Oh! The Horror!

Magpul donated 1,000 30-round PMags for the NRA to give out to those who attended the January 13th NRA rally at the Virginia State Capitol. Duane Liptak, Magpul’s Executive VP, is a member of the NRA Board of Directors. Bear in mind that a magazine ban is one of the agenda items for anti-gun Democrats in the Virginia General Assembly. A magazine ban, I should add, that has no grandfathering.

Giving out 30-round PMags was reminiscent of what Magpul did for rallies in Vermont in 2018 and in Colorado in 2013. In other words it was nothing new. Nonetheless, the gun prohibitionists at the Cult of Personality known as Giffords have their panties in a wad over this.

Gun rights advocates from around the country are urging armed protesters to descend on Virginia’s capital before the General Assembly’s first legislative session of 2020 to stop Democrats from passing gun-control bills.

The NRA is even getting involved by offering to hand out 30 round magazines to protesters for free if they show up.

Tweet from the NRA: EMERGENCY AIRLIFT: @Magpul_HQ sent us 1,000 30 Round PMAGs to hand out tomorrow in Richmond to NRA members who show up to fight Northam's extreme gun ban! We'll see everyone TOMORROW at the General Assembly Building in Senate Sub-Committee Room1 on the 5th Floor at 8am!

A 30 round magazine was used to shoot this organization’s co-founder, Gabby Giffords, kill six people and injure 12 others in Tucson.

First off no magazine of any size can be used “to shoot” anyone. A magazine is merely a container. It, more importantly, just like a firearm is an inanimate object that cannot do anything unless it is used by human being.

In Ms. Giffords’ case, the murderer in Tucson had a Glock pistol as his weapon of choice. He did have a Glock 18 knock-off magazine that jammed when he was reloading allowing heroic bystanders to end his rampage.

The killer bought it legally after passing a FBI NICS check. That he was able to pass such a check despite evidence of mental issues was due to the failure of school authorities to report his behavior and due to the Pima County Sheriff’s Department ignoring his actions. The latter was due to a friendly relationship between the killer’s mother and Sheriff Clarence Dupnik.

Giffords and other such organizations who send out these pleas for money rely on shock value and the decay of memory with regard to past events. That it is dishonest has never stopped them in the past and won’t stop them in the future. Fortunately, there are both the Internet and those of us with long memories to set the record straight.

Democrats Love Symbolism…When Abridging Your Rights

Tuesday, January 8th is the eight anniversary of when then-Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) was shot at an event in Tucson. The killer obtained his Glock at a licensed gun shop after going through a FBI-run NICS check. Keep that in mind for later. At the time, the shootings were blamed on “insurrectionist ideology“, “weak” gun laws, and the lack of a permanent BATFE director among other things. Just like with the Parkland murders, the failure of school officials and the local sheriff contributed to the shootings and not the lack of a background check.

Thus, it should be no surprise that on Tuesday, a bill will be introduced by House Democrats that will mandate universal background checks. Gabby Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly have been pushing universal background checks for years. They sent this out earlier today – along with the requisite beg for money to abridge your rights.

Here’s some news I think you’ll be quite happy to hear:

This Tuesday, January 8, Democrats in the House of Representatives will introduce bipartisan universal background checks legislation.

We fought to elect this Congress — one that will stand up to the gun lobby — and right away, they are delivering. The bill is H.R. 8, a symbolic action that will mark the 8th anniversary of the shooting in Tucson. It is also testament to all of our work moving the needle on this issue.

Gabby will be there for the announcement and we’ll be ready to fight to get this thing passed.

But you know the gun lobby, they won’t go down without a fight, especially on this issue. So we have to ask:

Can you make a $3 donation to Giffords PAC? We’ll put it right to work in the fight to pass universal background checks.

This is a big deal, and we’ll have a lot more soon. But right now, we’re gearing up for what’s sure to be a tough fight on this issue. So thanks for chipping in.

All my best,

Mark Kelly

My guess that the only thing bipartisan about this bill will be one or two RINOs like Rep. Peter King (R-NY) as a co-sponsor.

