Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Gun Rights News Roundup

Articles, news stories and op-eds of interest to gun owners:

CNN asks: Should hunters use "green" bullets:
... Three years ago, Phillip Loughlin made a choice he knew would brand him as an outsider with many of his fellow hunters:

He decided to shoot "green" bullets.

"It made sense," Loughlin said of his switch to more environmentally friendly ammo, which doesn't contain lead. "I believe that we need to do a little bit to take care of the rest of the habitat and the environment -- not just what we want to shoot out of it."

Lead, a toxic metal that can lower the IQs of children, is the essential element in most ammunition on the market today. ...

Comment: The anti-gunners and anti-hunting crowd will continue to demonize lead bullets, despite centuries of experience that game taken with lead bullets is safe to consume.

Article on the increases in gun and ammo sales:
Since Obama’s victory in November, Smith and Wesson and Ruger, the only two publically traded US gun makers, have experienced major increases in their stock prices. Ammo manufacturers are running 24/7 attempting to keep up with demand. Military-pattern semi-automatic rifles, including AR-15’s and AK-clones are expensive, stocked-out, or both. Are these price increases "gouging," as some would say, or are they a natural response to the forces of supply and demand? If these prices are elevated over normal conditions, will they continue to soar upwards? To both questions I say, "No, there is no gouging, prices will probably fall in the future."
Based on the preceding, I think that increasing supply and decreasing demand will alleviate the scarcity and reduce the price of most military pattern weapons and ammo. However, there are risks that events could complicate this analysis. The most obvious possibility is that a ban DOES come into effect. But again, this would likely cause a temporary hyperbolic rise in market prices, but a permanent curtailment of demand for the products of S&W, Ruger, Bushmaster, DPMS, Remington, etc. Another possibility is that the increased attention to guns due to crime and Obama represent a secular shift in the attitude of the public. Indeed, there are signs of this. Florida has a backlog of 93,000 citizens applying for concealed carry permits. Tennessee has also experienced soaring gun purchases and permit applications. Concealed carry permit holders tend to differ from hunters in their consumption patterns. Hunters tend to buy bolt-action rifles, concealed carry permit holders purchase small handguns. Concealed carry permit holders also tend to purchase "tactical" training and equipment (rifles, shotguns, etc). Concealed carry permit holders also tend to be more politically active than hunters. Once this "new batch" of gun owners is armed, their demand for guns will fall along with their demand for fancy cars, RV's, vacations, and other consumer discretionary purchases.

Another take on ammo price increases:
... Individual shooters are stockpiling thousands of rounds of ammunition because of fears of future punitive taxation or outright bans of certain kinds of ammunition. Law enforcement agencies are also stockpiling ammunition to make sure they have enough on hand to meet training requirements. The shortage we are seeing is the result of both agencies and private citizens hoarding the most sought-after ammunition.

Thus, this shortage is the result of an accordion effect that has developed over the past few years.

Law enforcement agencies have been rapidly increasing their ammunition consumption because of how they are rearming, causing a permanent increase in demand. Just as ammunition manufacturers began to cope with that increase, a second run, based upon a downward-turning economy and rising fears of laws targeting gun and ammunition, dramatically expanded demand yet again.

Shortages of ammunition and firearms can be expected to continue for as long as it appears our overreaching federal government is a threat to our individual liberties, our economy continues to falter, and our police agencies keep militarizing. ...

[West Virginia] WV Citizens Defense League on proposed gun bill:
... Given several inaccuracies in recent media reports, I want to clarify some of the things the bill does and does not do.

The bill repeals one statute that generally prohibits weapons on the state Capitol Complex.

Second, it amends a separate statute prohibiting weapons in courthouses so that the ban will apply only to those portions of the Capitol in which the Supreme Court and its offices are located.

Senate Bill 147 is hardly revolutionary.

As in Oregon, New Hampshire, Virginia and several other states that respect the rights of law-abiding gun owners, the bill would permit us to exercise our right to keep and bear arms around and inside our Capitol in the same manner as most other public places. ...

[Texas] Op-ed supporting campus carry:
In June 1975, every indicator predicted a good summer for America's seaside tourism industry-the oil embargo had been lifted, the Vietnam War was over, and the stock market was recovering.

Instead, coastal tourism declined that summer, primarily due to growing concerns about shark attacks. Ironically, there were no fatal shark attacks in the U.S. in 1975. The national epidemic of galeophobia (fear of sharks) originated not from any real-life incident but from the June release of the movie "Jaws".

A terrifying fantasy caused otherwise rational people to lose sight of reason and ignore the laws of probability (you're almost twice as likely to pick the winning Powerball numbers as to be killed by a shark in U.S. waters).

A similar epidemic of baseless paranoia now grips Texas. But the perceived threat isn't sharks; it's concealed handgun license holders.

In response to Texas Senator Jeff Wentworth's proposal of a bill that would allow holders of state-issued concealed handgun licenses to carry concealed handguns on college campuses, opponents have dusted off their own terrifying fantasies-the same contrived, hypothetical scenarios they used, unsuccessfully, 14 years ago to oppose the passage of Texas's concealed handgun licensing law.

And just like the hysteria that followed the release of "Jaws", the hysteria about the dangers of allowing "concealed carry" on Texas college campuses has no basis in fact. ...

[Oregon] Student loses university appeal, contemplates lawsuit:
... 30 year-old former Marine Jeff Maxwell was arrested in late January when police found him carrying a handgun on Western Oregon’s campus. But charges were quickly dropped, when the District Attorney learned Maxwell had a concealed weapon permit.

The university, though, suspended Maxwell. He appealed, but was just rebuffed.

Kim Thatcher: “Well, I think they’re violating his civil rights.”

Kim Thatcher is a Republican state rep from the mid-Willamette Valley. She says Western Oregon is breaking the law - whether they’re punishing Maxwell for the gun or the knife he was carrying, or the rifle found in his car.

Kim Thatcher: “I believe the law is very clear. He has the right to have not only firearms, but other weapons.”

That’s not the view of the Oregon University System. ...

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