Comment Of The Day

From Ann Althouse’s blog in a discussion of the woman who knelt by the body of the British soldier who had just been murdered by two radical Muslims. The discussion also asked where were the men.

That was a Brit thing. She could not act any better than she was trained
to act. But she will courageously take flowers to the funeral.

An American mother would have grabbed a gun and shot the attacker with a high capacity magazine until it was empty.

The British cops also just stood around waiting for their firearms unit to arrive. Perhaps, just perhaps, if someone had come to the aid of the soldier when he was getting stabbed and before he was beheaded, he might be “in hospital” recovering from his wounds.

Illinois House Passes Concealed Carry 85-30

The Illinois State House of Representatives passed the compromise concealed carry bill today by a vote of 85 yea, 30 nays, and 1 present. SB 2193 now goes back to the State Senate for their concurrence. reports that Gov. Pat Quinn (D-IL) is opposed to the bill and will work to defeat it. The sticking point for Quinn is state preemption of all firearm laws which negates home-rule for places like Chicago and Cook County.

The margin in the House would override a Governor’s veto, but Governor
Quinn pledged in a statement to do whatever he could to defeat it,
calling it “a massive overreach on the concealed carry issue that would
automatically repeal local public safety ordinances including Chicago’s
assault weapons ban. … The principle of home rule is an important one.
As written, this legislation is a massive overreach that would repeal
critical gun safety ordinances in Chicago, Cook County, and across

Examining the 30 nay votes on SB 2193 finds that they are all Democrats and, with one exception, are all from Chicago, Cook County, or an adjoining county. The one exception was Rep. Charles Jefferson (D-Rockford).

The roll call of the votes is found here.

Assaulted Theatrical Trailer

The Second Amendment documentary Assaulted: Civil Rights Under Fire has its theatrical debut on June 20th. They have just released the theatrical trailer for the film which is below.

The executive producer Kris Koenig was interviewed by FoxNews about the film yesterday.

“’Assaulted’ turns the gun debate around. It is a civil rights issue, and we take a look at the history of the Second Amendment. It’s a right that has been abused over the years and one that gets overlooked the most,” the film’s executive producer, writer and director, Kris Koenig, told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column. “It’s a self-defense right that gets distorted into self-offense. Our civil rights are very precious to us. The reason our country exists is to balance individual rights against the whole. It has kept our country safe.”

Narrated by Ice-T, the film features myriad voices on the topic. Nugent appears along with Dan Gross, the president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence,as well as UCLA professor and author Adam Winkler. The movie aims to take a critical look at our current gun laws, Koenig explained, and how the concept of people rising up against the government in the U.S. may not be so farfetched.

“When you look at what is happening with the IRS targeting certain groups, or the FBI looking into media phone records, you realize it doesn’t take a lot to push a government into tyranny. I’m not suggesting we are anywhere near that point now, but governments do break down,” Koenig cautioned. “Look at what happened after Hurricane Katrina, or the L.A riots. The government wasn’t there to protect the people, and Koreatown was left as something of a battleground. We see small incidences like this where the government does fail us.”

The Fox article also quotes one of our favorite “historians” and gun prohibitionists Ladd Everitt.

“Our chief concern with ‘Assaulted: Civil Rights Under Fire’ is its advocacy for ‘Second Amendment remedies’ – the perverted and treasonous idea that there is an individual right under the Second Amendment to threaten and/or initiate violence against government officials when one senses ‘tyranny,’ said Ladd Everitt, director of communications for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. “The film glorifies those who have employed political violence in the past and makes fraudulent historical claims.”

That should be enough to get most of us to go to the theater and I have not been in a movie theater since the year 2000!

Just Because..

I’m posting this just because it entertained me. I love Greg Hickok aka Hickok45’s YouTube videos and this one is no exception. Who among us wouldn’t want to shoot a Sten submachine gun? I know ammo is in short supply but I’d scrounge the “ammo bunker” to find enough 9mm to go shooting for an afternoon with the Sten.

