Here, Let Me Rewrite That For You

Imagine you recently got this email. It came from either the buggy-whip manufacturer’s association or Earth First. Either way, they were anti-automobile because cars don’t fit their agenda. In other words, while they are being chauffeured around in stretch limos, they don’t want the roads crowded with the likes of you.

Here’s the email:

For the first time in a decade, auto sales are down in the United States.

So it’s no wonder deregulating mufflers is at the top of the automobile manufacturers lobby’s agenda. They need to find new ways to make money, regardless of the cost to our communities, and making this policy priority a legislative reality would mean big business for auto manufacturers.

But here’s the dangerous truth: if mufflers were deregulated and sold without any oversight, they could be sold without background checks. And when that happens, they can easily get into the hands of dangerous people. That puts us all at risk, because mufflers make it more difficult for law enforcement to locate speeders, and easier for criminals to quietly escape.

But it appears Congress may move forward on the deregulation of mufflers anyway. But before they do, we have a chance to make our voices heard:

Sign our petition calling on Congress to REJECT any legislation that would deregulate the sale of automobile mufflers.

Automobile mufflers can cost anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to up to $2,500 for the most expensive muffler sold by Quiet Cars. This is big business.

But the profits to a few manufacturers will never be as important as the safety of our communities across the country. That’s why making your voice heard is so important.

You are probably thinking that mufflers are a good thing and you’d be right. Among other things they reduce noise pollution. You won’t be woken up in the middle of your afternoon nap anymore when an unmuffled car drives by your house.

Of course, the real email from Mark Kelly aka Mr. Gabby Giffords of Americans for Responsible Solutions (sic) is talking about silencers and suppressors for firearms. My rewriting of his email was to show just how ridiculousness of his position. I could go on but I think you get it.

The Other Felons Just Did It More Illegally

Gabby Giffords and her Americans for Responsible Solutions are touting the success of Washington State’s I-594 in stopping felons from purchasing firearms. The 50 felons were attempting to purchase a firearm through a private sale and not through a FFL.

Given the Tweet was published on April 1, I don’t know if this is an April Fools joke on their part or not.

Doing the math which I hope that even Gabby could do, 50 felons divided by 14 months equals 3.57 attempted purchases per month or less than one per week. If that is a measure of success, it is a dumbing down of the meaning of success. All this proves is that 50 felons were stupid enough to try and purchase a firearm from someone who submitted the sale to a background check. No word on how many sales were made on street corners of stolen guns being sold by criminal gangs.

According to the story that accompanies her Tweet, not one felon was prosecuted for attempting to purchase a firearm.

2015 violent crime statistics for Washington State have not been released by the FBI and should not be expected until mid-year or later.

I’ll See Your Murthy And Raise You A McSally

The various gun prohibitionist groups were quick to claim victory over the confirmation of Dr. Vivek Murthy as the Surgeon General of the United States.

Mark Kelly (aka Mr. Gabby Giffords) said of the confirmation of Murthy that:

Tonight, the United States Senate did the responsible thing: It stood up to the gun lobby, stood up for common sense, and voted to ensure that the United States has a qualified medical professional as its top doctor.

Dan Gross, President of the Brady Campaign, was even more bombastic in his proclamations about Murthy’s confirmation:

“This is a huge victory for Brady and for the public health and safety of our nation. Now we have a Surgeon General who recognizes that gun violence is a serious public health issue that America urgently needs to address,” said Dan Gross, President, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. “This victory represents a major triumph over the corporate gun lobby ‘lap dogs’ in the Senate who fought to defeat Dr. Murthy’s confirmation on behalf of their billion-dollar benefactors…

Gross adds, “Dr. Murthy’s confirmation is part of an exciting, growing trend of victories for the American public over the interests and influence of the corporate gun lobby. In the recent elections, the voters of Washington state demonstrated where the American public stands on this issue by overwhelmingly passing expanded background checks. The American people know that gun violence is a public health issue and they support sensible measures to reduce gun deaths and injuries.”

PR professional mom Shannon Watts was not to be denied either. While Everytown Moms for Illegal Mayors had nothing on their official web page, they did say this on their Facebook page:

Yesterday the Senate stood up to the gun lobby and confirmed Dr. Vivek Murthy for Surgeon General.

