31 July 2008

Man Charged With Death Of Boy

At least the police arent' blaming the gun. We'll leave that to the local politicians. The cops are saying the bad guy is solely to blame.

Sadly, this tragedy need never have happened. A criminal had rifle in his house when he was a felon and knew he had no right to such. The rifle was loaded. Why on Earth, especially when he had kids in the house, is anybody's guess. Probably because he is a criminal and didn't care about even his own family members.

The media is calling it an assault rifle -- a machine gun. My guess is its a nomenclature problem and once again they have no clue what they are talking about -- unless that is what they were told by police. If so, then we have another problem . . .

The bottom line: A seven year old boy lies dead. No one taught him, if he sees a gun to: STOP! Don't Touch! Leave the Area! Tell An Adult! A known criminal is at fault. It could have been a knife. Either way . . .

Worse, his death will be exploited and commonly used competition rifles will be blamed for this senseless tragedy by someone on Columbus City Council before the summer is over for their own political gain.

Students For Concealed Carry on Campus to Hold First National Meeting Tomorrow

Students for Concealed Carry on Campus will hold its first national meeting tomorrow at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

The student gun rights organization will host a debate, a speaker's panel, a legislators' panel and several notable speakers. SCCC anticipates an attendance of between 100 to 150 members, said SCCC Public Relations Director Katie Kasprzac.

Read the full story, in of all places, the Collegiate Times.

29 July 2008

King Of Comedy Busted In Vegas Airport With Firearm

"Police say they have confiscated a gun belonging to Jerry Lewis that was found in the 82-year-old entertainer's carryon bag as he prepared to fly to Detroit from Las Vegas. Las Vegas policeman Bill Cassell said Tuesday that the actor was cited Friday for carrying an unloaded concealed weapon at the Las Vegas airport."

It can happen to anyone. While it is a criminal offense, it doesn't mean he's a criminal.

Tennessee Church Shooting Spurs Anti-Self Defense Talk From Senate Candidate

Now when I commented on the tragic church shooting in Knoxville, Tenn., my statement was that it was too bad none of the parishioners took advantage of existing state law.

That the means existed for people to defend themselves, but the Unitarian Universalist doctrine is anti-gun/pro-social change (whatever the latter means). I never said to loosen existing gun control in Tennessee. Just that they should not willfully put their congregants in harms way by turning the church into a self-imposed victim zone.

On the other hand, it didn't take long for some politicians to use the tragedy as a springboard for more gun control.

Op-Ed News has the piece authored by "progressive" candidate for the U.S. Senate, Chris Lugo.

h/t to Alphecca.

Just Because

Five hotdogs that will kill you.

As for a favorite (not having tried any of these), I find myself torn between No. 1 (Breakfast Hot Dog) and No. 3 (Jimmy Buff's Double Hot Dog).

What's your vote?

Split Court Decision in Florida Favors Employees, Penalizes Customers

"Employees with concealed weapons permits can keep guns locked in their cars at work in Florida, but businesses are allowed to prohibit customers from bringing firearms on their property, a federal judge has ruled.

"The Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Retail Federation, which challenged the state law that took effect July 1, huddled with their lawyers Tuesday to understand the split decision by U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle in Tallahassee and decide whether they should challenge it."

The Retail Federation has indicated they don't think they will appeal.

I hope these businesses realize they are liable for the safety of both their customers AND their employees.

The Fallacy Of Protective Orders

Protective orders have long been a problem. They are a piece of paper that does nothing to protect the person asking for or needing protection. Case after case occurs each month where one party decides to attack the person with the protective order.

But, of course, if the person who fears had a firearm, many of those situations might be averted.

Now comes evidence that protective orders are being misused, in order for one party to jockey for position against the other party.

So, either they are worthless and do not protect life, or they are a bargaining chip.


Quote Of The Day

“These are the .223 of beer. I mean, sure, it’s beer, but it takes twice as many to knock a man down.” -- Blogger Sebastian, commenting on Rolling Rock.

Anti's Use Lead As New Argument Against Safety Training, Range Development, Hunting

"Fear The Lead."

More or less, that is the new mantra of organized, well-funded anti-self defense, anti-gun organizations. With backs against the ropes, they are now advocating against firearms safety training, against anyone under 18 years of age being allowed into the shooting sports, against hunting, etc. They also are calling for regular audits of local ranges.

Writer David Codrea calls it "harrassment." I concur.

And here is the kicker. The antis further claim that any possible benefits derived from firearms safety training, et al, are "outweighed by the risk of lead poisoning."

How much lower will they stoop?

Morton Grove, Ill. Repeals Gun Ban Ordinance

"Morton Grove's landmark handgun ban, imposed 27 years ago, died quietly Monday night, as the suburb's Village Board bowed to a new legal reality and repealed the ordinance.

"The board's 5-1 vote came in response to last month's ruling by a divided U.S. Supreme Court that struck down a similar ban. The high court ruled that the 2nd Amendment protects a person's right to own a firearm for self-defense. Fighting in court to try to keep the law would cost money the village does not have, officials said.

"I appreciate the courage the board [showed] in 1981 in a noble experiment," Trustee Dan Staackmann said. "[But] we don't have the resources to fight this all the way."

It was just that. An experiment. A failed experiment. But politicos there, knowing the ban did nothing to effect crime, still refused to give up their power to keep the city's citizens defenseless.

Instead, it took a watershed court case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court to make them back down, and restore the basic human right of self defense to Morton Grove residents.

Shooting -- A Lifetime Sport

"The first time that Charlie Daniels competed at Camp Perry was in 1968 when he was a shooter in the National Pistol Championships. Now in 2008, Charlie arrived at Camp Perry to compete in the Smallbore Rifle 3-Position Metallic Sight Championship of the National Rifle Association National Rifle and Pistol Championships. "It's a lifetime sport," said Daniels, who has been a competitor for about 51 years."

That pretty much says it all. Competing at, or even visiting, Camp Perry for the annual National Matches is something everyone involved in the shooting sports must do at least once in their lives. Several bloggers I know have been there in past years. Some made their first trek this year.

It is an event where men and women, and civilians and active-duty military service people, compete side by side in any number of matches -- smallbore, pistol, air rifle, high-power, etc. Where teenagers and elderly men freely mingle, sharing ideas, shooting tips, and more. Where the lessons and knowledge of experience are passed on to youth. And occasionally, some youthful ideas open the eyes of veteran competitors. Where more often than you realize, the teenage girl will fire better scores under the grueling sun, or on a windswept day . . . better than men who have been traveling to Camp Perry for decades.

I have many times been asked "why competitive shooting." What fun can it be? When I note that it is no different than the sport of golf, where you truly compete against yourself and then compare scores with others at the end, there is enlightenment. And it is a safe sport. More people are injured, or worse, each year playing soccer and football than participating in competitive shooting matches.

The 2008 National Matches, at Camp Perry on the shores of Lake Erie, kicked off 22 days ago. There is still time to visit and watch a sport unlike any other.

28 July 2008

Heller 2 Filed Today

Dick Heller is not one to wait. He has already filed a new lawsuit against the District of Columbia over its insane new rules for registering firearms, and the requirements for storage of said firearms.

In case you didn't know, even though DC lost a landmark case before the U.S. Supreme Court, officials there arrogantly are thumbing their nose at the decision. The changes made are cosmetic, and DC still has the most stringent gun control laws in the nation.

For now . . .

The Momentum Has Shifted

Three decades in the cold has left thinking Americans plenty ready to fight for their basic human right of self defense. Taking back the night, you might say.

Post-Heller, with the law and a landmark Supreme Court decision on the side of average moms and dads, the momentum has shifted. The Chicago Tribune reports on how self defense advocates and the shooting sports community are pushing citizen safety laws at every legislative level to reverse decades of meaningless, ineffective gun control laws.

It is the grassroots pushing this. It has always been the grassroots. And average Americans who merely want to be left alone, and enjoy the sport of their choice, and have the unfettered ability to choose the tool of their choice for their family's safety, are doing the heavy lifting.

News Coverage, Blog Comments Require Critical Firearms Terminology Review

A bullet comes out of the barrel
A cartridge goes into the breech
As you carefully choose your apparel
Take equal pains with your speech.

-- Jeff Cooper

Recently, I linked to a television report on women and firearms. Very well done, very balanced, indeed. But I missed one glaring, painfully obvious point, and I was called on it by a number of people via private emails, and blogger Lucy, who left a very direct comment on my original post.

The title of the TV story was "Women and Weapons."

