Reporters Such As These Are Unfortunately Extinct

Marshall J. Brown was a reporter from a time when reporters were reporters and not journalists. According to his obituary in the Buffalo News, he passed away yesterday after an extended battle with multiple system atrophy, a neurological disease. He was 78 and had spent much of his career as the police beat reporter for the old Buffalo Courier-Express.

Mr. Brown came from a newspaper family. His father and two uncles were editors with United Press International (UPI). He started out as a copy boy with the old NY Herald-Tribune, received a degree in journalism from New York University, and began his career at the Lockport (NY) Union-Sun & Journal.

His obituary states that he received a number of awards from the Associated Press for his reporting. These awards, however, were not his most prized awards. He reserved that for his James Madison Award For Journalism from the Second Amendment Society.

A fellow reporter from a competing newspaper had this to say about Mr. Brown:

“Marsh was a feisty, hard-nosed old-time newsman, like one of the characters you’d see in an old movie like ‘The Front Page,’ ” said Buffalo News reporter Dan Herbeck, who worked with Mr. Brown at Buffalo Police Headquarters in the late 1970s and early 1980s. “He carried a gun when he was on the job, sometimes beat the police to crime scenes. On more than one occasion, he conducted his own investigations and helped the police solve crimes.”

Herbeck said he will never forget the time he and Mr. Brown in 1982 – both police reporters for Buffalo’s two competing newspapers – decided to go out and have lunch together. They were walking toward a small diner when a waitress came running outside, spattered with blood and screaming, “Help, he killed Ellie!”

“Marsh grabbed his gun out of the holster and we went running inside. This poor waitress was on the floor, bleeding to death,” Herbeck recalled. “A mental patient who had recently been released from a psychiatric center had jumped over the counter, grabbed a knife and began stabbing this poor woman. Then he ran out of the place. Marsh and I ran outside, looking for the guy, but he was long gone. The police came and we told them what happened.”

Can you imagine any of the modern-day authorized journalists doing this?

Mr. Brown was a Life Member of the NRA and was a longtime vice-president of New York’s Shooters Committee on Political Education. He also was a member of the Second Amendment Foundation, Gun Owners of America, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and the Holland Rod and Gun Club. He was a certified NRA firearms instructor as well as a three-time NY State pistol champion in various categories.

Rest in peace, Mr. Brown. The likes of you will almost never be seen anymore and more’s the pity.

It Was CSGV – I Couldn’t Help Myself

The gun prohibitionists at the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (sic) must think the novel 1984 wasn’t merely a novel but the playbook for a future American society. They see themselves as the Thought Police out to punish any and all “thoughtcrimes” or deviations from the party line.

Such is the case now in their petition attempting to get the Maryland State Police to revoke the instructor certification of Wicomico County (MD) Sheriff Mike Lewis. His “thoughtcrime” is his outspoken support for the Second Amendment. Sheriff Lewis has stated that he would refuse to let Federal authorities into his county if they wanted “to come in here and strip my citizens of their right to bear arms.”

Inspired by a post by David Codrea on his War On Guns blog saying that all the “right people” were signing the petition, I decided to sign it as well using an appropriate pseudonym. I wanted to choose a name that would express my thoughts about their petition.

David chose Adolph Hitler. I went with Heinrich Himmler. Most people know that Himmler was the head of the Schutzstaffel (SS). Hitler named Himmler Chief of German Police in 1935 which included the Gestapo, the Criminal Police, the SD, and other police agencies. Given how the Gestapo sought out those who deviated from the National Socialist creed, I think he was an appropriate signatory to CSGV’s petition.

Felix Dzerzhinsky who directed the All-Russia Extraordinary Commission to Combat Counter-revolution and Sabotage or Cheka would have also have been an appropriate pseudonym to use.

If you want to avail CSGV of your personal disgust at their actions, here is the link to their petition. I’m sure you can come up with a good pseudonym to use.

It’s Not All Ads For Kay Hagan

If you watch television in Western North Carolina right now, it is about 2-1 in terms of campaign ads from Democrats and their allied organizations (NEA, League of Conservation Voters, Senate Majority PAC, etc.) It may be different in other areas of the state but I doubt it.

Thus, it was refreshing to see this ad from the NRA featuring Colion Noir on WLOS this evening. It was one of the few ads that I didn’t immediately have me reaching for the mute button on the remote control.

Quote Of The Day

Students and faculty at George Washington Carver High School in Rancho Cordova, California are upset due to a new indoor gun range being developed near the school. According to the city’s planning department, the land is zoned industrial and gun ranges are a permitted use. Translated from PlanSpeak, that means the gun range meets the previously established criteria to be located there and must be allowed to operate in that location.

