Tragedy, Made Easy

It’s hard to think about what Jovan Belcher may have been thinking early Saturday morning when he shot his girlfriend at his home (in front of his mother, no less). In the past two days he’s been described as laid-back, jovial, hard-working and dedicated. It has even been reported that while he played for the University of Maine he joined the Male Athletes Against Violence Initiative. After shooting Kasandra Perkins, though, he drove to Arrowhead Stadium for Chiefs practice – only to thank his coach and general manager for what they’d done for him and later turn the gun on himself.

As tragic as this is, people can’t simply take in the gravity and mourn what’s happened. It wasn’t even 48 hours before leftists in the media were calling for an end to the “gun culture” in America. Bob Costas spoke of the issue during halftime on the broadcast of the Cowboys/Eagles game, agreeing with a Kansas City writer that “If Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.” Mike Lupica of the NY Daily News declared that “Murdering this young woman, 22, and then killing himself in front of his coach and his general manager was made easy by a gun, because a gun always makes it easier.” It hasn’t even been two days and too many people have pinned this on guns.

Costas quoted KC writer Jason Whitlock, who also wrote, “Our current gun culture simply ensures that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy, and that more convenience-store confrontations over loud music coming from a car will leave more teenage boys bloodied and dead.” While I agree with his remarks that Roger Goodell should have cancelled Sunday’s game in KC, I could not disagree more with one of his final statements: “Handguns do not enhance our safety. They exacerbate our flaws, tempt us to escalate arguments, and bait us into embracing confrontation rather than avoiding it.”

Here again, we see the phenomenon of those in a position of high visibility using a senseless tragedy to try to push an agenda. Rather than take a deeper look at society’s problems, they are quick to blame the gun. It’s easier that way because we don’t have to look at ourselves or ask what really does need to be changed – and how we got here in the first place. Blaming the gun absolves us of having to do or say anything that really might make a few heavy-hitters remarkably uncomfortable.

Sorry, Mr. Whitlock. It’s not the “gun culture” that drives young men to pull out the gats and start spraying rival gang members with bullets. “That gun was just irresistable, it made me feel like a man!” said no murderer, ever. I’ve been a corrections officer, and I know exactly what the problem with our culture is – but you don’t want to hear it. That’s why you’re so quick to blame a culture that really doesn’t exist in your quest for an answer.

When I was a kid, rap was just coming into the mainstream. Back in the 80′s, rap wasn’t nearly as violent as it is now. It wasn’t exactly peacenik music, but rap took an extremely dark turn in the 90′s when Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls (among others) came onto the scene. Suddenly, we had a new brand of “music” (if you could call it that) that glorified gang membership, selling drugs to get rich, flaunting illegally-gotten gain and being extremely violent. It carried the objectification of women to an entirely new level, even glorifying rape. Shakur was killed in 1996, but as of last year has sold 75 million albums. The man had the words “thug life” tattooed across his abdomen. Snoop Doggy Dog has sold more than 30 million albums to date. He’s a declared member of the Crips, was in and out of prison before making it big. As a convicted felon, he’s barred by federal law from owning a handgun but has been very proud in flaunting the fact that he has guns and has been arrested on multiple weapons violations. Dr. Dre founded Death Row Records, has sold tens of millions of albums and has launched the careers of some of the biggest names in rap, including Snoop, 50 Cent, Eminem and The Game. I won’t even bother trying to quote rap lyrics because most of it would be blurred out and the editors would still need me to apologize.

Video games are also vastly different than when I was a kid. I had Pong and Frogger when I was little, followed by Super Mario Bros. and Kid Icarus as a teenager. Nowadays? We have the Grand Theft Auto series, a wildly popular game that has the player building a criminal empire from knee-breaker to high-roller – usually while getting revenge on another double-crossing bad guy. That series alone has sold 114 million copies across five versions.

Does anyone really still labor under the delusion that guns, and not pop culture itself, are to blame for the rise in violent tendencies? I started off in juvenile corrections. If they hadn’t taught us the statistics of youth involved in crime in the academy, we certainly would have learned the common denominators while walking the beat – the overwhelming majority of kids who have been adjudicated as delinquent and sentenced to real time come from single-parent homes, and those that knew both of their parents had one (usually their father) who was a convicted felon. Most of them were woefully undereducated; in fact, I lost track of how many were completely illiterate. They couldn’t have told you the difference between a noun and a verb, but they could have excused their glorification of the thug life so eloquently that they could almost make a believer out of you.

