Monday, May 11, 2009

Gun Rights News Roundup

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

[West Virginia] Ammo sales booming:
PRINCETON — An increasing demand for ammunition has led to its increasing scarcity on retailers’ shelves in both Virginias and across the nation.

In the past, hunters and other gun owners usually purchased a few boxes of ammunition at a time, but now they buy whole cases at a time when merchandise is available.

Concerns among gun owners that the new president’s administration will alter gun laws or increase taxes on ammunition sales is sending consumers to retailers. Some are looking for a new firearm, too.

“It isn’t necessarily because they (gun owners) are afraid of the government putting taxes on it. It’s because of the president we elected,” said Marlin Douglas of Douglas Sporting Goods in Princeton. “Right now, I can’t buy a small handgun from any of my suppliers because they’re totally out. It’s due to the fact of electing a president who has been a strong advocate to get rid of guns.”

The public has responded by purchasing more firearms; even people who did not own a gun are buying one, Douglas said. Demand for bullets of all calibers and shotgun shells has increased. ...

Karen De Coster says: Women, stop watching Oprah and learn to love guns:
... Women never cease to amaze me. The majority of them are still "afraid" of guns. Afraid, as in "oohhhh, they are so scary." They say things like "I don’t like them around" and "they’re dangerous." I know of women who have defense-minded, pro-gun husbands and they will not let their guy talk about those nasty things in their presence. Shhh, the children will hear, or, they might actually see an evil gun! Keep them locked away. Don’t tell the neighbors you have a gun in our house, or we’ll be outcasts. And in the background you can almost hear another feeble Oprah sermon keeping women stupid, but oh, they feel good about themselves and their newfound self-esteem.

All the time, women are shocked, shocked! to hear that I have a gun, and worse, I have several guns. And then, oh no, I actually carry one with me. That’s so odd, they think. Oh she’s different. Why more than one gun? She must be the aggressive type. After all, the Oprah way is to trust everyone and insist that all people have good intentions always.

Although I tend to think that most women don’t make sense, period, I especially believe this concerning the gun issue. It’s not only difficult to get women to come around to wanting a gun of their own, but they still can’t get to the point where they will understand and accept why others want to own them. ...

[Nebraska] High court says Sheriff wrongly denied man gun permit:
LINCOLN — An Omaha man who once expressed homicidal and suicidal thoughts was wrongly denied a state handgun buyer’s permit by the Douglas County sheriff, the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled Friday.

Joseph D. Gallegos had never been "committed" to a mental institution under the definition of the 1968 federal gun law, according to the court’s unanimous opinion.

He should not, therefore, have been denied a handgun permit in 2007, the court said. ...

[Colorado] Op-ed in favor of campus carry:
... Regents, it's time to realize that just because you may doesn't mean you should. Ask yourselves a few questions and open your minds to honest conclusions: Will a person who doesn't respect laws against rape, murder and other violence obey your gun rule?

Will a suicidal maniac with plans for murder, like the Virginia Tech psycho, opt for peace because you say "no guns"?

Gun bans have no effect whatsoever on the behavior of violent criminals. Those who obey them are the kind of people who brought this lawsuit. They are people like plaintiff John Davis, a University of Colorado-Colorado Springs senior who spent 12 years in the military and serves as a sergeant in the Army Reserves. Davis will obey your gun ban each time he steps foot on campus. If he ever hears shots ring out or sees students screaming and running, he won't be able to use his weapon and skills to save lives and bring peace. He will be hobbled by your rule. Davis won't be able to use what Miller said "any right-thinking person" must acknowledge as a legitimate hedge against crime.

Instead, Davis and others licensed to carry guns will run for cover and wait for police. As sirens wail in the background, the killer will kill and kill and kill. You and your policy will be at fault.

The Virginia Tech maniac had two hours to kill on a massive campus. Nobody could stop him because of the gun ban. The ban was more helpful to the lunatic than his own guns.

Protected by the ban, he could have killed at leisure with hammer or a knife. ...

[D.C.] Dept. of Justice report says FBI terror watch list "flawed":
Nearly eight years after the Sept. 11 attacks, the FBI's terrorist watch list is so flawed that at least 10 people who should have been kept out of the United States were allowed to cross its borders, an internal audit released Wednesday shows.

Department of Justice Inspector General Glenn A. Fine concluded that the bureau also was slow to remove names that should not have been on the list, leading to outcries from civil libertarians who have long been critical.

The list also audited more than 65,000 names and concluded that more than one-third were outdated. The whole list includes 1.1 million names, though aliases and variant spellings mean these represent fewer people.

"That the FBI continues to fail to place subjects of terrorism investigations on the watch list is unacceptable," said Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat and chairman of the Judiciary Committee, which has oversight of the FBI.

