Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fisking The Obfuscators

The Obfuscators, otherwise known as the Democrats on the House Oversight Committee, issued a report today entitled Outgunned which sought to shift the blame for Operation Fast and Furious from ATF to gun control laws. As I said yesterday, they are merely diversionary tactics to divert attention from the Obama appointees in the Department of Justice (and maybe DHS) who more than likely authorized this project in order to build support for more gun control in America.

It looks like CNN and the LA Times are buying into it which doesn't say much for the intelligence and integrity of much of mainstream journalism. CNN took much of what Rep. Elijah Cummings and the rest of Democrats at the "forum" said as gospel and then reported that:
Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the committee, told a forum on illegal firearms trafficking he organized Thursday that he knew the recommendations of the new report "will face stiff resistance in Congress and beyond."

"Before today's forum even began, it was criticized as a conspiracy to confiscate the firearms of law-abiding citizens, which is ridiculous," he said.

Cummings also said he and Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-New York, would introduce legislation on the reforms called for in the report.
Christine Mai-Duc of the LA Times Washington Bureau ran with an story entitled "Democrats seek crackdown on gun trafficking". 
Cummings and Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.) said that although the investigation into Fast and Furious was "very important," they were looking for solutions to the broader problems of gun trafficking in Mexico. In an accompanying report released by Cummings, the Democrats said authorities from the Mexican federal police had told them that as many as 80% of the weapons recovered at Mexican crime scenes are traced to the United States.
On a side note, Carolyn Maloney - not be confused with the Queen Bee of gun control, Carolyn McCarthy - is a Greensboro, North Carolina native and graduate of Greensboro College. While my hometown is well rid of her and the people of New York were stupid enough to elect her, she supposedly plans to introduce legislation to "combat trafficking" despite the fact that everything involved in Operation Fast and Furious was already a Federal offense. Go figure.

Fortunately, Bob Owens in an article Pajamas Media tears down the Democrats' report part by part. He fisks the obfuscators.

Bob notes that Rep. Cummings and the rest of his panel ignore what is at the heart of Project Gunwalker: the deaths of Brian Terry and Jaime Zapata and the weapons that were allowed to be walked by ATF. Briefly summarizing, the report downplays the serious penalties for engaging in straw purchases, it ignores the role of Obama-appointed U.S. Attorneys and their offices in not wanting to prosecute these crimes, and then they repeat the 90% myth again. They also insist on calling semi-automatic AR-15s and AK-47s "military-grade" weapons based upon their cosmetics and not their performance.

Bob concludes:
“Outgunned: Law Enforcement Agents Warn Congress They Lack Adequate Tools to Counter Illegal Firearms Trafficking” is a purely political document created to advance a dishonest gun control agenda, even in the face of 152+ deaths caused by this same sort of duplicity.

Rep. Elijah Cummings should be ashamed to have issued this report, and he should be pressed to answer for it.
 Indeed he should as should all that are associated with it.

Former Head Of El Paso Intelligence Center On Project Gunwalker

Cam Edwards interviewed Phil Jordan about Operation Fast and Furious on NRA News today. Mr. Jordan is the former director of the El Paso Intelligence Center. He made some interesting points in the interview. With regard to the firing of ATF Agent and whistle-blower Vincent Cefalu, Mr. Jordan said that it was done as a warning to other agents to not cooperate and to keep their mouths shut. He also said it was a complete injustice to the Terry and Zapata families for the DOJ to allow the damage control/cover-up efforts to continue.

Crimson Trace Likes Taurus Owners

If you have the Taurus Milenium Pro, then you are in luck. Crimson Trace has just released the LG-493 Laserguard for this pistol. I have a Laserguard on my Ruger SR-9c and was amazed at how easy it was to mount on the SR-9c.

(Wilsonville, OR) Crimson Trace today announced the retail availability of the LG-493 Laserguard™ for the Taurus Millennium PRO as of July 1st at an MSRP of $209.

The Crimson Trace Laserguard increases the flexibility of this already versatile pistol, adding an instinctively activated laser sight to the long list of available options. Constructed of the same material as the pistol’s frame, this Laserguard has been designed and tested to shrug off recoil and maintain zero, even when fitted to the powerful, 21oz, .45 ACP Millennium PRO.

Fitting seamlessly to the trigger guard and dust cover, Laserguard’s slim profile matches the Millennium PRO’s width, ensuring that the pistol is easily concealed and holstered. Featuring an industry-leading four hour run time on one 1/3N battery, the laser is user-adjustable for zero and requires no gunsmithing to install. The unit retails at $209 and is available through the usual distribution channels. All Crimson Trace products are proudly engineered and made in Wilsonville, Oregon. Visit to learn more about Crimson Trace products and see other new product releases.

List Of Bills Impacting Wildlife Resources In North Carolina

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission has compiled a list of bills that will impact fish and game in the state. Other than the Castle Doctrine and the repeal of the crossbow purchase permit requirement, the biggest thing I see in this list is that the wild boar has been reclassified as feral swine.

While the Russian Boars that were imported to western North Carolina at the beginning of the 20th Century and their descendents are still out there, I imagine that interbreeding with domestic swine has diluted the purity of that bloodline to the point where they are no longer any different than your run of the mill wild hog. I haven't read the testimony on the bill that changed the law but think that is probably the case.

Senate Bill 109 / Session Law 2011-15 “Spending Cuts for the Current Fiscal Year”

Required N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission to return $3 million in 2010-11 funding.
Effective: 3/25/2011

House Bill 200 / Session Law 2011-145 “Appropriations Act of 2011”

Repeals current sales tax formula for Wildlife Resources Commission funding and appropriates $18 million for the 2011-2012 fiscal year for Commission operations. Also requires a continuation review for the Conservation Education section.
Effective: 7/1/2011

Senate Bill 686 / Session Law 2011-176 “2011 Appointment Bill”

Appoints the following to the Wildlife Resources Commission: Wendell Murphy, Jr., Thomas Berry, Mark Craig, Doc Thurston, John Clark, John Coley, Durwood Laughinghouse, Mitch St.Clair.
Effective: 7/1/2011

House Bill 762 / Session Law 2011-231 “Landowner Protection Act”

Defines written permission to hunt/fish on posted land as being signed and dated by the landowner/lessee/agent within the past twelve months. If permission has been granted to a hunt club, both permission and a membership must be on the person. Allows for an affirmative defense if someone had written permission but did not have it on their person. Allows for purple paint to be used for posting land. Wildlife officers are enabled to enforce trespass on site.
Effective: 10/1/2011

House Bill 29 / Session Law 2011-22 “Retrieval of Big Game”

A hunter may use a portable light source and a single dog on a leash to assist the hunter in retrieving a dead or wounded big game animal. A hunter may dispatch a wounded big game animal using only a .22-caliber rimfire pistol, archery equipment or a handgun legal for that season. Pursuit and retrieval may occur between 30 minutes after sunset and 11:00 p.m., but may not be accomplished using a motorized vehicle.
Effective: 10/1/2011

Senate Bill 406 / Session Law 2011-56 “Repeal Crossbow Purchase Permit Requirement”

Repeals the requirement that a person obtain a permit to receive, sell, purchase or otherwise transfer a crossbow.
Effective: 4/28/2011

House Bill 62 / Session Law 2011-24 “Prohibit Boylston Creek Reclassification”

Prohibits the rule to change the water quality classification to “trout waters” on Boylston Creek from becoming effective.
Effective: 7/1/2011

Senate Bill 68 / Session Law 2011-16 “Robeson Hunting and Fishing”

Prohibits hunting and fishing on the property of another without written permission in Robeson County.
Effective: 10/1/2011

House Bill 432 / Session Law 2011-369 “Swine in Transport/Regulate Feral Swine”

Prohibits the transportation of live swine, unless the swine has an official form of identification approved by the State Veterinarian. Also classifies all free-ranging mammals of the species Sus scrofa as feral swine, while deleting the definition of wild boar. Repeals the wild boar hunting license and defines feral swine as a non-game animal. Allows the Wildlife Resources Commission to adopt rules prescribing season and the manner of taking of wild animals and wild birds with the use of artificial light and electronic calls. Deletes the size restriction on pistols for non-game species, rabbits, squirrels, opossum, raccoons and fur-bearing animals. Repeals the requirement of wearing a hunter orange cap or garment in the hunting of feral swine. Makes it unlawful to remove feral swine from a trap, or transport it, while it is still alive.
Effective: 10/1/2011

Senate Bill 46 / Session Law 2011-32 “Surry Fox and Coyote Taking Season”

