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.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Congratulations, NRA--now you're as 'pro-gun'
as . . . Nancy Pelosi

I see Nancy Pelosi has now taken up the NRA's "enforce existing gun laws" mantra.

“On that score, I think we need to enforce the laws we have right now,” Pelosi said at her weekly news conference. “I think it's clear the Bush administration didn’t do that.”

Outside of the dig at the recent Republican president, that phrase is the stock line of those who don’t want to pass new gun control laws, such as the National Rifle Association.
Isn't that sweet--and Pelosi and LaPierre would look so good together, too.

I hope no one in the gun rights advocacy committee thinks Pelosi's lack of public enthusiasm for a hard push for a new AWB is any more than a timing issue, as David points out.

Actually, I have to kind of wonder about what Pelosi meant about the Bush administration not enforcing gun laws. It reminds me that Congressman Eliot Engel is claiming that an import ban on so-called "assault weapons" is an "existing gun law" that isn't being enforced.

Was she just telling Holder to get on that, while they wait for the right time to strike on domestic "assault weapons"?

What will it be--a new 'assault weapon' ban, or a preserved Union?

Do I honestly believe that any state is ready to secede over a new federal gun law, such as a new AWB, or H.B. 45? Perhaps not, but does the Obama administration really have so little on its plate that it wants to take on an issue that arouses this much passion among the people who would oppose it? [More]
Today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner is up. Please give it a look, and spread the word.

In other news, the Gun Rights Examiners have a Facebook page, and everyone's invited--come join us.

In still other news, we also have a press release out. Kinda cool--give it a look.

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

The gloves come off

By now, everyone has heard that Attorney General Holder last night came out and said that a new AWB is in the works.

"As President Obama indicated during the campaign, there are just a few gun-related changes that we would like to make, and among them would be to reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons," Holder told reporters.
The truly bizarre part of this is that we're apparently expected to accept the destruction of our Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms because of crime in Mexico:
Holder said that putting the ban back in place would not only be a positive move by the United States, it would help cut down on the flow of guns going across the border into Mexico, which is struggling with heavy violence among drug cartels along the border.

"I think that will have a positive impact in Mexico, at a minimum." Holder said at a news conference on the arrest of more than 700 people in a drug enforcement crackdown on Mexican drug cartels operating in the U.S.
The New York Times is dutifully performing its job of government lapdog (the days of the press as government watchdog are long over, obviously), saying that the "U.S. Is Arms Bazaar for Mexican Cartels."
Drug gangs seek out guns in the United States because the gun-control laws are far tougher in Mexico. Mexican civilians must get approval from the military to buy guns and they cannot own large-caliber rifles or high-powered pistols, which are considered military weapons.
Left unmentioned is the fact that the way to "get approval from the military" is to grease the right official's palm--do that well enough, and the military might even provide you with firepower you'll never get in a U.S. gun shop or gun show--firepower like the RPGs, mortars, and grenades that keep turning up in Mexico's drug war.

Also interesting is this part:
In 2007, the firearms agency traced 2,400 weapons seized in Mexico back to dealers in the United States, and 1,800 of those came from dealers operating in the four states along the border, with Texas first, followed by California, Arizona and New Mexico.
Well that's odd. California--number one Brady-ranked California--is the second greatest source. Even stranger is the fact that a large part of California's high rank comes from its implementation of the very laws the Brady Campaign says will effectively combat gun trafficking--laws like "gun show loophole" closure, one-gun-a-month, universal background checks, etc. Oh, did I mention that California already has a ban of so-called "assault weapons" (and California's AWB casts a particularly wide net), and a ban of non-reduced capacity magazines? But I hear those are just the kinds of weapons that are causing the biggest problems (after the machine guns, grenades, rocket launchers, and mortars that aren't coming from anywhere in the U.S.).

It sounds as if Holder would like, as part of his strategy to block gun trafficking to Mexico, for federal law to be just like California law. Just like the laws that don't prevent California from being the second largest source. That should work great, Eric.

For more on Holder's announcement, see David Codrea's column today.
For more on the Mexican drug war, and what it has to do with U.S. gun laws, see a column of mine from last week.
For a slightly older look at this administration's coming anti-"assault weapons" storm, see a column of mine from late last month.

