31 March 2008

Bob Ricker Gets A Call From Home

Intercepted phone conversation between Bob Ricker of American Hunters and Shooters Association and his wife.

Yes, it's satire.

Shooting Like A Girl

Breda shows us how its done -- by a kick-ass girl, that is.

Check out her snapshot from the weekend.

Philadelphia Bill Lowers State's Legal Burden

"As I’ve stated several times, the problem with this bill is that it’s meant to reduce the state’s burden when it is unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person has engaged in a straw purchase. When it’s difficult for the state to meet its burden, it is not, and should not be an acceptable course of action to lower that burden. That will result in innocent people going to jail, and our system is supposed to protect against that, and not encourage it.

Read Sebastian's full analysis of one of the gun bills being considered by Philadelphia City Council. Use the links to go to local news coverage, as well, as media ramps up its push for these questionable initiatives to pass.

Laws and Legislation Should Punish The Criminal, Not The Law Abiding

"There are a lot of things in this country that can and are misused. What’s the total cost to society of alcoholic beverages? Lost days at work, crime and rape committed under the influence? Spousal abuse? DUI highway killings? Medical problems (and attendant costs to society) with prolonged misuse? A better case could be made for a ban on alcohol. Been there, tried that. Didn’t work.

"Neither will a ban on some or all firearms. Instead, just as driving under the influence has been reduced — somewhat! — by stricter enforcement by law enforcement and harsher sentences, so too, crime can be reduced by putting thugs who use guns criminally into prison for a very long time."

Jeff Soyer at Alphecca notes how more people are emerging who will say they support every American's right to own a firearm for hunting, sport shooting and (gasp) even self defense. But they draw the line at a black rifle. No one needs a competition rifle, they will say (well, they'll call it an AW).

Jeff observes that ANY firearm is an assault weapon if it is used criminally.

I concur.

Individual vs. Hive Collective

David Codrea over at The War On Guns wonders about bees (well actually, the individual vs. hive collective) in a short piece about a 77-year-old Illinois state representative who was robbed at gunpoint of seven dollars.

The robbery victim looked at it this way:

"This robbery and what's happening to this community is the result of a lack of a supportive system for our youth. We need jobs," she said. "This happened in broad daylight at noon. We need a mental health support system. This is further evidence of that."


4-Part Online Series on Front Sight Training

A four-part video series on the desert training mecca, Front Sight, has been release. Many are saying the timing of this piece could not be better, considering the looming opinion this summer from the Supreme Court on the meaning of the 2A, AND multi-state initiatives regarding campus carry and loosening CCW restrictions, etc. to improve public safety.

Find the time to watch!

The Looming Long Hot Summer

Updated: Monday, March 31, 2008, 9:36 am -- In what must be a crushing blow to the Clintons, a number of prominent democrats are stepping forward and uniting behind Sen. Barack Obama in order to preserve some scrap of party unity.

No, this isn't an ad for Al Gore's latest documentary. Not that I am even aware whether he is making another.

No, this is about democrats and the infighting that is paralyzing their efforts to field a candidate and push toward the November election. Democracy at its best? Yes. Paralysis for a party that wants to take back control of the White House? Without question.

Hillary is having money problems, amid growing calls for the New York senator to drop out of the race. In the meantime, a handful of republicans have suggested the future lies with Barack Obama (though Lincoln Chaffee INMO is a republican in name only).

And in something that Mr. Obama probably hoped would never see light, reports have surfaced this morning that his handwriting has been found on a candidate's questionnaire that his campaign previously denied he had ever seen. He may have helped craft liberal positions on a number of issues, including gun control.

If Only The Police Had Guns . . .

. . . the lost and found might be full.

Seriously, Ahab takes a look at a new report that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) lost 91 guns from 2002 to 2007. LEOs. The same group of people that the anti self defense folks say are the only ones qualified to keep firearms.

Self Defense 101 At College Campuses

Ohio University journalism student Emily Mullin has penned a great article for the American Spectator, titled "Self Defense 101," which details the growing movement across the United States toward allowing faculty, staff and students with CCW credentials to carry on campus.

"With school violence on the rise and campus shootings becoming increasingly more common, some states are rethinking their gun laws. Instead of putting more useless restrictions on guns, many of these states are looking into the possibility of allowing people with valid permits to carry concealed weapons on school grounds.Arizona State Senate Bill 1214, for example, would allow permit-holders of at least 21 years of age to carry concealed firearms at K-12 schools, community colleges and universities. Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, Idaho, and Washington all have similar concealed-carry legislation pending."

And, there's this:

"It is clear in the case of these states that more lenient concealed carry laws are not contributing to higher crime rates and more violence. Numerous studies conducted by the Journal of Legal Studies, Florida Department of Justice Statistics, Florida Department of State, Texas Department of Public Safety, and the U.S. Census Bureau have reconfirmed this."

Definitely a good read.

Of course, I can't let this post get away without some updates to the college CC movement.

In South Dakota, the state attorney general's opinion is being sought on the issue of concealed carry on campus. The state Board of Regents there has banned concealed carry on on the state's six public university campuses.

Meanwhile, opinion is divided on the University of Alabama campus over the intent of two (now dead) bills in Alabama's state legislature that would have permitted faculty, staff and students with CCW credentials to carry at universities there.

Earlier this month, National Public Radio aired a piece on the growing movement to allow students and faculty to be armed, in order to protect themselves in victim-rich gun-free campus zones.

"Who'd ever have dreamed that someday the two leading Democratic presidential candidates would be claiming they supported the Second Amendment individual right? (Both have fallen back to "but we can regulate it"). I've been involved in this issue for decades, and so have a long term view. It's been steadily downhill for the other side.

"1960s: they think they can get national registration and permit systems, at a bare minimum. In fact, the predecessor to the Brady Campaign opposes national registration and permits because it's a sell-out, a compromise that would deprive them of even more. They get GCA 68, which the Washington Post denounces as a worthless compromise."

. . . fast forward to:

"2008: Democratic candidates don't even argue collective rights anymore."

Great post from Dave Hardy, prompted by Alphecca.

30 March 2008

State LEOs In The Dark About Open Carry in Ohio

The Ohio Supreme Court noted that it is legal to openly carry a firearm in an opinion regarding CCW several years ago.

State LEOs are just now learning this?

"As long as you haven't been convicted of a felony, if you want to wear a pistol on your belt or walk around town carrying a shotgun, Ohio has no law against it. But if you do, don't be surprised if you get some unwanted attention from police officers. Philip Turner, 30, discovered that in July when he walked from his Hilliard apartment to his parked truck wearing a gun on his belt. At the time, Turner worked protecting banks' ATMs as they were serviced and delivering diamonds to jewelry stores.

"An undercover agent with the Ohio Investigative Unit -- the police agency that enforces the state's alcohol, tobacco and food-stamp laws -- saw the gun and quickly ordered him against his truck with his hands on his head. "He came up and treated me like a felon for absolutely no reason at all," Turner said. "There wasn't even a suspicious action on my part to warrant him taking this action against me. Had I been out waving a gun around the parking lot, (then) yeah." After being detained for about 30 minutes, and after Hilliard police arrived at the agent's request, Turner was released without charges. An internal investigation that concluded this week found that neither Agent Timothy Gales, who had stopped Turner, nor his partner, Betty Ford, did anything wrong.

"However, it also revealed that Gales did not know it was legal for Turner to carry a gun openly, said Lindsay Komlanc, spokeswoman for the state Department of Public Safety. As a result, more than 100 agents in the unit are to attend a mandatory refresher course on Ohio's gun laws over the next couple of months, she said."

Troubling. Very troubling.

Quote For The Weekend

"Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it." -- Pericles, Greek statesman.

Britans Marching Against Gun Control

Our British cousins march in protest, perhaps too late, that confiscation of their sporting firearms has led to skyrocketing crime across the nation.

And Parliament is having second thoughts.

h/t to Dustin

Philadelphia Committee Passes Gun Control Bills

And apparently, each of the nine laws that now will be considered by the full Philadelphia City Council is in violation of Pennsylvania law.

One of the more bizarre requirements is that you register any firearm you own or lease, but there is no exemption if you keep your property outside the city limits or outside the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Sebastian has links to each, and commentary on the matter.

Firearms owners faced a wide-ranging ban on competition rifles in Columbus a few years ago, with language very similar to that being considered in Philadelphia. This law also was largely crafted by Legal Community Against Violence, a collection of lawyers based in San Francisco working to export their brand of control to other parts of the nation. Columbus City Council passed the ordinance, even after an assistant city attorney admitted the measure would do absolutely nothing to control crime. The new law was made moot about a year later when Ohio lawmakers passed a general law putting all firearms regulation in the hands of the Ohio General Assembly.

These ordinances are for show only. I am in the process of following a case in Columbus that received no notoriety at the time, where a pretty bad dude violated a number of new prohibitions on the scary black rifle, and virtually all his "weapons violations" were dismissed or dropped before trial. The could have made an example of him, and demonstrated how well their new law worked. But they chose not to demonstrate their new laws in action.

