Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Canada – Repealing the Registry?

A recent opinion piece in the Windsor Star details efforts to repeal the almost 15 year old Canadian firearm registry. A bill has been proposed by Conservative Garry Breitkreuz to do away with the needless and needlessly wasteful firearm registration scheme. Initially supposed to cost $2 million (Canadian), the actual expense to Canadian taxpayers has been at least $2 BILLION. What’s worse is as early as 2002, Auditor General Sheila Fraser indicated that “the program was excessively regulatory, overly complex and very costly to deliver and had become difficult for owners to comply with.”

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper supports the bill:

"There are MPs in all these parties that know what we know: that law-abiding hunters and farmers are not part of the crime problem and that you should be respected and not demonized. I challenge you to press these MPs to follow their consciences and do what they know is right, vote to abolish the long-gun registry and fight crime instead."

Veterans Affairs Minister Greg Thompson points out another dark side to firearm registration:

"Many police investigators have publicly voiced their concerns that the gun registry has been breached and become a shopping list for thieves."

Many in Canada have reached the obvious conclusion – criminals don’t register their firearms and will go to any lengths to obtain weaponry. These points should have been debated in greater detail before such a sizable portion of the public treasury had been siphoned off on a leftist disarmament scheme, but unfortunately it appears that Canada had to learn this lesson the hard way.

Unfortunately there are many in the United States who would send our firearm laws down the same fruitless path. I sincerely hope that the Canadian registry is abolished as its failure and dismantling would demonstrate clearly that registration schemes don’t work. They only punish the law-abiding.

Until next time!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Oregon CHL Privacy Bill in Jeopardy

The Oregon Firearms Federation has released a recent alert detailing recent efforts to derail the Privacy Bill for concealed carry permit holders currently making its way through the legislature. According to OFF:

"... some Democratic members of the committee are attempting to rewrite the bill so instead of saying CHL records cannot be released, the law will say they cannot be released, unless a government agency wants to. All of the original protections will be taken out of the bill and the new language will provide virtually no protection at all."

Either you have privacy or you don’t. Privacy cannot and should not be subject to the whim of an agency official or based on the way the political wind is blowing. The OFF release provides key contacts for the Bill and a sample text urging the Representatives to pass the legislation in its original form with all of the protection for CHL holders intact. I slightly modified the provided text and sent it to the representatives listed with the title “Pass HB 2727 Without Amendments.” My version of the text is as follows:

"HB 2727 is an important defense for the privacy of concealed handgun license holders in Oregon. The bill, in its original form, will provide the best possible protection for sensitive information collected by the sheriffs of license holders. Their personal information should not be subject to disclosure at the whim of a state agency. This bill already has wide bi-partisan support in the legislature and the support of the overwhelming majority of sheriffs in Oregon. The amendments recently offered represent nothing more than attempts to gut this vitally important legislation.

"I urge you to pass HB 2727, without amendments, as soon as possible."

I strongly urge you to act on this alert if you value your privacy as a CHL holder. If Oregon is able to get this legislation passed, it could become a model for other parts of the country as well.

Until next time!!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Will Wu Join 65 of His Colleagues?

As I reported earlier, 65 Democratic representatives, led by Mike Ross of Arkansas have denounced plans to reinstitute the so-called “assault weapon ban.” My representative in Congress, David Wu, was not on that list. As he claims to support both the Second Amendment and the Heller decision, I’ve asked him to join that list. The full text of my letter to Representative Wu appears below:


Dear Representative Wu,

I have corresponded with you on several topics over the years, but of particular concern to me in the current political climate is the security of my Second Amendment rights. You have stated your support for the Second Amendment in numerous letters to me, and your support of the recent Heller decision. I therefore ask you to join Representative Mike Ross and 64 of your Democratic colleagues in the House of Representatives in denouncing and opposing attempts by Attorney General Eric Holder and the Obama administration to reinstitute the deceptively named “assault weapon” ban.

A substantial portion of the general public is under the mistaken impression that an “assault weapon ban” covers fully automatic weapons (and many politicians and media outlets do nothing to dissuade them of this perception and in certain cases actively encourage it), when it fact it only covers cosmetic features and magazine capacity of semi-automatic sporting and hunting rifles. The Justice Department concluded that the original ban had no effect on crime, and the recent Heller decision clearly states that such absolute bans are unconstitutional.

The specific criteria stated in the Heller case is: “As the quotations earlier in this opinion demonstrate, the inherent right of self-defense has been central to the Second Amendment right. The handgun ban amounts to a prohibition of an entire class of ‘arms’ that is overwhelmingly chosen by American society for that lawful purpose.”

It is therefore clear that banning a class of weapon chosen by American society for defense and other lawful purposes does not meet Constitutional muster. The firearms categorized as “assault weapons” under the 1994 Law and other bills (H.R. 1022) are firearms commonly chosen by Americans not only for self-defense, but hunting and other sporting purposes as well, and as such any ban passed would fail under the criteria set forth in the Heller case.

As a stated supporter of the Second Amendment and the Heller ruling, I again strongly urge you to join Representative Mike Ross and your other Democratic colleagues in opposing any future attempts to ban so-called “assault weapons”. The proposed “assault weapon ban” preys on public ignorance and offers the illusion of safety when in fact it has no impact on crime and abridges the rights of law-abiding Americans.


The operative question is, will David Wu stand by his stated political principles, or (as I suspect) will his more natural anti-Second Amendment tendencies win out. I eagerly await his response!

Until next time!!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Inside the Mind of Representative Wu

I regularly write my representative (David Wu) on issues before the Congress. I recently wrote Representative Wu about my concerned with certain provisions in H.R. 146, the Omnibus Public Lands Act of 2009. Gun Owners of America and other groups had put out alerts about some of these provisions. I received a form letter response from Representative Wu, but the contents of that response are disturbing in many ways. It offers a glimpse into the mind of an individual with clearly anti-Second leanings trying to retain office in a district with some strong bastions of Second Amendment support. What follows are some excerpts from his form letter, and my thoughts on each portion:

“H.R. 146 has been passed in both the House and the Senate. The Senate passed it with amendments, so the House will take up the amended bill again, most likely next week. Thus far, H.R. 146 does not repeal the current requirement that citizens carrying firearms or ammunition into National Parks carry a concealed weapons permit. I intend to vote for H.R. 146 without changing that requirement.”

The form letter was obviously written before the recent injunction on the new regulations. At this point, the letter is fairly non-committal, but what follows later in the letter takes a left hand turn into the Twilight Zone.

