29 February 2008

Wow, I Didn't See This Coming: White Guys Are New Swing Voters For Dems

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton scrap over white male voters.

From CNN.

A timely observation, considering the highly charged column printed last week in the Aspen Times newspaper in Colorado. Columnist Gary Hubbell, in a piece titled, "In election 2008, don’t forget Angry White Man," doesn't agree entirely. He believes that this constituency will oppose Hillary.

Victoria (Australia) Gun Fees To Spike; Legal Industry, Vermin Control To Suffer

"EIGHTY percent of Central Victoria gun dealers will be driven out of business and attempts by farmers to control vermin will be undermined if recommendations of a licence fee increase are accepted, dealers claim."

"The Regulatory Impact Statement is part of a State Government draft proposal on changes to firearm regulations recommending lowering some licence fees including rifles by 11 per cent, professional hand guns by 17 per cent, increasing others such as sporting hand guns by 97 per cent and firearm dealer licences by up to 647 per cent."

If this isn't an attempt to drive merchants operating in a legal industry out of business, I don't know what is. While restrictions on firearms ownership in Australia are tight, the controllers have not been able to ban guns outright through legislative or judicial fiat.

Bottom line: This is a textbook example of incrementalism, achieving the same end through different means.

Massachusetts Hypocrisy: Toll Collectors Toted Guns For Years

Allegedly with no training, toll collectors at booths along the "Mass Pike" (that's I-90, folks running east and west across the state of Massachusetts) have had sidearms on them or at hand. Now, Massachusetts Turnpike Authority Executive Director Alan LeBovidge, citing a concern about a potential "Wild West Show," has stripped toll collectors of their protection devices.

Union reps say they are going to war over this one.

This revelation begs a very serious question . . . why were the toll collectors armed? To protect the state's treasure? I thought you can't shoot someone to protect property? At least in my state you can't. I'm sure that in "Mass-choosetts" with firearms being even more restricted there is NO WAY someone can use a gun to protect property. The story says the guns were to protect their own lives if they were robbed.

So is the Mass Pike director seeing something else coming down the road? Was a news story coming about the double-standard and he wanted to fix things before his agency's policy was revealed? Perhaps he doesn't want these facts known if there were to be a push for liberalizing the state's draconian gun regulations? Not that it's going to happen any time soon . . . this is the state of Ted Kennedy for God's sake.

But its interesting . . . and smacks of hypocrisy.

Presidential Campaign Update

- The latest television commercial for Hillary Clinton is getting a lot of buzz (Barack Obama calls it fear-mongering). She is also running ads in Ohio featuring former U.S. Sen. John Glenn, and current Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland.

- New Barack Obama ad airing in Ohio focuses on jobs and tax cuts (Ohio has a ridiculous, incredibly burdensome corporate tax structure that for a decade has been driving industry -- and jobs -- out of the state) . . .

- The uninformed are speculating that John McCain is not eligible to run for president because he was born in the Panama Canal Zone of parents who were stationed there. You see, the New York Times first posed the question, but did no digging whatsoever to find an answer. More credibility problems, in my estimation, for The Gray Lady. Question answered . . .

- Hillary Clinton is maintaining a hold on hispanic voters, but for some reason, gay/lesbian Hillary backers are defecting to the Barack Obama camp. And Obama has surged ahead in Texas, according to polls there . . .

- Music is used to pump up crowds at campaign rallies. But picking campaign tunes is not as easy as you might think . . .

- And finally, Lorne Michaels, creator of Saturday Night Live (SNL) is basking in the glow of having the opportunity to skewer politicians during a period when presidential politics is top-of-mind. . . .


The New York Times, never one to look in the mirror, goes on the hunt for -- get this -- media bias.

"The Left blogosphere got excited over the fact that one Alabama television station, WHNT in Huntsville, didn't air the 60 Minutes segment on Siegelman; it went dark for a few minutes just as that segment was in progress. The Times joined its friends on the creepy Left in seeing all the signs of a conspiracy. The paper went so far as to editorialize on the power outage."

From PowerLine.

Guns Legal In Texas, Alabama; Other 'Toys' Are Not

I don't really know how to describe this story without . . . um . . . without . . .

Okay, rarely am I at a loss for words, as some of my colleagues will attest. But someone decided to look at states and see which was worse -- permitting or banning firearm possession, and permitting or banning possession of sex toys.

THERE, I said it!

Glenn Reynolds, Instpundit chief (to whom I owe a hat-tip for pointing me toward this story), has the following commentary regarding this piece: "Here in Tennessee, they're both legal: we don't care how you choose to fill your hand. There was an effort to ban dildos and vibrators about ten years ago, but it was laughed out of existence following a campaign by a group called "Well Endowed Tennesseans" who accused the legislator sponsoring the bill of phallic insecurity."

Brady Campaign Celebration

Fourteen years ago the Brady Act was passed.

h/t to Snowflakes In Hell

Let's Get Behind 'Campus Protection Bills'

I am nominating a new phrase, coined first (as far as I can tell) by Jeff over at Alphecca, to be used with all proposed campus carry legislation.

Specifically, such legislation would allow licensed CCW holders -- whether they be faculty, staff or students -- to carry their firearms concealed on college and university campuses in an effort prevent mass murders like those that occurred at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University.

Without question, this citizen safety legislation should from here forward be referred to as "Campus Protection Bills."

Embattled BATF 'Interim' Director Lobbying For Post

Mike Sullivan, or "Maximum Mike" as he has become known lately in the pro self-defense community, apparently really wants that full time gig as head of BATFE.

Despite his nomination being blocked by several U.S. senators on grounds that he has overstepped his and the agency's authority, the news release issued yesterday shows he wants that job.

Headlined, "Gun Recoveries in 2007 Drop With Murder Rate," the story talks about how the number of "illegal" (undocumented?) guns being turned in by New York City police is dropping.

Of course, America has BATF and Mr. Sullivan to thank.

'Common Sense' Definition Depends On Perspective

Jacob Sullem, writing for Reason magazine, was doing some research and concludes that non-sequiters from the gun control crowd haven't ceased in more than a decade. In fact, they are still using the same shrill, tired words and phrases that were popularized in 1994.

"The NIU murderer, Steven Kazmierczak, legally purchased the shotgun and three handguns he used, which did not qualify as "assault weapons," from a licensed dealer on three trips over seven months, and there does not seem to have been anything about his background that disqualified him from owning firearms. So the only possibly relevant suggestion offered by Helmke is to reimpose a 10-round federal limit on the size of magazines. But considering that Kazmierczak fired the shotgun six times and the handguns 48 times; that it takes just a few seconds to switch magazines; and that police arrived about six minutes after the attack started, by which time Kazmierczak already had killed himself, it is doubtful that the death toll was any higher than it would have been had he been carrying 10-round magazines. "

Yep, he nailed it. Read the full story here in Reason Online.

Jim Kirk, Is One Of Your Phasers Missing?

If so, the U.S. military has copied it and is in test mode.

Watch as CBS News' David Martin gets zapped by a ray gun - a non-lethal weapon that could be used to disperse crowds "and could save many lives in war zones." Martin's report airs Sunday, March 2, on 60 minutes.

Put me on the waiting list for one of the first hand-held versions!

Its 1993 All Over Again

Earlier I wrote of a spike in firearms sales noted by Ahab. Well, if you look historically at what has been going on the past 20 years or so, you'll see that last time there was a spike like this was in 1993.

What was so special about '93? Easy. Brady (the bill) was right around the corner. Today, a very uncertain election is around the corner. With a likely republican nominee who is mushy on 2A rights and legislation, and two democrats who say they support an individual 2A right, but have abysmal records on the self defense issue, voting for and advocating intensely strict gun control policies.

Read and learn.

And Then The College Held A 'Mock Shooting' Drill . . .

But did a poor job of alerting the campus community at North Carolina's Elizabeth City State University.

But then I guess if people know in advance, they wouldn't be able to test how people react. Right? In the end, they got an earful of how people reacted.

"The Friday drill, in which a mock gunman threatened panicked students in the American foreign policy class with death, prompted university officials to apologize this week to Wang and offer counseling to faculty and students."

"The drill was conducted just eight days after a gunman stormed a Northern Illinois University classroom, killing five people before he took his own life. Brown said students, staff and faculty were notified five days in advance that a drill would take place. The word went out via e-mail and text messages. Not everyone got the word."

