Thursday, March 31, 2011

"Gun Extremist"

I am now officially a "gun extremist" according to the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. Below is a Tweet that they sent out today.
Gun extremist says C. McCarthy is "using the tragic death of her husband as a means of political gain." #politics...
16 minutes ago
I want to thank them for this accolade and will endeavor to live up to it.

As to what I wrote about Carolyn McCarthy, I stand by it. Mrs. McCarthy has used the tragic death of her husband as a means for political gain since the day she first ran for Congress and continues to do so. One need only read her recent press releases on gun control issues to see this.

The Fifth Rule

Col. Jeff Cooper distilled gun safety down to four simple rules.
1. All guns are always loaded.

2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.

3. Keep your finger off the trigger till your sights are on the target.

4. Identify your target, and what is behind it.
Chance Ballew adds one more to that list:  Do not try to catch a dropped gun.

I think Col. Cooper would have approved the addition of Rule 5 if he were still with us.

HR 822 - National Right-To-Carry Reciprocity Hits 100

Only last week, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy was issuing press releases trumpeting that her magazine ban bill, HR 308, had hit 100 co-sponsors "with more on the way." There were quotes from all the gun prohibitionists congratulating her and saying what an important bill it was. It reminded people of "her unique perspective" and tried to reinforce her victimhood. (See my comments at the bottom of this post about not moving on.)

Yesterday, Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) bill - National Right-To-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011 - hit 100 co-sponsors. It was introduced on Feb. 18th which was exactly one month after McCarthy introduced HR 308. It has added co-sponsors at a much quicker rate and, unlike HR 308, is genuinely bi-partisan. In the past week alone, it has added 17 co-sponsors.

Rep. Stearns is a more modest person than Mrs. McCarthy. He has not used the milestone of 100 co-sponsors as an event that requires press releases and media events. Since he hasn't publicized this milestone, I will.

The 100 Congressmen and Congresswomen who have stood up for your Second Amendment rights are listed below. As I have said many times, if your representative isn't listed and they say they are pro-gun, it is time to call them and ask why they aren't a co-sponsor.
Rep Adams, Sandy [FL-24] - 3/8/2011
Rep Aderholt, Robert B. [AL-4] - 3/29/2011
Rep Altmire, Jason [PA-4] - 3/16/2011
Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] - 3/2/2011
Rep Bachus, Spencer [AL-6] - 3/8/2011
Rep Barton, Joe [TX-6] - 3/2/2011
Rep Benishek, Dan [MI-1] - 3/3/2011
Rep Bilirakis, Gus M. [FL-9] - 3/11/2011
Rep Bishop, Sanford D., Jr. [GA-2] - 3/3/2011
Rep Boren, Dan [OK-2] - 3/2/2011
Rep Boswell, Leonard L. [IA-3] - 3/2/2011
Rep Buchanan, Vern [FL-13] - 3/15/2011
Rep Burton, Dan [IN-5] - 3/2/2011
Rep Canseco, Francisco "Quico" [TX-23] - 3/8/2011
Rep Carter, John R. [TX-31] - 3/2/2011
Rep Chaffetz, Jason [UT-3] - 3/3/2011
Rep Coffman, Mike [CO-6] - 3/2/2011
Rep Cole, Tom [OK-4] - 3/2/2011
Rep Costello, Jerry F. [IL-12] - 3/11/2011
Rep Crenshaw, Ander [FL-4] - 3/15/2011
Rep Critz, Mark S. [PA-12] - 3/17/2011
Rep Davis, Geoff [KY-4] - 3/3/2011
Rep Dent, Charles W. [PA-15] - 3/16/2011
Rep Diaz-Balart, Mario [FL-21] - 3/2/2011
Rep Duncan, Jeff [SC-3] - 3/29/2011
Rep Duncan, John J., Jr. [TN-2] - 3/2/2011
Rep Emerson, Jo Ann [MO-8] - 3/8/2011
Rep Fleming, John [LA-4] - 3/11/2011
Rep Forbes, J. Randy [VA-4] - 3/29/2011
Rep Foxx, Virginia [NC-5] - 3/8/2011
Rep Franks, Trent [AZ-2] - 3/30/2011
Rep Garrett, Scott [NJ-5] - 3/2/2011
Rep Gibbs, Bob [OH-18] - 3/15/2011
Rep Gibson, Christopher P. [NY-20] - 3/2/2011
Rep Gingrey, Phil [GA-11] - 3/2/2011
Rep Granger, Kay [TX-12] - 3/3/2011
Rep Graves, Sam [MO-6] - 3/2/2011
Rep Green, Gene [TX-29] - 3/10/2011
Rep Griffith, H. Morgan [VA-9] - 3/15/2011
Rep Hall, Ralph M. [TX-4] - 3/3/2011
Rep Harris, Andy [MD-1] - 3/10/2011
Rep Heck, Joseph J. [NV-3] - 3/30/2011
Rep Heinrich, Martin [NM-1] - 3/3/2011
Rep Heller, Dean [NV-2] - 3/2/2011
Rep Hensarling, Jeb [TX-5] - 3/30/2011
Rep Herger, Wally [CA-2] - 3/3/2011
Rep Holden, Tim [PA-17] - 3/3/2011
Rep Huelskamp, Tim [KS-1] - 3/2/2011
Rep Hunter, Duncan D. [CA-52] - 3/29/2011
Rep Jenkins, Lynn [KS-2] - 3/8/2011
Rep Johnson, Sam [TX-3] - 3/14/2011
Rep Johnson, Timothy V. [IL-15] - 3/3/2011
Rep Jordan, Jim [OH-4] - 3/11/2011
Rep Kinzinger, Adam [IL-11] - 3/14/2011
Rep Kissell, Larry [NC-8] - 3/3/2011
Rep Kline, John [MN-2] - 3/8/2011
Rep Lamborn, Doug [CO-5] - 3/2/2011
Rep Latham, Tom [IA-4] - 3/8/2011
Rep Latta, Robert E. [OH-5] - 3/14/2011
Rep Luetkemeyer, Blaine [MO-9] - 3/29/2011
Rep McCotter, Thaddeus G. [MI-11] - 3/8/2011
Rep McIntyre, Mike [NC-7] - 3/8/2011
Rep Mica, John L. [FL-7] - 3/3/2011
Rep Miller, Candice S. [MI-10] - 3/16/2011
Rep Miller, Gary G. [CA-42] - 3/3/2011
Rep Miller, Jeff [FL-1] - 3/2/2011
Rep Mulvaney, Mick [SC-5] - 3/8/2011
Rep Nugent, Richard [FL-5] - 3/17/2011
Rep Owens, William L. [NY-23] - 3/2/2011
Rep Palazzo, Steven M. [MS-4] - 3/15/2011
Rep Pence, Mike [IN-6] - 3/2/2011
Rep Peterson, Collin C. [MN-7] - 3/3/2011
Rep Petri, Thomas E. [WI-6] - 3/8/2011
Rep Platts, Todd Russell [PA-19] - 3/29/2011
Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] - 3/29/2011
Rep Pompeo, Mike [KS-4] - 3/17/2011
Rep Posey, Bill [FL-15] - 3/3/2011
Rep Rahall, Nick J., II [WV-3] - 3/3/2011
Rep Rivera, David [FL-25] - 3/11/2011
Rep Rogers, Mike D. [AL-3] - 3/2/2011
Rep Rogers, Mike J. [MI-8] - 3/14/2011
Rep Ross, Dennis [FL-12] - 3/11/2011
Rep Ross, Mike [AR-4] - 3/2/2011
Rep Scalise, Steve [LA-1] - 3/29/2011
Rep Schmidt, Jean [OH-2] - 3/2/2011
Rep Schock, Aaron [IL-18] - 3/29/2011
Rep Shuler, Heath [NC-11] - 2/18/2011
Rep Sullivan, John [OK-1] - 3/29/2011
Rep Terry, Lee [NE-2] - 3/30/2011
Rep Thornberry, Mac [TX-13] - 3/16/2011
Rep Tiberi, Patrick J. [OH-12] - 3/16/2011
Rep Turner, Michael R. [OH-3] - 3/8/2011
Rep Walz, Timothy J. [MN-1] - 3/29/2011
Rep West, Allen B. [FL-22] - 3/3/2011
Rep Westmoreland, Lynn A. [GA-3] - 3/2/2011
Rep Wilson, Joe [SC-2] - 3/8/2011
Rep Wittman, Robert J. [VA-1] - 3/10/2011
Rep Wolf, Frank R. [VA-10] - 3/30/2011
Rep Young, Don [AK] - 3/2/2011
Rep Young, Todd C. [IN-9] - 3/30/2011

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Concealed Carry In Restaurants And Parks Passes NC House

HB 111 passed its Third Reading this afternoon 74 - 45 with 3 excused absences and 1 not voting (the Speaker). It has been ordered engrossed and will now be sent to the North Carolina Senate for action.