We were once a society that frowned upon having a child out of wedlock. Now we’re seeing astronomical rates of illegitimacy coupled with rapidly dwindling interest in education (and when someone tries to say, “hey, I made a mistake, don’t do what I did,” they’re derided by the press – Bristol Palin comes to mind). Whereas education was once important to America, we’re now at the bottom of the global pile and we’re trying to defend the educational system that has been an abysmal failure since my childhood. We have so-called experts telling teachers not to grade with red ink and teachers who don’t believe in homework or giving a student a failing grade because it’s too negative – then we expect these ill-prepared children who have no idea how to grow up to go out into the world and make something of themselves. All of this while they listen to violent music, play violent games, and glorify the lives of hardened criminals who get featured on VH1 for writing music while in prison. Discipline has all but gone the way of the dinosaur as liberals have managed to blur the lines between discipline and abuse. All of this in the name of self-expression – a purely emotional concept that teaches extremes that children should be learning to control, not vent.

I don’t believe for an instant that Jovan Belcher was violent. I think he may have had head injuries common to NFL players that contributed to his tragic end. Let’s not kid ourselves, though – all of these people now claiming that the ease with which he obtained his gun and the supposed gun-loving culture we live in made this happen are deluding themselves. Rather than look inward to see what we could change, they’d rather find another culprit so they don’t have to question all of their other beliefs about life and society. It’s unfair to the families of Belcher and Perkins to shift that blame. It’s tragic for future generations that we’re not willing to be honest.

The Courage of a Lone Wolf

I live in Phoenix. Texas is home for me, though; I grew up with guns. I grew up with gun safety lessons (don’t ever point a gun at anyone or anything you aren’t prepared to shoot, don’t ever put your finger inside the trigger guard until you are prepared to shoot, and don’t ever even look at dad’s guns cross-eyed lest you get the spanking of your life and find yourself grounded until you’re 50). I grew up with the understanding that guns are a tool, and like any tool, if misused they can do incredible damage.

I also grew up with the realization that it’s not guns that kill people. It’s people that kill each other, and they don’t always use guns to do it.

Mexican drug cartels have all but overrun the country. It’s gotten so bad that more have died in violence perpetrated by Mexican cartels than in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. The Mexican government is all but incompetent; they claim moral superiority because they don’t apply the death penalty, yet their crime rates are in the stratosphere, jails and prisons are outrageously overcrowded and corruption is the only way to survive. After years of listening to liberals in America scream and cry for harsher gun control measures and watching them stumble over themselves, I have finally seen and heard an argument that seems genuinely dangerous to our Second Amendment freedoms: the outright lie that 90% of all guns seized in Mexico (where guns are all but completely illegal for civilian ownership and usage) come from the United States.

Like any good lie, there is a grain of truth to it. What is it? Well, 90% of all traceable guns seized in Mexico can be traced back to the US. As of 2009, the truth of that number meant that only about 17% of the total number were actually coming from the US. The rest are coming from other foreign sources and can be easily spotted because of their markings (China, Russia and various Middle Eastern countries are the most popular, along with Belgian-made rifles that are often stolen from the Mexican army and some police agencies).

If you read the numbers as reported by Fox News in April of 2009, you’ll see a name that has come up since then. Two years ago, ATF agent Bill Newell gave the correct numbers to Fox, putting the lies perpetrated by liberals and the MSM to rest. You’d think it was once and for all, but it wasn’t.

Enter “Project Fast and Furious”, also known as “Project Gunwalker”.

According to whistleblowers Larry Alt, Darrin Gil and John Dodson, all ATF agents, Fast and Furious was intended to catch straw buyers in the act. The idea was to enlist the aid of a handful of gun stores, allow straw buyers to “pass” background checks in order to buy guns (AR-15’s and AK-47’s were popular) by means of the ATF and colluding organizations giving the green light for the sales, then stopping the buyers before they made it across the border and the weapons ended up in the wrong hands.

Unfortunately, we found out all too late what really happened. It was the murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry on December 14, 2010 that shone a spotlight on Fast and Furious. Two of the guns recovered at the scene of his killing were traced back to a single US gun store, right here in Phoenix. How did they get into the hands of drug runners and human smugglers? The ATF let it happen. Fast and Furious was an abysmal failure. The news has gotten worse since the news broke, too. At least three murders in the US and more than 200 in Mexico have been linked to F&F guns, and the prediction is that hundreds – possibly thousands – could be linked by the time the dust settles.

The name of the Phoenix gun store that has gotten caught up in the ATF’s massive mishandling is very well known to me. I am a customer of Lone Wolf Trading Co., and have been since moving to Arizona. It is the only gun store I have ever shopped at, whether for guns, ammunition, grips, slings, skins, cleaning kits, you name it – I am not personal friends with Andre Howard or his staff, but when I walk in you’d think I was. They all recognize me. Even when I haven’t been in a full year they still recognize me. When I heard the store’s name come up in the reports about F&F, I was floored. I couldn’t believe they’d engage in that sort of business – I have been there when they have turned people away for background check failures.

