A Trip Down The Anti-Gun Memory Lane

Miguel at Gunfreezone.net pointed out a tweet yesterday by Ladd Everitt that brought back memories.

Ladd had been the Director of Communications for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (sic) before he headed off to be Executive Director of George Takai’s anti-gun organization One Pulse for America. He and CSGV’s Executive Director Josh Horwitz loved nothing better than labeling gun rights activists and Second Amendment supporters as “insurrectionists” back during the Obama years. It was their favorite epithet and Josh wrote long articles about insurrectionism for the Huffington Post as well as a book entitled, “Guns, Democracy and the Insurrectionist Idea.”

Here is an example from 2011 when this blog wasn’t even a year old. It was in reference to the Tucson shooting of then-Congresswoman Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) and others.

Sadly, Saturday’s tragedy was both predictable and inevitable. Insurrectionist rhetoric—which posits that the Second Amendment gives individuals the right to take violent action when they believe that our government has become “tyrannical”—was once confined to the dark corners of gun shows and the Internet. In today’s America, however, it has become a “mainstream” idea that is widely promoted by movement conservatives, high-profile media figures, and even elected officials and candidates. Tucson was not unique—since the conservative wing of the Supreme Court embraced the insurrectionist idea in the D.C. v. Heller decision in 2008, there have been numerous threats and acts of violence against government officials.

Ladd hated pro-gun politicians like Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) whom he labeled an “insurrectionist thug”. That should been Senator Insurrectionist Thug.

We in the gun blogging community actually took great pride in getting under the skin of Ladd. A post I did about Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) using the tragic death of her husband for political gain got me labeled a “gun extremist”. That was when I knew my blog had arrived and was gaining traction.

My friend Kurt Hofmann, who at the time was the Saint Louis Gun Rights Examiner, had patches printed up. If I remember correctly, Kurt was a definite target for Ladd and CSGV. I had to do some digging this morning but I found some of the patches and stickers that they each had made up. I probably have more around if I dig deeper.

Kurt now writes the Enemy at the Gate column for S.W.A.T. Magazine. It has been a few years since I’ve seen Kurt in person but we had some damn good discussions over a beer at his local watering hole.

Tomorrow marks the 10th anniversary of this blog. I don’t know how many years that is in blog years but it is a lot. I know many have said the day of the blog is over with but I am a contrarian and just can’t accept that. Many of the gun bloggers have gone on to other things but there are still some of us plugging away at it. People like Sebastian, SayUncle, Tam, Old NFO, Weerd Beard, and T-Bolt were blogging before me and are still blogging. We as a community are better for it.

Ladd was correct about one thing. We are the unorganized militia. We just aren’t the “private white militia of a fascist dictator”.

Demanding Moms Channel CSGV In Comments About Lobby Day

When Ladd Everitt was the communications director for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (sic), it was a favorite tactic to characterize Second Amendment supporters as “gun extremists”. CSGV’s Executive Director Josh Horwitz took it a step further by calling those who opposed the Obama Administration‘s efforts “insurrectionists“. I was one of those called a “gun extremist” when I challenged the sainted Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) over some of her comments.

In a news release about the VCDL’s Lobby Day next Monday, Moms Demand Action channels CSGV and calls it a “gun extremist rally”.

On January 20th, gun extremists – including out-of-state militia groups – will descend on the Virginia General Assembly, hoping to intimidate lawmakers into rejecting the democratic will of the people who, by wide margins, want (and voted for champions of) common-sense gun safety laws.

The Democrats won control due to court-ordered redistricting. The plan was devised by California-based special master Bernard Grofman of U. California – Irvine and intended to be most favorable to Democrats. It was approved in a 2-1 decision with Obama-appointed Judges Barbara Keenan and Arenda Allen in the majority. Republicans who opposed the new districts called it “legal indefensible” because it was so slanted towards the Democrats.

They portray Second Amendment Sanctuary resolutions as “lawless county resolutions”.

Lawless County resolutions, or as gun extremists call them, ‘Second Amendment Sanctuary’ resolutions, which threaten that officials will  disregard their duty to enforce duly enacted and constitutional laws, have no legal force. The resolutions also threaten the safety of communities nationwide by fostering distrust in law enforcement and may deter people from reporting individuals that may hurt themselves or others.

Since when did promoting respect for God-given, Constitutionally-protected rights become a threat to the safety of communities? That is the kind of argument one would have expected from racial segregationists who opposed school integration in the face of Brown v. Board of Education.