The NRA strongly opposed Dr. Murthy because he dared to acknowledged that gun violence is a public health threat.Yesterday the Senate stood up to the gun lobby and confirmed Dr. Vivek Murthy for Surgeon General.

The gun lobby has spent decades trying to quash research into the causes and cures for gun violence–because the less we know about gun violence, the more the gun lobby can dictate public health policy.

Even the lesser lights of the gun prohibitionist groups had to put in their two cents. The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (sic) called it a “historic rebuke to the NRA”. Meanwhile, the Violence Policy Center’s Kristen Rand said “we applaud every senator who stood up to the gun lobby.”

Murthy was going to be Surgeon General even if the lame ducks hadn’t turned their back on their constituents and voted to confirm him. I have no doubt that Murthy would have been an another of President Obama’s recess appointments.

While the gun prohibitionists have been exceedingly vocal over Murthy’s confirmation, they have been equally as quiet over an event that happened yesterday. With the recount having been concluded in Arizona’s Second Congressional District, Col. Martha McSally (USAF-Ret) was declared the winner by 167 votes over Democrat incumbent Ron Barber. She actually picked up six votes in the recount.

Lest anyone forget, McSally now represents Gabby Giffords’ former congressional district. She ran on a pro-gun, balance the budget, and secure the borders platform. She was rated AQ and endorsed by the NRA-PVF.

Americans for Responsible Solutions waged a vicious campaign against McSally and still lost. They spent $2,007,611.68 in ads and mailings opposing McSally. This amount is just a little less than what the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spent attacking McSally. ARS spent an additional $238,584 in support of Barber. This was a personal battle for Giffords and Kelly and they lost.

By contrast, “the corporate gun lobby” in the form of the NRA-Political Victory Fund spent the magnificent sum of $14,068.79 in support of McSally.

According to the Arizona Republic, Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly did respond to McSally’s electoral victory.

Giffords’ group was criticized for running an ad that implied McSally didn’t support gun background checks that might have prevented a woman from being murdered by a stalker. The group pulled the ad off the air after McSally said she had been a victim of stalking and supported banning stalkers from buying guns.

Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, said after McSally’s victory was announced that they were glad the campaign included a debate over guns.

“We commend her for defying the corporate gun lobby on this important public-safety issue, and look forward to working with her to craft and help pass this badly needed legislation,” Giffords and Kelly said in a written statement.

The National Rifle Association cast McSally’s win as a rebuke to gun-control groups like Giffords’.

“Martha stood on principle and supported our constitutional freedoms, despite being relentlessly attacked by the gun-control movement,” NRA Political Victory Fund Chairman Chris W. Cox said in a statement. 

The response of Giffords and Kelly is not on the Americans for Responsible Solutions website and was probably the bare minimum they could do without looking like sore losers. As to the rest of the gun prohibitionists, no comment. I have checked all the usual suspects – their own websites, Facebook pages, and Twitter – and can’t find a thing.

Rep.-elect McSally, a former A-10 Warthog pilot with combat hours, has been appointed to serve on the House Armed Services and House Homeland Security committees.

Comparing the appointment of Murthy with the election of McSally, I submit that McSally can make more of a difference. Murthy’s position is primarily symbolic. The office of the Surgeon General no longer holds the power that it once had. To expect Murthy to make any pronouncement on any subject including guns without first checking with the White House is unrealistic. Moreover, his actual experience as a practicing physician is virtually nil. He is more of a politician and manager.

By contrast, McSally, while one of 435, does have a vote, can craft and submit legislation, and is under no obligation to coordinate with Speaker John Boehner on anything. Moreover, by virtue of her 26 years as a serving officer in the Air Force and her committee memberships, she should have an impact on both defense issues and border security.

While I could be wrong about the relative impacts of Murthy and McSally, I don’t think so. If you think I’m wrong in my assessment, let me know in the comments.

Gabby Does North Carolina

The title of this post is a play on that classic porn film Debby Does Dallas. Just like in the movie, someone is going to get screwed. In this case, it is the gun owners of North Carolina if Gabby (and the Space Cowboy) have their way.

