Monday, March 31, 2008

Most Americans Support Gun Rights!

Just saw some good news courtesy of the NRA-ILA website. According to their press release here a recent Gallup poll has indicated that 73% of Americans believe (correctly) that the Second Amendment "guarantees the right of Americans to own firearms."

Other good tidbits:

The Gallup poll mirrors a CNN/Opinion research poll from December that indicated 65% of Americans believe the 2nd Amendment confers an individual right.

A Zogby poll indicated that two thirds of the American voting public doesn’t believe additional gun control legislation is needed.

In an election year, this is excellent news as it indicates that strongly anti-gun candidates will not be resonating with voters. On the down side, the 2nd Amendment hasn’t been at the forefront of the campaign and therefore the candidates aren’t talking about it very much. That’s dangerous because people will undoubtedly end up voting against their 2nd Amendment rights without realizing it.

Coming in future blogs – the candidates’ 2nd Amendment records!

Until next time!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Now Fox News is Factually Challenged

Fox News recently posted this hit piece on their website. Needless to say, it reads like it was written by the Brady Campaign with only a weak quote from the NRA included as rebuttal. I've sent a brief note to Fox News critiquing the piece and calling for a correction to be printed. Unfortunately I don’t think it’s going to happen.

While reading your article “AK-47-Type Guns Are Turning Up in U.S. More Often” I was shocked and dismayed by the sheer volume of factual errors in the piece. It seems to me you simply printed a propaganda piece written by the Brady Campaign to justify another ill conceived “assault weapon” ban.

First and foremost, the statement that “Bullets fired by AK-47s travel at a higher velocity than those from many other weapons, and can do grievous damage to the body. Often they have enough energy to pass clear through.” What “other weapons” are you referring to? The 7.62x39 cartridge is a medium power cartridge and has a moderate to low muzzle velocity for a rifle cartridge. By contrast the 0.223 ammunition used in the AR-15 / M16 (used by Police as well as the U.S. Military) has a MUCH higher muzzle velocity, as does the ammunition of most hunting rifles. The stopping power of the higher power hunting cartridges is also far greater as the bullet weight is higher. Therefore this assertion is a blatant error.

You also quote the Brady Campaign: “A 2004 study by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence concluded the U.S. ban on AKs and other guns was successful, saying in the five years before its passage, assault weapons made up 4.82 percent of ATF crime gun traces, compared with 1.61 percent between 1995 and 2003.” First I seriously question the Brady Campaign’s data because of their own predilection for inaccuracy when it comes to promoting their agenda. Second, the 1994 ban did NOT ban the sale of the AK or other weapons – it simply limited the number of features the weapon could contain (such as pistol grips, folding stocks, etc.). Semi-automatic AK variants were freely and legally available during the ban. Therefore any drop in usage is coincidental and not as a result of legislation. Similarly any INCREASE in tracings post 2004 is also coincidental.

Quite frankly I see this article as an exercise in selective perception and partisan politics. It contains numerous factual errors and incorrect assumptions designed to lead the reader to a specific stance on the issue of gun control. I find it irresponsible that Fox News would publish such a seriously flawed article as the vast majority of the general public would not be able to catch these errors. I call on you to curtail your exercise in demagoguery and print a correction with all due haste.

Until next time!!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

DC Police Plan Illegal Raids

You think the DC police department sees the handwriting on the wall based on how the recent Heller case went? Now the Washington Times reports that the DC Metropolitan Police Department is kicking off a campaign to “randomly” target homes and “ask” to enter to look for “illegal guns”. My question is – how are they targeting homes? If they have probable cause, why not get a warrant? How are they going to determine if a gun is “illegal” or not? Of course, any handgun in DC is currently “illegal” – so maybe they’re hoping to disarm the public before the Heller decision comes out.

Surprisingly enough, the ACLU seems to be up in arms (pardon the pun) about this one. Not so much on 2nd Amendment issues, but because of 4th Amendment issues:

"We shouldn't make the next casualty of street violence cherished civil rights," said Johnny Barnes, director of American Civil Liberties Union of the National Capital Area. "We're very uncomfortable with police randomly banging on doors without probable cause asking for access."

It’s interesting that the ACLU is actually going door to door and distributing signs that say "To the Police: NO CONSENT TO SEARCH OUR HOME."

Even Marion Barry is opposed:

"D.C. Council member Marion Barry said the plan violates the Fourth Amendment, which bars illegal search and seizure. He also said it infringes on parental responsibility.

"If there's a parent who has a son who has a gun in the home and they know what to do, [then] they can call the police," said Mr. Barry, Ward 8 Democrat. "It's not that hard."

With the Heller decision due in June – expect more Constitutionally questionable actions from the DC Police and administration. Personally I don’t see how the DC Police department can justify this blatant violation of Civil Rights and I would like to see legal action taken against them.

