Wednesday, December 30, 2015

ISIS has issued a disturbing ruling detailing who can have sex with female slaves

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Islamic State theologians have issued an extremely detailed ruling on when "owners" of women enslaved by the extremist group can have sex with them, in an apparent bid to curb what they called violations in the treatment of captured females.
The ruling or fatwa has the force of law and appears to go beyond the Islamic State's previous known utterances on the subject, a leading Islamic State scholar said. It sheds new light on how the group is trying to reinterpret centuries-old teachings to justify the sexual slavery of women in the swaths of Syria and Iraq it controls.
To read the fatwa, click here.
The fatwa was among a huge trove of documents captured by U.S. Special Operations Forces during a raid targeting a top Islamic State official in Syria in May. Reuters has reviewed some of the documents, which have not been previously published.
Among the religious rulings are bans on a father and son having sex with the same female slave, and the owner of a mother and daughter having sex with both. Joint owners of a female captive are similarly enjoined from intercourse because she is viewed as "part of a joint ownership."
The United Nations and human rights groups have accused the Islamic State of the systematic abduction and rape of thousands of women and girls as young as 12, especially members of the Yazidi minority in northern Iraq. Many have been given to fighters as a reward or sold as sex slaves.
Far from trying to conceal the practice, Islamic State has boasted about it and established a department of "war spoils" to manage slavery. Reuters reported on the existence of the department on Monday.
In an April report, Human Rights Watch interviewed 20 female escapees who recounted how Islamic State fighters separated young women and girls from men and boys and older women. They were moved "in an organized and methodical fashion to various places in Iraq and Syria." They were then sold or given as gifts and repeatedly raped or subjected to sexual violence.

Dos and don'ts

Fatwa No. 64, dated Jan. 29, 2015, and issued by Islamic State's Committee of Research and Fatwas, appears to codify sexual relations between IS fighters and their female captives for the first time, going further than a pamphlet issued by the group in 2014 on how to treat slaves.
The fatwa starts with a question: "Some of the brothers have committed violations in the matter of the treatment of the female slaves. These violations are not permitted by Sharia law because these rules have not been dealt with in ages. Are there any warnings pertaining to this matter?"
It then lists 15 injunctions, which in some instances go into explicit detail. For example:
"If the owner of a female captive, who has a daughter suitable for intercourse, has sexual relations with the latter, he is not permitted to have intercourse with her mother and she is permanently off limits to him. Should he have intercourse with her mother then he is not permitted to have intercourse with her daughter and she is to be off limits to him."
Islamic State's sexual exploitation of female captives has been well documented, but a leading IS expert at Princeton University, Cole Bunzel, who has reviewed many of the group's writings, said the fatwa went beyond what has previously been published by the militants on how to treat female slaves.
"It reveals the actual concerns of IS slave owners," he said in an email.
Still, he cautioned that not "everything dealt with in the fatwa is indicative of a relevant violation. It doesn't mean father and son were necessarily sharing a girl. They're at least being 'warned' not to. But I bet some of these violations were being committed."
ISIS Islamic State Millitants Convoy FlagMilitant website via APIslamic State militants pass by a convoy in Tel Abyad, Syria.
The fatwa also instructs owners of female slaves to "show compassion towards her, be kind to her, not humiliate her, and not assign her work she is unable to perform." An owner should also not sell her to an individual whom he knows will mistreat her.
Professor Abdel Fattah Alawari, dean of Islamic Theology at Al-Azhar University, a 1,000-year-old Egyptian center for Islamic learning, said Islamic State "has nothing to do with Islam" and was deliberately misreading centuries-old verses and sayings that were originally designed to end, rather than encourage, slavery.
"Islam preaches freedom to slaves, not slavery. Slavery was the status quo when Islam came around," he said. "Judaism, Christianity, Greek, Roman, and Persian civilizations all practiced it and took the females of their enemies as sex slaves. So Islam found this abhorrent practice and worked to gradually remove it."
In September 2014 more than 120 Islamic scholars from around the world issued an open letter to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi refuting the group's religious arguments to justify many of its actions. The scholars noted that the "reintroduction of slavery is forbidden in Islam."

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

California Law Allowing Seizure of Guns without Notice Begins Jan. 1

Gun-safety legislation going into effect in California next week will allow authorities to seize a person’s weapons for 21 days if a judge determines there’s potential for violence.
Proposed in the wake of a deadly May 2014 shooting rampage by Elliot Rodger, the bill provides family members with a means of having an emergency “gun violence restraining order” imposed against a loved one if they can convince a judge that allowing that person to possess a firearm “poses an immediate and present danger of causing personal injury to himself, herself or another by having in his or her custody or control.”

Monday, December 28, 2015

The 5 Best-Selling Guns of 2015

The 5 Best-Selling Guns of 2015

Concealed carry is the hot trend in firearms sales, and the favorite weapon on this list features light weight and accuracy.

With concealed carry a primary concern for gun buyers, Smith & Wesson's M&P Shield line of subcompact guns has proved extremely popular, with over 1 million guns produced. Image: Smith & Wesson Holding.
There are probably as many favorite guns among firearms enthusiasts as there are models manufactured. One way to determine what the "best" gun is is to see what people are buying. But that's not a straightforward endeavor.
Since Smith & Wesson Holding (NASDAQ:SWHC) and Sturm, Ruger (NYSE:RGR) are the only publicly traded gunsmiths, we're able to gain some insights into their sales, but mostly of broad categories rather than specific models.
For example, Smith & Wesson reported that fiscal-second-quarter sales were driven 15% higher by demand for its polymer shield and M&P models, while Ruger pointed to demand for its new AR-556 modern sporting rifle and LC9 pistol as reason sell-through from independent distributors to retailers jumped 28% in its last period. But with the bulk of the balance of the industry privately held, it's hard to get a read on who's buying what.
So I turned to, the world's largest online auction site for firearms and accessories, which every month publishes the five best-selling firearms on its site. While it lists the leaders in every major category of firearms sold, breaking them down between new, used, and a combination of the two, for this list I limited the selection to the five best-selling new, semi-automatic pistols. However, doesn't list specific numbers for the guns sold. No raw unit totals or total dollar values. So what I did was compile all the monthly lists and broke it down into which gun landed in the top spot the most number of times. Then I looked at which was No. 2 most often; which was third, and so on.
I then arbitrarily assigned a value to each slot. A first-place finish got 5 points; second place, 4 points; third, 3, and so on. I then tallied the results and picked out the top five guns for 2015 (January to November). Nineteen different gun models from eight separate manufacturers appeared on the list. Here are the top five best-selling new semiautomatic pistols on my list, in reverse order.
Fourth Place (tie): Smith & Wesson M&P9 and Sig Sauer P938. Neither gun landed in the top spot over the course of the year, but the models were gun buyers' second and third choices most often. The M&P9 is Smith & Wesson's direct challenge to Glock in the low-cost polymer frame segment and its lightweight design has helped the gunmaker enjoy tremendous growth as handgun sales have taken off.
Similar in size to its best-selling P238 pistol, Sig Sauer's P938 now offers concealed carry gun buyers the ballistic advantage of the 9mm cartridge. Image: Sig Sauer.
In contrast, Sig Sauer's P938 is a hammer-fired, single-action semi-auto, with aluminum alloy frame and steel slide. It's super-lightweight and designed for concealed carry.
Third Place: Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield. This is S&W's answer to the concealed-carry gun niche that is exploding. So popular are its Shield models that during the second quarter the gunmaker produced its one millionth model, which it says makes it "the best-selling personal protection and self-defense pistol" on the market.
Second Place: Taurus PT-111 Millenium G2. Yet another gun designed for the concealed carry market, the Taurus PT-111 is available in 9mm and built on a lightweight polymer platform in a subcompact form factor. Its appearance on the list would surprise many gun enthusiasts, but the fact it was the favorite gun four months in a row probably raised even more eyebrows, though it also attested to the gun's meeting a specific need in the market.
Untitled Spreadsheet Sheet
Compiled by author. Data source:
First Place: Kel Tec PMR-30. This might not have been the gun many would have expected to top the list, but the Kel Tec PMR-30 dominated sales at this year, coming in first place more times than any other model (five), and regularly being a gun buyer's second or third choice. The Kel Tec was also on the top-five list more often than any other model (eight), and unlike Smith & Wesson, Ruger, or Sig Sauer, which each had three different models appear at any time over the course of the year, it was only the Kel Tec PMR-30 that gun buyers wanted.
The Kel Tec PMR-30. Image: Kel Tec Weapons.
What pushes gun enthusiasts to want the Kel Tec is its light weight. Even fully loaded with 30 double-stacked .22 Magnum rounds (.22 WMR), its glass-reinforced nylon Zytel frame is lighter than many polymer-frame guns, yet there's a distinct lack of recoil when fired. It's also pretty accurate.
Gun sales have never been greater. The FBI is on track to conduct more background checks on gun buyers this year than at any other time, even more than the record number of investigations performed in 2013. While will release its best-selling firearm for 2015 next month, there's a good bet it will be one of those here. And considering how often the Kel Tec PMR-30 has topped the lists so far, I'd be surprised if it wasn't the overall choice of gun buyers everywhere.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