Rep. Darren Jackson (D-Wake) offered an amendment that would have stripped out concealed carry in restaurants. It failed 45 - 71.

The final vote on the Third Reading was a roll call vote despite earlier reports that it would be a non-roll call vote.


Representative(s): Alexander, K.; Brisson; Crawford; Hill; McGuirt; McLawhorn; Owens; Spear; Wray


Representative(s): Avila; Barnhart; Blackwell; Blust; Boles; Bradley; Brawley; Brown, L.; Brown, R.; Brubaker; Burr; Cleveland; Collins; Cook; Current; Dixon; Dockham; Dollar; Faircloth; Folwell; Frye; Gillespie; Guice; Hager; Hastings; Hilton; Hollo; Holloway; Horn; Howard; Hurley; Iler; Ingle; Johnson; Jones; Jordan; Justice; Killian; Langdon; LaRoque; Lewis; McComas; McCormick; McElraft; McGee; McGrady; Mills; Moffitt; Moore, T.; Pridgen; Randleman; Rhyne; Sager; Samuelson; Sanderson; Setzer; Shepard; Stam; Starnes; Steen; Stevens; Stone; Torbett; Warren, H.; West



Representative(s): Adams; Alexander, M.; Bell; Bordsen; Brandon; Bryant; Carney; Cotham; Earle; Faison; Farmer-Butterfield; Fisher; Floyd; Gill; Glazier; Goodman; Graham; Hackney; Haire; Hall; Hamilton; Harrison; Insko; Jackson; Jeffus; Keever; Luebke; Martin; Michaux; Mobley; Moore, R.; Parfitt; Parmon; Pierce; Rapp; Ross; Tolson; Wainwright; Warren, E.; Weiss; Wilkins; Womble


The NRA-ILA released this on the bill this evening:
North Carolina: House Finally Considers and Passes Right-to-Carry Reform Bill

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

House Bill 111, which would expand where Right-to-Carry permit holders may lawfully carry firearms for personal protection, passed Second Reading on Tuesday and then passed in the House of Representatives today on Third Reading. H 111 will now move to the state Senate for their consideration.

Introduced by state Representatives Mark Hilton (R-96), Jeff Barnhart (R-82), Fred Steen (R-76), and Kelly Hastings (R-110), H 111 would remove the prohibition on permit holders from carrying firearms into restaurants that serve alcohol. As introduced, it would have also completely removed the ability of local governments to prohibit the lawful carrying of firearms by permit holders into parks. Finally, it clarifies that permit holders may carry firearms for personal protection within the state parks system.

As previously reported, H 111 was amended in subcommittee with language to allow servers in restaurants to ask patrons who order an alcoholic beverage whether they are carrying a concealed firearm. This amendment was proposed by state Representative Debra Ross (D-38), one of the most virulently anti-gun legislators in the General Assembly. On Tuesday, state Representative Leo Daughtry (R-26) offered an amendment to strip the Ross Amendment from H 111. This amendment passed by a 72 to 46 vote, removing Ross’s “poison pill” language. Two additional amendments were offered on Tuesday that were designed to weaken provisions dealing with carrying in parks.

First, state Representative David Guice (R-113) introduced an amendment that would allow local governments to prohibit permit holders from carrying firearms onto certain “recreational facilities,” which are defined as playgrounds, athletic fields, swimming pools, and athletic facilities. Unfortunately, this amendment passed by a 70 to 48 vote. The NRA will work to remove this emotionally-based, anti-gun amendment from H 111 when it is taken up in the state Senate.

In addition to the Guice Amendment, state Representative Bill Faison (D-50) offered an amendment to weaken the provisions regarding the state parks system. That amendment failed by a 44 to 74 vote.

Today, state Representative Darren Jackson (D-39) introduced an amendment that would strip out the restaurant carry provisions entirely. That amendment failed, but at this time, we do not have a vote count.

H 111 is now headed to the state Senate, where the NRA will work to make a good bill even better by trying to remove the Guice Amendment. Please take a moment to contact your state Senator and urge him or her to work with the NRA to improve and pass H 111.

Grass Roots North Carolina sent the following out tonight at about 8:30pm.
HB 111 Passes House
Today, GRNC's HB 111, "Handgun Permit Valid in Parks & Restaurants," passed its Third Reading in the North Carolina House and will now move to the Senate. An amendment attempted by Rep. Darren Jackson (D-Wake, GRNC 0-star) to remove restaurants from the areas where concealed carry is permitted failed in a 45-71 vote. On its Third Reading, the bill passed by 74-42 which, like its vote on Second Reading, represents a veto-proof 3/5 majority. Because the bill passed one chamber before the May 12 "crossover deadline" it remains alive for consideration next year even if not acted on by the Senate before the 2011 session adjourns.

After a request by GRNC, no attempt was made by House Republicans to water down the odious Guice Amendment under which municipalities may bar guns in any park with athletic facilities. Tactically, it is more sound to leave the worst possible language in the bill in the interest of garnering more support to remove it altogether. GRNC is reasonably confident of removing the provision in the Senate.

Throughout the House debate, gun owners found stalwart friends in Reps. Mark Hilton (R-Catawba, GRNC ****), Jeff Barnhart (R-Cabarrus, ****), Fred Steen (R-Rowan, ****), Kelly Hastings (R-Cleveland, Gaston, ****), George Cleveland (R-Onslow, ****), Glen Bradley (R-Franklin, Halifax, Nash, ****), Jonathan Jordon (R-Ashe, Watauga, ****), Bert Jones (U-Rockingham, ****), and Leo Daughtry (R-Johnston, ****) and John Blust (R-Guilford, ****). Particular thanks go to Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg, ****), who weathered adverse media to bring the bill to a vote. Please use the links above to offer a short note of thanks to all.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Darrell Issa On His Letter To Hillary

Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News interviewed Rep. Darrell Issa about the letter he sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asking for information on Project Gunrunner and the State Department's involvement.

More Than One Way To Skin A Cat

First, before all the cat lovers out there get upset, this has nothing to do with felines. So you can rest easy.

Back on March 4th, Sen. Chuck Grassley sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton requesting information on the visit to Mexico City by Asst. Attorney General Lanny Breuer to discuss Operation Gunrunner with the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico. Frankly I missed this letter in amongst the letters sent by Sen. Grassley. Coming as it did about the same time as Sharyl Attkisson interviewed ATF Senior Agent John Dodson, it got lost in the shuffle.

While I may have missed it, Rep. Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee didn't. His office released a letter this afternoon that he sent to Secretary Clinton asking for the same materials requested by Sen. Grassley. He also asked why she was refusing to answer Sen. Grassley. The letter included a reminder that his committee may at "any time" investigate "any matter" as set forth in the House rules.

2011-03-29 DEI to Clinton-State - Breuer Docs

Concealed Carry In NC Restaurants And Parks Final Vote Tomorrow

House Bill 111 which would allow concealed carry in eating establishments and restaurants that serve alcohol has passed the Second Reading in the North Carolina State House. The bill would also allow concealed carry in state and local parks.

From WRAL's Twitter feed:
@NCCapitol #ncgaHouse passes H111, concealed guns in parks and restaurants, 77-41. 3rd reading objected to. Final vote tomorrow.

