Archive for November, 2008

On of the hottest items in the increase in gun sales the last couple of months has been AR style semi-automatics.  Many dealers are reporting they are sold out and manufacturers are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible.

Jim Shepherd over at the Shooting Wire reports today that:

…the gorging on AR-style rifles and semiautomatic pistols continues unabated. In fact, some retailers tell us that consumers upon hearing there are no AR-style rifles available (a commonly heard story growing even more common daily) are immediately snapping up semiauto pistols and ammunition.

Sebastian told Ahab on Gun Nuts Radio earlier this week that buyers can take a long view.  Obama does not take office until January 20th.  It’s not like on January 21st that he signs a gun ban.  The bills will not be introduced until the new congress convenes and then they have to wind there way through committee before making to the floor for a vote.  “We are talking weeks if not months after Obama takes office,” Sebastian said.  He’s right.  If you don’t have the money right now to make a purchase or your favorite dealer is out of the firearm you want to purchase, you have some time before you have to worry about a ban becoming law.

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The President of the Virginia Shooting Sports Association spoke with NRA News’ Cam Edwards on Wednesday night and they talked about several topics of interest to gun owners.

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Word is Barack Obama has chosen another Clintonista, former Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder to serve as the next Attorney General.  Holder is no friend of the Second Amendment.  Dave Kopel writes in this month’s NRA magazine America’s First Freedom that Holder was one of the individuals that signed on to the Reno amicus brief supporting the D.C. gun ban in the Heller Case.  That brief claimed that every Justice Department since Franlin Roosevelt through Clinton always believed that the Second Amendment did not protect an individual right to guns for personal use.  After the decision came down from the Court that the Second Amendment does indeed cover an individual right to keep and bear arms Holder complained it would mean greater access to firearms and more guns on the street.

Obama is batting three for three on attacking gun owners.  First he appoints Clinton’s gun control point man, Rahm Emmanuel, as his Chief of Staff.  Then he posts a very specific gun control agenda on his transition web site.  Now he appoints Eric Holder as Attorney General.

If you are not an NRA member and a member of your state gun rights (all of them) organizations, join them today because we are going to need every gun owner in this battle.

Update: More on Eric Holder can be found here.

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Last week the blogosphere was all abuzz with talk about question number 59 on the Obama Employment Questionnaire.  That is the question asking prospective administration employees

“Do you or any members of your immediate family own a gun?  If so, provide complete ownership and registration information.  Has the registration ever lapsed?  Please also describe how and by whom it is used and whether it has been the cause of any personal injuries or property damage.”

Jake Tapper, ABC News’ Senior White House Correspondent, referred to the questionnaire this morning on his blog as a list of “intrusive and extensive” questions.   

Cam Edwards covered the topic extensively on his Thursday and Friday shows and NRA’s Executive Vice President, Wayne LaPierre was interviewed by NRA News‘ Ginny Simone about what has become known as “question #59.”  Tapper writes that South Carolina Congressman Jim Demint has also jumped into the fray saying,

“I am deeply disturbed that President-elect Obama is asking job applicants whether they or members of their family own guns. Millions of law-abiding Americans own firearms and they should not be discriminated against. The questionnaire already seeks information about illegal activity so there is no reason to ask this question unless the Obama Administration plans to use it to discriminate based on lawful activity. For this reason, I will seek to enact legislation to prohibit this type of discrimination.”

Is this much to-do about nothing?  Obama’s minions say yes.  They told Tapper that the question is not about discriminating against gun owners, but is meant to insure anyone with a gun has one within the “parameters of the law.”  They compare question #59 to the one about whether the prospective employee has had run-ins with the law over any law or regulation, or ever gotten a traffic ticket of more than $50 in fines.

Bill Bennett’s guest host this morning, Kevin Wall, said the questionnaire is a way for the Obama transition team to make sure they don’t run into the problems that Clinton ran into to with some of his nominees in the first term.

Forgive me it I think something else is afoot.  Obama has shown a disdain for guns and gun owners his entire public life.  This is just one more reason not to trust the guy when it comes to our gun rights.

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As Virginia’s hunters await the opening of general firearms deer season on November 15th, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the largest anti-hunting lobby in the country, is pushing for a nationwide ban on lead ammo.  Using a recent CDC study by the North Dakota Department of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, they claim the preliminary findings show North Dakotans who ate wildlife killed with lead bullets had higher levels of lead in their blood than people who ate little or no meat from wild animals.  

