Other Resolutions During NRA’s Visit to Pittsburgh

It would seem the Tribune-Review felt some heat from Eric Heyl’s column last week, and they opted to run a couple of the responses. One from a Delaware woman who states that she’s a pistol instructor:

I disagree with Eric Heyl’s column “NRA effort to attract women off target.” The NRA seems to be trying to “attract” women already involved in shooting sports to become instructors.

I am of both “worlds” — an NRA member and pistol instructor, and a facials-and-pedicures woman. The two aren’t mutually exclusive.

Heyl writes that to most women, a pistol-instructor seminar “probably wouldn’t have the same appeal as, say, a holistic facial at the day spa.” I’m sure “most” women also expect someone else to save them from a mugger, rapist, burglar or other bad guy. Unfortunately, the NRA will appeal to women more independent in their assertions of safety and security.

It’s pretty insulting to insinuate that women would choose helplessness over the right shade of lipstick or a spa treatment.

Being of “both ‘worlds'” is something that applies to most of the NRA women I know. Heyl inspired another response by a different female pistol instructor from Pennsylvania:

Contrary to the assertions by Eric Heyl in his column “NRA effort to attract women off target,” Pennsylvania women are capable of making informed decisions on gun ownership, political activism and participation in the shooting sports.

As a woman headed to the Pittsburgh NRA event this week, I plan to shatter the misogynistic view he takes toward females who might be spotted there. Rather than worrying about lipstick colors and compacts in my purse, I’ll peruse more than 4 acres of handguns and self-defense gear. Instead of fretting over the price of a trip to the spa, I’ll spend hard-earned dollars at the Friends of NRA dinner or women’s luncheon in support of the hunting and shooting programs.

While Heyl might be concerned that too many firearms accessories come only in black, I’ll talk to manufacturers that recognize women as one of the fastest-growing groups currently purchasing firearms.

I’m not quite sure how a column that so openly mocks women who make independent choices beyond what shoes to buy was published in any newspaper in 2011, but I am sure that I’ll be just one of thousands of women at the NRA annual meeting.

Two different types of responses, but very much in opposition to Heyl’s column. I never found a single letter published in support of Heyl’s column. I’m curious to know if any were ever sent.

Primanti Brothers Makes Things Right

Thanks to Cam Edwards and the crew at NRA News for heading over to Primanti Brothers and making things right with the late situation in regards to appearing to endorse Mayor’s Against Illegal Guns. I still think they handled this poorly, but I’m willing to forgive and put this behind us.



In Annual Meeting

The actual Annual Meeting has started. This event is the reason this whole dog and pony show. For those of you who are here, the person the powers that be are pushing for 76th board member is Joel Friedman. I agree with this choice. Joel brings a lot of skills to the board, and is on several important committees. We lost a lot of good people this round because of the number of celebrity board members on the ballot. If you’re here, Joel could use your support. You can vote until 4PM.

NRA Law Seminar

I’m at the NRA law seminar, waiting for it to get started. Too early for me, and I’m mildly hung over. Unfortunately missed SayUncle last night. One bad thing about Pittsburgh is none of the hotels are close to each other, and Uncle’s is four and a half miles from mine.

Speakers today you may know are Dave Hardy, Stephen Halbrook, Glenn Reynolds, Dave Kopel, Stefan Tahmasseibi, and PA Supreme Court Justice Seamus P. McCaffery.

I’ll be tweeting updates during the day. My twitter feed is here

New Astroturfing Effort?

I found a media release for a not-so-new-but-new-to-me anti-gun blog. As is usually the practice, Reasoned DiscourseTM is in full effect. It’s run by the geriatric author of some anti-gun books. A quick Whois search shows it is registered to him, but what kind of hobby blogger puts out a release on PR Newswire. That’s not free. I smell astroturf.

“Snuffy” Pfleger Ordered to Pray

But not pray as leader of a congregation, rather on a forced suspension. He’s apparently been telling his boss that he doesn’t want to spend his career at one parish. So they privately discussed the possibility to lead a high school. And he went to the media and told the world that the Catholic Church was trying to remove him.

I’m not Catholic, but it seems they have given him some choices. Leave the ministry by your own decision. Pray and come back with an open heart ready to take their assignment – wherever it might be. Pray and come back to argue, effectively violating the terms he agreed to upon becoming a priest to accept their assignment and therefore again leaving the ministry by his own decision. (Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong since, once again, I’m interpreting and not actually Catholic. I also don’t know enough Catholics to ask.)

Thirdpower notes that this action is because Michael Pfleger has been “an obnoxious turd.” To put it somewhat more politely, I’ll say that his ego appears to have gotten in the way of his heart.

