26 November 2008

Critical 15th Ohio Still Undecided

While democrats hold a clear majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, and Sen. Obama is headed to the White House, there still remain several undecided federal races. These seats are of great import to both the republican and democrat parties.

At issue in Ohio's 15 congressional district, which comprises western Franklin County (including part of Columbus, the state capital), most of Madison County, and a piece of Union County. This race was decided by just a few hundred votes two years ago, when challenger Mary Jo Kilroy, a democrat, took on incumbant Rep. Deb Pryce, then the number four republican in the U.S. House. Pryce squeaked by because she had reached out to firearms owners and 2A groups -- a constituency she had scorned shortly after taking office more than a decade ago, even though she had sought donations and support from gun owners for her initial bid to represent this district.

Firearms owners held their noses and pushed the button for Ms. Pryce, listening to her apologies that she had done them wrong in previous votes. But Pryce had had enough and decided not to defend her seat one more time.

On November 4, Kilroy again ran for the seat, this time against Steve Stivers a republican state senator who, despite his representing his district very competently, had the misfortune (some would say) of having been a bank lobbyist in his previous life. And today, with the mortgage meltdown, everyone hates bankers. Kilroy's campaign and the Democratic National Committee exploited that to their advantage with an onslaught of negative campaigning previously unseen by voters in this district.

Today, the race remains undecided. Stivers leads by nearly 600 votes out of more than 250,000 votes cast. The 19th Ohio margin is even slimmer, and is still undecided. There, democrat Marian Harris has a 40 vote lead over republican Brad Lewis.

At issue are provisional ballots that were improperly filled out, or envelopes that were improperly filled out by voters. One court case has been trumped by another, which has been trumped by another. The latest -- the case over how to count these provisional ballots -- filled out when a voter's registration could not be confirmed, or if they had moved and their address could not be confirmed -- will not go to federal court, but will be remanded to the Ohio Supreme Court.

Here's my take. Voting rules exist for a reason. If they are violated, the vote should not count -- NO MATTER WHO IS WINNING. That's why the U.S. Supreme Court stepped in in Florida during the 2000 election. They said the state could not change the rules of voting procedures during the election, which was attempted.

Just determine whether the voter is eligible. Decide if the voter followed the instructions, which are plain as day and could not be more simple. Children could follow the instructions -- why it is being suggested that adults be given a free pass for not following very, very, very simple instructions I do not know. Anyway, if the PB meets the other criteria, then make sure it can be proved that they did not vote more than once; and that they, indeed, exist. If that is met, count the damn thing. If not, don't.

For all the talk by both sides of "every vote should be counted," one should be reminded that there were attempts to quash the military vote because they were not postmarked on time due to a cumbersome military/postal snafu. One should be reminded that there were people here in Franklin County, staying here for a few months working on campaigns, that were very lucky the prosecutor didn't throw the book at them. For they had registered to during the open period where folks could register and vote on the same day. These people were planning -- PLANNING -- to vote in two places. The powers that be did not prosecute. Why is still a mystery to me. Yet there have been 13 cases of voter fraud filed in Franklin County. Many more could have been, just by reading the headlines.

Stivers vs. Kilroy was a campaign filled with vitriol and animosity. Tons of money was raised. And I mean boatloads! Voters mailboxes were filled with cards from various groups promoting both candidates, but if an election were to be decided by the weight and volume of such cards, the election would tip to Kilroy, a Franklin County commissioner. Mailers probably totalled 10 to one in favor of Kilroy.

One thing I find very interesting in all this . . . I have read many people either in blogs or on Facebook or MySpace pages who can't understand why people are still unsettled after the election. In their words, "The election of Barack Obama finally united the country . . . why are people still upset?"

I find it amusing that people believe this election united the nation. There have been more "undecided" federal Senate and House races in this election than in any other election in modern history. Think about that for a moment.... One key race is up along the great lakes. The U.S. Senate race in Minnesota remains undecided, a race that could give Senate democrats a filibuster proof majority. Numerous other races remain undecided, and others have only been decided in the past two weeks.

In the 15th Ohio, the margin is razor thin. And now it is up to the Ohio Supreme Court to decide, essentially, how ballots will be counted in this race.

25 November 2008

Pittsburgh Council Decides It Is Above The Law

The Pittsburgh City Council has gone ahead and approved another feel-good anti firearm law -- this time aimed at supposedly doing something better about lost or stolen firearms. But it isn't the bad guys who are being penalized -- it is law abiding citizens.