As soon as the final draft bill is posted along with the roll call vote, I'll post it. I don't know yet whether the Ross Amendment was deleted or not.

UPDATE: There were three amendments proposed today to HB 111. The first amendment to the bill by Rep. Leo Daughtry (R-Johnston) stripped out the Ross Amendment which would have allowed servers in a restaurant that was not posted against concealed carry to ask a person who ordered alcohol if he or she were carrying. This passed on a vote of 72 - 46 with only one Republican voting no.

The second amendment proposed by Rep. David Guice (R - Transylvania) allows local governments to post recreational facilities in parks to forbid concealed carry. However, it strictly defined recreational facilities as being only playgrounds, athletic fields, swimming pools, and athletic facilities. It did contain a provision that would allow a concealed carry holder to lock his weapon in his car if the recreational facility was posted. This provision passed 70 - 48. While the majority of Republicans voted against this amendment, enough Republicans joined with virtually all of the Democrats to pass this amendment.

The third, and final, amendment was proposed by Rep. Bill Faison (D-Orange). This amendment failed in a 44 - 74 vote. It would have only allowed concealed carry in North Carolina State Parks which permitted overnight camping. There are only 16 out of the 34 state parks that allow overnight camping.

On the Second Reading, the amended HB 111 passed by a vote of 77 - 41. The Third Reading, which is mainly a formality, will be tomorrow because there was an objection to the vote today.

The final roll call was as follows:


Representative(s): Alexander, K.; Brandon; Brisson; Crawford; Hill; Lucas; McGuirt; McLawhorn; Owens; Spear; Wray


Representative(s): Avila; Barnhart; Blackwell; Blust; Boles; Bradley; Brawley; Brown, L.; Brown, R.; Brubaker; Burr; Cleveland; Collins; Cook; Current; Daughtry; Dixon; Dockham; Dollar; Faircloth; Folwell; Frye; Gillespie; Guice; Hager; Hastings; Hilton; Hollo; Holloway; Horn; Howard; Hurley; Iler; Ingle; Johnson; Jones; Jordan; Justice; Killian; Langdon; LaRoque; Lewis; McComas; McCormick; McElraft; McGee; McGrady; Mills; Moffitt; Moore, T.; Pridgen; Randleman; Rhyne; Sager; Samuelson; Sanderson; Setzer; Shepard; Stam; Starnes; Steen; Stevens; Stone; Torbett; Warren, H.; West



Representative(s): Adams; Alexander, M.; Bell; Bordsen; Bryant; Carney; Cotham; Earle; Faison; Farmer-Butterfield; Fisher; Floyd; Gill; Glazier; Goodman; Graham; Hackney; Haire; Hall; Hamilton; Harrison; Insko; Jackson; Jeffus; Keever; Luebke; Martin; Michaux; Mobley; Moore, R.; Parfitt; Parmon; Pierce; Rapp; Ross; Tolson; Wainwright; Warren, E.; Weiss; Wilkins; Womble



Not Voting - Speaker Thom Tillis and Rep. Tom Murry (R-Wake)

UPDATE II: HB 111 is on the House legislative calendar for its Third Reading this afternoon. The House reconvenes at 2pm. It is listed as a "non-roll call" vote.

Grass Roots North Carolina sent out a message last night warning that opponents of the bill might try to add more amendments. While they are pleased that the Ross Amendment was removed from the bill, they are unhappy with the amendment that would allows municipalities to restrict firearms in recreational facilities.

The Raleigh News and Observer, in their Under the Dome column, quotes a couple of the Republicans who supported that amendment.
Several Republican members who support the bill said they were concerned, though, about people taking guns into parks where organized youth sports are held. Parents can get pretty hot-headed, they said.

Those GOP members, some with longtime experience with youth sports and others from law enforcement backgrounds, succeeded in attaching an amendment that would allow county governments to prohibit concealed weapons in recreational facilities. The amendment also would allow people to leave their guns locked in their cars in those situations.

"I've seen firsthand the violence on the Little League field," said Rep. David Guice, a Republican from Brevard, who added that he has a concealed-carry permit. Guice said a mayor of Brevard was once banned from a city park because he assaulted an umpire.

Nobody Ever Said Righthaven Was Smart (Updated)

A lot of things can be said about attorney Steve Gibson and his copyright troll firm Righthaven LLC.  Crafty, slick, tricky, or sly might apply but smart really isn't one of them.

Reporter Eriq Gardner is being sued by Righthaven for his article in Ars Technica about a Righthaven lawsuit. That lawsuit was one that Righthaven brought against the Drudge Report for using a picture involving a TSA patdown that appeared in the Denver Post. Gardner used a grainy, black and white photo and the headline in question to show his readers what the Drudge Report was being sued over. His caption on the photo shown in his article read:  "The photo in question as it appeared on Drudge Report".

Gardner is a contributing editor of The Hollywood Reporter and the Ars Technica article is reported to be the only one he has ever written for that publication.
It isn’t entirely clear why Righthaven chose to sue Gardner individually. But is one of many websites owned by Conde Nast’s parent company, Advance Magazine Publishers, for which it has registered a DMCA takedown agent with the U.S. Copyright Office. That probably would have limited Righthaven to merely sending a takedown request to Ars—something it never does.
The story in Paid Content by Joe Mullins speculates that Gardner got the photo from court documents which are in the public domain.

Steve Gibson was asked if this lawsuit was due to the negative story about Righthaven.
Gibson wouldn’t answer that. Noting that the photo in question appeared to be pulled from court records, I asked: “Do you believe reporters have a right to use court documents to report on Righthaven?” Gibson didn’t really answer that one either, saying: “That’s going to be based on facts and circumstances.” He said he disagreed with the premise of my question, and went on to say: “The line of your questioning is so intimate with the issues that are going to be litigated before the court, I don’t feel comfortable having any further discussion on this subject matter with you.”
There is an old saying that you don't pick fights with people who buy ink by the gallon. Somewhere along the way Steve Gibson and Righthaven LLC never learned that piece of wisdom. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. My guess is that Righthaven is going to be very sorry that they filed this lawsuit.

UPDATE: Well that didn't take long. Today, attorneys for Righthaven marched into U.S. District Court in Las Vegas and said, oops, sorry, we didn't mean to sue you, and we'd like to ask for a Voluntary Dismissal With Prejudice.

The Ars Technica website discusses the story which they are calling "Righthaven's epic blunder".
Not content with just suing sources, small out-of-state nonprofits, bloggers who get 20 hits per day, and other massive copyright pirates, newspaper litigation firm Righthaven this week trained its guns on Ars Technica. The company filed a federal lawsuit against one of our freelance writers over a post (about Righthaven) that appeared on the site back in December—only to dismiss it this morning.

Why was the case ever brought? It was (cough) a "clerical mistake."
Steve Green of the Las Vegas Sun - the journalist who has followed the copyright trolls of Righthaven since day one - has an article about this case as well. He quotes journalist Eriq Gardner on the case:
"I'd buy a 'I survived Righthaven' T-shirt, but won't for trademark reasons," Gardner quipped in a Twitter tweet after the dismissal.
Green also quotes one Las Vegas attorney familiar with the cases as saying Righthaven "must have been insane" to have even brought this case as it was clearly "fair use".

Melson - Thanks For The Invitation But No Thanks

Kenneth Melson, Acting Director of ATF, was scheduled to testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Peace Corps, and Global Narcotics Affairs this Thursday. I even speculated that this would be a great time for the Senators to grill Mr. Melson about Operation Fast and Furious.

Mr. Melson must have had the same thought because he has decided not to testify. Moreover, no one from either ATF or the Justice Department are on the new list of witnesses. Given the topic was counter-narcotics and citizen security, it would seem that DOJ might have sent someone. After all the Drug Enforcement Administration is a line DOJ agency just like the FBI and ATF.

Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News contacted the Subcommittee for more information on why Melson will not be testifying.
We contacted the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to ask why Melson is no longer scheduled to appear. They referred us to the office of Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) who chairs the subcommittee holding the hearing. A press spokeswoman at the senator's office said it was Melson's decision not to testify, and that the subcommittee doesn't have jurisdiction over ATF.

