Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Safe Restaurants Project

In response to anticipated efforts by the gun prohibitionists, Grass Roots North Carolina is launching the Safe Restaurants Project. As the release below makes clear, it is an effort to encourage restaurant owners to NOT post their restaurants against concealed carry.

From the GRNC release:
Gun Group Targets Restaurants

GRNC 'Safe Restaurants Project' will admonish gun rights supporters to report restaurants which post against concealed handguns

Recently signed by Governor Pat McCrory, on October 1st House Bill 937 will expand North Carolina's concealed handgun law into restaurants. Under the statute, restaurants may still elect to post signs prohibiting firearms.

Although concealed handgun permit-holders will still be prohibited from imbibing alcohol, gun control advocates are already planning to pressure restaurants to prohibit concealed carry.

Accordingly, and with great reluctance, GRNC is responding with its "GRNC Safe Restaurants Project," to ensure the new law will provide its intended deterrent to violent crime.

The 3 objectives of the "GRNC Safe Restaurants Project":

  • Provide education for concealed handgun permit-holders to avoid accidental violations;
  • Provide "Protection Preferred" signage enabling supporting restaurants to subtly identify their support to permit-holders and supporters; and
  • Create a "Restaurant "Don't Buy List" which:
  • Allows thousands of gun owners to report posted restaurants;
  • Sends restaurants notification they have been reported and requests them to remove signs or inform GRNC that a mistake has been made;
  • Provides contact information for posted restaurants, enabling thousands of supporters to contact those restaurants to explain that they will not patronize posted establishments.
GRNC will distribute Restaurant Don't Buy lists and relevant materials to tens of thousands of gun owners via:
  • GRNC's email alert network, comprising 87,000 supporters;
  • Gun shows in Asheville, Hickory, Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Lexington, Concord, Greensboro, Raleigh, Fayetteville and Jacksonville;
  • GRNC's distribution network of nearly 50 gun shops;
  • Concealed handgun permit classes statewide; and
  • GRNC's highly popular website.

Said GRNC president Paul Valone:

"It's unfortunate GRNC must counter gun control activists' attempts to undermine a law intended to deter restaurant crime and save lives. We fully sympathize with restaurant owners caught in the middle of a battle we'd rather not fight, but they should understand that, according to the Pew Research Center, gun rights supporters donate four times more and are more politically involved than gun control advocates. They should ask themselves whether they want to alienate the 399,268 North Carolinians who have applied for concealed handgun permits."
This brings to mind a suggestion made many times by Tom Gresham when coming across a store or restaurant that is posted against concealed carry. Tom calls the establishment and says to the manager, "I wanted to shop (or eat) at your store (restaurant) but it was unsafe."  When they ask what you mean, you tell them they have posted against concealed carry and you won't subject your family to the risk. Then you tell them what you spent at their competitors. To really get the point across, you fax them a copy of your receipt from their competitor. Done often enough, it will get the message across.

One Of The Pro-Gun Extremists Behind The Recall? Not Quite

Given that the gun prohibitionists don't know astroturf from the real grassroots, it is not surprising that the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence is proclaiming Dudley Brown as "one of the pro-gun extremists behind the recall of CO State Senate President John Morse." The Dudley Brown in question is the head of the National Association for Gun Rights and the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners.

One of the men behind the recall of Morse and Giron? Not quite.

From the Denver Post in April when talk of a recall first surfaced:

Dudley Brown, director of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, thinks the time and money would be better spent taking out Democrats in swing districts in the 2014 election.

From the Colorado politics website, Colorado Peak Politics, which posted this yesterday:
Neither the NRA nor Rocky Mountain Gun Owners did diddly squat to get the recalls on the ballot. These recalls, and most especially the Giron effort, were grassroots at their most raw.
 From the Denver Post's The Spot blog which said this of Brown yesterday:
In April, as two recall efforts were already underway and there was talk of recalling Gov. John Hickenlooper and other Democrats, Brown said he wasn’t so sure recalling the politicians was the best strategy. He told The Denver Post then he thought the money would be better spent taking out Democrats in swing districts in the 2014 election.
From The Gazette of Colorado Springs in a feature on the grassroots organizers behind the recalls:
The four men behind the Colorado State Senate recalls on Friday laughed sardonically at the suggestion that outside interests - namely the GOP and NRA - are driving their campaigns to unseat four Democratic lawmakers.

"I think some people clamored for some help at the beginning," said Victor Head, who led the successful campaign to force a recall election of Sen. Angela Giron, D-Pueblo. "They said 'where's the heavy hitters, where is the big interest in this, this has national implications' and they never showed up."
 Have Dudley Brown and NAGR finally stepped up for the recall fight? Yes, they have as of late yesterday when they began running a 30 second spot seen here in the Colorado Springs TV market.

I'm glad to see Dudley Brown finally step up to the plate. However, to call him one of the people behind the recall is to totally diminish the hard work done on the ground by the actual grassroots activists like Victor Head of Pueblo, Tim Knight of Durango, Anthony Garcia of Brighton and Grand Junction attorney Erik Groves who organized the Basic Freedom Defense Fund.

Welcome To The Party, Guys!

The average Californian who wants to own a firearm especially a handgun has to deal with a whole host of rules and regulations that are enough to make your head swim. Now, in what can only be termed schadenfreude, so too must Federal law enforcement officers stationed in the state of California.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris, deemed by Obama to be "the best looking attorney general in the country", has changed the policy of the Department of Justice that previously exempted Federal law enforcement officers from Roster of Handguns Certified for Sale. She determined California law had not carved out an exemption for them.

California gun law attorney Chuck Michel has this to say about the issue:
California citizens are just as frustrated as federal law enforcement officers with the situation. When the roster of available pistols they can purchase dwindles down to a limited few – because manufacturers are refusing to implement “microstamping” – federal law enforcement’s objections will grow louder. And if pending legislation (SB 293) concerning “smart guns” passes and is signed by the Governor, federal law enforcement will also be forced to choose from an even more limited number of models … just like civilians.

Forgive us mere civilians if we aren’t completely sympathetic to the plight of the feds.

The Feds predicament stems from a recent (and correct) change in the Attorney General’s interpretation of existing California law. While California law restricts the sale of “unsafe handguns” by dealers, there are some exceptions to the restriction. The exception used by most law enforcement agencies and officers, and the one used until recently by federal law enforcement officers, was the following:

The sale or purchase of any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person, if the pistol, revolver, or other firearm is sold to, or purchased by, the Department of Justice, any police department, any sheriff’s official, any marshal’s office, the Youth and Adult Correctional Agency, the California Highway Patrol, any district attorney’s office, or the military or naval forces of this state or of the United States for use in the discharge of their official duties. Nor shall anything in this section prohibit the sale to, or purchase by, sworn members of these agencies of any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.

Pen. Code, § 32000(b)(4)
You might notice, as did the California’s Attorney General, that federal law enforcement officers are not mentioned in this exception! The “Department of Justice” referred to in this section is the California Department of Justice, not a federal agency. So the AG’s analysis is correct: federal law enforcement is not exempt from the “unsafe handgun” restriction.
 He has much more on the issue here.

GRNC On HB 937 Being Signed Into Law

Grass Roots North Carolina released a statement last night thanking Gov. Pat McCrory (R-NC) for signing HB 937 into law. While they are more generous towards the governor than I was in the last post, it is probably because they are better at this political stuff than I am.

They are also asking people to send a note of thanks to McCrory, Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg), and Senate President Pro-Tem Phil Berger (R-Rockingham). I think that is a smart idea. Politicians too often hear from us when they've screwed up or done something to piss us off. They need to hear from us with the attaboys as well. It will help reinforce their "proper behavior" when it comes to gun rights.

From GRNC:

HB 937 Finally Becomes Law!

Governor signs HB 937 just minutes ago…

GRNC has learned that Governor McCrory has just signed HB 937 into law. After a long and sometimes hard fight to push HB 937 through the North Carolina General Assembly (NCGA) and onto the Governor’s desk, victory is finally at hand. More information concerning this issue will follow in future GRNC alerts, but for now we can take a collective breath and celebrate by thanking those who have worked hard to move HB 937 from the House and Senate all the way to the Governor’s desk.

