Guns Politics

It Isn’t What You may think.

To many voters a candidates stance on the second ammendment say it all. The candidates support says a lot about what a candidate really believes about rights and the constitution, and maybe even more about how he feels about his constitutes.  A candidate that doesn’t trust the citizens probably doesn’t deserve our vote. Now Mitt Romney isn’t the most conservative of the candidates,  but where does he stand on the the RKBA issues? Surprisingly, he fares pretty well. A posting for GOAL ( Gun Owners Action League) iterates some highlights:

Legislation: During the Romney Administration, no anti-Second Amendment or anti-sportsmen legislation made its way to the Governor’s desk.

Governor Romney did sign five pro-Second Amendment/pro-sportsmen bills into law. His administration also worked with Gun Owners’ Action League and the Democratic leadership of the Massachusetts House and Senate to remove any anti-Second Amendment language from the Gang Violence bill passed in 2006. A summary of this legislation follows.

Budgetary: In the Governor’s first year, he made a political error when he submitted a budget that did away with the Inland Fisheries & Game Fund. (More of this is explained below.) Fortunately, after this matter was resolved, GOAL was able to establish better communications with the Governor’s office. In working with the legislature and the Governor we were able to restore the Fund and increase the money released from it to better manage the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. Over the next three years, GOAL was also successful in getting some “capital revenue” released to acquire land for the Division.

Regulations: During his administration, the Executive Office of Public Safety passed a new regulation providing free replacement of firearm licenses to those who had them stolen or lost. (A resident license fee in Massachusetts at that time was $100 every 6 years.) Prior to this new regulation a citizen would have to repeat the entire application process and pay the whole fee to acquire a replacement license.

Policy: His administration conducted a review of the state’s Environmental Police agency (Game Wardens). One major concern was to keep in place the hiring requirement that officers needed to have some environmental education background not strictly law enforcement. This was a policy that GOAL worked to support.

Fees: In 2003 Governor Romney filed budgetary language to raise firearm license fees from $25 to $75. That year the legislature actually raised them to $100 in the General Appropriations bill (Section 34 of Chapter 140 of the Acts of 2003). At that time a resident license was good for 4 years. In 2004 a law was passed increasing the license term to 6 years.

In 2005, Governor Romney waived the administrative fees for the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Fund. The state currently charges these fees that were as much as 36% a year. Gun Owners’ Action League worked with environmental organizations to urge the Governor to temporarily waive the fees until permanent legislation could be passed to do away with the fees all together.

Appointments: One of the agencies that GOAL watches very closely is the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. This agency is run by a strong seven-person board. The appointments to this board are spread out over several years so that drastic changes cannot be made to it in any given year. During his administration, Governor Romney made five appointments to this board. All of the individuals appointed to the board were supported by GOAL.

Proclamations: During his administration, Governor Romney issued a proclamation declaring May 7, 2005 as “The Right to Bear Arms Day”. The proclamation was issued on this date to coincide with GOAL’s Annual Banquet.

Newt Gingrich is some conservative’s favorite. His support for 2nd amendment issues has been a bit on week side. He supported both Lautenburg and the Safezones Gun Bans.

While Newt used the institutional gun lobby as a mouthpiece to convince millions of gun owners nationwide that “as long as he is Speaker, no gun-control legislation is going to move in committee or on the House floor,” he was working behind the scenes to pass gun control. In 1996, Newt Gingrich turned his back on guns and voted for the anti-gun Brady Campaign’s Lautenberg Gun Ban, which strips the Second Amendment rights of citizens involved in misdemeanor domestic violence charges or temporary protection orders –- in some cases for actions as minor as spanking a child or grabbing a spouse’s wrist.(1) Gingrich even called the anti-gun measure “reasonable,” and predicted that it would sail through his Republican-controlled House of Representatives with little trouble.(2) The Lautenberg Gun Ban is one of the Congressional Republicans’ worst betrayals of gun owners, and those complicit in its passage deserve nothing but contempt from gun owners. This gun control measure ranks right up there with the Brady Registration Act as the most aggressive gun control in America, denying hundreds of thousands of would-be gun owners the right to self defense. Gingrich also stood shoulder to shoulder with Nancy Pelosi to pass the “Criminal Safezones Act” which prevents armed citizens from defending themselves in certain arbitrary locations. You and I both know that Criminal Safezones don’t protect law-abiding citizens, but actually protect the criminals who ignore them.(3)

