"A woman who demands further gun control legislation is like a chicken who roots for Colonel Sanders."
-- Larry Elder, african-american, nationally syndicated talk show host
30 November 2007
Today was sunny, and as the afternoon wore on, it became more breezy and the temperature started dropping. But, our group took two deer today. Out again tomorrow a bit earlier than usual. Hopefully, more people will be in the field and the deer will be moving once again before the sleet/snow/freezing rain/cold drenching rain system moves in Saturday night. Sunday is likely a bust due to the weather system that will be sitting over the Buckeye State.
Posted by Brent Greer at 9:15 PM
I always suspected that the good people at Haaaaaavahd University in Cambridge, Mass. took themselves, perhaps, a little too seriously. Well, the evidence is in. The editors at the Harvard Crimson student newspaper believe the Second Amendment should be repealed.
"Sophomoric. But perhaps it's forgivable, since it was probably written by actual sophomores," says blogger Rand Simberg, commenting on the Crimson editorial.
Posted by Brent Greer at 9:07 PM
Animal rights activists are consolidating their political agenda. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), which folks, if you did not know, is not about cuddly puppies and kittens (though they present themselves as a mainstream charity), is all about banning hunting and then some.
There is ongoing discussion about HSUS merging with at least three other animals rights groups.
Posted by Brent Greer at 8:24 PM
This is not a plea for donations from me, but something I wanted to pass along. I met David Hardy at the Gun Rights Policy Conference last month and trust his opinion on this. Contributions are tax deductible.
Posted by Brent Greer at 12:25 AM
Heading back to north Central Ohio tomorrow early and through the weekend to see if we can scare up some deer. Our hunting group, normally a very productive bunch, working on a traditionally very productive piece of ground near Danville, has struck out all week. Jamie got a shot off this afternoon, I am told, but no joy. The group only saw two today. Some news reports are saying that the higher than expected number of deer taken thus far by bow hunters -- coupled with the higher than expected number of deer taken during the youth hunt two weekends ago -- might be a factor in lower numbers of deer being taken this week during the weeklong gun season.
We'll see . . .
Posted by Brent Greer at 12:19 AM
Latest news from Boston warrantless searches. A request to parents to search their kids' rooms is enough, officials say. It was wrong when it was proposed -- it's wrong now.
Even scarier? The words of writer Jeff Soyer, who states succinctly: "And let me tell you something, folks, when the government gets used to being allowed to search without a warrant, it tends not to want to give that tool up anytime in the future."
Posted by Brent Greer at 12:04 AM
I'm not exactly sure what they confiscated. Had to read it three or four times . . . real firearms vs. toy guns vs. replica guns. I think the anti-gunners and anti-gun publication just threw in a lot of numbers and scary sounding words into the story.
Posted by Brent Greer at 12:02 AM
29 November 2007
"The purpose of this study is to determine the relative criminality of concealed carry licensees versus the general population of Ohio. In order to do this, we will compare the number of concealed carry license suspensions and revocations to the FBI arrest data for the entire state, yielding proxies for the violation rates of licensees and the general population, respectively . . ."
Conclusion: "Concealed carry licensees have made a considered choice to conduct themselves a in certain manner in public, and have invested the time, money, and effort to certify that their level of commitment has earned the public’s trust. They have voluntarily undergone background checks normally reserved for government jobs or actual criminal arrests, in order to certify that they rank among Ohio’s most law-abiding citizens prior to receiving their license. These data prove that Ohio’s trust has not been in vain."
-- Howard Nemerov
Posted by Brent Greer at 11:58 PM
. . . and he talked about firearms, background checks, and the Department of Justice. BTW, he testified during his confirmation hearings that he believes the 2A is an individual right.
Posted by Brent Greer at 11:54 PM
Get a criminal to agree with that.
A Yalie chimes in on Heller. He is convinced that a collective right interpretation of the 2A will prevent shootings of professional football players (and others, I guess, but he chose a recent high profile murder to illustrate his point).
NOTE: The way to prevent the next Sean Taylor tragedy might better be found by staying out of trouble in general. My belief is his past caught up with him. But there will still be some who think a gun levitated, spun around a few times, came looking for him, and took him out. Riiiiiight!
Posted by Brent Greer at 11:40 PM
On the southern edge of Cayuga Lake in upstate New York is my favorite little town in the Empire State. Ithaca, N.Y. is a gorgeous place in the Finger Lakes region of New York, and is home to Cornell University and the liberal-arts college, Ithaca College. Not unexpectedly, here is a wishy-washy opinion piece on District of Columbia v. Heller from the Ithacan student newspaper.
BTW, writer Rob Griffin calls his column "Just Trust Me." After reading his piece here, I would politely answer, "no."
Posted by Brent Greer at 11:31 PM
Its been a very interesting night and morning. It turns out a number of the questions submitted to the GOP presidential hopefuls at last night's CNN/YouTube debate event were from people who appear to be plants for democrats. The media is buzzing with it. Even mainstream broadcast outlets, such as NBC News covered it this morning, and other cable news programs are openly chuckling at CNN's expense.
A former brigadier general who is openly gay asked the panel about the U.S. military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. Turns out he is on a task force on gay rights that is officially part of the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. Another question was from a young man asking about farm subsidies, who turns out to have been a former intern to a democrat member of Congress. Still another questioner has ties to the Obama campaign. So some blogs this morning and conservative radio hosts at midday are asking why CNN let these people with obvious biases through their screening process. My question is WAS THERE a screening process?
Plus, the more you look at the questioners on firearms issues . . . the more you realize CNN may have picked people who might frighten mainstream voters. No one in a suit. No housewife. Just guys either firing away at a range daring the candidates to talk against the 2A, or someone who just looked a little unhinged. Perhaps I shouldn't judge a book by its cover (I do not know the questioners), but I almost wonder whether CNN picked videos for questions from people who might unnerve independent voters -- thinking that viewers/voters would judge the people sending in questions not by their words and questions, but how they look.
Posted by Brent Greer at 1:08 PM
"Two different YouTubers asked questions about gun control. Both were, like most of the candidates and probably the entire live audience, against it. But the questioners were not the most wholesome-seeming guys. One demonstrated how his pump action shotgun worked while explaining that, “In small towns we like our big guns.” The second guy was just plain creepy. Both men—obviously well-armed—pretty much dared the candidates to say something positive about gun control.
"Mostly what I noticed wasn’t the bulge of their holsters, but the obviousness of CNN’s agenda."
-- Steve Green and PajamasMedia
Hmmmm . . . . CNN wouldn't want to paint firearms owners in a bad light, would it?
Posted by Brent Greer at 8:04 AM
28 November 2007
Remember yesterday how I said that ABC News was going to run this series about police in the line of fire, and how the intent might be to soften up the public for more gun control? Well, tonight's installment was about how civilian law enforcement is facing -- gasp! -- assault weapons! Particularly disgusted (but not surprised) at how the writer gets the nomenclature wrong, EVERYWHERE!
Posted by Brent Greer at 10:01 PM
A number of writers did some live-blogging during the Republican debate tonight, where pre-recorded video questions were sent in to CNN/YouTube, and presented to the candidates for their response. This author did not have a chance to participate (I'm working on a huge presentation for a prospective client tomorrow and had too many competing priorities).
Bitter, one of the Bitch Girls, followed the Q&A, and had this to say about the candidates' discussion of firearms, Heller and crime.
Posted by Brent Greer at 9:55 PM
UPDATE: 10:39 pm -- Missed this one a few days ago. Michigan's attorney general wrote a pro-gun column for The Wall Street Journal regarding Heller and the Supreme Court.
This is interesting. The attorney general of Arkansas, Dustin McDaniel, plans to submit a brief to the Supreme Court supporting the individual right to keep and bear arms. Nice!
