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”.

Links For Your Weekend Reading

I spent three days this week in the gun control paradise known as Chicago. So I’m doing a little catch-up on my reading and I’ve come across a few blog posts that I think are must reads.

Since the murders at Majory Stoneman Douglas HS in Parkland, Florida, we have subjected to a non-stop assault on our civil rights from the gun control industry and their media allies. As the late Professor Brian Anse Patrick showed in his research, the NRA and gun rights groups in general actually benefit from this assault. My friend and Polite Society Podcast co-host Rob Morse has a post up about how NRA and SAF memberships have been rising with this assault. If you want to go into more depth on this, I highly recommend Prof. Patrick’s The National Rifle Association and the Media: The Motivating Force of Negative Coverage. The Kindle edition is $9.99 or about half the cost of the paperback version.

Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned has two posts up that I would encourage you to read. The first, Dear NRA, says we and the NRA need to up our grassroots game. In particular, we need to convert those who believe in the Second Amendment from being passive observers to active participants. Our opponents have upped their game and are becoming much more effective. It will not be merely enough to watch a NRA-TV video with Dana Loesch or Colion Noir and nod your head in agreement. It will entail getting our rear ends out to city council meetings and hearings when they impact our gun rights.

In his second post, Sebastian has a lexicon of gun terms that the media has thrown out there to confuse non-gun owners. He addresses them and how we should in turn address them when a non-gun owner asks us questions. In one sense – and this is me saying it and not Sebastian – we need to listen to the immortal words of Crash Davis in Bull Durham, “You’re gonna have to learn your cliches. You’re gonna have to study them, you’re gonna have to learn them, you’re gonna have to know them. They’re your friends.” In other words, we need to know the gun prohibitionists’ argument better than they do. You should also read Tam’s post on Magical Thinking which also addresses this.

Kevin Creighton has a short post saying we need to get back into the game. He’s right. We need to get back into the cultural game because we are in a cultural war. Two things he suggests is reaching out to motorcycle riders as we have a shared interest in freedom and to videogamers to encourage them to get into competitive shooting.

Finally, Erin Palette looks at SB 7026 which was signed in Florida on Friday by Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL). She analyzes it in depth and the implications of many of the things in the bill are horrendous. Insofar as creating “school guardians”, it will be dependent upon a county’s sheriff to approve it there. Moreover, it will require 132 hours of training to become qualified as well as another 12 hours in a “certified nationally recognized diversity training program”. Diversity training for stopping an armed attacker? Who the f*&k came up with that nonsense.

So now you have your weekend reading in nice, digestible nuggets. My other suggestion is if there is a gun show in your area, go to it.  Spend some quality time with your cultural brothers and sisters. And, if you are in the Asheville area, go to the Asheville Gun Show at the WNC Ag Center. While there, stop at the Grass Roots North Carolina booth and say hello. I’ll be working it from 10am until 5pm.

DC Won’t Appeal In Wrenn Case

It is being reported by District of Columbia new station WTOP that the Attorney General of DC has decided not to appeal the Court of Appeal’s decision in Wrenn v. DC. The decision overturned the District’s “good reason” requirement to obtain a carry permit. The last time the District of Columbia lost in a major Second Amendment case they appealed. That case was DC v. Heller.


From WTOP:

After days of consulting with the mayor’s office and city council members, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine has reportedly decided not to fight a ruling that effectively strikes down the District’s strict law that makes it difficult for gun owners to get concealed carry permits.

Sources told WTOP’s broadcast news partner NBC Washington that Racine made the decision not to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court and will formally make an announcement later on Thursday.

This cements the win for carry in DC. Conversely, an appeal to the Supreme Court might have provided the opportunity to overturn negative decisions on carry such Peruta in the 9th Circuit and Kalchalsky in the 2nd Circuit. Whether or not the Supreme Court will ever take up a carry case still remains to be seen.

H/T Sebastian

A Must Read

Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned has a blog post up analyzing the finances of the gun prohibitionists. The Form 990s have been posted and he has dug into them. They definitely had an influx of cash post-Newtown.

However, he ends with this:

Because in 2012, NRA’s revenues went from 219MM to 256MM, and in 2013 they went to $348MM. Get that? Between 2011 and 2013, NRA’s revenue increased by 129MM. That’smore than 3x the amount of every other gun control group’s revenue increase from 2011 to 2013 combined. And that’s just NRA proper. The NRA Foundation went from 29MM to 43MM from 2011 to 2012, then dropping slightly to 41MM in 2013, I suspect because people wanted to donate to the political arm since that’s where the threats were coming from.
The President’s and Bloomberg ginning up of gun control post-Sandy Hook has made NRA much stronger proportionally than the gun control movement. That’s because of people out there like you.

