Monday, March 31, 2008

Obamarama LIED???

Who'd think it? A Chicago-area machine pol who lied??? A discount kitchen table socialist who doesn't tell the truth??? This from CBS, no less:
During his first run for elected office, Barack Obama played a greater role than his aides now acknowledge in crafting liberal stands on gun control, the death penalty and abortion — positions that appear at odds with the more moderate image he has projected during his presidential campaign.

The evidence comes from an amended version of an Illinois voter group’s detailed questionnaire, filed under his name during his 1996 bid for a state Senate seat.

Late last year, in response to a Politico story about Obama’s answers to the original questionnaire, his aides said he “never saw or approved” the questionnaire.

They asserted the responses were filled out by a campaign aide who “unintentionally mischaracterize[d] his position.”

But a Politico examination determined that Obama was actually interviewed about the issues on the questionnaire by the liberal Chicago nonprofit group that issued it. And it found that Obama — the day after sitting for the interview — filed an amended version of the questionnaire, which appears to contain Obama’s own handwritten notes added to one answer.
Both versions of the 1996 questionnaires provide answers his presidential campaign disavows to questions about whether Obama supports capital punishment and state legislation to “ban the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns.”

He responded simply “No” and “Yes,” respectively, to those questions on both questionnaires.

But a fact sheet provided by his campaign flatly denies Obama ever held those views, asserting he “consistently supported the death penalty for certain crimes but backed a moratorium until problems were fixed.” And it points out that as a state senator, he led an effort to reform Illinois’ death penalty laws.

On guns, the fact sheet says he “has consistently supported common-sense gun control, as well as the rights of law-abiding gun owners.”

After Politico’s story on the first questionnaire, Clinton aides seized on the handgun-ban answer in particular, which a campaign press release asserted called into question Obama’s electability.

In short, the lying SOB is the most antigun politician to ever run for public office in the United States. Plus, unlike Hillary Clinton, he's never been under fire! Whoops...another lying DOB!

In other gun matters, a good piece from Jeff at Alphecca on guns as entertainment:
There are a lot of things in this country that can and are misused. What’s the total cost to society of alcoholic beverages? Lost days at work, crime and rape committed under the influence? Spousal abuse? DUI highway killings? Medical problems (and attendant costs to society) with prolonged misuse? A better case could be made for a ban on alcohol. Been there, tried that. Didn’t work.
Here's another cool link from Jim Rawles' Survival Blogdaily reading, if you have any sense — written by novelist Michael Z. Williamson, on what the Will Smith character in I Am Legend did wrong and right:
I've seen a lot of discussion over his [use of a] M4 [Carbine as his primary weapon]. I have to say for that type of fighting, I'd prefer a shotgun. However, a shotgun doesn't reload fast enough. He might be better off with a good .308 self-loading carbine, if he can find adequate soft-point ammo. In New York City, that's unlikely. National Guard armories would only have ball ammo, and likely wouldn't have anything other than standard duty weapons. Add in that he was likely at least familiarized with the M4 as a military surgeon and officer, I think the M4 was about the best practical choice under the circumstances, though inadequate. Lesson: Obviously, for those preparing for any of various disasters, this is a reminder to plan ahead.
Finally, this fun HK Fan Boy Fact from SayUncle:
The H&K MK23 is so named because it’s operators must have 23 inch biceps to wield the foot long, four pound monstrosity.
That's all for today, folks! Except to say that I feel sorry for the gun guys getting laid off tomorrow AM from that lever action rifle company....

Hardy Heads into the Belly of the Beast

Second Amendment scholar and DRTV friend David Hardy will screen his "In Search of the Second Amendment" at the Los Angeles Film Festival this coming Saturday. Go out and give him some moral support! He has a really interesting antigun timeline on his Arms & the Law blog;
Who'd ever have dreamed that someday the two leading Democratic presidential candidates would be claiming they supported the Second Amendment individual right? (Both have fallen back to "but we can regulate it").

I've been involved in this issue for decades, and so have a long term view. It's been steadily downhill for the other side.
As I've said before, outside of a couple of urban areas, there really has never been a national antigun movement. Despite endless media pimping, the "antigun movement" has fewer members than the Flat Earth Society and even less credibility. The exeuctives at the antigun lobby groups no longer believe the papp they're peddling, and as David so lucidly points out, keep asking for less and less (and failing to get even that).

Saturday, March 29, 2008

A Compelling Reason to Avoid Baltimore

For some reason, this kind of cheered me up this morning. Here's the lesson...when someone tries to rob you and you get the drop on 'em, don't rob 'em back...from the Baltimore Sun:
Man killed while beating would-be robber

Facing the barrel of a sawed-off shotgun on a dark West Baltimore street, Roland Scott fought back. He pulled out his own weapon - a fake handgun - and wrested the shotgun away from his attacker, city police said.

Scott ordered the man to strip naked in the middle of Laurens Street, took $800 from him and forced him to march into the laundry room of a nearby apartment building.

"He starts beating him, telling him to get more money, saying, 'Get me a cell phone or I'm going to kill you,'" said Sgt. Dennis M. Raftery Jr., a supervisor in the Police Department's homicide unit. "He is beating him with the butt of a sawed-off shotgun."

Raftery said the shotgun, then pointed at Scott, discharged, hitting Scott in the stomach and killing him. Authorities said his death will be ruled accidental.
Still naked, the other man ran from the apartment building in the 400 block of Laurens St. - the incident occurred about 4 a.m. Wednesday - and went down Monroe Street. He cut his foot and was treated in the emergency room at St. Agnes Hospital.

He told homicide detectives that he was trying to steal money to pay his rent and for pharmacy school.
Well, thank god he wasn't just stealing to buy drugs!

RE: The ND in the cockpit, the Airline Pilots Security Administration has weighed in on the situation, pretty much along the lines of Thursday's blog post...this from the Washington Times:
"The pilot has to take his gun off and lock it up before he leaves the cockpit, so he was trying to secure the gun in preparation for landing, while he was trying to fly the airplane, too," said David Mackett, president of the Airline Pilots Security Alliance. "In the process of doing that, the padlock that is required to be inserted into the holster pulled the trigger and caused the gun to discharge."
APSA, an organization of pilots who lobby Congress on aviation security issues, said the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has refused to adopt standard carriage rules recommended last year by the Federal Air Marshal Service.

"We complained to DHS two years ago that this was an unsafe rule," Mr. Mackett said.

Rather than carry the weapon on their person at all times, pilots must lock it up before opening the cockpit door, meaning pilots handle the gun as many as 10 times per flight, the association estimates.
The more you Futz, the more likely something bad can happen. When antigun bureaucrats write rules about firearms, this is the kind of nonsense you get!

