31 May 2008

Mayor Daley Says Guns Are Root of Chicago Problems

It appears that the problem is rogue cops who have been "created" as a result of Mayor Daley's attempt at a Utopia of sorts . . .

Only Daley's zeal to "get the guns" didn't do anything to get criminals. But it did turn several police officers into criminals.

"Creative writing was a certain term that bosses used to make sure that the job got done," Herrera, referring to fabrications on police reports, said in a program to be aired on Sunday."

Feel like you've accomplished something Mr. Mayor?

Details are here, courtesy of Reuters news service.

Elitist Media and Ohio Castle Doctrine

Well, we are still awaiting Gov. Ted Strickland's signature on landmark legislation -- Castle Doctrine that protects the rights of law abiding citizens who defend themselves against deadly attack, and a plethora of fixes to our problem-plagued CCW law.

But would Ohio's major newspapers tell their readers such? Let's take a look.

Columbus Dispatch -- the most recent story the capital city's newspaper has printed on this subject was coverage of the Ohio House of Representatives passage of SB 184. No mention of the Ohio Senate coming back to concur on every point of the changes to the bill, and its movement to Strickland for signature. Interesting . . .

Dayton Daily News -- In an editorial appearing in the Sunday edition, the DDN editors continue to beat the drum that law enforcement doesn't want this. I would suggest that a handful of big city chiefs of police don't like it (they've almost always objected to private citizen self defense), along with salaried executive directors of lobbying organizations. Amazingly, there is a mention that Strickland is expected to sign the bill.

(Cleveland) Plain Dealer -- same coverage approach as the Dispatch story.

Cincinnati Enquirer -- no coverage in recent weeks; nothing on the paper's website

Akron Beacon-Journal -- coverage focused on the power of "the gun lobby," and how Strickland doesn't have a sense of balance between safety and the NRA's influence, as compared to former Gov. Bob Taft, the disgraced politician who left office after pleading guilty to numerous ethics violations. Of course, the Beacon's story appeared all the way back on 22 May. Not a word that Ohioans are safer now that 184 is headed for a gubernatorial signature.

Canton Repository -- no coverage in recent weeks; nothing on the paper's website.

(Youngstown) Vindicator -- no coverage on the paper's website.

The Blade (Toledo) -- so far, the only print news coverage from a big city Ohio newspaper talking about the bill being readied for signature; overall, not a bad piece.

So there you have it . . . selective coverage of common sense citizen safety legislation. But little coverage of the final disposition of the bill because the newspapers, a police benefits bargaining union, a disgraced chiefs of police group, county prosecutors who don't want to do their jobs, and others think they are better than Ohio's honest taxpayers.

News outlets are supposed to report the news. Without regard for their own opinion. And major news has occurred; an important bill is about to be signed that positively affects Ohioans' safety. And the coverage is minimal, or negative.

So, are there still questions about elitism and people who support gun control?

Why It Has Become Elitist To Support Firearms Restrictions

Hell yes! We have been saying this for years. I could make jokes about brie-eating, wine sipping anti-gun elitists -- but I like brie and am a wine aficionado. Bottom line -- generalizations don't work.

But guess what? The major alternative newspaper in Columbus, The Other Paper, just published a piece on this very subject, entitled "Gun Shy."

It is a pretty decent look at the state of self defense and firearms rights in Ohio, and the elitist forces that think its okay to strip somone else of their rights -- all because the do-gooders don't like something that is legal, and because the basic human right of self defense has a place in society.

"It’s been a tough couple of years for Toby Hoover. More than three decades ago, her first husband was murdered during a hardware store robbery, and since then, she’s fought to spread the message that putting more guns into more hands would make Ohio a violent and scary place to live. You might think that Hoover, as a victim, would be someone a politician could safely rally behind. But as NRA-backed legislation that would loosen Ohio’s gun laws moved through the Statehouse this week, Hoover’s phone has stayed pretty quiet.

“They’re not asking my opinion—they’d rather skirt the issue during election season,” said Hoover, a Toledo native and director of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence. Hoover has spent the better part of the last 30 years fighting laws that make it easier for people to carry guns in Ohio—including the state’s concealed-carry law, which was signed in 2004. Since then, her coalition has unsuccessfully pushed for measures that would require background checks for all who purchase weapons at private gun shows, as well as efforts to child-proof guns, keep them out of juveniles’ hands and allow local governments to pass gun violence prevention laws."

No one believes her any more. Her shrill warnings of blood soaked streets and children finding guns on park benches and under their beds never rang true. What's more -- none of it materialized.

I first saw Ms. Hoover in action during a televised debate on public television in Columbus. WOSU-TV's Viewpoint program pitted her and Ellen Wickham, an occasional contributor to The Ready Line and, at the time, women's issues chair for Peoples Rights Organization (PRO). Ellen essentially had this woman for lunch. Ms. Hoover, when confronted with a question she could not -- or did not want -- to answer, would say "well, I don't have statistics on that, but let me say this . . . " and would attempt to re-direct the conversation. Ms. Wickham explained quite eloquently how no one had the right to take away her rights. It was no contest.

Most recently, during testimony before the Ohio Senate Criminal Justice Committee, Ms. Hoover was asked point-blank about her fanatical warnings in previous years, and how none of her predictions of spikes in shootings, and children dying from guns lying around have come true. From her facial expression and lack of immediate response, it was clear she was stunned. Someone who typically well prepared, and frankly, has often been a worthy opponent (though I disagreed with both her message and her methods to deliver it), she had nothing to say.

"(Ohio Gov. Ted) Strickland may have had his finger on the pulse of the common man back in 1994. During his first term in Congress, Strickland voted against President Clinton’s Brady Bill and assault weapons ban while most of his Democratic colleagues in the Congress supported it. That November, Republicans swept out the congressional Democrats—including Strickland himself, who won his seat back two years later. Although Hoover and other anti-gun activists say that only a small fraction of voters pick a candidate based on their Second Amendment
views, Strickland blames his party’s stance on gun control for the loss.

“From my perspective, there is a growing recognition of the validity and the importance of Second Amendment rights than existed 10 years ago,” Strickland said. Party leadership has recognized that pushing the gun control agenda resulted in the ’94 loss of Congress—and not regaining it until a dozen years later. As a result, Strickland said, “Nationally there is a greater tolerance for rights of gun owners within the party.”

That's true. Though the leadership among democrats nationally through their many anti self defense measures obviously opposes the rights of a woman to defend her children using a firearm, many rank and file democrat lawmakers at the state level have come around.

"Ohio firearms supporters have recently shared Clinton’s characterization of the anti-gun crowd. “It’s very elitist to tell people what rights you think we should have,” said Jim Irvine, the group’s (Buckeye Firearms Association) director. Most politicians and urban dwellers have never handled a gun and therefore have an unnecessary fear of firearms.“Mayor Coleman doesn’t know which end of a gun the bullet comes out of,” Irvine said. But firearms could go a long way to protect law-abiding residents from crime.

“Criminals are lazy. They go after the easy targets,” he said. There may not be a deer at Broad and High, but there could just as easily be “a 300-pound 6-foot-tall animal of a person waiting to attack.” The Fraternal Order of Police takes issue with the “elitist” characterization."

I'll bet they do. But with apologies to my many friends who wear the uniform, to my many, many readers who wear a badge, the Fraternal Order of Police needs to remember it is a "salary and benefits bargaining union." It has no right to tell me, or others, what rights I have or can exercise.

Further, at the risk of offending those who wear a uniform, and those who don't but think that police officers walk on water, let me quote a statement I have hard repeated from numerous attorneys: The argument that police deserve special treatment or protection is ludicrous. No one receives a draft card to join the police. No one. It is voluntary. There are dangers that go with the job, and officers know this when they sign up. To strip hard working, law abiding people of their rights because a salary and benefits bargaining union thinks civilian law enforcement is somehow better than civilians, and because they can, stinks. Period.

"In 2005, Columbus City Council passed a citywide assault weapons ban that made it a first degree misdemeanor to buy or sell semiautomatic rifles in the city. The move was praised by the FOP, but the NRA opposed the measure, eventually yanking the 2007 NRA convention from Columbus and moving it to St. Louis."

Yes and no. Council did pass the ban on competition rifles -- calling them tools for killing-- at the same time it was preparing legislation to authorize the purchase of the same items (calling them "patrol rifles") for use in police cruisers. That contradiction aside, to say the move was praised by the FOP is a half-truth. The record shows that then-Capital City Lodge FOP President Leif Bickel, a Franklin County deputy sheriff, did testify on behalf of the ordinance. But it was not supported by the FOP lodge membership. Numerous members of the lodge have told me that no poll was ever taken. No vote was ever taken. And they let Bickel know they were pissed.