ISIS Recruitment Video Features Clinton, Not Donald Trump

ISIS Recruitment Video Features Clinton, Not Donald Trump

Former President Bill Clinton featured in recent ISIS recruitment video

By now Democrat presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s comment that the Islamic State terror group used videos of Donald Trump to recruit radical jihadists has been proven false.
But in an interesting development, a video recently released by ISIS actually features an image of the democrat candidate’s husband.
“A four-minute video released by ISIS last month, entitled ‘No Respite,’ includes an image of Bill Clinton, who is called a ‘fornicator’ — a reference to his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, among many others,” reports Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross.
On Saturday during the last Democrat debate of the year, Clinton ludicrously blamed Donald Trump for the rise in the recruitment of foreign jihadists.
“We need to make sure that the really discriminatory messages that Trump is sending around the world don’t fall on receptive ears,” Clinton said.
“He is becoming ISIS’s best recruiter. They are going to people showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists,” added Clinton.
Earlier today Trump, for the second time, asked for an apology “for the lie” Hillary told.
Despite the emergence of this latest video, the Clinton campaign has yet to retract the erroneous remark.

A former Special Operations doctor explains why he would rather be shot with an AK-47 than an M4

A former Special Operations doctor explains why he would rather be shot with an AK-47 than an M4

ak47 m4 gunWikipedia/Amanda Macias/Business InsiderAn AK-47 (top photo) and an M4.
Admittedly, I’d rather not be shot with either, but if I had to choose, I’d take a round from the AK-47 over the M4 any day of the week. To add a caveat to that statement, I’m talking from relatively close range here—say up to 150-200 meters. To understand why, it’s important to first take a very basic look at the physics behind terminal ballistics.
In this case, consider the science of what happens when a penetrating missile enters a human body.
The first place to start is the following kinetic-energy equation:
KE = ½ M (V1-V2)2
Breaking this equation down into its components, we have kinetic energy (KE) influenced by the mass (M) of the penetrating missile, as well as the velocity (V) of the missile.
This makes sense; it is logical that a heavier, faster missile is going to do more damage than a lighter, slower missile. What is important to understand is the relative influence that mass and velocity have on kinetic energy, as this is key to understanding why I’d rather be shot with an AK than with an M4.
You’ll notice that the mass component of the KE equation is halved, whereas the velocity component is squared. For this reason, it is the velocity of the projectile that has far more bearing on the energy that it delivers into the target than the mass.
AK-47An AK-47.
The V1-V2 component of the equation takes into consideration that the projectile might actually pass straight through the target, rather than coming to rest in the target.
In this instance, the change in the velocity of the projectile as it passes through the target (V1 being its velocity as it enters, and V2 being velocity on exit) is the factor that is considered when calculating how much energy the missile delivered into the target.
Naturally, if the projectile comes to rest in the target (ie: no exit wound), then V2 equals zero and the projectile’s velocity as it entered (V1) is used to calculate the KE.
That’s enough physics for now, but you get the concept that the optimum projectile to shoot someone with is one that has a decent mass; is very, very fast; and is guaranteed to come to rest in your target so as to dissipate as much energy as possible into them, and hence do maximal damage.
The next concept to grasp is that of permanent cavitation versus temporary cavitation. Permanent cavitation is the hole left in a target from a projectile punching through it. You can think of it simply like a sharp stick being pushed through a target and leaving a hole the diameter of the stick.
7.62x39 FMJAn AK-47 bullet.
The permanent cavity left by a bullet is proportionate to the surface area of the bullet as it passes through the tissue. For instance, if an AK-47 round of 7.62mm diameter at its widest point passes cleanly through a target, it will leave a round, 7.62mm permanent cavity.
If this hole goes through a vital structure in the body, then the wound can be fatal.
However, if the bullet passes through soft tissues only, the permanent cavity can be relatively benign.
Below is a slow-motion video by Brass Fetcher of a 5.56x45mm round (same as what the M4 fires) hitting ballistic gelatin in slow motion.
After watching, the medical provider can begin to appreciate the damage done to tissues by the pressure wave of the temporary cavitation.
 Having had the chance to treat dozens of high-velocity missile wounds over my years in the military, I’ve seen firsthand the effect that various rifle calibers can have at various distances, hitting various body parts. Naturally there are a multitude of variables that come into play when someone gets shot, and no two gunshot wounds are ever going to be the same.
The purpose of this article is not to draw any academic conclusions about the ballistics of the AK-47 versus the M4, or argue the merits of one ammo over another, it is to introduce the concepts of the different wounding profiles of permanent and temporary cavities using a couple of case studies.
Below are two examples I was involved with that illustrate somewhat of a comparative study of an AK-47 round and an M4 round striking approximately the same anatomical location, and from roughly the same range (in these cases, 150-200 meters).
gunshot wound
This series of photos you can see a particularly nasty M4 gunshot wound, with a small entrance wound in the right lower buttock, and a massive exit wound in the right lateral thigh.
The X-ray in the last image shows that the projectile struck the upper femur and demolished the bone, sending secondary bone fragments flying through the tissues and accounting for the majority of the exit wound.
The damage done by the pressure wave of the temporary cavity can be appreciated in the first image, with deep bruising extending up the buttock and into the casualty’s lower back. This bruising resulted from the energy dissipated through the tissues pulverizing small blood vessels in its path (think back to the ballistic gelatin video to imagine what went on in the tissues).
gunshot woundDon't worry, he's okay.
The granular material in the middle of the thigh wound seen on the X-ray is an older-generation QuikClot advanced clotting sponge (ACS), which was inserted at the point of injury for hemorrhage control to excellent effect. The bright white fragments on the X-ray are small pieces of the bullet, which had disintegrated on impact with the tissue and bone. This is another characteristic of the M4 round that makes it all the more unappealing to be shot with—the tendency for the bullet to disintegrate if it strikes tissue at a decent velocity.
Despite being a jacketed round, because it’s smaller, lighter, and faster than an AK-47 projectile, the 5.56mm tends to yaw faster once it hits tissue. The shearing forces on the bullet once it is traveling at 90° through the tissue often tears the bullet into pieces, thus creating multiple smaller projectiles and increasing the chances of all of the bullet parts remaining in the target, and hence dissipating more energy.
The AK-47 round, being slightly heavier and slower than the M4 round, has a tendency to remain intact as it strikes tissue, and although it will penetrate deeper, it tends to remain intact and not yaw until it has penetrated much deeper than the M4.
Here’s a video from The Ammo Channel of the AK-47’s 7.62x39mm projectile being fired into ballistic gelatin for comparison to the video above of the 5.56x45mm (M4) round. Although the video shows a soft-point round being used, which theoretically should be more destructive than its full metal jacket counterpart, the video still illustrates nicely the significant penetration of the AK-47 round without it yawing significantly or disintegrating.
I once saw a good case study illustrating this point, where a casualty had sustained an AK-47 gunshot wound to the right lateral thigh and we recovered the intact bullet from the inside of his left upper abdominal wall. It had passed through approximately one metre of his tissues and shredded his small bowel, but the projectile hadn’t fragmented at all, and the temporary cavitation hadn’t done enough damage to be lethal. The casualty required a laparotomy to remove multiple sections of small intestine, but he made a good recovery. That one is a story for another time.
The following photo is of a good friend of mine who was shot by an AK-47 from approximately 200 meters while standing right next to me!
Fortunately the bullet passed cleanly through, and after a surgical clean-out the afternoon of the injury, he turned up ready for work the very next day. They breed them tough where he is from!
The image was taken a few days after the injury and the bruising from the temporary cavity of the projectile can be seen along the path of the bullet.
gunshot woundDon't worry, he's okay too.
The entrance wound is at the top of the left buttock, with the exit being down on the left upper thigh. Although an unpleasant injury to have, the fact that the AK-47 round was traveling slower than an M4’s round at the same range would have been, coupled with the fact that the projectile remained intact and didn’t yaw significantly as it passed through him, meant the wound was nowhere near as devastating as the above-mentioned M4 injury in the same area.
It must be noted, however, that the comparison is far from perfect given that the M4 injury involved the bone, with the one immediately above passing solely through soft tissues.
So there it is. All things being equal, when all is said and done, I’d rather be shot with an AK-47 than a M4 on any day of the week. Naturally, as medical responders, it is always important to treat the wound and not the rifle that inflicted it, and I have certainly seen some horrendous AK-47 wounds over the years and some relatively minor ones from M4s. It all depends.
The main take-home points for first responders and medicos are: Be aware of the magnitude of damage that can be caused by the temporary cavitation resulting from high-velocity missile wounds, and if you find an entrance wound, there’s no telling where in the body the projectile might have ended up!

