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Posts Tagged ‘second amendment’

“Freedom Fighters”: Douglass, Tubman, and guns

Posted by Richard on February 14, 2016

For Black History Month, the NRA magazine America’s 1st Freedom published “Freedom Fighters,” a wonderful essay by Dave Kopel profiling Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman, with an emphasis on their strong connection with the right to keep and bear arms.

Did you know that Frederick Douglass was the most photographed man of the 19th century, and that after the Civil War he served in three Republican administrations?

Did you know that Gen. Ambrose Burnside, the founding president of the NRA, was a leading advocate of armed black soldiers in the Union Army, and that Harriet Tubman was the first woman to lead an armed force in the war?

This is a marvelous read, and pulling a quote or two would be an injustice. You simply must read the whole thing.

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R.I.P., Antonin Scalia. R.I.P., Liberty?

Posted by Richard on February 13, 2016

For lovers of liberty, 2016 had already become a consequential and concerning year. With the sudden and unexpected death of Justice Scalia, it has become ten-fold so. We were already looking with dismay at an election season in which an avowed socialist is threatening to best the more leftist and vicious of the Clintons, while she seeks desperately to demonstrate that she’s just as “progressive” as he is. In which a flawed contingent of GOP candidates is led by a bombastic, anti-intellectual demagogue with no particular political philosophy or principles.

If President Obama is able to appoint yet another Kagan or Sotomayor, the First and Second Amendments are likely to become dead letters. Property rights, already seriously weakened, could be much further eroded. The Supreme Court’s stay of the EPA’s “Clean Power Plan” just this week will be merely a temporary delay in that lawless agency’s “complete restructuring of the energy sector.” Obama’s preference for “positive rights” (the unlimited power of government to bestow goods, services, and preferential treatment on some at the expense of others) over “negative rights” (limits on the power of government) will likely be enshrined for a generation. The left’s “living Constitution” (infinitely malleable by five collectivist justices) will rule this nation.

If you feel confident the the McConnell-led Senate Republicans will prevent that, I respectfully suggest that you haven’t been paying attention for the past seven years.

I fear for my country. I fear for our Constitution. I fear for our liberties.

Costa Rica looks nice.

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Best Bundy Ranch commentary: Dr. Ben Carson

Posted by Richard on April 24, 2014

Yesterday’s column by Dr. Ben Carson about the Cliven Bundy case is by far the best and most important writing on the subject that I’ve seen, and a must read. He absolutely nails it.

Some time ago, I read somewhere (don’t recall the source) that, while Carson is a great advocate of liberty and limited government on other issues, he’s not a supporter of gun rights. Wrong! (emphasis added)

Another important lesson from this incident is the value of a well-armed citizenry. The Second Amendment was crafted by wise citizens who recognized how quickly an enemy invasion could occur and how our own government could be deceived into thinking it had the right to dominate the people.

Such domination is considerably more difficult when people have arms and can put up significant resistance. This is the reason that brutal dictators like Fidel Castro, Josef Stalin, Mao Zedong, Adolf Hitler and Idi Amin tried to disarm the populace before imposing governmental control. Such domination could occur in America in the not too distant future if we are not vigilant.

We must be reasonable and willing to engage in conversation about how to limit the availability of dangerous weapons to criminals and violent or insane people. In light of past worldwide atrocities committed by tyrants, though, to threaten the Second Amendment rights of ordinary American citizens is itself insanity. Those wishing to ban assault weapons fail to understand the original intent of the Second Amendment.

I’m currently reading Carson’s autobiography, Gifted Hands, and his bestseller America the Beautiful is waiting for me. The more I learn about the man, the more I like and admire him.

There’s quite a grassroots Carson for President movement underway. As with Herman Cain before him, the consensus criticism is that he’s unqualified because he has no record of “public service.” But if ever there was a time when a campaign could be successful based on the theme, “We need a President who’s not a politician,” this may be it.

