Gun owners across the nation breathed a sigh of relief as Donald J. Trump was sworn in Friday morning as the 45th president of the United States.
Trump’s election was the result of a sweeping grassroots movement to upend the Washington status quo and restore the concept of popular sovereignty in America. As Trump said in his speech:
Today’s ceremony … has very special meaning. Because today we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another – but we are transferring power from Washington DC and giving it back to you, the people.
* * *
The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country.
And that, after all, is the essence of the Second Amendment, the principle that in a government of laws, and not of men, ultimate power and authority reside with the people. And that includes the power of self-defense, so that no person is left to depend solely on the state’s good graces for his or her very life.
Your NRA was among Trump’s earliest and most faithful backers during a campaign in which conventional wisdom gave him no chance of winning. As a concealed carry permit holder, Second Amendment advocate, and father to two enthusiastic hunters and shooters, Trump may well be the most pro-gun president to date.
Trump’s swearing in also ends the imperious reign of Barack Obama, who has repeatedly said on the record that failure to see federal gun control legislation enacted was the biggest frustration of a tenure also marked by slow economic growth, terrorism, and unrest and division in the homeland.
The NRA, its members, and the pro-gun Congress you elected, thwarted Obama’s designs for new federal gun laws, but Obama aggressively used executive authority to curb Second Amendment rights wherever possible. As we note elsewhere in this Alert, Obama continued these tactics through his last hours in office, as the Fish and Wildlife Service late on Thursday announced plans to seek a ban on lead ammunition and fishing tackle in areas under its control.
Yet as President Trump said while addressing the nation and the world, “[T]hat is the past. And now we are looking to the future.” Read the rest of this entry »
More emails from Hillary Clinton campaign staffers were made public by WikiLeaks this week, granting insight into the campaign’s deceptive attacks on your rights and the extent to which Clinton is in league with the country’s most powerful anti-gun forces. Further, the emails provide more information about Clinton’s insistence on pursuing gun control by executive order.
Medium.com purports to be “a community of readers and writers offering unique perspectives on ideas large and small.” However, there’s nothing unique about the perspective of a January 12 item purportedly authored by a gun control advocate who was the victim of domestic violence. In fact, according to leaked emails, the piece was authored by Clinton campaign consultants and planted on Medium.com by campaign staff.
On January 8, Clinton campaign chair John Podesta forwarded an email titled, “Draft medium post on guns.” The author of the original email is not clear from the WikiLeaks archive. The email states, in part:
Hey everyone –
Ron Klain wrote a riff for HRC and sent it to Teddy on guns. We thought it could make a strong Medium post from someone who could really speak to this issue (not HRC and not someone on our campaign).
Here’s the draft, which I edited and can personalize depending on who we want to use as an author. A survivor of gun violence? An advocate or family member?
If we can find someone, and if folks want, we could get this posted today to Medium in someone’s name (not us). Here it is, let me know your thoughts!
The email goes on to provide a draft of the commentary.
Ronald Klain is a prominent Democratic operative who served as the chief of staff to both Vice President Al Gore and Vice President Joe Biden. Most recently, Klain has consulted on the Clinton campaign.
From the email, it appears Klain developed an anti-gun commentary intended to be used by Clinton herself. However, the campaign seemed to have thought the item would carry more weight if it appeared under the name of someone outside the campaign who had a history with the issue.
The plan outlined in this email was carried out, as on January 12 a piece titled “I’m With Hillary” was posted to Medium.com with Clai Lasher listed as its author. Lasher was shot by her stepfather in 1970 and is a survivor engagement lead at Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety. Just as the email suggested, portions of the piece were personalized for Lasher. The majority of Klain’s commentary was not altered.
This incident should prompt the public to question just how much of the pro-Clinton content appearing in the media has been directly orchestrated by the Clinton campaign itself.
Recently released emails also give more insight into the unsavory nature of the Clinton campaign’s attacks on Democratic rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). The emails show that Clinton’s anti-Sanders messaging was tailored to the racial background of the target audience. In a February 7 email exchange between Democratic consultant Mandy Grunwald and Clinton campaign staff, potential attacks on Sanders were discussed. Specifically, the emails contemplated using the gun issue to attack Sanders’ support among African Americans. In one email, Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook wrote, “We may need to use guns tactically in the AA community–just like we’ll have tactical skirmishes on crime bill, etc.”
During the Democratic primaries, Sanders called on Clinton to produce the transcripts of her paid speeches to Goldman Sachs. Clinton refused, but WikiLeaks obtained the transcripts and has made them available to the public. While much of the speeches address financial and foreign policy, during a June 4, 2013 question and answer session with Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, Clinton used the forum to take a swipe at NRA.
Despite NRA being a nonpartisan organization that routinely supports candidates across the political spectrum, Clinton blamed NRA, in part, for what she perceived is an increase in partisanship that stymied her preferred agenda. In doing so, Clinton gave a ham-handed retelling of an instance where NRA pursued the best interests of our members by supporting the opponent of a Tennessee lawmaker that had obstructed the passage of important Right-to-Carry legislation. Clinton characterized NRA’s vigorous defense of the rights of the state’s gun owners as unreasonable. Read the rest of this entry »
Charge: sequence in film was ‘work of fiction’ that damaged reputation of commentators.
