Sunday, April 19, 2009

Gun Rights News Roundup

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

The anti-gun New York Times, which probably hasn't ever met a gun-control law it didn't like, takes aim at gun shops in border states:
HOUSTON — John Phillip Hernandez, a 24-year-old unemployed machinist who lived with his parents, walked into a giant sporting goods store here in July 2006, and plunked $2,600 in cash on a glass display counter. A few minutes later, Mr. Hernandez walked out with three military-style rifles.

One of those rifles was recovered seven months later in Acapulco, Mexico, where it had been used by drug cartel gunmen to attack the offices of the Guerrero State attorney general, court documents say. Four police officers and three secretaries were killed.

Noting there are about 1,500 licensed gun dealers in the Houston area, Mr. Webb added, “You can come to Houston and go to a different gun store every day for several months and never alert any one.”

The case highlights a major obstacle facing the United States as it tries to meet a demand from Mexico to curb the flow of arms from the states to drug cartels. The federal system for tracking gun sales, crafted over the years to avoid infringements on Second Amendment rights, makes it difficult to spot suspicious trends quickly and to identify people buying for smugglers, law enforcement officials say.

As a result, in some states along the Southwest border where firearms are lightly regulated, gun smugglers can evade detection for months or years. In Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, dealers can sell an unlimited number of rifles to anyone with a driver’s license and a clean criminal record without reporting the sales to the government.

At gun shows in these states, there is even less regulation. Private sellers, unlike licensed dealers, are not obligated to record the buyer’s name, much less report the sale to the A.T.F. ...

Even the international press repeats the lie:
Police in Mexico have seized an anti-aircraft machine gun in the state of Sonora, near the US border. They also found ammunition and other heavy weapons. A woman has been arrested.

The seizure took place two days before US President Barack Obama is due to visit his Mexican counterpart, President Felipe Calderón. High on the agenda of the talks between the two will be the bloody drug war currently being waged, mainly with US weapons, by the Mexican drug cartels. [emphasis added] ...

Columnist skewers 20/20 report:
“If I only had a gun,” ABC’s recent segment of “20/20,” treated viewers to a biased and deeply flawed “study” promoting the opinion that armed citizens are incapable of stopping active killers in mass homicides. On Monday, “Myths of Armed Self-Defense” exposed “20/20’s” fallacy of the omnipotent killer, noting that personality characteristics of such killers actually make them more, not less, vulnerable to armed defense. Today, we discuss the advice “20/20” gave viewers unfortunate enough to find themselves in active killer scenarios.

This is what “20/20’s” “experts” advise you to do if confronted by an active killer:
* Try to run: Maybe he won’t shoot you, advises JJ Bittenbinder, ABC’s professed expert: “Only 12½ times out of a hundred” would you be killed. (I would include the link for this “security expert’s” website … if Google hadn’t flagged it for “malicious software.”)

* Play dead: “Remember that receptionist who played dead after being shot crawling under a desk and dialing 9-1-1- for help,” admonishes host Diane Sawyer. This, of course, required being shot first.

* Dial 9-1-1: This is liberalism’s best hope for self-defense; have someone else do it for you, albeit 10 or so minutes later, when people are already dead.

Dave Workman exposes 20/20 anti-gun hit piece:
New information has surfaced about the depth of bias that surfaced on ABC’s 20/20 hit piece that aired Friday, April 10 with Diane Sawyer as the host.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation revealed Monday that it had been “asked numerous times by 20/20 Senior Producer Muriel Pearson to participate in the story, but understanding the piece was a set-up, we refused.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, fewer than 100 kids 15 and under are killed in gun accidents every year. - ABC's John Stossel

NSSF Public Affairs Director Ted Novin reported Monday afternoon that, even though the organization declined to participate, it reminded Pearson of the 20/20 team’s “responsibility to ask hard-hitting questions of those supporting gun control.” NSSF also provided 20/20 with information on the thousands of state, local and federal gun laws, along with data from the Department of Justice and Bureau of Justice Statistics related to firearms.

“Unfortunately,” Novin said, “given 20/20’s refusal to disclose any of the information we provided – information that interfered with their already pre-established and desired anti-gun conclusion – it has become all too clear that journalistic impartiality on firearms issues is limited to John Stossel.” ...

Buckeye Firearms Association deconstructs the 20/20 show:
Do you think it's a good idea to be armed during a mass shooting? Diane Sawyer and the producers of ABC's 20/20 aren't so sure. In fact, on Friday, April 10, 2009, Sawyer spent a full hour trying desperately to prove how dangerous guns are and how ordinary people can't possibly defend themselves with firearms. The show's snarky title: "If I Only Had A Gun."

