Archive for October, 2008

Fellow gun owners, this is the final weekend to do all we can to defeat anti-gun Barack Obama.  We need large turnouts of gun owners at rallies in Virginia on Saturday.  Please attend and please where your NRA and/or other pro-gun, pro-sportsmen gear.  Here are the details:

Road to Victory Rally: Saturday November 1st in Newport News, VA with John McCain

What: Road to Victory Rally: Saturday November 1st in Newport News, VA
When: November 1, 2008 Doors Open at 7:00 a.m. (you need to arrive early)
Where: Christopher Newport University: David Student Union
1 University Place
Newport News , VA23606

Ticket Locations

Yorktown Victory Center
Wittman for Congress Headquarters
632 Hampton Hwy.
Yorktown, VA 23693
(757) 646-1844
Norfolk Victory Headquarters
6204 N. Military Highway, Suite G
Norfolk, VA 23518
(757) 334-0186
Virginia Beach Regional Victory Headquarters
512 S. Independence Blvd. Suite 200
Virginia Beach, VA 23452
(757) 305-9174
Chesapeake Regional Victory Headquarters
124 Battlefield Blvd, South
Chesapeake, VA 23322
(757) 482-1111

Road to Victory Rally: Saturday November 1st in Springfield, VA with John McCain 
What: Road to Victory Rally: Saturday November 1st in Springfield, VA
When: November 1, 2008 doors open at 9:00 a.m. (you need to arrive early)
Where: Interstate Van Lines
5801 Rolling Road
Springfield , V22152

Ticket Locations

Fairfax County Springfield Victory Center
8136 Old Keene Mill Road
Suite A207
Springfield, VA
Fairfax Regional Victory Headquarters
4246 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA
Loudoun Regional Victory Headquarters
46950 Community Plaza
Unit #201A
Sterling, VA
Virginia Victory 2008 State Headquarters
1235 S. Clark Street
Arlington, VA

Prince William Victory Center
4431 Prince William Parkway
Woodbridge, VA

Western Prince William County Victory Headquarters
7466 Limestone Drive
Gainesville, VA

Road to Victory Rally: Saturday November 1st in Glen Allen, VA with Sarah Palin

What: Road to Victory Rally: Saturday November 1st in Glen Allen, VA
When: November 1, 2008  Doors Open 6:30 p.m. Rally begins at 8:00PM (you need to arrive early)
Where: Deep Run High School
4801 Twin Hickory Rd
Glen Allen , VA23059

This will be Governor Palin’s last Virginia rally before Election Day.Tickets are available online or by visiting one of the designated Virginia Victory offices between 9:00am and 9:00 p.m. EDT.

If you have any questions please email virginia@johnmccain.com

Ticket Locations

Richmond Regional Victory Headquarters
*across from Tucker High School
2819 N. Parham Road, Suite 210
Richmond, VA
Chesterfield Victory Headquarters
9507 Hull Street Road, Suite B
Richmond, VA
Hanover County Victory Headquarters
9502 Chamberlayne Road, Suite 12
Mechanicsville, VA
Charlottesville Victory Center
455 Albemarle Square
Charlottesville, VA

Harrisonburg Regional Victory Headquarters
182 Neff Avenue
Suites 13 and 14
Harrisonburg, VA

Fredericksburg Regional Victory Headquarters
150 Riverside Parkway, Suite 213
Fredericksburg, VA

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posted on this earlier this week but it continues to be news. Cam Edwards on NRANews last night led his program with it as well. The increase in gun sales as the election approaches is clearly a nationwide story. All you have to do is google “Increase in Gun Sales” and you get page after page of articles around the nation, even here in Virginia.

National Review’s Jim Geraghty said on NRANews last night it is possible that if Obama wins and he has increased majorities in both houses of Congress as expected, that Obama will try to strike while the “iron is hot” and push through things like a renewal of the Clinton gun ban, to name one. Geraghty believes it will be hard for even normally pro-gun Democrats (he named Heath Shuler as an example but not to single him out) to resist the arm twisting from a president of the same party in the first 100 days.

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CNN’s Wolfe Blitzer will interview Barack Obama on Friday during the Situation Room and you can be part of the program.  Just go here and you can upload your question.  Since none of the presidential debates included a question about guns, maybe Blitzer will allow one to slip in. 

Hat tip to Michelle Malkin.

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On Sunday the Washington Post reported that while other items have seen sales declines in these uncertain economic times, gun sales are still increasing.  Here is a report from Florida on the same topic. Story mirrors the reasons mentioned in much of the Post article.

