Wednesday, July 1, 2015

What I Missed Last Week


Last week in St. Louis was spent at the hospital with my mother-in-law. As a result, I didn't get to comment on some of the issues that came up last week. It is too late to comment on everything that happened but I'd like to mention a couple of things in the "Never Let A Tragedy Go To Waste" category.

First up is the abuse of the funeral of Rev. Clementa Pinckney by President Obama for political purposes. To me a eulogy should be a discussion of the deceased's life. It should be used to let others know how much the deceased loved his or her family. It should be used to point out the deceased's accomplishments in life. It should be used to discuss the goodness of the deceased.

By all accounts, Clementa Pinckney was a good and pious man who loved his family and his church community. He was also an accomplished man in that he was elected to the South Carolina State Senate at the young age of 23. While he might have been a politician, he didn't deserve having the President of the United States turn his funeral into a political attack on guns and the Confederate flag.
For too long, we’ve been blind to the unique mayhem that gun violence inflicts upon this nation. (Applause.) Sporadically, our eyes are open: When eight of our brothers and sisters are cut down in a church basement, 12 in a movie theater, 26 in an elementary school. But I hope we also see the 30 precious lives cut short by gun violence in this country every single day; the countless more whose lives are forever changed -- the survivors crippled, the children traumatized and fearful every day as they walk to school, the husband who will never feel his wife’s warm touch, the entire communities whose grief overflows every time they have to watch what happened to them happen to some other place.

The vast majority of Americans -- the majority of gun owners -- want to do something about this. We see that now. (Applause.) And I'm convinced that by acknowledging the pain and loss of others, even as we respect the traditions and ways of life that make up this beloved country -- by making the moral choice to change, we express God’s grace. (Applause.)
The second broader issue is the Confederate flag or, more correctly, the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia. To some it is a symbol of slavery and racism. To others it is a symbol of their Southern heritage for which their forefathers fought and died.

My great-great-grandfather Alexander Clay "Sandy" Morgan was a private in Co. K, 34th North Carolina Infantry along with his brothers Anderson and Eli. They both grew up in the northern part of Montgomery County, North Carolina and had enlisted (or more likely were drafted) in March 1863. Their regiment was part of the second wave of troops involved in the ill-fate Pickett's Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg. Sandy and Anderson survived the war while their brother Eli is reported to have died as a prisoner of war at Point Lookout, Maryland.



My Grandfather Richardson's biological father, William Thomas Brewer, reportedly served in the Confederate Navy according to my cousin and family historian Rev. Van Thomas. I am sure there are more relatives that served the Confederacy if I dig deeper.

I have never owned a Confederate flag of any sort. I just haven't. My mom was a New Yorker whose ancestors didn't even arrive to this country until after the Civil War (or War of Northern Aggression). As my influence on these things came from my mother, familial ties to the Confederacy were just not emphasized.

Just as important, even though I had ancestors who served in the Confederate Army, the section of North Carolina from which they came was highly anti-slavery and anti-secessionist. This section of the Piedmont is referred to as the Quaker Belt by historians and tended to have many Southern Unionists. My grandfather was a staunch Republican and I surmise his political beliefs were tied to this anti-slavery, Southern Unionist core of thought in southern Randolph and northern Montgomery Counties.

Should the Confederate flag fly over a statehouse? No, that should be the US flag and the state flag. However, should a Confederate flag fly over a Confederate war memorial or over a historic site? Absolutely, positively yes. It is a reminder of our history both good and bad. As the philosopher George Santayana wrote, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

I am sick to death of political correctness, talk of micro-aggressions, and other such nonsense. I am at the point where I'd fly the Confederate flag just out of spite even though I've never even owned one in the past.

Perhaps it was just as well that my focus last week was on my mother-in-law and not this stuff.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Sour Grapes, Much?


This past Saturday the New Jersey Second Amendment Society (NJ2AS) rallied to gather signatures for a recall of NJ Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester). According to NJ.com, there were 200 activists there ready to go door to door to gather signatures.

We have interviewed both Alexander Roubian and Dan Roberts on The Polite Society Podcast about their plans for this event. It should be noted that only New Jersey registered voters are allowed to solicit the signatures. Thus, the majority of the people at the event were residents of the state registered to vote.

Bearing that in mind, I was amused to read this comment in the story from gun prohibitionist Bryan Miller of Ceasefire NJ and Heeding God's Call.
Bryan Miller, executive director of Heeding God's Call, a faith-based group in Philadelphia that seeks to prevent gun violence, called to respond to the NJSAS gathering on Saturday.

When he heard about the number of people who showed to the event, he said he didn't think it was "a very impressive number."
Can you say "sour grapes"? When was the last time the anti-gunners were able to assemble 200 people in one place for a protest even if they were paid and bused in? They didn't get that many in Nashville even though they tried to make it look like more through trick photography.

Sorry, Bryan, but 200 people that are predominantly registered voters in a state that isn't gun friendly is a heckuva lot of activists.

