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Founded in 1938. Over 75 Years of Protecting Virginia's Gun Rights and the Shooting Sports.
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Revival of Manchin-Schumer-Toomey May Come Up in U.S. Senate

Thu, 12/03/2015 - 17:15
The NSSF issued the below alert earlier today:
Call Your Senators Now. Tell Them to Vote NO
on These Amendments 

NSSF has learned that anti-gun U.S. Senators are expected to bring up a vote at ANY MINUTE this afternoon on the previously defeated Manchin-Toomey "universal background check" amendment as well as an amendment expanding the prohibited persons list to anyone unknowingly placed on a secret, error-prone government list, the so called "terrorist watch list."
Call your senators at 202-224-3121 as soon as you can and urge them to vote NO on both amendments.Update: Politico reports that the "terrorist watch list" amendment has been defeated.
Categories: News

Dave Kopel on the Costs and Consequences of Gun Control

Wed, 12/02/2015 - 18:46
Today, the Cato Institute published a monograph by Dave Kopel titled "The Costs and Consequences of Gun Control."  It is a very thorough look at three of the so-called "common-sense" measures that President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and groups like Bloomberg's Everytown for Gun Safety point to as a remedy for mass shootings.  Kopel looks at "universal" background checks, a ban on so-called high-capacity magazines, and a ban on the equally misnamed assault weapons. He describes why all three are misguided and explains why none of them will prevent mass shootings. Kopel notes in his introduction to the paper that policymakers instead can take some steps to incapacitate certain mentally ill persons who are potentially violent. He also reminds us that "it would be wrong not to acknowledge that gun laws often cannot stop a person bent on murder", and it is futile for policymakers to pretend otherwise. The monograph is a must read for pro-rights advocates who wish to counter the claims of the gun ban crowd.

Update:  On Wednesday, Kopel spoke with Cam Edwards of NRANews.com about the monograph.

Categories: News

Katie Pavlich: Obama, Not the NRA, Sells Guns to Terrorists

Wed, 12/02/2015 - 10:10
Washington is all a twitter about resurrecting a 10 year-old proposal by the gun ban lobby to prohibit people on the government's "terrorist watch list" from purchasing firearms.  The recent terror attack in Paris has stoked this renewed interest.  Never mind that it is already almost impossible for a resident of France to own firearms.  That did not seem to stop the terrorists from carrying out their attacks.  Nor did it stop a New York newspaper from claiming the NRA wants to arm terrorists because the organization opposes using a list of names, that no one can say how it is compiled and includes the names of people who are not actually terrorists, as a means of keeping people from exercising a constitutionally protected right.

On Monday, Townhall news editor Katie Pavlich wrote an OP/ED in The Hill that says it's not the NRA that arms terrorists, but it is the Obama administration that is selling guns to terrorists. She detailed how the administration allowed thousands of guns to walk across our southern border to the drug cartels in Mexico, resulting in the killing of a U.S. Border Patrol agent and hundreds of Mexican citizents.  She appeared on NRANews' Cam and Company on Tuesday to discuss the article in more detail.


Categories: News

Obama Signs Defense Authorization Bill With Pro-gun Riders

Mon, 11/30/2015 - 14:25
The legislation was signed on the 25th.  The Firearms Blog has the story here.  One of the riders allows surplus military handguns to be transferred to the CMP for resale to the individuals who are members of affiliated clubs (VSSA is one of those organizations):
‘‘(h) AUTHORIZED TRANSFERS.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2), the Secretary may transfer to the corporation, in accordance with the procedure prescribed in this subchapter, surplus caliber .45 M1911/M1911A1 pistols and spare parts and related accessories for those pistols that, on the date of the enactment of this subsection, are under the control of the Secretary and are surplus to the requirements of the Department of the Army, and such material as may be recovered by the Secretary pursuant to section 40728A(a) of this title. The Secretary shall determine a reasonable schedule for the transfer of such surplus pistols.

‘‘(2) The Secretary may not transfer more than 10,000 surplus caliber .45 M1911/M1911A1 pistols to the corporation during any year and may only transfer such pistols as long as pistols described in paragraph (1) remain available for transfer.’’This is the first time the CMP has been able to sell handguns.
Categories: News

NPR Claims Shooting at Abortion Clinic is Causing Guns to Be Debated Again in Colorado

Mon, 11/30/2015 - 09:23
NPR had a report this morning on how last week's shooting at a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs has ignited a debate about guns in the city.  The Mayor, former Attorney General John Suthers, is not one of those ready to blame guns however, saying more information is needed.  Suthers was Attorney General at the time Governor John Hickenlooper pushed through gun control after the Sandy Hook school shooting.  At that time, Suthers said he did not believe the new gun control laws would prevent criminal acts. 

