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.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mexican drug cartels do not need U.S. gun shops in order to arm themselves

Perhaps I'm just going to the wrong gun shows, but I'm having a devil of a time finding missile launchers--"weak U.S. gun laws" notwithstanding.

There is much the American public does not know about how the Mexican drug cartels are arming themselves, and that, I submit, is just how those who would further restrict the Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms like it. [More]
Please have a look at today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner, and bring a pal.

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A Brother in Arms

I've "known" Anthony G. Martin, author of The Liberty Sphere and the Columbia Conservative Examiner (in the online sense of "knowing"), for a few years now, through his much appreciated "Second Amendment News Roundup" feature at the Liberty Sphere. He is a staunch advocate for Constitutional Republican principles in general, and gun rights in particular. When he became the Columbia Conservative Examiner, I quickly came to consider him an "honorary Gun Rights Examiner," and he has done much to help out the GREs.

He also writes quite well, and the Columbia Conservative Examiner is frequently one of the more highly ranked political Examiner columns.

Today, he has revealed some alarming news, in that he is facing unknown medical problems of a potentially serious nature.

He has a request:

And this is my point. The best thing you can do to help me is two-fold. First, you can pray for me, if you pray. Second, you can click on the links I provide to my daily column at Columbia Conservative Examiner.

You see, I get paid according to how many people read my column. That's the way it works at Examiner. The more readers I get, the more I get paid. It's as simple as that.

And it doesn't cost you a dime.
Prayers and mouse clicks. That's it--all he asks for. Since you'll be doing yourself a favor by reading his excellent work, it's a pretty good deal.

Go to the Columbia Conservative Examiner, and read, learn, and help out a good man.

IL State Rep. Eddie Washington criticized for accepting money from NRA . . . but he didn't

I knew the Illinois chapter of the forcible citizen disarmament lobby was upset about the ignominious defeat of their pet bill--HB 48 (which would ban private handgun sales), but I didn't expect this kind of nuttiness.

On Monday, members of North Suburban Million Mom March, including group president Jennifer Bishop, appeared at Washington's office carrying anti-gun and anti-Washington signs, while looking for answers from the lawmaker.

Bishop, who works as an anti-gun lobbyist in Springfield, said Washington is the group's No. 1 target because the bill failed. She believes he, along with two other black legislators -- Rep. Chuck Jackson, Rockford, and Rep. Eddie Lee Jackson, East St. Louis -- didn't vote for the bill because of influence and contributions from the National Rifle Association.
The Washington referred to above is Representative Eddie Washington (D-60th District), who is about as far as possible from being "a pawn of the 'gun lobby.'" Rep. Washington did not vote "No" on HB 48, by the way--he voted "Present," but that was more than enough to incur the citizen disarmament lobby's wrath.

Also notice that the "Million" (Ha!) Moms and friends are exclusively targeting black legislators, as if being black carries an obligation to support citizen disarmament--I'd love to hear what Pastor Kenn Blanchard would have to say about that.
Bishop's group contends that a $3,000 donation last summer from International Union of Operating Engineer's Local 150 led to Washington's indecision, citing the group's has conservative members and its leaders ties to NRA.
So, to Jennifer Bishop's way of thinking, accepting money from a labor union with "conservative members," and which is led by someone with ties to the NRA, is the same as taking money from the NRA, and allowing one's votes to be swayed by that money.

Bishop is at least honest enough to acknowledge that the contribution did not come directly from the NRA, but from a labor union that allegedly has "ties" to the NRA. Snuffy Pfleger did not even bother with that degree of honesty.
**Eddie Washington (D-Waukegan) 217/558-1012 or 847/623-0060 (Missed 2008 vote)

- Voted P (present) to HB48 on 3/25/2009 after accepting money from the NRA**
The truth just ain't doing the citizen disarmament lobby any favors--I get that--but it still doesn't excuse lying to push one's agenda. Now, they risk alienating a legislator who has long been a pretty good friend of their efforts.

Doesn't make sense to me, either.

Much more at The Armed Schoolteacher, Days of Our Trailers, and Snowflakes in Hell.

