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Health Dept.: Homeless Can’t Eat Deer Meat

February 25, 2013 5 comments

TWG: Those tyrants would NEVER get away with this crap here in Montana.

Health Dept.: Homeless Can’t Eat Deer Meat

Feb 25, 2013

By Todd Starnes

Hunters across Louisiana are outraged after state health officials ordered a rescue mission to destroy $8,000 worth of deer meat because venison is not allowed to be served in homeless shelters.

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The Dept. of Health and Hospitals ordered the staff at the Shreveport-Bossier Rescue Mission to throw 1,600 pounds of donated venison in garbage bins – and then ordered then to douse the meat with Clorox – so other animals would not eat the meat.

“Deer meat is not permitted to be served in a shelter, restaurant or any other public eating establishment in Louisiana,” said a Health Dept. official in an email to Fox News. “While we applaud the good intentions of the hunters who donated this meat, we must protect the people who eat at the Rescue Mission, and we cannot allow a potentially serious health threat to endanger the public.”

That statement set off a firestorm among hunters and lawmakers who called it outrageous and insulting.

“That’s a mild understatement,” said Richard Campbell, one of the founders of Hunters for the Hungry, a group that has been donating wild game to shelters since 1993. “Hunters are going nuts over it. It’s created an outrage across our state and even over into Mississippi.”

The controversy started when someone being fed at the rescue mission complained about being fed deer meat.

Henry Martin, executive director of the mission, told Fox News they’ve been serving deer meat for years – from deer chili to deer spaghetti.

“This was really good meat,” he said. “It’s high in protein and low in cholesterol. It’s very healthy.”

Martin said he was extremely bothered by the way state health inspectors handled the situation.

“You would think we would have due process,” he said. “But they meant to destroy the meat – that’s for sure.”

The mission’s chef asked if they could at least return the meat to the processing plant – but the state officials said no.

“They actually took it out to the dumpsters, split the packages open and poured Clorox on it,” Martin told Fox News.

He said the rescue mission serves 200,000 meals a year – without a single dime of assistance from the state or federal governments. As a result of the confiscation, he said as many as 3,200 meals were lost.

“It seems like this was a senseless act,” he said. “I don’t think hungry people who come to our mission appreciate the fact they could have been eating some really good venison and as it is now – no one can eat it.”

The Health Dept. defended their actions and said they had to pour Clorox on the meat as an “extra precaution so that animals would not eat it from the dumpster and become sick or die.”

“This is a process called ‘denaturing,’” they stated.

Campbell said the venison comes from deer management programs – where hunters have to kill a lot of deer.

“We ask our hunters once they fill up their own freezers to give the extra to the needy,” he said.

Once the deer is donated, a local processing plant prepares the meat for the shelters.

And hunters in the Sportsman’s Paradise have always responded to the call – including State Rep. Jeff Thompson.

“As a hunter and somebody who has personally donated deer to this program, I’m outraged and very concerned,” he told Fox News. “You hear about these stories anywhere and it’s a concern – but when it happens in your own backyard it’s insulting.”

Thompson said he is meeting with the heads of state agencies as well as state lawmakers to make sure the rules are changed.

“We take pride in helping our neighbors and to see thousands of dollars worth of meat that would help the hungry go to waste is absolutely disturbing to me,” he said.

Thompson said at the very least the meat should have been returned to those who donated it.

“We want to make sure the generosity of hunters and processors are honored and the hungry are provided with the food they are very much in need of,” the lawmaker added.

 

Source: http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/top-stories/health-dept-homeless-cant-eat-deer-meat.html

Colorado Standing On The Slippery Slop of Civil Rights Killing Gun Control

February 23, 2013 Leave a comment

Andy Lightbody

By Andy Lightbody

Grand Junction, Co. –-(Ammoland.com)- Regardless of where you stand on new gun control regulations, Colorado lawmakers have without question, been asked by the Obama administration to “fall on their swords.”

With four very controversial gun control bills now headed for the State Senate, Colorado is the designated western state to use as a model other states to emulate.

If lawmakers can pass draconian bills in a state like Colorado, it will definitely have an effect on other states beyond those “progressive thinkers” in California, New Jersey, and New York.

Montana Legislative Roundup – Second Amendment Issues – Feb. 21, 2013

February 21, 2013 Leave a comment

The following is an email received from our Friend, Gary Marbut, which lists  current 2A legislation moving through the Montana legislature.  If you live in Montana, please take some time to make calls, write emails and meet with your representatives to ensure they are following their oath to defend out Constitutional rights and to discuss with them why they should support these bills.  If you have the means, please donate what you can to Mr. Marbut and the Montana Shooting Sports AssociationHe works so hard fighting for the rights of Montanans and for ALL Americans. 

 

Dear MSSA Friends,

Time to crank up the emails, messages, phones and faxes.

Two important bills are up for Second Reading before the Montana House tomorrow (Friday, 2/21):

HB 240 University system may not deny constitutional rights (campus carry)
HB 358 Exempting CWP-holders from “prohibited places”

PLEASE get messages (email, legislative message form, phone, fax) to all the House members you can in support of these bills.  Your message should be very short, something like, “Please support HBXXX.  It is supported by the NRA and MSSA (and in the case of HB 240, for Republicans, is in the Party Platform).”

This is crunch time for these two bills.

MSSA’s bill to encourage the manufacture of smokeless powder, primers and cartridge brass (HB 468) had a hearing before the House Taxation Committee today.  Mixed reviews.  The most key person in this Committee may be Rep. Kelly Flynn (R-Townsend).  It would be VERY helpful to get messages to the House Tax Committee members (especially Flynn) asking them to support HB 468.