Below, you will see contact information for many of the key legislators involved. Please take a moment to thank them for their hard work and dedication. Above all, GRNC would like to thank all of YOU for your tireless efforts through this process! Without your dedication and steadfast resolve, HB 937 would have been left on the shelf or buried in yet another obscure committee to die a low death. Despite efforts to derail HB 937 at several points in its journey, Grass Roots North Carolina worked hard to claim victory and that victory would not have been possible without YOUR help!

Thank you to all of our members and volunteers!


  • Contact legislators: Using the contact info below, contact those legislators that worked hard to pass HB 937 and thank them for their resolve.
  • Support GRNC: GRNC needs your support to help combat the efforts against your rights as gun owners. Join or renew your membership! http://www.grnc.org/join-grnc/join-grnc-online


Speaker Thom Tillis: Thom.Tillis@ncleg.net

Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger: Phil.Berger@ncleg.net

Gov. Pat McCrory: Email using webpage at http://www.governor.state.nc.us/contact/email-pat

Use the following cut-and-paste email list to contact NC House Republicans and Senators:
Justin.Burr@ncleg.net Tim.Moore@ncleg.net Larry.Pittman@ncleg.net Jacqueline.Schaffer@ncleg.net Tom.Apodaca@ncleg.net Buck.Newton@ncleg.net


Suggested Subject: "Thank you for passing HB 937!"

Dear Speaker Tillis/President Pro Tem Phil Berger/Governor Pat McCrory/Representative/Senator:

I wanted to take a moment and thank you for all of your hard work and effort in passing HB 937 and getting it to the Governor’s desk in a timely manner. This bill will undoubtedly enable safe and sane gun owners in North Carolina to better protect themselves and their families and it will also provide stiffer penalties for those who commit crimes with guns.

Again, thank you for your hard work and diligence!


Monday, July 29, 2013

Gov. McCrory Signs HB 937 Into Law

Gov. Pat McCrory (R-NC) signed HB 937 into law today. In a release regarding the signing of many bills, he said in reference to this bill:
HB 937 (Reps. Schaffer, Burr, Faircloth and Cleveland) Amend Various Firearms Laws - This legislation amends state firearms laws.

“This legislation prohibits guns in classrooms, dorms, and administrative buildings on college campuses. Additionally, this legislation gives bar owners the authority to prohibit guns in their establishments. Following my threat of a veto, we worked closely with law enforcement officials across the state so that changes were made to the original legislation. This ensured that permitting is still required for a concealed carry permit and is implemented at the local level.” – Governor Pat McCrory

“Like many North Carolinians, I am a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment. As a 34-year veteran of law enforcement here in North Carolina, I believe it’s important that Sherriff’s offices continue to administer the certification process for concealed carry permits. I would like to thank Governor Pat McCrory for his efforts on behalf of public safety in ensuring this common sense provision remained in HB 937.” – Guilford County Sherriff BJ Barnes
I'm glad that McCrory signed the bill but his and Barnes' description of what was left out of the bill is as full of crap as the drivel from the gun prohibitionists regarding guns in restaurants and bars.

As much as I would have liked it, no version of the bill ever proposed having concealed carry within classrooms, dorms, or other university buildings. The bill only addressed employees living on campus and permit holder storing firearms in their locked vehicles - and this was left in the bill despite the objections of the University of North Carolina System and its administration.

Even worse is the suggestion that the Concealed Handgun Permit was going to be taken from the state's sheriffs. What was going to be dropped with the Jim Crow-era law that allowed sheriffs to deny African-Americans handguns. This was the pistol purchase permit system which still is administered in disparate ways county to county. This bill will correct some of that.

To say I'm not pleased by the comments of either the governor or Sheriff Barnes is an understatement.

UPDATE: To answer a question posed in the comments as to when the law becomes effective, for the most part, it will be October 1, 2013.

The only section that specifically goes into effect immediately is Section 17.3. This section instructs sheriffs to go through the outstanding pistol purchase permits that have been issued to see if any of them need to be revoked because the holder has become a prohibited person under the standards set forth in GS 14-404(h).

GS 14-404(h) was established by Section 17.2(a) of the bill. Subsection (h) states:
the occurrence of any event or condition subsequent to the issuance of the permit, or the applicant's subsequent inability to meet a requirement under this Article, which would have resulted in a denial of the application submitted to obtain the permit if the event, condition, or the applicant's current inability to meet a statutory requirement had existed at the time of the application and prior to the issuance of the permit .

Gun Owners Put Their Money And Votes Where Their Mouth Is

The Pew Research Center released a poll on views about gun control this past weekend. The survey itself was taken at the beginning of May.

When asked whether it was more important to control guns or to preserve the right of Americans to own guns, the response was virtually a dead heat. 50% said it was more important to control guns while 48% said it was more important to preserve the right of American to own guns. This is a change from last December when Pew surveyed Americans after the Newtown shooting and found greater support for gun control. The overall margin of error in the poll is 2.9 percentage points which puts these results within the margin of error.

The survey also asked respondents about whether they had contributed to a gun rights or gun control organization as well as questions on civic involvement on the issue. In what should be no surprise to those of us who support gun rights, we put our money and our efforts where our mouth is.

From a US News and World Report on the survey published today:
Gun rights supporters donate four times more and are more politically involved than gun control advocates, according to a poll from the Pew Research Center published this weekend.

In May 2013, six months after the Newtown school shooting that sparked a national conversation on guns – and a month after the Senate failed to pass a major gun bill – Pew found that 25 percent of people who support gun rights had contributed money to a second amendment group, while just 6 percent of people who support gun control had donated on the issue.
Just as important as donating, gun rights supporters are more likely to have contacted a public official about gun rights issues. Moreover, they are more likely to have expressed their views regarding gun rights on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter as well as having signed a petition on gun rights. Perhaps most importantly, gun rights supporters are more likely to have more than one of these activities by a 3 to 2 margin within the last 6 months and a 2 to 1 margin lifetime.

Even with the White House using the bully pulpit to push their gun control agenda and the media acting as propaganda agents for gun prohibitionists, we who support gun rights are still the ones who are more willing to put our money where our mouth is and are more politically involved.

A Good Reason Not To Have A Firearms Registry

Any database or registry can be abused. It doesn't matter if it a database of new born babies or a registry of guns. Unethical and unscrupulous people can and will abuse it especially if it isn't protected.

The police in New South Wales, Australia maintain a registry of all firearms owned by those with firearms licenses or permits. They also require safe storage of firearms. The firearms registry keeps a record of all firearms registered in NSW, the details about the firearm, the owner, and where the firearm is stored in accordance with the safe storage requirements. This information is kept by the police on their computers and accessible through an intranet.

Imagine what could happen if someone got unauthorized access to this registry. Unfortunately, according to a police whistleblower this isn't a hypothetical situation. Sgt. David Good of the NSW Police says that the records and locations on over 700,000 firearms was kept on an unsecured server until the end of 2010.
Sgt Good said that he had become concerned for the safety of gun owners when the single-file database, containing gun owner addresses, was moved from a high-security storage system to an unsecure intranet accessed by 16,000 police and civilian staff for at least 18 months to December 2010.

“The information contained within that single database included a schedule of firearms owned, and the storage address for the state’s licenced firearms owners, in the order of 700,000 firearms,” he said in correspondence with senior police that was made available to Sporting Shooter.

“(The database) would be considered an extremely valuable resource to the criminal element, who would no doubt offer lucrative inducements for the corrupt release of same.”

Sgt Good would not speculate on any direct link between gun theft and the unlawful release of gun owner details, however, anecdotal evidence shows that thefts had occurred shortly after police had carried out an audit at a gun storage location.

This has led to speculation that gun owner details are already in criminal hands, and the recent case of a police impersonator demanding to inspect a gun owner’s firearms safe prompted Sgt Good to speak out.

“I have been attempting to have this situation corrected since December 2010,” he said and added that he had been dissatisfied with the level of accountability or even acknowledgement of the situation by NSW Police.

“I want to see that the NSW Police Force is brought to account for creating a very significant risk to licenced firearms owners and the wider community, and this risk would have been avoided through sensible security and practices in regard to the very sensitive nature of the information at risk.”
Sgt. Good goes on to add that the system does not create any audit trail of who accessed it and it doesn't prevent copying of the database on to mobile devices such as a thumbnail drive. I'm no computer security expert but that seems extremely lax to me.