The idiocy of 'smart guns'

One of the fondest wishes of the forcible citizen disarmament lobby is a legal mandate that all guns (or at least all handguns) for private citizens be fitted with so-called "smart gun" technology. At this point, such technology has not yet even been developed, but that was not enough to stop New Jersey from passing a law requiring the use of such technology whenever it does become available. [More]
Today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner column is up. Please give it a look, and spread the word.

Also, the ranks have expanded yet again--we have a Seattle Gun Rights Examiner, and his is a name many in the gun rights community know well--Dave Workman.
Dave Workman is an author, senior editor of Gun Week, communications director for the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, award-winning outdoor writer, former member of the NRA Board of Directors.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

We're the Only Ones with privacy enough

I'm going to steal a page out of David Codrea's book, and do an "Only Ones" post. I don't usually do those (they are, after all, his gig), but several recent developments are coming together in a way that I think paints kind of an interesting picture.

We'll start out looking at a law in Arizona that can mean jail time for publishing the address certain "Only Ones" (law enforcement, judges, prosecutors, public defenders, and a few others):

Several years ago, the Phoenix New Times, a spunky weekly newspaper in Arizona, published the home address of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in the course of an investigation into how the camera-loving "America's toughest sheriff" had managed to acquire such an impressive investment portfolio on the salary he drew from the county. Arpaio and an ally, Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, replied with a criminal inquiry against the newspaper for violating an obscure and constitutionally questionable law against publishing law-enforcement officers' personal information on the Internet. That law is now being revisited by legislators in a way that may make it even more restrictive.
Now compare that to the situation faced by armed private citizens in states like Oregon and Tennessee, where, as the law stands now, anyone can demand to know names and addresses of defensive firearm carry permit holders, and newspapers can and do publish that information.

Ah--to be an "Only One."

Disarming the poor

These mandated price increases inevitably price many poor people out of the armed self-defense market. The cruel irony of that, of course, is that it is the poor who are most likely to need to defend themselves against criminal thugs.

Looked at in that light, it becomes difficult to view restrictive gun laws as being particularly "progressive," doesn't it? [More]
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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Gillibrand to support 'microstamping'?

I'll be the first to admit that whatever "evidence" I've found for U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's (D-NY) potential support for handgun "microstamping" should be taken with an extremely large grain of salt Still, it's something that bears watching, and New Yorkers might want to be sure that Sen. Gillibrand knows you're watching.

To begin, we have Gillibrand's meeting with New Yorkers Against Gun Violence executive director Jackie Hilly.

Hilly praised Gillibrand’s performance at the meeting on guns yesterday.

“I have to say that she was very open and she was well prepared and understood the things we were talking about, and obviously had thought about it beforehand,” Hilly said.

“She put out a welcoming, sort of extended hand. I think this is the first step in developing legislation that we think is important,” Hilly added. “We were encouraged by what she said yesterday, and by the attempts she made in bringing us into the process of developing the legislation.”
Now that's quite a reversal on Hilly's part--Gillibrand must be some kind of charmer, considering Hilly's position before the meeting:
Hilly then announced her group would hold a rally and news conference on the steps at New York’s City Hall today to blast Gillibrand and demand she support three bills that would undo the Tiahart amendment’s restrictions on gun tracing, end gun-show loopholes, and require “microstamping” of bullets for tracing.
We know that Gillibrand has already rolled over on the Tiahrt Amendment. As for the mythical "gun show loophole," if "pro-gun" (according to the NRA, starting sometime last summer) Arizona Republican John McCain can actively campaign for it, I don't see much stopping a New York Democrat from doing so. Still, I acknowledge there's little here to indicate she committed to backing "microstamping."

There's more
, though.
Kirsten Gillibrand, in her first visit to Long Island since being appointed to the U.S. Senate last month, reassured advocates of gun control and immigrant rights on Friday that she's open to views different from her own.

"She's clearly looking at everything with new eyes," said Assemb. Michelle Schimel (D-Great Neck), referring to Gillibrand's conservative stances on some issues as a House member. "I felt confident she means what she says and that she will embrace what we care about over illegal gun ownership."