'possession of all handguns and all handgun ammunition——totally illegal.”

The Clinton Files II

The Clinton Files II
On Nov. 19, 2015, Brady Center president Dan Gross (left) and New York Governor (and New York SAFE Act author) Andrew Cuomo (right) present Hillary Clinton with the Mario M. Cuomo Visionary Award for her leadership on gun control.
Last month, we outlined the Bill Clinton administration’s plans for gun control, including a plan to use lawsuits against gun manufacturers to force a settlement that would have imposed gun registration, bans on magazines holding more than 10 cartridges and many other forms of gun control, all without going through Congress.
Those were not the only gun control secrets stashed in the archives of the Clinton Presidential Library—not by any means. The archives also held evidence of the Brady Campaign’s real agenda, as revealed by its lobbying of the Clinton White House.
The Brady Campaign has long claimed that its agenda is limited. Just some “reasonable, common-sense” gun restrictions—no need for anyone to worry about confiscation or onerous regulations. Brady officials would prefer that no gun owner read the words of its former chairman Nelson “Pete” Shields—the man who put the organization on the political map. In the July 26, 1976, issue of The New Yorker, Shields gave an interview and summed up the group’s program. Saying that for now his organization would have to accept that half a loaf is better than none, and that for now he’d “be happy to take just a slice,” he explained: Neither Brady nor the mayors got all of their wishes, but they certainly got some. The Brady Act, the “assault weapons” ban, and the driving of small FFLs out of business represented their major successes.
“Our ultimate goal—total control of handguns in the United States—is going to take time. My estimate is from seven to 10 years. The first problem is to slow down the increasing number of handguns sold in this country. The second problem is to get handguns registered. And the final problem is to make the possession of all handguns and all handgun ammunition—except for the military, policemen, licensed security guards, licensed sporting clubs, and licensed gun collectors—totally illegal.”
Around that same time, the Brady Campaign (then known as Handgun Control Inc.) sent out a fundraising letter that listed gun control measures that it was pushing, but assured contributors it would not stop there: “Ultimately, we want strict federal laws that will effectively restrict the possession of handguns to only the police, the military, licensed security guards, licensed pistol clubs and registered collectors.
(This, we know, will take time. But we hope and believe it will come.)”
For years, the Brady Campaign had to sit on these hopes. The Carter administration was willing to use the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) to harass gun owners, but had sense enough not to publicly endorse Brady’s agenda. After Carter came the Reagan administration, during which there was no sense even trying, and the first Bush administration, which for Brady Campaign purposes wasn’t much better.
Then came the 1992 elections, when a new world opened up for gun control advocates. Bill Clinton, with campaign promises of more gun control, occupied the White House, and his party controlled both houses of Congress. At last, the opportunity Brady had waited decades for had arrived!
The Clinton archives show that the Brady Campaign moved quickly to take advantage. A September 1993 letter sent by Richard Aborn of the Brady Campaign to Howard Paster, head of Clinton’s White House Office of Legislative Affairs, showed the opening of the White House door. It begins, “Dear Howard: In preparation for the possibility of Sarah, Jim and I meeting with the president, we thought the White House might want to consider signing some additional presidential directives. ... I’d be happy to discuss these with you and would like to discuss with you the actual meeting with the president.”
Paster forwarded the letter, and its attached list of ideas, to the White House Domestic Policy Council with a handwritten note asking to be notified “ASAP” if any were usable ideas. He added, “The president’s focus on violent crime makes anti-gun directives logical.” The Domestic Policy Council’s reply was essentially that some of the ideas were not legally doable, and they were already working on the rest.
From that point on, the archives show, anti-gunners had exceptional access to the White House, and used it to the fullest. In fact, the files of President Clinton’s Domestic Policy Council read like the archives of the Brady Campaign.
The White House files were filled with Brady Campaign/Handgun Control Inc.’s legislative plans. A memo stamped “confidential—do not circulate” (with the label set out by images of skulls and crossbones) outlined Brady’s real agenda.
It began with a list of what Brady wanted from the Clinton administration. The list was long, but mostly quite predictable: licensing requirements and registration for handgun ownership, a ban on “assault rifles,” “one-gun-a-month,” a seven-day waiting period, and stiff increases in fees (to $1,000 per year) for FFLs.
Even that would not be enough to please the Brady Campaign, though. Its memo added some proposals that (until now) have never seen the light of day.
Brady also asked for a federal requirement of a special “arsenal license” for any gun owner who possessed 20 guns or 1,000 rounds of ammunition. (The White House copy has a handwritten note: “all guns.”) The memo described the arsenal license’s requirements as “similar to the requirements for a machine gun license,” including the requirement for police approval, since “anyone who has an arsenal is a danger to society.” In this scenario, two bricks of .22s would be enough for a gun owner to be treated as a public menace. From that point on, the archives show, anti-gunners had exceptional access to the White House, and used it to the fullest.
Brady also asked that each component of a handgun, including the “barrel, stock, receiver, any part of the action, or ammunition magazines” be treated as if they were the receiver. “Buyers would need a license, sellers would need an FFL, and interstate sales would be illegal,” Brady explained. Replacing the grips or a firing pin spring, or purchasing an extra magazine, would actually require a 4473. Apparently they consider handguns to be that dangerous!
Incredibly, Brady also wanted a ban on manufacturing magazines that held more than six rounds, and a requirement that transfers of used seven-round and larger magazines have law enforcement approval. Essentially, nearly every magazine in the United States, apart from those for some pocket guns and deer rifles, would be banned if new, or tightly restricted if already in existence.
