Appleseed Responds to the New York Times

Yesterday, the New York Times ran an article with pictures and a video on the Appleseed Project. As others have commented, for the Times it was remarkably balanced. In other words, they didn’t condemn gun owners as bloodthirsty savages. They did, however, try to associate the Appleseed Project with the Tea Party movement, militias, and anti-government sorts.

The Appleseed Project has responded with a detailed rebuttal to the Times story. It is worth reading the whole thing.

To summarize their rebuttal, they make five major points.

First, Appleseed is not “militia”. They note Appleseed only offers instruction in rifle marksmanship and in the history of the American Revolution. They do not stress nor teach military or small unit tactics.

Second, Appleseed is not just “white”.

Appleseed is filled with students and instructors of all races, creeds, genders, and identities. We make no distinction for color, religion, sexual preference, political beliefs or any other discriminatory category. Our program is comprised at all levels of all Americans, and we explicitly urge all Americans to come. We have no patience for those who would take this great nation and divide it up by race, or who would single out someone else for ridicule or derision.

Third, Appleseed is not anti-government, anti-military, or anti-law enforcement.

Appleseed has zero tolerance for anti-government, anti-military, or anti-law enforcement attitudes, comments or advocates. To the contrary, we offer free spots on our shooting lines for active duty military personnel and have been called onto military bases to teach troops deploying for overseas duty in combat theaters.

Fourth, Appleseed is not “right wing”. They note they have no interest in partisan politics and have attracted students from across the political spectrum.

Finally, Appleseed doesn’t have some “secret plan.”

We wish we had a Secret Plan to get more people involved but we don’t. There is no inner group, no special level, no wizard behind the curtain. There is only this: Our ancestors were left with two paths: submission or bloodshed. They chose the latter so that we could be left with a third path: citizenship and civic participation. To take this third path we must get off the couch, turn off the TV, and get involved in our communities. Those who would blather about a “choice” between submission and bloodshed in modern American do not understand what American was meant to be, or is.

Civic participation is not our secret plan. It is our openly stated mission.

I wish them luck in getting their rebuttal published in the New York Times. After all, it is the Times who decides what is the news fit to print – not the rest of us.

For a better review of the Appleseed Project, I suggest reading Massad Ayoob’s review of it in Backwoods Home magazine. Mas not only participated but was awarded his Rifleman Patch.

Working for Gun Rights in India

After the Sepoy Mutiny in 1857, the British rulers of India banned all non-Europeans from owning firearms. It was their way of keeping the Indian people defenseless, if not totally submissive. Even Gandhi, the foremost proponent of non-violence, termed this act “the blackest” of the many misdeeds of the British rule in India.

The Indian Government replaced that law in 1959. Its replacement “granted every citizen the right to bear arms, regardless of race or social standing.” That was then and this is now.

As noted in an article in the Indian newspaper The National,

Along with highly restrictive curbs on the sale of ammunition and the creation of a national database of firearm owners, the new regulations also require gun-licence applicants to prove a “grave and imminent threat” to their lives in order to be approved.

Indian gunowners are outraged and have finally formed The National Association of Gun Rights India (Nagri) to fight for their gun rights. They have patterned it after the NRA. They aim to lobby lawmakers as well as fund legal cases to make it easier to own and carry firearms.

This month the organisation began a membership drive – and in doing so, they have provoked a debate about the role of fire arms in the land of Mahatma Gandhi.

“The bottom line is it’s about freedom,” said Abhijeet Singh, 37, an entrepreneur and one of Nagri’s founders.

“The first line of defence has to be the citizen. It always has been like that, it will always continue to be like that.”

Their opposition, Control Arms Foundation of India (Cafi), takes the same approach as the Brady Campaign and seeks to blame the gun and not the criminal.

But anti-gun campaigners say arming citizens is not the way forward. The Control Arms Foundation of India (Cafi), which was set in up 2004 in response to rising gun crime in the north-east, estimates there are already some 46 million firearms in India, making it the country with the second largest number of guns in civilian hands after the US.

“If I say I am going to protect myself then I exempt the state from doing its job. What India are we living in? This is not some failed state,” said Arundhati Ghose, a former India ambassador to the UN who campaigns for Cafi.

