30 June 2008

Obama On The Move

No, I'm not referring the Illinois senator's campaign aircraft, but to his constantly evolving position on firearms and the Second Amendment.

"As a candidate for the Illinois Legislature in the 1990s, Obama had supported legislation to "ban the manufacture, sale, and possession of handguns," so it wasn't surprising that he endorsed the gun ban being challenged in Heller while campaigning for president. In November, for example, his campaign told the Chicago Tribune that "Obama believes the D.C. handgun law is constitutional." In February, when a questioner during a televised forum said, "You support the D.C. handgun ban," Obama readily agreed: "Right."

"By March, however, his spokesman would no longer say whether Obama considered the gun ban constitutional, and when the senator was asked about it
in April, he refused to give a clear answer on the grounds that "I obviously haven't listened to the briefs and looked at all the evidence." Still, when the court issued its 5-4 ruling last Thursday, Obama claimed that his views had been vindicated. "I have always believed," his statement began, "that the Second Amendment protects the right of individuals to bear arms." Then again, reported the Associated Press, "the campaign would not answer directly . . . when asked whether the candidate agreed with the court."

That says it all. Sticking his finger into the wind, the presumptive democrat nominee for president will tell people anything they want to hear. The question is: How Far Will He Go?

"Some Democrats have worked to shed the image as the party of gun-haters. Running for president in 2004, Senator John F. Kerry made a point of donning orange and hoisting a shotgun for a very public day of duck hunting in southern Ohio. When Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Governor Brian Schweitzer
of Montana ran for reelection two years later, their TV ads depicted them using
guns. More than 60 Democrats were endorsed by the NRA in the midterm election of 2006 - the election, perhaps not coincidentally, in which their party regained
control of Congress.

"Still, for many Democratic liberals, the antigun animus is reflexive.
Senators Ted Kennedy and Dianne Feinstein wasted no time deploring the court's
ruling in Heller last week; Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago denounced it as "very
frightening." Over the years, such attitudes have been a political boon to
Republicans, helping them paint Democrats as out-of-step elitists who hate
something millions of Americans love. John McCain's statement hailing the
decision pointedly referred to Obama's infamous statement that Middle Americans
"cling to guns or religion" when "they get bitter."

Time will tell. The full column by Jeff Jacoby can be found at the Boston Globe.

29 June 2008

Quote Of The Day

"What if Colt made a big show of offering Senator Obama a custom engraved 1911 to celebrate Heller? If he accepts it, his base is up in arms, no pun intended. If he declines it, well, let's just say that 5-4 vote will look a little more frightening to everyone not in his base. Seem like a win-win to me." -- Blogger Charles Austin, writing in his online journal, Sine Qua Non.

Only in L.A.

I'm not sure where to start.

Leave it to the Los Angeles Times to print one of the more bizarre suggestions regarding firearms regulation ever to fall off a California tomato truck. Rotten, diseased tomatos, that is.

Courtesy of Columbia law prof Jeff Fagan and the Violence Policy Center's Josh Sugarmann comes the following:

"We propose a new way to prod gun makers to reduce gun deaths, one that would be unlikely to put them out of business or to prevent law-abiding citizens from obtaining guns. By using a strategy known as "performance-based regulation," we would deputize private actors -- the gun makers -- to deal with the negative effects of their products in ways that promote the public good.

"In other words, rather than telling gun makers what to do, performance-based regulation would tell them what outcome they must achieve: Reduce deaths by guns. Companies that achieve the target outcomes might receive large financial bonuses; companies that don't would face severe financial penalties. Put simply, gun makers -- whose products kill even when used as directed -- would have to take responsibility for curbing the consequent public health toll.

"But here is where it gets even funnier (these guys missed their calling as comedians):

"Under our plan, Congress might require gun makers in the aggregate to reduce gun homicides from 12,000 to, say, 7,000 in 10 years, with appropriate interim targets along the way. Individual firms would each have their own targets to meet, based on the extent their guns are currently used in homicides. Or Congress might simply leave it to neutral experts to determine just how much of a numerical reduction should be required -- and how quickly. Either way, the required decline would be substantial.

"How would gun companies go about reducing gun deaths? The main thing to emphasize is that this approach relies on the nimbleness, innovation and experimentation that come from private competition -- rather than on the heavy-handed power of governmental regulation. Gun makers might decide to add trigger locks to their guns, or to work only with dealers who meet certain standards of responsibility. They might withdraw their semiautomatic weapons from the consumer market, or even work hand in hand with local officials to fight gangs and increase youth employment opportunities. Surely they will think up new strategies once they have a legal obligation and financial incentive to take responsibility for the harm their products cause."
Guess who is responsible for reducing crime? The community. The people. The police. Now, police are doing the best they can in most instances. Which leaves the people, the community. And concealed carry (CCW) laws are making criminals think twice about accosting granny walking in the park. Unless the municipality has barred granny from legally carrying her concealed firearm but (as usual) has done nothing to prevent Mr. Scumbag from being armed as he hangs out, or looks for victims.

Oh, and BTW, semi-automatic firearms -- whether they be handguns or long-guns -- do not cause crime. They can sit, loaded, for minutes, hours, days, even weeks and never hurt a single human being. They must be picked up and mis-used, most often by a criminal.

There's more:

"So how exactly might this work in the case of gun makers? For more than half of all gun homicides, law enforcement officials are able to identify the precise type of lethal weapon that was used. From that data, reliable statistical projections can be made to determine each company's approximate share of all homicides. Each company's quotas would be based on the data, and tied to an ever-decreasing number of deaths.

"A more fine-tuned strategy would set different gun-death-reduction quotas based on the specific weapon -- with larger reductions mandated for guns that are more commonly used in homicides."

Desperate times call for desperate measures. And as the pro-victim, anti-self defense crowd continue to realize that their tired rhetoric about the effectiveness (cannot be proven) and the need (oops, fewer and fewer people believe them) for gun control, out pop "creative" solutions to the problem.

But they miss the point that the problem isn't too many firearms. It's a drug problem. It's a policing problem. Its a community problem. Its a political problem.

The proposal from Messrs. Fagan and Sugarmann is what is known in as "a solution in search of a problem." Actually, it sounds exactly like a government fix, even though the two gentleman maintain that this would work better than government mandates. Yet it would be a government mandate.

Their initial premise is off the mark, as well. Here is how they set the stage:

"This year, about 12,000 Americans will be shot to death . . . . Gun manufacturers insist that these deaths are not their fault, preferring to pin the blame on criminals and irresponsible dealers."
Oops, there they go again. Pinning the blame on criminals? Once again, a firearm doesn't just levitate, spin around and pick a victim, does it? Only in the movies (but then again, this op-ed was printed by the LA Times).

Far more people will die in incidents involving automobiles. The auto industry has no Constitutional protections that were written in the 1700s, while the arms were and are protected, as affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court last week. But as safe as automobiles are made today, they still cannot get the death rate down below a certain number. Plus, there are no background checks for people before they purchase a car, either from a dealer or unlicensed dealer (that is you and me, if you've ever sold a car out at your curb, or through a newspaper ad).

No, desperate times do, indeed, call for desperate measures. Willmett and Morton Grove, cities in Illinois, understand the reality of our times, and foresee a day when they can no longer trample on their residents' Constitutional rights to make political hay. That is why they dropped enforcement of their unconstitutional handgun bans in just the past few days.

This amusing proposal smacks of desperation. I can't wait to see what comes next!

Canadians Are Looking Fondly At Heller Opinion

Some of my neighbors to the north are looking with some fondness at the Heller decision, according to a columnist in the Winnipeg Sun newspaper.

"There are arguments raised that criminals steal legal weapons from gun collectors, so we must ban them. This clearly creates injustice. This says that even if I follow all the laws on weapons storage and do everything to keep my weapons from falling into wrong hands, I will be punished for what a third party engaging in illegal activity does?

"Canada has a problem with the idea of weapons for self-defence.