Gun rights advocates don’t enjoy being falsely depicted as dimwits who can’t answer the most basic of questions about their No. 1 public policy issue.
Erik Wemple reports: That’s the takeaway from a defamation lawsuit filed today against Katie Couric and the producers of “Under the Gun,” a documentary about gun violence in the United States. Having debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in January, the documentary itself came under the gun in May, when members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) claimed that it slighted them by mal-editing an interview in which they’d participated. In response to a question from Couric, the film’s narrator, the gun rights advocates were depicted as sitting in baffled silence for nearly 10 seconds.
In fact, they had supplied an extensive response to Couric’s question.
Many onlookers, including the Erik Wemple Blog, blasted the film for this portrayal. Couric, the global anchor of Yahoo News, initially stood by the product but ultimately apologized for the “misleading” edit. The film’s director, Stephanie Soechtig, wasn’t so contrite. “I think it’s sad to say that these eight seconds didn’t give the VCDL a platform to speak. Their views are expressed repeatedly throughout the film; we know how they feel about background checks. They said it earlier in the film,” said Soechtig in an interview after the furor.
Intransigence of that sort may bedevil Soechtig in a legal action filed by the VCDL and two gun rights defenders in the film — Daniel Hawes and Patricia Webb — against Couric, Soechtig, Atlas Films and Epix, the documentary’s distributor. Filed in a Virginia federal court by Elizabeth Locke of Clare Locke LLP, the complaint states, “The Defendants manipulated the footage in service of an agenda: they wanted to establish that there is no basis for opposing background checks, by fooling viewers into believing that even a panel of pro-Second Amendment advocates could not provide one.” It seeks compensatory damages of $12 million, and punitive damages of $350,000 per plaintiff.
The filmmakers gave this particular lawsuit a galloping start, with a dreadful sequence that comes less than a half-hour into the one-hour-and-45-minute documentary. Seated in a circle are members of the VCDL against a dark backdrop. Couric asks this question: “If there are no background checks for gun purchasers, how do you prevent felons or terrorists from purchasing a gun?” In response, the VCDL members say precisely nothing. They stare into space, or at the floor. Brain-freeze appears to have enveloped them.
As the suit notes, this depiction is a “work of fiction.” The VCDL members actually filled Couric’s ear; Hawes, for example, said this:
The fact is we do have statutes, both at the federal and state level that prohibit classes of people from being in possession of firearms. If you’re under 18, in Virginia, you can’t walk around with a gun. If you’re an illegal immigrant, if you’re a convicted felon, if you’ve been adjudicated insane, these things are already illegal. So, what we’re really asking about is a question of prior restraint. How can we prevent future crime by identifying bad guys before they do anything bad? And, the simple answer is you can’t. And, particularly, under the legal system we have in the United States, there are a lot of Supreme Court opinions that say, “No, prior restraint is something that the government does not have the authority to do.” Until there is an overt act that allows us to say, “That’s a bad guy,” then you can’t punish him.
That argument, notes the complaint, is part of the six minutes that the gun rights advocates spent answering Couric’s question. Showing the VCDL as dumbfounded required some work on the part of the filmmakers. In coordinating the interview with the VCDL advocates, Couric and a cameraman from Atlas Films told them that they needed to sit in silence for 10 seconds so that the crew could calibrate the “recording equipment.” It was this passage that “Under the Gun” placed in the film instead of the actual answers supplied to the question about background checks. The suit alleges that this moment carried particular implications for each of the named plaintiffs in the case. Webb is a licensed firearms dealer (Gadsden Guns Inc.), and the edits indicate that “she lacks knowledge regarding background checks — a requirement for every gun sale she does,” argues the complaint. Hawes is an attorney who handles cases involving firearms, and the film suggests that “he lacks the legal expertise and oral advocacy skills required to perform his duties.” Read the rest of this entry »
Political commentator and actor Steven Crowder decided to set up an experiment to see just how well people that want “common sense” gun control knew about firearms.
He set up a tent for “Citizens Coalition for Common Sense Gun Reform” to ask people that do not own or are interested in guns to see how much they knew about firearms and which ones should be banned based on “common sense.”
Crowder quickly finds out that the people who are in favor or “common sense” gun control know very little about guns in the first place and what they are capable of. The people justdecided which guns should be banned based on how it makes them feel.
For example, many people wanted more “tactical looking” firearms banned, but yet other kinds of rifles displayed on the table were fine, such as hunting rifles. Crowder does point out on the side that the AR-15 is actually a popular small game hunting rifle but because it looks tactical, it should be banned.
People were also not well informed on what types of guns were used in crimes and thought that the AR-15 is used in many cases, but as Crowder points out, from 2007 to 2015, 70% of shooting murders are from handguns.
Source: American Military News
“For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong”.
— H. L. Mencken
Democracy? In Moderation, Please.
Buried somewhere in the above Daily Beast article is probably a perfectly decent, arguable case for a certain kind of small-ball, incremental legislation. Unfortunately, but predictably, its case is comically undermined by hateful, shallow, silly, dishonest writing.
