Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Gun Rights News Roundup

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

Another article on the Obama administration's decision to not appeal a federal judge's ruling suspending the rule allowing lawful concealed carry in National Parks:
The Obama administration won’t challenge a court ruling that prohibits visitors at some national parks to carry loaded concealed firearms, satisfying gun control groups.

The Interior Department said in a court filing yesterday that it will uphold a U.S. District Judge’s decision to reinstate 26-year-old restrictions on loaded guns in national parks and will conduct a full environmental review of a Bush administration regulation allowing the weapons.

“We are pleased that loaded, concealed guns will continue to be prohibited in our national parks,” said Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, in a statement yesterday. “Semiautomatic weapons have no place in the valleys of Yellowstone, on the cliffs of Yosemite, or under the torch of the Statue of Liberty.” ...

Comment: As mentioned previously, anyone want to bet on the outcome of the "full environmental review" of the rule's impact? Note that the NRA has appealed the judge's ruling.

Lies, dammed lies, and statistics: Investor's Business Daily takes on the "iron river of guns" to Mexico myth:
... In the liberal circles of the mainstream media and the current administration, not to be redundant, the example du jour was in the Post's coverage Thursday of President Obama's visit to Mexico.

Post reporter Spencer Hsu told us that Mexico "has seized more than 35,000 firearms since December 2006, and both governments say 90% of the weapons originated in the U.S."

The only truth here is that both governments have repeated this falsehood as truth. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said it to reporters on a flight to Mexico City. Mexican President Felipe Calderon said in an interview with NBC's Andrea Mitchell that "most of the weapons, almost 16,000, are assault weapons and 90% of those were sold in the United States."
Do the math and you find that only 17% of the guns confiscated were actually traced to the U.S. So why are so few guns sent here for tracing? Because, as Matt Allen, a special agent with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, points out, weapons known not to be of American origin are not sent to the U.S. for tracing. Duh.

Allen said that "not every weapon seized in Mexico has a serial number on it that would make it traceable, and the U.S. effort to trace weapons really only extends to weapons that have been in the U.S. market."

Many weapons have been legitimately shipped to Mexico from the U.S. as part of our effort to assist the Mexican military and police in the drug war. About 150,000 Mexican soldiers have deserted in the past six years, taking their weapons with them. ...

Stating the obvious: NRA says White House pushing to reinstate "assault weapons" ban:
... In a speech in Mexico last week, President Obama -- who on the campaign trail called for the ban, which expired in 2004, to be reinstated -- said the prohibition made sense but the country should focus on enforcing existing laws for now.

White House senior adviser David Axelrod said the administration will "monitor" the issue, which is complicated by opposition from dozens of moderate Democrats.

"If there's a consensus, we'll move on it," Mr. Axelrod said on the program. "We're faced with an enormous array of challenges, and we need to make some choices as to which to pursue first."

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, a Democrat, called on Congress to reinstate the prohibition after three Pittsburgh policemen recently were killed by a man with an AK-47. He said he understands Mr. Obama's decision not to raise the matter now, with other major issues such as the economy and health care on the table.

"But I think it has to be brought up in the near future, because every police organization in this country supports -- virtually everyone supports banning assault weapons," he said, appearling alongside Mr. LaPierre. [emphasis added] ...

Comment: Anti-gunners love to pose with their big-city police chiefs (political suck-ups all) to give the impression that the rank-and-file patrol officer or deputy supports gun control. Don't buy it, because it ain't true, particularly outside the big cities. And lots of police chiefs in smaller cities and towns do support citizens' right to keep and bear arms. I would say that most sheriffs (especially those in gun-friendly states), by virtue of being elected, also support the right to keep and bear arms.

Alexrod: We're not afraid of the NRA:
White House senior adviser David Axelrod said on Sunday that a new ban on assault-style weapons is not “dead,” but now is not the time to push it in Congress. [emphasis added]

“The question is is there the consensus and the ability, given the rules of Congress and the realities of Congress, to move that in the midst of everything else that we have to do. Is that something that you want to embark on now?” he said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

Asked bluntly by host Harry Smith whether the White House was afraid of the National Rifle Association, Axelrod responded, “Not at all.” ...

