29 March 2009

Posting Will Be Sporadic For The Next Couple Weeks

They say when life gives you lemons, make lemonaid. Well, life is throwing me mudballs. Actually mudballs are being thrown at a family member and I need to do what I can to help that individual.

I am rather distracted from my reearch and wriing through all of this, so my posting may be rather spotty for the next few weeks.

Bear with me. I'll be back more fully as soon as possible. And thanks for your continued visits to The Ready Line.

28 March 2009

Sen. Feinstein Prepares To Wage New War On Competition Rifles

As expected, another head of the hydra just popped up in war to preserve the basic human right to self defense.

"I am prepared to wage the assault weapons battle again and I intend to do so," Feinstein said in a speech to the Senate last month. "I have been quiet about this because there are many other pressing needs of this nation. But with the help of the president, the administration and the people of this great country, we do need to fight back." -- Sen. Dianne Feinstein
This obsession with "scary black rifles" by anti self defense politicians is a sickness. Their focus should be on criminals and criminal behavior.
Anyway, despite protestations by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that "the timing is wrong" to go after competition rifles, or by other pro-gun democrats that gun control is wrong, Sen. Feinstein appears ready to wage war on the lawful ownership of sporting firearms.
Read the full story in the San Francisco Chronicle.

27 March 2009

Big Gun Show March 28-29 in Columbus, Ohio

C&E/Showmasters Gun Shows is returning to Columbus again, this time at the Westland Mall, just off West Broad Street adjacent to I-270. Steve and Annette Elliot put on a fantastic family event with their shows, and this one likely will be no exception.

Admission is $8 and parking is FREE.

I will be there with the crew from PRO once again selling NRA memberships just outside the entrance onto the show floor. Be sure to stop by and say hello! BTW, if you're not an NRA member, or want to renew or extend your annual membership, its a great deal. You get $10 off the normal $35 membership rate (you will pay $25 instead), PLUS you get a free, snazzy NRA hat, PLUS you get into the gun show FREE. How can you beat that?

See you this weekend!

23 March 2009

More Than A Trend: NRA Membership Skyrocketing With Worry Over Politics, Economy

Early last year the board of trustees of Peoples Rights Organization, an Ohio firearms rights advocacy group that among its many missions also conducts firearms safety training, was approached by C&E/ShowMasters Gun Shows to work with them in presenting gun shows in the Buckeye State .

One of the responsibilities PRO took on was to run a National Rifle Association recruiting table in the front lobby of each show. Since this group had already been listed as a NRA recruiter some years past, they jumped right in, but they had never recruited more than a couple dozen members at any event. And, when they were told they should work at recruiting at least 5 percent of the attendees at each show, they gulped hard, thinking this was a bit aggressive.

It was when you do the math! That’s 300 membership signups if there are 6,000 customers. When PRO (author's note for full disclosure: I am one of those members of the PRO Board of Trustees) contacted the NRA recruiting office in D.C. they requested enough kits for 1,000 people. This made sense because three big shows and two Basic Pistol Marksmanship/CCW classes were to take place in a six week period in August and September of 2008. However, the staff at NRA HQ told our point man that we should only order enough for 100 for each show. He was told this is all most recruiters achieved at a gun show.

Fortunately, AND I MEAN FORTUNATELY, others made contacts for him and he was able to obtain applications and 500 hats for giveaways. Still, the feeling at the NRA was that we should not get our expectations up too high, as we were being too optimistic.Without any experience in putting together a professional sales booth, they relied on the NRA’s recruiting supplies catalog to build a fair looking set of tables and banners. This really helped.

The first show was at the Franklin County Veterans Memorial Convention Center in Columbus, and C&E/ShowMasters produced a fantastic event. Almost 900 tables. It was the first time a gun show had been produced at this venue -- downtown in Ohio's capital city -- since 1989, when the City of Columbus passed its first ban on competition rifles (so-called "assault weapons"). This ban was later overturned twice in federal court.

What surprised a number of our novice recruiters last year was the amount of sales presence necessary to pitch the “Join the NRA - Get in Free” deal. Fortunately, a handful of our members are in sales, and were experienced with the “meet and greet” technique. Our designated recruiting chief says he caught onto this a little late in the first day, but soon enough for us to be able to recruit 166 new NRA members.

It was our first time out of the gate, we were quite pleased by that big number. This initiation provided just enough experience for the small group of firearm safety trainers to be prepared for a historical election year gun and ammunition buying spree. By the September 2008 show, the American public began to fear the likelihood of an anti-gun candidate (well, neither was pro gun, but then Sen. Obama was definitely gun "unfriendly") getting elected president.

People were getting stocked up on shooting supplies, but that was not the only thing on their mind. Moms, dad, grandmothers, granddads, aunts and uncles of every economic stripe and ethnic category realized that they were going to need the NRA more than ever.
In mid September, Ohio was hit by the outer rim of a very large hurricane, Ike, which kept the numbers down at the Wilmington gun show. Adding to the misery, the Wilmington area had several industries close up and unemployment was skyrocketing. The turnout at the show was not as expected -- only about 2,000 people. But the interesting thing is that our band of recruiters still signed up more than 160 members yet again, which was quite a surprise to the C&E/ShowMasters staff.

It seemed too easy. Even on the slower day of Sunday, when the church-goer crowd arrived, a high percentage of those walking in would stop at the table to join. The only people we could not sign up were those that had just renewed via a NRA phone recruiter or were already life members.

We were also pleasantly surprised by the number of women who were joining. So we made certain, whenever possible, to have female firearms instructors on hand. Some women coming into the show (gun shows are family events) even led their husbands to the NRA table. Whole families were signing up. Even college coeds were approaching the table by themselves and eagerly joining the NRA. We had one event where we signed up more than 300 new members over a two day period.

By the end of 2008, NRA headquarters was swamped with membership applications. But our happy little bunch of men and women, many of whom who donate their time as a community service by teaching firearms safety classes and doing advocacy work at the Ohio Statehouse, was not fully aware of the national situation.

