Who Would Have Thought It?

Who would have thought that the dead Libyan dictator Col. Moammar Gaddafi was a devotee of John Moses Browning? In the picture is his gold-plated Browning Hi-Power which was found on him when rebels captured him hiding out in a culvert.

Given that Libya once was ruled by Italy, you would have thought he would have a Beretta 92 or something similar. Conversely, given the close relationship over the years between Libya and the former Soviet Union, it would seem reasonable that he might have carried one of the Eastern Bloc pistols like a Makarov or a Tokarev.

As it is, I can’t fault his taste in pistols however gaudy this specimen might be. He might have been an evil dictator and wacked in the head about a lot of things but this is one thing in my opinion he got right.

The British newspaper,  The Telegraph has a full story on Gaddafi and his golden guns. In addition to the golden Hi-Power, he had a golden AK-74 and a golden Dragunov. Like that other guy with the golden AK, Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi is dead. I guess it could be called the Curse of the Golden AK.

Off To A Pistol Class This Weekend!

Thanks to the efforts of Sean Sorrentino, I will be joining a handful of bloggers and some others for a Basic Pistol class offered by TigerSwan this weekend. The class will be held near Fayetteville, NC at the TigerSwan Training Collaboration Center and School.

The class will be taught be Sgt Major Brian Searcy, US Army (Ret).

Brian is a 23 year Army Special Operations veteran who culminated 16 years with Delta Force (1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta) as the unit’s Operations Sergeant Major. His leadership experience ranges from serving as a military advisor in Central and South America to serving as the Command Sergeant Major (senior enlisted advisor) for a 1700 person Special Operations Task Force in Iraq. A decorated combat leader, his awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star.

As an instructor in Delta, Brian wrote and taught classes in assault planning, VIP protection, rifle and pistol marksmanship, explosive and mechanical breaching, close quarters battle, vehicle assaults and hand to hand combat. He served as the program manager and primary instructor for the Unit’s shooting and hand to hand programs.

A competitive shooter for over 20 years, Brian has competed at the top levels of competition in both precision and action shooting. Brian is a U.S. Army Distinguished Pistol Shot and has been awarded the President’s Hundred Tab. His other marksmanship accolades include: Overall Winner- 2005 Joint Special Operations Command Small Arms Championships and the 2003 North Carolina Indoor Conventional Pistol Champion.

I’ve got my ammo packed, my Ruger SR9 cleaned, a new heavy-duty gun belt, and, if the USPS cooperates tomorrow, my new Kydex holster. I will have a full after-action report next week. Sean has said that TigerSwan will be providing a photographer to take pictures so we can concentrate on learning. I think they may be as excited about our coming as we are to be taking the class.

There will be light to no blogging tomorrow through the weekend.

600 Mayors! Oh, My!

Mayor Bloomberg and his Illegal Mayors are pulling out all the stops to try and derail HR 822 – the National Right to Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011. They placed a full page ad in USAToday asking people to call their Senators to oppose the bill. They are saying “This federal mandate would threaten the safety of our communities by putting loaded guns in the hands of people who are too dangerous to qualify for a local permit.” (Sebastian does a good job examining this in the context of Philadelphia.)  Moreover, this ad was signed by 600 mayors from around the country.

That many mayors sounds impressive until you start digging deeper. There are six mayors from North Carolina that signed the ad. They include:

Mark Chilton, Carrboro, North Carolina
Mark Kleinschmidt, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Bill Bell, Durham, North Carolina
John L. Cowan, East Spencer, North Carolina
Charles Meeker, Raleigh, North Carolina
Victor Varela, Ronda, North Carolina

The mayors of Carrboro and Chapel Hill would sign anything that was liberal or anti-gun. Their voters are either college professors, university staff, or college students with a smattering of well-to-do retirees tossed into the mix.

I will grant that Raleigh and Durham are the second and fourth largest North Carolina cities. They have also had a very large influx of migrants from New York and New Jersey who have brought their anti-gun biases with them.

This leaves us with East Spencer and Ronda.

East Spencer has a population of 1,534 and is over 80% African-American. Contrast that with the adjoining town of Spencer which has a similar population but is over 70% white. It is unfortunately obvious that these two towns were separately incorporated due to racial considerations. Unfortunate, too, is that many African-American politicians purposely ignore the racist roots of gun control.