Schimel has backed a bill requiring some handguns to have technology that would imprint shell casings with codes that would match them to the guns. She said she now felt she had the senator's backing. In her two years in the House, Gillibrand's voting record earned a 100 percent approval rating from the National Rifle Association.
Granted, Schimel could be talking out her . . . McCarthy-hole. Maybe Gillibrand's staff will clear this up right away.
Gillibrand's aide Matt Canter did not respond to requests for comment Friday night.
Or maybe not.

She certainly is giving herself a lot of room to maneuver, isn't she?

Should effective self-defense be limited to the fit and strong?

Finally, and from an admittedly selfish perspective, such a belief system would seem to require that I accept the idea that for someone like me, the only "courageous" option, in the face of just about anyone's wish to prey on me, is to accept the role of prey. [More]
Today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner is up. As always, I'd much appreciate you giving it a look, and spreading the word.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Protecting privacy in Oregon

I'm pleased to see that there's a movement afoot in Oregon to protect the privacy of people who obtain firearm carry permits.

And as the appeals court mulls the issue, Oregon lawmakers are pursuing legislation to take those records completely out of public view by prohibiting their release under the Oregon public records law.

The bill to close those records has broad support, with half of the members of the Legislature, both Democrats and Republicans, signing on as co-sponsors.
That sounds like a good deal of support. Better yet, many Oregon sheriffs are apparently behind the measure.
Sheriffs around Oregon have been sending an unusual letter to holders of concealed weapons permits with this message: If you don't want the public to know you've got a permit, we'll try to help you out.

The letter from the sheriffs says newspapers and others are trying to get lists of people who have concealed handgun permits, sparking a legal challenge that's pending in the Oregon Court of Appeals.
As always, of course, there are some who believe the rights of gun owners should not be given heed.
Open government advocates say, however, that those records have always been public and that Oregonians should have the right to check to see who is getting concealed weapons permits from local sheriffs.

"Let's say you have a neighbor who is acting irrationally, and maybe even threatening you. Shouldn't you be able to find out if he has a concealed weapons permit?" said Judson Randall, president of Open Oregon and a former senior editor at The Oregonian.
Well, Judson, if you have an irrational neighbor threatening you, and you find out that he does not have a carry permit, would that lead you to believe you were any safer? Do you really believe that a violent, deranged neighbor with designs on violence against you would be deterred by the fact that carrying the potential murder weapon (concealed) would be illegal?

Tim Gleason, dean of the University of Oregon School of Journalism, is another who opposes gun owners' privacy.
"What is the privacy interest in this case? What abuse has occurred as a result of these records being open?" said Tim Gleason, dean of the University of Oregon's School of Journalism.

Those records should remain open as a practical safety matter, Gleason added.

"What if you're an abuse victim, and you want to know if the person who's abusing you is carrying a concealed weapon?" he said. "That seems like a legitimate question to ask."
I have already pointed out that finding out that a potential attacker cannot legally carry a concealed firearm is hardly a reliable indicator that he would not do so anyway. The better question, though, is "what if you're an abuser, and you want to know if the person who you're abusing is carrying a concealed weapon?" That seems like information an abuser or stalker would like to have--and information that he should be denied.

In the end, this would seem to be just one more argument, if one were needed, for doing away entirely with licensing a Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right.

The bill in question is Oregon House Bill 2727.

'Protecting' children . . . from the ability to defend themselves

Although not many gun bills have yet been introduced this congressional session, there have been a couple. One, H.R. 45, introduced by U.S. Representative Bobby Rush, (D-IL) has been well covered by my colleague (Qualifying firearms, Kill (the) bill, Kill (the) bill - volume two, Kill (the) bill - volume three). Today I'll look at H.R. 257, the "Child Gun Safety and Gun Access Prevention Act of 2009." [More]
Today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner column is now up. Please give it a look, and encourage others to do the same.

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Hold whom accountable?

Running even further behind than usual today--sorry, folks.

The calls to ban detachable magazine fed, semi-automatic rifles have been coming with greater and greater frequency and stridency out of South Florida of late. "Hold leaders accountable for assault weapons," by Citizens' Crime Watch of Miami-Dade executive director Carmen Caldwell, displays the quality of "logic" we have come to expect in these screeds.

T his week I want to address an issue I have raised before, in light of recent events in our community. I'm talking about the assault weapons being used on the streets by criminals. These weapons are being used against our police officers and our residents, but worst of all, they are being used to kill our children.