This was PRO's first year of serious involvement in this activity, so the numbers of people signing up, we thought, was either the norm -- OR we were some awesome sales people! Neither was true. When our point man contacted HQ as to why it was taking so long for new members who had signed up to get their membership packets, cards and magazines (we were seeing and hearing from people who wondered why they had not yet received membership packets), the office worker expressed some . . . well . . . frustration.

“Don’t you know what’s going on? We have stacks of applications all over the place and we don’t have the staff to process them. Since before the election we have been the busiest in our history. Give as a break, will ya!?”
There it was, and it continues to be. There has been no slow down. Interestingly, before we got started we further were advised by other recruiters and NRA staff that after the first few gun shows we would probably saturate the market for recruiting, in that repeat attendees would already have signed up. Wrong! Most of the people attending the gun shows now are first timers who realize that the Obama administration -- despite its protestations of being firearm friendly -- will try to keep them from having a gun ownership future, so they are coming out to acquire now what they had long put off purchasing.
The first thing these first timers see when they enter the gun show is the “Join the NRA, Get in Free” banners, and most of those who are not members sign up. We also have people purchasing memberships as gifts for their family members and friends. We have grandparents giving memberships to their grandkids.

In all, we have signed up approximately 2,800 new NRA members since last August.

Now this number is just in Central Ohio. Of course, this is being repeated all across the nation, pretty much every weekend of the year. President Obama, and his advisers, had better realize they are all in for a big fight if any gun ban or restriction legislation is signed into law. Already there are moves within Congress by democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives to raise a red flag to the White House, telling Attorney General Eric Holder and others that a new ban on competition rifles is not only inadvisable, but that they will fight it tooth and nail. These are members of the majority party in Congress, bucking their own leadership, a leadership that is so anti-gun it would make your head spin.

Oh, by the way, did I forget to mention (as if you didn't already know) that there is a severe ammunition sales volume causing at least one industry some success? An issue that is not being reported by the legacy media? Nevertheless, firearms owners know. Law enforcement knows. Competitors know. Hunters know.

The NRA is getting, and will have plenty of support, because their recruiters across the nation are easily exceeding their goals. Because the American public is increasingly aware of the fagility of their Second Amendment rights.

I can't speak for recruiters in other areas of the U.S. , but for our merry little band in Ohio ? We are loving it!

MSNBC Carries Brady, VPC Water

Over the weekend, MSNBC aired a hit piece against firearms.

Just go to Snowflakes In Hell and read what Sebastian has to say, then follow the links. "Riddled with inaccuracy and innuendo" doesn't even begin to describe it. Hellooooo!!!??? Has anyone at MSNBC ever taken a journalism class?

I am without words . . .

22 March 2009

Parks Service Shuttering Springfield Armory?

Sebastian and Michael Bane have news that the National Parks Service may be shutting down the historic Springfield Armory historical site in Massachusetts.

Budget cuts? Disinterest? Who knows....? Apparently the new director doesn't know anything about firearms. Is a museum administrative type who understands "running things" and that's about it. Early reports are that the curator is gone and that firearms are being locked up.

One thing is for sure, firearms aficionados the world over will be disappointed with this news.

Read it here and follow the links.

Tragedy In California Will Be Exploited

Tragedy in Oakland, Calif. today as three police officers are dead and a fourth is fighting for his life in a traffic stop gone bad.

But I would bet any amount of money that the murderer did not use a machine gun,as is being reported in the legacy media. And I would also bet that we will see news releases from the Brady Campaign, Violence Policy Center and Legal Community Against Violence exploiting this tragedy -- and using the words "assault rifle" over and over, in order to instill fear, before day's end.

CNN has a clean story, but the Associated Press is using the phrase "assault rifle," mostly likely a result of either lazy reporting or a police spokesperson who doesn't know anything about rifles. I am going to pin it on AP, which is notorious for its inaccuracy on firearms related stories.

Of course, such an event is impossible in California, right? While the federal ban on competition rifles was allowed to expire as President Clinton and the democrat-controlled Congress that passed it back in 1984 had intended, machine guns and even competition rifles (so-called "assault weapons") are still pretty much illegal in California.

Which proves that gun control and all of the anti's PSH has done absolutely nothing to save the lives of these officers. Oh wait . . . pardon me, I am mistakenly trying to infuse logic and reason into this tragic event. And before someone suggests it, no, I am not trying to exploit this event. I am trying to fix what I am positive are inaccurate statements. A giant error of fact that I am convinced is included in these stories.
It is also likely that today's tragedy will be linked by some who a number of people in Congress and elsewhere have zeroed in on as playing fast and loose with the truth. There are a number of anti-gun folks who are attempting to link the drug war going on in Mexico to lawful American firearms ownership. The argument falls short on so many fronts it isn't funny. But that isn't stopping them. Watch the murder of these men in uniform be used as fodder to push forward an intellectually bankrupt political agenda.

My thoughts today are with the families of these officers and their brothers and sisters in uniform.

20 March 2009

Illinois Supreme Court Dismisses Frivilous Lawsuit Against Firearm Manufacturer

Yesterday, the Illinois Supreme Court dismissed another reckless lawsuit aimed at putting firearms manufacturers out of business. Adames v. Beretta was dismissed under the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act of 2005 (PLCAA). The court’s order affirmed the original trial court judgment in the case.

The full text of a news release issued by the National Rifle Association may be found here. Interestingly (but not surprisingly), neither the Chicago Sun-Times nor the Chicago Tribune has the story in their online sites this morning.

This is the second judicial decision in 2009 upholding a dismissal under the PLCAA. Ten days ago, the U.S. Supreme Court denied appeals in the cases of New York v. Beretta and District of Columbia v. Beretta.

