Monday, April 28, 2008

Chicago – Where the Second Amendment is Void

Mary Richard Daley seems to want an army at his beck and call. According to the Chicago Tribune he now wants to equip all Chicago police officers with “semiautomatic assault rifles”. Okay – a semiautomatic firearm is not an “assault rifle” in the strict sense of the word – I believe he’s referring to a low to medium power semiautomatic magazine fed rifle.

Of course, the police need these rifles because:

"Many times [the police are] outgunned, to be very frank," Daley said at an event in the Englewood neighborhood. "When they come to a scene, someone has a semi-fully-automatic weapon, and you have a little pistol, uh, good luck."

Okay – first what the hairy heck is a semi-fully-automatic weapon? There’s no such beast – either it’s a semi-automatic (legal under current Federal laws, but illegal in Chicago) or fully automatic (legal only in very rare cases under current Federal laws and Class III states) or select fire (same as fully automatic). Either Mayor Daley doesn’t know what the heck he’s talking about or he’s deliberately trying to confuse the terms semi-automatic and fully-automatic in hopes of pushing an agenda. I don’t have to tell you where my money is. The article goes on to state:

“The city's SWAT units already use the M4 carbines that Police Supt. Jody Weis is proposing for the rest of the 13,000 rank-and-file officers. Daley said the pistols the rank-and-file officers carry aren't enough when they're up against gunmen brandishing AK-47 assault rifles or other high-powered weapons. Last weekend, one of the bloodiest of the year with 27 people shot, police exchanged gunfire with one man armed with an AK-47.”

So was that an AK-47 (as in a fully automatic firearm) or a semi-automatic sporter? My bet is the latter. Also, since when is the AK-47 a “high-powered weapon” – you can take down a blacktail deer with 7.62x39, but give it up if you’re going after anything bigger than that!

Again, we see the forces hostile to our basic liberties as affirmed under the Second Amendment playing fast and loose with terminology and lying to the public to push their agenda – while at the same time turning the police into a standing army that lacks the Constitutional safeguards applied to the Army and National Guard. What next? Rounding up the usual suspects? If you live in Chicago, you should be very afraid – and I don’t mean afraid of the criminal element...

Until next time!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Philadelphia’s Unconstitutional Anti-Gun Laws Blocked!

Philadelphia Pennsylvania – the city that hosted the Constitutional Convention of 1787 where the U.S. Constitution was drafted has descended from its lofty grounding in liberty to become one of the municipalities leading the assault on the Second Amendment to our Constitution. Recent unconstitutional laws were passed with great fanfare by the Philadelphia City Council to the cheers to the extreme left machine. These laws included:

Permit authorities to seek a judge's order to remove guns from people declared to be a risk to themselves or others.

Ban people who are subject to a protection-from-abuse order from owning guns.

Require gun owners to report to police theft or loss of a gun within 24 hours of the discovery.

Ban possession or sale of assault or contraband firearms within city limits.

Limit firearm purchases to one a month and require buyers to obtain a police certification that they have not purchased another firearm within the previous month.


How many inalienable rights can one city violate with one stroke of the pen? Obviously several. These laws were not only immediately challenged in court, but District Attorney Lynne Abraham advised the council that the ordinances were unconstitutional. Clearly Mayor Nutter and the rest of the nutters on the council don’t seem to care about individual Rights and Liberties when it gets in the way of their agenda.

The good news is today that the Philadelphia County court imposed a temporary restraining order against these laws A hearing on a permanent injunction is currently scheduled for April 28th.

Quite frankly, I grow weary of the attempts of the anti-Second Amendment crowd to violate the basic individual freedoms of Americans rather than addressing the real criminal issues. Firearms have become the scapegoat for so many of this nation’s problems. More people are killed in automobile accidents than are killed with firearms, yet I don’t see anyone supporting an “assault car ban” or a ban on vehicles capable of traveling at more than 100MPH. When a drunk driver kills someone, I don’t see anyone suing Ford or requiring the addition of chemical additives to gasoline so we can track where the perpetrator filled up. Yet analogous efforts have been made concerning firearms rather than attacking the causes of the crimes: drugs, gangs, lack of good jobs, the culture of poverty.

