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”.

Government Still Doesn’t Want To Discuss Fast And Furious

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There are things that the US Government doesn’t want discussed in open court and Operation Fast and Furious is one of them. This is true even in a criminal trial against a cartel boss. The cartel boss is question is Joaquin Archivaldo Guzman Loera aka El Chapo of the Sinoloa Cartel. Perhaps I should say that the government especially doesn’t want to have any discussion of Operation Fast and Furious in a case involving the cartel which received the firearms.

Guzman was extradited to the United States in 2017 and is now on trial in US District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Judge Brian Cogan, a George W. Bush appointee, is the presiding judge in the case. Guzman’s attorney is A. Eduardo Balarezo. He is a criminal defense attorney who handles Federal cases involving high profile defendants like Guzman. The prosecution team is headed by Richard Donoghue who is the US Attorney for the Eastern District.

The government has filed a motion in Limine to exclude questioning about Operation Fast and Furious. They are contending it will confuse the jury and prejudice the government’s case against Guzman.

The defense strategy is transparent. Given the substantial number of articles
that have been written about the Operation, many of which criticize the government’s handling
of the movement of weapons from the United States into Mexico, the defense is attempting to
use the well-known operation to place the government on trial. While the government will
seek to introduce at trial seized weapons that had been identified by ATF agents within the
scope of the Operation,1 any details about the Operation itself are completely irrelevant to the
issues at trial under Rule 401 of the Federal Rules of Evidence and should be excluded on
those grounds alone.
To the extent that the details of the Operation are in any way relevant,
pursuant to Federal Rule of Evidence 403, any minimal relevance would be greatly outweighed
by the substantial risk of misleading the jury and unfair prejudice against the government.

The government respectfully seeks a ruling at this time precluding any further
mention of the Operation, and in so doing, incorporates by reference its previous arguments in its Motions in Limine, Dkt. Nos. 213, 326. In light of the extensive reporting on the Operation,
repeated references to the Operation in defense cross-examination questions create a
substantial risk of tainting the jury, even if government objections to the questions are
sustained by the Court and the witnesses are not required to answer the objectionable questions.

Judge Cogan had denied an earlier attempt to exclude this under the grounds that it was premature. From what I can tell, he has not ruled on this attempt to exclude this from being heard by the jury. Many of the orders are either restricted or under seal and cannot be seen by the general public, i.e, me and thee.

The New York Daily News is reporting on the trial including the motion by the government to exclude this information. Like most of the mainstream media, they are still referring to it as a “botched sting” operation. As Kurt Hofmann wrote over seven years ago, the only thing botched was the cover-up. It was true then and it is still true today.

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 Bill Of Needs?

Kurt Hofmann, the St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner, recently posted a column entitled, “Gun rights: Of rights, needs and ‘sporting purposes'”. In it, he examines the responses from the gun prohibitionists including Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and  Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Rep. Carolyn McCarty (D-NY) to the shooting in Aurora, Colorado.

As Kurt notes, the common thread among all three is their claim that we don’t “need” whatever they want to prohibit.

Never mind the fact that it is not the place of Congress to determine what we “need.” Never mind the fact that when being attacked by dozens of assailants (as can happen right here in St. Louis) a person most definitely does need the ability to fight off more people than can be accounted for with a 10-round magazine. Never mind that Lautenberg and McCarthy apparently believe that police officers–even retired ones–do have such a need.

 Read the whole column here. It is well worth it.

Meeting Friends

One of the great things about the NRA Annual Meeting is the chance to catch up with friends who you haven’t seen in a while. So it was with Kurt Hofmann, the St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner, and me.

While Kurt wasn’t able to actually get to the America’s Center, we were able to meet at his “local” yesterday. Talk about having tons of great beers on tap! Global Brew has more micro-brews on tap than I’ve ever seen. I had the Hacker-Pschorr Maibach and it was really good.

As I said, it was great meeting an old friend again. Kurt does great work as the St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner and we discussed a lot of stuff.

All good things must come to an end and so it is with our trip to St. Louis. We’re hitting the road in a few minutes to return to North Carolina. We had a great time and will have many posts about the NRA Annual Meeting and what we learned in the days to come.

Quote Of The Day No. 2

Kurth Hofmann, the St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner, looks at the differing requirements for picture IDs. The Department of Justice and Attorney General Eric Holder consider it “racist” for a state to require a picture ID to vote but not to purchase a firearm.