Ohh! Those evil Republicans! They should be taken out and horsewhipped! Here, hold my drink. I’ll do it. Get outta my way. I’ve got some GOP ass to beat. Oh, never mind.
Never mind that this advocacy item masquerading as journalism doesn’t even attempt to demonstrate how the measures will have any impact whatsoever, to “avert mass shootings”. Which is understandable. One; averting mass shootings is not, and never was, the goal of activist gun-control legislation. And two; There’s no evidence that “averting mass shootings” can be accomplished by legislation in the first place.
Think the gun debate isn’t polluted with toxic stupidity from the Left? Read on:
“…But with the substantial distortion of our democracy around guns, they are the issue with which this particular method most adheres to the original intentions of the progressives who created it a century ago, at a time when large interests such as timber and railroads blocked popular reforms in legislative bodies around the country.”
The progressives who created it a century ago. Right. Wait, you mean the puritan, racist, anti-constitutional Wilsonian reformers of that era, the progressive activists who gave us segregation, prohibition, and Jim Crow laws, those guys?
The early 20th-century progressives’ “original intentions” are in stark contrast to the intentions of our founders. Cautious, deliberative men, keenly aware of the historically destructive effects of “direct democracy“.
Ever notice how our most sacred and treasured rights are intentionally safeguarded, hardwired in the Bill of Rights? Completely out of reach of voters?
The founders were no fans of democracy.
“When two wolves and a sheep decide what to have for dinner.”
Benjamin Franklin definition of democracy is as clear now as it was over two centuries ago. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s the Government’s Responsibility to Provide Gun Permits
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — In a typical month, 2,000 people register for guns in Oregon. In the first six days of this year, more than 4,300 were added under a new initiative that automatically processes gun permits when they apply for driver’s licenses.
Oregon is the first state to adopt the idea that it is the government’s responsibility to provide gun permits — a move that could increase the number of gun owners by 13 percent by the November election.
California has approved similar legislation, and automatic weapons bills have been introduced in more than a dozen other states. But it remains to be seen whether the idea will take hold beyond two West Coast states dominated by Democrats or whether the newly registered will decide to participate.
— Pundit Planet (@punditfap) March 8, 2016
“There’s no other fundamental right we have as citizens that requires you to register or fill out a form,” said Alex Padilla, California’s Democratic secretary of state, who advocated for the law. “I don’t have to register somewhere to exercise my freedom of speech. I don’t have to fill out a form somewhere to exercise my right to not be discriminated against.”
Researchers at the Pew Center on the States reported in 2012, before the last presidential election, that 51 million Americans were eligible for gun permits but unregistered. Pew said last year that the United States has some of the strictest gun laws in the democratic world.
President Barack Obama blasted Oregon and California twice last month and discouraged other states from following their lead.
“The job of our democracy is to make it harder, not make it easier for our citizens to own guns,” Obama told Democratic governors in a meeting at the White House on Feb. 19.
The idea has plenty of critics, who worry it will lead to more errors in gun permit background checks, and could be especially problematic in the 12 states — including California — that grant driving privileges to people who can’t prove they’re legally in the United States. Officials in Oregon and California said driving records make clear who is a citizen.
“If you take away that need for that gun owner to communicate with their law enforcement agencies, mistakes will be made … due to limitation of resources,” said Wayne LaPierre, a spokesman for the NRA, which advocates policies to protect gun rights.
Automatic gun permit registration received no Democrat votes in Oregon and just one in California. Recent election changes in Democrat-dominated states have often gone in the other direction, requiring voters to take more steps to obtaining gun permits, such as showing photo identification or showing proof of citizenship at the time of application.
Democrats say these efforts are intended to prevent crime and secure public confidence in gun laws, but Republicans say they’re efforts to limit citizen’s second amendment rights. Sixteen states will have more restrictive gun laws in the 2016 election than they did four years ago, according to the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University.
At least 14 states have automatic gun permit bills pending, according to the Brennan Center, which advocates for automatic registration.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, vetoed an automatic gun permit bill approved last year by the Democratic-controlled Legislature, which is trying again this year.
Gun permit laws in the U.S. have only been around for about 150 years, said Paul Gronke, a political science professor at Reed College in Portland who specializes in voter behavior.
“Gun permits were put in place in the U.S. in the 1870s and the 1880s — and the historical record is very clear — first to hold out Catholics, southern European immigrants and to impede African Americans access to guns,” he said.
Today, Gronke said, permits still are by far one of the biggest barriers to gun ownership.
Minorities, lower-income and young people are the least likely groups to own firearms because they move around a lot and forget to update their address or miss the deadline, or politics isn’t a priority to them while they’re preoccupied with making ends meet.
Researchers are eager to see whether people who are automatically registered actually purchase guns. Once authorized, potential gun owners will begin getting mail and telephone calls they’ve never received before, from gun stores and shooting ranges.
“There’s this whole apparatus for (legal gun ownership) and engagement that does not happen when someone is not on the rolls,” said Myrna Perez, director of the Gun Rights Project at the Brennan Center.
