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.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

GRE Round Up, Feb. 28

There's some good stuff being turned out. I hope you're availing yourself of it, and importantly, sharing these links via emails, on blogs and forums, with your local newspaper editor, etc.

A common complaint is media bias and absence of representation for "our side."

These people work hard to change that and ask for nothing from those of us their labors serve other than to help spread the word. I hope no one thinks that's too much to ask.

Here are their latest offerings:

John Longenecker/Los Angeles:
Safer Streets 2010: Starbucks supports armed customers.

David Codrea/National:
Why is ATF seizing 'toy guns'?

Self-defense tools that Kansas City, MO police have 'approved' for women?

While police investigate a string of rapes in the Waldo area, women are taking action, arming themselves with guns, pepper spray and other products. Below is a list of safe, but effective, weapons and products that Kansas City, Mo., police have approved for women interested in home security.
Excuse me--"approved for women?" Are women not capable of making their own choices with regard to their security, with or without "approval"? To be clear, I suspect that this is the wording of the "authorized journalists" of FOX4KC, rather than of the police, but the attitude that a woman needs police "approval" for her security choices needs to be confronted, wherever it's found. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner--builds on yesterday's. Please give it a look, and spread the word.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Hoplophobes uncomfortable not knowing people are armed?

An article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer makes a pretty good case for the argument that the huge increase in applications for (and issuance of) concealed carry licenses in Ohio is a response to concerns about Obama's anti-gun past (and future?). It's a pretty decent article, but the best parts are when it quotes Toby Hoover, of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence.

But Toby Hoover, of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence, blames firearms supporters for creating that Obama fear in order to drive up membership in their groups.

"It's the gun lobby saying, 'Just wait, (Obama's) waiting to pounce and will take your guns away,'" Hoover said. "That's what they are telling people. You see it in their literature and newsletters and it has made people very fearful."
Let's ignore, for the moment, Obama's extensive legislative and rhetorical history of antipathy to private gun ownership, his time as a member of the Board of Directors of the virulently anti-gun Joyce Foundation; the overwhelmingly anti-gun nature of the vast majority of his political appointees; his campaign positions about so-called "assault weapons," closing the mythical "gun show loophole," etc.; and a nearly endless litany of other indications that if--no, when--he deems the time is right, he'll jump at the chance to impose every draconian new gun restriction he thinks he can. Forget about all that for a minute, and pretend that Hoover is correct that there is no rational reason to think Obama will move to restrict gun rights.

That still leaves the fact that Hoover herself says that thoughts of further gun restrictions have "made people very fearful." If the people are "very fearful" of gun restrictions, that means they don't want them? Ya' listening, politicians?

Hoover really outdoes herself at the end, though (my emphasis added).
Attorney General Richard Cordray, a Democrat, issued a statement declaring the numbers to mean "that more and more Ohioans are comfortable exercising their right to carry concealed handguns."

But Hoover, of the anti-gun group, said that even with the record number of new license holders, still just about 2 percent of Ohio's adult population owns a concealed carry permit.

"I'd like to ask the attorney general if he thought about the other 98 percent of Ohio adults who might be uncomfortable with unknowingly being around someone who is carrying a gun," Hoover said.
Er . . . what? They "might be uncomfortable with unknowingly being around" an armed person? They were probably unknowingly around armed people long before Ohio ever started issuing concealed carry licenses.

Does that mean she supports Open Carry, and disagrees with the Brady Campaign's laughable attempts to get Starbucks to prohibit the practice?

GRE Round Up, Feb. 27

There's some good stuff being turned out. I hope you're availing yourself of it, and importantly, sharing these links via emails, on blogs and forums, with your local newspaper editor, etc.

A common complaint is media bias and absence of representation for "our side."

These people work hard to change that and ask for nothing from those of us their labors serve other than to help spread the word. I hope no one thinks that's too much to ask.

Here are their latest offerings:

Mike Stollenwerk/DC:
Radical anti-gun candidate flying under radar in Virginia special election

Steve D. Jones/Fort Smith:
State of emergency gun control

Liston Matthews/Knoxville:
UT Knoxville's 2nd Amendment policy criticized by NRA

John Pierce/Minneapolis:
The great registration myth

David Corea/National
What didn't stop a killer and what did

Dave Workman/Seattle:
Slaying of Tacoma teacher brings out best, worst in people and proves gun laws don’t work

Kansas City, Missouri residents arming in response to serial rapist

The owner of a local gun shop said he's seen an increase in interest in handguns and Tasers since a serial rapist started targeting the Waldo area. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Please give it a read, and spread the word.

Friday, February 26, 2010

'Nobody should have guns. Everybody gets crazy'

In the wake of the middle school shooting in Littletown, Colorado this week, Lake County Record-Bee reporter Katy Sweeney bloviated about the need to keep guns away from the mentally ill. To do this, anyone living with someone who has mental health issues should, according to Katy, be disarmed himself:

If a gun owner's son is aggressive and depressed, the owner should take the guns out the house so that the son no longer has access to them.
But Katy hasn't gotten to the punchline yet. That comes next.
In discussing the Tuesday Colorado shooting with a friend I said, "Crazy people shouldn't have guns," She responded, "Nobody should have guns. Everybody gets crazy."

I agree.
They mean, I'm sure, nbody but the nice people in government, and their agents (like these guys), right, Katy?

GRE Round Up, Feb. 26

There's some good stuff being turned out. I hope you're availing yourself of it, and importantly, sharing these links via emails, on blogs and forums, with your local newspaper editor, etc.

A common complaint is media bias and absence of representation for "our side."

These people work hard to change that and ask for nothing from those of us their labors serve other than to help spread the word. I hope no one thinks that's too much to ask.

