Wednesday, October 31, 2012

It Is Still Taxing A Fundamental Right


Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle has backed off of her idea to levy a 5 cents per cartridge "violence tax". However, according to the Chicago Tribune, Preckwinkle still plans to go forward with her tax on firearms. This was part of a grand compromise with some Democrats on the County Board who were balking at the proposed Cook County Firearm and Firearm Ammunition Tax Ordinance.
The compromise was negotiated over several days with Commissioners John Fritchey and Edwin Reyes, both Chicago Democrats, who had balked at the guns and ammo taxes.

In exchange for their support, Preckwinkle agreed to create a $2 million fund to combat gun violence. Fritchey had proposed dedicating $1.4 million to anti-gun violence efforts. She also agreed to exempt law-enforcement officers from having to pay the tax, which helped convince Reyes to support the plan.

An undetermined portion of the $2 million would be granted to “non-profits with a track record of effective violence prevention and community outreach.” About $100,000 would be used to crack down on illegal gun purchases.

The budget director for the county estimates that the tax on firearms will raise $600,000. If she is correct, this works out to 120,000 firearms purchases annually in Cook County. Using my iPhone's FFL Finder app, I count approximately 35 licensed firearms dealers within Cook County. This works out to sales of over 3,400 firearms per shop over the course of a year. Frankly, I think the budget director is dreaming if she thinks there will be this many sales in the county in a year.

As Sebastian noted back when this first came up, there is significant Supreme Court precedent saying that taxing a fundamental right in order to discourage its use is unconstitutional. Given the legislative history of this ordinance and the public pronouncements of Ms. Preckwinkle, I don't think attorneys such as Alan Gura or David Sigale would have to go far to find sufficient cause to get an injunction. If I were a taxpayer in Cook County, I'd be pretty upset to see my tax dollars going to fund the court case that passage of this tax will undoubtedly engender.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Almost As Bad As Obesity


Ralph Fascitelli, a member of the gun control group Washington Ceasefire, want Democrats to embrace gun control and make it an issue in this election. He says they are the party of "progressive stands on social issues". He is upset that the Democrats aren't saying more about gun control on the campaign trail and in their official platform.

Gun violence, which costs this country as much as a $100 billion annually and is perhaps along with obesity the number one public health issue of our time, was put on mute again.

He goes on to say that the Democrats have taken the wrong message from the 1994 elections which saw the Republicans win the House of Representatives as well as from Al Gore's loss of his home state of Tennessee in 2000. Fascitelli says embracing gun control isn't a lost cause. He compares it to Obama's newly found appreciation for gay marriage as a way to "energize the base".

Comparing guns to obesity and using specious statistics from the Brady Campaign is no way to make an effective argument. He may get the true believers to agree with him but your average Democratic politician who wants to get elected or re-elected will continue to mumble just enough platitudes to confuse the voters on both sides of the issue.

This Is Unpossible


I think most of us would agree that zombies and zombie movies have pretty much jumped the shark. Now we see a British-made movie, Cockneys vs Zombies, has come out.

It features the residents of the Bow Bells Care Home and a few of their grandchildren fighting off a horde of hungry zombies with full-auto AKs and M-16s.

I'm sorry but this is just implausible premise. Not the zombies but ordinary Brits having access to anything stronger than harsh words with which to fight them.

That is just umpossible in Her Majesty's gun-free paradise.



Sunday, October 28, 2012

Newsday Endorsement Of Carolyn McCarthy Triggers Pet Peeve


Perhaps not expectedly, the Long Island-based newspaper Newsday has endorsed Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY-4). They say she has a "mind meld with the middle class". Whatever.

However, that is not what triggered my pet peeve. This is:
A registered nurse, she was catapulted into public life by tragedy: A husband killed and a son grievously wounded in a mass shooting on the Long Island Rail Road in 1993. McCarthy, 68, of Mineola, has grown beyond the gun control issue that prompted her first run for office in 1996, although it remains an important legislative passion.
While Carolyn McCarthy can be generically called a "nurse", she is not now, nor has she ever been, a "registered nurse". Rep. McCarthy trained as, and is, a Licensed Practical Nurse or LPN.  She is a 1964 graduate of the Glen Cove Nursing School according to Congress.org.

A LPN is limited by the state-level Boards of Nursing in what she or he can do. While it will vary by state, a LPN has a limited number of tasks that can be delegated to them. For example, they are allowed to dispense medications in a long-term care facility. This is not to say LPNs cannot perform the tasks assigned to them well. They can.

However, LPNs are not trained to see the big picture. They cannot assess the patient, they cannot write a care plan, and are not trained to think critically. By contrast, a RN has more education, is trained to assess the patient, is trained to think critically, and can write a plan of care.

Why is this a pet peeve? Because the Complementary Spouse is a BSN-trained Registered Nurse with an advanced practice certificate. She also holds a Masters in Health Science.

If you think about it, Carolyn McCarthy's views on gun control are, in many ways, a reflection of her training and experience. A gun was used in the murder of her husband so therefore guns must be restricted. She cannot see beyond this to realize that the disturbed individual could have used a knife, a container of gasoline, or a black-powder nail bomb to kill the six victims or that a legally armed individual could have limited the number of victims. She wasn't trained to see the big picture or to think critically and it shows.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

It's Not All Violence They Oppose


The Coalition To Stop Gun Violence (sic) does not oppose all violence. They are on record in support of state-sponsored violence.

Thus, given their recent jihad against blogger Kurt Hofmann which includes trying to get the FBI involved by saying Kurt is engaging in treason, sedition, and incitement to violence, I think this is the scenario that they'd like to see.

These guys would arrive:


Armed with this:


They would toss in one of these:


With this as the result:


Why? Because they feel threatened by ideas. Ideas that are different than their own collectivist ideas. Ideas that come from the grassroots and not from some top-down organization like CSGV. Ideas that promote freedom and self-responsibility.

If they had their way, America would have a People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs (otherwise known as the NKVD which became the KGB) to seek out those of us who differ ideologically from them. When people called them out in defense of Kurt, they responded with this:


https://twitter.com/AZGila_Monster/status/262026549530861568


As I called them yesterday, totalitarian thugs.That is all they are and all they will ever be.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Vote For #MoreFreeCrap!


I love parody. I just love how it takes the pompous down a peg or two. Comedian Steven Crowder does parody really well. Just look at his parody of Lena Dunham and her "first time" ad for Obama.






UPDATE: Another parody of the Lena Dunham "first time" ad.  This one comes from TokenLibertarianGirl who does a really good job of nailing Dunham's insipidness.


As A Financial Planner This Ad Irritates Me


The Obama campaign has been playing the ad below virtually non-stop in western North Carolina for the past couple of weeks.





CBS News Anchor and 60 Minutes Correspondent Scott Pelley's question is ignorant and the Obama campaign just loves it.

Why do I find the question ignorant?

First, it ignores totally that any capital that Mitt Romney invested has already been taxed once. This is not pre-tax or tax-deferred monies upon which no tax was withheld. Romney has already paid tax on the capital invested and probably at a 35% rate or higher. I say higher because the original investment could very well be from 2002 or earlier. If so, Romney paid anywhere from 38.6% to 39.6% in taxes on this money.

Second, by focusing in on the relative amount of tax paid by Romney, Pelley ignores the absolute amount in dollar terms - $2.8 million. Thanks to the astute investment managers who run his blind trust who generated a $20 million long-term capital gain, Mitt Romney has just paid more in taxes than most people earn in a lifetime.

Third, Mr. Pelley should be asking why Obama supporter Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (of which I am a shareholder) has never paid a dividend. One answer is that dividends are taxed at a higher rate than capital gains. If Buffett paid himself a dividend, he would have to pay more taxes.

Fourth, it is good public policy to tax long-term capital gains at a lower rate than ordinary income. It provides an incentive for investors to put up the money needed for business growth. If there is no business growth, there are fewer jobs. Fewer jobs also mean lower tax revenues. When capital gains rates have been lowered in the past there was a net increase in revenues even though the rates were lower.

