Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Texas Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground Law Makes it Through Committee

Yesterday I drove down to Austin and attended the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee's public hearing on HB 284, the Texas Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law. I went to be a part of the process in getting this legislation passed.

One of the first things I noticed when I arrived at the Capitol Building was the large number of AARP members. They were everywhere. The AARP had bussed them in from all over the state, dressed them in the same tee shirts and gave them small signs reading "Utility Reform Now". It is interesting that the AARP can generate enough interest to get hundreds of people to the legislature for the sole purpose of saving a couple of dollars on the monthly electricity bill, but when it comes to legislation that concerns basic freedoms and liberty, only a handful of folks show up.

You can watch a broadcast of the public hearing on HB 284 here. Be warned, the entire meeting lasted over 7 1/2 hours, but the portion concerning HB 284 is only the first 2 hours of the broadcast.

The first person to take the stand was Representative Driver. Rep. Driver is the author of HB 284, and I had a chance to meet and speak with him before and after the hearing. Rep. Driver introduced his bill and all seemed to be going well until they started taking about the "Committee Substitute" of the bill. It seems that an agreement was made earlier in the day with some of the members who had co-authored the bill, but were not happy with it's content. These changes were necessary to get the bill through the committee. Maybe, just maybe, I was not wrong after all.

The "Committee Substitute" has not yet been posted, but Rep. Driver spoke to it early in the broadcast. Basically there were 4 changes to the original bill, as I have not seen the exact wording, these are as I understood them from Rep. Driver's testimony:

1. Changed this wording "...unlawfully entered, or was attempting to enter unlawfully, the actor's habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment" to clarify that in order for presumption to apply the unlawful entry must be forceful.

2. Added that the habitation, vehicle, or place of business must be occupied. In other words some members thought we would start shooting folks breaking into our vehicles at the mall parking lot.

3. Strikes the affirmative defense to civil action language. Instead provides the crime victim immunity from civil liability for personal injury or death that results from the lawful use of deadly force.

4. Removed this language: "COURT COSTS, ATTORNEY'S FEES, AND OTHER EXPENSES. A defendant who prevails in asserting the affirmative defense described by Section 83.001 may recover from the plaintiff all court costs, reasonable attorney's fees, earned income that was lost as a result of the suit, and other reasonable expenses."

I am going to have to read the Committee Substitute before I can comment. But at the moment I am very disappointed in item #4. The Texas Trial Lawyers Association was the driving force in items 3 and 4, their testimony thanking the committee for making the changes starts at 8:25 into the broadcast.

Carl Wood was next to testify. He is a regular citizen, a CHL holder and an Instructor. He made some very good points for the bill, and his testimony starts at 9:20.

Next to testify for the bill was Susan Buxton, you may better know her at the "Gun Toting Granny" from Arlington. Mrs. Buxton described her ordeal when she had to shoot an intruder in her home. She explained some of the legal aftermath of that shooting and mentioned one thing that I had not known, the goblin was never charged with any crime related to breaking in to her home. He will be getting out of prison in a couple of months on unrelated charges. Mrs. Buxtons testimony starts at 13:15. I had the opportunity to meet Mrs. Buxton after hearing, she is one neat person that I would like to get to know.

Following Mrs. Buxton was Deanna Eggleston (I am totally guessing on spelling, sorry). Ms. Eggleston related her encounter with an intruder late in the night. This man admitted to her that he had come to rape her. What prevented him from doing this was her .357. She did not shoot the goblin, and he was apprehended later. Her testimony starts at 32:35.

Rep. Peña pronounced my name correctly, most do not. I did not testify.

The first to testify against the bill was The Rev. Peter Johnson (youngest aid to Dr Martin Luther King). Rev. Johnson testified about a time when a civil rights worker was severely beaten, and dieing. The police would not allow the man to be taken to a hospital as he was a "nigger lover". Rev. Johnson mentioned that he grabbed a shotgun but was tackled by Andrew Young. Later Dr. King convinced him that violence was not the answer (oh by the way, the kid died). The Reverend never mentioned the Deacons of Defense and their contribution to civil rights. The Reverend also mentioned that he is involved with gun buy back programs in Dallas, he has
"bought back" over 3000 firearms. One statistic he mentioned that I found interesting is that 85% of the guns they purchase in the "buy back" program are stolen. That is 2550 stolen firearms. A thought crossed my mind when he mentioned this statistic. I wondered if the Reverend's gun buy back program was promoting crime in Dallas? If goblins were stealing firearms for the sole purpose of receiving money during the buy back? The Reverend's testimony was very heartfelt and honest. It starts at 39:45

The next testimony against the bill was a representative of the Harris County District Attorney's Office. His testimony starts at 47:00. You do have to view this part of the hearing. His testimony basically stated that the DA's office was against this bill because the presumption of innocence would be difficult for the prosecutor to overcome.

The Texas State Rifle Association was in attendance, but did not testify. I met with James Dark, the Executive Director of the TSRA, after the meeting and he indicated that votes were in to pass the bill on to the house.

The NRA did testify to counter the comments made by the Harris County ADA. Terra Micha (probably misspelled also) represented the NRA. If you are familiar with the Harris County DA's refusal to abide by the Texas Traveling Law, you will get a kick out of her testimony. It starts at time 1:03:50.

A couple of other county DA's testified against the bill, they basically echoed the Harris County ADA and mentioned blood in the streets due to bar fights. and drive by shootings. Totally off topic for this bill. When one of the committee members mentioned that the Dallas County DA was for the bill, the last DA testifying made the mistake of referencing the fact that the Dallas County DA was new and did not really know what he was doing. You will have to watch to see the reaction of the representatives from Dallas. Go to 1:31:15.

The last to testify against the bill was , Texas's very own representative of the Brady Bunch, Marsha McCartney. She pulled out the normal Brady routine and quoted the articles from Orlando and the New York Times that have been fisked left, right and sideways and have been proven to be mostly lies and misrepresentations. Her testimony starts at 1:33:10.

Representative Driver had the opportunity to rebut Marsha McCartney's misuse of facts and make a final statement. His final statement starts at 1:39:30.

The bill was passed on to the full body of the house with the committee's recommendation that it be passed. The vote was 5 to 3 for.

Voting for the bill were Rep's Peña, Vaught, Talton, Riddle, and Pierson.

Voting against the bill were Rep's Mallory-Caraway, Hodge and Moreno. It is interesting that Rep. Mallory-Caraway mentioned a couple of times the amount of email she had in support of the bill, and that the DA in her district was in support of the bill, but still voted against it.

If you would like to read a more concise version, the Dallas Morning News reports here.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Just Got Back From Austin

I took today off and drove down to Austin to attend the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee's public hearing on HB 284 (Texas's version of the Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law). I am going to take some time to wind down from the day and the drive and will most likely wait until tomorrow to post on the hearing. I will say that the committee voted 5 - 3 to send the bill to the full house with a recommendation that it be passed. Portions of the bill were amended prior to the meeting, and I will go into more detail on those in my next post.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Deterring Violent Crime?

When you hear politicians talking about efforts to deter violent crime, most times they are bemoaning the fact that there are "to many guns on the streets" and they attempt to devise legislation to restrict a free citizens right to keep and bear arms. Currently in Texas we have one piece of legislation in committee that looks to "Close the Gun Show Loophole" and another that would do away with private transfers of hand guns and require a waiting period for all hand gun sales. Adding more restrictions onto the back of free citizens will do nothing to reduce violent crime, this has been proven time after time, yet still they persist.

I have an idea...

Why don't they do something about incidents like this?

From the Star Telegram:

By Melody McDonald

FORT WORTH — Law enforcement officials were searching Monday for a 46-year-old convicted felon who escaped Sunday from a facility for parole violators near Fort Worth Meacham International Airport.
Well, you learn something new every day. I did not know they had a special facility for parole violators. This must be a pretty secure facility, seeing as how it houses those who have shown a complete disregard for the laws of the land by blowing it when they had a chance at freedom.

Officials said Eladio Diaz Jr. was last seen about 4:30 p.m. Sunday working on a vehicle with other inmates outside the North Texas Intermediate Sanction Facility, a lock-up at 4600 Blue Mound Road that houses up to 400 parole violators.
Wait a second... did they just say that this conviced felon, who violated parole, was working on cars outside the facility?

Shortly before 11 p.m., officials discovered Diaz — a trusty who had been permitted to work outside the facility — was not in his cell for bed check, said Lt. Dean Sullivan, a Fort Worth police spokesman.
And they never noticed that he did not return with the other convicts... heavy sigh.

Okay, maybe this is one of the drug offenders who committed a vicitmless crime. You know that sometimes I can jump to conclusions, maybe we should read further into the article.

Diaz is believed to be in the Fort Worth area or in Houston and should be considered dangerous, said Jason Clark, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

“We would not want the public to apprehend him,” Clark said.

Clark said Diaz was paroled from prison in December 2003 after serving 12 years of a 25-year sentenced for aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon out of Nueces County in south Texas.