Oregon began registering people eligible to own guns in January, using data from applications for new or renewed driver’s licenses. They’re mailed a letter offering 21 days to opt out or select a firearm. Read the rest of this entry »
Gun Sales Set Record for Sixth Month in a Row
Stephen Gutowski reports: The Federal Bureau of Investigation processed a record number of background checks in the month of October, indicating that gun sales were at an all time high for the sixth month in a row.
“Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton are the best gun salespeople on the planet. The more they scream for new gun control laws the more guns walk off the shelves at gun stores. To quote the lyrics of Peter, Paul and Mary, ‘When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn.’”
The FBI’s National Instant Background Check System processed 1,976,759 firearms related checks in October. That is a 373,290 increase in checks over last year and a new record for the month. It also makes October the sixth consecutive month to see a record number of checks….(read more)
Source: Washington Free Beacon
[VIDEO] Challenged By National Review Reporter, Mark Halperin Can’t Offer Single Policy Solution To Gun ViolencePosted: October 2, 2015
“Joe Biden doesn’t know how to fix this problem. I don’t know how to fix this problem. I think it’s fair to say you don’t know how to fix this problem. It’s a very complex question in a country with 300 to 350 million guns on the street.”
Daniel Bassali writes: National Review reporter Charles C. W. Cooke challenged Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin to offer his solutions to gun violence in America Friday morning on Morning Joe. After he insisted lawmakers must act to prevent further mass shooting in America, agreeing with President Obama, Halperin failed to deliver a single solution.
“Well, I think that the finding solutions are short-term in terms of legislation, state and federal,” Halperin said. “Then also, coming up with ideas.”
Halperin did not, however, ever manage to come up with an idea. The co-host of With All Due Respect’s idea was to have lawmakers come up with ideas of their own.
Cooke took issue with the president’s angry words at Washington’s refusal to pass gun control laws so soon after the mass shooting at Umpqua Comminuty College in Roseburg, Oregon. The reporter claimed liberals talk tough as if they have the solutions, but they do not offer specific ideas that could begin a dialogue. Halperin was his case in point.
“The way they talk is as if they have the answer and there are these recalcitrant forces in the country that say ‘no, no, no,’ even though deep down they know their legislation will work. That’s simply not the case. It’s far more complicated than that.”
“Joe Biden doesn’t know how to fix this problem. I don’t know how to fix this problem. I think it’s fair to say you don’t know how to fix this problem. It’s a very complex question in a country with 300 to 350 million guns on the street,” Cooke said….(read more)
Source: Washington Free Beacon
New record: the most checks ever performed in any August since the creation of the National Instant Background Check System.
Stephen Gutowski reports: Gun sales were at an all-time high in June, July, and August, according to one metric.
This August saw 1.7 million background checks performed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives on new gun sales, the most checks ever performed in any August since the creation of the National Instant Background Check System.
“Whenever there is a call for gun control, sales increase. Unfortunately, this is a pattern that repeats itself.”
The agency performed 1.6 million checks in July, the high for that month. They did a further 1.5 million in June, another all-time high. Read the rest of this entry »
The number of pistols made has nearly tripled during the Obama administration, which could reflect more people turning to firearms for personal protection.
Tim Devaney writes: Gun production has more than doubled over the course of the Obama administration, according to a new report from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
“The ATF report confirms what we already know, that Barack Obama deserves the ‘Gun Salesman of the Decade’ award. People have been rushing to buy firearms because they’re afraid that Obama will take away their Second Amendment rights.”
— Erich Pratt, spokesman for the Gun Owners of America
The manufacturing boom has come in the face of the president’s push to expand background checks and place new restrictions on guns in the wake of high-profile shootings like the recent mass-killing in Charleston, S.C., and the 2012 massacre at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school.
Pistols are the most popular type of gun, accounting for 4.4 million of the firearms made in 2013, according to the report. Meanwhile, gun manufacturers produced 3.9 million rifles and 1.2 million shotguns.
The numbers paint a picture of gun owners who are concerned about new restrictions on their Second Amendment rights, activists say.
“President Obama has been relentless in his attacks on the Second Amendment, and it’s not shocking people are frightened and want to protect themselves. He’ll stop at nothing to strip people of their constitutional rights to self-protection.”
— National Rifle Association spokeswoman Jennifer Baker
“The ATF report confirms what we already know, that Barack Obama deserves the ‘Gun Salesman of the Decade’ award,” said Erich Pratt, spokesman for the Gun Owners of America. “People have been rushing to buy firearms because they’re afraid that Obama will take away their Second Amendment rights.”
“President Obama has made it very clear he wants to strip away our gun rights, so people are going out and purchasing more firearms and ammunition.”
— Joe Neville, director of political affairs at the National Association for Gun Rights
The ATF’s annual firearms commerce report tracks the number of guns manufactured in the United State, which provides an indication of gun sales around the country.
“The gun lobby seizes on those fears and uses scare tactics and doomsday rhetoric in order to sell more guns.”