As it turns out, they weren’t willing participants in the government cluster. ATF supervisors swore to Howard that none of the guns he sold to known straw buyers would ever reach Mexico. When the feces hit the oscillating rotator, however, Howard started searching for answers. In March of this year he retained a lawyer and called a meeting with the ATF heads who had enlisted his help for F&F. He taped the meeting (along with others), during which ATF agent Hope MacAllister and US Attorney Emory Hurley promised him that the guns sold from his store were stopped before they crossed the border. But in at least one Spanish-language publication, those same ATF and US Attorney spokesmen blamed Lone Wolf for selling guns directly to the cartels. Interestingly, the Washington Post pretty much let the ATF off the hook with essentially the same argument, just dressed up differently. Remember our buddy, Bill Newell, who gave corrected numbers on what was being found in Mexico? Suddenly he was being named as complicit in the coverup.

F&F originally began with a paltry $2M budget in 2005 and it worked relatively well. In 2009, however, the program was drastically expanded. Obama administration officials expanded the scope, personnel and budget by more than ten times what Bush had given the green light for and on top of all of that requested an additional $12M in funding. Under Obama and Holder’s DOJ, it became a vehicle for something else entirely. Over the past nine months, bloggers David Codrea and Mike Vanderboegh – along with a group of anonymous current and former ATF agents known as CleanUpATF – have hounded the story and dug up facts and articles that the MSM and gun-ban proponents have deliberately ignored at the behest of the Big O. Michelle Malkin has also followed the story, along with Laura Ingram.

Remember how, in early 2009, Fox News presented correct numbers on the guns that were really being recovered in Mexico? Democrats and their anti-gun rights shills couldn’t have been more upset about having their lies exposed. They needed something to make the numbers work. Here’s where F&F becomes useful to Obama and the Holder DOJ: they expanded the scope, gave it an enormous budget, and instructed the head of the ATF to make sure that the guns sold actually did make it across the border. The hope would be then that crimes would be committed and the guns would be recovered – but that the Mexican government, who was not informed about the expanded program, would be none the wiser about how the guns had made it there in the first place.

The MSM, which has largely ignored F&F, had very quietly backed away from claims that 90% of guns seized in Mexico came from the US. Well, in June of this year, MSNBC finally had the numbers that Obama wanted in the first place. They had a reason to report that a large majority of the guns retrieved from a major cartel bust had come from the US. Without a single word about F&F or the ensuing melee, MSNBC parroted fudged numbers provided directly to them by ATF heads in emergency CYA mode. And it shouldn’t surprise any of us that the report that came from the ATF was ordered by Democrat nitwit Dianne Feinstein and two unnamed fellow senators – you’ll recall Feinstein being behind the original calls in 2009 to take further steps to ban guns. She has said multiple times in the past that she would love to see all Americans have their guns confiscated.

If the story hadn’t leaked and a few good agents hadn’t done the right thing, we would never have known the truth. Those classifying themselves as moderates and progressives would have easily gotten behind new laws that would have put us on the short path to decimating the Second Amendment. Even with the truth coming out, however, a willingly complicit liberal media has aided and abetted the Obama administration in taking a scandal far more egregious than Watergate ever was and turning it into nothing. It isn’t even being discussed in debates. Press heads aren’t even bringing it up with Obama, and the few times he has been questioned he has flatly denied knowing anything about it.

It wasn’t just the courage of those agents that helped. Andre Howard should be commended for doing what needed to be done not only to protect himself, but to try his damndest to expose an operation that he knew was wrong. No matter how much cheaper I can get it elsewhere, I will never go anywhere but Lone Wolf. It is appalling to me that the media is so willing to indict Mr. Howard and let the government off with a free pass.

NYC Mayor Harasses AZ Over Gun Laws Despite Layoffs

On January 23, the Crossroads of the West gun show in Phoenix, Arizona became the target of an investigation. Neither Arizona authorities nor federal authorities carried it out. It wasn’t a journalist, either. Private investigators, hired by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg at a price tag just over six figures, entered the popular gun show with the intent of trying to buy guns and making it appear illegal. Hidden cameras caught the PI’s telling gun sellers point-blank that they couldn’t pass a background check. We don’t know if any sellers told the hired hands to take a hike, but we do know that at least two guns were sold to them.

All of this is going down in the face of the biggest layoffs in the city’s history.