“I hunt, fish, and enjoy the outdoors. At the same time, I also support taking a moderate, common-sense view of guns versus public safety. The most recent Supreme Court's ruling in Heller v. the District of Columbia supports this reasonable approach. In that case, the Supreme Court upheld previous findings by the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit which ruled in a 2-1 decision that provisions of the D.C. Code that prohibit persons from keeping handguns in their homes are unconstitutional in that they infringe upon the individual right to keep and bear arms. It is important to note that the Supreme Court limited their consideration and ruling to the question of whether the D.C. ban violated the Second Amendment rights of individuals who are not affiliated with any state-regulated militia, but who wish to keep handguns and other firearms for private use in their homes.”

First Representative Wu tries to play the “sportsman” card. I honestly don’t know if the representative hunts or fishes in real life, but I do know that the Second Amendment is not there to protect duck hunting. It is there to ensure that America is an armed populace, and as an armed populace it can resist the forces of tyranny be they external or internal, civilian or military. Any cursory reading of the Framers papers (including The Federalist) backs that fact up. By playing the “sportsman” card, it implies that Representative Wu has trouble with the Second Amendment as anything more than a protection for hunters.

Next he mentions the Heller ruling. I covered the Heller decision in detail when it was first released and have read through it more than a few times. From these first few sentences it is clear that Representative Wu is taking a very narrow view of the decision in his political thought. This implication is resoundingly confirmed in the closing two paragraphs.

“Further, the Court confirmed the right of local legislative bodies to create regulatory gun laws and that while an individual right to gun ownership does exist under the Second Amendment, that right is not unlimited. The Court wrote, "[The Second Amendment right is] not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.[The Court's] opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms." The Heller decision allows the government to regulate gun ownership without hindering the right to gun ownership.

“I support the Second Amendment to the Constitution, and as a sportsman and hunter, I have voted to protect the rights of gun owners. However, the Heller decision underscored the importance of the government's responsibility to regulate gun ownership. This decision is a balanced approach that reflects my long-held position on the matter. As Congress considers any legislation to regulate firearms, I will keep your views in mind.”

It seems as if Representative Wu views the Heller decision as a call for additional gun control. He also ignores much of the internal text of the decision, especially as it relates to bearing arms for personal defense which is discussed at length in the decision and directly relates to the ability of people to carry firearms on public lands.

Furthermore, Section III of the Heller decision (which Representative Wu quotes liberally from) is merely a non-exhaustive laundry list of what the Court was not ruling on because they were not points of law in contention in this case. The conclusion of the Court was this ruling didn’t automatically cast those provisions into doubt, but quite frankly they don’t have a lot of bearing on the issue I’d written Representative Wu about. I also don’t believe the Heller case at any point “underscored the importance of the government's responsibility to regulate gun ownership,” it merely indicated certain regulations were not impacted by the Heller decision. This represents very selective interpretation of the decision and the sort of mental gymnastics opponents of the Second Amendment use to validate their wrong-headed assertions.

Given growing Democratic opposition to the proposed “assault weapon ban” in Congress, I intend to test Representative Wu’s support of the Second Amendment and comprehension of the Heller decision by asking him to join Representative Ross and denounce calls for a new ban. I’m sure the response will be illuminating.

Until next time!!!

Surplus Cartridge Ban Resolved

The web has been buzzing recently about change in policy at the Department of Defense to stop the sale of expended military brass to civilians. Many saw this as a first step toward ammunition bans. In short, if you can’t ban the guns, ban the ammo (though I believe that would also have a hard time passing Constitutional muster with any reasonable interpretation of the Second Amendment). The good news is that the NRA is reporting that the issue has been resolved favorably.

Here’s a segment of the statement from Chris Cox, NRA Chief Lobbyist:

“Yesterday afternoon, DoD additionally confirmed the lifting of the suspension to pro-Second Amendment United States Senators Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.), who sent the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) a joint letter vigorously opposing the suspension, on the grounds that it had "an impact on small businesses who sell reloaded ammunition utilizing these fired casings, and upon individual gun owners who purchase spent military brass at considerable cost savings for their personal use.”

According to the NRA release, surplus military brass was not targeted specifically, rather it had been caught up in a global change. That may or may not be, but I have to think that somewhere someone knew what the impact would be and that they wanted to see what would happen. Call me cynical or paranoid, but while I’m happy we’ve obtained a positive outcome to this specific issue, part of me believes we’ve simply dodged the metaphorical bullet.

Until next time!!!

House Democrats Oppose Proposed Ban

Opposition in the House to any so-called “assault weapon” ban is growing, on both sides of the aisle. In addition to the bipartisan Second Amendment Task Force strongly opposing the institution of any ban, Representative Mike Ross of Arkansas is now leading a group of 65 pro-Second Amendment Democrats who have denounced Holder and the Obama administration’s plans to reinstate the ban.

Some great commentary by Congressman Ross:

“Firearms are an important means of self defense and, as an avid hunter and outdoorsmen, an important part of our way of life. I am a firm believer in the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and will continue to fight any efforts in Washington that restrict our right to own and bear arms.

“Criminals will get guns whether we have gun control laws or not. Regulating guns will not keep guns out of the hands of criminals, but it will keep guns out of the hands of those trying to defend themselves from criminals.

“People are worried about keeping their jobs, paying for their families’ health care, educating their children and retiring with the kind of security their parents and grandparents enjoyed. A long and divisive fight over a gun control issue will only distract the Congress from giving these more important issues the attention they deserve.”

Well said all around! The group also cites the fact that the previous ban had no discernable impact on crime rates according to a Justice Department study. It is heartening to see that the Second Amendment is gaining broader bi-partisan support. Recent attempts to tie American weapons to the Mexican Drug War represent an escalation by anti-Second Amendment groups in their efforts to disarm law-abiding Americans – an effort based on lies and deceptions since the fully automatic weapons used by the cartels can’t be purchased legally in the United States anyway.