Bickel inherited an quiet agreement made between his predecessor and the City of Columbus ahead of the ordinance's introduction. Worse, knowing that the membership had not been queried on this critically important matter, he carried the water for Council members who desperately needed law enforcement support of the questionable ordinance to help convince a skeptical public of the need for buy in.

Not long after the ordinance was introduced and later passed, Deputy Bickel was practically pinned to the wall by his rank and file members (law enforcement officers from Columbus and various Central Ohio departments) during a closed door meeting with FOP Lodge leadership. At issue? The fact that many members owned these same competition rifles for sports use, competition, and as collectors items. They were now going to have to move their firearms out of the county, or take part in the patently unconstitutional registration of their guns. To not comply would have put them in violation of the law. If they were in violation and were found out, they would have lost their jobs -- but worse, they would have lost their 2A rights forever.

Then karma stepped in. Some months later, Bickel lost his re-election bid as president of the lodge. He served as president just the one year. Last year, a statewide general law was passed that puts all firearms regulation anywhere in the State of Ohio under the auspices of the Ohio General Assembly. More succinctly, only state lawmakers can pass gun control. Or loosen existing laws. All local restrictions were, essentially, wiped from the books. While they still exist in local ordinance form, they are not being enforced.

The bottom line? It has become painfully clear for several years now that elitist individuals and organization who believe they are "better" than other people have been pushing for gun control.

Thankfully, fewer and fewer people believe their arguments any more. And people are listening.

30 May 2008

SAF Blasts Bradys, CREDO For Targeting Judicial Nominees Who Support The Constitution

The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) yesterday issued a blistering news release accusing the Brady Campaign (formerly Handgun Control Inc.) for linking with an organization called CREDO to block confirmation of federal judicial nominees who accept the Second Amendment as protective of a fundamental individual civil right.

“If there were ever any question that the zealots at the Brady Campaign are determined to crush individual freedom and liberty in this nation,” said SAF founder Alan Gottlieb, “this new fund raising effort should put that question to rest. This is yet another outrageous example of the extreme ends to which they will go in order to stack our federal courts with far left activist judges whom they hope will trample the rights of law-abiding citizens.

"In its fund raising appeal, CREDO Mobile – which financially supports various Far Left causes including the Brady Campaign – bemoans the likelihood that a Supreme Court ruling, due next month in the Heller case, will affirm that the Second Amendment protects an individual civil right to keep and bear arms. The group also complains that such a ruling will lay the foundation for legal challenges of extremist gun laws now on the books in several states."

The full text of the SAF news release may be found by clicking here.

This is troubling, to say the least. Such litmus tests are usually derided by the political left, unless it fits a cause they support. And it is demonstrative their the empty arguments don't hold sway with a thinking public, or most state or federal lawmakers. Their only hope, a last gasp, is to try to block judicial nominees -- particularly if a far left leaning president moves into the White House in January and anti self defense lawmakers pick up additional seats in Congress.

Very troubling, indeed.

28 May 2008

Castle Doctrine Bill, Am. Sub. S.B. 184, Passes Ohio House of Representatives

In a lop-sided vote, Ohio lawmakers passed Castle Doctrine legislation and numerous CCW fixes. All I can say is it's about time!

Here is the best part. The statement from Gov. Ted Strickland, a pro-self defense democrat:

"I am proud to support this important legislation that protects gun owners throughout the state of Ohio. I look forward to signing these common sense
protections into law."

Now THAT is a man -- a politician -- who gets it. It is about the "people's safety." Not always looking out only for police officers' safety at the expense of taxpayers. What's more -- no one rose to speak against this bill when it was debated on the House floor. Not one person. They knew that common sense and fair play finally were going to succeed when it comes to people's rights.

Strickland is right. These ARE common sense protections. The loudest, and silliest, objections came from the association representing prosecuting attorneys. They objected to people being classified as innocent until proven guilty. They like it the way it has been with self defense (until today) -- guilty until you prove you had the right to defend yourself with lethal force.

The House of Representatives' vote was 73-23 vote in favor of the bill. The measure passed the Ohio Senate in April with a 31-0 vote. Since it was amended by the House, it will be returned to the Ohio Senate for concurrence before the entire Ohio General Assembly takes its summer recess.

It is not just a Castle Doctrine bill, either. It includes a number of fixes to Ohio's problematic CCW law.

The full story from my good friends at Buckeye Firearms Association.

Cleveland Ax Murderer Apologizes

Judges are trying to determine his punishment for robbing and killing a couple in their home -- using an ax.

I'd say ban the assault axes, but perhaps such an ax needs one more use. The death penalty is on the table for this guy. Any thoughts on whether he should get the needle?

Or the ax?

Law Prof Named Temporary Ohio AG

Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland has tapped the dean of the The Ohio State University law school to serve temporarily as attorney general after a sexual harassment scandal forced out the previous attorney general. Strickland, a democrat, says Nancy Rogers will lead the office for about six months but has no plans to run in the November election.

Sadly the two leading contenders (democrat and republican) for the post, and expected to throw their hats in the ring for the November election are, State Treasurer Richard Cordray, and former U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine.

Cordray, unless he truly has changed his tune, was an anti-gun candidate for a number of offices in years past. When he decided to run for state treasurer, he suddenly was a hunter's best friend, talking of his youth on the farm and his love of firearms. That is a far cry from comments he made when he screened to run for the Ohio General Assembly, and told various groups that he thought there was no need for anyone to own competition rifles (you know, the "scary" black rifles?).

DeWine, on the other hand, is a republican the Brady Campaign dreams about. His continued support of various gun control measures is of great concern. Of course, it is the worst kept secret that he would use the state treasurer's post as a springboard for running for governor. DeWine and former republican Gov. Bob Taft, who left office in disgrace after being convicted of ethics violations, were expected to run for each other's posts a few years ago. But Taft was so weakened politically he had no support for a Senate run, and DeWine was more or less told to run for re-election one last time for his Senate post.

DeWine was soundly defeated by Sherrod Brown, largely because DeWine lost the support of women who want to legally defend themselves and other firearms owners who realized he was the wrong person in office. Brown is no friend to firearms ownership, but at least we know where he stands. DeWine was all over the place.

Ms. Rogers actually might be someone we would want in theOhio attorney general's post, rather than -- GASP! -- professional politicians.

Saturday = Meldown Or Mind-Meld

"Those people who believe all problems have solutions may be unfamiliar with the inner workings of the Democratic Party. On Saturday, the party’s Rules and Bylaws Committee will try to solve a big problem, in order to avoid a huge problem in order to prevent a train wreck. The big problem is what to do about Michigan and Florida, two states stripped last year of their delegates to the Democratic National Convention because both broke party rules and moved their primaries up too early in the election year."

Train wreck is an understatement. The question is whether the DNC will follow the rules it set a few years ago, the rules that were broken by democrat party activists in Michigan and Florida.

And if it breaks its own rules, what does it say about this party?

Why does any of this matter? Because Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have egos the size of Mt. Rushmore, and each needs the DNC to rule a particular way (different for each, of course) in order to grab the dem nomination for president.

I Thought It Was Guns That Led To Risky Behavior

"Health researchers have identified a surprising new predictor for risky behavior among teenagers and young adults: the energy drink."

Wow! And all this time people have been saying that guns lead to risky behavior.

"In March, The Journal of American College Health published a report on the link between energy drinks, athletics and risky behavior. The study's author, Kathleen Miller, an addiction researcher at the University of Buffalo, says it suggests that high consumption of energy drinks is associated with "toxic jock" behavior, a constellation of risky and aggressive behaviors including unprotected sex, substance abuse and violence."

Who knew? So does this mean we should ban the assault energy drinks, before risky behavior turns to . . . deadly behavior?

For the children (toward whom energy drinks are clearly targeted, though the beverage industry says otherwise)?

Gun Controllers Say Suicides Will Drop If Only Guns Went Away; Apparently Japan Is Never Studied

They have gun control in Japan, right? And virtually no private ownership of firearms, right?

Sooooo . . . why then is the suicide rate continuing to grow in this asian nation?

"A new government report says the number of Japanese who committed or attempted suicide due to overwork and stress has doubled in the past five years."

Could it be that this island nation defies some natural law that the Bradys, VPC and others content exists in the universe?

Or could it be there is NO link between firearms and suicide, never has been, and that the argument is just a red herring to convince the uninformed to nod their heads in unison and say, "makes sense to me, I guess."

