How Would You Feel About MAIG Regional Coordinators Paid With Your Tax Dollars?

You’d probably feel just the same way I do – angry, disgusted, and, if it were my tax dollars, pissed off.

From the All Nine Yards blog:

Here’s a great way to reduce overhead and be effective at running a national organization dedicated to infringing on the gun rights of everyday people all at the same time… Have cities hire your people for you so that tax payers pay for ¼ of your people’s salary and benefits, most of their operational costs, and all of their other resources! It also embeds your people as leaders in city government so that you don’t have to lobby there!

Sounds like another conspiracy theory from the tinfoil hat brigade… Right?

Back in March, while researching the repeal of some anti-gun ordinances, I stumbled across an Orlando City Council agenda item that grabbed my attention. It was, on its surface, just a mundane action item for the annual contract renewal of a city employee. But this city employee’s job title was, well, unique…

“Approving Employment Contract for the Grant-Funded Position of Mayors Against Illegal Guns Regional Coordinator.”

Sean Caranna has uncovered this rat’s nest and it isn’t limited to Orlando, Florida. He has found similar regional coordinators embedded in city governments in Maine, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania as well other place in Florida.

Sean’s well-research and well-documented post is a must read. After you read it – and stop cursing – forward links to it to all your friends.

Sending The Wrong Message? I Don’t Think So

Some community activists in St. Louis are saying that the billboards advertising the NRA Annual Meeting are sending the “wrong message.” Rev. B. T. Rice is the head of the St. Louis branch of the NAACP and he objects to the billboards.

The leader of St. Louis’ NAACP is calling out the National Rifle Association, saying the group is delivering the wrong message at the wrong time as it prepares for its national convention in St. Louis next week. The Reverend B.T. Rice was discussing the county police shooting of fifteen year old Lavon Peete when he was asked about the NRA billboards that have flooded the city.

“The advertisement says we’ll have acres and acres of guns,” Rice observed. “A clear dichotomy between the NRA and those of us who deal with these sort of situations on a day to day basis.”

Rice and some other community leaders are calling for a gun violence (sic) summit in St. Louis. Rev. Rice would like to hold it concurrently with the NRA Annual Meeting.

Lavon Peete, mentioned above, was shot and killed by St. Louis County Police after he refused to drop a “sawed off rifle” he was point at them. While his family denies he was armed, others who were with him at the time confirm he was armed. As to what a “sawed off rifle” is, it is never specified in any of the stories.

Steven King, owner of Metro Shooting Supply in the St. Louis suburb of Bridgeton, says he thinks an anti-violence summit would be a good idea. That is, he says if “they look at the true causes of the violence and not the tools people are using to commit violence.”

As to whether the billboards are sending the wrong message, I most certainly don’t think they are sending the wrong message.

It’s Never Enough For Them

Gun control advocates are continually calling for “commonsense” gun laws. However, even if one is in full compliance with the laws they have pushed, it is never enough.

A case in point comes from the island of Tasmania in Australia.

A homeowner in Blackmans Bay had three rifles and a shotgun stolen from his home in a daytime robbery. Police Inspector Peter Cerritelli said that the owner had properly secured all of the firearms in a locked safe and that he was licensed in accordance with the law. However, these precautions as well as the lawful ownership were not enough for the National Coalition for Gun Control.

However, National Coalition for Gun Control co-chairman Roland Browne said yesterday that the one-size-fits-all approach to storage was insufficient.

“There’s always a problem with the storage of large numbers of guns in residential houses,” Mr Browne said.

“They become targets for thieves.

“The Government and police are going to have some work to do to mark out some better standards for firearms storage given that compliance with the law isn’t sufficient, in every case, to stop theft.

“It’s not easy, presumably, to go into a house and walk out with a series of firearms.

“It must have been planned and carefully executed.”

Reading Mr. Browne’s statement I get the feeling that he won’t be satisfied until all private firearms are either stored in a government-run armory or, more likely, banned outright.

Like I said earlier, it is never enough for them. A more accurate name for his group would be the National Coalition for Gun Prohibition.

 H/T Josh

49 States Say He’s Wrong

The local Fox affiliate in Chicago puts on a news show on Sundays called Fox Chicago Sunday. This past Sunday part of the discussion dealt with the SAF and NRA lawsuits challenging the prohibition of carry in any form in the state of Illinois.

One of the guests was Patrick Thompson, Chairman of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, who shared “why he believes allowing concealed carry would be a public safety disaster.” He starts out his weak argument by saying the Violence Policy Center has statistics that show crime doesn’t go down where concealed carry is allowed. Moreover, he holds that people are more likely to resort to the gun if concealed carry is allowed.

Unfortunately for Mr. Thompson, the experience in the rest of the United States – and especially in those states with shall-issue CCW – have proven him wrong. Of course, that doesn’t stop him from nattering on about how CCW is bad.