While you can’t legally make and register a new Sten under the NFA with the ATF thanks to the Hughes Amendment, full blueprints are available. If we ever enter a TEOTWAWKI (or the new acronym, WROL) period, I have no doubt that a competent machinist with a decent workshop including a milling machine could make one.

Below is an animation of the Sten firing. You can see that it is an open bolt, blowback operated, firing mechanism.

Stage Planning For Steel Challenge With Doug Koenig

The National Shooting Sports Foundation has released another of its pistol training videos featuring champion shooter Doug Koenig. In this video, Koenig discusses how he approaches shooting a five-plate set-up. He also discusses alternatives to his way of shooting including one that is used successively by Max Michel. As Koenig makes clear, you need to take the approach that you feel most comfortable with shooting.

Center For Biological Diversity Loses Again

The US District Court for the District of Columbia has dismissed the lawsuit brought by the Center for Biodiversity and other groups to force the Environmental Protection Agency to ban lead ammunition and lead fishing tackle.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation was granted permission to be an intervenor. It was their motion to dismiss the case that was granted. They have more on the case and the dismissal below:

U.S. District Court Dismisses
Lawsuit to Ban Traditional Ammunition

NEWTOWN, Conn. — The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia today dismissed a lawsuit brought by the radical anti-hunting Center for Biological Diversity and six other groups demanding the Environmental Protection Agency ban traditional ammunition containing lead components.

Traditional ammunition represents 95 percent of the U.S. market and is the staple ammunition for target shooters, hunters and law enforcement, with more than 10 billion rounds sold annually.

NSSF filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit last August. The court today agreed with NSSF that EPA does not have the authority to regulate traditional ammunition under the Toxic Substances Control Act.

EPA had already twice denied attempts by CBD to have the agency ban traditional ammunition, and the court had dismissed an earlier case brought by CBD seeking the same relief.

“We are gratified that the court has found this second frivolous lawsuit, which is essentially the same as the one dismissed last year, was equally without merit,” said Lawrence G. Keane, senior vice president and general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry. “This was a waste of taxpayers’ dollars and EPA resources spent in having to defend a baseless lawsuit.”

CBD’s serial petitioning of EPA and its repeated lawsuits were designed to cripple the shooting sports in America by banning the ammunition that millions of hunters and target shooters choose to use safely and responsibly.

“There is quite simply no sound science that shows the use of traditional ammunition has harmed wildlife populations or that it presents a health risk to humans who consume game taken with such ammunition,” said Keane. “Banning traditional ammunition would cost tens of thousands of jobs in America and destroy wildlife conservation that is funded in part by an 11 percent excise tax on the sale of ammunition. The protection and management of wildlife is properly handled by the professional biologists in the state fish and game agencies, as it has been for over a hundred years.

In addition to NSSF, the National Rifle Association, Safari Club International and the Association of Battery Recyclers intervened in the case.

Organizations that joined CBD in its lawsuit were the Cascades Raptor Center of Oregon, the Loon Lake Loon Association of Washington, Preserve Our Wildlife of Florida, Tennessee Ornithological Society, Trumpeter Swan Society and Western Nebraska Resources Council.

NSSF was represented by Roger Martella and Christopher Bell from Sidley Austin.

A Round-Up On The Compromise CCW Bill In Illinois

Facing a June 9th deadline, it looks like the Illinois State House might be able to pass a compromise bill. They have already shot down Rep. Brandon Phelps’ (D-Harrisburg) shall-issue bill as well as a may-issue bill. The compromise bill is just that – it doesn’t really satisfy either side but it may be the best one can get given the bifurcated nature of Illinois politics.

The Illinois State Rifle Association released the following alert this afternoon. It is important to note that they are neutral on the bill.