The things that make you go Hmmmm . . .

I guess we need to ban Killer Overtime. Yes, ban the assault overtime that is driving the Japanese people to take their own lives.

Texas College Taking Heat For Denying Students' Right To Empty Holster Protest

A Texas college in April prevented students there from holding an "Empty Holster Protest." They now have a problem on their hands.

The legacy media is weighing in with significant coverage of the unconstitutional ban on students' speech rights.

Among the media outlets covering the complaints leveled against Tarrant County College: the Associated Press and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Amazingly, TCC Vice President for Student Development Juan Garcia in one story offered the college's unbelievably weak explanation for denying its students their constitutional right to free expression: "We're protecting the learning environment," Garcia said. "From a distance, you can't tell if a holster is empty or not."

Robert L. Shibley, vice president for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, said wearing empty holsters is similar to students donning black arm bands to protest the Vietnam War, a right that the Supreme Court upheld in 1969.

"It's important because it's a matter of symbolic speech," Shibley said.

Nicely said.

27 May 2008

Castle Doctrine, CCW Fix Bill Set For Ohio House Vote

Updated: Wednesday, May 28, 2008, 12:03 am -- The Columbus Dispatch has a recap on the measure, supported by Gov. Ted Strickland, which moved out of an Ohio House committee on Tuesday and now comes before the full Ohio House of Representatives for a vote.

Also, read the statement from Ohioans for Concealed Carry on the measure.

The Ohio House of Representatives is expected to vote tomorrow (Wednesday, May 28) on Amended Substitute Senate Bill 184, Castle Doctrine legislation that has had numerous "fixes" for Ohio's trouble concealed carry (CCW) law added to the mix.

The bill passed out of the Ohio House Criminal Justice Committee earlier today. It is supposed to go to the floor of the Ohio House tomorrow for a final vote, then a concurrence vote with the Ohio Senate shortly thereafter. The Ohio Senate passed the bill in April.

Go to the Buckeye Firearms Association website for more detail. Appointments today kept me away from the House committee hearing, and I have a staff meeting that is conflicting with tomorrow's floor vote.

While I would have liked to see more in this bill, and am not pleased that "No Duty To Retreat" provisions were stripped out of the final legislation, this is a decent piece of legislation that fixes many problems in Ohio CCW, AND codifies the ideal that "your home is your castle."

Morever, the umbrella group representing the county prosecutors are spitting mad at this legislation because . . . well, because they will have to work to get a conviction. Specifically, this bill, if passed into law, will require them to assume crime victims are innocent until proven guilty. They argued to keep in place an unfair system where crime victims must prove their innocence after they successfully stop a violent attack with deadly force. In the past, victims have been presumed guilty until they proved themselves innocent.

Um . . . Isn't that the way the system is supposed to work?

Call your representative in the Ohio House of Representatives ASAP and urge them to vote for SB 184!

Ammo Prices On The Rise

Reuters editors pen a neutral business story on the rising cost of ammunition.

Not bad.

Though I do disagree with the word "hoard" being used to describe those who stockpile ammunition. Hoarding implies that someone is keeping something from someone else, or took it by some ill-gotten means in order to prevent others from getting "their share." In fact, everyone has the same opportunity to buy ammunition.

That some people buy a little more for a rainy day? . . . well, everyone has that same opportunity.


From the United Kingdom:

"Every adult should be forced to use a 'carbon ration card' when they pay for petrol, airline tickets or household energy, MPs say. The influential Environmental Audit Committee says a personal carbon trading scheme is the best and fairest way of cutting Britain's CO2 emissions without penalising the poor. Under the scheme, everyone would be given an annual carbon allowance to use when buying oil, gas, electricity and flights."

Huh? Not since the years shortly after WW2 have Britons been forced to carry ration cards.

But how would this system work? How would "carbon" be "allocated?" Based on what standards? A person'a physical size? Or just our existence on the planet? Will the fact that some people contribute to society and earn a living play a part? Or will everyone -- hard-charging entrepreneur and lay-about welfare recipient be given the same carbon credits? Will the lay-about be permitted to sell their excess credits to the highest bidder?

What's next? If anyone suggests cards to ration ammunition, I'm am taking my ball and heading out of town. Not a game I want to play.

If Bill Clinton Armed America, Philly Mayor Nutter Is Working Hard To Play 'Catch-Up'

Updated: Wednesday, May 28, 2008, 8:05 am -- Pennsylvania resident Sebastian asks an eye-opening question regarding the Phildelphia proposals to boost gun control laws. His query: Based on the evidence, isn't the real problem a broken criminal justice system?

. . . . Mayor Nutter of Philadelphia is singlehandedly (and unintentionally, I think) doing his part to arm the City of Brotherly Love.

From the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Leaning up against the counter in his second-floor gun shop in South Philadelphia, Gregory J. Isabella just sighed. On Tuesday, his business, Firing Line Inc., and the business of a competitor, Colosimo's Inc. in Center City, found themselves in the crosshairs of Mayor Nutter, who referred to them as "gun traffickers."

"These gun traffickers are not going to stop us from keeping the citizens of Philadelphia safe," Nutter said. What else is new? Isabella's been in the gun business nearly a quarter of a century, and it's always the same. Politicians are constantly squawking about guns. Lots of squawk, not a lot of real action.

"You look at all these politicos and all these bureaucrats," Isabella said. "They are hypocrites. They want to do something about crime. They know the issue, and they don't do anything."

Hmmm . . . lawful businesses being described as "traffickers" because the mayor doesn't like their product? Sad, very sad. It doesn't speak highly of Mayor Nutter, either. I'm not surprised that the firearms shop owner notes that city officials from the mayor on down know where the real problem lies, but do nothing about it. We have that same problem here in Columbus. A lot of talk about guns being the problem, and the only action coming being targeted multi-jurisdictional efforts aimed at going after "guns and drugs."

How come they don't go after CRIMINALS?

Of course, here's the best part of the Philadelphia story (and not unexpected among thinking peoples):

"Isabella's not too worried. Business is actually up since Nutter started his campaign. "When all this nonsense started with Nutter, people got up and shook off their guns and started to shoot" at the Firing Line's indoor range. "We've actually gotten busier both in sales and range use," Isabella said. Housed on the second floor of a nondescript warehouse on Front Street, the Firing Line is a company outgrowing its quarters."

Of course, Pennsylvania is in the crosshairs of the anti self defense cabal, as are many other states. The Joyce Foundation has just awarded a $350,000 grant to CeaseFire PA, the state's largest gun control group. The grant is to help C-PA strengthen its advocacy efforts statewide. Purportedly to help stem so-called "gun violence," in reality the organization works not to fight crime, but to instill draconian gun control laws that affect only law abiding sport shooters, hunters, and women and men who want to protect their children and families.

Developing . . .

As Martha Stewart Would Say, 'It's A Good Thing'

There is word of a major shakeup going on at BATF. Martha Stewart would probably have a comnment about that (of course, I don't know how she feels about self defense and firearms).

Dave Hardy At Arms & The Law has some detail. What is most interesting is that the early reports say higher ups are being investigated for incompetence and allegations of abuse and/or fraud. The legacy media has ignored these problems for years. The question is if such a shakeup is occurring will the major networks and newspapers see fit to cover it now?

More will be coming, I'm sure.

h/t to Snowflakes in Hell

Did Red's Give Up Their 1A Right To Protect Their 2A Rights?

"Stepping even further into baseless speculation one could say it's a sad day when you have to give up your 1st Amendment rights to exercise your 2nd Amendment rights."

Apprently there is a settlement between the BATF and Red's Trading Post in Idaho. But if this family-owned business was forced to shut down its blog as part of the settlement, that's just wrong.

Details and speculation at The View From North Central Idaho.

A Visit To A Manhattan Shooting Club

Vice? Subculture?


Once I got past my initial objections of the description of this video, and took a look, I was impressed with the report.

Everything from women wanting a different kind of "girls night out" and a guy not wanting the usual night out to dinner.

From SlateV.com.

Troop Ammo Debate Being Revealed

"Strange as it sounds, nearly seven years into the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, bullets are a controversial subject for the U.S. The smaller, steel-penetrating M855 rounds continue to be a weak spot in the American arsenal. They are not lethal enough to bring down an enemy decisively, and that puts troops at risk, according to Associated Press interviews."

I need to read up on this more. But as I understand it, the Geneva Convention required signatory nations to use ammunition that didn't necessary kill, but would wound. For to wound an enemy combatant was to tie up far more additional resources of an enemy military.