'One gun a month': rationing Constitutional rights

The above, though, misses the point I am trying to make. Even if limiting purchasers to one handgun per month were effective at reducing crime, that's not how Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human rights work. Lives could presumably be saved by trampling the Fourth Amendment, because more violent would-be murderers could be put away before they wrought their carnage, if the authorities could perform more searches and seizures without the cumbersome due process. Other killings could be prevented by ignoring Fifth Amendment protections against self-incrimination, etc. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Hope to see you there.
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Monday, March 30, 2009

Don't worry, Mexico--John Kerry will save you!

Oh good--John Kerry has gotten involved in finding solutions for the bloody chaos in Mexico, and is, according to the Boston Globe, "in solidarity" with Mexico. Of course, with Senator Kerry, showing "solidarity" with Mexico boils down to showing solidarity with the Brady Campaign and the Violence Policy Center. For instance:

We have another responsibility. The vast majority of the weapons used by the cartels as they fight each other over drug smuggling routes and target army and police officers come from the US. And they are horrific weapons.
Well, "horrific" is in the eye of the beholder, and more importantly, in the intent of the user. Many of the weapons used by the cartels' thugs are certainly powerful, though--more powerful, in fact, than the firearms that can be found in the gun shops and gun shows that many would have us believe should be held responsible.

Back to Senator Kerry:
The cartels maintain well-trained paramilitary hit squads that are often better equipped than the police. Their encrypted communications gear is state-of-the-art, and they have mobilized up to 80 vehicles in simultaneous strikes against multiple targets.
Yes--the cartels are well equipped, well organized, and headed by billionaires--but we are to believe that their ability to arm themselves would be seriously hampered by any laws passed in the U.S.

Let's talk a little more about the sources of weapons used in the Mexican drug violence. Even occasional readers have no doubt picked up on the fact that I very much admire the work of David Codrea at War on Guns, and now at the National Gun Rights Examiner. When I say about something that David has written that it might be among his most important work, it's not something I say lightly. That, however, is exactly what I'm saying about today's National Gun Rights Examiner piece.

In it, David looks at what we are told over and over again--some variation on this:
American gun sellers supply the cartels with 95 to 100 percent of their guns, according to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
He then contrasts that with what David Ogden, Deputy AG, says when under oath:
According to ATF’s Tracing Center, 90 percent of the firearms about which ATF receives information are traceable to the United States.
"90 percent of the firearms about which ATF receives information"? That's a rather dramatic difference from the claim that American gun dealers sell ninety percent or more of the guns used by the cartels.

I can only conclude that the American people are being targeted with a coordinated campaign of disinformation, in which the mainstream media is either complicit, or by which it has been fooled as easily as the rube who jumps on a great deal on a pair of breeding mules.

Read David's article, and take a minute to take the action he suggests.

Laws requiring gun owners to report 'lost or stolen' guns blame the victims of crime

Finally, and perhaps most damningly, the one group of people who cannot be prosecuted under this kind of legislation is the group most likely to pose the real threat to society. Felons and other people prohibited from owning firearms cannot be charged with failure to report a lost or stolen gun, because requiring them to do so would violate their Fifth Amendment protection from self-incrimination (for the crime of having possessed the gun in the first place). I would argue that any law that can only be used to punish non-felons is a deeply flawed law.

The reason this type of law has become popular with the anti-rights crowd is that it is easy to convince the uninitiated that it is "reasonable," and that opposition to it is unreasonable. The passage of such laws would be billed by groups like the Brady Campaign as yet another "good first step" (every gun law is called a "good first step"--gun control has a lot of "first steps"). In reality, not only is such a step far from the first, it is also in the wrong direction. [More]
The St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner article for today is now up. Having just discussed here the likelihood of a push for "lost or stolen" reporting requirements in Illinois, I figured this would be a good time to explain to a more general audience some of the problems with such a law. Please give it a look.

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

'Operation Southbound Steel'

Curious. Because their big push, coming straight from Eric Holder, is that U.S. "assault weapons" are enabling the Mexican drug cartel violence. That line is both our official domestic and foreign policy. And that is being used as justification to call for further restrictions on the rights of U.S. gun owners.

"Traditional media," of course, eats it right up. And if you think they like it now, just wait until they become official subsidized mouthpieces for the "progressive" overarching state they so love. [More]
I probably won't be doing any real blogging of my own today, but David apparently doesn't ever take breaks, and this one might poke a hornets' nest.

