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, December 31, 2009

Spike in LEO shooting deaths--the real story

Forcible citizen disarmament advocates have been thrown off by the fact that shooting deaths have spent the last year (a year in which gun and ammunition sales have far exceeded anything we've ever seen), plummeting:

A Dec. 21 press release from the Second Amendment Foundation points to an inconvenient truth:
A ten percent drop in murders during the first six months of this year at a time when gun sales were up dramatically is more proof that there is no correlation between gun ownership and violent crime...
You can read the SAF release by clicking here, and the FBI preliminary report it references by clicking here.
In response, the gun prohibitionists point to a 2009 spike in shooting deaths of police officers.
Across the nation, 2009 was a particularly perilous year for officers involved in gun disputes.

The number of officers killed in the line of duty by gunfire increased 24 percent from 2008, according to preliminary statistics compiled by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, a national nonprofit organization that tracks officer-related deaths.
A 24% jump sounds pretty dramatic, but as the article points out, that's a bit deceptive, because that's 24% above 2008, in which the number of officers shot to death (38) was the lowest in over half a century (and yeah--a bit of perspective is useful, too--this "spike" is nine people).
As of Saturday, 47 police officers have died nationwide this year after being shot while on duty, up from 38 for the same time in 2008, which was the lowest number of gunfire deaths since 1956, according to the data.
In fact, looking at data compiled by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (the source of the data cited in the article), we see that if 2008 is dismissed as an outlier, 2009 has seen fewer such deaths than any year in the last ten (1999 had one fewer--and 1999 was the best in that respect since the early 60's.
(Click to enlarge)

Even the Associated Press article citing the spike in officer shooting deaths makes this observation:
In 1973, during a heyday of corruption and crime, there were around 600,000 officers and about 156 gunfire deaths. Currently, there are about 900,000 law enforcement officers nationwide and only 47 gunfire deaths this year — a per-capita decrease of nearly 21 percent.
Actually, though, the math is wrong there--going from 156 deaths among 600,000 officers, to 47 deaths among 900,000 officers, is a decline not of "nearly 21 percent," as the article states, but of nearly 80%. Officers are, in other words, very nearly five times less likely to be shot to death today than they were 36 years ago.

More guns=more violence? That's not what the facts say.

Online ammo retailer follows Ronnie Barrett's principled example

It is gratifying to see principle trump the bottom line at these companies, but without many others following their example, their principled stand will be largely symbolic. I can't afford a Barrett rifle (and would have trouble using one from a wheelchair, anyway) or an STI pisotl, but I do buy a fair amount of ammo online. Cheaper Than Dirt will be the first place I look when shopping for ammo. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Hope you like it, and hope everyone has a very Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Why sheriffs tend to be more supportive of gun rights than police chiefs are

A Seattle area blog laments the unlikelihood of forcible citizen disarmament advocates in Washington succeeding in exploiting a recent spike in murders of law enforcement officers in furtherance of the gun ban agenda:

You would think that if ever there was a political climate favorable for gun control legislation, it would be here. With the state reeling from the third police killing in two months, legislators surely feel the need to do something. A proposed assault weapons ban, to be introduced in the coming legislative session, would seem like a place to start.

Yet only one week after Washington CeaseFire held a press conference to announce the planned bill, its prospects look dim. "Frustrating, that would be the word," CeaseFire president Ralph Fascitelli says, speaking of the reaction he's getting from key politicians as he lobbies for the proposal.
I won't go into much detail about Nina Shapiro's (Nina is apparently an enthusiastic hater of the Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms, apparently)--there's very little there beyond "People ('Only Ones,' no less, in this case) are being killed--ban some guns--quick! Nothing, in other words, we haven't seen a thousand times before.

Toward the end, though, we do encounter something I find interesting. Washington Governor Christine Gregoire is apparently seeking guidance from various police groups before articulating her own stance on banning so-called "assault weapons," and the executive director of one of those organizations made a penetrating observation (my emphasis added):
One of those groups is the Washington Association of Sheriffs & Police Chiefs, which has decided not to take a position on the proposed bill. Don Pierce, the organization's executive director, says that members expressed mixed feelings at a meeting in November, with sheriffs trending more critical of gun control than police chiefs. Why? "They're elected," he explains.
Have you noticed that one rarely sees or hears the mission of police as being "to protect and serve"? It seems to me that those police chiefs who support restrictive gun laws--because they know that (being appointed, rather than elected) they can afford to ignore the will of the people--are quite right to have backed away from claiming to uphold that motto.

