When It Comes To Guns, The ‘Truth’ Will Really Set You Free.

Now that the 45th President has started dismantling the Affordable Care Act, I feel it incumbent upon myself to remind all my gun-nut friends that they might now be facing a serious, indeed highly-threatening assault on their 2nd Amendment ‘rights.’  What?  The 45th President taking away all the guns?  Wasn’t that what the 44th President tried to do?  Isn’t the 45th President the best friend that gun nuts ever had?  Oh…my…God.

wayne              The reason that Gun-nut Nation better figure out how to deal with this problem is because the ACA actually contains a provision which, believe it or not, protects gun owners who refuse to tell a physician whether or not there’s a gun lying around the house. But this section of the ACA is always conveniently overlooked when the Gun-nut noise machine pushed out its usual quotient of fake news about doctors and guns.  Here’s a comment from the NRA Blog: “The reality is, I should be able to receive medical care without being subject to a politically motivated inquisition regarding a right guaranteed by the United States Constitution.” The comment is found in a post entitled, “Should a doctor be allowed to ask if you own a gun?”

But what happens if the ACA is scrapped and isn’t immediately replaced with some other health-insurance law?  It means that the poor, defenseless gun owner won’t have the 45th President around to protect him, and this means that the doctor can not only ask whether the poor guy owns guns, but can immediately report gun ownership to the cops.  Think I’m being a little bit over the top?  Think again.

Recall that after Sandy Hook, the 44th President issued a series of Executive Orders covering guns.  Basically Obama’s action had one result, namely gun sales shot up and remained at historically-high levels until a few weeks before the 45th President was sworn in. But if you had listened to the noisemakers who pander to the Obama-burnished craziness of the NRA, you would have thought that Obama was planning to call out those ‘jack-booted government thugs’ (as Wayne LaPierre once characterized the ATF) to invade every gun-loving American home, grab all the hardware and cart it away. Nothing, of course, could be further from the truth, but since the 45th President is now blatantly lying to the Congressional leadership about how many votes he did or didn’t receive, who cares about the truth?

Actually, there is a professional group out there which does try to base its behavior on information that is evidence-based, and that group happens to be physicians, who know a lethal product when they see one.  And the reason they know that guns are lethal is because physicians have to repair 85,000-thousand or so bullet wounds each year, and also have to pronounce some 30,000+ whose bullet wounds can’t be repaired.

There is simply no other consumer product lying around an American home which is as lethal as a gun. Which is why physicians have been advocating that guns shouldn’t be in the home.  By the way, they also advocate that other lethal things, like cigarettes and pills that aren’t in bottles with child-proof caps, also shouldn’t be in the home. But somehow guns are different because many Americans have come to believe that it’s a gun’s lethality which makes it such a valuable item to own.  After all, what if Mister Bad Guy comes crashing through the back door?  What better way to protect yourself and your loved ones than with a gun?

There’s only one little problem. All the talk about how armed citizens constitute a necessary line of defense against violence and crime is just talk.  Even the NRA can’t seem to produce more than 8 or 9 instances each month in which an armed citizen made the difference protecting anyone from crime.  But let’s not forget that we’re no longer in a time when the truth counts for anything at all.  And that’s the reason that the NRA worked so hard to help elect Donald Trump.

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Even If Hillary Uses The Gun Issue Against Bernie, Will It Work Against Cruz Or Trump?

Ever since Hillary broke Bill’s taboo on making guns a campaign issue, I began to fantasize about the possibility that, for the first time of all time, guns might become a major issue in a Presidential election.  In other words, what might be in the offing for November would be a national plebiscite about guns.

