31 March 2010

My Brother Is Missing

He has some legal troubles. Is likely suicidal.

Last seen in Powell, Ohio sometime last week. Last contact on Friday, March 26, 2010.

His name is Howard Greer. Photo and more data is on the link above. Might be driving a white Ford Windstar minivan with Ohio license plates. If you think you have seen him, call 911 or the Delaware County, Ohio Sheriffs Office at 740/833-2800.

23 March 2010

Potential Supreme Nominee Not 2A Friendly

Goodwin Liu, a Berkeley, Calif. law professor, is quietly being discussed as a potential U.S. Supreme Court nominee by President Barack Obama, should the opportunity arise.

Right now, Liu has been nominated to sit on the 9th Court of Appeals. He is controversial on the Second Amendment, particularly since he was highly critical of two recent Supreme Court decisions involving firearms, both finding federal gun control restrictions unconstitutional.

Read what law prof Eugene Volkoh has to say on the matter.

Frankly, I am not surprised that a jurist with Mr. Liu's credentials is being suggested. He fits a stereotype that the political hard left in Washington loves. That same group having long had an irrational fear -- nay, a hatred of firearms, no matter that they save lives.

And remember my brothers and sisters. Hatred . . . is a sickness.

19 March 2010

Illinois Prove (Again) It Is Out Of Mainstream

Proving once more it is hopelessly out of step with the times, with the mainstream, and with the opinion of its residents, a committee in the Illinois House of Representatives passed legislation that would ban so-called "assault weapons."

Ironically, this legislation passed committee just a week after several bills that would overturn the state's antiquated ban on concealed carry moved forward.

Is the legislature there, as a whole, rather bi-polar?

Or to SBRs just give lawmakers so much PSH that they turn into babbling fools passing contradictory legislation?

Your thoughts . . . ?

07 March 2010

George Will Agrees With Me (Oh, and Alan Gura)

George Will agrees with Alan Gura's point in the recently concluded McDonald v Chicago oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court.

"Privileges and Immunities" was at the heart of Gura's argument. And at the time the 14th Amendment was ratified, it was clearly understood be be the heart and soul of that amendment. Sadly, it, like other rights, has been watered down.

Will writes eloquently on the matter for the Washington Post. Check it out, then pass it on.

06 March 2010

Central Ohio FNRA Reunites Friends

Years ago I served on the Central Ohio Friends of NRA committee, the group that plans that particular dinner and auction annually benefiting the NRA Foundation. Of course, competing priorities of work, personal life, etc. conflict over time and I stepped away from the committee.

There are some 25 or so such committees across Ohio, planning similar events. Of the funds raised, all of it is pooled, and half goes to NRA Foundation for national projects. The other half stays in Ohio to fund local projects such as improvements to club ranges, assist with JROTC projects, women's events like Women On Target, Refuse To Be A Victim seminars, youth events, and much more.

Interestingly, I had not been back to an event, held annually at Villa Milano in NE Columbus, in about four years. I was back for the first time this evening. I wasn't able to stay for dinner due to, you guessed it, competing family priorities. BUT I spent time during the "gathering" portion of the event (that's PC speak for "cocktail hour") catching up with old friends and acquaintances.

First to catch me was Kay Cornell, an educator who was out front helping attendees with pre-paid tickets. Her husband Mike, who was just inside the door, is the committee treasurer this year and pulling his hair out tracking it all. They are great people and officers at Pickaway County Sportsmen Inc. I have taught NRA classes with them both, and been honored to have been asked to help with Women On Target events their club has sponsored.

Brian Hoover, NRA rep for southern Ohio and I had a chance to catch up. We were bemoaning the relative "health" of the Eddie Eagle suit that is used in Ohio. It has seen better days. I told him that when a family member of mine portrayed Eddie this summer for an Ohio Waterfowlers outdoor event this summer, I recognized the suit right off. Specifically I recognized some of my duct tape repairs in the headpiece from five years ago. An old suit (hint hint to the NRA HQ folks who might be reading this).

