Saturday, September 30, 2017
The Polite Society Podcast will again be broadcasting a live feed of both days of the Gun Rights Policy Conference. This year the live feed will go out over Facebook Live from the Polite Society Podcast page.
The page is here.
A complete compilation of the day's events will be re-broadcast by Matt of Geeks, Gadgets, and Guns. I will post the link to that when it is available.
As a reminder, you can find the full agenda here.
Friday, September 29, 2017
The 2017 Gun Rights Policy Conference starts this evening in Irving, Texas. For those that don't know, it is sponsored by the Second Amendment Foundation and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. And what could be a better way to start this conference than a win in the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in the Wrenn case.
The Court of Appeals has refused to hold an en banc review of Wrenn v. DC which is a win for gun rights in the District of Columbia. The Wrenn case invalidated the District's requirement that a citizen show "good reason" in order to obtain a carry permit. The question is now whether the District of Columbia will appeal this to the United States Supreme Court. The last time they appealed such a loss in a gun rights case was in DC v. Heller and we know how that turned out for them.
From SAF on their win in DC:
BELLEVUE, WA — The U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has turned down a request from the city for an en banc hearing on the concealed carry case of Wrenn v. District of Columbia, amounting to a strategic win for the Second Amendment Foundation.
According to the court, not a single judge on the court requested a hearing. Earlier, a three-judge panel had ruled in favor of plaintiffs Brian Wrenn and SAF. The case challenges the District’s carry permit policy that requires citizens to provide a “good reason” to be issued a permit. The Appeals Court struck down that requirement.
“Ten years ago, Washington D.C.’s political leadership tried to extinguish Second Amendment rights before the Supreme Court,” noted attorney Alan Gura, who represents the plaintiffs. “The result was D.C. v. Heller, a tremendous victory for the rights of all Americans. With the court of appeals again confirming the people’s right to bear arms, Washington, D.C.’s politicians must once again ask themselves whether it makes sense to keep resisting our fundamental rights.”
Gura successfully argued both the 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller case and 2010 McDonald v. City of Chicago case before the U.S. Supreme Court. Both cases dealt directly with Second Amendment issues. Heller affirmed that the amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms, and McDonald incorporated the Second Amendment to the states via the 14thAmendment.
SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb was delighted with the court’s decision not to grant the en banc hearing.
“We are grateful,” Gottlieb observed, “that the court has shown considerable wisdom, and this should help advance the effort to assure reasonable concealed carry for District residents. It represents one more advancement in our effort to win firearms freedom one lawsuit at a time.”
The victory comes on the eve of the 32nd annual Gun Rights Policy Conference in Dallas, Texas. The event is co-sponsored by SAF and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
The agenda for the 2017 Gun Rights Policy Conference which starts on Friday evening in Dallas was announced yesterday. I am honored to be asked to speak again on the use of new media to promote gun rights. Paul Lathrop, host of the Polite Society Podcast, will also be on the same panel with me. Our fellow co-host Rachel Malone who is now the operations director of the Republican Party of Texas will be speaking on women in the gun rights movement.
You can find the full agenda here.
As a reminder, it is FREE to attend the Gun Rights Policy Conference and you come home with a stack of books and a ton of knowledge. So if you will be in the neighborhood of the Westin Dallas Fort Worth Airport, take advantage of it.
David Codrea reports that yet another of Mayor Bloomberg's Illegal Mayors has resigned after pleading guilty. This time it was Patterson, NJ Mayor Jose (Joey) Torres who plead guilty to criminal conspiracy for using city workers to perform work on city time at a warehouse owned by his family.
However, former Mayor Torres was not just any old member of MAIG. As David reports, Joey Torres was one that got special recognition.
When he was mayor of New York City, Bloomberg actually called Torres out for special recognition in a “State of the City” address:The "wrong-head law" was the Tiahrt Amendment which put limits on the release of BATFE firearm traces.
“Today, we’re joined by the mayor of Paterson, Jose (Joey) Torres. Mayor Torres, New York City offers its deepest condolences to you and your city. And we’ll also join you in working to bring sanity to gun policy in our nation. Next week, more than 50 mayors from across the country — who are part of our coalition of Mayors Against Illegal Guns — will gather in Washington, D.C., to take up this challenge.
“And I’m happy to say that Mayor Torres will be with us. Our goal will be getting Congress to overturn a wrong-headed law — one that blocks access at the local level to federal data that would let us hold gun dealers accountable for illegally selling to gun traffickers. Mayor Torres and I have a simple message for Congress: It’s time to take ideology out of crime-fighting and time to give mayors — the people who are responsible for policing our streets — the tools we need to protect our citizens.”
In other words, not content to disregard the Bill of Rights in their own ruined corners of the Republic, they’re intent on imposing their edicts everywhere, in Everytown, bending everyone to their will. And as for that “wrong-headed law” Bloomberg and Torres sought to overturn? If they do, they’re likely to screw things up and get people killed:
“Both BATFE and the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) oppose release of trace data. In fact, BATFE has fought for years in the federal courts to keep trace records confidential, because they contain information (such as names of gun buyers) that could jeopardize ongoing investigations—not to mention law enforcement officers’ lives.”