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Public miseducation on 2nd Amendment

Posted by Richard on March 24, 2014

If you have kids in the government schools, you might want to check into what they’re being taught about the Second Amendment. In at least one Illinois school, it’s this:

“This amendment states that people have the right to certain weapons, providing that they register them and they have not been in prison,” the handout says.

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First 5,000 concealed carry permits issued in Illinois

Posted by Richard on March 1, 2014

Illinois has issued the first 5,000 concealed carry permits under its new “shall issue” law. Another 45,000+ applications are in the pipeline. The Second Amendment Foundation celebrated the occasion yesterday (emphasis added):

BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation today offered congratulations to the first 5,000 recipients of Illinois concealed carry licenses, which were mailed out by the State Police.

It was a SAF case – Moore v. Madigan – that forced the Illinois Legislature to adopt a concealed carry law last year over the objections of anti-gun Gov. Pat Quinn and others including Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

“While politicians had to be dragged kicking and screaming into compliance with the Second Amendment,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb, “the good citizens are rushing to enjoy their newly-restored firearms freedom. State officials said today they have received more than 50,000 permit applications. Last month, Fox News reported that concealed carry applications had outpaced the number of  applications for Obamacare.

“We’re proud that our case brought about this opportunity for Illinois citizens to join millions of other Americans in the exercise of their fundamental right to keep and especially bear arms,” he continued. “If the Illinois experience has taught us anything, it is that the die-hard anti-gun politicians who opposed this new law are horribly out of touch with their constituents.”

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More guns, less crime

Posted by Richard on February 26, 2014

From the Citizens Committee for the Right to Bear Arms:

BELLEVUE, WA – The FBI’s semi-annual uniform crime data for the first half of 2013 confirms once again what the firearms community already knew, that violent crime has continued to decline while gun sales have continued to climb, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.

The report, issued last week, says murders declined 6.9 percent from the first half of 2012, while aggravated assaults dropped by 6.6 percent nationwide and robberies were down 1.8 percent. Forcible rapes declined 10.6 percent from the same period in 2012 and overall, violent crime fell by 10.6 percent in non-metropolitan counties and 3.6 percent in metropolitan counties.

“This new information reinforces the notion that not only do guns save lives, their presence in the hands and homes of law-abiding citizens just might be a deterrent to crime,” observed CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “The National Shooting Sports Foundation has been reporting a steady increase in firearm sales for the past few years. Taken as a whole, one cannot help but conclude that the predictions from gun prohibitionists that more guns leads to more crime have been consistently wrong.”

Gottlieb said the tired argument from the anti-gun lobby that more firearms in the hands of private citizens would result in sharp increases in violence have run out of traction. Not only has the decline in crime corresponded with an increase in gun sales, it also coincides with a steady rise in the number of citizens obtaining concealed carry licenses and permits, he noted.

“The FBI report says burglaries and auto theft have also decreased,” Gottlieb said, “and it is impossible to look at this pattern and not suggest that increased gun ownership just might be one contributing factor. Gun prohibitionists would, of course, dismiss that suggestion as poppycock, but you can bet your life savings that if the data was reversed, and violent crime had risen, the gun control lobby would be rushing to every available microphone declaring that guns were to blame.

“This continuing pattern brings up a pertinent question,” he concluded. “If the gun ban lobby has been so wrong about more guns resulting in more crime, what else have they been wrong about? The word ‘everything’ comes to mind.”

2013 was yet another record year for gun sales.

In Detroit, where government services including law enforcement have been cut back, more and more people are taking responsibility for defending themselves. And, wonder of all wonders, they have the support of the police chief:

Detroit Police Chief James Craig has been an outspoken supporter of arming law-abiding citizens, and has publicly stated that “Good Americans with concealed pistols translates into crime reduction.”

Living conditions in Detroit have declined in recent years. The city’s bankruptcy led to a reduced police force, and residents have had to learn to protect themselves. Self-defense killings in Detroit rose to 2200% above the national average in recent years, and Chief Craig says that more than 300 legally armed citizens defended themselves last year.

