Well, he’s gone and done it. Our hippie governor, Jerry Brown… you know, he of the “I have 3 guns and 1 dog” statement to to a roomful of cops, has just signed a bill into law (California AB 144) that makes it illegal “to carry an exposed and unloaded handgun in public or in a vehicle”. Violators face up to a year in prison or a potential fine of $1,000 when the law takes effect on January 1, 2012.
An excerpt of AB 144: “The bill would, subject to exceptions, make it a misdemeanor to openly carry an unloaded handgun on the person or openly and exposed in a motor vehicle in specified public areas and would make it a misdemeanor with specified penalties to openly carry an exposed handgun in a public place or public street, as specified, if the person at the same time possesses ammunition capable of being discharged from the handgun, and the person is not in lawful possession of the handgun, as specified.”
The 2nd Amendment of the Constitution as ratified by the States says, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” [emphasis mine].
So, I can’t carry a handgun on my hip… even an unloaded one. I can’t have an unloaded handgun in my vehicle, if that weapon can be seen from outside the vehicle. This begs the question, when and where may I bear arms? If I am out in the back country target shooting, or practicing shooting on the move, am I in violation of the law if I carry my (un)loaded handgun in a holster on my hip?
Jerry, you’ve gone way too far on this one. If the courts don’t strike this down as unconstitutional, me and my 401(k) are out of here. As much as I love California, it’s moronic (and hypocritical) Governor and all the Left Wing Loon Legislators can kiss my rebel ass. Go ahead and hand the State over to all the folks on the dole and the illegal aliens. You won’t have my tax money to piss away anymore.]]>
A young Texan grew up wanting to be a lawman. He grew up big, 6′ 2″, strong as a longhorn and fast as a mustang. He could shoot a bottle cap tossed in the air at 40 paces. When he finally came of age he applied to where he had always dreamed of working, a West Texas Sheriff’s Department.
After a big mess of tests and interviews, the Chief Deputy finally called him into his office for the young man’s last interview.
The Chief Deputy says, “You’re a big strong kid and you can really shoot. So far your qualifications all look good. But we have what you call an ‘attitude suitability test’ that you must take before you can be accepted. We just don’t let anyone carry our badge, Son.”
Then, sliding a service pistol and a box of ammo across the desk, the Chief says, “Take this pistol and go out and shoot six illegal aliens, six ACLU lawyers, six Democrat Senators, six meth dealers, six Muslim extremists and a rabbit.”
“Why the rabbit?”
“Great attitude,” says the Chief Deputy. “When can you start?”
Again, I can’t take credit for this… but its sentiment sure resonates through me.]]>
Yeah, like we haven’t heard that before.
Back in 2005, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) initiated a program called Project Gunrunner. Project Gunrunner is also part of the Department’s broader Southwest Border Initiative, which seeks to reduce cross-border drug and firearms trafficking and the high level of violence associated with these activities on both sides of the border. ATF has determined that the Mexican cartels have become the leading gun trafficking organizations operating in the southwest U.S. (DUH) and is working in collaboration with other agencies and the Government of Mexico to expand the eTrace firearm tracing software system. eTrace is supposed to provide web based access to ATF’s Firearms Tracing System to allow law enforcement both domestically and internationally the ability to trace firearms encountered in connection with a criminal investigation to the first recorded purchaser – who may have innocently sold the gun years ago. eTrace supposedly allows law enforcement to access their trace results directly (name and address of first purchaser) and offers the ability to generate statistical reports to analyze their trace data to estimate firearms trafficking trends or patterns. Here’s where it gets interesting.
Project Gunrunner has a stated official objective to stop the sale and export of guns from the United States into Mexico in order to deny Mexican drug cartels the firearms considered “tools of the trade”. However, since February 2008 under Project Gunrunner, Operations “Fast and Furious”, “Too Hot to Handle”, “Wide Receiver” and others (all together satirically dubbed “Operation Gunwalker”), have done the opposite by ATF permitting and facilitating “straw purchase” firearm sales to traffickers, and allowing the guns to “walk” and be transported to Mexico. This has resulted in considerable controversy.