I was listening Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk program this week and he mentioned he had just bought another AR-15. He suggested now might be a good time to buy because market forces of supply and demand could cause prices to rise should the election winner not favor gun owners.

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Sebastian has another update via Dave Hardy on this still developing story.  Is there a chance that Cooper gave more than legally allowed to a single candidate?  What a tangled web we weave…

Update: Sebastian updated this story yesterday. He looked deeper into the numbers Dave posted and discovered nothing illegal or funny was going on. However, he noted that the other accusations of Cooper’s support of Obama’s candidacy still stand.  Hat tip to Bitter for the comment and correction.

Sebastian also noted here that it appears the Cooper Arms Board of Directors has asked Daniel Cooper to step down from the company he founded.

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There was a lot of chatter yesterday on Internet discussion boards and blogs about a USA Today article discussing corporate executives that don’t normally support Democrats that are now supporting Barack Obama. One such exec mentioned was Dan Cooper, “chief executive of Cooper Arms, a small Montana company that makes hunting rifles.” The article starts out with:

Dan Cooper, a proud member of the National Rifle Association, has backed Republicans for most of his life. He’s the chief executive of Cooper Arms, a small Montana company that makes hunting rifles.

Cooper said he voted for George W. Bush in 2000, having voted in past elections for every Republican presidential nominee back to Richard Nixon. In October 1992, he presented a specially made rifle to the first President. Bush during a Billings campaign event.

…Cooper changed sides, he said, “probably because of the war. And also because the Republican Party has moved so far right in recent years.”

He also likes Obama’s message about “the retooling of America, which involves the building of middle-class jobs and helping American small business be competitive with those overseas.”

You can imagine that the reaction to this news ranked right up there with the feelings of betrayal felt after Jim Zumbo made his uninformed comments about semi-auto military style firearms. Zumbo later apologized and after some range time with Ted Nugent, saw the error of his ways and now understands why people like to shoot firearms like AR-15s.

But is this USA Today report the whole story? In today’s Shooting Wire, Jim Shepherd writes:

This statement posted on the Cooper Firearms website would seem to indicate otherwise: “Regarding the USA Today Article. Cooper Firearms of Montana, Inc. did not contribute and does not support in any fashion the campaign of Senator Obama. Nine months ago Dan Cooper (personally) made an online donation to the campaign in an effort to help defeat Hillary Clinton and in protest of American plant closures and the shipping of jobs overseas. Three months ago he made yet another donation to the McCain campaign and the RNC totaling over twice that given to Obama campaign. There is no doubt that the article in USA Today has caused a considerable response. To this end we are encouraged and stand with our fellow NRA members and supporters of the Second Amendment and against those who oppose it.”

The end of this story is far from written, but were Cooper’s actions were not inaccurately reported in order to fit inside the “More executives sold on Obama” headline, Mr. Cooper is only beginning to feel the ire of already angry gun owners. When your name is on the sign, there is precious little discrimination between your personal actions and those of your company.

Given how the media has been in the tank for Obama all year, it is probably always good to dig deep into anything they report. In any event, Cooper will likely think twice about talking to the media in the future.

Update: Sebastian has another take on the Cooper response.  He makes some good points as always.

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The Politico reports that the NRA is running a new add in battleground states, including Virginia, in hopes of closing the sale for gun owners to vote their rights on November 4th.  The ad does not mention a candidate by name but uses the popular actor Chuck Norris in ads reminiscent of the Huckabee primary ads.

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This has been posted by several people already but since I received an email from an NRA member that does not understand why Mark Warner received the same grade as Jim Gilmore in the Virginia U.S. Senate race, I thought I would put my two cents worth in too.

First there is this video:

Yes, fourteen years ago, Mark Warner said a number of groups, including the NRA were threatening to what it means to be an American.

Then, in 1996, Mark Warner, while running for U.S. Senate against then U.S. Senator John Warner (no relation) said he supported the Clinton Gun Ban and in 2001 when running for Governor of Virginia, he could not answer with a simple yes or no whether the NRA was a positive force in Virginia. He stumbled and bumbled before saying he thought the NRA represented its members. He also said he would sign a bill banning firearms in local parks and recreation centers. Warner also said in 1996 that if he had been governor when Virginia’s “shall issue” concealed handgun law passed, he would not have signed it.