Maybe Philadelphia will wake up and start dealing with the real problems, but quite frankly I believe they’re waiting until after the 2008 elections when potentially a court more receptive to their Anti-Civil Rights agenda is available.

One more reason to vote in November!

Until next time!

Friday, April 11, 2008

California Supreme Court Rejects Proposition H Appeal!

More bad news for the anti-Civil rights hounds in San Francisco. According to a recent press release by the Second Amendment Foundation, the California Supreme Court unanimously rejected an appeal by the City of San Francisco seeking to uphold its illegal and unconstitutional handgun ban.

I join the Second Amendment Foundation in hoping that this latest ruling will finally drive the point home to the citizens of San Francisco that you can’t simply vote away someone’s rights. Outright bans of classes of weapons is to the Second Amendment is what outright bans of specific denominations of Christianity is to the First Amendment. Although sometimes I wonder if the myopic extreme-left politicians in San Francisco might not try that route as well if they thought they could get away with it.

The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land, and rather than wasting time fending off attacks on the Constitution, politicians would be better served to actually attack the real issues confronting the nation today. For many, the root of gun control is concern over crime. Therefore rather than working to deny the Rights of Americans, we should actually be tackling the real issues contributing to crime in America. Unfortunately tackling the real issues is hard, and scapegoating the firearm is easy. It takes real leadership to actually confront the issues, and it’s clear that San Francisco’s elected officials lack that quality.

Until next time!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Just Say NO to Pizza Hut

In the NRA-ILA Outrage of the Week a Pizza Hut Employee has been suspended for defending himself against an armed robbery. It was the typical set-up for a pizza delivery person – call in a fake order and wait for the guy to show up and rob him. How did it turn out?

“The thug (who, not surprisingly, has a long list of prior arrests) thought he had the upper hand. Fortunately, Mr. Spiers has a valid concealed carry permit, and was carrying a pistol for personal protection at the time of the attack. He struggled with his attacker and managed to draw his own firearm. He shot the assailant, who fled the scene but was later arrested after he sought medical treatment.”

Should be end of happy story. Thug goes to jail – delivery guy gets to go on with his life. Unfortunately it was not to be. Pizza Hut suspended him – even though Mr. Spiers has a valid concealed carry permit. According to Pizza Hut vice president of human resources Vonnie Walbert:

“We have a policy against carrying weapons. We prohibit employees from carrying guns because we believe that that is the safest for everybody.”

Blatant ignorance like that just makes my blood boil. I immediately sent an email to Pizza hut:

I just read with no small amount of disgust that Pizza Hut suspended James Spiers, a holder of a valid concealed carry permit, for having the temerity to defend his own life with a firearm in a life-threatening situation. I was further disgusted by Vonnie Walbert’s arrogant disregard for employee wellbeing and the Second Amendment when he stated “We prohibit employees from carrying guns because we believe that that is the safest for everybody.” I have news for you and Mr. Walbert – you “believe” wrong. Time and again statistics have proven that concealed carry saves lives – as it did in the case of Mr. Spiers. Because of your casual disregard for the lives and Civil Rights of your employees, I will boycott your restaurant and urge others to do the same until such a time as you change your policies and issue public apologies to Mr. Spiers and the American public.

Make your voice heard as well – you can call (800) 948-8488, or by e-mail at this webpage: http://www.pizzahut.com/contactus/ContactUsForm.aspx?l1=2024.

Until next time!

Obama Sees Concealed Carry as a Threat!

Putting the final nail in Obama’s alleged “moderate” stance on the Second Amendment is the revelation that Obama opposes concealed carry. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review quotes Obama as saying:

"I am not in favor of concealed weapons, I think that creates a potential atmosphere where more innocent people could (get shot during) altercations."

Some people contrast this statement to his previous statements in Idaho:

"There are people who say he doesn’t believe in the Second Amendment. We got a lot hunters in the state of Illinois and I have no intention of taking away folks' guns."