According to the report, some in Colorado Springs are already blaming guns rather than the individual who committed the crime, claiming guns are just too easy to get.


Categories: News

New York Times: False Alarms on National Crime Wave

Mon, 11/30/2015 - 08:48
A New York Times editorial last Friday poured cold water on the meme that the increase in murders in a handful of cities is an indication that the nation is in the midst of a national crime wave:
It is true that in many cities, murders in 2015 are on pace to surpass 2014 totals. In a new analysis of murder and crime rates in the country’s 30 largest cities, the Brennan Center for Justice projected that the average murder rate will be 11 percent higher this year than last. New York City, which had 333 murders in 2014, is predicted to have 357 murders by the end of 2015.

While that is troubling, it is not evidence that America has fallen back into a lawless pit of chaos and death. A more meaningful way of looking at data is comparing it with unmistakable longer-term trends: The rate of violent crime, including murder, has been going down for a quarter-century, and is at its lowest in decades. On average, it is half of what it was in 1990, and in some places even lower.

In New York City, for example, the number of murders reached 2,245 in 1990. Even in 2010, the city logged 536 murders, or 50 percent more than this year’s projected total. This long-term decline has been well reported, but increasingly, it is getting overlooked in the rush to identify a new crime wave.

As the Brennan Center analysis shows, overall violent crime — which includes not just murder, but robbery, larceny, assault and burglary — is projected to be 1.5 percent lower in 2015 than 2014. For understandable reasons, murders get the most attention, but they accounted for only 1.2 percent of all violent crime in 2014.

Two lessons emerge from this data. One is that when crime rates are so low, even small changes can appear large. The other is that small sample sizes based on arbitrary time frames are nearly always nonrepresentative. A couple years ago, a poll found most of the public believed that crime was rising even though the crime rate was at lowss not seen in decades.  Murder always gets top billing in news reports so if there is even just a small increase, it appears worse than it really is.  It's nice to see the Times point to data that contradicts the usual meme in the media.
Categories: News

The Terrorist Watch List - The Gun Ban Lobby's Latest Attack on Freedom

Tue, 11/24/2015 - 16:39
Last week's eBullet included an article by National Review's Charles C.W. Cooke that detailed why gun owners and the NRA are right to oppose taking away civil rights of those on the so-called Terrorist Watch List.  Cooke noted that it is not just the NRA that is concerned about this ever growing list compiled in secret by the U.S. Government, the American Civil Liberties Union has expressed concern as well.
Courtesy of RushLimbaugh.comNRA Commentator Colion Noir adds another voice to those who believe Americans should not lose their rights simply because their names may be similar to a possible terrorist.  The late U. S. Senator Ted Kennedy and Congressman John Lewis, ended up being stopped at airports because their names were similar to people who were actually being watched by the government.
Categories: News

McAulliffe Moves To Finalize Regs on Carrying in State Buildings

Tue, 11/24/2015 - 11:40
The Washington Post reports that Governor Terry McAuliffe has issued the final regulation for public comment that would further restrict legal carrying of firearms in state buildings:
The release of the policies last week triggered a lengthy review process that could include several rounds of public comment, but the McAuliffe administration will make the final call, leaving little doubt the rules could become permanent.Gun owners are encouraged to click here and sign up for an email that will allow you to comment as soon as the proposed regulations are printed in the Virginia Register of Regulations.
Categories: News

University of Baltimore Professor Suggests Gun Manufacturers Pay for Security Measures at Public Buildings

Wed, 11/18/2015 - 15:00
The Hill has this op/ed from Jeffrey Ian Ross, a professor in the School of Criminal Justice at the University of Baltimore, that suggests improved access control to public places is the best short term solution to violence committed with firearms:
Pro-gun advocates seem to support better mental health screening and therapy, enhanced training in the use of firearms, and better and safer methods of storing weapons. These suggestions are directed toward the saner and law-abiding people of our society. But the anti-gun-control advocates have no solution to the gunman, either motivated by malice or suffering from a major mental illness, who walks into a crowded movie theater and opens fire on the crowd.