One of the Council members even went so far to say -- on the record -- that they didn't care whether their measure might be unconstitutional.

Pretty flagrant disrespect for the rights of the citizens of that great city, wouldn't you say?

h/t to Sebastian

Quote Of The Day

"Cannons Don't Sink Ships . . . PIRATES With Cannons Sink Ships."

-- Words of wisdom as seen on a t-shirt

What Would You Do If . . . ?

Laurel, the Idaho-based intrepid author of the Politics, Guns & Beer blog, asked what I think is a rather mundane question: Would you ever own a gun?

One of the readers asked a more intriguing (well not in my book but for many apparently it was novel) question:

"I have an honest question for those that are opposed to any kind of guns except for hunting.
Say a bad guy breaks into your home with the intent to harm you or your children. What is your plan to protect them?"

The responses were varied, but tended to fall into a couple of categories:

That will never happen to me, or, I'll wait on help.

Read her entire post. It is enlightening, but not that unusual that so many sheep believe the meadow is perfectly safe, or have decided they will wait for a sheepdog rather than help themselves.

Serial Rapist, Coffee Shop Robberies Spurring Uptick In Handgun Purchases, Training

Here in Central Ohio we have a serial rapist on the loose. He is targeting women in their 20s, and seems to just pop into these women's homes. I don't know whether they are leaving doors ajar or what, but he is a crafty SOB.

The police have surveillance photos of him wearing a ball cap, and sporting a rather flashy watchy, taken from ATM machines where he is using bank cards stolen from his victims.

And women by the droves, instead of cowering and complaining that the police aren't doing anything, are stepping up. Handgun sales are up, but moreover, CCW, marksmanship and safety classes at pretty much all of the firearms training centers are full for the next few months.

Empowered women. Women who believe in choice . . . the choice to defend themselves and to choose their own means of doing so.

22 November 2008

The Second Coming of Janet Reno?

Dave Kopel has some interesting things to say about the nomination of Eric Holder as U.S. attorney general in a Barack Obama administration.

He starts with the fact the Holder was among those who signed on to an amicus brief opposing changes to the District of Columbia's antiquated ban on handgun ownership. That was the Parker/Heller case in which the U.S. Supreme Court decided that the 2A guarantees the constitutional right for individuals to own firearms.

Read it here, and pass it on.

21 November 2008

College Student Ignores 2A Court Precedent In Obama, Firearms Op/Ed

Cam Edwards tells the tale . . . well, actually he points us to the story . . . of a college student who wrote an op/ed piece for their student newspaper without ever mentioning the Heller/Parker decision. This student also subscribes to the "government will protect us" fallacy.

Be sitting down when you read this. And be ready for your brain to explode. If you didn't think professional journalists were out of touch now, look what is coming along the pipeline of the news business.

Obama Administration Applicants Asked About Gun Ownership

Older news but I had not gotten around to it yet. Question No. 59 on the 63 question document, under miscellaneous:

“Do you or any members of your immediate family own a gun? If so, provide complete ownership and registration information. Has the registration ever lapsed? Please also describe how and by whom it is used and whether it has been the cause of any personal injuries or property damage.”

Details at the Politico.

I find it interesting that the assumption is that guns are registered. In most areas of the United States, thankfully, they are not. BTW, a message to the geniuses who created this quiz: Guns are not the cause of personal injuries and property damage. Rather, it is people.

Hmmm . . .

Toledo Mayor Wants to Charge A Fee For Plastic Grocery Sacks

Carty Finkbeiner, the esteemed mayor of Toledo, Ohio, has proposed that shoppers be charged a five cent fee (tax?) every time they take a plastic bag to sack their groceries within the city limits.

At issue? The waste plastic bags cause. Okay, I buy that. Not enough of them are recycled and they do clog landfills. And personally, when asked "paper or plastic?" at the grocery checkout my preference is always for the traditional brown paper sack.

But then he adds this in his letter to the Toledo City Council: He said the bags litter the streets, clog sewers, and take up valuable landfill space.

I have addressed the latter issue. Can't argue with the first. But that middle argument. They "clog sewers?" Who is flushing plastic bags down the toilet? Who in their right mind would do such a stupid thing?

Now at this point you are probably asking yourself, what does this have to do with firearms? Let me continue.

