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.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

An appealing development

Attorney Alan Gura has filed an opening brief in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. [More]
I'm probably taking the weekend off, but be sure to read David's take on the latest developments in the effort to bring some kind of sanity to Chicago, and in incorporating the Second Amendment.

Friday, January 30, 2009

A polite warning

There are lots of gun owners in this country. Many of those gun owners have seen what has happened in Australia, Britain, and other countries where people fell asleep and were not vigilant enough to guard their rights. Many of us, if a ban is passed, will not comply. We will not cooperate. We will stockpile our resources. We will wait. We will train as circumstances permit. We will study. And finally, when pushed far enough, we will defend the right of a people to defend themselves against those who would torment society for "it's own good". [More]
The_Chef is sounding a bit . . . less than pragmatic. Y'all know I'm something of a sucker for that.

Go read the rest--it's short and sweet.

A 'Mayor Against Illegal Guns' picks on some new parts of the Bill of Rights

Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns (let's see--how many are in jail, under indictment, or under investigation for crimes--seven--oops, no--eight?) have made their hostility to the Second Amendment pretty clear.

Charleston SC's Mayor Joe Riley, though, wants to take a bite out of the Fourth Amendment, as well.

Among other things, the city wants the state to:

Allow police to conduct warrantless searches of offenders on probation or parole.
• Deny bail for repeat offenders charged with new crimes.
• Bar anyone convicted of a crime carrying a sentence of two years or more from possessing handguns or military-style rifles.
• Create a separate offense for anyone caught with a gun while selling, manufacturing or possessing drugs for distribution.
• Increase the punishment for those convicted of assault and battery with intent to kill to a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison. The current law carries no minimum penalty and has a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
• Expand current laws governing the illegal use and possession of firearms to include military-style rifles, such as AK-47s.
• Require all criminals to serve at least 85 percent of their sentences before they are eligible for parole or release.
"Warrants? We don't need no steenking warrants!"

That one about barring people convicted of a crime carrying a sentence of two or more years from possessing handguns or "military style rifles" seems a bit odd, too, because I thought any such crimes were felonies, and thus the convicts were already so barred by federal law.

Mayor Riley seems to have it in for people charged with crimes--hardly a nice way to treat his fellow Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

Upcoming events for shooters, gun rights activists

I have spent all week writing about national issues, but today, I'm going to bring the focus back closer to this area. A couple of things are coming up in March that would, admittedly, involve a fair amount of travel for St. Louisans, but I believe some would find it well worth it. [More]
Today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner column is up. Please give it a look, and encourage others to do the same.

There's also yet another Gun Rights Examiner--Howard Nemerov, of the Austin Gun Rights Examiner. Please give him a warm welcome.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

What does he mean by 'what works in Chicago'?

Over at the National Gun Rights Examiner, David Codrea has been taking a good, long look at "The Lightworker's" assertion, in reference to gun laws, that "what works in Chicago may not work in Cheyenne." David quite correctly points out, though, the fallacy of this position.

And we saw one other major disconnect: Despite his assurances that "what works in Chicago may not work in Cheyenne," made no doubt to convince detached and dull-witted gun owners that he posed no threat, every one of his policy proposals would apply nationwide, across the board.
All the proposed new gun laws presented in the Obama administration's "urban policy" would be federal gun laws--applicable, in other words, in both Cheyenne and Chicago, and everywhere else in the country, as well.

It's a good, important point, and David makes it well. It occurs to me, though, that there's something else about the "what works in Chicago . . . " idea that's worthy of a look--what does he mean by "what works in Chicago . . . "?

"Works" to accomplish what? Produce the "murder capital of the U.S."? Is this what Obama means by gun laws "working" in Chicago?

Or this?

Or this?

Or this?

Or . . . you get the idea.

Not only does Obama, contrary to his campaign promises, advocate forcing upon Cheyenne residents the same approach to violent crime as he apparently supports for Chicago, it's an approach that is demonstrably an utter failure, even in Chicago.

If that's what "works" in your estimation, Mr. President, you can keep the "change."

A deeper look at the 'government monopoly on force'

This will be a continuation of yesterday's "Welcoming the Obama administration, waiting for the 'government monopoly on force.'" I closed yesterday with Josh Horwitz, of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV), decrying what he calls the "insurrectionist idea" of the Second Amendment, because it would "infringe" on "the government's monopoly on force." This should start alarm bells ringing furiously among those who love liberty, because what shall not be infringed is, of course, the exact opposite of a government monopoly on force--the right of the people to keep and bear arms can be looked at as the Constitution's very own "monopoly buster," as Tench Coxe explains. [More]
Today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner is up, expanding on yesterday's "Welcoming the Obama administration, waiting for the 'government monopoly on force,' Part I."

Please give it a look, and encourage others to do so, as well.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I hope this Meek inherits some grammar instruction

On Sunday, Thirdpower wrote about yet another term that is apparently supposed to be even scarier than "assault weapons" (itself a made-up term designed to scare and mislead the public)--now, they're "weapons of war."

That, apparently, is going to be the next buzz-term in the push to ban semi-automatic, detachable magazine fed rifles.

Speaking of the Miami "AK-47" (probably not a real, fully-automatic capable, AK-47, or it would fall under federal laws much more restrictive than the expired AWB) shootings, Congressman (and Senate candidate) Kendrick Meek has added his voice to those who want to use this crime as an excuse to ban more guns.

U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek said today that last week’s shooting in Miami that left seven injured and two dead shows the need for reinstating the federal ban on assault weapons.

“We I [sic] think we should go back to the assault weapons ban, just for the very reason to prevent what happened the day before yesterday,” he said this morning in a brief interview.
Just like the old AWB prevented Columbine, Congressman? Oh--never mind--it didn't prevent Columbine, or any of the other shootings involving the firearms in question that occurred during the ban.
“I’ve talked with some community groups about the fact that we cannot allow this kind of violence to continue.

“Definitely when you have these AK-47s in the hands of individuals that are undesirables are [sic] something that should not be tolerated. Of course it needs to be dealt with more sooner [sic] than later because it goes to show you with those high-powered rifles in the wrong hands, it can definitely bring about the loss of life that we just experienced.”
For someone so intent on banning so-called "assault weapons," Representative Meek sure commits a great many unprovoked assaults on the English language.

Welcoming the Obama administration, waiting for the 'government monopoly on force,' Part I

But for now, instead of talking more about the Obama administration and its citizen disarmament agenda, let's talk about the CSGV, and what they stand for.