But then a strange thing happened, because all of a sudden Hillary wasn’t waiting for the general election to push her gun agenda against red blowhards like Cruz or Trump; in fact, she was using the gun issue to shore up her path to the Democratic nomination itself.  And the reason she was doing this was that every time there was a mass shooting, she could remind Democratic voters that her opponent from Vermont voted for the 2005 law that gave gun makers immunity from wrongful-death suits.  In fairness to Bernie, it should be pointed out that he also voted against the invasion of Iraq whereas Hillary followed the herd and voted the other way.  Okay, so even if maybe she tried to steal the White House silverware, she’s not exactly Caesar’s wife.

hillary            Today there is a great article in The Trace that examines in detail how the Clinton campaign is using the gun issue to round up more delegate votes. Turns out that she’s hired a consulting firm that specializes in identifying different demographic groups that might respond to a particular campaign message crafted either from the Left or the Right. And it further turns out that, based on their model of where gun owners tend to live, that Hillary’s strong gun-control stance will apparently resonate in areas of upcoming primary states which will deliver a majority of the delegates that she needs in order to wrap things up before the big deal in Philadelphia on July 25th.

Of course, as Dan Friedman points out, the same Hillary Clinton who is taking such a courageous stance on gun control in 2016 was the self-same Hillary Clinton who exhibited a much more compassionate and reassuring stance towards gun owners after the Bomber uttered his infamous ‘clinging’ comment about guns and religion back in 2008.  To counteract Barack’s strength among urban voters leading up to the Pennsylvania primary, Hillary tried to shore up the rural vote by backing off a previous stand that favored a national handgun registry; she also helped push the ‘more human’ Hillary image with stories about hunting with Dad.

If Hillary’s campaign managers had wanted to save themselves lots of money this time around, they didn’t have to hire a fancy-schmancy consulting firm to tell them where Democratic voters live who would be receptive to her new-found concern about guns.  All they needed to do was look at a map that broke down the 2012 election returns on a county-by-county basis and the counties that are colored the darkest blue are where most of the gun-control populations tend to live.

And where are these counties located?  In the larger, urban areas with large minority communities where Hillary tends to do well.  And since urban counties usually have much larger populations than the less-populated rural areas where support for Hillary often fades, a strong message about gun violence could net her more delegates than Bernie even if the popular vote remains fairly split.  New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, California, New Jersey – five states with large, urban populations coming up.  These states alone award over 1,200 delegates and if Clinton can grab the bulk of the highly-populated county delegates by pushing a gun-control agenda, who would argue with that?

But the real issue is looking past July to see whether the gun issue can be sustained in a general election against one of the hare-brained red jerks.  Because when it comes to guns, Hillary might have the cities, but gun control certainly isn’t a winner in rural areas and may not be an advantage in the suburbs.  And guess what?  A majority of Americans live in the burbs.

Do More Guns Being Sold Mean That More People Own Guns? Don’t You Believe It.

It’s another year until we elect the next occupant of the White House, but the gun industry is in full swing reminding gun owners that a Democratic win will result in yet another attempt to confiscate everyone’s guns.  And the Democrats, much to the joy of the NRA, are making it clear that gun control will be an issue in the upcoming election, particularly if the ticket is headed by a lady raised in a suburb of Chicago who would love to spend the next four years back in Washington, D.C.

Best gun salesman ever!

The dirty little secret about the gun business is that gun sales spike upward when gun owners believe they won’t be able to buy any more guns.  You can get a pretty good idea of this situation from the ATF’s annual report on gun manufacturing, which shows that 40 million guns were manufactured and imported between 2009 and 2012, an increase from 24 million manufactured and imported the previous four years.  That’s a rise of 66% from the last four years of George Wubbleyou through the first four years of You Know Who, and the numbers during the second term of what Rush calls ‘the regime’ have stayed just as strong.

Even Apple doesn’t have sales increases compared to what’s happened with guns.  If you purchased Smith & Wesson stock for what was about three bucks a share in 2008, you could sell it today for $18. Ruger’s stock was around eight bucks when Barack took the Oath in 2008, now it’s sitting above $52 a share.  Google has gone from $200 to $700 over the same period.  Guess what?  The crummy, old gun business has outperformed hi-tech.