Maybe wanna-be thugs in Detroit will think twice about messing with homeowners in the area.

UPDATE: Related — Michael Barone says the evidence of the last quarter-century has changed his mind regarding “shall issue” concealed carry laws:

The result has been that over the years the entire nation has become carry-concealed-weapons territory, as shown in a neat graphic in a Volokh Conspiracy blog post by Dave Kopel. Back in 1987, some people, myself included, worried that such laws would lead to frequent shootouts on the streets arising from traffic altercations and the like. That has not happened — something we can be sure of since the mainstream media would be delighted to headline such events.

To the contrary, violent crime rates have declined drastically during the last quarter-century. I don’t think you can prove that concealed-weapons laws caused that result, but they have probably contributed to it, because would-be criminals are less likely to assault people they believe might be armed. In any case the argument that concealed-weapons laws would lead to more violent crime has been about as thoroughly refuted as an argument can be.

One lesson, I think, is that responsible citizens tend to behave like responsible citizens, even if — or perhaps especially if — they’re armed. Another lesson is that the national political dialogue can be totally irrelevant to what really happens in American life.

HT: Instapundit

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Ukranians seek to add right to bear arms to constitution

Posted by Richard on February 26, 2014

I guess being attacked by your own government for daring to protest its actions has a way of focusing the mind on what’s important. The Ukrainian Gun Owners Association recently issued this statement (emphasis in original):

Today every citizen of Ukraine understands why our country has hundreds of thousands of policemen. Last illusions were crushed when riot police used rubber batons and boots at the Independence Square on peaceful citizens.

After such actions we realize that it is not enough to only adopt the Gun Law.

As of today Ukrainian Gun Owners Association will start to work on the preparation of amendments to the Constitution, which will provide an unconditional right for Ukrainian citizens to bear arms.

People should have the right to bear arms, which will be put in written into the Constitution.

Authorities should not and will not be stronger than its people!

Armed people are treated with respect!

Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America, Tim Knight of the Colorado Second Amendment Association, and the NRA have voiced their support. Townhall’s Katie Pavlich noted:

Currently, gun laws in the Ukraine are categorized as restrictive and only “licensed gun owners may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition.” Ukrainians who apply for a firearms license must show “genuine reason” for why they are doing so, which must approved by the State.

I’m guessing that “I want to protect myself from government goons” is not an acceptable “genuine reason” for getting a firearms license there. Sort of like New York, Chicago, …

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Police state

Posted by Richard on January 17, 2014

The Filippidis family — John, wife Kally, and their three kids — was driving back home to Florida after attending a family wedding in New Jersey. John has a Florida concealed carry permit, but left his .380 Kel-Tec at home because he knew they’d be traveling through gun-hostile states. They had just entered Maryland when a Maryland Transportation Authority Police car started following them, then drove alongside, then pulled in front, and finally dropped back behind them. This went on for ten minutes before the cop finally turned on the lights and sirens and pulled them over. Was John speeding? He says not.

“You know you have a police car behind you, you don’t speed, right?” Kally adds.

Was it a busted tail light? Or maybe the car fit the description of someone the cops were looking for? Apparently not. The officer asked for license and registration, and then returned to his car. Then it got bizarre. And outrageous.

Ten minutes later he’s back, and he wants John out of the Expedition. Retreating to the space between the SUV and the unmarked car, the officer orders John to hook his thumbs behind his back and spread his feet. “You own a gun,” the officer says. “Where is it?”

“At home in my safe,” John answers.

“Don’t move,” says the officer.

Now he’s at the passenger’s window. “Your husband owns a gun,” he says. “Where is it?”

First Kally says, “I don’t know.” Retelling it later she says, “And that’s all I should have said.” Instead, attempting to be helpful, she added, “Maybe in the glove [box]. Maybe in the console. I’m scared of it. I don’t want to have anything to do with it. I might shoot right through my foot.”

