Tuesday, November 17, 2009

NRA Files Brief on McDonald v. Chicago

The NRA has recently filed a brief in the case of McDonald v. Chicago. This particular brief should be required reading for any individual who values and cherishes their right to self-defense and the right to keep and bear arms. Reading through the variety of case law cited in this brief makes me shake my head in disbelief as to how we as a nation could have strayed so far from original intent regarding the Second Amendment. I would find it hard to believe that such a case needs be brought at all if I didn’t know the mental gymnastics many in this nation go to in order to deprive Americans of their inalienable rights.

Of the numerous precedents cited, perhaps the most powerful stem from post Civil War cases and legislation where freedmen in the South were being denied the right to keep and bear arms based purely on race. It was widely understood then that the Second Amendment affirmed a universal right; a right which was being denied to African Americans by racist state governments. Somehow between then and now individuals concerned about Civil Rights seem to have forgotten the Second Amendment.

I have high hopes for the upcoming case, but still believe at least four of the justices on the Supreme Court will vote against your individual rights just as they did on Heller. We have to remain vigilant and ensure that the judiciary continues to respect the rights of the individual Americans. Demand that your Senators continue to examine any future judicial nominees at all levels with that goal in mind.

Until next time!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Suomi KP/-31

The story of Finland in World War II is an amazing tale of survival against seemingly insurmountable odds. Initially decreed to be within the Soviet sphere of influence in the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Finland survived a Soviet invasion during the Winter War, though lost territory. Other nations like Poland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania were simply gobbled up wholesale by the Soviet Union. When Germany invaded the USSR, Finland joined them attempting to regain territory lost during the Winter War kicking off the Continuation War. With these war aims achieved, the Finnish front was largely static until 1944, when the Soviets attempted to bring Finland back to heel. Finland survived the massive Soviet attack and was able to negotiate a peace with the Soviet Union. One of the conditions of that peace was Finland was required to expel Germany from Finnish territory. This ultimatum resulted in the Lapland War in which Germany used a scorched earth policy during their retreat from Finland.

Part of the reason Finland was able to remain independent during this time was the fact they had a strong indigenous armaments industry. Finnish Mosin Nagant rifles are generally far superior to their Russian counterparts. Finland was also able to repair, recondition, and remanufacture Soviet tanks captured in action and these were in turn used against their former owners. One of the more interesting firearms used by Finland during World War II was their indigenous sub-machinegun, the KP/-31. First fielded in 1931, the weapon was designed by Aimo Lahti and chambered for the 9mm cartridge. The KP/-31 was in many ways similar to the various early sub-machine guns of the era like the PPSh, Lanchester, and Beretta. Several modifications were made to the firearm during its service life including the addition of a muzzle brake. I'm certain this sort of weapon also scares the heck out of Carolyn McCarthy as it has a shoulder thing that goes up, errr, a barrel shroud.

Kits for the KP/-31 have been available for some time, but there have been no BATFE approved semi-automatics on the market until this year. I recently picked up a semi-auto KP/-31 from Ryan Judy Sporting Goods (pictured above). Astute observers will notice that the barrel is slightly lengthened through the permanent attachment of the muzzle brake. Esthetically I think they’ve done as good a job as possible capturing the original as the additional length isn’t as obtrusive as NFA compliant PPSh semi-autos. I have a couple of the 36-round magazines and two of the 71-round drums for it. All of these are marked with the appropriate Finnish “SA” markings. I haven’t gotten to test fire the weapon yet, but the fit and finish are pretty good. One thing I can say about the weapon – it’s HEAVY! There is also no provision for a forward grip, so you’ll need to have one hand on the magazine / drum or use the sling to steady the weapon. I’m looking forward to getting this little beauty out – it should be a fun plinker, and as it runs on 9mm ammunition, it shouldn’t be too expensive to feed either.

Until next time!!!

This is Where Bloomberg, Pelosi, Boxer Want Us to Go

At one point in time, these United States were a part of the British Empire. A series of civil rights abuses led to the American Revolution, which led to the founding of the most successful modern Republic. Over time, Britain and Europe seemed to get the idea that monarchies had several inherent flaws and that people actually did have inalienable rights. However, the rise of Socialism where the state becomes a substitute for employer and parent all in one led to “redefinition” of those rights. Government became a “service industry” and as a service industry seeks to minimize outlay by exercising a level of control over the lives of its subjects, errr, customers. One of the first things to go is firearm rights. As the framers of our Constitution astutely noted, the ultimate check and balance to government run amok is an armed populace. Disarm the populace, and they are effectively cowed. This is the modern reality in Britain.

A recent story out of the UK should serve as a wake-up call for all Americans, as anti-Second Amendment politicians like Bloomberg, Pelosi, Boxer, Feinstein, Obama, and others use the UK as a model for where they want to take the United States. Paul Clarke, a 27 year-old ex-soldier, faces a MINIMUM of 5 years in jail for handing in a sawed-off shotgun he found in a trash bag to police. The charge? He was, when he turned in the weapon, “in possession” of the firearm. In the UK there is a “zero tolerance” policy for individuals being in possession of firearms. There is no legal defense against the charge. In short, the UK has moved to summary justice and sham trials in their firearm laws. The Judge in the case, Christopher Critchlow stated:

"This is an unusual case, but in law there is no dispute that Mr Clarke has no defence to this charge. The intention of anybody possessing a firearm is irrelevant."