Josh Horwitz, the group's executive director, explains that in no uncertain terms, in a piece he calls "The Game of Monopoly." [More]

Please read and spread the word.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Call to action: Hold Holder

David notes that U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) has vowed to vote against Eric Holder's confirmation as AG, because of his toxic stance with regard to the Second Amendment. David also notes, however, that we'll need more from Sen. Barrasso.

Good for you, Senator Barrasso.

But here's the thing. That in and of itself won't cut it.

We need for you to go the next step and put a hold on the confirmation process. Filibuster. Obstruct. Delay. Loudly call on each senator who received an NRA endorsement--including democrats--to join you.

Lord knows Fairfax won't.

That's really the only way Holder's going to be stopped, and you know it.

So anything short of doing what it actually takes becomes pretty meaningless. A cynical person might even deem it risk-free and opportunistic.

You've assumed point on this, which makes you "It."

Please show real leadership.

Hold Holder. [More]
Go to the title link, and join in the call to persuade Senator Barrasso to be make more than a symbolic effort to defeat Holder.

No more mandated defenselessness in New Mexico restaurants?

I have to take exception to this title, "Guns and Alcohol Could Soon Mix in New Mexico." The implication, clearly, is that there is some move afoot to legalize the practice of pub crawling with a Glock on one's hip--a practice few would endorse. In reality, the bill, introduced by New Mexico State Representative John Heaton, does nothing of the sort.

New Mexico State Representative John Heaton recently introduced House Bill 105, a piece of legislation that would permit those with concealed carry permits to bring their firearms into establishments that serve alcohol.
Nothing there, you might notice, about permitting the "mixing" of guns and alcohol. In fact, the bill would not even allow the carrying of firearms into bars in which the majority of the business is the sale of alcohol.
The NRA is a strong supporter of the bill and today released the following statement:

"State Representative John Heaton (D-Carlsbad) has introduced House Bill 105, a measure that would permit Concealed Handgun Licensees to protect themselves in establishments that are licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises IF the establishment derives more than 60% of their annual gross receipts from the sale of food."
This bill would change the New Mexico law, in other words, that currently mandates defenselessness while in a restaurant that serves alcohol.

It seems to me that the goal of this bill is rather modest--it does nothing to change the prohibition against carrying a firearm while under the influence of alcohol. Contrast that to driving laws--which permit driving with a blood alcohol under .08%. Now, consider the fact that a 230 grain .45 ACP bullet, traveling at 800 feet per second, has a kinetic energy of about 327 foot-pounds. A 2500 pound car, traveling at 50 miles per hour, on the other hand, has a kinetic energy of about 2,089,330 foot-pounds. I am not trying to endorse alcohol consumption while carrying a firearm--just making a point about what potentially dangerous implement people are permitted to have with them (and to even operate) after drinking.

The Brady Campaign, predictably, is apoplectic.
Gun control organizations, both in the New Mexico and across the nation, have argued that the bill would make the state's bars and restaurants unsafe for workers and patrons. In an Associated Press interview, Brady Campaign senior counsel Brian Seibel called laws that would allow guns to be brought into businesses that serve alcohol "insane."
You know what strikes me as "insane," Brian? Prohibiting peaceable people from protecting their lives, and the lives of their families, while in a restaurant, simply because other people might be drinking there.

Oh--by the way . . .

What the gun prohibitionists won't tell you about magazine capacity limits

Yesterday, I discussed the growing effort for a renewed ban of so-called "assault weapons." Such bans invariably incorporate a limit on the magazine capacity--the now expired federal ban stipulated ten rounds as the acceptable limit. The supposed rationale is that without "high capacity" (translation: normal capacity) magazines, a deranged killer will not be able to inflict as much carnage as he would if he had to reload more often. [More]
Today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner column is up, taking a look at magazine capacity limit laws. Please give it a look, and spread the word.

By the way, I don't know what happened yesterday, but St. Louis GRE had a very big day--I wish I knew whom to thank for that. Since I don't, I'll just assume it's my loyal readers (both of you must have been extremely busy)--thanks, guys!

Monday, January 26, 2009


Have some announcements to make. First, I'm pleased to announce that frequent correspondent, "3per," and crazed builder and shooter of handguns chambered in elephant rifle calibers, "Tom," has started a blog of his own--don't go there if you're the easily frightened sort. That's a guy who is going to liven things up around the gun blogosphere.

Another new gun blogger is Second Amendment and historian scholar David E. Young. There aren't many of us who don't stand to learn something from him.

Finally, this isn't an announcement of anything new--it's grateful acknowledgment of D. Martyn Lloyd-Morgan's Liberty Sphere blog. Specifically, the "Second Amendment News Roundup" service he provides on weekdays is a great resource as "one stop shopping" for gun rights politics information. I imagine he puts quite a lot of work into just that part of his blog, and it has been a great benefit to me. Thanks, Doc!

National park carry? Maybe not for long

Anyone pleased about the change in rules, made late in the Bush administration, allowing the carrying of a defensive firearm in national parks, might want to hurry up and enjoy it while they can, because the rule change might be short-lived.

Democrats are hoping to roll back a series of regulations issued late in the Bush administration that weaken environmental protections and other restrictions.

Potential targets include regulations allowing concealed weapons in some national parks . . .
At the time the change was made, I had trouble getting very excited about it, for this very reason--the rule change was of an administrative nature, rather than legislative, and this is a new administration. In fact, the more cynical part of my nature wondered if this was any more than a bit of political theatre--a bone tossed to gun rights advocates to show us that "See? The GOP does look out for you guys--we can't help it if those bad old Democrats change the rules back again when they take over."

The NY Times article discusses several methods the new administration and Congress could use to undo the Bush administration changes (including the national parks carry rule). My "favorite" is Representative Jerrold Nadler's (D-NY) H.R. 34, the Midnight Rule Act.
To avoid such problems, Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York, has introduced a bill, the Midnight Rule Act, that would give incoming cabinet secretaries — starting with the Obama administration — greater power to rewrite regulations issued during the final three months of the previous presidency.

“Congress needs to pass the Midnight Rule Act,” Mr. Nadler said in a statement, “to give President-elect Barack Obama the ability to quickly reverse these policies and undo these last, right-wing gasps of the Bush administration.”
Let me make sure I have this right: the Bush administration made a rule, which undoes a rule change made by the Reagan administration, but the current administration doesn't like the new change, so they want to pass a federal law in order to make it easier to undo the Bush administration change, thus restoring the rule put in place by the Reagan administration.

Yep--sounds like "the land of the free" to me.

The new push to ban so-called 'assault weapons'

One type of proposed federal law that incessantly comes up for discussion is a new federal ban on so-called "assault weapons." The last such ban, of course, expired in 2004, after which, suddenly . . . such firearms continued to be used in only a tiny percentage of violent crimes. That little detail hasn't deterred the gun prohibitionists, though, who constantly comb the news waiting for the next killing in which such firearms are used, in order to have something to point to in order to make their case.