I've not checked North Carolina's laws on firearms on campus, but I think he's lucky he wasn't shot by a student of a faculty member who, reflecting upon the tragedies at Louisiana Tech, Northern Illinois University and Virginia Tech, have decided for themselves to live by two simple words . . . "never again."

28 February 2008

SCCC Gaining Ground; 14 Ohio Chapters; Buzz Stirring At Campuses Nationally

Students For Concealed Carry On Campus now has 14 chapters in Ohio on -- guess where? -- college campuses!

A pretty well-balanced story from the Mount Vernon (Ohio) News covers the details. Additionally, there is commentary from the spokespersons for the liberal arts Kenyon College (Gambier) and the conservative Mount Vernon Nazarene University (Mount Vernon).

Out West, the South Dakota State Collegian says it supports a 2A "right," but disagrees with the bill that would have allowed carry on college and university campuses in South Dakota.

"While The Collegian is a strong supporter of freedoms guaranteed in the Bill of Rights-without freedom of speech and of the press we wouldn't exist-as well as the need to feel safe, we do not believe it is in students' best interest or safety to keep a firearm in their dorm room or to add a gun to the list of items we take to class religiously."
Okay, first off, its not about "feeling" safe. It's about BEING safe. And no one is even remotely suggesting that a firearm be a required item necessary for daily classwork. What is being advocated is giving SD university students, faculty and staff the "option" of carrying.

"Students deserve to be treated like full citizens, with all the rights guaranteed to us by the United States Constitution, but until the uproar has settled and rational thought returns, allowing firearms on campus without a sound plan for regulation and registration is an accident waiting to happen."

Actually, rational thought is FINALLY being injected into what previously has been a never-ending freight train of irrational fear-mongering and empty rhetoric. The very reason this issue is percolating on college campuses is because students have witnessed -- first hand -- the carnage resulting from empty promises of the gun control lobby and the deep-pocketed foundations that fund it.

Do Warrantless Searches Make For Safe Homes?

Irony. Boston's "SAFE HOMES" program is making the left squirm.

Cornell U. News Editor Is Conflicted

Get past some of the mistaken assumptions, and a little bit of empty rhetoric picked up from reading too many Brady Campaign and Violence Policy Center email alerts.

Read this story from the Cornell Daily Sun closely. This student editor in Ithaca, New York is conflicted on the issue of concealed carry on campus. My guess is, previously, he had no conflicts and probably thought these jobs are best left to the police. In fact, he probably holds that opinion today.

"However, one has to consider the alternative possibility — with nobody there to attempt to check the rampage, the carnage is prolonged and the danger increases for all the bystanders. As for the roles of campus security and police in such a conflict, one has only to look at the events in both Virginia and Illinois to understand that the police, for all their hard work, can’t always react with necessary speed to end the violence."

"Is concealed carry the ideal solution? Hardly. It would be infinitely preferable to prevent weapons from working their way onto campus, and to know that nobody’s going to try to kill anybody. But this isn’t an ideal world, and nothing can prove indubitably that someone won’t do something."

The continual shootings on supposedly safe, supposedly "gun-free" campuses has Mr. Lane wondering, and looking deeply inward. Anyone else think facts are beginning to trump his previously held, highly personal assumptions?

Playing amateur psychologist, that's what I think.

More Shootings at 'Gun-Free' Schools: This Time Its Los Angeles and Little Rock

In Los Angeles, Calif. on Wednesday:

"At least eight people have been wounded in shootings outside a fast food restaurant and a school in south Los Angeles. LAPD Spokesman Jason Lee says the gunfire happened just after 3 pm (pacific time) outside a Jack in the Box restaurant. Another shooting happened at the same time at nearby Carver Middle School. Two of the injured in that shooting are believed to be students."

In Little Rock, Ark on Wednesday:

"Police are describing today's shooting on a sidewalk at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock as an isolated incident. One student was injured. Two suspects fled the campus and people at the school are not believed to be at risk. Even so, tonight's classes were canceled."

Uh-huh. And how again do anti self-defense advocates reconcile the fact that feel-good "gun-free" zones have been identified by criminals as "victim-rich" zones?

Do You Have A Right to Own A Gun?

USA Today asks, "Do you have a legal right to own a gun?"

BTW, check out the poll results!!!

The legal argument:

"My assumption is that there are at least five votes for the proposition that the Second Amendment protects an individual right," says Yale University law professor Jack Balkin. "But just because you say there is an individual right, you haven't resolved the case. … Is it an individual right to keep and bear arms that might be useful in militia service, a right to keep and bear arms that might be useful for self-defense, or both?"

Then, you have the presidential candidates weighing in:

Neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama has focused on gun control in their campaigns for the Democratic nomination. When asked specifically about it in public forums, they voice modest support for new regulations and quickly add that the Second Amendment protects people's gun rights.

"The Clinton and Obama campaigns know the public opinion data on the issue well," says Karlyn Bowman, a senior fellow specializing in public opinion polls at the American Enterprise Institute. "Opinion is complex, but the right to be able to own a gun seems to be firmly held, and I think that's why both candidates say what they say."

"Republican frontrunner Sen. John McCain has needed no such finessing of the issue."

What it all means:

"Kairys, who has helped cities sue gunmakers for the costs of firearms violence, says gun-control laws could be hurt by any court finding of an individual right. If the court does that, he says, "It's going to be very hard to get any (gun control) legislation passed."

"Adds Balkin, "There is no reason to believe the court's decision will defuse the battle over guns. The court rarely has the last word in major social controversies. If the court rules for D.C., there will be continuing agitation by gun-rights advocates. If the court rules against D.C., there will be new waves of litigation" over what the ruling means."

Frankly, both sides are saddling up -- and working to fill up the financial war-chests -- for legal battles after the Supreme Court renders its opinion this summer.

ABC 20/20 Host Reminds Us: 'Guns Save Lives'

John Stossel of ABC News has written a new column in which he reminds us that guns save lives. Its refreshing to hear some truth from a MSM rep, but then Stossel has never been one to tow a corporate line.

For one, he takes on the New York Times' criticism of proposals to loosen the antiquated prohibition against carry in our national parks. One of the phrases the Times editors use is, "carefully controlling guns." Stossel's response?:

"While they search for -- excuse me -- their magic bullet, innocent people are dying defenseless."

Read the entire piece. Well well written.

27 February 2008

Good News For Ohio's Big Darby Creek Shooting Range

More details to come later, but I had a telephone conversation with one of the principals of Big Darby Creek Shooting Range located west of Columbus this afternoon. The headline is they won their case in the Madison County courts and can continue to operate their new, family-friendly, state-of-the-art multi-million dollar shooting sports facility. A lawsuit filed by the Jefferson Township Trustees against the Madison County Board of Zoning Appeals was rejected by a judge earlier this week. In its suit, the township alleged that the zoning board should not have granted approval for the range.

The judge saw differently, ruling essentially that the township trustees were well aware of the shooting range development, and had never voiced any opposition to the project until well after the enterprise had opened for business.

Its sad, really. The Jefferson Township trustees, in my mind, ended up doing the bidding of giant research firm Battelle, which after a couple of years of watching the private range facility being developed, "suddenly" became worried about people with guns congretating down the road from its super-duper, not-so-secret facility research facility in West Jefferson, Ohio.

BDCSR, I am told, is a great facility. I've been meaning to get out there forever, but never can make the time. I'm hoping that will change in the coming weeks. Congrats guys!

Ohio Airport Police Want Change In Ohio CCW Law

Claiming that they can't prosecute people who unknowingly bring a firearm to an airport because Ohio law says you are only liable if you "knowingly" do so, airport police say they plan to lobby state Attorney General Mark Dann regarding the wording of the law.

Message to Ohio airport police officials! Only the Ohio General Assembly can change the wording.

BTW, the story comes exclusively from WBNS 10tv's crack anti-gun reporter, Kevin Landers. He's quick to cover gun control stories coming out of the state legislature, but is openly indifferent to stories regarding firearms related citizen safety legislation.

Presidential Politics Update

1) New York's "Mayor Mike" announced today in a newspaper editorial posted to the New York Times that he will not run as an independent candidate for president in November. That gives him some free time to set up some more illegal gun store stings . . .

2) For the next week, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are (apparently) practically living here in Ohio . . .