Overflow crowd at the Amelia County hearing

The news release continues and throws in “militia”, “white supremacist”, “Charlottesville”, and “Civil War” for good measure. I’m surprised they didn’t include “Boogaloo” as well. Remembering that Everytown and Moms Demand have the best PR flacks that money can buy, it is obvious that they want to scare both African-Americans and suburban “soccer moms” with this rhetoric. This is the sort of thing that Matt Bracken warned about in his comments on Lobby Day characterizing it as a Charlottesville-style setup.

They end this screed with a few words about their ultimate boogeyman – the NRA.

The NRA has yet to make any public statement disavowing the January 20th event or the various militia groups planning on attending. However, the NRA’s people and rhetoric are intertwined with the January 20th rally. The NRA put out a formal statement supporting the Lawless County resolutions, and former NRA TV personalities like Cam Edwards and Antonia Okafor are listed as speakers at the rally. The NRA has taken out billboards throughout Virginia ominously and baselessly warning of coming “confiscation” of firearms.

While the NRA hasn’t “disavowed” the VCDL’s Lobby Day, they haven’t supported it either. Instead, they came up with their own rally being held today. As to “baselessly warning” about confiscation, a magazine ban without grandfathering certainly meets the standard for confiscation.

We know the Demanding Moms don’t respect the Second Amendment. It is increasingly clear that they don’t support the First Amendment rights of their opponents. The First Amendment ends ” the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” That is exactly what the many thousands of Virginians and their supporters from other states will be doing on January 20th.

That’s Senator Insurrectionist Thug To You!

I find some things the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (sic) post on their Facebook page amusing given how absurd they are or maybe it’s just this codeine cough syrup I’m taking for the crud. Either way, they unloaded on Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) with both barrels.

Ooops. I shouldn’t have put it that way. That would have been a little too microaggressive. Or is it macro?

Senator Rand Paul tells The Daily Caller that Republican Presidential front runner Donald J. Trump “deserves both barrels” before having himself photographed today firing an AR-15 at a shooting range. This man isn’t a politician. He’s an insurrectionist thug who will never attract anything other than fringe support.

They illustrated their little macroaggression with this microaggressive picture.

If you ask me, Sen. Paul looks like he’s about to indulge in a bit of 3-gunning. His AR-15 has a full rail, a 1-4x scope, 18″ barrel, and a  Miculek compensator.

I find it amusing that they characterize Sen. Rand Paul, MD Duke, as an “insurrectionist thug”. CSGV feels free to indulge in character assassination and name calling at will. However, if someone who supported gun rights referred to CSGV leaders and supporters by an appropriate epithet, they would be screaming “microaggression!”, try to get the person’s kids taken by DSS, and possibly even “swatting” them.

There is a name for people like that:  hypocrites.

Nasty Little Fascists Struggling For Relevance

I received an email this morning from Greg Waples of the Center for American Progress alerting me that the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (sic) was going to be delivering a petition to both the Federal Election Commission and the Internal Revenue Service tomorrow. This petition, ostensibly signed by 11,000 people, demands an immediate investigation into the National Rifle Association for potential violations of campaign finance and tax laws.

Waples is the Campaign Manager for the Guns and Crime Policy team at the Center for American Progress. Prior to that, he worked as a coordinator in the White House Office of Presidential Correspondence. That was his reward for being a regional coordinator for the 2012 Obama reelection campaign.

His emails says:

Just wanted to flag this event happening tomorrow for those in the DC area. CSGV will be delivering 11,000 petition signatures to the FEC calling on them to investigate the National Rifle Association for potential violations of federal law. This is in response to a series of investigative reports and follow up by Yahoo News on potential NRA violations and the subsequent complaint filed by CREW.

CSGV is asking for people to be present for a crowd build at this event. If you are free and in the area tomorrow morning, please consider stopping by! Also, please forward this to any others who might be interested.

 Given the recent successes of the gun prohibitionists attracting crowds, I’m wondering if it will be 15 or will it be 25 people other than staffers who show up.

CREW or Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington is far from the non-profit, non-partisan watchdog group that they want you to think they are. As the website Crew Exposed makes clear, it is conservatives that are targeted by a ratio of 8-1. This is not surprising given that their chairman is Media Matters’ David Brock and their executive director Noah Bookbinder was a high-level staffer for Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Let’s be clear about what CSGV and CREW are seeking. They want two powerful government agencies to do their dirty work in swatting down their political opponents. This is a dangerous game that they are playing. In an open society government agencies shouldn’t be called upon to use their power to punish one’s political enemies. This is akin to asking the FEC and IRS to play much the same role as the Nazis asked the Sicherheitspolizei and Gestapo. That is to be their state enforcement agency against regime opponents.