According to Politico, the bill will be number H.R. 8 to commemorate the date. The bill will be introduced by Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

“Since the shooting at Sandy Hook, the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force has been fighting for a chance to pass legislation that will help save lives,” Thompson said in a statement. “Finally, with our new majority that ran on helping to prevent gun violence, we will introduce a bipartisan, universal background checks bill. We will hold hearings, we will have a vote, and this legislation will finally pass the House.”

“In communities across America, courageous survivors, families and young advocates are showing outstanding courage and persistence in demanding an end to the horrific scourge of gun violence in our nation,” Pelosi said in a statement. “It is an honor to join Congressman Mike Thompson and former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords to answer their call by taking the first step to pass commonsense background checks – which 97 percent of the American people support.”

Notice those supposed poll numbers in support of “commonsense background checks”. According to Pelosi, it is 97%. Was this supposed to be a gift to Threepers as the stalwart 3% that oppose this legislation? Why it was only yesterday it seems that Bloomberg, Giffords, and the rest of the gun control industry were saying it was a mere 90%.

So-called universal background checks are a solution in search of a problem. Criminals will continue to obtain firearms and the expectation that they will go through a NICS check is ludicrous. Moreover, as we have seen in the mass shootings which the news media and the gun control industry seem to feed on, the firearms were obtained from legitimate sources after a background check by the Federal Bureau of Investigation was completed. Finally, a law such as this is unenforceable absent a total registration of the 300-600 million firearms thought to exist in the United States.

The Month After Tucson

NSSF is reporting that the adjusted NICS checks for the month of February 2011 are up 13.6% over the previous year.

The February 2011 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 963,746 is an increase of 13.6 percent over the NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 848,036 from February 2010. For comparison, the unadjusted February 2011 NICS figure of 1,463,138 is an increase of 18.2 percent over the unadjusted NICS figure of 1,237,617 from February 2010. The adjusted NICS data was derived by NSSF by subtracting out all NICS purpose code permit checks used by several states such as Kentucky, Iowa and Utah for CCW permit application checks as well as checks on active CCW permit databases. While not a direct correlation to firearms sales, the NSSF-adjusted NICS data provides a more accurate picture of current market conditions.

Courtesy of NSSF

The raw data directly from the FBI can be seen here. It breaks out NICS checks by state.

Looking at the bar chart above, you can see the spike in sales in February 2009 as compared to February 2008. I think it can be reasonably assumed that this is due to the spike in gun sales nationwide beginning with the election of President Barack Obama. The heavy surge in gun sales has moderated by February 2010 as the fear over new gun control measures has started to abate. However, after the shootings in Tucson and the clamor for more gun control, NICS checks (and presumably sales) surge even higher than after the election of Obama.

Looking at the raw numbers, some states like Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Texas show increases of more than 10,000 checks over  the January 2011 numbers. While past history tends to show more sales in February than in January (due, in part, I presume to leftover bills from Christmas), the increases this year are substantially more than in previous years.

Gunned Down By The “Extended Capacity Clip”

George Stephanopolus had an interview this morning with Kelly O’Brien on Good Morning America. Her fiancee, Gabe Zimmerman, was Rep. Gabby Giffords’ outreach coordinator in Tucson and was killed by Jared Loughner in the Tucson shootings.

Ms. O’Brien was on GMA to lend her support to bills being introduced into the Arizona House and Senate which would limit magazine capacity to 10. She is a sympathetic figure and you grieve for her loss. I think we can expect to see more of her as well as others related to this shooting being used to push for restrictions on standard capacity magazines.

Ms. O’Brien, however, gets it wrong when she says that it is “so sad to see 19 people gunned down in 15 seconds by one of these extended capacity clips.” It was not the “clip” that killed her fiancee – it was a mentally disturbed person whose condition went unreported by school authorities and then ignored by the Pima County Sheriff’s Department. It was Jared Loughner that killed Gabe Zimmerman and not the Glock 18 knock-off magazine. We can still grieve for Ms. O’Brien’s lost love but we don’t have to agree with her reasoning.

Politicizing The Tucson Shooting Even More

From reading this Brady Campaign press release, it looks like they and their fellow traveler friends are pushing the Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee to hold hearings on the Tucson shooting.