Later, a spokesman told us in an email, "The Subcommittee had invited, but not confirmed, Mr. Melson as well as other officials from ATF to testify at the hearing this week. In the end, ATF declined to send a representative."
It is also speculated that one of the main reasons for the delay in confirmation hearings for Andrew Traver is the fallout from Operation Fast and Furious.

My gut feeling is that the only way we will have public, on the record, under oath hearings into Operation Fast and Furious and gunwalking is if the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform under Rep. Darrell Issa holds them. The House Judiciary Committee could also hold hearings as they have oversight over the Department of Justice.

As much as I am thankful for all the great work that Sen. Chuck Grassley has done to find the truth about Project Gunwalker, he is still only the Ranking Minority Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Unless Sen. Pat Leahy and the Democrats decide to hold hearings into it, they just aren't going to happen in the Senate.

Project Gunwalker Goes To The Cartoons

Operation Fast and Furious aka Project Gunwalker was featured in not one but two cartoons today. You know you are in trouble when even cartoons start covering something.

From Hope n' Change Cartoons:

And from the very popular Day by Day Cartoon we have this:

Counter-gun Gun Buy Back In Texas

Texans for Accountable Government and a number of private citizens decided that they would have a counter-gun buy-back when the Austin Police Department held a recent gun buy-back program. The APD was offering a grocery card worth $100 for each firearm turned into them which would be destroyed. TAG offered $110 cash and plans to give the firearms purchased to needy individuals (who are lawful to own them) for self-protection.

More on the story can be found here at Buckeye Firearms Association.

Thank You, John Moses Browning

Today is the centennial of the War Department's adoption of the the Caliber .45, Colt Model 1911 automatic pistol. It replaced the Colt, Model 1901, Caliber .38 Revolver and the Colt, Model 1909, Caliber .45 Revolver shown below.

Colt Model 1901

Colt Model 1909

The semi-automatic pistol submitted by Colt and designed by John M. Browning bested the design submitted by Savage Arms and was adopted on March 29, 1911. The rest, as they say, is history.

UPDATE: To read about the Model 1911 that wasn't - in other words, the Savage submission, go here. There is an excellent article about it.

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.

Buying Journalists

Bitter and Sebastian at Snow Flakes in Hell have been following Minnesota Public Radio reporter Brandt Williams and his "work" on gun violence. Williams is a Joyce Foundation Fellow and his pro-gun control reporting is based upon a grant from the Joyce Foundation.

Bitter nails it when she writes:
There’s no way that Williams and any other reporters involved can claim that their work is free of bias since a stipulation of taking the $5,000 was that their work be written in order to “have a major public policy impact.” In addition to Williams, Joyce was willing to fund up to six other writers or broadcasters who were based “in midwest and northeast region with priority given to journalists in Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.” Since Joyce doesn’t appear to list them, the coordinating organization doesn’t list them, and no results turn up on media sites for titles and terms such as “Joyce Journalism Fellow,” it could be hard to figure out exactly who was paid for these planted stories.
The Joyce Foundation has tried to influence courts on Second Amendment issues by paying for law review articles that pushed the collective right theory. Now it appears that they think they can "buy" stories in the media in the Upper Midwest through $5,000 fellowships to compliant anti-gun journalists.

Read both the postings from Bitter and Sebastian to get a better feel for how the Joyce Foundation is working to plant stories on "gun violence."

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Real Question For Operation Fast And Furious - Who Knew?

Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News has just posted another video on Operation Fast and Furious (aka Project Gunwalker). It ask the most pertinent question in this whole scandal - who knew?

Dave Hardy of Arms and The Law blog asked the same thing on Friday. Obama has insisted that he and Eric Holder did not approve Operation Fast and Furious.
And now it appears knowledge got as high as an Assistant Attorney General, an appointee. If it got that high, odds are good it would have gotten to the AG. And if it got to him, odds are decent that it got to the White House. I note the official denials are that anyone high up "approved" it. You can of course know of something, decide to let it run its course, and still deny having "approved" it. CYA and all that. "They told me about it, I just assumed they knew what they were doing."

Congratulations To The VCU Rams For Making The Final Four

The Complementary Spouse is a graduate of Virgina Commonwealth University's School of Nursing so we watched the VCU Rams run to the Final Four with great interest. Today with their 71-61 victory over the Kansas Jayhawks, they are going to the Final Four for the first time. Congratulations to 2nd-year Head Coach Shaka Smart and his team for their accomplishment.

I also think the students at VCU are a little excited about their team going to Houston!


As to my Tar Heels, I am sad that they lost to Kentucky but am pleased that such a young team went that far. Only last year, they weren't even in the NCAA Tournament and had to settle for the NIT. The Heels went much further than I ever expected and they should feel proud of how far they went.

Always Hard To Prove Causation

Juliet Leftwich is the Executive Director of Legal Community Against Violence or LCAV. LCAV is a San Francisco-based group that promotes gun control and which has received over $2.3 million from the Joyce Foundation. One of their bigger initiatives is their promotion of their Model Laws to state and local governments. This is especially true in California where they have been particularly active and many communities have adopted their Model Laws.

In the video clip below, Leftwich is being interviewed by Omar Samaha. He is with MAIG's National Initiative to Fix Gun Checks. Samaha's sister was one of the victims of the shootings at Virginia Tech. Samaha is something of a media darling like Colin Goddard and has done "undercover buys" for ABC's 20/20.

Samaha asks Leftwich if she has seen a change in "gun violence" since California has adopted its restrictive gun control laws. Leftwich responds that "unfortunately there is not a lot of great data out there." However, she does try to put a good spin on it saying that the rate of "gun violence" in California has gone down more than in the rest of the country. And then she makes this admission, "But it is always hard to prove causation because gun laws are a very complicated issue."

To recap, she says there is not good data, there are only a few studies, and that causation is hard to prove from the studies that do exist. This is a bit of a startling admission from a leading gun control advocate.

H/T J.D. Berger

Tactical Velco Opening Secrets

H/T TacticalFanboy

"In this case, a well-earned gun permit "

The Star-Ledger of Newark is the largest newspaper in the state of New Jersey. It calls itself "The Voice of New Jersey".  It has traditionally been very pro-gun control.

I wrote a few days ago about the denial of a concealed carry permit for Jeff Muller by Judge David Ironson. Judge Ironson found that Mr. Muller failed to provide proof "of justifiable need". This despite Mr. Muller being a kidnapping victim who still fears violence from his kidnappers or their families.

I thought Judge Ironson's decision was ridiculous. I am not alone. The Star-Ledger Editorial Board agrees. In an editorial entitled In this case, a well-earned gun permit, the Star-Ledger said:
Even the staunchest proponents of gun control must admit Jeffrey Muller has a good reason for wanting to pack a handgun.
After describing the ordeal that Mr. Muller endured, they noted he felt unsafe.
Now, lo and behold, the man feels unsafe. He wants a gun permit, because he fears avenging family members of the arrested kidnappers may attack him again. But a Superior Court judge in Morristown this week denied his second request for the permit, saying he provided “no proof of justifiable need” to carry a weapon.

Come again? This guy has more reason than anyone to take advantage of his Second Amendment rights. For God’s sake, give this poor Muller his gun.
If even the Star-Ledger Editorial Board can see that Mr. Muller has a good reason for a concealed carry permit, then what is wrong with the judges in the state of New Jersey that they fail to comprehend that Jeff Muller still faces danger? Does living in a world where their own security is provided for by the taxpayers of the state of New Jersey in the form of armed court bailiffs blind these judges to the real dangers faced by ordinary people? The answer is unfortunately but obviously yes.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Move Over Tiger Moms

And make way for Irish Setter Dads!