Please check it out, and encourage others to do the same.

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

The shifting priorities of the ICPGV

I've spent much of the last couple months warning of the danger in Illinois of HB 48, which would ban private handgun sales in the state. As I keep saying (to the point of tedium, no doubt), this has been the number one priority of the forcible citizen disarmament lobby in Illinois.

Starting the middle of this past week, I got to shift from warning of that danger, to gloating over the bill's ignominious defeat.

The question now, though, is what will they come after next? Well, actually, we know what they came after next--the day after HB 48 went down in flames, HB 179, mandating "safe-storage," made its own smoking crater right next to the wreckage of HB 48.

OK--but they're still not going to give up--they never do. So what's the next threat? HB 180 would require that all dealers whose inventory includes handguns, and all gunsmiths who work on handguns, acquire state licenses, in addition to the federal license. This bill would be a nightmare, and would actually allow the state to shut down all handgun retail, by simply refusing to issue the licenses (which they can do for any reason they wish, or for no reason at all).

HB 180 has gathered a lot of co-sponsors, but it's so draconian that I think we can beat it--if they couldn't pass HB 48, I don't see how they can pass HB 180.

I think the next goal is HB 845--a "lost or stolen" reporting requirement. I've railed against such legislation often enough in the past that I'm not going to rehash the arguments here--suffice it to say that if such a law passes, all my guns are suddenly going to be "lost."

Still, it's something that sounds "reasonable" to the uninitiated, so its passage is considered doable--there have even been concerted efforts to pass similar legislation in Pennsylvania (a rather more gun-friendly environment than Illinois). Apparently, the Illinois Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (ICPGV) thinks "lost or stolen" is the place to make their next push. At their site, you'll see that both "Universal Background Checks" and "Reporting Lost or Stolen Firearms" are listed as being "priority" legislation.

Now, though, the "Universal Background Checks" legislation is off the table (unless it comes back as an amendment, or as part of a senate bill, but since we beat it once, we can presumably do it again), so "Reporting Lost or Stolen Firearms" would seem to be alone. The interesting thing is that according to Google Cache, as of less than a week ago, the background checks bill was their only "priority."

In other words, when their only priority legislation was defeated, they suddenly discovered another priority.

Also from ICPGV:


3/27/09 – Urgent: We Need Your Help to Stop Illegal Gun Trafficking

Many guns used in crimes can be sourced to illegal sales of firearms that were stolen from or lost by a lawful owner. One important way to disrupt this channel of firearms entering the illegal market is to require that a person report the loss or theft of their firearms. Reporting gives law enforcement the tools to identify individuals engaging in, furthering and profiting from such trade and distribution, while making gun trafficking more difficult for criminals.

We urge you to take the time to call or email your state Representative and urge him or her to support HB 845 (Acevedo), which would require FOID card holders to report the loss or theft of their handguns to local law enforcement agencies within 72 hours after discovering the loss or theft.
In the wild, predators attempt to identify the most vulnerable prey--that which can be taken with the greatest chance of success, the least expenditure of energy, and the least risk of injury to the predator. Those who would destroy our rights are simply another kind of predator--one that preys on liberties, rather than herbivores. They seem to have identified "lost or stolen" legislation as their next best chance of getting a meal, because they think we won't fight it with everything we have.

Let's send 'em away disappointed and hungry.

Friday, March 27, 2009

At least he doesn't seem to have threatened to 'snuff' anyone this time

I've talked a bit about the Illinois forcible citizen disarmament lobby's ignominious defeat of their most cherished legislation, HB 48 (which would have banned private handgun sales). I have to admit, a little celebratory gloating feels pretty good.

Someone, though, is not at all happy.

To: Illinois House Representatives
From: Rev. Michael L. Pfleger, Saint Sabina Church
Re: HB48
Date: March 26, 2009

To all the legislators who voted no to HB48, I ask the question, why? I watched and listened to your hollow arguments and your statements wondering whether HB48 would make things any better or not, or whether there was a better bill that could do more, but I could not help but think maybe, yes, maybe there is better legislation to be written. Maybe this won't do enough, but why weren't you willing to try to see, to give it a chance? If you do nothing, nothing will change. If you do something, you are putting yourself in position to make a difference. Especially since you have offered no other legislation. Are your hearts that insensitive or your allegiance to the National Rifle Association that strong that you could not say well we'll give it a try? Anything to help save one life - anything to try and stop one more gun from getting into the wrong hands.