After many years of working to advance a Right to Carry bill, there is a viable proposal on the table. This bill, SB 2193, sponsored by Representative Brandon Phelps, is not a perfect bill but it does have several good points, for example:

  • Shall issue
  • Statewide pre-emption of all gun laws

  • Commercially available training

  • Vehicles will be a safe haven

However, the bill does call for:

  • 16 hours of training, although some previous training will count toward those hours
  • $150.00 license fee, for five years

  • Carry on mass transportation prohibited

This bill, if passed, will bring Right to Carry to Illinois, but due to the restrictions in the bill we are neutral on the bill.

While many people have been involved in this effort, Representative Brandon Phelps has demonstrated superior leadership and should be commended for his resolve.

The actual bill is being offered as an amendment to SB 2193. The language of the amendment can be found here.

According to the Rockford Register Star, the National Rifle Association has not taken a position on the bill.

“It’s a combination, a balance of both sides,” Phelps said, adding that he believes pro-gun groups such as the National Rifle Association have not taken a position on the bill. The NRA endorsed previous versions sponsored by Phelps.

Todd Vandermyde, chief lobbyist for the National Rifle Association in Illinois, declined to comment Wednesday and deferred all questions to the organization’s national headquarters. NRA officials could not be reached for comment.

 The biggest plus of the bill is that it does away with home-rule by Chicago and Cook County on firearms laws. This would mean that items like the Chicago’s rules for issuance of firearms license would be gone as would Cook County AWB. This post from Illinois gun rights group does a good job in pointing the full impact of getting rid of home-rule on firearms laws. They contend that by agreeing to this House Speaker Michael Madigan has thrown Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle under the bus.

Thirdpower who is an Illinois resident finds it to be a particularly unappetizing sandwich.

Miguel at GunFreeZone gives his opinion here. He believes we’re getting shafted by the bill.

Sebastian thinks it might be the best we can get right now.

My feeling is that it’s a shall-issue bill, with preemption. It’s the
final offer from the leadership. I’d take the deal and then work to
improve the bill through legislation, and I’d re-litigate over the steep
fees and argue that many of the places you’re prohibited from carrying
are not “sensitive places” per the Heller decision.

The Rockford Register Star article details the prohibited places referred to by Sebastian.

Weapons would be prohibited from special events open to the public, schools, amusement parks, zoos and museums, libraries, property owned by park districts, playgrounds, universities and colleges, state and federal buildings, sporting events, residential mental health facilities, and police stations. Guns would be barred from parking lots under ownership of these places.

If riding public transit, an individual’s gun would have to be unloaded and stored away in a backpack or other carry-on bag.

One other thing about the bill – it has no provision for reciprocity with other states. The argument given by Rep. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) is that other states’ mental health reporting laws are weaker than that of Illinois. If you want to carry in Illinois and you aren’t a resident, it will cost you $300 plus you have to meet their training requirements.

If the pro-gun proponents of this bill are correct, future changes to the firearms laws will only take a simple majority instead of a 3/5’s majority since home rule provisions will be eliminated. If correct, I think you might see more changes in the Illinois gun laws in the future. There has been a majority to liberalize the state’s gun laws but not a super-majority.

Regardless of what happens in the State House, the bill will still have to pass the State Senate.

UPDATE: Please see the comment below from David Lawson. He and his wife Colleen were co-plaintiffs along with Otis McDonald in the ground-breaking Second Amendment case of McDonald v. Chicago. The Lawsons have been at the forefront of the fight for gun rights in the state of Illinois for many years. His perspective on these issues is important and should be given heed.

Smith & Wesson Tops The Globe 100

The Boston Globe publishes an annual list which ranks the best performing public companies in Massachusetts. The winner this year probably surprised them but certainly not those of us in the gun culture. It was the 161-year old firearms manufacturer Smith & Wesson which is located in Springfield.

In an article that is mostly unbiased for the left-leaning Globe, they explain why S&W topped the list.

With its sights trained on firearms once more, Smith & Wesson increased profits 14 times over in 2012, netting $66 million on sales of $538.6 million and rocketing to the first position on this year’s Globe 100 list.