Posted by Brent Greer at 9:26 PM
(Shenendoah) News-Leader (pro-gun column by retired NY police officer)
Orlando Sentinel (pro-gun LTE)
(Newburyport, MA) Daily News (pro-gun column)
(Albany, NY) Times-Union (mostly pro-gun column from Ft.Worth Star-Telegram)
Huffington Post blog (anti-gun column from Brady prez Paul Helmke)
Austin American-Statesman (pro-gun LTE)
U. of Wisconsin Badger-Herald (pro-gun column)
BBC (column observing the 2A news)
(Walla Walla, WA) Union-Bulletin (left-leaning opinion, leading into . . .)
(Walla Walla, WA) Union-Bulletin (anti-gun opinion)
(Harrisonburg, VA) Daily News-Record (anti-gun LTE)
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (anti-gun LTE)
Des Moines Register (anti-gun opinion)
Particularly disturbing is this passage from the Des Moines Register column from a so-called legal scholar. I'm stunned at his word choice:
"But there is no need for the court to choose, because even if the Second Amendment is regarded as creating an individual right to own firearms, it is surely not an absolute liberty."
Posted by Brent Greer at 9:07 PM
Jeff Soyer describes himself as a politically independent, libertarian gun nut in Vermont. He writes the blog Alphecca.com, which I have linked to occasionally on these pages. As you know, I have written ad nauseum on the Heller case that will be reviewed by the Supreme Court. Jeff has taken a look at the same. I want to share some of his conclusions and commentary, for he is a brilliant thinker and writer.
I am linking to posts he has put on his site in the past few days. The first is a discussion of so-called "reasonable regulations," which some politicians and legal scholars state the high court should follow. But as I have written, and Jeff restates, what IS reasonable? The second piece is a look at presidential candidate Barack Obama, who appears to have discovered the Second Amendment in light of the Supreme's decision to review Heller (and the fact that he is running for president). Finally, Jeff comments on the statements by Paul Helmke, a self-described life-long republican, and his belief that the Justices will read all 27 words of the 2A and proclaim that government can enact strong gun laws. Helmke, if you didn't know, is president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
Jeff sums up Helmke's position with the following: "So what he’s saying is that the Supreme Court should ignore what the Bill of Rights actually says and means and should instead 'respect' any laws that curtail those rights to excess. Anything else is 'judicial activism.' "
Very nice summaries, Sir!
Posted by Brent Greer at 8:34 PM
27 November 2007
The Dispatch is conducting itself as expected in its opinion on the Heller case -- on the side of gun controllers. This paragraph says it all:
"The court will do the nation a great service when it renders its decision in June if it brings clarity to this issue while preserving the rights of state and local governments to put reasonable restrictions on gun ownership."
And once again, what is "reasonable?" How about licensing of journalists? Why isn't that reasonable? Bottom line folks, as you already know, gun control is not about crime. It is about "control."
Posted by Brent Greer at 10:47 PM
Just when you think the Legal Times is on the right track . . .
"With most constitutional provisions, we have little difficulty in concluding that the Framers would have intended them to apply to technologies developed after 1789, when the Constitution was ratified. The Supreme Court has very sensibly concluded that the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech and the press applies to television and the Internet and that the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition of unreasonable searches and seizures applies to wiretapping and thermal imaging. In those cases, application of the provision to modern technologies clearly carries out the provision’s original purpose without being unreasonable."
. . . Then they throw you this:
"In the case of the Second Amendment, however, we cannot conclude that reasonable Framers would have intended to give individual citizens a right to possess Stinger missiles, which can bring down large planes from miles away, or rocket-propelled grenades, which can also kill scores of people from long distances. Those weapons are so vastly different from and so much more powerful than the “arms” with which the Framers were familiar as to be different in kind. Most Americans would find such an application as unreasonable as constitutional protection for those crying fire in that crowded theater."
. . . But they come back to this:
"A more fundamental problem with power as the basis for distinguishing weaponry is that it would not further but is completely unrelated to the principal purpose of the Second Amendment, which was to ensure citizens an effective means of resisting an oppressive government. Limiting the term “arms” to modern weapons that are somehow comparable in lethality to weapons from the Framers’ time would exclude the very weapons that would be most effective today for military purposes. Modern hunting rifles, for example, while significantly more deadly than 18th-century muskets, would still be singularly ineffective in opposing a military force armed with machine guns, RPGs, and shoulder-launched missiles, not to mention artillery, tanks, and warplanes."
ARRRGH!!!! Read it for yourself by clicking here.
Posted by Brent Greer at 10:28 PM
This is interesting from the Legal Times. Apparently there are attorneys across the U.S. who have been calling the Cato Institute, practically begging for the opportunity to argue the plaintiff's case.
Posted by Brent Greer at 10:20 PM
Ken Blackwell, former mayor of Cincinnati, former Ohio secretary of state, and 2006 Ohio gubernatorial candidate, weighs in on the District of Columbia v. Heller case. Particularly interesting is his observation that the presidential race offers insight for America's citizens.
"Over the past few years, a heated national debate has raged over what the Constitution says about presidential power, war, the environment, education, health care, the reach of federal power, affirmative action, abortion, and immigration. The American people have the right to know how a presidential candidate would interpret the Constitution's most basic tenet — the rights of individuals over government."
Posted by Brent Greer at 7:50 PM
Yesterday the rain. Today the wind. No deer moving at all. The most I saw were the two does on my street in Columbus as I left the house at 5 am. Wind today that chilled you to the bone. And deer don't move in wind. If you didn't know, they use their exceptional hearing and sense of smell to keep abreast of danger. And when the wind blows hard like today -- seemingly from every direction -- it messes up a deer's ability to smell scents that don't belong, and hear sounds that might spell danger. So they bed down.
I hunt with a group of individuals from Columbus on an 80-acre property, formerly a Christmas tree farm, in northern Knox County, Ohio. A fantastic piece of ground with mixed hard woods and conifers. Hills, ravines, meadow, woods, and lots of edge. And normally, a lot of deer.
Taking a couple of office days, then back into the field on Friday. I've got an entire freezer shelf emptied and ready for venison. Perhaps this weekend. In the meantime, good luck Tom N., Tom P., Jamie and Pete!
Posted by Brent Greer at 7:31 PM
26 November 2007
Just finished watching ABC News first installment of weeklong series, "Officer Down." Its about law enforcement officers dying at higher rate, both from criminals with no remorse, and car chase crashes. Tomorrow (Tuesday) night's installment is supposed to be about police being outgunned by criminals on the street.
Who doesn't think the antis have pushed this story to try to soften up Americans to be more receptive for more gun control? Thoughts?
Posted by Brent Greer at 7:11 PM
Increasingly, various jobs require a clean bill-of-health regarding criminal records. The State of Ohio thinks the fee employers pay for the state to run background checks should be increased.
Posted by Brent Greer at 4:50 PM
Even rain gear won't keep you entirely dry. Just mostly dry. Gloves are in the worst shape. And the deer still don't move. Saw five does about 10 am today, but well out of range. Watched water running down the sides of trees before calling it a day shortly after 2 pm. Rain came down harder each hour as the day progressed and latest forecast for a thunderstorm right about dusk. And the deer still don't move.
At it again tomorrow early am.
Posted by Brent Greer at 4:39 PM
25 November 2007
File this one under the heading "anyone can reinvent themselves in America." Ms. Reno, now producer of "Song of America," did more than anyone during the 1990s as head of the U.S. Justice Department (save her boss, Bill Clinton) to demonize and regulate the activities and tools of law-abiding firearms owners everywhere. Today she is a record producer pushing a CD-package that celebrates America.
Ironic or disconcerting?
Posted by Brent Greer at 10:06 PM
I likely won't be posting for a couple of days. Heading to the field to see about putting venison in the freezer. Its rainy out there tonight folks, and frequently blustery in the hallways of our nation's capital. Keep your powder dry.