Weapon . . . a common word, but one that is constantly misused. A word used commonly by three entities -- people in the military, LEOs and in a most shrill manner, the folks who would deny a woman her choice in self defense tools, the anti gun crowd. The "W" word is one I don't like either for its negative connotation, and I missed it. Have you heard me kicking myself over this? Surely something I would win money from America's Funniest Home Videos should someone tape me.

Here are a few of my personal beliefs and pet peeves on nomenclature, and the reasons why this is so important:

1) Do NOT use the term "weapon." A weapon can be anything used to hurt someone. It can range from a rolled up newspaper to a nuclear bomb. It can be a walking cane, a steak knife, a baseball bat, a hatpin, a screwdriver, a rock, a desk lamp, a sharpened compact disc or DVD, a coffee mug, etc. Get it? The media perpetuates this myth that only guns are weapons. Why should we make it worse?

Use "firearm," "sidearm," "long gun," "handgun," "rifle," "shotgun" -- anything but the "W" word. We play into the gun controllers hands when we use this language. I don't care if you were in the military or were law enforcement. Get used to using any other term other than the "W" word.

2) Do NOT use the terms "assault weapon" or "assault rifle." The general public does not know the difference between an "assault rifle," which is generally a military machine gun, a device capable of being used in either semi-auto or fully automatic modes, and simple semi-automatic rifles. The gun controllers have taught the media and general public to fear the "scary black gun." And given it names it does not deserve.

Use the term "semi-automatic rifle," or "military style semi-automatic rifle." I often use the words "competition rifle" to describe these tools because that is what the majority of these firearms are used for across the United States. Understanding the differences in terminology helps also, especially with general assignment reporters who haven't a clue about firearms nomenclature. Many a time I have been able to downplay a reporter's question about police finding "an assault rifle." My response has always been, "are you kidding me? The cops found someone with a full-out machine gun? On our streets? That hasn't happened here in years!" Suddenly the reporter isn't so sure of the information they've been given, and they go back to check and find out it is just a semi-auto rifle.

Even the term "assault weapon" is a big problem. Retailers use it and I cannot stand it. If you notice my writing, I will refer to "so-called assault weapons." Then move to another description. Guess who invented that two-word phrase? Gun controllers. But what does the shooting sports community do? Stupidly, many in our community have adopted it in some fashion, giving credibility to two words that were meaningless until the Bradys, VPCs and other gun control groups all faxed each other and started working from the same playbook.

3) Do not use the phrase "Saturday Night Special."

In reality, a Saturday Night Special is a great meal at a local diner -- perhaps a steak and salad, with a big potato and butter on the side. The phrase is incorrectly used by gun controllers and the media to refer to any small concealable, and inexpensive, handgun.

Use the term" inexpensive firearm" or "affordable sidearm" or "affordable handgun" to refer to a tool that lower-income moms, dads and grandmothers might keep on hand to defend their children, their grandchildren and their homes. NO ONE should be denied the basic human right to self defense because some politician doesn't like the fact that a sidearm is affordable. It is very disturbing to hear politicians and politically minded police chiefs rail on and on about "Saturday Night Specials" to gain political clout with a public that has no idea what is actually being discussed. When legislation to ban such firearms is discussed or passed, the excuse will be about cutting crime. But in reality, lower-income families have stolen from them the ability to obtain an economically priced handgun that could save their lives.

Look at it this way. I borrowed this from Publicola:

"First, we must recognize that the origin of the term is Niggertown Saturday Night. "Saturday night special" is merely a variant on that phrase. Next, we must look at who would be most affected by a ban on these firearms -- poor people. Simply put, it's a phrase designed to vilify handguns that poor people can afford that came about through altering a racist term." Any questions?

4) Do not use the phrase "bullet proof vests." There is no such thing as a vest that is entirely bullet proof. Penetration depends on angles of entry. A vest can be defeated by something as simple as an arrow fired by a bow.

Use the phrase "bullet resistant vest." This is an accurate term, while the term above, while widely used, is simply not true.

5) Do not use the phrase "the gun lobby." We don't use the phrase "the teachers lobby" to describe advocates for better working conditions and pay for educators, nor do we use "the cop lobby" to describe advocates for better working conditions and pay for LEOs.

Use the phrase "advocates for self defense" or "shooting sports advocates." Why? I have borrowed this from Excaliber Press.

"Gun Lobby" is a term used by the media and hoplophobes to describe the National Rifle Association, and anyone else who does not like anti-gun legislation or who fights against useless and restrictive firearms laws. Often called the "powerful gun lobby that goes against the will of the people," when anti-gun legislation is in fact voted down by the people." Any questions?

The phrases "cop killer bullets" and "point-blank range" are also meaningless terms bandied about by the legacy media, gun controllers and anti self defense types, as well as an uninformed public. They should never be used by people in the shooting sports community for they only add more confusion to an already incendiary topic.

That's all for now. I'll probably throw a few more "do nots" up soon, with definitions. Any comments or additional nomenclature worth discussing is appreciated. Send 'em on in!

As for you paintball fans, don't get me started . . .

27 July 2008

Ban The Assault Facebook

Okay, no one's been murdered by Facebook (that we know of), but this is over the top.

Members of the social networking site have been using a chilling blade icon to virtually “shank” – street slang for stab – other users. It encourages users -- which as you may know are mostly kids -- to "virtually" stab each other. People in the United Kingdom are the first to scream "foul." Especially since the news comes amid an epidemic of knifings across England.

The Sun newspaper has details.

And people say lawfully owned firearms are the problem with society . . .

Tennessee Church, Site of Bloody Rampage, Most Likely A Self-Imposed Victim Zone

Updated: Monday, July 28, 2008, 9:59 pm -- Confirmed! The Unitarian Universalists denomination passed a general resolution in 1991, since unchanged, urging registration of firearms and restrictions on ownership. Sadly, this self-imposed victim zone was chosen for a reason.

Updated: Sunday, July 27, 2008, 9:41 pm
-- A second person has died as the result of this shooting at a Knoxville, Tenn. Unitarian Universalist church. A 61-year-old woman died after being taken to an area hospital. The FBI is now assisting in the case, and working to determine if the tragic incident was a hate crime. Neighbors of the alleged murderer say he was a nice man, but had issues with Christianity.

I'll bet any amount of money that this church, saying it is an agent for "social change," was rabidly anti-gun and this miscreant knew it. He knew the congregants would be defenseless and counted on their fear of common-sense defensive tools. THAT is part of the tragedy of this story.

Updated: Sunday, July 27, 2008, 5:20 pm
-- One person, a 60-year-old usher, has died from this church shooting. The assailant used a shotgun when he entered the facility, the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church. While Tennessee has no prohibition on firearms in churches, sadly, I am sure the prevailing culture at this house of worship was very anti gun. Unitarian and Universalist churches across the U.S. are frequent sites of anti-gun lectures and book signings. So while there was, wisely, no state law against firearms in the church, I think it is a fair statement that the anti-gun sentiment that is rampant among this particular denomination made this a self-imposed "victim zone." I think the bad guy DID know this.

The suspect is being held on a $1 million bond. He attempted to conceal his shotgun in a guitar case. News reports say several members of the church did what they could to tackle the assailant, and hold him until police arrived. But by that time the damage was done.

Congregants are telling the media that Greg McKendry, the church usher murdered by the intruder, was a "total hero" for taking a shotgun blast meant for others. Personally, I wish Mr. McKendry had had a firearm to take out the assailant, instead. He might be alive having dinner with his family tonight instead of having his name all over the evening news.

A church in Knoxville, Tenn. was the site of an unexplained shooting this morning, as a criminal entered the sanctuary and starting firing at people. Seven people were critically wounded. Twelve others were treated for minor injuries at the church. The shooting occurred during a children's production of the musical, Annie.

The assailant was taken into custody without a fight after police arrived.

Tennessee is one of a handful of states that allows firearms in churches. Ever wonder why those intent on doing harm with a gun always go to a school or mall (where the No Weapons signs are) and not the local police station? Just maybe it's because they would be met with a bit of resistance.

It's too bad there apparently was no resistance available at this particular place of worship. Perhaps the bad guy knew this. Police say they may never know the criminal's intent.

Another Ironic Reason Not To Believe The New York Times Any More

Apparently, the powers that be at the militantly anti-gun New York Times have forgotten their history. Or conveniently had a case of selective memory. Maybe a newspaper only supports the use of firearms when it could mean the difference between economic life and death for that particular journalistic enterprise.

Either way, here is a blast from the past (pun intended): During the U.S. Civil War, the New York Times ordered gatling guns to protect the newspaper during the New York City Draft riots.

Scholar Clayton Cramer describes it best:

"All the following sources agree that the New York Times had Gatling guns set up to deal with rioters; using the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms to protect the First Amendment right of a free (non-smoldering) press."
He then goes on to list a number of sources, and comments that he believes the only reason a Gatling gun would have been on the roof of the New York Times building "because the strafing run hadn't yet been invented."

