Saturday, 20 September

03:03

Collectivist CT Gun Grabbers Endorse Malloy [Sipsey Street Irregulars]

Like this is a big surprise. Endorsing the power of the state to disarm and attack your fellow citizens.
“We stand for liberty and individual rights. They stand for taking our liberty one chunk at a time,” Wilson said. “These are the people the framers of the Constitution had in mind when they wrote the Constitution.”
No, these are the people the Founders had in mind when the Sons of Liberty went around tarring and feathering Tories.

Friday, 19 September

22:11

The stupid bastards really are puzzled. Well, all I can say, is God bless Larry Pratt and GOA. [Sipsey Street Irregulars]

But, but, if you wish it, it just has to happen, right? Whatever Happened to Gun Control?
It certainly didn’t look like things would turn out this way. In the days after the shootings, almost everyone involved in the gun debate anticipated big changes. The National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre may have blustered publicly against gun control, but as The New York Times later reported, the NRA’s top lobbyists were negotiating with the White House and Senate Democrats on background-check legislation under the assumption that it was inevitable. . . But persistent misinformation and agitation by far-right members of Congress and gun groups even more rigid than the NRA slowly doomed the effort. Republicans who said they’d support background-check legislation started to waver, often citing bogus fears of a national gun registry that the bill explicitly forbade. The NRA began feeling the heat from groups like Gun Owners of America, which urged a no-compromise approach, and its lobbyists dropped out of the negotiations. By the time the bill reached the Senate floor, everybody knew it wouldn’t pass. And with no bipartisan Senate bill on his desk, House Speaker John Boehner was free to never talk about reform again.

19:54

Kroger's stands up to Bloomberg's Moms Demand Action, Kroger's Michigan representatives say Bloomberg's group won't get them to change policy [John Lott's Website]

In Lansing, Michigan, Kroger's stood up to Bloomberg's Moms Demand Action and asked them to leave the store.  From the Lansing State Journal:
A group protesting Michigan's open-carry gun rules hope a Lansing Kroger store's grand re-opening today will spur a new policy barring guns in the Holmes Street store. 
Michigan Kroger representatives said that's not likely. The Cincinnati-based grocery chain is sticking by Michigan law, which doesn't prohibit openly carrying guns in public. Michigan gun owners have to have a concealed-pistol license, however, to carry guns concealed in public. 
Kroger's stance won't stop Moms Demand Action's ongoing protests at Kroger stores, however, said Linda Brundage, who heads the group's mid-Michigan chapter. Brundage led a group of about 12 women at this morning's protest. 
The group was initially asked to leave the parking lot . . ., but was then invited inside to speak with store management. 
"You don't need a gun to buy a box of cereal," Brundage said outside the store. "Kroger would not be breaking any laws by saying to their customers, 'Leave your guns locked in the car.'" 
Chris Albi, Kroger's vice president of merchandising for Michigan, said the company's Cincinnati headquarters was aware of today's protest, but isn't expected to change its policy. . . .
For more on Bloomberg's push to ban guns in stores and the inaccurate way that the discussions are portrayed in the media follow this link available here.

Thanks to Tony for the link.

18:48

Washington Times editorial nails it for 2nd Amendment [Gun News]

In a stunning editorial yesterday, the Washington Times used events earlier this week half the world away in Australia to bluntly illustrate why, instead of eroding the Second Amendment, this nation should be strengthening and nurturing the right to keep and bear arms that the amendment affirms and protects. Pointing to the detention of 15 people at a dozen locations by Australian police - including at least one whose alleged intent was to kidnap and behead an Australian citizen at random as an act of terror to show the reach of the barbaric group - the newspaper noted that such a thing might not be possible here.

17:18

On the march: Russian nuclear bombers intercepted near Alaska [The Liberty Sphere]

In a continued display of intimidation reminiscent of the Cold War, Russia continues on the march as reported by U.S. Northern Command, which identified six Russian planes flying near Alaskan air space Wednesday. The Command reported that among the Russian planes were two nuclear aircraft -- two Bear H nuclear bombers along with two Mig-31 fighter jets. American F-22 fighter jets were deployed to intercept the Russian aircraft.
Click here to continue reading...

17:04

Hello, my friends. I am here. [The Liberty Sphere]

Good evening.

I decided it was time to write today, so I will have a new Examiner article up and posted pronto.

The news I report today is by no means the most important, but when viewed within the context of everything else is indicative of a highly troublesome scenario.

Glad you all are here.

14:54

Anti-gun 'study' implies racist outcomes from gun ownership [Gun News]

"In the U.S., gun violence kills blacks at twice the rate of whites," a Thursday headline in The Los Angeles Times "Science Now" section declares . "The risk of dying from a gunshot wound is twice as high for African Americans as it is for white Americans, according to a new study based on 11 years' worth of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."

13:21

Oregon: UPDATE on Lead Ammo Survey Hearings [NRA-ILA News]

As anticipated earlier this spring, the lead ammunition issue has arrived in Oregon.  This week, the Oregon House Interim Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources met to discuss the ongoing Lead Ammunition Survey.

11:24

Since Apple's "Activation Lock" debuted, thefts of iPhones has gone done even while thefts of Android phones has increased [John Lott's Website]

More evidence that deterrence works.
Click on figures to make them larger.

It is possible that some of the thieves have switched from iPhones to Samsung devices.  Of course, it is possible that cell phone thefts were increasing generally and that the ability to lock the iPhones caused their thefts to decline.  From a report by the San Francisco District Attorney:
. . . In New York City, thefts of iPhones fell significantly after release of Apple’s Activation Lock.  In the first five months of 2014, just after Apple introduced Activation Lock, robberies and grandlarcenies from a person involving Apple products dropped, respectively, by 19 percent and 29 percent, compared to the same time period in the previous year. This is shown in the chart below. The decrease in Apple thefts far surpassed the overall decrease in robberies (-10%) and grand larcenies from a person (-18%). Perhaps most tellingly, both robberies and grand larcenies from a person involving a Samsung smartphone, another popular device, increased by over 40 percent compared to the first five months of 2013. 
Crime data from San Francisco and London show that the introduction of Activation Lock likewise corresponded with a decline in iPhone thefts and an increase in thefts of other devices in those cities as well. As reflected in the Chart below, iPhone robberies in San Francisco declined 38 percent, while robberies of Samsung devices increased 12 percent in the six months after Activation Lock compared to the six months prior to Activation Lock. In London, Apple thefts declined by 24 percent, while Samsung thefts increased by three percent in the same time period. . . . 

09:50

Colorado: Recount Finalized on Castle Rock Open Carry Vote [NRA-ILA News]

Yesterday, the official results were released following a recount of the Castle Rock special election.  Last month, your NRA reported on the unofficial results here.  Both Referendum A, which prohibits the town manager from banning the open carrying of firearms in public parks, and Referendum B, which requires a town vote before local officials are allowed to alter gun laws in Castle Rock, were confirmed as passed.

08:27

Shooting Range Homicides Growing More Visible; No Background Check Required [Gun News]

In 2009, a mother walked into a Florida shooting range with her son. Witnesses would later say she appeared antsy, like she was anxious about something.

06:31

Baylor student board OKs concealed guns on campus [Gun News]

Baylor University's student senate has approved a resolution that would allow students and others who have concealed handgun permits to carry their guns on the Waco campus. It still needs approval of the Baylor board of regents before it takes effect.

03:15

Washington DC Maintains Its Prohibition on the Second Amendment [Gun News]

Washington DC has been ordered to allow concealed handguns But, c'mon, let's not get carried away. I mean, why on Earth would we rush to allow such American freedoms in America's capitol, right? Following in the footsteps of liberal enclaves like Boston, New York, and the People's Republic of California, Washington DC is paying lip service to the Second Amendment by crafting a "May Issue" concealed carry rule.

Thursday, 18 September

23:07

US man kills daughter, six grandchildren in Florida shooting [Gun News]

A man killed his daughter and six grandchildren, the youngest just three months old, in a mass shooting at a house in the US state of Florida on Thursday. The shooter, identified as Don Charles Spirit, 51, then killed himself after the incident in the small town of Bell, said Gilchrist County Sheriff Robert Schultz.

18:57

Triumph Students Learn Hunter Safety [Gun News]

With all the recent talk of gun control and firearm safety, it's important to remember that proper handling of a firearm starts with respecting the gun. That was the aim Thursday, as the hunter education class from Triumph High School took part in a safety course at the Laramie County Shooting Sports Complex.

17:00

Intruder on federal probation stopped by resident, KTLA, Los Angeles, Calif. 09/16/14, Post-Periodical, San Fernando, Calif. 09/16/14 [NRA-ILA News]

A man on federal probation entered a home in Van Nuys, Calif. and attacked the homeowner. The homeowner retrieved a handgun and shot the criminal, halting the altercation. Following a hospitalization to treat the gunshot wound, the intruder was charged with assault with a deadly weapon.

Colorado: Expanded Hunting Opportunities Offered in Plan for San Luis Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex [NRA-ILA News]

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a plan that would guide management of the San Luis Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex for the next 15 years.  The refuge complex is located in the San Luis Valley, a high mountain basin located in Alamosa, Rio Grande and Saguache Counties, Colorado.  Totaling about 106,000 acres, the complex is an important stopover for numerous migratory birds.

USA FREEDOM Act Would Curtail Government Surveillance Programs [NRA-ILA News]

Americans are justifiably proud of our military, intelligence, and law enforcement forces.  Their bravery, dedication, and sacrifice help keep this nation safe and free.  They have the gratitude of the NRA, its members, and the American people.

D.C. Council Thumbs Nose at Federal Court and Gun Owners, Proposes Restrictive “May-Issue” Concealed Carry Licensing Regime [NRA-ILA News]

In response to the District’s ban on carrying handguns being declared unconstitutional in July, this week the D.C. Council released a bill to create a licensing system to carry a concealed pistol.  While the Council claims that the bill is intended to comply with Judge Frederick J. Scullin’s opinion holding D.C.’s ban to be unconstitutional, a closer inspection of the bill reveals that the practical effect of the bill may be very similar to the District’s current outright ban on carrying firearms.

Colorado: Expanded Hunting Opportunities Offered in Plan for San Luis Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex [NRA-ILA News]

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a plan that would guide management of the San Luis Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex for the next 15 years.  The refuge complex is located in the San Luis Valley, a high mountain basin located in Alamosa, Rio Grande and Saguache Counties, Colorado.  Totaling about 106,000 acres, the complex is an important stopover for numerous migratory birds.

‘Compelling need’ for a gun in D.C. [NRA-ILA News]

The terrorists of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, prey on weakness, like Islamic terrorists everywhere. They abuse women, behead children and play the coward’s game, killing behind a mask. Australian police have broken up a scheme in Australia to embroider barbarism with savagery.

Onerous BATFE rules threaten to put gun dealers out of business [NRA-ILA News]

Doug Stockman always has had a passion for firearms, so 20 years ago he made a business out of it.Today, his shop, SSG Tactical, is one of the largest gun dealers in Virginia, with 10 employees, training classes and concealed-carry fashion bags.

Guns are 2014′s hottest campaign accessory [NRA-ILA News]

So far this election, we've seen candidates shoot drones, televisions, elephant pinatas, Obamacare and targets that were metaphors for Obamacare in campaign ads. One candidate threatened to shoot those who tried to come into his home. Other candidates have brought guns to rallies, raffled them off to supporters or challenged their opponents to debates of accuracy at the shooting range.

Canada: Stephen Harper reassures gun owners in pep talk to Conservatives [NRA-ILA News]

Harper also reached out to gun owners, apparently alluding to a recent decision by the RCMP to ban a previously legal rifle, the Swiss Arms Classic Green carbine.Harper said it’s completely unacceptable that owners of the weapons should be subject to an “arbitrary stroke of a bureaucrat’s pen.”

Why public health needs a new gun doctrine [NRA-ILA News]

I am a public health professional, educated at the vaunted Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Hygiene and Public Health. I like guns, and I believe the Second Amendment clearly secures the rights of individuals to own firearms.You read that correctly. I am a public health professional.And I like guns.This make me a heretic in American public health, where embracing firearms and the rights of gun owners is a gross violation of orthodoxy.

NBC Offers Repellent Advice on Appeasing Home Invaders [NRA-ILA News]

Americans have a constitutional right to armed self-defense, but they have other choices as well.  The University of Colorado, for example, last year offered the students it sought to disarm with statewide legislation other “crime prevention tactics.”  Options for female students facing rapists included passive resistance,” biting, and self-degradation.  According to one proponent of the bill to ban the lawful carrying of firearms on campuses, such threats are “why we have the whistles.”

Saving the Champagne: Anti-Gunners Not Celebrating AWB Anniversary [NRA-ILA News]

Last weekend marked the 10-year anniversary of the federal “assault weapon” and “large” magazine bans’ expiration. True to form, gun control supporters reacted by mischaracterizing what the bans did and by attempting to conceal their plans for future restrictions. For those keeping track, the bans were imposed on September 13, 1994, and expired 10 years later.

Time Comes Out for Banning Private Sales…Again [NRA-ILA News]

With apologies to popular songwriter Paul Simon, Time magazine is apparently “still crazy after all these years.”  Crazy about gun control, that is.

15:39

Rest in peace, Gordon Russell [Of Arms and the Law]

Story here. He was a heck of a nice guy, and died in harness, as Shakespeare said. I am told he was doing his job at the September NRA Board meeting when he suddenly collapsed, I assume a massive coronary or stroke. They gave him CPR but he didn't make it. Gad, he was only 55, and slender. My brother in law nearly died of a massive coronary at age 52, coming off a tennis court, but fast CPR (and a cardiologist and a defib unit nearby) pulled him through.

14:37

Charge: Washington robber turned to Facebook to deal guns [Gun News]

A convicted felon in real life, Olympia resident Michael Joanen was buying and selling guns on Facebook with little trouble, federal prosecutors contend. Investigators were arresting Joanen after a gun sale to an undercover officer when a would-be gun seller arrived with a pistol he planned to sell to the convicted robber, according to charges unsealed Monday.

12:17

11th Circuit slaps down SWAT-type regulatory raid [Of Arms and the Law]

A good summary at Reason.com. I've heard of similar things happening in California. Regulatory "inspections" are traditionally given only loose Fourth Amendment protections by the courts, because they usually are no big deal. But some locals send the "inspectors" in with real law enforcement, supposedly to protect them. The team with them then uses the opportunity as a chance for a warrantless search (at least as to anything in "plain view.")

Here, a barbershop inspector, entitled to make sure the barbers were licensed and presumably to see that they were following regulations (combs dipped in disinfectant, etc.) made a completely unnecessary inspection, accompanied by a SWAT-style team, for purposes of looking for drugs and recruiting informants (i.e., catching someone with them). The Eleventh Circuit upholds the resulting lawsuit and denies the officials "qualified immunity" (a court-created defense for actions that a reasonable actor would not have known were unconstitutional).