Posted by Brent Greer at 9:43 PM
I received emails from two different individuals last week who are subscribed to anti-gun news groups to "keep an eye" on the goings-on there. They both told me that immediately following the Supreme Court's announcement it had agreed to rule on the Heller case, the Brady Campaign within hours was sending emails out begging for money.
BTW, the Brady Campaign (formerly Handgun Control Inc.) has its analysis of why the Appeals Court ruled 2-1 in favor of the 2A as an individual right. And why anti-self-defense advocates feel the High Court should reverse the ruling and proclaim once and for all that the 2A protects the collective right myth. Read it here.
NOTE: Be sure to have plenty of duct tape on hand to wrap your head in advance. The tortured verbal gymnastics of the Brady Campaign WILL make your brain explode on short order.
Posted by Brent Greer at 8:48 PM
At 87, Justice John Paul Stevens is the High Court's oldest member. The departure of this most liberal member of the court before -- or after -- the next presidential election will be a tipping point, says the Los Angeles Times.
Posted by Brent Greer at 8:42 PM
From UK's BBC
From UK's Daily Telegraph
From Agence France Press (AFP)
From Channel News Asia
Newspapers from Toronto and Winnipeg in Canada, to Sidney and Perth in Australia, in Berlin Germany and Paris, France, either printed articles from the Associated Press or AFP.
Posted by Brent Greer at 8:10 PM
The editors at The Wall Street Journal this weekend commented on the Second Amendment. The editors were intrigued that the D.C. government would describe the appeals court ruling as being outside the mainstream of American jurisprudence. To review, the appeals court ruled 2-1 that the district's handgun is unconstitutional because it violates the right to keep and bear arms.
"We've certainly come to an interesting legal place if asserting principles that appear nowhere in the Constitution is considered normal . . ." the editors wrote in the opinion piece.
Posted by Brent Greer at 7:56 PM
Well, it's not that late, yet. But I realized this afternoon I needed to pick up a field dressing kit before tomorrow. Just back from Dick's Sporting Goods where it was busy with Christmas shoppers (and a number of hunters picking up gloves and other accessories). Kicking myself because I took inventory last week with the idea of picking up whatever I needed at the PRO Gun Show this weekend. Never noticed that I had used up all my kits.
Having gotten deer two out of the past three years, I am, of course, optimistic!
Posted by Brent Greer at 7:33 PM
It dawned on me this afternoon that for the first time in five years, politics won't interfere with my trip to the field to put some venison in the freezer. Each of the past several years have found lawmakers either at the Ohio General Assembly, or Columbus City Council, scheduling initial hearings on anti-gun legislation (and even sometimes pro-gun bills) either on the first or third day of deer gun season in the Buckeye State. It has been frustrating to no end. Some lawmakers do it on purpose. Others don't realize it but can't change it. I remember a frustrated City Council member, Mike Mental (now president of Columbus City Council), so alarmed at the prospect of being accused of intentionally scheduling a rifle ban hearing at a time when the leaders of organized grassroots groups were planning to be out of town, that he changed the date of the initial hearing. Credit Mr. Mental for his move. Politics? Probably. But smart, nonetheless.
Right now my calendar is showing this next week to be clear. A proponent hearing on Sen. Steve Buehrer's "No Duty To Retreat/Castle Doctrine" legislation, SB 184, will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 5 before the Ohio Senate Criminal Justice Committee. At issue is putting into statute protections for citizens from civil liability if they protect themselves inside or outside their home. Right now there are many, many court precedents protecting the citizenry from such suits if an individual uses a firearm to protect themselves or a loved one inside their home. But putting it into law would eliminate many nuisance lawsuits against law-abiding individuals who are merely exercising their basic human right of self defense.
Enough politicking. Leaving for north Central Ohio in about 12 hours with plans to be settled into a good spot in northern Knox County before dawn.
Posted by Brent Greer at 4:18 PM
Roland Millar, an NRA Training Counselor and chair of Peoples Rights Organization's Hunter Education program, has written a thoughtful piece on British Gen. Thomas Gage, and how his ghost continues to haunt the North American continent.
Posted by Brent Greer at 2:41 PM
The Columbus Dispatch this morning is saying that someone fired on an apartment with an "assault rifle." Uh, message to the Dispatch. Shouldn't you have said "machine gun?" For that is an assault rifle.
Or did you mean to write "assault weapon," which is in truth merely a semi-auto rifle? PLEASE learn to use the language correctly and get your facts straight. At least the paper is saying that an assailant used the rifle. NBC4 reported last night that an AK47 killed people. As I have written before, images of a rifle levitating over a table, turning and searching for a victim entered my mind. For that is the message reporters continually -- dishonestly -- put out.
Posted by Brent Greer at 12:33 PM
24 November 2007
I've not decided who I am supporting in the presidential election yet, but I thought this piece was worth sharing. Pro-gun republican candidate Ron Paul, considered a lot shot by most, has been raising money like crazy. And he has a very enthusiastic following. This piece on Libertarians might help explain the popularity of his candidacy, particularly his youthful supporters.
Posted by Brent Greer at 11:17 PM
David Hardy, scholar and documentarian, asks the question. Judge for yourself.
Posted by Brent Greer at 11:11 PM
Presidential candidate Fred Thompson, trailing in New Hampshire, took time out to stop at a gun store there and slam Rudy Giuliani's record on firearms rights.
NOTE: Until this week, the gun issue has pretty much only been debated by the republican candidates, each trying to tout how they are "more conservative" on the 2A, than their rivals, or try to explain away why they supported gun control in the past. This will continue. But is sure to change is the democrat presidential candidates' discussion on the issue. To now, there has been none. But with the Supreme Court agreeing to hear the Heller case, the democrats have no choice but to weigh in on what traditionally has been an issue they would sooner stay away from. For review, most democrats will admit that President Bill Clinton's push for and adoption of the so-called ban on competition rifles (he called them assault weapons), was what caused the electorate to throw out the democrats who controlled Congress.
When presidential candidates from either party talk to the gun issue and the Second Amendment, I plan to make note of it here (for your future reference).
Posted by Brent Greer at 11:01 PM
No, not a criminal with a gun, or a murderer with a so-called "assault weapon," . . . no, NBC 4 WCMH in Columbus is reporting tonight that an AK-47 killed a man tonight. Trying to imagine this rifle levitating itself, turning in different directions and looking for a target. I haven't seen the details, but the bias is already in the reporter's tease advertisement for the 11 pm newscast. Can hardly wait to see what they report.
I've never heard reporters say that "a Ford F-150 killed a man tonight," have you? Nope. It's always someone DRIVING the truck. See the bias? I'll report more later.
Posted by Brent Greer at 10:58 PM
Spent some time at the PRO Gun Show in Columbus today. Great crowd on a perfect day. A couple thousand people, at least, came through the doors. Representatives of two presidential candidates, Duncan Hunter and Ron Paul, were near the front doors handing out campaign literature.
My cousin's son, Joe, stopped by the show in the afternoon with a friend in tow. They are both students at Ohio Wesleyan University. Joe had an old double-barrel shotgun he wanted someone to take a look at. It belonged to one of my grandfathers (his great-grandfather). We decided it does not have much monetary value, but as a sentimental piece it is priceless. The .32 wheelgun he had, however, has some value. Plus, it belonged to Joe's grandfather (my uncle).
PRO-Training ran an Ohio Hunter Education program at the show, attended by some 20 young people with some dads and moms in attendance. Ran into Jude Cuddy, who occasionally contributes to this blog, and his son, both of whom were doing a little Christmas shopping at the show. along with NRA Training Counselors Ron Herman and Roland Millar (Roland, BTW, runs the Hunter Ed program for PRO-Training). Roland, Pete Stryjewski and a Hunter Ed instructor from Pickaway County Sportsmen ran the HE class at the show. NRA firearms instructors Jon Creal and Vince Zeno were also running around and stopped by to say hello. Vince and I got into a great discussion about older military firearms, particularly M1 carbines. Plus, Matthew (sorry, I can't remember the last name), a former Personal Protection In The Home firearms class student of mine from a few years ago stopped by and told me he had taken the NRA Instructors course earlier this month from PRO-Training. Welcome to the brotherhood of instructors, Matthew!