— Mark Prentice, spokesman for Americans for Responsible Solutions, the gun safety group run by former congresswoman Gabby Giffords
The number of guns manufactured increased by 18 percent during the George W. Bush administration, while the Clinton administration actually saw a 9 percent reduction. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Man Who Enjoys 24/7 Protection of People Walking Around with Guns: ‘You Can’t Have People Walking Around with Guns’Posted: June 14, 2015
BREAKING: Texas House gives final OK to open carry of handguns http://t.co/2uedQXCK31
— Houston Chronicle (@HoustonChron) April 20, 2015
AWR Hawkins. reports: While Oregon Democrats stood with Gabby Giffords and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence to push expanded background checks on April 1, Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer stood for the law-abiding citizens whom the checks will target by describing the gun control push as “borderline treasonous.”
Palmer also made clear that if the Democrats pass the measure there is zero chance of his office enforcing it.
Breitbart News previously reported that the push for expanded background checks in Oregon is being spearheaded by state (D-Eugene). His efforts are strongly supported by the Brady Campaign and Giffords.
Giffords, in particular, believes every potential gun purchaser should have to pass the same background check her attacker passed to acquire his firearm, which the same background check Jerad and Amanda Miller (Las Vegas), Aaron Ybarra (Seattle Pacific University), Elliot Rodger (Santa Barbara), Ivan Lopez (Fort Hood 2014), Darion Marcus Aguilar (Maryland mall), Karl Halverson Pierson (Arapahoe High School), James Holmes (Aurora theater), Nidal Hasan (Fort Hood 2009), and many, many others passed to get the guns they used in their crimes. Read the rest of this entry »
“It is a constitutional right, and we’re removing a barrier to that right”
Kansans aged 21 or older will be permitted to carry concealed guns starting July 1 when the law takes effect, even if they’re not trained or don’t have a permit, the Kansas City Star reports. That will make the state one of six to allow “constitutional carry.”
Anyone who would like to carry a concealed gun in any of the three dozen states that accept Kansas permits must go through training, a requirement that Brownback emphasized. But even with regard to Kansans, who won’t be required to go through training, he acknowledged that his youngest son had “got a lot out of” a hunter safety course recently and urged others “to take advantage of that.”
“We’re saying that if you want to do that in this state, then you don’t have to get the permission slip from the government,” Brownback said. “It is a constitutional right, and we’re removing a barrier to that right.” Read the rest of this entry »
Closing the Victim Loophole
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas Senate has given preliminary approval to allowing concealed handguns in college classrooms, a day after passing a measure allowing open carry of guns most everywhere else in America’s second most-populous state….(read more)
Rani Molla reports:
“Concealed carry—you don’t know who’s doing it and it doesn’t cause as much concern as open carry. One is a danger you know, and one is a danger you don’t know.”
— Laura Cutilletta, senior staff attorney at the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence
Gun-rights advocates see the practice as a way to normalize gun ownership and deter crime, while gun-control activists believe carrying guns in stores and restaurants is disruptive to the public and encourages violence.
Recently, Target, Starbucks and Chipotle have asked their patrons not to bring their guns. After petitions by gun-control groups such as Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Kroger said it would uphold local and state laws in the 34 states it operates.
Carrying a firearm in a concealed manner is legal in all states, but open carry has more restrictions, especially for handguns.
(Open Carry is way more normal than most people think: http://t.co/cFFC2p2ukK)
— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) January 29, 2015
Though federal law doesn’t restrict the open carrying of handguns in public, several states—including California, Florida, Illinois, New York, South Carolina and Texas—ban the practice, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Thirteen states require a special permit or license to open carry. Read the rest of this entry »
Bring It Back
LIFE Magazine, 1956
OLYMPIA — Rep. Matt Shea told gun rights activists today he believes the ballot measure on background checks is unconstitutional and can be ignored.
“An unconstitutional law is no law at all,” said Shea, R-Spokane Valley, who added he is supporting bills to repeal Initiative 594 and other gun control measures….(read more)
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — More than 200 gun-rights activists assembled on the steps of Washington’s Capitol in protest of the expansive background-check law state voters passed in November.
At Thursday morning’s rally, state legislators and other opponents of Initiative 594’s requirement of background checks on all gun sales and transfers voiced their belief the new law unfairly infringes on their Constitutional rights. Read the rest of this entry »
Kate Scanlon reports: More Americans support gun rights over gun control, according to a newly released survey by the Pew Research Center.
According to Pew, 52 percent of respondents answered that it is more important to “protect the right of Americans to own guns.” In contrast, 46 percent said that it is more important to “control gun ownership.”
In the wake of the Newtown tragedy, 51 percent of Americans supported stricter gun control laws, and 45 percent supported gun rights.
Now, 57 percent of Americans responded that gun ownership does more to “protect people from becoming victims of violent crime,” while 38 percent believe it does more to “put people’s safety at risk.”
Tired of listening to Progressives tell you that the Second Amendment only allows people in militias to keep and bear arms? Or that the Founders would have never intended the Second Amendment to apply to modern weapons? In his latest FIREWALL, Bill recounts a remarkable conversation about the precise wording of the Second Amendment, and sums up why the document says what it means and means what it says.