600 NYC firefighters are about to get their walking papers and 21,000 teachers are slated for the same fate thanks to the city’s budget shortfalls, yet Bloomberg is paying top dollar for what amounts to little more than political posturing. Bloomberg already runs a city that bans handgun ownership, but he’s been pushing for more stringent gun laws in the state for some time. The Tucson shooting provided the backdrop he had hoped for and, like any good liberal refusing to let a good crisis go to waste, Bloomberg joined the rest of the harpies in doing the gun control rain dance. The stunt he pulled right here in my city was his swan song.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ORGlpb_HfE&feature=player_embedded]

Here’s the kicker: in Arizona, private sellers can be prosecuted for knowingly selling guns to those who cannot pass background checks. In this case, however, they can NEVER be prosecuted. Bloomberg didn’t notify Arizona officials that the investigation would be going down. So, because he has no jurisdiction, none of the illegal sellers will be held accountable. They can keep selling just as they did on January 23. The law is in place for a reason – breaking the law is supposed to result in penalties designed to deter people from selling guns illegally. Bloomberg wasn’t interested in bringing those sellers to justice. He wanted to accent his point, and in political terms, it is perfectly acceptable to ignore the law if it helps you win an argument.

I’m curious…how many teacher or firefighter jobs could have been spared by the money blown on this peacockery? Since we know that more layoffs will come because of governor Andrew Cuomo’s budget cuts, how many police jobs could have been spared the chopping block before those layoffs were even considered? How many officers need equipment that money could have purchased? How many bait cars could have been bought? How many investigations, rape kits, overtime hours could have been paid for with the money he flushed on this excursion?

What amazes me is that Bloomberg’s spokesman said, “The background check system failed in Arizona, it failed in Virginia and it fails in states around the country. If we don’t fix it now, the question is not whether another massacre will occur, but when.” In the video above, Bloomberg makes much of the fact that the gun purchased – a Glock 17 with two high-capacity clips – is the same weapon used in Tucson. The myth is busted, however. Most people have been led to believe by Bloomberg and most of the press that Jared Loughner, the Tucson shooter, was only stopped when he ran out of ammunition in one high-capacity clip. That is a patent lie. His weapon actually jammed precisely because of the clip he was using. All clips feed rounds into a gun chamber with a simple spring-loaded mechanism; the shorter the clip, the better the spring works. With a little practice and several smaller clips, Loughner could have held off every unarmed person for some time. The larger clip had a spring that was longer and had less loading power, resulting in a mis-chambered round and an opportunity for two unarmed people to wrestle him to the ground. The loading problem is an issue I have experienced when testing larger clips, so I have never bought one.

The background check system would not have stopped Loughner from getting a gun, even in New York. He had no criminal past and had not been determined legally mentally unfit. The only thing that would have stopped him before he killed five people would have been a law-abiding citizen carrying a gun and shooting him. In a day and age where people freak out at the sight of a person carrying a gun on their hip, though, why should anybody in a liberal bastion like Tucson actually have the balls to fight back and defend themselves?

God knows we don’t want to make anybody uncomfortable.

The Right to Self Defense

Self defense is a concept that shouldn’t be in question. Every creature on the planet understands the need to defend oneself. Animals will use all manner of defense mechanisms to protect themselves, their homes and their young from any threat, whether real or perceived. In this day and age, however, it seems that there are a growing number of people who react emotionally to the subject of self defense rather than thinking about it rationally. Of course, when the emotions are in, the logic is out.

Such emotional reactionism has resulted in strict bans on weapons in countries all over the world. Most stringent are laws in England, Japan and Australia. In Australia it’s gotten so bad that even knives are banned. Scottish sword dancers, popular with tourists in that country, are required to have permits for their blades and keep them locked in safes when not being used for a show. Why? Violent crime has skyrocketed in those countries, and criminals not using guns still use inferior weapons such as knives, bats, chains and other items to aid them in victimizing a now-disarmed populace. Here in the United States, several cities and a couple of states had done their level best to head in that direction with gun bans. In 2008 the ruling from the Supreme Court in DC v. Heller determined that the District of Columbia could not ban handguns. The ruling stated that the Second Amendment extends to DC and all people have the right to carry handguns in self defense.

Today, the Supreme Court has handed down its ruling in McDonald v. City of Chicago. The Second Amendment applies to every individual in America, and local and state authorities can no longer enact such bans in defiance of the Constitution.

James Feldman was the lawyer sent to represent Chicago before the Court. He argued – quite weakly, might I add – that, “The right it protects is not implicit in the concept of ordered liberty. States and local governments have been the primary locus of firearms regulation in this country for the last 220 years. Firearms unlike anything else that is the subject of a provision of the Bill of Rights are designed to injure and kill.”

Well, DUH!

Yes, Mr. Feldman, guns are designed to injure and kill. They have been used by hunters and soldiers for that very purpose since their inception. The problem with such technology is that once it’s created, it can’t be undone. The genie can’t be put back in the bottle. Guns are out there, and the bad guy will always do whatever they can to procure the tools they need to aid their quest to take whatever they can from whomever they find by whatever means necessary. That’s not paranoia, it’s mere reality. It happens every day. Far too many people in this world walk around believing that violent criminals can be reasoned with, much the same way they believe violent despots such as Saddam Hussein can be reasoned with. If we just give them a chance and sit down and talk they’ll see it our way, right? Well, I tell you what…you can try that all you want. I won’t have you forcing that to be MY only option.

