Friday, July 25, 2008

Avoid Greg Martin Auctions

They used to be a pretty good deal, but now they're off the frikkin deep end. Picked up a nice Finned Sesty from them - got what I thought was a pretty good deal $150 for the rifle, plus their hammer fee and shipping/handling I ended up paying $194 for the rilfe - which is a fair price for the piece. I was happy, but oh no, what I thought was the shipping hand handling fee ($20) was just their PACKING fee... they still wanted another $25 for shipping. I already have the rifle, so I half considered telling them to eat it or sending it back to them... but I went ahead and ponied up the cash and indicated I wouldn't do business with them again. Between their hammer fee, outrageous packing fee, and shipping charges, they're basically adding a $70 surcharge on a $150 rifle. Sorry - I will take my money elsewhere...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Paul Broun Wins Georgia Primary in Landslide

Paul Broun, a lifetime GOA member, running as a “no-compromise advocate of the Second Amendment” won the Republican primary for Georgia’s 10th Congressional district by a commanding Paul Broun 71 percent to Barry Fleming’s 29 percent according to NBC’s count . GOA painted Fleming as an “establishment” candidate running a “negative campaign”. In an email to members GOA quoted Broun:

"I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all of the GOA members who supported me in this primary. The Supreme Court finally recognized that the Second Amendment protects an individual right, but the leadership in the U.S. House still doesn't get it. The battle over the Second Amendment continues. Gun Owners of America is a powerful voice for the Second Amendment. I'm proud to work with GOA in the fight for liberty."

Congress needs more strong pro-Second voices like this! Remember to support pro-Second Amendment candidates on election day!!!

Until next time!

Friday, July 18, 2008

DC Rejects Heller’s Handgun Application!

File this one under hubris, but according to
WUSA news, DC has rejected Heller’s Handgun Application, even though the Supreme Court decision specifically ordered them to accept it. How much further are these absolutely criminal politicians in DC going to go? They continue to blatantly defy the Supreme Court ruling on this case. From the article:

“Dick Heller is the man who brought the lawsuit against the District's 32-year-old ban on handguns. He was among the first in line Thursday morning to apply for a handgun permit.

“But when he tried to register his semi-automatic weapon, he says he was rejected. He says his gun has seven bullet clip. Heller says the City Council legislation allows weapons with fewer than eleven bullets in the clip. A spokesman for the DC Police says the gun was a bottom-loading weapon, and according to their interpretation, all bottom-loading guns are outlawed because they are grouped with machine guns.”

First, it’s a seven round magazine – a “bullet” is just a part of the cartridge – and no handguns have “clips”. However, the media’s semantic gaffes pale in comparison to those made by the DC police. They’re contending a bottom-loading semi-automatic pistol (like the M1911 which is what it sounds like Heller tried to register) is a MACHINE GUN!?!?? I’m sorry; it’s time to FIRE the damn DC police department. They are nothing but a load of totalitarian thugs seeking to continue to deny the basic rights of the citizens of the district. They’re actions are unconstitutional and illegal, and they need to suffer the consequences for those actions.

Expect more lawsuits soon. I hope criminal charges are filed as well, but I doubt that will happen.

Until next time!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Nevada ACLU Breaks with National ACLU on Second Amendment

UPI ran an interesting story on the Nevada chapter of the ACLU. Typically the ACLU has been extremely unfriendly to the Second Amendment. In fact, they seem to take a broad interpretation of every civil right out there EXCEPT the Second Amendment. On the Second, the ACLU has always clung to the “collective right” myth which was clearly against Framers’ intent. Their position remains unchanged after the Heller decision, and they still cling to the “collective right” hypothesis. However, the Nevada Chapter of the ACLU has publicly broken ranks with the national organization in the wake of the Heller ruling. According to the article:

""The ACLU of Nevada will defend this right as it defends other constitutional rights," the group said in a statement posted on its Web site…

“The state's ACLU chapter has broken with its national counterpart in taking the stance, which came after the high court ruled last month that a District of Columbia handgun ban was unconstitutional and, for the first time, interpreted the Second Amendment as an individual right, The Washington Times reported Monday.”

Well, the last bit is technically correct, yet it is misleading. The Heller ruling is the first time that the Second Amendment has been explicitly ruled an individual right – but the Judicial branch in the 18th and 19th Centuries (even the early 20th Century) seemed to understand that as a given and didn’t need to be reminded that when the Constitution says “the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”, that’s what it really MEANS.

Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons had these comments:

"Obviously, the ACLU in Nevada has seen the light on this issue and we are happy they have. It adds to the long list of supporters of Second Amendment rights in the state … It is a state where the right to bear arms is held close to the heart."

The National ACLU was noncommittal in its response.

"Our local ACLU affiliates are free to take positions that differ from those of the national office," Dorothy Ehrlich, ACLU deputy executive director, told the Times. "While the organization is unified in purpose, we do not impose uniformity regarding specific positions."

For an organization that has been openly hostile to one of the basic Civil Rights our Republic was founded upon, this has to rankle the higher level directors. I sincerely hope that this represents the beginnings of grassroots change in the ACLU where ALL rights are truly respected, instead of just a select few at the expense of others.

Until next time!

DC Defies the Supreme Court – Urge Congress to Act!

Not willing to take their defeat, and conversely a great victory for freedom-loving individuals, gracefully, the District of Columbia has continued to work to keep its citizens from exercising their constitutionally affirmed right to bear arms. However, as the NRA-ILA website reports, Cogress is working to do something about it!

"On Thursday, Representative Mark Souder (R-Ind.) introduced H. Res. 1331, a rule to govern House consideration of a modified version of H.R. 1399--the "District of Columbia Personal Protection Act."

"H.R. 1399 was introduced in March of 2007 and has 247 cosponsors. (For more information on H.R. 1399 and on its Senate companion bill, S. 1001 by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), please go to www.nraila.org/Issues/FactSheets/Read.aspx?id=72&issue=020) This rule (H. Res. 1331) would force House consideration of H.R. 1399 if activated by a discharge petition, which will require 218 congressional signatures. It would provide for speedy consideration of legislation to enforce the Supreme Court's decision in District of Columbia v. Heller by repealing the provisions of the D.C. Code that were at issue in that case, and by preventing the District from enacting new and burdensome restrictions on its residents' Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

"Among other things, H. Res. 1331 includes provisions that would repeal D.C.'s ban on many semi-automatic firearms, and repeal the District's firearm registration system, as in H.R. 1399. It would also reduce the District's burdensome restrictions on ammunition, and repeal the District's unique law that allows manufacturers of certain types of guns to "be held strictly liable in tort, without regard to fault or proof of defect," for injuries caused with those guns. D.C. has used this law to bring suits against the firearms industry, but those suits have now been blocked by the "Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act." "

This is a very important piece of legislation, and it is vitally important that Congress acts quickly on this matter. Please write your representative and urge him or her to support 1331 today!!!

Until next time!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Why We Keep and Bear Arms

Larry Elder at Townhall.com just published his take on the Heller Decision, “Why Do We ‘Keep and Bear Arms’". It takes a critical look not only at the DC gun ban, but gun bans in general and the use of firearms in self defense while simultaneously cutting through the fear-mongering hysteria the “mainstream” press editorial pages have been preaching since the decision was released. Some excerpts:

"The New York Times, in an editorial condemning the Supreme Court case, says: "Thirty-thousand Americans are killed by guns every year -- on the job, walking to school, at the shopping mall. The Supreme Court on Thursday all but ensured that even more Americans will die senselessly."

"Really?

"The 30,000 number includes 17,000 suicides. But a person intent on suicide finds a way -- gun or no gun. In Japan, for example, more than twice as many people, per capita, kill themselves, yet that country bans handguns."

So that brings the number of “homicides” down to 13,000 per year. One thing that Larry doesn’t include is the fact that those homicides include individuals killed by a would be victim during the commission of a crime. That’s right, if someone invades your home and you kill them in self defense, that counts as a homicide in the figures above. That means the number of people actually killed by firearms in cold blood is actually less than that 13,000 number. Compare that to over 40,000 deaths per year in automobile accidents and almost 450,000 a year from heart attacks. It certainly presents a very different picture than the press would like to paint for us. The article continues:

"The hand-wringing New York Times editorial fails to ask the following questions: How many Americans use guns to defend themselves? Of that number, how many believe that but for their ability to use their guns in self-defense, they would be dead?