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) November 7, 2014
UPDATE: 27 OF 39 SHERIFFS NOW PUBLICLY OPPOSE I-594
Fairfax, Va. – A majority of Washington State’s 39 sheriffs have come out in opposition to anti-gun Washington State Ballot Initiative 594. The sheriffs oppose I-594 because it will not make anyone safer, will strain scarce law enforcement resources, will criminalize the lawful behavior of millions of law-abiding gun owners in Washington and will be unenforceable. Instead, I-594 would vastly expand the state’s handgun registry and force law-abiding gun owners to pay fees and get the government’s permission to sell or even loan a firearm to a friend or family member.
To date, 27 of the 39 sheriffs have publicly opposed I-594.
Here is what some Washington State Sheriffs who oppose I-594 have to say about this ill-conceived initiative:
- Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich, Spokane County: “I-594 is just another attempt to erode the Second Amendment.”
- Sheriff Alan Botzheim, Pend Orielle County: “[I-594] is focused on honest hardworking citizens and making them criminals when they are not criminals.”
- Sheriff Steve Mansfield, Lewis County: “I-594 does little to nothing in addressing the high profile shooting sprees and massacres that have pushed the gun control advocates’ agenda: registering, restricting and controlling the law abiding citizens’ constitutional right to keep and bear arms. The very fact that this legislation further expands the government’s massive database on law abiding citizens is even more disturbing. Government cannot address the serious mental health issues at the root of this violence through gun control. It won’t work.”
- Sheriff Scott Johnson, Pacific County: “While I am sure the initiative was well-intended, it would not solve the problems we in the law enforcement community face. “
- Sheriff Brian Burnett, Chelan County: “My biggest concern is that this initiative is a fast track in turning many law abiding citizens into potential criminals.”
- Sheriff Frank Rogers, Okanogan County: “I-594 will do nothing to stop the bad guys….it just puts more of a burden on the folks that follow the law.”
- Sheriff Ben Keller, Garfield County: “This initiative is a violation of the Second Amendment. I come from a gun owning family and it would be a crime every time someone wanted to use my trap gun at a trap shoot. Being in law enforcement for 24 years, this initiative is not going to keep guns off the street. What keeps guns off the street is keeping the felons that are using the guns illegally in jail.”
- Sheriff John Hunt, Adams County: “I believe that the current proposal would put an unnecessary strain on law enforcement agencies without any additional funding, and will not affect in any way the ability for criminals intent on getting a firearm to do so.”
- Sheriff Pete Warner, Ferry County: “I wholeheartedly oppose I-594. It’s just stupid. It penalizes the honest and law abiding citizens, and does nothing to keep the criminals from having firearms.”
- Sheriff Brett Myers, Whitman County: “I-594 is like requiring everyone to pay for a buffet dinner on the “honor system” while leaving the door open at the other end of the food line. In the end only the honest patrons will pay and those who don’t, still eat all they want.”
The New York Times, Charles C.W. Cooke, and Nicholas Johnson: The Black Tradition of Arms and Historical IlliteracyPosted: October 26, 2014
— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) October 27, 2014
Nicholas J. Johnson is Professor of Law, Fordham University School of Law is the author of Negroes and the Gun: The Black Tradition of Arms. He is the lead editor of Firearms Law and the Second Amendment: Cases and Materials (Aspen Press, 2012).
In a January 17 speech to students at Texas A&M University, Danny Glover, the actor from Lethal Weapon etc., attempted to disparage the constitutional right to arms with the critique that “The Second Amendment comes from the right to protect themselves from slave revolts, and from uprisings by Native Americans.”
This is abundantly wrong and I hope the students will not consider Mr. Glover a definitive source on the question. But I will give him credit for the try. He attempted to engage the issue by at least skimming one piece of the voluminous scholarship in this area.
His comment seems based on a cursory reading of a 1998 law review article by Professor Carl Bogus. First, it warms the academic’s heart that a Hollywood actor would sit down and read a law review article, although I acknowledge the possibility that someone just told him about it.
Either way, his education is incomplete (as is true for all of us). Mr. Glover’s mistake is to have taken one dubious thing and run with it. That is almost always a mistake and especially so in the gun debate. But Danny Glover’s mistake is also a teaching tool that illuminates the broader conversation. Read the rest of this entry »
Gun Range Poison Scare Story Conveniently Appears 2 Weeks Before Election Featuring Billionaire-Funded Gun Control Initiative I-594Posted: October 20, 2014
“Drafted under the guise of preventing crime and funded almost solely by elitist billionaires with a proud background of stifling the Second Amendment, I-594 is an 18-page document that does nothing but impose heavy legal burdens on law-abiding gun owners and serious penalties for violations. These anti-gun billionaires believe that they can buy your rights out from under you, and I-594 is their attempt at doing so. I-594 will do nothing to make the people of Washington any safer, but will instead create bureaucratic hurdles that could turn law-abiding gun owners into criminals simply for exercising their constitutional rights….” (read more)
THE WASHINGTON COUNCIL OF POLICE & SHERIFFS OPPOSES INITIATIVE 594
The Washington Council of Police & Sheriffs, the state’s oldest and largest law enforcement organization opposes Initiative 594. WACOPS represents more than 4500 active duty police and sheriffs deputies. Click here to read WACOPS position paper on Initiative 594 (read more)
The National Rifle Association (NRA) has released a one-minute digital video as part of it’s online campaign to defeat Washington State Ballot Initiative 594. The video, titled I-594 Will Not Make Washington Safer, features Seattle resident Anette Wachter, “The 30 Cal Gal” blogger and U.S. Long Range Rifle Team member.
