Monday, June 17, 2019

What Is Good Moral Character?


North Carolina HB110 and SB90 as currently written were meant to allow the protection of a religious congregation that rented a school building for their services. It was even titled, "The Religious Assembly Security and 6 Protection Act of 2019." It would allow those with a concealed handgun permit to carry a handgun on school property after school hours while in a building used for religious services. In other words, a person could serve as church security.

The NC Senate Judiciary Committee in its infinite wisdom is proposing to gut the bill and change it into one dealing with pistol purchase permits and concealed handgun permits. It would change the cost of a pistol purchase permit from $5 to $25 but would now allow unlimited numbers of purchases on the same permit for five years. That proposal has the anti-rights forces such as NCGV in an uproar because there was no limit on how many handguns you could buy with one background check.

More importantly, the proposed committee substitute would apply the same "good moral character" requirement for a pistol purchase permits (now called a Class B Handgun Permit) to the NC Concealed Handgun Permit. What is good moral character? We don't know because it is such an amorphous phrase. It is right up there with "justifiable need" as many May-Issue permit states use as a criteria. Does someone who writes angry letters to the editor or has a Confederate flag hanging in their basement lack good moral character? Would an avowed atheist be considered to lack good moral character if the local sheriff was a deacon in his or her fundamentalist church?

The proposed committee substitute which isn't even published on the General Assembly's website is being pushed by the North Carolina Sheriffs Association and their director Eddie Caldwell. It is a power move on their part as all revenue from all permits would now go to the sheriff rather than being shared with the NC Department of Public Safety. Thanks to dedicated volunteers in Grass Roots North Carolina who keep their ear to the ground we even know about this PCS. The staff attorney prepared this bare bones summary which omits the key issue regarding the good moral character requirement.

This proposed committee substitute must be stopped as it would convert our shall-issue permit into a may-issue permit through the "good moral character" requirement. Grass Roots North Carolina has prepared the following alert asking people to both call and write the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee as well as Republican leaders and say NO.

SHERIFFS GRAB POWER
TO DENY PERMITS

Links for social media:
https://tinyurl.com/y3w7syp9
OR
https://www.grnc.org/defend-your-rights/recent-grnc-alerts/1068-senate-republicans-to-gut-concealed-carry

This is not a drill, and this is not a joke. Republicans in Raleigh are in the process of gutting NC’s “shall issue” concealed carry permit application structure...

Regarding concealed carry permit (CHP) applications, we are furious (yes, furious ) to be forced to announce that the Republicans you sent to Raleigh have snuck language into the Proposed Committee Substitute (PCS) of a bill that would, in essence, transform North Carolina from a “SHALL ISSUE” state into a “MAY ISSUE” state.

We at GRNC are incensed and you ought to be as well. As you know, GRNC engineered NC's "shall issue" concealed carry law in 1995. Since then, GRNC has been instrumental in greatly improving it with restaurant carry, limited school/campus carry and more. We're not about to stand by and watch a naked power grab by NC's sheriffs, aided by Republican senators, roll back all of our progress.

Are You of “Good Moral Character?”
Last week, in Raleigh, Republicans snuck new language into a PCS for Senate Bill S90 ("Protect Religious Meeting Places") (=H110), and it’s worth noting that, initially, S90 was not even written to deal with the concealed carry application process. It’s also worth noting that before the poisonous PCS, S90 was a promising pro-gun bill.

Yet, the PCS language strips “shall issue” status from the people and confers “may issue” power to your county sheriff. According to the PCS, a sheriff can deny CHPs by claiming applicants are not of “Good Moral Character,” the same shameful Jim Crow-era language that still exists on Pistol Purchase Permit applications, which GRNC has been fighting to eliminate.
And you’ve probably guessed already: there is no strict definition for “good moral character,” and truly, no definition would suffice in this context anyway. Therefore (and conveniently), lacking “good moral character,” grounds for denying a CHP, is an open-ended label that any sheriff could attach to any applicant for any reason.

Shifting Power from Citizen to Sheriff
Lest you wonder, “good moral character” has nothing to do with an applicant’s criminal history. Exhaustive, indeed intrusive, criminal and medical background checks, and (de facto) long waiting periods are already part of the CHP application process. The sheriff’s personal, subjective and nebulous analysis of your character can have no legitimate purpose. The only clear purpose of this language in S90’s PCS is to take power away from you, the law-abiding citizen, and hand it to your county sheriff to lord over you, so he can withhold your rights at will.

Perhaps you’re thinking, “Sheriffs would never use this new power to deny permits to qualified people.” Yet, if they’d never use their newfound power, why enshrine it in our state’s laws? It can have only one purpose, and if there is no intention to use it (now or later), it would not have been proposed as substitute language for S90.

What You Can Do
Are you prepared to live in a state that treats gun rights the way California does—like “gun privileges?” Are you ready to cede your Natural rights to your county’s sheriff, so he can ration them back to you as he sees fit? If not, please join other gun rights supporters in putting an immediate halt to this attack on your gun rights (from the Republicans no less!). Once again, we must remind these politicians who “brung ‘em” to the dance, and it looks like we’ll have to be more stern than usual.

Below, see how you can easily contact Senate Judiciary Committee members (and Sen. Berger) to tell them, emphatically, that any vote, indeed any support whatsoever, for S90’s Proposed Committee Substitute will be considered a severe and blatant anti-gun action! 

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IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!


  • EMAIL MEMBERS OF THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: Use the copy/paste email list provided below and the copy/paste text provided under ‘Deliver This Message. 

