocates of more restrictive gun policies care about efforts to (supposedly) remove that potential?

The fact is that efforts to frame firearm policy as a "public health" issue are well established (and gaining ground--the National Institutes of Health is again studying gun policy, with the Brady Campaign's blessing), with health care providers increasingly encouraged to invade patients' gun safes. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Hope it's worth your time.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Brady Campaign to steal intellectual property

Readers may remember that I have been squabbling--for years, now--with the Brady Campaign over the right to post this video clip:








Video hosted by Icarry.org

Everywhere I attempted to have that short excerpt from their original clip hosted would soon receive a bullying message about copyright violation (despite the fact that my use of the clip clearly falls under "Fair Use" guidelines), prompting the host site to take it down.

Eventually, Shaun Kranish, of Icarry.org, took it upon himself to host the clip. Shaun lives for such battles, has his own video hosting capability, and seems to enjoy keeping his attorney busy. I've talked a little more about that here and here.

Even more contemptibly, the Brady Campaign itself has a less than sterling reputation when it comes to respect for intellectual property.

In fact, David has caught them in some more thievery, in which they posted (pdf file) this article of David's in its entirety.

The Brady Campaign once called itself "Handgun Control, Inc." If they were interested in honesty (I'm obviously wading deep into the hypothetical here), they might call themselves the Brady Campaign of Tyranny Enablement, Lies, Hypocrisy, and Theft.

Senate health care bill amended in attempt to allay gun owners' concerns

What Noah has apparently chosen to ignore is that if government muscle, in the form of fines, and even prison time, is to be used to enforce the mandate that all citizens must acquire health insurance, then any obstacles to gun ownership (by virtue of denial of coverage, higher premiums, etc.), whether imposed directly by the government or by private insurance companies, are forcible citizen disarmament. In short, Noah, what we're required by law to buy ain't free enterprise. [More]
Today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Please pass it along.

Monday, December 28, 2009

NYC taxpayers pony up $1.5 million to reduce freedom nationwide

Between Mayor Bloomberg's billions and Joyce Foundation money for his Illegal Mayors Against Guns (something like that), I guess I kinda figured there was sufficient cash in the Pro-Tyranny Fund to pay for Bloomberg's little Junior G-Man operations without NYC taxpayer help.

Guess I was wrong.

Mayor Bloomberg's crusade against guns comes with a price tag attached.

Bills obtained by the Daily News show the city Law Department has paid almost $1.5 million to Kroll Associates, a high-end detective firm, for its undercover probe of out-of-state gun sales.
"Mayor Bloomberg's crusade against guns"--a refreshing bit of honesty from the New York Daily News.

I realize, of course, that a great many New York City residents share (to some extent, anyway) Bloomberg's anti-gun passion, but I wonder if they're happy about their tax dollars being spent in that way. It is, after all, one thing to call for a reduction of freedom (in the interest of public "safety," don't you know), but a horse of a different color to be asked to pay for the anti-liberty campaign.

The "investigation" in question is the "sting" operation conducted at several gun shows, in several states, unveiled with much fanfare last October to bolster Bloomberg's efforts to close the mythical "gun show loophole."

The NY Daily News article lists some of the details of the detective bill, and one of those details caught my eye:
As they traveled to gun shows in Nevada, Ohio and Tennessee, they spent tens of thousands of dollars on airfare, hotels, meals and other travel expenses.
When Bloomberg first started trumpeting these "findings," I assumed the purchases were made by detectives who were residents of the states in which the purchases took place. To buy handguns out of state, after all, is against federal law. I've already speculated about whether or not Bloomberg conspired in the federal crime of "straw purchasing" guns, but this new detail prompts me to wonder if he might also have conspired to purchase handguns out of state.

I guess I shouldn't count on the BATFE to look into it.

California police demand helpless targets

Get that? It's not "just felons" who he would like to see subjected to government mandated bullet penetrability, but all non-"Only Ones." National Gun Rights Examiner David Codrea often cites a statement by Policemen's Benevolent (Hah!) Association Patrick Lynch, in which Lynch threatens death to anyone who "lifts a finger" against a law enforcement officer. As evil as that is, it might pale in comparison to an edict requiring that even people who don't "lift a finger" against the "Only Ones" conveniently die when shot. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Sorry for the couple weeks of silence--a combination of internet issues and being just plain swamped with other stuff. I think I'm back now (famous last words).

Friday, December 11, 2009

Anti-gunners ratchet up the politics of fear

In this case, the ignorance that helps the gun banners comes in the form of the public not knowing how insanely bloated the "terrorist watch list" is, how few criminals buy their guns at gun shows, etc. More fundamentally, the disarmers count on the people being ignorant enough of civics and history to think that they need the government to protect them from their neighbors, rather than the other way around.

Tragically, gun haters may be right to count on such ignorance. Here's the thing, though--I didn't authorize anyone to negotiate my rights on my behalf. No matter how many members of whatever gun rights organization are tricked into supporting the anti-gun agenda, there will always be some of us who will never agree to "reasonable" infringements on that which shall not be infringed.

You still have to deal with us. [More]
Today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Hope you like it.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Missouri to introduce Firearms Freedom Act

The BATFE, as is typical of a federal government agency, is not taking kindly to what the Justice Department sees as an encroachment on its rightful power. The court fight is starting to take shape in Montana, with the Montana Shooting Sports Association (MSSA) and Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) having filed a lawsuit in federal court (but note the large dog who is not barking).

Given the Supreme Court's long history of granting Congress nearly unlimited power to regulate, well . . . everything, through the "interstate commerce clause," many are holding out little hope that the state's will prevail in this skirmish, either. Still, even a courtroom defeat will not be the end of this. The Tenth Amendment Center explains. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. _Please give it a look.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

When toy guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have toy guns

I note that Mr. Vann doesn't claim that toy gun simulated violence is plaguing those neighborhoods, and I doubt the "senseless shooting" Sunday night was really a senseless pretend shooting, but he explains that preventing such shootings isn't the goal here--he wants to "stem the glorification of guns," i.e., smother the very gun culture (what remains of it in NYC).

I once wrote about the "wussification" of our nation's youth--the cradle-to-grave indoctrination in the dogma of the Church of Guns are Icky. This is yet another manifestation of that campaign. A couple generations of boys who have been taught to recoil in horror from even imaginary games of "cops and robbers," or storming an imagined Iwo Jima with a toy Garand rifle, and perhaps the gun culture will be so weakened that there will be no one left to fight for gun rights, and the forcible citizen disarmament agenda can really get underway. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Please give it a read.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

CSU campus disarmament policy--it ain't over 'til it's over

It seems fairly clear that CSU's new policy will be unable to carry a legal penalty for violations, but I am much less clear on whether or not the school could impose its own disciplinary actions, up to and including expulsion.

