John Street’s Sense of Irony

John Street is holding a conference with other area mayors, talking about ways they can crap all over lawful gun owners in this commonwealth (and other states). I particularly like the headline here “Mayor Street Hosts Area Mayors for Anti-Gun-Violence Summit”. So does that mean the mayor would be happy if people were getting their skulls bashed in with baseball bats? The problem in Philadelphia is violence in general, not just the guns. But here’s where the irony comes in:

Mayor Street and about a dozen regional mayors were holding a daylong summit on Friday at the National Constitution Center on how to curb gun violence.

Emphasis mine. The National Constitution Center? Are you friggin kidding me? I think we have to remind the mayor of something. First federal, Amendment II:

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.

Now the Pennsylvania Constitution, Art. 1, § 21:

The right of the citizens to bear arms in defence of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.

Emphases mine, just in case John Street thinks that part isn’t clear. But does Mayor Street get the irony of his venue?

Street wants the mayors to work for stricter gun laws — especially in Pennsylvania, whose gun laws Street called “lax.”


Act 71

Let me just clarify my position on Act 71. The way it stands now, I don’t think it’s acceptable, but I don’t want to go back to just making gambling flat out illegal, nor do I like the folks who are fighting it. The folks coming out against Act 71 are doing it because they think gambling is bad and immoral, at the root. I’m doing it, because I don’t appreciate Ed Rendell using legalized gambling to help line the pockets of his political cronies, and I’d like to see it being done differently so that’s there’s less government and less politics involved in the process.

I’ve never bought Ed Rendell’s justification for passing Act 71; that it’ll bring in enough revenue to offset other taxes. I have no problem with the state taxing gambling, or licensing establishments for gambling, provided the licensing requirements are objective and free from political influence of powerful people. But it was was about revenue for me. I would have been happy with a “because we’re not your fucking parents” justification for liberalizing the commonwealth’s gambling laws.

From Indiana…

Via Ahab, comes a story of a man who gets arrested after confronting trespassers on his property while armed. I think charges are a bit harsh here, since the owner claims he wasn’t brandishing, but it’s a valuable lesson: Your gun doesn’t come out of your holster unless you intend, and are justified legally, to use deadly force against someone. Otherwise, keep it in your holster. The best way to deal with trespassers is to call the police.

Hutchinson’s S.1001 – Repeal the Ban

I noticed that neither of my senators have signed on to this bill. I will have to write both of them to make sure it stays that way. In the mean time, I’ve sent this to Senator Hutchinson:

Dear Senator Hutchinson,

I am not a resident of Texas, but I believe your introduction of S.1001, to repeal the Washington D.C. gun ban, raises some issues of national impact with respect to the effect it could have on the Parker vs. DC case, that will likely come before the Supreme Court of the United States.

I do want to thank you for your support of our second amendment rights, and I appreciate the sentiment that went into your introduction of this bill, but I don’t want Congress’ repealing of the Washington DC gun ban to remove standing for the Parker plaintiffs, and render the case moot.

The time has come for the Supreme Court to speak on the second amendment. Many of us who are advocates for gun rights and the second amendment believe Parker is the case that has the best change of favorable review from The Court. While I appreciate the sentiment displayed in S.1001, I sincerely hope this bill will not advance until Supreme Court has had a chance to make a definitive ruling on the Washington D.C. gun ban.


Langhorne, PA

I will e-mail something along those lines to my senators before the end of the day. I will also go bark up the NRA’s tree a bit to make sure they know I don’t want them screwing up the Parker case either. A lot of noise about getting rid of the D.C. gun ban coming from Congress will do us a huge favor when it comes time for court review, but in no way do we actually want anything like this to pass.

Time to get a Viriginia CHP

It’s relatively easy for me to get a Virginia Concealed Handgun Permit, especially since I’m spending a lot more time down there now.  I was thinking it would be good to have, so I’m good to carry in West Virginia, but I noticed they take resident licenses only.   How is it that states like West Virginia, Oregon, and Nevada lack good reciprocity?   It would seem to would be relatively easy to pass something there.

Casino Shenanigans

While I favor the legalization of slots within The Commonwealth, commonly referred to Act 71, I don’t really appreciate the fact that Ed Rendell seems to be using the act to pay off political favors:

Boyd Gaming Corp and its partners submitted an application to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board late December 2005 to open a Slots Parlor and high-rise hotel on a 125 acre plot in Limerick, PA, just off the Sanatoga exit of Rte. 422 and adjacent to an outlet mall proposed by Chelsea Property Groups. A major partner to Boyd in this proposal is David Sweet, the former campaign manager for Gov. Rendell. The site for the proposed casino is not currently zoned for such a use.

Now, I don’t agree with the folks I linked to that Act 71 ought to be repealed. I think it needs some reform, but I do favor gambling being generally legal, so I think it’s a step in the right direction. The problem with the act is, there’s not enough protection to keep politicians like Governor Rendell from milking the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board for their own benefit.

My proposal would be getting the gaming control board out of the business of approving casinos. They should be licensed the same way liquor establishments are, and whether they ought to be approved for zoning left up to the local communities. I’d like to see the GLCB merely implementing regulations and taxes on gambling establishments as authorized by the state legislature. Anything more is going to invite cronyism.