The Illinois Supreme Court found that “the discharge of the Beretta was caused by a volitional act that constituted a criminal offense, which act shall be considered the sole proximate cause of any resulting death.”

The Court also agreed with the appellate court in finding the PLCAA was constitutional. Finally, it let stand the trial court’s findings that "the Beretta [pistol] was not unreasonably dangerous or defectively designed" and that the danger of pointing a gun at another person and pulling the trigger is open and obvious, even if the person pointing the gun mistakenly believes that the gun is not loaded.

19 March 2009

Kagan Named U.S. Solicitor General

In what all the media is hailing as "the first woman to hold the post of solicitor general of the United States," today the U.S. Senate confirmed Elena Kagan, dean of the Harvard School of Law, to that post.

As solicitor general, her role is to argue the government's position in court cases, including those cases that come before the United States Supreme Court.

During her confirmation hearings, she was asked whether she believed the Supreme Court's Heller decision was correct in overturning the long-time ban on private possession of firearms by District of Columbia residents (and, presumably, whether the 2A represents an individual right). She replied that her private opinions were not important. That she uphold the position of the U.S. government, based on current law, was more important, she reportedly told senators.

Much of the debate today before the Senate voted to confirm was whether she had enough experience for the job. She has never argued a case before The BIG Court, but then neither had Kenneth Starr or Robert Bork. She worked in the Justice Department during the Bill Clinton administration as a domestic policy adviser.

This will be an interesting appointment to watch . . .

Quote Of The Day

“The time to guard against corruption and tyranny is before they shall have gotten a hold of us.” - Thomas Jefferson 1782

DoD Explanation Makes Sense On Its Face, But Brief Policy Change Still Smells Like Politics of Control

Here is the official explanation from the U.S. Department of Defense (as relayed via the National Rifle Association) on why the department suspended sales of expended brass to the civilian market.

".....DLA also put to rest various theories and rumors that were circulated on the internet, concerning the reason for the suspension. As DLA explained to Senators Baucus and Tester, and to NRA-ILA, DoD officials responsible for the de-militarization of military property temporarily halted the release of the cartridge cases last week, pending review of a policy change issued last year by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, which, in the interest of national security, halted the sale of items within a broad category of government property including, but not limited to, surplus small arms cartridge cases.

"To make cartridge cases eligible for sale once again, DoD demilitarization officials verified that the cases could be appropriately placed in a category of government property allowing for their release for use within the United States, and then executed the recategorization. Whereas during the brief suspension, fired cartridge cases would have been releaseable only if the purchaser crushed or smelted them, now the cases may be sold as before, intact and reloadable. DoD also assured NRA-ILA that companies previously authorized to purchase cartridge cases under Trade Security Controls need no further vetting at this time, and are eligible to resume purchasing cases under the policy adopted yesterday."

Riiiiiiiight. A business/national security decision. It still reeks of politics, considering the current state of ammunition supplies in the United States right now, and concerns over crime and potential new gun controls.

Regardless, thanks again to everyone who called their senator or representative to Congress. Also a huge thanks to Sens. Baucus and Tester for their yeoman's work in pounding some snse into D0D officials who thought this was a wise policy, and were clueless about the implications of their decision (which was implemented with no rational explanation, other than that they could do it if they wanted to).

At least now we have an explanation.

Congressional Democrats Come Out Against A New Ban On Competition Rifles

With all the talk about AIG bailouts, bonuses, the White House proposing that American G.I.s injured in battle or other duty pay for their own healthcare, and the U.S. Department of Defense deciding to halt sales of expended brass to private re-sellers -- then reversing itself a few days later -- most media missed something extraordinary this week regarding the basic human right of self defense.

Sixty five Members of Congress, all democrats, yesterday sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder insisting that they will not support a new ban on competition rifles (so-called "assault weapons"). Led by Arkansas democrat Rep. Mike Ross, the representatives stated succinctly that such bans do not work, and that the fear-mongering of the anti-gun community, which is trying to connect Mexican drug cartel wars with lawful American firearms ownership, is patently dishonest.

It is an extraordinary letter.

"Even the Urban Institute study of the ban's effectiveness mandated by the 103rd Congress found that it could only have a limited effect because "the banned weapons and magazines were never used in more than a modest fraction of all gun murders.

"It is hard to believe the ban would be any more effective in controlling crime by well-funded international drug traffickers, who regularly use grenade launchers, anti-tank rockets and other weapons that are not available on the civilian market in the United States.

"The gun control community has intentionally misled many Americans into believing that these weapons are fully automatic machine guns. They are not. These firearms fire one shot for every pull of the trigger. Some of the guns that would be banned under proposed bills have been around for more than 70 years, and are often passed down from generation to generation."

As some bloggers have noted, many of the controversial trial balloons being floated are not announced by President Obama, but by his surrogates. If the ideas face a storm of criticism, he can let them die and deny he had a part in their formulation.

But the gun controllers have to be crying in their soup today. This is not what they had in mind. Obama is being silent on this issue. And if you do the math, there is no statistical way such a proposal, supported by President Obama prior to his election to the White House, and announced last month by Mr. Holder, can possibly pass the U.S. House of Representatives. Even if a number of republicans supported such a measure, it still would be likely to fail.

Is it too soon to say RIP assault weapons ban? Yes. But I hear funeral dirge music playing in the background for THIS initiative. At least for now.

There will still be other assaults on the 2A. Like other squeeze on ammunition, which already is in short supply, particularly smaller calibers.

BTW, as an Ohioan, my personal thanks to Reps. Zach Space, Charlie Wilson, John Boccieri for signing onto this letter. Gentlemen, you put statesmanship ahead of politics. You are to be saluted.

18 March 2009

Worth Reading - Model Rocketeers Win Huge Battle Against BATFE

“District Court Judge Reggie B. Walton for the District of Columbia today issued an order finding in favor of the Tripoli Rocketry Association and National Association of Rocketry vs. The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. . .. . Walton’s order granted a summary judgment motion in favor of the plaintiffs TRA and NAR, denied the summary judgment motion of BATFE, and vacated the classification of Ammonium Perchlorate Composite Propellant (APCP) as an explosive.”