  • PHONE REPUBLICAN LEADERS & YOUR SENATOR: This is serious and so phone calls to committee chairs and to your own senator are just as important as sending an email message. Call today and leave a message; call Monday and call Tuesday. That's how important this is. Please use the phone numbers provided below to contact Judiciary Committee leaders. Also, please call your own senator (find contact details below). When you reach each senator's office, tell him or her:
    I am a gun rights voter, and I am enraged that Republicans are seeking to force a huge step backwards for gun rights in our state. The ostensibly pro-gun party should be ashamed to be identified as the party that introduced Senate Bill 90's PCS language, which would grant "may issue" power to sheriffs for Concealed Carry Permits, stripping citizens of the unalienable portion of unalienable rights. Any Senator supporting this PCS will be considered anti-gun, and will pay at the polls. Thank you.

  • ATTEND TUESDAY'S COMMITTEE HEARING: The presence of gun rights voters at this meeting is critical. Committee members must know that we see what they're trying to do, and that we're serious about stopping them. Please attend Tuesday's committee meeting. You may have an opportunity to speak, so arrive early in case you need to sign up. Find details below.

  • PLEASE CONTRIBUTE TO GRNC: Help us fight gun control while we promote Second Amendment principles. Please CLICK HERE to contribute. Bear in mind that GRNC is an all-volunteer organization, so you can be sure your donations are put to the best possible use. Any amount helps, and any amount is appreciated.

NC Senate Judiciary Committee, Copy/Paste Email List:
Dan.Bishop@ncleg.net; Dan.Blue@ncleg.net; Danny.Britt@ncleg.net; Harry.Brown@ncleg.net; Jim.Burgin@ncleg.net; Warren.Daniel@ncleg.net; Jim.Davis@ncleg.net; Toby.Fitch@ncleg.net; Kathy.Harrington@ncleg.net; Rick.Horner@ncleg.net; Brent.Jackson@ncleg.net; Jeff.Jackson@ncleg.net; Natasha.Marcus@ncleg.net; Mujtaba.Mohammed@ncleg.net; Paul.Newton@ncleg.net; Terry.VanDuyn@ncleg.net; Phil.Berger@ncleg.net

Senate Member Phone
Senator Danny Britt, Jr.
Senate Judiciary Committee Co-chair
(919) 733-5651
Senator Warren Daniel
Senate Judiciary Committee Co-chair
(919) 715-7823
Senator Phil Berger
Senate President Pro Tempore
(919) 733-5708
Please call your senator, too.
Need name/contact information?
Click Here and select the 'NC Senate' option to find your senator.

Tuesday's Senate Judiciary Committee
Attend to Stop the Gutting of Concealed Carry
WHEN:  Tuesday, June 18, 2019, 10:00 am
WHERE:  NCGA Legislative Building
Room 1124/1224
16 West Jones Street
Raleigh, NC 27601
IMPORTANT
NOTES:
Please arrive early to allow extra time to park and to get through building security. 60 minutes early is recommended.
Please dress for the press. Business attire preferred. Please no inflammatory slogans on clothing or otherwise.
Please bring a roll-up paper sign with the following message on it:
"SENATOR BERGER: DON'T GUT CONCEALED CARRY"

DELIVER THIS MESSAGE


Suggested Subject: "Don’t Gut Concealed Carry"  


Dear Senator:

I have just learned of the Republican Party’s effort to transform North Carolina’s concealed carry permit (CHP) application structure from “shall issue” to “may issue.” I see that Senate Judiciary Committee members have snuck language into S90’s Proposed Committee Substitute (PCS) that would grant sheriffs unchecked power to deny concealed carry permits to any applicant, any time, for effectively any reason. The PCS’s language, which poisons an otherwise pro-gun bill, allows a sheriff to declare that an applicant, any applicant, is not of “good moral character.” This is the same shameful Jim Crow-era language that still exists on the Pistol Purchase Permit application, language that ought to be removed (not added elsewhere).

Of course, “good moral character” has no particular definition, nor would any be satisfactory given the context. Exhaustive and intrusive background checks and (de facto) long waiting periods are already part of the CHP application process. The sheriff’s personal, subjective and nebulous analysis of an applicant’s “character” has precisely zero legitimacy. Clearly, its only purpose is to wrest power from the law-abiding citizen and hand it to our county sheriffs to lord over the citizens, so sheriffs can withhold Natural rights by fiat.

This is unacceptable! I am incensed that the committee members, especially those in the Republican Party, would even consider such an anti-gun scheme. North Carolina is not California, it is not New York, and gun voters will not allow this state to transform into one of these states in the context of the Second Amendment.

Be warned:
Any favorable vote, even the slightest measure of support for S90’s PCS, with its “good moral character” clause, will be perceived as a threat to every gun rights voter in this state, myself included. Do not doubt it, backing S90’s PCS will be recorded as an extreme anti-gun action!

Put a stop to S90’s anti-gun PCS now. I will be monitoring your actions on this critical matter through alerts from Grass Roots North Carolina

Respectfully,


UPDATE: My sources in GRNC tell me the bill has been pulled from the committee calendar. It appears the committee heard from you.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Happy Bourbon Day


It is fitting that both Bourbon Day and Flag Day are being celebrated on June 14th this year. What distilled spirit is more identified with America than bourbon? If you said rye, I would point out that most Canadian whiskey is called rye.

One of the most significant legal developments in the history of bourbon was the Bottled in Bond Act of 1897. It said that only domestic distilled spirits that met certain qualifications could use the terms "bond", "bonded", "bottled in bond", "aged in bond" or similar phrases. This told the consumer that the whiskey, bourbon, or other spirit that they were buying was what it said on the label. They weren't getting some neutral spirit with added coloring and tobacco juice added for "flavor".

