Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Gun Quote Collection

Buckeye Firearms Association, a grass-roots gun rights organization in Ohio, has come up with a gun quote collection. They are famous quotes from movies, celebrities, the Founding Fathers, Col. Jeff Cooper, and others.

Here are some samples:
"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."
- Sigmund Freud

"Among other evils which being unarmed brings you, it causes you to be despised."
- Charlton Heston

"An armed society is a polite society."
- Robert Heinlein

"You can say 'stop' or 'alto' or use any other word you think will work but I've found that a large bore muzzle pointed at someone's head is pretty much the universal language."
- Clint Smith

"Remember the first rule of gunfighting ... have a gun."
-Col. Jeff Cooper

"Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest."
- Mahatma Gandhi

"The gun control extremist has at least two things in common with the Islamic extremist. He has a willingness to die for his fundamental beliefs. And he has the sanctimony to demand that others go with him."
- Dr. Mike Adams
If you have a gun quote that is not listed in their collection, you can send it to them here.

Righthaven LLC's New Client

Steve Gibson's Righthaven LLC has added another newspaper chain to his list of clients according to a report in Wired. WEHCO Media, Inc. of Little Rock, Arkansas owns 15 daily newspapers, 13 weekly newspapers, and 13 cable companies. The majority of their holdings are in Arkansas.

It is not surprising that WEHCO has jumped on the Righthaven copyright troll litigation bandwagon. In November 2009, their subsidiary, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. formed an equal partnership with Stephens Media LLC and combined their operations in northwest Arkansas. The jointly owned company is called Northwest Arkansas Newspapers, LLC.

Knowing the relationship between WEHCO and Stephens Media now explains why they published  a pro-Righthaven story in NWAOnline. I referred to the NWAOnline in the Stalinist term of "useful idiots". Since I didn't know of the relationship at the time, I am now changing my description of them to "fellow travelers".

So who or what is WEHCO Media? WEHCO stands for Walter E. Hussman Company. Hussman was the son-in-law of Clyde Palmer who started what would become WEHCO in the early 1900s in Texarkana, AR when he bought the Texarkana Courier. Over the next few decades Palmer expanded his chain to include newspapers in Hot Springs, El Dorado, Camden, Magnolia, and Hope.

Hussman entered his father-in-law's business a few year after marrying Betty Palmer. He succeeded Palmer as president of the newspaper chain in 1957 upon Palmer's death. During the 1960s, he started to expand the company into the cable TV business which accounts for the 13 cable companies now owned by WEHCO. In 1973, Palmer Newspapers became WEHCO Media. The company is now run by Walter, Jr. who had managed the Arkansas Democrat of Little Rock which in time became the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

I think it can be safely said that between WEHCO Media and Stephens Media that they control the newspaper business in the state of Arkansas. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette has the largest circulation of any paper in Arkansas and is the 43rd largest paper nationwide. So what newspapers and magazines does WEHCO own so that bloggers can avoid them just like we are avoiding the Stephens Media holdings. The following is a list by state:

Arkansas

Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Inc.
Banner-News Publishing Company
Benton County Daily Record *
Camden News
El Dorado News Times
Fayetteville Free Weekly*
Gentry Courier-Journal/Decatur Herald*
Gravette News Herald*
La Prensa Libre*
Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette *
Northwest Arkansas Times *
Rogers Morning News *
Sentinel Record
Smackover Journal
Springdale Morning News *
The Siloam Springs Herald Leader*
The Times of Northeast Benton County*
The Weekly Vista*
Washington County Enterprise-Leader*
White River Valley News*

Missouri
California Democrat
Fulton Sun
Jefferson City News Tribune
McDonald County Press *
The Lake Today


Tennessee


Chattanooga Times Free Press
Noticias Libres Sureste de Tennessee

Texas

Texarkana Gazette



* Part of "Northwest Arkansas Newspapers LLC"

UPDATE: The Atlantic named Walter Hussman, Jr. as one of their 27 "Brave Thinkers" because he began charging for online access to his newspapers back in 2002. I wonder if getting in bed with copyright trolls would also qualify as "brave thinking."

Monday, August 30, 2010

San Francisco - Neighbors Object to Lone Gun Store Reopening

In a surprisingly positive column in the San Francisco Chronicle, Phil Bronstein describes the fight that High Bridge Arms is having to endure in order to reopen their store. The store was closed temporarily and the North Bernal Alliance and three other neighborhood groups are fighting their reopening.

The neighborhood groups are asking the city authorities to deny the store the license it needs to operate. They say their members don't want a gun store "near our homes and/or schools." And, officially, they say they don't object to people owning guns. However, as one member said:
They'd just "rather have something the neighborhood could enjoy - a laundry or wine and cheese shop."
According to Yahoo Local, San Francisco has 131 specialty food stores and another 64 specializing in natural and organic foods. This is in addition to 675 grocery stores. Do they really need one more wine and cheese store?

High Bridge Arms has been in business for over 50 years and serves a good bit of the law enforcement community. The local police captain said they have never had any trouble due to the store. That said, he is getting 10-1 negative to positive e-mails about the store.

Fortunately, the local branch of the Pink Pistols is rooting for the store. Tom, the local chapter president said:
"California now has a law that you can't receive ammunition through the mail. And many people in San Francisco don't have cars." Therefore, a city gun store is helpful and encourages the use of mass transit.
As Bronstein noted, Tom was trying to put a "green" spin on it. Tom did make the point that High Bridge is "a lawful business conducted in a lawful way for people who want to lawfully participate in the shooting sports."
 
Bronstein concludes by urging everyone just to be a little sensible about it.
 
The article generated a lot of comments as one might expect. However, they weren't as bad (for the most part) as one might expect. Here is a sample:
OMG... I've read a page or two of thoughts from the readers, I can't believe these are chron readers? My second thought was, I didn't know there was a gun store in SF.

This store, when it was open, always had the most insipid, tasteless posters in its windows advertising their brand name weapons for sale (Glock for example). The last one I noticed was an oversize glossy poster of a scantily clad blond white nurse in white pumps and white mini skirt being "saved" by white steroid junkies in kevlar from dark skinned perps. This owner may be mild mannered when the press calls but the fantasies he perpetuates with his adolescent window displays are everything but(t).

Guns are evil.

Are you kidding, a local "Gun Store" in San Francisco? We've even tried to close down a popular sandwich shop in the Castro simply because neighbors are complaining about the smell of bacon. "I love the smell of bacon in the morning... Smells like, Victory!" What next?

I am a happy card-carrying progressive on just about every issue out there. However, I am also a happy card-carrying member of the NRA. So, if these whiny Volvo-driving Montessori types think that guns are somehow "evil," I'd like to remind them that so are criminals. Get out of 1968, kids. Our state needs a concealed carry law.
If the majority of comments are any indication, there may be hope for San Francisco after all.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Halo 3 and MLGPro

There will be light blogging this weekend as the Complementary Spouse and I will be traveling to Raleigh to see her nephews play in the MLGPro event.

They play Halo 3 in 4-man team competition. And they are pretty good. Kyle (ElamiteWarrior) is captain of Instinct, the number one ranked team, which is going for a three-peat as they have won the previous two events this year. Aaron (lx Ace xl) is on Status Quo which is seeded fifth. The winning team will split $20,000 in prize money.

Main Stage
Ace of Status Quo
ElamiteWarrior of Instinct at autograph session
Non-main stage competition at MLG Pro Raleigh

MLG Pro provides live streaming video of the top games along with commentary. You can find it here.

MLG Pro seems to have adopted the NASCAR model of promoting their sponsors. You will see signs and ads everywhere for Dr. Pepper, Doritos, Old Spice, Bic, and Hot Pockets sandwiches. Gamers t-shirts are emblazoned with the logos of the sponsors. In the past sponsors have included Microsoft, the US Army, and Boost Mobile.

UPDATE: Sadly, Instinct finished in second place and did not get their three-peat. However, Aaron's team, Status Quo, came in fourth which was higher than their seed. Had a great time catching up with family!

