IGOLD 2013

One of the major annual events for the Illinois State Rifle Association is their Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day. This is the day that gun owners from across the Illini State gather to lobby the Illinois General Assembly.

ISRA recently set the date for the 2013 event. It will be held in Springfield, Illinois on Wednesday, March 6th.  You can download their flyer for the event here.

To get an idea about the turnout, check out these pictures on the Days of Our Trailers blog. By contrast, here is the turnout for a Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (sic) event outside the White House.

IL Gov. Quinn’s Amendatory Veto Over-Ridden In State Senate

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn’s amendatory veto of a bill that would have allowed Illinois residents to purchase ammunition by mail order was over-ridden in the Illinois State Senate yesterday by a 49-4 vote. Quinn used the amendatory veto to rewrite the bill to ban semi-auto rifles, standard capacity magazines, and rifles in .50 caliber.

The original sponsor of the bill says that Quinn overstepped his authority:

Republican Sen. Dave Luechtefeld (LUK’-tuh-feld) of Okawville
(OH-kuh-vil) says Quinn overstepped his authority. Luechtefeld’s
original bill merely allowed approved Illinois gun owners who buy
ammunition through the mail to purchase it from Illinois companies as
well as those out of state. 

The Peoria Journal-Star reports that Quinn is not giving up on his attempts to ban semi-automatic rifles with cosmetic features he doesn’t like.

Spokeswoman Brooke Anderson says the Democratic governor will continue
seeking a statewide assault-weapons ban to enhance public safety. She
would not elaborate on his strategy.

The measure now goes to the State House for action on the governor’s veto. If they override it, Illinois residents will be able to purchase ammunition by mail-order from Illinois companies.

Kurt Hofmann, the St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner and a resident of southern Illinois, has more on it here.

UPDATE: Richard Pearson, Ex. Director of ISRA, included this info in his Thursday bulletin about overriding the veto.

On Wednesday, Nov. 28th, 2012, the Illinois Senate passed SB681 in its original form at a margin of 49 – 4. The bill, SB681, was a simple bill that allowed ammunition to be mail ordered from dealers or companies in Illinois and shipped to FOID card holders in Illinois. FOID card holders could already order ammunition from out of state sources.

The Governor illegally used his amendatory veto power and substituted language to turn SB681 into an all encompassing ‘assault’ weapons ban. The Illinois Senate reaffirmed the original language and intent of SB681.

Next week, SB681 will have to be voted on in the Illinois House of Representatives. Be sure to call your state representative and ask them to vote for the override of the Governor’s Veto of SB681. To reach your representative, please click here for the Illinois State Board of Elections website to learn who your legislators are!

 The Illinois House of Representatives goes back in session on Tuesday, Dec. 4th.

Number One Bad Dad… Or Not

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals are attention whores. I don’t think that comes as any surprise to anyone who has seen some of their earlier stunts such as splashing fake bloods on fur coats or putting body-painted models in cages. And lest we forget, it is due to their actions in court that Brasstown’s New Year’s Eve Possum Drop was forbidden to use a live opossum.

Their latest attention getting scheme is to send Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) their “2012 Bad Dad Award”. His offense? He took his daughter Liza on a successful father-daughter deer hunt over Thanksgiving. They said it is for “low caliber” parenting. For some reason I don’t think they mean it as a commentary over Liza using her own Remington 700 in .243 Winchester as opposed to a .270 or .308.

In their letter to Ryan telling his of the award, PETA insinuates that parents who take their children hunting are creating future school shooting incidents.

November 28, 2012

The Honorable Paul Ryan
United States House of Representatives

Dear Representative Ryan:

On behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ (PETA) more than 3 million members and supporters worldwide, including thousands in Wisconsin, I am writing to present you with PETA’s Bad Dad Award (your certificate is on the way). You deserve the award because, instead of teaching your young daughter respect for wildlife and encouraging her to embrace nonviolence, you gave her a gun and encouraged her to kill animals for fun.

