A “Mental Health” Initiative That Discourages Seeking Treatment

From my conversations with mental health professionals such as Dr. Robert Young, a psychiatrist who is a member of Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership, treatment is the key to allowing those suffering mental health issues to lead a full and productive life. A life that doesn’t involve seemingly random acts of unspeakable violence.

There is a bill before the California Assembly that may be voted on as early as today (AB 2607) that would greatly expand the list of people who may secretly petition a court to restrain your rights to possess a firearm. The list includes employers, coworkers, mental health workers, and employees of a high school or college. Could you imagine having the police arrive on your doorstep to confiscate your firearms due to a petition from a school janitor? Under this bill it could happen as the bill just says “employees”.

The bill is being opposed by a diverse coalition of groups including the Firearms Policy Coalition as well it should be. Their news release on the bill is below and it goes into more detail.

Sacramento,CA—Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) is proud to stand with mental health professionals and other civil rights organizations in opposition to Assembly Bill 2607, and is asking its members and supporters to contact the legislature to oppose this measure.

Authored by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), the bill massively expands a controversial law that has only been in place for 4 months. At present, current law permits family members and peace officers to petition a court, in secret, in order to restrain an individual from possessing firearms. AB 2607 compounds this measure by adding, to the list of qualified petitioners, employers, coworkers, mental health workers, and employees of a secondary or postsecondary school.

This would add thousands of people (including complete strangers) to the list of people who could petition a court to restrain a person from possessing firearms, triggering a warrant and armed law enforcement raids—without trial, conviction, or opportunity to defend oneself before a court. The secretive nature of this process, as well as the broad expansions in the measure, lead the American Civil Liberties Union to call it a
“significant threat to civil liberties” in a letter to the bill’s author.

Craig DeLuz, Director of Legislative & Public Affairs for the Firearms Policy Coalition commented, “Gun owners are being targeted for harassment in AB 2607 by virtually anyone they are connected to; disgruntled former colleagues or anti-gun college professors–but what is truly disturbing is that AB 2607 goes so far as to discourage gun-owners from seeking counseling or therapy–for fear of being raided by police and losing their gun rights. This bill causes a serious breach of trust between patients and healthcare professionals as well as students and instructors.”

Not only does this bill discourage free thought and free speech in places, such as University campuses, it actually discourages gun-owners from pursuing counseling due to fear of losing their gun rights in an unconstitutional surprise warrant service. “It’s irresponsible, it’s inexcusable, and it’s a shameless attack on the millions of responsible Californians who choose to exercise their civil rights while also being a responsible citizen and taking care of their physical and mental health,” said DeLuz.

The earliest AB 2607 can be voted on is Thursday, April 28, as it will be heard on the floor of the California State Assembly. It is opposed by mental health professionals such as the California Psychological Association, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) , Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) , National Rifle Association (NRA), and Gun Owners (GOC) of California. It is also opposed by the Public Defenders Association.

DeLuz concluded, “You know your bill is bad when FPC, NRA, ACLU and Public Defenders are all opposed. All of these organizations look out for the public good in their own way, and I’m proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with them in opposition to AB 2607.”

If you live in California and haven’t contact your Assembly member, do it now!

Colorado Bill To Repeal Standard Cap Mag Ban Fails

Earlier this month, the Colorado State Senate passed SB16-113 which would have repealed the ban on standard capacity magazines and would have repealed the requirement that standard capacity magazines manufactured in Colorado have a date stamp on them.

The vote to pass the bill in the Senate was 20 aye and 12 nay with two excused. It had previously passed out of committee on a 3-2 party line vote.

While the Senate is controlled by the Republicans, the House is the domain of the Democrats. While there was some hope that the Democrats might allow the bill out of committee, that hope was dashed last night.

The House State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee voted on the bill last night. The first vote was on a motion to send the bill to the House floor for consideration by the full House. This was defeated on a party line 4-5 vote. Then the committee voted 5-4 to postpone consideration of the bill indefinitely. This means the bill is dead for all practical purposes.

Coloradans can thank Committee Chair and House Majority Whip Su Ryden (D-Arapahoe), Rep. Mike Foote (D-Boulder), Rep. Dianne Primavera (D-Boulder/Broomfield), Rep. Max Tyler (D-Jefferson), and Rep. Susan Lontine (D-Denver) for this bill’s defeat. These five were good little minions for Mike Bloomberg and did as they were told. I’m sure the criminal element, especially home invasion specialists, were pleased with this result. As to your average, law-abiding, tax-paying Colorado gun owner, that is another story.