What’s even more outrageous was what Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said. “If the notion is that these are principles that any free society would adopt, well, a lot of free societies have rejected the right to keep and bear arms,” came the dissenting opinion. That reeks more than John Kerry’s “global litmus test” remarks in 2004. I’m sorry, Justice Ginsburg, but you are NOT in the business of applying our laws as defined by other nations. You are not appointed to the bench to hold our laws up against those of other governments to determine whether they’ll be popular. Your job, as a justice of the Supreme Court of the United States of America, is to interpret OUR law. Period. There is no other method to hold them to but our own. I am tired of hearing from politicians and judges in this country who think that we need to measure ourselves against everyone else. How can you expect us to care what every other “free” society rejects when their archaic laws have resulted in extremely high crime rates?

Sorry, hon. My give-a-damn’s busted.

More than being expected to agree with soft sentences for hardened criminals, I am infuriated that the liberal element in this country would dare to reduce me to a whimpering, whining dolt, forced to beg for my life from some uneducated thug whose sole purpose is to provide for his own pleasure. I beg for nothing. I sure as hell won’t beg for my life. As long as I am alive, I will use any means within my rights to defend myself, my home, and those I love in this world. If that means at some point I may have to actually unholster my sidearm, take aim, squeeze that trigger and put a bullet between the eyes of my attacker…well, I have two words for you:

TAX BREAK.

The Brady Center’s Lies

It is astonishing just how liberals will twist just about anything to try to make a point that is completely wrong. The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence is no exception to that rule; during the most recent round of Second Amendment arguments before the Supreme Court, Brady Center has come out swinging. The slightest knowledge of the facts of some of the events that Brady Center has held up as reasons for stringent gun control – even outright bans – can give one astounding insight to the reality of these claims. Click here and you’ll see a document chronicling a list of “mass shootings” that Brady believes to be reasons to severely restrict Second Amendment rights.

One of the oldest mass shooting incidents on the list is the Pearl High School shooting in 1997. Luke Woodham stabbed his mother and went to school prominently displaying his rifle. He walked in and immediately killed his ex-girlfriend and her friend and wounded seven others before running out of ammunition. What Brady doesn’t tell you is how the incident ended: the principal chased Woodham out to the parking lot and retrieved his own .45 pistol and disarmed Woodham. Had that principal done that today, he’d have gone to jail for having a gun on a school campus. He was a hero, and if he’d had that weapon in the building the incident likely would have ended much more quickly.

Later that year, Michael Carneal walked into Heath High School in Paducah, Kentucky and opened fire on a group of classmates in a prayer circle, killing three and wounding one before being tackled by another student. What Brady doesn’t tell you is that the pistol, two rifles and two shotguns – and over 700 rounds of ammunition – were all stolen. Like Woodham, he was a minor and not allowed to buy or carry a gun.

In 1998, Mitchell Johnson and Andrew Golden stole seven guns from Golden’s grandfather and packed the guns along with camping gear in Johnson’s mother’s minivan. The next morning they drove the van to Westside Middle School and pulled a fire alarm before running to a spot nearby where they had set up in camouflage. They killed five and wounded ten. They were minors and not allowed to have guns – they STOLE the weapons. In an added twist of cruelty Arkansas law didn’t provide for prosecuting children as adults in the case of murder. Consequently, Johnson was released from confinement in 2005, Golden in 2007. Since, Johnson has been re-arrested for associating with another felon and possession of a firearm (a 9mm pistol) by a prohibited person. The bad guys get guns no matter what the law says.

A few months later, Kip Kinkel was expelled for bringing a gun to Thurston High School at age 16. His father, despite Kip’s numerous legal problems, had decided that buying him a .22 Ruger rifle and a 9mm Glock would be a great idea. It wasn’t one of these weapons he was expelled for – a classmate stole a .32 Beretta pistol from the father of another classmate and offered to sell it to Kip, who paid $110 for it. His father had locked up his guns in a back bedroom. The next morning Kip broke into the gun locker and murdered his parents before going back to school and killing two and wounding 24. He was tackled by wounded classmate Jacob Ryker. Here’s what Brady doesn’t tell you about this one: Ryker had grown up with guns and knew from experience that Kip needed to reload.

Then, in 1999, came the most violent school shooting in American history, the one whose name would become a synonym for school shootings and revenge: Columbine. It was significant to me because I had friends in Littleton. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold walked into their school, calmly placed a homemade bomb attached to a propane tank in the middle of the busy cafeteria, and waited. When the bomb didn’t go off their plans changed. They walked into the cafeteria again, shooting everyone they came across. In the end, 12 students and a teacher were dead and the shooters had committed suicide with another 23 seriously wounded. Here’s what Brady doesn’t tell you: the guns they used were all illegally obtained. Three of the guns were bought by Klebold’s legal-adult girlfriend, the fourth was bought from a third party who went to prison for some time for selling firearms to a minor.