You seem to have a desperate need to assert your old-fashioned idea of manhood, to wield power over those who can’t defend themselves, even to the point of stealing their very lives for nothing more than the perverse thrill of it. I imagine there must be a lot of people who are disappointed in your lack of empathy, not only for those who are unarmed in the face of the fancy weaponry that helps you do your dirty work but also more broadly. I suspect that while you love your daughter, you don’t understand that the love of one’s offspring is shared by other living beings, including deer, whose fawns become orphaned when they are killed. And given that your daughter was “practicing,” one wonders if she is already among the ranks of hunters responsible for allowing deer to flee wounded, only to die out of sight, slowly and in agony.

How appalling to use your influence to desensitize your child to the suffering of others. In fact, the young people who have opened fire on their schoolmates—including 16-year-old Andrew Golden who, along with an accomplice, killed five people at Westside Middle School in Jonesboro, Ark., and 17-year-old T.J. Lane, who killed three people at Chardon High School near Cleveland earlier this year, had first expressed their love of hunting animals. In light of this fact alone, it seems grossly irresponsible to encourage a child to kill for “fun.”

You can’t teach kids to be tough, if that was the purpose, by encouraging them to kill those who can’t defend themselves. Being a good dad means encouraging children to engage in safe, peaceful, and fun ways for them to enjoy nature, including canoeing, bird watching, biking, and hiking—even clearing the woods of hunters’ beer cans and other trash would be a blessing. While this letter is blunt, its point is to ask you to ponder the value of encouraging compassion in your daughter, as well as in your other children, by switching to humane family activities.

Very truly yours,

Ingrid E. Newkirk

I think it is an understatement to call these people bat-shit crazy. Their next stunt is put up billboards featuring talk show host Wendy Williams nude. I can’t wait for what Joel McHale will do with that in the next episode of The Soup.

As for the award to Paul Ryan, I’m sure that it might get him a few more votes in his home district in Wisconsin from Democrats who hunt deer. I know he won’t be losing any votes – or sleep – over it.

Principles Be Damned When It Is Something We Want

People say that they want politicians with principles: men and women who will stand by their word and who will honor prior agreements even if it isn’t the most popular or expedient thing to do. People say that until such time as principle and honoring prior agreements get in the way of some goody that they want. Then it is those obstructionist politicians are impeding progress or whatever.

A case in point was the procedural vote on S. 3525, the Sportsmen’s Act of 2012, that took place on Tuesday morning. The roll call vote on S. 3525 was 50 yea, 44 nay, and 6 not voting. It was a vote to “waive all applicable budgetary discipline” and accept Majority Leader Harry Reid’s substitute amendment (S. Admt No. 2875). With the exceptions of Senators Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA), it was a straight party line vote for or against this procedural measure. Republicans were against it and Democrats for it. Because the amendment did not get a 3/5 majority, it failed. With its failure, time now becomes an issue.

Leading the fight against this motion was Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) – the Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee. Sen. Sessions said the Sportman’s Act is legislation is something he strongly supports. However, he went on to say, that the bill violates the Budget Control Act of 2011. From the Congressional Record:

The question is, if we lay out a plan
to address our fiscal issues, will we adhere
to it? Will we follow it? So I am a
little bit taken aback that my colleagues
seem oblivious to the idea and
the concern that, plainly, the Sportsmen’s
Act legislation violates the
Budget Act. The staff of Senator KENT
CONRAD—our Democratic chairman of
the Budget Committee, who is retiring—
has concluded and certified that it
violates the budget because it spends
more money than we agreed to spend
on this item 15 months ago when the
Budget Control Act was passed in order
to raise the debt ceiling in America.

Sessions acknowledges that the amount of money in question is miniscule when compared to other budget items.

So at a time of unprecedented spending,
unsustainable debt, and low public
confidence in Congress, should we not
adhere to even the smallest spending
limits that have been enacted? Should
we again violate the Budget Control
Act for a mere $14 million a year—a
mere $14 million a year—when this
could easily be fixed? I say ‘‘a mere $14
million’’ because we deal with billions
of dollars on a routine basis around

He notes that the Congress spends over $900 million on wetlands conservation programs. Yet no one has examined these projects to see if enough efficiencies could be found to fund the $14 million expenditure in question. We are only talking about finding a mere 1.55% of waste and overages in other projects that could be re-budgeted to provide the $14 million in question.