When you think about it there are a couple of reasons as to why these mayors are so anti-gun. First, they want to do everything they can to minimize challenges to their power. Second, given their level of criminal misconduct they probably think most people are like them and shouldn't have a gun.
Sunday, September 24, 2017
Grass Roots North Carolina issued an alert this weekend urging people to contact the GOP members of the NC congressional delegation regarding the Hearing Protection Act and the SHARE Act.
I've urged readers to do the same in earlier posts. A little extra encouragement to the representatives is always welcome.
Silencers are great for protecting your hearing ...
... and reducing noise as a courtesy to those around you, but silence is never good when it comes to leading your representatives in DC ...
In a potential leap forward for Second Amendment principles, the Hearing Protection Act of 2017, which would deregulate suppressors, is about to go the House floor for a vote and your representative needs to hear from you.
Encourage GOP Representatives
Below, see how you can easily email and phone your GOP United States Representative and tell him or her that now is the time to stand up for the Second Amendment. Actually, it’s always the time to stand up for the Second Amendment, but this bill certainly gives them the opportunity to go on record as pro-gun. This is where Second Amendment campaign rhetoric gets put to the test. Use the links, phone numbers and the copy/paste text provided below to contact your representative regarding this matter—if your representative is a Republican. If you don’t know who your representative is, CLICK HERE to find out—look for “Find Your Representative” at the upper-right portion of the page and plug in your zip code.
You are free to phone some of the other representatives on the list as well. It can only help.
IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!
- EMAIL YOUR GOP REPRESENTATIVE IN WASHINGTON. Below, find links to the representatives’ respective online contact forms.
- PHONE YOUR GOP REPRESENTATIVE. Below, find the representatives’ phone numbers. Phone them, and use the ‘Phone Message’ text below to make clear your expectations as a North Carolina gun owner.If you don’t know who your representative is: CLICK HERE to find out. Look for “Find Your Representative” at the upper-right portion of the page and plug in your zip code.
George Holding (R-Raleigh): 919-782-4400, Contact Form
Walter Jones Jr. (R-Farmville): 800-351-1697, Contact Form
Virginia Foxx (R-Winston- Salem): 828-265-0240, Contact Form
Mark Walker (R-Greensboro): 336-626-3060, Contact Form
David Rouzer (R-Benson): 910-253-6111 Contact Form
Richard Hudson (R-Concord): 704-786-1612, Contact Form
Robert Pittenger (R-Charlotte): 704-362-1060 Contact Form
Patrick McHenry (R-Cherryville): 828-327-6100, Contact Form
Mark Meadows (R-Asheville): 828-693-5660, Contact Form
Ted Budd (R-Advance): 336-998-1313, Contact Form
DELIVER THIS MESSAGE
Hello, I am calling today to express my support for the Hearing Protection Act of 2017. Passing this bill would be a much needed, great step forward for Second Amendment principles, and also a great opportunity for representatives like [REP NAME] to live up to the GOP’s pro-gun platform. Please tell the representative that he/she should be encouraging House leaders to move this bill to the floor, and I expect him/her to vote YES on this bill. I will be monitoring the representative’s actions on this matter through alerts from Grass Roots North Carolina. Thank you very much.
Copy/Paste Email Message:
Suggested Subject (where applicable): “Vote YES on Hearing Protection of 2017”
I am writing to express my full support for the Hearing Protection Act of 2017. Passing this bill would be a much needed step forward for Second Amendment principles, and also a great opportunity for representatives like you to live up to the GOP’s pro-gun platform. As a constituent, and a gun owner, I expect you to encourage House leaders to move this bill to the floor, and when it’s up for a vote, I expect you to vote YES. I will be monitoring your actions on this matter through alerts from Grass Roots North Carolina.
Thursday, September 21, 2017
I received an email from Robin Lloyd of Americans for Responsible Solutions (sic) today. She lists herself as the Director of Government Affairs which I assume to mean head lobbyist. The email is below and I've highlighted sections. As many readers know, this group has had a real hard-on about the Hearing Protection Act since the beginning. The HPA was rolled into HR 3668 - the Sportsmen’s Heritage And Recreational Enhancement Act or the “SHARE Act”. The House Committee on Natural Resources reported it out on Monday, September 18th.
John -We are in a war for our firearm civil rights. We know it and they know it. Propaganda is part and parcel of war and the email above may just be that. Shocking as it may seem, gun prohibitionists have been known to lie and this well could be another of their big lies. They have been lying about suppressors since Day 1 so why should this be any different. Even the Washington Post awarded them 3 or 4 Pinocchios for their claims about suppressors.
I wanted to write with a quick, but promising, update on the gun lobby’s efforts to pass legislation deregulating the sale of firearm silencers.
After last week’s committee hearing and vote, it looked like the vote on final passage before the entire House was going to happen before the end of the month.
But the grassroots pushback is working, and some moderate Republicans in the House are hesitant about voting on this as they consider their own re-election prospects.