In recent weeks we have seen nine people shot, with two dead, and another four people shot, including a child.

Folks, this has to stop!

You, the residents of Miami-Dade County, have to start holding our congressional leaders accountable for letting this ban sunset.
Lovely. Rather than holding the shooters accountable, we are to blame the politicians who didn't disarm their constituents--who, in other words, apparently paid at least some attention to the Constitution.
For those of you that maybe don't know why these weapons exist, it is in part because on Sept. 13, 2004, the federal assault weapons ban expired.
Um . . . not quite. The WASR-90 (a semi-automatic, Romanian-made copy of the AK-47) used in the Westroad Mall atrocity in Nebraska, for example, was designed specifically to comply with the AWB. It could, in fact, be described as a result of the AWB. Similarly, the MAK-90 used to kill Miami-Dade police officer Jose Somohano was another AWB-compliant AK-47 copy.

But that's not important to the gun prohibitionists, and I don't suppose we should be surprised. People who, rather than blaming the shooter, instead call for blaming politicians for not playing along with their citizen disarmament agenda are clearly not going to be bothered by the fact that the law whose expiration they decry would not have banned the firearms used.

Hunting rifles--the next 'sniper weapons'

The regulatory mechanism the VPC recommends is placing all these rifles under National Firearms Act restrictions--treating them, in other words, like machine guns. This, essentially, would spell the end of North American big game hunting. Hunters who have no interest in handguns or detachable magazine fed, semi-automatic rifles (so-called "assault weapons), and are therefore uninterested in fighting restrictions on such guns, should realize that their "intermediate sniper rifles" are next on the chopping block [More]
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Thursday, February 19, 2009

The 'gun show loophole' myth rears its ugly head in Minnesota

I just talked about the "gun show loophole" myth yesterday, and now we're seeing such a bill in Minnesota.

Gun control advocates are taking another stab at changing a state law that allows people to buy handguns and assault rifles without a background check from unlicensed dealers.
One problem right from the get-go is that these "unlicensed dealers" aren't dealers at all, any more than someone who sells his used car is a car dealer, or someone who puts his house on the market is a real estate agent.
A similar bill got nowhere in the legislature last year, but chief sponsor Rep. Michael Paymar, DFL-St. Paul, said he hopes tweaks in the bill's language will satisfy the measure's opponents.

"It's a good bill, a simple one designed to keep dangerous guns out of the hands of dangerous people," Paymar said.
Ah--"dangerous guns out of the hands of dangerous people." Good line, Mike--did Helmke teach you that personally, or did you pick it up yourself from the Brady Bunch website?

Then, we go on to learn that gun shows are only part of the agenda.
The bill would close the so-called "gun show/Internet loophole." It would prohibit private sales of pistols or assault weapons unless the buyer or seller was a federally licensed dealer, or used a licensed dealer to transfer the weapon. That includes sales at garage and estate sales and over the Internet, which are currently exempt from background checks.
"Internet loophole?" In other words, the idea here is to go after all private sales.
Language in the bill that would have included private gun transactions between family members has been dropped from the legislation, he said.
OK--not quite all private sales.

Gee--how nice of them to make a family exception to their infringement of that which shall not be infringed.

Mexico's bloody drug war is not the fault of 'lax U.S. gun laws'

A gambit that has become popular of late with the forcible citizen disarmament lobby is blaming the violence in Mexico (which sometimes spills across our Southwestern border) on "lax U.S. gun laws." Mexico, of course, has extremely restrictive gun laws and extreme levels of violence. One might think that this would be a pretty strong rebuttal to the idea of trying to control violence by passing more and more gun laws (as if using laws to try to rein in the behavior of the lawless makes any sense). Such an expectation underestimates the stubborn determination of gun law advocates, who somehow find the energy to perform the rhetorical gymnastics required to argue instead that violence in Mexico should be blamed on "weak gun laws" here, where violence is much less pervasive. [More]
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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

How did I miss this one? Another federal gun bill

There's been enough coverage of H.R. 45, "Blair Holt's Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009," that I figure just about anyone into gun rights issues has probably heard plenty about it. For those who do need a primer, David Codrea is here to help you out:
Qualifying firearms;
Kill (the) bill;
Kill (the) bill - volume two;
Kill (the) bill - volume three.

