Tuesday, December 18, 2007

One Person CAN Make a Difference

Like the rest of the nation I sat in horror as we read story after story about the shooting in the mall in Omaha Nebraska. It was yet another example of a “gun free zone” being simply another guaranteed crop of victims for a criminally insane individual. The media has even begun wondering if they’re contributing to the recent spate of shootings because of the sensationalism they provide to these stories. You think??? The media puts the words and pictures of these individuals on TV and the front page of the paper for the world to see. Instant notoriety for individuals who feel rejected and limited by society which seems to entice copycats.

Flash forward to the two shootings in Colorado. In the second shooting, one woman - Jeanne Assam - armed with a pistol put an end to a rampage that, in the words of the Pastor of the New Life Church, could have resulted in “hundreds” of deaths. However, don’t tell that to Mika Brzezinski at MSNBC. In this tirade she shouts down Joe Scarborough calling his statement that “One person with a gun can make a big difference” and I quote “…the most inane statement I have ever heard”. So much for reporting the facts and drawing the logical conclusion. The agenda is clearly more important that the facts.

This author, however, recognizes that Jeanne Assam is a true hero. She was one person, with a gun, who made a BIG difference. I thank God that she was in the right place at the right time.

Until next time!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Anti-Second Amendment Individual Tapped to Head BATFE

Gun Owners of America recently released this alert regarding the Bush administration’s pick to head the BATFE. The candidate, Michael Sullivan, has the ringing endorsement of leading anti-Second Amendment proponent Senator Ted Kennedy:

"We'll miss him in Massachusetts, but he'll be a strong leader at ATF, and I look forward to working with him on key issues on gun control."

The recent record of the BATFE is replete with instances where the department has overstepped its authority and bounds, and received a stinging rebuke from the House Commerce and Justice Committee during the discussions around the 2008 appropriations bill:

"The committee has heard reports that ATF has pursued license revocations and denials against firearms dealers based on violations that consist largely of recordkeeping errors of various types that are unlikely to impede tracing investigations or prosecution of individuals who use firearms in crime. The Committee encourages ATF to consider lesser gradation of sanctions for recordkeeping errors. [House Committee report on HR 3093.]"

The last thing America needs is a strongly anti-Second Amendment individual running the BATFE. This nomination represents a clear and present danger to the Civil Rights of American citizens. I urge you to go to the GOA site which will direct you to their Legislative Action

Until next time!!!

Monday, December 3, 2007

New York Times is Anti-Civil Rights!

Now that the Supreme Court is going to hear the DC gun ban case, the anti-civil rights crowd has worked itself up into a lather about the potential implications of the Court ruling in favor of "inalienable rights" The New York Times has of course entered the fray on the side of gun control, using all of the standard distortions. They predict “violent consequences” if the ban is overturned, and decry the “radical” ruling that overturned the ban to begin with. They also contend “To get past the first limiting clauses of the Second Amendment to find an unalienable individual right to bear arms seems to require creative editing.” I guess they haven’t read anything by Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, Jay, or Adams.

I wrote an extensive response to their letter – which won’t be published as plebs like you and me get precious few words to point out their errors. Here is the full text of my letter for your enjoyment:

I read with no small amount of dismay your recent editorial entitled “The Court and the Second Amendment”. My discomfort stems not only from the sheer volume of factual errors and incorrect assumptions passed on to your readership as facts, but the underlying thesis that gun control laws have improved public safety and that the basic Civil Rights affirmed by our Constitution are somehow “out of date”.

First, there is no hard data to show that gun bans have improved public safety one whit. In fact, part of the plaintiff’s case in the DC Gun Ban case was data clearly showing the opposite. Murder and violent crime have increased, not decreased in the years since the ban was enacted.

More importantly, I fail to understand how it is “radical” to interpret the Constitution the way the Framers clearly intended it to be read. The Bill of Rights contains the phrase “the Right of the People… shall not be infringed” several times. In each and every occasion the Framers were referring to what they saw as an inalienable Right of the People. The concept of inalienable rights forms the legal cornerstone of our nation. I’ll grant you that at the time it was a “radical” notion – a notion that government somehow should be limited, a notion that human rights weren’t there to be bestowed or revoked by the whim of an allegedly higher political power. Note how our Constitution forbids the government from “infringing” on our rights rather than granting them. Even if someone repeals the Bill of Rights, the inalienable human rights enumerated therein do not vanish.

Your editorial seems to ignore this fact, and espouses a position in which one can change the language of the Bill of Rights and invalidate the underlying rights. If such a premise is true, then none of our rights are safe. Freedom of speech, religion, and assembly can also be attacked effectively on similar grounds. I’ll grant you a lot has changed since the late 1700’s, but a lot hasn’t changed. Human nature hasn’t changed. The corrupting nature of power hasn’t changed. The Second Amendment was put in place to be the ultimate check and balance against a strong Federal Government with a standing army at its disposal run amok. Regardless of the size of a regular army, it was reasoned it couldn’t stand against an armed populace. However, a disarmed populace is helpless in the face of such a force. The Framers knew this first hand based on their experience with the monarchies of Europe. We see it today in totalitarian states across the globe. Remember Tiananmen Square? How’s that for a dose of “modern day reality”?

Rather than dealing with partisan politics, the Supreme Court should take this opportunity to re-affirm the basic human rights the Framers in their wisdom saw fit to protect from the short-sighted actions of politicians and demagogues. I find it tragic that the largest paper in the same state of the Union that originally saw the publication of The Federalist has wandered so far away from that vision and instead advocates the dismantling of the basic rights and freedoms that form the cornerstone of our Republic.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Those Who Don't Know Their History...

We live in the information age. The internet has brought the world ever closer and has given the average person access to an unprecedented body of knowledge. However, the “law of unintended consequences” is still in full effect, so the information age has also brought us the MIS-information age as well.

This is especially true when it comes to the Second Amendment and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms in the United States. There is still a substantial portion of our population who ardently believes that the individual right to keep and bear arms is not protected by our Constitution. There is an even larger segment of our population that believes that Rights were GRANTED by the Constitution, not protected and affirmed by it. I find both points of view to be as unsupportable and incomprehensible as they are terrifying.

Below are five quotes from five of the Founders of the nation. Many are also Framers of our Constitution:

"Arms in the hands of citizens may be used at individual discretion... in private self-defense."
- John Adams

"The Constitution shall never be construed... to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms."
- Samuel Adams

"Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense?"
- Patrick Henry

"Americans have the right and advantage of being armed - unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms."
- James Madison

"Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property... Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them."
- Thomas Paine

Note all of them uphold the individual right to bear arms. This is why I find it incomprehensible that in this day and age the Brady Campaign can with a straight face lie to the public and state that an individual rights interpretation of the Second Amendment is “twisted”. What’s worse is many Americans believe them.

It’s also important to note that this point-of-view is not so radical. Let’s go back to the Greek Republic and see what their take was:

" Both oligarch and tyrant mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of their arms."
- Aristotle

Sounds very familiar, doesn’t it? One of the greatest truisms in this world is “those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it.” Disarmament of the populace is the pathway to tyranny – it always has been – it always will be. Yet a substantial portion of our populace seems to be more than ready to facilitate the transition from liberty to slavery.

Think about it...

Until next time!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Medford Teacher Clears Legal Hurdle

As an update to a story I brought you last month, Shirley Katz, the Medford Oregon teacher who is fighting for her right to carry a concealed handgun in class, has cleared a major legal hurdle. According to the Oregon Firearms Federation:

“The Medford school district filed a motion to dismiss our lawsuit protecting teachers' rights to carry a concealed handgunon school property. Yesterday,Jackson County Circuit Judge G. Philip Arnold dismissed the district's motion and allowed the case to move forward.”

This is a very important step as the case here pits state law against school district policy. A dismissal of the case would not have addressed that problem and would have, in effect, stated that a local policy can trump state law.

As expected, the case made by the school board plays all of the normal fear cards claiming that "school districts ... could be reduced to armed camps," but they singularly failed to address any tangible issues including basic Civil Rights (in this case the Second Amendment) and the fact that in the last year the ONLY guns that have been getting into schools have arrived in the hands of the wrong people – who then proceeded to carry out mindless atrocities with them. Atrocities which I firmly believe could have been mitigated or prevented by one law-abiding individual with a concealed handgun.

The Oregonian continues to cover the case, but bookends its story with the case presented by the school district. The tone of their most recent piece is a bit more balanced than previous works (especially on their editorial page).

This case will continue to bear close following – and I’ll post more updates as they are available.

Until next time!

Supreme Court Takes the Case!

In what is undoubtedly the biggest Second Amendment case in over 70 years, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the District of Columbia’s appeal of a lower court ruling that stated their gun ban violated the Second Amendment.

An MSNBC story has only a few paragraphs on the case, but characterizes the appellate court ruling as a “surprise”. Quite frankly, the only “surprising” thing about both the lower court and appellate court ruling is that the judges actually dusted off their history books and read what the Framers said about the right to keep and bear arms.

The MSNBC article correctly states:

“Though the Supreme Court discussed the Second Amendment in a 1939 gun case, the court has never definitively ruled on if the amendment protects an individual's right to own a gun or if it only protects a right of state militias to resist being disarmed by the national government.”