That’s a top contender for dumbest thing anyone said all year.

The officer came back to John. “You’re a liar. You’re lying to me. Your family says you have it. Where is the gun? Tell me where it is and we can resolve this right now.”

Of course, John couldn’t show him what didn’t exist, but Kally’s failure to corroborate John’s account, the officer would tell them later, was the probable cause that allowed him to summon backup — three marked cars joined the lineup along the I-95 shoulder — and empty the Expedition of riders, luggage, Christmas gifts, laundry bags; to pat down Kally and Yianni; to explore the engine compartment and probe inside door panels; and to separate and isolate the Filippidises in the back seats of the patrol cars.

An hour and a half or two hours later, with no weapon found, the Filippidises were sent on their way with a warning — for what is not reported.

What kind of bogus probable cause is “Kally’s failure to corroborate John’s account”? Is it now Maryland policy to stop cars from states that have “shall issue” concealed carry (unlike Maryland) to determine whether an occupant could potentially be violating Maryland’s draconian gun laws? Talk about profiling.

More importantly, how does the Maryland Transportation Authority have access to a list of Florida concealed carry permit holders??

(HT: Personal Liberty Digest)

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Evie Hudak resigns!

Posted by Richard on November 27, 2013

In September, grassroots gun-rights defenders in El Paso and Pueblo counties made history by successfully recalling two state senators, John Morse (the senate president) and Angela Giron. Morse and Giron were puppets of Michael Bloomberg and instrumental in ramming gun control legislation through the Colorado legislature.

In the wake of that tremendous success (truly a political “shot heard ’round the world”), gun-rights defenders in Arvada (Jefferson County) decided that State Sen. Evie Hudak also had to go. See Recall Hudak Too for the long list of reasons.

The Hudak recall movement made Colorado’s Socialist Democrats nervous. After the Morse and Giron recalls, they held only a one-seat majority in the state senate; a successful recall of Hudak would cost them that. Some people started hinting that Hudak could (should) resign so that the Socialist Democrat vacancy committee could appoint her replacement. Hudak dismissed the idea, vowing to fight the recall and win.

But with a week to go in the recall petitioning effort, it looked like the required number of signatures were a near-certainty. So either Hudak had a change of heart (perhaps wanting to spend more time with her family?) or the Socialist Democrat leadership, not feeling good about her chances with the voters, put the screws to her. Today, she resigned her seat effective immediately.

Good. I wonder who the vacancy committee will appoint in her place. That interim appointment is good only until the 2014 general election. Think it will be someone who’s an outspoken anti-gun zealot like Hudak? I suspect not. I’m guessing it will be someone with no public record on the issue. Not someone who actually supports our right to armed self-defense (the Socialist Democrat leadership wouldn’t have that) — just a stealth gun-banner.

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Victory for gun rights in Colorado!

Posted by Richard on September 10, 2013

For the first time in history, a Colorado state legislator has been recalled from office, and it’s a terrific victory for Second Amendment supporters across the country. State Sen. John Morse, president of the Colorado Senate, has conceded defeat. With 93% of the votes counted, it’s “Yes” on the recall by 51%-49%. Morse has been Michael Bloomberg’s stooge in Colorado, and he shepherded Bloomberg’s gun control laws through the state senate. Bloomberg personally spent more than $300,000 fighting the recall of Morse and State Sen. Angela Giron.