Brady Campaign says health care bill no threat to guns--but objects to gun rights amendment anyway

If no such potential for new gun restrictions ever existed in Obamacare, why would advocates of more restrictive gun policies care about efforts to (supposedly) remove that potential?

The fact is that efforts to frame firearm policy as a "public health" issue are well established (and gaining ground--the National Institutes of Health is again studying gun policy, with the Brady Campaign's blessing), with health care providers increasingly encouraged to invade patients' gun safes. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Hope it's worth your time.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Brady Campaign to steal intellectual property

Readers may remember that I have been squabbling--for years, now--with the Brady Campaign over the right to post this video clip:

Video hosted by Icarry.org

Everywhere I attempted to have that short excerpt from their original clip hosted would soon receive a bullying message about copyright violation (despite the fact that my use of the clip clearly falls under "Fair Use" guidelines), prompting the host site to take it down.

Eventually, Shaun Kranish, of Icarry.org, took it upon himself to host the clip. Shaun lives for such battles, has his own video hosting capability, and seems to enjoy keeping his attorney busy. I've talked a little more about that here and here.

Even more contemptibly, the Brady Campaign itself has a less than sterling reputation when it comes to respect for intellectual property.

In fact, David has caught them in some more thievery, in which they posted (pdf file) this article of David's in its entirety.

The Brady Campaign once called itself "Handgun Control, Inc." If they were interested in honesty (I'm obviously wading deep into the hypothetical here), they might call themselves the Brady Campaign of Tyranny Enablement, Lies, Hypocrisy, and Theft.

Senate health care bill amended in attempt to allay gun owners' concerns

What Noah has apparently chosen to ignore is that if government muscle, in the form of fines, and even prison time, is to be used to enforce the mandate that all citizens must acquire health insurance, then any obstacles to gun ownership (by virtue of denial of coverage, higher premiums, etc.), whether imposed directly by the government or by private insurance companies, are forcible citizen disarmament. In short, Noah, what we're required by law to buy ain't free enterprise. [More]
Today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Please pass it along.

Monday, December 28, 2009

NYC taxpayers pony up $1.5 million to reduce freedom nationwide

Between Mayor Bloomberg's billions and Joyce Foundation money for his Illegal Mayors Against Guns (something like that), I guess I kinda figured there was sufficient cash in the Pro-Tyranny Fund to pay for Bloomberg's little Junior G-Man operations without NYC taxpayer help.

Guess I was wrong.

Mayor Bloomberg's crusade against guns comes with a price tag attached.

Bills obtained by the Daily News show the city Law Department has paid almost $1.5 million to Kroll Associates, a high-end detective firm, for its undercover probe of out-of-state gun sales.
"Mayor Bloomberg's crusade against guns"--a refreshing bit of honesty from the New York Daily News.

I realize, of course, that a great many New York City residents share (to some extent, anyway) Bloomberg's anti-gun passion, but I wonder if they're happy about their tax dollars being spent in that way. It is, after all, one thing to call for a reduction of freedom (in the interest of public "safety," don't you know), but a horse of a different color to be asked to pay for the anti-liberty campaign.

The "investigation" in question is the "sting" operation conducted at several gun shows, in several states, unveiled with much fanfare last October to bolster Bloomberg's efforts to close the mythical "gun show loophole."

The NY Daily News article lists some of the details of the detective bill, and one of those details caught my eye:
As they traveled to gun shows in Nevada, Ohio and Tennessee, they spent tens of thousands of dollars on airfare, hotels, meals and other travel expenses.
When Bloomberg first started trumpeting these "findings," I assumed the purchases were made by detectives who were residents of the states in which the purchases took place. To buy handguns out of state, after all, is against federal law. I've already speculated about whether or not Bloomberg conspired in the federal crime of "straw purchasing" guns, but this new detail prompts me to wonder if he might also have conspired to purchase handguns out of state.

I guess I shouldn't count on the BATFE to look into it.

California police demand helpless targets

Get that? It's not "just felons" who he would like to see subjected to government mandated bullet penetrability, but all non-"Only Ones." National Gun Rights Examiner David Codrea often cites a statement by Policemen's Benevolent (Hah!) Association Patrick Lynch, in which Lynch threatens death to anyone who "lifts a finger" against a law enforcement officer. As evil as that is, it might pale in comparison to an edict requiring that even people who don't "lift a finger" against the "Only Ones" conveniently die when shot. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Sorry for the couple weeks of silence--a combination of internet issues and being just plain swamped with other stuff. I think I'm back now (famous last words).