I want to thank my friend Laura Carno as well as attorney David Kopel for taking the time to testify in favor of the bill before the Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee when it held hearings.

H/T Jenna Meek

Sure To Drive Shannon, Mike, And Hillary Insane

I just saw this video on Facebook of a young girl getting I presume a birthday present. Obviously by the case it is a firearm.

A pink tiger-striped AR-15 with matching magazines!

That wailing and gnashing of teeth that you hear combined with sputtering indignation is the gun prohibitionists saying “how could they?!” meaning the parents of the young girl.

All I can say is good on the parents as a pink tiger-striped AR-15 is way better than a pink Cricket .22 rifle.

Good News On Ranges In North Carolina

To start out your work week, I want to highlight two positive mainstream media stories on new shooting ranges in North Carolina. One of these ranges is even in a high school!

The first story comes down east in Johnston County where Smithfield-Selma High School just installed an air gun range for their NJROTC program. Part of the money to develop this range came from the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the NC Wildlife Resources Commission.

The second story comes from Shelby where the Foothills Public Shooting Complex had its grand opening last week. The range was developed as a joint project between Cleveland County and the NC Wildlife Resources Commission.

The range features three 50-yard pistol ranges, two skeet/trap/pistol ranges, a 250-yard rifle range, and a 3-D archery range. The range can handle 60 shooters at one time.

500 people showed up on Tuesday for the grand opening.

Johnny Hutchins, a Cleveland County commissioner who came up with the idea for a shooting range seven years ago, believes it will become an economic driver for the county.

“I’m hoping we can attract a national archery and a national pistol match in the next 12 months,” he said. “We will see start seeing local matches coming up pretty quick.”

All told, 60 people can shoot at once from multiple stands. Safety officers oversee the ranges. The complex has an office and classroom, concession building and restrooms. Cost is $10 a day for adults; $5 for children 17 and under; seniors, veterans and law enforcement officers also pay $5. The public on Wednesday began bringing their own firearms for shooting.

“Man, this is nice,” said Larry Harrington of Claremont in Catawba County, waiting to shoot at the skeet range. Visitors shot for free Tuesday with provided firearms. “It would be a good place for new shooters to learn to shoot.”

Given the range is little more than an hour’s drive away, I can see me taking more than a few day trips down there. It is hard to imagine a 250-yard rifle range available where you don’t have to be a member of a club to use it.

Wasn’t Brad Pitt Supposed To Be “Good” On Guns?

There is a myth going around that Brad Pitt is “good” on guns. He and Angelina Jolie own guns for self-protection.

Pitt tells British magazine Live, “I absolutely don’t believe you can put sanctions or shackles on what is made. Nor do I want to pretend the world is different than what we witnessed that night…

“America is a country founded on guns. It’s in our DNA. It’s very strange but I feel better having a gun. I really do. I don’t feel safe, I don’t feel the house is completely safe, if I don’t have one hidden somewhere. That’s my thinking, right or wrong.

Given this, I was a bit surprised and disgusted when I received an email from the Brady Campaign announcing that Brad Pitt and some guy I’ve heard of were inviting me to the 2016 Brady Bear Awards Gala to be held in Los Angeles.

Dear (fill in the blank),

Co-Chairs Adam McKay and Brad Pitt invite you to join us in saying #ENOUGH to gun violence. If you are near Los Angeles, join us for the 2016 Los Angeles Brady Bear Awards Gala on May 4th. We will gather with supporters, advocates and celebrities for an inspiring evening honoring co-president of Plan B Productions, Dede Gardner, and philanthropist and technology entrepreneur David Bohnett. Limited tickets and tables are available for purchase today.

If you can’t be with us in person, join all of us in saying #ENOUGH with your special donation or by placing a tribute ad honoring an advocate, community leader, or victim of gun violence in our digital journal that will be displayed at the event.

Ticket prices for this gala start at $500.

Brad Pitt – just another Hollywood hypocrite on guns.

Friday Follies

I grew up in Guilford County, North Carolina and lived there until I moved to the mountains. Thus, when I saw this story about a certain road sign being stolen all the time and steps being taken to prevent it, I knew I had a blog post.

Looking at the map of Guilford County below, you will see the major cities of Greensboro and High Point. You will also see smaller communities like Browns Summit, Pleasant Garden, and Whitsett among others. There are other place names that when connected together make an amusing combination. Take a look at the red line that goes from the county’s south-western border through High Point and thence along the southern part of the county towards the eastern border.

Click on map to embiggen.

Guilford County: From Horneytown to Climax by way of High Point.

