Monday, April 13, 2009

Gun Rights News Roundup

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

SAF says Pelosi wants gun registration:
BELLEVUE, WA – Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on April 7 acknowledged that gun registration is on her agenda, days after Attorney General Eric Holder told reporters in Mexico that the Second Amendment would not “stand in the way” of administration plans to crack down on alleged gun trafficking to Mexico.

“These are alarming remarks from Speaker Pelosi and Attorney General Holder,” said Second Amendment Foundation founder Alan Gottlieb. “It appears that the Obama administration and Capitol Hill anti-gunners have dropped all pretense about their plans for gun owners’ rights, and it looks like the gloves are coming off.”

Pelosi’s revelation came during an interview on ABC’s Good Morning, America. While insisting that Congress “never denied” the gun rights of American Citizens, Pelosi told Roberts, “We want them registered. We don’t want them crossing state lines” Gottlieb noted that citizens’ rights do not stop at state lines.

“But that doesn’t really matter,” he observed. “History has shown that around the world, registration has always led to confiscation.”

In Mexico, according to the Wall Street Journal, Holder was asked if the administration might encounter constitutional issues as it tries to crack down on alleged gun trafficking. His response: “I don’t think our Second Amendment will stand in the way of efforts we have begun and will expand upon.” [emphasis added] ...

Dave Workman comments on Pelosi's gun registration remark:
Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dropped a verbal bombshell in the middle of an interview on Good Morning America April 7, and surprisingly, neither the press nor a majority of gun rights activists seemed to notice.
Responding to a question from ABC’s Robin Roberts, Pelosi said that while Congress apparently does not want to take anyone’s guns away, “We want them registered.”
Roberts: Under the Bush administration, you pretty much said the ball was in their court when it came to reinstating the ban. Now, it's a Democratic President, a Democratic House. So, is the ball in your court where this is concerned?
Pelosi: Yes, it is. And we are just going to have to work together to come to some resolution because the court, in the meantime, in recent months, the Supreme Court has ruled in a very- in a direction that gives more opportunity for people to have guns. We never denied that right. We don't want to take their guns away. We want them registered. We don’t want them crossing state lines... [emphasis added]

Perhaps equally alarming was Pelosi’s dismissal of an amendment on the District of Columbia voting rights legislation that would expand gun rights in the city.
Pelosi made the astonishing argument that the desire by District residents to have a vote on the House floor via a fully-recognized representative is “a civil rights issue.” However, in her opinion, requiring the city to recognize the right to keep and bear arms – that was affirmed by the Supreme Court last year when it struck down the District’s handgun ban – is “draconian.”
“I don’t think that that should be the price…to pay to have a vote on the floor of the House,” Pelosi told ABC’s Roberts. ...

And David Codrea on the Pelosi "compromise":
Lacking the political muscle (for now) to enact an outright ban, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is now talking about a "middle ground."
Pelosi indicated that new regulations might entail registration and prohibitions on transporting some firearms across state lines.

Empowering the government to further curtail our rights is how she defines "compromise"?

As an aside, who thinks violent criminals are going to register their firearms? You know they're exempt from being required to do this, right? From the Supreme Court decision in U.S. v Haynes:
We hold that a proper claim of the constitutional privilege against self-incrimination provides a full defense to prosecutions either for failure to register a firearm under sec.5841 or for possession of an unregistered firearm under sec.5851.

And who thinks violent criminals are going to refrain from transporting weapons across state lines? If you believe the government, we haven't been able to stop them from doing that with impunity across international borders. ...

Comment: The Supreme Court's 1968 Haynes decision basically means that convicted felons (who cannot legally possess firearms) cannot be compelled to register any firearms they do in fact possess (illegally, obviously), because such compelled registration would violate their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination. So registration wouldn't apply to violent felons, and the government couldn't compel them to register. The Pelosi Gun Control Brain Trust, the friend of violent criminals everywhere, strikes again! Of course, gun control isn't about guns, it's about control, and the gun banners' likely real reason for registration is as a prelude to eventual confiscation.

Ann Coulter gives us her take on victim disarmament, in snarky fashion:
After being pulled over for a routine traffic violation, Lovelle Mixon did exactly what they teach in driver's ed by immediately shooting four cops. Mixon's supporters held a posthumous rally in his honor, claiming he shot the cops only in "self-defense," which I take includes the cop Mixon shot while the officer was lying on the ground.