"The U.S. Supreme Court decision validates this right. Now, before Canadians assume Americans fired M-16s in broad daylight to celebrate, this ruling does not give an absolute right to gun ownership. Bans on military weapons stay in place, as they are not connected to routine self-defence, and state regulations are upheld. Our country may not need a Second Amendment, but it must understand that sometimes Canadians avail themselves of firearms to protect themselves and their families. At a minimum, individuals who use weapons to defend themselves in reasonable situations need legal immunity.

"This is what we can learn from this American ruling. Surely we can get over our Americanophobia enough for that."

Yeah, we're not so bad.

h/t to Instapundit

Anti-Gun Obama Benefits From Sweet Deals With Public Housing Developers

Not so much a firearms story, but it is interesting.

So here's the thing . . .

Sen. Barack Obama, who claims to love the Second Amendment but is a die-hard supporter of gun control, was a director at the anti-gun Joyce Foundation, and claims to be an advocate for people in public housing, has garnered support from his dealings with public housing developers -- often to the detriment of the very people living in public housing.

So with the latest lawsuit filed against the City of Chicago over its ban on people wh live in public housing keeping self defense firearms, which way will the 2A supporting, gun ban supporting, public housing advocate who benefits from the largess of public housing developers and wants to be the next president of the United States lean???

Read it again if you had trouble following along.

Just one of the things that make you go hmmm . . .

'Miller, Colt .45s and Natural Law'

Updated: Sunday, June 29, 2008, 11:09 pm -- Dave Kopel has penned another piece, this time looking at what the landmark Heller case (and expected opinion) means for New York City. Funny . . . I've been thinking that old "Mayor Mike" is nervously wondering the same thing right about now . . . .

First off, hats off to Dave Kopel of the Independence Institute for his clever headline linking beer brands to firearms case law. As a lover of language, this is a good one.

Okay, on to the story. Kopel has penned a piece talking about the lawyering that went on in the Heller case, real life in the District of Columbia, the opinion and how we got there, and the Colt .45 semi-auto handgun as a . . . machine gun?

"The speculation about the post-Heller scope of permissible gun controls is interesting, and both sides of the debate will use the same words of the majority’s language to argue for or against bans on various classes of guns, such as small handguns, big .50 caliber rifles, and so on. Whatever the results of those arguments, it does seem clear at least one type of gun ban is going to have a very tough time passing judicial review.

"D.C. outlaws any self-loading rifle or handgun for which there exists a magazine holding more than 12 rounds. For example, the Colt .45 handgun has been, since its invention in 1911, one of the most common American handguns. The Colt .45 comes with a standard 7-round ammunition magazine. It’s possible, if you search long enough, to buy a 15 or 20 round magazine for the Colt. Except as a novelty, these magazines have no use on a Colt .45. They make the handgun much too large to carry, and they extend so far below the grip that they make the gun awkward to handle.

"In the District of Columbia (but nowhere else in the United States), the Colt .45 is banned. Not just banned if you have a 20 round magazine for the gun, but banned even if you only have the standard 7 round magazine. Preposterously, the D.C. ordinance classifies the 7-round Colt as a “machine gun,” and outlaws civilian possession of these so-called “machine guns.”

"Heller says that there may not be bans on guns “typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes.” This surely encompasses the Colt .45, and the thousands of other models banned by D.C.’s overbroad “machine gun” law. The D.C. ordinance prohibts over half of the handguns made in the U.S. in a typical year, and a very large fraction of rifles, including low-powered .22 caliber rifles from venerable companies like Winchester.

"The D.C. City Council would do well to re-write its machine gun ban so that it applies only to real machine guns. If not, it will be close contest to see whether the ordinance is removed first by Congress or by the courts."

No kidding. Mr. Kopel also goes on to say that the Court, rightfully, quoted court cases from the 1800s acknowledging a pre-existing 'natural right of self defence (sic).' Clearly, DC took away the ability for women (or men for that matter) to defend themselves when they instituted the handgun ban more than 30 years ago.

The antis are continuing the shrill cries about how this Supreme Court ignored precedent law to come to the Heller decision.

I would suggest, once again, that the folks who would deny someone their right to defend their very lives, read a history book or do some research. This court applied common sense precedent law in a manner to return to American citizens their basic human right of self defense.

Kopel further notes:

"The idea that self-defense is a natural right long predates the European discovery of the New World. Yet in some nations today, such at the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, the principle that there is a right even of unarmed self-defense is in grave danger-at least among the judiciary and the rest of the governing elites."

Yep. But the U.S. Supreme Court saw through the smokescreen and emotional rhetoric. Facts matter. Truth matters. And an opinion came down that will make a positive difference for everyone's safety. Which is why pro self defense moms, grandmothers, sisters, wives, brothers, dads, uncles, boyfriends, husbands, etc. etc. need to help take advantage of -- exploit -- "The Big Mo." Heller helps Americans regain their right not to live in fear. And it will happen one city at a time.

If ever there was a time to say "do it for the children," and support lawsuits to overturn bans on the right to self defense, that time is now.

DC Crime Stats: Before And AFTER Ban

These numbers will boggle the mind. Don Surber conducted an analysis of violent crime prior to the handgun ban being instituted 30+ years ago in the District of Columbia, and during the years after.

As any thinking person understands, crime jumped significantly after the ban was put into place. Of course, that could have been predicted. In fact, the numbers are staggering!

How anyone in good faith in a leadership position in DC could stand there with a straight face and say that the ban was helping protect people . . . is mystifying.

As is said so well at the end of his essay, guns do not commit murder, nor does a policy change such as the Heller decision. In fact, Heller is going to save lives.

Bottom line: murderers commit murder.

28 June 2008

Another Illinois City Drops Gun Ban

Sebastian says they are dropping like dominoes. What and why?

Morton Grove, Ill. has become the second city (no pun intended), after Willmette, to halt enforcement of its gun ban after the Heller opinion was released and pro-self-defense advocates filed suit against the City of Chicago over its ban on the possession of self defense firearms by residents living in public housing facilities.

Playing the waiting game, or fear? My take is that city officials realize the American public is tiring of the nanny-state mindset. And, as Sebastian notes, it could be they don't have the deep pockets of Mayor Daley and the Chicago Machine.

Either way, the potential for safer streets and homes has spiked in Willmette and Morton Grove in just 48 hours.

Heller: Affirmation of Affirmation?

So I am having lunch yesterday with a person whom I greatly respect and who's opinion I trust, and conversation turned to the Heller decision. We were talking about the "new right" that a dissenting opinion mentioned, and how anti-gun legacy media has picked up on that and rolled with the clearly biased language.

Clearly the 2A is not a new right, nor does the majority opinion in Heller create such.

Our question: Isn't Heller really an affirmation of an affirmation of a existing right?

Interestingly, this morning I saw commentary on another blog that Heller, perhaps, is "the second shot heard 'round the world."

Pastor Murder Suspects May Be In Custody

Updated: Saturday, June 28, 2008, 8:12 am -- CONFIRMED! NBC4 television and the Dispatch newspaper are reporting this morning that two men wanted for this murder were arrested at the Greyhound Bus Station in Columbus late last night. Columbus police were tipped off by West Virginia authorities that the suspects may be on a bus headed to Central Ohio. West Virginia police are in Columbus this morning to question the two men arrested. The motive continues to be robbery, authorities say. Missing from Mark's possession were two firearms and his wallet when his body was found at a Beech Fork State Park firing range near Huntington, W.Va.

Yesterday, prosecutors in West Virginia issued warrants for two men wanted in the murder of Pastor Mark McCalla, an old friend whom I have written about a couple times this past week. Evidence for the warrants came from a raid on a Caball County home on Thursday.

Overnight, I received word that police chatter has two Army deserters being picked up on a bus on the way to Columbus. It might be the same two, it might not. Ironically, the two who are being sought by Huntington, W.Va. police are army deserters, as well.

Developing . . .