Then there is Ron Paul, the Constitutionalist Libertarian. He has been more than just a little bit hypocritical, While he claims to stand for less government, freedom, and the right to keep and bear arms. He voted against a cpommon sense bill that would have reduced paper work on gun manufacturers.  It was revenue neutral but greatly reduced reporting red tape. While Ron Paul claims and provides some support for support of the 2nd amendment.

Voted NO on prohibiting product misuse lawsuits on gun manufacturers.
A bill to prohibit civil liability actions from being brought or continued against manufacturers, distributors, dealers, or importers of firearms or ammunition for damages, injunctive or other relief resulting from the misuse of their products by others. A YES vote would:

  • Prohibit individuals from filing a qualified civil liability action
  • Exempt lawsuits brought against individuals who knowingly transfer a firearm that will be used to commit a violent or drug-trafficking crime
  • Exempt lawsuits against actions that result in death, physical injury or property damage due solely to a product defect
  • Dismiss of all civil liability actions pending on the date of enactment
  • Prohibit the manufacture, import, sale or delivery of armor piercing ammunition

Reference: Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act; Bill S 397 ; vote number 2005-534 on Oct 20, 2005

Voted NO on prohibiting suing gunmakers & sellers for gun misuse.
Vote to pass a bill that would prohibit liability lawsuits from being brought against gun manufacturers and dealers based on the criminal misuse of firearms. The bill would also block these actions from being brought up against gun trade organizations and against ammunition makers and sellers. The measure would apply immediately to any pending cases. Several specific exceptions to the ban exist. This includes civil suits would be allowed against a maker or dealer who “knowingly and willfully violated” state or federal laws in the selling or marketing of a weapon. Design and manufacturing defect lawsuits are also permitted when weapons are “used as intended.

Reference: Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act; Bill HR 1036 ; vote number 2003-124 on Apr 9, 2003
Voted NO on decreasing gun waiting period from 3 days to 1.
Vote to pass a bill requiring anyone who purchases a gun at a gun show to go through an instant background check which must be completed within 24 hours [instead of 72 hours].

Reference: Bill introduced by McCollum, R-FL; Bill HR 2122 ; vote number 1999-244 on Jun 18, 1999

He also voted against  the easing of  reporting requirements for gun manufactures.

Really strange that Ron Paul would vote against this. Rep. Paul is has claimed he is against oppressive taxes.  The fact that the excise taxes had to be reported and paid Bi weekly, made these particular taxes oppressive and punitive.  In fact reducing the reporting time to quarterly saves the government $4M over the bi weekly reporting.  What is with Ron Paul? Is he supporting punitive taxation policies or has he turned anti gun? Maybe he is just losing it and doesn’t really know what he is voting on.

Guns Politics

Free States and Illinois

Losing our rights on the road;

When we crossed the Ohio River from Paducah, KY to Metropolis, Illinois this afternoon, I had to unload my Ruger LCR and lock it away. Unlike in the antebellum days when crossing the Ohio River meant going from a slave state to a free state, it has now been metaphorically reversed. We went from a free state to one that views personal freedom as an anathema.

I must say I felt a little naked driving with no self-protection.

One of these days, the people of Illinois will have the same freedoms as the rest of the 49 states. Until then, I will need to increase my level of situational awareness.


Guns Humor News Politics

Thoughts on Requiring an ID

Eric Holder is blocking South Carolina’s new law which requires that voters provide ID to qualify their right to vote.  The Justice Department claims that requiring an ID is racist.  I’m not sure I understand why requiring folks to provide proper identification is racist. Is requiring travelers to provide an ID racist when at the airport? I wonder if the attorney general will demand that sellers quit insisting that gun purchasers provide an ID.