I guess Mixon also raped that 12-year-old girl in "self-defense." Clearly, the pimping industry has lost a good man. I wish I'd known him. I tip my green velvet fedora with the dollar signs all over it to him. Why do the good ones always die young? Pimps, I mean.

Liberals tolerate rallies on behalf of cop-killers, but they prohibit law-abiding citizens working at community centers in Binghamton, N.Y., from being armed to defend themselves from disturbed, crack-addicted America-haters like Jiverly Wong.

It's something in liberals' DNA: They think they can pass a law eliminating guns and nuclear weapons, but teenagers having sex is completely beyond our control.

The demand for more gun control in response to any crime involving a gun is exactly like Obama's response to North Korea's openly belligerent act of launching a long-range missile this week: Obama leapt to action by calling for worldwide nuclear disarmament.

If the SAT test were used to determine how stupid a liberal is, one question would be: "The best defense against lawless rogues who possess _______ is for law-abiding individuals to surrender their own _______________."

Correct answer: Guns. We would also have accepted nuclear weapons. ...

Time Magazine reports gun, ammo sales booming:
Americans are afraid of this economy. As a result, they're getting locked and loaded. To wit: Jacquita Baker, a soft-spoken single mother from Kentwood, Mich., near Grand Rapids. She works as an administrative assistant at the Grand Rapids Urban League and is studying criminal justice at a local university. As of Monday, she's the proud owner of a shotgun. Why bear arms now? "The economy played a large part in my decision," says Baker, 27. "When people don't have jobs, they might go breaking into people's homes. I want to be safe in my home."
Two factors are fueling the rise. The first is political. It's no coincidence that a record number of background checks occurred in November, the month Barack Obama was elected President and the Democrats took control of Congress. People grew anxious that the Obama Administration would ban semiautomatic weapons, so they rushed to buy guns before legislation could be passed. In a December survey by the research firm Southwick Associates, nearly 80% of active hunters and target shooters said they believed firearm purchases would "become more difficult" under the new Administration and a Democratic Congress. "Everybody is waiting for when the next foot is going to fall in taking away the right to bear arms," says Doug VanderWoude, owner of Silver Bullet Firearms in Wyoming, Mich., near Grand Rapids. He estimates that business is up 50% in 2009. ...

[Oregon] Students plan gun-rights events, rally:
A student group at Oregon State University plans to promote gun rights with activities next week, including a rally for the right of concealed handgun license holders to be armed on campus.

The rally, featuring Portland radio commentator Lars Larson, is set for 5 p.m. April 16 in the quad on campus.

If the license holders carry pistols, they will violate a university rule against guns on campus.

“The idea would be to get the university to confront the issue,” said RJ Friedman, president of the College Republicans at OSU, the group organizing what it calls “Second Amendment Week.”

Gun-rights supporters say state law gives the legislature the sole right to regulate concealed weapons in Oregon, which creates a conflict with rules against guns on state college campuses. ...

Gallup: Support for gun control fading (results from poll taken Oct 2008):
PRINCETON, NJ -- In Gallup polling conducted prior to last week's gun massacre at an immigrant center in Binghamton, N.Y., only 29% of Americans said the possession of handguns by private citizens should be banned in the United States. While similar to the 30% recorded in 2007, the latest reading is the smallest percentage favoring a handgun ban since Gallup first polled on this nearly 50 years ago.
Public support for restricting the sale and possession of handguns to "police and other authorized persons" was relatively high in the early 1990s, with 41% to 43% in favor, but has since edged lower. At the same time, opposition to a ban has increased from 53% in 1991 to 69% in the most recent survey.

The latest figures come from the most recent installment of Gallup's annual Crime survey, conducted Oct. 3-5, 2008. It is unclear what impact, if any, the recent Binghamton incident may have on Americans' views of gun control.
Thus, as of last fall, Americans were evenly divided at 49% each over whether the laws covering the sale of firearms should be made stricter, or not. This contrasts with public opinion in the early 1990s, when the balance of opinion was more than 2 to 1 in favor of making gun laws more strict. ...

Howard Nemerov says follow the money trail:
Colleague Dave Workman noted yesterday that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi wants to implement firearms registration. A perusal of Open Secrets, which reports all campaign contributions, is in order before we conclude that Pelosi is merely a disinterested public servant wanting to make society safer.