Of course, anyone reading the Bill of Rights honestly in the context of the other documents the Framers left us would say such a ruling by the Supreme Court wouldn’t be necessary as it’s plain as the nose on your face. Unfortunately the march of history and well funded propaganda machines have muddied the waters over time.

I’m hopeful that this case will be a major victory for real Civil Rights activists everywhere. I’ll post more as more news comes along!

Until next time!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

“Gun Free” Zones versus the Right to Self-Protection

America in general is facing a fundamental question – do teachers give up the right of self-protection because school policy dictates that the campus is a “gun free zone”. The issue has reached a head in Medford, Oregon where a divorced teacher with a restraining order against her abusive ex-husband is filing suit against the school district because the district will not allow her to carry her semiautomatic pistol on campus.

The issue gained headlines across the state, including a recent story in The Oregonian. As expected, the first three paragraphs of the article are typical anti-Second Amendment emotional twaddle and fear mongering indicating that the case was “certain to set off alarm bells in schools across the state.” However Oregon State Law is clear – individuals with a concealed carry permit may carry firearms on public property – and that includes schools. Many districts, however, forbid teachers and in many cases the general public from carrying on school grounds.

The lawsuit was precipitated by recent actions of the school where the plaintiff teaches. She states, “My administrator told me . . . that if they had any reason to suspect I was [carrying a weapon] I would be searched, I would be arrested and the board would take action against me." Although The Oregonian didn’t report the full details, the plaintiff indicated that the threats of arrest and disciplinary action were done in the administrator’s office with shades drawn and a police officer present. Because of these abusive and heavy-handed tactics, the Oregon Firearms Federation has taken the case and is ensuring the legal expenses of the teacher are covered.

As expected The Oregonian followed up their already yellow journalism with an even more ridiculous editorial covering the issue. The author tries to tread a fine line between the rights of a battered woman to defend herself, but insists that the danger is too great:

“This Medford teacher's story should inspire determination to help women in this state keep their names off the long list of domestic violence victims. This teacher and all other women in this situation deserve all the help this state can give.

“But the dream case for allowing concealed weapons in schools turns out to be a nightmare -- the perfect illustration, as well, of why guns don't belong there.”

I honestly can’t believe the hubris and Pollyannaish naiveté of the author here. “The state” can’t protect everyone all the time. It’s not their job, nor SHOULD it be their job. Our nation was built by people who took responsibility for their OWN safety – and the rule of law in this country is set up with that foundation in mind. The editorial writer even goes so far to suggest that it would be okay for an “armed guard” to accompany the teacher, but heaven forbid the teacher act as her own armed guard!

However, in a move that shocked me, the response to The Oregonian’s blatantly anti-gun stance did not go unchallenged – and the paper printed not one, but THREE very strong rebuttals to the editorial. Bob Jensen makes several excellent points in his letter:

“I always wonder what goes through the minds of students and their instructors just before assassins gun them down. They are helpless. How many of those victims, if given a chance, would fight back?

“What did the Virginia Tech professor think as he was riddled with bullets, or the others who died while crouching in a corner? How about Columbine? These people should have had a right to protect themselves. But bureaucratic regulations designed to protect individuals actually put them in more danger.

“We can never know if these human tragedies might have been different if a teacher with a concealed gun permit had been able to intervene.”

Ed Rea, Jr, makes a similar point:

“We'll never know the answer for sure, but we do know that the "gun-free" policy made Virginia Tech a free fire zone. And it makes any school with that policy vulnerable to the same kind of tragedy.”

I’m quite frankly heartened to see a pro-Second Amendment and pro-personal responsibility point-of-view finally making it onto the editorial pages of The Oregonian. It will be interesting to see not only how this court case progresses, but the response of the Oregon legislature (if any) on the issue. I’ll continue to follow this issue closely!

Until next time!!!

Monday, August 20, 2007

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ – What Does It Mean?

So I just finished watching the movie 300 on DVD. If you haven’t seen the movie – I highly recommend it. It’s a historical fantasy version of the Battle of Thermopylae in which a vastly outnumbered force of 300 Spartans and roughly 6000 other Greeks (who were largely dismissed by the second day) hold off a Persian army numbering at least 10 times that many (accounts vary from 60,000 to over 2 million). Xerxes the Great of Persia demanded the Spartans surrender their arms, to which King Leonidas of Sparta uttered the now famous retort “ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ”. Literally translated, it means “come and take them”, but in many ways it is better translated as “over my dead body.”

The phrase has been adopted by many groups dedicated to the preservation of our Right to keep and bear arms. One important thing to note, however, is that in as spoken today “come and take them” implies that the outcome may not be certain. In other words, the speaker is daring the opposing force to come ATTEMPT to take them. In the Greek, however, the outcome is clear – the speaker will be defeated and only then can the weapons be taken. Is this an important nuance? I think so. In many ways the latter meaning harkens to Charlton Heston’s “my cold dead hands” proclamation or the New Hampshire motto “live free or die”.

The Founders of this great Republic were willing to fight and die to preserve rights and liberties they saw as being fundamental to the basic quality of life. Those 300 Spartans almost 2500 years ago knew they would die, but would rather die than betray their principles. They hoped through their deaths on the field of battle, their way of life would be preserved. How many Americans today share that spirit? How many times have you seen people willing to sacrifice their rights in order to “feel safe”?

The illusion of safety, and those who promise it through gun control is the greatest threat to our Second Amendment rights. To all those working toward that end, I say ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ!

Until next time!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Celebrate your Civil Rights – Buy a Gun on August 28th!

This in from the Knox Report: The Firearms Coalition is joining other pro-Second Amendment groups to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King’s march on Washington DC by exercising our Second Amendment Rights.

According to the Knox report:

“Reverend Jesse Jackson is calling on citizens to exercise their First Amendment rights by participating in anti-gun/anti-violence protest marches in 25 cities nationwide on that day. The Firearms Coalition echoes that call to supporters of the Second Amendment, encouraging them to exercise their rights by purchasing a firearm or ammunition on August 28.”

As reported here on several previous occasions, Jesse Jackson just doesn’t seem to get it. He seems to think that being anti-violence equals being anti-crime which equals being anti-gun. Jackson mistakenly believes that if citizens are denied the use of firearms, the people will “live safe and secure.” In fact, quite the opposite is true, though we all agree that citizens have the right to “live safe and secure”. Jay Knox, Executive Director of The Firearms Coalition correctly notes:

“Mr. Jackson has made a valid point and we believe the best way to ensure that safety and security is for responsible citizens to have the means to defend themselves. The idea that all violence is bad is simply incorrect. Violence is sometimes the only way to stop evil and brutality. When used in this way, violence is an agent of good.” said Mrs. Knox

“Gunowners trust our fellow citizens and have no fear of them having the means to effectively engage in righteous violence when necessary. Martin Luther King preached and practiced non-violence, but he did so with armed Deacons around him and a loaded pistol in his pocket. It seems that Dr. King understood that the rights to arms and self defense are basic civil rights and were an integral part of the civil rights battle he waged.”

So it appears that Rev. Jackson is either ignorant of history or is simply a hypocritical demagogue. It was okay for Rev. King to be armed to protect himself from violence perpetrated on African Americans by white racists, but when economically depressed African Americans turn those same weapons on each other in gang warfare and rampant crime, then the gun is the problem? Sorry, I just don’t buy that. It seems to me that Jackson has found an issue that will garner him some support and he’s riding the gravy train.

So do your patriotic duty and purchase a firearm on the 28th! I’m thinking about picking up an XD9 for home defense myself…

Until next time!!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Bill Monroe on “Assault Weapons” and Hunting

I continue to think that there may be hope for The Oregonian yet. The most recent salvo is this editorial by Bill Monroe, the Outdoor editor simply entitled “'Assault rifles' have a legal and useful place in hunting”. In the wake of the Jim Zumbo incident, the title alone is a step in the right direction. I did, however, find a few things in the article that seemed confusing or contradictory in light of the bold title. I also found a few too many popular anti-gun misconceptions in the article.

Problem one was indicating that the Ruger 10/22 used a “banana clip” and implying that when outfitted with a high-capacity magazine it qualified as an “assault weapon”. Rifles like the Garand and Carcano rifles have “clips”. The cartridges are held together and inserted into the magazine well in a clip. The magazine well provides the remaining moving components to allow the rifle to load. Conversely, the Ruger 10/22, AR-15, and many other semi-automatics descended from post World War II automatic rifles have “magazines”. Nor would I consider any variant of the Ruger 10/22 to be classified as an “assault weapon”.

So why am I overly hung up on semantics in this case? If you want to win a debate, you have to define your terms. Modern debate over the Second Amendment has typically used terms coined and defined by individuals who would like nothing better than to see private firearm ownership in the United States strictly regulated, at best, or eliminated all together. That effectively cedes the advantage to the anti-gun movement. I therefore think it’s very important that those who recognize and support our Second Amendment rights are very careful in our word choice to try to frame the debate in terms based on real technology, not terms devised to create a political or emotional reaction.

Bill also still seems to be bitter about the Jim Zumbo incident referring. I can at least understand where he’s coming from here – he and Jim are effectively in the same line of work. For me the Jim Zumbo situation boils down to a few simple facts. First, Jim has a right to say whatever he pleases within the limits of the First Amendment. His comments were well within those confines. However, his sponsors and many of their customers were quite taken aback by the ignorance of his remarks and how easily those remarks could be taken by the Gun Control lobby to support their own aims. Pro-Second Amendment groups were well within their rights to drop Jim, and I believe it was appropriate to do so as his blog made it into Senator Carl Levin’s weekly tirade calling for nationwide gun bans the next week. In my mind it would be no different than a member of the Brady Campaign being dismissed because they wrote a pro-Second Amendment piece.

