Is it just me…

January 29, 2009 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Gun Rights 

…or have gun rights gone mainstream?

I spend most of my time in the blogosphere reading the gun blogs, but I will occasionally browse over to the some of the better known politics blogs as well.  And I see a lot more gunblogs on their blogrolls.  And the Examiner has taken a local column written by David Codrea, made it national, backfilled the local column, and expanded the local to about half a dozen cities, including my own native Charlotte.

It’s standing room only at my local range/gun shop.  They frequently have an hour’s wait to get a lane.

Then, yesterday, on the local radio station, they interviewd Dan Starks about concealed carry, and it was an amazing, upbeat interview talking about how great it was that people, women especially, were learning to protect themselves.  And if click over to Dan’s site, he is running CCW classes every week, sometimes twice a week, and they are full!

As an aside, Dan is an excellent instructor.  He taught the CCW class for both my wife and me.  Great guy, great class.

Another one bites the dust

January 29, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: NRA, RKBA 

Looks like San Francisco is dropping their ban on firearms in public housing.  Great job by NRA and CPRA

Cue Brady wailing in three….two….

Well, it is a stimulus bill

January 28, 2009 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Politics 

Looks like all kinds of things are getting stimulated.

More crackup on the left

January 26, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Politics 

MoDo weighs in on what a terrible person Kirsten Gillibrand is.

All you need to know, folks, is that she pisses off Maureen Dowd, Dianne Feinstein, and Carolyn McCarthy.

H/T to Sebastian

Quote of the Day

January 26, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Politics, Quote of the day 

Today’s quote of the day comes from Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, via Thirdpower.  Hot Rod is a sad panda because he got caught in corruption so obvious, blatant, and over the top that even the people of Illinios couldn’t turn a blind eye.

“If they can do it to a governor, they can do it to you.”

That’s the problem, buddy.  You are the antecedent of “They” in that sentence.  And you have been doing it to us for a long time.  Not so much fun being a bottom, is it?

In fairness to Blago…he probably didn’t realize that his real sin was marring the ascension of The One.

Another prespective on Gun Shows

January 26, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Obama Gun Agenda 

SayUncle has a link to an article in the Richmond Times Dispatch saying essentially the same thing as my earlier post.

ParaOrdnance is coming to Charlotte

January 26, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Cool Stuff 

From the Charlotte business journal.

Wonder if they are going to have factory tours?

Saving the Gun Show “loophole”

January 26, 2009 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Obama Gun Agenda 

This is part two of our series on gun control myths.   In part one, we examined the Tiahrt amendment, and why it was important to gun rights.  In this episode, we will take a look at the “gun show loophole.”

One of the common refrains from anti-rights organizations is the need to close the “gun show loophole.”  They would have one believe that gun shows are places where normal firearm laws don’t apply.  What exactly is the “gun show loophole” and why is it important to liberty?

In 1994, Congress enacted the “Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act”  The act contained several provisions, but among the requirements was that all federally licensed firearms dealers perform a background check before selling a firearm.  As an aside, the Journal of the American Medical Association studied the effects of the Brady law in August, 2000 and found that:

Changes in rates of homicide and suicide for treatment and control states
were not significantly different, except for firearm suicides among persons aged 55
years or older…implementation of the Brady Act appears to have been associated with
reductions in the firearm suicide rate for persons aged 55 years or older but not with
reductions in homicide rates or overall suicide rates.

So, the Brady law (which has not impacted homicide rates) requires a backround check when licensed dealers sell firearms.  Surely this law doesn’t apply at a gun show…that’s the gun show loophole, right?  Um…no, not extactly.  A gun show is just like any other location…it requires any licensed dealer to conduct a background check before selling a firearm.

So what’s the loophole?  Lots of people have never been to a gun show, so let me set the stage for you.  Imagine a hall, filled with people buying and selling all kind of things: guns, ammunition, reloading supplies, holsters, militaria, gun parts.  There is always some guy seling jerky.  For some reason, at the gun shows near me there is always somebody selling gutter service.  At any rate, there are lots of folks selling things.  Only some of them are licensed firearms dealers.  Some of them are guys selling jerky at a gun show.  The law only requires people who are gun dealers to be licensed to sell guns.

Now, lets assume that the jerky man has a gun he wants to sell.  He can put it out on his table along side the jerky and sell it, just like anything else he might own.  Is he a dealer?  No…he’s just some guy with a gun to sell.  If he sells it, it is a private transaction between two people, not a transaction between a dealer and a customer.  Thus, the jerky man doesn’t have to perform a background check.  Moreover, he isn’t able to do a background check…use of the NICS system is restricted to…you guessed it…gun dealers.

So, does that mean I can just sell any of my guns to anyone I want?  Not hardly.  First of all, there are still a bevy of Federal laws to contend with.  For example, it is illegal to sell a handgun to someone who is not a resident of your state.  It’s still illegal to sell to prohibited persons, felons for example.  And you have to contend with any state laws.  In North Carolina, for example, any sale of a pistol must be accompanied by a pistol purchase permit, which is only issued after a background check.

The only way to close the “gun show loophole” is to prohibit all transfer of firearms without involving a federally licensed dealer.  And I mean ALL transfers.  A father giving his daughter a rifle, for example. My granddad giving me his rifle from WWII.  And, yes, sales between private parties…whether at a gun show or not.