If someone can please explain to me why requiring an ID to vote is racist, than why shouldn’t the practice be outlawed on the more routine things. Voting is inherently more dangerous than buying a gun or flying    Perhaps it’s only considered racist when states require the ID, and alright when when it is a federal mandate.

A few weeks ago I was at the Toyota Center in Houston.  When I purchased a beer I was asked for an ID.  I’m a bald, greying 60 year old, I thought it was just silly. Now I understand it was racist.


Being Safe.

There are a lot of guns being sold these day.  According to the the numbers created by called in NICS checks for the last 18 months there are more guns sold than in the year before.  This past November was the second best month ever for gun sellers, and was only exceeded by the rush to buy created in 2008 by the election of President Obama (arguably the best gun salesmen ever) and Black Friday resulted in the most NICS checks ever.

Moreover, this November had the second highest number of NICS checks for the month of November in the last 10 years. Only November 2008 had more. I believe that we can reasonably say that November 2008’s sales can be explained by the election of Barack Obama and the feeling that he would seek to implement new gun control measures once in office. He did after all says that we gun owners were bitterly clinging to our guns and religion.

We don’t know who is buying all these guns: Is it people adding to already large collections or are lot of these folks new gun owners?   I suspect the increase is broad based, newer people are being introduced to guns and gun owners are stocking up. One thing that isn’t clear is how safely these new guns will handled.  I remember as teenager taking a Hunter Safety Class. Damn there were a lot of rules.  Rules that don’t get remembered will be broken.  There is a simpler set of 4 rules — These are rules that even I can remember.

Even if this is so second nature that you can recite it in your sleep, please read this, read it all the way to the bottom, read it again, then save it to read down the road. Read it back to me, to all your friends and to yourself, and especially to anyone you teach to shoot. Make them recite it till it’s burned into their memories and yours, then recite it again…and again, and again.

Never let us or yourself slip, no matter how long we’ve been shooting. Humans make mistakes, and if we keep an eye out for each other, we can learn from them and live to pass that knowledge on to others. Yes I’m going to YELL. If you see anyone being unsafe, YELL it back to them/me/us!

As a kid, I remember my dad teaching me gun safety. It seemed that there were 1000 rules. Asking “what’s rule 39, paragraph 2, subsection B?” was nothing but confusing. There’s no need for a zillion rules if 4 are ALWAYS followed. I repeat and stress ALWAYS.

1: Humans make mistakes.

All guns are ALWAYS LOADED! If someone unloads a gun and hands it to you, they have just handed you a LOADED GUN until you personally prove that it is empty by checking the chamber. If you are handling a gun that you know is “unloaded”, it is LOADED until you check it again. Each and every time, no exceptions, no excuses!

There are too many people shot every year with “unloaded” guns. It happens when cleaning an “unloaded gun” (I lost a cousin to that), it happens when someone points an UNLOADED GUN (yes I do mean to shout..please hear me out) at someone or themselves, it even happens at gun stores (more on that later).

2. Humans make mistakes.

Never point the muzzle at anything you do not intend to destroy! Guns are safe, and guns protect lives. They do that by DESTROYING what they are discharged at. They are also indescriminate and will destroy anything or anyone they are discharged at, even by accident. WE are their brains. Do not point a gun at anything you do NOT intend to DESTROY…DESTROY! There’s no such thing as a safe gun, only a safe shooter. Please be one.

3. Humans make mistakes.

NEVER put your finger on the trigger unless you are ready to shoot. If your sights are not on the target, there’s no reason for your finger on the trigger, right? So DO NOT PUT IT THERE!

Modern guns in good repair will not fire on their own. They don’t get in a bad mood and go off because they feel like it. They go off because someone pulled the trigger. If your finger isn’t on the trigger, the gun will not go off. Don’t put your finger there EVER unless you are ready to fire the shot at that moment. Otherwise, keep that sucker pointed out straight.