Irony can be so very delicious, don't you think?

Chicago Digs In For A Fight

Updated: Sunday, July 27, 2008, 1:53 pm -- While city officials continue to defend their ineffective gun ban, activists pushing the public to drink the gun control Kool-Aid yesterday held a "gun buy back." The thinking is that with fewer guns on the street, crime will be reduced. A nice theory, but all it did was put $100 credit cards in the hands of people who turned in broken, already useless firearms, or in the hands of thieves who illegally obtained working guns by stealing them from someone else -- usually from law abiding taxpayers.

Further, Mayor Daley is now proposing additional gun regulations. He wants to codify responsibilities and liabilities of citizens who own firearms. Targeting them as if they are criminals. As they say over at Armed and Safe, Daley is "never one to let himself be limited to . . . being sane."

Maybe its something in the Chicago River. Maybe its just that feeling in the ivory tower that a mayor can do no wrong. Maybe it is to save face . . .

Whatever it is, the powers that be appear to be digging in for a fight that could, as we saw with the Parker/Heller case in Washington D.C., go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

This past week, officials in the Windy City announced they have no plans to back down and repeal, or modify, the city's handgun ban. In fact, they have come up with a novel legal argument -- a technicality some are saying -- to defend their position. Several legal scholars say Chicago officlals are playing "iffy."

"Mara Georges, the city's chief lawyer, appeared before aldermen yesterday pledging to "vigorously" defend Chicago's 1982 handgun prohibition. The city is currently facing two suits in district court challenging that ban in the aftermath of a June 26 Supreme Court decision that threw out a handgun ban in Washington, D.C.

"In that case, the court ruled for the first time that the Second Amendment provides a right for individuals to bear arms. Georges says the city is likely to argue that the court's decision applies only in Washington, a federal territory, and not to the states.

"The opinion does not say that the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms applies to states or municipalities," says Georges."
And then rational voices speak up:
"Some experts say that argument will face tough scrutiny in court. "If I were making policy recommendations to the City of Chicago, it would be back off this real fast, and just get rid of it before it gets into court," says Harry Wilson, a political science professor at Roanoke College in Virginia, and author of Guns, Gun Control and Elections."
Additionally, the city plans to continue enforcing its questionable gun ban while it is defending itself in court. A lot of taxpayer dollars going out the door to pay attorneys fees. Not smart, in my book, considering that there is virtually no evidence this ban has done any more to effect crime than the gun ban in the District of Columbia. Wilmette, Ill. repealed a nearly identical ban last week after the Heller decision, and the city of Morton Grove, Ill. has suspended enforcement of its gun ban over fear of a lawsuit by self defense advocates.

I'm no attorney, but the legal argument sounds a lot like the pea under the shell game that some carny would be playing, doesn't it? "Pay close attention, but pay no attention . . . " Read the full story here.

26 July 2008

Remembrance, Toasts, Things To Ponder

Last night some 40+ people whom I have known for more than 30 years (actually, some I've known far longer, others I had never met - I will explain momentarily) joined together to relive old times, and toast a departed friend.

For me, it added to the things I ponder late in my fourth decade on this Earth.

Thirty years ago in June, I was among some 580 graduates of Whetstone High School in Columbus. The Class of '78. The Braves. Tonight is the formal reunion, but last night was labeled "The Rogue Reunion," an informal gathering at a northside watering hole called the India-Oak Tavern. Easy to find since it is one building east of the intersection of Indianola and Oakland Park avenues. But I digress.

Everyone a bit older. Some of us with silver hair now instead of the brown, brunette, red, black or blonde of our youth. Though some still have that same original color, or close . . . some with help, others are natural. Who can tell? Now, with nearly 600 people in your graduating class, it is impossible to know everyone. Some you meet in elementary school, and had known since kindergarten. Others you never met in high school. So you get to know each other in ensuing years. You learn that some sat in the back or front of the same classes you had. Others you realize you never met because one person was focused on music, or athletics, while others were in shop, or took vocational classes, or spent different shifts down by the river "smoking." Some worked and only took a couple classes. Others had all their classes at Fort Hayes, the music, art and drama-focused school.

Nevertheless, there were two things that bonded us last night. The school we shared on the banks of the Olentangy River three decades ago, and the loss of a good friend who was taken from us all too quickly, Mark McCalla.

There were Mark stories, many hilarious, some serious, and then the frustration and unexplainable loss we all shared. Mark, a well-liked pastor, was murdered last month in West Virginia at a state park shooting range. Murdered with his own gun, police there have said. His killers caught a week later here in Columbus of all places. You know, as you grow older you are excited for your generation, and for your circle of friends when your peers are recognized nationally. But not in this way. His story made national headlines.

And then last night there were classmates telling Mark stories: There was Gary, the Columbus police officer who had kept us updated on the behind the scenes investigation; there was Dave, a real estate colleague of mine whom I've known since kindergarten, telling of how he once was driving down a long, straight street where McCoy Road changes names and becomes Highland Drive. He saw Mark at the side of his road, next to his bicycle, talking to an Upper Arlington police officer. Dave had pulled over to see if Mark needed help. Mark replied, no, he was fine but he was getting a ticket -- for speeding. Mark had been a competitive bicyclist, so one was torn laughing and nodding your head in agreement, and shaking your head in wonderment at any LEO who would pull over someone on a bicycle. But knowing Mark, yes, he probably was going a little fast.

There were stories of Mark when he was active on the Ohio State Ski Club. And Mark's battle with cancer. Not everyone knew that. Myself included. In fact, when word made its way around that Mark was gone, a few people thought it was cancer that got him. But no one was prepared for how he lost his life.

My Mark story is this. There were three feeder junior high schools (kids, today you call them "middle schools") that contributed into WHS. Ridgeview, Dominion, and Crestview. My first day at Whetstone, I was looking for a young lady whom I had spent two weeks with every summer for many, many years. Her grandmother lived two doors down from me when i was growing up. All those years we played together, but just during that brief span each summer. Connie was at Dominion. I went to Ridgeview. At Whetstone, I stopped the first person I saw in the 10th grade study hall whom I did not know, and asked if he went to Dominion. He said yes, and I asked him if he had seen Connie that morning. He pointed her out. Thrilled, we were both re-united. Not just for another two-week stint, but now for the nine-month school schedule for the next three years.

"He" (looking at me with this eyebrow raised at my zeal to find this person) was Mark McCalla.

Just a few days before he died, we were exchanging emails and he was teasing me, asking if I still had the old scarlet and gray GMC Jimmy I drove back then. No, I explained, it has been long replaced and my current transport is a forest green Jeep Cherokee. He was going to stop by my house Father's Day weekend. He got busy. And then none of us ever heard from him again.

Other non-Mark stories abounded as well. There was also some discussion of firearms. I didn't hear anyone complain about guns, considering that what was used by the two scumbags who murdered Mark. I did hear Renee, a concert photographer who has gone back to school and is getting her teacher's license on Long Island in New York, talk about the closed basement shooting range in an elementary school she visited. There was another individual who knew Mark had hunted when we were youths. I had known this also. During conversation I even took down a name and number of a classmate who wants a CCW class. We will hook her up!

Best of all, there were some quiet toasts to Mark. A great guy. A good man. The good memories far outweighed the sadness we felt . . . that we feel. Tonight, I would venture there will be some formal remembrance of Mark. And remembrances of a number of classmates we have lost since graduation in June of 1978. I know of one young lady who will be attending. To learn about her mother. Her mom, Denise, died the year after we graduated in a horrible traffic accident. The young lady was an infant and never knew her mom. She is coming to hear stories from her mom's friends, about what it was like being a teenager in the 1970s on the north side of Columbus, Ohio.

There are many ways to remember a good friend. The last time I was at a shooting range I was participating in a Garand clinic and match. Too much focus on the work at hand to do something in farewell for a departed brother in arms. The next time I am at a range, for me, however, I will send a few shots downrange in Mark's memory. I think he would have liked that. He would not want people to be sad. He'd want them to be charging down a river in a kayak, or speeding down a street on a bicycle, or on the range, just hanging out, talking, culling the paper target herd, and having a good time.

Last night's "Rogue Reunion" was an enjoyable evening. Mark may not have been with us in person. But he was definitely there in spirit.

