Wednesday, June 28, 2017

How They Really See Us


Twitter sends me tweets by email that they think I might find of interest. This was one of them. It led to a video being promoted by the Campaign to Close the Gunshow Loophole (sic). The video short is called "Guntown" and is produced by Los Angeles-based Rogue Kite Productions.




Ostensibly "Guntown" is a parody of open carry and "good guys with a gun". While it is a parody, I think if you look deeper this is how the gun prohibitionists actually see those who believe in armed self defense.

As the Nazis did with the Jews, if you can dehumanize a group of people then you can begin to persecute them with little or no consequence. The gun prohibitionists consider us a threat because we are individualistic, believe in providing our own self defense, and are not reliant upon the state. In their eyes, we are the untermenschen because we haven't accepted the "greater truths" that they as enlightened people hold. These "greater truths" include such falsehoods as the state should hold the monopoly on violence and the state is here to protect you.

We need to watch these stupid little videos and read their tweets and Facebook posts. Only by knowing what lies the enemies of self defense, responsible gun ownership, and liberty are promulgating about us can we counter them. Forewarned is forearmed.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Put This On Your Tuesday To-Do List


The Omnibus Gun Bill, HB 746, which contains a constitutional carry provision has been referred to the North Carolina Senate's Rules Committee. This is the final step before coming up for a floor vote.

It is important that this bill come to the floor before the session comes to a close in the next few days. While the bill was supposed to be on today's Rules Committee calendar, it doesn't look like it made it. We need to keep pushing the Republicans on the committee to do the right thing and get that bill out of committee.

Grass Roots North Carolina is asking that people both call and email Republican members of the committee. Their alert is below:

NUDGE SENATE RULES
COMMITTEE ON HB 746


Contact Senators on Rules Committee
It appears as though the NC Senate Rules Committee will be considering HB 746 on Tuesday. It is important that Republican members of the committee hear from gun owners, in order to remind the Senators of the proper course of action.

Below, see how you can easily contact these key senators to encourage them to move HB746 out of committee, and to the Senate floor for a vote. They need to hear from you as soon as possible. Please send them the email provided, and make the phone calls to those noted below. If necessary, leave a voice-mail message.


IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!


  • PHONE REPUBLICAN SENATE RULES COMMITTEE MEMBERS: Use the phone numbers provided below. Tell them:
    I'm calling to encourage  you, as a member of the Senate Rules Committee, to vote for  the gun bill, HB746, thereby sending it to the Senate floor for a vote. Ultimately, gun rights voters are only asking that you live up to the Republican State Platform, which states: 'We support constitutional carry statutes and salute the states that have passed them.' Please support this bill. Vote 'yes' on the bill in committee and 'yes' on the floor of the Senate. Thank you.

  • EMAIL THE SENATE RULES COMMITTEE MEMBERS: Use the copy/paste text and the copy/paste email list(s) provided below.
CONTACT INFO
Republican Sen. Rules Committee phone numbers:

Sen. Bill Rabon: (919) 733-5963
Sen. Chad Barefoot: (919) 715-3036
Sen. Andrew C. Brock: (919) 715-0690
Sen. Warren Daniel: (919) 715-7823
Sen. Kathy Harrington: (919) 733-5734
Sen. Ralph Hise: (919) 733-3460
Sen. Brent Jackson: (919) 733-5705
Sen. Michael V. Lee:  (919) 715-2525
Sen. Wesley Meredith:  (919) 733-5776
Sen. Louis Pate: (919) 733-5621
Sen. Shirley B. Randleman: (919) 733-5743 
Sen. Jerry W. Tillman: (919) 733-5870
Sen. Tommy Tucker: (919) 733-7659
Sen. Trudy Wade: (919) 733-5856

Republican Senate Rules Committee copy/paste email list:

Bill.Rabon@ncleg.net; Chad.Barefoot@ncleg.net; Andrew.Brock@ncleg.net; Warren.Daniel@ncleg.net; Kathy.Harrington@ncleg.net; Ralph.Hise@ncleg.net; Brent.Jackson@ncleg.net; Michael.Lee@ncleg.net; Wesley.Meredith@ncleg.net; Louis.Pate@ncleg.net; Shirley.Randleman@ncleg.net; Jerry.Tillman@ncleg.net; Tommy.Tucker@ncleg.net; Trudy.Wade@ncleg.net

DELIVER THIS MESSAGE


Suggested Subject: "Vote for HB746 in Committee and on Senate Floor"  


Dear Senator,

I understand that the Senate Rules Committee is considering the gun bill, HB746, on Tuesday, and I am writing to strongly encourage you to support this bill. 

In accordance with the NC Republican Party's platform, which states: "
We support constitutional carry statutes and salute the states that have passed them," vote 'yes' on HB746 in committee, and vote 'yes' once it reaches the Senate floor. 

I will be monitoring your actions on this important issue through alerts from Grass Roots North Carolina.

Respectfully,  

Monday, June 26, 2017

Not All Bad News Today From SCOTUS


It wasn't all bad news on gun rights from the US Supreme Court today. Despite the negative ruling on certiorari for the Peruta case, we did get a win today when the court denied the government's appeal in Sessions et al v. Binderup et al. Justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor would have granted certiorari to the government.

The case involved the loss of gun rights for individuals convicted of non-serious misdemeanors. The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled that it violated the Second Amendment to deny such individuals their right to possess and purchase firearms. The Justice Department under former AG Loretta Lynch appealed that ruling. For some unknown reason, they didn't move to dismiss the case under AG Jeff Sessions.

By refusing to grant certiorari, the court preserved the ruling of the 3rd Circuit. The Second Amendment Foundation which represented the plaintiffs in this case released the following statement on their win:
BELLEVUE, WA – The Supreme Court of the United States has declined to review an important Second Amendment Foundation case involving firearms rights for individuals convicted of certain non- violent misdemeanor crimes .

The decision allows an earlier favorable en banc ruling for SAF by the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Pennsylvania to stand . In the case of
Binderup v. the U.S. Attorney General , the appeals court ruled that individuals convicted of certain non-serious misdemeanor crimes do not lose their fundamental rights under the Second Amendment for life . After SAF won at the appeals court level, the Obama Justice Department sought Supreme Court review .

The case involve d a man named Daniel Binderup , who pleaded guilty in 1996 to a misdemeanor charge related to a consensual relationship he had with a 17-year-old female employee . He received three years’ probation and a $300 fine. However, because the crime could have resulted in jail time of more than one year for which the federal gun law blocks firearms possession , Binderup sought protection of his rights via the courts .

“While we were confident that our case would once again prevail before the Supreme Court, we’re delighted at the high court’s decision that allows our victory in the Third Circuit to stand,” noted SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “We establish ed the principle that people who are convicted of certain misdemeanor crimes cannot be stripped of their fundamental right to keep and bear arms for life. ”

The Third Circuit Court’s favorable ruling combined Binderup’s case with another SAF case involving a man named Julio Suarez . He was stopped in 1990 on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. At the time he was carrying a handgun and spare ammunition without a permit. He pleaded guilty in Maryland state court to the charge and received a 180-day s uspended sentence and $500 fine . As a result, he also lost his gun rights because the crime could have resulted in jail time of more than one year . Neither man was ever incarcerated.