The Sounds Of Silence

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more.
People talking without speaking,
People hearing without listening,
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dare
Disturb the sound of silence.
From Simon and Garfunkel’s The Sounds of Silence

Yesterday, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rendered an important decision regarding the Second Amendment. In the case of Ezell v. Chicago, the 7th Circuit came down squarely on the side of the Second Amendment and remanded the case back to the District Court for the issuance of a preliminary injunction against the city’s ban on shooting ranges. While the Chicago City Council changed the law to allow ranges at about the same time as the 7th Circuit issued their opinion, it will now will have to conform to the Court’s ruling.

On July 1st, the Brady Campaign issued a report called Hollow Victory? which would have you believe that the Federal courts were rejecting the challenges to gun laws based upon the Heller decision. Their release on the report states that it concludes:

courts continue to protect our communities from gun violence by rejecting lawsuits brought by gun criminals and the gun lobby seeking to strike down common-sense gun laws that protect public safety and stop gun violence, and that for the gun lobby, Heller remains nothing more than a “hollow victory.”

Given this, you might have a reasonable expectation that the Brady Campaign might have something to say about the 7th Circuit’s ruling in Ezell. You would be wrong. Checking their website, their Twitter feed, and Facebook page, they have nothing – absolutely nothing – to say about Judge Syke’s opinion. It is like the Simon and Garfunkel tune says, the sounds of silence.

The Brady Campaign is not the only gun prohibitionist game in town so I decided to check out some of the other groups.

From the Violence Policy Center webpage, Twitter feed, and Facebook page – nothing.

From the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence webpage, Twitter feed, and Facebook page – nothing.

Surely the Legal Coalition Against Violence (LCAV) would have something to say about the ruling as the courts are their bailiwick. Nope, nothing, nada.

You can be sure that if the decision had been gone against Rhonda Ezell and her co-plaintiffs including the Second Amendment Foundation and the Illinois State Rifle Association, they would have had something to say about it. They would have been issuing press releases and giving interviews to their favorite pet journalists.

As it was, the gun prohibitionist groups did not “disturb the sound of silence”.

Guide To Gun Prohibitionists

Thirdpower at the Days of our Trailers blog has done all in the gun community a big favor. He has compiled a “Primer for Gun Control Groups in the US”. It details the members of the gun control industry in the United States, their major money sources, and their leaders.

This is definitely an important contribution to keeping an eye on those who would deny us our civil rights.

Thirdpower also has a post up today on the most recent recipients of grants from the Joyce Foundation. One of the more interesting grants was “a total of $790K to NewVentureFund to “support the development and launch of a new online organization. “

“Acres of Guns = Acres of Death”

So screams the headline of a flyer put out to promote a protest march against the NRA Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh. According to a background memo (see below) put out on the march, they hope to get 300 people to attend including at least “5 spirtual leaders”. My guess is if they even have 30 people attending, the local media will probably give them at least as much press as the 65,000 estimated attendees at the Annual Meeting.

Still, as a blogger, I have to say the picture taking opportunities of this protest march undoubtedly will be superb. I still remember some of the pictures from Charlotte featuring Breda and the gun prohibitionists.

Heck, I might invite one of them in to see the Acres of Death and to touch a gun. Maybe the fact that their hands won’t be instantly destroyed when they touch the gun will change their minds. On second thought, it probably won’t as their minds are not open.

Rally and March to keep illegal guns off the street
When: Saturday, April 30, 2011

Time: Meet at 11:30 a.m. — Rally and March at 12:00 Noon

Where: Freedom Corner (Centre Ave & Crawford St.) 1506 Centre Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15219 – Across the street from St. Benedict the Moor Church March: From Freedom Corner to the Convention Center

Why: To counter the the NRA’s presence in Pittsburgh with our own message to the NRA and to the politicians and public officials that cow to their pressure: that we, the people, demand that illegal guns be kept out of our communities. And this can be done with our state and federal governments taking two steps that over 80% of Americans overwhelmingly support:

Submit the names of all individuals who should be prohibited from buying guns into the national background check system, especially criminals, drug abusers, and the dangerously mentally ill; and
Require a background check for every gun sale in America.

Background of the Event / Specifics / Message / Purpose

The NRA leadership and their lobbyists stand adamantly opposed to measures that would keep illegal guns off the street and out of our communities and ultimately save lives. In other words, they champion lax gun laws that result in the killings of our loved ones, friends, community members, etc. It makes me angry just to write that knowing that it’s true. This is the organization that’s coming to town claiming they support freedom and so-called American values. Well, all I can say is that they don’t share my values and I’d go as far as to say they probably don’t share your values either. But who am I to say.

We have seen people gathering en mass to act on their values in a show of power all across the world in the past four months, from the Middle East to our Midwestern state neighbors. It’s our turn to stand up for our values and show our state and federal officials that we are serious about keeping illegal guns off the street. They need to see us, the people, take action. They need to hear the people’s voice.