But with today's insurgent/terrorist approach, with hit and run tactics in urban settings, I have no idea whether the enemy even cares about its snipers or bomb maker's lives. For all I know, they leave them behind to die. Then, stopping power does become an issue.

Interesting, and disturbing, reading.

26 May 2008

Paying Respects At Arlington's 'Section 60'

I have never visited Arlington Cemetary outside Washington D.C. Not yet.

From my education, I know it is the most sacred ground in the United States when it comes to burying our war dead, and honored veterans. From my real estate knowledge, I know it is the site of our nation's first-ever eminent domain proceeding (it was the farm of Robert E. Lee, which was seized without compensation by the federal government and used as a burial ground for Union soldiers, and to send a message). From any measure, though there are other national cemeteries, Arlington is the focal point of all.

I was to visit our nation's capitol next month as a chaperone with a school group. Unfortunately, due to a number of circumstances, my trip to DC will have to wait until another time.

On this Memorial Day, today, it is important to remember the blood that has been spilled to forge this nation, to keep our citizens free, and to free other peoples around the world from the yoke of oppression and tyranny. To help those who cannot help themselves . . .

I found this story, regarding Section 60 at Arlington National Cemetery. There, many of America's most recent war dead are forever laid to rest.

"It's a hard place to be -- very emotional," said Jerry Fowler of Los Altos, Calif., while visiting the grave of her nephew, Army Sgt. Dale Brehm. He died in Iraq two years ago. "All these people who lost their lives," Fowler said, "and we just walk by like it's nothing. They meant something.

"When you walk down these rows," she added, "you learn to respect every single person in this row, not just the person you came to see -- every one."

I couldn't have said it better myself. That was the feeling I had while I flagged veterans' graves Saturday at Greenlawn Cemetery here in Columbus. We had a job to do, an honor to bestow . . . the duty to make sure that no one was forgotten this weekend. You had to move fast to cover a lot of ground. And yet, I was compelled (as should be) to stop and read each of the stones. And ponder that young man or young women's life. Their age. What they might have been feeling when they were 23.

I was asked Saturday what I was doing when I was 23. My reply, "I was being stupid." Not overall, mind you, but in comparison to what many of these kids faced -- and face today -- in harm's way, in defense of our way of life. I thought back to my own father, patching up broken soldiers' bodies on jungle islands in the Pacific during World War 2. At that age, he was dodging bullets. At that age, I was chasing the next thrill.

"I wish that everyone in their lifetime could come here at least once," said David Christoff of Rossford, Ohio, as he stood where his son is buried."

I know Rossford. It is a beautiful little town near Toledo, and I have a cousin who has a home there. Mr. Christoff's statement about wishing everyone in their lifetime could come to Arlington at least once resonates with me.

There are many reasons to visit Washington D.C. The architecture, government history, the museums, love of politics, etc.

At the top of my list will always be Arlington National Cemetery.

One day, soon, I will get there.

Presidential Campaigning

Interestingly, some are saying that democrats are facing "buyers remorse." More and more rank and file dems are rejecting the "inevitable" nominee (that would be Mr. Obama, for those who have been sick or in Europe).

Meanwhile, Mrs. Clinton is campaigning today in Puerto Rico, where she is expected to win the island territory's Tuesday primary. Former President Jimmy Carter, openly critical of the New York senator's reluctance to leave the campaign, predicts that superdelegates will soon make their choices known and Mrs. Clinton will have no choice but to withdraw.

Still up in the air: delgates in Michigan and Florida.

And Mr. McCain's campaign is ruffling some feathers within the republican ranks, as well. While not the choice of conservatives, his supporters are sensing some "disorder" in the campaign organization -- which is worrying both his diehard backers and arms-length promoters.

25 May 2008

Bloomberg Not Permitted To Testify In Gun Case

"New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg won't be able to say his piece about the gun menace on the city's streets at the upcoming trial of a Georgia gun dealer, a judge ruled Thursday. "I'm not going to permit the case to turn into a media show for either side," said Brooklyn federal judge Jack Weinstein. "I see no reason to have the mayor here."

"Bloomberg had hoped to take the stand next month against Jay Wallace, owner of Adventure Outdoors, which allegedly illegally sold guns later used by thugs in New York."

Too bad. I would have liked to have seen the good mayor -- great with sound bytes but shallow when it comes to facts -- under cross examination. I think he would have crumbled like a cheap Chinatown fortune cookie.

What is interesting is that the judge knows Bloomberg wants a show trial, and a forum for an argument that no one believes anymore. At least the judge's ruling falls on the side of decorum, intead of activist politics.

Is Exercise of A Right 'Wrong' If It Makes Other People 'Uncomfortable?'

That seems to be the case with some people in Pennsylvania. Armed and Safe looks at this conflict.

Australia: Did You Know?

Did you know that Western Australia has more guns now than before than Port Arthur "massacre." Gun Control Australia is shocked . . . SHOCKED!!!! The gun control group is calling for new laws that prohibit gun ownership for anyone under the age of 25.

Right . . . Aussies can enlist and possibly die for a nation, but not legally own a gun once they return to their home soil. Ridiculous.

Details at Perth Now.

Memorial Flag Mission Accomplished

Yesterday morning, with the temperature hovering a little over 40 degrees, volunteers from two Boy Scout Troops (123 from Worthington, and 261 from Marble Cliff), scout parents, a few volunteers from Peoples Rights Organization, and veteran members of Ohio American Legion Post 1 (Southway) gathered yesterday morning at Greenlawn Cemetery in Columbus, Ohio to flag the graves of veterans buried on more than 300 acres.

This has been something I have been helping with for more than five years. Not long enough in my estimation, but it is important to me with my dad, uncles, a couple cousins all being veterans, and with three nephews who currently serve in the Army.

There are more than 170,000 people buried in Greenlawn cemetary, some notable, some that no one remembers. I have no idea how many are veterans. But armed with 4,500 flags, we fanned out across the grounds on a pictureque day. There were other groups out yesterday morning flagging graves as well.

Led by Dave Stockham, past commander of Ohio American Legion Post 1, everyone was given their orders. First, we worked the areas where a number of World War 2 and World War 1 veterans are buried. Then moved back toward the front of the cemetery and honored veterans from earlier conflicts -- the Civil War, the Spanish American War to name a few. More than 30 uniformed Scouts fanned out in every direction, most often teamed up.

Among those in attendance (people whom I know) were Jeremy Herman, a new Eagle Scout, and his mother, Sherry. TRL contributor Jude Cuddy and his son, Andrew, worked together to honor veterans with a simple flag. Jude and I commented more than once during the five or so hours we were all at Greenlawn that not enough people take the time to stop and read the military grave markers. To actually look at the dates and think about the person buried there.

Like the the marker of a young man, a Lt. Col., who flew Army Air Corp. bombers and died in 1945. When you read the dates you realize he was 23 years old when he died. He likely was shot down, or suffered other injuries resulting from combat. Or the World War 2 veteran who lived to be some 70+ years old. When you look at his birthdate, however, you realize he either enlisted or was drafted at age 45 to fight in World War 2. And you can't help but wonder how many people would be willing to serve at that age today.
There was the grave of Lewis Carter, who served in the Spanish American War as an "artificer." I had to look that up in the dictionary this morning. It is a very old term that means "craftsman." I am still trying to put my arms around how the most important thing a man was known for during this war between the United States and Spain was being one who can craft things well. If anyone can enlighten me on this word and its military significance, please drop me a line.

While at Greenlawn yesterday, an african-american gentleman approached me and asked if I was affiliated with the Scouts. I replied that "no, I am just volunteering" but was working with group. We began talking and I learned that he had served in Europe in the Air Corps (later to be known as the U.S. Air Force) toward the end of World War 2. He was stationed in Germany through the trials of Nazi leaders, many of whom were put to death for "crimes against humanity." He stayed in the Air Force, noting that for a while he was stationed in Louisiana -- culture shock for a young man born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. The Deep South was not hospitable to black soldiers during that time. Ultimately, he was attached to the Tuskegee Airmen group, and was assigned to Lockbourne (later known as Rickenbacker) Air Force Base near Columbus.

I hated to cut our visit short because of what all we had left to do, but shook his hand, thanked him for his service and handed him a flag.