Heller Opinion Is A Pro-Women's Rights Position

Updated: Sunday, June 29, 2008, 9:03 am -- In writing the piece below, I noted that not only is Heller a victory for women's rights, it is a victory for gay and elderly rights, as well. Gay Patriot has a piece on how Heller may be one of the biggest victories for gay rights in years.

Attorney and cultural commentator Ann Althouse has a view that mirrors my own about the Heller decision: it is a pro-women's rights position.

I've long maintained in previous posts that firearms for self defense are a pro-choice position.
A sidearm, being an equalizer, provides women the choice not be dragged into the woods or back-alley and be raped, or worse.

Justice Anton Scalia, writing for the majority, said:

"It is enough to note, as we have observed, that the American people have considered the handgun to be the quintessential self-defense weapon. There are many reasons that a citizen may prefer a handgun for home defense: It is easier to store in a location that is readily accessible in an emergency; it cannot easily be redirected or wrestled away by an attacker; it is easier to use for those without the upper-body strength to lift and aim a long gun; it can be pointed at a burglar with one hand while the other hand dials the police. Whatever the reason, handguns are the most popular weapon chosen by Americans for self-defense in the home, and a complete prohibition of their use is invalid."
Althouse observes:

"Should we read that boldface as a statement about women's rights? Scalia uses a gender-neutral expression — those without upper-body strength — but we know that on average, women have less upper-body strength than men. To say it's enough that you can have a long gun is to put a greater burden on women, is it not?

"In fact, the argument about handguns and upper-body strength is explicitly a women's rights argument in at least one (amicus) brief."

The brief to which she refers came from 126 women state legislators and academics and may be reviewed here. Apparently, the brief struck a nerve with the majority in Heller, since Justice Scalia made significant note of such in the opinion handed down earlier this week.

There is an old saying about people who would rather see a woman raped in an alley and strangled with her own pantyhose than see her with a gun in her hand. Frankly, the dinosaurs who continue to hold opinion today are sorely out of touch with the mainstream.

I couldn't agree more with Althouse: Heller was a win for women's rights, and gay rights, or the rights of the elderly, for that matter.

A handful of big-city mayors are all atwitter with fear that the citizens in their cities may get back their right to look after themselves. They worry about a power base drained of support from a people who increasingly no longer feel the need to be dependent on government for a safety.

Firearms in the hands of law-abiding women and men aren't the threat to big cities, or big city mayors. Self-reliance is the real threat. That's what has them nervous.

What better way to empower women in this nation than for the U.S. Supreme Court to enumerate, as part of a landmark opinion that improves overall citizen safety, their basic human right to self defense.

27 June 2008

Heller Opinion Prompts Illinois Town To Drop Ban

The city of Wilmette, Ill. has suspended enforcement of its 19-year-old handgun ban as a result of the Heller decision handed down yesterday, which city officials said appears to be invalid due to the Supreme Court opinion.

"The Law Department and the Police Department have suspended enforcement of the ordinance pending further review by the Village Board," Wilmette village attorney Tim Frenzer said Thursday. "Based on the decision today, at a minimum
it calls into serious question the continued viability of the ordinance."
Good. Law directors in cities around the nation have got to be realizing that Heller has teeth, and willy-nilly, feel-good ordinances designed to do nothing but garner votes, though they were sold as a means to fight crime, are going to be difficult -- if not impossible -- to defend. Americans, in the wake of 9-11 and Hurricane Katrina, even if they don't understand their 2A rights, saw first-hand how not being armed in the face of crime and lawlessness puts them at a distinct disadvantage.

City officials in Wilmette saw the writing on the wall and acted.

'The Big Mo:' San Francisco Sued Over Public Housing Gun Ban

Updated: Saturday, June 28, 2008, 6:17 am -- The City of San Francisco says it plans to vigorously defend its ban on permitting residents of public housing to keep firearms for their personal self defense. Details here.

One day after the landmark Heller decision affirmed the right to keep and bear arms, as guaranteed in the Constitution, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and National Rifle Association sued the City of San Francisco.

From the CCRKBA news release:

"The lawsuit was filed in federal court against the City of San Francisco and the San Francisco Public Housing Authority to invalidate the City’s ordinance (Police Code section 617) and lease provision that bans the possession of firearms in public housing. Before the Second Amendment can be used to challenge unconstitutional regulations laws at the state or local level, it must be “incorporated” through the Fourteenth Amendment to apply to the state and local governments. The lawsuit will serve to establish the incorporation doctrine in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal, including California, and invalidate the existing ban on firearms in public housing in San Francisco in the process."

I'm sure San Francisco officials have known this was coming . . . they already lost a big case in January to SAF and NRA when their citywide gun ban was overturned in court because the ordinance violated state law. Yes, they broke the law when they passed their ban, but if you or I break the law, that's different . . . right?

This morning, the San Francisco Chronicle published this story recapping the Heller decision, and noting that San Francisco was probably in the sights of pro self defense advocates. As for this new lawsuit, when you've got the "Big Mo" behind you (that's momentum, folks), you go on the offensive. For decades, honest taxpayers in this nation have suffered assault after assault upon their right to choose self defense.

For several years now, the courts -- and U.S. citizens -- have gradually been recognizing that firearms are not the problem. It is criminals, and some politicians who want to stick their heads in the sand and believe the world would be perfect if only it weren't for the guns, who intentionally and unintentionally, respectively, perpetuate violence.

Washington DC's ineffective, antiquated ban has fallen. Chicago's is soon to be next with the filing of a suit yesterday, and now San Francisco will have to defend policies that clearly create a clear and present danger for law-abiding residents of public housing.

The "Big Mo" in action.

Reuters: Heller Outcome Signals Emergence Of 'A New Right'

I was not planning to write anymore on Heller until I had penned my analysis of the dissenting opinion in the case. But a post at The Volokh Conspiracy has me spitting nails.

Reuters News Service (an international group, but one that has its origins in Germany) referred to Justice Anton Scalia's majority opinion as creating "a new right."

New? NEW? I want to learn the background on the writer who put those sentences together, though they surely pulled them from the dissenting opinion. But the Second Amendment is NOT a new right.

The 2A affirmed rights that existed prior to the founding of the United States. At least that's what the Framers wrote that it did.

But then, once agin, here is another reporter -- and news agency -- refusing to let facts stand in the way of a good story.

Chicago Tribune: Repeal The 2A

Well there's nothing like avoiding the argument about rampant crime in your city.

Rather than engage in a debate and discussion about the the basic human right to self defense, the constitutional right to own a firearm (carved in stone, mostly, with yesterday's Heller decision), and Chicago's refusal to admit its ban on handguns contributes to crime and killings, the Chicago Tribune has announced that it believes the Second Amendment to the Constitution should be repealed.

To the editors at the Tribune, I have one response. If mine goes, YOURS goes. Yes, let's repeal that portion of the First Amendment having to do with a free press.

Want into a public meeting? The answer will be "who the hell are you and what gives you the right?"

You won't even be able to own a quill pen.

Update On Minister's Death

There is news in the investigation of the murder of my high school friend, minister Mark McCalla.

A home was raided yesterday afternoon in Caball County, W. Va. Two men are wanted. A third man has been detained. Evidence has been collected, and a vehicle -- with New York license tags -- has been impounded. Police say they expect murder charges to be filed very soon. One firearm seized in the raid is similar to one owned by Mark. Two of his firearms are missing.

Thank you to all of those who commented on the piece I wrote about Mark last Sunday, or who sent me private emails with your thoughts. I appreciate your kind words.

More to come . . .

Commentary Coming On Heller Dissent

I wrote last night that four justices of our highest court in the United States were . . . ARE . . . perfectly willing to throw one-tenth of the Bill of Rights under the bus.

Why? Because they don't like the end result of an individual right to own a firearm. Scary, isn't it? What else would they disregard "because they don't like it?"

Others have been dissecting pieces of the Heller opinion since it was released yesterday morning, and I've published some broad impressions. The next time I post regarding District of Columbia v. Heller, I will be sharing my analysis of the dissent in the case, and what this disturbing argument may portend for the future of public safety -- and constitutional rights in general -- in the United States.

