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.

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:

video

"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.

Change in plans--but still battling a bonehead

My plan today was to pick on Jim Darnell, an outdoor columnist with the San Marcos (TX) Daily Record, who, as Keep and Bear Arms noticed, apparently had something of a Jim Zumbo moment:

The Pragmatists among us: 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 [NRA]."

"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." ...
Unfortunately, although the link to the article worked last night and early this morning, it no longer does now--and I think I know why:
Statement on Darnell column

A column which appeared in the Thursday edition of the San Marcos Daily Record has caused some confusion, according to author Jim Darnell.

Darnell released the following statement Friday.

“Regarding the views expressed in the San Marcos Daily Record outdoors column of Nov. 12, 2009 and the opinion of outdoor journalist Jim Darnell, who is the president of God's Great Outdoors TV: God's Great Outdoors TV is totally unrelated to God's Great Outdoors Radio and host Gerry Caillouet and all of God's Great Outdoors radio sponsors. Please do not contact God's Great Outdoors radio or Gerry Caillouet in relation to the outdoors column of Jim Darnell.”
Apparently, his Jim Zumbo moment was threatening to carry Jim Zumbo-type consequences to his career, but he spotted it coming in time to beat a hasty retreat.

Anyway, if I never again find the entire text of the article [Update: FOUND!], it was indeed a "pragmatic" argument--an acknowledgment that although those who object to AR-15s and the like being used for sporting purposes are being irrational, it's best not to offend their delicate sensibilities.

In other words, we're simply supposed to retreat from whatever makes a big enough swath of the public uncomfortable.

However, since I can't get access to that article now, I'll talk about some other idiot.

Last evening, I wrote a short piece about a quadriplegic man in New Jersey who was denied a gun permit by the police (in NJ, each gun legal gun purchase can only proceed with the police chief's permission). The man went to court, and a judge grudgingly ruled in his favor.

Then, in a comment, gun rights blogger Strandediniowa turned my attention to this idiotic a-hole, and his apparent attempt at humor, "Gun-Toting Paraplegics, America's New Biggest Threat"--by the way, dumbass, the man is a quadriplegic.
The 2nd amendment. The one about guns. Some people think it should go untouched and should never be restricted. Others believe that guns should not be allowed in to the hands of certain shady or just untrustworthy individuals. Either way you look at it, we should all be able to come to some kind of agreement where we all, well, agree that people in breathing tube operated wheelchairs really shouldn’t have guns. It’s just one of those ideas in life that just seems wrong right from the start.

Except for people in New Jersey. Goddamn New Jersey.

Some 30 years ago, James Cap became paralyzed after breaking his neck during a high school football game. After finding out that he would be bound to a wheelchair for the rest of his life, a deep sadness set within James’ heart as he knew that he would never again be able to take part in his most favorite hobby, hunting. While all of James’ childhood friends were out having a merry old time blowing the heads of deer, James could do nothing but sit by his window watching everyone have fun.
There's more, but I'm going to have to take a shower after quoting just that much.

Granted, Luis Prada probably thinks he has written an amusing bit of satire, but he should know that I'm 100% serious when I say this: "Try to disarm this 'gun-toting paraplegic,' Luis, and you'll find out just how big a 'threat' I can be."

Exploiting Ft. Hood: Now it's the 'terror gap loophole'

The article goes on in that vein, but by now, it's pretty obvious what the bottom line is: to those lamenting that the purchase data was not shared with the terrorism investigators, a gun purchase is itself an indication of terrorist inclinations.

If the government has already conceived a suspicion of "terrorism," by virtue of such indicators as expressing opposition to more restrictive gun laws, opposition to abortion, displaying of the Gadsden flag, even following Norse mythology, then the purchase of a firearm would "seal the deal," and be seen as additional "evidence" of terrorist leanings. Remember, the FBI had already dropped the terrorism investigation into Hasan, so clearly, the idea here is that a gun purchase, by even a "suspect" who is considered pretty low on the threat list, is to be treated as a red flag. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Please give it a look, and tell a friend.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A bit of sanity even in New Jersey

As both a gun rights advocate and a paraplegic, this story warms my heart.