Friday, August 27, 2010

NRA is NOT Endorsing Harry Reid

This statement was posted this afternoon on the NRA-Political Victory Fund site:
Statement From NRA-PVF Chairman Chris W. Cox On The 2010 Nevada U.S. Senate Race

Friday, August 27, 2010

In the coming days and weeks, the NRA Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) will be announcing endorsements and candidate ratings in hundreds of federal races, as well as thousands of state legislative races. Unless these announcements are required by the timing of primary or special elections, the NRA-PVF generally does not issue endorsements while important legislative business is pending. The NRA-PVF also operates under a long-standing policy that gives preference to incumbent candidates who have voted with the NRA on key issues, which is explained in more detail here.

The U.S. Senate recently considered a number of issues important to NRA members, including the confirmation of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. Out of respect for the confirmation process, the NRA did not announce its position on Ms. Kagan's confirmation until the conclusion of her testimony before the Senate Judiciary committee. Her evasive testimony exacerbated grave concerns we had about her long-standing hostility towards the Second Amendment. As a result, the NRA strongly opposed her confirmation and made it clear at the time that we would be scoring this important vote.

The vote on Elena Kagan's confirmation to the Court, along with the previous year's confirmation vote on Sonia Sotomayor, are critical for the future of the Second Amendment. After careful consideration, the NRA-PVF announced today that it will not be endorsing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for re-election in the 2010 U.S. Senate race in Nevada.

NRA members and other interested parties are encouraged to visit www.NRAPVF.org for more information as Election Day draws near.
Given that the NRA's Chris Cox and Wayne LaPierre are about as Washington Insider as it comes, the non-endorsement of Reid is recognition of two things. First, that the membership would rise up in protest if Harry Reid were endorsed. Second is the recognition that the tide against the status quo is so strong that most who get in its way will get wiped out. Just ask Republican incumbents like Robert Bennett, Bob Inglis of South Carolina, and quite probably, Lisa Murkowski.

Charlie Cook of the Cook Report is one of the best political handicappers in Washington. He has called this election a "wave election" akin to the 1994 Republican landslide. I think he is quite accurate in his description of it. When one looks at the number of political outsiders who have taken on the establishment and won by fighting a guerrilla war, it is astounding - and that is just in the primaries to date. The NRA is not an agile organization but it is smart enough to recognize reality when it is staring it in the face. Harry Reid is in trouble and they don't want to go down with the ship.

FBI-ATF Turf Wars Smackdown

As noted by Joe Huffman and SayUncle, the FBI and BATFE have been engaged in a turf war to see which agency would be the lead agency when it comes to investigating explosions. This has been going on for some years. As a result, every now and then the Justice Department leadership would issue a memo telling them to quit fighting. Of course, they never did.

Gary Grindler, Acting Deputy AG, issued a memo that was pretty much a smackdown to both agencies. In the future, the FBI will be the lead agency for both international and domestic terrorism related explosives cases. This was  a slap to the ATF who thought they should have lead status on domestic terrorism.

Likewise, the ATF will be the lead agency in maintaining the explosives database called Bomb and Arson Tracking System (BATS). The Inspector General's report found that the FBI had never reported any explosives incident data into the BATS database "even though it was previously designated as the single Department database for reporting and tracking explosives incidents." Grindler order the FBI to immediately send all the info that they maintained to ATF for inclusion in the database. He noted that the Attorney General John Ashcroft had mandated all explosives data be stored in the single BATS database back in 2004.

The situation between the agencies had deteriorated to such a level that first responders didn't know who was supposed to be in charge. TPMMuckraker reported that:
Inspector General Glenn Fine told Congress in February that agents would often race to the scene of an incident in the hopes of calling dibs on a case. Some agents acknowledged to Fine that they believed "possession is nine-tenths of the law."
Some at ATF admitted that in the post-9/11 world their agency had "terrorism envy" and wanted to be a lead agency in the war against terror.

Now that this has been somewhat resolved for the time being, I wonder if the pressure to name a Director for ATF by the gun control groups will increase. With the leak of the name of the Chicago SAC Andrew Traver about a week and a half ago, one must wonder.

Originally posted on Aug 18.

UPDATE: The Washington Post has a story about these turf wars in today's paper. I guess better late than never is their motto.

Belle Meade, TN Repeals Racist Gun Control Law

The city of Belle Meade, TN repealed a city ordinance dating from the Reconstruction Era. It had banned the carry of any firearm "with the intent to go armed" except for an "Army or Navy pistol carried openly in the hand." At that time, it was primarily white men who owned Army or Navy pistols and the law was intended to restrict recently freed blacks from bearing arms.

SayUncle has the full story here.

Belle Meade is located within Metro Davidson County and is an affluent suburb of Nashville. It is where Al Gore lives when he isn't staying at his beachfront house in Montecito, California or touring the world spreading "The Gospel of Global Warming According to the Prophet Al".

Finance Friday

ETF Road Map

When ETFs - Exchange Traded Funds - hit the market, they were going to be the mutual fund killer. They were (usually) less expensive and you could trade them anytime during the day. You did not have to buy or sell before you know the final price like with a mutual fund. Along the way they have expanded from just being another index-based fund.

From Forbes magazine comes this article which present a Strategic Map to help determine which ETF (if any) is appropriate for your investing style. It is an interesting article which gives a good systematic way to study these funds.

Fastest Growing

One would have to have been a modern-day Rip van Winkle not to have seen the growth in demand for firearms and ammunition after the election of Barack Obama. Fortune magazine puts out a list of the 100 Fastest Growing Companies annually. This year's list includes a gun manufacturer and an ammo manufacturer.

Appearing at No. 40 on the list is Olin Corp. which is the maker of Winchester ammunition. And at No. 67 is Sturm, Ruger & Co.

Public Sector Pensions

Reason.org has a story today about the obligations the various states are facing from their pension plans. As they note, if you think your state is broke now, just wait until the public-sector pension bomb explodes.

Many states have grossly underfunded their defined benefit pension obligations. Unlike in the private sector where pensions are more regulated and insurance from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation is required, these pensions do not have Federal regulation due to state sovereignty. As a result, the states make up their own rules with regard to their pensions.

Peace was bought from (mostly) unionized state labor forces by concessions on pensions. The thinking was that the economy would continue to grow and they could make up the money elsewhere. If that failed, then taxes could always be raised. Or so it was thought.

Airline Bonds

Investment News had a story yesterday about bond giants Pimco and TCW Group investing in airline bonds. In search of better returns, these investment managers have started buying airline bonds. The returns have been higher and the bonds are backed by the airline's fleet of jets.

Korea Times - US Opposes Sale of M-1 Garands to Collectors

See update II at the bottom of this story.

According to a story yesterday (Aug 15th) in the Korea Times, the US government has objected to plans by the South Koreans to sell their surplus M-1 Garands and M-1 carbines to U.S. collectors. The Ministry of Defense was attempting to sell 86,000 Garands and 22,000 carbines. They wanted to use the proceeds from the sale to boost their defense budget.
The problems the U.S. government cited were somewhat ambiguous, said an official at the Ministry of National Defense on condition of anonymity.

“The U.S. insisted that imports of the aging rifles could cause problems such as firearm accidents. It was also worried the weapons could be smuggled to terrorists, gangs or other people with bad intentions,” the official told The Korea Times.
The official above also said they were trying to work out the problems so they could be sold. Unfortunately, the story doesn't detail  whether the buyer was to be the Civilian Marksmanship Program or a surplus arms importer such as Century International Arms.

As to the assertion by some unnamed U.S. official that gangs might use M-1 Garands, I think someone watched the movie Gran Torino a few too many times. Can you imagine how many cases of "M-1 thumb" there would be if the Crips, the Bloods, or the Latin Kings were to attempt to use a M-1 Garand?