This time, it's Miami that has provided fodder for the citizen disarmament advocates, with a shooting involving an "AK-47" (I suspect that it was a semi-automatic copy of an AK-47, rather than a real, fully automatic one--real AK-47s have been, and continue to be, regulated under laws much more restrictive than the AWB). [More]
My latest St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner column is up. Until now, I've focused exclusively on local St. Louis area gun rights issues. Starting today, though, I'm broadening the focus a bit. Please give it a look and spread the word.

Also, there's a new Gun Rights Examiner--Paul Valone, the Charlotte Gun Rights Examiner.
Paul Valone is a Second Amendment veteran who directs Grass Roots North Carolina (www.GRNC.org) and who regularly impacts local, state and federal gun laws. He will advise gun rights supporters of impending threats.
Please give him a warm welcome.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Eric Holder, (gun) Grabber

David's National Gun Rights Examiner column today is important (as they tend to be). Today, he talks more about Obama's wish to have gun prohibitionist extraordinaire Eric Holder confirmed as Attorney General, as well as the efforts (such as they are) to derail that confirmation.

Go. Read. Spread the word.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Illinois State Police breaking the law. Again.

From ISRA, via Days of Our Trailers:

Over the past several weeks, the ISRA has received several dozen phone calls from irate firearm owners who have been waiting a month or more to have their applications for Firearm Owner Identification (FOID) cards processed by the Illinois State Police.

After making inquiries into the backlog, ISRA representatives were told by ISP officials that inadequate staffing and funding were to blame for the slowdown in application processing. Those same officials were unable to say when, if ever, the situation would improve.
Since state law requires FOID card issuance to qualified applicants within 30 days of applying, their excuses are not acceptable. Try owning a gun in Illinois without a FOID, and when charged for that "crime," stating that you didn't apply for a FOID because you were too busy and didn't have the money--how well do you suppose that would work?

The Days of our Trailers post has more detail, so be sure to check it out, because I'm going to talk about something else.

That "something else" is the fact that this isn't the first time (with more here) that the Illinois State Police have simply ignored the laws dealing with FOID card issuance when it suited them (and just don't even get me started about the twisted, unconstitutional evil of the FOID card requirement in the first place). Back in 2007, they, with absolutely no authority to do so, decided they would stop issuing FOIDs to minors under 10 years of age. Keep in mind that even with a FOID, 10-year-olds (or 17-year-olds, for that matter) are prohibited by federal law from buying guns or ammunition, so it's a mystery what the ISP hoped to accomplish with this new restriction.

If those sworn to uphold the law refuse even to be bound by laws, what reason have we to comply with their dictates?

Update: Click here for a recording (MP3 file) of the ISP's recorded message to callers.

Close the military base loophole

Maybe someone can explain to me how "stronger gun laws" would have stopped this guy from arming himself rather impressively.

In four searches in Bellevue and Spokane, agents seized 37 machine guns, 12 silencers, two grenade launchers, more than 60 high-explosive grenades, several pounds of military-grade C-4 plastic explosives and thousands of rounds of ammunition.
Enough to make my gun safe seem a little skimpy. But where did he get it all?
ATF Special Agent Heidi Wallace said much of the recovered ordnance was almost certainly stolen from the military because there is no other place to get it.
Really? I figured he just got the stuff from those damned American gun shows. Guess there's only one thing to do: disarm the military.

Friday, January 23, 2009

About Olofson

The renewed discussion about the massive injustice against David Olofson brought to my mind a point that I don't often see addressed.

David's GUNS Magazine article brought it up, but I haven't seen much mention of it elsewhere.

What mattered was the government’s position that none of the above was relevant because “[T]here’s no indication it makes any difference under the statute. If you pull the trigger once and it fires more than one round, no matter what the cause it’s a machine gun.”

No matter what the cause.

Think about if your semiauto ever malfunctions. Because that’s how close you could be to becoming a convicted “gun felon.”
See what I'm getting at? Most commentators who believe in Olofson's innocence (as I wholeheartedly do) focus on the BATFE's and prosecution's lies and dirty tricks--and that is certainly a rich vein.

Still, there's something else going on here; something that might be even more chilling.

Even if Olofson is "guilty" (of exercising his unalienable right--the one that shall not be infringed); even if the BATFE is trying something new, and telling the truth for once--that doesn't change the fact that according to the government, you can still be sent to prison for having a malfunctioning semi-auto, because "[i]f you pull the trigger once and it fires more than one round, no matter what the cause it’s a machine gun." In other words, a malfunction is no excuse, according to the government.

"Land of the free," my ass.

P.S. By the way, that relief fund for Mr. Olofson's family is still up for donations.

Children dead in Belgian nursery knife attack

Two children and one adult were killed Friday in a stabbing attack at a nursery school in Belgium, officials said.

Ten children and two adults were being treated in the hospital after the attack, the Interior Ministry said. It was unclear whether all of them suffered stab wounds. [More]
Violence in Belgium? That's strange--they have such "strong gun laws."

Mayor Slay, guns, and 'microstamping'

In today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner, we look at St. Louis Mayor Slay (one of Bloomberg's faithful minions), and his enthusiastic endorsement of "microstamping."

Please give it a look, and spread it around.

Also catch David's 'For the children...'--about the Obama plan to require "childproofing" guns.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Olofson attorney on Lou Dobbs tonight

I've just received word from Historic Arms LLC President Len Savage, who is an expert witness in the case of David Olofson, convicted of transferring a machine gun after his semiautomatic firearm that he had loaned malfunctioned at the range.

One of Olofson's attorney's, Herb Titus, will be interviewed live tonight on Lou Dobbs. The program airs at 7:00 pm EST on CNN, so check your local listings in your time zone. I'm told significant information will be disclosed, and hope to have an update to this story soon to include documents just made public.
Go and read the rest, and try to watch tonight.

More effective at what?

The title of an article in Reason Magazine, "Speak Softly and Carry a Concealed Handgun: Would a nicer NRA be more effective?" caught me off guard. I've made little secret of my numerous bones of contention with the NRA, but none of them have anything to do with the NRA being insufficiently "nice."

How much "nicer," after all, could the NRA be than declining to grade senators on how they vote on the confirmation of radically anti-gun Eric Holder for Attorney General? "Well, we'd prefer that you vote against a citizen disarming aspiring tyrant, but if you don't, we won't hold it against you," is pretty darned nice. Contemptible and cowardly, perhaps, but nice.