Through SayUncle, we note that Larry Correia, author of Monster Hunters International and I believe a regular on The High Road forums, is taking a lot of big-time heat from HK fanboys for daring to suggest that contrary to the advertising, not all Stealthy Ninja Killer Dudes are packing HKs. I haven't read MHI, but I did finally suck it up and order it based on this little snatch of the first chapter:
“You know what the difference between me and you really is? You look out there and see a horde of evil, brain eating zombies. I look out there and see a target rich environment.”
-Dillis D. Freeman Jr. 11/2/2001

Monster Hunter International
Chapter 1

On one otherwise normal Tuesday evening I had the chance to live the American dream. I was able to throw my incompetent jackass of a boss from a fourteenth-story window.

Now, I didn’t just wake up that morning and decide that I was going to kill my boss with my bare hands. It really was much more complicated than that. In my life up to that point I would never have even considered something that sounded so crazy. I was just a normal guy, a working stiff. Heck, I was an accountant. It doesn’t get much more mundane than that.

That one screwed-up event changed my life. Little did I realize that turning my boss into sidewalk pizza would have so many bizarre consequences. Well, technically, he did not actually hit the sidewalk. He landed on the roof of a double-parked Lincoln Navigator, but I digress.

My name is Owen Zastava Pitt and this is my story....
I might round Larry up and do a podcast with him...BTW, I notice from my Amazon account that you people have been buying my own novel, ALL NIGHT RADIO, lately. Well, thanks! Now you're going to bug me about the sequel, FIVE TO GO, aren't you?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

A Mellow Evening

My Sweetie is in Denver for a dinner with the girls, so I had a low-key dinner of warmed turkey meatloaf and a reasonably good shiraz from Coppola, shared (not the wine!) by the parrots, Alf the Wonder Beagle and Pokee-San the tailess cat. Tres domestic!

I spent some time at the LGS, Gunsport Colorado, picking up a set of Leupold rings for a rifle I'm having built by Dave Sullivan at Westwind Rifles in Erie, CO. Sorry, no website, but Dave is well known as a champion high-power shooter and a builder of superb long-distance rifles. Dave's cleaning up a .300 Remington Ultra Mag on a Remington 700 Sendero I had, with an old Springfield scope. The rings were too short (mispackaged, strangely enough), but there is something profoundly relaxing about sitting around a small gunsmithy talking guns with an unpretentious expert. Reminded me of the first time my father took me to a gunsmith's shop in Memphis...sort of like a wizard's den that smelled like Hoppes instead of boiled bat wing.

TSA Stupidity Puts Pilots At Risk!

What's wrong with this picture?

Nearly everything.

This is the holster that is mandated by the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) for use by armed pilots. You've all read about the "negligent discharge" in the U.S. Airways plane out of Denver this week:
(AP) A gun belonging to the pilot of a US Airways plane went off as the aircraft was on approach to land in North Carolina over the weekend, the first time a weapon issued under a federal program to arm pilots was fired, authorities said.

The "accidental discharge" Saturday aboard Flight 1536 from Denver, Colorado, to Charlotte, North Carolina, did not endanger the aircraft or the 124 passengers, two pilots and three flight attendants aboard, said Greg Alter of the Federal Air Marshal Service.

"We know that there was never any danger to the aircraft or to the occupants on board," Alter said Monday.

It is the first time a pilot's weapon has been fired on a plane under a program created after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to allow pilots and others to use a firearm to defend against any act of air piracy or criminal violence, he said.

The federal Transportation Security Administration is investigating how the gun discharged and is being assisted by the Air Marshal Service, Alter said. Officials did not say where the bullet hit.
TSA is investigating? Let's look at the anatomy of an accidental discharge that was absolutely bound to happen, thanks to the rocket scientists from TSA. First off, gun selection. The TSA decided that all pilots who wished to take part in the armed pilot program had to use H-K USP .40 S&W:
All people eligible to carry guns in the cockpit carry the same weapon, the .40-caliber semiautomatic H&K USP.

“This is an extremely safe and reliable weapon,” said Greg Alter of the Federal Air Marshal Service. “It’s not going to discharge on its own, is the bottom line.”
All understanding is that the gun chosen for the pilots is the double-action-only version using H-K's LEM (Law Enforcement Module) system to lighten the DA pull. Here's the H-K catalog page.

What do we know about double-action only guns, whether they be semiautos or revolvers? Well, the first thing we know is that if you pull the trigger, the gun will go bang. The longer DA stroke guarantees that there has to be a deliberate pull of the trigger for the gun to fire.

Here's an important question...does it take a deliberate finger to pull a trigger? Ummmm, no...the trigger doesn't know or care what pulls it. You can pull a trigger with a pencil, a tree branch or the snagged tail of your shirt. People who carry pocket pistols not in a pocket holster have pulled the trigger with their pocket change. And consider the word "deliberate." A finger on the trigger can unintentionally fire a gun, say if the person whose finger is on the trigger is jossled or bumped, or if they have to grab with their weak hand, which can sometimes cause a sympathetic clinching of hand on the gun. Or let's say your finger is on the trigger when you attempt to reholster the'll go bang every time...probably the most common neglient discharge in the world.

That trigger thing is why we have moved to holsters for concealed carry and competition that fully cover the trigger guard, blocking access to the trigger. The harder it is to get to the trigger accidentally, the less likely the gun is going to go bang when we don't want it to.

What's another thing we've learned from the last 30 years of practical pistol shooting and the revolution in civilian training about gun safety? An important thing is to minimize the Futz Factor, loosely defined as "Every time you handle the gun, it has the opportunity to go off; reduce the times you handle the loaded gun, and you reduce the opportunities for a negligent discharge."

Here's an the early days of IPSC, we had stages that required the competitor to shoot and/or do a physical challenge, holster a hot gun and complete an additional physical challenge before shooting again. We eliminated those types of stages because it had competitors at all levels of training, including beginners, holstering a hot gun, which we felt added an unnecessary level of risk. Hot ranges, where everyone is locked and loaded all the time, are not intrinsically more dangerous that cold ranges, where all guns are unloaded before they are holsterd, but they are generally not for newbies.

Regardless, for pure safety reasons, we minimize handling a loaded gun, based on essentially a risk/reward equation. Should you practice draws with a loaded gun? Absolutely not, because you gain nothing over practicing draws with an empty gun and you increase the risk.

Given those parameters, what makes more sense for carrying a loaded gun in a car, something I do every day:
1) Should I have a separate storage area in the car so that every time I enter and exit the car, I take the gun out of my holster, secure it in the storage area, lock the storage area, then retrieve the gun and reholster it in the narrow confines of the car when I reenter?

2) Should I enter the car with the gun in my holster, and every time I exit the car I remove the holster from my belt, attach a locking device to the holster, secure the holster in a separate storage area, then retrieve the holster and thread it back onto my belt when I return to the vehicle?