Senator Charles E. Grassley (R-IA) initiated an investigation with a letter to ATF on 27 January 2011, and again on 31 January 2011. ATF responded through the Department of Justice by denying all allegations. Senator Grassley responded with specific documentation supporting the allegations in letters to U.S. Attorney General Holder on 9 Feb 2011 and again on 16 Feb 2011. ATF refused to answer specific questions in a formal briefing to Senator Grassley on 10 Feb 2011.
Indictments filed in federal court, documentation obtained by Senator Grassley, and statements of ATF agents obtained by Senator Grassley and CBS News, show that the ATF’s Phoenix Field Division allowed and facilitated the sale of over 2,500 firearms (AK-47 rifles, FN 5.7mm pistols, AK-47 pistols, and .50 caliber rifles) in “straw man purchases” destined for Mexico. According to ATF agents, Mexican officials were not notified, and ATF agents operating in Mexico were instructed not to alert Mexican authorities about the operation. Some ATF agents and supervisors strongly objected, and gun dealers (who were cooperating with ATF) protested the sales, but were asked by ATF to complete the transactions to elucidate the supply chain and gather intelligence. However, there are accusations that ATF was attempting to boost statistics to “prove” that American guns are arming the Mexican drug cartels and to further budget and power objectives.
Many of these same guns have now been recovered throughout Mexico, which is artificially inflating ATF’s eTrace statistics of U.S. origin guns seized in Mexico. One specific gun, recovered at the scene, is alleged to be the weapon used to murder Customs and Border Protection Agent Brian Terry on December 14, 2010.
ATF’s negligence and their obsession with pursuing their anti-gun political agenda cost the life of an American law enforcement officer. The details of the scandal are straight forward:
To top it off, this comes while ATF press releases continue to spread the flat-out lie that over 80% of all the guns used in Mexico’s drug war come from the United States. And now, officials all the way up to the Obama White House are denying any knowledge of an operation that would have clearly needed high-level approval.
I don’t believe for a second that a project such as this one didn’t have to be signed off by the White House, do you?
The ATF has repeatedly ignored Congressional requests for documentation of their operation. It has even come to the point where ATF leaders are being subpoenaed by Congressional committees.
And yet, they continue to flaunt their obvious contempt for the rule of law… unless it’s their “rules” and their distorted “laws”, of course.
Had enough yet?
I urge you to contact Speaker of the House John Boehner directly at
Office of the Speaker
H-232 The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-0600
Fax: (202) 225-5117
and demand he hold ATF accountable for their actions.
Of course, this is just One Man’s View. YMMV, and we welcome your comments.]]>
For those of you that haven’t yet seen it, here is a copy of the NRA’s rebuttal to President Obama’s editorial submission to the Arizona Star:
National Rifle Association of America
11250 Waples Mill Road
Fairfax, VA 22030
March 14, 2011
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President:
We read your editorial submission to the Arizona Star. However, to focus a national dialogue on guns – and not criminals or mental health issues – misses the point entirely. Americans are not afraid of gun ownership. To the contrary, they overwhelmingly support the fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms. The primary reason why tens of millions of Americans own firearms is that they fear violent criminals roaming the streets undeterred.
We agree with your assertion that “Americans by and large rightly refrained from finger-pointing” in light of the shooting in Tucson. In truth, the professional corps of gun control lobbyists moved with lightning speed to exploit the tragedy. These included the Violence Policy Center (“In the wake of these kind of incidents, the trick is to move quickly”), the Brady Campaign (“Gabrielle Giffords Shooting ‘Inevitable’”) and Mayors Against Illegal Guns-MAIG (“Bloomberg, Mayors Outline Steps to Help Prevent Another Tucson Shooting”). Your article contains talking points nearly identical to the ones circulated by MAIG for weeks in pursuit of its longstanding gun control agenda. In contrast, it was the National Rifle Association that avoided “playing politics with other people’s pain” with our consistent response that only thoughts and prayers for the victims and their families were appropriate in the immediate aftermath.