Can you imagine what a sea change it would be for the future of the gun debate if the House of Representatives, with an overwhelming Republican majority, was afraid to vote on and pass this bill? It would totally and completely reshape the future of this debate. So we have to keep up the pressure:
Chip in $3 to help Gabby, Mark, and Americans for Responsible Solutions stop legislation that would deregulate the sale of firearm silencers from ever becoming law.
Gosh, John, it wasn’t long ago that the shoe was completely on the other foot — that the gun lobby’s allies used to try and force people who generally opposed commonsense solutions to reduce gun violence to take “tough, pro-gun” votes.
We are winning. The future is ours on this issue. But only if we all continue to make our voices heard.
All my best,
Director of Government Affairs
Americans for Responsible Solutions
It could also be just an effort to rally their base and bring in more dollars. There is nary an email from this group that doesn't ask for money.
Nonetheless, despite having a history of being lying b@$%@rds, they could actually be correct about some moderate Republicans (aka RINOs) wavering on this bill due to the pro-gun rights elements contained within it. While the bill is on the Union Calendar, that doesn't say when it is scheduled to be brought to the floor of the House for a vote. Thus, we need to keep calling our representatives and demand that they vote for this bill. If you are represented by a RINO, put it to them hard.
Find your representative here.
We also need to put pressure on the Republican leadership to stand firm and to bring the bill forward.
Contact Speaker Paul Ryan's office here and urge him to bring the bill forward.Both sets of links will also give you phone numbers -- use them!
One final suggestion: if you've bought a suppressor or filed a Form 1 since 2015, you will get your $200 back. You might hint to the congressional office that you are looking for a place to spend that money or even, cough, cough, donate it.
To put things into perspective, imagine if Congress or any state legislature passed a bill stating that all the key research data on abortions would, by law, be given to researchers with the National Right-To-Life Committee and that any other requests for this same public health data would be approved only at the discretion of the White House. Do you think the media would jump on the issue with both feet? Moreover, how quickly would lawsuits be filed seeking injunctions by groups like the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and the National Abortion Rights Action League?
That is essentially the case in California with a bill (SB 536) sitting on Gov. Jerry Brown's desk concerning the data about gun violence restraining orders. It automatically is available to well-known anti-gun researcher Dr. Garen Wintemute and his Gun Violence Research Center. All other requests for this same research data would be at the discretion of the California Department of Justice. This is the same DOJ that was headed by virulently anti-gun rights Attorney General Kamala Harris (D-CA) and is now headed by equally anti-gun rights Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D-CA).
Does anyone think this DOJ would allow the data to go to Dr. John Lott and his Crime Prevention Research Center?
Gun rights activists in California are rightly upset and wary of this bill. They are asking Gov. Brown to veto the bill. The release from the Firearms Policy Coalition on the bill is below:
Bill Promoting Unequal Access to Public Data is on Gov. Jerry Brown’s Desk
SACRAMENTO, CA (September 20, 2017) — Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) is asking Governor Jerry Brown to veto Senate Bill 536, a measure which provides unequal access to data for the purpose of researching Gun Violence Restraining Orders (GVRO).
SB 536, by Senator Richard Pan (D - Sacramento), requires the Department of Justice (DOJ) to make information relating to GVROs that is maintained in the California Restraining and Protective Order System or any similar database available to researchers affiliated with the University of California Firearm Violence Research Center. It does not, however, require DOJ to make the same data available to other organizations for the purpose of research.
“While we do appreciate a passing thought given to others whose research may benefit from this data, to state that such access is ‘…at the discretion of the department…’ places all other requestors at a significant disadvantage,” said Craig DeLuz, Spokesman for Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC).
“This allows the DOJ to pick favorites with sensitive data that is needed to hold the research center accountable.”
The Gun Violence Research Center at UC Davis was created in 2016 by legislation that amounted to a sole source contract with Dr. Garen Wintemute, a gun control advocate who has been producing anti-gun research for decades. Under SB 536 that same biased researcher will have unfettered access to key research data, while others will be required to get special approval from DOJ.
“This measure ensures that only those that are ideological similar are going to have access to the data that supports this publicly funded research,” notes DeLuz. “If public data, collected by public employees, using public tax dollars to study a public policy is to be made available to anyone, it should be public.”
SB 536 is now on the desk of Governor Jerry Brown, awaiting his signature or veto.
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
It is amazing how far gun rights and carry rights have advanced in the Badger State since I first started blogging in 2010. Back then, Wisconsin residents had limited open carry rights due to an advisory ruling by then-Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen in 2009. They were one of two states that did not allow any form of concealed carry.
That began to change in late 2010 thanks to a ruling by a county circuit judge who ruled that the ban on concealed carry was unconstitutional. That, however, only applied in a limited area of Wisconsin. It was not until July 2011 when Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) signed SB 93 that concealed carry became a reality in the state. Moreover, the bill that Gov. Walker signed provided for shall-issue concealed carry.
Fast forward a few years and now the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee passed out a bill that would allow constitutional or permitless concealed carry in the state.
From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal:
The Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee signed off on the bill 3-2, with all Republicans for it and all Democrats against it. The wide-ranging legislation would also allow people to carry Tasers without training or permits and would allow felons to carry muzzle loaders.According to the article, the Democrats on the committee oppose it because they believe there still should be some level of government regulation. While Sen. Wanggaard, the committee chair, believes it will pass both the Senate and the Assembly, there is some question as to whether Gov. Walker will actually sign the bill.