 The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) immediately responded with these facts from the study:

1. Consuming game harvested using traditional hunting ammunition does not pose a human health risk.

2. Participants in the study had readings lower than the national average and well below the level the CDC considers to be of concern.

3. Children in the study had readings that were less than half the national average and far below the level the CDC considers to be of concern.

4. The study showed a statistically insignificant difference between participants who ate game harvested using traditional hunting ammunition and the non-hunters in the control group.

5. Hunters should continue to donate venison to food pantries.

Just as anti-gun groups know that a total ban on gun ownership is nearly impossible, the anti-hunting groups know an outright ban on hunting would be equally impossible to achieve.  So as anti-gun groups seek other ways to make it harder for gun owners to exercise their rights, the anti-hunting groups seek to dismantle the culture of hunting and banning lead ammunition is the first step of this larger political mission.

They have already won this battle in California and sensing they will have a friendlier ear in the White House, they have set their sights on the entire nation.

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The Obama transition team was apparently taken aback by all of the Internet chatter on such things as his gun control proposals and his mandatory public service proposals because the change.gov web full of 20 some policy headings that included specifics in each category like “Urban Policy” etc., has been replaced with simply this paragraph:

The Agenda

President-Elect Obama and Vice President-Elect Biden have developed innovative approaches to challenge the status quo in Washington and to bring about the kind of change America needs.

The Obama Administration has a comprehensive and detailed agenda to carry out its policies. The principal priorities of the Obama Administration include: a plan to revive the economy, to fix our health care, education, and social security systems, to define a clear path to energy independence, to end the war in Iraq responsibly and finish our mission in Afghanistan, and to work with our allies to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, among many other domestic and foreign policy objectives.

Stay tuned.  I’m sure the scrubbing will not change his left wing agenda – just the transparency with which it is going to be carried out.

Update: Thanks to the folks over at Pink Pistols, those who did not see the original agenda pages on the Obama Transition web site are now able to see them.  Someone thinking ahead scanned the pages and uploaded them so the world can still see the leftest turn this country is about to take.  You can see the gun control proposals here by scrolling down to page four of the document.

Hat tip to Big Gay Al at Yahoo’s Gun Issues Group for pointing me to this.

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Another local Richmond television station (WRIC TV8) ran a segment last night on gun sales – this time the angle is the run is a by-product of the Obama election victory.  Before the stories were how people were preparing for a possible Obama win.  Gun owner fears were correct – yesterday the Official Transistion web site went live and under “Agenda” you will find a section on “Urban Policy” and under that section you will find a section on “Crime and Law Enforcement.”  That section states:

Address Gun Violence in Cities: As president, Barack Obama would repeal the Tiahrt Amendment, which restricts the ability of local law enforcement to access important gun trace information, and give police officers across the nation the tools they need to solve gun crimes and fight the illegal arms trade. Obama and Biden also favor commonsense measures that respect the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, while keeping guns away from children and from criminals who shouldn’t have them. They support closing the gun show loophole and making guns in this country childproof. They also support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent, as such weapons belong on foreign battlefields and not on our streets.

ABC Nightline ran a segment last night on the surge in gun sales as a reaction by gun owners to the Obama Victory. 

AR-15s appear to be in short supply according to the story.  They also had to take the “drive-by” swipe at the NRA saying the organization had scared gun owners into believing Obama was going to take our guns.  Shouldn’t expect anything less from the media.  Fact is NRA never said Obama was going to take our guns – they did warn that he would do everything he could to make it harder to buy new ones – guns like semi-auto firearms.  NRA was right.

I said Obama would try to strike while the iron was hot and it appears I was correct.

Gun Owners, we are in for a rough four years.

Update: A gun shop owner in Arizona was interviewed for a Reuters story and he shares my thoughts on this issue:

I’d rather that (Republican Sen. John) McCain got in and there’s not a big scare and we just followed our normal sales,” Chee told Reuters, rather than say right now we are going to make a lot of money for a few months, and then in a few months, possibly, our business could be shut down.

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There are still a few races that are undecided at this point but we do have a handle on what the impact of last night’s results will have on gun rights. Clearly, I believe it will be hard to get significant pro-gun legislation enacted such as reform of BATFE or the DC bill that passed the House in this session but failed to move out of the Senate. It is not likely that a President Obama will sign such legislation.

