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:

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

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.

Responses Of The Increasingly Irrelevant Old-Line Gun Prohibitionists

The old line gun prohibitionists are becoming increasingly irrelevant in the debate. When Obama threw his hissy fit yesterday after Manchin-Toomey was defeated, he didn’t have Josh Horwitz or Dan Gross by his side. He had Gabby Giffords, former Congresswoman and co-founder of Americans for Responsible Solutions, by his side.

When Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) partnered with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) to revive gun control, it wasn’t out of fear of pathetic demonstrations by CSGV or an ad campaign by the Brady Campaign. While we will never know for sure what convinced him to go over to the dark side, I’m sure the pressure from Mayor Bloomberg and his fat wallet had something to do with it.

So I find the petulant responses of groups like CSGV and the Brady Campaign to the defeat of the gun control measures yesterday more amusing than irritating. They are like the high school prom queen who has not aged well and is still expecting to get the same attention she got in high school.

From the Brady Campaign:

“This is an insult to the 90 people killed by gun violence every day and the 90 percent of Americans who believe that felons, domestic abusers, and the dangerous mentally ill should not be able to buy guns without a background check, no questions asked. The Senate failed to pass something that virtually all Americans support and would undoubtedly make this a safer nation. It is unfathomable that a Senator could sit across the table from a Newtown parent who lost a child, and then days later vote against this amendment. We will not give up in this fight and we should not lose sight of the progress we have made. That we have come this far only strengthens our resolve to make the American public heard until we can make the Congress listen. And we will work to make sure that those Senators who refuse to represent the will of the overwhelming majority of Americans on this crucial issue are replaced with others who will.

In addition to continuing the fight for expanded background checks at the federal level, the Brady Campaign continues to work to keep the American public safe from gun violence. We are working to maintain momentum at the state level and pass common sense legislation, as we’ve seen in several states including New York, Colorado, and Connecticut. The Brady Campaign has also created groundbreaking programs to help change the way we approach guns in our communities. With 300 million guns already in the nation, it is imperative that we take shared responsibility for how they are stored and handled.”

From the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (sic):

The outcome of today’s votes is a stain on the reputation of the U.S. Senate, and insulting to victims and survivors of gun violence nationwide.

At the same time, gun violence prevention advocates have made tremendous progress in changing the political dynamic of this debate, and we will keep the heat on both the Senate and the House of Representatives until we get meaningful reform. More importantly, with today’s recorded votes, we will be able to inform Americans exactly which legislators are prioritizing the grade they are getting from the NRA over the safety of their constituents.

Americans have made it clear time and time again that they want real reform. Strong majorities of Americans support universal background checks, tough new criminal penalties for gun traffickers, and the renewal of the federal ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

More than 3,482 Americans have been killed by guns since 20 children and six adults were slaughtered at Sandy Hook Elementary on December 14, 2012. We are destined to bury our loved ones following future tragedies if this Congress continues to willfully ignore this epidemic of gun violence.

Tonight was merely the first step in a tireless campaign to keep the gun issue at the top of Congress’ agenda until decisive action is taken. To Americans who want to stop gun violence, we say don’t retreat. Don’t despair. Redouble your efforts and maintain daily pressure on those Senators and Representatives who have failed to support sensible gun reforms. Working together, we can and we will enact life-saving legislation at the federal level.

Supporting Our Friends

Kurt Hofmann, the St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner, posted yesterday after the efforts of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (sic) to “punish” Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) for her bucking the gun control orthodoxy of the Obama Administration.

CSGV has also bought ads to run in Politico, Roll Call, and several North Dakota newspapers, exploiting the Sandy Hook Elementary atrocity and excoriating her for opposing so-called “assault weapons” bans (Connecticut has such a ban) and private sales bans (whether or not the killer’s weapons used in Newtown were bought without background checks, the buyer–the killer’s mother, and first victim–would by all accounts have passed even the vastly more invasive sort of checks demanded by Senator Schumer). These ads also urge readers to call Senator Heitkamp and chastise her for having the courage to stand up to her party.

Kurt urges readers to contact Sen. Heitkamp’s office and let her know we support her principled stand.

I agree and would encourage you to do so. The contact numbers, Facebook, and Twitter links are in Kurt’s post.