And no, this story is not about "Maurice."

Firearms owners and supporters of the Constitution in Pennsylvania need to kill this proposal in Philadelphia now, lest it spread across the Keystone State.

29 March 2008

Blackpowder Pro Tips; Feline Humor

Some important advice regarding black powder firearms -- and cats -- from Ahab.

NOTE: No cats were harmed, intentionally or unintentionally, in the course of his post.

The Marines Want To Play

"Tell the insurgents we'll be here for about another hour if they want to come out and shoot at us . . . "

"They can come from either direction if they want. Preferably within an hour . . ."

"We haven't had any action for over an hour . . ."

Hilarious vid over at Breda's place.

Semper Fi.

Political Correctness Run Amok In Dallas

"At the decade's dawn, Dallasites could smoke in restaurants, walk their dogs without carrying a pooper-scooper and stroll through downtown or South Dallas without being monitored by police video cameras. Children, meanwhile, were free to run through parks playing with their toy six-shooters. Homeless people could beg for money at will.

"Today, no more – the Dallas City Council has since deemed such actions illegal and subject to stiff fines.

"And when the council members passed an ordinance last month banning motorists from calling or texting on their cellphones while driving through school zones, some Dallasites said the decision represented a larger trend toward government "nannyism," in which well-intentioned politicians end up treading on individuals' liberties. City records also indicate that many of these laws, designed to improve residents' quality of life, are rarely enforced."

Firearms owners complaints about the nanny-state have long gone ignored by the larger public, and media.

Until now, apparently . . .

Airline Pilots Cite Faulty Rules for USAir Discharge; Antis Gearing Up Their Glee

You knew this was coming from the anti self defense, anti airline safety groups. That incident in the USAir flight from Denver to Charlotte last week illustrated a big problem for pilots. And not the fact that firearms are there, but the means by which they must keep them secure that is creating a danger zone.

"The Gun Guys," who are not firearms rights or self defense supporters by any stretch of the imagination, didn't waste any time railing against firearms in cockpits to protect passengers (by protecting the crew) against future 9-11 style hijackings after the USAir incident last week. They immediately started regurgitating dust-covered missives from columnists who in 2001 didn't like the original proposal, even as the remains of some 3,000 human beings were still being recovered from the ash pile that was New York City's World Trade Center twin towers.

Here is one story they dug up from 2001 from the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel.

That article was accompanied by this piece from the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence. BTW. while the Gun Guys in their intro did acknowledge that ICAHV is an affiliate of the Freedom States Alliance, they neglected to note that their own website is also affiliated with the same anti-gun organization. On television, at least NBC has the guts to note they are owned by General Electric whenever they broadcast a story about GE, positive or negative. The same with ABC regarding news about Disney Corp.

The Guy Guys also dusted off tired warnings from the Violence Policy Center on the subject of self defense tools in cockpits.

MEANWHILE, the Airline Pilots Security Alliance has not been happy for sometime about the dangerous rules put in place by TSA regarding pilots having firearms on the flight deck. The requirements enabled a disaster in waiting. Fortunately, the pilots kept control of the aircraft.

"APSA, an organization of pilots who lobby Congress on aviation security issues, said the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has refused to adopt standard carriage rules recommended last year by the Federal Air Marshal Service. 'We complained to DHS two years ago that this was an unsafe rule,' Mr. Mackett said. Rather than carry the weapon on their person at all times, pilots must lock it up before opening the cockpit door, meaning pilots handle the gun as many as 10 times per flight, the association estimates."

Anybody who knows anything about firearms knows the more times you needlessly handle a firearm, the greater the chance for an unintended discharge.

Sadly, I'll guarantee you the rocket scientist (or the committee, more likely) who proposed or pushed for this provision won't even suffer a hand slap for the unintended consequences (that anyone could see coming) of their rules writing.

Voters 'Switching Parties' Is Legal in Ohio

It always has been under Ohio voter law during primary elections.

The "indict Rush Limbaugh" movement has been a red-herring from the beginning.

Details here.

28 March 2008

Pennsylvania Prez Debate Could Find Candidates Fired Up About Firearms

"When Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton square off in an April 16 debate in Philadelphia, they may be forced to spend time discussing an issue neither has talked much about in this campaign: gun control. April 16 will mark one year since the murder of 32 students at Virginia Tech, the deadliest shooting rampage in U.S. history.

" . . . For the candidates, gun control will be thrust on the table suddenly and unavoidably."

Interestingly, both have now come out and said they support the Second Amendment. But that the right is subject to "reasonable" restrictions (there's that "R" word again), whatever that means.

The full piece is available at National Journal.

Personally, I hope someone during the debate (a question from the audience perhaps?) brings up the strong Students for Concealed Carry on Campus movement that has picked up across the nation. But with CBS News' Katie Couric leading the questioning, I am not hopeful.

Citizen Safety Bill Passes Florida House of Representatives

Employees and visitors to workplaces, who have state-issued concealed firearms licenses, would be able to bring their guns to work and leave them locked in their vehicles, thanks for legislation passed in Florida by the state's House of Representatives.

The Florida Chamber of Commerce is protesting the proposal, saying it pits the property rights of employers against the rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

The story from the Palm Beach Post.

Nearly Three-Quarters of Americans Say 2A Guarantees Individual Right To Own Firearms

According to Gallup (note, not a blogger, not a conservative, not the NRA), one of the most respected polling companies int he world, a solid majority of the U.S. public -- 73 percent -- believes the Second Amendment to the Constitution guarantees the rights of Americans to own guns.

More On The US Airways Firearm Discharge

SayUncle has been following this closely and has more, plus photos.

Meanwhile, the Citizens Committee for the Right To Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) is calling for an independent investigation of the matter to prevent a cover-up.

"CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb said the incident is alarming because of allegations that the pilot may have been following strict Transportation Security Administration (TSA) rules when the mishap occurred. Those rules came under fire today from the Airline Pilots Security Alliance (APSA), which represents thousands of commercial airline pilots."

The intent is to make sure that TSA does not whitewash the incident and use the pilot as a scapegoat to preserve unsafe regulations.

Anti-Gun Michael Bloomberg In The News Again

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is making news again this week, capping off a period of a time when there has been nothing but controversy coming out of the New York political world.

Hot on the heels of news on former Gov. Elliot Spitzer's downfall due to his dalliances with a high-profile prostitution ring, and stories regarding newly sworn in Gov. David Paterson's personal life, come two high-profile stories out of the anti-self defense Bloomberg's office.

He is excited that Nassau County, New York wants to ban "painted guns."

And what started out as rumors that Bloomberg might endorse a Barack Obama presidency, has now morphed this morning into full fledged speculation that the former may join Obama's White House bid as a vice presidential running mate.

Self Defense Opponents Attack Gun Shows To Commemorate Virginia Tech Mass Murder

April 16 will mark the one year anniversary of the mass-murder of 32 college students at Virginia Tech.

And rather than advocating for laws and regulations that permit professors, staff, and students to legally defend themselves if a shooter comes to a college campus in the future, there is a move to exploit the anniversary of this tragic day in 2007 by pushing for legislation to close the so-called "gun show loophole."

A "loophole" which doesn't exist . . .

And which had nothing to do with the shootings at Virginia Tech . . . or Louisiana Tech . . . or Northern Illinois University.

It's quite telling when self defense opponents' arguments are so weak that they have no choice but to attempt to re-direct the argument.

27 March 2008

Ohio Castle Doctrine Bill To Receive 4th Hearing

SB 184, the No Duty To Retreat/Castle Doctrine legislation pending in the Ohio Senate's Criminal Justice Committee, will receive a fourth hearing Wednesday, April 2. The committee will meet beginning at 10 am in the Senate North Hearing Room. A substitute bill has been readied and is expected to be voted out of committee. Please try to attend this hearing to show support for Castle Doctrine legislation.

Testimony will be heard from proponents, opponents and interested parties.

26 March 2008

'Number 64' -- Moving First-Person Heller Testimonial

Victoria Lloyd wrote me earlier today. In her email, she told me she wanted to share with people across the United States what it felt like to hang out in line outside the Supreme Court, and, to her surprise, finally be admitted to witness history unfold.

Here is her lead-in from the email she sent. Her essay, a moving account titled "Number 64," is below and describes her experiences in and around the High Court, and watching the oral arguments in District of Columbia v. Heller play out.

"Hi Brent. My name is Victoria Lloyd. As an avid hunter and shooter, I am a fan of your blog The Ready Line. I live in DC, and last week I actually camped on the sidewalk in front of the Supreme Court to attend the Heller arguments. I thought you and maybe your readers would enjoy the short write-up on my experience that so many of my friends and colleagues have. I have attached a photo of Dick Heller and myself for fun as well. I hope you enjoy the short summary and that it helps you as a Second Amendment supporter get a taste of the experience not many were able to have. All the best,Victoria F. Lloyd.