I won't be at the formal event tonight. I have too many other things on my plate right now. Last night was enjoyable, memorable, wistful. In some ways it recharged me with thoughts of youth. Youth . . . let's see -- eight-tracks and albums were the way we listened to music, whether it was disco, rock or country rock; the Vietnam War had ended when we were 15 or so (a mere three years before); Little House on the Prairie was on the air (actually its still on the air); the promise of peace in the Middle East was "around the corner" with the historic signing of an accord between Israel and Egypt; a Korean jetliner was shot down by the Soviet Union (kids, today we call that place Russia); and anti-gun Californian Dianne Feinstein in 1978 had become that state's first female mayor. Now she makes mischief in the U.S. Senate.

But more importantly, in the late 1970s there were concerts to be enjoyed out by Buckeye Lake; Little Kings came in handy little bottles that slipped handily into your parka; I could pack nearly 10 people into my Jimmy; and when you cruised the drive-through at the Wendy's in Clintonville on North High Street, keying the mike on your CB radio would get you heard inside on the kitchen area loudspeaker.

Ahhh . . . good times.

Mostly, 1978 was a time of knowing that anything you wanted to do in the future you could. All you had to do was go after it. Overall, it was great to see last night where people are in their lives. In some cases it was sad. There was a time when we thought we had the world by the ass. Some people, today, are content. Others are starting over. Some by choice, others not. These kind of gatherings also help a person to look back at where you were, where you thought you were going, where you ended up, and contemplate where you want to go from here.

I ponder that every day. A lot is left unwritten in our lives. What you make of it is up to you. Mark's time was stolen from him. Brutally. Others have health issues. The stuff we used to roll our eyes on when our parents got into those types of discussions. Yet another reason to live for each and every day, to live it as if it might be your last. Not to settle. But to explore, to seek, to learn, live, laugh, touch and revel.

And also, so you don't drive yourself insane, to not think so hard about it. Someone reminded me of that yesterday. Good advice.

Anti-Gun Mayor A Bully?

Anti-gun Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is a signatory to Michael Bloomberg's hot-air filled "Mayors Against Illegal Guns" campaign.

I think I know why, at least in Mayor Kilpatrick's case, he has signed on to this PR-heavy, distortion-riddled campaign -- physicians call it "projection."

He's got this anger management problem, and he doesn't trust himself. Maybe, even, he doesn't trust himself with guns. So he becomes one of the heavyweights pushing the anti-gun message.

That has to be the only explanation . . . Why?

Well, he has some troubles. First, he was charged in May of this year with perjury for misconduct in office with a city staffer -- NOW he is being investigated for allegedly assaulting a sheriff's deputy who was trying to serve a subpoena to one of the mayor's colleagues. The fallout continues:

"A 36th District Court judge restricted Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's travel and revoked his personal bond today during a bond hearing, one day after the mayor was accused of assaulting a detective.

"The mayor, who was on a personal bond that did not require him to pay any money to the court, was required to pay $7,500 in cash -- 10 percent of his $75,000 bond -- to stay free, 36th District Judge Ronald Giles ordered. By 2:50 p.m., Kilpatrick had paid his bond after a delay at the court.

"I am being real rational today," the mayor said as he waited to be released.

"Kilpatrick will be allowed to keep already approved business travel, including attending the Democratic National Convention in Denver. But all personal travel is prohibited, the judge ordered. The mayor is also required to participate in random drug testing. Kilpatrick volunteered to take an immediate drug test.

"You are a licensed attorney, you are a public official," the judge told Kilpatrick after hearing evidence of an alleged Thursday assault by Kilpatrick on a Wayne County detective who was attempting to serve a summons on Bobby Ferguson, a city contractor and close friend of the mayor. "Everything you do and everything you say is in some way recorded and obviously it's something you have to think about."

"Giles further chastised Kilpatrick and said his behavior was irrational."

Yes, projection . . . perhaps the root behind all this anti self defense claptrap. Is it that the antis know they have "issues" and don't trust themselves? Therefore, none of us may possess self defense or sporting firearms?

I think Mr. Kilpatrick needs to examine his own problems first before he sets out trying to make himself feel better by irrationally regulating the self defense tool of choice for many Detroit residents.

He's good at irrational. A judge said so.

25 July 2008

RIP Randy Pausch

A truly amazing human being has left us.

Rest in Peace Randy Pausch . . .

24 July 2008

No Goo For You!

Denver, Colo. officials know there will be protesters . . . LOTS of protesters pouring into the Mile High City, all finding something they don't like about democrats and their national convention.

But while protesters will not be turned away, too, there are no longer plans to cover them in glue -- or heat them up with new heat wave technology.

How do we know this? Why the ACLU, of course. That bunch of attorneys who count to ten this way -- 1,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 -- (except for ACLU leaders in Nevada) filed suit against Denver so the public could learn specifically how the city was spending millions of dollars on police equipment. And who is expected to attend, besides the media and convention delegates???

Everyone from people who think the war isn't being prosecuted aggressively enough, to people who think we have no business in Iraq and Afganistan and are pissed the dems have caved in on the subject now that the troop surge is working, to people who think presumed nominee Sen. Barack Obama (and his former arch rival Sen. Hillary Clinton) are not liberal enough . . . the list goes on and on. And protesters representing just about every issue you can imagine will be there.

But they will be controlled.

"Denver officials expect to spend more than $18 million on police equipment for the Democratic National Convention — but the purchases apparently won't include high-tech weapons that use sonic waves to incapacitate protesters or goo guns to immobilize them.

"That information, provided by the city to the American Civil Liberties Union as part of an agreement to delay a public records lawsuit, marks one of the most detailed looks yet at the super-secret efforts to provide security for the convention, scheduled Aug. 25 to 28.

"The ACLU sued Denver in May under the state's public records law after city officials refused to provide documents showing how they were spending millions of dollars on police equipment."

Slime or goo to "immobilize protesters." Hmmm . . . Sounds like the making of a TV show.

"I survived the Democratic National Convention Japanese Game Show!"

Willmette, IL Repeals Its Gun Ban

Two down, many more to go.

Wilmette, Ill. became the second Illinois city to repeal its Chicago-style gun ban, after the Parker/Heller Supreme Court decision was handed down, and in the wake of a lawsuit filed against the city of Chicago over its draconian gun restrictions.

Wilmette officials said they feared a court challenge, and noted their ordinance was likely unconstitutional.

Score one more for citizen safety.

A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words

The District of Columbia's convoluted new gun law, prompted by the Heller/Parker Supreme Court decision, explained in a single cartoon panel.

From the pen of editorial cartoonist Lisa Benson.

BTW, if you haven't heard, the new law does not allow DC residents to keep a loaded gun in their home. DC officials say the High Court surely did not mean for that to be permitted.

If they only had a brain . . .

23 July 2008

Central Ohio Women and Firearms -- For Once, Fair Treatment From TV Station

A colleague of mine recently hosted a women only shoot at her rural Ohio home. The Central Ohio CBS Television affiliate, WBNS, was there.

Linda Walker, like myself, is both an NRA Certified Instructor, and an Ohio real estate agent. She also is a leader with Buckeye Firearms Association. When testifying before the Ohio General Assembly, we often have worked in conjunction with each other to make sure every issue is covered when dealing with lawmakers as important citizen safety legislation is promoted. As I have noted previously, as an officer of Peoples Rights Organization I have volunteered as a legislative liaison for a few years now.

Linda was was gracious enough to open up her home and host a number of women, former students of hers, for this little get together. What is more dramatic, in my book, is the chance she took letting a local TV station come out -- a station that has almost never been friendly to the self defense cause (and other related issues), despite protestations from management and certain other reporters that it covers events fairly.

Now, to the news story itself. In comparison to most of the news coverage 10tv gives to the firearms issue (historically it has been incredibly negative and biased), the piece that aired yesterday was pretty good. More than good, actually. As Linda said in an email to me, it had "zero bias." Probably because it wasn't a piece on legislation that a reporter doesn't like, or in most cases doesn't understand.

In this case, the correspondent, Brittany Westbrook, came out and watched a bunch of women having fun -- with guns. And honestly . . . what can be more fun than that?

Check it out.


-- "What goes around, comes around . . ."

-- "When your misdeeds come back to bite you in the ass . . ."

The New York Times Q2 profits are down 82 percent from a year ago. Perhaps if they would report the news rather than trying to shape it, mold coverage to fit the editors and publishers own mindset, censor it, maybe more people would take them seriously. And subscribe. Or at least read it. When fewer readers take it seriously, and circulation drops, advertisers flee.

Hmmm . . .

Quote Of The Day

"We're like zombies. There's no stopping us. Or maybe it's as P.J. O'Rourke says. All kids have a drive to shock their parents. This is a problem for kids today, many of whom were conceived during drug-laden public sex at Woodstock; there's no way to shock your parents anymore. Except by enlisting. Especially in the US Marine Corps, so you can come home and tell them you like the doctrine of "every man a rifleman." -- Scholar Dave Hardy, commenting on the Boston Globe story about 19-year-old Stephen Scherer, a young man who was just named to the U.S. Olympic shooting team, and who grew up in a gun-hating family.