We also agree with your statement that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms. Your record as a public official, however, is anything but supportive of the rights of law-abiding gun owners. In fact, when Congress had an opportunity to voice its support for the basic right of lawful Americans to own firearms, you refused to join a bipartisan majority of more than 300 of your colleagues in signing the congressional amicus brief to the Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller. In addition, you previously stated (and have never retracted) your support for both Washington, D.C.’s and Chicago’s handgun and self-defense bans that the Court rightfully struck down in Heller and McDonald v. Chicago. Further, you surrounded yourself with advisors who have advocated against the Second Amendment for years (Eric Holder, Hillary Clinton and Rahm Emanuel, to name just a few) and you nominated Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court, one of whom has already attempted to eliminate the Second Amendment right entirely. More recently, you selected Andrew Traver to head the BATFE, despite his long-standing association with groups that support onerous new restrictions on our rights.
If you do in fact believe the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right, we suggest you demonstrate that in your policies and those of your Administration, which you have not done to date. Simply saying that you support the right to keep and bear arms is mere lip service if not put into action.
The government owes its citizens its most vigorous efforts to enforce penalties against those who violate our existing laws. The NRA has members proudly serving in law enforcement agencies at every level. Rank and file law enforcement want to arrest bad people – not harass law-abiding gun owners and retailers.
As for enforcing the laws on the books, we strongly suggest you enforce those that actually take violent criminals off the streets. To start, we urge you to contact every U.S. Attorney and ask them to bring at least ten cases per month against drug dealers, gang members and other violent felons caught illegally possessing firearms. By prosecuting these criminals in federal court – rather than state court – strong sentencing guidelines would apply and charges would not be plea-bargained or dismissed, nor would criminals be released after serving only a fraction of their sentences. This simple directive would result in roughly 12,000 violent criminals being taken off the streets every year. Surely you agree that this would be a good first step.
Unfortunately, your Administration is currently under a cloud for allegedly encouraging violations of federal law. We suggest that you bring an immediate stop to BATFE’s “Fast and Furious” operation, in which an unknown number of illegal firearm transactions were detected – and then encouraged to fruition by your BATFE, which allegedly decided to let thousands of firearms “walk” across the border and into the hands of murderous drug cartels. One federal officer has recently been killed and no one can predict what mayhem will still ensue. Despite the protests of gun dealers who wished to terminate these transactions, your Administration reportedly encouraged violations of federal firearms laws – and undermined the firearm industry’s concerted efforts to deter straw purchases through the “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” program. We hope you agree with our belief that this burgeoning scandal merits a full and independent investigation.
There are additional steps you can take to prevent tragic events such as the Tucson shooting from occurring in the future. One of these is to call on the national news media to refrain from giving deranged criminals minute-by-minute coverage of their heinous acts, which only serves to encourage copycat behavior. If media outlets won’t show a fan running onto the field during a baseball game because they don’t want to encourage that behavior by others – surely they can listen to law enforcement experts and refuse to air the photographs, video messages, or Facebook postings of madmen and murderers.
Another step is to encourage people to report red flags when they see them. In the case of Tucson, a man clearly bent on violence was not reported to the proper authorities by those who had good reason to believe he had serious mental problems. That’s not a deficiency in our gun laws, it’s a deficiency in our mental health system – and should be treated as such.
In closing, we agree that gun owners in America are highly responsible. This is in large part due to the NRA’s 140 years of dedication to promoting safe and responsible gun ownership, an effort on which we take a back seat to no one. We welcome any serious discussion on policies that focus on prosecuting criminals and fixing deficiencies in the mental health system. Any proposals to the contrary are not a legitimate approach to the issue.
Wayne LaPierre Chris W. Cox
Executive Vice President Executive Director
National Rifle Association NRA-ILA
Though often at odds with the NRA’s political positions and endorsements (i.e., Harry Reid), I must agree with Messrs. LaPierre and Cox in their assessment of this administration’s treatment of one of our most fundamental rights. I’m curious how many of you feel the same way about this, so I have setup a poll to get an idea of where you all stand.]]>
If this doesn’t amaze you, nothing will!]]>