Until next time!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Anti-Second Amendment Lobby Posing as "Gun Owners"

On Tuesday, March 18th - the day the historic Heller case was heard by the Supreme Court, USA Today decided to print this piece of trash.

Yet again an anti-Second Amendment talking head tries to pose as a "gun owner" and "expert" and fails miserably. Here's my response to Mr. Campbell, the so-called "expert"...

I don’t know Don Campbell, but I do know a front for the anti-gun lobby when I see one. Mr. Campbell claims “this is not an anti-gun diatribe”, but I’m sorry to break it to you Mr. Campbell – it is. It spouts just about every half-truth and misconception the anti-Second Amendment lobby can print, and it does so at light speed. Mr. Campbell claims he’s a gun owner – and therefore as a gun owner seeks to convey a sense of expertise to the reader. However, the number of factual errors he makes in the article is staggering. So staggering, in fact, I seriously question the last time he went gun shopping or went to a gun show.

Mr. Campbell bemoans the mythical “gun show loop-hole”. The reality is that background checks before purchase are required at every single show I’ve ever been to, and I’ve been to a lot of them. I’ve sat on both sides of the table as both a buyer and seller. The ONLY people who don’t require background checks are holders of Federal Firearms Licenses, and then the parties have to exchange information so that everyone’s bound books are kept up to date. I doubt Mr. Campbell even knows what a “bound book” is.

Mr. Campbell bemoans the power of the evil NRA. While the National Rifle Association is indeed a powerful lobby it is not a lobby in the back-room or underhanded sense Mr. Campbell attempts to convey. It is a grassroots organization of millions of hunters and shooters across this nation with one goal – to preserve our individual gun rights as affirmed by the Second Amendment.

Mr. Campbell advocates banning any semi-automatic firearm with a capacity of greater than six rounds. This once again leads me to question his background, because if he was any sort of firearms owner, he would be aware of the Civilian Marksmanship Program (formerly the Department of Civilian Marksmanship). They provide semi-automatic military surplus firearms to the American public to maintain marksmanship levels. The two primary rifles provided by these programs (with full government blessing) are the M1 Garand and the M1 Carbine. These are World War II vintage semi-automatic firearms. The Garand has an 8 round capacity, while the Carbine is magazine fed with generally 15 or 30 round magazines. The U.S. Government has been providing Americans with these weapons since the 1950’s – yet suddenly they’re too dangerous to own? Again, Mr. Campbell’s credibility is further strained.

Finally Mr. Campbell states “An improvised explosive device is a weapon of terror; so is a military-style assault rifle in a civilian's hands. It's time we treated them the same…” These same arguments were originally made by hunting enthusiast Jim Zumbo. He caught hell for it, but at least Mr. Zumbo had the courage to retract his ignorant comments because as he quickly learned, they were in error. “Military-style” assault rifles, as they are available to the general public, are semi-automatic rifles that use a cartridge with less punch than the majority of hunting rounds. They are also used in a tiny percentage of crimes. Again, if Mr. Campbell was a true firearms expert, he’d understand that fact rather than trying to slander law-abiding American citizens by putting them in the same bucket as suicide bombers.

Quite frankly I find Mr. Campbell’s article to be full of half-truths, misconceptions, lies, and outright slander. His attempts to pass himself off as a “firearm owner” and an expert on the subject ring very hollow, and I’m surprised that USA Today would stoop to publishing a piece with such blatant deficiencies.

Monday, March 3, 2008

News from the Frontline: Montana Threatens Secession Over Heller!

Several Montana politicians have taken an interesting tack on the upcoming Heller case – they indicate that if the Supreme Court rules that the 2nd Amendment is not an individual right, then the Federal government is guilty of breaching contract. What contract you ask? Why the contract through which Montana entered the Union. That’s right, Montana is threatening secession if the Court rules incorrectly in the case!

Some excerpts:

“WHEREAS, when the Court determines in Heller whether or not the Second Amendment secures an individual right, the Court will establish precedent that will affect the State of Montana and the political rights of the citizens of Montana;

“WHEREAS, when Montana entered into statehood in 1889, that entrance was accomplished by a contract between Montana and the several states, a contract known as The Compact With The United States (Compact), found today as Article I of the Montana Constitution;

“WHEREAS, with authority from Congress acting as agent for the several states, President Benjamin Harrison approved the Montana Constitution in 1889, which secured the right of "any person" to bear arms, clearly intended as an individual right and an individual right deemed consistent then with the Second Amendment by the parties to the contract;

“THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the undersigned members of the 60th Montana Legislature as follows:“1. That any form of "collective rights" holding by the Court in Heller will offend the Compact; and.........4. Montana reserves all usual rights and remedies under historic contract law if its Compact should be violated by any "collective rights" holding in Heller.”

Full text here:

Here’s hoping the rest of the country takes the same hard line approach!

Until Next time!