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.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

'Avid gun enthusiast,' indeed

Courtesy of Keep and Bear Arms, we learn of a gun owner with some concerns about the difficulty of obtaining handgun ammunition. That's entirely understandable--I'm concerned about that myself. It's the specific reason for his concern, as outlined in a letter to the editor of the Erie Times-News, that has me shaking my head.

As an avid gun enthusiast, I, like many others, have recently found it harder to find handgun ammunition. Every time I walk into a local supercenter, I ask if they have ammunition, and the answer is always "no."

I recently discovered the reason. The woman working in the firearms department of the supercenter said she had already sold out that morning. In fact, she sold all 40 cases (2,000 rounds) to one man.

Again, I am a gun lover and support the Second Amendment, but in this day of mass shootings, I find it irresponsible and unnerving that this store would put that much firepower into one person's hands.
Never mind his confusion about the difference between boxes and cases of ammunition. The bigger issue is the nervousness of a self-proclaimed "gun lover and support[er of the] Second Amendment" who is "unnerved" not by the unavailability of ammo, but what he apparently thinks of as excessive availability of it to one person.

If he had expressed unhappiness because he thought the store should limit purchases in order to give other customers a chance, I'd have a bit more sympathy for him. Not a lot of sympathy, because that's a decision for the store to make, but I could understand him wanting the store to make an effort to make ammo available to a wider swath of its customer base.

Instead, he sounds just like the Brady Campaign, which apparently wants laws to ban "private arsenals" (my emphasis).
The president should make it clear that efforts to disrupt trafficking in illegal guns and stockpiling of private arsenals are not a threat to law-abiding gun owners.
With "gun lovers" like Dave Roberts, who needs gun grabbers?

One hundred days in: citizen disarmament lobby is getting restless

One of the rare exceptions to the nearly worshipful ratings, though, was from the forcible citizen disarmament lobby. While they express cautious optimism about the future, they've made pretty clear that with the election of the most rabidly anti-gun president in history, coupled with huge majorities of Democrats in both houses of Congress, and an almost uniformly radically anti-gun Cabinet, they're a bit disappointed with what they see as a lack of action so far. [More]
I hope you'll find today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner column to be worth your time.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

2A Blog Bash--only the ideologically pure need apply?

Apparently, being a pro-RKBA blogger isn't enough to secure an invitation to the 2A Blog Bash. Over at War on Guns, David has uncovered what appears very much to be an effort to exclude anyone the organizers have taken a personal disliking to, and even anyone associated with such people (no matter how remotely).

Imagine that! They think poorly of all the GREs? There are now 14 of us, you know, all of us our own people representing our own views. Do they even think poorly of the GREs repeatedly invited back to Cam & Co.? Or just of me? And they'll take that out on one of the writers in any of 60 venues across the nation because of it? Talk about guilt by association.

Besides, since when have I been known not to behave myself in public? The Bashers have never met me in person.

Wanting to get to the bottom of things, I went to their site and registered. And wanting to go with a friend of mine, I got Mike Vanderboegh to register. That was this morning.

Imagine my surprise when I invited another friend to register and we found that in the ensuing moments since Mike and my registration, the sign-up form had... disappeared. What you get instead is an "Error 404 – File not Found" message.
In the immediate wake of that discovery, David further discovered that registration for attendance had been closed--right then.

It is, of course, entirely their prerogative to exclude whomever they think would somehow spoil their event--it is, after all, their party.

Still, I think they're making a mistake, by failing to capitalize on the apparent exclusivity of the event--perhaps they should call it the 2A Über-Blog Bash.

U.S. Attorney vows to take on violent crime in East St. Louis

But wait--this is Illinois we're talking about, where carrying a loaded firearm in an incorporated area, whether openly or concealed, is illegal for private citizens. Does Mr. Cox propose to "rejuvenate" unarmed "neighborhood groups" for his crime fighting surge? Count me out of that idea. Ideally, he would involve himself in the effort to bring legalized defensive handgun carry to Illinois--but I'm pretty sure that's not what he has in mind. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Hope you find it worth your time.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Explain to me how that would have worked, Arlen

U.S. Senator Arlen Specter (R . . . um, D-PA), when asked about a renewed "assault weapons" ban, bravely ran away from stating what he thought should be done, and instead gave the easy answer about it not being politically feasible at the moment. Not exactly encouraging when one wonders what he might do to impress his new friends when a new ban is thought to be politically feasible.