Still, it is good to see that the fight against mandated defenselessness is not yet over. [More]
Today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Hope it's worth your time.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Gun hater wisdom--when gun laws 'work,' we need more gun laws

The Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence (ICHV) website has a new feature--"studies" promoted by the Brady Campaign's "Research Center" (I wonder if, in the Brady's research, they have yet found The People). Let's take a look, shall we?

The very first article is by old friend Dr. Garen Wintemute (Hero of Medicine). The article is titled "Disproportionate sales of crime guns among licensed handgun retailers in the United States: a case–control study," and I sure as hell ain't gonna pay to read it--but there's enough just in the summary on which to base some interesting conclusions.

What Does It Say? This study extends and improves on prior research on the risk factors for disproportionate sales of crime guns by gun dealers. The study is based on records of California handgun sales, crime gun trace data, and site visits to licensed dealers. The time period covered is 1998 to 2003. Risk factors, measured at the retailer level and describing the retailers or their purchasers include: status as a pawnbroker, denied sales, sales of inexpensive handguns, multiple-gun sales, urban location, and a short elapsed time from sale to recovery for traced guns.

How Can I Use It? One of the overall points of the study is that most of the risk factors that help identify retailers with disproportionate crime gun sales are already available in existing records. In particular, the percentage of denied sales is a strong risk factor for selling a disproportionate number of crime guns, and this information is already available at the federal level. Advocates may want to try to obtain this data directly themselves via a FOIA request or work with their local law enforcement to do so.
Wait a sec: ". . . the percentage of denied sales is a strong risk factor for selling a disproportionate number of crime guns . . . " Are we to understand that a lot of gun sales to "prohibited persons" not happening is "a strong risk factor" for selling a lot of "crime guns"? What's the solution--stop doing background checks? I like that idea, but I don't think that's what Wintemute, the Brady Bunch, or ICHV have in mind. I guess they would want us to believe that the dealer's participation in, and compliance with, the NICS system should be used against him, if he gets a lot of sales denied.

Maersk Alabama crew trained to defend itself, but not permitted to

Let's look at that first point, that "firearms are useful only in the hands of those who are properly trained, who regularly practice in their use, and who are fully capable of using them as required." Recently, John Cronan, 3rd Engineer on the Maersk Alabama, has kindly corresponded with me, informing me that Maersk crews are far from untrained in the use of small arms. As it turns out, Maersk requires crew members to receive Coast Guard training in use of small arms at sea, and to maintain proficiency in that training. Another Maersk Alabama officer made much the same point.

I have also benefitted from correspondence from Maersk Alabama Chief Engineer Mike Perry, who would prefer the security focus to be on an armed crew, rather than in embarked specialized security. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Thanks for reading.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Dennis Henigan getting picked on by the mean old 'gun lobby'

The Brady Campaign's Dennis "Right of the People" Henigan thinks he's the victim of some kind of "'gun lobby' conspiracy" to bury his book under bad reviews at Amazon.

Second, regrettably from my standpoint, the “hogwash” votes outnumber the “5 stars” by a current margin of 28 to 16. This reflects a broader pattern discussed in the book; that is, gun control opponents are more likely to be moved to action than gun control supporters. Generally speaking, Congressional offices hear more frequently from “gun rights” partisans than from constituents who support stronger gun laws. This, of course, says nothing about public support for gun control. For example, over 80% of Americans support legislation to close the “gun show loophole” by extending Brady background checks to private sales at gun shows. But it is a level of support not generally reflected in constituent communications to Members of Congress.

Third, the “hogwash” votes reflect not only motivation, but organization as well. It is fascinating to me that organized efforts have been underway to sink the book under the weight of “1-star” reviews. On several websites followers are urged to send in negative reviews of the book (without, of course, urging them to read the book first). Gunbroker.com urges readers to “bury this book,” while giving helpful instructions on how to do amazon.com customer reviews. The Maryland Shooters Association suggests that its members post some “good” (meaning bad) reviews on amazon. These efforts obviously have had some success. Amazon prominently displays an “average customer review” for each book, which for Lethal Logic struggles to reach “3-stars” against the organized “1-star” campaign.
Note also that he points out that forcible citizen disarmament advocates tend to be less passionate about their cause than liberty/gun rights advocates are about ours--and that this somehow means that the arguments from the gun-hater side should somehow merit more respect.

Here's the thing, Dennis--as long as we can continue to hold your side at bay with political advocacy (and the occasional unflattering book review), we're not forced to literally fight to keep our guns.

That's how you want to keep it.

Update: And they didn't even say "hi."

(Click to enlarge)

Update II: Days of Our Trailers has more, including a look at some of the "5-star" ratings.

Sheriff vows not to enforce campus disarmament policy

CSU, being located in Ft. Collins, CO, is in Larimer County. The Sheriff of Larimer County made a trenchant observation about the proposal to ban defensive handgun carry on campus.
"I think whenever you create a gun-free zone, you have an opportunity for criminals to act with impunity," Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden said.
In what may be the most remarkable part of this story is that Sheriff Alberden is publicly backing that position up--saying that his department will not enforce a campus gun ban. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Hope it's worth your time.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Brady Campaign having trouble finding 'gun violence' where they need it

A new Brady Campaign press release condemns Congressman John Boccieri (D-OH), for holding an NRA-sponsored fundraiser.

Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said, "It is sad that Rep. Boccieri finds it necessary to hold a 'Virtual Shootout' to raise campaign dollars at the NRA while Ohioans in and around his district fall victim to real shootouts on a regular basis."
The press release then lists four examples (which, if such incidents happen on a "regular basis," should be easy, right?).

First one:
John Butler has been charged with shooting Arthur Breault twice in the stomach and once in the head the day before Thanksgiving. Butler was initially held in the Ashland County Jail, located in Rep. Boccieri's district.
Hmm . . . "initially held in the Ashland County Jail, located in Rep. Boccieri's district." Note that the Brady Campaign doesn't say that the shooting occurred in his district--that's because it didn't. The relevance of the jail's location in his district is left unexplained.

Next:
Dominick Conley has been charged with shooting a police officer and her K-9 partner in August. Conley was reportedly captured in his native Canton, OH, by Canton police and the FBI. Canton is located in Rep. Boccieri's district.
The alleged shooter was arrested in Canton, OH--the shooting occurred in Zanesville (outside of Boccieri's 16th District). Is Congressman Boccieri to be blamed for an alleged dangerous criminal being brought to justice in his district?