"It was six o’clock in the evening on the 17th of March when I drove by the United States Supreme Court to scout the line of people that had gathered on the sidewalk. They were strewn about in an unkempt line starting at the base of the marble steps of the court. I could see several people dining on Armand’s pizza and a delivery man with bags of Chinese food being paid by a young man bundled in a sweatshirt, jeans, and a North Face jacket. It was clear that these people were in for the long haul.

"After parking several blocks away, I gathered my bags of food, flashlights, pillows, tent stakes, and sleeping bag pads. Arriving on the corner of East Capitol and 1st street SE I could see where the line ended, and the patch of concrete that I would call home for what I assumed would be the next 15 hours. "Is this spot taken?" I asked the last man in line as he was fiddling with his Blackberry. "Well, number 62 is right here, but you can set-up right there." He went on to explain that everyone had been assigned a number and that I needed to find "Sarah" in the black coat at the front of the line.

"Sarah removed from her bag a small writing tablet with a list of names written by a very cold shaky hand. "You are number sixty-three" she said to me as she added my name to the second page of her unofficial list. She, like many others in line, was a law student that had come to that sidewalk with hopes of witnessing an historic Supreme Court argument in the morning.

"There was a calm deliberateness about those that had gathered to endure the cold for the evening. Many had come in groups of four or so, others had come with a single friend, and several had come alone to fulfill their duty as a gopher on Capitol Hill and line-sit for the Washington bigwig that they someday hoped to become. I came with a friend whose life experiences placed her on the opposite side of the issue than me. We both had reasons for wanting to be in that courtroom in the morning, but like many others in the crowd, kept the conversation to the weather, and other topics that our parents had raised us to politely engage in at cocktail parties and other social gatherings.

"You would almost forget that you and those around you had gathered to witness the first argument before the Supreme Court on the interpretation of the Second Amendment and Washington D.C.’s 32-year-old handgun ban. Yes, you would almost forget until you realized that it was in fact very cold, you were sitting on a rolled-up sleeping bag to guard your derrière from the hard and even colder concrete, and that you were in fact surrounded by an ever-growing herd of news teams brandishing lights, wires, cameras, and boom microphones.

"Almost everyone that was interviewed was composed and eloquent in their delivery, conveying beautifully and passionately their personal reasons for being there. It was clear that this impromptu assemblage of city campers was not typified by beer-guzzling marijuana smoking groupies lined-up for tickets to the rock concert of the century. Instead, it was like Woodstock for intellectuals. Many had traveled by plane from their hometown with only the clothes and blankets they sat swaddled in and a suit to don for their hopeful journey up the marble steps and into the doors of the court in the morning.

"At 11 pm, it felt as if it were daytime. The streetlights beamed, additional fluorescent lights hung high above me on the street corner, and the occasional cameraman would swoop in with a glaring light as he panned down the line of people. News teams were everywhere trying to capture the spirit of the city campers’ experience. As I began to unfold the tent I had brought and empty the metal poles from the tightly packed Gore-Tex bag, a cameraman appeared with a bright light and boom microphone. He began to document both the clumsy assembly and determination that my friend and I exuded as we frustratedly fumbled with the abundance of pieces and sheer physics of the task at hand. Nearly completed, our tent stood with wavering structural integrity and we divided between us the final tent stakes. Just then a Supreme Court officer approached us and in a deep authoritative voice exclaimed, "No tents allowed. Take it down."

"I lay there on the sidewalk in my mummy sleeping bag with the hood pulled over my head to shield the fluorescent light cascading down from above. As I peeked out at the corner, I could see a reporter from The Washington Times with a camera lens that must have been a foot long, taking pictures of me from every possible angle. Behind me I could hear the young man, who had been droning on from his soapbox for what seemed like hours. He spouted his "expertise" about tax brackets, healthcare, foreign policy, and any and every other issue he felt was his forte. An old man leaned over me asking if I was spending the night here. I replied yes, and the bag of throat lozenges he had in his hand began to crinkle. He handed me two flavors, said "thank you," and moved on to the next person. I giggled to myself, placed the lozenges aside, and knew that as long as I could hear my corner’s "talking head" outside discussing the next "hot topic," all was safe on the other side of my dark sleeping bag. I drifted into a vigilant sleep.

"Hey…hey," I heard from above, "your Gatorade is spilling." It was freezing, and somehow the Gatorade that sat between my sleeping bag and my friend’s had toppled over, drenched the foot of her sleeping bag, and was now trickling down the sidewalk to the curb. A quick shake and scoot of the cold and wet sleeping bag was all she needed, nothing was going to send us home to the warmth and comfort of our beds… we had become street corner camping warriors. Not even the rain which started in the wee hours of the morning was going to deter us or anyone in our sidewalk tribe from the possibility of having our "Rocky moment" on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court.

"I awoke at 6 am to the same view of the Capitol that had been so moving ever since I had arrived on that corner and been deemed "number sixty-three." People were starting to rustle, and Sarah, the list holder, made one more pass down the line, accounting for everyone. There had been concerns about a rogue line forming while the original line of sidewalk inhabitants slept. Surprisingly, the line held and no such formation was present at dawn. Everyone not only knew their own number, but they could account for typically five numbers to both their right and left in line. Those that were previously strangers had become a kind of memo board. If one went in search of a bathroom they were always accounted for by someone else incase Sarah made another pass down the line. The father with his teenage son that were the bend in the line at the corner, accounted for me and my friend as we went to pack away the camping gear in the car and embark on our quest for coffee.

"The sidewalk tribe was standing with anticipating looks in their eyes when we returned. They faced the steps of the Court, and had amongst them some new faces. Line-sitters had been relieved by their sharp-dressed bigwigs and I could see one of the original plaintiffs in the case at the front of the line. It was obvious who had had a night’s sleep in a bed and a shower in the morning and who was an original out there. Number 62, like several others, returned from a local establishment’s "bathroom turned dressing room" sporting a suit and tie. But most just washed their hands and faces, and ran their fingers through their hair, it was apparent that the sidewalk warriors wore their sleepy faces and dirty clothes with pride. We deserved to be inside the court to hear these historic arguments.

"It had been discussed throughout the night how many seats would be available for the public. Rumors had started with 10 to 50, then the father with his teenage son that slept behind me on the street corner said 70 to 75. Nobody knew. We all just hoped that it would be our number, I was hoping for 63.

"We were told to form a single-file line on the steps of the court which when it reached the last step, bent to the left and followed the edge across the last marble riser. We were each handed a green ticket with a number written on the front, a picture of lady liberty, and a disclaimer on the back which said that the ticket does not guarantee entrance. The pieces of paper were about the size of a note card and were numbered one through 75. I had somehow become number 64. There was a sense of camaraderie amongst the sidewalk sleepers and the fact that the line only went up one person throughout the night was a true testament to that. Interviews continued as the press caught sight of the cards being handed out. One gentleman when being asked what he was holding by a news crew shouted "I got a ticket, I’m going to Hollywood!"

"Protestors, who were strangely absent throughout the night, began to appear in small numbers. The Second Amendment Sisters arrived from all over the Country and unrolled a 15- foot banner, people held handmade signs with scribbled statistics and slogans, town cars unloaded men and women dressed in their best suits, the media swarmed, flashes went off incessantly but in no particular rhythm, and the line steadily grew with those that were hoping to witness three to five minutes of history being made.

"Finally, the time had come. The guards whispered to each other and then began to count down the line. Fifty people were told to proceed up the steps and into the court, which they did victoriously. The rest of the line stood eagerly, awaiting word of how many additional people were to be admitted. At 9:45 am, fifteen minutes before the hearing was scheduled to begin, the final twelve people were admitted, making number sixty-two the last camper inside. Number 63 turned to me, with a look of despair in his eyes, but proceeded to say how happy he was that his friend who flew from California, and was number fifty-one, was admitted. He himself had flown from Milwaukee. Hearts sank and the look of disbelief in these exhausted people’s eyes was gut-wrenching.

"The next 10 people in line were told they could enter the building to hear three to five minutes of the arguments. After removing all outerwear, and placing keys, cell phones, cameras, and metal objects in lockers, we were escorted to the door of the courtroom. As we walked down the marble hall, the gentleman in front of me, number 63, was told there was one more seat, and was whisked away for what was going to be the most amazing 75 minutes of his life.

"There I stood, at the front of the line, number 64. Feeling slightly defeated, I turned to the usher outside of the courtroom and asked her if there was just one more seat. She then said something that would change my March 18th forever. In a dismissive and slightly pugnacious tone, she said, "The people that got in [the courtroom] have been here since Sunday." She then dismissed me with her eyes, and her implication was clear, "they" deserved to see the arguments, and I did not. How could a woman be so insensitive to someone that represented an entire community of passionate people that slept on a concrete sidewalk in 33 degree weather and rain?

