Ghoulishness

Let’s just say that I didn’t particularly like the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and the policies he pushed. That said, I’ve tried to avoid posting about his death as I didn’t want to be seen as dancing on his grave.

I received an email this afternoon that I found crass, insensitive, and ghoulish. It was sent by the “sainted” Gabby Giffords and her AR-buying hypocrite of a husband Mark Kelly. The letter (see below) asks that Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) appoint a gun prohibitionist to replace Lautenberg and concludes with a request for a contribution.

For God’s sake, Lautenberg’s corpse has barely begun to relax from rigor mortis and they are using it for political purposes. They really have no shame.

 

John –

Frank Lautenberg spent a career working tirelessly to reduce gun violence in our country.

He authored important legislation to keep guns out of the hands of
domestic abusers, and one of the final votes he cast was in support of
expanded background checks. He was wheeled down to the floor for that
vote, as his colleagues applauded his determination.

Senator Lautenberg cannot be replaced. However, New Jersey Governor
Chris Christie must now select a successor. And he should pick one who
supports expanding background checks to keep guns out of the hands of
criminals and the deranged.

Earlier this year, a Quinnipiac University poll found that ninety-six
percent of New Jersey residents support expanding background checks,
including ninety-five percent of gun owners.

These are staggering numbers, and Governor Christie should consider the will of New Jersey voters while making his selection.

Sign our petition calling on Governor Christie to honor
Senator Lautenberg’s legacy and select a successor who will vote ‘YES’
to expand background checks for gun purchases.

http://action.americansforresponsiblesolutions.org/christie

As we move closer to a second vote on background checks, this decision
could make the difference between passing background checks, or another
crushing defeat.

That’s why your signature is so important. We’ll make sure Governor Christie receives it.

All the best,

Gabby and Mark


New Jersey Native Threatens To Replace AZ Senator Over His Pro-Gun Stance

In one of the more amusing news stories today, Mark Kelly, gun control advocate and husband of Gabby Giffords, is threatening to “replace” Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) in 2018 if Flake doesn’t vote for gun control.

Kelly was reacting to Flake’s announcement — posted Monday night on the senator’s Facebook page — that he will oppose a bill by conservative Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Pat Toomey, R-Penn., that would expand background checks to include people attempting to buy firearms from private individuals at gun shows or on the Internet. The bill is being offered as a compromise to amend a bill with a more sweeping background check requirement.

But Flake said on his Facebook page that he believes the bill would still go too far.

“Manchin-Toomey would expand background checks far beyond commercial sales to include almost all private transfers — including between friends and neighbors — if the posting or display of the ad for a firearm was made public,” Flake said in his posting. “It would likely even extend to message boards, like the one in an office kitchen. This simply goes too far.”

Kelly still thinks he can persuade Flake to come around on the Manchin-Toomey amendment “when I talk to him about why his concerns are unfounded.”

If that doesn’t work, then maybe the Orange, New Jersey native will threaten to hold his breathe and stomp his feet to get his way. For some reason I think that is destined to failure as well.

If This Guy Tries To Sell You An AR, It’s A Trap!

If a kinda short balding guy with a wispy moustache who looks like the guy in the picture below tries to sell you a used Sig M400 for a good price and you aren’t a resident of Arizona, you might want to ask for some identification. If the name is Mark Kelly, you better run because it is a set-up.

As has been reported many times and many places, Mark Kelly, husband of Gabby Giffords and born again gun control advocate, recently purchased a used Sig M400 AR-15 clone from a Tucson gun shop. He bought it when he didn’t think anyone was looking. Once held up to public scrutiny, his alibi became he bought it to show how easy it was to purchase and that he was going to turn it in to the Tucson Police Department.