I flubbed one.  I didn’t get notified and missed that there were four of our gun bills up on the House floor for Second Reading today.  Fortunately, they all passed.  the bills and votes were:

HB 205 – Suppressors 62/38
HB 302 – Prohibit local enforcement of new fed gun control 55/44
HB 304 – Permitless carry 60/40
HB 446 – Fixing Disorderly Conduct (“firing firearms”) 61/38

Plus, I was able to pull a rabbit out of a hat today to get our “Safe travel to work” bill introduced, now HB 571.  This bill clarifies that an employee’s property right in his or her vehicle prevents an employer from making it a termination offense for the employee to have a firearm locked in the employee’s vehicle in the employer’s parking lot.  There will be a public hearing on HB 571, probably before the House Judiciary Committee, probably on next Monday.  Stay tuned on this …

We are near the legislative “transmittal” date, February 29th, the date by which all House bills must be transmitted to the Senate, and Senate bills to the House.  Any bills which don’t make “Transmittal” are lost.  There is a later deadline for tax and revenue measures.  So, we have a little time to try to resurrect our bill to exempt shooting ranges from property tax (HB 223), and to work the powder/primer manufacturing bill (HB 468).

PLEASE contact House members about HB 240 and HB 358, up for Second Reading tomorrow.  Also, please contact House Tax Committee members about HB 468, the bill to encourage the manufacture of ammunition components in Montana.

Thanks loads,

Gary Marbut, President
Montana Shooting Sports Association
http://www.mtssa.org
Author, Gun Laws of Montana
http://www.MTPublish.com

 

GOA: Background checks & ATF’s illegal copying of 4473 forms

February 21, 2013 4 comments

Tuesday, 12 February 2013 15:50
Written by Erich Pratt and Michael Hammond

Current Gun Control Proposals Will Endanger the Rights of Law-abiding Americans

— President ignoring real solutions to school violence

 

 

Members of the U.S. Senate Committee:

 

In January, the President unveiled 23 Executive Actions on gun control and a myriad of other anti-gun legislative proposals. These initiatives run the gamut — from imposing gun and magazine bans to expanding our current background check system.

 

Of course, none of the policies he recently unveiled would have stopped Adam Lanza in Connecticut from killing his mother, stealing her weapons and carrying them onto school grounds to commit his despicable crimes.

 

Sadly, the President didn’t deal with the one proposal that would actually make a difference — a proposal that is discussed below. But to be clear, none of the President’s initiatives would have prevented the Sandy Hook tragedy. Yet, all of them would seriously infringe upon Second Amendment rights and endanger the safety of American citizens.

 

While all of his proposals are dangerous, perhaps the biggest threat is the call for Universal Background Checks, and the accompanying threat of gun owner registration. So that’s where we will begin.

 

Background checks & ATF’s illegal copying of 4473 forms

 

Several gun dealers have contacted Gun Owners of America and asked for our advice. Invariably, they say that the ATF is, or has been, at their store — making wholesale copies of their 4473 forms — and they want to know if that’s legal.

 

We are not going to betray their confidence without permission, but GOA can say that this has occurred enough times to make us believe these are not isolated incidents. (GOA has attached several redacted stories from gun dealers in the Appendix.)

 

The copying of 4473 forms has happened despite the prohibition in 18 USC 923(g)(1)(D) which specifically prohibits anyone in the Justice Department from “seiz[ing] any records or other documents other than those records or documents constituting material evidence of a violation of law.”

 

Our experience is not unique:

 

* ATF using digital scanners. “ATF has been copying FFL Bound Books for years — with or without FFL permission. During annual compliance inspections in other states, FFL dealers have reported that ATF industry operations investigators (IOI) brought in digital cameras and photographed the entire dealer ‘Bound Book’ without permission of the FFL holder. Other dealers reported investigators brought in digital scanners and scanned portions of the Bound Book — line by line. Of course, the Bound Book contains the dealer’s full record of lawful firearm sales transaction records.”i

 

*FFL’s complain of illegal ATF activity. “The [ATF] is engaged in new illegal activity, this time in the state of Alaska. According to gun store owners in Anchorage, ATF agents are requiring that they submit what is called ‘4473 Forms’ going as far back as 2007…. The ATF has the authority to inspect or request a copy of the form if agents are conducting a criminal investigation.

 

“But nowhere does the law or the rules and regulations of the ATF permit the agency to require gun stores to simply turn over these records en mass as a matter of course. The gun stores in Anchorage are not being told that their records are being requested as part of a criminal investigation of any kind. The ATF has not specified certain forms from specific time frames as one would expect during such an investigation. The agency is telling the stores that it wants all of these records, in totality, going back to 2007.”ii

 

If the ATF is willing to engage in this activity — in full view of gun dealers — one can only imagine what is being done behind closed doors when the names of innocent gun buyers are phoned in for NICS checks. Can we truly be sure that every gun buyer’s name that is entered into the NICS computer system is completely deleted and scrubbed, without a backup being made … anywhere?

 

Past attempts at turning background checks into a national registry

 

In 1989, a Justice Department report stated that, “Any system that requires a criminal history record check prior to purchase of a firearm creates the potential for the automated tracking of individuals who seek to purchase firearms.”iii

 

Indeed, several attempts have been made — most notably during the Clinton administration — to register the names of gun buyers:

 

* Justice Department initiates registration (1994). The Justice Department gave a grant to the city of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University to create a sophisticated national gun registry using data compiled from states’ background check programs. This attempt at registration was subsequently defeated in the courts.iv

 

* More gun owner registration (1996). Computer software distributed by the Justice Department allowed police officials to easily (and unlawfully) register the names and addresses of gun buyers. This software — known as FIST — also kept information such as the type of gun purchased, the make, model and caliber, the date of purchase, etc.v This demonstrates how easily background checks can be used to register gun owners’ information.

 

* Federal Bureau of Investigation registers gun owners (1998). Despite prohibitions in federal law, the FBI announced that it would begin keeping gun buyers’ names for six months. FBI had originally wanted to keep the names for 18 months, but reduced the time period after groups like Gun Owners of America strongly challenged the legality of their actions. GOA submitted a formal protest to the FBI, calling their attempt at registration both “unlawful” and “unconstitutional.”vi Subsequently, Congress passed the “Smith amendment” in 1998 to mandate the “immediate destruction of all [gun buyer] information, in any form whatsoever.”