According to Dave Kopel’s analysis, gun owners lost approximately 15 friends in the House (less than the 26 that he had considered possible). In the Senate, when all the dust settles, we will likely see 4 less pro-gun senators but we will still have enough to sustain a filibuster if those Democrats that identify themselves as pro-gun, like Mark Warner, act as they have campaigned. We shall see if those like Warner will stand with gun owners if and when President Obama nominates justices for the Supreme Court that believe the Constitution changes with the whim of public opinion instead of those who believe that the Constitution means what it says.

My thought is that Barack Obama’s left wing tendencies coupled with an over zealous Nancy Pelosi will cause him to try and strike while the iron is hot and push for a renewal of the ban on certain semi-automatic firearms and and end to gun owner privacy protected by the Tiahart Amendment. We shall see if his instincts for survival of his term and his party’s majority in the House and Senate will cause him to be more cautious in the first two years than was Bill Clinton.

We have our work cut out for us.

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Last Minute Analysis for Virginia

By Jeff Knox

Some have been predicting that Virginia will be the key state in the race for the White House and that Prince William County could be the key region to determine how Virginia swings.

In the final hours before the election, the slight surge Barack Obama had seen in the state was deteriorating and it is looking like the state could easily go either way.  For GunVoters there should be no question about which candidate will receive their vote.  While Obama has offered some reassurances that he is “not going to take your guns,” he still wants to ban “assault weapons” and forbid firearms sales between private individuals.  In an interview on NPR Obama said that he wanted to ban concealed carry laws too.  Obama also has a clear record in the Illinois Senate of voting against the interests of gunowners and the right to self-defense.

John McCain on the other hand has a solid record of voting for gunowner rights.  He has soured many rights activists with his support for closing the so-called “gun show loophole” and his campaign finance reform law, but his pick of Sarah Palin as his running mate has gone far to mend some of those fences.

Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America has rightly pointed out that this election is not a time to refuse to vote for, “the lesser of two evils” and cast a vote for a third-party candidate – or not vote at all.  The fact is, either Barack Obama or John McCain is going to be President and any vote for a third-party candidate or any vote not cast is in effect a vote for Obama, and Obama represents a clear and present danger to the United States and the Constitution.  My friend Henry Heymering at Maryland Shall Issue has expressed his intention to vote for the Constitution Party candidate and I can respect his decision, but Henry has the luxury – and misfortune – of living in the People’s Republic of Maryland where his vote is basically an upraised middle finger anyway. Those of us in Virginia – who might be deciding the entire election with our few votes – can not afford to make such a gesture; the future of the nation could depend on our votes.

Of equal or possibly greater importance to the Presidential race are the Congressional races.  Since Virginia elects their state officers and legislature in off-years, we don’t have the dozens of races and hundreds of candidates that some voters have to contend with in this election. We have only 1 Senate race and 11 House races to deal with and most of those are “safe seats” that are not really in play this year.

For Senate the choice is between former governors Jim Gilmore (R) and Mark Warner (D).  Both have received “A” ratings from NRA based on their records as Governor and their responses to a questionnaire.  Warner refused to complete a questionnaire for GOA or the VCDL-PAC though and there are many within the pro-rights movement who question his commitment to our issue.  While he did accept and sign pro-rights bills from the State Legislature, he has not actively courted GunVoters in this election and has nothing supporting the Second Amendment on his campaign web site.  There has also been a controversy about comments Warner made during the run-up to his gubernatorial bid.  In a meeting of Democrats Warner identified the coalition of forces arrayed against them in the coming election cycle including the “Christian Coalition,” “right to lifers,” “home schoolers,” and “the NRA.”  He said that these were organizations which are “threatening to what it means to be an American.”  Warner first denied making the statement, but when a recording surfaced he claimed that his denial was actually an apology that was just misunderstood…

In contrast Gilmore has completed questionnaires for NRA, GOA, and VCDL-PAC and scored well on all of them.  He has actively courted GunVoters and pledged to support specific legislation on our behalf in DC.

At this point the polls are showing Warner with a substantial lead, but polls have been wrong before, particularly when they fail to take GunVoters into account.

