Thursday, May 31, 2012

Message from Bear Witness - Our Presidential Choices

 BEAR WITNESS - Waking up America 

Issue 174 May 31, 2012  





_________________________     RESTORE FREEDOM


A plan to reach out to the rest of America. 






June 27 6:30 PM

Jacksonville, FL




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Bear Witness Conference

First Amendment Rights, Freedom of Religion, Economic Freedom and Voter Issues.  


June 27 6:30 PM Jacksonville FL


Limited seating

Register now for the free action packed event!



The president will desperately do anything to prevent voters from scrutinizing his true record that includes a broken economy and skyrocketing debt. He may be a master politician, but his management skills score badly, particularly in the area of leadership. Thus far, he has offered no proposals for correcting Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, the budget deficit, protecting our borders, or for providing any direction for the country to follow other than deeper into debt. Frankly, Romney was not my first choice in the GOP primaries, but I am now gravitating towards him.… [Read More...]



The total loss of privacy coupled with aggressively expanding powers of the state to encroach on our personal freedoms with impunity — these are the two prongs of the police-state pincers that are closing swiftly on American liberties. The long-feared “garrison state” is coming … [Read More...]



If you have wondered where Obama came from and just how he quickly moved from obscurity to President, or why the media is "selective" in what we are told, here is the man who most probably put him there and is responsible. He controls President Obama's every move. Think this is absurd? … [Read More...]



Barack Hussein Obama has been distorting the facts in his own TV ads and with the complacent assistance of the leftist news media, no one has asked any questions. What more can be said of the biggest liar ever seen in American history. Maybe the news media has just gotten used to it but for the rest … [Read More...]



Though it quickly became an Internet punchline, Attack Watch should not be dismissed. Attack Watch is paid for and an extension of Obama for America, which is part of, the online campaign hub for the White House. That means that the Obama campaign itself … [Read More...]


Arizona’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio told a radio host today he’s “not impressed” with a letter from the state of Hawaii affirming Barack Obama’s birth there. He wants to see the proof himself. Arpaio appeared on “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” on New … [Read More...]



If you haven’t heard of the Black Bloc, it’s one of the anarchist terrorist groups within the Occupy movement. The men who were arrested for plotting to blow up a bridge in Ohio and those who committed violence in Chicago and planned to use molotov cocktails–all of them are from … [Read More...]








Khrushchev: “Your grandchildren will live under Communism. You Americans will not accept Communism outright, but we will keep feeding you small doses of Socialism, until you finally wake up finding that you already have Communism. We will not have to fight you. We will so weaken your economy, until you fall into our hands.”





NOV  2012






There is no difference between communism and socialism, except in the means of achieving the same ultimate end: communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialism-by vote. It is merely the difference between murder and suicide.    The degree of Socialism depends on how advanced is the road to Statism and Marxism.



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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

New update information

New update information

Link to Google Apps update alerts

Gmail is now available in Welsh and Latin American Spanish

Posted: 30 May 2012 03:22 PM PDT

End-users can now select Welsh and Latin American Spanish as the default language in Gmail Settings.

Release track:

Editions included:
Google Apps, Google Apps for Business, Government and Education

Languages included:
All languages supported

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Scheduled Release track features update 5/30/12

Posted: 30 May 2012 03:14 PM PDT

The following features are now available to domains following the Scheduled Release track:

-Docs: Research pane which allows you to look up information and search from inside your document.
-Gmail: Quick access to contact details: When searching for an email address, the results will now show you contact details in addition to that person's profile photo and the emails sent from and to them. From here, you can start a chat, call their phone and more. Plus, if your contacts have a Google+ profile, this information will stay up to date automatically.
-Gmail: More circle integration and circle search: Users on Google Plus will also now see profile photos of people in their selected circle and circles are now supported in search and filters.
-Contacts: Contacts delegation allows users to delegate full access to the contacts in their "My Contacts" group without granting access to their mail or anything else in their accounts.

The following features are intended for release to these domains on June 5th:
- No new features to announce

Release track:

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Google Apps, Google Apps for Business, Government and Education

*Scheduled Release track: Domains with 'Scheduled Release' option enabled in the administrator control panel. Learn more.
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Information Alert: Cuccinelli Says Scholarship Tax Credits Constitutional

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Victoria Cobb, President

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Information Alert: Cuccinelli Says Scholarship Tax Credits Constitutional


It’s been one of the primary and yet wholly flawed arguments liberals in Virginia have used against educational freedom for parents.  The claim that by allowing individuals and businesses to claim a tax credit for private donations to scholarship programs, the state is violating the Virginia Constitution’s provision against “appropriations” to non-government agencies, and in particular, “sectarian” institutions.


On Friday, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli rejected that flawed argument in an opinion responding to an inquiry from Delegate Scott Surovell (D-44, Fairfax), one of the General Assembly’s most outspoken critics of education freedom for children and families.  This year the General Assembly and Governor Bob McDonnell signed into law a tax credit for individual and business donations to private scholarship programs.


Cuccinelli concluded that such a tax credit does not violate the state Constitution because simply allowing an individual or business to keep some of their income should they donate to a scholarship program is not an “appropriation” of the General Assembly.  The opinion reads, “Legislation providing for tax credits does not set aside a sum certain in the treasury upon its passage, nor does it identify each individual who will benefit from its passage. Moreover, it does not allocate a specific credit amount to any particular claimant since each qualifying taxpayer will not necessarily be entitled to the maximum allowable credit for any specific year.”


To liberals, of course, any money that you’ve earned that the government graciously allows you to keep through a tax credit or deduction is still “public money” that they should control.  Consequently, you shouldn’t be allowed to spend that money any way you want, especially on something religious.  Cuccinelli added, “Significantly, if the meaning of ‘appropriation’ were extended as you suggest, charitable donations to churches would not be deductible for Virginia income tax purposes, for by allowing deductions for sectarian causes, the General Assembly has decreased the tax revenues that otherwise would flow into the general fund.”


Of course, liberals in Virginia would be just fine with that, I’m sure.  They are desperately trying to separate everything “religious” in nature from the “public.”  The money argument was also used this year against conscience clause protections for private child placement agencies.  Opponents argued that a private entity doing work “on behalf of the government” becomes an “agent of the state” and immediately must reject its religious identity or lose “government” funds.  Of course, following that logic with Surrovell’s argument concerning tax credits actually being an appropriation, any church, religious organization or non-profit that happens to enjoy tax exempt status must lose its religious identity because they are getting a “benefit” from the government. 


Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of a similar Arizona scholarship tax credit, but liberals continue to beat the same drum.  It’s another reason why we all must have a clear understanding of our religious liberty, and why we must continue to fight to preserve it.

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Delegate Mike Watson Newsletter






Letter from Mike:




As you are aware, the General Assembly officially wrapped up the 2012 session around 1:30 am on May 15th.  Our last order of business included votes on budget amendments, judicial appointments and last minute resolutions.   Unless we are called back for a special session, of which there is some discussion, we will report back to Richmond in January 2013.


With few exceptions, the recent ‘End of Session Letter’ that we sent out covers the majority of the final results of our work in Richmond, so I will not readdress it here.  However, there is at least one very meaningful issue that has been passed since my letter that offers an incentive to port related employers.  We will cover that in more detail later in this newsletter.  Over the summer, I will continue working on several initiatives, some of which will have an impact within the next year, while others may take more time to realize.  These initiatives relate to topics such as business development, education, and transportation.  I will do my best to keep you updated as we make gains in these areas.


This summer I will also focus on activities that most reserve for years in which there is an election.  Already, my staff and I have started walking through neighborhoods to connect with citizens and gain valuable insight and suggestions in the ‘off-season.’  I will be calling citizens later this summer in areas that do not permit walking to ask for input on issues of concern.  In addition, we will be hosting several town hall meetings to take feedback and update everyone on progress we have made on our legislative initiatives.  We will advise you as these meetings are scheduled in your area.  Finally, we will be hosting several fundraisers throughout the year to ensure we maintain the resources necessary to send updates and letters to citizens in the 93rd District, host townhall and teletownhall events, print literature with contact information to hand out to citizens, and maintain full-time constituent services operations on the off-season.  The first of these events is little more than a week away on June 7th, and although we will cover details later in the newsletter, I would like to ask you now to please consider joining me if you believe that my efforts so far warrant consideration for reelection.  


In all, I think this has been a successful first session.  I was able to introduce and pass bills, spearhead successful budget amendments and help others with legislation I felt was important for this region and the state.  I was especially pleased to advance several economic development initiatives, for which I later received recognition from organizations that gauge our efforts in the area of business and economic growth, including the announcement just last week from Virginia Free.  Of course, as a part-time legislator, I must spend some time this summer catching up with family and my own business; however, my helpful and competent staff are always available, even when I am not, to respond to your inquiries and I encourage you to contact them at one of our two district offices. 


Thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter and thank you for granting me the privilege to serve the citizens of the 93rd district.




Contact Me:


As always, we are at our offices in Williamsburg and Newport News/York to serve you. We want to hear what you think about  legislation pending before the House, or if there is anything we can do to help you.


My office can be reached at:


(757) 345-6310


or via email at


"Like" Me on Facebook


The most up-to-date information can be found here

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Port Related Employer Incentive Budget Amendment


Perhaps one of the most meaningful issues that were addressed during the last few weeks was the Governor’s initiative to offer employment grants to companies that move or start their port related business in Hampton Roads and adjacent localities while creating full time permanent jobs.  Mike is generally not a proponent of grants, as he prefers performance tax credits to incentivize growth.  However, after an extensive Q&A session that he held with the Governor’s office on the subject, he is confident that adequate protections are in place to ensure that taxpayers will have a good return on this investment.  This program, which is triggered by the hiring of full time employees by companies, will provide a major incentive to draw employers to the area, not only directly creating jobs but also increasing the port traffic that is needed to generate the revenue for addressing transportation and other needs of the region.  In consideration of these factors, Mike supported the amendment.  It remains to be seen if this amendment will be implemented, as there is some question about whether the objectives outlined would be better achieved through a bill separate from the budget.  Recognizing the potential delay this may cause, our office has begun the process to draft a separate bill to replicate the intent of this budget amendment.  Should it become necessary, this bill could be heard in early January and would be enacted immediately upon signing with the addition of an emergency clause.  We will continue to provide updates on this important issue.