In Pueblo County, the recall of Giron is still up in the air, with vote totals coming in very slowly and the county clerk blaming a crashed website. The Pueblo election has seen rampant irregularities, including the wholesale distribution of absentee ballots in heavily Democratic precincts under questionable circumstances. Absentee ballots were the first to be counted there, and about 70% of those went for Giron (voted “No” on the recall). But as the ballots of actual people who went to an actual polling place to vote were counted, the numbers started shifting dramatically. Right now (10 PM MDT), with 43% counted, “Yes” leads 57%-43%. So it’s starting to look good. As Hugh Hewitt said a few years ago, “If It’s Not Close, They Can’t Cheat.” 🙂

UPDATE (11 PM): Giron recalled by a 56%-44% margin! Amazing — Giron was defeated by a much larger margin than Morse. According to the pundits, Giron had the advantage. Morse barely won re-election, and his district is pretty evenly split between Republicans and Democrats. Giron’s district, on the other hand, is  47% Democratic, 29% unafilliated, and only 23% Republican. Lots of blue-collar pro-gun Democrats in Pueblo, I guess.

Message to Mike Bloomberg: New Yorkers may meekly accept your neo-fascist paternalism, but don’t try to export it out here. Message to all the other state legislators in fly-over country who’ve been courted by Bloomberg’s army of lobbyists: You carry their water at your own peril.

Democrats now have just a one-seat majority in the Colorado Senate, and they’ll have to choose a new Senate President. I suspect that he or she won’t be taking calls from Mike Bloomberg. Next question: Will the Colorado GOP have the cojones to push hard for repeal of the Bloomberg laws next year? I suspect they could get some Democrat votes.

UPDATE (11:50): I was vaguely aware that the recall supporters were outspent by all the money from Bloomberg and all the other liberal gun-control groups pouring money into these elections, but I had no idea the margin was this large:

Takes some real chutzpah to outspend the other side 6-1 in an election and still complain about NRA involvement. #CORecall

— AG (@AG_Conservative) September 11, 2013

That makes these victories that much sweeter — and that much more impactful.

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Independence Institute will fight Colorado gun control bills in court

Posted by Richard on March 20, 2013

Today, Gov. Hickenlooper signed three gun control bills into law:

HB1224 – Bans magazines with a capacity greater than fifteen rounds and makes magazines below that limit that have a removable floor plate illegal because you can install a magazine extender to increase their capacity (that means virtually all existing magazines since floor plates are generally removable to facilitate cleaning or spring replacement).
HB1228 – Imposes a “gun tax” for a Colorado Bureau of Investigation background check when purchasing a firearm, even though the FBI will do the background checks for free.
HB1229 – Criminalizes the private transfer of a firearm, so you can’t give a gun to your son or daughter, or loan a gun to your friend or to a neighbor who’s afraid that a former husband or boyfriend might come after her.

Jon Caldara, President of the Independence Institute, wasted no time making it clear that these bills will be challenged in court. Here is the complete text of his email update:

“Over? Did you say it’s ‘over’? Nothing is over until we decide it is. Was it over when the Germans bomber Pearl Harbor? Hell no! And it ain’t over now!” – John Blutarsky

Today Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper confirmed Colorado as a pawn in a national game of gun control. He signed three anti-Second Amendment bills into law, making our previously liberty-loving state into the nation’s Hate State against gun owners.

Independence Institute was the lead voice educating policy makers and the Governor himself of the dangers and sloppiness of these bills. They wouldn’t listen to us. They wouldn’t listen to Coloradans. They instead listened to Mayor Bloomberg and Joe Biden, who called legislators and Hickenlooper personally.

We urged the Governor to veto the bills and send them back to the legislature for re-drafting. Our Second Amendment expert, Dave Kopel, told him that the magazine ban is horribly miswritten, with numerous constitutional problems, even beyond the core Second Amendment issue.

But the national anti-gun interests have more influence in Colorado than we citizens. Now the sale or transfer of nearly every gun magazine in Colorado will be crime, because almost every single magazine is “readily convertible” to hold more than 15 rounds. Watch our video on this here.

And due to the must “maintain continuous possession” clause to grandfather in previously owned mags, I won’t be able to teach my daughter how to shoot my gun – she cannot hold the gun that uses the original magazine. My brother, a volunteer gun range officer will not be able to assist a gun student with a malfunctioning gun. As he says in this op-ed, he will have to choose between keeping the gun range safe or becoming a criminal. A husband cannot lend his gun with an original magazine to his wife. Watch our video on this here.