Now it seems, if his comments in the video below are to be believed, he is going to try to sell the AR-15 to someone across state lines in a private sale. However, that would be illegal under 18 USC Section 922(a)(5). That section of the law which is part of the Gun Control Act of 1968 states that it is unlawful:

(5) for any person (other than a licensed importer, licensed
manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector) to
transfer, sell, trade, give, transport, or deliver any firearm to
any person (other than a licensed importer, licensed
manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector) who the
transferor knows or has reasonable cause to believe does not
reside in (or if the person is a corporation or other business
entity, does not maintain a place of business in) the State in
which the transferor resides; except that this paragraph shall
not apply to (A) the transfer, transportation, or delivery of a
firearm made to carry out a bequest of a firearm to, or an
acquisition by intestate succession of a firearm by, a person who
is permitted to acquire or possess a firearm under the laws of
the State of his residence, and (B) the loan or rental of a
firearm to any person for temporary use for lawful sporting
purposes;

In other words, unless you are a dealer you can’t sell a firearm to someone who resides in another state. To be legal, the sale has to go through an FFL who will log the firearm into his bound book, a Form 4473 is filled out, the NICS check is run, and then and only then, can the firearm be transferred. The statutory maximum for violating 18 USC 922(a)(5) is 5 years.

Moreover, willful receipt of a firearm from an unlicensed person such as Mr. Kelly from out of state is a violation of 18 USC 922(a)(3) which also carries up to 5 years of imprisonment.

So the bottom line is if you are not a resident of Arizona and Mark Kelly tries to sell you any firearm, run! It’s a trap and TV cameras will be nearby.

Supporting A Bill That Would Not Have Changed Things

Mark Kelly, the husband of former Congresswoman Gabby Gifford (D-AZ) and co-founder of American for Responsible Solutions, has jumped on the gun control bandwagon with both feet. Tomrrow, he will be testifying in favor of Colorado HB 1229 which would mandate background checks for all firearms sales in that state.

The news comes from Fox 31 Denver. They were alerted to it from an email put out by Ceasefire Colorado.

The group Ceasefire Colorado, in an email Sunday alerting supporters to join Kelly and Maisich at the Capitol Monday, is explicit about the high stakes of Monday’s hearing — and the potential impact of Colorado lawmakers on the national gun control debate.

“We are done with gun lobby bullies writing our laws, and we are committed to lead the way to a new perspective on responsible gun ownership,” the email states.

Maisich is Patricia Maisich who was one of the people who tackled the gunman* in Tucson and who has now become an advocate for gun control.

While Kelly will be testifying in support of the bill to expand background checks it should be noted that the gunman in Tucson passed the FBI-run NICS check when he purchased his Glock 19. Presumably, the gunman would still have passed a NICS check for a private sale.

*While many news outlets have no hesitation in publishing the names of the shooters in mass shootings, I chose not to do so. I remember their actions but I refuse to give them the publicity that they sought by their actions.

I Find This Kinda Sad

Americans for Responsible Solutions has released their first ad in time for the State of the Union address tomorrow.

After watching it, I found it kind of sad and bordering on pathetic. I really have to question how much of what Gabby Giffords is saying comes from her own thoughts given her traumatic brain injury. That is, how much of this is Giffords as opposed to Mark Kelly putting the thoughts in her head and the words in her mouth.

We should remember that the young man that shot Rep. Giffords did pass a FBI-run NICS check before he bought his Glock. He may not have passed it if his aberrant behavior at the community college had been reported to authorities. Moreover, the Pima County Sheriffs Office was reportedly aware of the young man and his threats and did nothing. Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, a Democrat, preferred to blame the Tea Party and “inflammatory rhetoric”.

Senate Judiciary Committee: “What Should America Do About Gun Violence?”

Sen. Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has set January 30th as the date for a hearing on “gun violence” according to a posting on the committee’s website.

NOTICE OF COMMITTEE HEARING

The Senate Committee on the Judiciary has scheduled a hearing entitled “What Should America Do About Gun Violence?” for Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 10:00 a.m., in Room 216 of the Hart Senate Office Building.

By order of the Chairman.

Witness List

Hearing before the
Senate Committee on the Judiciary

On

“What Should America Do About Gun Violence?”

Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Hart Senate Office Building, Room 216
10:00 a.m.

