Off To Houston Plus Two Items

I’ll be leaving to catch my flight to Houston in a few minutes. Blogging may be sporadic for the next two days as I’ll be spending time with family in Texas. Expect it to resume full force during the NRA Annual Meeting and thereafter.

A couple of items before I leave.

First, Sebastian reports that the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has turned down the NRA’s appeal in NRA v. BATFE. He has a good preliminary analysis of the opinion. This is the case that challenged the Gun Control Act of 1968’s restriction on sales of handguns to those between 18 and 21 years of age.

Second, today is the 38th anniversary of the fall of Saigon to the North Vietnamese communists. Mike Vanderboegh posted a very soul-searching remembrance of the event a couple of days ago. As Mike would be the first to point out, he used to be a left-wing radical. When I say “left-wing”, I don’t mean a brie and Chablis liberal – think really hardcore.

If you want to read a good book on that last month of the Vietnam War, I’d suggest Black April by George J. Veith.

The defeat of South Vietnam was arguably America’s worst foreign policy disaster of the 20th Century. Yet a complete understanding of the endgame—from the 27 January 1973 signing of the Paris Peace Accords to South Vietnam’s surrender on 30 April 1975—has eluded us.

Black April addresses that deficit. A culmination of exhaustive research in three distinct areas: primary source documents from American archives, North Vietnamese publications containing primary and secondary source material, and dozens of articles and numerous interviews with key South Vietnamese participants, this book represents one of the largest Vietnamese translation projects ever accomplished, including almost one hundred rarely or never seen before North Vietnamese unit histories, battle studies, and memoirs. Most important, to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of South Vietnam’s conquest, the leaders in Hanoi released several compendiums of formerly highly classified cables and memorandum between the Politburo and its military commanders in the south. This treasure trove of primary source materials provides the most complete insight into North Vietnamese decision-making ever complied. While South Vietnamese deliberations remain less clear, enough material exists to provide a decent overview.

Ultimately, whatever errors occurred on the American and South Vietnamese side, the simple fact remains that the country was conquered by a North Vietnamese military invasion despite written pledges by Hanoi’s leadership against such action. Hanoi’s momentous choice to destroy the Paris Peace Accords and militarily end the war sent a generation of South Vietnamese into exile, and exacerbated a societal trauma in America over our long Vietnam involvement that reverberates to this day. How that transpired deserves deeper scrutiny.

ISRA On Concealed Carry For Illinois

Playing fast and loose with your constitutional rights is just business as usual for some politicians in the State of Illinois. As this latest message from the Illinois State Rifle Association makes clear, the Madigans – father and daughter – are just the latest in a long line to do so.

THE MADIGANS ARE PLAYING POLITICS WITH YOUR FAMILY’S SECURITY

As most readers know by now, the appeals court has directed the Illinois General Assembly to pass a concealed carry bill by June 9th. As might be expected, the leadership of the House and Senate have been employing every trick in the book to avoid complying with the court order.

The first stalling tactic came when Attorney General Lisa Madigan asked for a review of the decision by the full appellate court. The court refused and told the legislature to get back to work and pass a concealed carry law by the deadline.

Once Madigan’s request was shot down, it was time for the General Assembly to work its own special brand of magic. Gun grabbers in the House introduced a “concealed carry” bill with a couple of dozen amendments containing foolish restrictions on concealed carry along with unacceptable gun control provisions.

After that came gun-hater Kelly Cassidy’s “concealed carry” bill which was so insanely restrictive that it only garnered 31 votes in the House.

A few days after Cassidy’s flop, the House voted on the ISRA-supported HB0997 carry bill. Unfortunately, the bill fell a few votes short of the supermajority requirement imposed by House Speaker Mike Madigan. Once again, the security of law-abiding Illinoisans took a back seat to the politics of gun control.

Meanwhile, over in the Senate, anti-gun Sen. Kwame Raoul was crafting a so-called “compromise” concealed carry bill. Under the provisions of this bill, applicants for concealed carry would pretty much have to surrender most of the protections they enjoy under the Bill of Rights. Furthermore, the bill would have given Cook County special powers to deny carry permits, even though the applicant had passed muster with the FBI and Illinois State Police. In other words, average citizens living in Cook County would be denied the right to defend themselves. Of course, it would be a different story for the county sheriff’s political supporters.