We are doing a lot better than the media would credit us with but we can still do better. This is a fight where we can’t slack off because our opponents and their media lapdogs certainly won’t.

Clowns To The Left Of Me, Jokers To The Right



The rest of that song by Stealers Wheel goes “here I am stuck in the middle with you.”

That is how I’m feeling about the whole open carry fiasco in Texas. I doubt that there are many readers of this blog that don’t support the extension of open carry in Texas to include handguns. Many states including my own North Carolina have unlicensed open carry.

What is incredibly frustrating is watching Shannon Watts and her fellow gun prohibitionists at Everytown Moms for Illegal Mayors making hay out of the bumbling ineptitude of groups like Open Carry Texas. Sonic, Chipotle, and god knows who’s next have issued “Starbucks-style” statement asking the open carry activists to leave them out of the argument.

Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned has done yeoman’s work in examining the folly of their actions. You can read some of those posts here, here, and here. There are more.

The attention whoring of these OC activists has caused such backlash that the NRA issued a statement last Thursday which said, in part,

Yet while unlicensed open carry of long guns is also typically legal in most places, it is a rare sight to see someone sidle up next to you in line for lunch with a 7.62 rifle slung across his chest, much less a whole gaggle of folks descending on the same public venue with similar arms.

Let’s not mince words, not only is it rare, it’s downright weird and certainly not a practical way to go normally about your business while being prepared to defend yourself. To those who are not acquainted with the dubious practice of using public displays of firearms as a means to draw attention to oneself or one’s cause, it can be downright scary. It makes folks who might normally be perfectly open-minded about firearms feel uncomfortable and question the motives of pro-gun advocates.

As a result of these hijinx, two popular fast food outlets have recently requested patrons to keep guns off the premises (more information can be found here and here). In other words, the freedom and goodwill these businesses had previously extended to gun owners has been curtailed because of the actions of an attention-hungry few who thought only of themselves and not of those who might be affected by their behavior. To state the obvious, that’s counterproductive for the gun owning community.

More to the point, it’s just not neighborly, which is out of character for the big-hearted residents of Texas. Using guns merely to draw attention to yourself in public not only defies common sense, it shows a lack of consideration and manners. That’s not the Texas way. And that’s certainly not the NRA way.

Chris Cox of the NRA-ILA backed away from that statement yesterday saying it was the personal opinion of some unnamed staffer and not the NRA’s official position. He apologized for any confusion it caused. Others such as Charles Cooke of National Review disagreed saying that it was what needed to be said. I think I and the majority of the gun blogging and gun podcast community would agree that it needed to said.

Bob Owens had an interesting observation on this at BearingArms.com. He noted that often in cases like this where a statement is retracted that it is the original statement which reflects the internal thinking of the organization. In other words, it was what we called back in my political science days “signalling“.


As Michael Bane emphasized today in his Downrange Radio podcast, our goal in the gun rights community needs to be winning. We no more win hearts and minds with these open carry demonstrations in restaurants than the US Air Force did with carpet bombing in South Vietnam. I would send a copy of Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People to everyone in the Texas open carry leadership if I could.

I can’t, so in the meantime I will implore them to cut out the narcissistic displays, clean up their websites and Facebook pages, and, as Michael suggested, think before you do stupid. Those of us stuck in the middle would appreciate it.

This One’s For Sebastian

I didn’t know about Google shutting down Google Reader until I read about it yesterday on Shall Not Be Questioned. I thought no big deal until I realized that the Reeder app that I use on my iPhone, iPad, and MacBook Air is just an extension of Google Reader.

Holy crap! This is a problem. I use it to keep up with stuff for blog posting and to see what my friends are posting in their blogs.

So this one is for Sebastian for alerting me to the problem. Now to just find a usable substitute. I’ll let the more tech savvy hash it out and then see if their solution works for me. But in the meantime, there is always the Twitter feed from Stalin.

Federal Firearms Legislation Introduced In The Past Week

Three new firearms related bills have been introduced since the middle of last week in Congress. Two deal with gun trafficking and one is actually a decent bill dealing with amnesty for NFA war trophies.

HR 449 – Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL)
To provide an amnesty period during which veterans and their family
members can register certain firearms in the National Firearms
Registration and Transfer Record, and for other purposes.

