Protecting Bitter and Sebastian on Vacation


I came across this video today about the Hawaii Air National Guard. They will be transitioning soon to the F-22 Raptor from the F-15 Eagle. Since Bitter and Sebastian are vacationing in Hawaii, I thought it would be nice to recognize one of the units protecting them (and the rest of Hawaii).

Won’t Take No for an Answer

The groups petitioning the EPA to ban the use of lead in ammunition and fishing sinkers don’t like taking no for an answer – even if it is only a partial “no”. When the EPA quickly dismissed the part of the petition dealing with lead ammunition saying they didn’t have the authority to regulate it, they allowed the effort to ban lead sinkers and weights to continue.

In politics, a partial win usually is OK. You win a little now and hope that you can gain more in the future. However, the Center for Biological Diversity and the American Bird Conservancy don’t want to accept even a partial win. They want it all.

In press releases that both have issued, they accuse the EPA of bowing to electoral politics by dismissing the part of the petition dealing with ammunition. Well, duh!

The last thing the Obama Administration wants now is an effort targeted at hunters and gun owners who are already pissed off and distrustful of this administration. Frankly, I’m surprised they are willing to anger fishermen unless they are assuming it is only worm dunkers – and not fly fishermen – who use lead. As a fly tyer, I can assure you that I use lead to weight my flies on occasion.

BATF Budget Growth

Dave Hardy at Of Arms and the Law posted a link to a Congressional Research Service analysis of the BATF budget for FY 2011. He notes that their budget has doubled in the past ten years while the number of employees has only increased from about 4,100 to 5,100.

As some have said, the only area of the economy growing seems to be government. Dave adds firearm sales to the mix as well.

Making Assumptions

The old saying about avoiding assumptions because when you assume you make an ass out of you and me is correct. Yesterday, a number of non-gun bloggers saw the notice about hearings to be held by the Senate Judiciary Committe next week. The title of the hearings was “Firearms in Commerce: Assessing the Need for Reform in the Federal Regulatory Process”. They immediately thought this was some backdoor effort by Democrats to get back at us bitter clingers now since they might not have a chance after the coming elections.

Gun bloggers, on the other hand, were not so ready to jump to this conclusion. Instead most readily connected these hearings to the BATFE Reform Act when has been working its way through Congress. The House version, HR 2296, has 240 co-sponsors and the Senate bill, S. 941, has 36 co-sponsors including Pat Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

And guess what? The primary focus of the hearings will be on S. 941. I have a “for background purposes” release on No Lawyers – Only Guns and Money that I received this morning from Erica Chabot, the Committe Press Secretary.

The bottom line is the most obvious answer is often the correct answer. It was in this case.

Daley Won’t Seek Re-Election in Chicago

Mayor Richard M. Daley stunned the political establishment in Chicago this afternoon when he announced he would not be running for re-election in 2011. He has held the office since 1989 when he won a special election to replace Mayor Harold Washington.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Daley said “it just feels right” regarding his decision to not seek re-election. On December 26th, he will eclipse his father, Mayor Richard J. Daley, as the longest serving mayor of Chicago. The Sun-Times quotes his brother, William (Bill) Daley, on what is behind the decision:

“It’s not Maggie’s health or [the city’s] financial problems, unemployment or crime. Blaming this decision on the re-election campaign or fear he wasn’t gonna win is silly also. All of the things you go to to find a reason, there’s bits of truth in all of them. It’s not one thing. It’s an accumulation of 21 years and looking, not just at an election, but the next four years in one’s life. He’s healthy. He’s got time to do other things — or nothing.”

However, a poll commissioned by the Chicago Tribune conducted earlier this summer found:

The poll found only 37 percent of city voters approve of the job Daley is doing as mayor, compared with 47 percent who disapprove. Moreover, a record-low 31 percent said they want to see Daley re-elected, compared with 53 percent who don’t want him to win another term.

Now that Daley isn’t going to run for re-election, politicians who have previously suppressed their desire for the office are now thinking of running. Some of the names mentioned include Rahm Emanuel, Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., a number of sitting aldermen, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, and Cook County Assessor Jim Houlihan.

The announcement leads to two important questions. First, will the coalition that kept Daley in office and the Chicago Democratic Machine running start to fight amongst themselves? And, second, what will this mean for gun rights in Chicago and the State of Illinois?

I think the answer to the first question is absolutely yes. Alderman Ed Smith, considered the dean of the African-American alderman on City Council, guarantees that there will be an African-American candidate for mayor.

“If we can raise the money, there’s gonna be a [black] candidate. We’re not short on people who can run this town and who would get in the race.

Probably the best analogy would be to Yugoslavia upon the death of Marshall Tito. Without a leader that could hold a coalition of antagoinistic factions together, the factions began to fight for power and control and the place fell apart. I wouldn’t be surprised if it is the same in Chicago.

As to gun rights, none of the potential candidates is going to be good for our side. However, they could be “less bad” than Mayor Daley. For example, Rahm “Never let a crisis go to waste” Emanual has described being Mayor of Chicago as his dream job. He saw what the impact of gun control did for the Clinton administration in 1994. When he was head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, he recruited many “Blue Dog” Democrats who were pro-gun. I’m not saying he’d be pro-gun but might be less anti-gun than the present regime.