Honestly, based on my previous analysis it seems clear to me that Obama believes the Second Amendment is there only for hunting and that self-defense doesn’t enter in to the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

Several groups, including the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms have demanded an apology from Obama. I honestly believe this is appropriate as Obama’s stance is extremely ignorant on Concealed Carry. The data shows that areas with Concealed Carry have a lower incidence of homicide than areas that do not.

Once again, Obama demonstrated unequivocally that he does not understand or is opposed to the Second Amendment. I therefore urge anyone who values their freedom to oppose Obama in the general election if he is the Democratic nominee.

Until next time!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Philadelphia Urging Clinton / Obama for Tough Anti-Gun Stance

It looks like the election season is finally heating up. With the Pennsylvania Primary just around the corner, the far left seems to smell blood in the water and believes that the Democratic Party doesn’t need Second Amendment supporters to win the 2008 general election. The Washington Times reports that leaders in Philadelphia will press Clinton and Obama for a tougher stance on gun control:

Gun violence in Philadelphia — 331 homicides from gunfire in 2007 — thrust firearms laws to the top of the agenda for city voters, and they don't care about the potential political pitfalls for the presidential candidates, said Carol Campbell, a Democratic ward leader in the city.

"If you can't deal with it, then you've got a problem," said Mrs. Campbell, who supports Mr. Obama and heads an alliance of black ward leaders.


Again it looks like the Big City machine is pushing the lie that more gun control equals less gun violence. I’ve got news for them, the opposite is true. Interestingly enough some Democrats are hostile to Philadelphia’s push for a stronger anti-Second Amendment platform:

Democratic ward leader Ralph Wynder, who is supporting Mr. Obama, said the candidates should address the pressing issues, but conceded that backing Philadelphia's push for tougher gun laws would be "political suicide."

"You are probably going to be damaged goods in the state," Mr. Wynder said.

Unfortunately it looks like they’re not so much hostile to the position because of their support for the Second Amendment, but because it might cost them votes. Hypocrites much??? Now is the time to put the pressure on so the entire nation recognizes the clear threat to the Second Amendment that both Democratic hopefuls represent.

Until next time!

John McCain on the Second Amendment

In sharp contrast to Obama’s desperate attempt to hide his anti-Second Amendment stance, finding out where McCain stands on the Second Amendment is a walk in the park. To find McCain’s platform on the Second Amendment, all you have to do is go to his website, hit “issues”, and then at the bottom of the list is "Second Amendment". Dang, that wasn’t hard! So what does John McCain have to say about the Second Amendment? Quite a bit – let’s hit it point by point:


"John McCain believes that the right of law abiding citizens to keep and bear arms is a fundamental, individual Constitutional right that we have a sacred duty to protect. We have a responsibility to ensure that criminals who violate the law are prosecuted to the fullest, rather than restricting the rights of law abiding citizens. Gun control is a proven failure in fighting crime. Law abiding citizens should not be asked to give up their rights because of criminals - criminals who ignore gun control laws anyway."


Great start – couldn’t have said it better myself.


"Gun Manufacturer Liability

"John McCain opposes backdoor attempts to restrict Second Amendment rights by holding gun manufacturers liable for crimes committed by third parties using a firearm, and has voted to protect gun manufacturers from such inappropriate liability aimed at bankrupting the entire gun industry."



Honest and direct here as well. Gun manufacturers were seen by anti-Civil Rights groups as a “soft target” by groups seeking to outlaw all firearms. If you attack the manufacturers, then there are no more firearms. As McCain indicates, such liability is “inappropriate” – it’s also dishonest and selective. I don’t see the same people trying to sue Ford or Toyota because someone drives drunk and kills someone in an accident.


"Assault Weapons

"John McCain opposes restrictions on so-called "assault rifles" and voted consistently against such bans. Most recently he opposed an amendment to extend a ban on 19 specific firearms, and others with similar characteristics."



Great language here as well. McCain points out that the weapons targeted by Assault Weapon Bans aren’t really assault rifles in the truest sense of the word. A true assault rifle is a fully automatic weapon – which are covered by Class III regulations. Assault Weapon Bans target medium-power semi-automatic rifles.