Delegate Watson Receives Recognition for Pro-Business Legislation



In the last newsletter, we were able to announce that the Virginia Chamber of Commerce had just named Delegate Watson ‘Freshman Legislator of the Year’.  On May 9th, we traveled to McLean, VA where he was presented with this award in addition to another as “Champion of Free Enterprise”.   Now, just two weeks later, Mike has been recognized by Virginia Free, a non-partisan business coalition, for being just one of three Delegates to have a 100% pro-business voting record.  Mike was also tied for 2nd place for the highest Cumulative Business Rating out of all 140 Virginia Senators and Delegates.    According to Virginia Free, the Business Rating is a score based on a legislator’s performance on important business issues in the General Assembly session.   This rating combines General Assembly voting records with evaluations completed by leading business advocates.  When asked about this rating Mike commented, “Throughout my 2011 campaign, I promised the citizens of the 93rd district that I would focus on business, employment and workforce training.  I appreciate that these groups, through these recognitions, confirm that I did just that. “   To see the reports on all legislators, visit



Business Development Caucus holds its first Regional Business Roundtable



The General Assembly’s new Business Development Caucus (“BDC”) recently founded by Freshman Delegates Mike Watson (James City), Chris Head (Roanoke), David Ramadan (Loudoun) and Mike Webert (Fauquier) held its first regional business conference in Roanoke last week.  The event was a great success with nearly 40 businesses represented and attendees including 5 members of the House of Delegates, Deputy Secretary of Commerce & Trade, Mary Rae Carter, and the Roanoke Area Chamber of Commerce.  Legislators were able to hear directly from business owners who offered first-hand accounts of the challenges they currently face and ways in which legislation could facilitate business growth and development.  In a post-conference meeting the BDC was able to share what it learned and is already tossing around legislative ideas to address some of the concerns.   Future regional conferences are planned in Hampton Roads, Richmond, Northern Virginia, and Danville.  Once all 2012 conferences are complete in October, the BDC will review the results from each and begin drafting legislation to be introduced in the 2013 session.  



Commencement Address - NRCC Class of 2012



On May 11th, Mike was honored to offer the Commencement Address for the Class of 2012 at his Alma mater, New River Community College in Dublin, VA.  Twenty-nine years after graduating with an AAS degree in Instrumentation Technology, Mike spoke to an audience of over 1500 graduates, family members and friends.   His message was focused on the opportunities that exist in America and a challenge for the graduates to preserve the American Dream for future generations.   It was met with several stops for applause and a standing ovation by the graduates, faculty and guests.  The entire speech, including introduction, is available for viewing at under the Photos & Video header.  A condensed version with excerpts will be available soon.   On June 15th, Mike will also be giving the Commencement Address at ECPI University, School of Technology in Newport News.



‘Watson for Delegate’ hosts its first annual Golf Outing and Seafood Buffet



The Watson for Delegate campaign will host its first annual Golf Tournament and Seafood Buffet fundraiser at Kiln Creek Country Club in Newport News on June 7th.   Registration for the golf tournament will begin at 11:00 am and will be followed up by a Seafood Dinner at 6:30 with Special Guest, Speaker of the House of Delegates, William J. Howell.  In addition, we have learned that Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment, House Majority Whip Jackson Miller and several other members of the House of Delegates will be in attendance.  This annual event will serve as the primary fundraiser for Mike’s campaign and proceeds will go to support his district offices, constituent mailings and of course, campaign efforts in the 2013 election season.  Golfing packages include dinner or you can join us just for dinner with discounted pricing for couples.  The invitation may be found here


If you’re interested in supporting Mike’s constituent outreach program and reelection effort, please join us by calling Barret Sowers at (757) 345-6310 or email at  If you are unable to attend but still wish to support Mike, you can visit right away and click on the ‘Contribute’ link in the header.   You can also see latest news, pictures and video at this site.  Visit often.

Contact Delegate Watson

Phone: (757) 645-5298     Email:

Mail:  P.O. Box 6628 Williamsburg, Virginia 23188

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[Peninsula-Patriots] Fwd: Radical Groups Donate to Cucinnelli

Dear Mr. Cuccineli --
    As one of your conservative supporters, I am greatly distressed to learn of your endorsement of "David' Ramadan in his run for delegate and of your acceptance of contributions from Muslim Brotherhood-associated organizations and individuals (See below).  Domestic Islamization is the most serious threat America faces today and for the foreseeable future.  It is a slow, subtle form of jihad with the ultimate goal of supplanting our Constitution with Sharia Law.   Accepting contributions from Muslim organizations obligates you to support their agendas and candidates.  I urge you to become better educated regarding this threat.  I think the you will act differently.  Please advise me if the email below is in error.

Very Sincerely,
Ralph Williams
8322 Estate Dr
Gloucester, VA 23061

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, May 28, 2012 at 7:00 PM
Subject: Radical Groups Donate to Cucinnelli

Businesses tied to the Muslim Brotherhood have made contributions to Cuccinelli and others in both Republican and Democrat parties.  Please scroll down to see the thousands accepted by the Cuccinelli campaign.

State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli endorsed (Imad David) Ramadan (running for delegate) on the very day he went to court last week to defend against a lawsuit claiming he did not legally reside in the 87th district and sent a lawyer from his office to quash a subpoena from Ramadan's opponents that would have made public the results of an investigation by the Commonwealth Attorney regarding Ramadan's legal residence.

Cuccinelli, a darling of conservatives, has taken close to $20,000 from businesses run by prominent Muslim activists tied to the SAFA Group and other alleged Muslim Brotherhood affiliates targeted by the FBI's Greenquest investigation after the 9/11 attacks. A few examples are here, here, here, and here. (


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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Senator Black endorses Ken Cuccinelli for Governor

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"Ken is the most inspiring public figure in Virginia's recent history...
Ken Cuccinelli never sidestepped an issue because it was too hard... I am proud to announce my endorsement of Ken Cuccinelli to be the next Governor of Virginia." ~Senator Black

I strongly endorse Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli in the race for Governor. Ken is the most inspiring public figure in Virginia's recent history. I endorsed Cuccinelli when he first ran for office because he is a passionate man of principle. That was one of the best decisions I ever made.

From State Senator to Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli never sidestepped an issue because it was too hard. He represents the state with energy and keen intellect. Because of Ken, Virginia was the first state to challenge Obamacare in federal court—and that initiative quickly spread across the nation.

Ken Cuccinelli is an unwavering constitutional conservative. His actions do not require constant oversight because they are part of his inner core; his beliefs do not shift. He took on the toughest challenges at a time when our country desperately needed bold leadership. Virginians were inspired by his courageous defense of a limited, constitutional government and family values. I am proud to announce my endorsement of Ken Cuccinelli as the next Governor of Virginia.

Warm Regards,

Colonel Richard H. "Dick" Black (Ret.)
Senator of Virginia, 13th District

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on Facebook to keep up with events in Richmond, and please don't hesitate to contact our office at (703) 468-1342.



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Sunday, May 27, 2012

VA-ALERT: VCDL Update 5/26/12

Not yet a VCDL member? Join VCDL at:
VCDL's meeting schedule:
Abbreviations used in VA-ALERT:

1. VCDL picnic in Chesterfield on June 3rd celebrating state park victory!
2. Sandwich shop owner is proud supporter of the Second Amendment
3. Success! DC gives back Lt. Kim's guns!
4. VCDL needs a volunteer to edit VCDL Updates
5. VCDL Supper in Christiansburg on June 25th
6. Va. State Parks to allow open carry of guns starting Monday
7. Triune Arms offers VCDL members a discount
8. RT Op-Ed: Paranoia over packing
9. Critics say Va.'s gun laws could encourage trafficking
10. Tobacco Row attempted robbery leads to shooting [VIDEO]
11. Who needs a gun while in their car?
12. D.C. folds in gun rights battle
13. Emily gets her gun award
14. House voting on Trayvon bill to kill stand your ground
15. House Republicans try to block Obama's rifle rule
16. Anti-gun group downplays 'Operation Fast and Furious' death toll
17. Erik Scott's father contacts VCDL (Erik was killed by police at a Las Vegas Costco in 2010)
18. Korean War vet, 84, shoots intruder inside home
19. NM conceal carry rules getting a makeover
20. TN Vols have a handgun course offered at their university
21. Who needs a gun on a school playground?
22. US: Mexico seized 68,000 guns from US since 2006
23. R.I.P Louise Simpson
24. Gun culture spreads in India
25. Starbucks: boycott v. buycott

1. VCDL picnic in Chesterfield on June 3rd celebrating state park victory!

VCDL is having a picnic at the Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield County on Sunday, June 3rd. We will be celebrating the formal removal of the open carry ban in State Parks.

Thanks to VCDL member Tony Wells for arranging and coordinating the picnic.

The picnic is open to the public, so bring the family! Bring some food to share if you can, but come either way!

As with all VCDL events, if you carry, or how you carry, is completely up to you.

Where: Pocahontas State Park
10301 State Park Road Chesterfield, VA 23832
Shelter #4 Reservation has been made under "OCDO picnic"

When: Sunday, June 3rd
11:00 am to whenever (shelter reservation starts at 8:00 and runs all day)

Additional: Parking Fee is $5.00, hiking trails, horse trails, fishing, canoeing, swimming, camping, RV access.

To see what needs to be brought and to RSVP, follow the link below to the web site:

2. Sandwich shop owner is proud supporter of the Second Amendment

A gun owner who open carried at a Jimmie Johns restaurant in Henrico was asked to leave by a new manager. The owner was contacted about it and was mortified. The letter below was his response. Because of his strong statement of support for our right to keep and bear arms, our after-meeting dinner in Richmond was held there to thank Mr. Pratt. We had over 25 members there on Thursday night.


My name is Michael Pratt, and I am the franchisee and Managing Owner of the Jimmy John's locations in Short Pump and near UR. I was just today made aware of the situation last week between the General Manager of the Short Pump store, Chris Springer, and our patron John Oliver. I apologize for this entire situation, I attribute it to my own schedule and not always being able to be available for teaching moments.