‘We went back to what we do best, which is handguns. We divested the security business very successfully and since that point have not looked back.’ – James Debney, CEO, Smith & Wesson

But the company’s renaissance is not merely a case of addition by subtraction. In recent years, Smith & Wesson has ventured beyond its core revolver business, introducing popular polymer handguns and modern sporting rifles.

The latter — often referred to as assault rifles — represent Smith & Wesson’s fastest-growing product line. Sales increased by 85 percent last year, and a line that did not exist in 2010 delivered more than a fifth of the company’s total revenue.

“It’s become an important piece of our business,” Debney said, acknowledging some concern about legislative efforts to ban the controversial weapons. “But at the end of the day, we come back to our core competency, and where we’re strategically focused, in terms of product, is the [military and police] pistol.”

At the moment, civilian sales of polymer handguns outnumber law enforcement sales, 20 to 1. Smith & Wesson only launched a polymer handgun line in 2006, but the company now views it as the main driver of future growth.

Currently, Smith & Wesson is the third ranked firearms manufacturer by number of firearms produced in the US behind Ruger and Remington. Their current order backlog is approximately $668 million which is greater than the previous year’s sales.

Smith & Wesson was given a $ 6 million tax incentive to expand their plant back in 2010. That tax incentive required them to hire an additional 225 over the next seven years. They have already met this requirement as they have hired 350 new workers in the past two years to meet the demand for new firearms. Their payroll is now $80 million annually and their total workforce in Massachusetts now numbers 1,500.

There are a number of comments on S&W topping the Globe 100. Most are as one might expect from what JayG calls the Volksrepublik. They include stuff like “Glorifying a company that manufactures guns?” and “Surely there must be a more worthy #1 pick than an assault weapons manufacturer.” It is actually rather amusing to watch the wailing and gnashing of teeth over this. I know for certain that the 350 people who have gotten good paying steady work are not among them.

Those Connecticut Politicians Do Like Their Secret Bills

The draconian gun control bill that was shoved through the Connecticut legislature at the beginning of April was a product of secret negotiations between Gov. Daniel Molloy (D-CT) and both Democrat and Republican leaders in the Connecticut legislature. Now comes word that they are at it again but this time it deals with the release of records relating to the school shooting in Newtown last December.

The staffs of the state’s top prosecutor and the governor’s office have been working in secret with General Assembly leaders on legislation to withhold records related to the police investigation into the Dec. 14 Newtown elementary school massacre — including victims’ photos, tapes of 911 calls, and possibly more.

The behind-the-scenes legislative effort came to light Tuesday when The Courant obtained a copy of an email by a top assistant to Chief State’s Attorney Kevin Kane, Timothy J. Sugrue. Sugrue, an assistant state’s attorney, discussed options considered so far, including blocking release of statements “made by a minor.”

“There is complete agreement regarding photos etc., and audio tapes, although the act may allow the disclosure of audio transcripts,” Sugrue wrote to Kane, two other Kane subordinates and to Danbury State’s Attorney Stephen Sedensky, who is directing the investigation of the killings.

The bill that’s being crafted has not been handled under routine legislative procedures — it hasn’t gone through the committee process, which includes a public hearing, for example. Sugrue’s email Tuesday indicated that a draft of the bill was being worked on by leaders in both the House and Senate, and might be ready as soon as the end of the day.
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He wrote: “I just received a call from Natalie Wagner” — a member of the legal counsel’s staff in the office of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

“She believes that draft language will be forthcoming today (the work of both houses) in the form of a special act. …” Sugrue wrote that Wagner “will send me the draft in confidence when she receives it, and I will immediately forward it.”

I have to admit that I’m getting more than a little tired of the Newtown parents being trotted out every time someone wants to pass either a new gun control law or, as it seems now, a restriction of the freedom of information. I feel for those parents and can understand their grief. However, since they have now achieved sainthood in the eyes of some, can’t we just give them their golden halos and say enough is enough.