How A Gun Hating Family Produced An Olympic Shooter

An amazingly balanced, incredibly fair piece from the Boston Globe. No, I'm not kidding . . . the paper of record in Beantown!

Here are some snippets regarding young Mr. Scherer from the full story:

"Stephen Scherer fired his final shot at the Olympic trials in March, lowered his rifle, and smiled. There was no fist pumping, no chest thumping when he won the 10-meter air rifle competition and a berth on the US Olympic team bound for Beijing. Just a shy, slightly self-conscious smile. It was the first and only emotion Scherer showed during three pressure-packed days in Colorado Springs. He was as composed in victory as he had been throughout the best shooting performance of his life. Or perhaps he was in shock. Scherer had had no expectation of making the Olympic team, not as a 19-year-old with a lot still to learn about the sport. He figured the Olympic trials would offer good preparation for representing West Point - where he is going to be a sophomore - at the NCAA riflery championships a couple of weeks later.

"Not bad for a teenager from Billerica who professes a love of all things Army and his admiration for Jimi Hendrix in the same breath. And whose mother didn't even want him to have a squirt gun as a boy."
Very cool! BTW, his younger sister, Sarah, narrowly missed a spot on the Olympic air rifle team.

As far as this coming out of the Globe, one key difference from most firearms news reporting may be that it was a staff sports writer who penned the piece, rather than some general assignment newsie, a specialist in nothing, looking to impress the editors and publication ownership with their lack of knowledge of guns.

h/t to David Hardy

22 July 2008

Where Is Rosie O'Donnell To Point Out The Link Between Violent Movies And Violence?

Or as one of my favorite headlines might read, "Ban The Assault Movies."

Sadly, there is a story out of the Milwaukee area, where an 18-year-old man has strangled his 18-year-old girlfriend. Whether there is a tie-in remains to be seen, but local media is harping endlessly about how the alleged killer watched the film "Natural Born Killers" 10-20 times.

Police say the accused has stated he and his girlfriend watched the movie that night. He told police that night that he "did it."

I can't bring myself to say ban movies, for the children. Because we all know it is not the film that makes someone kill, any more than it is a firearm that makes someone kill, or a spoon that continues to keep Rosie O'Donnell on the hefty side.

Poll: Doctors Say Firearms Ownership Is Not A Public Health Issue

Oh I definitely like this!

While the leadership of the medical community, among them the New England Journal of Medicine, has been busy blasting the U.S. Supreme Court's Parker/Heller decision of a couple weeks ago, medical doctors around the United States don't see it that way.

According to a new report from a MedPage Today poll, gun regulation is NOT a public health issue. That poll is from a survey of 2,000 respondents -- physicians and nurses, to be specific -- to a survey on the matter. More than 80 percent of respondents said firearms regulation is not a public health issue.

While the Journal said firearms use is a public health issue, doctors in the trenches disagree.

Some good quotes from doctors and nurses. Worth keeping nearby as a resource when your neighborhood hoplophobe spouting off about the public health danger of lawful firearms ownership.

Gun Nuts -- Another Podcast Worth Catching

Gun Nuts: The Next Generation is a podcast worth catching. Hosted by Caleb, who writes the Ahab blog, and Squeaky, from Squeaky Wheel Seeks Grease. Your hosts are two, self-described "young gun nuts."

It is a pro-gun political radio show. I have listened to a couple episodes in the past 24 hours. Worth listening in from time to time. It airs once per week on Tuesdays at 11 pm eastern time.

Tonight, Squeaky and Caleb will be talking to the president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, whom my new friends Steve and Annette Elliot at C&E/ShowMasters Gun Shows in Virginia say is an organization that really makes a difference in their state.

Levy:Looking Ahead To Heller's New Paradigm

Robert Levy, who bankrolled much of the Parker/Heller lawsuit against the District of Columbia looks ahead.

"A few observations: First, the so-called Heller paradox depends on demonizing the gun lobby. That bogeyman may be rhetorically useful for Henigan, but it wasn’t the gun lobby that filed the lawsuit, picked the right time, provided the lawyers, identified the issues, selected the plaintiffs, chose the venue, decided on the legal strategy, wrote the briefs, argued in court, and won the case. The NRA can speak for itself, but our goals were not grounded on wedge issues or a cultural base. First and foremost, our interest was to ensure that the D.C. government complied with the text, purpose, structure, and history of the Second Amendment. For us, Heller was about the Constitution; guns merely provided context.

"Second, if there are extreme elements within the gun lobby, trying to exploit the cultural aspects of gun control, that criticism is no less valid when applied to gun controllers themselves. According to Glenn Ivey, state’s attorney for Prince George’s County, a D.C. suburb: “Democrats and others were frequently unwilling to recognize any right to gun ownership and motivated their constituents, especially those in urban areas with high crime rates, by claiming
that the NRA would flood our streets with weapons that would wreak havoc.” One tactic was to arouse urban residents with dire predictions of streets running with blood, awash with military-style weapons. Ivey continues: “To some, it seemed that no civilian should ever own a gun and that the government should ban gun ownership or impose as many restrictions as possible on it. It didn’t matter that an owner had never committed a crime or demonstrated mental or emotional instability.” That’s the way it was, and still is, in Washington, D.C."

A very good read.

Anti-Gun Group Gets Free Billboard Space

Public service announcements my ass. If these billboard companies want a tax break by donating space to a not-for-profit, they can do the same with the NRA Foundation -- an organization that has done, and continues to do, far more to promote gun safety than anyone else, including "Moms Against Guns."

Sebastian has details, and info on contacting the billboard companies. I will be doing so later today.

Zoo Fails Attempt To Prevent OpenCarry Patrons From Visiting Boise Animal Park

Did you hear the one about the zoo that tried to keep members of OpenCarry.org from visiting the facility while openly armed? Once advised it was legal, and that they could do nothing to stop it, officials at Zoo Boise reluctantly let the folks in.

"Group member Carol Schultz of Nampa says: "Coming to the zoo was something we could do together, like any family would." Schultz says she's never without her handgun that she keeps in a holster attached to a heart-studded belt."
A good mom, she knows how to protect her family. Frankly, Zoo Boise was probably the safest animal park in the nation this past weekend.

MILBlogs: Free Speech From Those Who Make It Possible

There is a new TV blog site up worth looking at. It's called MILBlogs TV. Reporting from Iraq.

A look at the good, the bad, and the ugly in the defense of the United States from the very people in uniform who protect speech, the 2A, and the American way of life. Part of the MILBlogs Ring.

The U.N. vs. The Second Amendment

Dave Kopel, writing for The Volokh Conspiracy, comments on the latest going on at the United Nations and the continued effort to hamstring America's Second Amendment, all in the name of worldwide small arms control (which most people equate with violence in third-world countries).

Though the U.N. claims it has no interest in infringing on American sovereignty, particularly with our Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, there is this final chilling note from Kopel's piece:

"According to Peters -- the head of the organization which the U.N. says represents "civil society" on gun issues, all handguns should be banned, as should all rifles capable of firing 100 meters, as should the defensive ownership of any gun."
A must read.

Ban The Assault Bulldozers

Assault bulldozers, the new weapon of terror.

Anyone can get one. There are no regulations. There are no background checks. And, incredibly, they are easy to find. They are left behind at construction sites everywhere.

Though 16 people were injured, one seriously, thankfully no one was killed in this apparent copycat attack in Israel today.

Assault bulldozers need to be regulated. If it saves just one life . . .

Since When Is The Constitution 'Extreme?'

Jeff Soyer over at Alphecca wonders why anyone who supports the Constitution and the Bill of Rights would be considered "extreme."

But then, consider the source . . .

Is Push For Campus Carry Being Won Or Lost?

The retired editor of The Blade, the daily newspaper in Toledo, Ohio, writes in an op-ed that self defense advocates are losing the battle to allow professors, staff and students to lawfully carry concealed firearms for their protection.

I disagree.

Of course, he doesn't say it is self defense advocates who are losing, he says it is the National Rifle Association. Nothing like pulling out a popular punching bag when your argument is a bit thin. An easy target, the NRA's lobbying power is unmatched. So if results aren't coming at lightening speed, of course the media and others automatically conclude, and tell everyone who will listen, that our battle is lost.