"The doors opened, and we were escorted into the back gallery of the court and seated for our three to five minutes of glory. The Courtroom was humbling. In front of a crimson velvet curtain in high-backed black leather chairs, behind an elevated mahogany bench that stretched the length of the lofty room, sat the nine justices. The gallery was filled with mahogany pews that held press on one side, attorneys on another, friends of the Justices, members of the Supreme Court Bar, and the 63 seats for the public. The coffered ceiling appeared to be hand-carved, along with the bold moldings that skirted around the room above the fantastic marble columns.

"Three attorneys were sworn in to the Supreme Court bar, including a son of one of the Chief Justice’s. The case was then called to order, and Solicitor General Paul D. Clement began to share with the court, the government’s view of the case. History was being made. Just then we were asked to stand and leave, our four minutes were over, or so I thought.

"As I walked out of the courtroom, I was reminded of the usher who had been so rude. Offended to my core, as a member of the city campers, I asked where the Marshall’s office was. My friend and I entered the office in our tattered and dirty clothes, holding our green cards which said numbers 64 and 65, and were received by a very nice gentleman. He apologized for the usher’s insensitive comment, and promptly said he would find us two seats in the courtroom. He escorted us into our seats amongst the attorneys, and we remained in utter disbelief as we passed the offending usher, who looked as shocked as we did.

"The arguments ensued in what I would consider to be the format of the most grueling oral defense I have ever seen. Chief Justice Kennedy, who is typically the swing vote in the Court, seemed to be in favor of overturning the D.C gun ban. Several of the other Justices seemed to almost argue Gura’s case for him. However, it was not all "sugar and spice" for either of the lawyers. The Justices were quick to find any error in an argument and ruthless in twisting each attorney until they had both faulted their own logic several times. To say Gura and Dellinger had to stay on their toes, would be the understatement of the century.

"After the gavel struck the bench and the case was dismissed, we stood as the justices exited. As I exited the courtroom I felt as if I was emerging from a long battle victoriously. I was there. I slept on the concrete sidewalk. I shivered all night. I talked my way back into the courtroom. I was exhausted, dirty, and hungry, but it felt good. As I was reminding myself of the experience that I had just been through I caught sight of Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox who were also coming out of the courtroom. I said hello and shook hands with both of them. Although I wish I had looked slightly more presentable, I was pleased that I could share a second of that magical moment in their company.

"I walked down the marble steps of the Supreme Court amidst the camera crews, interviews, protestors, police, and lines… and felt victorious. As I passed through the crowd, I overheard a fellow sidewalk warrior and learned something very special. The old man that was bundled beyond recognition, passing out lozenges late at night was a man that cared very much for the cold campers and was indeed grateful for them. Dick Heller. I myself am grateful for the Supreme Court usher, for without her, my long journey to witness history being made may have ended after a four-minute peek."

Victoria, thank you for sharing your story from March 18. Your writing makes me feel like we were right there with you.

When You Can't Spin The Argument, Change Your Language

Claiming they were "gun safety" experts only worked for a few months. The gun controllers abandoned that . . .

Then came the intentional confusion of the public and MSM with the "assault weapon/assault rifle" language. That worked for a while. But Congress realized the 10-year ban on certain competition rifles did nothing to impact crime, so it was allowed to sunset. And, as was to be expected, there was no AW bloodbath as so many anti self defense and anti-gun politicians and foundations shrilly predicted.

The public mood after the brutal terrorist attacks of 9-11 has been more favorable to firearms rights and self defense. Even after shootings at Virginia Tech, Louisiana Tech and Northern Illinois University, there has been a sea change of attitude toward loosening bans on firearms on campuses that currently put kids, staff and professors at risk due to bans on life-saving self-defense sidearms. A different kind of progressive thinking, for a change.

So now we see yet another change in tactics. Once again playing the word game . . .

It is no longer "assault rifles" the public must fear (since they don't), but "Cop Killing Guns."

Here is a sample from the CNN story:

"The guns confiscated included AK-47 rifles and dozens of Fabrique National pistols. The semiautomatic pistols fire a 5.7-by-28 millimeter round, which is technically a rifle round, according to the ATF. Newell says the round has a special nickname in Mexico. "It's called 'mata policias,' or 'cop killer,' " he says."
The real target is competition rifles, but the story leads off with fearmongering about the Barrett 50. I would look for far more stories in the coming months -- particularly leading into the November presidential race -- about "cop killing guns."

Virginia Tech Reaches Settlement With Parents of Murdered Students

"Those close to the victims of the Virginia Tech mass shootings offered mixed reactions Tuesday to a proposed multimillion-dollar state settlement and whether it will properly honor their loved ones."

Families of the victims have until Monday to say whether they'll accept the settlement, which would give $100,000 to representatives of each of the 32 killed and ensures that families will have the chance to talk to the governor and university officials about the shootings.

As one observer noted this morning in online comments, "So Virginia Tech thinks that the life of a student they disarmed and then failed to protect is worth $100,000? Despicable!"

The full story from Associated Press is here.

Heller EyeWitness Report

Alan Korwin, the largest publisher and distributor of gun-law books in America, has some thoughts on Heller:

"There’s no telling where it could end up. And the prospects, as I see them, are pretty scary stuff. The more I read my ton of inbound email, the more concerned I’m getting. Not a single Justice or court brief suggested all or even many gun laws must go away, that’s just irrational raving. But whatever standard comes out, the Bradys will be able to make some claims that, “See, this falls within reasonable regulation.” And the pro-rights people will have openings to challenge some of the more odious laws, and see if they can prevail. No one knows where any of that will lead. We’re back to square one, legislatures, local courts, and the ballot box.

"New laws that ban rights may be tougher to enact or even introduce, and pro-rights arguments may have more fuel. Rights-supportive laws may have some obstacles removed, though Texas managed to pass ten of those good laws last session without the Heller case. So who wins in that scenario?"

"Justice Roberts did ask if we even have to go anywhere near these things to settle the issue at hand, and he’s right of course, and will be prudent (read, very narrow) in the scope of this decision. I think they’ll duck all the fodder we out here like to chew, leave those to digest later. They’ve got enough on their plate without it."

"Will the presidential election affect those future outcomes? You bet it will, and that may be the biggest question mark of all. Note that the news media has not raised the point. I wonder why."

Why, indeed.

UAV Over Miami

Miami, Florida police could soon be the first in the U.S. to use cutting-edge, spy-in-the-sky technology to beef up their fight against crime. A small, 14-pound pilotless drone manufactured by Honeywell International, capable of hovering and "staring" using electro-optic or infrared sensors, is expected to make its debut soon in the skies over the Florida Everglades.

Ladies, if you're at the catching some sun, and you hear what sounds like the largest dragonfly ever to buzz around the ocean, you might be under "surveillance."

Oh, and criminals, too, should be wary.

Miami police are awaiting Federal Aviation Administration approval for their plan.

Incrementalism 101

The anti gun folks are experts at incrementalism. You cannot argue with this. They have spent decades nibbling away at every American's 2A rights bit by bit. Try as we might, America is not going to gain back its rights with one sweeping court case, or with one giant piece of legislation.

With that said, it is not secret that Heller attorney Alan Gura has been pilloried by some for his machine gun comments before the Supreme Court during oral arguments last week on District of Columbia v Heller.

Sharp As A Marble has Gura's further explanation after the hearing as to why he said what he said. And some commentary. I, too, cringed when I heard his words on the audio broadcast of the hearing. But you cannot argue with the logic.

It is no secret that the solution is taking back what the Framers left to us, one court case, and one statehouse, at a time. Consider this a primer on Incrementalism.

Anyway, SAAM's post is worth the read.

Double-Standard At Ebay

Not surprising actually, but . . .

Over at David Hardy's Of Arms & The Law journal:

"Ebay won't let a person use it to sell a firearm (and I've heard of them giving people trouble about selling even dummy ammunition), but apparently it's happy to sell switchblades. The interstate shipment of which happens to be a federal offense . . ."

Update On Last Week's US Airways Flight Deck Firearm Discharge

It appears there are some bizarre procedures that Transportation Security Administration requires of flight deck officers who have firearms in the cockpit. Such prodecures may well explain why a firearm was discharged in the cockpit of a US Airways jet in-bound for Charlotte, N.C. last week.
"Putting a gun into a holster and then threading a padlock through the trigger and trigger-guard is required every time the pilots enter or leave the cockpit."

The words "recipe for disaster" are an understatement, if you ask me. Read David Codrea's commentary and use the link to go to a more detailed story. I'm sure there will be more coming out on this incident. Guns don't just go off by themselves.

It reminds me of four years ago, when Ohio was debating concealed carry. There was a move by some lawmakers that would require CCW licensees to unload their firearm before they got into the car, if there were children under 18 in the vehicle. Accordingly, when you exited the vehicle, lawmakers who had no clue what they were suggesting said "then just load your gun again," conceal the firearm and head on to your business.