 

Universal Background Checks will send us much further down road to registering every gun owner in the country. While this won’t be able to stop creeps like Adam Lanza from circumventing those background checks (he stole his weapons) and attacking children, it will give bureaucrats a roadmap for gun confiscation.

 

The link between gun owner registration and confiscation

 

We know that gun confiscation is the ultimate endgame for many on the Left. While some will try to deny this, there have already been too many outspoken voices to ignore this simple truth. Consider just a few, well-known cases:

 

* “[Gun] confiscation could be an option,” declared New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in a radio interview (December 27, 2012). In fact, a confidential memorandum advocating gun confiscation was circulated by New York Democrats prior to the most recent round of gun control which passed in the state.vii

 

* “We cannot have big guns out here,” said Iowa Rep. Dan Muhlbauer. “Even if you have them, I think we need to start taking them.” (Interview with the Iowa Daily Times Herald, December 19, 2012.)

 

* “No one is allowed to be armed. We’re going to take all the guns,” said P. Edwin Compass III, the superintendent of the New Orleans police, right before several law-enforcement agencies began confiscating the firearms of lawful gun owners in the wake of Hurricane Katrina (2005).

 

* In the mid-1960’s officials in New York City began registering long guns. They promised they would never use such lists to take away firearms from honest citizens. But in 1991, the city banned (and soon began confiscating) many of those very guns.viii In 1992, a New York City paper reported that, “Police raided the home of a Staten Island man who refused to comply with the city’s tough ban on assault weapons, and seized an arsenal of firearms…. Spot checks are planned [for other homes].”ix

 

The task of confiscating guns is much easier when the government has a registration list. And, again, this is the number one reason that Gun Owners of America opposes background checks. They give federal bureaucrats the framework for a national registration system.

 

If the Left gets its way, we will be much further down road to giving the Andrew Cuomos of the world the registration lists they need to enforce the confiscation they so adamantly desire.

 

Background Checks Can Easily be Used to Deny Honest Americans (like veterans)

 

While the confiscation threat is, by far, the biggest reason for opposing Universal Background Checks, there are many other reasons, as well.

 

For starters, the NICS list currently contains the names of more than 150,000 law-abiding veterans who didn’t do anything wrong (but honorably served their country and then sought counseling for their wartime experiences) — and could soon contain millions of names of Medicaid patients with post partem depression, IDEA students with ADHD, and soldiers, police, and firemen with PTSD.x

 

Not only that, requiring a background check on every private sale or transfer would impose an incredible hardship upon decent people. Many sellers in very rural areas would find it very difficult to travel hundreds of miles, accompanied by their purchasers, in order to make a sale in a licensed dealer’s place of business. This inconvenience for rural sellers would be even more significant if, as happens almost 10% of the time, the purchase — usually for no reason at all — is not immediately approved.

 

In a significant number of current transactions, purchases are held up for no reason other than the fact that the seller’s name is similar to someone else’s name. Often, these mistaken identities permanently block gun purchases when (1) the FBI’s response remains non-committal after three days, (2) the gun dealer refuses to sell based on a non-committal response, despite the language of the Brady Law, and (3) the FBI’s response is “sue us.”

 

The pact that WalMart made in 2008 with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg — and his fraudulently-named Mayors Against Illegal Guns — is symptomatic of this problem. In the deal, WalMart agreed to a ten-point agenda pushed by Bloomberg.xi

 

In particular, point #9 prohibits firearms sales to purchasers who have not received an affirmative go-ahead at the end of the NICS check’s three-day waiting period.

 

In other words, if the FBI gives a “yellow light” — perhaps, because a gun buyer is unlucky enough to have the same name as someone in the NICS system — then WalMart was essentially saying it would not sell the firearm, even though federal law specifically allows the sale to proceed.

 

This three-day provision was inserted into federal law to prevent federal bureaucrats from illegitimately denying millions of gun buyers — simply by its refusal to take a position. Some gun dealers choose not to sell a firearm after the three-day limit. Others don’t.

 

The result is that many law-abiding gun owners can’t purchase firearms, not because the FBI has disapproved them, but because it has refused to answer “yes” or “no.”

 

It’s actions like this which can fundamentally transform the Brady Act, making it so that a whole lot of law-abiding gun owners aren’t able to purchase guns. And we bet that the FBI will be giving a lot fewer green-lights in the future, particularly if universal background checks are enacted.

 

Background checks violate rights, open door to abuses

 

Gun Owners of America has long argued that honest gun owners should not have to prove their innocence to the government before exercising their God-given rights. One should never give a bureaucrat a chance to say no — it only leads to abuses.

 

For one thing, the FBI’s computer system has often gone offline for hours at a time — sometimes for days. And when it has failed on weekends, it results in the virtual blackout of gun sales (and gun shows) across the country.

 

When the NICS system is down, the only place one can buy a gun legally is from a private seller, and now the President wants to eliminate that last bastion of freedom!

 

Recently, the FBI’s system went down on Black Friday, angering many gun dealers and gun buyers around the country. “It means we can’t sell no damn guns,” said Rick Lozier, a manager at Van Raymond Outfitters in Maine. “If we can’t call it in, we can’t sell a gun.”xii

 

Researcher John Lott says that, in addition to crashes in the computers doing the background checks, “8 percent of background checks are not accomplished within two hours, with almost all of these delays taking three days or longer.” And almost 100% of these initial denials turn out to have been illegitimate.xiii

 

Such delays could be deadly for people, especially women, who need a gun in an emergency to defend themselves from an ex-boyfriend or husband. Consider some of the tragic consequences that result when a woman’s right to protect herself is put on hold:

 

* A California realtor, herein referred to as “Jane,” was concerned about her safety at work, so she applied to buy a handgun. But the Golden State requires her to wait 10 days before picking up the gun. Sadly, she was raped by a client within that 10-day period.xiv

 

* Likewise, Bonnie Elmasri inquired about getting a gun to protect herself from a husband who had repeatedly threatened to kill her. She was told there was a 48 hour waiting period to buy a handgun. Unfortunately, Bonnie was never able to pick up a gun. She and her two sons were killed the next day by an abusive husband of whom the police were well aware.xv

 

* Marine Cpl. Rayna Ross bought a gun and used it to kill an attacker in self-defense two days later.xvi Had she had to wait like Bonnie or Jane, Ms. Ross would have been defenseless against the man who was stalking her.