Just yesterday, Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced that she has asked the U.S. Supreme Court for a 30-day extension for filing an appeal of the lower court’s requirement that Illinois pass concealed carry. Madigan’s latest stunt is purely political as she hopes to push back any action on concealed carry to a time where it becomes an issue in the 2014 elections. In essence, the political interests of the Madigan family trump the security of your family.

At the moment, we are not sure how all this will play out. There are numerous possibilities and, when your action is needed, we will alert you. So, keep an eye on your in-box.

You may rest assured that the ISRA will not waver in its commitment to deliver a “shall issue” carry bill. We will not accept any bill that denies people the right to self defense because of their ZIP Code. We will not accept any requirements that make it impossible for everyday law-abiding citizens to afford the cost of a permit in terms of either time or money. We will not accept any sort of “compromise” bill that bans semiautomatic firearms or limits magazine capacity or any of the other gun control garbage on the grabbers’ wish list.

We will not accept any sort of “may issue” carry bill. The ISRA and its fellow litigants in the McDonald and Shepard cases did not go to the expense of trial just to bring home a half a loaf or less. In fact, any politician who votes for a “may issue” carry bill will instantly earn a grade of “F” – regardless of past voting record. Yes, our commitment to your security runs that deep.

In the mean time, here is what you need to do to help ensure that a “shall issue” carry bill passes:

1. Contact both your State Senator and your State Representative. Politely tell the person who answers the phone that you are a law-abiding Illinois gun owner and that you will not accept any “may issue” concealed carry bill or any bill that excludes Cook County or any other jurisdiction. Advise the person that you expect the Senator or Representative to vote for “shall issue” legislation such as that provided for in HB0997.
If you do not know who your State Senator is, the Illinois State Board of Elections has an interactive search page here:
www.elections.state.il.us/DistrictLocator/DistrictOfficialSearchByAddress.aspx

Once you know who your State Senator and State Representative are, you can find their contact info here:
www.ilga.gov/senate/
and here:
www.ilga.gov/house

2. Pass this alert on to your friends and family; ask them to make calls as well.

3. Post this alert to any and all Internet blogs or bulletin boards to which you belong.

Remember – “shall issue” concealed carry will not get passed unless you are prepared to take action. Keep making those calls to your Senators and Representatives!

Reader Meet-Up At The NRA Annual Meeting (updated)

UPDATE: Based on the feedback, Friday or either day were the leading vote getters. So let’s go for 11am on Friday at the Starbucks in the George Brown Convention Center. It is located on Level 2.

I’ll buy the coffee. “Frou-frou” drinks are on you.

A few weeks back, I had a suggestion from a reader that we have a meet-up at the NRA Annual Meeting in Houston. I’d like to see if there is any interest in that. It would have to be either Friday or Saturday as my flight leaves too early on Sunday to do it then.

Now, please bear with me as this is the first time I’ve done a poll.

I meant to add that the George Brown Convention Center does a Starbucks where we could meet for coffee.

Feel free to leave suggestions for alternative places in the comments section.

Headline Of The Day

Given firearm sales since Barack Obama was first elected President, seeing a headline calling him the “Gun Salesman of the Year” is not really news. Where it appears, is news.

“Barack Obama, Gun Salesman of the Year” is the title of an opinion piece at Bloomberg View.

Just seeing that along with the stats on gun sales must be making the owner of Bloomberg LLC just cringe.

I love to see Mayor Bloomberg cringing!

SIGTac Stabilizing Brace

I’ve written in the past about devices and/or gimmicks such as the Halix NSN chin brace that will allow you to use an AR-15 pistol as a PDW or personal defense weapon. The general consensus at the time was that it had marginal utility and that the ATF would probably decide it was a stock.

Now comes word that Sig Sauer’s SIGTac line is coming out with the SB-15 stabilizing brace. As you can see in the video below, it is a method of strapping the recoil tube to your forearm. According to SIGTac, it is ATF approved. They plan on rolling this out at the NRA Annual Meeting so I’ll be interested in seeing the approval letter.

It does appear effective in stabilizing the AR pistol. No word yet on the price.