Putting it into historical perspective, Kurt notes:

Voting, unlike the Constitutionally enumerated right to keep and bear arms, depends for its very legitimacy on the voter being who he or she claims to be. Some would doubtless argue that abuse of the right to keep and bear arms is far more dangerous than abuse of the right to vote. To make that argument, though, they have to forget that Hitler positioned himself to become Chancellor through the vote. The power of Chancellor, combined with Article 48 (which was the work of Max Weber, so admiringly cited by the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence for his advocacy of a “government monopoly on force”), made seizure of dictatorial powers a fairly simple matter.

With governments historically being by far the most prolific mass-murderers in the world, (and with the victims often chosen along ethnic lines), how can protection of the legitimacy of the process by which the government is chosen be considered “racist,” while far more onerous requirements for possessing the tools to resist such murderous tyranny is not?

Interesting, isn’t it?

The Ranks Of Gun Owners Swelled On Black Friday In Illinois

While Illinois may be the only state that does not have some form of concealed carry, it was not left out of the rise in sales of firearms on Black Friday. According to WLS-TV in Chicago, the Illinois State Police reported a 42% increase in the number of applications for Firearms Owner ID (FOID) cards on Black Friday compared to last year. Almost 2,900 new applications were received for FOID cards this year. Bear in mind that these are NEW (would-be) gun owners because once you have a FOID card it covers all your guns and is good for 10 years.

However, and I think the reporter for WLS-TV doesn’t quite get Illinois firearms law, an application for a FOID card is not approved immediately. The State Police have up to 30 days to approve it and return it to you. Until you have a valid FOID card in hand, you can’t buy a firearm, ammunition, or a Taser.

This is from an email this evening from Thirdpower of Days of Our Trailers blog:

You can apply for your FOID through most FFL’s if they’re smart. It normally takes 3-4 weeks to get it through the ISP so while you could ‘purchase’ your firearm by perhaps putting down a down payment, you cannot actually fill out the 4473/NICS check until you have the FOID in your possession. Then there’s a 24hr waiting period for long guns and 72 hour for handguns.

We will have to wait until the NICS stats are out to get a better idea of just how much actual gun sales rose in Illinois during this period. Nonetheless, this many applications for FOID cards means another 2,900 gun owners are added to the rolls of gunowners in the Land of Lincoln. And THAT is a good thing.

Note: A big thanks to Kurt Hofmann, the St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner, and Thirdpower for answering my questions so quickly about Illinois gun law and FOID cards. I really appreciate their help!

Thirdpower put together this primer on Illinois gun laws a couple of years ago. It is a good starting place.

Sharyl Attkisson Report On Operation Wide Receiver

Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News had a report this morning on The Early Show about an earlier ATF operation called Operation Wide Receiver. It was run out the ATF’s Tucson office. The operation which began during the Bush administration also involved gun walking and Mexican drug cartels.

Kurt Hofmann, the St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner, does an excellent job in analyzing the differences between Operation Wide Receiver and Operation Fast and Furious. While they both involved ATF, Mexican drug cartels, and gun walking, Kurt notes some important differences.

Well, for one, four or five years ago, we didn’t have the administration (from the President on down), the mass media, and “gun control” advocates incessantly claiming that, “[Some variable, but invariably wildly inflated] percentage of seized Mexican crime guns come from the U.S.,” imposing on us the moral imperative to “strengthen” our “weak gun laws.”

We didn’t have a requirement in the southwest border states to report multiple long gun sales–a requirement for which “walked” guns ouf of “Operation Fast and Furious” were used as justification. Nor did we have guns “walked” from Indiana to Chicago used to attempt to impose extra reporting requirements on and Indiana gun dealer.

At this point, we don’t seem to have any evidence that earlier “gunwalking” involved the FBI, the DEA, DHS, the State Department, the IRS, and even the White House Security Council.

 Kurt is correct that this should be investigated as well. He is also very correct in saying that the signs of failure of Operation Wide Receiver were known by 2009 and that it should have been a warning about going ahead with Operation Fast and Furious.

Jim Shepherd of the Outdoor Wire was writing about this failed program back in June and I had a post on it then. You can compare the newest story with what we knew in June.