In a case with so much importance . . . a case that has so many public officials worried that their personal fiefdoms are at risk because ordinary citizens may gain back their basic human right to self defense . . . that so many of the dissenting judges practically slept through the reading of opinions yesterday is, well, bothersome.

Like I said, they are perfectly willing to throw the 2A under the bus, knowing the firestorm that their opinion -- if in the majority -- would cause in this nation.

And they doze through the proceedings . . . not a care, not a worry . . . just full of arrogance and disinterest.


Lawsuit Forces Georgia County to Repeal Dangerous Emergency Powers Ordinance

"In order to settle a GeorgiaCarry.org lawsuit against Athens-Clarke County, the county has agreed to repeal an ordinance giving the city power to close gun stores in an emergency and prohibiting firearms in establishments that are licensed to sell alcohol."

The mayor and commission are scheduled to consider the repeal at their August 5 meeting.

The power of common sense . . .

26 June 2008

Law Prof Suggests Property Rights Cases Provide Lesson For Firearms Rights Supporters

"For many years, gun rights advocates have fought to persuade the Supreme Court that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms. That battle has now been won in Heller. Indeed, all nine justices (including the four dissenters) seem to agree that there is some individual right to bear arms that goes beyond a "collective right" protection for state militias.

"However, the experience of the struggle for judicial protection of constitutional property rights suggests that recognition of the mere existence of a right isn't enough. If the scope of the right is defined narrowly by courts, recognition won't mean much in practice. The history of constitutional property rights is instructive in this regard."

". . . In sum, judicial recognition of a constitutional right is only the beginning of the struggle to provide genuinely effective protection for that right. It would be a big mistake to assume otherwise."

A very instructive read from The Volokh Conspiracy. Pass it on.

Hardy: Gross Factual Errors In Heller Dissent

From Dave Hardy, author of the blog, Arms And The Law:

"Comment on to previous post points out at p.2 of the Stevens dissent he refers to NFA and US v. Miller: "Upholding a conviction under that Act, this Court held that . . ."

"Same mistake the 9th Circus made years ago and had to issue a new opinion, since Miller was never convicted -- commentators noted this was pretty suggestive the court hadn't bothered to read Miller before citing it. First thing you look for in reading a case is what happened below, and what the Court do to that. Very first thing."

He concludes by asking whether Justice Stevens reviewed the dissent, wonders how none of the four justices (Stevens included) saw the errors, and how the factual "problems" were missed by law clerks for all the dissenting justices combined.

h/t to Instapundit

Ohio Governor Hails Heller Decision

Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland is backing the Heller decision handed down today by the U.S. Supreme Court.

"In a statement, Strickland said he agreed with the decision "which emphasizes what so many have long understood: The right to bear arms is a fundamental civil right like the freedoms of speech and to vote. And it's important that governments at all levels not infringe on those fundamental rights."

That's a good thing. Firearms owners were a big part of his election to the big office in the Buckeye State. His belief in the Second Amendment also has appeared to be genuine, even going back to his days in Congress.

Yeah, But . . .

Okay, here it comes. Reaction from those who have no respect for a women's right to choose the tool that will defend her life if she is in fear of violent attack, imminent bodily harm or rape.

From U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi:

"I think it still allows the District of Columbia to come forward with a law that’s less pervasive," Pelosi said at her weekly briefing Thursday. "I think the court left a lot of room to run in terms of concealed weapons and guns near schools."

From DC Mayor Adrian Fenty:

"I'm disappointed in the Court's ruling and believe introducing more handguns into the District will mean more handgun violence," said Mayor Fenty. "But I want to emphasize that at this moment, our gun laws remain in effect. It may be several weeks before there are changes to announce.

"In the meantime, I have directed the Metropolitan Police Department to implement an orderly process for allowing qualified citizens to register handguns for lawful possession in their homes.

"Fenty, (Interim DC Attorney General Peter) Nickles and (Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy) Lanier emphasized that they will continue vigorously enforcing other gun-control laws that the court did not disturb -- including the law that all firearms including handguns must be properly registered with the Metropolitan Police Departments -- and considering other ways to lessen gun violence in the District."
"Gun violence." There's that two-word phrase once more that is utterly meaningless. I find it disturbing that the good mayor appears to care nothing for the lives that are going to be saved because gang bangers and those generally violent criminals who -- until this day -- have had no fear of the general population. Convinced that there will be a spike in the "gun violence," he seems to be worried more about the fact that criminals now face an even playing field and no longer have the upper hand.

Or did I miss something?

As for Ms. Pelosi? Well, she's playing to her political base. Another inside-the-beltway type who clearly is confused about the American mainstream. She forgets that the average American doesn't have the luxury of bodyguards that she doesn't pay for, private car that she doesn't pay for and a phalanx of other perks that she doesn't pay for designed to keep her safe.

So I ask you . . . Why do these two powerful people not like the idea of the average American woman (or man, for that matter) having access to some of that same "safety?"


Today, DC. This afternoon, Chicago

CBS News reported this evening that tomorrow, the National Rifle Association and California Rifle and Pistol Association will file suit against the City of San Francisco's ban against carrying a handgun on city-own property.

And so, it begins . . .

Some Pink Pistols Miffed At CNN

Though PP has had a decent relationship with CNN, some members of the organization are none too pleased by particular working used to report the Heller decision.

If you recall, Pink Pistols is the national organization of gay, lesbian, bi and transgendered individuals, and their supporters.

Here's a taste:

What CNN published:

"The NRA, Disabled Veterans for Self-Defense and the transgender group Pink Pistols -- along with 31 states -- filed briefs supporting the District of Columbia's gun owners."
What the Pink Pistols members/supporters have to say about the story reference:
"Are they just dumb asses or do they think they are insulting us? It least they acknowledged our participation. Calling us "transgender" leaves out a bunch of our folks."
"Are they dumbasses or just dumb? Ok . . .who here expects CNN to give any slack to a pro gun-rights news story. This is the same network that was complicit in faking a news storyon how "assault weapons" were more powerful and destructive than their semi-auto counterparts."
Yep! Ignorant, biased, and staffed with a number of dumbasses. Did I mention biased?

Though generally favorable to Pink Pistols in the past, I know CNN would run a gay pride story in a heartbeat. But link it to the Heller case, which has stirred up so emotion and irrational claims from the antis, and even the legal use of firearms and how armed gays don't get bashed, and watch how the language changes.

It if isn't dumb, or biased . . . it's just plain sloppy journalism.

Presidential Candidates Weigh In On Heller

Statement from democrat Sen. Barack Obama: "the ruling will provide much-needed guidance to local jurisdictions across the country."

Statement from republican Sen. John McCain: "A landmark victory."

Hmmm . . .

A Reminder: The Origins of Parker/Heller

From the beginning, the case was known by another name -- the Parker case.

Parker v. District of Columbia

In February 2003, Ms. Shelly Parker, a former emergency room nurse and now a computer technology professional, and special police officer Heller, plus four other DC residents, sued the District of Columbia in U.S. District Court, hoping to win the right to keep handguns and an assembled shotgun in their homes for self-defense.

Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, appointed to his post by President Clinton in 1994, dismissed the case about a year later. However, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit reversed the decision in March of last year with a 2-1 ruling.

The District of Columbia appealed the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, over the objections of many gun control groups, and despite some apprehension among District officials who realized they might have a thin case.

My personal thanks to Ms. Parker, for getting the ball rolling, and Mr. Heller for not backing down from the forces arrayed against him in our nation's capitol.

Media, Organization Opinion Roundup On Heller

Some commentary from major media and pro-gun organizations:

- Time magazine
- Washington Post
- Washington Times
- Second Amendment Foundation
- National Rifle Association
- Gun Owners of America
- Los Angeles Times
- FOX News

A Victory For Thugs? NOT!

If I lived in DC, I would be offended by the op-ed piece of Washington Post Columnist Colbert King.

The Heller opinion is a victory for every American.

He calls it a victory for thugs.