In addition to an unprecedented sales increase, the attitudes of Americans have clearly softened when it comes to attitudes about guns.  The polls say that a majority of Americans believe a household with a gun is safer than a household unarmed.  Americans also believe that we need more 2nd-Amendment rights and less laws regulating small arms.  So under Obama the industry has achieved both remarkable sales and acceptance of a laissez-faire attitude regarding additional laws. Is it any wonder the gun industry doesn’t let a day pass without trumpeting ‘gun-grabbing’ charges against Hillary and the rest of the ‘Democrat’ gang?

There’s only one little problem.  Underneath this blanket of good news, the gun industry is facing a problem that won’t be overcome no matter how loud they talk about America’s love of guns.  And the problem has to do with the fact that every year the number of Americans who legally own guns keeps going down.  It used to be that the decline in the percentage of households with guns was slightly less than the increase in the overall population; hence, the raw number of families with guns continued to go up.  But this is no longer the case, with recent surveys showing that the drop in percentages of homes with guns has been greater than the increase in the population as a whole.

Another, even more disquieting trend facing the gun industry is that the demographic groups whose growth increasingly spurs population as a whole – women, new immigrants, minorities, millennials – are not particularly pro-gun.  Dana Loesch can yap all she wants about the ‘millions’ of American mothers who protect their families by being armed and Colion whatever-his-name can prance around with an AR telling inner-city residents that a gun will make them ‘free,’ but both of those canned and stupid scripts are falling on deaf ears.

I would love to see just one survey which after finding that a majority of Americans believe that a gun will protect them from crime, then ask the same population whether they have actually gone out and bought a gun. It hasn’t happened, it’s not going to happen, and the gun industry knows full well that for a majority of Americans, there’s no love lost with guns.

 

 

Want To Get A New Assault Rifle For $5 Bucks? Join The NRA.

If any of you think that anyone in the gun industry might want to reconsider their commitment to assault rifles in the wake of ‘black’ guns being tossed out of Walmart, think again.  I just received my 3rd or 4th or maybe 10th email from Wayne-o reminding me to pony up five bucks for the 3rd Annual NRA Gun Raffle, and choose any one of 12 guns or, if I like, all 12 twelve guns which “any American gun enthusiast would like to own.”   And in case there was any doubt in my mind about why I should enter with a chance to win, Wayne-o’s email goes on to remind me that I don’t want to ”miss this opportunity to enter to WIN the guns that Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Michael Bloomberg want to BAN, along with many other great firearms!”

I know something about gun raffles because my gun shop used to be the site for an annual raffle to benefit the state Ducks Unlimited chapter which, in case you don’t know them, is a conservation and hunting organization founded in 1927 as an offshoot of the original hunting-conservationist effort, Boone & Crockett Club, that was started by Teddy Roosevelt and some friends in 1887 before TR went scampering up San Juan Hill in the Spanish-American War.  Hunters and conservationists were one and the same back in those days, because hunters understood the necessity to preserve and extend natural areas for the survival and protection of game.  The Ducks Unlimited raffle that I supported raised money for wildlife programs and preservation of wetlands in and around my state; you didn’t have to even own a gun to feel this was something worthy of your support.

duckslogo                If memory serves me correctly, the Ducks Unlimited raffle gave away five or six guns, all of them rifles and shotguns used for sport or the hunt.  There was always a beautiful Beretta over-and-under, usually with a Ducks Unlimited logo engraved on the case and the gun; a Marlin 39A 22-caliber lever-action carbine with the gold-inlaid stock; a magnum-caliber Weatherby for elk and a Marlin 336 for white-tail deer.  One year the guy who won the Weatherby told me he really didn’t want the gun so I bought it from him and it’s still sitting around somewhere in the basement or out in the garage.

Want to know what are the guns you can win from the NRA?  The raffle’s main prize is a Ruger SR-762, which has nothing to do with the Ruger 77 bolt-action rifles that the old man designed and made Bill Ruger’s name famous both here and abroad.  The SR-762 is a 30-caliber assault rifle which retails for more than $2,500 and shoots a 30-caliber round through a piston-type of operating system that promises to deliver “superior operating endurance” for every tactical need.