Representative Ross and his group deserve our thanks:

1. Mike Ross (D-AR)
2. Tim Holden (D-PA)
3. Jerry Costello (D-IL)
4. Jim Matheson (D-UT)
5. Sanford Bishop (D-GA)
6. John Dingell (D-MI)
7. Marion Berry (D-AR)
8. Nick Rahall (D-WV)
9. Gene Green (D-TX)
10. Chet Edwards (D-TX)
11. Ciro Rodriguez (D-TX)
12. Gene Taylor (D-MS)
13. Bart Stupak (D-MI)
14. Collin Peterson (D-MN)
15. Harry Teague (D-NM)
16. John Tanner (D-TN)
17. Allen Boyd (D-FL)
18. Dennis Cardoza (D-CA)
19. Eric Massa (D-NY)
20. Steve Kagen, M.D. (D-WI)
21. Betsy Markey (D-CO)
22. Paul Hodes (D-NH)
23. Ron Kind (D-WI)
24. Peter Welch (D-VT)
25. Leonard Boswell (D-IA)
26. Tim Ryan (D-OH)
27. Walt Minnick (D-ID)
28. John Boccieri (D-OH)
29. Joe Donnelly (D-IN)
30. Tom Perriello (D-VA)
31. Earl Pomeroy (D-ND)
32. Ben Chandler (D-KY)
33. Martin Heinrich (D-NM)
34. Debbie Halvorson (D-IL)
35. Travis Childers (D-MS)
36. Tim Walz (D-MN)
37. Peter DeFazio (D-OR)
38. Solomon Ortiz (D-TX)
39. Paul Kanjorski (D-PA)
40. Rick Boucher (D-VA)
41. Mike McIntyre (D-NC)
42. John Murtha (D-PA)
43. Bart Gordon (D-TN)
44. Zach Space (D-OH)
45. Alan Mollohan (D-WV)
46. Lincoln Davis (D-TN)
47. Artur Davis (D-AL)
48. Charlie Melancon (D-LA)
49. John Barrow (D-GA)
50. Christopher Carney (D-PA)
51. Dan Boren (D-OK)
52. Parker Griffith (D-AL)
53. Charlie Wilson (D-OH)
54. Heath Shuler (D-NC)
55. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-SD)
56. Jim Marshall (D-GA)
57. Jason Altmire (D-PA)
58. Larry Kissell (D-NC)
59. John Salazar (D-CO)
60. Brad Ellsworth (D-IN)
61. Frank Kratovil (D-MD)
62. Glenn Nye (D-VA)
63. Bobby Bright (D-AL)
64. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ)
65. Joe Baca (D-CA)

If your representative is on this list, please thank them for their support of the Second Amendment. If your representative isn't on the list, urge them to join it. We need to make our voices heard in Washington, because no one else is going to give us the same level of publicity out opponents seem to receive.

Until next time!!!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

AMD-65 Build Log – Part 1

Lest you thought the Tabuk was the only thing I’ve been working on, I also have an AMD-65 project going. As an Intel guy, I had to do some soul searching before building an AMD. . . Okay bad joke! For those of you who don’t know, the AMD-65 is a Hungarian variant of the AK-47. AMD stands for Automata Módosított Deszant, and the weapon was designed for armored infantry and paratroop usage. The AMD-65 features both a folding stock and a short 12.6” barrel. Because of the barrel length, you unfortunately due to current U.S. firearm laws have to permanently lengthen the barrel to ensure it isn’t classified as a short barreled rifle, unless you want to pony up $200 for a tax stamp. I didn’t want to go that route (this time around) so I’m opting for the lengthened barrel.

Right now I’m in the “demilling” phase of the project, and it has been a bear! The front trunnion came off of the receiver easily enough, but the rear trunnion was incredibly difficult to drill out of the receiver. Like most AK variants, the rear trunnion has two full width rivets. I went through about three different cobalt bits (that’ll teach me to buy the cheap ones!) clearing the rivets. In the end I actually had to punch most of the second rivet through on my 12 ton press.

This project marked the baptism by fire of my AK-Builder barrel jig . Having tried various methods of removing barrels in the past, I must say the AK-Builder jig is amazing. I was demilling a Romanian “G” kit simultaneously and started with that kit. First you remove the barrel pin. In both cases the barrel pin came out without incident and even looks reusable. It takes a bit of force and initially the pin would move in stages – force would build up behind the ram and eventually the pin would slip relieving the pressure. On the Romanian kit, the barrel slid out freely once the pin was removed. The AMD, however, initially moved in stages like the barrel pin. I believe part of issue was the thick black finish on the kit acting like a glue and sealant.

As mentioned before, the barrel has to be permanently lengthened if you don’t want to register the final product as a short barreled rifle. Tapco makes an extended muzzle break which can be attached to the AMD barrel to get it to the requisite length. When acting as a barrel extension, the muzzle brake has to be welded and pinned to conform with US law (as I understand it based on my reading of various boards, I’m not a lawyer). Pictured below is the barrel with the muzzle brake screwed on. I’ll be taking it to a local gunsmith for welding and pinning (along with my two Tabuk barrels to be shortened and rethreaded).

The AMD-65 is unique because of its double pistol grip arrangement, and that’s one of the many features that attracted me to this particular build. I really like the wood grips, and made sure I picked up a kit with them. Unfortunately when they arrived they weren’t in “excellent” condition as advertised. However, after a lot of cleaning up (Simple Green is your friend – especially the lemon / yellow version) they turned out looking fairly good (see below).

At this point the build is pretty much ready to go. Unfortunately I’m still waiting on my NoDak Spud receiver. After some unpleasant experiences with an Arsenal and an Ohio Ordinance undrilled receivers, I’ve decided that I’m going to go with all pre-drilled receivers going forward. They’re not that much more expensive, and they go together much better. This build will exactly meet the no more than 10 imported parts rule under 922(r). The U.S. made parts will be the receiver, muzzle attachment, gas piston, and trigger group (3). I’ll post more pictures of this build as well as I go along. It will probably be finished before the Tabuk as it’s a simpler build.

Until next time!!!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

March Rose City Gun Show Report

I made it out to the Rose City Gun Show this morning – lines were out the door to get in. Selection of what I was looking for was not quite what I was hoping for. There were some okay C&R pieces, but the really nice ones were commanding a premium. There were fewer AK derivatives this time around, but maybe a few more AR derivatives. The post election pricing panic hasn’t quite subsided yet, especially with all of the stories about reinstating the so-called “assault weapon” ban being mentioned in the press so prominently at this point. AR-15 lowers were plentiful and once again approaching reasonable prices (for the most part) at this show (range was about $150 to $200 for a stripped lower). Uppers were still in fairly short supply, and one of my favorite AR part dealers (J&S) didn’t even seem to be there.

There almost seemed to be more knife dealers than gun dealers this time around. Ammunition continues to be in high demand and short supply. I was able to pick up 150 pieces of 7.62x54R primed brass along with a few odds and ends for various projects I’m working on (spare rear trunnion and stock for my AMD-65 project among other neat bitz). There were, as always, tons of modern pistols and hunting rifles. I’m set for the former and the latter just isn’t my cup of tea. Some of the new smaller vendors did have some interesting stuff, though. Honestly I’ve ended up buying more from people I’ve only seen at one or two shows than anything else. They frequently have the unusual or unexpected.

