Break a leg!

March 11, 2009

Today is the day for IGOLD ’09. I have a great many friends there, but health and practicality issues make that impossible for me, unfortunately.

Vast amounts of hard work went into making this happen, and to be associated with these folks, and able to call them friends, is a huge honor for me.

Go change the world, guys (or the state, anyway).

Would George Washington want American citizens to acquiesce to oppression?

March 11, 2009

That’s right–to say that private gun ownership must be protected to ensure the people’s ability to fight back against a tyrannical government is a “disturbing argument,” according to Beard. He then goes on to further condemn the idea of citizens resisting the government by force of arms, referring to it as “insurrectionist chest-beating.” What Beard forgets (or more likely, has chosen to ignore) is that when he called for obedience to the laws of government, Washington assumed that the government itself obeyed the Constitution. So long as it does, we the people are indeed obligated to obey. It’s when the government exceeds the authority granted to it by the Constitution that all bets are off. [More]

Today’s St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner is now up. Hope you’ll give it a look, and tell a pal.

We have a new Gun Rights Examiner–on a somewhat different beat–he represents not the nation (David’s gig), or a city, but the state of Wisconsin. Please welcome Gene German, our Wisconsin Gun Rights Examiner.

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Check out other Gun Rights Examiners:

RNC Chairman Michael Steele has a short memory about so-called ‘assault weapons’

March 10, 2009

Chairman Steele seems to be criticizing Attorney General Holder for advocating a position essentially similar to the one that Steele himself has held.

There are few human failings I find more contemptible than hypocrisy. I guess the GOP is a bit more . . . flexible on that than I am. [More]

Today’s St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner column is up. Hope you give it a look, and encourage others to do so. Note, also, that after a long absence, our Milwaukee Gun Rights Examiner Candace Dainty is now back in action.

Please welcome her back.

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Bad news for Bloomberg: Supreme Court says law means what it says

March 9, 2009

New York City’s jihad against guns suffered a set-back today:

New York City on Monday failed before the U.S. Supreme Court to revive a lawsuit it filed against the gun industry.

New York sued several gun manufacturers in 2000, arguing the companies violated a state public nuisance law with their marketing and distribution of the firearms products they sell. Among the companies sued were Beretta USA Corp., Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. (SWHC), Colt’s Manufacturing Co. LLC, Sturm, Ruger & Co. (RGR) and Glock GmbH.

A federal law enacted in 2005 sought to shield gun makers from lawsuits like the one New York filed, prompting a federal judge to throw the case out. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York in April 2008 upheld that ruling by a 2-1 vote.

New York, in a court brief, said the 2005 law violates state rights under the U.S. Constitution. “This congressional effort to control how states make law raises important questions about the Tenth Amendment’s protections of state sovereignty,” New York said.

The gun manufacturers, in a joint legal brief, said the federal appeals court correctly applied the 2005 statute and argued the law does not violate the Constitution. “This case does not qualify for Supreme Court review,” the gun makers said.

Definitely good news. This, of course, doesn’t affect the remaining cases Bloomberg’s little “sting” operation produced, such as the one against Adventure Outdoors.

On the other hand, this makes the prospects of an appeal by the gun manufacturers who have fallen victim to the Indiana Supreme Court’s (mis?)judgment in the Gary, Indiana lawsuit look considerably better, I would think.

I should probably acknowledge, though, that I can’t quite dismiss the possibility that there might be some merit to NYC’s legal counsel’s argument that the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act violates states’ rights–I don’t have the legal mind to make that determination. I know Dr. Ron Paul didn’t vote for PLCA Act, for that very reason. I have to take that seriously.

Still, if the “interstate commerce clause” can be used by the feds as providing the only Constitutional authority justifying their insistence on regulating just about everything they want to, I can’t help but take a bit of satisfaction at the thought that maybe the feds are once again exercising authority they don’t have, but this time to thwart oppressive measures by state and/or municipal governments.

When the order of protection . . . provides none

March 9, 2009

What I’m getting at, of course, is that in the end, the final responsibility for our security, and for that of our families, lies with us. If an armed psychopath kicks down your door, shooting (or slashing, or bludgeoning, etc.) as he comes, that piece of paper signed by a judge has failed to stop him, and if you don’t have something more substantial than that on hand, along with the skill, courage, and will to use it, you’re in serious trouble. [More]

Today’s St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner column is now up. Please give it a look, and encourage others to, as well. War on Guns readers probably know that we’re trying to make a splash at Digg.com–something that’s getting tough, as the statists are making more and more concerted efforts to shut us down. Any help you could provide on that front is hugely appreciated (Thirdpower is going way above and beyond what we could ask of him–it means a lot, Third). I’m trying something new, that should allow you to digg (if you are a Digg.com member) the other GRE columns right from here–hopefully it works).

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NRA supports ‘assault weapons’ ban!

March 6, 2009

Not really, but I figured that would grab the attention of those who accuse me of harboring an obsessive (or was it “deranged”?) hatred of the NRA.

Anyway, this is some pretty funny satire (excerpt):

The NRA today came out in favor of the Obama administration’s attempt at reviving the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004, citing experts who say that assault weapons perpetuate unhealthy stereotypes of physical beauty.