Finally, I hate both the ad and the question for the divisive "us versus them" attitude it takes. This is America where we celebrate risk takers and not some Euro-socialist country that has driven out all the entrepreneurs.

Why Does CSGV Feel So Threatened By A Blogger In A Wheelchair?

Kurt Hofmann is the St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Due to a horrorific traffic accident which left him in a coma for nearly a month, Kurt now gets about in a wheelchair. For someone for whom life has played such a cruel trick, he is remarkably well-adjusted, even-tempered, thoughtful, and full of life. This is especially true when you consider that at an earlier time in his life Kurt served our country as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division. I have had the pleasure to meet Kurt in person more than once and to have an ongoing correspondence with him. I consider Kurt a friend and one of the good guys.

Kurt does get a little angry at the gun prohibitionists in Illinois and elsewhere who have conspired to deny him the right to carry a handgun concealed or otherwise. It is OK with them that a man confined to a wheelchair should be denied the ability to provide for his own self-defense. His St. Louis GRE columns often take a no holds barred approach to these gun prohibitionists and he points out the fallacy of their arguments on a regular basis.

Groups like the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (sic) don't like people like Kurt and try to deride him as an "extremist" or an "insurrectionist". They particularly like that last tag. Unfortunately for them, Kurt wears that tag as a badge of honor. Now it seems they have decided he is such a threat to them that he must be silenced.


Yesterday on Facebook (see above) CSGV accused Kurt of advocating bomb making in order to "kill elected officials, policy and military service members". They base this on a March column he wrote. Of course, having read Kurt's column in question, there is zero truth to the accusation. Kurt merely suggested downloading some publications dealing with improvised explosives while they were still available on the Internet. He did not advocate the manufacture or use of these explosives for the purposes of any illegal activity.

CSGV is actively attempting to have Kurt removed as an Examiner columnist. As Kurt notes, they are also "consulting" with anti-gun lawyer Michael Bannerman who has been a target of Kurt's criticism to find ways to have him charged with "advocating the overthrow of Government."

Groups like the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (sic) and their leaders obviously have no respect for the Bill of Rights. They hate the Second Amendment and just as evidently don't care for the First Amendment and its guarantees of freedom of speech and press.

They are totalitarian thugs and need to be called out as such.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Now This Is An Interesting Auction

The National Military History Center in Auburn, Indiana is auctioning off part of their collection in order to settle their mortgage. Auctions America is handling the auction for them. The auction catalog is here.

They will be offering 100 lots of WWII artifacts and 82 lots of military vehicles.

Worried about Predator drones flying overhead? Then how about an 88mm flak gun - demilled unfortunately?


Tired of having to fight traffic? How about this - a 1944 M16 half-track with double M-2s in a motorized mount?

 

You say you like that idea but want German engineering? How about this 1940-41 Hanomag S.P.W. Ausf. C SdKfz 251/1 Armored 3/4-Track?


I didn't see any tanks in the catalog but there are a lot of motorcycles, trucks, and other assorted vehicles along with the uniforms and demilled MP-40 sub-machine guns. None of these auctions have reserves but I expect collectors will be paying a fair price for some of these items.

I Hope My Students Aren't This Stupid

I'm an adjunct faculty member at a local state university and teach classes in financial and retirement planning every year. I've had some that have been exceptional and some that just didn't get it. However, I don't think I had any student in the last eight years that would fall for this utterly insipid and stupid ad just released by the Obama campaign.

I know I've had students that voted for Obama in 2008 but I think even they would be rolling their eyes over this. I certainly hope so!




Here is more about Ms. Durham who only yesterday was joking about dressing up as a murderer/rapist for Halloween.

5th Circuit Affirms Ban On Sale Of Handguns To 18-20 Year Olds

In a decision released today, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the District Court opinion of Judge Sam Cummings that banning sales of handguns by FFLs to those over 18 but under 21 is legal. This case, originally named D'Cruz v. BATFE and now titled Jennings et al v. BATFE, was brought in US District Court for the Northern District of Texas back in September 2010 by the National Rifle Association.

According to a Reuters report on the 5th Circuit's decision:
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Houston rejected the NRA's argument that 18- to 20-year-olds had a right to buy the guns under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, as well as the equal protection clause of the Fifth Amendment.

A unanimous three-judge panel said Congress, in a law dating from 1968, adopted the sales ban to help curb violent crime. It also said that the nation's founders and 19th-century courts and commentators believed that disarming specific groups did not trample on the right to bear arms.

"Congress was focused on a particular problem: young persons under 21, who are immature and prone to violence, easily accessing handguns," mainly from licensed dealers, Judge Edward Prado wrote for the panel.

"The present ban appears consistent with a longstanding tradition of age- and safety-based restrictions on the ability to access arms," he added.  
You may remember that the Brady Campaign and other gun prohibitionist played gutter politics with this case. They accused James D'Cruz, then a freshman at Texas Tech, of having a Facebook page filled with "angry, violent Facebook postings." D'Cruz was further demonized by Josh Horwitz of CSGV who said "he's a poster boy for why we should prevent handgun sales to those under 21 years of age" and implied that he sounded like a school shooter.


The full 41 page opinion of the 5th Circuit can be found here. I have not had time to read it but hope to have an update posted after I have done so.


Busy Week For Alan Gura

This has been a busy week for Alan Gura. He has had not one but two oral arguments on back to back days before the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. Moreover, both cases involve gun rights.

The first case, Lane v. Holder, is a challenge to the Gun Control Act of 1968's ban on the sales of handguns to non-residents of a state. The case was filed in 2011 and challenged the law on behalf of Michelle Lane, a resident of the District of Columbia, who had purchased two handguns in Virginia and could not pick them up there. At the time of the original filing, there was no active FFL in DC. The Second Amendment Foundation, Amanda Welling, and Matthew Welling are also plaintiffs in this case.

US District Court Judge Gerald Bruce Lee of the Eastern District of Virginia denied the motion for a preliminary injuction in July 2011. He also dismissed the case at that time. A few days later, Lane and the Second Amendment Foundation filed notice of appeal to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The oral argument in this case were on Tuesday and an audio file is available here. The case was heard by Judges Diana Gribbon Motz, Allyson K. Duncan, and Henry F. Floyd. They were appointed to the 4th Circuit by Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama respectively.

The arguments presented by both Alan Gura and the attorneys for Department of Justice and the VA State Police centered primarily around the issue of standing. Does the plaintiff have standing to ask for an injunction given the Federal and state laws in question restrict the FFL? Gura argues that they do and compares this case to other cases involving interstate wine shipments and contraceptives. The Supreme Court find in those cases that the restriction of distribution channels amounted to an Article III injury or, in layman's terms, interference with interstate commerce. The counter-arguments from the attorneys for Holder and the VA State Police argue that there is no standing for the plaintiffs. The attorney for Virginia argued that their law would be valid if the Federal law was found unconstitutional or amended. They would transfer handguns to out of state residents because the person would meet the new requirements. The Department of Justice attorney argues that the out of state residents are not harmed as they can purchase a firearm anywhere and have it shipped to an in-state FFL. She also argued that Federal law merely backs up local laws and regulations regarding handgun sales.

Much of the questioning by the judges centered around having only one dealer in DC and the fees charged by Charles Sykes. One judge, I believe Judge Duncan, brought up the Ezell case and wondered how this differed from that. This question was aimed at the DOJ attorney.

The second case, Woollard v. Gallagher, has attracted more attention because the District Court ruled against the State of Maryland's may-issue carry laws. The State of Maryland promptly appealed and the oral arguments were present yesterday. The audio of the oral arguments should be made available on Friday. In the meantime, thanks to Sebastian, there is a link to the Baltimore Sun's coverage of the oral arguments.