Then there is the town of Ronda in Wilkes County which has all of 455 people living within its town limits.

All told, these mayors represent 7.5% of the population of North Carolina and only two of its major cities. Why should either Richard Burr or Kay Hagan pay any attention to these six mayors given how few people they actually represent?

The slogan of this campaign – “Stop the Washington gun lobby and their allies in Congress from taking away your state’s right to decide who can carry a concealed gun” is reminiscent of what the racial segregationists were saying in the 1940s and 50s. It could just as easily be rewritten to read “stop the Washington civil rights lobby and their allies in Congress from taking away your state’s right to decide if black people should be allowed to eat at whites-only lunch counters”. We are dealing with civil rights in both instances. The Second Amendment is an enumerated civil right and includes the right to self-protection and self-defense. It is a shame that so many mayors want to keep their citizens disarmed and servile just like the segregationist mayors of the Jim Crow South.

Quote Of The Day

The gun prohibitionists would have you think that the influence of the NRA and other gun rights organizations extends to the enforcement of gun laws. In a thread on CleanUpATF.org, ATF whistle-blower Vincent Cefalu says it ain’t so.

Stop whining about the big bad NRA wont let us do our job, and go do it. I don’t care what the NRA, GOA or any other partisan group thinks or doesn’t think about the laws we enforce. They are the law of the land until Congress changes it. Its a convenient excuse that they wont let us do our job. I have NEVER been hindered, and that statement is supported by an ATF 100% conviction rate over 24 years.

The Nightline Whitewash

Jake Tapper devoted all of one question to Operation Fast and Furious in his “exclusive” interview with President Obama. Frankly it was a softball question asking Obama’s response when he learned of it. You could have gotten a tougher question coming out of a group of Obama supporters at townhall meeting.

ABC has made the transcripts available and the question and answer is below:

Tapper: Just to change the subject from the economy, the “Fast and Furious” controversy. Aside from some of the more wild charges out there, this is a big scandal. The Justice Department, the ATF was moving guns and some of them were tied to crime scenes. what was your response when you first heard about it?

Obama: Well I heard about it from the news reports. This is not something we were aware of in the White House and the Attorney General it turns out wasn’t aware of either. Obviously Eric Holder has launched a full investigation of this, it is not acceptable for us to allow guns to go into Mexico. Our whole goal has been to interdict aggressively in the flow of weapons and cash flowing south into Mexico because the Mexican president, President Calderon, has done a heroic job of trying to take on these transnational drug cartels. So this investigation will be complete, people who have screwed up will be held accountable but our overarching goal consistently has been to say we’ve got a responsibility not only to stop drugs from flowing north, we’ve also got a responsibility to make sure we are not helping to either arm or finance these drug cartels in Mexico. So it’s very upsetting to me to think that somebody showed such bad judgment that they would allow something like that to happen and we will find out who and what happened in this situation and make sure it gets corrected.

I’ll let you make your own judgement as to the truthfulness and adequacy of that answer.

UPDATE: Mike Vanderboegh has an interesting post on the whole whitewash attempt here on his blog. It makes interesting reading.

Obama To ABC News – “People ..Will Be Held Accountable”

Jake Tapper, White House correspondent for ABC News, has been traveling with President Obama on his road trip through North Carolina and Virginia. He is reporting that Obama is vowing that those responsible will be held accountable.

As the Justice Department investigates how U.S. guns were allowed to flow illicitly into Mexico under the watchful eyes of federal agents, President Obama said today in an exclusive interview with ABC News that “people who have screwed up will be held accountable.”

“Our overarching goal consistently has been to say we’ve got a responsibility not only to stop drugs from flowing north, we’ve also got a responsibility to make sure we are not helping to either arm or finance these drug cartels in Mexico,” Obama said in the interview with ABC News senior White House correspondent Jake Tapper that will air on “Nightline.”

“It’s very upsetting to me to think that somebody showed such bad judgment that they would allow something like that to happen,” he said. “And we will find out who and what happened in this situation and make sure it gets corrected.”

It is worth remembering that President Obama said he had “complete confidence” in Attorney General Eric Holder in a news conference on October 6th. Obama also has a history of throwing people under the bus when it advances his cause or protects his interests.

