The annual meeting of the National Rifle Association, America’s gun lobby, ended yesterday in Indianapolis, attracting 70,000 gun lovers. But it’s not all ammo and AK-47s. Wine stalls and cigar booths were set up. Seminars were held on sausage making and puppy training. Packing in Pink, a gun accessories firm targeting women, offered ladylike holsters and children’s clothes. In short, guns are not a fringe fetish among disaffected Americans but part of its mainstream culture. Survey data by YouGov for The Economist bear this out. More than one in ten women say they own a gun. Education level has no bearing on ownership, nor does region. Fewer people left-of-centre own guns, yet many do. And the poll offers surprises. Ownership is roughly the same by income, except for the poor, who are less likely to pack. Older people embrace arms more. To be sure, people aren’t always truthful on surveys. But it underscores that gun culture is as much a part of American life as baseball and apple pie.And it's that last line that will drive the gun ban lobby nuts. They are doing everything they can to make gun owners look like they something to be shunned. But the graphic below paints a different picture.
Gun ownership in America is mainstream and women make up the fastest growing segment of the population owning firearms, many of them being moms. Shannon Watts, Mike Bloomberg, assisted by the mainstream media have the narrative that only their "moms" matter. Well, they have their moms, and we have ours.
The new web video portal is part of NRA's outreach efforts showing how broad the firearms community is, with this effort being target at millennials. It has not been without the usual criticism from the left, some of it personally directed at Mr. Noir, but that was to be expected. Other bloggers have covered that here here and here.
Colion Noir has a strong following outside of his NRA work with over 185,000 followers of his blog and over 220,000 subscribers on his YouTube page. His video defending the Daniel Defense Super Bowl ad earlier this year had over 2.6 million views. ABC News has billed NRA Freestyle as a "Netflix-style" multimedia effort to reach out to the "smartphone generation."
Well, if you watch the videos on You Tube, you probably can watch it on your smartphone but you can also watch on your tablet or desk top using the Freestyle web site. Here's a look at the second episode.
The Virginia Beach range has 34 shooting lanes and offers training classes, group events and a tactical range. Regardless of experience, everyone must watch a safety video once a year to shoot at the range. The Richmond location was NSSF's 2013 Range of the Year.
Respect for this freedom to protect your family as you see fit is a major reason I believe that gun owners in the United States should have the right to purchase personalized firearms using high-tech safety features. The reality is that firearm safety has not meaningfully advanced in the past century. Nearly every other industry has transformed its safety features — often multiple times — in that same period. Given how tragic the misuse of firearms can be, guns should be no different.Most of the commentary I have seen from the firearms community on the subject of smart guns believe it should be a market decision too. The problem is, New Jersey has a law on the books that mandates only "smart guns" may be sold in the state once such technology is available for sale. It's the mandate that the firearms community opposes and we don't want to see the rights of our brothers and sisters in New Jersey infringed when one manufacturer comes to the market with one caliber of firearm that currently costs two to three times what a similar firearm without the personalized technology would cost.
But, this is also technology that is not ready for prime time. As Sebastian pointed out last week:
The problem with smart guns are more fundamental than the shock sensitivity of electronics, and have more to do with the limits of biometric identification and radio frequency identification (RFID). The former is unreliable and slow, and the latter is prone to interference and jamming. There’s also inherent mechanical problems with the smart gun that make the technology very easy for a determined individual to defeat. I had a conversation with some of our opponents on this topic, who argued that automobile anti-theft systems became much more sophisticated, but aside from misunderstanding the problem, I thought it was a reasonable point.Then, we learned yesterday that Armatix has also applied for a patent for a remote "kill switch." And some wonder why the firearms community is not warming up to the idea of "smart guns."
"Over the years, I have had many colleagues tell me that they would like to support my bills but are terrified to do so because the NRA would end their legislative careers in the next election," said McCarthy, a New York Democrat, in a phone interview. "To overcome this logjam, Congress must become more afraid of the moms than the NRA."
So, these people are about instilling fear, and they think "moms" are the perfect weapon. Apparently they don't know how popular these buttons were during the NRA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis this year.
Or that mom and champion shooter Julie Golob started a social media movement of her own around Mother's Day encouraging gun owners to teach their children about firearm safety.
But most importantly, thousands of women continue to turn our for NRA Women on Target clinics like this one held at VSSA affiliated club, Arlington/Fairfax IWLA a couple weekends ago.
Photo courtesy NRABlog.comI bet there are a lot of moms in that photo.
