Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Gun Rights News Roundup

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

NRA's Wayne LaPierre takes on the liars, er, politicians on the guns into Mexico issue:
Here's a summary for the time- or attention-challenged: Never surrender freedom for laws that can't affect criminals; they disobey laws for a living.

Nobody is surprised that Attorney General Eric Holder wants to make good on his promise to ban guns. We just didn't know whose tragedy he'd seize to advance his agenda.

Now we do. It's the drug-driven death and violence in Mexico at the hands of ruthless criminal cartels.

Barely a month on the job, Holder cited the Mexican cartel killings as the excuse to resurrect the Clinton gun ban.

Though a new face to some, Holder is a rabid Second Amendment foe from the Clinton administration who helped orchestrate the 1994 Clinton gun ban.

America has made this mistake already. So let's learn the lies that led to their gun ban.
Nobody can substantiate claims that U.S. guns cross the border "by the thousands" or "account for 95% of weapons used by Mexican drug gangs." Because it's not true.

Replying to Feinstein in subcommittee hearings last week, William Hoover, assistant director of field operations at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said, "The investigations we have, that we see, for firearms flowing across the border don't show us individuals taking thousands of guns a day or at a time flowing into Mexico."

Yet reporter after politician after news anchor parrot the lie as readily as high schoolers gossip, and with equal disregard for truth.

That's how gun abolitionists claim Mexican gun laws are so strict that our "weak laws" (read: freedoms) are to blame for "fueling the violence" in Mexico.

Well, to believe that:

• You have to believe these butchers and beheaders break every Mexican law they want except Mexican gun laws, which they honor -- while they break America gun laws.

• You have to believe that Mexico's drug cartels, which possess the wealth and armies of nations, prefer American semiauto target and hunting rifles over fully automatic machine guns and any other military arms they want to crush opposition.

• You have to believe Mexican drug lords -- who make Forbes magazine's list of billionaires -- don't get large lots of weaponry on the transnational black market but instead choose to trifle with paperwork at U.S. gun stores.

• You have to believe that narco-terrorists who buy fragmentation grenades, grenade launchers, explosives, body armor, biometric security equipment, infrared surveillance technology and intelligence-grade reconnaissance gear will salute and obey a new American gun law -- if only we'd pass one.

Michael Gaddy, writing at LewRockwell.com, gives us his take on the Mexican violence:
The state, Mexican authorities and their US propaganda arm, known in most circles as the Mainstream Media, have recently embarked on a huge disinformation campaign to demonize the American gun owner as the supplier of weapons to the Mexican drug cartels. Everyone in the media, with the possible exception of Lou Dobbs, has joined in the campaign of lies.

Shown here, on a CBS special, is video proof of the lies and disinformation by CBS, US and Mexican authorities. Anderson Cooper and Janet Napolitano are either ignorant or complicit in the myth that M-203s, RPGs and hand grenades are readily available to the American gun consumer. Most intelligent folks, and those without a state sponsored agenda, realize these weapons are usually only available to the military.

This week, Secretary of Homeland Defense, Janet Napolitano, announced a new plan to curb the alleged flow of weapons from the US into Mexico. This program, which will cost the overwhelmed US Taxpayer another 700 million dollars plus, includes machines that employ what is referred to as "virtual strip search." This plan will supposedly slow down the number of guns traveling south from the US to the drug cartels in Mexico. If this program has the same success rate as the government’s efforts at stopping the flow of contraband north into the US, the Mexican drug cartels will have nuclear weapons by the end of April! ...

Newsweek repeats the familiar 90% lie, laments lack of new AWB push (for now, anyway):
After fierce resistance from the gun lobby and its allies in Congress, Attorney General Eric Holder has dialed back talk about reimposing a federal assault weapons ban to help curb the spiraling violence in Mexico.

As much as 90 percent of the assault weapons and other guns used by Mexican drug cartels are coming from the United States, fueling drug-related violence that is believed to have killed more than 7,000 people since January 2008, according to estimates by Mexican and U.S. law enforcement officials. But the political obstacles to addressing the U.S.-to-Mexico weapons flow are dramatically underscored by Holder's experience in just the last few weeks.
When Holder was asked about the assault weapons issue again at another press conference on March 25, he steered away from even mentioning a new weapons ban. "Well, I mean, I think what we're going to do is try to, obviously, enforce the laws that we have on the books," Holder said, adding that he planned to discuss the flow of illegal arms with "our Mexican counterparts" during an upcoming trip to Mexico.

Holder's about-face was no accident. White House officials instructed the attorney general to tone down any further talk about assault weapons in order not to complicate the president's legislative agenda on Capitol Hill, according to administration and congressional sources who, like others quoted in this story, asked not to be named talking about internal deliberations. (An assault weapons ban was also conspicuously off the table when the Obama administraton unveiled new proposals to combat Mexican cartel violence.) "We've been told to lay low," a Democratic congressional aide said he was told when he raised the issue of a new assault weapons ban with a Justice Department official. [emphasis in original] ...