Establishes an open season for taking foxes and coyotes with lawful weapons or traps from October 15 through March 1 of each year. Applies only to Surry and Alleghany counties.
Effective: 4/7/2011

Senate Bill 261 / Session Law 2011-40 “Chowan Fox Seasons”

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, there is an open season for taking foxes with weapons and by trapping during the trapping season set by the Wildlife Resources Commission each year, with no tagging requirements prior to or after sale. No bag limit applies to foxes taken under this act.
Effective: 10/1/2011

House Bill 463 / Session Law 2011-136 “Rockingham/Taking of Foxes”

Establishes an open season on taking foxes with firearms, bow and arrow, or crossbow during any open small game season each year. Establishes an open season for taking foxes by trapping from November 1 through February 28 of each year. No bag limit applies to foxes taken under this act. No tags shall be required for the sale of the fur of foxes taken in accordance with this act.
Effective: 6/15/2011

House Bill 755 / Session Law 2011-380 “Study Fox Laws”

The Wildlife Resources Commission shall undertake a study of fox and coyote populations in the State and recommend management methods and controls designed to ensure statewide conservation of fox populations while managing adverse effects of coyote populations. In conducting the study, the Wildlife Resources Commission shall solicit input from interested stakeholders, including hunters, trappers, controlled hunting preserve operators, public health authorities, local governments, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and private landowners. The Wildlife Resources Commission shall complete its study by April 1, 2012, and submit a report, including any proposed legislation, to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, the Chairs of the House Committee on Agriculture, and the Chairs of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Environment, and Natural Resources.
Effective: 6/27/2011

House Bill 650 / Session Law 2011-268 “Amend Various Gun Laws/Castle Doctrine”

Amends numerous State laws related to the ownership and possession of guns. It would also expand the “Castle Doctrine” to apply to a motor vehicle or the workplace.
Effective: 12/1/2011

House Bill 350 / Session Law 2011-274 “Property Tax Conformity for Conservation Land”

Clarifies and modifies the tax exemption for real property for educational and scientific purposes as a protected natural area by listing certain, enumerated conservation purposes. Creates a 5-year rollback for avoided taxes if conservation property is no longer used for conservation purposes, is used to generate income inconsistent with conservation, or is sold or transferred without an easement requiring perpetual use of the listed conservation purposes and without a prohibition on income generation. Expressly aligns definitions for educational and scientific purposes with the property tax exemption for property used for educational and scientific purposes. Requires, as does the income tax credit for real property donations for conservation purposes, that the entity owning the property must be "organized to receive and administer lands for conservation purposes". Adds the requirement that property qualifying under this exemption either not earn income or only earn income that is merely incidental to and not inconsistent with conservation purposes.
Effective: 7/1/2011

House Bill 159 / Session Law 2011-35 “Military Service Notation on Licenses”

Requires the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles to make a notation on a North Carolina driver’s license showing a license holder’s military veteran status.
Effective: 7/1/2011

House Bill 407 / Session Law 2011-68 “Modify ATV Helmet Use Requirements”

Amends the ATV helmet law by requiring people 18 years old and over to only wear a helmet and safety gear when on a public street or highway or public vehicular area. Mandatory helmet and eye protection for under 18 years of age both on and off road.
Effective: 10/1/2011

William Newell, Whistle-Blower?

William Newell had been the Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix Field Division and was slated to become the ATF Attache to Mexico. His appointment to the U.S. Embassey in Mexico and his position as SAC of the Phoenix Field Division ended when Project Gunwalker exploded into the national consciousness. As one of the principals behind this so-called attempt to bring down a Mexican drug cartel, it appeared that he would be one of the fall guys.

Newell must have been speaking with George Gillett, former Assistant SAC of the Phoenix Field Division, who abandoned ship earlier this year and became an official whistle-blower. Gillett, who was also deeply involved in Operation Fast and Furious, saw the writing on the wall. Now it is obvious that Newell did too.

Buried within the usual gun control drivel of the House Oversight Committee Democrats' report "Outgunned" was this tidbit.
Committee staff also conducted a transcribed interviewed of William Newell, the former Special Agent-in-Charge of the Phoenix Field Division. When asked how the lack of a firearms-trafficking statute impacts his work, he stated:

So when you have a firearm that’s taken from lawful commerce into unlawful commerce, that technically is the definition of firearms trafficking, by my understanding or under our definition. So, not having a statute that would address a pattern of activity by a group of individuals that are engaged in some form of diversion of firearms from legal to illegal creates a situation for us where we have to go and look at each individual transaction by a particular purchaser.
What Newell said is actually irrelevant. That he was interviewed by investigators of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is relevant. According to the footnote, he was interviewed on June 8, 2011. It does not say whether his interview was given under whistle-blower status or whether he was served with a subpoena.

From a strategic standpoint, I'm not sure how smart it was on the part of the Democrats to let the cat out of the bag that Newell had been interviewed. He becomes the highest ranking ATF official so far to go on record about Operation Fast and Furious. Knowing that Newell has testified makes it less likely that Acting Director Kenneth Melson will hold back when he is interviewed in July by House and Senate investigators.

If the goal of Rep. Elijah Cummings and the Democrats on the House Oversight Committee was to divert attention from the poltical higher-ups in the Justice Department - who were all put there by the Obama Administration - then they have just failed. If Kenneth Melson is the John Dean of Project Gunwalker, then what is Bill Newell? The Charles Colson or G. Gordon Liddy?

A Forum And Then A Report? Not For Elijah Cummings

In the normal course of events, a group holds their hearing, forum, or fact-gathering event and then issues a report even if that report's "evidence" is pre-ordained. That obviously is just too slow for Rep. Elijah Cummings and the Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee who are holding their forum at 10 am this morning.

Thanks to the Washington Post and their admitted plagarist Sari Horwitz, we now have the "report" from the Democrats on the House Oversight Committee. You see if you write for Pravda on the Potomac and you are needed to attack Project Gunwalker, you get your copy of the so-called report before the rest of us whose tax money paid for it. If you were to check the Minority page of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee's website, you would not see this report.

Screen Capture Taken at 8:05 EDT On Thursday, June 30th

You can see the "report" embedded below. Next time you'd think their mainstream media mouthpieces might wait until the actual forum had been held. Jeez!

Firearms Report 063011

H/T Mike Vanderboegh

Fired ATF Whistle-Blower Vince Cefalu On Gunwalker Hearings And His Firing

Vince Cefalu was interviewed by Ginny Simone of NRA News. Among the things he discusses is his firing and the Project Gunwalker hearings.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Gottlieb On Cummings' Forum - “It’s a Capitol Hill kangaroo court"

The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and Alan Gottlieb don't think much of the "forum" that Rep. Elijah Cummings has planned for Thursday. And I think most people will see it for what it is - a smokescreen, a diversionary tactic, a whitewash to take the attention off of Project Gunwalker.

BELLEVUE, WA – The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said Thursday’s planned forum on gun trafficking, called by Democrat Congressman Elijah Cummings, is a political smokescreen designed to shift blame for a botched gun sting operation from the Obama administration to this country’s gun owners, retailers and their firearms civil rights.

Cummings, ranking member on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which has held hearings on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Operation Fast and Furious, has invited a Who’s Who of anti-gunners to speak at this forum, which begins at 10 a.m. tomorrow in the Russell Senate Office Building, Room 428A.

“This isn’t a forum,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “It’s a Capitol Hill kangaroo court with the singular goal of deflecting public attention away from the Justice Department’s horrible mishandling of a gunrunning sting that has flooded Mexico with guns. Operation Fast and Furious is a product of the Obama administration, and Cummings is running interference for the White House and Attorney General Eric Holder.

“The real culprits here are the ATF officials and people in the Justice Department who either approved this operation or knew about it and allowed it to happen, and everybody knows it,” he continued. “Operation Fast and Furious allowed guns to get into the hands of people who murdered Border Patrol agent Brian Terry and countless Mexican citizens, including a prominent attorney.

“But Cummings isn’t interested in pursuing the truth,” Gottlieb stated. “With a speaker lineup that includes anti-gun Sen. Charles Schumer, Kristen Rand from the Violence Policy Center and Brady Campaign President Paul Helmke – and nobody representing any major gun rights organization or any of the ATF whistleblowers – this forum is a flimsy sham with one clear purpose. Mr. Cummings wants to whitewash a Justice Department debacle and blame the mayhem in Mexico on gun rights, gun owners and gun dealers.”

Get Really Good At Halo Reach - Make Six Figures - Who Knew?

Well, actually I did know because two of the Complementary Spouse's nephews play Halo Reach professionally for teams in Major League Gaming (MLG Pro).