3) CBS News puts Ohio's Rob Portman and Ted Strickland at the top of the list of potential VP candidates for John McCain and Hillary Clinton, respectively . . .

4) Next Monday and Tuesday CBS News' perky Katie Couric will practically be living in Columbus, and broadcasting interviews with "disaffected" Ohioans "who are so critical to this election . . ."

I'll bet I don't get a call.

Quote Of The Day

"Ninety-nine people out 100 are interesting. The 100th is interesting because he is the exception." -- William F. Buckley Jr.

When You're Glad You Don't Live In The UK (Reprise)

It's bad enough that people can be charged with assault or attempted murder for defending themselves.

Now this piece out of Britain, stating that there more than 260 regs on the books -- powers -- that permit officials to enter your domicile, many without a warrant.

Imagine how surprised David Houghton and Abby Simpson were when they returned from their holiday.

"Landlords are allowed to enter their property and seize goods in lieu of unpaid rent, and local authorities can enter your home for a number of reasons, including to turn off a continuous burglar alarm or pest extermination."

I did have a conversation recently with a former apartment portfolio manager who told me that in Texas, at least several years, ago, property owners there could confiscate personal goods for unpaid rent. Sometimes they would take food from renters in lieu of back-rent.

Anyway, I'm curious how the inspection for "foreign bees" ever got on the books in the United Kingdom. That has to be an interesting story.

Bradys Make Another Complaint; FEC Finds No Wrongdoing By NRA, GOA

The Federal Elections Commission has announced there is no evidence of wrongdoing in a complaint filed by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (formerly Handgun Control Inc.) against the National Rifle Association and Gun Owners of America.

The Brady Bunch had alleged both organizations had made illegal in-kind contributions to federal candidates.

The story is buried in the sixth and seventh graphs of this story appearing in The Hill.

William F. Buckley Jr. Is Dead At 82

He was the man.

A friend of my family, some 15 years ago or so, took a 'round the world trip on the Concorde, hosted by WFB. She said all of highpoints of the adventure were not seeing different parts of the world, but their host's insight into world events, culture and politics. It was, in her estimation, the most memorable thing she had ever done in her life.

His writings, speeches touched many, and shaped politics for the better. The architect of the modern conservative movement had no equal.

Rest in peace, Mr. Buckley. You will be missed.

John Lott: 'Gun-Free Zones' or 'Killing Fields?'

Researcher and scholar John Lott says six minutes proved too long at Northern Illinois University, and that the safe "gun-free zones" are in truth, "killing fields."

Read it here.

Dem Debate Didn't Disappoint; Huckabee In State Also

Updated: Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2008, 4:36 pm -- Time magazine has weighed in with its scorecard on last night's Cleveland debate. It gives Obama a B+and Clinton a B-.


Well, the big debate among the two leading democrat prez nominees last night, held a mere two hours away from my home base, didn't disappoint. Hillary came out swinging, as I (and many others) predicted. She had to. Ohio is too critical. Texas, too, for that matter.

Stephen Green drunkblogged the event (armed with Chianti and gin martinis) and his stuff is entertaining reading. He also has a wrapup, and in the end he calls the matchup the great "Chinese Food Debate." Why? "An hour later, I remember there being a lot of stuff on the table, but all I feel is empty inside.”

Stephen has a liver that won't quit. He cracks me up.

Hillary didn't disappoint. She charged hard to prove she's the candidate who can win in November. She repeated her allegations that Barack Obama has distorted her positions on health care and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in mailings to Ohio dem voters. I did get one thing wrong. Neither uttered much of anything about Sen. John McCain, the republican front-runner for the presidency. It was a love-fest, however, or hate-fest on George W. Bush. The left loves to hate the president.
Oh, and nary a word about firearms. Not a peep. The new third rail of democrat politics?

He actually came across as calm and didn't punch back much, fending off her attacks much like a fencer. The Columbus Dispatch this morning says he avoided a damaging misstatement, "illustrating his growing skill as a debater in the 20th and perhaps defining debate" of that party's race.

I agree. He came out and attempted to let her appear angered and fired up, while he was calm, cool and collected. An interesting strategy. We'll see whether it works next Tuesday when voters in Ohio go to the polls, along with democrats in Texas, Rhode Island and Vermont.

While all attention was on the Cleveland debate, GOPer Mike Huckabee was in Columbus. He urged republicans to remember this is "not a coronation but an election."

26 February 2008

Okay, Time To Settle In For The Final 'Clash Of The Titans' As Cleveland Debate Kicks Off

Its snowing hard outside right now. A bit ago, I stopped into the Upper Arlington wine shop to buy a couple bottles of a vintage I am low on, and now plan to settle in and watch the war of words erupt between Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama. The political discussion was hot and heavy at the wine shop, where some folks had brought in hot and cold goodies to snack on, while tasting various new "arrivals" (that's wine, silly, not customers -- geez).

As tempted as I was to stick around and join in (there were some great discussions going on -- quite the eclectic mix of people and opinions), I opted to head back to the house, build a fire, settle into "Black Beauty" (my oversized leather recliner) and witness the "Collision on the Cuyahoga."

Stephen Green has said he will be drunkblogging tonight. How can he miss "covering" (in his unique fashion), the last primary debate of 2008? I can't wait to check in on his perception of the event. I won't go as far as Mr. Green, but I'm sure any headache I acquire will not be vino induced, but from the pressure building inside my cranial region, assuming the debate rhetoric that is surely to come.

It will go two ways: Either they will try to destroy each other, or jointly go after Sen. McCain (again, still not my favorite for the GOP nomination). My money is on Hillary to come out swinging in a little more than 90 minutes from now -- she has to. A "Smackdown" to rival pay-per-view, perhaps.

So for now, I'm standing by with some aspirin, a roll of duct tape (Glenn Beck aficionados will understand), and a robust Cabernet. I'll find a steak around here somewhere, too.

Hillary, Barack Didn't Make The Cut To Replace Fidel

Many are guessing the two dem presidential front-runners were on the short-list, after the murderous dictator (whom ABC's Diane Sawyer recently referred to as "a dashing revolutionary") announced he was stepping down as El Presidente of Cuba. ScrappleFace News Service speculates.

Okay its sarcasm. But its funny sarcasm.

Tennessean Newspaper Says Not Enough Done After VT Murder Spree

The Tennessean newspaper this week editorialized that government isn't doing enough about gun control 10 months after the murderous rampage at gun-free Virginia Tech by Seung-Hui Cho.

What's more, the paper continues by suggesting the recent murders at gun-free Northern Illinois University should be a cause for more gun control, and not common-sense (my words) loosening of prohibitions against carry by students, faculty and staff at campuses where people wish the choice to defend themselves.

"It is disturbing that after repeated incidents of campus carnage dating back to Columbine in 1999 and earlier, organizations continue to block effective gun-control legislation. Even worse, some have proposed allowing more guns on campuses, under the Wild West rationale that if every student and teacher is armed, they can defend themselves against a lone, irrational shooter."

Well, Uncle had something to say about that. Read the Tennessean piece first, then click on SayUncle's analysis, titled "How many lies can the Tennessean's editorial board repeat?"

He hit this one out of the park.

Way Freaking Cool

Slo-mo video of an XM1028 120mm Canister Tank Cartridge being fired. It is comprised of an estimated 1150 tungsten balls, which are expelled upon muzzle exit. Think shotgun round -- with prejudice.

Just because.

h/t to Sebastian

With TV's 'Dexter' Influencing Kids, Why Worry About Guns?

I can only imagine that the same people who say "quit complaining about drugs, quit complaining about violent video games, but get rid of the guns" are the same people having hissy-fits about CBS Television's hit series Dexter. Frankly, the show doesn't do much for me, either. But the network of Katie Couric is all about the Benjamins.

Oh, you don't know about Dexter? He's being positioned by CBS as an "anti-hero." A vigilante killer, the character of Dexter Morgan uses his position as a Miami police blood-splatter expert to scratch a homicidal itch, albeit following "the code" of his late stepfather Harry who channeled him toward killing only those that "do really bad things." As for the ratings thus far? CBS is raking in the ratings, and the cash.

So let's see . . . firearms owners as vigilante killers is bad, and even the remote possibility of such is reason enough to regulate if not entirely ban sidearms. But a vigilante killer who uses a scalpel is much more palatable to America.
Hmmmm . . .