We will begin a Freedom Corner by voicing our message loud and clear and explain why this issue is important to us. We will have several people directly affected by gun violence give their testimony as to the effect gun violence has had on their lives and the lives of their family. We will then drive home the need for our state and federal officials to take action and call upon them to listen to the voice of the people and do so. We will then march to the convention center while the churches in the downtown area toll their bells 600 times – once for each person killed in PA last year by an illegal gun. We will then gather in front of the convention center (the site of the NRA convention) and read aloud the names of those in Allegheny County who have died as a result of gun violence.

*The memory of those lost to gun violence leads us to action.
*Keep illegal guns off the street and reduce access to them.
*Never touch a gun!
*Fight for a fair economy — Gun violence is often the end product of the convergence of a laundry list of problems, ones that could be remedied if our governments (state & federal) weren’t considering slashing the programs and services that help sustain our communities all because large corporations aren’t paying their fair share in taxes. We need our economy to grow (as well as good-paying jobs) and to invest in our communities and the future not solve the so-called budget crises on the backs of those who can least afford it.
*Holy Ground Campaign — We are all holy… the land we walk, live, and recreate on is holy and as stewards of our communities the responsibility is on us to take action to make sure that it is treated as such and that we are treated as such.

Turnout

The plan is set and it’s now time to make sure the rally and march are well attended. Our goal is to have at least 300 people there, which would mean if the 10 or so active members of the task force were working on turnout, each person would need to be responsible for having 30 people there. That’s not all that many when you think about that number including congregants, colleagues, friends, family, acquaintances, other people with whom you’re in a relationship, and anybody those people bring.

And that’s what we should be focusing on — having passionate and motivated people who care about reducing gun violence bring people they know. All of the leaders who have worked on turnout for Holy Ground actions or other events know that making an announcement about it, having a blurb about it in the bulletin, and/or putting a flyer in their hand, while all helpful, by themselves they won’t ensure that people show up. We need to literally ask them to come and get a commitment from them to be there.

We would also like to ask you to reach out specifically to at least 5 spiritual leaders you know to come stand with us, literally, that afternoon. We want them to stand along side of us at the action and march.

Attached is the flyer. Also please keep a list of the people you know that are coming. This is also great to have people go around either at services or meeting, etc. and take names of those who commit to coming. It’s a great way to keep track of how many people are coming but also a great way to get their information so we can get in touch with them when we again need their support.

Next Steps

For these sorts of events, turnout is crucial. But this is what we do best: move people of faith into action. Spread the word far and wide, talk it up and get commitments to come. A Facebook event page will be made for the march. When it’s sent out, please RSVP to come and invite everyone of your friends/contacts you have in Pittsburgh to join us. Get it to the younger generation and tell them to run with it.

Comparison Of Them And Us

The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence lives for hyperbole. This afternoon they posted the following:

CSGV
PHOTOS of large Heeding God’s Call protest in front of Mike & Kate Sport’s Shop in Philly. #PA #politics #faith #peace http://fb.me/MdC2SsLF

Being the skeptical sort, I looked up the “large Heeding God’s Call protest” from yesterday. By my count, they have about 35 people standing out in front of Mike & Kate’s Sports Shop blocking the entrance.The rest of the pictures can be found here.

If that is large, what would they consider the picture below from ISRA’s IGOLD Day.

Courtesy of Days of our Trailers.

Gun Control ≠ Gun Safety

There seems to be an effort going on either in the media or within the gun prohibitionist camp to portray their efforts at gun control and gun banning as gun safety.

Case in point – Jackie Calmes of the New York Times. In her article published Tuesday noting that the NRA was declining to meet with President Obama for his so-called stakeholder’s meeting on gun issues, she referred to the gun control groups as either gun safety advocates or gun safety groups.

From the lead paragraph:

More than two months after the Tucson shootings, the administration is calling together both the gun lobby and gun safety groups to find common ground.

Later, speaking about Mayor Bloomberg and his group of Illegal Mayors, she said:

But gun safety advocates, including a group of mayors headed by Michael R. Bloomberg of New York, called on Mr. Obama to do more, including endorsing legislation to ban high-capacity magazines like those used in the Arizona attack.

I find calling a group like the Brady Campaign a “gun safety” group highly ironic given their rabid opposition to one of the best and tested gun safety programs around. That is, the Eddie Eagle program. Likewise, the Violence Policy Center has opposed the Eddie Eagle gun safety program likening it to “Joe Camel with Feathers”.

Gun control groups are not now nor have they ever been anything that could be remotely called a gun safety group. However, I think we will see them trying to reposition themselves as such in an effort to try and make up all their lost ground with the public. We need to call them and their media allies out on it every time we see or hear that claim.