3) Should I choose a holster that's comfortable, then leave the gun in its holster while I'm driving?
From a pure safety standpoint, only number 3 makes sense. Anything other than 3 drastically increases the Futz Factor, eg, I'm handing a hot weapon many more times. Secondly, when I handle a weapon in a constrained space, it puts greater stress on me to not sweep my Sweetie, who's sitting in the passenger seat, or Alf the Wonder Beagle, who's in the back of the car. I am forced into occasionally awkward positions, and if I have to manipulate the gun in any way, it is much harder than the more straightforward standing in the open moves.

Ideally — and I recognize that nothing is ideal — I want to put my carry gun on before I leave the house and not touch it again until I take if off in the evening. If I have to draw it in the interim, it is because my life is in danger.

Let's think about gun retention...when am I most at risk for having my gun taken away from me? How about, when I am Futzing with it...when the gun is in my hand in a shooting grip, it's actually pretty hard to snatch it away from me, because I'm a monkey and Monkey Grip Good! We're designed to grip, and we know how to hold on...if you've got kids, have you ever tried to extract one who really wanted to hang onto Mommy or Daddy? I can also bring the gun close to my body, which would bring the snatcher within reach of my dangerous weak hand.

When a gun is in the holster on the belt, it is also relatively secure...I can turn my body away from the snatcher to protect the gun; I can cover the gun with my hand (or hands); I can fight...the things in a monkey's harwired arsenal. But when I'm performing a non-hardwired action — placing the gun in a storage container; taking a holstered weaon off or putting it on my belt, I'm at maximum risk for losing control of the weapon.

Let's talk about that holster now. Why do we cover the trigger guard? To keep something hard from coming in contact with the trigger. What would we call a holster that has a hole cut in it to allow a person to place a hard object that can potentially come in contact with the trigger of a gun that has no additional manual safety? Unsafe...or more appropriately, stupid.

Very very stupid.

And what would you think if a requirement of your job was to constantly remove such a holster and then place the hard steel bar of a lock through the holster and trigger guard, then remove the lock and redeploy the holster when you came back? Personally, I'd be pretty worried — as a firearms professional, I'd find this system guaranteed to fail. Sooner or later, it goes bang.

And it did.

This from the Crime Files News, one of the few tiny bits of information to leak out no damning the pilot or the gun:
It was only a matter of time before there’d be an accidental, non-negligent discharge of a Federal Flight Deck Officer’s weapon. Saturday a U.S. Airways pilot’s gun discharged on Flight 1536, which left Denver at approximately 6:45am and arrived in Charlotte at approximately 11:51am. The Airbus A319 plane landed safely and thankfully none of the flight’s 124 passengers or five crew members was injured

The insane procedures required by the TSA demands that our pilots to lock and then un-lock their .40 side arms was and is a solid recipe for disaster. Did the TSA deliberately create this bizarre and unconventional Rube Goldberg firearm retention system hoping for this result? The sordid history of the FAA and TSA’s total resistance to the concept of arming pilots to protect Americans is in itself a scandal.

Putting a gun into a holster and then threading a padlock through the trigger and trigger-guard is required every time the pilots enter or leave the cockpit. This kind of silliness has never been forced on any law enforcement or security officers anywhere in the world until now. Before this holster padlock procedure pilots with guns were forced to carry them around in a cumbersome 22 pound vault. The vault caused problems in the confined space of most cockpits.
The later Associated Press reports say the ND happened as the pilot was trying to stow the gun for landing.

We won't know for certain until TSA issues their investigative results/cover-up, which will probably find the pilot was a closet lunatic and the H-K actually jumped around the cabin barking and threatening to shoot everyone. Just take a good look at that holster and ask yourself one further question:

Would you carry one?

Thursday Winter Returns Wrap-Up

Oh boy! It's snowing again! Thank heavens...I was afraid it was going to be spring!

Anyhow, the big news this AM is that Steve Sanetti, COO of Ruger, has been tapped to replace Doug Painter as the President and CEO of the National Shooting Sports Foundation:
Sanetti was hired by Bill Ruger in 1980 to be the company's first general counsel and rose up through the executive ranks to become, in 2003, president, vice chairman of the board and chief operating officer, the position he currently holds. A founding member of the Firearms Litigation Support Committee, Sanetti helped direct the successful coordinated response to municipal lawsuits that threatened the firearms industry in the late 1990s.

In addition to his legal and executive experience, Sanetti brings strong communications skills to the position, having written numerous articles and given many interviews defending the lawful and responsible ownership and use of firearms. He has spoken on 60 Minutes, ABC News Nightline, CNBC, National Public Radio and before various federal and state legislative bodies.

Sanetti is an avid hunter, target shooter, firearms collector and amateur gunsmith who was a three-year member of his college rifle team and later the team's coach. He was the enthusiastic captain of many victorious Ruger shooting teams at industry competitions and says his favorite hobby is to spend a day target shooting with his family.
Here's the whole story.

Okay, I called that one wrong, but I believe this is a great choice by the NSSF Board. In addition to being a longtime personal friend of mine, Steve Sanetti is one of the sharpest and forward looking executives in the business. More importantly, he is a rock-sold gun gun...he works for one of the most important handgun companies in the world, is a shooter and hunter — I shot against him on clays in the last Industry Masters, and he handed me my head — and a man who understand the fight.

That last bit is important because depending on how November goes, we many well need a "wartime consigliere," to borrow a phrase from that font of all wisdom, the Godfather. Steve comes on board at NSSF on 1 May; we'll no doubt be interviewing him for DOWN RANGE Radio.

From the lovely and charming Bitter Bitch, a scathing — and totally on-target — attack on my Congressman, Mark Udall of Colorado...whose getting ready to make a run on the U.S. Senate:
I Don’t Have Balls, So I Hope Someone Else Does!

It would seem that’s what the subtitle quote should be for this article:

Udall wouldn’t kill gun ban but hopes court will

That’s so unflattering for a title. I mean that’s spelling out for constituents that he doesn’t want to be on the record voting on an issue and hopes other people will make other decisions for him. That’s not usually what Congressmen are elected to do. So let’s see if the rest of the article fits.

When the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments last week about the Washington, D.C., ban on handgun ownership, U.S. Rep. Mark Udall of Colorado issued a news release saying he hoped the court would affirm the right of citizens to “keep and bear arms.”

But on four occasions when Udall, a Democrat running for an open U.S. Senate seat, could have voted in Congress to repeal all or sections of the gun ban, he did not.

Not once, not twice, not three times, but four times he refused to take a vote that would leave a record. Of course, upholding an individual right and upholding a right that has meaning (aka no DC ban) are two different talking points. So let’s see how he digs…

Udall campaign spokesman Taylor West said the congressman did not support the 32-year-old ban but also didn’t think Congress was justified in overriding the district while the issue was before the courts.

“He believes in self-rule and the rights of local government,” West said. “The people should be able to set their own laws.”