Here are their latest offerings:

Ed Stone/Atlanta:
Why you should not carry a weapon into the Kennesaw Mountain visitor center

Howard Nemerov/Austin:
Recent defensive shooting a good study of character

Steve D. Jones/Fort Smith:
Re-arming Arkansas workers

Liston Matthews/Knoxville:
Tennessee Firearms Association March meeting to host Sheriff JJ Jones

David Codrea/National:
How did Bill O'Reilly-approved 'gun control' work out at New Orleans bridge?

Dave Workman/Seattle:
New Orleans case should send chilling message to those who think ‘only cops should have guns’

Post-Katrina New Orleans, where the killers had the only 'permissible' guns

The above sounds pretty much like multiple execution-style murder (and attempted murder), committed by officers under the command of New Orleans Deputy (at the time) Police Chief Warren Riley, whose most (in)famous Katrina-aftermath proclamation was:
No one will be able to be armed. We are going to take all the weapons.
The justified outrage over the post-Katrina gun confiscations has largely focused on the fact that they rendered citizens helpless to defend their lives, families, and homes from looters and other thugs, when the police could not possibly provide adequate protection. Now, we know that some of the police were themselves part of the reason the people needed guns. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Please give it a read, and spread the word.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Oregon Firearms Federation outmaneuvers the opposition

. . . And the opposition is crying like a baby whose candy has been stolen.

David Codrea has been writing about a an Oregon bill, SB 1008, that as originally introduced, would have nullified a 2009 law allowing some felons to petition for the restoration of their gun rights. His first article about it was "Is 'gun group' giving cover for Oregon gun control?"--about a supposed "gun rights group," Oregon Gun Owners--that really isn't all that pro-gun, and that group's support for SB 1008.

SB 1008 was so poorly written that it had to be re-drafted, this time as SB 1064, so it could even be understood. David then discussed the bully-boy tactics used to ram SB 1064's passage through the Senate.

Things were looking bad, but then the Oregon Firearms Federation (a real gun rights advocacy group) made some moves to get SB 1064 amended into something dramatically different.

Happily, those efforts paid off, and a hugely improved bill passed both houses without a single "No" vote.

Here's the best part. The people who don't like how things have turned out are raising some truly amusing objections to the bill they ended up passing.

"Anyone -- a rapist, a murderer -- can petition the court for the right to possess a firearm," said Sen. Floyd Prozanski, D-Eugene.

[ . . . ]

"They can literally be in prison and make an application," he said.
Notice something there? The felon has to petition the court for restoration of his gun rights. The law doesn't require that his rights be restored, just provides a mechanism for doing so, if the court deems such a restoration appropriate.

The vote put gun control supporters in a bind. Sen. Ginny Burdick, D-Portland, an outspoken gun control advocate, said she voted for the bill with the intention of delving into the issue again when the Legislature convenes next year.

"This bill does not go nearly far enough in keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous felons," Burdick said.
In other words, anything short of outright barring the courts from restoring gun rights, "does not go nearly far enough in keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous felons."

Methinks Ginny wants the both legislative and judicial powers--and I wouldn't rule out her executive ambitions, either. There's a word for that.

It starts with "t," and ends with "yranny."

GRE Round Up, Feb. 25

There's some good stuff being turned out. I hope you're availing yourself of it, and importantly, sharing these links via emails, on blogs and forums, with your local newspaper editor, etc.

A common complaint is media bias and absence of representation for "our side."

These people work hard to change that and ask for nothing from those of us their labors serve other than to help spread the word. I hope no one thinks that's too much to ask.

Here are their latest offerings:

Paul Valone/Charlotte:
Armed defense at Front Sight: Who takes defensive handgun training?

Dan Bidstrup/Denver:

John Longenecker/Los Angeles:
Safer Streets 2010: Safer college campuses too?

David Codrea/National:
Guess who is putting lots of guns 'on the street'?

Gun group lauds passage of Oregon gun bill

Dave Workman/Seattle:
WA Senate bill would merge WDFW, Parks under Natural Resources

Chris Woodard/Tucson:
Arizona will be asking: Is President Obama eligible to hold office?

Go. Read. And please share the links.

Anti-gun Missouri Congressman at home on the (shooting) range

The thing is, violent criminals are tough on Missourians, too, many of whom demand to not have their ability to fight back against the thugs--with real guns--encumbered by what Carnahan calls "sensible gun control measures." To Missouri gun owners, self-defense is not a game or a photo-op--it's a lifesaver, and Carnahan is among those who try to make that lifesaver more difficult to acquire. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Please give it a look, and spread the word.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Illinois Congressman whines about lack of 'gun control'

Illinois Representative Mike Quigley (D-5th Congressional District), although fairly new to Congress, has already established his bona fides as a gun-hater--although his rhetorical strategy could use some polishing, as seen in his op-ed piece about the McDonald v. City of Chicago case.

Since 1983, it has been illegal to purchase or own a handgun within Chicago’s city limits. Over the course of the 26 years since, Chicago has seen the number of registered handguns drop from more than 400,000 to fewer than 200,000. Guns have become scarcer, saving lives and creating safer neighborhoods in the process.

But the threat of gun violence has by no means dissipated. Chicago communities are still reeling from losses of neighbors, children and friends -- innocent bystanders caught by a stray bullet, someone in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Yep--he just pointed out that "gun violence" in Chicago has "by no means dissipated" after more than a quarter century of some of the strictest gun laws in the country--and that was part of his argument for continuing the laws . . . that he just admitted haven't helped.

Not a bright guy, apparently.

Last night, he treated the U.S. House of Representatives to some more of his wisdom:

Mister Speaker, today I had the honor of speaking with Chicago Firefighter Annette Nance-Holt, and Chicago Police Officer Ronald Holt. On May 10th, 2007, their 16 year old son Blair was shot and killed when a gang member opened fire on a crowded city bus. Blair jumped in front of another student to shield her.

When the child of two public servants gives his life to save another from the scourge of gun violence, I have to ask: are we prepared to do this for kids?

