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Posts Tagged ‘gun control’

Are Democrats really concerned with saving lives?

Posted by Richard on February 17, 2013

Friday night, Dem0crats rammed their gun control package through the Colorado House (preliminary approval; another vote is coming next week). They were aided by calls from V.P. Joe Biden to wavering freshman Democrats. The package includes HB13-1224, sponsored by Rep. Rhonda Fields, which bans high-capacity magazines. Fields argued that the only purpose of such magazines is “to kill people as fast as possible” and that they “have no place in our community.”

That bit of nonsense was easily topped by Arapahoe County Coroner Michael Dobersen, who said that “Even one bullet wound is devastating, but those from high-capacity magazines are especially bad.” Who knew that the wound channel created by a bullet varied based on what kind of magazine it was fired from? But hey, he’s the coroner so he must know what he’s talking about, right?

Before H.B. 1224 passed, however, Democrats learned that Magpul, the premier manufacturer of high-capacity magazines for AR-15s and other weapons (as well as many other parts and accessories), is a Colorado company and that it said it would leave the state if the bill passed, taking 600 jobs with it (some other Colorado manufacturers said they’d do likewise).

So House Democrats hurriedly cobbled together and passed an amendment exempting manufacturers from the high-capacity magazine ban as long as they sold those magazines for killing people as fast as possible in other states. Thus saving all those jobs while still affirming that those magazines “have no place in our community.”

I can only think of two possible explanations for this cynical move. Either (a) the Democrats know that banning high-capacity magazines won’t save any lives and have some other motive, or (b) they don’t care if people in other states die because of magazines manufactured in Colorado.

A free press worthy of the name would be asking each and every legislator who voted for that amendment which explanation justified their vote.

Magpul, meanwhile, is not assuaged by the amendment:

Richard Fitzpatrick, Founder, President, and CEO of Magpul Industries, said that regardless of any amendments that may be worked into the bill, he will no longer be able to continue to do business in Colorado if his core product is made illegal.

“Our company could not, in good conscience, continue to manufacture our products in a state where law-abiding citizens are prohibited from purchasing and owning them. ” Fitzpatrick said. “The passage of this bill will do nothing to enhance public safety, but will force us to immediately begin taking our business to another state.”

Magpul was started over a decade ago by Fitzpatrick, a former U.S. Marine. It has become one of Colorado’s fastest growing businesses, successfully marketing its products to American and allied military forces, police departments, sporting goods stores, and thousands of responsible private citizens. Fitzpatrick says that the rich western culture and strong values of individual freedom and responsibility, traditionally found in Colorado, were one of the reasons the company chose to remain in the state.

“It is heartbreaking to me, my employees, and their families, to think that we will be forced to leave,” Fitzpatrick said. “But if HB13-1224 passes, we will simply have no choice.”

Good for him. If you’re an AR owner, buy something from  Magpul.

If you’re an AK fan instead, Guns For Everyone is responding to this bill by giving away seven 30-round magazines.

I don’t own either an AR or an AK, but I’m thinking of buying one of each. And a bunch of magazines.

UPDATE: By the way, if you’re not knowledgeable about firearms and wondering about how much difference a large-capacity magazine ban might make (for those who would actually adhere to such a limit), check out this video (embed disabled, darn it) comparing how long it takes to hit 14 targets with and without a magazine change.

IMHO, that test actually overstates the difference (1.75 seconds). The gentleman who had to reload was shooting a .45 instead of a 9mm like the guy with the “high-capacity” magazine. The .45 has much more recoil and, all other things being equal, more muzzle-flip and a slower time to reacquire the sights. A fairer comparison would have had the same shooter with the same 9mm gun run the same course with a full magazine and with one containing only 10 rounds. I’m guessing the difference would be even less than 1.75 seconds, probably under a second.

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Colorado senate clings to “gun-free school” myth

Posted by Richard on January 28, 2013

The Democratic majority in the Colorado Senate Judiciary Committee today reaffirmed its faith in the “gun free schools” myth and denied local Colorado school boards the right to decide for themselves whether to allow teachers and school staff to arm themselves.

Meanwhile, on tonight’s 9PM newscast, KDVR-Denver reported (not yet posted on their website) that a free concealed-carry qualification class sponsored by Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, which they hoped would attract 200 participants, drew 300 participants.

Apparently, there are a lot of teachers and school staff who don’t think a “gun-free zone” sign will keep them safe. Good for them.


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Fighting chance?