Ben Lamb writes the Open Country blog for Outdoor Life magazine and is quite put out that the GOP finally stood up for principle.

Ten bucks. That’s what killed the progressive, popular, good-government Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 yesterday.

Ten bucks, or the increase of the cost of a federal duck stamp from $15 to $25.

But that $10 created a partisan divide large enough to kill something that hunters and anglers have been asking for: congressional help to provide public access to public land, end the nonsense of lead-ammo restrictions, and allow a few polar bears to be liberated from their importation purgatory.

Here’s the fact: On Monday, November 26th, the United States Senate beat a well-worn path of partisanship and pettifoggery (look it up!) by voting down the Sportsmen’s Act of 2012. They did it in such a manner that they avoided being labeled anti-sportsman by the NRA, while ultimately catering to the whims of fringe environmental groups like the Center for Biological Diversity, and anti-hunting groups like the Humane Society of The United States.

On a procedural motion to waive the budget rules and allow for an increase in the cost of the federal duck stamp from $15 to $25, the United Sates Senate proved once again that no good deed goes unpunished.

He goes on to say that the Republicans are really doing this out of spite over Sen. Jon Tester getting reelected.

Mary Clare Jalonick of the AP gets into the act as well with her story on the vote. She entitled it “GOP blocks bill to give hunters more land access”. While her article wasn’t as inflammatory as Ben Lamb’s Outdoor Life blog, the headline still puts the onus on the Republicans.

I want more public ranges funded by money I spend in excise taxes for ammo, I want Congress to remove lead ammo and lead fishing tackle from the purview of the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976. I want to see the leaders of the Center for Biological Diversity with frowns on their faces as if they had just sucked a lemon. I, too, want to see the Sportsmen’s Act of 2011 passed.

I am glad Sen. Jeff Sessions and virtually all the Republicans finally drew a line in the sand over spending and violating the Budget Control Act. By ignoring the little things for so long, both Democrats and Republicans have put this country into the fiscal mess in which it resides today. If they can’t stand up and do the right thing on a mere $14 million, then there is no hope that they’ll do the right thing on bigger and more important issues.For once somebody stood for principle and honored their prior commitments and we should be glad that they did.

We all know that government agencies pad their budgets and that the $14 million in funding can easily be found. If the Ben Lambs of the world want to find a villain they need to look no further than Majority Leader Harry Reid. He could have easily brought a bill to the floor of the Senate that met the requirements of the Budget Control Act but decided he didn’t want to be bothered.

Now the question is will Reid do the right thing, get the bill fixed, and schedule it for a vote with enough time so that the House of Representatives can vote on it. In an interview with Cam Edwards last night, the NSSF’s General Counsel, Larry Keane, was hopeful that it can be worked out. He also noted that the budget issue would have been a sticking point for some in the House as well.

SAAMI – Sporting Ammunition and the Fire Fighter

The National Shooting Sports Foundation and the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturer’s Institute (SAAMI) have produced a video for firefighters about the impact of fire on stored ammunition. This video and the tests they performed serves to dispel many of the myths about stored ammunition. It is actually rather interesting and I would recommend you share it with any friends that are either paid or volunteer firefighters.

The bottom line is that while it makes a lot of noise when it is “cooking off”, ammunition poses little risk of injury to fire fighters or neighbors. When they burned up over 28,000 rounds of ammo in a bonfire, very few of the projectiles even penetrated one layer of sheetrock and none penetrated the second layer. A firefighter who near the fire in full turn-out gear could feel the projectiles hitting his coat but none penetrated it nor did they cause any pain.

Emily Miller On SAF’s Illegal Mayors Initiative

In a follow-up to her Washington Times article on the Second Amendment Foundation’s push to point out all of Mayor Bloomberg’s illegal mayors, Emily Miller was interviewed by Cam Edwards of NRA News on Monday.