While the selection wasn’t quite as good as I’d hoped, it was still a fun show. The old saying “a bad day at the gun show beats a good day at work” still holds. I’m hoping to set up a table to rotate some of my collection in another month or two – I’ll probably bring the spare Tabuk with me to that show as well to show off at least.

Until next time!!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Court Restricts Second Amendment Rights

In a blow for Americans who value their Second Amendment rights, MSNBC reports that U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly has blocked a federal rule which allowed individuals with a concealed carry permit to carry weapons in U.S. National Parks and wildlife refuges. This injunction immediately abridges the rights of American citizens and prevents them from carrying until the Interior Department has had time to review the rule and indicate its course of action. The only good news is that the NRA is reporting that “the court did grant NRA's motion to intervene in the cases. Under federal law, NRA is entitled to an immediate appeal, and NRA will exercise that right.”

The usual suspect are happy including the Brady Campaign. Unfortunately there are other groups that are queuing up to expand the infringement of our right to keep and bear arms including the National Parks Conservation Association. According to their associate director Bryan Faehner:

"We're especially glad to hear that the court is agreeing with the park rangers and the public who are concerned that there will be negative impacts from the (now-overturned) regulation and increased likelihood for opportunistic poaching of wildlife and increased risk of violence to the public."

As indicated above, the NRA is appealing this decision, Chris Cox states:

"Just as we did not give up the fight to change the old, outdated rule, we will not give up our fight in the courts to defend the rule change. We will pursue every legal avenue to defend the American people's right to self-defense."

In the post-Heller world, it still amazes me how many individuals in the judiciary and in elected office still engage in the sort of mental gymnastics required to abridge the intent of the Second Amendment. We are faced with far too many demagogues in public office with power to trample the rights of American citizens. It’s time we demand more from our government. It’s time we demand they respect the supreme law of the land – the U.S. Constitution.

If you’ve never been active in politics before, quite frankly now is the time. So much has been won in the past few years, but in the current political climate, those gains are exceptionally tenuous. Rulings like this can turn a law-abiding citizen into a felon overnight if they don’t hear about the ruling and are then caught with a weapon on federal lands. It’s ironic that the lands in question are federal lands; lands supposedly belonging to the People – yet on those lands the People have precious few rights. This situation can not be allowed to continue, and we must make our voices heard.

Until next time!!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tabuk Sniper Rifle Build Log – Part 3

Remember last time how I said “the more you learn, the more you find out you don’t know.” That particular mantra continues through to this installment of the build log as well. Upon further review the East German RPK sights I tracked down aren’t correct for the Tabuk. The Tabuk uses a Yugoslavian style RPK sight which is delineated out to 1000 meters (10 on the scale) and uses a completely different font for its numbers than the East German ones. Fortunately I believe I have a line on some correct sights as I’d really hate to go through all of this effort and pooch the sights. . .

To start visualizing what this beast is going to look like once I get it together, I’ve created my first parts cloth using some of the major components (annotated photo below). As you can see, the majority of the components come straight from the Yugoslavian M70, but as with any project, the devil is in the details and there is a fair amount of customization required to make the Tabuk look right.

One of the major components that is different between the Yugoslavian M70 series and the Tabuk DMR is the front gas block. The Iraqis also made a carbine that was essentially a direct copy of the fixed stock version of the M70. As with its Yugoslavian cousin, the Tabuk carbine included an integral grenade launcher. However, a grenade launcher is of limited utility on a marksman’s rifle, so it was eliminated on the Tabuk DMR creating a unique front gas block. The differences between the unmodified M70 gas block (with the grenade launching cutoff and sights removed) and the Tabuk DMR version are clear. This is a custom part built up from the original M70 part by “pupwag” on The AK Forum.

Another unique component is the scope rail (shown below). Unlike most AK derivatives, the scope rail on the Tabuk DMR is spot welded to the receiver, so you’ll need a custom one without any rivet holes if you want to do it right. Again, I want to thank “pupwag” for the scope rail . . . now I just need to borrow a spot welder . . .

With all of the custom parts required to build the Tabuk DMR, it’s sometime easy to forget that there are indeed many stock parts used in its construction. One of the harder to find parts is one that you’d initially think should be easy to find – a Dragunov style cheek rest (shown below). I ultimately had to import mine from a site in the UK that specializes in ex-Soviet and Russian militaria (rusmilitary.com). It’s not a great photo, but the key is the unique clamp system that is distinctive to the cheek rest which is very apparent only every actual Tabuk DMR photo I’ve seen.

I’m still waiting on my first stock set and confirmation on availability of a second set. My second barrel should be arriving soon, and once it does I’m going to take them to a local gunsmith for shortening and re-threading. I’ll also be sending off the first batch of parts for engraving – I plan on doing several side by side comparisons of before and after the engraving process to highlight the unique markings on the Tabuk DMR in a future progress report.

Until next time!!!

Monday, March 16, 2009

European Gun Control: A Study in Failure

Many of the nations in the European Union have extremely strict gun control laws, but as articles in the Times Online and Union Leader point out, none of these strictures have been successful in actually reducing firearms related crime. This fact was underscored by the tragic incident in Winnenden, Germany where a lone individual was able to take advantage of a “disarmed victim zone” and commit mass murder.

The Times article cites several sobering statistics in Germany and Britian’s attempts to reduce violence through draconian firearm controls:

“In the first three years after the legislation was passed [1972], German military and police armouries “lost” 34 machine guns, 198 sub-machineguns, 363 automatic rifles and 1,142 pistols: with such firepower available from the organs of the State itself, the Federal Republic did not have enough terrorists to go round. As we in Britain now know, having seen the doubling of handgun crime within five years of our total ban on pistols. . .”

These are very sobering statistics and lend strong credence to several key points. Gun control only impacts the law abiding. Those wanting to commit crimes will obtain weapons from any available source – even if that means stealing from law enforcement or military sources. The increase of crimes committed with handguns in the UK after an alleged “total ban” further shows that disarmament is voluntary, and criminals never volunteer to be disarmed. Where the criminals are armed and the citizens are helpless victims, crime skyrockets.

Along these same lines, there is an excellent article originally published in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy [Vol. 30 No. 2] by Kates and Mauser available online in pdf form. The article details the fallacy of the notion that less firearms equals less crime by examining legal and societal influences on murder and crime rates across many nations, with an emphasis on comparing European and American systems, laws, and crime rates. This article should be required reading for everyone, especially if they value their Second Amendment rights as it contains facts, figures, and analysis invaluable in winning any firearms related debate.

Until next time!!!