Posted by Richard on December 19, 2012

In the wake of the Newtown school massacre, Rep. Diana DeGette (SD-CO1) is again pushing a bill to ban magazines (they’re not “clips”) that hold more than 10 rounds. Her argument for this legislation is interesting:

DeGette says banning high-capacity clips would go a long way toward limiting the number of shots that can be fired by a gunman in the event of future mass shootings.

“We can probably never stop a disturbed individual completely from taking a gun and going into a school or a shopping mall or a store parking lot and trying to shoot people, but we can give those victims a fighting chance,” she said. …

A “fighting chance”?? DeGette’s idea of a “fighting chance” is a chance to be the 11th or 12th person targeted by some homicidal maniac — the person who might be able to escape (or maybe risk trying to tackle the shooter?) during the two seconds it takes the shooter with a 10-round magazine to drop the empty mag and slam home a fresh one.

My idea of a “fighting chance” is a chance to actually fight back. To shoot back. How about legislation to ban so-called gun-free zones? Schools, colleges, shopping malls, and theaters where guns are banned are also known as “target-rich environments” because all the good guys are disarmed and helpless. And that’s the real problem — in these places, there are no guns in the hands of the decent, peaceful, and law-abiding.

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They have to change

Posted by Richard on December 17, 2012

Sunday evening, President Obama said in reaction to the NewTown, Connecticut, massacre that “we have to change.” He was right.

Obama and those who think like him have to change.

They have to abandon their irrational belief that laws are magic.

They have to realize that making someplace a “gun-free zone” doesn’t make the people there safer — it makes them less safe, because it only affects the peaceful, law-abiding, and harmless.

They have to admit that banning some weapon or weapons won’t deter madmen, terrorists, or other predators because it only affects the peaceful, law-abiding, and harmless.

Three decades ago, after a series of PLO terrorist attacks on schools, the Israelis realized that the only way to stop such attacks was to arm the adults at those schools. Are we too stupid to learn the lesson learned by those Israelis — that you stop someone from shooting your children by shooting back?

The problem at Sandy Hook Elementary school wasn’t too many guns — it was too few. The only guns in the school were in the hands of the deranged predator, Adam Lanza.

School principal Dawn Hochsprung and school psychologist Mary Sherlach rushed Lanza in an attempt to stop him, but they were unarmed and defenseless. Lanza shot them down. Teacher Victoria Soto stood between Lanza and the door behind which her students were hiding. She too was gunned down.

What if Hochsprung, Sherlach, or Soto had had a .38 revolver and had been trained to use it? Could one of them have put two slugs center-mass into Lanza before he shot anyone else? We’ll never know.

But we do know this: the only way Lanza could have been stopped is if someone in that school had shot him.

Obama and those who think like him have to change.

They have to recognize that laws won’t keep weapons out of the hands of the bad guys. And they have to recognize that weapons in the hands of the good guys, and the will to use them, will save lives.

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More damning “Fast and Furious” revelations

Posted by Richard on October 3, 2012

A week or so ago, the Spanish-language network Univision aired an interview with President Obama. As Investor’s Business Daily observed, it was a far cry from the fawning interviews full of softball questions that Obama has been able to count on from the mainstream media. They actually asked tough questions, particularly regarding Operation Fast and Furious and the administration’s immigration policy, and followed up with more tough questions when fed the usual pabulum. (The Daily Caller has the video and more about the interview.) I wish the presidential debates were being hosted by people like Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas.

Last Sunday night, Univision aired an hour-long investigative report on Operation Fast and Furious with lots of new revelations. The Examiner called it “hard-hitting” and “devastating.” The Blaze called it a “bombshell” and highlighted “5 Things You Didn’t Know About Operation Fast and Furious” (although those of us who get our news online and don’t rely on the MSM knew some of them).

Breitbart and Newsbusters both noted the almost complete absence of interest in these revelations by the mainstream media. ABC News did report on the story online (but not on ABC Nightly News), but not exactly prominently:

Nothing shows how much the media wants to downplay this story more than the ABC News site, which finds the Fast and Furious scandal a lower priority than Woman Sues Over Personality Test Job Rejection, Anne Hathaway Marries Adam Shulman, Banned Books Week: 10 Books That Keep Censors Jumping.

Why do I single out ABC News? Univision and ABC News enjoy a partnership. So what you have here is ABC downplaying the superb investigative work of its own partner.

Is anyone surprised by the MSM blackout? Not me. I admit I’m somewhat surprised (pleasantly) by Univision’s interview and investigative report. I understand they generally lean liberal. But in these two instances, they did journalism as it should be done — and as the MSM has long since quit doing it.