Yes, I watched and listened to your arguments loud and clear, but I also hear the blood of my foster son who was killed by gun violence and the countless other sons and daughters killed by gun violence crying out from the grave. Perhaps, like Cain, in the book of Genesis, you ask, "Am I my brother's keeper?" The answer then and the answer now is, yes!
I wonder when another life is gunned down, if you will feel anything. I continue to pray for you and for the safety for your children and all our children.
As mentioned in the title of this post, the fact that Pfleger managed to refrain from threatening to "snuff" the legislators who have displeased him is progress. Although the incident discussed here is most famous for his threats to "snuff" John Riggio, the owner of the gun shop that is the perennial target of the Chicago-area gun prohibitionists' wrath, he also threatened to "snuff" legislators who didn't go along with his gun banning agenda.

Still, pro-rights legislators in Illinois would be well advised to not turn their backs on "Snuffy" and his mob.

The Armed Schoolteacher has much more (well--much more analysis and insight--I think I managed more snark and pettiness than he did).

Gun rights victories in Illinois

In short, this--Illinois House Bill 48--was the great hope for the Illinois citizen disarmament lobby, and it went down in flames Wednesday (pdf file). This was due in very large part to the hard work of thousands of Illinois gun owners, led by the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA), and kept informed and motivated by IllinoisCarry.com.

Yesterday, the gun prohibitionists suffered another ignominious defeat when their "safe storage" law, which in light of this, some might call the "Axe Murderer Empowerment Act," also went down in flames (pdf file). This may very well have been the other side's second greatest hope. [More]

That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Hope to see you there.

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Clueless in California

In California, they've already passed so many draconian restrictions on private gun ownership that it's apparently getting difficult for them to think of any new ones. So, when a career violent felon (and apparent child rapist) murders four cops, which he was able to do despite the most restrictive state gun laws in the country, and when the legislators still want to diagnose the problem as one of not enough gun laws, they have to get creative. Luckily, California lawmakers are up to the challenge of creatively infringing on that which shall not be infringed.

In response to the fatal shootings of four Oakland police officers over the weekend, two Bay Area politicians today announced plans to introduce legislation that would create a system for regulating and tracking assault weapon magazines in California.

The announcement by state Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, and Assemblyman Sandre Swanson, D-Oakland, comes four days after a wanted parolee gunned down four Oakland officers, two allegedly with an AK-47.

The proposed legislation would restrict the use and possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines, defined as ammunition-feeding devices that hold more than 10 rounds. In the past, such devices could not be tracked since there was no technology to do so, Hancock said.
Keep in mind, we're not talking about banning "large capacity" magazines--that's already done in California. The problem here is that the non-reduced capacity magazine prohibition, like most prohibitions of highly desired items, does not work, so now the idea is to create another law, to help the first law work.

The "thinking" here is to require that the (already banned) magazines be stamped with serial numbers, so the magazines can be tracked.
Assault weapons have been banned in California since 1999, and owners who possessed them before the ban are required to register their weapons. But large-capacity magazines are not required to be registered — because it was previously impossible to stamp serial numbers on them. Technology is now available to imprint serials on the magazines and enable law enforcement to track them through a registration system, Hancock said.
Good luck with that one, guys.

California has me beginning to think that Illinois, where private handgun sales will remain legal (Ha!), has some redeeming features.

Erasing the Second Amendment?

A minor semantic quibble? I think not. When widely accepted "authorities" on public policy say "Let's repeal the damn thing" in reference to the Second Amendment, it's essential to nip in the bud the idea that our fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms depends in any way on any document for its existence.

Again, I am not claiming that the Second Amendment is under dire threat of removal from the Constitution in the near term, but if calls for its repeal are not quickly and decisively discredited, the public case for marginalizing it will gain strength. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner article, and yes--I cheated--it's heavily based on my Armed and Safe post from yesterday, although it has a bit more analysis.

