The Reagan Legacy on Guns

Gun Rights Save Lives looks at the Reagan legacy when it comes to guns. Things aren’t as rosey a lot of folks like to wax nostalgic about. But I disagree with the main source of angst here:

When he was president, he banned all new fully-automatic weapons from being sold to the public in 1986. Now they are nearly impossible for the average person to possess because they cost about $20,000.

The one thing I will disagree with is dinging Reagan over the 1986 machine gun ban. Remember that was attached at the last minute to the Firearms Owner’s Protection Act of 1986. I was 12 at the time this passed, and I had little political awareness when all of this went down. Everything I know from the time I’ve gotten from talking to the people involved with the fight at that time, and nearly everyone I’ve spoken with on the subject believes it was necessary to continue supporting FOPA despite what Bill Hughes did to it. The Gun Control Act, unmodified by FOPA, would have succeeded in destroying the shooting culture. I’d encourage everyone to read Dave Hardy’s account of the matter, who was intimately involved with getting FOPA passed into law. That Reagan signed FOPA I do not believe ought to be a ding against him.

Now it’s true that later in life, long after he was out of office, he ended up supporting the Brady Act and the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban. Members of his family today claim that was a result of his handlers signing him onto positions he himself never would have supported had he not been suffering Alzheimer’s. Whether this is true, or whether it’s just family trying to preserve his legacy, I don’t think is clear. I don’t think Reagan was the pro-gun saint everyone likes to remember him as, but I also think a lot of Reagan needs to be put into the context of the time.

Colorado’s MAIG Leader to Run for Senate Seat

In the district where voters just sent Sen. John Morse home for not only pulling gun control to the floor, but also complaining to the media that having his constituents call his office was toxic to the process of shoving legislation down their throats, the Democrats have a new candidate who, it would appear, may have similar views on how to treat those with whom he disagrees. Oh, and it is a man who was once employed by Bloomberg to push gun control – the other big argument against Morse’s continued tenure.

As the former head of MAIG in Colorado, a candidate for Sen. Morse’s old seat seemingly developed his views on religion and Hell around how he defines your political opposition to him. Based on a quote from an email that he admits to writing in the featured interview at the link, he declared that people who support private/charter schools or vouchers have “a special place in Hell…they deserve it.”

I wonder what level of Hell he believes is reserved for gun owners?

Do Gun Control Groups Still Want to Argue Gun Ownership is Shrinking?

Licensing has at least one upside, in that it offers a peek as to what gun ownership levels are really doing. The gun control groups have been consistently asserting that the Great Panic was entirely the result of a small handful of extremists stockpiling more guns. Well, the numbers coming out of Illinois would beg to differ:

Whereas a few years ago, 1.2 million Illinoisans held Firearm Owners Identification cards, the number has jumped to 1.6 million, state police spokeswoman Monique Bond said. Soon after the court decreed in December that Illinois couldn’t ban public carry anymore, demand for FOID cards jumped precipitously.

That throws a lot of cold water on their theory. I also suspect that the spike in numbers is a result of Chicago residents now being able to exercise their constitutional rights.  I’m not sure the article’s author gave much consideration to the fact that Chicago’s licensing regime was laid to waste by the new concealed carry law, making the FOID card the only barrier to entry for getting a handgun in the Windy City.

Monday News Dump

This isn’t as big as it should have been, but I lost all my tabs for the week, so I’ll have to do the best I can. The news cycle is still pretty dry, unfortunately, but hopefully that’ll change as the pace of fall picks up a bit.

Tarring and feathering might be a bit strong, but I agree with where the Vuurwapen Blog is coming from.

Anthony Bourdain, of Food Network fame, on guns.

IDPA shooters spotted in Kenya. The bravery of the police in Kenya has been impressive. It’s pretty obvious many of them were off duty, grabbed their guns, and ran toward the sound of gun fire, in plain clothes without body armor. That takes a lot of guts and my hat is off to them.

A majority of dealers support expanded background checks. Well, they stand to benefit financially if they were to be put in place. I’m sure car dealers would support a law that said car dealers were the only people permitted to buy and sell cars too.

Funny: Weird Math of the SAFE Act.

This gun saved a life in a rather unexpected way.

Man OCing pistol to a school soccer game cuts game short. I think this was an overreaction, but when you’re asked to leave, you leave. It was a private school, so they are within their right. But it does beg the question, who was “educated” here?

NPR takes a jab at Russia on the gun issue, noting fewer guns and more gun violence. Instapundit notes: “What does it take to get them to depart from the narrative? A jab at President Obama from a foreign leader.

October [Not] Surprises

Well, according to the press, the world is supposed to end tomorrow if the Republicans don’t just give in and allow Obama to have everything he has ever wanted in policy demands that pertain to the budget. In the meantime, here are some other news bits about what gun owners should know for October:

NRA-ILA reports that they have heard from various folks worrying about whether we’ll be able to buy guns if the government shuts down. Yes, NICS will continue to operate. So, if you hear these concerns, you now have somewhere to point folks to for an explanation.

Also on the October agenda, if you’re near Denver, this is another reminder to attend NRA’s Firearms Law & The Second Amendment Symposium on Saturday, October 12. You must pre-register, so get on it. They typically have very informative speakers, and it’s highly recommended. It’s free, and they give you food, so what’s not to like?

If you’re in Virginia, it’s now a great time to get involved with the elections if you haven’t been involved yet. Looking at the statewide ratings, you have A vs. F, AQ vs. D, and A vs. D choices this year. In other words, things are pretty clear on the gun issue.