Op-ed on Obama's Blame America First tour of Mexico:
The "liar, liar pants on fire" argument usually isn't the most effective. But when it comes to guns, President Obama is lying through his teeth.

On Thursday, while on a visit to Mexico, the president continued his Blame America First tour. "This war is being waged with guns purchased not here but in the United States," he said, referring to the drug wars that are tearing apart our neighbor to the south. "More than 90 percent of the guns recovered in Mexico come from the United States, many from gun shops that lay in our shared border."

It is completely untrue that 90 percent of guns recovered in Mexico are from America. The Mexican government separates guns it confiscates that were made in the United States and sends them here to be traced. U.S. weapons are easy to identify because of clear markings. ...

Another story on more arms that aren't coming from American gun shops (but the mainstream media liars, er, "reporters" will say they are):
An escalating arms race among Mexico's drug cartels casts doubt on whether Mexico or the U.S. can stop the flow of weaponry, despite renewed vows last week from presidents of both countries.

Stockpiles captured by Mexican soldiers show that warring traffickers are now obtaining military-grade weaponry such as grenades, launchers, machine guns, mortars and anti-tank rockets. [emphasis added]

Some drug gangs have even sought explosive material that some experts worry could be used in car bombs and improvised explosive devices of the kind used in Iraq and Afghanistan. Soldiers found 14 sticks of TNT among an arsenal of hundreds of rifles and grenades seized in November from a house in Reynosa, across the border from McAllen, Texas. ...

[Vermont] Gun, ammo sales booming:
Last Monday, the morning after "60 Minutes" ran a feature on the nationwide trend that shows a dramatic increase in the sales of guns and ammunition, a young man walked into the Trading Post in Quechee.

"He was the first customer I had," said Wayne Barrows, the owner of the sporting goods shop. "He buys $1,100 worth of guns - a rifle, a shotgun and a handgun - because '60 Minutes' ... made him afraid. He watched that show."

The next day, a customer stopped by at the New England Outdoorsman in Rutland, looking to purchase some ammunition from Mike Pratico, the owner of the shop.

"He told me he has 17,000 rounds of 7.62 ammo and he wanted more," Pratico said. "He said he was afraid that it would become so expensive he wouldn't be able to buy it in the future."

Pratico couldn't help the man.

"I said I didn't have any. I was out," Pratico said. ...

[New York] Gun, ammo sales booming:
... Tim McCarthy was with his son last weekend at Bass Pro Shops in the Fingerlakes Mall near Auburn when he saw it firsthand at the store's gun counter.

"We were trying to buy reloading equipment (for bullets)," he said. "The powder and other gun supplies were practically sold out. We spoke to a salesman and he said it's been happening for months since Obama's administration (came in)."

The salesman told McCarthy and his son that there are rumors about sweeping gun-control legislation going before Congress. He said people are worried and flocking to their local stores and buying handguns and long guns and all the ammunition that goes with them.

The story is the same at Gander Mountain, Dick's Sporting Goods, Ra-Lin, Tim's Guns and Shooting Supplies in Camillus -- anywhere guns and ammunition are sold in Central New York. ...

[Utah] Record number of concealed carry permits issued:
There's been a record-breaking run on concealed weapons permits in the state in what gun store owners and activists say is fueled by political and economic uncertainty.

Utah issued 15,389 concealed weapons permits in the first three months of the year, shattering the previous record of 11,996, which was set in the second quarter of 2008.

Traditionally, slightly more permits have gone out of state than to Utah residents. But in the most recent quarter, permits going to Utahns edged out those going to non-residents, said Lt. Doug Anderson, Bureau of Criminal Identification manager.
Gun dealers are scrambling to keep up with purchases.

"Supply is not necessarily meeting demand right now," said Oly Mann, general manager of Fuzzy Bunny Movie Guns. "There's still a big surge. Supply is down and it's getting worse."

Demand for all types of guns has increased, he said, and the concealed carry classes the store offers are consistently full. He says many people buying firearms are first-time gun owners.