Well, Udall should believe in the Constitution. DC is ruled by Congress. Congress can overrule the City Council. It would stand to reason that someone who believes that rights mean something would say, “You know City Council, I generally defer to you. But tonight, you want to deny people their rights. That’s a problem when it’s spelled out in the Constitution, so I’m going to overrule you in the morning.”
Here's a link to the original Denver Post article. Bitter's right. Durning his period in Congress, Udall has had his head up the skirts of the excreble Diana DeGette, one of the most relentless and brainless antigun harridans to ever be elected Congress. She apparently has never seen the Constitution, has never seen any antigun legislation she didn't wholehearted support and will bleat like goosed sheep at the command of her masters. When Udall was elected, I sent him a long note asking if we could get together and try to bridge the gun issue. I pointed out that once you crossed the Boulder City Limits, Colorado was an extremely pro-gun state, and it would be worth his time to at least talk to someone other than DeGette on the issue.

Of coruse I didn't hear back from him!

Now that Udall's preparing a Senate run, he's discovered that — surprise! — when you get outside the Boulder City Limits, Colorado is an extremely pro-gun stste, and he's treading water. Any day now I expect to see him in cammie capping some poor helpless duck.

Finally, in the Thursday News You Can Use, this from Fox News:
Man Claims to Speak 'Australian' After Allegedly Being Raped by Wombat

SYDNEY — A New Zealand man has been sentenced to community service after telling police he was raped by a wombat and the experience had made him speak "Australian".

Arthur Ross Cradock, 48, from the South Island town of Motueka, called police on February 11 and told them he was being raped at his home by the wombat and he needed help, The Nelson Mail newspaper reported.

The orchard worker later called back and said: "Apart from speaking Australian now, I'm pretty all right, you know."
The wombat, reached in his burrow, said it good for him, too, closing his comments by saying, "Whazzup, homes?"

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

JERICHO Goes Out Standing Up

The post-terrorist nuke CBS series JERICHO had its last episode last night, and it went out standing up, including a powerful pro-Second Amendment message — hell, no wonder CBS cancelled it! No, I understand viewership (BOY, do I understand viewership...that's why I have nightmares about Neilsen numbers!) The problem is, of course, that niche programming has no place on broadcast a couple of years, the Internet will change all that, and we won't have to wade through hours of cheapo reality crap to find something worth watching. Maybe we'll have a Patriot Channel...wouldn't that be novel? Except how many movies can Bruce Willis make?

As I mentioned in my comments on the last post, Crimson Trace will be coming out with Laser Grips for the Charter Arms Bulldog...that's a good thing. As you guys know, I believe a laser is a MUST-HAVE accessory on a pocket pistol, whether J-frame revolver or semiauto. A Laser Grip package similar to the one Crimson Trace offers for the Kel-Tec (above) is also in the works for the Ruger LCP, which of course was always a slam-dunk.

I also heard this week from Michael Register — Spike — at Spike's Tactical, who mentioned that he was coming up on serial number 666 on his AR pistol lower receiver line and, of course, he thought of me. Well, who could turn that down? He's also working on an AR-based .22 pistol with a 4-inch free-floating barrel that he swears looks like the guns in Time Cop.

Is it me, or do all those gunmakers down in Florida seem skewed about three degrees off top-dead-center? Anyway, I told Spike we'd do a big feature on the .22 on DOWN RANGE, because I actually liked Time Cop.

Brother Dave Skinner at STI International tells me that they now have BATFE approval to import their plastic fantastic Slovakian pistol, the GP6, so they can submit it to the BATFE for approval to import it. No, it doesn't make a wit of sense, but hey, dem's dah rules! No word on when the much-anticipated little Rogues will start rolling off the assembly lines, but good news for cowboys, the superb (and star-crossed) Texican single-action revolver is now in the pipeline, with Dave saying backorders should be cleared by next month. I shot one of these ages ago, and it is sweet! The STI development team is pondering an even smaller single action along the lines of the old Colt Pocket 9, in 9mm and maybe the newly reborn .380.

Oh what the heck, Dave...just do the whole Colt product line! How about a skinny, upgraded Colt .380 "Government Model"? Purty-please?

And lest you're feeling good about things, here's what the FBI has ben doing with your tax dollars. From Classical Values, via Instapundit, comes the story of how the FBI has created a Internet link proporting to show underaged children engaged in sex acts. If a person clicks on the link — viola! — an armed visit from the FBI!
...the FBI has taken it upon itself to arrest people in pre-dawn raids for what they say is the crime of clicking the wrong link:

The FBI has recently adopted a novel investigative technique: posting hyperlinks that purport to be illegal videos of minors having sex, and then raiding the homes of anyone willing to click on them.

Undercover FBI agents used this hyperlink-enticement technique, which directed Internet users to a clandestine government server, to stage armed raids of homes in Pennsylvania, New York, and Nevada last year. The supposed video files actually were gibberish and contained no illegal images.

A CNET review of legal documents shows that courts have approved of this technique, even though it raises questions about entrapment, the problems of identifying who's using an open wireless connection--and whether anyone who clicks on a FBI link that contains no child pornography should be automatically subject to a dawn raid by federal police.

They could post these links, or send them out (or they could be resent to everyone on someone's mailing list), and innocent or clueless idiots might click on them without any idea that their IP numbers were being sent straight into an FBI computer, and that a search warrant would be issued.

The scariest part is that the FBI does not even care where the link-clickers got the links. Anyone might have emailed or posted them...
Remember, when they come for us, they'll come for all the best reasons protecting the children, our having too large a carbon footprint, drawing cartoons that slander Mohammed, reading socially unacceptable books...hell, probably watching reruns of Jericho!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Butt, Alligators, Etc....

Sorry it has been slow up to butt in alligators, and it's probably going to take me a couple of weeks to dig out. I'll fill you all in when I catch my breath...

In the meantime, here's an interesting article referred by my old friend Paul E, in the National Journal on the candidates and gun control:
When Clinton was first lady, her husband pushed through the only significant federal gun control legislation passed in the last 15 years: the Brady bill, which requires a background check to purchase a gun; and the ban on semi-automatic assault weapons, which Congress allowed to expire in 2004.

Peter Hamm, communications director for the Brady Campaign, noted approvingly that Clinton and Obama both have long records supporting tighter regulations on guns. "We would be happy with either of them," he said.

In the wake of the Columbine High School shootings, Hillary Clinton urged Congress to pass laws restricting handgun sales to one a month and raising the legal age of handgun ownership to 21, according to her memoir.

"The name Clinton is synonymous with gun control to us," said Andrew Arulanandam, the NRA's national spokesman.

As a senator, Clinton has supported numerous curbs on guns: extending the ban on assault weapons, requiring background checks at gun shows, allowing civil lawsuits to be filed against gun makers and gun dealers, requiring mandatory trigger locks for handguns and making state gun-trace records available to the public.

Obama supports all of the above as well. When he was running for Senate in 2003, he filled out a questionnaire saying he supports limiting handgun purchases to one a month. He also opposes laws allowing citizens (with the exception of retired police officers and military personnel) to carry concealed weapons.