Then, we have:
Bryan Mobley has been indicted for shooting and killing his wife in June, with a 9mm handgun reportedly purchased at a gun store in Ashland, OH, inside Rep. Boccieri's district.
This shooting was in Mansfield, OH--also outside Boccieri's district. Boccieri's "culpability," it seems, lies in the fact that the gun used was supposedly bought in his district. Nothing about his district, keep in mind, makes it a more likely source for guns used in crimes than anywhere else in Ohio--the important thing is to establish a link between Boccieri and "gun violence." Oh, by the way--the Brady Campaign is apparently . . . confused--Mobley's ex-wife evidently survived the shooting.

And finally:
Cliff E. Hill Jr. has been sentenced to 23 years in prison for shooting Ashland County resident John Stone during a March home invasion. The eastern half of Ashland County is in Rep. Boccieri's district, as is the Ashland Samaritan Hospital where Stone was reportedly treated.
This one may have occurred in Boccieri's district--I don't know if John Stone's residence was in the part of Ashland County that's in his district, or not--but I do note how carefully the Brady Campaign avoids saying that it is. Rather telling, I would think.

Can't the Brady Campaign find one example of what supposedly happens "on a regular basis"?

To some, gun rights advocacy is 'terrorism'

Granted, this bit of silliness wasn't written by anyone in the government, or even in the mainstream media--BuzzFlash proudly describes itself as "progressive" (with "progress" being defined, apparently, as any move toward nanny-state collectivism). The author, Mark Karlin, is not just a "progressive" gun hater--he's a professional gun hater--having received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the rabidly anti-gun Joyce Foundation (President Obama's former employers), as part of the agenda of the forcible citizen disarmament lobby.

Still, Karlin's position is the logical end point of the direction in which too many in the media--and in the government--would like to take this country. If and when we get there, support for a gun rights advocacy group will be seen by the government as equivalent to support for Hezbollah, or Al Qaeda. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. If you read it, you may be a "right-wing extremist/homegrown terrorist."

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Senator Frank Lautenberg's continued assault on gun owners

The "PROTECT Act" is far from Sen. Lautenberg's first attack on gun owners--just this year he has introduced a bill to outlaw private gun sales, and another to allow the Attorney General to unilaterally block a gun purchase based on the prospective purchaser's presence on the terrorist "watch list."

This is just one more example of the use of the public's fear of "terrorism" to goad us into surrendering more of our freedom to the government. Sometimes it's said that the terrorists "hate us because we are free." Perhaps--but does anyone really believe that "they" will stop hating us, if we surrender enough freedom? [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Please give it a look.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Cannons for the FBI?

This has already been covered--first (as far as I know) at Boniface's Treatise, and then at War on Guns, but I find it . . . interesting enough to want to put in a word or two myself.

It seems the FBI is procuring a couple 20mm rifles (with suppressors!?)--the 20mm bore, by the way, makes them "cannons," basically, and possession by mere peasants like you and me is much more heavily regulated than possession of regular rifles would be.

Here's an excerpt of the FBI's notice:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) intends to award a non-competitive, sole source purchase order to Anzio Ironworks Corporation, 1905 16th Street N, St. Petersburg, FL 33704 for two (2) Magfed 20mm Rifles and accessories in accordance with FAR 6.302-1, only one responsible source and no other supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements.

The FBI intends to procure the following items:

Magfed 20mm Rifle with Belgian Camo Overcoat finish. Includes bipod, brake, handguard, free floated barrel and case (Qty: 1 each)

Magfed 20mm Rifle with Navy NWV Camo Duracoat finish. Includes bipod, brake, handguard, free floated barrel and case (Qty: 1 each)

Non-firing bolt assemblies (Qty: 2 each)

Extra magazines (Qty: 4 each)


Suppressors in 20mm (Qty: 2 each)
I had actually already been familiar with Anzio Ironworks, and their impressive ordnance--simply because I couldn't not be interested in a company that sold such cool things.

What I don't understand, though, is what the federal law enforcement application for artillery is. Is the damage the FBI's Lon Horiuchi-types can do with a .308 no longer enough?

Defending gun rights by rejecting original intent?

Ah--now I see. Ultra-restrictive gun laws such as Chicago's handgun ban, as "desirable" as they might be to folks like Douglas Kendall, are to be sacrificed in furtherance of the "progressive" agenda.

The article goes on to describe "progressive originalism," in which the focus on the Constitution is shifted from the inent of the Founders, to the thinking prevalant (in the North, anyway) during Reconstruction. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Please help spread the word.

Monday, November 30, 2009

'Not without a fight'--the best $15.97 you'll ever spend

On Thanksgiving, on my St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner column, I mentioned a new gun rights documentary, "Not Without a Fight," by Max Lemus.

This features several of my fellow GREs: Skip Coryell, Paul Valone, Howard Nemerov, and David Codrea (all but the first of those four links are to those individuals' glowing reviews of the project). Also featured is Pastor Kenn Blanchard--better known, perhaps, as Black Man with a Gun.

At the time, with Thanksgiving activities in full swing, I had not had the opportunity to watch the entire video (which is around 100 minutes long), so I couldn't in good conscience say much about it, although from what I had seen, and knowing the people involved, and having seen what Paul, Howard, and David had said about it, I knew it would be good.

Now that I have seen the whole thing, I can say that my lofty expectations were exceeded. Buy and download this video--you won't regret it.

Mayor Bloomberg's racist gun policies

The Klan--perhaps the first domestic terrorist organization in the U.S., exploited onerous "Black Code" gun laws to keep freed slaves unarmed, and thus ripe for lynching. One intent of the Fourteenth Amendment was to end that.

These days, adding insult to (fatal) injury, the forcible citizen disarmament lobby often implies that their advocacy of draconian gun laws is intended to help African-Americans, and that opponents of such laws are the bigots. I have to hand it to them--it takes truly Orwellian chutzpah to sell oppression as salvation. [More]
Today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Hope it's worth your time.

Friday, November 27, 2009

A word to the wise*: the next paralyzed would-be victim might not be helpless

A friend, apparently concerned about my weight, sent me something yesterday that I can only assume was calculated to put me off my feed, just before the turkey came out of the oven:

2 men rob Indiana home with paralyzed man in bed

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Police say a paralyzed man was unable to get out of his bed while two men robbed his St. Joseph County home.

Police say the robbery occurred west of the South Bend city limits on Sunday evening.

They say one of the robbers placed a T-shirt over the paralyzed man's face.

The men broke into the home by breaking a rear window.

After placing the shirt over the homeowner's face, they stole his laptop and a $100 bill on a dresser.

After the robbers left, the victim says he was unable to call police or close the window that had been broken.