Sheriff Tom Dart came out against concealed carry in Illinois last year when SB 1976 was proposed. Obviously, Jesse Jackson, Jr. would not be good for gun rights but he may be damaged goods due to Rod Blagojevich.

I’d love to hear the comments from people who live in the Chicago area who might have a better feel for potential candidates and where they stand on gun rights.

Update on Korean Garands

The Washington Times ran an editorial on Friday that referred to the blocked Korean Garands as “Obama’s backdoor gun ban.” The paper confirmed with the State Department that the rifles’ importation was being blocked and that they were looking at alternative options. As the paper notes, during the Clinton administration, “alternative options” meant melting down surplus rifles.  The end result of that fiasco is that it left the U.S. Army scraping the barrel when it came to finding M-14s for their Designated Marksmen.

The Washington Times further accused Obama of doing this to appease the “gun grabbers.”

Therefore, the best way for Mr. Obama to appease the gun-grabbing fringe is to take actions that won’t bring too much attention to what he’s doing. As long as the destruction of these rifles stays under the public radar screen, he will have achieved his goal.

The Firearm Blog has a post about the South Koreans’ reaction to the surplus Garands and M-1 carbines being blocked. They link to a story in the Korean newspaper The Chosun llbo. The story reiterates much of what was said in the original Korea Times article. Quoting an unnamed Korean official who said:

“It’s difficult to understand why the U.S. opposes the deal now, when we already shipped tens of thousands of these firearms to the U.S. in the early 1990s. We are trying to grasp the real underlying cause of this reversal through diplomatic channels.” He added that because these firearms were originally made in the U.S., selling them back needs approval from Washington.

The Chosun Ilbo article does have one humorous aspect. The picture that they use to illustrate the M-1 Carbine seems to be that of a plastic, G.I. Joe toy carbine.

Interesting Posters Appear in SF – update

The most interesting posters started appearing on certain bus stops throughout San Francisco on August 31st. Mind you, the San Francisco MTA has a policy against ads that “appear to promote the use of firearms.”

The posters were a joint effort of the Second Amendment Foundation and the CalGuns Foundation. More here and here. A clearer picture of the poster can be found here. The poster is an adaption of an earlier poster by Oleg Volk.

UPDATE:  According to a CBS News blog, the SFMTA is investigating whether the posters above should have been allowed to be posted at bus stops in the first place. The feeling I get from that report is that the MTA has been getting a lot of pressure from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to remove the ads.

If they remove them, Alan Gottlieb will be one happy man. He has vowed to sue if they are removed and it  sounds like he is just itching for the chance to sue SF on First Amendment grounds.

Righthaven’s Newest Target

In a somewhat ironic turn of events, Sharron Angle, Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate from Nevada, has become the latest Righthaven LLC target. I say ironic because Sherm Frederick, publisher of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, is reputed to be one of her biggest backers.

There is speculation that posts by liberal blogger and Reid supporter Steve Friess goaded Righthaven into filing the suit. Friess, who works for a sister publication of the rival Las Vegas Sun, had published instances of Angle’s campaign posting full articles from the LVRJ on her website.

Friends or enemies, rich or poor, Democrats or Republicans, they are all targets for “copyright-magnate” Steve Gibson.

Bateman Case Takes on a New Urgency

With the approach of Hurricane Earl to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Governor Beverly Perdue has proclaimed a State of Emergency by executive order. Under North Carolina law, it is illegal to transport or possess a “deadly weapon” off one’s premises during states of emergency. No exception is made for recreational shooting, hunting, or for holding a concealed carry permit.

An examination of the executive order and the laws surrounding it can be found on my blog here.

Starting Saturday at 12 noon, many thousands of North Carolinians will likely be guilty of an act that is a Class 1 misdemeanor for that is the opening of dove season.  They will be possessing and transporting firearms to dove fields around the state during a declared state of emergency which violates G.S. 14-288-7. I sincerely doubt the State of Emergency will be lifted before then.

UPDATE: The NC Wildlife Resources Commission released a statement by e-mail saying that the Governor’s Office informed them that the emergency proclamation would not interfere with hunting and nothing was invoked to prohibit transport. You can read it here at the bottom of the page.

While Bev Perdue’s office is saying one thing, I still think the law says another.  Nothing in Section 14-288-7 says that the prohibition on the transport and possession of a deadly weapon off-premises during a state of emergency is at the Governor’s discretion.

Required Reading for CCW Holders

Marty and Gila Hayes run the Shooting Academy of Seattle. Marty is also the founder of the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network which provides help to those involved in a self-defense shooting.

In conjunction with this organization, they publish an e-journal which gives details of self-defense shootings and the legal aftermath. The September 2010 issue is about the case of Larry Hickey of Tucson, AZ.

Mr. Hickey was involved in a self-defense shooting when he was attacked by three neighbors in his own driveway. Due to sloppy police work, he ended up being charged with aggravated assault and spent 71 days in jail. His case ended in a hung jury the first time it was tried and an acquittal the second time around. Without the expert testimony of Massad Ayoob in the second trial, who knows what would have happened.

This was recommended to me by Gail Pepin who is part of the group putting on the ProArms Podcast. She thought it should be required reading for anyone with a CCW. Just because you are in the right doesn’t mean it will be easy to clear your name in case of a self-defense shooting.