Friday, December 11, 2009

Anti-gunners ratchet up the politics of fear

In this case, the ignorance that helps the gun banners comes in the form of the public not knowing how insanely bloated the "terrorist watch list" is, how few criminals buy their guns at gun shows, etc. More fundamentally, the disarmers count on the people being ignorant enough of civics and history to think that they need the government to protect them from their neighbors, rather than the other way around.

Tragically, gun haters may be right to count on such ignorance. Here's the thing, though--I didn't authorize anyone to negotiate my rights on my behalf. No matter how many members of whatever gun rights organization are tricked into supporting the anti-gun agenda, there will always be some of us who will never agree to "reasonable" infringements on that which shall not be infringed.

You still have to deal with us. [More]
Today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Hope you like it.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Missouri to introduce Firearms Freedom Act

The BATFE, as is typical of a federal government agency, is not taking kindly to what the Justice Department sees as an encroachment on its rightful power. The court fight is starting to take shape in Montana, with the Montana Shooting Sports Association (MSSA) and Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) having filed a lawsuit in federal court (but note the large dog who is not barking).

Given the Supreme Court's long history of granting Congress nearly unlimited power to regulate, well . . . everything, through the "interstate commerce clause," many are holding out little hope that the state's will prevail in this skirmish, either. Still, even a courtroom defeat will not be the end of this. The Tenth Amendment Center explains. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. _Please give it a look.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

When toy guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have toy guns

I note that Mr. Vann doesn't claim that toy gun simulated violence is plaguing those neighborhoods, and I doubt the "senseless shooting" Sunday night was really a senseless pretend shooting, but he explains that preventing such shootings isn't the goal here--he wants to "stem the glorification of guns," i.e., smother the very gun culture (what remains of it in NYC).

I once wrote about the "wussification" of our nation's youth--the cradle-to-grave indoctrination in the dogma of the Church of Guns are Icky. This is yet another manifestation of that campaign. A couple generations of boys who have been taught to recoil in horror from even imaginary games of "cops and robbers," or storming an imagined Iwo Jima with a toy Garand rifle, and perhaps the gun culture will be so weakened that there will be no one left to fight for gun rights, and the forcible citizen disarmament agenda can really get underway. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Please give it a read.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

CSU campus disarmament policy--it ain't over 'til it's over

It seems fairly clear that CSU's new policy will be unable to carry a legal penalty for violations, but I am much less clear on whether or not the school could impose its own disciplinary actions, up to and including expulsion.

Still, it is good to see that the fight against mandated defenselessness is not yet over. [More]
Today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Hope it's worth your time.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Gun hater wisdom--when gun laws 'work,' we need more gun laws

The Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence (ICHV) website has a new feature--"studies" promoted by the Brady Campaign's "Research Center" (I wonder if, in the Brady's research, they have yet found The People). Let's take a look, shall we?

The very first article is by old friend Dr. Garen Wintemute (Hero of Medicine). The article is titled "Disproportionate sales of crime guns among licensed handgun retailers in the United States: a case–control study," and I sure as hell ain't gonna pay to read it--but there's enough just in the summary on which to base some interesting conclusions.

What Does It Say? This study extends and improves on prior research on the risk factors for disproportionate sales of crime guns by gun dealers. The study is based on records of California handgun sales, crime gun trace data, and site visits to licensed dealers. The time period covered is 1998 to 2003. Risk factors, measured at the retailer level and describing the retailers or their purchasers include: status as a pawnbroker, denied sales, sales of inexpensive handguns, multiple-gun sales, urban location, and a short elapsed time from sale to recovery for traced guns.

How Can I Use It? One of the overall points of the study is that most of the risk factors that help identify retailers with disproportionate crime gun sales are already available in existing records. In particular, the percentage of denied sales is a strong risk factor for selling a disproportionate number of crime guns, and this information is already available at the federal level. Advocates may want to try to obtain this data directly themselves via a FOIA request or work with their local law enforcement to do so.
Wait a sec: ". . . the percentage of denied sales is a strong risk factor for selling a disproportionate number of crime guns . . . " Are we to understand that a lot of gun sales to "prohibited persons" not happening is "a strong risk factor" for selling a lot of "crime guns"? What's the solution--stop doing background checks? I like that idea, but I don't think that's what Wintemute, the Brady Bunch, or ICHV have in mind. I guess they would want us to believe that the dealer's participation in, and compliance with, the NICS system should be used against him, if he gets a lot of sales denied.