[Illinois] House votes down effort to close private sale "loophole":
SPRINGFIELD — For the second time in a year, an attempt to toughen state gun laws fell short of passage in the Illinois House.

The proposal, which failed on a 55-60 vote Wednesday, aims to close the so-called private-sale loophole.

Under state law, people buying firearms from private sellers at gun shows must undergo a background check.

But, other private handgun sales are not subject to background checks. Supporters say current law allows guns to get into the hands of criminals who would otherwise not be able to buy firearms.

[Arkansas] ARCCA says Gov. Beebe against privacy for permit holders:
HB1623 The Concealed Carry Privacy bill had a partial hearing today. If you followed us on Twitter you know that the hearing abruptly ended because the full Senate was about to convene. The bill will be reconsidered Tuesday the 31st.

We feel good about the bill in the committee but David Bailey, Managing Editor of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette and member of the Arkansas Press Association (APA) wasted no time in hyping the supposed "dangers" of the bill. I guess he doesn't consider violating the privacy of an undercover police officer "dangerous."He mostly brought up issues centered around people who applied for CHL's in our state and been denied a permit. Which actually makes our case for us that, the system works.

They claim that they should have access to the information as a matter of a check against the government. But then we distributed the original blog post that Max wrote which contained the permit list and it pretty much dashed the idea that it was done in an ethical, journalistic manner. When committee members saw the blog posting, their reaction seemed to be one of amazement.

The latest development is that Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe finally picked a side, I am sad to say that it was not the side of law abiding gun owners.

This from Today's THV, "Gov. Mike Beebe says he prefers to keep the list of Arkansans licensed to carry concealed handguns public, but he stopped short of saying he'd veto a bill to make that information secret.

Speaking to reporters Thursday, Beebe said that he prefers to keep the list open under the state's Freedom of Information Act. Beebe would not say he would reject a bill by Rep. Randy Stewart, a Democrat from Kirby, to seal that information from public scrutiny.

The Senate State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee heard some testimony Thursday on Stewart's proposal, but did not take any action. The committee plans to continue a hearing on the bill next week. The bill has already passed the House."

If you remember this bill overwhelmingly passed the House by a vote of 98 to 1. The bill clearly has a mandate from the citizens of this state. ...

[South Dakota] Governor signs bill eliminating handgun purchase waiting period:
Gov. Mike Rounds has signed a bill that eliminates South Dakota's post-purchase 48-hour waiting period to buy a handgun.

The House passed the bill 67-1 on Tuesday. The Senate had passed it unanimously in January.
Currently, only those with a valid permit to carry a concealed weapon in South Dakota are exempt from the waiting period. The new law will mean that anyone who wants to buy a handgun and passes the federal check can walk out of a licensed dealer's shop with the weapon. ...

David Codrea interviews pro-gun Pastor Kenn Blanchard:
"Law enforcement trainer, author, and grassroots activist of color" (and not to forget, a pastor), Kenn Blanchard has been a voice of reason in the Second Amendment movement since the early Nineties.

His book, "Black Man with a Gun," was written "to provide people in the African American Diaspora a resource to learn about gun safety and personal responsibility from one of their own."

A founder of the Tenth Cavalry Gun Club, "derived from the famous 9th and 10th Army Horse Cavalry's, better known for their Native American given name 'Buffalo Soldiers,'" Blanchard has also started The Urban Shooter Association to promote and support his weekly podcast.
DC: Why are so many African American political and religious leaders dead set against keeping and bearing arms? How does that tie in with other parts of their message?

KB: It is easy. There are few topics that are as “evergreen” as gun control. Leaders and clergy that adopt the anti-gun stance have an easier role. The path of least resistance is favored over a deeper dive into the truth. Do you tell the children that there is no Santa Claus coming down the chimney or do you keep up the illusion till they figure it out?

Secondly, if they ride the anti-gun fence long enough they will up their status and be afforded personal protection, bodyguards and a lifestyle where they won’t need to protect themselves. They become pastors with entourages. Politicians get police protection. Celebrities with bodyguards don’t need to carry a firearm for their home. They have gated communities and things we can’t afford.

And lastly, some are in the habit of influencing people so much that they believe we are incapable of controlling our impulses -- that we are not thinking humans but lesser animals that need to be controlled. It’s a superiority piece; that is just plain wrong. ...

[Virginia] Gov. Kane vetoes pro-gun rights bills:
... The governor also rejected bills that would have loosened the state's gun regulations. Among them:

Senate Bill 1035 would have allowed people to carry concealed weapons into restaurants or clubs that serve alcoholic beverages. Guns are allowed into restaurants as long as they are displayed openly, under current state law.