After winning the Governor’s race in 2001, Warner faced a strongly Republican and pro-gun General Assembly. During his four years in office, he saw a number of pro-gun bills come across his desk – including 17 in 2004. Among those bills, he signed a bill partially rolling back Virginia’s handgun rationing law – allowing concealed handgun permit holders (CHPs) to purchase more than one handgun in a 30 day period. Warner also signed Virginia’s full preemption law – repealing all local ordinances dealing with owning and purchasing firearms. There were also a number of bills further strengthening Virginia’s CHP statute. In short, Warner signed every bill that hit his desk – the two of real substance mentioned above and many that had little substance but that did advance the ball forwarded a yard or two for gun owners.

Having said this, given a choice between Jim Gilmore and Mark Warner, this gun owner will take Jim Gilmore any day of the week. Jim Gilmore has never said anything against gun owners or the NRA. Jim Gilmore is a life member of the NRA (he did not, like Mitt Romney, join a year before running for the office he sought). Jim Gilmore is also a member of the NRA Board of Directors.

This gun owner believes words mean things. Even though they were 14 years ago, the fact that Mark Warner thought gun owners were a threat to what he thought it meant to be an American says something about Mark Warner’s mindset. When he was Governor, he was not going to see a gun control bill and it would have been political suicide for him to veto bills that passed by veto proof margins. But Warner is one of those who equates gun rights with hunters and “sportsmen” – thus his original opposition to the CHP statute passed in 1995.

This gun owner does not for a minute believe that if Warner is in a U.S. Senate with a filibuster proof margin and Obama in the White House, that he will oppose one or more of Obama’s Supreme Court nominees – nominees that Obama himself has said would be like Justice Stephen Breyer or Justice Ruth Ginsburg – justices that were in the minority in the Heller decision and who believe the meaning of the Constitution changes with the whims of public opinion. I also do not believe that Warner has changed his true opinion of the Clinton Gun Ban.

And the federal courts, not just the Supreme Court, are a huge concern to this gun owner and voter. The next president will have extraordinary impact on the ideological shape of the nation’s federal courts for decades to come. It is likely the next president will appoint Supreme Court judges as six of the nine are turning 70. In addition, hundreds of federal and appellate judges will be appointed.  Appellate appointments shape lasting constitutional interpretations and they cover multiple states. Although these require Congressional approval, that will be a slam-dunk if this election creates a Democratic super-majority. One out of three federal judges now owes a lifetime-tenured job to the current president.

The overwhelming majority of Americans believe that judges should interpret the law as it is written. Seventy-four percent (74%) of men favor that approach along with 65% of women. Sen. McCain supports that view and he has consistently campaigned on a “strict constructionist philosophy” for the courts.

Sen. Obama, on the other hand, believes that judges should be required to possess “empathy” and should “reach decisions on the basis of his deepest values, core concerns, and broader perspectives on how the world works.” During the Roberts nomination debate, Sen. Obama stated, “Legal process alone will not lead you to a rule of decision. In those difficult cases, the critical ingredient is supplied by what is in the judge’s heart.”

My sources at NRA Federal Affairs – the division that rates candidates – says that Warner’s pro-gun record while he was Governor, and the fact he answered the questions on the questionnaire to NRA’s satisfaction, is why he received the same rating as Jim Gilmore. I am told the questionnaire included a question on the Clinton Gun Ban and on judicial appointments. I suspect like in 2001, that is all Warner was hoping for – to keep NRA neutral so he could tell voters in rural areas that since they have nothing to fear from him on the gun issue, they can focus on other issues like the economy.

Gun owners have to judge for themselves if they want Warner to be the 60th vote that will allow every anti-gun court appointment from a President Obama to make it to the bench.

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The Texas State Rifle Association is running an ad on radio throughout Texas that encourages gun owners to consider what is at stake in this election. The ad details that even though the Heller decision has affirmed an individual right to keep and bear arms, that the changes that will occur in the Federal judiciary in the term of the next president may have a dramatic effect on what the Second Amendment means. All the “reasonable regulations” left undefined in the Heller case this summer will be decided since litigation filed in the wake of Heller is set to determine many of those key issues, including whether or not incorporation of this basic right goes down to state and local government. If that fight is lost, the Second Amendment will then only apply to the Federal government, leaving states and municipal governments a free rein to take away most, if not all of our gun rights.

TSRA forwarded the audio to me and other gun rights activists and asked that we assist in distributing the ad to like-minded individuals interested in defending the Second Amendment. They don’t have to be Texas residents, in fact it would help a great deal to get this out of state. As a non-battleground state where McCain is expected to win by over 17 points, both campaigns have largely ignored Texas.

I have uploaded the audio to You Tube to make distribution easier. Please listen to the ad below and then pass it along to others so we can get to word to all gun owners.

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I think this expresses why I am supporting John McCain and not Barack Obama.

Hat tip to Bitter.

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