After we wrapped up around 2 pm, my daughter and I went off in search of a grave that Dave Stockham, Jude Cuddy, Ron Herman and I had found several years ago. I had wanted to make sure the soldier buried there was not forgotten. Walking the area earlier, I couldn't find it. We searched for more than 30 minutes but to no avail. So we started moving back toward the cars, working section by section to make sure no veterans' graves had been missed. We drove back that direction before heading out for one more try. My daughter remembered a particular landmark. We spotted the simple marker some 75 feet away.
In the Civil War veterans section, near the Soldiers & Sailors Monument erected in 1890, is a this simple military headstone honoring a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient. Clinton Greeves fought in the so-called "Indian Wars" in the latter half of the 1800s. A "Buffalo Soldier," Sgt. Greaves was of the few black soldiers who went west to prove their worth to the U.S. government. His actions resulted in his being awarded the Medal of Honor. His grave stone is new, having been erected only a few years ago.
In my previous post, I mistakenly noted that this soldier also served in the Civil War. I am mistaken, and confused Sgt. Greaves with another combatant whose nearby monument reads of the various battles in which he participated. Sgt. Greaves was far too young to have served in the War Between the States, but his contributions are notable. But that wasn't always the case, at least not here.

For decades no one knew a Medal of Honor winner was buried at that particular site in the cemetery. In fact, his grave was not marked. Only through the efforts of a privately funded program started more than a decade ago to locate the grave of every veteran buried in Franklin County did anyone know Sgt. Greeves was buried at that location.

I was pleased to see that his grave was marked not only with an American flag, but also with a blue Medal of Honor recipient flag.

On the way home, we stopped at Union Cemetery in north Columbus to make sure a flag had been placed on my father's grave. He was an Army medic in the Pacific Theater, and took care of wounded boys during landings on Leyte Gulf and Okinawa. He lived to be 70 years old, and was one of the many who rarely talked about his wartime experiences.

While I policed the area to pick up sticks and pull some weeds, I noticed my daughter cleaning off another nearby veteran's grave. Now 14, she noticed several years ago that no one tends this one grave and she has taken it upon herself to take care of it. She was busy pulling grass away from the flat military stone, and cleaning off the words so that they can be read.

The next generation does get it . . . if you teach them.

A tiring day, to be sure. But sore feet, legs and back are nothing compared to the sacrifices these men and women gave while in uniform. During the next few days, please take the time to thank a veteran for their service. And if you see someone in uniform, don't be afraid to approach them and thank them, as well. What they do today enables us to sit back, with few cares in the world, and enjoy a holiday barbecue in peace and comfort.

Remember, the Memorial Day holiday is designed to honor them . . .

24 May 2008

Memorial Day Duty

This morning I am headed down to Greenlawn Cemetery here in Columbus to join a number of other people for a very important duty -- flagging the graves of military veterans buried in this picturesque ground.

I have been involved in this duty -- an even better word might be "obligation" -- for several years now, at the invitation of Dave Stockham, who is a past commander of American Legion Ohio Post #1 (Southway Post). Greenlawn is huge. I don't know the count of how many veterans are in this cemetery, but myself, a group of Peoples Rights Organization (PRO) members , Boy Scouts from Simon Kenton Council region Troop 123, and a handful of aging volunteers from Legion Post #1 will push some 4,500 flags into the ground this morning alongside the grave markers of known military veterans.

We will cover only a small portion of this sprawling cemetery. Other groups will hit other areas. Where my dad is buried, in north Columbus in Union Cemetery, Boy Scout Troops and VFW organizations take on the responsibility. Sadly, however, there will be graves all across this nation that will be missed . . . that won't be marked.

So why head out on a cold morning and come home with sore hands each year? This is a way I can pay respect to those who have gone before me in the fight for freedom, and remember the cost of living in a free nation.

Increasingly, the politics out of Washington and around the nation is disturbing, and sometimes I wonder how much longer our children, and children's children will have that freedom. Some of the bills being proposed in the Congress make you shake your head. Lawmakers who have long wanted to socialize our medical field now talk this week are talking about nationalizing our oil companies -- all because these elected representatives don't understand Economics 101, world supply and demand for oil. Watching the leading presidential candidates all argue over who is the better supporter of the Second Amendment would be exciting if I didn't already know that all three are gun control supporters, with two of them backing some of the most draconian bills ever to impact the future of firearms rights and the basic human right of self defense.

It can be depressing at times. But honoring our veterans, and their sacrifice, brings me back.

Reading some of these grave markets is educational, also. Most veterans graves are marked with simple notations of their service time, or where they were from. One monument we discovered a few years ago remembers a veteran of the Civil War, and some three horrendous battles this gentleman survived. Then you read a notation that he was a Buffalo Soldier. A black man who fought for his freedom when many told him it didn't exist because of his skin color, he later moved west and rode the U.S. Plains regions as an Indian fighter. Which creates a new conundrum, as we look at history from today's vantage point.

I have flagged graves of veterans who fought in the Civil War, Spanish-American War, WW1, WW2, Korean Conflict, and Viet Nam War. It is possible there will be graves of the fallen from our more recent conflicts. It is only fitting that we salute them in this manner before Monday's Memorial Day. I wish we could do more.

As I write these words it is 42 degrees on a day in late May. It will be cold these first few hours. But I won't complain. Most of these men and women suffered far more when they were in uniform than I ever have.

Monday is a day of remembrance. It can also be a day of joy, to enjoy our freedoms. For me, Monday afternoon will also be a day of sadness. That afternoon I will attend afternoon calling hours and pay respects to a young man I met only once a few years ago. The son of a friend from deer camp, this young man passed away last week. He had served in Iraq.

Please remember to thank a veteran for their sacrifice. And thank our present day military for what they do each day for all of us. And if you get a chance this weekend, plant a flag on a veteran's grave.

It's the least we can do.

23 May 2008

Gun Control Backers Not Sure Their Ideas Will Be Heard In 2009

Lawmakers who favor gun control are not optimistic about next year even though Democrats may be running Congress and the White House.

An interesting read from The Hill.

Anti-Gunners Unable To Penetrate 'Net

Were you aware that a lot of left-leaning bloggers are paid for what they say?

But when it comes to firearms rights, there is no shortage of passionate people (this author included) who gladly volunteer their time to talk about civil rights, particularly on the firearms issue.

Uncle has some observations on that trend.

Read, learn, observe, discuss, THINK.

Unintended Consequences

Okay, this is not a firearms story, but it shows the unintended consequences of do-gooders pushing for change. Like when the anti self defense folks insist that gun control will reduce crime. So politically minded politicians ban or severaly regulate firearms. And guns are banned, such as Washington DC's handgun ban. Just one problem: crime spikes and murder is rampant.

Get it?

So with that said, I present to you, "Buy a Honda, kill a polar bear."

Read this piece from Sense of Events. You'll understand what I mean about unintended consequences.

Congress Wants Your Fingerprints

This is not a Second Amendment story, but it is a civil liberties piece nonetheless.

Buried in an act recently (and quickly) passed by a United States Senate committee almost without notice is a provision requiring anyone working in the mortgage or real estate industry to provide their fingerprints as part of a national database. It is totally unrelated to national security and is found deep within legislation regarding housing.

John Berlau at OpenMarket has the details.

I have always maintained that only criminals need be fingerprinted. Today, of course, to protect our children we fingerprint teachers and school volunteers; officers of the court (attorneys on up) are fingerprinted; our military are fingerprinted and DNA sampled, so that in the worst case situation, their remains can be identified. What used to be an intrusion into privacy and civil liberties is now considered . . . normal.

Even recently, people don't seem to think it is a big deal. Even Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has declared that fingerprints aren’t “personal data.” I disagree, but the powers that be are pushing this issue "for the children," and for our own good.

Will there ever be a limit to our agreement with continued privacy intrusions . . . for our own good? Is there a tipping point? A bubble?

21 May 2008

Hillary Wants 'Every Vote' Counted; Vows Fight To Convention

Comparing her effort to seat Florida and Michigan delegates to epic American struggles, including those to free the slaves and win the right to vote for blacks and women, Sen. Hillary Clinton has vowed to fight for the dem nomination all the way to her party's national convention.

Interesting. EVERY vote should be counted, she says. Of course, that is as long as it's the "right" vote.

Let's not forget how her party overtly tried -- succeeding in many cases -- to browbeat Florida elections officials into cancel the votes of service men and women stationed overseas. There was a position paper on "how to do it" that surfaced during the Florida counts in the 2000 election.

Yes, every vote should count. As long as it is the right vote.

McCain To Host Possible VP Candidates

The International Herald-Tribune is reporting that presumptive republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain will host three potential GOP vice presidential candidates at his Arizona ranch this weekend. They are:

- Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (and former prez candidate)

- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal

- Florida Gov. Charlie Crist

Jindal, while a political newcomer, is staunchly pro self defense and an outspoken advocate for the Second Amendment.