In November, he violated his parole when he was arrested and charged in Nueces County with making a terroristic threat.
There went that theory. So here is a conviced felon, a violent criminal, who served less than half of his 25 year sentence on the loose in our community. This facility he was in is a short term facility. The most anyone spend in there is 90 days, then they are back on the streets.

...and serves as a short-term punishment facility — for 90 days instead of revoking his parole and sending him back to prison.

“It is designed to get their attention,” Clark said of the facility. “Once they are done with their stint there, they are back on parole.”
This is how the State protects us from violent criminals.

Oh... in case you were wondering what this goblin looks like, just in case he walks up to you and your family at the local stop and rob, to bad. There is no picture of the goblin with the article.

Edit to add:

This morning I checked to see if there were any update to this case and found that there is now a photo of the goblin available.

Dangerous Escaped Goblin

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Sunday's Blog of the Week

I figure most of the folks who visit A Keyboard and a .45 know Oleg Volk. If not then you should get acquainted.

First you should check out A Human Right, then browse his image galleries and spend some time visiting with the folks over at The High Road.

Oleg's firearm related posters are a thing of beauty, as is all of his photography. I have used several of his images in earlier posts.

What some people may not know is that Oleg also has a blog.

Here is an image he posted last week:

Click to Enlarge

What is interesting is that Oleg took comments from the peanut gallery and utilized them in the poster. If you are interested in what is going on with Oleg, then check out his blog.

I Was Wrong!

On Friday, I posted a Texas Firearm Legislation Update. In my commentary I mentioned that Representative Vaught was attempting to hold HB 284 (The Castle Doctrine Law) up in committee. I stated:

It now appears that between the rally and the fax/phone campaign, the freshman Democrat who is Vice-Chairman of the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee is trying to hold up the bill.
In the comments to that post, Representative Aaron Peña (the Chairman of the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee) assured us that he expected Representative Vaught to vote with the majority on the Castle Doctrine Bill.

This morning Representative Vaught responded to this issue via email. Here is what he said:

JR, I have not received the e-mail you mentioned in your blog yet because I am in Dallas right now. However, in response to the general inquiry, the information you posted is not correct. I intend to vote for the Castle Doctrine bill. That has been my intention before coming to Austin, and has remained the case since I took office. I have listened to all sides, including the State district attorneys' groups (who did have some concerns about the bill), and I think we have a fair bill that will likely pass out of committee.

As an Iraq war veteran (OIF 1) and having grown up on a ranch near Fort Worth, I am a strong 2nd Amendment and self defense supporter. You will be hard pressed to find anyone in either political party who is stronger 2nd Amendment supporter than me. So, I am really puzzled why anyone would tell you I was against the bill. I would appreciate you sharing with me who gave you that information as it is a pure fabrication which should be addressed. Thank you, and please take some time to visit with me in Austin if you come down on Tuesday.

Allen Vaught
It seems that I was given faulty information about Representative Vaught and his actions in the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee concerning the Castle Doctrine Bill. My statement accusing Representative Vaught of trying to hold up the bill was incorrect, and I was wrong to make such a statement without attempting to do a better job of vetting my source. I am very glad to have this opportunity to set the record straight. I appreciate the fact that Representatives Peña and Vaught took the time to correspond with us and settle this matter.

The Castle Doctrine Bill is a very important piece of legislation. House Bill 284 defines the term "unlawful force" as it pertains to a goblin acting on a citizen, states that there is no requirement to retreat from a goblin who is demonstrating unlawful force, and helps to protect the citizen from civil suits.

It is a beautiful day, so V and I are off to the range!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Which Option for Your Daughter

Bruce Montague

Hat Tip to Xavier.

Texas Firearm Legislation Update

It has been a busy end of the week so far as pending gun laws in Texas are concerned. With all the federal and local gun legislation being submitted, I finally had to break down and sign on with one of the internet fax services to get all my faxing accomplished quickly and without breaking the bank.

First we have the two major anti gun bills that have been submitted to the Texas State Legislature by Representative Yvonne Davis. House Bills 594 and 595. HB 594 is titled "An act Relating to the creation of certain offenses concerning firearm sales at gun shows" and I commented upon it here. HB 595 is titled "Relating to requiring a waiting period for the purchase or sale of a handgun; creating an offense" and I commented upon it here.

Both of these bills are currently in the House Committee on Law Enforcement. As neither one of these bills has a single co-sponsor, I did not expect them to gain much traction. But, the Brady Bunch have been busy. It seems that the anti's have done a pretty good job of organizing their phone/fax trees and have bombarded members of the committee with faxes and phone calls. Now there are members of the committee pressing to release these bills for public hearings. A public hearing on these bills would be a waste of time and our tax dollars. Bills with no sponsors will not be passed and all public hearing will accomplish is to give the anti's a soapbox to stand upon and create sound bites for the evening news.

If you are a Texan, take a minute and contact the members of the House Committee on Law Enforcement and let them know your view on these two bills. We need to counter the efforts of the antis. Remember to be respectful and not-threatening, this committee is pretty much gun friendly, Chairman Driver is the author of the Castle Doctrine Bill that I will talk about in a minute.

House Law Enforcement Committee:

Rep. Joe Driver - Chairman
Rep. Thomas Latham - Vice-Chairman
Rep. Alma Allen
Rep. Stephen Frost
Rep. Soloman Ortiz, Jr.
Rep. Hubert Vo
Resp. George “Buddy” West

Next on the agenda is HB 284, the Castle Doctrine Law. When I first commented on HB 284, it had 3 authors and 74 co-authors. This bill now has 102 co-authors (out of a total of 150 state representatives). You would think that with over 2/3 of the house either authoring, or co-authoring this bill, it could make it through committee easily. Well here we go, the Brady Bunch strikes again. On Monday, the 12th of February, the Dallas chapter of the Brady Bunch staged an anti gun rally in Austin and got to meet with a few of the legislatures. It now appears that between the rally and the fax/phone campaign, the freshman Democrat who is Vice-Chairman of the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee is trying to hold up the bill. This bill has the support of the House, and the People of Texas. If you are a Texan, contact the members of Criminal Jurisprudence Committee and let them know that you support HB 284 and want it released for a vote by the entire house.

Rep. Aaron Pena - Chairman
Rep. Allen Vaught Vice-Chairman
Rep. Debbie Riddle
Rep. Juan M. Escobar
Rep. Terri Hodge
Rep. Barbara Mallory Caraway
Rep. Paul Moreno
Rep. Paula Pierson
Rep. Robert Talton

If you want your voice to be heard, please remember to be respectful and polite in your communications with the folks whom we are counting upon to protect our liberties.

If your representative is one of the authors or co-authors of HB 284, contact them and thank them for their support. If they are not, then contact them and let them know that YOU support this bill and would appreciate their support also.

This is a lot of contacting, and it can be a lot of work, but it is work well worth doing. If you do not stand up for our rights and freedoms, who will?

For up to the minute information on Texas firearm legislation, go to the TSRA-PAC.

Another Example of the Combat Mindset

I was working on this great post about some American tourists in Costa Rica who fought off a group of muggers, killing one. I went over to the LawDog Files to find an earlier post he made on the "Combat Mindset", just to find that the 'ol LawDog beat me to it.

So head on over to LawDog's and read "Mindset, mindset, mindset", these folks did not let the thought "victim" cross their minds during a violent confrontation.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Just Another Night on the Town?

From the Star Telegram:


FORT WORTH -- Two people were in custody early Thursday after choosing the wrong robbery target, police said.

The robbers pulled a gun on a police officer returning home after her shift and tried to steal her car, said Lt. Dean Sullivan, a Fort Worth police spokesman.

The officer fired at the men and they fled, then crashed another vehicle, which they apparently had stolen earlier after robbing a service station, Sullivan said.
So, the goblins robbed a service station, stole a car and attempted another robbery? Just another night on the town?

Well, it is a good thing for them that their final target was an off duty officer, if it had been a CHL holder, this would probably be another "dead goblin/righteous shooting" post.

What was the officer doing when this incident occurred?

Fox 4 reported that the officer was filling up her car at a service station when the robbers pulled a gun on her.
0300 may not be the opportune time for anyone, let alone a female, to be stopping at a gas station. The 24 hour stop and robs are the prime target for goblins in this neck of the woods, and a woman by herself makes it even more inviting. If you do have to fuel up at an inopportune time, be extra aware of your surroundings (as it appears this officer was) so that you can react to any developing situation. Being armed, and trained, gives you more latitude in how you react. If the officer were what the goblins expected, a lone and unarmed woman, this story would have a much different ending.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Easy Way to Contact the House Judiciary Committee

Okay, contacting each and every one of the House Judiciary Committee members is to time consuming/expensive to accomplish quickly (they really do make it hard for out of district folks to contact them), here is one link that will reach the committee itself:

Just click it and let them know how you feel about H.R. 1022. This is important folks, most definitely worth the five minutes of your time to get it done.

As a bonus, here is the phone number: 202-225-3951

I have not been able to come up with a fax number. If one of you have it, please pass it along.


Women offered home firearms safety class

A good idea from North Dakota.

