Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Gun Rights News Roundup

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

[Utah] Ammo in short supply, Dems to blame:
OGDEN -- With firearm dealers struggling to keep ammunition on their shelves, it seems the gun and ammunition business has been stimulated in a way few people expected.

The minute Barack Obama stepped into the White House, people scrambled to gun stores to buy as much ammunition as they could get their hands on. Now, there's a shortage of ammunition all over the country as demand is three times the supply.

"It's been a huge topic since the election," said Mike Casey, vice president of Smith & Edwards in Farr West.

"Ammunition is hard to come by, and the demand isn't getting smaller. Even with production increases, it is extremely difficult to get ammo."

Casey has been out of several calibers of ammunition for more than six weeks now, with no expected date of delivery.

He receives 20 calls for these items every day and continues to tell customers there's still nothing on the shelves.

Jeff Spencer has worked in the gun business for more than 30 years as part owner of Kent Shooters Supply in Ogden, but he never anticipated such a high demand for ammunition.

With Democrats in control of the House, Senate and presidency, he knew things would get crazy.

"That party is very anti-gun and anti-Second Amendment. All you have to do is look at what they've said and done in the past and you know what they're gonna do again," Spencer said. ...

Shipowners debate arming crews against pirates:
NAIROBI, Kenya -- Crews have held pirates off with Molotov cocktails, crates of rubbish and oil drums. They've electrified handrails, sprayed attackers with high-pressure fire hoses and simply kicked the pirates' rickety ladders overboard.

But owners of ships plying the pirate-infested waters off Somalia's coast have balked at having firearms onboard, despite an increasing number of attacks where bullets pierced hulls or rocket propelled grenades whooshed overhead.

The reason is twofold: Owners fear pirates would be more likely to continue shooting once on board if they confronted weapons, and the company might be held liable for deaths or injuries inflicted by someone on the vessel.

"There's basically resistance to the idea of armed guards because of the risk of escalation ... possible harm to the crew," said Neil Roberts, a senior technical executive at Lloyd's Market Association, which provides support to underwriters with Lloyd's, the largest maritime insurance marketplace in the world. "Most ship owners don't encourage it." ...

Gun banners at Brady Campaign upset over Gallup poll:
A newly released Gallup Poll shows that public support for more restrictive gun laws has fallen to its lowest level in the nearly 20 years that Gallup has tracked the issue. Additionally, the poll shows that support for an outright handgun ban is at its lowest in the nearly 5 decades that Gallup has polled that issue.
Perhaps most illustrative of Helmke's thinking, though, is this passage (my emphasis added):
What Gallup should do in the future is try to replicate the polling results of other surveys that examine Americans' attitudes toward the wide variety of gun violence prevention policies that, in the words of Justice Antonin Scalia, are "presumptively lawful" after the Supreme Court's decision, while gauging the desire of Americans to see those proposals enacted into law.

Get that? "Try to replicate the polling results." He thinks polls should be engineered with an eye toward obtaining some preordained, "desired" result. The poll, in other words, should not be optimized for research, but for supporting an agenda (an agenda of restrictive gun legislation, of course).

That says rather a lot about every poll commissioned by the Brady Campaign, doesn't it? ...

[North Carolina] A look at the racist roots of gun control, and the state's discretionary issue handgun purchase permit system:
A dirty little secret gun control advocates avoid mentioning is that many gun laws have racist origins. In southern states, some date to reconstruction and ensuing decades of racial unrest as whites passed “Jim Crow” laws to segregate southern states and limit the ability of blacks to vote and hold elected office.

One example thoroughly documented by David Kopel in The Samurai, the Mountie, and the Cowboy: Should America Adopt the Gun Controls of Other Democracies? were laws designed to disarm blacks “cloaked in neutral, non-racial terms,” such as Tennessee, which adopted its “Army and Navy” law barring handguns except the “Army and Navy” revolvers commonly possessed by ex-confederate soldiers. Cheaper guns which cash-poor “freedmen” could afford were prohibited. ...
As a consequence, unlike North Carolina’s “shall issue” concealed handgun law, sheriffs have considerable latitude in deciding whether or not to issue handgun purchase permits. One can debate whether or not permits were issued to blacks in the early 20th century, but in modern application they are commonly limited for a variety of reasons:

* Limits on number of permits issued: A purchase permit is required for each handgun bought, and is turned in at the point of sale. A review of 74 of North Carolina’s 100 counties found 16 which limited the number of guns that can be purchased in a year, with typical limits of 5 per year. Craven County limits permits to 3 per year; Edgecombe County limits them to 2 per year. Translated, perhaps 25 % of counties have limits worse than 1-gun-a-month laws demanded by gun control advocates.

* Character references: Eleven of the 74 counties reviewed require applicants to produce a character witness, in some cases requiring a notarized affidavit.

* Other vague restrictions: Several sheriffs simply say they use “discretion” in who they issue permits, citing personal knowledge, time the applicant has lived in the county, letters from commanding officers for military personnel, etc. Bladen County, in some cases, requires the applicant’s mayor to sign the permit. Many counties require appointments, in some cases (e.g. Mecklenburg County) requiring weeks to obtain. ...

[Illinois] Debate over new gun laws at impasse:
Lawmakers looking to expand or contract the rights of gun owners are having a tough time.

Many downstate representatives want to allow the concealed carry of handguns, but those plans are stalled.

Voters in two southern Illinois counties overwhelmingly said yes to an advisory question on concealed carry.

So far 12 counties have voted yes.

Four have said no.

Illinois sheriffs also support the plan, but Chicago lawmakers are keeping it from going forward.

In return, downstate House members are blocking plans from the city that could limit gun ownership. ...

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