P. J. O'Rourke says he is an Irish Setter Dad  in The Weekly Standard.
I just wasn’t cut out to be a Chinese Tiger Mom. I’m more of an Irish Setter Dad. Here are some of the things my daughters, Muffin and Poppet, and my son, Buster, were never allowed to do:

• go to Mass naked

• attend a sleepover at Charlie Sheen’s house

• mix Daddy a martini using sweet vermouth

• play the violin within earshot of me

Have you ever heard a kid learning to play the violin? A cat in the microwave is nothing to it. And let me add an addendum to the things my children were never allowed to do​—​put a cat in the microwave. I’m not saying it didn’t happen; I’m just saying they weren’t allowed to do it.
If you are a parent and feeling you'll never measure up to Amy Chua's Tiger Mom, just read O'Rourke and you'll feel better. Or have your spouse and kids rolling their eyes because you are laughing at the computer again.

Fun Time Waster

The New Zealand Army has a flash marksmanship game on their YouTube page. The game is based upon their recruit training. You "fire" a Steyr Aug at ranges from 25 meters to 600 meters. You have to adjust for heart rate, wind, distance, and your breathing. It is a lot harder than most of these type of games.

The game is located here. Below is a screen shot of it.

Friday, March 25, 2011

National Medal Of Honor Day

Today is National Medal of Honor Day. Congress has designated March 25th as the day we honor those brave individuals who have been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. This day was chosen as March 25th was the day the first Medals of Honor were presented in 1863.

A number of years ago I noticed an elderly gentleman parking his car at a local grocery store. What caught my eye was his license plate. It was a specialized plate from the State of North Carolina and it said "Congressional Medal of Honor".

The gentleman in question was Max Thompson who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions in battle near Haaren, Germany. I regret that I didn't stop to speak with Sgt. Thompson and thank him but I wanted to respect his privacy while he was doing the mundane chore of grocery shopping. His citation is below:
On 18 October 1944, Company K, 18th Infantry, occupying a position on a hill near Haaren, Germany, was attacked by an enemy infantry battalion supported by tanks. The assault was preceded by an artillery concentration, lasting an hour, which inflicted heavy casualties on the company. While engaged in moving wounded men to cover, Sgt. Thompson observed that the enemy had overrun the positions of the 3d Platoon. He immediately attempted to stem the enemy's advance single-handedly. He manned an abandoned machinegun and fired on the enemy until a direct hit from a hostile tank destroyed the gun. Shaken and dazed, Sgt. Thompson picked up an automatic rifle and although alone against the enemy force which was pouring into the gap in our lines, he ??fired burst after burst, halting the leading elements of the attack and dispersing those following. Throwing aside his automatic rifle, which had jammed, he took up a rocket gun, fired on a light tank, setting it on fire. By evening the enemy had been driven from the greater part of the captured position but still held 3 pillboxes. Sgt. Thompson's squad was assigned the task of dislodging the enemy from these emplacements. Darkness having fallen and finding that fire of his squad was ineffective from a distance, Sgt. Thompson crawled forward alone to within 20 yards of 1 of the pillboxes and fired grenades into it. The Germans holding the emplacement concentrated their fire upon him. Though wounded, he held his position fearlessly, continued his grenade fire, and finally forced the enemy to abandon the blockhouse. Sgt. Thompson's courageous leadership inspired his men and materially contributed to the clearing of the enemy from his last remaining hold on this important hill position.
Sgt. Thompson passed away in 1996 at the age of 74. So on this day we should remember the bravery and sacrifice of men like Sgt. Thompson and living recipients like Staff Sgt. Sal Giunta. This country would not be what it is without men like them.

Darren Gil - Former ATF Attache To Mexico - Part II

Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News has posted a second video of her interview with former ATF Attache to Mexico, Darren Gil. While a bit shorter, it goes deeper.

Former ATF Attache In Mexico City On Operation Fast And Furious

Darren Gil served as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Attache in the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City. He was recalled to Washington late in 2010 after he started asking questions about Operation Fast and Furious.Gil subsequently retired in December 2010. His replacement was the former Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix Field Division William Newell who's actions are at the center of Operation Fast and Furious (aka Project Gunwalker).

Mr. Gil hasn't spoken out publicly about the gun walking. That is, until now. Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News has just published an interview with him in which he says that knowledge of the gunwalking went higher than ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson.
In an exclusive interview with CBS News, the lead ATF official in Mexico at the time Darren Gil says somebody in the Justice Department did know about the case. Gil says his supervisor at ATF's Washington D.C. headquarters told him point-blank the operation was approved even higher than ATF Director Kenneth Melson.

"Is the director aware of this," Gil asked the supervisor. Gil says his supervisor answered "Yes, the director's aware of it. Not only is the director aware of it, D.O.J.'s aware of it... Department of Justice was aware of it."

Gil goes on to say senior Justice official Lanny Breuer and several of his deputies visited Mexico amid the controversy last summer, and spoke to ATF staff generally about a big trafficking case that they claimed was "getting good results." Gil says Melson, ATF's Acting Director, also visited Mexico City. Gil's Deputy Attache and his Analyst questioned Melson about the case that surrounding all the weapons showing up in Mexico. "His response was 'it's a good case, it's still going on,'" recalls Gil, "and we'll close it down as soon as we possibly can."
One of the reasons that Gil is speaking out is because Mexican politicians are threatening to bring charges against ATF agents in Mexico. Gil says that would be wrong because the ATF agents in Mexico were specifically excluded from having knowledge of the gunwalking. They were frozen out of their normal computer access to case files. He notes that some of his conversations with officials in Washington became "screaming and shouting matches" over this lack of access. He did note that many of their serial number traces went back to the Phoenix area - where SAC William Newell was running Operation Fast and Furious.

Mike Vanderboegh has mentioned Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, head of the Criminal Division at DOJ, many times on his blog Sipsey Street Irregulars as involved in Project Gunwalker. Gil's interview is confirmation that Breuer was probably up to his neck in it. The question now is whether he or Melson will be thrown under the bus to protect Attorney General Eric Holder.

As mentioned a few days ago, ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson will be appearing before the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee's  Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Peace Corps, and Global Narcotics Affairs. Now that Darren Gil has gone on the record with CBS's Sharyl Attkisson about higher-ups being involved, it would be a shame if the screws weren't put to Melson to testify under oath on just how high it went.

UPDATE: Video of the interview is now available.

Senator Grassley Is Asking More Questions

Senator Chuck Grassley is asking more questions regarding Operation Fast and Furious (aka Project Gunwalker). This time he is asking the questions of the head of Customs and Border Protection. He wants if they knowingly let Jaime Avila and two of those arrested in Columbus, NM "walk" with firearms even though Border Patrol agents had stopped all three.
Grassley Presses for More Answers on Operation Fast and Furious, Allowing Guns to “Walk”

WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley continues to press the administration for answers about the policy that allowed guns to “walk” over the Mexican border. Grassley began questioning the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in January. His requests for information about the involvement of various agencies, including ATF, the Justice Department, the Department of Homeland Security, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection have been stonewalled by the administration.

Grassley is now asking Customs and Border Protection for information about reportedly stopping Blas Gutierrez and Miguel Carrillo near the Mexican border. The two were recently indicted as part of a gun trafficking operation involving the mayor of Columbus, New Mexico. Additionally, Grassley is asking about allegations that Customs and Border Protection stopped Jaime Avila, who was recently indicted as the straw purchaser of weapons found at the scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry’s murder. In both instances, Border Patrol agents allegedly found the gun runners to be in possession of multiple weapons, but let the suspects proceed for unknown reasons.

“No longer can this administration stand idly by and answer every question by saying that the Justice Department Inspector General is investigating. There is too much at stake. U.S. agents may have been killed because of a tragically ill-advised policy,” Grassley said. “The President said a serious mistake may have been made here, and that, if so, he would hold someone accountable. It is clearer every day that serious mistakes were made. Now it’s time for accountability.”

Grassley’s letter to Customs and Border Protection (March 16, 2011) made a specific request for officials knowledgeable about the agency’s involvement in Operation Fast and Furious be made available at a briefing that was already scheduled to take place with Grassley staff. Customs and Border Protection did not make officials available and there have been no attempts by the agency to schedule a subsequent briefing when officials would be available to answer the questions in Grassley’s letter.