UPDATE: The Washington Post has more on the oral arguments. The 3 judge panel consisted of Judges Andre Davis (Clinton), Robert King (Clinton), and Albert Diaz (Bush 44). 

UPDATE II: The audio file for Woollard v. Gallagher has been posted. You can download or listen to it here.


Cook County "Violence Tax" And Budget Public Hearings

Cook County (IL) Board President Toni Preckwinkle is going ahead with her proposed "violence tax" on arms and ammunition. It has been included in the proposed 2013 Executive Budget for Cook County. The tax officially called the Firearms and Firearm Ammunition Tax would levy a $25 fee per firearm on all new gun purchases as well as a 5 cent per round tax on all ammunition sales. The full text of the proposed Cook County Firearm and Firearm Ammunition Tax Ordinance can be found here.

The board will hold four public hearings on the 2013 Executive Budget over the next week beginning this evening. The National Shooting Sports Foundation has issued an action alert on these hearings and suggests that those who can attend one of these meetings make their voice heard. The hearing date and times are below. Note that if you want to testify you must sign up first.
Over the next week, there have been four public hearings scheduled on the proposed 2013 Executive Budget. If possible please attend one these hearings and testify in opposition to the tax. You must sign up first to testify.
Date Time Location
Thursday, Oct. 25 6:30 p.m. Second District Courthouse
5600 Old Orchard Road, Conf. Room 201
Skokie, IL
Friday, Oct. 26 9 a.m. Cook County Building
118 N. Clark St. Board Room, Rm. 569
Chicago, IL
Tuesday, Oct. 30 6:30 p.m. Sixth District Courthouse
16501 S. Kedzie Pkwy., Courtroom 098
Markham, IL
Thursday, Nov. 1 6:30 p.m. Fourth District Courthouse
1500 South Maybrook Dr., Courtroom 106
Maywood, IL
Even if you can't attend one of these hearings, the NSSF suggests calling the members of the Cook County Board and expressing your displeasure over the "violence tax". A list of board members and their phone numbers can be found here.

As Sebastian noted earlier this month, taxing a constitutional right for the purposes of discouraging it is unconstitutional. I'm sure the Second Amendment Foundation has no problems taking more money from the Chicago-area politicians in attorney's fees. That said, I think everyone involved would just as soon see this stopped dead in its tracks at the county board level.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Does Obama Know About This Place?

In yesterday's presidential debate on foreign policy issues, Barack Obama said in response to Mitt Romney's criticism of the downsized Navy being smaller than the 1916 US Navy, ""You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military's changed."

I don't think any of the president's handlers ever bothered to inform him of the US Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center in Pickel Meadow, California. Established in 1951 to help train Marines for the cold weather conditions that they would have to fight in during the Korean War, the MWTC provides training in fighting in high altitude and cold weather conditions. The training it provides is being put to use daily in the "good war" in Afghanistan.

One of the more interesting courses that the MWTC provides is one on animal packing. It trains Marines as well as soldiers and airmen in the use of pack animals to deliver supplies and carry heavier equipment.

Lance Cpl. Tyler Langford, anti-tank missileman, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, leads his pack mule during a hike at Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center Bridgeport, Calif., Oct. 13, 2012. Photo by Lance Cpl Ali Azimi.
The MilitaryTimes just had a story on the pack animal training course a few days ago. They noted that the course had been taught for almost 30 years. The course lasts for two weeks and teaches the students how to pack and handle the animals in the mountainous terrain.

An official USMC public affairs story says of the training:
As the Marine Corps tries to solve the challenges of getting provisions to Marines in hard to reach battle spaces, they do not always look toward technology but rather apply solutions that were effective in the past.

The Animal Packers Course started as a concept course at the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center Bridgeport, Calif., in 1983.

The course is still taught today after nearly 30 years, but the United States had been using this technique since the early 1980s.

“It’s been around since both World Wars and the last time they were utilized was in Korea,” said Sgt. Justin Head, staff noncommissioned officer in charge, Animal Packers Program. “It’s been around for thousands of years. It’s something that's worked for countless militaries.”

The 16-day course teaches Marines how to use animals in the region they find themselves in as a logistical tool to transport weapons, ammunition, food, supplies or wounded Marines through areas vehicles cannot reach.

“After coming through the course and learning the basic fundamentals they can pack any kind of animal, from llama, camel, anything,” Head said. “If you’re going to fight compartmentalized conventional war in the mountains, you’ve got to utilize animals. If you don’t, you’re not going to be able to get your logistics, your ammo, basically the five Bs, to your Marines.”
If you know anything about mules, you know they are a cross between the symbol of the Democrat Party - the donkey - and a horse. More specifically, between a jackass and a mare or female horse. While the nature of the military has changed, some aspects of warfighting haven't changed. Too bad Obama didn't realize that when he made his snarky, jackass of a comment last night.

Interesting Article On The .38 Super +P

I have a thing for the .38 Super and I blame author Stephen Hunter. If I remember correctly, Hunter introduced the .38 Super in his novel "Black Light" as the weapon used in the murder of Bob Lee Swagger's father Earl. Hunter also talks about it in an article he did for the American Rifleman back in 2010.

Peter Fountain has an article out published yesterday in the American Rifleman on the .38 Super +P and why it should be considered for use in carry guns. He reviews the ballistics of a number of factory rounds as well as reviews two very nice iterations of pistols chambered for the .38 Super +P.

If you like the .38 Super, are considering getting a pistol chambered in .38 Super, or just wonder what all the fuss is about, I'd suggest reading Fountain's article.

Obama's Gift To The NRA

In my opinion, this new NRA ad that came out in response to President Obama's comments about gun control in the second presidential debate is much stronger and more effective than some of their earlier ads. Obama's comments on "cheap handguns" and a reintroduced "assault weapons ban" were a gift.


Monday, October 22, 2012

A Report On Early Voting

I took advantage of North Carolina's early voting this afternoon. Today was the third day it has been available in the state. Turnout was very heavy according to the poll workers to whom I spoke. They estimate they had 1,600 voters in the first two days and they were thinking today would be just as heavy if not heavier. And this is one of two locations where voters can cast ballots in the Early One-Stop Absentee voting period.

Haywood County is a small to mid-size county with about 60,000 residents. According to the most recent NC State Board of Elections report, there are 42,383 voters in the county. Of this, 19,333 are Democrats, 12,321 are Republicans, and 10,650 are unaffiliated (or what would be called Independents elsewhere). It is also one of the least ethnically diverse counties in the state. The electorate is over 97% white with the remaining 3% spread amongst blacks, Hispanics, Asians, American Indians, multi-racial, and "other."



Assuming the other polling location in Canton was not quite as busy, I'd estimate approximately 4,300 people have already voted in the county. This is 10% of the eligible voters in just 3 days of early voting.

I have never seen lines like this for early voting. My location had 10 machines which were all in use, a line of about 15 that had been checked in, and about another 5 to 10 in line waiting to get checked in. The poll workers I spoke with said they had lines waiting to get in at 8:30am this morning and that the numbers were just a little bit lighter when I got there. The age of the voters from what I saw tended to cluster in middle-age which, as much as I hate to admit it, would include me.


I take this turnout as a good sign for Mitt Romney and the rest of the Republican ticket in North Carolina. I most certainly could be wrong but I don't think so. The county went for McCain in 2008 and I have no doubts that it will go for Romney this time.


Sunday, October 21, 2012

GRNC-PVF Has Released Their Recommendations

Grass Roots North Carolina-Political Victory Fund does not make endorsements. However, they do make recommendations based upon their candidate evaluations and basic electoral strategy.
GRNC generally does not provide blanket “endorsements,” but rather recommendations for effective voting strategies for the districts listed. Often, other candidates may be as good as the ones recommended, but might not get a recommendation for a variety of logistical reasons. If a district is not listed, GRNC has no recommendation for that particular race.
Their recommendations for the November general election are below. Early voting in the state started on Thursday, October 18th. You can check the State Board of Elections for more information on hours and locations in your county.