So much for Brady’s claim that they only want “reasonable, common-sense gun control”! The moment there seemed to be an opening for more, they seized the opportunity with both hands. They were obviously seeking to implement anything that made gun ownership more difficult, burdensome or legally risky. Want a different action spring for that pistol? See your dealer and fill out the 4473. Want to a buy magazine for that 1911? See your chief of police. Want to own two bricks of .22 Long Rifle? After you see your police chief, send your application, fingerprints and photo to Washington, and wait for them to license you as a “danger to society.”
Yet even that wasn’t the limit. In a later letter to the Clinton White House, Brady expanded on its idea to heavily tax handguns and ammunition, and in the process showed its disdain for hunters and shooting ranges. The October 1993 memo, sent by Brady’s president Richard Aborn, was aimed at Pittman-Robertson funds. P-R funds come from an excise tax long imposed on new firearms and ammunition, and earmarked for state game and fish agencies, which use them for game conservation and shooting ranges. The memo recommended raising the tax on handguns and handgun ammunition to 30 percent, and diverting all of these funds away from conservation and into paying the medical costs of treating handgun shooting victims.
What about game conservation and ranges? To Brady, these were not a concern. “The Pittman-Robertson program is a product of another era,” the letter stated. “If it was ever important to subsidize hunting and sport shooting, that time has past [sic].”
To the Brady Campaign, damaging Pittman-Robertson and hunting was a benefit, not a bug. The memo ended:
“It would probably be politically impossible to eliminate the Pittman-Robertson program. It has developed an entrenched constituency in every state. Still, that program could probably be trimmed by eliminating all funding from handgun taxation. That would cut the program by about one-third.”
To be fair, Brady was not the only group charging ahead with plans for gun control, nor did the Clinton White House need much prodding. A December 1993 letter from the U.S. Conference of Mayors related that group’s desires. As might be expected, first and foremost was dealing with the “root causes of crime” by … wait for it … giving city governments more taxpayer money. After that came a litany taken directly from Brady’s list. Possession of “assault weapons” and their “component parts” should be outlawed. So should all possession of firearms (not just handguns) by minors. Small FFLs should be put out of business, and the licensing fee for surviving FFLs raised to $1,000 per year. The excise tax on firearms should be “increased significantly,” and taken out of Pittman-Robertson.
The mayors’ demands in some areas even went beyond what the Brady Campaign had proposed. The mayors proposed that gun shows be banned, period, and likewise the sale of hollow-point ammunition. FFLs with paperwork violations should be subject to a minimum penalty of $20,000 for a first violation, “with increasing amounts for subsequent violations.” The mayors apparently felt that was an appropriate response to failing to write down a county name or ZIP code on a form.
Neither Brady nor the mayors got all of their wishes, but they certainly got some. The Brady Act, the “assault weapons” ban, and the driving of small FFLs out of business represented their major successes. Then came the midterm elections. In his autobiography, Bill Clinton described the effects: The goal is to make handgun ownership illegal: Along the way, remember that half a loaf is better than none, and if you have to, settle for just a slice. Take whatever you can get, and keep on asking for more.
“On November 8, we got the living daylights beat out of us, losing eight Senate seats and 44 House seats, the largest defeat for our party since 1946. … The NRA had a great night. They beat both Speaker Tom Foley and Jack Brooks, two of the ablest members of Congress, who had warned me this would happen. … The gun lobby claimed to have defeated 19 of the 24 members on its hit list. They did at least that much damage, and could rightly claim to have made [Newt] Gingrich the House Speaker.”
It’s said that one form of insanity consists of taking action, experiencing disaster and then repeating the action in hopes of getting a better result. After an electoral thrashing like that, we might have expected the Brady Campaign to take stock of the situation and lie low for a time. After all, they would be lobbying the very man whom they just led into political disaster.
But the Brady Campaign didn’t seem to know when to quit. In November 1996, Brady’s legislative director wrote the White House to propose several new and old ideas for gun restrictions. First, he proposed “one handgun a month,” a by-then old idea (but which 20 years later is still being floated from time to time). The Clinton people may have been getting tired of Brady’s ideas: When the letter argued that one-gun-a-month would reduce gun-running, someone in the Domestic Policy Council wrote “How?” in the margin. Brady also proposed requiring private sales to go through FFLs (again, an idea that is still at the top of the anti-gun wish list), “smart guns” that could only be fired by their owner (ditto) and some other measures, before coming down to their single new idea.
That idea: Make it illegal for anyone but an FFL to sell more than one gun a month. That way, the administration could claim it wasn’t closing down gun shows or requiring background checks for private sales. In effect, of course, it would greatly curtail participation at gun shows, but that wouldn’t be the administration’s problem.
I could find no reply to that Brady letter in the Clinton archives. The group had apparently worn out its welcome.
The Brady Campaign’s correspondence with the Clinton White House, revealed here for the first time, illustrates how well and persistently it has stuck with the agenda laid out by its first real leader. The goal is to make handgun ownership illegal: Along the way, remember that half a loaf is better than none, and if you have to, settle for just a slice. Take whatever you can get, and keep on asking for more. Anything that makes gun ownership more burdensome or risky is a step toward that goal. Federal licenses to own ammunition or a gun collection, higher fees and more penalties for FFLs, treating springs and grips as if they were receivers, one-gun-a-month—get them if you can. Stripping away funds for wildlife conservation—go for it, less game means fewer hunters. What matters to them is not the impact on crime, but the impact on gun ownership.
That is exactly what should be on gun owners’ minds as another election approaches. The Brady Campaign’s new highest hope is that a White House door—and especially a new Clinton White House door—will open for them next year.
See the full text of Handgun Control Inc.’s (now The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence) gun control recommendation from the Clinton Presidential Library, by clicking here.