Thank you, Univision! These two stories could (and should) reduce the support for Obama in the Hispanic community by a small but measurable amount.


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Gun control advocate throws in towel in face of advancing technology

Posted by Richard on August 1, 2012

Forbes contributor Mark Gibbs would prefer more gun control laws, but he’s a realist regarding technological progress, and that progress makes his dream an increasingly impossible fantasy:

I’m in favor of tighter gun control and a ban on weapons that are unnecessarily powerful but I’m afraid that technology will soon make any legislation that limits the availability of any kinds of guns ineffective.

The technology that’s shattering Gibbs’ dream is 3-D printing, which like everything computer-related is getting cheaper and more powerful all the time. Although most entry-level 3-D printers can only produce objects in plastics, higher-end printers can work with ceramics and metals.

And that means you can print a gun. And someone has.

Not an entire gun, mind you, but the lower receiver of an AR-15.

The receiver is, in effect, the framework of a gun and holds the barrel and all of the other parts in place. It’s also the part of the gun that is technically, according to US law, the actual gun and carries the serial number.

When the weapon was assembled with the printed receiver HaveBlue reported he fired 200 rounds and it operated perfectly.

I believe you can buy all the parts to build an AR-15 except the lower receiver without any background check or paperwork. So if you can make your own lower receiver on your very own 3-D printer, you’re in business.

Gibbs recognized the implications:

What’s particularly worrisome is that the capability to print metal and ceramic parts will appear in low end printers in the next few years making it feasible to print an entire gun and that will be when gun control becomes a totally different problem.

Will there be legislation designed to limit freedom of printing? The old NRA bumper sticker “If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns” will have to be changed to “If guns are outlawed, outlaws will have 3D printers.”

One of the mantras of the computer/information revolution is “Information wants to be free (as in speech, not as in beer).” We may be on the verge of a new revolution in which the self-defense rights movement, the open source hardware movement, and advances in 3-D printing converge to lead to a new slogan: “Firearms want to be free (as in speech, not as in beer).”

(HT: Glenn Reynolds via David Aitken)

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Making movie theaters safer for pennies

Posted by Richard on July 27, 2012

Ari Armstrong today proposed a simple and elegant way to increase security in movie theaters (and other public venues):

They could place a large, obvious sign right outside the entrance with the following text:

Armed, off-duty police officers who carry their guns into this theater get unlimited complimentary movie entry and concessions. Please see management for details.

The marginal cost of filling an extra seat in a movie theater is zero. The marginal cost of giving the armed officer free popcorn is what—a quarter?

I think it’s a great idea, but offer one caveat: The average law enforcement officer spends far less time at the range than the average private citizen who carries concealed, and as a consequence is a far poorer shot. A recent report on California police shootings (sorry, I don’t recall where I saw it) found that cops missed their target half the time.

Still, the deterrent effect alone would be significant.

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Bloomberg backtracks on strike talk

Posted by Richard on July 26, 2012

Within hours of the Aurora, CO, theater shootings, New York’s fascist mayor took time out from his efforts to control what New Yorkers may eat or drink to wave the bloody shirt and call for more gun control laws.

Earlier this week on CNN, he came within a few syllables of calling for a nationwide strike of police officers to promote gun control.

He’s now backtracked after it was pointed out that a police strike would be illegal in New York (and in most other places).

Such a strike will never happen anyway. Unlike the (politically appointed) police chiefs and union leaders Bloomberg pals around with, most rank-and-file law enforcement officers oppose civilian disarmament because they know that armed law-abiding citizens help their efforts to prevent violent crimes and to apprehend the perpetrators.

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Headline of the day

Posted by Richard on July 26, 2012

The online headline of the day was on a Doug Patton column at the GOPUSA site:

100 Million Gun Owners Didn’t Kill Anyone Last Week

The column begins with this quote:

“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms…disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes.”
– Thomas Jefferson

After reminiscing about how, as a youth, he came to learn about and own guns, Patton says:

None of us has any way of knowing whether James Holmes, the shooter in Aurora, Colorado, is simply an evil genius putting on an act in court or if he is a loon who really believes he is Batman’s nemesis, the Joker. We don’t know if his father ever taught him how to use firearms, or if he got his knowledge from watching TV and movies, and playing violent video games.

What we do know is that a society that once lived in reality has evolved into a culture wallowing in fantasy violence, ruled by people whose goal is to disarm the good guys, leaving us all at the mercy of the bad guys.