SOMERVILLE, N.J. — A quadriplegic in New Jersey has the right to bear arms even though he can’t hold a gun or pull a trigger.

A judge ruled Tuesday that James Cap is eligible for a firearms ID, which is required to buy a gun.

Manville’s police chief had rejected the 46-year-old’s application last year.

Cap says he was an avid hunter as a teenager before he was paralyzed after breaking his neck in a high school football game 30 years ago.

Cap says he’ll put the gun in a special wheelchair mount and operate it with a special breathing tube so he can hunt again.

The judge ruled Cap can have the permit only if his guns are stored in a safe and qualified people assist him with the weapons.
Granted, he's not going to be resisting tyranny, or even fending off criminals with more modest predatory goals, so this has little to do with the purpose of the Second Amendment. Still, to deny him the exercise of a fundamental human right, because of his disability, is pure evil, and the petty tyrant of a police chief should be sued into penury for it.

The judge, with his conditions imposed on the firearms permit, is only slightly better.

The final lesson of this is that a requirement for a permit to exercise one's fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms is a guarantee of abuse of government power.

The Brady Campaign against their own words

Alas, though--the Brady Campaign is claiming that even that infringes on their copyright, despite the fact that this would seem to pretty clearly fall under "Fair Use" protection. Again, though, in the interest of not embroiling Examiner in a copyright infringement battle, I'll--for now, at least--forego trying to post video, or even audio, of Henigan's little editing job.

There is something, though, that I can do. At the same time the Brady Campaign put that video segment on YouTube and on their own website, they also posted the transcript, which faithfully quotes Henigan reciting the Second Amendment--minus "of the people." They took the transcript down, of course, at the same time they took the video down--but one Illinois gun blogger I read daily anticipated such behavior, and took a screen capture. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner, examining the Brady Campaign's efforts to sweep their own words under the rug. Days of Our Trailers has more. Thirdpower also provided the screen capture that made today's column possible.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hysteria about the IL Supreme Court guns in center console ruling

Just over a month ago, I wrote that the Illinois Supreme Court had ruled that a car's center console constitutes a "case" for the purpose of Illinois gun law--meaning that even under the draconian laws of this state, an unloaded handgun, along with loaded magazines, may be carried in the console. A far cry from legal defensive carry of firearms, but better than no ready access (to even an unloaded firearm) at all. Chicago Gun Rights Examiner Don Gwinn covered it here and here, as does Thirdpower, here.

I figured there would be some wringing of hands about it, but until I saw this, I hadn't realized how bad it would be (I guess I'd forgotten this is Illinois).

Here's something to think about the next time you get in your car: the driver next to you may be packing heat. And, now they can, legally.
Left unsaid, of course, is that "the driver next to you" could all along have been doing so illegally--was that any better?
CBS 2 Political Editor Mike Flannery reports that an Illinois Supreme Court ruling last month shocked even seasoned police officers.
Apparently, even these "seasoned" Illinois "Only Ones" would be really shocked in just about every other state.
A sudden gunshot is part of Oak Lawn Police Officer Mike Acke's worst nightmare.
As opposed to a slow, gradual gunshot?

"If there's a gun there and he's in there reaching ... I've got to react," Acke said. "It could be dangerous for me, because there's a gun right there in their reach."
Well, heck, Officer Acke, we wouldn't want a situation that "could be dangerous for" you, and never mind that being unarmed could be dangerous for us.