Still, rather than even talk to anyone at the NRA, or at CampusConcealed.org, the student-run organization that is the primary force behind this national movement, he talked to Toby Hoover. The one-woman show in northwest Ohio whose financially questionable organization -- and credibility -- is continually propped up by the legacy media. Here is another example of the cheerleading going on for Ms. Hoover's bankrupt argument:

"College students themselves think guns on campus are a bad idea. Toledoan Toby Hoover, executive director of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence, remembers an appearance before a class of about 150 students at the University of Cincinnati. She asked their opinion about allowing students to carry guns. All but "a handful" were opposed, she said. What about professors, she asked. This time the response was unanimous: no way. There was nervous laughter but a point was made."
And have you talked to students who have been on campuses where there were shootings, Mr. Walton? Have you talked to students who wore empty holsters a few different times on college campuses to protest their inability to protect themselves on wide-open campuses that are ripe for violence by thugs who know the kids cannot fight back? Did you bother to contact students at Virginia Tech, or in Dekalb, or in New Orleans who support CampusConcealed.org, and get their view?

No, Mr. Walton, the battle isn't being lost. It is only just beginning. For just as the Second Amendment rights of Americans were incrementally taken away over a period of decades, they are incrementally being won back. Legislatively, and in the courts. Reform of antiquated, ineffective gun control regulations is happening everywhere. Take a look around.

All the cute little sound bytes and emotional anecdotes you wove into your column will not stop the next attack. But a coed, trained and armed, might make the difference between the life and death of your child, or grandchild, on a college campus.

And THAT is worth talking about.

21 July 2008

Unintended Consequences

In an effort to protect kids from the bumps and bruises that make kids kids, playgrounds all over the U.S. now have protective rubber mats, or rubber chunks under equipment so that no one gets hurt.

Well, the very items that protect the kids are giving kids first and second degree burns.

"Parents of children burned by hot playground equipment are criticizing the parks department.Surfaces have reached 166 degrees in the hot weather over the last week or so. Burns happen easily with any temperatures over 140 degrees, according to park authorities. Two children have suffered burns already."
They are suffering burns when their hands or feet touch the rubber surface under playground equipment. The solution? Parks officials tell parents to make sure kids keep shoes on their feet.

Its a sad day when the solution leads to injuries far worse than the simple bumps and bruises they were supposed to be protected from. Of course, its not the fault of the rubber mats, or the politicians and school officials who bought into the idea that kids should not be allowed to be kids by skinning a knee once in a while.

The next thing you know, the reason the mats are hot will be blamed on "climate change" and George W. Bush. Any bets on how long that will be?

Another unintended consequence, brought to you The Bureaucracy.

This Date In History

On this date in history, the first train robbery west of the Mississippi River was pulled off by Jesse James.

Now, what does this have to do with self defense, firearms and politics? Well, he did use a gun, but as far as self defense or politics, there is no connection.

But there is a connection to me . . .

You see, earlier this year, something that has long been family lore was confirmed. I am related to the notorious outlaw Jesse James. Or more specifically, we share a common ancestor. His grandfather and my great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather are one and the same. Or close to that.
For decades I have always wondered about this story. Growing up I had heard hints from my mom on and off, but was told no one really knew anything about it. My mother grew up in Knox County, Ohio, and had heard the stories too. Only she received a slightly different response. In the 1930s and 1940s, her mother told her, "we don't talk about that." Of course, that part of family history -- if it were true -- was handed down orally. There were no written records, and of course no internet to speed data searches. In my grandmother's day, my mother tells me, the crimes of the James Brothers were too fresh in everyone's minds. No one in their right mind would want to own up to that kind of relation.

Today, being related to the James Brothers is a historical oddity. But back then, as Grandma probably felt, no one would talk about it. I wonder if she wondered why no one would share with her the details of a distant member of the family.
A friend and I discussed this a few months ago when this news came to light. She drew a modern parallel that opened my eyes. People in the 1800s, or even early 1900s wouldn't want the public to know they were related to the Missouri-born outlaw, considering how many people he and his brother, Frank James, killed, and how publicized their exploits were. Then she threw me this: Would anyone today want to admit they are related to Charles Manson? For me, that pretty much answered the question about why no one would want to admit the connection back in the day.

Anyway, we fast forward to 2008 where the connection was confirmed. The power of the internet. A youthful family member, at 14, found the relation. I was contacted, asking if I recognized certain names. Yes, I said, those are people on my mom's side of the family back some four, five and six generations. Well, I was told, they are on a James family website. Wow!Shortly after, I exchanged a number of emails with Mr. Eric James, keeper of the James family legacy. I told him that I had heard these stories as a kid, but never knew where to start. And then someone in my family stumbles across his site, and instead of us looking for a connection to him, here on his expansive website is his listing of people who I can confirm are my distant relatives. Eric was claiming a connection . . . to me!
A California resident, Eric James has ammassed an enormous, and I mean HUGE, database of familial connections of James relatives far and wide. His site is called "Stray Leaves," and the name is fitting considering that those who are related to each other often move, or are pushed, due to family issues, economics, or just a wanderlust. They move . . . drift . . . not unlike stray leaves being tossed about in the wind.

I have to chuckle at this newfound news about a distant relative who lived two centuries ago. Jesse James had a reputation as a ladies man, but was ruthless when he was "working." People died. And he ultimately met an untimely end at the hands of one of his own gang members. Still, the chuckling comes from comments that arise at a weekly commercial real estate meeting in which I participate.

Occasionally, one of the veterans will come across an investment property with strong potential that can be bought cheaply -- at a steal, you might say. He will remark, "does anyone here this morning have larceny in their heart?" I, along with a few others, have always laughed a bit as we raise our hands and acknowledge that we want in on whatever the "deal of the day" is.

Armed with this newfound knowledge of a notorious distant relative, a few of my colleagues on Thursdays every now and then give me grief, suggesting that the larceny isn't in my heart, its in my genes. In my heart is good enough, as long as it translates into profits.
Legally, of course.
Inspirational h/t to Lucy

Quote Of The Day

"The purpose of modern government is to take money from the folks who save and pay their bills and live within their means, and use that to hire government workers; and to keep their power by using the money to buy votes from those who do not save and pay their bills and live within their means. And of course the money comes from those who work and save and pay their bills and live within their means -- who else will have any money for the government to take?

"Or am I unduly cynical? But you ain't seen nothing yet. Wait until we have President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and Senate Leader Reid. Then you'll see a lot of new laws, all designed to help you. Maybe it's not possible to be unduly cynical." -- Jerry Pournelle, author of Chaos Manor Musings blog.

h/t to The Smallest Minority and Instapundit

Will Higher Gas Prices Result In Less Police Presence? If You Believe In Self Reliance, It's A Non-Issue

In different parts of the U.S. this summer, that very question is being asked.

In Georgia, police are going out on foot patrol more often. There are some good arguments for having cops walking the beat. For one they can evaluate situations better than speeding by in their air conditioned cruisers. But, they cannot be everywhere . . .

Here in Central Ohio, police are, indeed, turning to foot patrols, as well as motorcycles and bicycles as a result of the fuel price crunch. Even Columbus' fleet of police helicopters is seeing its hours in the air slashed . . .

Even in and around the nation's capitol, the story is the same -- cutbacks and emergency legislation for more funds to cover fuel costs borne by public safety vehicles . . .

So with a likelihood of less police presence in neighborhoods -- from time to time (and we will never know just when) -- the result is, not unexpectedly, that we all are even more responsible for our own safety.

And still, there is this collectivism mentality among many that we as individuals should not be tasked with such. Further, that we should not want to be responsible for our own safety. There are people who are stunned by the changes in patrol policy, and feel they are being "forced" to set up neighborhood watches. That they are being left to fend for themselves.

Maybe they've never read this.

20 July 2008

Of BB Guns, Armed Robbery, Self Defense, Murder Charges and Ohio's Castle Doctrine

You hold a BB gun to someone's head, you have to deal with the consequences.

That was the case earlier today in Columbus when a man pulled a real firearm and shot dead an intruder who, with his friends, tried to rob residents of a westside home.

Now, the accomplices of the man who pointed the BB gun at their victims are going to be charged with murder for taking part in a crime that resulted in his death. I am still trying to process in my mind the evolution of charges that are used these days in a situation like this. Guys who don't pull the trigger are charged with murder. A friend and I had a conversation about this regarding Charles Manson the other day -- same kind of situation, but a long story best left to a future post. Back to this story.

The stupid guy holding the BB gun is dead. Because he was stupid. The resident who defended the people in the home deserves a cold one. He is a hero tonight.

BTW, the media is already noting that, "OMG!" the defending resident -- had this happened in a couple of months -- would have gotten off "scott free" because the Castle Doctrine legislation passed recently by the Ohio General Assembly would already in effect. Baloney! As it now stands, this shooting will go to the Franklin County Grand Jury, as do all shootings -- whether they be by private citizen or civilian law enforcement. The only difference, once the law goes into effect, will be that prosecutors now have the burden of proof on them to prove that a defending shooter acted criminally. NO LONGER will a defending shooter have to prove they were in the right.