Most of the buzz at the show from people who wanted to talk politics was about the Heller/Parker/District of Columbia case being reviewed by the Supreme Court. Cautious optimism is the mood of most.
I worked a few hours at the Peoples Rights Organization membership table, where I stayed busy the entire time helping members renew for 2008. Hats off to show manager Mike Duve for another great event. The show runs through 4 pm on Sunday, but I cannot attend. Have to finish inventory and packing gear for next week's deer season. Unfortunately, due to competing priorities with my work, I'm only out in the field a couple of days. Too many appointments later in the week. But hope to get out next weekend also. We'll see . . .
Posted by Brent Greer at 10:50 PM
23 November 2007
The Media & Public Opinion . . .
"Its name is Public Opinion. It is held in reverence. It settles everything. Some think it is the voice of God." -- Mark Twain
The public buys its opinions as it buys its meat, or takes in its milk, on the principles that it is cheaper to do this than to keep a cow. So it is, but the milk is more likely to be watered." -- Samuel Butler
The above quotes are taken from the first page of Chapter 5 in Donald D. Hook's 1993 book, Gun Control: The Continuing Debate. The quotes are illustrative as we had toward arguments next Spring before the U.S. Supreme Court on the District of Columbia v. Heller case (previously Parker v. District of Columbia).
Consciously watch the mainstream "old school" media during the next three to four months. Watch how they pull out all the stops to manipulate public opinion regarding this potentially landmark legal decision, which is expected to be rendered sometime next summer. Watch how they do all they can to push the "collective" theory of the meaning of the 2A. They will incorporate testimony, if they can get it, from people in the military, ex-military, and police in an attempt to give credibility to their narrow viewpoint, away from which more and more legal scholars over the years have moved.
Watch . . .
Posted by Brent Greer at 9:34 PM
Not a case of animals eating their young, but instead, the young going after the slower-moving damaged old matriarch of the herd. Specifically, Move-On.org leaders have targeted anti-gun big-time democrat Diane Feinstein. Her sin? Voting to confirm Michael Mukasey as head of the Justice Department, and Leslie Southwick as a federal appeals judge -- both George W. Bush appointments. There is a new 527 group focused solely on highlighting Sen. Feinstein's "trangressions."
Says syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin, "Let’s hope they keep at each other’s throats. If they’re preoccupied tearing themselves apart, that’s less time and energy they’ll have to hike your taxes, expand government, and undermine our security. Every bit helps."
Posted by Brent Greer at 7:11 PM
Ready Line contributor Jude Cuddy, author of the "My View From Behind The Berm" essays, has a few thoughts on District of Columbia v. Heller . . .
William Shakespeare wrote:
"There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads to fortune:
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in the shallows and in miseries…
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures."
The above was quoted by Abigail Adams in a letter to John Adams during the trying times of our early Republic, when there was constant debate among British subjects (our forefathers) about the timing of announcing their intent to form an American nation. Basically, the issue was speak now or forever hold your peace. "Carpe Diem".
This case is a watershed. It will either reaffirm the Constitution - and the foundation of our Republic - or sadly be the beginning of the end. Should we prevail, we must not expect any wholesale refutation of existing laws already on the books. Perhaps the best long-term outcome would be the cessation of yet more feebly executed restrictions.
Either way, I don't plan on watching, but participating. We must infuse into others that this is no longer a spectator sport. Observing on the sidelines or allowing others to do ones' bidding is no longer an option. If we are not willing to defend or fight for liberty then we cannot expect it to remain a force in our lives.
Posted by Brent Greer at 9:47 AM
If only the City of Cleveland worried as much about protecting its citizens right to defend themselves with a firearm as it does the municipality's liability in crashes resulting from high speed police chases. Note that the city wants to protect its officers and its citizens . . . in THAT order.
Posted by Brent Greer at 7:37 AM
To hear the shrill complaints from the antis about the Heller case, you would think it were the biggest threat facing the U.S. Personally, I believe there are larger issues at hand.
Posted by Brent Greer at 7:33 AM
WLWT Cincinnati went to a gun show in Kentucky. They already knew how they wanted their report to look before they stepped one foot in the door. Super analysis from my friends at Buckeye Firearms Association.
Editors Note: The PRO Gun Shows throughout Ohio are copyrighted. If a TV camera were used there, the company managing the shows would own most of the assets of WLWT in short order after a judge ruled the station knowingly violated copyright. I have personally witnessed more than half-a-dozen instances where a television cameramen, once having read the giant banners saying such at the entrances (and flyers on about half of the vendor tables), immediately put down his camera and hurriedly start talking to the reporter in attendance. I don't know how many other instances of this I might have missed.
Posted by Brent Greer at 7:24 AM
News reports and opinion from multiple sources. Some is straightforward, some is terribly biased (as you can imagine), some is thoughtful. Judge for yourself:
Hawaii Reporter (note, I met the editor at GRPC -- knows her stuff)
NY Daily News
Wall Street Journal
The Carmi Times (Illinois)
PR Newswire (news release from Gun Owners of America)
Peoria Journal Star
SF Gate/San Francisco Chronicle
The New Republic
Washington Post (Doug Feaver blog)
New York Times (opinion)
Cowboy Confessional (blog)
The Liberty Papers (blog)
Posted by Brent Greer at 7:07 AM
22 November 2007
Well, I wasn't able to get the shotgun out to sight-in in preparation for the week-long deer-gun season that kicks off next Monday. When the snow is blowing sideways most of the day in north-Central Ohio, you realize you would rather not have it exposed to that much moisture. Plenty of time for sighting shots in the coming days. Tremendous meal, great family, wonderful conversation and catching up with cousins and aunts and uncles.
And the opportunity to remember family scattered across the U.S. who could not be with us, and those who have gone before us. Most memorable, sitting around a table that has been in my cousin's family for multiple generations. Nine of us for dinner today, but could not help thinking how many people have sat around the same table and shared Thanksgiving meals over the decades. Cousin Dave, in whose home the table resides, estimates that the table was brought west across the mountains to Ohio in a horse-drawn wagon -- by family -- more than 100 years ago.
Posted by Brent Greer at 11:00 PM
"I'm not a First Amendment expert, but I would think the right to keep one's address from appearing in a news outlet merely because one happens to choose to exercise one's rights would be protected by the right to privacy, which liberals tout in every case possible (even though it's not specifically enumerated in the Bill of Rights), except when it concerns gun owners."
-- Nicki, an Army veteran and writer who recently returned from a long deployment to Kosovo.
Editor's Note: Dann is taking heat over his opinion, which supports privacy for law-abiding firearms owners who don't want news organizations publishing their names and addresses.
Posted by Brent Greer at 10:45 PM
It's Thanksgiving Day. Time to head to the country to spend the day with extended family and an uncle who is gravely ill and headed for Florida in a few days. He's had a rough couple of months, so two families changed their dinner plans for today to head to Mount Vernon. Weather has finally turned cold here as we lead into Ohio's one week deer-gun season. I was planning to take the shotgun out with me, but may not. I need to spend some time sighting it in this afternoon.
I am thankful for so many things. How about you? I'm thankful this country hasn't suffered another attack on our soil. I'm thankful for the service of my three nephews -- all Army -- two of whom at this writing are in harm's way, but all of whom continue to be happy in their chosen profession. I am thankful for family. I am thankful for very good friends. Finally, selfishly, I am thankful for the delicious dinner awaiting the extended Ewart clan in just about four hours.