The only people who flush plastic bags down the drain are . . . drug dealers. When cops are at the door, that's where the evidence goes. So now we have the public being faced with the potential to be taxed because of what drug dealers do?

Doesn't that sound an awful lot like lawful firearms owners being penalized with bans on competition rifles, and efforts to restrict concealed carry? All because of the actions of CRIMINALS?

20 November 2008


"Many malls and workplaces also place signs at their entrances prohibiting firearms on the premises. Now tacticians believe the signs themselves may be an invitation to the active killers. The psychological profile of a mass murderer indicates he is looking to inflict the most casualties as quickly as possible.

"Also, the data show most active killers have no intention of surviving the event.
They may select schools and shopping malls because of the large number of defenseless victims and the virtual guarantee no on the scene one is armed. As soon as they're confronted by any armed resistance, the shooters typically turn the gun on themselves."

Duh, aka No Kidding, aka You're Just Now Thinking This Way?

Read the entire story. This is not from pro-gun, pro self defense sources. This is a story that appeared on a television station in Cincinnati, Ohio owned by E.W. Scripps Co.

Another Milestone For Self Defense In Illinois

Winnetka, Ill. has become the fourth city in Illinois to revoke its ban on handguns. Read it here at Dave Hardy's Guns And The Law site.

Connecting The Dots

I have often talked and written about how much I hate the "black helicopter" crap. A conspiracy theory behind every tree.

Recently one commenter noted that all this talk of Obama and firearms is so much paranoia. I don't write things in this blog to "get eyeballs." I write it to educate readers out there who want to understand the issues facing supporters of the Second Amendment in the United States. I have been doing this far too long to look and say, "oh there is nothing to this."

So with that said, it is old news now that President-Elect Obama's pick for U.S. attorney general is the guy who carried the water for the Clinton-Reno administration and the Brady campaign.

Eric Holder.

Lots of baggage with this guy. In lockstep with the Bradys, and smack dab in the middle of a questionable pardon in the waning days of the Clinton administration.

Click the stories below for various angles on this story.

Huffington Post
Fox News
Volokh Conspiracy
Chicago Tribune
Arms And The Law

Frankly, I think it is one more reason to be very wary of this administration. While it does not want a repeat of 1994, when the GOP took control of Congress due solely to the passage of the ban on certain competition rifles (both Al Gore and Bill Clinton said so), I have no doubt that the benefactors of the Obama win and certain alliances will want to push through as much gun control as possible. But it will come in small, "reasonable" bites.

Look for gun shows to be attacked first on the grounds of the so-called "loophole." Holder is the man who said gun shows are for terrorists. Dancing in the blood of whose who died in the 0/11 attack on the U.S., holder immediately said that the attacks on this nation demonstrated a need to enact more stringent gun regs -- starting with gun shows.

Sadly, those who wrongfully attack gun shows mistakenly believe that all kinds of guns used by criminals to commit crimes are coming from these places. They are not and federal crime stats ovewhelmingly prove this.

BTW, Sebastian at Snowflakes In Hell has a solid wrap up on why gun shows will be attacked. Its a First Amendment thing, you know. Read his observations here.

And as I have written in these pages before, if they want to go after used guns sold by so-called "non-licensed dealers," then they had also better be going after used cars sold by "unlicensed dealers." Because as everyone knows, cars kill.

Once more, this is not paranoia. It is connecting the dots. And following the money. It is child's play.

18 November 2008

Soros Think Tank Becomes Obama Policy Font

Hmmm . . . is this news raising the hair on the back of anyone else's neck? The primary funding source for global gun control is behind the think tank that now appears to be taking the lead on policy for the incoming Obama administration?

Nah . . . of course not. It must be my imagination. President-elect Obama and the VP-elect Sen. Biden assured the American people they have no intention of taking anyone's firearms.

Moms, grandmas, college coeds . . . not to worry. Trust in the new president. Because there's a lot of hope out there. Hope is good. The president-elect surely wouldn't want to restrict your basic human right to self defense . . . all in the name of change, would he?

Nah . . but Mr. Soros on the other hand does tend to be a bit pushy with the politicians he has funded . . .

Parker/Heller Unveiled

The landmark Second Amendment case, which I will probably always think of as "The Parker Case," (though it is officially the Heller case), generally affirmed what the founders of the United States intended.