Sen. Van Wanggaard (R-Racine), the chairman of the committee, said Senate Bill 169 would make the public safer and ensure Wisconsin's policies are the same for carrying weapons openly and concealed. Wisconsin has long allowed people to openly carry guns without training or permits.
"Quite honestly, I think I would rather have an individual that can lawfully possess a firearm and is carrying it, (and) I'd rather have them carrying it concealed because I think it creates a lot less tension when you're in a group of people," Wanggaard said.
"If they’re there for a lawful purpose and they’re carrying it for personal protection, they’re not going to be the problem. The one that’s going to be the problem is the dirtball that has one that’s illegal and they’re going to use it to conduct crime."
Walker was asked about the constitutional carry legislation back in June and he had this to say at the time as reported by the Wisconsin State Journal.
“I think the law we have right now is a good law. I’m comfortable with that,” Walker told reporters when asked about the bill. “The people that talk to me about it say they like where it’s at. Obviously we’re one of the last states to have concealed carry and people said the world was going to come to an end who were the critics. It hasn’t. We’re one of the larger number of permits in the country and it works well that way. ... What I’ve heard from folks is they are happy with the law as it is.”Even if the legislation passes, the existing permit system would remain in place for those residents who wanted a permit so that they could carry in other states that recognized the Wisconsin permit.
Kudos to all those in Wisconsin who have fought in the trenches for gun rights in the state for so long. Their efforts have brought the state from virtually no carry to the cusp of constitutional carry. To quote Arthur MacArthur, that native son of Wisconsin who won the Medal of Honor for his exploits at the Battle of Missionary Ridge, "On, Wisconsin!"
The charging handle seems, on the surface, to be one of those parts of an AR15 that doesn't matter that much. You can spend a lot more on a charging handle but the $12 aluminum mil-spec charging handle will work just fine most of the time. By comparison, a gritty mil-spec trigger has the potential - and some would say the probability - to impact your accuracy with the rifle.
I will admit to not having given it too much thought. I have a couple of blem BCM charging handles and just ordered a Radians Raptor charging handle because I got a good deal on it. Then this morning I watched the video below by Ian McCollum and Karl Kasarda of InRange TV about their What Would Stoner Do project.
They have given it much more thought than I had and brought up points I hadn't considered about charging handles. I very well may consider the Geissele the next time I find them on sale. Given I use their triggers perhaps I should also be using their charging handle on some of my ARs.
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Safety is paramount when dealing with firearms. If either of these recalls effect you, please stop using the product and follow the manufacturer's instructions for returning the product for upgrade or replacement.
First, for the person who assembles their own AR15 comes this from American Outdoor Brand's Battenfield Technologies subsidiary. It is the AR15 lower parts kit (Item #110114) sold prior to September 12, 2017 and marketed under the S&W M&P label. It only applies to the lower parts kit and not to factory assembled S&W M&P-15s. The hammer in the kit is missing a pin due to a packaging error.
Here is a picture of the hammer involved and the steps you need to take to remedy the issue.
The second recall comes from SIG and involves a limited number of their SIG716, SIG516, and SIGM400 rifles which may have an improperly heat-treated hammer in the trigger assembly.
Newington, NH (September 15th, 2017) – SIG SAUER, Inc. has determined that a limited number of rifles in the SIG716 DMR®, SIG516® Carbon Fiber and SIGM400® Predator models were built with a two-stage SIG SAUER trigger that may have an improperly heat-treated hammer. Over time this could result in a trigger malfunction creating a significant safety hazard. SIG SAUER is issuing a mandatory recall to replace the hammer and trigger assembly in these specific rifles. This recall does not affect any military or law enforcement rifles or any SIG MCX®/SIG MPX® products.
SIG SAUER will correct any of the affected firearms at no cost to the customer.
To determine if a specific firearm is affected by the recall, go to https://www.sigsauer.com/support/safety-center/rifle-safety-warning/ and utilize the serial number identifier and visual inspection instructions.
If you are a customer who is affected by the recall, stop using the firearm immediately and follow the instructions on the website or call SIG SAUER Customer Service by dialing 603-610-3000, option #1. Have the rifle’s serial number available.
To reiterate on both recalls, if you own either of the products involved, stop using them now and contact the manufacturers involved.
UPDATE: In an absurd posting, the Bloomberg-financed, anti-gun "news service" (sic) The Trace criticizes SIG over their safety warning and recall. They contend that SIG is "keeping gun owners in the dark" by just saying it can cause a "trigger malfunction" due to the improper heat treatment of the hammer. The Trace wants SIG to go into chapter and verse over what a trigger malfunction might cause. They point to the safety warning (probably mandated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission) issued by Takata on their air bag recall.
I think the average firearm user recognizes that they are a) using a tool that can have deadly consequences if misused, b) that a trigger malfunction is not good, and c) you don't mess around with trigger malfunctions.