Senator Grassley's letter to Alan Bersin, Comissioner of Customs and Border Protection, can be found here.

Campus Concealed Carry - No Laughing Matter

Thursday, March 24, 2011

What The Hell Is Wrong With Judges In New Jersey?

Jeff Muller was kidnapped from his pet foods store in Newton, New Jersey last year. The five kidnappers from Missouri thought Muller was the man who had swindled one of their friends. The only problem is that they had the wrong Jeff Muller.

Photo by Lake Ozark Police Department
Fortunately, Mr. Muller was able to escape his kidnappers in Missouri when their car broke down. After his return to New Jersey,  he applied for a concealed carry permit in New Jersey as, at the time, some of the kidnappers were still at large. While approved for it by the NJ State Police, he was turned down by Judge Philip Maenza. This denial is at the heart of the Second Amendment Foundation case brought challenging NJ's concealed carry laws.

Fast forward to today. In Morris County Superior Court, Judge David Ironson denied Mr. Muller's appeal of his permit denial saying that "failed to provide 'proof of justifiable need' to carry a handgun and said he should take his case to a state appeals court." Currently, four of the five kidnappers are in jail awaiting trial in Sussex County, NJ. However, the fifth kidnapper, Roy Slates, has served his time and is now out of prison.

As Mr. Muller said:
In an interview after the hearing, Muller said he needs to carry a handgun because “there’s the potential” of the five kidnappers’ family members “coming after me to get revenge.”

“They could send anybody out after me,” Muller said, noting that “the way we live has changed” since the ordeal. “Everything’s locked,” he said.

“I think about it every day,” Muller said. “I look at everybody who comes in my store.”
If anyone has ever met the definition of "justifiable need" for the State of New Jersey to approve a concealed carry permit it is Jeff Muller.

Judge Ironson has been on the bench since 2008. Before his being named a Superior Court judge, David Ironson was a personal injury lawyer. You would think that even a pond-scum sucking ambulance chaser might recognize that the concept of "justifiable need" applied in Jeff Muller's case.

Independence. Integrity. Fairness. Quality Service. Those words are emblazoned under the logo of the New Jersey Court system. Judge Ironson just made a mockery of at least two of them.

Dove Hunting Comes To Iowa

The NRA just sent out this release thanking Governor Terry Bransted for signing the bill the allows dove hunting in the state of Iowa. With all their grain fields, I'd wager that Iowa will be a great place for this!
Dove Hunting Ban Lifted in Iowa

Fairfax, Va. – Today, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad signed legislation into law authorizing a mourning dove hunting season. This National Rifle Association-backed legislation passed both houses of the state legislature with broad bi-partisan support despite the heavy opposition of anti-hunting groups such as the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). With this historic expansion of hunter opportunity, the Governor has further exemplified his steadfast commitment to sportsmen and gun owners.

“The time has come that Iowa’s hunters are afforded the same hunting opportunities as hunters in all six of its border states,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director for NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “Because of dove hunting, millions of additional dollars will now go to fund wildlife and habitat conservation in Iowa and thousands of new hunters will be recruited to the state’s fields and forests.”

Originally sponsored by state Senator Dick Dearden (D-34), and managed on the House floor by Representative Rich Arnold (R-72), SF 464 authorizes the Natural Resource Commission to add Iowa to the list of 40 other states whose conservation and local economies are benefited by recognizing this type of hunting. Doves are the most popular and abundant game bird hunted in America and there is no biological justification to continue to deny Iowans the right to hunt them if they choose to do so.

”On behalf of NRA’s 4 million members, I’d like to thank Gov. Branstad and the legislative supporters of this important bill for ensuring scientific wildlife management trumped the emotion of the opposition,” concluded Cox. “Resurrecting dove hunting in Iowa is a great step in continuing to preserve Iowa’s proud hunting heritage.”

Thanks to Rachel Parsons of the NRA for sending me this.

New Judge For Challenge To Illinois FOID Card

Mishaga v. Monken, the challenge to Illinois's FOID Card regulation brought by the Mountain States Legal Foundation, has been reassigned from Chief District Court Judge Michael McCuskey to newly confirmed District Court Judge Sue E. Myersclough. It is a common occurance for new judges to have cases reassigned to them.

I am not sure how this will impact the case. If you will remember, back in November Judge McCuskey denied the state's motion to dismiss the case. His decison seemed to portend good things for this case as it went to trial.

Judge Myersclough served from 1998 until her confirmation as a judge on the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth District. From 1990 to 1998, Myersclough was a Circuit Judge for the Circuit Court of Illinois, Seventh Judicial Circuit. Both of these courts meet in Springfield. She was nominated by President Obama in July 2010 and confirmed by the Senate in February 2011. Myersclough was nominated back in 1995 by President Bill Clinton for a District Court Judgeship but was not confirmed.

Myersclough is a graduate of Southern Illinois University taking her B.A. from there in 1973 and her J.D. from its law school in 1980. According to the public questionnaire submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee, she also did graduate study at both Southern Illinois and the University of Chicago before attending law school.

As to her political leanings, she is a Democrat as would be expected. She had won a few awards from state and local Democratic committees for service over the years. She did run - but lost - for the Illinois Supreme Court back in 2002.

The important thing for us is how she would deal with Second Amendment rights. She did get a couple of questions for the record on Second Amendment issues from Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK).

From Sessions with her response:
Do you believe that the Second Amendment is an individual right or a collective right? Please explain your answer.
Response: The Supreme Court decisions in District of Columbia v. Heller, 128 S. Ct. 2783 (2008) and McDonald v. City of Chicago, 130 S. Ct. 3020 (2010) hold that the Second Amendment confers an individual right.

a. What standard of scrutiny do you believe is appropriate in a Second Amendment challenge against a Federal or State gun law?
Response: In Heller and McDonald, the Supreme Court found a right under the
Second Amendment must be treated in the same manner as any fundamental right identified in the Bill of Rights. The Second Amendment right to bear arms should therefore not be treated as a “watered down right” subject to “judicial interest balancing.” See Heller, 128 S. C. at 2821; McDonald, 130 S. Ct. at 3047.
From Coburn with her response:
What limitations remain on the individual Second Amendment right now that it has been incorporated against the States?
Response: What limits remain on the Second Amendment remain open but for those limits expressly set forth by the Supreme Court as presumptively lawful regulations in District of Columbia v. Heller, 128 S. Ct. 2783 (2008). “[N]othing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on the longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.” Heller, 128 S. Ct. at 2816-17.

a. Is it limited only to possession of a handgun for self-defense in the home, since both Heller and McDonald involved cases of handgun possession for self-defense in the home?
Response: Both Heller and McDonald specifically found city ordinances unconstitutional that prohibited handgun possession in the home. The Supreme Court has left open for future evaluations examples of other limits on the Second Amendment. But the Supreme Court made clear that core protections are conferred by the Second Amendment. “In Heller, however, we expressly rejected the argument that the scope of the Second Amendment right should be determined by judicial interest balancing, [citation] and this Court decades ago abandoned ‘the notion that the Fourteenth Amendment applies to the States only a watereddown, subjective version of the individual guarantees of the Bill of Rights.’[Citation.]” McDonald, 130 S. Ct. at 3047.
I guess that is the best one could hope to hear from any nominee for a District Court judgeship. She does note that it is a "fundamental right".

Now that she has taken over Mishaga, Myersclough has set the Final Pretrial Conference for December 19, 2011 and the Bench Trial is set to start January 3, 2012. I'm sure both of these dates could change over the coming months. In any event, it will be almost a year before any decision is rendered on whether the denial of Ellen Mishaga's application for a FOID Card is unconstitutional or not.

A Study in Willful Ignorance

The Connecticut General Assembly is considering SB 1094, An Act Banning Large Capacity Ammunition Magazines. This bill would not only ban any magazine with a capacity greater than 10 rounds but would give owners of these magazines 90 days within which they must turn them in to the police. Failure to do so would be a felony. There would be no grandfathering of magazines that were possessed prior to the enactment of the bill. As usual in these bans, the ban would only apply to the general public and not to law enforcement officers.