UPDATE: The ATF approval letter can be found here. Also, according to a comment on this post, the MSRP for the SB-15 will be $139.

H/T GearScout

Gun Prohibitionists To Try Ballot Initiatives

Gun prohibitionists in Washington State think that perhaps they will have more success with a gun control ballot initiative than they have had with the legislature. Their rationale is that the big evil NRA intimidates legislators and “the people” won’t be similarly swayed.

Washington Rep. Jamie Pedersen, a Democrat who had sponsored unsuccessful legislation on background checks at the state level, said a winning ballot initiative would make a statement with broad implications.


“It’s more powerful if the voters do it – as opposed to our doing it,” Pedersen said. “And it would make it easier for the Legislature to do even more.”


On Monday, proponents of universal background checks in Washington will announce their plan to launch a statewide initiative campaign that would require the collection of some 300,000 signatures, according to a person involved in the initiative planning who spoke on condition of anonymity so as not to pre-empt the official announcement.


The Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility has scheduled a fundraiser in Seattle at the end of next month and hopes to have a campaign budget in the millions of dollars.

 I don’t doubt that they could have a multi-million dollar budget if Mayor Bloomberg and/or Bill Gates opens their wallets. If I remember correctly, Gates was a big supporter of a 1997 Washington State initiative that went down to screaming defeat.

This all presupposes that the gun prohibtionists have a large grassroots backing and that they can mobilize them. You know, like the NRA and other gun rights organizations.

The Brady Campaign’s “director of mobilization” seems a little leery of the effort.

Brian Malte, director of mobilization at the national nonprofit lobbying group Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said passage through Congress is the ideal in order to have a national solution and so that states with strong gun laws aren’t undermined by nearby states with weaker standards. He noted that initiative campaigns are costly endeavors that can drain important, limited resources.

Still, Malte said, the ballot measures are an option to consider.

“At some point, certainly decisions need to be made about what the right time is to say we take it to the people,” Malte said.

I’m guessing the right time is right after a highly publicized mass shooting and when they think they have achieved a critical mass of low information voters.

Still Rep. Pedersen seems quite sure of himself.

Pedersen said he was working with the initiative organizers on language for the proposal, and he said the Legislature would first have another chance to adopt the measure early next year. If it fails among lawmakers again, the proposal would then automatically go to the ballot, where Pedersen said he welcomed a campaign competing against groups like the NRA.


“I’m not afraid of it at all,” Pedersen said. “The public is really with us. It’s the right policy. I think it can be useful for further progress.”

I don’t doubt that the Yale-educated Pedersen is a smart guy. I just wonder how he in touch he is with the average Washington State voter outside of King County.

NC House Votes On HB 937 – Restaurant Carry – On Tuesday

The North Carolina House of Representatives has placed HB 937 on the calendar for a vote on Tueday. This bill would allow restaurant carry, has provisions for firearms in locked vehicles on university and community college campuses, would allow carry in assemblies where admission is charged, and clarifies park carry definitions.

From Grass Roots North Carolina:

Help Fight-off Weakening Amendments!

On Wednesday, HB 937, “Amend Various Firearm Laws” which contains; restaurant carry, provisions for guns in locked vehicles on college campuses, carry in assemblies for which admission is charged, and a “cleanup” of parks carry language, passed from the House Judiciary A Subcommittee. It is now calendared for a vote on the House floor on Tuesday, April 30. Attacks by anti-gun leftists, narrowly fended off in the committee, will likely be tried again when the bill hits the floor.

Anti-gun treachery you can expect

Numerous anti-gun amendments were attempted in committee, principally by Reps. Deborah Ross (D-Wake, 0-star) and Darren Jackson (D-Wake , GRNC 0-star) . Although all anti-gun amendments failed in committee, they will try again when the bill hits the floor, so here they are:

Protecting rapists instead of students: Both UNC lobbyist Andrew Moretz and NCSU police chief Jack Moorman testified to the committee in opposition to allowing concealed handgun permit-holders to keep guns on college campuses, but neglected mentioning the high rate of violent crime on those campuses. In fact, Moorman apparently prefers to protect rapists rather than students, since the morning after he testified against self-protection on campuses, a student was dragged into bushes and raped outside the “Free Expression Tunnel.” Lest you assume Rep. Bob Steinburg (R-Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Tyrrell, ****) supports the bill, he introduced an amendment which would have undermined the deterrent effect of guns on campus by requiring guns be kept in locked compartments within vehicles.