The Reason article is mostly a discussion of disagreements between Richard Feldman (a former lobbyist for the NRA, with whom he eventually had a messy divorce--complete with book deal). Feldman is the sort who does actually think the NRA needs to be "nicer"--this guy makes Neville Chamberlain look like King Leonidas I.

Come to think of it, I'm not sure I quite understand why he and the NRA can't get along. Maybe it's time for those crazy kids to get back together.

More Missourians taking up arms

Looks as if Obama's election has spurred not only a huge spike in firearms sales, but is also prompting more people to carry firearms in public. It seems that not everyone expects "The Lightworker" to cure all our social ills, after all.

Please read
. Also, read what David has to say about Obama and the "Bill of Rights loophole."

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Holder held (for now)

A few of the GOP's Senate Judiciary Committee members have either grown a bit more backbone than I had expected, or are at least going to try to put up a convincing show of resistance to Holder's confirmation.

David has more.

Care to explain this, AHSA?

I thought Third Power and I were friends, and thus didn't expect him to force me to start my day with this news:

Beyond the already well established nominations of anti-gun fanatics to Obama's cabinet, we have another for the White House's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. One Cass Sunstein.
What do we know about Sunstein? Well, that he's a raving loon, for starters.
He's an "Animal Rights Advocate" in the same vein as PETA to the point that he stated in his 2004 book, Animal Rights: Current Debates and New Directions . . .
I won't spoil the suspense--follow the first link and (here it is again) and read what Sunstein proposes--it's utterly bizarre.

There's more--Thirdpower also shows us that Sunstein wants to ban hunting. Still feeling good about your Obama vote, "Sportsmen for Obama"?

As it turns out, I've talked about Sunstein before, and his advocacy of a kind of "Fairness Doctrine" for the internet, to counter what he considers the threat of the internet fostering extremism.
He also says people who set up websites should be encouraged as a matter of course to set up links to sites with differing views and adds that government regulation of such a system is worth considering.
In fact, the example he uses to illustrate his "point" is the gun rights debate.
He also looked at the National Rifle Association (NRA).

"A group whose members lean against gun control will, in discussion, provide a wide range of arguments against gun control, and the arguments made for gun control will be both fewer and weaker. The group's members, to the extent that they shift, will shift toward a more extreme position against gun control,” says the professor.

It is in this vein that Sunstein sees the advent of the personalisation of information via the Internet as such a threat.
As I pointed out in my earlier post:
The problem with that thinking, Cass, is that wherever one goes, "the arguments made for gun control will be both fewer and weaker"--that's simply the nature of a position that lacks grounding in facts and logic.
Nicki, by the way, beautifully eviscerates yet another Sunstein article, in which he laments the rise of the individual rights interpretation of the Second Amendment, and suggests that even if one accepts that, it should pose no barrier to restrictive gun laws (this was before Heller--I have to admit that he pretty well perfectly described what Heller would do).

Is everyone enjoying their HopeandChange™ yet?

Gun 'buy backs': misnamed and misguided

Today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner column is "Gun 'buy backs': misnamed and misguided." Please give it a look and encourage others to do so, as well.

David's National Gun Rights Examiner column today, "Dreams of Obama," is a follow-up to yesterday's "Hail to the Chief?"--read 'em both.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Chicago homeowner shoots robber

Not much information to go on yet, but I wonder how this will be handled?

A man was shot by a resident of a home he was allegedly invading on the West Side late Sunday.

About 10 p.m., a man in his 20s was allegedly committing a home invasion and a resident inside the home at 4453 W. Cortez St. shot him, according to a Harrison District police lieutenant.

Charges were pending Monday morning against the man shot, who was transported to Mount Sinai Hospital in an unidentified condition.

Police have not ruled out the possibility that the shooter would face charges also.
This being Chicago, there's a very good chance that the legal hoops through which the homeowner would have to have jumped in order to legally own the firearm with which he defended his life and home were more than he was able and willing to deal with. If that's the case, that "possibility that the shooter would face charges" is a rather good one.

Working in his favor is legislation passed in 2004 that provides a defense against charges for violations of municipal gun laws, when the gun in question was used in defense of one's home.

Our president (in a couple hours), by the way, voted against that legislation, but the Brady Campaign says that's OK, because people should just break the law and pay the fine.

Will post updates as they become available.

Note: I may have made an incorrect assumption in calling the intended victim of the robbery a "homeowner," as the article refers to him as a "resident." Still, I don't see that his right to self-defense is predicated on him owning the property.

Asking the wrong questions

I'll be the first to admit that I am no statistician, and that the endless back-and-forth squabbling seems only to prove that one can use statistics to prove anything one wants to prove. Personally, my belief is that such debates might serve well to show off one's statistical chops, but miss the real point.

"The real point," as I see it, is that those private citizens who choose to carry a defensive firearm do not do so with the objective of "fighting crime," but instead have the much more limited aim of defending themselves and their loved ones. [More]
Please head on over and give it a look.

This morning, St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner (briefly) cracked the Top 5 Political Examiners nationwide. That's a first for me (the others do it pretty routinely). Gotta like that.

Speaking of the others, please give them a look, too.
National Gun Rights Examiner
LA Gun Rights Examiner
Cleveland Gun Rights Examiner

Monday, January 19, 2009

Just call me Mr. Popular

Not bad, considering I just started late last week, and just put up my third column today.

I'm not at all trying to present myself as a potential Pulitzer winner, or even that I'll ever become more than a small voice for the gun rights movement--just trying to hammer home the point that there is indeed a ready audience outside the gun blogosphere for a discussion about gun rights that isn't dominated by people who want to trample them.

We would be crazy not to engage that audience to the best of our abilities.

Gun Rights Examiner columns gaining momentum

This is pretty cool:

With millions of Americans now buying guns like never before, one interesting news analysis organization is matching numbers, it seems, for what the armed citizen is really all about, and how he or she plays a powerful role in all our freedoms.

"Examiner.com’s regular columns to balance anti-gun programs are reaching growing audiences," National Gun Rights Examiner David Codrea said today.
My own St. Louis GRE column (which today looks at anti-gun St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay) is the newest and smallest of the bunch, but even it is doing very well in the St. Louis edition of Examiner.com, after only half a week. David's National Gun Rights Examiner (which today talks some more about Eric Holder, and the seeming unwillingness to fight his confirmation on the part of people who should know better) is really kicking butt, as are John Longenecker's LA Gun Rights Examiner and Daniel White's Cleveland Gun Rights Examiner.

These columns can go a long way toward bringing the gun rights discussion mainstream. Imagine if the Brady Bunch didn't monopolize Big Media's ear.