The media and the gun prohibitionists cry foul when personal data on firearm ownership and concealed carry permits is made non-public. We have already seen the consequences of newspapers publishing lists and maps to pistol owners in New York State. Imagine if those papers had published a list of just what gun was owned by whom, where they stored it, etc. If criminals can take orders for certain models of cars to steal as in the movie "Gone in 60 Seconds", they can just as easily take orders to steal a Colt 1911 in .38 Super.

Heckler Kitty?

The Complementary Spouse and I were in Target this weekend just strolling around. With back-to-school starting to pick up steam, school supplies including notebooks were everywhere. Look at the one that I came across.

I thought, oh my, they are using the Heckler & Koch logo on a Hello Kitty spiral notebook. Unfortunately, after I got home and checked, it was not to be.

Little girls were not going to be drawn into the gun world by a subliminal message on their Hello Kitty notebooks. There would be no wailing and gnashing of teeth by the gun prohibitionists and their lapdogs in the media about how the evil gun industry was indoctrinating children.

Too bad.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Ruger Plant Damaged By The Rain

It isn't only the East getting torrential rains. Prescott, Arizona received about 1.5 inches of rain from late Thursday afternoon through Friday morning of this past week. For an area that averages less than 18 inches in a year, that's a heck of a lot of rain. So much rain in fact that it caused part of the roof of the Ruger factory to collapse.
Sturm Ruger issued a news release via Business Wire Friday stating heavy rainfall caused a portion of the roof to collapse Thursday at its plant near the Prescott Airport. No one was injured.

"The company is in the process of undertaking repairs and expects to be back in production soon," the news release stated.

Mark Lang, group vice president for Sturm Ruger, was unavailable for comment. However, a person at the scene who wished to remain anonymous left a voicemail message: "It was terrifying. They evacuated the whole building. The ceiling opened up. A flood of water came in. ... It went everywhere, all over the machine, all over everybody. The roof caved in."
 The collapse of the roof was significant enough that they had to make an 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission as it was "material" which included their press release. The release said:
SOUTHPORT, CONNECTICUT, July 26, 2013 - Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (NYSE-RGR) announced today that during a severe thunderstorm on July 25, 2013, heavy precipitation caused a portion of the roof to collapse at our Prescott, Arizona manufacturing facility. No one was injured. The Company is in the process of undertaking repairs and expects to be back in production soon.

This temporary disruption may have a material impact on the Company’s results of operations for the third quarter of 2013, but is not expected to have a material impact on the financial position of the Company.
I guess the new manufacturing plant in Mayodan, North Carolina can't come soon enough.

H/T Defensive Use of Firearms list

Cheerwine Cocktails

Cheerwine is a cherry soda that originated here in North Carolina. The flavor is sort of like cherry Dr. Pepper. It is sweeter and more cherry flavored than regular Dr. Pepper. While it is now expanding its distribution, it is still more a Southern drink found in the Carolinas. The company even used to run ads about New Yorkers smuggling "our Cheerwine" to the North.

Seeing a can of Cheerwine in the refrigerator got the Complementary Spouse and I to thinking about cocktails using it. Lo and behold, there are a number of them on the Internet. So we did a taste test on a couple of them last night and I think we can give them both two thumbs up.

From the Tempered Spirits website, we found Cheerwine Cocktail No. 1. It is a mixture of gin, lime juice, and Cheerwine that tastes a lot like a cherry limeade with a kick. It was really tasty and was the Complementary Spouse's favorite.

The recipe is simple. Mix 1 oz. of gin (I used Plymouth's) with the juice of a half lime in a tall ice-filled glass. Top off with 6 oz. of Cheerwine. Tempered Spirits say you can also add 1 1/2 oz. of soda water to this but I think it would just dilute it. If using a dry London gin, they suggest using 1 1/2 oz.

The second cocktail was simply Bourbon and Cheerwine. Lisa Frame writing in Southern Spark calls it the "cocktail of Southerners". She first came across it at one of our local restaurants Tupelo Honey. Here's how she described her first taste of it.
The first sip was a burst of flavor, a sensation of icy cold, sweet, along with slight hint of cypress and an oakey finish....

Had Scarlett O’Hara had Cheerwine and Bourbon, she’d have been the one looking at Rhett and telling him she didn’t give a damn. But, she wasn’t.

I suggest you get yourself to the local ABC store, pick up a bottle of Maker”s Mark and then hie yourself over to the nearest Piggly Wiggly and grab a 2 liter Cheerwine.

Head home, grab a Highball and fill it half full of ice. Everything is always half full in the South. Always.

Now, open your Maker’s Mark and pour a healthy splash in the Highball. No, that piddly splash isn’t going to do it, halfway full is more like it. Now, top it off with some fresh, highly carbonated Cheerwine. Grab your sterling cocktail stirrer and give it a quick whirl.
I made mine with 1 1/2 oz. of Marker's 46 and 6 oz. of Cheerwine. I squeezed a little bit of fresh lime in it as well.

All I can say is that Bourbon and Cheerwine puts Bourbon and Coke to shame. It is light years ahead of it in my opinion.  I can see myself sipping this on the porch in the summer when I don't want bourbon on the rocks. I might not use my Woodford Reserve or Blanton's in this concoction but it would be a good use of bottom to middle shelf bourbon.

I do have one warning. Be careful. Both cocktails are so easy to drink you might get carried away. Literally.

An Unique Use For Camouflage

I will readily admit to being intrigued by the various sorts of camouflage whether it is the newest variant being considered by the US military or the dazzle paint schemes used on naval ships during WWI and early WWII. Thanks to TheWorld.Org's GeoQuiz I found another use:  preventing shark attacks on surfers and divers.

A collaborative effort of Shark Attack Mitigation Systems and the Oceans Institute of the University of Western Australia seeks to reduce the number of shark attacks on swimmers, surfers, and divers. Western Australia ranks first in the world in the number of unprovoked great white shark attacks. Researchers found that while sharks use a number of senses to detect their prey, the sense of vision is the critical sense in the final stages of an attack.
The Oceans Institute team headed by Professor Shaun Collin and Professor Nathan Hart has been studying shark vision for a number of years and is considered the world leading authority in the field. The team has made a number of significant scientific discoveries relating to shark sensory systems - including the fact that sharks see in black and white.

Although sharks use a number of senses to locate prey, it is known that vision is the crucial sense in the final stage of an attack. By disrupting a shark's visual perception, an attack can either be diverted altogether or at least delayed to allow time to exit the water.
Using this research, they developed two types of camouflage. The first, SAMS Cryptic(TM) technology, is used to make it difficult for the shark to actually see the swimmer or diver in the water. The goal is to make it difficult for the shark to actually see the swimmer. It uses disruptive patterns and coloration to allow the diver or swimmer to blend in with their background. This has been applied to the wetsuits shown below.

SAMS Cryptic(TM)
 The second type of camouflage is called SAMS Warning(TM) technology. This camouflage seeks to make the shark perceive the wearer as either a danger or unpalatable.
Scientists note the distinctive vivid coloration of many fish species, including the striped pilotfish which spends it's life living alongside predatory sharks.

The SAMS Warning™ pattern is designed to overtly present the wearer as unlike any shark prey, or even as an unpalatable or dangerous food option. At the very least this will provide the user with increased protection, but it could also provide the time needed to evacuate the area if a shark is in range.
 This zebra-like pattern has been applied to both surfer's wetsuits and to hard objects such as surfboards, kayaks, and dive tanks.

SAMS Warning(TM)
SAMS Warning(TM) decals

As you would expect, it took a lot of testing to develop these patterns. The researchers tested various patterns extensively off the coast of Western Australia to come up these patterns. They do warn that they can't guarantee that they will be 100% effective against shark attacks as they were developed in clear water and good light. Murky waters and other variables could reduce their effectiveness.

Camouflage - it's not just for the tree stand and battlefield anymore.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Times Editorial Is Laughably Inaccurate

The editorial board of the New York Times wouldn't know the difference between actual grass roots efforts and astroturfing if it bit them on their privileged asses. They show their ignorance in an unsigned editorial about the Colorado recall elections titled, "The Gun Lobby Takes Vengeful Aim."
The ink was barely dry, however, before the National Rifle Association was vindictively pressing for recall votes against two supporters of the stronger law, the State Senate president, John Morse, of Colorado Springs, and State Senator Angela Giron of Pueblo.

