Northam Issues Temporary Ban On Firearms On VA Capitol Grounds

One of the first acts of the new Democrat-controlled Virginia General Assembly was to ban firearms in the State Capitol and the adjacent office building. The new rule went into effect as of 11:59pm Friday, January 10th. This was done on a straight party line vote.

Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA) has gone the General Assembly one better – or worse.

AP File Photo

From the Associated Press:

Fearing a repeat of the deadly violence that engulfed Charlottesville more than two years ago, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam plans to declare a temporary emergency Wednesday banning all weapons, including guns, from Capitol Square ahead of a massive rally planned next week over gun rights.

That’s according to two state officials who were briefed on the plans but not authorized to speak publicly about them. The governor, a Democrat, plans to announce the plans at a news conference Wednesday afternoon because of credible threats of potential violence and extremism, one official said.

Supposedly, there were “inflammatory” postings by out-of-state pro-gun groups. I don’t suppose they are talking about the NC House Republican Caucus who will be sending representatives to Lobby Day.

They also managed to throw the words “militia” and “Charlottesville” into the conversation. Unless there is an Antifa-wing of the Demanding Mommies that I don’t know about, this is just so much hyperbole.

Northam’s declaration will also ban helmets and shields. I guess any Viking Norsemen will have to leave them at home.

Northam and his backers attempts to portray honest gun owners seeking to petition their own legislature for redress is nothing short of an attempt to delegitimize them. It is an “othering”. It is straight out of Rule 13 of Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals.

We Don’t Know Much But We Are Going To Call For More Gun Control

I got an email today from North Carolinians Against Gun Violence (sic), a wholly owned subsidiary of Everytown, regarding the murders on the campus of UNC-Charlotte yesterday. The email epitomizes their “call to action” strategy even when we know next to nothing about the murderer, the victims, etc.

Yesterday, two people lost their lives and four were injured by a mass shooter at UNC Charlotte. North Carolinians Against Gun Violence mourns with their families, friends, and communities.

“Every shooting is a human tragedy and my prayers are with the victims and their families,” said Becky Ceartas, Executive Director of North Carolinians Against Gun Violence. “Today’s awful events are yet another urgent call to action to prevent this from happening again.”

While this story is still developing and we do not have much information about the shooter, including how he got his gun, we do know that certain gun reforms need to happen in our state. Specifically, we need to keep our college campuses and K-12 schools free of guns, retain our background check system on all handgun sales (pistol purchase permitting system), and preserve our concealed-carry weapons permitting system.

“We ask North Carolinians to join us in mourning those lost in this horrific act. And we ask North Carolinians to act with us to help prevent this from happening again,” said Ceartas.

For those that are not North Carolinians you might not know that university campuses are officially gun-free zones. North Carolina General Statute § 14-269.2. deals with this and makes it a Class I felony to carry openly or concealed any firearm on campus. Firing the gun is a Class F felony.

I have written extensively about the racist roots of the North Carolina’s pistol purchase permit system. It was instituted in 1919 as a means to keep African-Americans and especially those that were veterans returning from World War I disarmed. I can think of few other laws that were conceived in racism that still command the devotion and loyalty of progressives as do gun control laws.

About the only things about this heinous crime is the shooter’s name, his age (22), that he was a former UNC-C student, his victim’s names and ages, and that he was taken alive. We don’t know how the murderer obtained his firearm, his motive, or virtually anything else other than a statement from his grandfather that said he’d never shown any interest in firearms before and one from campus police saying he wasn’t on their radar.

So you have two murders (illegal), four attempted murders (illegal), and a total disregard for state law on carrying on campus (illegal) but yet we need to act so as to “prevent this from happening again.” Other than legalizing campus carry which is anathema to NCGV, I don’t see how any new law is going to prevent such crimes. Can you?

For Those In Florida

Florida Carry issued a call late last week for legislators to eliminate gun-free zones, to authorize teachers with a CWFL to be allowed to carry in schools, and to immediately provide funding for a FASTER program.

If you live in Florida, it’s time to hit these legislators up.