"Importation of High Capacity Magazines

"John McCain opposes bans on the importation of certain types of ammunition magazines and has voted against such limitations."


No problems here...


"Gun Locks

"John McCain believes that every firearms owner has a responsibility to learn how to safely use and store the firearm they have chosen, whether for target shooting, hunting, or personal protection. He has supported legislation requiring gun manufacturers to include gun safety devices such as trigger locks in product packaging."


While I agree that all firearm owners have a responsibility to use and store their firearms safely, I do know a lot of Second Amendment supporters take issue to requiring that firearms be trigger locked when in storage. This sort of requirement virtually precludes the use of the firearm in a rapidly developing defensive situation (such as a break-in). While McCain’s stance doesn’t indicate that he believes that all firearms should be trigger locked when in storage, requiring manufacturers to include such devices with the firearm is only about a half step away from that stance. That being said, I have no inherent problem with manufacturers including locks with firearms – I just believe that people should use their best judgment when using them rather than it being a point of legislation.


"Banning Ammunition

"John McCain believes that banning ammunition is just another way to undermine Second Amendment rights. He voted against an amendment that would have banned many of the most commonly used hunting cartridges on the spurious grounds that they were "armor-piercing.""


Again, ammunition is seen as a “soft target” by many anti-Second Amendment activists. If they can’t ban the firearm, they’ll go after ammo. The newest travesty in this area is “micro-stamping” and serialized ammunition. McCain doesn’t speak to these new tactics directly. While my gut tells me he’d be against them, I’d like to see his position paper updated to reflect the latest BS from the gun-ban crowd.


"DC Personal Protection

"As part of John McCain's defense of Second Amendment rights, he cosponsored legislation to lift a ban on the law abiding citizens of the District of Columbia from exercising their Constitutional right to bear arms."



Hopefully the Heller case will settle this one for us...


"Criminal Background Checks

"John McCain supports instant criminal background checks to help prohibit criminals from buying firearms and has voted to ensure they are conducted thoroughly, efficiently, and without infringing on the rights of law abiding citizens."


I don’t think any reasonable individual has a problem with a system to keep criminals from obtaining firearms through legal channels. The key is making sure such a system doesn’t infringe on the rights of law-abiding citizens. Thus far the background check system has done a reasonable job, but the key will be not adding additional onerous provisions to it.


"Background Checks at Gun Shows

"At a time when some were trying to shut down gun shows in the name of fighting crime, John McCain tried to preserve gun shows by standardizing sales procedures. Federal law requires licensed firearm sellers at gun shows to do an instant criminal background check on purchasers while private firearm sellers at gun shows do not have to conduct such a check. John McCain introduced legislation that would require an instant criminal background check for all sales at gun shows and believes that such checks must be conducted quickly to ensure that unnecessary delays do not effectively block transactions."


The infamous so-called “gun-show loophole”. This is another hot button for a lot of people. The fundamental question is should a gun show be treated as a retail sale or a private sale. If treated as a retail sale then the background check would apply normally. If treated as a private sale, then no background check is required. Of course, for many closing the “gun-show loophole” isn’t about ensuring background checks at retail sale, it’s about banning private sales of firearms without background checks.

However, honestly for much of the country this isn’t an issue. I live in Oregon where all sales at a gun show are subject to the background check – even private party sales. The only people who don’t have to go through a background check are holders of an FFL – and then only for firearms covered by their FFL. I hold a C&R license, so while I can buy Lugers, Mosin Nagants, and Arisakas all day long (or until my money runs out, which ever comes first) without a background check, if I want to buy a Glock then I have to do the background check just like everyone else.


"The Firearm Purchase Waiting Period

"John McCain has opposed "waiting periods" for law abiding citizen's purchase of firearms."


No problem here either...


"The confiscation of firearms after an emergency

"John McCain opposes the confiscation of firearms from private citizens, particularly during times of crisis or emergency. He voted in favor of an amendment sponsored by Senator David Vitter prohibiting such confiscation."