“We cannot allow government to simply deny constitutionally-delineated rights on such flimsy grounds,” Gottlieb said. “While SAF’s goal is winning firearms freedom one lawsuit at a time, this time we won two!”

SCOTUS Denies Cert In Peruta Case


Damn, damn, damn. I thought the Peruta case had a chance to bring carry before the Supreme Court. In the orders released this morning, the Supreme Court denied certiorari in the case of Peruta et al v. California et al.

Justice Thomas and Justice Gorsuch dissented in this denial of cert. Justice Thomas wrote a strong dissent with which Justice Gorsuch joined. I am putting the full dissent below. I will be adding comments after I have had time to read the whole thing.

The addition to the Court of Justice Gorsuch was good. I just wish there were more like him and Justice Thomas who care about both the precedents of Heller and McDonald as well as the Second Amendment.

1 Cite as: 582 U. S. ____ (2017)

THOMAS , J., dissenting

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES EDWARD PERUTA, ET AL . v. CALIFORNIA, ET AL

. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT

No. 16–894. Decided June 26, 2017

The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied.

JUSTICE THOMAS , with whom JUSTICE GORSUCH joins, dissenting from the denial of certiorari.

The Second Amendment to the Constitution guarantees that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arm[s] shall not be infringed.” At issue in this case is whether that guarantee protects the right to carry firearms in public for self-defense. Neither party disputes that the issue is one of national importance or that the courts of appeals have already weighed in extensively. I would therefore grant the petition for a writ of certiorari.

I

California generally prohibits the average citizen from carrying a firearm in public spaces, either openly or con­ cealed. With a few limited exceptions, the State prohibits open carry altogether. Cal. Penal Code Ann. §§25850, 26350 (West 2012). It proscribes concealed carry unless a resident obtains a license by showing “good cause,” among other criteria, §§26150, 26155, and it authorizes counties to set rules for when an applicant has shown good cause, §26160.

In the county where petitioners reside, the sheriff has interpreted “good cause” to require an applicant to show that he has a particularized need, substantiated by docu­mentary evidence, to carry a firearm for self-defense. The sheriff ’s policy specifies that “concern for one’s personal safety” does not “alone” satisfy this requirement. Peruta v. County of San Diego , 742 F. 3d 1144, 1148 (CA9 2014) (internal quotation marks omitted). Instead, an applicant must show “a set of circumstances that distinguish the applicant from the mainstream and cause him to be placed in harm’s way.” Id. , at 1169 (internal quotation marks and alterations omitted). “[A] typical citizen fearing for his personal safety—by definition—cannot distinguish himself from the mainstream.” Ibid. (emphasis deleted; internal quotation marks and alterations omitted). As a result, ordinary, “law-abiding, responsible citizens,” District of Columbia v. Heller , 554 U. S. 570, 635 (2008), may not obtain a permit for concealed carry of a firearm in public spaces.

Petitioners are residents of San Diego County (plus an association with numerous county residents as members) who are unable to obtain a lic ense for concealed carry due to the county’s policy and, because the State generally bans open carry, are thus unable to bear firearms in public in any manner. They sued under Rev. Stat. §1979, 42 U. S. C. §1983, alleging that this near-total prohibition on public carry violates their Second Amendment right to bear arms. They requested declaratory and injunctive relief to prevent the sheriff from denying licenses based on his restrictive interpretation of “good cause,” as well as other “relief as the Court deems just and proper.” First Amended Complaint in No. 3:09–cv–02371, (SD Cal.) ¶¶149, 150, 152. The District Court granted respondents’ motion for summary judgment, and petitioners appealed to the Ninth Circuit.

In a thorough opinion, a panel of the Ninth Circuit reversed. 742 F. 3d 1144. The panel examined the consti­ tutional text and this Court’s precedents, as well as histor­ical sources from before the founding era through the end of the 19th century. Id., at 1150–1166. Based on these sources, the court concluded that “the carrying of an oper­able handgun outside the home for the lawful purpose of self-defense . . . constitutes ‘bear[ing] Arms’ within the meaning of the Second Amendment.” Id. , at 1166. It thus reversed the District Court and held that the sheriff ’s interpretation of “good cause” in combination with the other aspects of the State’s regime violated the Second Amendment’s command that a State “permit some form of carry for self-defense outside the home.” Id., at 1172.

The Ninth Circuit sua sponte granted rehearing en banc and, by a divided court, reversed the panel decision. In the en banc court’s view, because petitioners specifically asked for the invalidation of the sheriff ’s “good cause” interpretation, their legal challenge was limited to that aspect of the applicable regulatory scheme. The court thus declined to “answer the question of whether or to what degree the Second Amendment might or might not protect a right of a member of the general public to carry firearms openly in public.” Peruta v. County of San Diego , 824 F. 3d 919, 942 (2016). It instead held only that “the Sec­ ond Amendment does not preserve or protect a right of a member of the general public to carry concealed firearms in public.” Id., at 924 (emphasis added).

II

We should have granted certiorari in this case. The approach taken by the en banc court is indefensible, and the petition raises important questions that this Court should address. I see no reason to await another case.

A

The en banc court’s decision to limit its review to whether the Second Amendment protects the right to concealed carry—as opposed to the more general right to public carry—was untenable. Most fundamentally, it was not justified by the terms of the complaint, which called into question the State’s regulatory scheme as a whole. See First Amended Complaint ¶63 (“Because California does not permit the open carriage of loaded firearms, concealed carriage with a [concealed carry] permit is the only means by which an individual can bear arms in pub­ lic places”); id. , ¶74 (“States may not completely ban the carrying of handguns for self-defense”). And although the complaint specified the remedy that intruded least on the State’s overall regulatory regime—declaratory relief and an injunction against the sheriff ’s restrictive interpretation of “good cause”—it also requested “[a]ny further relief as the Court deems just and proper.” Id., ¶152.

Nor was the Ninth Circuit’s approach justified by the history of this litigation. The District Court emphasized that “the heart of the parties’ dispute” is whether the Second Amendment protects “the right to carry a loaded handgun in public, either openly or in a concealed man­ ner.” Peruta v. County of San Diego , 758 F. Supp. 2d 1106, 1109 (SD Cal. 2010). As the Ninth Circuit panel pointed out, “[petitioners] argue that the San Diego County policy in light of the California licensing scheme as a whole violates the Second Amendment because it precludes a responsible, law-abiding citizen from carrying a weapon in public for the purpose of lawful self-defense in any man­ ner.” 742 F. 3d, at 1171. The panel further observed that although petitioners “focu[s]” their challenge on the “li­ censing scheme for concealed carry,” this is “for good reason: acquiring such a license is the only practical ave­nue by which [they] may come lawfully to carry a gun for self-defense in San Diego County.” Ibid. Even the en banc court acknowledged that petitioners “base their argument on the entirety of California’s statutory scheme” and “do not contend that there is a free-standing Second Amend­ ment right to carry concealed firearms.” 824 F. 3d, at 927.