Then there are those who dislike the suggestion of installing access controls (the range of security measures used to monitor and prevent unwarranted entry into a room, floor, building, etc.) at vulnerable locations, like our college and university campuses, improving the methods and technology to detect and deter individuals who may open fire on the defenseless public.Ross then runs through a litany of reasons why people oppose such increased controlled access.  The bottom line is, he thinks that gun manufacturers should have to pay the cost of installing these measures, and having to do so would induce them to finally agree to the various gun control proposals that have floated around for years:
In the end, once the gun manufacturers — wholesalers and retailers — and the pro-gun lobby realize how much money they are spending on access control, perhaps they will take the wider issue of gun control more seriously and consider the ways that the American public gets access to guns, how many they can own and how to better monitor their use.I keep thinking about how Virginia's crime rate is at it lowest level in decades, at the same time gun sales have increased over 100% since 2006, and wonder why these people can't see that maybe instead of infringing on our rights, they actually get serious about targeting criminals.
Categories: News

Why The True Rate of Gun Ownership Doesn't Show Up in Polls

Wed, 11/18/2015 - 14:46
Firearm sales are likely to set a record in 2015.  The gun ban lobby would have us believe that a smaller percentage of Americans are responsible for this sales increase, basically adding to their arsenals rather than a growing number of Americans becoming gun owners.  They cite various polls to back up this assertion, including the General Social Survey (GSS) which is conducted annually by the University of Chicago.  The GSS claims that gun ownership is declining and pins the percentage of Americans who say they own at least one gun is about 32%.  Other polls put the number upwards of around 40-45%.

Polling on the question of whether someone owns a gun is rather tricky however as Dean Weingarten wrote recently on Ammoland.com which was later picked up by NRABlog.com. Weingarten uses a Zogby Analytic poll from February of this year to show that a large percentage of the public believes it is not the business of pollsters whether or not a gun is in the home:
QUESTION: “If a national pollster asked you if you owned a firearm, would you determine to tell him or her the truth or would you feel it was none of their business?”Gallup recently released a poll showing that gun ownership had declined from polls they had taken in an earlier time period. That number is inconsistent with the number of firearms that have been sold since President Obama took residency, but the difference can be answered by the Zogby Analytic question above. The poll indicates maintaining anonymity is a contributing factor
  • 36% of Americans feel it is none of the pollster’s business and that includes 35% of current gun owners 47% of Republicans and 42% of Independents  
Weingarten writes that the number of privately owned guns in the country has more than tripled since 1970 and is on pace to quadruple by the end of 2016.  So, is this large number of guns in the hands of an ever shrinking number of Americans?  Weingarten thinks not based on the Zogby poll data and also using data from two states that require every gun owner to obtain a permit to own a gun:
In those states that track the number of legal gun owners, the number of gun owners have increased dramatically in the last five years.  In Massachusetts, the number of gun owners has increased 66% in the last five years;  In Illinois, the number has increased about 75%, from a little over 1 million in 2010, to 1.8 million in 2015.Weingarten concludes while the actual number will likely remain unknown, it is between one third and one half of the population.  With that in mind, it's up to us to make sure that those gun owners understand how important it is to understand the politics of the issue and to understand just what the term "commonsense gun safety" really means to their ability to continue to own and use firearms.
Categories: News

Dave Kopel: Everytown's "Expanded" Background Checks a Bait and Switch

Tue, 11/10/2015 - 12:24
Last week, Dave Kopel wrote two columns on the Washington Post's Volokh Conspiracy that lays bare the real intentions behind the call for "expanded" or "universal" background checks that Michael Bloomberg's Everytown for Gun Safety pushes.  VAGunRights.com wrote about the first piece that discussed the impact the proposal has on firearm safety training, something you would think Everytown would support.  The second piece dealt with how "universal" background checks is a de facto handgun ban for people under the age of 21.  Federal law prohibits those people from purchasing a handgun from a dealer.  But those individuals are not banned from possessing a handgun under federal law.  They can use a family's gun at the range or receive them as a gift from a family member.  But under so-called universal background checks, they would not be able to even do that as those checks have to go through a dealer and dealers cannot transfer a handgun to someone under the age of 21.  Kopel calls "universal background checks as proposed by Everytown (and implemented in Washington State) a classic bait-and-switch, presenting one thing, but doing another.  He appeared on NRANews' Cam and Company to discuss both articles.