Over 500 Chicago Public school students were involved in gun incidents over the last two years. That’s two students for every member of this House who signed a brief urging the Supreme Court to put even more guns in Chicago’s streets and schools.

This Congress has allowed unlicensed dealers to sell guns at gun shows, to people on the terrorist watch list, and refuses to reauthorize the assault weapon ban. Congress has failed to hold the middle-ground on guns.

Blair Holt took a bullet to protect a stranger. Is it too much to ask this House to take a tough vote to protect our kids?
I must have missed the brief filed by members of Congress urging the Supreme Court to put guns in schools--and I try to follow these things.

GRE Round Up, Feb. 24

There's some good stuff being turned out. I hope you're availing yourself of it, and importantly, sharing these links via emails, on blogs and forums, with your local newspaper editor, etc.

A common complaint is media bias and absence of representation for "our side."

These people work hard to change that and ask for nothing from those of us their labors serve other than to help spread the word. I hope no one thinks that's too much to ask.

Here are their latest offerings:

David Codrea/National:
Why does Sting promote anti-gun sentiments that enable tyranny?

Dave Workman/Seattle:
Gun prohibitionists can’t be confused by facts

Also, David will be on Trigger Sports Live, for the 2 PM (Central Time) show, talking about National Park Carry, and other subjects. Be sure to catch it.

Finally, a very big "Thank you" to the Western Rifles Shooters Association--it's much appreciated.

'Progressive' thinking: 'I would sooner lay my child to rest' than defend him with a gun

I submit that there can be no mutual understanding between healthy, rational human beings, and the kind of sick, twisted creature who would rather bury his child than defend him with every means available. Make no mistake; anyone willing to sacrifice his own child to his belief that self-defense is a "gun crime" will be more than willing to sacrifce you and your family to that same evil ideology. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner, and the guy it describes is a real piece of . . . work. Please give it a look, and spread it around.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Illinois anti-gun bills coming up for committee hearing tomorrow

Received in an email alert from Illinois Carry:

Your Calls Needed
on SB3092 - Handgun Dealer Licensing Act and
SB3036 - "Assault" Weapons Ban!
Two anti-gun owner bills will be heard tomorrow morning in the Senate Criminal Law Committee. SB3092 is a handgun dealer licensing act similar to HB180 in the IL House. SB3036 would ban semi-automatic assault weapons, some assault weapon attachments, any .50 caliber rifle, or .50 caliber cartridge and would give current owners of such items 90 days to prove ownership to the Illinois State Police after the law going into effect.

Sponsor: Antonio Muñoz
Criminal Law Hearing Feb 24, 2010 9:00AM Capitol 212 Springfield


Sponsors: Sen. Don Harmon
Criminal Law Hearing Feb 24, 2010 9:00AM Capitol 212 Springfield

Call these committee members immediately -
let them know IL firearm owners are not about to give into this nonsense.
Urge them to
Vote NO on SB3036 and SB3092!

Role Senator
Chairperson : DMichael Noland (217) 782-7746 (217) 782-2115 FAX
Vice-Chairperson : DKwame Raoul (217) 782-5338
Member: DWilliam R. Haine (217) 782-5247 (217) 782-5340 FAX
Member: DDan Kotowski (217) 782-3875
Member: DA. J. Wilhelmi (217) 782-8800

GRE Round Up, Feb. 23

There's some good stuff being turned out. I hope you're availing yourself of it, and importantly, sharing these links via emails, on blogs and forums, etc.

A common complaint is media bias and absence of representation for "our side."

These people work hard to change that and ask for nothing from those of us their labors serve other than to help spread the word. I hope no one thinks that's too much to ask.

Here are their latest offerings:

Howard Nemerov/Austin:
National ‘Take a gun hiking’ Day

Don Gwinn/Chicago:
Gun Rights 101: So, can I carry a gun in a national park now?

Daniel White/Cleveland:

Dan Bidstrup/Denver:
Utah seeks to clarify showing vs brandishing a weapon

David Codrea/National:
Is Major League Baseball's gun ban a 'no-brainer'?

Cardinals pitcher Ryan Franklin criticizes MLB 'no guns' policy

So, if I understand the argument, players (and others) can't have guns in the clubhouse, because they're too irresponsible and prone to violent rages--and they don't need guns in the clubhouse, because there will never be any need to defend oneself from violent, seething cauldrons of rage.

The bottom line is that the need to defend one's life can come at any time, and in any place. If we only needed guns where we expected lethal threats, we would presumably simply avoid such places altogether, and thus avoid the need for a gun, as well. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Please give it a look, and spread the word.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Brady Campaign gives Missouri low anti-gun tyranny grade

A low Brady anti-gun tyranny grade, of course, corresponds to a high freedom grade, so four points on a 100 point scale is pretty impressive--but not, I must say, good enough to crack the top 7. Missouri comes in behind Alaska, Arizon, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma (all two points), and Utah (zero points--go Utah!), to tie for 8th place with six other states (pdf file). [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Please give it a look, and spread the word.

In fact, while you're at it, my fellow GREs have some great stuff that needs to be read as widely as possible:

Ed Stone/Atlanta:
Georgia's National Parks are no longer gun free zones

Steve D. Jones/Fort Smith:
Liston Matthews/Knoxville:
Would Saint Peter pack a pistol in a national park today?

David Codrea/National:
What guns in national parks rule change won't do

Chris Woodard/Tucson:
Hostile amendment added to Arizona Constitutional carry bill SB 1102

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Gun ban that didn't prevent shooting shows . . . need to continue gun ban?

This is nothing new, of course, but it still never fails to amaze me to see a shooting in a "gun free" zone touted as evidence of the need to continue the mandated defenselessness policy. Here's the latest iteration:

A Northern Illinois University student was shot by a fellow student in the early morning hours of Friday, Feb. 19, outside a student residence hall. The shooting occurred during an argument between the two. A handgun was involved. The victim's injuries are not considered life-threatening. The alleged shooter was apprehended by NIU police and is in custody.