From the Bismark Tribune:

By Richard Hinton

Women unfamiliar with the guns their hunter spouses and kids keep in the house will have an opportunity to learn more about them.

A women's-only home firearms safety class is planned from 2 to 4 p.m. March 18 and March 25. It's sponsored by the Bismarck-Mandan Rifle & Pistol Association.

Although more than a month away, there has been some interest, said Leon Nesja, who taught the class solo last time.

Nine women participated in that first class.

"They loved it," Nesja said. "Most said it exceeded their expectations. They didn't know what they would learn, but they learned a lot."

This year Mary Kay Tokach will join Nesja as an instructor.

"She works a lot with the small-bore programs. She's very good," said Nesja, who is a retired biology and science teacher.

Tokach and Nesja will work from National Rifle Association materials, and both are NRA-certified instructors.
It is my very strong conviction that it is the responsibility of all firearm owners to ensure that everyone in their households are schooled in the proper and safe handling of firearms. If the firearm owner has not accepted that responsibility, then a program like this one could fill in the gaps.

If you are interested in reading about firearm safety, click here.

I found this article on Keep and Bear Arms.

Homeowner Shoots And Kills Alleged Intruder

Why do I post articles about goblins dieing as a result of their actions? Because it is important to remember why it is necessary for free citizens to maintain the right to keep and bear arms.

From 7 KLTV

Lindsay Wilcox, Reporting:

A homeowner shoots and kills a man authorities say broke into the family's Bullard home. It happened just after 12:00 p.m. on County Road 150 in Smith County.

The Smith County Sheriff's Department says the owner of Graham Farms came home to find a strange car in his driveway, and the door to his house open. They say Terry Graham shot and killed 34-year-old Hiram J. Chambers, of Tyler, after coming face-to-face with the man. Chambers allegedly reached for something in a bag, and authorities say they later found two loaded weapons.
How different would this story have turned out if the homeowner lived in say.... rural New York, or California?

I have to ask my usual question posed after such encounters. Was this the goblins first rodeo?

Chambers was out of jail on parole for a prior home burglary.
And we receive the usual answer.

Quote of the Day

Concerning Rudi Giuliani and assault weapons....

Rudi? It's obvious that he wouldn't know an assault weapon from an assault shaker.
Fits. 2/20/2007

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

2008 Elections and the Assault Weapon Ban

Is H.R. 1022 (Assault Weapons Ban and Law Enforcement Protection Act of 2007) a trial balloon, or is it a serious effort by the Dems to launch a new AWB? A nod to the trial balloon folks would be the fact that this bill currently has no co-sponsors. If it were a serious piece of legislation, the Dems would be crawling all over each other to get their names on it. I wonder why they would need to send up a trial balloon. The Dems have the majority in both the House and the Senate, plus they have a president who stated that he would sign an AWB if it crossed his desk. As I see it, there is no need for trial balloons, unless of course this is not the legislation that they intend to pass.

H.R. 1022 is another time limited law. It would only be in effect for 10 years. It is probable that this bill will not get any traction with the Dems because it is not permanent. H.R. 1022 also includes a grandfather clause which would exempt firearms owned prior to the ban going into effect. The anti's don't want to just ban new "evil black rifles", they want to take them all.

So maybe the "real" AWB will not be introduced until after the 2008 elections. How would our front-runner GOP candidates react to Evil Black Rifle restrictions crossing their desks in the Oval Office? Can we count upon them to stand up for our rights?

How about Giuliani? Where does he stand on gun control, supposed assault weapons in particular?

“We need a federal law that bans all assault weapons..."

“The more guns you take out of society, the more you are going to reduce murder. The less you take out of society, the more it is going to go up.”

“Someone who now voted to roll back the assault-weapons ban would really be demonstrating that special interest politics mean more to them than life-or-death issues.”

“I’m in favor of gun control.”
I don't know, it sure looks like Rudy would be advocating for some very restrictive gun control if he were at the helm.

Okay, let's look at Mitt Romney, where does he stand?

Governor Mitt Romney has signed into law a permanent assault weapons ban that he says will make it harder for criminals to get their hands on these guns.

“Deadly assault weapons have no place in Massachusetts,” Romney said, at a bill signing ceremony on July 1 with legislators, sportsmen’s groups and gun safety advocates. “These guns are not made for recreation or self-defense. They are instruments of destruction with the sole purpose of hunting down and killing people.”
Geez, isn't this the same guy who had his picture taken at SHOT Show 2007 with Wayne LaPierre? Maybe Wayne was just trying to convert him, yeah, that's the ticket...

Last, but not least of the front runners is John McCain.

On the plus side, John McCain voted against the original AWB and it's renewal. He also voted against the Brady Bill. On the negative side McCain authored the Gun Show Loophole Closing and Gun Law Enforcement Act of 2001. I understand that he has come out against inexpensive firearms but is for concealed carry.

The best I can say for McCain is that he is wishy washy at best on gun control issues.

I am not a one issue voter, there are quite a few issues that are very important to me. This is basically a gun blog, so I am looking at these folks from a RKBA view. You can learn a lot about a candidate by looking at his views on the Second Amendment. If a politician can easily dismiss the Second Amendment, what does that say about his or her attitude about the entire Bill of Rights? If a politician feels that the populace can not be entrusted with firearms, what else will they take away "for our own good"?

These are the contenders according to the news media and major pundits, are any of them acceptable to you?

Hat tip to Irons in the Fire for Giuliani quotes, for the Mitt Romney article,

and OnTheIssues for information on John McCain.

The Federal Assault on Our Weapons

After it was obvious that Nancy Pelosi was to be our new majority leader in the House, I penned the commentary "Consequences of Yesterday's Elections ". My opinion at the time was that with the Democrats back in power, there would be a push for a new Assault Weapon Ban and then they would propose legislation to close the imaginary "Gun Show Loophole". It turns out I was wrong, they went after the Gun Show Loophole first. Michael Castle of Delaware introduced H.R. 96, the Gun Show Loophole Closing Act of 2007 in January. It took Carolyn McCarthy all the way to mid February to get H.R. 1022 introduced.

H.R. 1022 is the Assault Weapons Ban and Law Enforcement Protection Act of 2007. This bill is currently in the Judiciary Committee. Others mentioned that an AWB would not be proposed until after 2008. Now that one has been introduced, I have seen it stated that the Dems are just testing the waters, that it is just a trial balloon. H.R. 1022 is in committee, so it is serious.

These past couple of days have seen firearm owners and advocates band together and strike against a Quisling in our own ranks. We need to put forth even more effort in getting these two pieces of anti gun legislation stopped in their tracks. Even if H.R. 1022 is just a "trial balloon", we should do everything we can to deflate that balloon right now, we need to keep it from gaining any altitude at all.

Contact your congress critter and let them know that you are opposed to both H.R. 96 and H.R. 1022. Write the members of the House Judiciary Committee and inform them that an AWB has no effect on violent crime and that H.B. 1022 should not be allowed to reach the House Floor. Write letters to the editor of your local papers speaking out against H.B. 96 and H.B. 1022. Fight for your rights, and the rights of your children (I had to throw in a "do it for the children" quote, seems to work so well for the anti's). There is a cultural war going on in America and on Capitol Hill, it is a war between freedom and servitude. It is a soft war that must be fought with the same fervor and intensity as any battlefield conflict.

To help get you started, here is a list of the members of the House Judiciary Committee. Contact information can be found by clicking on the name:

Hon. Conyers Jr. Chairman (D) Michigan, 14th

Hon. Berman (D) California, 28th

Hon. Boucher (D) Virginia, 9th

Hon. Nadler (D) New York, 8th

Hon. Scott (D) Virginia, 3rd

Hon. Watt (D) North Carolina, 12th

Hon. Lofgren (D) California, 16th

Hon. Jackson Lee (D) Texas, 18th

Hon. Waters (D) California, 35th

Hon. Meehan (D) Massachusetts, 5th

Hon. Delahunt (D) Massachusetts, 10th

Hon. Wexler (D) Florida, 19th

Hon. Sánchez (D) California, 39th

Hon. Cohen (D) Tennessee, 9th

Hon. Johnson (D) Georgia, 4th

Hon. Gutierrez (D) Illinois, 4th

Hon. Sherman (D) California, 27

Hon. Weiner (D) New York, 9th

Hon. Schiff (D) California, 29th

Hon. Davis (D) Alabama , 7th

Hon. Wasserman Schultz (D) Florida, 20th

Hon. Ellison (D) Minnesota, 5th

Hon. Smith Ranking Member (R) Texas, 21st

Hon. Sensenbrenner Jr. (R) Wisconsin, 5th

Hon. Coble (R) North Carolina, 6th

Hon. Gallegly (R) California, 24th

Hon. Goodlatte (R) Virginia, 6th

Hon. Chabot (R) Ohio, 1st

Hon. Lungren (R) California, 3rd

Hon. Cannon (R) Utah, 3rd

Hon. Keller (R) Florida, 8th

Hon. Issa (R) California, 49th

Hon. Pence (R) Indiana, 6th

Hon. Forbes (R) Virginia, 4th

Hon. King (R) Iowa, 5th

Hon. Feeney (R) Florida, 24th

Hon. Franks (R) Arizona, 2nd

Hon. Gohmert (R) Texas, 1st

Hon. Jordan (R) Ohio, 4th

Have at it folks, let these "representativs of the people" know what "the people" want.