The New Clinton-Brady Connection
It’s little surprise that Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton is a darling of the Brady Campaign.
On Nov. 19, the Brady Center presented Hillary Clinton with the inaugural Mario M. Cuomo Visionary Award at the Brady Bear Awards Gala in New York. The Brady Campaign is “honored to recognize Mrs. Clinton for her leadership on this issue [gun control].”
Of course, Clinton’s “leadership” has included an increasingly vocal desire to dismantle the Constitution of the United States. Cocooned by Secret Service protection, she doesn’t believe ordinary Americans like you and me should have the right to a firearm for self-defense. She thinks Australian-style gun confiscation is “worth considering.” And she’s declared the highest court of the land to be in error, stating, “The Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment.”
Kudos to Hillary on her win last November. We say enjoy it … because as long as America’s gun owners have anything to say about it, she won’t be enjoying any wins this November.

Monday, December 21, 2015

“Anyone can go in and buy a fully automatic gun that can fire hundred of rounds per minute.”

“Anyone can go in and buy a fully automatic gun that can fire hundred of rounds per minute.”
FALSE! The NFA Act, which was originally passed in 1934, updated in 1968, and again amended in 1986 prohibits the sale of fully automatic firearms to anyone who does not apply to the ATF and receive approval for a “tax stamp” to own a fully automatic firearm (machine gun). Additionally, the buyer can only purchase a fully automatic firearm if it was manufactured prior to 1986. A tax stamp is also needed to purchase noise suppressors, a.k.a. silencers, and short barreled rifles and shot guns. This is a Federal law. We recommend reading this article about purchasing a fully automatic firearm from the Firearm Blog web site.

“You can buy a gun online and have it shipped to your house”

“You can buy a gun online and have it shipped to your house”
FALSE! We again refer to the ATF. The Gun Control Act Of 1968 requires any firearm purchased by mail to be processed through an FFL dealer (Federal Firearms License). This includes in modern times the internet. You can make a purchase on the internet, but the seller must ship the firearm to a FFL so they can run a background check on you before you can take possession. The seller in an online transaction does not need to be a licensed FFL, but they must ship the firearm to a FFL  so they can have the buyer go through a background check.

“The only purpose one of those assault weapons has is to kill”

“The only purpose one of those assault weapons has is to kill”
The modern sporting rifle, based on the AR-15 platform, is widely misunderstood. Why? Confusion exists because while these rifles may cosmetically look like military rifles, they do not function the same way. Also, groups wanting to ban these rifles have for years purposely or through ignorance spread misinformation about them to aid their cause. (from the NSSF).
Modern sporting rifles, which have been named “assault weapons” by their opponents are the most popular rifle to own in America. Aside from competition and hunting, many people purchase these for home defense. Please visit the NSSF web site and view a great list of facts about these firearms.

“Anyone can go to a gun show and buy a firearm without a background check”

“Anyone can go to a gun show and buy a firearm without a background check”
FALSE! Anyone who is at a gun show buying firearms must must submit to a background check.  There is no “gun show loop hole”!

SPECIAL NOTE: NJ does not allow gun shows!.

It should also be noted that in order for a legal transfer of a firearm across state lines to happen, both parties must meet the requirement of both states. A NJ resident must possess a NJ FPID card in order to buy a long gun (rifle, shotgun, BB gun, black powder rifle), or purchase handgun ammunition. A NJ Permit To Purchase Handgun is required to legally take possession of a handgun and the transaction must happen through a NJ federally licensed firearms dealer. You may also use a copy of your filled out NJ Permit To Purchase Handgun to buy handgun ammunition.

Under Oath: Inventor of controversial Remington trigger speaks

;Why did Mike Walker leave Remington?Retired engineer Mike Walker, inventor of the Remington Model 700 trigger, is questioned in 2011 about his reasons for leaving the company.;
"You realize, of course, you guys are going to get me in trouble with Remington," said retired engineer Mike Walker.
He had just told CNBC about the trigger he designed for the gun maker in the 1940s, and how he had proposed a safer design that the company rejected because of the cost. The interview became a centerpiece of the 2010 documentary "Remington Under Fire: A CNBC Investigation," about allegations of a deadly design defect in the popular Model 700 rifle.
It turned out that Walker had only an inkling of what was in store for him.
Newly unsealed evidence shows that soon after the CNBC program aired, Walker found himself speaking with another video crew in his home—this one hired by Remington, which was preparing an official video response to the documentary. Walker does not appear in the video ultimately released by Remington, and a newly unsealed outtake from the program may help explain why

The producer is heard telling a Remington executive that Walker "(spent) more than half the time talking bad about Remington."
A couple months later, Walker was in front of yet another camera — this time under oath. He was questioned over two days in January 2011 by attorneys for Remington and for alleged victims who were suing the company. The questioning was limited to two hours per day because Walker, then 98 years old, was on oxygen.
Video of the deposition, never seen publicly until now, provides new details about Walker's clashes with Remington management over quality. The testimony portrays a once-prominent engineer within the company who became increasingly marginalized until he finally took early retirement in 1975 at age 63.

Quality Control

In the sworn testimony, Walker recalled multiple conflicts with Remington's process engineers, who were responsible for turning his designs into manufactured products.
"The process engineers were eliminating the recommendations that I had made," Walker says.
"And they were recommendations that you were making that you thought would make the rifle safe?" asks plaintiff attorney Timothy Monsees.
"Yes," Walker replies.
Chief among his concerns, Walker says, was a change in the type of metal used in some of the firing mechanism's internal parts. He says his design had called for certain parts to be made from wrought metal, which is shaped by machine tools. Instead, the process engineers had switched to molded or "powdered" metal, which he considered less durable.
"Did you think that presented a possible safety problem?" Monsees asks.
"A possible safety problem from wear, yes," Walker responds.
But under cross-examination, a Remington defense attorney, Dale Wills, shows Walker x-rays of multiple triggers involved in accidents. Not one shows the wear Walker had been concerned about, and Walker acknowledges each one appears to be a "good rifle." But he says he still disagrees with the use of powdered metal, and says he complained about it to "everyone."

Documents Destroyed?

Walker also testifies that in his later years with the company, he repeatedly locked horns with his supervisor, Samuel Alvis. The confrontations apparently came to a head in early 1973, when Alvis announced in a memo that he was changing the policy about destroying older documents when it came to Walker's department. .
"In several cases; i.e. M. H. Walker, I have indicated a shorter period of retention," the memo reads.

"Were they getting rid of records where you had made objections to things?" Monsees asks.

"I had objections to eliminating test results," Walker responds.

"Are those among the records that this says they were destroying early?"

"Yes, they were."

Walker left the company two years later. It is not clear whether the document destruction was ever carried out. Alvis died in 2004.

Cost Concerns

<p>Remington Under Fire: A CNBC Investigation</p> <p>CNBC's Scott Cohn examines allegations the Remington Model 700 series hunting rifle is prone to firing without pulling the trigger, and that its manufacturer, Remington, has been aware of this concern for almost 60 years. Dozens of deaths, scores of injuries, and more than a thousand customer complaints have been linked to the alleged problem. This original documentary aired on Wednesday, October 20th, 2010. </p>
Also in the deposition, Walker testifies about the alternative design he had proposed before his trigger went on the market in 1948.
Just as he had told CNBC months earlier, Walker told attorneys that his proposed change would have locked the trigger in place while the gun's safety was on — a feature that Walker said would have made the mechanism less likely to fail. But Remington rejected the idea.
"Did anybody advise you as to whether there were any cost considerations as to why your trigger blocking design was not included in the final production?" Monsees asks.
"I don't think anyone ever actually said that," Walker replies. "But it was inferred."
A 1948 Remington memo obtained by CNBC said that Walker's proposal was "the best design," however "its disadvantages lay in the high expenditure required to make the conversion." The projected cost: 5.5 cents per gun.
Walker would continue to argue for a change even after leaving the company, pleading in a 1982 letter to his former employer, "Please don't bring out a new bolt action without a foolproof safety." In the deposition, Walker testified that he was referring to the same type of trigger-blocking mechanism he had proposed in 1948. But the company again refused to make the change.
Even so, Walker defends his original design during the deposition, saying the trigger was — and is — safe. Just as in the CNBC program, Walker says his complaints had to do with the manufacturing process, not the design.