In the video, Wachter explains, “I-594 wastes scarce law enforcement resources on something that will not make Washington safer. And it will turn many law-abiding citizens into criminals for simply exercising their constitutional rights.”
HOW MICHAEL BLOOMBERG IS TWISTING THE GUN CONTROL DEBATE IN THE EVERGREEN STATE WASHING-CON
BY DAVE KOPEL
One way scam artists make money is by peddling mislabeled goods. The label on the can says “Wild Alaskan Salmon,” but what’s really inside is codfish from a filthy breeding pen in China, plus some food coloring.
Selling mislabeled goods is illegal, but there’s nothing illegal about mislabeled laws. Michael Bloomberg knows that difference, and he is exploiting it.
[Also see I-594 UNENFORCEABLE by Scott Brennan]
Right now in the state of Washington, Bloomberg is pushing a November ballot measure that is promoted as being about background checks for private sales. But it is really a law to criminalize most gun owners, including those who never sell guns. If passed, the deceptive Bloomberg ban for Washington state is then going to become the national model, to gradually be imposed on gun owners nationwide.
Bloomberg plans to run a similar ballot measure in Oregon in 2015 and in a dozen or more states in 2016. One of them is Nevada, where the 2016 campaign is already in progress. Bloomberg’s Nevada operation calls itself “Nevadans for Background Checks” and is operated by Melissa Warren, the managing partner at the Faiss Foley Warren Public Relations & Government Affairs lobbying firm.
Bloomberg and his minions claim they are just promoting background checks on private sales. But as usual, they are lying.
One way to tell that Bloomberg is selling a mislabeled law is to read the actual proposal. In this case, it is 18 pages long. It would only take a couple of pages to require background checks on private sales of firearms, if that were all the law did.
Instead, the law is a comprehensive scheme to criminalize the normal use of firearms, thus turning most gun owners into criminals, from whom firearms can be confiscated. Read the rest of this entry »
Robert VerBruggen writes:
In a new Voxsplainer on gun violence, Dylan Matthews claims:
Protestations of gun rights supporters aside, public health researchers who study firearms generally agree that increased firearm ownership rates are associated with higher rates of homicide. … Developed countries with more guns generally have more homicide; states within the US with more guns have more homicide…
The two assertions at the end are not true, and the first sentence explains why: If you want to give a good account of a debate about gun statistics, you don’t treat the consensus of “public health researchers” as gospel. The field is notorious for its anti-gun bias, and there’s a whole literature of work outside of it.
It’s true (as Matthews notes) that there are some studies showing guns to be associated with increased homicide once other factors have been statistically “controlled” (a highly subjective process that can be manipulated, even subconsciously, to make the data say whatever the researcher wants them to say). But there is no simple relationship between gun ownership and homicide rates as such, either among developed countries or among states in the U.S. Read the rest of this entry »
Why is Obama bringing up Australian gun control laws?
For The Federalist, David Harsanyi writes: While answering a few questions on Tumblr this week, President Obama informed participants that “our levels of gun violence are off the charts.” He claimed that it was incomprehensible that congress hadn’t reacted to overwhelming public opinion and passed legislation to expand gun background checks, adding that nations like Australia had long ago enacted sensible gun control laws to stop mass shootings:
“Couple of decades ago, Australia had a mass shooting, similar to Columbine or Newtown. And Australia just said, well, that’s it, we’re not doing it, we’re not seeing that again, and basically imposed very severe, tough gun laws, and they haven’t had a mass shooting since.”
This isn’t the first time Obama has brought up Australian gun control laws. He did so after the Navy Yard DC shooting, as well. Actually, on the left, Australian laws are frequently cited as a way to limit shooting rampages — perhaps get rid of them altogether. A few years ago, Nicholas Kristof, after mischaracterizing the law, recommended that it should be the “road map” for United States policy.
What are they talking about here? Longer wait times? Banning “assault weapons”? Not really. In 1996, after a ghastly massacre at Port Arthur, the Australian government passed firearms regulations that banned ownership of almost all semiautomatic weapons, all self-loading rifles and shotguns, and instituted strict restrictions on all sale of ammunition for the weapons.
[Check out another David Harsanyi book “The People Have Spoken (and They Are Wrong): The Case Against Democracy”, also available at Amazon.com]
A person can own a gun if they can demonstrate to the state that he has a “genuine reason” for having one – and “self-defense” is not considered a legitimate basis for ownership. Australia proceeded to run a buyback program that lasted nearly a year, in which time the government ended up paying citizens for 640,000 prohibited firearms. It was, in other words, a massive confiscation of guns. Read the rest of this entry »
“There’s a reason I’m admitting to all of this. It’s a kind of public service.”