So, you can guess what the students did next – they held a protest complete with what appear to be professionally made signs. They had slogans like “Legal? but WRONG WRONG WRONG” and “Way TOO CLOSE for Comfort”. It appears from the news story that the “protest” was organized with the full cooperation of school officials. One has to wonder if the students really organized it or were given it as class assignment for a grade. comments on the story and the slant given to it from the reporter from CBS Sacramento:

The local news story spins this as a beneficial lesson in participatory democracy for the high schoolers. True enough, I suppose. If nothing else, they learned that when it comes to politics and governance, think-of-the-children paranoia trumps property rights every single time.

 So much for the Lockean rights of life, liberty, and property.

GRNC Seeks Injunction Against Posting Of NC State Fair

North Carolina’s Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler (R-NC) is the official in charge of the State Fair held in Raleigh. This year, for some reason, he held a press conference announcing that it would be policy to post the State Fair against concealed carry by properly permitted CHP holders. His argument is that this is just a continuation of how things have always been.

The Criminal Law blog of the UNC School of Government has looked at this issue and it appears that Commissioner Troxler is on very shaky ground. The State Fair isn’t a private business nor is it a unit of local government which might allow him to do it. As it is, the law is very specific that CHP holders are allowed to carry at assemblies where a fee is charged. Moreover, state law specifies which state government buildings that are posted including such places as the Executive Mansion and the State Capitol Building. The State Fair is not one of the buildings mention.

Given that state laws regarding firearms and where they may be carried legally has changed considerably in the last few years, this is an odd move on the part of Troxler. In response, Grass Roots North Carolina is going to court seeking an injunction to stop Troxler from posting the State Fair. The State Fair runs from October 16th through the 26th so time is of the essence.

Gun group to file injunction against state fair posting today
Due to an impasse in negotiations with North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler, Grass Roots North Carolina will today file  for a temporary restraining order in Wake County Superior Court with the intention of preventing the Department of Agriculture from posting the state fair against lawful concealed carry.

At the request of North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler, GRNC representatives met with the commissioner and his legal counsel after his police chief for the state fairgrounds, Joel Keith, began telling people the North Carolina State Fair would be posted against all firearms, including lawful concealed carry. Although Troxler is not particularly anti-gun, he seems unwilling to take responsibility for doing the right thing, saying instead that as a member of the executive branch, he cannot interpret statutes and must follow the interpretations given to him (more on that shortly). 

Consequently, the commissioner and GRNC were unable to achieve a satisfactory resolution of the problem. GRNC is now preparing a filing for a temporary restraining order, through its sister non-profit, Rights Watch International, to prevent the fair, which starts next week, from being posted.


Before passage of House Bill 937, which became effective on October 1, 2013, guns were prohibited at “assemblies of people for which admission is charged.” Since that section of NCGS 14-269.3 was changed to permit carry by those with concealed handgun permits, however, only private property owners hosting such assemblies may prohibit concealed carry. The state fairgrounds, of course, are not private property.


Although NCGS 14-269.3 specifically opens carry to permit-holders, Troxler claims “vague” language in the statutes enables the state to post under NCGS 14-269(a2), which says the state’s general prohibition on concealed weapons, “does not apply to a person who has a concealed handgun permit issued in accordance with Article 54B of this Chapter, has a concealed handgun permit considered valid under G.S. 14-415.24, or is exempt from obtaining a permit pursuant to G.S. 14-415.25, provided the weapon is a handgun, is in a closed compartment or container within the person’s locked vehicle, and the vehicle is in a parking area that is owned or leased by State government.”
  1. The section above merely enables permit-holders to keep guns in closed compartments of locked motor vehicles in state properties where guns are prohibited. It does not create a prohibition in itself.
  1. In fact, NCGS 14-269.4 lists the specific state properties – such as the State Capitol, Governor’s Executive Mansion” and courthouses – where guns are prohibited. That section does not include the state fairgrounds.
  1. Even in the exceedingly unlikely event a court agreed that Troxler is allowedto post the fair, nothing requires him to do so. In short, his rationalization that he is just following what he has to do is false. Troxler is choosing to prohibit lawful concealed handgun permit-holders from protecting their families not only at the fair, but also in the parking lots outside the fair.