John Johnson, outreach coordinator for the Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus issued the following statement in response to the shooting:

"This shooting is the perfect example of the concern with allowing persons to carry concealed handguns in public places – the unintended consequences. In this case, a shooting during an argument.
Er . . . excuse me, John? The danger of "allowing" handgun carry has been illustrated by a shooting where it's not allowed?

Do these people listen to themselves?

GRE Round Up, Feb. 20

Be sure to avail yourself of the information presented by some of my fellow Gun Rights Examiners:

Ed Stone/Atlanta:
GA Bills: SB 342 removes the government's power to seize guns

John Longenecker/Los Angeles:
Safer Streets 2010: Schooling O'Reilly.

David Codrea/National:
Is 'gun group' giving cover for Oregon gun control?

Dave Workman/Seattle:
Parks gun regulations change Monday while anti-gun hysteria never changes

Friday, February 19, 2010

Is an Illinois lawmaker trying to conflate 'pro-gun' with 'pro-crime'?

The latest application of this strategy might well be just across the river in Illinois, where state Representative Harry Osterman's HB 6123 would make it a felony (a Class 1 felony) "to knowingly sell or give a firearm to a person who is a street gang member." This could put gun rights advocates in something of a tough spot, at least with regard to the court of public opinion. To oppose it, after all, can be portrayed as "being on the side of violent gangbanger thugs." [More]

That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Please give it a look.

Also, take a look at what my fellow GREs are saying.

Howard Nemerov/Austin:
Do Tea Parties breed plane bombers?

Paul Valone/Charlotte:
Armed defense at Front Sight: Intermediate tactics and skills

Daniel White/Cleveland:
Brady campaign gives Ohio's gun laws a failing grade

Steve D. Jones/Fort Smith:
Gun ban at Buffalo River National Park in Arkansas

Liston Matthews/Knoxville:
Does University of Tennessee discriminate against student-athletes?

David Codrea/National:
'Conservative' Bill O'Reilly supports gun confiscation in emergencies

Dave Workman/Seattle:
WA Supreme Court: ‘2nd Amendment applies to the states via 14th Amendment due process clause’

Thursday, February 18, 2010

GRE Round Up, Feb. 18

David Codrea has generously taken to helping promote other Gun Rights Examiners over at War on Guns, and has also generously agreed to let me copy it almost verbatim (I add a link to his latest GRE article, and delete the link to mine). If you find my stuff worth reading, you'll get plenty out of this, as well.

Ed Stone/Atlanta:
Open carry deters armed robbery in Kennesaw

Howard Nemerov/Austin:
Donna Campbell on gun rights

Daniel White/Cleveland:
National Parks gun ban set to expire, hysteria reaching critical

Dan Bidstrup/Denver:
The second amendment and federal buildings

John Longenecker/Los Angeles:
Safer Streets 2010: Lady Liberty Is Partisan, Part IV.

David Codrea/National:
Old TV western shows folly of citizen disarmament

Dave Workman/Seattle:
Finnish commission recommends handgun ban; Wire Paladin, San Francisco

Did ICPGV tip Illinois politburo's legislature's hand on 'concealable firearms'?

It's no secret that many Illinois legislators--particularly Chicago area Democrats--are opposed to private gun ownership in general, and handgun ownership in particular. There are enough hunters in the state, though, that going after all guns is difficult, so many of the proposed anti-gun bills tend to deal with handguns, and (supposedly, anyway) leave long guns alone.

I have, in the past, though, noted that sometimes the language they use is rather vague, and I suspect there's a reason for that. Take, for example, a bill (thankfully defeated) from 2007, that would have imposed draconian new state licensing requirements (over and above the draconian federal licensing requirements) on handgun dealers--or maybe more than handgun dealers.

Partly to save the what might be the most dramatically, insidiously evil part for last, and partly because it only now finally occurred to me, I will now point out what might be worse yet. I had assumed that this bill was all about handguns (the title, after all, is the Handgun Dealer Licensing Act), but in the actual text of the bill, "handgun dealer" is defined as someone engaged in the business of selling concealable firearms--after the title section, no more mention is made of handguns--it's all about "concealable firearms." What they don't define, however, is what, exactly, constitutes a "concealable firearm"--people have concealed AK-47's under trench coats or long robes. Come to think of it, back in my days as an artilleryman, we "concealed" entire howitzers under camouflage nets. Is this bill intended to end not just the sale of handguns in the state, but of all guns?
With the ongoing attempt this year to revive last year's (by the same commissar, er . . . "representative") very similar, if not identical, bill, I made the same observation.
In the full text of HB 180, "handgun dealer" is defined as someone who sells "concealable firearms." In other words, the bill doesn't use the BATFE's definition of "handgun," but considers any "concealable firearm" to be a "handgun." Wearing a big enough trench coat, someone can conceal just about any firearm he can carry. For that matter, back in my paratrooper days as a howitzer crew member, we always erected a big camouflage net to "conceal" the 105mm howitzer. That means that, depending on how fast and loose the courts allow the state to play with the definitions, all gun shops--even those who don't sell handguns--can be forced out of business.
All this might seem a bit paranoid, especially to those who have never had Illinois politics inflicted on them, but recently I spotted something on the website of the Illinois Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (ICPGV) that seems to lend some credence to my suspicions. It's actually about a different anti-gun bill, from my favorite Illinois gun-grabber, Commissar, er . . . Senator Dan Kotowski. The bill, SB 3632, would ban all private sales of handguns . . . I mean "concealable firearms," and such legislation has been the Illinois anti-gunners' highest priority for a couple years now. Note what the ICPGV has to say about it (my emphasis added):
By requiring those who privately sell or transfer concealable firearms, including handguns, to do so at the business of a federally licensed firearm dealer . . .
If "concealable firearms" referred exclusively to handguns, there would be no need to say "including handguns." Illinois, by the way, bans civilian possession of short barreled rifles and short barreled shotguns, even for those willing and able to jump through the federal hoops--so those are presumably not an intended target.

