Monday, March 28, 2011


The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) is making a big deal out of a letter to The Oregonian purported to be from "a former Army officer, gunsmith, member of the NRA and a competitive marksman". Their tweet on this - sent both last week and today - says "A gunsmith takes on the extreme, militia-based ideology of the NRA in a memorable piece."

The only problem with this "memorable piece" is that it does not read like anything a modern-day gunsmith might write. It refers to "extended clips" as one example. Excuse me but I don't think a gunsmith would call a magazine an "extended clip".

I have searched all gunsmiths in the Portland area that hold an FFL and I don't find any "Charles Ford". I have also Googled Mr. Ford and again, I don't find any gunsmith in Portland by the name of "Charles Ford". Finally, I asked the members of the Oregon Hometown Forum on if anyone had ever heard of a gunsmith in the Portland area by this name. No luck there either.

I believe a Charles Ford might exist but I doubt he is a real gunsmith. Real gunsmiths know the difference between a magazine and a clip. Moreover, real gunsmiths and actual NRA members don't usually go spouting off about a "1,000 armed hate groups" - a number more usually associated with the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Here is the letter. Go to the link above to read the comments. They don't think much of Mr. Ford either.
Regarding Mayor Adams' proposals for gun control, I must add my perspective. As a former Army officer, gunsmith, member of the NRA and a competitive marksman, I see no reason why citizens, other than law enforcement, should have free access to armor-piercing rounds, military or automatic weapons, extended clips or undocumented purchases at gun shows.

Is this about hunting rights and self-protection or homegrown militias? There are currently more than 1,000 armed hate groups with their own agendas in the United States, all claiming the Constitution for their protection.

The creators of this magnificent document that protects us all never envisioned the effects of slavery, homegrown terrorists or crazies with a checkbook. So much of the rhetoric from the National Rifle Association sounds like "keep your hand off my junk," testosterone-fueled hysteria, as if they're about to be neutered by some tree-huggers.

The NRA has put its position forward that it is the last bastion of protection for America, as if an army that defeated the U.S. military would wither under fire from the unlicensed Uzis flooding our neighborhoods and taking the lives of thousands of young Americans. This might have made sense back in Colonial or Old West days, but now it's just an anachronistic leftover, like chamber pots and the horseshoe smith on the corner.

When the U.S. faced the most egregious assault on our constitutional rights in its modern history, the NRA sat silently while George W. Bush emasculated the rights of us all. The NRA offers only the empty promise of protection and irrational justification for rendering us the most lethal country on Earth. It's time to put reason back in the saddle.

Southeast Portland

UPDATE: Sebastian at Snow Flakes in Hell has checked the list of all FFL's in the state of Oregon and there is no one by the name of Ford listed. 

And according to BATFE, a person must be licensed if one holds him or herself out to be a gunsmith:
Q: Is a license needed to engage in the business of engraving, customizing, refinishing or repairing firearms?
Yes. A person conducting such activities as a business is considered to be a gunsmith within the definition of a dealer.

[27 CFR 478.11]
I wonder if Mr. Smith is one of those "unlicensed dealers" that gun control advocates love to talk about.


  1. What is stopping us, aside from ethics and morality, from doing the same to them?

  2. @PT: I think you nailed it - we have ethics and morality. We don't need to lie to make a point as it seems some anti-rights activists do.

  3. You might find this article, also from the Oregonian, interesting:

    -Ken in Portland, OR

  4. @Ken: I did come across that Charles Ford a number of times. He, unlike the letter writer, sounded like an interesting guy. And not a fake to boot!

  5. On the other hand, he might be a real former gunsmith with stupid ideas.

    The important part is that his assertions are dubious and his logic faulty - and his claims about the NRA's positions simply false, as far as I can tell.

    I certainly don't recall the NRA pushing for the repeal of the National Firearms Act, for one...