Secondary Sights

The National Shooting Sports Foundation has released another one of its short training videos. This one features Mark Hanish of FNH-USA’s 3-gun team talking about using secondary sights for taking shorter shots in 3-gun competition.

The one thing that struck me immediately is that having secondary iron sights canted off to the side would also work well on a home defense AR-15 or MBR especially if it was a be-all and do-all rifle. That is, if it was your only rifle and you used it for a number of things including home defense.

From The GOP Platform On Gun Rights

The Republican Party Platform has gotten a number of mentions for how pro-gun it is from both the blogosphere as well as the mainstream media. Of course, Pravda on the Potomac aka the Washington Post has to headline their story, “In wake of mass shootings, Republican Party platforms calls for expanded rights for gun owners”. The new head of the Brady Campaign, Dan Gross, tells the Post that “by making these changes, Republican leaders have ‘put themselves farther out of touch with their constituents.'” Dan, of course, is merely wishing that were true.

So what does the Republican Platform – We The People: A Restoration of Constitutional Government – really say about firearms and gun rights? You can see for yourself below.

The Second Amendment: Our Right to Keep and Bear Arms

We uphold the right of individuals to keep and bear arms, a right which antedated the Constitution and was solemnly confirmed by the Second Amendment. We acknowledge, support, and defend the law-abiding citizen’s God-given right of self-defense. We call for the protection of such fundamental individual rights recognized in the Supreme Court’s decisions in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago affirming that right, and we recognize the individual responsibility to safely use and store firearms. This also includes the right to obtain and store ammunition without registration. We support the fundamental right to self-defense wherever a law-abiding citizen has a legal right to be, and we support federal legislation that would expand the exercise of that right by allowing those with state-issued carry permits to carry firearms in any state that issues such permits to its own residents. Gun ownership is responsible citizenship, enabling Americans to defend their homes and communities. We condemn frivolous lawsuits against gun manufacturers and oppose federal licensing or registration of law-abiding gun owners. We oppose legislation that is intended to restrict our Second Amendment rights by limiting the capacity of clips or magazines or otherwise restoring the ill-considered Clinton gun ban. We condemn the reckless actions associated with the operation known as “Fast and Furious,” conducted by the Department of Justice, which resulted in the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol Agent and others on both sides of the border. We applaud the Members of the U.S. House of Representatives in holding the current Administration’s Attorney General in contempt of Congress for his refusal to cooperate with their investigation into that debacle. We oppose the improper collection of firearms sales information in the four southern border states, which was imposed without congressional authority.

With the exception of overturning the Hughes Amendment and removing silencers from the NFA, I think it hits all the high points of what we have been fighting to achieve.

The NSSF Blog which strongly endorses this platform now wonders if the Democrats will come out with a similarly strong worded platform in favor of gun rights. 

Now as the Democratic National Convention approaches, we can hope for a campaign platform statement on the right to keep and bear arms that is as straightforward, respectful of our history and of recent Supreme Court decisions as the reasonable members of that party can achieve. We will not hold our breath, but we can hope.

I’m not holding my breath either.

Leonard Embody Loses….Again

The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of the case that Leonard Embody brought against Tennessee park ranger Steve Ward today.

The Court found that Embody’s 2nd, 4th, and 14th Amendment Rights were not violated when he was stopped in Radnor Lake State Natural Area while open-carrying a Draco AK-47 pistol. The Draco had an 11 1/2 inch barrel and had the tip of the muzzle painted orange much like an airsoft toy.

This case has been troublesome since the start due to Mr. Embody’s hubris. To be frank, he went looking for trouble, found it, was momentarily detained, and then sent on his merry way no worse the wear. In response he filed a suit in US District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee. The end result of that was to have everyone’s Second Amendment rights circumscribed due to that court’s decision which misread the Heller decision.

As Judge Sutton of the 6th Circuit noted in his opinion:

For his troubles, Embody has done something rare: He has taken a position on the Second and Fourth Amendment that unites the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence and the Second Amendment Foundation. Both organizations think that the park ranger permissibly disarmed and detained Leonard Embody that day, notwithstanding his rights to possess the gun. So do we.

Alan Gura had filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Second Amendment Foundation and the CalGuns Foundation that argued the District Court got the decision right but for the wrong reasons. It asked the 6th Circuit to affirm the decision but find that the Second Amendment didn’t apply in this case. The appeals court seems to have agreed with this and said the Second Amendment didn’t apply in this situation due to qualified immunity.

Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned has much more on the decision here. The Volokh Conspiracy also covers the decision and there is a lively discussion going on in the comments section.

Whether or not Mr. Embody decides to appeal to the Supreme Court is up to him. If he does, I’d wager house money that the Supreme Court would deny certiorari in this case.