A friend who stopped by the home was able to call police.
I don't have family-friendly words to describe the evil thugs who would prey on the disabled, so I won't even try. Instead, I'll simply remind them that some of us can fight back--with deadly force, and without hesitation.

That's not, by the way, intended (at all) as criticism of the victim in this case--it sounds as if he is quadriplegic, and would thus be unable to defend himself with a firearm.


*The "word to the wise" doesn't really apply here, because "wise" is something these creatures are clearly not. To quote Bill Cosby:
A word to the wise ain't necessary -- it's the stupid ones that need the advice.

Turnabout is fair play--help protect the Oath Keepers

So gun rights organizations--and gun owners--got involved. We got in our Senators' and Representatives' ears--and we prevailed. Montana Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester wrote a letter (pdf file) to the Defense Logistics Agency, and voilĂ --the policy was rescinded.

Congress members always claim to be loyal to the Constitution (well, except for Nancy "Are you serious?" Pelosi)--let's give them a chance to show some evidence of that loyalty, by supporting those who have sworn--repeatedly--to defend the Constitution. Tell them that you want them to demand that the Pentagon not allow the Ft. Hood atrocity to degenerate into a witch hunt that ends with the Oath Keepers as the "witch." If you live in a district represented by a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, or the House version, your voice might make an even larger difference. [More]
Today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Read it as you recover from the tryptophan hangover.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving thanks for freedom, and for those who defend it

I would be remiss if I neglected thanking the Founding Fathers, for the Constitution they bequeathed us. As might be guessed, I am particularly grateful for the Second Amendment--"the true palladium of liberty." Without it, and the protection it provides to the people's right to the means to resist tyranny, our liberty depend on the good will, noble intentions, and limited ambitions of our servants, who, inevitably, tend to fancy themselves our masters. I will be forever thankful for my confidence that any serious attempt to disarm the American people will end in the deaths of the would-be disarmers.

Happy Thanksgiving. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. I am thankful that anyone finds my meandering thoughts worth reading.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Does Kirsten Gillibrand think buying a gun is a crime?

My--how far our "pro-gun Democrat" has fallen.

David has been following Kirsten Gillibrand's new special friendship with Carolyn "What's a Barrel Shroud" McCarthy. Yesterday, the two announced their collaborative effort--their "Make Gun Trafficking Even More Illegaler Act of 2009" (or something like that).

Details about the bills (I assume they're teaming up to introduce identical legislation in both the House and Senate) aren't yet available, but David had a bit about their press conference, with a Who's Who of New York gun haters in attendance.

NY1 covered it also, and something Gillibrand said jumped out at me. You can see the full video there, but here I've shortened it down to just the part I'm talking about:



"From the person who buys the gun from the dealer, to the person illegally selling the gun out of the trunk of his or her car, to the kingpin who’s organizing this criminal network, the legislation makes crystal clear that these people are criminals [who] should be prosecuted,” said Gillibrand.
Are we to understand that "buy[ing] the gun from the dealer" is a crime? It sure sounds that way. The other two actions she described: illegally selling out of one's car trunk and "kingpinning" a criminal network, are already federal crimes. Likewise, if Gillibrand's reference to "the person who buys the gun from the dealer" refers to straw purchasers--they're already federal criminals, as well.

Well, New York gun owners? How's that "pragmatism" working for ya'?

Kentucky census worker not victim of 'right-wing hate'--can we stop calling for censorship?

In a society that counts the right to free speech as being worthy of the No. 1 spot in the Bill of Rights, these calls to "round up 'hate speech' promoters," because of a murder that the supposed "hate speakers" never called for, were chilling. Saying anything that might make unstable people angry enough to kill should be illegal?

Moving the situation from alarming to absurd is the finding that Sparkman's death was not murder (much less politically motivated murder--"right-wing terrorism," in other words): [More]
Today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Please give it a look.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

David Codrea gets a (brief) nod from the NRA

Anyone who reads Armed and Safe on anything approaching a regular basis had better be reading David Codrea, as well. If you do, you are probably aware that David is, although a life member of the NRA (one might say that he is the NRA), also a frequent and vocal critic of the current leadership's "pragmatism" and willingness to compromise that which shall not be infringed.

NRA loyalists (I won't say "kool-aid drinking, lockstep apologists"--oops, perhaps I just did) tend not to take kindly to David's criticisms of the Lairds of Fairfax (I think that's the first place I saw that excellent term for NRA leadership), and the NRA itself, of course, does not either.

That means, not surprisingly, that David's writing, no matter how good, tends not to get any promotional help from the NRA (which is, of course, their prerogative, even if it means that they miss out on a superb voice in the gun rights debate). That's why it amazed me yesterday to see this in their news feed:

Attorney General Holder admits support for gun control

During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Department of Justice oversight, Holder admits to supporting "no-fly no-buy" legislation as well as the repeal of the Tiahrt amendment.

Read About It: The Examiner

Posted: 11/23/2009 10:01:00 AM
I, obviously, tend to be rather critical of the NRA, as well, but I have to admit that if the NRA is going to promote only one of David's articles, their choice of this one is hard to fault.

Be sure to read it, if you haven't already. I had gotten the email alert from Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (JPFO), and read the press release from Law Enforcement Alliance of America (LEAA), but couldn't find any actual text of Holder's remarks, so didn't know what to do with the information, and thus ultimately did . . . nothing with it.

David, on the other hand, showed why he's an actual journalist, while I am still no more than a blogger*--he did the digging necessary to find and verify the information around which to build an informative article:
I held off on bringing this release to the attention of Gun Rights Examiner readers because I wanted to corroborate the claims--which, unfortunately, the official transcript of Holder's prepared remarks, posted on the Justice Department website, do not.

So I contacted LEAA and spoke last night with their Chief Operating Officer and national spokesman, Ted Deeds. He told me they were reporting on remarks made during questioning, and sent me a transcript of the appropriate segments of AG Holder's testimony: . . .
Go read it, if you haven't.

The NRA, by the way, perhaps realizing they were promoting someone they didn't like, quickly pulled that News Feed link from where it would be easily seen--if I hadn't noticed it early, most of us would probably never have known. Some things, evidently, never change.

*Not that I'm ashamed of being a blogger--just that I think it's a different animal from formal journalism.

NYC Mayor Bloomberg and friends step up 'terror gap' scare rhetoric

This is a major effort on the part of MAIG--with a full page ad in the Washington Post (pdf file) to kick it off. No problem for multi-billionaire Bloomberg, of course, who has already invested something like $3 million into MAIG's forcible citizen disarmament campaign, which also receives hundreds of thousands of dollars from the rabidly anti-gun Joyce Foundation.