Today, though, we're going to look at H.R. 257, the "Child Gun Safety and Gun Access Prevention Act of 2009."

Let's see what this bill would do:

Child Gun Safety and Gun Access Prevention Act of 2009 - Amends the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act to: (1) raise the age of handgun eligibility to 21 (currently, 18); and (2) prohibit persons under age 21 from possessing semiautomatic assault weapons or large capacity ammunition feeding devices, with exceptions.
Increases penalties for: (1) a second or subsequent violation by a juvenile of Brady Act provisions or for a first violation committed after an adjudication of delinquency or after a state or federal conviction for an act that, if committed by an adult, would be a serious violent felony; and (2) transferring a handgun, ammunition, semiautomatic assault weapon, or large capacity ammunition feeding device to a person who is under age 21, knowing or having reasonable cause to know that such person intended to use it in the commission of a crime of violence.
Prohibits any licensed importer, manufacturer, or dealer from transferring a firearm to any person (other than a licensed importer, manufacturer, or dealer) unless the transferee is provided with a secure gun storage or safety device. Authorizes the Attorney General to suspend or revoke any firearms license, or to subject the licensee to a civil penalty of up to $10,000, if the licensee has knowingly violated this prohibition.
Prohibits keeping a loaded firearm or an unloaded firearm and ammunition within any premises knowing or recklessly disregarding the risk that a child: (1) is capable of gaining access to it; and (2) will use the firearm to cause death or serious bodily injury.
Requires the parent or legal guardian of a child to ensure that a child attending a gun show is accompanied by an adult.
Authorizes the Attorney General to provide grants to enable local law enforcement agencies to develop and sponsor gun safety classes for parents and children.
Expresses the sense of Congress that each school district should provide or participate in a firearms safety program for students.
I don't have a problem with the last part, other than an uncontrollable urge to chortle at the idea of Congress having any sense to express--some kind of program like Eddie Eagle being made available to all school children seems like a fine idea (see? I can acknowledge good work by the NRA). The rest of the bill, though, leaves me wondering why they didn't call it the "Jonathon David Bruce Empowerment Act of 2009."

The myth of the 'gun show loophole'

This goes beyond the fact that closing the "gun show loophole" is mentioned as an "urban policy" priority on the Obama administration's website, and that closing the "loophole" is a longtime priority of our new attorney general, who has stated that in his opinion, the Supreme Court's Heller decision poses no obstacle to such a measure. The myth of the so-called "gun show loophole" has become so pervasive that in our last presidential election, even the supposedly "pro-gun" (according to the NRA), Republican candidate has long taken a widely publicized stance in favor of banning private sales at gun shows. [More]
Today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner column is up. Please give it a look, and tell a friend.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Seeing lots of reports out of Florida lately of ammo shortages--here's one.

After a surge in firearms sales linked to political change in Washington, some South Florida gun dealers report an inability to meet the demand for certain types of ammunition.

"People are hoarding," said Vito Servideo, whose Pompano Beach store, Only The Best, specializes in high-caliber weapons.
I have zero faith in the "stimulus" package, but our new political "masters" have certainly managed to stimulate one part of the economy--although it happens to be the one they would most like to strangle.
"People are stocking up because they think they're not going to be able to get it anymore," Soles said.

Fueling the buying spree is uncertainty. Some sport shooters tell dealers they fear certain military-caliber rounds could be unavailable if the Obama administration restores the Clinton-era ban on assault weapons that President George W. Bush allowed to expire. As a candidate, Obama said he favored the ban.
I get so tired of people crediting (or blaming, depending on outlook) Bush for the expiration of the AWB. He had nothing to do with it--he couldn't very well sign a bill that never reached his desk. He campaigned on a promise to sign it, and his alliance with gun owners was rather lukewarm on his part, and one of convenience, giving me little reason to doubt that campaign promise.
While high-caliber ammunition for rifles is most in demand, Larry Smith, general manager of Bass Pro Shops in Dania, said sales have risen "pretty much across the board" to include all ammunition. Smith said that although his store has not run out of any type of ammunition, or had to ration sales, "it's been a challenge to keep up. The supply is limited."

Who is buying?

"Everybody," Servideo said. "Your normal Joe is now buying four, five boxes where before they might have just bought one."
I'm not sure what makes .223 and 7.62x39mm "high-caliber," but that's "Authorized Journalism" for you.