I have been pondering something Mike Vanderboegh wrote less than two weeks ago when he compared the defense of Operation Fast and Furious to that of Stalingrad. You could take Obama’s “complete confidence” statement on Holder to be the equivalent of Hitler’s promotion of General Paulus to Field Marshall. Hitler promoted Paulus to inspire him to fight harder and one can sense Obama made his statement for similar reasons. But just like the Battle of Stalingrad wasn’t about Paulus, ultimately Project Gunwalker isn’t about Eric Holder.

Any scandal defense is like a military defense in depth, with successive lines, hedgehogs and mutually supporting fires. Avatar is quite correct. The winter campaign fight for Holder’s Ridge will be desperate and designed to distract from the strategic positions behind it: the Homeland Security Line, the FBI hedgehog, the State Department schwerpunkt and the White House command and control center.

Question: Do y’all understand who is turning over these documents that are so damning to Holder and his henchmen? The White House, of course. And why would they be doing that? To make you think that Holder’s Ridge is the key position in the over-all battle. It is not.

So as you read the increasingly bad headlines for Holder, keep in mind that he is being kept in place for a reason — to distract the investigation from the really culpable conspirators at the top.

You have to ask yourself why, when he is so focused on his jobs program, does President Obama feels the need to speak out about Operation Fast and Furious. And why to Jake Tapper of ABC News? While not in the same league as Sharyl Attkisson of CBS or William LaJeunesse of Fox, Tapper has asked some “impertinent” questions about Fast and Furious at White House press conferences. Given this administration’s policy of punishing those in the media who don’t toe the party line, why are they not giving it to one of the sycophants from NBC or MSNBC?

While I don’t fully understand the White House’s strategy on this but I will say I don’t trust it and feel it is linked to continuing the coverup of the scandal as well as limiting the exposure of the White House.

On CCW Rules For Wisconsin

Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) reluctantly approved the emergency rule promulgated by the Wisconsin Department of Justice concerning training for the state’s concealed carry permit. With concealed carry going into effect on November 1st, his feeling that not approving it would delay the right of Wisconsinites to carry concealed.

Cam Edwards has an interview with Brent Gardner, the NRA-ILA State Liaison for Wisconsin, about the emergency rule and concealed carry in the state.

The NRA-ILA released a statement about the emergency rule on Saturday which took exception to it and vowed to work to change it in the permanent rule process.

Governor Scott Walker reluctantly approved the Emergency Concealed Carry Rules promulgated by the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ). While the Governor has many of the same concerns that were expressed by NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris Cox in his letter to Attorney General Van Hollen, he understandably did not want to further delay the ability of citizens of Wisconsin to carry concealed handguns for self-defense. His rejection of the Emergency Rules would have resulted in a significant delay on implementation of the new law that takes effect on November 1.

Governor Walker stated, “We’re hopeful that the Department of Justice improves the permanent rules substantially before sending them to the Administration and the legislature for approval.” The NRA will continue to work with the state legislature to ensure that this happens.

Unfortunately, DOJ has chosen to overstep its authority by imposing conditions on prospective concealed weapons license applicants that the legislature never adopted or intended. As part of the Executive Branch of state government, DOJ’s role is to faithfully implement the laws adopted by the legislature, not dramatically change them. If the Emergency Rules are allowed to become permanent, they will set a dangerous precedent that perverts our system of government and its principles associated with the separation of powers.

When the Legislature adopted Act 35, the concealed weapons law, two provisions were very clear. There was to be no minimum number of hours of firearms training required in order to satisfy the training mandate and any qualifying firearms training or safety class that a prospective applicant has taken at any time in the past would be accepted.

Through its Emergency Rules, the DOJ has effectively negated both of these provisions. First, the Rules require a minimum of four hours of training. Both houses of the legislature contemplated amendments that would have required a minimum number of hours of training and specific curriculum. These amendments were rejected.

Secondly, DOJ had deviated from the examples set by other states with virtually identical statutory language by micromanaging the information that must be provided on training certificates submitted by applicants. No training certificates anywhere in the country contain the information that the Wisconsin DOJ demands. This renders all existing certificates insufficient for submission with a citizen’s license application. DOJ could have easily established a system that would have allowed existing training certificates to be submitted while ensuring that the requirements of the concealed weapons law are met.