"Allowing concealed weapons into restaurants and bars that serve alcohol puts the public, the employees and our public safety officers at risk," Mr. Kaine said. "I take seriously the objections of law enforcement to this measure."

House Bill 2528 would have prohibited local law enforcement agencies from choosing to conduct voluntary gun buyback programs and then destroying the weapons.

Senate Bill 1528 would have allowed the firearms training required to receive a concealed weapons permit to be completed online.

"Allowing the testing to be done online would weaken the ability of the commonwealth to determine who is actually taking the test and open up opportunities for individuals to receive a permit under fraudulent circumstances with no guarantee that they can use a weapon safely," Mr. Kaine said.

House Bill 1851 would have created a new exemption to Virginias one-handgun-a-month law that would include active-duty service members whether Virginia residents or not. ...

Dave Workman asks whether anti-gunners coordinating with Obama administration:
Just as anti-gunners accused the Bush administration of working with the gun rights organizations, is the Obama administration coordinating with the gun prohibition lobby in an effort to boost public pressure to revive the ban on so-called “assault weapons?”

There is growing suspicion in the firearms community that it is no coincidence the administration is ramping up the rhetoric about this country’s “shared responsibility” for the bloody drug war raging in northern Mexico, while “Obama-friendly” news organizations lend emphasis to renewing the semi-auto ban. At the same time, the anti-gun Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence has just released a report called Exporting Violence: How Our Weak Gun Laws Arm Criminals in Mexico and America.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was busy in Mexico acknowledging that demand for drugs in this country was part of the problem, and she is right. Too many Americans use illegal drugs. However, she also quickly complained about our inability to prevent weapons from being illegally smuggled across the border to arm these criminals

But when she was quizzed by NBC’s Andrea Mitchell on the drug war, Mitchell seemed rather preoccupied with renewal of the gun ban in this country, a ban which has had questionable results, as I reported here. Other news agencies have editorialized for renewal of the ban.

If Mitchell wants to lobby for a gun law, she needs to drop the pretense of being a reporter, and sign up as a lobbyist. ...

Mainstream media blaming U.S. for Mexican drug violence, U.S. gun owners not buying it:
All you have to do is take one look at the recent headlines and you'd think the U.S. has been tried, convicted, and sentenced for causing drug war violence in Mexico.

All this is intended to raise public support for bringing back the expired "assault weapons ban." The thing is, the public isn't buying what they're selling.

A recent Zogby poll and O'Leary Report show that only 13.5% of those surveyed think the United States is to blame. It is pretty easy to come to that conclusion since the war south of the border is being fought with machine guns, rocket propelled grenades, and other similar weapons that just aren't available at gun shows. Why would a drug cartel buy a semi-automatic rifle (the kind the legislation Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wants would ban) when they can just as easily get fully automatic weapons illegally on the black market? It just doesn't add up, and the American public isn't as stupid as they're being taken for.

"Blame America" seems to be the motto of the current administration. Keep it up and they just might chant themselves out of office just like the majority of people who signed the original AWB did back in 1994. But it must be our fault, right? Why else would Clinton pledge $80 million to buy Black Hawk helicopters to give to the Mexican government? Better to spend the money there than to fix a bridge, right? We have to atone for our mistakes, don't we? Right. ...

Oliver North says Obama team eyeing new AWB:
... In addition to committing additional law-enforcement assets to the border, the U.S. is also providing Mexican authorities with intelligence, high-tech detection gear, sophisticated sensors and night-vision equipment for combating cartel “foot soldiers” armed with automatic weapons, hand grenades, heavy machine guns and soviet-era rocket propelled grenade launchers. This help is certainly warranted. It is in our national interest that the Calderon campaign against the cartels succeeds.

Unfortunately, the O-Team and their “progressive” allies in Congress aren’t satisfied with the progress that is being made thus far. They apparently intend to use the “Cartel Crisis,” as Mr. Emanuel has advocated, “to do things you couldn’t do before.”

On February 25, Attorney General Eric Holder urged the U.S. “to reinstitute the ban on assault weapons. I think that will have a positive impact in Mexico, at a minimum.” The following day, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said, “I am prepared to wage the assault weapons battle again and intend to do so.” And on March 17, during a Senate subcommittee on Crime and Drugs, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) claimed that an “iron river of guns from the United States arms Mexican drug cartels to the teeth.”

Reality check: resurrecting the so-called “Assault Weapons Ban” that expired in 2004 isn’t going to do anything to help the Mexican government deal with drug cartels or any other criminal organizations. Nor was the O-Team’s decision to stop the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) from allowing surplus military brass cartridges to be re-loaded going to stop a single bullet from reaching criminals. Thankfully, that inane rule has been reversed, saving law-abiding gun owners -- and our heavily indebted government -- money.