Instead, he went with the NRA's (and Nancy Pelosi's, and White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs', etc.) "enforce existing gun laws" approach to that which shall not be infringed.

This is the part that grabbed my attention:

. . . what needs to be done is to crack down on violent criminals who have weapons, with sentencing. The culprit in that Pittsburgh incident involving the murders of those three policemen was under a court restraining order. They knew he was a violent guy, and they should have taken steps. That whole situation could have been prevented.
Let me make sure I'm following the good (and flexible) senator. To prevent this neo-Nazi loser, who was supposedly pushed over the edge by fears of government gun confiscations, the government should have . . . come to confiscate his guns?

I'm not defending the punk, and I agree that a tragedy would have been averted had he not been armed, but I'm at a loss to see how one can conclude that a police disarmament raid would have been any less likely to result in murdered cops.

Jimmy Carter thinks millions of Americans are aspiring cop-killers, mass murderers

With that paragraph, Carter leaves no room for doubt about what he thinks of the millions of Americans who own so-called "assault weapons." Our one-term ex-president is apparently uninterested in addressing the question of, if the reason to own such firearms is to kill cops or engage in mass slaughter, why are there any living police officers, and why are mass shootings rare enough to be national news for weeks on end, given the millions of these firearms owned by Americans? [More]
Hope you'll check out today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner.

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Citizen disarmament lobby getting impatient with Obama administration

With the most anti-gun president in history in office, concurrent with a very strong Democratic majority in both houses of Congress, the citizen disarmament lobby is chomping at the bit to get the anti-gun jihad going full gear. The Chicago Tribune, for example, notes that Obama was once a good deal more aggressive in pushing for draconian gun laws than he is--at least openly--at the moment.

"Our playgrounds have become battlegrounds. Our streets have become cemeteries. Our schools have become places to mourn the ones we've lost," he told a standing-room-only congregation at the Far South Side church. "The violence is unacceptable, and it's got to stop."

As he expressed outrage over 32 Chicago public schoolchildren having been killed that previous school year, Obama called for better enforcement of existing gun laws, tighter background checks on gun buyers and a permanent assault-weapons ban.

"A couple weeks ago, cops found an AK-47 near a West Side school," he said at the time. "That type of weapon belongs on a battlefield, not on the streets of Chicago."
This, remember, comes out of the same mouth that said that "what works in Chicago may not work in Cheyenne," in reference to gun laws. If that's what "works" in Chicago, and the most restrictive gun laws in the nation, I'd hate to see what doesn't work. Besides, as David points out, Obama's purview is federal legislation--legislation that would, in other words, apply in Chicago and Cheyenne, where it would presumably "work" just as well as it does in Chicago.

But the Tribune laments that the gun ban agenda seems to have fallen by the wayside.
Fast-forward to the present: 33 Chicago public school students have been slain so far this school year.

But even as Obama has packed his agenda during his first 100 days in office, he has mostly bypassed the contentious gun issue, despite its importance in Chicago and other urban areas.

Gun and ammunition sales have surged across the nation since Obama's election because of fear that his administration will put additional restrictions in place. But at least so far, Obama and Democrats in Congress have given no indication that they will re-impose an expired ban on the sale of so-called assault weapons.
If that "surge" in purchases isn't part of what is causing Obama and his gun grabbing cohorts to rethink their agenda, it should be. Americans are sending a very clear message about what we think of any potential efforts to disarm us--a message that those who would ignore it do so at their own peril.

That a major push against private gun ownership will come at some time during the Obama presidency is not widely questioned--it's simply a matter of timing.

Some of the tyranny enablers of the citizen disarmament lobby, though, are not interested in excuses--they want their gun bans, and they want them now.
Thom Mannard, executive director of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, said he did not expect Obama to push gun legislation early on in his administration. But he said that advocates will be looking for leadership on the issue and "there probably will be a limit to that patience."
To that, I say, "bring it on, right now."