"Disturbingly, today's report reveals that in 72 percent of the cases, the FBI has also failed to remove subjects from the list in a timely manner. ... Given the very real and negative consequences to which people on the watch list are subjected, this is unacceptable." [emphasis added] ...

Comment: Remember, this is the same list the anti-gunners want to use to deny Americans the right to purchase or possess guns.

Columnist explains why liberals should get guns:
What is a life worth? We often hear about the thousands of people every year who kill themselves with guns, the thousands more who kill others with guns and the hundreds of lethal accidents that happen in a year with a gun. The anti-gun crowd wring their hands over this carnage and begs America to disarm. They believe that if we could get rid of guns, all these deaths could be avoided. This is wishful thinking and bad logic.

Estimates I have found for the worth of a human life range from $1 million to over 7 million, depending on who is doing the figuring. They factor in lost earnings, medical costs, and legal costs. Using punitive and "pain and suffering" awards from juries in civil cases, they try to calculate a cost for the intangibles such as the anguish of the bereaved family. Violent crimes not resulting in death introduce the pain and time of healing and physical therapy, and the permanent damage to the victims spirit and mind. Whatever amount you agree with, in America we value life, and seek to avoid people getting killed needlessly. Getting rid of guns among law abiding citizens will cause more, not less death and violence.

1. Removing guns from the hands of law abiding citizens does not remove them from the hands of criminals. As has been abundantly proven with drugs in America, we cannot stop the flow of anything illegal if there is enough demand for it. Criminals prefer guns as the tool of choice for their profession. ...

[Wyoming] State's congressional delegation supports National Parks carry bill:
U.S. Sens. Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, R-Wyo., have added their names as co-sponsors of a bill that would allow individuals to carry concealed weapons into national parks.

The legislation, called the Preservation of the Second Amendment in National Parks and National Wildlife Refuges Act, seeks to replace an administrative rule that has been mired in court proceedings since January that would also allow visitors to carry concealed weapons into national parks.

A federal judge in April struck down that administrative rule, which was set in place last December by the outgoing Bush administration, after several conservation and other groups filed a lawsuit.

“While the appeal of the rule to allow guns in national parks is a small setback, the pressure to do what is right and preserve Second Amendment rights in and out of national parks will not stop,” Enzi said in a statement released Thursday. “The Wyoming delegation is turning up the heat.”

The two senators join U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., who is co-sponsoring an identical bill in the House. ...

Comment: Unfortunately, given the anti-gun Democrat control of Congress, don't expect these bills to go very far.

David Codrea takes on latest "iron river of guns" to Mexico lie:
... Come we now to a new investigate report, from the Associated Press of all places. I'm astonished because it is not the usual ignorant propaganda I've come to expect. The headline says it all:
Mexico cartel weapons cache stymies tracing

And then we learn:
Deep inside a heavily guarded military warehouse, the evidence of Mexico's war on drug cartels is stacked two stories high: tens of thousands of seized weapons, from handguns and rifles to AK-47s...

In all, the military has 305,424 confiscated weapons locked in vaults, just a fraction of those used by criminals in Mexico...

A fraction? You mean there are...millions?

That ought to give us quite an inventory to trace, right? It ought to. But then we're told:
The Mexican government has handed over information to U.S. authorities to trace 12,073 weapons seized in 2008 crimes...

Wait a minute--they have the guns all neatly stored in a warehouse, inventoried, cataloged...if this is such a huge problem, we can't just get a printout? Mexican bureaucracy (if you buy into that being the real reason) won't allow it? So the easier solution is to adjust your and my rights accordingly?

But perhaps I'm being unfair. After all, we're told there's a Spanish language barrier that hampers the effort. Lord help us finding anyone in our government who can communicate in that obscure dialect.

And then we have this astounding admission:
About a third of the guns submitted for tracing in 2007 were sold by licensed U.S. dealers.

Really? Not 90% of "Mexican crime guns" (or "95% to 100%" if you shill for the Brady Campaign)?

And remember, that's a third of the relatively insignificant quantity of guns reported, vs. actually warehoused, and that assumes what is in official inventory reflects 100% of what has been seized. Any bets that it's even close? ...

Dave Workman says pundits, politicians, and press out of touch on guns issue:
Recent national polls by CNN, NBC News and the Wall Street Journal have revealed that support for new gun control measures is declining in the United States, despite efforts by the Obama administration and its media cheerleaders to demonize guns by sensationalizing recent shooting incidents, and the bloody drug war in northern Mexico.

In April, CNN polling found that 46 percent of Americans say existing gun laws are adequate, and another 15 percent believe they ought to be relaxed, while only 39 percent of those responding want stricter gun laws.

