NRA Statement on New DC Gun Bill

As a follow up to the news that NRA managed to hammer out a deal with Congress to stop the gun registration shenanigans by Mayor Fenty and the DC Council, they have a released this statement:

Today, in a bi-partisan effort, Congressman Travis Childers, Congressmen John Dingell, John Tanner, Mike Ross and Mark Souder, along with 47 of their colleagues, introduced the Second Amendment Enforcement Act. This critical legislation overturns D.C.’s recently enacted emergency laws that continue to defy the recent Supreme Court ruling by continuing to restrict District of Columbia residents’ right to self-defense. This National Rifle Association-backed bill is needed to enforce the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller.

On June 26, the U. S. Supreme Court held in District of Columbia v. Heller that “the District’s ban on handgun possession in the home violates the Second Amendment, as does its prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense.” The Supreme Court clearly stated that handguns are constitutionally-protected arms because they are commonly used, are typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes, are considered by the American people to be the quintessential self-defense weapon, are the most popular weapon chosen by Americans for self-defense in the home and are the most preferred firearm in the nation to keep and use for protection of home and family.

The Second Amendment Enforcement Act will:

* Repeal the District’s ban on semi-automatic handguns. Semi-automatic pistols have been the most commonly purchased handguns in the United States over the last 20 years, and therefore a ban on those firearms is unconstitutional as decided by Heller;

* Restore the right of self-defense by repealing the requirement that firearms be disassembled or secured with a trigger lock in the home;

* Repeal the current D.C. registration system that requires multiple visits to police headquarters; ballistics testing; passing a written test on D.C. gun laws; fingerprinting; and limiting registration to one handgun per 90 days. The current system is unduly burdensome and serves as a vehicle for even more onerous restrictions; and

* Create a limited exemption to the federal ban on interstate handgun sales by allowing D.C. residents to purchase handguns in Virginia and Maryland. Currently there are no firearms dealers in the District of Columbia, and the federal ban prohibits residents from purchasing handguns outside of the District; therefore, District residents have no means of purchasing handguns.

It’s Obamariffic

Breda has an Obama ad up that’s just absolutely craptacular.  The very last bit, where the chick represents your brain on hope, was almost enough to make me lose my lunch, which is odd because I haven’t eaten lunch yet.  I don’t say this ad is bad just because I don’t agree with it.  I think it’s just bad.  This kind of dreck people will tire of quickly.  This won’t resonate with that much of the American public, who aren’t feeling to hopeful just because “Obama is here!”

In fact, people born before the end of the cold war should just find this absolutely scary.  Obama really needs to stop hiring folks who admire Soviet propiganda artists, and who have spent entirely too much time trying to save petting zoos.  Honestly, it’s a testament to how bad our choices are that this guy isn’t getting clobbered.

UPDATE: Bruce has a good one too.

More on the Mole Incident

The entire mole affair was the subject of much discussion between Bitter and myself. The Bradys are predictably acting like jilted lovers, which is only understandable.  Bitter predicted they would.  I thought they’d keep quiet about it, since who wants to admit, in a public place, that you’ve been suckered.  Bitter also thinks the information gleaned from this woman was probably worth whatever public relations price is going to be paid over the incident.  Information about legislative strategy, for instance, can tell NRA where they need to spend money, and where they don’t, and what fights they might need to conserve resources for.

I remain uncomfortable with what happened here.  I couldn’t do such a thing myself.  But Bitter and I agree on one, key item.  The Brady Campaign is dedicated to the elimination of one of the original ten amendments that comprise the Bill of Rights.  In essence, they are a group out to undermine the Constitution of the United States, which is the very basis of our Republic.  To accomplish that, they’ve willingly mislead the public about the nature of guns, and of gun owners, and willingly distorted and misrepresented facts and statistics.  They have done the media equivalent of tar and feather us.  Given that, is there really any tactic that’s too sleazy and too underhanded to use in order to defeat them?

The Kynn Apologies

Some of you may have been following the Kynn incident over at SayUncle.  I’m happy to see that we’re more in an apologetic phase, with both Uncle and Kynn issuing apologies.  But I wanted to address some points that Kynn made:

Okay, now, the first point — several people, including Mr. Uncle, have said “how could someone from a group who is attacked be as bigoted as to judge gun nuts as a group? What a bigot Kynn is!”

This comparison is pretty much laughable to me, as it would be to most people who have done any work in anti-bigotry activism: There’s obviously a big difference between characteristics such as one’s gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, and so on, and characteristics such as one’s beliefs regarding gun control, birth control, abortion, war, taxes, disco music, or choice of political candidate. Transphobia is not the same thing as being angry at everyone who supports (or opposes) the Iraq War. The latter is much more like gun control than being genderqueer is.