B

Had the en banc Ninth Circuit answered the question actually at issue in this case, it likely would have been compelled to reach the opposite result. This Court has already suggested that the Second Amendment protects the right to carry firearms in public in some fashion. As we explained in Heller , to “bear arms” means to “ ‘wear, bear, or carry upon the person or in the clothing or in a pocket, for the purpose of being armed and ready for offen­sive or defensive action in a case of conflict with another person.’ ” 554 U. S., at 584 (quoting Muscarello v. United States , 524 U. S. 125, 143 (1998) (GINSBURG , J., dissent­ing); alterations and some internal quotation marks omit­ ted). The most natural reading of this definition encom­ passes public carry. I find it extremely improbable that the Framers understood the Second Amendment to protect little more than carrying a gun from the bedroom to the kitchen. See Drake v. Filko , 724 F. 3d 426, 444 (CA3 2013) (Hardiman, J., dissenting) (“To speak of ‘bearing’ arms solely within one’s home not only would conflate ‘bearing’ with ‘keeping,’ in derogation of the [ Heller ] Court’s holding that the verbs codified distinct rights, but also would be awkward usage given the meaning assigned the terms by the Supreme Court”); Moore v. Madigan , 702 F. 3d 933, 936 (CA7 2012) (similar). already suggested that the Second Amendment protects the right to carry firearms in public in some fashion. As we explained in Heller , to “bear arms” means to “ ‘wear, bear, or carry upon the person or in the clothing or in a pocket, for the purpose of being armed and ready for offen­sive or defensive action in a case of conflict with another person.’ ” 554 U. S., at 584 (quoting Muscarello v. United States , 524 U. S. 125, 143 (1998) (GINSBURG , J., dissent­ing); alterations and some internal quotation marks omit­ ted). The most natural reading of this definition encom­ passes public carry. I find it extremely improbable that the Framers understood the Second Amendment to protect little more than carrying a gun from the bedroom to the kitchen. See Drake v. Filko , 724 F. 3d 426, 444 (CA3 2013) (Hardiman, J., dissenting) (“To speak of ‘bearing’ arms solely within one’s home not only would conflate ‘bearing’ with ‘keeping,’ in derogation of the [ Heller ] Court’s holding that the verbs codified distinct rights, but also would be awkward usage given the meaning assigned the terms by the Supreme Court”); Moore v. Madigan , 702 F. 3d 933, 936 (CA7 2012) (similar). The relevant history appears to support this under­ standing. The panel opinion below pointed to a wealth of cases and secondary sources from England, the founding era, the antebellum period, and Reconstruction, which together strongly suggest that the right to bear arms includes the right to bear arms in public in some manner. See 742 F. 3d, at 1153–1166 (canvassing the relevant history in detail); Brief for Na tional Rifle Association as Amicus Curiae 6–16. For example, in Nunn v. State , 1 Ga. 243 (1846)—a decision the Heller Court discussed exten­sively as illustrative of the proper understanding of the right, 554 U. S., at 612—the Georgia Supreme Court struck down a ban on open carry although it upheld a ban on concealed carry. 1 Ga., at 251. Other cases similarly suggest that, although some regulation of public carry is already suggested that the Second Amendment protects the right to carry firearms in p ublic in some fashion. As we explained in Heller , to “bear arms” means to “ ‘wear, bear, or carry upon the person or in the clothing or in a pocket, for the purpose of being armed and ready for offen­sive or defensive action in a case of conflict with another person.’ ” 554 U. S., at 584 (quoting Muscarello v. United States , 524 U. S. 125, 143 (1998) (GINSBURG , J., dissent ing); alterations and some internal quotation marks omit­ ted). The most natural reading of this definition encom passes public carry. I find it extremely improbable that the Framers understood the Second Amendment to protect little more than carrying a gun from the bedroom to the kitchen. See Drake v. Filko , 724 F. 3d 426, 444 (CA3 2013) (Hardiman, J., dissenting) (“To speak of ‘bearing’ arms solely within one’s home not only would conflate ‘bearing’ with ‘keeping,’ in derogation of the [ Heller ] Court’s holding that the verbs codified distinct rights, but also would be awkward usage given the meaning assigned the terms by the Supreme Court”); Moore v. Madigan , 702 F. 3d 933, 936 (CA7 2012) (similar).

The relevant history appears to support this under­ standing. The panel opinion below pointed to a wealth of cases and secondary sources from England, the founding era, the antebellum period, and Reconstruction, which together strongly suggest that the right to bear arms includes the right to bear arms in public in some manner. See 742 F. 3d, at 1153–1166 (canvassing the relevant history in detail); Brief for National Rifle Association as Amicus Curiae 6–16. For example, in Nunn v. State , 1 Ga. 243 (1846)—a decision the Heller Court discussed exten­sively as illustrative of the proper understanding of the right, 554 U. S., at 612—the Georgia Supreme Court struck down a ban on open carry although it upheld a ban on concealed carry. 1 Ga., at 251. Other cases similarly suggest that, although some regulation of public carry is permissible, an effective ban on all forms of public carry is not. See, e.g., State v. Reid , 1 Ala. 612, 616–617 (1840) (“A statute which, under the pretence of regulating, amounts to a destruction of the right, or which requires arms to be so borne as to render them wholly useless for the purpose of defence, would be clearly unconstitutional”).

Finally, the Second Amendment’s core purpose further supports the conclusion that the right to bear arms ex­ tends to public carry. The Court in Heller emphasized that “self-defense” is “the central component of the [Second Amendment] right itself.” 554 U. S., at 599. This purpose is not limited only to the home, even though the need for self-defense may be “most acute” there. Id., at 628. “Self­ defense has to take place wherever the person happens to be,” and in some circumstances a person may be more vulnerable in a public place than in his own house. Volokh, Implementing the Right To Keep and Bear Arms for Self-Defense: An Analytical Framework and a Research Agenda, 56 UCLA L. Rev. 1443, 1515 (2009).

C

Even if other Members of the Court do not agree that the Second Amendment likely protects a right to public carry, the time has come fo r the Court to answer this important question definitively . Twenty-six States have asked us to resolve the question presented, see Brief for Alabama et al. as Amici Curiae , and the lower courts have fully vetted the issue. At least four other Courts of Appeals and three state courts of last resort have decided cases regarding the ability of States to regulate the public carry of firearms. Those decisions (plus the one below) have produced thorough opinions on both sides of the issue. See Drake , 724 F. 3d 426, cert. denied sub nom. Drake v. Jerejian , 572 U. S. ___ (2014); 724 F. 3d, at 440 (Hardiman, J., dissenting); Woollard v. Gallagher , 712 F. 3d 865 (CA4), cert. denied, 571 U. S. ___ (2013); Kachalsky v. County of Westchester , 701 F. 3d 81 (CA2 2012), cert. denied sub nom . Kachalsky v. Cacace , 569 U. S. ___ (2013); Madigan , 702 F. 3d 933; id., at 943 (Williams, J., dissenting); Commonwealth v. Gouse , 461 Mass. 787, 800– 802, 965 N. E. 2d 774, 785–786 (2012); Williams v. State , 417 Md. 479, 496, 10 A. 3d 1167, 1177 (2011); Mack v. United States , 6 A. 3d 1224, 1236 (D. C. 2010). Hence, I do not see much value in waiting for additional courts to weigh in, especially when constitutional rights are at stake.