Categories: News

Erroneous Link in Today's eBullet

Fri, 11/06/2015 - 10:01
Special Notice!!!In the November 6 eBullet, there was an error in one of the article links that took the reader to a different web site than the one where the article was located.  It was fixed immediately after the error was noted.  We apologize to anyone who opened the link before it was fixed.
Categories: News

The Trace, Others, Spin Narrative of Role Guns Played in 10th District Loss

Fri, 11/06/2015 - 09:58
Bloomberg's anti-gun mouthpiece The Trace, has picked up the narrative first offered in the Washington Post yesterday by Delegate Scott Sorovell, claiming that talk of gun control did not drive turn out up in Powhatan, costing Dan Gecker the race.  Both pieces look at how retiring State Senator John Watkins performed in his last election (2011), and then note that Sturtevant underperformed Watkins by 4% in Powhatan and underperformed Watkins in Chesterfield as well. From The Trace:

  • In a four-way race, Gecker lost with 47 percent to Glen Sturtevant’s 49.7 percent. In 2011, the Democratic Candidate, David Bernard, lost to then-incumbent GOP Sen. John Watkins by 13 points. (The 2011 election provides the best comparison, because there was also no governor’s race then to naturally increase turnout.)
  • Gecker’s share of the Powhatan vote was 22.1 percent — virtually the same as the 22.3 percent Bernard received in 2011. What’s more, despite its increased turnout, Powhatan delivered a smaller slice of the district’s overall votes than it did four years ago. In 2011, the county accounted for 22 percent of the ballots cast in the district. In 2015, that fell to 18 percent.
  • In the city of Richmond, turnout rose significantly from 2011 levels — but Gecker’s 67.5 percent of the vote was again virtually the same as the 67.1 notched by the Democratic candidate four years ago.
  • Gecker did much better in the third geographic portion of the district, suburban Chesterfield County. There he took 41.7 percent of the vote, compared to the 30 percent recorded by Bernard in 2011.
  • Sorovell pretty much said the same in yesterday's Post Op/Ed.  What neither The Trace or Sorovell mention is Watkins was a 26 year incumbent in 2011 running against a relatively unknown candidate.  Watkins has deep ties in the area thanks to his family's Watkins Nurseries business.  Also not mentioned is the fact that Gecker lost his home precinct as well as his Board of Supervisors District part of the 10th.  Gecker has represented the predominately Republican district as a Democrat on the board for eight years, which likely accounts for the difference in Democrat votes cast in the Chesterifeld part of the district in 2015 vs. 2011. 

    Sorovell stuck closer to the gun ban lobby's talking points in concluding his article than did The Trace.  Sorovell said Northern Virginia no longer agrees with the NRA's position and the rest of the state is not far behind.  At least The Trace admitted the focus on gun control did not appear to increase Democrat turn out in the City of Richmond, which is what has the gun ban lobby scratching its head.  The only thing the gun ban lobby has to hang its hat is they spent $1.5 million to hold a district that gave Barack Obama 62% of the vote in 2012 and was already occupied by an NRA-PVF  "D" rated Democrat.

    Categories: News

    Campaign 2015 Post Mortem

    Fri, 11/06/2015 - 08:18
    After spending $43 million, including over $2 million dumped in by Michael Bloomberg's Everytown for Gun Safety, we wake up to the status quo - a state senate with 21 Republicans and 19 Democrats.  The biggest win of the night goes to 10th Senate District GOP Candidate Glen Sturtevant, who overcame a $700,000 negative attack funded by Everytown and a 3500 vote deficit after 24 precincts in Chesterfield and 30 precincts in Richmond had been counted.  It wasn't until the Powhatan registrar confirmed to a local television news reporter at approximately 9:00 PM that Sturtevant overwhelmingly beat Gecker in the county that the AP and other outlets started calling the race for the GOP candidate.
    Breaking: In Powhattan --- numbers from the phone -- @gecker got 2,205 @GlenSturtevant 7,315. That's all 13 precints #va10— Joe St. George (@JoeStGeorge) November 4, 2015 Because of the large number of votes cast in Powhatan, and the amount of time it took to report the totals, Senate Minority Leader Dick Saslaw told the Washington Post that Democrats had hopes that outcome would be reversed due to "irregularities."  Gecker has yet to concede the race and sent staff to Powhatan to examine the returns.  Sturtevant ended up with 73.8 percent of the vote in Powhatan where turnout was boosted by tightly contested local races.