All 62 County Sheriffs vigorously opposed these bills. Many say that won’t enforce them when they become law because they cannot be enforced.

We have said for years that Colorado is the national test case to turn a freedom-loving western state into a progressive strong hold. Today Colorado citizens learned the hard way that elections have consequences. Today our Governor cemented our path to become California.

But I guarantee you, this fight has just begun. We at Independence love Colorado and love liberty too much to just sit back and watch in dismay.

Today I am proud to announce that the Independence Institute will lead the civil rights lawsuit against the State of Colorado to free us from these unconstitutional laws.

Our lawsuit will be based on the Second and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, among other grounds. The lawsuit will be brought on behalf of a large coalition of local and national law enforcement, including many of the Sheriffs who opposed the bills, disability rights organizations, gun safety organizations, civil rights organizations, and others.

Lead attorney in the lawsuit will be Dave Kopel, who is also a Denver University Adjunct Professor of Constitutional Law. Kopel served on the U.S. Supreme Court oral argument team which won the 2008 case District of Columbia v. Heller. His briefs and scholarship have been cited by Justices Alito, Breyer, and Stevens, and by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, among others.

This will be a long and expensive legal battle. But that is nothing new to us. We are honored to fight for Freedom, to fight for Colorado. We are honored to fight for you.

I’ve just donated $100 on top of my usual annual contributions. If you’re a Colorado resident and either a gun owner or just concerned about our rights and freedoms, please join me in supporting this legal battle. Go to www.i2i.org and click the “Click Here to Donate” button.

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A Rubicon moment?

Posted by Richard on February 22, 2013

Eric Peters believes the left’s overreach on gun control (“Instead of gradually increasing the temperature so that the frog doesn’t notice he’s being boiled alive …, they’ve cranked up the heat suddenly …”) is causing something very good to happen (emphasis in original):

…  Millions of Americans have decided they will not abide by any demand they register their firearms – much less surrender them. And are saying so – openly. More than a few local sheriffs have also publicly stated they will not enforce any such demands. For the first time in living memory, the debate is not fundamentally about which guns – or how many guns. It is about whether the government has any business even knowing whether you’ve got guns at all – much less dictating the type you’re allowed to have.

It’s a Rubicon moment – because this idea involves a great deal more than merely firearms. It is an assertion – though not fully conscious, yet – that trampling the rights of any individual because of the actions of another individual is an ethical outrage. Not just the right to keep a gun.

All rights.

The Beat-era author/philosopher William S. Burroughs once quipped: “After a shooting, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn’t do it.” He said that decades ago and at long last, people are coming to resent being vilified – and punished – not for anything they did. But because some other person did something.

I hope he’s right. There are increasing signs of pushback. As of Feb. 1, more than 225 county sheriffs (including 28 of Utah’s 29) have pledged not to enforce new federal firearms restrictions and in some cases to protect the citizens they represent from those restrictions. The Tenth Amendment Center’s model legislation, the 2nd Amendment Preservation Act, or some variation thereof is being considered by a growing number of state and local governments. At least 18 62 (see comments) firearms companies are refusing to sell to government agencies what they cannot sell to civilians. Resistance, as Christopher Cook noted, is spreading.

I’ll be at the Day of Resistance rally on Saturday helping to contribute to the pushback. I hope you will, too.

UPDATE: The crowd was much smaller than the one at the January 19 rally — I’d guess about 250-300 — but determined, resolute, and energetic.  Robert Wareham, the highlight of that earlier rally, wasn’t there this time, and none of the speakers approached him in quality. But they said the right things and the crowd cheered. The most notable was probably Columbine shooting survivor Evan Todd, who recently addressed an open letter to the President in opposition to gun control.