Once again . . . another inside-the-beltway Washington type who is sorely out of touch with mainstream America.

Chicago Mayor, With Windy City As Next Legal Target, Calls Heller Decision 'Frightening'

"An angry Mayor Richard Daley on Thursday called the Supreme Court's overturning of the Washington D.C. handgun ban "a very frightening decision" and vowed to fight vigorously any challenges to Chicago's ban."

I'll bet he did. This is the first real challenge to his power ever, and perhaps is the beginning of the end of "The Chicago Way." Okay, that last part is not likely, but Daley is frightened not because he thinks crime will get worse on the streets where his policies make life safe for criminals. It is frightening because he knows his failed policies are about to be shoved into his face by the legal system, and assisted by the watershed Heller decision handed down this morning by the U.S. Supreme Court. As challenges to his power go, the Daley machine has ruled Chicago for decades. But his keeping women from legally possessing the best possible tool to protect their children has resulted in adults and kids getting killed in gang crossfire. It has resulted in people being murdered at malls, where the law renders them defenseless.

"Does this lead to everyone having a gun in our society?" Daley asked while speaking at a Navy Pier event. "If they [the Supreme Court] think that's the answer, then they're greatly mistaken. Then why don't we do away with the court system and go back to the Old West, you have a gun and I have a gun, and we'll settle it in the streets if that's they're thinking."
A nice piece of fiction Mr. Mayor. Clearly, he is a better politician than a historian. Snappy, fearful sound bytes have worked for the gun control cabal for decades -- that is, until recently. Common sense and debate unfettered by emotional outbursts are not good for Daley, Bloomberg, Helmke, Brady and Sugarmann.

Now the city will have to defend its antiquated ban on handguns with taxpayer dollars. How is that going to go over?

Another Chicago city official had the following to say:

"We are confident that this does not invalidate Chicago's ordinance at this point," said Jennifer Hoyle, spokeswoman for the city Law Department."
Well of course not! The Heller opinion only applies to the Washington DC ordinance, and the Chicago administration knows it. But they are trying to obfuscate what is coming -- the lawsuit filed today by the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) and Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) -- McDonald v. City of Chicago -- will use the Heller opinion as its basis. An opinion with which thinking people will readily agree as they process this information.

And THAT is what frightens Mr. Daley, et al, to no end.

What's Next?

The Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence (formerly Handgun Control Inc.) finally has its official statement here regarding the opinion, which I am sure they are privately agreeing is disastrous for their already thin arguments. The Violence Policy Center's Josh Sugarmann has issued a statement through the gun control enablers at the Huffington Post. While Brady's Paul Helmke and Sugarmann are not happy, they are still in denial.

And in District of Columbia, officials there say they are dismayed. But interestingly, are already the police and other to come up with a plan where law-abiding citizens, in an orderly fashion, can "register" their handguns in the district. Sigh . . . registration.

Sebastian at Snowflakes in Hell has a suggestion for something that will help Sarah Brady, Helmke and Sugarmann take the edge off their distress -- tequila!

Sebastian also notes something else. A full four of the justices were perfectly willing to throw one of the 10 amendments -- the one amendment that protects the other nine -- to the United States Bill of Rights under the bus. Do you understand that? Because they don't like guns, and the result of this ruling, they were perfectly willing to sacrifice every American's birthright.

Accordingly, this is no time to become complacent. Much like we saw when George W. Bush was elected president, NRA membership dropped off around the nation because law-abiding gun owners and Second Amendment supporters, alike, felt the threat that had been the anti-gun wing of Congress and the anti-gun Clinton-Reno administration was behind us. Similarly, four-plus years ago we passed concealed carry legislation in Ohio and many dropped out of pro-gun groups feeling that the work was done and all would be good.

At both the national and state level, the anti-gun, anti-self-defense, anti-safety crowd are not willing to back down. They are funded by deep-pocketed foundations, like the Joyce Foundation, among others. This ruling will not see them backing off their stance. In fact, they will likely start pushing for legislation in cities and states to further regulate guns, now that the Supreme Court has said it is okay (to some degree). That will mean more than a decade of legal tests.

Accordingly, people who believe a mother or grandmother should not have their right to protect their children or grandchildren with the tool of choice, must start supporting legislative and legal initiatives to use the Heller decision and overturn gun bans similar to that which existed until today in Washington DC.

Starting with Chicago . . .(guess what, the suit was filed 15 minutes after the Heller decision was handed down).


Updated: Thursday, June 26, 2008, 3:55 pm -- Apparently things got a bit testy in America's high court this morning as Justice Anton Scalia, followed by Justice John Paul Stevens, read from their opinions. According to The Blog of Legal Times, Stevens had an "unusually pointed" dissent, and both justices cast aspersions on each other's interpretation of the 2A.

"Do not accept the summary you have just heard," Stevens said at one point. Earlier, Scalia told spectators they had to slog through 154 pages of opinions to really understand the Court's position. And Scalia said it was "particularly wrongheaded" for dissenters to rely on United States v. Miller, the 1939 case that marked the last time the high court ruled on the Second Amendment.

"When Scalia was reading his own opinion Stevens occasionally shook his head in disbelief. And Stevens jousted back. With emphasis on the word "genuine," Stevens said that "a genuine judicial conservative" would not have inserted the Court into the "political thicket" of the gun rights debate as Scalia had done.

Wow! Click here to read details about the exchange from this morning's Supreme Court session.

MORE feedback from other sources. Radio and television host Glenn Beck has an interview with Heller attorney Alan Gura, and Bob Levy of the CATO Institute, who supported Dick Heller's case.

The High Court struck down the ban on handguns in DC, but wrote that their ruling doesn't prevent cities and states from enacting "reasonable" regulations -- whatever that means.

Reports from CNN, SCOTUSblog, and major quotes from the full opinion (or this version of the full opinion).

I'm still reading and digesting. My take later. BUT, as expected it is a largely good for us, but somewhat a mixed ruling.

Frankly, it is the reason why many never wanted a case to come before the Supreme Court to begin with. While the 2A says what it says,

Not unexpectedly, the antis are rolling out their usual "silver lining" rhetoric in their spin on the case, which largely did not go their way. Here is the part that has the Brady Campaign (formerly Handgun Control Inc.) and Violence Policy Center excited:

"The Court took no position on whether the Second Amendment right restricts only federal government powers, or also curbs the power of states to regulate
guns. In a footnote, Scalia said that the issue of "incorporating” the Second into the Fourteenth Amendment, thus applying it to the states, was “a question not presented by this case.” But the footnote said decisions in 1886 and 1894 had reaffirmed that the Amendment “applies only to the Federal Government.” Whether the Court will reopen that issue thus will depend upon future cases."

Of course, when you go to the Brady site, you are still getting pleas to send them money for their DC/Heller Defense Fund. They do a lot of that.

Summing up, scholar Dave Hardy has this to say:

"Reading the opinion (150 pgs with dissents) now. Scalia writes. It's 5-4, the majority signing the one opinion, no concurrences or fragmentation. Individual right not linked to militia service. No need to settle standard of review, since a complete ban on a wide class of arms fails all of them. DC ordered to allow Heller to register his handgun and carry it in his home. Side note that this does not cast doubt upon felon in possession, etc., or bans within narrow sensitive areas such as courts and schools."

Also, read the analysis from Tom Goldstein.

Positive words from two individuals who are in the know. More to come . . .

It's Today!

Heller decision today, likely sometime after 10 am eastern time.

For up to the minute updates, go to: http://www.scotusblog.com/wp/

25 June 2008

Powerful New Image Demonstrates Need For Campus Carry

A powerful new image from graphic designer, 2A advocate and cultural commentator Oleg Volk, says it all when folks who are "on the fence" wonder why students and professors at America's universities want the right to legally carry their CCW sidearms on campus.


Updated: Wednesday, June 25, 2008, 11:02 pm -- Chief Justice Roberts announced today that the Supreme Court will indeed meet Thursday, and will release all remaining opinions. That would include the watershed Heller case, which is of utmost importance to law-abiding gun owners.