We are not an anti-gun establishment, in any way, shape, or form. Chris is a new GM, he only started with us in that capacity in February and thus is still learning the ropes. Jimmy John's corporate has no established gun policy, and thus in his corporate training was not taught about any gun laws or policies. We are continually training and teaching him all about our business. Our company policy is that we follow the law - lawful, open and concealed carry is accepted in our establishments and we welcome all patrons. Our employees are being educated about legal gun carrying practices and the safety it provides. I cannot guarantee that education will make every employee comfortable, in this industry they come and go quite often, but we will continue to make our best efforts to educate our employees on legal and safe firearm practices.

I, myself, am a concealed carry permit holder. I have never open carried but respect those that do. Please accept my apologies on behalf of myself, my management team, and my staff. They have all been made very aware of our policies and I hope that we will see you again soon. I am going to personally respond to each person that emailed me, and I hope that they will also accept my apologies for the mistake.



Michael Pratt
Managing Owner
JJ's 1131 & 1300

3. Success! DC gives back Lt. Kim's guns!

While this is good news and thanks to all of you who emailed the MPD last week. Next week's update will have an article on another vet abused by DC. :-( MPD just doesn't get it.

From the Washington Times:

MILLER: Soldier gets his guns

Congress needs to reform District's property seizure laws

By Emily Miller

The Washington Times

Monday, May 21, 2012

The active duty soldier who had his guns confiscated by the District of Columbia two years ago will have his property returned by Memorial Day. It took the help of a high-powered lawyer, two U.S. Senators, a member of Congress and national publicity to force the obstinate District to show some respect for the Constitution. It should never happen again.

On Friday, D.C. property clerk Derek Gray determined the city would finally return 1st Lt. Augustine Kim's "dangerous articles" because the Army national guardsman fulfilled the plea agreement arranged with the U.S. attorney's office a year earlier. TheMetropolitan Police Department (MPD) arrested Lt. Kim on four felony charges of carrying firearms in the District after he was pulled over with the items securely stored in his trunk, as is allowed under federal law.

Lt. Kim pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of possessing an unregistered gun, and that charge was dismissed in May 2011. Since then, Lt. Kim's lawyer, Richard Gadiner, had failed to get the attention of Mr. Gray, who refused to respond to his repeated requests for a hearing.

That changed after The Washington Times published a story about the case last Monday. The long-time firearms lawyer had never known the city to set up a hearing within a matter of days. Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, spoke with Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier on Thursday. Fellow Palmetto State Republican Sen. Jim DeMint and Rep. Tim Scott have also been engaged. "When you get two senior U.S. senators and a member of Congress calling the chief of police, it makes a difference," Mr. Gardiner explained.

Friday's hearing was held in a tiny, windowless room in the massive MPD evidence building in Southwest. Mr. Gray spent 17 minutes going through the papers in Mr. Kim's file with the attorney before arriving announcing the decision. MPD would transfer the guns to a police department near Lt. Kim's home in Charleston, S.C. next week. After the hearing, Mr. Gardiner called his client. "Auggie is so laconic," said his smiling defense attorney. "All he said was, 'That's good news.'"

Asked how such situations could be avoided in the future, Mr. Gardiner suggested the District be held to the same standard as the federal government. The Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act says the federal government has 60 days from the date of seizure to send out notices to possible claimants. Then if someone files a claim, the feds have 90 days to file a forfeiture case or return the property.

In Lt. Kim's case, it would have meant getting his guns back 8 months earlier, saving considerable hassle and expense. Lt. Kimwas lawfully transporting his firearms through the District and should never have been arrested in the first place. A soldier who served two tours in Afghanistan and was injured so severely that he spent three months in surgeries and recovery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center deserves gratitude for his service to the country, not a drawn-out legal ordeal. The South Carolina congressional delegation ought to introduce legislation to make sure this never happens again.

4. VCDL needs a volunteer to edit VCDL Updates

Benjamin Piper and Jay Britt are the VCDL Update editors who save me tons of time each week by compiling the various articles I supply them.

Sadly Ben is having to step down because of other commitments. When he emailed me with that bad news, I replied:

"Like Bill Murray said to his soon to be ex-girlfriend in the beginning of the movie 'Stripes': 'You can't LEAVE! All the plants will DIE!'"

Any way, Ben and Jay have both been doing great work and I thank them both.

I believe I have a replacement for Ben, but, if not, I'll put out a call for a volunteer shortly.

5. VCDL Supper in Christiansburg on June 25th

On June 25th, VCDL will again have a supper meeting at:


Fellowship to start at 6 PM, with the buffet to START AT 7 PM. Cost of food is $12.00, to include drinks and tips.


I-81, EXIT 118 B (VA Tech exit) to 460 bypass
Take the "CHRISTIANSBURG" exit
Immediately take the "DOWNTOWN" EXIT
Turn LEFT at the traffic light on CAMBRIA ST
The restaurant on LEFT a few blocks down the street.

This event is open to all VCDL members and guests.

Amelia's is known for super food and great service!! Speaker to be announced.

We REQUEST an RSVP to include numbers in your party so the proper amount of food and seating can be prepared.

RSVP to:

6. Va. State Parks to allow open carry of guns starting Monday


Va. State Parks to allow open carry of guns starting Monday May 6, 2012

WASHINGTON - After years of fighting over the issue, a long-standing ban on openly carrying guns in Virginia State Parks is set to officially end Monday.

Gov. Bob McDonnell issued a legal opinion in 2008, when he was the state's Attorney General, says the state Department of Conservation and Recreation doesn't have the authority to enforce a ban on openly carrying guns in parks.

McDonnell's predecessor, Gov. Tim Kaine disregarded that opinion, citing safety concerns.

He instructed the department to stop enforcing the ban last year. Now, the state code is being change to officially allow guns to be openly carried in parks.

Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, tells the Washington Times the change is important because it'll be harder for future governors to undo.

Carrying a concealed gun, which requires a permit, is already allowed in Virginia State Parks. Richmond news station WTVR reports that enforcement of the ban on openly carrying guns ended last year, when the Department of Conservation and Recreation heard from McDonnell that the ban would likely be repealed in 2012.

7. Triune Arms offers VCDL members a discount

From Brian Parrish with Triune Arms:

Triune Arms, LLC is offering a 2.5% discount on all direct firearm purchases for active VCDL members. This 2.5% discount is off the already low prices that we offer. In addition, for one year, for every firearm purchased by an active VCDL member through Triune Arms, LLC, we will match the 2.5% discount to give to VCDL.

In addition, all active VLDC members will receive a 50% discount on firearm transfers. Check out our website for details and the online "Gun Genie" tool to shop for your firearm (full website will be available mid-May).

Triune Arms, LLC
Warrenton, VA

**The "Gun Genie" is the property of Davidson's, Inc. A current VCDL membership card is required for any discounts. Please check our website for more details.

8. RT Op-Ed: Paranoia over packing

EM Dave Hicks emailed me this:



Paranoia over packing
By John Lester
May 08, 2012
Lester is a life member of the NRA since age 15. He lives in Roanoke.

This commentary is in response to Stephen Emick's April 1 column ("Legislators do NRA's bidding").

Emick starts his article by asking if he has it "right." Nope, he's got most of it wrong. The National Rifle Association is not a "shill" for the firearms industry; the NRA is a "shill" for me. Not because I work for the firearms industry, but because I own and use its products. I believe in the Lord God Almighty, freedom, liberty and the U.S. Constitution, and I am the NRA.

You can keep the change.

If Emick has a beef with NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, he should take that issue up with LaPierre directly. He even got the idiom about the turnip truck wrong. It's "fall off" not "climb off." And as far as being "awash" in firearms - it must be true, as I can barely walk down the street without stepping on one. I'm so paranoid that everyone is packing I have to see my shrink six days a week. I stay in on Sundays. Like ants at a picnic, they're everywhere.

Emick references Internet sales of firearms. He got that wrong, too. First, he cites NBC as his source of information. The bottom line: When buying a firearm from a reputable Internet site, the buyer pays for the firearm (no background check at that point of sale.) However, the firearm must be shipped to a local federally licensed dealer, where the buyer takes possession of the firearm after paying whatever fees the dealer charges for conducting the transaction and after passing the required background check.

Emick presented the NBC findings in such a way as to lead the reader to believe that no background checks are being conducted at all. Why would he do that? Maybe he's talking about illegal Internet sales? Maybe he, or NBC, assumes that anyone who buys online is a criminal. No matter, he got it wrong.

Emick cites some statistic about homicides; that's fine. It lends credence to his article. He could have also mentioned that homicides committed with firearms have been on the decline for the last several years. The FBI Uniform Crime Report shows the number of homicides involving all types of firearms declining from 10,225 in 2006 to 8,775 in 2010.

Emick names a few firearms like a Glock, an AK-47 and a 50-caliber sniper rifle, all weapons of choice for the criminals and mentally deranged or an ill-tempered road-rage victim. (I'll just reach under my seat, pull out my 15-pound semi-automatic $8,000 McMillan 50-caliber sniper rifle with fluted barrel, a 2,000-yard infrared laser sight rangefinder scope, equipped with bipod, muzzle break and flash suppressor, load up my 30-round box magazine ("clip" for you non-gun types) with some $6 per round 750-grain hollow point shells and teach that &^%$@! a thing or two!) Gee, and all this time I thought the weapon of choice was the "Saturday night special."

The Second Amendment is not about hunters, gun collectors or recreational target shooters. The Second Amendment to the Constitution is about the security of a free state. And no, I have not the time nor the desire to teach Emick about the Constitution. However, he can get that education from Hillsdale College via the Internet. It provides several excellent courses about the Constitution (free) - so please, educate yourself.

There are some simple truths in Emick's article.

1. Legislators get lobbied by the NRA - and by the SEIU, UAW, NAACP, AFL-CIO, UMW and the list goes on and on and on. If one's lobby is truly powerful and has millions of dollars, it can get the president of the United States to give it an auto company. Now, that's intimidation. The NRA has never been able to do that.

2. The NRA mantra -- "Guns don't kill people, people kill people." No matter how you slice or dice it, the mantra is true. People kill people -- with guns, clubs, bats, tire irons, knives, screw drivers, hammers, automobiles, hands and fists and a slew of other instruments.