UPDATE: Sebastian at Snowflakes in Hell makes an important point on this sale:
The Obama Administration has no legal authority to prevent the importation of these rifles. Under a provision of the Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986, rifles and shotguns that are Curios and Relics are permitted to be imported, the “sporting purposes” language in the 1968 Gun Control Act be damned. That’s probably why they are resorting to back channel pressure to prevent the South Korean government from selling them as surplus.

This goes to show that the Obama Administration may be unwilling to take us on head on, but they are willing to screw us through the back channel.
UPDATE II: From Gun Totin' Hippies, it appears that these Garands and M-1 Carbines were part of a lend-lease program and are US property to begin with. If that is the case, the only way they can be sold is through the ODCMP.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Army Says - Lube Heavily in Desert Conditions

I don't live in the desert. Far from it, given that there are areas in Western North Carolina which can get up to 90 or more inches of rain a year. Still, this is good advice for people who live in more arid climates.


The Army is recommending that weapons be "generously lubed" in desert conditions. What is "generous"?
Generously lubricated is defined as applying MIL SPEC CLP heavy enough so that it can be spread with a finger. According to USAMC Logistics Support Activity, CLP is the only authorized solvent. The training manual states that the use of other solvents will wash away the teflon lubricant that CLP imparts.
 The Army also has four rules for taking care of your firearm in the desert:
1. GENEROUSLY lube internal moving parts only
2. CLEAN the gun often, paying special attention to moving parts
3. Keep the gun COVERED as much as possible. Overall weapon protection cover, muzzle cap, and spare magazine protective bags will help protect the weapon. Keep the bolt and ejection port cover closed and a magazine in the weapon.
4. Unload and dry ammo and inside of magazines daily. Do NOT lube magazines.

Gun Nuts Radio on Hiatus

Caleb announced today that he is going to put Gun Nuts Radio on hiatus at least until November. He said the time constraints imposed by his new job with the NRA and other new projects didn't leave him the time necessary to do his radio show.

I'm a podcast junkie and I will miss the podcast of Gun Nuts Radio. In the meantime there is always the GunDudes.

N & O Has Nice Feature on Young Competitive Shooters

The Raleigh News and Observer, not the most pro-gun in the world, ran a nice feature today on young competitive shooters in the Triangle area. For non-North Carolinians that mean the area encompassing Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill.

They range in age from 16 to 20 and have competed (successfully) at Camp Perry and the recent World Championships in Germany.

A RightHaven LLC Round-up

EFF

The biggest news is that the EFF - the Electronic Frontier Foundation - is stepping up and helping bloggers who have been sued by RightHaven LLC. In an announcement posted yesterday by Eva Galperin, they encourage those who have been a target of RightHaven's lawsuits to contact them. They say they can help a small number of bloggers by providing legal counsel. The EFF notes it has limited resources with which to provide direct legal counsel but is committed to providing referrals to those that they can't represent directly.

To contact the EFF for help, send an email to eva@eff.org.

Planted Stories?

Under the heading of what seems to be a planted story by the good folks at Stephens Media LLC, we have a story in NWAOnline - the NWA stands for Northwest Arkansas - that is is entitled "Firm holds websites to the law." What I see of the story reads like a press release from RightHaven.

Back in "Uncle Joe" Stalin's day, the Soviets referred to those in the Western press who believed their lies and would pass them on as "truth" to their readers as useful idiots. Seems appropriate here as well.

Google Cache

Techdirt has an interesting article on the legal theories used by defense lawyers in the RightHaven suits. One theory that is being tried out focuses on an earlier ruling which found Google cache legal. Here is how the theory goes:
So, with Righthaven, these lawyers are claiming the same basic thing. They're saying that the LVRJ gave an implicit license for a similar cache-with-link by putting the content up for free and by failing to limit the ability to copy & paste the text via technical means. On top of that, they point out that the LVRJ explicitly encourages people to "share" the articles on its site (something the LVRJ still does -- including quick links to share it with 19 different services).
While certainly not the same as the Google case, it will be interesting to see where this argument for fair use goes.

Entrapment

In another Techdirt story on the defenses being used against RightHaven, the lawyers for Ryan Burrage of Louisiana accuse the Las Vegas Review-Journal of entrapment. This argument contends by providing "email this" and RSS links constantly throughout articles as well as encouraging people to "share and save" up to 23 times per article , the LVRJ is encouraging the behavior for which they then turn around and have RightHaven sue.

Steve Green of the Las Vegas Sun

Reporter Steve Green of the Las Vegas Sun has been doing yeoman work following the RightHaven story. Much of what we know about the lawsuits has come from his stories. Indeed, the Techdirt stories above are from stories of his in the Las Vegas Sun.

His recent articles include:


R-J accused of entrapment over copyright enforcement

Blogger asks to pay $200 to close R-J copyright suit

Website operators use new defenses to fight R-J copyright suits

 

 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Kachalsky et al v. Cacace et al - Updates

In the Westchester County, NY pistol permit case, Kachalsky et al v. Cacace et al, pre-motion conference letters have been received from both the plaintiffs and defendants. Judge Cathy Seibel maintains a set of Individual Practices governing cases in her court. With regard to civil cases, she requires an informal pre-motion conference before a party is allowed to submit a formal motion. Letters requesting a conference must be sent to the Court and to all the other parties. (Seibel, Individual Practices 1(A) (C) and 2(A)). The pre-motion conference is set for September 7th.

Letter for State Defendants Cacace and Cohen

The letter from New York Attorney General's office which is representing Susan Cacace and Jeffrey Cohen, as might be expected, indicate that they will be seeking a dismissal of the case. They are also challenging the presence of the Second Amendment Foundation as a plaintiff. Anthony J. Tomari, Assistant AG for the State of NY, argues that SAF "alleges no facts specific to itself, but rather appears to rely upon those factual allegations pertaining to the individual named plaintiffs."

In seeking to have the case dismissed, Tomari lists a range of reasons including that Heller did not preclude a prohibition on carry, that the case isn't "ripe" because Kachalsky and Nikolov had their permits denied before the McDonald ruling, that this is something better left for state courts, that the plaintiff's claims are barred because they lost in state court (Rooker-Feldman doctrine), that state judges can't be sued under Sec. 1983, and finally, that the Equal Protection claim "is not factually developed." In essence, he did a data dump and listed every conceivable reason that he could come up with to have this case dismissed.

Of the reasons listed, the most important for this case are probably the ripeness challenge, the fact that Cacace and Cohen are NY state judges, and the argument about Heller not precluding a prohibition on carry. The doctrine of ripeness asserts that a case must have matured into a controvery sufficient enough to warrant adjudication.Both Kachalsky and Nikolov had their permits denied before the McDonald case was settled. Under the ripeness doctrine, there may not be a controversy that needs to be settled as it was legal when they received the denial as the Second Amendment hadn't been incorporated yet. With regard to Heller, New York is arguing that Heller and McDonald do not invalidate the state's "full carry" licensing provisions as the decisions only preclude a prohibition on handguns in the home.

Letter for Kachalsky and Nikolov

In his letter to Judge Seibel, Alan Gura indicates that he will be seeking a motion to add additional plaintiff(s) and that he intends to file a cross-motion for a summary judgment. He notes the plaintiffs will respond separately to the letters from New York and Westchester County seeking a motion to dismiss.

Gura makes the point that the plaintiffs are not seeking to invalidate New Yorks "full carry" licensing provision as alleged by the attorney for Cacace and Cohen. The only regulations at issue is the "constitutionality of New York's requirement that individuals demonstrate "proper cause" to obtain a permit to carry a handgun." He contends that individuals may not be required to demonstrate "proper cause" in order to exercise a fundamental right.

He contests the notion that Cacace and Cohen cannot be sued because they are New York State judges. While they may usually acts as judges, when they denied Alan Kachalsky and Christina Nikolov their permits they were acting as administrative licensing officers. Gura notes that "no judicial function is questioned in this lawsuit."