The most egregious entry in Brady’s shooting list is the shooting of 6-year-old Kayla Rowland by a classmate in Michigan. Here’s why: the classmate, 7 years old, had a single mother, a father in prison and was living in his uncle’s crackhouse when he found a .38 caliber revolver – a stolen gun – hidden under a pile of blankets. He took it to school and shot Kayla after she got him in trouble. How, exactly, does THAT stand out as a shining example of the need for gun control? The uncle who had it stole it, and was a prohibited person to boot (hence the fact that he STOLE it). How does the Brady Center intend to coax drug-dealing criminals to stop stealing guns? Oh, I have the answer…a few more laws. That’ll do it. If we just had a few more laws, they wouldn’t be able to get their hands on all of those drugs, either.

Here’s another little factoid that Brady and other gun control advocates leave out: nearly all of the shootings on their list, from beginning to end, were perpetrated in so-called “gun free zones.”

Even in Germany, Switzerland, Finland and Sweden, where guns are almost entirely outlawed, mass shootings have still occurred in recent years. Great Britain, which has banned all civilian ownership of guns (to include hunting, a national pastime), has seen an exponential rise in gun violence. Why? Because the criminals don’t care about what the law says. If they cared, they wouldn’t be criminals! So, since the thugs didn’t care before the gun ban that violent assault and robbery were wrong, it stands to reason that now they see an even bigger opportunity: an entire nation of disarmed victims ripe for the picking. The numbers have proven this.

On the other hand, the Supreme Court overturned the Washington, DC handgun ban in 2008. While the politicians and gun control lobby wailed that the streets would become killing fields the exact opposite happened. The murder rate, in the six months in 2008 – 2009 after the decision, dropped an amazing 25%. I’ll be interested to see how much further it drops with a full year of armed, capable citizens being allowed to defend themselves.

Here’s a thought: if civilians were incapable of being responsible gun owners, reason says they should not be allowed to become police officers, either. Yet the police often cannot act until a crime has been committed. They try to do all they can to catch the bad guys before something serious happens, but until a man actually snaps and starts trying to harm and/or kill someone, he can’t simply be thrown in jail. There has to be a reason to put him there. I don’t care to be that reason.

What kind of a world do we live in when we can say, “oh, he was shot by an everyday mugger,” and move on as if it’s nothing?

Illinois and Guns: An Issue To Consider For 2010 Governor Races

As 2010 approaches, I run the risk of sounding reminiscent of the 1994 mid-term elections.

I was still a youngster during those days but remember the 2nd Amendment was a big deal. Also; of course, we are also in the midst of one of the worst economic periods in history where far too many state and local governments are tainted with wasteful spending policies.

There are three candidates that have gotten my attention. The first (probably like many of you) one I have been noticing has been Andy McKenna. He galloped in by referring to himself as an “outsider.” Then, along came Adam Andrzejewski claiming that McKenna headed the Republican party within our state (to which I still must back this up with sources), he’s calling himself the true “outsider.” Then comes Bill Brady — another conservative.

While all three promise major ethics reform within our state — which is a heartbeat away from California #2 on the economic no-no list, it seems that Adam Andrzejewski wants to cut the most from state spending sprees.

The three candidates on the issue of guns — according to an article from the Associated Press:

On the question: “Would you sign or veto legislation banning the sale and possession of semiautomatic assault-style weapons in Illinois?”

McKenna: “I believe in the Second Amendment and law abiding citizen’s right to own firearms to protect their families and for sporting purposes.”

Andrzejewski: “Would veto a ban on semiautomatic ‘assault weapons’ in most circumstances. It comes down (to) law abiding citizens having the right to defend their life, liberty and property.”

Brady: “I am opposed to any further restrictions to the ownership of firearms as guaranteed in the Bill of Rights and would veto legislation banning the sale and possession of semiautomatic weapons.”

Here is where it changes:

On the question: “Would you sign or veto legislation allowing concealed-carry for handguns?”

McKenna: “I am opposed to concealed-carry legislation.”

Andrzejewski: “I would sign it. … Law abiding citizens have this right.”

Brady: “Constitutional rights should be afforded to eligible, law-abiding Illinois citizens, and therefore concealed carry should be legalized.”

MCKENNA IS OUT!!

For me, anyway. Sadly, he apparently has more money to run more commercials. Brady and Andrzejewski both gave the same answers, yet, to me Andrzejewski’s was more direct and obvious to him.