“Poison pill” amendments to restaurant carry: Although at least 43 states have some type of restaurant carry (including laws recently passed in Georgia, Arizona, Tennessee, Virginia, and Ohio) Reps. Ross and Jackson remain committed to stopping you from protecting your family in restaurants. If they can’t remove it entirely, they will use “poison pill” amendments to induce the NC Restaurant & Lodging Assoc., which is currently neutral on the bill, to oppose it.

In committee, Jackson first tried to require restaurants to post signs saying they either allow or prohibit concealed carry, claiming this would “allow restaurants to choose” while actually denying restaurant owners the choice of simply not getting involved in the debate at all by posting nothing. When restaurant association representative Frank Gray stated his opposition, the amendment failed. Next, Jackson tried requiring servers to act as cops by asking patrons whether they were “packing,” and demanding permit-holders to qualify to law-enforcement marksmanship standards.

“Yellow Star” Jackson: Reminiscent of Nazi’s use of the yellow star inscribed with “Jude,” Jackson then introduced an amendment to brand permit-holders by requiring their status to be displayed on drivers’ licenses, so that every time you have to present an ID, you would be “outted.” This amendment also failed.

Lies about concealed handgun permit-holders: North Carolinians “Against Gun Violence” director Gail Neely stood before the committee to slander permit-holders, citing long-since discredited claims from “New York Times” reporter Michael Luo that permit-holders are criminals. But most telling, Neely perjured herself to the committee by regurgitating a study which she claimed dealt with concealed handgun permit-holders, despite the fact that GRNC President Paul Valone had two weeks prior produced a copy of the study for her (and the audience of an ACLU forum) demonstrating that her claims were clearly false.

Remind legislators: Not only restaurant patrons are disarmed under current law, but also employees. In February, a Charlotte-area Red Lobster employee was shot during an armed robbery, adding yet another to the long list of restaurant victims like Danielle Watson, the Flying Biscuit Cafe manager brutally stabbed to death and left behind a dumpster.

IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!

THANK LEADERSHIP & REMIND THEM YOU WILL ACCEPT NO WEAKENING AMENDMENTS: Call AND email Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg, ****) at Thom.Tillis@ncleg.net 919-733-3451 and House Majority Whip Ruth Samuelson (R-Mecklenburg, ****) at Ruth.Samuelson@ncleg.net and 919-715-3009.

EMAIL FENCE-SITTING HOUSE REPS: Use the copy and paste list below to bury anti-gun and fence-sitting representatives in an avalanche of input which clearly demonstrates you will not tolerate attempts to undermine the interests of gun owners.

CALL & EMAIL YOUR NC HOUSE REP: Let them know you expect them to vote against all weakening amendments and for final passage of HB 937. Find your rep HERE or by going to: http://www.ncleg.net/representation/WhoRepresentsMe.aspx

CONTACT INFORMATION

Use the ‘copy and paste’ email list below:

Alma.Adams@ncleg.net, Kelly.Alexander@ncleg.net, Nathan.Baskerville@ncleg.net, Larry.Bell@ncleg.net, Marcus.Brandon@ncleg.net, Becky.Carney@ncleg.net, Tricia.Cotham@ncleg.net, Carla.Cunningham@ncleg.net, Beverly.Earle@ncleg.net, Jean.Farmer-Butterfield@ncleg.net, Susan.Fisher@ncleg.net, Elmer.Floyd@ncleg.net, Valerie.Foushee@ncleg.net, Rosa.Gill@ncleg.net, Rick.Glazier@ncleg.net, Ken.Goodman@ncleg.net, Charles.Graham@ncleg.net, George.Graham@ncleg.net, Duane.Hall@ncleg.net, Larry.Hall@ncleg.net, Susi.Hamilton@ncleg.net, Edward.Hanes@ncleg.net, Pricey.Harrison@ncleg.net, Yvonne.Holley@ncleg.net, Verla.Insko@ncleg.net, Darren.Jackson@ncleg.net, Paul.Luebke@ncleg.net, Deb.McManus@ncleg.net, Mickey.Michaux@ncleg.net, Annie.Mobley@ncleg.net, Rodney.Moore@ncleg.net, Garland.Pierce@ncleg.net, Bobbie.Richardson@ncleg.net, Deborah.Ross@ncleg.net, Evelyn.Terry@ncleg.net, Paul.Tine@ncleg.net, Ken.Waddell@ncleg.net, Winkie.Wilkins@ncleg.net, William.Brisson@ncleg.net, Joe.Tolson@ncleg.net, Michael.Wray@ncleg.net, Marvin.Lucas@ncleg.net, Jim.Fulghum@ncleg.net, Paul.Stam@ncleg.net, Chris.Whitmire@ncleg.net, Joe.Queen@ncleg.net, Bob.Steinburg@ncleg.net