The founder of NAGRI counters that is nonsense. He notes that criminals can get more firepower and be less traceable if they go to the black market.

This is a group that bears watching. It would be nice to see real gun rights come to the second largest country in the world.

Good Things Happen In Three’s

Yesterday, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, the CalGuns Foundation, the NRA, the Folsom Gun Club, and two individuals brought the third suit in California over the state’s new handgun ammunition law. Today, Alan Gura and the Second Amendment Foundation filed their third lawsuit after their win in McDonald v. Chicago.

The newest case involves a Baltimore County, Maryland man who’s renewal of his handgun carry permit was turned down by the Maryland State Police because he couldn’t demonstrate “a reasonable precaution against apprehended danger.” The case, Woollard et al v. Sheridan et al, was filed in U. S. District Court for the District of Maryland. In addition to Raymond Woollard, the Second Amendment Foundation is also a plaintiff.

The Second Amendment Foundation said in their release,

The lawsuit alleges that “Individuals cannot be required to demonstrate that carrying a handgun is ‘necessary as a reasonable precaution against apprehended danger’ as a prerequisite for exercising their Second Amendment rights.” Plaintiffs are seeking a permanent injunction against enforcement of the Maryland provision that requires permit applicants to “demonstrate cause” for the issuance of a carry permit.

 On Christmas Eve, 2002, Mr. Woollard and his family were attacked in a home invasion by a burglar. He and his family finally subdued the intruder and had to wait  2 1/2 hours for the police to arrive. The police were confused as to whether he was in Baltimore County or not. The home invader was convicted of 1st Degree Burglary and given a sentence of three years probation.

Mr. Woollard was granted a handgun carry permit after this incident. His permit was renewed in 2005 after the home invader (who lives a mere three miles from him) was released from prison on probation violation charges. When Mr. Woollard went to renew his permit in 2009, he was denied a renewal because he didn’t provide proof that he was in danger. He appealed this denial to the Handgun Permit Review Board. They affirmed his denial saying “has not submitted any documentation to verify threats occurring beyond his residence, where he can already legally carry a handgun.”

The lawsuit is suing the Maryland State Police and the Handgun Permit Review Board on Second and Fourteenth Amendment grounds. The suit contends,

28. Individuals cannot be required to prove their “good and substantial reason” for the exercise of fundamental constitutional rights, including the right to keep and bear arms.

29. Individuals cannot be required to demonstrate that carrying a handgun is
“necessary as a reasonable precaution against apprehended danger,” or that they face a greater than average level of danger, as a prerequisite for exercising their Second Amendment rights.

30. Maryland Public Safety Code § 5-306(a)(5)(ii)’s requirement that handgun carry
permit applicants demonstrate “good and substantial reason to wear, carry, or transport a handgun, such . . . that the permit is necessary as a reasonable precaution against apprehended danger,” violates the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, damaging Plaintiffs in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

The suit seeks to permanently enjoin the Maryland State Police and Handgun Permit Review Board from requiring a showing of “apprehended danger as well as “from denying a permit to carry firearms on grounds that the applicant does not face a level of danger higher than that which an average person would reasonably expect to encounter.” The suit is also asking for Mr. Woollard’s permit to renewed, cost of the suit, and attorney’s fees.

I see this lawsuit as well as the Westchester County, NY case as a direct frontal assault on “may issue” states. A win in either or both of those cases would mean that one doesn’t have to be rich, famous, or well-connected in order to secure a carry permit.

The whole complaint can be found here.

UPDATE: Dave Hardy at the Of Arms and the Law blog has a very perceptive observation.

And to think — it was only a few years ago that Brady and others were suing gun manufacturers right and left, as part of a campaign to bankrupt the industry, a campaign that had a good chance of succeeding. Today, they’re on the defensive (to the extent they act at all) and the progun side is on the offense. Since almost all of it has occurred over the last month or so, it’s more than an offense, it’s a legal blitzkrieg.