I think it's time we view any bill that purports to restrict "concealable firearms" as an attempt to restrict all guns, without saying so.

Defeat of Maryland semi-auto ban shows power of grassroots

Old fashioned grassroots activism. That's what gun rights advocates have, and what the forcible citizen disarmament lobby can't figure out how to buy.

What works in Maryland (ranked by the Brady Campaign as the state with the 5th most draconian gun laws) can work anywhere else. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Spread the word?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mental health, background checks, and unintended consequences

Here's where I'm going with all this. With the growing efforts to revoke gun rights of people who are suffering from mental health issues, anyone who deeply values the right to an effective means to defend his life, family, and liberty is being given a strong disincentive from seeking the help he needs. This would seem an excellent recipe for causing exactly the kinds of tragedies we seek to avert. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner.

By the way, if you start noticing what might seem to be somewhat gratuitous references to St. Louis, or Missouri, that's because Examiner is putting pressure on me to stick to "local" content. I can't really write about gun rights from such a parochial perspective--gun laws passed in California hold implications for gun owners in Alabama. So . . . I'll be writing pretty much the way I always do, but try to add a sentence or two about how it affects St. Louis. Hopefully, that will appease them.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Be an activist for gun rights: Upcoming opportunities

As the late Congressman Larry McDonald (D-GA) is purported to have said:
We have four boxes with which to defend our freedom: the soap box, the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box.
If we cannot be motivated to exhaust the possibilities of the first three boxes in defense of our freedom, we can hardly expect would-be oppressors to worry about us taking the risks, and making the sacrifices, inherent to using the fourth. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Give it a read, and spread the link?

Monday, February 15, 2010

The strange world of Josh Sugarmann

The fact that the Violence Policy Center's rabidly anti-gun executive director Josh Sugarmann has a Federal Firearms License (FFL) is old news. For some reason, it didn't occur to me until this past weekend to wonder how he has persuaded the BATFE to let him have and keep the license, since--under rules pushed by the VPC--it is required that licensees be "in the business" of firearms commerce. They can't, in other words, just be "hobbyists."

After very little checking around, it became obvious that I was way behind the curve in wondering about that, and that many others have already wondered the same thing. So much for that planned blog post.

While looking into it, though, I came across this little gem, in a VPC "report" (pdf file) about the huge decline in FFL holders (specifically, about efforts to reduce the number of what the VPC calls "kitchen-table gun dealers"--FFL holders who operate out of their homes):

Even with a national drop of 78 percent in the number of gun dealers, FFLs—both “kitchen-table” and stocking dealers—are still a key supplier of guns to criminals. As noted earlier, up to 56 percent of FFLs still operate out of residential premises. Thirty-one percent of FFLs had not sold a single firearm in the previous year, a disturbingly high percentage for a class of people who purport to be “engaged in the business” of selling firearms.

[ . . . ]

While at first glance it may seem that an FFL holder who sells few if any firearms is not a threat to public safety, it must be remembered that this reflects only sales reported to ATF. Many sales by “kitchen-table” and corrupt stocking dealers take place “off the books” without the licensee logging the guns into their firearms acquisition book or confirming the identity of the purchaser as required by law.
So in other words, small-time gun dealers selling a lot of guns would be bad news because, well . . . it's a lot of nasty guns being sold. At the same time, small-time dealers not selling guns is bad news, because that lack of activity is just evidence that they're lying, and selling guns off the record.

I talked about something kinda like this before, where we see gun dealers complying with federal law, and turning away would-be customers because of failed background checks, touted as evidence that the dealer is selling a lot of "crime guns."

In both cases, lack of evidence of wrongdoing is represented as . . . "evidence" of wrongdoing!

Where have I seen that kind of "logic" before?

By the way, I still wonder how Sugarmann is exempt from the requirement to be "engaged in the business" of firearms commerce.

Choice, and the two faces of the Brady Campaign

Actually, (and here's an area where I've had some disagreement with my fellow gun rights advocates) that's an argument for which I have some sympathy. I think a compelling case can be made for a property owner having the right to refuse entry to anyone he wants (including armed people)--and armed people have the option of not going there. That's why I prefer the "gun free zone liability" approach.

Strangely, though, now that the Brady Campaign finds itself in disagreement with the firearms policy at Starbucks, they've abandoned talk of rights, and are now making "demands": [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Please give it a look.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Are gun prohibitionists singing a new tune?

In other words, the rhetoric seems to place less emphasis on the (imagined) physical danger posed by armed citizens, replacing it with hand-wringing about their "scariness." Now, the gun-haters are apparently reduced to defending the non-existent right to "freedom from [irrational] fear." [More]
That's (finally) today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Please give it a look.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

IL Commissar Senator Kotowski introduces microstamping bill

Yesterday, rabidly anti-gun Illinois state Senator Dan Kotowski (haven't mentioned him in a while, have I?) introduced SB 3425 to require that after 2010, all new semi-automatic pistols be equipped with "microstamping" technology, and to impose a felony charge on anyone who disables that technology.

For those unfamiliar, "microstamping" involves etching the firing pin (and also somewhere else in the chamber--presumably the breech face) with microscopic characters identifying the gun. The characters are then (in theory) transferred to the primer and cartridge case when a round is fired. The theory goes on to hope that when police investigators retrieve the ejected cartridge cases after a criminal shooting, check the characters under suitable microscope apparatus, and link the characters to a database that would be kept, and lead to the buyer of record.

So far, only one state, California, has passed such legislation, and the California Police Chiefs Association (CPCA), who lobbied enthusiastically for passage of the bill when it was up for consideration, now seem to have changed their minds, as indicated in a letter to California Attorney General Edmund Brown.