4. Humans make mistakes.

Always know where your bullet will go. You can shoot at a target, but the bullet can carry on and kill someone down range unless you know for a fact where that bullet will stop. DO NOT fire unless you know the bullet will stop harmlessly in a backstop and not carry on to injure someone down range.

If you don’t get that deer this year because of an unsafe shot that you didn’t take, well the hunter’s life you might have saved has a family who is grateful. If you’re target shooting, please make sure you have a safe backstop that you know will stop your bullets.

I’m fanatical about checking and double checking my guns before I bring them home, to make sure they are unloaded. I remember a trip to the range some years back, where I was having trouble with double action shots. When I got home I decided to do some double action dry firing, which is a great way to practice.

Knowing that I ALWAYS, I mean ALWAYS, check and double check my firearms to make sure they are unloaded before packing them up, I settled my sights on a spot on the wall with the fridge on the other side to satisfy rule #2. I was about to squeeze the trigger when I chastised myself for being so lazy and not checking the chamber, and racked the slide to satisfy rule #1. Out popped a round! A ROUND! Out of an “unloaded gun.” Somehow, that gun had gotten overlooked, and even though the magazine was empty, the chamber was not. A moments laziness… Don’t be lazy! Takes only a second to check, but a lifetime of regret if you don’t…’nuff said.

A few years back, one of the local gunshops had an unforgivable accident. This is a decades old shop, with people who probably deal with more guns in a week than I’ve ever handled in my lifetime. Apparently a cop brought in his duty weapon for some type of repair, and the employee, in violation of several of the rules above, SHOT THE COP WITH HIS OWN GUN!

Luckily, the man survived, but there’s just NO excuse for their unsafe gun handling, or mine for that matter. Now I’m a forgiving fellow, but I have not done business with them since. That’s unforgivable, period.

The fact is, we’re human. Humans make mistakes. Our mistake can cost someone else their life. That’s a lot of the reason we’re having to fight to keep our Second Amendment Rights. If we follow safe guidelines, the chances of our mistakes hurting someone is greatly reduced. See above; humans make mistakes! Please teach this to anyone who wants to enter the sport, and please keep an eye on yourself, me, and everyone else who enjoys it so that we can continue to do to.

One of the most satisfying things I can remember, happened last summer. I was teaching a single mother and her 11 year old son to shoot. They had never handled firearms before and I went into “safety nazi” mode and drilled the above over and over, especially the part about keeping your eye on other shooters.

I had finished a string with the .22 pistol I was teaching them with, and kept my finger on the trigger after the gun ran dry, to see if either noticed (most don’t). I wasn’t finished for more than a couple seconds, and the mother hadn’t noticed, when the young son pointed out rather LOUDLY that I still had my finger on the trigger. I was very proud, and so was the mother when I smiled at him broadly with a “well done!”.

Sorry for the long rant and I know I’m preaching to the choir, but it’s something that many of us take too lightly. It has nothing to do with experience, as shown by my own mistake and the gun shop’s, and those that we’ve all seen from others. Please always keep this at the very front of your thoughts when you shoot and especially when you teach others to shoot.

If any of you ever shoot with me, just know that I’m watching you! lol. I hope you’re watching me just as closely, because humans make mistakes.


Guns News Politics

Fast and Furious, Gun Walking to Honduras

The Congressional investigations are finding and opening up more cans of worms , A Honduran operation is known as “Operation Castaway”, is about to unfold, and it is not looking pretty.

Reports are that Virginia O’Brian the special agent in charge is calling in agents in for a weekend shredding party. A communication simultaneously released by David Codrea and Mike Vanderboegh who are working on this story simultaneously.

 O’Brien is in full meltdown. She ordered supervisors from around the Division to report immediately to division offices and to plan on working through the entire weekend on the coverup.