Does anyone want to take a stab at explaining the layoffs at Federal Cartridge Corporation?

By the way, David's questionnaire for NRA Board of Directors Candidates is up, and if given sufficient attention, it could lead to an NRA that we could all be proud of.

Time for incorporation of the Second Amendment

The Second Amendment, to the extent it is honored at all, has only been seen as a restraint on the federal government from enacting draconian firearm laws. State and local governments have not needed to so much as pay lip service to the Second Amendment. [More]
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Monday, February 16, 2009

Firearm import ban is a bad idea

I see that Congressman Eliot Engel has the troubled U.S. economy in mind, and wants to jealously guard the U.S. market for semi-automatic, detachable magazine fed rifles.

Congressman Eliot Engel, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, wrote a letter signed by 53 Members of Congress urging President Obama to “return to enforcement of the law banning imports of assault weapons, which was previously enforced during the administrations of Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.” The letter was also led by Congressman Michael Castle (R-DE) and Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY).
While I appreciate Congressman Engel's concern for our domestic firearms manufacturers and their employees, economists seem fairly united in opposition to heavy-handed protectionist policies like that--especially during a deep, global recession. We simply cannot afford a trade war on top of all the other economic problems.

What--that's not what this is about?

Sorry about that--was in the mood for some silliness.

I also have good news (that I should have noticed and reported before). Anthony G. Martin (of the Liberty Sphere, with its great gun rights resource, the daily Second Amendment News Roundup), has joined the Examiner.com team. Not a Gun Rights Examiner, as David and I are, he is the Columbia Conservative Examiner. I hope it will be a daily read for anyone who comes here regularly. Today, in fact, he writes about a bizarre new twist on "gun buy-backs"--for some reason, that program has me thinking of this song.

What's next--a .499 caliber ban?

After so-called "assault weapons," the second most popular target of the gun prohibitionists would probably be .50 caliber rifles. The ostensible "logic" (being generous here) is that such rifles are "too powerful" to be entrusted to private citizens. Nightmare scenarios of airliners being shot down, or tanks of dangerous chemicals being breached, are breathlessly trotted out in efforts to frighten the public. One thing never mentioned in discussions of these potential disasters is an account of anything like that ever happening, anywhere in the world. The very simple reason for that is that nothing like that ever has happened. [More]
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Saturday, February 14, 2009

David Codrea is looking more and more prescient all the time about Gillibrand

David Codrea has expressed some doubts about "pro-gun" Kirsten Gillibrand's resolve to stay pro-gun, under the pressures being brought to bear by the rabidly anti-gun elements of the Democratic Party leadership--which is to say, basically, all of the Democratic Party leadership.

Some have disagreed, and some among those who disagree express their disagreement in about the same way as one would expect from a spoiled, intellectually challenged 12-year-old.

The latter are the sorts who also who say this kind of thing:

"Screw the Founding Fathers. They’ve been dead for 200 years. People like you . . . who spout this sort of crap are the reason we have gun control in this country."
Well, what say they now?
It may be Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's clearest flip-flop so far. In an interview with news 4 New York on Friday, Gillibrand said she would not vote for a bill she sponsored just eight months ago. "Not unless they fix it," She said.

It was no secret when Gillibrand co-sponsored the bill HR 4900 just eight months ago that is was widely opposed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his coalition of mayors against illegal guns.

[ . . . ]

The Senator told News 4 New York on Friday she was misled by language in the bill that implied it would help law enforcement. Gillibrand said she was unaware when she cosponsored hr 4900 that it would actually hurt.

[ . . . ]

The new senator says it was Mayor Bloomberg who convinced her of the bill's flaws in a meeting this week.
Just like any "pro-gun" senator, she's taking direction from "Furious Mike."

All part of the plan, Jacob?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Just what LA needs--more gun laws

In the state touted by the Brady Campaign as being the least free . . . er, having the "strongest" gun laws, and in the city that recently passed a number of yet more restrictive gun laws, what do you do about high levels of violence? Don't be silly--you add some more gun laws, of course.

