Thursday, October 31, 2013
If you are a fan of the YouTube videos of Greg Hickok aka Hickok45, then you know in addition to his marvelous gun reviews he has a thing about pumpkins. He shoots them, he blows them up, he knives them, he mows over them, he bashes them with a baseball bat, etc. You get the picture.
Now someone has taken four years of Hickok45 killing pumpkins and done a mashup of it. I didn't know there were that many ways to kill a pumpkin!
As to my favorite way to kill a pumpkin, it will always remain eating it as in a pumpkin pie with a dollop of whipped cream on top.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Secretary of Health and Human Resources Kathleen Sebelius might be "as frustrated and angry as anyone" over the badly run launch of ObamaCare. That's all nice and well except it doesn't go to the heart of the problem.
Ask SayUncle who is being forced to switch primary care physicians or the Complementary Spouse whose job at our local hospital was eliminated as the hospital tries to deal with the revenue shortfall they anticipate due to the Affordable Care Act about whether they care that the launch of the ObamaCare website went poorly. It still doesn't change the fact that it is a law that sucks.
The Mad Ogre, George Hill, may have said it best in a Facebook post yesterday.
The website working or not is the least of my issues with the ACA. Complaining that the Web Site is not working is like French Aristocrats complaining that the Guillotine isn't working.I think that about sums it up.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights, finally held his delayed hearing on so-called Stand Your Ground laws. The hearing entitled, "'Stand Your Ground' Laws: Civil Rights and Public Safety Implications of the Expanded Use of Deadly Force", was originally scheduled to be held on September 17th.
The witness list changed somewhat from the earlier scheduled hearing. It added three US Representatives as witnesses in one panel and substituted the president of a prosecutor's association for a Florida state's attorney. The list is below:
Panel IThe webcast of the 2 hour hearing can be seen here.
The Honorable Marcia L. Fudge
United States Representative (D-OH-11)
The Honorable Luis V. Gutierrez
United States Representative (D-IL-4)
The Honorable Louie Gohmert
United States Representative (R-TX-1)
President and CEO
Association of Prosecuting Attorneys
Ronald S. Sullivan, Jr.
Clinical Professor of Law, Director of the Criminal Justice Institute
Harvard Law School
John R. Lott, Jr., Ph.D.
Crime Prevention Research Center
Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies
Fortunately, you don't have to wade through all 2 hours of testimony to get the gist of what was said. Attorney Andrew Branca, author of The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Ed. has done it for us over at the Legal Insurrection blog. In addition to summarizing the testimony of each witness as well as that of the senators on the panel, he gives his take on the whole charade.
My first general observation is that the anti-SYG folks were, as experience would suggest, big on emotion and small on actual facts, law, or data.I certainly hope Mr. Branca is correct that there will be no substantive changes and that this is nothing more than political theater. One explanation that I've heard for these hearings is that they are an effort by Sen. Durbin to keep alive a polarizing issue so as to promote higher turnout by African-Americans in the 2014 mid-term elections. Given that Durbin has shown time and again that he is a shameless opportunist, I wouldn't put this past him.
One of the anti-SYG witnesses, Professor Sullivan from Harvard Law School, did raise some actual data–but when these were utterly destroyed by the later testimony of Dr. John Lott and Elliot Shapiro of CATA (sic), Professor Sullivan was swift to discount the use of data (which he himself had introduced into the testimony) and instead focus on the “real people” behind the data. In sharp contrast, the testimony of the pro-SYG speakers was focused and direct.
Second, the anti-SYG folks persistently conflated the legal concept of Stand Your Ground with utterly discrete legal concepts, such as presumptions of reasonableness and civil/criminal immunity.
When this is done by people without legal training or experience, such as Sabrina Fulton, one can of course accept it as an unknowing error. When it is persistently done by a Harvard Law Professor and a head of an (allegedly) leading association of State Prosecutors, one can only wonder at either their actual intent or their underlying intelligence.
Indeed, their misstatements of the law were so egregious that at one point Dr. Lott was obliged to read aloud from the actual Florida statute they had badly mischaracterized, to which they naturally had no substantive response. In that case they were claiming that even criminal aggressors could claim Stand Your Ground privilege under Florida law, a claim that the plain language of the statute read by Dr. Lott clearly destroys.
In any case, it is clear that their effort is intended to be a broad attack on all three fronts — likely with immunity being the true target, as it represents the largest pot of gold for their supporters — rather than any focused concern on Stand Your Ground, per se.
Finally, the bottom line is I expect this hearing, and any similar subsequent efforts, to be little more than political theater, with no substantive changes resulting to the law of self-defense.
UPDATE: Kurt Hofmann, the St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner, gives his take on Durbin and these hearings. I agree with Kurt that having Durbin chair any committee with the word "Constitution" in its name is "a grim joke."
The Outdoor Wire network of newsletters released their annual Concealed Carry Special Edition this morning. It features articles on training for concealed carry from Mike Seeklander, Michael Bane, Claude Werner, Tiger McKee, Rich Grassi, and Paul Erhardt.
Dave Spaulding, whom I consider one of the best trainers out there, said it contains "good, useable information" on his Facebook page.
If you have a concealed carry permit or are thinking of finally getting one, I'd highly recommend this. We can all use more training.
You can open it from this link.
Monday, October 28, 2013
While there may be other meanings to walking the dog, taken literally it might just have been the deciding factor in California Gov. Jerry Brown's decision to sign the ban on lead ammunition.
The biggest proponent of the lead ammo ban was the anti-hunting Humane Society of the US. And who just happens to walk Jerry Brown's dog Sutter on a regular basis? None other than Jennifer Fearing who is the state director for HSUS in California.
Does the hand that holds the leash of California's "first dog," cuddly corgi Sutter Brown, also have a hand in guiding policy with the dog's master, Gov. Jerry Brown?Fearing denies any impropriety and says she hasn't talked to Gov. Brown or his wife personally about the bill in question.
That's the question being raised about Jennifer Fearing, the senior state director for the Humane Society of the United States, who critics suggest has turned her role as regular walker of the governor's dog into a cannily effective way to lobby the state's chief executive on animal rights issues.
Fearing scored a perfect 6-for-6 record this legislative season in getting bills signed by Brown, placing her in the ranks of Sacramento's most effective lobbyists.
Among the coups for the Humane Society was legislation banning lead ammunition that Fearing said endangered as many as 130 species in California. It was one of 11 bills signed by Brown out of the 18 that the Legislature passed to restrict guns or ammunition.
Others are not so sure. The gun-rights group Free California has filed a complaint with California's Fair Political Practices Commission saying the dog-walking is an in-kind payment to the governor. Ethics experts are also unsure about this.
Fearing is "a powerful person who wants something from the government," said Jessica Levinson, an expert on law and governance issues and associate professor of law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.I know I, for one, would be more favorably disposed towards someone my dog liked. Conversely, if my dog didn't like you, then there is something about you that might be suspect. Regardless of the intent, Fearing's regular walks with Sutter who seems to like her has to have made Brown more receptive to her arguments. It would be hard for Brown to dismiss Fearing and her group's agenda out of hand given the personal relationship in question. I don't know if Fearing started walking Sutter in order to get Brown's attention but it seems to have worked anyways.
With her role in the dog's life, "she has access to Gov. Brown," Levinson said. "There are a variety of ways to exercise influence."
California taxpayers, for instance, would have a right to know if "Brown had a kid, and his tutor was head of the California Teachers Association," Levinson said.
UPDATE: The Washington Times is wondering if this should be called "Corgigate". Attorney Chuck Michel who handles much of the NRA's legal work in California had this to say of Fearing.