"When a robbery victim does not defend himself," former assistant district attorney and firearms expert David Kopel writes, "the robber succeeds 88 percent of the time, and the victim is injured 25 percent of the time. When a victim resists with a gun, the robbery success rate falls to 30 percent, and the victim injury rate falls to 17 percent. No other response to a robbery -- from drawing a knife to shouting for help to fleeing -- produces such low rates of victim injury and robbery success."

"Criminologist and researcher Gary Kleck, using his own commissioned phone surveys and number extrapolation, estimates that 2.5 million Americans use guns for defensive purposes each year. One in six of that number, or 400,000, believe someone would have been dead but for their ability to resort to their defensive use of firearms. Kleck points out that if only one-tenth of the people are right about saving a life, the number of people saved annually by guns would still be 40,000."

So even taking the 13,000 number above, factor in 40,000 lives saved and we’re at least at a net 27,000 lives saved. Granted it isn’t entirely fair to reduce the issue to pure statistics, yet when those opposed to our basic 2nd Amendment rights use those statistics to create an erroneous picture of reality, they must be challenged.

Larry then moves to focus on the DC ban itself:

"In the five years preceding the 1976 ban, the per capita murder rate in Washington, DC, fell. At the time the law passed, the murder and non-negligent manslaughter rate was 26.8 per 100,000 people. By 1991, the rate rose to 80.6. In 2006, the number stood at 29.1, almost 9 percent higher than the 1976 rate. DC's per capita murder rate remains higher than surrounding states.

"A "hot burglary" occurs when the bad guy enters a home knowing it is occupied. The hot burglary rate in the United States is about 10 percent, while the hot burglary rate in the U.K. -- which banned handguns in 1997 -- is around 50 percent."


These are some fairly clear numbers that paint an equally clear picture of reality. When the DC ban was passed, the murder rate skyrocketed from 26.8 to 80.6 over a period of 15 years. Over the last 15 years, it dropped, though not to pre-ban levels. It is therefore clear that the DC ban, if anything contributed to the murder rate rather than reducing it. The UK is seeing the same effect. As common sense would tell you, laws only impact those willing to follow them. Someone intent on robbery or murder has already decided that the law doesn’t apply to them. Larry continues:

"Why not ask the real experts -- criminals?

"The U.S. Department of Justice's National Institute of Justice surveyed 2,000 felons in state prisons. It asked whether "one reason burglars avoid houses when people are at home is that they fear being shot during the crime." Seventy-four percent of the felons said yes. The survey also asked these felons whether they had abandoned at least one crime because they feared the intended suspect might be armed. Thirty-nine percent said they abandoned at least one crime; 8 percent had abandoned such a crime "many" times; 34 percent admitted being "scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by an armed victim"; and nearly 70 percent knew a "colleague" who had abandoned a crime, been scared off, been shot at, wounded or captured by a victim packing heat."


As I indicated above, it seems like common sense. If I’m a criminal out looking for an easy buck then I’m not going to go after someone who is armed or may be armed. It’s too much risk for too little reward. The numbers above bear that fact out. Yet it is a fact that is continually ignored on the editorial pages of the “mainstream” press.

It is therefore abundantly clear that firearms bans do not prevent crime, reduce violence, or reduce the murder rate. Yet just about every major newspaper in the country has written an editorial in the wake of the Heller decision that says the opposite. Since the facts clearly do not back them up, one has to wonder why they continue making the statements. Why are they so hostile to the basic Second Amendment affirmed rights of the American people? What is the real agenda at work here?

Until next time!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The New York Sun Hits a Home Run on Heller!

The New York Sun published an editorial by John Stossel today that is right on the money. It cuts through the BS the so-called “mainstream press” has been shoving down the nation’s throat in the wake of the Heller decision.

Some of the highlights of this excellent editorial:

What has caused so much confusion about the Amendment is its preface: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state ... "

In striking down Washington, D.C.'s three-decade-old handgun ban, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote that the preface merely "announces the purpose for which the right was codified: to prevent elimination of the militia" by the new national government. "The prefatory clause," he continued, "does not suggest that preserving the militia was the only reason Americans valued the ancient right; most undoubtedly thought it even more important for self-defense and hunting."

But for the four dissenters, the preface limits the right to keep and bear arms to military purposes. In their view, if the Framers of the Second Amendment wanted private individuals to have guns for hunting and self-defense, they would have said so.

Justice John Paul Stevens points to "the Second Amendment's omission of any statement of purpose related to the right to use firearms for hunting or personal self-defense."