On second thought, let's stop imagining that. Tell a friend.

A potential 'terrorist' in the eyes of the TSA

Horror stories about small minded, bureaucratic fascism on the part of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) abound--War on Guns alone has documented a bunch. This one, however, strikes me as particularly outrageous:

Mom just called. Dad is being unlawfully detained by Homeyland Security/TSA at Austin Bergstrom airport because we played with .45s this morning before they left to go back to IL and the ion sniffer machine was suspicious of him because he smelled remotely like smokeless powder on a "washed my hands and changed clothes before I drove to the airport" level.

Welcome to the Police State.

Ain't America Beautiful? Fookin Beautiful place to be! ...especially for shooting enthusiasts that fly commercial.

FWIW: He's a LtCol (USAFR). I thought that Military personnel were allowed to smell like gun powder. I guess he should have worn his uniform instead of dressed casual.

God, it's times like these that make me just want to kick holes in the walls. Him getting fingerf*cked over shooting guns before he even gets to IL today. Jayzus effiin Kee-Riste!
The (very justifiably) angry man who wrote that is "Tom," who likes to build and shoot handguns chambered for elephant rifle calibers (and I thought I was nuts).

So let's take a look at what we have here--an Air Force Reserve Lieutenant Colonel visiting his son gets some quality time at the range with the following:

Afterward, he washes up and changes clothes before going to the airport, but the tiny quantities of smokeless powder residue that remain are still enough to get him flagged as a potential terrorist (can't have our military men firing nasty guns now, can we?).

Tom emailed me after hearing that his father's ordeal had finally ended--after almost two hours (and after missing his flight, naturally).

Gee, I feel safer already.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Quick 'thank you' note

I'm pretty much out of the habit of Sunday posting, but I just want to thank Chris S. for the new banner graphic now adorning the top of Armed and Safe. I'm hopeless with any kind of graphical, artistic endeavor, and so had pretty much just gone with the plainest, most boring appearance a blog could have.

Chris, though, after I "met" him over at Missouri Carry, just volunteered out of nowhere to design a banner, and I think it really dresses this place up.

Chris is involved with Midwest Hunting Source (check 'em out), and has kindly added a link to my St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner column on the MHS "Friends" page (Chris also did the graphic work on the St. Louis GRE banner links).

Thanks, Chris.

Be sure to read David Codrea's National Gun Rights Examiner page today, debunking the myth of "easy access" to firearms as a factor driving youth violence.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Not that I'm surprised

Got a reply today from Senator Durbin, in response to my attempt to convince him to vote against Holder's confirmation for AG. Being a U.S. Senator, his response wasn't exactly "Up yours," but the message was pretty similar (except in length).

Dear Mr. Hofmann:

Thank you for contacting me about the nomination of Eric Holder to be Attorney General. I appreciate hearing from you.

Over the last eight years, the Department of Justice has garnered a reputation for placing political interests above principle. At this time in our nation's history, we urgently need to restore the Justice Department to its rightful role as the protector of our laws and to renew America's faith in our system of justice. I believe Eric Holder has the experience, independence, and character to do just that.

Early in his career, Eric Holder spent ten years with the Department of Justice, prosecuting corrupt public officials of both parties. He was nominated by President Reagan to serve as a Superior Court judge and filled that position until he was nominated by President Clinton to be U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. In 1997, Mr. Holder was unanimously confirmed by the United State Senate to serve as Deputy Attorney General and held that position until early 2001 when he briefly served as Acting Attorney General.

Throughout his years of public service at the Justice Department, Mr. Holder showed a penchant for independence. As Deputy Attorney General, he advised Attorney General Reno to broaden the authority of independent counsel Ken Starr. Mr. Starr's investigation ultimately led to President Clinton's impeachment. Mr. Holder also recommended the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate President Clinton's Interior Secretary, Bruce Babbitt.

Mr. Holder's experience, independence, and character have garnered support for his nomination from a variety of law enforcement organizations including the National Fraternal Order of Police, the National Association of Police Organizations, the National District Attorneys Association, and the National Sheriffs' Association. He also is supported by many former Justice Department officials including Larry Thompson and James Comey, who both served as Deputy Attorney General under President George W. Bush; William Barr, who served as Attorney General under President George H. W. Bush; and former FBI Director Louis Freeh.

I appreciate hearing your views about this important nomination. Thank you again for your message. Please feel free to keep in touch.


Richard J. Durbin

United States Senator
Frankly, I would have been shocked by any other response from a hardcore statist like Durbin, but I had to try.

Shifting gears a bit here, but still speaking of hardcore statists (from Illinois) in Congress, David Codrea wrapped up his analysis of Congressman Bobby Rush's egregious H.R. 45 today. Yep--this bill is so bad that it took four days to explore everything wrong with it. If you haven't read them, here are each of his pieces, in order--consider them to be must read material.

'Qualifying firearms'

Kill (the) bill
Kill (the) bill - volume two
Kill (the) bill - volume three

'One of her proudest achievements'

This LA Times article is mostly about Senator Dianne "Mr. and Mrs. America, turn them all in" Feinstein's sometimes contentious relationship with her own party.

As Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats celebrate their political ascendancy, Dianne Feinstein is front and center. And that is not always a welcome thing for members of her own party.

In recent days Feinstein has sent an unmistakable signal to the president-elect and the rest of Washington: California's senior senator will not be taken for granted or hew to the party line simply because that might seem proper at the rosy dawn of a new Democratic era.
Gun law issues are given only one short paragraph, and the article's author's take strikes me as a bit odd.
She would like to resurrect the federal assault weapons ban she regards as one of her proudest achievements. The ban expired in 2004, when Republicans controlled Congress. But such an effort could put Obama and Democratic leaders in a difficult spot, given their efforts to appeal to a broader swath of voters. During his campaign, Obama largely shied away from the gun debate.
I don't doubt that Feinstein is "proud" of her tyrannical efforts; what I question is the idea that she'll have to overcome any meaningful resistance from the Democratic Party leadership to bolster her pride some more.

What evidence is there that Obama and the rest are unwilling to venture into the "difficult spot" of a new and improved AWB? Certainly not on the Obama/Biden website:
Address Gun Violence in Cities: Obama and Biden would repeal the Tiahrt Amendment, which restricts the ability of local law enforcement to access important gun trace information, and give police officers across the nation the tools they need to solve gun crimes and fight the illegal arms trade. Obama and Biden also favor commonsense measures that respect the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, while keeping guns away from children and from criminals. They support closing the gun show loophole and making guns in this country childproof. They also support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent.
If I look hard at the list of Obama's cabinet appointees, I might find one or two who do not have a long record of rabid advocacy of citizen disarmament, but it certainly doesn't look like a cabinet chosen with the idea of avoiding the gun issue.