UPDATE: TPM covered CSGV’s campaign to intimidate Sen. Heitkamp. It was headlined, “Anti-Gun Group Declares Victory After Brushback Pitch At Heitkamp.” Heitkamp issued a statement in response to the ads and harassment.

Everitt said his group is “happy” with the statement, and that it proves the ads had an effect. “We liked it,” he told TPM. “We were happy to see more moderation there.”

Heitkamp’s office doesn’t see things the same way. “Senator Heitkamp’s position has not changed, nor shifted,” Heitkamp spokesperson Whitney Phillips told TPM.

An Unholy Alliance

An unholy alliance of gun prohibitionists, politicians, and certain church groups is pushing a so-called documentary called “Trigger: The Ripple Effect of Gun Violence” that will air on certain NBC owned and affiliated stations. The documentary is part of the Horizons of the Spirit series which airs on that network. The documentary is presented by the National Council of Churches and was produced by the Presbyterian Church USA.

The documentary features such gun control luminaries as Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), Colin Goddard, and Dr. Garen Wintemute talking about how “gun violence” (sic) impacted their lives.

In the United States more than 30,000 people are killed every year by gun violence and the disaster caused by gun violence is seen in almost every community. We may hear briefly about the victims and survivors of these shootings, but what happens after the media attention moves on and the wider public becomes numb to “just another shooting”? Drawing upon conversations with lawmakers, emergency room chaplains and surgeons, survivors and victims” families, former ATF officials, police officers, community leaders and others, “Trigger: The Ripple Effect of Gun Violence” shares the story of how Gun Violence impacts individuals and communities and examines the “ripple effect” that one shooting has on a survivor, a family, a community, and a society.

 The trailer to “Trigger” is below:

Trailer for “Trigger: The Ripple Effect of Gun Violence” Coming to NBC from Trigger Documentary on Vimeo.

Gun prohibitionists such as the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and Timothy Johnson of the Media Matters for America have been pushing the documentary today and are pointing people to a sample script/letter that they are asking be sent to program managers at local NBC affiliates. The script is being hosted on a Presbyterian Church USA website.

Dear Station or Programming Manager,

I am a viewer living in your market area, and I care about the issue of gun violence.

I am aware of an upcoming program titled Trigger: the Ripple Effect of Gun Violence, which is part of the NBC Horizons of the Spirit series. The documentary is free and can be aired from November 11th through May 2013.
I have been told that the technical information and blurb about the program is on the NBC Universal APT system (Affiliate Partnership Tool) that every NBC affiliate station has access to.

Trigger is timely, considering the many acts of gun violence that have happened across our nation. It is not a politically driven documentary, but rather it is a documentary that allows people affected by gun violence to share their stories of how one shooting has impacted a survivor, a family and a community — after the shooting incident is no longer on the front pages or on the news channels.

This documentary explores the issue of gun violence through a multifaceted lens of family members, law enforcement, hospital personnel and clergy, to help build an understanding of the ripple effect. It will hopefully encourage awareness and conversation about how our communities can help.

Will you please schedule the showing of Trigger at a time that is convenient for viewers? It would be good to air it more than once to allow as many people to view it as possible during the 6 months it is available.

Thank you for your time and your consideration.

To say this is not a politically driven documentary is absurd. When you have leading gun control advocates and politicians such as Carolyn McCarthy who has made her career on gun control as stars of a documentary, it is political.

I don’t belong to a church that is a member of the National Council of Churches nor am I a Presbyterian. If, however, you are a Presbyterian (PCUSA) or belong to one of the NCC member churches, you might want to make your views on this documentary known within your own denomination. You could ask just how much of your weekly offering went to produce this agenda driven political piece which seeks to hamper you in protecting your own family. I’m sure you can think of other questions to ask.

The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution And CSGV

There are times that I think that Josh Horwitz of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (sic) gets his ideas from outerspace and there are times I think he channels his inner Maoist student revolutionary. Today it appears he is looking to Chairman Mao and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution for his inspiration.

The stated goal of the Cultural Revolution was to enforce orthodoxy and to wipe out those who deviated from it. In China’s case, it meant Communist orthodoxy. One of the hallmarks of the Cultural Revolution was the public denunciation of those who may have deviated from this orthodoxy. So it is with Josh Horwitz who would have made a good Red Guard.

Today, in his column in Huffington Post, he attacked not only Kurt Hofmann but those gun bloggers who have stood with him.