It's strange to reflect that the Supreme Court only got around to putting the teeth in "unreasonable search" five or ten years ago. Until then, all the case law was over whether they had probable cause, whether they had a warrant or fell within an exception for a warrant, etc.. Whether the search was, overall, an unreasonable one was largely ignored. Perhaps that was before SWAT tactics became almost the default, searches tended to be reasonable in their approach. When serving a search warrant meant sending out a few squad cars to knock, show the warrant, and search the place, "unreasonable search" was rarely a major issue.

11:14

Where to draw the line? Part Two. "When someone publicly announces his appetite for your liberty, property and life, you should believe him -- and act accordingly." [Sipsey Street Irregulars]

Judah walked among his brothers and fellow rebels and spoke to them of the thing for which they fought; “Oh my fellow soldiers, no other time remains more opportune than the present for courage and contempt of dangers; for if you now fight manfully, you may recover your liberty, which, as it is a thing of itself agreeable to all men, so it proves to be to us much more desirable, by its affording us the liberty of worshiping G-d.
“Since therefore you are in such circumstances at present, you must either recover that liberty, and so regain a happy and blessed way of living, which is that according to our laws, and the customs of our country, or to submit to the most opprobrious sufferings; nor will any seed of your nation remain if you be beat in this battle. Fight therefore manfully; and suppose that you must die, though you do not fight; but believe, that besides such glorious rewards as those of the liberty of your country, of your laws, of your religion, you shall then obtain everlasting glory.
“Prepare yourselves, therefore, and put yourselves into such an agreeable posture, that you may be ready to fight with the enemy as soon as it is day tomorrow morning.”
As I reposted last night, I asked this question six and a half years ago: "Where to draw the line?" This repost was motivated by some recent headlines and some from the distant past that I ran across in the past couple of days. If I could sum up the lessons of these disparate stories, it would be with a line that I have used many times over the years: "When someone publicly announces his appetite for your liberty, your property and your life, you should believe him -- and act accordingly."
That sentiment distills down into one sentence my essay from way back in 1999, What I Have Learned From the Twentieth Century.
I was reminded of that when David Codrea shared this link from the Rabbinical Council of America with me, entitled "2014 Resolution: Gun Violence in America," which declares that "the RCA favors restricting Americans’ easy access to weapons and ammunition and encourages all to desist from recreational activities that desensitize participants to killing, weaponry, and violence."
One wonders what Judah Maccabee would say to this resolution. Or this mother:
In a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise and European Jews are removing the Mezuzahs from their doors so that they can't be so easily identified by the new combination of Jihadi beheaders and Hitler's great grandchildren who want them dead, such disarmament advocacy is plainly suicidal. Again, I say, when someone publicly announces his appetite for your liberty, property and life, you should believe him -- and act accordingly.
A faithful reader recently drew my attention to a New York Times article from the 21 March 1933 edition. Unfortunately the NYT charges for access to its archives on-line and frankly I don't have the money to subscribe, so I put off reading it until I could get down to the Birmingham Public Library and view it on microfilm. In this case, though, my poverty paid off. For if I merely got the article alone, I would not have read the news of the day that accompanied it. And therein was the most important lesson.
The initial article of interest can be found on Page Ten of that day's NYT and it is entitled "Nazis Hunt Arms In Einstein Home."
Albert Einstein in 1933.
Berlin, March 20 -- Charging that Professor Albert Einstein had a huge quantity of arms and ammunition stored in his secluded home in Caputh, the National Socialists sent Brown Shirt men and policemen to search it today, but the nearest thing to arms they found was a bread knife.
Professor Einstein's home, which for the present is empty, the professor being on his way back to Europe from the United States, was surrounded on all sides and one of the most perfect raids of recent German history was carried out. The outcome was a disappointment to those who have always regarded Professor Einstein's pacificst utterances as a mere pose.
The elimination of Jews from responsible positions goes on . . .
Einstein's summer home in Caputh, circa 1929. The Nazis raided it for arms and found a bread knife.
Now this is a fascinating anecdote, to be sure. But to get to page ten, you have to scroll past the first nine pages of that day's edition and it was on the front page above the fold that other stories provided the background and the context of the smaller story -- and demonstrated the larger lesson.
The lead story was provided by the Times' Berlin correspondent, Guido Enderis. (Enderis, it should be noted, has been criticized by historians as being excessively pro-Nazi.)
REICHSTAG MEETING TODAY IS PREPARED TO GIVE HITLER FULL CONTROL AS DICTATOR
Berlin, March 20 -- It was announced tonight, on the eve of the convocation of the new Reichstag, that the Hitler government would ask it for dictatorial powers lasting until April 1, 1937, or until the replacement of the present Legislature by another.
By the terms of the draft of an empowering act sent to the Reichstag tonight, that body is to be excluded from legislation unless the Cabinet invites its cooperation and the government is to have the right to promulgate laws and decrees outside the channels prescribed by the Constitution even if they conflict with its provisions. . .
The Reichstag Fire had happened on the night of the 27th of February and the regime made maximum use of the panic occasioned by it.
What this meant in practical terms was made plain by an accompanying story, also on Page One:
NAZIS TO PUT BAVARIAN FOES IN CONCENTRATION CAMP; 'REPUBLICAN ARMY' LEADERS TO BE HELD WITH REDS
Munich, March 20 -- Chief of Police Himmler of Munich today informed newspaper men here that the first of several concentration camps will be established near this city soon for the detention of thousands of Communists, Marxists and leaders of the Reichbanner organization.
He explained that in the long run it would be impossible to hold in jail those who would be arrested and to release them would only mean renewed agitation. Such measures as were planned, he added, must be carried out without any petty scruples.
He also announced that the Socialist press in Bavaria would remain suppressed until April 4.
In the process of putting Bavaria under the control of the government at Berlin there has been a sweeping campaign against all the leaders of the Left parties and reports have indicated that the arrests have run into thousands. In particular the new authorities undertook to break up the Reichsbanner, the army formed by the republican elements as an offset to the monarchists and the Nazi brown shirts. This organization has been ordered dissolved throughout Germany.
The problem of keeping the vast number of political prisoners led Dr. Wilhelm Frick, Minister of the Interior, to announce recently that they would be put in concentration camps and kept at hard labor.
Heinrich Himmler in 1933.
In the same issue was a first-person account of the atrocities being carried out by the Nazis against Jews by the novelist Lion Feuchtwanger.
TERROR IN GERMANY AMAZES NOVELIST
LION FEUCHTWANGER FEARS CIVIL WAR IF VIOLENCE IS CONTINUED IN REICH
SAYS REGIME HOLDS BACK
Author Believes World Will Never Know How Many Jews and Others Have Been Slain
BODIES FOUND EVERY DAY
Red Cross Workers Are Prevented, He Declares, From Aiding Those Injured In Attacks.
Bern, Switzerland, March 20 -- Immediately before I left America, and shortly before the German elections, I told my anxious friends abroad that any idea of pogroms in Germany was unthinkable. President Von Hindenburg's name and the solid foundations of German culture were pledges against such occurrences.
During my journey across the Atlantic we received disturbing wireless reports regarding acts of violence against the Jews. These seemed incomprehensible, but in Paris I met the first refugees from Germany. The stories they related were dreadful. The told of some things compared to which the reports of the atrocities during the war paled.
I found it hard to believe these accounts, although I knew that the people who told them were trustworthy in every respect. In no way were they radical. They were democrats and members of the Catholic Centre parties -- pacifists who all their lives had worked in favor of political mediation and negotiation and men who hated all forms of exaggeration.
However, they declared they had seen, with their own eyes, how attempts had been made to throw people out of underground trains in motion simply because they looked like Jews. They had seen people pulled from motor cars and beaten -- women and young folk too -- because they were thought to be Jewish.
These refugees had also heard despairing stories of women whose husbands and sons had been dragged out of bed and inhumanly beaten and about whom nothing more had been heard or seen. . .
Lion Feuchtwanger, 1933.
Feuchtwanger's account is long and filled with the very real atrocities which were happening at the time, but it was these concluding paragraphs that struck me most forcefully:
I assume that the storm troopers alone are responsible for all they have done -- that must surely be so. It is certain that President von Hindenburg has no idea of the outrages. Probably Chancellor Hitler, too, has had nothing to do with these things personally. And Minister Goering can scarcely be suspected of complicity.
The gravity of the situation lies in the fact that the government clearly no longer possesses any authority over its so-called police organization.
The unfortunate thing is that these people have taken the former wild speeches of Hitler too literally. They were promised that when the revolution began the golden age would set in at once. Now they want the heads which they had been promised they would see rolling on the ground. They want lampposts decorated with dead bodies. The reult is pogroms such as Germany as not seen since the Jewish persecutions of the fourteenth century.
I greatly pray that the government may succeed in calling a halt before the ill treatment, the torture, the slaughter of the thousands of Socialists, Catholics and Jews lead to a civil war such as the world has never seen.
I had to read that over three times before I was fully convinced that Feuchtwanger wasn't writing it tongue in cheek. No, he really believed that these atrocities represented a government out of control rather than one fully in control of what its minions were doing. I suppose he was trying to convince himself more than the audience he was writing for. Yet the "civil war" that Feuchtwanger prophesied was made impossible because by the time he wrote this for the Times, the Reichsbanner, the militia formations pledged to defend the Weimar Constitution, were already in jail and headed for concentration camps, dead or in hiding.
Of course we now know that von Hindenburg, in whom Feuchtwanger put so much confidence, knew exactly what was going on. Although ailing, von Hindenburg wouldn't die until August of 1934. Yet the novelist certainly shouldn't have had any illusions about Hitler's intentions after reading Main Kampf. And as we see from the article quoting Himmler above, one had only to read the newspapers of the day to see which way the wind was blowing. Yet Feuchtwanger clung to his illusions because he desperately needed to. Such thoroughgoing evil was frankly beyond his knowledge and experience. And the Nazis had just begun. It would take twelve years and tens of millions of dead before they danced the executioner's jig themselves.
YET WE KNOW WITH PERFECT HISTORICAL HINDSIGHT THAT SUCH THINGS ARE POSSIBLE WITH ANY REGIME, INCLUDING THE ONE WHICH CURRENTLY RULES OVER US IN CONTRAVENTION OF THE CONSTITUTION AND EVERY UNDERSTANDING THAT THE FOUNDERS HAD OF HOW THE GOVERNMENT THEY CRAFTED WAS SUPPOSED TO WORK.
No, we don't have the excuse of Feuchtwanger's wishful thinking. And so, we must ask ourselves the same question that the Reichsbanner men waited too long to answer -- Where do we draw the line? I'll try to answer that in Part Three. But remember, when someone publicly announces his appetite for your liberty, property and life, you should believe him -- and act accordingly.

10:23

"Gunmen kill 15 at college in north Nigeria's Kano" [John Lott's Website]

This attack is deadlier than the Columbine school shooting.  It is deadlier than the Washington Navy Yard or Aurora Movie Theater shootings.  In each of those three attacks, 12 people were killed.  From Reuters:
Gunmen stormed a higher education college in northern Nigeria on Wednesday, firing on fleeing students and setting off an explosion in an attack that killed at least 15 people and wounded 35, police said. . . . "The attackers were wearing suits and were running and shooting everywhere." . . .  At least 82 people were killed in July in a double suicide bombing in the north Nigerian city of Kaduna in July. . . .

10:18

Texas Gun Store Insults Our President In The Worst Possible Way [Gun News]

A Katy, Texas "Ammosexual" suggests beheading an Obama family member would "change" things for the better. Second Amendment enthusiasts have crossed a sickening line.

08:07

"Candidates from both parties packing heat in campaign ads" [John Lott's Website]

From the Washington Times:
Republicans, and even some Democrats, in a dozen states are showing off their shooting skills in videos and television ads or posing with firearms in mailers, underscoring the backlash against federal and state proposals to restrict access to guns and ammunition. 
This year’s tone was set by Republican Joni Ernst, who won the Iowa Senate primary in June after running a television ad that shows her firing at a bull’s-eye at a shooting range while promising to “unload” on Obamacare. She now faces Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley. 
“Give me a shot,” quips Ms. Ernst in the ad. 
The Iowan is by no mean the only one locked, loaded and ready for her close-up. . . .

06:03

D.C. Finally Proposes Concealed Carry Law - Why Second Amendment... [Gun News]

D.C. Finally Proposes Concealed Carry Law - Why Second Amendment Expert Says It's Not Big Win for Gun Rights Lawmakers in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday announced proposed legislation that would allow citizens to apply for a concealed carry permit for the first time in decades after a federal judge found the city's longtime handgun ban "unconstitutional." However, Dr. John Lott Jr., Second Amendment expert and president of the Crime Prevention Research Center , told TheBlaze the proposed law is not a huge win for gun rights.

01:52

Victim's family members say they're praying for girl in Uzi accident [Gun News]

The family of a shooting-range instructor who was accidentally shot and killed by a 9-year-old girl with an Uzi say they're praying for her. Lawyers for the family of 39-year-old Charles Vacca delivered a video message last week to the girl's family.

Wednesday, 17 September

21:43

Where to draw the line? [Sipsey Street Irregulars]

Over six and a half years ago, I wrote this piece drawing on the German experience and asking the question "Where to draw the line?" I subtitled it, "More along the line of grim thinking inspired by government misconduct in the Olofson case." I present it here because the question is still pointedly relevant, as another post that I plan for tomorrow will further demonstrate.


When the 23rd Regiment was finally back in Boston after the ordeal of April 19, adjutant Frederick Mackenzie wrote in his diary, "I believe the fact is, that General Gage was not only much deceived with respect to the quantity of military stores said to be collected at Concord, but had no conception the rebels would have opposed the King's troops in the manner they did." -- General John Galvin, The Minutemen, Pergamon-Brasseys, 1989, page 244.


Where to draw the line?

"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." - Claire Wolfe, 101 Things to Do 'Til the Revolution


Libertarian Wolfe made her famous observation above in the mid-nineties. Now here we are more than ten years later, even more isolated and politically disenfranchised, and we must ask the question: how far do we have to go to get past "awkward?"

History never exactly repeats itself and thus is an imperfect guide. Studying history "we see through a glass, darkly." Still, there are patterns in history that deserve our close attention, so we may better understand how to act in the present and to enable us to better predict the future. Through history, we understand that no idea, bad or good, ever truly dies. We are also shown that people, being human, repeat the mistakes of their ancestors, over and over again. Indeed, there is no one blinder than a historical amnesiac.

Flag of the Reichsbanner, the German military organization sworn to defend the Weimar Republic.


So when we consider the question suggested by Claire Wolfe, that is, when are we past the awkward stage and into the day of "shooting the bastards," we must consult history for examples to guide us. I offer firstly a lesson in waiting too long from William Sheridan Allen's outstanding study, The Nazi Seizure of Power: The Experience of a Single German Town (Franklin Watts/Grolier, 1984):

And yet, one has to ask the question, what happened to those who had sworn resistance? What happened to the Reichsbanner, which had repeatedly asserted, in the years before Hitler came to power, that when the expected Nazi coup came they would be able to defend the Republic? In Northeim, at least, the Republic was destroyed without a single blow struck in its defense. The Reichsbanner, with all its plans for instant mobilization, had its members struck down one by one, its leaders imprisoned, beaten, hounded from their jobs and their homes without any resistance from the organization as a whole.