Worth reading. Especially since there are those in Congress who would love to pretty much classify all reloading items as "explosives." A lot of this model rocketry regulation occurred just before and after 9/11, and BATFE was all about classifying this, that and the other as explosives to show they were doing something. The courts (this time, acting in a sensible fashion), rightfully, have disagreed.

Take a look and pass it on.

Power In Numbers

Coordinated protests work.

It appears the U.S. Department of Defense has backed off its change in policy and now will no longer be scrapping expended brass, but will continue to sell it to re-manufacturers.

Read the latest from the Montana Shooting Sports Association, as published by Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership

Dear MSSA Friends,

I just received a phone call from the office of U.S. Senator Tester of Montana to inform me that at 5:15 (EST) today a letter cosigned by Senator Tester (D-MT) and Senator Baucus (D-MT) was faxed to the Department of Defense asking DoD to reverse its new policy requiring destruction of fired military cartridge brass. At 5:30, I am told, Tester's office received a fax back from DoD saying that the brass destruction policy IS reversed.

Others report to me that they are already seeing evidence of this on the Websites of entities that liquidate surplus DoD commodities. Our thanks go out to Senator Tester and Senator Baucus, and their staff, for getting on this problem promptly and making the reversal happen. Staff for Tester and Baucus promise they will get me the documentation for this reversal tomorrow morning. I'll forward that when I get it.

Best wishes,
Gary Marbut, presidentMontana Shooting Sports
http://www.mtssa.orgauthor, Gun Laws of Montanahttp://www.mtpublish.com

My thanks to all TRL readers who contacted their member of Congress or U.S. senator on this matter. But the battle isn't over. Vigilence is the watchword for the next four years.

h/t to Dave Zimmerman for the heads up that this was resolved

17 March 2009

Obama Quietly Cuts Funding That Keeps Skies Safe

President Barack Obama's administration, without warning, has quietly cut funding for the Armed Pilots Program, according to Washington news reports.

"After the September 11 attacks, commercial airline pilots were allowed to carry guns if they completed a federal-safety program. No longer would unarmed pilots be defenseless as remorseless hijackers seized control of aircraft and rammed them into buildings. Now President Obama is quietly ending the federal firearms program, risking public safety on airlines in the name of an anti-gun ideology. The Obama administration this past week diverted some $2 million from the pilot training program to hire more supervisory staff, who will engage in field inspections of pilots."
Just freaking great.

Once again, this is not the "change" that most Americans signed on for. Read the entire story, then pass it on.

h/t to Sebastian

16 March 2009

Is DoD Ending Sale of Expended Military Brass, Giving Antis An End Run Around The Second Amendment?

UPDATED Tuesday, March 17, 2009, 4:13 pm -- Story confirmed by Georgia Arms. Go to their website to see the latest.

Reports are that NRA is lobbying to have a waiver put in place for ammunition of 50 caliber and smaller.

Some are now calling this "the right to keep and bear ammunition. Here is a link to the Government Liquidation website, to get a feel for the new language.

A number of firearms and 2A bloggers are trying to follow up on this (nail it down as fact), but considering some of the folks who are trying to get this news out I tend to believe this, and it is of concern.

According to Gordon Hutchinson, who wrote the blockbuster "The Great New Orleans Gun Grab," the U.S. Department of Defense is ending the sale of expended military brass to re-manufacturers. There has been a lot of misinformation floating around about potential threats to guns, but this one appears to be real. Enough so that Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (JPFO) also is alerting its readers and the 2A community.

I met Gordon at the Gun Rights Policy Conference in Covington, Ky. in 2007. I trust his instincts and his sources. And the news he is sharing is troubling. Georgia Arms, the fifth largest producers of ammunition in the U.S., brought the news to his attention.

Click here to go to Gordon Hutchinson's Shootist blog site. There, you will find the text of two letters sent to ammunition manufacturer Georgia Arms, and a letter Hutchinson sent to Lousiana Congressman Bill Haynie and U.S. Sen. David Vitter, also of Louisiana, expressing outrage and concern over this turn of events.

With a national shortage of civilian ammunition, if true, this move has implications for both civilian self defense AND for law enforcement.

PLUS, here is more from David Codrea at Gun Rights Examiner. Dave has his finger on the pulse of what is happening as well.

I urge you to read all of these posts and pass them on.

14 March 2009

Firearm, Ammunition Sales The One Bright Spot In A Dismal Economy

Tulsa World newspaper reports that sales of guns and ammunition remain high, helping stimulate the economy (okay that last part is mine).

"Most we're selling now we got back in September, but we bought pallets then where normally we wouldn't have ordered that much." The surprise sales come
with .380 caliber semi- automatic pistols. A relatively small self-protection weapon, it's not one that people typically fire in great quantity at the firing range, Prall said. Yet, the ammunition is now hard to find. "Nobody would have predicted that," he said.

"What's happened is everybody is afraid because the Democrats are anti-gun," said David Stone, president of Dong's Guns and Ammo on East Admiral Place. Internet chatter about bills in Congress that would create additional taxes on firearms and ammunition components, require strict licensing and ban more types of so-called "assault weapons" add to the concern, Stone said. "That's just driving everyone into panic mode," he said. "We're selling 10 times the ammo we used to." Similar bills have come up in Congress before, but few have advanced.

"We ran completely out here of 9 mm and .380," said Johny Mathews, product and service manager at the U.S. Shooting Sports Academy on East 66th Street North. "We were begging, borrowing and stealing from wherever." Concealed-carry classes at the academy are booked through April. "We used to do 15-person classes, and now we do 24 because of the demand," he said. Mathews believes that politics are partly to blame, but the economy also has people worried.