 

While none of these tragedies specifically occurred because of delays resulting from a NICS check, it does underscore the truth behind the oft quoted adage that a “right delayed is a right denied.”

 

Five more reasons for opposing Universal Background Checks

 

Gun Owners of America has produced pages and pages of arguments that explain the problems — and abuses — that have gone hand-in-hand with background checks.xvii But, in brief, it’s important to note these five additional problems.

 

FIRST: The principle that no American can own a firearm without getting the go-ahead from the government is offensive to Americans. We don’t require breathalyzer checks before people get into their cars even though drunk drivers kill more than 30 times more people than “assault rifles” do. Nor do we require background checks on clubs and hammers, which also kill more often than “assault rifles.”xviii

 

SECOND: Universal background checks would not have stopped Adam Lanza (who stole his guns), or James Holmes or Jared Loughner (who passed background checks).

 

THIRD: One of the nation’s leading anti-gun medical publications, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), found that the Brady law has failed to reduce murder rates. In August 2000, JAMA reported that states implementing waiting periods and background checks did “not [experience] reductions in homicide rates or overall suicide rates.”xix

 

FOURTH: Throughout its history, the background check system has been plagued by serious failures. On the one hand, large percentages of gun owners have been erroneously denied — according to one GAO report, almost 50% of denials were the result of administrative snafus or unpaid parking tickets.xx On the other hand, the law has failed to put real criminals behind bars — in 2010, only 13 people were potentially sent to jail as a result of being stopped by NICS checks.xxi

 

FIFTH: Can we really trust the administration that gave us Fast & Furious to respect our Second Amendment rights? The Obama Administration knowingly approved (via background checks) the sales of thousands of guns to the Mexican Cartel in order to justify calls for greater gun control here at home. As a result, several hundred Mexicans have been killed — not to mention at least one U.S. federal agent. Considering the administration’s record on guns, the administration should NOT be trusted to keep guns out of the “wrong hands.” Isn’t this a case of the fox guarding the hen house?

 

Let’s be honest: Universal background checks are nothing more than the ineffectual platform from which gun haters will make their next set of demands, based on the next horrific tragedy.

 

At this point, we now move on to some of the other gun control proposals that are on the table.

 

The High Cost of Limiting Semi-autos and Gun Magazines

 

Senator Dianne Feinstein has reintroduced her semi-auto ban, but her new version is one on steroids. Feinstein’s bill (S. 150) would ban the types of shotguns, rifles and handguns that millions of Americans currently own. And possibly, depending on statutory interpretation, her bill could ban all magazines of whatever size.  Among other things, S. 150 would do this by supercharging the 1994 semi-auto ban by:

* Banning all semi-autos with just one cosmetic feature (pistol grip, forward grip, folding stock, grenade launcher, barrel shroud, threaded barrel);

 

* Banning all semi-autos with fixed magazines of over 10 rounds (but see below as to how a sneaky “loophole” may use this to ban ALL magazines of any size);

* Allowing for grandfathering and transfer of semi-autos (but prohibiting the transfer of magazines and prohibiting the transfer of semi-autos without a Brady Check); and

 

* Banning all magazines that can be “readily restored … [or] converted” to accept more than 10 rounds.

 

In regard to the final bullet item, there is one very important question: Does “readily” modify “converted” or does it merely modify “restored”?  How will the ATF interpret this?

 

If it’s the latter, the bill will ban ALL magazines of whatever size.

 

Does the Feinstein ban violate the Americans with Disabilities Act?

 

As noted above, S. 150 would cover all semi-automatics that contain just one cosmetic feature, such as a pistol grip. Ironically, agents from the Department of Homeland Security are acquiring 30 round magazines and 7,000 assault weapons because they are “suitable for personal defense use in close quarters.”xxii

 

Indeed, there are many reasons that law-abiding Americans, including those who are disabled, would desire to have these types of firearms — and to even have pistol grips on their firearms. Consider the testimony from one GOA member:

 

Feinstein’s ban on pistol grips is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. I have severe arthritis in my hands and wrists due to repetitive motion injuries working as a correctional officer. I cannot operate a rifle or shotgun without a pistol grip as my hands don’t bend enough to grip a traditional stock. If pistol grips are banned, I will be denied my 2nd Amendment rights. I am at considerable risk for retribution from criminal elements, and in fact a former inmate from the psychiatric ward showed up at my house just 2 weeks ago, luckily he was not intent on violence, at least this time.

 

It is the height of hypocrisy to say these firearms are useful self-defense weapons for Homeland Security agents, but that they are not useful for regular Americans like the GOA member listed above. Or that they shouldn’t be available for women like Maryland resident Sharon Ramboz who used an AR-15 rifle to defend herself and her three children against several burglars.xxiii

 

Banning standard magazines (or larger) will make people less safe

 

Some in Congress want to limit the size of gun magazines. But they can only do so by threatening our God-given rights and by putting people in greater danger.

 

Those who are unfamiliar with guns simply don’t understand how self-defense works. Real life is not like the latest action movie where the bad guys shoot their guns endlessly (and miss), but the good guys fire off one or two rounds and hit their targets.

 

When Matthew Murray entered the New Life Church in Colorado Springs in 2007, intent on killing hundreds of people, it was Jeanne Assam (one of the worshipers there) who fired off 10 rounds before Murray was critically injured enough to halt the attack and end his own life.

 

Good thing there was only one attacker. If Assam had used a reduced-capacity magazine or there were multiple attackers, she would have been out of luck. So would have:

 

* Those New Orleans residents who, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, discharged more than two dozen rounds during one firefight, where they fended off a roving gang in the Algiers neighborhood; or,

 

* The Korean merchants who armed themselves with so-called “assault” weapons (and lots of ammunition) during the Los Angeles riots. Their stores remained standing, while others around them burned to the ground.