Anti-Second Groups Try to Internationalize the Issue

From Eric Holder to House subcommittees, anti-Second Amendment groups and individuals are trying to use the drug cartel crisis in Mexico as a Trojan horse for a plethora of new gun control measures. By turning the issue into an international crisis, these legislators clearly want to bypass the process and trample on the rights of Americans in the process.

Fortunately the anti-gun voices weren’t the only ones heard, and Arizona Senator Jonathon Paton and NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris Cox also testified. Chris’ testimony is available online and is unambiguous and comprehensive. While everyone from the Mexican government down to members of our own administration seem to be bending over backward to blame American gun owners for the problem, the serial numbers of seized weapons haven’t been provided to the BATFE to verify that the United States was even the source of these firearms. Given the firearms included rocket launchers, it is clear that the American gun owner is being scapegoated and that the administration isn’t going to let a “good crisis go to waste.”

Additional House hearings are planned on this issue. Make sure you contact your representatives and tell them as an American who values the Constitution that you won’t stand by and let law-abiding citizens be blamed for the actions of Mexican criminals and drug cartels. In a way this change in focus represents a victory of sorts in American politics – having exhausted may internal targets, the anti-Second crowd is having to go further and further a field in their attempts to dismantle our rights. As always, we can’t let them succeed.

Until next time!!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Guns & Ammo Special Issue: The AK47

The only disadvantage of having a subscription to Guns & Ammo magazine is that you don’t get the special edition issues – and this one is a doozey! The most recent special issue is the Complete Book of the AK47. As I’ve discussed in previous blog entries, the AK47 is perhaps the most demonized and least understood firearm in the world. I’m certain not coincidentally, it’s also the most produced firearm in the world with over 100 million AK47 variants having been produced over the years.

The issue opens, appropriately, with an article about Mikhail Kalashnikov himself. The article discusses Kalashnikov’s background in World War II and then goes on to give a brief history of the AK47. There are some great photos of early AK components including a Soviet fire control group machined from a steel billet. It is amazing to see how the fire control group changed over the years.

The next article is a real treat as it details AK variants from around the world. The rifles in the pictures for this particular article aren’t fully automatic originals, but rather semi-automatic clones owned by Stuart McDaniel of the Kalashnikov Collectors Association. His fine collection includes a Soviet AKMS, Polish PMKM, Polish PMKMS under folder, Polish Tantal, Several Romanian variants (including the ubiquitous AIM-G), Yugoslavian M92 and M70-B1, Hungarian AMD-63 and -65, various Chinese and Egyptian AK’s, and last, but not least the Iraqi Tabuk Carbine and DMR (although the barrel on his DMR is probably a sneeze too long as it looks like he built it with the unaltered Green Mountain barrel).

A rifle without ammo is fairly useless, and there is a good article on the 7.62x39 and the 5.45x39 cartridges used by the various Kalashnikov variants. Probably the most useful part of this article is the Cartridge Identification Guide. It lists the various types and markings on both cartridges by nation. There’s also an article on improving the ballistic performance of the 7.62x39 cartridge through the use of hand loading with high quality components. I may try to go this route once I have the Tabuk DMR together, but it seems excessive for the WASR-10.

Speaking of the WASR and the Tabuk, there are a couple of articles covering the WASR-10 in the issue. There are also a couple of articles about the AK in Iraq and the Tabuk – although in this case it is the Tabuk carbine, and not the more interesting DMR – which doesn’t show up in either article, unfortunately.

Lots of more good stuff in the issue as well including a visit to a Chinese factory, an article on zeroing, the ever enigmatic combination tool, and even creating an AK “black rifle”. Overall if you’re a fan of the semi-auto AK, this is the magazine for you.

Until next time!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Tabuk Sniper Rifle Build Log – Part 2

The more you learn, the more you find out you don’t know. The part collecting continues, I’m currently only missing a few parts to begin the first of two Tabuk designated marksman’s rifles I’m building (I’ll end up selling the second one to finance this enterprise!). Fortunately I haven’t started assembling anything yet as I keep learning more and more about this fascinating rifle as I go along.

The first earth-shattering news is that the custom barrels turned by Green Mountain are about 2” too long. You can read about the full controversy at The AK Forum, but it turns out the 23.6” length listed in the reference material used to design the barrels is the barrel length with a flash hider, not the actual barrel length. The actual barrel length is closer to 21 3/8” (or 21 7/16” depending on how closely you try to read the tape measure). This revelation has sparked significant debate among builders as to whether or not it’s “worth it” to shorten the barrel to the proper length and have it re-threaded with people coming in on both sides of the question. I’m personally going to have my barrels bobbed as I have a local store that does superior work at a reasonable price (and I have some other work I need them to do anyway, such as adding a long flash hider to an AMD-65 barrel so I don’t have to collect a tax stamp for it).

The second revelation is that the rear leaf sight used on the Tabuk has good old normal western style numbers, and therefore won’t need to be engraved with Iraqi markings. Pictures of the rear sight are rare, but there is a slightly fuzzy photo on Dragunov.net (the 10th one down when I accessed the page today) where you can see the sight clearly enough to recognize the engraving as standard. I now have a pair of sights – they’re East German, but they have the proper windage adjustments.

I now have a pair of de-milled front trunions (see photo above). The bottom one came to me already relieved of its residual receiver, whereas the top one I had to de-mil myself. All of my previous kit builds have utilized standard front trunions with the six small rivets – the M70 front trunion only has two of the small rivets (the rearmost ones) with two slightly longer ones (in the middle) and one long rivet like you see on the rear trunion of most fixed stock kits. Using my grinder, drill press, hand drill (Makita the wonder drill) and cobalt bits I was able to complete the process in about an hour. The trunions are now ready for engraving – I just need to decide on my serial numbers and years for the builds.

Above is a close-up of the front sight block. I only have one of these at this point, but I’m hoping to get a second one modified into the proper configuration soon. I did pick up all of the pins I need to get the sight, front gas block, and sight base attached to the barrel. I also picked up a “go” / “no go” gauge set from Midway so that I can properly headspace the rifles as I assemble them. The stock is still on order from Ironwood. They tell me that they’ve finished filling their back-orders and will start shipping new orders this coming week.

Overall, I’m still extremely excited about this project. The parts collecting has gone quicker than I thought it would. I’m also want to pass on my appreciation to everyone who has helped provide data and insight on this project! I plan on compiling a full thank-you list when I’m finished (something tells me that blog entry will be 50% acknowledgements!).

Until next time!!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

More Lawsuits Against DC’s Unconstitutional Gun Laws!