Posted by Brent Greer at 9:28 AM
21 November 2007
Please excuse the language at the beginning of the file. But once you get into the video and the accompanying music from surf guitar master Dick Dale, you'll see why I like this compilation. The images are from master videographer Werner Kurzzeitmesstechnik. You can also go to his website to see incredible still photos. While these shots are not new to a lot of people, they are still captivating to view. The first video link on this post features fantastic super slow-motion sequences of bullets leaving barrels, bullets piercing various items. cartidge cases being ejected, etc. The rapid fire sequences are particularly captivating.
Art . . . in motion.
Posted by Brent Greer at 10:36 PM
The "Empty Holster" protest that took place a few weeks ago on college campuses across the U.S. really struck a nerve. And it helped a fledgling grassroots organization -- Students For Concealed Carry on Campus -- to boost support from coast to coast. As such, they are continuing their push and continue to receive media coverage, even though the initial event concluded some time ago.
Now THATS something to be thankful for!
Posted by Brent Greer at 10:15 PM
Several pieces of information to share. Here is a very well written analysis by law professor Glenn Reynolds appearing in today's New York Post. In addition, presidential candidates Fred Thompson and Rudy Giuliani weighed in here on the Heller case. Bill Quick wonders whether Hillary Clinton might come out and join the "individual right" camp.
From "the other side," is a piece that appeared yesterday on The Huffington Post from the republican mayor of Ft. Wayne, Ind. Mr. Helmke asserts that the action by the appeals court oveturning the DC gun ban is "a textbook example of judicial activism at its worst."
There is a question of whether the Justice Department should weigh in on this case. If you want to look at comprehensive sources for information when discussing the 2A, Prof. Eugene Volokh of UCLA's law school put this little resource together.
And the best part of it all? The words from Classical Values blogger Eric Scheie, who writes that Tuesday "was not a great day for the forces of gun control. Ed Rendell's extraordinary attempt to pressure the Pennsylvania legislature failed, and the Supreme Court voted to hear District of Columbia v. Heller." A lot has been written on the latter. Regarding the former, Rendell made a rare appearance before Pennsylvania lawmakers to strongarm them to pass three extraordinary anti-gun bills. His efforts were in vain. Read about it here.
Finally, h/t to Glenn Reynolds for linking to Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, who has translated a bit of pro-gun info unearthed about Pope Pius XI.
Posted by Brent Greer at 5:34 PM
The New York Times says the work of liberal professors has led to the view that the Second Amendment is an individual right, and not a collective right.
Posted by Brent Greer at 8:02 AM
20 November 2007
Update (10:13 pm): ANALYSIS -- For years my colleagues and I have debated this issue and asked ourselves the following question: Did we really want the Supreme Court to consider the meaning of the Second Amendment. The answer was yes, but no. We had a qualifier. "No, not at this time." It was a response to, first, knowing that a court case can go either way -- there is no such thing as a slam dunk; and second, worrying about the composition of the Court. There has never been a day that I felt, given the facts, that a thinking court would disagree with the words the Framers put on parchment. I want to believe the high court will confirm what many Americans know the Framers intended, that their words meant something. That an individual right means just that . . . an individual right. "The Right Of The People . . . "
But the makeup of the Court was always questionable. Justices like Scalia and Thomas, and to a lesser degree, Chief Justice Roberts, all of whom I believe would vote that the 2A always should have been interpreted as an individual right, and not subject to the "the militia is today's National Guard" argument from the anti-self-defense crowd. To the contrary, we have Justice Ginsberg, who has stated more than once we need to look to other countries laws when we interpret our Constitution. That is insanity. And Justice Souter is worrisome. Many thought him to be a strict constructionist when he was appointed to the high court, but he continues to disappoint -- particularly with the Kelo decision affirming the right of government to exploit their eminent domain powers and take land for use by private developers, because the tax revenues from developer projects somehow enhanced government (coffers).
The timing on this case is crucial. I would have never wanted it to go to the Supreme Court three to four years ago. Not conservative enough. And I wouldn't want it to go to the same body in another three to four years, particularly if an anti-gun democrat is elected to the White House and Congress remains under the control of a rabidly anti-gun leadership. Even today, this is a risk.
But it is also truly a watershed moment. The Miller case in 1939 did not really address the individual right issue, though anti-gun groups try to make that claim and much of the media, which does not understand the complexities of the issue, wrongly parrot that statement. In fact, the Supreme Court has NEVER been asked to define the meaning of the words in the Second Amendment. Which makes this perhaps one of the most important cases EVER to come before the high court.
How important? Consider the following. On more than one occasion, when testifying before lawmakers on firearms rights laws, or having a discussion/debate with others, I have been asked the following: "Are you saying that all of these courts that have upheld gun control in some fashion were wrong?" My reply is generally the same. "Courts have gotten it wrong on many occasions. Ultimately it is corrected. Like the Dred Scott decision, for example. There is a case that the Supreme Court absolutely got wrong. And over time, it was made right."
Remember Dred Scott? He was a slave who had lived in the free state of Illinois and the free territory of Wisconsin before moving back to the slave state of Missouri. He appealed to the Supreme Court in hopes of being granted his freedom. He was denied. The Court said the Constitution's words "all men are created equal" was never meant to apply to the enslaved African race. As I said, the Court got it wrong. And then it was made right.
Folks, that's where we are today. The Supreme Court has the opportunity to make things right regarding the meaning of the Second Amendment.
My good friend and occasional bird-hunting partner, attorney David Buda, put it quite succinctly when we talked on the subject recently. I am paraphrasing here, but he views the looming decision as no longer a theoretical discussion of whether Americans are citizens or subjects, but the definitive statement on the matter. I can remember a federal case some years ago where a Clinton administration attorney argued there is no individual right to keep and bear arms. And one of the judges jokingly stated that he and another judge probably had enough firearms between them to arm a small South American nation, then asked the attorney to repeat his assertion that these judges, elected to the bench, had no right to possess firearms. Many legal scholars have suggested, very simply, that the Second Amendment is a guarantee of the "right to revolution." So many people have written before me the following, but I repeat it nonetheless. The words of the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights, are the one right that guarantee we have any rights at all.
Here is one thing I CAN guarantee. Advocates on both side of this heated issue are trying to guess how the Court will rule. I know how I believe the Court should rule, but then the arguments, nor supporting documents have yet been presented. I also know that in Central Ohio, the annual PRO Gun Show at Thanksgiving weekend (to benefit advocacy efforts by Peoples Rights Organization on behalf of firearms owners in Ohio) will be packed with people who know this looming opinion, to come next year, will affect the lives of themselves, their children, and their childrens' children. In fact, every gun show across the U.S. taking place this weekend will find Americans exercising their First Amendment right to assemble, to discuss and debate their Second Amendment right to keep and bear a firearm for whatever purpose they wish. Pretty cool, huh?
And that is the crux of this debate, as some would call it. But it is more than a debate. It is a problem. Many states have passed right to carry laws (another discussion entirely, for citizens now are required to jump through hoops and be licensed to exercise their right). Yet politicians in many places continue their fanatical drives to outlaw even the possession a firearm for any purpose. They say it is for the good of the community. Which is what the case in the District of Columbia is all about. Politicians may not want you and I to possess a firearm, but they have unchecked power to, with the sweep of a pen, turn otherwise law-abiding people into felons. These are people who merely want to be left alone, people who want the right to choose a particular tool to defend their very lives, if need be.
So why do anti-self defense politicians do this? Because they still stick to the out-of-touch notion that gun control laws somehow make our communities safer. Study after study after study have shown this not to be the case. Independent studies, mind you, by government entities and independent researchers. The Supreme Court's acceptance of this case will not be about studies. It had better not be. It will be about the meaning of language. Of words. Of limits on government to intrude on Constitutional liberties. The meaning of militia, and most importantly, the meaning of "the people."