Charlotte Gun Rights Examiner Paul Valone has an update--the anti-gunner will be Brady Bunch legal director Dennis Henigan. I'm thinking that they're now planning to frame the debate not as being about repealing the Second Amendment, but more of their old strategy of simply saying it has no meaning any more--I can't really imagine the Brady Bunch being honest enough to admit that the very existence of the Second Amendment rules out their agenda--it will be interesting to find out for sure.

Finally--be sure to check out David's "Black Man With a Gun" interview, and take the opportunity to ask Pastor Kenn a question.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Repeal the 2nd Amendment? Radio debate on WGN

From Days of Our Trailers, via the Illinois State Rifle Association:


Anti-gun Chicago talk show host Milt Rosenberg will be hosting a radio debate on the repeal of the 2nd Amendment to our Constitution on WGN Radio, AM 720, on Thursday March 26th.

Defending our Constitution will be Bob Levy, Chairman of the Cato Institute.

The debater who will be attacking our Constitution has not been named as of yet.
1. Mark your calendar to listen to WGN Radio, AM 720, on Thursday, March 26, 2009 beginning at 9 PM. If you cannot receive WGN in your area, you can listen to the program live on the Internet at wgnradio.com

2. No matter where you live, please be sure to call the radio station's call in line at (312) 591-7200 and ask to speak your opinion on what has been said. It would be best if you voice support for the 2nd Amendment and Mr. Levy's statements rather than personally attacking whoever the antigunner is.
That "9 PM," presumably, is Central time, so it's 10 PM Eastern/7 PM Pacific. As mentioned in the notice, this is not just a Chicago concern, or even just an Illinois concern, as WGN has a huge listening range and audience.

Ohioans for Concealed Carry clearly agree, judging from the fact that they're doing their own part in getting the word out.

As OFCC says, this is a trial balloon. It's not so much that I'm worried about the repeal of the Second Amendment happening any time soon--the idea, I think, is to discredit it, in support of the strategy of rendering it meaningless.

Don't let that happen.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

So what if they are 'weapons of war'?

The Second Amendment was intended to protect the ability of the people to field infantry as well equipped as any they might have to face, in the form of enemies foreign or domestic. That is why arguments about a "sporting purpose" of a given firearm, or class of firearms, miss the boat--and why, indeed, the entire "sporting purpose" clause of the Gun Control of 1968 (and subsequent legislation) is a disgraceful insult to all the brave men and women who have died to defend the Constitution.

"Weapons of war"? Those are just what Constitutional militias need. Those who claim otherwise are telling one more lie, which I suppose makes this article more closely related to Monday's than I had thought. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner column--please give it a look.

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Does all that spinning ever make the Brady Campaign dizzy?

As has been noted by many, the forcible citizen disarmament lobby's latest attempt to justify draconian gun laws is the rather . . . peculiar argument that "lax U.S. gun laws" are to blame for the bloody chaos in Mexico. The Brady Campaign is continuing this theme (it's apparently the best the other side can come up with), in its latest press release.

“Our polices help enable this cross-border violence,” said Helmke at a news conference in Washington D.C. “For too long, we have been putting our own citizens at risk by making it so easy for criminals to get guns. Now our neighbors are threatened as well, and our national security is at risk. We must do more to keep dangerous weapons away from dangerous people.”
Left unmentioned is the fact that the Mexican drug cartels are waging their war with hardware one will never find at a U.S. gun show or shop.
“Mexican criminals, and traffickers who supply them, cannot get the guns they need in Mexico because of Mexico’s strong gun laws,” said Helmke. In the United States, however – especially in the border states of Texas and Arizona – virtually non-existent gun laws enable access to a ready supply of guns including assault weapons and .50 caliber sniper rifles.
What was omitted here is that according to the BATFE, #1-Brady-Campaign-ranked California is the state that is the second largest source of guns used in Mexican crime (unmentioned by the Brady Campaign press release, despite it being a larger source than Arizona). California has highly touted (by the Brady Campaign) anti-trafficking laws like "one gun a month," universal background checks, no "gun show loophole," mandatory waiting periods, etc., and extremely expansive bans of so-called "assault weapons."