The NRA and the Brady Campaign can point to only one noticeable difference in the candidates' Senate records on guns. Obama voted in favor of legislation prohibiting the use of federal money to confiscate weapons during a disaster. Clinton voted against it. The NRA has given both of them an "F" in its rating system.
Give 'em an "F!" That's why I'm somewhat grudgingly endorsing McCain, whom I have spoke ill of in the past...welcome to the Worst Case!

GUNWISE, listen to tomorrow's podcast, where I wax poetic about the Mag-Na-Port incredible action job on my Charter Arms Bulldog .44 Special. It is slick slick slick, and I predict that the little Bulldog is going to become my little pocket blaster of choice!

I gotta go watch the last episode of Jericho...sigh, another decent television show bites the dust! Somebody should nuke CBS!

Monday, March 24, 2008

A Cannon for Everyman!

This from the guys over at the Firearms Blog, who are better at ferreting this stuff out than I am when I get busy:
The blackpowder cannon enthusiasts over at the Graybeard forums came up with some amazing pieces of artillery.

CU_Cannon built the “Nano-mortar”. It fires .177″ BBs. The bed it sits on is 1″ long.

The pico mortar was build solely with a drill-press, some files and emery paper. It fires 3mm shot pellets (0.118 inch diameter) and has a maximum load of 0.2 grains of blackpowder. It has a barrel length of 8mm (0.315″) and can fire 6 meters (20 feet).
Damn that new weapons technology! First it was little bitty it's little bitty cannons. What's next...little bitty cruise missiles? When drill presses are outlawed, only outlaws will have drill presses...

Friday, March 21, 2008

The REAL Situation on the Border!

Where valiant Border Patrol Beagles struggle to hold back waves of illegal chihuahuas! Or, this is what happens when you finally win Westminster...all that training just to hike around in the desert. As you know, Alf the Wonder Beagle is a Free Range Beagle herself...she thanks Mr. Ed for the pix and says that beagle in the back looks...hunky!

John McCain's Position on Gun Issues

Creepy poster, huh?

Let's leave the Socialist Workers of the World candidate and see how our best option, John McCain. comes down on guns. This is from John McCain's official positions paper, which I obtained from Steve Schreiner at the Firearms Coalition of Colorado:
"Neither justice nor domestic peace are served by holding the innocent responsible for the acts of the criminal."
-Senator John McCain

Protecting Second Amendment Rights

John McCain believes that the right of law abiding citizens to keep and bear arms is a fundamental, individual Constitutional right that we have a sacred duty to protect. We have a responsibility to ensure that criminals who violate the law are prosecuted to the fullest, rather than restricting the rights of law abiding citizens. Gun control is a proven failure in fighting crime. Law abiding citizens should not be asked to give up their rights because of criminals - criminals who ignore gun control laws anyway.

Gun Manufacturer Liability

John McCain opposes backdoor attempts to restrict Second Amendment rights by holding gun manufacturers liable for crimes committed by third parties using a firearm, and has voted to protect gun manufacturers from such inappropriate liability aimed at bankrupting the entire gun industry.

Assault Weapons

John McCain opposes restrictions on so-called "assault rifles" and voted consistently against such bans. Most recently he opposed an amendment to extend a ban on 19 specific firearms, and others with similar characteristics.

Importation of High Capacity Magazines

John McCain opposes bans on the importation of certain types of ammunition magazines and has voted against such limitations.

Gun Locks

John McCain believes that every firearms owner has a responsibility to learn how to safely use and store the firearm they have chosen, whether for target shooting, hunting, or personal protection. He has supported legislation requiring gun manufacturers to include gun safety devices such as trigger locks in product packaging

Banning Ammunition

John McCain believes that banning ammunition is just another way to undermine Second Amendment rights. He voted against an amendment that would have banned many of the most commonly used hunting cartridges on the spurious grounds that they were "armor-piercing."

D.C. Personal Protection

As part of John McCain's defense of Second Amendment rights, he cosponsored legislation to lift a ban on the law abiding citizens of the District of Columbia from exercising their Constitutional right to bear arms.

Criminal Background Checks

John McCain supports instant criminal background checks to help prohibit criminals from buying firearms and has voted to ensure they are conducted thoroughly, efficiently, and without infringing on the rights of law abiding citizens.

Background Checks at Gun Shows

At a time when some were trying to shut down gun shows in the name of fighting crime, John McCain tried to preserve gun shows by standardizing sales procedures. Federal law requires licensed firearm sellers at gun shows to do an instant criminal background check on purchasers while private firearm sellers at gun shows do not have to conduct such a check. John McCain introduced legislation that would require an instant criminal background check for all sales at gun shows and believes that such checks must be conducted quickly to ensure that unnecessary delays do not effectively block transactions.

The Firearm Purchase Waiting Period

John McCain has opposed "waiting periods" for law abiding citizen's purchase of firearms.

The Confiscation of Firearms After an Emergency

John McCain opposes the confiscation of firearms from private citizens, particularly during times of crisis or emergency. He voted in favor of an amendment sponsored by Senator David Vitter prohibiting such confiscation.

Stiffer Penalties for Criminals who use a Firearm in the Commission of a Crime

John McCain believes in strict, mandatory penalties for criminals who use a firearm in the commission of a crime or illegally possess a firearm. Enforcing the current laws on the books is the best way to deter crime.
I'm still not comfortable with McCain's stand on background checks at gun shows, but folks, I believe this is the best we're going to get. I have been impressed by his stance on the old and any new AWBs, because it has been rock solid consistent. He also made it a point to join in the Senate amicus brief on Heller.

Given the importance of this election, I think this is the way we have to vote.

PS: The "OBEY OBAMA" poster is from American Digest.

Dial 911 and Die

Yeah, we use the slogan as a bumper sticker, but it does in fact happen. This from the AP:
Calif. Woman Slain on the Phone With 911

WEST COVINA, Calif. (AP) - A woman was asking a 911 dispatcher for help when her pleas were interrupted by gunshots, then silence. She was shot to death.

The woman told the dispatcher someone was trying to break into her home in upscale West Covina, Los Angeles County sheriff's Lt. Dan Rosenberg said. "Deputies heard gunshots followed by silence and an open phone line," he said.

Deputies arrived at the house, 20 miles east of Los Angeles, a few minutes after Wednesday's late morning call.
The woman, whose name was not released by police, had been shot several times. Paramedics pronounced her dead at the scene.

"At this point we believe it was a burglary gone awry," Rosenberg said.
The Cato Institute probably put it best:
Gun control puts honest citizens in the position of having to choose between protecting their lives or respecting the law. What kind of government would do such a thing?
The kind of government we'll get in spades if we put a Clinton or an Obama in the White House this fall. Remember, make 2008 your personal Year of the Gun — if you can legally do so, get a gun, learn to use it and carry it every day! Don't have an AR? Get one...they'll never be cheaper. If you regularly shoot one type of shooting sports, make it a point to try another. If you're a die-hard IPSC guy, try sporting clays. If you're a sporting clays shooter, try high-power. Don't worry...if you show some interest, someone will loan you the hardware you need to try it! Take another person to the range and introduce him or her to the joys of shooting. We are free because we exercise our rights!