Firearm rights in the UK have degenerated to the point where a even an individual turning in a stray firearm to police results in at least 5 years of jail time. If you touch a gun you are guilty – period – you have no defense, no due process, no rights, and no recourse. THIS is the “dream” groups like the Brady Campaign have for America. Bottom line is we simply can’t let it happen here.

Until next time!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Anti-Gunners Let No Crisis Go to Waste

Chicago Mayor Daley has come to a very interesting conclusion, that the recent incident at Ft. Hood in which Major Nidal Malik Hasan opened fire killing and wounding scores of Americans is a result of America’s “love” of guns. That’s right, the massacre of several military and civilian individuals at Ft. Hood had nothing to do with the fact that a religious zealot went on a binge, but rather America’s “gun culture.” The Brady Campaign followed suit indicating “legislative measures to increase the availability of guns should be rejected in light of the attack.”

Ignore for a moment that the individual in question is a naturalized citizen and didn’t grow up in America’s culture – gun or otherwise. Ignore for a moment that he was a follower of radical Islamic clerics. Ignore for a moment the fact that he had spoken out frequently against the U.S. taking military action in Islamic countries. Ignore for a moment that, ironically, military bases are “gun free zones” and that “gun free zones” and areas with strict gun bans have the worst incidences of violence committed with firearms. On the other hand, that’s exactly what Daley and his ilk are doing. Don’t ignore all of the facts above. Realize that this was the act of a misguided individual who’s twisted religious zeal permitted him to take up arms against his country and countrymen. According to the Constitution, that’s TREASON, and it should be treated as such.

Until next time!!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Mail Tribune Prints AK Rebuttals

In a recent letters to the editor feature Medford’s Mail Tribune has published a rebuttal of an earlier editorial which proclaimed that variants of the AK-47 should be illegal. The author makes a solid point – that people, not machines, are responsible when an individual is killed. The letter, by D. Casey of Medford states:

“The AK-47 is no more a killing machine than an automobile. . . The real and factual killing machines are the people using or operating them for illegal and nefarious purposes.

“Some people seemingly insist on using anything in a harmful manner if it meets their own ends. Until the mindset of certain individuals and groups of people determine that it is not in their best interest to use any device to harm or kill another person or animal, I feel that I am entitled, privileged and possess the right to own and use whatever "machine" or implement at my command to defend my family and myself from those types of people. Therefore, it is my choice to own and use an AK-47 without condemnation from any individual or group.”

I honestly can’t argue with anything that the author says in the piece. As a nation we have gotten away from the notion that with rights come responsibility. The current “nanny state” mentality pervading the industrialized world seems to be undercutting that foundation. In a free society, people must take responsibility for their own actions – both good and bad.

Unfortunately either through omission or through editing, the letter does little to address many of the blatantly wrong points made by the author of the original piece. However, my hat is off to D. Casey of Medford for putting the focus back on the fundamental issue – that we as Americans have a right and a duty to defend ourselves and our liberties. At the end of the day, that is truly what the right to keep and bear arms is all about, and why it is and must always be considered an inalienable human right.

In the same feature a second letter appeared making a similar point. This piece, by Bob McKean makes a few more pointed statements which really drive the issue home:

“Our Founding Fathers and the framers of the Constitution wanted citizens to keep and bear arms. It has nothing to do with target shooting, hunting or self-defense. It has everything to do with making sure free citizens have the means to overturn a tyrannical government if necessary.”

This point is one that is so often missed in the debate on firearms, though less so in recent years than in the past. For decades the “hunting” and “sporting” interpretations of the Second Amendment were as common as lobbyists in Washington. The past 20 years have almost seen a Renaissance in study on the original intent of the Second Amendment. Mr. McKean continues:

“As a retired 30-year police veteran I can say our law enforcement officers are very well-armed and trained and are not outgunned by the criminals. The only incidents that come to mind when the police were outgunned was during the SLA shootout in the early 1970s and the North Hollywood shootout in the mid-1990s.”

This point is an incredibly important point to make, and I’m heartened to see it coming from a police veteran, but he saves perhaps his best point for last:

“Firearms cause crime like pencils cause misspelled words. It all has to do with the behavior of the person and not the product they use. You have the right not to own an AK-47 rifle but, please, do not infringe upon my right to own a firearm of my choice. This is still a free country. Let's keep it that way.”

Again, it is very heartening to see a police officer who is a strong proponent of the individual right to keep and bear arms. Far too often all police are perceived as being cast from the same mold as many big-city police departments – who have never seen a gun ban they don’t like. Mr. McKean is a credit to law enforcement and sets a great example to follow.

Personally I’d like to know how many letters the Mail Tribune received on this particular issue. Something tells me – a LOT! We have to continue to win hearts and minds in the battle to preserve our Second Amendment rights – and literally every letter helps!

Until next time!!!

End of the Road for the AK-47?

The English version of Pravda is reporting that Izhmash will be unveiling a new weapon next year designed to replace the venerable (and ubiquitous) AK-47. Citing the need for a more efficient weapon platform, and the fact that the AK was “is a weapon of the wars of the past, a weapon for large and poorly trained armies.”

It will be interesting to see what Izhmash has come up with next year, but whatever they’ve developed, it has huge shoes to fill. Call me skeptical, but the Russians have attempted to replace the AK-47 before, and yet it still remains the basic platform for an exceptionally large class of weapons used the world over.

Until next time!!!