When Hurricane Katrina hit, the first thing the City of New Orleans did was to instruct the National Guard to start rounding up the guns. It was a complete travesty and blatant violation of the Civil Rights of American citizens. So much so, that many states have passed legislation indicating specifically that the authorities CAN’T take such actions in an emergency. Good to see McCain acknowledges this point.


"Stiffer Penalties for Criminals who use a Firearm in the Commission of a Crime

"John McCain believes in strict, mandatory penalties for criminals who use a firearm in the commission of a crime or illegally possess a firearm. Enforcing the current laws on the books is the best way to deter crime."

Last but not least – let the punishment fit the crime. At the end of the day the problem is not the firearm, but the criminal who will abuse the right to bear arms to infringe on the rights of others – and the misguided politician or demagogue who would take steps to take away the fundamental right to keep and bear arms. McCain recognizes this, and wisely advocates stiffer penalties for criminals and actual enforcement of the laws on the books. Which I and most Americans believe are entirely sufficient.

So at least on the surface, McCain’s stance on the Second Amendment looks fairly solid. I’ve heard a fair amount of grumbling about McCain’s historical votes and stances. Future blogs will look deeper – beyond the few sound bites on his campaign webpage – to see if McCain’s record actually lives up to the ideal of the strong Second Amendment stance he advocates today...

Until next time!!!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

More on Obama and the Second Amendment

Well, you just knew that if you picked a little at Obama the tapestry of obfuscation around his Second Amendment stance would unravel. If you remember yesterday, I reported that Obama believes that the Second Amendment is “…subject to reasonable and commonsense regulation.” This begs the question “what does Obama see as reasonable or commonsense?” Well, The Politico has provided the answers for us.

The Politico has a questionnaire filled out by Obama when he was first seeking political office in Illinois on file in its archives. The document is split into two halves and is a scanned PDF:

Part 1: http://www.politico.com/static/PPM41_obamaquestionaire1newest.html
Part 2: http://www.politico.com/static/PPM41_obamaquestionaire2.html

Part 2, question 35 asks the following questions:

Do you support state legislation to:
Ban the manufacture, sale, and possession of handguns?

Yes.

Ban the manufacture, sale and possession of assault weapons?

Yes.

Mandatory waiting periods with background checks to purchase guns?

Yes.


All righty then! So much for respecting the individual right affirmed in the Second Amendment. Let’s take Obama’s examples above and make them First Amendment related.

Do you support legislation to:
Ban preaching of and membership in the Catholic Faith?

Yes

Ban preaching of and membership in the Mormon Faith?

Yes

Require a one week waiting period before an individual can be baptized in a Protestant Faith?

Yes.

Once again Obama clearly shows either a clear lack of understanding of the Constitution, or more likely a blatant disregard for parts of it he finds to be distasteful. At the end of the day, Barack Obama represents a clear and present danger to the Second Amendment, and if he is the Democratic nominee for President, we should hammer him relentlessly on this stance.

Until next time!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Kimber’s Questionable Clientele

The March 2008 issue of American Rifleman had a cover article on a new variant of the M1911 (one of my all time favorite sidearms) being produced by Kimber. Unfortunately, the new variant was expressly designed for the L.A.P.D. - perhaps the most anti-Second Amendment police department in the United States. I therefore felt compelled to write a letter not only to American Rifleman, but to Kimber, Inc. as well. I reproduce that letter here:

"I want to preface this letter by stating categorically that I have the generally have the utmost respect for our men and women in the law enforcement community, and that I’m an avid firearms and shooting enthusiast. I did, however, read the article detailing the Kimber SIS in the March 2008 issue of American Rifleman with more than a more than a few mixed emotions. Granted, officers in the LAPD face an unusually high danger from a well-armed criminal element; I however firmly believe that the active anti-Second Amendment stance of the City of Los Angeles, State of California, and the Los Angeles Police Department have directly caused the elevated threat that their own officers face.