Monday, September 18, 2017
Squish the Magic Rino returns to Raleigh!
The North Carolina General Assembly returns to Raleigh on October 11th and Squish and his friends at Grass Roots North Carolina will be there to welcome them back. HB 746, which would allow permitless concealed carry among other things, is still stuck in the State Senate. While it has passed the House, Senate leaders seem to think bowing down to a certain wealthy ex-mayor and his hired minions is preferable to listening to those that got them elected.
More details in this release put out by GRNC:
RALLY FOR YOUR RIGHTS
Squish the Magic RINO returns to Raleigh for your Constitutional rights…
Do you remember all of the speeches during the last election cycle, how the Republican candidates couldn't say enough about how pro-Second Amendment they are? Unfortunately, it seems that Republicans have since become complacent, and they are taking gun owners like you for granted.
We know this because House Bill 746 is still stuck in the Senate, a bill that gives NC Republicans a perfect opportunity to follow through on their campaign rhetoric. Yet, “stuck” is the key term here, not “follow through.”
Worse yet, we know that Michael Bloomberg's out-of-state money has been hard at work in North Carolina, with a few well-paid operatives whispering fear and doubt into the ears of our elected leaders. This isn't a new game for them, since they prognosticate doom about every pro-Second Amendment measure that comes up ... and when these pro-gun bills are passed into law, their fears of doom are proven to be completely unfounded. Still, we want to make sure that responsible, law-abiding gun owners are being seen and heard by their elected leaders. Let's remind them that rich New Yorkers and a few paid minions don't speak for us in our state legislature.
Attend the Rally in Raleigh
As it stands, the General Assembly is scheduled to return for a special session on *Wednesday, October 11th, and GRNC has planned a gun rights rally for the mall area between the Legislature and the Legislative Office Building. However, if we are to effectively remind Republicans about you… we need YOU there. Together, we can encourage our leaders to live up to their promises and move House Bill 746 in this special session.
If you can attend, please click here to RSVP. See below, under 'Immediate Action Required,' for more details.
Barring a schedule change, which is entirely in the hands of the politicians in Raleigh, the demonstration will take place on *Wednesday, October 11th at 11:00 AM.
And, just to ensure Republicans don’t miss the message:
Squish the Magic RINO
will be there!
* A legislative session is currently scheduled to open October 11. Technically speaking, this is subject to change, and is ultimately up to the legislators themselves. Should the date change, GRNC will keep you apprised, and do its best to hold an effective rally on the appropriate date. As possible and if required, your flexibility is requested and greatly appreciated.
IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!
- RSVP ON THE GRNC WEBSITE and let us know that you can attend the rally (or go to: https://www.grnc.org/october-
- ATTEND THE RALLY! It will be located on the grass mall just north of the Legislative building at 16 W. Jones St., Raleigh, NC. The rally will begin at 11:00 AM, *Wednesday, October 11, but it's wise to get there early to alleviate parking concerns.
- PLEASE DRESS FOR THE PRESS. We encourage professional attire. Please, no inflammatory slogans on clothing or signs. We want to show everyone that North Carolina's gun owners are the most civil, respectful, law-abiding citizens!
Friday, September 15, 2017
Every now and then you come across something that makes you say, "If I only had the money" or "When I win the lottery". I came across something like that today. I was getting a pop-up ad in Facebook for various pieces of property on www.landandfarm.com.
After looking at a couple of things in Tennessee, I put "Randolph County, NC" into the search function. It is in the central Piedmont of North Carolina and would put me closer to my granddaughter Olivia Grace. It is also the county in which I was born all those many years ago.
What I found was stunning to say the least. The "Ponderosa" has a 3 BR, 2 BA house on 131 acres and is located in Denton bordering on the Davidson County line.
Well, OK, that's nice. But what if I said it also had a pistol/shotgun range, a 100 yard rifle range, and a 600 yard rifle range?
|600 Yard Range|
|Indoor Bench for 100 Yard Range|
The bottom line for all of this is $749,000. This is less than $6,000 per acre. It is almost like you are getting the house, workshop, and game cooler as an add-on bonus if you buy the land.
The listing is handled by Ben Wolfe of Wolfe Specialty Real Estate and Consulting. I don't know anything about this company nor the owner. The link to his website gives more details on the property.
Having my your own place to shoot with multiple ranges along with a place to hunt and fish whenever would be considered priceless to many including myself. That said, $749,000 is out of my price range if I ever want to retire.
But hey, a guy can dream on a Friday afternoon, can't he?
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Mayor Bloomberg's Illegal Mayors has gained another member. Mayor Ed Murray of Seattle resigned effective as of 5 pm PDT today. He has been accused of child molestation by at least five men.
From Oregon Public Radio:
The resignation comes after a younger cousin accused him of sexual abuse in the 1970s.Murray denies the claims of molestation but nonetheless has resigned. I hate to say it but you don't publicly accuse someone of child molestation over a mere family rift. Dyer, Murray's cousin, provided a signed declaration to the attorney representing Delvonn Heckard who had also accused Murray of molestation.
The Seattle Times reports that Joseph Dyer, 54, accuses Murray of repeatedly molesting him when he was a teenager.
