Pastor Kenn On NPR’s Tell Me More

Pastor Kenn Blanchard, author, podcaster, media mogul, and all around nice guy, was interviewed by Michel Martin for National Public Radio’s Tell Me More program. This program’s goal is to:

Capturing the headlines, issues and pleasures relevant to multicultural
life in America, the daily one-hour series is hosted by award-winning
journalist Michel Martin. Tell Me More
marks Martin’s first role in hosting a daily program. She views it as
an opportunity to focus on the stories, experiences, ideas and people
important in contemporary life but often not heard.

Kenn gave a great interview in which he discussed his history with firearms, the role that firearms have played within the African-American community, his interest in the history of firearms in that community, and, to be frank, the uneasy relationship he has with his congregation over his views on firearms and firearm rights.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again – we are very fortunate to have someone like Pastor Kenn on our side of the gun rights issue. An articulate spokesman of whatever color or race is always an asset.

Cuomo: Guns For Hollywood But Not New York Citizens

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) is asking for “technical amendments” to the NY SAFE law that he rammed through the New York Assembly and Senate earlier this year. These technical amendments would allow film makers to use firearms for film and TV productions that are denied to ordinary New Yorkers.

“We spend a lot of money in the state bringing movie production here, post-production here, so obviously we would want to facilitate that,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who wants to expand the film and TV tax credit.

He said movies and TV may use fake guns that wouldn’t be subject to the new law but the industry wants “certainty.” The revised law would allow them to use real weapons without real ammunition.

“There’s no reason not to make a change like that to give an industry comfort, especially when it’s an industry we want to do business in the state,” the governor said.

There is a Yiddish word for what Gov. Cuomo wants to do. That word is chutzpah.

Guntersville Does The Right Thing

Guntersville, Alabama Mayor Leigh Dollar had proposed a change to the emergency ordinances of that city that would have allowed law enforcement to disarm residents. Mayor Dollar said it was to protect officers in the aftermath of an emergency such as the 2011 tornadoes.

While most of the ordinance was sensible and provided for the mayor to act without council in the aftermath of a disaster, it was the sixth of seven sections that caused the uproar. That was the section that allowed any law enforcement officer to disarm residents for the protection of the officer or other individuals. If someone was brandishing a firearm in an unsafe or threatening manner, Alabama law already gave an officer the authority to disarm them – and to arrest them.

I think Mayor Dollar was genuinely surprised by the outpouring of opposition to the ordinance caused by that section of the law. She quickly issued a statement saying her intent was not to disarm people and undermine the Second Amendment.

“As Mayor, I can say there is absolutely no intent to undermine the right to bear arms. I live
in a house full of hunters and I am a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment, as are all
members of the City Council.

“The City’s intent was never to ‘disarm our citizens or seize firearms’. The purpose is for the
City to be able to respond in a timely manner in the event of a disaster which we hope never
happens. However, after April 27, 2011, we know what can easily become a reality.

“The entire proposed local ordinance follows the state emergency ordinance, and the section
related to firearms follows existing state statutes. That section was included so public
workers and volunteers helping during a state of emergency are protected from someone
causing harm or potentially causing harm. In no way is this ordinance trying to infringe upon
anyone’s constitutional rights.”

 Yesterday, the Guntersville City Council had a special meeting and voted to withdraw the ordinance in its entirety from consideration. The whole meeting lasted probably less than five minutes. According to one report, Mayor Dollar said “This entire council is a strong proponent of the Second Amendment. We all own guns.”

We in my home state of North Carolina had to go to US District Court to secure our right to be armed in defense of home and family during an emergency. So I am pleased Mayor Dollar and the Guntersville Council did the right thing when they realized the magnitude of their actions. If this story has a moral, it is that about the power of social media to alert and activate opposition to threats to our rights. It doesn’t always work but in this case it succeeded beautifully.

He Doesn’t Want To Be Seen With The Likes Of Them

Jimmy Kimmel Live last night was supposed to feature the British singer Morrissey and the Robertson family from the A&E Show Duck Dynasty.  However, when Morrissey, a vegetarian and “animal rights activist”, found out the Robertsons were sharing the limelight with him, he issued an ultimatum – them or me.

“As far as my reputation is concerned, I can’t take the risk of being on
a show alongside people who, in effect, amount to animal serial
killers,” Morrissey said in a statement. “If Jimmy cannot dump ‘Duck
Dynasty’ then we must step away.”

Oh, the horror of having to appear alongside those uncouth colonialists who actually kill their own meat.