Perhaps the basic reason for this was that there was no Nazi coup d'etat. Instead there was a series of quasi-legal actions over a period of at least six months, no one of which by itself constituted a revolution, but the sum of which transformed Germany from a republic to a dictatorship. The problem was where to draw the line. But by the time that line could be clearly drawn, the revolution was a fait accompli, the potential organs of resistance had been individually smashed, and organized resistance was no longer possible. In short, the splendid organization was to no avail; in the actual course of events it was every man for himself. (Allen, p. 191)
The Reichsbanner parades past the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, 1929.



Even after reading Allen's work, I have often wondered why the German opposition just laid down without a fight. Back in the nineties, I was talking to Aaron Zelman of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, and one of us (I recall it was him, he thinks it was me) made this observation: "If every Jewish and anti-Nazi family in Germany had possessed a Mauser rifle, 20 rounds of 7.92mm ball and the will to use it, Adolf Hitler would have been an obscure footnote to the history of the Weimar Republic."

True enough, whoever said it. But as Grant Hammond observed about Colonel John Boyd's seminal theories of warfare:

"There is another trinity in Boyd’s strategic catechism as well. It is a concern for what he lumps together as moral-mental-physical aspects of opponents. Most definitions of war define them as contests in physical violence. Boyd sees them mainly as moral struggles won as much by mental as physical prowess. But he sees the complex—moral-mental-physical—as a single entity, a synthesis that can be broken down analytically but must be understood as a composite whole. It matches another Trinitarian composite, that of people first, ideas second and things third. This happens to be the opposite of the way most militaries approach problem solving by focusing on technology, platforms and weaponry first, ideas about their employment second and people—who are largely interchangeable and ultimately, are expendable—third. This way of thinking has little utility in Boyd’s Way and in fact, may be the seed of many a defeat." (Source: Grant T. Hammond, The Essential Boyd).


Many Americans, especially us small "r" republicans, take heart when we recall that the American citizenry possesses more small arms than most of the world's armies put together. And as Clausewitz observed, in military affairs quantity DOES have a quality all its own (just ask any Korean War veteran about his first experience with a Chinese human wave assault).

Still, as Napoleon insisted, "The moral is to the physical as three is to one." We cannot be protected by our possession of a hundred million rifles if we lack the will use them. Iraq was an armed society, yet the Saddam dictatorship had little trouble tyrannizing that country for decades. And it cannot be doubted that there are many American gunowners who would, at the first command of an American tyranny, turn in their weapons simply because they are "law-abiding" people who "don't want any trouble" -- simply because, in fact, they have forgotten what it is to be free. They have grown used to doing what the government tells them to do. And perhaps that was the problem with the Weimar republicans:
The Northeimer Reichsbanner itself was ready to fight in 1933. All it needed was an order from Berlin. Had it been given, Northeimer's Reichsbanner members would have carried out the tested plan they had worked on so long -- to obtain and distribute weapons and to crush the Nazis. But (the local Reichsbanner) would not act on its own. The leaders felt that single acts would come to grief, would possibly compromise the chance when it finally did come, and would, in any event, be a betrayal of discipline. They felt that their only hope was in common action, all together, all over the Reich. Hadn't (their national leaders) said that only a counterattack should be made? So they waited and prayed for the order to come, but it never did. And while they waited the Nazis began tracking them down, one by one. (Allen, p. 191)

The Germans, wholly indoctrinated in obeying orders, were incapable of acting without them. Because their would-be tyrants represented "the government" and cloaked their wolfish actions in "legal" sheepskin, because their own "leaders" could not or would not give the order, they all ended up in a concentration camp -- leaders and followers -- without ever having struck a blow. I am again reminded of Boyd's "moral-mental-physical" dynamic by this observation of Allen's:
"This situation, where even heroism was denied the men of the democratic Left, came about in no small measure because of the failure of the Social Democrats to understand the nature of Nazism. Just as their basic premise in the years before Hitler came to power was the erroneous assumption that the Nazis were essentially Putschists who could not possibly attract a mass following, so their basic premise after Hitler came to power was the equally erroneous assumption that his would be a government similar to the others of the Weimar period." (Ibid, p. 192)

Because of their inability to see the enemy for what he really was (and if ever there was an enemy who delighted in shouting his intentions to the rafters it was Hitler) they went straight from the "awkward stage" to the concentration camps without ever firing a shot.
Die Garde der Republik marching song of the Reichsbanner.

Thinking and Acting before Feeling

Now, contrast the behavior of the Germans to that of our Founding Fathers. This is best illustrated by reading Gordon S. Wood's The Creation of the American Republic, 1776 - 1787:

In the American Revolution, Wood wrote, "there was none of the legendary tyranny of history that had so often driven desperate people into rebellion. The Americans were not an oppressed people; they had no crushing imperial shackles to throw off. In fact, the Americans knew they were probably freer and less burdened with cumbersome feudal and hierarchical restraints than any part of mankind in the eighteenth century. To its victims, the Tories, the Revolution was truly incomprehensible. Never in history, said Daniel Leonard, had there been so much rebellion with so 'little real cause.' . . . The objective social reality scarcely seemed capable of explaining a revolution . . .

As early as 1775 Edmund Burke had noted in the House of Commons that the colonists' intensive study of law and politics had made them acutely inquisitive and sensitive about their liberties. Where the people of other countries had invoked principles only after they had endured 'an actual grievance,' the Americans, said Burke, were anticipating their grievances and resorting to principles even before they actually suffered. 'They augur misgovernment at a distance and snuff the approach of tyranny in every tainted breeze.' The crucial question in the colonists' minds, wrote John Dickerson in 1768, was 'not, what evil HAS ACTUALLY ATTENDED particular measures -- but what evil, in the nature of things, IS LIKELY TO ATTEND them.' Because 'nations, in general, are not apt to THINK until they FEEL, . . .therefore nations in general have lost their liberty.' But not the Americans, as the Abbe Raynal observed. They were "an 'enlightened people' who knew their rights and the limits of power and who, unlike any people before them, aimed to think before they felt."

(Source: Gordon S. Wood, The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787, UNC Press, 1969, pp. 3-5)


The Founders were people who believed in "preserving the spirit of resistance." To take Abbe Raynal's words to their conclusion, the Founders aimed to think AND act before they felt. Unlike the Germans, their "awkward stage" ended at Lexington green, and ultimately led to liberty.

In the light of recent events such as the Olofson case, it seems plain that our own "awkward stage" may be perilously close to drawing to an end. There are those who still insist that such unconstitutional outrages perpetrated under color of law deserve nothing more than verbal condemnation or further attempts at legal redress in a "justice" system rigged against us (as if these thugs pay attention to the law anyway). Used to inaction and afraid of even voicing the threat of justifiable self-defense, these timid souls, these "summer soldiers and sunshine patriots," would have us wait for true tyranny before acting.

This was not the way of the Founders. They understood that tyranny is best strangled in its unholy infancy, before it becomes a raging beast. They understood the threat, they prepared to meet it and, in the end, they defeated it. The Germans of the 1930s did not, and they were devoured.

I say we would do well to emulate the Founders rather than the Germans, to think and ACT before we feel, when it will be too late. This is important not only for those Americans who wish to remain free, but for those on the other side who unthinkingly seek to rob us of our freedoms and for those in the middle who (ignoring the Law of Unintended Consequences) sit idly by, content to watch the destruction of the American republic on television while thinking it has nothing to do with, and can have no effect upon, them.

If we small "r" republicans do nothing else, we should let the rogue elements of our own government know that in addition to outnumbering them, we still preserve the spirit of resistance, despite have been marginalized politically by the two major parties. Perhaps, if everyone understands that, the Redcoats (now wearing black raid gear) will not once again blunder and unknowingly march out from Boston into an unexpected but perfectly predictable butchery contest.

By our words, our preparations, our training and our actions we, the armed citizenry of the Republic of the United States of America, still have the opportunity to convince them of our unyielding determination to remain free. It may be our last best hope to preserve uninterrupted both our God-given liberties and the domestic peace we have come to love too much. While it is better to be "awkward" than to be dead, it is better still to die fighting than to be enslaved without a fight.

Just ask the Germans of the Weimar Republic.

So THINK and ACT before you FEEL. The Founders did.

21:38

Butler man addresses gun control in letter [Gun News]

He calls out Holly Stewart for a comment in her letter on gun control. He makes a point on her writing that the language of the Second Amendment is "vague."

19:07

No, I am not dead [The Liberty Sphere]

I am still here. Stuff is going on behind the scenes that has engulfed all my time. But I am still here. Not writing much this week for various reasons. I suppose I am reassessing some things, attempting to decide where to focus my energies.

So much to do, as I said before, and so little time to do it. We are being bombarded with Marxist programs, or at least the foundation is being laid for it, and I am having a hard time deciding where to focus. Focusing on all of it may be impossible for me right now, at least until my eyes are fixed.

But be assured I am fully aware of all that's going on. I keep up with it, I monitor the movements of government, particular those who lurk in the shadows behind the scenes, and I can't wait to get back to shining the spotlight on all of the vermin.

17:35

D.C. leaders plan to allow a concealed carrya of guns [Gun News]

Within weeks, civilian gun owners could be free to apply to carry a concealed weapon in the nation's capital for the first time in decades, after a federal judge's ruling prompted city leaders to create new firearms law. The proposed law, set to be unveiled at a Wednesday afternoon news conference, was drafted by city officials after the city's long-standing ban on carrying firearms in public was declared unconstitutional in July.

17:26

Is there anything that the government won't regulate?: Senate unanimously passed bill to improve sunscreen protection [John Lott's Website]

From The Hill newspaper:
Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) introduced S. 2141, the Sunscreen Innovation Act, which would require the Department of Health and Human Services to establish a process for the review and approve over-the-counter (OTC) sunscreens. 
The Senate passed the measure through a unanimous consent agreement and it now heads to the House for further action. 
The Senate passed H.R. 4751, which renames the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Memorial as the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial. The House passed the bill earlier this month, meaning it now heads to President Obama’s desk for his signature before becoming law. . . .

17:00

Candidates from both parties packing heat in campaign ads [NRA-ILA News]

Guns are becoming the prop of choice in campaign ads around the country this midterm year.Take it as another sign that the Obama administration’s gun control push is running aground: Firearms have become this year’s go-to accessory for candidates of both parties seeking to advertise their toughness and willingness to fight.

D.C. leaders will propose ‘concealed carry’ law to address federal judge’s gun ruling [NRA-ILA News]

D.C. gun owners could begin applying to carry concealed weapons within weeks under emergency legislation announced Wednesday in response to a federal judge’s ruling in July that the city’s firearms law was unconstitutional.

Kopel: New anti-gun strategies [NRA-ILA News]

To mark the tenth anniversary of the expiration of the federal ban on so-called assault weapons, the anti-gun lobbies made a surprising announcement: They are not attempting to push for a new ban. This is a smart decision, because there is more than one way to shrink the American gun culture. The “assault weapon” prohibition campaign of the last quarter-century was the most successful effort in American history to ban large numbers of guns. But, ultimately, it proved more harmful than helpful to the politicians who supported it and the groups that promoted it.

16:56

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner’s (R-Wis.) ATF Elimination Act [John Lott's Website]

From The Hill newspaper:
. . . “The ATF is a largely duplicative, scandal-ridden agency that lacks a clear mission,” he said. “It is plagued by backlogs, funding gaps, hiring challenges and a lack of leadership. For decades it has been branded by high profile failures.”  
The ATF has become a GOP punching bag in recent years after it was revealed the agency lost track of hundreds of guns, some of which ended up in the hands of Mexican drug cartels, part of the infamously botched Operation Fast and Furious.  
The Sensenbrenner bill would transfer the agency’s enforcement of firearms, explosives and arson laws to the FBI. ATF would cede jurisdiction over cases involving the illegal diversion of alcohol and tobacco products to the Drug Enforcement Administration. . . .

15:32

DC leaders propose concealed handgun permits [Gun News]

Residents of the nation's capital will be able to get licenses to carry concealed handguns outside the home, but only after they provide a specific reason for needing one, officials said Wednesday. Mayor Vincent Gray and other city officials said they plan to propose legislation that would make the District of Columbia similar to a half-dozen states, including Maryland, where residents can be denied a concealed-carry permit if they can't show a need for one.

13:35

DC proposes concealed-carry licensing program [Gun News]

District of Columbia officials say residents will be able to get licenses to carry concealed handguns outside the home, but only after they show a reason they need such a permit and complete extensive gun-safety training. Mayor Vincent Gray and other city officials said they plan to propose legislation that would make the District similar to a half-dozen states, including Maryland, where residents can be denied a concealed-carry permit if they don't show a reason for seeking one.

11:34

Many People Are Killing With Rented Guns at Shooting Ranges [Gun News]

In 2009, Marie Moore, pictured above, took her son Mitchell to a Florida shooting range and rented some guns. While Mitchell lined up, Marie killed him with a single shot to the head, then shot herself.

10:35

Study: Online gun sales open to felons [Gun News]

A new study suggests thousands of felons prohibited from owning firearms could be turning to online sales to escape background checks. Tens of thousands of guns will be sold through online portals in Washington state this year, and none of the buyers will be subject to background checks.

10:08

New York Times/CBS Poll Shows Republicans doing extremely well this election [John Lott's Website]

Click on figure to enlarge.  The NY Times article on their September 12-15 survey is available here.

-- Right before the 2010 midterm elections Obama's approval rate was at 45 percent.  Before the 2012 election it was at 50 percent.  Today it is at 40 percent.

-- Right before the 2010 midterm elections 34 percent thought that the country was heading in the wrong direction.  Before the 2012 election it was at 39 percent.  Today it is at 27 percent.

-- At the 2010 midterm elections 46 percent approved of Obama's foreign policy.  Before the 2012 election it was at 47 percent.  Today it is at 34 percent.

-- Right before the 2010 midterm elections 42 percent approved of Obama's economic policy.  Before the 2012 election it was at 46 percent.  Today it is at 40 percent.

-- Before the 2010 midterm elections 51 percent approved of Obama's terrorism policy.  Today it is at 41 percent.

-- Today 30 percent approve of how Obama is handling immigration.

If this election is viewed as a referendum on Obama's policies, Democrats have reasons to be concerned.

03:53

Taking this morning to reassess. [Sipsey Street Irregulars]

Folks, I'll be honest. It's been a struggle lately. I am faced with some tough resource choices in my plans for Colorado and Connecticut, the black dog has returned and is perched upon my chest and I continue to struggle with my health. I'm taking the morning off (at least) to do some serious thinking about my responsibilities -- and my duties -- to you, my family and the larger struggle. Keep me in your prayers.

03:00

NRA Goes Big In Key Senate, Governor's Races [NRA-ILA News]

The National Rifle Association has reserved $11.4 million for its initial fall advertising campaign and will begin airing its first TV commercials Wednesday in three Senate races crucial to determining which party controls the chamber next year.

