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Updated: 1 day 2 hours ago

8th District Democrat Don Beyer Campaigns for Gun Control

Fri, 09/12/2014 - 10:57
The Washington Post has the report here.  This should come as no surprise to anyone.  When Beyer ran for Governor against Jim Gilmore in 1997, Beyer supported gun control.  He is running in the overwhelmingly Democrat 8th District so he probably figures openly campaigning to restrict our rights won't hurt him.  Gun control is the first of the "Eight Ideas" that he will take to the voters before election day.  Unfortunately, gun owners don't have a lot of choice in the 8th District as the GOP candidate also supports gun control:
Beyer is not alone in his belief that gun laws need tightening; his Republican opponent, Micah Edmond, says the U.S. should ensure that “crazy people shouldn’t have guns” and emphasizes the need for rigorous background checks.Beyer specifically wants to close the so-called “gun show loophole,”  ban standard-capacity ammunition magazines, and supports the latest scheme of the gun ban lobby - making it easier for family members or law enforcement officials to petition for so-called "gun restraining orders" on people they believe could be dangerous to themselves or others.

The other seven ideas Beyer has include employment and immigration.  Interesting how Beyer puts gun control as his number one concern when the economy and jobs tend to be at the top of voter's concerns.  In a June Rasmussen poll, gun control ranked 10th among the concerns of voters.

Categories: News

Leftist Group Waving the White Flag on Banning Assault Weapons

Fri, 09/12/2014 - 10:52
The Wall Street Journal Washington Wire reports that the Center for American Progress (CAP) is "waving a white flag" on banning assault weapons in a study out today titled “Assault Weapons Revisited:”
“The answer is not that assault weapons aren’t dangerous and people having access to them is a good thing,” Mr. Gerney said in an interview this week. “There are other things that we can do to lessen the risks of assault weapons short of banning them. … When you’re making policy, it’s always a mix of what’s going to have a biggest positive impact and what is practical and politically possible.”CAP says the appropriate focus should be background checks and licensing firearms.  And the Journal notes that even though President Obama pushed for renewal of the so-called "assault weapons" that was a threat used to push for a compromise on expanding background checks:
Instead, CAP makes an argument for six policy prescriptions that are equally unlikely to receive a hearing in a Congress with zero appetite for any gun restrictions: implement background checks for all gun sales, force dealers to report to the federal government multiple sales of long guns, expand the prohibition on interstate handgun sales to include shotguns and rifles, forbid the use or possession of machine guns by people younger than 16, and require licenses and permits to possess an assault rifle or manufacture guns using 3D printers.We've already seen some of these proposals in Virginia.  There was a bill introduced in the last session of the General Assembly to ban out of state sale of long guns.
Categories: News

New NRA Membership Ads

Thu, 09/11/2014 - 13:38
The NRA has added three new ads to the group released earlier this month.  One asks the question what would it mean for our country if one man's money could take away our rights:
In the next ad, Top Shot Season 4 Champion talks about how it seems like more and more we’re surrounded by anger and asks how we turn that around with the spokesman being Top Shot Season 4 Champion Chris Cheng:
The last of the new ads talks about freedom of speech:
All of them continue to build on the theme that NRA members are the "Good Guys."
Categories: News

Discontent Among Gun Groups Over Initiative 594

Thu, 09/11/2014 - 08:28
The Washington Post has a piece this morning on its GovBeat blog that says Washington State firearm advocates are asking where the NRA is in the battle to defeat Initiative 594, the ballot measure that would criminalize transfer of firearms between anyone, even at training sessions, that does not involve a background check:
“The NRA has really not been involved at all until very recently, and not in the area of spending significantly at all,” said Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and founder of the Second Amendment Foundation. “I have no idea why. We have a coalition made up of all the gun rights groups in Washington, and they are not participating. They’re doing their own thing.”

Barron Barnett, a pro-gun rights activist, asked in a recent blog post: “Where the F*** is the NRA?!” “[T]he NRA is more than happy to take my money but then is no where to be found when things actually go sideways,” Barnett wrote.
From what I can tell, NRA has been active getting the message out to defeat I-594. It was the cover story on this month's America's First Freedom. Cam Edwards has covered it a number of times on NRANews.com. But, it appears that some think that the NRA needs to match Billionaires Bill Gates, Mike Bloomberg, and others pushing the initiative dollar for dollar. NRA has been active in other ways too:
Andrew Arulanandam, a spokesman for the NRA in Virginia, said the group has had two full-time staff on the ground for months. He estimated that the NRA has spent a total of $300,000 to $400,000 so far against I-594, with that number likely to grow in the final two months before Election Day. That figure doesn’t include communications with members and those who receive the NRA’s magazines and publications, he said.
It's true that the pro-I594 forces have raised over $7 million. But, it doesn't serve our cause for pro-rights groups to complain that some are doing more than others to defeat the measure. And as Arulanandam told the Post, while money is important, the Milwaulkee County Sheriff's race proved the power of grassroots. That's where I-594 will be defeated. And the grassroots is the NRA's strength.
Categories: News

Is "Tough on Crime" Dead?