“For someone who did not hesitate to take the moral high ground in denigrating the ethical standards of hunters during the campaign to ban lead ammunition, it is disappointing to see that Jennifer Fearing does not hold herself to those same ethical standards in properly disclosing her relationship with the governor,” said Chuck Michel, California attorney for the National Rifle Association, in a statement.
Sunday, October 27, 2013
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives released a new "informational" YouTube video this past Thursday on private and Internet sales. The video was narrated by Rich Marianos, Assistant Director for Professional and Governmental Affairs.
The ostensible purpose of the video is to provide "guidance" regarding private and Internet sales. While noting that firearms are a legal commodity and that private sales without a background check are perfectly legal between residents of a state under the Gun Control Act of 1968 (note - state laws may vary), he then alludes to criminals obtaining firearms without going through a background check. He then makes the strong suggestion that private sellers "protect" themselves by having the transaction handled by a FFL who must perform a NICS check.
I almost laughed out loud when Marianos said that AFT respects the Second Amendment rights of "our citizens who own firearms" and that they are only concerned with "traffickers". I'm sure that explains the visit that gun blogger Andrew Tuohy of the Vuurwapen Blog received from ATF agents last year asking about his firearms purchases.
After listening to the deadpan delivery of Marianos which makes Sgt. Joe Friday of Dragnet seem animated and his announcement that ATF has established an Internet Firearms Trafficking Unit, I am left to wonder who is jerking ATF's chain about private and/or Internet sales. Is it new Director B. Todd Jones, the White House, or Mayor Bloomberg and his Illegal Mayors? Someone surely is doing it because getting a new unit approved is not an everyday occurrence.
Friday, October 25, 2013
As many people already know, JayG of the blog MA-rooned has been appointed the Associate Editor of the NRA's publication Shooting Illustrated. It was reported first on The Squirrel Report and then on his blog.
The NRA has now issued a press release announcing that Jay will be the new Associate Editor. As SayUncle notes, "JayG has gone from blogger to one of those guys that sends out emails of his press releases to bloggers."And I might note, it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.
What caught my eye was the picture of Jay accompanying the article. Jay is shown holding what appears to be a Mossberg 590A1 with a bayonet.
The only thing that could have made the picture better would have been if Jay had been holding the shotgun over his head a'la Red Dawn and shouting "Freedom!". It would have been an appropriate way to celebrate his departure from the Volksrepublik. However, it might have scared the suits in NRA Headquarters a bit too much.
The title to this post is reminiscent of the debates in North Carolina politics about teacher pay or student achievement. However, in this case it refers to where the state of North Carolina ranked in Guns and Ammo's ranking of the states for concealed carry. North Carolina came in at the 27th position virtually tied with Minnesota. This ranked North Carolina behind all of our neighboring states
The rankings were based upon such criteria as cost, training hours, method of permit issuance, reciprocity, the existence of a castle doctrine, and how gun friendly the state was. This was used to create an aggregate score. The scoring criteria is below. The editors of G&A are quick to point out that no state is perfect but some states (and the District of Columbia) are pretty bad. DC, by the way, ranked as a zero which shouldn't surprise anyone who has ever read the work of Emily Miller.
To determine the best concealed carry states in 2013, we examined the following criteria and assigned numerical values to each category for a maximum of 100 points.Where North Carolina fell down in the eyes of the G&A editors was on duty to inform and the issuance of non-resident permits. The Tar Heel State actually ranked behind Illinois (No. 42) on those criteria.
Permit Issuance: States were awarded up to 25 points based on their method of issuance.
Permitless/Unrestricted = 25 Points
Shall-Issue = 20 points
May-Issue = 5 points
No-Issue/Restricted = 0 points.
Reciprocity: The number of states honored in the issuing state were counted and assigned a maximum of 10 points. Next, the number of states where the issuing state’s permit is honored were counted and assigned a maximum of 10 points. The two totals were then added together for a maximum of 20 points.
Number of Permits Honored in the Issuing State
0 States = 0 Points
1-10 States = 2 Points
11-20 States = 4 Points
21-30 States = 6 Points
31-40 States = 8 Points
41-50 States = 10 Points
Number of States Where the Issuing State’s Permit is Honored
0 States = 0 Points
1-10 States = 2 Points
11-20 States = 4 Points
21-30 States = 6 Points
31-40 States = 8 Points
41-50 States = 10 Points
Training Time: Training time was scored based on the minimum number of statutory training hours required, for a maximum of 10 points. States with unrestricted carry automatically earned the maximum number of points.
0 Hours = 10 Points
1-3 Hours = 9 points
4-6 Hours = 8 points
7-9 Hours = 7 points
10-12 Hours = 6 points
13-15 Hours = 5 points
16+ Hours = 0 points
Application Fee: Application fees were scored with a maximum of 10 points based on the statutory cost paid by civilians to their state of residence in order to obtain the permit. Fees were not scored based on renewal or out-of-state permit costs, military/law enforcement/veteran rates or senior citizen discounts. Fees also do not include the cost of any necessary training course(s). States with unrestricted carry automatically earned the maximum number of points.
$0-$25 = 10 points
$26-50 = 8 points
$51-75 = 6 points
$76-100 = 4 points
$101-150 = 2 points
$150+ = 0 points
Stand Your Ground/Castle Doctrine: States’ scores were determined based on how strong their law is regarding self-defense in and out of the home, and whether you’re immune from civil prosecution in a self-defense situation. Maximum of 10 points.
Best States for Gun Owners in 2013: To Best determine how generally gun friendly the state is, each was awarded up to 10 points based on their overall rank in the Best States for Gun Owners in 2013.
Ranks 1-10 = 10 points
Ranks 11-20 = 8 points
Ranks 21-30 = 6 points
Ranks 31-40 = 4 points
Ranks 41-50 = 2 points
Duty to Inform: States were awarded points based on whether or not individuals who are legally carrying are required to immediately inform a law enforcement/peace officers they are carrying a gun upon initial contact
. 5 Points = Not required to immediately inform a law enforcement officer.
0 Points = Required to immediately inform a law enforcement officer.
Pre-Emption of Home-Rule: States were awarded points if state laws pre-empt local governing bodies from crafting their own legislation regarding concealed carry. In most states, pre-emption does not include local laws regarding the discharge of firearms within city limits.
5 Points = State laws pre-empt local governing bodies from crafting their own laws.
0 Points = Local governing bodies can make their own laws and are not subject to state pre-emption.
Permit Issued to Non-Residents: States earned points based on their method of issuance to non-residents.
5 Points = Permits are issued on a Shall-Issue basis to non-residents.
2 Points = Permits are issued on a May-Issue basis to non-residents.
0 Points = Permits are not issued to non-residents.
Read the whole story and find out where your state ranks on the list. If you ever have to relocate, lists such as this could be helpful in deciding where you want to live.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
The answer to the question posed in the headline, that is the commonalities between the ObamaCare website and Canada's failed gun registry, is software company CGI. The Conservatives under Canadian PM Stephen Harper dumped the gun registry last year deeming it ineffective and too costly. The Firearms Registry had been plagued by cost overruns from day one.
Sun News has more on other failures by CGI with regard to healthcare related databases in their report below.
Breitbart has more on these failures by CGI.
The failed gun registry was only one of CGI's many Canadian failures, which included canceled contracts to build health care databases in the provinces of Ontario and New Brunswick. Despite CGI's checkered record, the Obama administration awarded its U.S. subsidiary, CGI Federal, the $93.7 million contract to build healthcare.gov, part of $678 million in health care services contracts awarded to the company.The Washington Post has more on how CGI Federal, a wholly owned subsidiary of Canada's CGI Group, went about winning the contract for the ObamaCare website. In a significant omission, the Washington Post fails to mention the role of CGI in the failed Firearms Registry.