Reason Online has an in-depth look at the origins of the case, the stumbles along the way, and how opponents of self defense, hunting collecting and sports shooting could no longer, in the face of a very real opportunity before the highest court in the U.S., rely on pithy sound bytes to bolster their intellectually bankrupt arguments.

Very well written.

17 November 2008

The NRA Turns 137

The National Rifle Association turns 137 years young today. Dave Hardy has some thoughts, and a link or two worth taking a look at.

13 November 2008

Red Herrings

Thinking Americans know that we are seeing a repeat of the time when Bill Clinton took office as president of the United States. People were worried that the incoming administration might make mischief regarding firearms laws.

And they were right. During the runup to the election then, and in the one to two years after, Bill Clinton singularly armed America. His rhetoric about the evils of inanimate objects did much to push Joe and Sally Suburbanite to arm themselves. Before their ability to purchase the very tools that would help them exercise that most basic human right -- self defense -- was made illegal with the stroke of a pen. Many restrictions were passed, few were enforced. And generally, crime was unaffected by all the happy talk about restricting access to firearms.

Fast forward to the election of 2008. Americans once again, looking at President-elect Barack Obama's record on firearms, and his statements, are putting firearms and ammunition away for the future. Like Bill Clinton, Barack Obama has a record on this issue. And people are listening, and reading. And making an informed decision.

But some sociology prof out in Texas, sitting high atop an ivory tower and apparently terrified of the wide ownership of firearms in that most self reliant of states, has cooked up some ridiculous story that the uptick in firearms sales across the U.S. is due to -- get this -- a coming race war.

Too bad he's a sociology professor and not a professor of history. All he has to do is look back to the 1990s and learn about what I described above.

Of course, he also didn't factor in the appointment of John Podesta as Obama's transition chief. Remember that name? He led the gun control initiatives in the White House when he worked for Bill Clinton.

Anyway, take a look at the story, and draw your own conclusions.

Personally, the guy in Texas, IMHO, is a fearmonger. He's trying to inflame emotions far more than the National Rifle Association ever might be accused of.

11 November 2008

Wondering About A 'Voice' On Veterans' Day

On this Veterans Day, as it is celebrated in the United States, I am reminded of an item that rests in my safe.

A small record, a recording, that is some 60-plus years old. It was recorded by my father in Hawaii, just before he shipped out to the Pacific Theater of operations during World War 2. In a faded cardboard sleeve adorned with a "Pepsi-Cola" advertisement, it was addressed to his folks -- my grandparents -- at the family farm in Southeast Ohio.

The record was a message of a minute or so from my dad to his parents. His voice preserved forever with some thoughts and a farewell to mom and dad just before he headed off to war.

Tech. Sgt. Eldon S. Greer
96th Infantry Division

In his later years, like so many others, he never talked about the war. Getting information out of him about his experiences was like trying to get blood out of a turnip. It just wasn't going to happen.

Dad was a medic. Like the other young men who carried a medical kit instead of a rifle, he did his best to patch together the wounded and the dying during two horrendous island battles -- Leyte Gulf and Okinawa. Becuase of his hours of service under direct fire he earned his combat medical badge. Even more, he earned a Bronze Star. He sacrificed his youth, like so many other millions of that greatest generation.

No one (alive) knows what is on the recording. Pieces of it are missing. The wax, or plastic, or vinyl (whatever it is) record is backed with paper. With age, this record, about the size of a 45 RPM disk, has a couple of small bits missing. Every few years I hope that recording technology has come far enough along to find a way to fill in the gaps (even if they are blank) in a manner that allows the majority of the recording to be played. I talk to people in the recording industry, but none so far has a solution for that one key problem -- literally filling small holes in a way that a needle will still playback what is recorded..

I wonder what his voice sounded like when he was in his early 20s. . . I wonder what he told my Grandma and Grandpa Greer, who were busy while the world was at war doing their best to eke out a living from the land in southeast Ohio . . .

Did he tell them not to worry? Did he ask them to look after something for him?

Dad, wherever you are, thanks once more for your service. We lost you 15 years ago Sunday. Nevertheless, thanks for being the best dad in the whole world. Happy Veterans Day.

And someday I WILL hear those words you recorded, not knowing whether you were coming back. I'm glad you did. Otherwise, I wouldn't be here.

10 November 2008

Nightline Covers Boom In Gun Sales -- Fairly

A pretty balanced piece from ABC News on the sudden, and not unexpected boom in firearms sales across the U.S. in the wake of the presidential election.