This was codified into Title 27 CFR 5.42. Section 3 states:
(3) The words “bond”, “bonded”, “bottled in bond”, “aged in bond”, or phrases containing these or synonymous terms, shall not be used on any label or as part of the brand name of domestic distilled spirits unless the distilled spirits are:

(i) Composed of the same kind of spirits produced from the same class of materials;

(ii) Produced in the same distilling season by the same distiller at the same distillery;

(iii) Stored for at least four years in wooden containers wherein the spirits have been in contact with the wood surface except for gin and vodka which must be stored for at least four years in wooden containers coated or lined with paraffin or other substance which will preclude contact of the spirits with the wood surface;

(iv) Unaltered from their original condition or character by the addition or subtraction of any substance other than by filtration, chill proofing, or other physical treatments (which do not involve the addition of any substance which will remain incorporated in the finished product or result in a change in class or type);

(v) Reduced in proof by the addition of pure water only to 100 degrees of proof; and

(vi)Bottles at 100 degrees of proof.

In addition to the requirements of § 5.36(a) (1) or (2), the label shall bear the real name of the distillery or the trade name under which the distillery produced and warehoused the spirits, and the plant (or registered distillery) number in which produced; and the plant number in which bottled. The label may also bear the name or trade name of the bottler.

Bernie Lubbers, the Whiskey Professor and brand ambassador for Heaven Hill, is a true believer in Bottled in Bond bourbon. So much so that he has it tattooed on his arm and his license plate reads "Stay Bonded". He and fellow writer Fred Minnick explain it in the YouTube video below. Bernie is the author of Bourbon Whiskey: Our Native Spirit which is an excellent book in my opinion and Fred is the author of Bourbon Curious: A Simple Tasting Guide for the Savvy Drinker which is another great book on bourbon. I both in my collection.



So when you get home from work tonight, pour yourself a nice bourbon or mix a cocktail with bourbon and then sip it while looking at your flag. Better yet, make it a bottled in bond bourbon!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Seems Weird To See It Spelled Out


In a story from Washington State on how gun owners are preparing for new gun control law that go into effect July 1, there is this.
He tells Action News that as July approaches, his military surplus store, The Bunker, is selling more receivers for ArmaLite Rifle 15-style (AR-15) than expected.
 I'm glad that that the author of the story recognizes that AR stands for ArmaLite Rifle and not "assault rifle" or "automatic rifle". That said, you see it so rarely spelled out that when you do, it just looks looks weird.

As the story itself, people shopping at this gun store in the Tri-Cities area are buying lots of AR lowers and putting them away before the new law goes into effect. There is also the question of how to sell stripped lower receivers once the new law goes into effect as it isn't clear.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

NC HB216 - School Self-Dense Act


Rep. Larry Pittman (R-Cabarrus) introduced HB 216 in February of this year. The School Self-Defense Act would create the position of volunteer school faculty guardian. This would apply to either full or part-time faculty and staff who possessed a valid NC Concealed Handgun Permit. The school faculty guardian would also have to take a special 16-hour training class, submit annual certification of marksmanship and of possessing a CHP to the chief administrator of the school system, keep the handgun concealed unless responding to an act of violence, and submit to an annual drug testing. School systems would have the opportunity to opt out of this program.

Grass Roots North Carolina is urging that people contact Republican legislators and urge them to bring this bill forward. Their alert is below.


DEMAND REPUBLICANS
PROTECT NC'S SCHOOLS


H216 is a bill that will allow the true protection of schoolchildren…

The anti-gun crowd is content to posthumously praise the brave souls who throw themselves in front of innocents, or charge wicked gunmen in order to save the lives of others. Save lives these courageous people do, and heroes they are.

Yet, anyone with exceptional sense would be hard-pressed to come up with a reason why these heroes must always be unarmed, only to be seriously injured or killed while carrying out their valiant acts. Why must the fruitfulness of these acts be so limited?

The answer is simple: political leaders and activist groups have set it up that way. Those hostile to the Second Amendment are proud of having disarmed the good guys by creating “gun free” zones in schools and elsewhere, leaving adults and the children in their care to fight psychotic leviathans with staplers and pencils. Well, it doesn’t have to be this way.

H216: Genuine School Safety
Pro-gun stalwart and GRNC four-star Representative Larry Pittman (Cabarrus, Rowan), is once again at the forefront of the push for a practical and appropriate solution to this societal concern.

For the sake of protecting schoolchildren, Rep. Pittman is imploring his Republican colleagues to advance H216 (School Self-Defense Act) to once and for all put responsible adults, those nearest to the schoolchildren during daytime hours, in a position to actually protect those children in a practical and effective manner, should it be necessary.

On a volunteer basis, H216 would allow educators to carry concealed firearms to deter mass killings in schools. It is modeled after a federal program to arm professional airline pilots as “Federal Flight Deck Officers.” Have questions? Below are some facts related to this proposal:
  • 25 states allow schools or districts to give permission to individuals to carry guns: Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, New Jersey, New York, Utah, Vermont, and West Virginia.
  • At least 14 states allow concealed carry in schools: The states include Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Washington.
  • At least 9 states specifically allow school employees to carry guns on school property: The states include: Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming.
  • Florida created a school marshal system: Florida created a $67 million “school marshal” program to arm teachers in classrooms, in response to the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
  • Arming faculty reduces school shootings: A new study entitled “Schools that Allow Teachers to Carry Guns Are Extremely Safe: Data on the Rate of Shootings and Accidents in Schools that Allow Teachers to Carry found that:
    • Zero school shootings at schools with armed faculty: During hours when armed teachers would logically be present, none of the schools with armed faculty experienced school shootings.
    • A significant increase in school shootings at schools which do NOT allow armed faculty: Between 2001 and 2018, the number of school shootings at schools which did not allow armed faculty more than doubled.
You Can Help Protect Schoolchildren
Representative Pittman and the other sponsors of H216 need your help. They want to shepherd H216 through the legislative process and get down to the serious (and very sensible) business of actually protecting children in schools, rather than doing everything under the bureaucratic sun to stall. Enough blue-ribbon panels, enough useless gun control proposals.
If you’re a parent, you know what parents really want, parents who have real-life children in real-life schools (and incidentally, parents who vote). You want your children protected—really protected—Now! Another “Governor’s Select Committee” isn’t going to cut it.