There’s one confusing statement in the editorial that seems to be a non sequetur when compared to the rest of the article: “We all wish there weren't assault weapons afield during hunting seasons -- or perhaps any other season.” I don’t understand who he’s referring to when he says “we all” and it’s not clear what class of weapons he refers to when he uses the phrase “assault weapons” in this context? I certainly have no problem with weapons the Brady Campaign mistakenly labels “assault weapons” being in the hands of the law abiding. Why? By their definition any semi-automatic firearm with certain features can be branded an “assault weapon”. Whereas the true weapons that date back to the tradition of the German Sturmgewehr are fully automatic. Fully automatic weapons are rare, expensive, and strictly regulated. I agree that in fully automatic mode they really don’t have any place in hunting, but again, I have no problem with these weapons being in the hands of law abiding citizens either.

Bill continues to state “The fact is, as one reader pointed out, one of the newest, the AR-15, when reduced to a five-round magazine and semi-automatic (pull-the-trigger-each-time), and with a scope mounted above the barrel, is an uncommonly steady hunting weapon.” I agreed with him in sentiment here. I own an AR-15 with a scope and a 20” free floating barrel. It routinely puts 5 rounds through 3 touching holes at 25 yards and is only limited by my accuracy at longer distances. However, no modern “assault rifile” is “reduced to… semi-automatic.” By indicating that they are “reduced” to semi-automatic, Bill seems to be falling prey to the (incorrect) conventional wisdom that “assault rifles” can be easily made fully automatic. AR-15’s, semi-automatic AK-47’s and others are PURPOSE BUILT RIFLES. They are built on specially designed semi-automatic receivers, and are not “converted” or “reduced” from their military counterparts. Some of the parts interchange, but not the critical fire group components. Semi-automatic receivers also lack the correct pin-out configuration and rail system to convert the firearm to a select fire weapon.

Going forward, I’ve actually been impressed with Jim Zumbo. He realized he screwed up – big time – and in the process endangered everyone’s Second Amendment Rights. Not only has he issued a retraction of his previous comments, he’s endeavored to learn more about the rifles he ignorantly and unfairly demonized in his blog. Unfortunately when you’re in a position of responsibility, when you screw up, you’re held accountable for it, and that can mean losing your job.

In closing, overall I thought Bill made some decent points in the article. Not as many as I’d hoped when I read the title, but it’s a real step in the right direction. What really detracted in my mind was the sloppy terminology and the clearly tenuous familiarity with “assault rifles”. The only way that the Second Amendment is going to remain secure is through breaking through the anti-gun crowd’s miasma of fear and ignorance with facts and data.

Until next time!!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Jackson Facing Trial in Anti-Civil Rights Arrest!

In an update to a previous story, it appears that Jesse Jackson has asked for a jury trial in relation to criminal trespass charges levied against him. According to the AP (courtesy of Yahoo!) the trial is set for November 26th. Jackson still seems to be laboring under the delusion that if you get the guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens, you’ll save lives. They plan to escalate their campaign of protest at legal gun stores.

I just don’t understand why Jackson and others can’t see what is so blatantly obvious – the guns aren’t the problem – the GANGS are. You’ve got communities overrun with gangs and gang violence. Getting rid of the legal outlets for firearm purchase isn’t going to change that. It’s just going to mean that ONLY the gangs have the guns. The gang culture in Chicago has to change – and no attempts to limit the tool of their violence is going to make an impact.

Unfortunately solving the problem of gangs isn’t easy. You have to solve the problems of broken families, low education, unwed teen mothers, fathers in prison for drug convictions, no economic opportunity. Those are tough problems. Those are problems with no easy answer. Those are problems which require groups to take a hard look at themselves warts and all and admit that they are part of the problem. It’s much easier to scapegoat the tool used by the criminal. That’s something that doesn’t require introspection, that’s something that lets you play on decades old prejudices and not have to think too hard... So much for “leadership”.

Until next time!

Feinstein Goes After .50 Cals and Long Range Hunting Rifles

The gun grabber crowd is back. Senator Dianne Feinstein is now going after the .50 caliber long-range target rifle, and any rifle that develops more than 12,000 ft-lb of energy. That includes your long range hunting rifles. Co-sponsors read like a who’s who of the worst anti-Bill of Rights offenders in the nation: Kennedy, Levin, Menendez, Mikulski, Clinton, Durbin, Lautenberg, Schumer, and Dodd. The Fifty Caliber Institute put out this alert about Senate Bill S.1331. It redefines the .50 cal target rifle as well as other high energy rifles as destructive devices requiring registration – as if the ATF will really let you register them. The full text of the bill can be read on THOMAS.

I’ve already written my representatives on this one. Here’s the full text of my letter:

I am writing today in regards to bill S.1331, the deceptively and dishonestly named “Long-Range Sniper Rifle Safety Act of 2007”. This bill represents nothing more than yet another misguided attempt by certain members of our government to further erode the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution through attacking what they believe is a “soft target” – the .50 caliber target rifle and other long range target and hunting rifles that develop more than 12,000 foot-pounds of energy.

This bill completely redefines a class of firearms that are used by law-abiding citizens in long-range competition target shooting. Because of the loose wording of the law, it would also apply to certain long-range hunting rifles as well inaccurately redefining these weapons in the same class as large caliber military howitzers. This legislation would effectively end the use of these classes of firearms in civilian hands for no valid reason as these classes of firearms have a virtually zero incidence of use in crime.

In summary, I strongly urge you to defeat bill S.1331, the inappropriately named “Long-Range Sniper Rifle Safety Act of 2007”. The proposed legislation would do absolutely nothing to deter violent crime, has absolutely nothing to do with safety, and would merely serve to prohibit the ownership of weapons already held by law-abiding American citizens.

Feinstein claims "This legislation doesn't ban any firearms; it would only institute common-sense regulations for the sale of these dangerous sniper rifles." Yeah right! If you believe that one, then I have some beach front property in Colorado to sell you...

This bill represents yet another attempt by Feinstein to erode the Second Amendment to the point where she can call for the seizure of all firearms in the United States. She’s admitted she would love to do this in the past – do you really think her goals have changed? I urge you to write your representatives and have them consign this bill to the dung heap where it belongs. I also urge any readers in California to VOTE FEINSTEIN OUT! She represents a clear and present danger to the Bill of Rights.

Until next time!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Oregonian Finally Prints Something Pro-Second Amendment

After printing a typical anti-Second Amendment diatribe on July 24th which started with the auspicious beginning “I don’t like guns…” I personally began to fear that The Oregonian would never print anything remotely positive about the Second Amendment. I’d written in to the paper on many occasions regarding the plethora of anti-gun editorials and misconceptions printed on their pages, but I’d never seen any contrary opinion printed…

… that is until Wednesday August, 1st. After the most recent diatribe cited above, I wrote a response and sent it to the paper. I am pleased to say that they published my letter with only minor editorial changes for clarity. I’m reprinting it here for your enjoyment!

Losing a child in an accident is unthinkable and senseless -- regardless of whether it's related to a firearm, an automobile or any other cause. So the family of Scott Rutherford, the Beaverton boy who was shot and killed last month in a target-shooting accident, deserves our most sincere condolences.

But we should admonish those with opportunistic zeal who would take advantage of this tragedy to grind a personal ax, as is evident in the very first line of Carol Robinson's commentary in The Oregonian ("Stop tolerating our national obsession," July 24) when she says, "I don't like guns." Last time I checked, personal dislike did not give anyone the right to line-item veto the Bill of Rights.

Robinson's views, while designed to elicit an emotional response, have no real substance and suggest a fantasy state in which people may feel safe but in fact are subject to reduced individual security.

Robinson wonders, when it comes to firearms, "how much of this attraction results from a society infatuated with violence." In modern America, that may be a fraction of the story, but the real story goes much deeper, is far more textured and is categorically ignored by those calling for greater gun control.

The framers of the Constitution chose to affirm several inalienable rights, among those the right to "Keep and Bear Arms." Note I say affirm, as no rights are granted by our Constitution or government. That which a government gives can easily be taken away. The framers had seen evidence of this behavior in governments firsthand and sought to preclude any of what they viewed as inalienable human rights from ever being abridged in our fledgling republic. They saw an armed populace as the ultimate check and balance against a government run amok and acting contrary to the interests, rights and liberties of its citizens.

Robinson suggests that we should implement "rational gun laws" but offers no indication as to what these laws would be or how they would be superior to existing laws. She even goes so far as to concede that additional gun control probably would not have prevented the death of Scott Rutherford. Yet she still unreasonably and illogically concludes that more laws are necessary.

Looking at the history of gun control in the United States and the world, violent crime using firearms has generally gone up not down in areas with strict gun control laws, as strict gun control guarantees a ready supply of defenseless victims.

I'm forced to conclude that Robinson has little true understanding of the history and issue of firearms in the United States. More gun control laws are not the answer because they are ineffective as well as unconstitutional. The only truly rational course of action is to enforce existing laws and perhaps stiffen penalties for crimes involving the use of a firearm.