“We need to make the Congress understand that the vast preponderance of the public does not want criminals, minors or people with psychiatric problems to be able to buy guns,” he said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “And we've gotta make Congress understand that and vote that way.”What Bloomberg needs to understand is that gun owners have no desire for criminals or anyone else who shouldn't have a firearm to get them. The problem is, nothing that Bloomberg and his gun ban pals have proposed would prevent those people from getting access to firearms. Then, Bloomberg said this:
“We need to make the National Rifle Association afraid of us,” he has said.Finally, he trotted out the talking point about how 80% of the public, including gun owners want more gun "regulation."
“Not control, not banning, just regulation. And this is true of gun owners as well as non gun owners. Eighty percent of all gun owners think we should do this,” he said.I wouldn't exactly say that gun owners are "afraid" of Bloomberg, but we certainly know that he is a threat to our rights. That's why we need to make sure we continue to tell our elected representatives that we oppose any legislation that infringes our rights. And, while we're at it, we need to invest a little of our money to counter a lot of Bloomberg money by joining or renewing our NRA membership, and joining or renewing membership in our state associations that are on the front lines in state legislatures.
I don't own a gun but I have a problem restricting a person's right to use their gun.Maybe someone should ask Mr. Hamlin why it took a public outcry by gun owners and hunter to figure that out since he voted for the ordinance in question.
Sussex-Surry Dispatch reporter Mike Campbell reported live via his Twitter feed that Board Chairman Eric Fly once again confirmed this was a direct attack on Sunday hunting.
Board Chairman: Not sure how we can just "snatch out" the gunfire section of the ordinance. Goes back to Sunday hunting concerns by county.
— Mike Campbell (@itsthesoup) May 16, 2014
Fly: Noise ordinance was created to keep people from shooing next to houses on Sundays. "If removed, how are we gonna protect people?"
— Mike Campbell (@itsthesoup) May 16, 2014 After discussion closed the Board voted by emergency ordinance to repeal the section of the noise ordinance that banned shooting on Sunday. That repeal is in effect for 60 days and the Board has that long to hold another public hearing on permanently repeal that part of the ordinance. VSSA will continue to monitor this situation and keep members and gun owners posted.
Hat Tip Mike Campbell with the Sussex-Surry Dispatch.
No matter where you stand on state gun laws, there does appear to be a market for women looking to tote their guns around. Karen Bartuch, a former Chicago police officer and president of the Women's Tactical Association in Illinois translated her love of guns into her own company, AlphaGirls, which sells jewelry and hair accessories that double as self-defense weapons and also offers gun-training classes. "We are girly girls who like fashion, but we like guns too," Bartuch told the Chicago Tribune.Bartuch was also interviewed on NRANews' Cam and Company yesterday.
Bartuch is not the only designer incorporating women gun owners' needs into their business:
Another designer, Sarah Church, presented an entire collection of gun-hiding garments at the Firearms & Fashion Show. One hooded dress with a zipper down the front (pictured above) allows for quick and easy access to a gun holster beneath the garment. "This is a dress you could wear anywhere, anytime. You can use high heels to dress it up or boots to dress it down," Church said in an interview with the Chicago Tribune. "And when you're carrying a gun underneath, no one will know it." The dress retails online for $165.With stories like these, it becomes even harder for the gun ban lobby to paint gun owners as not mainstream.
The vast majority of all Americans – 93% of liberals, 84% of moderates and 72% of conservatives — favor expanding background checks, which now are required for guns purchased from licensed dealers but not in private sales or at most gun shows. But 58%of self-described moderates still say existing gun laws are sufficient to keep their community safe.
And when asked if there should be more government regulation of gun purchases, just 53% of moderates agree. For liberals, the figure is 78%.The Journal notes that the poll is skewed toward Democrates because:
Only 26% of Republicans consider themselves moderate – just ask former Sen. Richard Lugar (R., Ind.) – while 37% of Democrats use the label.That's a good thing. We need Democrat voters to support gun rights too if the next generation is to have the same rights we now enjoy.
Brat acknowledges that defeating Cantor is the longest of long shots. Turning out 600 people for a district convention is one thing. Turning out 6,000 voters in a district-wide, open-to-all primary is quite another. Brat’s people do believe they can deeply wound Cantor, by holding his majority in the primary to the low double-digits. That would be fighting fire with fire.
For all the talk that "conservatives" think Cantor has strayed off the reservation, he still has an American Conservative Union score of 84 for 2013, which is the second highest score in the Virginia delegation. Cantor also had an A+ rating from the NRA-PVF in 2012 and he has done nothing in the last two years that would likely change that (the NRA-PVF has not posted ratings for the June 10th Primary as of this writing).