We know that, like so many communities today, Aurora, Colorado, did not allow law-abiding gun owners to carry their weapons into the theater that night. Perhaps if they had, someone might have been able to stop Holmes before he killed a dozen innocent people and wounded scores of others.

Note: I believe it was purely the policy of the theater owner, Cinemark, not Aurora law, that forbade weapons in the theater.

Even in states that allow concealed carry of firearms, politically correct business owners can forbid the possession of such weapons in their establishments. A sign on the door of the Von Maur department store in Omaha, Nebraska, announces that guns are not allowed. On December 5, 2007, 19-year-old Robert Hawkins read that sign as follows: “Even our security guards are unarmed! Come on in and shoot us!” So he did, killing eight people and wounding five others.

Read the whole thing.

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“Shall issue” concealed carry coming to Maryland

Posted by Richard on July 25, 2012

In clear violation of the Constitution and fundamental human rights, the state of Maryland requires a “good and substantial reason” for the issuance of a concealed carry permit. In a case challenging the constitutionality of that restriction, U.S District Judge Benson Everett Legg ordered the state to process permit applications without requiring a reason, but originally issued a stay of his ruling. Now, he’s going to lift the stay in two weeks because it’s “not warranted.” The Second Amendment Foundation, which together with a Baltimore resident filed the suit in 2010, is delighted:

“There is no good reason for the state to continue violating the constitutional rights of its citizens just to maintain this burdensome and arbitrary system,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “As Judge Legg originally observed, the Second Amendment’s protections extend beyond the home.”

While it is possible that the state may file a motion with the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to impose a stay of Judge Legg’s order, the trial court precedent is an important one. It established that the Second Amendment right to bear arms does not stop at the door of one’s home.

“No citizen should be required to give a ‘good and substantial’ reason in order to exercise a constitutionally-protected civil right,” Gottlieb observed. “In his order today, Judge Legg noted that the state has pointed to ‘little in the way of truly irreparable injury that is likely to result should their request for a stay be denied’.”

The judge also noted, “If a stay is granted, a sizeable number of people will be precluded from exercising, while the case is argued on appeal, what this Court has recognized as a valid aspect of their Second Amendment right. In the First Amendment context, the Supreme Court has stated that ‘loss of First Amendment freedoms, for even minimal periods of time, unquestionably constitutes irreparable injury’.”

I’m delighted, too.

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Aurora shooting victims were disarmed

Posted by Richard on July 20, 2012

Commenting on the mass murder in Aurora, CO, Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert asked, “…  with all those people in the theater, was there nobody that was carrying that could’ve stopped this guy more quickly?”

No, there wasn’t. Because the Cinemark Century 16 theater has “no firearms” signs posted, so the honest, decent people who might otherwise be carrying a weapon left theirs at home or in the car. Cinemark reportedly aggressively enforces a “no firearms” policy at all its theaters.

Criminals, terrorists, and madmen of course aren’t deterred by “no firearms” signs. That’s why mass killings almost always take place in “gun-free zones.” Mass murderers may be crazy but they aren’t stupid — they seek out unarmed victims.

In places that are not “gun-free zones,” like the Palms Internet Café in Orlando, FL, would-be robbers or killers risk having their activities interrupted by an armed good guy. WOFL FOX 35 reported (and has the must-see surveillance camera video):

Two men who deputies say tried to rob a Marion County Internet café were both shot by one of the patrons.

It happened just before 10:00 p.m. Friday at the Palms Internet Café located at 8444 SW State Road 200.

When Marion County deputies arrived they found patrons outside the business who told them that two men in masks – one armed with a baseball bat and the other with a handgun – barged into the business. The robbers told the approximately 30 patrons to get on the floor, and they demanded money.

Investigators say Samuel Williams, one of the customers, pulled out his own handgun and shot the robbers. Both robbers began running toward the front door, and the patron fired several more shots as they fled.

Mr. Williams, the hero, is 71.

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Exploiting a tragedy

Posted by Richard on July 20, 2012

It’s hard to say which was more contemptible this morning, before the corpses had even been carried to the morgue: New York Mayor Bloomberg waving the bloody shirt and beating the drum for gun control, or Brian Ross and ABC News scouring Tea Party web pages looking for someone with the same name as the Dark Knight shooter so they could attempt to tie that group to the killings.