Also last month, an NBC News/WSJ poll revealed that support for restrictions on so-called “assault weapons” had dropped from 75 percent in 1991 to 53 percent today, which may have something to do with the rush on gun shops over the past six months by people buying those guns and case upon case of ammunition for them. ...

Obama blinks on scrapping Tiahrt Amendment:
... Meanwhile, the administration is steering away from another politically-sensitive fight by proposing only minor changes to a legislative language, known as the Tiahrt Amendments after Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kansas), which limit the use of gun tracing data maintained by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Obama’s budget would slightly ease restrictions on the use of the data. The changes would allow the tracing data to be shared with state and local officials even outside the context of a investigation of a specific crime. Localities could use the data to identify gun dealers who sell lots of guns traced to crimes, but rules prohibiting the use of such data for civil suits would remain in place. ...

Boo hoo: Brady Campaign's head says he's "profoundly disappointed" with Obama:
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence is profoundly disappointed that President Obama has failed to follow through with his promises for 'openness' by reaffirming much of the so-called Tiahrt Amendments.

This means a continuation of the reckless Bush-era policies that endanger public safety and make it easier for criminals to obtain illegal firearms.

President Obama's proposal undermines the landmark Brady Law by continuing the dangerous Bush administration policy requiring the destruction of most Brady background check records in just 24 hours. ...

That was quick: Massachusetts governor files bill to close "loophole" due to state high court ruling, adds more gun controls:
Governor Deval Patrick is filing legislation today to reduce gun violence that includes a provision to restore a crime-fighting tool for prosecutors that was taken away by a court ruling Monday.

The bill would allow suspects to be held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing for charges that involve illegal possession, use, or trafficking of guns, the governor's office said.

The legislation would also create a new felony of using a gun while committing a misdemeanor, limit gun purchases to one per month, and require sales of guns by private parties to be recorded by licensed gun dealers. ...

Comment: See my post here for discussion of the high court ruling at issue. Typical that the Boston Globe would characterize the court's ruling as taking away a "crime-fighting tool" - the court simply ruled that mere unlicensed gun possession (without more) did not fall under the statute that authorized pretrial detention for those accused of certain serious felonies.

[California] Ammo bill shelved:
One of the worst pieces of anti-gun owner legislation in a number of years effectively has been tabled by the California legislature when Los Angeles Democratic Assemblyman Kevin De Leon's AB962 was put in the Suspense File by the Assembly Appropriations Committee on Wednesday this week.

While the bill can be revived, it is likely dead for this year.

The bill would have stopped the private transfer of more than 50 rounds of ammunition per month between individuals or by stores to individuals. It would have licensed and taxed anyone selling ammunition commercially and forced these stores to get background checks on anyone selling ammunition. It would have required a thumbprint from anyone buying handgun ammunition (and a costly bureaucracy to manage those thumbprints) and it would have banned all mail-order ammunition sales. [emphasis added]

The stated intent of the bill was to stop felons and gang members from getting ammunition. If you can figure out how those provisions would have somehow stopped that, give me a call and explain that to me. ...

[Wisconsin] Open carry bicycler stops robbery with gun in school zone, legal question remains:
RACINE — Four teens knocked a 42-year-old Racine man from his bike Friday night. He thought they were going to rob him.

The man pulled a Smith and Wesson revolver from his side holster, pointed it at the sky and yelled, “Gun!”

The four suspects ran, and the man flagged down a Racine police officer.

The incident will perhaps mark the first time a new opinion allowing open carry of firearms is put to the test here, as it conflicts with another state statute that makes it illegal to possess a gun within 1,000 feet of a school, if not on private property.

The Racine man involved, who asked not to be named and declined to comment on the alleged robbery attempt when contacted by The Journal Times, was assaulted in the 1100 block of Grand Avenue, which is within 1,000 feet of Walden School, 1012 Center St.

Police did not arrest the man. After he was treated for head and wrist injuries at the scene by Racine rescue, officers escorted the man home and returned his gun to him.

But that doesn’t mean charges won’t be filed against the man, and police are questioning how such situations should be handled in the future. ...

[Germany] More gun controls on the way:
BERLIN - THE GERMAN government has agreed to curb gun rights, two months after a 17-year-old killed 15 people with a pistol taken from his father's bedroom, according to press reports on Thursday.

The left-right 'grand coalition' has agreed to present a series of measures to parliament in late May tightening arms control laws, several dailies said.
The proposals on the table include banning paintball, a game in which players use air rifles to shoot ammunition filled with paint at opponents.

Lawmakers say the sport 'simulates killing' and should be outlawed.

The draft law would also bar youths under the age of 18 from shooting high-calibre guns at target practice and permit police to conduct checks at the homes of gun owners to ensure their weapons are under lock and key.

An electronic registry of firearms would also be introduced along with, eventually, biometric security systems to help ensure weapons are only used by their rightful owners. ...

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