I suppose one could argue that the omission indicates the Framers of the Constitution didn't mean to protect that right. But I find that hard to believe. The right of self-defense — against homegrown tyrants as well as common criminals — was much on the minds of Americans in the late 18th century. Justice Scalia notes that "During the 1788 [constitutional] ratification debates, the fear that the federal government would disarm the people in order to impose rule through a standing army or select militia was pervasive."

George Mason, for example, acknowledged father of the Bill of Rights, wrote: "To disarm the people [is] the best and most effectual way to enslave them."

And Thomas Jefferson: "[W]hat country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms."


Has this guy been reading my blog? Probably not, but he hits the nail right on the head with some of the same factual basis that I’ve published here before. The Framers clearly saw individual firearm ownership as the one and only true safeguard of liberty. However, Mr. Stossel continues:

But there is something else that many analysts of the decision have missed.

The Bill of Rights did not create rights. It acknowledged them. Right before the July 4 holiday, it shouldn't have been necessary to remind the four Supreme Court dissenters of what Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. ... "

For Jefferson and his colleagues, first, there were individuals with rights, then there was government to protect them. The Framers of the Second Amendment did not say, "The people shall have the right to keep and bear arms." They wrote, "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."


WE HAVE A WINNER!!! The Tribune and all of the other so-called “mainstream” papers like to gloss over this point. They treat individual rights the same way the former Soviet Union did – they are granted by a government and can be regulated and taken away by a government. In short they see our individual rights not as inalienable, but rather as “privileges” which are subject to the whim and will of the regime.

Stossel also addresses the alleged “upsurge in violence” aspect of the question:

The four dissenting justices fear the Supreme Court's decision will unleash a flood of gun violence. Unlikely. "Criminals do not have a problem getting guns." Mr. Palmer reminded me. They are not deterred by gun control. It's law-abiding people who wish to protect themselves and their families who suffer when guns are banned.

Again – this guy absolutely GETS it. It’s a sad day when the opinion best supported by facts and history seems to be the contrarian view in the media. Hopefully as time goes by people will wake up to the fact that as goes the Second Amendment, so go all of the inalienable rights affirmed (not GRANTED!) in our Constitution.

Until next time!

Rifle of the Month – the M1 Garand

I’m back from visiting my wife’s family over the Independence Day weekend, and thought I’d start out with the “rifle of the month” – this month, the M1 Garand. General George S. Patton, Jr. pronounced it "the greatest single battle implement ever devised by man." It was the first semi-automatic main battle rifle adopted by any major army, and gave the American infantryman an important advantage over his counterparts in World War II. The rifle also served in Korea and to a lesser extent Vietnam.





H&R M1 Garand



Resources on the Garand are extremely common on the web, including good overviews at The Patton Society and a decent write up on Wikipedia. There are also clubs devoted to the history and collecting of the M1 Garand like the Garand Collectors Association.

One of the nice things about the M1 Garand, is that it is a fun rifle to shoot with a ready supply of ammunition. The Garand is fed by an 8 round en bloc clip (yes, it is one of the FEW firearms with a true “clip”). Most are chambered in 30-06, but there are a few chambered for 0.308 NATO which were made for the U.S. Navy. You can find Garands at most gun shows and internet firearm auction sites. For the best deal, you can order one from the Civilian Marksmanship Program. They have reconditioned surplus Garands in multiple grades. The M1 Garand was recently produced by Springfield Armory using the original specs and blueprints, but it appears to have been dropped in favor of the M1A.

Collecting the M1 Garand can be a satisfying, yet expensive, pursuit as the Garand is a very popular rifle for collectors. The Garand was produced by Springfield, Winchester, Harrington and Richardson, and International Harvester at various times during its service life. Several collectors guides can be found online. Joe Poyer and Craig Reisch have a decent one which can be found here. Premiums are paid for rifles in original condition or from a rare armory or serial number block. The bottom line is to have fun and enjoy these amazing rifles.

Until next time!!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Happy Independence Day!!!

Well, okay I know, it's a few days early, but I'm going to be out of town.

Hopefully all of you will have a great Independence Day and take time out to give thanks for the freedoms and liberties we enjoy in this great nation.

When I get back I’ll have a new rifle of the month (one I hope will prove popular) and lots more on the continuing aftermath of the historic Heller decision.

Until next time!!!