Below, see how you can easily contact Republicans in the NC House to demand that they stop stalling, and get to the serious business of protecting children in schools—now! Insist they do whatever is necessary to move H216 through committee, on to the floor for a vote, so it can move to the NC Senate.  

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IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!


  • EMAIL REPUBLICANS IN THE NC HOUSE: Use the copy/paste email list provided below, and the copy/paste message provided under ‘Deliver This Message’ section.

  • PLEASE CONTRIBUTE TO GRNC: Help us fight gun control while we promote Second Amendment principles. Please CLICK HERE to contribute. Bear in mind that GRNC is an all-volunteer organization, so you can be sure your donations are put to the best possible use. Any amount helps, and any amount is appreciated.
*NC House Republicans Copy/Paste Email List(s):
Dean.Arp@ncleg.net; Lisa.Barnes@ncleg.net; John.Bell@ncleg.net; Hugh.Blackwell@ncleg.net; Jamie.Boles@ncleg.net; William.Brisson@ncleg.net; Mark.Brody@ncleg.net; Dana.Bumgardner@ncleg.net; Jerry.Carter@ncleg.net; Debra.Conrad@ncleg.net; Kevin.Corbin@ncleg.net; Ted.Davis@ncleg.net; Jimmy.Dixon@ncleg.net; Josh.Dobson@ncleg.net; Jeffrey.Elmore@ncleg.net; John.Faircloth@ncleg.net; John.Fraley@ncleg.net; Edward.Goodwin@ncleg.net; Holly.Grange@ncleg.net; Destin.Hall@ncleg.net; Kyle.Hall@ncleg.net;

Bobby.Hanig@ncleg.net; Jon.Hardister@ncleg.net; Kelly.Hastings@ncleg.net; Cody.Henson@ncleg.net; Craig.Horn@ncleg.net; Julia.Howard@ncleg.net; Chris.Humphrey@ncleg.net; Pat.Hurley@ncleg.net; Frank.Iler@ncleg.net; Steve.Jarvis@ncleg.net; LindaP.Johnson@ncleg.net; Brenden.Jones@ncleg.net; Donny.Lambeth@ncleg.net; David.Lewis@ncleg.net; Pat.McElraft@ncleg.net; Chuck.McGrady@ncleg.net; Allen.McNeill@ncleg.net; Tim.Moore@ncleg.net; Gregory.Murphy@ncleg.net;  Larry.Potts@ncleg.net; Michele.Presnell@ncleg.net; 

Dennis.Riddell@ncleg.net; David.Rogers@ncleg.net; Stephen.Ross@ncleg.net; Jason.Saine@ncleg.net; Wayne.Sasser@ncleg.net; John.Sauls@ncleg.net; Mitchell.Setzer@ncleg.net; Phil.Shepard@ncleg.net; Carson.Smith@ncleg.net; Sarah.Stevens@ncleg.net; Larry.Strickland@ncleg.net; John.Szoka@ncleg.net; John.Torbett@ncleg.net; Rena.Turner@ncleg.net; Harry.Warren@ncleg.net; Donna.White@ncleg.net; Larry.Yarborough@ncleg.net; Lee.Zachary@ncleg.net


* Limitations of certain email programs and spam filters may require you to send this message to smaller lists. If that is necessary, the above email list is conveniently split into three parts to allow you to easily send this message three times—once to each list.

DELIVER THIS MESSAGE


Suggested Subject: "Enough is enough. Pass H216 to Protect Schoolchildren"  


Dear Representative:

I am writing today to make it clear that I’ve had it “up to here” with blue-ribbon panels, governor’s select committees, and useless gun control proposals. Every second that ticks by is another second that schoolchildren in North Carolina are not protected in any effective manner from mass shooters. You have the power to change that, and I demand that you do.

Right now, H216 (the School Self-Defense Act) is in a position to receive a committee hearing and then move to the floor for an up-or-down vote. This bill would allow educators to carry concealed firearms to deter mass killings in schools, and is modeled after a federal program to arm professional airline pilots as “Federal Flight Deck Officers.” Below is some information that greatly strengthens the case for H216:

- 25 states allow schools or districts to give permission to individuals to carry guns.
- At least 14 states allow concealed carry in schools.
- At least 9 states specifically allow school employees to carry guns on school property.
- Florida created a school marshal system in response to the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
- Arming faculty reduces school shootings. Note there have been zero school
shootings at schools with armed faculty. During hours when armed teachers would logically be present, none of the schools with armed faculty experienced school shootings. There is a significant increase in school shootings at schools which do NOT allow armed faculty. Between 2001 and 2018, the number of school shootings at schools which did not allow armed faculty more than doubled.

The Republican Party still holds a majority in the General Assembly and the excuses are wearing thin. I demand that you do whatever it takes to shepherd H216 through the legislative process. Unfortunately, there is always a lingering possibility of a school shooting. With that in mind, I insist that you do everything you can to make it possible for teachers to protect the children under their care.

I will be monitoring your actions on this matter through alerts from Grass Roots North Carolina.