3. It's about the money. It's always about the money.

9. Critics say Va.'s gun laws could encourage trafficking


Critics say Va.'s gun laws could encourage trafficking
By Reilly Moore
May 7, 2012

Open season for gun enthusiasts in Virginia begins July 1, as state residents will be allowed to purchase more than one handgun per month for the first time since 1993.

The General Assembly voted to repeal its 19-year-old restriction on gun sales that stemmed from Virginia's days as a key cog in the "iron pipeline," when about 40 percent of guns traced from New York City crimes originated in Virginia.

The one-handgun-per-month limit accomplished its goal of reducing the number of Virginia guns used to commit crimes in other states, according to a 1995 report by the Virginia State Crime Commission, but proponents of the repeal said mandatory background checks for gun buyers made the limit archaic and unnecessary.

Some family members of those killed or wounded during the shooting spree at Virginia Tech in 2007 lobbied Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell to veto the repeal, but he signed it into law less than a week later.

"We find it shameful that Gov. McDonnell would chose to repeal Virginia's landmark one-handgun-per-month law over the objections of some law enforcement officials and the objections of Virginia Tech families," said Brian Malte, director of legislation for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

A Richmond Times-Dispatch poll from February showed that 66 percent of Virginians opposed repealing the one-gun-per-month law.

The Virginia Citizens Defense League, a pro-gun group, said that repeal was based on a constitutional protection, not a public need.

"Why do you need to be a Jew or need to be a Catholic?" President Philip Van Cleave said. "You don't need it, but you want it. That's what we call freedom and liberty."

Van Cleave said opponents of the repeal who argued that no reasonable person should need more than one handgun per month missed the point.

"We don't limit that you can only go to church two times a month or only say 10 words per day," Van Cleave said. "This was an artificial limitation placed on a right, and the repeal is way over due."

But Malte disagreed.

"This is not a limitation on a right, " he said. "It's a law used to stop gun trafficking at the point of purchase." [PVC: The way that "non-solution" to trafficking is implemented, it most certainly does infringe on gun owners' rights.]

Since its inception in 1993, legislators added several exceptions to the one-handgun-per-month law to allow people to acquire multiple guns if they could pass enhanced background checks or earn a concealed carry permit. Opponents of the repeal said those provisions would accommodate any law-abiding citizen or collector who wanted more than one handgun in a 30-day period, thus making the repeal useless.

Malte noted that even with the one-a-month restriction, people could still purchase 12 handguns per year under the old law.

"If someone is going to buy 19 guns at once, they're not going to be taking them home as Christmas presents," he said. [PVC: What a ridiculous exaggeration. What about even TWO guns at once?]

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has long been involved in Virginia's gun control debate, criticized the state legislature shortly after the one-handgun-a-month repeal became official.

"I just think that guns are a problem for everybody in America," Bloomberg told Richmond's CBS station. "The only one that's going to buy that quantity of guns is somebody that plans to traffic them."

Bloomberg donated a total of $150,000 to six Democratic Virginia Senate candidates during 2011, hoping to help strengthen the state's gun laws. While several pro-gun bills failed during the 2012 session, Bloomberg said he would continue to scrutinize Virginia until the flow of guns stopped.

"Keep the guns from coming to New York, and you won't hear from me in Virginia," he said.

But Van Cleave said the gun smuggling issue had been misrepresented. Although he conceded that the problem existed during the early 1990s, he blamed New York criminals for causing it.

"It wasn't some industrious Virginian smuggling guns to New York City, it's people coming from New York to Virginia to get guns by some illegal means," Van Cleave said. "It's really their problem. They need to keep their criminals and drugs in New York. I'm not giving up my rights because New York can't control its criminals."

Other gun bills received mixed support during the 2012 General Assembly, as lawmakers passed a bill allowing state employees to keep firearms in locked cars at work and repealed fingerprint requirements for concealed-carry permits. But, legislators also rejected a repeal of Virginia's background check laws and a bill to force colleges to allow students and professors to carry concealed weapons in campus facilities.

But Malte said that the one-handgun-per-month repeal -- coupled with the refusal to close the so-called "gun show loophole" that allows people to buy guns from unlicensed dealers at gun shows without undergoing a background check -- undermines Virginia's ability to stop gun trafficking.

"We need background checks on all gun sales, and we need a one-gun-every-30-days limit," Malte said. "Those two laws will ensure that dangerous people don't get weapons." [PVC: How naive can one person be?]

10. Tobacco Row attempted robbery leads to shooting [VIDEO]

Run away from a bad guy and you'll be OK? Nope.

Bill Hine emailed me this:



Tobacco Row attempted robbery leads to shooting
By Laura Geller
May 9, 2012

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Wednesday morning, gunfire erupted in a relatively quiet part of the city.

Tobacco Row in Shockoe Bottom is not a place where gunfire normally rings out. But that's what happened in the 2100 block of East Main Street. An attempted robbery ended with one person getting shot.

NBC12 has learned those people were just walking on the street, minding their own business, like anyone would do coming home from a night out, when the suspect tried to rob them.

It was 2:30 in the morning on a quiet part of East Main Street. Local business owner Justin Ayars was just leaving work.

"As I was getting into my car, I heard two gunshots," he remembered.

A group of people, who had just been approached by the alleged would-be robber Terrance Johnson, ran away, as Johnson allegedly shot in their direction.

One person was hit. Ayars said he saw EMS and police quickly.

Unlike many cases, the victims didn't see only the barrel of the gun -- they focused beyond that to give police a good description of the gunman.

Police said suspect Terrance Johnson was in handcuffs within minutes. Deputy Chief John Buturla sat down with NBC12 Wednesday to discuss the incident.

"A shooting in the city is a shooting in the city, and it affects all of us regardless of where it is," he explained.

But this is an area working hard to revitalize. Old tobacco warehouses are now lofts filled with young professionals and more are on the way. New restaurants are popping up. The early morning violence isn't causing business owners to question their decision to move here.

"Just because we're located to another neighborhood that has had a history of some of this kind of thing we're not really concerned that that's going to be coming up this way," Ayars told us.

Police said statistics are on their side. As of Wednesday, violent crime is down 22 percent city-wide.

"It's a safe city," Buturla said. "We are working hard to make it safer."

Police wouldn't get into specifics about tactics when we asked if they'd be moving their weekend blockades down Main Street now that there's more development. They did point out, however, just because you don't see them, doesn't mean they're not there.

11. Who needs a gun while in their car?

Deborah Anderson emailed me this:


Who needs a gun while in their car? Everyone! You just never know when you might need to use it.

Too bad, though, that AAA didn't add "Be armed and ready to defend yourself" as one of the safety tips they list as "advice."


Deborah Jane Anderson


Bump-and-grab scam resurfaces with a dangerous twist
By Hank Silverberg
May 4, 2012

WASHINGTON - The first reaction for most drivers when their car is bumped from behind is to get out and check the damage, but now people are getting robbed in a way that bears striking resemblance to an old insurance fraud scam.

It happened in Montgomery County, Md. last month.

On April 14, a 58-year-old man was hit from behind on Jones Lane in North Potomac. When he got out of his vehicle, he was confronted by two masked men who had a gun and a knife. The suspects tied the man up with duct tape, put him in the trunk of his car and used his debit card to get money from an ATM. Police say they have an ATM photo of a suspect from the latest incident but he's wearing a mask.

A week earlier, a woman reported a similar incident along Jones Lane, but instead of stopping, she immediately called police. AAA Mid Atlantic spokesman John Townsend advices others to do the same.

"If you are nervous about the situation, and you think it's a copycat crime, simply call 911," Townsend says.

A Montgomery County Police spokesman suggests drivers should tell the police their location, what happened and provide a name and address so it's clear they won't leave the scene.

Townsend also advises those hit to signal the other driver to follow them to a safe place to exchange information. Those up to no good will likely leave.

Senior citizens and women are particularly vulnerable to this type of crime, Townsend says, which often happens in remote areas and at night.

Advice from AAA:

* If you get rear-ended, you should always use your judgment for the situation.
* Follow you instincts, and stay in the car and call 911 on the cell phone.
* Don't hesitate to tell the 911 operator that you are concerned about the possibility of a robbery
* Always keep your car doors and windows locked.
* If your sense danger. and it's feasible, accelerate and try to drive away.
* Keep enough gas in the tank so you won't get stranded in a perilous situation.
* Stay on well-traveled, well-lit roads.
* Pre-plan your route of travel and always notify a loved one or friend of your plans and arrival times.
* Try to avoid late night driving.
* If you must travel at night regularly, don't carry more than you can afford to lose. One suggestion is to carry a second wallet containing a few $1.00 bills and old credit cards, which are normally destroyed or discarded. If confronted at knife or gunpoint, give the suspect the second wallet and concentrate on a good physical description to give to the police.
* Report the crime immediately to the police; attempt to provide as much detail as possible.

12. D.C. folds in gun rights battle

Well, I think folds might be a little strong. When I can open carry in DC or at least get a "shall issue" concealed handgun permit, then I'll say they folded.

From the Washington Times:

MILLER: D.C. folds in gun rights battle
By Emily Miller
May 7, 2012

Give the Council of the District of Columbia some credit. They're actually responding to criticisms about how the city's gun laws are being implemented.

The council's Judiciary Committee chairman, Phil Mendelson, used his oversight powers to force the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) to make changes over the past two weeks so that officers would properly explain and enforce the three-year old firearms' laws.

My series has exposed how the MPD's firearm registry office has been misleading the public about the gun laws, but the police department refused to admit fault or make the necessary modifications. Finally, I approached Mr. Mendelson about the problems.

The At-large Democrat presented many of my complaints in a letter to Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier on April 9.

Mr. Mendelson instructed her both on fixing the implementation of current law and how to change methods to reflect the revised gun law which passed the council on April 17 and will cut some of the red tape in the registry process.

So MPD has begun making the changes needed to be in compliance. Most significantly, the department updated its website and gun registration documents to correct the mistakes.

Here are the firearms issues raised in my series, along with Mr. Mendelson's oversight efforts and the MPD's response:

1) Police experts on gun laws are not knowledgeable about the city's firearms laws and thus giving out false information to the public. Click here to read my original story. Also, the firearm registry office's 22-page guide to gun laws and its website give out print false information on transport laws. Click here to read my original story.