Information Overload

The deposition also suggests Walker was increasingly bombarded with what he calls "conflicting information" as the debate about his trigger grew.

On the one hand, Walker testifies, he had been in regular contact for several years with Rich Barber, the Montana man searching for answers about the death of his son in an accident involving a Remington 700. Walker acknowledged that Barber had been feeding him information.

But soon after the 2010 CNBC program, Walker said he also began hearing from Remington representatives, who apparently downplayed the number of incidents involving the rifle.

By the time of the deposition, Walker had concluded he had been "misled" by Barber about the prevalence of accidents. Walker alleges Barber "had a will to try to blame something else rather than his wife for shooting their son."

Barber denies misleading Walker, telling CNBC the only information he ever gave Walker was quoted directly from Remington's own documents.

Walker also testified in the deposition that he never personally saw a rifle with a bad safety, and said he has come to believe that defects are so rare, "there's not enough bad safeties to stick in your eye."
But Walker testified he was unaware of a Remington analysis in 1979 — after he had left the company — which concluded that roughly 20,000 guns that were in the hands of customers at the time could be "tricked" into firing.

Walker died at age 101, almost exactly two years after the deposition. But plaintiffs' attorneys said during the deposition that they planned to use his testimony in future Remington lawsuits.
That means Mike Walker's recollections about the trigger he designed could live on for years.


Sunday, December 20, 2015

CNN Reporters Come Out for Gun Control

CNN Reporters Come Out for Gun Control
NRA - Institute for Legislative Action
NRA – Institute for Legislative Action
Fairfax, VA -- You know that a reporter supports gun control when he or she says that government officials who don’t stamp their feet for gun control lack “courage.”
It’s not just because some reporters flatter themselves by thinking that they occupy the moral and intellectual high ground on every issue under the sun. It’s also because ever since the Senate rejected President Obama’s gun control package in April 2013, gun control supporters have been trying to convince the public that there’s no possible reason for opposing something so “commonsense” as gun control, other than “cowardice.”
On Monday, CNN reporters Elizabeth Cohen and John Bonifield accused Dr. Tom Frieden, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), of lacking “courage,” because he isn’t demanding that Congress allow the CDC to use tax dollars to pay gun control activists to conduct slipshod research designed to promote gun control. The reporters asked, “Why is he Dr. Frieden silent about guns?”
Dr. Frieden declined to take Cohen’s and Bonifield’s bait. However, had he responded to them, he might have asked why they were “silent” about the CDC’s massive study of a variety of gun control restrictions, published in 2003. The study concluded that “evidence was insufficient to determine the effectiveness of any of these laws.” A similar conclusion was reached by the National Academy of Sciences the following year.
The CDC’s study evaluated mandatory background checks on firearm purchases, and concluded that failing a background check “does not always stop a person from acquiring firearms through other means.” It also evaluated bans on specific types of firearms and ammunition, waiting periods, firearm registration and licensing of owners, prohibiting guns at schools, and laws dictating how people should store firearms at home.
As if that study never took place, Cohen and Bonifield said that the CDC should pay anti-gun researchers to answer five questions. No such misuse of the taxpayers’ money is necessary, however. Here are the five questions and some of their obvious answers:
1. “Would a federal assault weapons ban save lives or cost lives?”
A ban would be more likely to cost lives for at least two reasons. First, today’s federal “assault weapon” legislation would ban any magazine holding more than 10 rounds, regardless of the firearm for which the magazine is designed. That would limit the ability of people to defend themselves. The ability to carry more rounds for protection goes a long way to explaining why semi-automatic pistols now account for 80-90 percent of new handguns sold annually. Second, the legislation would also ban AR-15s, Remington 1100s, and all other detachable-magazine semi-automatic rifles and semi-automatic shotguns regardless of their magazine sizes, which would limit the ability of people to use the most effective firearms for protection in their homes and many, if not most, of the most popular firearms used in recreation and hunting. There are more so-called “assault weapons” and “large” magazines than ever before, the number of the firearms rising by more than a million annually and the number of the magazines rising by an even greater margin, and the nation’s murder rate is at an all-time low, exactly the opposite of what gun control supporters have been predicting would happen all these years.
2. State laws allowing people to carry concealed weapons are supposed to deter crime, since attackers never know who’s carrying a gun. Have these laws worked out that way?
Allowing people to carry firearms is to enable people to defend against crime, and evidence suggests that it may also deter crime from happening in the first place. As examples, newspapers that aren’t biased against guns regularly report instances in which gun owners have successfully defended themselves against criminals, and a federal study of prison inmates found that 40 percent had not attempted crimes when they knew or suspected their prospective victims were armed.
However, the more appropriate question would have been whether allowing people to carry firearms for protection increases crime, as claimed by gun control supporters. The answer to that question is “no.” People who carry firearms under the laws in question have consistently proven themselves to be more law-abiding than the rest of the public.
3. If gun owners had to register their weapons with the government, would fewer people die from gun violence? Would more die?
Most states don’t require registration, and the nation’s murder rate is at an all-time low. Registration would likely have no effect on violence, because criminals don’t register guns and the Supreme Court has ruled that requiring felons to register guns would violate their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Furthermore, many criminals acquire guns by theft, on the black market, or through “straw purchasers,” negating any possible effect of gun registration as well as limiting that of background check requirements.
4. Are certain types of people more prone to gun violence than others? If the answer is yes, what’s the best way for authorities to reach out to these people?

Indeed, the answer is “yes” and improved policing programs and increased prison sentences for the most violent offenders since the mid-1990s are two of the reasons that violent crime has been cut in half over the last 20-plus years.
5. Do background checks help save lives?
Gun control supporters would certainly like the public to think so. But the CDC’s 2003 study concluded, as we mentioned above, that failing a background check does not always stop a person from acquiring firearms through other means. That’s because many criminals steal guns, get them on the black market, or get them through “straw purchasers”—surrogate purchasers who, by definition, defeat background checks on behalf of criminals.
Cohen and Bonifield didn’t waste their time entirely, however. They reminded readers why public opinion surveys show that only about a quarter of Americans have confidence in the news media. Meanwhile, 58 percent of Americans view NRA favorably, compared to only 35 percent who have the opposing view, 53 percent oppose banning “assault weapons,” while only 45 percent disagree, and a majority of American believe the problem of terrorist attacks would be better addressed by having more people carrying guns, than by imposing more gun control.
About the NRA-ILA:
Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Saturday, December 19, 2015


LAR-300 X-Series X-1 Rifle

No Charges Filed, But Legal Firearms Confiscated Anyway

No Charges Filed, But Legal Firearms Confiscated Anyway

Friday, December 11, 2015
We've raised concerns before about how proposed "gun violence restraining orders" and similar firearm surrender orders can be abused and issued in cases where the police lack sufficient evidence for an arrest and simply wish to deprive an individual of the right to bear arms, and on how difficult it can be to get property back after the government seizes it. These concerns are magnified when such seizure procedures originate not from judicially authorized orders, but from the considerably more opaque processes within law enforcement.