Men and Women

A panel from a great online comic you should check out. Called "Day By Day," the 'toon is a clever and very creative look at the lives of men and women who sometimes share different points of view on life. Mostly, it is an incredibly humorous comic commentary on politics. Worth a bookmark and reading every day.

Montanans Say If Heller and 2A Lose, U.S. Will Have A Problem

"Montana officials are warning that if the Supreme Court rules in the D.C. gun ban case that the right to keep and bear arms protects only state-run militias like the National Guard, then the federal government will have breached Montana's statehood contract. Nobody is raising flags for the Republic of Montana, but nobody is kidding, either."

The dispute goes back more than a century. Back in 1889, the settlers of the Montana territory struck a deal with the federal government: They agreed to join the union, and the federal government agreed that individuals had the right to bear arms.
Firearms rights advocate Dave Kopel, takes exception, though, saying that he can find no wording in the compact signed with the then U.S. government that specifically states that the agreement is contingent upon a right to keep and bear arms guarantee for state residents.

The Washington Times has the full story.

We Regret To Inform You That Reports On The Death Of Shooting As A Sport, Hobby, Self-Defense Need Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

The National Shooting Sports Federation reports that background checks on firearms purchased from federally licensed dealers was up 5.3 percent in January.

Hmmm . . .

Remember that the next time someone says your hobby is on the decline. Ahab has the details.

Only In San Francisco

If you live in this apartment complex, and own a firearm for self defense, you have to get rid of it or move out.

And don't even THINK of letting your kids play with squirt guns.

If they only had a brain. Clayton Cramer has details and a link to the notice that went out to residents of beautiful "Valencia Gardens."

Barack Obama Is A Centrist

. . . Because, ostensibly, no one is to his left.


h/t to Instapundit

John Longenecker on NIU: 'Sue Everybody'

From a February 16, 2008 column by John Longenecker, one of the earliest paramedics in Los Angeles EMS. Today, he is a father of three and cultural observer. He is author of "The Case For Nationwide Concealed Carry Of Handguns."

Campus: Northern Illinois U: Rule #1: Sue Everybody.

Alright, you know the facts. Now answer the question: What are the tort liabilities?

It's time to forget about writing more gun bans, time to quit profiling (it's a stalling tactic for political reasons) and time to litigate. The first order of business for any damaged plaintiff is to sue everybody. This would be all colleges who ban weapons, including those who have seen their students murdered and those who have yet to see students killed thanks to the gun bans which are now ringing the dinner bell for campus shooters in increasing numbers.

This would include suing for administration interference with self-defense by way of policy in cases of both gun and non-gun killings such as knifings, beatings and missing persons. It could be found that a college has no duty to protect its student body - it cannot - but does a college have an obligation NOT to INTERFERE with adults who take their own reasonable and legal measures in self-defense? Interference would then be an issue as unreasonable and with damages.

What if students carried their handguns, were then disciplined, and sued the college? With all the activity about concealed carry on campus, you can't say campuses weren't on notice that they could be interfering. At this time, FOX News and only a few others are examining concealed carry on campus. They are going in the wrong direction when they consider arming the Teachers. It's more centralization of power than really solving the problem, and, in fact is another stalling tactic that won't work. Too much independence, I guess, ruining their picnic.

First, any shooter can too easily identify the armed professors by their ‘Tell' or the way they carry unless they are experienced gun owners. If the Profs are carrying for the first time, they will probably have a Tell. Either way, if the shooter identifies them at all, the idea fails. Shooters can easily approach from another corner of campus or wait for the Profs to put their weapon away or leave campus. They can simply kill fast and then commit suicide. It is the equivalent of uniformed officers: All the shooter need do is identify them and avoid them. Undercover cops won't change much, since they don't attend classes.

For the rest of his riveting column, go to: GoodForTheCountry.com.

Dirty Harry Is Drooling

Dirty Harry once told a punk he carried "the most powerful handgun in the world." Well, it wasn't. But that didn't stop Hollywood from creating a memorable line that people quote even today.

In Austria, however, nothing can compare to the new Pfeifer-Zeliska .600 Nitro Express Magnum.

As Clayton Cramer notes, "This is one of those guns that, if you were mounted on roller skates, would make a tremendously expensive and noisy method of getting yourself up to speed."

Oh to be young and care about roller skating again!

Perhaps 'Debate' Should Be Called 'Smackdown'

Updated: Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2008, 12:38 pm -- Even more evidence tonight will get nasty. MSM pretty much ready to write Hillary off if she doesn't carry Texas and Ohio. Latest Rasmussen Report today showing Hillary Clinton's support unchanged from a week ago, but undecided voters moving into Camp Obama.


The Great Lake Debate?

Clash On The Cuyahoga?

When Worlds Collide?

No matter what you call it, the debate tonight between democrat rivals Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, I believe, will not be as polite as we have seen in recent weeks. It's gonna get ugly in snowy Cleveland tonight, folks.
The debate format is thus: There are generally no rules. Candidates will be asked to limit their responses to a "reasonable" length (there is that word "reasonable" again . . . I'll bet this is the one time when people who frequently push for "reasonable" gun control don't particularly like that word). BTW, there are no opening or closing statements.
Meanwhile, John McCain is stumping for votes in Cincinnati, on the other side of the state.

Ammo Coding Push Coming From A Single Company

The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) yesterday called on lawmakers in Washington state, Arizona, New York, Illinois, Hawaii and several other states to scrutinize legislation that would require ammunition coding, because it mandates a soul source monopoly for a Seattle-based company that owns the technology.

"Creating a technology, and applying for a patent while hiring a consulting firm to push legislation that requires this technology is horribly self-serving," Gottlieb added. "The fact that in every state these measures are being pushed, the sponsors are anti-gun lawmakers, simply adds to the suspicion."

Sort of a solution in search of a problem. Yep. Smells fishy.

Tasers Banned At Tempe, Until They Aren't

Sexual assaults on and around the Arizona State University campus in Tempe has caused a spike in sales of Taser stun devices.

But they are banned on campus, much to the disappointment of many students -- and parents who are concerned for their kids' safety due to university "victim-rich zones" created by state lawmakers.

Right now Arizona lawmakers are considering a measure that would allow people with concealed weapons permits to enter school grounds. If that passes, ASU says at that time tasers would be welcomed.

Park Rangers Opposing Reform Of Antiquated Ban On Carry In National Parks

Park Rangers are coming out against the move to reform prohibitions on carry in U.S. National Parks.

I don't know whether it's a control issue, but right now they are the only ones allowed arms to defend themselves when in a national park.

" 'Loaded guns are not needed and are not appropriate in our national parks,' said Doug Morris, a retired park superintendent and member of the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees. The plan to reconsider the gun regulations 'could break what is not broken and change the nature of our national parks,' Morris said Monday."
With respect, Mr. Morris, loaded guns in fact are quite appropriate, and the actions of the agency from which you have retired demonstrates such. If rangers don't feel loaded firearm are neede, why do park rangers often carry sidearms.

On Friday, the Interior Department announced it will review firearms laws on lands administered by both the National Park Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service. The department will draw up new rules by April 30 for public comment, Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne wrote in a letter to 50 senators who requested the review.

This Man Is Not A Firearms Rights Advocate

Updated: Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2008, 4:41 pm -- Bitter has taken Mr. Rosenthal's AHSA to task, as well. Nicely said!

But he pretends to be.

The co-founder of American Hunters and Shooters Association, Stop Handgun Violence, and Common Sense About Kids and Guns, says gun control laws must be strengthened in the wake of the Northern Illinois University shooting.

An anti in sheepdog's clothing.

Horror Films Bring Out Assault Knives

Two people were stabbed at a Fullerton, Calif. movie house Sunday night during the screening of a horror film. Police are still searching for the suspect.

The incident occurred during a screening of "The Signal." We had better add banning public screenings of horror films along with a ban on assault knives.

For the children.

25 February 2008

NY Times Columnist Bemoans Lack of Gun Control Talk Among Clinton, Obama

"Clinton used to be very vocal about gun control when she was running for Senate in New York, but now there’s nothing about it on her Web site. Barack Obama has a 64-page “Blueprint for Change” manual that you can download if you feel burdened by an excess of both leisure and paper. It does not mention gun control once."

"Obama, to be fair, does not tell any stories about shooting waterfowl, and his campaign says he has never been hunting. However, he shares the general enthusiasm for avoiding the subject of gun control. In the old pre-presidential days, Obama indicated support for a ban on handguns in response to a questionnaire. Asked about that in Idaho recently, he said the form was filled out incorrectly by a staff member."