The recall vote, set for Sept. 10, could hardly be more important as a barometer of whether the public, which repeatedly registers support for tougher gun controls in surveys, will show up at the ballot to defend politicians who bucked the gun lobby.
If by gun lobby the New York Times means gun owning constituents, then they might be correct. However, this is not what they mean and we all know it. Unlike the gun controls measures which were written and lobbied for by Mayor Michael Bloomberg with the threat of money to primary opponents of any Democrat who didn't support them, the recall efforts have been actual grassroots efforts led by Coloradans.

The Basic Freedom Defense Fund was set up in February of this year to fight the gun control measures being financed by Bloomberg. After those measures were rammed through by Democrats, the Fund decided to start recall efforts against four Democrats. While the Times only mentions Morse and Giron, the recall effort also targeted State Sen. Mike McLachlan (D-Durango) and State Sen. Evie Hudak (D-Westminister). They were unsuccessful in getting enough signatures in the time allotted to force the recall of McLachlan and Hudak.

These politicians were targeted for two basic reasons. First, they were considered vulnerable due to close past elections. Second, they had ignored their constituents. Chris Wiggins of Shooter Ready Radio who lives in Pueblo told me over 1,000 constituents had turned up for a townhall meeting regarding gun control with State Sen. Angela Giron. Of these, less than two dozen spoke in support of gun control while the rest were adamantly opposed to the proposed measures which Giron ultimately supported.

Senate President John Morse (D-Colorado Springs) you may remember famously told his Democrat colleagues in the State Senate to ignore all the phone calls, emails, and letters from constituents and to vote for the gun control measures. This is the same Morse that the Times editorial calls "a respected Second Amendment proponent" and who states "Recalls are for unethical behavior, and not disagreements." I would agree with Morse but would go on to say that his behavior has been unethical and that a recall for him is right and proper.

The Times editorial concludes by saying this is an opportunity to rebuff the NRA and the gun industry.
For all the message of risk for politicians embodied in the vengeful recall attempt, there is a parallel opportunity for the public to rebuff the gun industry. But enough voters must show up in defense of two lawmakers who conscientiously stood for public safety.

The gun lobby’s defeat in Colorado would send a stirring message to statehouses across the nation that the public must not be denied in demanding better gun safety.
What they really mean is that the gun owning peons in Colorado should sit down, shut up, and kow-tow to their "betters" who know whats best for them. I hate to tell the Times editorial board this but we fought a revolution over 200 years ago over similar attitudes. The rabble won against the world's greatest army then and the rabble (aka the grassroots) will win again against Mayor Bloomberg and his bought and paid for minions in Colorado.

Friday, July 26, 2013

FN-FALs In The Libyan Civil War

I came across a study this week from the Small Arms Study on the firearms used in the Libyan Civil War that overthrew Muammar Gaddafi. The Small Arms Study is an independent research project located at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. Their research focus is on the spread of small arms and light weapons which they consider a threat to "human security". While generally what we would consider a gun control organization, their research is leagues ahead of anything that might come out the gun prohibitionists such as the Violence Policy Center.

This study found that the most common rifle seen on the battlefields of Libya after the ubiquitous AK was the FN-FAL.
After Kalashnikov-pattern rifles, Fusil Automatique Léger (FAL) rifles were among the most frequently sighted firearms during the 2011 armed conflict in Libya. A number of FAL rifles used during the conflict were subsequently recirculated throughout the broader sub-region. Indeed, between 2011 and 2013 FAL rifles reportedly smuggled from Libya were seized or documented in several countries, including Algeria, Lebanon, Niger, Syria, and Tunisia.

Although factory markings, serial numbers, and technical characteristics do not provide conclusive proof of the age or end users of Belgian FAL rifles used in the Libyan conflict, they do allow useful inferences to be drawn. This report discusses the basis of such inferences and offers guidance on data gathering with a view to advancing our general knowledge of the use and circulation of Belgian FAL rifles and encouraging relevant authorities to step up tracing efforts.

Using a desk chair and FN-FAL against jet fighter in Libya - from The Atlantic
The report examined the factory markings on the FALs found in Libya to determine origin and age. They concluded that most of the FALs found were made after 1971 because FN Herstal had changed from "Fabrique Nationale d’Armes de Guerre Herstal Belgique to Fabrique Nationale Herstal Belgique or, alternatively, Fabrique Nationale Herstal Belgium" in late 1971.

FN Herstal exported a number of FN-FALs to Libya from 1969 through 1988.
Evidence suggests that most of the FAL rifles used in Libya in the 2011 conflict were FALs of Belgian production (FN FALs). Belgian records document authorized exports of 46,260 FN FAL rifles to Libya from 1969 to 1988, though the actual number of rifles exported may be lower. In addition to direct sales from Belgium, re-exports of FN FALs from other countries to Libya may have occurred before or during the 2011 conflict. Illicit sales of FALs to actors in Libya through underground arms merchants may also account for a portion of the rifles used during the 2011 conflict.
The study goes into extensive detail about serial numbers and receiver variations seen in FN-FALs. While some might find this boring, fans of the FN-FAL like myself  will find it quite interesting. I'd recommend downloading and reading this short (8-page) study.

Home Security

Former Navy SEAL Dom Raso is one of the three new younger commentators for the NRA. In his latest, he takes on the attempts to limit our right to defend our homes, our families, and ourselves.

He makes an excellent point when he says, "For many people, home security isn't worth talking about." Too many people are both unprepared and unaware. They live in a world of denial that violent crime can happen anywhere and to anyone. 

Alabama Summers And Snowballs

Now that the Zimmerman trial is over, gun prohibitionists and their political allies have declared a jihad on Stand Your Ground laws. Many of the attempts to repeal the protection that these laws give to persons exercising their right to self-defense will come in the state legislatures.

One of the latest attempts to repeal these laws is coming from the state of Alabama where certain Democrats vow to repeal that state's Stand Your Ground law.
A Democratic lawmaker said Tuesday there would be an effort to repeal Alabama’s version of Florida’s Stand Your Ground law in the next legislative session, but acknowledged it could be a difficult fight.

“We know it will not just be uphill, but up mountain,” said Sen. Hank Sanders, D-Selma, at a news conference.
Alabama has had a Stand Your Ground law since 2006 when it was sponsored by then-State Sen. Larry Means (D-Attala). Much like in Illinois in 2004 where then-State Senator Barack Obama supported that state's Stand Your Ground law, this law was supported by Democrats.

In the last session of the Alabama Legislature, they were presented with a bill to repeal the Stand Your Ground law. That attempt didn't make it out of committee. Nonetheless, Sen. Sanders plans to attempt it.
Sanders said he did not know what the scope of any Senate action would be or who would take the lead on it, but said he would sponsor a repeal effort if no one else did. Republicans control large majorities in both chambers, but Sanders said he would work on repeal for “however long” it took.
Frankly, I'd rate his chances of getting his bill out of committee right up there with a snowball not melting when left out in the midday sun during a hot Alabama summer. In other words, it doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of passing.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Gunning For Noxious Weeds

The Hawaiian islands are having trouble with an invasive weed that is shading out natural plants and causes erosion.
The weed in question is miconia, a plant that has infested much of the Big Island and has been trying to gain a foothold on Oahu, Maui and Kauai. Miconia's large leaves can block out sunlight for smaller plants, and its shallow root systems can increase erosion. A single miconia plant can produce eight million seeds a year.

"Miconia is the number one weed problem in the state of Hawaii that most people don't know about because it's impacting areas that people don't have access to," Leary told Hawaii News Now in an interview from the UH Maui Agricultural Center in Kula.
The solution developed by conservation scientists from the Hawaii Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management is called Herbicide Ballistic Technology or HBT. In layman's terms, they are using a paintball gun with special paintballs filled with herbicide to kill the miconia.

The scientists from NREM take to the air in helicopters searching for the miconia and shoot it with the herbicide-filled paintballs. It has been likened to helicopter hunting for feral hogs in Texas. It appears that they have have some significant success according to Dr. James Leary of the University of Hawaii.
“We have protected over 3,000 acres, eliminating 5,000 miconia targets, and reducing what we call incipient populations, or satellite populations, by 80 percent,” he said.
Who would have ever thought that paintball guns could be put to such important conservation use.