In his motion to add parties, he makes note of the State's contention that the denial of the permits was legal when it was done (pre-McDonald).
The unavoidable suggestion is that Defendants might reach a different conclusion with respect to the permit applications today. However, Cacace and Cohen have not sought to moot this litigation by issuing Kachalsky and Nikolov their requested permits.
He says that he has an additional plaintiff whose permit was denied after June 28th (date of McDonald decision) and he is moving to add them to the case. While this person could file a separate lawsuit, it would be more efficient to just add them to the existing case.

Gura is also seeking a cross-motion for summary judgment. This is standard practice under the Federal Rules for Civil Procedure and that was what was done in the Heller case. He argues that in Heller, the Court found that "to bear" meant "to carry". While the right isn't unlimited, the Court "confirmed that there is a right to carry at least some weapons, in some manner, for some purpose."

Letter for Westchester County

Westchester County is seeking a Fed. Rules of Civil Procedure 12(B)6 motion to dismiss the case. Under this rule, if there is a failure to present sufficient facts, when taken as true, would indicate that any violation of law occurred or that the plainitffs are entitled to a legal remedy, then it is grounds for dismissal. In other words, do the facts indicate that the defendant did anything that violated the law? Moreover, have they done anything for which the plaintiffs can ask the court to force the defendants to do?

Westchester argues in their pre-motion letter that there really is no claim made against the county but rather against NY State Penal Law Sec. 400. They go on to argue that Westchester County did not deny the permits but merely did the required background investigation and made recommendations to the licensing officers. They argue that the decisions were made by Cacace and Cohen who are not Westchester County employees and are paid by the State of New York.

Comparison of Effectiveness of Flash Hiders for the AR-15

The Vuurwapen Blog did a comparison of a number of flash hiders and muzzle breaks to see how they really did in the dark. They compared the Primary Weapon Systems TTO, the AAC Blackout 18T, the Smith Vortex, the Battle Comp 1.0, and your basic A2 bird cage flash hider. They filmed the AR-15 from three different perspectives: the shooter's perspective, 25 yards downrange, and at right angles to the muzzle from three feet. After watching the video, all I can say is that money doesn't buy you flash suppression.



Here are the flash hiders and muzzle breaks tested along with their retail price:

A2 Flash Hider - $6 from Del-Ton
Smith Vortex - $51 from Smith Enterprises


AAC Blackout 18T Flash Hider - $99 from Advanced Armament

Primary Weapon Systems TTO - $99.95 from PWS

Battle Comp 1.0 - $149 from Battle Comp




UPDATE: Corrected picture for AAC Blackout 18T Flash Hider. Thanks to Gun Monkey for catching that.

SAF: Daley, council's childish arrogance at root of follow-up lawsuits

From Alan Gottlieb and the Second Amendment Foundation:
Whatever spin Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and the city council wish to offer, it is their stubborn arrogance that has resulted in more gun rights lawsuits filed against the city following the Supreme Court’s June 28 ruling in McDonald v. City of Chicago that essentially nullified the city’s 28-year handgun ban.

The McDonald case – brought by the Second Amendment Foundation and Illinois State Rifle Association with four Chicago residents – resulted in a landmark ruling that incorporated the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms to the states via the 14th Amendment. SAF and ISRA have now been joined by Action Target, Inc., and two local residents, Rhonda Ezell and Joseph I. Brown to challenge the city’s new gun ordinance, which appears to have been written to purposely provoke more lawsuits.

The city’s childish stubbornness is going to cost taxpayers a small fortune. Mayor Daley and his anti-gun city council adopted what amounts to a “tantrum ordinance” that essentially spits in the high court’s face. Sure, the city adopted an ordinance that – at least on paper – allows Chicago residents to own a handgun, but in reality, it is one huge “Catch 22” that was deliberately crafted to discourage residents from exercising their Second Amendment rights.

The city’s handgun law requires prospective gun owners to undergo training, including at least one hour of actual time on a gun range. However, the ordinance prohibits the operation of gun stores and ranges inside city limits. Additionally, the city requires would-be Chicago gun owners to first obtain a Chicago Firearms Permit (CFP), and an application for that document requires an affidavit signed by a firearm instructor certified by the State of Illinois.

Instructors cannot teach those courses anywhere inside the city because there is no place to conduct that training.

Earlier, the Illinois Association of Firearms retailers and a north suburban gun shop operator sued the city over this ordinance. Now, SAF, ISRA and ATI have brought legal action. Action Target is a Delaware-based company that designs and builds gun ranges, including one in Chicago, in the Federal Reserve Bank building, for use by law enforcement. The company wants to build a gun range in the city for private citizens, but the city’s ordinance makes that impossible.

This sort of thing may be “politics as usual” in the Windy City, but it does not pass the smell test anywhere else. It sends a signal that Chicago authorities believe they are above the Constitution and the rule of law as defined by the Supreme Court. It’s the kind of attitude one sees in a schoolyard bully, suggesting that Mayor Daley and his council cronies are in desperate need of adult supervision.

Perhaps when Mayor Daley was a child, he became accustomed to taking his ball and going home when things did not go his way on the playfield. Since he evidently has never grown up, he believes this conduct is still acceptable in an adult world. The citizens of Chicago have tolerated his juvenile delinquency but that doesn’t mean the rest of the country needs to.

Chicago’s ridiculous gun law is proof positive that the city administration does not take the Supreme Court ruling seriously. The time has come to change that, and that will require the federal courts to spank the city again, since nothing else seems to get the city’s attention.
You do wonder if Hizzonor dah Mayor will deign to issue a response. There is certainly a stimulus plan in effect in Chicago - for lawyers.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Big Thank You!

Sometime this afternoon, No Lawyers - Only Guns and Money passed over 30,000 visitors since its inception on May 19th of this year. I will be honest - I never expected the blog to grow so quickly!

First, to the readers, thank you. I hope I have provided good information whether it dealt with firearms, blogs, firearm litigation, "stuff", or even money. While I write the blog somewhat to entertain myself, the teacher in me wants to get information out to educate and enlighten. Without you, there would be no blog.

Second, to the other bloggers who have provided links to my posts and to the blog itself, thank you for taking a chance on a newbie blogger. When I was only a blog reader, I didn't realize the time and effort that good bloggers put into their craft. I do now!

Finally, to the Complementary Spouse who has at times felt like a "blog widow", mere thanks is inadequate to repay the love and patience you've shown as I've started blogging. You are the love of my life and I hope you know it. I promise light blogging when we are touring California after the Gun Rights Policy Conference!

First There Were the Birthers...

Now there are the Existers. According to the Borowitz Report, one in five Americans does not believe Barack Obama exists.
“The Birthers say that Obama’s lack of a birth certificate means he was born in Kenya,” says Jerrilene Rance, a leading Exister. “We believe it’s proof that he was never born.”

Ms. Rance says that while President George W. Bush was criticized for disappearing every August, “Obama is never there to begin with.”
 I can't speak to the legitimacy of their claims but I do know that a bunch of angry fishermen plan a protest in Vineyard Haven to coincide with the Obama family vacation.

Gun Owners Against Illegal Mayors

First there was Michael Bloomberg's group Mayors Against Illegal Guns. And, given the legal problems of many of the mayors in that group, we have Gun Owners Against Illegal Mayors. If you would like to read the rap sheets of some of these gun control advocates, go here.

While they may be against guns, some of them appear to be pro-embezzlement, pro-bribery, pro-perjury, pro-extortion, and, incredible as it may seem, pro-child porn.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Ft. Hood Report Implementation Bears Watching

Thanks to CalGunLaws.com, we have the letter from Secretary of Defense Robert Gates along with the DoD Implementation of Recommendations for the Independent Review related to Ft. Hood that was sent to the upper echelon of the Department of Defense.

In the wake of the Ft. Hood shootings by Major Nidal Hasan, a blue ribbon panel was assembled to study the shootings and ways to prevent them in the future. They came back with a report entitled Protecting the Force: Lessons from Fort Hood. It examined everything from emergency response to mental health issues.

One of the recommendations had to do with private firearms owned by servicemen and women. It found that the Department of Defense did not have a policy governing privately owned weapons and recommended that the Department study the need for one. This was Recommendation 3.8.