“We support the proposed assault weapons ban for much that same reason that West Virginia state lawmaker Jeff Eldridge supports a ban on the sale of Barbie dolls,” said NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, “because they place too much emphasis on the importance of a weapon’s physical beauty, at the expense of a shooter’s intellectual and emotional development.”

Go read the rest, it’s not long, and we could all use a Friday chuckle.

Still tightening the screws on Illinois gun owners

March 6, 2009

I’m still not planning to shut up about HB 48, and what I think we need to do to try to stop it.

The enemy is once again stepping up the pressure to pass HB 48, this time with one of their “polls.”

The survey results show an overwhelming majority of Illinois voters strongly support common sense gun laws such as background checks for private gun sales and requiring gun owners to report lost or stolen guns to law enforcement.

Voters statewide expressed overwhelming support for closing the “private sale loophole” by requiring background checks for all gun sales, with 90 percent in support and 76 percent strongly supporting such a measure. Support for universal background checks was strong among Republicans (85%), gun owners (79%), and NRA members (70%). Women, voters residing in the suburbs of Chicago, and Hispanic voters had the highest levels of support for the measure, each at 96 percent.

“It’s not surprising that so many women support background checks on private gun sales,” said Representative Elizabeth Coulson (R-Glenview). “The fact is that women who are the victims of domestic abuse are particularly at risk of being shot and killed and gun violence disproportionately affects children and young people. If you’re thinking about the safety of your family and your own safety, it makes sense to support something as simple and necessary as background checks to keep felons, domestic violence offenders, minors and people with severe mental illness from accessing guns.”

Not mentioned there is that most of the survey was done in DuPage County–one of the “collar counties” surrounding the Chicago area–where the responsible, peaceable gun culture has been all but smothered over the course of decades. The rest of the survey was in the Peoria, IL region–a good deal farther from Chicago, but not exactly “downstate.”

I also have to wonder what kind of leading questions were asked.

It seems a push is also being made for HB 845, the Blame the Victim . . . oops–I mean Lost or Stolen Reporting Requirement bill. That just passed in a House committee Wednesday, and can come up for a vote on the House floor any time now. That might be their second biggest priority, at this point.

If it passes, I’m going to be reporting a lot of “lost” guns, I guess.

Did I mention IGOLD ’09 recently?

Decorated Marine, disarmed by law

March 6, 2009

When a decorated Marine combat veteran is denied the opportunity to purchase a handgun, for the “crime” of telling the truth, gun laws have truly abandoned any pretense of a legitimate claim of being representative of “common sense.” That, however, is just what happened in Omaha, Nebraska. [More]

Today’s St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner is up. Please give it a read, and suggest it to others.

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The coming of Illinois’ backdoor handgun ban?

March 5, 2009

It’s that time of year again. Spring is the season in which my posts tend to become very parochially Illinois-centric. That’s because the spring session is when the forces of citizen disarmament are most active in the Illinois Politburo . . . oops–I mean legislature. I’ve been hammering HB 48 (bans private handgun sales) pretty hard, because I’m convinced it’s the biggest threat.

Today, I want to look at another bill, and the potential nightmare nexus of it and HB 48. This time, the focus is on HB 180, the “Handgun Dealer Licensing Act” (there’s also the Senate version, SB 1848, but it’s the House that seems to be moving most aggressively on gun laws at the moment).

HB 48 is essentially identical to last year’s HB 796 (both were introduced by Rep. Deborah Graham), which I discussed here. The “highlights” from last year are the same, so I’ll take the lazy approach, and simply suggest you read (or at least skim) that analysis.

As you can imagine, this will dramatically reduce the number of legal handgun dealers in Illinois (remember, since the state police may issue the license, they can refuse to do so, for any reason–or no reason at all–so in theory, it gives the state the power to force every legal handgun dealer out of business). Remember also that HB 48 would require that every sale by a private owner be conducted on the premises of a licensed dealer–just as the state seems intent on eliminating those through HB 180, so you couldn’t even buy one on the (legal) secondary market (assuming you could raise enough cash for the inevitably inflated cost produced by this massive market distortion). Since federal law already prohibits buying a handgun out of state, we could have a de-facto handgun ban, in all but name.

Since two thirds of the sponsors/co-sponsors of HB 180 are also sponsoring HB 48, I seriously doubt this is an accident.

“But wait,” you might say, “if HB 48 and HB 180 both pass, and do what you say, and the state refuses to issue/renew any licenses, I won’t be able to get rid of an unwanted handgun, either–they can’t want that, can they?” Fear not–they’ve got you covered with HB 3791, which legalizes gun “buy-backs.”

“But wait,” you say again, “they have gun ‘buy-backs’ all the time–how have they done that?” That’s a good question.

Oh yeah–have I mentioned IGOLD ’09?

Citizen disarmament lobby is waiting for the next tragedy to exploit

March 5, 2009

One of the things that strikes me about “gun control” advocates (that’s a term I don’t really like, or consider accurate–I much prefer “citizen disarmament lobby”) is the ineffable cynicism that characterizes their expectant wait for the next great tragedy to exploit. Every atrocity perpetrated with guns is milked for every last drop of publicity in pursuit of the citizen disarmament agenda. [More]

Today’s St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner is now up. Please give it a look, and tell a friend.

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