Dyer is the fifth man to accuse the mayor of such abuse.
Murray has repeatedly denied allegations of sexual abuse. He has said in the past that accusations from four men were part of a right-wing political agenda to take him down. According to the Times, Murray said the latest accusation is false and is likely because of a family rift.
Dyer says Murray forced him into sex while they shared a bedroom in Dyer’s childhood home, according to the Times. Dyer says he was 13 years old at the time. Murray lived with Dyer’s family in New York after his mother passed away.
Dyer has provided a signed declaration to a Seattle lawyer representing Delvonn Heckard, the man who sued Murray earlier this year for repeatedly raping him in the 1980s. The lawsuit has since been withdrawn but Heckard has filed a claim for damages against the city of Seattle.
I don't know if the statute of limitations has passed or not. However, child molestation is one of the most sordid of crimes especially when done by either a family member or someone in a position of authority. Murray was a family member of Dyer and a counselor to the other men. Resignation from his mayoral post and deciding not to run for re-election seems to me an effort on the part of Murray to hide as much of these incidents as possible.
I hope these men get the justice that they deserve. Three years ago the headline in the Seattle Times read, "Big winners: gun control and Mayor Ed Murray." How times have changed in Seattle for at least one of these two.
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Shannon Watts, potential congressional candidate from Colorado and Bloomberg's gift that keeps on giving, put up this tweet yesterday about the murders in Plano, Texas over the weekend. She is never one to let a family tragedy go to waste.
Majority of mass shootings in America are related to domestic violence, take place in private residences, and most victims are women. https://t.co/FwzWcAqYeQ— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) September 11, 2017
Watts and her minions have consistently argued against arming teachers and in favor of more gun free zones. Their argument is that a gun free zone is safer which people reading this blog know only creates a target rich environment for psychopaths.
Her whole supposed rationale for keeping schools, university campuses, and other public places "gun free" is to prevent mass shootings and "gun violence" (sic). Her Moms Demand Action was supposedly created in response to the murders in Newtown. (Actually, I think it was merely a vehicle to reinvent her moribund career.)
But if she is correct in stating that the majority of mass shootings take place in private residences, doesn't that shoot down her rationale for more supposed gun free zones? Private residences will never be legally gun free. It will only be on an ad hoc basis at the whims of the individual residents. The Heller decision saw to that.
Shannon Watts is nothing if not consistently inconsistent. Her only consistencies seem to be guns are bad (unless they are used to protect me), "hey, look at me", and how can I make a family tragedy into a PR gain for me.
Monday, September 11, 2017
It is somewhat hard to believe that September 11, 2001 was sixteen years ago. It still seems so clear in my memory that I feel like it was only yesterday that those four airplanes filled with mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, were hijacked and made into weapons. I guess this is the way all seminal events in our lives feel.
I listened to the speech given by Secretary of Defense James Mattis today. He said, "But we Americans are not made of cotton candy, we are not seaweed drifting in the current, we are not intimidated by our enemies." He was right. It filled our nation with a terrible resolve to use Admiral Yamamoto's words after the Pearl Harbor surprise attack. We struck back and we struck hard.
While today is officially known as Patriot Day, I will continue to use the old term of September 11th. I will remember those lost that day and those that died in the conflicts that followed.
Secretary Mattis' full speech is below. His quote used in the headline comes at about the 1:45 mark.
Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Verrit.com is a new website founded by Peter Daou. They call themselves the media for the 65.8 million. That is a play on the popular vote received by Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential Election. Daou was an advisor to Clinton in her 2008 run for the presidency.
The website claims to have verified all the political nuggets that they put into little digestible bites. They even put a verification number of that little nugget of wisdom.
Verrit collects and contextualizes noteworthy facts, stats, and quotes for politically engaged citizens. Each “verrit” is a verified item of information marked with a 7-digit identification code. To authenticate a verrit, enter the code in the search bar and match it to our database.The website and its "service" has been endorsed by Clinton. That said, it is getting grief from both the left and the right. Politico says it looks like "North Korean Agitprop." The Washington Examiner calls it, in an opinion piece, "a leftist partisan blunder." Finally, even the Washington Post - Pravda on the Potomac - calls it a media platform that "is looking worse and worse."
Let's look at one of their cards dealing with "gun violence" (sic).
You know that old saying about how figures lie and liars figure? This is one of them.
First, who in their right mind would use Newsweek as your source for anything authoritative? Really?
Second, it also depends on how you define children. To see what the real numbers showed, I went to the authoritative source on mortality statistics in the United States: the Center for Disease Control and their WISQARS database.
The database has a tool where you can generate charts showing deaths by age and by cause. I broke down the age groups into less than one, 1-4, 5-9, 10-14, and 15-19. While it generated numbers for all age groups I don't consider anyone over 19 to be a "child". If I could have specified less than 18 only, I would have done that as 18 is the age of majority in virtually all the states.