FEDERAL RACES

US President:

Vote for Romney (R, **). Libertarian Gary Johnson might well be pro-gun (although he failed to return GRNC’s survey and lacks a voting record on gun issues), but he stands no chance of victory. Given that Obama has publicly committed, during the presidential debates, to passing another “assault weapon” ban, voters should cast votes to keep him out of office. In this case, a vote for Johnson is effectively a vote for Obama.

US House:

District 1: Vote for Holloman (L, ****)
District 2: Vote for Elmers (R, ****)
District 3: Vote for Jones (R, ****)
District 4: Vote for D’Annunzio (R, ****)
District 5: Vote for Foxx (R, ****)
District 6: Vote for Coble (R, ****)
District 7: Vote for Rouzer (R, ****) due to 100% pro-gun voting record in NC Senate
District 8: Vote for Hudson (R, ****)
District 9: Vote for Pittenger (R, ****)
District 10: Vote for McHenry (R, ****), who has been a leader on gun issues both in the NC House and in Congress
District 11: Vote for Meadows (R, ****), who has made support for the Second Amendment a large part of his campaign
District 12: No recommendation
District 13: Vote for Holding (R, ****)

NORTH CAROLINA STATEWIDE RACES

NC GOV: Vote for McCory. Dalton is anti-gun, having racked up only a 53% pro-gun voting record in his 6 terms in the NC Senate. Although Libertarian Barbara Howe is undoubtedly the most pro-gun candidate in the race, she stands no chance of victory. Voting for her will help put Dalton in a position to stop all pro-gun legislation for at least the next four years
NC LT GOV: Vote for Forest
SUPREME CT: Vote for Newby

NORTH CAROLINA STATEWIDE RACES

NC Senate

District 1: Vote for Cook (R, ****)
District 2: Vote for Sanderson (R, ****)
District 4: Vote for Nail (R, ****)
District 6: Vote for Brown (R, ****)
District 7: Vote for Pate (R, ****)
District 8: Vote for Rabon (R, ****)
District 9: Vote for Goolsby(R, ****), a staunch gun rights supporter who sponsored pro-gun legislation in his first term in office
District 10: Vote for Jackson (R, ****)
District 11: Vote for Newton (R, ****). A former Jesse Helms staffer, in his freshman year Newton earned a co-chair position on the Judiciary II Committee through which gun bills are generally referred. He not only facilitated Senate passage of omnibus gun rights bill HB 650 – which contained Castle Doctrine, parks carry and much more – but actually wrote language to further strengthen Castle Doctrine. Newton is a leader for gun rights and the clear choice in this race.
District 13: Vote for Walters (D, ****)
District 15: Vote for Hunt (R, ****)
District 18: Vote for Doug Berger (D, ****), who has a 100% pro-gun voting record spanning 4 terms in the NC Senate and stood up to chamber leadership by offering a discharge petition to attempt to dislodge GRNC’s restaurant carry bill from committee. Opponent Barefoot claims to be pro-gun, but has as his mentor House Majority Leader “Skip” Stam, who has displayed consistent antipathy for gun rights by first trying to gut GRNC’s “Castle Doctrine” bill and then helping defeat a measure which could have allowed employees to keep guns in locked vehicles at places of employment.
District 19: Vote for Meredith (R, ****)
District 23: Vote for Carter (R, ***)
District 24: Vote for Gunn (R, ****)
District 25: Vote for McIntyre (R, ***)
District 26: Vote for Phil Berger (R, ****) . With a long history featuring a 100% pro-gun vote record and of sponsoring pro-gun legislation, as Senate President Pro Tempore, Berger passed omnibus pro-gun bill HB 650, containing Castle Doctrine, parks carry and other provisions. He lowered his evaluation by refusing a hearing to restaurant carry bill HB 111, but promises to give it a hearing in the next session. We will see whether he holds true to his promise
District 27: Vote for Trudy Wade (R, ****). Previously on Greensboro City Council, she fought against concealed carry restrictions in parks. Opponent Myra Slone is openly hostile to gun owners
District 29: Vote for Tillman (R, ****)
District 30: Vote for East (R, ****)
District 31: Vote for Brunstetter (R, ****)
District 33: Vote for Bingham (R, ****)
District 34: Vote for Brock (R, ****)
District 35: Vote for Tucker (R, ****)
District 36: Vote for Hartsell (R, ****)
District 38: Vote for Rivette (R, ****)
District 39: Vote for Rucho (R, ****)
District 40: Vote for Philip (R, ****)
District 41: Vote for Tarte (R, ****)
District 42: Vote for Allran (R, ****)
District 43: Vote for Harrington (R, ****)
District 45: Vote for Soucek (R, ****)
District 46: Vote for Daniel (R, ****) who has a proven record of supporting gun rights by helping pass HB 650, Castle Doctrine.
District 47: Vote for Hise (R, ****)
District 48: Vote for Apodaca (R, ****)
District 49: Vote for Clark (R, ****). In previous Senate terms, he compiled a 100% pro-gun voting record plus a willingness to stick his neck out for gun owners. He is the clear choice in the race
District 50: Vote for Davis (R, ****)