"John McCain ran afoul of the National Rifle Association when he tried to close a legal loophole that allows gun sellers to avoid doing background checks if they conduct their business at gun shows. That was then. More recently, he was quoted as saying he believes the Second Amendment means “no gun control.”

Logic and common sense are winning, sort of. That's why none of the Big 3 Presidential Contenders wants to talk about gun control publicly. Or they couch it in touchy, feely words that no one can argue with. Yet if any of these three get into the office, as my dad used to say, "Katie bar the door!" There will be continued efforts to pass meaningless gun regs. Which apparently is what New York Times columnist Gail Collins wants desperately to happen.

BUT, interestingly, with the MSM picking up on gun-free zones and the target-rich environment weenie politicians have created in our schools, universities, shopping malls and public buildings, there is an uneasiness among moderates and liberal gun controllers.

Uneasiness that they cannot get their agenda pushed through, and may risk losing their cushy seats of power, and uneasiness even more so that the American people still hold the cards and largely still won't let themselves be lied to and pushed around when it comes to their personal safety.

Cold Ohio North Coast About To Get Chillier With Tomorrow's Clinton/Obama Debate

Cleveland is cold beyond cold this time of year. With wind streaming in off Lake Erie, snow squalls that come up in a minute, and wind chills you feel to the bone. But believe it or not, this time tomorrow things will likely be even chillier.

Or a blazing inferno, depending on how you look at it. The tension growing between Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton is becoming evident. And tomorrow night's debate between the rival democrats for the presidential nomination of their party -- well, will likely start out as "chilly" but grown into a mountainous blaze as the two hit each other with everything they've got prior to next week's make-or-break primaries in Texas and Ohio.

Adding to the tension: New polls from CBS News, which shows Obama surging ahead, and the Associated Press, which shows Obama coming even with Clinton, and grabbing leads among white men, middle-income earners and liberals.

15th Annual Central Ohio Friends of NRA Fundraiser This Saturday

Just a final reminder that the 15th Annual Central Ohio Friends of NRA dinner and auction will be held this coming Saturday, March 1 at the Villa Milano banquet center, 1630 Schrock Road, in Columbus.

We are expecting upwards of 400 people to attend this family event, which will feature a silent auction, as well as live auction of collectible paintings, sculptures, and firearms. Cost is $40 per person for the buffet dinner. The "Big Shooter" Package at $225 includes dinner for two, commemorative NRA Foundation hats, a commemorative Friends of NRA Teddy Roosevelt sponsor sculpture, and $160 in raffle tickets. There are some dinner tickets still available. Doors open at 4 pm, with dinner served at 5:30 pm. For tickets, contact Pam Sheets at 740/379-9225.

The Central Ohio event is one of more than 20 such fundraising dinners and auctions held throughout the Buckeye State. Last year, COFNRA raised more than $24,000. All net proceeds benefit The NRA Foundation, with half allocated to fund projects within Ohio. The NRA Foundation uses the other half to fund similar projects with a national scope. Friends of NRA committee volunteers are appointed to a State Fund Committee and make recommendations for local grant funding. To date, The NRA Foundation has funded more than 15,000 state fund grants for a total of $100 million, including but not limited to: community safety, youth firearms safety and education programs such as 4-H shooting sports; Youth Education Summit (YES) scholarships; hunter education; Boy Scouts; FFA; Ohio State shooting teams; range development and improvement; support materials for training classes; women's safety classes; Women On Target; and wildlife conservation efforts.

For many years, Peoples Rights Organization has received grants for Eddie Eagle GunSafe youth safety teaching materials, which are distributed free, in bulk, to police departments throughout Ohio. In addition, state funds have gone to purchase Refuse To Be A Victim personal safety teaching materials for use in free community crime avoidance classes. So you see, the worthwhile projects funded by these regional dinners are many.

I sat on the State Fund Committee a couple different years. You can't believe how many incredibly worthwhile projects are proposed, and need help with funding. In many cases, there were tough decisions to make choosing either between granting a larger sum to one group, and leaving the other out, or splitting funds between two or three equally worthwhile programs. As I recall, in both the years I was asked to participate on the Committee, we distributed grants to to more than 30 organizations funding 50 or better projects.

For my friends and readers in Central Ohio, I hope to see you at the Columbus event on Saturday. For my new friends and readers outside of the region, please support FNRA events near you. It is well worth the effort and your time. If the future of youth safety, marksmanship, responsibility, leadership, range development and training is important to you, you will never make a better investment.

Why The Village Burns: Empty Solutions, Politics and Lessons From NIU

Robb Allen from Sharp As A Marble is guest blogging for The Line Is Here.

He picked up on a news release issued by a Northern Illiniois University alum, who wrote a book on the unintended consequences of kids growing up learning irresponsible fads, and how young people are being taught their community is responsible for their unhappiness.

Robb picks up the discussion about individual freedoms, reponsibility, and how relying on "the village" to raise children, and continually praising failure only leads to a dilution of success.

Both are nicely written pieces.

Heller Argument Schedule Is Set

"In a brief order on today's order list the Supreme Court dashed the hopes of gun rights advocates who hoped to have two lawyers and additional time arguing their cause before the Supreme Court when it hears arguments in the historic case D.C. v. Heller on March 18. Without explanation, the Court denied the motion of Texas Solicitor General R. Ted Cruz for argument time on the side of Alan Gura of Gura & Possessky, who has argued the pro-Second Amendment position from the start of the case. But the Court did agree to give Solicitor General Paul Clement 15 minutes to argue, in addition to the 30 minutes for each side in the case. The Court's action can be read as a small but not insignificant victory for supporters of D.C.'s handgun control ordinance at issue in the case." -- Legal Times, Feb. 25, 2008

The bottom line? The net net is that justices will hear 45 minutes of advocacy from those who want the lower court ruling eliminated, and 30 minutes from those who want it upheld.

Sort of.

Assault Knives Have No Place In Political Debates Among Family Members

"The Montgomery County (Pennsylvania) district attorney's office is investigating a politically motivated stabbing that left one in-law hospitalized and another in prison. Authorities said brother-in-laws Jose Ortiz and Sean Shurelds were involved in a verbal altercation over presidential hopefuls Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton when the argument escalated into a stabbing inside their family home on Honey Locust Court in Upper Providence."

Ban the assault knives. For the children.


Updated: Monday, Feb. 25, 2008, 10:49 pm -- The complaint has been filed.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) announced yesterday it will file a complaint against Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) today, charging that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee is breaking the law by trying to get out of a public financing agreement.

Breaking the provisions of the McCain-Feingold Act, that is.

What goes around, comes around.

Attention Team McCain: Mike DeWine Is A Liberal, Damages Your Credibility

A lot of disgust downtown last week while John McCain was in Columbus to watch the Wisconsin primary returns come in. Why? Joining him on stage was former U.S. Senator Mike Dewine, the liberal Ohio republican.

Republicans across the state turned their back on DeWine in his last re-election bid in November 2006.

Conservative blogger Matt Naugle writes: "Is the way to rally your campaign to victory is to bring a loser on stage who lost to a hard-left mercantilist named Sherrod Brown? DeWine was part of McCain’s “Gang of 14″ and was one of 2 Republican Senators to vote against protecting gun manufactures against frivolous lawsuits."

McCain will gain support from reluctant GOP voters because firearms owner are distressed -- and rightly so -- over the prospect of an Obama presidency, or a Clinton re-presidency. But the surest way to turn the conservative base in Ohio off, a constituency that already is distrustful of McCain for his support of legislation that limits free speech and ongoing hostility to firearms ownership, is to drag Mr. DeWine up on stage every time the former troops through the state.

That relationship does Sen. McCain far more political harm than good.

Clinton, Obama Camps Courting Richardson

Campaign representatives for both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are keeping in close touch with New Mexico's Bill Richardson. Why?

The Pro-Gun Progressive has one likely answer: The democrats' four decade long love affair with gun prohibitionism, to start.

When A Gun Buy-back Goes . . . Poorly

A gun "buy-back" -- usually poorly thought-out events -- in Oakland, Calif. went especially badly.