Emily discusses how MAIG jumps on any shooting “like white on rice”. She then discusses the background of some of the MAIG members and their criminal past (and present). Of course, this is not new information to anybody who has followed gun blogs for a while. Still, it is good that this info is getting out. Even better is that the NRA through NRA News is acknowledging the roll that the Second Amendment Foundation is playing in publicizing this information.

Heath Becomes A Dookie*

My soon to be former congressman, Heath Shuler, has a new job lined up. He’s becoming the top “Federal affairs official” for Duke Energy aka Duke Power. That is Beltway-speak for lobbyist.

From The Hill:

The conservative Democrat won’t vote on any matters affecting Duke Energy for the remainder of his time in Congress, the company said in a statement that touted the hiring of the one-time Washington Redskins quarterback.

“Heath is well known in Washington for working with leaders from both political parties and for bringing people together in his district in Western North Carolina,” said Keith Trent, a vice president with Duke Energy’s regulated utilities.

Shuler, who announced in February that he was not seeking reelection, will be based in Duke’s Washington, D.C., office.

A Duke spokesman, citing House ethics rules, said Shuler would not be “actively lobbying” for one year but could do so after that period. Shuler will be overseeing and determining how to strengthen Duke’s D.C. office, spokesman Tom Williams said.

The environmental activist new site Grist offers this rather snide comment on the revolving door between Congress and K-Street:

That’s the commitment to ethical integrity our Congress is known for: No voting on issues related to your future employer. Strictly verboten. Hard line in the sand.

Plus, he’ll have to wait an entire year before coming back to Capitol Hill.

Wow! A whole year. That must suck.

If you wondered about his commitment to living in Waynesville with his wife Nikol and kids Navy and Island, wonder no more. His house is for sale. If you have $2.7 million lying around it can be yours.

If you listen carefully to the video below, you will notice Heath saying that they have enjoyed living in the house for six years. Hmm. How long did Heath serve in Congress? Six years. Do you think Rahm Emanual parachuted him into Western North Carolina to run for Congress? Yep.

*Dookie. A term of “affection” traditionally used for graduates of that politically correct university in Durham, NC where one is guilty until proven innocent if you are male and white. The same family that endowed Duke University founded Duke Power thus my use of the term Dookie.


That is the number of point-of-sale NICS checks that were performed on Friday and Saturday combined. The NSSF is reporting that the number of NICS checks on the day after Thanksgiving, “Black Friday”, set the all-time one-day record of 154,873.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving also made the list of top ten highest days coming in at number six.

With regard to the numbers, NSSF points out:

That total was nearly 20 percent more than the previous high of 129,166 set on Black Friday last year. Since a federal background check is mandatory for every firearm sold at retail, background check activity serves as an indicator of retail gun sales.

They attribute the high sales to Obama’s reelection, an increase in hunting license sales, and the fact that more and more Americans are taking responsibility for the safety of their families as well as themselves.

Since these numbers are strictly from point-of-sales, it will be interesting to see how the gun prohibitionists try to spin this.

Final Vote On Sportsmen’s Act Of 2012 Expected Today (Updated)

The Senate Calendar for today lists S.3525 as the first act of legislative business for today.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation has released another alert that the bill is coming to a vote and urging support for it.

What makes this alert a little different is that they acknowledge indirectly GOA’s opposition to the bill. I know this will put me on the other side of the fence from some of my readers but I think NSSF has it right on this. I have heard criticism of NSSF’s support for S.3525 as “consider the source”. This assumes that NSSF only cares about lead ammo and shooting ranges and not Federal confiscation of land. Frankly, I think this improperly denigrates both NSSF and the gun manufacturing community as “unAmerican” and only looking out for themselves.

UPDATE: The Senate voted 50 yea, 44 nay, and 6 not voting on a substitute amendment by Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV). The amendment is described as “Motion to Waive all Applicable Budgetary Discipline Re: Amdt. No. 2875; In the nature of a substitute.” The amendment failed as it required a 3/5 majority. Every Republican except the lame duck Sen. Olympia Snowe (RINO-ME) voted nay on the amendment.