Her partner in the bungle was ASAC Scott McCampbell. At one point the case was ready to be wrapped up with arrests and remain relatively efficient but O’Brien and McCampbell decided on their own to keep it going to “get more” against the advise of thier field employees and the walked guns numbers got out of control.

OB is terrified that her intentional concealing of her walked guns is going to do her in since she disregarded orders to report to DOJ and Congress.

Nearly the same culprits above her are on the hook for this. Chait knew about it so did Hoover and Melson. The new player is DAD East Julie Torres. She took O’Brien’s old DAD job when OB went to Tampa and has given OB carte blanche to do whatever she wants with little oversight.

Reportedly the shredders are buzzing.

It is beginning to look like all of this could be an Obamian plot to inflate  the number of illegal weapons into Mexico to gain support for new gun control legislation. Is it plausible that this adminstration would break the law to create a crisis that would help forward their agenda? We almost expect it from leftist extremist.  Just as we have little expectation that the MSM will pick up this story.

Guns News Politics

State Legislature is Packing it up.

Come and Take it: The Gonzales Flag

Its been a frantic 140 day in Austin, a tight budget, and redistricting, with a super majority in the House. We one some and we lost a few.

The Budget was passed and we didn’t have to dip deeply into the rainy day fund. There was a lot of pressure to dip into the rainy day fund but with Governor Perry’s insistence it was avoided.  60% of the budget will go to education.

Guns News Politics

RIP: Campus Carry Bills

While the 83 Texas Legislative session prepares to close it looks like campus carry is dead at least  until the next time around in 2013. While the Bills made it out of  the committees it struggled in getting put out to the full floor.  Attempts were made to attach it to school financing bills, they were thwarted with POO. POO is acronym  jargon for Point Of Order and doesn’t really mean crap. While the right to keep and bear still moves forward with this session,  We did get the parking lot bill bill through, some gun range protection, and extended the MPA to boats.  Overall it hasn’t been bad for gun owners.

What killed the campus carry bills was the overwelming response from the states universities.  There is a lot of FUD  Fear Uncertainty and Doubt.

Fear: People are afraid of guns and the idea of guns on college campuses is frightening to a lot of people.  The truth is guns are carried by CHL holders all over Texas. We carry legally in malls, churches movie theaters and even in school parking lots grounds with never a incident. The people wqho would be allow to carry would be restricted to 21 year olds who have a clean record and training on the laws and responcibility of those who choose to carry.  CHL holders are amongst the safest group of people on the planet.

Uncertainty: “There will be blood running in the streets”, was the cry of the alarmist before the CHL laws were past in 1995, The crime rates dropped and the harshest critics of CHL Bills were converts to the success of the program.  There there is no logical reason to believe that the campuses will be only safer than they are currently. The campus carry bills were only going to allow those who are legally allowed to carry inside the buildings.  The opponents would make it sound like the class rooms would be filled with raging armed teenagers. of course the CHL requirements would still remain the same.

Doubt: While the history of the CHL program has shown that it is a positive influence, the elitist at the public universitys  talk of the unknown and how there is no certainty that a CHL holder would be able to stop a crazed (unlicensed ) attacker.

The biggest arguement is that universities 21 year olds aren’t equipted or as mature as other 21 year olds. Therefore they can’t handle guns in the classroom.

Maybe our public universities aren’t doing their job, and should be getting out of the business of preparing young minds for a future.  Defunding them might just be a step toward advancing civil rights.

Just sayin’

Guns News Politics

Why We Are Losing the Border Wars

A Border Patrol unit armed with beanbags was going after a seasoned Mexican gang that operates by robbing the goods from other gangs smuggling  people and drugs.  The Mexican bandit gang is armed with AK47s, The Border patrol has state of the art beanbags. The results predictable: Border Patrol Agent gets killed.

The documents say the group of illegal border entrants refused commands to drop their weapons after agents confronted them at about 11:15 p.m. Two agents fired beanbags at the migrants, who responded with gunfire. Two agents returned fire, one with a long gun and one with a pistol, but Terry was mortally wounded in the gunfight.