Best Comment On Absurd Statement By Pelosi

Last Friday, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) released a statement on the first anniversary of the shootings in the theater in Aurora, Colorado. It was, as you would expect from the source, nonsensical. Rep. Pelosi stated in part:
“In Congress, there can be no more fitting memorial to the lives lost in Aurora, in Newtown, and across the country than a concerted effort to enact commonsense gun safety legislation. We must uphold our oath to ‘protect and defend’ the constitution and all Americans by expanding background checks and keeping dangerous firearms out of the wrong hands.
Beyond misstating the Congressional Oath of Office that she took, the rest of the statement is just absurd.

The cartoonists at Failure To Fire nailed her on this today and they did a damn fine job of it.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Welcome Unintended Consequence Of Colorado's New Laws

The new Bloomberg-backed background checks law in Colorado has had an unintended and welcome side effect: it prevented a gun buyback. Together Colorado had planned a gun buyback for August 4th in the People's Republic of Boulder. They had to call it off at the request of Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle.
Organizers have canceled a gun buyback at the request of Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle, who said Colorado's new gun laws would make the Aug. 4 event nearly impossible to stage.

"The bottom line is what we anticipated doing would still be legal -- but procedurally we can't follow through with it at this time," Pelle said Tuesday.

A stricter law that went into effect July 1 requires buyers to go to a licensed firearms dealer and undergo a background check. The InstaCheck systems used in the checks are not mobile, which means they couldn't be used at the sheriff's compound where the buyback was planned.

"It's not a portable system," Pelle said. "It can't be done at the site."

Essentially, for the event to work, Pelle said the group would have to find a licensed firearms dealer to host the event and then pay the dealer per transaction, "which becomes very unproductive," he said.
That is just too bad for both Together Colorado and Sheriff Pelle who gave the event his full support.

It is also really too back for Boulder metalworking artist Jessica Adams who was to be given parts of the destroyed firearms to make a sculpture "creating gun violence (sic) awareness."

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

HB 937 Passes Both Houses And Is Sent To Governor

It appears that the North Carolina General Assembly can get its act together when it is under time pressure. The amended HB 937 was passed by both houses of the General Assembly this evening. Earlier reports had it being on the calendar for tomorrow.

The vote was 73-41 in favor of the amendment from the Conference Committee in the House while the Senate passed it by a vote of 32-14. The roll call of the votes are not available yet.

Agreement Reached On HB 937

The Conference Committee hammering out differences between the Senate version and the House version of HB 937 has reported back to the North Carolina General Assembly with an amended bill which can be found here.

The bill has been put on the legislative calendar for an up-down vote tomorrow. I would expect it to pass.

I will have more on the changes as I read the Committee's report.

UPDATE: The bill stays the same except for Sections 17 and 18.  The changes include:
  • Section 17.1 drops the word "license" from § 14-403.
  • Section 17.2(a) changes § 14-404 to require that a person denied a pistol purchase permit be given the reason for the denial; that the denial include specific facts as to why the applicant was denied including listing by statute number the applicable law. 
  •  Section 17.2(a) requires the sheriff to keep a list of denials, minus the personally identifying information, including the specific reason for a denial as a public record.
  • Section 17.2(a) requires the Clerk of Court to send records to the NICS System within 48 hours of being notified of any judicial finding, court order, or other factual matters that would cause a person to be denied a permit under
    § 14-404
  •  Section 17.2(a) sets the cost of a purchase permit at $5; does not allow any limit on the number or frequency of permits issued to an individual; does not allow the sheriff charge extra for the investigation, processing, or medical background checks; and requires either a permit or denial be given to the applicant within 14 days.
  • Section 17.2(a) requires the revocation of a permit for anything that happens subsequent to the permit's issuance that would have denied a permit in the first place. Also required is that the permit holder surrender his or her permit when notified of its revocation.
  • Section 17.2(b) requires a report from the Administrative Office of the Courts regarding the implementation of the Clerk of Court NICS System notification requirement.
  • Section 17.2(c) sets the effective date for NICS System notification at July 1, 2014; for the remainder of Section 17.2(a) at October 1, 2013; and for the rest of Section 17 immediately upon becoming law.
  • Section 17.3 requires the sheriff of a county to examine the validity of all outstanding permits by January 31, 2014. If there are any that would be subject to revocation, he or she is to take steps as detailed above. A report is required from each sheriff on results of their review by March 31, 2014.
  • Section 17.4 requires sheriffs to keep a record of permits issued as well as denials. These records are non-public and confidential.
  • Section 18 just makes a minor clerical change to GS 14-315(b1)(1) which concerns a prohibition on giving or selling weapons to minors.

Before There Were Carjackings...

Before there were carjackings, there were auto bandits and thieves. To protect oneself against bandits and thieves, you needed a Colt. Not just any Colt but the Colt Pocket Hammerless Pistol Model 1903 (.32 ACP) or Model 1908 (.380) According to the ad below, it was essential motoring equipment.

I found this wonderful old advertisement on Tumblr where it had been posted by Bubble Head Gun Nut.

Natalie Foster On Language

Natalie Foster of A Girl's Guide to Guns fame has a new commentary about about the abuse of language used by the gun prohibitionists. I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one whose hackles start to rise when they hear the words "commonsense", "reasonable", or the new buzzword du jour, "gun safety". Natalie calls this condescending, manipulative language meant to confuse the voters. She is absolutely correct.

Alan Korwin of Gunlaws.com has pointed out many times that we need to change our use of language. Instead of being pro-gun, we are pro-rights. Natalie makes the point when she talks about the use of the word "gun safety" as a stand-in for gun control. If you are against the newest gun safety law aka gun control, it puts us in an uncomfortable position if we would be forced to say we are anti-gun safety laws. I think you get the point.

The LA Time Discovers Mr. Colion Noir

The Los Angeles Times has an article up today about Mr. Colion Noir. They call him an "Internet sensation" whose popularity is growing. The article is actually informative about Colion Noir and seems rather fair. As to the comments, not so much.

I've watched a number of his YouTube videos and am very happy that the National Rifle Association realized the potential in having him as a commentator (along with Natalie Foster and Dom Raso). Adding commentators like Colion Noir punches holes in the perception that the NRA is only for aging and overweight Caucasian males.

I think what is really going to infuriate the gun prohibitionists is that not only is Mr. Colion Noir black (well, duh!) but he is a practicing attorney in Houston with degrees from the University of Houston and Texas Southern's law school. In other words, he's not just some hip actor reading lines provided to him by the NRA.
Noir is a practicing attorney. He reads fashion blogs, loves gadgets and drives a sports car and a truck — neither with a gun rack, although he keeps a metal candy dish full of bullets in his living room.

Noir said he grew up hesitant to admit he liked firearms because it wasn't something people talked about in his middle-class neighborhood. He fired his first gun, a little Taurus .40, about seven years ago at the urging of a friend who took him to a shooting range.

"I remember how exhilarating it was," Noir said, comparing the experience to sky diving.

Soon afterward, he was going to the range weekly and researching guns. He later joined the NRA and bought about a half dozen guns. Noir, who once worked at A/X Armani Exchange and favors tailored suits, worries that a concealed handgun might "print," or show through the fabric.

"Secret Service have the worst cut suits — big and bulky," so their guns won't show, Noir said.
 Colion Noir has attracted detractors among some in the African-American community who consider him a "sell-out" and other worse epithets.
Now some in the black community have denounced Noir for what they say is selling out to the white pro-gun establishment, with critiques posted on theroot.com and the Black Entertainment Television website.

"He's taking more heat from black people than anybody. The racism that exists now is mostly on our side," said the Rev. Kenn Blanchard, 50, a gun rights activist who is black. He said he advised Noir to accept the NRA deal.

Noir said he expected attacks, but he gets frustrated when critics highlight his race.

"Calling me an Uncle Tom simply because I'm into firearms, it doesn't even make sense. My entire identity as a black guy is based on my ownership of guns? Really?" he said. "Some of the most influential black individuals have advocated for the use of firearms, so how come when I do it, I'm vilified? Take a look at the Black Panthers, MLK, Malcolm X."

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. supported gun rights? Noir noted that after King's home in Montgomery, Ala., was firebombed, King applied for a handgun permit.
While most of the comments to this article are supportive of both gun rights and Mr. Colion Noir, there are some detractors who are appalled that a man of color would not only like shooting but that he would be a member of the NRA.

From "NoBeggrsPlz":

As a lawyer you could be a role model for the African-American community and work to reduce the amount of black-black violence and deaths.

Or is indulging and glamorizing your own fetish with guns more important to you?