DELIVER THIS MESSAGE

Suggested Subject: “Pass HB 937, “Amend Various Firearm Laws” WITHOUT amendments!”

Dear Representative:

I strongly urge you to support House Bill 937, “Amend Various Firearms Laws” by passing the bill without weakening amendments. Provisions for concealed handgun permit-holders to carry in restaurants are by no means untested. Among the forty-three states with some type of restaurant carry, in the last five years, it has passed in Georgia, Arizona, Tennessee, Virginia, and Ohio. In the twelve months after Virginia passed restaurant carry, violent crime in restaurants dropped by 5.2%. Moreover, the NC Restaurant & Lodging Association does not oppose the bill (although it does oppose “poison pill” amendments proposed by Representatives Darren Jackson and Deborah Ross.)

With respect to the limited measure for firearms in locked motor vehicles on college campuses, I am stunned by the hypocrisy of UNC and NCSU officials who testified against the measure in the House Judiciary A Subcommittee…just hours before yet another NCSU student was raped outside the NCSU “Free Expression Tunnel.” To deter violent sociopaths, it is time to deliver a message that campuses will no longer be “victim disarmament zones.”

I will be monitoring your actions via Grass Roots North Carolina legislative alerts, and rest assured I will hold legislators accountable for their votes.

Respectfully,

Manchin’s Dead Horse

Joe Manchin’s continuing efforts to push background checks and other gun control reminds me of a (bad) joke I heard many years ago.

When told of a pervert’s interest in bestiality, necrophilia, and BDSM, the listener just rolled his eyes and said, “That’s like beating a dead horse.”

Manchin was interviewed by Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday this morning. In the interview, Manchin continued to insist that his background check bill with a little tweaking could pass the Senate.

From the Fox News Sunday transcript:

WALLACE: All right. Finally, Senator Manchin, you and Republican — fellow Republican Senator Pat Toomey, were the coauthors of this expanded background check that was voted down a few days ago in the Senate. You’re talking now — you’re talking about revising the bill, bringing it back to the Senate floor.

It came out today that your cosponsor, Pat Toomey says, no, I’m done with it. Do you really think that the expansion of background checks can be revised and can be passed by the U.S. Senate?

MANCHIN: I certainly do. The only thing that we’ve asked for is that people would just read the bill. It’s a criminal and mental background check strictly at gun shows and online sales.

The way the law is today, if you go to a gun store, you have a background check done. If you go to a gun show and you go to a licensed dealer, they still do a background check. But you can go to the next table over and have no check at all.

You can online. If you buy a gun out of state online —

WALLACE: But, Senator, respectfully, we knew all that beforehand and your colleagues didn’t vote for it?

MANCHIN: Well, I think — Chris, I think there were some confusion. The first bill that came out basically was dropped, the Chuck Schumer bill, which was all inclusive. Chuck, we talked to Chuck and he backed off that, and we worked on what we thought was a much better bill, especially coming from a gun culture that I come from in West Virginia.

I’ve gone down and worked the bill into the coal fields, into the gun–friendly West Virginians that I hunt with, and sport shoot with. And all of them to a “T,” when they saw the bill, this basically not only protects your Second Amendment rights, it expands your Second Amendment rights.

WALLACE: But, and we’re running out of time, Pat Toomey, cosponsor of Manchin/Toomey, says he’s done with it?