The Mexican drug cartels aren’t being armed by law-abiding Americans. Rather than trying to re-enact meaningless legislation based on the appearance of a firearm or the shape of a magazine, the O-Team and their congressional allies need to focus on securing our borders and providing the resources to enforce the laws we already have on the books. Infringing on the 2nd Amendment rights of U.S. citizens won’t make Mexicans, or any of us, any safer or more secure -- no matter how severe the crisis.

[California] ABC News says new "assault weapons" ban being pushed by California officials in wake of Oakland cop killings:
One week after four Oakland police officers were gunned down by a semi-automatic weapon, there's a new plan asking the federal government to ban assault weapons. State and local officials are pushing for a crackdown on these weapons.

An AK-47 assault rifle was used to kill the four Oakland police officers last Saturday. California has the toughest ban on assault weapons in the nation. But it doesn't stop people from buying in other states.

"We're calling on the Congress to remake gun control a top priority now, and to reauthorize the assault weapons ban right away," said L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

During his presidential campaign, President Barack Obama supported reinstating the federal ban that expired in 2004. In Mexico, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton supported a renewal of the ban. ...

[California] San Francisco Chronicle says cop killings unlikely to "ease way" for new "assault weapons" ban:
In 1994, Sen. Dianne Feinstein used the tragedy of San Francisco's 101 California massacre to push a decadelong ban on assault weapons through Congress. But even the horror of Saturday's slayings of four Oakland police officers is unlikely to break through the bipartisan opposition that blocked the renewal of that ban in 2004.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and dozens of House Democrats have said they oppose efforts to bring back the national ban, either because the timing is wrong or because they oppose gun control.

Pelosi said she hasn't even discussed the possibility of a renewal with President Obama and his staff, who face urgent issues from fixes to the nation's economy to health care reform.
"I am prepared to wage the assault weapons battle again and I intend to do so," Feinstein said in a speech to the Senate last month. "I have been quiet about this because there are many other pressing needs of this nation. But with the help of the president, the administration and the people of this great country, we do need to fight back."
Feinstein has support in high places. During last fall's campaign, Obama said he wanted to reinstate the ban, and last month Attorney General Eric Holder acknowledged that it remains part of the administration's agenda.

"I think that will have a positive impact in Mexico, at a minimum," Holder said in a Feb. 25 news conference in Phoenix. ...

[Montana] Lawmakers working on compromise to get gun bills through:
HELENA – A compromise on a bill aimed at expanding gun rights and getting rid of the need for concealed weapons permits is advancing in the state Senate.

House Bill 228 has been the subject of a tough fight between police groups and gun groups such as the National Rifle Association. But the interest groups sat down again with lawmakers Friday morning to hammer out some details the legislation.

The compromise still allows people to use a gun in self-defense without first fleeing. Sen. Dan McGee, the Billings Republican leading a legislative subcommittee making the changes, said that is means people can more easily use deadly force on home intruders.
The Senate compromise version would still exempt people from the requirement of a permit for carrying a concealed weapon in town — although it now clarifies that felons could not do so. It would also keep the current permitting system in place for those who voluntarily want one in order to carry a gun in other states that recognize Montana's permits.

A provision that would allow people to brandish a gun if they feel threatened is being modified at the request of police, who say it would be dangerous to have citizens try to defuse conflicts by pointing guns at each other. ...

[Colorado] Bill seeks to waive gun show checks for CCW permit holders:
After Columbine, Colorado voters approved a measure requiring background checks on all gun-show sales.

But as the 10th anniversary of the high school massacre approaches, lawmakers are considering a bill that would waive the checks for anyone holding a concealed-carry permit.

Police chiefs and sheriffs are among those who testified against the measure, which is scheduled to be heard by the full Senate next week.

Among law enforcement concerns: Colorado does not have a standard concealed-carry permit or a centralized database with information on whether a permit is still valid. ...

[Ohio] Buckeye Firearms Association reports that Cleveland's anti-gun sheriff has resigned:
The Cleveland Plain Dealer is reporting that Cuyahoga County Sheriff Gerald McFaul, a long-time opponent to gun rights in Ohio, has tendered his resignation after months of allegations about his misconduct in office.

McFaul has been under fire since the beginning of the year over questions of improper fund-raising activities, including having deputies sell tickets for his fund-raisers while on county time, for doing special favors for friends and relatives, and most recently for not reporting gifts he is reported to have accepted from employees.

The anti-gun Sheriff has long-been an anathema to Ohio gun owners. In 2004, McFaul had to be sued by Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine before he would do his job and begin issuing Ohio concealed handgun licenses. He eventually settled the suit, and paid all court costs and attorney's fees (with taxpayer funds, of course). ...

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