There are four House races that should be of particular interest to GunVoters.  They are District 2, in the Norfolk – Virginia Beach area; District 5, in the center of the state from Charlottesville to Danville; District 10, in the Northwest corner of the state; and District 11, right next door encompassing the rest of Prince William County and up to Annandale.  There is little possibility of change for better or worse in any of the other races, but we’ll take a look at each one, starting with these four.

District 2: Incumbent, Thelma Drake (R) is rated a solid “A” by NRA and GOA (and also received an endorsement from the Veterans of Foreign Wars.)  She is facing a young man named Glenn Nye.  While Nye answered the NRA survey with an “AQ” (“A” based solely on Questionnaire) result, he has not responded to GOA or VCDL surveys.  He does own guns and shoot, but has nothing about gun issues on his campaign web site. Polls have Drake with a slight advantage.

District 5: Incumbent, Virgil Goode (R) is rated “A+” by both NRA and GOA and is indorsed by VFW.  Goode has bee a leader in pro-rights issues and losing him would be a harsh blow to the movement, even to an “AQ” rated challenger like Perriello (D) who appears to be sincere in his support for the Second Amendment.  Like Nye, Perriello has refused to answer questionnaires from GOA and VCDL.

Polls have Goode with an advantage.

District 10: Incumbent Frank Wolf (R) is rated “B+” by NRA and “B–” by GOA.  He has been a fairly reliable vote but is a bit wishy-washy at times.  Wolf is also endorsed by VFW.  He is being challenged by a woman named Judy Feder (D) who has refused to answer questionnaires from NRA, GOA, or VCDL and who has nothing about Second Amendment issues on her web site.

Polls have Wolf with a strong advantage.

District 11: The seat being vacated by anti-rights Republican Tom Davis. In this race, political newcomer Keith Fimian (R) is going up against Gerry Connolly (D), the president of the Fairfax Board of Supervisors. Fimian received an “AQ” from NRA for his responses to their questionnaire, but he has not returned surveys from GOA and VCDL. Connolly is a rabid anti-rights practitioner who has received an “F” rating from both NRA and GOA and has been endorsed by the Brady Campaign Against Guns.

Polls have Connolly with a significant advantage.

The other seven races for the House break out like this:

District 1: Incumbent Rob Wittman (R) is “A” rated.  Challenger Bill Day is unrated.  Strong advantage Wittman.

District 3: Bobby Scott (D) is “F” rated, endorsed by Brady and is running unopposed.

District 4: Incumbent Randy Forbes (R) is “A” rated.  Challenger Andrea Miller is unrated.  Strong advantage Forbes.

District 6: Incumbent Bob Goodlatte (R) is “A” rated.  Challenger Sam Rasoul is unrated.  Strong advantage Goodlatte.

District 7: Incumbent Eric Cantor (R) is “A” rated.  Challenger Anita Hartke is unrated.  Strong advantage Cantor.

District 8: Incumbent Jim Moran (D) is “F” rated and endorsed by Brady. Challenger Mark Ellmore (R) is unrated.  Strong advantage Moran.

District 9: Rick Boucher (D) is “A” rated and is unopposed.

The Polls open at 6:00 AM and don’t close until 7:00 PM.  Most federal employees can get paid time off to vote and I have heard that Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream are offering free treats to
anyone who shows up with an “I Voted” sticker.  I have a tradition of placing the sticker on the outside stock of my .45 and leaving it there until it wears off.  I don’t think Ben & Jerry would approve.

Please be sure to vote, and make sure your family and friends do too.

Jeff Knox is a resident of Prince William County and is Director of The Firearms Coalition, http://www.FirearmsCoalition.org.  He is also the founder of www.GunVoter.org.

Hat tip to VA-Alert.

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Gun Owners should be well aware what is at stake in this election.  I still can’t understand why anyone would be undecided at this point but polls showed as recently as yesterday that 8-9% of voters were either still undecided or could change for whom they would vote before election day.  If you know a gun owner that falls into this category, please give them this article by former NRA President Sandy Froman and this article by Dave Kopel.  With the economy at the top of everyone’s list of concerns, Froman’s article lays out the case for voting your long term interest.  It is a good read.  Kopel contrasts McCain and Obama on gun rights.

Kopel also has a piece over at National Review on the Senate and House races and what the outcome could mean for gun rights.

Now, go vote – vote your values, vote your freedom and defeat Obama.

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