Maybe I Should Start My Own Mayor’s Group

Bitter has been doing a good bit of genealogical research lately, and decided to explore a part of my family line that no one else in the family has ever explored. This is generally where we’ve found all the gold, including my 3x great grandfather who fought at Antietam. That was on my fraternal grandmother’s line. Recently Bitter decided to look at my maternal grandfather’s line, on his maternal side, and hoe-lee-sh*t. It turns out this guy is quite probably my 8th great grandfather. The sixth mayor of New York City!

So let me assert my ancestral right to declare that the family is very unhappy with what Mayor Bloomberg is doing to our city. We just hoped you’d do better with the legacy we left you. Maybe I should enter the New York Mayor’s race. I mean, I haven’t sent pictures of my John Thomas to half the women in New York, and I’m not a raving socialist. My family ran The City well for err… almost two years… and we can do it again! What should I call my Mayor’s Group? Descendants of Mayors of New York for the Second Amendment?

Rifle OC: Fostering Bipartisanship

How much of this will go on before there is a bill, you think?

“I’m gonna go inside the state Capitol and see if I can educate a few people,” the man says in the video, only identified by his YouTube account name of “martinrps13.”

He walked into the east entrance lobby of the Capitol with an AR 15 rifle strapped across his chest, a handgun and a camera. The man walked right up to the security desk and told guards what he was doing.

I guess they got an education all right, but what was really accomplished here? This is also New Mexico, where open carry of pistols is culturally normal and accepted. In fact, they note:

A handgun in a holster, not a problem, but the gun guy’s visit had lawmakers in both parties thinking about changing the rules.

But now we’re looking at bipartisan consensus:

“I’m a strong supporter of the second amendment. And I’m also a member of the NRA, but I tell you there’s many buildings that you should not be able to carry a firearm into and one of them is the state Capitol,” Republican Sen. Carroll Leavell said.

“Unquestionably, I think we need to ban guns from the state Capitol, and anywhere there’s large numbers of individuals that gather for a very specific purpose,” Democratic Sen. Carlos Cisneros said.

Yes, bringing both parties together to support gun control. That was quite an education! We have enough trouble to deal with on a regular basis without having to worry we’ll need to turn people out to fight a gun ban that didn’t need to happen.

UPDATE: Here’s the video.


Guns & Antique Bottles

This morning, Sebastian & I had a conversation about upcoming plans to attend a bottle collector show to look for a bottle made by his 4x great grandfather. We’ve been told by a collecting enthusiast that while the specific bottles do come to market with some regularity, they aren’t the most common. I told Sebastian that even if we can’t find one of his bottles at this particular show, I would like to see if I can learn more about his ancestor. This is where he thought I was crazy.

His response: “That would be like going into a gun show and asking some random dealer to tell you all about Samuel Colt. They’ll probably think you’re kind of crazy.”

I think he’s wrong. I think a better analogy would be going to an antiques-only gun show as a total newbie and asking an organizer or representative of a collector group if they know, or can point me in the direction of someone who knows, a more detailed history on someone like Christian Sharps because Sebastian is a recently discovered descendant of the man and would like to know more about his business history. Maybe I’m naïve, but I’d like to think that I’d get at least a little assistance, and maybe even someone who is eager to bring new people into the culture, even if they will only ever be interested in one particular type of rifle. Ultimately, he did agree that this was a better example and somewhat less crazy.

Given that kind of context, I don’t think I’ll sound as odd as Sebastian first worried. But, who knows? That said, I’m willing to come off as a little foolish and dumb if it ultimately leads me to more answers in uncovering more information and resources about Sebastian’s ancestors.

Also, this kind of serves as a reminder to us gunnies that if we encounter total newbies asking seemingly odd questions, don’t be rude. You never know when they might have a motivation you don’t yet understand, and they would willing to become part of the culture.

That said, to the degree that we do learn more about antique bottle collecting, we will never get to the level of enthusiasm that exists for privy diggers. (No offense to any readers who might be privy diggers, but, yeah, no…no way that I’m doing that.)

Sheriff’s Race in Delco

Those of you who live in my home county may want to take a look at your sheriff’s race. It’s not unusual to see platitudes like this parroted by politicians on both sides of the aisle:

I pledge to enforce all of the laws to guarantee that no one with a questionable background receives or renews a gun permit to carry a concealed weapon.

Keep in mind that Philadelphia routinely denies permits for the most unreasonable pretenses, such as having had a gun stolen, having unpaid parking tickets, or for having arrests for petty offenses years ago in people’s past, even if there was never any prosecution or conviction. Pennsylvania law allows sheriffs considerable discretion when it comes to denying a License to Carry. He needs to be asked to clarify this position. I’d also question what his position would be on signing off on NFA forms. It would be very helpful to know whether this is a platitude, or whether he wishes to make real changes to current policy in regards to LTCs and NFA sign-off.

UPDATE: There is no question, this Democratic candidate for sheriff is anti-gun.

If I am elected as your sheriff on Nov. 5, I will not issue any permits to any Pennsylvania resident who live outside Delaware County. In our society of gun violence, it is clear that a large majority of Americans want to see mandatory background checks at all sales of firearms. I believe the same majority want their county sheriff to be more responsible in issuing permits to those citizens who want to carry a concealed weapon.

That’s a dog whistle for implementing Philadelphia style abuse of the discretion to render Delaware County effectively may-issue. He also wants to see Philadelphia’s abuses continue. So will he continue to not issue if that becomes the law? Also, Bloomberg is sure to throw money into this race. Watch for that. He wants to own Pennsylvania, and his presumption that it might be ripe for the buying might not be wrong. I see a lot of evidence around that Pennsylvanians don’t really care enough about their gun rights to meet Bloomberg in ever backyard he’s digging in.

UPDATE: See Joe Sestak’s endorsement of him here.