Maersk Alabama crew trained to defend itself, but not permitted to

Let's look at that first point, that "firearms are useful only in the hands of those who are properly trained, who regularly practice in their use, and who are fully capable of using them as required." Recently, John Cronan, 3rd Engineer on the Maersk Alabama, has kindly corresponded with me, informing me that Maersk crews are far from untrained in the use of small arms. As it turns out, Maersk requires crew members to receive Coast Guard training in use of small arms at sea, and to maintain proficiency in that training. Another Maersk Alabama officer made much the same point.

I have also benefitted from correspondence from Maersk Alabama Chief Engineer Mike Perry, who would prefer the security focus to be on an armed crew, rather than in embarked specialized security. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Thanks for reading.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Dennis Henigan getting picked on by the mean old 'gun lobby'

The Brady Campaign's Dennis "Right of the People" Henigan thinks he's the victim of some kind of "'gun lobby' conspiracy" to bury his book under bad reviews at Amazon.

Second, regrettably from my standpoint, the “hogwash” votes outnumber the “5 stars” by a current margin of 28 to 16. This reflects a broader pattern discussed in the book; that is, gun control opponents are more likely to be moved to action than gun control supporters. Generally speaking, Congressional offices hear more frequently from “gun rights” partisans than from constituents who support stronger gun laws. This, of course, says nothing about public support for gun control. For example, over 80% of Americans support legislation to close the “gun show loophole” by extending Brady background checks to private sales at gun shows. But it is a level of support not generally reflected in constituent communications to Members of Congress.

Third, the “hogwash” votes reflect not only motivation, but organization as well. It is fascinating to me that organized efforts have been underway to sink the book under the weight of “1-star” reviews. On several websites followers are urged to send in negative reviews of the book (without, of course, urging them to read the book first). Gunbroker.com urges readers to “bury this book,” while giving helpful instructions on how to do amazon.com customer reviews. The Maryland Shooters Association suggests that its members post some “good” (meaning bad) reviews on amazon. These efforts obviously have had some success. Amazon prominently displays an “average customer review” for each book, which for Lethal Logic struggles to reach “3-stars” against the organized “1-star” campaign.
Note also that he points out that forcible citizen disarmament advocates tend to be less passionate about their cause than liberty/gun rights advocates are about ours--and that this somehow means that the arguments from the gun-hater side should somehow merit more respect.

Here's the thing, Dennis--as long as we can continue to hold your side at bay with political advocacy (and the occasional unflattering book review), we're not forced to literally fight to keep our guns.

That's how you want to keep it.

Update: And they didn't even say "hi."

(Click to enlarge)

Update II: Days of Our Trailers has more, including a look at some of the "5-star" ratings.

Sheriff vows not to enforce campus disarmament policy

CSU, being located in Ft. Collins, CO, is in Larimer County. The Sheriff of Larimer County made a trenchant observation about the proposal to ban defensive handgun carry on campus.
"I think whenever you create a gun-free zone, you have an opportunity for criminals to act with impunity," Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden said.
In what may be the most remarkable part of this story is that Sheriff Alberden is publicly backing that position up--saying that his department will not enforce a campus gun ban. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Hope it's worth your time.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Brady Campaign having trouble finding 'gun violence' where they need it

A new Brady Campaign press release condemns Congressman John Boccieri (D-OH), for holding an NRA-sponsored fundraiser.

Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said, "It is sad that Rep. Boccieri finds it necessary to hold a 'Virtual Shootout' to raise campaign dollars at the NRA while Ohioans in and around his district fall victim to real shootouts on a regular basis."
The press release then lists four examples (which, if such incidents happen on a "regular basis," should be easy, right?).

First one:
John Butler has been charged with shooting Arthur Breault twice in the stomach and once in the head the day before Thanksgiving. Butler was initially held in the Ashland County Jail, located in Rep. Boccieri's district.
Hmm . . . "initially held in the Ashland County Jail, located in Rep. Boccieri's district." Note that the Brady Campaign doesn't say that the shooting occurred in his district--that's because it didn't. The relevance of the jail's location in his district is left unexplained.

Dominick Conley has been charged with shooting a police officer and her K-9 partner in August. Conley was reportedly captured in his native Canton, OH, by Canton police and the FBI. Canton is located in Rep. Boccieri's district.
The alleged shooter was arrested in Canton, OH--the shooting occurred in Zanesville (outside of Boccieri's 16th District). Is Congressman Boccieri to be blamed for an alleged dangerous criminal being brought to justice in his district?

