April 19, 1775

Two hundred thirty-nine years ago today, an effort at gun confiscation by General Thomas Gage was the spark that started a revolution.

Sylvanus Wood was a Minuteman from Woburn, Massachusetts who responded to the call of the Lexington bell. Later in that fateful day, he is credited with being the first man to capture a British Regular during the American Revolution. Below is his sworn recollection of the battle on Lexington Green.

“I, Sylvanus Wood, of Woburn, in the county of Middlesex, and commonwealth of Massachusetts, aged seventy-four years, do testify and say that on the morning of the 19th of April, 1775, I was an inhabitant of Woburn, living with Deacon Obadiah Kendall; that about an hour before the break of day on said morning, I heard the Lexington bell ring, and fearing there was difficulty there, I immediately arose, took my gun and, with Robert Douglass, went in haste to Lexington, which was about three miles distant.

When I arrived there, I inquired of Captain Parker, the commander of the Lexington company, what was the news. Parker told me he did not know what to believe, for a man had come up about half an hour before and informed him that the British troops were not on the road. But while we were talking, a messenger came up and told the captain that the British troops were within half a mile. Parker immediately turned to his drummer, William Diman, and ordered him to beat to arms, which was done. Captain Parker then asked me if I would parade with his company. I told him I would. Parker then asked me if the young man with me would parade. I spoke to Douglass, and he said he would follow the captain and me.

By this time many of the company had gathered around the captain at the hearing of the drum, where we stood, which was about half way between the meetinghouse and Buckman’s tavern. Parker says to his men, ‘Every man of you, who is equipped, follow me; and those of you who are not equipped, go into the meeting-house and furnish yourselves from the magazine, and immediately join the company.’ Parker led those of us who were equipped to the north end of Lexington Common, near the Bedford Road, and formed us in single file. I was stationed about in the centre of the company. While we were standing, I left my place and went from one end of the company to the other and counted every man who was paraded, and the whole number was thirty-eight, and no more.

Just as I had finished and got back to my place, I perceived the British troops had arrived on the spot between the meeting-house and Bucknian’s, near where Captain Parker stood when he first led off his men. The British troops immediately wheeled so as to cut off those who had gone into the meeting-house. The British troops approached us rapidly in platoons, with a general officer on horseback at their head. The officer came up to within about two rods of the centre of the company, where I stood, the first platoon being about three rods distant. They there halted. The officer then swung his sword, and said, ‘Lay down your arms, you damned rebels, or you are all dead men. Fire!’ Some guns were fired by the British at us from the first platoon, but no person was killed or hurt, being probably charged only with powder.

Just at this time, Captain Parker ordered every man to take care of himself. The company immediately dispersed; and while the company was dispersing and leaping over the wall, the second platoon of the British fired and killed some of our men. There was not a gun fired by any of Captain Parker’s company, within my knowledge. I was so situated that I must have known it, had any thing of the kind taken place before a total dispersion of our company. I have been intimately acquainted with the inhabitants of Lexington, and particularly with those of Captain Parker’s company, and, with one exception, I have never heard any of them say or pretend that there was any firing at the British from Parker’s company, or any individual in it until within a year or two. One member of the company told me, many years since, that, after Parker’s company had dispersed, and he was at some distance, he gave them ‘the guts of his gun.'”

Behind The Times

Virtually everyone knows by now that the renamed combo of the Illegal Mayors and Demanding Mommies didn’t secure the Everytown for Gun Safety Facebook page before their big announcement. Rather, it went to a pro-gun rights grassroots activist who was quicker on the uptake than they were. This happened despite their supposed expertise in social media as evidenced by their presentation called “Disrupting the Gun Lobby with Digital Organizing” at Austin’s South by Southwest Festival. The SXSW presenters included both Shannon Watts and Mark Glaze.

So when did EGS get their act together and establish their Facebook presence? On April 17th, two days after their big announcement.

And how are they doing in terms of likes? They have 9 likes versus 26,183 likes for the pro-gun Everytown for Gun Safety Facebook page.