Who else in the Democratic Party would try to stop her? Senate majority leader Harry Reid has not been nearly as overtly hostile to gun rights as Feinstein has, but to count on meaningful resistance from him is to cling to a thin "Reid," indeed.

I don't see the Democratic Party leadership fighting Feinstein on this, and am frankly not seeing much reason to expect much of a fight from the GOP, either.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Brady Campaign looks on the bright side of Stockton schoolyard massacre

I've condemned the citizen disarmament movement's "blood dancing" in response to atrocities committed by sick, evil punks before, but am rarely given such a glaring example of it as this.

Twenty Years Since A Nightmare:
Stockton, CA School Shooting Of 35
Led To Strengthening Of Gun Laws
That's how a citizen disarmament advocate looks on the "bright side"--if the slaughter of innocent children leads to more restrictive gun laws, that's the price of "progress."
“Stockton was a critical moment in the history of the fight for sensible gun laws in America,” Helmke said.
The Stockton massacre was an unmitigated atrocity, and to portray it as anything else is reprehensible.

Still, the Brady Bunch hasn't yet caught up to Carolyn "What's a barrel shroud" McCarthy, and her introduction of H.R. 1859 (outlawing non-reduced capacity magazines), before the Virginia Tech bodies had gotten cold.

When the solution is more guns

My second St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner column is up today, responding to St. Louis Police Chief Daniel Isom's claim that "The Solution is Not More Guns." Please give it a look, and maybe tell a friend.

As to "telling a friend," I have a lot of "Thank yous" to hand out. David Codrea tops the list, first by virtue of the fact that the entire Gun Rights Examiner concept is his baby, then by getting me on board for the St. Louis iteration of it, and finally by promoting it at both WoG, and on his own Gun Rights Examiner column.

Thanks also to Thirdpower, The Welshman, Steve in TN, JR, and Don Gwinn (if I missed anyone, that's just cluelessness on my part, not an intentional slight).

I've never met any of these folks in person, but they have all shown themselves to be true friends.

Thanks--to all of you.

Update: an example of that "cluelessness" I mentioned earlier--thanks, Uncle, and sorry not to have noticed earlier.

Mark your calendars, Illinois residents--IGOLD '09 is March 11th

Sleeping on the job again; I seem to have neglected to mention that plans for IGOLD '09 are already well underway. "What's IGOLD," you say? I'm glad you asked.

IGOLD stands for Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day--a day for those of us in Illinois who value the right to keep and bear arms to go to Springfield and make our voices heard in the Capitol Building. As gun owners and advocates of the right and responsibility to provide for our own defense, it's only logical that we exercise the right and responsibility to fight the political battles necessary to defend that right. Organizations like the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) do a great deal of good work on that front, but in the end, it's up to individual gun owners (who are, let's not forget, voters) to let our public servants in the Illinois General Assembly know what we want from them. IGOLD is a good way to get that message across, even to those legislators who are a bit hard of hearing.

IGOLD '08 was a great success, with between 2500 and 3000 gun rights advocates getting the message to Springfield. This year, we need to do even better than that. Here's the link (again) to ISRA's IGOLD page. Getting to Springfield can be quite a chore for folks in many parts of the state, but ISRA, Illinois Carry, and Guns Save Life (also known as the Champaign County Rifle Association) have thought of that, too, and have sponsored much of the costs for buses (from 25 starting points!) to Springfield and back--details are here.

Are your gun rights worth one day?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Soiling their bloomers over 'Big Boomers'

The VPC is (once again) trying to stir up hysteria--this time over large handguns.

Washington, DC—Powerful new handguns called “big boomers” by the gun industry are a growing threat to the nation’s law enforcement officers, a new 36-page study released today by the Violence Policy Center (VPC) reveals. (See http://www.vpc.org/studies/bigboomers.pdf for a copy of the study, see http://www.vpc.org/studies/boomerskeyfindings.pdf for a summary presenting the key findings of the study.) Body armor used by police has been able to stop handgun rounds and saved thousands of lives over the last three decades, the study states, but standard body armor cannot stop rifle rounds. "Big Boomers"—Rifle Power Designed Into Handguns warns that the gun industry is aggressively marketing a growing number of new handguns designed to fire bullets with rifle power. The rounds these guns fire can penetrate all but the most resistant body armor (such as that used in raids by many SWAT teams).
There's a lot of garbage to debunk there, and I don't have a lot of time at the moment, so I'm just going to make a couple quick points.

First--yes--cartridges like the .500 S&W Magnum, and especially the .460 S&W Magnum, will probably penetrate most police body armor without much difficulty. So, for that matter, will just about any centerfire rifle cartridge, including any popular hunting caliber (and hunting, by the way, is a large part of what these new(ish) S&W calibers were designed for). The difference, according to the VPC, is that handguns are more concealable than rifles, and are thus more likely to be used in crime (for some reason, they don't seem to want to talk about the lack of concealability, and thus unsuitability for crime, of rifles, when they shriek about the dangers of so-called "assault weapons" and .50 caliber rifles).

Being the troublemaker that I am, I'm not particularly upset by the fact that the armed agents of government (and is that not an accurate term for police officers?) are not invulnerable to the arms available to the people--but let's forget about that.

Let's remember instead that the "Only Ones" aren't always the . . . Only Ones who wear body armor.

Let's be clear here--the VPC's stated goal is the banning of all handguns, as VPC founder and executive director Josh Sugarmann has plainly stated. The "big boomers" are nothing more than the handguns that the VPC see as the lowest-hanging fruit. If they get those banned, it will be "a good first step."

It's a step down a road that a free people must not tread.

St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner

A bit of a project is coming to fruition today--with a great deal of help and encouragement from David Codrea, I have landed a gig writing the St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner.

Although I live in Illinois, I'm less than 25 miles away from St. Louis, so I have some familiarity with the situation in the area.

Posting here might be light today, because I'm dealing not only with that, but with the Illinois legislative session, and the gun banning bills are already flying thick and fast.

Anyone who spreads the word about the new column will be doing me a huge favor (thanks again, David).

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

David Codrea on the Gill Report

Important stuff:

I'll be on the The Steve Gill Show tomorrow morning at 10:30 CST to discuss my Examiner.com reporting on H.R. 45. They must have seen today's WorldNetDaily piece.
Be there.

Specter to make a real go at blocking Holder confirmation?

Sadly, given the state of today's GOP, I have to celebrate any resistance at all to Obama's agenda.