How's the glamourizaton of guns working out for the African-American community?

From "Pam00015":

That was the stupidest video I have ever seen! It made no sense and was pointless. WOW! You have guns you are so powerful!

You are a coward!
Fetish? Stupidest? Pointless? Coward?

I guess you just can't open some minds despite the good work that a commentator like Mr. Colion Noir does. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Time To Turn The Screws Down On Republicans In NC

It is time for the Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly to either put up or shut up. They talk a good game when they want gun owners votes but when given a chance to actually send a decent gun bill to the governor, they waffle and drag their feet.

HB 937 which would amend a number of gun laws in North Carolina has passed both the House and the Senate in different forms. When given a choice on passing the stronger of the two versions, the House Republicans waffled and sent it to a conference committee. Now the conference committee which is composed entirely of Republicans is dragging its feet. The General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn this coming Friday.

We went through this garbage in the last session where one house passed restaurant carry and then it was never acted upon by the other house. It is time for this nonsense to stop. The conference committee needs to report out a bill without garbage attached to it and to do it now.

As Grass Roots North Carolina notes in their alert below, Republicans will be held accountable if they fail to pass this bill. Instead of considering a bill to honor All-American Cities, why not do something that is substantive and not symbolic?
The clock to adjournment is ticking...IT IS TIME TO BRING THE HEAT!

While the gun rights of North Carolinians hang in the balance, Republican leadership can't stop playing political games. They are being manipulated by the competing misguided interests of the NC Sheriffs' Association (NCSA) and NRA.

The political angst has reached the level that Rep. Jacqueline Schaffer has begun emailing accusations that GRNC is spreading “inaccurate information”. GRNC President Paul Valone quickly responded:

“As I just told your legislative assistant, Sharon, I would love to know what is "inaccurate" about our reporting. My understanding was that to close what you yourself have called the "arming felons loophole," sans repeal of all or part of the purchase permit statute, you suggested requiring NICS checks if purchase permits were older than 30 days. As we have said all along (and I have numerous positions issued to Republicans to this effect), punishing gun owners for the malfeasance of the North Carolina Sheriffs' Association is unacceptable to us. So please, tell me what is "inaccurate," before I am forced to report to 87,000 gun owners that it is actually you who is disseminating false information.“
It is time to stop the blame game and pandering to NCSA and NRA. These organizations didn't elect the Assembly. You did. Have they forgotten who they represent?

Apparently they need another reminder. GRNC has set-up a “Pass HB 937” petition at http://grnc.org/pass-h937 that will help the politicians focus on the issue. Sign it, and pass along the link to your friends.

The Assembly is set to adjourn this Friday. We only have a few more days to instill sense in both the Assembly and Governor McCrory and get this bill passed.

We have fought for years for this progress. Failure IS NOT AN OPTION!


You need to do three things:

  1. Call the three Republican leaders, Gov. McCrory, Speaker Tillis, President Pro Tempore Berger;
  2. Sign the petition and forward it to others; and
  3. Send the copy-and-paste message to all Republicans in the NC House and Senate
MAKE SURE TO BOTH CALL AND EMAIL Sen. Berger, Speaker Tillis and Gov. McCrory. This is our last chance to make an impression. Let's make it GOOD!


Speaker Thom Tillis, 919-733-3451, Email: Thom.Tillis@ncleg.net

Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, 919-733-5708, Email: Phil.Berger@ncleg.net

Gov. Pat McCrory, 919-814-2000, Email using BOTH this address governor.office@nc.gov AND the webpage at http://www.governor.state.nc.us/contact/email-pat

Use the following cut-and-paste email list to contact NC House Republicans:

Dean.Arp@ncleg.net; Marilyn.Avila@ncleg.net; John.Bell@ncleg.net; Hugh.Blackwell@ncleg.net; Jamie.Boles@ncleg.net; Robert.Brawley@ncleg.net; Brian.Brown@ncleg.net; Rayne.Brown@ncleg.net; Rob.Bryan@ncleg.net; Dana.Bumgardner@ncleg.net; Justin.Burr@ncleg.net; Rick.Catlin@ncleg.net; George.Cleveland@ncleg.net; Jeff.Collins@ncleg.net; Debra.Conrad@ncleg.net; Leo.Daughtry@ncleg.net; Ted.Davis@ncleg.net; Jimmy.Dixon@ncleg.net; Josh.Dobson@ncleg.net; Jerry.Dockham@ncleg.net; Nelson.Dollar@ncleg.net; Jeffrey.Elmore@ncleg.net; John.Faircloth@ncleg.net; Jim.Fulghum@ncleg.net; Mike.Hager@ncleg.net; Jon.Hardister@ncleg.net; Kelly.Hastings@ncleg.net; Mark.Hollo@ncleg.net; Bryan.Holloway@ncleg.net; Craig.Horn@ncleg.net; Julia.Howard@ncleg.net; Pat.Hurley@ncleg.net; Frank.Iler@ncleg.net; Charles.Jeter@ncleg.net; Linda.Johnson2@ncleg.net; Bert.Jones@ncleg.net; Jonathan.Jordan@ncleg.net; Donny.Lambeth@ncleg.net; James.Langdon@ncleg.net; David.Lewis@ncleg.net; Chris.Malone@ncleg.net; Susan.Martin@ncleg.net; Pat.McElraft@ncleg.net; Chuck.McGrady@ncleg.net; Allen.McNeill@ncleg.net; Chris.Millis@ncleg.net; Tim.Moffitt@ncleg.net; Tim.Moore@ncleg.net; Tom.Murry@ncleg.net; Michele.Presnell@ncleg.net; Nathan.Ramsey@ncleg.net; Dennis.Riddell@ncleg.net; Stephen.Ross@ncleg.net; Jason.Saine@ncleg.net; Ruth.Samuelson@ncleg.net; Jacqueline.Schaffer@ncleg.net; Mitchell.Setzer@ncleg.net; Phil.Shepard@ncleg.net; Paul.Stam@ncleg.net; Edgar.Starnes@ncleg.net; Bob.Steinburg@ncleg.net; Sarah.Stevens@ncleg.net; Michael.Stone@ncleg.net; John.Szoka@ncleg.net; Thom.Tillis@ncleg.net; John.Torbett@ncleg.net; Rena.Turner@ncleg.net; Harry.Warren@ncleg.net; Andy.Wells@ncleg.net; Roger.West@ncleg.net; Chris.Whitmire@ncleg.net

Use the following cut-and-paste email list to contact NC Senate Republicans:

Austin.Allran@ncleg.net, Tom.Apodaca@ncleg.net, Chad.Barefoot@ncleg.net, Tamara.Barringer@ncleg.net, Phil.Berger@ncleg.net, Stan.Bingham@ncleg.net, Andrew.Brock@ncleg.net, Harry.Brown@ncleg.net, Peter.Brunstetter@ncleg.net, Bill.Cook@ncleg.net, David.Curtis@ncleg.net, Warren.Daniel@ncleg.net, Jim.Davis@ncleg.net, Thom.Goolsby@ncleg.net, Rick.Gunn@ncleg.net, Kathy.Harrington@ncleg.net, Fletcher.Hartsell@ncleg.net, Ralph.Hise@ncleg.net, Neal.Hunt@ncleg.net, Brent.Jackson@ncleg.net, Wesley.Meredith@ncleg.net, Buck.Newton@ncleg.net, Louis.Pate@ncleg.net, Ron.Rabin@ncleg.net, Bill.Rabon@ncleg.net, Shirley.Randleman@ncleg.net, Bob.Rucho@ncleg.net, Norman.Sanderson@ncleg.net, Dan.Soucek@ncleg.net, Jeff.Tarte@ncleg.net, Jerry.Tillman@ncleg.net, Tommy.Tucker@ncleg.net, Trudy.Wade@ncleg.net


Suggested Subject: Republicans will be held responsible for failure of HB 937

Dear Speaker Tillis/President Pro Tem Phil Berger/Governor Pat McCrory/Representative/Senator:

NC gun owners have worked too hard for too long and have spent too much time and money supporting politicians claiming to be pro-Second Amendment. If HB 937, the omnibus gun bill, fails to be passed into law we will hold you responsible.

You need to make sure this bill leaves the conference committee and is signed by Gov. McCrory. We've had enough of the political games. HB 937 must be signed into law this year or there will be a price to be paid during the next election.