Fasten your seatbelts!

The latest scuttlebutt is that the Heller ruling is coming down tomorrow, Thursday. We'll see.

For real time announcements, once again I recommend you periodically check-in at the following website:


Real-time updates on SCOTUS opinions, as they are released. That is the site I will be monitoring.

Dictionary's Webster Noted That The Words of 2A Have Distinct Meaning

"Known as the "Father of American Scholarship and Education," (Noah) Webster defined all the words in the Second Amendment. He published "A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language" in 1806 and "An American Dictionary of the English Language," published in 1828 and adopted by Congress as the American standard.

"People" were "the commonality, as distinct from men of rank," and "right" was "just claim; immunity; privilege." "All men have a right to secure enjoyment of life, personal safety, liberty and property," he wrote.

"Thus in the language of Webster's time, "the people" meant individuals and individuals have "rights."

Read the entire op-ed from noted Second Amendment attorney and scholar, Stephen Halbrook, who notes that the founders wrote that piece of the Bill of Rights in easy-to-understand language for their generation, and generations to come.

Trust me, it gets even better. Here's a taste:

"During most of our history, an exhaustive analysis of the Second Amendment would never have been necessary. The meaning of each word would have been obvious to citizens of the time.

"It was only in the late 20th century that an Orwellian view of the Second Amendment gained currency. Within this distorted language prism, "the people" would come to mean the states or state-conscripted militia; "right" would mean governmental power; "keep" would no longer entail custody for security or preservation; "bear" would not mean carry; "arms" would not include ordinary handguns and rifles, and "infringe" would not include prohibition."

Very nice research, Mr. Halbrook. Kudos!

Ignoring (Or Forgetting) Gun Safety Rules

The only possible reason I can imagine for this happening is that one of these guys' fathers outran their sisters some years back . . .

"Court records say Haviland and Enloe had been "dry-firing" handguns at each other Sunday afternoon at the apartment of Haviland's girlfriend."
You can guess the rest. Details at the Billings (Montana) Gazette.

Gallup: Obama, McCain Tied


The latest Gallup Poll Daily tracking update on the presidential election finds John McCain and Barack Obama exactly tied at 45% among registered voters nationwide.

High Court Plans To Sit Thursday -- Heller Anyone?

The U.S. Supreme Court will return to the bench tomorrow, and many court watchers feel the supremes will use this day to issue the opinion in the closely watched District of Columbia v. Heller case.

The Justices issued four decisions today, including rulings that vacated the $2.5 billion punitive damages award resulting from the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and that struck down under the Eighth Amendment a Louisiana law permitting capital punishment for defendants convicted of child rape.

The opinion by Justice Souter in Exxon v. Baker (07-219), the punitive damages case, is available here. The court reduced punitive damages in the oil spill case from $2.5 billion to $500 million.

The opinion by Justice Kennedy in Kennedy v. Louisiana (07-343), the child rape case, is available here. In this opinion, the death penalty is barred for child rape crimes.

The opinion by Justice Scalia in Giles v. California (07-6053) is available here.

The opinion by Chief Justice Roberts in Plains Commerce Bank v. Long Family Land & Cattle (07-411) is available here.

So, it is likely Heller comes down tomorrow. Of course, the opinion isn't going to satisfy everyone -- of that I am convinced. No matter which way it goes, get ready to settle in for another 10-15 years of court argument trying to "define" what exactly the Supreme Court will have meant with its decision.

Isn't the law fun?

24 June 2008

Heller May Come Tomorrow

Updated: Tuesday, June 24, 2008, 10:42 pm -- As everyone awaits the outcome of the landmark firearms case, Mike O'Shea at Concurring Opinions prognosticates on what an Anton Scalia-authored opinion might look like. Fascinating reading.

The Heller decision may be handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court tomorrow.

For real time announcements, you might want to periodically check-in Wednesday morning at the following website:


I'll have insight as soon as I can break free tomorrow, if the opinion regarding the watershed Second Amendment case is announced.

A busy day looming -- president of company is stopping by our office. And I am touring office buildings with a buyer, so blogging (of all days) may be limited on Wednesday.

h/t to A.

Gettin' SCAGgy Wid It In The Queen City

Okay that headline just doesn't work with today's street slang.

But SCAG is an acronym that applies to what is going on in Cincinnati in the coming months. Using a $2 million grant, police there are installing a metro-wide system of up to 120 cameras to watch for crime around the city.

Street Cameras Against Crime (SCAG). Catchy, isn't it?

This quote, in particular, made me grin:

"Say there's an officer eating his lunch in his car," he said. "Eventually, he'll be able to watch a camera that's maybe two blocks away. So if he sees something, he puts down his lunch and goes."

Sounds like a great sales pitch for the general public. But in reality, I think the local Fraternal Order of Police may have an opinion on that idea of watching "crime TV" (truly now a neighborhood watch) during lunch, let alone putting down lunch to chase bad guys. Again, if you get my drift, during a lunch break. Remember, it is first and foremost a salary and benefits bargaining union for LEOs.

That, actually, is the ideal outcome, planners say -- enabling officers to watch real-time video in their cruisers. Cincinnati is following larger cities such as Chicago and New York into the crime camera business. London leads the way in sheer quantity, with 10,000 throughout the British capitol, though many opponents seriouosly question whether the cameras deter crime.

So smile!

Teacher Goes Nuts Over Student Chat

Presented for your consideration:

Two students, during a free-period break time, munching on snacks, quietly talk about turkey hunting . . .

One teacher, hands placed firmly over ears yells, "la-la-la-la-la . . . ." to drown her thoughts of "killing" . . .

Said teacher eliminates free-period break times . . . to stifle speech? . . .

A school board now faces a free speech complaint from enraged parents who have removed one of the boys from school and are continuing his education via home-schooling . . .

You are entering . . . the BENNINGTON, VERMONT ZONE!

Which is too bad, BTW. Bennington is probably my favorite town in Vermont, let along all of New England. Anyway, the teacher went a more than just a bit overboard on this, IMHO. By the way, did I mention the boy who got into trouble is 10 years old?

Read the story.

h/t to Dave Hardy

MoveOn Is Pissed At Obama

It seems that now that Sen. Obama has the democrat nomination pretty much locked up in a pretty box, he is moving back toward the political center to appeal to more Americans, many of whom neither really feel they know him or believe his youth is enough to entrust with a four-year stint in the White House.

From TheHill.com:

"MoveOn.org has challenged Obama for supporting a compromise on intelligence surveillance legislation that many Democrats oppose.

"MoveOn.org officials have come close to accusing Obama of breaking a promise he made last year to fight a bill that would grant legal immunity to telecommunications firms that shared customer information.

"More evidence of Obama’s ideological trajectory is a television advertisement emphasizing patriotism, personal accountability and tax cuts in Republican strongholds such as Alaska and Montana.

"Obama’s campaign is fighting Republican efforts to portray him as an out-of-touch liberal.

"Democratic and Republican strategists say that Obama’s focus on liberal policies during the long Democratic primary and his Senate voting record make him vulnerable to that label."
Well, DUH! He is vulnerable, because its not just a label! This will get very interesting in the coming months as the most liberal senator in Washington is hammered relentlessly by the left-wing grassroots for not being "liberal enough." At what point will they let up if they feel Sen. John McCain, the presumptive republican nominee, is gaining an edge because of their machinations?

Interesting, indeed . . .

Controversial NSSF Proposal Making Waves

Updated: Wednesday, June 25, 2008, 10:16 pm -- NSSF today released a statement clarifying its position on handgun sports. Michael Bane has it on his blog. It reads as follows:

NSSF Statement on Shooting Sports Summit Action Items

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) - the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry -- has issued the following statement following the concern by some regarding the action items listed for discussion as part of the Shooting Sports Summit:

The action items presented as part of the NSSF Shooting Sports Summit have been developed by researchers predicated upon three years of public opinion research.