Roger Antolik is a great guy, a personal coach by day and in his offtime is a leader in Four-H Shooting Sports in Ohio. He has coached many youths over the years and some of those kids have gone on to become champion shooting competitors in college and beyond. I was privileged on a couple of occasions in past years to be a speaker for the NRA Youth Education Summit (YES) Ohio conferences, because of an invitation by Roger and his wife, Sue. I spent some time with Jim Hughes, state senator from the 16th district, and we learned that we both are related to the outlaw Jesse James. Jokes flew around about our mutual relation and Jim's and my occupations as a an attorney, and a Realtor, respectively.

Two guys I see around my real estate office regularly came in tonight. Jack Kocka is a commercial lender, and Bob Deis is a real estate agent in my office. It was Jack's first time at an FNRA event and, sufficed to say, it is one he will always remember. I chatted with Craig Henderson, an insurance agent and member of the Central Ohio FNRA committee about insurance, duck hunting and real estate. Ken Hanson, a Central Ohio attorney and legislative liaison with Buckeye Firearms Association, and I chatted about upcoming bills coming before the Ohio General Assembly regarding car carry and restaurant carry. Important news is soon to come and I will be writing about these issues in the coming weeks.

Seeing as how I live just a few miles from the main campus of The Ohio State University, I used to stop in all the time to visit with Pat Cherry, long-time coach of the OSU Rifle Team. I have gotten busier as the years have gone by and I was delighted to have a chance to visit with Pat this evening also. He's got a great crop of competitors, and super support from the university athletic department. Budget? Well, it's never enough but they plug on and shoot respectable scores, ranking among the best college shooting teams in the U.S.

Anker Bell, local attorney grabbed me. We had not seen each other in years either. He came through a class initially as an NRA Personal Protection In The Home student, and later came through an NRA Certified Instructors class I assisted in. He is a staunch defender of the Second Amendment and it was great to see him. In addition, I finally met Steve Nafzger, chairman of this year's COFNRA planning committee. We had only talked on the phone a few times, and exchanged emails. It was great to put a face with a name and voice.

Jesse and Teri Cyrus have long been the official printers for the COFNRA programs and they were there, as well. I had not talked to either in almost a year. And old friend Pam DeLile, who has been battling cancer after recovering from a devastating stroke several years ago was (like a trooper) working one of the raffle tables. Decked out in red, white and blue, Pam is more tired these days but she makes up for it in enthusiasm. We both remembered I owed her a phone call from a few months ago that I had forgotten to return. Shame on me.

Just before I headed out I was approached by David Yost, who arrived just as everyone was sitting down to dinner. Dave is a county prosecutor in Delaware County, is running for state auditor, and is an old friend. Before I got into real estate and he broke into public service, we both were journalists. We met in college at Ohio State, and later both worked at the now defunct Columbus Citizen-Journal, he as a staff writer for the city desk and I as a stringer/writer for the state desk. He's running a strong race for state auditor and as a former county auditor, before he became a county prosecutor, is highly qualified for the post. It was nice to just be able to catch up away from politics, away from discussions of the law, etc. He is a strong 2A supporter also.

Missing in action tonight were old friends who either have back pains or illnesses that kept them away, folks who had some of those competing priorities, another good guy who just lost his job so is watching his pennies rather than splurge on a benefit dinner (I don't blame him), friends who are going through rough times in their lives and just want to avoid others for a while, and others who are no longer on this Earth, and have gone before us in the fight for freedom.

Millions of dollars have been raised in this fashion all across the U.S. Millions have been raised in Ohio. For two years running I sat on the Ohio Committee that evaluated and funded projects. That was six or seven years ago. These were day-long affairs where people from all over the state sorted through projects of every shape and size, most of them grant worthy, and made very hard decisions about who would receive grants (and for how much), and who wouldn't.