It’s perhaps no surprise that one such confiscation policy surfaces in Nassau County, New York.  As we reported on in September and October, this is the same jurisdiction where the Acting District Attorney implemented and then rescinded a personnel policy that banned Nassau County prosecutors from having handguns, even at home.  Evidently, Nassau County takes every opportunity to chill the freedoms of its citizens. 

The confiscation policy, Nassau County Police Department (NCPD) Department Procedure OPS 10023, Removal and Disposition of Weapons – Domestic Incidents/Threats to Public Safety, authorizes the confiscation of lawful firearms during “domestic incidents,” but goes further. It empowers law enforcement officers to confiscate legally possessed guns when these can be viewed as “creat[ing] a threat of violence” or any “threat to public safety” at all. Once confiscated, the firearm cannot be returned to its owner where the reviewing police officer finds the owner “has a relevant Nassau County arrest history” (whatever that may be), or where “other extenuating circumstances” exist which indicate the gun “should not be returned” (whatever these may be).

A recent court case serves as an illustration of the policy in action.

The plaintiff, Andrew Carroll, shared a home with his mother. She had a basement apartment and he lived upstairs. In September 2014, while he was at work, she removed his AR-15 rifle from his apartment “as collateral” for $50 that she claimed he owed her. After Carroll called the police, NCPD officers not only confiscated the rifle from the mother’s apartment, but also seized two other long guns and a magazine belonging to Carroll and found in the house. Officers taking his guns advised these would be returned by the end of the night if no criminal charges were filed. The guns were not returned and another officer later confirmed that the NCPD had decided to “keep the guns.” A NCPD receipt warned that confiscated firearms were liable to be destroyed one year from the date of seizure. Significantly, Carroll was the complainant who called the police, and appears to have been fully cooperative. At no time was he subject to an order of protection or in any other way disqualified from possessing or owning a firearm. No criminal charges – against his mother or Carroll – were filed. There are no indications that the incident involved the infliction or alleged infliction of physical injury, or the use or threatened use of a deadly weapon by Carroll or anyone else.

After weeks passed without the confiscated guns being returned (even after an in-person request), Carroll resorted to a federal lawsuit against the police and Nassau County, initiated six months after his guns were taken away. His lawsuit alleged violations of the Second Amendment and other constitutional rights, and sought an injunction to prevent the NCPD from further retaining (or destroying) his guns, and from continuing to enforce its firearm confiscation policy in cases that lacked criminal, domestic violence, or order of protection elements.

Nassau County responded, initially, by claiming that Carroll had failed to comply with additional documentation requirements, being a letter “detailing the incident” that led to the confiscation of his guns and why his guns should be returned to him, the signature of his mother and “anyone else residing” with Carroll, and “his plan to fully secure the guns.” Interestingly, as the court points out, no provision of the confiscation policy required Carroll to supply this “undocumented” documentation as a precondition to the NCPD returning his property, and there was no proof that this information had even been previously requested, or when.

The court, however, declined to grant the preliminary injunctive relief Carroll sought at this stage. The District Judge concluded that any injury suffered by Carroll would be compensable by money damages once the lawsuit was heard on the merits. As for preventing future enforcement violations arising from the policy, the judge concluded there was insufficient evidence to show that such violations were likely to occur. “[O]n the record before it, the Court is unable to conclude that the Department’s Confiscation Policy is being regularly applied in an unconstitutional manner, so as to require immediate cessation.” Pending further action in this lawsuit, the court declined to order the NCPD to return Carroll’s confiscated firearms or to take steps to prevent their destruction. The case is Carroll v. Krumpter, which can be found her

Lubbock City Council Members Reject Proposals to Make Council Meetings "Gun-Free Zones"

Lubbock City Council Members Reject Proposals to Make Council Meetings "Gun-Free Zones"

Friday, December 18, 2015
On Thursday night, the Lubbock City Council voted 5-2 to defeat two resolutions that would have banned open and concealed carry by Concealed Handgun Licensees (CHLs) at council meetings.  Thank you to NRA members who showed up to testify against these unnecessary restrictions on their right to self-defense. Also, thank you to Lubbock-area state Representatives Dustin Burrows and John Frullo for notifying NRA-ILA about these proposals and voicing their concerns about them (and pointing out that the Texas Legislature allows CHLs to carry their firearms into the Capitol and while attending public meetings in the building).
 Please thank the mayor and council members who stood up for your Second Amendment rights by voting against these resolutions:
Mayor Glen RobertsonCouncil Member Victor HernandezCouncil Member Jeff GriffithCouncil Member Jim GerltCouncil Member Karen Gibson
Unfortunately, the Council tabled a resolution sponsored by Mayor Glen Robertson that would have expanded personal protection rights for city employees by directing the City Manager to develop and enforce policies allowing any city employee who has a valid CHL to carry concealed while on-duty or while operating a city vehicle.  Employees will continue to be required to obtain authorization from the manager to do so.  However, Mayor Robertson is currently exploring other possibilities to expand the right to self-defense for city employees.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Obama Meets With Bloomberg as He Readies Gun Control Executive Order

Obama Meets With Bloomberg as He Readies Gun Control Executive Order

On Wednesday, President Barack Obama met with former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to talk about gun violence. Specifically, the pair talked about what can be done to end the threat that America's loose standards for access to them poses to public safety.
"The two discussed ways to keep guns out of the hands of those who should not have access to them, and what more could be done at the state and local level to help address gun violence in America," the White House said of their meeting. 
The president's meeting, held with perhaps the most influential gun control advocate in the nation, was a good opportunity to discuss lobbying strategy in light of the rash of mass shootings in 2015 that have sparked a renewed push for ambitious gun control legislation among reformers.
It also serves as a reminder of the unique political path toward any realistic change on gun policy, when Congress has proven almost pathologically incapable of passing even modest gun reform after years of debate on the matter.
View photo
Obama Meets With Bloomberg as He Readies Gun Control Executive Order
Source: Thibault Camus/AP
Bloomberg's clout: In 2014, Bloomberg pledged to spend $50 million on efforts to sway battles over gun policy on the state level, backing organizations committed to policies like expanding background checks. So far, the effort hasn't been hugely successful in achieving results, but he is of course fighting an uphill battle. The National Rifle Association boasts millions of members, spends tens of millions of dollars every election cycle and deftly channels the preferences of huge swaths of the population who are fiercely protective of America's gun culture and rights.
Obama, who has pleaded to the public and Congress to rally for meaningful gun control for years, has decided to take matters into his own hands. His administration is in the process of readying an executive order designed to close what's commonly called the "gun show loophole," a gap in current law that allows people to purchase guns from private vendors — most notably at gun shows — without being subject to a background check. CNN reported that the White House has struggled to develop the legal argument for the executive order so far, but Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to Obama, says that it should be released in "short order."
Obama is waging a lonely battle. Despite the fact that in 2015 there have been more days with mass shootings than there have been days without them, he has no reason to be optimistic that Congress will act on calls for gun control reform. In 2013, in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre that rattled the nation, Congress failed to pass expanded background checks on gun sales, despite the support of nearly 90% of Americans.
Recent polling suggests that things may be worse now — one recent poll found support for an assault weapons ban to be at its lowest level in two decades. That doesn't bode well for legislation calling for just that, introduced by congressional Democrats on Wednesday. 
Terrorism is top of mind for the public, and there's a vibrant debate going on among policymakers and in the presidential race on how to manage the rise of ISIS. But figuring out a way to control the purchase and flow of guns, which are far more lethal for the country, shows little sign of gaining traction. It seems to be the American way.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