The Examiner is reporting that additional lawsuits have been filed against DC’s current registration scheme. There are several plaintiffs in this case, and each of their issues with the current “registration” scheme displays the ridiculousness of the DC laws. According to the Examiner:

“Tracey Ambeau Hanson: Her gun was rejected because it's the wrong color.

“Paul St. Lawrence: His gun was rejected even though it is the same gun owned by Dick Heller for whom the Supreme Court ordered DC to issue a registration certificate less than a year ago.

“Gillian St. Lawrence: Her gun was rejected merely because the manufacturer decided not to pay a fee to California to keep the gun on the California Roster of Handguns Certified for Sale.”

Remember, this is the set of laws that DC House designee Eleanor Holmes-Norton considers to be entirely “reasonable”. Cases like this show the lengths to which opponents of our Second Amendment rights will go to in denying those rights. These laws are not in any way, shape, or form “reasonable”, and must be opposed at every step using every legal tool in our arsenal.

Quite frankly, I’m glad that DC’s House representation is current tied to the elimination of these laws. Until the District respects the Civil Rights of their citizens, it is clear that they have no respect for the supreme law of the land – the U.S. Constitution. When they demonstrate some respect for the Constitution, then the District deserves stronger representation.

Until next time!!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bloomberg’s Nine Year Suit Comes to an End

The New York Times is reporting that the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear Bloomberg’s suit which alleges gunmakers flood “illicit markets with their firearms”. The case began nine years ago with Bloomberg suing several firearm makers and gun dealers for allegedly providing firearms illegally to individuals. Even in light of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, a Brooklyn judge rule in 2005 that the suit could proceed under the narrow exception allows suits “when a gun maker or dealer has knowingly violated state or federal statutes in sales and marketing practices — by knowingly selling a weapon to someone who fails a criminal background check.” That move was strongly opposed by several manufacturers including "Beretta U.S.A., Browning Arms, Colt Manufacturing, Glock and Smith & Wesson."

Bloomberg was obviously disappointed by the decision:

“The court didn’t rule the way we wanted. [The lawsuit was] one part of our strategy to fight against illegal guns.”

While the fact that the Supreme Court refused to hear this case is a small victory for supporters of the Second Amendment, I believe this entire process represents a cautionary tale. It is clear that people like Bloomberg have many allies in the judiciary at this point - people who seem to be willing to split the finest hair of the law in order to find new ways to limit our right to keep and bear arms on multiple fronts.

Firearm manufacturers were seen as a visible public target, and Second Amendment opponents have tried to use “public nuisance” and “safety” laws the same way these were turned against Cigarette companies. The fundamental differences, however, are staggering. In the case of cigarette companies, they made a product with known health consequences which was also addicted. In the case of firearm manufacturers, they make a tool for self-defense. If an individual uses that tool in the commission of a crime, the firearm manufacturer is no more responsible for the actions of that individual than an automobile manufacturer is responsible for the actions of a drunk driver.

Thankfully this very dangerous avenue of attack has been curtailed by both the aforementioned Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act and the ruling of the U.S. Appellate Court. Unfortunately, this just means that Bloomberg and his cronies will now sharpen their focus on local gun dealers under the assumption that all of them are corrupt. Bloomberg still represents a threat to our Civil Rights as to him, just about any gun is an “illegal gun”.

Until next time!!!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Leftist Hand-wringing on the Ensign Amendment

After winning overwhelming support in the Senate, the Ensign Amendment has become a major stumbling block in the House. The Hill is reporting that Pelosi is planning to meet with the Congressional Black Caucus on the issue. D.C. Designee Eleanor Holmes-Norton continues to paint this as a special interest horning in on a Civil Rights bill:

“The CBC is particularly concerned about the National Rifle Association’s assault on a civil rights bill, and with maintaining the unity of the Democratic Caucus on civil rights issues.”

Again, I hate to continue to inform the Delegate from the District of Columbia, but the right to keep and bear arms IS a Civil Right. It is a civil right that the district and many other large cities have violated for years. It is a civil rights violation that has lead to a higher violent crime rate in those areas. It is a civil rights violation that will no longer be tolerated. In order to be a part of the political process in America, the pre-requisite is respect for the Constitution which includes the Second Amendment.

While The Hill paints the centrist Democrats as being in the camp of the NRA, I refuse to believe that this is a race vs. special interest problem. The CBC and other African-American leaders are not looking at the issue objectively. If they did they’d realize that their legacy of gun control has resulted in the gang bangers, drug lords, and their minions being the only ones that are armed in urban areas. These criminals have no respect for human life, and no level of so-called “gun control” is ever going to be enough to control the actions of these criminals.

I all on the CBC to start recognizing the Civil Rights of their constituents: ALL of their Civil Rights. Americans living in urban areas have the same inalienable right to self defense that the rest of the nation has. It is time to stop the lies, to stop the false characterizations, it is time to admit that the policies of disarmament have been a disastrous failure, and the urban communities have paid the price in blood.

Until next time!!!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Great Article on Fighting for the Second Amendment

A lot of people have been worked up lately about various ideas and ridiculous bills promoted by individuals with no respect for our Constitution. Virtually every week I see a post about the “new” HR 45 and how it has been tied to one bill or another. Gun Talk has published one of the best tactical articles on how to protect our Second Amendment rights I’ve ever seen. Using the concept of “don’t waste your ammo”, it provides the who, what, where, why, when, and how of protecting our Second Amendment rights from legitimate threats, not smoke and mirrors.

The fact that so many people are passionate about protecting our Second Amendment rights is great, but we can’t let the leftist tail wag the dog. They will continue to propose blatantly unconstitutional bills that restrict or ban firearm ownership in America. These bills have no chance of passing, but they provide a great smokescreen for efforts that actually do have a chance of passing. The article above provides great advice on threat identification and response. I encourage anyone who values their Second Amendment rights to read it and take it to heart!

Until next time!!!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Tabuk Sniper Rifle Build Log - Part 1

This is the first installment of the build log for my Tabuk “Sniper” Rifle project. As I detailed in my previous blog entry, the Tabuk is a unique semi-automatic variant of normal Kalashnikov design. Because it is a semi-auto, long barreled marksman’s model of the AK, it represents a great project rifle for American builders. Right now I’m still in the parts collecting phase, but I thought I’d show some of the parts as they are at this point. Ultimately I will probably end up building two and selling one as a completed rifle to defray some of the overall costs of the project.

