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Updated: 1 hour 49 min ago

Why Are AR-15's So Popular?

Tue, 06/14/2016 - 07:53
That is the question NBC reporter Peter Alexander asked when he called yesterday asking if  VSSA could recommend someone they could speak with about why AR-15s are so popular, for a piece they were doing for Monday's nightly news.  I won't comment on Lester Holt's use of the terms "assault weapon" and "weapons of war" in the clip below as we have come to expect those from the media.  For Alexander's part, he was truly interested in knowing what is was about the firearm that made it the most popular firearm in the country.  We spent 20 minutes talking about that question.  I told him the ease of use is the number one reason people buy the rifle.  I shared how all of the shooters in my home from myself, my wife, and my 15 and 11 year-old daughters can shoot the same rifle simply by adjusting the stock.  I told him it is also light weight which makes it easy to use for women and younger shooters and that it is used for competition for all those reasons.  In the end, less than 20 seconds of the total interview made the report and none of me talking about why it is the most popular rifle in America.  He did however start out by condensing a lot of what I said into background for the start of the piece by mentioning the versatility of the firearm.

I opened up my daily reads this morning and found this great post by Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned on the very same topic of why the AR-15 is so popular.  I especially liked his closing point:
I think we rest on pretty firm ground to argue that firearms should be easy for novices to use. Unless you’re a seasoned competitive shooter, most gun owners, most police, and most people in the military are novices. They can exercise a base level of competence and safety when running their firearms, but Annie Oakley they are not. We should not be banning semi-automatic rifles, which truly aren’t especially more deadly than other semi-automatic rifles, just because they are easy for novices to use. This gets back to the base argument of gun control vs. gun rights: should arms belong only to the special elite, or is it a birthright of all citizens?Read the entire post.  It ticks off several easy to understand reasons you can share with people who ask why we use an AR-15 without sounding like a gun geek.
Categories: News

Was the Peruta Ruling a Set-up to get Gun Rights Supporters to Appeal

Mon, 06/13/2016 - 11:13
The Peruta decision was the top topic on the various gun rights radio programs over the weekend.  Tom Gresham had Gene Hoffman of CalGuns Foundation on Gun Talk Radio to talk about the decision, and Gun for Hire Radio had Attorneys Dan Shmutter and Scott Bach on to give their take on the ruling.  Scott Bach is also the Executive Director of the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs, the New Jersey State Association.  In the clip below, Scott says he believes the majority opinion was actually a set-up to get gun rights supporters to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.  He also said we need to be very measured in the cases we bring in the future.
Categories: News

Steve Halbrook: Peruta Appeal Decision Ignores Context of the Law

Fri, 06/10/2016 - 08:35
Yesterday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals over ruled an earlier three 9th Circuit three judge panel decision and upheld the lower court decision in Peruta v. County of San Diego, ruling that the Second Amendment does not include the right to carry a concealed firearm.  San Diego appealed the three judge panel decision to the full court which heard the case about a year ago.  The summary of the ruling begins: “The en banc court affirmed the district courts’ judgments and held that there is no Second Amendment right for members of the general public to carry concealed firearms in public.” VSSA Life Member and Second Amendment attorney Steve Halbrook told NRANews yesterday that the decision completely ignores the context of the law. The judges have virtually covered their eyes while reaching it. He notes that the longest part of the decision is a discussion of the decrees of English kings, while ignoring today’s realities. Before the death of Scalia this was probably going to be the case that had the best chance of getting us a favorable ruling from the Supreme Court because California not only prohibits open carry but the may issue carry varies from locality to locality.  But now that the court is maybe split 4-4 (one or more of the five judges in Heller and McDonald have not wanted to hear additional cases so who knows if we can even get four on our side), I agree with Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned that the plaintiffs should not appeal this decision:
If Hillary wins this election, there will be no judicially enforceable Second Amendment of any meaning. That’s not hyperbole, it’s what’s going to happen. I also am very skeptical that losing three national elections in a row is going to make a lot of GOP and Dem politicians start whispering among themselves that NRA and the gun vote isn’t such the big deal they think they are.This is one more illustration of why we must do everything we can to defeat Hillary Clinton this fall.
Categories: News

2nd Annual Wendell Thompson Memorial Match and 2016 VSSA State Air Rifle Championship

Thu, 06/09/2016 - 11:33
On July 30th, the Junior Chapter of the Arlington-Fairfax Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America, in Centreville, VA, will host the 2nd Annual Wendell Thompson Air Rifle Match. This will be a 60 shot precision air rifle match. This will be an NRA registered match and will also serve as the Virginia Shooting Sports Association (VSSA) Precision Air Rifle State Championship.  Virginia residents and non-residents are eligible to compete for overall awards, but only Virginia residents are eligible for the VSSA awards.  The Match Director is Hayley Carroll, the AFC-IWLA Junior Chapter President. The entry fee is $25.00. All fees must be paid in advance by July 7th in order to ensure a confirmed spot - after the fee due date, unpaid registrations may be offered to other shooters on the waiting list. All excess proceeds will go to an electronic target fund for the Sills Air Rifle Range. You can download the match bulletin with more details by clicking here.
Categories: News