Makes sense, doesn't it? In a normal world, yes. But to hear Ohio prosecutors at Statehouse hearings earlier this year you would have thought they were being emasculated. As it stands, when the law goes into effect, Ohioans will be innocent until proven guilty if they use deadly force to defend themselves inside the home or inside an automobile.

BTW, I predict the grand jury will decide that Mr. BB Gun was stupid. And as the film character Forrest Gump said so eloquently, "stupid is as stupid does."

A Soldier Tells The Left 'You Can't Disarm Me'

"The Left doesn't fear the gun, they fear me. Specifically they fear the power that me and a gun have over other people (like them) who don't have a gun. So instead of getting a gun of their own or taking Karate or any other healthy method to make themselves powerful, they seek to disarm me.

"I am a professional soldier, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills. I can clear a room or engage a single target from 600 meters away. As an individual I am a formidable force, and as a member of a team I am an unstoppable force.

"It is time for EVERY gun owner to realize that. Politically we are unstoppable if we stick together and fight the good fight. Physically if we train, individually or in groups, we can protect ourselves and loved ones from those who would do them harm. UNSTOPPABLE."

Random thoughts from an American soldier.Truer words were never spoken. Just read it.

h/t to Brigid

Maybe It's Because I Don't Drink Coffee . . .

Okay, I am reading tonight about the intense letter writing campaigns springing up around the United States from startled Starbucks customers who are wondering where their next caffeine fix is going to come from . . .

Are they having the DTs already, even though their favorite stores have not yet closed? Pre-mature withdrawl?

If you have been in Europe this past week, sick or just hanging around in a hole and were not aware, Starbucks announced due to sagging sales and a continuing trouble economy it will shutter some 600 stores across the nation, and delay the opening of many new stores. Which means that a lot of folks are upset -- mad as hell and not going to take it any more.

Over the years I have heard some people say that their morning coffee is a life-saver. My college roommate said he owed his life to his morning coffee and cigarette. So, with that said . . .

In my twisted way, I cannot help but wonder whether if there were a series of attacks, muggings, rapes and the like in their neighborhoods, and law abiding gun owners -- moms and dads -- decided that the time had come to pass a CCW law . . . oh, say like in Illinois . . . whether these same people would be so quick to start a letter writing campaign in support of THAT kind of life-saver?

It would be quite the conundrum for some. My take? I'm rather offended here on Sunday night that there is a letter-writing campaign going on to save some coffee retail locations when many of these same people openly scoff at a woman who wants to carry a firearm to protect her children, but is denied such because she lives in public housing in Chicago. Five Chicago Starbucks stores are slated to close (as are some additional locations just outside the Windy City). I have no doubt that large numbers of coffee-loving Cook County residents are cranking out the letters fast and furious and encouraging their neighbors and friends to do the same.

Which begs the question: Which is the real life-saver? An overpriced cup of "joe," or a lawfully owned personal sidearm? Owned by a carry permit holder?

The answer is obvious to me. But then, am I biased with the question I pose? For you see, I'm not a coffee drinker . . .

Obama's 'Civilian National Security Force' Is Already Covered In The Constitution

Classical Values notes that the civilian National Security Force that Sen. Barack Obama suggested be created already exists -- and it is authorized by the United States Constitution.

That authorization? The Second Amendment.

But then, by just authorizing "the people," you couldn't create a new layer of bureaucracy . . . or create a budget for it, and with a budget, bureaucrats beholden to the politicians creating said bureacracy . . .

Nor could you force untold additional hundreds of thousands of people to be fingerprinted and background checked, just to get them into "the system . . . "

No, I guess we don't want to rely on a 200+ year old scrap of parchment to guide us.

Just pass another damn law . . . or let yet another politician create another layer of bungling bureaucracy . . . all in the name of "accomplishing something . . ."

WSJ: 'How A Young Lawyer Saved the Second Amendment'

The Wall Street Journal has an excellent profile of Alan Gura, who successfully argued the Heller case before the U.S. Supreme Court. Here are a few snippets:

"A native of Israel, he grew up in Los Angeles and never owned a firearm until after that city's riots in 1992. That summer, before he enrolled at the Georgetown University Law Center, "I bought a gun in Los Angeles. I did not have it with me in law school, of course -- that was illegal."
He also has some ideas on why the high court, in more than 200 years had never truly addressed the meaning of the 2A. The 1939 Miller case, which only addressed a bootlegger's possession of a sawed-off shotgun, the court's decision was twisted by anti gun advocates to suggest that the justices had somehow endorsed the "collective rights" theory.

"By the beginning of this century, notes Mr. Gura, that theory had fallen into disfavor among legal academics. "Many scholars, including very well-known left-of-center or liberal scholars, had come to concede that the Second Amendment, whatever its scope, guarantees some sort of an individual right to own and carry firearms, not connected to military service."

"But the judiciary lagged behind the academy, owing to a dearth of Second Amendment litigation. Traditional civil-liberties groups like the ACLU largely backed the collective-rights theory, and gun-rights groups like the National Rifle Association focused their efforts on lobbying, in the belief that litigation was too risky.

"Virtually all the decisions that addressed the Second Amendment were styled United States v. Somebody," says Mr. Gura. "'Somebody' was a crack dealer, a bank robber -- some lowlife who had made a spurious Second Amendment claim as part of a package of desperate appeals." Faced with these sorts of cases, almost every federal appeals court had desultorily endorsed the collective rights view.

"That changed in 2001 with the case of Emerson v. U.S. A federal grand jury had indicted a Texas man for possessing a pistol while under a restraining order not to threaten his estranged wife. The trial judge dismissed the charges on Second Amendment grounds. The Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the indictment, but held that the Second Amendment does protect an individual right."

And then Gura describes the compelling stories of the plaintiffs in the original complaint filed against the District of Columbia:

"Shelly Parker . . . is an African-American lady who moved to a part of Capitol Hill that was improving, but apparently not fast enough. [She] would call the police, get the neighbors involved, to try to get the drug dealers off the street. The drug dealers figured out fairly quickly what the source of their problem was and started harassing her, subjecting her to all kinds of threats, vandalism and so on. . . .

"Dick Heller is a special police officer of the District of Columbia . . . . When we started this suit, he was guarding -- with a gun -- the Federal Judicial Center on Capitol Hill . . . . But Mr. Heller was not allowed to have a gun in his own home for self-defense. . . .

"Tom Palmer is a Cato scholar, a gay man who had previously, in California, fended off a hate crime using a firearm that he happened to have on him. He is alive today, or at least avoided serious injury, because he was able to have access to a gun when he needed it. . . .

"Gillian St. Lawrence is a mortgage broker in Georgetown. . . . [She had] a lawfully registered shotgun, but . . . had to always keep that shotgun unloaded and disassembled, or bound by trigger lock. There was no exception for home self-defense. . . . Of course, she asserted the right to have a functional firearm. If you're allowed to have guns, you're allowed to have guns that actually work as such. We're gratified that both the D.C. Circuit and the Supreme Court agreed with us on that proposition." They did -- but it was close. The circuit-court panel that ruled in his clients' favor split 2-1."

Check out the full story, and pass it on.

19 July 2008

Disease From Toxic Pools, Drownings Show Pools Should Be Regulated, Even Banned

A hundred cases of shigellosis have being reported in Ohio, and investigators are looking at daycare centers. The disease also can pop up from unhealthy water found in public swimming pools. Perhaps private pools as well?

Further, there are the drownings that occur every year in this nation in swimming pools, lakes and rivers. Hundreds and hundreds.

By some accounts, accidental shootings among children 14 and under averaged 71.5 a year from 1999 - 2005. Accidental drownings in that age range and period averaged over 845 per year.

So should we ban the assault pools? Because they are too toxic? I mean, really . . . no one NEEDS to go swimming, right? Just like the argument that the anti self defense crowd makes about no one needing a firearm? Should there be fences around inflatable pools? "If it saves just one life" is the mantra chanted by the Kool-Aid drinkers who blindly push for gun control. So why not mandate fences around inflatable pools?

Inspirational h/t's to Bruce Krafft and Sebastian

Finis! Morton Grove Formally Repeals Its Gun Ban

Apparently seeing that the writing was on the wall, and that in the wake of Heller the city of Chicago is likely to lose its case for having a gun ban on the books in the Windy City, officials in Morton Grove, Ill. formally repealed the gun ban ordinance there.

Like dominoes, one by one they are falling. Maybe one day soon Illinois will see people lining up to become carry permit holders.