 UPDATE II: Sebastian at Snowflakes in Hell makes a very good point about Maryland. It is in the 4th Circuit but is the outlier in terms of concealed carry. The other states in the 4th Circuit – Virginia, West Virginia, and the Carolinas are all “shall issue” states.

UPDATE III: The Baltimore Sun didn’t even cover this in today’s paper. The Washington Post did have a story but it was buried on page B6. I’m sure they be screaming bloody murder if and when Woollard wins.

NC Wildlife Resources Commission on Crossbows

I received this from the NC WRC today:

Crossbow Hunting

The use of crossbows is now a legal hunting method by licensed hunters anytime bow-and-arrow hunting is allowed. However, state law requires that anyone buying or otherwise receiving a crossbow in North Carolina must first obtain a pistol permit from the sheriff’s office in their county of residence or hold a valid concealed handgun permit. Questions about obtaining pistol permits and issuance of concealed handgun permits should be directed to the local sheriff’s department.

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission does not regulate the sale or purchase of firearms and crossbows.

They must be getting a lot of calls about the requirement to have a pistol permit or CHP before you can buy a crossbow in North Carolina. I would say it is time for the General Assembly to get their act in gear and remove the permit requirements from crossbow purchases. They must have gotten scared after seeing Carol Bouquet as Melina Havelock in the James Bond movie “For Your Eyes Only” when they imposed that requirement.

From MArooned: Something To Be Proud Of…

A great post at MArooned: Something To Be Proud Of… on Obama having to choose between The View over the Boy Scouts.

Jay at MArooned hit it on the head especially on the rage meter.

The View or the Boy Scout National Jamboree at Ft. A.P. Hill? Hmm.

Well, we know which one Obama chose as ABC is running ads touting his appearance on The View. Besides, those Boy Scouts are meeting on an icky military base!

I haven’t been active in Scouting for 35 years. That said, I was an Eagle Scout (bronze palm) and a Brotherhood member of the Order of the Arrow (Tali Tak Taki 70) and I still remember the Scout Law.

Boy Scout Law
A Scout is:
and Reverent.
In my not so humble opinion, the first of the Scout Laws trips up Obama almost instantly. As to the Scout Motto, Be Prepared, well after his handling of the Deepwater Horizon oil debacle, I guess he can forget that one as well.

Washington Times: Kagan’s Snowe Job on Gun Rights

The Washington Times had an editorial today on Senator Olympia Snowe’s (R-ME) support of Elena Kagan to be the newest Supreme Court Justice. She based part of her support for Kagan on the Second Amendment.

Snowe’s office sent out a press release announcing her support for Kagan that said, in part,

“Also, she has affirmed forcefully that adherence to Court precedent is a vital command for the Court. And in that light, in my view as a longtime, ardent supporter of Second Amendment rights, it was critical that General Kagan stated during her testimony that the precedents set by the Supreme Court in the Heller and McDonald cases – which upheld a personal right to possess a firearm — are ‘deeply rooted in this nation’s history and traditions’ and are ‘settled law;’ that she has ‘absolutely no reason to think that the court’s analysis was incorrect in any way;’ and, that she will apply these cases as law ‘going forward.’”

As the Washington Times notes, “We’ve been down this road before” with Justice Sonia Sotomayor and her contention that the Second Amendment was settled law.

Once the “wise Latina” donned the robes of her lifetime office, any pretense of upholding the individual’s right to bear arms was jettisoned. Ms. Sotomayor signed onto the gun rights dissent of Justice Stephen G. Breyer last month, which stated, “I can find nothing in the Second Amendment’s text, history or underlying rationale that could warrant characterizing it as ‘fundamental’ insofar as it seeks to protect the keeping and bearing of arms for private self-defense purposes.”

The editorial examines Kagan’s past statements regarding guns and the Second Amendment. They think her “new” statements were nothing more than a means to provide cover to “squishy” Republicans – or what the rest of the world would call RINO’s. The editors think Kagan will follow the same path as Sotomayor when, and if, Second Amendment cases reach the Supreme Court – lipservice now, knife in the back later.