I'd like to also note that newly elected NRA Board member Tim Knight spoke to the rally before they set forth to gather signatures. It is great to see a NRA Board member getting down in the trenches with gun owners in the fight for gun rights.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Florida Carry Is On The Case


Open carry is generally not legal in Florida. However, it is allowed when you are hunting or fishing. The Tampa PD seems not to have gotten that message. George Freeman, as you can read below, was fishing on a city pier when he was detained and then ultimately banned from a city pier while open carrying.

While I personally prefer concealed carry, I do so in a state where unlicensed open carry has been the rule since the early 1920s thanks to a NC Supreme Court ruling. I believe open carry should be legal because, at the very least, concealed carry holders need protection when inadvertently exposing their firearm.


Florida Carry files lawsuit against Tampa for violations of members' rights and Florida law.
Tampa went too far.

Our member, George Freeman was NOT breaking any law but he was detained for over an hour, disarmed, searched, and ultimately banned from a Tampa city pier and all city parks for exercising his Second Amendment Right to Bear Arms.
The fact that a person is peacefully exercising their right to bear arms is not cause for police officers to attack, detain, search, and trespass a citizen who is a law-abiding gun owner.

To insure that this does not happen again, our lawyers are coming fishing with us at the next regularly scheduled Florida Carry Fishing Meetup, on Saturday, July 11th - 10am Ballast Point Pier in Tampa. Information and directions can be found by clicking HERE.

We have also filed a lawsuit to defend the right to bear arms, our members, and your rights.  You can read about the case by clicking HERE.

We are raising funds to support the lawsuit.  please read more and consider contributing to your fellow gun owner's case at: https://www.gofundme.com/DefendingRKBA
Open Carry Fishing
Open Carry Fishing
We often have to go to the courts to demand our rights.

You can keep up to date on our court cases at: https://www.floridacarry.org/litigation

Friday, June 26, 2015

Learning Patience


This week is teaching me patience.

We had intended this week to be one of having fun with family out in St. Louis. While we have had a small graduation party for my nephew Grant and introduced Olivia Grace to another wing of her family, most of the week has been spent at Missouri Baptist Medical Center.

My mother-in-law fell on Saturday while getting out of bed at her memory-care center. She got a nasty bruise on the chin and she had trouble putting weight on her leg. This was the second fall in as many weeks. A mobile X-Ray was inconclusive so her doctor suggested a short in-patient stay to allow her to get an MRI and CT Scan. So she was transferred to the hospital on Monday afternoon. The doc said that my mother in law would probably get the MRI quickly and the doc could evaluate the results shortly after that.

It took over 24 hours to get that MRI done. The results were that she had two fractures in her pelvis and would need rehab.

Her nurses, patient techs, and rehab people have been great at MoBap.

Her case managers, or whatever they call them here, not so much. To be honest, and I'm biting my tongue so I don't say anything worse, they need lessons in how to communicate. I have gotten to the point where I just have to bury my head in a book or the computer so I don't lash out at them. The Complementary Spouse has been a great advocate for her Mom and as a nurse she can speak the language. She has been patient to the extreme and has finally gotten them working for her Mom.

Medicare rules must vary from state to state. My mother-in-law was admitted for observation. One would think that after a diagnosis of a fractured pelvis, a BP spike, AND going into afib, she would have been reclassified to in-patient status. According to the case managers this was not the case. She only got reclassified to in-patient status due to her chin bruise becoming infected and that was only yesterday. The case managers and utilization review say that can't go back and reclassify her. Color me skeptical on that claim.

The reason that status matters is because under Medicare guidelines a person needs three days in the hospital as an in-patient (three midnight rule) in order to have Medicare to pay for rehab at a skilled nursing facility (nursing home). Fortunately, in our case, my mother-in-law will be admitted to an acute rehab facility where the three midnight rule isn't needed. Hopefully, it will happen this afternoon.

To top things off, the hospital somehow, somewhere have lost my mother-in-law's eyeglasses. What next?

The week has had some bright spots. I got to meet Charlie Foxtrot who has been helping us on The Polite Society Podcast. We had a great lunch on Wednesday and a great time meeting one another. The other bright spot is that I've found some really good bourbon that I can't get at home as well as a great place to buy it. Imagine a liquor store in a former Best Buy location with many select barrel offerings and you have Lukas Wine and Spirits. I will be patient and wait until I get home before cracking the seal on the bourbon I purchased.

Keep your fingers crossed for my mother-in-law that she gets moved to her new location sooner than later. A prayer or two would be welcome as well.

UPDATE: My mother-in-law was moved to SSM St. Mary's Rehab on Friday afternoon. I knew things were starting to look up when we were talking to the transfer EMTs. One was a North Carolinian and the other a South Carolinian. Moreover, the lead EMT was a graduate of Western Carolina University where I just so happen to teach a class each semester. Perfect!

The difference between the two facilities was like night and day. The room was bigger, the staff was more devoted to the patient than to the computer, and everyone was just a quantum leap more friendlier. I think this is going to work out just fine.