You can choose a Ruger for your raffle ticket but you can also select five other assault-style guns, including the Larue Tactical PredetAR rifle, the M4 V1 carbine from Daniel Defense, the KRISS Vector CRB Carbine and theTavor-IDF IDF 16 rifle with a Mepro 21 sight.  The last-named gun comes out of Israel and is made by the same company which many years ago gave us the lovely little machine pistol known as the Uzi which, if you recall, was considered by the Bush Administration too dangerous to be imported after 1989. I love it when Wayne-o tries to make believe that only Democrats, Liberals and native-born Kenyans want to ban guns.

Fully half of the twelve guns in this year’s NRA raffle are assault rifles, and don’t give me any crap about they’re not assault rifles, they’re really some figment of the NSSF fantasy-world called ‘modern, sporting’ guns.  Make no mistake, they are designed to kill human beings and they have nothing to do with hunting or sport. That’s the way the gun industry has changed, and that’s the reason the industry needs to be kicked in the ass until it returns to honesty and common sense.

 

 

 

 

Even When The NRA Fudges The Facts, It Doesn’t Really Matter At All.

I just received my weekly email call to arms from Chris Cox, who runs the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action.  It’s not really a call to arms, it’s a call to my wallet so that the NRA can continue to protect my 2nd-Amendment rights.  And this week’s appeal has a cute twist to it because it solicits me to take a poll called the 2015 Gun Rights Action Survey.  So in the interests (to quote don Corleone) in keeping my friends close but my enemies closer, I opened up the poll and I want to share the questions with you.

Basically the poll asks me whether I support or oppose laws that have been introduced at the federal level and in various states.  The answers will go a long way, according to Cox, to refute the lies told by Obama, Hilary, Mike and the rest of the gun-grabbing gang which, if left unchallenged, would surely result in my guns being taken away.

     Chris Cox, NRA-ILA

Chris Cox, NRA-ILA

Here’s a question which illustrates the kind of ‘lie’ the gun grabbers want me to accept: “Do you support or oppose H.R. 1217 – a new proposal in Congress that would implement Barack Obama’s national gun registration scheme?”  Of course I oppose it. What freedom-loving American wouldn’t oppose it?  How dare Obama try to set up a national registration that will then lead to confiscation, right?

Duhhh . . . wrong.  Because if you take the trouble to actually read the text of H.R. 1217, you’ll discover that the bill does nothing of the kind.  In fact, what it does is provide money to help states update the mental health records that they are supposed to send to NICS, a policy that the NRA has been supporting for years.  Remember Wayne-o’s demand after Sandy Hook that we need to “fix” the mental health system at the same time we put an armed guard in every school? I got news for you – that’s exactly what this bill does.

H.R. 1217 was introduced by Peter King (R-NY), who got a ‘D’ rating from the NRA because he voted for a bill that would have provided some scant, and I mean scant regulation over gun show operators.  He also voted for several bills that would have made gun dealers liable for the “criminal misuse” of any gun they sold, and he also voted ‘yes’ to require NICS background checks to be completed within 24 hours if the gun was purchased at a gun show. So King is hardly any kind of rock-ribbed gun grabber, but tell that to the folks who work for the NRA-ILA.

In any case, his H.R. 1217 bill does the following: it gives grants to states “to improve the automation and transmittal of mental health records and criminal history dispositions.” There’s some other boilerplate language but that’s what the bill does.  Period.  Want to know what it doesn’t do? It doesn’t “allow the establishment, directly or indirectly, of a federal firearms registry.”  Now I’m not paraphrasing or summarizing the bill – I’m quoting the language directly.

So how does a piece of legislation that specifically prohibits the creation of a ‘federal firearms registry’ turn into a bill that would “implement Barack Obama’s national gun registration scheme?”  I’ll tell you how.  It happens because Chris Cox simply lied.  Period.  End of story.  And want to know why he can lie with such impunity?  Because nobody who gets this email is going to read it anyway, nobody other than a few miserable contrarians como yo.