See where that gets you.

Missouri State Rep. Rick Stream can't make up his mind about 'gun free zones'

Unfortunately, that commitment turns out to have been rather weak, as made evident by his being one of only three Republicans in the Missouri House of Representatives to vote against Missouri HB 668 (a very pro-self-defense bill, which would, among other things, lift the "defense free zone" status of college campuses in Missouri--I discussed it here). HB 668 passed easily (105-50) in the House (no thanks to Rep. Stream), and now goes to the Senate.

Why, I wonder, is Rep. Stream willing to respect the right of elected officials to have the means to defend their lives, but is equally willing to see that right denied to responsible, peaceable college students and faculty? [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Please give it a look, and tell a friend.

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Friday, April 24, 2009

Oath Keepers: Napolitano's 'right wing extremists'?

There's more, but I hope I've made my point: that our own government--specifically, the agency tasked with our "security"--seems bent on portraying those who have shown the greatest commitment to our Constitution and our liberty as a threat, to be scrutinized and held in suspicion.

I see a threat here, and it's not posed by the Oath Keepers. They, in fact, might be our best hope for deliverance from that threat. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. I hope you'll consider it worth your time, and perhaps a friend's, as well?

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

RINO Mark Kirk seeking more power to disarm YOU

Regular readers know I am no fan of Congressman Mark Kirk (R-10th Illinois Congressional District). Theoretically a "Republican," he is as big an enemy of the right to keep and bear arms as just about any Democrat in Congress.

According to the Illinois State Rifle Association, Kirk wants to gain more power to pursue his radical agenda of citizen disarmament.


As many of you may know, 10th District Congressman Mark Kirk is certainly no friend of the law-abiding firearm owner. Over the years, he has supported every gun bill to come down the pike. Most recently , he sponsored federal legislation that would revive and toughen the Clinton “assault weapons” ban.


While Mark Kirk is trying to make up his mind, you have an opportunity to give him a piece of yours. On Saturday, April 25, 2009, Mark Kirk will be holding a town hall meeting on “Combating Gangs in the Suburbs.” Of course Kirk's plan to combat gangbangers centers around law-abiding gun owners giving up their gun rights.


If Kirk is going to run for state-wide office, he needs to understand that he must represent everyone in the state – not just the latte-lovers of the 10th District. The Blago-backlash will certainly impact the 2010 campaigns of both Senator Roland Burris and Governor Pat Quinn. Therefore, it's up to YOU, the law-abiding firearm owner, to give Mark Kirk a lesson in the significance of the 2nd Amendment. So, here's what you have to do to help ensure that gun rights remain at the forefront of both the Senatorial and Gubernatorial campaigns in 2010.

1. Be sure to attend Mark Kirk's Town Hall Meeting. The meeting will be held on Saturday, April 25th at 2:00 PM. The location for the meeting is the Palatine Township Center, 721 Quentin Road, Palatine, Illinois.

2. When you arrive at the Town Hall Meeting, quickly seek out Mark Kirk. Identify yourself as a law-abiding Illinois gun owner.

3. Politely ask Kirk direct questions about his views on private firearm ownership. Ask him why he introduced the legislation renewing the Clinton gun ban. Ask Kirk if he knows that there are over 1.5 million law-abiding firearm owners in Illinois and whether he realizes that, as either governor or senator, he would have the obligation to represent their interests.

4. Ask any other questions that you feel are pertinent.

5. Be sure to wear IGOLD shirts, buttons and/or hats.

6. Please pass this alert along to your gun-owning friends.

7. Please post this alert on any and all Internet blogs or bulletin boards to which you may belong.


This guy needs to be run out of office--not elevated to a higher one.

Turnabout is fair play--use freedom of speech to protect right to keep and bear arms

The right codified by the Second Amendment is what, in the end, guarantees our ability to enjoy the First Amendment. It is in everyone's best intrerests, though, that we thwart attacks on the Second Amendment via effective, focused application of the First. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Give it a look, if you will.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Combating the scourge of . . . bullet resistance?

Legislation introduced in New York in January, and being considered in Pennsylvania now, would restrict sales of body armor.