The Joint Judiciary Committee of the General Assembly held hearings yesterday on SB 1094. As reported in the Hartford Courant, the hearings drew a great number of people both for and against the bill. Unlike in the old Bill Ruger days, the current President of Ruger Firearms, Michael Fifer came out strongly against the bill. James Debney, President of the Firearms Division of Smith and Wesson, reminded the legislature of the number of jobs that could be lost if the bill passed. He made special note that the state had a number of magazine manufacturers including C Products and MecGar.

However, it is the testimony in support of the bill which contains the wild statements, willful ignorance, and hyperbole. As I noted earlier, SB 1094 does not apply to law enforcement who would continue to have standard capacity magazines.

From Bridgeport Police Chief Joseph Gaudett:
Just as you correctly realized there is NO REASON for the general public to possess Assault Weapons, that same basic logic must be applied to the large capacity magazines.

There is no reason whatsoever that hunters or sportsmen or collectors or the public at large should have large capacity magazines. Their purpose is singular and deadly, and makes no sense at all for general public use.
From State Senator Gary LeBeau, Deputy President Pro Tempore of the Senate:
High capacity magazines are designed to enable shooting mass numbers of people quickly and efficiently without reloading. They have been used in numerous mass shootings, including Tucson, Virginia Tech, Fort Hood, Columbine and last summer, Manchester, Connecticut. These high capacity magazines are simply not useful for hunting or self-defense
And from the mayors of Bridgeport (Bill Finch), Hartford (Pedro Segarra), and New Haven (John DeStefano) comes this screed. I should note that all three are members of Mayor Bloomberg's Illegal Mayors group.
Large capacity ammunition magazines are designed to enable shooting mass numbers of people quickly and efficiently without reloading.

As our work is not done, we must continue our efforts to keep these high-capacity magazines out of the hands of the general public.
The two phrases that come up continually in their testimony are "general public" and "enable shooting mass numbers of people". When they say "general public", it tells me the political class - and I add the police chief in this category - does not trust the people of their state. A political class that has so little respect for the people needs to be replaced.

The "enable shooting mass numbers of people" is just hyperbole and willful ignorance. It is right up there with saying a standard capacity magazine is not needed for self-defense because the only reason you need more is that you can't shoot straight. If that was the case, then why do trained law enforcement officers need standard capacity magazines? Presumably they are trained and must pass marksmanship qualifications on a regular basis.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Golden Opportunity For Answers Under Oath

Next Thursday, March 31st, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Peace Corps, and Global Narcotics Affairs is holding hearings. The topic is "A Shared Responsibility: Counternarcotics and Citizen Security in the Americas U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations".

Among the called witnesses is Kenneth Melson, Acting Director, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. If there was a better time to grill Melson on what he knew about Operation Fast and Furious and when he knew it, it won't be any sooner than this.

The membership of the Subcommittee is listed below. Four of the five Republicans are A-rated by the NRA and Marco Rubio was rated B+. Democrat Jim Webb was rated A when he ran back in 2006.

You would think at least one of these six senators would use this opportunity to force Melson to spill on what he knew, when he knew it, and who else was involved. If they don't take advantage of this, they should be ashamed of themselves. If you live in a state represented by one of these six, call their office and ask (or demand) that they ask the hard questions that need to be asked of Kenneth Melson and the ATF.
Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Peace Corps, and Global Narcotics Affairs

* Robert Menendez,
* Barbara Boxer
* Jim Webb
* Jeanne Shaheen
* Tom Udall

* Marco Rubio,
Ranking Member
* Mike Lee
* Jim DeMint
* Johnny Isakson
* John Barrasso


Useful Stuff

CheaperThanDirt is doing a good job on these short videos. They are pretty useful especially if you don't have the skills of a trained gunsmith.

Fishing In Washington State

The Washington State Police are on a fishing expedition. Given that it is Washington State you might think it would be for some of the wonderful salmon that runs up their rivers and is off their coast. That would be incorrect.

Actually, they have sent a letter to every FFL in the State of Washington asking for records and documents dealing with all AR-15's and AR-15 lowers sold or purchased between July 1, 2010 and now. As you might imagine, this has caused an uproar.

The NRA-ILA has posted an alert on this fishing expedition and has sent a letter to the Washington State Police (see letter at bottom). It alerts dealers that they are under no legal obligation to provide this information.

Dave Workman, editor of Gun Week and a Washington resident, discusses the issue with Cam Edwards on Cam and Company.

National Rifle Association of America Washington State Police Inquiry

UPDATE: The NRA has issued an update on this issue after talks with the Washington State Police.

McCarthy Crowing

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy is crowing about how her bill, HR 308, has now reached 100 co-sponsors. She includes numerous congratulatory accolades from gun prohibitionists in her press release. Normally, 100 co-sponsors of a gun control bill like hers would be of concern. However, given that the co-sponsors are all liberal, anti-gun Democrats and the House is now Republican majority, HR 308 is merely something to keep one's eye on and not something that should cause great and immediate fear. While this bill make get a few more sponsors, I think it has come close to its high water mark.

By contrast, HR 822 - the National Right-To-Carry Reciprocity Bill - now has 83 co-sponsors in less than a month since its introduction. It probably would have more sponsors added this week if the House wasn't on break this week for a "constituent work break". If your representative is having an event in his or her district, that might be a good time to ask them to become a co-sponsor if they haven't already. If they have signed up as a co-sponsor, make sure to thank them.

And now for some light reading courtesy of Rep. McCarthy.
Bill to Ban High-Capacity Ammo Magazines Reaches New Milestone
Wednesday March 23, 2011

H.R. 308 Now Has 100 Cosponsors in House, With More on the Way

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Carolyn McCarthy’s (D-NY04) bill to ban high-capacity ammunition magazines has reached a new milestone, with 100 cosponsors now supporting the proposal.

More cosponsors still are expected for H.R. 308, which aims to reduce injuries and save lives by banning the sale or transfer of magazines that allow shooters to fire more than 10 bullets at a time. In the recent mass shooting in Tucson as well as the 1993 massacre on the Long Island Railroad that affected Rep. McCarthy’s family, the shooters were stopped by bystanders only when they stopped to reload their high-capacity magazines.

The 100 cosponsors hail from every part of the country, and represent a broad coalition of Congress members representing urban, suburban and rural areas.

The rapid growth in support behind the bill – which was introduced on Jan. 18 – is the result of a two-pronged strategy being executed by Rep. McCarthy and a nationwide network of advocates.

On one level, Rep. McCarthy is going member-to-member on Capitol Hill making the case personally, reminding her colleagues of her unique perspective as a victim of gun violence herself. Her husband was killed, and son seriously injured, in the 1993 LIRR shooting.
On another level, groups like the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, States United to Prevent Gun Violence, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, the Violence Policy Center, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence and the Citizens Crime Commission of NYC are working tirelessly with local partners across the country to speak to members of Congress and their constituents directly in their districts.

“The broad and steadily growing coalition of cosponsors for the bill to ban high-capacity magazines is a clear sign that millions of Americans support commonsense measures to address gun violence,” Rep. McCarthy said. “Together with strengthening our background check system so that people known to be dangerous can’t get their hands on deadly weapons in the first place, this proposal is sure to reduce injuries and save lives in our nation.”

Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence President Paul Helmke said: “We applaud this new milestone and are encouraged that Congress is waking up to the fact that sensible gun laws save lives. More members of Congress are beginning to understand that restrictions on military-style weaponry are necessary to help prevent mass shootings. We are encouraged by the support of these 100 co-sponsors and are determined to fight for the passage of this proven and effective law to reduce gun violence.”

States United to Prevent Gun Violence Executive Director Andy Pelosi said: “We applaud Rep. McCarthy's leadership and the growing Congressional support on this issue to re-establish the ban on high capacity ammunition magazines. No private citizen should have access to such high-power lethality. Our state-based gun violence prevention organizations have found wide support for this ban which will save lives.”