 

All of this just underscores the point that when you are facing gang or mob violence — and the police are nowhere to be found — you need more than just a six-shooter.

 

Just last month, a Georgia woman defended her twins by shooting an aggressor in her home. She unloaded her six-shot revolver, hitting the perpetrator five times in the head and neck. Nevertheless, the thug was still able to get up and walk out of the house. Now, just imagine if this woman was facing multiple attackers. She would have been out of ammunition, and she and her children would have been in great danger.xxiv

 

Self-defense expert Massad Ayoob talks about an Arkansas drunk who opened fire on an officer, who then responded by firing 29 shots. It was only the last bullet which finally killed the drunk and stopped him from shooting.xxv Same with an Illinois criminal who was shot 33 times by the police before the druggie finally dropped and was unable to shoot any longer.xxvi

 

In the real world we live in, there are violent gangs who get high on drugs and are resistant to pain when they attack. Banning the tens of millions of “high capacity” magazines that are already in circulation won’t keep them out of dangerous hands. But infringing the Second Amendment will threaten our safety.

 

Firearms, and magazine capacity, is not about hunting deer

 

To listen to much of the discussion around Capitol Hill, one would think the Second Amendment is just about hunting. “You don’t need an AK-47 to go deer hunting,” said Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives (July 24, 2012).

 

“I don’t know anybody that needs 30 rounds in the clip to go hunting,” said Senator Joe Manchin on Morning Joe this past December.

 

Likewise, the President has stated that, “I believe in the Second Amendment. We’ve got a long tradition of hunting and sportsmen and people who want to make sure they can protect themselves.”xxvii

 

We are glad to hear the President make reference to “protection,” but all of these comments — and the whole emphasis on hunting — distracts from the real reason that the Second Amendment was included in the Constitution.

 

On at least two occasions, the U.S. Supreme Court has forcefully presented the ultimate reason for the amendment’s inclusion in the Bill of Rights. In Heller v. McDonald (2008), the Supreme Court stated that an armed populace is “better able to resist tyranny.”xxviii And in McDonald v. Chicago (2010), the Court reiterated the definitive purpose for owning firearms:

 

* “[St. George Tucker] described the right to keep and bear arms as ‘the true palladium of liberty’ and explained that prohibitions on the right would place liberty ‘on the brink of destruction.’”xxix

 

* “The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.”xxx

 

For these reasons, any discussion of “hunting deer” completely misses the mark. The Second Amendment was never about shooting Bambi or other animals. It was intended to protect the right of people to defend themselves against any aggressor — both foreign and domestic.

 

The Second Amendment states that this right “shall not be infringed.” This is very similar to the language in the Declaration of Independence which declares that people are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” Unalienable rights are those God-given liberties which cannot be in any way infringed, delayed or denied to those who are law-abiding citizens.

 

We don’t limit First Amendment rights and gag movie-goers to prevent them from yelling “fire” in a crowded theater. Likewise, we should not be “gagging” law-abiding gun owners and infringing their rights through background checks, gun bans and magazine limitations.

 

A policy that works to reduce school violence

 

It’s not too much access to firearms that is plaguing America. That’s not what has resulted in the recent spate of school violence. America was virtually gun control-free in the 1950s, and yet kids were not using guns to shoot up schools.

 

The problem is that there are too many restrictions today which prevent good people from acting in self-defense. Virtually all of the mass shootings that have occurred in this country over the past 20 years have occurred in gun-free zones.

 

And that’s why the Congress should repeal the Gun-Free Zones Ban which prevents armed teachers or principals from protecting the children — just like Assistant Principal Joel Myrick did at his Mississippi high school in 1997.

 

To this end, Texas Rep. Steve Stockman has introduced H.R. 35, the Safe Schools Act of 2013. This bill would repeal the federal Gun-Free School Zones act and allow teachers and principals, who are qualified by their state to carry concealed, to also do so at public and private schools.

 

The Stockman bill is truly the greatest step that Congress could take toward securing our schools. But some in Washington are so blinded by their anti-gun ideology, that they care more about protecting themselves than they do our children. In the roughly 15 square block area of Capitol Hill, there are 1,800 Capitol Hill police officers to protect every Representative and Senator. How many armed adults are protecting our kids on any given day at school?

 

It’s this principle of self-defense which explains why we haven’t seen any school massacres in places like Utah and Harrold, Texas, where teachers or principals can carry concealed. Come to think of it, we also haven’t heard of any horror story scenarios in these jurisdictions — like students finding a gun in a purse, or a teacher accidentally firing his weapon.

 

Concealed carry permit holders are the most law-abiding segment of society. They are eight times less likely to commit a crime than the average citizen and — in light of a 2006 Bureau of Justice Statistics study on police abuse — almost 800 times less likely than law-enforcement.xxxi

 

That’s why Gun Owners of America is encouraging more states to emulate places like Utah. Constitutionally, the states should be the ones working out their school security issues. But at the very least, Congress should repeal the Gun-Free School Zones Act and stop threatening to punish law-abiding teachers and principals who want a gun to stop another Adam Lanza from killing their students and fellow staff members.

 

Erich Pratt is the Director of Communications for Gun Owners of America. Michael Hammond is the legislative counsel for GOA. This testimony was submitted to the United States Senate Judiciary Committee for its hearing on: “Proposals to Reduce Gun Violence: Protecting Our Communities While Respecting the Second Amendment” on February 12, 2003.

 

i Robert Farago, TheTruthAboutGuns.com (May 27, 2012).

 

iii Richard B. Abell, Assistant Attorney General, Task Force Chairman, Report to the Attorney General on Systems for Identifying Felons Who Attempt to Purchase Firearms (October 1989), p. 75.

 

iv Bureau of Justice Assistance, Grant Manager’s Memorandum, Pt. 1: Project Summary (September 30, 1994), Project Number: 94-DD-CX-0166.

 

v Copy of “FIST” (Firearms Inquiry Statistical Tracking) software at GOA headquarters, Springfield, VA. See also Pennsylvania Sportsmen’s News (Oct./Nov. 1996). The default in the “FIST” computer software is for the police officials to indefinitely retain the information on gun owners—despite the fact that the Brady law only allows officials to retain this data for 20 days. One wonders who will ensure that this information will be deleted after the 20th day.