Tuesday, 16 September

17:00

California: Governor Brown Needs to Hear Your Opposition to Four Pending Anti-Gun Bills [NRA-ILA News]

Governor Jerry Brown has until the end of this month to sign or veto the anti-gun bills below.  It is vital that you call, fax AND e-mail Governor Brown DAILY respectfully urging him to VETO these anti-gun bills.  Governor Brown can be reached at (916) 445-2841, by fax at (916) 558-3160 or by e-mail here (https://govnews.ca.gov/gov39mail/mail.php).

Obama administration forcing new gun buyers to declare race, ethnicity [NRA-ILA News]

The Obama administration quietly has been forcing new gun buyers to declare their race and ethnicity, a policy change that critics say provides little law enforcement value while creating the risk of privacy intrusions and racial profiling.

D.C. Council, mayor crafting bill governing gun carry outside the home [NRA-ILA News]

The D.C. Council and mayor are collaborating on an emergency bill that would regulate residents’ ability to carry legally registered guns outside their homes.

N.J. GOP Assembly leader Bramnick calls for lesser punishments for some gun crimes [NRA-ILA News]

The Republican Assembly leader wants to give prosecutors more discretion in cases where someone is charged with transporting a handgun into New Jersey that is legally owned in another state.

Prosecutor seeks time to rethink position on Shaneen Allen gun case [NRA-ILA News]

Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain told a judge his office is reviewing its position in the case of a Philadelphia mother facing prison time for bringing her legally owned gun into New Jersey.

Fact Checker: Are gun-background-check claims true? [NRA-ILA News]

Last month, a group launched a signature drive for the "Background Check Initiative." It would allow Nevada voters on the 2016 ballot to decide whether all gun sales should require background checks.

09:54

Actor Liam Neeson lashes out against gun ownership [John Lott's Website]

From the Independent (UK) newspaper:
. . . “I am totally for gun control in the US,” he says. “The population of America is roughly 300 million and there are 300 million guns in this country, which is terrifying. Every day we’re seeing some kid running rampant in a school. And do you know what the gun lobby’s response to Newtown was?” he asks, referring to the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, which left 20 children dead in December 2012. 
“The National Rifle Association’s official response was ‘If that teacher had been armed…’ It’s crazy. I’ll give Britain its dues, when they had the Dunblane massacre in Scotland, within 24 hours the gun laws were changed so you could not have a handgun.”  
Born in Ballymena, County Antrim, but a resident of New York, Neeson became a US citizen five years ago in the wake of the death of his wife, Natasha Richardson, in a freak skiing accident in 2009.  The actor cites the outpouring of goodwill from Americans as one of the main reasons for his decision. Part of the naturalisation process involves a test on US civics; Neeson, therefore, understands the Constitution as well as anyone. “It is the right to bear arms which is the problem. I think if the Founding Fathers knew what was happening they would be turning in their graves with embarrassment at how that law has been interpreted,” he says, in reference to the Second Amendment to the Constitution. . . .
Mr. Neeson is of course wrong about what the NRA proposed.  I have proposed allowing staff at school to be armed, but the NRA has wanted to have armed guards.

09:47

Percent of the adult population with concealed handgun permits by county in Alabama [John Lott's Website]

Data on the number of permits currently issued in Alabama counties is shown below.  The state has a total of approximately 470,005 permits, about 12.6% of the population over 18 years of age.  A couple of the counties have more than 18 percent of their adult population with permits.

The article in al.com notes that Alabama is number 1 in terms of the number of concealed handgun permits, but it is very likely that the six states that allow carrying without a permit have higher rates that people are carrying (Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Montana (99.4% of the state), Wyoming, and Vermont).  It would have been nice if the article had provided some balance and noted what most of the literature had found on crime rates.  Donohue's claims about my work hadn't accounted for the impact of crack cocaine is simply disingenuous (for discussions in the 3rd edition of More Guns, Less Crime see here and here, but it was dealt with in my original research with David Mustard and the first edition of More Guns, Less Crime).

Monday, 15 September

20:44

New York Times and assault weapons bans [Of Arms and the Law]

NY Times editorial, "Myths About Gun Regulation," January 31, 2013:

"As busy as the gun lobby is in promoting macho myths about self-defense -- stand your ground and outshoot the bad guys -- it is no less dedicated to spinning myths for lawmakers to use as excuses to avoid enacting laws to deal with the shooting sprees that regularly afflict the nation. This was clear at the opening Senate hearing on gun controls this week, where Judiciary Committee members seemed to have largely swallowed gun lobby propaganda that the evidence shows the original 10-year ban on assault weapons was ineffective.... The false statistics comfort members of Congress who fear the gun lobby or their more conservative constituents, or both, and are blocking a new and stronger ban on assault weapons proposed by Senator Dianne Feinstein."

NY Times Editorial, "The Moment for Action on Gun Control, January 15, 2013:
"Some lawmakers are already talking about focusing on the background checks and bowing to gun lobby's opposition to an assault weapons ban. That shouldn't stop the administration and its allies from demanding that all these provisions be passed immediately. With the deaths of Newtown's children still so fresh, the public will be repulsed by lawmakers who stand aside and do nothing."

NY Times editorial, "The Assault Weapons Myth," September 14, 2014:

"But in the 10 years since the previous ban lapsed, even gun control advocates acknowledge a larger truth: The law that barred the sale of assault weapons from 1994 to 2004 made little difference.

It turns out that big, scary military rifles don't kill the vast majority of the 11,000 Americans murdered with guns each year. Little handguns do.

In 2012, only 322 people were murdered with any kind of rifle, F.B.I. data shows.
......
Most Americans do not know that gun homicides have decreased by 49 percent since 1993 as violent crime also fell, though rates of gun homicide in the United States are still much higher than those in other developed nations. A Pew survey conducted after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., found that 56 percent of Americans believed wrongly that the rate of gun crime was higher than it was 20 years ago."

18:28

Many (but apparently not all) St. Louis-area school superintendents say won't let designated teachers to carry guns in school [John Lott's Website]

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch article lists school superintendents who are against guns in school, but notice that it doesn't say that all the St. Louis-area school superintendents are against let people protect the children.  From the article:
Many St. Louis-area school superintendents say they don’t want guns in their schools regardless of a new state law that allows designated teachers to carry them. 
The law lets school districts appoint teachers or administrators as “school safety officers” who would be allowed to carry concealed weapons after training. 
Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed this bill in July. But on Wednesday, the Legislature overrode his veto of gun rights expansion legislation that also allows residents with concealed weapons permits to openly carry guns in public. 
Parents contacted the Clayton School District late last week concerned that teachers could soon be carrying weapons through the hallways. 
“There’s the perception that school districts are required to do this, rather than allowed to do this,” district spokesman Chris Tennill said. 
The district’s position was posted on its website Friday afternoon. “There are few, if any, situations that would require the District to consider appointing ‘school protection officers’ given the level of and proximity to law enforcement resources already in place,” it stated. . . . .

18:12

Too much to say, too little time [The Liberty Sphere]

In a society such as ours where the elite political class is determined to force as much of their agenda down the throats of citizens, whether it has broad support or not, there is way too much to report and way too little time to report it. The United States has been precisely in that predicament since 2009.
Click here to continue reading.

17:00

More review sought in N.J. gun case [NRA-ILA News]

Following extensive criticism over denying a Philadelphia woman a chance to avoid a prison sentence for illegally bringing her registered gun into New Jersey last year, the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office has asked a Superior Court judge for more time to review the case.

Turn-in legislation passes New Jersey Assembly [NRA-ILA News]

The state Assembly passed a bill today that would expand gun buyback programs across New Jersey in an effort to curb the number of firearms on the streets.

Online ammo retailers targeted in lawsuit by gun ban group [NRA-ILA News]

The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence is filing a lawsuit against online retailers that allegedly sold ammunition to James Holmes, the suspect accused of the Aurora theater killings.

12:21

Brady Campaign sues ammo dealer, etc. [Of Arms and the Law]

Story here. Brady will sue on behalf of the parents of a child killed in the Aurora CO shooting, against the dealer who sold the ammunition and some unnamed others.

I cannot figure this one out. First, the tort law is pretty clear that (with very narrow exceptions) a person does not have a duty to prevent someone else from committing a crime that harms someone else. Second, how can an ammunition dealer, of all people, be expected to know that a buyer whom he has never met plans on using the ammo in a crime? In other words, even if there was a legal duty, where is the negligence? Third, unless the killer bought all his ammo from that one dealer, how can the dealer be shown to have any involvement?

And to top it off... the murders were committed on July 20, 2012. From what I can see, Colorado has a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury. So the statute ran nearly two months ago. Oops. Now, Brady could contend that it's suing for a minor, and the statute of limitations doesn't begin to run until a minor's 18th birthday. BUT the minor died, and the article says the suit is actually brought on behalf of her parents (wrongful death statutes differ somewhat in this respect, in some the suit is brought on behalf of the decedent's estate, in some it's brought by the survivors in their own right).

It does sound like a civil action that is a sure loser, brought in hopes of gaining publicity. That of course runs a big risk of getting hit with sanctions.

12:21

Protestors seem to be getting deperate [Of Arms and the Law]

Protestors picket national police championships, as if learning to shoot accurately had much to do with questions about whether a shooting was justified. Of course, it's being consistent to some degree. Most just assume that firearm skills = being an accessory to crime applies only to the general citizenry.

10:48

Bloomberg's groups continue to push to ban guns in businesses, but nothing is really changing [John Lott's Website]

Bloomberg's groups have been pushing for sometime to get businesses to ban guns in their facilities.  On Monday, Panera Bread announced that it was asking customers not to bring guns to its restaurants" ((314) 984-1000).  But much of the media coverage has been misleading and simply asking people not to bring their guns with them won't have any legal effect.  The question is if Panera Bread will be posting signs and it doesn't appear to be the case.  Still, that gives Bloomberg's groups another PR boast.  From CNBC:
"We are thrilled that after months of discussions between Panera and Moms Demand Action, Panera is taking a proactive position in favor of our families' safety by putting a new gun policy in place. Moms are the consumers-in-chief of our households and we will reward companies that take a stand for our families' safety. We urge other national companies follow suit," said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, in an email.  . . .
Yet, note that as in all the other announcements that Bloomberg's groups have been trumpeting for sometime, this new announcement changes absolutely nothing.  From CNNMoney:
The news is another victory for gun safety group Moms Demand Action . . . The company first announced the decision during a CNBC interview with Panera CEO Ron Shaich. He said during the interview that the company would not post anti-gun signs in its stores or require employees to confront gun owners. . . .
Given this, what exactly is the point of the news stories on this announcement?  The company is asking people not to bring guns with them, but it also is going to continue allowing people to bring their guns with them.  So how is this a victory for Bloomberg's groups? Bloomberg's groups are now spending "six figures" in ads to force Kroger to also announce that they are not welcoming people who carry guns.  You can see their ads here.

10:47

The Explosion in Insider Trading cases and Penalties under the Obama Administration [John Lott's Website]

Screen Shot 2014-09-14 at  Sunday, September 14, 4.09 AM
Original data available here.  The number of insider trading cases increased from 6 a year under President George W. Bush to 15 a year under President Obama.  The big increase in cases under Obama didn't come until 2011, which isn't surprising as it takes some time after a case is brought before a sentence is determined.  This bodes ill for the increase over cases during the rest of the Obama administration.  Some economists have questioned whether there should even be insider trading laws.  The arbitrariness of what is considered insider trading makes it so that government can often invent crimes after the fact.

01:00

Limits on Doctors: Guns in Home Not Relevant [NRA-ILA News]

In late July, a three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned an injunction in the "Docs vs. Glocks" case that, for a time, allowed doctors to ask people whether they had guns in their homes.

Sunday, 14 September

Saturday, 13 September

02:02

You know that regulations have gone too far when the FDA has to regulate wheelchairs [John Lott's Website]


This young man has helped design a computerized wheelchair that allows users to better control how the wheelchair operates.  It sound like a great idea.  But in listening to this piece at the WSJ I was surprised that the FDA had to approve the wheelchair before it could be produced.  Is the FDA soon going to regulate any type of chair that the disabled might sit in?  What happens if someone with disabilities sits in an unapproved chair?  Will the FDA SWAT team descend on the house?


Friday, 12 September

20:15

Moms Demand Action for.... something other than common sense [Of Arms and the Law]

From one of their spokeswomen: "Green said women and girls should be aware that lax gun laws lead to gun violence which can beget domestic violence."

Some 19th century wag wrote something like: "If a man engages in casual murders, next he will descend to excessive drink and pilfering, and thence sink to profane oaths and sabbath-breaking, and so become utterly lost."

15:29

Can rights be restored once they are gone? [The Liberty Sphere]

"Hey, Martin," he called out across the room at a meeting I attended recently.

He walked closer so that no one would hear what he was about to say. "What chance do you give our survival as a nation?" he asked.

"Not much," I said, as I walked off.
Click here to continue reading.

03:26

Oregon: Informational Hearing Scheduled to Discuss Lead Ammunition Survey on Tuesday [NRA-ILA News]

Earlier this summer, your NRA-ILA reported on the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s plan to survey hunters on the use of lead ammunition.  Earlier this week, the Oregon House Interim Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources posted its agenda for Tuesday, September 16, including a portion dedicated to discussion on the Lead Ammunition Survey.

Thursday, 11 September

17:00

NRA Files Letter of Opposition to Harry Reid's Attempt to Silence Free Speech [NRA-ILA News]

As we reported last week, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has been aggressively pushing "Senate Joint Resolution 19," a proposed "amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating to contributions and expenditures intended to affect elections."

Missouri teachers can become armed safety officers under new law [NRA-ILA News]

More Missouri teachers could carry concealed weapons under a measure state lawmakers approved late Wednesday that also bans local laws against open carry of guns.

Finally waving the white flag on the assault weapons ban [NRA-ILA News]

The Center for American Progress is waving a white flag on banning assault weapons in a study out Friday titled “Assault Weapons Revisited.” CAP authors Arkadi Gerney and Chelsea Parsons argue that gun control advocates should quit seeking to prohibit assault weapons like the AR-15 rifle and instead focus their energies on expanding background checks and firearms licensing laws.

One percenters' gun control would mean 'handgun registration' for Washington State [NRA-ILA News]

Initiative-594, the universal background check initiative being bankrolled by millionaires and billionaires in Washington state, will lead to "universal handgun registration" if passed.

Rice, Allen Cases Show Danger of Unchecked Prosecutorial Discretion [NRA-ILA News]

The year 2014 has gone from bad to worse for Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice. In February, he was involved in an ugly confrontation with his then-fiancée (and now wife) Janay Palmer in an Atlantic City hotel casino.  A security camera captured the incident, which ended with Rice hauling the unconscious Palmer out of the elevator.

Prohibitionists Give up on Semi-Auto Bans? Not So Fast [NRA-ILA News]

For the last 25 years, banning so-called “assault weapons” has been at the forefront of the anti-gun agenda.  However, in recent days, an article from ProPublica and a “study” from The Center for American Progress indicated that the gun control establishment is shifting away from advocating for semi-auto bans and towards background checks/registration.  The “coincidence” of these publications appearing days apart hints at what might be public relations scheming, rather than a genuine shift in viewpoint.