In the letter [pdf file], CPCA Acting President Susan E. Manheimer wrote, "There are too many unanswered questions with microstamping in its current iteration" and raised concerns that "statements about the capabilities of microstamping may have been technologically premature." In 2007, CPCA supported legislation (AB 1471) to require firearms microstamping in California.
What are some of these unanswered questions?
The letter continues, "We support further research of microstamping in light of the new information that has surfaced since California passage of the legislation. Publicly available, peer-reviewed studies conducted by independent research organizations conclude that the technology does not function reliably and that criminals can remove the markings easily in mere seconds. We believe that these findings require examination prior to implementation." The CPCA also expressed concerns over implementing the technology during a very difficult budget environment and the negative impact on law enforcement budgets which are already under significant pressure.
The "very difficult budget environment" certainly strikes home. Illinois, like California, is in very dire budgetary straits

Even Illinoisans who care nothing for gun rights, and who believe shall not be infringed shouldn't be accorded any respect, should ask Senator Kotowski why he is pushing a "solution" that has so many obvious problems, and that will exacerbate an already untenable fiscal situation. In fact, I hope people do just that.

Oh--and don't "threaten" him.

Scholar says guns, not jihad, to blame for Ft. Hood atrocity

The thing is, it has become pretty clear that Major Hassan was waging jihad, in accordance with what he thought was his duty as a radical, militant, fundamentalist Muslim. This is made abundantly clear by the a cleric with apparent ties to not only Hassan, but some of the 9/11 hijackers, as well. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Please give it a read.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Brady Campaign providing free advertising for Open Carry movement

I've talked, here and here, about the Brady Campaign's manufactured hysteria about open carry of firearms in California Starbucks locations. Many other gun bloggers have, too, as have my fellow Gun Rights Examiners:
Seattle--Brady Campaign declares war on Starbucks; time for a cup of coffee
D.C.--Let them drink Starbucks!
Seattle--‘Zero tolerance’ doctrine shares hysteria of anti-gun movement
National--Help the Brady Campaign scald themselves on Starbucks Coffee
National--Good and bad news about Starbucks gun story
Cheyenne--Starbucks – not so fast
National--Armed assaults by cops in bars show folly of unthinking trust
L.A.--Safer Streets 2010: Starbucks v. Gun Control.
L.A.--Safer Streets 2010: Starbucks with thanks.
Cheyenne--Starbucks gets a thumbs-up in Wyoming

And I may have missed some.

Besides the Brady Bunch website--which seems to be nearly wholly devoted to this non-issue of an issue, the gun blogs, and the Gun Rights Examiners, there has been some coverage in more traditional press. Finally, it seems, the Brady Campaign has managed to get some attention.

Is that what they really want, though? It seems to me that most folks have heard of the Brady Campaign (without paying much attention to them), but the Open Carry movement has flown under many people's radar--until now.

Also, take note of what the Brady's Paul Helmke says here:

But now we come to Starbucks. When asked about the company's policy on the "open carry" of firearms in its stores, its Customer Relations Department responded to the Brady Campaign's California chapters that "Starbucks does not have a corporate policy regarding customers and weapons; we defer to federal, state and local laws and regulations regarding this issue."

Here's the problem with that answer: generally speaking - and certainly in California - businesses have the right to bar guns on their premises. It is their property and, just as they can prohibit entry by people with bare feet, they can do the same for people with guns.

Despite its response, Starbucks clearly does have a policy and it is one that should be deeply disturbing to the vast majority of its customers.
In other words, "If you aren't with us, you're against us." Alright, Paul, I guess you just made it necessary for them to be against you. By trying to conscript them to your side in the culture war over guns, you have driven them to the other side.

The Brady Bunch calls for people to sign a petition, "demanding" Starbucks formulate a mandated defenselessness policy, but they haven't threatened a boycott (as of yet). That's the one good decision they made here, because if they did try to organize a boycott, they would almost certainly reveal their toothlessness.

Federal court upholds felon body armor ban

As I pointed out before, if restrictive felon voting laws, combined with a justice system that disproportionately convicts minorities of felonies, improperly deprives minorities of electoral power; then a felon body armor ban, combined with the same justice system, violates a seemingly even more fundamental right--the right to life. I, in fact, would take that a step further, and say that a racially discriminatory justice system, combined with the 1968 Gun Control Act's prohibition on felons even touching a gun or ammunition, is a clear violation of the Second Amendment--a violation that will be even more clear if the plaintiffs win in McDonald v. City of Chicago on the 14th Amendment's Privileges or Immunities clause. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Also learn how throwing a snowball can get you a lifetime ban on firearms and body armor possession.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

We're the Only Ones with secret performance evaluations enough

I don't usually do "Only Ones" posts (one reason being my inability to come up with titles half as catchy as David's), but this is something I stumbled on in my own Area of Operations. As part of my (small) contribution to the work we do at Illinois Carry, I (along with a bunch of others) keep an eye, every legislative session, on all the bills introduced, in order to see which ones will affect gun rights, and thus require action on our part.

As I was going through a block of bills for which I'm responsible, I stumbled on one that doesn't really have anything to do with gun rights, but caught my eye anyway: SB 3040

Synopsis As Introduced
Amends the Freedom of Information Act. Exempts from disclosure information relating to performance evaluations of law enforcement officers covered by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board and sworn peace officers employed by the State. Effective immediately.
Can't have the uppity peasants getting too much information about their betters' paid enforcers now, can we?

The bill was actually introduced by my own state senator. Senator Haine has been pretty good on gun issues, although I do remember he seems to have a soft spot for "Only Ones," and for giving them special dispensations--he signed a letter asking for leniency for three Illinois State Troopers caught with illegal machine guns. A doctor was also caught in that bust, but the letter didn't mention giving the non-"Only One" any breaks.