I'll close this post with some words from Brother Ted, who truly speaks for us all:
I don’t need a piece of paper or a court to tell me, a free citizen of a free country, that I can’t defend myself or my family while at the same time forcing me to pay for an armed security force to come along and clean up after something goes wrong. The most basic thing that makes me free and safe is my ability to protect myself from those who would try to take away my liberty or my life.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Gura's Response on Machine Guns

We've had some discussion on the numerous mentions of machine guns in the D.C. v. Heller oral arguments. Some of those discussions have been pretty heated, in the sense that some in the Class 3 community felt that they were being "tossed under the bus" for the sake of the individual interpretation.

As you know — or at least I think you know — I come down on the same side as David Hardy at the Of Arms & the Law Blog:
Joe Olson [Professor Joseph Olson, head of Academicians for the Second Amendment] and I were out drinking with Alan Gura last night, and he was getting a constant stream of emails from machinegun owners on his pda, denouncing his statement that full auto arms' possession might not be protected by the 2nd Amendment.

I think EVERYONE associated with this case who knows anything about appellate argument -- and I've talked to many in that class -- agreed that if you cannot come up with a 2nd Amendment test that lets the government do a lot of things with full autos, you lose. That's bottom line. You can have a second amendment for things other than full auto, or you can have no second amendment. Take your pick, there is no third alternative. Life isn't fair. I was very relieved when the Court showed signs of taking the view that Heller is asking to own a .38, not a Thompson, so we can deal with the full auto issue if and when someone brings a case (which I hope will be about ten years down the road).
You all know I love machine guns and have from the very first season featured them prominently on SHOOTING GALLERY and now on DRTV. I did that by goal was and is to help change the public perception of full auto weapons, because I believe that is the only way we can address the 1986 and 1939 travesties. Today Alan Gura himself, the lawyer who argued Heller before the High Court, took the time to explain himself on the subguns discussion's his complete response:
Thanks for your support.

The solution to 922(o) will have to be political in the end. The fact is, outside the gun community, the concept of privately owned machine guns is intolerable to American society and 100% of all federal judges. If I had suggested in any way -- including, by being evasive and indirect and fudging the answer -- that machine guns are the next case and this is the path to dumping 922(o) -- I'd have instantly lost all 9 justices. Even Scalia. There wasn't any question of that, at all, going in, and it was confirmed in unmistakable fashion when I stood there a few feet from the justices and heard and saw how they related to machine guns. It was not just my opinion, but one uniformly held by ALL the attorneys with whom we bounced ideas off, some of them exceedingly bright people. Ditto for the people who wanted me to declare an absolute right, like I'm there to waive some sort of GOA bumper sticker. That's a good way to lose, too, and look like a moron in the process.

I didn't make the last 219 years of constitutional law and I am not responsible for the way that people out there -- and on the court-- feel about machine guns. Some people in our gun rights community have very....interesting....ways of looking at the constitution and the federal courts.

I don't need to pass judgment on it other than to say, it's not the reality in which we practice law. When we started this over five years ago, the collective rights theory was the controlling law in 47 out of 50 states. Hopefully, on next year's MBE, aspiring lawyers will have to bubble in the individual rights answer to pass the test. I know you and many others out there can appreciate that difference and I thank you for it, even if we can't get EVERYTHING that EVERYONE wants. Honestly some people just want to stay angry. I'm glad you're not among them.

You want to change 922(o)? Take a new person shooting. Work for "climate change."

I gotta give the guy full credit for nads...first he stands up in front of the scariest court in the land and, quite frankly, delivers the mail. Say what you will with 20/20 hindsight, but Gura hit all the bases and cross the home plate standing up. He did what we in the gun community absolutely, positively prayed he would do.

Then he faces head-on his detractors on the Internet with a lucid, thoughtful argument based in how the world really works.

Good on you, dude!

Does that mean we all need to stop fighting for reform of the '86 Ban and the NFA? Hell no! But we all have to accept that the real battle is in the court of public opinion, not — yet — the court with marble halls.

Frankly, I'm a big fan of's a tactic that has worked great for our enemies! How can we start chipping away at those abusive laws? Here are a couple of ways to start...

Based on the responses I've received from SG episodes, I think there is increasingly less support for the heavyweight federal regulations of suppressors than ever before. We have documented cases of police officers having to take medical retirement because of hearing injuries connected with using M4/AR-15s indoors. Heck, most of the people I know — myself included — have some level of hearing damage. There are increasing issues of "noise pollution" on urban outdoor ranges and for hunters in close proximity to urban/subruban areas.

We have the simple solution to those problems...a low-tech gun muffler. When I was in New Zealand a few years back, you could get rimfire suppressors for $25 at the local hardware store — they were considered a "courtesy for the neighbors." I believe, and have gone on record in writing and on SHOOTING GALLERY, that every police rifle in America should be suppressed. Period. I believe we should all have the option to save our hearing, or to avoid disturbing our neighbors, without filling out tons of paperwork, paying a tax that effectively doubles the cost of a simple suppressor. I know the guys at Gemtech and Tactical Solutions certainly agree on those points and are willing to stand up. In fact, Gemtech for years produced posters urging the "legalization" of silencer technology. I believe here's a brick that we can chip away at.

First and foremost, though, we need the Second Amendment reaffirmed and nailed down!

Gura argued his case and, IMO and the opinions of many other legal experts, argued it well.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Arthur C. Clarke, R.I.P.

I note the passing yesterday of visionary science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke. When I was in high school, I idolized Clarke, read and re-read every word he wrote. When I started college at Florida State, I was amazed to discover that Clarke was one of the featured speakers that fall, and since I worked for the student paper and blathered endlessly about Childhood's End, I was assigned to pick up Clarke from the airport early, "babysit" him all day until his talk and do an interview.

The catch was that I'd never done a real interview, in fact being a freshman in college in 1968 had trouble distinguishing my ass-end from a hole in the ground. So I picked him up in my clapped-out, primer gray 356B Porsche convertible with the top down and holes in the floorboards — the great man his transportation — then using one of those "portable" tape recorders the size of a suitcase I did what may be the worst interviews in history. Clarke was a consummate gentleman and answered my insipid questions with a thoughfulness far beyond what they deserved.

To top it off, since hotel check-in wasn't until 3 PM, I treated Arthur Clarke to lunch at a Sizzler Steak House...god help me, I was from Memphis...I didn't know any better! I was all set to talk about 2001 the move, but Clarke wanted to talk about the media, about television and satellites and changes that were coming beyond what I could imagine. The man was hypnotic...he talked about a time when everyone would be connected, where media would be omnipresent and linked in ways that allowed us to share information between individuals...