The NRA Foundation's motto, or message, is a simple, yet powerful one: Teach Freedom. Tonight, a bit more money was raised to do just that. I wish I could have stayed. Coming back to visit friends I had not seen in years . . . it felt like I had never been away.

The FNRA event in Hebron, Ohio, near Buckeye Lake, is next Saturday evening. I hope to get out there and stay for dinner this time. Maybe I will see some of you out there.

03 March 2010

Neighbors Young and Old Band Together In Chile To Protect Life, Property

Hundreds of survivors of the devastating earthquake that wrecked Chile, one of the economic powerhouses of Latin America, are banding together to protect themselves -- and their property.

The banditry that erupted almost immediately shocked most in this peaceful nation. Enough!, said its residents, and people are arming themselves since police and rescue forces -- stretched terribly thin -- are unable to be everywhere at once.

Kind of the same argument thinking Americans make when reasoning why the private possession and unfettered use of handguns and long guns is so very important in the United States.

An eye-opening report from a nation that has been bloodied, but is not down. Thankfully, its residents have an answer for looters. "No more . . . "

'Doctor Zero' Has An Opinion On Firearms

If he were an Ohioan, I would refer to Doc Zero as "The Anti Toby Hoover." A similar life story to the anti self defense Ms. Hoover, but this Florida resident has a completely different take on the Second Amendment.

I am not going to comment on his essay, titled quite simply, "To Keep And Bear Arms." You need to read it, and pass it on.

Well done, Sir, well done.

02 March 2010

On The Subject Of 'Fear-Mongering'

Recently I have heard radio news reports regarding the Chicago case that was argued before the Supreme Court today, CCW in U.S. national parks, and the latest stats regarding the huge jump in CCW licensure among Ohioans in 2009.

This latter story drew the ire of Toby Hoover, head of the so-called Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence. She claimed that more Ohioans got their concealed handgun licenses because of "fear-mongering." Unable to sleep, I found myself hearing this news story repeated every hour on the radio last week during the middle of the night. Over and over I heard that self defense advocates are fear mongers led by the National Rifle Association.

Hmmm . . .

Well that drew my ire. First, there are plenty of areas where the You see, Ms. Hoover is an expert at fear-mongering. She and individuals claiming to be affiliated with her organization have come before various committees of the Ohio General Assembly on numerous, numerous occasions over the past decade, each time warning that there would be dire consequences if gun regs were loosened.

Antiquated prohibitions have been lifted, the original CCW law (a horrible bill that never should have been made into law in the first place) has been greatly improved, and the Buckeye State is safer because the bad guys, as I say so frequently, don't know whether granny is armed.

And there has been no blood on the grass in Cleveland Stadium (well, actually it has been torn down, but its replacement also has seen no such carnage); blood is not running down park benches, shootouts in our streets are not commonplace, by any stretch of the imagination; etc., etc., etc.

So who is -- or should I say, continues to be -- the fear monger?

To Ms. Hoover and her supporters, I sympathize with your personal stories, in particular that of Ms. Hoover. Ma'am, I understand YOUR reluctance to want to possess or carry a firearm. But you have no right to deprive me of the basic human right of self defense because of what you choose not to do. You leave me alone, I'll leave you alone.;

But as long as you and the Bradys and the folks at Violence Policy Center, and the fringe group out at Legal Community Against Violence continue to work to infringe on my rights and the rights of every Ohioan, I will continue to point out through your own words and deeds who the real fear mongers are.

Here's a hint . . . they are the ones who go through life living in fear, want the government to step in and protect them no matter how intrusive it might be, and they don't care whose rights they infringe upon, as long as they get their way.

Sounds like bullying to me. If these were school kids, they would be suspended for their actions.

Chicago's Mayor Daley: "We Have The Right ... '

UPDATED Tuesday, March 2, 2010, 4:04 pm -- Analysis from SCOTUSblog here, analsis from Legal Times here, podcasts of oral argument testimony here, the full transcript text of oral testimony here. and analysis from law prof Eugene Volokh.