Shooting rampages in Pennsylvania and New York could become a rallying point for state lawmakers to restrict sales of body armor.

In both cases, the April 3 shooting rampage that claimed 13 lives in a Binghamton immigration center and the April 4 slayings of three Pittsburgh police officers answering a domestic call ? [the article's punctuation--not mine] heavily armed men braced themselves for gunfights with bullet-resistant vests.

It never came to that in Binghamton. Jiverly Wong, 41, a Vietnamese immigrant, took his own life after killing 13 unarmed civilians, authorities said.

But in Pittsburgh, police Chief Nate Harper said alleged gunman Richard Poplawski, 22, wore body armor that deflected at least two shots to his chest during a deadly assault on officers that lasted nearly four hours.
Granted, a psychopath who is armored, and thus more difficult to stop quickly, can potentially wreak more carnage than an unarmored one. Still, the actions of violent, evil people provide no justification for imposing restrictions on peaceable people.
In New York, Assemblyman David Koon of Rochester introduced legislation in January to restrict the sale of body armor to law enforcement officers. Koon said the shootings in Pittsburgh and Binghamton illustrate the dangers posed to law enforcement officers when body armor gets into the hands of those bent on violence.

"Evidence suggests that more and more drug dealers, gang members and professional criminals are purchasing and utilizing body armor," he said.
A lot of "drug dealers, gang members and professional criminals are purchasing and utilizing" cars, too--perhaps we should restrict those, as well?
Rep. Tom Caltigirone, D-Reading, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said recent events appear to illustrate weakness in the law regarding the sale of body armor.

"What purpose does body armor serve outside of law enforcement? There may be a bill," Caltigirone said.
"What purpose"? Are police officers the only people who should have a good chance of surviving a shooting, Tom?

As much as I despise restrictive gun laws, barring people from buying purely defensive gear has to be even more evil--saying, in essence, that you have a legal obligation to be perforated by any bullet that comes your way. Lawmakers who push such legislation leave no room for doubt about how much they value the lives of the citizens (the very people those lawmakers ostensibly work for).

Here it comes: closing the mythical 'gun show loophole,' and the turning of a 'pro-gun Democrat'

So why the picture of Kirsten Gillibrand and her new beau, who are, after all, only co-sponsors of the bill? Because her appointment to the U.S. Senate was billed as something of a victory for gun rights, because of her reputation as a "pro-gun" (and NRA "A" rated) Democrat. That's a reputation from which she has apparently decided to retreat.

Soon we'll see what the 65 "pro-gun Democrats" in the House are made of. This is a bill the other sides thinks it can pass, because it's so "reasonable" that many ostensibly "pro-gun" legislators will support it. To stop it, we'll need to be actively involved. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Get some.
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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Now we're told that 'green' ammo is toxic

First, we're told that lead ammunition is toxic, and must be banned. Now, we're being told that the tungsten in the "green" alternative is carcinogenic.

In the 1990's the U.S. Army introduced a new set of "green" training ammunition designed to be less toxic and more environmentally friendly than the lead-filled rounds used before. But these new bullets may have left firing ranges contaminated and exposed soldiers to a new health hazard. Soon-to-be-released research suggests that a key element in the new ammo, once thought to be safe, may in fact be carcinogenic. The Army has stopped production of the bullets.

More than 90 million rounds of the "green" [pdf file] training ammunition has been used in the United States, since its introduction. It relies on a blend of tungsten and nylon, or tungsten and tin. That gives the bullets the same density and firing properties as the original, but without using lead. Tungsten was considered non-toxic. And it was thought to be "non-mobile," unlikely to dissolve and travel, so it wouldn't get into the groundwater.

But new research by University of Arizona Research Professor of Pediatrics Mark Witten points to a different conclusion: Tungsten may elevate the risk for cancer.
Sounds as if the only alternative is to ban ammo--all of it.

At times like this, I can't help but remember the story of Texas Ranger Charlie Miller:
Texas Ranger Charlie Miller was minding his own business when a concerned citizen came up to him, noted the hammer cocked back on the big 1911 dangling from the Ranger's belt, and asked, "Isn't that dangerous?" Charlie replied, "I wouldn't carry the son-of-a-bitch if it wasn't dangerous."
Exactly. Being "dangerous" is kinda the point of guns and ammunition. If someone you shoot lives long enough to die of cancer, I figure he got a reprieve.