The implementation document states with regard to Recommendation 3.8:
The Independent Review found that the Department does not have a policy governing Privately Owned Weapons. In the absence of such policy, the individual Services have established Privately Owned Weapons policies, which set minimum standards and task installation commanders to establish installation-specific requirements. These policies do not apply to personnel who live off installation.

  • TheUnder Secretary of Defense for Intelligence put into formal coordination a Secretary-issued Department-wide Interim Guidance Message. By early 2011, the interim guidance will be incorporated into a revision of DoD 5200.08-R (Physical Security Program).
In his transmittal letter, Secretary Gates said:
As the Department takes steps to strengthen its approach to force protection, I ask leaders and commanders across the force to remain mindful of the unique requirements of the profession of arms - that military service is grounded in an oath to support and protect our Constitution, but also may necessitate the sacrifice of some of the very rights we defend.
The two combined together leads me to ask which rights Secretary Gates thinks may be need to be sacrificed. Does he mean a right to privacy concerning medical and mental health records or does he mean the Second Amendment rights of those who serve our nation in its armed services? Whatever the case, it bears watching.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Making Change

Tam has a great post on the lack of math skills and young cashiers.

I can't count the number of times I've had to help a cashier out so that he or she could give me the correct change.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Appleseed Project on Fox

The Appleseed Project made FoxNews on Wednesday. The interview with Jack Dailey aka Fred from Shotgun News was pretty decent. However, as it always seems, they have to interview someone who suspects them of being covert militia recruiters.

The segment is called Teaching History with a Twist.


Magpul Fanboy Home Video

Bumped to top.

H/T to EveryDay, No Days Off blog for pointing out this video. They note that all homemade videos should be this good. They are right. Plus it has great music from Johnny Cash in the background. Enjoy!




UPDATE: PawPaw's House discusses a quick mag change for the AR. In the video you can see it at about the .42 mark. From what I can see in the video, it is quick.

Finance Friday

Hopes for a sustained market rally after Tuesday's gains seem to have evaporated. Which makes the first story so telling with regard to the state of the U. S. economy.

Rise in Hardship Distributions and Loans

Fidelity Investments released data last Friday that indicated a rise in the number of participants asking for either hardship distributions or loans from their 401(k) plans. Fidelity manages 17,000 plans with 11 million active participants. The data for the second quarter indicate:
that 62,000 401(k) participants initiated a hardship withdrawal from their account in the second quarter, and that 2.2% of Fidelity’s active participants took such withdrawals during the quarter. Both figures were an increase over the first quarter, when 45,000 participants initiated a hardship withdrawal and 2.0% of Fidelity’s active participants took such action.
In addition, 11% of their participants had initiated a loan from their 401(k) account for the year ending June 30, 2010.

So what does this mean? With regard to the hardship distributions, they can only be for certain specified reasons. You can't treat your 401(k) like a saving account due to these restrictions. The safe-harbor hardships for most 401(k) plans include  to pay medical bills over 7.5% of your adjusted gross income, to pay the downpayment on a house, to pay college tuition for yourself, spouse, kids, or grandkids, and to avoid foreclosure or eviction. I would like to have seen detailed data from Fidelity as to the hardship reason.

The other thing all of this means is that many are putting their future financial security at risk to pay for the here and now. I'm afraid many Americans are going to be in for a rude awakening when it comes time to retire. I think for many it will be "Welcome to Walmart" as they will be taking jobs to supplement their reduced retirement income.

Taxes for Unmarried Couples - Gay or Straight

Robert Wood had an interesting column in Forbes regarding the tax implications for unmarried couples. With all the news about District Court Judge Vaughn Walker finding California's Prop. 8 to be unconstitutional, gay marriage is in the news again.

In addition to filing a joint return, marriage especially matters when it comes to dissolving a relationship. Married partners can transfer assets between one another without any gift or income tax issues. Unmarried couples cannot. Wood cites one case where it was easier for a couple to get married before they split than to try to split their assets as an unmarried couple.

It is an interesting article which I suggest you read if you are in any sort of non-married (or non-recognized by the state) relationships.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

An Open Letter To President Obama - Investors.com

An Open Letter To President Obama - Investors.com

After reading this open letter to Obama by Jeffrey Howard, all I can do is say wow!

It starts off:
In today's dangerous world, we need a president with experience, leadership and courage. Unfortunately, you have shown us little of those traits.
He concludes it by saying:
I do not resent you for your good fortune — you worked hard to become president and won the election fair and square. I do, however, despise your policies and the damage they are visiting on our nation, its economy and our future. I have dedicated my remaining years to fighting you and your policies and protecting our children's futures.

I may well end up destroyed financially from the results of your misguided and dangerous actions — but you will never break me psychologically or crush my spirit. I am a Marine, I have a wonderful wife and family, and last but not least, I live in the greatest nation in the world. I shall work to my last breath to keep it that way, and you, sir, shall fail to destroy that dream.

Read the whole thing. It is worth a few minutes of your time.

What You Don't Read in the News

One of the biggest beefs many people have with the mainstream media is in their self-appointed role as "gatekeepers". In other words, they decide in the words of the New York Times what is "all the news fit to print."

So imagine my surprise about stumbling across an article on the "South American Conference on Interdiction and Regional Security of Small Arms & Light Weapons". The article was in the Latin American Herald Tribune out of Caracas, Venezuela. The article published an address by Ann Ganzer, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Threat Reduction, Export Controls, and Negotiations in the Department of State. She is also the Director of Conventional Arms Threat Reduction in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation. When I see the words "small arms", "State Department", and "Latin America" in one story I begin to get nervous.

The conference was August 4-6 in Buenos Aires, Argentina but the one and only report of it seems to have been from this obscure English language paper out of Venezuela. A quick Google search confirms it.

There was not anything really new in the address but it did some indications of what to expect from the Department of State regarding small arms, regional agreements, and treaties.

For example on the Arms Trade Treaty she said:
Another significant U.S. strategic step came in October 2009 when Secretary of State Clinton described a long-standing U.S. commitment to strong international standards on the international arms trade, outlining U.S. conditions for supporting an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). In the words of Secretary Clinton “The United States is committed to actively pursuing a strong and robust treaty that contains the highest possible, legally binding standards for the international transfer of conventional weapons.” We consider the Secretary’s remarks an important first step toward a significant and meaningful international treaty.

The United States looks forward to working with others as we move toward PrepComs in 2011 and 2012, as we prepare for the start of the treaty negotiations in 2012.
On the Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and other Related Materials - CIFTA - she said:
We are continuing consultations with the Senate today and seek prompt ratification. While this is pending, the U.S. is in compliance with the Convention implementing many of its commitments.
Lest we forget, CIFTA is the treaty, if approved, that could force reloaders to get a license to reload ammunition because it would be considered manufacturing. It would probably also mean the end of cover girls in the Dillon Precision Blue Press catalog.

She concluded the speech saying:
I have no doubt the security of the Americas will be significantly and positively impacted if we work together, learn from each other, and share information about interdiction, border security training, and other programs offered by members of the international community. As citizens of responsible states and fellow members of international organizations, it is incumbent upon all of us to do whatever it takes to put an end to the illicit proliferation of small arms and light weapons.
Frankly, I hope this conference ended up as your typical junket with a lot of drinking, partying, and not much really getting done. All I can say is that it is hard to keep up with these under the radar attempts at gun control. It is even harder if the mainstream media doesn't think we need to know about it.

Clayton Cramer's Blog: How To Make Sure You Don't Accidentally Visit Organizations That Don't Want You

Clayton Cramer's Blog: How To Make (Sure) You Don't Accidentally Visit Organizations That Don't Want You

In other words, how to starve copyright troll RightHaven LLC out of business by refusing to have anything to do with Stephens Media websites.