Mendelson letter to MPD: "There have been media reports that officers in the Registration section are informing applicants and registrants that they must go directly to or from a firearm-related activity and that stopping for gas, to use the restroom, or for a meal would be breaking the law." He also notes that "the registration packet provided to applicants includes incorrect or misleading information regarding lawful transport requirements."

Result: A spokesman said that an addendum to the registration package that has been posted online and is provided at registration.

The registration packet document now says: "In light of concerns recently raised that the guidance did not address every possibility, the most reasonable alternative appears to be presentation of the law governing transporting and carrying lawfully registered firearms as codified in the District of Columbia Official Code. Those provisions are set forth below. For further interpretation or guidance, you may wish to consult with an attorney."

D.C.'s law is modeled on federal law, which allows for transporting a firearm between two places where the owner can legally possess and carry a gun as long as it is for a lawful purpose and is properly stowed.

Hopefully, this updated presentation will provide gun owners with more legal certainty when transporting firearms through the city.

Unfortunately, MPD continues to refuse to acknowledge its officers were giving out false information, which was clearly documented in this series. I recommended in this story, that Chief Lanier give her officers proper training on the correct gun transport laws in order to prevent false arrests.

A spokesman for MPD denied this was necessary saying, "I checked with folks internally and with prosecutors and determined we aren't making arrests of people with registered firearms who meet the requirements of DC Code [firearm laws]."

When the new law goes into effect in two months, police will use that opportunity to clarify all the laws to its force. A spokesman explained that, "rather than sending out different training information a few weeks apart, it would be more clear to send out to the force a single refresher once the new laws were enacted, so that it could also cover things like the change with ammunition."

This refers to the new legislation's repeal of the law that prohibits possession of ammo in D.C. without a registered gun in the same gauge or caliber.

Hopefully by the end of the summer, any gun owner - resident or nonresident visiting the nation's capital - will have easily accessible and correct information on transport laws. There should be less fear of false arrest.

2) The written test required for gun ownership is filled with obscure, irrelevant questions. Click here to read my original story and click here to read my written testimony to Mr. Mendelson's committee suggesting the need to update it.

Mendelson letter to MPD: "Witnesses testified before the Committee that the written test for new firearm registrants includes information that is outdated, unnecessary or superfluous. The Committee report urges that MPD revise the test to relate more specifically to matters related to registration requirements, safe storage and transport."

Result: A spokesman for MPD told me that the test is being updated in three stages. The first was already done, with a "quick fix to the transport question."

The second revised test will be released after Mayor Vincent Gray signs the bill. Spokesmen for the mayor have not responded to my repeated requests for information on why the legislation has not been signed in the three weeks since the city council unanimously passed it.

Whenever Mayor Gray gets around to putting pen to paper, the new gun test will no longer have questions related to the now-eliminated vision test and ammunition laws. Finally, when the mandatory five-hour gun class is eliminated on July 1 and replaced by a video, the police test will "be more of a balance between key safety and legal principles."

The end result of this is that residents will no longer be at risk of not being able to exercise their Second Amendment rights because they don't know if a gun is considered antique if it was made in 1898. That information isn't even in the D.C.- provided study guide.

3) The registration packet fails to give the name and contact number for the city's only legal gun dealer, Charles Sykes. Nor does the District explain the process of going through a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) to buy a gun in a city that has no gun stores. Click here to read my original story.

Furthermore, the police don't provide prospective gun owners with the full cost of registration by failing to include Mr. Sykes's $125 transfer fee. Click here to read my original story.

Mendelson letter to MPD: "Concerns have been expressed that the registration packet does not include a thorough list of costs involved in registration, including the cost of transferring a firearm through a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL). Additionally, as the onset of registration, applicants should be provided with information regarding the FFL process, including the necessary contact information."

Result: This has not yet been done by the police. A spokesman for Chief Lanier said her office was "under the impression" that this information was being given out by the registry section, but Mr. Sykes's name, phone number and address (conveniently located in the same government building as the police station) are still not provided to potential gun owners in either the registry packet or online.

As for giving residents the full perspective of the fees associated with gun ownership, which for me came to $465, the police would not, at first, abide by council request. The difference between the $60 in fees disclosed by the city and the actual cost of registering a gun should be disclosed because it could make it prohibitively expensive for most residents, especially those with low incomes who need self-defense the most.

A spokesman explained the decision: "I don't think that the government should be providing the actual FFL charges as that is something set by the private sector which can change at any time with no notice to the government necessary. For instance if shipping or gas prices rise, an FFL might pass on the higher costs to the consumer.

"Moreover, I believe our lone FFL has different charges for different levels of service. Instead we'll include a statement that the FFL will charge a fee for their services and that potential registrants should contact the FFL for more information."

I called Mr. Sykes. He said the single fee has not changed since the gun ban was lifted in 2008, and that he "does not anticipate doing so." He also pointed out that, "I don't charge anything for shipping, that's between the gun purchaser and the seller. And even when I drive to the few nearby dealers to pick up the gun, I don't charge anything extra."

(For those who think Mr. Sykes's fee is too high, it's important to note that there are only about 250 new guns transferred into the city each year (of the approximately 500 registered), so he's only making enough to do this job part time. I believe he's doing a service because if he goes out of business, then under the new law, the mayor will act as an FFL, which cannot bode well for gun ownership.)

After arguing the transfer fees point with the police department spokesman, the decision was reversed and the registration packets will now be updated to include the transfer costs.

Also the spokesman said that the department will be "including notice that training can cost more than $200, and residents may wish to wait until July when a new video will available for free." Thus, if a resident is able to wait two months to register a gun, the final cost will go down to $185.

This is a huge step forward for gun rights in the nation's capital. Thanks to a bit of pressure, Washington has become more cooperative and transparent about its restrictive firearms laws.

While the new laws will make it significantly easier to register a gun, the process is still too difficult compared to the rest of the country.

So the fight won't be over until the pointless registration process is eliminated. The Second Amendment is my registration certificate.

13. Emily gets her gun award

Emily certainly is tenacious and she has been doing some real journalism, unlike most in her profession. She deserved the award.

Don Irvine emailed me this:



Emily Gets her Gun Award
By Betsy Rothstein
May 9, 2012

The tenacity of TWT's Senior Opinion Writer Emily Miller has paid off. She has earned herself an award for her "Emily Gets Her Gun" series on obtaining a gun in the District. It's the Clark Mollenhoff Award for Investigative Reporting from the Institute on Political Journalism.

Miller's editor, Brett Decker, tells us he couldn't be more proud. "When she gets a hold of a story, she's like a pit bull and won't let go," he wrote. "I guess that would be a pit bull in pumps."

Congratulations to Miller! And a note to Decker and anyone else who thinks about crossing her: We'd take it easy on the metaphors -- she is armed.

See the internal memo...

Everyone please join me in congratulating Emily Miller for winning the Clark Mollenhoff Award for Investigative Reporting from the Institute on Political Journalism.

This is a well-deserved honor for the hard work and creativity Emily has shown in her hard-hitting "Emily Gets Her Gun" series. The work is a great illustration of our department creed that good opinion writing is based on solid reporting.

It also represents acknowledgement of the first-class journalism all of you do for the TWT opinion pages every day. As evidence of this, Emily's work beat out competition from The Wall Street Journal and the Seattle Times, two institutions that have received this award before. This is the first time The Washington Times has won this award.

Here is more about the award:

Here is a list of the impressive reporters who have won this award in the past:

14. House voting on Trayvon bill to kill stand your ground

The bill below was withdrawn. It wasn't going anywhere any how.

William Goodman emailed me this:


From the Washington Times:

House to vote on Trayvon amendment
By Stephen Dinan
May 8, 2012

House Democrats said Tuesday they will offer an amendment to push to overturn stand-your-ground self-defense laws in states like Florida.

The amendment, which would withhold some grants from states that have such laws, will come as part of the House's debate on the Commerce Department spending bill.

"'Shoot-first' laws have already cost too many lives. In Florida alone, deaths due to self-defense have tripled since the law was enacted. Federal money shouldn't be spent supporting states with laws that endanger their own people," said Reps. Raul Grijalva of Arizona and Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the two Democrats who are offering the legislation. "This is no different than withholding transportation funds from states that don't enforce seat-belt laws."

Florida's law, which allows residents to use force in response to an attack without first having to retreat, has come under scrutiny after the nationally-polarizing death of teenager Trayvon Martin. George Zimmermann, a neighborhood watch volunteer, has been charged with murder in the case.

15. House Republicans try to block Obama's rifle rule

Board member Bruce Jackson emailed me this:



House Republicans try to block Obama's rifle rule
By Dan Freedman
May 8, 2012

WASHINGTON - House Republicans, accusing President Barack Obama of waging a war on gun owners, plan to cut off funding for an rule requiring firearms dealers in border states to report multiple sales of certain rifles.

The matter has become a flash point on both sides of the national gun control divide, elevating the debate over the Second Amendment in an election year in which the president is struggling to win again in pro-gun swing states such as New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada and Virginia.

Obama has vowed to veto the House's plan to prohibit the government from enforcing the border-state reporting requirement, which is contained in a larger $51 billion spending package. House floor debate on the package began Tuesday amid sharp rhetoric from gun rights backers.

"The Obama administration fundamentally dislikes guns, and more importantly it distrusts gun owners," said Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., author of the de-funding provision. "They also know that a frontal assault on the Second Amendment would be political suicide, so instead they've sought to undermine gun rights more subtly."

Overstepped authority?

At issue is a rule that requires about 8,500 firearms dealers in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California to notify the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives every time they sell two or more high-powered rifles to the same customer within five days. The White House said the mandate, implemented last August, was designed to curb gun sales to agents of Mexican drug cartels.

The rule prompted protests and lawsuits from gun rights advocates who argued the president overstepped his legal authority to regulate firearms transactions.

"We're being treated more or less like criminals," said Alex Hamilton, a San Antonio gunsmith and dealer who specializes in remodeling antique weaponry. "It's very discriminatory."

Gun control advocates such as Dennis Henigan, vice president of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, say the move by House Republicans is "anti-law-enforcement."