Today's New York Daily News featured a story on a Halo Reach "boot camp" held in New York City and sponsored by Red Bull. The boot camp was for 12 players from 3 of the top MLG Pro teams. As to the money, Mike Chaves aka Flamesword had this to say:
"People make money from this, like six figures," says Mike Chaves, better known in the gaming community as Flamesword, his gamer tag.

The e-athlete grew up playing video games in Bergen County, N.J. Once he realized there was serious coin in going pro, however, he upped the ante, practicing every day after school and traveling to tournaments on his own dime.

Today, the 21-year-old IT student is a professional gamer sponsored by Red Bull in the Major League Gaming circuit. His team, Status Quo, split $20,000 after taking first place in a Dallas championship in April. (Chaves wisely tucked most of his share into his savings account.)
You don't get this good without a lot of practice. Aaron Elam, who also plays on Status Quo, had this to say about his schedule.
"I just graduated from high school, and it was really tough. Professional gaming is a full-time job," says Elam, who enters the University of Kentucky next year. "A lot of gamers sign on late at night, so that's when you have to play. Your sleep gets sacrificed a lot. You come home from school, work out, do your homework, play video games from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., and then go to bed."
You probably are wondering how a kid who games so much late at night even graduated from high school  much less got into college. Actually, from what I've seen, the top gamers are really bright and are not slackers. I think they are able to assess the situation quicker and thus outplay their opponents. Aaron, who is the Complementary Spouse's nephew, is not only going to UK but is going on a scholarship and will be majoring in chemical engineering.

NRA President David Keene On Gunwalker, Obama, and Elijah Cummings

New NRA President David Keene was on Cam and Company today. Among the items discussed were Project Gunwalker, Elijah Cummings' forum tomorrow, and Barack Obama's election chances.

Keene did make a very good point about Project Gunwalker. He said "the ATF did not do this on their own - as crazy as they can be - without orders from above but also without informing those above." He goes on to say that one thing bureaucrats always do is protect themselves.

Ruger SR-40c Released

Sturm, Ruger has followed up on the release of their SR-40 from last fall with the the compact version SR-40c.

Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (NYSE: RGR) is proud to announce the introduction of the Ruger® SR40c™ pistol. The SR40c is the compact version of the recoil reducing, striker-fired SR40™ pistol, one of the slimmest and most ergonomic full-sized .40 caliber pistols on the market today.

The SR40c is based on the same high-performance glass-filled nylon frame as those used on the popular SR9®, SR9c™ and SR40 pistols, offering the same, great ergonomic features, including a slim frame, short trigger reach, reversible backstrap, and ambidextrous controls. The SR40c features a through-hardened, stainless steel or alloy steel slide with Nitridox Pro Black finish. Serrations on the front portion of the slide make it easier to manipulate the slide and press check the chamber.

"The SR40c provides all of the benefits of a full-sized handgun without the recoil often associated with smaller .40 caliber pistols," said Mike Fifer, Ruger CEO. "The SR40c offers yet another strong concealed carry option from Ruger, perfect for personal protection or law enforcement plain clothes and backup applications," he continued.

The Ruger SR40c pistol has a 3.5" barrel and an overall length of 6.85". The pistol weighs 23.40 oz. and features a height of 4.61", with the same slim 1.27" grip width (across safety levers) as the full-sized SR40. It has a fully adjustable 3-dot sight system and an integral accessory rail that accommodates most lights and lasers. The SR40c offers modern safety features such as a visual and tactile loaded chamber indicator, striker blocker, trigger safety, magazine disconnect and an ambidextrous, frame-mounted manual safety.

The SR40c ships with two magazines that provide options in both capacity and grip size. The standard magazine holds 9 rounds and features a flat bottom butt plate; a finger grip extension floor plate included. The second magazine features a grip extension and holds 15 rounds, instantly transforming the smaller, compact grip into a full-sized grip. An anti-friction coating is applied to the magazine body to reduce the force required to load the magazines to full capacity.

For customers living in states or locales where magazine capacity is limited by law, an SR40c that ships with two, 9-round magazines is offered.

Jeff Quinn of has released a video review of the SR-40c. He likes it and he likes the size of it.

While I do have a couple of semi-auto .40's, I have to admit that I'm just not a big fan. As with all caliber choices, it is a matter of personal preference. I like 9mm and .45 ACP better. That said, I'm sure Ruger will sell a ton of these pistols to those who like the caliber.

In the interest of full disclosure, I own stock in Sturm, Ruger (RGR). It is one of the two publicly-traded firearms companies in the United States.

Diversionary Tactics (Updated)

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has come through on his promise to hold hearings on gun control and the ATF. If you will remember from the June 15th hearing into Operation Fast and Furious, he said he would be exercising his right for a Minority day of hearings. From Cummings' opening statement:
Finally, no legitimate examination of this issue will be complete without analyzing our nation's gun laws, which allow tens of thousands of assault weapons to flood into Mexico from the United States every year, including .50-caliber sniper rifles, multiple AK variants, and scores of others, some of them landing in neighborhoods like mine, the one I represent in Baltimore. When Mexican President Calderon addressed Congress in May, he pleaded for us to stop fielding a full- scale drug war with military-grade assault weapons.

In order to explore these issues further today, I'm exercising my right under the rules, Mr. Chairman, of the House for a minority day of hearings with several witnesses who will testify about these issues in great detail. I did not think it was necessary to call these witnesses for today's hearing, but I will work with the chairman on scheduling these hearings in the near future.
Those hearings are scheduled for tomorrow at 10am EDT according to reports in the Houston Chronicle and the website Main Justice. From the Houston Chronicle:
★ Thursday: Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, will hold a forum on the flow of illegal guns on both sides of the U.S./Mexico border. The forum will be held at 10 a.m. EDT in the Russell Senate Office Building.
Rep. Cummings has not posted a release or notice about the hearings on the House Oversight Committee's website. However, Main Justice had this to report on the hearing speakers:
Speakers at the minority hearing will include Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), a retired ATF agent, and several gun control advocates.
 It seems Cummings is keeping a tight lid on just who the "retired ATF agent, and several gun control advocates" are. If I had to make an educated guess, the retired ATF agent is probably "Waco Jim" Cavanaugh who just last week had an op-ed in TickleTheWire saying that the ATF director should be not be subject to Presidential appointment and subsequent Senate confirmation. Among the gun control advocates will probably be Paul Helmke in his last hurrah before he leaves as head of the Brady Campaign. Of course, this is just speculation.

This "hearing" will be just another in the diversionary tactics being employed to divert attention from Project Gunwalker and on the "need" for more gun control. The Washington Post's ridiculous editorial from Sunday could also be put in this category. For a less diplomatic description of the hearings, I think Mike captures it with his headline here.

UPDATE: Well, I was right about Paul Helmke being there but wrong about "Waco Jim". The complete list of people "testifying" is below:
Senator Charles Schumer (NY)
Michael R. Bouchard, former Assistant Director Field Operations, ATF
Thomas Mahoney, Assistant State’s Attorney Supervisor, Gang Prosecution Unit, Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office
Eric Olson, Senior Associate, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Kristen Rand, Legislative Director, Violence Policy Center
Paul Helmke, President, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
Colby Goodman, Author of “U.S. Firearms Trafficking to Mexico: New Data and Insights Illuminate Key Trends and Challenges”
  Cummings says the aim of the forum - which I suppose means the testimony is not sworn - will be:
Law enforcement officials have testified that improvements to our nation’s gun laws are needed to address this increasingly devastating problem, including enhanced penalties for illegal straw purchases, the enactment of a firearms trafficking statute, and a reporting requirement for the purchase of multiple long guns, such as fifty caliber assault weapons and multiple AK variants.

Cummings will issue a report with recommendations to provide U.S. law enforcement with the tools needed to address gun trafficking.

Recent editorials in the New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times reiterate the need for basic, common-sense improvements to assist law enforcement officials counter violence by international drug cartels operating along the southwest border.
You have to wonder if the testimony would be the exactly the same if it was sworn and perjury charges could be brought.

Mike has more on the witnesses and their background especially former ATF official Michael Bouchard.

More On S. 1249 - Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act

While the text to Senator Mark Udall's S. 1249 is still not available, I was able to find his release on the bill which gives a broad outline. All in all it looks like a good bill.