The Court’s decision to deny certiorari in this case re­ flects a distressing trend: the treatment of the Second Amendment as a disfavored right. See Friedman v. High - land Park , 577 U. S. ___, ___ (2015) (THOMAS , J., dissenting from denial of certiorari) (slip op., at 6) (“The Court’s refusal to review a decision that flouts two of our Second Amendment precedents stands in marked contrast to the Court’s willingness to summarily reverse courts that disregard our other constitutional decisions”); Jackson v. City and County of San Francisco , 576 U. S. ___, ___ (2015) (same). The Constitution does not rank certain rights above others, and I do not think this Court should impose such a hierarchy by selectively enforcing its pre­ferred rights. Id. , at ___ (slip op., at 1) (“Second Amend­ment rights are no less protected by our Constitution than other rights enumerated in that document”). The Court has not heard argument in a Second Amendment case in over seven years—since March 2, 2010, in McDonald v. Chicago , 561 U. S. 742. Since that time, we have heard argument in, for example, roughly 35 cases where the question presented turned on the meaning of the First Amendment and 25 cases that turned on the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. This discrepancy is inexcusable, especially given how much less developed our jurispru­dence is with respect to the Second Amendment as com­ pared to the First and Fourth Amendments.

For those of us who work in marbled halls, guarded constantly by a vigilant and dedicated police force, the guarantees of the Second Amendment might seem anti­quated and superfluous. But the Framers made a clear choice: They reserved to all Americans the right to bear arms for self-defense. I do not think we should stand by idly while a State denies its citizens that right, particularly when their very lives may depend on it. I respectfully dissent.
-

A Safety Reminder From NSSF


There are many ways to store a firearm when not in use. The National Shooting Sports Foundation video below goes over a few of those. I am in the market for one of those quick-access lockboxes myself.

One thing I might note. If we don't take storing our firearms safely seriously, someone aka big government will do it for us and I doubt they'd get it right.


Sunday, June 25, 2017

Fast And Furious Revisited


Sharyl Attkisson had a story this morning on her Full Measure news show about Operation Fast and Furious and BATFE Senior Agent John Dodson. Since it isn't syndicated in all markets, I have embedded it below.

As I watched her interview with Agent Dodson, I was struck by a few things. First, Dodson is a brave and ethical man. He is still with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives despite all the crap thrown his way by his own agency. He has been transferred 11 times in the six years since he blew the whistle on Operation Fast and Furious. It is obvious that the powers that be in BATFE - who just happened to be in positions of power six years ago - want him gone. Dodson has gone into some detail about his experiences in his own book over the scandal.

Second, I am aghast that the Department of Justice under President Trump and AG Sessions has not seen fit to release all the documents sought by the House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee. I have to hope that the reason the documents haven't been released is because the issue hasn't been brought before Sessions himself. If I remember it correctly, Jeff Sessions and his staff were some of the first people approached by the late Mike Vanderboegh regarding the gunwalking.

Third, the Deep State exists. There are still people in positions of power who are working tirelessly to retaliate against whistleblowers like John Dodson and to continue submerging the truth about Project Gunwalker aka Fast and Furious. Until these people are rooted out and dismissed, I doubt the full truth will ever be known.

Earlier this month, the House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee released another report which dealt with the obstruction of Congress by the DOJ with regards to Operation Fast and Furious. The report concluded that there were failures (1) to provide answers to the Terry family, (2) there was a failure to objectively gather the facts, (3) there was a significant lack of respect for Congressional oversight, and (4) that former Attorney General Eric Holder's priorities were politics and spin.


A Rite Of Passage


As we go through life we all have rites of passage. It might be a momentous occasion such as our graduation from high school or college, our wedding, or, sadly, the death of a parent. Rites of passage can also be simpler things such as our first kiss or our first hit in Little League.




I had such a rite of passage on Friday:  I closed on the sale of the house I grew up in. The house had been in the family for just a few months short of 51 years.

My mom bought the house in September 1966. She had been looking for a house in the Sunset Hills neighborhood of Greensboro for years and finally found one in her price range. Her goals in buying this house were to cut down on her commute to the high school where she taught and, more important in her mind, to allow me to walk to Our Lady of Grace School which was a mere 1 1/2 blocks away. She also wanted me to be in a neighborhood where there were a lot of kids my age with which to play. I just didn't have that in Asheboro.

I was nine and had just started 4th grade when we moved in. My grandmother soon joined us as the stairs in her house in New York were getting to be too much for her. She would live there until she passed away in the house in 1972.

This house was my permanent residence until I left for grad school in Chapel Hill in 1979. Even then I would come back many a weekend to see my mom or just hang out. My mom lived there until her dementia and another broken hip made it impossible. Save for the occasional renter and my sporadic visits, the house sat empty for the last number of years.

Given all the things this house saw, I have been asked whether I am happy or sad about selling the house. Actually, I am quite happy. Aaron, the new owner, is excited about buying the house and he loves the fact that basics of the house have not changed since it was built in 1927 (or so). Aaron has plans to make this a home for he and his partner and I think it will be the showplace that I had neither the time nor the inclination to make it. He will transform something that was becoming a burden for me into a source of joy.

So goodbye old house. Protect Aaron and his partner from the elements and give them another 50 years of memories just as you have given them to me.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Smug Mugs In NC Senate Need A Reminder Who Put Them There


Leave it to Alex Trebek and Jeopardy to help me with a headline.

Nonetheless, the Republicans in the North Carolina State Senate need a reminder that it was gun owners and their votes that helped them get a super-majority. They currently are dragging their feet on HB 746 - the Omnibus Gun Bill - which has passed the House and which contains constitutional carry as one of its provisions. With the projected adjournment date of July 1st fast approaching, they need to act soon or all gun rights legislation will be lost for 2017.

Grass Roots North Carolina is calling upon gun owners to contact the Republican leadership, all Republican state senators, and their own state senator to urge them to get a move on regarding HB 746.

ARE SMUG REPUBLICANS
BRUSHING OFF GUN VOTERS?


Does it now appear that NC’s Republican Senators were never serious about Constitutional Carry…? 

Are Smug Republicans Working to Kill Constitutional Carry?
After pro-gun posturing by Republicans in the NC Senate, it turns out they may never have had any intention of voting with gun owners on HB746. Senate leadership insisted, as long as gun owners were patient, as long as we were quiet, and we minded our "Ps&Qs," we could count on the Senate to uphold their own Party platform, live up to campaign rhetoric, and push Constitutional Carry to the governor’s desk. Well, we’ve re-learned the lesson about the value of a politician’s promises. With the projected date of adjournment fast approaching, July 1st, Republican senators have yet to budge on Second Amendment legislation.  If they don't move NOW, all gun legislation is likely dead for 2017!