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 10:37
That's the question that the Washington Post Wonkblog asks.  The writer, Emily Badger, leads in with the discussion of the questions some of the public and politicians have raised related to whether we have militarized our civilian law enforcement and uses it to transition into a discussion of what most of us have associated with the term "Tough on Crime:"
For decades, that idea has dominated sentencing policy, political ads, local police tactics and federal law-enforcement support. "Tough on crime" became intertwined with the "war on drugs." It yielded "three strikes" laws and mandatory minimum sentencing. It drove the unmatched rise of American incarceration. It justified the deployment of harsh police tactics and the need for meaner equipment, both of which have been used beyond drug crime. It became a potent political label, the only acceptable adjective: If you're not tough on crime, then you don't have anything worth saying about crime at all.In Virginia, George Allen rode into the Governor's Office in 1993 talking about "liberal lenient parole."  By the time he left office, parole had basically been abolished.  He built new prisons but Virginia actually rented out prison space to other states for a time.  Virginia led the nation in some of these policies, but not all states followed our example.  No parole, three strikes laws, and keeping violent criminals off of the streets is what I associate with "tough on crime,"  not "harsh police tactics," armored vehicles and military grade weapons.  So, you understand my confusion at the connections Badger makes in her piece.  She asserts that the phrase is now in retreat:
Today, "tough on crime" appears to be decidedly in retreat, as conservatives have begun to balk at the financial costs of incarceration, and as liberals have objected to the costs in civil liberties — and the disproportionate racial impacts — of aggressive policing. The rhetoric of "tough on crime" is fading.Hopefully, Badger is wrong and policy makers will separate the question of the type of equipment civilian law enforcement uses from the question of keeping violent criminals in jail.  We certainly don't want more of the type of stories that Cam Edwards of NRANews shares daily on his program.
Categories: News

Panera Asks Gun Owners to Not Bring Their Guns

Tue, 09/09/2014 - 08:51
The Richmond Times Dispatch reports Panera Bread has asked customers to not bring their guns with them when they eat in the chain:
The restaurant chain is joining Target, Chipotle, Starbucks and a number of other companies that already have asked customers to refrain from bringing firearms into their stores.But, it should be noted, like Target, Chipotle, and Starbucks, this isn't an out right ban on firearms:
Shaich told CNBC that the company will continue to abide by state and federal firearms laws. He also said that store employees won't be asked to enforce the policy or put up signs about it. So, it appears this is another company who wants to appear to be bowing to Shannon Watts and Mike Bloomberg without actually doing so.  Apparently Panera doesn't have the gonads that Kroger possesses.
Categories: News

Roanoke Area College Professor Calls Gun Owners Callous

Thu, 09/04/2014 - 10:33
Megan Doney, an English professor at New River Community College had this OP/ED in today's Roanoke Times, where she uses the tragic incident in Arizona last week to call gun owners who have defended teaching young children to use firearms, extremists and callous:
Because extreme gun rights proponents think it’s perfectly all right to allow children to handle machine guns, a 9-year-old child has to spend the rest of her life knowing that an innocent man died at her hands. Gun rights extremists have fostered a culture where parents think it is adorable to watch their pony-tailed daughters firing a machine gun. In their world, Vacca’s death, the child’s trauma and the parents’ guilt are acceptable prices for the “right” to own as many guns as they want, and carry them whenever and wherever they want.Speaking for this gun rights proponent, it's perfectly all right to allow children to be properly taught how to use firearms.  I'm not in a position to second guess what occurred last week which is why more has not been written about it on this blog.  I am not an instructor or range officer.  But, others with more qualifications have shared their thoughts.  ICE Training's Rob Pincus spoke with Mark Walters on Armed American Radio Sunday and gave his assessment:
And here is the CNN interview of NRA Certified Instructor Claude Werner that Pincus mentioned:

It's clear from Doney's piece that she believes even though millions of people have used firearms to stop armed attackers, because an incident at her college was averted by an unarmed security guard, that should be sufficient for all of us.
Despite my own firsthand experience in a school shooting, I carry no credibility with gun rights extremists. But I know that many sensible gun owners and NRA members are also horrified by this event, and I appeal to them — indeed, I beg them — to help their colleagues understand the gravity of this situation, to see reality, and to stop lying to themselves and to the American public.Maybe if Doney listened to people like Rob Pincus and Claude Werner, she would know the firearms community is assessing what happened to make sure that such an incident, which rarely happens to begin with, doesn't happen again.  But my guess is she is more interested in spewing an anti-gun rant because she doesn't believe it is ever appropriate for children or adults to use firearms.