I sincerely hope that this signifies that The Oregonian will print a wider range of views on Second Amendment issues going forward. I’m also interested in seeing if my editorial elicits the standard far left wing knee jerk response.

Until next time!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Brady Campaign Sounding Very Nervous over DC Gun Ban Case!

The absolute worst nightmare of any gun control group is having the United States Supreme Court re-affirm that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution recognizes an individual right. Why? To understand that you need to understand some basic Constitutional law principles. First, the Constitution grants no rights to the People – it merely recognizes them and affirms that the government will not infringe on those rights. Rights “granted” by a government can be taken away by a government, and that is the last thing the Framers wanted to see. Second, if the Supreme Court (correctly) rules that the Second Amendment is an individual right – that places the Second Amendment back on the same legal footing as the First Amendment. In short, abridging an individuals right to keep and bear arms would become as Constitutionally abhorrent as saying someone couldn’t go to a Baptist, or a Lutheran, or a Mormon, or a Catholic Church.

In short, everything the gun control lobby has tried to do for the past half century unravels if the Supreme Court unambiguously states that the Second Amendment is an individual right as all of their arguments are based on some version of the “collective rights” misreading of the Second Amendment. The fear and shrillness is evident in the latest plea (for money) by the Brady Campaign:

“District of Columbia Mayor Adrian Fenty announced this week that the District will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the decision in Parker v. District of Columbia — an assault on D.C. gun laws and one that could threaten every city's gun laws.”

They go on to state:

“We must prepare for a long hard battle. So much of what we have worked for in the past and everything we're currently working on could be destroyed by the heinous decision of right-wing activist judges who chose to ignore more than 60 years of precedent in order to help the gun lobby accomplish in the courts what it has been unable to accomplish in Congress.”

Well, at least they’re honest about one thing. If the U.S. Supreme Court rules according to Constitutional principle – everything they’ve worked for – every right they’ve trampled on – every illegal law they’ve worked to get passed – every lie they’ve told about firearms and firearm owners will come crashing down around their heads. Quite frankly that will be a banner day in Constitutional law when and if it comes to pass.

Looking at the rest of their inaccurate rhetoric, however, wow – “right wing activist judges”. That’s the pot calling the kettle black. Apparently their new strategy is one of if you can’t win on facts – lie. What the Brady Campaign won’t tell you is that it’s really that last 60 years of precedent that is activist. If you go back to Framer’s intent – you quickly understand that the Second Amendment was always seen as not only a fundamental right, but perhaps THE fundamental right affirmed by the Constitution. Consider the words of leading Federalist Noah Webster:

“Another source of power in government is a military force. But this, to be efficient, must be superior to any force that exists among the people, or which they can command; for otherwise this force would be annihilated, on the first exercise of acts of oppression. Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States

Note that he says “because the whole body of the people are armed”. Not may be armed, not could be armed, not could be issued weapons in time of war, but ARE ARMED. Many other commentaries of the time make equivalent statements. In short, the Framers saw an armed American populace as the last, best defense against tyranny in this country – yet the Brady Campaign calls that view “twisted”. Apparently the Brady Campaign prefers a world where the individual is incapable of defending himself or herself from oppression, a world where the individual is incapable of defending himself or herself from criminals. Sounds like some Third World dictatorship, but certainly not America. It makes me wonder what sort of “Brave New World” the Brady Campaign wants to usher in.

As always I’ll be watching this one closely! Until next time!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

America has Crashed - Time for a Reboot

The more I think about it, the more I think we need a “back to basics” vision for America today. America has forgotten its roots. We have become too deeply mired in the minutia of partisan politics and have lost sight of what America stands for – what it means to be American. We’ve suffer from a national myopia with all of our attention being devoted to non-issue “issues”, while our basic rights and freedoms and the very underpinnings of our society are continually eroded.

I look at both sides of the aisle today and I, quite frankly, don’t like what I see. I’m faced with a choice between a neo-conservative vision that tries to mix 19th Century imperialism with a global economy that hurts American workers and consumers and a liberal vision that seems to resemble nothing more than the American Socialist Party advocating a government dependent society where entitlements are the norm and no one has to work for anything. What’s worse, if I vote neo-conservative, I vote to invalidate half of the Bill of Rights, and if I vote liberal, I vote to invalidate the other half.

America was founded on the radical concept that human beings have certain inalienable rights – rights which can’t be taken away by a King – or even a democratically held referendum. Our Constitution affirms many of those rights by name. Note I say affirm, not grant. It is not the government of the United States that “grants” us these rights. The Framers saw these rights as basic and fundamental, and not subject to government regulation. Unfortunately, over the past 200 years, for reasons that I’m sure sounded good at the time, we the people have allowed the government to erode many of those rights until we're left with a nation where the Bill of Rights is under active attack by both ends of the political spectrum.

Freedom of speech is one of those endangered rights. The right tried to clamp down on it during the black days after September 11, 2001. No one could criticize the President without being branded a traitor or in league with terrorists. The “terrorist” became the red scare of the new century, and the specter of McCarthyism was raised once again. The left is not blameless here either. The entire doctrine of “Political Correctness” represents the greatest attempt to control thought through creation of acceptable speech codes in this nation’s history. Packaged as an attempt to ensure people’s feelings aren’t hurt, it does nothing to combat the actual marginalization of various groups in this country.

Freedom of religion is yet another endangered right. The left seems to be embarked on a crusade to ensure American public life is free FROM religion. They seem to have missed the whole bit about “free exercise” of religion being expressly affirmed by the Constitution. In a rhetorical backlash, the right seems to miss the boat as well in that they want to institutionalize one particular branch of Christianity. While I know the Constitution doesn’t expressly use the words “separation of Church and State”, both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison indicate in their writings that’s what First Amendment means – and I tend to trust those two on Constitutional matters.

The Second Amendment is perhaps the most misunderstood of all of the sections of the Bill of Rights, and unfortunately only a fraction of that misunderstanding is unintentional. There are many groups out there deliberately muddying the waters to achieve their own ends. Some of those ends are laudable – they want to see a reduction in violent crime. Others are not – they simply fear firearms or fear an armed populace. What the Framers actually feared was a strong central government with a strong military that could impose its will upon the nation – like the monarchies in Europe. The Framers were quite proud of the Second Amendment as they believed only in a free Society would a government not fear an armed population and that armed populace represented the ultimate check and balance against tyranny. So the concept on the left that the right to keep and bear arms is limited to the “militia”, which is modernly (and incorrectly) translated as the National Guard is flat wrong. The concept common even on the right that the Second Amendment refers to “hunting and sporting” purposes is also flat wrong. When only the government is armed, there is no Freedom. If you don’t believe me – think back to Tiananmen square.

In conclusion, our nation needs to politically reboot itself and get back to the business of looking after the rights and freedoms of its people rather than focusing on partisan non-issues. We don’t need an assault weapon ban to combat crime – we need to attack the causes of the poverty and joblessness that are the motives for that crime. We don’t need to provide amnesty to 12 million individuals who snuck over the border illegally, or see how fast we can ship our jobs to China, India, and Mexico, we need to foster industrial development at home and employ our own citizens. We don’t need to focus on “hate speech” and “political correctness”, we need to have a open and honest dialog. We need to let people offend others and be offended. That’s the only way real lasting progress will be made. Right now our “leaders” are trying to put new coats of paint on a rusting hulk and call the problems “solved”. Our nation deserves better. We as Americans must demand better.

Monday, July 16, 2007

D.C. to Appeal Handgun Case to Supreme Court

As we’ve followed in previous blogs, the landmark court case that struck down the D.C. handgun ban has been appealed yet again – this time to the U.S. Supreme Court.

According to an article from SFGate:

"'We believe we are right on the law and we hope the Supreme Court will agree with us,’ D.C. Attorney General Linda Singer said."

I hear that some people believe in pink unicorns as well, but the Framers’ intent on the Second Amendment is quite clear – and D.C. is on the wrong side of that intent. The article goes on to state:

"City officials say the ban is needed because of consistently high homicide rates. The law has remained in effect during the appeals process."

And once again city officials repeat the big lie – that the gun ban positively impacts the murder rate. Quite the opposite is the case – the murder rate in D.C. has gone up since the ban went into effect. Coincidence? I think not.

This could potentially be a landmark decision, as the article correctly notes:

"If the high court takes up the case, it would mark the first time in 70 years that justices will consider the breadth of the Second Amendment. In 2003, the court chose not to take a case that challenged California's ban on assault weapons."

My guess is that they will not take up this case either as the Court would have to rule that the Second Amendment is an individual right. That would put not only the D.C. gun ban out of business, but ones in California, Chicago, New York, New Jersey, and might also throw a wrench into the entire operation of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

I’ll be following this case very closely – the best outcome would be for the USSC to take the case and rule correctly based on Constitutional grounds, but I’m not going to hold my breath.

Until next time!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The AK-47 Turns 60

One of the most instantly recognizable firearms in the world has now been around for 60 years – the AK-47. Rugged, cheap, and reliable, even in adverse conditions, the AK-47 has been produced in dozens of countries with a staggering total of over 100 million being produced since its introduction.

The AK-47 was developed by Mikhail Kalashnikov, pictured above holding an early prototype rifle, in response to superior German weapons being employed against the Soviet Union during World War II and represents a combination of some of the features of the American M1 Garand and the German StG44. Kalashnikov was wounded in 1941 at the battle of Bryansk.