"For an American firearms manufacturer to specifically create a sidearm for the LAPD effectively condones the city’s continued misguided efforts to control crime through increasingly draconian “gun control” measures. I am forced view Kimber as a silent participant in enforcing these gun control laws which leave law-abiding Americans unable to protect themselves. While the 1911 variant you have developed as detailed in the article is impressive, and the 1911 is perhaps my favorite sidearm, because of your willingness to work directly with groups that have at best a casual disregard for and at worst outright hostility toward our basic Second Amendment rights, I will be actively avoiding Kimber firearms in my future purchases and will be urging others to do the same.

"I see a very real distinction between a firearm company selling firearms to groups like the LAPD either off the shelf or through a distributor and working directly with these groups to develop advanced custom firearms for these groups. If Kimber at some later date publically ceases such close interaction with the LAPD and similar anti-Second Amendment forces, I will once again strongly consider adding your products to my collection."

You won't see a link to Kimber's site on my blog either...

Until next time!

Obama on the Second Amendment

Democratic front-runner Barack Obama has not campaigned extensively on the 2nd Amendment. In fact, if you hit the Obama site, you won’t find any major area addressing the 2nd Amendment. You won’t find it under “Civil Rights” – nor will you find it under “Additional Issues”. Under “Additional Issues” you will find a section entitled “Sportsmen”, but there is nothing in the high-level summary addressing the 2nd Amendment. You have to open the PDF to find where Obama claims he stands on the 2nd Amendment.

According to this PDF:

“Respect the Second Amendment: Millions of hunters own and use guns each year. Millions more participate in a variety of shooting sports such as sporting clays, skeet, target and trap shooting that may not necessarily involve hunting. As a former constitutional law professor, Barack Obama believes the Second Amendment creates an individual right, and he greatly respects the constitutional rights of Americans to bear arms. He will protect the rights of hunters and other law-abiding Americans to purchase, own, transport, and use guns for the purposes of hunting and target shooting. He also believes that the right is subject to reasonable and commonsense regulation.”

How many errors can you find in Obama’s position? First and foremost, the 2nd Amendment didn’t “create” a right – it “affirmed” it. The distinction is, as I have pointed out on this blog many times, very important. That which a government grants or creates, a government can take away or destroy. The Framers believed strongly in an inalienable individual right to keep and bear arms – not purely for hunting, but for self protection and protection of the nation against tyranny.

Second – the 2nd Amendment isn’t purely about hunting or “sporting” purposes. At its core it is about defense regardless of whether that defense is of the individual or the nation against tyranny or crime. Obama doesn’t seem to “get” that. He seems to support the 2nd Amendment so long as you don’t actually believe you’ll be able to protect yourself with a firearm. That is, quite frankly, a very skewed and unsupportable interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, especially from an individual claiming credentials as a professor of Constitutional law.

Finally Obama supports “reasonable” and “commonsense” regulation of the 2nd Amendment. I’ve got news for the Senator – we already have that. Truly reasonable limits on fundamental rights generally must pass a simple litmus test – “do they infringe on another’s rights?” So while we have Freedom of Speech, we can’t slander another individual or yell “fire!” in a crowded theater. The same goes for the Second Amendment. We have the right to keep and bear arms, but we can’t threaten another with the weapon without cause. We are not free to murder or use the weapon in an unsafe manner. In Obama’s case, he seems to be using “reasonable” and “commonsense” in the anti-2nd Amendment camp’s usage of the terms. These terms arbitrarily ban classes of weapons, arbitrarily ban magazines over a certain capacity, and place onerous and arbitrary regulations on ammunition and firearms manufacturers. These sorts of limitations are neither “reasonable” or “commonsense”. They are, in fact, blatant attempts to systematically disarm the American public.

I must therefore conclude that regardless of his credentials as a “former constitutional law professor”, Barack Obama is either ignorant of or hostile to the Second Amendment and is no true supporter of the inalienable right of Americans to keep and bear arms. Clinton indicated that the 1994 assault weapon ban was one of the key pieces of legislation that cost the Democrats Congress in the 1994 elections. Therefore given Obama’s clearly anti-2nd Amendment stance, he has wisely tried to hide it in the appendix of his campaign website. However, this author is not fooled, and if Obama is the Democratic nominee for President, hopefully the rest of America won’t be fooled either!

Until next time!