Gun Violence Prevention Groups Applaud Push For Congressional Hearings On Tucson Shootings

Jan 28, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. – National gun violence prevention groups applauded a written request made today by the Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee calling for a hearing to address gun violence in the wake of the shootings in Tucson, AZ that killed six and wounded 13 others, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

“Congress for too long has ignored the 30,000 Americans killed and another 70,000 injured by gun violence every year,” said Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. “Now is the time for action. We are grateful that the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee are pushing the House leadership to hold hearings on gun violence. It’s the right thing to do for our nation, and for the way too many families and communities that suffer from gun violence.”

The letter requests a hearing that is narrowly tailored to address specific weaknesses with our gun laws that permit shootings like the one in Tucson to take place. “The Arizona shooting is only the latest is a long line of mass killings made possible by easy access to large capacity ammunition magazines,” said Kristen Rand, Legislative Director of the Violence Policy Center. “Congress can help prevent tragedies like Tucson from occurring by adopting simple and reasonable proposals like Rep. Carolyn McCarthy’s legislation, H.R. 308.”

The Judiciary Democrats urged Chairman Lamar Smith to convene a hearing sometime within the next month. “Chairman Smith has a real opportunity to make a difference here,” said Josh Horwitz, Executive Director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. “Once Congress realizes that this is not a Left/Right issue but a Right/Wrong issue maybe we can usher some sanity back into the debate about our nation’s broken gun laws.”

Horwitz may be correct that this is a Right/Wrong issue but not in the way he wants you to think. It is wrong to push laws that would have had no impact in Tucson except to further burden the rest of us law-abiding gun owners. It would be right for Congressman Smith to tell them to take hike.

Here is a link to the House Judiciary Committee website with a list of the members. Just a quick look at the Democrat members and I see many who are listed as co-sponsors of HR 308. To expect them to not politicize the hearings is like expecting the sun to set in the East. It ain’t going to happen. I would suggest if your Congressman is on this list to send them an email saying you oppose this effort.

UPDATE: Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, says no hearings. According to a story in the Los Angeles Times, Rep. Smith said:

Smith, in his response, said the committee should review the database, known as the National Instant Criminal Background Check System “at the appropriate time.” But hearings now might affect criminal proceedings in which Loughner’s “mental status is likely to be a key issue,” he said.

“Jared Loughner has not been found to be mentally ill,” Smith said. “It is inappropriate for Congress to hold hearings on NICS that presume otherwise while Loughner is facing trial.”

Imagine that – a politician who believes enough in the rule of law and fair trials that he won’t allow grandstanding in the committee he chairs.

As to the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee, 10 out of the 16 are co-sponsors of McCarthy’s HR 308.

Dave Hardy’s Thoughts On The Tucson Shootings

Dave Hardy, attorney and blogger, lives and practices law in the Tucson area. He is one of the most thoughtful and insightful bloggers around on Second Amendment issues. He just posted some thoughts on the shootings in Tucson and on the shooter Jared Loughner.

From all accounts, the shooter appears to be schizophrenic, probably paranoid schiz, and was giving significant signs of being dangerous long before the shooting. Fellow students and teachers were fearful enough to where the college suspended him unless he could provide a psychiatric evaluation showing he wasn’t dangerous, and they sent campus police to make sure he got the message. But nobody seems to have given a thought to getting the guy committed for treatment — perhaps because doing so would have been so burdensome that running the risk of his going violent was the easier course.

Go here to read the rest of this very insightful post at Of Arms and the Law.

Is There Something Toxic In Long Island’s Water?

Something must be in the water of Long Island that causes politicians to say and do stupid things when it comes to firearms.

First, we have the Queen Bee of gun control, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY-4), saying that standard capacity magazines must be banned so we don’t have a repeat of the Tucson shooting. She goes on to say that if the “Assault Weapons Ban” (sic) had still been in place fewer people might have been shot. This is despite the AWB only banned the manufacture and/or importation of new magazines. Existing magazines were easy to find and buy.

Next we have Rep. Peter King (R-NY-3) whose district adjoins Mrs. McCarthy’s. He wants to create a gun-free zone of 1,000 feet around all high-ranking government officials. No word on how this could be done nor just who is considered a high-ranking government official. Speaker Boehner has indicated he would not support such a bill.