Self defense activists from a number of state organizations here were able to kill that langauge by pointing out the danger of repeatedly -- and unnecessarily -- handling a loaded firearm. Who led the charge in the Statehouse once the problem was pointed out? Lawmakers with law enforcement and military background, who quickly realized that each time the gun was loaded and unloaded there was the chance of a shooting incident. That language eventually disappeared.
So back to the US Airways incident last week. Running a lock through the trigger guard of a loaded gun? What bureaucrat came up with that obviously dangerous idea?

Pennsylvania RKBA Rally Set For April 7

If you are in or near Pennsylvania on April 7, you might want to head to the state capitol in Harrisburg. There, the state's 3rd annual Right To Keep And Bear Arms Rally will kick off at 10 am in the capitol rotunda.

Invited speakers include: State Representative Daryl Metcalfe; Alan Gottlieb, founder, Second Amendment Foundation; Wayne LaPierre, executive VP, National Rifle Association; Larry Pratt, president, Gun Owners of America; Kim Stolfer, Firearms Owners Against Crime; Melody Zullinger, Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs; Gun Week; Woman & Guns magazine; KeepAndBearArms.com; Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms; Law Enforcement Alliance of America; Mothers Arms; Safely in Mothers Arms, Inc.; Second Amendment Sisters; Firearms Coalition; and many other groups, plus a number of additional Pennsylvania pro-gun State lawmakers.

25 March 2008

I'll Bet You Didn't Know Brady Bunch Are Now Big Defenders Of The Right To Self Defense

Perhaps I should clarify.

The Bradys claim the right to self defense exists as long as you are a law enforcement officer.

Apparently, such a concept is not important for the average citizen, at least as far as the Brady Campaign (formerly Handgun Control Inc.) is concerned. Apparently . . .

h/t to keepandbeararms.com

'Freedom Never Cries'

A moving video tribute to our men and women in uniform. "Freedom Never Cries" is the centerpiece song by a band called Five for Fighting. The video is supportive of a charity raising money for Operation Homefront, which supports troops' families.

Incredibly powerful images and words.

h/t to Keith M.

Gun Control Sentiments Changing in DC, Boston

Updated: Tuesday, March 25, 2008, 11:50 pm -- An Examiner editorial calls the DC gun searches "half-cocked." Further, the editors state the following: "District officials appear to believe their own antipathy to guns outweighs all those pesky concerns about whether the Constitution empowers their confiscations."

Even though the guns they take away today may turn out to be perfectly legal under the Constitution.

Still, DC Mayor Adrian Fenty says it is critical the District maintain its ability to outlaw firearms. Outlaw? Doesn't that statement rather conflict with DC's claims that not all guns are outlawed there. Just handguns. Hmmm . . .

There is significant opposition from residents in Boston and Washington DC, where police have instituted door-to-door warrantless searches for firearms. These programs were announced several months ago with great fanfare. Apparently, residents there are having second thoughts about police in those cities barging in and nosing around.

Well, that is, if you invite them in to search . . .

Glenn Reynolds notes the following: "I guess the D.C. government fears it will lose in Heller and wants one last power-trip before it's too late. But if the gun-control had worked, why would they need to be confiscating them now?"

A story about Boston's program, where police are surprised by opposition from residents. DUH!

And a story on the the new DC door-to-door "voluntary searches" for illegal guns. What? Wait a minute . . . they're already illegal. What's the purpose of looking in people's homes?

In Case You Missed It

In case you missed it, pro-gun New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson late last week endorsed the pro individual 2A rights, yet anti-gun presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama.

Some democrats, particularly supporters of Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential ambitions, are calling Richardson at traitor. Worse, dem strategist James Carville called Richardson a "Judas," saying Richardson betrayed Sen. Clinton.

Of course, if Gov. Richardson is such a big gun rights supporter, the fact that he is endorsing a gun control extremist like Sen. Obama has some firearms rights advocates wondering the same thing.

Confused yet?

24 March 2008

Breda Reminds Us: Never Give Up

Read Breda's writeup on a woman who wouldn't give up, but didn't make it.

There is nothing more I can add.

Just Because

David vs. Goliath.

Er, I mean . . . Range Rover vs. Challenger tank.

A bit tedious at times, but fun.

Is 'The Combine' The Reason Illinois Residents Are Defenseless?

"What do you call that Illinois political class that's not committed to any party, they simply want to make money off the taxpayers?" Fitzgerald said. "You know what to call them."What?" "The Illinois Combine," Fitzgerald said. "The bipartisan Illinois political combine. And all these guys being mentioned, they're part of it."

The Rezko trial in Illinois is peeling the veneer off a state political machine.

Anyone else wonder if this is part of the reason why Illinois firearms owners can never get any traction with their initiatives? Someone needs to be paid off?

Hmmm . . .

How Do You Mix Up Sniper Fire With A Quiet Landing, Peaceful Reception?

Updated: March 26, 2008, 8:21 am -- The U.S. military is fuming about Sen. Clinton's "misstatement" regarding a trip to Bosnia when she was First Lady.

Updated: March 24, 2008, 10:15 pm -- "Mis-remembered," "mis-spoke," "it lacked the added virtue of being true" . . . Whatever you call it, the MSM is now piling on. CBS News is the latest.

. . . If you think it will earn you brownie points during a presidential primary, I guess its one approach . . .

Except when new media, bloggers and others point out the discrepancy . . .

I've never experienced sniper fire, but I believe I would know if I had.

When Only Government, Police Have Firearms . . .

"Hundreds of monks, nuns and local Tibetans who tried to march on a local government office in western China to demand the return of the Dalai Lama have been turned back by paramilitary police who opened fire to disperse the crowd."

The Times of London has the eye-opening full story.

This is a prima facie example of why most Americans reject the notion that only police and the military should have firearms.

Quote For The Day

"One day you will need people like him, and you will forget that you once thought he was worse than a criminal." -- Rabbi Irving Chinn

There is more on Rabbi Chinn's decision to give his blessing to a student who chose to pursue a career in gunsmithing rather than rabbinic ordination. Read the full post here.

FindLaw Columnist Speculates On Heller

In column for FindLaw, Columbia University law professor Michael Dorf wonders whether the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court will take a hard look at the Second Amendment, or punt parts of it back down to the lower courts.

Either way, he says, Heller is going to be the defining case regarding the 2A for decades to come.

Knife Violence In Japan

One person was stabbed to death and at least seven others were hurt by a man, already wanted for murder, who went on a knifing spree outside a shopping mall in eastern Japan on Sunday, police said.

From CNN.

Ban the assault knives. Please? For the children.

A Gunner's Guide To Waiting In Line At The Supreme Court

Updated: Monday, March 25, 2008, 10:27 pm -- Here is amateur video taken by the same individual the night before the Heller arguments. Much debate and discussino going on in the line outside the Supreme Court building. In one lengthy discussion, scholar Clayton Cramer and an unnamed anti 2A individual are discussing firearms rights. Or as the young lady suggests, the fact that judges who rule in favor of an individual right made some crazy decisions.

I envy all of you who could get to DC and be there to witness history. Even if you didn't get into the Court to witness the arguments. Just to be hanging around that line and chatting with like-minded folks on the eve of a historic argument was the opportunity of a lifetime.

From the first person in line at the Supreme Court, waiting to hear the DC v. Heller arguments.

Great commentary, complete with photos.

Jogger Prepping For Army PT Test Mugged In Central Park

A jogger in New York's Central Park, preparing for his Army physical fitness test, was attacked by knife-wielding muggers late last week.

They slashed at him repeatedly -- all for an Ipod and his wallet.

As one pundit put it, "Maybe if had a pistol in his sock, rather than a cellphone . . . "

Why National Firearm, Owner Registration Is Dangerous

This week finds more calls under Freedom of Information (FOI) Act requests for government to release the names of women and men who hold CCW licenses, this time in New York state. Of course, we know that New York is home of that pillar of truth, justice and the American way, Elliot Spitzer, who recently resigned as governor and exploited his previous position as state attorney general for questionable means.

There are great people in New York, don't get me wrong. But the Empire State and California are our figurative canaries in the mine shaft. Keep an eye on politics there, and you're sure to get a glimpse of what is coming.

But I digress.

When anti self defense organizations funded by deep-pocket foundations aren't pushing for ammunition micro-stamping, or more background checks, or to close non-existent loopholes, they and their willing accomplices in Congress often call for registration of every firearm and firearm owner in the U.S.

What's the big deal, they ask. Why do you object to a simple list, they ask innocently. Well, besides the blatantly obvious "registration leads to confiscation" concern that every American should share, there is also the following:

A government laptop computer containing sensitive medical information on 2,500 patients enrolled in a National Institutes of Health study was stolen in February, potentially exposing seven years' worth of clinical trial data, including names, medical diagnoses and details of the patients' heart scans. The information was not encrypted, in violation of the government's data-security policy.

The Veterans Administration (VA) learned on August 3, 2006 that a computer was missing from Unisys, a subcontractor that provides software support to the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia VA Medical Centers. The computer contained insurance claim data for patients treated in these two facilities or their community clinics. The Unisys system is used by the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia VA Medical Centers to help sort and track insurance claims that have been billed to insurance companies.