NC House

District 1: Vote for Steinburg (R, ****)
District 2: Vote for Karan (R, ***)
District 3: Vote for Speciale (R, ****)
District 4: Vote for Dixon (R, ****)
District 6: Vote for Lawson (R, ****)
District 8: Vote for Martin (R, ****)
District 10: Vote for Bell (R, ***)
District 12: Vote for Dancy (R, ****)
District 13: Vote for McElraft (R, ****)
District 14: Vote for Cleveland (R, ****). They don’t come more pro-gun than George.
District 15: Vote for Shepard (R, ****)
District 17: Vote for Iler (R, ****)
District 18: Vote for Harmati (R, ***)
District 25: Vote for Collins (R, ****)
District 26: Vote for Daughtry (R, ****)
District 28: Vote for Langdon (R, ****)
District 32: Vote for Bynum (R, ***)
District 34: Incumbent Deborah Ross is a committed anti-gunner. It might be symbolic, but vote for write-in candidate Apryl Major, who has vowed to support your rights. Yes, you will have to add her name to the ballot yourself.
District 36: Vote for Dollar (R, ***)
District 37: Incumbent Republican (and House Majority Leader) Paul “Skip” Stam has done his best to undermine gun rights. He tried to gut Castle Doctrine, and weakened omnibus pro-gun bill HB 650. His Democrat opponent, Jason Wunsch (D, 0-star) is undoubtedly also anti-gun and will undoubtedly lose the race. That said, GRNC asks you to vote for Wunsch to send a message to GOP leadership that RINOs like Stam will not be tolerated.
District 40: Vote for Avila (R, ****)
District 41: Tom Murry is ranked at 4 stars, but only because he “walked” on every difficult vote. After voting on only 3 of the 11 gun votes in the NC House, he then pronounced himself a gun rights supporter – this after GRNC mailed for him in 2010. GRNC-PVF recommends that you not cast a vote in this race, and then tell him why you didn’t by going to: http://votemurry.com/contact
District 44: Vote for Button (R, ****)
District 45: Vote for Szoka (R, ****)
District 46: Incumbent Republican Gaston Pridgen voted against gun owners by voting to weaken the measure in HB 650 which expanded concealed carry to parks. GRNC-PVF recommends that you not cast a vote in this race, and then tell him why you didn’t by sending him a message at: glpridgen@bellsouth.net
District 50: Vote for Chaney (R, ****)
District 51: Vote for Stone (R, ****)
District 52: Vote for Boles (R, ****)
District 53: Vote for incumbent Republican David Lewis, but with this caveat: Contact him and ask him why, after telling GRNC he would never vote against gun owners, he did so once in 2011 when he voted to weaken parks carry. Reach him at: http://www.davidlewis.org/contact/
District 54: Vote for Wright (R, ***)
District 55: Vote for Brody (U, ***). Note that he is unaffiliated, so a straight party vote won’t catch him. Vote him separately
District 61: Vote for Faircloth (R, ***)
District 62: Vote for Blust (R, ****)
District 64: Riddell (R, ***)
District 65: Vote for Jones (R, ****)
District 67: Vote for Burr (R, ****)
District 70: Vote for Hurley (R, ****)
District 71: Vote for McCann (R, ****)
District 72: Vote for Mellies (R, ****)
District 73: Vote for Hollo (R, ****)
District 74: Vote for Conrad (R, ***)
District 76: Vote for Ford (R, ****)
District 77: Vote for Warren (R, ****)
District 79: Vote for Howard (R, ****)
District 80: Vote for Dockham (R, ****)
District 81: Vote for Brown (R, ****)
District 82: Vote for Pittman (R, ***)
District 83: Vote for Johnson (R, ****)
District 85: Vote for Gillespie (R, ****)
District 86: Vote for Blackwell (R, ****)
District 87: Vote for Starnes (R, ****)
District 89: Vote for Setzer (R, ****)
District 90: Vote for Stevens (R, ****)
District 91: Vote for Holloway (R, ****)
District 92: Vote for Jeter (R, ****)
District 93: Vote for Jordan (R, ****)
District 94: Vote for Elmore (R, ****)
District 95: Vote for Brawley (R, ****)
District 97: Vote for Saine (R, ****)
District 98: Vote for Tillis (R, ****)
District 103: Vote for Brawley (R, ****)
District 104: Vote for Samuelson (R, ***)
District 108: Vote for Torbett (R, ****)
District 109: Vote for Bumgardner (R, ****)
District 110: Vote for Hastings (R, ****), who has fought tenaciously for gun rights in his first term.
District 111: Vote for Moore (R, ****), who has long been a gun rights leader.
District 112: Vote for Hager (R, ****)
District 115: Vote for Ramsey (R, ****)
District 116: Vote for Moffitt (R, ****). Opponent Democrat Whilden also earned 4 stars, but only on the basis of one relatively easy vote. Moffitt voted for gun owners 11 times in 2011 alone
District 117: Incumbent Chuck McGrady R, 0-star) twice voted against gun owners last year, and orchestrated the weakening of pro-gun legislation. Afterward, he was caught on videotape bragging about it to a leftist group. Tell him why you won’t be casting a vote in this race at: http://www.chuckmcgrady.com/index.php?option=com_smartformer&Itemid=65
District 118: Vote for Presnell (R, ***)
District 120: Vote for West (R, ****)
I notice that they didn't make a recommendation in my house district (No. 119). Surprisingly for western North Carolina, neither the Democrat, former State Senator Joe Sam Queen (***), nor the Republican, Mike Clampitt (**), are really great on firearms issues. That said, I think personally that Queen would make a more effective representative in Raleigh given his prior experience. Clampitt is the ex-husband of a client and I think I should just leave it at that.

CCW Is On The Ballot In Randolph County, Illinois

The voters in Randolph County, Illinois will see a ballot measure dealing with concealed carry in November. It is an advisory vote that will carry no legal weight but it certainly will carry a lot of symbolic weight.

The very last item on the ballot is an advisory question that asks: "Shall any individual who is not prohibited from possessing firearms under the law be allowed to conceal, possess, carry and or transport firearms in any manner free from infringement?

Randolph County resident Arlyn Fisk he says if it were legal, he might not carry a firearm on his hip all the time, but he'd like to have the right to do so.

"I believe it to be a second amendment right to any citizen of the United States, provided they're upstanding and law abiding," said Fisk. "But we're in the only state in the union that doesn't allow concealed carry."

That's why Fisk and others passed petitions around town to get this on the ballot and put the issue to Randolph County voters.

"I think this is going to pass overwhelmingly, but we'll see," said Randolph County Board chairman Terry Luehr. Luehr says if the advisory question does pass it won't mean Randolph county residents can start carrying concealed firearms.

"We can't pass any laws on the county that supersedes the state," said Luehr. "So even if this passes on the county ballot, it doesn't really mean anything."
As Mr. Fisk notes that even if the vote is advisory, it will put politicians on notice especially if it gets the expected high level of support.

Randolph County is located south-east of St. Louis and is the only Illinois county that has parts of its territory on the western side of the Mississippi River. It is also home to the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta.

KFVS12 News

Friday, October 19, 2012

Tips On Weak Hand Shooting With Doug Koenig

In another of the training segments produced by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Doug Koenig discusses how to properly shoot with your weak - or non-dominant - hand. He shows how to properly transition the pistol from the holster to your weak hand. If you are shooting a 1911, he says it should have an ambidextrous safety so that the pistol is on safe as you make the transition.

Doug makes the point that you should practice this at home by doing dry fire practice before you do it with live ammo at the range. He notes that after a few transition cycles you will start to get comfortable with it.



"We're Doing Really Well" - Mike Fifer, Ruger CEO

Sturm, Ruger and Co., Inc. will be featured in the November 5th edition of Forbes Magazine. That issue will feature Forbes' Best Small Companies in America list and Ruger is number four on the list.

Intimacy with the product–and the customer–has been key to Ruger’s turnaround. That, plus embracing industry trends like compact guns and military-style weaponry, has vaulted the company to the No. 4 spot on our list of the Best Small Companies in America. Since Fifer took over in late 2006 Ruger’s share price has jumped sixfold to a recent $49. Over the last 12 months it has netted $55 million on $406 million in revenue; half a dozen years ago it barely managed $1 million on $168 million in sales.

Read the whole article. It is a good read and doesn't indulge in anti-gun hysteria. It did elicit this absurd comment from a reader named "Greg".
 The business of murder machinery can be highly profitable.
A good sin stock.
Sure, Greg, whatever. Nonetheless, I'm glad to see that Ruger has rebounded from the Bill Ruger, Sr. days and has adopted new ideas, new manufacturing techniques, and ditched the limited capacity magazine nonsense. As a shareholder, I'm doubly glad.






H/T Lars at NRA Blog

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Magpul Announces Gen 3 PMAG

Magpul Industries had this announcement on their Facebook page a few hours ago:
Magpul is proud to announce the release of the GEN M3 PMAG and new pricing for the existing PMAG, which will continue to be produced as part of the MOE line.

The existing PMAG will now be priced at an MSRP of $12.95 and an MSRP of $15.95 for the Window version, and will now be known as the PMAG 30 AR/M4 GEN M2 MOE. Once existing supplies of the GEN M2 PMAGs are exhausted, they will begin shipping in MOE packaging, and will not include dust covers. All colors will continue

to be available.

The PMAG 30 AR/M4 GEN M3 will begin shipping in black only on 1 Nov, 2012, at an MSRP of $14.95. The Window version will be available soon, at an MSRP of $17.95.

 Magpul has more on the Gen 3 PMAG including details on changes in both the external and internal geometry, a new four-way anti-tilt follower, and compatibility with the FN SCAR at the link here.

I wouldn't be surprised to see some dealers start offering deals on their existing inventory of Gen 2 PMAGs in order to make room for the new Gen 3 model. If so, I'm all for it!

What Is It With Violent Rhetoric And Anti-Gun Politicians

Vice President Joe Biden likes to take credit for writing what became the 1994 assault weapons ban (sic) or, more properly, The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994.