Here are the top five leading causes of death for those under the age of 20 in the United States in 2015:
- Unintentional Injuries (minus firearm related) ---- 7,863
- Congenital Anomolies ---- 5,792
- Short Gestation ---- 4,084
- All Firearm Related Deaths Combined ---- 2,761
- Malignant Neoplasms (cancer) ---- 1,802
So obviously, Newsweek and Verrit.com are wrong. Guns are NOT the third leading cause of death for children in America. To give you a better idea about firearm related deaths, I broke it down by age, type of death, and whether it involved a firearm in the chart below. All the data comes directly from the CDC database mentioned above. I would encourage everyone to run their own chart as they allow you to drill down.
|Age Group||Total Deaths||Homicide||w Firearms||Suicide||w Firearms||Unintentional||w Firearms|
|Involving a Firearm|
I have underlined the deaths involving a firearm. All of these numbers are from 2015 which are the latest available.
What struck me about these numbers is that below the age of 15, the number of homicides and suicides involving a firearm are rather low. However, it is the cohort between the ages of 15 and 19 that are of concern. Without having the ICD-10 data that would allow me to drill down even further, I can only surmise what is behind the number of homicides in the later teen years. I would speculate that much of it is drug and gang related but I can't say that for sure.
Suicides for this cohort are almost evenly divided between those involving a firearm and those that involve suffocation. Suicides in the younger 10-14 age range are more likely to involve suffocation while in the adult cohorts firearms are more likely to be used.
The bottom line here is that those opposed to the Second Amendment will fudge their numbers and that Verrit can put out as much "fake news" as anyone else even if it has a gimmicky verification number. If you want reliable data, you have to go to reliable sources. Even then, you have to dig to get it.
There is that old saying that says keep your friends close but your enemies closer.
In that spirit, I read with interest that Dan Gross has stepped down as the president of the Brady Campaign. He was the ad executive brought in to replace Paul Helmke as president back in early 2012 after a long search. Gross will be replaced by Co-Presidents Kristin Brown and Avery Gardiner.
Historically, the presidents of the Brady Campaign have been men since its formation in 1974 as the National Council to Control Handguns. Sarah Brady's role was as chair of the organization from 1989 until her death in 2015.
I wonder if the switch to female co-presidents has something to do with what seems to be the female centric nature of the gun prohibitionists. Even beyond Moms Demand Action, any rally, protest, gathering, etc. seems to be composed primarily of women. I don't know but it seems to have some logic to it.
Here is the press release from the Brady Campaign announcing the changes.
Board of The Brady Campaign and Center to Prevent Gun Violence Appoints Two Internal Executives to Lead Organization
Board Chair says "Mission to cut gun deaths has never been more urgent."
WASHINGTON, DC - September 6, 2017 -- The Board of Trustees of The Brady Campaign and Center to Prevent Gun Violence announced today it has appointed Kristin Brown and Avery Gardiner, as Co-Presidents of the Washington, D.C., nonprofit.
"The Brady Campaign and Center's mission to cut gun deaths in half by 2025 has never been more urgent," said Kevin Quinn, Chairman of the Board. "Brady has a focused strategy to prevent gun violence, and we need strong leaders with exceptional strategic and operational skills to achieve our goals. We have those leaders in Kristin and Avery. We are confident in the appointment of these two executives to lead this great community of Brady advocates and our organization."
Brown and Gardiner will lead the organization from Washington, with a renewed focus on Brady's three strategic campaigns to: (i) expand Brady background checks to all gun sales; (ii) change the cultural perception that a gun in the home makes you safer; and (iii) shut down or reform the small number of bad apple gun dealers that supply the vast majority of our nation's crime guns. The new leadership brings extensive experience in law, policy, and public health, all of which are critical to leading these three campaigns, which have a core focus in each of those areas.
Kristin Brown was previously the Brady Campaign's Chief Strategy Officer. She began her tenure at Brady as the National Policy Director and has a corporate, policy and legal background, having worked on Capitol Hill for more than 8 years where violence prevention and public health were two of her chief policy issues. Brown served for many years as a member of the Executive Management Board and Chief Legal Officer to a global logistics/airline services company based in Switzerland and, prior to that, represented companies in complex litigation and restructuring cases at the law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges.
Avery Gardiner was previously the Brady Center's Chief Legal Officer. She has been responsible for shaping and driving the organization's legal strategy, as well as providing legal advice to all of the organization's departments. She brings extensive litigation and strategic experience to the Brady Center, having litigated and provided strategic advice as a lawyer for a Fortune 15 telecommunications company and at the United States Department of Justice in addition to past roles at major national law firms.
Both Brown and Gardiner already served on Brady's Executive Management Team.
The Board accepted the resignation of Brady's immediate past president, Dan Gross, who will remain with the organization to assist with the transition. According to the Chair of the Board, "Mr. Gross has been an important and influential leader in the gun violence prevention movement for many years, has led Brady, and leaves the organization poised for even greater success. We are grateful for Mr. Gross's service to this issue and organization and wish him the best in his future endeavors."
The appointment is effective immediately.
Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Silvester et al v. Becerra (formerly v. Harris) is a California case that involves a challenge to the 10-day waiting period for those individuals in classes where a waiting or cooling off period makes no rational sense. It was a win at the US District Court level. However, the 9th Circuit bizarrely ruled - but I repeat myself - that even those who owned a firearm and who held a concealed carry permit from California needed that cooling off period.