 According to today’s Senate calendar, S. 3525, is being placed on the Unanimous Consent calendar to:

1.—Ordered, That S. 3525, a bill to protect and enhance opportunities for recreational hunting, fishing, and shooting, and for other purposes, be returned to the Calendar status quo; provided, that at a time to be determined by the Majority Leader after consultation with the Republican Leader, it be in order for the Majority Leader to resume consideration of S. 3525. (Nov. 26, 2012.)

Where this leaves the bill in terms of scheduling, I’m not sure.

UPDATE II: The NSSF released this statement regarding S. 3525 yesterday. They still hope it will be brought to a vote in this lame-duck session.

NSSF today expressed disappointment with the results of last evening’s procedural vote in the U.S. Senate that has delayed action on the Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 (S.3525), but pledged to continue working in a bipartisan fashion, along with a coalition of more than 45 other leading sportsmen’s and conservation groups, to advance the historic package of bills before the adjournment of the 112th Congress.

“It is clear there is broad bipartisan support for the policies contained in the Sportsmen’s Act, which contains our industry’s top legislative priorities” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. “While we are disappointed by Monday’s procedural vote, we will continue to work in a bipartisan manner to address budgetary concerns raised by senators in time to ensure a vote on the Sportsmen’s Act before the end of the lame-duck session.”

NCWRC Sued Over Night Hunting Of Coyotes

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission is being sued by the Southern Environmental Law Center on behalf of Red Wolf Coalition, Defenders of Wildlife and the Animal Welfare Institute to stop night hunting of coyotes with artificial light in five eastern NC counties. A judge in Wake County Superior Court has granted a preliminary injunction stopping the hunting of coyotes in Dare, Tyrrell, Hyde, Washington and Beaufort counties.

RALEIGH, NC- Coyote hunting at night with the aid of an artificial light will be disallowed temporarily in five counties – Dare, Tyrrell, Hyde, Washington and Beaufort – pending the outcome of a lawsuit questioning the temporary rule adopted by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

Wake County Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway issued a preliminary injunction halting coyote hunting at night with the aid of artificial light only in those five counties. The order was issued in response to a complaint filed by the Southern Environmental Law Center, on behalf of the Red Wolf Coalition, Defenders of Wildlife and the Animal Welfare Institute.

“While we accept the judge’s decision, it is important to note that this is a decision on a preliminary injunction only. It is not a decision on the lawsuit,” said Wildlife Commission Executive Director Gordon Myers. “We remain confident of our position and its merits.”

The Wildlife Commission passed temporary rules in July allowing the taking of coyotes and feral swine by hunting on private lands at night with a light. Night hunting is one means of controlling localized populations of coyotes and feral swine, both of which are non-native to North Carolina, destructive to the landscape, and potential disease carriers. Coyotes also pose predatory threats to pets and livestock.

The preliminary injunction issued today by the Superior Court only applies to hunting coyotes at night in Washington, Beaufort, Tyrrell, Hyde and Dare counties The order does not prevent taking of wildlife, including coyotes and red wolves, while in the act of depredation. It does not affect hunting feral swine at night with the aid of a light.

The preliminary injunction will remain in effect pending the final ruling by the Superior Court on this issue.
Wildlife Officers in the five-county region will work to alert hunters about today’s ruling.

The plaintiffs are alleging that the rule allowing night hunting of coyotes in those counties violated the NC Administrative Procedure Act and will put the red wolf, an endangered species, at risk. A copy of the lawsuit can be found on the Animal Welfare Institute’s website here.

As a North Carolinian, I am a bit worried about the use of the legal system by groups like PETA and now the Animal Welfare Institute. AWI describes their mission as:

Since its founding in 1951, AWI has sought to alleviate the suffering
inflicted on animals by people. In the organization’s early years, our
particular emphasis was on the desperate needs of animals used for
experimentation. In the decades that followed, we expanded the scope of
our work to address many other areas of animal suffering.

I would think that if they were really concerned about the health of the red wolf they would be all for the hunting of a non-native invasive species that competes with the red wolf for food and habitat. Moreover, one of the biggest threats to the survival of the species is hybridization with coyotes.