Next, we hear from Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez (I've discussed her before):
Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez said she was flabbergasted. She said she wants the General Assembly to rewrite the law to require that, if guns and bullets are in a vehicle, they're far away from the driver, who might be tempted in the event of road rage.
Ah--the infamous "means of self-defense within reach loophole."
"I think we've seen that already. If the weapon is readily available, I think you're more apt to use that," Alvarez said.
Well, yes, Anita--a tool that can be reached is more likely to be used than one that is not--it's your critical thinking skills that got you into your powerful position, isn't it?

The 3 minute video is below--worth a laugh.

Violence Policy Center worries that Supreme Court will heed the Constitution

In other words, Ms. Rand is upset about the possibility of the Supreme Court using the Constitution--rather than a radical agenda of forcible citizen disarmament--as its guide.

From this, I draw two conclusions. First, the VPC is effectively acknowledging that Chicago's handgun ban is unconstitutional. Second, the VPC believes its agenda should trump the Constitution. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Please give it a look, and tell a friend.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Chicago gun bans still working swimmingly

Chicago, as part of Cook County, bans so-called "assault weapons" (and the Cook County definition of "assault weapon" is extremely expansive), and yet "assault weapons" are becoming more prevalent.

The trends are alarming.

Chicago numbers show the number of assault weapons are up 17 percent this year on city streets, and the ages of criminals using guns is getting much younger with a growing number of weapons being used at the hands teenagers.
Check out the accompanying video (included below), which sets the tone with an AK firing in fully-automatic--as if that has something to do with the expiration of the 1994 "assault weapons" ban. In fact, throughout the entire video, in which there was a great deal of AK gunfire, I think all of it was fully automatic.



I especially like BATFE spokesthug Andrew Traver, describing AKs as being "heavy caliber, military type weapons," as if the 7.62x39mm round isn't somewhat marginal for deer. Keeping with the "let's conflate fully-automatic firearms with so-called 'assault weapons' strategy," he says that it will empty the entire magazine in about 3 seconds, and then demonstrates the truth of the statement, by emptying the mag in full-auto.

He also gives us the obligatory "the problem with a weapon like this is that it will defeat virtually all body armor"--as if any centerfire rifle caliber would not do the same.

This part was good, too:
. . . they're so difficult to control, their bullets often get sprayed beyond the intended targets, striking innocent victims even when they’re in their own homes.
To prove this, the "news"caster, Kim Vatis, was shown firing an AK (in full-auto, of course), without any control whatsoever. Gee--I wonder how much training she had (she wasn't even aiming). The funny thing about that is that the clip shows the BATFE ninjas firing full-auto bursts with quite adequate control.

How many distortions can be fit in one short "news" story?

Update: David Codrea has much more.

The FN Herstal Five-seveN pistol: Gun control's new whipping boy

I would also point out that the good guys don't have a monopoly on body armor (and no--I'm not advocating additional restrictions on civilian ownership of body armor). If brave citizen Mark Allen Wilson had been armed with a firearm capable of defeating body armor, perhaps he would have survived, and David Hernandez Arroyo, Sr. would have been stopped earlier.

Finally, the Second Amendment exists to protect the people's means to resist would-be tyrants by force of arms. That's not limited to unarmored would-be tyrants. [More]
Today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Please give it a look.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Snuffy Pfleger's 'plan'

Perhaps my fellow Illinois gun rights advocates have already seen Snuffy's idea, and commented, but I've only just noticed this:

GUNS ARE TOO EASY TO ACCESS!

Gun violence has risen to epidemic level across America, from Oakland, CA. to Newark, NJ [Ed. note: interesting that the two cities named are in the nos. 1 and 2 Brady-ranked states for most draconian gun laws]. The United States leads the world in firearm possession. As a result, firearms are used in 15,000 homicides, another 15,000 suicides, and 1,500 accidental deaths each year. Currently, there are a number of places where there are virtually no limits on gun ownership. Easy access to guns has caused the murder rate to rise in exceeding numbers, taking the lives of countless children. It is up to us to eliminate the easy access to guns, in order to prevent the senseless killing in our community.