Gun rights movement in India underscores important point

That's a lesson that Americans can ill afford to ignore. We, as gun rights advocates, refer to the right to keep and bear arms as a Constitutional right--which is entirely correct, as far as it goes. What we must not lose sight of, however, is that the Constitution merely guarantees that right--it does not grant it--indeed, rights cannot be "granted" by any government document, only privileges can. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Hope you give it a look.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Illinois gun owners, make your voices heard in Springfield

On March 10th, gun owners in Illinois are going to Springfield to march on the capital to tell legislators--public servants--to, well . . . serve the public, and protect the rights of the people. I refer to Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day (IGOLD) 2010. A collaborative effort of the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA), Illinois Carry, and the Champaign County Rifle Association, IGOLD draws thousands of concerned gun owners (over 5,000 last year, and the hope is to double that this year). [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. In addition to IGOLD, it also discusses the latest legislative attack on gun owners in Illinois.

Sunday, February 07, 2010


Head over to The Trailer, and see what that mad genius, Kaveman, has created.

Good stuff.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Pi**ing in the Brady Bunch's coffee

Thursday, I wrote about the Brady Campaign's hysteria about people carrying guns (unloaded guns) while drinking . . . coffee. Starbucks has been so impressed with the Brady Bunch's power and influence, and in the logic of their position, that they immediately decided to . . . shrug.

Starbucks has brushed aside a request from a gun control advocacy group to ban the display of guns in its retail locations, saying it will abide by laws that allow patrons to openly carry unloaded weapons.
Starbucks' response was pretty much what one would expect of a large corporation with enough sense to not be interested in being conscripted into either side of a culture war.
"Starbucks does not have a corporate policy regarding customers and weapons; we defer to federal, state and local laws and regulations regarding this issue," Starbucks' customer relations department said in response to the Brady Campaign's request.
I haven't seen a reaction from the national organization, but a local Brady Chapter is disappointed.
The head of a local chapter of the Brady Campaign was disappointed by the response.

"I don't want someone who carries a gun into a store to be making life-and-death decisions. I don't think it's safe for them to be there," said Griffin Dix, who leads the Oakland-Alameda County chapter, which has more than 500 members and other chapters in San Mateo and Contra Costa counties.
Hmm--"life-and-death decisions," Griffin? Like Espresso Macchiato vs. Cinammon Spice Mocha?

One amusing line from the article was that the Brady Campaign "sent e-mails to its approximately 180,000 members nationwide," to "demand" the banning of armed private citizens.

180,000 members? I seriously doubt it. If you go to their website, you'll see that there's no way to join as a "member" of the national organization--just local chapters. Out of curiosity, I looked to see what the nearest chapter was in my home state of Illinois. Actually, all they have are "Million (HA!) Mom March" chapters (OK--guess that counts--Brady Campaign coalesced with MMM when the Marching Mommies had to sidestep some shady tax dealings), and there is a grand total of three of them--all in the Chicago area.

Remember that Illinois is a point of focus for the Brady Campaign (more here).

Stop it guys--I'm starting to be embarrassed for you.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Unarmed security guard faces lawsuit for failing to prevent massacre

An attorney for the daugher of one of the victims seems to claim that the guard, Ronald L. Whitehead, should have taken Thornton's angry relationship with the City Council into consideration, and based on that consideration, apparently should have prevented Thornton from entering . . . somehow (this was after Thornton had already killed a police officer in the parking lot, and taken his gun).

When Thornton first arrived outside, Mr. Whitehead did go upstairs and alert the police officer providing secuity inside (that officer was also killed later in the rampage). Beyond that, what would the plaintiffs have had Mr. Whitehead do? [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Please give it a look.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

If I were a coffee drinker . . .

Well, I should perhaps amend that to "If I were a coffee drinker who likes to spend a lot of money on coffee . . . "

Anyway, if I were such a person, I'd be supporting Starbucks, and here's why.

Over the past few months, more and more gun owners have been gathering at restaurants and coffee shops like Starbucks with guns strapped to their hips, intimidating fellow patrons.

So far, Peet's Coffee & Tea and California Pizza Kitchen have heeded customer concerns and barred the open carrying of guns. But Starbucks is refusing to prohibit the open carrying of firearms in its stores.

It's everyone's right to sit in a restaurant or coffee shop with their families without intimidation or fear of guns, either concealed or openly carried.

Under the law, Starbucks has the right to adopt a gun-free policy, with an exception for uniformed police officers. Such a policy can easily be implemented in most cases by putting up signs at store entrances.

The practice of packing heat in places like Starbucks is intimidating and could be potentially dangerous to our families and communities – and it must be stopped.
Coffee drinkers--particularly those in California--please buy a Triple Kiwi-Raspberry Decaf Espresso Latte Frappuccino, for freedom.

And all of us should drop them a note suggesting they tell the Brady Campaign where they can stick their "demands."

Here's what I sent them:
Dear Starbucks,
I am writing to applaud your policy in California of serving customers who, in compliance with all applicable laws, openly carry holstered, unloaded firearms. I know that the Brady Campaign is trying to pressure you to prohibit such customers, (and is in fact "demanding" that you do so), and I hope you stand firm in your insistence on respecting the rights of all your customers.

Thank you,
Kurt Hofmann

Seattle Gun Rights Examiner Dave Workman has more (and here, as well), as does Bob S., and now, National Gun Rights Examiner David Codrea

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) plans to advance gun rights

Sen. Coburn, who introduced the legislation, added as an amendment to a credit card reform bill, to overturn national park gun bans, has more in mind, using a similar strategy.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) has quietly been preparing a series of gun rights amendments that he intends to offer to must-pass Senate bills this year, hoping to force Democrats to take tough votes and draw clear distinctions between the two parties heading into the midterms.