Incorporation of Second Amendment within sight

Characterizing the right to keep and bear arms as a fundamental right, no mention of "sporting purposes," explicit mention of the value of an armed citizenry for defense against invasion and terrorism, and best of all, of the need for the people's ability to have the means to resist a tyrannical government--precisely the kinds of things the Brady Campaign, Violence Policy Center, and especially the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV), with their advocacy of a government monopoly on force, don't want to hear. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Please give it a look.

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Janet Napolitano said something that made sense--am I in the Twighlight Zone?

I would never have thought it possible, but when CNN's Anderson Cooper tried to lead Napolitano into pushing for a ban on "assault weapons," her reply was almost . . . logical:

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Sunday that she doubts a new ban on assault-style weapons in the United States would help curtail the violence spawned by warring drug cartels in Mexico.

“I’m skeptical that it would, in part because there are large stockpiles of those assault weapons already now in Mexico,” she said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “That’s a congressional action...It would be very controversial. And we need to act now.”

Granted, she would have made a great deal more sense had she pointed out that it's a great deal more than "assault weapons" of which the drug cartels have "large stockpiles." Consider, for example:
Stockpiles captured by Mexican soldiers show that warring traffickers are now obtaining military-grade weaponry such as grenades, launchers, machine guns, mortars and anti-tank rockets.

[ . . . ]

Even as the governments try to choke off the U.S. weapons supply, the gangs are clearly trying to expand their arsenals beyond the assault rifles and semi-automatics they can get in the United States.

These and other, much heavier weapons are readily available on the global black market, particularly from stockpiles left over from Central America's civil wars.
The drug cartels are controlled by billionaires whose business is moving contraband, and who have access to notoriously corrupt political systems (which in turn have access to true military firepower, that can be had for a price).

Still, I suppose I'm being picky--Napolitano did express skepticism over the effectiveness of a renewed AWB--that's a start, and we'll be sure to remind her of that statement when the administration does press hard for a new AWB (you know it will happen eventually).

Ten years after Columbine, gun control groups still try to exploit it

This is not to say, of course, that there are no lessons to be drawn from Columbine--quite the contrary. The pictures of police surrounding the school, while the killing went on unabated inside, illustrate the futility of the hope that the police will be in a position to help when needed. The fact that Columbine, like any other high school in the U.S., was (and remains) a "gun free zone" illustrates with excruciating clarity what such zones are really "free" of--guns in the hands of those who would use them to stop evil.

Remember, today, the horror visited upon the students and staff of that school. Remember it, though, not as a failure of "lax gun laws," but as an entirely predictable consequence of state-mandated defenselessness. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. In it, I join several of my GRE colleagues in remembering Columbine, and in examining the lessons society has not learned from it.

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

The police and military need guns that 'jam easily'

According to PA Governor Ed Rendell, anyway. About 37 seconds into the following video (not counting the annoying, ten second advertising segment first):

"It’s nuts for ordinary citizens to go out and buy assault weapons," Gov. Ed Rendell, D-Pa., told CNBC. "Assault weapons are difficult to operate, they jam easily. If you want a gun to protect your home it’s the last thing you should have.

"Assault weapons only have one purpose, Becky, and we should be clear about that. They fire at short range; they put out a ton of fire at one time; and they are very powerful.
Short range? How does the good Guv reconcile that with what he says a few seconds later?
The three Pittsburgh officers who were killed--one was killed by an AK-47. The AK-47 was so powerful that from a house a long distance away, it blew through a, uh, a police car--it just absolutely blew through the police car.
So which is it--"short range," or "from a house a long distance away"?

Now, to the money quote:
"These weapons have one purpose," added Rendell. " . . . They’re to kill and to maim, and they shouldn’t be in the hands of anyone else but the police and the military."
Because, apparently, the mission of the police is to kill and maim (and to do so with weapons that jam easily).