The anti-gun cabal will try to make it about people living in fear in their neighborhoods. But many families in neighborhoods across this nation live in fear because they have no effective means to defend themselves. Because laws that violate their constitutional rights prevent families from possessing a firearm. They know the police may be a long time away and cannot protect them. This case is about their right NOT to live in fear. This case is about their right to choose to be able to defend themselves. And what tool to use.
Like the horrible attacks of 9-11, our generation is soon to witness history like none other. Only it will take place in the courtroom. This case has been a long time coming. Already, scholars are calling it a landmark case, even though the first words have not even been uttered before the justices.
Most of all, this case is about the basic human right of self defense. Its outcome will most likely impact our culture for years, if not generations.
UPDATE (3:19 pm): National broadcast news organizations, in their early coverage of the Supreme Court's decision to review the Heller case, are using (not unexpectedly), the language used by the anti-self-defense crowd, asking whether the right to keep and bear arms belongs to individuals or militias. Never mind that at the time the document was written, the militia referred to all able-bodied people (well, able-bodied men and boys, that is). Watch video from NBC/MSNBC regarding the court's review of Heller from Supreme Court reporter Pete Williams. ABC News had this story, and there are already several hundred comments posted to the network's website on this story. CBS News has this coverage with video.
URGENT URGENT URGENT: The U.S. Supreme Court today announced it will review the District of Columbia v. Heller decision (formerly Parker v. District of Columbia). At issue, can the District ban handgun ownership, and is it a violation of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution -- the second most important amendment in the Bill of Rights. Here is the announcement as Reuters covered it today. The Associated Press says the announcement sets the stage for a "showdown" between pro-gun and anti-gun advocates.
In addition, a blog that covers the Supreme Court has an overview. Plus, you can read the high court's order for yourself. Court watchers expect that the case will be heard next spring, setting the stage for the most direct ruling on the meaning of the Second Amendment since the 1939 Miller case. For review, here is the report from National Public Radio back on March 9 of this year on the appeals court ruling overturning the D.C. handgun ban. And Andrew Cohen, columnist for the Washington Post, has this to say about today's decision by the Supremes.
Folks, this review is probably going to have impact for generations no matter which way it goes, and is sure be a high profile debating point leading into next year's presidential election.
Here is the petition filed by the District of Columbia, asking the Supreme Court to overturn the appeals court ruling (which said DC's gun ban is unconstitutional).
Finally, click here to read the text of a news release from the Second Amendment Foundation about the Supreme Court announcement
Posted by Brent Greer at 2:40 PM
Powerful language, and perhaps a bit unsettling for some. Forget for a moment that the Bill of Rights even exists, says musician Ted Nugent. Then look at a politician's moral compass. Nugent appears in a powerful TV interview in Texas discussing the importance of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Posted by Brent Greer at 8:38 AM
Its about time! A judge in South Carolina rejected arguments by NYC lawyers and declared that civil suits can be filed against Michael Bloomberg, the New York City mayor who set up his own sting operations in various states, and ultimately jeopardized a number of ongoing federal investigations. The very stings his office set up broke the law big time. Jeff Soyer at Alphecca.com has more.
Posted by Brent Greer at 8:27 AM
Detroit has now surpassed St. Louis as the most dangerous city in the U.S.
Which is surprising, if you think about it. Strict gun laws keep people safe. Just ask the politicians who pass them. Regarding the news of Detroit's new status among high-crime cities, the editors of KeepAndBearArms.com write, "This simply cannot be true! We have been told for years by "experts" that easy availability of guns is the cause of "gun crime." Therefore, the real Most Dangerous City in America must be somewhere in the south or the Rocky Mountains."
Interestingly, the city omitted data from Chicago, and a handful of other large metro areas, due to incomplete information. It's too bad we didn't get to see that info. I would suspect that the Windy City, with some of the most draconian gun regulations on the books, also has crime rates that are through the roof.
Posted by Brent Greer at 8:19 AM
19 November 2007
DEVELOPING: War On Guns author David Codrea is investigating the appearance of a photo of an apparently retired U.S. Army command sergeant major on a global gun control website. Codrea's question is why the gentleman in question is appearing in uniform in a political advertisement in contradiction to Army regs. OR, the question is whether his name and likeness, if he is who he is portrayed to be, were used without his permission by an organization that is doing everything it can to pierce U.S. sovereignty in the area of firearms rights.
At his last update, Codrea reported that someone from the U.S. military had visited his website and spent 1:39 minutes there. From the CSMs website my first impressions are mixed. He does not sound like any military person I have heard. See what you think. I cannot imagine U.S. military personnel lending their names to this well-organized global network of gun grabbers.
My instinct is that the CSMs website feels contrived. Not real.
Posted by Brent Greer at 10:44 PM
If only my alma mater, The Ohio State University, were this forward looking. OSU's new AD (well, he's been around a couple years now), is committed to the shooting sports. But Michigan State's approach is first rate. Hats off to the MSU leadership and supporters.
Posted by Brent Greer at 10:31 PM
Is this a gun problem too? I think not.
Working in the commercial real estate business, I really feel for people living in these communities. But when the police don't even show up when called, or ignore drug dealers and other criminals using a vacant lot to "store" items they are systematically stripping from vacated homes, Cleveland Mayor Jackson cannot continue to hide behind emotional "we have a gun violence problem" sloganeering. His city has drug problems. And with police apparently arbitrarily choosing which runs to make, Major Jackson appears to have a labor problem he sorely needs to address. For the children.
Posted by Brent Greer at 3:02 PM
Lockdown at Walnut Ridge High School in Columbus this morning when school officials found an unloaded handgun. Police kept students in classrooms while they searched lockers and rooms throughout the building, looking for ammunition. The gun turned up after a student was involved in a fight. The lockdown ended around 11 am after the police search turned up no additional firearms or ammo.
Posted by Brent Greer at 3:01 PM
Attorney and scholar David Hardy has a compelling lead-in to two diametrically opposed analyses written by fellow law professors, each who hold differing viewpoints on the Second Amendment. Hardy's well-written overview sets the stage for these two papers.
Posted by Brent Greer at 1:45 PM
18 November 2007
Recently, I started using the name "competition rifle" to describe the scary looking rifles the antis want to ban. Primarily because the AR-15 and its variants are used with such frequency across the U.S. in high-power competitions. When I talk to people who are uninformed on the issue and ask them why they want to ban competition rifles, they immediately tell me they would never want to do that. Why do they react that way? Because they didn't really know what they were agreeing to ban. Their fear comes from the words that are used by the media and by gun politicians and operatives.
Some other folks have pondered the same question. There is a debate within our culture on this issue. What to call the big scary black rifle -- a relative peashooter compared to the M1 Garand with which I enjoy honing my marksmanship skills. Some call the discussion stupid. Others aren't sure, but feel we need to address it somehow.
Words do matter. The other side learned this long ago (i.e. -- "hidden guns," a sinister phrase as opposed to our focus on "concealed firerms"). We need to be less serious about being serious -- on some occasions -- and utilize the language to our benefit more often. On the humor front, when you click through to a different site from the link in the previous paragraph, the writer at the What Would John Wayne Do? blog has taken a stab at some different monikers for the AR. One of the more memorable possibilities . . . the "Seriously, I could have bought two or three good lever actions for what I paid for this" gun.
Posted by Brent Greer at 11:56 PM
Ryan Lee Bergner learned the hard way that if you are a stalker, it's not always a good idea to open the closet door where your victim is hiding as she frantically calls 9-1-1. Its doubly worse to start choking her.
Posted by Brent Greer at 4:13 PM
Once again, kids never need leave their home to experience the outdoors. All these new software tools and games help them simply simulate the experience of outdoor pursuits (who needs to get dirty or break a sweat or get some sun). When the Wii first came out I laughed and shook my head. Now, kids no longer need to go out and play, receiving the benefit of some tremendous exercise. It wasn't like the early games where they played Donkey Kong or a fantasy game like Link, instead of outdoor play. They now can pretend to play outdoor sports. Such as pretending to skateboard. It continues to get worse -- now the Wii helps kids pretend to take a walk in the woods and pretend to learn to use a crossbow. The product starts shipping on November 20.