Here in western North Carolina we are surrounded by Federal lands with two National Forests, one National Park, and TVA maintained land. In many of the counties, the amount of Federally owned land reaches 90%. Even with all that Federal land, there is one public range maintained by the NC Wildlife Resources Commission and three (and maybe a fourth) maintained by the USFS in Nantahala National Forest. There are none that I can find in Pisgah National Forest which borders the largest city in western North Carolina - Asheville.
Posted: Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Today, Mark Udall re-introduced legislation to help states construct and maintain safe public shooting ranges. The bill, the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act, would help ensure that there are enough accessible ranges where hunters and marksmen can safely practice recreational shooting.

Under current law – the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act – an excise tax is collected on sporting equipment and ammunition, which states can use for activities such as wildlife restoration and hunter education programs. However, it has limited effectiveness in establishing and maintaining shooting ranges, which are declining in number. Udall’s Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act, co-sponsored by Senators Jim Risch, Michael Bennet and Jon Tester, would amend the law to give states more flexibility to use existing funds to create and maintain shooting ranges.

“The number of places in our communities and on public lands where Colorado sportsmen and women can safely shoot and target practice has steadily dwindled,” Udall said. “This bill would give states more flexibility to use federal dollars – that have already been allocated to them – to create safe, new public places to shoot. It would be a triple win for sporting and conservation communities: states can create higher quality and safer shooting ranges, more Coloradans can take up the sport, and it would generate more money for future conservation and hunter education efforts.”

Udall’s bill would:
• Increase the amount of money states can contribute from their allotted Pittman-Robertson funds to 90 percent of the cost to improve or construct a public target range from the current limit of 75 percent. This would reduce local and state matching requirements from 25 percent to 10 percent.

• Allow the Pittman-Robertson funds allotted to a state to remain available and accrue for five fiscal years for use in acquiring land for, expanding, or constructing a public target range on federal or non-federal land. Under current law, states must use these funds within one year.

• Limit the legal liability exposure to the federal land management agencies regarding the management and use of federal land for target practice or marksmanship training.

• Encourage the federal land management agencies to cooperate with state and local authorities to maintain target ranges on federal land so as to encourage their continued use.

Quote Of The Day

Mark Hemingway of The Weekly Standard responded to the Washington Post's editorial which essentially blamed the "gun lobby" for even the mere presence of an Operation Fast and Furious:

So in the wake of an incredible scandal that shows exceedingly poor judgment and got a number of people killed, the Washington Post is arguing the ATF should be given more power? What? Shouldn't we be at least getting to the bottom of the current scandal before we decide whether that's wise?

The Downside To Being A Neo-Luddite

Since I rarely watch television at home, I don't have either cable or a satellite dish. I dropped cable back in the mid-1990s when I thought I was watching too much TV and not reading enough. Given the rise of the Internet, I really haven't seen a need to change that decision.

However, there are times I wish I did have cable so I could see programs like the one below. I sure wish the Outdoor Channel would make these programs available on a season-long DVD like a lot of other TV producers do.

The NC Wildlife Resources Commission Should Pay Attention To This

The Pennsylvania Game Commission just adopted a resolution approving Sunday hunting in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. They note in their resolution that 43 other states now allow Sunday hunting.

North Carolina isn't one of them and you can't even shoot at the NCWRC's range at Cold Mountain here in Haywood County on Sundays. While I think there are some on the Wildlife Resources Commission that would like to see Sunday hunting, the General Assembly as it now stands would probably shoot it down.

Pennsylvania, by the way, separates their fish and wildlife department in one for game and one for fishing and boating. Thus, you have the PA Game Commission and the PA Fish and Boat Commission. Sorry for the bit of trivia! Here is the resolution from the Game Commission.
Pennsylvania Board Adopts Resolution To Support Sunday Hunting

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners has approved a resolution to support repeal of the statutory prohibition on Sunday hunting. The vote on the resolution, which was proposed by Game Commissioner Jay Delaney Jr. and seconded by Game Commissioner Ralph A. Martone, was four in support, three opposed and one abstention. Those voting in support of the resolution were Game Commissioners Delaney, Martone, David J. Putnam and Robert W. Schlemmer. Those voting in opposition were Game Commissioners Thomas E. Boop, David W. Schreffler and Ronald A. Weaner. Game Commissioner Gregory J. Isabella abstained.

Game Commission staff will present the resolution to the House Game and Fisheries Committee, which has been holding public hearings on the topic of Sunday hunting. The text of the resolution is as follows:

"The Board of Commissioners for the Pennsylvania Game Commission declares its support for a repeal of prohibitions on Sunday hunting by the amending of Title 34 (Game) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statues in Hunting and Trapping.

"Whereas, Pennsylvania has experienced consistent declines in hunting participation by both resident and non-resident hunters over the past several decades, with both the number of license sold and revenues generated experiencing steady declines, and

"Whereas, youth participation is vital to maintaining the long-standing tradition of hunting in Pennsylvania, we can effectively double the number of hunting days for youths during the school year by offering Sunday hunting, and

"Whereas, Sunday hunting is an effective means of recruiting new hunters and retaining current hunters by increasing the value of the hunting license through offering additional opportunities to spend time in the field, and

"Whereas, many Pennsylvania residents seek hunting opportunities and hunting leases in neighboring states that offer Sunday hunting; Sunday hunting will keep Pennsylvania hunters in Pennsylvania, and

"Whereas Pennsylvania has a long-standing tradition of hunting camps and clubs, Sunday hunting will effectively double the number of hunting days for camp owners and club members, and

"Whereas, Sunday hunting is expected to generate a substantial increase in out-of-state license sales and the accompanying revenue for the Pennsylvania Game Commission, and

"Whereas, hunting license sales and their associated federal matching funds are the primary revenue source for the Pennsylvania Game Commission in carrying out its mission, including maintaining 1.5 million acres of state game lands and acquisition of additional public lands, research and management of wildlife and providing information and education to the public, and

"Whereas, Sunday hunting will provide substantial economic benefits to rural areas and businesses by increasing money spent by hunters on lodging, food, gas and other incidental items, and

"Whereas, Sunday hunting is expected to generate $629 million in additional spending and create 5,300 new jobs, resulting in $18 million in additional sales and income tax, and

"Whereas, the mission of the Pennsylvania Game Commission is to manage wildlife and its habitat for current and future generations, and

"Whereas, Sunday hunting, which is currently permitted to control a growing population of coyotes, will provide the biologists of the Pennsylvania Game Commission a new tool to manage wildlife populations, and

"Whereas, the forty-three states that currently permit Sunday hunting have not experienced any discernable impact on the health or vibrancy of game populations, and

"Whereas, the Board of Commissioners recognizes the authority to permit Sunday hunting lies entirely with the General Assembly of Pennsylvania, and

"Whereas, if the General Assembly repeals the restrictions on Sunday hunting thus giving authority to regulate Sunday hunting to the Board of Commissioners, the Board recognizes the many stakeholder groups any action on Sunday hunting will effect and will endeavor to engage these stakeholders before passing any new regulations in regard to Sunday hunting.

"NOW, THEREFOR, we the Board of Commissioners for the Pennsylvania Game Commission, do hereby urge the General Assembly of Pennsylvania to REPEAL the PROHIBITION ON SUNDAY HUNTING IN THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA."

H/T The Outdoor Wire

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

PA Governor Signs Castle Doctrine Into Law

From the NRA-ILA on today's signing of the Castle Doctrine into law by Gov. Tom Corbett (R-PA):
Pennsylvania Governor Signs NRA-Backed Castle Doctrine into Law

Fairfax, Va. - Governor Tom Corbett has signed Pennsylvania Castle Doctrine legislation into law. This common-sense measure permits law-abiding citizens to use force, including deadly force, against an attacker in their home and any place where they have a legal right to be. It also protects individuals from civil lawsuits by an attacker or attacker’s family when force is used.

“Gov. Corbett and Pennsylvania lawmakers know that law-abiding citizens must have the right to protect themselves when criminals attack without fear of being second-guessed by an overzealous prosecutor,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action. “Crime victims don’t have the luxury of time when confronted by a criminal and must be able to count on the law being on their side. This new law accomplishes that by removing any mandate of forcible retreat.”

The NRA has led the nationwide movement to pass Castle Doctrine legislation, beginning with Florida in 2005. Pennsylvania is the 27th state to adopt this important measure with overwhelming bipartisan support. House Bill 40, sponsored by Rep. Scott Perry (R-92), passed by a 164 to 37 margin. Richard Alloway, II (R-33), sponsored the companion bill to HB 40, Senate Bill 273, which passed 43-4.