Then, we have:
Bryan Mobley has been indicted for shooting and killing his wife in June, with a 9mm handgun reportedly purchased at a gun store in Ashland, OH, inside Rep. Boccieri's district.
This shooting was in Mansfield, OH--also outside Boccieri's district. Boccieri's "culpability," it seems, lies in the fact that the gun used was supposedly bought in his district. Nothing about his district, keep in mind, makes it a more likely source for guns used in crimes than anywhere else in Ohio--the important thing is to establish a link between Boccieri and "gun violence." Oh, by the way--the Brady Campaign is apparently . . . confused--Mobley's ex-wife evidently survived the shooting.

And finally:
Cliff E. Hill Jr. has been sentenced to 23 years in prison for shooting Ashland County resident John Stone during a March home invasion. The eastern half of Ashland County is in Rep. Boccieri's district, as is the Ashland Samaritan Hospital where Stone was reportedly treated.
This one may have occurred in Boccieri's district--I don't know if John Stone's residence was in the part of Ashland County that's in his district, or not--but I do note how carefully the Brady Campaign avoids saying that it is. Rather telling, I would think.

Can't the Brady Campaign find one example of what supposedly happens "on a regular basis"?

To some, gun rights advocacy is 'terrorism'

Granted, this bit of silliness wasn't written by anyone in the government, or even in the mainstream media--BuzzFlash proudly describes itself as "progressive" (with "progress" being defined, apparently, as any move toward nanny-state collectivism). The author, Mark Karlin, is not just a "progressive" gun hater--he's a professional gun hater--having received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the rabidly anti-gun Joyce Foundation (President Obama's former employers), as part of the agenda of the forcible citizen disarmament lobby.

Still, Karlin's position is the logical end point of the direction in which too many in the media--and in the government--would like to take this country. If and when we get there, support for a gun rights advocacy group will be seen by the government as equivalent to support for Hezbollah, or Al Qaeda. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. If you read it, you may be a "right-wing extremist/homegrown terrorist."

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Senator Frank Lautenberg's continued assault on gun owners

The "PROTECT Act" is far from Sen. Lautenberg's first attack on gun owners--just this year he has introduced a bill to outlaw private gun sales, and another to allow the Attorney General to unilaterally block a gun purchase based on the prospective purchaser's presence on the terrorist "watch list."

This is just one more example of the use of the public's fear of "terrorism" to goad us into surrendering more of our freedom to the government. Sometimes it's said that the terrorists "hate us because we are free." Perhaps--but does anyone really believe that "they" will stop hating us, if we surrender enough freedom? [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Please give it a look.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Cannons for the FBI?

This has already been covered--first (as far as I know) at Boniface's Treatise, and then at War on Guns, but I find it . . . interesting enough to want to put in a word or two myself.

It seems the FBI is procuring a couple 20mm rifles (with suppressors!?)--the 20mm bore, by the way, makes them "cannons," basically, and possession by mere peasants like you and me is much more heavily regulated than possession of regular rifles would be.

Here's an excerpt of the FBI's notice:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) intends to award a non-competitive, sole source purchase order to Anzio Ironworks Corporation, 1905 16th Street N, St. Petersburg, FL 33704 for two (2) Magfed 20mm Rifles and accessories in accordance with FAR 6.302-1, only one responsible source and no other supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements.

The FBI intends to procure the following items:

Magfed 20mm Rifle with Belgian Camo Overcoat finish. Includes bipod, brake, handguard, free floated barrel and case (Qty: 1 each)

Magfed 20mm Rifle with Navy NWV Camo Duracoat finish. Includes bipod, brake, handguard, free floated barrel and case (Qty: 1 each)

Non-firing bolt assemblies (Qty: 2 each)

Extra magazines (Qty: 4 each)

Suppressors in 20mm (Qty: 2 each)
I had actually already been familiar with Anzio Ironworks, and their impressive ordnance--simply because I couldn't not be interested in a company that sold such cool things.

What I don't understand, though, is what the federal law enforcement application for artillery is. Is the damage the FBI's Lon Horiuchi-types can do with a .308 no longer enough?

Defending gun rights by rejecting original intent?

Ah--now I see. Ultra-restrictive gun laws such as Chicago's handgun ban, as "desirable" as they might be to folks like Douglas Kendall, are to be sacrificed in furtherance of the "progressive" agenda.

The article goes on to describe "progressive originalism," in which the focus on the Constitution is shifted from the inent of the Founders, to the thinking prevalant (in the North, anyway) during Reconstruction. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Please help spread the word.