New York Times Calls for Gun Confiscation

New York Times Calls for Gun Confiscation

New York Times
New York Times
NRA - Institute for Legislative Action
NRA – Institute for Legislative Action
- Never let it be said that the New York Times can’t recognize the important moments in American history, nor muster the courage to express its opinions on its front page when the situation demands.
In 1920, for example, feeling strongly about the upcoming presidential election, the newspaper published a front-page editorial criticizing the Republican Party for nominating Warren Harding. In that instance, it turned out that the Times was out of step with public opinion.
Harding won the general election with over 60 percent of the popular vote, the fourth highest margin in American history. Otherwise, however, the newspaper’s editors have repeatedly resisted the temptation to take front-page editorial stands on issues it had the foresight to know would ultimately be recognized as the inconsequential ebbs and flows that are typical to any complex society in the modern era. Indeed, for the Times to opine on its front page, the circumstances would have to be truly important, the stuff of which history is made.
Thus, the Times refrained from making front-page comments on a number of transient developments that have long since been forgotten. Just a few of those that relate to two subjects in the news recently, individual rights and/or crime and terrorism, include:
  • FDR’s plan to pack the Supreme Court to advance his liberal agenda (1937)
  • The detaining of loyal Japanese-American citizens in internment camps (1942)
  • The Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board decision desegregating schools (1954)
  • Rosa Parks’ arrest (1955)
  • The Civil Rights Act and the related riots in American cities (1964-65)
  • The assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1968)
  • The 26th Amendment to the Constitution, extending voting rights to age 18 (1971)
  • The Munich Massacre at the Summer Olympics (1972)
  • The Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade (1973)
  • The terrorist attack on Pan Am Flight 103 (1988)
  • The terrorist attacks upon the World Trade Centers and the Pentagon (2001)
  • The passage of the Patriot Act (2001)
  • The terrorist attack upon Americans in Benghazi (2012)
  • Edward Snowden’s revelation of the government’s collection of email and phone data (2013)
  • The Supreme Court’s decision favoring same-sex marriage (2015)
While none of these events warranted front page editorial coverage, last week the Times editors made the decision to take action.  For the first time in 95 years, it published its opinion on its front page, to say that AR-15s and similar firearms should be confiscated from the American people.
In End the Gun Epidemic in America, years, the Times said, “it is a moral outrage and national disgrace that civilians can legally purchase weapons designed to kill people with brutal speed and efficiency. . . . It is past time to stop talking about halting the spread of firearms, and instead to reduce their number drastically — eliminating some large categories of weapons and ammunition. . . . Certain kinds of weapons, like the slightly modified combat rifles used in California, and certain kinds of ammunition, must be outlawed for civilian ownership. It is possible to define those guns in a clear and effective way and, yes, it would require Americans who own those kinds of weapons to give them up for the good of their fellow citizens.”
Once again, however, the Times is out of step with public opinion. Americans are buying firearms at an unprecedented rate, and many Americans who don’t own firearms support the right of others to do so. By “certain kinds of weapons,” the Times no doubt means the AR-15 and rifles of the same general type. But the AR-15 is the most popular rifle today, the most widely used rifle for home protection, defensive firearm training, and marksmanship competition, and it’s quickly becoming one of the most popular hunting rifles. In 2013, CNBC ran a special on the AR-15, aptly titling it “America’s Gun.” From roughly a half million 20 years ago, Americans now own over seven million AR-15s and likely an equal number of comparable rifles.
No one should be misled by the Times’ stipulation about “certain kinds of weapons,” however. Gun control supporters now propose “assault weapon” legislation that would ban the manufacture and sale of all semi-automatic shotguns, all detachable-magazine semi-automatic rifles, and other categories of firearms. Confiscating all of those guns, even if it were possible, would certainly “drastically” reduce the number of firearms in the United States.
On Monday, the newspaper explained why it advocated gun confiscation on its front page. Even though it admits that prior confiscation of tens of millions of semi-automatic rifles and shotguns “might not have prevented the San Bernardino shooting,” the paper “wanted to shout our frustration and anger from our rooftop.”
Presumably, the Times’ editors felt better after venting, but probably not for long. The Washington Post faulted the newspaper for thinking that anyone outside New York City gives a hoot what it shouts about.
Swing voters in Middle America aren’t its subscribers, and the swing voters in Congress don’t have to appeal to voters who care much about what the New York Times thinks,” the Post said. “In fact, you could make a pretty convincing case that this would have the opposite of the intended effect by overreaching on something most Americans simply don’t think will do much to prevent mass shootings.”
And, we would add, inspiring yet another surge in Americans’ purchases of the very firearms that the Times despises.
A more complete list of significant events the Times did not consider worthy of front-page editorial coverage includes:
The Great Depression (1929), President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s plan to pack the Supreme Court with as many as 15 justices to guarantee rulings favorable to his liberal agenda (1937), the Nazi invasion of France (1940), Pearl Harbor and America’s declaration of war against Japan and Germany (1941), the detaining of loyal Japanese-American citizens in internment camps (1942), the Allied invasion of Normandy (1944), the dropping of nuclear bombs on Japan and the end of World War II (1945), and the founding of the United Nations (1945).
The beginning of the Korean War (1950), the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board decision desegregating schools (1954), the development of a vaccine against polio (1955), Rosa Parks’ arrest (1955), the Bay of Pigs affair (1961), the first American spaceship to orbit Earth (1962), the Cuban Missile Crisis (1962), the beginning of the Beatles’ transformation of American popular music (1963), the assassination of President John F. Kennedy (1963), the Civil Rights Act (1964), the escalation of the Vietnam War via the Tonkin Resolution (1964), and the race-related riots in American cities (1964-65).
The beginning of Mao Tse-Tung’s “Cultural Revolution” in China (1966), the assassinations of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1968), Neil Armstrong’s walk on the moon (1969), the episode at Kent State University (1970), the release of the Pentagon Papers (1971), the ratification of the 26th Amendment to the Constitution extending voting rights to age 18 (1971), the Munich Massacre at the Summer Olympics (1972), the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade (1973), the implication of President Richard Nixon in Watergate (1973), Nixon’s resignation (1974), the end of the Vietnam War (1975), the beginning of Cambodian communists’ mass genocide of political opponents (1975), the mass suicide in Guyana (1978), and the discovery of AIDS (1981).
President Ronald Reagan’s landslide reelection (1984), the terrorist attack on Pan Am Flight 103 (1988), the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989), the dissolution of the Soviet Union (1991), the popularization of the Internet (mid-1990s), the impeachment of President Bill Clinton (1998), the Supreme Court’s decision in Bush v. Gore (2000); the terrorist attacks upon the World Trade Centers and the Pentagon (2001), the passage of the Patriot Act (2001), the election of America’s first black president (2008), the passage of Obamacare (2010), the elimination of terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden (2011), the Supreme Court’s decision upholding Obamacare (2012), the terrorist attack upon an American diplomatic compound in Benghazi (2012), Edward Snowden’s revelation of the federal government’s massive collection of email and phone data (2013), and the Supreme Court’s decision favoring same-sex marriage (2015).
About the NRA-ILA:
Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.