On Friday, Feb 16th, Florida Carry called for the Florida Legislature to immediately:
  1. Pass emergency legislation to eliminate gun-free zones for law-abiding concealed carry licensees;
  2. Pass
    emergency legislation authorizing all teachers in public schools who
    possess a CWFL to carry their licensed, concealed firearm if they so
    choose, without repercussion; and
  3. Provide
    immediate funding of one million dollars in grants for county school
    boards and sheriffs to implement pilot programs of the
    Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response (FASTER) Program in the State of Florida.
Today, the legislature is under attack.
The candidates who came to us as Florida Gun Owners during the primaries have now become lawmakers.
Those lawmakers are now being pressured in to selling us out.
We have offered effective solutions to the violence of evil people.  Far too many legislators are not listening…
We have called for the legislature to fund FASTER
Investigate the non-response of the Broward County Sheriff’s office to a clear and present danger, to demand that the FBI account for its failure to investigate multiple reported threats, Recognize that “gun free zones” are not free of criminal violence, and Provide for the lawful defence of FL students.  

Contact your legislators.

He Beat Us To It

Many in the gun rights community have been coming up with our wish lists now that Donald Trump has been elected President. Given the support from the NRA, other gun rights organizations, and the gun culture was critical in his win, it’s payback time.

Among the things I’ve been hoping for is national concealed carry reciprocity, removal of suppressors from the NFA through passage of the Hearing Protection Act, overturning previous executive orders by Presidents George H. W. Bush and Barack Obama, and the elimination of the sporting use test from the Gun Control Act of 1968. This is in addition to appointing judges and justices that will will uphold and expand Heller and McDonald. Of course that is just a start.

Well it looks like President-elect Trump (has a nice ring to it!) has beat us to the punch on national reciprocity and the elimination of gun free zones on military bases.

From a position paper released today:

GUN AND MAGAZINE BANS. Gun and magazine bans are a total failure. That’s been
proven every time it’s been tried. Opponents of gun rights try to come up with scary
sounding phrases like “assault weapons”, “military-style weapons” and “high capacity
magazines” to confuse people. What they’re really talking about are popular semiautomatic
rifles and standard magazines that are owned by tens of millions of
Americans. Law-abiding people should be allowed to own the firearm of their choice.
The government has no business dictating what types of firearms good, honest people
are allowed to own.

BACKGROUND CHECKS. There has been a national background check system in
place since 1998. Every time a person buys a gun from a federally licensed gun dealer
– which is the overwhelming majority of all gun purchases – they go through a federal
background check. Study after study has shown that very few criminals are stupid
enough to try and pass a background check – they get their guns from friends/family
members or by stealing them. So the overwhelming majority of people who go through
background checks are law-abiding gun owners. When the system was created, gun
owners were promised that it would be instant, accurate and fair. Unfortunately, that
isn’t the case today. Too many states are failing to put criminal and mental health
records into the system – and it should go without saying that a system’s only going to
be as effective as the records that are put into it. What we need to do is fix the system
we have and make it work as intended. What we don’t need to do is expand a broken

NATIONAL RIGHT TO CARRY. The right of self-defense doesn’t stop at the end of
your driveway. That’s why I have a concealed carry permit and why tens of millions of
Americans do too. That permit should be valid in all 50 states. A driver’s license works
in every state, so it’s common sense that a concealed carry permit should work in every
state. If we can do that for driving – which is a privilege, not a right – then surely we can
do that for concealed carry, which is a right, not a privilege.

MILITARY BASES AND RECRUITING CENTERS. Banning our military from carrying
firearms on bases and at recruiting centers is ridiculous. We train our military how to
safely and responsibly use firearms, but our current policies leave them defenseless. To
make America great again, we need a strong military. To have a strong military, we
need to allow them to defend themselves.

The position paper also notes that Trump himself has a concealed carry permit.

This is a great way to end the week!

Safe Haven Premiers On April 1st – Don’t Miss It

When I attended the SHOT Show I got a chance to see the preview of the documentary Safe Haven: Gun Free Zones in America. It is a critical look at so-called gun-free zones and how they fail to actually protect people. The film is produced and directed by Tim Crimmins. The Outdoor Channel will be airing tomorrow at 4:30pm. They will also be streaming it online.

If you subscribe to the Outdoor Channel and can DVR it, I suggest you do so. This is a documentary that you will want to share with your friends and family that may be on the fence about firearms and gun-free zones.

I usually can’t sit through a movie. I joke that I have “movie ADD”. I didn’t move for 45 minutes watching Safe Haven. It is that powerful and compelling. Below is a trailer for the documentary. By the way, the Outdoor Channel will be presenting this without any ads or commercials. They have funded the documentary’s production out of their own budget.

Baltimore City Schools – The Ultimate Gun Free Zone

Baltimore City Schools are the ultimate gun-free zones. Not even the cops are allowed to have firearms!

Baltimore City Schools are (somewhat) protected by the Baltimore City School Police. This agency consists of 141 sworn and armed officers. It is the only police agency in the state of Maryland dedicated to protecting a school district. They are also the only cops not allowed to be armed inside the schools while students are present. Somehow the logic of this escapes me.