“I am very gratified that Governor Corbett has signed this legislation into law, correcting the grievous error made by the previous administration in denying these long-sought protections to our citizens,” said Rep. Perry. “There are many people who have worked hard to get this legislation to this point, and I am grateful to my House and Senate colleagues and to the National Rifle Association for their support. The time has finally come to return common sense and good judgment to state government, and this legislation is a step in that direction. A criminal should never have an advantage over a citizen who abides by the rules of decent society, and today, we finally achieved the goal of returning the right of self-defense to the law-abiding.”

"Law-abiding gun owners should not have to fear prosecution for acting to prevent a violent crime," said Sen. Alloway, who introduced Castle Doctrine legislation that was approved by the Senate in March. "I am thankful that the General Assembly has taken action to protect responsible gun owners who respond when facing a serious threat from a criminal. I would also like to thank the NRA for their strong leadership and hard work on this effort as it moved through the legislative process.”

“On behalf of NRA members and all gun owners in Pennsylvania, I would like to thank Rep. Perry; Sen. Alloway; and Gov. Corbett for their leadership in helping make Castle Doctrine a reality for Pennsylvanians,” concluded Cox. “This Castle Doctrine bill places the law on the side of law-abiding gun owners who unfortunately become victims of crime – exactly where the law should be.”
In less than one week, the governors of both North Carolina and Pennsylvania have signed legislation implementing the Castle Doctrine in their respective states. There is only one thing to say about this.


S. 1249: Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act

Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) is the primary sponsor of S. 1249 - the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, this bill would allow states more flexibility in the use of their Federal wildlife monies (Pittman-Robinson funds) so that they can use them to establish more places to shoot.

The text of this bill is not yet available but I will, of course, post it when it does become available. It was introduced by Senator Mark Udall on last Wednesday.

The bill currently has four co-sponsors including:
Sen Bennet, Michael F. [CO]
Sen Hagan, Kay [NC]
Sen Risch, James E. [ID]
Sen Tester, Jon [MT]
NSSF fully supports this bill and had a post on it yesterday. From what I can tell from their description of it, this is a bill that makes a lot of sense and deserves our support. I remember Michael Bane on his Down Range Radio podcast pushing for just this as much of the money from Pittman-Robinson excise taxes come from shooters who are not hunters.
NSSF Applauds Introduction of the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Act in Senate

June 27, 2011 By Larry Keane

NEWTOWN, Conn. – The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry, applauded the introduction of the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Act by Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO). This bi-partisan legislation will give states greater flexibility to use more of their designated federal wildlife resources (i.e. Pittman-Robertson funds) to establish safe recreational shooting areas. More specifically, the legislation will help facilitate the construction and expansion of public target ranges, including ranges on federal land managed by the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.

“We appreciate Sen. Udall’s leadership in fighting for safe, accessible shooting facilities,” said Lawrence G. Keane, senior vice president and general counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation. “This legislation clears the way for new shooting ranges and allows for the proper management of existing ones. Access to these facilities is paramount to continuing to pass on our hunting and shooting sports heritage to younger generations.”

A recent survey by the Responsive Management Company has show that the biggest obstacle to participation in hunting and the shooting sports is access. In addressing this concern, the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Act will not only help sportsmen and target shooters, but wildlife and conservation efforts as well. Active participation in hunting and the shooting sports means increased production of firearms and ammunition. Manufacturers of firearms and ammunition pay a federal excise tax — 11 percent on long guns and ammunition and 10 percent on handguns — which is used to fund wildlife and conservation efforts. By giving gun owners better access to ranges, the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Act will help to encourage participation in these pro-conservation pastimes.

By allowing the states more latitude in determining how excise tax dollars are used to enhance and develop public shooting facilities, wildlife conservation funding will increase. This benefits all sportsmen and is a strong return on investment.

Local TV Station Undercovers Gunwalked Guns At Crime Scenes In Arizona

Reporter Lori Jean Gilha of ABC 15 in Phoenix has undercovered evidence that some of the gunwalked guns from Operation Fast and Furious are turning up at crime scenes in Arizona. The video below is a teaser for her longer story that will air Thursday evening.

So let's tally this up. Two Federal law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty, an estimated 150 Mexican citizens killed in Mexico, and an unknown number of residents of Arizona killed by criminals using firearms that the ATF intentionally allowed to be walked in Operation Fast and Furious. Brilliant move there!

Rep. Trey Gowdy On Fact Finding Trip To Mexico

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) represents the Spartanburg area of South Carolina. Prior to running for Congress in 2010, he served for many years as the elected Solicitor (prosecutor/DA) for the Spartanburg area. He serves on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and accompanied Rep. Darrell Issa to Mexico over the weekend as part of the investigation into Operation Fast and Furious (aka Project Gunwalker). He spoke with Ginny Simone of NRA News on Monday about the trip.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Melson To Testify According To Report

The left-leaning on-line news site, The Daily Beast, is reporting that Senators Patrick Leahy and Chuck Grassley have brokered a deal whereby ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson will cooperate with Senate investigators and testify next month. In exchange, Senator Grassley released the hold he had put on three Department of Justice nominations.
The testimony—expected next month from Kenneth Melson, the acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives—was brokered as part of a deal between Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and the committee’s top Republican, Iowa's Charles Grassley. Grassley and his fellow Republicans were given full access to ATF documents, Melson, and other key witnesses; and in return, Grassley agreed to release three Obama administration nominees he had been blocking, according to correspondence obtained by NEWSWEEK and THE DAILY BEAST.

Grassley had been fighting to get full access for months. He finally got it with a letter Leahy wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder requesting access for both his staff and Grassley’s investigators to the evidence and witnesses in the gun-sting investigation. In return, Grassley agreed to let proceed the nominations of Jim Cole to be deputy attorney general, Lisa Monaco to be assistant attorney general for national security, and Virginia Seitz to be head of the Office of Legal Counsel, the letter shows.
 Melson has been resisting pressure to resign claiming that he had done no wrong in Project Gunwalker and that it had been approved in DOJ. Rep. Darrell Issa and others have flatly stated that the approval goes to the highest levels of the Justice Department.
As head of the agency that conducted the controversial sting, Melson has faced calls for his resignation. But in private conversations with congressional investigators in recent days, Melson has indicated he does not believe he did anything wrong because he carried out his bosses’ wishes and is eager to testify to describe the full picture, according to sources familiar with those conversations.

Issa, who is among those to previously call for Melson’s ouster, is hopeful the acting ATF director can answer crucial questions about what was known above him. “Director Melson has had a long and distinguished career at the Department of Justice. But in the eyes of the public he is, so far, the highest-ranking official who [knew] about gun walking,” Issa told THE DAILY BEAST over the weekend. “[But] I don’t believe he was the highest-ranking official at Justice who knew about or authorized this operation.

“He may still have an opportunity to set the record straight for his agency and get away from being the focus of demands for accountability. We certainly want to hear his full story and see all the evidence about what happened,” Issa said.
I'm surprised that Senator Leahy went along with the agreement. He has always been fiercely partisan and his cooperation will more than likely lead to more trouble for the Obama Administration. If Attorney General Eric Holder survives Project Gunwalker after Melson's testimony, I'd be surprised.

Confederate Yankee: Gunwalker Goes Pravda

Bob Owens discusses his Pajamas Media piece on the hit job done by the Washington Post on Darrell Issa with Cam Edwards of NRA News. Bob is a North Carolina based blogger who also blogs at Confederate Yankee and Bob's Gun Counter.

Fired ATF Whistle-Blower Vince Cefalu On FoxBusiness

A day after Rep. Darrell Issa sent a letter to ATF Deputy Director William Hoover warning against the firing of any ATF whistle-blower, ATF Agent Vince Cefalu is fired. Cefalu is one of the founders of the CleanUpATF Forum which seeks to expose the incompetance of ATF management. Cefalu has spoken out forcefully about Project Gunwalker and the leaders that pushed it.

Cefalu blew the whistle on illegal wire-taps in the Road Dog Case and has been forced to twiddle his thumbs for a long while now. Prior to his whistle-blowing, he served undercover in operations targeting white supremecists and motorcycle gangs.
Another well-known whistle-blower, ATF Agent Jay Dobyns, had this to say about his firing: "Ultimately why is Vince being fired. Because he exposed corruption, blew the whistle and helped launch CleanUpATF. This is ATF's payback."

Quote Of The Day

Saturday a week ago, TSA officials in Florida forced a 95 year-old woman who has terminal leukemia to remove her adult diaper to be inspected. They claimed to have found something "suspicious" on her leg.