That the justices are leaning toward incorporation is a positive move, but that means they may be considering implementation thereof (due process rather than priveleges and immunities), is disappointing). The gun controllers will paint the opinion, in the end, as a victory because the Supreme Court did not give carte blanche approval for firearms, but instead may well leave room for some restrictions. Either way, the "control of the people" crowd have clearly lost another big round today.

In response to the lawsuit argued before the U.S. Supreme Court this morning, pitting regular folks against the city of Chicago, Mayor Daley had these words:

"We have the right for health and safety to pass reasonable laws."

You know something? I don't disagree with that statement. But an utter, absolute ban on the single, most effective self defense tool, and leaving residents to the protection of the outmanned and financially stretched Chicago police department, borders on the irresponsible. There is no way he can intellectually defend such a ban as being in the best interest of health and safety.

For nearly 30 years there has been an absolute ban on handguns in the city of Chicago. And during that time the city has become one of the most violent metropolitan areas in the entire United States. The bad guys know that law abiding people will, well, abide by the law. Leaving criminals in control of the Windy City's streets.

In response, what does Chicago do? It institutes unconstitutional house to house "voluntary" searches. Searches for firearms that quickly are ridiculed not only by residents but by most of the nation. Within days, the searches were terminated as the city realized the ineffective "answer" was turning into a public relations nightmare.

But city leaders, desperate for political control, maintains the gun ban is necessary. But the statistics do not support their argument. In fact, crime stats there are a nail in the coffin of the gun control theorists.

Not so, you say? Consider the following. About a year and a half ago, the long-time ban on possession of handguns in the District of Columbia was overturned because it, rightly, was found to be wholly unconstitutional. The gun control theorists chimed in with their tired, well-worn and proven to be false arguments that there would be a wave of violent crime in DC. Fast forward to present day. In the past year, violent crime is down 25 percent in the District of Columbia. Read that sentence again and let it sink in . . .

After the 10-year long national ban on so-called "assault weapons" expired, the same chicken littles falsely insisted, as most fear mongers do, that the sky would fall. That our streets would be filled with machine guns and every other odd "weapon," creating mayhem and leaving blood in our streets. The reality? No uptick in violent crime. Read that sentence again and let it sink in . . . In fact, violent crime continues it slow downward trend in the United States, thanks in part to the passage of concealed carry laws. The bad guys do not know whether granny is packing a .45 semi-auto in her purse, and the fear of dying in a robbery attempt is having an impact on crime across the U.S.

When CCW passed in any number of states, including Ohio, the warnings were that there would be blood on park benches and on the grass in Cleveland Stadiumm. Neither happened. It was much ado about nothing.

Attorneys for the City of Chicago, several plaintiffs, and the National Rifle Association, all gave oral arguments this morning before the High Court.

According to most court watchers, justices seemed not to like the Chicago ban, at least based on their questioning of attorneys in the matter. Many individuals and local, statewide and national advocacy groups were on hand outside the Supreme Court building in Washington DC this morning to spread their various messages. From people carrying signs saying that self defense is a basic human right -- the same message that is at the core of this blog -- to people protesting what they claim is easy access to firearms. I would take exception to the latter argument, considering that in the old days you could go into a Sears store, or Western Auto, or local hardware store and pick up a gun, no papers, no background checks, just cash and carry or lay-away.

The decision is expected until the summer. In anticipation of this court case, several suburbs of Chicago dropped their bans on handguns, knowing, in my opinion, that the case -- and the argument -- is a loser.

Time will tell . . .

01 March 2010

Chicago 'Incorporation' Case Goes Before U.S. Supreme Court

Oral arguments are tomorrow.

Click here to read a pretty decent summary of the case.

Personally, I favor an opinion utilizing that part of the 14th amendment that forbids a state from making or enforcing any law "which shall abridge the priveleges or immunities of citizens of the United States."

Oral arguments, scheduled to take place for one hour, are set to begin at 10 am at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington DC.

More to come . . .