First is the receiver and some custom and hard to find parts. Although the Tabuk is based on the Yugoslavian M70 design, the receiver itself lacks the top cover locking pins. Therefore the M72 is a closer match for the receiver type. I’m using the NoDak Spud NDS-9 as the basis for my build. It will need to be engraved to replicate the characters on the original. Included in the parts above is the unique front sight block, a modified M70 front gas block, the optics mount, and an M72 rear leaf sight with windage adjustment. The sight block, modified gas block and optics mount are courtesy of a member of The AK Forum. The leaf sight will also need to be re-engraved in Arabic to match the original.

Another custom part is the rear trunion. This one was manufactured by a member of The AK Forum as well. The unique flash hider is also from NoDak Spud.

The rear gas block and pistol grip are both from a Yugoslavian M70. The gas block will require some farily intricate engraving to match the Lion of Babylon arsenal mark and other writing.

Above are the gas piston, bolt carrier, bolt, and barrel for the Tabuk. Everything other than the barrel is stock from an M70. The barrel is a custom barrel I picked up from Copes. I believe they obtained them from Green Mountain. The barrel itself is nearly virgin, with only the extractor port cut out. There is no gas port, nor are any of the notches for assembly pins set. This will create a more challenging build in some ways, but it will allow for near perfect head spacing and alignment of all parts.

The plan at this point is to finish collecting all of the parts that will need engraving (front trunion, rear gas block, receiver, rear sight, bolt, bolt carrier, top cover) and have those sent off for engraving before the actual build is started. Once those parts are back from engraving, I’ll complete basic assembly on the metal components, have those blued, and then finish final assembly. I’ll post more on this project as it progresses!

Until next time!

House Holds Up DC Ban Repeal

Fox news is reporting that a House vote on granting a full seat in the House to the District of Columbia has been held up because the House version of the bill still does not include the Second Amendment supports that the Senate version does. The vehemently anti-Second Amendment D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes-Norton is, of course, livid:

"There is no choice between a vote for American citizens and a completely unrelated and reckless gun bill. That is a non-choice. That's not a fair exchange. That's not even an unfair exchange. That is an absurd exchange that no one would accept."

She continues:

"If members are here by virtue of some support of the NRA, I have news for them. Many of the Democratic members are because there is a solid group of Democrats who vote for them. The most solid group are African-Americans. It will not help any Democrat to go home this time and say he killed a civil rights bill with a gun bill."

Wow, how many misconceptions and accusations can one individual throw into one tirade? First, gun rights ARE Civil Rights – period. Full stop. DC has an abysmal record of respecting the civil rights of its citizens with its bans and draconian end around of the Heller decision. Holmes-Norton’s attempt to play this as a special interest denying the citizens DC their Civil Rights is the most hollow and hypocritical ploy I’ve seen in a long time.

The reason voting has been postponed is the Democratic leadership, which appears to be opposed to the Ensign Amendment, faced a full-scale revolt from moderate and conservative Democrats on the issue (as predicted in my post election break-down of the House). If House Democrats in districts strong Second Amendment country voted against the Ensign Amendment, they know that their seats would be in jeopardy in 2010.

Holmes-Norton’s tirade continued:

"The gravest insult is to pit the safety and security of everybody in the District -- from the president down to the kids who can now get hold of military weapons plus District residents -- put all that at risk by putting this reckless bill forward.”

Military weapons are fully automatic. Those require a dealer’s license or a Class III transfer. Furthermore, if ready access to firearms is so dangerous, why is the murder rate in DC so many times what it is here in Oregon – where individuals can actually own Class III weapons if they can afford the multi-thousand dollar price tag?

I’m once again amazed at the lies and distortions opponents of the Second Amendment seem to get away with. DC’s gun ban caused the murder rate in the District to SKYROCKET, yet these demagogues continue to act as though it turned trench warfare into nirvana – and the masses eat it up. Maybe DC isn’t ready for a House seat. . .

Until next time!!!

Is Ammo the Next Target?

Even ignoring attempts to require serializing of ammunition and purchase limits, the materials ammunition is fabricated from itself may be the next target for those seeking to limit the Second Amendment. In this fight, though, they’ll have powerful allies from the various environmental causes because the target in this case is literally a “soft target” – the lead most bullets are made from. CNN recently published an article with as clear slant as I’ve ever seen as a part of their “Planet in Peril” series.

The article is highly focused on so-called “green” bullets – those made entirely of copper. Unfortunately copper bullets aren’t available in all calibers, are far more expensive than conventional bullets, and copper supplies are far less plentiful than lead. The article cites a couple of studies detailing the presence or absence of lead in meat taken by hunters, but they seem to be “reporting the controversy” more than anything else as the only comprehensive study was inconclusive.

I have nothing against the so-called “green” bullets. Pure copper could offer many advantages as a bullet material, but I really don’t believe that there is any cause for additional regulation. Far too often environmental regulations are made by non-technical individuals responding to buzzwords and fear. Others play on that fear to gain allies for a far more nefarious purpose – a back door attack against our Second Amendment Rights.

I think we’re only starting to see the beginning of this particular debate. The keys to defending our ammunition supplies from those who seek to eliminate them under the guise of “public safety” is to ensure proper studies are done. Best data should ultimately win, but if the only data available is tainted by political slant, we’re in trouble!

Until next time!!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Good News and Bad News on Maxwell Case

Well, there’s good news and bad news on the Jeffrey Maxwell case. The bad news is that WOU has refused to reinstate Maxwell, and is apparently trying to play artful dodger in order to prevent their illegal policies from coming under legal scrutiny. The good news is that yet another group has stepped up and filed a lawsuit on Maxwell’s behalf.

The Albany Democrat-Herald is reporting that WOU has declined to reinstate Maxwell who has been suspended until at least June 12, 2009. Now Maxwell is being told that he wasn’t kicked out of school because of the concealed handgun, but rather for the knife and rifle. This “fact” was completely unclear at Maxwell’s original sentencing and this revisionist history seems to be designed to keep WOU’s unconstitutional policy and violations of Oregon law out of the court case. If the concealed weapon policy can’t be scrutinized in the court, then the court can’t rule against it, and WOU would potentially get to keep its illegal policy intact – a win for those with no respect for our Civil Rights. Hopefully the courts will see through this sham as the rifle should also be covered under his concealed permit. WOU eliminated the psychological evaluation portion of his “punishment”, but Maxwell is still required to write a paper for reinstatement, even though he broke no laws.

Fortunately Maxwell has gained another ally in his quest for justice on this issue. The Oregon War Veterans Association will be filing another lawsuit against Western Oregon University in light of this fiasco. Their comments were prefaced with this observation:

“In addition to his unlawful discipline, WOU humiliated the 30 year old, veteran Marine by mandating that he receive psychiatric evaluation and write a ten page paper on civil obedience before his readmission into the university.”