 

vi FBI’s Final Rule printed in the Federal Register (October 30, 1998) at 58311. After the FBI submitted its proposed regulations on June 4, 1998, Gun Owners of America submitted written comments (in September of 1988) to challenge the FBI’s regulations. GOA stated, “These proposed regulations are unlawful and unconstitutional. They are so fundamentally corrupt that there are no incremental changes which will even marginally improve them. Rest assured that they will be challenged in every possible judicial and legislative forum. . . . The efforts to retain information on gun owners for eighteen months—and indefinitely in your computer backup system—constitutes an illegal system of firearms registration, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 926. The same is, in fact, true even for efforts to retain information about persons prohibited from purchasing firearms.”

 

vii “NY Democrat pleads with Republican not to share document proposing confiscation of guns,” The Commentator (January 20, 2013). See http://tinyurl.com/bg7q3jy.

 

viii On August 16, 1991, New York City Mayor David Dinkins signed Local Law 78 which banned the possession and sale of certain rifles and shotguns.

 

ix John Marzulli, “Weapons ban defied: S.I. man, arsenal seized,” Daily News (September 5, 1992).

 

x Based on research from the Congressional Research Service, more than 150,000 military veterans have lost their Second Amendment rights, despite the fact they have committed no crimes. [See Sen. Tom Coburn letter to Gordon H. Mansfield, Acting Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (Oct. 16, 2007).] This process began during the Clinton administration when the Department of Veterans Affairs sent the names of more than 80,000 veterans to the FBI for inclusion in the NICS system. But as Senator Tom Coburn found out ten years later, these were not veterans that were guilty of crimes, rather, they were former soldiers who had gone to the VA for counseling to help them deal with the stress from prior combat. Many of them were suffering from PTSD. But because a doctor or psychiatrist determined that a third party should help them manage their financial affairs, they lost their Second Amendment rights. How could this happen? Well, the legislative history began in 1968 when Congress banned those who are “adjudicated mentally defective” from owning firearms. This was an attempt to keep those criminals who had escaped a conviction by reason of insanity from owning weapons. The problem with applying this to veterans, of course, is that they have lost their gun rights without being “adjudicated” in a court of anything — no judge, no impartial jury, no nothing. These veterans are being disarmed because a guardian has been appointed to look over their checkbook and manage their financial affairs. (Would the President and most members of the Congress lose their gun rights based on this “inability to manage one’s financial affairs” standard?) Sadly, what began illegally under the Clinton administration was later “legalized” by the Veterans Disarmament Act — otherwise known as the NICS Improvement Act of 2008.

 

xii Nok-Noi Ricker, “Call volume shuts down FBI’s firearm background checks, stops Maine sales on Black Friday,” Bangor (Maine) Daily News (November 23, 2012).

 

xiii John Lott, “The ‘40 Percent’ Myth: The figure gun-control advocates are throwing around is false,” National Review Online (January 24, 2013) at http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/338735/40-percent-myth-john-lott.

 

xv Congressional Record (May 8, 1991), at H 2859, H 2862.

 

xvi Wall Street Journal (March 3, 1994) at A10.

 

xvii For example, see http://gunowners.org/fs0202.htm.

 

xviii For drunk driving-related fatalities, see Table 3 Statistics, US Department of Transportation National Highway Safety Administration Traffic Safety Facts Report 12/2012: http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811701.pdf. For FBI statistics regarding rifle deaths (of which “assault rifles” would be a subset) and “clubs, hammers, etc.,” see FBI Crime Report 2011, Expanded Homicide Data Table 11: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/expanded-homicide-data-table-11.

 

xix Jens Ludwig and Philip J. Cook, “Homicide and Suicide Rates Associated With Implementation of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act,” Journal of the American Medical Association, vol. 284, no. 5 (August 2, 2000).

 

xx General Accounting Office, “Gun Control: Implementation of the Brady Handgun Violence Act,” (January 1996), p. 39-40, 64-65. See fn. 16 at http://gunowners.org/fs0202.htm.

 

xxi Ronald J. Frandsen, “Enforcement of the Brady Act, 2010: Federal and state investigations and prosecutions of firearm applicants denied by a NICS check in 2010,” Department of Justice (August, 2012), p. 8. According to the DoJ report, there were still another 12 cases were still pending as of December 13, 2011.

 

xxii “If ‘Assault Weapons’ Are Bad…Why Does DHS Want to Buy 7,000 of Them for ‘Personal Defense’?” The Blaze (January 26, 2013).

 

xxiii See Lauren Fox, “Conservative women say AR-15 rifles would keep women everywhere safer,” US News & World Report (January 30, 2013) and “Assault weapon provides security, owner testifies,” Baltimore Sun (February 11, 1992).

 

xxivNick Chiles, “Georgia Woman Who Shot Intruder Hailed as Model Gun Owner,” Atlanta Blackstar (January 10, 2013).

 

xxv Massad Ayoob, “Defending Firepower,” Combat Handguns (October 1990), p. 25.

 

xxvi Ibid., at 71.

 

xxvii Barack Obama, Second Presidential Debate, October 17, 2012.

 

xxviii D.C. v. Heller (2008) at 24-25.

 

xxix McDonald v. Chicago (2010) at 22.

 

xxx Ibid., citing Joseph Story (1833) at 22.

 

xxxi Compare Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Citizen Complaints about Police Use of Force [in 2002]” (published 2006) at http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/ccpuf.pdf and Howard Nemerov, “Concealed Handguns: Danger or Asset to Texas?” (Tables 1 and 3) at http://www.prattontexas.com/documents/Texas%20CHL%20Study.pdf.

January 19, 2013 is “National Gun Appreciation Day”

January 8, 2013 2 comments

Here in Montana, we have the first week in March, beginning on the first Monday, designated as Right to Keep and Bear Arms Week. 1-1-224, M.C.A. Written and pushed by MSSA, this law establishes the first week of March as an official period for Montanans to celebrate their cherished right to keep and bear arms.