It is obvious to me that no one in the Department of Health and Human Services did any sort of due diligence on CGI or CGI Federal. It could be just a coincidence that CGI was involved in a gun registration scheme and was the firm selected by the most anti-gun administration in recent memory to handle their healthcare exchanges website. I know correlation is not causation but one does have to wonder.
There are a more than a few stories that have accumulated since the middle of last week when I went to New Orleans for a business conference. I'm still getting caught up here at home with my regular work and teaching. Anyway, here goes...
Reports on the open carry protest in San Antonio at the Alamo here, here, and here. A guy I know spoke at the event. It looks like it went off without a hitch and without anyone being arrested.
DC Metro Police Chief helps gun prohibitionists break DC gun laws. Why am I not surprised? Chief Cathy Lanier has been consistently anti-Second Amendment from the get-go.
About that shooting requirement for a pistol purchase permit in Maryland? Private ranges might not cooperate by opening themselves up to all comers. The end result is that gun ownership in the so-called Free State will suffer.
Army licenses Operation Enduring Freedom Camouflage Pattern (OCP) from Crye Precision. This is also known as MultiCam. The Army is still evaluating new camouflage patterns to replace their Universal Camo Pattern and is, I believe, down to the four finalists.
JayG announced on Friday that his new gig in Virginia is going to be as the Associate Editor for the NRA's Shooting Illustrated. So not only is he leaving the anti-gun Volksrepublik for Virginia, he will have completely gone over to the "Dark Side". In celebration of that, I think he should invite our dear friend Ladd Everitt to a day of shooting at the NRA's range in Fairfax to see if Ladd's head really would explode being around all those guns and ammo.
And speaking of JayG's new commonwealth, it looks like Mayor Bloomberg and Mr. Gabby Giffords are sinking a lot of money into the gubernatorial election in an effort to get the Clinton's best bud Terry McAuliffe elected governor of Virginia. Unfortunately, McAuliffe is in the lead over Republican VA Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. McAuliffe has already announced his support for Colorado style gun control. If there is a saving grace in all of this it is that the governor of Virginia is limited to one term.
Finally, the judges on the California Court of Appeals, Four Appellate District, Division One don't believe the Second Amendment extends to the AK-47. They think it is "dangerous and unusual" and equate it to the sawed off shotgun. The opinon of the court is here. Dave Hardy comments on the case here and Sebastian weighs in on the case here. It is a crappy decision that I hope will be appealed.
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Before I went to New Orleans this past week, my ENT doc who is a New Orleans native said if I was going to have one cocktail that epitomized the city it was the Sazerac and not the Hurricane.
After I got to my conference I met a lady who was a native of Lake Charles who echoed my doctor's recommendation. She went further and said I should have it at the place it originated - the Sazerac Bar. The bartender in the Hyatt agreed and said while he could make an "almost Sazerac" that my first one should be the real thing.
I know good advice where I hear it. Since I had an ample window of time between the close of the conference and when I had to leave for the airport, I walked over to the Roosevelt Hotel and went into the Sazerac Bar.
The first thing I should say is that the Roosevelt Hotel and the Sazerac Bar are like a step back in time to an era where men wore suits, women wore hats, and elegance was the rule and not the exception. The readers of Conde Nast Traveler recently voted the Roosevelt as their 2013 Reader's Choice for hotels in New Orleans. Even more significant is that the Sazerac Bar was named the 3rd best hotel bar in the world in the Saveur Culinary Travel 2013 Awards.
My bartender Matthew knew his way around a bar and the Sazerac he made me was phenomenal. And this was before he heard that I was from western North Carolina. His in-laws are from here and he just loves the mountains of North Carolina.
The Sazerac itself consists of Sazerac's 6-year old rye whiskey, Peychaud's bitters, a lump of sugar, and Herbsaint. The Sazerac was named the official cocktail of New Orleans by the Louisiana legislature back in 2008.
All I can say is that I need to go back to New Orleans not on business so that I can see more of the city and taste more of their distinctive cocktails.
When the legislature returns to town, it is always a time be on guard. It doesn't matter if it is Washington DC, Raleigh, or, in this case, Springfield, Illinois. The Illinois General Assembly reconvenes tomorrow, October 21st, and the anti-gunners are seeking to cut back some of the items contained in the shall-issue concealed carry act that passed in July.
The Illinois State Rifle Association has sent out an alert regarding four bills that the gun prohibitionists are proposing including ones that would ban concealed carry in restaurants that serve alcohol, increase penalties for carrying in prohibited areas, and eliminate safe havens for gun owners near school zones.
On the good side are three bills including one that would provide for reciprocity between Illinois and a number of other states. Currently, the only way a non-resident of Illinois may carry once the Illinois State Police implement the concealed carry law is by getting an Illinois non-resident carry license.
The full alert from ISRA is below:
ANTI-GUNNERS BEGIN CAMPAIGN TO DISMANTLE CONCEALED CARRY
The Illinois General Assembly returns to session Monday, October 21st, and the anti-gunners are wasting no time in attempting to dismantle the concealed carry bill passed last spring. Your help is desperately needed to shut down the gun control movements efforts to strip you of your fundamental right to defend yourself and your family from muggers, murderers, robbers and rapists.
We also need your help to support 3 pro-concealed carry bills that have been introduced. The details on all the bills are below:
PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION CAREFULLY AND TAKE THE ACTIONS LISTED TO HELP SAVE YOUR RIGHTS
HB3646 DANGEROUS BILL Bans Concealed Carry in any restaurant that has alcoholic beverages on the menu. Drastically reduces your choices on when and how to protect yourself. This bill is a foot in the door to create a growing list of places where you will be prohibited from protecting yourself and your family from dangerous criminals.
HB3669 DANGEROUS BILL - This bill eliminates safe haven provisions for areas near schools meaning that you could not even have a firearm locked in your trunk if you drive on to ANY property controlled by a school district. Once again, this bill would severely limit your self defense options and would make you a felon for doing nothing more than possessing a firearm. Under this bill, you would have to leave your defensive firearms at home if your plans called for you to enter any lands controlled by a school district. The real purpose of this bill is to pave the way for sweeping prohibitions on concealed carry that would make self defense impractical and a serious legal risk for most Illinois citizens.
HB3675 DANGEROUS BILL This bill would severely increase penalties for persons found to be carrying firearms in restricted areas. This bill is designed solely to scare law-abiding citizens out of carrying defensive firearms. This bill in no way targets gang-bangers or other violent criminals.
SB2594 DANGEROUS BILL This is another bill that would prohibit carry in restaurants that have alcoholic beverages on the menu.
HB3651 GOOD BILL This bill lowers the burdensome 16-hour training rule to a more reasonable 8-hour requirement. This bill also eliminates the re-training requirements for carry permit renewals. In short, this bill undoes that anti-gunners attempts to discourage people from applying for carry permits by easing burdensome training requirements.
HB3650 GOOD BILL This bill provides for concealed carry reciprocity between Illinois and dozens of other states.
HB3649 GOOD BILL This bill reduces the exorbitant fees the State Police plan on charging people for permit applications. The state should not be allowed to price-gouge citizens who want to defend themselves. This bill would make fees more reasonable and thus allow greater access to self defense for Illinois citizens.
HERE IS WHAT YOU NEED TO DO TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHT TO SELF DEFENSE:
1. Call your State Representative and politely tell him/her that you are a law-abiding firearm owner and you do not want your right to self defense diminished for political reasons. Ask him/her to vote AGAINST HB3646; HB3669; HB3675.