As an aside, Willie Robertson, Jr, CEO of Duck Commander, is on the ballot for the NRA Board of Directors. He is one of 28 that has been nominated by the Nominating Committee.

UPDATE: Cancelling at the last minute doesn’t go over too well with late night talk shows. Jimmy Kimmel takes Morrissey to task and explains why he wasn’t about the disinvite the Duck Dynasty folks.

To Paraphrase, It’s Jobs, Stupid

The National Shooting Sports Foundation held a series of interviews with managers and workers of a number of Connecticut firearms and firearms accessory manufacturers recently. As the Connecticut legislature looks at a number of draconian gun control laws in the wake of the Newtown shootings, this video puts a human face on the workers of the Connecticut gun industry.

The interviews are with the leaders and employees of O.F. Mossberg, Stag Arms, and magazine maker Ammunition Storage Components.

To paraphrase political strategist James Carville, it’s jobs, stupid. While the jobs may not disappear overnight as it is hard to transfer operations to other locations, if these laws pass, I think you will see more and more of their operations being moved to more gun-friendly states. Indeed, industrial recruiters from such states are already hovering.

An Impertinent Question In The Wake Of The Call For Universal Checks

I suppose it is impertinent to ask why we need universal background checks when the Obama Administration won’t even prosecute cases involving straw purchases. The correct answer is that we don’t. These laws, if passed, will become another of what Michael Bane calls “flypaper laws”. That is, laws that make it difficult not to violate the law.

Fox New’s William LaJeunesse, who did superb reporting of Project Gunwalker, now turns his attention to the lack of enforcement of the law against straw purchases. In 2010, only 62 people were prosecuted for it and only 13 were convicted or pled guilty. This lack of prosecutions led Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and the Republican members of that committee to send a letter last week to President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder asking why they weren’t bringing prosecutions for violation of the existing law.

You can see the video of LaJeunesse’s report here.

Newest Gun-Related Legislation In Congress (Updated)

I have been remiss in updating the list of newly introduced legislation dealing with firearms and firearm ownership. Below are the bills that have been introduced in the House of Representatives since February 5th and the Senate since January 31st. They include both pro-gun rights bills and others that would seek to trample on the Second Amendment.

House of Representatives

HR 538 – Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY)
To protect the Nation’s law enforcement officers by banning the
Five-seveN Pistol and 5.7 x 28mm SS190, SS192, SS195LF, SS196, and SS197
cartridges, testing handguns and ammunition for capability to penetrate
body armor, and prohibiting the manufacture, importation, sale, or
purchase of such handguns or ammunition by civilians.

Referred to House Judiciary Committee

HR 575 – Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX)
Second Amendment Protection Act of 2013
To express the sense of the Congress that the United States should not
adopt any treaty that poses a threat to national sovereignty or abridges
any rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution, such as the
right to keep and bear arms, and to withhold funding from the United
Nations unless the President certifies that the United Nations has not
taken action to restrict, attempt to restrict, or otherwise adversely
infringe upon the rights of individuals in the United States to keep and
bear arms, or abridge any of the other constitutionally protected
rights of citizens of the United States.

Referred to House Foreign Affairs Committee

HR 577 – Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX)
Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act
To amend title 38, United States Code, to clarify the conditions under
which certain persons may be treated as adjudicated mentally incompetent
for certain purposes.

Referred to House Committee on Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs

HR 578 – Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN)
Rep Brady, Kevin [R-TX] – 2/14/2013
Rep Bucshon, Larry [R-IN] – 2/12/2013
Rep Griffin, Tim [R-AR] – 2/14/2013
Rep Hartzler, Vicky [R-MO] – 2/12/2013
Rep Jordan, Jim [R-OH] – 2/14/2013
Rep LaMalfa, Doug [R-CA] – 2/14/2013
Rep Lucas, Frank D. [R-OK] – 2/13/2013
Rep Meadows, Mark [R-NC] – 2/14/2013
Rep Palazzo, Steven M. [R-MS] – 2/13/2013
Rep Stockman, Steve [R-TX] – 2/12/2013
Rep Thornberry, Mac [R-TX] – 2/12/2013
Rep Walberg, Tim [R-MI] – 2/14/2013
Rep Wilson, Joe [R-SC] – 2/14/2013
Respecting States’ Rights and Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2013
To allow reciprocity for the carrying of certain concealed firearms.
Referred to House Judiciary Committee

HR 602 – Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL)
Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act
To amend title 38, United States Code, to clarify the conditions under
which certain persons may be treated as adjudicated mentally incompetent
for certain purposes.