Guerrilla tactics do work, and work well, when used against a larger, wealthier opponent who has no real idea what action at the grassroots level really means. Just like in Colorado where four pissed off guys successfully took on both Bloomberg and the Democratic Establishment to recall Sen. President John Morse and Sen. Angela Giron, Everytown for Gun Safety and its over 100 local Facebook pages will cause Bloomberg to have to devote resources in order to get them taken down from Facebook. That is money that won’t be spent on ad campaigns or donated to gun prohibitionist candidates. We may lose the battle but we will win the war.

The Houses Of “Everytown”

The world looks differently to you and me than it does to Michael Bloomberg and Shannon Watts.

Unless you live in an exclusive suburb with armed guards at the gate, I doubt your home looks like the array of homes below. It should be noted that I don’t begrudge Mr. Bloomberg his money as he earned it by taking an idea for providing financial data and ran with it. That is the American Way and I applaud his entrepreneurship. Shannon Watts took the more old fashioned way and (re)married well to the former CEO of a Wellpoint subsidiary.That, too, is OK…I guess.

Bloomberg’s Upper East Side Townhouse
Bloomberg’s Long Island Estate
Bloomberg’s Bermuda vacation residence
Bloomberg’s London apartment in Cadogan Square

Bloomberg’s North Salem, NY Farm
Bloomberg’s Vail, Co “Mountain Haus” condo

Aerial view of Bloomberg’s Wellington, FL horse farm & estate
Watt’s Indiana home – street view

When you live in a million dollar plus home in a plush neighborhood, your view of the world is just different. You don’t have crime at your doorstep and you really don’t have to worry about home invasions. And if you are Mr. Bloomberg, you have your own private armed security detail made up of ex-NYPD cops. I don’t know if Mr. Bloomberg provides armed security personnel to Mrs. Watts when she travels around the US on behalf of the Demanding Mommies but I wouldn’t be surprised if he did.

However, the populist streak in me is offended about being told that I should support gun control for my own good by people who live in a well-protected environment. Moreover, my liberal arts education makes me cringe at the perversion of the word “safety” by those who really mean prohibition and control by it. If you are going to be for gun control, at least be honest about it, like it was when the Brady Campaign was called Handgun Control, Inc.

When it comes to real gun safety, it is the NRA, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, and other gun rights organizations AND their members who do the grunt work of promoting gun safety. We are the ones running the Eddie Eagle classes, we are the ones teaching kids how to handle a firearm safely at home and at camp, we are the ones who invest our hard-earned money into safes, locks, and other security devices, and we are the ones providing classes to abused spouses so that they can learn how to protect themselves. And we are doing it every day in everytown at the grassroots level.

So my advice for Mr. Bloomberg and Mrs. Watts is that they should stay in their palatial homes and worry more about the next gallery opening, the next society event, or the next cocktail party than how the rest of us in Everytown America provide for our own self-defense. In other words, they should mind their own damn business and leave us in the real grassroots the hell alone.

UPDATE:  Little did I realize when I wrote that Bloomberg and Watts should worry about the “next gallery opening” that Shannon Watts and her husband John actually owned an art gallery. Thanks to “Dirk Diggler” for pointing it out. The gallery, Watts Fine Arts, was located in Zionsville, Indiana. They said their goal is to be a destination for art collectors around the Midwest. The Watts wanted to bring contemporary masters to the Midwest saying in the press release, “Watts Fine Art represents living American artists who create exceptional
paintings, sculpture and photography previously only available on the East and
West Coasts and in the American Southwest.”

The funniest thing about all of this is not the pretentiousness of it but that I found the press release on bloomberg.com. Go figure.

UPDATE II: After I wrote about the Watts’ gallery, I find that it closed its doors in October 2012.

John Watts, owner of Watts Fine Art, said despite several marketing efforts, the store will close in October because business has been slow and the shop isn’t getting enough foot traffic and sales.

“After over three years in business, it became clear to us that our strategy of bringing museum quality national artists to Indianapolis was not a fit for the local market and especially Zionsville,” he said. “We don’t see this changing for a variety of reasons and did not want to compromise on the type of art we sell or the artists we represent.