From an 2011 interview with PBS's Jim Lehrer:
JIM LEHRER: New subject, Mr. Vice President.
In light of the Tucson tragedy, are you in favor of federal legislation that would ban the sale of these multiround cartridges, holders?
JOE BIDEN: Jim, you may remember, in the old days, when I had some real power...
JIM LEHRER: Oh, yes.
JOE BIDEN: I was chairman of the Judiciary Committee.
(LAUGHTER)
JOE BIDEN: I'm the guy that first passed and wrote the assault-weapons ban and -- and also tried to pass legislation relative to the size of magazines, that is the -- those clips that hold all the bullets that get shoved up into the rifle.
JIM LEHRER: The 31 -- those 31 rounds.
JOE BIDEN: Yes. And there's all kinds of them of various...
JIM LEHRER: Sure. Sure.
JOE BIDEN: So -- so, I, as a senator, and I, as an elected official, have been on record as supporting -- and we did originally have an assault-weapons ban in place.
Say what you will about Biden, he hasn't shied away from his support of gun control. So it makes one wonder what it is about anti-gun politicians and their fascination with violent rhetoric. Look at what he had to say this afternoon at a campaign stop in Naples, Florida.
Vice President Biden lit into Paul Ryan with a violent analogy during his campaign stop Thursday in Las Vegas.

"Ryan has written a book called 'The Young Guns' with two other members of the House ... Republican leaders in the House," the vice president said. "You had, unfortunately, the bullets are aimed at you."
The Republicans have bullets aimed at you? What is with this nonsense? Doe Biden make this stuff up off the cuff or does he actually have someone writing it for him? Is he trying to emulate President Cooler Than Thou who promised to bring a gun to a knife fight?

As to bullets "aimed at you", while there has been some research on bullets that can alter their direction in flight, bullets don't aim themselves. You aim the gun and the bullet goes where it is directed. Even a buffoon like Biden ought to realize that.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Suggestion

So Obama gives his endorsement - sorta, kinda, maybe - to the call for a new "assault weapons ban". As part of a "comprehensive strategy", he'd like to see "if we can get an assault weapons ban reintroduced." While it isn't a ringing endorsement, the media is playing it that way as are the gun prohibitionists like the Brady Campaign.  So too, in all honesty, is the NRA.

Given that, I expect the sales of ARs and AKs to accelerate along with standard capacity magazines.

Here is a suggestion. Rather than running out and buying your third, fourth, or fifth AR-15 and your second or third AK-47/AK-74, why not take some of that money and make a campaign contribution or series of contributions to pro-gun rights candidates. It has the advantage of helping to elect enough pro-rights candidates which, in turn, will prevent any new AWB from even getting out of committee. Moreover, instead of having to pay some ridiculously inflated price for that next AR or AK, the market rates will remain stable or even go lower.

The NRA-PVF list of endorsements and grades are here and the GOA's list is here. Many state level organizations such as Grass Roots North Carolina and the Illinois State Rifle Association have their grades and endorsements as well.

The price of a box or two of decent ammo sent to the right candidate in a close race helps a lot. Be selective and be strategic. Go for the close races because it will have a stronger impact. Remember also that you aren't limited to giving money to a local candidate. So far this year I've given small donations to candidates in Arizona, Michigan, Indiana, Missouri, and Ohio plus Sen. Jim DeMint's Senate Conservatives Fund.

If you are bound and determined to get another AR, just buy a stripped receiver for a hundred bucks or less. It is the part that has the serial number and thus is the "firearm". You can always pick up the rest of the lower parts and a completed upper at a later date.

ISRA's Endorsements For Congress In Illinois

The Illinois State Rifle Association's FEDPac has announced their endorsements and preferences in selected congressional elections in Illinois. I heard one of their endorsed candidates, Rep. Joe Walsh (R-8) speak at last year's Gun Rights Policy Conference and was very pro-Second Amendment. I know he faces a tough re-election due to redistricting. I hope he does well.

The ISRA-FEDPac is pleased to announce its list of candidate endorsements and candidate preferences for the upcoming general election.

The ISRA-FEDPac has endorsed the team of Gov. Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan over the Obama/Biden team. Illinois firearm owners have first hand experience with Obama's disdain for the right to keep and bear arms. Thus, Illinois firearm owners know full well that Obama is not the best choice for our nation's chief executive.

In the 2nd Congressional District, the ISRA-FEDPac has expressed its preference for Brian Woodworth over incumbent Jessie Jackson, Jr. Although Congressman Jackson is himself an avid gun owner, it is not certain that, if re-elected, he will act in the best interests of his fellow lawful firearm owners. Furthermore, if Jackson is re-elected and steps down due to his health problems, it is highly likely that he will be replaced by someone even less friendly to lawful firearm owners than is Rep. Jackson. Such is a situation that hunters and sportsmen cannot risk.

In the 6th Congressional District race, Rep. Peter Roskam has earned the ISRA-FEDPac endorsement in light of his solid record of support and respect for the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

In the 8th Congressional District, Rep. Joe Walsh receives the ISRA-FEDPac endorsement in light of his outstanding record on firearm rights issues. Although Walsh's opponent, Tammy Duckworth, is part of the growing ranks of war heroes, that status does not grant her license to pick and choose which parts of our Constitution she will defend and those she will not. Duckworth's indifference to the 2nd Amendment leaves her unsuitable to serve the people of the 8th District.

In the 11th Congressional District, the candidacy of Rep. Judy Biggert is endorsed by the ISRA-FEDPac due to her long record of support for the right to keep and bear arms. Biggert's opponent, Bill Foster, is unacceptably weak on issues important to firearm owners. Furthermore, allegations that Foster slapped his ex-wife around during divorce proceedings are troubling. Gun grabbing and wife beating are not qualities that most citizens would like to see in their Congressional Representative.

In the 12th Congressional District, Jason Plummer is preferred by the ISRA-FEDPac over his opponent.

In the 13th Congressional District, Rodney Davis is preferred by the ISRA-FEDPac over his opponent.

Illinois hunters and sportsmen have been very fortunate to have had some great friends in Congress preserving and protecting our outdoor traditions. It is with great pleasure that the ISRA-FEDPac announces its endorsement of Randy Hultgren (IL-14), John Shimkus (IL-15), Adam Kinzinger (IL-16), Bobby Schilling (IL-17) and Aaron Schock (IL-18).

The ISRA-FEDPac wishes all of its endorsed and preferred candidates the best of luck on November 6th and encourages all hunters and sportsmen to get out and exercise their most important right - the right to choose who represents their interests in the halls of government.

The Debate Gun Question

I was a bit surprised that the issue of firearms even came up in the debate last night as I would have thought the Democrats wouldn't want to touch it with a 10 foot pole. I wasn't surprised by Obama's answer but was pleased that Romney did try to bring up Operation Fast and Furious before being cut-off by CNN's Chief hack Political Correspondent Candy Crowley though he didn't push it far enough.

The questioner, identified as Nina E. Gonzalez, is probably this woman - Nina Fedirko-Gonzalez, Licensed Clinical Social Worker. The person on Facebook appears to be the same person as in the Media Matters' picture from the debate. As far as I can tell, she is not a contributor to any candidate in state, local, or national elections. I checked the NY State campaign contribution database, OpenSecrets.org, and the Federal Elections Commission.

If you read the transcript below you will see that both candidates are relatively ignorant about firearms. Romney said automatic weapons are illegal which they aren't and Obama conflated semi-auto weapons with cosmetic similarities into full-auto/select-fire military-grade firearms. The best I can say about it is that Obama come out in favor of a new AWB and Romney said we don't need new laws as well as merely mentioned Operation Fast and Furious. As to Romney and gun bills in Massachusetts, here is what the Gun Owners Action League said about it in 2007.

QUESTION: President Obama, during the Democratic National Convention in 2008, you stated you wanted to keep AK-47s out of the hands of criminals. What has your administration done or planned to do to limit the availability of assault weapons?

OBAMA: We're a nation that believes in the Second Amendment, and I believe in the Second Amendment. We've got a long tradition of hunting and sportsmen and people who want to make sure they can protect themselves.

But there have been too many instances during the course of my presidency, where I've had to comfort families who have lost somebody. Most recently out in Aurora. You know, just a couple of weeks ago, actually, probably about a month, I saw a mother, who I had met at the bedside of her son, who had been shot in that theater.

And her son had been shot through the head. And we spent some time, and we said a prayer and, remarkably, about two months later, this young man and his mom showed up, and he looked unbelievable, good as new.