There is one additional effect that closing the “loophole” would have.  It would create a defacto gun registry…no firearms would be able to transferred without updating the federal government.  And history has proven, from Germany in the 1930’s, to Australia, the United Kingdom, and California in the 1990’s, that registration always leads to confiscation.

In the next part of the series, we will examine the “Assualt Weapons” ban, and why it doesn’t reduce crime.

UPDATE: SayUncle has a link to an article in the Richmond Times Dispatch saying essentially the same thing.  That’s what happens when you blog before reading your blogroll.

What use are intellectuals?

January 26, 2009 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Politics 

Ted at Bore Patch has an excellent essay on politics among the intellectual classes.  It’s great reading…especially the linked sources.

Among points that he makes is that orthodoxy has replaced rigourous scrutiny in academia.  Ideas are made to be absorbed and parroted, not tested for truth.  Any deviation from the broader agenda is harshly criticized by the broader left.  The screeds against Kirsten Gillibrand are evidence of that.  She is a Democrat who does not immediately embrace the agenda of the anti-gun-rights left.  The AP opens their story about her this way:

Instantly opening a rift among New York Democrats, Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand – a little-known, pro-gun Democrat from a rural Republican district – won appointment Friday to the Senate seat left vacant by Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The article goes to quote Carolyn McCarthy and Mike Bloomberg on what a terrible person Gillibrand is for opposing further restrictions on gun rights.

This requirement for integrated orthodoxy is having a backlash effect against the left, despite the current election results.  As Ted says, they are damaging the brand.  This is why you often encounter people who are “reformed liberals” but rarely “reformed conservatives.”  Again, consider the gun rights movement.  We argue with facts, statistics, and logic.  The arguments from the anti crowd begin with ominous innuendo (“It will be like the Wild West….shootouts in the streets!”) and quickly degenerate to crying and name calling (“Gun Lobby, Gun Lobby, Gun Lobby!”)  As Sebastian points out here, when you spend political capital, it is just like spending money.  Once it is spent, it is gone.  Because the coalition on the left requires this integrated orthodoxy, they spend a lot of political capital.

There is a downside to all this.  Once someone seriously begins to examine part of the agenda, and realize there isn’t a lot of “there” there, it naturally leads one to question the rest of the agenda.  Certainly, that was what led me to my passion for gun rights.  The more I studied the issue, the more data that I examined, the more I realized how foolish the arguments against gun rights were.  Then the skepticism expands.  (“If they are that wrong on guns…why wouldn’t we assume they are wrong on global warming?”)   The whole thing then colapses like a house of cards.

As gunnies, we can use this to our advantage.  There are a lot of people taking a very critical look at the left these days.  Now is a great time to encourage friends who are not gunnies to take a look at the gun rights issue.

A look at Obama’s agenda

January 25, 2009 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Newbie Info, Politics 

I was chatting with a friend recently (Hi Liz!) and talk turned to…ahem…current affairs.  I mentioned that our president was exactly friendly to gun rights.  She asked me what BHO’s plan was for guns and gun rights.

So here you go, Liz…from the White House website:

Address Gun Violence in Cities: Obama and Biden would repeal the Tiahrt Amendment, which restricts the ability of local law enforcement to access important gun trace information, and give police officers across the nation the tools they need to solve gun crimes and fight the illegal arms trade. Obama and Biden also favor commonsense measures that respect the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, while keeping guns away from children and from criminals. They support closing the gun show loophole and making guns in this country childproof. They also support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent.

Let’s break that down, piece by piece.  The Tiahrt Amendment was introduced to attempt to ensure gun trace information is restricted to law enforcement.  It does NOT prevent law enforcement from tracing firearms.  It prevents the results of that data from being shared with inappropriate third parties.  And it prevents snooping by political hacks.
From the ATF’s 2007 trace report for North Carolina:

(1) Firearm traces are designed to assist law enforcement authorities in conducting investigations by tracking
the sale and possession of specific firearms. Law enforcement agencies may request firearms traces for any
reason, and those reasons are not necessarily reported to the Federal Government. Not all firearms used in
crime are traced and not all firearms traced are used in crime.
(2) Firearms selected for tracing are not chosen for purposes ofdetermining which types, makes or models of
firearms are used for illicit purposes. The firearms selected do not constitute a random sample and should not
be considered representative of the larger universe of all firearms used by criminals, or any subset of that
universe. Firearms are normally traced to the first retail seller, and sources reported for firearms traced do not
necessarily represent the sources or methods by which firearms in general are acquired for use in crime.

In other words…you can’t draw any conclusions from the raw data. But that is exactly the kind of conculsion that has been attempted in the past. Smith and Wesson, for example has been a target of this kind of harassment under the Clinton administration. “Smith and Wesson handguns are x% of traced guns. Thus, Smith and Wesson are the ‘guns of choice’ of criminals. We need to shut them down.” S&W was sued by Andrew Cuomo, then head of HUD. S&W was forced to settle out of court, and the resulting uproar in the gun community almost bankrupted the company. It did force its eventual sale. This kind of nonsense is dangerous to liberty. It’s an attempt to use civil lawsuits to force what cannot be accomplished politically.

And that’s why Tiahrt is important.

In my next post, I’ll take a look at the “Gun Show Loophole.”

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