I installed the Add-On in Firefox and it works just dandy. If you use Chrome, check the comments in Clayton's post for instructions for it.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Illinois's FOID Card Challenged

When one thinks of organizations supporting pro-gun rights litigation, immediately think of either the NRA or the Second Amendment Foundation. In California, this can be expanded to include the CalGuns Foundation and the California Rifle and Pistol Association. This explains, in part, why the case of Mishaga v. Monken which challenges Illinois's Firearm Owner's Identification law flew under the radar. You do not think of the Mountain States Legal Foundation which is providing legal assistance in both this case and the suit against the Nevada State Park system, Baker v. Biaggi et al.

That may well be changing. Jim Manley, the staff attorney for MSLF handling their firearms litigation, shared this in an email to me:
MSLF is committed to protecting individual rights and that commitment extends to protecting the right to keep and bear arms. To that end, MSLF filed amicus briefs in Heller and McDonald. MSLF also represents the students suing the University of Colorado to overturn that school's concealed carry ban.
In this case, Mishaga v. Monken, the Illinois State Police are being sued by Ellen Mishaga for violating her Second and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Mrs. Mishaga is a resident of Ohio who frequently visits friends in Illinois on overnight trips. While staying in her friend's home, she wants to be able to have a loaded firearm for self-protection. However, this would violate the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act, 430 ILCS 65/2 (10), which requires non-residents to keep their firearms unloaded and enclosed in a case. The other exceptions to the requirement to have a FOID card involve law enforcement officials, non-resident hunters, or competitors in shooting competitions - none of which apply to her. The full list can be found here.

As the suit states with regard to her Second Amendment rights:
9. The Second Amendment guarantees, inter alia, the right to possess and use firearms in a home for personal security.

10. An overnight guest has a legitimate expectation of personal security in her host’s home and an overnight guest has the same Second Amendment right to possess and use firearms that the overnight guest has in her own home.
Mrs. Mishaga twice applied for an Illinois FOID card and both times her application was rejected. The rejection was because she did not have an Illinois driver's license or Illinois identification card. As a resident of the state of Ohio she is precluded from having either form of identification. The suit notes that "Illinois law recognizes the right of Illinois residents to keep and bear arms, Ill. Const. Art I, Sec. 22; 430 ICLS 65/1 et seq." Therefore, the suit claims:
The right to travel, guaranteed by the privileges and immunities clauses of Article IV and the Fourteenth Amendment, is violated when a State discriminates against citizens of other States where there is no substantial reason for the discrimination beyond the mere fact that they are citizens of other States.
Specifically, with regard to Illinois:
Illinois law prohibits Ms. Mishaga from possessing a functional firearm for self-defense when she is an overnight guest in her friends’ Illinois home because she is not a resident of Illinois. 430 ILCS 65/2; 65/4; 65/14.

By prohibiting Ms. Mishaga from possessing a functional firearm, Defendant
currently maintains and actively enforces a set of laws, customs, practices, and policies under color of state law that discriminate against citizens of other States, including Ms. Mishaga, and thereby deprives Ms. Mishaga of the right to travel, in violation of the privileges and immunities clauses of Article IV and the Fourteenth Amendment.
The suit is seeking a permanent injunction against the enforcement of the FOID card requirement on out-of-state residents or, as an alternative, to process Mrs. Mishaga's application for a FOID card. The lawsuit is filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois.

The full complaint can be found here.

While I, of course, want all the post-McDonald litigation to succeed, I especially want Mrs. Mishaga to prevail in her case. The Complementary Spouse's mother lives on the Illinois side of the river in Metro St. Louis. Whenever we go out to visit, I must lock up and unload my firearm in Kentucky before we cross the Ohio River even though I have a concealed carry permit. If we go into St. Louis, we must travel through East St. Louis which has one of the highest crime rates in the nation. I drive through there in that gray area between being in Condition Yellow and being in Condition Orange. It is that bad.

I plan on sending a donation to MSLF. You can find out more about them here.

Did Someone Put Something in the Water at the Washington Post

On Sunday, the Washington Post ran a story on Raymond Woollard who is challenging Maryland's concealed carry law. Today, they have a story entitled "Gun-toting soccer moms a scary thought in D.C. area, but not out west". Did someone spike the water cooler in the Post's newsroom?

The story is well worth reading and is remarkable for its relatively non-judgmental attitude towards firearms and firearm owners.

H/T Instapundit.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A little Parkour, anyone?

An exercise regimen called parkour. Supposedly used in training by some "high-end" groups in the US military.

All I can say is that I wish I still had that level of agility. As it is, if I tried that, I'd be in physical rehab for months!



H/T to Rob Curtis, Military Times Gear Scout

Spec Ops to Say Bye Bye to Beards (Again)…

From the KitUp blog at Military.com.

The Special Ops community are being told to shave the beards and ditch the khaki ballcaps with skull and crossbone patches.



Beards in a Muslim society help them blend in with the rest of the population. I wonder which politician in ACU camo came up with this rule.


Spec Ops to Say Bye Bye to Beards (Again)… | Kit Up!

RightHaven Founder Lives in an Another Universe

Steve Gibson, founder of RightHaven LLC, must live in an another universe.

He was interviewed by Joe Mullin for the Corporate Counsel section of Law.com in an article that appeared yesterday. He seemed a bit bewildered by all the attention that his lawsuits have gathered. He goes on to say:
"It's unbelievable," says Gibson. "There appears to be a groundswell of interest in our business model."
He says that like he thinks every intellectual property lawyer in the world now wants to form another RightHaven LLC to sue as many bloggers as they can find in order to become rich and famous. Earth to Steve - you aren't considered a model but rather a pariah by most in the legal and journalism communities.

Mark Hinueber, general counsel of Stephens Media, joins Gibson in this alternate reality fantasy when he notes:
"My hope," says Hinueber, "is we will raise awareness of copyright laws, and have more links back to our site, and have less of our material infringed on the Internet."
While Hinueber may be correct that that they have raised awareness of copyright law, he is a fool to think that bloggers will link to the  Las Vegas Review-Journal. If anything, it and the rest of the Stephens Media chain are being actively boycotted by bloggers. Less of the LVRJ's material will be "infringed" because no one is going to touch it.

To paraphrase the Las Vegas Tourism motto - What happens in Vegas, needs to stay in Vegas.

UPDATE: TechDirt has a post with much the same response I had to the Law.com article.

Amended Complaint in NRA's Lawsuit Against Chicago

An amended complaint was filed Friday, August 13th, in the NRA's challenge to Chicago's new gun laws. The case, Benson et al v. Chicago et al, was originally filed on July 6th. The original complaint can be found here.

So what has changed? While most of the complaint stays the same, word for word, additional plaintiffs have been added, the number of counts have been reduced, and the count against the gun list has been dropped in favor of a new emphasis against the restrictions on lawful transportation.

1. Two new plaintiffs added.

Michael Hall, Sr. of Chicago and Rick Pere of Round Lake, Illinois have been added as plaintiffs. Mr. Hall is a 52-year-old Chicago resident, married with 5 kids, a Marine veteran, hunter, and works in the telecommunications industry. The complaint notes that he often works from home and that his truck has been burglarized twice while sitting in his driveway.

Mr. Pere is self-employed as a police-firearms and security-firearms instructor. He served as a police officer in various Illinois municipalities for over 15 years. In addition, he has over 30 years of service in the U.S. Army, Illinois Army National Guard, and the U.S. Air Force Reserves. He has also served as a military contractor in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Haiti. He wants to be able to open a shooting range in Chicago where he could offer firearms training instruction as well as sell firearms.

2.  Stylistic Changes

The amended complaint still retains most of the original complaint word for word. It has updated the references to the McDonald decision to include the actual Supreme Court citation instead of the slip opinion.

Stylistically, it has tightened up some of the language and clarified other things. One major change is to include the race of the plaintiffs living in the City of Chicago. While this does serve to illustrate the racial diversity of the plaintiffs, it feels cumbersome. Unless I am missing something, I think illustrating the racial diversity of the plaintiffs could have been done just as well, if not better, by the use of press releases and having the plaintiffs available for media interviews.