Just weeks ago in my neighboring small town — a lovely Hispanic business owner who owns a small-town hair salon had her business invaded. In the small shop, her three children were there who all worked small jobs for their mother. Her oldest was 23. The illegal gunmen entered the shop and demanded the money from the register. The 23-year old opened the drawer and gave them every cent they had — which came to about $100.00. They then demanded his cell phone and once he handed it to them, they shot him in the head tragically killing him almost instantly in front of his younger siblings before fleeing.

Just three nights ago, my brother’s car, in our very small rural town, was broken into. His glove box and armrest was ransacked for a few dollars in change….we immediately contacted a security company for an alarm system.

The point is, we should have the right to carry guns to protect ourselves. What if I had decided to get my haircut that night? I have been to this small town salon many times as my family runs a small accounting firm as well.

I want the right to protect myself and my home! If guns are only in the hands of the illegal folks, we may as well kiss our futures goodbye.

Take a look at Chicago’s murder rate. Mayor Daley for years has advocated strict gun control and he got it.

Every year though, gun violence and murders continue to rise.

The only way they will go down is when law-abiding citizens have the power to protect themselves.

We must push this issue hard for 2010. Talk to your neighbors and please, share your thoughts with me on this issue as well.

“Going Rogue” Book Reviews – Predictable, So Far

If I wind up finding one positive review of Sarah Palin’s massive-selling book, Going Rogue: An American Life, I might pass out.  The liberal reviews are great, nonetheless.

The first one worth mentioning is a review written by Patricia Williams of The Observer.  Past article-titles of such stellar unbiased reviewing include:

1.) My Family’s Debt to the Kennedys’ America

2.) Having Barack Obama as president doesn’t make America colour – blind

Ms. Williams is a professor at Columbia, so it’s not a surprise that she would attempt to give small-town folks the benefit of the doubt by stating: “America’s small towns are filled with vibrant, curious, diverse personalities” right before saying:

But Palin is committed to a romantic Disneyesque trope of “small town values,” a uniform, folksy fairyland where no one ever has to lock their doors or even disagrees.

That’s because; Ms. Williams, all of those small-town folks, including Ms. Palin believe in the second Amendment.  Therefore; leaving our doors unlocked is no trouble.

Just A Few More Laws…

The complete ignorance of many people–particularly liberals–when it comes to the subject of guns in the hands of civilians never ceases to amaze me. Tomorrow, a law recently passed here in Arizona allowing CCW holders (concealed carry weapons permit) to carry their concealed firearms into restaurants and bars will go into effect. But as I watched the news last night, I saw a not-so-shocking trend: reporters talking to a small but very vocal group of restauranteurs who are angry with the new law. Out of five local channels I watched, only ONE talked to a manager who didn’t have a problem with the law–ONLY ONE–and each and every one of those channels downplayed an important part of the law.

The law previously banned any and all firearms inside any establishment that served alcohol for on-premesis consumption (meaning all restaurants with liquor licenses and all bars). That part of Arizona gun law was changed, however, earlier this year. Ken Cheauvront, a Democrat lawmaker and restaurant owner, ardently opposed the bill to no avail. The argument is that alcohol and guns don’t mix. “People who are drinking shouldn’t be carrying guns,” they said. “We’re gonna see a huge spike in gun violence and deaths because of this!”

Here’s the kicker: the owners can put up signs that require guns be left in the car. AND, if you’re carrying into a bar, you can’t drink. That nullifies the alcohol-and-guns argument, doesn’t it?

Well, the opponents come back with, “even if I put up this sign, how do I know those CCW holders are going to leave their guns in their cars when they come in here?”

Oh, my. Tell me this, folks–how were you able to tell if someone was carrying a gun to begin with? The bad guys never obeyed the laws in the first place, and they’ll carry their gun anywhere they want. There’s a law banning handguns in New York City, yet I seem to remember a well-recognized NFL player recently getting some serious jail time not just for having one, but carrying it stuffed in his pants into a club, where he shot himself with it.

The CCW holders aren’t the ones to worry about. They’re the ones who will obey the law. They’ll leave their guns in the car if they see the sign, and if they’re carrying they won’t drink. What the hell are you whining about?

I also have to bring up this interesting little factoid. Chicago also has a law banning all handguns within the city’s limits. But did you know that school violence involving gangs and handguns killed 18 students in schools all over Chicago during the 2007-2008 school year? 27 total died in acts of violence carried out with various weapons. And last school year–the one that ended this past May–a whopping 37 were killed, including one who was carrying a gun that was illegal by two rival gang members who were adults.

They’re not supposed to have them, but they get them anyway. And it’s the law-abiding citizens who suffer.

I suppose if we just had a few more laws, though, the thugs wouldn’t be able to get their hands on all those drugs, either.

Leave Your Guns At Home!

I bet you can’t guess which one of the two main subjects in this photo is carrying two guns:

whos.got.the.gun

If you guessed the older, quirky-looking guy in the red hat, you’d be dead wrong. It’s the guy he’s speaking to–identified only as “Chris”–who raised eyebrows when he showed up, well-dressed, with an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle slung over his right shoulder and a 9mm handgun strapped to his hip at President Obama’s visit to Phoenix yesterday.