It was an amazing lunch...all I did was sit there and nod my head, enthralled. We both had cherry pie, and within six months I changed my college major from physics/math to media. I also learned how to interview.

I once watched a friend disassemble a pocketwatch and was awed by how all those little gears and levers pivoted on tiny ruby you're reading this blog because I bought Arthur C. Clarke a really bad lunch once, and my life pivoted on that tiny bearing.

Rest in peace, Sir Arthur.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

DRTV Live Coverage...

...of D.C. v Heller has started...right now we're posting the first flash analysis of the oral arguments from SCOTUSBLOG...we'll be adding to it all day, amd should have the actual arguments up as soon as they become available....

A Good Time To Remember!

A hurry of hoofs in a village street,
A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,
And beneath, from the pebbles, in passing, a spark
Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet;
That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light,
The fate of a nation was riding that night;
And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,
Kindled the land into flame with its heat.
He has left the village and mounted the steep,
And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,
Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides;
And under the alders that skirt its edge,
Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,
Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.

— From Paul Revere's Ride
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Monday, March 17, 2008

I'm Not Irish

I'm Scots...on the single malt, as opposed to the Irish whiskey, side of the family. I think we can all agree, however, that beer remains the ultimate huminod food. Here's a link to DRAFT magazine..don't just glance through it, study it!

Been in Indiana culling a big buffalo bull for COWBOYS. We were at Cook's Bison Ranch in Amish country...who'd'a thought? What great people! Wayne, Pete, Jason and all the guys really pulled out the stop for us, making it a totally fun weekend. Tequila used one of the supercool Mini-Sharps from Chiappa Firearms. Essentially, it's an 80%-sized 1874 Sharps rifle...downright petite!

Tequila's rifle was custom-made by Chiappa in .454 Casull. Normally, he and I would have worked up a heavy-bullet reload with Laser Cast bullets and Hogdon H110, but it took longer to get our handsw on the rifle than we'd expected. We opted for a Winchester 260-grain hunting load. It didnt matter to the 2200-pound bull, who went down quickly with a single lung shot. And yes, for all you pagans out there, I said the Words over the bull, sending him on his way to the Summerlands...hell, I hope somebody someday does the same for me!

I came away with a renewed respect for the .454 is a hammer. The rifle has originally been sighted in with the hot 300-grain Cor-Bon .45 sht more than four feet high with the Winchester .454s!! BTW, we had a Ruger Alaskan .454 revolver with us loaded with the same rounds with us as a back-up.

Also BTW, I'm working with Ron Norton at Chiappa on a gun near and dear to my heart — a lever action 16-inch M92 Trapper take-down in .44 Magnum! As most of you know by now, I'm a big fan of the lever gun as a self-defense, or if you will, tactical, weapon. One of my favorite "house guns" is a Winchester 94 Trapper with at 16 1/2 inch barrel in .44 Magnum, usually loaded with either Black Hills 240-grain JHPs or Winchester 250-grain hunting loads as the "just in case" gun in bear/lion season. I like this option so much we're going to be doing a "Tactical Lever Action" class later this summer, which we'll film for SHOOTING GALLERY in 2009.

I like my 94, and it's been a 100% gun with both the magnums and .44 Specials, but the M92 is a much more sevelte package, being as the action was designed around pistol-length cartridges. Ron loves the .45 Colt, especially the thumper Cor-Bons 300-grain +Ps.

Chiappa already catalogs a .45 Colt 16-inch M92...It's a beautiful little gun with a smooth-as-butter lever stroke. The shorter action and the half-inch off the barrel (down to the legal minimum) make this an extremely handy you may or may not know, most of the "Trapper" versions of lever guns...made, duh, as a handy alternative to a handgun for trappers or cowboys on horseback...had barrel lengths in the 14-15 inche range before the 1934 Firearms Act (or, as we generally refer to it, the Let's Give The Now Unemployed Revenue Agents Something To Do Act) made short-barreled rifles subect to federal control. You can see lots of examples of the shorter-barreled Trappers in the Marlin history book (P. 214) and the Winchester history (P.94). Winchester actually made a few of the M92 Trappers (325 made with less than 18-inch barrels).

Anyhow, I'm badgering Ron to build me a gun like he built himself...a composite-stocked, hard chromed take-down 16-inch M92...his is in .45 Colt; I want .44 Magnum because I believe it is a more veratile fact, I believe it is the most versatile cartridge in the world! Hopefully, we should have the guns by summer. This is the gun I want to use in our Tactical Lever Action class.

The reason I want it as a take-down gun is that it becomes the ultimate travel breaks down into a very small package and once we find the right plastic case can be easily stashed in packed baggage (yeah, yeah...of course you have to declare it!). When packaged along with my overhauled S&W M329 revolver (which will be on the way home from Jim Stroh at Alpha Precision any day now), my Alpha Precision 629 .44 Magnum 3-inch (sort of like this one, but without the internal lock and with a world-class DA trigger), or one of the new shorter-barreled Night Guard version, here, , and a selection of .44 Magnum ammo, you have a nearly unbeatable travel package — a concealable big-bore revolver backed with a powerful, accurate rifle. Ideally, I'd want one of the XS scout scope mounts on the rifle, backed up with Ghost Ring sight, and I'd carry an Aimpoint T-1 Micro with a quick release mount for the scope rail.

Admit want one of these Bad Boys, too!

Here's our daily dose on Heller from the WaPo...we're checking our feed systems for tomorrow, which is going to be a busy, busy, busy day!
"This may be one of the only cases in our lifetime when the Supreme Court is going to be interpreting the meaning of an important provision of the Constitution unencumbered by precedent," said Randy Barnett, a constitutional scholar at the Georgetown University Law Center. "And that's why there's so much discussion on the original meaning of the Second Amendment."

The outcome could roil the year's political campaigns, send a national message about what kinds of gun control are constitutional and finally settle the question of whether the 27-word amendment, with its odd structure and antiquated punctuation, provides an individual right to gun ownership or simply pertains to militia service.

"The case has been structured so that they have to confront the threshold question," said Robert Levy, the wealthy libertarian lawyer who has spent five years and his own money to bring District of Columbia vs. Heller to the Supreme Court. "I think they have to come to grips with that."
Stay tuned...

Friday, March 14, 2008

Countdown Continues...

Good information today on the next week's Oral Arguments from Jim Shepherd on the SHOOTING WIRE, also now available — we're proud to announce! — on DRTV:
As the clock counts down to the Supreme Court hearing on the District of Columbia’s gun ban, we can’t stop wondering if there’s not a change afoot in the “official” government position regarding the District’s longstanding total ban on handguns and regulations that make long guns somewhat less than useless.

That’s because pundits around Washington (that includes virtually everyone from the columnist to the cabdriver) are starting to offer up the possibility that Solicitor General Paul Clement may, in fact, have the last laugh on career bureaucrats in his office. One former colleague of mine (still probably the best wired man in Washington on either side of the party) says Clement’s opinion was shaped – if not dictated – by career lawyers in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. They are, putting it kindly, opposed to individual gun rights. Clement’s arguments before the Supreme Court on Tuesday may, in fact, all but reverse that position.