Monday, February 19, 2007

A Bit of Common Sense in the Courts

As you all know, we live in a very litigious society. It seems that anyone can sue or get sued by anyone else. Pretty much any tool or appliance you purchase today comes with a large list of "read this first" safety instructions. Each one of those seemingly idiotic instructions is included for one reason and one reason only, the manufacturer has been sued by a customer who "did not know better" and performed that particular idiotic act.

Recently there was a case in Texas where a man shot himself in the leg and attempted to sue the manufacturer of an aftermarket trigger, trying to indicate he was wounded because the trigger was to light and therefor defective. Both the jury and the U.S. Court of Appeals (5th Cir.) looked at the guy and said.... Daym, that was stupid.

From the Products Liability Prof Blog:

A Texas man whose lower leg was amputated after he had shot himself was found to be 75% at fault for his own injury and was thus precluded from recovering under Texas' modified comparative fault system against the manufacturer of a defectively-designed trigger mechanism. The plaintiff was loading a rifle in a moving vehicle. The rifle belonged to a third person who had replaced the original trigger with one manufactured by the defendant. The jury found that the replacement trigger was defectively designed because the trigger pull was too light - a hair trigger. The jury also found, however, that the plaintiff was negligent in attempting to load the rifle in a moving vehicle, by not keeping the gun pointed in a safe direction, by not treating the gun as though it were loaded, and by not having the gun on "safe" while attempting to load it.

The plaintiff argued that the cause of his injury was the defective design and that he had no duty to discover or guard againt an unsafe product design. The U.S. Court of Appeals (5th Cir.) said, however, that a consumer must act reasonably and take reasonable precautions even if the product is defective, and concluded that the jury could have found that the plaintiff's negligent gun-handling was unrelated to the product defect. Although the product defect may have been unforeseeable, said the court, an accidental discharge of a firearm is not unforeseeable. The plaintiff's injury would not have occurred in spite of the defective trigger were it not for his own negligence. See Doran v. Yoho, 2007 WL 98359 (5th Cir. (Tex.) 2007 (unreported).
Even the Fifth Circuit agrees, all firearm owners and users are responsible for the safe handling and usage of their firearms. For information on the safe handling of firearms, go here.

Remington to Sever Sponsorship Ties with Jim Zumbo

As mentioned on The War on Guns, Shooting the Messenger and others.

Remington to Sever Sponsorship Ties with Jim Zumbo

Madison, North Carolina – As a result of comments made by Mr. Jim Zumbo in recent postings on his blog site, Remington Arms Company, Inc., has severed all sponsorship ties with Mr. Zumbo effective immediately. While Mr. Zumbo is entitled to his opinions and has the constitutional right to freely express those opinions, these comments are solely his, and do not reflect the views of Remington.

“Remington has spent tens of millions of dollars defending our Second Amendment rights to privately own and possess firearms and we will continue to vigorously fight to protect these rights,” commented Tommy Millner, Remington’s CEO and President. “As hunters and shooters of all interest levels, we should strive to utilize this unfortunate occurrence to unite as a whole in support of our Second Amendment rights.”

We regret having to terminate our long-standing relationship with Mr. Zumbo, who is a well-respected writer and life-long hunter.
I applaud Remington for stepping up to the plate and taking very quick action concerning this issue. The damage caused by Jim Zumbo to our RKBA is far from over.

We are often quick to call for boycotts of companies that support ideas and programs contrary to our beliefs. Now it is time to support a company for doing the right thing. It is time to go buy yourself a Remington.

May I recommend the following:

Model 870 Tac 2 and 3


Model 700 XCR

If neither of those tickle your fancy, it is okay because there is still time to take advantage of Remington's 2007 Spring Promotion

Click Here For Rebate Coupon

Two items by Remington that you will always find in my range bag are Rem Oil Wipes and Remington ELEY .22 ammo.

Give Remington your support, let them know you appreciate their stand on this issue.

Jim Zumbo, Staples Stock Clerk

Robb Allen jumps in with "Jim Zumbo, Staples Stock Clerk"

If we can't laugh at Quislings, who is there to laugh at?

Zumbo's Apology

Jim Zumbo received an avalanche of response to his post "Assault Rifles For Hunters?", the vast majority of which was negative. As Fits pointed out in the comments to my post on the article, Mr. Zumbo has apologized.

I will post his apology in full:

I was wrong, BIG TIME

Someone once said that to err is human. I just erred, and made without question, the biggest blunder in my 42 years of writing hunting articles.

My blog inflamed legions of people I love most..... hunters and shooters. Obviously, when I wrote that blog, I activated my mouth before engaging my brain.

Let me explain the circumstances surrounding that blog. I was hunting coyotes, and after the hunt was over and being beat up by 60 mph winds all day, I was discussing hunting with one of the young guides. I was tired and exhausted, and I should have gone to bed early. When the guide told me that there was a "huge" following of hunters who use AR 15's and similar weapons to hunt prairies dogs, I was amazed. At that point I wrote the blog, and never thought it through.

Now then, you might not believe what I have to say, but I hope you do. How is it that Zumbo, who has been hunting for more than 50 years, is totally ignorant about these types of guns. I don't know. I shot one once at a target last year, and thought it was cool, but I never considered using one for hunting. I had absolutely no idea how vast the numbers of folks are who use them.

I never intended to be divisive, and I certainly believe in United we Stand, Divided we Fall. I've been an NRA member for 40 years, have attended 8 national NRA conventions in the last 10 years, and I'm an advisory board member for the United States Sportsmen's Alliance which actively fights anti-hunters and animal rights groups for hunter's rights.

What really bothers me are some of the unpatriotic comments leveled at me. I fly the flag 365 days a year in my front yard. Last year, through an essay contest, I hosted a soldier wounded in Iraq to a free hunt in Botswana. This year, through another essay contest, I'm taking two more soldiers on a free moose and elk hunt.

When I started blogging, I was told to write my thoughts, expressing my own opinion. The offensive blog I wrote was MY opinion, and no one else's. None of the companies that I deal with share that opinion, nor were they aware of what I had written until this firestorm started.

Believe it or not, I'm your best friend if you're a hunter or shooter, though it might not seem that way. I simply screwed up. And, to show that I'm sincere about this, I just talked to Ted Nugent, who everyone knows, and is a Board member of the NRA. Ted is extremely active with charities concerning our wounded military, and though he's known as a bowhunter, Ted has no problem with AR 15's and similar firearms. My sincerity stems from the fact that Ted and I are planning a hunt using AR 15's. I intend to learn all I can about them, and again, I'm sorry for inserting my foot in my mouth.
Well Mr. Zumbo, there is one fact in you apology that everyone can agree on.

"...and made without question, the biggest blunder in my 42 years of writing hunting articles."

I guess that the thousands of responses to your commentary were a bit of a surprise, you expected to be preaching to the choir about us folks that like to shoot (and even hunt with) "evil black rifles". You really did not expect us to be a part of your audience, or as vocal as we turned out to be.

"My blog inflamed legions of people I love most..... hunters and shooters."

Another true statement.

You mention that you never intended to be divisive. When you call folks terrorist and ask the hunting community to divorce itself from certain folks based on the type of rifle they shoot, you are being divisive. The way it was stated in your original commentary, it sure appeared to be intentional. It is obvious that the sheer magnitude of the response to your article has set you back a bit, and made you realize that an apology was in order. I firmly believe that your original commentary contains your true thoughts and feelings towards people who use firearms that are different than the ones you find comfortable.

You mention that some of the commentary went over the line in abusiveness, but you struck a nerve. We are used to the main stream anti's coming out against us with this sort of drivel, but when one of our own shows that he is a Quisling, he is deserving of even less respect than any one of the Brady Bunch. You deserved the vitriol that you received.

It is to early to asses damage your commentary has and will cause, but damaging it was. We will soon see how your words will come to be used by the anti's in their quest to ban all guns, starting with the "evil black rifles".

I hope you enjoy your time with Ted, and actually come to an epiphany about your views on "evil black rifles". I will withhold further opinion until then.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Outdoor Life Magazine Has Blown It Bigtime

Jim Zumbo is the author of the Outdoor Life Magazine column "Hunting with Zumbo" as well as the Outdoor Channels program "Remington Presents Jim Zumbo Outdoors". I have read the articles, and watched the television shows in the past, but will no longer.

Jim Zumbo has fallen into the trap set by the anti's, and is selling out the Second Amendment and those of us who own and use "evil black rifles".

In his own words:

I call them "assault" rifles, which may upset some people. Excuse me, maybe I'm a traditionalist, but I see no place for these weapons among our hunting fraternity. I'll go so far as to call them "terrorist" rifles. They tell me that some companies are producing assault rifles that are "tackdrivers."