Loudoun County to Consider Moms Demand Action Anti-Gun Resolution, Changes to Noise Ordinance

Thu, 06/09/2016 - 10:19
The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors will hold their monthly meeting this afternoon at 5:00.  On the agenda is resolution #3 which would officially recognize June 2nd as as “National Gun Violence Awareness Day” in official county records.  The resolution is being promoted by being promoted by a local affiliate of Moms Demand Action.  As NRA-ILA notes, such recognition will do nothing to stop crime:
Resolution #3 would not create harsher punishments for the criminals who abuse firearms or prevent further tragedies from occurring.  Instead, Resolution #3 simply seeks to demonize firearms and those who own them, while providing a foot in the door to drum up support for an anti-gun political agenda in Loudoun.As originally proposed, the resolution mentioned the Moms Demand Bloomberg group.  The Loudoun Times reported yesterday however that after the resolution was condemned by the Loudoun County Republican Committee, the chair of the board removed the reference to the anti-gun group:
Randall on Monday told the Times-Mirror she was willing to alter the resolution to essentially “de-politicize” the proposal. She said she removed MDA and the Brady group after a Republican board colleague said he couldn't support the original resolution because of the political nature of the organizations.

“I still think we need to recognize that gun violence happens,” Randall said. “We need to have the discussion.”

The new resolution still recognizes National Gun Violence Awareness Day and lists statistics about shootings and gun-related deaths, but it doesn't include the Moms Demand Action group. The new proposal also incorporates the name of Naomi Howell, a Leesburg woman who was shot and killed earlier this year.Who wants to bet that those "statistics" were provided by Bloomberg's group.  We all know how accurate those are. If you live in Loudoun and can attend tonight's meeting, please do so and make you voice heard against this proposal.

Another issue of importance to gun owners is a proposed change to the county's noise ordinance.  While current shooting ranges are exempt from any change, there are no exceptions in the proposed amendments for shooting on private property or for discharge of a firearm during hunting, which can still be done on portions of Loudoun County.  Gun owners should make their voices heard and urge the Board to include exemptions for target practice and hunting on private property.

If you would like to speak at the meeting, please call the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors at (703) 777-0200 and sign up to speak.   The meeting will be held at 1 Harrison Street, S.E., Board Room, First Floor, Government Center, Leesburg, Virginia.

Update: The resolution died on a 6-3 vote.
Categories: News

Eight Year-old Shooting Phenom Alexis Nicole Welch

Tue, 06/07/2016 - 14:47
Photo by Oleg Volk, American Shooting JournalI mentioned last week that one of the things that caught my eye at this year's NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits were the number of young competitive shooters walking the exhibit hall proudly wearing their shooting team shirts.  Yesterday, I opened my email late in the afternoon and VSSA's Executive Director, Lu Charette, had shared an article from Gun Digest about Alexis Nicole Welch and a link to her Facebook Fan Page.  I Goggled her name and found this article in American Shooting Journal that gives even more information about this hot shot young shooter:
Some people are larger than life. They are rare. Even more rare are children whose accomplishments would make any adult proud. Alexis Welch of western Kentucky is one such kid. If a writer used Alexis as a book character, most of the readers would have accused them of being unrealistic – nobody is that multitalented, at least in the mundane world where most people live. And yet, Alexis is quite real and keeps getting more impressive by the day.  Alexis started shooting at age five. Her grandfather Tryce “PaPa” Welch had already raised one competitor, his daughter Stephanie who became a professional motorcycle racer. Her career was cut short by an injury after a very promising start. Unlike her mother, Alexis had little interest in riding dirt bikes, but a keen desire to shoot guns. The competitive aspects of marksmanship were a mystery to Tryce, so he educated himself and started training Alexis.According to the Gun Digest article, this little shooter overcame being born deaf and she lost her shooting coach as her grandfather recently passed away.  That hasn't stopped her though as she has returned to competition and regularly competes against shooters twice her age.

I recommend reading both articles linked above because this kid is something else.  She has participated in NSSF Rimfire Challenge, USPSA and multi-gun competitions. Alexis also won the Indiana State Steel Challenge Champion Ladies 12 and under open category.  She's a well rounded kid too as she also enjoys playing soccer and softball, sings, plays music and practices gymnastics.  As the email Lu forwarded said shooters like these are the future of the shooting sports.
Categories: News