They conclude that,

No senator, Democrat or Republican, can claim he supports gun ownership and then turn around and elevate someone to the nation’s highest court who will work to undermine the fundamental nature of the Second Amendment. A vote for Ms. Kagan is a vote for a nominee who will join with Justices Breyer and Sotomayor to scale back – and try to eliminate – the individual’s right to gun ownership.

Unfortunately, when it comes to the Senate’s confirmation of Elena Kagan, the old saying, “As Maine goes, so goes the Nation” is probably correct. A filibuster cannot stop her now.

Third Lawsuit Filed Against AB 962

From the CalGuns Foundation:

Truckers and gun owner groups file lawsuit against California to void handgun ammunition shipping ban

AB-962 Pre-empted By Federal Laws That Regulate Interstate Shipping

For Immediate Release: 7/28/2010

Redwood City, CA – The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) has joined with the Calguns Foundation, the National Rifle Association, the Folsom Shooting Club and two individual truckers to challenge California’s soon to be implemented ban on the interstate shipment of handgun ammunition to California.

Last year, Governor Schwarzenegger signed Assembly Bill 962 into law. Starting in February 2011, the law will criminalize the delivery and transfer of handgun ammunition not done in face-to-face transactions. The law requires shipping companies to implement procedures to determine whether the recipient of a package containing handgun ammunition is covered by one of the exceptions in the law before delivering handgun ammunition in California. This places a big burden on the shippers, and will make shipping ammunition to California much more difficult and likely more expensive.

The new lawsuit, filed today in Sacramento’s Eastern District Federal Court, alleges that these provisions of the law violate the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act, which prohibits states and local municipalities from interfering with carriers’ rates, routes, or services.

“This isn’t about firearms or ammunition. Congress made an important decision to keep motor carriers free from a patchwork of burdensome regulation as we move America’s goods to market” said Jim Johnston, OOIDA President. “We cannot allow California to subject our members to criminal liability where the state has no right to meddle.”

California depends on the efficient movement of goods by carrier into California. “California legislators have become accustomed to trampling the rights of California’s gun community. However, this time they’ve taken that recklessness into a field that will hurt every Californian. AB-962 will slow down everyone who orders goods online or buys goods at a retail store,” said Gene Hoffman, Chairman of The Calguns Foundation.

In February 2008, a unanimous United States Supreme Court struck down Maine’s directly analogous law regarding the delivery of cigarettes to Maine in Rowe v. New Hampshire Motor Transport. “It does not matter what the State’s goal is or how honorable they believe their cause is,” stated lead attorney, Jason Davis of Davis & Associates. “Rowe made it clear that a state cannot interfere with a carrier’s rates, routes, or services. AB962 does just that.”

“At Sacramento Valley Shooting Center, we currently provide handgun ammunition sales to the public,” said Jim Bass, President of Folsom Shooting Club. “Should the shipping restrictions in AB-962 take effect, we have no way to prove to shippers that we are a handgun ammunition vendor under the law.”

This case follows a Second Amendment and Commerce Clause challenge entitled State Ammunition v. Lindley, and a California State Court Challenge to the vagueness and other requirements of AB-962 brought by the NRA-CRPA Foundation Legal Action Project.

The delivery prohibitions of AB-962 take effect in February 2011; Plaintiffs in this case will be moving quickly to obtain an injunction before the shipping portions of the law takes effect.

The case is filed as OOIDA et. al v. Lindley, U.S. Dist. Ct. E.D. C.A. 2:10-at-01095. A copy of the complaint is available from .

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is the largest national trade association representing the interests of small-business trucking professionals and professional truck drivers. The Association currently has more than 154,000 members nationwide. OOIDA was established in 1973 and is headquartered in the greater Kansas City, Mo., area.

The Calguns Foundation ( is a non-profit legal defense fund for California gun owners. The Calguns Foundation works to educate government and the public and protect the rights of individuals to acquire, own and lawfully use firearms in California.

Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America’s oldest civil rights and sportsmen’s group. Four million members strong, NRA continues its mission to uphold Second Amendment rights and to advocate enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. The Association remains the nation’s leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the military.