If you think that such legislation will make you safer, just realize that anyone can be considered a "terrorist suspect"--including you. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Read it, and be edified by my great wisdom--just kidding.

Now, now--you don't have to laugh that hard.

Monday, November 23, 2009

CSGV anti-gun spin machine in full gear

One of the "features" on the homepage of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) (the only organization I know of to openly call for a government monopoly on force) is the inclusion every day of a couple links to mainstream media articles about guns, gun laws, shooting deaths, etc. CSGV, though, is often not happy with what they apparently perceive to be an insufficiently anti-gun slant in the headlines--so they simply make up their own.

Today, one of CSGV's headlines is "Innocent Shot Woman Latest of 400 Serious Hunting Accidents in Virginia."

(Click to enlarge)

The real headline, though, is somewhat different--"Ferrum student's death unusual: Accidents rarely involve nonhunters"

I guess we know now what makes the victim "innocent"--as a non-hunter, she was not "guilty" of hunting.

The real headline makes clear that the entire thrust of the story is the unusual nature of a fatal hunting accident in which the victim was not a hunter, but that's very clearly not what CSGV wants to talk about.

Actually reading the article clears up some other points the CSGV would probably prefer remain fuzzy. Right from the beginning, we have:

There have been nearly 400 serious hunting-related accidents in Virginia since 1998 . . .
The CSGV zeroed right in on that "400" number, without mentioning that we're talking about over a decade's worth of accidents in Virginia (a state in which there is a lot of hunting).

The article doesn't make clear the criteria by which an accident is judged to be "serious," but this passage might shed some light.
Of 39 firearms-related hunting fatalities in Virginia since 1998, none involved a nonhunter, according to Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries spokeswoman Julia Dixon.
So in that time period of more than a decade, fewer than 10% of the 400 serious accidents were shooting fatalities. Granted, as a paraplegic, I'm well aware that non-fatal injuries can be quite serious, but I think it quite reasonable to assume that the victims of many of the "serious" accidents eventually recovered fully.

Note also that serious hunting accidents do not necessarily involve gunfire, as the article makes clear.
The game department's accident data include firearms-related incidents and serious tree-stand falls.
I can attest to the potential seriousness of a fall from a tree stand--when I did my inpatient physical therapy following the car accident that put me in a wheelchair, one of my fellow patients was a paraplegic whose condition stemmed from such a fall. I suspect that the "400" number also includes bowhunting accidents.

I am not trying to minimize the tragedy of the death of the woman, or excuse the idiocy of the hunter who shot her because he thought she was a deer, and fired without verifying his target, but there simply is not an epidemic of fatal hunting accidents via gunfire, as the CSGV would seem to have us believe.

Defining 'extremist organization': Will Pentagon try to crush Oath Keepers?

I can certainly understand adding Hamas and Al Qaeda, etc., to the list of unacceptable groups (I am not, by the way, claiming that Hasan was a participant in either of those--just giving a couple examples), which already include racially bigoted groups more commonly associated with the U.S. Still, any broadening of the definition of "extremist hate group" risks being exploited by those who would manipulate the definition process to include groups that, rather than being "hate groups," are actually the targets of hate on the part of those doing the defining.

On reading the Associated Press article that mentioned the possibility of tighter regulation of service members' participation in political groups, my immediate concern was that such a move could provide the perfect opening for suppression of the Oath Keepers. It seems absurd--the Oath Keepers, after all, in reaffirming their oath of loyalty to the Constitution, would seem to be the last people we need to worry about. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Please give it a look.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

East St. Louis clerk who killed robber not facing charges

As discussed Thursday, an East St. Louis convenience store clerk shot and killed one of a group of predatory thugs trying to rob the place. At the time, I expressed some concern that (this being Illinois) the clerk could find himself in legal jeopardy, simply for defending his life with a firearm.

This is, after all, East St. Louis, IL we're talking about, where the mayor tells us that the Second Amendment means nothing outside one's home.

Parks gave a reminder that Illinois does not allow concealed carrying of guns.

"You have the right to bear arms, but you have the right to bear them within your home, not on the streets, not in your cars, not inside stores," Parks said.
East St. Louis is located in St. Clair County, the board of which is fighting a years-long, expensive legal battle to close down a gun range, despite the range having never caused a problem.

It was therefore a pleasant surprise to me that the State's Attorney for St. Clair County apparently recognizes legitimate self-defense when he sees it.
St. Clair County State's Attorney Robert Haida, whose office filed the charge, said in a prepared statement: "I commend the shop clerk for what is clearly a legal act of self-defense." He added, "This type of defensive action is allowed by law-abiding citizens when violent, unlawful acts are perpetrated against them."
Granted, I suspect Haida's reaction may have been somewhat different if the act of self-defense had happened on the street, with a firearm carried in contravention of Illinois law against self-defense in public, but he's doing the right thing here.

Incidentally, one of the surviving robbers is being charged with murder for the death of his accomplice. That's because in Illinois (along with several other states--I don't know how many), if someone--even one of the perpetrators--dies as the result of a felony, his/her accomplice(s) can be charged with murder.

I have mixed feelings about that. I certainly want the book thrown at perpetrators of crimes like armed robbery, but I'm not particularly comfortable with the idea of a murder charge, when there doesn't seem to be a murder victim. The deceased in this case made the choice to commit armed robbery, and ended up paying with his life for that bad decision. If he's a "victim" of anything, it's of his own bad decisions.

Still, the murder charge against one of the surviving thugs offends me far less than the fact that legal self-defense with a firearm in Illinois is restricted to such a narrow set of circumstances (in one's home or business, basically).

Friday, November 20, 2009

Bloomberg's New York: Bill of Rights--free zone

Mayor Bloomberg's hostility to the Second Amendment is well known, of course, and has been extensively discussed here and elsewhere. What may be less well known is his apparent disdain for the Fourth Amendment:

Police have stopped and frisked more than 130,000 people in the third quarter of 2009, a 15 percent jump from the same period 2008, according to a report released by NYPD.

Over the quarter, police stopped and interrogated 137,894 people, 93 percent of whom were men, and 58 percent were black.

Hispanic men made up 31 percent of those who were stopped and frisked, and white men were stopped just 9 percent of the time, according to the report.

Under the Stop and Frisk program, officers can stop, question and pat-down people they deem suspicious.

Police also keep information about the people they frisk in a database.
Racial profiling--in New York? Hardly a surprise--racism, after all, was a prime motivating factor behind the Sullivan Act.