Obviously, their heathen neighbors in flyover country just didn’t appreciate the efforts of the Watts to bring them culture. 

Supreme Court Considers Whether To Accept The NJ Carry Case

Today is the day for the US Supreme Court to consider whether they will grant certiorari in the case of Drake v. Jerejian. This case, originally named Muller v. Maenza, challenges the state of New Jersey’s requirement for the showing of “justifiable need” in order to obtain a carry permit.

From the petition for a writ of certiorari as filed with the Supreme Court:


The Second Amendment “guarantee[s] the individual
right to possess and carry weapons in case
of confrontation.” District of Columbia v. Heller, 554
U.S. 570, 592 (2008). But in accordance with “the
overriding philosophy of [New Jersey’s] Legislature
. . . to limit the use of guns as much as possible,”
State v. Valentine, 124 N.J. Super. 425, 427, 307 A.2d
617, 619 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. 1973), New Jersey
law bars all but a small handful of individuals showing
“justifiable need” from carrying a handgun for
self-defense, N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-4(c).

The federal appellate courts, and state courts of
last resort, are split on the question of whether the
Second Amendment secures a right to carry handguns
outside the home for self-defense. The Second,
Fourth, Fifth and Seventh Circuits, and the supreme
courts of Illinois, Idaho, Oregon and Georgia have
held or assumed that the Second Amendment encompasses
the right to carry handguns outside the home
for self-defense. But along with the highest courts of
Massachusetts, Maryland, and the District of Columbia,
which have refused to recognize this right, a
divided Third Circuit panel below held that carrying
handguns outside the home for self-defense falls
outside the scope of the Second Amendment’s protection.
It thus upheld New Jersey’s “justifiable need”
prerequisite for carrying defensive handguns.

The federal appellate courts are also split 8-1 on
the question of whether the government must provide
evidence to meet its burden in Second Amendment
cases. The First, Second, Fourth, Fifth, Seventh,
Ninth, Tenth and District of Columbia Circuits require
the government to produce legislative findings
or other evidence to sustain a law burdening the
right to bear arms. But the majority below held that
the legislature’s policy decisions need not be supported
by any findings or evidence to survive a Second
Amendment challenge, if the law strikes the
court as reasonable. Accordingly, the majority upheld
New Jersey’s “justifiable need” law despite the state’s
concession that it lacked legislative findings or evidence
of the law’s public safety benefits, let alone the
degree of fit between the regulation and the interests
it allegedly secures.

The questions presented are:

1. Whether the Second Amendment secures a
right to carry handguns outside the home for selfdefense.

2. Whether state officials violate the Second
Amendment by requiring that individuals wishing to
exercise their right to carry a handgun for selfdefense
first prove a “justifiable need” for doing so.

The attorneys for the plaintiffs appealing this case are David Jensen and Alan Gura. Amicus briefs in favor of the plaintiffs have been filed by the NRA, Gun Owners of America, 24 Members of Congress, the Cato Institute, 19 states, the Judicial Education Project, and the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence at Chapman University School of Law.

Attorney David Jensen said he is “cautiously optimistic” that the Supreme Court will accept the case.

“The issue has percolated in the appeals courts for the last year and a half,” Jensen said. “It would be well-timed.”

This echoes the sentiments of Frank Fiamingo of the NJ Second Amendment Society expressed in an interview Wednesday on the Polite Society Podcast. He noted the split between the Federal Circuits on this issue. The recent rulings by the 9th Circuit in Peruta and the associated cases adds weight to this argument.

It will take four Justices voting to accept the case for it to be granted certiorari. We didn’t get that in the petitions for the Kachalsky and Woollard cases. We should know by the end of the day whether the Supreme Court will consider the third major Second Amendment case in the last decade.

The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight

When you are a billionaire rolling out a new so-called grassroots organization funded with $50 million of your own money, you expect your underlings to have taken care of all the details.

Splashy story in the New York Times? Check.

Fancy new website? Check.

New YouTube video to get the message out? Check.

Facebook page for the new organization? Uhh….