Sorry, folks, in my humble opinion, these things have no place in hunting. We don't need to be lumped into the group of people who terrorize the world with them, which is an obvious concern. I've always been comfortable with the statement that hunters don't use assault rifles. We've always been proud of our "sporting firearms."
We sure don't want any "tackdrivers" used for hunting now do we?

The military version of the rifle in Jim's column is the M16, the rifle being used by our troops, you know "...the group of people who terrorize the world with them".

Mr. Zumbo has pissed me off on so many different levels, and in so many different ways that it is hard to comment on his words without slipping into profanity. Here is an avid hunter, with a nation wide audience, turning against certain gun owners based on the appearance of the rifle. The cartridge is fine, the fact that they are semi-automatic is fine, the only problem is the appearance.

He goes on to say:

This really has me concerned. As hunters, we don't need the image of walking around the woods carrying one of these weapons. To most of the public, an assault rifle is a terrifying thing. Let's divorce ourselves from them.
Well sir, to many folks unfamiliar with firearms, your scoped Remington looks like a sniper rifle, and quite a few of these folks would like to see it banned also. It is interesting that you divorce yourself from folks who own AR's and AK's because these firearms have plastic stocks and adjustable lengths of pull, while you hunt with a Remington with a stainless steel barrel, a synthetic stock, and the best optics supplied by your sponsors. Many traditional hunters would call that an unfair advantage in the hunt, and would require that you use only black powder and iron sites. Heck, there are even those who would like to do away with rifle hunting all together and only allow bows and arrows. What would you say to them?

You disgust me, and yes, your sponsors will find out just how much you disgust me come Monday morning. One thing I know for certain, a Quisling such as you in the gun ranks will not be tolerated for long. Heck, "Zumbo" may replace "Quisling" when it comes to referring to a traitor to the firearm community.

Also commenting are:

Armed and Safe

The War on Guns

Live from the (upper) Texas Gulf Coast

and Shooting the Messenger

I have been reading the commentary to this article posted here for over an hour now. There is some very good stuff in there, and the credentials of some of the commentators should provide a wake up call for Mr. Zumbo.

**Edit to add**

The list of bloggers commenting on this is growing:

The Smallest Minority, Oscar Poppa, Xavier Thoughts, Blogonomicon, The Unforgiving Minute (a new blog for me), and View From the Porch so far. If I happened to miss you, feel free to post a link in the comments.

Second Amendment Carnival IX

Providing the best 2nd Amendment coverage the blogosphere has to offer.

Stan has put together a great carnival this month. Head on over and spend some time with old friends and new.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

A Couple of Interesting Articles

While tooling around on the internet today, I did a quick blogsearch of the word "firearm". The recent shootings in Salt Lake City have lots of people discussing firearms. I found two bloggers that stand out for one reason or another.

First, commentary on a blog titled "Classically Liberal". Despite the blogs name, the article "The high cost of gun control" is a well researched and thought out premise on the dangers of gun control.

In the aftermath of the horrific shooting in Salt Lake City, this blogger asks:

Would a systematic attempt to disarm people prevent violent crime or reduce the rate of violent crime? In fact, does it reduce the rate of violent gun crime?

Click here to discover this authors conclusions.

After reading that article, I found this one posted on "Living in America". In contrast to the previous author, Peter relies upon emotion and feelings instead of facts and reality to call for the disarmament of all free citizens of these United States.

In the commentary "Targeting America's gun problem", this author states:

Frankly, I don't support the Second Amendment. I know that if I ever run for a political office, this will be easy ammunition (no pun intended) to use against me, but I don't care. It's an obsolete amendment, precluding most laws that would help make America's streets safer, and it ensures that people who shouldn't have dangerous weapons can obtain access to them anyway.
Well Peter (the author of the above), I would recommend you go over to Classically Liberal and read CLS's thoughts on this matter. You may learn something. I would also recommend little American history and civics study. I did leave a comment for Peter, as I am sure you will after reading the entirety of what he has to offer.

There you have it, the two sides of the gun control debate. One side relies upon fact and logic, the other emotions and feelings. Those of us who have the facts on our side, sometimes underestimate the power of feelings and emotions. That is why we are sometimes surprised when really idiotic legislation gets passed and becomes the law of the land.

Friday, February 16, 2007

No John, maybe YOU don't get it

45superman of Armed and Safe has penned an excellent fisking of John Alder's editorial "They Don't Get It" Published in the American Chronicle.

A quick quote from the drivel written by this very anti gun pundit:

Nowhere in the civilized world are civilians permitted to carry arms unless they have specific reasons to do so. Thanks to the unbelievable political power of the NRA, almost anyone within the USA can obtain a license to purchase a gun.
Head on over to Armed and Safe to read No John, maybe YOU don't get it!

Firearm Sales/Permits Up

It appears that folks are making the decision to provide for their own security.

In Hawaii, firearm sales are on the rise.

From KPUA AM 670:

HONOLULU (AP) _ Hawaii firearm permit applications jumped 27 percent to hit a record high in 2005. That's the latest year for which data is available.

Gun retailers say more people have been seeking to own guns amid the surge in crystal methamphetamine related crimes.
Too bad that a citizen is not allowed to actually carry a firearm for protection in Hawaii. Perhaps with all these new owners, the laws can be changed.

In Florida, a state where a citizen is afforded their legal right to protect themselves, licenses to carry concealed firearms are also on the increase.

From Local 6

ORLANDO, Fla. -- More Central Floridians are packing heat, according to a Local 6 News report.

Officials told Local 6 News that the increase in concealed-weapons permits is connected to the increase in violent crime over the past 18 months.

Concealed-weapons permits have doubled in Orange County since 2005, according to officials.

One expert who works at a Central Florida gun range said that she's personally seen a 20 to 30 percent increase in people obtaining permits to carry a firearm, a third of which are women.
More women carrying a firearm is a very good thing for women, and a very bad thing for rapist and other assorted goblins and evil doers.

I do have one question for Fits though:

Purchasing a gun in Florida takes about three business days...
Florida has a waiting period? What the heck is up with that?

This increase in firearms sales is a good thing, no matter what the anti's say (I read an article yesterday about how the increase in legal firearm sales in HI would increase the number of goblins with guns because the goblins would end up stealing them). If you are a new gun owner, remember that it is your responsibility to become proficient in the safe handling of that firearm. For some tips on firearm safety, go here. To become proficient with your firearm, go to your local range, talk with the folks who are there, and shoot. Then shoot some more.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Is CNN Anti-Gun?

In Cambridge Minnesota, a 77 year old farmer chased off a pair of gas thieves with a shotgun. To me, this is a prime example of the advantages of a firearm. An older, weaker victim was able to protect his property from younger thieves. He never fired the shotgun (as it turns out, it was not even loaded) and called the police while chasing off the thieves.

The CNN headline for this story:

According to CNN, protecting your property is vigilantism?

The headline from The West Central Tribune:

Gas thief supports farmer who chased him with shotgun

From what I have told you of the story so far, which is the more accurate headline?

The district attorney for this case might lean towards the CNN version:

A retired farmer who was charged with felony assault for wielding a shotgun near a gasoline thief got support from the thief as he pleaded guilty to stealing gas and a car radiator.

The initial charge was felony assault. Can you believe it? Felony assault for chasing off a thief. Now do you understand why Castle Doctrine laws are so important?

The charges have been reduced:

The charge against Englund on Monday was reduced to two misdemeanors, pointing a gun at another person and disorderly conduct.
What is funny about this case, is that even the thief has more common sense than the district attorney:

Smith, 28, was sentenced to 90 days in jail last week by Isanti County District Judge James Dehn. As Smith entered his guilty plea, he spoke out in support of Englund.

"I don't think he should be held responsible for, you know, anything involving any of these issues," Smith said. "I committed a crime and, you know, he did what he probably thought was right to ... resolve the situation."

According to a court transcript, Smith said that, in addition to paying restitution to the owner of the property, he would like to do "whatever I can" to benefit Englund.
Smith may be a gasoline thief, but he has more integrity than CNN.

Hopefully all charges will be droped against Mr. Englund.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentines Day Checklist



Chocolate? Nope, Jordan Almonds are more her thing

Fireplace set up and ready to go?

Dinner? All the ingredients on hand and ready to make Roast Prime Rib with Cabernet-Vegetable Jus and Herbed Yorkshire Pudding (yes Cookie, another Bubblehead that knows his way around a kitchen)

Decent wine? Faust for dinner and a Canadian Ice Wine for desert.

Well that should do it... almost forgot...

Gift? A set of carbide dies and 500 bullets so we can start reloading for her Hi-Power (what did you expect, more jewelry?)

I have to get busy, y'all have a great evening.

The New American Way?

Read this article from the Star Telegram and weep over the pussification of America.

Heavy sigh

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Off-Duty Cop Helped End Utah Mall Rage

By now we have all seen the headlines and listened to the news. Sulejmen Talovic, an 18 year old Bosnian refugee, used a shotgun to kill five people in the Trolley Square Mall.

As horrific as his actions were, it could have been worse. An off duty police officer exchanged gunfire with the goblin and kept him isolated until help could arrive.