The Folsom Shooting Club Inc. was incorporated in 1951 and currently operates Sacramento Valley Shooting Center at Sloughhouse CA. Sacramento Valley Shooting center provides ranges for private, government and public use with rifles, handguns and shotguns. FSC and its 1500 members constantly work with law enforcement, the military, youth and wildlife groups and members of the public to promote safe and proper handling of firearms for sporting, recreational and personal use.

I’ll have more after I have a chance to read the complaint.

UPDATE: A report on the lawsuit from Land-Line Magazine – The Business Magazine for Professional Truckers.

In Their Own Words – Alan Kachalsky and Christina Nikolov

Over the last few years we have come to know and respect the courage and tenacity of Dick Heller and Otis McDonald (and their fellow plaintiffs) as they fought the District of Columbia and Chicago respectively. We learned that Mr. Heller was an armed security guard trusted to protect the court buildings in DC but not trusted to have a handgun in his home to protect he and his family. Likewise, we came to know Mr. McDonald, a courageous African-American gentleman with a quiet dignity, who just wanted to protect his family with a handgun after being threatened by the drug dealers targeting his neighborhood.

But what do we know about the plaintiffs in the case of Kachalsky et al v. Cacace et al – the Westchester, New York case that challenges New York’s pistol permit law? If you depended upon the media or “authorized journalists” as David Codrea calls them, nothing. Absolutely nothing. It is as if post-McDonald the media considers gun rights old news not worthy of their time and talent.

Doing a Google search on Alan Kachalsky, I find that he is an attorney in private practice in Westchester County. Going to Martindale-Hubbell (law directory), I can learn that he is a graduate of New York Law School and that he has been licensed to practice since 1981.

Likewise, doing a similar search for Christina Nikolov, I find that she is the Director of Research for ChartWatchCentral, a web-based service offering technical analysis and research on stocks to investors. I also found out that she is a 1LT in the Civil Air Patrol, a licensed single and multi-engine commercial pilot, and a certified flight instructor.

This is all good information and it tells us that they are solid citizens and accomplished in their professions. But it doesn’t tell the how and the why of the lawsuit nor does it tell us what they hope to change with their lawsuit (other than being granted their permits). Because I was curious, I contacted them by email and sent them a set of questions. I got lucky. They were gracious enough to answer my questions. The questions and each of their unedited responses are below.

First, why did you become a plaintiff in this case? What was it that convinced you to take a stand against those who denied you a pistol permit for failing to show “good cause”?

Alan Kachalsky

My story is that for various reasons, I decided a few years ago that it was time to get a pistol permit. I picked up an application in Westchester County, and filled it out as best as I could. I saw the choices for target this, and business carry, and full carry. My purpose was for self-defense, so I applied for a concealed carry permit (only). I filled out the ‘Attachment -full carry’ form which asked me to ‘list all factors which I believe to be relevant to establish proper cause for the issuance of a firearm license for the purpose of full carry.’

I responded:

***********The factors which establish proper cause for the issuance to myself of a Full Carry pistol Permit are: 1) The Second Amendment of the Constitution grants citizens the right to bear arms. As a citizen, I am therefore entitled to exercise my Constitutional right to bear arms. I believe that Constitutional right entitles me to the permit without further the need to establish “proper cause.”

If the issuing agency for some reason requires more than this, then I will cite the fact that we live in a world sporadic random violence might at any moment place one in a position where one needs to defend oneself or possibly others, e.g. random shootings in universities (Virginia Tech), post offices, airline check-in counters, malls, road rage, as well as the run-of-the-mill street muggings and robberies. While the odds of finding oneself in a Virginia Tech type situation are remote, one must reflect that had there been even one armed person, the death toll might have been considerably less than 31 dead. While one never knows what one might do in such situations, it is my belief that it is better to have the option to defend oneself (and others) than not to have the option. As a pilot and a skydiver, I have been trained to handle emergencies, and I have actually handled several emergencies, so it is unlikely that I will respond in a dangerous manner. *********

I submitted the application along with the Affidavits, etc., and crossed my fingers hoping to get it approved.

Much to my disappointment, many months later, I received the decision denying my application on the grounds that I did not demonstrate a need for self-protection beyond that of the general public.