Tam at View from the Porch had this to say about this outrage, TSA's support of the ghoulish thugs who perpetrated this on an elderly woman, and a culture that would allow it.
Seriously, have we reached a point where we, as a nation, are so pants-pissingly scared of a bunch of self-immolating neolithic goatherds that we are willing to inflict any indignity on any citizen at any time rather than expose ourselves to the slightest bit of risk?
I couldn't agree more. If our forefathers had this same level of risk aversion, we'd still be a colony and the National Anthem would be God Save the Queen.

H/T Markos

Cam Edwards Responds To CPD's Gerry McCarthy

As I posted last week, the new Chicago Police Superintendent Gerry McCarthy made outrageous claims to a sympathetic audience trying to link inner-city crime with Sarah Palin, the NRA, and Federal gun control laws. Cam Edwards of NRA News responds to him here.

Powerful Video On SWAT Team Excesses

I just saw this video this morning courtesy of Everyday No Days Off blog. It is produced by Reason TV.

In the light of the Jose Guerena murder (and yes, it was murder) by the Pima County Sheriffs Department SWAT Team, the Department of Education SWAT raid on the wrong house in Stockton, California, and all the other wrong house, wrong person, excessive force no-knock raids, this video deserves to be seen by a wider audience. Pass it on to friends, family, and co-workers.

Day By Day Cartoon Continues Project Gunwalker Theme

Chris Muir has continued with the Project Gunwalker theme. This is excellent news as his cartoons are seen by many who are not gunnies.

Courtesy of Chris Muir's Day by Day Cartoon.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Guide To Gun Prohibitionists

Thirdpower at the Days of our Trailers blog has done all in the gun community a big favor. He has compiled a "Primer for Gun Control Groups in the US". It details the members of the gun control industry in the United States, their major money sources, and their leaders.

This is definitely an important contribution to keeping an eye on those who would deny us our civil rights.

Thirdpower also has a post up today on the most recent recipients of grants from the Joyce Foundation. One of the more interesting grants was "a total of $790K to NewVentureFund to "support the development and launch of a new online organization. "

Quote Of The Day

From Sheriff Jim Wilson comes this bit of advice via Twitter about worrying too much:

DON'T WORRY, THINGS COULD BE WORSE: You could be Eric Holder hoping that the head of ATF doesn't snitch you off!!!!

Charles Heller To Head JPFO

The search for a new Executive Director of Jews for the Preservation of Firearm Ownership extended from Wisconsin to Arizona. Charles Heller, one of the four co-founders of the Arizona Citizens Defense League, was named to succeed the late Aaron Zelman who passed away in late December. Heller's appointment was announced on June 23rd.
With the passing of Aaron Zelman, not only did American freedom lose a great warrior, but JPFO lost its Founder and Executive Director. At the proper time, the search began for a new Executive Director. That person needed to be deeply educated in the gun rights battle, media savvy, politically savvy, and have solid firearms industry contacts. There was also no doubt whatsoever that our new organizational leader needed to be one hundred percent "hard core no compromise" regarding the Second Amendment and the morality of self defense -- just like JPFO.

We have found that person in Charles Heller of Tucson Arizona. Over the past month or so, as JPFO's Rabbinic Director, I have worked with Charles on all of our JPFO projects. Charles and I are of one mind with regard to JPFO's course and strategies. Charles is a patriot, a true believer in American freedom, and a visionary of America's great potential. I am proud to be working shoulder to shoulder with him at Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership. We stand together in the fight for your freedom!

Please join me in welcoming our new Executive Director, Charles Heller, and offering your blessings of success in his new role.

As always, thank you for your support.
Shalom, Rabbi Dovid Bendory, Rabbinic Director, JPFO
The Arizona Citizens Defense League had this to say, in part, about Heller's appointment in an alert sent out yesterday.
Charles is one of AzCDL's co-founders and our Communication's Director. Through his media savvy and extensive networking Charles has played a critical role in the successful passage of legislation that AzCDL has requested and supported over the last 6 years.

Charles is also the host of Swap Shop, Liberty Watch, and America Armed & Free radio programs on KVOI in Tucson, and has been on the air for 13 years (
I had the opportunity to meet and chat with Mr. Heller in San Francisco at last year's Gun Rights Policy Conference. He was responsible for recording all the sessions of the Conference and did a great job. I wish him great success in his new position.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Project Gunwalker Makes Day By Day -- Again

A picture is worth a thousand words and cartoonist Chris Muir proves it with this strip on Project Gunwalker.

Courtesy of Chris Muir's Day by Day Cartoon.

Codrea's Journalist Guide To Project Gunwalker Hits Fourth Volume

David Codrea, National Gun Rights columnist for the, has been assembling what he calls his "A Journalist Guide to 'Project Gunwalker'" since the early days of the scandal. It includes all the links to stories by David and by Mike Vanderboegh on Operation Fast and Furious and Project Gunrunner. It was originally intended to point out to the mainstream media just what they had been ignoring.

He has now begun the fourth volume of this guide which presents the stories in chronological order. I have included links below. They serve as an excellent reference guide to the scandal.

Part Four

Part Three

Part Two

Part One

Issa Staffer: Project Gunwalker Doesn't Stop At Ken Melson

This is an interview that Cam Edwards of NRA News had with Matthew Boyle of The Daily Caller to discuss Project Gunwalker. Included is part of an interview with House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa who flatly states that Attorney General Eric Holder will be the last witness called. He goes on to explain that they are taking a bottom-up approach to the investigation and started at the lowest level.

Fireworks And Ken Melson?

In a public service message released yesterday on YouTube by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Acting Director Kenneth Melson warns of the dangers of fireworks as we approach the 4th of July. For a moment I thought he was alluding to the impact of his testimony if he is allowed to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee but I guess not.

I don't know when this video was recorded. However, when you combine this video with the Gay Pride Observance held earlier this week, they seem to be using these mundane events to promote the image that everything is peachy keen at ATF. It has the same impact as a little kid holding his hands over his ears and singing so as not to hear bad news - it doesn't change anything.

Damning With Faint Praise

By now, virtually everyone in the gun community knows that Paul Helmke is leaving as President of the Brady Campaign. While there is some discussion on whether he walked away on his own accord or was pushed out, the bottom line is that he will be gone effective July.

I found the release from the Brady Campaign announcing his departure and his accomplishments somewhat lacking in substance. Some of these "accomplishments" remind me of Good Penmanship Awards from grammar school. They are nice but not indicative of any substantial accomplishment unlike making the Honor Roll in the pre-grade inflation days.

Take, for example, the accomplishment listed as "leading the Starbuck 'open carry' campaign." I'm sorry but Starbucks still allows open carry and told the Brady Campaign to pound sand over the issue. If that is an accomplishment, then what do they consider a failure?

Paul Helmke Departs Brady After Busy, Fruitful, Five-year Term As Brady President
Long-Time Public Servant Blazed Trails, Strengthened Movement

Jun 24, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. - With a great deal of sadness and overwhelming gratitude, the Brady Campaign and Brady Center today announced that Paul Helmke will end his five-year-tenure as Brady president on July 10 and begin the next chapter in his life and his long career of public service.

"When the Brady Boards hired me as President in 2006, I committed to remain in the job for at least five years. July 10 will mark the end of five busy, active, challenging, exciting, and fruitful years - and will be my last day as President," said Helmke in a memo to the organization's staff.

Jim and Sarah Brady expressed deep gratitude to Helmke for his outstanding commitment to the organization and the movement.

"Jim and I thank Paul for his wonderful work over the past five years. He has poured his life and soul into both the Brady Campaign and Brady Center," said Sarah Brady, Chair of the Brady organizations. "He is a man of the highest integrity who has worked tirelessly to keep Americans safer for so many years, long before his tenure with us. His accomplishments are too numerous to mention, but we are delighted that he has made our voice louder and our movement stronger. We both will miss him as a friend and a leader."

"The Board is grateful to Paul for his many accomplishments over the last five years, and his dedicated and tireless service to Brady and the gun violence prevention movement," said Board Chair William Harwood. "Paul helped blaze new trails for Brady and the movement. He helped us focus extraordinary national attention on the tragedy of American gun violence, and along the way laid a strong foundation from which we will excitedly continue to strengthen this organization and our movement."

Helmke also announced that although he will leave as CEO on July 10, he will remain through the end of July to help with the transition to new leadership.