Click here to see the Nightline report.

One of my local TV stations here in Central Ohio ran a piece last night on the 11 pm news talking about the sudden upswing of women buying guns and taking shooting classes at local ranges because there is a rapist running around assaulting women. At least six cases connected so far all over the north and west side of Columbus.

Illinois CCW Referendums Pass By 10-4

"Most voters in 10 Illinois counties said on Election Day that they think the state should pass a law permitting citizens to carry concealed weapons, but voters in another four counties rejected the idea.

Those mixed results reflected the outcomes in central Illinois, where Woodford County voters supported the advisory referendum and voters in McDonough and LaSalle counties gave it the thumbs-down.

The referendum question surfaced after Winnebago County Board members decided to put it on their ballot and then asked all other Illinois county boards to do the same thing. The referendum failed in Winnebago and Kendall counties in the north. The other counties where it passed were Saline, Ogle, Union, Jefferson, Jasper, Greene, Franklin, Effingham and Crawford."

Fascinating reading. Not that the Illinois governor nor his Chicago crony, Mayor Daley, care at all what constituents think. No, their world is about power and control, not enabling the electorate the basic human right of self defense. Details can be found at The Daily Journal.

09 November 2008

Well These Are Interesting 'Friends' To Bring To The Party

In the business world, as in life, one is judged by the company he, or she, keeps.

Though I try to keep an open mind, it is with skeptical eyebrow raised that I look at the people President Elect Obama is bringing with him to the big White House party.

I was going to write on this, but Chad Baus over at Buckeye Firearms Association beat me to the punch. His recap is, shall we say . . . enlightening.

08 November 2008

A Thought On So-Called 'Sensible' Change

While the Bradys are out of money, and have little in the way of support, they are thoroughly energized by the outcome of the U.S. presidential election. So is VPC.

This comes from Lucy, who writes on her blog about "sensible change." You know, the kind of change that these groups are saying needs to take place regarding current firearms regs.

Here's a taste:

"But I sure don't want some dimwitted law maker legislating what shoes are 'sensible' any more than I want them legislating what laws are sensible when it comes to the freedom to protect myself and my family and what tools I choose to use to do it with."

Read it here.

Oh Yes, It Is Change You Can Believe In

UPDATED: Wednesday, November 12, 2008, 8:25 pm -- Hmmm . . . The Obama team has removed the transition information after much of the world got a look at it, and decided they didn't like it. No better way to address controversy than to just remove it -- rather than talk about it. Don't just take my word on what it said. Some clever IT people archived the pages once word got around that the Obama transition team was deleting information from the pages.

Here it comes, direct off President-Elect Barack Obama's official transition website. Scroll down to the Crime & Law Enforcement section, and take a look at Item No. 4:

"Address Gun Violence in Cities: As president, Barack Obama would repeal the Tiahrt Amendment, which restricts the ability of local law enforcement to access important gun trace information, and give police officers across the nation the tools they need to solve gun crimes and fight the illegal arms trade. Obama and Biden also favor commonsense measures that respect the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, while keeping guns away from children and from criminals who shouldn't have them. They support closing the gun show loophole and making guns in this country childproof. They also support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent, as such weapons belong on foreign battlefields and not on our streets."

The Tiahrt Amendment? The one that law enforcement REPEATEDLY has said it does not want changed? Hmmm . . .

And yes, let's ignore the fact that federal crime stats prove conclusively that guns used illegally by criminals aren't coming from gun shows, they are coming via theft of lawfully owned firearms. Double HMMmmm . . .

Competition rifles? They are largely NOT on our streets. They are being used every weekend in family-oriented competititons somewhere in the United States. These tools are the most widely used implements in high-power matches overseen by the Civilian Marksmanship Program. WTF is with THIS language?

Change is coming . . .
h/t to John Lydic

07 November 2008

Technical Issues Resolved By Weekend

I am getting the technical problems with my systems worked out and hope to be back posting by the weekend. Lots on my mind, as I am sure is on yours as well with the election outcome. Sorry for the inconvenience. It is truly frustrating on this end . . . trust me.

04 November 2008

Election Day

Have you voted yet? Didn't do any early voting?

Get out there, go to the appropriate polling place, and make your voice heard!

01 November 2008

Technical Issues

No posting until further notice . . . technical issues with home office PC is giving me fits. Should be resolved by the end of the weekend. ARGH!