From A Sam’s Club Ad

Today I received an email flyer from Sam’s Club which featured this week’s top sellers. Some of the stuff was fairly obvious with students going back to school such as a couple of laptops and the Nexus 7 tablet.

Other stuff caught me by surprise. This included a 10kw gas-powered generator and Augason Farms Emergency Food Storage Kit which is supposed to feed four people for one year. This latter item sells for $2,774 which is a substantial sum.

I could see the generator selling with all the news about Hurricane Issac. However, the long-term storage food is a bit surprising. It does fit in with the post I did yesterday about a story from The Anchoress detailing people in her area buying firearms and stocking up on food as they don’t trust Obama and his cronies.

A Reminder To the UN Programme Of Action From SAF’s Julianne Versnel

For those that don’t know, the Second Amendment Foundation is an accredited NGO (non-governmental organization) at the United Nations. Julianne Versnel, SAF’s Director of Operations, has represented the SAF at a number of UN conferences and meeting. Today she represented them at the UN Programme of Action conference.

BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation today reminded the United Nations that “if women have the right to be protected against violence, then they have the right to protect themselves against violence.”

So spoke SAF’s Director of Operations Julianne Versnel, whose remarks to the U.N. Programme of Action conference were unlike anything many delegates had ever heard before. The conference is seen as the first step toward rekindling discussions about an on-going process to continue development of a small arms and light weapons treaty, which earlier this summer collapsed when several nations opposed it.

Noting that she had reviewed what has already been written and said about the violence against women as it relates to the Programme of Action, Versnel emphasized that, “I am struck by what is not said.”

“If there is a basic sanctity of a woman’s person,” she observed, “if there is a right to not be a victim of sexual or personal violence, then that right involves the right to defend one’s self.”

Versnel stressed that any new global gun control initiatives must “do nothing to disarm women who legitimately and rightfully want to defend themselves.”

While international gun prohibitionists have been pushing a civilian disarmament agenda, Versnel’s warnings may open up a new and politically uncomfortable arena. It is impossible to dismiss female victims of violence as “male American gun nuts.”

“The drive for human rights is a force throughout the world,” Versnel stated, “and especially here at the U.N. A woman’s right to be free from violence is a fundamental human right. That fundamental right is to defend one’s self. The report of this conference should state that without reservation.”

CCRKBA On The Republican Platform

The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms issued a statement yesterday congratulating the GOP on their strong pro-gun platform.

BELLEVUE, WA – The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is “encouraged by the strong pro-gun rights platform” put forth at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

“This is the strongest pro-gun rights platform I’ve ever seen,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, who was in Florida this week.

The platform includes language supporting the “law-abiding citizens’ God-given right of self-defense,” and national concealed carry reciprocity. It opposes revival of a ban on so-called “assault weapons” and normal capacity ammunition magazines, and it also takes a swipe at the Justice Department over Operation Fast and Furious.

“This is strong stuff that squarely puts the GOP behind, ahead of and alongside every one of this nation’s millions of law-abiding gun owners,” Gottlieb noted. “I was delighted to see such a bold position put forth because it clearly provides a contrast between those who offer lip service to the Second Amendment, and those who live by it.”

The Republican platform also supports gun owner privacy with language supporting “the right to obtain and store ammunition without registration.”

“I think it is important to American gun owners that, even in the wake of the tragedy in Colorado, and the soaring homicide rate in Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago that the GOP platform framers can intelligently separate the acts of criminals from the civil rights of peaceable citizens,” Gottlieb stated. “Others would dredge up cliché-ridden programs that have been demonstrable failures, and that punish law-abiding citizens for the acts of social losers, thugs and lunatics.

“The Republican platform does none of that,” he concluded. “It is clear that this platform language was crafted by people who understand that the rights of law-abiding gun owners should be expanded not eroded. Their platform recognizes gun owners as first-class Americans, not second-rate citizens.”

“I expect the crowd in power to destroy everything…” – The Anchoress

Elizabeth Scalia – The Anchoress – is a Catholic blogger who tends to blog about things like the feast days of various Catholic saints, the Catholic Church, and the intersection of religion and politics. She is a Benedictine Oblate or lay religious who has made “a promise to a monastery to live a spiritual life patterned after the Rule of St. Benedict.”

Thus, when she has a blog post about people arming themselves, buying ammo, and prepping in general out of a fear of what Obama and his cronies will do to stay in power, I pay attention. Frankly, this is something I would more likely expect to read on James Wesley, Rawles’ SurvivalBlog or any number of prepper forums.

Scalia describes a scene at her local beauty salon where both the stylist and his boss admit to storing food and to purchasing firearms.

In the past few weeks I’ve heard some surprising people admit they’ve been arming themselves and purchasing ammunition — one such discussion happened all around me at the hairdresser’s while I sat and listened. The stylist and his boss, they’re storing food and arming themselves. The chiropractor who popped in to say hello while taking his afternoon stroll said he is armed, too: “never in my life thought I’d have a gun in the house, now we have two.”