"The general public is more concerned about safety issues nowadays," he said. "I even know people that swore up and down they would never buy or own one, and now they're buying guns." ...

[New York] Schumer wants to keep NICS gun records:
New York Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand are calling for the repeal of federal policy requiring records of gun background checks be destroyed after 24 hours.

The Democratic lawmakers say the Tiahrt Amendment restricts police from using gun trace information.

They say such information is crucial to cracking down on illegal gun trafficking and reducing gun violence. ...

Op-ed on Homeland Security's "right-wing extremist" report:
... I long ago discovered that when you read one person's accusations against another, you often learn far more about the accuser than the accused.

That is precisely the case with the April 7 Department of Homeland Security intelligence assessment -- sent to local police agencies around the country -- warning of the danger posed by so-called paranoid right-wing extremists who might be capable of launching violent attacks against the federal government. The report offers little, if any, insight into the minds of right-wingers, but speaks volumes about the mind-set and current capabilities of our domestic "intelligence" resources.

The nine-page document is a pastiche of presumptions, speculations, arbitrary conclusions, discriminations and gross stereotyping of all those xenophobic rubes out there in flyover country, clinging desperately to their Bibles and their guns.

The report opens with the outright admission that the agency "has no specific information that domestic rightwing terrorists are currently planning acts of violence." That would be a pretty good stopping point for an honest assessment.

But no.

Without so much as a shred of evidence or a single example supporting its phenomenal mind-reading capabilities, the writers tell us right-wing extremists "may be" recruiting new adherents by "playing on their fears."

"The economic downturn and the election of the first African American president present unique drivers for rightwing radicalization and recruitment," local law enforcement agencies are solemnly warned. The document uses some form of the word radical more than a dozen times and four times diagnoses right-wingers as paranoid.

At this point it might be helpful to know just who are these radical right-wing extremist paranoids that police are supposed to be on the alert for.

The report provides a helpful footnote: There are the "hate-oriented" right-wing extremists who dislike various religious and ethnic groups. Then there are the single-issue right-wing extremists who aren't too fond of abortion or immigration (makes no distinction between legal or illegal). And then there are the anti-government right-wing extremists who irrationally reject "federal authority in favor of state and local authority" -- in other words, Republicans.

This would no doubt include the founder of the party, Thomas Jefferson, whose notorious hate speech included the claim that people have the right and duty to overthrow their legitimate government, even at the point of a gun. He and his fellow conspirators were also a bit paranoid about the possibility of being hanged as traitors. ...

Comment: The Department of Homeland Security managed to pack a lot of hate for American citizens in nine pages, didn't they?

Why church and guns must mix:
Author Charl Van Wyk, who shot back at terrorists attacking a church meeting, will be touring the U.S. with tales of his African ministry, including his first-hand experience with Christian churches that aren't prepared to defend themselves.

Van Wyk's story of shooting back on July 25, 1993, when terrorists attacked and killed 11 people and injured another five dozen at a South African church, has been chronicled in "Shooting Back: The Right and Duty of Self-Defense."

But police later told him the terrorists confessed their plan was to kill everyone in the church, possibly 1,000 people or more, and his armed response is credited with saving many lives that day. ...

[Connecticut] Students divided on campus carry issue:
Philip Axelrod and Sara Adler say they don't want to be defenseless targets.

"There are people out there who are off-balance and who shoot up schools," Axelrod, 20, said. "I don't want to be caught up in a situation where I have to lay down and die."

Axelrod, a University of Connecticut student, and Adler, who attends Central Connecticut State University, are leading "empty holster" protests next week at both schools to lobby for the right to carry concealed handguns on campus. Although state law permits eligible people 21 and older to carry handguns, student conduct codes at both universities prohibit possession of firearms on campus.

The weeklong protest — which launches Monday, the 10th anniversary of the mass killings at Columbine High School in Colorado — is being held to raise awareness about a national organization, Students for Concealed Carry on Campus [ www.concealedcampus.org]. The group advocates self-defense and seeks to form a front line against another slaughter like the one at Virginia Tech in 2007. ...


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David said...

Comment above deleted due to its being completely off topic.