3. Consolidated Number of Counts

The original complaint as filed had eight counts. This number has been reduced to five in the amended complaint. Counts II, VI, and VII were dropped in their entirety. The old Count II challenged the age restrictions in the Chicago. Count VI challenged the "unsafe handgun" portion of the ordinance. Finally, Count VII challenged the banning of laser sight accessories.

4. Dropped challenges to age restriction, unsafe handgun list, and laser sights.

The amended complaint dropped all challenges to the age 21 restriction to obtain a Chicago Firearm Permit (CFP). As currently written, the ordinance does allow those between the ages of 18 and 21 to obtain a CFP if they have written permission of a parent or legal guardian and the parent or guardian is not prohibited by obtaining either a CFP or an Illinois FOID card. I am speculating that dropping this challenge may have been because under Federal law one must be 21 to purchase a handgun from a dealer.

Likewise, the challenges to both the unsafe handgun list and laser sights were dropped in the amended complaint. Given that some states like California and Massachusetts have approved handgun lists, the decision may have been made to wait to challenge this part of the ordinance. The California handgun list is currently by challenged in the case of Pena v. Cid. That case has been stayed pending the outcome of the 9th Circuit's decision in Nordyke v. King. I don't know why the laser sight and accessory complaint was dropped except that it was a minor part of the original complaint.

5. New emphasis on lawful transportation.

While the original complaint did mention the ability to transport a firearm from one location to another - lawful transportation - the emphasis on this was lost in the mix. The amended complaint puts new emphasis on this and mentions it specifically in their request for a declaratory judgment and for injunctive relief against the new ordinance. In the descriptive part of the complaint, more verbiage has been added to describe the plaintiff's desire to "transport" firearms between Chicago and other locations outside of the city.

There is also an added emphasis on the one working gun per CFP per household requirement along with the restrictions on the definition of "home" being within the four walls. The complaint mentions that Mr. Hall wants to be able to provide self-defense for all of his property and not just within the home. Moreover, the complaint goes into detail on the risk a homeowner faces from a home invasion and argues that the one working gun provision increases the risk.

I have embedded the amended complaint below:

Benson et al v. Chicago et al - Amended Complaint

The PLA runs on whitewall tires?

The Washington Times ran a story today describing how the Chinese are rapidly building up their armed forces beyond what would be needed to defend themselves or to attack Taiwan. This is, of course, an important story.

However, when I saw the picture below of a Chinese missile-carrying truck, I cracked up. Whitewalls? The People's Liberation Army has trucks with whitewall tires? Bwahahahahahahaha.

File Picture (Associated Press)

Monday, August 16, 2010

On-Again, Off-Again SCAR Rifle Program is On-Again

According to a post on military.com, FNH-USA has announced that the Special Operations Command has approved the SCAR line of weapons for "full rate production". This includes both the SCAR-17, the SCAR-16, and the Mk-13 grenade launcher.


From ACQuipedia, the online Acquisition Encyclopedia, full-rate production is defined as:
The second effort of the Production and Deployment (P&D) phase defined and established by DoDI 5000.2. This effort follows a successful Full Rate Production Decision Review (FRPDR). The system is produced at rate production and deployed to the field or fleet. This phase overlaps the Operations and Support (O&S) phase since fielded systems are operated and supported (sustained) while Full Rate Production (FRP) is ongoing.
Since that definition is about as clear as mud, let me translate that into normal English. What this means is that the SCAR system has gone through development, testing, and then limited production for use in the field.  Before it could be approved for "full-rate production", the SCAR system had to go through a review process called the "Full Rate Production Decision Review".

This was a go/no-go point at which a negative decision would mean that the SCAR rifle wasn't going to be deployed to SOCOM. Authorization for full-rate production means that the SCAR rifle system is going into full production for deployment to the field. The next stage after this will be "sustainment" where extra's and spare parts are produced to keep the system going.

A semi-readable explanation of the whole process can be found here. See page 7 in particular. All I can say is thank God for my degree in Project Management for allowing me to somewhat understand what they were trying to say!

UPDATE: Here is a link to FNH-USA's press release courtesy of  The Outdoor Wire.

UPDATE II: Apparently, the "full-rate production" of the SCAR rifle does NOT include the SCAR-L which is the 5.56 version. It only applies to the SCAR-H (in 7.62), sniper variants, and the grenade launcher. This is according to reports from the KitUp blog and statements made on another forum by a FNH-USA spokesman.

SAF and Alan Gura Go After Chicago....Again

From the Second Amendment Foundation announcing their lawsuit against the City of Chicago for banning gun ranges:
SAF SUES CHICAGO OVER GUN RANGE PROHIBITION ON 1A, 2A GROUNDS
For Immediate Release: 8/16/2010
CHICAGO, IL – The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) today filed a lawsuit in federal court against the City of Chicago’s new gun ordinance, asserting that “by banning gun ranges open to the public…under color of law,” the city is depriving citizens of their right to keep and bear arms in violation of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Joining SAF in this lawsuit are the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA), Action Target, Inc., and three individual plaintiffs including a retired Chicago police detective. They are represented by attorneys Alan Gura of Virginia and David Sigale of Chicago, who teamed up with SAF and ISRA on the landmark case of McDonald v. City of Chicago, which incorporated the Second Amendment to the states, effectively striking down Chicago’s 28-year-old handgun ban.

“While the city has adopted new regulations that make it legal to own handguns,” said SAF Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “they have crafted this new ordinance to make it virtually impossible for prospective gun owners to meet all legal requirements unless they travel outside the city for mandatory training. The new ordinance prohibits public gun ranges inside the city yet the city demands that handgun owners get at least one hour of range training time.

“This is a ‘Catch-22’ scenario,” he continued, “that seems deliberately designed to discourage Chicago residents from exercising their firearm civil rights barely two months after those rights were restored by the Supreme Court.”

Individual plaintiffs are Rhonda Ezell, a victim of three attempted burglaries who has disabilities making it difficult for her to travel outside the city; Joseph Brown, a WWII U.S. Army veteran who was among the liberators of the infamous Dachau concentration camp, and William Hespen, a retired police detective, all of whom must qualify for Chicago Firearms Permits.

Action Target, a Utah-based company, builds shooting ranges and manufactures gun range equipment and supplies. It has a long history of providing gun safety equipment and training, and has previously built law enforcement shooting ranges in Chicago. However, Action Target is prohibited from building a public target range within the city’s limits under the restrictions of the new gun ordinance.

Randy Graham, vice president of Action Target, said, “We believe that citizens have a constitutional right to use and train with firearms in a safe and controlled environment. As a leader in the firearms training industry, Action Target is committed to standing up for these rights.”

“By banning public gun ranges,” Gottlieb said, “and by banning the loan and rental of firearms at such ranges, Chicago is acting under color of law to deprive citizens of their right to keep and bear arms, and to conveniently receive the education required under the ordinance that is necessary to obtain a Chicago Firearms Permit. The city is violating both the Second and First amendments, and we are asking the court to put an end to this nonsense.”

UPDATE: Embedded below is the complaint in Ezell et al v. City of Chicago.

Ezell et al v. Chicago - Complaint

Post-McDonald Litigation Updates

After the initial flurry of lawsuits being filed after the McDonald v. Chicago decision, there was a quiet period while we waited for responses by the defendant states and municipalities. Some of the firsts responses are starting to come in.

Bateman et al v. Perdue et al

This was the first of the post-McDonald cases filed. It directly challenged North Carolina's "emergency powers" act which imposed restrictions on the sale of firearms and ammunition during a declared emergency as well as forbidding the possession of a firearms outside of a person's residence.

On Wednesday of last week, Stokes County filed a motion to dismiss the case against them. In effect, they said they'd never banned firearms in their ordinances or proclamations and that they were not responsible for state law.

Then, on Friday, the State of North Carolina moved to dismiss the cases against Governor Perdue and Secretary of Crime Control and Public Safety Reuben Young. They are basing their claim on "Plaintiffs' failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and lack of subject matter jurisdiction." They submitted 89 pages of exhibits with their motion.