The NRA has done a superb job creating an army of devoted and loud followers who not only believe everything they’re told, but want to believe it, no questions asked.  And they know they can depend on the NRA to stick up for their gun rights, even if they catch Chris Cox in a little lie.  The problem with gun-safety advocates is they believe their concerns about gun violence should align with the facts.  It’s time to wake up to the fact that the other side doesn’t care.

It’s Time To Stop Debating About Gun Violence. Period.

Happens every time.  All you need is one good shooting, Barack says a few words about how we need to do something to end gun violence, and we are treated to the nonsense about how there is no gun violence.  That they happen to use a gun to kill either themselves or someone else 31,000 times a year, oh well, it’s a small price to pay for the fact that all those armed citizens are walking around and protecting us from millions of crimes each year.

And what’s the response from people who sincerely want to see gun violence brought under control?  Please don’t misunderstand us – we’re not against the 2nd Amendment, we’re just for some sensible gun laws.  And I’d be the first one to sit down with the NRA or one of their sycophantic mouthpieces like John Lott to come up with some reasonable solutions to the problem.  But the other side isn’t interested in reasonable solutions because there’s no problem.  And if you want proof that gun violence in America isn’t a problem, all you have to do is compare our gun violence rate to rates in other countries, particularly gun violence that takes the form of mass shootings, and you’ll quickly understand that we are, in fact, a very non-violent country after all.

Best gun salesman ever!

Best gun salesman ever!

The CDC first listed gun violence as a public health issue in 1981, and it has made the yearly CDC list ever since.  Remember who was President in 1981?  A guy named Reagan who remains the most iconic figure for the Conservative movement, which also happens to be the pro-gun movement, notwithstanding the fact that Reagan signed a major piece of gun-control legislation while he was Governor of California, and also later came out explicitly against hi-cap magazines in the run-up to the assault rifle ban in 1994. But in those days you could be a Conservative and still be in favor of sensible gun controls.  That was then and this is now.

And now means that when the President says something, anything about guns, the media immediately goes out to solicit a response from the other side, meaning the self-appointed guardians of American exceptionalism as exemplified by the 2nd Amendment and the Confederate flag.  Not that a single, Republican presidential candidate is willing to say what the residents of South Carolina should do about the stars and bars, but they’re sure willing to tell everyone what we should do about guns, which is that we should do nothing at all. So what do we end up with?  Not an informed and intelligent debate about gun violence, but a spectacle that is so stupid and senseless that we really shouldn’t be having a debate at all.

Here’s how dumb it gets.  John Lott goes on a conservative radio show and immediately labels Barack’s comment about our ‘unique’ propensity for mass shootings to be “bizarre.”  And what’s his proof that the President got it all wrong?  He pulls the 2011 Norway shooting which killed 67 people out of his hat.  But there’s only one problem which neither he nor his talk-show host bothered to mention, namely, that the attack at a summer camp on Utoya Island was the only mass shooting that occurred in Norway between 2000 and 2014, while over the same period the U.S. experienced at least more than 130 mass shootings that claimed nearly 500 lives.

I think it’s time for my friends in the gun-sense movement, or the gun-safety movement, or whatever they are calling themselves these days to declare a moratorium on debates over whether we have a gun violence problem after all.  Because as long as we continue to be seduced by the notion that both sides deserve ‘equal time,’ what we are going to get is not an argument against reasonable gun controls, but an argument against any kind of gun controls.  And since that argument has nothing to do with facts, it’s an argument that you just can’t win.

Let’s Hear It For Antonin Scalia: The Best Gun Salesman Of All Time.

As the wheels start turning towards the 2016 election, I can’t figure out why the gun lobby continues to prattle on about the ‘threats’ posed by liberal candidates like Hilary, when everyone knows that the industry’s best friend is that arch-liberal Barack Obama, whose presence in the White House for nearly another two years means that guns will continue to sell like crazy until he departs from the scene.  And even though gun sales have slackened off since the halcyon days right after Sandy Hook and ammunition is once again appearing on at least some retail shelves, there’s no question that the only thing that really drives the gun business is the fear that gun owners won’t be able to buy or own any more guns.