They Don’t Respect The Second Amendment Nor The First

We’ve known for a long time that Josh Horwitz, Ladd Everitt, and the rest of the ne’er do wells at the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (sic) have no respect for the Second Amendment. Now it appears that they are trying to silence journalist Emily Miller for using her First Amendment rights. They have started a petition on their website with an additional link on Facebook asking Fox-DC WTTG to fire Emily Miller because she spoke at a Virginia Citizens Defense League rally.

Screen Cap from CSGV.org

CSGV goes on to list their set of grievances against Emily including that she testified before the DC City Council, appeared at the VCDL rally, and that she told her story about the roadblocks she encountered getting a handgun in the District in a book. They accuse her of violating the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics.

Josh, Ladd, and the rest of their ilk are pathetic losers who live in a make-believe world believing that government should have the monopoly on violence. They denigrate and castigate women like Emily or paraplegics like Kurt Hofmann who only want to provide for their own self-defense. As I said a couple of years ago, they are totalitarian thugs and need to be called out on it.

For another perspective on their actions, see Dave Workman’s Examiner column.

UPDATE: Someone has started a Don’t Fire Emily petition on Change.org. You can find it here. I signed and I would hope you would do so as well.

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.

McAuliffe Loves His Fringe Supporters

Let’s face it. In terms of gun prohibitionist groups, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence is a fringe group. They want to think they are in the big leagues but most politicians don’t pay them no never-mind. That is, until Virginia Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe (D-VA) came along.

From the NRA-ILA:

Only a couple of weeks after narrowly winning his bid for Governor of Virginia, NRA-PVF “F” rated candidate Terry McAuliffe appointed the Virginia State Director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Lori Haas, to his 54-member “bipartisan” transition team.

CSGV advocates measures such as criminalizing the private transfer of firearms between family and friends, banning commonly owned semi-automatic firearms and ammunition magazines, imposing a deeply flawed microstamping system, revoking concealed carry laws and repealing self-defense laws.

Despite claiming support for the Second Amendment, Haas’s appointment to this position to help assemble his Administration sends a very clear message to gun owners and sportsmen in Virginia that their rights are already under attack in Richmond.

As Bitter noted yesterday, elections have consequences.

One Of The Pro-Gun Extremists Behind The Recall? Not Quite

Given that the gun prohibitionists don’t know astroturf from the real grassroots, it is not surprising that the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence is proclaiming Dudley Brown as “one of the pro-gun extremists behind the recall of CO State Senate President John Morse.” The Dudley Brown in question is the head of the National Association for Gun Rights and the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners.

One of the men behind the recall of Morse and Giron? Not quite.

From the Denver Post in April when talk of a recall first surfaced:

Dudley Brown, director of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, thinks the time and money would be better spent taking out Democrats in swing districts in the 2014 election.

From the Colorado politics website, Colorado Peak Politics, which posted this yesterday:

Neither the NRA nor Rocky Mountain Gun Owners did diddly squat to get the recalls on the ballot. These recalls, and most especially the Giron effort, were grassroots at their most raw.

 From the Denver Post’s The Spot blog which said this of Brown yesterday:

In April, as two recall efforts were already underway and there was talk of recalling Gov. John Hickenlooper and other Democrats, Brown said he wasn’t so sure recalling the politicians was the best strategy. He told The Denver Post then he thought the money would be better spent taking out Democrats in swing districts in the 2014 election.

From The Gazette of Colorado Springs in a feature on the grassroots organizers behind the recalls:

The four men behind the Colorado State Senate recalls on Friday laughed sardonically at the suggestion that outside interests – namely the GOP and NRA – are driving their campaigns to unseat four Democratic lawmakers.

“I think some people clamored for some help at the beginning,” said Victor Head, who led the successful campaign to force a recall election of Sen. Angela Giron, D-Pueblo. “They said ‘where’s the heavy hitters, where is the big interest in this, this has national implications’ and they never showed up.”

 Have Dudley Brown and NAGR finally stepped up for the recall fight? Yes, they have as of late yesterday when they began running a 30 second spot seen here in the Colorado Springs TV market.