Like the Sullivan Act, Bloomberg's efforts to crack down on Walking While Dark-Skinned is presented as being in the interest of "public safety."
Last year, the police confiscated 6,970 illegal weapons as a part of the program including mostly knives but also 747 pistols, 84 assault weapons and rifles and 9 machine guns, the report said. The report doesn't say how many weapons were confiscated this year.
It would seem that Mayor Bloomberg is an enthusiastic advocate of a policy of "No Guns for Negroes."

Guns better protection for gays than 'hate crime' laws

No assortment of laws will ever end hatred, or even the violent expression of that hatred. What will is the ability on the part of the targets to fight back. The Pink Pistols chapters are helping to provide those targets with that ability. That's "hate crime prevention."

Incidentally, the new law also extends its "protection" to the disabled, and being paraplegic, I would thus be one of the supposed beneficiaries of this legislation. Thanks, but I've made other arrangements. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Please give it a look.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ooh--Mayor Alvin Parks isn't going to like that

Saturday, I wrote about the violent crime in East St. Louis, IL, and the fact that Mayor Alvin Parks doesn't want citizens getting uppity, and thinking that the Constitution protects their right to, well . . . defend their lives (my emphasis added).

Parks gave a reminder that Illinois does not allow concealed carrying of guns.

"You have the right to bear arms, but you have the right to bear them within your home, not on the streets, not in your cars, not inside stores," Parks said.
Today, we find that someone was apparently not listening:
Illinois State Police are investigating an attempted robbery that ended when an employee shot and killed one of the robbers.

The shooting happened around 4 a.m. Thursday at the Quality Food Mart store at 1032 Bond Ave. in East St. Louis. According to police, several armed men entered the store and attempted to rob it, but the store clerk pulled a gun and shot one of the men in the chest. He died at the scene.
It gets a bit confusing, because the article is titled "East St. Louis store owner kills robber," but then the body of the article says the chlorine was added to the gene pool by the actions of an employee.

Granted, either way, even Illinois law would permit the owner to have a gun in the store, and/or to allow employees to do so (assuming the owner/employee had a valid FOID card, and complied with all the other Illinois bureaucratic hoops), and Mayor Parks may well have meant to deny the right to bear arms "inside stores" only to customers, rather than owners/employees.

Still, are customers' lives somehow less valuable? Something to think about before doing business in Illinois.

Update: We get a little more info here:
Illinois State Police Lt. James Morrisey told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch the shooting victim, whose identity was not released, was one of four suspected robbers who broke into a secure convenience store.
Someone apparently defines "victim" differently from how I do so--I'd call him the dead (and unmourned) would-be robber. We apparently also have different ideas about what constitutes "secure"--the meaning here, apparently, is that after 11 pm, the door is locked, and transactions are conducted through a small window--but that "security" didn't last long, because the thugs simply broke in. The only real security was provided (possibly illegally?) by the armed clerk.
Morrisey said the 21-year-old store clerk, whose identity was not released, reacted to the attempted robbery by producing a pistol he carries for protection.
Hmm . . . if that's not simply sloppy wording, then the clerk could be in trouble, because carrying a pistol for protection is illegal in Illinois (can't go around letting people protect themselves, can we?), and that's exactly the kind of thing Mayor Alvin says we can't do.

The Brady Campaign to be like Mike

For readers who need some more reason not to surrender that privacy, Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (JPFO) has assembled some information pointing alarmingly to the conclusion that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) is correlating all the trace data into a de facto (and illegal) gun registry.

When we allow the government to know where all the guns are, we have voluntarily chained ourselves. We're better than that. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Please give it a look.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Maersk Alabama attacked again--pirates sent running

Even with our society's notoriously short attention span, one would hope that not many have forgotten the hijacking, by Somali pirates, of the Maersk Alabama last April. In that hijacking, you will remember, Captain Richard Phillips was taken hostage, and held for several days--until a SEAL team rescued him, killing all but one of the pirates in the process. A happy ending, certainly, but one reached only after a great deal of danger and discomfort. It certainly would have been nice if there had just been some way to stop the attack right from the beginning.

Sure, that would be great, but what would that idea be?

Well, the Maersk Alabama was recently attacked again, and as it turns out, someone has apparently thought of a good way to stop a pirate attack in its tracks--because that's what happened this time.

The MV Maersk Alabama has thwarted another attack by Somali pirates, according to European Union and U.S. Navy officials.
American-crewed container ship Maersk Alabama is hijacked by Somali pirates

"Pirates fired automatic weapons on MV Maersk Alabama who responded with fire," said an EU Naval Command Statement, "The crew managed to repel the attack and no casualties were reported."
Oh . . . so that's what worked--having armed good guys on board, to shoot back. Now why didn't I think of that?

Granted, the citizen disarmament advocates will doubtless seize on the fact that the armed good guys were dedicated security types, rather than "just" sailors with guns. And we know of course, that effective armed security can only be provided by the "Only Ones" professional enough (like Lee Paige) to carry weapons.

The thing is, sometimes the "Only Ones" aren't all that much more professional than everyone else (and sometimes notably less so), and paying a full time security team (and feeding them, and housing them, etc.), who will spend the vast majority of their time battling their greatest enemy--boredom--is an expense I doubt many shipping companies will take on.

An armed crew would not have to be trained to SEAL standards (or anywhere near them)--they would need only be good enough with a rifle to make attacking ships too dangerous to be an attractive career choice for the young worthies of Somalia.

The message behind increased gun sales

You want the short version of the message, Josh?

Step away from oppressive gun laws; acknowledge that when the government ignores the Constitution, that government abandons any claim to the citizens' loyalty, and resistance to said government can no longer be characterized as treason; know that we will not disarm.

That's the message, Josh, and if you're a good deal wiser than I think you are, you will help disseminate it, because if that message is ignored . . . [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner, and it's not very "pragmatic."

That was kinda the idea, for those who might have been wondering.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Brady Campaign to hide the truth is failing

Anyone who has been following Armed and Safe for any length of time is probably aware that one of my favorite projects is exposing the Brady Campaign's lies. One of the best examples of those lies comes in a video segment they shot of Dennis Henigan, their Vice President for Law and Policy.

This was right after Shelly Parker won her case in the D.C. Court of Appeals (in the case that eventually went on to become the District of Columbia v. Heller case). At that time, the Brady Campaign was still desperately clinging to their now badly discredited "collective rights" interpretation of the Second Amendment. So desperate were they, in fact, that when reciting the Second Amendment in the video clip, Henigan simply omitted the "of the people" part--realizing, apparently, that they can't claim a right of the people is not really . . . of the people.

The Brady Campaign must have thought no one would notice, because they proudly displayed the video on their website, and posted it to YouTube. Eventually, though, gun rights advocates noticed it--and we made some noise (I'd like to think I made a difference with my efforts on that front).