From Forbes:


An off-duty police officer having an early Valentine's Day dinner with his wife was credited Tuesday with helping stop a rampage in a crowded shopping mall by an 18-year-old gunman who shot five people to death before he was killed by police...

...Ken Hammond, an off-duty officer from Ogden, north of Salt Lake City, jumped up from his seat at a restaurant after hearing gunfire and cornered the gunman, exchanging fire with him until other officers arrived, Burbank said.

"There is no question that his quick actions saved the lives of numerous other people," the police chief said.
This incident is a graphic example of why it is so very important that folks of good will and temperament carry a firearm wherever they go. The trained, alert, CHL carrying citizen could have helped put an earlier stop to this violence. Utah is a "shall issue" state, where were the folks who have those licences?

A little background on the goblin:

Talovic had a backpack full of ammunition, a shotgun and a .38-caliber pistol, police said. Investigators knew little about Talovic, except than he lived in Salt Lake City with his mother, the police chief said. He was enrolled in numerous city schools before withdrawing in 2004, the school district said.

Talovic's aunt, Ajka Onerovic, emerged briefly from the family's house to say relatives had no idea why the young man attacked so many strangers.
And then the required "he was such a good boy" quote:

"He was a such a good boy. I don't know what happened," she told Salt Lake City television station KSL.
The fact that he was "...enrolled in numerous city schools before withdrawing in 2004" might prove that claim false.

Some quotes from eye witnesses:

Accountant Jeff Barlow was on a date at another restaurant when he looked outside and saw the gunman firing from the hip.

"I thought it was some kind of joke - some kind of movie or stunt," Barlow said. "I didn't believe it was happening. And then I saw a man go down in a courtyard. I realized this was serious. These are real bullets flying around."

His date, Stephanie Bronson, added: "Just crazy. Absolutely terrifying."

David Dean, who owns a greeting-card store at the mall, said three or four people died inside his store, which was packed with Valentine's Day shoppers.
I would not be able to live with myself, knowing that people died, and I did nothing.

Why did this particular goblin decide to go shoot up a mall? I have a couple of ideas, but I will keep them to myself for the time being. We will see what is released by the police and other investigating agencies. One thing that I am very sure of, is that this will not be the last time we hear about an incidence of extreme violence happening in a mall. First will be the copycats, those folks who are on the edge and will see how easy it is to get their 15 minutes of fame. Then there is the ever present possibility of organized terrorist cells attacking malls. I had thought this would be more likely in states that prohibited it's citizens from protecting themselves, but this incident has made me change my mind. They can attack anywhere and at any time.

If you have a CHL, then carry your firearm. If you have a CHL, know how to effectively deploy your firearm. You may be the only thing standing between a goblin like this, and your family and others in a public place.

If you do not have your CHL (CCL in other states), I would recommend that you consider receiving appropriate handgun training and obtaining one. A free citizen has the responsibility to stand against violence.

Related news: Salt Lake City killer ID'd as Bosnian teen

Also commenting:

Shooting The Messenger

Free Constitution

The War on Guns

And most likely everyone else.

Monday, February 12, 2007

We're the Only Ones Road Raging Enough!

Let's say that you or I were in a hurry during rush hour. Let us also say that we were getting a bit irritated at the pace of traffic. What would happen if we pulled a firearm and aimed it at the drive of the car ahead of us? If we happened to rear end that car and cause an accident, what would happen to us if we walked up to the drivers side of the vehicle and tapped on the window with our drawn firearm? If we pointed that firearm at the driver and told them we could "shoot them if we felt like it", would we be sitting at home in front of the computer right now? I doubt it, unless of course we were one of the "only ones".

From WSLS News Channel 10:

By Dawn Jefferies

Driving sixty in the left lane, Destinee says another car tailed her. "I looked behind me and he had a gun pointed over the steering wheel," she said. "At that point I just panicked."

Destinee panicked and hit the brakes. The volkswagen she says tailed her, had now hit her.

The driver got out and knocked on her window, only Destinee says he knocked with the barrel of a gun and said he was a cop. She was already on the phone with 911. "He said I'm a police officer. I said a police officer just rear ended me, I think, I thought that seemed to make him mad."

Both teens say the out of state cop became more frustrated. "He said I could shoot you right now if I wanted."
That is one unstable cop off the streets, right?

The suspect, Eric Cmeyla, a 41-year-old Greenville, South Carolina police officer in training was released. He's charged with two counts of brandishing a firearm. He joined the department less than six months ago and spent just under six years with DC police before then. He's on 5-days paid suspension.
No having to post bail, just five days with pay while they sort it all out. What ever happened to "equal protection under the law"?

I am sure that this officer will end up getting fired, I just wonder why he is being treated any differently than any other citizen who pulled a firearm on an individual out of road rage?

Getting Tough on Crime

As you probably know, I am a proponent of the idea that if you want to reduce violent crime (gun related or otherwise), get violent criminals off of the streets. Stop blaming the tools of violence, start blaming the violent criminals.

While tooling around in today's firearm related news stories, I found this article in Utah's Deseret Morning News concerning stiffer penalties for Goblins involved in drive by shootings:

The House on Monday unanimously voted to increase the penalties involved in drive-by shootings, most often associated with gang warfare.

Rep. Carl Wimmer, R-Herriman, a police officer, proposes that the driver of a car in a drive-by shooting can immediately have his driver's license taken away.
Oh my... that should do the trick.

I take it that the legislature in Utah does not have a clue when it comes to modern street gangs. Here is one hint. If the punishment for committing a crime is less than the punishment that would be meted out by the gang if a member does not commit the crime, then your law will have no effect on crime.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

News From Up North

I don't usually do much with news from Canada or other countries. They are not America, they have a different culture, and in countries like England, they are subjects, not free citizens.

But Canada is close at hand, and the anti's would very much like for the United States to have anti gun laws similar to the ones in Canada.

So here are two articles from over the weekend that should give you pause.

From the Victoria Times-Colonist:

Sales of this gun (Beretta CX4 Storm in 9mm) nearly tripled after it was used in the Dawson College shooting

And from the National Post:

(AR 15's)

One thing I find interesting about these two articles is the amount of information that they have concerning firearm owners in Canada. If the anti's have their way and make these two models of firearms totally illegal, instead of just classified as restricted firearms, it will be quite easy to collect them. If you do not think this can happen in the United States, just look to California or Cook County Illinois. In Canada, they are attempting to make all semi-automatic rifles illegal.

At its leadership convention in Montreal in December, Liberal party delegates passed a resolution proposing that "semi-automatic weapons be classified as illegal weapons."
If that law were passed, would that be enough for the anti's? No, the train would just keep on rolling. Next would be semi-auto pistols, then magazine fed bolt actions, then any firearm.

A new federal assault weapon ban is on the horizon. If you own a firearm, and agree with an AWB, just remember that today it is my AR15 that they are after, tomorrow it will be your Ranch Rifle or Browning BAR.

Sunday's Blog of the Week

This week's Blog of the Week is Blue Star Chronicles.

Beth, the author of Blue Star Chronicles, is an articulate and well informed blogger. As the title of the blog indicates, Beth is a member of a Blue Star family and writes from that perspective. Her commentary on William Arkin and his contempt for our troops (William Arkin and the American Soldier) is right on the money. Another excellent article is her commentary on Anna Nicole Smith, Beth sees more in Anna than most.

As Beth writes about our military from the point of view of a family member, she gets more than her fair share of trolls and outright venomous diatribe from the dredges of our society. She handles this venom well.

An example is her reply to a Serbian who made the mistake of calling our soldiers vermin:

BSC: Christal - you are in Serbia and probably muslim (judging from you insistence on insulting America and our military). If you aren’t muslim, than your resentment of America and the military is undoubtedly because your country can’t fight their way out of a paper bag. I don’t give a damn what you think of the United States or our military. I am curious though as to how you can call our military vermin when it is your people who murder women and children without prejudice, who behead civilians with a dull kitchen knife and make sure they video tape it so they can use it for propaganda.
I highly recommend that you give Blue Star Chrnoicles a visit. While you are there, give her some support in the comments sections, she deserves a smile.

New Police Tactics

I grew up in a small desert town in California. I check in with the local newspaper every once in awhile just to see how things are going. After the article about the crop damage due to the worst freeze in 20 years (insert global warming joke here), I found this little gem.

From the Imperial Valley Press:


BRAWLEY — A man brandishing a shotgun barricaded himself inside his apartment here Saturday afternoon, in a three-hour standoff that ended when the man allegedly passed out drunk.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Range Day

The day started early, at work by 0600 to make sure everyone was lined out and to get some paperwork done. Left work at 1000 and stopped off at Military Gun Supply on the way home to pick up some Fiocchi 9mm to make up for an empty spot on an ammo shelf. Get home, changed and decide it's a great day to head out to the range (yep, more empty spots on ammo shelves).

The 4H kids were still shooting when I got there, so just hung out and got caught up with all the goings on in the land of 4H shooting. Several of the kids were still there from when my #3 daughter was shooting with them. They had completed their postal match relays and were just shooting for fun.