The purpose of the summit is to take the intelligence that has been gathered concerning the public opinions of shooters and non-shooters alike and take our ideas and meld them into coherent new programs and policies to attract, retain and re-introduce participants into the shooting sports – ALL the shooting sports.

NSSF has programs for rifles, shotguns, pistols and revolvers. And, as our motto says, we are always shooting for more.

The intelligence gatherers, like any effective reconnaissance team, studied the opinions we must face and reported their suggestions. As to the strengths and weaknesses of possible courses of action, NSSF does not have to accept their recommendations. All decisions as to what actions NSSF will take will be made by NSSF, after full discussions and consideration of all points of view.
The NSSF has no intention of abandoning pistol shooters. Our very successful First Shots program is specifically designed and targeted to encourage pistol sports shooting. Much of the NSSF staff, including its new president, have been pistol shooting both recreationally and competitively for decades – and, in fact, some have worked in the handgun industry.

NSSF looks forward to completing a successful summit, helping to foster a strong future for all of the shooting sports.
Sounds like they got the message.

At a time when nore and more women are getting into handguns because they want to protect their children and grandchildren, it defies logic that the National Shooting Sports Federation, the umbrella organization of firearms manufacturers, is going out of its way to create a firestorm at a huge shooting sports summit taking place in Colorado Springs.

At issue: a controversial "Future of Hunting and Shooting Sports" report, authored by NSSF and funded by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, that states, among other things (and I am paraphrasing here), that more emphasis should be put on rifle and shotgun shooting because those are more readily accepted by the American public.

i.e. -- more politically palatable . . .

Specifically, here are two sections that have raised many eyebrows:

Action Item 163. Efforts to promote acceptance of shooting sports should focus on rifles and shotguns.

Action Item 164. Avoid communications imagery that shows people shooting at human silhouettes. Be aware that there is much resistance among the general public to target shooting at human silhouettes, and images showing this will not be as well-received as alternative images (e.g., a person shooting at a standard bull’s eye target with a rifle).

I, personally, do not agree with shooting at human silhouette targets. We do not use them in CCW classes I help teach. Our philosophy is that if you are learning to shoot "center mass" in a defensive situation, that will take care of you. Plus, if you use your firearm, either at home or out and about for self defense, you might have the police looking through your home. It would not bode well to have to explain why you have human silhouettes with holes in them. It creates too many questions for an over-zealous patrolman looking to impress his sergeant, or an over-eager prosecutor looking for a convincing win.

Regardless, these proposals are so much rubbish! Whatever happened to bullseye matches using pistols? Have they just swept those under the rug?

Other bloggers have covered this issue during the past few days and I will not go into great deal and repeat what strong words have already been stated. Among those resources worth checking out: Uncle has a particularly solid overview of this troubling situation. You also need to check out Sebastian at Snowflakes in Hell, Bitter at The Bitch Girls, and Michael Bane.

It is worth repeating that Americans have lost their irrational fear of handguns due to the mass murder that was the attacks of 9-11, campus shootings where parents realize their students should have a right to defend themselves on victim-rich university environs, and the horror of Hurricane Katrina's aftermath, where law and order broke down so quickly in one of America's most notable cities that people had no choice but to defend themselves -- if they had the means.

Bane has this to say:

"NSSF’s Rep stated that the they do not endorse these action items. That the firm that did the study (Responsive Management) generated 196 action items. Obviously, some of them are unacceptable. The concern among some folks is that NSSF put their name on it. And NSSF was clear to me that they did not endorse these action items and that one of the goals of this week’s summit was to go through these list of action items and formulate a plan."

Still, denials aside, it looks like NSSF is seemingly turning its back on handgun sports at a time when gun control and anti self defense group are in retreat. It is illogical, and demeaning to so many across this nation who have given their time and blood and sweat to promote the shooting sports in general.

Frankly, it smacks of some in the hunting community who look down their noses at competition rifles, when the "black rifle" crowd would gladly go to the mat for duck hunters who, as they get older, need a pistol stock on their shotgun for better accuracy.

I urge you to read all of the report and the commentary from various sources. This needs to be spread far and wide.

Keep in mind that the Bradys, VPC, various so-called "state coalitions" to stop so-called gun violence revel when we argue amongst ourselves. This serves no purpose but to embolden those who constantly attack the Second Amendment, self defense and the shooting sports for no other reason than to push their views onto everyone else. Remember, we're not trying to push guns into their hands if they don't want to play.

The other side has no business trying to regulate -- or take -- yours and mine. But these arguments "inside our own family" do far more damage than all the foundation dollars raised by Joyce and others to fund gun grabs and feel-good laws that do nothing but ensure the safety of criminals.

NSSF needs to excise that and other objectionable parts of the report -- PRONTO!

NICS Lie Results In Arrest Of Former NBA Star

This is the first time I have EVER heard of someone being arrested or charged because they failed their NICS check.

"Former Philadelphia 76ers guard Aaron McKie was charged Monday with lying on firearms applications in April in an effort to buy two handguns he was barred from owning because he was subject to a restraining order."
Is it because he lied on the form, or is he being singled out as a former star pro athlete?

There are criminals who go to gun stores every day across this nation and try to buy a gun. They are denied. And the system does nothing because it was designed that way; the pols who pushed it through can claim proudly that they are turning away criminals, felons and wife beaters, but the very act of trying to buy said firearm is a crime. But the anti-gunners in Congress don't want penalties attached, because that might act as a deterrent.

And we can't have that. We need scum to keep trying to buy guns so we can show how well the system works to keep them out of their hands . . .

h/t to Alphecca.

Quote Of The Day

"Trying to reduce gun crime by rationing firearms to law abiding citizens is a little like trying to reduce stabbings by rationing steak knives to restaurant goers, which is why the Court found the ordinance to be irrational. The criminal misuse of any lawful product is not a function of the number of units sold to honest citizens; it’s a function of how effectively society deals with those who misuse them." -- Attorney Scott Bach, at NJ.com, commenting on a recent lower court decision in New Jersey that overturned a local ordinance rationing gun sales.

Heller Countdown 2

Here are links to top stories with analysis of looming Heller decision, which could come tomorrow, if the High Court does not extend its session.

- HotAir.com
- NBC4 television (Washington DC)
- Baltimore Sun
- Atlanta Journal-Constitution
- Curtis Lowe
- Roberta X

23 June 2008

Ohio GOP Still Searching For AG Candidate

Former Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro has announced he will not run for the post, and Delaware County Prosecutor Dave Yost has dropped out of the race. This leaves republicans with no candidate, as of yet, to run against current state Treasurer Richard Cordray, a democrat who wants to be attorney general.

After chatting over email with Dave Yost, he would have been a great candidate. An earlier post I wrote, was of great concern to him. He has since indicated he is taking steps to remove firearms from a list of items that can be regulated with model noise ordinances in Delaware County.

The Ohio Attorney General's office is an important post, particularly in how the office holder represents the interests of the state. Cordray is mixed on gun rights and frankly, I don't trust him. He has not announced that he has changed his mind about firearms, but instead is suddenly a supporter of the Second Amendment.

So as I have written before . . . we have one guy who did one thing on firearms and now claims another (I truly hope he has changed his thinking), running unopposed.

Not a good thing. I just hope the republicans don't put up some country-club type from their party who follows the irrational thinking that "reasonable" (there's that word again) gun restrictions are okay.

Hello! The issue is what one person thinks is "reasonable" rarely matches what others believe.

Geez I hate that word, and I don't hate anything! Yes, yes I know, hate is a sickness . . . I'll get help.

SCOTUS To Sit Again Wednesday . . .

The Supreme Court will sit again Wednesday. What that means is anyone's guess, but the nation is watching for the Heller opinion.

There are seven cases left to decide. LegalTimes says it's likely -- but not certain -- that the Court will sit one other day this week in addition to Wednesday. The Court does not usually issue more than five or six decisions per sitting.

Hmmm . . .

GOP Congressman Sponsors New 'Assault Weapons' Bill

Of course, is it any surprise that the Congressman is from Illinois?