Harvard: Millions of Dollars More For Gun Control [NRA-ILA News]

Harvard University’s School of Public Health is set to receive a $350 million donation to study “gun violence” and other “complex health threats challenging the U.S. and the world,” CNN reports.  The donation, the largest ever received by the university, is being made by the Morningside Foundation, run by the descendants of Hong Kong real estate tycoon T.H. Chan, for whom the school will be renamed.

Anti-Gun MarketWatch Article in Re-Run Mode [NRA-ILA News]

On August 27, MarketWatch.com, supposedly a website for stock market investors, published a cynical article about gun manufacturers and gun ownership, titled 10 Things the Gun Industry Won’t Tell You.  In fact, MarketWatch has been running and re-running the same article for months now, just changing the date every so often, to make it appear brand new.

2014 Firearms Law & the Second Amendment Symposium [NRA-ILA News]

The 2014 NRA-ILA Firearms Law & The Second Amendment Symposium will be held on Saturday, October 11, 2014 at The University of Baltimore.

Stephen P. Halbrook's Book, "Are There Lessons for Us Today from Nazi Gun Control?" to be Featured on BookTV [NRA-ILA News]

With the new attacks on gun rights, please set your DVR or tune in Saturday, September 13th at 12:00 noon ET (9:00 a.m. PT) when C-SPAN2's BookTV will air “Are There Lessons for Us Today from Nazi Gun Control?”, featuring the renowned Second Amendment legal scholar and attorney Stephen P. Halbrook, (Research Fellow, Independent Institute), author of the widely acclaimed book, Gun Control in the Third Reich: Disarming the Jews and "Enemies of the State."

14:14

Laying low today [The Liberty Sphere]

It is Sept. 11, 2014, the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on our country at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and what would have been a devastating hit on the U.S. Capitol Building had it not been for the courageous passengers aboard who sent the plane catapulting into the countryside in Pennsylvania.

These anniversaries are necessary. I always watch TV specials about the attacks year by year, and I come away with the feeling that they just happened. I remember where I was, what I was doing, what I proceeded to do. I was working as a healthcare chaplain in a large hospital. I watched the second plane fly into the World Trade Center, as it happened. Later the chaplains gathered to watch the unfolding events.

We were as shocked and stunned as anyone. But we had a job to do. We had to get out there and comfort the sick and their families. We had to project a feeling of calm. Many patients were afraid of having their surgeries that day due to the uncertainty. But in the end all of them had their procedures done.

It was an exhausting day, to say the least. As a psychiatric chaplain I had the main responsibility for tending to psychiatric patients in our in-house facility, as well as our outpatient facility. As I led the group that day it was clear the patients wanted to talk about the attacks. Some were visibly terrified. So, we dealt with it by talking it through.

I remember all of this so clearly that it is as if it just happened today. I went home and reclined on the couch, totally spent emotionally and physically.

I have written about these events in much greater detail many times through the years. This year, other than what I already said, I will lay low. I don't want to be out and about on this day. I am keeping my own counsel, and I am keeping my thoughts close to the vest. But I have every intention of providing a remembrance of this horrific event for as long as I live. I will not spend one second talking who did it or what I think about them. I've done that many times. But for this year's remembrance I will only focus on the pain inflicted on our nation, on many of our citizens, and on me.

So, will I write an Examiner article today? I have no idea. If I do, it will have to be later on, and I will need to become aware of some vital news that must be reported. In that event, I will be back. If not, then I will remain silent.      

08:39

Missouri: Gun Owners Prevail in Veto Override Session [NRA-ILA News]

Overnight, Senate Bill 656 received final approval from the Missouri House of Representatives, and the veto by Governor Jay Nixon (D) was overridden.  Things also started late yesterday when the state Senate took up SB 656 during the veto override session and approved it by a 23 to 8 vote.  The House approved this measure by a 117 to 39 vote, with supporters from both sides of the aisle.

07:50

Pennsylvania: Firearms Preemption Bill Could be Considered in State House Next Week [NRA-ILA News]

Next week, the Pennsylvania Legislature returns from its summer break, and the NRA has learned that the state House of Representatives may be considering a vote on House Bill 2011 as early as next Monday.  This critical firearms preemption legislation is needed to strengthen and provide consistency in Pennsylvania’s firearm and ammunition laws throughout the state.

05:00

NRA’s Chris Cox Letter To Congress In Opposition To S.J.R. 19 – An Amendment To The Constitution To Ban Certain Political Speech [NRA-ILA News]

Dear Majority Leader Reid and Minority Leader McConnell: I am writing to express the National Rifle Association’s strong opposition to S.J.R. 19, which proposes to amend the United States Constitution to allow Congress and the states to ban certain political speech now considered protected under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

04:00

Washington Gun Control Ballot Measure Would Criminalize Common Common Firing Range Occurance [NRA-ILA News]

A gun control ballot measure expected in the upcoming elections in Washington State could turn law-abiding citizens into criminals by the thousands at places like gun shows and gun ranges.

Wednesday, 10 September

21:42

An interesting debate [Of Arms and the Law]

From Glenn Reynolds, "The Second Amendment as Ordinary Constitutional Law," arguing that the 2A has become a normal part of Con law, legal doomsday did not come, and courts might as well accept that. Then, from David Wolitz, comes "Second Amendment Realism," suggesting that that just means the courts will screw it up like they have all the rest of the field. He phrases it a little more tactfully.

17:00

Homeowner scares off burglars, The Press-Enterprise, Riverside County, Calif. 09/08/14 [NRA-ILA News]

A man was at home in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. when a group of burglars knocked at the door. When the homeowner didn’t respond, the thieves attempted to break-in through a window. The homeowner responded by firing at one of the criminals, missing, but prompting the burglars to flee.

Missouri lawmakers expand guns in schools, cities [NRA-ILA News]

Missouri lawmakers expanded the potential for teachers to bring guns in schools and residents to openly carry firearms in cities on Thursday by overriding a veto of legislation by Gov. Jay Nixon.

Want to know what UN thinks of 'democracy'? Just look at its Arms Trade Treaty [NRA-ILA News]

The U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), a controversial effort that is highly sensitive in the U.S. due to Second Amendment concerns and worries about its impact on U.S. foreign policy, is nearing the fifty ratifications it needs to come into force, and all critics have been kicked out of the room.

Baylor Student Senate set to consider campus carry [NRA-ILA News]

A new effort to allow students to carry firearms on Baylor University’s campus will be proposed Thursday night, according to a student senator.Gannon McCahill, 20, a senior studying finance at Baylor, said the student senate will vote on a resolution about 6 p.m. Thursday to permit concealed carry on campus for students with concealed handgun licenses.

13:24

Judge downplays Holder contempt citation [The Liberty Sphere]

Excerpt:

Holder had refused to provide the Committee with key documents that had been subpoenaed in the ongoing investigation into the Obama administration's covert scheme to use ATF agents and criminals who would make "straw purchases" of illegal firearms in order to walk them across the southern border, placing them in the hands of drug cartel kingpins.
Click here to continue.

08:10

Pollsters expecting "sizable" Republican wave in November's election [John Lott's Website]

Stu Rothenberg in Roll Call predicts "at least 7 seats" for the Republicans in the Senate:
While the current Rothenberg Political Report ratings don’t show it, I am now expecting a substantial Republican Senate wave in November, with a net gain of at least seven seats.
But I wouldn’t be shocked by a larger gain. . . .
Of the seven Romney Democratic seats up this cycle, Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia are gone, and Arkansas and Louisiana look difficult to hold. Alaska and North Carolina, on the other hand, remain very competitive, and Democrats rightly point out that they have a chance to hold both seats.
But I’ve witnessed 17 general elections from my perch in D.C., including eight midterms, and I sometimes develop a sense of where the cycle is going before survey data lead me there. Since my expectations constitute little more than an informed guess, I generally keep them to myself.
This year is different. I am sharing them with you.
After looking at recent national, state and congressional survey data and comparing this election cycle to previous ones, I am currently expecting a sizable Republican Senate wave. . . .
From Gallup:
Americans indicate that these negative attitudes will increase their probability of voting this fall, and history suggests it is more likely that Democrats than Republicans will suffer as a result, given Democratic control of the White House."
Of course, there is also Nate Silver giving Republicans a 65.1% probability of taking over the Senate.

Meanwhile, a new ABC/Washington Post poll shows most Americans view Obama as a "failure."  That is a pretty tough way to phrase things.

There are a couple of pollsters such as Sabato and Cook who say that there isn't evidence of the wave yet, but Rothenberg's comments deal with that perspective.

UPDATE: The Hill has this on the newest NBC News and the Wall Street Journal poll.
Republicans hold a two-point lead nationwide on which party registered voters want to see in control of Congress, and that lead expands to 10 points in the Senate battleground states at 50 percent to 40 percent in the poll, conducted by Democratic polling firm Hart Research and Republican pollster Public Opinion Strategies. 
"With 56 days until Election Day, our poll provides greater insight into what is likely to happen, and the news is not good for the Democrats," Democratic pollster Fred Yang writes in an accompanying memo. . . .

07:58

Bakersfield, California Vice Principal shows that concealed carry permit holders can legally carry guns on school property [John Lott's Website]

This story won't be a surprise for those who have followed the CPRC (or here).  In California, concealed carry permit holders are allowed to carry on school property if they have approval of the school superintendent, which it would be too surprising for Vice Principal to obtain.  From KBAK/KBFX in Bakersfield, California:
A Tevis Junior High School administrator who was arrested and subsequently released last month after bringing a gun to school has filed a claim against the city of Bakersfield and its police department, according to his attorney Daniel Rodriguez.

Kent Williams, 51, vice principal at the school since 2010, said he was falsely arrested by BPD officers for bringing the handgun to school, because he has a valid concealed-weapons permit and showed it to them before the arrest was made.

"Me, being a law abiding citizen, that was the first time I had ever been exposed to handcuffs," Williams said. "I was frightened and scared out of my mind."

Rodriguez said his client brought the gun to school for safety reasons.

He said several laws were violated by the arrest on behalf of the department, which later released Williams from custody.

Police said it was initially believed that Williams may have violated the California Gun Free Zone Act but said the vice principal likely did not break any laws because of his valid concealed-carry firearms permit, which was issued by Kern County. . . .

Tuesday, 09 September

19:17

Why the obsessive secrecy about illegal alien children? [The Liberty Sphere]

As it has been widely reported nationally, the Obama administration has exhibited an obsessive secrecy about the location of illegal alien children who have crossed over the southern border by the tens of thousands. In the earlier days of the massive onslaught, local towns and cities in the southwest met the buses carrying the children with protests, forcing the buses to turn around. It is unknown whether or not this points to the main reason for the current secrecy, but it might.
Click here to continue reading...

17:00

Michigan counties report varied gun permit costs [NRA-ILA News]

The reported cost of concealed carry gun permits to Michigan taxpayers varies widely in each county, with a high of $214 and a low near $3.

Gun control fears boost enrollment at Manhattan's only commercial gun range [NRA-ILA News]

People are popping off rounds beneath the busy streets of Manhattan. The stench of burnt gunpowder fills the air. Paper targets twitch from incoming bullets. And shell casings clank with each ear-piercing bang from the shooters in their booths.

Last American jurisdiction with a total handgun ban? [NRA-ILA News]

The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands is part of U.S. sovereign territory. It also (1) totally bans handguns, (2) bans carrying all guns, even in the home, (3) requires licenses for long guns, which are allegedly not granted for months on end, though theoretically they are supposed to be granted within 60 days, and (4) bans all ammunition except .22 cartridges, .223 cartridges, and .410 shotgun shells.

Does carrying a gun to synagogue make it safer or more dangerous? [NRA-ILA News]

Is the person next to you in shul packing heat?If you live in a state with permissive gun laws, the answer might be yes.

11:58

Blurred, fuzzy, and mad [The Liberty Sphere]

Today my eyes are blurred. No worries, though. This is normal as they heal from the inflammation. Things look fuzzy up close. Kinda mad about that.

Anyway, I plan to write an Examiner article later. Got some important stuff to share. Check back with me later. And thanks.

02:45

Missouri: General Assembly to Take Up Pro-Gun Legislation During Tomorrow’s Veto Override Session [NRA-ILA News]

As reported last week, the Missouri General Assembly will meet tomorrow and Thursday to consider bills that were vetoed by Governor Jay Nixon.  Three of the bills being considered include provisions that would improve gun laws in the Show Me State.  Tomorrow, the bills will come up in their house of origination – Senate Bill 656 in the state Senate and House Bill 2002 and House Bill 2008 in the state House of Representatives – and on Thursday the opposite chamber will consider those bills if passed.  Each of these bills addresses the issue of creating a safer school environment, by making Missouri more compliant with the NRA’s School Shield program.

Monday, 08 September

17:00

Homeowner holds intruder at gunpoint until police arrive, The Tampa Bay Times, Tampa Bay, Fla. 09/03/14 [NRA-ILA News]

Around 4:30 a.m., Joseph Cihak, a homeowner in St. Petersburg, Fla., awakened and went to use the bathroom. While heading to the bathroom, Cihak came upon an intruder armed with a knife. Cihak was armed with a gun at the time and fired at the criminal twice before his gun malfunctioned. Cihak retrieved another gun and captured the unharmed home invader. As Cihak was holding the intruder for police, the criminal attempted to bargain with him. The burglar offered to mow Cihak’s lawn if he was allowed to go free. The ploy didn’t work and now the criminal is facing a charge of armed burglary.

New York: Rally Supports Gun Shop Owner over SAFE Act [NRA-ILA News]

About 50 people came out Monday night to support the owner of a local gun store caught in a SAFE Act controversy.

New Jersey prosecutor who let Ray Rice off the hook is throwing the book at a young mother of two [NRA-ILA News]

Following the release of new footage that seems to show now former-Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice punching his then-fiancée in the face, it’s important to remember that the prosecutor who let Rice off with a slap on the wrist is now trying to throw the book at a young mother of two who tried to protect herself and her family from violence.

California mayor says Bloomberg's gun control group used his name 'illegally' [NRA-ILA News]

On September 3, the Los Angeles Times reported Mayors Against Illegal Guns submitted a letter on behalf of 69 California mayors in support of the passage of more gun control. The problem: at least one of the mayors MAIG claimed to represent--Ridgecrest Mayor Dan Clark--said he did not support the MAIG letter, much less sign it. And he said if MAIG used his name, "they did it illegally."

Pennsylvania: Perry County sheriff, auditors' attorneys weigh in on court ruling throwing out gun lawsuit [NRA-ILA News]

The attorney representing Perry County's sheriff said he was confident all along that his client was doing the right thing by not divulging the names of applicants for permits to carry concealed firearms to the county's auditors.

16:50

Rights? You have no rights in a police state [The Liberty Sphere]

Excerpt:

...law enforcement agencies have discovered a cash cow of multimillions of dollars, requiring innocent citizens to fork over even more cash to retain legal representation to get their money back. The costs can be enough to break the average family.
Click here to read the whole thing.