Solution: Require that guns be registered and licensed the way cars are.

Rationale: Both guns and cars can be deadly. Ownership of a car requires registration. If guns are registered like cars, it would prevent unlawful citizens from easily acquiring a gun, thereby diminishing the number of gun-related deaths.
It is often said, “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people.” That mindset must be changed. People with guns kill people. It is also often said that criminals will always get guns. Not true! This is why we want to title guns just like we do cars, right from the manufacturer. The owner of every car can be traced for the lifetime of the vehicle. In fact, if a person does not transfer the title and does not report it stolen, s/he is held responsible for any accident it may be involved in. If we title guns like cars, law-abiding citizens can obtain a gun but they will also be responsible for every gun they purchase.

How would it work: The titling of guns does not interfere with a person’s second amendment rights, rather, it would stop the unlawful easy access to guns! Just as everyone must have a license to drive a car, everyone would be required to have a license to own a gun. The licensing exam would test gun safety knowledge to help reduce accidents, which are extremely common. The licensing process would also help officials weed out those who should not be allowed to purchase guns, such as felons and the mentally unstable. Like a driver’s licenses, gun licenses would have to be renewed every few years, and could be suspended for violations.

If the gun manufacturers, N.R.A. and gun control activists, all share a common desire to save lives and keep guns out of the hands of the wrong people, we should all agree that it’s time to save our children, stop the violence, stop the easy access and title guns like cars.
The problems with this idea are too numerous to catalog, and for regular readers, won't be necessary. Basically, you don't license fundamental human rights, and a gun registry is simply a gun confiscation directory for the government.

It amuses me, though, to speculate about what Snuffy's scheme would actually mean to his side. Luckily for me, it's already been summed up nicely--here are a couple examples.

On the flip side, consider the reverse situation: car ownership being subjected to the same draconian restrictions to which gun ownership is now.

I certainly hope Snuffy is a better shepherd of his congregation's immortal souls than he is a public policy advocate. Otherwise, Hell might need to expand.

The Brady Campaign against veterans

As it turns out, the gun law pushers see not one, but two avenues to the forced plundering of Americans' gun safes: A) block efforts to defend veterans' Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms; and B) demonize the FN Herstal Five-seveN pistol, which was the model used by the killer.

Let's look at the first one today.

Not the sort to let the deaths of Americans go unexploited, the Brady Campaign's Paul Helmke wasted little time after the heinous, cowardly evil of the Ft. Hood massacre to try to twist it into an excuse to block efforts to protect veterans' Second Amendment rights. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Today's column, along with tomorrow's, will basically be an expanded look at what we discussed here Friday. Please give it a look.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Ha!

This does my heart good.

ABC News: Ft. Hood Gunman Nidal Hasan Paralyzed....
Not exactly the 72 Virgins Dating Service fun you had in mind, is it, punk?

There's not much I'd want to share with that scum, but I'm happy to welcome him to life in a wheelchair. Now to get started on some square wheels for him . . .

The number of lives saved by Police Sgt. Kimberly Munley Friday may continue to grow

By now, Sgt. Kimberly Munley's selfless courage, superb skill at arms, and iron will* are well known, so I'm not going to go into detail about the battle she fought and won at Ft. Hood Thursday.

Nope--this is just a quick note (as quick as one of my notes gets, anyway) about a news report I saw today, that mentions how her lifesaving efforts may pay dividends well beyond the lives she saved during Thursday's chaos.

In the hours after the shootings, two Facebook groups sprung up dedicated to Munley and her heroic actions.

"At that tragic moment you were able to use your training and abilities to bring an end to a day that will haunt the lives of many for years to come," one member posted in the group "God Bless SGT Kimberly Munley." "Thank you for being a true hero."