About 3:19 into it, he gets back to arguing that these firearms (the use of which by the police and military he endorses) jam, are "not very effective," and have no purpose but to kill or maim.
They use it ["it," in this case, being any firearm] to protect their house. If you have an assault weapon to protect your house, you're crazy. They jam, and they're not very effective. You should have a revolver, or something like that. There's no purpose for these guns but to kill or maim.
Says the firearms expert, Ed Rendell.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Senate must reject Inter-American Arms Treaty

The larger issue, of course, is that suddenly that which shall not be infringed would become subject to international regulation, and as restrictive as gun laws in the U.S. have become, they're still not draconian enough for the tastes of much of the rest of the world.

That's their problem, and it needs to remain their problem. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. I was already deeply into writing it when I noticed that David had covered much the same thing at WoG. Please give it a look anyway. David's National Gun Rights Examiner column today has much more, also.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

VPC uses straw man arguments and anecdotal evidence to support 'Iron River' myth

The Violence Policy Center (VPC) is loudly crowing about its latest "report." In it, they claim to refute assertions that the role played by the U.S. civilian gun market in making weapons available to the Mexican drug cartels is being greatly exaggerated by the media, the citizen disarmament lobby, and both the U.S. and Mexican governments.

Washington, D.C.--U.S. court records from southwestern states clearly show that illegal gun traffickers involved in smuggling firearms to Mexico seek semiautomatic assault weapons, armor-piercing handguns, and 50 caliber anti-armor sniper rifles from U.S. gun shops according to a new report released today by the Violence Policy Center (VPC). For its investigation, the VPC obtained records filed in 21 federal firearms smuggling prosecutions in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Texas between February 2006 and February 2009. For a copy of the VPC investigation, Indicted: Types of Firearms and Methods of Gun Trafficking from the United States to Mexico as Revealed in U.S. Court Documents, please see http://www.vpc.org/studies/indicted.pdf.
Let's look at the report:
Aided by restrictions―endorsed by the National Rifle Association (NRA) and implemented by Congress . . .
Those "restrictions" would be the Tiahrt Amendment, which is fully supported by the BATFE (hardly a friend to gun owners)
. . . on the release of federal crime gun trace data and a longstanding lack of detailed information on gun commerce (both legal and illegal) in America . . .
That "longstanding lack of detailed information on gun commerce" would presumably be a reference to the fact that the citizen disarmament lobby is not satisfied that there's enough of a federal gun registry.
. . . the gun lobby has mounted a concerted campaign of disinformation: claiming that Mexican drug lords are solely using true military weapons, not their civilian counterparts, and that such guns come from anywhere but the U.S. civilian firearms market.
There's the straw-man argument I mentioned. Could someone at the VPC please show me an instance of anyone from "the gun lobby" (and remember--there are millions of us from whom to find such an example) claimed that the guns used by the cartels are solely true military weapons, or that they "come from anywhere but the U.S. civilian firearms market"? I've been following this issue quite closely for a while now, and have yet to see such an assertion.

It's important for them to claim that we're arguing that none of the cartel guns come from the U.S. civilian market, though, because the meat of their argument is showing twenty-one cases in which the guns were originally sold on in civilian commerce in the States.
For this report, the Violence Policy Center worked to identify criminal cases alleging illegal gun trafficking to Mexico filed in U.S. federal courts in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Texas for the period February 2006 to February 2009.c Reviewing government press releases, government statements, and local news coverage, the VPC was able to identify and obtain the court documents for 21 cases filed during this period. The information presented in this report regarding specific firearms was retrieved exclusively from facts specified by the United States government, primarily in criminal complaints and indictments. The VPC included every case it found, regardless of the type or number of weapons trafficked.
Surprise, surprise, those twenty-one anecdotes support the claim that the civilian market in the U.S. is supplying the guns used by the drug cartels. Congratulations, VPC, one straw-man effectively knocked down.

Now, let's see how you do with something closer to our real argument:
Even if the supply of U.S. guns was cut off, as long as the flow of money to the cartels continues, they could rearm themselves by buying from other countries, including Eastern Europe or Central America, where surplus weapons dating to conflicts in the 1980s remain, analysts said.