NOTE: What are the chances there will never be a Wii shooting gallery. I'd guess not. Too politically incorrect! Along the same lines as the Wii story, I read recently in Camping Life magazine that there is a new computer game where the player pretends to go camping (find a site, set up camp, cook dinner, play campfire games, tell stories, etc.). All without ever going out and doing the real thing! Why bother? And for those whiners who will complain that some people don't have the same opportunities as others to actually get out and do it, I understand that. But I would suggest that the game players stick with Halo or whatever else gets them off. Because simulated camping is nothing like going out and camping for real. The hard work, the joy of achievement when camp is set up and dinner is cooking. The feel of the outdoors, looking at the stars, the smell of a wood fire, the night sounds. The Wii can never provide the experience of holding a crossbow, just as camping "games" will never replicate the experience of spending time in the woods, or in a meadow in front of a night fire. Rant over.
Posted by Brent Greer at 3:39 PM
"Leopold's ideas are revered by legions of earth-firsters, but many don't know their icon was a lifelong hunter. Nor is it generally acknowledged who was trying to save parts of the planet a century before Earth Day was invented."
Contrary to the views of much of the media and hard-core tree-huggin fish kissers, hunters were the first conservationists. Interestingly, cooperation between hunting groups and organizations like Sierra Club are making for strange bedfellows.
Posted by Brent Greer at 3:19 PM
Posted by Brent Greer at 3:12 PM
Great t-shirt, tank top, sweatshirt design.
Posted by Brent Greer at 1:20 PM
When I was in the software business, we often used an old axion -- "You can't perfume a pig." Essentially, if the product stinks, it still stinks and it won't quit stinking though you try to tell customers the problem lies elsewhere.
Last Friday, Cleveland's Chief of Police Michael McGrath wrote an open letter to the public (via a letter to the editor of The Plain Dealer newspaper). He cited "gun violence" in his city and the work that needs to be done to rid the streets of guns. He also cited his visit to a summit on gun violence in Chicago in the spring, sponsored by the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
Chief McGrath, you may not realize this, but you attended a summit sponsored by the Joyce Foundation. Your IACP is a body that largely exists on paper and was created for the sole agenda of using chiefs of police to legitimize the real goal of your benefactors -- the harsh regulation of civilian firearms ownership. The anti-gun Joyce Foundation has bought and paid for the organization in which you proudly claim membership. You are being used, or you are complicit in the Joyce Foundation's agenda. And your statement that the comunity is responsible for getting guns off the street misses a point. It is the out-of-control drug crime you have in your city that your various communities needs to address. Drugs are the root problem of your city's murder rate and shooting sprees. Why do you not address THAT issue, Sir?
Your gun buybacks make for impressive soundbytes and pretty pictures, but your legislative efforts and those by Cleveland Mayor Jackson are fatally flawed. You tell people not to arm themselves, and yet law-abiding people in Cleveland proper need firearms to protect themselves because your police department cannot -- and legally will not protect them. Mayor Jackson's irrational proposal, now in the form of a bill before the Ohio General Assembly, would prohibit lawful firearm possession by hunters in other parts of the state not affected by your inability to control crime. Chief McGrath. You would do well to quit being a politician, and remember what most street cops know -- it is not the gun that is the problem, it is the criminal holding it.
Read Chief McGrath's letter here. Thus endeth the lecture.
Posted by Brent Greer at 9:56 AM
Kyle Cassidy's photography/coffee table book has been out for a few months now. He's picked up positive coverage around the world from news organizations and publications as diverse as Guns & Ammo, Wisconsin Public Radio, Newsweek (the Japanese edition), and the Washington Post. Now, word is that Focus Fine Art Photography magazine is calling "Armed America: Portraits of Gun Owners In Their Homes" the number one selling photography book in America.
It took Cassidy traveling this nation for two years and more than 15,000 miles. He went into the homes of ordinary people and asked them one simple question . . . "Why do you own a gun?" Their simple answers and his photography are what is so striking, according to reviews and comments on Amazon.com from people who have purchased the book.
Hatip to Breda at The Breda Fallacy
Posted by Brent Greer at 9:21 AM
Marko, a writer from Knoxville, Tenn., penned an essay he calls "Why The Gun Is Civilization." He has many outstanding observations. The following concept has been made by others, but Marko puts the sentiments very succinctly:
"When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force. The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gangbanger, and a single gay guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender."
Posted by Brent Greer at 8:58 AM
17 November 2007
A very thoughtful blog writer who calls himself The Dissident Frogman, is going to start an open thread on Fridays regarding firearms issues. Take a look. BTW, he's really into rifles.
I like his take on the difference between the so-called violent American culture that encourages independence and self-reliance, and other misunderstood, dogmatic cultures with whom some say we need to start a dialogue. He writes, "Well, your mileage may vary, but as far as I'm concerned, I'd rather be shot by a free man than stoned to death by a bunch of slaves."
The Dissident Frogman, which I have been visiting for several months now, is a fantastic political read regarding world events. The writer notes that he is "French by birth, Pro-American by nature." His posts frequently appear in English and French. On more than one occasion when his countrymen did or said something on the world stage that was rather anti-American, he has lambasted those responsible. Worth checking out from time to time.
Posted by Brent Greer at 9:40 PM
Doh! The wave of home invasions should have EVERYONE on alert. The wealthy are not a special class in this situation, any more than when liberals want to soak them for more tax money.
"Security experts emphasize that preventive steps can be taken without resorting to extreme measures, such as obtaining firearms without proper licensing and training. Such actions can raise legal problems for people wanting to protect their homes and families . . ."
PROPER LICENSING and training? Most areas of the nation rightly require no licensing. I would advise training, however. And I definitely concur there can be legal issues. Which is why very state, including Ohio, should pass "No Duty To Retreat/Castle Doctrine" legislation immediately. This legislation is designed to relieve crime victims of the potential for a lawsuit if they use a firearm to defend their lives against someone who has NO BUSINESS in their home.
Posted by Brent Greer at 9:20 PM
Hmmmm . . . I'm normally not one to mess with federal or state Constitutions unless we are talking about extraordinary changes. But a proposal for a new constitutional amendment that would bar American courts from relying on foreign law is intriguing.
Posted by Brent Greer at 6:00 PM
"A well educated Electorate, being necessary to the liberty of a free State, the Right of the People to Keep and Read Books shall not be infringed."
-- The tagline of a pro-gun blog, called Day Of Our Trailers.
NOTE: Memo to Sarah Brady and Toby Hoover. Parse THAT sentence.
Posted by Brent Greer at 5:25 PM
The next time you are thinking you've had a bad day, consider what our ancestors dealt with. And know that difficulty is relative.
Yesterday started off quite nicely. But by 5:30 pm I was obsessing on a commercial real estate contract that is in jeopardy and pondering the time I will be "forced" to sacrifice this weekend to save the deal for my clients. Forced, as in it might take time away from watching the Ohio State-Michigan football game this afternoon, and will cancel plans I have for tomorrow to take in the "Indoctrinate U" film screening in Cleveland. So here I am at the end of the day yesterday in a beautiful little wine shop in Upper Arlington, Ohio where I drop in some Fridays to share a few glasses of wine with acquaintances new and old, talk wine, life, politics, and general stuff. Not a care in the world, most would say. And all I can think about is my troubled business deal that will ultimately be resolved by Monday morning.
And yet, when you look back in time, and see what others faced on any given day, our "difficulties" don't seem so bad. Yesterday was November 16th. Here is a look at one event from the same day in 1833. It's a good reminder for me that even on our most harried days, "difficulty" is relative.