Border Patrol officials declined to answer questions about protocol for use of force, citing the ongoing investigation.

But Terry’s brother, Kent Terry, said the other agents who were there that night told him that they were instructed to use the non-lethal beanbags first. It’s a policy that doesn’t make sense to Kent Terry.

“You go up against a bandit crew that is carrying AKs, and you walk out there with guns loaded with beanbags – I don’t get it,” Terry said in a phone interview from Michigan. “It’s like going to the Iraqi war with one knife. It boggles my mind. … These guys (Border Patrol agents) are professionals; they should be able to use their judgment call on their own.”

On the night of the deadly encounter, agents were trying to apprehend at least five suspected illegal immigrants. One agent, using thermal binoculars, spotted two men carrying rifles. When the group came close, at least one agent identified himself as police and ordered the men to drop their weapons.

Here’s how the rest of the events are described in the FBI document:

“When the suspected aliens did not drop their weapons, two Border Patrol agents deployed ‘less than lethal’ beanbags at the suspected aliens. At this time, at least one of the suspected aliens fired at the Border Patrol agents. Two Border Patrol agents returned fire, one with his long gun and one with his pistol.

“Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was shot with one bullet and died shortly after. One of the suspected illegal aliens, later identified as Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, was also shot.”

Never bring beanbags to a gunfight.

Guns News Politics

A Texas Gunbill Wiki Page

I’ve noticed that we are getting search hits for the legislative agenda. particularly on issues regarding the 2nd amendment.  I set up a personal wiki which I am sharing with our blog readers, that might prove to be a usable resource Because its on my home server the IP address is subject to change without notice. Feel free to make any additions, clarifications or corrections.  I will maintain the address on this post when I notice it has changed. After the Legislative session is over I will break the link from this site. Please drop me line if the site becomes unavailable.


Adjusted  the IP address to the link 4/30/2011


Guns News Politics

Guns in the Classroom.

To many folks, encouraging or allowing teachers to be armed in the classroom is in an alarming idea, However Ed Kardauskas, a former police captain and current security expert, makes a particularly strong case for allowing teachers to arm themselves.

When you think about it, we face a similar challenge with fires and medical emergencies, but we approach those emergencies with much cooler heads and sound reasoning. We know that a small fire can grow into a very large and dangerous one in the short time it takes for the fire department to respond, and we recognize that immediate action can limit losses and save lives. We install sprinkler systems, place fire extinguishers throughout our buildings, and train some of our people to suppress the flames until professional help can arrive.  In medical mergencies, we know that someone whose heart or respiration have stopped will almost certainly die if we just wait for professional responders. We purchase first aid kits and AED’s, and train some of our personnel to stabilize and support injured and ill people until the paramedics can get to the scene.  When it comes to defending our school children from violence, we seem to have a collective blind spot. The fact is that we lose far more children each year to school shootings than we do to fires, yet very few institutions have an effective mitigation plan for the people most affected – those in immediate contact with the attacker. Not surprisingly, active shooters have historically been very successful in killing and injuring large numbers of victims in virtually every school they strike.

Unless we start doing something differently, we can expect this shameful state of affairs to continue. This should be a matter for deep concern for administrators, faculty, parents, campus police and security officers, and students alike.  Mr. Borsch’s research showed that about half the successful interventions were by unarmed persons at the scene when the incident began. They limited casualties because their counterattacks were applied right away by people who were already there. As you might expect, not all such courageous actions were successful since an unarmed defender must close to contact distance in order to affect the attacker, while the armed killer can deliver deadly force rapidly and at a distance. However, in the majority of such instances, these courageous individuals who took action on their individual initiative alone were far more effective in stopping attacks than the emergency plan elements that were in place at the time.

We do a lot of planning and spend a lot of money planning for safety in our schools.  Whether it be protection against a crazy man or a full blown terrorist action, armed teachers in the classroom, might be the best first response we have to offer to our children.