Remind Senators of Approaching Elections
Thank goodness for the ballot box. Every time an election is over, there is always another one just down the road. And nowadays, voters have electronic reminders on their phones, a twenty-four hour news cycle, GRNC’s alerts, and GRNC's “Remember in November” campaign to remind them during Primary season, and again in November, which politicians stood with them, and which did not. Nowadays, finding new blood to send to Raleigh is almost too easy.

With that in mind, we’re asking you to once again phone a couple of key Republican senators, along with your own senator, and to also send an email to the entire Republican Senate. It appears that the entire Republican caucus may be giving you the brush off, and one wonders if they're having a good laugh over the little trick they played: “Be patient with us, and we’ll live up to our Party’s platform and our campaign promises.”

Wipe That Smug Smile off Their Faces
Well, we’re not laughing, and if these senators do not immediately redeem themselves in the eyes of gun rights supporters, we the voters will have the last laugh—during election season. Below, see how you can convey this message to the Republicans in the Senate, particularly a couple of senators in leadership positions.


IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!


  • CALL KEY SENATE REPUBLICANS AND YOUR SENATOR (Do this immediately. Time is running out. Leave a voice-mail if you must): Phone numbers for two key Senate leaders are listed below. Use the link provided find your own senator’s phone number. Use the following text to deliver a phone message:
Hello, I am calling Senator [name] because I’m incensed over the treatment gun owners like me are receiving from Senate leadership, and by extension, from all Senate Republicans. Gun voters like me have been politely requesting the advancement of HB746, and we’ve been patiently waiting amid promises that the bill will be heard in caucus and sent to the Senate floor for a vote. None of this is happening and time is up. You must move HB746 Thursday (June 22).

It's beginning to seem as though gun owners  were duped by the double-talk of establishment politicians. With this in mind, I demand that HB746 be sent to the floor for a vote, and then on to the Governor’s desk immediately. If it is not, you can be 100% sure that this will not be forgotten, and I will be looking for a primary candidate in 2018. Reminders on my phone will be set so I don’t forget how the Senator treated me during a non-election year, and I will be paying close attention to GRNC alerts and their “Remember in November” campaign during 2018. Get HB746 to the floor, and to the Governor’s desk now. Thank you.
  • EMAIL THE ALL SENATE REPUBLICANS: use the copy/paste email address list(s) below, and the copy/paste text provided under ‘Deliver This Message.’
CONTACT INFO

Sen. Phil Berger: (919) 733-5708
Sen. Bill Rabon: (919) 733-5963
Click Here to find your Senator, and call him/her, too
(or go to: http://www.ncleg.net/representation/WhoRepresentsMe.aspx).

NC Senate Republicans copy/paste email *list(s):

John.Alexander@ncleg.net; Deanna.Ballard@ncleg.net; Chad.Barefoot@ncleg.net; Tamara.Barringer@ncleg.net; Phil.Berger@ncleg.net; Dan.Bishop@ncleg.net; Danny.Britt@ncleg.net; Andrew.Brock@ncleg.net; Harry.Brown@ncleg.net; Bill.Cook@ncleg.net; David.Curtis@ncleg.net; Warren.Daniel@ncleg.net;

Jim.Davis@ncleg.net; Cathy.Dunn@ncleg.net; Chuck.Edwards@ncleg.net; Rick.Gunn@ncleg.net; Kathy.Harrington@ncleg.net; Ralph.Hise@ncleg.net; Rick.Horner@ncleg.net; Brent.Jackson@ncleg.net; Joyce.Krawiec@ncleg.net; Michael.Lee@ncleg.net; Tom.McInnis@ncleg.net; Wesley.Meredith@ncleg.net;

Paul.Newton@ncleg.net; Louis.Pate@ncleg.net; Ron.Rabin@ncleg.net; Bill.Rabon@ncleg.net; Shirley.Randleman@ncleg.net; Norman.Sanderson@ncleg.net; Jeff.Tarte@ncleg.net; Jerry.Tillman@ncleg.net; Tommy.Tucker@ncleg.net; Trudy.Wade@ncleg.net; Andy.Wells@ncleg.net


*Spam filters or email program limitations may cause the need to send more than one email, to cover the entire list of representatives. If so, the list above is split into three pieces, for your convenience.

DELIVER THIS MESSAGE


Suggested Subject:
"Move HB746 Now or Face Voters' Wrath"  

Dear Senator:

I am writing today because it appears that the Republican Senate’s interest in passing Constitutional Carry and other pro-gun legislation, in the form of HB746, may have been entirely insincere.
To be clear: I am insisting that HB746 be moved through caucus and to the Senate floor on Thursday, June 22nd; not a day later. I fear that senators’ talk about gun rights was only posturing designed to hush gun owners while Republicans quietly brushed us off. I am insisting you alleviate that fear with action. 

This non-action on gun rights is unacceptable, and I assure you, if the Republicans in the Senate do not redeem themselves by sending HB746 to the floor for a vote, and ultimately to the Governor’s desk, there will be heavy political consequences. Keep in mind, after you adjourn this year, there is yet another legislative session next year, and gun owners like me will not stop pushing for our civil rights. We will continue to demand that you live up to your pro-gun rhetoric.

Thank goodness for the ballot box, and the times we live in do indeed complement the ballot box quite well. Never have voters had so much power at their fingertips. Memories have never been longer, with electronic reminders on our phones (which can be setup years ahead of the next election), a twenty-four hour news cycle, GRNC alerts, and GRNC’s “Remember in November” campaign to name a few useful tools. Yes, these simple tools remind gun voters like me, during Primary season, and again in November, which politicians stood with me, and which did not during an odd-numbered year. 

Frankly, I am incensed over your treatment of gun owners like me. We’ve done our job. We have consistently renewed your veto-proof majority, and supported you when you needed us, with our money and our votes. Now, as our representatives, it’s time to live up to your end of the bargain. Support the Party platform you profess to believe in. Follow through on your pro-Second Amendment campaign rhetoric.

Move HB746 to the Senate floor for a vote now---on Thursday, June 22nd. Vote “yes,” and send it to the Governor’s desk. Voters will not forget your actions during this critical time.

I will be monitoring your actions on Constitutional Carry through alerts from Grass Roots North Carolina.


Respectfully,

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

One Of My Grail Guns


We all have them. It may have been a gun that our dads' had and let us shoot when we were younger that somehow got lost over the years. Or, it might have been a rifle in a cartridge that we read about in an old gun magazine that the grizzled gun writer told us was the be-all and end-all of rifle cartridges. Then again, it could be the one model of an old military rifle that completes our collection.

Two rifles that come to mind for me as grail guns would be a bolt action chambered in .257 Roberts (Ackley Improved versions would be OK, too) and the M94 which was the first Swedish Mauser. I remember writing Jim Carmichel of Outdoor Life asking about the .257 Roberts and he was nice enough to send a short letter back. I wish I knew what became of that letter. As to the M94, I have the M96, the M38 (my first C&R), and even the AG-42 Ljungman in my collection of Swedish rifles but no M94.