Posted by Brent Greer at 4:04 PM
Alan Korwin, creator of the authoritative GunLaws.com website and author of a number of books on firearms laws around the U.S., writes a regular review of big items in the news of interest to firearms owners and 2A supporters. He analyzes what the mainstream media tells us (he calls them the "lamestream media"), then points out the story behind the story. The latter is usually what the media missed, doesn't understand, or deliberately ignored. Check out Volume #36.
Posted by Brent Greer at 3:52 PM
Across the nation, people are buying the new "Goody Guns" cookie cutouts from Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership. And they are combining the sweet treats (read the link -- someone used the cutouts with chocolate rice krispie treats -- mmmmm) made with these items with important lessons to kids on gun safety. In my neck of the woods, Ready Line contributor Ellen Wickham ordered her Goody Gun cutouts, made some gooooooood cookies and brought them to a Peoples Rights Organization meeting in October.
Read Ryan Horsley's take on the explosion in interest in Goody Guns! And follow the links from his page to read the shrill complaints from the other side on this fun present that helps teach kids a very valuable safety lesson.
Posted by Brent Greer at 3:43 PM
Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell plans to make a rare public appearance at that state's general assembly, and plea for lawmakers to pass stringent new gun control laws.
Posted by Brent Greer at 3:14 PM
When I attended the 2007 Gun Rights Policy Conference last month, one of the most powerful presentations came from the author of a new book just out. Gordon Hutchinson had everyone spellbound as he discussed the activities of law enforcement personnel -- many from out of state -- who descended upon the bealeagured Crescent City "to help out" in the wake of the devastating Hurricane Katrina.
What resulted was a breakdown in civil liberties heretofore unseen in this nation as hundreds of otherwise law-abiding people were forcibly disarmed, their legally owned firearms confiscated, many of these guns later thrown into bayous or kept by a few bad-apple cops, with the majority locked in a couple of mobile homes kept by the city. It took lawsuits to get the city to first admit they had disarmed people, and later to admit they still had guns. Even today, the city of New Orleans is stalling attempts by residents to reclaim their lawfully owned personal property.
I can't stress enough how much of a scandal was created by the actions of some rogue law enforcement officers (note: not all police took part in these illegal activities) under orders from out-of-their league New Orleans city officials. NRA videos about the New Orleans situation are bad enough to watch. But to hear Mr. Hutchinson's description of what took place minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour, left me with what I can only describe as one of the most sickening feelings in the pit of my stomach I have ever experienced when we consider the future of America's gun rights, and the rights of generations to come. Rights that MUST be protected.
I plan to buy his book as a Christmas present for myself. I strongly urge you to consider doing the same.
Posted by Brent Greer at 3:07 PM
Boston, home of the strictest gun control laws in nation and yet awash in so-called "gun violence," is pushing a draconian new measure to "fight crime." Here is another piece from the Boston Globe, on the same subject, noting that civil liberties experts have some concerns. NO KIDDING! If parents decline to submit to the voluntary search of their childrens' rooms, city officials say the officers will just turn around and leave. Somehow that seems just too simple. My bet is parents will be mildly (and legally) coerced -- guilted -- into letting the police snoop around.
Posted by Brent Greer at 2:53 PM
"Is It Depressing to Be A Gun Hater?" Interesting question. Two things come to mind . . . I have more fun with people when they say they "hate" a certain politician, or "hate" guns. I usually reply, "Hate is a sickness; you really need to get some help." The second is my observation that gun haters tend to be insular, irrationally fearful of people with different ideas (I have had gun control advocates refuse to get on an elevator with me in government buildings (usually immediately prior to, or after testimony on a piece of proposed legislation).
With that said, here is a piece that examines whether being a "gun hater" actually is depressing. Humorous and frustrating at the same time. The writer is "Porcupine Nine," nom de plume for the owner of the Gun Control Means Using Both Hands blog.
Posted by Brent Greer at 12:03 AM
16 November 2007
In 1995, noted firearms rights attorney Stephen Halbrook wrote a lengthy analysis of the situation in our nation's capital, entitled "Second-Class Citizenship and the Second Amendment in the District of Columbia." This document is 12 years old, but has not lost its relevance. If you have not seen it before, take a moment for review and you will have a far better sense of why the Parker/Heller case (which may yet come before the U.S. Supreme Court this year) is so very important.
Author's Note: Steve Halbrook is the attorney of record for Ohio's Peoples Rights Organization, which prevailed twice in federal court to overturn gun control laws in Columbus, Ohio. I am an officer of that organization, and Halbrook has been instrumental in helping PRO on a number of legal issues over the years. Additionally, he has represented the NRA in a number of regional and national cases, and is probably the nation's pre-eminent courtroom attorney regarding 2A issues.
Posted by Brent Greer at 11:45 PM
The National Rifle Association annual meetings and exhibition will take place in Louisville, Ky. May 16-18. Right in the thick of things will be the Second Amendment Blog Bash. And The Ready Line will be there. More to come . . .
Posted by Brent Greer at 11:35 PM
A number of reasons why every thinking American should contact their U.S. senator to demand they NOT confirm Mr. Sullivan as the new head of BATF. Make these calls NOW!
Posted by Brent Greer at 4:53 PM
Jeff Soyer at Alphecca.com found an interesting letter to the editor of the Prince George Citizen newspaper. The writer hits the nail on the head about the results of gun control in our neighbor nation to the north.
Posted by Brent Greer at 7:40 AM
15 November 2007
Check out Chad Baus' new piece on how Ohio CHL records are open for inspection, but the names of drunk-drivers -- the people REALLY killing innocent citizens out there -- are off limits. Chad is vice chairman of Buckeye Firearms Association. Nicely written!
Posted by Brent Greer at 8:51 PM
As always, I encourage visitors to The Ready Line to leave comments, or even argue with me on a subject. I am not afraid of a good debate if someone wants to take exception to original material I've written, or other linked material to which I included written commentary. And I have nothing to hide regarding my opinions.
BUT, with that said, I do have the "moderate comments" settings turned ON. This is not to keep people from publicly disagreeing with me, but to screen the spam generated by automated email systems belonging to presidential candidates, anti-gunners, and yes, even companies selling pills or creams guaranteed to engorge your goodies. Because of Blogger's system architecture, if spam attaches as comments to Ready Line posts, it is virtually impossible to remove. What I have to do is delete the entire post, then repost it at the current date. And I would lose all of your legitimate commentary and debate.
Soooo, this was a little more than I planned to write. But feel free to drop me a line, ask a question, thank me for some info, or take me to task for something you read on The Ready Line.
Posted by Brent Greer at 2:48 PM
If you are near a radio or personal computer right now, turn to your local National Public Radio (NPR) station. Being interviewed is Richard Feldman, author of "Ricochet: Confessions of a Gun Lobbyist." Not a bad interview with Feldman, a former regional political director for the NRA, who says the National Rifle Association is more interested in fighting (in order to bolster membership and fund causes), in some cases, than winning.
While the NRA calls his book a work of fiction, I can't entirely disagree with his assessment. I've seen both sides, too. I have seen some evidence of the NRA turning its back on no-brainer court cases, and other situations where the lobbying giant caved in on statehouse bills (that created a myriad of problems in a particular state) in order to facilitate a national agenda (so-called "right-to-carry" for example). Ohio and elsewhere. Feldman, still an NRA member, firearms owner and supporter of many NRA projects, says he was let go from his lobbying job when he brokered the voluntary trigger lock agreement between firearms manufacturers and the Bill Clinton administration. Shortly thereafter, Feldman says, the NRA announced it had always been in favor of trigger locks.
The downside to this interview is the inclusion of John Rosenthal, co-founder the pro gun control American Hunters and Shooters Association. He is using all of his time to repeat sound bytes right out of the gun control lobby. Tune in if you have a chance.
Posted by Brent Greer at 2:31 PM