ATF officials insist the requirement already has yielded information agents are using to break up Mexican cartel gun-trafficking rings. Since August, ATF has received more than 3,000 reports involving more than 7,300 rifles. Texas gun dealers have submitted 1,900 reports involving over 4,600 rifles - the highest of the four states.

The reports have sparked the opening of more than 120 criminal investigations, ATF officials say. Those in turn have led to 25 prosecutions of more than 100 defendants.

9 traffickers arrested

Officials point to a Texas case in which a gun dealer's multiple-sales reports helped pinpoint an arms trafficker who purchased 28 weapons from a dealer in McAllen. Agents so far have arrested nine individuals in the trafficker's ring.

Since the 1970s, ATF has required all gun dealers nationwide to report multiple sales of handguns. That requirement was written into the landmark 1968 Gun Control Act, enacted following the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy.

But gun-rights advocates argue the Obama administration must seek congressional approval if it wants to extend the handgun requirement to rifles - something that's not likely to happen as long as gun-friendly Republicans control the House.

16. Anti-gun group downplays 'Operation Fast and Furious' death toll

In their frantic attempt to provide cover for the Government's Fast and Furious debacle, the anti-gun Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) is actually arguing that the administration's direct firearms pipeline to criminals did not result in any appreciable numbers of civilian deaths. So maybe CSGV should disband, as their new argument debunks the need for any gun laws.


Anti-gun group downplays 'Operation Fast and Furious' death toll
By Matthew Boyle
May 6, 2012

A spokesman for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, a left-wing anti-gun group based in Washington, D.C., told The Daily Caller his organization doesn't believe firearms trafficked to Mexico in Operation Fast and Furious have killed hundreds of civilians in that country. That those guns have been used often to kill Mexicans is a position articulated by both Attorney General Eric Holder and Mexican authorities.

Coalition spokesman Ladd Everitt argued that there was no evidence for The Daily Caller to report that "[t]here are hundreds of Mexican citizens who were murdered with weapons the Obama administration gave to cartels through Fast and Furious and two American law enforcement officers -- Brian Terry and Jaime Zapata -- were killed with Fast and Furious guns." [PVC: Oh, really, Ladd? So the government is lying to implicate ITSELF in a murder?]

Everitt argued that he didn't think there is "actual trace and ballistics evidence to prove that conclusively." [PVC: So I guess the FBI are a bunch of hacks then, Ladd?]

And when TheDC presented Everitt with video of Holder's own admission that the death toll from Fast and Furious weapons will likely increase, he scoffed.

During an exchange with Texas Republican Rep. Ted Poe before the House Judiciary Committee on Dec. 8, Holder was asked if he would agree that "more people are going to die" because of Fast and Furious. "Unfortunately I think that's probably true," Holder admitted in his testimony.

But Everitt, an anti-gun advocate, attacked Holder's statement to Congress as "purely speculative." [PVC: BUT if someone says that a gun in the hands of a permit holder could be used to murder somebody, I'll bet big bucks that Ladd would say that such a statement isn't speculative at all.]

The DC also sent Everitt a September 2011 article by Townhall's Katie Pavlich in which House oversight committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa said Mexico's Attorney General Marisela Morales claimed there were at least 200 citizens in her country killed with weapons linked to Operation Fast and Furious.

Everitt balked at Morales' claims by way of Issa, saying the statement doesn't matter because Issa cited Morales saying it. That "piece of 'evidence' is Darrell Issa claiming to reporters, 'I would be remiss if I didn't mention, as the Attorney General in Mexico is so concerned, she's made the point that at least 200 Mexicans have been killed with these weapons and probably countless more,'" Everitt told TheDC.

"Where has Marisela Morales actually made this claim herself? She's certainly had every opportunity to."

The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence spokesman also accused Issa -- who has led the congressional into Fast and Furious -- of being in the bag for the gun lobby. "The Issa statement is second-hand and comes from a man who is clearly biased toward protecting the interests of the National Rifle Association," he said. [PVC: Thanks heavens that Ladd is not biased!]

He also attacked the Los Angeles Times for reporting that Mexican prosecutor Patricia Gonzalez's brother was murdered with a gun trafficked to Mexico through Operation Fast and Furious. Gonzalez, according to the LA Times, believes the "basic ineptitude" of Obama administration officials responsible for Fast and Furious "caused the death of my brother and surely thousands more victims."

"The LA Times reporting is interesting, but it provides only circumstantial -- and sometimes contradictory -- evidence," Everitt told TheDC, "because there is still no trace and ballistics data to link any Fast & Furious gun to any specific murder." [PVC: Back to the FBI being hacks agains.]

The LA Times has also reported that Mexican congressman Humberto Benitez Trevino "said the number of people killed or wounded by the weapons [from Fast and Furious] had probably doubled to 300 since March, when he said confidential information held by Mexican security authorities put the figure at 150."

Everitt also balked at this claim. "It's unclear how he came to that estimate," he told TheDC. "He does not say." [PVC: Wow - talk about being in a state of denial...]

The anti-gun advocate also attacked TheDC for citing Morales -- Mexico's attorney general -- and other Mexican government officials about statistical data covering Fast and Furious-related murders.

"The Daily Caller is dragging itself into a giant-size ditch by citing Marisela Morales and other Mexican authorities as credible sources," Everitt said. [PVC: SOOOO, when the Mexican Government says that guns are coming from American dealers and gun owners, Ladd will agree that the Mexican Government is not a credible source? Nah - in that case they will be 100% credible, guaranteed.]

"Because, as you know, Mexican authorities have been always been consistent in making it clear that Wide Receiver/Fast & Furious guns are just a drop in the bucket of the total number of guns that have been illegally trafficked into Mexico over the past decade. Like the ATF, Mexican authorities have stated in no uncertain terms that the problem of military-style firearms being trafficked from U.S. gun stores and U.S. gun shows into Mexico has continued AFTER the cessation of Fast & Furious right up until the present day." [PVC: But remember, Ladd, Mexican authorities are not credible.]

These attacks from the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence come as Holder faces contempt of Congress proceedings for refusing to comply with a congressional subpoena over the ill-fated gunwalking operation.

17. Erik Scott's father contacts VCDL (Erik was killed by police at a Las Vegas Costco in 2010)

Bill Scott emailed me this:


Mr. Van Cleave,

Congratulations on your victory over the Righthaven predators!

I'm Bill Scott, the father of Erik Scott, the man shot to death in front of the Summerlin (Las Vegas) Costco on 10 July 2010. It was VCDL's references to this incredible tragedy that prompted the suit against you.

I'm deeply grateful to you and your colleagues for battling these pond scum. They're typical of the immoral, corrupt beings I've encountered in Vegas, since that worst-of-all days.

I will definitely be donating what I can to your legal fees-reimbursement campaign. I wish I could wipe that $30K clean myself, but we recently were forced to drop our wrongful-death lawsuit, for bizarre reasons: The 9th Circuit Court, which would hear an appeal in our case, almost always finds in favor of police departments, in a case like ours. Long story, but, as our attorney said on TV, "this is a travesty of justice." Erik's death has had a severe financial impact on our financial state, which limits what I can donate to VCDL.


For the record: Erik did NOT "fail to comply with the officer's orders." Officer Mosher yelled three conflicting orders, then fired -- all within two (2!) seconds. In those two seconds, Erik had to stop, turn 180 degrees, assess the situation, and try to respond. Erik was murdered in cold blood, because he had a BlackBerry cell phone in his right hand. Mosher mistook it for a Kimber .45 semiautomatic and fired, hitting Erik in the heart with the first round. [PVC: I had thought it was two officers yelling conflicting commands. But one officer?! If true, that officer was not cut out for the job.]

Most of what you heard/read in the Las Vegas media was a sloppy, yet extensive cover-up by LV Metro police. I know; that sounds like a father making excuses, but it's not the case. I'm a former electrical and flight test engineer, who also worked 22 years as a reporter/writer for Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine. I do my homework, and I develop impeccable sources.

If VCDL members are interested in what REALLY happened in this case, please refer them to these websites: and (The memorial website is out of date; we're trying desperately to get the very-busy webmeister to update it.)

The Blogspot site features a serialized novel I'm writing, called "The Permit." It's fiction, but based on the actual events of this still-ongoing horror show. I post a new chapter every Friday, and plan to publish the book, in full, as soon as I complete the last few chapters. (For other books I've written/coauthored, please see the author website --

As a former Virginia resident ('92-'94), while assigned to AvWeek's Washington office, I feel a certain kinship to VCDL and its mission.

Again, many thanks for not caving to extortion. I'm also indebted to you and your organization for supporting my son. May justice be done on his behalf.

Bill Scott

18. Korean War vet, 84, shoots intruder inside home

Dan Peterson alerted me to this:



Korean War vet, 84, shoots intruder inside home
Associated Press
May 9, 2012

ELIZABETH, Pa. (AP) -- An 84-year-old western Pennsylvania man and Korean War vet shot and wounded a home invasion suspect, and then forgave the man's family when they came to apologize.

Police said Raymond Hiles, 25, was captured Tuesday not long after trying to break into Fred Ricciutti's Elizabeth Township home, about 15 miles south of Pittsburgh.

"My wife and I were asleep. We were staying downstairs because my wife is ill," Ricciutti told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Ricciutti said he heard a noise at about 4:30 a.m. and could see someone coming into the room. He pulled a gun out of a drawer, yelled a warning at Hiles and then fired once, hitting him in the neck.

Ricciutti, who was born in Italy, said he came to the U.S. in 1937, and later served in a tank battalion during the Korean War.

"In the war I experienced a lot of bad things, but I had never experienced that in my own house," he said of the invasion.

Ricciutti said the suspect lives across the street, and he's never faced any hostility in the town.

"I know the family. They're good people," he said, adding that they came over in tears to apologize for what Hiles allegedly did.

"I forgave them," he said, adding that he couldn't hold them responsible for Hiles' actions.

WPXI-TV first reported that investigators said Hiles was arrested a few blocks away, carrying a screwdriver and a stun gun. He's being held on $100,000 bail on charges including criminal trespass and burglary.

Online court records don't list an attorney for Hiles.

Authorities said they don't expect to bring any charges against Ricciutti.

19. NM conceal carry rules getting a makeover

Virginia is back on the reciprocal list with New Mexico.