But there were a lot of families who didn't have that good fortune and whose sons or daughters or husbands didn't survive.

So my belief is that, (A), we have to enforce the laws we've already got, make sure that we're keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, those who are mentally ill. We've done a much better job in terms of background checks, but we've got more to do when it comes to enforcement.

But I also share your belief that weapons that were designed for soldiers in war theaters don't belong on our streets. And so what I'm trying to do is to get a broader conversation about how do we reduce the violence generally. Part of it is seeing if we can get an assault weapons ban reintroduced. But part of it is also looking at other sources of the violence. Because frankly, in my home town of Chicago, there's an awful lot of violence and they're not using AK-47s. They're using cheap hand guns.

And so what can we do to intervene, to make sure that young people have opportunity; that our schools are working; that if there's violence on the streets, that working with faith groups and law enforcement, we can catch it before it gets out of control.

And so what I want is a -- is a comprehensive strategy. Part of it is seeing if we can get automatic weapons that kill folks in amazing numbers out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill. But part of it is also going deeper and seeing if we can get into these communities and making sure we catch violent impulses before they occur.

CROWLEY: Governor Romney, the question is about assault weapons, AK-47s.

ROMNEY: Yeah, I'm not in favor of new pieces of legislation on -- on guns and taking guns away or making certain guns illegal. We, of course, don't want to have automatic weapons, and that's already illegal in this country to have automatic weapons. What I believe is we have to do, as the president mentioned towards the end of his remarks there, which is to make enormous efforts to enforce the gun laws that we have, and to change the culture of violence that we have.

And you ask how -- how are we going to do that? And there are a number of things. He mentioned good schools. I totally agree. We were able to drive our schools to be number one in the nation in my state. And I believe if we do a better job in education, we'll -- we'll give people the -- the hope and opportunity they deserve and perhaps less violence from that. But let me mention another thing. And that is parents. We need moms and dads, helping to raise kids. Wherever possible the -- the benefit of having two parents in the home, and that's not always possible. A lot of great single moms, single dads. But gosh to tell our kids that before they have babies, they ought to think about getting married to someone, that's a great idea.

Because if there's a two parent family, the prospect of living in poverty goes down dramatically. The opportunities that the child will -- will be able to achieve increase dramatically. So we can make changes in the way our culture works to help bring people away from violence and give them opportunity, and bring them in the American system. The -- the greatest failure we've had with regards to -- to gun violence in some respects is what -- what is known as Fast and Furious. Which was a program under this administration, and how it worked exactly I think we don't know precisely, where thousands of automatic, and AK-47 type weapons were -- were given to people that ultimately gave them to -- to drug lords.

They used those weapons against -- against their own citizens and killed Americans with them. And this was a -- this was a program of the government. For what purpose it was put in place, I can't imagine. But it's one of the great tragedies related to violence in our society which has occurred during this administration. Which I think the American people would like to understand fully, it's been investigated to a degree, but -- but the administration has carried out executive privilege to prevent all of the information from coming out.

I'd like to understand who it was that did this, what the idea was behind it, why it led to the violence, thousands of guns going to Mexican drug lords.

OBAMA: Candy?

CROWLEY: Governor, Governor, if I could, the question was about these assault weapons that once were once banned and are no longer banned.

I know that you signed an assault weapons ban when you were in Massachusetts, obviously, with this question, you no longer do support that. Why is that, given the kind of violence that we see sometimes with these mass killings? Why is it that you have changed your mind?

ROMNEY: Well, Candy, actually, in my state, the pro-gun folks and the anti-gun folks came together and put together a piece of legislation. And it's referred to as an assault weapon ban, but it had, at the signing of the bill, both the pro-gun and the anti-gun people came together, because it provided opportunities for both that both wanted.

There were hunting opportunities, for instance, that haven't previously been available and so forth, so it was a mutually agreed- upon piece of legislation. That's what we need more of, Candy. What we have right now in Washington is a place that's gridlocked.

CROWLEY: So I could -- if you could get people to agree to it, you would be for it?

ROMNEY: We have --

OBAMA: Candy?

ROMNEY: -- we haven't had the leadership in Washington to work on a bipartisan basis. I was able to do that in my state and bring these two together.

CROWLEY: Quickly, Mr. President.

OBAMA: The -- first of all, I think Governor Romney was for an assault weapons ban before he was against it. And he said that the reason he changed his mind was, in part, because he was seeking the endorsement of the National Rifle Association. So that's on the record.

But I think that one area we agree on is the important of parents and the importance of schools, because I do believe that if our young people have opportunity, then they are less likely to engage in these kinds of violent acts. We're not going to eliminate everybody who is mentally disturbed and we have got to make sure they don't get weapons.

OBAMA: because I do believe that if our young people have opportunity, then they're less likely to engage in these kind of violent acts.

We're not going to eliminate everybody who is mentally disturbed, and we've got to make sure they don't get weapons. But we can make a difference in terms ensuring that every young person in America, regardless of where they come from, what they look like, have a chance to succeed.

And, Candy, we haven't had a chance to talk about education much, but I think it is very important to understand that the reforms we've put in place, working with 46 governors around the country, are seeing schools that are some of the ones that are the toughest for kids starting to succeed. We're starting to see gains in math and science.

When it comes to community colleges, we are setting up programs, including with Nassau Community College, to retrain workers, including young people who may have dropped out of school but now are getting another chance, training them for the jobs that exist right now.

And in fact, employers are looking for skilled workers. And so we're matching them up. Giving them access to higher education. As I said, we have made sure that millions of young people are able to get an education that they weren't able to get before.

Now...

CROWLEY: Mr. President, I have to -- I have to move you along here. You said you wanted to...

(CROSSTALK)

CROWLEY: We need to do it here.

OBAMA: But -- but it'll -- it'll -- it'll be...

(CROSSTALK)

OBAMA: ... just one second.

CROWLEY: One...

OBAMA: Because -- because this is important. This is part of the choice in this election.

When Governor Romney was asked whether teachers, hiring more teachers was important to growing our economy, Governor Romney said that doesn't grow our economy.

When -- when he was asked would class size...

(CROSSTALK)

CROWLEY: The question, Mr. President, was guns here, so I need to move us along.

OBAMA: I understand.

CROWLEY: You know, the question was guns. So let me -- let me bring in another...

OBAMA: But this will make a difference in terms of whether or not we can move this economy forward for these young people...

CROWLEY: I understand.

OBAMA: ... and reduce our violence.

CROWLEY: OK. Thank you so much.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

This Billboard Should Be Across The Street From The White House

A group called MurderedMexicans.org is sponsoring a billboard that asks "Who cares about a few hundred" murdered Mexicans. I don't know if they have other billboards up but the one below is in Clovis, New Mexico on S. Prince Street. This picture comes from a post on CleanUpATF.org.



This website along with its Spanish language version lays out the details of Operation Fast and Furious. It urges people to call their Congressman but especially those on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. It says to thank those asking the tough questions of ATF and the Justice Department and to ask those defending Attorney General Eric Holder "why they are defending such a despicable person".

Not having heard of this group, I checked Network Solutions and their Whois tool and found that the website was registered in March of 2012 to Charles Abernathy.

An Internet search turns up a story from the Portales News-Tribune about Abernathy and the billboard.
Charles Abernathy, 47, said the website is a grassroots effort to hold those responsible for the Fast and Furious fiasco, in which a border patrol official was killed.

He said the “murdered Mexicans” refers to the hundreds who were killed by weapons supplied to Mexican Drug Cartel leaders through a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms sting.

Abernathy said he chose the words for their shock value.

“I’m sure some people are offended,” said Abernathy, an oil field truck driver from Houston. “I think if they use that and end up doing research over the issues. .... This is what I’m trying to accomplish; people don’t know about this and now they do.”
The story points out that some in Clovis were offended by the billboard until they went to the website. They do wish he'd chosen his wording a little differently. Abernathy is also paying for digital billboards in Odessa and Lubbock, Texas. He says it is a grassroots effort and he is paying for it out of his own pocket.