Ian McCollum of Forgotten Weapons just released an excellent video on the M94 and the later M94-14. He goes over their history and then points out the difference between the two.





Ian goes on to provide this thumbnail about the Swedish M94:
When Sweden decided to replace its Remington Rolling Block rifles with a more modern repeating rifle design, they tested models from Mauser, Mannlicher, Lee, and Krag. The Mauser 1893 was chosen as the winner of the competition, with a few modifications (most notably a change to allow the safety to be engaged whether the striker was cocked or not). A carbine was adopted first - the infantry rifle would follow a few years later. An initial batch of m/1894 carbines was purchased from Mauser Oberndorf, to start the military transition while the Carl Gustav factory tooled up to begin licensed production.

The original m/94 Swedish carbines used a heavy nosecap to protect the front sight, but did not have a fitting for a bayonet. This was changed in 1914, with new production guns being fitted with a Lee-Enfield style bayonet lug below the muzzle (and many existing carbines were updated to this new configuration) and designated the model m/94-14. Production continued sporadically until 1932, with most of the guns being made in the first decade of the 20th century and during World War One.

Interestingly, Sweden did not adopt a spitzer version of the 6.5x55mm cartridge until 1941 - much later than most other nations. When this was done, the sights on the existing carbines were not modified. Instead, a range conversion table was affixed to the right side of the stock, indicating proper sight settings and holdovers for using the new ammunition.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Now We Have To Get HR 746 Through The NC Senate


Now that HR 746 - the Omnibus Gun Bill - has passed the North Carolina House we need to get it moving through the State Senate. Grass Roots North Carolina issued an alert aimed at getting the bill to the floor of the Senate. As a reminder, the Omnibus Gun Bill includes permitless concealed carry or constitutional carry.

The sooner we can get it through the Senate, the sooner we can get it to Gov. Roy Cooper's desk. Assuming the likely veto, the key to its passage will be convincing six of the eight House Republicans to stand with their party and not with Michael Bloomberg.

TELL YOUR SENATORS THAT
H746 NEEDS TO BE PASSED UNAMENDED!


The Senate Needs Your Support
As H746 moves through the North Carolina Senate, it's critical that we keep telling our elected representatives that H746 is a good bill that will help law-abiding North Carolinas stay safe, and that the bill needs to be passed by the Senate without crippling amendments. This is especially important with well-heeled special interest groups opposing the lawful exercise of your fundamental, Constitutionally-protected freedoms.

IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!


  • CALL KEY SENATORS: use the phone numbers provided below to phone these key players in the NC Senate. You can use the text directly below to deliver a message of encouragement regarding HB 746. Please add your Senator to this list as well!

    Hello, I am personally contacting Senator [name] to encourage [him/her] to pass H746, the Omnibus Gun Bill, to pass it quickly, and to pass it without amendments. This bill has the full support of the people. Thank you.

  • Phone Numbers for Key Senators: 
    Sen. Tamara Barringer – (919) 733-5653
    Sen. Danny Britt – (919) 733-5651
    Sen. Ron Rabin – (919) 733-5748
    Sen. Norman Sanderson – (919) 733-5706
    Sen. Tommy Tucker – (919) 733-7659
  • EMAIL SENATE REPUBLICANS: use the copy/paste email address list below, and the copy/paste text provided under ‘Deliver This Message.’
     
  • Copy/Paste Email Address List for Senate Republicans:
    John.Alexander@ncleg.net; Deanna.Ballard@ncleg.net; Chad.Barefoot@ncleg.net; Tamara.Barringer@ncleg.net; Phil.Berger@ncleg.net; Dan.Bishop@ncleg.net; Danny.Britt@ncleg.net; Andrew.Brock@ncleg.net; Harry.Brown@ncleg.net; Bill.Cook@ncleg.net; David.Curtis@ncleg.net; Warren.Daniel@ncleg.net; Jim.Davis@ncleg.net; Cathy.Dunn@ncleg.net; Chuck.Edwards@ncleg.net; Rick.Gunn@ncleg.net; Kathy.Harrington@ncleg.net; Ralph.Hise@ncleg.net; Rick.Horner@ncleg.net; Brent.Jackson@ncleg.net; Joyce.Krawiec@ncleg.net; Michael.Lee@ncleg.net; Tom.McInnis@ncleg.net; Wesley.Meredith@ncleg.net; Paul.Newton@ncleg.net; Louis.Pate@ncleg.net; Ron.Rabin@ncleg.net; Bill.Rabon@ncleg.net; Shirley.Randleman@ncleg.net; Norman.Sanderson@ncleg.net; Jeff.Tarte@ncleg.net; Jerry.Tillman@ncleg.net; Tommy.Tucker@ncleg.net; Trudy.Wade@ncleg.net; Andy.Wells@ncleg.net


DELIVER THIS MESSAGE


Suggested Subject:
"Voters Support H746, the Omnibus Gun Bill. Pass it Quickly!"


Dear Senator:

I am writing this brief note today to encourage you to move H746 to the Senate floor and pass it without changes. This bill has the full support of the people.

I will continue to monitor your actions on this matter through alerts from Grass Roots North Carolina.

Respectfully,

Friday, June 16, 2017

The DC Personal Protection Reciprocity Act (Updated with text of bill)


There is nothing like an attack on themselves to spur Congress to action. The day after the shooting at the Republican baseball team practice, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) has introduced the DC Personal Protection Reciprocity Act. The act would grant carry reciprocity to anyone with a permit issued by their home state to carry legally in the District. While this is a good first effort, it would still mean that people from highly restrictive carry states like New Jersey, New York, and California (among others) would be screwed.

Looking over the list of co-sponsors of this bill, I see Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) who used to be my Congressman and who is now head of the Freedom Caucus. I also see Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) who is or was the owner of ProShots indoor range and training facility in Winston-Salem before being elected to Congress. I also see Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) who was one of those under fire at that Alexandria baseball field.

HR 2909 has been referred to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Four of the sponsors of the bill sit on this committee.

Below is the press release on the bill from Rep. Massie:
Washington, D.C - Today, Congressman Thomas Massie, Chairman of the Congressional Second Amendment Caucus, introduced H.R 2909, the D.C Personal Protection Reciprocity Act. This legislation would allow individuals with a valid concealed carry permit issued from their home state to carry their firearms in the District of Columbia.

“After the horrific shooting at the Republican Congressional Baseball practice, there will likely be calls for special privileges to protect politicians,” Congressman Massie explained. “Our reaction should instead be to protect the right of all citizens guaranteed in the Constitution: the right to self-defense. I do not want to extend a special privilege to politicians, because the right to keep and bear arms is not a privilege, it is a God-given right protected by our Constitution.”

“If not for the heroic efforts of the United States Capitol Police at the ball field yesterday, things could have been much worse. What’s always evident in these situations is this: the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

“To ensure public safety, we need to repeal laws that keep good guys from carrying guns, since not everyone has a personal police detail,” stated Congressman Massie. “The right to keep and bear arms is the common person's first line of defense in these situations, and it should never be denied.”