I’m glad to see Dudley Brown finally step up to the plate. However, to call him one of the people behind the recall is to totally diminish the hard work done on the ground by the actual grassroots activists like Victor Head of Pueblo, Tim Knight of Durango, Anthony Garcia of Brighton and Grand Junction attorney Erik Groves who organized the Basic Freedom Defense Fund.

Supported By Individuals?

Our old friends, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (sic), were featured in the Philanthropy News Digest NPO Spotlight this past week. The NPO Spotlight included the usual thumbnail sketch of any organization including their contact info, their leaders and key personnel, and a brief description of their so-called work.

What really caught my eye was a description of their funding. It said:

Funding:
The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence is supported by individuals.

Supported by individuals? Maybe in some alternate universe where up is down and foundations are considered individuals.

In 2012, the Joyce Foundation gave CSGV’s 503(c)3 sister organization, the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence a grant of $125,000. Meanwhile, Mayor Bloomberg’s Illegal Mayors gave CSGV a grant of $210,000 in 2011. According to CSGV’s own Form 990 for 2011, this represented more than 63% of their annual revenues.

So much for the claim that their funding comes from individuals.

Ladd Everitt: Noted Ordnance Expert

Modern day journalists have this obsession that borders on compulsion to balance any comment that could be be remotely considered “pro-gun” with one from a gun prohibitionist.

Thus, it isn’t surprising that David Trinko of the Lima (Ohio) News reached out to Ladd Everitt in an article entitled “Few mechanical differences found between AR-15s, hunting rifles.” The article noted that there were few differences between an AR-15 and the Ruger Mini-14 given that both use the same .223 Remington cartridge, both are semi-automatic, and both have detachable magazines.

As most readers of this blog would agree, the major difference between the AR-15 and Ruger Mini-14 is in the action. The former uses a direct gas impingement system while the latter uses a gas operated piston. The rest of the differences are just cosmetic. Not so says Everitt.

Those additional features are really at the heart of the debate about gun violence in America, says Ladd Everitt, director of communications for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence in Washington.

“They’ll tell you these features are pieces of plastic and are merely scary-looking. They’re just cosmetic,” Everitt said. “That’s just nonsense.”

The article goes on to note that Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 would ban firearms with more than one of the following features: folding or telescopic stock, pistol grip, bayonet mount, flash suppressor, or grenade launcher. The article mistakenly says S. 150 hasn’t gotten out of committee yet. It has and is supported by the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (sic) because “those additional features on AR-15s” concern them.

“The world’s not affected by scary looks. It’s specific features and
what they do,” Everitt said. “Pistol grips, the specific purpose is to
keep level and steady during repeated fire. A flash suppressor is to
disguise sniper fire at night. A barrel shroud keeps your hand safe
while firing round after round so it doesn’t heat up and burn your
hand.”

While Everitt is correct that the barrel shroud does provide a heat shield, the rest of his statement is full of nonsense. Pistol grips in a variety of shapes and sizes have been on bolt action rifles for many a year. Look at this page of McMillan stocks – every one has a pistol grip and each one is intended for a bolt action rifle. The main purpose of a flash suppressor is to keep the shooter from being blinded at night by the flash – not to disguise “sniper fire”.

Finally, Everitt gets around to discussing semi-auto versus full auto and magazine size.

The speed someone can repeatedly fire a semi-automatic rifle makes it just as dangerous as a fully automatic weapon, Everitt said.

“It’s a nonsense argument that you can’t hold down the trigger so it’s safe,” he said. “You can fire as quickly when you repeatedly press the trigger. It’s highly insulting to those who are victims of gun violence.”

Instead, much of the debate centers on how many rounds should be allowed in a magazine for a semi-automatic weapon. The 1994 law only allowed 10 rounds per magazine. Feinstein’s proposal also used the number 10.

“No one in the world needs more than 10 rounds at a time unless you’re hunting humans,” Everitt said.

Let’s be clear about one thing. All firearms used improperly are dangerous. It doesn’t matter if you have a single shot Cricket or an AR-15 with a standard capacity magazine as either could be used to kill or injure. That said, if I am protecting my loved ones from a pack of home invaders, I’d prefer to have the AR-15 with multiple standard capacity magazines. More and more, home invasions involve multiple invaders. Furthermore, tests of the 5.56 round show less over-penetration than with most pistol calibers.

There are experts and then there are propagandists who like to portray themselves as experts. The first are useful and the second are useless. Ladd Everitt is in the second category.