According to the Baltimore Sun, the city’s delegation to the Maryland legislature had introduced bills in the Maryland House of Delegates and Senate to allow the school police to carry within the schools. This was done at the urging of the school board. It also had the support of a majority of members of both the police and teachers union.

However, these bills were tabled because the delegation couldn’t come to a consensus on arming the cops. It seems some parents wanted their kids to be even larger targets for murderous psychopaths and there were delegates that agreed with them.

Others contended that weapons would make students feel like criminals in a city where many need a reprieve from the presence of guns.

Parents and state lawmakers said they believed the issue needed to be explored and vetted further.

Aimee Harmon-Darrow, a city school parent, helped launch a petition calling for the withdrawal of the legislation until it was publicly debated. The petition had more than 1,740 signatures Friday.

Harmon-Darrow said the legislation was a “catalyst to a dialogue that needs to happen in Baltimore City regarding the role of school police, discipline policies and overall school climate issues.”

“I hope the school board recognizes the need for this discussion and engages parents in an open dialogue.

Why do I have the feeling that if any harm came to these school children as a result of psychopath that Ms. Harmon-Darrow would be the first to cry out that the schools didn’t do enough to protect her children.

Research done by Dr. Eric Dietz at the Purdue Homeland Security Institute shows that an armed school resource officer cuts casualties by two-thirds in an active shooter situation. However in a case like this, “feelings” trump reason, logic, and scientific evidence.

I just feel sorry for the majority of the parents of school children in Baltimore that their kids are at a greater risk because some politicians would rather listen to blithering idiots than to them. They should remember these politicians come 2016.

Tell Me Again How Gun-Free Zones Are Safe And Crime Free

The gun prohibitionists argue banning guns in certain locations make them safer. They especially push this argument with regard to schools and universities. The argument against allowing firearms on university campuses is that college students are impulsive irresponsible drunks who would go around shooting up the place. At least that is the impression left by the Brady Center from their amicus brief in the case of D’Cruz* v BATFE (later renamed Jennings v BATFE).

So it was with interest that I read this notice sent out by the Western Carolina University Police Department last Wednesday.

WCU Police are investigating a report of an armed robbery that occurred at approximately 9:15pm this evening. Suspects are two white males and one black male. Armed with what appeared to be a semiautomatic handgun and a baseball bat. Occurred in the area of the old Brown cafeteria. Suspect #1 is described as a white male, mid 20’s, 5″8″, thin build, facial hair, white t-shirt, blue jeans, dark colored knit type hat, armed with a handgun. Suspect 2 is a white male, mid 20’s, no further description. Suspect 3 is a black male, mid 20’s 5’10”, thin build, dark t shirt. Suspects were last seen in the area of the Old Brown Cafeteria. Police are searching the campus for the suspects. Anyone with information is asked to call WCU PD at 828-227-8911. Thanks. University Police

Didn’t these miscreants know that the University of North Carolina and all its constituent institutions like WCU are supposed to be gun free? I’m sure the baseball bat was only for use in intramural games.

The only firearms allowed on campus are those of concealed carry permit holders which must be kept locked in their cars. And even that modest measure upsets the university’s administration.

So I would say to the university chancellors and police chiefs who were united in their opposition to any guns on campus, tell me again how gun-free zones are safe and crime-free.

* James D’Cruz, the original plaintiff, was demonized and vilified by the Brady Campaign. Josh Horwitz of CSGV even wrote he “sounds like a school shooter.” I wonder what they would make of the fact that James is now a first year law student at Harvard Law School.

Update On NC State Fair Injunction Request

Grass Roots North Carolina filed suit last week seeking a temporary injunction to keep the North Carolina State Fair from being posted against carry. HB 937 made changes to the law that should have prevented Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler (R-NC) from posting the fairgrounds. I say should have.

Wake County Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens refused to grant the temporary injunction in a ruling this afternoon.

Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens said he believed “it would be unwise and imprudent to allow firearms into the State Fair.”

This is truly a case of the law being what the judges say it is despite the clear wording of North Carolina statutes. Given that Judge Stephens was re-elected in 2012, he won’t be coming up for re-election again until 2020 as Superior Court judges in North Carolina serve eight year terms.

Ag Commissioner Troxler is happy about the decision saying, “”for upholding the longstanding policy banning weapons at the State Fair and for issuing his decision so quickly.” Troxler has contended that the changes in the NC General Statutes brought about by HB 937 are “vague”.