The truth is, it’s laughable to most people.  It may be a technically correct use of the term “bigot” to describe someone “obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices,” but in practical terms, “bigot” more often than not has racial connotations to most people who aren’t familiar with the true dictionary definition.

As much as I believe the fight for the second amendment is a civil rights struggle, that has parallels to other civil rights struggles in our nation’s history, I’ve always had a hard time getting over the fact that being a gun owner is a choice, whereas no one chooses to be Black, Hispanic, Native American, and, at least in my opinion, gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered.  In that sense, barring someone from a community because of his color just can’t, in my opinion, rank up there with barring someone from a community because he chooses to be a gun owner.  I do agree that the latter is a constitutionally protected right, but I can choose not to be a gun owner.  Someone can’t choose not to be black.

Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s worthwhile pointing out that many people’s views of gun owners are prejudicial, and based on stereotypes; I have no problem turning the entire political correctness machinery around on folks who relish in using it on conservatives.  But I think we should be careful throwing the “b” word around.  That’s not to say it has no place; I’ve certainly used it in instances where a person had just displayed an unapologetic disdain from people who come from a certain (rural) culture.  But I don’t think it’s the first thing to brand someone with.  Appeals to tolerance, and pointing out that the some views might be based on stereotypes and prejudices, I think is just as effective.

Hopefully Kynn can appreciate that there are as many opinions as gun owners.  Some of us are pretty conservative, both socially and politically.  I would be a liar if I said there were no racists in the gun culture.  Some of us will stand for no gun laws, some of us are willing to live with a few.  But perhaps Kynn might be surprised to learn that there are a lot of us who don’t really have issues with the GLBT community, and who support issues like gay marriage.

Kynn and I would probably never consider ourselves political allies.  No doubt on most political issues, we’d probably work against each other.  But it does no one any good to alienate others based on prejudicial views.  Regardless of whether I vote for McCain over Obama, I will be an advocate from within the conservative movement for stronger acceptance of the people like Kynn, and a recognition that whether you agree that who they are is a lifestyle choice, or something imposed on them through genetics, they have a right to live how they want as free people, and to enjoy all the same benefits as other members of our society.

To me the tragedy is that we let our petty sqibbles get in the way of that far too often.  It’s very hard to win acceptance of rights that only have support from one side of the political aisle.  Just read Ilya Somin’s article on Gun Rights, Post-Heller.  Gun owners need to accept that we need the left to buy into gun rights, and the left needs to accept that they need to get conservatives to buy into things like gay rights.  That’s really the only way we’re both going to win.

Comp-Tac Kydex Reinforced Belt

I was in the market for a new belt, so I got myself a Kydex Reinforcd Countour Belt.  First impressions are that it’s a very sturdy belt, that provides a lot of support for the gun.  I’m using it with my Infidel holster, with the 1.5″ belt clip mounting option.  There is one problem with this option.

The belt is pretty thick, so the Infidel clip has a hard time getting a good hold on the belt.  There’s not quite enough space for the belt to come up all the way against the top of the clip.  I almost spilled the gun out of it earlier tonight, because it managed to work its way almost off the belt.  Needless to say, me getting up, and the gun staying on the chair, would be a minor problem in public.

I diagnosed that the clip could probably stand to have a bit more room up where the clip fastens on to the holster, so I added a washer between the holster and clip.  This seems to have mitigated the problem.  Comp-Tac might want to consider adding a spacer option to their product for people with thicker belts.  Especially since their own belt seems to be thick enough to create this problem with the Infidel belt clip option.

Overall, Comp-Tac makes an excellent holster product, and I’ve always been pleased with the speed at which they get their products to their customers.  The Smarties they ship with their products are a nice touch too.  I’m very hard on holsters, and have broken a few of the Pro-Undercovers in my time, but so far the Infidel is a solid product.

UPDATE: It just occured to me what was really exacerbating this problem.  I carry a 4:00, and wear LL Bean jeans.  LL Bean puts their leather patch right at 4:00, which increases the thickness of the jeans greatly.  Presumably removing the patch would also work, but I will still stand by my request for a spacer option to deal with the problem of thicker belts/clothing.

Why a Professional Web Presence is Important

Bitter leaves the snark behind this time and talks about why folks should care that NRA’s Camp Perry Live blog has been a disappointment.  This started in a conversation where I said that people just didn’t care about this type of stuff.  She decided to explain why people should.