That's when the Brady Campaign realized they'd messed up, and decided to try to sweep this embarrassment under the rug. They pulled that page from their website (Gone!), and they pulled it off YouTube (Vanished!).

When I started posting it, they bullied the video hosting services with threats of copyright infringement action. That happened on YouTube, Photobucket (which also does video hosting), Metacafe, here on Blogspot, etc., despite the fact that this use would pretty clearly fall under "Fair Use" guidelines.

Last month, I tried posting just 15 seconds of audio, and even that was supposedly a violation of their "intellectual property."

Last week, I had another idea, and using Thirdpower's screen capture (I had one of my own, but stupidly saved it at a low resolution) of the Brady Campaign's now-removed webpage with the transcript of Henigan's little video, was still able to point out the breathtaking lack of integrity.

Still, nothing really hits home like the video, and I really wanted to be able to post that. Luckily, Shaun, at ICarry, had gotten hold of the video file, is always spoiling for a fight with groups like the Brady Bunch, likes keeping his lawyer busy, and has the ability to host his own videos.

So . . . voilĂ !








Video hosted by ICarry.org

Just in case even Shaun gets pushed into taking it down, I suggest downloading the video while you can. Let's take this thing viral.

Update: Look who stopped by for a look! See anything interesting, Brady Bunch?
(Click to enlarge)

The right to keep and bear arms is not based on 'sporting purposes'

The fatal flaw, of course, with using the "sporting purpose" test to determine a gun's suitability for private ownership by the people, is that the Founding Fathers did not devote 10% of the Bill of Rights to the protection of sport. The forcible citizen disarmament lobby demonizes whatever is the "evil" gun du jour as being an "weapon of war," while utterly disregarding the fact that the Second Amendment is intended specifically to protect the citizenry's right to possess such arms.

I'll end with a line that I first saw attributed to the late Lt. Colonel Jeff Cooper, but have been unable to establish that it was actually he who said it. Regardless, it's a line worthy of him: [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner, and yeah--I deliberately left ya' hanging, so you'd have to go to the GRE page to read the (maybe) Jeff Cooper quote. Sneaky, eh?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Illinois gun owners: be careful about whom you talk to

From the Illinois State Rifle Association:

WARNING TO ALL MEMBERS REGARDING
HOSPITALIZATION AND DOMESTIC DISPUTES


Recent Illinois Law (PA 95-0564) provides that health care professionals report patients to the state police anyone that they believe might pose a danger to themselves or others. ISRA has learned of situations where a party has been admitted to a hospital for stress, alcohol treatment, or other scenarios where part of the admission procedure included a short interview with a psychologist on staff. Questions asked, include gun ownership, and/or the Possession of a FOID card. Within a few weeks that individual receives a notice from the Illinois State Police revoking his or her FOID.

Obviously, when being interviewed by somebody in a hospital setting, ask if he or she is a psychiatrist or a psychologist, who you don’t have to communicate with. And, be sure what information you are willing to disclose to any interviewer. Of course, you should not lie, but a simple refusal to disclose gun ownership may be enough to avoid the problem.

If you think you may be in a situation where the justice system may become involved with restricting your ownership of firearms, such as when facing hospitalization, or in a domestic dispute, unless caught up in an emergency situation, be sure to have your firearms removed from the home as quickly as possible, in the care of a friend or family member who possesses a FOID, and who lives a good distance from your residence. Also, advise your spouse or other party who shares the home with you that you have done so. Most importantly, in any court setting, you will then be able to assure the Judge, that although you possess a FOID, you have removed all firearms from within the home.

These tips can save your firearms from being confiscated and/or your FOID being revoked. ISRA is working to solve these problems, both legislatively, and through litigation.
Looking over the relevant code, my impression is that FOID card denial/revocation is only supposed to happen if the determination is made that the patient is at risk of harming himself/herself and/or others.
(2) "Patient" shall include only: (i) a person who is
an in-patient or resident of any public or private hospital
or mental health facility or (ii) a person who is an
out-patient or provided services by a public or private
hospital or mental health facility whose mental condition
is of such a nature that it is manifested by violent,
suicidal, threatening, or assaultive behavior or reported
behavior, for which there is a reasonable belief by a
physician, clinical psychologist, or qualified examiner
that the condition poses a clear and present or imminent
danger to the patient, any other person or the community
meaning the patient's condition poses a clear and present
danger in accordance with subsection (f) of Section 8 of
the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act. The terms
physician, clinical psychologist, and qualified examiner
are defined in Sections 1-120, 1-103, and 1-122 of the
Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code.
This is Illinois, though, where the state police (FOID card issuing authority) unilaterally pick an arbitrary minimum age for card issuance, despite no legislative authority to do so, where a veteran who seeks counseling for PTSD is denied the right to possess firearms, where voluntarily turning one's guns into the police for what was supposed to be temporary safekeeping gets them destroyed--so it can hardly be surprising that an egregiously overzealous and abusive interpretation of the law (a law that lends itself very handily to abuse) holds sway here.

The lesson here is that if you value your firearms, and your ability to legally possess them, do not seek mental health care in Illinois (isn't that a healthy consequence of Illinois law?), and if you do, refuse to answer any questions about guns.

The Brady Campaign for defenseless soldiers

"Gun zealots," presumably, is Mr. Pennington's term for gun rights advocates. Fair enough--coming from a forcible citizen disarmament pusher, Pennington's opinion would not seem to be worth getting oneself worked up over. I do take exception to the last part, though. What hurts most is that many of the deaths at Ft. Hood were very likely preventable, by simply not stripping the troops of the tools of a soldier's trade. But to an idealogue like Pennington, his side's imagined "victory" is evidently more important than human life.

Pennington goes on to make a few more snide--and irrelevant--observations, such as the fact that Hasan had been issued a Virginia concealed carry permit in 1996, as if A) a '96 permit would still be valid, B) the permit would make any difference on an Army post (given the Clinton-era soldier disarmament edict), and C) a mass murderer would care whether or not carrying a firearm was permitted. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Hope you like it.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Gitmo detainees coming to Illinois?

A couple weeks ago (on Halloween, actually), I wrote about plans in Illinois to release prison inmates early.

Now, there's apparently a proposal to bring Gitmo prisoners to an Illinois prison.

CHICAGO -- A White House official says the Obama administration is considering buying a northwestern Illinois prison to house a limited number of detainees from Guantanamo Bay, along with federal inmates.

The official says the federal Bureau of Prisons evaluated several state and federal facilities and the maximum-security Thomson Correctional Facility emerged as a leading option to house Guantanamo detainees.