As we’ve seen time and again, gun-free zones are dangerous places for law-abiding citizens. No family should be rendered entirely helpless should an event occur such as what happened at the Wisconsin State Fair in 2011. Dozens of teenagers and young adults attacked peaceful fairgoers as they left the fair. Eleven people were injured and thirty-one arrests were made. Criminals are always empowered when they know that their intended victims are disarmed.

I will keep on top of this to report on what the court’s decide. It should be interesting.

The Polite Society Podcast Needs A Little Help

I noted a few days ago that the Polite Society Podcast in conjunction with and the New Jersey Second Amendment Society will be live streaming the 2015 Gun Rights Policy Conference. In order to do so, Paul Lathrop will need to purchase some new audio and video equipment.

Paul has started a GoFundMe campaign to raise the necessary funds. The goal is a conservative $731 for the video camera, tripod, and additional audio equipment.

The live streaming project is being done with the explicit permission of the Second Amendment Society and will be using the official audio feed managed by Charles Heller.

Unlike the Demanding Mommies, we in the gun rights movement don’t have a Sugar Daddy like Mike Bloomberg so we need your help. If you can help out with a donation of any size, please go to the GoFundMe page Paul has set up.

The live stream project will allow everyone to be able to follow the conference as it happens even if they can’t afford to fly to Phoenix or there is another case of a suicidal pyromaniac taking down a FAA control center. I’ve made a donation and hope you will do so too.

Restaurant Carry In North Carolina Has Its First Anniversary And Carry Is Banned At The State Fair

The ability to carry concealed in a restaurant or eating establishment in North Carolina had its first anniversary this past week. The anniversary brings with it a measure of disappointment for the naysayers and gun prohibitionists. Blood didn’t run in the streets and there weren’t boozy shoot-outs on a regular basis. In fact, according to research by Grass Roots North Carolina, there wasn’t even one shooting involving a concealed carry holder in a restaurant serving alcohol.

House Bill 937, which became effective on October 1, 2013, dramatically expanded North Carolina’s concealed handgun law into restaurants where alcohol is sold and consumed, assemblies of people for which admission is charged, parades and funerals, further into state and municipal parks, and even to a limited extent into educational properties.

‘Guns and alcohol don’t mix’?

As always when we expand concealed handgun laws, opponents and media naysayers predicted shootings in bars, guns stolen from vehicles at schools, and various other sorts of mayhem using platitudes like “guns and alcohol don’t mix.”

GRNC explained endlessly that concealed handgun permit-holders, by virtue of background checks and training, had proven themselves sane, sober and law-abiding since 1995, with a rate of permit revocation on the order of three tens of a single percent. We explained that permit-holders in restaurants would still be prohibited from imbibing alcohol.

But the dire predictions persisted. Editorials ridiculed legislators. UNC president Tom Ross sent UNC police chiefs to testify against the bill, claiming it would hamper their ability to protect students. Gun control activists pushed restaurants to post against concealed carry.

So what has happened?

It has now been one year since HB 937 became effective. So what has happened? Nothing. GRNC monitors clipping services for gun-related incidents. Just like Virginia, Ohio, Tennessee and other states which adopted restaurant carry, however, we have been unable to find a single instance of a concealed handgun permit-holder misusing a gun in a restaurant or educational property.

So when will the media naysayers apologize? Will the media acknowledge the anniversary and the absolute lack of negative impact?

NC State Fair: The latest battleground

In the latest battle, Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler says he will post the North Carolina State Fair against concealed carry even though statutes adopted in HB 937 now prohibit him from doing so. He apparently believes that even despite passing concealed carry in 1995; Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground and expanded concealed carry into parks and elsewhere in 2011; and HB 937 in 2013 – all without the mayhem predicted by opponents – somehow, the state fair must be a different and more dangerous place than all the others.

So GRNC asks both Troxler and the media, “Where’s the mayhem?”

It is against this background that GRNC is taking NC Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler (R-NC) to task for trying to continue the ban on carry at the North Carolina State Fair. HB 937 which permits restaurant carry also permitted carry at assemblies where an admission is charged such as the State Fair. GRNC is threatening legal action to make Ag Commissioner Troxler and the State Fair to abide by the law.

Sean Sorrentino of An NC Gun Blog attended Troxler’s press conference and questioned him about the decision to post the State Fair. Troxler replied that it was long-standing policy to post against carry and he’d leave it to the lawyers about the interpretation of the new law.

Paul Valone, President of GRNC, has met with Troxler last Monday. As Valone says, Troxler is not known as a liberal or anti-gun but that still doesn’t make him right. GRNC will be going to court seeking a temporary restraining order before the fair opens in about a week.