Respectfully, 

The Spiro Agnew Of The NRA


Those of us of a certain age will remember former Vice President Spiro Agnew. He was President Nixon's running mate in 1968 and 1972. Prior to that he had been the Governor of Maryland and the Executive of Baltimore County. His service in those prior positions would come back to bite him but more on that later.

Agnew's primary role as Vice President always seemed to me was to serve as Richard Nixon's attack dog. Whether it was with the press or with other administration opponents, Agnew was ready at a moment's notice to go on the attack. His way with words was excellent due in no small measure to having William Safire as his speechwriter. Perhaps the most famous phrase written by Safire for Agnew was "nattering nabobs of negativism" in reference to the administration's critics.

It seems to me, and this is my opinion only, that someone somewhere in the NRA's hierarchy has deemed that this should now be the role for 2nd VP Willes Lee. If you have been following his posts on Facebook such as the one below, you will understand what I mean.
Saving freedom and the Second Amendment is important. Otherwise, we'd do something else, or nothing. Thank you for your support, encouragement, & prayers.
You are either with us, or you're not. Just how it is in today's world.
Good 2A folks do not have to take abuse from haters, Dems, bots, nor trolls (heh, all the same). No one here will appease your bad behavior. You have others who kowtow to & mollify you.
This may help:
My page. My rules. I'm not an employee, this page is mine (& FB). This page is for people who want to save freedom. I came to fight. Don't care whether the fight is for the Second Amendment & for freedom or against gun control, Democrats, & haters. Don't like the rules? Wah, wah.
1. We give as many answers as possible. Scroll the page. Do your homework. You won't get a response to an answer already posted.
2. Send snark? Get snark in return. I decide what is snark, & I'll mock you for 101-level crap.
3. Show disrespect to NRA? Get disrespect in return, if anything. I decide what is disrespectful.
4. Nasty gets nasty in return. If you can't take it, don't send it.
5. Profanity on this page is ok.
6. Name calling gets you poofed. The more haters who self-ID, the better.
7. I decide what hater notes to keep so we can see that you have no intention of helping the movement.
8. Disgusting gets deleted. Good members shouldn't see your depravity.
9. Bots & trolls abound. I decide if you're a bot or troll.
PS. This is the most fun "tell". If someone yells "snowflake" in a crowded room & you think they are talking to you, then YOU have a problem.
A lot of good folks are working hard for 2A. I appreciate every good member who helps & wants us to be successful, to defend freedom, to defend the Second Amendment. Be polite. Be respectful. Or, ha, get what you get.
Thank you. Thank you, very much.
I didn't realize until just now that as I was reading through Willes' Facebook timeline that I am now officially "a hater". I was a guest on Eye on the Target Radio with Amanda Suffecool and Rob Campbell in which I discussed the Ack-Mac lawsuits, the leaks, and other stuff related to the NRA's current problems. I concluded by saying we need the NRA and that it is up to us to make the changes needed. I knew there was another guest that would follow me but didn't realize that it was Willes.
Sunday. For people who want to know what's going on. Interesting format, challenging questions. BFF to all Amanda Suffecool Rob Campbell hosted first half hater, second half me. Never enuf time to hit all the juicy gossip but we got a lot. With the pot stirred today, you'll want to listen.
The funny thing about being called "a hater" is that in 2017 when Willes Lee was just another guy running for the Board of Directors and I endorsed him, he couldn't thank me enough. Even in 2019 when I bullet voted for Adam Kraut, I said Willes was worthy of your vote.  I might be considered "a hater" or a "nattering nabob of negativism" in Agnew's terms but like Pete Townshend of The Who wrote, "I won't be fooled again."

If those of us who have been calling for changes in the NRA and for it to clean up its house didn't give a damn and didn't care if we had a strong, effective advocate for the Second Amendment, we wouldn't be writing or talking about it. I have been a Life Member and then an Endowment Life Member of the NRA since 2010 and an Annual Member on and off since I was 17 years old. Hell, when I first became a member you had to have either a Life Member or a public official sign your membership application. I had my neighbor Rep. Charlie Phillips of the NC House sign my application. One wonders how long people like Willes have been members of the NRA and if it is just another step in their career path.

As Paul Harvey often said, now for the rest of the story. Spiro Agnew resigned in disgrace from the Vice Presidency. On October 10, 1973, Agnew, in a plea bargain, pleaded no contest to a felony charge of tax evasion and was sentenced to three years probation. He resigned the Vice Presidency that same day. Agnew had been taking kickbacks from contractors doing business with Baltimore County and then the State of Maryland. The cash payments even continued after he became Vice President.


UPDATE: The episode of Eye on the Target Radio where I gave my views on the NRA issues for which Willes has deemed me "a hater" has just been posted. You can find it here.

Monday, June 10, 2019

At Least His Heart Is In The Right Place


The Washington Post ran an article yesterday that discussed the monies that flowed to certain members of the Board of Directors. According to the article, 18 Board members received some sort of compensation over the past three years. Some of this is already well known such as the amount of money paid to Marion Hammer for lobbying in Florida. Some of it was merely the commission NRA recruiters earn for new members.

Without getting into the meat of the article, one quote just stuck out.
After learning about the money his fellow board members received, Malone said he was concerned.

“If these allegations are correct and 18 board members received pay, you’re damn right I am,” he said. “If it’s correct, the members who pay their dues should be damn concerned, too.”
Karl Malone has never attended a board meeting and, to the best of my knowledge, has never even been sworn in as a Board member. Nonetheless, the Nominating Committee put him up for reelection and he was reelected in April to another three year term with the 16th highest vote total.