They’re arming, they say, because they “see it all going bad.” These same folks who voted for Barack Obama in 2008 were now asserting an idea the far-left had floated around before that election, but instead of “Bush is going to install martial law and suspend elections.” they’re saying it of Obama. “He paid off his friends and did nothing to create jobs and he wants it all to go bad, because then he can stay in power and dictate.”

 I don’t know where Scalia lives but the small businesses are taking it on the chin. 30% of the businesses in her area are closed and new ones are not opening. There is a lot of economic anxiety and fear among the people she is talking with. I’m guessing it is probably somewhere in the Northeast or in the Rust Belt.

There is an absolute collapse of faith in our systems and in the guy they helped put into office. These folks who were so quick to believe the press in ’08 and to believe in “hope and change” are now willfully believing the absolute worst. While I was getting my grey washed away I heard about local goings-on that I won’t write about here until I check it out for myself, because I don’t know what is real and what is paranoid fantasy or conspiracy theory. But the thing is, the anxiety is real, the doubt is real, as is the willingness to believe the absolute worst of all of our institutions — the press, the churches, the government. These folks are utterly convinced that the only thing that is going to be installed come next January is chaos and oppression. They’ll vote for Romney (“assuming there is an election and we’re allowed to vote and the vote is actually counted…”) simply because he’s not Obama, but they’re convinced that America’s best days are over.

Maybe it is because many people have gardens and already own firearms but I’m not seeing this locally in the mountains of North Carolina. People are worried about the economy and keeping their homes but they aren’t talking about a seizure of power. I asked the Complementary Spouse if she had heard anything like this where she works and she said no. She has heard people at work saying they better buy the guns they want now because of Obama but that is about it.

Scalia’s post indicates to me that the fear many of us have in the gun rights community hold about a second Obama term is not unreasonable. We fear that an unfettered Obama won’t be so circumspect as he has been in his current term. That said, what Scalia describes about the attitudes in her community, the fear and anxiety, and even the paranoia go far beyond that and I’m not sure what to make of it.

An Idea That I’d Like To See Spread

My friend Rob at the SlowFacts blog had a story Sunday about a trainer in Reno, NV who provides free firearms training classes to anyone who has a signed protective order.

Actions speak volumes about a person, and that is why I’m impressed with Vicki Kawelmacher. Vicki is a firearms instructor in Reno, Nevada. She specializes in teaching women. She offers free classes to students who have a signed protective order. A protective order, also called a restraining order in some other states, means these students convinced a judge there is a serious threat to them or their children. These students to learn self-defense right now. Vicki has been in that position with an attempted abduction of her daughter. Vicki knows that a piece of legal paper is ineffective without a means to back it up.

He proposes that local gun clubs, ranges, and other such organizations establish scholarship funds for those in immediate need of training and who have limited means. I agree fullheartedly with Rob that this would a charity I’d love to support. As Rob say, ” If we really advocate responsible self-defense, then we should donate and volunteer to make that happen without asking instructors to teach for free.” It’s great that Vicki Kawelmacher is doing what she is doing but we as a community should make it so that she and others like her don’t have to assume the burden.

I think Rob’s idea is one that we should encourage.

Inspector General Reports Blames Locals In Fast And Furious

Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News posted a report on the draft DOJ Inspector General report on Operation Fast and Furious yesterday. The report places most of the blame on Phoenix-based ATF officials including SAC William Newell, group supervisor David Voth, and the lead case agent Hope McAllister.

Those familiar with the contents say ATF Phoenix officials shoulder much blame, including then-Special Agent in Charge Bill Newell, the lead Fast and Furious case agent Hope MacAllister, and group supervisor David Voth.

Since the controversy was first exposed, a divide has developed between the ATF staff in Phoenix who oversaw and implemented Fast and Furious; and their supervisors at ATF headquarters and the Justice Department. The Phoenix officials say higher-ups approved of the case. But the higher-ups say it was all the brainchild of rogue ATF officials in Phoenix.

Also being singled out for blame in Project Gunwalker are former US Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke, his assistant Emory Hurley, and former Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson.

The draft report is expected to be released within the next few weeks. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) has scheduled a hearing for September 11th on the report and has asked DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz to testify. In a letter sent to Horowitz on Friday, August 24th, Issa warned the DOJ about taking a longer than usual amount of time to review the draft report.

As to the conclusions of the draft report and who leaked it to Sharyl Attkission, Mike Vanderboegh had this comment:

Well, there’s a big surprise. You didn’t think Kevin O’Reilly’s name would come up, did you? Ask yourself just one thing. Who is in a position to read and leak the contents of this report which is not yet final and hasn’t been seen outside the executive branch? Someone who is interested in what the military calls, IPB — “Intelligence Preparation of the Battlespace.”