Personally, I have no opinion on Obama coming to my city (at least not one that I’m willing to express). He’s going to come here. He’s the President. But when a few Second Amendment supporters showed up at the rally, the 300 or so pro-Obama supporters standing in their designated protest area just about went into conniptions.

This is a Presidential event! What if someone grabs that gun and mishandles it? It can go off and hurt the President! How can you be allowed to carry your guns in plain view when you’re outside a heavily-armed convention center while the President is speaking? CAN’T YOU LEAVE YOUR GUNS AT HOME?!?

Oh. My. God.

Aside from the fact that this group talked to Phoenix Police officers and told them several days prior to the event that they would be there with their weapons in accordance with Arizona law, they were in a designated public demonstration area. If you read the reports from the AP about these guys, there’s a single blurb about one Secret Service agent who was quoted as saying they weren’t worried about these guys. What you’ll see far more of are hysterical quotes from pro-Obama protesters, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and media shills who have never been fans of us conservatives exercising our Second Amendment rights. Now they have a new gripe: you can’t carry anywhere near a Presidential event!

I’m not afraid of those guys. How likely is it, do you think, that they’ll stroll into a public place, where the Secret Service isn’t going to let the President anywhere near, with guns in full view so they can kill someone? How likely is it that someone else is going to grab their guns and try to shoot someone else? How often have you heard of that sort of thing happening? The reality is that the vast majority of all gun deaths occur during the commission of a crime. The rest happen while someone handling the weapon stray from the most basic gun safety rules. The exact same facts can be applied to vehicular deaths, but nobody’s out trying to ban people from buying or driving cars.

And the Presidential thing? Really? If you’re gonna go there, I wanna see your outrage over THIS crap:

bushgun

killbush

killbush003

Thaaaaat’s right. Shut up.

The First Step

I got an email today from Longviewcyclist about something that I thought for sure was a fluke. The Blair Holt Firearms Act of 2009, also known as HR 45, is actually quite real despite my hope that it was just a bad joke. The Pennsylvania lawyer currently suing Presdient Obama for access to his birth certificate and name change records is currently touting the bill as Obama’s first effort to bring down the Second Amendment.

There’s just one problem with that statement: the bill was introduced to the House on January 6 of this year – BEFORE Obama took office.

Now, it was sponsored by Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL), but it was introduced during the Bush Administration. I have to wonder if House Republicans have any interest in stopping this bill; the NRA has yet to blow the whistle on this outrageous piece of legislation. I was able to find the exact information in the online Library of Congress, which includes the text of the bill.

Essentially, Blair Holt would require the licensing of any firearm that uses a clip and any concealable handgun. It doesn’t just stop there. The bill would require that you may only “transfer the ownership” (sell the gun) to another licensee (which would cost a fee to do – everything in this bill comes with a fee attached), and you’d have to get a “dealer tracking number” for the sale. It would also require that you report any change of address to the Attorney General. The bill also provides for tracking the production and sales for each licensed gun manufacturer. The fact that I am 100% against this bill is going to drive my liberal readers absolutely insane, and even some of those who agree will scratch their heads and go, “so what’s bad about this?”

I’m about to tell you.

In every country where guns are illegal for civilian ownership and use–Australia, Canada, and Great Britain among them–the bans now in place were preceded by this exact type of legislation. Ordinary citizens wishing to own firearms were required to obtain licenses and declare to their governments who they were, where they lived and what kind of guns they had. Then, when the government took the next step, which was confiscation, they knew where to go to get the guns from the law-abiding citizens. None of this answered the problem of criminals having guns, because the criminals didn’t obey the law in the first place (and they weren’t exactly lining up to turn in the guns they were never allowed to have). It STILL hasn’t answered the problem of thugs using all manner of other weapons to terrorize their now-defenseless victims. All any of this has done is give the bad guys a leg up in committing crime. Gun crimes may have decreased, but all other violent crime has gone sky-high. As I’ve said, criminals won’t try to victimize you if they see that you’re capable of putting up a hell of a fight. If they know you won’t have a gun it’ll only make it easier for them.

It scares me to realize that Blair Holt is not a bad joke, but a reality that the Democrats are trying to keep on the D.L. What scares me more is that more people aren’t speaking up about it despite there being evidence available to prove that it is, in fact, being discussed by our elected officials. I fear that it will take far less than four years for this legislation to be passed and signed by President Obama. Indeed, I think it will take fewer than two. With a Democrat majority in both the House and Senate, Blair Holt could pass in the quiet of the night before any of us realizes it’s been done.

Unbeknownst to us, the first step in dismantling our Second Amendment rights has already been taken.