Illinois gun owners need to step up to the plate–now

March 4, 2009

As I mentioned Monday, I am convinced that HB 48, the private handgun sales ban, is the priority of the forcible citizen disarmament lobby in Illinois. We stopped its equivalent last year by only two House votes (which prevented it from coming up in the Senate, but then, as now, we thought our best chance for stopping it was in the House). The House composition has changed, and not necessarily in a way that bodes well for gun rights in Illinois.

The following is a list of representatives whom we believe could go either way in voting on HB 48, by virtue either of their voting records, or of being newly elected, with no voting record on which to base any conclusions.

Clicking on a given representative’s link takes you to his/her webpage, with contact information for both the Springfield and district offices. The legislature is obviously active in Springfield these days, so that’s where we need to concentrate our efforts, but there’s no need to make the district office staff feel neglected. Besides, the reps. often come home for weekends, and you might catch them then. An office visit from a constituent is an excellent way to communicate the importance of this issue.

38th District Representative Al Riley
41st District Representative Bob Biggins
42nd District Representative Sandra Pihos
43rd District Representative Keith Farnham
46th District Representative Dennis Reboletti
47th District Representative Patricia Bellock
48th District Representative Michael Connelly
50th District Representative Kay Hatcher
51st District Representative Ed Sullivan, Jr.
53rd District Representative Sidney Mathias
54th District Representative Suzanne Bassi
55th District Representative Harry Ramey
56th District Representative Paul Froelich
62nd District Representative Sandy Cole
66th District Representative Mark Walker
67th District Representative Charles Jefferson
68th District Representative Emily McAsey
92nd District Representative Jehan Gordon
95 Distict Representative Mike Fortner
96th District Representative Darlene Senger
107th District Representative John Cavaletto
114th District Representative Eddie Lee Jackson, Sr.

One more thing: the five legislators below represent counties that passed the Pro-Second Amendment Resolution, declaring all further gun regulation illegitimate. Those reps. need to be reminded of that–reminded of whom they’re supposedly representing. Here’s that list:

Kay Hatcher, Kendall County–passed the resolution by a wide margin on May 6, 2008;

Charles Jefferson, Winnebago County–passed the resolution unanimously on Sept. 27, 2007;

Emily McAsey, Will County–passed the resolution overwhelmingly on Oct. 14, 2008;

Jehan Gordon, Peoria County–passed the resolution unanimously on Feb. 14, 2008;

John Cavaletto
, Marion County–passed the resolution on Nov. 13, 2007

Have I mentioned IGOLD lately? One week from today.

Being ‘allowed’ to keep a gun in the home is not enough

March 4, 2009

I am not claiming that the Heller decision has won the battle against the carrying of firearms–just that it should have. The Constitution explicitly protects the right to bear arms from infringement, and the “collective rights” interpretation of the Second Amendment has been decisively discredited. What remains is seeing to what degree the gun prohibitionists will succeed in obfuscating that reality. [More]

Today’s St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner column is up. Please give it a look, and help spread the word.

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Hmm . . .

March 3, 2009

I’m not unaccustomed to site visitors from Fairfax, VA, but this one raised my eyebrows a bit:

(Click to embiggen)

The chair is against the wall.

Coalition to Stop Gun Violence: self-defense is a ‘shimmering mirage’

March 3, 2009

Mike Beard, president of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, is so unwilling to accept the idea of private citizens exercising their right of armed self-defense that he claims that those who do, are chasing a “mirage.”

This Sunday, the New York Times Magazine ran an article by Bathsheba Monk titled “My New Gun.” Ms. Monk, a writer and resident of Allentown, Pennsylvania, described how—due to “the worsening financial news”—she has purchased a gun for “protection.” “You might as well get used to a .38 [caliber handgun]” a friend and gun enthusiast told her. “You want it to make a nice big hole.”

Ms. Monk wrote that a clerk at the gun store where she made her purchase told her that many handguns were out of stock. Background check records indicate that arms sales around the country have been increasing “in inverse proportion to the collapsing economy and in response to the unsubstantiated buzz that the new administration is going to tighten gun control.”

I am glad that Ms. Monk is taking steps to take responsibility for her own security, but I am puzzled as to why she thinks the threat of more federal citizen disarmament tyranny is an “unsubstantiated buzz.” The Obama administration has been . . . substantiating the “buzz” from the very beginning.

I digress, though–Beard calls her account a “chilling story,” and then quotes some poem about a traveler lost in the desert, lured on by a “shimmering mirage.”

Tell me, Mike, do you think it was a “shimmering mirage” that saved the lives of Heath and Mirelle Miller? Was it a “shimmering mirage” that prevented Bridget DiCosmo from being raped a second time? Was it a “shimmering mirage” that protected any of these people?

Keep talking, Mike–more and more Americans are getting wise to your citizen disarmament efforts.

Legalized defensive handgun carry coming to Illinois?

March 3, 2009

I touched briefly on this back in late January, but there have been enough recent developments on defensive handgun carry in Illinois to warrant another, deeper look. Although such a change in Illinois law still faces a steep climb, the perception is that chances are better than they have been in many years. [More]

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

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The battleground takes shape in Illinois

March 2, 2009

Last year, freedom advocates in Illinois just barely defeated a private handgun sales ban bill, HB 758. The Brady Campaign, the Illinois Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence had all designated HB 758 as their number one goal (or, in the case of the Brady Campaign, the number one Illinois goal), and when they fell (just) short, they were upset enough to resort to bullying tactics (and ignominiously failing).