Board member Bruce Jackson emailed me this:



Conceal carry rules getting a makeover
Some states no longer comply

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - New Mexico has reshaped its conceal permit agreement with a number of states. That has gun owners asking where they are allowed to carry their weapons.

The retool has created some confusion. Confusion that could land you or a visiting friend in big trouble if you carry a concealed gun in the southwest.

"I had a student come up to me the other day, 'hey Frank, look they stopped accepting TX. What's going on?'" said Frank Valverde from the New Mexico Firearms Academy.

Over the past month, the New Mexico Department of Public Safety reviewed about 20 conceal permit agreements with other states.

"The burden of proof is on the conceal permit holder to comply with the laws," said Department of Public Safety Secretary Gordon Eden.

Eden says a lot of the states no longer have laws as strict as New Mexico's. The law says they have to be "at least as stringent or substantially similar" to New Mexico.

There are six things the state looks at when comparing permit requirements that usually different.

Permits issued locally rather than by the state. No fingerprint-based background check. Permits issued to persons under 21 years of age. Permits issued to resident aliens. And no classroom or live-fire training required.

According to the state website, New Mexico currently recognizes concealed carry permits from or has reciprocal agreements with the following states: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.

Eden says the bottom line is, whether you have a permit here, or somewhere else, check out the laws of wherever you plan to carry.

20. TN Vols have a handgun course offered at their university

Political correctness has so permeated higher education in Virginia, I doubt any of our schools would have enough integrity to offer this kind of course. Too bad.

Benjamin Manning emailed me this:


Perhaps more Colleges and Universities should offer courses like this. Maybe it would help make the Anti-Freedom crowd a little less scared of a tool.
[PVC: Yes, some of them might lose their fear. But some of them in anti-freedom organizations make money by being perpetually panicked/outraged.]


Get an A+ at University of Tennessee's Handgun Course
By dabneybailey
April 27, 2012

The University of Tennessee has fully integrated campus carry by offering a gun safety training course. Students will be required to pass this test with a score of 70% in all categories before they are eligible to apply for a handgun carry permit.

The one-day course will cover all of the basics, from safety and maintenance to a written exam on handgun usage. The course also includes a test that most of us would be eager to take: a live fire test at a firing range.

It's really a shame that more universities don't approach the issue of campus carry in a more direct and reasonable fashion. Rather than dismissing guns outright, wouldn't it be so much more effective to promote gun safety internally, so that the university could be certain that every student carrying a handgun would be fully trained in gun safety? A repeat of the Virginia Tech shooting doesn't seem very likely if students are packing heat on the way to class.

We certainly appreciate that UT is willing to offer gun safety courses, but we still have mixed feelings about the university. This new initiative seems to be in stark contrast to the university's earlier policy, which automatically dismissed any student athlete in possession of a gun.

21. Who needs a gun on a school playground?

Dave Green emailed me this:



Mom recounts horrific encounter with rabid fox
May 7, 2012

ZEBULON, N.C. -- Protecting her children was all Kristie Burden could think of last Thursday when a rabid fox went after her children at Wakelon School Park in Zebulon.

"My screams didn't scare him. He knew he wanted us," Burden said Monday. "He wasn't going to get my girls."

Burden's 5-year-old daughter had just finished up her T-ball game, and the two, along with 2-year-old Kasey, were making a quick pit stop at the restroom before heading home.

That's when, she says, she spotted the fox, which looked like it had been hit by a car and was missing half of its head.

It headed straight for Burden and her girls.

"It just happened so fast. It was a terrifying experience," she said. "I pushed Kailey behind me, and I tripped over her and fell."

She fell on top of Kailey, breaking her daughter's collar bone.

Despite the screaming, the fox didn't retreat.

"Trying to get on my knees, I ended up grabbing the fox by the foot and threw him," Burden said. "By then, all the parents were running to help us."

Burden says her husband ran over and kicked the fox. Another parent grabbed a baseball bat and killed the animal.

"We just praise God we weren't bitten, because he did check out positive," she said.

Burden says the animal did scratch her. Kasey was unharmed, and Kailey's now wearing a sling to help her collar bone heal.

As a precaution, the three are undergoing treatment for rabies exposure.

So far, they have finished two rounds of rabies vaccine and have two more to go.

22. US: Mexico seized 68,000 guns from US since 2006

Montford Oakes emailed me this:



US: Mexico seized 68,000 guns from US since 2006
Associated Press
April 26, 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The government said Thursday that 68,000 guns recovered by Mexican authorities in the past five years have been traced back to the United States.

The flood of tens of thousands of weapons underscores complaints from Mexico that the U.S. is responsible for arming the drug cartels plaguing its southern neighbor. Six years of violence between warring cartels have killed more than 47,000 people in Mexico.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives released its latest data covering 2007 through 2011. According to ATF, many of the guns seized in Mexico and submitted to ATF for tracing were recovered at the scenes of cartel shootings while others were seized in raids on illegal arms caches. All the recovered weapons were suspected of being used in crimes in Mexico.

At an April 2 North American summit in Washington, Mexican President Felipe Calderon said the U.S. government has not done enough to stop the flow of assault weapons and other guns from the U.S. to Mexico.

Calderon credited President Barack Obama with making an effort to reduce the gun traffic, but said Obama faces "internal problems ... from a political point of view."

There is Republican opposition in Congress and broad opposition from Republicans and gun-rights advocates elsewhere to a new assault weapons ban or other curbs on gun sales. The Obama administration says it is working to tighten inspections of border checkpoints in the absence of an assault rifle ban that expired before Obama took office.

For more than a year, ATF has been reeling from accusations that some of its agents in Arizona were ordered by superiors to step aside rather than intercept illicit loads of weapons headed for Mexico.

The Justice Department's inspector general and Congress have been looking into the Arizona gun probe, Operation Fast and Furious.

The issue of gun control legislation hasn't been part of the Republican-led probe of Fast and Furious by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

The number of all types of ATF-traced firearms manufactured in the U.S. or imported into the U.S. and later recovered in Mexico rose from 11,842 in 2007 to 14,504 in 2011, according to ATF. The figures for U.S.-sourced firearms were 21,035 in 2008; 14,376 for 2009; and 6,404 in 2010. Included in those totals, the number of rifles recovered in Mexico, submitted to ATF for tracing and found to have come from the U.S. rose from 4,885 in 2007 to 8,804 last year.

Mexican law enforcement officials report that certain types of rifles such as AK variants with detachable magazines are being used more frequently by drug trafficking organizations, ATF said in a news release.

Mexico has provided ATF information on 99,691 guns. ATF determined that the source for 68,161 of the weapons was the U.S, 68 percent of the total. For the remainder, ATF was unable to determine a U.S. source or was unable to trace the request to a country of origin. The 68 percent figure is down from estimates of 90 percent in years past when Mexico was sharing less information with the U.S.

The controversial tactic of "letting guns walk" out of gun shops in the hands of suspected straw purchasers was used in Operation Fast and Furious at ATF in Phoenix in an effort to track the guns to major weapons traffickers and drug cartels in order to make criminal cases against smuggling kingpins who had eluded prosecution for years. But the tracking of the weapons was faulty, and many of them wound up at crime scenes in Mexico and the U.S. Two of the guns spotted at one point during Fast and Furious were later discovered at the scene of the killing of U.S. border agent Brian Terry.

Before Fast and Furious, ATF in Arizona had tried the gun-walking tactic in three separate investigations during the George W. Bush administration, with other tracking problems and only limited success.

During the Obama administration, ATF has undergone a management shake-up and Attorney General Eric Holder has called Fast and Furious a flawed operation that must never be repeated.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said that thorough gun statistics are hard to come by and tricky to interpret.

"The only guns Mexico is going to submit for tracing are guns they know are from the United States, which clearly paints an incomplete picture of the firearms found in the country," Grassley said.

He said some of the guns would track back to the U.S. because of the federal government's own gun-walking operation.

Frederick Hill, a spokesman for Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, criticized the Justice Department over Fast and Furious.

"The Obama Justice Department's efforts to facilitate the transfer of thousands of weapons to Mexican drug cartels does not appear to have helped stop the flow of illegal weapons to Mexico," said Hill. Operation Fast and Furious lost track of 1,400 of more than 2,000 weapons agents identified as suspect purchases.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chairwoman of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, said lax U.S. gun laws contribute to an overwhelming majority of guns recovered in Mexico that originated in the United States. Congress, she said, has been "largely silent" while Mexican drug traffickers continue to gain access to military-style firearms coming from the United States.

The period 2007 through 2011 coincides with Calderon's term as president of Mexico. Ineligible to run for re-election, Calderon made a government crackdown on warring drug cartels the hallmark of his six-year term. The election for a replacement is July 1. His center-right party has seen its election chances fall in the face of a wide perception in Mexico that the crackdown has not worked.

In the Obama administration's efforts to slow the illicit trafficking, gun store owners in Southwestern border states are suing to overturn a requirement that they report to ATF when customers buy multiple high-powered rifles within a consecutive five-day period. To date, the program has been upheld in one federal court. ATF says the reporting requirement, imposed six months ago, has led to 100 criminal investigations and the referral of 30 cases for prosecution involving 100 alleged gun trafficker defendants.

23. R.I.P Louise Simpson

Member Russell Simpson Jr., a proud husband, sent me the obituary for Louise Simpson, his wife of ***63 years.*** Louise was a member of VCDL and the Second Amendment was something she cherished. And that was with good reason: during her lifetime she had to defend herself four times, all successfully.

She had a full life raising a family, being active in church and community, as well as working in the pharmaceutical industry.

May she rest in peace.

24. Gun culture spreads in India

Greg Trojan emailed me this:



I always thought of India as a country where it was hard to own
personal firearms until I spotted this, turns out they are second
behind the U.S. in gun ownership. It looks like people all over the
world have the same concerns, crime, terrorists plus personal safety
for themselves and family.


Gun culture spreads in India
Indians own about 40 million guns, second only to the U.S. Rising incomes, along with crime and fear of terrorist attacks, have fueled firearms purchases.

By Mark Magnier
February 20, 2012

Reporting from Chandigarh, India-- Vikramjit Singh stands in the parking lot of a posh club in Chandigarh discussing one of his favorite subjects: guns. He owns 10 or so; he can't remember exactly. They may come in handy if the old family feud resurfaces.