Violence Policy Center Legislative Director Kristen Rand said: “Increasing support in Congress for restricting high-capacity magazines demonstrates the public’s recognition that these devices have no legitimate purpose in a civilized society.”

Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Executive Director Josh Horwitz said: “Representative McCarthy has shown yet again that she is a tenacious advocate. Reaching the 100 cosponsor mark in such a short amount of time is a reminder that Congress will have to consider this legislation sooner rather than later. Our Coalition has worked tirelessly to develop cosponsors and it is rewarding to see so many Members respond.”

New Yorkers Against Gun Violence Executive Director Jackie Hilly said: "A ban on large capacity ammunition magazines is a sensible step to reduce gun violence and is supported by an overwhelming majority of Americans. I thank each of the 100 cosponsors of H.R. 308 for listening to the demands of their constituents. The leadership shown by these Members of Congress, particularly Representative Carolyn McCarthy, will help save lives.”

Citizens Crime Commission of NYC and formerBrady Campaign President Richard Aborn said: "The fight for commonsense gun control has never been an easy one, but we're halfway there with Congresswoman McCarthy's outstanding leadership on H.R. 308. The issue is simple: this isn't about Democrats or Republicans, it's about protecting law enforcement and keeping the public safe. Congress needs to understand that cops should not be outgunned by criminals; it's not fair.”
Michael Bane made a comment a week or so ago that we as Americans tend to accord victims a special status. McCarthy always wants to play on that status by never failing to mention the murder of her husband on the Long Island Railroad in 1993 by a deranged individual.

Like McCarthy, I was widowed in 1993. My wife died from breast cancer at the age of 42. Neither event was supposed to happen but they did. As harsh as it may sound, life goes on and we need to deal with it. To expect - and even demand - continued sympathy from an event that happened over 17 years ago like McCarthy seems to want to do is sad. It is sad that McCarthy hasn't really moved on with her life and sad because she is using the tragic death of her husband as a means of political gain.

It Depends On Whose Ox Is Being Gored

The Wall Street Journal reported that the Freedom Group's expansion of their Remingon Arms facility in Ilion, NY plant will add 40-50 new jobs there. They are moving their Bushmaster operations from Windham, ME to Ilion in a consolidation of operations. The means that Bushmaster AR-15's - those evil black rifles - will now be made in New York State.

The senior Senator from New York, Chuck Schumer, has a well-deserved reputation for being an enemy of gun owners and gun rights. That is why I find his remarks on the expansion of the Remington plant so ironic. He says he is all for guns if it means jobs for his constituents and if he can push the military to buy more "made-in-New York" firearms.


Bushmaster Firearms Set To Move Production From Maine Facility To Ilion, Bringing Scores of New Jobs And Economic Opportunity To Central NY

Schumer Is A Long-Time Supporter Of Remington Plant, Helped Bring New Business By Securing Vital Grants And a Level Playing Field to Compete For Government Contracts

Schumer: These Jobs Are Great News For Mohawk Valley Economy

Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer joined Remington officials and plant employees to announce that Bushmaster Firearms is relocating a manufacturing facility from Windham, Maine to Ilion, NY, bringing over forty new jobs to Central New York in the process. Schumer has been a long-time supporter of manufacturing at the Remington plant, urging top Army officials to open up competition for the Army’s small arms contracts to other U.S. manufacturers and domestic producers across the country like the Ilion, New York-based Remington. Today, Schumer applauded Remington’s decision to add new jobs to the productive and capable work force already making the factory an economic powerhouse in the Mohawk Valley.

“What a great day for Remington’s Ilion plant, the Mohawk Valley, and Central New York’s economy,” said Senator Schumer. “Thanks to Remington’s continued confidence in this capable workforce, we’re going to see even more good-paying jobs at the plant, creating positive ripple effects throughout the region. The addition of these jobs strengthens the ability of the Remington plant in Ilion to compete for the many Department of Defense small arms contracts available this year by adding to the skilled workforce and further enhancing the manufacturing capability for M-4 and M-16 style firearms. As I have always done, I will work tirelessly for a fair and open contracting process with the military so the Ilion plant and its workers can compete on a level playing field, and continue to produce the high quality equipment our men and women in uniform deserve and expect.”

Senator Schumer has long been a strong supporter of the Remington facility. He led the effort in Congress to repeal the law that limited competition for small arms contracts, so that Remington can now compete for small arms contracts with the Department of Defense. Schumer also successfully pushed the Army to open up their application process and solicit competing contracts in order to modify Army's M-4 carbine. As a result of this effort, Remington is now competing with other companies to win the contract.

After the Army identified a requirement to upgrade its M-24 sniper rifle used in Afghanistan, Sen. Schumer secured funding for the upgrade from Congress. Schumer’s success in securing funding for this project ultimately allowed Remington to compete for and win a contract to upgrade the Army's 3600 M24 sniper rifles (now called the XM2010). The Army recently ordered an initial quantity of 250 XM2010s, which Remington is currently manufacturing and the Army is shipping to our sniper teams in Afghanistan. Schumer’s push for an open contracting process that allows Remington to compete with other manufacturers has resulted in economic growth and new jobs coming to the Ilion facility.

Given that the Freedom Group's headquarters is in Madison, North Carolina - just north of Greensboro - it is a shame that they didn't bring those jobs South to North Carolina.

Obama Says He Didn't Approve "Fast and Furious" (updated)

According to tweets from CBS Investigative Reporter Sharyl Attkisson, President Obama was asked this evening about Operation Fast and Furious and and ATF's "gunwalking". He stated he didn't approve the operation.
President Obama tonight was asked about ATF Gunwalking Scandal, subject of @CBSEveningNews investigation.

President Obama stated that he did not approve the ATF operation. Watch @CBSEveningNews @katiecouric for the latest Gunwalking developmts
I am looking for when and where Obama stated this and will post the full text when it is available.

UPDATE: Obama's comments came in a sit-down interview with Jorge Ramos of Univision. The interview is posted below.

Sharyl Attkisson reports on the interview here.

H/T Sharyl Attkisson for video

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

H.R.1181 -- Protecting Gun Owners in Bankruptcy Act of 2011

Rep. Tim Griffin (R-Arkansas) along with Rep. Mark Critz (D-PA) have introduced a bill on March 17th that would protect up to $3,000 worth of a person's firearms from being taken in a bankruptcy proceeding.

Griffin is a freshman Republican representing the Little Rock, Arkansas are in Congress. He had served as a JAG Officer in Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division and then as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas. Griffin is A-rated by the NRA and was endorsed by them in 2010.

Critz, a Democrat, is from Johnstown and won the seat formerly held by the late Rep. Jack Murtha in a special election in May 2010. He went on to hold on to the seat in the 2010 general election. He had worked as the District Director for Murtha for many years. Critz is A-rated by the NRA and was endorsed by them in the 2010 general election. He is also a co-sponsor of HR 822 - National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity.

1st Session

H. R. 1181

To amend title 11 of the United States Code to include firearms in the types of property allowable under the alternative provision for exempting property from the estate.


March 17, 2011

Mr. GRIFFIN of Arkansas (for himself and Mr. CRITZ) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


To amend title 11 of the United States Code to include firearms in the types of property allowable under the alternative provision for exempting property from the estate.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the `Protecting Gun Owners in Bankruptcy Act of 2011'.


Section 522 of title 11, the United States Code, is amended--

(1) in subsection (d) by adding at the end the following:

`(13) The debtor's aggregate interest, not to exceed $3,000 in value, in a single rifle, shotgun, or pistol, or any combination thereof.', and

(2) in subsection (f)(4)(A)--

(A) in clause (xiv) by striking `and' at the end,

(B) in clause (xv) by striking the period at the end and inserting `; and', and

(C) by adding at the end the following:

`(xvi) The debtor's aggregate interest, not to exceed $3,000 in value, in a single rifle, shotgun, or pistol, or any combination thereof.'.


(a) Effective Date- Except as provided in subsection (b), this Act and the amendments made by this Act shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.

(b) Application of Amendments- The amendments made by this Act shall apply only with respect to cases commenced under title 11 of the United States Code on or after the date of the enactment of this Act.