After they were finished, I pretty much had the range to myself. It has been a long time since I have had the opportunity to just take my time and shoot on my own, not helping anyone or having to watch out for others range safety. Just relax and have a good time. It was also the first time I had a chance to try and see how accurate the Erma Werke EM1 I bought for my grandson is. Let us just say that it is a good little plinker that can hold a minute of soda can out to 50 yards.

Left the range after 1700, just in time to catch the end of the Stars post game show and find out that they won (yeah). All in all a very good Saturday.

I'm going to have either make another visit to MGS or place an order with Ammunition To Go. I just hate empty spaces on my ammo shelves.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Quote of the Day

Found on No Quarters:

To prohibit a citizen from wearing or carrying a war arm . . . is an unwarranted restriction upon the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. If cowardly and dishonorable men sometimes shoot unarmed men with army pistols or guns, the evil must be prevented by the penitentiary and gallows, and not by a general deprivation of constitutional privilege. [Wilson v. State, 33 Ark. 557, at 560, 34 Am. Rep. 52, at 54 (1878)]

Robbed of Guns, At Gunpoint

ACE over at Airborne Combat Engineer found the following news article out of Florida that details an armed robbery of two men followed home from a gun range.

From WFTV, Eyewitness News 9

There are shooting ranges all over Central Florida, but the victim and his friend left one in Apopka on Sunday afternoon after two hours on the range. While in the store, they noticed four young men.

The victims later confirmed with detectives that three of the young men were the suspects who showed their faces on in-store surveillance video. One suspect could be identified by his heavy chain, a chain the victim saw again in his own driveway.

"They were in their driveway for a matter of minutes when a green Honda pulled up," Egert said. "When they got out of their car, they put their guns right to their faces."

After the heist, the suspects fled in a bluish green, mid-90s model Honda Accord with tinted windows. The traumatized victims noticed one suspect was even on his cell phone as they drove away, but they didn't get a tag number.

The stolen semiautomatic handguns are a .45 caliber Kimber, worth $1,200, and a .40-caliber Sigsauer, which gun shops sell for about $600.
This incident highlights the necessity of being aware of your surroundings at all times. It is over 21 miles from the range to the house. According to Mapquest, the drive takes over 30 minutes and has several turns. There was plenty of opportunity for the driver to notice that he was being followed.

If you carry a gun, large sums of money, jewelry, a purse, kids or drive a nice car, it pays to be aware of your surroundings. Situational awareness is something that needs to be practiced daily. It is a learned skill, and takes a bit of work. It is a skill (one of many) that I am still working on.

From the moment you step out of your door you should be in the habit of noticing everything that is going on around your street. Do you know every car that belongs to every house on your block? If not your block, how about 3 houses down on each side of the street. How would you know if something is out of the ordinary, if you do not know the ordinary?

A good practice drill is to try and note the basics of every car that you pass/passes you. How many people are in the car, how old, what color and make, what is the plate number. How many cars are behind you? How long have they been there? Could you tell if one of them was following you? If you pay attention like this, then yes, you would be able to tell if one of the cars was following you.

Always be on the lookout for goblins. When you are in a store, mentally separate the goblins from the people. Try to pick out the folks who are paying attention. Who all is carrying? What are the exits and where is the cover?

Situational awareness is something that costs nothing to practice and is the number one thing that will save your life and the lives of your family. If you don't see the threat, you can not avoid it. If you don't see the threat, you can not take measures to respond to it.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Second Amendment, Civil Rights, and Black History Month

Ken Blackwell, former Secretary of State of Ohio, wrote an interesting column for that highlighted the civil rights heroes known as the Deacons for Defense. Without the Deacons of Defense, and their arms, the civil rights movement would not have progressed as it did. Here, in the United States, these men had to take up arms against the police, the sheriffs and even the fire department to protect their families, children and neighborhoods.

Second Amendment Freedoms Aided the Civil Rights Movement

In his 2004 book, The Deacons for Defense: Armed Resistance and the Civil Rights Movement, Tulane University history professor Lance Hill tells their story. Hill writes of how a group of southern working class black men advanced civil rights through direct action to protect members of local communities against harassment at schools and polling places, and to thwart the terror inflicted by the Ku Klux Klan. He argues that without the Deacon’s activities the civil rights movement may have come to a crashing halt.

The spring and summer of 1964 were landmark periods for civil rights. In growing numbers, Southerners marched against segregation. The battle over race lit Louisiana aflame. In response to civil rights activism, the Klan wreaked havoc on black neighborhoods, but soon found itself face-to-face with the Deacons.

Following a KKK night ride in Jonesboro, the Deacons approached the police chief who had led the parade and informed him that they were armed and unafraid of self-defense. The Klan never rode through Jonesboro again. Local cross burnings ceased when warning shots were fired as a Klansmen’s torch met a cross planted in front of a black minister’s home. The initial desegregation of Jonesboro High School was threatened by firemen who aimed hoses at black students attempting to enter the building. When four Deacons arrived and loaded their shotguns, the firemen left and the students entered unscathed. It was this series of efforts by the Deacons that caused the Klan to leave Jonesboro for good.

Similar work in Bogalusa, Louisiana drove the KKK out of that town as well, and led to a turning point in the civil rights movement. Acting as private citizens in lawful employment of their constitutional rights, the Deacons demonstrated the real social impact of the freedoms our nation’s founders held dear.

As legendary civil rights leader Roy Innis recently said to me, the Deacons forced the Klan to re-evaluate their actions and often change their undergarments.
It is a fact that early gun control laws were written to keep firearms out of the hands of blacks and other minorities. The Black Codes and Jim Crow laws were used to make sure that blacks could not own firearms and have the ability to protect themselves. These discriminatory practices are supposed to be a shameful part of our history, but in many places they still exist today. To be able to purchase a firearm in the State of Massachusetts, a person must receive a license from the local chief of police. To obtain a License to Carry a Concealed Weapon in California, a person must have the approval of the local county sheriff. If you want to own a registered title two (class 3) firearm, you mush first get the signature of your local chief law enforcement official. In each of these instances you can be denied the ability to legally own or carry a firearm based on the subjective approval of one individual. This process is wide open to all kinds of abuse. From selling permits to denying licenses to certain "classes" of individuals, this arbitrary means of issuing the "right" to own or carry firearms is not only unconstitutional, but also immoral. If you doubt this, ask yourself why San Francisco County, with a population of over 780,000 people, only had 10 CCW licenses as of Nov. 2006?

The Citizens Opposing Racism and Discrimination (CORAD) has an informative article covering racism and gun control that details various laws meant to keep firearms out of the hands of blacks and other minorities ranging all the way back to 1792. It is an interesting read and can be found here.

Instapundit has commented on this issue here, and reminds us about this Gunsite article - The Second Amendment: Toward an Afro-Americanist Reconsideration.

To conclude, the vast majority of gun laws are either racist, or elitist. They are written to keep guns out of the hands of "those" people, whoever those people happen to be. The elitist have made owning a firearm difficult for the underclasses by sueing the firearm manufacturers for making inexpensive guns, by demonizing Saturday Night Specials, and by making the permitting/licensing process so expensive as to be out of reach of those who are struggling financially. The racist have attempted to keep firearms out of the hands of minorities by making it just about impossible to legally own a firearm in urban areas that have a high percentage of minority residents. These racist and discriminatory laws and practices must come to an end. There is one law of the land when it comes to firearms, and it contains the words "...shall not be infringed".

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Just How Stupid Do They Think We Are?

Fits over at Shooting The Messenger mentioned the following article quoting assistant Lincoln Police Chief Jim Peschong. It is a testament as to just how stupid some of the "Only Ones" think free citizens are.

From Stereo AM 610, KCSR:

By Rachel Auble

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Law enforcement authorities are mulling how the state's new concealed handgun permit law could affect traffic stops.

Concealed weapon permit holders who get stopped are required to tell officers if they have their weapon concealed.

But assistant Lincoln Police Chief Jim Peschong says he's concerned some permit holders might forget what they're supposed to do and pull out their concealed weapon to show the officer.

That, he said, could elicit an unfavorable and dangerous reaction from police.
Heavy Sigh

For more of Assistant Chief Peschong's hand wringing, go here.

10,000th visitor

Yesterday afternoon A Keyboard and a .45 had it's 10,000th visitor!

10,000th visitor

To celebrate, I will give the 10,000th visitor a copy of Mathhew Bracken's book "Enemies Foreign and Domestic".

So if you are the person from Southfield Michigan using SBC Global who was on here yesterday, then you have won! Send an email so I can have your mailing address and verify your IP address and I will get it right out to you.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Campus RKBA Roundup #6

As I posted earlier, Jeremy of The Mad Hatter is taking a bit of a blogger sabbatical and agreed that I could continue the Campus RKBA Roundup in his absence. First, let me say that this is more work than I thought, and I learned more about college life than I wanted (the lead story in one campus paper concerned "taste testing flavored condoms and other sexual aids"). My hat is off to Jeremy for getting this thing off the ground.