Americans for Responsible Solutions (sic) has just dropped $330,168 into the US Senate race in North Carolina on behalf of Kay Hagan. The money is going towards Internet ads pushing Kay Hagan from an agency called Revolution Messaging. They bill themselves as a digital ad agency for progressive causes and their client list reads like a who’s who of the left.

A couple of examples of their work are below.

The ads, which appear targeted towards either women or young voters, link to a site called Commonsense Voter that captures your name and email along with your promise to vote early.

As to Kay Hagan being North Carolina through and through, give me a break. She may have been born in Shelby but she grew up in Lakeland, Florida where her dad was the mayor. Even when she first ran for office in 1998, she called upon her uncle for help. Her uncle was former US Senator and Florida Governor Lawton Chiles.

UPDATE: I came across another of these ads in the most unusual of place. It was Sharyl Attkisson’s new webpage involving a discussion of the 1,323 page list of the documents being withheld by Obama in the Operation Fast and Furious scandal.

I Sure Wish Gabby Giffords Would Come To North Carolina

Thom Tillis, Speaker of the North Carolina House and GOP nominee for Senate, ought to extend a personal  invitation to Gabby Giffords and her space cowboy husband to come visit North Carolina to push their gun control agenda. The invitation would expire at midnight on Monday, November 3rd.

So why in the world should a NRA A-rated Republican want a couple of out-of-state gun banners trying to spread their gospel in the Tar Heel State?

Because of who doesn’t want them here:  Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC).

It seems that Hagan and some other Democrats in pro-gun states don’t want the voters thinking about gun rights.

From the Washington Times:

When the gun control advocacy group led by the former congresswoman from Arizona threw its support behind several endangered Senate Democrats in Western and Southern states, the candidates carefully moved to distance themselves from the affable Ms. Giffords and boasted about their strident defense of Second Amendment rights.

The message was clear: Thanks, but no thanks.

The candidates — Sen. Mark Udall in Colorado, Sen. Mary L. Landrieu in Louisiana, Sen. Kay R. Hagan in North Carolina and Rep. Bruce L. Braley, vying for Iowa’s open Senate seat — have tried to avoid the gun debate in key races that will determine whether their party keeps its majority in the U.S. Senate.

 I’m guessing that Sen. Hagan doesn’t want voters reminded that she voted for the gun controls contained in Manchin-Toomey which had the support of Giffords and her Americans for Responsible Solutions.

The Hagan-Tillis race is one of the seven Senate races that Americans for Responsible Solutions intends to be involved with according to their website. Among the mega-donors to the Giffords-Kelly group is none other than former Mayor Michael Bloomberg who made a donation of $250,000 to the group in 2013.

If the race gets close towards the end, I wonder if Bloomberg will kick in the big bucks like he has for Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) who faces a run-off in the Mississippi GOP primary today with St. Sen. Chris McDaniel.

H/T Sebastian

Sean Meets Gabby And Mark

Actually that is a misleading headline as Sean Sorrentino wasn’t one of the 14 hand-picked “gun owners” chosen to sit down for a “discussion” with Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly in a Raleigh BBQ restaurant.

He tells me that he did get to see them…from a distance as they exited the side door of the restaurant surrounded by “a phalanx”. Hmmm.

Sean has an excellent after-action report of the Giffords-Kelly whirlwind visit to Raleigh and the media’s reaction to it. The headlines are not quite what Americans for Responsible Solutions would have liked.

Sean and the rest of his hastily assembled group of friends did a great job yesterday. It shows what real grassroots action looks like.


Let’s just say that I didn’t particularly like the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and the policies he pushed. That said, I’ve tried to avoid posting about his death as I didn’t want to be seen as dancing on his grave.

I received an email this afternoon that I found crass, insensitive, and ghoulish. It was sent by the “sainted” Gabby Giffords and her AR-buying hypocrite of a husband Mark Kelly. The letter (see below) asks that Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) appoint a gun prohibitionist to replace Lautenberg and concludes with a request for a contribution.

For God’s sake, Lautenberg’s corpse has barely begun to relax from rigor mortis and they are using it for political purposes. They really have no shame.