Kalashnikov states in a recent interview :

“Blame the Nazi Germans for making me become a gun designer, I always wanted to construct agricultural machinery.”

While the AK-47 (the AK stands for Avtomat Kalashnikov) has been frequently demonized by American gun control groups (even though true AK-47’s are rare in America) Kalashnikov, who is now 87, has no regrets:

“I sleep well. It’s the politicians who are to blame for failing to come to an agreement and resorting to violence.”

I’ve had the privilege to shoot one licensed AK-47 variant, and have shot the semi-automatic version frequently. They are extremely enjoyable for both practical rifle and short to mid range target shooting. Ammunition for semi-automatic AK’s is generally very inexpensive as well, so a day at the range won’t cost you a mint!

Until next time!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Oh the Irony – Jesse Jackson Arrested for Anti-Civil Rights Protest

Granted, no one on the far left side of the political spectrum these days seems to recognize that the Second Amendment refers to “the people” just the same as the First Amendment. Jesse Jackson clearly falls into that same reading comprehension challenged crowd. Rev. Jackson is the first to bring up the “Civil Rights” card anytime someone is discriminated against on the basis of race, yet completely ignores the fact that the right to “keep and bear arms” is just as fundamental a human right as recognized by the U.S. Constitution.

Rev. Jackson and a priest from Chicago’s south side, Michael Pfeger, have decided that not only does the Second Amendment not exist, but they have the right to criminally trespass for the express purpose of disrupting the business of a Riverdale gun store, Chuck’s Gun Shop.

According to an article from the Chicago Tribune:

"It was the third consecutive Saturday that Jackson and his supporters rallied in front of the gun shop at 14310 Indiana Ave. Gun sales are banned in Chicago, but Jackson said suburban stores offer city dwellers easy access to firearms.

"'The suburbs have surrounded the city with these gun shops,' he said. 'Jobs are going out, guns are coming in.' 'Chuck's becomes the poster boy for this issue,' Pfleger added. 'We need tougher gun laws so the kids are not dying in the streets."

First, the city of Chicago is in criminal violation of the U.S. Constitution for banning gun sales. Could you imagine the outcry if Catholicism were outlawed simply because the Italian mafia was largely Catholic? Yet the city seems to feel it can overlook the Second Amendment because it’s inconvenient to their “vision” and “agenda”.

As to tougher gun laws and their effect on crime – hasn’t worked so far, has it Rev. Jackson? If you want “kids” (and by this he generally refers to Chicago gang members) to stop “dying in the streets” you have to change the CULTURE. The guns aren’t the problem. The real problem is South side’s lack of quality education, lack of opportunity, rampant drug use, rampant gang activity, glorification of the “gangsta” image, objectification of women, NEED I GO ON!?!?!!??!? In short, if you want the “kids” to stop dying, you need a return to the values of hard work, honesty, and integrity.

The owner of the shop sought to go through the process with Jackson and Pfeger:

"I was going to explain to Jackson and Father Pfleger how to get a gun license and explain to them how the laws work, basically go through a regular sale with them," Riggio said.

However, at that point Jackson and his supporters sought to effectively close down the business:
“Riggio said he then told them they had to clear the doorway and signaled to the police to intervene.

“The police told Jackson and Pfleger that if they did not stop blocking the entrance they would be arrested, police and witnesses said.

“’[They] again refused, and both were taken into custody and charged with one count each of criminal trespass to property,’ according to the Riverdale police statement.”

So there you have it – if you don’t like the Second Amendment – apparently you have the “right” to close down a legal place of business. Personally I think Jackson and Pfleger should be charged with violating the civil rights of all of the customers in the building. Based on the recent DC gun ban decisions, the Courts have finally woken up and realized that the Second Amendment is an individual right, and Jackson and his supporters want to prevent people from exercising that right. He lives in a world where it’s okay to discriminate against you because you want to exercise your right to self defense, isn’t that as bad as saying someone can’t go to school or vote because they’re black???

Until next time!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Yet Another Attack on the Second Amendment – S. 1237

This time the attack is supported by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. It seems as if Senator Frank Lautenberg has introduced a new bill – S. 1237 entitled “To increase public safety by permitting the Attorney General to deny the transfer of firearms or the issuance of firearms and explosives licenses to known or suspected dangerous terrorists.”

Now don’t get me wrong – I think everyone can get behind the idea that we should not sell firearms to convicted terrorists, but exactly who defines who is classified as a “suspected dangerous terrorist”. Is that anyone who disagrees with whatever the current administration is at the time? Since when are “inalienable” rights subject to cancellation without due process of law? Apparently that’s the direction Lautenberg wants to take us.

The sad thing is that the Attorney General is going along with this travesty, but it seems like Gonzales will back anything that increases his power these days. It certainly seems like the President missed the boat in appointing Gonzales because he certainly isn’t standing up for Constitutional principles here.

The NRA has written a letter to the Attorney General and the Senate Judiciary committee urging them not to pass this bill. They note:

“As many of our friends in law enforcement have rightly pointed out, the word ‘suspect’ has no legal meaning, particularly when it comes to denying constitutional liberties. The American people have no idea how many individuals are currently on terrorism ‘watch lists’, nor the circumstances under which a person is added to or removed from these lists. Denying rights without legal justification, based on little more than ‘suspicions’ and ‘secret evidence’, is an affront to our Constitution and Bill of Rights.”

I urge everyone to contact their senators and communicate your opposition to this travesty.

Until next time!

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Brady Campaign is Nervous...

The forces of gun control know that they can’t stand up to a ruling that is actually in line with the Constitution. None of their laws, dicta, or legal mental gymnastics can compete with even a cursory examination of the writings of Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, and the other Founders. An article on the NRA website details some of the palpable nervousness of the Brady Campaign:

"The announcement by D.C. city officials that they are considering appealing to the Court has sent the Brady Campaign into panic mode. Brady president, Paul Helmke, blurted out that "The D.C. law is an easy one to shoot at. Factually, it’s a tougher one to get behind and defend. Why is this the one we’re going to be taking up to the Supremes?""

So when you can’t win with the facts, apparently the Brady Campaign thinks that it’s okay to lie. They’ve created a website whose only purpose is to deceive, misinform, and obfuscate the issues and legal precedent surrounding the recent Parker V. D.C. decision that shot down the unconstitutional DC gun ban.

More from the same article:

"True to past form, Brady’s propaganda in this instance is a combination of lies, shameless spin-doctoring, and pointless and diversionary assertions. The gun-ban group claims "There is not a word to be found anywhere in the Miller opinion suggesting a right to possess arms outside of militia service." It’s an incredible claim, since Miller identified the militia as "civilians primarily, soldiers on occasion . . . .all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. . . . [who] when called for service... were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves."

"The Brady Campaign is livid over the Parker statement that "The [Second] Amendment does not protect ‘the right of militiamen to keep and bear arms,’ but rather ‘the right of the people’ [and, thus,] the ownership and use of weaponry beyond that needed to preserve the state militias." But the Parker decision is right. As it pointed out, in U.S. v. Cruikshank (1876), the Supreme Court declared that the right to arms "is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence."

So it appears the Brady Campaign not only fails to understand the Second Amendment to the Constitution, but they fail to understand the concept of “inalienable rights” which forms the cornerstone of the American Republic. They seem to view Rights as something that can be granted and rescinded through political action. If that were true, they would not be Rights. They would be privileges granted under a far more totalitarian system of government. Well, I’ve got news for them; the RIGHTS of the People shall not be infringed. Regardless of how many mental gymnastics they perform to justify their laughable positions, they won’t pass Constitutional muster.

Until next time!!!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Gangs Don’t Want Americans to be Armed

Simple logic tells you that criminals prefer a disarmed populace. It makes their “job” a lot easier when they don’t have to account for the possibility that their victims will fight back. Well, now they’re taking it one step further. “Reformed” gang members are creating anti-gun groups, and what’s worse, these groups are getting FUNDING from local governments.

Case in point, this recent article from L.A. Weekly News detailing the story of Hector Marroquin, the founder of the “anti-gang” group “No Guns.” Turns out that Hector was in public promoting an anti-gun agenda all while selling firearms illegally to gang members.

Some very telling excerpts:

“FEDERAL ALCOHOL, TOBACCO AND FIREARMS AGENTS knocked first, then entered the Downey home of purported anti-gang activist Hector Marroquin on Wednesday, arresting him for selling silencers and weapons — including three assault rifles and a machine gun — to an undercover ATF agent.

“Marroquin, an alleged associate of the prison-based Mexican Mafia, has grown accustomed to such intrusions, having been arrested many times over the years while at the same time being the founder and CEO of No Guns, which has received $1.5 million from Los Angeles City Hall via the much-criticized L.A. Bridges program designed by the Los Angeles City Council to keep youth out of gangs.”

This isn’t the only failure of the L.A. Bridges program – from the same article:

“However, a report by civil rights lawyer Connie Rice and independent audits have stated that L.A. Bridges, which has funneled more than $100 million to programs like No Guns, cannot show that it has reduced gang activity, and the city council lacks any meaningful measures for determining success. Just last week, another purported gang-member-turned-good, 30-year-old Mario Corona, with a group called Communities in Schools, also a recipient of L.A. Bridges money, was sentenced to 32 months in prison for transporting a large amount of methamphetamine and being a felon with a gun.”