Well, as one might have guessed, they haven’t given up on the idea, and are in fact pursuing HB 48 very aggressively, with thirty sponsors/co-sponsors already.

This one is going to be a real battle, and it seems once again to be the basket into which the citizen disarmament lobby is placing the vast majority of their eggs.

Snuffy Pfleger and Co. are planning to be in Springfield on March 18th to make their push for it.

Keep watching here, Days of Our Trailers, The Armed Schoolteacher, and Illinois Carry, to get an idea of which legislators can be most productively contacted in an attempt to dissuade them from passing this abomination.

Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) lobbyist Todd Vandermyde has an excellent summary of the HB 48 situation.

Oh yeah–have I mentioned IGOLD lately?

The import ban cometh

March 2, 2009

Last week, Attorney General Holder announced that Rep. Engel’s wish would be granted.

President Barack Obama’s administration is beginning to respond. On Wednesday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder promised to enforce a long-ignored ban on importing assault weapons, many of which are resold illegally and smuggled into Mexico to resupply the cartels.

Calderón applauded Holder’s announcement as “the first time … in many years that the American government is starting to show more commitment.”


Today’s St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner is now up. Please give it a look, and spread the word.

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Congratulations, NRA–now you’re as ‘pro-gun’ as . . . Nancy Pelosi

February 27, 2009

I see Nancy Pelosi has now taken up the NRA’s “enforce existing gun laws” mantra.

“On that score, I think we need to enforce the laws we have right now,” Pelosi said at her weekly news conference. “I think it’s clear the Bush administration didn’t do that.”

Outside of the dig at the recent Republican president, that phrase is the stock line of those who don’t want to pass new gun control laws, such as the National Rifle Association.

Isn’t that sweet–and Pelosi and LaPierre would look so good together, too.

I hope no one in the gun rights advocacy committee thinks Pelosi’s lack of public enthusiasm for a hard push for a new AWB is any more than a timing issue, as David points out.

Actually, I have to kind of wonder about what Pelosi meant about the Bush administration not enforcing gun laws. It reminds me that Congressman Eliot Engel is claiming that an import ban on so-called “assault weapons” is an “existing gun law” that isn’t being enforced.

Was she just telling Holder to get on that, while they wait for the right time to strike on domestic “assault weapons”?

What will it be–a new ‘assault weapon’ ban, or a preserved Union?

February 27, 2009

Do I honestly believe that any state is ready to secede over a new federal gun law, such as a new AWB, or H.B. 45? Perhaps not, but does the Obama administration really have so little on its plate that it wants to take on an issue that arouses this much passion among the people who would oppose it? [More]

Today’s St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner is up. Please give it a look, and spread the word.

In other news, the Gun Rights Examiners have a Facebook page, and everyone’s invited–come join us.

In still other news, we also have a press release out. Kinda cool–give it a look.

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The gloves come off

February 26, 2009

By now, everyone has heard that Attorney General Holder last night came out and said that a new AWB is in the works.

“As President Obama indicated during the campaign, there are just a few gun-related changes that we would like to make, and among them would be to reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons,” Holder told reporters.

The truly bizarre part of this is that we’re apparently expected to accept the destruction of our Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms because of crime in Mexico:

Holder said that putting the ban back in place would not only be a positive move by the United States, it would help cut down on the flow of guns going across the border into Mexico, which is struggling with heavy violence among drug cartels along the border.

“I think that will have a positive impact in Mexico, at a minimum.” Holder said at a news conference on the arrest of more than 700 people in a drug enforcement crackdown on Mexican drug cartels operating in the U.S.

The New York Times is dutifully performing its job of government lapdog (the days of the press as government watchdog are long over, obviously), saying that the “U.S. Is Arms Bazaar for Mexican Cartels.”

Drug gangs seek out guns in the United States because the gun-control laws are far tougher in Mexico. Mexican civilians must get approval from the military to buy guns and they cannot own large-caliber rifles or high-powered pistols, which are considered military weapons.

Left unmentioned is the fact that the way to “get approval from the military” is to grease the right official’s palm–do that well enough, and the military might even provide you with firepower you’ll never get in a U.S. gun shop or gun show–firepower like the RPGs, mortars, and grenades that keep turning up in Mexico’s drug war.

Also interesting is this part:

In 2007, the firearms agency traced 2,400 weapons seized in Mexico back to dealers in the United States, and 1,800 of those came from dealers operating in the four states along the border, with Texas first, followed by California, Arizona and New Mexico.

Well that’s odd. California–number one Brady-ranked California–is the second greatest source. Even stranger is the fact that a large part of California’s high rank comes from its implementation of the very laws the Brady Campaign says will effectively combat gun trafficking–laws like “gun show loophole” closure, one-gun-a-month, universal background checks, etc. Oh, did I mention that California already has a ban of so-called “assault weapons” (and California’s AWB casts a particularly wide net), and a ban of non-reduced capacity magazines? But I hear those are just the kinds of weapons that are causing the biggest problems (after the machine guns, grenades, rocket launchers, and mortars that aren’t coming from anywhere in the U.S.).

It sounds as if Holder would like, as part of his strategy to block gun trafficking to Mexico, for federal law to be just like California law. Just like the laws that don’t prevent California from being the second largest source. That should work great, Eric.

For more on Holder’s announcement, see David Codrea’s column today.
For more on the Mexican drug war, and what it has to do with U.S. gun laws, see a column of mine from last week.
For a slightly older look at this administration’s coming anti-“assault weapons” storm, see a column of mine from late last month.