I can’t argue with that – they also appealed to Oregon Attorney General John Kroger to review the case:

“Attorney General John Kroger, a marine veteran, raised his right hand and swore to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America. His sworn pledge does not include protections for the administrative rules of Western Oregon University. OWVA thinks it would be wise for the Attorney General to intervene in this complex situation and advise Western Oregon University to correct its wrongdoing and apologize to Maxwell.”

The goal of the OWVA case is simple:

“OWVA firmly expects Western Oregon University to reverse its decision to suspend Maxwell, restore his lost academic credits, present an apology to the Marine for the humiliation this ordeal caused, and develop a sound policy that protects his right to carry a concealed handgun, in accordance with the law.”

I’m glad to see that both firearms and veterans’ groups are coming to Maxwell’s aid on this one. Again, this case could be pivotal for our concealed carry rights in Oregon. Please continue to support Maxwell and your own Civil Rights by contacting your representatives and other elected officials and donating to the organizations defending Maxwell where you are able!

Until next time!!!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Irrational Hatred of Guns Knows No Bounds

Or maybe in this case it is irrational and misplaced hatred of the NRA. Nicola Howe, a Garland Texas woman, is outraged because her daughter brought a coloring book home from school as a part of a firearm safety class. The class in question was the NRA Eddie Eagle class designed to keep children safe from firearms. The cornerstone of the Eddie Eagle program is that children are taught to stop, not touch the weapon, then run away and tell an adult.

However it appears that this mother’s problem runs deeper.

"Not only do I think it's inappropriate to provide this information to my 5-year-old, but this is a program published by the NRA."

So it’s not important that the program tries to keep children safe, the problem is that it was published by the evil NRA. Clearly partisan rhetoric and thought control is more important than her daughter's safety. I’m sorry, this is the most ludicrous travesty I’ve heard of in a long time. The mother goes on:

"Gun ownership, control and safety are hot topics as well. It just simply has no place in our school systems."

Ahhhh! I get it now! According to this mother we shouldn’t teach children about weapons, we should instead teach them to fear weapons, that weapons are evil, that weapons are bad, that weapons should be banned, and we absolutely shouldn’t teach them that they have Second Amendment rights and responsibilities when they're adults! Apparently Nicola Howe is a card carrying member of the "repeal the Second Amendment" crowd and she realizes that education makes her dream of a weapon free totalitarian police state with "safe" and controlled sheep as citizens harder.

Fortunately the citizens in the area don’t seem to generally agree with Howe’s extremist views. An unscientific poll on the site asks:

"Do you think gun safety programs sponsored by the NRA should be taught in elementary schools?"

Yes – It helps keep kids safe. 87%

No – Schools shouldn’t give gun information. 7%

It depends on the age. 6%

I’m not sure. 1%

It’s a sad day when there are so many that still campaign actively against our inalienable rights. I guess there have to be a few bad apples in every crowd, but are they really newsworthy? I think it is high time for the media to stop tilting at windmills, lose the anti-Second Amendment bias, and let these crackpots languish in anonymity, or if they must cover them, show them for the out of touch anti-Civil rights individuals they are.

Until next time!!!

Senate Votes to Repeal Unconstitutional DC Gun Laws

After the Heller ruling, while officially the DC gun ban was gone, the District Council simply created a moving target by passing equally draconian measures to effectively continue the ban. In short, their goal was to do an end run around the Supreme Court because the DC Council, in its arrogance, believed it had the power to legislate away the rights of law-abiding Americans in the city. Some examples of the ridiculous requirements were cited in a recent NRA-ILA article:

“After the Heller ruling, the D.C. city council passed a law requiring would-be gun owners to pay a registration fee, pass a 20-question multiple choice test, take a five-hour training course, undergo an invasive background check every six years, re-register any firearm every three years, and finally, submit all handguns for ballistics testing. Current D.C. law also bans an overwhelming majority of firearms commonly used for self-defense.”

Momentum has been gathering to give DC’s representative in the House of Representatives voting rights. A bill passed the House, and recently came up for a vote in the Senate (S. 160). I honestly think that this is a great idea as every American deserves a say in the Federal Process, otherwise the Republic fails. However, an amendment was proposed with bipartisan support that would effectively repeal the unconstitutional restrictions imposed by the DC Council in defiance of the Supreme Court decision.

The amendment, proposed by Senator John Ensign (R-NV) was passed by a large margin 62-36, which is already causing political difficulties for the DC council. The House version of the bill was passed with no such amendment. The Washington Post article cited above has one of the ubiquitous “unscientific polls” attached to it asking, “the tradeoff: If most of the District's gun laws get repealed in the course of gaining a vote in the U.S. House, is it worth it?” The choices and responses are interesting so far since The Washington Post covers DC, Northern Virginia, and Southern Maryland:

Yes, democratic representation is critical: 24%

No -- what good is a vote if we're not safe? 19%

Yes, both measures reinforce my Constitutional rights. 19%

No -- the District doesn't merit a House vote at all. 31%

Other (explain in comments). 4%

Talking about a biased push poll! First, representation in the House is not “democratic” Representation (even though the representative will most likely always be a Democrat) because the United States is not a “democracy”. The United States is a Constitutional Republic – a “democracy” is mob rule with no protection for the minority. Second, DC’s gun laws don’t make people “safe.” The murder rate skyrocketed after the gun ban and is still well above pre-ban levels. The notion that strict gun control equals safety is one of the biggest lies perpetrated on the American public today. However, it is interesting that less than 20% think the gun laws are the most important facet and that 31% of the individuals responding think DC doesn’t even deserve a seat.

NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox had these comments:

“Today’s vote brings us one step closer to restoring the Second Amendment freedom of law-abiding D.C. residents. It’s ludicrous that good people in our nation’s capital continue to be harassed as they try to defend themselves and their loved ones in their own homes. This vote reinforces the historic Heller ruling. NRA would like to thank the lead sponsor, Sen. John Ensign for his efforts to reform D.C.’s gun laws and enable folks to protect their property and their loved ones. It’s time for leaders in Washington to wake up to the fact that the Supreme Court decision is now the law of the land.”

Hopefully the pro-Second Amendment provisions will survive negotiation with the House. Given that the House has a strong pro-gun majority, I’m hopeful that the final bill will include these provisions. Unfortunately the cynic in me fully expects that the DC council will try to find ways around these restrictions as well to carry on their perverted agenda of disarming the public and making the city safe for gangs and predators, but if they do, we will be here to challenge them yet again.

Until next time!!!