It would be tempting to dismiss Hofmann as an aberration — an isolated extremist with little ability to inspire actual acts of violence — except for two important factors. The first is that Hofmann’s disturbing call to use IEDs against American service members has been defended by a broad swath of the pro-gun movement. This includes statements of support from “The War on Guns” blogger David Codrea, “No Lawyers — Only Guns and Money” blogger John Richardson, the pro-gun Calumet Foundation, “Gun Free Zone” blogger Miguel Gonzalez, “Guns Save Life” blogger John Boch, “Days of Our Trailers” blogger Roy Kubicek (AKA “Thirdpower”), “Shall Not Be Questioned” blogger/NRA election volunteer coordinator Keith Milligan (AKA “Sebastian”) and “Of Arms & the Law” blogger David Hardy, among others.

Second, and more important, is the man that Hofmann himself cites in his blog (on four separate occasions) as the inspiration behind his scheme to empower “budding militia ordnance engineers”: former Alabama militia leader Mike Vanderboegh.

The real target of Horwitz is not Kurt and not the other gun bloggers. It is Mike Vanderboegh. Horwitz devoted as much time attacking Mike and his online novel Absolved as he did the rest of us. That Horwitz feels so threatened by a middle-aged man who is in tremendously poor health is telling.

After reading the post and the comments, it is obvious to me that they hate the First Amendment as much as they do the Second Amendment. To be more precise, Josh Horwitz and his erstwhile Red Guard believe in freedom of speech for themselves but not for those who deviate from their notion of orthodoxy. Those of us who deviate must be silenced, denounced, and made to confess our sins.

The ironic thing is that during Mao’s Cultural Revolution, as the child of a physician father and a research scientist mother, it would have been Josh himself who was expelled from school and his parents made to confess their sins against the proletariat.

Josh Horwitz is just as much a totalitarian thug as the rest of his minions at CSGV. No amount of education at “the better schools” will ever change that.

UPDATE: Joe Huffman is upset that he wasn’t listed among the gun bloggers by Josh Horwitz. Moreover, he does know a thing or two about blowing things up.

It’s Not All Violence They Oppose

The Coalition To Stop Gun Violence (sic) does not oppose all violence. They are on record in support of state-sponsored violence.

Thus, given their recent jihad against blogger Kurt Hofmann which includes trying to get the FBI involved by saying Kurt is engaging in treason, sedition, and incitement to violence, I think this is the scenario that they’d like to see.

These guys would arrive:

Armed with this:

They would toss in one of these:

With this as the result:

Why? Because they feel threatened by ideas. Ideas that are different than their own collectivist ideas. Ideas that come from the grassroots and not from some top-down organization like CSGV. Ideas that promote freedom and self-responsibility.

If they had their way, America would have a People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs (otherwise known as the NKVD which became the KGB) to seek out those of us who differ ideologically from them. When people called them out in defense of Kurt, they responded with this:

As I called them yesterday, totalitarian thugs.That is all they are and all they will ever be.

Why Does CSGV Feel So Threatened By A Blogger In A Wheelchair?

Kurt Hofmann is the St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Due to a horrorific traffic accident which left him in a coma for nearly a month, Kurt now gets about in a wheelchair. For someone for whom life has played such a cruel trick, he is remarkably well-adjusted, even-tempered, thoughtful, and full of life. This is especially true when you consider that at an earlier time in his life Kurt served our country as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division. I have had the pleasure to meet Kurt in person more than once and to have an ongoing correspondence with him. I consider Kurt a friend and one of the good guys.

Kurt does get a little angry at the gun prohibitionists in Illinois and elsewhere who have conspired to deny him the right to carry a handgun concealed or otherwise. It is OK with them that a man confined to a wheelchair should be denied the ability to provide for his own self-defense. His St. Louis GRE columns often take a no holds barred approach to these gun prohibitionists and he points out the fallacy of their arguments on a regular basis.

Groups like the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (sic) don’t like people like Kurt and try to deride him as an “extremist” or an “insurrectionist”. They particularly like that last tag. Unfortunately for them, Kurt wears that tag as a badge of honor. Now it seems they have decided he is such a threat to them that he must be silenced.

Yesterday on Facebook (see above) CSGV accused Kurt of advocating bomb making in order to “kill elected officials, policy and military service members”. They base this on a March column he wrote. Of course, having read Kurt’s column in question, there is zero truth to the accusation. Kurt merely suggested downloading some publications dealing with improvised explosives while they were still available on the Internet. He did not advocate the manufacture or use of these explosives for the purposes of any illegal activity.

