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.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

HopeandChange™: coming to a school near you!

One recent development I failed to cover during my last hiatus is the announcement of the "Lightworker's" choice for Secretary of Education--you know--to oversee the federal government's Constitutionally enumerated power to regulate education (what's that you say--nowhere in the Constitution is the federal government granted that power? An issue for another day). Obama's choice is the CEO of the Chicago Public School system, Arne Duncan.

Readers can be forgiven for wondering why, in a blog ostensibly dedicated to gun rights, I am talking about the next Secretary of Education. It's actually not as off-topic as it may seem. This is, in fact, not the first appearance of Arne Duncan's name on this blog. Duncan has a pretty extensive history of using his position as head of the CPS to push for ever more draconian forcible citizen disarmament laws. This, despite the fact that his area of operations has been Chicago, where private citizens are outright prohibited from purchasing handguns and most semi-automatic rifles.

Back in October, in fact, Illinois' chief citizen disarmament group, the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence presented him with an award for his efforts to disarm peaceable Illinoisans, although he theatrically declined the award, because Illinoisans are not yet disarmed enough for him to think his work on this task is finished.

In refusing the Lincoln Award -- a statue of a hand holding a gun broken into pieces -- Duncan asked the crowd of dignitaries to renew their commitment to reducing gun violence.

"I won't accept this award today, but I will accept your hand in partnership -- and our commitment to keep on fighting to end the violence,'' said Duncan, who had been selected for his anti-violence efforts at CPS, including encouraging kids to text-message police with tips, and his lobbying against handguns in Springfield.
About that "lobbying against handguns in Springfield"--Duncan refused to content himself with doing his own lobbying--he also repeatedly bused CPS students down to Springfield to do that.

I imagine busing all those students all the way from Chicago to Springfield and back was pretty expensive--I'm glad the CPS is apparently rich enough to afford that--with state and federal budgets in such disarray, it's encouraging that Chicago will apparently not need help on the monetary front.

I guess it's not a concern that all these field trips to Springfield eat into classroom time--and why should it be a concern? After all, the CPS boasts a whopping 51% graduation rate.

That's the kind of leadership I want brought to the entire nation's education system.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Freedom--the Founding Fathers' greatest 'mistake'

Well whaddya know--the day I finally decide to end my sudden disappearance from the blogosphere, but am kind of hard pressed to find material, I stumble (pretty much by accident) on this little gem, by Robert Smith, Jr. (titled, simply enough, "Ban All Guns"):

The Founding Fathers of our country made a mistake when they said we had the right to bear arms. They did not know we would be allies with the British and no longer have to worry about them coming over to oppress and colonize us. The British found greater spoils in Africa and India and never looked back on the United States after the Revolutionary War.
Never heard of the War of 1812, eh Robert (and why should he have heard of it--it's not as if it inspired our national anthem or anything)? There's also the little issue of the fact that the Constitutional guarantee of the fundamental, absolute human right of the individual to keep and bear arms exists not only for fighting off British imperialistic ambitions--actually, that was never even the primary reason for the Second Amendment.
The right to bear arms is killing all of us.
Setting aside for the moment the fact that rights don't kill, I'm a little puzzled about how, with a national population that grows every year, anything can be said to be "killing all of us."
In 2005 the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported 3,006 children and teens killed by gunfire, most of them young, black men in inner-city neighborhoods.
Most of these "children and teens" are men? Apparently, Robert defines either "children" or "men" (perhaps both) in a rather . . . unusual manner (unusual, at least, outside forcible citizen disarmament circles).

Robert then lays some numbers on us.
The Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois gun killings took 32 lives, and the world was upset and every day 128 young people are shot to death in hard-pressed, poor communities across America and there is no outcry to change it, just report it on the local news.
Punctuation, evidently, is no more a strong suit of Robert's than history is. Looking at those numbers, I'm afraid I can't vouch for his mathematics skills either. I refer to his claim that "every day 128 young people are shot to death in hard-pressed, poor communities across America." That would come out to over forty-six thousand shooting deaths per year. The number of shooting deaths in the U.S. (all U.S. shooting deaths--more than half of which are suicides--with no filtering for age or economic status) has hovered around or a bit above thirty thousand per year for the last several years, but Robert somehow finds over one and a half times that number of deaths, just among young people in poor communities.

And this is the guy who would lecture the Founding Fathers about their "mistake."

Easing back into things, with an exciting announcement that's probably not news to anyone here

I've kinda developed a bad habit of burning out on blogging for weeks at a time, without warning or explanation. I really need to stop doing that. If I still have any readers, I apologize.

Anyway, I'm feeling motivated to write again, but after a month of being out of touch, I'm going to set the bar for myself kinda low, and instead of trying to come up with any deep insights, point to an exciting new development relating to one of my (many) betters (a much better, in fact).

Back in October, I mentioned that David Codrea (War on Guns) had a new gig (yet another one--this is a guy who knows how to work through the kind of burnout that shuts me down so often). I refer to the Cleveland Gun Rights Examiner column.

The exciting news is that the Cleveland Gun Rights Examiner column will soon be known as simply the Gun Rights Examiner--it's going national.

Coming in early January, the "Cleveland" is going away.

The column has done well both regionally and in the "Politics" category. So the powers that be have decided they'll be better served if it goes national--meaning it will now show up on the national page as well as be accessible from 59 separate city pages.
This is big news, folks. This is one of the best gun bloggers (and I would make the case for dropping the "one of the") gaining a national audience that's not limited to the gun blogosphere.

Congratulations, David, and go get 'em.

Monday, December 01, 2008

This could have been the GOP's response to Obama

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend.

I see that "Iron" Mike Ditka wants to disarm the entire NFL.

"This is all about priorities. When you get stature in life, you get the kind of contract, you have an obligation and responsibility to your teammates, to the organization, to the National Football League and to the fans. He just flaunted this money in their face. He has no respect for anybody but himself. I feel sorry for him, in the sense that, I don't understand the league, why can anybody have a gun? I will have a policy, no guns, any NFL players we find out, period, you're suspended."
This, of course, was in response to New York Giants receiver Plaxico Burress negligently shooting himself in the thigh in a Manhattan nightclub. Seems a bit drastic as a reaction to one knucklehead doing what knuckleheads do.

As for the Sean Taylors and Darrent Williamses
produced by such an edict, I suppose that's just their tough luck.

My point isn't that this could happen to the NFL--those guys can find a way to take care of themselves. My point is that Ditka--the guy whose "solution" to an ignoramus negligently shooting himself is to treat everyone as an ignoramus--was once pursued by the Illinois GOP to run against Obama for the U.S. Senate in 2004. Iron Mike declined, after some consideration.

I don't think he would have won, and I'm certainly not arguing that he would not only win, but go on to win the presidency four years later--my point is more about the state of the GOP in Illinois.

Even someone courted by the party as the next tough guy hero ends up being a nanny-stater.