So it appears as if the Los Angeles City Council is either criminally naive or thoroughly corrupt. Not only do they seem to be willing to give money to anyone who will badmouth the Second Amendment, they’re willing to give vast sums of money to members of the most violent gang in America today, and the Mexican mafia to boot. I’m sure L.A. is at a loss to understand why crime is so rampant in their city as well.

Hint: Stop abridging the rights of law-abiding citizens. Because of the tight and Unconstitutional limits on an individual’s right to carry in the city, L.A. has become a fertile breeding ground for gangs, drugs, and other crime. When the law-abiding are helpless, the lawless prosper. Maybe one of these years they’ll get the clue.

Until next time!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Full Court Upholds Ruling Against DC Gun Ban!

Been busy lately, but had to post this one.

Remember the earlier blog where I discuss the DC Appeals court ruling on the DC gun ban. This landmark decision struck down the ban and ruled that the 2nd Amendment is an individual right. The city of Washington DC appealed this ruling to the full Court.

On May 11, the full court DECLINED to review this case. This means that the original panel ruling will stand! This is quite frankly a great day for America as the 2nd Amendment has once again been affirmed by the second highest court in the land.

At this point, if the city wishes to appeal, their only option is the U.S. Supreme Court. Apparently they have 90 days to petition the Court. If they do petition the Court, it will be very interesting to see what happens next. If the Court hears the case, it will be the first true Second Amendment case before the U.S. Supreme Court in decades. Alternately they could decline to hear the case and let the lower court ruling stand.

This one bears careful watching! Until next time!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Virginia Rebuffs Bloomberg

Look like Michael Bloomberg’s crusade to shut down legitimate gun dealers is starting to draw the ire of some state legislatures. At issue is the fact that Bloomberg sent “undercover” individuals to make “simulated straw purchases” at gun dealers in other states. Never mind the fact that the individuals in question were breaking several laws.

The Commonwealth of Virginia has written a letter to Michael Bloomberg informing the Mayor of new legislation which has recently been passed. The letter states:

“As you know, the U.S. Department of Justice recently wrote to you that such activity is counterproductive to legitimate law enforcement efforts to police illegal firearm trafficking, and has potential legal liabilities.”

I personally would love to see some of the businesses targeted by Bloomberg sue NYC. The Virginia AG continues:

“The new legislation... makes clear that such non-law enforcement activities related to undercover illegal firearm purchases will be punishable as a felony in Virginia.”

Sounds like the new law has some teeth, and that the Commonwealth intends to enforce it. Hopefully this will help put the brakes on Bloomberg’s thinly disguised effort to effectively ban handgun sales nationwide.

Until next time!

Friday, April 27, 2007

"The Disarming of America"

Yet again the anti-2nd Amendment bias of the press is showing in full force. Even though the recent Zogby poll (see earlier blog entry) indicates Americans aren't interested in more gun control laws, the press seems convinced that they need to "change America's mind". The most disgusting column I've read recently (apart from the Roanoke Times article advocating the repeal of the 2nd Amendment) is this recent op/ed piece from The Toledo Blade. In this piece, the author states:

"First of all, federal or state laws would need to make it a crime punishable by a $1,000 fine and one year in prison per weapon to possess a firearm. The population would then be given three months to turn in their guns, without penalty."

There goes the 2nd Amendment right there, but believe it or not, it gets worse:

"The disarmament process would begin after the initial three-month amnesty. Special squads of police would be formed and trained to carry out the work. Then, on a random basis to permit no advance warning, city blocks and stretches of suburban and rural areas would be cordoned off and searches carried out in every business, dwelling, and empty building. All firearms would be seized. The owners of weapons found in the searches would be prosecuted: $1,000 and one year in prison for each firearm.

"Clearly, since such sweeps could not take place all across the country at the same time. But fairly quickly there would begin to be gun-swept, gun-free areas where there should be no firearms. If there were, those carrying them would be subject to quick confiscation and prosecution. On the streets it would be a question of stop-and-search of anyone, even grandma with her walker, with the same penalties for 'carrying.'"

Call out the Gestapo! Now there goes the 4th Amendment as well.

I honestly couldn't believe such a clearly un-American piece of tripe was actually printed. This editorial reads like a bad dystopian future novel, not a "vision" presented by a legitimate op/ed columnist. Needless to say I wrote a "Letter to the Editor" back to the Toledo Blade, but as I'm out of their circulation market and my letter doesn't fit with their clearly preconceived notions about firearms ownership, I'm sure it will reside in the dustbin. So here's my response to it. I borrowed a couple of points from previous letters, but about 70% of it is new:

"In reading Dan Simpson’s piece “The disarming of America” I could not help but feel as if I had suddenly been transported to another world. A world where the Bill of Rights doesn’t exist, and the natural rights protected therein are meaningless. I am shocked and amazed that an American could write such an ignorant piece and that an American publication would print it.

"Not only does Mr. Simpson’s “plan” violate the 2nd Amendment, but the 4th Amendment as well since he advocates search and seizure without due cause. Remember that The Framers granted no rights in the Bill of Rights, they simply affirmed what they saw as natural rights, hence the Amendments are worded “the government shall not infringe” rather than “The People are granted the right”. The right to bear arms is therefore an extension of the natural right of self-preservation. An armed populace was also viewed the surest check against government tyranny and oppression.

"Mr. Simpson assumes a world without guns is a safer world. However in the real world, responsibility for self-preservation lies with the individual, and can’t be guaranteed by any external body or authority. No police force or military can keep any individual citizen “safe”, their duty is to the collective whole, not the individual. The UK and Australia have enacted very strict gun control, only to see their violent crime rates go up as gun control only assures the law abiding are disarmed.

"Finally, Mr. Simpson’s plan is not entirely original. A nation in Europe enacted gun registration in 1928 and when a new government came to power in 1933 it used those lists to disarm political opponents and minority groups leaving only the ardent supporters of the government armed. That nation was Germany, and the world still recoils at what happened next."

Until next time - I'm still fuming...

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Students for Concealed Carry on Campus!

I just discovered a new website via one of my favorite Gun Boards. Go check out Students for Concealed Carry on Campus . It great to see a grass-roots effort to allow holders of a Concealed Carry Permit to exercise their right to self-defense while on University property.

Honestly, I wish we lived in a world where our homes and schools were true sanctuaries where violence could not forcibly enter. Unfortunately that world does not exist, yet far too many people who seem exhibit an almost Pollyannaish naivety seem to believe it does. They believe that they can create “zones” where guns aren’t allowed and people can “feel safe.” That illusion is all too frequently broken by the uncomfortable reality that there are people out there who simply do not respect others rights.

I wish this group all the best, and I’ve added them to my featured links at right!

Until next time!

A Lot of People Don't Get It

Ever since the tragedy last Monday, a lot of news outlets have been feeding the public a steady diet of anti-2nd Amendment stories from Op/Ed pieces to ensuring that reader submitted "Letters to the Editor" support the common theme. Unfortunately my local paper, The Oregonian, seems to want to push the agenda rather than look at the facts and data. I read a particularly representative (and naive) letter to the editor there today:

"As I read the Second Amendment to the Constitution, the only reason given for the right of the people to keep and bear arms is the proviso "A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State . . .."

"Since we have a standing Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, FBI, CIA, state police, county sheriffs, city police, National Guard and the thousands of private contractors the Defense Department has hired to fight the terrorists, pray tell, what need do we have for the Second Amendment except to provide ready weapons for those fellow Americans who kill Americans at the rate of 30,000 a year?


Since I know that The Oregonian isn’t going to print my response – I included it here so it will actually be read.

I note two critical failings in Marvin Friesen’s letter regarding the Second Amendment. First the author erroneously views the Second Amendment as a granted right for stated reason. Even a cursory reading of the debates surrounding the Second Amendment shows that the way the author “reads” the text to be unsupportable.

The Framers granted no rights in the Bill of Rights, they simply affirmed what they saw as natural rights, hence the Amendments are worded “the government shall not infringe” rather than “The People are granted the right”. The right to bear arms represented an extension of the natural right of self-preservation and furthermore an armed populace represented the surest check against a government seeking to militarily impose its will on the populace. The prefatory “militia” clause is therefore not justification of a granted right; in fact the “militia” clause was included at the insistence of Anti-Federalists who feared a standing army (as did most Federalists).

The second critical failing represents a common misinterpretation of the role of civic and military authorities. Responsibility for self-preservation lies with the individual, and can’t be guaranteed by any external body or authority. The role of law enforcement and the military is that of collective safety and common defense – they are not responsible for, nor are they capable of, keeping each individual citizen “safe”. I find it telling that large cities with restrictive gun laws and large police forces have the highest murder rates in the nation.

So to Marvin Friesen I say, the need for the Second Amendment today is the same as it was in the late 1780’s – to preserve our life and liberty.

Until next time!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

ATF Wants to Scrap Sgt. York's Captured Machine Gun

For those of you who don’t know, Sergeant Alvin York was an American infantryman who served with distinction during World War I. He received the Medal of Honor for leading an assault on a German machine gun emplacement. Sergeant York’s citation states:

"The Argonne Forest, France, 8 October 1918. After his platoon suffered heavy casualties, Alvin York assumed command. Fearlessly leading 7 men, he charged with great daring a machine gun nest which was pouring deadly and incessant fire upon his platoon. In this heroic feat the machine gun nest was taken, together with 4 German officers and 128 men and several guns."