 

 

BROAD COALITION OF GUN RIGHTS, CONSERVATIVE GROUPS PROCLAIM JANUARY 19 “GUN APPRECIATION DAY”

For Immediate Release:   1/7/2013

Washington, D.C. – A new coalition of gun rights and conservative groups has proclaimed January 19, 2013, “Gun Appreciation Day” (GAD) and begun urging Americans nationwide to show their support for gun ownership by turning out en masse at gun stores, ranges, and shows from coast to coast.

Scheduled to send a message to Washington two days before Obama’s second inauguration, the “Gun Appreciation Day” is expected to rival “Chick-fil-A Day” as a public statement of protest against government policies.

Gun rights movement leader Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation and chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms stated, “ We need to ban politicians who assault our rights not firearms that are used thousands of times a day to protect lives and property from criminal attack.”

“The Obama administration has shown that it is more than willing to trample the Constitution to impose its dictates upon the American people,” said Gun Appreciation Day chairman Larry Ward, president of Political Media, Inc. “If the American people don’t fight back now, Obama will do the Second Amendment what he has already done to the First with Obamacare – gut it without a moment’s thought to our basic constitutional rights.”

The Gun Appreciation Day currently includes the following coalition members: Second Amendment Foundation, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Special Operations Speaks, Revolution PAC, Citizens and Country, Social Security Institute, Committee to Draft Judge Andrew Napolitano, Conservative Action Alerts, Women Warriors PAC, Conservative Action Fund, and Political Media, Inc. Additional organizations are expected to join in the days ahead.

Gun Appreciation Day member organizations are urging their supporters to line up “around the block” at gun stores, gun counters, gun shows, and gun ranges to protest the Obama administration’s post Sandy Hook assault on gun rights. The organizations expect to reach more than 50 million Americans over the next two weeks in support of the Gun Appreciation Day online, on air and in their members’ inboxes.

“We have never had a president who so callously disregards the Constitution, Congress, the courts, and the will of the American people,” Ward said. “And that’s why this outpouring of public support is so important for our constitutional safeguards to keep and bear arms. If, as this president claims, the American people are at risk from murderous rampagers, the logical solution is to arm, not present a docile target.”

The GAD website can be found at http://gunappreciationday.com/

The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control. In addition to the landmark McDonald v. Chicago Supreme Court Case, SAF has previously funded successful firearms-related suits against the cities of Los Angeles; New Haven, CT; New Orleans; Chicago and San Francisco on behalf of American gun owners, a lawsuit against the cities suing gun makers and numerous amicus briefs holding the Second Amendment as an individual right.

-END-

 

Robert Spencer: Outing the Gun Owners and the Left’s New Savagery

January 5, 2013 Leave a comment

By Robert Spencer

 

The American Left, which thoroughly dominates the mainstream media, no longer believes, if it ever did, in the concept of reasonable and respectable people disagreeing in good faith on core issues; it increasingly demonstrates that it believes all opposition to its own outlook and policies must never be tolerated, but only eradicated. Its opposition is never to be engaged on the level of ideas, but only ridiculed and held up as evil. The Left has done nothing but demonize its opposition for years. Organizations like Media Matters routinely repeat remarks made by conservative politicians and commentators as if they were obviously risible and/or morally offensive, without ever bothering to explain why or to offer a substantive refutation of any kind. They and others like them never debate or discuss issues, but only deal with their opposition with endless games of “gotcha” and searches for “gaffes.”

After the Left has played such games for so long, this new level of savagery was perhaps inevitable. For the Westchester Journal News, owners of legal guns are evil, and thus have no rights they are bound to respect. For the Left in general, their opponents are evil, and so can and should even be put in physical danger if that is what is needed in order to bring about its silence and submission….

 

CONTINUE READING:  http://www.jihadwatch.org/2013/01/robert-spencer-outing-the-gun-owners-and-the-lefts-new-savagery.html

 

National Coalition To Stop The Gun Ban: OPEN LETTER TO MEMBERS OF CONGRESS

January 3, 2013 Leave a comment

TWG: If you support our Bill of Rights and specifically our Right To Keep and Bear Arms, please do your part and re-send this letter to your Representatives in Congress and in your State Government.

 

Open Letter to Members of Congress:

In coming weeks, you will face pressure from the Obama administration and others to implement a ban on semi-automatic firearms and certain ammunition feeding devices, and to pass laws requiring private gun transfers to be processed via the National Instant Check System.

Yet the “assault weapon” misnomer is a myth perpetuated by gun control advocates who seek to confuse the public about the difference between millions of semi-automatic firearms, which are functionally identical to
hunting rifles, and military “assault rifles,” which are machine guns virtually unavailable to the public since implementation of the National Firearms Act of 1934.
The truth about modern rifles
The modern rifles Senator Dianne Feinstein has, by her own admission, waited decades to ban differ from others primarily by cosmetic features such as barrel shrouds, threaded barrels, flash suppressors, pistol grips and adjustable stocks – things which do not affect function. The notion being promulgated by gun control advocates that such features increase lethality by allowing guns to be “fired from the hip” is absurd: Any firearms expert will attest that rifles can only be effectively utilized from the shoulder.
Although you are being told that ammunition used by modern rifles is excessively destructive, in truth it is ballistically inferior to common .30-06 hunting ammunition and was selected by the military not for its lethality,
but instead for light weight and low recoil.
And when you hear how “high capacity” magazines increase mortality in mass shootings, understand that Seung-Hui Cho carried no fewer than nineteen magazines for the Virginia Tech rampage, and that nearly all mass murderers who use guns carry multiple firearms, rendering magazine capacity moot. Like the misnomer “assault weapon,” the “high capacity” designation of more than ten rounds for magazines represents nothing more than an arbitrary limit set on devices which have been in common possession since the early Twentieth
Century.
Moreover, attempts to process private gun sales through the National Instant Check System represent nothing less than a stepping stone to national gun registration; under the Clinton administration, the FBI retained NICS
transaction records in violation of the Brady Act, creating a defacto national registration system.
Most outrageous, however, is Sen. Feinstein’s proposal to regulate  “grandfathered” modern rifles under the National Firearms Act. Doing so would not only entail registering millions of existing firearms, but would
represent unprecedented expansion of police powers through the BATFE by requiring millions of gun owners to be fingerprinted and photographed like common criminals. Because a large percentage will refuse to comply,
the scheme, if implemented, will make felons of otherwise law-abiding citizens.