So here we go, without further adieu, I bring you...

JR's Version of The Campus RKBA Roundup #6
(The Southeast Edition)

Mississippi has a two entries into this edition of the roundup.

From The University of Mississippi's Daily Mississippian comes this short, well stated commentary titled "Stop unruly regulations".

David Thigpen writes:

In the United States, there have been several laws passed that make no sense when you consider the arguments in favor of the law. Examples of this are all of the laws passed to regulate the alcohol and firearms industry.
Mr. Thigpen goes on to back up that statement concerning gun and some alcohol control laws. It is nice to see a bit of common sense slipped into the pages of the college news.

Next up is an opinion piece in Mississippi State Universities paper, The Reflector. Written by Nathan Alday, the article "Teachers need guns" makes a very strong argument for allowing teachers, administrators and other school officials opportunity to carry a firearm at work. Mr. Alday's commentary begins with:

In response to the recent school shootings, Frank Lasee, a Wisconsin state assemblyman, has suggested arming teachers and other school employees. According to Lasee, quoted in USA Today, "To make our schools safe for our students to learn, all options should be on the table. Israel and Thailand have well-trained teachers carrying weapons and keeping their children safe from harm. It can work in Wisconsin."

Lasee's idea is fundamentally sound. The ban on carrying weapons on school grounds is a "victimless crime" law that makes the ridiculous assumption that a murderer has respect for the law. Such laws only make violent crime easier, as they guarantee that law abiding citizens-in this case, school faculty-will be unable to protect themselves from criminal violence. The law should be replaced by one that allows certified faculty and other trusted adults the ability to carry firearms on school grounds.

Armed faculty, though violating the law, have already stopped at least one school shooting spree. In 1997, assistant principal Joel Myrick used his pistol to stop Luke Woodham after Woodham shot nine of his classmates at Pearl High School, killing two.

We must be willing to trust teachers with our children's well-being. Not only do teachers provide the education each person needs to thrive in our society, they inevitably play a role in their student's moral and social upbringing. Teachers, through both lessons and example, influence students' views on morality, self-respect and life in general. In allowing teachers to spend hours a day with students, we put complete trust in the teachers over the students' lives. Allowing them to carry firearms in school requires no extra trust, allows them to defend the students' lives directly and provides a deterrent to would-be attackers.
Mr. Alday continues on to address most of the issues that folks who are against allowing our teachers to protect themselves and their students use as objections. I may not agree with all of his solutions, but applaud his effort. He is on the right track.

Georgia has two entries, one that made me smile, and one that... well... had quite the opposite effect.

First the smile:

From the Piedmont College Navigator we find this pro-education commentary titled "Now what do you think about that?" by Justin Poole. Mr. Poole points out that if you want folks to know safe firearm handling, then you need to educate them. He concludes his commentary with:

...Education is the key. A nationwide move to start a program in schools to teach gun safety would help young people understand how guns can be a benefit but also a danger. In Georgia, a driver education course is offered, so why not a firearms education course? A firearms course could teach gun safety and proper etiquette of firearms handling.

Gun laws in the United States are inefficient at best. The nation needs to turn away from trying to solve the problem after the fact; rather use education before there is a problem.
This next commentary from The University of Georgia's paper "The Red and Black" really got my goat. Shane Vaiskauskas wrote an op/ed on the shooting of 88 year old Kathryn Johnston by undercover Atlanta police officers during a no knock raid on her home. If you have not been following this story, you can get caught up here and here. The title of this statist, anti individualism piece is "Woman died from misuse of a firearm". The title alone should give you pause. Who misused the firearm? The police who shot her, or the victim herself?

Let us see:

In the maelstrom that has surrounded the fatal shooting of 88-year-old Kathryn Johnston by Atlanta Police Department, I can't help but sit back and shake my head.

The APD conducted a legal plain-clothes raid with a judge-issued warrant following an informant who bought drugs at the residence.

Once inside the residence, the victim shot three police officers before being gunned down. Police later found a small amount of marijuana in the victim's home.
Okay, stop right there. Mr. Vaiskauskas, the raid was not legal. The judge-issued warrant was obtained under false pretense, the informant was told to lie by the officers who murdered Mrs. Johnston, and the small amount (less than one gram) of marijuana was most likely planted by the offending officers. Your commentary is dated 12/06/06. Much of the truth about this case had been reported by then, yet still you call this a good raid. Your most egregious offence in writing this article is to quote Col. Jeff Cooper and the four basic rules of firearm handling. You state:

It was neither the war on drugs, nor unjustified or unwarranted police raids that killed Kathryn Johnston.

It was her failure to heed the four most basic rules of shooting.
I believe Col. Cooper would disagree with you here, very vocally and by using much stronger words than I. Col. Cooper would most likely have pointed out that Mrs. Johnston's only failure was that she did not have enough gun.

Mrs. Johnston reacted as most innocent folks would react to a home invasion in the middle of the night. She attempted to protect herself from people that were not in uniform, breaking into her house that is located in a crime ridden neighborhood. She failed, but in her failing, she shined a light upon a practice that is being used all to often for minor offences. Mr. Vaiskauskas's column has yet to receive any commentary. I trust that will be corrected in short order.

Florida had the most second amendment commentary in it's collegiate news papers. I chose the two most recent for this edition of the roundup.

From Winter Park Florida we have The Sandspur, student paper for Rollins College. Brett Heiney offers an op/ed titled "In Defence of Our Right to Have and Bear Arms" Mr. Heiney has done a good job of confusing me with this article, and I think he needs to think through his arguments a bit more as he contradicts himself in this column.

He starts out fairly well:

...Several friends and acquaintances of mine have argued with me that the Second Amendment provides that state militias should be able to keep and bear arms, not individual citizens. They continue by arguing that, since there are no longer any state militias like those of the 18th century, this amendment should be scrapped.

I point out now that the Second Amendment was designed to protect individual citizens from the possibility of militias running amuck. Those who pushed for the passage of the Bill of Rights wanted to safeguard the people from an abusive military. We may no longer have 18th century style militias, but we do have a standing military that includes the national guard. The Second Amendment still has resonance in our country today.

As Americans we have the luxury of living in the freest nation on this planet, and have relatively little to fear from a military takeover. Continuing in this vein of thought, there are many arguments that since we have almost nothing to fear from a military takeover than why have the Second Amendment?...

... am a firm believer that though something may be almost inconceivable it is still possible. I seriously doubt that a military coup d'etats would ever happen in the U.S., but the possibility exists. I do not fear our military and am proud to be protected by such fine people, but no one can guarantee that such a military takeover, though implausible as it may be, is not possible.

Should someone rise to power in the United States who has enough charisma and convinces the military to follow him or her to create an authoritarian regime in this nation, Average Joe will be happy that he was able to buy weapons and ammunition throughout his life that he can use to protect the democratic way of life we all enjoy. How would one protect his or her interests in a military coup if our right to have and bear arms had previously been infringed upon?
So far, so good. Now here is where things get shaky:

Leaving the highly unlikely event of a military takeover aside, I still defend a citizen's right to own and use guns, but I am not necessarily against limiting what weapons an individual may own. President Bush not too long ago did not sign the bill that would have kept the ban on assault rifles.

This move was hailed by gun toting rightwing nutjobs, but was not well received by the left. I am somewhere in the middle. Average Joe Hunter does not need an assault rifle with armor piercing rounds to go goose hunting, but would it be so bad if he owned one yet only used it for target practice at a shooting range?
For starters, President Bush would have signed the reinstatement of the AWB if it made it to his desk, no bill made it that far. Mr, Heiney, do you not remember what you wrote previously? The Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting or target shooting.

Instead of limiting ownership of such guns we should be stricter about who we let own guns and should develop the technology that would allow only certain people to fire a specific firearm. Though I defend the rights of citizens to own guns, a criminal with a past of violence and especially violence with guns has effectively, in my eyes, willingly given up some rights that he or she would otherwise enjoy.

Greater monitoring of individual guns and the vendors and stores that sell them should be undertaken so that there is a higher level of governmental control over who really buys them, and if they are supposedly restricted from buying guns based on a criminal record.
NCIS checks are already required for all firearm transactions that take place via an ffl dealer. What additional monitoring would you recommend? The .gov which may turn against the populace should be more involved with monitoring firearm transactions?

Mr. Heiney finishes with:

The Second Amendment is such an important right that we, the freest people on Earth, can and should boast about. We may not be in the same situation as those who wrote the Second Amendment, but that addition to the Constitution should never be done away with. Every citizen of this fine nation should feel privileged to have the option to have and bear arms if so inclined. You do not have to like guns, but never try to infringe upon my right to own them.
Do you see how I could become confused by his commentary?

Last but not least is commentary from Daytona Beach Community College. Steve Goa rants about Florida's Castle Doctrine law in the student paper, In Motion. Mr. Goa titled his commentary "Florida's gun laws endanger Residents".

The title, along with the following picture, speak for themselves.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I think I will let Fit's fisk this last one. I'll just mention that a year after the Castle Doctrine Law was passed, the anti's are still prophesizing "blood in the streets".