For My Friends In Arizona

What is it with Republican governors in retirement havens? First there was Rick Scott (R-FL) going all squishy in Florida. Now it seems Doug Docey (R-AZ) is going squishy as well.

Arizona Citizens Defense League has the details in this alert:

Action Alert

Today, Governor Ducey revealed his “Safer Arizona Schools” gun control plan.  We posted a copy on our website
Caution!  You may want to wrap your head with duct tape to prevent it
from exploding when you read it.  It looks like a propaganda piece from
one of Bloomberg’s Astroturf groups.  Odds are they had a big hand in
writing it.

The good news is that many in the Legislature aren’t all that excited
about what they see in the Governor’s plan either.  The dream of
suspending all the rules and ramming this through without anyone
noticing has evaporated.  We’re now hearing that the Governor’s proposal
may be broken into a few smaller bills with the hope that at least one
will get to his desk.  That tells us we have a shot at ending this
altogether.

The even better news is that your emails are having an effect.  After
receiving over 11,000 of your emails they know we’re watching and we
have their attention.  We can’t let up.  Your legislators need to hear
from you that there is NO acceptable “gun control.”

If you have already sent an email to your legislators, please do it again
If you have not yet sent an email, what are you waiting for?  If you
are willing to fight for your rights, we’ve done most of the work for
you by preparing the email to send to your legislators.  All you need to
do is click on the link above, follow instructions and click your mouse
button a couple more times.

Your
legislators need to hear from you, letting them know that you are still
paying attention and expecting them to support your rights.  Send your email today!

Along with that alert is another one asking supporters in Arizona to send both letters and RTS (request to speak) notices to the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of two pro-2A bills being pushed by AzCDL. These bills will die if they don’t pass out of committee this week.

On
Thursday, March 22, the Senate Judiciary Committee will debate
AzCDL-requested bills HB 2211 and HB 2212.  If these bills don’t pass
out of committee this week, they are dead for the session.  The deadline
for House bills to be heard in Senate committees (and vice versa) is
Friday, March 23.

HB 2211 would add a personal exemption for firearms to the state’s
bankruptcy statutes.  Currently there is no specific bankruptcy
exemption for personal firearms.

HB 2212 would eliminate the restriction that only Arizona peace officers
cannot be prohibited from carrying firearms in Arizona.  The proposed
law would extend “shall not be prohibited” to any law enforcement
officer employed by any jurisdiction (federal, tribal, state, local,
etc.) in the U.S.

Since this is the last chance for these bills to get a committee hearing, we going for a double whammy – RTS and a letter to the committee.

If you have a valid and active RTS account, please log in here https://apps.azleg.gov/ and keep your browser open.  Then, click on the links below to register your support for each bill.

For HB 2211 go here: https://apps.azleg.gov/RequestToSpeak/New/102305 .

For HB 2212 go here: https://apps.azleg.gov/RequestToSpeak/New/102316 .

If you do not have an RTS account, or even if you do,
please click on the links below to send your emails to all the
committee members telling them to support these bills during the
committee hearing.

For HB 2211 go here to send your email to the committee:
http://cqrcengage.com/azcdl/app/take-action?engagementId=453514 .

For HB 2212 go here to send your email to the committee:
http://cqrcengage.com/azcdl/app/take-action?engagementId=453653 .

Thanks for taking the time to make a difference! 

Second Amendment Rally, No. 1

Riders USA will sponsor a Second Amendment ride and rally in Phoenix on February 18th. The ride  called Celebrate and Protect the 2nd will begin at Encanto Park and conclude at the Arizona State Capitol. The rally itself will be from 12 noon until 2pm.

Dave Kopp of the AZ Citizens Defense League is one of the featured speakers and AZCDL will have a booth at the event.

If you plan to ride in the procession to the State Capitol, you will need to register. Staging for the ride begins at 11am and the ride itself will begin at 11:45am.

More info can be found on the Riders USA webpage and their Facebook page.

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.

If This Holds Up, It Will Be A Big Slap In The Face To Gabby Giffords And ARS (Updated)

Gabby Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly have a lot invested in keeping her old Arizona seat Democratic. It is currently held by Rep. Ron Barber (D-AZ) who was Giffords’ congressional district director. He was wounded in the same attack that injured Giffords.

Giffords and her gun control organization Americans for Responsible Solutions have poured approximately $2 million into the district for ads attacking Col. Martha McSally USAF (Ret). McSally lost to Barber for the same seat in 2012. According to the latest Federal Elections Commission reports, they put in over $500,000 in the first half of October alone.

Americans for Responsible Solutions had been running the ad below which was inaccurate. They removed it 24 hours before it was supposed to go off the air. Politico ran a full story on Giffords’ and ARS’ misleading attacks on McSally. They claimed it was because McSally reversed her position on stalkers and guns.

Thus, it has to be a big slap in the face to Gabby, Mark, and Americans for Responsible Solutions to see McSally leading Barber by 36 votes with the ballots from Cochise County yet to be counted.

Technical problems with voting machines in Cochise County have delayed results in the region’s most-watched race, but it could bode well for GOP challenger Martha McSally.

She and Democrat Ron Barber, the incumbent, were separated by only 36 votes, according to the latest totals this morning.

However, Cochise County tallies are missing and McSally was expected to have another strong showing in the county she won in 2012 by 59 percent to 41 percent.

 McSally currently has 78,785 votes to Barber’s 78,749 with 49 precincts uncounted.

If things go the way that they should, McSally will win this race. Assuming that happens, it will be amusing to see how Giffords and Kelly and their henchmen at Americans for Responsible Solutions spin the result. There is just no way to do it without looking foolish.

UPDATE: According to the official Arizona Secretary of State election returns, Martha McSally is leading  Rep. Ron Barber by 2,078 votes with all precincts reporting. The final unofficial tally is 90,345 votes for McSally and 88,267 votes for Barber.