I guess I’d give the nod to Ross and ABC’s Good Morning America. Although it was crass and exploitative, Bloomberg was openly advocating for an agenda he’s never made any secret of. Ross and ABC, on the other hand, pretended to be reporting news while actually attempting to harm the Tea Party movement, which they see (rightly) as the enemy of their secret leftist agenda (not that they’ve done a very good job of keeping it secret lately).

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The outrageous persecution of the Reese family

Posted by Richard on June 24, 2012

In the suddenly newsworthy Operation Fast and Furious, federal law enforcement agents pressured gun dealers into selling over 2,000 guns to straw purchasers and then let the guns “walk” into the hands of the Mexican narcoterrorist cartels. BATFE Phoenix Bureau Chief Bill Newell oversaw the operation. What’s he been doing since?

Well, for one thing, he’s been helping the Homeland Security Investigations agency prosecute — no, persecute — Rick and Terri Reese and their sons, Ryin and Remington. The Reeses own a gun store in Deming, NM. They’re accused of selling 30 guns to straw purchasers.

But here’s where it starts to get outrageous: The case began when Terri Reese alerted law enforcement that she was suspicious of one of their customers, Penny Torres. Torres was arrested and persuaded, presumably with a promise of leniency, to testify against the Reeses!

And then it gets more outrageous: The Reeses were denied bail because the feds argued that they might precipitate a Ruby-Ridge-like incident. You see, the feds found guns in their home and business (imagine that, gun dealers with guns). And they’re involved with a local Tea Party group — clear proof that they’re dangerous anti-government extremists. In March, Terri Reese was finally granted bail after six months in jail. But her husband and sons are still imprisoned.

It gets still more outrageous. Read Jeff Knox’s account of the whole sordid story. It’s not the Reeses who should be in jail.

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NCIS Los Angeles: good show, but this bit sucks

Posted by Richard on May 15, 2012

I like NCIS Los Angeles. It’s not in the same league as the original NCIS, but then what is? NCIS Los Angeles has an interesting cast of characters, is well acted, and usually has a pretty good plot. But one bit near the beginning of the two-hour season finale really pissed me off.

Nell: “… Point Blank is an FFL.”
Callan: “Federal Firearms licensed facility.”
Heddy: “Many of which have been responsible for a large amount of illegal guns finding their way into the hands of criminals.”

“Many of which” — yeah, right. That’s a gratuitous bit of false anti-gun propaganda that makes my blood boil.

Especially considering that many of the “many” FFLs that have funneled guns to criminals in the past few years did so — sometimes under duress — at the direction of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) as part of the notorious “Operation Fast and Furious,” which Eric Holder’s Justice Department has done its best to cover up.

Shame on you, NCIS Los Angeles.

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SAF sues over public housing gun ban in Illinois

Posted by Richard on April 5, 2012

The Second Amendment Foundation has filed another suit against yet another public housing authority that bans residents from owning firearms, this time in Warren County, Illinois:

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Ronald G. Winbigler, a resident of Costello Terrace in Monmouth. Mr. Winbigler is a physically disabled former police officer who wants to have a handgun in his residence for personal protection. The lawsuit seeks equitable, declaratory and injunctive relief challenging the WCHA ban. It was filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois, Rock Island Division.

“Ron Winbigler faces the same dilemma so many other residents of government-subsidized public housing face,” said SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. “He wants a firearm for self-defense, but he risks losing a place to live because of bureaucratic political correctness. As a police officer, he consistently trained and repeatedly qualified in the safe use and handling of firearms, and because of his experience, he understands the threat of crime.”

“People do not lose their Second Amendment rights just because they are of limited means,” added attorney David Sigale, who represents SAF and Winbigler in this action. “Nobody wishes to be in need of financial assistance, but it is an indignity to make the waiver of constitutional rights a condition of government-subsidized housing. We are confident the Courts will hold that those residents have the same right to defend their families and themselves as everyone else.”

Frankly, given the generous pensions and disability benefits unionized police officers receive in most jurisdictions, I have to wonder why Ron Winbigler resides in government-subsidized housing. But maybe his jurisdiction is different — I don’t know anything about how he came to reside there.

In any case, Winbigler is certainly a sympathetic plaintiff for this kind of case. And I agree wholeheartedly with Gottlieb (a classmate at the University of Tennessee) and Sigale. Government-subsidized housing, if it must exist, cannot require residents to give up their 2nd Amendment rights any more than it can require them to give up their 1st Amendment rights. This case, like similar cases in the past, should be a slam-dunk. Unless the judge is a Clinton or Obama appointee.

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