Slanted information filled the report, seemingly pulled from the press releases of the Brady Campaign, with not a single dissenting opinion. The most egregious slight [sic] of hand was a rigged experiment that struggled to show why having a gun would do you no good in a Virginia Tech style mass shooting.
The show's conclusion? Having a gun doesn't protect you. Ordinary people aren't trained to handle stress. You might shoot innocent people. The bad guy might take your gun from you.

So having a gun is pointless, right? Well, hold on. Let's take a closer look at that experiment. ...

Comment: If the description in the article is accurate, then the experiment certainly sounds rigged to favor the bad guy. The bad guy is unlikely to know the identity (or identities) and locations of any armed good guys. In addition, what if there was more than one armed student? What if there were three armed students? Or five? In a large auditorium-style classroom, that's not an unreasonable number to expect. Plus, what's the alternative? Just sit there and die? Having a gun doesn't mean you'll prevail, or even survive, but it sure beats the alternative. Yet more mainstream media anti-self defense bias.

[Rhode Island] Gun, ammo sales spike:
Gun sales in Rhode Island spiked during 2008 to their highest level in at least a decade as firearms purchases in the state mimicked a national trend.
Related links

The surge continues in 2009 as gun sales in Rhode Island are on track to rise nearly 50 percent, to 13,000 firearms.

Politics and economics are the prime causes, say gun dealers and others.

“I’m hearing two things,” said Pawtucket police Chief George L. Kelley III, president of the Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association. “The first is [people] are afraid the president may change some of the laws, and the second is the economy.” ...

[New York] Gun, ammo sales spike:
Fred Calcagno has owned American Sportsman, a gun shop in East Rochester for 22 years. But since Barack Obama became president he's noticed a spike in business.

"Since the election sales have been up because across the country, people are nervous that there are going to be more restrictions on fire arms."

He estimates sales have jumped between 10 and 25% in the last six months.

"There's a huge demand across the country and firearms, manufacturers are back-ordered so long that distributors cant get items to sell," says Fred Calcagno. ...

[Pennsylvania] Gov. Rendell proposes more infringements:
Prodded by the shooting deaths of police officers in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, Gov. Ed Rendell will ask lawmakers today to enact a series of measures to control gun violence.

The Democratic governor will detail his proposal at a Harrisburg news conference.

Previewing the measures in Pittsburgh yesterday, Mr. Rendell recalled the memorial service last week for the three Pittsburgh police officers gunned down in Stanton Heights. Noting that any number of legislators had attended similar events during years of increasing gun violence, he argued that those lawmakers could pay a more effective tribute to fallen officers by enacting common-sense gun control laws.

"Our police officers in the state are simply outgunned," he said. [empahsis added]

Mr. Rendell has advocated gun control measures in Harrisburg in the past with little success. In particular, he has called for a limit of one gun purchase a month to curb the problem of straw dealers who legally purchase guns but then resell them on the black market. ...

Comment: Ah, the false "police are outgunned" argument. Law enforcement is fully able to purchase and arm their officers with fully automatic weapons, i.e., true assault rifles. The fact that such rifles (at least those manufactured after 1986) aren't available to "ordinary" citizens shows that it's "we the people" who are outgunned, not the government. Rendell has the argument exactly backwards.

[Pennsylvania] Another article on Gov. Rendell's push for more gun-controls:
HARRISBURG (KDKA) ― Just yesterday, Governor Ed Rendell spoke out about gun control laws.

Today, the governor asked federal and state lawmakers to do more to protect police.

Governor Rendell, Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Police Chief Nate Harper gathered with other officials in Harrisburg to discuss how Pennsylvania can prevent situations like the death of three Pittsburgh Police officers from ever happening again.

"Make them decide who they're with. Are they with law enforcement or not," said Rendell.

With those words, Governor Rendell called on the public to push lawmakers to enact common sense gun measures to protect local police beginning with a ban on AK47s and other semiautomatics.

"These weapons have absolutely no purpose but to kill," said Rendell. "They can't be used for sport; they certainly aren't used for hunting."

Ravenstahl endorsed that ban and other proposals to require the reporting of lost and stolen guns and to give local communities the power to enact tougher gun measures.

"One thing that was also abundantly clear on April 4th was that our police officers were out armed," said Ravenstahl. "They were out armed. The individual that fired the AK47 had much more firepower and strength than these officers did. It was unfortunate and that has to change." [emphasis added] ...