"It's 50/50, I think" he said. "When people lose jobs and get desperate, good people can sometimes do bad things. People hear more about home invasions, robberies, and they think it will only get worse. Then they're afraid they might lose their guns or ammo, so they stock up."

To read the story in its entirety, click here.

I do have a bone to pick with the gentleman who refers to the actions people are taking in purchasing ammunition as "hoarding." Hoarding refers to obtaining something and keeping others from getting it. "Stockpiling" is the better and more intellectually honest word, just as the American Red Cross (to this day) continues to urge Americans through radio, television and full page newspaper advertisements to stockpile food, water, prescription drugs and medical supplies in case of a natural or man-made disaster.

Simply put, everybody has had an equal chance to go purchase firearms and ammunition. Because some people don't, to refer to those who do as "hoarders" is an exercise in laziness. Its also dishonest.

In the end, there are many logical and rational reasons to be concerned both with the economy, the runaway spending on social programs being poorly disguised as "stimulus packages," and crime. Thinking people are responding by purchasing items for their personal protection. The same way and reason people buy insurance. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

12 March 2009

More on the U.S. Ammunition Shortage

Its been blamed on the police buying up stuff, and the latest unusual suggestion (sometimes by the anti-gunners) that the Mexican drug cartels are snapping it up. But such a suggestion doesn't explain the scarcity of .45 ACP, .38 special, and the virtual absence of .380 and .32.

Its more simple, and yet . . . its complex. No, really, its quite simple.

Law abiding Americans are buying up ammunition because they don't trust the Obama administration not to ban it, or tighten access, or slow imports. Simple supply and demand. The free market doing what it does.

Americans stimulating the economy . . .

The Dishonesty of the Brady Campaign

The Brady's are dancing in the blood of the innocent dead in Alabama, crying out that a permanent ban on competition rifles must be enacted to prevent another mass shooting like that that occurred in the southern U.S. state.

The big lie being that "these guns" were banned until four years ago. No, they weren't. Some guns were. Most were not. Lots of incendiary words precisely designed to enrage and frighten an uninformed public that doesn't know a stock from a barrel.

The big lie, perpetrated by some pretty big liars.

11 March 2009

Hmmmm . . .

Some 20-plus left-wing groups reportedly hold daily morning conference calls to coordinate "the message."

No way to know if this is true (they will deny it). One wonders if anyone from the Brady Campaign or Violence Policy Center are a part of the call, or will lobby for an invite . . .

Oh, the things that make you go hmmmmm . . . .

More Churches Stepping Up To Protect Own

More churches are starting to have their congregants and parishioners, who are lawfully able to carry concealed firearms, volunteer to patrol and be on guard against attacks in a church. This news comes on the heels of the attack and murder of a pastor in a western Illinois church on Sunday.

In Central Ohio yet another church is openly talking about how a handful of its congregants are on guard against people who would shoot defenseless people practicing their faith.

Study after study have shown that if there are armed people in a church -- or a school -- the liklihood of mass murder is greatly decreased. In fact, if the bad guys know that someone in a school or church has a gun, the liklihood that they will pass by those particular buildings and attack somewhere else.

Common sense, backed up by fact, as reported by security experts.

10 March 2009

Kenn Blanchard: 'Apathy Is Unacceptable'

My good friend Kenn Blanchard is the creator and host of The Urban Shooter podcast, and the author of Black Man With A Gun. He does so much for so many and asks so little in return.

TRL readers know also that I am an occasional contributor to The Urban Shooter podcast, most recently with a piece on how hundreds of thousands of Americans are stimulating the economy each weekend -- at gun shows. To give a listen to that entire show, and my contribution, check out Urban Shooter Episode 104, by clicking here.

In that same podcast, he had a monologue that just knocked me away. His focus was "Freedom." What it means, how it can be taken away, and how to defend it. Most importantly he talked about vigilence, something I have written about previously. His most important statement, and I concur, is that apathy is unacceptable. He hit so many points that I asked him if I could post the text from his piece on The Ready Line. He graciously is letting me do so.

Here is his essay.

By Kenn Blanchard
Freedom isn’t a color though it could arguably be red, white and blue. Freedom isn’t a fad or place even though my ancestors ran to freedom. Freedom is the state of being free or at liberty.

Exempt from external control, the power to determine ones actions without restraint, political and personal independence, not subjected to despotism, ease of movement. To be able to own a gun is a symbol of one freedom. Being able to legally own a gun means that you are an adult. Free. You are no longer under daddy’s or momma’s rules. Free. It usually means you have no domestic violence, felony or drug convictions. You have not been incarcerated. You are law abiding. Free. It means you can pass a background check. Free. It means you are able to vote. Free. It means you are a citizen of the community. You don’t have to check in with your parole officer, you can go where you want to. FREE.

I didn’t grow up during the time of institutionalized slavery but I learned from my history that slaves could not own guns. I am free. If you have the power to determine your own actions without restraint you are Free. Gun ownership is more than hunting, collecting, competition, or recreational shooting or self defense it means you are not dependent on the government, for your safety. Free. It means you rely on your own strength, wit and ability. It is what separates this country from so many others. Here you are free. You are not dependent on a master, the king, the queen, a religious leader, you are in authority of yourself. You are not controlled. You are Free.

Right now across America at gun shows, federally licensed firearm dealers and firearms enthusiasts are active. The drum is beating. The trip wire on the perimeter of freedom for the law abiding gun owner has been crossed. The alarm has been sounded.

What is the big deal? Why are the natives restless? The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. The vigilant has seen the gathering of personalities that believe our freedom is too broad. The awake and the conscious gun owner is watching the assembling of forces of despotism and political power contrary to ideals of the founding of this country. Those that see, hand gun control incorporated, the Brady campaign against gun owners and even the United Nations marshalling forces to force Big Brother, socialism, One World, the We know better than you elite, singing Cum Ba Yah and creating ways to take away our rights--hidden behind sound bytes, stripping us instead of whipping us, using the under educated, the Mis-informed, victims of violence, the afraid, the cowardly, and the scared.