The law firm of Akin, Gump was Pelosi’s 2nd biggest business donor during the 2008 election cycle, contributing $41,050. Thomas C. Goldstein, an attorney working for Akin Gump, represented Washington, DC in the Heller case, trying to save the DC gun ban.

The law firm of Patton Boggs LLP donated $17,400 to Pelosi, her 4th highest overall business donor. Kathleen J. Lester, a partner at Patton Boggs, coauthored a paper entitled “Flawed Gun Policy Research Could Endanger Public Safety,” published in the American Journal of Public Health, criticizing Lott and Mustard’s research which concluded that concealed carry was responsible for reduced crime:
We find Lott and Mustard's conclusions insupportable because of serious flaws in the study, most of which bias the results toward finding crime-reducing effects.

Lester also co-authored Model Handgun Safety Standard Act with Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy Research. This model law requires, among other things:
1. The proposal calls for “personalized” handguns that can only be operated by the authorized user. (i.e.: registration).
2. Lab testing for safety standards, before it could be sold.
3. Provides for police confiscation of “unsafe” handguns.
4. Police and military are exempt from this proposed law.
According to Congress Merge, 185 members of Congress list their profession as “Attorney,” and another four as “lawyer.” President Obama is also an attorney. Overall, lawyers and law firms contributed $232,323,361 during the 2008 election cycle.
During the same election cycle, gun rights organizations contributed a total of $1,897, 654. ...

Gun bans, the cure for a "public health epidemic":
While President Obama, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, and Attorney General Eric Holder share an anti-gun ideology, they might not be the greatest threat to the Second Amendment among the current administration. Their gun control efforts could be vastly outdone by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s habit of equating gun bans with curing a “public health epidemic.”

Prior to becoming secretary of education, Duncan was CEO of Chicago Public Schools (CPS) from 2001 to 2008. During that time, student performance in CPS remained static or fell even further behind the national average. For example, in October 2008 the Chicago Tribune reported: “The percentage of Chicago public high school students who met or exceeded state standards on a test tied to the ACT college-entrance exam dropped for the third consecutive year.”

According to the Progressive Review, fourth-grade tests improved by “less than three tenths of a percent” between 2003 and 2007 and eighth-grade math tests remained two points behind the national average for that same time period. Yet Duncan was lauded by his fellow leftists for his concern for the children, especially when he showed that concern through rallies against gun ownership, his heavy involvement with the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, and speech upon speech containing lines like: “I wish that our society valued children more than it values…traditions that might have been at home in a frontier society two centuries ago but make absolutely no sense today.”

For any of you who are new to Democrat double-speak, the “traditions” he criticizes are those tied to our nation’s heritage of keeping arms and bearing them. ...

Dave Workman comments on mainstream media bias:
... The war against gun rights in the press is nothing new. The late Thomas Winship, former editor of the anti-gun Boston Globe and a columnist in Editor and Publisher, once authored a column in the latter publication that was headlined “Step up the war against guns.” In his diatribe – for that is what it was – Winship encouraged his press colleagues to engage in “a sustained newspaper crusade.” He called on editors to “Support all forms of gun licensing, in fact all causes the NRA opposes.”
It is time to square off against guns. We are talking about a sustained newspaper crusade.

At the time, I was on the editorial staff of the now-defunct Fishing & Hunting News in Seattle, and I fired off a letter to Editor & Publisher, which the magazine printed. I was not kind to Mr. Winship. Some time later, Reason magazine also took Winship to task.

Winship is gone, but the journalistic demagoguery that he was promoting is alive and well today. We’ve already discussed the despicably partisan treatment of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Alan Gottlieb during an MSNBC segment hosted by Hardball substitute host David Schuster.

When Gottlieb appeared on CNN with midday anchor Rich Sanchez, he was treated a little better, but both Sanchez and Schuster left viewers with no doubt about where they stand on the gun issue. It is both ironic and hypocritical of both cable network journalists to complain about people including Fox News’ Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly, and talk jock Rush Limbaugh, yet demonstrate the very intolerance for an opposing view for which they criticize those other guys.

But the media’s war against gun rights is not confined to cable news networks.

Fox News analyist Juan Williams with National Public Radio candidly wrote in his current blog that, “I’d ban guns – big and little – for private use in the USA.” He would require that firearms be “kept on military bases or at places where target shooting is practiced.” ...

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