Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Utah SWAT Officer Forgets His M4

File this one under OOPS! Fox News reports that a “veteran member” of the Salt Lake County SWAT team accidentally left something behind, his M4 “assault rifle”. Apparently the weapon was left in the grass after a standoff while the officer was collecting other gear. The weapon was found by a homeowner and returned to authorities, and the officer is now facing disciplinary action (though most likely not termination).

So what is right and wrong with this article that it makes it worth blogging? Well the article is short, and it doesn’t make any glaring technical errors, but it does underscore some of the prevailing misconceptions that we as gun owners are going to have to fight in the coming months and years.

First, with all of the background checks and other hoops a law-abiding individual has to go through in order to purchase a firearm, the fact that a SWAT team member would leave behind a Class III weapon in unconscionable. If that weapon had fallen into the wrong hands, it could have done a LOT of damage.

Second, it refers to the M4 as an assault rifle. The good here is that it calls out the model of the rifle specifically (kudos to the author!). However, in the minds of many people, the fully automatic M4 is no different than the semi-automatic AR15, and where the term “assault rifle” can be somewhat accurately applied to the select fire M4, it can’t be accurately applied to the AR15. Yet the media applies that term on a regular basis, in a deliberate attempt to deceive through equivocation.

It falls to gun owners to work to educate the public on the differences between “assault rifles” and “semi-automatic rifles”. If you ask a random person on the street if they support the idea of an “assault weapon ban”, many people will say yes. However, if you then ask those who said “yes” what an assault weapon is, the overwhelming majority respond that they are fully automatic “machine guns”. That is the point where we must step up and inform them that the weapons covered under any such ban aren’t fully automatic at all, but rather semi automatic weapons including those sold to the people by the government (the M1 Carbine).

Education is ultimately the key to preserving our Second Amendment rights, and all concerned gun owners must act as patient teachers to undo the damage of decades of anti-firearm propaganda.

Until next time!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Pennsylvania Woman Sues Sheriff on Second Amendment Grounds

Just came across the story of a Pennsylvania woman, Melanie Hain, who is in the midst of a protracted legal battle against Lebanon County Sheriff Michael DeLeo. The issue started when Hain, who holds a concealed carry permit, wore her holstered pistol to her daughter’s soccer game. Sheriff DeLeo revoked Hain’s concealed carry permit, though the revocation has been overturned on appeal as the Sheriff lacked legal grounds to revoke the permit.

Unfortunately that isn’t the end of the story:

"Hain said Monday that her baby-sitting service has suffered, her children have been harassed, and she has been ostracized by her neighbors because of DeLeo's actions. In one instance, she said, a neighbor who saw her in a local store had the manager ask her to leave because she was carrying her handgun.

"'I fought for my right, and now I'm still being punished,' she said."

Unfortunately with the vehemently anti-Second amendment culture being fostered in our schools today, it’s not surprising the public backlash Hain has been subjected to. In light of the Heller decision, it may be time for individuals on the receiving end of discrimination like that which Hain has received to file civil rights lawsuits. Now that the court has ruled unambiguously that the Second Amendment affirms an individual right, it should be afforded the same civil rights protection as any other right.

Until next time!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

How’d I Miss This One – Handgun Against an Army

A friend on a non-gun forum posted a link to this article - "A Handgun Against An Army -- Ten Years After" by Mike Vanderboegh. The article came out near the end of July, and somehow I completely missed it. It’s a long discussion that represents an update of an article penned 10 years ago, with editorial corrections.

The portions about tyranny and the Second Amendment being put in place to defend against it are excellent, as is the analogy to A Bug’s Life (yes, the Pixar film). It makes a very timely case for individuals understanding that the government is the servant of the people, not vice versa. It also makes another timely tie between the movement to disarm the American populace and long-established patterns of tyranny. It’s a great read, and I encourage everyone to go peruse!

Until next time!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Anti-Second Obama Administration Takes Form

As feared before election day, Obama’s cabinet is rapidly shaping up to be a “who’s who” of anti-Second Amendment advocates. First announced was the partisan Chicago Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel – an individual who won the Brady Campaign’s Visionary Award in 2007. He is a strong proponent of just about any gun control measure floated, including so-called “assault weapon bans”. It’s amazing in this day of information that opponents of the Second Amendment can successfully equate semi-automatic rifles with fully automatic rifles in the general consciousness of a significant segment of the population.

Next came Obama’s first choice for Attorney General – Eric Holder. Holder is yet another incremental gun banner. Some of his positions:

"I want to add my voice to those who are calling on Congress to finally -- to finally -- pass these very common-sense gun measures.

"First, to require child safety locks for all handguns that are sold.

"Second, to ban violent juveniles from ever having the ability to own guns.

"Third, to pass the president's handgun licensing proposal, which requires safety certification for all handgun purchasers.

"Fourth, to support research in smart-gun technology, which can limit a gun's use to its authorized owner.

"And finally, to close the gun show loop hole by requiring a background check for all gun purchases at gun shows."

Translation, I want to make guns effectively illegal because point four above is impossible to achieve, and furthermore blames the tool for the action of the user.

America has voted for "change", and it looks like the first change we’re going to see is the effective castration of the Bill of Rights to remove that pesky Second Amendment. Now more than ever is the time to join NRA, GoA, and other organizations that will stand up for your Second Amendment rights. Now is the time to prepare to stand up for your own rights as well – write your Representatives and other elected officials – be ready to challenge unconstitutional laws in Court. "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty," and based on the way the next administration is shaping up, we are going to have to be vigilant indeed. Otherwise the hard won gains of the past few years will evaporate as we take several steps backward.

Until next time!!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Post-Election Musings

The election has come and gone, and the United States now has a new President-elect. News reports indicate that Obama is already looking through Bush executive orders and plans on using executive orders of his own to make an immediate impact on policy. At this point, no Second Amendment related plans are listed in those executive orders, and hopefully it will stay that way.

The post election editorials have run the entire gamut, though even die hard liberal Pelosi is urging Obama to "govern from the middle". Right up until the end of the election, Obama’s website stated his policy would be to:

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

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, "assault weapon bans" have nothing to do with the fully automatic and select fire weapons found on "battlefields". Some are reporting that this entry has disappeared from the Obama website. I still strongly believe that this statement represents Obama’s true feelings about firearms, regardless of how much lip service he has paid to the Second Amendment.

The next two years at least will represent a time with a strong Democratic majority in Congress. The last time the Democrats had this level of representation was in 1978, halfway through the Carter administration (they’d secured a larger majority in the House and a supermajority in the Senate in 1976, but lost seats in 1978). Some of those Democrats in the House are the “blue dog” Democrats, who will be unlikely to support anti Second Amendment legislation (if they value their job!). I sincerely hope that the Congress has the wisdom to understand that infringement of the right of Americans should not be on the table.

Only time will tell... I think I’m going to be very busy writing letters to my representatives over the next two years, and I stand ready to take legal action against any unconstitutional laws passed by the new administration.

Until next time!