The initiative attracted so many eager sellers that the money quickly ran out, but instead of closing up shop, the police handed out IOUs good for a future buyback. The Oakland police are now stuck with a bill for $170,000

The news column author, in his blog, wrote the following: "Fortunately the buyback did manage to get some guns off the street, too bad they were turned in by a bunch of senior citizens from an assisted living facility. Whew, the streets are safe at last."

Buy-backs are feel-good programs that draw lots of media attention and do nothing. Most street cops will tell you they are a waste of time and money. I wonder what Oakland could do with that $170,000 tab it committed for the future?

A Roundup Of Media Bias On Self Defense And The Tools That Make It Possible

The Intellectual Conservative has snapped a big picture look at media bias when it comes to citizen safety laws and firearms. Its author, Allan Levite, is author of "Guilt, Blame & Politics."

Writes Mr. Levite: "Thomas Jefferson believed that citizens can govern themselves as long as they are well-informed. Now, sometimes, reading newspapers can make them ill-informed."

The entire piece makes for very interesting reading.

Why Don't Obama, Clinton Bring Up Gun Control?

Left-wing grassroots types are perplexed why the democrat frontrunners are not bringing up gun control in the national debate. In fact, the media isn't bringing it up any more.

"Of course, easing up on gun control has been critical to the Dems courting voters in Western and Southwestern swing states; the more Democratic candidates have traded gun bans for wishy-washy pro-regulation positions . . ."

AlterNet, a left-wing journal, expresses its confusion.

Report From The Desert: Young Dems Fighting Carry On Campus

University of Arizona sophomore Daniel Greenberg, an occasional contributor to The Ready Line, shared with me last night an email going around the state of Arizona urging members of Young Democrats to oppose efforts to reform the antiquated prohibition on concealed carry on college campuses.

The subject line is "Take action to keep guns out of our schools." Here is the text of the email:

Fellow Young Democrat,

Super Tuesday is behind us, its time to look ahead to November. Along the way we also must remember that our State Legislature is in session, and if the Republicans have their way we may soon be put in danger. The Republicans have gone too far this time. State Senator Karen Johnson(R-Mesa) has introduced legislation that will allow concealed guns on ourschool campuses. This will affect all schools in Arizona, includinguniversities, community colleges, high schools, and even kindergarten classes!

They have done this before! First Senate Republicans wanted guns in bars, thenguns in restaurants, now they want guns in our schools! Take action to project yourself, your friends, and your family! Go here: http://tinyurl.com/2zux7z to email the Republicans pushing this bill.Tell them to vote "no" on SB1214!The Republicans actually believe that allowing someone to conceal a gun oncampus will stop a shooter from going to a school. "Gun-free zones at schools are almost an open invitation; they are not going to have any opposition whatsoever," Republican Senator Karen Johnson said.

How typical of the reactionary Republican legislature, ignoring the real cause of these heinous acts. We all know that the tragic acts of shootings at schools are carried out by the mentally ill. According to the Arizona Republic, "The shooting sprees are committed by troubled or unbalanced people who expect to die, sometimes including suicide as part of the plan."

We need to stand up to this reprehensible legislation to keep our schools safe,and free of concealed guns.Take action now! Tell the Republicans to vote "no" on SB1214! Follow this link: http://tinyurl.com/2zux7z

Now, I don't disagree at all that people -- if not all -- who come onto gun-free, victim-rich college campuses and start killing sprees are mentally imbalanced. But the memo writer misses the bigger point. Apparently in his or her zeal to get help for that person, they are willing to sacrifice themselves and their fellow students lives to the criminal's actions.

The very reason that students, faculty and staff at universities across the nation who have CCW permits (meaning they have jumped through more legal hoops than you can imagine), is to defend their very lives. Worrying about your fellow man or woman's mental state is noble.

But advocating doing nothing to stop a killer and save countless lives? Where is the logic in that?

24 February 2008

Mad TV Gets In On The Act

More spoofs on the presidential candidates, this time from MadTV.

Here is a parody of Rihanna's music video for her song "Umbrella," featuring the rap stylings of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Those two are naughty!

Once more I'm laughing so hard I'm crying.

SNL Spoofs The Presidential Field

Saturday Night Live scored its highest ratings in about two years last night, as the comedy show was back on the air for a live show for the first time in nearly three months. Spoofed were Gov. Mike Huckabee's unwillingness to leave the presidential race despite the mathematical impossibility he can clinch the nomination ("I'm not really a math guy . . . I'm more of a miracle guy.")

Plus, the cast spoofed the Obama-Clinton debate from a few nights ago, pointing out the media's infatuation with the Illinois senator, and the easy questions he seems to be thrown everywhere he goes. Best word of the night: When the Sen. Clinton character was told she owed an "Obmapology" for interrupting Obama Girl.

Former head writer Tina Fey, the show's host last night, had her own commentary on Sen. Clinton's presidential aspirations. "Bitch" is the new black, she concludes.

Funny stuff all. Of course, if you recall, until Mr. Obama entered the race, for years it was Sen. Clinton who was the recipient of softball questions. In fact, in this SNL clip from last November, the show was lampooning the fact that Mrs. Clinton was the media darling. The writers even got NBC's Brian Williams, in a cameo, to say that the networks all want her to win and are already taping news stories on what she planned to do during her first 100 days in the White House.

My how times change . . .

NY Times (Sort Of) Falls On Its Sword Over John McCain, Lobbyist Story

The ombudsman for the New York Times says the paper should never have published the salacious piece on Sen. McCain, which was riddled with ancient information and very little news.

Hoyt also criticized Times executive editor Bill Keller's explanation that the article's main thrust was not the alleged affair but the political favors the Republican bestowed on a lobbyist, which Hoyt said "ignored the scarlet elephant in the room."

"A newspaper cannot begin a story about the all-but-certain Republican presidential nominee with the suggestion of an extramarital affair with an attractive lobbyist 31 years his junior and expect readers to focus on anything other than what most of them did. ... The stakes are just too big."

The story that still may have legs is the question over improper relationships with lobbyists -- improper business relationships. Investigative reporters from the Times and other news organizations are going to stay on this one like a dog on a meaty bone.

I still find it contradictory that somehow Mr. McCain's relationships with lobbyists -- business relationships -- are no need for worry, but that he felt the need to stifle my free speech by putting the efforts of organizations as diverse as the NRA and ACLU in a stranglehold within just a few days of an election.

Cleveland Hosts 'Arms & Armor' Exhibition

If you are anywhere near northeast Ohio between now and June, you might be interested in an exhibition of European arms and armor.

The Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) is presenting a varied selection of some of the finest surviving examples of European arms and armor in an exhibit called, "Arms and Armor from Imperial Austria," The program will be on view February 24 through June 1, 2008 at CMA. Organizers say this exhibition is the museum's first to look at a slice of history in Europe at the height of the Renaissance, through the subject of arms and armor, and its role in a rural society on the border of the Ottoman Empire.

Admission is $15. Worth a trip to Ohio's North Coast if you ask me.

A Question Of Power

Interesting news from Montgomery, Ala. Police there announced on January 28 that the department is going to equip each of its patrol cars with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle (what I often refer to as competition rifles, because of their proliferation at civilian shooting matches all over the U.S. pretty much every weekend).

So here's my question . . . for decades, police departments around the United States specifically have restricted shotguns to cruisers driven by sergeants or officers of higher rank. Why? Because they were inherently deemed to be a far more dangerous firearm.

Yet, here is a department that plans to distribute a semi-auto rifle to every patrol car in the city. Apparently the powers that be in Alabama feel the semi-automatic rifle is not as dangerous as a shotgun.

So if it is not as dangerous as a shotgun, why do so many politicians and police unions continue to support legislation to ban the competition rifle (aka the Scary Black Rifle)? Am I missing something?

23 February 2008

I Am Honored You Read 'The Ready Line'

I launched The Ready Line last October. I had been writing my Cash On Cash blog for some time, commenting on commercial/investment real estate and counseling investors on 1031 tax-deferred exchanges. While at the Gun Rights Policy Conference last fall, I was motivated to create something on firearms and politics. I had been noodling some ideas around for a couple of years but didn't know which direction to go. As to starting a firearms and politics journal, I wasn't sure how much traffic might come through to read my opinion on legislation, the American Arms Wars, or whether people would be interested in my sometimes twisted sense of humor.