It seems that if you go to Facebook and look for Everytown for Gun Safety you will go to a page actually devoted to gun safety and not gun control. The page lists the Four Rules in its header and it includes links to the real grassroots gun safety organization: the National Rifle Association and its Gun Safety 101 page.

Buzzfeed even did an article on this move. And how did Mark Glaze, former Executive Director of Bloomberg’s Illegal Mayors and current Executive Director of Everytown for Gun Safety react? With the predictable violent rhetoric of the gun prohibitionists:

When alerted to the presence of the page, a representative at Everytown for Gun Safety said that it wouldn’t be long before it disappeared from Facebook.

“Maybe they’d like to duel for it,” said Mark Glaze, the executive director of Everytown for Gun Safety. “I hear every person on our staff of 85 is a better shot than Wayne LaPierre. Or maybe a bidding war!”

We’re going through the proper process for transitioning our Demand Action page to ‘Everytown,’ which takes a few weeks, and acquiring trademark protection for both Everytown and Everytown for Gun Safety. Once that happens, we expect Facebook to shoo these cybersquattters politely off this name/page.”

Staff of 85? Shoo these (peon) cybersquatters? So much for their image of being a grassroots organization even though the mainstream media will try to push it for them.

So how do you fight a billionaire who wants to be king and impose his rules? If you are part of a grassroots movement that is willing to fight for its rights you use guerrilla tactics just like these guys did.  Kudos to them on their preemptive strike against the Bloomberg Death Star.

UPDATE: Sebastian has more on this here. There are now many state specific sites dealing with real gun safety.

In addition, let me point you to two new blogs. The first is by Rob Morse and is called Everytown for Gun Safety. The second is by yours truly and is named Everytown for (Real) Gun Safety. They were there for the taking. As that famous Tammany Hall politician George Washington Plunkett said, “He seen his opportunities and he took ’em.” It works for me.

They Only Donated To Recruit Your Children

The lunatic fringe of the gun prohibitionist crowd insists that the only reason the NRA and the firearms industry wants to build ranges, organize shooting events for women and children, and the like is because it is a dying culture. We in the gun culture need to suck them in to replace all of the old, gray-haired European-descent males of the shooting patriarchy who are dying off.

The announcement below from the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission acknowledging a substantial donation from the NRA for a new shooting range will certainly set their teeth on edge. The new range is also an example of what Pittman-Robertson money could be used for if the US Senate would get their act together.

I’m actually excited by this range as it will be little more than an hour’s drive away and you don’t have to be a member to use it.

RALEIGH, N.C. – The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission recently accepted a $25,000 check from the National Rifle Association of America to help fund the construction of a public shooting range in Cleveland County.

Brian Hyder, director of the NRA’s General Operations, Program Development Education and Training division, presented the check to Gordon Myers, the Commission’s executive director, at the Commission’s headquarters on Centennial Campus in Raleigh.

The state-of-the-art shooting range will be available to the general public, shooting sports teams and law enforcement personnel for practice, training and recreational use for pistol, skeet and trap, rifle and archery. It will feature a 200-yard rifle range, five 50-yard pistol ranges, two skeet and trap shotgun ranges and a 3-D archery course. The Commission will begin construction in late summer.

“The Wildlife Commission is grateful to have the National Rifle Association as a partner to help us increase shooting range opportunities in North Carolina,” Myers said. “Through this partnership, the WRC is working hand in hand with the NRA to develop and enhance public shooting facilities across our state.”

The $25,000 donation was a grant from the NRA’s Public Range Fund, which was established in 2009 to provide funding for the construction of public ranges across the country.

The need for public shooting ranges nationally is huge, according to Hyder, so the program focuses on creating partnerships at the city, county, state and federal level, with a special emphasis on wildlife agencies in all 50 states. Since the start of the program, the NRA has given more than $1 million to fund public shooting ranges from Florida to Alaska.

“Public shooting ranges are critically important to hunter recruitment and retention – providing ranges is important in hunter education, training and especially recruiting of young hunters and shooters,” Hyder said. “The NRA is proud to be able to work with the Wildlife Resources Commission in its desire to expand recreational shooting opportunities for the citizens of North Carolina statewide.”