Referred to House Committee on Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs

HR 619 – Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)
Keep Kids Safe Act of 2013 
To amend title 18, United States Code, to place limitations on the
possession, sale, and other disposition of a firearm by persons
convicted of misdemeanor sex offenses against children
Referred to House Judiciary Committee

HR 661 – Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA)
Rep DeLauro, Rosa L. [D-CT]
– 2/13/2013

Rep Farr, Sam [D-CA]
– 2/13/2013

Rep Fattah, Chaka [D-PA]
– 2/13/2013

Rep Grijalva, Raul M. [D-AZ]
– 2/14/2013

Rep Holt, Rush [D-NJ]
– 2/14/2013

Rep Honda, Michael M. [D-CA]
– 2/13/2013

Rep Lowey, Nita M. [D-NY]
– 2/13/2013

Rep McCollum, Betty [D-MN]
– 2/13/2013

Rep Moran, James P. [D-VA]
– 2/13/2013

Rep Pingree, Chellie [D-ME]
– 2/13/2013

Rep Price, David E. [D-NC]
– 2/13/2013

Rep Quigley, Mike [D-IL]
– 2/13/2013

Rep Roybal-Allard, Lucille [D-CA]
– 2/13/2013

Rep Rush, Bobby L. [D-IL]
– 2/14/2013

Rep Schiff, Adam B. [D-CA]
– 2/13/2013

Rep Serrano, Jose E. [D-NY]
– 2/13/2013
Tiahrt Restrictions Repeal Act  
To repeal certain impediments to the administration of the firearms laws.
Referred to House Judiciary Committee

HR 720 – Rep. Peter King (R-NY)
Rep Capuano, Michael E. [D-MA]
– 2/14/2013

Rep Cicilline, David N. [D-RI]
– 2/14/2013

Rep Deutch, Theodore E. [D-FL]
– 2/14/2013

Rep Engel, Eliot L. [D-NY]
– 2/14/2013

Rep Farr, Sam [D-CA]
– 2/14/2013

Rep Grimm, Michael G. [R-NY]
– 2/14/2013

Rep Himes, James A. [D-CT]
– 2/14/2013

Rep Holt, Rush [D-NJ]
– 2/14/2013

Rep Israel, Steve [D-NY]
– 2/14/2013

Rep McGovern, James P. [D-MA]
– 2/14/2013

Rep Moran, James P. [D-VA]
– 2/14/2013

Rep Norton, Eleanor Holmes [D-DC]
– 2/14/2013

Rep Pierluisi, Pedro R. [D-PR]
– 2/14/2013

Rep Quigley, Mike [D-IL]
– 2/14/2013

Rep Rangel, Charles B. [D-NY]
– 2/14/2013

Rep Slaughter, Louise McIntosh [D-NY]
– 2/14/2013

Rep Waxman, Henry A. [D-CA]
– 2/14/2013
To increase public safety by permitting the Attorney General to deny the
transfer of a firearm or the issuance of firearms or explosives
licenses to a known or suspected dangerous terrorist
Referred to House Judiciary Committee

HR 722 – Rep. Peter King (R-NY)
Rep Bishop, Timothy H. [D-NY]
– 2/14/2013

Rep Farr, Sam [D-CA]
– 2/14/2013

Rep Moran, James P. [D-VA]
– 2/14/2013

Rep Rangel, Charles B. [D-NY]
– 2/14/2013
To combat illegal gun trafficking, and for other purposes. 
Referred to House Judiciary Committee

HR 793 – Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA)
Rep Bishop, Timothy H. [D-NY] – 2/15/2013
Rep Cardenas, Tony [D-CA] – 2/15/2013
Rep Clay, Wm. Lacy [D-MO] – 2/15/2013
Rep DeLauro, Rosa L. [D-CT] – 2/15/2013
Rep Edwards, Donna F. [D-MD] – 2/15/2013
Rep Grijalva, Raul M. [D-AZ] – 2/15/2013
Rep Hahn, Janice [D-CA] – 2/15/2013
Rep Lee, Barbara [D-CA] – 2/15/2013
Rep Maloney, Carolyn B. [D-NY] – 2/15/2013
Rep Matsui, Doris O. [D-CA] – 2/15/2013
Rep McGovern, James P. [D-MA] – 2/15/2013
Rep Napolitano, Grace F. [D-CA] – 2/15/2013
Rep Norton, Eleanor Holmes [D-DC] – 2/15/2013
Rep Pascrell, Bill, Jr. [D-NJ] – 2/15/2013
Rep Roybal-Allard, Lucille [D-CA] – 2/15/2013
Rep Rush, Bobby L. [D-IL] – 2/15/2013
Rep Sires, Albio [D-NJ] – 2/15/2013
Rep Vargas, Juan [D-CA] – 2/15/2013
To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to impose an excise tax on
concealable firearms and to require the Attorney General to establish a
firearms buyback grant program. 