Given the extensive nature of the exhibits, I will post a separate analysis of this later.

Benson et al v. City of Chicago et al

This is the suit brought by the National Rifle Association challenging the new Chicago gun laws that were enacted within days of the McDonald decision. The NRA has filed an amended complaint in this case as of August 13th.

I will post a comparison of the original complaint and the amended complaint as soon as I can.

Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association et al v. Lindley

This is one of the cases being brought in the State of California challenging AB 962, the Handgun Ammunition Sales Law. O-OIDA brought this suit on, among other grounds, that the new law violates the FAA Act of 1994.

All parties in the case have stipulated that that State of California has an additional 28 days in which to file a response to this complaint. This gives California until September 17th in which to file an answer.

Baker v. Biaggi et al

This is the case in which the State of Nevada State Parks are being sued by the Mountain States Legal Foundation over the issue of possession of firearms for self-protection. It seeks to have a tent declared a temporary residence in which a person would be permitted to have a firearm.

The Nevada Attorney General's office has filed an Answer on behalf of three of the five defendants. Their Answer includes David Morrow, Administrator of Nevada State Parks; Eric Johnson, Nevada State Parks Fallon Regional Manager; and Andrew Bass, Park Supervisor I, Wild Horse State Recreation Area. Excluded in the Answer are Allen Biaggi, Director of the Nevada Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources, and Allen Newberry, Chief of Operations and Maintenance.

After an Answer has been received on behalf of the latter two, I will do an update on this case.

Mishaga v. Monken

This is a new case that has flown under the radar. It was filed at the end of July by the Mountain States Legal Foundation on behalf of Ellen Mishaga, an Ohio resident, against the head of the Illinois State Police for denying her a Firearms Owner Identification (FOID) card. Mrs. Mishaga contends that as a frequent visitor to the State of Illinois she is precluded under Illinois law from possessing a firearm for self-defense in a residence because she doesn't have a FOID card. The only exceptions to the requirement to possess a FOID card are those there to attend a shooting competition or those who possess an Illinois non-resident hunting license. Neither of these exceptions applied to her. Accordingly, she applied for a FOID card and was denied twice because she doesn't have an Illinois driver's license or state ID card - both of which she is not eligible to possess.

I will have a more extensive and separate post on this case soon.

This case is being brought in U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois.

UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit readers!

The comparison of the original and amended complaint in Benson et al v. Chicago et al can be found here.

The post on Mishaga v. Monken, the case by an Ohio resident challenging Illinois's FOID Card, is found here.

I am still working on the post about the motions to dismiss in the first post-McDonald case - Bateman et al v. Perdue et al.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Washington Post Covers Gura's Maryland Case

In a surprisingly sympathetic article, the Washington Post examined the background of Raymond Woollard's case against the State of Maryland over the denial of his concealed carry permit. The case, Woollard et al v. Sheridan et al, challenges the requirement of the State of Maryland that a person must show "apprehended danger" before being issued a concealed carry permit.

I examined the case back in July here. Mr. Woollard is joined in the case by the Second Amendment Foundation. Alan Gura is joined by Maryland attorney Cary Hansel as the attorneys of record. The case is being brought on both Second and Fourteenth Amendment grounds. One of the key arguments in the complaint is that "Individuals cannot be required to prove their “good and substantial reason” for the exercise of fundamental constitutional rights, including the right to keep and bear arms."

The Washington Post article describes how Mr. Woollard was the victim of a home invasion on Christmas Eve 2002 and how long he had to wait for police assistance. Mr. Woollard has consistently said it took police 2 1/2 hours to arrive. The Baltimore County police dispute this but did acknowledge it was over an hour. They blamed the rural location, holiday staffing, and bad weather for the slow response time.

Woollard was initially granted a concealed carry permit after this incident which was renewed again in 2005. The intruder turns out to have been his son-in-law who, as the article notes, had "a history of depression, drug and alcohol abuse, and domestic violence." They do not say whether the intruder is still married to Mr. Woollard's daughter but do acknowledge that he had served time for violating his probation after the 2002 home invasion. Mr. Woollard said he had not previously publicly identified the intruder as he wanted to protect his daughter.

With regard to the need for concealed carry and response time of the police, Mr. Woollard notes:
"It's up to me. Do you have to show a reason to have a driver's license?" Woollard said. Under current law, the only people likely to carry guns are criminals who do not follow the law anyway, Woollard said. "And the police, as good as they are, show up after the fact."
When asked for comment on the case, the Maryland State Police declined as it was an active case. However, the gun control group CeaseFire Maryland blew off the challenge to Maryland's concealed carry law saying:
"Good luck to him," spokesman Casey Anderson said. "I would have a hard time imagining that the Supreme Court is going to say you have a constitutional right to hide a firearm on your person."
I seem to remember that Mayors Fenty and Daley made similar statements about constitutional rights and the Second Amendment before losing in Heller and McDonald cases respectively. I recommend reading the whole article to get more of the human details of this case.

In Honor of V-J Day

65 years ago today, Japan announced their acceptance of the terms of the Potsdam Declaration and hostilities ended in the Pacific.


Saturday, August 14, 2010

RightHaven LLC Opposition Organizing

If you are a mom and pop blogger, getting hit with a Federal lawsuit out of the blue has got to be terrifying. Many of those being sued by RightHaven LLC do not have deep pockets and are afraid that they will lose everything. Clayton Cramer reported that some of those being sued will probably have to declare bankruptcy.

Fortunately, its seems that the victims and those opposed to RightHaven's tactics have started to organize. Realizing that information is key, a new website has been established called RightHavenLawsuits.com. They say their mission "is dedicated to gathering together and posting for the public information about Righthaven LLC." They have links to some of the lawsuits as well as articles on RightHaven LLC.

Another website called RightHaven Victims lists every individual, business, and blog that has been sued by RightHaven LLC for copyright violations. It encourages those sued to work together to share information and to unite to form a collective front against RightHaven LLC. They realize that one of the keys to RightHaven's success will be the use of a "divide and conquer" strategy. This website is also sharing defense strategies being used by the defendants.

A Facebook page has been established called "stop the LVRJ/RIGHTHAVEN witch hunt!" In addition to providing resources for those being sued, they are also seeking to publicize that RightHaven LLC did not give any sort of "cease and desist" or take-down letter before suing. While not required in most cases, it is the common practice to do so.

Finally, law professor Eric Johnson has a new post on his blog, Blog Law Blog, on the RightHaven LLC lawsuits. The post, entitled "Righthaven's Innovation? Stooping Lower", sets forth his opinion on what they are doing.
I think what the Las Vegas Review-Journal and its thugster stooge Righthaven are doing is completely obnoxious. It reeks. It also makes the Las Vegas Review-Journal look like a pack of feral alley dwellers instead of an earnest news organization that is deserving of the public trust.
That said, Professor Johnson goes on to say that the lawsuits are not frivolous. The suits are based upon perceived copyright violations that are actionable. The law makes it easy to sue for copyright violations and they are using it. That said, he notes as we go through life we come upon many opportunities to sue others. What makes our system of civil law work, however, it that we exercise restraint and discretion in filing lawsuits. If we didn't, the courts would be clogged.

Professor Johnson finds it particularly objectionable that the Las Vegas Review Journal and their extension RightHaven LLC are filing their lawsuits without making any attempt to resolve the disputes informally. He concludes:
Righthaven and its associated newspapers are on the cutting edge because they have stooped lower than anyone else in the news business has been willing to go. That’s nothing to be proud of.
I couldn't agree more.

UPDATE: My first Instalanche! Welcome Instapundit readers. Stay a while and visit.

If you want to read more about the RightHaven LLC lawsuits go to posts here and here. I have a couple other posts on RightHaven LLC here and here as well.

UPDATE II: If you would like to listen to an interview with Clayton Cramer, he was a guest on Tom Gresham's GunTalk Radio show last Sunday. The episode can be found here or on iTunes. The interview with Clayton begins at about the 24:20 mark.