Romney is generally not a supporter of the rights of firearms owners, though he claims to support the 2A. He has supported bans on competition rifles, among other intrusions on civil rights.

Crist recently signed newly passed common sense legislation allowing CCW holders in Florida to keep loaded guns locked in their cars while they are at work.

At least Mike DeWine's name is no longer being bandied about as a possible VP choice. Talk about reasons for a heart attack! Though some think DeWine could make a suitable attorney general in a McCain White House.

No, No, NO!

Well, Well, Well . . . Apparently Not Everyone Is Equal In Chicago

"Alderman Richard Mell is a former hunter with an arsenal of weapons that reportedly features shotguns, rifles and pistols, including a Walther PPK of James Bond fame. But there's a problem.

"Mell forgot to re-register the weapons as required every year by the ordinance that he helped to pass as one of the City Council's most senior members.
So, what does an alderman do when he finds himself in violation of the law? He writes a new law. Mell has quietly introduced an ordinance that would reopen gun registration in Chicago and create a one-month amnesty for himself and other gun owners in the same predicament."

Hmmm . . . how convenient. If you or I lived in Chicago and were guilty of same, we'd be hung by our toes in Mayor Daley's judicial dungeon, and called every name you can imagine. There would be "no excuse" for "forgetting."

But then Alderman Mell is above it all. And he'll get away with it. Read the entire piece. He tried to "re-register" his firearms but the Chicago cops wouldn't budge. Did anything happen to him?

Over at SaysUncle, the word is that in the Windy City once you forget to register your firearms, you can never register them again. Simply put, Alderman Mell is breaking the law. ProteinWisdom refers to this little Peyton Place story as "The Chicago Way."

The bottom line: no one is doing anything about it.

Oh, did I mention that Mell's son-in-law is Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich?

Still believe that everyone's equal?

Reason No. 724 Why Government Regulation Should Be Kept To A Minimum

Why should government be kept out of healthcare? Why should government be kept out of crime control (which is often code for gun control)?

Here is a big reason. Though not a firearms story, it is yet another example of the inefficiencies of government bureaucracy.

" . . . By firing its actuarial consultant last week, the New York State Legislature shone a light on one of the public sector’s deepest secrets: All across the country, states and local governments are promising benefits to public workers on the basis of numbers that make little economic sense . .

" . . . The numbers are off-base for a variety of reasons. Sometimes there is a glaring conflict of interest, as there was in Albany, where the consultant was being paid by the workers seeking richer benefits. More often, there is subtle pressure on the actuary to come up with projections that make the pension fund look good . . .

"After the Fort Worth pension fund was found to have a crushing $410 million deficit, Mr. Abbott sent his staff to dig through more than a decade’s worth of documents, to find out why. They found that in 1990, an actuary had calculated that the city could put less money into the pension fund and increase workers’ benefits simultaneously — without making a dent in the fund — if he assumed that the fund would earn 10.23 percent a year on its investments. This worked on paper but not in the real world. In reality, Fort Worth actually lost money on its pension investments that year. And the new benefits did, in fact, have a cost.

"But the city forged ahead, armed with an actuarial opinion letter stating that “the numbers are correct.” It generously sweetened public workers’ benefits five times in subsequent years."

So if its not incompetence, it's outright lying (in the business world we call that fraud). . . but then we've NEVER seen that before in firearms regulation, or firearms possession prosecutions . . . .or have we?

h/t to Glenn Reynolds

Joe Lieberman Asks What Happened To His Party; McCain Courting Left-Leaning Bloggers

While mushy on the firearms issue (he is another of those pushing to ban private firearms transactions between law abiding individuals), Joe Lieberman once again is asking what has happened to his political party. Specifically, why it has reduced itself to identity politics and away from ideas.'

A memorable piece in The Wall Street Journal.

GOP presidential hopeful John McCain, who co-sponsored the above-mentioned federal ban (though thankfully their legislation to interruption lawful commerce failed to pass), in the meantime is showing more of his "maverick" stripes this week.

His campaign has begun holding regular conference calls with leftwing bloggers and blogs that focus on single issues such as healthcare and the environment. It should be noted that these calls are in addition to the weekly calls McCain holds with conservative bloggers to keep them informed about his positions.

Tracy Russo, who was John Edwards’ blog outreach coordinator, called McCain’s new strategy to court leftwing bloggers “good thinking on the part of McCain’s campaign.”

Hmmm . . .

Ohio House Criminal Justice Committee Considers Important Castle Doctrine Amendments

The Ohio House of Representatives Criminal Justice Committee met today to consider amendments to the Castle Doctrine legislation (the Senate version is SB 184) being considered. The House is due to recess in about two weeks for its summer break, and has left a lot of business unfinished, including this vitally important citizen safety legislation.

I attended the hearing for about an hour and a half this morning, before leaving for an appointment that helps pay the bills. Nevertheless, it was interesting to hear the lineup of people who, after this legislation has languished for nearly a year, suddenly are taking an interest and who have problems with the bill. Now, while opponents are mixed on the entire idea of Castle Doctrine (criminal and civil immunity for lawfully using potentially deadly force while in your home or car to defend yourself), a series of important amendments put forth by Buckeye Firearms Association met a solid wall of opposition from law enforcement organizations, largely objecting not on any real statistical grounds, but because they are police officers, and we should listen to them . . . because they are police officers.

With me yet?

In the end, the committee only discussed the amendments. They took no action because the amendments were never formally introduced. But they were debated.

First up was Mike Taylor, head of the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police. He had a laundry list of issues. But in every case when he asked, his response was something like this (and I am paraphrasing), "I really don't have any statistics on that." Or, "I don't know." But he knows he doesn't like the amendments, which are actually numerous fixes to Ohio's problem-plagued concealed carry (CCW) law.

Also heard were representatives of the Ohio Chiefs of Police, a scandal-plagued group with little credibility, and the Buckeye State Sheriffs Association, which reportedly also objects to many of the amendments to fix CCW. This is a strange turnabout since BSSA has been a stalwart supporter of CCW reform in Ohio for years. Ohio's 88 sheriffs, which few exceptions, strongly supported CCW when it passed four years ago, after a 10 year battle in the Ohio General Assembly. That this fine organization now is changing its stance is more than a bit troubling.

Among the Ohio FOP objections:

1) Definition of "loaded firearm." Ohio is one of only a handful of states that still defines a "loaded" firearm as being unloaded, but with the ammunition ready-at-hand. Essentially, within reaching distance. Ohio FOP does not want "loaded firearm" language to be reformed to mean exactly that, a gun with ammunition in the firearm itself.

2) Katrina Provision. This would put into the Ohio Revised Code language that makes it illegal for law enforcement to arbitararily confiscate firearms from someone in their home if they are otherwise obeying the law. This occurred in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. More than 20 states, and the federal government, have sinced passed laws banning such arbitrary and illegal actions. Ohio FOP says if children were surrounding an abandoned gun on the street, they would not be permitted to pick it up and secure it because it might belong legally to someone who is law abiding.

More to come . . .

Bloomberg Using McCain Footage To Push For Gun Show Commerce Intrusion

NYC's Mayor Michael Bloomberg's "Mayors Against Gun Violence" is running TV spots in key markets pushing for closure of the so-called (non-existent) gun show "loophole." I don't think any more explanation of this fallacy is necessary.

Nevertheless, among footage included in the spots are vids of GOP hopeful John McCain adding his voice to the call.

This will hurt him with firearms owners in his presidential bid.

Stimulus Checks Arm America

I just wanted to send a big shout out to Nancy Pelosi, Ted Kennedy, Harry Reid and others in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate for pushing the stimulus check program through.

A staffer at a Gander Mountain outdoors store east of Columbus tells me there is a lot of stimulus check money coming in to purchase firearms and ammunition. I mean A LOT.

I know of some people across the nation who refer to the day their check arrives as BAG Day (as in, Buy A Gun).

Congressional democrats -- Arming America. It's nice for a change, don't you think?

Clinton/Obama Split Decision; All Media Eyes on Kennedy

Big news from Oregon and Kentucky last night as Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama split those states. Obama lost big in Kentucky but has gained a majority of pledged delegates, and Clinton -- despite being out of money -- is vowing to stay in the race until the end.

And overshadowing it all is the news that Sen. Ted Kennedy has incurable brain cancer -- and the media is lionizing him as if he were a dying president.