Gun makers have never been able to convince a majority of Americans to go out and buy guns.  With all the recent efforts to attract new gun consumers like women, college students and Blacks, the profile of the average gun remains a blue-collar White male with a family and a truck who lives in one of the 13 Confederate states, the 3 border states and the rural parts of 5 Midwestern states. Most gun owners are politically conservative and, generally speaking, vote bright red. Looking for liberal gun owners is like trying to run a fundraiser for a politically conservative candidate in Silicon Valley or the Hollywood Hills. The fact that certain demographics sway one way and others sway in the opposite direction shouldn’t come as a big surprise.  We are a pretty diverse country, and diversity tends to create different points of view.

scalia                Yet despite these differences, the one thing that just about everyone believes is that the Constitution is truly the law of the land.  And while Republicans paint Obama as some kind of anti-Constitutional despot, anyone who would take such partisan nonsense seriously well…you can fill in the rest.  Which is why I find myself coming back to examine the 2008 Heller decision, because when all is said and done, this decision is more important for the future health and welfare of the gun industry than anything liberal gun-grabbers like Barack or Hilary could say or do.

Not only did the Court decide 5-4 that owning guns was a Constitutional right, the majority justified the decision by claiming that the right of personal gun ownership actually pre-dated the Constitution, the 2nd Amendment simply codifying a long-established practice that existed even before the Framers met in Philadelphia in 1787 or, for that matter, before British troops fired on colonials at Concord Bridge in 1776. It turns out that George Washington owned more than 50 firearms, both long guns and handguns, which qualified him as a true gun nut for his day.  Thomas Jefferson, not only was an accomplished gunsmith, but invented some of the assembly-line techniques that later were used in the manufacturing of small arms.

The number one Constitutional gun nut, however, is none other than the author of Heller, Antonin Scalia, whose justification for claiming that we have a Constitutional right to own a gun is based on nothing more than his own needs.  Try as he might, Scalia was utterly unable to find any significant legal precedent which justified using a gun for self-defense against personal threats or crime.  Aside from a few vague statements from the anti-Federalist side, the overwhelming definition of self-defense in pre-Constitutional jurisprudence and commentaries involved defense against political threats from a national state.

Scalia is considered to be the foremost champion of centralized government authority sitting on the High Court.  But I’ll bet that when he sat down to write Heller he was thinking first and foremost about how to protect his own guns. The fact that he crafted a decision effectively limiting the authority of the federal government while giving him and the rest of us the right to always own guns makes him a much better salesperson for the gun industry than Barack or Hilary could ever hope to be.

Who Won And Who Lost In The Battle Over The Cop-Killer Ammo? Everyone.

A week before the ATF was going to stop receiving public comments about its proposal to ban so-called ‘armor-piercing’ ammo the agency shut down the whole process, announced they were going back to the drawing board and, at some later date not specified, would revisit the whole issue again. The ATF received more than 80,000 emails and if you think some of them came from the International Bible Holiness Movement or another of the frontline anti-gun violence groups, think again.

And if you don’t believe the NRA isn’t celebrating, you’re wrong on that one, too.  They immediately posted victory statements from Wayne and Chris, sent news releases out to ever-welcoming Fox which featured their next President, Rand Paul, speaking out against the ATF, and of course went out of their way to label the ATF decision as a “defeat” of their arch-enemy and all-time best gun salesman, a.k.a. Barack.

atf                Any time the gunnies can push back the U.S. Government on a gun issue, they’ll celebrate their victory as yet another step towards enshrining the 2nd Amendment as the unquestioned law of the land. By the same token, the gun-sense folks will bemoan yet another defeat at the hands of a seemingly all-powerful NRA and try to figure out how to keep this embarrassing loss from happening again.