Among the well-liked and highly-respected former mayor's many accomplishments with the Brady organizations are these:

  • responding to the decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court in Heller and McDonald in a way that makes legislation implementing common sense restrictions on guns more likely in the future;
  • helping pass the NICS Improvement Act in 2007, which law has already helped spur the addition of another million records to the Brady background check system;
  • engaging a new generation of victim advocates, such as Virginia Tech survivor Colin Goddard, in the fight for sensible gun laws;
  • supporting the filming, release and distribution of two new documentaries on the gun issue -- Living for 32 and Gunfight;
  • pursuing an aggressive media strategy, including national television and radio, as well as local, newspapers, magazines, and web outlets;
  • the Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence initiative;
  • beginning relationships with professional athletes such as Plaxico Burress;
  • advancing Brady's "assault clips" campaign and targeted district strategy;
  • enlisting 100+ sponsors for bills to close the gun show loophole and ban assault clips;
  • implementing successful defensive efforts in the states to stop "guns on campus" as well as helping pass strong pro-active legislation in places like California;
  • leading the Starbucks "open carry" campaign;
  • steering the organization through the most serious economic downturn since the Great Depression;
  • supporting the writing and promotion of a new book on the gun issue, Lethal Logic by Dennis Henigan;
  • getting more attention from the White House, Administration, as well as many leaders on the Hill than in the past decade;
  • budgeting for new investment in donors that resulted in thousands of new donors and supporters.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Sharyl Attkisson On Another Murder Linked To Gunwalked AK's

Sharyl Attkisson reported on-air on the CBS Early Show this morning about 2 AK-47 variants that were found at the scene of a shoot-out between Mexican police and narco-terrorist thugs implicated in the murder of the brother of the former Attorney General for the state of Chihuahua. She also discusses the firing of whistle-blower Vince Cefalu by the ATF as well as the "livesaving" award for ATF Agent Hope MacAllister.

ISRA Responds To Chicago Police Head's Racist Rant Against The NRA And Gun Owners

Richard Pearson, Executive Director of the Illinois State Rifle Association, released this alert and statement regarding Chicago Police Superintendent Gerry McCarthy's racist rant against gun owners, Sarah Palin, the NRA, and Federal firearms laws delivered to the primarily African-American congregation of St. Sabina's Catholic Church in Chicago. If you haven't seen the video, I posted it here a couple of days ago.

Fellow Law-Abiding Firearm Owners:

As many of you may already know, Chicago’s new police superintendant, Gerry McCarthy, recently delivered an address on the topic of gun control to the parishioners of Fr. Pfleger’s St. Sabina’s Church. For those of you who have not seen the video of McCarthy’s address, you may find it at this link:

Certainly, none of us would expect McCarthy to discuss how traditional gun control policies seek to disarm law-abiding citizens while ignoring violent criminals. Likewise, we wouldn’t expect to hear McCarthy place the blame for violent crime on a justice system that woefully fails to apprehend, convict and rehabilitate society’s most dangerous elements. No, we’d never expect to hear McCarthy utter the truth about one of the most contentious issues of the day.

As much as we wouldn’t expect to hear McCarthy speak in opposition to gun control, it is equally certain that few of us were prepared to hear what actually came from McCarthy’s mouth when he spoke to the St. Sabina’s congregation. After several minutes of gratuitous self-promotion, McCarthy launched into a racially-charged tirade in which he accused the NRA and law-abiding gun owners of participating in a government-sponsored program to kill Black people.

Like most of you, we believe an assertion such as McCarthy’s is too nutty to dignify with a response. But listening to McCarthy’s rant causes us to pause and ponder the Chicago Police Department’s own record on race relations. Furthermore, given McCarthy’s background, would any of the readers venture a guess as to who McCarthy blames for crime and violence when he’s safe at home among his family and personal friends?

Gerry McCarthy’s verbal attack on law-abiding citizens serves as an affront to law-enforcement officers everywhere. But, then again, any suggestion that McCarthy is a law-enforcement officer is a sham. Rather, McCarthy is merely another in a long line of political hacks who have resided in the office of police superintendant. McCarthy’s job description has nothing to do with law-enforcement and everything to do with enforcing the political agenda of his boss, Rahm Emanuel. Of course, as we know, Emanuel’s agenda seeks the eventual prohibition of private firearm ownership.

Probably the most ironic thing about McCarthy’s speech to St. Sabina’s parishioners is that McCarthy delivered his address while standing only a few feet away from Rev. Mike Pfleger. Let us not forget that, a few years ago, Pfleger urged attendees at a gun control rally to go out and murder gun shop owners and politicians who vote against gun control laws.

McCarthy’s speech at St. Sabina’s is a mere preview of what law-abiding firearm owners can expect out of the Emanuel administration in the months ahead. Watch the video of McCarthy’s performance at St. Sabina’s and you will see what we’re up against. And, as always, we really need your financial support to help contain and defeat the Emanuel Gun Grabbing Machine. So, once you’ve watched the video, please make a generous donation to the ISRA so that Emanuel’s dream of a gun-free Illinois doesn’t wind up becoming your nightmare.

Also, please pass this alert on to your friends and relatives. Be sure to post this alert to any and all Internet blogs and bulletin boards to which you belong.

Remember, gun control is a disease and you are the cure.


Richard A. Pearson
Executive Director
Illinois State Rifle Association

GRNC On Signing Of HB 650 By Governor Perdue

As might be expected, Grass Roots North Carolina is very, very happy that the Castle Doctrine was signed by Governor Perdue. Their statement on this is below:
Your Efforts Rewarded

Congratulations! Your calls and emails have proven once again the power you wield. Despite an orchestrated effort by anti-gunners and their associates in the media to depict this bill as dangerous with little public support, HB 650 has been signed into law by Governor Beverly Perdue.

Once it became clear that all our provisions had to be included in one large gun bill, GRNC fought to include Castle Doctrine and Carry in Parks provisions in this bill. Of course none of this would have been possible had GRNC not managed to remove former House Majority Leader Hugh Holliman from his position in the last election. Holliman had blocked Castle Doctrine from coming to a vote for several years. The Parks Carry provision caps an effort GRNC spearheaded dating back to 1997. You - our supporters - have accomplished a vast amount in this one session on the heels of your hard work in the last election.

GRNC rewards cooperation. In this spirit, Governor Perdue has managed to raise her GRNC star rating due to her timely signing of this valuable law.

Thank These People:

Rep. Mark Hilton - 919-733-5988,
Sen. Buck Newton - (919) 715-3030,
Gov. Beverly Perdue - Phone: (800) 662-7952 or (919) 733-2391, Fax: (919) 733-2120,

H.R.2252 -- Citizens' Self-Defense Act of 2011

The text of HR 2252 - Citizens' Self-Defense Act of 2011 - is below.

The key section of the bill is Section 3. It asserts that individuals have the right to obtain a firearm for self-defense (unless otherwise prohibited) and to use that firearm in the defense of self, family, and home. To enforce this legal right, the individual has the right to sue in U.S. District Court for both damages and injunctive relief from any Federal, state, or local governmental body or individual who violates this right to self-defense.

I think I was wrong to speculate that this was a Federal castle doctrine in a post yesterday. This bill does not go that far and does not include the legal presumption that an attacker means to cause you grievous bodily injury or death. That said, it does enshrine the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense as decided in D.C. v. Heller and gives the individual the means to protect that right in Federal court.

1st Session

H. R. 2252

To protect the right to obtain firearms for security, and to use firearms in defense of self, family, or home, and to provide for the enforcement of such right.


June 21, 2011

Mr. Bartlett (for himself, Mr. Simpson, Mr. Posey, Mr. Burton of Indiana, Mr. Latta, Mr. Calvert, Mr. Hall, Mr. Duncan of Tennessee, Mr. Marchant, Mr. Mica, Mr. McCotter, Mr. Ross of Florida, Mrs. Miller of Michigan, Mr. Forbes, Mr. Brooks, Mr. Gingrey of Georgia, Mr. Flores, Mr. Franks of Arizona, and Mrs. Schmidt) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


To protect the right to obtain firearms for security, and to use firearms in defense of self, family, or home, and to provide for the enforcement of such right.

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

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Citizens' Self-Defense Act of 2011”.

SEC. 2. Findings.

The Congress finds the following:

(1) Police cannot protect, and are not legally liable for failing to protect, individual citizens, as evidenced by the following:

(A) The courts have consistently ruled that the police do not have an obligation to protect individuals, only the public in general. For example, in Warren v. District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department, 444 A.2d 1 (D.C. App. 1981), the court stated: “[C]ourts have without exception concluded that when a municipality or other governmental entity undertakes to furnish police services, it assumes a duty only to the public at large and not to individual members of the community.”.

(B) Former Florida Attorney General Jim Smith told Florida legislators that police responded to only 200,000 of 700,000 calls for help to Dade County authorities.

(C) The United States Department of Justice found that, in 1989, there were 168,881 crimes of violence for which police had not responded within 1 hour.