Score another big one for citizen safety!

Million Dollar 'Oops' In Chicago

Mayor Richard Daley is believed to be all powerful in Cook County (that's Chicago, folks). His pronouncements are believed to be unassailable, and his wishes unalterable.

So when he proposed that the city try to raise $1 million from the public for a massive gun buyback, supposedly to get guns off the street to reduce crime, the last thing he expected was for someone likely to be an ally to tell Chicago City Council that they were wasting their time.

So far, the corporate "fund-raisers" are off to a very slow start. Think he's having kittens over this the way he flew off the handle when the Heller opinion was announced by the U.S. Supreme Court?

I love it. Apparently, Daley and his machine are not invincible after all . . . .

Dick Heller: Round Two

In case you hadn't heard, after Dick Heller's application to register his sidearm was rejected by Washington DC officials, he returned the next day.

Reason Online has photos, and more info. Some success: officials at the police department did take his fingerprints, and took possession of his 1911-style semi-automatic handgun to run a ballistics check.

He's waiting to hear whether they accept his application now. Apparently after receiving a public relations black eye not just from their draconian registration program (that isn't much better than the ban that was in place until the Supreme Court said to "knock it off"), but their rejection of Mr. Heller's application.

18 July 2008

Will Brits Regain Their Right To 'Forceful Self Defense?'

A London-based blogger ponders several developments in the UK, and comes to the following conclusion:

"So, if someone breaks into my flat in the dead of night, and I get lucky with my late uncle's old cricket bat which I still keep handy just in case, I won't have to be quite so fearful of legal complications. There is, after all, something to be said in favour of lame duck governments, desperately trying something – anything – in order to save a few fragments from the forthcoming electoral wreckage."

Details here.

17 July 2008

Firearms In The Home

Winds of Change has a great piece on the type of firearms to keep in the household for home defense, and some thoughts on reliance on 9-1-1.

And to Grim, who wrote the first comment to Winds' piece, suggesting that knives are a better self defense too, I respectfully suggest he get his head out of his ass.

Keeping as far away from an assailant as possible is Goal 1 in self defense. To rely on a knife is to intentionally put one's self in harm's way, for knife-fighting requires close combat. While some knowledge of using knives for self defense is good, such tools should never be relied upon to fend off an attack.

Simply put, if the goal is to never let the assailant get close to you (and that SHOULD be everyone's goal), ignoring the great equalizer that is a firearm in favor of an edged weapon is just foolhardy.

Can You Say Lawsuit?

Dick Heller gained fame as the key player in the embarrassment that is the Washington DC gun ban. As pretty much everyone knows, the case with his name attached made it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled that the 2A is an individual right and that the District's gun ban was unconstitutional. He won his case.

Guess who was one of the first people in line this morning to register his handgun with the DC police as required by a new law passed by the DC City Council?

Guess what high profile individual's application for registration was rejected?

Can you say lawsuit? Well, that and can anyone tell Mayor Fenty where to direct his police force to get some remedial skills so the powers that be know the difference between a semi-auto handgun . . . . and a machine gun???

View From Canada: DC's 'New' Gun Rules

"We may be able to measure the life of the District of Columbia’s newly proposed handgun law with a stopwatch. Unveiled today by Mayor Adrian Fenty and D.C. Council members, this measure is lawsuit bait that makes a mockery of the Supreme Court’s landmark District of Columbia v. Heller (PDF file) on June 26 by imposing maximum inconvenience on law-abiding D.C. residents who want to own firearms.

"In striking down the District’s previous handgun ban, the Court ruled that “the District’s ban on handgun possession in the home violates the Second Amendment, as does its prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense.” (District of Columbia v. Heller, p. 64)"

"So what does the District do? It thumbs its nose at the high court and then brags about it to appease liberal pro-gun control voters. According to a statement provided by the mayor’s office, “the handgun ban remains in effect, except for use in self-defense within the home.”

Interesting observations on the shenanigans taking place in the District of Columbia City Council from our neighbors to the north.

The Constitutional Right To Self Defense

David Kopel and Orin Kerr have written at The Volokh Conspiracy regarding whether the Heller decision by the U.S. Supreme Court recognizes a constitutional right to self defense.

Eugene Volokh says yes, it does.

16 July 2008

TP Maker Craps All Over Florida Firearms Law

Here's a load of s**t for you to consider . . .

A popular American pulp and paper company has banned employees at its toilet paper plant from storing concealed weapons in their cars while on company property – a move that defies Florida law.

Using a loophole in Florida law, the giant paper maker Georgia Pacific cited a Homeland Security exemption from a statute authorizing workers with concealed-weapons permits to have guns locked in their cars because it says the plant handles large amounts of explosive fuel, the Miami Herald reported.

"The Georgia-Pacific plant, located south of Jacksonville, Fla., claims it is off the hook because U.S. Coast Guard's Maritime Security regulations mandate that the company must have a permit and a safety plan. Company spokesman Jeremy Alexander said the plant's rules ban firearms on the property because it ships about 700 gallons of fuel each day to operate.

'' 'This is based on our Homeland Security requirements," he said. "It's not because of the products we make.'" According to the Herald, Georgia-Pacific would not provide copies of its documents for confidentiality reasons."

Why am I not surprised. They say, "We can't oblige because of federal regs and what we have onsite, but we won't give you the documents you need to confirm we are or are not telling the truth." Hmmm . . .

Pure, unadulterated B.S.! Loads of crap. Feces. Excrement. Over-reacting corporate liability attorney diarrhea.

Yep, the anti self-defense business lobby dung it again.

15 July 2008

More On Proposed DC Gun Laws In Wake of Heller

Updated: Wednesday, July 16, 2008, 12:06 am -- On Thursday, the District of Columbia City Council unanimously approved emergency legislation to end the nation's strictest gun ban (of course they had to -- the Supreme Court ruled it was wholly unconstitutional). According to the Washington Post, the Washington DC Police will start registering guns Wednesday as a result of a new program being implemented in the wake of the Supreme Court's Heller decision.

"D.C. police will start the gun registration process at 7 a.m. tomorrow, when the department opens an office at police headquarters at 300 Indiana Ave. NW. It is the start of the 180-day amnesty period in which residents may register handguns they have had illegally, or guns from other states.

"An officer from the gun unit will meet the applicant at the door and take temporary possession of the gun to ensure safety at headquarters. Officers will tag the gun and conduct ballistics tests before returning the gun to the owner. Paperwork indicating that registration is in process will be provided. About 14 days later, after an FBI background check, the gun will be officially registered."

Take temporary possession to ensure safety . . . Hmmmmm. Hope people write down their serial numbers before they take their firearms in. Just to ensure they get their own guns back.

Mayor Fenty and members of the DC City Council say they are united and ready to fend off lawsuits. Of course they are. It isn't their money they will be pissing away to defend these still restrictive regs they hope will suffice in light of the crushing blow to the city's 32-year-old unconstitutional gun ban. The money belongs to taxpayers. But that won't stop a politician from posturing for the cameras.

Mayor Fenty, if it saves the life of just one child, why don't you regulate speed on automobiles in the District, too. The EPA is already toying with the idea. You can call it "the greening of the Capitol!" For the children . . . for their lungs.

Seriously, back to safety. Heller finally showed that people have the right to defend themselves in their home. The DC Council's proposed regulations are hindering the safe access to firearms by their owners for defensive purposes. Ever try to take a trigger lock off a firearm when your adrenaline is pumping? Or on camera? Ask It isn't pretty.

Simply put: A gun that cannot be gotten to, and used quickly, is of no use at all.

What are they smoking in DC? Or is there something in the Potomac they are drinking that has Council members there
Some of the lunacy being proposed in Washington DC . Read it here, and here.

Among the more ridiculous parts of the legislation, being developed to cope with the landmark ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that the District of Columbia's gun ban was wholly unconstitutional:

  • Allowing an exception for handgun ownership for self-defense use inside the home.
  • If you want to keep a handgun in your home, the MPD will have to perform ballistic testing on it before it can be legally registered.
  • There will be a limit to one handgun per person for the first 90 days after the legislation becomes law.
  • Firearms in the home must be stored unloaded and disassembled, and secured with either a trigger lock, gun safe, or similar device. The new law will allow an exception for a firearm while it is being used against an intruder in the home.
  • Residents who legally register handguns in the District will not be required to have licenses to carry them inside their own homes.
Ballistic testing on your personal sidearm if you want to keep it in your home? Are they nuts?

There are already rumblings of additional lawsuits against DC if some of this stuff goes through. Additionally, there has been the suggestion that the new proposal violates the Americans With Disabilities Act and the District of Columbia's Human Rights Act.

Hmmm . . .