I happen to think that both sides are barking up the wrong tree.  Whether they know it or not, the ATF’s decision to shelve its new armor-piercing guideline is actually a victory for all of us who want laws to be reasonable, responsible and fashioned to reflect both reality plus a dose of good old common sense.  The Law Enforcement Officers Protection Act which created the whole issue of armor-piercing ammunition in the first place was a careless and thoughtless example of legislative stupidity that should never have been proposed, never passed and never signed into law.  If the ATF’s determination to step back from enforcing this statute turns it into a dead letter, nobody who’s committed to government as a force to secure the common good should be at all upset.

The bill was originally introduced by Congressmen Jack Brooks of Texas and Mario Biaggi of New York.  There were actually two separate pieces of legislation, the Brooks bill being somewhat less restrictive than Biaggi’s measure, but they would ultimately be combined into one law that would eventually get through Congress and go to President Bush’s desk in 1986.  The bill had support from most of the national police associations and while the NRA cautioned against passage, the gun-rights group kept most of its powder dry for another day.

The law was passed by voice vote in both chambers so that none of our elected representatives had to go on record for supporting or opposing the measure, a cute compromise which also made it easy for the NRA to pretend it opposed the law even though some of the organization’s most staunch supporters, such as Brooks, could appear to be pro-gun while actually voting for the bill.  If you think that a non-recorded vote creates a little stench, you’ll really have to hold your nose if you read the testimony about the issue that was given before the House Judiciary Committee in May, 1985.

It turns out that nobody knew how to define ‘armor-piercing’ ammunition and no serious testing was conducted to determine which types of ammunition should be covered by the law. Unable to define the what, why and how of ammunition that might penetrate a vest, the Committee relied on testimony from ex-cops like Mario Biaggi who wanted to outlaw all kinds of ammunition shot from handguns because people didn’t normally use rifles to attack the police.

The serious testing and research that Congress should have demanded was never carried out and now all we have is a law that creates a good stink. The NRA should hardly be claiming a big victory nor should the other side be wallowing in defeat.  We all lost on this one back in 1986.

 

 

Hey Rand – Time To Stop Scamming Gun Owners

Last week NRA members, myself included, received a letter from Senator Rand Paul, asking us to donate to The National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR), an organization which, according to its website, is the fastest-growing gun rights organization in the United States. Senator Paul’s letter, which is the second I have received soliciting funds for the lobbying efforts of the NAGR, led off with a quote from President Obama stating that he would use “whatever power this office holds” to ban guns. The fundraising appeal then goes on to list the usual scare-mongering attacks on Biden, Feinstein and the rest of the liberal, anti-gun crowd.

There’s only one little problem. The President never said what Rand Paul claims he said. He didn’t even come close. What he said, right after Sandy Hook, was that he would use the powers of his office to “engage my fellow citizens in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this.” Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to paint Barack Obama as a friend of the gun lobby. He’s not. But it seems to me that a United States senator, particularly one who is evidently running to succeed Obama in the White House, needs to be a little more careful with the words he uses.

paulOn the other hand, Rand Paul’s fundraising appeal struck me as a bit more strange than just the fact that he misquoted the president because the letter had Paul’s return address as being in Virginia, and I thought he was from Kentucky. But it turns out that the letter wasn’t sent from Paul at all; it was actually produced by a political PR firm called Saber Communications, whose address is the same town in Virginia which is the headquarters of the NAGR.

So here we have a very interesting three-way connection between a putative presidential candidate, a PR firm that does work for the candidate and a so-called advocacy group that claims to represent the interests of gun owners nationwide. What exactly is this advocacy group known as NAGR? Turns out it was founded in 2001 by a conservative political operative in Colorado named Dudley Brown, who used to claim that he graduated from Colorado State University when, in fact, henever graduated from Colorado State or anywhere else. Brown operated primarily at the state level until he was able to piggy-back onto Glenn Beck, the Tea Party and any other right-wing group to which he could attach his organization’s name.