Almost 150 years ago, fear of African insurrection and native American payback, guns were regulated, made expensive so only some people could afford them.

Almost 100 years ago, gun control was enforced by men in white hoods, against black, brown, yellow, and Hebrew people in the form of domestic terrorism.

Almost 75 years ago, gun control was pushed to limit certain types of guns for certain types of people all in the name of public safety. Italian immigrants, World War veterans and a migration of field hands from the south were challenging the status quo.

Almost 50 years ago, gun control through politics and persuasion evolved as propaganda for a nation witnessing televised violence on a global scale in Korea, Viet Nam, the civil rights struggle and the assassination of beloved figures.

8 years ago, the average Joe in America was introduced to an old term—terrorism. That word denies freedom. It oppresses with fear. It is used to manipulate and scare the weak into seeking help from outside sources and not independence.

We now stand a proud and weary nation. Proud that we have collectively elected the first president of color in the history of the United States but we are tired of fighting racial, spiritual and ideological wars. But in every decade, every skirmish, every misstep in Americas history there always arose a minority that opposed the rich, the affluent and the wrong to fight for what is right.

If it weren’t for the Underground Railroad and white men and women that knew that institutionalized slavery was wrong, nothing would have changed. If it weren’t for men and women that started the Niagara movement, a small number of clergy and people that risk death, nothing would have changed.

After the dogs, the water hoses, the imprisonments, the lynch mobs, and the murder, if it weren’t for the continued struggle of those that believed in the rights of all people, Martin, Medgar, John Robert, and Malcolm would have died for nothing.

But now let every gun shot remind you that you are American. Let every round you load, and fire remind you that this is a product of freedom. This is why you fight. This is why you don’t let some smooth talking politician go when he suggest that you don’t need this or that. This is why you write to your congressperson and say no to this and no to that because freedom matters to you. This is why you support those that support your rights. This is why you are skeptical of feel good laws that are big on emotions but small in problem solving. This is why we fight for the right to keep and bear arms.

Don’t let the times fool you or lull you into thinking that today is different than it was 150 years ago. People haven’t evolved. There is still crime, terrorism, greed, poverty, ‘ism’s (alcohol, drug addictions, etc) that seek to take away your freedom. They are smarter now, the gun grabbers. They seek to divide and conquer. They will pit the hunters against collectors of military style arms. They will convince you that they are not taking away your rights but protecting you from yourself. Repeating a lie, many times does not make it true.
So here I stand, to inspire, and remind you that freedom isn’t free. Some paid for what we can enjoy with blood. Don’t give it away.

Apathy is unacceptable.

Now is the time to get involved. Now is the time to lend a hand. Now is the time protect and serve your nation by first protecting and serving your community, your household and our way of life. From all enemies of this freedom, foreign and domestic. There is no compromise in right or wrong. There is no second place in a gun fight.

If you want to protect the children, protect their future from those that seek to take away your right today. If you want to stop the violence, stop the violent. If you want to increase the peace, prepare for war.

You and I – my fellow citizens – need to be strong in our faith that all nations, under God, will reach the goal of peace with justice. May we be ever unswerving in devotion to principle, confident but humble with power, diligent in pursuit of the Nations' great goals. (from President Eisenhower). I have been given the opportunity to talk to you one on one, take what you need, share what you don’t.

President Abraham Lincoln said:

"The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep's throat, for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as his liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act, as the destroyer of liberty."

Plainly the sheep and the wolf are not agreed upon a definition of the word liberty; and precisely the same difference prevails today among human creatures.
Bet you are saying wow, all of that from a preacher.

Martin Luther said, “A preacher must be both soldier and shepherd. He must nourish, defend, and teach; he must have teeth in his mouth, and be able to bite and fight.”

YOU ARE the shepherds and the caretakers of freedom.

Talk to you soon, thanks.

Rev. Kenn Blanchard, Urban Shooter Podcast episode #104, © 2009

Nicely said. Kenn, once again, thanks for letting me reprint this piece.

09 March 2009

NYC And Bloomberg Lose Another One

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that the city of New York cannot revive a frivilous lawsuit against the firearms industry.

"New York sued several gun manufacturers in 2000, arguing the companies violated a state public nuisance law with their marketing and distribution of the firearms products they sell. Among the companies sued were Beretta USA Corp., Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. (SWHC), Colt's Manufacturing Co. LLC, Sturm, Ruger & Co. (RGR) and Glock GmbH.

A federal law enacted in 2005 sought to shield gun makers from lawsuits like the one New York filed, prompting a federal judge to throw the case out. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York in April 2008 upheld that ruling by a 2-1 vote. New York, in a court brief, said the 2005 law violates state rights under the U.S. Constitution. "This congressional effort to control how states make law raises important questions about the Tenth Amendment's protections of state sovereignty," New York said."

Its not like the ruling is any surprise, but then in a day when activist courts make law instead of upholding it, we sometimes have to hold our breath.

SAF Challenges Non-Sensical DC Gun Licensing Scheme

The Second Amendment Foundation and three Washington, D.C. residents today filed a lawsuit challenging a regulation by District of Columbia city government that arbitrarily bans handguns based on a roster of “acceptable” handguns approved by the State of California.

The District is using this list despite a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court last summer that protects handguns “that ordinary people traditionally use for self-defense.” This scheme could eventually bar the ownership of any new handguns.

Attorney Alan Gura, representing the plaintiffs in this case, noted that District bureaucrats “told Tracy Ambeau Hanson her gun was the wrong color.” Americans are not limited to a government list of approved books, or approved religions, he said. A handgun protected by the Second Amendment doesn’t need to appear on any government-approved list either.“The Springfield XD-45 is approved for sale in Washington,” Gura noted, “so long as it is black, green, or brown, but her bi-tone version is supposedly ‘unsafe’.”