    In the other race that Bloomberg invested heavily, his chosen candidate won.  Everytown immediately went to Twitter to claim victory, but was quickly reminded that spending over $2 million to hold a seat already held by an anti-gun Senator, while losing the bigger battle of flipping control of the state senate, was not a victory.
    NRA defeated in their own backyard.— Everytown (@Everytown) November 4, 2015
    You lost big in Virginia! https://t.co/myedo4KXST— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) November 4, 2015So, who is the real winner in last night's election?  In the short term, the GOP, and gun owners, because Governor Terry McAuliffe got nothing for all of the money he spent from his PAC and that he convinced Bloomberg to spend to help him flip the Senate.  We can thank the gun owners in Powhatan County for that. 
    “Amazing Powhatan turnout. Definitely Bloomberg backlash,” longtime Democratic political operative Paul Goldman said in a text message.And as the Richmond Times Dispatch editorialized about Powhatan gun owners part in the Gecker loss:
    The Democrat made a massive mistake when he accepted campaign swag from an interest group affiliated with former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who seeks tougher gun control laws. Gecker might have lost anyway, but the Bloomberg intervention gave Powhatan voters a reason to rise up in indignation. Sturtevant also received funds from outsider sources but the Bloomberg connection vividly cast Gecker on the wrong side of an issue of vital concern to Powhatan’s citizenry. A campaign focused on guns redounded to Gecker’s despair. This is not a surprise.From a gun owner perspective, we still can't override a McAuliffe veto of good 2nd Amendment related bills.  And, as Brian Schoeneman wrote in his election post mortem on Bearing Drift, regarding the GOP, maintaining the staus quo is not really something to be popping the corks over. 
    We maintained the status quo.  That’s it.  In every seat that was held by the GOP, we won.  In every seat held by the Democrats, we lost.  A few of those State Senate seats were open seat races (whether through retirement or the primarying of an incumbent Republican), but they were also in heavily partisan areas, where the non-incumbent party had only a slight chance to pull off an upset (for example, the 8th, 11th, 12th, 29th, and 36th).

    The two most competitive challenger races – at least by media standards – were the Nancy Dye/John Edwards battle in the 21st District, and the Frank Wagner/Gary McCollum battle in the 7th District.  Neither of the challengers came close to unseating the incumbent, with both Edwards and Wagner winning by approximately 8 points.

    Maintaining the status quo in the Senate was a must win, and we won it.  But we gained no ground, and the millions poured into the Commonwealth by outside groups didn’t have an overall impact on the final outcome.  In the two races they targeted, they went 1-1.  The only people really pleased with that outcome should be the TV stations in Richmond and Northern Virginia.Gun owners were challenged this election and with the exception of one race (remember the gun ban lobby originally targeted four seats) we won.  Everytown and the national gun ban politicians are already trying to spin that one race as a major victory, which was expected.  This election was a wake-up call to gun owners.  Hopefully we heeded it and are prepared for war in 2016. That campaign starts today.

    I had the opportunity to speak with NRANews Cam and Company host Cam Edwards about Tuesday's results:

    Categories: News

    McAuliffe: Senate Election Wasn't Going to Make a Difference

    Thu, 11/05/2015 - 16:19
    In his first public event since getting his butt handed to him by voters Tuesday, Governor Terry McAuliffe told reporters that even if he had won control of the state senate nothing really would have changed legislatively. Really?  You spent millions from your PAC and talked Bloomberg into spending over $2 million on something that wasn't going to matter?  Yeah, we believe that like we believe it had nothing to do with presidential politics. Oh wait, he said that too.
    Categories: News

    Gun Sales Set Another Record in October

    Wed, 11/04/2015 - 12:24
    As reported this morning in the Washington Free Beacon:
    The FBI’s National Instant Background Check System processed 1,976,759 firearms related checks in October. That is a 373,290 increase in checks over last year and a new record for the month. It also makes October the sixth consecutive month to see a record number of checks.