Captain Mark Kelly, USN (Ret.)
Americans for Responsible Solutions
Tucson, AZ

Nicholas Johnson
Professor of Law
Fordham University School of Law
New York, NY

James Johnson
Chief of Police
Baltimore County Police Department
Chair, National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence
Towson, MD

Gayle Trotter
Attorney and Senior Fellow
Independent Women’s Forum
Washington, DC

Wayne LaPierre
Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer
National Rifle Association
Fairfax, VA

I learned of the hearing thanks to a post by Stranger at Extrano’s Alley. He thinks that with the exception of Wayne LaPierre all the participants are anti-gun.

The first four witnesses are anti’s. Mark Kelley is Gabrielle Giffords husband, and the titular head of an anti-gun group. Given that every restrictive gun law in history has driven violent crime rates sky high, it would be more accurate to say Kelley is head of a pro-crime group.


Chief Johnson is an anti-gun activists as is Trotter. The same comments apply to Johnson and Trotter that apply to Kelly.

I must respectfully disagree on part of his comments. Mark Kelly and Chief James Johnson are most definitely anti-gun activists. However, from what I know of Professor Johnson he is most definitely not an anti-gun activist. Professor Johnson is a co-author with Dave Kopel of the first law school casebook devoted to the Second Amendment – Firearms Law & the Second Amendment: Regulation, Rights, and Policy. Likewise, Gayle Trotter recently penned an article saying that gun control disarms women.

While this hearing seems to be an effort to push the Obama Administration’s gun control agenda, three of the five witnesses are on our side. This might not turn out as bad as some think it will.

Interesting Connections

Americans for Responsible Solutions is the new PAC formed by Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly. It will seek to promote candidates that pursue “solutions to prevent gun violence and protect responsible gun ownership.”

Their registration with the Federal Elections Commission has now been processed and is available on-line.  They list their official address as an office complex adjacent to Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC.

Their custodian of records is Vickie Winpisinger. Ms. Winpisinger serves or has served as treasurer for a number of other PACs and political campaigns with connections to Democrats. They include the House Majority Fund and Gabby PAC. She also was the campaign treasurer for Democrats including Nydia Velazquez, Eric Massa, Mike Ross, John Lewis, and Giffords. Winpisinger’s late father William was the long-time president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers and big in left-wing circles.

The treasurer of the PAC is Texas personal injury lawyer J. Steven Mostyn. He is currently serving as the president of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association. According to the website Texas Trial Lawyer Watch, Mostyn gave over $10 million in campaign contributions in the 2010 election cycle plus another $400,000 to the Democratic Governors Association. There is even a website called The Truth About Steve Mostyn. According to the Dallas Morning News and Bloomberg, Mostyn has donated $1 million to Americans for Responsible Solutions.

According to a story in Time, Mostyn is good friends with Gifford’s husband Mark Kelly as well as Democratic consultant Paul Begalia.


Until then (Newtown), the couple had decided to avoid the activist path, treating the 2011 Phoenix shooting largely as a personal trauma that needed to be dealt with in private. “It’s not what we wanted to do,” he said. But now they went all-in, drawing up plans for two new organizations: a nonprofit to build grassroots support for changes to gun laws and a super PAC to run ads supporting members of Congress on the issue. Kelly decided to start working full time on the effort and began calling those he thought could help.

One of his first calls was to Steve Mostyn, a wealthy trial-lawyer friend from Houston who happens to be one of the biggest contributors to Democratic super PACs. Like Kelly and Giffords, Mostyn is a gun owner. He sleeps with a handgun by his bed, in a safe that opens by his fingerprint. He has a gun range on his West Texas ranch and invites friends out to shoot. But when Kelly called, Mostyn had just dropped off his 5-year-old daughter at school. “I told him it was time,” Mostyn says.

The subject of gun laws was on his mind even before Sandy Hook. A few months earlier, he bought a couple of pistols, both with high-capacity magazines, and 3,000 rounds of ammunition for his gun collection at a local gun store. “The kid who walks me out to the car says to me, ‘It looks like you are going to start a war,’” Mostyn says, noting his shock at how easy it was to stock up on enormous amounts of lethal firepower.