2. While on the phone with your Representative, tell him/her that you would like them to vote FOR HB3649; HB3650 and HB3651.
3. Call your State Senator and politely tell him/her that you are a law-abiding firearm owner and that you do not want your right to self defense diminished for political reasons. Ask him/her to vote AGAINST SB2594.
4. Post this alert to any and all Internet bulletin boards or blogs to which you belong.
5. Pass this alert along to all your gun owning friends and family members ask them to take action as well.
6. Please consider a generous donation to the ISRA so that we can continue to fight against those who would take your gun rights away from you.
If you do not know who your State Representative or State Senator is, the Illinois State Board of Elections has an interactive search page here:
If you already know who your State Representative and State Senator are and just need the contact info, you can find that here: www.ilga.gov/house & www.ilga.gov/senate .
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Back in October 2011 I had the opportunity to take a class from Brian Searcy of TigerSwan. It was a fantastic class on a fantastic range. The range was set on a 1,000 acre property. It is one of the few ranges not on a military base that actually meets DoD safety standards. The danger zone is contained entirely within property controlled by TigerSwan.
Nonetheless, some Cumberland County, North Carolina residents want the range shut down despite being in the middle of damn near nowhere. I remember it being almost 10 miles from I-95 and almost a mile from the road to the range.
Frankly, I cannot conceive of any reason to try and shut down this range beyond some vague anti-gun hysteria. The land owners are claiming reduced property values, the danger of stray bullets, and noise which in my opinion is just a smokescreen.
TigerSwan has reapplied for an operating permit under new rules promulgated by Cumberland County. County Commissioners will vote on this permit on Monday, October 21st. Grass Roots North Carolina has issued a release and action alert which I have reprinted below. Having shot on this range, I'd urge everyone to assist TigerSwan in obtaining this permit. If TigerSwan is shot down by Cumberland County, it would mean no range in North Carolina is safe.
They talk about 'Gun Safety' but don't want anyone to practice and train...
The Second Amendment supporters responsible for developing Tiger Swan, a relatively new but well-used Cumberland County outdoor range, have done everything right. The operation was recruited by county officials in 2008 to locate in Cumberland County and began operations in 2010. After years of work and at great expense they have exceeded the numerous difficult requirements now required for establishing new outdoor shooting ranges. For their range they have:
Since opening three years ago, a small group of residents has sued Cumberland County to revoke Tiger Swan's zoning, effectively “moving the goalposts”. Although this group cites concern over noise, danger from stray rounds, and unsubstantiated claims of reduced property values, it is clear what they are really attacking: the right to use firearms in Cumberland County.
- Obtained almost 1000 acres of agricultural land, five times the 200 acres required by county rules.
- Carefully and professionally engineered their site to contain all “Surface Danger Zones” on the property itself.
- Maintained access control.
- Secured liability insurance of $5 million, exceeding the required $2 million.
- Hired an engineer to plan and certify that the range to complies with EPA “Best Management Practices.
While fighting in the courts, Tiger Swan has reapplied for an operating permit under revised County rules established by Commissioners in June, 2013. The Commissioners will meet this coming Monday, October 21 to decide if the permit will be granted.
Denial of this permit will eliminate training opportunities for citizens and law-enforcement officers, as well as cause a chilling effect on range development everywhere in the state. If this first-class operation can be “run out of town” by the gun grabbers, anyone can.
IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!
- Email Commissioners. Tell them you support the range operated by Tiger Swan.
- Sign the petition in support of granting Tiger Swan's operating permit HERE or go to: http://grnc.org/tigerswan-range-petition
- Plan to politely attend the Commissioners' meeting this Monday, October 21, 6:30 pm, at the Cumberland County Courthouse, Room 118.
- Help GRNC continue to defend your rights by joining and/or donating HERE or go to: http://www.grnc.org/join-grnc/contribute
Contact Cumberland County Commissioners using the cut-and-paste list of email addresses below:
firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Sign the pro-Tiger Swan petition HERE or at: http://grnc.org/tigerswan-range-petition
Directions to the Commissioner's meeting at the Cumberland County Courthouse, room 118 are HERE or go to: http://goo.gl/maps/dV6MG
DELIVER THIS MESSAGE
Suggested Subject: "I Support Tiger Swan Range"
Dear Cumberland County Commissioner:
Those opposed to the Second Amendment often cite concern about safe handling and adequate training as excuses to infringe on the right of citizens to bear arms.
At the same time these same groups attack efforts to provide training and practice by making it impossible for shooting ranges and training facilities to operate. They cannot have it both ways.
As you know, the Tiger Swan range has bent over backwards to comply with rules and regulations, and has safely operated in Cumberland County for years. This organization provides important training opportunities to both citizens and law-enforcement. It is in the best interest of both citizens and the County for this operation to continue. In addition, it is only fair.
I expect you to approve Tiger Swan's operating permit. I will be monitoring progress through Grass Roots North Carolina alerts.
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
I will be in a business conference out-of-state starting today and continuing through Friday. As such, I anticipate that blogging will be light to non-existent until the weekend.
Did I mention that the conference will be in New Orleans and that shuttles will be provided from the conference to the French Quarter every evening? I guess I failed to mention that part!
I plan to have my first Sazerac and some cold oysters on the half shell. I'll have reports on that after the fact.
Controlling your and my rifle is important but brake pads for those grounded Iranian F-14 Tomahawks are not. If a story published in the Philadelphia Inquirer by the lefty journalism group Propublica is correct, then that is the intent of the Obama Administration.
Starting yesterday, a number of items that previously had been controlled by the State Department through its arms control regulations will be transferred to the control of the Commerce Department which has weaker controls on exports of these items.
In the current system, every manufacturer and exporter of military equipment has to register with the State Department and get a license for each planned export. U.S. officials scrutinize each proposed deal to make sure the receiving country isn’t violating human rights and to determine the risk of the shipment winding up with terrorists or another questionable group.While spare parts that will now be regulated by the Commerce Department may not be exported directly to such rogue nations as Iran and Syria, the controls on re-exports of these spare parts will have much less regulation. Spare parts are the key to keeping aging fleets of jet fighters in the air and not the ground.
Under the new system, whole categories of equipment encompassing tens of thousands of items will move to the Commerce Department, where they will be under more “flexible” controls. Final rules have been issued for six of 19 categories of equipment and more will roll out in the coming months. Some military equipment, such as fighter jets, drones, and other systems and parts, will stay under the State Department’s tighter oversight.
Commerce will do interagency human rights reviews before allowing exports, but only as a matter of policy, whereas in the State Department it is required by law.
The story does note that the one area in which the Obama Administration refused to switch to the Commerce Department was, you guessed it, firearms and ammunition.
In one area, the administration does appear to have temporarily backed off – firearms and ammunition. Any decision to loosen exports for firearms could have conflicted with the president’s call for enhanced domestic gun control.Read the whole article to see the hypocrisy of the Obama Administration.
According to a memo obtained by the Wall Street Journal last spring, the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security both opposed draft versions of revisions to the firearms category. (The Justice Department press office is out of operation due to the government shutdown, and the Department of Homeland Security did not respond to requests for comment.) Shifting firearms was also likely to be a lightning rod for arms control groups. As the New York Times’ C.J. Chivers has documented, small arms trafficking has been the scourge of conflicts around the world.
Draft rules for firearms and ammunitions were ready in mid-2012, according to Lawrence Keane, general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade group for gun manufacturers. The Commerce Department even sent representatives to an industry export conference to preview manufacturers on the new system they might fall under.