It is now time for you to act! The Emergency Rules will now be sent to the legislature for approval or rejection. Please contact your state representative and senator and ask that they reject the Emergency Rules and work to ensure that that the permanent rules ultimately reflect the clear letter of the law and the legislature’s intent. In the meantime, the Emergency Rules will remain in effect so as to ensure that there is no delay in the November 1 implementation of this essential new law.

Hick Vote?

Harvard Law professor Elizabeth Warren who is running for the Senate seat currently held by Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) said in an interview she is “going for the hick vote.”

Warren, who has taught at Harvard Law for the past 17 years, was born in Oklahoma. According to Politico, she referred to herself as an “elite hick”. I’d be tempted to just go with elitist especially given the way she looked over her glasses and down her nose at Scott Brown for posing in the nude for Cosmo to help pay for  college.

The Massachusetts GOP quickly responded.

But Massachusetts GOP Communications Director Tim Buckley had a different position.

“Professor Warren’s insulting use of the word ‘hick’ offers a revealing prism into her elitist and arrogant worldview. Massachusetts voters deserve an explanation about just who Professor Warren was referring to when she spoke of winning the ‘hick vote.’”

Checking her campaign website, she makes no mention of her stance on the Second Amendment. However, she says she is for green energy development and making it easier for workers to organize. Somehow I don’t think her stance on the Second Amendment would be the same as Massachusetts gun bloggers JayG or Weer’d Beard.

Garbage In, Garbage Out

CBS News is reporting that a study from the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism found that President Obama had gotten more negative media coverage than any other 2012 presidential candidate over the past five months.

Pew found that Mr. Obama was the subject of negative assessments nearly four times as often as he was the subject of positive assessments. It found he received “positive” coverage nine percent of the time, “neutral” coverage 57 percent of the time and “negative” coverage 34 percent of the time.

Pardon me if I am skeptical of this study and of their definition of media. It claims to have drawn from over 11,500 news outlets “including local and national broadcasts, news websites and blogs.”

The study used the amount of attention a candidate received and the “tone of that coverage.” They put the tone into positive, neutral, and negative categories. According to the Project for Excellence in Journalism, they used the following methodology.

To assess the tone of coverage, PEJ researchers then employed computer algorithmic software from Crimson Hexagon. Researchers conducted a tone analysis and then “trained” the algorithm to follow the same rules as they had themselves. PEJ also conducted inter-coder tests to ensure the computer coding was replicable and valid by comparing human coding to the results derived by the algorithm. The project also had different people build the algorithms separately to ensure that they were achieving consistent results. Each computer algorithm was then additionally tested for reliability by having multiple researchers review the content assessed and the results.

The tone analysis was conducted on two different samples. The first was of the coverage and commentary on more than 11,500 news outlets, based on their RSS feeds. While the content is text based, the material on various television news sites often closely resembled the stories that had aired on television, and in some cases were exact transcripts. The second was from hundreds of thousands of blogs. (Facebook and Twitter feeds were not included after researchers found that the political assessment offered there was typically quite brief or referred to blog or news content.)

Anytime you use a computer algorithm, it is susceptible to tampering and tweaking regardless of the so-called safeguards that the researchers supposedly employed. It goes back to that old saying about computers, if you put garbage in, you’ll get garbage out.

The study does acknowledge that blogs are more critical of candidates than other new media outlets. This I would believe. However, the general results from this study lump blogs in with the rest of the media. In relation to the coverage of Obama, this will tend to raise the negatives while hiding the generally uncritical reporting on Obama by the mainstream media. Digging deeper into this study, you find that blogs on both ends of the political spectrum are harsher towards Obama than the news media in general. However, the study does not include a similar breakout for the mainstream media like they do for blogs. In other words, you cannot compare the tone of coverage given by blogs with that of the mainstream media.

Reports such as these that “show” more negative coverage of Obama lets the mainstream media get away with their fawning and generally uncritical reporting on him. If the mainstream media were actually taking a negative approach towards Obama, you would see in-depth, critical stories hammering his administration over Project Gunwalker. As it is, you have Sharyl Attkisson at CBS, William LaJeunesse at Fox, and sometimes Richard Solarno at the LA Times writing about it. The New York Times, the Washington Post, NBC, CNN, ABC, and the rest of the elite media would just as soon not write about Project Gunwalker. They’d rather focus on the astro-turfed Occupy Wall Street nonsense.