H.R. 6257, known formally as the "Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act," is also being cited by its author, Rep. Mark Kirk, as "the Assault Weapons Ban Reauthorization Act of 2008."

Read the full text of the bill, as submitted by Rep. Kirk. Note that it bans any rifle with a detachable magazine. Get that????

Then contact your representative and tell them that this legislation needs to be killed before it ever gets a hearing. The only purpose of this bill is to protect politicians from a handful of shrill donors who are forcing the kool-aid upon them. I read this and I go back to the quote from the 19-year-old first time voter, who had this to say about bans on competition rifles.

As for Kirk, remember, it's not about public safety. Its about a republican (in name only) trying desperately to be relevant to liberal voters in a state that is run "The Chicago Way."

Pathetic, Mr. Kirk . . . pathetic.

New Miss Tennessee Has A CCW

What better role model can you ask for?

A woman dedicated to volunteerism, and who understands that personal safety is our own responsibility.

SCOTUS Speculation On Heller

"It does look exceptionally likely that Justice Scalia is writing the principal opinion for the Court in Heller – the D.C. guns case. That is the only opinion remaining from the sitting and he is the only member of the Court not to have written a majority opinion from the sitting. There is no indication that he lost a majority from March. His only dissent from the sitting is for two Justices in Indiana v. Edwards. So, that’s a good sign for advocates of a strong individual rights conception of the Second Amendment and a bad sign for D.C."

We can only hope . . .

Read the SCOTUSblog post in its entirety.

Have An Idea What Criminals Think of 2A?

How about criminals who are incarcerated?

Only the Washington Post, desperate to find someone who agrees that strict handgun controls are necessary, could come up with a story like this.

Some 50 inmates in an english composition class provide their opinion on private ownership of guns, as the U.S. Supreme Court's Heller decision looms.

22 June 2008

A Man Is Dead

The story leaves me stunned even today.

It involves a good friend from my high school days, whose name made the news around the nation late last week. But I will not have the same reaction as many others. For I knew who the victim was, and what he believed in.

I met Mark McCalla some 34 years ago in a study hall when we were sophomores in high school. We kept in touch on and off since graduation 30 years ago this month. Mark and I had exchanged emails in a flurry over a period of days last weekend because he was planning to be back in Columbus to see his mom and dad for Father's Day. I half expected him to knock on my door that day after a bike ride took him through my neighborhood.

I never heard from him and I never will again.

On Friday, I received the sad news that my friend, Pastor Mark McCalla, just hours after serving breakfast to more than 150 young people at a church camp sponsored by his Highlawn Presbyterian Church, had been brutally murdered.

Killed with a single gunshot to the head, his body was dragged some 100 feet away from where he was shot, and dumped in the brush in West Virginia's Beech Fork State Park. The sheriff says there is no question it was a homicide. He is speculating that Mark may have been the victim of a robbery as his wallet is missing. Two of Mark's firearms are missing.

The church community is stunned. The people in the area in which he lived are stunned. My classmates and I from high school are stunned. In fact, Mark had been badgering me about my lack of interest in attending a reunion next month.

He hunted when I knew him 30 years ago. The incident took place at the state park rifle range, a place Mark visited often. He was an avid outdoorsman who had bicycled competitively in the U.S. and Europe, and had taught kayaking at Marshall University. He still loved to jump on a bike or paddle a rough river.

He was a family man, a pastor who loved his job. He loved his four kids. His son, Ben, has been keeping Mark's friends back in Columbus informed about what is going on with memorial services. I knew Mark as someone who had the gift of gab. He could talk about anything. His friends at Highlawn Presbyterian say he had a way of weaving different ideas in a dynamic way to make a point, rather than just simply preach. He didn't just lecture, he taught.

Yes, I can say I have now been touched by "gun violence." That is such a trite phrase. Do you know what "trite" means? Among other definitions, it means "hackneyed," and "stale." Here is the best one: "lacking in freshness or effectiveness because of constant use or excessive repetition." THAT describes this tired, overused, meaningless two-word phrase better than any other definition.

It is bandied about by gun control extremists and apparently sympathetic "victims" more than anyone else. But they say it hoping that the public will feel empathy. Yet, both the antis and the uninformed public, or the general public for that matter, would think it odd to use a phrase such as "knife violence," or "baseball bat violence," or "fist violence." But we don't, do we?

This phrase is most often trotted out to advocate more draconian restrictions -- not on criminals -- but on an inanimate object.

And yet, despite my devastation at the loss of a classmate, a good man, a good parent, a man of God, I do not blame the gun. I worry for his wife, his parents, and his children. I worry for his parents, who have lost a child. I wonder if they will blame the gun -- instead of blaming the violent scum who preyed upon an individual who spent the past 30 years "helping" people. Helping friends and strangers, alike.

I want criminals hauled in and punished, just like anyone else. In a case like this, perhaps I want the guilty party or parties brutally punished . . . I don't know for sure what I think. I'm still numb . . .

A man is dead.

Today, there is a debate over whether lethal injection should be abolished. It is "inhumane," people say. I don't know where Mark was on the death penalty. I supported it for decades, but have had reservations recently -- mostly because DNA testing is proving that a lot of people on Death Row do not belong there.

But for Mark's killers, I think, a firing squad is in order.

Just my personal opinion, in the heat of the moment, after having been touched by violence (gun or otherwise).

For what it's worth . . .

Quote Of The Day

'Assault' is a behavior, an action — not a device." -- 19-year-old Jesse Yeager, in a May 25, 2008 letter to the editor of the Norwich, Conn. Bulletin. Mr. Yeager was commenting on bans of competition rifles in Connecticut due to certain appendages and features.

Supremes' Heller Opinion May Be The Beginning Of The End Of 'The Chicago Way'

John Kass is an award-winning journalist who writes a regular column for the Chicago Tribune. And he has noticed something that disturbs him. Specifically, that the ban on handguns in Washington D.C. that the U.S. Supreme Court is about to throw out with the Heller ruling, bears a striking similarity to the handgun ban in Chicago.

And then he says this:

"But what's not often reported by the decidedly pro-gun-control media is that since Chicago's anti-handgun law went into effect in 1982, only two classes of people have had ready access to firearms:

"The criminals. And the politicians. Cynics who scoff at everything decent suggest these are one and the same, but taxpayers know the difference."
Incredibly true words. Exceptions to these "bans" often include politicians, even police officers. And of course, we know that criminals don't follow the rule of law, so they steal guns and use them anyway with impunity -- for the law-abiding are just that, law-abiding, and don't want to get into trouble.

But there is a groundswell across this nation, a feeling of "enough is enough." Moms are tired of being told they cannot keep a sidearm to protect their children. Especially when the reason given that they can't own one, is that "it's for the protection of the children." Tell that to an inner city mom or grandmother who cannot afford to move to an area where she and the kids won't be caught in gang crossfire. Crossfire whose root element is drugs, and NOT guns.

But I digress. Kass is pissed that politicians in his city (and many others) hold themselves out to be a special class . . . more important than the taxpayers who want to be safe and live their lives in peace.

"Criminals get guns the old fashioned way, by stealing them or buying them illegally. Politicians write the anti-gun laws, and wonder of wonders, they often exempt themselves and call themselves peace officers.

"In Chicago, our politicians often go around surrounded by armed bodyguards on the city payroll. Or they walk our streets strapped. Or they know a guy who knows a guy in some suburb, and they become deputized peace officers so they can carry.

"Politicians are not violent by disposition. They live in some of the safest neighborhoods, with wrought iron fences, automatic garage doors, cameras on light poles and armed police bodyguards.

"Meanwhile, the taxpayers, who live without bodyguards, are told that if they want to protect themselves with a handgun just like the politicians, they themselves will be criminalized.

"It is all about power in the end."

The belief is that once the DC ban falls, Chicago is next. I, for one, will do everything I can to support such a move. But the reason is because the Second Amendment is for all the people, not just those privileged few who think the rules don't apply to them. Read the entire essay, and pass it on.