 Perhaps it is cynical of me to think that Mr. Malone's concern is a bit late in the game. If he had bothered to attend meetings, he might have been aware of this and might have had an impact. Then again, he was selected for the Board of Directors due his celebrity status and not expected to have an actual impact on the running of the organization.

Well, at least his heart is in the right place which is more than I can say about certain other members of the board.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

NRA Issues Subpoenas To 3 Board Members In Ack-Mac Lawsuit (Updated)


I missed this story when it came out three days ago. It seems that attorneys for the NRA in their suit against Ackerman McQueen have issued subpoenas to three Board members. The subpoenas for documents were sent to Oliver North, Lance Olson, and Dan Boren.

From the Daily Beast which I acknowledge is a left-leaning anti-NRA publication:
Previously unreported court documents show the group served a subpoena on Oliver North late last month. It also subpoenaed Lance Olson and Daniel Boren, according to the documents; all three men are members of the NRA’s own board.

The subpoena asks for a number of documents from North: anything sent from April 10 to May 22 regarding people who work for the NRA’s longtime ad firm, Ackerman McQueen; any communications sent over the NRA’s contentious Indianapolis convention about CEO Wayne LaPierre or Ackerman McQueen; documents about the NRA’s expenditures; documents about North’s expenses; and communications about leaks.

The subpoena points to the friction between the NRA and its former president and highlights the extent to which the fight roiling the organization is focused on money and media. It specifically demands communications “related to a ‘leak’ or dissemination of previously non-public documents or information,” and cites stories from the Washington Free Beacon and The Daily Beast. The NRA previously alleged that the ad firm leaked confidential information to media outlets as part of an effort to damage senior officials in the NRA.

The NRA made the same document demands of Boren and Olson. It also demanded that North appear for a deposition on June 13 in a location the two parties would agree to, and that Olson do the same on June 17.

Lawyers for North did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A spokesperson for Ackerman McQueen declined to comment.
The story did not publish the court documents nor did it specify whether the subpoenas were in relation to the first lawsuit the NRA filed against Ack-Mac or the second. Without paying a significant fee, access to the City of Alexandria Circuit Court filings is limited to a dated notation listing the filing in a case.

I can see the NRA's attorneys issuing a subpoena to Oliver North as he is at the center of the lawsuits. I can even see the subpoena for Dan Boren who is from Oklahoma and reportedly opposed Wayne LaPierre at a reception during the NRA Annual Meeting. However, I don't understand the subpoena to Lance Olson nor why certain other members such as Lt. Col. Allen West or Richard Childress didn't receive subpoenas.

It will be interesting to see what happens at the next NRA Board meeting scheduled for September 13th in Anchorage, Alaska. Will there be a move to expel certain board members such as Lt. Col. North, Allen West, and others from the Board of Directors? An unnamed board member told me not to be surprised if this happens. North, by the way, was the leading vote getter in the 2019 BOD election surpassing even Ted Nugent.


UPDATE: The number of people getting subpoenas is now at least four. Rob Pincus acknowledged on Facebook that he had been served with one by the NRA's lawyers with reference to the Ack-Mac lawsuit. Stephen Gutowski of the Free Beacon tweeted about it a few hours ago. A copy of the subpoena with Rob's address information redacted can be found on Scribd.com here. He is being asked to produce letters, memos, and other communications concerning "previously non-public" information related to Wayne LaPierre, Oliver North, Marion Hammer, and Tyler Schropp. Mr. Schropp is in charge of the NRA's fund raising operations.

UPDATE II: Checking the case number on the subpoena served on Rob Pincus it comes from the second NRA lawsuit against Ackerman McQueen. This is the lawsuit which accuses Ack-Mac of instigating a "coup" against Wayne LaPierre. I presume the other three who have been subpoenaed are being subpoenaed as a result of this suit as well.

The big picture question in all of this is what role is being played by the NRA's outside counsel William Brewer III. Due to his ethics issues in Texas which are now before the Texas Supreme Court, he has not been granted leave to practice in Virginia.

UPDATE III: Checking the docket for this case, I see that there have been a total of six subpoenas issued. Two more were issued on June 4th. As to whom they were issued, I don't know yet. I will report on that when I find out. To read case documents for that case directly from the City of Alexandria Clerk of Circuit Court's website is $50 per month which I don't anticipate me deciding to pay anytime soon.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Stag Arms Leaving Connecticut


The Stag Arms' Board of Directors announced that they plan to relocate the company out of New Britain, CT. The new location has not been finalized yet.

The full text of the announcement was posted on Facebook:
Today, Stag Arms announced that its Board of Directors has decided to relocate the company from its current facility in New Britain, CT, as part of its strategic initiative to significantly improve the overall customer experience. The location of Stag’s new headquarters has not been finalized but the Board has narrowed down the options to a short list of vibrant communities where there is significant support for the firearms industry.

Stag Arms President, Anthony Ash, stated: “Not since the founding of our Company in 2003 have there been so many great things happening at once. We began our journey with a commitment to bring customers innovative products with uncompromising quality through 100% American Made components. We pioneered the left-handed Modern Sporting Rifle and from Day 1 we have backed all of our rifles with Infinite Shot Barrel and Lifetime Transferable Warranties. Our recent release of our newest product line of PXCs, Stag’s innovative multiple pistol caliber AR, continues the tradition.”

Mr. Ash further stated, “Stag is creating a seamless, integrated value chain that will incorporate best practices from design and engineering, to manufacturing, omni-channel customer engagement, fulfillment, and service. The pieces are in place and we are ready to transition production and fulfillment operations immediately from a narrow facility-based approach in New Britain to a distributed eco-system.”