More to come on this one, folks.

Here is the remaining text from the news release issued by SAF:

"Added SAF founder Alan Gottlieb, "The Supreme Court’s decision is crystal clear: Handguns that are used by people for self-defense and other lawful purposes cannot be banned, whether the city likes it or not. The city needs to accept the Second Amendment reality and stop this nonsense.”

Hanson, one of the individual plaintiffs in the case, wondered, “Do we really need a gun-fashion police? I just want to be able to exercise my Second Amendment rights without interference from the District government.”Joining Hanson are Gillian and Paul St. Lawrence. Gillian St. Lawrence’s handgun would once have been allowed, until its listing expired, leaving her to observe, “I didn’t realize that my constitutional rights had an expiration date.”Her husband sought to own the same type of handgun that the Supreme Court had ordered District officials to allow Dick Heller to possess.

However, that particular model is no longer manufactured, and its maker is no longer available to process the handgun’s certification through the bureaucracy. “The Supreme Court’s decision should really be the last word on whether I can own this model handgun,” said Mr. St. Lawrence. “The so-called ‘safe’ gun list is just another gun-grabbing gimmick,” said Gura. “This is the same old, tried and failed D.C. handgun ban by another name. The city can’t get around the Second Amendment by declaring most normal guns ‘unsafe,’ and gradually shrinking the number of so-called ‘safe’ guns to zero.”

Valuable assistance is being provided by the CalGuns Foundation. “CalGuns Foundation was saddened to see the California Handgun Roster adopted in D.C.,”
CalGuns Chairman Gene Hoffman added. “Our state has a reputation as being a
leader on many fronts. Unfortunately, this has included violating the rights of law abiding gun owners. After nearly a decade of experience with the California Handgun Roster, the CalGuns Foundation is uniquely able to assist in this

Pure idiocy. It is likely DC officials will fight this one tooth and nail, also. All they do is waste precious district taxpayer dollars with senseless red tape, when all people there are asking is to be left alone, and for the right to defend themselves against violent attack.

08 March 2009

Shots Fired At Illinois Church

UPDATE: Sunday, March 8, 2009, 1:09 pm -- The pastor of the Baptist church in Marysville, Ill. where the shooting took place is dead. The assailant shot him in front of congregants, then took out a knife and tried to wound or kill himself. Congregants rushed the criminal and tackled him.


Illinois . . . that bastion that knows no freedom . . . where people are not legally allowed to defend themselves with a firearm. At least not with a concealed firearm.

Media outlets are reporting that a criminal fired shots inside an Illinois church near St. Louis. The gunman is reported to be in custody, but several people are injured.

07 March 2009

I Won't Be There, But FNRA Makes Things Happen

I cannot be there tonight. In-laws and other family in from out of town, almost everyone has a cold and I'm trying to get over the crud.

Though I cannot attend, tonight (in spirit) I will be with friends, colleagues and others at the Central Ohio Friends of NRA banquet. In past years I have sat on the organizing committee and for two years served on the state committee that distributed NRA Foundation funds to worthy programs.

The Central Ohio event annually attracts around 400 attendees. I wish I could be there tonight. A fantastic dinner, great silent and live auctions, and just catching up with a lot of good people. Truly a family event.

I will be there next year . . .

06 March 2009

TRL Named Among '50 Best Blogs For Gun Enthusiasts'

Today, I received the following message from Kelly Sonora at Criminal Justice Degrees Guide. CJDG maintains one of the most comprehensive listings of campus-based and online criminal justice degree programs.

The message reads:

"We just posted an article, “50 Best Blogs for Gun Enthusiasts”
I thought I'd bring it to your attention in case you think your readers would find it interesting. I am happy to let you know that your site has been included in this li

Kelly, to you and your associates, please know that I am both humbled and honored. Thank you for looking upon The Ready Line as worthy of inclusion in your first-rate and comprehensive roundup.

05 March 2009

1st U.S. Congress Convened 220 Years Ago

Two hundred twenty years ago to the day yesterday, the very first United States Congress convened. They met in Federal Hall in New York City.

Before ending their session in 1791, the 95 members formed committees, established procedures, created the departments of War, Foreign Affairs and the Treasury. They enacted the supreme, federal and district courts.

Most importantly -- they passed our Bill of Rights. Those first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Those very important amendments.

An incredibly positive body of work in just two short years. Particularly amazing as a growing number of Americans become distinctly uncomfortable watching the arrogant power grab being perpetuated by the political left in this nation.

04 March 2009

If The Left Says The NRA Has Been Neutered, They Sure Backed Down Fast This Week On DC Voting Rights Bill

"Democrats may be running the House, but the National Rifle Association (NRA) can still stop a bill in its tracks. House Democratic leaders on Tuesday pulled legislation from the floor that seemingly had nothing to do with guns because the NRA disliked it.

"The bill in question would give the District of Columbia a voting member of Congress. The gun-rights lobby prefers a Senate version, which includes language amending the District’s gun policies, and some suggest the NRA could make life difficult for conservative Democrats if that language is not included in the House version."

A great piece from The Hill newspaper, a publication that covers the U.S. Congress. Read it and pass it on. Simply put, Nancy Pelosi "blinked." Heh...

03 March 2009

White House Running Out of Bogeymen To Blame For Economy, Crime

It was eerie today as I was scanning the news. Deja vu all over again, as the Yankees' Yogi Berra would say.

It is interesting that every time someone prominent speaks up and questions what the Obama administration is doing on the economy, the wrath of those satellites who orbit The One comes down on them.

The miscreant is polarized and demonized by pretty much all the organized entities that were orchestrated to elect Barack Obama to the White House. Joining the ranks of those who suffered "The Perfect Storm" of vitriol and half-truths are Louisiana Gov. Bobbie Jindall, Rob Cintilli of CNBC, and now Jim Cramer, also of CNBC. Cramer, the bombastic commentator on the market and pretty well-schooled financial authority, had the audacity to say the following on this morning's NBC Today Show:

Cramer called Pres. Obama's budget a "radical agenda," adding, "This is the
greatest wealth destruction I've seen by a President."