Troxler, who says he is a gun owner himself, argued that the law was badly-worded and legislators had not intended to allow guns at the fair. He said they didn’t belong there, citing the huge crowds and the potential for guns to fall out during midway rides during the annual rain of wallets, keys and change, and then go off.

At the press conference Monday, Troxler said that no matter which way the ruling went this week, there will be metal detectors at all the entrance gates. And after the fair, he said, he would go back to the General Assembly to ask legislators to be clear about what they think the law should say about guns at the fair.

“Either the legislature believes there needs to be concealed carry at the fair or not,” he said.

Troxler, it should be noted, is a practicing farmer as required by Chapter 106 of the North Carolina General Statutes. He is not an attorney. Thus, any claims to the law being vague should be taken with a grain of salt.

The State Fair Facebook page is getting lots of feedback on their announcement of the decision in which they said they are glad Judge Stephens didn’t grant the injunction.

So the North Carolina State Fair will be a gun-free zone. As to the reality of gun-free zones, I’d urge you to listen to what Massad Ayoob said about the recent Gun Rights Policy Conference in Chicago. His comments start at the 1:14:45 mark and are well worth a listen.

I Know Where I’m Getting Coffee Tomorrow!

By now, you may have heard of the call by the gun prohibitionists to “Skip Starbucks Saturday” in response to the coffee chain’s determination to remain neutral in the gun debate and to allow carry in accordance with each state’s law. To those of the gun prohibitionists’ ilk, neutrality – while smart business – is an affront to their crusade to make everyone unsafe. While they would not consider a gun-free zone unsafe, those zones have become one of the favorite places for the mentally deranged to commit their heinous acts.

So, of course, I do plan to go to one of the local Starbucks on Saturday to have some nice frou-frou coffee drink that I might not otherwise buy. The Complementary Spouse has a couple of gift cards for Starbucks that we need to use and this seems like a good time to do it.

The good folks at Grass Roots North Carolina note that this is also an opportunity to reinforce the message that it is in all restaurants’ best interest to support the expanded carry provisions of HB 937.

No support is more clear than doing business with those who cooperate with us. We need to demonstrate, in a practical way, that standing behind North Carolina’s gun owners is a winning proposition for restaurants. Inducing failure of this anti-Second Amendment boycott will provide initial momentum for when HB 937 becomes effective in October.

Support Starbucks Saturday…

As you make weekend plans be sure to include a Saturday stop at your local Starbucks for a beverage and snack. Make sure to let your barrista know that you appreciate their respect for carry laws. Drive this message home by printing-out and handing your server the message below.

The alert isn’t up on their website yet so I’m posting their card below. I don’t know if other state-based gun rights groups are doing this but I’d suggest checking their websites for details.

This is certainly an easier way of the getting the message across than try to find a bank that has any $2 bills.

Jim Shepherd in The Shooting Wire also has some wise words about this counter campaign with which I tend to agree. I like his statement about it being a personal choice and not a political one.

I think a gun-neutral position is smart for the company, but it seems that some groups are determined to make guns a polarizing issue. That, I don’t like- no matter which side of an issue you fall on.

So….we may find it advantageous to show up at a Starbucks (or two) this weekend, order one of their innumerable combinations of coffee and simply say “I wanted to thank Starbucks for not taking a side in the gun debate. I think it is a personal choice, not a political one.”

Feel free to put that into your own words- but speak them if you have the opportunity.

Summer’s Over; School Begins Again

Tonight my summer comes to a close.

Classes begin for the fall semester today and I begin another school year teaching financial planning and retirement planning. My syllabus is done and printed. I have my first lecture done and have their homework assignment prepared. I don’t have new school clothes but I’m a bit old for that anyway!

After teaching the same class for six years, things begin to get a little stale and you find yourself going through the motions at times. That is why I’m glad that they’ve revamped my intro course to open it up to non-Finance majors. The class title has gone from “Introduction to Financial Planning, Risk Managment, and Insurance” to “Managing (Your) Money for Financial Success.”

Instead of just prepping Finance majors to be advisors and planners, I’ll be trying to give undergraduates some life skills. It is not that the former isn’t important – it is – but getting college students started on the right track financially is more important. I’ll be lecturing on things like credit card debt and FICO scores as well as investments and insurance.

The only downside is that I’ll be stuck in a officially-mandated by state law gun-free zone. Before it is suggested that I ignore this, under NC General Statutes § 14‑269.2. it is a felony for me to knowingly possess a firearm on campus. The only defense I have is to be in a state of heightened awareness – and to know where to find a fire extinguisher.