What If The Palestinians Were “State Representatives” To UNSCAR

A post on the Volokh Conspiracy by Eugene Kontorovich from Tuesday caught my eye. He was discussing the demand of 28 US senators that funding for the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change be stopped. The reason that they were demanding that US funding to this UN agency be stopped is that the Palestinian Authority has been accepted by that agency as a “state party”.

Federal law bars any funding for U.N. agencies or affiliates that “grants full membership as a state to any organization or group that does not have the internationally recognized attributes of statehood.” In the official U.S. view, “Palestine” is not a state. Thus when the Palestinian Authority joined the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2011, it triggered federal defunding of that organization. Now, federal law requires a similar cessation of any funding to UNFCCC.

The purpose of Professor Kontorovich’s article to speculate what might happen if the Obama Administration ignored the clear law that prohibits the funding. However, for my purposes, the article made me speculate how this law could be used to cut funding of the UN’s gun control efforts.

The Arms Trade Treaty is administered by UN Trust Facility Supporting Cooperation on Arms Regulation or UNSCAR. While the United States has not ratified the treaty, it is a signatory to it. The Arms Trade Treaty seeks to control not only major weapons systems but also small arms and ammunition. As of now, the Palestinian Authority is not considered a “state representative” to UNSCAR insofar as I can tell. That said, UNSCAR has two current projects going in the Arab and Middle Eastern states.

It would be in the interest of gun rights NGOs like the National Rifle Association and the Second Amendment Foundation to lobby to get the Palestinian Authority full recognition as a state and full membership in UNSCAR. While neither organization nor its members usually have much love for the Palestinian Authority given its connections to Hamas and the PLO, getting them recognized as a state representative does cut potential funding for more international gun control efforts.

In my view, that is a good thing.

An Idea I Could Support

The Treasury Department announced today that they plan to replace the picture of President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill with one of abolitionist, Underground Railroad conductor, and Union spy Harriett Tubman.

Tubman was no pacifist. Her pistol and ivory-handled sword were on display at Florida A&M University’s museum back in 2013. As Comfortably Smug suggests in the Tweet below, the picture of Tubman on the $20 bill should feature her holding her pistol.

I quite agree that Republicans – the party behind abolition in the first place – should push for this portrait of Tubman to grace the new $20 bill. Call your Representatives and Senators to demand this!

UPDATE: David Burge aka Iowahawk suggests another picture in this Tweet.


Today is the two-hundred-forty-first anniversary of General Gage’s attempt at gun control that sparked a revolution. It is also a story of resilience and courage at the beginning of this nation.

Capt. John Parker had lost eight men killed and ten wounded to British Regulars on Lexington Green early on the morning of April 19th. Parker, a veteran of the Battles of Quebec and Louisburg during the French and Indian War, was also dying from tuberculosis and would succumb to it five months later at the age of 46.

One might have thought that Capt. Parker having just lost about a quarter of his militia company and dying from consumption would have retired home to lick his wounds. However, Parker showed a resilience that became a hallmark of the American colonists over the next eight years as they fought for their independence from Great Britain.

In what became to be known as “Parker’s Revenge”, he reorganized his men on a hillside overlooking a curve in the road between Lincoln and Lexington. There he and his men, many of whom were wounded, awaited the return of the British soldiers from Concord. The hillside was reported to be dense with brush and strewn with boulders behind which the militia obtained cover.

When Parker’s men sprung their ambush, this time it was the British who paid the heavier price.

Parker waited until the regulars were directly in front his men, then opened fire with a volley that wounded Colonel Smith in the thigh and knocked him from his saddle. The front of the column stopped briefly under the fire, which was the worst possible reaction. As the rear of the column packed into its front, Major Pitcairn galloped up to get the regulars moving again. With Smith wounded, Pitcairn assumed active command of the column and sent troops up the hill to drive the Lexington militia away. The regulars succeeded, but this took time and allowed other militia and minute companies to get ahead of the column again and continue the ring of fire. The provincials were able to ambush the regulars again just a few hundred yards down the road.

Militiaman Jedediah Munroe, who had been wounded earlier in the day at Lexington Green, died in the ambush as did several British soldiers.

The site of Parker’s Revenge has been the subject of recent archaeological studies as well as National Park Service research. One of the findings is that the two opposing sides were within 80 yards of one another.

The lessons from Parker’s Revenge are obvious. We need to be resilient in the face of challenges from forces that on the face of it are stronger. Put in the context of gun rights, we face an enemy that is better funded due to Michael Bloomberg, that has a fawning and compliant mainstream media behind it, and that has the weight of many politicians behind it. We may lose a number of battles but, if we stay resilient, we will maintain and (hopefully) broaden our God-given rights.