In a Hatfield-versus-McCoy saga that haunts the 25-year-old student, his grandfather was shot to death here in the western state of Punjab and his father imprisoned for a retaliatory murder. Although the two clans signed a truce a few years back, Singh isn't taking any chances.

"Having a gun 24/7 is a necessity," he says. "You don't know if their relatives will crop up again. And an expensive weapon is a status symbol. You can't flash just any old gun around."

India, the land of Mohandas Gandhi, known for its Hindu belief in the sanctity of life, is anything but gun-shy. Rising incomes have made high-end weapons a new form of bling, and rising crime and memories of Mumbai's 2008 terrorist attack have left Indians eager to be armed and dangerous.

Government worker Deep Sidhu sits in his living room feeling the weight of the family's Luger, a German World War II-era pistol, in his hands. Guns are in the blood, he says beneath a painting of a man toting a shotgun.

"This forgiveness-peace idea will only make Pakistanis think we're soft targets," he says.

"All that Gandhi stuff is for tourists," adds his father, Raja K.S. Sidhu. "They should go off to Varanasi, see the holy cows."

Despite tough controls on weapons, Indians own about 40 million guns, the second-highest number in the world. Of those, 85% are unregistered Saturday-night specials involved in 90% of firearm homicides. [PVC: So India has inexpensive guns that can be purchased by minorities? Or is the paper making a racial slur against blacks, as that is what the term "Saturday Night Special" was supposed to do?] That said, there are only 3 guns for every 100 people in India, compared with 89 guns per 100 Americans, the world leaders, according to

India recorded 80,000 violations of its Arms Act in 2009, involving owning, making and transporting illegal weapons, an 8% increase from 2007, according to India's National Crimes Records Bureau. Despite the increase, most homicides here still involve knives, machetes and other weapons, with guns accounting for just 14% of killings.

India also remains a far less violent society than the U.S., at 2.78 homicides per 100,000 people, compared with 4.96 Americans per 100,000. Indian gun lovers remain convinced, however, that the country needs more firearms given its low police-to-population ratio, among the world's worst.

As gun culture spreads, local governments have offered to fast-track firearms licenses if men have vasectomies. Families include firearms in dowries. And authorities have discouraged celebratory gunfire at weddings after several accidents, including the recent death of a bridegroom when his uncle's revelry shots went terribly wrong.

Newspaper headlines detail numerous fatalities, many involving petty disputes: a toll collector killed with a homemade "country pistol," India's term for a Saturday-night special, over 50 cents; a 22-year-old man shot dead after a fight about urinating; a twentysomething man killed after jostling in line for water dispensed from a truck. On Jan. 28, five people were killed in election-related violence in the northeastern state of Manipur after the shooting deaths of at least two a day earlier.

"Are we not paying for the rising gun violence in India?" asks antigun activist Binalakshmi Nepram, secretary-general of Control Arms Foundation of India. "It is a wrong perception that one needs a gun for security."

In an attempt to curtail the violence, New Delhi recently started rigidly enforcing its already tough gun licensing rules, which had been easy to bypass through bribes or personal connections. The rules include police checks, strict limits on ammunition and a need to prove that one's life is endangered.

Security guard Kuldeep Kumar, 30, lounges in front of an HDFC Bank branch with his far-from-new 12-gauge shotgun. Obtaining a license took ages and heaps of red tape, he says, proudly showing the thick booklet with multiple approval stamps and detailed rules.

The rules punish law-abiding citizens and encourage unlicensed ownership, gun lovers say. They also have Jugraj Singh, owner of Chandigarh's Singh Gun House, looking for another line of work. "Business used to be a lot better," he says beside 25 rifles and shotguns in a dusty rack.

Tighter regulations also prompted gun owners to found the 3,500-member National Assn. for Gun Rights India in 2010, modeled on America's National Rifle Assn., which lobbies the government to ease restrictions.

"Guns boost an individual's confidence," says a video by the group, titled "Guns For Peace." "Guns are force equalizers."

Rakshit Sharma, the group's secretary-general, says the Mumbai attack would have been cut short if Taj Mahal hotel guests had been carrying firearms. "The government has a very antiarms view," he says.

Even as the government tightens legal gun use, illegal firearms are proliferating, particularly in Jharkhand state, where Maoist guerrillas are waging a war against the government, and the populous northern states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

An illegal gun maker of 15 years from Meerut in Uttar Pradesh who identifies himself as Atul says it's easy money. "We buy some carbon steel," he says. "It takes three or four days to make one."

Prices range from $20 for a single-shot "country gun" to $1,000 for a proper pistol, he says. Demand has been strong in the run-up to this month's Uttar Pradesh election. "The illegal market is flourishing," he says. "Legal weapons are too cumbersome, and expensive."

The tradition among landowner families of passing shotguns down to their offspring after years of training has become twisted, some say, by quick money and a showoff culture that's seen youngsters competing over who can wave about the nicest $10,000 pistol.

At street gatherings in downtown Chandigarh and other wealthy cities, teenagers and twentysomethings compete over who's got the best gun as police look the other way, wary of offending offspring of powerful families, people say.

Head-turners include the Russian-made 7.62 Tokarev pistol and its Chinese knockoff selling for as much as $12,000 and the American Colt .45 pistol at $6,000 to $8,000, in addition to Italian-made weapons. Domestic guns are distinctly declasse, seen as low-quality and unreliable, which aficionados say is a legacy of India's protected markets and focus on nonviolence.

"People are richer, gain access to expensive weapons, which enhances their image," says Sidhu, the government worker. "Despite regulations, you can't stop a Punjabi from loving guns."

Many people dismiss fear that India could turn into the Wild West, but some Indians display a certain amount of Wild Bill Hickok.

Bank manager Jagdeep Singh likes to tuck his licensed pistol under his shirt on car trips over lonely roads, having used it successfully in the early 1990s to fight off several attackers.

"I have two good-looking daughters," he says, "another reason I keep a gun."

25. Starbucks: boycott v. buycott

Anti-freedom liars caught in yet another lie. Gee, what a surprise. Antis are saying their boycott is hurting Starbucks, but Starbucks just had another record quarter! If I owned Starbucks, I would look forward to the antis boycotting my business and the massive profits that go with those boycotts!

EM Dave Hicks emailed me this:


From (buycott)

Starbucks Reports Record Second Quarter Fiscal 2012 Results

Strong Traffic Drives Global Comparable Store Sales Growth of 7%

China Delivers Seventh Consecutive Quarter of Comparable Store Sales Growth Exceeding 20%

Total Net Revenues Increase 15%

EPS Grows 18% to a Q2 Record of $0.40

Company Increases Earnings Targets for Fiscal 2012

. . .

Net revenues for the Americas segment were $2.4 billion in Q2 FY12, an increase of 10% over Q2 FY11. The increase was primarily due to an 8% increase in comparable store sales, including a 7% increase in the number of transactions and a 1% increase in average ticket. Additionally, licensed store revenue growth of approximately 27% contributed to the Americas segment results.


vs. Brady Campaign lies to cover up the abject failure of the boycott.


Starbucks Is Feeling the Burn of Their Own Brewing -- National Gun Victims Action Council (NGAC) Reports Starbucks Losing Thousands of Loyal Customers Due to BREW NOT BULLETS Boycott
March 21, 2012

NGAC Cites Pro-Gun Agenda Connection to the School Shooting in Ohio

CHICAGO, March 19, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ - The National Gun Victims Action Council (NGAC) says its "Brew not Bullets" boycott campaign, is costing Starbucks loyal long-term customers already and is gaining momentum The Boycott will last until Starbucks rejects its blatant support of the NRA's Lethal Pro-Gun Agenda. (See NGAC Launch: BREW NOT BULLETS)



"We're less than 5 weeks into the campaign and over 2,000 loyal long-term Starbucks customers have stopped spending money, on average $71 per month, at Starbucks stores and on their products," says Elliot Fineman, CEO of NGAC. "They are repulsed by Starbucks support of the NRA's Lethal Pro-Gun Agenda." (see comments below).

"The boycott will keep growing, it is a continuous effort and it has only just begun," Fineman says, adding, "The Starbucks boycott is a specific way consumers can use their purchasing power to help create a safer society for themselves and their loved ones." To join the effort, go to 3 CRITICAL THINGS TO DO NOW.


The NRA's Lethal Pro-Gun Agenda--the agenda Starbucks supports--blocks the passage of an Ohio law that could have prevented this tragedy. According to a 2000 study by the U.S. Secret Service, 65 percent of school shootings involved a gun obtained from the juvenile shooter's home or that of a close relative. This was the case in Ohio, the underage shooter took a family member's gun.

Twenty-eight states have Child Access Prevention (CAP) laws that make adults liable if it is determined that children were able to access their firearms. Due to the NRA's Lethal Pro-Gun Agenda, Ohio cannot pass a CAP law, and Starbucks goes along with that; it is not their problem they say. Imagine if Starbucks was really a socially responsible company, what power they could bring to stop this senseless killing and to help effect sane gun laws.


My wife and I were shocked to hear you allow guns in your stores , when you can easily stop this practice. We will stop using our "gold" cards as of today.

Mike P. 30904 Augusta Ga.

You obviously do not care about the safety of your customers and I will no longer use your stores until guns are not allowed in them. No one needs to be carrying guns into a coffee shop.

Karen H. 87199 Albuquerque NM

If you are really concerned about global responsibility, as your website says you are, truly be responsible. Do not allow guns in any of your stores in any of the 50 states. I will NOT frequent your stores until you ban guns and I can feel safe again getting a cup of your coffee.
GW H. 10019 New York, New York

For more comments, click on STARBUCKS CUSTOMER COMMENTS

To join the effort, go to 3 CRITICAL THINGS TO DO NOW

ABOUT NGAC: The National Gun Victims Action Council (NGAC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit network of 14 million gun victims, survivors, their families, supporters, the faith community, secular organizations working on gun violence reduction and ordinary people leveraging their economic (buying) power to change America's gun laws. NGAC can be found

VA-ALERT is a project of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc.
(VCDL). VCDL is an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization
dedicated to defending the human rights of all Virginians. The Right to
Keep and Bear Arms is a fundamental human right.

VCDL web page: []
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