Semi-auto ban: No impact on violence
Neither have such laws been effective. From 1994 to 2004, the previous ban on semi-automatic firearms and magazines had no impact on school shootings, which actually increased during that period. Indeed, some of the worst school shootings, including Columbine High School, took place during the ban.
Despite predictions from gun control advocates that violent crime would increase after the ban expired, it has actually dropped: According to FBI Uniform Crime Reports, between expiration of the ban in 2004 and the
most recent for which data is available (2011), violent crime dropped by 17% and homicide, by 15%.
Meanwhile, weapons use in homicide has remained unchanged and,  significantly, use of rifles (including those targeted for bans) declined slightly from 2.7% of homicides in 2004 to 2.5% of homicides in 2011. Clearly, rifles of any type, including those with features targeted by semi-auto bans, are rarely used in crimes.
‘Gun Free School Zones Act’ increased killings
What does appear to have impacted school shootings was implementation of the latest version of the “Gun Free School Zones Act” (GFSZA), which is associated with a dramatic increase in school murders.
Between the first significant school shooting, in 1966, and enactment of the 1996 GFSZA, media summaries reveal 8 shootings with 134 victims killed or wounded – a rate of 4.3 victims per year. Between 1996 and 2012, the review finds 62 shootings and 367 victims – a fivefold increase to 23 victims per year. Yet, during the same period, FBI Uniform Crime Reports indicate homicide nationwide dropped by 14%.
While media summaries may not be comprehensive, the GFSZA has clearly been an abject failure. Worse, evidence suggests it may actually create “kill zones” which attract violent predators.
Researchers John Lott and William Landes, then at Yale and the University of Chicago, respectively, studied multiple victim public shootings. Said Lott, “Gun prohibitionists concede that banning guns around schools has not quite worked as intended—but their response has been to call for more regulation of guns. Yet what might appear to be the most obvious policy may actually cost lives. When gun-control laws are passed, it is law abiding citizens, not would-be criminals, who adhere to them.”
Examining data from 1976 to 1995, they discovered that mass homicides in states adopting concealed handgun laws declined by 84%, deaths plummeted by 90% and injuries by 82.5%. Crediting the reductions to deterrence (even suicidal maniacs avoid armed victims), Lott and Landes called their findings “dramatic,” concluding:
“[T]he only policy factor to have a consistently significant influence on  multiple victim public shootings is the passage of concealed handgun laws.”

 

Coalition position
Members of the National Coalition to Stop the Gun Ban demand that Congress refuse to use lawful gun owners as political scapegoats and instead reduce school violence by:
· Defeating any attempt to pass gun control including, but not limited to, banning semi-automatic firearms or magazines, or requiring private gun transfers to be registered through the National Instant Check System; and
· Repealing the Gun Free School Zones Act of 1996.
No ‘compromises’
Some will urge you to “compromise,” perhaps even the National Rifle Association. The many thousands of gun rights supporters represented by the Coalition, however, regard “compromise,” as our opposition defines it, to be a process in which we lose slightly fewer of our rights than under the original proposal. Consequently, any legislation which registers or bans firearms; limits magazine capacity; registers private transactions through NICS; or restricts time, place or manner of self-defense is unacceptable.
Members of Congress who support gun owners by opposing all gun control will, in turn, benefit from support by Coalition organizations. Members of Congress who support gun control by any means, procedural or substantive, will be targeted for defeat by Coalition members. They will be subject to picketing, leaflet drops at events in their districts, phone and mail campaigns, and  political action committee opposition. NRA ratings and endorsements will have no impact on Coalition actions.
In coming weeks, we look forward to working with you to reduce school violence by allowing lawful citizens in schools and elsewhere to defend themselves against violent predators.
Respectfully,
The National Coalition to Stop the Gun Ban

 
Signatories
National Organizations:

.

 
The Firearms Coalition
Jeff Knox, Managing Director
Chris Knox, Director of Communications

Gun Owners of America
Larry D. Pratt, Executive Director

Rights Watch International
F. Paul Valone, Executive Director

Second Amendment Sisters
Marinelle Thompson, President
Lee Ann Tarducci, Director of Operations

USRKBA.org
Dave Yates, Co-founder
Dave Van, Co-Founder

 

State-level organizations:

Arizona Citizens Defense League
Dave Kopp, President

Arkansas Carry
Steve Jones, Chairman

Florida Carry, Inc.
Sean Caranna, Executive Director
Richard Nascak, Executive Director

Grass Roots North Carolina
F. Paul Valone, President

Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance, Minnesota
Joe Olson, President

Gun Owners of California
Sam Paredes, Executive Director

Gun Owners of Maine
Shane Belanger, Executive Director

Gun Owners of Utah
Charles Hardy, Public Policy Director

Gun Owners of Vermont
Gary Cutler, Legislative Director

Michigan Gun Owners
Jeff LaFave, President

Montana Shooting Sports Association
Gary Marbut, President

Nebraska Firearms Owners Association
Wesley Dickinson, President

New Hampshire Firearms Coalition
Jonathan R. Evans, Esq, President

New Jersey 2nd Amendment Society
Frank Flamingo, President

Oregon Firearms Federation
Kevin Starrett, Executive Director

Peaceable Texans for Firearms Rights
Paul Velte, President

Shooters Committee on Political Education, NY
Stephen Aldstadt, President

Utah shooting Sports Council
Clark Aposhian, Chairman

Virginia Citizens Defense League
Philip Van Cleave, President

West Virginia Citizens Defense League
Keith Morgan, President

Western Missouri Shooters Alliance
Kevin Jamison, Press Officer

Wisconsin Carry, Inc.
Nik Clark, Chairman/President

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