Student loan holders logging on to an Education Department Web site in August 2006 exposed their personal identities to others as a result of a glitch in a contractor's efforts to service the site. As first reported in the Boston Globe, as many as 21,000 borrowers in the Federal Direct Student Loan Program could have had their personal data, including Social Security numbers, birthdates and addresses, compromised in yet another government agency data breach.
This incident follows a string of publicized breaches governmentwide, affecting information systems in more than a dozen federal agencies.

In October 2007, the personal details of nearly 4,000 people – including commercial truck drivers who transport hazardous materials – were on two laptops stolen from a third-party contractor working with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

The government has recovered stolen computer equipment that contains sensitive personal information on millions of veterans and active-duty troops, Veterans' Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson announced Thursday. The announcement was good news for as many as 26.5 million people whose names, birth dates and, in about 17.5 million cases, Social Security numbers may have been on the laptop computer and external hard drive, raising the fear of identity theft.

The federal government is not doing enough to secure sensitive information, according to a 2007 report issued by the Cyber Security Industry Alliance (CSIA), a lobbying group of security vendors based in Arlington, Va.

From Maryland:
A Maryland Department of the Environment laptop computer stolen from an employee's car in August 2997 held personal information, including Social Security numbers, for 10,000 residents registered with one of four state boards.The car was recovered, but not the laptop, said Robert Ballinger, deputy director of communications for the department.

From Ohio:
The man responsible for the biggest data theft in the state of Ohio has received his official punishment - five days of lost vacation.

From 2007 -- The latest Internet Security Threat Report released today by Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC) reveals that the current Internet threat environment is characterized by an increase in data theft, data leakage, and the creation of targeted, malicious code for the purpose of stealing confidential information that can be used for financial gain. Cyber criminals continue to refine their attack methods in an attempt to remain undetected and to create global, cooperative networks to support the ongoing growth of criminal activity.

Now . . . please explain to me once more why U.S. citizens should have no fear over a simple registration scheme cataloging their firearms and their personal information?

Case closed.

Quote For The Weekend

"It is not the function of our government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error." -- Justice Robert H. Jackson

Hmmm . . .

Take a look at this request for bids from the BATF. Pay close attention to the engraving the agency wants on the Leatherman tool (under the header "Description," second graph).

And you'll want to see who was awarded the contract -- an outfit that calls itself "Freedom Enterprises" in Spokane, Wash.

This is a federal agency that Mr. Mike Sullivan, Ted Kennedy, Chuck Schumer and others say we can trust?

Hmmm . . .

h/t to keepandbeararms.com

Why Are American Jews So Anti-Gun?

The Forward magazine has an interesting piece by Berkeley, Calif. writer, Eric King. His story, titled "Why Are American Jews So Anti-Gun?," puts the reasoning squarely on the differences between Jews who emigrated to the United States, and those who stayed behind in Europe, and witnessed first hand -- after World War II -- the depth and breadth of destruction wrought against the Jewish peoples.

These two paragraphs from his piece speak volumes:

"Many American Jews are the direct descendants of immigrants who left the ghettos and shtetls with the shtetl mentality intact and came to the United States between 1885 and 1925. They raised their children, who in turn raised their children, to believe that all weapons were wrong because all violence was wrong — even though the conditions in America were different, the horrible compromise of Europe was behind them, and their survival and self-respect no longer depended on a willingness to defenselessly sit by while members of the community were raped and murdered.

"The Jews who remained in Europe, on the other hand, were confronted by the Holocaust. The ones who survived saw that the rules had changed, and many of them immigrated to Israel. They saw that not all violence was wrong, that violence could be used to preserve the Jewish people, and that the defensive use of weapons was necessary for the survival of the community. The result has been a greater acceptance of individual use of weapons for personal defense."

Well worth the read.

Firearm Discharges Aboard US Airways Flight

This ought to be interesting.

I am a huge proponent of the "firearms in the cockpit" program, but I can't think for the life of me how a gun discharges unless there was an issue on board the aircraft. According to NBC affiliate WCNC-TV in Charlotte, N.C., a firearm was discharged Saturday in the cockpit of a US Airways flight bound to Charlotte from Denver, Colo.

Unfortunately, the antis are going to try to have a field day with this . . .

21 March 2008

Politico Drops Worst Kept Dem Bombshell

Okay, people have been buzzing about this for some time, so the concept really isn't new. But for one of the better news organizations to go out with this story is big. Basically, the very well respected Politico news site says Sen. Hillary Clinton has virtually no chance to win her party's primary race. And if she gains the nomination, she faces a monstrous backlash from within her party.

Here is the full story.

Meanwhile, Sen. Barack Obama picked up an important endorsement today from New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson. And he's getting apologies from the State Department because people snooped into his passport file.

'The Bloomberg Collection'

Updated: Saturday, March 22, 2008, 1:46 pm -- The New York Daily News has a story on Mr. Bloomberg's "outrage."

A Wisconsin company has come out with a line of custom paint colors for firearms, called "The Bloomberg Collection." Jabbing back at New York's "Mayor Mike" and his constant, and often less than truthfull crusade against a lawful firearms industry, there is a paint color for every New York City borough. "Mayor Mike" outlawed gun paint in the city, and has convinced the MSM that he has long opposed such material (even though this issue has only surfaced in the past few months).

There is even a tiny image of Mayor Michael Bloomberg available to put on the barrel. The product, ABC News says, has Bloomberg "seeing red."

The antis say they are disgusted with the company's new product line. But then these same gun control and gun confiscation types have repeatedly turned a blind-eye toward firearms owners' disgust at the outright lies and misrepresentations coming from Mr. Bloomberg and his anti self-defense cabal. People speaking for police say police are outraged. The Wisconsin company says a large volume of its customer base is law enforcement officers.

To the firing range owner who won't sell the product, that's your choice. He and the Wisconsin company representative are right when they say that if anyone aims a painted gun at an LEO, that they are taking a huge risk.

But as for not wanting the carry the paint product, that's alright. That's what's cool about a free country. Choice. I'll bet you didn't know I'm pro-choice. Yes, I choose to exercise the basic human right of self defense. If the firearm is banana yellow, or a nice crimson (or even scarlet and gray?), that's my choice.

Okay, I can't ever see myself ever owning or carrying a yellow firearm. That's just bizarre . . .

Nuts! Jericho Has Been Cancelled

Updated: Monday, March 24, 2008, 5:22 pm -- Apparently I wasn't the only one to notice the left turn the show took in its second season. Will the studios realize they shot themselves in the foot? Probably not.

The television series Jericho had a strong first season depicting life in a small Kansas town after a series of nuclear explosions rip across the United States. But this latest season has been kind of weak, and the writers have been having just a little too much fun stereotyping politicians in western states. Rugged self reliance has been morphed into fascism, IMHO.

Anyway, CBS has pulled the plug for good this time. Alternate endings were shot. The last episode airs on Tuesday evening. The show may be revived on cable.

Pro-Gun Blogger Takes On Rebecca Peters

A link to the video is coming, but the author of Pro-Gun Progressive debated the international gun control queen, Rebecca Peters, on (of all places) Al-Jazeera television earlier this week.

Peters is head of IANSA, the International Action Network on Small Arms. Basically, its the world-wide gun control group that is targeting the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association has debated Ms. Peters once or twice.

If you want to see and hear her modus operandi, check out this excerpt of a debate in Britain on gun control. Ms. Peters at her finest.

When Seconds Count . . .

. . . Help is usually minutes away.

Unfortunately, the phrase "Dial 911 and Die" is now all too real for a Los Angeles County woman who was shot to death inside her multimillion dollar home while on the telephone to 911 operators.

Breda has some astute observations and links to the story.

Remember, violent crime can happen anywhere. The bad guys are not picky about geography, but they will prey on someone who won't take precautions to protect themselves.

Please Note: Security cameras and a phone line to 911 are not, nor ever should be considered, "protection."

The Second Amendment and Personal Preference

Should a judge's personal preference weigh in on a decision in a court case? What about the opinion of a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, on a landmark case?

"It is simply my hope that some of the justices will defy expectation over how they will vote on the 'individual' versus 'collective' right issue so that we do not have to endure another summer debating whether constitutional adjudication consists of anything other than judges imposing their own personal preferences on the text of the U.S. Constitution."

Attorney Howard Bashman ponders the possibilities at Law.com.

200 surveillance cameras at Brooklyn, NY housing complex fails to stop rape suspect

I know something that would have stopped him dead in his tracks (pardon the pun) from laying a hand on her . . .

A highly effective, perfectly legal tool, leveled at his chest -- or his goodies.

Oleg Volk has commented on this scenario several times. Oleg's illustrations are worth a thousand words.