But since the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., last December, no proposed rule has been published.
Keane thinks the connection is irrelevant. “This has nothing to do with domestic gun control legislation. We’re talking about exports,” he said. “Our products have not moved forward, and we’re disappointed by that.”
In related news to the Arms Trade Treaty, a number of Senators and Congressmen have come out in opposition to the ratification of the ATT. The treaty needs 67 votes in favor for it to be ratified. So far 50 Senators have come out in opposition to it.
From the NRA on the letter from 50 Senators and 181 Congressmen to President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry opposing the ATT:
Fairfax, Va. – Today, a bipartisan group of 50 members of the U.S. Senate and 181 members of the U.S. House sent a clear message to President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and the United Nations that the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty will not be ratified. Earlier this year, the U.N. adopted and President Obama directed Secretary Kerry to sign this treaty, which does not exclude civilian arms from its scope and therefore directly threatens the Second Amendment.
“The Obama administration has repeatedly demonstrated its contempt for our fundamental, individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “On behalf of our 5 million members, the NRA would like to thank those who signed these letters for their principled stand in defending the Second Amendment freedoms of all law-abiding Americans.”
The Senate effort in opposition to the ATT was led by Sens. Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Joe Manchin (D-WV). Their letter, signed by 50 senators, states clearly that “as members of the Senate, we pledge to oppose the ratification of this treaty, and we give notice that we do not regard the U.S. as bound to uphold its object and purpose.”
A bipartisan group of 181 members of the U.S. House sent a separate letter of opposition. That effort was led by Reps. Mike Kelly (R-PA) and Collin Peterson (D-MN).
“The NRA will continue to fight against ratification of the U.N. ATT, which undermines the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans,” concluded Cox. “With 67 votes in the U.S. Senate being necessary for ratification, these letters send a clear message to President Obama and Secretary Kerry that this attempt to undermine our Right to Keep and Bear Arms will be met with strong opposition.”
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
The US Supreme Court today denied certiorari to Raymond Woollard in his challenge to the state of Maryland's "good and substantial reason" requirement for a carry permit. While he had won at the District Court stage in a surprising decision, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Maryland's favor on their appeal using intermediate scrutiny.
From the Baltimore Sun summation of the chronology of events:
Among the subsequent cases was the challenge to the Maryland permit law, originally brought by Raymond Woollard. The Baltimore County resident had twice been given a handgun permit after his son-in-law broke into his home on Christmas Eve 2002. But when Woollard applied to renew the permit in 2009, state police decided the threat against him had passed and declined the application.Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler, who is now running for governor of the state with a running mate who describes herself as "Trayvon Martin's Mom", was pleased with the decision of the Supreme Court saying it would make Maryland a safer place.
Woollard sued over the denial of his application and a federal district judge struck down the permitting law last year. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned that decision, ruling that the law is reasonably adapted" to the state's "significant interests in protecting public safety and preventing crime."
In asking the Supreme Court to have the final say, Woollard's lawyers said the issues at stake were broad and involved questions that were not spelled out in the Heller ruling.
The appeals court that upheld Maryland's law found that "the Second Amendment has no practical impact beyond the threshold of one's home," attorney Alan Gura wrote in a court filing.
But he said other federal courts have reached different conclusions, including a ruling from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that "asserts that the right is equally important outside the home as inside, and should (subject to regulation) be generally accessible to law-abiding individuals."
Gura urged the Supreme Court to sort out the issue once and for all.
Maryland's lawyers argued in court filings in response that the case was a simple question of the appropriate state regulation of firearms and did not warrant a look by the high court.
In related news from little more than a month ago, Kris Lee Abbott was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after he had attacked his parents and his estranged wife. Abbott was the son-in-law of Raymond Woollard whose attack led to Maryland initially issuing a carry permit to Woollard.
I quite agree with Bitter's comment on the denial of cert.
The fact that the Supreme Court is completely unwilling to protect your right to actually bear the arms instead of just keeping them should motivate gun owners to get involved in the political fights. It is absolutely clear that you cannot count on the courts, and elections have consequences.One need look no further than the potential Democratic nominee for governor and his running mate in Maryland. I doubt you could get two more anti-gun politicians on a ticket together unless you found a way to pair Michael Bloomberg with Dianne Feitnstein.
Thanks to the continued hissy fit by the White House and their Democratic allies in Congress, government shutdown theater will now impact deer hunting in east Tennessee according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
CROSSVILLE --- The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has been informed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Oak Ridge Operations (ORO) that the deer hunts scheduled Oct. 19-20 have been cancelled at the Oak Ridge Wildlife Management Area.I guess the Department of Energy was feeling a little left out by all the attention given to the Department of the Interior's National Park Service and wanted to get into the act as well. There is nothing like having a politicized bureaucracy when you want to stick it to the red-staters!
The cancellation comes as a result of an effort to initiate an orderly shutdown in support of obtaining a safe and secure status. The cancellation, at this time, applies to the Oct. 19-20 hunts. A decision on the other hunts, scheduled in November and December, 2013, will be made as this information is received.
H/T The Archery Wire
Monday, October 14, 2013
Thanks to Aaron at the Weapon-Blog we have this month's list of contests and giveaways where the prize is a firearm.
Checking over the list, I see familiar names like Beretta, Benelli, Springfield, Kahr, Ruger, Weatherby, and Glock.
Check it out here and be sure to thank Aaron for this service he provides monthly.
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Traditional marksmanship training in the Army and Marines involves static targets with the occasional moving target. The USMC's Marine Warfighting Lab in conjuction with the Army's Asymmetric Warfare Group are working on marksmanship training methods that are much more realistic.
Back in September, the Marine Warfighting Lab gathered data on different techniques using experts from the Basic School as their guinea pigs.
The Sept. 16-27 experiment had a handful of Marine instructors from The Basic School here practicing a series of techniques for hitting moving targets while shooting from the prone, kneeling and standing positions with M4 carbines and the service’s M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle.The key to the new training are wheeled robotic targets that can move at a speed of over 8 mph. These robotic targets feature a mannequin that will drop when hit either in the head or the "spine". Whether these targets are rolled out for training in the rest of the Marine Corps and Army may be problematic due to their cost. Each robotic targets costs $100,000!
They used the tracking method, which involves leading the target before shooting at it. Marines also practiced using the ambush method, which calls for picking a fixed point in front of a moving target and firing as it moves into it.
The third technique is known as the swing through method. The newer technique has the shooter begin firing at the rear edge of the target, moving the muzzle forward to the front while continuing to fire.
The experiment also involved Marines firing in semiautomatic and three-round burst modes from the M4, and full auto from the M27.
The video below shows the training using the robots.
I came across this interview with Trooper Stan W Scott, No. 3 Army Commando, in which he demonstrates the proper use of a Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting Knife. He was giving a lecture at the National Army Museum in London in connection with a 2011-2012 exhibition. The exhibition was entitled "Draw Your Weapons: The Art of Commando Comics". Commando Comics are a military oriented series of comic books dating from the 1960s that are still being published in the UK.
These old WWII veterans fought in a brutal war where both strength and cunning were prized. It shows in his demonstration on how to fight with a knife.
Camouflage intrigues me. Thus, when I stumbled across Camoupedia, I was immediately interested.
The blog is the brainchild of Roy Behrens who is a Professor of Art at the University of Northern Iowa. Behren has published a number of books on camouflage including Camoupedia: A Compendium of Research on Art, Architecture and Camouflage and Ship Shape, a Dazzle Camouflage Sourcebook: An Anthology of Writings About Ship Camouflage During World War I.