Referred to House Judiciary Committee and to House Ways and Means Committee


S 261 – Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
Sen Boxer, Barbara [D-CA]
– 2/7/2013

Sen Lautenberg, Frank R. [D-NJ]
– 2/7/2013

Sen Menendez, Robert [D-NJ]
– 2/7/2013

Sen Schumer, Charles E. [D-NY]
– 2/7/2013

Sen Whitehouse, Sheldon [D-RI]
– 2/7/2013
No Firearms for Foreign Felons Act of 2013  
To establish and clarify that Congress does not authorize persons
convicted of dangerous crimes in foreign courts to freely possess
firearms in the United States.

Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee

UPDATE: Here is one more to add to the list from Chuck Schumer. Interestingly enough, his office hasn’t released any sort of press release on the bill. Given that the most dangerous place in DC figuratively is between Chuck Schumer and a TV camera, this is remarkable.

S 374 – Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY)
A bill to ensure that all individuals who should be prohibited from
buying a firearm are listed in the national instant criminal background
check system and require a background check for every firearm sale.

Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee

About That Memo

The NRA-ILA has come out with a new ad based upon the leaked Depart of Justice memo that says an assault weapons ban (sic) and universal background checks are worthless unless draconian measures are added to it. The memo from Dr. Greg Ridgeway of the National Institute of Justice can be found here.

I wonder how soon Dr. Ridgeway will be thrown under the bus and returned to the RAND Corporation for stating the obvious. DOJ is already saying that the memo was “an unfinished review of gun violence research and does not represent administration policy.”

DOJ may say it doesn’t represent administration policy but it sure represents their thinking even if they haven’t officially adopted it yet.

Update On North Carolina Firearms-Related Legislation

Since my first post on gun rights related legislation introduced in this session of the North Carolina General Assembly, a few more bills have been introduced. I have covered some of them in detail in other posts so this will be just a list of the highlights.

HB 63 – Support Right to Bear Arms.
This bill expresses the General Assembly’s support of the inalienable
right of the people of this State to keep and bear arms and opposes any infringement by the
federal government in the State’s right to guarantee the protection of the right of the people of
this State to keep and bear arms.
Primary Sponsor: Speciale (R-Craven)
Other Sponsors: Arp (R-Union); J. Bell (R-Wayne); R. Brawley (R-Mecklenburg); Bumgardner (R-Gaston); Cleveland (R-Onslow); Conrad (R-Forsyth); Dixon (R-Duplin); Ford (R-Rowan); Iler (R-Brunswick); Jones (R-Rockingham); Jordan (R-Ashe); Martin (R-Pitt); McElraft (R-Carteret); McNeill (R-Randolph); Millis (R-Pender); Moffitt (R-Buncombe); Pittman (R-Cabarrus); Presnell (R-Yancy); Riddell (R-Alamance); Saine (R-Lincoln); Schaffer (R-Mecklenburg); Setzer (R-Catawba); Shepard (R-Onslow); Starnes (R-Caldwell); Steinburg (R-Chowan); Stone (R-Lee); Turner (R-Iredell); Warren (R-Rowan); Whitmire; (R-Transylvania)

SB 59 – Armed Security Guards in K-12.
This bill would allow armed security guards in schools if they had passed the selection and training requirements for state law enforcement officers in all schools, it would order the NC Sheriffs’ Education and Training Standards Commission to develop a curriculum to be administered to armed security guards by the various sheriffs’ offices, and would allow for the waiver of certain concealed carry requirements for armed security guards who met certain requirements.
Primary Sponsor: Sen. Ronald Rabin (R-Harnett)
Other Sponsor: Sen. Norman W. Sanderson (R-Pamlico)

SB 124 – Shoot Gun From Inside/To Harm or Incite Fear.
This bill would make it a Class E Felony to discharge a firearm within an enclosure for the purpose of causing harm or inciting fear.
Primary Sponsor: Sen. Peter Brunstetter (R-Forsyth) 

I wrote about SB 124 this weekend and called it North Carolina’s “Don’t Be A Joe Biden” law. Read the comment from Sean Sorrentino on it in my post. SB 59 seems to be a complement to SB 27 which would allow for the position of School Marshal. It seems that it seeks the same end – armed guards in schools – but from a different angle. Finally, HB 63 follows the trend in some other states of stating that they won’t stand for Federal infringements of the Second Amendment in new gun control legislation.