The Board expects to finalize the location of the headquarters in the next few months and the company then will begin the process of relocating sales and remaining back office functions to the new headquarters location.
Back in 2013 Stag almost moved to either Houston or Myrtle Beach, SC. Then company CEO Mark Malkowski made the decision to remain in Connecticut due to expense involved with the move. You may also remember that PTR Industries left the same area of Connecticut about that time for Aynor, SC.

Ownership of Stag Arms changed hands in 2016 due to running afoul of BATFE regulations. Malkowski and Stag pleaded guilty to charges involving unregistered machine guns. As part of the plea deal, Malkowski was forced to sell the company and was banned from the industry. White Wolf Capital bought Stag Arms and added it to their portfolio which also included Ballistic Advantage, VG6 Precision, and Aero-Precision.

New Britain town officials were not surprised by the announcement.
New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart said the announcement “comes as no surprise.”

“We have known for many years that Stag has been courted by other states following the passage of more stringent gun laws here in Connecticut,” she said in an emailed statement. “Quite frankly, I’m surprised it took this long.”
While none of the potential locations have been named, I'm going out on a limb here and saying it won't be Tacoma, Washington which is the home of Aero-Precision given the recent changes in Washington State gun laws. More likely, is a relocation nearer to Ballistic Advantage which is in a suburb of Orlando, FL.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

D-Day: The Largest Seaborne Invasion In World History


If you've followed this blog for any amount of time, you know I love infographics. I found a very appropriate one that helps put June 6, 1944, D-Day, the invasion of Normandy into perspective.




I found this infographic on The Sitrep and it came from a BBC guide to D-Day.

Stephen Green gives another perspective on the numbers involved.
I want you to imagine picking up every resident of a medium-sized city, everything they'll need to eat and drink and rest for a few days, any vehicles they might need, gasoline, of course, plus lots of guns and ammo -- did I mention this was a hunting trip? -- and then moving them all in a few short hours a distance of anywhere from 30 to 125 miles or so.

Now imagine you have to move all those people and all that stuff partly by air, but mostly across heavy seas in foul weather.

Under enemy fire.

I should also mention that if you messed up any of the big details, a lot of your people are going to die, and then you're going to have to figure out how to move them all back without getting too many more of them killed.

And all that is just the beginning. Because once you've done all that, those men on that "hunting trip" are going to have to take and widen a beachhead big enough and secure enough that you can rebuild (or build from scratch!) the ports and roads necessary to bring another million men over... plus all the additional stuff all those additional men will need.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

South African R2 With Updated Furniture


Ian McCollum of Forgotten Weapons just released a video of the South African Defence Forces R2 rifle with its modified furniture. The R2 was originally a Portuguese made G-3 rifle purchased by the SADF for use by second-line troops and the South West Africa Territorial Force.

South West Africa is the former name for the modern country of Namibia. The country was a South African "protectorate" under a League of Nations mandate after World War One. This mandate was abolished in 1966 by the United Nations but the South Africans held on in whole or in part until 1990.

Getting back to the R2, there were problems with the handguards due to the climate of the region. Ian writes this about it.
The Portuguese hand guards and buttstocks were found to be unsatisfactory, however. In the heat and harsh ultraviolet radiation of South West Africa (now Namibia) in particular, the plastic would shrink and lose its fit, leading to the guns being called "rattlers" by the SADF troops. The fix this, the American firm of Choate Machine & Tool was contracted to make new hand guards based on the H&K export pattern - wider and longer and with fittings for a bipod. New stocks were also made, duplicating the shape of the R1/FAL stock.
Given the similarities of the G-3 and R2 with the currently produced PTR-91, it would be very interesting to see if you could find some of these Choate Machine handguards and stocks to use on a PTR-91. I like the looks of the Choate handguards and stocks better than the originals. While I don't own a PTR-91, I do own a boatload of magazines for it because they were a dollar or less at the time. One of these days I'll finally get around to obtaining a rifle to use with those magazines!

As always, Ian has produced an informative and interesting short video.


Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Mortality, Google Searches, And What The Media Reports


I came across a very interesting infographic that compares actual causes of death, what people find in Google searches, and how the media treats the various causes of death. The media was represented by examining coverage in the New York Times and the UK's Guardian for the period 1999 to 2016.

If you only relied upon the media, you would believe that over 50% of deaths were the result of either terrorism or homicide and that very few were due to heart disease. The reality is that heart disease followed by cancer are the first and second causes of death in the US. Moreover, the two combine to account for almost 60% of deaths.




This comes from OurWorldInData and you can get the data behind these charts here. You can read more analysis of the data here.

Rachel Malone - Three Myths About Suppressors


Given President Trump's foolish remarks about suppressors, it is time again to take apart the myths about suppressors. My friend and fellow co-host of the Polite Society Podcast Rachel Malone does just that in the video below. Rachel, by the way, it the GOA Director for Texas and fights for gun rights on a daily basis. She is a trainer and musician.


Northam Doesn't Want To Let A Crisis Go To Waste


When Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA) isn't trying to figure out if it was actually him in the picture wearing the Klan hood, he is pushing gun control. Now he is taking a page from the Rahm Emanuel playbook and calling a special legislative session of the Virginia General Assembly to push for more gun control after the murders in Virginia Beach.

From the Roanoke Times:
Northam was joined by Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax and Attorney General Mark Herring, all Democrats, at a news conference with other Democratic leaders to challenge the Republicans who control the General Assembly and have repeatedly stifled efforts to consider any form of gun control.

"It's time for decisive action," Northam said. "Let Virginia show the nation that we can respond to tragedy with decisive action."