20 May 2008

Anti Gun U. of Idaho President Leaves For More Suitable Digs -- California

Tim White, who has made no friends in Idaho with his anti-gun policy as president of the University of Idaho, is packing his fear-monger bags and headed west to California. I'm sure he'll find the anti-gun, victim-rich climate there far more to his liking.

Laurel, over at Politics, Guns & Beer has a first-hand report on graduation ceremonies at the university recently, and how her hubby, Mike, chose not to shake the now outgoing president's hand upon receiving his diploma.

Quote Of The Day

"The question isn’t should people be “allowed” to own or buy guns. The question is WHO should do the “allowing?" -- a comment posted to a blog in resposne to the question: "gun control or people control?"

h/t to keepandbeararms.com

Kentucky, Oregon Primaries Shaping Dem Race Today

Voters are weighing in today in primaries in Oregon and Kentucky. Interestingly, and not unexpectedly, a top Barack Obama adviser has urged Democrats to unite behind the Illinois senator for the fall campaign and bring the marathon contest for the presidential nomination to a close.

Details from the Associated Press.

Still, as time runs short for democrats to name a candidate for the November election, Hillary Clinton is claiming the lead in the popular vote.

A Different Kind Of Political Outreach 2

Its not just Hamilton County, Ohio (Cincinnati) republicans who are holding CCW classes. Licking County (east Central Ohio) republicans are doing the same.

It's a two-day deal -- the best way to both teach and learn CCW. Personally, I cannot stand the one-day classes. As an NRA instructor, I think it is unfair to ask a student to absorb all that material in a single day (12 hours classroom and range), especially if they are a newbie. But I digress . . .

The two-day class, sponsored by the Licking County Republican Patriot's Club, is set for June 28-29. The first day's class, June 28, will take place above Licking County GOP headquarters in Newark from 8 am to 6:30 pm. The balance of the class will take place at a private outdoor range in nearby Alexandria on June 29.

For information or to sign up, call 614/668-9777.

19 May 2008

Glenn Beck's Cummerbund

Apparently, syndicated talk show host Glenn Beck was wearing a most interesting cummerbund during his presentation at the recently concluded National Rifle Association annual meetings and exhibition in Louisville.

The Ten Ring has a photo and comments. Note his comment about piracy and politicians and raping and looting.

Quote Of The Day

"I suspect those officers aren't as sympathetic when defiant gestures are aimed at them. This sense of entitlement and exceptionalism among law enforcement is a good reason to cut taxes and buy a gun . . . ."

-- Glenn Reynolds, author of Instapundit blog, commenting on "acts of defiance" being practiced by police officers in Montgomery County, Va. Apparently, when police officers there speed through red-lights, they flip their middle finger to the red-light camera. When they receive the automated ticket for their speed transgression, they refuse to pay. Why? On advice of the local police union, officers are telling the county that the ticket is not isued to the person driving, but to the vehicle's owner. Which is the county.

Don't Think Of It As Electing A President; Think Of It As Electing A Supreme Court (Scared Yet?)

From TownHall.com:

"The political “hot button” issues of guns and judges have become intertwined in this election year. The fate of both issues will be decided by the candidate we elect as president. Why? Because over a four-year term, that president will likely appoint at least two and possibly three justices to the United States Supreme Court. Simply stated, this year when we elect a president, we will also cast our ballot for the next Supreme Court."

Truer words were never spoken. This election is about the Supreme Court -- even more so than when George Bush was elected in 2000 over Al Gore and again in 2004 over John Kerry.

At this point in time there is no greater opportunity, and no greater threat, to the firearms rights of every mother and father, grandmother and grandfather, housewife and hunter, than right now.

While the choices of McCain, Obama and Clinton do not inspire, they should serve as further material to do one's research as we head toward the November general election.

"The Second Amendment is the insurance policy on American liberty. And whether you own guns or not, you cannot afford for a single minute to think that it doesn’t matter to you, your family or the security of this country."


911 Dispatcher Fired After Swearing At Caller

Get this, the 911 operator in Nashville, Tenn. also told the female caller he didn't give a s**t about the ex-boyfriend who was threatening her.


Rightly so, he was shown the door. But once again, this is proof positive that you are your own first line of defense. Waiting for others to save the day is a fool's errand. Now, while this is a rare situation, the time needed to wait for officers to arrive may meant he difference between a caller's life and death.

At least the guy was in training and hadn't been there long enough to gain any kind of seniority. Once people are entrenched, even in civil service jobs, the "screw-up, move-up" mentality sets in.

Good riddance that this bad apple was bounced out on his keyster before his apathy got someone killed.

A Florida Reporter 'Understands'

Kudos to Vicki Crawford at the Naples Daily News in southwest Florida. In her blog she has come to the defense of the Second Amendment, and has the following to say:

"And when Mr. Citizen becomes a homicide statistic, as far as I'm concerned, the folks that wanted such gun controls are as guilty of the man's murder as the person who pulled the trigger. When someone takes away a person's right to self-defense then that someone becomes responsible for that person's safety. No ifs, ands, or buts about it."

Nicely written, Ms. Crawford. Florida is an interesting place. The Atlantic Coast of the state is populated by refugees from New England -- New York and Massachusetts mostly -- who have brought with them many of their "nanny state" ideals. The Gulf Coast (where Naples is located), on the other hand, is populated by many Midwest retirees and snowbirds, most of whom (not all, just most) have a more enlightened, more open-minded and rational view of firearms self defense. THEY DO NOT FEAR IT!

But a lot of those folks from the East are finding that this quiet gem to the west is a nice place too. Only they want to change it into what they left behind in New York and Massachusetts, and what they want to leave in the greater Miami-Dade region. So Ms. Crawford sees the future:

"What does a gun mean to me? For one, if things get bad enough it means that I won't go hungry. As long as there are woods, and I have a gun, I have food. It also means that my neighbors won't go hungry. A gun means that I can keep what I have including my life, my property, my freedom, my privacy. It also means that my neighbor can sleep well at night for what endangers me also threatens him or her. It means that I don't have to be a victim of anything. Unfortunately all I'm permitted to be armed with nowadays is pen and paper. I can hurl harsh language and inflict a few nasty paper cuts, but the way things are going in this country, here may be a future where I won't even be able to do that."

Without question, Ms. Crawford "gets it." Great writing. Read her entire post and pass it on. And if you get a moment, let her know what you think of her blog and this post.

h/t to Alphecca

Ban The Assault Tasers

If this is what the world is coming to, we should ban these horrible devices now, especially if even one child could be caught in the crossfire.

Less than lethal is meaningless, especially when city councils around the nation say Tasers devices are important law enforcement tools, but then quietly arm their officers with machine guns, giving them non-frightening names like "patrol rifles" (but then try to ban the semi-auto versions of these same tools -- competition rifles -- saying they have only one purpose, to mutilate human bodies, and other such nonsense).

So, ban the assault tasers now. It's for the children, can't you see that?

McCain Sees 'Right-of-Center' Nation

Updated: Monday, May 19, 2008, 3:24 pm -- Gun Owners of America has issued a statement regarding John McCain in light of his recent speech to members of the National Rifle Association, and how the Arizona senator is trying to "come home" to the Second Amendment community.

John McCain's advisers are saying he sees a "right-of-center" nation, and that he will feel emboldened to go after Barack Obama's policies, proposals and concepts without fear of stepping over too many lines.

"McCain is taking a campaign approach unlike Bush's elections in 2000 and 2004, which emphasized turning out the party's base. Rather, McCain has started shifting to the electorate's center, a recognition of his ideological reach as well as the need to capture swing voters against an opponent who also attracts independents. He hopes his crusade against climate change - an issue that appeals to people of all stripes - will help him build a winning coalition of voters. To do so, McCain is targeting traditional swing voting groups, like independents and Catholics, as well as others where Obama has shown weakness in the primaries, among them conservative-leaning so-called Reagan Democrats, blue-collar whites, Jews and Hispanics."

I just want to make sure Mr. McCain understands that a mother's firearms rights, and her rights to protect herself and her children from vermin of the two- and four-legged variety, are not bargaining chips he can fritter away with abandon in order to soothe a divided nation.

No, no, no. Not now. Not ever.

California Shooting Leaves Media Debating Whom To Credit For Subduing Attacker

Hmmm . . .

Is this a case of the legacy media not wanting to suggest that regular citizens should be doing "the right thing?" That only a LEO should be going after bad guys?

This statement is found in one part of the story:

"Bystanders tackled the man and held him until he was taken into police custody, she said."

and then you have this:

"He was tackled by an off-duty Burbank police officer" and taken into custody by Los Angeles police, she said."