While Behrens writes about all sorts of camouflage on his blog, he devotes considerable attention to dazzle or disruptive camouflage as used on ships during WWI and, to some extent, WWII. He pays particular attention to the role that artists played in developing camouflage schemes for the various navies and armies of the world. These artists include luminaries such as Grant Wood who briefly served in the US Army near the end of WWI as a camoufleur.
An example of a ship in dazzle camouflage can be seen below.
If you have an interest in camouflage that goes beyond whether Mossy Oak is superior to Realtree or vice-versa, this blog should be on your list of blogs to follow.
Happy birthday to the US Navy which was formed on this day in 1775 when the Continental Congress voted to outfit two sailing vessels. Little did those men know that from the small start the greatest navy in the world would grow.
Also, a big thanks all those who served in the Navy including Old NFO, Bubblehead Les, and Linoge. While I come from an Army family, I did have two uncles and a first cousin who served in the Navy.
With three days to go, Gov. Jerry Brown (D-CA) signed some of the many gun control bills on his desk and vetoed the rest. While vetoing the worst gun control bill (SB 374) that would have banned virtually all semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines, he did sign AB 711 which mandates a phase-out of all lead ammo for hunting by 2019.
A list of the bills in numerical order and their disposition courtesy of the San Jose Mercury and posted in CalGuns.net is below:
SB 127 by Sen. Ted Gaines, R-Rocklin -- Requires that reports by a licensed psychotherapist to a local law enforcement agency of someone who has communicated a serious threat of physical violence against a reasonably identifiable victim or victims be made within 24 hours; also requires local law enforcement agencies, when they receive such reports, to notify the Department of Justice electronically and within 24 hours. SIGNEDThe National Shooting Sports Foundation had this to say, in part, about Brown's actions on Friday.
SB 299 by Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord -- would require gun owners to report a gun theft or loss to police within seven days of knowing about it. VETOED
SB 363 by Sen. Roderick Wright, D-Los Angeles -- expands the crime of "criminal storage" to include keeping a loaded firearm within premises where a prohibited person is likely to gain access and actually accesses and causes injury. SIGNED
SB 374 by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento -- would add all semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines to the state's list of banned assault weapons. VETOED
SB 475 by Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco -- would essentially ban gun shows at the Cow Palace by requiring they be approved by San Francisco and San Mateo supervisors. VETOED
SB 567 by Sen. Hannah Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara -- would update the definition of an illegal shotgun to include a shotgun with a revolving cylinder and a rifled bore. VETOED
SB 683 by Sen. Marty Block, D-San Diego -- would require owners of long guns to earn safety certificates like those already required of handgun owners. SIGNED
SB 755 by Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Vacaville -- would expand list of convicts who can't legally own guns to include those with multiple drug or alcohol crimes, street gang members and others. VETOED
AB 48 by Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley -- would ban conversion kits that allow people to turn regular magazines into high-capacity magazines. SIGNED
AB 169 by Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento -- would tighten exemptions to the law prohibiting purchase of handguns that haven't been tested and deemed safe by the state. VETOED
AB 170 by Assemblyman Steven Bradford, D-Gardena -- would provides that only an individual person, not an organization, may be issued a permit to possess an assault weapon, .50 BMG rifle, or machine gun. SIGNED
AB 180 by Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Oakland -- would give Oakland an exemption from state pre-emption so it can pass its own stricter gun registration or licensing statutes. VETOED
AB 231 by Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco -- would make it a crime to leave a loaded firearm somewhere a child is likely to be able to get it without permission. SIGNED
AB 500 by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco -- would tighten gun safety laws on safe storage to include households where someone is prohibited from owning a gun; also allows additional time for Department of Justice background checks. SIGNED
AB 538 by Assemblyman Richard Pan, D-Sacramento -- Requires a licensed firearm dealer to provide copies of the dealer's record of sale (DROS) to a firearm purchaser at the time of delivery. SIGNED
AB 539 by Pan -- lets someone who's temporarily prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm to transfer firearms in his or her possession or ownership to a licensed firearms dealer for storage. SIGNED
AB 711 by Assemblyman Anthony Rendon, D-South Gate -- would ban use of lead ammunition in hunting by mid-2019. SIGNED
AB 1131 by Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley -- would extend from six months to five years the prohibition from owning firearms for those who've described a credible violent threat to a psychotherapist. SIGNED
“We are greatly disappointed that Gov. Brown decided to sign AB 711, which as we view things today will effectively end or greatly curtail hunting in California, given the restrictions on the use of non-traditional ammunition.” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “We will have more to say on this important issue, but it is mind boggling that the governor would shut down this American tradition and actually imperil the substantial conservation funding that is provided to California through the federal excise tax on ammunition.”From the Firearms Policy Coalition which includes both the CalGuns Foundation and Cal-FFL as founding members.
Keane continued: “We are pleased that Gov. Brown vetoed SB 374 and AB 180, however, as these proposed restrictions on law-abiding Californians would have done nothing to make the state safer.”
Last Thursday, Firearms Policy Coalition Managing Director Brandon Combs delivered 65,000 letters from individuals to the Governor’s office urging Gov. Brown to veto the bills and protect the civil rights of law-abiding gun owners.So far, I haven't seen any official response to these bills from the NRA-ILA, GOA, SAF, or CCRKBA.
“We can thank tens of thousands of individuals who rose to the challenge for today’s defeat of Sen. Steinberg’s outrageous SB 374,” said Combs of the Governor’s veto.
In spite of an “all-in” push for new gun control measures led by extremists like Sen. Steinberg and anti-rights special interest groups including Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the Brady Campaign, and Moms Demand Action, the gun rights community was able to secure a roughly 80% loss rate for California gun control bills.
“Our Demand Rights campaign ramped very quickly thanks to FPC’s online ‘Take Action’ grassroots activism platform,” explained Combs. “We were able to start up where last year’s successful Stop SB 249 campaign left off. FPC’s unique ability to scale agile grassroots efforts in realtime made the difference in how we were able to pull together such a large, diverse coalition of citizen activists for an unprecedented number of issues.”
Some bills, like Senator Leland Yee’s SB 47 ban on “Bullet Button” firearms, those having a magazine locking device, are likely to return when the Legislature reconvenes.
“We told them ‘not one more inch’ and we meant it,” concluded Combs. ”We’ll celebrate the wins, learn from the losses, and come back stronger than ever to fight for gun owners’ Second Amendment rights.”
The gun prohibitionists were not altogether pleased about Brown's actions. While they got some of what they wanted it was not everything.
The Brady Campaign criticized Brown for not doing more.
“We are disappointed that the Governor vetoed important gun reform bills designed to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people,” said Dr. Dallas Stout, President of the California Chapters of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. “We know that these gun policies work and would have saved lives.”The lefty California-based Courage Campaign went much further in their criticism of Brown calling his actions "cowardly". They pledge to hold Brown accountable for "kowtowing to the gun lobby" on their fund raising page.
Governor Brown did sign other substantial gun reform bills into law. This includes AB 500 that requires safe storage of firearms in homes where a severely mentally ill person, a felon, or other prohibited person resides, and AB 48 that prohibits large-capacity ammunition magazine “conversion kits” that are used to subvert California’s law to restrict massive firepower of certain weapons.
“California did make strides today, but we wish Governor Brown had done more. There is more work to be done when Californians are still in danger of gun violence every day,” added Stout.
“Today, in vetoing a series of gun safety measures, Governor Brown choose to put craven political considerations above the safety and well-being of California’s more than 38 million residents.The anti-hunting organizations, however, were quite pleased with Brown for signing AB 711 which banned lead in hunting ammo. The Humane Society of the US led the charge on this and got their wish.