And in the group "Sgt. Kimberly Munley: A Real American Hero!," one woman stationed in Japan with her military husband said that Munley had inspired her to learn how to shoot once she returned to the U.S.
Sgt. Munley has provided the inspiration to at least one woman to take responsibility for her own defense. My guess is that there are others, about whom we have not heard. Some day, that inspiration might lead them to save their own lives, and/or the lives of their children. Sgt. Munley is helping spread the message that guns are good news for women (some of you know who I'm talking to here ;-)). I note also that the inspired military wife in Japan will have to wait until she returns stateside. This, of course, is because of Japan's extremely draconian gun laws--which provide no guarantee against violent crime committed with guns.


*I am, with effort, refraining from calling Sgt. Munley a hero, because the same article I cited above implies that she would not be comfortable with such a characterization:
Munley's grandmother, Monirie Metz, told ABC News that the former South Carolina surfer girl would probably object to being called a hero.

"Kim doesn't want be called a hero. She's worried about everyone else right now and is very concerned about her colleagues with whom she is very close," Metz said.
I can't stop myself from pointing out that such an attitude is pretty much what I'd expect from a hero.

The BATFE's answer (such as it is)

Almost a month ago, I pointed out that Mayor Bloomberg's gun show "sting" operation may itself have broken federal gun trafficking laws.

[ . . .]

At the time, I urged readers to contact the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) to inquire as to whether or not Mayor Bloomberg's "investigation" was itself being investigated for possible criminal activity, and to request that such an investigation be initiated. Here is my own email to that effect. [More]
A rare Saturday St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner column. It was intended to be just a quick note, but now I remember that I'm not really capable of "quick notes"--conciseness is something I admire, but utterly lack. Anyway, I hope you find it worth a read.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Here it comes . . .

I wondered today what the forcible citizen disarmament lobby's angle would be, in exploiting yesterday's atrocity:

Their difficulty will lie in the fact that even the most extreme of the anti-gun extremists tend to know better than advocating the disarmament of the military and police (who, after all, would enforce the disarmament laws, if the government had no means of backing them up with force?).

[ . . . ]

Sometimes, a mass shooting will offer the blood dancers an opportunity to justify their calls for bans on so-called "assault weapons," but no such firearms were apparently used for the Ft. Hood rampage. There's no word yet on where the killer acquired his firearms--I can't rule out the possibility that he obtained one or both at a gun show, but since there was nothing in his records that would disqualify him from purchasing and owning guns (if you can be a major in the Army, you can presumably pass a Brady background check), no "gun show loophole" would have been necessary for him to acquire firearms.
So far, it looks as if they're working two different angles. The first is the "veterans are dangerous" angle. I present the Brady Bunch's Paul Helmke:
When I heard of the tragedy yesterday, we were in the midst of planning a response to the latest dangerous legislative proposal from the gun lobby in the United States Senate - language to automatically restore access to guns to veterans designated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Justice Department as ‘mentally incapacitated’ or ‘mentally incompetent.’ In light of what happened yesterday - a violent attack by an emotionally unstable soldier - it is even clearer that the proposal being pushed by Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina should be rejected.
Helmke is referring to S. 669 and H.R. 2547, both called the "Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act." Let's take a look at the summary:
Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act - Prohibits, in any case arising out of the administration of laws and benefits by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, considering any person who is mentally incapacitated, deemed mentally incompetent, or experiencing an extended loss of consciousness from being considered adjudicated as a mental defective for purposes of the right to receive or transport firearms without the order or finding of a judge, magistrate, or other judicial authority of competent jurisdiction that such person is a danger to himself or herself or others.
In other words, if a veteran is determined to be a danger, his Second Amendment rights can be trampled to Helmke's little heart's content--the only difference is that now the veteran will have his day in court first. Can't have that, obviously. Keep in mind, that's without even getting into the fact that the murdering scum was not a combat veteran, and a growing body of evidence points to his motivation having been Islamic militancy.