Because I Don’t Already Pay Too Much

From Captain Ed, we learn the Democrats want to enact the largest tax increase in US history:

The bill set to reach the House floor today (resembling the Senate version) would raise taxes an average of $1,795 on 115 million taxpayers in 2011. Some 26 million small-business owners would pay an average of $3,960 more. The decreased number of Americans subject to income taxes would all pay higher taxes, and 5 million low-income Americans would be returned to the rolls.

But it’s going to go to balancing the budget right?

The House version would increase non-defense, non-emergency spending by $22.5 billion for next fiscal year, with such spending to rise 2.4 percent in each of the next three years. To pay for these increases, the resolution would raise taxes by close to $400 billion over five years — about $100 billion more than what was passed in the Senate.

The Democrats are just as bad or worse than the boneheads they replaced.  I already pay way too much in taxes to the federal government, upward is really not the direction I want to see my tax bill going.  Apparently the Republicans have decided that they need to give more than lip service to cutting government and fiscal responsibility:

Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the fifth-termer who is the House Budget Committee’s new ranking Republican, has proposed an alternative resolution. It not only retains Bush tax cuts but also proposes deep reductions in spending, protects Social Security payments and runs down the national debt.

Heh.  The authors closing statement sums up my feelings exactly: “Why was no such resolution advanced during the 12 years the GOP was in the majority?”  Good question!

I’m partial to Austrian tupperware…

… but Austin Bay reminds us why gun snobbery is for the birds:

I do take exception to the gun snob comments about the Beretta 92. That’s the civilian version of the M9. I could not hit squat with the service .45 I carried in the 1970s while on duty in Germany. The weapon was a rattle trap, which was no doubt part of the problem. However, a couple of the NCOs told me my accuracy problem “isn’t entirely the weapon’s fault.” Hah. Well, I agreed. I was adequate with a rifle, but the pistol? Yes, I can see the barn’s broadside. No, I cannot hit the barn’s broadside — not with my service .45.

But the Beretta I had in Iraq was something else entirely — I managed to qualify sharpshooter with it. I know, the superior gunfighters out there will dismiss that as the sorry effort of a chronic poor shot. However, I came within two rounds of qualifying expert. That’s a huge change. I had confidence I could hit a target.

It all comes down to what works for you. I’ve always been able to shoot well with a Glock, and struggle a lot more with Bitter’s single stack SIG. Ahab of WWJWD likes to carry a Walther P22, which most people would deride. Shot placement is key, and a pistol chambered in .22LR that you hit your target consistently with will do a lot more than one in .50 AE that you can’t hit shit with. While there are certain firearms that shouldn’t be carried for safety reasons, I’ve always been of the opinion that you should carry what you’re comfortable with, and enjoy shooting enough to practice a lot, so your shot placement is good.

Women & Carry

I noticed something in one of Glenn’s updates on the post I linked to previously, from one of his readers:

Isn’t part of this story irresponsibility? As a former Boy Scout Marksman, I was drilled on not only the proper shooting of a firearm, but it’s handling, transportation and storage. A loaded handgun has only two places to be. On your person under immediate control, or in a locked case. Some would argue the locked case should never contain a loaded weapon. Carrying a loaded weapon in a shopping bag, backpack or briefcase is, to me, the height of irresponsibility on the part of the owner.

Last weekend I was trying out some of my carry holsters out with Bitter, in an effort to find a carry method that worked better for her. I am not a big fan of the holster she uses, and wanted to get her something more practical for concealment, but I was surprised by how enormously difficult carry is for women when we were trying out my in-waist-band holsters. Women wear their pants higher on their bodies than men do, and my Glock was sticking into her ribs, which was uncomfortable for her. I don’t have that problem on me.

Purse carry is really the only option that’s going to work for a woman carrier consistently, and there are purses out there made specifically for this purpose. I don’t know if the commenter above would consider that irresponsible, but to suggest that purse carry is irresponsible is to condemn many women to being unarmed most of the time.

I don’t think purse carry or briefcase carry is really irresponsible, provided one takes precautions, and is aware of where the purse/briefcase/gun is at all times. I don’t carry a traditional briefcase, but a laptop bag that slings over the shoulder. I do not carry a gun in it, but this would be the type of bag you’d want to carry a firearm in. The chief thing you want to prevent is a snatch and run operation, so a shoulder strap, along with carrying the purse/case close to the body and firmly in your control is a must.

I understand the sentiment that the best place for a carry piece is on your immediate person, but that’s not possible for everyone, especially women. With proper care, there’s no reason for off body carry to be considered irresponsible. The problem with the whole Webb incident is that he seems to have overlooked the proper care part, not necessarily how he may or may not have been carrying.

Never Say When You’re Carrying

Insty points to a blurb in regards to the Webb gun incident:

The reporter therefore asked, “Do you, senator, feel that you are above Washington, D.C.’s gun law?” Webb replied: “I’m not going to comment in any level in terms of how I provide for my own security.”

Truth be told, I wouldn’t answer this question either, and I don’t blame Webb for not answering it.   You never tell people when you are or aren’t carrying.  An appropriate response to a question along those lines is “None of your damned business,” so I think Webb’s comment in this regard is fine by me.  I would like him to be more forthcoming about how his aide ended up with the gun and whether it was his gun.  But I don’t believe he needs to answer questions about where and when he may or may not carry his side arm.  That’s his business, and he has good reasons for keeping it that way.