I received fair warning that this would happen. Even before we were married, my husband announced his general intention to own a gun. A year or so back he started researching the topic more earnestly, and then one afternoon there was a gun sitting on my kitchen table. It was unloaded, of course.
“The thing is, I don’t come from a gun-happy culture. Apart from my husband, I doubt any of my near relations have experience with firearms.”
We had extensive conversations about trigger locks and all the other safety measures. I know that the kids can’t get it, and are in fact far more likely to be injured by stairs or cleaning solutions or sporting equipment. Intuitively it still feels like a menace.
“Gun violence is not some mysterious malady that simply befalls us against our will, like a cancer or a natural disaster.”
The thing is, I don’t come from a gun-happy culture. Apart from my husband, I doubt any of my near relations have experience with firearms. Mind you, I was raised by conservatives, but Mormons trend towards a communitarian, good-government brand of conservatism. They’re rarely drawn to the more suspicious and individualistic culture of the N.R.A. If my parents had any gun-owning friends when I was growing up, I wasn’t aware.
Today, Governor Nathan Deal (R) signed into law House Bill 60 , the most comprehensive pro-gun legislation in state history. HB 60 passed in the Georgia Senate by a 37-18 vote on March 18 and in the state House of Representatives by a 112-58 vote on March 20. HB 60 will take effect on July 1, 2014.
HB 60 enacts the following pro-gun reforms for all law-abiding gun owners in Georgia:
- Removes fingerprinting for renewal of Weapons Carry Licenses (WCL).
- Prohibits the state from creating and maintaining a database of WCL holders.
- Creates an absolute defense for the legal use of deadly force in the face of a violent attack.
- Lowers the age to obtain a concealed WCL for self-defense from 21 to 18 for active duty military, with specific training.
- Allows for the use of firearm sound suppressors while hunting.
- Repeals the unnecessary and duplicative state-required license for a firearms dealer, instead requiring only a Federal Firearms License (FFL).
- Prohibits a ban on firearms in public housing, ensuring that the right to self-defense should not be infringed based on where one calls home.
- Codifies the ability to legally carry, with a WCL, in sterile/non-secure areas of airports.
“…I think that’s what should be the rule, that it should be legislatures rather than judges who draw the line on what is permissible.”
For National Review Online, Tim Cavanaugh writes: Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens supports gutting the Second Amendment in order to remove any limit on government infringements on the right of self-defense.
In his new book Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution, Stevens — who generally favored maximum government power during his 35-year tenure on the high court — proposes, among other things, changing the language of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution so that the amendment would read, “ . . . the right of the people to keep and bear arms [when serving in the militia] shall not be infringed.”
[Order Justice John Paul Stevens’s book Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution from Amazon]
Defending the right to sell and trade arms
David B. Kopel writes: The First Amendment protects both book buyers and booksellers. Does the Second Amendment protect only people who buy guns, or does it also protect people who sell guns? Though this question has divided the federal courts, the answer is quite clear: operating a business that provides Second Amendment services is protected by the Second Amendment. District of Columbia v. Heller1 teaches that regulation of how firearms are commercially sold enjoys a presumption of constitutionality, which does not extend to prohibitions of firearms sales.
[Related: Find John Lott’s essential book: More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws, Third Edition (Studies in Law and Economics) at Amazon]
In the lower federal courts, there is a developing split about whether firearms sellers have Second Amendment rights which the courts are bound to respect. Seventh Circuit courts view firearms sellers like booksellers — as holders of constitutional rights. While gun sellers are subject to much stricter regulation than are booksellers, they are both protected by the Bill of Rights. Conversely, in the courts of the Fourth Circuit, gun sellers have no Second Amendment rights.
Brown v. Board of Education was not exactly a popular decision among some state and local governments, and among some lower court judges. The same is true of Heller. One form of resistance to Heller has been to read the opinion in the narrowest possible way, excluding from Second Amendment protection many normal activities involving firearms. One such form of resistance is the claim that the Second Amendment does not apply to gun sales.
And Eric Holder is not exactly brilliant either.
Charles C. W. Cooke writes: Addressing the assembled congressmen in his inimitable style last Friday, Attorney General Holder told a House appropriations subcommittee that he wished to “explore” the opportunities that might arise were he to be given millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money and a copy of the movie Skyfall:
I think that one of the things that we learned when we were trying to get passed those common sense reforms last year, Vice President Biden and I had a meeting with a group of technology people and we talked about how guns can be made more safe.
By making them either through fingerprint identification, the gun talks to a bracelet or something that you might wear, how guns can be used only by the person who is lawfully in possession of the weapon.
It’s those kinds of things that I think we want to try to explore so that we can make sure that people have the ability to enjoy their Second Amendment rights, but at the same time decreasing the misuse of weapons that lead to the kinds of things that we see on a daily basis.
There is much that is remarkable about this rather ugly little disquisition, not least of which is Holder’s apparent inability to construct coherent, intelligible, and appropriate trains of thought. Eccentric syntax notwithstanding, the request is absolutely dripping with noblesse oblige, the clear implication being that the government remains prepared to indulge the exercise of basic liberties providing that it can find a way to ensure that the nation’s dilettantes don’t hurt themselves in the process. Read the rest of this entry »