Just a few weeks after the Los Angeles City Council approved a batch of new gun and ammunition ordinances tightening restrictions on ammunition vendors, council members Jack Weiss and Janice Hahn are proposing a new law that would make it more difficult for individuals convicted of certain misdemeanors to own guns.
Now there's an idea--if you don't have enough felonies to sufficiently disarm the populace, you just start disarming them for misdemeanors, as well. To be fair, it's just "certain" misdemeanors that would require the denial of a person's Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental, absolute human right of the individual to keep and bear arms. So which misdemeanors are we talking about?
Weiss and Hahn’s measure would add other offenses to the list, including carrying a concealed weapon, possession of an assault weapon, burglary and misdemeanor gang crimes.
So some of the "crimes" that can lead to you being disarmed under the color of law are carrying the means to defend your life and family while in public, or possessing a semi-automatic rifle (of the sort used by Korean shop owners to defend their businesses during the Rodney King riots).

The people of Los Angeles must feel much safer now.

Are churchgoers' lives less worth defending?

In several states, one of the fronts on which the battle between gun rights and citizen disarmament is being waged is over the right of worshippers to carry a defensive firearm in church. For me, the controversy is a little difficult to understand--why should going to church necessitate surrendering the ability to defend oneself and one's family? [More]
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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Open carry on the march

Looks as if open carry could soon be legal in four states that now prohibit it.

Four Southern states — Texas, South Carolina, Oklahoma and Arkansas — are considering legislation that would allow people to carry handguns openly in a holster.

These generally Second Amendment-friendly states are among the last six holdouts against open carrying of guns. Openly carrying handguns is legal in most states, even those that ban concealed firearms. New York and Florida also bar openly carrying handguns.
I do feel compelled to point out that Illinois only allows open carry in unincorporated areas--I'm not sure I would classify IL as a state in which "openly carrying handguns is legal," but I suppose that it's technically true.
The four other states that ban so-called open carry "are extremely gun-friendly. They understand the individual-rights aspect. Yet for whatever reason, the carry laws in these states are restrictive," says John Pierce, a co-founder of OpenCarry.org, which promotes gun rights.

Most states have strict laws governing concealed weapons. Illinois and Wisconsin ban carrying them entirely, according to the National Rifle Association. Concealing a weapon "was seen in the early days of our nation as something of an unwholesome act. People would bear arms openly," Pierce says.
John, by the way, is a Gun Rights Examiner colleague of mine (Minneapolis). Of course, no discussion of the right to keep and bear arms possibly becoming less infringed would be complete without Paul Helmke's "contribution."
Says Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, which opposes open-carry laws: "We don't want more people carrying guns either openly or concealed because the more guns you have in a situation, the more likely you are to get gun violence."
Brilliant, Paul--just brilliant. By that "logic," one could argue that trees should be banned, because the more of them you have around, the more likely one of 'em could fall on somebody.

My suspicion is that Helmke's greatest objection to open carry is that he is horrified at the idea of the carrying of defensive firearms becoming seen as normal. He doesn't like concealed carry either, but when the public has little idea about how many people are doing it, it's easier to dismiss those who do as just some paranoid fringe. If open carry were to become a normal practice, armed self-defense can no longer be dismissed as . . . abnormal.

Another of my Gun Rights Examiner colleagues is also quoted.
Grass-roots movements supporting open carry have emerged via Internet and e-mail campaigns, Pierce says. The online Texas petition now has more than 55,000 signatures. OpenCarry.org raised $25,000 through online donations to pay for advertising in Texas, says OpenCarry.org co-founder Mike Stollenwerk.
Mike is our DC Gun Rights Examiner.

Perhaps the best news is that rumor has it that all versions but the Texas one will not require a license. Imagine that--a right that shall not be infringed, without a licensing requirement.

Almost sounds like the government securing the blessings of liberty, or something. That was once popular in this country.

'Unregistered ammunition' and the push for 'Ammunition Accountability'

The much bigger issue, of course, is the mere idea of requiring ammunition to be registered. That heinous idea is being pushed hard (in 18 states last year), in the form of the "Ammunition Accountability Act," which would require not only that ammunition be registered, but also that each round be encoded with serial numbers--dramatically increasing the price of ammunition (a problem exacerbated by proposals to include an additional tax on each round, as well). Much of the impetus behind the push for this legislation comes from the company that stands to profit from it. [More]
Today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner column, prompted by this story about a man charged for possession of "unregistered ammunition," is now up. Please give it a look, and tell a friend.

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