(2) Citizens frequently must use firearms to defend themselves, as evidenced by the following:

(A) Every year, more than 2,400,000 people in the United States use a gun to defend themselves against criminals—or more than 6,500 people a day. This means that, each year, firearms are used 60 times more often to protect the lives of honest citizens than to take lives.

(B) Of the 2,400,000 self-defense cases, more than 192,000 are by women defending themselves against sexual abuse.

(C) Of the 2,400,000 times citizens use their guns to defend themselves every year, 92 percent merely brandish their gun or fire a warning shot to scare off their attackers. Less than 8 percent of the time, does a citizen kill or wound his or her attacker.

(3) Law-abiding citizens, seeking only to provide for their families' defense, are routinely prosecuted for brandishing or using a firearm in self-defense. For example:

(A) In 2001, a grand jury had to rule on the case of 2 brothers that used firearms to protect their lives and their livelihood for their involvement in a fatal shooting in Reisterstown, Maryland. The grand jury decided not to press criminal charges. The brothers, at the time, had encountered several burglaries at their concrete business. The brothers spent the night in their warehouse armed with shotguns. One night at 1:00 in the morning the burglars returned and the brothers shot and killed 1 burglar and injured 2 of the others. The 2 injured men were charged with burglary and 2 others were charged with burglary in connection with burglaries that had occurred in a previous month at the brother’s warehouse. Burglary is known to be a violent crime and the brothers were particularly worried when they realized a gun of theirs had been stolen in a previous break-in.

(B) In 2008, a Waukegan, Illinois, store clerk shot and injured a robber. According to news reports, there was potential the clerk could face criminal charges, even though he acted in self-defense. The store clerk did not have a firearm owner’s identification card and would be charged with a State firearms violation. Additionally, Illinois law does not allow employees to carry a gun in a place of business. Rather, the law only allows individuals to carry a gun in a place of business if that individual is the owner or has proprietary interest.

(C) In September 2009, a Lithonia homeowner from Dekalb County, Georgia, was charged with aggravated assault after he shot someone who was trying to knock down the door of his home as an attempt to break into the residence. According to the neighbors, there had been trouble in the neighborhood before. A police spokesperson said the homeowner was charged because the robber was technically not inside the home. The suspected robber was charged with attempted burglary.

(D) In January 2004, Wilmette, Illinois, police charged and convicted a homeowner with misdemeanors for owning 2 handguns and violating the village handgun ban ordinance. The homeowner was also faced with a potential $750 fine for failing to renew his Illinois firearm owner’s identification card. These charges were brought after he shot a home intruder. The resident stated, “My Plan A is to call 911 and keep the family upstairs … But my Plan B is to have a loaded firearm and put a bullet in the intruder.” The intruder entered the house 2 times, once through a dog door and the second time with a stolen house key. The homeowner had just put his children to bed when his security system was set off. The homeowner went downstairs and confronted and shot the intruder. The intruder jumped through a window and stole the family’s car to go to the hospital. The intruder was charged with 2 counts of residential burglary and 1 count of possession of a stolen vehicle.

(4) The courts have granted immunity from prosecution to police officers who use firearms in the line of duty. Similarly, law-abiding citizens who use firearms to protect themselves, their families, and their homes against violent felons should not be subject to lawsuits by the violent felons who sought to victimize them.

SEC. 3. Right to obtain firearms for security, and to use firearms in defense of self, family, or home; enforcement.

(a) Reaffirmation of right.—A person not prohibited from receiving a firearm by section 922(g) of title 18, United States Code, shall have the right to obtain firearms for security, and to use firearms—

(1) in defense of self or family against a reasonably perceived threat of imminent and unlawful infliction of serious bodily injury;

(2) in defense of self or family in the course of the commission by another person of a violent felony against the person or a member of the person's family; and

(3) in defense of the person's home in the course of the commission of a felony by another person.

(b) Firearm defined.—As used in subsection (a), the term “firearm” means—

(1) a shotgun (as defined in section 921(a)(5) of title 18, United States Code);

(2) a rifle (as defined in section 921(a)(7) of title 18, United States Code); or

(3) a handgun (as defined in section 10 of Public Law 99–408).

(c) Enforcement of right.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—A person whose right under subsection (a) is violated in any manner may bring an action in any United States district court against the United States, any State, or any person for damages, injunctive relief, and such other relief as the court deems appropriate.
(2) AUTHORITY TO AWARD A REASONABLE ATTORNEY'S FEE.—In an action brought under paragraph (1), the court, in its discretion, may allow the prevailing plaintiff a reasonable attorney's fee as part of the costs.

(3) STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS.—An action may not be brought under paragraph (1) after the 5-year period that begins with the date the violation described in paragraph (1) is discovered.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

WI House Majority Leader On Passing Concealed Carry

Cam Edwards interviewed State Representative Scott Suder (R-Abbotsford) on the passage of concealed carry in the State of Wisconsin. With its passage in Wisconsin, the only state that does not allow concealed carry in any form is Illinois.

HR 2252: A National Castle Doctrine?

Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) has introduced HR 2252 on Tuesday. While the text of the bill is not available, the working title is "To protect the right to obtain firearms for security, and to use firearms in defense of self, family, or home, and to provide for the enforcement of such right."

This sounds almost like a national castle doctrine to me. We won't know for sure until the text of the bill is released.

Currently, HR 2252 has 18 co-sponsors including:
Rep Brooks, Mo [AL-5]
Rep Burton, Dan [IN-5]
Rep Calvert, Ken [CA-44]
Rep Duncan, John J., Jr. [TN-2]
Rep Flores, Bill [TX-17]
Rep Forbes, J. Randy [VA-4]
Rep Franks, Trent [AZ-2]
Rep Gingrey, Phil [GA-11]
Rep Hall, Ralph M. [TX-4]
Rep Latta, Robert E. [OH-5]
Rep Marchant, Kenny [TX-24]
Rep McCotter, Thaddeus G. [MI-11]
Rep Mica, John L. [FL-7]
Rep Miller, Candice S. [MI-10]
Rep Posey, Bill [FL-15]
Rep Ross, Dennis [FL-12]
Rep Schmidt, Jean [OH-2]
Rep Simpson, Michael K. [ID-2]
As soon as the text of the bill is available, I will post it. The bill has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.

Attention North Carolinians! Want HB 650 Signed? Call Perdue Now! (updated)

I spoke with Governor Bev Perdue's office today to inquire about the status of HB 650 which amends a number of North Carolina's gun laws and, more importantly, adopts the Castle Doctrine. It has not been signed yet.

Gov. Perdue has until June 30th to either veto HB 650 or allow it to be passed with or without her signature. Under the North Carolina Constitution, a bill passed by the General Assembly can only be vetoed by the affirmative action of the governor. In other words, North Carolina does not have the pocket veto whereby a bill is vetoed if not signed within 10 days. Thus, if Perdue does nothing against the bill, it will become law regardless of whether she actually signs the bill or not.

In my chat with the Governor's Office I found out that they are keeping a tally on each bill passed by the General Assembly to see whether the caller wants the bill signed or vetoed. They also implied that Perdue is holding off on HB 650 until the last moment to see what the popular sentiment is on the bill.

Call her office now! It is a toll-free call - 800-662-7952 - and say you want HB 650 signed. That is all you have to do. You don't have to present them with any arguments why she should sign it - just say sign it. If you live in the Raleigh area, the local number is 919-733-2391. All they will ask is your name and county.

We have fought too long and too hard to see this bill vetoed. While the numbers are there for a veto override, why should be there be any more delay in advancing your gun rights?

Pass this on to pro-gun friends and family!

Sean at An NC Gun Blog has more on this bill as well as a report from WRAL on the bill's chances of being signed.

UPDATE: According to a Tweet from WRAL, Governor Perdue has signed HB 650.
Perdue has signed "Run and You're Done," omnibus gun rights bill, E-verify, "founding principles," opt-out for corp punishmt, 17 more #ncga

UPDATE II: According to Laura Leslie, Capitol Bureau Chief of WRAL, Governor Perdue signed 22 bills, allowed one to become law without her signature, and vetoed one bill. Included in the signed bills was HB 650. The vetoed bill was a bill that required voters to present a picture ID in order to vote.
As she works through the more than 200 bills state lawmakers sent her last week, Gov. Bev Perdue released a list of 22 bills signed today, and one she allowed to become law without her signature.
HB 650 Omnibus Gun Bill - This bill makes multiple changes across an array of statutes related to gun possession and use. The bill’s most significant change is implementing the castle doctrine in North Carolina.