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Day of Resistance Rally Saturday

Posted by Richard on February 21, 2013

Saturday, 2/23 (.223 – get it?) is the Day of Resistance. Rallies in support of our Second Amendment rights will be taking place all across the country.

I’ll be at the Denver rally, which is at the State Capitol from 11AM to 1PM. Here are the details from the rally list:

Denver, CO Day of Resistance: Full Rally
Location: Colorado State Capitol
200 East Colfax Avenue, Denver, Colorado 80203
Time: 11am-1pm
Sponsor: America
Contact Information: Rainer Steinbauer – Service@house-calls.us
Dave Green djgreen726@yahoo.com
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/491985480865049/

Show your support for the right to self-defense and your opposition to the disarming of honest, peaceful people. If there’s a rally anywhere near you, please attend.

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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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Denver gun rights rally Saturday, 1/19

Posted by Richard on January 18, 2013

UPDATE (1/19): It was a great rally! I got there a little after 12 and estimate there were about 1500 people in attendance. Many were families with children. The highlight was definitely Robert Wareham, the attorney for James Mapes, the man whom Thornton police falsely arrested and imprisoned for carrying a pistol into a Thornton theater (entirely legally) a week after the Aurora theater shooting. He’s a terrific speaker — engaging, forceful, articulate, and persuasive (not that his audience needed persuading regarding his powerful defense of the Second Amendment and our right of self-defense).

Other fine speakers included: James Mapes himself; a woman whose name I don’t recall (sorry, I didn’t take notes) who provided an at times funny and at times moving account of how she transitioned from hard-core liberal to gun newbie to nationally competitive shooter to staunch defender of the Second Amendment and self-described “Constitutional conservative”; and state Representative Chris Holbert (R-44) from Douglas County, who last year sponsored the “Constitutional Carry” bill (HB1205 making a concealed carry permit optional), which passed the Colorado House with a bipartisan majority, but was killed in a senate committee.

UPDATE 2: Reuters claims “about 500” attended the Denver rally, which is total BS. Even the Denver Post described it as “Almost 1,000,” and they have a long history of low-balling the attendance at tea party and gun rights events. About 1:45, a few minutes after the rally ended with someone singing the 3rd and 4th verses of the national anthem, I was policing the area, picking up what little litter there was. There were at least two people (one with a video cameraman) interviewing attendees — clearly the media. A couple of state troopers on bikes were near me, and one of them pointed to one of the media people and chuckled, “They got here just about the time it was all over.” A civilian standing with them replied, “That way they can downplay how big it was.” The two troopers smiled and nodded.

UPDATE 3 (1/20): Last night’s 9News report on the rally agreed with the Denver Post — 1000 at the rally. Billll agreed with Reuters (when’s the last time that happened?), and has a picture to back him up. But the picture was taken about 1 PM. When I approached the capitol at noon, the crowd came about half-way down the hill toward Lincoln St., and there were many more people on the sidewalk with signs. I suspect a lot of people left shortly after Robert Wareham’s speech, which had already started when I got there (I’m guessing, because I stayed near the capitol steps listening to the speakers). He was certainly the highlight of the rally, and while I enjoyed several of the subsequent speakers, they certainly weren’t as captivating. I suspect even more left when Rep. Holbert was introduced. I’ve noticed this phenomenon at past tea party and gun rights rallies: when they start bringing politicians to the microphone, no matter who they are, a bunch of people walk away. Based on his CUT rating and affiliation with RMGO, Holbert is one of the good guys. But he’s still a politician, and a significant segment of the pro-freedom movement just doesn’t want to listen to politicians. I suppose that’s a good thing. 🙂

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Sorry for the short notice. January 19th has been designated Gun Appreciation Day, so there’s a rally at the State Capitol in Denver (and at other state capitol buildings across the country).

If you can’t make it to a rally near you, visit a shooting range or gun store, buy some ammo or that Springfield XD you’ve had your eye on, …

1/19 Denver gun rights rally poster

 

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