See the contradiction? We have seen this type of media coverage time and time again when it comes to school or church shootings. The reality is that private citizens take charge. But the media gets ahold of it and credits law enforcement for taking action. We saw it at the Colorado church shooting several months, ago; we have seen it with school shootings where teachers ran to their cars to get their firearms (CCW holders whom are prohibited by law from keeping their firearm inside the school to protect children) and put an end to dangerous situations, but police were credited for subduing the bad guys.

So do we have the same thing here? And some working slipped through copying editing and wound up in the paper?

IMHO, we should be tipping our hats to the members of the church congregation in Granada Hills, Calif. who refused to become victims and stood up to this nut-job, even if he was packing a rifle.

Comedian Chris Rock On Gun Control

Mr. Rock suggests that "bullets" be made to cost $5,000. That way, there would be no more "innocent bystanders."

Clever humor for the open-minded.

A Different Kind of Political Outreach

The Hamilton County, Ohio Republican Party plans to sponsor a class for people to qualify for a permit to carry a concealed weapon, the party chairman said last week.

The story is found at Associated Press.

The Reason Why High School Soccer is More Dangerous Than The High School Shooting Team


Frankly, I would love to see the injury ratio between people playing competitive soccer vs. people involved in competitive shooting. I would especially love to see that stats at the high school level.

For while soccer and other pounding competitive sports are encouraged, injuries are rampant. But while competitive shooting is incredibly safe, it is demonized at middle and high schools.

For no reason other than political correctness, and irrational fear.

The best line I've ever seen on a sweatshirt? "My daughter participates in an Olympic sport that she can't talk about at school."

If We Go This Route It Is Because We Are A Nation Of Peeping Toms, Not Crime Fighters

"The English have always had a slightly different attitude toward privacy," Saffo said. They've never had a strong a privacy culture as America has had. It is easier for the government to overstep notions of privacy than it would be here, because you have people invoking the Bill of Rights." But Saffo believes that given the right crisis, the United States would eventually accept the technology. "Do not underestimate the psychic shock of the London subway bombings," he said. "We bleat and cry about privacy, but we happily surrender our privacy for the cheapest of coin."

"This week in Washington, D.C., a bill pushed by the city's mayor calling for nearly $1 million in funding for citywide public cameras was voted down by the city council.
"People sometimes talk about video surveillance systems as moving forward inexorably in the United States, but we've seen quite a few successful protests."

What is the need? That is the question. Just last week another study came out that says despite the millions of cameras and hundreds of millions in pounds, or euros, spent on such gizmos, crime is steady in Britain. The effort is a bust.

No impact. Get it? So then, what would the reason be to install all these cameras and monitoring equipment?


Clement Quits As U.S. Solicitor General

The man in the U.S. Justice Department who made the conflicting argument that the Second Amendment protects an individual right, but that government can regulate that right, has resigned as Solicitor General.

Paul Clement's resignation is effective June 2. He reportedly raised the ire of White House staff, including Vice President Dick Cheney, with his opinion on the District of Columbia v. Heller case, which was argued before the U.S. Supreme Court back in March.

That opinion is expected sometime in July.

Gun Violence Seminar in New York Draws 25

Updated: Monday, May 19, 2008, 2:17 pm -- "Troopergate" in Albany, N.Y. is dominating the headlines there, BTW. More is coming out on disgraced former Gov. Elliot Spitzer, and his use of state troopers to go after political enemies. All while the city where New York's state capitol is houses crumbles, Spitzer was playing political footsie (when he wasn't playing spin the bottle at $2,000 an hour). And yet, someone the powers that be blame guns for all their troubles. Pitiful, just pitiful.

The voices calling for gun control are few, as evidenced by the turnout at an Albany, N.Y. summit on "gun violence." The Times-Union newspaper has the story.

Interestingly, just a few miles away in Vermont, there is virtually on crime. Why? Because law-abiding Vermont residents, and law-abiding visitors to Vermont, can carry a concealed firearm for their protection with no permits or licenses required.

Yet Albany, just a few miles to the west, has horrendous violent crime.

An armed society is a polite society.

SNL Continues Excellent Political Spoofs

Saturday Night Live, more popularly known as "SNL" these days, has done one thing fairly well over its more than three decades on the air -- political humor.

Poking fun at presidential candidates has outshined some seriously lame comedy sketches. This weekend was no exception.

John McCain, the presumtive republican nominee, unexpectedly appeared in a Weekend Update segment and gave some advice to his fellow senators, democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and suggested they continue to take their time choosing a nominee.

"Do not under any circumstances, pick a candidate too soon. Imagine the excitement of leaving the convention and still not knowing who the nominee is. That would be crazy . . . crazy exciting!"

McCain even went so far as to suggest that if democrats are split, he would not object to both Clinton's and Obama's names appearing on the November general election ballot. He also suggested that democrats give John Edwards another look.

Not to be outdone, two SNL regulars performed a hilarious split screen look at the democrat divide, and opined on "How There Can Only Be One." Listen for the double-entendres and little jabs at each other.

Good stuff all around.

NRA: Complacency Replacing Gloom?

Glenn Reynolds wonders if the National Rifle Association and its members have become complacent, after attending the annual meetings and exhibition in Louisville.

"For a civil rights group, especially a group dedicated to a civil right that has faced as much sustained attack from politicians and the media as gun rights have, to reach the the point where complacency is a risk is no small accomplishment. Perhaps the gun-rights activists, and the candidates, are merely responding to public sentiment. If so, the gun-rights community really is in the catbird seat."

He is referring to the fact that three presidential candidates are sparring about who is the better 2A supporter, and that the Supreme Court dare not rule that the amendment is not an individual right in the Heller case.

"I was struck by the contrast this time around. People seemed much happier, and more optimistic. Most, I think, expected that the Democrats would retake the White House in the fall, but they didn’t seem to expect a return to the Clinton gun-grab efforts It’s easy to see why. Hillary is now going out of her way to explain what a hunter she’s always been, and how much she values gun rights. Obama is tagging along as best he can, talking about the Second Amendment and the Constitution, though his record as a Director for the virulently anti-gun Joyce Foundation makes that even less persuasive than Hillary’s attempts. But sincerity isn’t the point, since we’re talking politicians here. The point is that they feel they have to lie. Democrats seem to have given up on gun control — they’ve picked up Congressional seats mostly by running pro-gun candidates in conservative districts — and gun-rights people find themselves a constituency that’s now being courted by both parties, rather than being taken for granted by one."

Still, he wonders . . .

John McCain Speaks To NRA Members, Disappoints

Some at the annual NRA meetings and exhibition in Louisville say Sen. John McCain, one of the three presidential candidates left standing who swear they support the 2A, was a disappointment. Here is the text of McCain's remarks, as issued by his press office prior to the National Rifle Association appearance.

Here is one key observation:

From Sebastian -- "I wasn’t really all that happy with the McCain speech. I think he could have, well, really should have, hit this one out of the park. McCain has a real problem with the base, and coming to speak to the NRA regulars, the die-hards, and saying you want to shut down private sales, is not a great way to endear yourself to them."

Even the Los Angeles Times picked up on the concern -- "Many gun rights advocates are still enraged that McCain supports efforts to close the so-called gun show loophole, which allows people who buy guns from unlicensed dealers at gun shows to avoid criminal background checks required during gun sales from licensed dealers. In 2000, when Oregon and Colorado voters were considering ballot measures on the issue, McCain appeared in a television ad, saying the loophole allowed felons to buy guns later used in crimes."

The Buffalo News, on the other hand, says McCain was a hit -- "In front of a crowd of about 6,000 people who gave him two standing ovations, McCain also mocked Democratic Sen. Barack Obama as a liberal, anti-gun politician and made a direct appeal to the “bitter” voters Obama said were clinging to their “guns and religion” to soothe concerns about their economic struggles. “The Second Amendment isn’t some archaic custom that matters only to rural Americans who find solace in firearms out of frustration with their economic circumstances,” McCain said."

Um, lets correct the Los Angeles Times statement right now. People like myself, or a mom selling her grand-dad's shotgun are not "unlicensed dealers." In fact, we are not dealers at all. We are private citizens selling something from our garage or attic. That would be like calling people who have a garage sale "unlicensed dealers" of junk, unlike the "licensed dealers" (peddler's license or tax cert) of junk who show up each week to flea markets.

But I digress. McCain is right that is will be a better supporter of the Second Amendment than his democrat rivals . . . but it won't be much better.