Regardless, I have enjoyed, and continue to enjoy contributing and commenting on politics pretty much every day. This has been a great venue for me, a writer/reporter by training who over the years has worked a regular newspaper beat, covered county government and written features, penned a regular business column, edited a trade publication for the bar industry, directed PR campaigns, overseen two corporate public relations departments, and more recently owned a public relations consulting firm. Over my lifetime I've thrown block, dug ditches, cleaned hog pens, painted apartments in 100+ degree weather, and run night audits for a major discount hotel chain. In between, I've written position papers and speeches on the Second Amendment, and testified too many times to mention before lawmakers of various stripes. But at my core, I guess I'll always be in love with the written word.

One month ago today, I added SiteMeter to The Ready Line, mostly out of curiousity about how much traffic was coming through (and partly because of my never-ending quest to learn how things work -- in this case, SiteMeter). I don't know how to say this other than I have been blown away by the totals. I have no idea whether, relatively speaking, these numbers are high or low. But in the one month since I started measuring useage, this online journal (as of this writing) has had 3,388 unique visits.

I am humbled beyond words. And words usually come easy for me. A private person by nature, this journal has blown out of the water my philosophy of "low profile, low risk." Still, it is worth it. There are a lot of great blogs and websites out there, and I try to read as many as I can. To stay informed. As I like to say, "To Be Ready." I haven't done it alone either. I've gotten great story ideas from readers. I have enjoyed dialogue and debate -- both in the public comments section and privately over email. Plus, I've benefitted from contributions by respected colleagues: competitive shooter and sales professional Jude Cuddy; college student Daniel Greenberg; and educator Ellen Wickham. You each bring very unique perspectives to this discussion. That the three of you wanted to share your personal insight, and thought enough of this vehicle to do so, means a lot. I am indebted to each of you.

To our readers, I thank you for your confidence in The Ready Line . . . or perhaps for slowing down to look at a train wreck. No matter your reason for dropping in to catch the words and thoughts written here, I appreciate that you think enough of this product to stop by.

I promise to always keep things interesting.

Classes Resume Monday at NIU

Classes will resume Monday at Northern Illinois University following the murders of five defenseless students at the gun-free campus.

Mayor Daley, America is watching. The efforts you and your Cook County cronies expend to continually block citizen safety intiatives for all of Illinois is a travesty. To continue to foist your policies that create victim-rich zones in shopping malls and universities without regard for the consequences is heartless. To call for additional such restrictions flies in the face of logic -- and evidence.

My best wishes to the NIU family. Oh, and BTW, a big Ready Line hats off to the DPD officer who told an ABC News crew loitering on campus to shove off when they insisted he turn on his cruiser beacons so their video would be more interesting.

Why Question The Basic Human Right of Self Defense?

Why question why someone would want the means to effectively protect themselves when you can be attacked outside a place as serene and pleasant as a Starbucks. Those are places of the enlightened, right? Where everyone respects everyone else, right?

You can be attacked anywhere. Period.

More PSH On National Parks Carry

The National Parks Conservation Association has more Pants Shitting Hysterics regarding revising firearms laws in our National Parks.

Read carefully what they say. Can you understand the point they're trying to make? They contradict themselves when talking about poaching.

h/t to Sebastian

California's Backlot Film Festival To Feature 'In Search Of The Second Amendment'

David Hardy's tremendous independent film, "In Search Of The Second Amendment" has been selected to be shown as a featured film at the annual Backlot Film Festival in Los Angeles in April. Festival dates are April 2-5.

Dave also notes that another film to be featured in the festival, "Lady Magdalene's," a pro-gun comedy/drama about an IRS agent sent to oversee the operations of a brothel the agency takes over due to non-payment of taxes. The film includes a catchy tune called "I'd rather be tried by 12 than carried by six."
Another worth checking out. "Muse of Fire Operation Homecoming," a documentary based on letters and interviews of American military men and women.

Democrat Works? Meet Monkey Wrench.

Updated: Sunday, Feb. 24, 2008, 11:43 am -- He's in!

Ralph Nader is just about ready to throw his hat into the presidential ring. The Associated Press says democrats will not like this.

They remember what Nader's independent candidacy did to Al Gore and their party in 2000, and how Ross Perot's independent candidacy doomed George H.W. Bush's re-election bid.

Protection Order Could Not Protect Yet Another Ohio Woman

A woman was shot earlier this week by her estranged husband, who took her and their one-year-old daughter hostage. The assailant released the baby then shot himself. He died yesterday in the hospital.

The woman, 22-year-old Celia Hatfield, was scheduled to obtain a civil protection order against him this coming Tuesday. That is three Ohio women attacked either with protection orders in place, or in this latest case, with an order being readied. The first two women -- in Canal Winchester (shooting victim) and Portsmouth (stabbing victim) -- died after being attacked by their estranged husbands.

The protection from such civil orders is as thin as the paper they are printed on.

Even The Left Wing SF Chronicle Says NY Times Goofed

When even the San Francisco Chronicle, harbinger of the left, says the New York Times stepped in it big time with the thinly researched hatchet piece on republican frontrunner John McCain story, perhaps the powers that be at "The Gray Lady" have a better understanding that they are not the voice of a nation.

I'm still not a McCain fan, though.

Ohio's Strickland Still Says He's Not VP Candidate

But he doesn't say he won't be the vice presidential nominee if Hillary Clinton clinches the nomination as the standardbearer for the democrats in the presidential election.

I still say he will be on the short-list, if not the outright VP choice. To win, Hillary Clinton must carry Ohio. And Ted Strickland would make it happen for her. He'll do it for the party, and rationalize that he's doing it for the good of Ohio, too.

See the last paragraph in this story on Bill Clinton's recent visit to Columbus.

Virginia Governor Faces Tough Choice

Follow his personal anti-self defense views, or bow to the will of the people in Virginia, as represented by the state legislature? That is the question facing Virginia Gov. Timothy Kaine as a bill comes to his desk for signature that would allow people with a CCW permit to bring a concealed sidearm into a restaurant if they do not drink.

Both proponents and opponents of the measure expect Kaine to veto the bill. Stay tuned.

Good News On The National Parks Carry Story

Following pressure from Americans across the nation, the Interior Department is going to review firearms policies as they apply to the national parks . New rules are supposed to be drawn up by April 30, with a public comment period to follow (as is customary).

Good news from the front lines.

Cornell U. Republicans Call For Carry On Campus

Ithaca, a sleepy little college town at the southern tip of Cayuga Lake in New York's "Finger Lakes" region, is one of my absolute favorite places to visit. Beautiful, generally quiet, serene.

It is also a very left-leaning town, with Ithaca College and Cornell University playing a large role in the community.

I can only imagine the uproar there among elitists when the College Republican Club at Cornell started planting signs around the campus calling for an end (gasp!) to the university's "gun-free" zone policy.

You know, the same policy that is preventing people at campuses across the U.S. from being able to legally defend their very lives against those criminals who exploit a safety loophole mandated by the anti self-defense crowd.

Anti-Gun California Writer Hails Obama As Only Hope To Curtail Abuse of Handguns, Competition Rifles

Jayne Stayl writes in support of largely liberal issues in a blog called, appropriately, LadyJayne's Blog. The subhed is "commentary on the trials, tribulations, and quirks of these times."

She wrote a piece recently "Taking on The Lobby" about how America needs Barack Obama (or another presidential nominee) to take on the gun "issue." She made a lot of statements that were . . . questionable. Some points were flat wrong, IMHO. But her blog leaves no method to reply or provide comments. Perhaps by design? Who knows . . .

Well, the Atlantic Free-Press picked up her essay. And unlike her online journal, the Free-Press does permit comments. As it turns out, I do not need to reply to her post there. Many have come before me and done quite well without my chiming in.

One person's point of view on why firearm access should be curtailed, and the replies of several knowledgeable readers. Worth reading the entire piece and following commentary.

Microphone Stand Mistaken For Gun Locks Down College Campus

Bitter points out how if kids were taught about gun safety, they might have known what they were looking at.

I concur.

Historian Finds Fault With Other Historians' Amicus Brief Supporting DC Gun Ban

The History News Network has published an article by David Young, which is severly critical of the amicus brief filed before the U.S. Supreme Court by 15 professional academic historians in support of Washington D.C.'s handgun ban in the Heller case.

Young is editor of The Origin of The Second Amendment, a source document collection cited extensively by the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in its Emerson decision, and also by the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in its Parker decision.

He writes: "In virtually every following comment, the historians treat the Second Amendment as entirely related to militia matters under complete state government control. Since when did the Federalists become champions of state powers over the militia?. . ."