 More power to people like Charles Abernathy who put their money behind their convictions.

CCRKBA Says Justice Steven's Comments Illustrate Importance Of This Election

Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens was the speaker at a luncheon sponsored by the Brady Campaign on Monday. In his speech, he said he was astounded that Congress hadn't taken steps to address "gun violence" (sic).

In reaction and to illustrate the importance of this election for both the Second Amendment and the future direction of the Supreme Court, Alan Gottlieb of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms released this statement:
BELLEVUE, WA – Monday’s high-profile prodding by retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens for Congress to do something, and for presidential candidates to say something, about gun control proves the importance of who is in the White House and the U.S. Senate to make and confirm high court nominations, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.

Reuters reported that the retired justice was the speaker at Monday’s luncheon hosted by the anti-gun Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Stevens wrote dissenting opinions on both the 2008 Heller ruling and the 2010 McDonald decision, both of which affirmed that the Second Amendment protects an individual civil right to keep and bear arms.

“In both of his dissents,” noted CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, “Justice Stevens contended that the right to keep and bear arms was limited to state militia service. It was, and remains, an astonishing position on a fundamental civil right.

“What Justice Stevens’ speech clearly underscores,” he continued, “is the critical importance of who is president, not just for the next four years, but whenever a vacancy occurs on the high court. Imagine if Justice Stevens’ opinion had prevailed.”

Stevens’ dissent in the Heller case was heavily criticized by the majority opinion, written by Justice Antonin Scalia. The majority ruling described Stevens’ arguments as “simply wrong,” and at one point – when addressing Stevens’ history of the Second Amendment – said that he “flatly misreads the historical record.”

“Stevens’ replacement on the Supreme Court was liberal Elena Kagan,” Gottlieb noted. “A liberal, anti-gun majority could easily narrow, rather than expand, the scope of our Second Amendment. That’s why it is, and always will be, important for gun owners to have a pro-gun-rights president and pro-gun majority in the Senate, especially on the Judiciary Committee.”

To see more on Steven's speech, Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned has video of the event.

Pink Camo Has Officially Jumped The Shark

I'm searching the Interwebs for good pictures of camo to get ideas for painting one of my AR-15s when I stumbled across this.



I understand trying to make hunting and camo more appealing to women by incorporating pink.

But this? Really? A pink camo engagement and wedding ring set? Just how long are we to expect that marriage to last?

Quote Of The Day

Today's quote of the day comes from historian and classicist Victor Davis Hanson. To my mind, Hanson is one of the most astute observers in America.

From his post in the National Review Online entitled "A Presidency Squandered" in which he discusses all the advantages and goodwill that Barack Obama had going for him when he entered office in 2009.



And what happened?

Barack Obama chose to ram down the nation’s throat a polarizing, statist agenda, energized by the sort of hardball politics he had learned in Chicago. Rather than bring the races, classes, and genders together, he gave us an us-versus-them crusade against the “1 percenters” and the job creators who had not “paid their fair share,” accusations of a Republican “war on women,” and the worst racial polarization in modern memory. Statesmanship degenerated into chronic blame-gaming and “Bush did it,” as he piled up over $5 trillion in new debt.  Financial sobriety was abandoned in favor of creating new entitlement constituencies, and job creation was deemed far less important than nationalizing the health-care system.

And so here we are, three weeks before the election, with a squandered presidency and a president desperately seeking reelection not by defending his record, but by demonizing his predecessor, his opponent — and half of the country.

What, then, was Obama’s first term?

Jimmy Carter’s ends justifying Richard Nixon’s means.

That is indeed a bad combination - Carter's ineffectiveness combined with Nixon's paranoia and viciousness. God help us if he is returned for a second term.

Understand Flash Sight Picture

In another of the National Shooting Sports Foundation short training videos, Bob Whaley of Gunsite Academy discusses flash sight picture and the importance of using your sights at all times (except shooting from retention).

The flash sight picture is part of the Modern Technique promulgated by Col. Jeff Cooper. It is simply a glance at the front sight which confirms your aim as set up by your grip and stance. Whaley emphasizes that in stressful situations people revert to their training. If you train to always use your sights - even just a flash sight picture - you will use them in stressful situations. The flash sight picture is the final confirmation that you are on target before you press the trigger.

As Whaley makes clear at the beginning of the video every bullet that leaves your gun will have a 100% hit ratio. It is up to you whether it hits the intended target or something you'd rather not hit.



For The Mall Ninjas

This is the ultimate AK-47 Mall Ninja Tactical Zombie Destroyer with all the bells and whistles. It will wipe out hordes of zombies. You do need some arm strength to lift it if you want to take the requisite head shots needed to kill zombies. It is estimated to weigh 23 pounds unloaded.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Fauxcahontas Isn't Paying Her Fair Share

Elizabeth "Fauxcahontas" Warren, the Democratic nominee for the US Senate from Massachusetts, has a high six-figure income and a net worth in the neighborhood of $14 million or so. She is said to have created the "intellectual foundation" such as it is for the Occupy Wall Street movement. She also claims based upon family lore to be 1/32 Cherokee Indian.

Thus, when I read this morning in Professor William Jacobson's Legal Insurrection blog that she had obtained fee waivers from at least 50 judicial districts for the use of the federal Pacer system, I was pissed.
But Warren, who berates factory owners, obtained fee waivers for access to the bankruptcy docket maintained by the federal PACER system, for which others have to pay.
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Warren took advantage of a policy at PACER which provides for fee waivers for academic research based on her standing as a law professor....
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It is easy to surmise that Warren saved thousands of dollars, maybe even more, over the course of her research, by not having to pay the PACER fees that all other users have to pay.
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The savings were a result of her representations that the research was being done for academic purposes. 
Why am I pissed? Because I have been using the Pacer system to download court records, filings, opinions, etc. since I started this blog. I have paid my fair share of fees to use this system and there have been quarters where the amount ran over $100. I like to think that my posts on the various Second Amendment cases serve to educate readers. However, unlike Warren I don't make close to $900K a year or have assets of over $14 million. Moreover, I don't get grant funding which pays the fees as well as the cost of law clerks to assist in the research. I do this because it is fun and because it helps to advance, in a small way, our rights.

As to Warren's claim of being a Cherokee Indian, I have clients who are enrolled members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and her supposed 1/32nd wouldn't cut it with them. The Eastern Band are those Cherokee who lived so deep in the mountains that they were able to avoid the forced removal. I find it insulting that someone who's ancester is more likely to have helped in the removal of the Cherokee from the mountains around me and put them on The Trail of Tears dares to claim kinship with them.

Gun Shows In Chicago?

A posting in today's The Shooting Wire announcing the Chicagoland Gun Show caught my eye.
Outdoor Sports Group (OSG) is proud to announce the first ever Chicagoland Gun Show January 23-27, 2013 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont Illinois.

The Chicagoland Gun Show will be co-located with the Chicago Outdoor Sports Show which continues a 30 + year tradition of sports shows gracing the shores of Lake Michigan and providing the Greater Chicagoland area a break from cabin fever.
While there are other shows in the vicinity of Chicago, for example shows in Wheaton and Lakemoor, I couldn't find any that were actually being held in Cook County unlike this show. Rosemont is outside the city limits of Chicago near O'Hare Airport.

I like the fact that they are co-locating the gun show with the outdoor sports show as it should bring higher traffic to the gun show. Given the onerous restrictions on gun ownership and even gun stores in Chicago, I'm guessing there might be some pent-up demand to go someplace where you can actually "touch and feel" a firearm and, with the proper documentation, buy a firearm.

I know the promoters are calling this the "first ever Chicagoland Gun Show" but I wonder if this is hyperbole. If any readers in the Chicago area know of gun shows in Cook County, either current or in the distant past, I'd love to know about it. You can post the info in the comments section.