"It's convenient for the cartels to be able to shop in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and elsewhere," said George Grayson, a Mexico scholar at the College of William & Mary and author of the monograph "Mexico's Struggles with Guns and Thugs." But stopping the U.S. trade merely would place "a thorn in the side of the cartels, rather than an AK-47 in the heart."
That's a lot closer, but I have to point out that in the list of states Grayson mentioned, he left out California, which according to BATFE trace data (the trace data supposedly made "unavailable" by the Tiahrt Amendment), California is the second most "convenient" state for the cartel's gun buyers, despite California having implemented just about every gun trafficking law the gun prohibitionists have thought of, and having a vastly comprehensive "assault weapons" ban.

And I still wonder how the drug thugs are supposedly getting so many of our guns, and so much of our ammo, when the manufacturers and importers can't keep up with domestic demand.

The Iron Trickle: changing U.S. gun laws won't disarm Mexican drug cartels

The drug kingpins are billionaires, and international smuggling is what they do. As black marketeers, they thrive on prohibition, be it prohibition of drugs, or of weapons, their livelihood is based on moving products that can't be moved openly or legally.

Such people will not be thwarted by more prohibition. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. I really don't mean for the column to be "All Mexico, all the time," but Mexico's drug violence seems to be the thrust of the other side's "argument" (such as it is) for new, draconian gun laws here, and it has to be countered. Please give it a look.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Ruger 10/22--the last 'sniper weapon'?

I've already talked about hunting rifles being the next "sniper weapons," once .50 caliber rifles are banned (or controlled to the point that they might as well be) as "heavy sniper rifles," and .338 Lapua and similar calibers are banned or tightly controlled as "intermediate sniper rifles."

Some manufacturers may choose to refine the .338 Lapua Magnum, an intermediate round falling in size and power somewhere between the traditional military 30 calibers and the .50 BMG. The .338 Lapua Magnum was designed in the late 1980s "as a long-range European military sniping round," according to sniping expert John Plaster. He advises that its "great speed and heavy weight makes for especially lethal long-range shooting and good penetration against vehicles and aircraft—typical counterterrorist targets—as well as building materials." Some manufacturers already offer .338 Lapua Magnum sniper rifles.
From there, it's easy to see them going after the .300 Winchester Magnum, then the .30-06 (for which some very fine sniper rifles have been chambered), 7mm Remington Magnum, etc.

Maybe I'm late to the party on this, and everyone already knew about it, but until I received a note from a reader, it hadn't occurred to me just how low on the power scale one can go, and still be talking about "weapons of war."

Ruger 10/22 Suppressed Sniper Rifle
The Ruger 10/22, fitted with a X4 day optic, a full length suppressor and a Harris bipod was selected for this role and was due to be issued to all infantry oriented units, including both special and conventional forces. However, as often happens in the shoestring budget IDF, financial problems prevented the weapon's mass distribution, and it was mainly issued to Special Forces (SF) units. Moreover, instead of using the rifle as a riot control weapon, as originally intended, the Israeli SF deployed the Ruger 10/22 more as a "Hush Puppy" weapon used to silently and effectively eliminate disturbing dogs prior to operations.

In the recent Israeli-Palestinian clashes began in 2000, the Ruger resumes it's original role as a less lethal riot control weapon. However, it's usage in this role was rather controversial this time. After several incidents involving the death of Palestinians by the Ruger fire, the IDF conducted a field experiment in the Ruger at the IDF Sniper School in Mitkan Adam under the supervision of the IDF Judge Advocate General (JAG). The test showed that the Ruger was more lethal then thought especially in upper body injuries. Also, since it's suppressed and was considered less lethal by the troops, the soldiers were much more likely to use the Ruger loosely then intended.

As a result of this test, the JAG reclassified the Ruger as a lethal weapon.
If the VPC has their way on "heavy" and "intermediate" "sniper rifles," does anyone think they'll stop without going after "light sniper rifles," as well?

Missouri making progress toward legal, armed self-defense on campus

The defense-free zone status of Missouri college campuses may finally be approaching its end. Missouri House Bill 668 has been amended to, among other things, lift the prohibition against the carrying of firearms on college campuses by citizens licensed to carry a defensive handgun in Missouri. [More]
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