    Since every purchase of a new gun in the United States requires a background check the metric is considered a reliable proxy for how many overall gun sales there have been, even though the number does not represent a one to one calculation for gun sales. The federal government and most states do not require background checks on gun sales made between private parties. Additionally, some states request FBI background checks on their citizens who apply for gun carry permits.

    So far in 2015 the FBI has performed 17,584,346 firearms related checks. Currently, 2015 is on pace to beat 2013’s record 21,09,273 checks.
    Categories: News

    New York Times: Concealed Carry on School Grounds Causes Rift Among Gun Owners in Michigan

    Tue, 11/03/2015 - 10:40
    The New York Times has a story this morning about legislation in Michigan that, according to the Times, has split gun owners.
    When Kenneth Herman visits his daughter’s school, the handgun holstered to his right hip is visible to anyone. And that has caused him problems.

    School officials have denied Mr. Herman access to school buildings, asked him to wait in the principal’s office and called the Sheriff’s Department on him. So Mr. Herman, a paramedic who grew up in this semirural community 85 miles northwest of Detroit, sued Clio Area Schools for the right to carry his weapon openly on school grounds, and in August he won the case. The district has appealed. Now his dispute with the school district has become part of a statewide debate over guns in schools that has exposed a rare split among firearm owners. It pits proponents of widespread open carry like Mr. Herman against other gun owners who believe concealed weapons are more appropriate in some settings. The two sides are divided over legislation introduced by Republicans in the State Senate that would allow people with the proper permits to carry concealed weapons at schools, but would ban open carry there. The measure could come up for a vote before the end of the year. The Times notes that Mr. Herman and other open-carry proponents oppose the legislation, and that they have formed an alliance with gun ban activists who oppose the legislation because they do not want any weapons carried on school grounds, openly or concealed.
    State-level gun owners’ groups have come down on both sides of the issue. Michigan Open Carry, which publishes a guide on how to legally carry a gun in schools, is campaigning against the legislation. The Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners — another prominent pro-gun group, whose board of directors includes Mr. Meekhof and another Republican sponsor of the legislation — supports the legislation. On political battles over gun laws, concealed-carry and open-carry groups are in agreement “99 times out of 100,” Mr. Meekhof said. But the debate over his bills reveals how the two camps sometimes embrace conflicting views on displaying firearms in public. Michigan Open Carry advocates the visible carrying of holstered handguns, similar to what an on-duty police officer might wear. Its members cite a variety of reasons — practical, legal and symbolic — for choosing to display their guns in public.Regarding that reference to "symbolic" I go back to what Master Firearms Trainer Massad Ayoob wrote on the topic of open carry.
    A few years ago, Mark Walters hosted a three-way debate on the topic on his show “Armed American Radio.” The “pro” speaker came, IIRC, from Georgia Carry.  The “anti-open carry” speaker was a cop from the Midwest who, though generally pro-armed citizen, thought open carry was counterproductive to both the public peace and the Second Amendment cause. I took the middle ground, which I still hold. One the one hand, I would like for every state to allow any citizen who has a clean record and hasn’t been adjudicated mentally incompetent to be allowed to open carry a holstered, loaded handgun. First, because there are some jurisdictions where if the wind blows your coat open and reveals the gun you are legally carrying concealed, a genuinely frightened citizen or vindictive anti-gunner can combine with an anti-gun prosecutor to create a perfect storm of criminal charges for illegal open carry. Second, because if a good person suddenly becomes a stalking victim or the target of death threats, I don’t want them to have to wait up to 90 days (gun-friendly Florida) or six months (the time it takes before a new resident can even apply for a concealed carry permit in California, which for the most part is decidedly non-gun-friendly).  But on the other hand, I don’t think we win any friends for gun owners’ civil rights by flaunting deadly weapons in the face of a general public conditioned to fear guns and their owners by generations of anti-gun media and political prejudice.He followed up that piece with this:
    Gun-banners will never convert most who read this blog, and we who support a responsibly armed citizenry will never win over the Pelosis and Bloombergs of the world. The battleground lies with the vast majority of people who are in the middle on this polarized issue.  I am old enough to remember when Massachusetts and California each held a referendum on whether possession of handguns should be banned in their states.  Neither state had a majority of gun owners in the voting pool, but in each case our side won the referendum, because “the people on the fence” didn’t want to go that far.