Sunday, 07 September

20:16

Yep, still here [The Liberty Sphere]

I'm still here, yep yep yep.

Just thought I would say hello. Sorry about no posting today. Hope to be back on track tomorrow.

Have a restful Sunday evening.

17:00

Doctors can be wrong [NRA-ILA News]

There is much wailing and gnashing of teeth among physicians and medical societies, including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), over the Florida law that forbids questioning patients about gun ownership. In late July, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that this was “legitimate regulation” of physicians’ conduct, intended to protect “patient privacy and curtail abuses of the physician-patient relationship.” Physicians who can see past the perceived insult to their autonomy would understand that this changes nothing about good care.

13:37

Concealed carry permit holder defends himself against six gang members who tried to rob him, gang members part of dozens of robberies over past 3 days [John Lott's Website]


From TMJ4.com: "Police bust a dangerous teenage crime ring after a 15-year-old suspect is shot to death by one of his intended victims." These "thugs" were believed to have previously beaten and robbed a young woman. The 15-year-old who was shot and killed had been shot in a similar robbery last month.

More on the story from WISN.com TV:
Police in Milwaukee say the person shot during a robbery attempt Monday was a teen with a long arrest record.
Police said a group of people attempted to rob another group of people near South Second Street and National Avenue early Monday morning. Investigators said one of the would-be victims produced a gun and shot one of the would-be robbers. 
VIDEO: Police: Teen shot, killed early Monday part of crime spree 
Lt. Mark Stanmeyer said the shooting victim was a 15-year-old boy that he called "a known gang member" who had a lengthy arrest record including armed robbery and auto theft. 
Stanmeyer said the shooting victim had also been shot in an incident on Aug. 1
Police said the 30-year-old West Allis man who shot the teen was taken into police custody and released. He has been ordered to report to the District Attorney's Office at a future date. 
Stanmeyer said five people were arrested and are believed to have been part of dozens of Milwaukee-area robberies over the past three days. Stanmeyer said the ages of those arrested range from 14-18 years. . . .

12:23

Armed defenders put a dent in Milwaukee robbery rate [Of Arms and the Law]

First story here. An armed gang tries to rob tavern workers after closing time, one victim opens fire and kills one of the robbers, with police later arresting the remainder. The robbery gang was responsible for dozens of armed robberies over the past three days. The shootee also had a string of arrests for robbery, auto theft, fleeing and whatnot, and had been injured in a gang shooting a few weeks ago.

And last month, a Milwaukee nurse, a victim of an attempted carjacking, shot one carjacker. The day before, the shootee had shot a person during an attempted carjacking; when his accomplice was rounded up, police arrested ten more suspects believed to be involved in dozens of robberies and carjackings.

Hat tip to Tamara Keel.

07:46

New York Times has devastating expose on how the Brookings Institution sells its research and access to Obama administration officials [John Lott's Website]

Brookings is the old line liberal think tank in Washington, DC.  It isn't too surprising that the New York Times would have a lot of connections with Brookings.  Those connections have done a lot of damage to Brookings.  Here is just a few of the examples in the piece:
Qatar, the small but wealthy Middle East nation, agreed last year to make a $14.8 million, four-year donation to Brookings, which has helped fund a Brookings affiliate in Qatar and a project on United States relations with the Islamic world. 
Some scholars say the donations have led to implicit agreements that the research groups would refrain from criticizing the donor governments. 
“If a member of Congress is using the Brookings reports, they should be aware — they are not getting the full story,” said Saleem Ali, who served as a visiting fellow at the Brookings Doha Center in Qatar and who said he had been told during his job interview that he could not take positions critical of the Qatari government in papers. “They may not be getting a false story, but they are not getting the full story.” . . . 
“I am surprised, quite frankly, at how explicit the relationship is between money paid, papers published and policymakers and politicians influenced,” Amos Jones, a Washington lawyer who has specialized in the foreign agents act, said after reviewing transactions between the Norway government and Brookings, the Center for Global Development and other groups. . . . 
The Brookings Institution, which also accepted grants from Norway, has sought to help the country gain access to U.S. officials, documents show. One Brookings senior fellow, Bruce Jones, offered in 2010 to reach out to State Department officials to help arrange a meeting with a senior Norway official, according to a government email. The Norway official wished to discuss his country’s role as a “middle power” and vital partner of the United States. 
Brookings organized another event in April 2013, in which one of Norway’s top officials on Arctic issues was seated next to the State Department’s senior official on the topic and reiterated the country’s priorities for expanding oil exploration in the Arctic. . . .

06:04

Scotland moves to independence, the political ramifications: a much more conservative and less EU friendly England [John Lott's Website]

With Labour holding 40 of the 59 Scottish seats in the UK parliament, Scottish independence is going to dramatically transform British politics.  Forty seats out of 325 needed for a majority and the most recent polls showing a slight majority of Scots in favor of independence, the Labour Party is in disaster mode, with Labour MPs flocking to Scotland to convince voters there not to vote for independence.  

A lot of the purported fears about Scottish independence are pretty weak.  Take the claim that new Scottish government won't be able to continue to share the pound with the rest of the UK in a formal currency union.  There is a simple what that Scotland can do that without any help from the UK government.  Just look at how Panama and China used to link their currencies to the US Dollar.  Both countries committed to exchanging their currencies at a specific rate to the dollar.v

If this independence occurs, it will put the Conservatives in England and Wales in office for years.  It will probably also make the party more conservative as the party has room to compete with the UK Independence Party.   Scotland has been a strong supporter of the EU, so Scottish independence would probably doom what ever chance there was of defeating the referendum that Cameron has promised in 2017.  My guess is that all this also means that England will be a much stronger ally of the US.  

Saturday, 06 September

22:32

Ugh! I hate to be such a downer, but it's gloom, despair, and agony on me, so much so I felt like taking a good barf [The Liberty Sphere]

Ever been so nauseated that you thought that if only you could barf you would feel better? If you haven't, then spend a week with me. Every week that passes I will spend two days of it beset with nausea, living off of Dramamine.

Of course I will sleep very well those two days. So there are advantages.

I am not too keen on having to live this way, but when I think of all I want to do, or what God has called me to do, I am renewed in my determination to carry on until one day I will drop. I always said I prefer to kick the bucket with my boots on anyway.

The unfortunate part of it all is that when the nausea gets bad enough and when the Dramamine takes hold in an effective way, writing is the last thing I feel like doing. Energy is gone. And all I want to do is sleep. But after a couple days it's all over, and I am feeling okay again.

I hope to get back to a more permanent state of "being okay" in time. That is my intention, my prayer, and my hope. The better we all feel, the more we can give to the task that most assuredly is ahead of us in these dark and dangerous days that are filled with the most despicable evil, even in our own government.

We are going to be stuck with the most evil of these numbskulls even if Congress changes hands in November. The Republicans won't have enough of a majority to do what needs to be done -- impeach and clean house. And disinfect. So, even if the opposition gains a majority in the Senate, as well as the House, there still won't be enough of them to prevail in an attempt to impeach. We will need 60 votes but we will only have 53 or 54 at the most.

This alone is enough to make one barf. When I think of it, I want to break out in song from the old Hee Haw TV show -- "Gloom, despair, and agony on me." These people in the White House, the Senate, some in the House, in both Parties, the Supreme Court, and other courts, are sickening enough to make anybody barf. But remember, my friends, even if we were to have supermajorities in both the Senate and House, we are still stuck with Obama appointees on the D.C. Circuit Court, which has ultimate authority over matters arising out of Obama malfeasance and that of his administration. That court will never allow such a thing to go any further.

The only exception is in the event that Republicans could somehow succeed in removing certain persons from the bench. A judge can be impeached, you know. And I can count at least a half dozen in the DC Court and five on the Supreme Court who need to be given the heave ho. All of them are as nauseating to me as the president and Congress. Somehow I have visions of barfing out of my system anything making me sick, and low and behold in my dream, it's Obama, Biden, Reid, Pelosi, and at least a half dozen others that I have expelled from my system.

So sorry about the sickening imagery, but to me such persons are precisely just that sickening.

Good night.

22:13

Another case where registration type records are used for confiscating guns?:Government retroactively changing its mind on what is a legal gun [John Lott's Website]

From Fox News Insider:
Joseph Palumbo, owner of the Albion Gun Shop in Albion, New York, was forced by state police to hand over 165 customer records or risk having his store raided. 
Palumbo spoke to Tucker Carlson this morning on Fox and Friends Weekend and explained that the police said they were looking for anyone who had purchased a modified AR-15 rifle. 
Although the police did not have a written order to seize the customer records, Palumbo said they made it clear there was the imminent threat of a SWAT team raid of his store, so he complied and handed over the records. . . .
"We had been told by the state police that this modification was legal over a year ago," said Palumbo, who has hired an attorney specializing in the Second Amendment. . . .

21:01

Liberal Politico slaps Obama over pushing back amnesty for illegal immigrants until after the election [John Lott's Website]

Will voters realize that Obama is just delaying amnesty until after the when voters can punish him for amnesty?  It is hard to believe that this trick could really protect Democrats from any fallout, but Obama is sure going to try.  From Politico:
President Barack Obama has one person to blame for looking indecisive, dithering and cowed by bungled political calculations: Barack Obama. 
He’s the one, after all, who strode into the Rose Garden on June 30 to announce that America couldn’t wait forever on immigration reform and pledging to move forward with a set of executive actions “before the end of summer.” He’s the one who spent that afternoon lighting into Republicans in Congress for punting and punting and punting again. 
Now he’s the one punting. 
Obama, appearing on “Meet the Press,” attributed his decision to punt immigration reform action until after Election Day to making “sure that the t’s are crossed and the i’s are dotted,” or “getting all our ducks in a row,” on the legal side and needing to spend some more time explaining himself to the American public. . . .

20:57

Eric Holder and racial cases: Abusing the power of the federal government in the Trayvon Martin and Ferguson, MO cases? [John Lott's Website]

US Attorney General Eric Holder is still trying to go after George Zimmerman.  Dragging out the legal case like this over years imposes massive costs on George Zimmerman -- not only does it impose legal costs on him, but it makes it very difficult for him to plan his life.  Holder's actions here are a real criminal penalty that are being imposed on Zimmerman.  Either charge Zimmerman with something or eventually let go of the case.  From Grabien.com:
REPORTER: “There is a big announcement that you made years ago about the investigation in Trayvon Martin shooting. Have you ever finished that civil rights investigation? Are you ever going to finish that? 
HOLDER: “That investigation is ongoing. In fact, in anticipation of that question, I was asked — I asked, give me, you know, the best we can where do we stand. That matter is ongoing. There are active steps we are still in the process of taking. There are witnesses who we want to speak to as a result of some recent development. So that matter is still underway.”
From Politico:
Attorney General Eric Holder acknowledged Thursday that even as his department has been opening new investigations stemming from the racially-charged shooting death of African-American teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. last month, federal prosecutors have still not concluded a long-pending probe into the shooting death of another black teen, Trayvon Martin, in Florida in 2012. 
Last November, Holder told the Washington Post he expected a conclusion "relatively soon" to the probe into the shooting of Martin by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman. In July 2013, a Florida jury acquitted Zimmerman was acquitted of murder. Holder promptly announced that the Justice Department would probe the case to see if prosecution on federal charges was warranted. . . .
Experts and former prosecutors have said they are very doubtful the Justice Department will file a federal criminal case against Zimmerman, although his acquittal on state charges does not legally preclude doing so. . . .
So despite "experts and former prosecutors" saying it is doubtful that federal criminal charges will be brought against Zimmerman, the Obama administration continues harassing Zimmerman.

Here is another clip from the same press conference about how the federal government can use its massive resources to make life difficult for a small town, when it appears that Holder made up his mind before any evidence was actually collected.  Others have noted how Holder is personally invested in" the Ferguson case, having put in more than 40 FBI agents on the ground."  Holder has publicly spoken out about what he perceived of as police hassling him when he was younger, though the evidence that those incidents actually involved race was never provided.  What is extraordinary here is that the local prosecutor is a Democrat and Holder clearly doesn't trust him to do a reasonable job.  From Grabien.com:
REPORTER: “Mr. Attorney General, can you give us a little more texture on why you decided to launch this investigation? Your own conversations there — you talk about review of documented allegations. Give us the universe of what went into this. 
MORAN: “We looked at a number of things in our initial and preliminary assessment and whether or not to open the investigation. It included not only discussions that the Attorney General had with residents of Ferguson two weeks ago but also, other meetings that the Civil rights division and Community relations service and other Justice Department officials have had with residents. We’ve looked of course at public records and other pieces of information that are available to make an assessment that this was indeed an appropriate opening for a pattern and practice investigation. Moreover, the civil rights division met with city leaders in Ferguson yesterday and they expressed a strong willingness to assist us, and in fact were extremely open to this investigation. So we will have cooperation from our local residents.” 
REPORTER: “What public records are we talking about?” 
MORAN: “There are a number of pieces of information that we looked at which would have included demographics and public records related to cases that may have been filed by private litigants. There are a number of different things we looked at.” 
REPORTER: “Mr. Attorney General, what about your visit struck you to the point where you felt comfortable able to move forward with the investigation? And then secondly, what do you say to supporters of the police that this investigation is premature and in fact unfair to the police department?”  
HOLDER: “Well, I would say that, as Molly said, the assistant attorney general said, the decision to go ahead was based not only on what I heard while I was out there, which was fairly compelling, and there was a certain continuity in similarities and the kinds of things that I was hearing whether it’s the traffic stops, revenue raising on the basis of traffic stopped; traffic stops that occurred in certain parts of the area. But in addition to that and in response to the earlier question, there has been a review of documentary evidence indicating that there are problems. I do not think there is any question that there is a basis to begin a pattern or practice of investigation. So with regard to those who might be concerned that we are somehow being premature, all we are saying at this point is we are opening an investigation to see whether or not there are in fact problems. I think the fact that we have pledges of local cooperation is an indication that there are issues felt even there at the local level, indicating the need for us to work together to make the situation better. But I want to emphasize, as I said in the prepared remarks, the vast majority of the people who serve — the American people in a law enforcement capacity in this country do so honorably, do so quite well. The vast majority of police departments do so, I think, quite well. But where we find problems, it is incumbent upon us given our statutory responsibilities to use federal law to make sure that in fact occurs.” 
REPORTER: “[indecipherable] You know, this is the same when we read a lot of stuff and you said there is no question that there is justification for opening it. But, I mean, it just sounds like, we talk to people, we read some stuff. But what specifically? Are there cases that specifically predicated the opening of this?” 
HOLDER: “[indecipherable] when you say, we read a lot of stuff. I mean, that’s kind of what we do. You know —“ [crosstalk] 
REPORTER: “There is no question, but there is no question to you. But for people who do not know what you read and don’t know what you’re looking at, what specifically have you seen that said, yes, we have to open this investigation?” 
HOLDER: “Molly maybe can get into more of the specifics, but there are variety of documents and materials that are contained in the public record that exists about the percentages of stops that occurred that involve certain ethnic groups and whether those are consistent with the numbers of people who make up the population. There were whole variety of things that you all have reported on that I think given us a good factual basis to proceed.”