Governor Brown, a former Mayor of Oakland, knows first hand the dangers of gun violence and the need for strong laws to protect California’s residents, which makes his actions all the more inexcusable. With over 1,143 Californians dead from gun violence since the Newtown massacre, next time there is a murder with an assault weapon, the Governor will have blood on his hands and have to answer for his vetoes today. This is the kind of cowardly behavior we expect from out NRA-owned elected officials in Washington, not from a California democrat who should know better.
“California has led the nation in creating humane laws, and today’s action by Governor Brown to eliminate lead from hunting ammunition is an incredible victory for wildlife and humans alike,” said Jennifer Fearing, California senior state director for The Humane Society of the United States. “This common-sense law should serve as an example for the rest of the nation on the urgent need to stop releasing this dangerous toxin into the environment.”Many in the hunting community in California have been divorced from the fights for gun rights as shotguns and bolt action rifles have not been targeted. By signing AB 711, Brown may have finally pushed California hunters to think more about gun rights in general as they are no longer "safe" from the anti-gunners.
Given the length of this post, I'll save an analysis of Brown's signing and veto messages for another time.
Friday, October 11, 2013
I've been invited back as a guest on Shooter Ready Radio out of Pueblo, Colorado. I'll be on during their 6:30 pm Eastern or 4:30 Mountain time slot this evening.
Tonight I'll be discussing the recall effort against Sen. Evie Hudak (D-Arvada), the NRA's new young spokeswoman Matti Warren, whether or not Gov. Jerry Brown will veto any of the firearms bills in California, and the recent New York Time editorial comparing the NRA's position on the Arms Trade Treaty to that of certain rogue nations.
Shooter Ready Radio is part of the I-25 Talk Radio lineup which airs on 690/1480 AM and 93.9/100.3 FM out of Pueblo and Colorado Springs. If you aren't in the those areas, the station has a live feed over the Internet which you can access here.
Sorry for no posts this morning. I'm at my internist's office for my annual physical.
Why is it that they expect you to be on time but they never are?
If she weren't a good doctor, I'd have been gone half an hour ago.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
Why is it that they expect you to be on time but they never are?
If she weren't a good doctor, I'd have been gone half an hour ago.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
Thursday, October 10, 2013
The NSSF-adjusted NICS checks rebounded from their August doldrums to again post a 2.7% gain for this September over previous September.
The September 2013 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 1,034,701 is an increase of 2.7 percent compared to the NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 1,007,259 in September 2012. For comparison, the unadjusted September 2013 NICS figure of 1,392,423 reflects a 4.0 percent decrease from the unadjusted NICS figure of 1,450,737 in September 2012.The beginning of the fall hunting season may have provided some of the stimulus for this growth as may the recent clamor for gun control after the recent Navy Yard shootings.
NICS checks are an indicator but not a direct correlation with firearms sales. Many states use the NICS checks for concealed carry background check purposes. Moreover, in many states such as North Carolina, the concealed carry permit itself substitutes for the NICS check.
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
According to a release sent out by the National Shooting Sports Foundation late yesterday afternoon, the BATFE's e-Forms system will be down for the duration of the "shutdown". More on that below:
NSSF has learned that the ATF e-Forms system is going offline and will be unavailable due to the ongoing federal shutdown. This service will remain offline during the duration of the shutdown.
As we reported Monday:
NSSF will continue to update the industry as additional details on the government shutdown become available
- The FBI's NICS Section is maintaining normal business hours.
- The ATF Office of Enforcement Programs and Services (EPS), which includes the imports, firearms technology, NFA branches, the licensing center and firearms industry programs branch now processing marking variances, is effectively shut down, operating with minimal staff.
- The State Department's Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) is accepting licenses, but only acting on them in genuine emergency situations.
- The Commerce Department Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is no longer accepting export license applications, classification requests (CCATS), encryption reviews, encryption registrations or advisory opinion requests. Similarly, BIS will not be issuing any final determinations. All pending export license applications, commodity classification requests, encryption reviews, encryption registrations and advisory opinion requests will be held without action by BIS until the shutdown ends.
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
One of my favorite podcasts is the Gun Dudes which originates in Utah. It is a podcast done by a group of guys who all drive for UPS and who love guns and shooting. In addition, they are natural comedians. There are serious podcasts and there are fun podcasts. The Gun Dudes take a serious subject and make it fun.
One of their regular features is the Misfire Award. It usually involves a criminal doing something really stupid like returning to the scene of the crime and asking for their gun back after they dropped it.
Thus, when I read today that the National Security Agency is having severe electrical problems at their new Utah Data Center, I couldn't help but think of the Gun Dudes and their Misfire Award.
Chronic electrical surges at the massive new data-storage facility central to the National Security Agency's spying operation have destroyed hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of machinery and delayed the center's opening for a year, according to project documents and current and former officials.This new data center is costing taxpayers $1.4 billion which doesn't include the cost of the Cray supercomputers. The capacity is thought to be even larger than that of Google. That is, if they can get beyond their electrical problems and actually open the facility. On second thought, given their data collection of all of my phone and email records, let's hope they can't.
There have been 10 meltdowns in the past 13 months that have prevented the NSA from using computers at its new Utah data-storage center, slated to be the spy agency's largest, according to project documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
One project official described the electrical troubles—so-called arc fault failures—as "a flash of lightning inside a 2-foot box." These failures create fiery explosions, melt metal and cause circuits to fail, the official said.
Following the successful recall efforts against Senate President John Morse (D-Colorado Springs) and Sen. Angela Giron (D-Pueblo), a renewed effort has started to recall Sen. Evie Hudak (D-Arvada). An earlier effort started soon after she voted for gun control fizzled out for lack of signatures.
The new effort is called Recall Evie, Too. Backers have 60 days to gather 18,900 valid signatures. Recall Evie, Too was certified by the Colorado Secretary of State's office on Friday which started the clock.
Hudak, you may remember, achieved notoriety for her dismissive comments to rape survivor Amanda Collins who was testifying in favor of concealed carry on campus. Hudak told her that statistics were not on her side and that if Ms. Collins had a firearm it probably would have been used against her. You can see Hudak giving her lecture starting at about the 2:30 point in the video below.
With the Democrats holding a one vote majority in the Colorado State Senate, Hudak's recall would shift the balance of power to the Republicans. Despite this, GOP State Chairman Ryan Call is against this recall effort saying it undermines their efforts for 2014. It should be remembered that neither the GOP nor major gun groups initially supported the successful recall efforts against Morse and Giron. They were grassroots efforts from the get-go.
Despite the much higher signature requirement for this district, if backers do get enough signatures they stand an even better chance of ousting Hudak according to the Washington Post.
But if recall organizers can collect enough signatures in Hudak’s district, they will have a strong chance of showing her the door. Despite outspending recall proponents by wide margins, and despite influxes of campaign cash from gun control advocates such as New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Morse and Giron both lost their bids to keep their seats.I will be keeping an eye on their efforts over the next two months. If you want to volunteer to help recall Hudak, you can get more information here as well as directions to the group's office in Arvada.
And Hudak’s district is more conservative than either Morse’s or Giron’s. Hudak’s suburban Denver district gave President Obama 52 percent of the vote in 2012, according to a breakdown compiled by the liberal Daily Kos blog. Obama scored nearly 60 percent of the vote in the other two seats. Hudak won reelection over Republican Lang Sias by fewer than 600 votes of 80,000 cast in 2012, while a Libertarian Party candidate took more than 5,000 votes.