“I’m not anti-gun. I’m just not pro-dumbass,” he continues, citing the more than 30,000 Americans who die every year from guns, mostly from suicide. “We’ve got a gun problem. That’s what differentiates us from other cultures.” He told Kelly he would seed the new group, which they called Americans for Responsible Solutions, with $1 million and begin fundraising with a goal of more than $14 million to support members of Congress in the 2014 elections who cast tough gun votes. “If a representative wants to vote their conscience, we are not going to allow you to bully,” he said of the NRA. “We will counter.”

 $14 million to support representatives who “want to vote their conscience” sounds like an effort to buy votes for the gun prohibitionists.  Like I said when last week, we need to keep a close eye on this group just like we do on Bloomberg.

You Knew This Was Coming

With all the publicity that ABC News has been using to promote Diane Sawyer’s “exclusive” interview with former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly, I just had a bad feeling about it. That doubled when they said Giffords and Kelly would be announcing a new initiative and had recently met with Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

I was right.

Giffords and Kelly look to become the new Jim and Sarah Brady.

They are calling their initiative Americans for Responsible Solutions. Interestingly, according to the webpage it is a political action committee. It is obvious that they mean this PAC as a cover for politicians just like the American Hunters and Shooters Association. The difference is that they evoke much more sympathy than AHSA could ever hope to do.

Giffords and Kelly say they want to propose “commonsense solutions” to “curb gun violence” (sic). Their proposals mirror some of those of Bloomberg and MAIG. They want universal background checks for private sales and they want magazine restrictions. Reading their op-ed in USA Today and the ABC News article, I don’t see any mention on banning semi-automatic rifles.

They make strong efforts to portray themselves as gun owners with Kelly noting he had recently purchased a firearm at Walmart and that they have two guns at home “in a safe”. In their op-ed they describe themselves as “a Western woman and a Persian Gulf War combat veteran who have exercised their Second Amendment rights” who aren’t out to take your guns.

I think you will see a strong effort by them to try and marginalize the NRA as being fringe or extremist.


Special interests purporting to represent gun owners but really advancing the interests of an ideological fringe have used big money and influence to cow Congress into submission. Rather than working to find the balance between our rights and the regulation of a dangerous product, these groups have cast simple protections for our communities as existential threats to individual liberties. Rather than conducting a dialogue, they threaten those who divert from their orthodoxy with political extinction.

As a result, we are more vulnerable to gun violence. Weapons designed for the battlefield have a home in our streets. Criminals and the mentally ill can easily purchase guns by avoiding background checks. Firearm accessories designed for killing at a high rate are legal and widely available. And gun owners are less responsible for the misuse of their weapons than they are for their automobiles.

Forget the boogeyman of big, bad government coming to dispossess you of your firearms. As a Western woman and a Persian Gulf War combat veteran who have exercised our Second Amendment rights, we don’t want to take away your guns any more than we want to give up the two guns we have locked in a safe at home. What we do want is what the majority of NRA members and other Americans want: responsible changes in our laws to require responsible gun ownership and reduce gun violence.

We saw from the NRA leadership’s defiant and unsympathetic response to the Newtown, Conn., massacre that winning even the most common-sense reforms will require a fight. But whether it has been in campaigns or in Congress, in combat or in space, fighting for what we believe in has always been what we do.

 Watching the interview above as well as others they have given, you have to wonder how much of this is Mark Kelly as opposed to Gabby Giffords. She has had a traumatic brain injury and has made a great recovery. That said, after such an injury I would think – and I’m not an expert – that it would have to affect the thought processes and the ability to make rational decisions in some way. Kelly does most of the talking for them while Giffords looks at him and utters a little something here and then.

Make no mistake, Giffords, Kelly, and Americans for Responsible Solutions are a threat to gun rights. They present a sympathetic face, their agenda scarcely differs from that of Bloomberg and his Illegal Mayors, and the mainstream media have signed up to be their propaganda agents.