Finally, we have news today that Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY-5) has introduced a bill to close the “fire-sale loophole.” According to The Hill, the bill would require recently unlicensed gun dealers – that is those who have surrendered or lost their FFL – to still conduct background checks on all buyers as if they were still licensed. Ackerman, the story notes, has introduced this bill every session for a number of years. He says:

“After this weekend’s tragedy, it’s clear that Congress must close troubling loopholes in federal gun control laws that let firearms fall into the hands of convicted felons, fugitives, domestic violence perpetrators and severely emotionally disturbed individuals,” Ackerman said in a statement. “Every gun sold should require a background check, period.”

The story on this bill in The Hill does say that Jared Lee Loughner purchased his firearm through a licensed dealer and would not have been prevented from purchasing it with what this bill proposes. This does not prevent NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg from endorsing Ackerman’s bill.

“Pharmacists who lose their licenses can’t sell prescription drugs to people without prescriptions, yet gun dealers who lose their licenses can sell off their inventory — without even conducting background checks,” New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement endorsing Ackerman’s bill.

As I said earlier I don’t know what is in the water of Long Island that causes politicians to say and do stupid things when it comes to firearms. One thing I do know is that all three are engaging in shameless pandering to the press and to the gun control lobby. None of these bills would have stopped the tragedy in Tucson and none will keep either criminals or lunatics from obtaining a means to injure innocent people.

TV Appearances Are Very Time Consuming

It must take a lot of a Congressman’s time to appear on TV talk shows and news shows. We have been hearing of new bills promised since the Tucson shootings that would alternatively ban standard capacity magazines, ban free speech, and ban anyone from being within 1,000 feet of a “high-ranking” government official with a firearm.

Checking the Library of Congress’s Thomas database which contains information on all bills introduced in either the House or Senate, I find nothing on the above.

From Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) who has promised a new ban on standard capacity magazines, nothing.

From Robert Brady (D-PA) who has said he’ll introduce legislation that would make it a crime to use symbols or language that could be construed as threatening to a Federal official, nothing.

From Peter King (R-NY) who has said he’ll introduce legislation that would ban anyone from possessing a firearm within 1,000 feet of a high-ranking government official, there is only a private bill “For the relief of Alemseghed Mussie Tesfamical.”

From Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) who has said he’ll join with Carolyn McCarthy to ban standard capacity magazines, there is only a resolution “to permit the Senate to avoid unnecessary delay and vote on matters for which floor debate has ceased.”

Like I said, it takes time to appear on CNN, MSNBC, etc. Let’s hope that they continue to be consumed with hearing their voice and seeing their face on TV and leave legislation alone. I doubt it but one can hope.

First McCarthy, Now Lautenberg

The following was released by the office of Senator Frank Lautenberg today. Nothing like like piling on after a tragedy to score political points.

Press Release of Senator Lautenberg

Lautenberg Statement on Legislation to Ban High-Capacity Gun Clips

Contact: Lautenberg Press Office, 202-224-3224
Monday, January 10, 2011

NEWARK, N.J. – Today, U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) released the following statement on his plans to introduce legislation that would prohibit the manufacture and sale of high-capacity ammunition feeding devices, such as the high-capacity magazine used by Arizona shooting suspect Jared Loughner. Lautenberg is working with Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) on the legislation.

“The only reason to have 33 bullets loaded in a handgun is to kill a lot of people very quickly. These high-capacity clips simply should not be on the market,” Lautenberg said. “Before 2004, these ammunition clips were banned, and they must be banned again. When the Senate returns to Washington, I will introduce legislation to prohibit this type of high-capacity clip.”

From 1994 – 2004, high-capacity ammunition magazines (“clips”) were illegal as part of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban. When the ban expired in 2004, Republican leaders in Congress pledged to not resurrect it. Since that time, high-capacity clips (more than 10 rounds at a time) have been legal to manufacture and sell.
Senator Lautenberg’s bill, which will be introduced when the Senate returns to session in two weeks, would ban ammunition clips that have a capacity of, or that could be readily converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition. That standard was the law before 2004.

According to reports, in the Tuscon shooting, Jared Loughner used a high-capacity 33-round magazine clip in his Glock 19 pistol. The high-capacity magazine allowed Loughner to fire off 33 bullets without having to manually reload. Given that bystanders apprehended him as he attempted to change clips, if Loughner did not have access to the high-capacity magazine that he used, it may have prevented some of the other deaths and injuries that occurred.