14:39

Did Senator Kirsten Gillibrand make up false claims about sexual harassment in the US Senate? [John Lott's Website]

Why won't Senator Gillibrand name the names of Senators who supposedly engaged in sexual harassment?  Gillibrand wants to have it both ways.  She wants to have the publicity from claiming the incidents occurred but she doesn't want to actually let the people who supposedly did this defend themselves.  Unfortunately, Howard Kurtz doesn't go quite far enough on this discussion.  He assumes that her claims are true (and they may be), but what if they aren't?  What if she is making up claims just to help herself out politically?

UPDATE: Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) comes to the same conclusion that I did.  
Johnson said members should have a chance to defend themselves, after Gillibrand detailed instances in a forthcoming book where she said some colleagues referred to her as "fat,” "porky” and “chubby.” 
"Well, if you are going to throw out accusations, my guess is you probably ought to name names," Johnson said on NewsMax TV. "If you are going to throw around those kind of accusations, you ought to give people a chance to defend themselves." . . .

Friday, 05 September

15:13

Jewish gun rights group merges with Gottlieb empire [The Liberty Sphere]

Excerpt:

Today JPFO issued an official news release announcing the successful merger of the two organizations. JPFO will maintain its unique identity and focus except for the fact that it will now be under the umbrella of the Gottlieb empire.

The pending merger was not without significant controversy, however.
Click here to read the whole thing.

14:33

In a search for continued relevance... [Of Arms and the Law]

Brady Campaign, in a desperate quest for continued relevance, announces it will protest "bad apple" licensed dealers. "Bad apples" are to be measured by the raw number of BATF traces tracing guns back to them.

Now...

1. Licensed dealers can sell only after the buyer passes a background check (and their first target is in Illinois, where the buyer must pass another check and get a Firearms Owner ID Card as well). So it stands to reason that the targeted FFLs are not selling to criminals. More likely, to legit buyers who had their guns stolen by criminals (the trace still goes back to the dealer who made the sale, not to the thief).

2. Traces are not the same as guns used in crime. BATF encourages police to trace every gun that comes into their possession, including, for example, guns recovered from a gun burglar.

3. Brady is using only raw numbers, not percentages of sales. If traces are randomly distributed among dealers, the largest dealers in the area will have the most traces. Just as, in my city, if cars used in drive-by shootings were traces, the biggest numbers would come from the 2-3-4 biggest auto dealers in town, and very few from the more numerous dealers with 20-30 used cars on their lot. (The city has likewise 2-3 major gun dealers, about 5 medium ones, and probably dozens of small ones, Back when getting a license was simple, it probably had hundreds.).

But why worry, so long as it generates some media coverage and maybe adds a few members to a a foundering organization.

05:54

Virginia: The NRA Celebrates Pro-Hunting Milestone [NRA-ILA News]

For the first time, sportsmen across the Commonwealth will go afield this Sunday to hunt on private lands.  Thank you to all who supported the NRA’s efforts over the last several years to repeal the archaic law prohibiting Sunday Hunting.  Our advocacy and persistence cleared the way to allow landowners and their families, and hunters with written permission from the landowner in hand, to hunt private land and public waterways on Sunday in Virginia.

Virginia: The NRA Celebrates Pro-Hunting Milestone [NRA-ILA News]

For the first time, sportsmen across the Commonwealth will go afield this Sunday to hunt on private lands.  Thank you to all who supported the NRA’s efforts over the last several years to repeal the archaic law prohibiting Sunday Hunting.  Our advocacy and persistence cleared the way to allow landowners and their families, and hunters with written permission from the landowner in hand, to hunt private land and public waterways on Sunday in Virginia.

Missouri: Pro-Gun Legislation to be Considered during Next Week’s Veto Override Session [NRA-ILA News]

In July, Governor Jay Nixon decided that your Second Amendment rights weren’t important and chose to veto Senate Bill 656.  Your NRA-ILA reported on the Governor’s veto of this NRA-backed, pro-gun reform legislation, here.

02:53

More evidence that Eric Holder is covering up the IRS scandal? [John Lott's Website]

What possible reasonable justification could the Obama administration have for not providing contact information for a former employee?  From Fox News:
A top House Republican is demanding the Department of Justice hand over contact information on a former employee accused of having a conflict of interest in the IRS targeting scandal investigation.
In a Sept. 3 letter, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, once again asked Attorney General Eric Holder for information on Andrew Strelka’s whereabouts.
“Despite notifying [Oversight and Government Reform] Committee staff that the [Justice] Department no longer employs Mr. Strelka, the department has refused to assist the committee in speaking to Mr. Strelka directly,” Jordan wrote. “The department’s efforts to prevent the committee from learning Mr. Strelka’s whereabouts suggest the department has cause for keeping him from speaking with the committee.”
Jordan says he wants Strelka’s contact information so the Oversight Committee can conduct a transcribed interview. The letter gives Holder a Friday deadline for the information. . . .

Thursday, 04 September

17:00

Woman holds home invader for police, The Omaha World-Herald, Omaha, Neb. 09/02/14 [NRA-ILA News]

Barbara Haley was at home in Omaha, Neb. when she was awakened by her dog barking. Suspicious, Haley retrieved a .45-caliber pistol and went to investigate. Initially, Haley didn’t find anyone in the home and went back to bed. However, another noise roused Haley again, at which point she discovered an intruder in a bedroom closet. Haley ordered the man to stay still and held him at gunpoint in the closet until police arrived. Following the incident, Haley told a local media outlet, “I’m glad I had that gun… And I’m thinking they (burglars) won’t try this again anytime soon.”

Harry Reid Trying to Use Constitutional Amendment to Silence NRA, its Members, and Free Speech [NRA-ILA News]

In January 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a key decision in the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.  The decision removed unconstitutional restrictions on the ability to speak freely at election time of grassroots groups like NRA and others. But now, some are trying to reverse the decision--and while they recognize that they must amend the Constitution to do so, their amendment would gut the First Amendment rights of organized political groups as we know them.

California: Information on the Ten-Day Waiting Period Court Decision [NRA-ILA News]

A federal district court judge recently ruled that California’s mandatory 10-day waiting period for firearm purchases violates the Second Amendment as applied to individuals who already lawfully possess at least one firearm that is registered to them in the California Department of Justice (DOJ) Automated Firearms System (AFS), or who possess a valid Carry Concealed Weapon (CCW) license.  The ruling also mentions those who possess a valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE), but they would still need a firearm registered in the AFS to be entitled to the exception from the 10-day waiting period.

New York: Sportsmen's Association for Firearms Education presents the 2014 Firearm Civil Rights Conference [NRA-ILA News]

Please join the Sportsmen's Association for Firearms Education (S.A.F.E.) for its 2014 Firearm Civil Rights Conference.

NRA boss LaPierre: Americans fear their country ‘off the rails’ under Obama [NRA-ILA News]

The National Rifle Association has unleashed a multimillion-dollar TV advertising campaign that its longtime leader says is aimed at messaging beyond gun rights and reaching middle-class mothers, minorities and other Americans “who believe our country is off the rails.”

Utah sees spike in women obtaining concealed firearms permits [NRA-ILA News]

When Dusti Shepard's husband got a gun last year, she decided it was time to put aside her fear of handguns and learn to use one.Besides practicing her skills at a new shooting range in Sandy called The Armory, the mother of two young children obtained a concealed firearms permit. Now Shepard plans to carry a gun with her at all times.

Harvey Weinstein Renounces Earlier Renunciation of Violent Films? [NRA-ILA News]

From the “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up” files comes an update on heavyweight Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

Violence Policy Center's Cars Theory Not Hitting on All Cylinders [NRA-ILA News]

The anti-gun Violence Policy Center (VPC) thinks it has finally come up with a way to get handguns, and maybe some other guns, banned. Compare ‘em to cars!

Virtual School Practices Real Oppression, Bans Pixilated Firearms [NRA-ILA News]

The cultural campaign to label firearms and firearm ownership as socially unacceptable claimed another victim last week, when a “virtual” school demanded that an elementary school student remove an image of a firearm from his online profile.

11:35

Texas rancher fears for life and family [The Liberty Sphere]

The crisis at the southern border of the United States has now reached a critical stage as ranchers in Texas fear for their lives and that of their families. Obama's policies and that of the Democratic Party as a whole has without doubt created the mess and the danger. Our borders are wide open. Anyone who wishes to come here is allowed to do so along with promises by the federal government that they will be granted safe haven protected against our laws.
Click here to continue reading.

10:06

Washington: Voters in the Evergreen State are Urged to Visit VoteNo594.com [NRA-ILA News]

Last month, the National Rifle Association of America Washingtonians Opposed to I 594 launched VoteNo594.com to help inform Washington voters about this onerous and misguided initiative.  Currently being misrepresented by its advocates as a means to prevent violent crime and keep firearms out of the hands of prohibited persons, Initiative 594, as written, will have a very negative effect on responsible gun owners and Second Amendment supporters.

Wednesday, 03 September

17:47

Looks like it ain't happening tonight, my friends... [The Liberty Sphere]

As I stated earlier, I had intended to write a new Examiner article this evening. But as they say, "The best laid plans of mice and men..." My good intentions did not have the result I had hoped.

In short, I got detained while I was out, and the clock kept ticking away until now it is too late to write an article, provide links, post it, and then promote it on social networking sites. So, there will be no article tonight. Sorry about that.

I do have intentions of writing an article tomorrow. Don't want to go two days in a row without posting anything new. Thanks for your patience, and I will see you tomorrow.

13:59

Gun Rights Policy Conference this month [Of Arms and the Law]

SAF is holding it at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Chicago O'Hare Airport, on September 26, 27 and 28, 2014. Drat, I won't be able to make it, but for any who can, the event is very useful, and free (so are the extensive materials distributed with it. You can make hotel reservations by calling 888-421-1442 -- mention you are attending the conference, and the rate will be $112/night.

UPDATE: the logistics and economics of such a gathering can differ. A Gun Rights Policy Conference brings together a few hundred activists. It's no measurable economic boost to the locality, and SAF can afford to make its location a defiant gesture. An NRA convention, in contrast, brings together 50,000 or so gunnies and hunters (in addition to the activists) and is a major economic boost, hence NRA won't hold conventions in an antigun city. The two events have utterly different economic impacts and, in a policy sense, face entirely different considerations.

12:59

Well now, if this isn't a splendid way to start an afternoon [The Liberty Sphere]

I can tell my eyes are improving, so that's good. But as for the rest of my carcass, that is an entirely different matter. I think some of the meds make me feel bad. Today, terrible.

But, I can't afford to stop. I have things to do, responsibilities to fulfill, etc, etc. And the show must go on, sick or not.

Soooo, I will be back online this evening, hopefully to write an Examiner article to be published tonight. So be watching.

So much is going on all at once that sometimes it is hard for me to decide which subject to delve into. Sometimes having too many choices is worse than having no choice, or only one choice. I want to write about it all, but that is humanly impossible.

But, as always, I will make a choice and hold forth on one of the pressing issues of the day. Thanks for dropping in, and thanks in advance for dropping in later to see if I got my Examiner article posted. I appreciate the support of all of you.

07:25

Mississippi: Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves Urges Gun Owners and Sportsmen to Celebrate Tax-Free Weekend and Ratify November Ballot Measure [NRA-ILA News]

Today, Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves (R) visited Van’s Sporting Goods in Rankin County and took the opportunity to remind Mississippi gun owners and sportsmen that the state will celebrate its inaugural “Second Amendment Sales Tax Holiday” this Friday, September 5, through Sunday, September 7.

Tuesday, 02 September

17:00

California: 2014 Legislative Session Adjourns After Passage of More Anti-Gun Bills [NRA-ILA News]

The 2014 session of the California Legislature has finally adjourned for this year.  Unfortunately, the state legislature passed several anti-gun bills that are now awaiting consideration by Governor Jerry Brown.  The Governor has thirty days to make a decision on the anti-gun bills below.  It is vital that you call, fax AND e-mail Governor Brown DAILY respectfully urging him to VETO these anti-gun bills.  Governor Brown can be reached at (916) 445-2841, by fax at (916) 558-3160 or by e-mail here (https://govnews.ca.gov/gov39mail/mail.php).

Mississippi's first tax-free weekend for sportsmen begins on Friday [NRA-ILA News]

If you're a sportsman, this weekend is your holiday.Mississippi's inaugural tax-free holiday will begin Friday. It runs through Sunday.

Could this tiny picture get an 11-year-old boy expelled from school? [NRA-ILA News]

WISN-AM host Vicki McKenna reported the story out of Wisconsin last week: An 11-year-old boy named Matthew, who attends an online school through Wisconsin Virtual Learning, was asked to remove a picture of a gun from his digital profile, and his mother is now worried that he’ll be expelled over his Second Amendment enthusiasm.

13:32

Professor says higher education in US at tipping point [The Liberty Sphere]

 Excerpt:

...the current system of higher education in the United States is imploding under the weight of dozens if not hundreds of alternative choices that do a much better job at preparing students for the workforce and cost only a fraction of what universities charge their students for degrees that may do nothing more than build a bridge to nowhere.
Click here to read the whole thing.

Monday, 01 September

17:00

New Jersey: Bill introduced to grant discretion in gun cases [NRA-ILA News]

A Republican lawmaker says he has introduced a bill that would give discretion to New Jersey judges dealing with out-of-state gun owners.

California: Concealed weapons permits nearly double in O.C. [NRA-ILA News]

In the six months since Orange County began issuing concealed weapons permits under a relaxed standard, the number of people licensed to carry guns is close to doubling, and thousands more are awaiting approval.

Alabama amendment would address gun ownership [NRA-ILA News]

Following moves in at least two other states, a proposed amendment to the Alabama Constitution would make owning firearms a fundamental right, and measures to control weapons would have to pass the toughest review by state courts.

California lawmakers reject background checks for ammo buyers [NRA-ILA News]

The state Assembly on Saturday failed to muster the votes to approve legislation aimed at identifying criminals and others who are improperly buying ammunition in California.

Banning Russian-made AK-47s sets off a U.S. buying frenzy [NRA-ILA News]

Thirty-six hours after the Obama administration banned importation of the classic brand of AK-47 assault rifles as part of sanctions against Russia, a Maryland dealer specializing in the weapon took stock of its inventory.There was nothing left.

10:26

Stossel says EPA on spree to grab private property [The Liberty Sphere]

As if we did not know already, Fox Business Network personality John Stossel reported on his weekly Thursday night show that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently on a spree to grab private property. The agency is using its rules and regulations on wetlands and waterways to seize property, informing the owners they no longer have a legal right to possess land or water on their own property.
Click here to continue...

Sunday, 31 August

19:39

Armed Self Defense Moments [Of Arms and the Law]

Ohio: two perps try to abduct a woman walking her dog. She draws her gun, and they reconsider.

Florida: armed robber enters jewelry store, pulls gun on 89 year old WWII vet. The vet grabs perp's gun, draws his own .38, and puts six rounds into perp. (The perp survived: the vet needs a bigger gun and/or hotter loads. He may have been using the old 158 grain round noses).