You owe this to NC gun owners who are largely responsible for your election. Do not disappoint us.

I will be following progress through Grass Roots North Carolina legislative alerts.


Weekend Tab Clearing

I got caught up on my email over the weekend and bookmarked a number of items that I planned to blog about. However, other things got in the way as usual for most of us. Stuff like watching the Complementary Spouse's nephew and his team Requiem win a Halo 4 tournament. I don't understand half of what they are doing but it is fun to cheer family on to victory.

Earlier in the month Hornady announced that they were suspending production of 150 bullet types and 150 finished ammo types for the rest of 2013 in order to focus on demand for the most popular items. AccurateShooter.com has the list here.

The FAA is being spoil sports. You may have heard about the small town of Deer Trail, Colorado which is offering "drone hunting licenses" for $25. You are limited to a 12 gauge shotgun max. The town is doing it as a humorous way to raise some money. The FAA is not amused and is warning of "criminal and civil liability" if you do shoot one down.

Some Democrats in Florida are calling for the repeal of that state's Stand Your Ground law.

Shooting Illustrated has an interesting article on an easy way to level your rifle's scope without special equipment. It shows how to level your scope using only low-cost spirit levels instead the special kits sold by MidwayUSA or Brownells.

Guy Sagi has an interesting post up on a recent break-in at his house. He goes into detail about all the things he did wrong as well as what he did correctly. Guy writes the Fear & Loading Blog for the American Rifleman. It is a short article that is well worth the read.
A report on efforts to hasten the implementation of concealed carry in Illinois.

A humorous look at the rationale for owning a number of firearms from the CityWeekly of Salt Lake City. My favorite is No. 2 - "Because shut up - this is Utah, hippie."

Finally, a post from Jeff Knox of the Firearms Coalition on why Stand Your Ground laws must stand.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

So Durbin Wants Hearings On Stand Your Ground

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced on Friday that he plans to hold hearings on Stand Your Ground laws in the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on The Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights of which he is the Chair.
In a statement, Durbin said the Senate Judiciary Committee subcommittee on Constitution, civil rights and human rights ”will examine the gun lobby’s and the American Legislative Exchange Council’s influence in creating and promoting these laws; the way in which the laws have changed the legal definition of self-defense; the extent to which the laws have encouraged unnecessary shooting confrontations; and the civil rights implications when racial profiling and ‘stand your ground’ laws mix, along with other issues.”
Normally, I'd be dreading the nonsense that would come out of such a hearing. While this still could be true, the composition of the subcommittee gives me some hope.

The Ranking Member of the subcommittee is Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) who is a fierce proponent of the Second Amendment and gun rights. The Republican members also include Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Orrin Hatch (R-U). While Graham and Hatch have been wishy-washy on many things, they have been solid on gun rights.

The subcommittee's Democrats consist of Durbin, Al Franken (D-MN), Richard Bluementhal (D-CT), Chris Coons (D-DE),and Mazie Hirono (D-HI). Blumenthal is a hard-core anti gunner while the rest are reliably anti-gun.

Ted Cruz, while a mere freshman, has shown no hesitation in taking it to the anti's. He took Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) on in full Judiciary Committee over her AWB and made her look petty. I think he can do the same to those who would seek to diminish the laws of self-defense.

I'll Definitely Keep Buying His Books!

Chicago-based author Brad Thor has written a number of thrillers which I've read. He was interviewed about his most recent book Hidden Order on a ABC-7 Chicago's morning show Windy City Live. They also wanted to interview him because of tweets he had made the day before offering to buy George Zimmerman a new firearm. Thor was furious that the Department of Justice had impounded Zimmerman's Kel-Tec PF-9.

As recounted in The Blaze, Thor had some testy exchanges with the interviewers who were somewhat aghast that he'd offer to buy Zimmerman a new gun.
A show panelist asked whether “it’s really a good idea to give George Zimmerman a gun back?”

“He’s not guilty!” Thor said. “And as a matter of fact don’t you think he needs a gun now more than ever with all the death threats against him?”

Co-host Val Warner questioned why Zimmerman would “even risk going through the same thing again” if he had another gun.

“That’s his decision, Val, it’s not for us to decide if we’re going to curtail his liberty or not, that is his Second Amendment right to possess a firearm, defend himself, defend his family, and it is not up to you, it’s not up to me, to decide what’s right for George Zimmerman. He’s an American citizen, he gets to decide what’s right for him,” Thor said.

Warner said it could be Zimmerman’s decision “after everything is over.”

“When’s it over? How much more does he have to go through?” Thor said. “There’s not a shred of evidence that he is a racist and yet the Department of Justice is freezing
I know from past interviews that Thor is a gun guy.  More importantly, I like his willingness to stand up for what is right. I'll definitely keep buying his books.

"The Lynching"

PJ Media's Afterburner with Bill Whittle gets it right in this video. It was not Trayvon Martin who was "lynched" by George Zimmerman. Rather, it was multi-racial George Zimmerman who has endured a figurative lynching by the media, the Department of Justice, and the dual racialist reverends - Sharpton and Jackson.

After having bought into the narrative that Trayvon was a misunderstood youth who got profiled by the racist Zimmerman because of the color of his skin and then murdered by Zimmerman, the media essentially stopped their investigation of any causal factors. These include the role of Trayvon Martin's drug use, the role that divorce played in his behavioral problems, and, if you really want to go deep, the ambiguous place of young black men without strong male role figures in a historically matriarchal community. In the video below, Whittle takes the media to task for their false narrative and examines in some detail items that the jury was not allowed to hear.

Friday, July 19, 2013

What Sheriff Bailey Didn't Say

Mecklenburg County Sheriff Chipp Bailey is one of the North Carolina sheriffs who is determined to retain the state's racist, Jim Crow-era pistol purchase permit system. In an interview given to WCNC-TV of Charlotte, Sheriff Bailey contends that the pistol purchase permit system would have prevented the shooters in Tucson, Virginia Tech, and Aurora from obtaining their pistols.
Mecklenburg County Sheriff Chipp Bailey said that he agrees with every law-abiding citizen’s right to own firearms, but says he wants the state to continue to allow his office the right to dispense permits, because of the NICS system does not catch all mental health issues.

"We also check our transport logs for involuntary commits and those kinds of things which wouldn't be picked up by NICS or some other device." Sheriff Bailey said, "I think it’s important for us to know who is being permitted for firearms or who is going out to buy firearms...until the process gets where you can really count on it, then I think the sheriff's need to be involved with it."
There is only one little flaw in Sheriff Bailey's argument. Once the permit which is good for five years is issued, it can't be revoked. It also substitutes for the NICS check. Thus, a person who based a background check up to five years ago can take their permit to a FFL, present their permit, buy a gun, and avoid the NICS check. If they have committed a felony, a misdemeanor involving domestic violence, or had been adjudicated mentally ill after being issued the permit, they could still obtain a firearm. I don't think the fact that they would be committing a Federal felony by lying on the ATF Form 4473 would matter much to such a person.

The Charlotte Observer - Sheriff Bailey's local paper - did an analysis on pistol purchase permits. It found more than 60 felons in Mecklenburg County alone held pistol purchase permits. A NICS check would have caught these felons when they tried to purchase a firearm.

Mecklenburg County is also lagging the state in the issuance of Concealed Handgun Permits according to the most recent data. As Sean points out here, something is a little fishy when Mecklenburg County has only seen a rise of 2.83% in new permits as compared to the statewide figure of 9.36%. Moreover, just slightly smaller Wake County has issued 4.5 times as many permits in the same time period.

I think Sheriff Bailey, despite his so-called support for the citizen's right to own a firearm, has some explaining to do.

On The Radio!

In what will be a first for me, I'll be on a live radio show this evening!

Chris and Brad at Shooter Ready Radio have invited me on their show to discuss the Electronic Freedom Foundation's lawsuit against the NSA, the injunction against open carry in Mississippi, and my thoughts on the Colorado recall elections from an outsider's perspective. I will be in the segment that airs from 4:15pm Mountain to 5:00pm Mountain. That is 6:15pm to 7pm Eastern.

I will admit to being a little nervous as my voice sounds a bit nasally when I've listened to it on voice mail or a podcast interview. Damn my bad sinuses!

Shooter Ready Radio is part of the I-25 Talk Radio lineup which airs on 1480 AM and 93.9 FM out of Pueblo, Colorado. If you aren't in the Pueblo area, the station has a live feed over the Internet which you can access here.