The best part of the press release, though, comes next.
“Existing laws are so weak that even one of the most notorious dealer supplying the cartels, the owner of X-Caliber gun shop in Phoenix that allegedly supplied 700 guns to Mexican drug gangs, had all criminal charges brought against him dismissed recently. As the X-Caliber case shows, ‘enforcing the laws on the books’ will never be enough: we need stronger laws, and strong enforcement of those laws.”
I mentioned George Iknadosian's vindication last week. Get this, though--Helmke doesn't regret that a man was dragged into court despite there being no case against him. Helmke's lament, instead, is that there wasn't some law that Iknadosian was guilty of violating.

Who's bitter now, Paul?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Militia members are not terrorists

The story of the MIAC report has grown legs, having been picked up by Glenn Beck and Ruch Limbaugh (both YouTube video segments), so I'm not claiming to have presented anything new. What concerns me is that even among those condemning the report, little or no effort is made to counter the public perception of "militia" as a dirty word, or debunk the myth that modern day militias exist only as vehicles of bigotry, violence and subversion. Instead, we see indignant denials of militia affiliation. [More]
Please check out today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner.

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One stop shopping for Gun Rights Examiners!

Cleveland Gun Rights Examiner Daniel White has done some very nice work in setting up a home page for all of us GREs, at GunRightsExaminers.com. Thanks Daniel.

Additionally, some of you have noticed that Examiner.com is having some technical issues, with articles being impossible to access. Supposedly, the Examiner tech guys are on it, and it will hopefully be fixed soon. In the meantime, please be patient, and keep trying to check out our stuff.

One more thing--on Thursday, David Codrea will be interviewing Pastor Kenn Blanchard, author of "Black Man with a Gun," about citizen disarmament, race, and racism. As has been his format for interviews at War on Guns, he will open up the comments section for a question and answer session with Pastor Blanchard.

I know I'm looking forward to this.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

'Assault weapons' bans depend on lies

For restrictive gun laws to gain the public support needed for passage, the public has to be misled, their emotions manipulated, and their fears exploited. The single greatest obstacle to passage of such laws is an informed public. The forcible citizen disarmament lobby is well aware of this, of course, and tries to dominate the discussion with its own version of the "truth." [More]
Please give today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner a look.

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Give that man a kewpie doll!

I had no idea that there was no law in California against openly carrying a firearm (the rather large downside being that it must be unloaded), but that's what I learned here.

Last month, about 40 people gathered at Mission Beach wearing unloaded guns on holsters. Panicked beach goers called police but no one was arrested because carrying unloaded firearms is legal in California.
Although open carry doesn't particularly appeal to me, from a tactical standpoint, I'm more and more impressed by what the open carry movement is doing in terms of raising public awareness.

The San Diego PD lawyer provides the money quote, though.
Paul Cooper is an attorney for the police department. He says the practice is dangerous to the public, the people carrying the weapons and to officers.

"We just don't think it's a prudent idea for anyone to walk around openly with an unloaded firearm," Cooper says.
I can't argue with that. To fix it, though, the law would have to be changed so as not to require the firearm to be unloaded.

One of my GRE colleagues is also quoted.
Police think the group is trying to provoke officers. But John Pierce, co-founder of opencarry.org says that's not the case.

"Is it taunting if a gay couple expresses affection in public? None of these things are taunting. They are educational," says Pierce.

An alternative to 'guns at work' laws

Frankly, although I consider myself a fairly hardcore gun rights advocate, I am torn when it comes to this kind of law. I cannot easily dismiss the argument that a property owner has the right to prohibit pretty much anything on his or her property, and that those who find such prohibitions unacceptable have the option of not going there. On the other hand, some argue that fundamental human rights--and the right of self-defense (and the most effective means of its exercise) certainly ranks among those--are always inviolate, and that property owners cannot legitimately demand the surrender of such rights, even on their own property. It's always a dilemma when rights collide. [More]
Please have a look at today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner column, and help spread the word.