Coburn’s effort, part of a broader GOP 2010 strategy, is still coming together, but the Oklahoma Republican said this week that at least one forum for the gun fight will be this year’s appropriations measures. “We’ll see gun amendments if we see appropriations bills,” Coburn said.
The thinking is that at least some amendments that protect or advance gun rights have a chance of being adopted, because they'll (hopefully) be supported by a large majority of Republicans, plus a fair number of Democrats--especially junior Democrats in traditionally Republican seats, representing areas in which the constitutency tends to favor gun rights.
Republicans have seen some success in the past inserting gun rights provisions into Senate bills. The Senate Democratic Conference is not of one mindset on the issue; many of its more junior Members hail from conservative states and support gun rights. For instance, Coburn successfully tied up a public lands bill in 2008 by demanding that it include provisions repealing a ban on guns in national parks, and Republicans successfully inserted language into last year’s District of Columbia voting rights legislation to rid the city of many of its gun-control laws.
The article didn't go too deeply into specifics, but mentioned language to accomplish what Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) tried to do with S. 669, the "Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act."

Other likely possibilities include some kind of national reciprocity ("Thune Amendment," in other words)--not that I am without concerns about such legislation.

What I like about Coburn's approach is that if Democrats feel compelled to support gun rights in order to keep their congressional seats, that pretty clearly demonstrates that the will of the people is in favor of gun rights.

Should be interesting.

Delaware Public Housing Authority's attempt to disarm the poor

With the revelation, by the Caesar Rodney Institute, that all four public housing agencies in Delaware have implemented policies forbidding residents from possessing firearms in their homes, we see, once again, that some would prefer to price the poor out of the self-defense market. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Please give it a look.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Meet the new boss: Baltimore to get new anti-gun mayor

With Baltimore, Maryland's Mayor Sheila Dixon having been convicted (on the first count--she was indicted on eight eleven more counts) for corruption (stealing gift cards meant for the poor--stay classy, Sheila), Baltimore is about to get a new mayor (Dixon resigns tomorrow, as part of her plea deal).

(Soon to be Ex)-Mayor Dixon is a member of Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns (or, perhaps, Illegal Mayors Against Guns), and has made disarming the citizenry a central part of her political agenda (well, maybe not quite as central as stealing stuff).

Baltimore gun owners hoping for a mayor less hostile to them have little reason to be reassured by Dixon's successor, though. Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, in fact, hopes to make all of Maryland's already draconian gun laws still more restrictive:

Baltimore's incoming mayor, Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake, pressed Annapolis lawmakers to toughen state gun laws at a packed hearing Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee, saying "we have to do more" to build on successes in reducing crime.
Specifically, she wants a law that "enhances" penalties for violent crimes that are committed with a handgun, to also "enhance" crimes committed with long guns.

Such laws (whether the handgun-only law now on the books, or the proposed expansion to cover long guns) take the curious position that beating someone to death with a baseball bat is less heinous than shooting him to death.

Strangely, in arguing for the expansion of the law to cover long guns, Baltimore Police Commissioner Fred Bealefeld seems (presumably by accident) to make that very point (my emphasis added).
Bealefeld said sentencing should not be dictated by a criminal's choice of weapon -- a choice that is increasingly a long gun, according to city statistics.
Indeed, Fred, sentencing should not be dictated by the criminal's choice of weapon--be it a gun, a knife, a beer bottle, a bikini top, a railroad tie (or wooden board, depending on the account), etc.

Is airline security entrusted to an armed extremist hate group?

So, yeah--maybe bigotry and hatred are a bigger threat than I've been willing to acknowledge, and maybe the hate-filled extremists are armed, and able to board airliners without question.

The problem is that none of the "solutions" being offered will do anything to protect against this alarming threat, and in fact tend to make the haters the "Only Ones" with guns. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Please give it a look.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Anti-gun Illinois legislator wants to re-define parts of the English language

In this, Representative Chapa LaVia would seem to be in disagreement with Merriam-Webster, since it would be difficult to argue that a glove compartment or center console is not "a box or receptacle for holding something."

Re-defining words to suit their agenda is, of course, not a new trick for forcible citizen disarmament advocates. For years, we were told that "the people" meant "the National Guard," and that "shall not be infringed" means, well . . . nothing, really. Next to those examples, I suppose changing the definition of "case" is a small matter. [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Please give it a look.

Monday, February 01, 2010

An idea for Mayors FOR Guns

David mentioned, a while back, Mayor Joel Stoner, of Macks Creek, MO. Mayor Stoner advocates forming a group of mayors to act as a counterweight to NYC Mayor "Furious Mike" Bloomberg's Illegal Mayors Against Guns.

The City of Macks Creek has passed resolutions in support of firearms ownership. I personally have been talking to the NRA to form a Mayors who support gun rights, to counter Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns(MAIG).
I would hope the NRA gets behind Mayor Stoner, and puts some real resources into this effort.

If that happens, I have an idea they might consider.

Some large cities in the U.S. have designated themselves "sanctuary cities," in which foreign invaders . . . oops--I mean illegal aliens . . . oops--I mean "undocumented workers" are, by city policy, protected in their continued flaunting of U.S. immigration law. This, despite the fact that people here illegally tend to be responsible for a disproportionate amount of violent crime.

It is perhaps interesting to note that there seems to be a fairly high degree of intersection between mayors of "sanctuary cities," and members of Bloomberg's MAIG. Actually, perhaps it makes a twisted kind of sense for mayors who support more and more restrictive gun laws to also protect border violators. The more violent crime committed by these "undocumented workers," after all, the more violent crime the mayors can point to as evidence of the need for more gun laws.

But I digress.

My point is that a Mayors For Guns group could designate their own "sanctuary cities"--but not to protect border violators from prosecution for their crimes, but to protect owners of "undocumented firearms" (damn--I didn't invent the term) from prosecution under laws that infringe on that which shall not be infringed--all gun laws, in other words.

Just an idea.

Defensive handgun carry: A tale of two states

Speaking of opposites, there's also talk of ending Wisconsin's status as one of the two remaining states (Illinois being the other) to outright ban all concealed carry of defensive firearms, but not only would the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel editorial board faint dead away at the idea of "allowing" that right without licensing, they want to offer that right up as a coin, with which to purchase further infringements on that which shall not be infringed: [More]
That's today's St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Hope to see ya' there.