The other angle, that both the Brady Bunch and the VPC are working, is the news that the handgun used was the FN Five-seveN.
It was a handgun that was designed to fire bullets through body armor. A U.S. Senator and a U.S. Congressman urged a legal ban on civilian possession of the firearm, which began being referred to as the "cop killer gun." The gun, manufactured by FN Herstal of Belgium, is lightweight and easily concealable, and was designed as a military sidearm to complement military rifles made by the same company. One law enforcement expert referred to the Five-Seven as "an assault rifle that fits in your pocket."

While no police officer has reportedly been killed by a suspect armed with a Five-Seven, it may now have taken the lives of U.S. soldiers. Today, several news sources are reporting that it was the Five-Seven that Nidal M. Hasan used in his shooting attack at Fort Hood in Texas Thursday
Never mind that commercially available ammo for the Five-seveN has no unusual armor piercing ability (and that few, if any, of the victims yesterday were likely to have been wearing body armor, anyway).

The blood dancing begins.

Update: Someone is working early--on a Saturday, no less.
(Click to enlarge)

Ft. Hood: When our defenders are defenseless

Among those massacred at Ft. Hood yesterday were many who were about to be deployed to Afghanistan, where they will be required to keep their firearms within reach at all times, because the risk of potential attack will be constant. The lesson is that such risks apply everywhere, and always. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Please give it a read, and keep the fallen and their loved ones in your thoughts.

Update Courtesy of Tom:
For the First Responders, primarily Department of the Army Civilian Police, and Sgt. Munley, who although wounded, put 4 shots in this monster donations are currently being accepted at the Chapels but there will be a press confrence regarding such things, as below:

Press Conference at 1:30CST and they will likely have info as to a general fund and specific funds later in the day. AS IS. Ft. Hood Chapels are accepting donations for all of them.

Bell County
301 Preist Rd., Killeen TX
(254) 634-0768

Coryell County
201 S. 2nd Street, Copperas Cove, TX 76522
(254) 547-6517

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Why is an ugly dog trying to hump my leg . . . ?

It seems I have a new admirer, Laci the Dog, whose crush on me was apparently prompted by my "Not a bright dog, but somewhat amusing" post a few weeks ago. The subject of that post apparently noticed it yesterday, and is positively bursting with affection and esteem, as can be seen in her comments--which I'll reproduce here, with her . . . passionate language moderated for reasons of family friendliness. First, there's:

It's called attribution, cretin. That takes it from being plagiarism.

But you are too stupid to know that.

If you think that you can fight a well armed foe with a rifle, then you are far more of a moron than I am.

You are a complete a**hole.

Unfotunately [sic], people like you are breeding.
Then, she heaped still more praise on me--I'm starting to blush!
By the way, f**k of a lot of good Melanie's [sic] gun did her!

It's a s**t weapon for self-defence if it can be used against you.
Since then, I've learned, through Weer'd Beard, that she's waxing romantic about me on her own blog.

Unfortunately, because of my insistence on keeping this a place for family-friendly advocacy of gun rights, I can't really quote much of it, because she is quite explicit in the steamy ardency of her expressions of desire for me--here's something from the end, though (with minimal editing):
P.S., I stand by what I said about Melanie [sic] Hain. I just hope someone uses your gun against you as well. Or shoots your sorry ass like they did Melanie [sic].

What makes you think you could prevent someone from grabbing your gun and using it against you, 45limpd**k?

Make the world a better place, a**hole, do it yourself before someone beats you to it.
It just breaks my heart to have to tell her that she's just not my type of b***h dog--although perhaps it would work out better with Mikeb--he seems quite taken with her.

Update: Weer'd Beard notes that I've made such an impression on Dear Laci that the poor, lovelorn pup wrote another love note about me. Sadly, she seems to be running out of material, and pretty much just repeats what she said in the first one.

Bless her little canine heart. I fear that she's now so distracted that efforts to finally housebreak her are doomed.