Friday, October 4, 2013
The gun prohibitionists and their allies in the mainstream media like to portray gun rights activists as old, grumpy, and male. Its a stereotype that has less and less basis in reality.
Enter Matti Warren of Texas. She is cute, young (17 years old), female, shoots, and hunts. She has also lobbied the Texas Legislature on crossbows. Moreover, her career ambition is to be a lobbyist for the Second Amendment. She is a passionate advocate for the Second Amendment.
Young women like Matti are the gun prohibitionists' worst nightmare because she breaks the stereotypes that they have so carefully crafted.
Thursday, October 3, 2013
Davidson College which is located just outside of Charlotte plans to hold a panel discussion entitled, “Gun Rights, Responsibilities, and Regulations,” on Monday at 7pm. Among the topics will the current scope and status of the Second Amendment as well as whether there should be changes to guns laws in the state and nation.
The panel has a number of local police chiefs and Davidson College professors. What is missing is anyone representing a pro-Second Amendment perspective.
Grass Roots North Carolina asks that if you can be there, please do plan to attend.
From their alert:
Davidson College To Hold Public Gun Forum
Panel discussion on “gun rights, responsibilities and regulations”…
GRNC has learned that Davidson College has invited the public to a panel discussion on “Gun Rights, Responsibilities, and Regulations,” on Monday evening, October 7 in the Lilly Family Gallery of Chambers Building.
The panel will address questions such as: What are the trends in the use of guns in murders and other violent crimes in the U.S.? What is the current status and scope of our Second Amendment rights? What does federal law require regarding background checks prior to gun purchases? What concerns do law-enforcement personnel have about illegally trafficked guns? Are changes to current gun laws or regulations warranted, either at the state or federal level?
The panel will include Chief Rodney Monroe of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, Chief Jeanne Miller of the Davidson Police Department, Interim Acting Chief/Captain Carolyn McMackin of Davidson College Public Safety, Lance Stell, Thatcher Professor of Philosophy and Director of Medical Humanities, and Andrew O’Geen, Assistant Professor of Political Science. The event is being sponsored by the Vann Center for Ethics, and will be moderated by David Perry, Director of the Vann Center and Professor of Applied Ethics.
Noticeably missing from the discussion panel, of course, are any solid Pro-Second Amendment individuals. Perhaps their invitations were lost at some point? Here’s where you come in: plan to attend the forum at Davidson College on Monday evening so that all voices can be heard. Unless we are willing to participate in these types of forums, our voices may be swept by the wayside so that only one side of the issue is heard. Although we can’t say for sure if that is the intention here, we can make sure that our side is represented in the audience, at least.
Those planning to attend the event should note that guns are not allowed on the Davidson College campus. Davidson College is a private educational facility and does have a “no weapons/ firearms” policy. Please do not bring firearms with you on Monday evening.
IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!
- Plan To Attend: Make plans to attend the Davidson College public forum on Monday, October 7th.
- 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
This morning Brandon Combs of the Firearms Policy Coalition and Craig DeLuz of Cal-FFL delivered 65,000 letters to the office of Gov. Jerry Brown (D-CA) asking him to veto the 14 gun bills sitting on his desk. He has until October 14th to either sign or veto these bills. Bills that he doesn't veto become law with or without his signature.
PHOTO: Brandon Combs, managing director of the Firearms Policy Coalition, left, and Craig DeLuz, legislative advocate for California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees, deliver about 65,000 petitions urging the governor's veto of 14 gun bills. Credit: The Sacramento Bee/Christopher Cadelago. Link to story.
From the Firearms Policy Coalition's release which includes a link to send a letter to Gov. Brown:
SACRAMENTO, CA -- Earlier this morning, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) Managing Director Brandon Combs, joined by California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees (CAL-FFL) Legislative Advocate Craig DeLuz, delivered 65,000 letters from individuals urging California Governor Jerry Brown to veto the 14 gun control bills currently on his desk.If stopping these bad bills isn't enough, you will still have a chance to win a Benelli M4 shotgun that they are giving away to anyone who uses their site to send a message to Gov. Brown. That seems like a win-win to me.
The gun bills include SB 374, a massive new ban on common semi-automatic rifles authored by Senate President Darrell Steinberg, as well as laws that would ban firearm repair parts, handgun sales, lead ammunition for hunting, and exempt the City of Oakland from longstanding state laws that preempt dangerous localized gun registration schemes, among others.
“We sincerely appreciate the thousands of people who have voiced their concerns to the governor on these anti-gun measures. 65,000 letters sends a very loud-and-clear message: Californians just don’t want these horrible new laws,” said CAL-FFL’s DeLuz of the tremendous turnout by California gun owners.
FPC’s Brandon Combs said that that the fight is far from over and noted that people should keep calling and writing the Governor’s office every day. “We encourage all gun owners and Second Amendment supporters to send Governor Brown a letter through our fast, easy, and free gun rights activism tools at www.DemandRights.com.”
“We will keep printing, faxing, and emailing letters to Governor Brown until the very end,” continued Combs. “Gun owners simply must keep up the pressure for these final few days.”
Governor Brown has until October 14, 2013 to sign or veto the bills. Bills that are not vetoed will become state law. Governor Brown’s State Capitol office phone number is (916) 445-2841.
As Colion Noir points out in his latest commentary for NRA News, the notion that the Second Amendment is "outdated" and should be replaced by 2A v.2.0 is laughable. Even if we don't "need" to hunt for our food nowadays, there are still two-legged predators who stand ready to deprive you and me of both our property and our lives.
Rational, reasonable people know that the National Rifle Association has nothing in common with Syria, Iran, and North Korea. The NRA doesn't shoot dissident members, it isn't trying to develop a nuclear capacity, and it isn't headed by an incompetent leader who got the job because Dad and Granddad had the same job before him.
That said, this hasn't stopped the Editorial Board of the New York Times from lumping the NRA in with those rogue countries. Their reasoning is that since the NRA and those countries both oppose the UN's Arms Trade Treaty, they are all pariahs.
In April, the 193-member General Assembly adopted it overwhelmingly by a vote of 154 to 3, clearing the way for individual states to sign and then ratify the pact. The states in opposition were familiar outliers in the international system: North Korea, Syria and Iran.Lucrative campaign coffers. Fear-mongering. Pernicious agenda. Rejecting sensible regulation.
The National Rifle Association, like those nations, rejects this sensible international weapons regulation. It is opposed to the arms treaty even though the treaty has no impact on the American domestic market.
The group falsely claims the treaty will somehow infringe on Americans’ gun rights under the Second Amendment. In fact, as Secretary of State John Kerry stressed when he signed the treaty, the pact not only does not restrict Americans, it specifically “recognizes the freedom of both individuals and states to obtain, possess and use arms for legitimate purposes.”
But the N.R.A., with its lucrative campaign coffers and fear-mongering, has long been extremely effective at keeping lawmakers in line with its pernicious agenda. Months before the Obama administration signed the treaty, one-third of the Senate introduced a resolution opposing ratification on Second Amendment grounds. That is a signal of the tough fight ahead whenever the Senate formally takes up the issue.
So much for civil discourse.
One could use all of those perjorative phrases to describe the behavior of the President, Mayor Bloomberg, and others of the so-called progressive bent. Bloomberg certainly has deeper pockets than the NRA. President Obama has repeatedly engaged in fear-mongering to further his agenda. Many of us consider the agenda of Democrats in Congress to be pernicious and they have consistently opposed any regulation of mortgage lenders Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. I won't even touch on their aversion to any regulation of abortion providers.
Say what you will but these rogue regimes and the Editorial Board of the New York Times agree on one thing: controlling their opponents.