The White House wasted no time in going after Cramer. But as this happens over and over, more and more columnists are noticing, and coming to the conclusion that, as President Obama's rather leftist policies continue to push the stock market down and create added doubt and nervousness among people of all economic levels, he is running out of people to blame for the problem. In fact, earlier today The Wall Street Journal took at hard look at that very idea in an article titled just that... "The Obama Economy: As the Dow keeps dropping, the President is running out of people to blame."

Among other things, the WSJ story noted the following:

"From punishing business to squandering scarce national public resources, Team Obama is creating more uncertainty and less confidence -- and thus a longer period of recession or subpar growth. The Democrats who now run Washington don't want to hear this, because they benefit from blaming all bad economic news on President Bush."

But this demonizing of others or issues that don't really exist in order to push forth an agenda isn't new from the folks running 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue these days. We have seen it in the Second Amendment community for years. And it appears that we are facing an onslaught in the coming years.

When the illogical ban on competition rifles (so-called "assault weapons") expired a few years ago, there were predictions that there would be mayhem in U.S. streets. Even blood. It didn't happen. Just as we heard shrill cries that there would be blood in the stands in Cleveland Stadium if CCW were passed here in Ohio. The law passed (a lousy law, but we continue to get improved with each session of our state legislature) and there was no blood. As many know, the law was greatly influenced by those who hate guns (note: hatred is a sickness, those of you who hate these inanimate objects should get help) who hoped that the myriad of hoops to obtain a concealed carry license would either discourage an individual from doing so. They also hoped to trip up CCW holders with a who's who of complexities. The intent was to be able to say, "see, concealed self defense sidearms are a bad idea....just look at the problems."

Only, the problems never occurred.

So now, just Larry Cramer, Rob Cintilli and a host of others are blamed for creating dissention among American voters, when the real problem is federal lawmakers who have never made a payroll, never started a business or never taken an economics class, we see the same thing emerging once more in the debate over the basic human right to self defense.

Now, in an effort to demonize a legitimate sporting rifle, federal lawmakers are making noise about banning competition rifles once more. But this time, they want to make the ban permanent. Further, they are blaming the out-of-control drug cartel civil war taking place in Mexico as the reason to do so. American guns, the gun controllers say, are the problem in Mexico. No, it is drug lords who are the problem and a Mexican government that, as yet, is unable to do anything about it. Skirmishes and firefights are spilling over the southern border of the U.S.

So what does the administration, which was backed by those who object to a very large wall to keep illegals and drug runners and terrorists out of the United States suggest? Ban military-style semi-automatic rifles. How is that going to keep Americans safe? No one in the gun control community will honestly answer that question, because the honest answer is such a ban will be meaningless. But that is not their intent. They use fear about the collapsing Mexican government to spawn fear in those who do not understand the argument.

In fact, some say the answer is to loosen American drug laws (so the drug lords won't have a profit to strive for) and strengthen our gun laws (so the drug lords won't have evil guns with which to shoot each other). Riiiiiiiiight. Eric Holder, the anti-gun U.S. attorney general, gave the impression that the only way to save the lives of Mexican drug lords is for Americans to give up their guns.

It is very similar to the times that the gun control cabal has tried to ban gun shows, calling them...get ready...."arms bazaars for terrorists." Just one problem. Our federal law enforcement authorities know exactly what is going on with small arms obtained by terrorist groups either inside the U.S. or out of the country. And they are NOT coming from gun shows. But that doesn't stop those who support the Obama administration from making up spurious claims about why certain guns should be banned.

Just as they say competition rifles -- one of the most popular sporting and substinance hunting rifles -- should be banned because Mexican drug lords (criminals) have used them a few times in shootouts with their rivals (a shootout being a crime also)......

Just as they say media personalities like Cramer, or Cintilli, or even Rush Limbaugh, are blamed for the market continuing to plummet, along with consumer, investor and employer confidence.

Only, just as Mr. Obama is running out of people to blame for the economy, the gun controllers are running out of people and incidents to blame. At least if they want to be intellectually honest.

But then . . . being intellectually honest is not in the gun control playbook.

Umbrella 'Coalition To Stop Gun Violence' Trots Out Latest Red Herring: 'Self Defense Is A Mirage'

Armed and Free has a great column and links to strong information about one of the spokespeople for the "Coalition To Stop Gun Violence" (it is an umbrella group with lots of little one- and two-person representatives in most of the states).

Mike Beard at CTSGV says the idea that a woman would buy a gun because of concerns about crime during a faltering economy, and because of (a very real -- my words) concern that the Obama administration will tighten access to firearms is . . . get this . . . "chilling."

What is chilling is that these people have the gall to suggest that everything is rosy, that all is pink ribbons, rainbows and unicorns, and that we need not worry about our safety, let alone go out and stimulate the economy by going out and purchasing the one item that can save a life.

Read it and pass it on.

Tennessee Paper's Release of CCW Holders' Names, Identifying Info May Backfire

Tennesseans were outraged last week when it became known that the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper has a searchable database of everyone in that state who possesses a concealed carry license.

Newspaper editors today might be a little more nervous as it has come out that one in four state lawmakers in Tennessee has a CCW. If there has not been a push to close down public access to these records before, there might be far more interest in such now. And it may well be driven not by people scattered around the state, but by the people who represent them right in the Tennessee Statehouse.

The Commercial Appeal arrogantly put every CCW holder and their family at risk by making name and address info available. And editors there are un-apologetic. Gun rights advocates have been busy making reporters and editors' personal info (names, personal addresses, mortgage info, etc.) available online so the members of the Fourth Estate (my former profession for which I used to have so much admiration) can feel a little of the medicine they so pompously dish out.

This one will be interesting to watch . . .