GOP setting up roadblocks for Holder

Senate Republicans have invited the son of man killed in a 1975 Puerto Rican nationalist bombing as well as a former FBI agent who investigated two violent groups supporting Puerto Rican independence to appear at Eric Holder’s confirmation hearings.

A third GOP witness is a pro-gun rights attorney from Virginia.

These Republican witnesses signal the direction that Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.), the ranking member of the committee, will take in trying to derail or delay confirmation for Barack Obama’s attorney general pick. Specter and other top Republicans, including Karl Rove, the former top political advisor to President Bush, have raised concerns about whether Holder can be truly independent from the president. [More]
Does today's GOP have a bit of backbone hidden away, after all?

Now that's audacity

I have, more than once, tried to get Americans United for Separation of Church and State to act on their stated mission, and go after "Snuffy" Pfleger's blatant politicking from the pulpit.

It seems, though, that AUSCS is only interested in stopping certain kinds of church politicking (and lobbying for citizen disarmament laws, campaigning for anti-gun politicians, and against pro-gun politicians, is apparently not what offends them), because, aside from a vague promise to look into it, I never heard anything from them--until now.

Yep--they want money--in part to help them end "church politicking":

8. Help preserve the ban on church politicking
The Alliance Defense Fund spent much of last year urging pastors to openly defy the law banning church politicking, eager to get a new test case in the courts. AU must be ready to meet this legal challenge and make sure the ban on pulpit politicking is upheld by Congress.
Find another sucker, guys.

Time running out

Just a quick note--David Codrea reminds us that anyone wishing to
contact the Senate Judiciary Committee about blocking the confirmation of Eric Holder for AG had better hurry--the hearing is tomorrow.

Surrendering the Constitutional high ground

I was planning to write about something else today (will probably get to it later), but I've decided that a couple comments left in response to an earlier post merit a more thorough response than is practical in comments. In that post, I castigated the NRA for criticizing Holder for his opposition to "Project Exile."

In other words, the NRA is opposed (quietly and politely) to Holder not only for his zeal for so-called "gun control," but for his opposition to their brand of "gun control"--and who cares about the utter lack of any Constitutional justification for any federal gun laws, even without the Second Amendment?
I actually haven't seen anyone try to argue with my claim that federal gun laws are unconstitutional not only because of the Second Amendment, but also because "gun control" is nowhere listed as one of the federal government's enumerated powers (in other words, I can make my argument without yelling "SNBI!" at anyone). For example:
In principle, I agree with you the federal government doesn't have any constitutional power to regulate possession of firearms by anybody. But if you go onto Capitol Hill and suggest that as a serious policy position you'll get laughed out of every Congressional and Senate office you're invited into.

Project Exile is one of those things I don't really like either, because I don't believe the federal government ought to be exercising police powers. But the Supreme Court disagrees with us on this, and so do both other branches of government. You have to approach things from that reality.
There's more, but most of the gist of it is summed up in those two paragraphs. As I read it, Sebastian acknowledges that all federal gun control laws are unconstitutional, but that's (apparently) a losing argument, hence the NRA's approach of trying to preempt additional gun laws by calling for enforcement of the (unconstitutional) ones already in place.

Here's another example.
You were, perhaps, expecting the NRA to PRAISE Holder for opposing the program that they support?

I can understand your opposition to "project exile" and I agree with it to a certain extent; but your post here seems to be making the rather silly contention that the NRA shouldn't have mentioned it because YOU don't support it.
Believe it or not, I don't have such a high opinion of myself that I think what I support (or not) should matter to the NRA. Whether I like "Project Exile," or not, is irrelevant. What matters is that the Constitution doesn't like it.

Every time the NRA advocates "enforcing existing gun laws," they surrender the Constitutional high ground. How can they, with a straight face, argue that the Constitution prohibits all federal gun laws, except the ones that they endorse? How does that differ from rank hypocrisy? Finally, how dare they demand that the citizen disarmament advocates have any more respect for the Constitution than they do themselves?

If that's an example of the (dare I say it?) pragmatic approach, I'll stick to tilting at windmills.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Today's Holder developments

As promised, GOA is making an effort to mobilize membership to fight against the confirmation of Eric Holder as Attorney General. I hope they have more on the way than that, but it's a start.

In other developments, I did finally get a reply today from the NRA in response to my dismay over their seeming unwillingness to get involved. I'll start with what I sent to them.

I am convinced that Eric Holder would be the most anti-gun Attorney General in history. I am disappointed to have seen no effort on the part of the NRA fight his confirmation, or to mobilize membership to do so.

This, I can only assume, is tacit acceptance of Eric Holder as AG. That is utterly unacceptable.

The NRA bills itself as the most important gun rights advocacy organization in the country, but I am simply not seeing that.

Thank you,
Kurt Hofmann
To which they replied:
Dear Mr. Hofmann,

We are vehemently opposed to Holder's nomination and are working with a number of U.S. Senators to try and prevent his appointment. Eric Holder is a radical enemy of the Second Amendment, and we will do what we can to keep him out of office.

Please review this recent letter Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox sent to Senator Patrick Leahy and Senator Arlen Specter:



Angus McClellan
NRA-ILA Grassroots
Um, yeah--I saw that letter, Angus. Nice job--criticizing Holder for his opposition to your brand of infringements on that which shall not be infringed. Alright, I admit it: the "Leave the NRA alone; fighting this isn't their job" people were right--I should have realized that LaPierre and friends would attack him for being not supportive enough of federal gun laws.

With "friends" like these . . .

Update: Well waddya know? A visit from the Lairds of Fairfax:

(click to enlarge)

Here come the gun bills

Congress has wasted no time in trying to exploit the power that the Constitution does not give the federal government to regulate firearms. Today, I'll be talking about the "Southwest Border Violence Reduction Act of 2009," introduced in the Senate by Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), and in the House by Representative Ciro Rodriguez (D-TX). These bills were just introduced yesterday, and are so new I can't even find numbers for them, much less details.

We do, however, have something of a guide as to what to expect, in the bills of the same name introduced last year, S. 2867/H.R. 5869. Looking over those, I'll acknowledge that as attacks on the Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental, absolute human right of the individual to keep and bear arms go, this is fairly small potatoes.

Still, the bills call for millions of dollars of additional funding for the BATFE, and the hiring of more BATFE stormtroopers. Yeah--that's what we need--to take millions more dollars from taxpayers, and use the money to buy more jackboots for us to either kiss, or have placed on our necks.

By the way, the Senate version already has some co-sponsors, including anti-gun extremists Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and John McCain (R-AZ). Yep--that's right--I'm calling John McCain an anti-gun extremist. If casting a vote for a ban of "assault weapons," and continued, active support for closing the mythical "gun show loophole" isn't anti-gun extremism, there would not seem to be a gun law that isn't a "reasonable restriction."