She'll be in acute rehab for at least 2 weeks so long as she shows improvement. Our goal is to get her on her feet again and walking. She was walking without any assistance prior to the fall.

Keep your fingers crossed and prayer wouldn't hurt.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Light Blogging This Week


I will have very light to non-existent blogging this week.

We are in St. Louis to check up on my mother-in-law, see the rest of the family, introduce my granddaughter Olivia Grace to her great-grandmother, and the like.

I will also get a chance to meet Charlie Foxtrot of Not One More Gun Law. He has been helping tremendously on The Polite Society Podcast.

If I am lucky I will also get some pictures of the Mississippi and the Meramac Rivers. I have never seen them so high. The Meramac is supposed to crest at 35.9 feet today in Arnold. Flood stage is 24 feet.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Puerto Rico Goes Constitutional Carry


Most of us don't think much about the US territories and commonwealths. Maybe we should.

Thanks to the Ladies of the Second Amendment and their lawsuit in a Puerto Rico commonwealth court, Puerto Ricans can now carry, open or concealed, without a permit and they no longer need a permit to purchase a firearm. The court's ruling also abolished the gun registry in Puerto Rico. All firearms transactions will now handled in accordance with Federal firearms regulations.

Wow! That's way better than I have it in North Carolina. I still have to have a concealed carry permit and people still need to go to their local sheriff to get a pistol purchase permit (thanks to some Republicans who kow-towed to the Sheriffs' Association.)

Below is the release that the Second Amendment Foundation put out announcing this win for gun rights in Puerto Rico.

BELLEVUE, WA – A surprising victory for gun rights in Puerto Rico has eliminated the firearms registry and licensing requirements to purchase and carry in the Commonwealth, the Second Amendment Foundation has confirmed.

As of now, according to Sandra Barreras with Ladies of the Second Amendment (LSA), the group that brought the lawsuit, “there is no regulation to purchase or carry (and) all purchases will be handled in accordance with federal firearms regulations.” LSA is affiliated with SAF through the International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR).

The class-action lawsuit challenged various articles in Puerto Rico’s gun law, which the court declared unconstitutional. Because of the ruling, Barreras said, Puerto Ricans may now carry openly or concealed without a permit, and they do not need to obtain a permit before purchasing a firearm.

This was a class action lawsuit involving more than 850 individual plaintiffs, she reported to SAF offices. The news was greeted with delight, especially because in reaching its decision, the court cited the Heller and McDonald Supreme Court cases, and the recent ruling in Palmer v. District of Columbia. Both the McDonald and Palmer cases were won by SAF.

“Cumbersome firearms regulations have never prevented criminals from getting their hands on guns,” noted SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “They have only inconvenienced law-abiding citizens, or deprived them outright from exercising their rights under the Second Amendment.”

Gottlieb said the lawsuit was brought in a Puerto Rican Commonwealth court, rather than a federal court. Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory and thus is subject to federal court jurisdiction.

“This case turned out better than anyone had really anticipated,” he commented. “We’re very pleased to have played an advisory role in this case, and if there is a government appeal, we’ll definitely be there with whatever support we can provide to our good friends in Puerto Rico.”

A Movie I Might Actually Like To See


I'm not big on movies. For one thing, I don't want to subsidize the anti-gun liberals in Hollywood. For another, I get bored just sitting there. The Complementary Spouse and I like to joke that we have Movie ADD. I don't think we've been in a movie theater since about the year 2000.

However, I came across this trailer for an Australian documentary entitled "Dazzle: The Hidden Story of Camouflage." I think I'd live to view it. Camo in its many forms and permutations intrigues me. Indeed, I spent part of this morning checking out urban camo patterns for an AR-15 that I'm thinking of painting. I'm seriously thinking of trying to go with one of these Dazzle type patterns that are akin to Swedish M90 camo.



DAZZLE: The Hidden Story of Camouflage from Off the Fence Financing on Vimeo.

Interesting Tidbit From CNN


The first reports from Charleston said that the Emanuel AME Church murderer was given his pistol as gift by his father. The implication was that it was a private transaction. This seems to be incorrect.

A report today from CNN had this to say about the purchase of the weapon used to commit the murders.
One key part of this horrific scheme -- the weapon -- came in April, when (the murderer) bought a .45-caliber handgun at a Charleston gun store, the two law enforcement officials told Perez and Bruer from CNN, the first network to report this development. His grandfather says that (the murderer) was given "birthday money" and that the family didn't know what (the murderer) did with it.
As with most media reports after a horrific event, the first reports are usually in error.

If CNN and the law enforcement officials are correct in that the murderer purchased the firearm at a gun store, this indicates that a NICS check was performed and he was cleared to purchase the firearm. This is just like the murders at Virginia Tech, Tucson, Santa Barbara, and Aurora where the murderers all cleared a NICS check.

While the Shadow may know what evil lurks in the hearts of men, I certainly don't.  I just know it exists and that we should be able to protect ourselves from it.