Comment: So, we need to do more to "protect police"? Aren't the police, to hear the anti-self defense crowd say it, supposed to protect us? Even though they have no legal duty to do so? And "outgunned"? Again, the police are able to have far greater firepower under existing laws, today, than "mere" ordinary citizens. So if anyone's "outgunned", it's "we the people". As for these guns having "absolutely no purpose but to kill", well, yes, that's why they're useful. What an idiot. Why in the world would you want a gun that's not designed to kill, and is capable of killing people and/or animals? What sense does that make? The Second Amendment wasn't written to protect hunting, or target shooting, or sport shooting (although it protects such uses), the Second Amendment was written to ensure that we would always have a heavily armed populace capable of defending itself against thugs, and tyrants.

[Maine] Lawmakers kill gun control bill:
AUGUSTA -- A gun control bill supported by the father of one of the students killed at Columbine High School was rejected by a legislative committee Monday in favor of a voluntary measure.

The Legislature's Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee voted down a bill sponsored by Rep. Anna Blodgett, D-Augusta, that would have required unlicensed and private gun dealers to perform instant background checks at gun shows.

"I think I did as much as anybody could do for that bill," Blodgett said.

Last week, Tom Mauser -- whose son, Daniel, was one of 15 people killed in 1999 at the Colorado high school -- traveled to Maine to urge legislators to support the bill. ...

[Ohio] Lawmaker introduces bill for Alaska-style carry:
Representative John Adams (R-78) of Sidney, Ohio has introduced House Bill 129. The bill is identical to Adam's HB225 from 2007, and substantially similar to HB91 from 2005 and HB559 from 2004, the latter two having been sponsored by Representative Tom Brinkman. HB129 would repeal many of the onerous provisions of our current concealed carry law and allow law abiding citizens to carry concealed without a license.

Alaska-style CCW is an exciting possibility for gun owners in Ohio. It shows Rep. Adams is in touch with the most conservative of the gun owner base/constituency. It is an important philosophical position.

Vermont and Alaska already allow citizens to carry concealed handguns without a license, but all other states require a license (CHL) to carry a concealed handgun. Like Alaska, this bill would leave the license in place so that people who travel outside Ohio can have a license to take advantage of the many states that already honor Ohio's license. ...

[Ohio] County government backs off on employee gun ban:
Last week, the northeast Ohio county of Summit announced they were considering passing an ordinance to prohibit county workers from carrying firearms while working or doing county business, even while in personal vehicles. At the time, it was stated that the reason for the proposed ban was "liability purposes", according to Jason Dodson, chief of staff for County Executive Russ Pry.

Councilwoman Gloria Rodgers, who has stated she is planning to obtain a concealed handgun license, immediately came out in opposition to the proposal, calling it unnecessary and reminding that "people have a right to protect themselves."

Tom Morneweck, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 1229 which covers county employees, stated that the Union has no opposition to employees being legally armed and questioned whether banning in personal vehicles would even be within the county's authority. ...

[Tennessee] Gun, ammo sales booming:
Gun City USA, the largest gun store in Nashville, Tennessee, has sold arms to country music stars Hank Williams Jr., George Jones and their entourages. What it can’t sell them much of right now is ammunition to reload.

“We have very, very little of any caliber,” said Larry Baity, a 74-year-old counter clerk at Gun City who said he has waited on Williams. “We’re virtually out. We’ve got a lot of bare shelves.”

The scene at Gun City is playing out across the U.S. as record gun sales deplete stocks from ammunition makers Alliant Techsystems Inc. and Olin Corp. Demand for firearms is being driven in part by concern that U.S. President Barack Obama may impose new controls, said Matt Rice, a spokesman for Springfield, Massachusetts-based Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. ...

[Georgia] Gun, ammo sales booming:
FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. -- The way Jay Chambers sees it, the semiautomatic weapons in his firearm collection might be the most promising investment in his financial portfolio.

Like many gun enthusiasts, Mr. Chambers, a manager for a door wholesaler here, believes President Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress soon will reimpose a version of an expired federal ban on the sale of so-called assault weapons. If such a law passes, he figures his collection -- enough guns, ammo magazines and weapon parts to assemble about 30 AK-47s, AR-15s and other semiautomatic rifles -- could triple in value. [emphasis added]

"A guy could easily make a lot of money," says Mr. Chambers, 47 years old, while at Autrey's Armory, a gun store about 20 miles south of Atlanta.

Purchases of guns and ammunition are surging across the country. Nearly four million background checks -- a key measure of sales because they are required at the purchase of a gun from a federally licensed seller -- were performed in the first three months of 2009. That is a 27% increase over the same period a year earlier, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. ...

Comment: Personally, I don't share information about my guns with reporters, or those I don't know and trust. Mr. Chambers' name, and the type and nature of at least some of the guns he owns, is now public knowledge. Not a good idea, in my opinion, but that's just me. Your mileage may vary.

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