Farmer’s Okra Plot Gets Raided By Georgia Cops

I know some people don’t like that Southern staple, okra. Still, it isn’t any reason to launch a full force raid with cop cars and a helicopter on someone growing it. However, mistaking the five-leafed vegetable for marijuana might be.

A Bartow County, GA Sheriffs Department drug task force raided Dwayne Perry’s garden in Cartersville last week after a spotter in a Governor’s Task Force for Drug Suppression helicopter misidentified the okra for pot.

Mr. Perry is understandably upset by the whole incident.

“Here I am, at home and retired and you know I do the right thing,” Perry said. “Then they come to my house strapped with weapons for no reason. It ain’t right.”…

“The more I thought about it, what could have happened? Anything could have happened,” Perry said.

Perry said he’s still getting calls about all of the deputy vehicles that responded at his home. He fears his reputation has been damaged.

Given the record of some Georgia police departments conducting SWAT-type raids, Mr. Perry was right to be worried. It was in Habersham County, Georgia that a toddler was critically injured by a stun grenade in a raid in which no drugs were found. And it was in Atlanta where 92-year old Kathryn Johnson was killed in a botched drug raid. That raid left the elderly woman dead and a number of cops going to Federal prison.

If I were Mr. Perry, I might be consulting a good attorney.

Now Where Have I Heard That Name Before

North Carolina judicial elections at all levels are officially non-partisan. The trend towards non-partisan judicial elections started in 1996 with superior court judges, continued in 2001 with district court judges, and culminated with appellate level (both Court of Appeals and Supreme Court) judges and justices in 2002. The North Carolina Board of Elections sends out the General Election Judicial Voter Guide to every resident.

I got the 2014 edition in the mail today. I’m reading through the candidates for the various seat on the Court of Appeals and I came across a name that struck a bell – Mark A. Davis. It noted that he was appointed to the Court of Appeals by former Gov. Beverly Perdue (D-NC) and had served as a Special Deputy Attorney General and General Counsel to the Governor. It hit me and a quick check showed I was correct.

Mark Davis was the lead attorney for the State of North Carolina in Bateman v. Perdue. He was the man charged with defending North Carolina’s law that stated, during times of officially declared emergency, off-premises possession of a firearm was banned. Put another way, it was his job to keep North Carolinians defenseless when they were at their most vulnerable. Fortunately, he failed.

Davis makes note of all his endorsements by former judges and by groups such as the Advocates for Justice and the NC Association of Educators. Advocates for Justice used to be named the NC Academy of Trial Lawyers which is an organization of primarily plaintiffs attorneys. Davis notes that the judges that endorsed him are both Republicans and Democrats. Frankly, I don’t care.

What I care about is not having a judge on the North Carolina Court of Appeals that wrote something so dismissive of my Second Amendment rights as did Davis in his Reply in Response to Motion. The State of North Carolina had filed a Motion to Dismiss which drew a Memorandum in Opposition from Alan Gura. Davis started off his response to Gura with this.

Plaintiffs’ Response Brief is most notable for its refusal to even acknowledge the substantial
governmental interest in placing restrictions on the carrying of guns in public. Guns are designed
to injure or kill, and possession of a gun poses a real risk of death or serious bodily harm to others
– that is, in fact, the very purpose of a gun. Consequently, the State’s interest in imposing
appropriate restrictions on the carrying of guns outside of one’s premises is even stronger than the
State’s well-recognized interests in establishing reasonable limits on First Amendment and other
constitutional rights, the exercise of which carry far less potential for death and destruction.

While Heller notes some similarities between the First Amendment and the Second
Amendment, there is one major and obvious difference between the two. Unlike even the most
hateful and offensive speech, guns are capable of inflicting violent bodily injury and death. In order
to protect citizens from the risks of gun-related violence, States must be given reasonable latitude
to set limits on the carrying of firearms in public, and this governmental interest is at its greatest
during a state of emergency.

As most people know, Judge Malcolm Howard rejected the state’s argument and declared the Emergency Powers statutes unconstitutional as they burdened the Second Amendment.

I can’t say that Mark Davis was appointed by former Gov. Perdue to the Court of Appeals based upon this case. However, given that he served as her General Counsel during her last two years of office, I think it is safe to say his appointment was a reward for good service to her. His appointment came as she was about to leave office.

Davis says he will bring “good old-fashioned North Carolina values to the Court of Appeals.” Working to suppress my Constitutional rights is not a North Carolina value insofar as I’m concerned. It is for that reason I urge a vote for his opponent Judge Paul Holcombe.