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Arizona judge apparently understands 'innocent until proven guilty'

Hadn't expected this:

An Arizona judge threw out criminal charges on Wednesday against a gun dealer accused of knowingly selling weapons to smugglers shopping for Mexican drug cartels, after he ruled the prosecutor's evidence was flawed.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Robert Gottsfield issued a directed verdict of not guilty in the trial of George Iknadosian, 47, the owner of X-Caliber guns in Phoenix.
For those not following this case (I have only done so cursorily), George Iknadosian is a Phoenix, AZ gun dealer, who had been facing gun trafficking charges that could have landed him in prison for two-hundred fifty years (meaning he'd be almost three humdred when he got out).

The gun haters called his prosecution "welcome":
The prosecution of Valley businessman George Iknadosian, owner of X-Caliber gun shop, is a welcome recognition of the interconnectedness of U.S. and Mexican law-enforcement challenges.
I'm guessing they won't "welcome" this latest development--if the freedom of an innocent man doesn't fit the agenda, that's just too bad for him.

Back to the originally linked-to article:
Gottsfield dismissed the case on the grounds that the prosecutors had not proven the third-party buyers, or "straw purchasers," had misrepresented their identities when buying the guns.

"There is no proof whatsoever that any prohibited possessor ended up with the firearms," he said in a ruling.
Good on ya', Judge Gottsfield.

Left unanswered by the article is any question about the return of Iknadosian's inventory, or the status of his Federal Firearms License (FFL). Can't say I have a lot of confidence about that.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

'Pro-gun' Democrats holding up their end of the bargain?

Today brought even better news, in the form of a statement by 65 Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives, stating that they would actively oppose any new attempts to ban so-called "assault weapons." That is certainly heartening news. John Longenecker, my colleague in L.A., has more.

By the way, is it too early to ask these 65 Democrats about their resolve in resisting any attempt to close the mythical "gun show loophole"? That, I'm still convinced, will be the real test of their "pro-gun" creds. [More]

Come see today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner column.

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Start 'em young: it's never too early to learn that 'guns are bad, m'kay?'

Running behind, as usual. Finally got around to catching up on some email, and learned of this outrage in Lombard, Illinois (excerpt):

Over the last several days, I’ve exchanged emails with Amanda Razeq, an 11th grade English teacher at College Preparatory School of America, which is a high school in Lombard, Illinois. Ms. Razeq emailed me to ask if I would be willing to come and speak to her students about the proposed concealed carry law in Illinois, after she had been unable to find another pro gun person who was willing to do so.
OK--so far so good. It's an important subject, and knowing that her own knowledge was inadequate for the task of instructing her students, she sought outside expertise. I certainly respect that. The problem comes later.
I emailed her back, and expressed possible interest in speaking to her class if she remained unable to find a speaker (I’ve never appeared as a pro gun speaker and therefore would prefer to have someone more experienced do the job if possible, not to mention that I’m rather busy at the moment with school, work, and preparing for the bar exam).

Ms. Razeq politely emailed me back, said that she had found a pro gun rights speaker - but that the school was unwilling to allow any pro gun rights speaker to come speak to her class, out of concern for how the parents would react. The school said that only the anti gun rights speaker from the Million Mom March (an anti gun group) could come speak to the class, although Ms. Razeq (who is not an expert in the pro gun rights area) could offer her opinions.
In other words, to protect the delicate sensibilities of some parents, who might, theoretically object to their offspring learning about self-defense, only the pro-defenselessness side would be presented. There's some quality education administration.
My thoughts on the matter, my correspondence with Ms. Razeq, and the school’s contact information are below. The school plans to give the anti gun speaker the ability to indoctrinate the students on Friday, March 20, 2009, so please contact the school and express your concerns right away
Go to the original link (here it is again) and read the whole thing. Obviously, there's not a lot of time, so I'd like to get folks moving on this. Here's the contact info:
Phone: 630-889-8000
Fax: 630-889-8012
Email: mainoffice@cpsaonline.org
Address: College Preparatory School of America, 331 West Madison Street, Lombard, IL 60148.

A grassroots win for gun rights

Now, give this some thought: the now defunct DoD regulation was indeed heinous, but there are all kinds of unconstitutional, ineffective, and evil gun laws (and directives, enforced without any kind of legislative authority) out there.

Imagine where gun rights would be today if every attack--past and present--on the Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms met with that kind of groundswell of outraged indignation. [More]
Today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner column is up. Hope you give it a look.

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