CSGV is actively attempting to have Kurt removed as an Examiner columnist. As Kurt notes, they are also “consulting” with anti-gun lawyer Michael Bannerman who has been a target of Kurt’s criticism to find ways to have him charged with “advocating the overthrow of Government.”

Groups like the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (sic) and their leaders obviously have no respect for the Bill of Rights. They hate the Second Amendment and just as evidently don’t care for the First Amendment and its guarantees of freedom of speech and press.

They are totalitarian thugs and need to be called out as such.

The Incestuous Relationship Between Media Matters And CSGV

Last week we saw another hit piece on gun rights issues by Media Matters for America. This one concerned Operation Fast and Furious. It accused former S.C. Governor Mark Sanford of being the latest to push the “paranoid conspiracy theory” that Project Gunwalker was an effort to build support for more gun control in the United States.

Or put more simply, Sanford is saying that “a lot of people” want to know if “Fast and Furious” was a plot hatched by Attorney General Eric Holder to curb gun rights in the United States. The answer to this question is a resounding no.

This conspiracy was recently laid out in the book Fast and Furious: Barack Obama’s Bloodiest Scandal and its Shameless Cover-up, authored by Townhall news editor Katie Pavlich. The theory is so far-fetched that even Fox News host Bill O’Reilly has expressed skepticism, calling it a “conspiracy thing.” Media Matters has previously debunked several other outrageous claims contained within the book.

Attacks on gun rights and on gun rights organizations like the NRA are not new for Media Matters. The NRA-ILA had a post a day later that noted for the month of April alone MMfA had run 32 hit pieces on the NRA. Attacks on the investigation into Operation Fast and Furious by the House Oversight Committee are also common as alluded to in the quote above regarding Katie Pavlich’s new book. They had one just yesterday accusing Rep. Darrell Issa and Fox News of trying to politicize the scandal.

What is new is the author of these last two pieces for MMfA’s County Fair blog – Timothy Johnson. If his Facebook page is to be believed, he now works for Media Matters.

Prior to joining Media Matters, he worked for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (sic) and ran the MeetTheNRA website for their 503(c)3 counterpart the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence (sic). He can be seen in his hoodie, second from the left, in this photo of CSGV staffers. The MeetTheNRA website is where they take quotes out of context so that they can accuse NRA leaders, past and present, of being “a group of individuals who promote racism, misogyny, homophobia, anti-immigrant animus, religious bigotry, anti-environmentalism, and insurrectionism.”

Attack pieces seem to be Mr. Johnson’s forte as evidenced by an article that he and Ladd Everitt published in the Neiman Watchdog entitled “‘Is the NRA paying mainstream reporters by the hour?'” Neiman gave the article this synopsis.

Two gun control advocates say that misstatements and fuzzy data coming from the National Rifle Association often are accepted by the press unchecked, and then disseminated, incorrectly, as trends and facts in American life. They point out, among other things, that gun sales are not perpetually rising; that neither are sales of guns to women, and that lax ‘carry laws’ have not been shown to lessen crime. There’s a lot of misinformation being spread, hardly examined at all by the press.

Prior to this stint with CSGV, Mr. Johnson was an intern with the Brady Campaign’s Legal Action Project in the Fall of 2010.

Legal Action Project Intern Tim Johnson, a current Georgetown Law student, joined the Brady Center for similar reasons. Tim explains, “Interning for the Legal Action project has shown me the importance of pro bono legal work as a way to assist victims injured by the negligence or intentional conduct of corrupt gun dealers.” In the wake of the McDonald and Heller Supreme Court decisions has allowed Tim to take part in the ongoing debate over the Second Amendment.

Johnson is listed in the Georgetown University directory but no info as to year or area of studies is given.

Nonetheless, Mr. Johnson does seem to have a long history of working with gun prohibitionists. Prior to his work for the Brady Campaign and CSGV, he worked the now-defunct Iowans for the Prevention of GunViolence in his home state of Iowa.

To conclude, given the left-wing and rabid anti-gun biases of both Media Matters and CSGV, is it any wonder that Media Matters sought someone from CSGV to be their new, pun intended, hired gun? If anything, his hiring just serves to confirm the incestuous relationship between these groups.