In addition to tirelessly sending out fundraising appeals, the NAGR also has an affiliated PAC which ostensibly lobbies in Washington on issues involving gun rights. In a press release of October, 2013, Brown claimed that his group spent more than $1 million and “led the effort against gun control” on Capitol Hill. But I’m not sure if the money spent by NAGR went into political campaigns, or lobbying efforts, or is being spent primarily on phony and misleading fundraising appeals like the one I recently received. I took a look at NAGR’s tax return for 2010, and of the $1.6 million in revenue for that year, direct lobbying was $118,000 but nearly $1 million went for internet marketing and direct mail. And I’ll bet that most of that dough was paid to Saber Communications whose owner, Michael Rothfield, sits on the NAGR Board.

The attempt to generate income for a for-profit PR operation by chasing gun owners for donations hasn’t escaped the attention of gun folks, many of whom consider NAGR to be nothing more than a fundraising scam. Gun owners tend to be careful with their money, so comments made about NAGR on such gun blogs as AR-15.com,Smith & Wesson Forum and Gun Broker Forum. Com should alert Senator Paul to the fact that a population he considers to be solidly in his corner won’t be there much longer if he doesn’t polish up his act and stop allowing the NAGR to use his name just to enlarge the revenues of a privately-held PR firm.

Obama’s Putting Together an Arsenal Thanks To The TSA

There’s been a rumor floating around (thank you Glenn Beck) that Obama has been putting together a secret army that will surround the White House and protect him when the real Americans – the 3 percenters and all the other patriots – finally rise up, take our country back and preserve our God-given, constitutional rights. So I’m here to announce that I have found Obama’s arsenal, and if you don’t believe me, just ask the TSA.

English: A TSA officer screens a piece of luggage.

English: A TSA officer screens a piece of luggage. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You see, the TSA is responsible for security at all the airports, and even though there are warnings and signs all over the place telling passengers to stow their weapons in checked luggage, the folks who screen carry-on bags before passengers go to their gates just keep finding more and more guns.  In 2011 the TSA found more than 1,200 guns, in 2012 the number was over 1,500.  If the 2013 rate continues, by the end of the year the number will exceed 2,000.  That’s nearly 4,000 guns in three years.  Not a bad haul.

Of course some of the guns don’t look like they would be carried by any kind of army, unless it’s an army that has a special need for really small-caliber weapons.  In the three weeks from September 27 through October 17, for example, TSA confiscated 99 guns, of which 6 were 22 or 25 caliber, but there were also 27 pistols that were 9mm, 40 or 45-caliber, and that’s plenty of firepower for any army, whether in the pay of the President or not.  And the good news is that most of the guns were loaded, 84 of the 99 found over those three weeks, which means that the Presidential militia doesn’t even need to stop off at Dick’s Sporting Goods or Cabela’s to get ready to rumble because gun-toting Americans have made sure that the guns they’re taking on airplanes are ready to go.

Unfortunately for the President, his arsenal seems to be mainly handguns; after all, it’s not all that easy to stash an assault rifle (oops – a modern sporting rifle) into your carry-on before getting on a plane.  But Americans have always been an ingenious lot, so while the Presidential militia may be short on long guns, they’ll have enough explosives to help them carry the day.  In the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport someone walked through the line with a live, 40mm grenade; in Grand Junction there was 6 lbs. of black powder, detonation cords and a timing fuse; and a live blasting cap was found on a passenger in Richmond, Virginia.  I know, I know, they all just ‘forgot’ that they were carrying explosives onto a plane.  When was the last time you forgot that you were carrying explosives? When was the last time you carried explosives anywhere?

Getting back to the would-be passengers whose guns were taken away – know what?  It was clearly a violation of their 2nd Amendment rights.  And worse, they just wanted to bring their Glock into a ‘gun-free zone’ so that the rest of us would be protected from the nuts who figure they can shoot the place up because nobody’s got a gun.  In the light of District of Columbia versus Heller we really need to re-think our policy about allowing guns on planes.  And Obama needs to stop using the TSA to build his secret weapons cache.

Four thousand guns in three years? By the time Obama leaves office the TSA will probably be sitting on 10,000 guns.  Any chance that the TSA will let me buy the whole pile to increase the used gun inventory in my store?