    Doing things that alarm those people in the middle will do nothing to help the pro-gun side.  Fear is the key ingredient that creates hatred.  Doing things that put the general public in fear will cause more people to hate us, and anyone who seriously thinks flaunting rifles around schools in cities and suburbs will somehow acclimate the public to an acceptance of armed citizens is simply delusional.The fastest way for us to loose our rights is to let the antis divide us and have us fighting among ourselves.  It seems they may have found a way to start that process in Michigan.
    Categories: News

    Everyone Wants to Write the NRA Obituary

    Mon, 11/02/2015 - 13:07
    Ever since a Gallup Poll came out a couple weeks ago showing an uptick in support for gun control, opinion columnists have been eager to write the obituary of the NRA.  The latest is Bill Schneider.  He has a piece today over on the Reuters web site titled Republican primary aside, NRA may be losing its grip on the public’s imagination. He uses the Gallup Poll as proof that like same sex marriage before it, gun rights is slowly going out of style:
    Over the past 10 years, the United States has seen a complete reversal of public opinion on same-sex marriage — from opposition to support. This month, a Gallup poll press release was headlined, “Americans’ Desire for Stricter Gun Laws Up Sharply.”

    The turning point on guns came in 2013, when the Senate filibustered a bill that would have closed the “gun show loophole” and mandated background checks for all gun purchases. About 90 percent of Americans support universal background checks. After the Senate bill failed, public support for stricter gun laws shot up to 58 percent from 44 percent a year earlier.

    In the case of same-sex marriage, the shift of opinion was driven by personal experience. More and more Americans say they know someone — a relative, a friend, a coworker — who is openly gay. The shift on guns is being driven by mounting outrage over the country’s inability to keep guns out of the hands of deranged individuals.Schneider doesn't mention the CNN Poll that came out at the same time as the Gallup Poll had a different result, or that the Gallup result while higher than a year ago, is still slightly lower than in December 2012, immediately after the Newtown school shootings.  And, this is just on a question related to laws pertaining to the sale of firearms.  An overwhelming majority still oppose bans on handguns.

    Another problem in Schneider's reasoning is there is another Gallup Poll released around the same time that indicated a majority of respondents think the Democratic Party position on gun control is out of the mainstream.  Schneider did mention the demographic shift that Professor Adam Winkler discussed in his Washington Post Op/Ed.  That narrative goes that because women, Blacks, and Latinos overwhelmingly support gun control, the NRA's, and by extension, gun owners, days are number.  Forbes contributor Frank Miniter is the latest to push back against that notion:
    Even a Google search would show Winkler that the USA Today, hardly a pro-gun group, has reported that a large and growing percentage of women are now carrying handguns. The USA Today found that in Tennessee women hold “30% of almost 193,000 handgun-carry permits in effect at the end of 2013,” in Washington state, “100,000 of 451,000 concealed-carry permit holders are women” and in Florida “women were 22% of concealed weapon license holders as of May 31, up from 15% in 2004.”

    After looking into these demographic changes the NSSF found that an “increase in female customers is not the only trend to which the industry is responding. Urban areas are beginning to see a significant uptick in legal gun ownership, which is slowly putting the original idea of the stereotypical gun owner to rest.”

    The NRA has also begun challenging these demographics by running television ads featuring minorities and others who live in urban areas. The one that grabbed me is of a grandmotherly looking black woman who says, “I live in a government high-rise. Gang bangers and drug dealers walk down our halls everyday…. The police can’t keep us safe… But the Housing Authority told me if I bought a gun to protect myself they’d throw me to the streets. If I’m not free because of my address today what makes you think you’ll be free tomorrow. I marched for Martin Luther King at Selma. I know my rights. Now I have my gun. I am the National Rifle Association of America and I’m freedom’s safest place.”You don't have to take the decidedly pro-rights Miniter's word for it though.  Look at this Today Show segment by Ronan Farrow to see that the old white guy narrative is changing.  That's not to say everything is roses.  Gun owners need to continue reaching out to minorities and women to bring them into the community of gun owners so the next generation is just as protective of our rights as we are.
    Categories: News