No word yet from Giffords. Barber’s camp released a statement that they are waiting for the early ballots to be counted and won’t concede until then. There is no time stamp on their statement so I don’t know if it was before or after McSally took a 2,000 vote lead.

UPDATE II: Even with more early and provisional ballots having been counted, Martha McSally still maintains a slight lead over Rep. Ron Barber (D-AZ). It now stands at a 363 vote lead with McSally having won 98,918 votes and Barber 98,555. This reminds me in a way of when Al Franken first won over Norm Coleman in Minnesota. It was not declared over until enough votes had been found to put the Democrat in the lead.

The Tucson Daily Star reports that Barber has sent out a fundraising appeal for a recount. They report this is unusual because the state would pay for any recount. As it is, unless the margin drops to 200 votes, a recount is not ordered.

UPDATE III: Martha McSally maintains a 341 vote lead going into Monday. There are still reported to be 9,000 provisional ballots left to be counted in Pima County.

The McSally campaign has threatened a lawsuit to stop the counting of those ballots that don’t have the required signature from an election official. Barber’s campaign officials are calling this an effort “to disenfranchise” voters. I guess what the Barber folks really object to is having their ballot box stuffing called out.

I just hope that McSally isn’t “Al Franken’ed” by Arizona election officials. The good news is that Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett is a Republican.

Smart Move In Arizona

Given the recent spike in sales in AR-15s, the Arizona State Rifle and Pistol Association is holding a class called AR-15 101 for new owners of the carbine. They estimate 7,000 have been sold in that state within the last 10 days.

The class will be held this coming Saturday, Jan. 5th, at the Ben Avery Shooting Complex and costs a mere $10.

Follow this link for more information on the event.

I think this is a brilliant move and one that other gun clubs and gun rights organizations should copy. It brings new owners into the gun rights fold as well as gives them a taste of training.

H/T Firearms and Politics List

Consult An Expert!

Sometimes you come across stuff that just makes you laugh because it so outrageous. Here is a case in point.

Jack Dunning is the Phoenix Political Buzz Examiner for Examiner.com. He wanted to know about state requirements for training for gun owners. Being in Phoenix, you might have thought he’d go to Alan Korwin who has published a number of books on gun laws in both the United States and individual states. Indeed, Alan’s website is even called gunlaws.com which should have made it simple.

No, he decided to consult a “real expert”:

This gun show loophole/background checks issue is one area that needs fixing. But another is required education and training before you can own a gun. Arizona has nothing, zip. Most states don’t. I decided to ask an expert so I contacted Ladd Everitt, Director of Communications for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, and asked the following question: “Can you tell me the average gun training/education a gun owner is required to have?”

Calling Ladd Everitt an expert on gun laws is such an oxymoron that it borders on incomprehensible.

Mr. Dunning is a bit to the left of Mao and Lenin and is extremely anti-gun rights. His non-Examiner blog, Nasty Jack, makes that pretty clear. If you have been banned by Daily Kos and you’re not a conservative, that says something!

Now This Is An Interesting Question

Local reporters in Arizona are asking whether guns, ammo, and cash found in a raid on a “stash house” are tied to Operation Fast and Furious. The story is from CBS 5, KPHO, out of Phoenix.

The items were found in a raid by the AZ DPS Gang Task Force. The house was reportedly by used by a “rip crew.” If you’ll remember, it was a rip crew that got into the shootout that left Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry dead.

Ten Arizona Sheriffs Say Enough Is Enough

Sheriffs from six  ten Arizona counties held a press conference outside the Arizona State Capitol today. They said it was time for an independent investigation into Operation Fast and Furious.

The sheriffs represent Pinal, Cochise, LaPaz, Mohave, Greenlee, and Yavapai counties and are both Democrats and Republicans. They all agreed that it was not a partisan issue for them but rather a feeling of betrayal by the Federal government. According to the report by ABC 15 reporter Lori Jean Gliha,  all the sheriffs were united in their call for an independent investigation.

“It’s embarrassing to this country and me,” said LaPaz County Sheriff Don Lowery. “I’ve spent fifty years in uniform, and it’s embarrassing for me to stand before you and apologize for people that we elect.”

Lowery, a Democrat, said when it comes to this case, he is not a politician and believes people should be held accountable for the case, no matter what their party affiliation is.

“If this guy (Holder) done something wrong,” Lowery said, “He needs to be terminated, if he did. It needs to be investigated first.”

 UPDATE: According to other news reports it was not just six Arizona sheriffs who called for an independent investigation but ten.

More “Fast And Furious” Guns Found In Arizona

ABC15 investigative reporter Lori Jean Gliha appears to be a really dogged investigator. That is good for the truth but bad for those in the Obama Administration that just want Project Gunwalker to go away.

By matching serial numbers from weapons on previously disclosed ATF documents with recently unsealed court documents in Federal drug cases in the Phoenix area, she was able to conclusively pin an additional 43 “gunwalked” firearms to arrested drug traffickers in Arizona. ATF Senior Agent John Dodson was correct in his bleak assessment that these guns are going to keep turning up at crime scenes for years.

Local TV Station Undercovers Gunwalked Guns At Crime Scenes In Arizona

Reporter Lori Jean Gilha of ABC 15 in Phoenix has undercovered evidence that some of the gunwalked guns from Operation Fast and Furious are turning up at crime scenes in Arizona. The video below is a teaser for her longer story that will air Thursday evening.

So let’s tally this up. Two Federal law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty, an estimated 150 Mexican citizens killed in Mexico, and an unknown number of residents of Arizona killed by criminals using firearms that the ATF intentionally allowed to be walked in Operation Fast and Furious. Brilliant move there!