Although I had heard that it was quite difficult to get a carry permit, I felt it was my Constitutional right, and it annoyed me that some bureaucrat had the right to sit and decide whether I demonstrated ‘a need for self-protection. . .” What does that mean anyway? And who gave this bureaucrat the right to sit in judgment and say, no, you don’t have a need . . .

Christina Nikolov

My 2nd Amendment rights were being violated by Westchester County. Whenever I have the opportunity or means to do so, I always take a stand for what I believe in. For example, I once fought a traffic ticket all the way to the NY Appellate Court, when I knew I did nothing wrong, and won without an attorney to assist me, since no lawyers wanted to help.

How did you become a plaintiff in this case? Were you recruited or did you contact the Second Amendment Foundation or Mr. Gura?


Sorry, we can’t talk about that.


I contacted Mr. Gura. Prior to this litigation, I already knew Alan Kachalsky, who was also denied for his permit. He already had this litigation in the works with Mr. Gura. I was not recruited and never contacted the 2nd Amendment Foundation.

What is your background with firearms (hunting/target shooting/self-defense)? Are you a longtime shooter or relatively new to guns?


My background is that I shot rifles when I was a kid in Summer Camp for about three summers. I went to a shooting range once when a friend invited me, and perhaps three or four times over the years when friends had pistols.


I have been a gun owner for almost 5 years and only shoot paper targets. I do not go hunting. I have taken three 6 hour firearm courses, two of which were in Florida. Each of the Florida courses involved 400+ rounds of live fire, while the New York course does not involve any gun firing. Actually, in NY you cannot even touch a real gun during your six hours of training because it is against the law, so I have more practical experience taking courses in Florida than anyone who has ever taken the firearm course required to be licensed in NY.

What has been your experience since the lawsuit was filed? Have you been contacted by the media? Have friends or colleagues who know of the suit asked you about it? If so, what has been their reaction?


Nope. No contact from the media. Friends and family are supportive.


I have not been contacted by the media yet. Very few people have said anything to me about the lawsuit and as a matter of fact, many people I have mentioned the lawsuit to were not even aware of it. Reactions have been unanimously positive. Everyone I mentioned this to wished me well with the case.

Finally, in addition to being granted your permit, what would you like to see come out of this lawsuit?


The outcome I am looking for would be precisely the relief requested in the Complaint – that carry permits are granted to law-abiding citizens who meet the criteria of New York Penal Code § 400.00:

(1), in that each (a) is over 21 years old, (b) of good moral character, (c) has never been convicted of a felony or serious crime, (d) has never been mentally ill or confined to any institution, (e) has not had a license revoked or been the subject of a family court order, (f) has completed a firearms safety course, and (g) should not be denied a permit other than for any good cause.


What I wish to see come of this lawsuit is first of all, for me to obtain my unrestricted carry permit. But I would also like to see the law changed, to allow responsible people to own and carry firearms if they want to and are competent. NY needs to change its backwards way of looking at things and realize that criminals are committing crimes and that restricting gun ownership of people who obey the law only helps the criminals, since the criminals will always find ways to obtain firearms regardless of how strict the gun laws are.

I want to thank both Alan and Christina for taking the time to answer my questions so fully. I think we all owe them a debt of gratitude even if we live in an area where gun rights are respected and  “shall issue” concealed carry permits are the norm.

You can read the details of the lawsuit including the complaint in my earlier blog post here.

Obsolete Signs

Now that Arizona has passed constitutional carry – concealed carry without a permit – signs in Tucson parks that warned “Carry a firearm in this park is limited to persons who possess a permit” are coming down. Why? They are obsolete!

Here is a link to the KVOA story with video. Of course the reporter goes into anti-gun hysterics about kids being scared and that they will less safe.

Only 3% Hippie

You are 3% hippie.
Ok, you conservative soul. Do you even believe in global warming? Loosen that necktie a little, and try some organic food. It actually does taste better. And go to a farmer’s market–they’re fun.

Are you a hippie?
Take More Quizzes

Ending up at only 3% must be a reaction on my part from living so close to Asheville, North Carolina. Thanks to Breda, our favorite gun-toting reference librarian, for the link to the quiz.