One of the machine guns captured by York that day found its way to the small town of Nahant, Massachusetts where it was recently discovered in the local library’s attic. According to a recent article in The Boston Globe:

“Library officials say they researched markings on the gun and searched local newspaper archives and town documents for answers about the weapon's origin, determining that the gun had been given to the town in 1918 by an Army clerk, Nahant native Mayland Lewis.

“According to the research, Lewis had plucked the weapon from a pile given up by surrendering Germans and shipped it home. Briefly prized as a souvenir of the war, it was paraded through the town on Armistice Day in 1919 by Boy Scouts who towed it in a red wagon. But over the years it faded from public view.”

Imagine a world where the Boy Scouts are allowed to parade a fully functional machine gun in a red wagon! America has changed so much, and in this particular area I’m not convinced it’s for the better. The article is unclear on how they made the connection between the weapon and Sergeant York, but it is clear that a relic of World War I is in clear danger of being destroyed as the weapon was never registered:

“Library officials soon learned that the gun is illegal and that they can do very little with it.

“Federal gun laws prohibit possession or sale of automatic guns unless they are registered with the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. In the library attic for years, the German machine gun was never registered. The library isn't allowed to register the gun now because federal law prohibits new registrations on automatic weapons, except in rare circumstances.”

I’d love to know what those “rare circumstances” are and why a World War I relic wouldn’t qualify as the ATF seems to “interpret” it as “no circumstances.” Right now the weapon has been transferred to local law enforcement to prevent confiscation by the ATF. The library has contacted their Senators, but as their Senators are Kerry and Kennedy, they haven’t received a response.

This is an important piece of American history, yet the ATF seems to care more about their own bureaucracy and power plays than truly serving the best interests of the American people. Destroying a priceless historical artifact will not keep America’s streets safer, nor does it meet the spirit of the 1986 law (which is another topic entirely!). I’m planning on writing some representatives on this one – it probably won’t help, but I believe that it’s always worse to sit by and do nothing.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Official Numbers In - Stricter Gun Control NOT the Answer

As I reported yesterday, there was anecdotal evidence that despite the loud and frequent cries for additional gun control in the wake of the horrific events at Virginia Tech on many of the media outlets, the idea that greater gun control was needed didn’t seem to be playing well to America at large. I based this off of the largely non-scientific internet polls that had universally been against additional gun control legislation. Today sees the release of the official MSNBC-Zogby poll taken April 17-8 on MSNBC.

The poll itself asks two questions. The first question was:

"Would stricter gun control help prevent tragedies?"

59% NO
36% Yes
5% Not sure

Bearing in mind that the pro-gun control side generally gets a temporary bump after a tragedy like the one seen on Monday, these numbers bode very poorly for individuals wanting to push a stricter gun control agenda. It is also good news for pro-2nd Amendment organizations like the NRA and GOA that the message and facts are getting out and resonating with the general population.

The poll asked a second question:

"Would more people carrying guns help prevent tragedies?"

54% No
38% Yes
8% Not sure

The results here aren’t as good for the pro-2nd Amendment, but I honestly think Question 1 is more important than Question 2 at this point. Unfortunately the benefits of concealed carry are just now becoming apparent, and it looks like a lot of work still remains to get that message to the people.

The article goes on to break down the results by demographic – but the majority view in every demographic is that stricter gun control isn’t the answer. Expect to hear the presidential candidates start weighing in on this issue in the upcoming days.

Until next time!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Cold Reception for Proposed New Gun Bans

In the wake of Monday’s terrible events at Virginia Tech, all of the usual media outlets have been running pieces on gun control. Some of them seem to be floating the idea, like this article at MSNBC , but even while that article seems to advocate gun control it acknowledges that gun control has been a losing issue since 1994. Some of the media outlets have been posting editorials that have been downright acerbic as I discussed in yesterday’s blog entry. Many op/ed pages seem, such as the Oregonian, seem to be posting exclusively anti-gun views on their op-ed pieces, and I KNOW for a fact that they have received other opinions – I sent one in yesterday.

However, if you look deeper, most of the major media outlets (ABC, MSNBC, CNN) are also posting their infamous web polls on this topic. Now, I know that these polls are unscientific and self-motivated, but I do find it interesting that without exception every poll seems to indicate that there is NOT a desire for more gun control – many by substantial margins. For example, this poll at MSNBC asked

“The massacre at Virginia Tech is raising new questions about gun control. Do gun control laws need to be made tougher?”

The responses (both of which are push poll responses – which is at least semi-honest) are:

Yes. Unthinkable violence like this could be prevented by tougher gun control.


No. And if more people were allowed to carry concealed weapons, fewer people might have died.

When I last checked the poll a whopping 73% of the respondents answered NO!!!

Apparently some media outlets are picking up on the notion that concealed carry might have helped this situation. After printing an extremely anti-gun editorial this weekend where the author called for the repeal of the Second Amendment, The Roanoke Times published a far more cogent article by an actual Virginia Tech graduate student. The student holds a valid Virgina Concealed Carry Permit, and writes:

“Of all of the emotions and thoughts that were running through my head that morning, the most overwhelming one was of helplessness.

“That feeling of helplessness has been difficult to reconcile because I knew I would have been safer with a proper means to defend myself.

I would also like to point out that when I mentioned to a professor that I would feel safer with my gun, this is what she said to me, ‘I would feel safer if you had your gun.’”

The author goes on:

“I am qualified and capable of carrying a concealed handgun and urge you to work with me to allow my most basic right of self-defense, and eliminate my entrusting my safety and the safety of my classmates to the government.

“This incident makes it clear that it is time that Virginia Tech and the commonwealth of Virginia let me take responsibility for my safety.”

Virginia Tech students aren’t the only individuals making similar observations. David B. Kopel wrote an editorial for the Wall Street Journal making many similar observations. Mr. Kopel cited cases in Utah where a “gun free zone” could have turned into a similar killing field, but didn’t because an off duty police officer ignored the restriction. Kopel also cites the bill last year that would have allowed holders of CCW permits to carry on campus:

“Last year the Virginia legislature defeated a bill that would have ended the ‘gun-free zones’ in Virginia's public universities. At the time, a Virginia Tech associate vice president praised the General Assembly's action ‘because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus.’ In an August 2006 editorial for the Roanoke Times, he declared: ‘Guns don't belong in classrooms. They never will. Virginia Tech has a very sound policy preventing same.’"

Isn’t it amazing that every gun ban proposed from Dianne Feinstein on down is there to ensure people “feel safe”. That feeling of safety is a dangerous fiction, and we can ill afford putting more innocents in peril so the ignorant and naive can “feel safe”.

Until next time.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Tragedy at Virginia Tech and the Knee-Jerk Political Response

First and foremost my heart goes out to the victims, the families, the students, and the faculty of Virginia Tech University. The actions of one deranged individual have ended, impacted, and interrupted countless lives in the worst possible way. All of you are in my thoughts and my prayers, and I offer you my most sincere condolences. I pray you are able to find solace as you work through this unimaginable tragedy.

Unfortunately, in this tragedy the political opportunists and vultures have seen an opening to spread ignorance and prey on people’s fear. Before the shooter’s identity was even known, before the source of the weapons was known, before any meaningful data was released, and before most of the victims had even been IDENTIFIED – those who “know what’s good for you” already had the solution – more gun control.

Michael Daly of the NY Daily News wrote a particularly ignorant hateful piece with the normal line of “blame the tool, not the person.” Most of the responses to this editorial have been decidedly negative. The Washington Post seems to feel obligated to pass along the standard pack of misconceptions published by foreign press, including this ludicrous statement:

"’I think the reason it happens in America is there's access to weapons -- you can go into a supermarket and get powerful automatic weapons,’ Keith Ashcroft, a psychologist, told the Press Association. Ashcroft said he believed such access, along with a culture that makes gun ownership seem normal, increases the likelihood of such attacks in the United States.”

I don’t know of a single supermarket in the United States where you can pick up an automatic weapon. Period. Automatic weapons are rare, expensive, and strictly regulated by the BATFE. But apparently the facts matter even less to the Foreign press than they do to the American press.

To anyone who believes that more gun control would have prevented this tragedy, I’ve got news for you – it wouldn’t have helped. In fact, I strongly believe that it was the GUN BAN THAT CAUSED THE HIGH DEATH COUNT! That’s right ladies and gentlemen, I FIRMLY believe that the fact that firearms were not allowed on the Virginia Tech campus – because it was a “gun free zone” – no one had the opportunity to defend themselves from this sort of violence.

In 2006, a bill was proposed in the Virginia Legislature that would have allowed individuals with state issued Concealed Carry permits to carry on college campuses. This bill was defeated and the Virginia Tech Administration praised the defeat of the legislation:

“VA Tech spokesman Larry Hincker [celebrated] the defeat of the bill. ‘I'm sure the university community is appreciative of the General Assembly's actions,’ Hincker said on Jan. 31, 2006, ‘because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus.’”