But, if those who have an axe to grind with Cantor could "wound" him by holding his vote total below say, 60% (the % of the vote he usually wins in a general election) then they could claim a "moral" victory and hope to find a candidate in two years who could raise money and give Cantor a real run for his money. The last time that happened was in 2000 when he won the nomination against an under-financed State Senator Steve Martin. Unlike Brat however, Martin had worked the district hard for years expecting Cantor's predecessor, Thomas J. "Tom" Bliley would retire at some point. That primary was the last time Cantor had a close race.
The anti-Cantor forces scored a small victory this past Saturday when the chairman of the 7th Congressional District Republican Committee was defeated for re-election. It adds to the number of local committees taken over by the Tea Party since 2012. Their next battle will likely be to change the nominating process from primary to nominating convention. That task will be as difficult as taking out Cantor in a primary since state law gives the incumbent the say in how he will be re-nominated.
There is a lesson in this for gun owners. No one expected the incumbent chairman to lose. Bearing Drift noted after Saturday's 7th District Republican Convention that he lost because "status quo" conservatives were sitting on the sidelines. The Tea Party folks were energized enough and showed up on a beautiful Saturday in Richmond to win a narrow victory. Gun owners can never get complacent lest we meet the same fate.
Update: Drew has informed VSSA that the stands have been spoken claimed.
HAVE you ever stood in a steamy, crowded bar, jostling other patrons to catch the bartender’s attention, and thought: “This would be more fun if everyone here were armed”? If so, Georgia is the state for you. On April 23rd Nathan Deal, the governor, signed a law which, he said, “gives added protections to those who have played by the rules”. The National Rifle Association (NRA) called it a “historic victory for the Second Amendment”. Critics call it the “guns everywhere” bill.I also have to question how they determine if a state has "strentghened" or "weakened" its gun laws. Virginia is listed as one of the 17 that has stengthened its gun laws since January 1st, 2013. Virginia has not passed a gun control law since 1993 (handgun rationing) and that one was repealed in 2012. I don't think most pro-rights activists consider laws that make it harder for mentally ill inviduals to get firearms, gun control in the sense that most of us view it ( i.e. laws that make it harder for law abiding people to exercise their rights). Laws improving the way that mental health information is reported to NICS passed in 2008 after the Virginia Tech Shooting. Additional mental health legislation passed this year in the wake of the sad incident where State Senator Creigh Deeds' son stabbed his father then shot himself. Other than that, not sure to what the Economist is referring.
You can find out about FNRA events near you by clicking here.
Last week, NSSF honored O’Brien’s dedication and commitment at a reception in Richmond that included many of the Sunday hunting supporters who worked so hard for passage.
“This was the first time NSSF has given such an award. Matt’s work was what made me want to find a way to recognize him. The only other award we give each year is Legislator of the Year. I envision this to become a yearly award for a very worthy recipient,” McGuigan said, adding “I’m not totally sure we will have someone each year to measure up to what Matt did.”Congratulations Matt, and all Virginia hunters who now have the option to hunt on Sunday if they own or know someone that will allow them to hunt on private property.
Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/2014/05/07/3443523/virginia-washington-state-will.html#storylink=cpy
As background, on April 17th, the Board was able to slip through a new noise ordinance that all but bans target shooting on private property on Sundays. It should be noted that Sussex is a very rural county with a few small towns scattered throughout. It became even more clear during the meeting that this was driven by forces opposing Sunday Hunting:
HUNTER: "Sunday, all day, gunfire is not allowed?" FLY: "We don't think so. This is addressing a problem we think the GA has created."
— Mike Campbell (@itsthesoup) April 30, 2014 Chairman Fly also claimed that he had been told by Sunday Hunting lobbyists that the county would see an increase of memberships in hunt clubs:
FLY: "We were told (by lobbyists) that we would see huge increases in hunt club membership with the passage of Sunday Hunting."
— Mike Campbell (@itsthesoup) May 1, 2014 Not really sure why that was relevant as hunt clubs in that area hunt with dogs and that practice is not allowed for Sunday Hunting. But the most damning statement against the new ordinance came from the Sheriff:
Sheriff Raymond Bell: There is no way for me to enforce this aspect of the noise ordinance. "Sees no way in hell for me to enforce this."
— Mike Campbell (@itsthesoup) May 1, 2014 The aspect to which the Sheriff is referring is section 5 which states:
...that discharge of any firearm between the hours of midnight and 10 p.m. on any Sunday in such a manner as to permit sound to be heard inside the confines of the dwelling unit, house or apartment of another person or as to be plainly audible at a distance of 200 feet or more from its source is not allowed.
Fly stated that he supported the ordinance as written but would discuss Section 5 and two other sections with the County Attorney. VSSA will continue to monitor this and will let gun owners know if they need to plan to attend the May 15th Board meeting to show opposition and to let the Board know their action will be remembered at the next Board election if the ordinance is not repealed or changed to remove the Sunday shooting restrictions.