Most gun-control bills have failed in previous sessions of the legislature, including those that would broaden the ability of local governments to limit firearms in public buildings, mandate universal background checks, limit purchases to one handgun per month and allow authorities to seize the weapons of a person found to be a threat to themselves or others. The bills have usually been killed in committee and not progressed to the full legislature for a vote.

Northam said he wants the General Assembly to debate and vote on the bills.

"These are common sense pieces of legislation we have introduced them year after year," he said. "They have never received a fair hearing. … I want these pieces of common sense gun safety legislation to get to the floor and let these individuals elected by you, the people, to come to the floor and cast their vote."
Gun control activists are also calling for a ban on "high capacity magazines" (sic). Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment (R-James City County) said in an interview that "none of the failed legislation met standards for merits, practical application, and efficacy." That said, Norment might be open to restricting magazines to 10 rounds.
Specifically, Norment said he expects the General Assembly to tackle large-capacity or extended magazines.

“An extended magazine is optical, but does it change the outcome, I’m not sure, but it’s something the citizens like this would say at least it’s an incremental effort to do something,” Norment said. “At least that is an issue that it’s very easy to resolve.”
Norment did vote against a similar ban earlier this year in committee. Those pushing for a mag ban ought to view Joe Huffman's video on reload times made after Gabby Giffords was shot in Tucson.

As to Northam's proposals, let's examine whether they would have done anything to have stopped the murders in Virginia Beach.

Limiting firearms in municipal buildings? The killer was a municipal employee of Virginia Beach and had access to secured sections of the municipal building. He would have also known how to avoid any metal detection devices.

Universal background checks? The guy passed background checks on both of his firearms.

Limit purchases to one handgun per month?  He bought one handgun in 2016 and the other in 2018.

Red flag law? The killer had no history of violent actions, interacted normally with another employee in a bathroom before starting his killing spree, had no disciplinary problems at work, and had received a satisfactory evaluation on his last performance evaluation at work.

Finally, with regard to President Trump and his "I don't like them" attitude towards suppressors, the killer purchased his suppressor legally. That means he bought a highly regulated product, paid a $200 tax, had to submit fingerprints and pictures, and go through a BATFE background check while waiting probably 6-9 months before taking possession of his suppressor.

Virginia gun owners have a fight on their hands if they don't want to become the New Jersey of the South. When the Republican Majority Leader is waffling on standard capacity magazines, it is time to start to put the pressure on.

Monday, June 3, 2019

What Michael Bloomberg Bought With Pocket Change


Mark Johnson (R-NC) is the Superintendent of Public Instruction for the State of North Carolina. When he beat incumbent June Atkinson in 2016, he became the first Republican elected to that position in over 100 years. In his role as Superintendent of Public Instruction, he has control over the public schools in the state including their policies and their curriculum.

Despite being a Republican, Johnson has always been somewhat suspect in my estimation. When the Republican receives a donation from Michael Bloomberg, I am suspicious. I wrote in 2016 about how this made me feel wary of him. I found it interesting that Bloomberg contributed $5,100 to him and nothing to Democrat June Atkinson who was a strong supporter of Common Core. Bloomberg's daughter Emma also contributed another $100 to Johnson. I noted that contributions like this come with implicit strings attached.

Johnson started to show his true colors back in 2018 when he opposed allowing teachers with the requisite training from being armed. Johnson said at the time, he wanted firearms on campus restricted to “these trained, uniformed law-enforcement professionals who courageously choose a career protecting citizens from violent threats.”

As bad as that was, it wasn't too far out of the mainstream even for a Republican. His latest move, on the other hand, involves partnering with anti-gun group Sandy Hook Promise to set up an anonymous reporting system. The system will involve a mobile app with the tips monitored by volunteers with Sandy Hook Promise.
NC State Superintendent Mark Johnson announced today that the state education agency has contracted with Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) to provide a statewide Say Something Anonymous Reporting System in the 2019-20 school year. The Say Something program, including an anonymous mobile tip app, is a school safety program designed to change and save lives by teaching students, educators, and administrators how to recognize the signs and signals of those who may be at risk of hurting themselves or others and to anonymously report this information through the mobile tip app, the website or the telephone crisis hotline.

"Students play a critical role in helping to keep schools safe," Johnson said. "They may see and hear concerns that adults need to know about but may be reluctant to report it. With the Say Something program, middle and high school students will better understand what warning signs to look for and when and how to report important tips through an app. Making this app available will be an important part of our efforts to make schools safer." "We are proud and eager to work with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction to train students across the state to 'know the signs' of potential violence and report them to a trusted adult via the Say Something Anonymous Reporting System," said Nicole Hockley, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise, and mother of Dylan, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. "With these comprehensive violence prevention systems in place, North Carolina schools will be safer, protecting millions of lives and empowering youth to be upstanders in their communities."

Through the Say Something program, students, parents, educators and others can download the app and share school safety concerns with school administrators and school resource officers at schools, who will respond appropriately. More than 5,100 schools nationwide are currently using Sandy Hook Promise's anonymous reporting system. North Carolina will be the second statewide partnership for Sandy Hook Promise, with implementation of an anonymous reporting system that will encourage student participation in protecting themselves and their peers.
 According to the Raleigh News and Observer, the 2018 state budget allocated $5 million to fund the project. It is estimated that it will cost about $650,000 per year to run it. While the release from Johnson and Sandy Hook Promise wasn't explicit about this, the N&O reports that the "command center" will be staffed by Sandy Hook Promise and not local NC law enforcement.

An anonymous reporting system with no connection to local law enforcement is an invitation for abuse. I see a lot of kids getting back at other teens for imagined slights, I see "swatting", and I see innocent people getting killed. This is "pre-crime" brought to the schools of North Carolina and civil liberties be damned. That is what Michael Bloomberg bought with his pocket change.