John –

Frank Lautenberg spent a career working tirelessly to reduce gun violence in our country.

He authored important legislation to keep guns out of the hands of
domestic abusers, and one of the final votes he cast was in support of
expanded background checks. He was wheeled down to the floor for that
vote, as his colleagues applauded his determination.

Senator Lautenberg cannot be replaced. However, New Jersey Governor
Chris Christie must now select a successor. And he should pick one who
supports expanding background checks to keep guns out of the hands of
criminals and the deranged.

Earlier this year, a Quinnipiac University poll found that ninety-six
percent of New Jersey residents support expanding background checks,
including ninety-five percent of gun owners.

These are staggering numbers, and Governor Christie should consider the will of New Jersey voters while making his selection.

Sign our petition calling on Governor Christie to honor
Senator Lautenberg’s legacy and select a successor who will vote ‘YES’
to expand background checks for gun purchases.

As we move closer to a second vote on background checks, this decision
could make the difference between passing background checks, or another
crushing defeat.

That’s why your signature is so important. We’ll make sure Governor Christie receives it.

All the best,

Gabby and Mark

I Find This Kinda Sad

Americans for Responsible Solutions has released their first ad in time for the State of the Union address tomorrow.

After watching it, I found it kind of sad and bordering on pathetic. I really have to question how much of what Gabby Giffords is saying comes from her own thoughts given her traumatic brain injury. That is, how much of this is Giffords as opposed to Mark Kelly putting the thoughts in her head and the words in her mouth.

We should remember that the young man that shot Rep. Giffords did pass a FBI-run NICS check before he bought his Glock. He may not have passed it if his aberrant behavior at the community college had been reported to authorities. Moreover, the Pima County Sheriffs Office was reportedly aware of the young man and his threats and did nothing. Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, a Democrat, preferred to blame the Tea Party and “inflammatory rhetoric”.

Interesting Connections

Americans for Responsible Solutions is the new PAC formed by Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly. It will seek to promote candidates that pursue “solutions to prevent gun violence and protect responsible gun ownership.”

Their registration with the Federal Elections Commission has now been processed and is available on-line.  They list their official address as an office complex adjacent to Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC.

Their custodian of records is Vickie Winpisinger. Ms. Winpisinger serves or has served as treasurer for a number of other PACs and political campaigns with connections to Democrats. They include the House Majority Fund and Gabby PAC. She also was the campaign treasurer for Democrats including Nydia Velazquez, Eric Massa, Mike Ross, John Lewis, and Giffords. Winpisinger’s late father William was the long-time president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers and big in left-wing circles.

The treasurer of the PAC is Texas personal injury lawyer J. Steven Mostyn. He is currently serving as the president of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association. According to the website Texas Trial Lawyer Watch, Mostyn gave over $10 million in campaign contributions in the 2010 election cycle plus another $400,000 to the Democratic Governors Association. There is even a website called The Truth About Steve Mostyn. According to the Dallas Morning News and Bloomberg, Mostyn has donated $1 million to Americans for Responsible Solutions.

According to a story in Time, Mostyn is good friends with Gifford’s husband Mark Kelly as well as Democratic consultant Paul Begalia.

Until then (Newtown), the couple had decided to avoid the activist path, treating the 2011 Phoenix shooting largely as a personal trauma that needed to be dealt with in private. “It’s not what we wanted to do,” he said. But now they went all-in, drawing up plans for two new organizations: a nonprofit to build grassroots support for changes to gun laws and a super PAC to run ads supporting members of Congress on the issue. Kelly decided to start working full time on the effort and began calling those he thought could help.

One of his first calls was to Steve Mostyn, a wealthy trial-lawyer friend from Houston who happens to be one of the biggest contributors to Democratic super PACs. Like Kelly and Giffords, Mostyn is a gun owner. He sleeps with a handgun by his bed, in a safe that opens by his fingerprint. He has a gun range on his West Texas ranch and invites friends out to shoot. But when Kelly called, Mostyn had just dropped off his 5-year-old daughter at school. “I told him it was time,” Mostyn says.