The official spoke to The Associated Press Saturday on condition of anonymity because a decision has not been made.

The 1,600-cell Thomson facility, about 150 miles west of Chicago, was built by the state in 2001. Budget problems prevented it from ever fully opening, and it now houses about 200 minimum-security inmates.
I don't bring this up out of any particular concern--just found it interesting.

East St. Louis, IL mayor tells residents what their rights are

I live not far from East St. Louis, IL, and still would know nothing about finding my way around the place, because it's a place you just don't go if you have any choice (and I tend to make sure I have that choice). The reputation for violent crime got a recent "boost" (if that's the appropriate term for something like this) recently, when a man shot and killed three women in their car last Saturday, with their children in the back seat (the children were not physically harmed).

East St. Louis violent crime, in fact, has officials scrambling for solutions.

Several initiatives were discussed, including increased public housing security, the introduction of a gang-suppression unit and increased police sweeps to prevent other violent acts.

East St. Louis police are pulling resources from the federal government as well as the local level, including the Illinois State Police, the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. They also will implement the Community Oriented Policing program to address public safety issues.
The assistant police chief had some bellicose words for violent criminals.
With the initiatives that are being taken, Keller said the criminals are the ones who will not be safe in the community, instead of the community fearing the criminals.
Interesting he should say that, since Illinois is the only state in the union that utterly outlaws carrying defensive firearms (Wisconsin prohibits concealed carry, but not open carry) in incorporated areas--meaning, it would seem, that the criminals are safer than those who choose to obey the law. In fact, one of the "solutions" is to crack down on those carrying firearms.
Assistant Chief Aubrey Keller added that there will be increased patrols throughout the city to target individuals carrying weapons and those perpetrating crime.
And that brings us to Mayor Alvin Parks:
Parks gave a reminder that Illinois does not allow concealed carrying of guns.

"You have the right to bear arms, but you have the right to bear them within your home, not on the streets, not in your cars, not inside stores," Parks said.
Which is just fine, I suppose--unless you happen to be attacked while on the streets, in your car, or inside a store.

Even so, Assistant Chief Keller has the audacity to exhort citizens to help with the crime-fighting efforts.
Officials are also asking for community involvement.

"This is not just a police matter, this is a community issue," Keller said. "This is a community effort, it's a community problem and we need all participation to bring resolution."
Hear that, East St. Louis residents? If you notice any nefarious activity, you just go up to the miscreants, unarmed (of course), and set 'em straight.

Good luck!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Jim Darnell's 'pragmatic' article about AR-15s found

Earlier today, I lamented the fact that outdoor writer Jim Darnell seemed to have figured out the danger to his career posed by his ill-advised screed against sporting AR-15s, in time to pull it off the internet before it rose up to bite him.

Luckily, someone at AR15.com was too quick for him:

Production of the AR-15 sporting rifles a big mistake

Choose your battles carefully.

That’s good advice to parents with teenagers. It’s good advice for politicians. Some issues are too emotionally charged and not worth the fight. I would give the same advice to the American gun manufacturers and the National Rifle Association.

I’m a strong Second Amendment rights person. I stand against fire arms registration and government control and confiscation of our guns. But I strongly feel that the firearm manufacturers of our country are making a big mistake in producing the AR-15 sporting rifles.

Ever since Colt introduced the first AR-15 into the hunting world more than 30 years ago they have been very popular. It’s now being produced in several heavier calibers by all major gun manufacturers and is the all-time No. 1 selling rifle.

The AR-15 looks very similar to the M16 service rifle first used in combat in Vietnam. It’s similar in looks to the military rifle used by our vets in the first Gulf War. It also has similar features to an AK-47.

Therein lies the problem. These modern sporting rifles are inflammatory in looks — they don’t look like modern hunting rifles. They are military in looks. They look like they were produced to kill men, not deer.

The AK-47 is the most widely distributed assault rifle in the world and almost always associated with wild terrorists. And most Americans can’t tell the difference in the looks of an AK-47 and a modern AR-15 hunting rifle.

Granted, the AR-15 is not an assault weapon.

Unlike the AK-47 it is not fully automatic (pull the trigger and fire the whole clip). It shoots one bullet at a time like my semi-automatic 30-06 that I hunt deer with.

Granted, the new AR-15’s are compact, light, rugged and accurate. They make excellent hunting rifles. The problem is their inflammatory looks.

The press immediately jumped on the letters AR to mean “assault rifle.” That’s not what AR means. AR abbreviates Armalite. But the anti-gun press conveniently overlooks the facts.

The firearms manufacturers defend their production of the AR-15 modern hunting rifles with an argument from history. World War I soldiers used the 1903 Springfield bolt-action rifle in combat. When they returned to America they wanted a hunting rifle in the same 30-06 cartridge with the smooth bolt action cycling that they experienced with the Springfield. Thus, the production of millions of great bolt action sporting rifles like the Model 70 Winchester, the Ruger 77, and the 700 Remington. The bolt action rifle is still the most accurate and popular rifle among the world’s big game hunters.

Then came WW II and the introduction of the first semi-automatic service rifle, the M-1 30-06, popularly known as the Garand (named after the inventor).

When these brave service men returned home a wide range of semi-automatic hunting rifles and shotguns gained widespread popularity among both hunters and target-shooting enthusiasts.

The manufacturers ask, “Shouldn’t Vietnam and Gulf War vets have a hunting rifle like their service rifles?”

I don’t think the argument is valid. After WW II, crazy terrorists weren’t running through the streets firing 1903 bolt action Springfields into the air.

No Arab terrorists were on the daily newscasts blasting people with the semi-automatic Garand after WW II.

It’s the AK-47 and its long history with revolution, riots and terrorism that’s the problem.

The average person in America says why do you need a terrorist’s assault rifle to hunt? Again, the AR-15 is not a terrorist’s weapon. It is not fully automatic. It is not an assault rifle. It just looks like one.

So why endanger our Second Amendment rights by manufacturing and defending a modern hunting rifle that has such an inflammatory design? It plays right into the hands of the anti-gun movement. They love the looks of the AR-15. It’s easy to enrage the average American against such an “assault rifle.”

Let’s get wise. We have a difficult enough task defending our right to own firearms without this foolish battle.


Jim Darnell is an ordained minister and host/producer of the syndicated television show “God’s Great Outdoors.” His column appears every Thursday in the Daily Record.
Again, it's not quite as bad as what Zumbo said--he didn't call AR-15s "terrorist rifles"--he just said that since they look like "terrorist rifles" to the public, we should meekly bow to their tender sensibilities, and, to borrow a phrase, "not scare the white people."

If they're that easily frightened, I'm going to put the fear into 'em, and enjoy it.