Update: A much more intelligent OP/ED can be found at Stars and Stripes.
Categories: News

Bloomberg Spends Six Figures on New Kroger Ad Blitz

Thu, 09/04/2014 - 10:17
It appears that Bloomberg isn't taking no for an answer from Kroger when it comes to allowing customers to carry firearms in stores.  Forbes reports that Bloomberg is spending six figures on a new ad blitz targeting the chain:
Moms Demand Action’s blitz includes a billboard near Kroger’s corporate headquarters in Cincinnati as well as print and digital full page ads and wraps in both the local Ohio press and national titles like USA Today.

The ads come after the group, backed by a $50 million investment by billionaire Bloomberg Bloomberg, failed to convince Kroger to ask shoppers to leave their guns at home with a petition and social media pressure. The campaign can be seen in full here.Here's one of the ads:

One of the ads in this campaign shows a man without a shirt -- not allowed in Kroger stores -- alongside a woman with a gun. Firearms are permitted inside Kroger stores in states where it's lawful.
Categories: News

NOIR is Back

Thu, 09/04/2014 - 09:47
NRAFreestyle.tv's NOIR started the second half of it's first season last night and they have made some changes from the first half.  For instance, they did some surveys after the first half of the season to get feedback on what the viewers wanted and overwhelmingly heard that they needed to do more shooting.  So, that's what they are doing.  The show features NRANews Commentator Colion Noir, Amy Robbins, and Darren LaSorte.  LaSorte is more of a tactical shooting type of guy and a bit intense.  Noir likes the "athletic" shooting.  In this episode Noir and LaSorte shoot stage one of a 14 stage course.  They also continue to have product reviews.  This week Colion reviewed the Heckler & Koch  VP9 striker fired pistol.

Categories: News

Business Proactively Reach Out to Gun Owners

Wed, 09/03/2014 - 14:49
While Bloomberg's astroturf group Moms Demand Action continues to try and bully businesses into creating anti-rights policies for their customers, the Washington Times reports that tens of thousands of business are proactively posting pro-rights signs welcoming gun owners through their doors:
Sharma Floyd, owner of Shiloh Brew & Chew in Maryville, Tennessee, has gained national media attention by putting a sign in the window of her restaurant welcoming firearm owners with permits, and business has been booming. At Shooter Grill in Rifle, Colorado, waitresses are packing. All Around Pizzas & Deli in Virginia Beach gives discounts to patrons who show up armed.All the while there have been no crimes committed by gun owners in the over 57,000 businesses that openly welcome them.
Categories: News

Lazy Journalism on Gun Sales

Tue, 09/02/2014 - 11:01
You've probably seen the articles over the past week, most along the lines of this Bloomberg News article about how the sale of so-called "assault rifles" have plummeted.
Plummeting sales of assault-style weapons, also known as modern sporting rifles or “black rifles,” has led to an oversupply of unsold guns and is hitting the bottom lines of the big arms producers. Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. (SWHC) shares yesterday fell the most in more than two years after the Springfield, Massachusetts-based gunmaker slashed its full-year sales and profit forecasts.The tone of the report is that because of the lower sales, those manufactures who are publicly traded on the stock market saw their share prices lowered.  The problem is the media (and Wall Street for that matter) want to compare sales to the way-out-of-the-norm year of 2013. Sales numbers last year were driven in large part by Obama's gun control push.  What people in the industry do is look at trends.  NSSF looked at the last five years of sales without 2013 included, and found that 2014 sales are still higher than 2012, 2011, and 2010:
From January through July 2014, NSSF-adjusted NICS figures total 6.95 million background checks against 6.85 million for 2012 and 5.64 million in 2011. In 2013, the seven-month figure was 8.81 million and the annual total was a record 14.8 million. Multiple factors account for last year’s sales surge, including a fear of additional firearms-ownership restrictions, which came to pass in states such as New York, Connecticut and Maryland, as well as increasing interest in owning firearms by women and former servicemen and women.Tom Gresham mentioned the Bloomberg article on his Sunday radio program and called it just plain lazy journalism.  He's right.  It would not have taken much for the Bloomberg reporter to do what The Huffington Post did for their article and contact NSSF.  You don't get the message that there are more gun owners and sales are still higher than previous years until the last line of the Bloomberg article.  By then, the "gloom and doom" meme had be put in place.
Categories: News

A Lot of Shooting In 2014 Campaign Ads

Tue, 09/02/2014 - 10:23
NPR's All Things Considered had this story yesterday afternoon talking about how 2014 candidates have picked up on what Joe Manchin did when he first ran for the U.S. Senate - use a firearm to make his campaign point:
Each year trends emerge. This year, lots of spots are hitting the air featuring candidates with firearms shooting at things: TVs, drones, thick copies of the Affordable Care Act.NPR shared several spots, most from Republicans, but there was one Washington State Democrat ad included:
Not just any candidate can do this however.  Travis Ridout, a Washington State University political science professor told NPR:
Manchin was well-known and the imagery reinforced who he was. But it's not so simple for political newcomers to use the sound and symbolism of firearms to take a shot and get noticed.I wonder if that Washington Democrat's GOP opponent has asked what he thinks of Intitiatve 594?
Categories: News