The subject of gun laws was on his mind even before Sandy Hook. A few months earlier, he bought a couple of pistols, both with high-capacity magazines, and 3,000 rounds of ammunition for his gun collection at a local gun store. “The kid who walks me out to the car says to me, ‘It looks like you are going to start a war,’” Mostyn says, noting his shock at how easy it was to stock up on enormous amounts of lethal firepower.

“I’m not anti-gun. I’m just not pro-dumbass,” he continues, citing the more than 30,000 Americans who die every year from guns, mostly from suicide. “We’ve got a gun problem. That’s what differentiates us from other cultures.” He told Kelly he would seed the new group, which they called Americans for Responsible Solutions, with $1 million and begin fundraising with a goal of more than $14 million to support members of Congress in the 2014 elections who cast tough gun votes. “If a representative wants to vote their conscience, we are not going to allow you to bully,” he said of the NRA. “We will counter.”

 $14 million to support representatives who “want to vote their conscience” sounds like an effort to buy votes for the gun prohibitionists.  Like I said when last week, we need to keep a close eye on this group just like we do on Bloomberg.

You Knew This Was Coming

With all the publicity that ABC News has been using to promote Diane Sawyer’s “exclusive” interview with former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly, I just had a bad feeling about it. That doubled when they said Giffords and Kelly would be announcing a new initiative and had recently met with Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

I was right.

Giffords and Kelly look to become the new Jim and Sarah Brady.

They are calling their initiative Americans for Responsible Solutions. Interestingly, according to the webpage it is a political action committee. It is obvious that they mean this PAC as a cover for politicians just like the American Hunters and Shooters Association. The difference is that they evoke much more sympathy than AHSA could ever hope to do.

Giffords and Kelly say they want to propose “commonsense solutions” to “curb gun violence” (sic). Their proposals mirror some of those of Bloomberg and MAIG. They want universal background checks for private sales and they want magazine restrictions. Reading their op-ed in USA Today and the ABC News article, I don’t see any mention on banning semi-automatic rifles.

They make strong efforts to portray themselves as gun owners with Kelly noting he had recently purchased a firearm at Walmart and that they have two guns at home “in a safe”. In their op-ed they describe themselves as “a Western woman and a Persian Gulf War combat veteran who have exercised their Second Amendment rights” who aren’t out to take your guns.

I think you will see a strong effort by them to try and marginalize the NRA as being fringe or extremist.

Special interests purporting to represent gun owners but really advancing the interests of an ideological fringe have used big money and influence to cow Congress into submission. Rather than working to find the balance between our rights and the regulation of a dangerous product, these groups have cast simple protections for our communities as existential threats to individual liberties. Rather than conducting a dialogue, they threaten those who divert from their orthodoxy with political extinction.

As a result, we are more vulnerable to gun violence. Weapons designed for the battlefield have a home in our streets. Criminals and the mentally ill can easily purchase guns by avoiding background checks. Firearm accessories designed for killing at a high rate are legal and widely available. And gun owners are less responsible for the misuse of their weapons than they are for their automobiles.

Forget the boogeyman of big, bad government coming to dispossess you of your firearms. As a Western woman and a Persian Gulf War combat veteran who have exercised our Second Amendment rights, we don’t want to take away your guns any more than we want to give up the two guns we have locked in a safe at home. What we do want is what the majority of NRA members and other Americans want: responsible changes in our laws to require responsible gun ownership and reduce gun violence.

We saw from the NRA leadership’s defiant and unsympathetic response to the Newtown, Conn., massacre that winning even the most common-sense reforms will require a fight. But whether it has been in campaigns or in Congress, in combat or in space, fighting for what we believe in has always been what we do.

 Watching the interview above as well as others they have given, you have to wonder how much of this is Mark Kelly as opposed to Gabby Giffords. She has had a traumatic brain injury and has made a great recovery. That said, after such an injury I would think – and I’m not an expert – that it would have to affect the thought processes and the ability to make rational decisions in some way. Kelly does most of the talking for them while Giffords looks at him and utters a little something here and then.

Make no mistake, Giffords, Kelly, and Americans for Responsible Solutions are a threat to gun rights. They present a sympathetic face, their agenda scarcely differs from that of Bloomberg and his Illegal Mayors, and the mainstream media have signed up to be their propaganda agents.