Referred to House Judiciary Committee, House Ways and Means Committee, and House Veterans Affairs Committee.

HR 452 – Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)
Co-Sponsors:
Rep Cummings, Elijah E. [D-MD] – 2/4/2013
Rep Meehan, Patrick [R-PA] – 2/4/2013
Rep Rigell, E. Scott [R-VA] – 2/4/2013
To prevent gun trafficking. 
Referred to House Judiciary Committee.

S 179 – Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Co-Sponsor:
Sen Kirk, Mark Steven [R-IL] – 1/30/2013
To prevent gun trafficking.
Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee

Unless I am greatly mistaken, HR 452 and S 179 will be a reprise of legislation proposed by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) in the last session of Congress. The purpose of that bill was to deflect attention from Attorney General Eric Holder, the Department of Justice, and BATFE over Project Gunwalker. This time I think it is a cynical attempt to say there is bi-partisan support for gun control.

Reading the press release from Rep. Maloney on HR 452 one can’t help but notice that all the supporters of the bill that she lists are known gun control backers.

Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, the Association of
Prosecuting Attorneys, the Major Cities Chiefs Association, the Police
Foundation, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement
Executives, the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement
Administrators, the Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Department, the
Maryland Chiefs of Police Association, the Baltimore Police Department,
Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Office, and the Petersburg Bureau of
Police. Also in attendance were representatives from the U.S. Conference
of Mayors, the American Bar Association, CeaseFirePA, the Violence
Policy Center, and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.

CSGV and VPC? They are the enemies of gun rights. They have always been and always will be opposed to our gun rights. If they are in support of legislation dealing with firearms, it is prima facie suspect.

Sebastian has more on this bill here and suggests we keep our eye on it. I agree. I also think this falls under the rubric of what Michael Bane called flypaper laws in a blog post today. They are a trap for gun owners and are meant to trip us up one way or another.

Wouldn’t This Make Them “In Common Use”?

The Fontana School District is buying 14 Colt Model LE6490 AR-15s to equip school police officers. They will be stored at school police headquarters to be used in case of an active shooter situation.

I won’t even touch up on the level of firearms ignorance espoused by the opponents of the police being armed with AR-15s.

However, as SayUncle pointed out yesterday, he doubted that the most popular rifle type in America is “unusual” taken in the context of the Heller decision. Sebastian takes this a step further.

I’ve also advocated that the courts should consider police use when
making a determination about “common use.” If a type of weapon is part
of ordinary police equipment, it can’t be dangerous and unusual, and
ought to be defined as in common use, even if it’s only in common police
use.

I agree with both SayUncle and Sebastian that the AR-15 is in common use. One could argue that the move by the Fontana School District and their police force puts the “normal” AR-15 into common use in California. There is no mention of the police having to have bullet buttons or reduced capacity magazines in the report from CBS Los Angeles. This is something to bear in mind if the California Assembly tries to adopt even more draconian gun laws.

Quote Of The Day

The quote of the day comes from Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned. He notes the narrative continues despite all indications from recent reports that the Stand Your Ground law has no real bearing on the Trayvon Martin case anymore.

This stopped being about Trayvon Martin days ago. The media is now in a full court press to blame the laws, despite the current witness testimony that essentially reveal that Martin was on top of Zimmerman before the shooting occurred. Duty to retreat is not at issue here. It can’t be at issue. Zimmerman had no means of retreat. The entire question, as I have said since the beginning, will hinge on whether Zimmerman is faultless.

Bloomberg’s Nannystate Goes High Tech

Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned just posted on a potential new technology being tested in New York City that would detect a weapon on a person at a distance. It is a scanner that can be mounted on a police car or in a stationary location which measures energy radiating from a person. They are looking for anything that would block it.

The NY Civil Liberties Union is not so sure it isn’t an invasion of your rights with which I agree. However, bear in mind that this is Mayor Bloomberg’s New York. As Sebastian notes, “Bloomberg has never been remarkably concerned about American liberties, however, so it doesn’t surprise me this is coming out of New York.”

The video below from CBS New York concludes with a comment from a guy who says, “Who cares?” Maybe he’ll start to care when he gets flung up against a wall by a cop just because he is carrying an aluminum wallet (as Seen on TV!)

UPDATE: The New York Daily News has a report on this as well. I can foresee gangs sending out decoys with a piece of metal in the shape of a gun to lure the cops away from the scene of a crime.