Saturday, 30 August

18:34

If I had no scruples or decency I would go on a cussin' spree right now in front of God and everybody [The Liberty Sphere]

I am not going on a cussin' spree. I do have scruples and sense of decency. But some days it's difficult to maintain one's dignity.

We are being bombarded on every side with threats to our liberty and our very lives. And what does the bumbling imbecile in the White House do about it? He has no clue. He never has a clue. He relies on the puppet-masters who put him in office and kept him in office. Scumbags such as Reid, Pelosi, Schumer, Cummings, Soros, Podesta, Holdren, Sunstein, Rahm and his murder-proposing "doctor" brother Ezekiel.

This Marxist/Fascist cabal (I use both because it has elements of both) have made sure we are the laughing stock of the world's enemies -- the new Soviet Union, China, ISIS, HAMAS, etc., etc. I warned John McCain in 2008 that he was going to have to be ready to address the hidden but budding Soviet menace, a course of action that would probably lead to a new Cold War. His response? We're not interested in being involved in any new Cold War. Well, of course we are not interested. But the problem is, IT IS INTERESTED IN US! We have no choice. The same with ISIS. Whether we want another war with Islamo-Fascists is not the point. They will bring it to us! Whether we are interested in confronting China over its violations of US airspace and territory or not, they are pushing things to the breaking point. What will happen when they fly a fighter jet right over Los Angeles or San Francisco?

And then we have internal battles initiated by a president and cabinet and Senate that is determined to wage war against ordinary citizens over their rights. Add to that the explosive problem at the Mexican border, with drug cartels, human traffickers, and even Islamic terrorists using children as human shields to gain entrance into the country, and what we have is a scenario where we are surrounded on ALL sides, compliments of Fuhrer Obama and his jackbooted thugs in the courts, in Congress, in the Cabinet, in the underground bureaucracy headed by the NSA and its secretive FISA court.

Any one of these threats are set to explode at any time, right in our faces. Or perhaps they plan to explode at the very same time to be sure the citizens cannot mount a successful resistance.

I don't have all the answers here, but at the least it is time to kick up into high gear the Stealth War that focuses on 4th Generation Warfare. The object is not to kill or harm any human life. The objective is to render inoperative all of the subversive plans and tactics of the government leviathan...by using our heads and outsmarting them.

Friday, 29 August

16:26

What if we say no to educating illegal aliens? [The Liberty Sphere]

The basis of the American form of government is encapsulated in part in the notion that any government can only govern at the consent of the governed. So what if the citizens begin showing this administration and its enablers in Congress, in addition to the courts, that we will no longer consent to any edict that is in violation of plain statements of law found in the U.S. Constitution? In short, what if we say no?
Click here to continue...

13:49

Hiya, folks, just some thinking out loud about things... [The Liberty Sphere]

Hello, folks, I thought I would do some thinking out loud about some practical matters that have been on my mind. As you know, the Liberty and Gun Rights News Roundup has been on indefinite hold since this eye problem cropped up. I have found, at least so far, that providing all of those links is so optically tedious that it hurts my eyes. I mean literal pain.

So, I had to back off of that and write regular blog posts, along with my Examiner articles. And this brings me to some possibilities as I think about the future.

I am always looking for ways to make things better for readers. When the eyes heal up I may test out a new format that will allow me to continue to focus on gun blogs and liberty blogs, calling attention to things that I think are worth a look. But the new format will allow me to avoid the tedious work of putting a bunch links together in one post. I think you will like it better. I will show you what I mean when we get there.

Continue to pray for my eyes. This has been the longest bout I've had with them since this stuff first started back in 2008. They still don't know why this happened from a medical standpoint since the underlying cause has not yet been determined with certainty. They have narrowed it down to two or three maladies, but whatever it is seems to be taking a long time to progress enough to diagnose. We do know that it is inflammatory in nature. We do know that it has hit my eyes first. We also know it has attacked my joints but not to the point of crippling. One doctor told me recently he was leading toward Lupus -- not exactly good news but no worse than the other things that have been mentioned.

But, we shall see. I will say that whatever this is has been coming on very slowly and gradually since 1994 or so. This is a good thing because it means the progression of it is very slow. That means I can remain active and do my work for a long time to come, provided my eyes get stabilized.

11:45

For reference re: justifiable homicide [Of Arms and the Law]

In the dispute over how many self-defense cases occur, one data point often cited by those seeking to minimize the number is the FBI Uniform Crime Report's count of justifiable homicides (a legal category that includes self-defense). This is usually in the range of 900 a year, including several hundred by police. While that doesn't count self-defense that doesn't result in the perp's death, it is argued that it is inconsistent with hundreds of thousands or millions of defensive uses annually.

What's not realized is that the FBI count is artificially defined in a way that far undercounts defensive uses. The usual definition of self-defense with a deadly weapon is use of force immediately necessary in light of a reasonable belief that the perp is likely to inflict death or serious bodily injury.

But the FBI UCR Reporting Handbook at pp. 17-18 uses a completely different definition. Reporting officials are instructed, in the case of use of force by a non-LEO, to include under justifiable homicide only killings "The killing of a felon, during the commission of a felony, by a private citizen."

The illustration given (do NOT list as justifiable a situation where a citizen shoots a fellow attacking him, in a crime of passion, with a broken bottle -- the author must have watched too many 1950s movies about street fights) makes it apparent that the assault itself does not count as "commission of a felony."

08:00

Colorado: UPDATE on Castle Rock Open Carry Vote [NRA-ILA News]

Yesterday, the unofficial results of the Castle Rock special election were announced.  Referendum A, which prohibits the town manager from banning the open carrying of firearms in public parks, passed by 50.8%.  Referendum B, which requires a town vote before local officials are allowed to alter gun laws in Castle Rock, passed by 78%.

06:00

Looking Into The Eyes and Souls of America [NRA-ILA News]

I always get a big boost out of our Annual Meetings. It’s always rewarding to be among 70-80,000 like-minded folks, enjoying our common interests, shared values and a profound sense of community.

The Constitution Meets Two Professors [NRA-ILA News]

This is a tale of two professors. One is among the most respected scholars of the U.S. Constitution and an unwavering defender of the rights and liberties that our nation’s Founders recognized and enshrined. He is Jonathan Turley, a professor of law at George Washington University.

04:00

Operation Choke Point: Choking off Credit to The Gun Industry [NRA-ILA News]

Banking regulations being misused to choke off the exercise of Second Amendment rights? Surely such a thing couldn’t happen here in the United States of America.

03:00

Reclaiming America [NRA-ILA News]

For any American who is worried about this country, who feels our core values slipping away, who believes something has to be done to change the direction of our nation before all is lost—the NRA is your refuge. It is your place to stand and fight with Americans just like you, for all that is good and right.

Thursday, 28 August

17:00

Clerk chases off armed robber, WJCL, Savannah, Ga. 08/25/14 [NRA-ILA News]

Clerk Rick Patel was working at a Shell Food Mart in Claxton, Ga. when a hooded man approached the counter and attempted to rob the store at gunpoint. Patel responded by retrieving a pistol, which then he used to chase the criminal out of the store. Police suspect the hooded man has committed several other armed robberies. Following the incident, Patel told Savannah’s WJCL, “I don’t like to shoot nobody but when it comes to my life I would. And thank God I didn’t get hurt, I didn’t kill him, otherwise I would have regretted but hey, you made the choice, regrets happen.” In recent years, some convenience store clerks have faced discipline following an act of armed self-defense. In a welcome departure from these instances, the owner of Patel’s store told the TV station, “I’m really proud. Whatever he did I’d like if everybody started doing it that way, robbery will be stopped, especially for convenience stores.”

Federal District Court: California’s Waiting Period to Acquire a Firearm Violates the Second Amendment [NRA-ILA News]

On Monday, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California issued an opinion holding that California’s 10-day waiting period for nearly all firearm sales violates the Second Amendment, at least as applied to certain individuals.  The opinion, written by Judge Anthony W. Ishii, generally found California’s justifications for the waiting period insufficient to overcome the burden the waiting period placed on Californians’ right to keep and bear arms.

Judge having spoken, D.C. officials consider allowing residents to carry guns [NRA-ILA News]

To carry or not to carry? That is no longer the question.One month after a federal judge’s ruling, District officials have conceded that the city’s long-standing ban on carrying guns in public must be scrapped and replaced with a new law that will allow at least some law-abiding city residents to bear arms on city streets.

Emanuel Puts Positive Spin on Chicago’s Violent Crime Problem [NRA-ILA News]

Even though Chicago has more murders than any city, its mayor, Rahm Emanuel, says it’s not the “murder capital,” Politico reports.

14:46

Progressive lies about patriots debunked [The Liberty Sphere]

At least two essential ingredients have been crucial to the success of the "Progressive" Movement ever since it first surfaced in the late 1800s. First, history must be rewritten in order to change common attitudes and beliefs, and second, those who oppose the "progressive" agenda must be maligned by a series of lies and misconceptions that are intended to ruin reputations.

Progressives succeeded in adding in the first essential ingredient.
Click here to continue...

14:20

$100 traffic citation removed to US District Court [Of Arms and the Law]

Washington, DC. Federal employee gets into a minor fender-bender, gets a $100 traffic ticket. Alleging he was on duty at the time, the Dept of Justice appears on his behalf and gets the traffic ticket removed to U.S. District Court. (It later reconsidered).

Egad -- the power of the Feds to "remove" a case to Federal Court arises under Article III §2. But that relates to cases "arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and Treaties made," not to local traffic rules. It also covers "controversies to which the United States shall be a party," but the US didn't get the traffic citation. On a policy level, removal is meant to protect a Federal official against getting railroaded in State court for doing his job. A traffic citation in a D.C. court hardly falls into that class.

A friend had a case where a lady sued the Post Office, before it became semi-independent, for failure to deliver a sporting event ticket. It was a minor case filed in small claims court. The Feds removed it to Federal District Court. He told the Ass't US Attorney that he could have settled the case for less public expense than it took to file the motion, and asked why a Federal District Judge (of whom there are only a few here, probably only 2-3 back then) should be tied up hearing a case involving a few hundred dollars. He got nowhere.

04:00

Victory for Sound Fish & Wildlife Management in Michigan [NRA-ILA News]

NRA Strongly Supported Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act Fairfax, Va. – A bipartisan majority in the Michigan House of Representatives today passed the citizen-initiated Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act (SFWCA). With a 65-43 vote the SFWCA becomes law. “This is a significant victory for common sense and Michigan hunters over radical anti-hunting groups who have tried to undermine the state’s wildlife biologists on game management decisions,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action. “This citizen-initiated legislation is critical to ensure that the state Natural Resources Commission retains their authority and that Michigan is not subject to endless referendums run by out of state anti-hunting extremists.”

Wednesday, 27 August

20:51

"The Heroes of the Right of Self Defense" [Of Arms and the Law]

It's a blog post by Prof. Nick Johnson of Fordham Law. He discusses Otis McDonald and Shaneen Allen (who faces a mandatory three year jail term for having driven into NJ with a firearm for which she had a PA permit to carry concealed).

"So another rhetorical question: Why have the nominal champions of civil rights ignored Otis McDonald and the self-defense interests of the sober, mature members of the Black community he represented?

The search for answers highlights priorities wildly out of whack. Compare the relative non-acknowledgment of Otis McDonald with the broad consternation over how Black criminals are treated. Michelle Alexander's acclaimed book calling the state of Black incarceration the "new Jim Crow" illustrates this....

A final question, and this one is not rhetorical: Will the people who invoke the power and rhetoric of civil rights to condemn the disparate treatment of heroin and crack dealers, come to the rescue of a law-abiding Black woman whose crime was misunderstanding the multilayered bureaucracies that restrict the federally-guaranteed constitutional right to arms?

Shaneen Allen failed to appreciate that only one piece of the right to keep and bear arms operates in New Jersey. She perhaps concluded that two high-profile Supreme Court opinions affirming the constitutional right to keep and bear arms, plus a Pennsylvania license to carry a concealed firearm, would be enough to secure her right to carry a gun for self-defense, even in New Jersey. She was mistaken, and might be faulted for her slippery grasp of U.S. federalism. But with that as her crime, she is still infinitely more worthy of being rescued than anyone on the recent list of presidential pardons.

So far, there have been no protests or demonstrations seeking justice for Shaneen Allen. Like Otis McDonald, she is ignored by the nominal defenders of civil rights. Let us hope that this is not the end of the story."

17:00

California: 2014 Legislative Session Scheduled to Adjourn this Sunday, August 31 [NRA-ILA News]

There are only four days left of the 2014 California legislative session and you MUST call AND e-mail your state Senator and Assemblyman TODAY.  Respectfully urge him or her to OPPOSE all anti-gun legislation!

CNN's Don Lemon says automatic weapons are easy to get [NRA-ILA News]

Fans of the Second Amendment have been chiding CNN’s Don Lemon for his comments about the sorts of guns you can legally buy in this country. They’ve said Lemon was confused, and his exchange with conservative radio host Ben Ferguson on Aug. 20, 2014, was embarrassing.

California: Anyone convicted of domestic violence can draw permanent gun ban [NRA-ILA News]

Anyone convicted of domestic violence in California will be permanently barred from possessing a gun even if no physical injury was inflicted, a state appeals court has ruled.

12:57

America too far gone to save? [The Liberty Sphere]

Excerpt:

"Yes, I will continue to fight, " he continued, "But frankly I don't see a lot of improvement. Not only do I have to fight politicians who are throwing our freedoms into the garbage can, trampling on the Constitution in the process, but I must constantly fight to attempt to educate my fellow citizens in what it means to live in a free society with a Constitution that is supposed to protect our freedoms with the full force of the law. The number of people in America today who understand that the Constitution exists to protect our freedoms from government encroachments is very small."
Click here to read the whole thing.

Tuesday, 26 August

07:25

Well, here is a bit of good news in the middle of a dark cloud hanging over my head [The Liberty Sphere]

One cannot begin to imagine the dark cloud of doom and gloom that sets in when one's eyesight is threatened -- except for those who have been there and experienced it. It's like being on pins and needles 24/7. So any bit of good news is a welcomed relief.

Today I had an early morning exam with the eye specialist. He says there is some improvement. The inflammation seems to be subsiding. This is certainly good news. But the rest of the news is not quite as good. I still have inflammation in both eyes.

He tells me that this time, with this particular flair-up, the inflammation is quite stubborn and resists leaving completely. But, he said, it is moving in the right direction, and he expects it to be gone in the next two months. In the meantime I have to continue with anti-inflammatory meds until that stuff is gone.

This means that my eye surgery will be put off until I can go three straight months without any inflammation. So, keep me in your prayers. But I did want to share with you this bit of good news for a change.  

Monday, 25 August

19:31

DOJ confirms Lerner IRS emails saved on backup system [The Liberty Sphere]

Judicial Watch announced late today that Department of Justice (DOJ) attorneys have confirmed that the smoking gun emails of IRS official Lois Lerner were, indeed, saved on the government's backup system.
Click here to continue...

Wednesday, 20 August

00:40

Having fun in night club,do u like? [Tribe.net: NorCal Gun Club]

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