Congress has the authority to legislate in this area pursuant to Article I, Section 8, Clause 17 of the U.S. Constitution, which gives Congress the authority to “exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever over such District as may become the Seat of the Government of the United States.”

Although Virginia extends reciprocity to concealed carry permit holders in many states, the members of Congress and accompanying staff traveled directly from D.C., and were traveling back to D.C after the practice was over. It was D.C.’s harsh gun control laws that prevented these law-abiding citizens from exercising their right to bear arms.

Original Cosponsors include Reps Trent Franks (R-AZ), Scott Perry (R-PA), Steve Chabot (R-OH), Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), Ted Budd (R-NC), Barry Loudermilk (R-GA), Mark Meadows (R-NC), Jody Hice (R-GA), Justin Amash (R-MI), Mo Brooks (R- AL), Alex Mooney (R-WV), Rod Blum (R-IA), Ken Buck (R-CO), Todd Rokita (R-IN), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Keith Rothfus (R-PA) David Schweikert (R-AZ), Rick Allen (R-GA), Tedd Yoho (R-FL), Randy Weber (R-TX), and Bill Posey (R-FL).
Actual text of the bill has not yet been uploaded to Congress.gov. I have a request into Rep. Massie's staff for a copy of the text.

UPDATE: I was able to get the text to HR 2909 thanks to Jennifer Krantz who works in Rep. Massie's office. I have embedded it below:


Thursday, June 15, 2017

A Most Sensible Suggestion


Joe Huffman who blogs at The View from North Central Idaho and who is the man behind Boomershoot has made a most sensible suggestion given the events yesterday in Alexandria.

I would like to suggest that congress drop baseball as the annual sport competition between Democrats and Republicans. If this had been practice for a three-gun match or even a IPDA, USPSA, or steel match fewer innocent people would have been injured.

He's correct, of course. If any of these members of Congress had been armed with even a pistol, it would have brought more force to bear on the shooter and ended things sooner.

Where I see problems arising is trying to get the sides to agree on what rifles are OK to use, how large a magazine is allowed, etc. For example, given how many Democrats are pushing for restrictions on standard capacity magazines, would there be an agreement that only California-compliant 10 round magazines could be used?

One way to get around would be to make it a NSSF Rimfire Challenge sort of event. Rimfire means no arguments on whether it is a "high powered assault rifle" or merely a rifle firing an intermediate cartridge with ugly cosmetics. It would by definition not be "high powered". Moreover, the rulebook allows magazines to be restricted to 10-round capacity so that eliminates that argument. Finally, since from what I can tell, all the targets are steel plates of one non-human form or another, no one could bring "you're a racist" accusations by saying that black human silhouette targets actually represent African-Americans.

Do I think congressional Democrats and Republicans will make the switch from baseball to action shooting? No but it is fun to speculate about it.


In Gun News From The Sub-Polar Region To The North


The Canadian Firearms Blog is reporting that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's Director of Firearm Regulatory Services has decreed that 80% AR lowers are prohibited. The rationale given is that they can be converted into M16 lower receivers. This prohibition also extends to receiver flats for the AK-47/74 and AMD-63/65.

From the memo issued by Robert J. O'Reilly of the RCMP:
Receiver blanks are firearms since they are nearly completed receivers and fall within the adaptability clause of the firearms definition in Section 2 of the Criminal Code. In other words, a receiver blank is considered a "barrelled weapon from which any shot, bullet or other projectile can be discharged and that is capable of causing serious bodily injury or death in a person, and includes any frame or receiver of such a barrelled weapon and anything that can be adapted for use as a firearm". As such, they are subject to the firearms-related regulatory and enforcement provisions of the Firearms Act and the Criminal Code, including licensing and registration.

Depending on their properties, receiver blanks can fall into any one of the three firearm classifications: non-restricted, restricted, or prohibited.
 
The memo goes on to say that individuals have no legal authority "to possess or acquire prohibited receiver blanks". The memo contains a table listing many of the most common receiver blanks and their classifications under Canadian firearms law. The only receiver blank that is listed as "non-restricted" are ones for the Ruger 10/22. The rest are either prohibited or restricted.

The Canadian Firearms Blog goes on to report some hearsay evidence behind the RCMP's decision and the reaction within the Canadian firearms community.
A user on a popular Canadian firearms forum on Reddit, who wished to remain anonymous, has reportedly spoken with RCMP firearms techs in Ottawa, stating they had explained that their interpretation is “so long as the blank (in whatever state it may be in) can be ‘easily’ turned into a firearm, it’s a firearm, and since machining is ‘easy’ that any completion of the receiver is enough.”

This decision by the RCMP has drawn considerable criticism, with some expressing concern that, by the verbiage used in the memo, any unmilled piece of alunimium or polymer in the size or shape of an AR-15 receiver can be affected, and some fearing that this is the foundation to reclassify AR-15s as a whole.
I feel for our Canadian gunny friends. While I have neither the skill nor the inclination to complete an 80% lower, I understand the appeal especially if you live in either Canada or California.  I doubt that they are going to get any relief from these onerous regulations in the immediate future given their respective governing parties.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Hearing That Should Have Taken Place This Morning


The House Committee on Natural Resources' Federal Lands Subcommittee was supposed to conduct a hearing this morning on the Sportman's Heritage and Recreational Act aka SHARE Act. However, as most people know, a deranged Bernie Sanders supporter from Belleville, Illinois decided it would be a good idea to shoot at Congressional Republicans practicing for a baseball game. Thus, the hearing was canceled. It is unclear when it will be rescheduled.

Numerous parts of the SHARE Act had been passed in previous sessions of Congress but never made it to the President's desk for signing. This included measures that would have allocated monies for target ranges, would have protected lead-based fishing tackle from lawsuits based on the Toxic Substances Control Act, and would have expanded fishing and hunting opportunities on Federal lands. There were, however, some major additions to the SHARE Act including rolling the Hearing Protection Act into it, replacing the sporting use test with an all lawful use test for non-NFA imports of firearms and ammunition, and prohibiting the BATFE from reclassifying popular rifle ammunition as armor piercing. Sebastian covers the addition of the Hearing Protection Act here and the hearing memo gives a good thumbnail outline of the details of the SHARE Act.

The lone opposition witness was to be former ATF Special Agent David Chipman who now works for Gabby Giffords' American for Responsible Solutions. I'm sure his inclusion was aimed primarily at the Hearing Protection Act.

In support of the bill was to be Jeff Crane, President of the Congressional Sportsman's Foundation; Rob Keck, Director of Conservation for Bass Pro Shops and former CEO of the National Wild Turkey Federation; and Jason Ouimet, Director of Federal Affairs for the NRA.

The Subcommittee staff prepared an interesting 38-page memo showing the changes in the legal language that would result from the passage of the SHARE Act as it now stands. The changes are color coded which makes for a quick way to see the addition and subtractions to the law. Additions are color-coded in yellow and deletions are in blue.

Passage of the SHARE Act in its entirety would be good for both Gun Culture 1.0 and 2.0. I'm sure the addition of the Hearing Protection Act and the replacement of the sporting use test are red flags for the gun prohibitionists but now is the time for the Republicans to step up and show they are worthy of the past support from the outdoor and shooting communities.