There’s a world of difference between “feeling safe” and actually being safe. The article above cites several examples of shootings that could have turned into rampages that would rival the tragedy at Virginia Tech, but were stopped by the intervention of one law-abiding individual with a firearm. We’ll unfortunately never know how many innocent lives could have been saved had Virginia House Bill 1572 passed, but we now know the cost of a “gun free zone” – over 30 innocent lives wasted.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Editorial Calls for Repeal of Second Amendment

File this under I don’t know whether I should laugh or cry. A recent editorial by Tommy Denton over at The Roanoke Times represents a new form of attack on the Second Amendment. For the past 70 years or so, the focus has been on passing as many “common sense” gun bans as possible. Recent court decisions have, however, re-affirmed that the right to keep and bear arms is, and was always meant to be, an individual right. Because the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right, gun bans suddenly find themselves on very thin ice as the legal obfuscation used to imply anything to the opposite has been dispelled.

The article starts with the normal “plea to emotion”:

“No matter how much mayhem and tragedy may be caused by gun violence in the United States, such costs are more than an acceptable trade-off for many people who are determined to preserve ‘the right to keep and bear arms.’"

The truth is, far fewer people are killed by firearms than are killed in motor vehicle accidents every year. I don’t see these same individuals decrying the “mayhem and tragedy” caused by vehicular traffic, even WITH the government certifying and licensing both cars and drivers. I don’t see them proposing an “assault car ban” or proposing a prohibitive tax on automobiles that would raise the price of an entry-level sub-compact from $10,000 to $80,000.

The author does get one thing right:

“Alas, those who believe that their gun-embracing compatriots pose a clear and present public danger by misinterpreting the true meaning of the Second Amendment will be disappointed to learn that some of the ablest legal minds in the land disagree with them.

“Even generally liberal law professors such as Harvard's Laurence Tribe and Sanford Levinson of the University of Texas offer no ideological or historical comfort to those who read into the Second Amendment the restriction that guns may be justified only under state-sponsored militia and not under a general liberty bestowed as an individual right.”

The author does, unlike the Brady Campaign, recognize that the Second Amendment does, and was intended to secure and affirm an individual right. However, the remedy the author suggests is what is draconian and dangerous:

“The Founders wrote what they wrote, but they wrote for a century and a nation for which the Second Amendment no longer is appropriate. Yet we should adhere faithfully to the letter and spirit of the Constitution: Quixotic as it may be right now, I propose that we begin thinking about invoking the Constitution's Article V and repeal the Second Amendment.”

That’s right ladies and gentlemen, the call to REPEAL the Second Amendment has began. The Bill of Rights, which Madison, Hamilton and the other founders indicated was unnecessary because the government was given no power to regulate what they viewed as “inalienable rights” is now under attack by those who seem to believe if one repeals the Amendment, one destroys the Right. What next, Mr. Denton, do we repeal the First Amendment and set up a State Religion? Do we repeal the Fourth Amendment and seize all private property? Do we repeal the Fifth Amendment and create kangaroo courts with summary convictions and executions for anyone the government finds distasteful? It seems like he’s already started down a very slippery slope (we may even be skiing down it!), a slope that leads only to the destruction of the system of “free, fair elections and politically accountable representation” that we all value so highly.

Make sure you write the editor on this one.

Until next time!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

20/20 Wants Your Self-Defense Stories

The ABC news magazine 20/20 has put out a call for people’s self-defense stories. These aren’t just any self-defense stories, these are self-defense stories involving a firearm. From their site:

"Have you ever defended yourself from a crime in your home, in your business, or in public by using a gun? Perhaps you warded off a potential attacker by simply showing a gun?"

From the rest of the text of the call for input, it’s clear that they want to do a piece on concealed carry:

"40 states now allow their citizens to obtain conceal-carry permits for handguns. Some people say that's dangerous, while others say it allows them to protect themselves."

Hopefully this will be a piece that really tries to look at the facts and statistics behind concealed carry and not some thinly veiled attack on people with CCW’s or an attempt to “teach the controversy” in the absence of data. Apparently the NRA shares this concern as they’re asking members to copy them on stories submitted to ABC.

If the producers of 20/20 do their research, they’re going to discover that there are a lot of myths perpetuated by those opposed to the individual right to carry. Gun Facts has a great section that demonstrates that concealed carry laws decrease crime, that concealed carry permit holders are far less likely to be involved in crime, etc. The numbers presented there are amazing and clear cut. I really hope to see a lot of this information come out in the story.

There have been a lot of stories in the news demonizing gun owners as kooks and dangerous. This represents an opportunity to change that perception. I will be anxiously watching for the show when it airs and will provide a critique at that time.

Until next time!

Friday, April 6, 2007

Knowledge is Power

The arts of logic, debate and rhetoric go back thousands of years and were, in fact, the core of the education system in the classical world. The art of rhetoric is generally understood as the technique of persuasion, such as an individual giving a speech. The art of logic deals with the structure of statements and arguments, and forms the basis of modern debate. While these arts are ancient, they have a staggering impact on society today as they are the primary tools to attack and defend the Second Amendment.

One key to winning any debate is knowledge. If you can demonstrate that your opponent’s argument has a fatal flaw, or is based on poor or erroneous data, then you will have made progress toward discrediting your opponent’s view. However, modern political dialogue doesn’t rest on logic and debate alone – there is an emotional component. An accomplished speaker can still win an argument or debate through skillful use of words and ideas that don’t rely on data.

Like most well-funded and large political action organizations, the Brady Campaign attempts to use a combination of rhetoric and logic to support their views on gun control. I say “attempts to use” because while they do a fine job preying on people’s fear and ignorance through rhetoric, I’ve found that their logical arguments are almost universally based on bad data or tenuous interpretations of law and statistics. Unfortunately, the sheer volume of the bad data they use is not easy to correct in a seven second sound-bite or even a lengthy blog post.

I have, however, found a site that makes any supporter of the 2nd Amendment’s job easier! Check out Bradybusters. Perhaps the most valuable part of this site is the “Documents” section. Which includes the 2004 report by the Attorney General on the 2nd Amendment, various gun FAQ’s, and Guy Smith’s "Gun Facts". Quite simply this site is an amazing resource for anyone wanting facts and figures to counter the arguments of gun control advocates everywhere.

In the long run, I like to believe that best data will win out over a blind emotional plea. In that scenario, knowledge is truly power. The Bradybusters site does an exemplary job of providing any supporter of the Bill of Rights the knowledge needed to combat the ignorance so prevalent in America today.

Until next time!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Zumbo Strikes Back

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ll remember Jim Zumbo’s blog entry where he referred to the mislabeled “assault weapons” as “terrorist rifles.” That entry ticked off quite a large portion of the firearm owning community, and ultimately led to Jim losing sponsorships and his job at Outdoor Life.

Even though Jim Zumbo posted retractions and apologies both on Outdoor Life’s site and Ted Nugent’s forum, as expected it didn’t take long for the anti-Bill of Rights crowd to start quoting Jim’s blog and painting him as a martyr standing up against the unwashed hordes of people who think it’s acceptable to own a semi-automatic firearm with a detachable magazine. Senator Carl Levin raised Jim’s blog during his regularly scheduled tirade against the evils of firearms stating:

“Jim has been an NRA member for 40 years, and, according to his Web site, has appeared with NRA officials in 70 cities across the country. This relationship changed drastically when Jim expressed his commonsense opinion on assault weapons.”


“The reaction from NRA officials was swift and callous. They immediately severed all ties with Mr. Zumbo . His TV program on the Outdoor Channel was canceled, and his longtime career with Outdoor Life magazine ended. In addition, many of his corporate ties to the biggest names in gun making, such as Remington Arms Co., were terminated.”


“We all owe Jim Zumbo a debt of gratitude for his forthrightness, his honesty and his courage. We must put the safety of our communities first by taking up and passing sensible gun legislation that includes renewing the assault weapons ban.”

Apparently Senator Levin didn’t get the memo that the NRA was silent on this issue until the following week, and that the Remington and other contracts were terminated by the companies in question before the NRA uttered syllable one. It also appears that Senator Levin didn’t get the memo that Jim Zumbo admitted that he screwed up big time and retracted the column.

After hearing of Levin’s tirade, Jim Zumbo did not remain silent. To his credit he wrote a scathing rebuttal of Levin in an open letter to the Senate. The letter is well-written and unambiguous. Some high points:

“Some of us learn from our mistakes, others keep making them. Legislation to which Sen. Levin alluded, HR 1022, would renew the ban on so-called “assault weapons,” and dangerously expand it to encompass far more perfectly legal firearms. For the Congress of the United States to even consider such legislation is an affront to every law-abiding firearms owner in this country.

“This legislation that Sen. Levin appears to endorse is written so broadly as outlaw not only firearms, but accessories, including a folding stock for a Ruger rifle. As I understand the language of this bill, it could ultimately take away my timeworn and cherished hunting rifles and shotguns – firearms I hope to one day pass on to my grandchildren – as well as millions of identical and similar firearms owned by other American citizens.

“It is clear to me that the supporters of this legislation don’t want to stop criminals. They want to invent new ones out of people like me, and many of you, and your constituents, friends, neighbors and members of your families. They will do anything they can, go to any extremes they believe necessary, to make it impossible for more and more American citizens to legally own any firearm.

“I will not allow my name to be associated with this kind of attack on the Second Amendment rights of my fellow citizens.”

Finally Jim Zumbo seems to get it. Unfortunately I think he is now all too acutely aware of the power of speech, and the law of unintended consequences. I think all freedom loving individuals everywhere need to bear this example in mind and take a moment to think before speaking or putting pen to paper (or pixel to monitor in this particular case).

Until Next time!