If you get a chance, listen in. I'd love feedback on it.

Kudos To The Buckeye Firearms Foundation

You may have read that the Department of Justice has requested a hold by the Sanford Police Department on all evidence in the George Zimmerman case while they continue their so-called investigation into the case. This hold precludes Mr. Zimmerman from getting his Kel-Tec PF-9 returned to him. As such, he is being kept defenseless while racist vigilantes are calling for his murder.

The Buckeye Firearms Foundation has stepped up to get Mr. Zimmerman a replacement firearm and necessary accessories.
George Zimmerman has every right to get his property back.

And if Eric Holder chooses to deny Mr. Zimmerman that right, Buckeye Firearms Foundation will remedy the matter by purchasing a NEW FIREARM for him, including a holster, flashlight, and any other gear he wants.

This is about more than mere principle. Zimmerman and his family now face daily threats on their lives. More than ever, he has a right to defend himself against those who would seek to do him harm.

Gun owners must stand together and refuse to allow an injustice like this to go unanswered. If we choose to sit idly by while the full force and weight of the federal government descends upon a free man, it will embolden others to take liberties with our rights.

We know what some will say about this. We know we will be reviled for taking this stand. Our motives will be impugned and our words will be twisted. But that happens already. Those who work against our rights will always do this. It hasn't stopped us before and it won't stop us now.

We have created the Zimmerman Second Amendment Fund. We encourage you to donate whatever you can afford, $100 ... $50 ... $25 ... even just $10. We will provide Mr. Zimmerman, who has no current source of income, with the funds he needs to replace his firearm, holster, and other gear. The rest will be set aside to fight similar injustices ... and they happen all the time.
Because the Foundation is a 503(c)(3) non-profit, any donation you make will be tax deductible. The link to their donation page is here.

Other groups such as the Illinois-based Guns Save Lives have also stepped up.

Screwing Up HB 937

It was not bad enough that the North Carolina House didn't concur with the Senate on the changes to HB 937 but now the House sponsor Rep. Jacqueline Schaffer (R-Mecklenburg) and House chair of the Conference Committee is proposing to make it worse. I could make snide comments about Mecklenburg County politicians such as Tillis, Schaffer, and McCrory screwing up the state for the rest of the 99 counties but I won't.

Grass Roots North Carolina has the details below in an alert sent out late last night.


HB 937 was making the partial repeal of the current Jim Crow-era pistol permit system look like a reality. Then, the political pressure mounted.

GRNC has learned that the partial repeal of the current, old-fashioned system is in jeopardy, and worse, the current system might become even more complicated and restrictive. The NRA has not “signed off” on the partial repeal of the old permit system, and worse, someone has convinced HB 937 sponsor, Rep. Jacqueline Michelle Schaffer, to modify the language such that NICS checks are to be required for pistols purchased with permits more than 30 days old.

There are two problems with this:

  1. The NCSA has already said that NICS checks are not adequate. So why subject law-abiding gun owners to additional pointless background checks?
  2. According to GRNC President, Paul Valone, "This action would punish innocent gun owners for the malfeasance of the NCSA, and is unacceptable!"

Speaker Tillis, Representative Schaffer and Governor McCrory are poised to bow to the NCSA pressure. This would be a major sellout of North Carolina gun owners. If political pressure pushes these politicians to punish us, GRNC may encourage gun owners to sit out the 2014 midterm elections. The Speaker, Rep. Schaffer, Gov. McCrory and all of the Republicans in Raleigh need to know that they can’t take gun owners for granted, and any anti-gun actions will not be tolerated. See below to learn what you can do to let these politicians know what you think of their proposed anti-gun deal.




Speaker Tillis: 919-733-3451

Rep. Schaffer: 919-733-5886

Governor McCrory: (919) 814-2000

Phone them and tell them that you know about their anti-gun scheme, and you won't be taken for granted. Tell them that following through on the plan to worsen our already old-fashioned pistol permit system may hurt all Republicans in Raleigh by forcing you to consider sitting out the 2014 midterm elections.

Use the following e-mail addresses and link to deliver the message below:



E-mail the Governor using this link:



Suggested Subject: "Don't Punish Gun Owners"

Dear Speaker Tillis, Representative Schaffer, and Governor McCrory:

I have recently learned of a compromise being considered regarding HB 937, and I am writing to tell you that making our state’s outdated pistol permit system even worse than it already is will not help your esteem in the eyes of gun owners. Simply leaving the current Jim Crow-era system in place would be bad enough. However, what is being proposed would create a system that is even more difficult for law-abiding citizens to navigate than the current system. The new proposal would add a new thirty-day limit to permit validity, which would then require a point-of-sale NICS check. This is not acceptable.

It is the decades-long malfeasance of the NCSA and their support of a current system that has allowed the “arming felons” loophole to remain in place. Keeping this old-fashioned system, and then making it yet even more complicated and unjust is not an improvement. In fact, if this new restriction to the current permit system is added, I, and surely thousands of other gun owners in North Carolina, may sit out the 2014 midterm elections. Gun owning voters will not be taken for granted.

I strongly urge you to stand firm against the political pressure to compromise at the expense of gun owners. This is not an acceptable compromise by any stretch, and if it happens, the Republicans will be held responsible, and they will feel it at the polls.

I will be monitoring the status of this issue via Grass Roots North Carolina alerts.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Recall Elections In Colorado Are A Go!

Colorado District Court Judge Robert Hyatt ruled that the petitions submitted for the recall of State Senate President John Morse (D-Colorado Springs) and Sen. Angela Giron (D-Pueblo) are valid and the recall election is a go.

Judge Hyatt said in his oral decision as reported by the Denver Post:
"The petitions here substantially comply with law," Judge Robert Hyatt said...

"Recalls are a fundamental right of Colorado citizens," Hyatt said in his oral decision from the bench...

The judge in his ruling pointed out that the templates used by petitioners date back several years and span Democratic and Republican secretaries of state.

"The form used not only fully complied with secretary of state, but in the court's opinion it complied with the Colorado constitution," Hyatt ruled.

"The court does give great weight that petitioners made a good-faith effort to comply with law. The court finds the proponents did not in any way consciously mean to mislead the public."
Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) set September 10th as the date for the recall elections.

It is expected that Morse and Giron will appeal this decision to the Colorado Supreme Court. That said, as Sebastian Bitter rightly noted, the longer these two and their supporters fight to delay the recall election, the more negative sentiment they generate from voters in their districts.

It will also give the Republicans more time to vet the candidates who will face Morse and Giron. The importance of this vetting has already become evident as one of the announced candidates in Colorado Springs - Jaxine Bubis - writes erotica under the pen name Jaxine Daniels. You can imagine the field day that John Morse would have with this tidbit if it had come out during the final days of the campaign.

Fortunately, the El Paso County Republican Committee chose former Colorado Spring City Councilman Bernie Herpin to face Morse in the election. Herpin and Bubis had a prior agreement to abide by the decision of the Republican committee as to which one of them would be the nominee.

NRA News Report On The NY SAFE Act

Ginny Simone of NRA News has been doing a series of in-depth special reports on various issues that impact gun owners. Her latest is a report on the New York SAFE Act and the arrest of Greg Dean. Mr. Dean was arrested for violating the NY SAFE Act when a State Policeman inspected the magazine of  his .40 S&W pistol. The magazine contained 9 rounds or two too many under the NY Safe Act.

Mr. Dean's arrest has gotten some notice. What hasn't gotten as much notice was Columbia County District Attorney Paul Czajka's decision not to prosecute the case.

The UN, Jesse? Really?

In an op-ed published yesterday in the Chicago Sun-Times, the Rev. Jesse Jackson called for an investigation into Trayvon Martin's death the the United Nations Human Rights Commission. He hints that the self-defense shooting of Martin may have been a violation of international law.
We need a national investigation of the racial context that led to Trayvon Martin’s slaying. Congress must act. And it’s time to call on the United Nations Human Rights Commission for an in-depth investigation of whether the U.S. is upholding its obligations under international human rights laws and treaties. Trayvon Martin’s death demands much more than a jury’s verdict on George Zimmerman. It calls for us to hear the evidence and render a verdict on the racial reality that never had its day in court at the trial.

The sad reality is that the UN is more likely to "investigate" this that than state-sponsored atrocities happening around the world.