The Wildlife Commission and the Cleveland County Board of Commissioners signed a memorandum of agreement in November to build and maintain the public shooting range, which will be located at 250 Fielding Road, outside of Shelby. The Wildlife Commission will build the range site and perform all grading work as well as construction of berms, roads and parking lots. Cleveland County is providing the property and will build a training facility and a separate building with restrooms and concessions. The county also will handle all routine maintenance and will be responsible for day-to-day operations.

For more information on public and private shooting ranges in North Carolina, visit the Commission’s website, www.ncwildlife.org/hunting. Click on the “Before the Hunt” link.

Sorry For Lack Of Posting

I apologize for the lack of posts since Friday. We spent the weekend at the Mother Earth News Expo held at the WNC Ag Center and I was exhausted by it. However, all the walking was good preparation for next week’s NRA Annual Meeting.

Our attendance wasn’t because we are going full granola or anything like that. The Complementary Spouse’s brother and sister-in-law had a booth for her Usborne book business and we helped them out.

Unlike what I would have thought it wasn’t just a bunch of back to nature hippies with dreadlocks. They were there but so were a lot of preppers, homesteaders, farmers, and just everyday people. I even saw a guy with a Sons of Liberty T-shirt who was probably a Threeper.

Larry and I spent a lot of time at the workshops on butchering and sausage making. It is amazing how fast you can cut up a sheep carcass with only a knife and food-grade hacksaw when you know what you are doing. The workshop on butchering a sheep impressed me so much that I bought the book. Of course, the skills translate into butchering deer or other large game animals.

Life has gotten back to normal and I will be co-hosting the Polite Society Podcast tonight. You can listen live, warts and all, by going to the Polite Society Podcast’s YouTube channel.

Taking No Prisoners

You may have read that the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (sic) objected to attorney Andrew Branca’s lecture at Campbell University’s School of Law. He was speaking about the law of self-defense and how it has become a hot-button issue. CSGV has now started a campaign to protest everywhere Branca speaks because he doesn’t parrot their party line about little Trayvon being a martyred saint. Indeed, as Branca has said, the only one responsible for Trayvon’s death is Trayvon himself.

In response to CSGV’s totalitarian attempt to silence him at Campbell University, Branca has this wonderful tweet.

And in response to CSGV’s continuing efforts to silence him, he has put his excellent book, The Law of Self-Defense, 2nd Edition, on sale. To get the 25% off discount, you have to use the special code. You can see it in the tweet below.

You have to admire someone who takes it to the self-appointed thought police like CSGV. By the way, if you haven’t read Branca’s book, you should. It is a good read and a valuable resource to anyone who is a gun owner.

Which To Attend? Decisions, decisions, decisions.

My Mom got an email today from the Brady Campaign. I guess at this point I should mention that she passed away almost six years ago, but I digress.

The Brady Campaign is having their very own Brady National Summit in Washington, DC in June. The announcement and details are below:

The Brady National Summit will take place June 9-10, 2014, at the Washington Marriott at Metro Center, with a cocktail reception on the evening of June 8. This year’s theme is “Bring It Home!”

The summit will feature experts, thought leaders, key advocates from across the country, and fellow Americans who have been personally impacted by gun violence. Participants will hone the skills needed to effectively engage friends, neighbors, media and elected officials in our national conversation about gun violence, and learn about what they can do in their community to help reduce gun violence.

The summit will close with a powerful day of citizen lobbying, as we join together to spread our message throughout the halls of Congress!

Join us for three days of education, inspiration & empowerment on reducing gun violence in our country.

The cost to attend this soiree is a mere $50. And more importantly, it will feature thought leaders! I guess these are the people who tell the thought police how to prosecute thoughtcrime.

And speaking of thoughtcrime, my alternative to the Brady National Summit is the NRA Annual Meeting which is free, is not in DC, and not full of Debby Downers.

Which to attend? Such a hard decision. Or not.

Screw it! I’m going to ignore the thought leaders and chance the thought police to indulge in thoughtcrime in Indy and I going to have a helluva time doing it.