". . . The more relevant historical information, completely ignored by the professional historians in their amicus brief, indicates that the Second Amendment became part of the Constitution, not in relation to any specific concern about militia powers as the historians persistently and mistakenly claim, but rather as part of a complete Bill of Rights taken from the pre-existing state bills of rights . . ."

". . . It's not that the amicus historians fail to mention numerous historical facts. The problem is they often miss the significance of such facts in their rush to separate the Second Amendment from its actual private-rights-protecting nature. The professional academic historians' always-slanted interpretations are far from helpful for a clear understanding of a subject that they have helped make much more complex . . ."

" . . . It becomes evident at the very beginning of the historians' brief that their personally-held views are directly contradicted by the actual views of the two Founders, Mason and Madison, who were most closely associated with the development of the provisions within the U.S. Bill of Rights . . ."

Enough said. Read the full essay here, to see how the brief mentioned (and linked above) is not the best work by Saul Cornell and Company. Nicely done, Mr. Young. A very thoughtful and well written analysis.

22 February 2008

The Answer To Campus Shootings: BAN School Musicals

Inside Higher Ed has a piece on how universities from Yale to Arkansas Tech have considered bans on stage plays, or certain props that look like firearms.

In the case of Yale, the university backed down after days of ridicule. Arkansas Tech, a week after shootings at a gun-free campus in neighboring Nebraska, cancelled the performance of a musical. But it did permit a final dress rehearsal so students could "experience" putting on a play in full costume.

Oh, and only on the condition that wooden stage guns were cut in half prior to the event and not used.

Complicating matters . . . the play was Assassins, a musical in which the characters are the historic figures who have tried to kill a U.S. president. Hmmmmm . . .

If You Like UK Gun Laws, Then You'll Love What Is Coming Down The Road

More absolute and utter nonsense out of England.

"A shopkeeper could be charged with murder after defending himself against an armed robber who was killed by his own knife, police said yesterday."

Just plain insanity.

Quote Of The Day

"Liberty has never come from government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of government. The history of liberty is the history of resistance." -- Woodrow Wilson, May 9, 1912, in an address to the New York Press Club.

Nebraska Moves Closer To Statewide Ban On Competition Rifles

This one has the Legal Community Against Violence's fingerprints all over it, if you ask me . . .

State lawmakers in Nebraska are working overtime to "do something" in the wake of the gun-free Omaha mall executions in December. Eight people shopping in a mall where self defense firearms were banned and people had no way to legally defend themselves, were murdered in a Von Maur department store. The 19-year-old killer then shot himself.

They are starting with competition rifles.

A bill that just passed out of committee and now goes to the full Nebraska state legislature for approval would create a seven-member law enforcement commission to develop a list of guns deemed "inherently dangerous." Lawmakers would then would vote on whether to ban particular firearms for sale or resale in Nebraska. The commission would be required to update the list every two years.

Note: It seems to me that the words "inherently dangerous" can mean anything the commission wants them to mean. Frankly, in some states such as New Jersey, and cities or regions such as Cook County and San Francisco, it is lawmakers who often inherently dangerous.

Ken Blackwell On Barack Obama On The Second Amendment

Ken Blackwell, former Ohio secretary of state and GOP gubernatorial candidate in 2006, has a column on Barack Obama in the New York Sun.

Titled "His Disturbing Pattern," the piece looks at the Illinois senator's contradictory statements about the Second Amendment and the recent shootings on victim-rich college campuses. Blackwell calls it a "disturbing foretaste of the contradictory doublespeak we could expect under an Obama presidency."

Among Mr. Blackwell's more distressing observations: "He went on to say that local governments should be able to enact any gun control laws they consider necessary to end gun violence, and that any such measures are constitutional. What kind of gun rights does he supposedly support? What kind of "right" do you have, when the government can completely rob you 100% of the exercise of that right, anytime they decide they have a good reason?"

"That's like saying you have the right to worship as you choose, but the government has the power to ban attending church. Or that you have the right to free speech, but that government has the power to stop you from speaking about any subject it wants."

A very good, thought-provoking read.

Brady Bunch Contends Campus Firearms Activists Are Shills For NRA, 'Gun Lobby'

Interesting . . .

If you can't effectively argue the merits of your position, you just tell international media reps that students advocating an effective, alternative safety solution to mass murders on U.S. college campuses are aligned with the evil National Rifle Association.

That's what the Brady Campaign (formerly Handgun Control Inc.) did this week in response go growing discussion and media coverage about allowing college students and faculty -- who possess CCW permits -- to carry those self defense tools on campus in the wake of killings in designated victim-rich zones.

Another note: The ABC News (that's Australia's ABC) writer called Students for Concealed Carry on Campus -- very clearly an internet-based grassroots movement in this nation -- a lobby group, the wording somehow making it sound more nefarious. I'm sure that idea was planted by Mr. Hamm at Brady. Because everyone hates lobbyists, right?

h/t to Snowflakes in Hell

21 February 2008

Don't Assume CHL Holders Are Out To Police The Streets

A very well written letter to the editor in the Columbus Dispatch reminding readers that Ohio Concealed Handgun License holders are not supposed to be out preventing crimes. Though the gun control crowd that shows up at Ohio General Assembly hearings would have you believe that every firearm owner wants to be "judge, jury and executioner" (BTW, those were the exact words of one such anti self-defense advocate who testified at a recent hearing).

"The Sunday article 'Gun-permit renewals near' contained a statement that must be addressed. Dispatch Staff Reporter Randy Ludlow rightly quoted Chief Deputy Steve Martin of the Franklin County Sheriff's Office that there had been no incidents involving concealed-carry license holders during the first four years under the law. But then Ludlow added, 'On the other hand, neither does Martin recall any incidents locally in which a concealed-carry permit holder prevented a crime or captured a criminal.' Concealed-carry license holders -- they are not permits, by the way -- are not law-enforcement officers, nor are we vigilantes. Per the handbook published by the Ohio attorney general, 'The law specifically discourages citizens from taking matters into their own hands and acting as law-enforcement agents. This is true even if the person thinks he is performing a good deed by protecting someone or helping law enforcement.' We are law-abiding, responsible Ohioans who rely on ourselves in order to protect ourselves and our loved ones. We are nothing more than that, and any reference otherwise is unfair."

To Mr. Bott in Westerville, a very nice job.

Not going out and looking for trouble is important. In fact, when I help teach such classes with PRO-Training here in Columbus, we talk extensively about how a CHL holder's job is not to be an auxiliary of the police department. As we like to say, everyone's job is to get home safely at the end of each day. You wear your halo at all times. You carry to protect yourself and your loved ones. You make the decision to take the extensive training and testing, and submit yourself to a criminal background check, so you can exercise that basic human right to self defense outside of your home -- not to play cops and robbers.

And guess what? Contrary to the fear-mongering from the antis, that is exactly the way the vast, VAST majority of CHL holders across this nation conduct themselves.

Progressive Virginians

From the Associated Press:

"Bills championed by gun rights advocates that could result in more concealed firearms in restaurants, bars and vehicle glove boxes have been endorsed by a House of Delegates committee. One bill would allow people who hold permits for concealed weapons to carry hidden guns in restaurants or clubs but would prohibit them from drinking alcohol while doing so. Current law allows guns in such establishments only if they are visible. The other measure would allow people who do not have a concealed weapons permit to transport handguns in a locked glove box or other interior compartment of a vehicle rather than carry them in plain view, as the law now requires. Both bills have cleared the Senate and will be up for a vote on the House floor this week. Even if they are passed, however, gubernatorial vetoes seem likely."

Nice work by advocates for common sense citizen safety legislation in Virginia.

America's Most Wanted Paints Painted Guns As Detriment To Kids (Even Though LEOs Are Biggest Buyers)

A CNN discussion about the trend toward painted guns. Interestingly, the biggest buyers of these are police officers and women, who (forgive me if this sounds sexist) think guns painted in pink and other offbeat colors are kind of cool.

"These guns in the wrong hands on the street are going to cause lives to be taken."

That's the comment from the AMW reporter, who quotes thug mentality, hunting and "illegal guns" (I guess guess that's the politically incorrect phrase for "undocumented sidearms"), but never talks of possessing firearms for the most basic of human rights -- self defense.

To lump women and police officers with "thugs on the street" is rather disturbing.