That internal insurrection theory could explain Vice President Dick Cheney’s signing on with 55 Senators and 250 House members in a brief supporting Senior Judge Laurence Silberman’s ruling on the unconstitutionality of the District’s gun ban.

If that’s the case, Cheney wasn’t going against the wishes of his boss. He was actually voting for the administration while his boss was trying to placate the Democrats. Don’t get me started on the fact that with only a few months left in what has become one of the lamest of lame-duck presidencies, George Bush is still trying to stay in the good graces of the Democrats. But that’s another theory being proffered.

Makes sense. Clement is (or was) presumed to be a conservative- he clerked for Silberman and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. This may be yet another instance of the career bureaucrats not giving a continental damn what their bosses wanted- especially since they’re figuring these bosses are headed out the door in January.

If that does turn out to be the case, it may make for some interesting arguments on Tuesday. It’s darned difficult to refute someone who is no longer arguing against you.
Read the whole thing...I'm sure by now most of you have seen the U.S. News & World Report cover package on guns this week...all in all, it's not too bad. I would have liked for us to be able to make our case, but at least the reporter wasn't wildly out of balance.

If you want to see an overt piece of biased coverage, here's a news release from the University of Colorado the in the People's Republic of Boulder, quoting law prefessor Scott Morris:
But, according to Moss, the case also implicates broader fundamental questions, including:

• Should constitutional rights be interpreted as they were originally intended in the 1700s -- when widespread gun ownership arguably was key to security and order -- or in light of modern social circumstances -- when limiting gun access arguably is key to security and order?

• Will Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, both still new enough to the court to be question marks on many issues, side with Justice Thomas’s view that the Second Amendment calls into question much modern gun control legislation?

• Will the court “duck” the hard call, as it did in refusing to decide the constitutionality of public school recitations of the pledge of allegiance, by deciding the case on a technicality?

Because this case implicates so many unknowns, said Moss, oral argument, often a formality in Supreme Court cases, may be unusually illuminating, especially if any of the Justices make their views clear through their questioning of the attorneys.
Note the first bullet point..."Should constitutional rights be interpreted as they were originally intended in the 1700s -- when widespread gun ownership arguably was key to security and order -- or in light of modern social circumstances -- when limiting gun access arguably is key to security and order?" [emphasis mine]. "Limiting gun access arguably is the key to security and order?" Says WHO? I would arge that limiting gun access is opening the door to criminal anarchy and, ulitmately, governmental genocide. SHOW ME WHERE limiting gun access has been the key to security and order...England? Nope, that didn't work. Australia? Another failure. Rwanda? The Warsaw Ghetto? China? The USSR? Hell...California? Washington D.C.? New York City?

Maybe the good professor could take his thoughts up with the Pink Pistols, the largest gay self-defense group, who have filed an amicus brief with SCOTUS. Here's a quick summary from R. Daniel Blatt on Pajamas Media:
There is no evidence that hate crime statutes prevent hate crimes. At the same time, there is evidence that increased levels of gun ownership reduces crime.
If gay activists see hate crimes as a pressing problem in our community, they might better be served not by laws which single out gay people for protection, but by laws which benefit all citizens.
Restrictive gun laws, like the statute at issue in D.C. v. Heller, prevent all law-abiding citizens, including gay men and lesbians, from protecting themselves in their own homes. For the sake of gay Americans — and all Americans — it’s time to repeal restrictive gun control laws and adopt ones which allow citizens to own firearms and use them responsibly.
And BTW, here's a really slick video from MTV:

I can't comment any better than Tam over at Books Bikes & Boomsticks:
Effin'-A right.

How shocked they'd be to find that on so many issues we're on the same page. The difference between us is that I plan on using something more, ummm... authoritative than an iPod to keep from being shoved into the cattle car.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Jackbooted Thugs Alert!


On the eve of the Oral Arguments, the District of Columbia is planning on "consent searches" on residents in the District searching for illegal firearms. Here's the Washington Post story:
D.C. Seeks Consent To Search for Guns
Amnesty Offered for Access to Homes

By Allison Klein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, March 13, 2008

D.C. police are so eager to get guns out of the city that they're offering amnesty to people who allow officers to come into their homes and get the weapons.

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier announced yesterday the Safe Homes Initiative, aimed at parents and guardians who know or suspect that their children or other relatives have guns. Under the deal, police target areas hit by violence and seek adults who let them search their homes for guns, with no risk of arrest. The offer also applies to drugs that turn up during the searches, police said.

The program is scheduled to start March 24 in the Washington Highlands area of Southeast Washington. Officers will go door-to-door seeking permission to search homes for weapons. Police later plan to visit other areas, including sections of Columbia Heights in Northwest and Eckington in Northeast.
Consent searches...think about that, folks. The jackbooted thugs show up at your house and ask for let them search your house. Both the ACLU and the Second Amendment Foundation are up in arms:
Arthur B. Spitzer, legal director of the Washington office of the American Civil Liberties Union, said the program is "a very bad idea." He said officers might act so aggressively that residents feel coerced into letting them in.

"It sends the message to the public that the police ought to be able to search your house anytime for any reason," Spitzer said. "People will be intimidated. That cheapens civil liberties and privacy for everyone.
Sptizer is also quoted by another source adding:
"How dare Mayor Adrian Fenty and Police Chief Cathy Lanier launch this program within days of oral arguments challenging a 31-year-old extremist gun law that has already been declared unconstitutional by a federal court,” he continued.“District citizens, as well as members of Congress, should be furious.
Alan Gottlieb issues a special SAF Alert on the jackbooted thugs assault on the Consittution:
A plan to conduct “consent searches” for guns in District of Columbia residences is “an outrageous exercise of police state demagoguery,” the Second Amendment Foundation said today.

SAF founder Alan Gottlieb condemned the plan as “a public relations effort designed to influence, through crass dramatics, Tuesday’s scheduled oral arguments on the constitutionality of the District’s handgun ban before the Supreme Court.”

“Launching this effort,” he stated,“on the eve of Supreme Court arguments over the city’s horribly failed handgun ban underscores the Draconian mentality that lies at the root of gun laws like the District handgun ban.
“Calling this project the ‘Safe Homes Initiative’ is an insult to our intelligence,” Gottlieb stated.“If District residents allow this to happen, no home will be safe from warrantless fishing expeditions by police, because that’s exactly what this thinly-disguised program is really all about. We think Congress should step in immediately and stop this from happening.

“Isn’t it ironic that the District heads to the Supreme Court next week in an effort to destroy one-tenth of the Bill of Rights,” Gottlieb concluded,“while they prepare to launch the kind of police state exercise the Bill of Rights was designed to prevent.”
You want to know what's at stake next week at the Supreme Court? This is what's at stake!