    Gecker, Sturtevant Make Final Push Ahead of Tuesday Election

    Mon, 11/02/2015 - 09:56
    With the campaign season winding down, candidates spent the weekend reaching out to voters.  Governor Terry McAuliffe and U.S. Senator Mark Warner traveled the state in one last attempt to pick up the one state senate seat McAuliffe needs to take control of the State Senate.  One of their stops was in the hotly contested 10th District for a rally at the headquarters of gun ban supporter Dan Gecker.  Meanwhile, the Republican, Glen Sturtevant, was knocking on doors meeting with individual voters over the weekend.  From the Richmond Times Dispatch:
    With less than 48 hours before the polls open in one of Virginia’s most expensive and tightly contested Senate races ever, Democrat Daniel A. Gecker joined hands with Gov. Terry McAuliffe and U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner at a rally in Chesterfield County, while Republican Glen H. Sturtevant knocked on doors in Richmond’s Museum District. McAuliffe capped a barnstorming tour of the state on behalf of Democratic Senate candidates Sunday in a joint appearance with Warner to boost voter turnout for Gecker, 59, a two-term member of the Chesterfield Board of Supervisors, and potentially give Democrats control of a nearly evenly split state Senate. “We need one seat, and Dan Gecker is that seat,” the governor shouted to a cheering crowd of volunteers and state Democratic party leaders at Gecker’s field office off Buford Road in Chesterfield.When Gecker spoke, he took the opportunity to say what issues he would push if elected, and he made sure to mention gun control.
    Also during this final weekend, anyone listening to radio probably heard ads for or against Gecker and Sturtevant (I heard an ad paid for by NRA-PVF during the Rush Limbaugh program on Friday).  In addition to the NRA-PVF radio warning of Bloomberg trying to buy the Virginia State Senate, Citizens for Responsible Solutions, the Gabby Giffords gun ban group had also bought $40,000 in radio  time promoting Gecker.

    Money has flooded the 10th District in the last couple of weeks.  According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the largest outside expenditure in a State Senate race had been $250,000 on behalf of then-Sen. Jeannemarie Devolites Davis, R-Fairfax, in 2007. This year, four candidates have exceeded that amount, with Gecker and Democrat Jeremy McPike, who is battling Republican Hal Parrish for the seat open in the 29th Senate District being the largest beneficiaries.

    But the stakes are much higher for gun owners this year than in 2007.  The large expenditures for a single issue is being used as a test case.  From the Times-Dispatch article referenced above:
    “It’s kind of a test case on how the gun issue plays out in a competitive district,” said Robert D. Holsworth, a longtime political commentator on state and Richmond-area politics.Holsworth continued later in the article:
    Holsworth isn’t sure how the issue will affect Tuesday’s election in the 10th District. “Is this really going to help Dan Gecker, particularly with moderate suburbanites?” he asked. “On the other hand, does this spending backfire on him?”

    But he added, “We’ve not seen this debated this way in the Richmond area” since then-Gov. L. Douglas Wilder teamed with then-U.S. Attorney Richard Cullen to get legislation passed in 1993 that restricted purchases of handguns to one a month. The assembly subsequently repealed the law in 2012 under then-Gov. Bob McDonnell.

    Beyond next week’s outcome, Holsworth wondered, “How is this going to play in the national election? How is it going to play in Virginia in the presidential election?”I spoke with someone associated with the Chesterfield County GOP over the weekend and he said he is hearing that voters on both sides are being turned off by the flood of ads and mailers and saying they are just going to stay home and not vote.  Turnout will be key.  Every gun owner in the 10th and 20th Districts need to go to the polls tomorrow and vote for Glen Sturtevant (10th) and Hal Parrish (29th).  We don't want Bloomberg buying Virginia's State Senate.
    Categories: News

    Yes to Glen, No to Bloomberg!

    Fri, 10/30/2015 - 12:35
    The Glen Sturtevant campaign has new bumper stickers for the last 5 days of the campaign! Stop by their campaign headquarters to pick up your "Yes to Glen! No to Bloomberg!" bumper sticker! Put this bumper sticker on your vehicle and on the yard sign at your home! The Sturtevant office is located at 1520 Huguenot Road Suite 116 in Midlothian.

    The campaign is also asking you to show your support of Glen on your social media accounts! They supporters to help counteract some of the negative ads being bankrolled  by Bloomberg. Grassroots support is worth more than big donations from out-of-state liberals. The Sturtevant Campaign would like supporters to download the Facebook cover photo below and post it on your account today!

    To find out other ways you can help in the final days of the campaign, contact Tim Lagerman at 570-898-3160, or email him at [email protected].
    Categories: News