The Effectiveness of What MAIG Is Doing

It’s interesting if you take a look at the comments from Primanti Brothers’ Facebook, you can see just how effective Mayors Against Illegal Guns branding really is. This is a reason why I believe this group is the current biggest threat to our continued success preserving the Second Amendment.

Note the guy that comments “Is anyone really FOR illegal guns?” The assumption is made that the MAIG title reflects an honest communication of the agenda of the group, and no question is made as to what the group’s true agenda might be. They do not bother to think that perhaps the way Mayor Bloomberg and his group intents to curb illegal guns is by making more guns illegal, making it harder to get guns legally, and making it unattractive to keep a firearm for self-defense, hunting, or target shooting. Anyone who doubts need only look at the strict gun laws in New York City, or examine the fact that Bloomberg’s group of Mayors supports a law that would allow people to be entirely stripped of their Second Amendment rights without a trial, or really any form of due process. Bloomberg’s strategy is to front measures which, on the surface, sound eminently reasonable to someone who hasn’t bothered to dig further and find that the devil is in the fine print. It’s a brilliant strategy, and it’s working here, and perhaps even with Primanti, who may not have realized they were stepping into something controversial. Because who is for illegal guns, after all. Sorry guys, you were rooked. The group is about restricting lawful gun owners.

Thank You, Mr. President

I’m glad the White House finally put the birther nonsense to rest. Of course, it won’t work, and that’s probably the point. From what I’ve seen from e-mails forwarded around the Boomersphere, I think our parents’ generation has lost all ability to distinguish truth from falsity, so shortly I expect to see e-mails circulating, quoting a number of non-existent experts that point out all the reasons the long form birth certificate released by the White House is a forgery, tagged with FORWARD THIS TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW IF YOU’RE A REAL AMERICAN in giant, blinking neon letters, maybe bordered with some animated graphics.

My apologies to you baby boomer readers who know better, and who laugh at this stuff as much as I do. Obviously I generalize, but behind every stereotype is a grain of truth somewhere. Laugh all you want. You know it’s true.

What is Safe Enough Storage for the Pittsburgh Police?

A strongly anti-NRA screed was published in Pittsburgh today by a member of the Pittsburgh Police Department who says that NRA members “abet gun violence.” Sure, I could fisk the piece paragraph by paragraph. But instead, something struck me in his complaints about NRA’s stance on mandatory storage that struck me as too extreme for many gun control groups.

In 10 years of focusing exclusively on gun crime, I can count on one hand, with fingers to spare, those cases in which a firearm was stolen despite being properly stored in an immovable safe. The NRA is surely aware that stolen guns are a huge problem, yet at this weekend’s convention you would be unlikely to see much emphasis on the importance of securing one’s firearms to prevent them from being stolen and used in crimes. After all, you are only required to be a law-abiding gun owner; the government can’t require you to be a responsible one.

I lived in a state with mandatory storage laws, and I lived in an apartment. If the requirement had been as strong as this officer suggests, I would not have been able to own a firearm even though I was a woman living alone in the only available housing I could afford on a non-profit salary just out of college. First, I would not have been able to afford a full-sized safe. Second, I may have faced restrictions on something that large and heavy in my apartment. (It should have been fine, but it was in a building dating back to the mid-1800s.) Finally, even if I could afford something big and heavy, I could not have made it “immovable,” which presumably means that the safe must be bolted into the floor.

Until I moved in with Sebastian, I have never lived in anything but apartments since I moved out of my mother’s home after high school, and I only occasionally hired movers to load my stuff into a truck with only my 55+ mother to help. Just what options would be available to me under the Joseph Bielevicz policy of mandatory storage? I couldn’t install anything that would do permanent damage, so that limited me to small safes that were never bolted to the floor. Under his standard, I would not have been allowed to legally own a gun. If that’s the policy that the Pittsburgh Police Department supports, that puts them outside of the mainstream of gun control groups. Not even the Massachusetts law is that extreme. This kind of policy is really just targeted at the poor who don’t own a home or who can’t afford expensive safes.

Oh yeah, and there’s the pesky fact that he left out that the Supreme Court already tore apart the arguments for mandatory storage in Heller. The fact that this officer is calling for unconstitutional policies that discriminate against the poor is simply appalling. It’s one thing to educate about the importance of protecting your firearms and preventing them from falling into unauthorized hands, it’s another thing to hinge the fundamental right of gun ownership and self-defense on whether the person can afford the kind of safes that Detective Bielevicz considers appropriate.

Also, if the Detective would, you know, actually investigate the facts around the NRA convention, he’d find that there are numerous safe & other gun storage vendors there – Liberty, Cannon, Champion, Remington, and some company whose name I can’t remember that makes a really awesome circular safe. I took pictures last year, but I don’t think I posted them. But facts get in the way of him beating his chest about more gun control, and that’s just not nearly as much fun.