UPDATE: Sebastian wonders whether or not today's shooting and the hearing cancellation will be the death of the SHARE Act. It's a valid question but as one of those commenting noted the bill contains too much "red meat" for the hunting and fishing community to just ignore it.

Monday, June 12, 2017

How I Spent My Weekend


While the Complementary Spouse spent the weekend playing with our granddaughter Olivia, I spent the weekend at Andrew Branca's The Law of Self Defense Level 1 and Level 2 classes. They were held at the Triangle Shooting Academy in Raleigh, NC. 

I learn best by taking notes and I came home with pages and pages of notes. There was so much information presented that I will be digesting and processing what I learned for weeks. I plan to go through my handwritten notes and type them out so as to reinforce what I learned and to make sure I'll be able to translate my semi-legible scribblings while it is still fresh in my mind.

Speaking generally, we think we know what legal self defense is but I'd wager even most criminal lawyers don't know what it takes to be legitimate. Legally, self defense is composed of five parts and all must be present for it to be valid. If you are missing even one small part, then it all falls apart and you will be at the mercy of either prosecutorial discretion or 12 people who couldn't get out of jury duty.

The five parts are:
  • Innocence
  • Imminence
  • Reasonableness
  • Avoidance
  • Proportionality
Another key thing to remember about the law of self defense is that it has developed out of not only the black letter law but appellate rulings involving people named Poo Poo who date drug addicts and 16-year old baby mamas out clubbing. These people are not the squeaky clean plaintiffs like a Dick Heller or an Otis McDonald or a Rhonda Ezell that you find in Second Amendment civil rights case brought by Alan Gura. They are what they are and the consequences of their actions impact us legally every day as we go about our daily lives and try to stay alive and out of trouble.

We discuss DGUs or defensive gun uses every episode of the Polite Society Podcast. It is always the most downloaded segment of each show. Knowing what I know now I will be looking at these DGUs with a much more critical eye.

I attended Andrew's live classes. Both the Level 1 and Level 2 classes are available online. Given that each cost $249, you may not be able to afford that and I can understand that. Nonetheless, you should buy a copy of his book, The Law of Self Defense, 3rd Edition. I'd buy the paperback edition so that you can make notes in it and highlight passages. Better yet, get the paperback edition and then purchase the Kindle version which is only $2.99 if you have the paperback.

You hope you never are ever involved in any incident involving armed self defense. If you are, then you must, as Andrew continually pointed out in the class, win both the physical battle and the legal battle. The first you need to win to preserve your life and the second you need to win to preserve your freedom.



Friday, June 9, 2017

Texas GOP Makes Brilliant Hire


The Texas GOP named my friend (and fellow co-host of the Polite Society Podcast) Rachel Malone as their new Operations Director. The announcement was made on Wednesday in the release below.
Texas GOP Statement on the Hiring of Rachel Malone as the Operations Director

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

Austin- The Republican Party of Texas is proud to announce the hire of Rachel Malone to serve as the Operations Director. Rachel comes to the RPT after an extensive history as a grassroots activist in Texas, and has hosted countless legislative days at the Texas State Capitol and trained activists across the state on how to engage the legislature.

RPT Chairman James Dickey said this about the hiring of Rachel: “I could not be more proud to have brought Rachel on board. Her expertise in Party organization, legislative processes, and the RPT Platform will allow our Party to function at a high level within the grassroots, the backbone of our Party. Without question, Rachel is the perfect fit for the Party and we look forward to her contributions to the RPT.”
For those that don't know, Rachel is a certified instructor for the Texas CHL, a Massad Ayoob Group certified instructor, the founder of Texas Firearms Freedom, and, last but not least, a professional musician. Rachel was also formerly a Shoot Boss for Project Appleseed. That someone who has been so intimately involved in the gun culture is now in a position of influence within the Texas Republican Party can mean nothing but good things for gun rights in Texas.

Congratulations to Rachel and congratulations to the Texas GOP for showing the intelligence to hire someone of Rachel's caliber.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Constitutional Carry Passes Vote In NC House But.....


House Bill 746, the Omnibus Gun Bill which contains a provision for permitless concealed carry, passed its first two votes on the floor of the North Carolina House yesterday. The bill will have its third and final vote on Thursday. It passed on a vote of 65 yea, 54 nay, and 1 not voting. All weakening amendments were either defeated or tabled.

This should be a moment of joy and celebration for gun rights supporters in North Carolina and the nation. It should be except it isn't. The bill if it passes the North Carolina State Senate will almost certainly be vetoed by Gov. Roy Cooper (D-NC). For the bill to have been veto-proof it required 72 yea votes. In other words, the bill needed either a few Democrat supporters which was unlikely or fewer Republican defections.

Now the question that remains is whether those eight Republicans are anti-rights, have been bought off by Michael Bloomberg and his hired guns, or both. It is too soon to see if campaign contributions will be made by Bloomberg to any of these eight. Nonetheless, it appears that Bloomberg's hiring of lobbyist Chris McClure was a smart tactical move given McClure's Republican connections. As for their stand on gun rights, most of them were considered wobbly given their ratings by GRNC with only two having 3 stars or better ratings.

So the question remains as to whether any of the "Elite Eight" or "Elitest Eight" (as they are called by Grass Roots North Carolina) will change their vote Thursday.

In the meantime, here are the eight Republicans that voted against constitutional carry and against their own party's platform. Links to their legislative webpage are in the captions below each picture.

Rep. Ted Davis (R-New Hanover)
Rep. John Faircloth (R-Guilford))
Rep. John Fraley (R-Iredell)
Rep. D. Craig Horn (R-Union)
Rep. Frank Iler (R-Brunswick)
Rep. Chuck McGrady (R-Henderson)
Rep. Samuel Watford (R-Davidson)
Rep. Linda Hunt Williams (R-Wake)

You can read GRNC's alert on the defection of these eight Republicans here. It contains a pre-written email to send to them.

If these eight had voted against funding abortions or against free lunches for school kids you know the Democrats would be sending their minions to demonstrate in front of their homes and offices. The news media would run the story as the lead item on the local broadcast. I rarely see gun rights supporters adopting their Alinskyite tactics. The only exception I can think of is the demonstrations by activists from the New Jersey Second Amendment Society (NJ2AS) outside the home of Senate President Steve Sweeney after the death of Carol Bowne who was murdered while waiting for a carry permit. I can't say whether or not these type of demonstrations would be effective in North Carolina but they certainly would get the media's attention.

UPDATE: A reader who is active in North Carolina gun rights politics sent me this by email and he is 100% correct.
With respect to your article, I would add only that what matters is not how the eight voted today, but rather how they would vote on an override. Many who oppose the bill will vote for an override out of loyalty to their party.
HB 746 passed its Third Reading yesterday on a vote of 64-51. Rep. Craig Horn and Rep. Sam Watford who are mentioned above did not vote as they had excused absences. Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) did vote and he voted for passage.

The Omnibus Gun Bill has been ordered engrossed and will now be sent to the North Carolina State Senate for their consideration.