20 March 2008

71-year-Old Realtor Murdered In Home She Was Showing

A 71-year-old Wisconsin real estate agent was found dead inside a home she had been showing, and authorities said Thursday that the man she had met there was arrested. Ann B. Nelson, of Cambridge, was found dead Tuesday night next to a smoldering mattress at the smoke-filled rural home in the town of Oakland, authorities said. Investigators say an autopsy concluded Nelson died of smoke inhalation, but she also had head injuries.

If only Realtor organizations across the U.S. would once and for all halt their irresponsible statements telling agents not to carry firearms for protection.

"Learn to use your body to protect yourself," they say. "Take someone with you," they say. Well, the former is not a realistic solution for most everyone -- particularly if you are older; and the latter, well a friend or colleague isn't always available.

Real estate agents should carry if they so choose. I've met many who do. It's not because they want to feel safe. It's because they know they will be safer.

Anger Management

Most of the gun haters could use some serious anger management therapy. In the end, if they're beating up on each other, they won't have time to make mischief for the firearm owner who merely wants to protect her family and be left alone.

Warning: Naughty words . . .

Quote Of The Day (HUH?)

"I think the reasonableness standard of the handgun laws in the District, which are not completely banned, because there is licensed handguns in the District of Columbia for law enforcement, retired law enforcement, federal law enforcement, security agencies. So, there is not a complete ban on handguns." -- Washington DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier, speaking on the steps of the Supreme Court immediately after the DC v. Heller arguments

'The Nuge'

Ted Nugent was on the radio yesterday. For 16 minutes he said what he says -- LIVE, on the air.

The "Motor City Madman" needs no introduction. He is one of the most staunch defenders of the Second Amendment.
Here is a great observation from The Line Is Here. What's more, find some time to listen to the radio interview. Here is a link.
Find the time . . . you will be glad you did.

I will merely say that Mr. Nugent had some thoughts on the Washington DC and Heller case. He will most likely be at the NRA meetings in Louisville next month. If you've never had a chance to stop by and visit with him, you've missed a memorable conversation.

Texas Stats Prove What Anti-Gunners, MSM Deny

New stats out of Texas show that CCW holders are among the most law abiding individuals in that giant state.

I'm pretty sure you would discover similar findings if you looked at the other states that have some sort of "shall issue" concealed carry law.

An interesting analysis from Buckeye Firearms Association.

Liberals Love A Living Constitution; But They Don't Like New 'Life' Breathed Into The Second Amendment

Balkinization has an interesting take on the Heller arguments:

"The framers of the 14th amendment assumed that it was one of the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States. And if a right is a privilege or immunity of citizens of the United States, it hard for me to conclude that it does not bind the United States as well as the individual states. Now, as a unreconstructed liberal (I'll show you pictures of my bleeding heart), I don't particularly like this result. But it follows sufficiently strongly from other commitments I have about the Constitution that I must accept it."

Read Jack Balkin's commentary here on how lovers of the so-called "living Constitution" have been making fun of it this week.

19 March 2008

D.C. Gun Ban Arguments

A brief analysis of the Heller arguments and possible outcomes from Reason magazine.

Also, Glenn Reynolds suggests in an intro to this piece that though the Court likely will find in favor of the 2A as an individual right, there are republican partisans who quietly hope for a ruling going against gun owners. The thinking is that such an opinion would sweep John McCain into office.

BTW, there is now an MP3 version of the Heller arguments. Click here for more information.

Pennsylvania Democrats Need To Ask But One Question

Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama need to be asked one overriding question by voters heading into the democrat primary there . . .

What is your opinion on the Heller case and Washington DC's de-facto ban on self defense, because of its 32-year-old handgun ban? More importantly, which way do each of the candidates hope the case goes?

Quote Of The Day

"I was kind of struck by the fact that this is a truly life or death case before the Supreme Court. Many times the court hears cases about due process and procedure. Those decisions don't necessarily mean people live or die based on what they decide. But large numbers of people will live or die based on what they rule. If they rule in a positive way for honest people to defend themselves, then honest people hopefully won't die." -- Ted Deeds, a spokesman for the Law Enforcement Alliance of America, commenting on the DC v. Heller case.

Dem 'Re-Do' In Michigan Unlikely; Florida Says No

"It's appearing more and more likely there will not be a re-do of the Democratic presidential primary election. WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick reports state Senate Democrats came out of a closed door meeting Tuesday morning and said there are not enough votes to approve a re-do."

The full story is here.

In Florida, the decision was made on Monday.

"Facing strong opposition, Florida Democrats on Monday abandoned plans to hold a do-over presidential primary with a mail-in vote and threw the delegate dispute into the lap of the national party."

That story is here.

18 March 2008

LA Times Photo A Fake?

Word is spreading that the Los Angeles Times photo on Page One, illustrating the DC v. Heller story Monday morning, is a fake. That is, the photographer was duped by a kid on the street.

In fact, the LA Times has removed the photo from the online version of its March 17 story, and posted the following statement:

FOR THE RECORD:An earlier online version of this article was accompanied by a photo described as showing an illegal handgun held by a 14-year-old in southeast Washington, D.C. The Associated Press is checking on the authenticity of the gun shown.

Read the following from Paul Huebl, a former Chicago LEO and current private investigator.

"The gun and several like it were manufactured in the early 1960’s in Germany. These guns were no longer made or sold when aerosol spray cans were found to be far superior tear gas delivery system to these tear gas pistols. The RTS was never considered a firearm by ATF It was freely imported, unrestricted and sold by mail and available in American novelty shops."
He states quite assuredly that the "gun" in question (allegedly in the hands of a 14-year-old on the streets of DC), is a German made RTS tear gas delivery device that uses a small amount of gunpowder to deliver CN powder to an attacker.

Clearly, the Los Angeles newspaper now isn't sure. Anyone out there who loves research, knows obscure firearms, and can track this down to verify? Just to help the LA Times and all?

For the journalists?

h/t to Clayton Cramer

Finally . . . MSM Examines Gun Buyback Fallacy

USA Today has chimed in with a very strong story on the fallacy of gun buybacks.

"Gun buyback programs from Miami to the San Francisco Bay are coming under fire by critics who question whether the bucks are reducing the big bangs."

Read it here.

Official Transcript of DC v. Heller Oral Arguments

Click here to go to the Supreme Court's website, and obtain a transcript of today's oral arguments before the High Court, in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller.

Plus, the National Rifle Association has a link to an audio file of the arguments from Tuesday morning's Heller arguments with the Justices.

High Court Takes On Heller; Justices Like 2A As Individual Right, But . . .

Most media, and everyone else I have consulted with today following the DC v. Heller oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court this morning (including attorneys, one scholar, two guys at a coffee shop, and three housewives), agree that the Court is likely poised to rule once and for all that the Second Amendment to the Constitution guarantees and individual right to keep and bear arms.

Ninety-seven minutes of argument, extended by Chief Justice John Roberts from the original 75 minutes allotted by the Court.

An individual right. Most likely settled, once and for all.

However . . . everyone also agrees that the Court will likely find a way to instill some basis for regulation. To protect the public safety. Whether it is against machine guns, or how certain firearms are used, no one will know until the Court issues its opinion in late June or early July -- JUST IN TIME for a firestorm between republicans and democrats heading into the November presidential election.

I heard it described this evening at a meeting as the Justices finding a way to insert a "fire clause," like that from the First Amendment free speech section (if you yell 'fire' in a crowded theater and people are hurt, and there is no fire, your 1A right is forfeit), into the Second Amendment. But that section of speech does not prohibit your right to a larynx, or the ability to yell. You are, however, liable for your actions if you harm others.

So how would the Justices do such a thing? We'll find out. And this will likely be litigated by our grandchildren. Because anti-gun politicianas like Chuck Schumer, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Frank Lautenberg , Cleveland's Mayor Jackson and others, will push for local laws that they say meet whatever standard a Heller opinion describes. Only the opinion will be vague enough that no one will agree what it means.

And attorneys, my good friends the attorneys (actually several of my very good friends ARE attorneys), will be fully employed for at least another quarter century.

Here is a taste of the analysis from a number of MSM, relevant blogs, anti-gun groups, etc.

Financial Times -- "Supreme Court mulls ‘right to bear arms’"
Associated Press -- "Justices Agree on Right to Own Guns"
FoxNews -- "In Second Amendment Case, High Court Majority Appears to Support Individual Right to Own Guns"
Washington Post -- "Supreme Court Majority Appears To Back Gun Rights"
Washington Post -- "Bearest Thy Musket"
Washington Post -- "Spinning The Arguments" (video of advocate commentary outside the SC following oral arguments today)
Legal Times -- "Supreme Court Hears Arguments in D.C. Gun Ban Case"
New York Times -- "High Court Considers Right to Bear Arms"

Here also are two news releases, from organizations wrapping up their opposing viewpoints on the Heller case, and firearms in general.

Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence --

Washington, D.C. – Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, issued the following statement:

"Today, the Justices of the Supreme Court thoroughly discussed the Second Amendment of the Constitution for the first time in nearly 70 years, in the District of Columbia v. Heller case. Their probing questions, and the lawyers' responses, highlighted the complex history and competing approaches to gun regulation in our country. I am hopeful that their ruling will uphold the right of people in communities like the District to enact common sense gun measures they feel are needed to protect themselves and their families.

"One of the reasons we have weak or nearly non-existent gun laws today is because a lot of politicians, and many citizens, think the Second Amendment limits our ability to enact common sense gun restrictions. Today's arguments, however, demonstrated broad support from all sides for responsible regulations concerning guns.

"Think how much safer we all would be if we made it harder for dangerous people to get dangerous weapons nationwide, not just in a few areas."

Second Amendment Foundation --


BELLEVUE, WA – Today’s oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of District of Columbia v Heller produced a clear victory for the individual citizen’s right to keep and bear arms, the Second Amendment Foundation said. “We are confident,” said SAF founder Alan Gottlieb, “that the high court will hand down an opinion that affirms the Second Amendment means what it says. Based on the questions that the justices asked, it is clear that they read the amicus briefs submitted by our side in support of District resident Dick Anthony Heller. We were impressed with the depth of questions asked by all of the justices, and we have no doubt that the court has a clear understanding of Second Amendment history, and that ‘the people’ are all citizens.

“We believe the District presented a very weak defense of its handgun ban that is not supported by court precedent or historical fact,” he continued. “Attorney Alan Gura, and Solicitor General Paul Clement, however, both provided a clear and proper perspective on the meaning of the Second Amendment. Mr. Gura’s remarks left the justices with a clear understanding why the District’s handgun ban is unconstitutional.” Gottlieb believes that Gura, one of three attorneys representing District resident Dick Anthony Heller, who is challenging the 32-year-old handgun ban, “won the oral argument.”

“While we do not expect the Supreme Court to strike down every gun law and regulation on the books,” Gottlieb said, “we anticipate that the court will rule once and for all that the right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental individual civil right, and that gun bans, even on specific types of commonly-owned firearms, do not stand up under even modest scrutiny.

“An affirmative ruling, which we anticipate sometime in late June,” he concluded, “will provide a foundation upon which other Draconian firearms laws can be challenged, and more importantly, it will destroy a fantasy that has become a cornerstone argument for restrictive gun control laws. This should put an end to the lie that the Second Amendment only protects some mythical right of the states to organize a militia. That was not true when the amendment was written, it is not true today, and it will not be true tomorrow, regardless how hard extremist gun banners try to make it so.”


Updated: Tuesday, March 18, 2008, 2:12 pm -- C-SPAN is streaming live audio and video of interviews and commentary outside the Supreme Court, taking place now that oral arguments before the Justices has concluded.

Updated: Tuesday, March 18, 2008, 1:54 pm-- SCOTUSblog has initial analysis of the oral arguments thus far.

Updated: Tuesday, March 18, 2008, 11:10 am -- The SCOTUSblog.com LiveBlog is up. Click here to access it. The transcript is supposed to start running at approximately 11:30 am eastern. Just sit back and read. It will refresh itself with each post.


Updated: Tuesday, March 18, 2008, 11:03 am -- There are reports of demonstrations outside the Supreme Court building in Washington DC this morning, pitting gun ban and gun control activists against supporters of the right to self defense. Here is a report from the Associated Press.

This morning, at approximately 10 am eastern, oral arguments will be heard on what is being described as a landmark case before the United States Supreme Court.

At issue: the Constitution of the United States' Second Amendment. The second of the 10 amendments that make up the Bill of Rights. It's intent, it's meaning, its relevance in world far different from the largely agrarian culture during which it was adopted in 1787.

And whether it still protects all the other rights enumerated and guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.

District of Columbia v. Heller pits unfettered gun control against the intent of the Framers, and the needs of modern day citizens who have been disarmed out of political correctness, yet struggle to safely raise their families in one crime-riddled city. Yet the ruling will likely have implications that ripple across the nation.

For coverage, go to: SCOTUSblog.com. There, you will be able to hook into a system and receive a regularly updated online transcript of the hearing this morning, taken from the C-SPAN audio feed, which will start at around 11:30 am, eastern. At least, that's how the system is being advertised. I plan to keep abreast of what is going on that way.

A number of my fellow bloggers, Constitutionalists, scholars and interested parties have been drawn to Washington D.C. this week. Not unlike people who gravitate toward a city where a Super Bowl, or national collegiate football championship, is being held. You may not have tickets to the game, or in this case, may know that standing in the line that started forming two days ago on the steps of the High Court will be fruitless. But you just want to be there, in the same city . . . to witness history. I envy you.

The Court plans to rule in June or July -- just in time to further heat up what is already expected to be a hotly contested presidential race.

Not since Roe v. Wade have we seen such emotion regarding a right. Frankly, even more so, for the Constitution says nothing about abortion. The Court created that right, rightly or wrongly, by melding together various pieces of the Bill of Rights. But the Constitution, in the 2A, is very specific about the right to keep and bear arms. Gun controllers over a period of several decades have bastardized the meaning of language that was commonly used during the 1700s. Scholars and historians have worked hard to shed light on the true meaning, the intent of the Framers, of the 2A from that period.

This case is not about firearms. It is not about love of guns. It is not about "gun nuts," as the media or anti-self defense activists like to paint women who carry for personal protection, young people who safely take part in thousands of shooting competitions across this nation, or the teachers, painters, judges, doctors, lawyers, software developers, journalists, actors, real estate agents, teachers, librarians, plumbers, astronauts, housewives, police officers and others who enjoy firearms for hunting and as acquisitions for their collections. Nor is not about "people of the gun," as one columnist so snarkily wrote last year.

This case, this issue, is about the basic human right of self defense. But more importantly, it is about the Constitution. A right guaranteed . . . affirmed if that is the word you choose, by the Second Amendment, not granted by it. A right that has been nibbled away under false pretenses for decades.

It is about the future of a nation. And whether we live as citizens . . . or not.


Below is a roundup of the latest DC v. Heller news stories, and news releases (including one from a federal agency and another from an anti-gun organization apparently concerned that America isn't paying enough attention to its message).

New York Times (opinion) -- "The Court Considers Gun Control"
Los Angeles Times (opinion) -- "D.C. Gun Law Goes To Supreme Court"
Washington Post -- "An Old Hand At Court Gears Up for Battle"
Washington Post -- "For Young Area Lawyer, The Supreme Compliment"
Washington Post -- "Tickets Prized Just as Much As the NCAA Tournament's"
Washington Post -- "Among the Scattershot Arguments in the D.C. Gun Ban Case, Which Ones Will Hit the Mark?"
Law.com -- "Armed for Liberty: The Second Amendment defends the rights of a free people"
Boston Globe -- "Fighting For Our Rights"
The Oklahoman -- "High court's ruling could change rules on gun ownership"
CNN -- "Court decision on gun-control is personal for 2 women
FoxNews -- "Gun Control Advocates, Opponents Prepare for Supreme Court Argument"
CBSNews -- "High Noon For The 2nd Amendment?"
Christian Science Monitor -- "Tyranny of a 'reasonable' gun ban: Rights, not legal fiction, should sway DC v. Heller."
Christian Science Monitor -- "Historic case may decide U.S. gun rights"
Times of London -- "US Supreme Court to hear landmark gun control case"
Wall Street Journal -- "Gun Rights Showdown"
ABC7, (Washington DC) -- "Constitution, Not Love of Guns, Drives D.C. Gun Ban Case"
Bloomberg.com -- "U.S. Court Takes Up Gun Rights After 217 Years of Saying Little"
Argus Leader (South Dakota) -- "Gun dealers wary of Supreme Court case"
New York Newsday -- "Lawyer in D.C. Gun Case Doesn't Own One"
Star-Telegram (Ft. Worth, Texas) -- "The D.C. gun ban must go"
Star-Telegram (Ft. Worth, Texas) -- "Texans have a stake in gun case"
USA Today -- "Do you have a legal right to own a gun?"
RTT Global Financial Newswire -- "Groups Say They're Watching D.C. Gun Case ‘Closely' "
BREITBART.com (via Associated Press) -- "Individual's Right to Bear Arms at Issue"
Associated Press (video news story) -- "SCOTUS debates Washington ban on handguns"
Washington Times -- "Nation awaits D.C. handgun ruling"
Washington Times -- "City ponders 'Plan B' if justices void gun ban"
The Foundry (Heritage Foundation) -- "Morning Bell: The Right To Self Defense"
OSHA (yes, that OSHA) -- "DC Steps Up Campaign Against Gun Violence "
Hawaii Reporter -- "Do Anti-Gun Laws Protect Us or Threaten Us?"
Violence Policy Center -- "Supreme Court Prepares to Hear DC Gun Case as National Support for Banning Handguns Hits 59 Percent: District's Law Necessary to Protect DC Residents, First Responders, Violence Policy Center Warns"
Slate.com -- "Just When You Thought You'd Had Your Fill of Commentary on the Gun Case . . . "