These bills are ostensibly intended to reduce the violence in Mexico (and sometimes spilling across the border), stemming from fights over the profits created by the "War on Drugs." It has become fashionable, of late, to blame this violence not on the universally failed programs of prohibition, but on "lax gun laws" in the U.S.

By the way, apparently Mexico is considering banning toy guns, now. If they do, how long before we hear calls to reform our "lax toy laws" in the U.S.?

As I said, this bill, as noxious as it is, would be a fairly minor attack on liberty. For a look at a vastly more ominous bill, check out today's Gun Rights Examiner (should be daily reading anyway).

WoG has more

Monday, January 12, 2009

Late to the party, and dead wrong, to boot

Well, whaddya know? The NRA has decided against dead silence as the best approach to the existential threat to private gun ownership that would be posed by an Eric Holder Attorney Generalship. Better late than never?

Decide for yourself:

In contrast to that case, Mr Holder was among those in the Clinton administration who strongly resisted a national expansion of Project Exile, a successful anti-crime program in Richmond, Virginia that used true "zero-tolerance" federal prosecution of convicted felons, drug dealers and armed robbers to achieve a remarkable reduction in that city's murder and violent crime rates. Despite the program's success in Richmond, Philadelphia, and other cities in which it has been implemented, Mr. Holder dismissed NRA's and congressional efforts to implement it nationwide as a "cookie-cutter approach."
In other words, the NRA is opposed (quietly and politely) to Holder not only for his zeal for so-called "gun control," but for his opposition to their brand of "gun control"--and who cares about the utter lack of any Constitutional justification for any federal gun laws, even without the Second Amendment?

Something I’m curious about is what those who previously argued that the NRA was absolutely correct in not entering the fray think of the NRA’s involvement (tepid–and downright counterproductive–as it is) now. Is that also absolutely correct?

A knife in the back from the 'NRA Winning Team'

I've written about (and again here) the NRA's being too precious to risk getting a bloody nose in the fight to block the confirmation of Eric Holder as Attorney General. Sadly, tacit acceptance of a nightmare for gun owners is the sort of thing I've come to expect from the NRA.

What I didn't expect, though, is active support on the part of an NRA board member for Holder's confirmation (more here). In his letter (pdf file) to Senator Leahy, Barr had the audacity to praise Holder with regard to the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

However, I never had reason to question his personal and professional integrity, or his deep understanding of and commitment to our Constitution and especially the Bill of Rights.
Granted, the position of one NRA board member is not necessarily the position of the NRA leadership as a whole (actually, the NRA seems to have decided on a strategy of boldly not taking any position whatsoever--"800 lb. gorilla of the gun rights movement," indeed). Still, any organization that would tout Barr as a member of their "winning team" would seem to be a prime candidate for a coaching change, at the very least.

In other Holder news (courtesy of Gun Rights Examiner), opposition (not necessarily on gun rights issues) to his confirmation seems to be building.
"The attorney general nominee, Mr. Holder, has got serious questions to respond to with regard to his role in the . . . pardons at the end of the Clinton administration and some other matters," McConnell said yesterday. "Beyond that, I don't anticipate trouble for the new president's nominees."
That's funny--I keep hearing that we should just shut up and get used to the inevitability of Holder's confirmation.

Then again, I've never been very good at shutting up and accepting inevitabilities.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The 'crime' of traveling freely

Don't have time for much today, so this is just going to be a quick update to yesterday's post.

New information indicates that our "gun criminal," Phillip Dominguez, tried very hard to comply with California's byzantine, draconian gun laws, and apparently almost managed it.

Dominguez said he didn't think he was breaking any laws since all the weapons and ammo were in separate, locked boxes.
One would think that would appease the "authorities"--the guns were rendered useless for self-defense, just the way the statists like it.
He showed officials the paperwork proving the assault rifle was registered and gave them the keys and combinations of all the lockboxes, he said. The Bushmaster "Shorty," a semiautomatic rifle modeled on the military's AR15, was the reason he was finally arrested.

"It posed no threat to nobody," said Dominguez.
Well . . . yes and no. There was no threat, apparently, of the Bushmaster being used to shoot anyone, but to statist thugs bent on utter domination of the subjects . . . er, citizens, the mere possession by private citizens of an effective fighting arm is a threat (which, come to think of it, is kinda the point of the Second Amendment, isn't it?).
Dominguez said he got state permission to own and use the assault rifle last month . . .
He got permission for the exercise of that which shall not be infringed, just as the Founding Fathers intended he should have to, I'm sure.
. . . but the approval letter didn't mention it was illegal in California to make a pit stop while transporting the weapon from his home to the gun range.

That code requires that "registered assault weapons may be transported only between specified locations," according to the Web site of the California attorney general's office.
Ah--there's your mistake, Mr. Dominguez--you somehow failed to realize that when you transport a so-called "assault weapon," even if you have jumped through all the little, unconstitutional hoops, you sacrifice the right to travel freely.

By what authority does California deny that right? Don't worry about it--just do what you're told.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

'No indication the man was out to do any harm'

Horrific terrorist attack thwarted:

A motorist with 16 guns and at least 700 rounds of ammunition in his pickup truck was arrested Friday at a vehicle checkpoint as he entered Los Angeles International Airport, authorities said.

[ . . . ]

The man was arrested for investigation of felony transporation of an assault rifle, he said.
Or maybe not.
Holcomb said there was no indication the man was out to do any harm at the airport and was apparently there to pick up someone.

"He just made a very bad decision and should not have been carrying those weapons," Holcomb said.
As the man's rapidly deteriorating legal situation sinks in, I imagine he would agree.

I'm not going to try to argue that it's a good idea to drive up to Los Angeles International Airport with a truck full of guns and ammunition (I'm surprised the article made no breathless mention of an "arsenal," or "massive cache"), but I can't help but wonder how society is helped by locking up (for years) a man who did no harm, and apparently meant no harm.

Oh, and if that's not quite enough trouble for him:
The FBI, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and Los Angeles Police Department are investigating whether the weapons were properly registered.
Now that's an efficient use of law enforcement assets--it only takes a large city police department and two federal agencies to determine whether or not the precious paperwork was done.

A later article has a few more details--the suspect's name, among them--(it also repeats the first article's "no indication the man intended to cause harm"), but I bring it up here because it quotes David Codrea's old friend.
"While much more must be learned, this incident demonstrates why security measures at LAX are so critical," said Rep. Jane Harman (D-Venice).
Exactly, Jane--without such measures, this man might actually have gotten away with his non-intent to cause harm.