MANCHIN: I don’t think he’s done. I really don’t know. I was with Pat last night and Pat’s totally committed to this bill and I believe that with all of my heart and we’re going to work this bill — when people read the bill, just take time to read the bill. I’ve said this, if you’re a law–abiding gun owner, you’ll love this bill. If you’re a criminal, if you’ve been mentally adjudicated through a court, you probably won’t like it.

But all we’re doing, we don’t infringe on anybody’s rights, individual rights, transfers of families —

WALLACE: I want to make it clear: you’re going to bring this bill back —

MANCHIN: Absolutely.

WALLACE: — to the Senate floor. And you think it’s going to be different?

MANCHIN: I truly believe if we have time to sell the bill, and people will read the bill, and I’m willing to go anywhere in this country, I’m going to debate anybody on this issue, read the bill and you tell me what you don’t like. We stop registration completely from the standpoint of the felony, with 15 years of imprisonment.

WALLACE: And is part of the idea here that you are going to have it stripped away and separate it from —

MANCHIN: The bill needs to be clean, I believe. That’s my belief, that if the bill runs clean and people can vote on this bill up or down based on the merits of this bill, how it protects a gun, a Second Amendment gun person, a law-abiding gun owner, it’s perfect for that person.

If you’re going to a gun show, you’re going to expect to have a background check. If you’re buying online, whether it’s an out-of-state gun or in-state, a background check. No intervening at all with family transfers or any individual rights whatsoever.

Manchin’s co-author Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) said the effort was over on his part according to his statements in a conference call on Friday. He has indicated he wants to return his attention to fiscal and economic issues.

From the CapitolInq blog at Philly.com:

“My own view is very simple: the senate has had its vote. We’ve seen the outcome of that vote. I am not aware of any reason to believe that if we had the vote again that we’d have a different outcome,” Toomey, a Republican, said in a conference call with reporters Friday afternoon. “If that were to change my guess is (Senate Majority Leader Harry) Reid would consider having another vote.”….

“Until we have such reason to believe that we’d have a different outcome I think the issue is resolved by the senate,” Toomey said Friday. “I accept when the senate speaks and so I’ve turned my attention to the fiscal and economic matters that I’ve normally focused on.”

I guess Toomey is not the glutton for pain that Manchin seems to be. 

NY SAFE And Jobs

It isn’t only the large firearm manufacturers whose business is affected by the NY SAFE law. While I’ve talked about Remington in the past, the law also impacts small manufacturers who have less clout. A case in point was recently publicized by WHEC-TV of Rochester.

Just Right Carbines of  Canandaigua makes a modern version of the camp carbine in 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP. The design of the JR Carbine allows it to be made with some off-the-shelf parts from the AR including the stock, pistol grip, and trigger mechanism. Therein lies the problem – the pistol grip. Because the JR Carbine uses a pistol grip, it is illegal to sell in New York.

The response of Gov. Cuomo’s office is illustrative of the disdain they have for the firearms industry.

“For years, gun manufacturers have modified their products for sale in
New York State, and the new law does not change that. The SAFE Act is
designed to keep military-style assault weapons that have the potential
to cause the greatest harm out of our communities while still respecting
New York’s long tradition of hunting and sport shooting.”

Let’s be clear about one thing. Cuomo and the rest of the gun prohibitionists respect nothing about hunting or sport shooting.  It is only something that they have to endure so as to get the votes from those “Upstate hicks”. If it costs a few jobs in western New York, so be it. I would imagine that as soon as an industrial recruiter from South Dakota or Texas or Alabama sees this story, Messrs, Fargnoli and Cutri will be getting a call.

About Motive In These Politically Correct Times

The Israeli satiric news show, LATMA, skewers the FBI over the search for a motive behind the Boston Marathon bombing. Think of them as kind of an Israeli “The Daily Show”.

I certainly don’t hate the FBI as my Mom served as a cryptanalyst with
them during WWII and I have a first cousin who is a FBI Special Agent. I just wish the FBI had done their job correctly.

The video is pretty funny yet sad at the same time. The funny is obvious. The sad part comes from the truth behind it which is that political correctness blinds many in positions who might have been able to do something to prevent this bombing.

H/T Matt Bracken