The Calguns Foundation, the Second Amendment Foundation, Jeff Silvester, and Brandon Combs are the plaintiffs in this case. This past Friday, they have appealed to the US Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari. Their petition can be found here.
More on the case in the Calguns Foundation's release:
WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 1, 2017) – Today, two individuals and two Second Amendment civil rights advocacy groups filed a petition for certiorari in the case of Silvester, et al. v. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra asking the United States Supreme Court to review and overturn a wrongly-decided Ninth Circuit decision about the State of California’s 10-day waiting period laws, noted The Calguns Foundation, one of the petitioners.
A copy of the petition to the Supreme Court and other relevant case documents can be viewed or downloaded at https://www.calgunsfoundation.org/silvester.
In 2014, Federal District Court Judge Anthony W. Ishii—nominated to the bench by then-President Clinton—held that the waiting period laws were unconstitutional as applied to three categories of gun purchasers after undertaking significant discovery, depositions, and a three-day bench trial.
But in 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit bizarrely ruled that even a person legally carrying a concealed handgun as he buys another gun at retail, and who passes a further background check, needs to be “cooled off” for another 10 days before exercising his Second Amendment rights and taking possession of a constitutionally-protected firearm.
“I passed a rigorous state and federal background check and have a license to carry a handgun in public throughout the State of California,” explained individual plaintiff Jeffrey Silvester, an insurance broker in Hanford, California. “The DOJ knows that I am a law-abiding person, and I’m even in their Rap Back system. What possible reason does the State have in denying me my Second Amendment right to take possession of a firearm after I pass yet another background check?”
The petition, authored by Supreme Court and appellate attorney Erik. S. Jaffe of Washington, D.C., noted that it “is no secret that various lower courts, and the Ninth Circuit especially, are engaged in systematic resistance to” the Court’s landmark Heller and McDonald decisions. In doing so, the petitioners argue, the Ninth Circuit ignored important legal rules that govern how infringements on constitutional rights are to be scrutinized and that govern review of a trial court determinations of the facts in a case. Petitioners maintain that the Ninth Circuit’s decision represents one of the clearest example yet of open circumvention of Second Amendment rights, when even the results of a trial cannot survive the hostile appellate review often applied in Second Amendment cases.
The petition notes that the lax legal standard applied by the Ninth Circuit in this case conflicts with the more protective legal standard applied by the Supreme Court, “poses a threat not merely to Second Amendment rights, but to First and Fourteenth Amendment rights as well, and that review should be granted “to correct that conflict” and enforce the proper standard of constitutional scrutiny of laws that burden Second Amendment rights.
Brandon Combs, an individual plaintiff in the case as well as the executive director of organizational plaintiff The Calguns Foundation, believes that fundamental, individual Second Amendment rights are being treated like second-class rights.
“In its decision to ignore the trial court’s Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law as well as longstanding principles of appellate review,” said Combs, “the Ninth Circuit has made it crystal clear that it has no intention of following the Supreme Court’s precedents no matter how unconstitutional, arbitrary, or irrational the law. This case and the Ninth Circuit’s treatment of fundamental rights are beyond ripe for review.”
“We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will use t
he extensive record here to further develop its Second Amendment precedent and place the right to keep and bear arms on an equal footing with First Amendment rights, such as freedom of speech.” Silvester, Combs, and The Calguns Foundation are joined in the petition by Second Amendment Foundation of Bellevue, WA, which also partially funded the case.
Friday, September 1, 2017
I stumbled across a video on the John Pedersen designed Remington Model 10 pump shotgun. The model featured in the video was the trench shotgun made for the American Expeditionary Force in WWI. Remington made approximately 3,500 of these shotguns equipped with a 23-inch barrel, a bayonet lug, and a wooden handguard or heat shield on top of the barrel. This shotgun was the lesser known trench gun used in that war. The Winchester Model 1897 was the shotgun that is more widely thought of when you say trench gun.
A copy of the original owner's manual for the civilian version of the Model 10 is here. While only 3,500 of the military trench guns were made, Remington made approximately 275,000 of these shotguns from 1908 until 1929.
What makes this shotgun so interesting in my opinion is that it is a bottom ejecting shotgun like the more well-known Ithaca Model 37 or the Browning BPS. That combined with a simple, Garand-style safety, and you have a shotgun that can be used by everyone regardless of dominant hand. Add the long "pig sticker" bayonet and you have a very potent and deadly firearm for defending or attaching trenches.
Given that so few of these shotguns were made as trench shotguns and given that many of those were converted to riot guns, I'd hesitate to say what one of these would be worth nowadays except to say "a lot".
Century Arms sent out a product safety warning regarding the Canik pistols that they import from Turkey. They note while these pistols meet current industry and military abusive handling standards, abusive testing can damage them and cause safety issues.
I can't say that I've ever fired a Canik pistol but I did get to dry-fire the Canik TP9SFx at the SHOT Show in 2015. I would consider getting one of those if the price came down as it fit my hand nicely and the trigger seemed pretty decent.
Here is the release that Century Arms sent out this morning by email: