Monday, March 17, 2014

VA-ALERT: VCDL Update 3/17/14

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

1. Reminder: VCDL supper meeting tomorrow, Wed. March 18, in Christiansburg
2. VCDL to have membership supper meeting in Marshall, Virginia on Thu., April 10
3. After VA Tech, a long struggle over gun laws
4. Senator Durbin wants to mandate 1-round limit on magazines
5. Current background checks stop very few firearm purchases
6. Military vets are losing their 2nd Amendment rights
7. No innocent is an underdog when they have a gun to level the field [VIDEO]
8. [MO] Open carry chicks hassled by police [VIDEO]
9. Seven anti-gun myths that need to be debunked ASAP
10. Hoplophobe hypocrisy
11. Manufacturers change look of AR-15; rifle now legal in NY
12. Ohio National Guard training envisions right-wing terrorism
13. [AL] New Remington facility to create 2,000 jobs
14. [FL] Deputy stops attempted spree killing in car dealership
15. [CA] Did the 9th Circuit Court just kill gun control?
16. Ninth Circuit holds 2nd amendment secures a right to carry a gun
17. More on the reasoning of the Ninth Circuit's right-to-carry-a-gun opinion
18. [CA] Even the police are afraid of parts of Oakland [VIDEO]
19. Good gun free zone sign [PICTURE]

1. Reminder: VCDL supper meeting tomorrow, Wed. March 18, in Christiansburg

VCDL will have a supper meeting on March 18 at:

AMELIA'S Pizzoria & Restaurant

Fellowship starts at 6:30 PM--a BUFFET MEAL will start at 7 PM. COST: $12 per meal, including tax and tip. (If we do not have at least twenty RSVP's--we will have to order from the menu.)

Speaker to be announced.

We respectively request a RSVP with number in your party for food planning and seating. This supper meeting is open to all VCDL members, families and guests.

DOOR PRIZES will again be drawn for--FREE tickets will be given when you register at our VCDL table.

RSVP to: al@vcdl .org

2. VCDL to have membership supper meeting in Marshall, Virginia on Thu., April 10

VCDL is going to have a membership supper meeting in Marshall, Virginia on Thursday, April 10. The meeting is open to the public and is being held at:

Old Salem Cafe
8366 W. Main
Marshall VA 20115
Ph: 540-364-1563

Fellowship begins at 6:30 PM and those wishing to have dinner can begin to order their meals at that time. At 7 PM the meeting will be called to order and it will run until 8:30 PM.

Bring your friends and family!

Thanks to member George O'Connell for making the arrangements for the meeting.

See you there!

3. After VA Tech, a long struggle over gun laws


After Va. Tech, a long struggle over gun laws
by Michael Laris
February 11, 2014

RICHMOND — After his son Colin was shot four times in a French classroom at Virginia Tech, Andrew Goddard moved to Blacksburg to help him recover. He slept in a sleeping bag on the floor for a month and helped Colin bathe.

"I helped my son learn to walk at 11 months, and again at 21," Goddard said.

After Colin could care for himself, Goddard, a former aid worker who set up camps for Rwandan refugees and feeding tents for Bangladeshi cyclone victims, moved back to his home in Virginia's capital with a new mission: to persuade state legislators to tighten gun laws.

"I went into my usual mode," said Goddard. "It's my life pattern of troubleshooting."

His usual pattern hasn't worked. He's faced down challenges from provincial Russian authorities and U.N. bureaucrats but has hit a wall in Richmond — in the shape of a 6-foot-4 former high school football player and rising Republican star named Todd Gilbert.

After the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, horror and outrage prompted lawmakers in Connecticut, Maryland, New York and a handful of other states to implement tough new gun restrictions. But since its own tragedy seven years ago at Virginia Tech, the commonwealth has gone in the other direction. Over the six full legislative sessions since Seung Hui Cho's rampage left 32 dead, it is gun rights, not gun restrictions, that have grown stronger.

Gilbert, a former Shenandoah Valley prosecutor and the deputy majority leader in Virginia's House of Delegates, is a big reason why.

Gilbert saw the destructive power of guns in criminal hands, and his antidote is keeping them in good hands. When he arrived in the House of Delegates the year before the Virginia Tech shooting, he started with a bill that would have allowed students 21 or older with a permit to bring concealed handguns to class.

It failed. But Gilbert and his allies have had a series of wins in the years since: They dropped the state's one-gun-a-month limit on purchasing handguns. They allowed concealed firearms in bars and restaurants, and guns in glove boxes.

"All the members of this place try to oversimplify everything all the time. I know it's a complicated issue," Gilbert said. "But I've just never seen how disarming law-abiding people made anybody safer."

'The Killing Field'

On a recent afternoon, Goddard and Gilbert walked into a crowded conference room on the fourth floor of the General Assembly building. Gun-control advocates call this panel "the Killing Field," but its official name is Subcommittee No. 1 of the House Militia Police and Public Safety Committee.

Gilbert had to tell one gun enthusiast wearing a blue colonial jacket, white scarf and black tricorn hat to stop punctuating the proceeding with a clanging bell. Goddard sat in the audience not far from ideological foes wearing fluorescent orange "GUNS Save Lives" stickers. The chairman of the full committee, Del. L. Scott Lingamfelter (R-Prince William), kicked off consideration of one House bill with an artillery joke.

"This is HB 100. It makes possession of howitzers legal," Lingamfelter said, drawing big laughs from the largely pro-gun crowd before turning around to smile at Goddard and others in the audience. "Woke you up, didn't I?"

Among the bills was one to remove the easier, online method for people seeking concealed handgun permits to prove they have "demonstrated competence with a handgun."

Goddard, the president of a volunteer group called the Virginia Center for Public Safety, rose and invoked the spare staccato style born of having to make points swiftly, session after session.

"I think I've said this every year since I've been here," Goddard began. "I got a permit. I shouldn't have a permit. I've never held a handgun. I should have had training. I went online and answered some questions that I could have answered if I hadn't watched the silly little movie in advance. I shouldn't be allowed to have a permit to carry a handgun in public until I know how to handle it and know about the laws."

Others spoke up. Then Gilbert, with a cadence and confidence honed in the courtroom, said he was "offended" at the very notion of the proposal.

"While this is couched as a reasonable extension of public policy, it really just nibbles away at that basic proposition that we shouldn't have to go get the government's permission to go protect ourselves and our families as we see fit," Gilbert said. "Free citizens, acting as Mr. Goddard does, will choose to carry a firearm or not carry a firearm. Criminals will choose to do it or not do it — without regard for any of these laws."

The five-member subcommittee is stacked with four gun-rights advocates, and the proceedings move with a brutal efficiency. Within a couple minutes, using the polite language for killing a bill, the legislators voted 4 to 1 to "lay the bill on the table."

Then it was on to the next one.

A wicked wit

In recent weeks, backers of tighter rules have pushed bills to plug broad exceptions — including those related to purchases arranged online — that allow many people to buy firearms without background checks. Other bills would let localities ban concealed weapons in libraries and ban magazines that hold more than 20 rounds.

They had no chance. But what Goddard does is show up.

He is slight and sometimes haggard but fast on his feet, and he has the air of a professor perpetually scrambling to prepare for class. Trained as a mechanical engineer, he carries a color-coded binder to help him track bills: green tabs for the good bills and red for the bad ones.

A wicked wit has helped sustain the 60-year-old through the sessions. He calls the heavy-duty assault rifles and high-capacity magazines carried as part of an annual lobbying push by gun-rights advocates "just the sort of thing you need to have for home defense, as long as you're being attacked by Morocco."

At a recent morning hearing, waiting for his time to speak, he pulled up an online marketplace called, fingering through weapons available for sale nearby. Available at that moment: 126 rifles, 119 pistols, 40 shotguns and 26 revolvers.

"This is a gun show in your own hands. Just make a phone call, arrange to meet, no questions," Goddard said.

Goddard listened to the grieving relative of a state trooper, struck and killed on duty, give a halting appeal for tougher reckless driving penalties.

He knows that need to speak.

His son, Colin, had placed a 911 call before Cho entered the French classroom and methodically executed his victims. Goddard allowed himself to listen to the terror and violence captured on a police recording of that call. He thought it was a good idea at the time, though now he's not so sure.

A copper-jacketed hollow point broke his son's left femur. One shot went in his armpit and out his shoulder, and another lodged behind his left knee. A forth bullet smashed into Colin's pelvic bone just above the hip joint. He was lucky, Goddard said, because he didn't get hit in the head.

"I can't sit around and not do something," Goddard said. "I'm going to come down here every year until we get background checks."

An unbending defender

C. Todd Gilbert was born in Newton, Tex., and grew up in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, the son of a chicken processing plant manager. He recalled that nearly every high school classmate with a pickup truck kept a rifle hanging on the gun rack — and none of them committed mass shootings.

Gilbert, now 43, wasn't in the hunting crowd then; he spent his free time playing football, basketball and tennis. But during law school at Southern Methodist University, he bought his first gun: a Remington Model 870 pump-action shotgun. He loved shooting with friends, kept guns for protection during his 14 years as an assistant prosecutor and found gun rights to be a natural plank of his small-government philosophy.

But it was a gun mishap in 2006 that elevated the stakes in his own life and helped cement his role as an unbending gun-rights defender.

Another delegate accidentally fired a single shot as he released the clip from his .380 handgun in his seventh-floor legislative office. He hit a bulletproof vest hanging on the back of his door, and no one was hurt.

His timing was terrible — and maybe divine.

Gilbert knew he had a political problem. An errant bullet from a supposedly responsible gun owner sullied the narrative he was building for his bill rolling back campus limits on carrying firearms.

A TV reporter from Roanoke, Jennifer Wishon, thought the incident made a nice peg for a story on Gilbert's bill. As Gilbert approached her for the interview, she recalls hearing a voice she hadn't heard before and hasn't heard since, with an unexpected message: "You're going to marry him."

Gilbert's bill died. But he met the woman who would become his wife.

They disagreed about whether to keep guns in their future home. Then her townhouse was ransacked by a burglar who dripped blood on the floor.

Now, Wishon — the White House correspondent for Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network, who lives part time in a Pentagon City apartment — sleeps with a loaded gun next to her bed.

Gilbert helped train her how to use it, starting with an admonition to stop resting her finger on the trigger. They talk through which guns are stashed where, and she practices picking them up quickly in case of an intruder.

"Your safety is not the police's responsibility. It's not the sheriff's responsibility. It's yours," Gilbert said.

When his campus gun bill failed a year before the Virginia Tech massacre, Gilbert recalled that a university spokesman "said he was pleased that the visitors, faculty and students at Virginia Tech would now feel safer with the defeat of that bill."

Gilbert said he is not making the argument that armed students and others would have been able to stop Cho.

But "the notion that we can create gun-free zones that are magically safe bubbles is just untrue, and we have way too many examples of how that's untrue," he said. "I'm sure they felt safer. But they weren't safer as it turned out."

Gilbert, who has a red throw-rug made to look like the National Rifle Association logo on his office floor, also opposes expanded background checks. He says their ultimate purpose is to prevent private individuals from being able to sell their guns or give them as Christmas presents.

He supported bills this year to allow people to take their guns to private and religious schools — as well as airport ticket counters. They stalled in the House.

Wishon, a Virginia Tech grad, said people may make assumptions about her husband because he's a big guy who's passionate about his beliefs.

"He's not a conservative, gun-toting ogre," Wishon said. "He certainly has compassion for the people like the Goddards, and other people. We all lived through the Virginia Tech shootings. But he just thinks they're wrong."


Parents of some of those who perished became heavily involved in mental health and campus safety issues after Virginia Tech.

Goddard chose guns. The trauma of seeing his wounded son remains, but so does awe at his sheer good fortune. "I had a kid to look at."

Colin has followed him into advocacy, moving to the District to push for stronger federal statutes at Mayors Against Illegal Guns. He has a titanium rod the full length of his femur, but no limp. Last week, he got engaged.

"It shook him – and it changed the trajectory of his life," Colin said of his father. "I'm proud as hell of him."

Andrew Goddard's ambitions in Richmond have been clipped.

"We measure our success by how slowly we're pushed backward," Goddard said. "I'm no longer trying to stop a Virginia Tech. I'm trying to stop the wholesale destruction of our laws."

Gilbert and Goddard agree on little. But given Republican control of the House, an evenly divided Senate and a Democratic governor, both sides see the issue at a stalemate.

Elections have consequences, Gilbert said. And, he said, so do mass shootings.

"Whenever there's a tragedy, we know folks will always resort to emotion and emotional arguments to try to win that debate," Gilbert said. "Even though we may have made some progress, we feel like we're ever on the defensive, especially in a culture where tragedies are going to continue to happen."

4. Senator Durbin wants to mandate 1-round limit on magazines

The veil of "reasonable" gun control is once again pierced to show there is no such thing.

Member Bill Albritton emailed me this:



Senator Durbin wants to mandate 1-round limit on magazines
by Kurt Hofmann, St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner
February 14, 2014

An (obviously canned) email this correspondent received from United States Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) makes a startling admission, if startling only for its honesty (emphasis added):

I support efforts that address illegal possession and use of firearms. Common sense restrictions such as bans on multi-round magazines and assault weapons are supported by law enforcement officials who patrol our streets [by the "law enforcement officials who patrol our streets," Senator, or by the political hacks, appointed by gun-hating politicians, who presume to both command them and speak for them?]. I also support universal background checks to prevent the transfer of firearms without a background check by non-licensed gun sellers.

Most of that comes as no surprise to anyone with any knowledge of Durbin's abysmal record on gun rights (and even "body armor rights"). But what's this about the "common sense restriction" of a ban on "multi-round magazines"? When you think about it, after all, magazines can be broken down into two categories: "multi-round," and . . . single-round, and if Durbin wants the first one banned, that would leave only the second.

The immediate temptation for most, probably, is to assume that Durbin is simply utterly clueless about that which he presumes to regulate, in the proud tradition of Representative Carolyn "What's a Barrel Shroud?" McCarthy (D-NY), and her pal former New York Assemblywoman Patricia Eddington, who tried to ban .50 BMG rifles because they fire "an incendiary . . . heat seeking device;" Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) who thinks magazines are ammunition, and are used up when they are fired, and then still couldn't get it even remotely right when her staff attempted damage control; or California state Senator Kevin de León, who is trying to ban "ghost guns," that with ".30 caliber magazine clips," can fire "30 rounds in half a second," etc., etc.

That is entirely possible, but we also know that although Durbin has supported magazine bans that impose a limit of ten rounds, he would prefer to set that limit lower still, as illustrated by his statement that, "We should limit it to 10 and even that is a generous limitation."

Finally, we know that attempts to outlaw any gun that is not limited to a capacity of one round are not some "paranoid fantasy" on the part of gun rights advocates, as illustrated by a bill introduced in Connecticut last year to do precisely that.

It seems most likely that Durbin said "mutli-round" in order to avoid being pinned down to any specific number. The intended implication was some nebulous "high" number (at most 11, but "preferably" lower). That way, if federal legislation imposing a (for example) seven-round limit is introduced, he can claim that's what he was for all along.

Then again, perhaps he is simply clueless about that which he presumes to regulate. As excuses go, though, that one would be pretty lame.

5. Current background checks stop very few firearm purchases


Current background checks stop very few firearm purchases
Percentage of denials hits low under Obama
by David Sherfinski-The Washington Times
February 13, 2014

Federal background checks are denying gun purchasers under President Obama at about half the rate they did under President Clinton and also at a slower clip than during President George W. Bush's administration, according to data obtained by The Washington Times under the Freedom of Information Act.

The federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System is designed to weed out would-be gun buyers with criminal records or histories of mental health problems. Gun control advocates have pushed for the system to be expanded in the wake of mass shootings as a way to keep firearms out of the wrong hands.

But statistics provided to The Times show that almost everyone who applies under the system is approved and it hardly matters which party controls the White House.

In 1999 and 2000, the two full years during which the system was operational under Mr. Clinton, just 0.83 percent of applicants were denied. During Mr. Bush's eight years in office, the denial rate was about 0.67 percent.

Under Mr. Obama, the denial rate has dropped to 0.46 percent — and was even lower in the six months after the December 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that renewed the focus on the system.

The total number of denials is publicly available, but monthly totals obtained by The Times show rates varying from as high as 1 percent, in February 1999 to as low as 0.33 percent in January 2013.

All told, about 171,028,000 federal background checks were run — with about 1,024,000 denials — from Jan. 1, 1999, to June 30, 2013.

Thomas Baker, assistant professor of criminology at the Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University, said the denial rate in the early years of NICS likely was higher because some people didn't realize they were legally barred from buying guns.

The NICS has a dozen categories of red flags, including convictions of certain crimes, status as a fugitive from justice or illegal immigrant, or a dishonorable discharge from the military.

Mr. Baker said a bigger factor is that political rhetoric in recent years has convinced many law-abiding citizens that they may need to buy guns now or never. As a result, purchases from federally licensed dealers under Mr. Obama, and thus the number of checks, have reached levels not seen during the Clinton or Bush administrations. Because the new buyers are law-abiding citizens who cannot be denied guns, the refusal rate has dipped.

In 1999, he said, there were 80,490 denials and 9,138,123 checks. By 2012, denials had increased by 10.5 percent to 88,920 while the number of checks had more than doubled to more than 19.5 million.

He noted a flip side.

"The unfortunate fact is that political rhetoric on gun control is likely increasing firearm purchases by those legally prohibited from owning firearms, too," Mr. Baker said. "The only difference is that with the private-sale loophole, these sales go entirely undetected."

Federally licensed dealers are required to submit each gun sale to a NICS check, but guns bought from private sellers do not have to undergo the checks.

A run on guns by first-time buyers wouldn't cause a lower denial rate if the customers were flagged by the system. But John Hudak, a fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution who studies firearms issues, said it's unlikely that the most recent gun-buying craze would include people with criminal background or mental health issues.

Instead, he said, it created a market for people simply looking for protection, such as parents and single women.

"They're more likely to be able to get through the NICS system," he said.

Any government program implemented likely will improve over time, Mr. Hudak said. He agreed with Mr. Baker's theory about a higher Clinton-era rate of denials to those who didn't know they could not own guns legally.

What also has changed since Mr. Obama was elected and in the wake of mass shootings like the ones at Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo., he said, is the flood of information about background checks and the NICS in general — providing more information about ways to get around the system.

In the wake of Sandy Hook, Mr. Obama called for all firearms transactions to be subject to background checks, setting off a debate that gripped Capitol Hill for the first five months of 2013. But that proposal stalled in Congress over questions about transfers between family members and friends, and logistics questions about purchases from private sellers at gun shows.

Mr. Obama has since turned to using executive actions to make it easier for states to turn over more mental health records to the national database. Some members of Congress are embracing these actions as a way to try to keep firearms out of the hands of the mentally ill.

NICS "is dependent almost entirely on reporting from states," Mr. Hudak said. "The quality of data states are reporting on varies quite dramatically. If these sorts of errors are compounded over time where data is getting less reliable/available, then you're going to get a drop-off in denial rates over time."

Gun control advocates argue that NICS checks have kept 1.5 million of the "wrong people" from getting guns and that the number will increase with broader background checks and better reporting from states.

Both sides of the gun control debate say the low number of denials is to be expected, particularly after the surge in gun purchases during last year's debate.

John Wilburn, an executive member of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, said first-time buyers are more likely to go to gun shops.

"I can't tell you how many concealed-carry permit students I have who are first-time buyers because the political climate is telling them not to wait any longer," Mr. Wilburn said in an email. "That group has grown tremendously."

Gun rights advocates agreed that criminals may avoid looking for guns from dealers because they know they would have to submit to background checks.

Josh Horwitz, executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, agreed that first-time buyers — and repeat buyers — are more likely to be processed through the system without incident.

But he said the NICS numbers include millions of routine checks of gun permits, which tend to have much lower denial rates than gun purchases.

"You're talking about a huge increase in permits," he said. "You're just going to have less denials."

Mr. Horwitz pointed out however, that permit checks do not reflect weapon purchases because they include state-level monitors of concealed-carry permits.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation and some other groups subtract such permit checks from monthly totals to provide clients with closer estimations of the gun marketplace.

6. Military vets are losing their 2nd Amendment rights

If I didn't know better, I'd say the government doesn't really want our trained military vets bearing arms as civilians.

Side note: Well, it was exactly such trained WW II vets who, in 1946, used firearms to take back the town of Athens, Tennessee from a corrupt government:

Member Walter Jackson emailed me this:



Military Vets are Losing their 2nd Amendment Rights
FEBRUARY 10, 2014

Let me ask you a question. Of all the people in society, what group is the best trained to defend their family if an intruder were to break into their home? How about this one? What group is the most well suited to take action in the case of an active shooter situation in a public place? Some of you say police officers while other say military members/veterans. And both answers would be right. Which group is larger? That's easy right; military members and veterans. Now let me ask you one more question… Have you ever had to grant someone else a power of attorney to handle an issue because you were not going to be around for whatever reason? Well if you are a member of the United States Armed Forces and you did that while you were deployed, then you may very well be ineligible to purchase a weapon.

That's right, our government trusts its service members to carry that M4 down range to kill the Taliban, but not to come home and use a gun to defend his or her own family. Sounds pretty crazy doesn't it? But after watching a short video on the NRA website, I started to do a little digging. It seems that if you are a military member who was sent overseas and you gave someone, even a spouse, a power of attorney to handle your things while you were deployed, (Something that you absolutely have to do), then according to this administration, you are not mentally competent to purchase a firearm. Why? Apparently President Obama believes that a soldiers inability to handle his/her finances while having bullets flying overhead deems them mentally incompetent and so their name is put into the NICS database which makes it impossible to pass the background check.

According to this article, as many as 150,000 military members have faced this issue. I'm not talking about soldiers who suffer from PTSD, (BTW, I don't want to see them stripped of their rights either), or those suffering from extreme depression and thoughts of suicide. I'm talking about people who just had someone manage their affairs while they were deployed. Maybe they payed some bills or sold a car. Can you believe that?

This is an outright attack on the 2nd Amendment rights of those men and women who in many cases, are the most qualified to actually use the weapons to begin with. And it happened with the stroke of a pen. Not by going through Congress, but by Executive order. We are losing our rights faster than at any point in the history of this country. Take a look at the timeline. We have less personal freedom right now, than we did just prior to the revolutionary war. Our founding fathers went to war with England over taxation without representation. I'm not calling for armed revolution, but when are more of us going to wake the heck up?

7. No innocent is an underdog when they have a gun to level the field [VIDEO]

It is fun to watch the bad guys fleeing in terror from an armed victim.

Member Bill Albritton emailed me this:



8. [MO] Open carry chicks hassled by police [VIDEO]

This officer over the top to the point of actually harassing these young ladies.

Walter Jackson emailed me this:



9. Seven anti-gun myths that need to be debunked ASAP

Board Member Dale Welch emailed me this:



7 Anti-Gun Myths That Need to Be Debunked ASAP
August 6, 2013

Since the tragedy at Sandy Hook elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, America has been embroiled in a renewed gun control debate. In the Information Age there can be a lot of misinformation, and gun control is unfortunately no exception. Here are some of the ways you are being misled.

1. "Assault Weapons"

The term "assault weapon" is a made-up political term. AR-15's are not military rifles; so unscrupulous politicians refer to them as "military-style assault weapons." 'Style' – as in cosmetic appearance – is the only true word in that description. The Military uses the M4A1 carbine rifle, which looks outwardly very much like an AR-15, but they do not have the same functionality; AR-15s are not machine guns, though the terminology used is meant to imply they are. Senator Diane Feinstein (R-Calif.) says AR-15's are designed for killing as many people in close quarters combat as possible, when in fact the AR-15 is an intermediate to distance rifle with a range of 400-600m. Feinstein and others claim AR-15's are not used for hunting; but in fact there are dozens of varieties of AR-15 used for hunting everything from varmint/small game to deer, elk, and dangerous game. The AR-15 is not the weapon of choice for most mass shooters according to James Alan Fox, a highly respected criminologist from Northeastern University in Boston; handguns are. In fact, rifle homicides comprise a very small amount of homicides, accounting for less than 3% of homicides (323 out of 12,664 in 2011) mass shootings or otherwise.

2. "High Capacity Magazines"

Some politicians would have us believe that so-called "high capacity" magazines are responsible for a wave of death sweeping the nation. Academic, scholarly research shows the vast majority of homicides average four shots with less than 10 shots fired. While the Aurora shooter infamously used a 100-round magazine drum, these are novelty items that are prone to jam. In fact, it did jam probably saving lives. But mass shooters don't need 100-round magazines to commit atrocity – the shooters at Virginia Tech and Columbine used 10-round magazines, they just brought a lot of them (17 and 13 respectively). James Alan Fox states mass shooters often meticulously plan their attacks in advance; a high capacity magazine ban will not deter them as Virginia Tech and Columbine illustrate.

3. Gun Show "Loophole"

Several people, including President Obama have stated that 40% of guns were bought via "gun show loopholes." This is not true. For one, the term "gun show loophole" implies that people are deviously getting around something when in actuality; it is just selling personal private property and is not illegal or nefarious. Additionally, private sales may not actually occur at a gun show at all. More important than loose terminology is that this claim is based on a study from 1994 of 251 people. The Washington Post evaluated this claim with the study's original authors and says the president distorted the truth. The actual range is 14%-22% with a plus or minus error margin of 6%. This means the final accurate range of this study is as low as 8%, but no more than 28%; neither figure is 40%. Further, it's implied that closing private sales would solve the issue of criminals obtaining guns; it doesn't. It fails to address illegal trafficking and straw man purchases. A Department of Justice study indicates that 78.8% of criminals get guns from friends or family (39.6%) or from the street/illegally (39.2%). To this point, the FBI states there are 1.2 million gang members in U.S. and that gangs illegally traffic guns as addition to narcotics.

4. Mass Shootings Are Not Increasing:

Former President Bill Clinton, Mother Jones and others have claimed that mass shootings are increasing. Once again not true. James Alan Fox's analysis of the Mother Jones' study indicates they left out mass murders which made it seem there was an increase after the Federal assault weapon ban expired (they've updated their story since). Some mass murders receive more media attention than others, however the number has been consistently about 20 annually since 1976. The number dead from these mass shootings fluctuates from about 25 to 150, depending on the year (Fox's chart is shown above). In 2012, it was less than 100. Though tragic, this represents a fraction of 1% of homicides. In recent years, homicides by raw number peaked in 1991 at 24,700; it's dropped in half since, and the homicide rate per 100,000 people today is less than it was even in 1900 (see below).

5. Anti-Gun Organizations Lump in Suicide & Injuries With Crime Data:

After a mass murder shooting anti-gun organizations like the Brady campaign inevitably call for gun restrictions; these organizations also cite gun violence data other than crime data to include suicides and injuries. This is misleading. Although accidents and suicide are public health concerns, it is disingenuous to include them with homicide in response to a horrific crime. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), suicide rates have crept up slightly 2000-2009, but are still lower than the rate per 100,000 from 1950-1990. It's not accurate to say guns contribute to suicide causal factors since the rate is lower now. And ultimately, legislation aimed to prevent crime by banning weapons and limiting magazine capacity has no reasonable connection to either suicide or accidents. We ought to compare apples to apples: suicide with suicide prevention, accidents with safety programs, and homicide with policy that would realistically reduce homicide.

6. Too Many Are Being Killed:

This statement is political gaming and wordplay. How many dead would be okay? Who wouldn't want less murder? Ideally, zero would be the goal, but that begs the question of how to prevent any tendency of violence in humans. This phrase is not only meaningless in terms of contributing to policy that achieves a positive end result, but also dangerous in that the appeal to emotion runs the risk of circumventing genuine solution in favor of sound byte. It makes sense to try to achieve goals with policies other than those proven to be ineffective, as the previous Federal assault weapons ban was. Lastly, homicides are at an all time low.

7. False Zero-Sum Dichotomy - "Either/Or":

Famous anti-gun rights advocate New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, "I want the Congress to have to stand up and say 'I'm with the NRA and support killing our children', or 'No'" (Time magazine, January 28, 2013, p.30). On CNN's Piers Morgan, Congressman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) said, "the NRA is enablers of mass murder." This overly simplistic incendiary rhetoric does nothing to further our national discussion, and falsely frames the debate as a zero-sum, winner-take-all, 'either/or' proposition – either you hug a gun or hug a kid, but you couldn't possibly be for both gun rights and your child's safety. That is preposterous. The NRA is not "the gun industry," and preservation of the Second Amendment is not of interest only to gun manufacturers. Nearly half of NRA funding comes from individual donors. The NRA is comprised of average people who want safe neighborhoods, schools, and streets. Rather than offer ridiculous false dichotomy and grandstanding, we should be looking for genuine solutions.

BONUS: We Need More Laws:

This is the granddaddy lie. We already have a lot of laws. It's illegal to kill your mom, steal a gun, take that gun onto school property, forcibly break and enter, and murder kids. We already have laws preventing mentally ill & felons from obtaining guns, and we have a background check system (NICS). The Sandy Hook shooter was denied to legally purchase a gun because of the NICS system. We tried a federal assault weapons ban (AWB) before. What we do need is better enforcement of existing laws. Congress has not fully funded NICS. Many states do not fully report felony and mental health data to NICS. The Justice Department only prosecutes a fraction of those who criminally falsify background check forms. We desperately need to engage in genuine discussion about real solutions to the violence problem. These solutions are not likely to yield instantaneous results, or win the next election cycle; yet it is what we would do if we were serious about addressing the issue. The underlying causes include: gang activity, which accounts for 48-90% of violent crime depending on jurisdiction; drug abuse, the single biggest predictor of violence with-or-without mental illness; concentrated urban population and poverty; and mental illness, including de-institutionalization, treatment and intervention, and other facets of mental health.

10. Hoplophobe hypocrisy


Hoplophobe Hypocrisy
February 12, 2014

Brace yourself for a double-barrel blast of moonbat hypocrisy regarding the liberal jihad against our fundamental right of self-defense.

From New York, where antigun hysteria whipped up after Sandy Hook has resulted in some of the country's most draconian violations of the Second Amendment:

A Buffalo, N.Y. community activist who is well known locally for pushing for a highly restrictive 2013 gun control law has been arrested for — wait for it — carrying a gun illegally at a public elementary school.

The arrested gun-control advocate, Dwayne Ferguson, caused quite a scene at Harvey Austin Elementary School, reports local CBS affiliate WIVB.

At about 4:15 p.m. on Thursday, police acted on a pair of anonymous 911 tips. A battalion of cops quickly swarmed the school. The brigade included over a dozen squad cars, the SWAT team and K9 units. The Erie County Sheriff's Air One helicopter and what appears to be an armored vehicle also turned up.

The school was immediately placed on lockdown. Parts of two streets were closed.

About 60 students who were still on campus participating in after-school activities were funneled to the cafeteria.

Cops searched the school room by room and would not let parents on campus until they were satisfied that no shooting threat existed.

All this because of a report that an American citizen was exercising his natural right to bear arms. The cost to taxpayers: enormous. The purpose: to instill hysteria deep into children's minds so that they will not object to the government disarming them when they are older.

In the sane and free past, an adult with a gun on school property would hardly raise an eyebrow. The less than one in a million who would want to shoot children with it would restrain himself lest he be shot by others.

Ferguson, 52, was at Harvey Elementary because he works as a mentor in an after-school program for disadvantaged students.

He said he frequently carries a pistol. He has a license but the license does not matter under the strict state law Ferguson helped pass.

Among much else, the 2013 law, deemed New York's SAFE Act, made it a felony to carry a gun on school property, according to The Buffalo News.

While it was always illegal to carry a gun on school grounds, the new law bumped the crime from a misdemeanor to a felony in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

The community activist has claimed that he forgot he was carrying his gun in a felony gun-free zone he helped create. …

Ferguson now faces two felony charges of criminal gun possession.

Not many people could deserve to be imprisoned on this charge. For helping impose these penalties on the rest of us, Ferguson does.

Want more? Here you go:

On February 6th former astronaut Mark Kelly testified in favor of more gun control before Oregon's legislature, then went target shooting at the Portland Police Bureau Central Precinct Range.

It's hardly Kelly's first indulgence in hoplophobe hypocrisy:

In April 2013, Breitbart News reported that Kelly was shooting a Glock 9mm with a 17-round magazine in Arizona. Two months earlier he had testified in favor of limiting magazine capacity to 10 rounds.

Also, he committed two felonies during an attempt to buy an AR-15.

Nonetheless Kelly is hoping to ride sympathy for his gun-owning anti-gun wife Gabby Giffords — who was shot by a maniac — to high public office.

11. Manufacturers change look of AR-15; rifle now legal in NY

Gun-control laws are stupid. They don't make us safer, they makes us less safe.

In this case an AR-15 is modified to COMPLY with a new law in New York state. The antis instead would say the gun's designer is "getting around" the law.

Member Bill Albritton emailed me this:



Manufacturers Change Look of AR-15; Rifle Is Now Legal in New York State
by Charles C. W. Cooke
February 10, 2014

Pass a stupid law, get a stupid result. This, Clash Daily reports, is a remodeled AR-15, and it is legal in New York despite the state's "assault weapons" ban: (picture)

When the opponents of "assault weapon" bans argue that it is preposterous for the state to ban firearms based on the way they look, they really mean it. It is. The rifle in the photograph above is no more or less powerful than the one that has been banned; it just looks different. And, because the SAFE Act was, typically, interested only in cosmetic questions, a simple change to its aesthetic rendered the rifle legal once more. As Clash Daily's Jonathan S. explains:

Prototypes for the newly designed AR-15 are hitting gun shops across New York, as gun shops and machinists have designed a rifle that complies with the anti-gun law. At least one gun shop has received a letter from state police saying that the new AR-15 style rifles should be legal in the state as long as they don't have some of the features that the law prohibits.

The new gun law bans all kinds of semi-automatic rifles that have been labeled with the "assault" term even though these are very common rifles and are no more powerful than the average hunting rifle.

Features like adjustable stocks, pistols grips, and flash suppressors has been deemed to be unlawful on these rifles, mainly because it makes them LOOK mean. And we all know how little these anti-gun lawmakers really know about guns, as the "Ghost gun" video illustrated.

The new AR-15 design did away with the pistol grip which gives the gun an odd paintball gun look. The stock is fixed as well, but at least New Yorkers now have a legal way to own an AR-15, a fact which is still driving some gun control activists mad.

Reading this story, one would almost conclude that legislation that deals only with the superficial and the irrelevant is inherently silly. Curious.

Fewer people are killed with all rifles each year (323 in 2011) than with shotguns (356), hammers and clubs (496), and hands and feet (728).

12. Ohio National Guard training envisions right-wing terrorism

David Custer emailed me this:


Now supporters of the constitution are domestic terrorists.


Ohio National Guard Training Envisions Right-Wing Terrorism
by Jesse Hathaway
February 10, 2014

Documents from an Ohio National Guard (ONG) training drill conducted last January reveal the details of a mock disaster where Second Amendment supporters with "anti-government" opinions were portrayed as domestic terrorists.

The ONG 52nd Civil Support Team training scenario involved a plot from local school district employees to use biological weapons in order to advance their beliefs about "protecting Gun Rights and Second Amendment rights."

Portsmouth Fire Chief Bill Raison told NBC 3 WSAZ-TV in Huntington, West Virginia that the drill accurately represented "the reality of the world we live in," adding that such training "helps us all be prepared."

Internal ONG documents provided to Media Trackers after repeated delays provide further context to what WSAZ-TV reported last winter.

In the disaster-preparedness scenario, two Portsmouth Junior High School employees poisoned school lunches with mustard gas, acting on orders from white-nationalist leader William Pierce.

The ONG team discovered biological weapons being produced in the school, requiring activation of containment and decontamination procedures.

Participants in the disaster drill located documents expressing the school employees' "anti-government" sentiments, as well as a note identifying Pierce as the fictional right-wing terrorists' leader.

ONG's 52nd Civil Support Unit participated in a similar drill involving left-wing terrorists with Athens County first responders last year; public officials apologized for that training the next day in response to complaints from local environmentalist groups.

No apology to Ohioans who support limited government and the Second Amendment appears to be forthcoming.

Scioto County Emergency Management Agency director Kim Carver refused to comment, telling Media Trackers she was "not going to get into an Ohio Army National Guard issue that you have with them."

Ohio National Guard Communications Director James Sims II suggested Media Trackers was "inferring" from the ONG document's contents as opposed to "what's actually in the report."

After excerpts of the report were read to him, Sims said it was "not relevant" to understand why conservatives may feel unduly targeted by ONG's training scenario.

"Okay, I'm gonna stop ya there. I'm going to quit this conversation," Sims concluded. "You have a good day."

Buckeye Firearms Association spokesman Chad Baus told Media Trackers that "it is a scary day indeed when law enforcement are being trained that Second Amendment advocates are the enemy,"

"The revelation of this information is appalling to me, and to all citizens of Ohio who are true conservatives and patriots, who don't have guns for any other reason than that the Second Amendment gives them that right," Portage County TEA Party Executive Director Tom Zawistowski said in a separate Media Trackers interview.

Media Trackers reached out to Portsmouth-area state legislators Representative Terry Johnson and Senator Joe Uecker for comment about the drill, which took place within their respective districts. Neither replied to phone calls or emails in time for publication.

ONG's January 2013 training exercise is one of many instances where government officials have identified those with limited-government or pro-Second Amendment opinions as potential terror threats.

In 2009, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security warned law enforcement agencies that a predicted rise in"right-wing extremism" would be fueled by "proposed imposition of firearms restrictions and weapons bans" and "the election of the first African American president."

Throughout modern history, groups and individuals associated with left-wing causes have proven far more likely to commit acts of domestic terror.

In 2012, members of the anarcho-socialist Occupy Cleveland movement were arrested and prosecuted for attempting to destroy the Brecksville-Northfield High Level Bridge with explosives, to commemorate International Workers' Day.

Last year, leftist groups Earth First and the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) claimed responsibility for the sabotage and property destruction of businesses in Washington and Van Wert counties.

13. [AL] New Remington facility to create 2,000 jobs

The Governor's stance on guns certainly isn't brining any of the gun manufacturers who are fleeing the Northeast to Virginia.

Jobs? We don't need no stinkin' jobs! Right, Governor?

Member James Durso emailed me this:



New Remington facility to create 2,000 jobs in Huntsville, Ala.
by Twitchy Staff
February 15, 2014

Hey Gov Cuomo how's the SAFE Act working out for NY? Remington to open plant in Huntsville, AL… @NSSF

Larry Keane (@lkeane) February 15, 2014

Numerous sources are reporting Saturday that gun manufacturer Remington Outdoor is bringing as many as 2,000 jobs to Huntsville, Ala. The company is expected to make the announcement Monday.

The Military Times reports that Remington Outdoor is purchasing a 500,000 square foot facility to help meet "unprecedented demand" for its products. It also reports that the company was courted by no fewer than 24 states and localities. It's unclear yet what effect the expansion will have on the company's existing facility in Ilion, New York.

Last year, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act, which created an assault weapon registry and banned magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds. This January, Magpul announced that it would be pulling out of Colorado and moving its operations and manufacturing to Wyoming and Texas, following the passage of comprehensive gun control measures in that state.

14. [FL] Deputy stops attempted spree killing in car dealership

Guns Save Lives (again!)


Florida Deputy stops attempted spree killing in car dealership in less than 60 seconds [Updated]
by Bob Owens
February 6, 2014

An on-duty Taylor County Sheriff's Deputy was having his car serviced at a local dealership when an apparently (obviously?) disgruntled current employee of the dealership crashed his truck into the building and came out shooting:

A Taylor County Sheriff's deputy getting his car fixed at the Timberland Ford dealership jumped into action after a man crashed through the front of the business with his vehicle and opened fire, said Gretl Plessinger, spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Gunfire was then exchanged between Deputy Robert Lundy and the man, 51-year-old Earl Edward Clague Jr. of Taylor County, who was killed.

Clague, a current employee at the dealership at the time of the shooting, was using a semi-automatic shotgun, according to Plessinger.

Law enforcement responded within a minute of Lundy's first report of shots fired.

He underwent surgery this morning and is currently recovering and is in stable but critical condition. He and two others that were shot are expected to survive, Plessinger said.

Details are still rather sketchy, but it appears that the events took place very quickly, with a Florida Department of Law enforcement spokesperson providing the following preliminary timeline:

10:28:31 Deputy Lundy radioed shots were fired.
10:29:17 Deputy Lundy announced he had been shot.
10:29:24 In less than one minute after Deputy Lundy's announcement of shots fired, officers arrived on scene.
11:10 Deputy Lundy went into surgery.
4:00 p.m. Deputy Lundy was in stable, but critical condition.

The shooting timeline culled from police radio reports suggest that the shooting was over in much less than 60 seconds, with the suspect dead, the deputy critically injured, and with two others experiencing gunshot wounds. Three others were treated for non-gunshot wounds, presumably during a mad scramble to escape the dealership, which normally has 10-20 people on site at that time of day.

The Sheriff sounds convinced that Deputy Lundy, an ten-year veteran stopped a mass killing from taking place.

"The selfless actions of this deputy saved many lives today," said Taylor County Sheriff L.E. "Bummy" Williams. "The safety of the citizens of Taylor County is our main concern, and Deputy Lundy was willing to risk his own life today to save others. I am proud of his bravery and his heroism is to be commended. Deputy Lundy, his family and the victims are in my prayers."

Another news account indicates that the shooter had been employed at the dealership for 15-20 years.

Like the Arapahoe High School shooting in Colorado, this incident was over very quickly because the presence of the much-mocked "good guy with a gun." Arapahoe ended in just 80 seconds after the shooting began after the cornered shooter committed suicide before he could attack the five class rooms on his list (the majority of killings in Sandy Hook took place in just two classrooms).

This incident at Timberland Ford was over in even less time, with just 46 seconds elapsing from Lundy announcing shots fired to reporting his injuries.

Once again, the only thing that stopped a tragedy from unfolding into a massacre was the presence of a good guy with a gun who happened to be at the right place at the right time. In this instance that good guy was a veteran deputy.

Update: Clague was armed with multiple firearms:

FDLE agents say Earl Edward Clague was firing a Remington 1100 semi-automatic shotgun. They say he had a second fully loaded shotgun and a fully loaded 22 caliber rifle in his truck as well as additional ammunition.

It sounds like Clague was prepared for "New York reloads" (dropping the empty weapon and picking up fully loaded one), perhaps figuring that after he shot through the magazine capacity of both shotguns that he'd have the time to reload them, while still having the .22LR rifle on hand to dissuade any would-be attempts to charge him.

Deputy Robert Lundy, who stopped Clague, is still in critical condition, but is expected to pull through.

Clague was an employee in good standing at the dealership who called in sick yesterday. No motive is known at this time.

15. [CA] Did the 9th Circuit Court just kill gun control?

Ah, that it might be so!

Member Walter Jackson emailed me this:



Did the 9th Circuit Court just kill gun control?
by Michael McGough
February 13, 2014

Last year, after the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Illinois' blanket ban on the carrying of "ready to use" guns outside the home, a Los Angeles Times editorial said this:

"Even if it were affirmed by the Supreme Court, the 7th Circuit's decision probably wouldn't threaten most state laws that impose sensible restrictions on the carrying of firearms. (In California, applicants for a 'carry a concealed weapon' permit must prove that they are of 'good moral character,' have sufficient cause to carry a weapon and have received firearms training.)"

We were wrong — sort of. The Supreme Court never got to rule on the Illinois law because that state's legislature took the appeals court's advice and enacted a new and more permissive law. But on Thursday, the 7th Circuit's decision was cited (along with lots of other cases) in a decision by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals striking down San Diego County's system for issuing concealed-carry permits.

San Diego County requires that applicants for a concealed-carry permit demonstrate that they have good cause for carrying a concealed weapon. But a generalized concern for one's personal safety doesn't qualify as "good cause."

The 9th Circuit saw that as a fatal flaw. Writing for the majority, Judge Diarmuid O'Scannlain said that the policy abridged the right to bear arms in self-defense recognized by the Supreme Court in 2008 in District of Columbia vs. Heller.

Heller was the case in which a divided court said that the 2nd Amendment's language about a right to "keep and bear arms" protected an individual right. That ruling, and a subsequent decision involving a gun control law in Chicago, involved bans on possessing guns in the home. But, following the 7th Circuit, O'Scannlain concluded that the right to bear arms in self-defense "could not rationally be limited to the home."

That's probably the right reading of Heller. But there is a second issue in the San Diego case: whether government may ban the concealed carrying of firearms. In his dissent, Judge Sidney Thomas cited a passage in the Heller majority opinion noting that "the majority of the 19th-century courts to consider the question held that prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the 2nd Amendment or state analogues."

But O'Scannlain has a comeback for that argument: Because California doesn't allow its residents to carry guns in public openly, concealed carrying is the only way a Californian can assert his 2nd Amendment right to self-defense.

So is this decision (assuming it survives an appeal) a fatal blow to gun control? Not necessarily. States and counties could satisfy the court by accepting that a generalized interest in self-defense is a "good cause" justifying a concealed-carry permit.

But that wouldn't prevent authorities from enumerating factors that would disqualify an applicant for a permit: mental illness, a criminal record or presence at a school or other sensitive location. In Heller, Justice Antonin Scalia made it clear that "nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on long-standing prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings."

The 9th Circuit's decision will displease advocates of gun control. But their real quarrel is with the Supreme Court's belated discovery that the 2nd Amendment protects an individual right, not just the ability of states to form "well-regulated militias." Once that principle was established, it was clear, for good or ill, that gun-control regulations would have to be carefully drawn.

16. Ninth Circuit holds 2nd amendment secures a right to carry a gun

EM Dave Hicks emailed me this:



Ninth Circuit holds Second Amendment secures a right to carry a gun
by Eugene Volokh
February 13, 2014

So holds today's Peruta v. County of San Diego (9th Cir. Feb. 13, 2014) (2-1 vote). The court concludes that California's broad limits on both open and concealed carry of loaded guns — with no "shall-issue" licensing regime that assures law-abiding adults of a right to get licenses, but only a "good cause" regime under which no license need be given — "impermissibly infringe[] on the Second Amendment right to bear arms in lawful self-defense." The Ninth Circuit thus joins the Seventh Circuit, and disagrees with the Second, Third, and Fourth Circuits. (State courts are also split on the subject.)

I'm still reading the opinions, but I wanted to note this promptly.

17. More on the reasoning of the Ninth Circuit's right-to-carry-a-gun opinion

EM Dave Hicks emailed me this:



More on the reasoning of the Ninth Circuit's right-to-carry-a-gun opinion
by Eugene Volokh
February 13, 2014

As I noted earlier, today's Ninth Circuit decision in Peruta v. County of San Diego (9th Cir. Feb. 13, 2014), concludes that California's broad limits on both open and concealed carry of loaded guns "impermissibly infringe[] on the Second Amendment right to bear arms in lawful self-defense." I've now finished reading the opinions, and had a few general thoughts.

1. California law essentially leaves most law-abiding adults without the ability to carry guns in public for effective self-defense, period. People are barred from carrying guns either openly or concealed. It is this broad policy that the majority holds unconstitutional.

In D.C. v. Heller, the Supreme Court strongly suggested that (1) the right to "bear" arms means the right to carry them, but that (2) bans on concealed carry are constitutional:

Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose. For example, the majority of the 19th-century courts to consider the question held that prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment or state analogues. See, e.g., State v. Chandler, 5 La. Ann., at 489-490; Nunn v. State, 1 Ga., at 251; see generally 2 Kent *340, n. 2; The American Students' Blackstone 84, n. 11 (G. Chase ed. 1884). Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.

Thus, if California law had banned concealed carry but allowed open carry (which some states have historically done), that wouldn't have violated the Second Amendment. And if California law had banned open carry but allowed concealed carry (perhaps requiring a license that pretty much all law-abiding adults could get), that too might well have been constitutional, on the theory that it still left people free to carry guns, but just regulated the "manner" of carrying.

But, as the Ninth Circuit majority points out, a general prohibition on all carrying of guns in public is more than just a way of regulating the manner of carrying:

A flat-out ban on concealed carry in a jurisdiction permitting open carry may or may not infringe the Second Amendment right — the passage from Heller clearly bears on that issue, which we need not decide. But whether a state restriction on both concealed and open carry overreaches is a different matter. To that question, Heller itself furnishes no explicit answer. But the three authorities it cites for its statement on concealed-carry laws do.

Indeed, the Ninth Circuit majority argues, pretty much all the 19th-century cases that accepted the view that the Second Amendment secures an individual right to keep and bear arms in self-defense also took the view that the right includes a right to carry in some manner. (Those 19th-century cases that rejected any right to carry, the majority argues, took the view that the right is collective, or the view that it doesn't include self-defense purposes — views that the Supreme Court rejected in Heller.)

I think the Ninth Circuit majority's analysis is correct on this, and the dissent's is mistaken. The dissent keeps stressing that the case should be about whether the California ban on concealed carry is constitutional, and that Heller says that the concealed carry ban is indeed constitutional. But the California ban on concealed carry is part of a general scheme that bans the great bulk of all carrying in public for self-defense (unless one has a permit that the police may choose not to grant). It is this general scheme that violates the Second Amendment, even if a ban on concealed carry that left people free to carry openly would not do so.

2. So the Second Amendment secures a right to carry — but may even a broad ban on such carrying still be constitutional on the grounds that it passes "intermediate scrutiny," in the sense of being substantially related to an important government interest? Some courts have upheld such broad bans on this theory. But the Ninth Circuit says no, and I think correctly so:

[I]f self-defense outside the home is part of the core right to "bear arms" and the California regulatory scheme prohibits the exercise of that right, no amount of interest-balancing under a heightened form of means-ends scrutiny can justify San Diego's policy. See Heller, 554 U.S. at 634 ("The very enumeration of the right takes out of the hands of government — even the Third Branch of Government — the power to decide on a case-by-case basis whether the right is really worth insisting upon.")….

A law effecting a "destruction of the right" rather than merely burdening it is, after all, an infringement under any light….

It is the rare law that "destroys" the right, requiring Heller-style per se invalidation, but the Court has made perfectly clear that a ban on handguns in the home is not the only act of its kind. We quote the relevant paragraph in full, telling case citations included:

Few laws in the history of our Nation have come close to the severe restriction of the District's handgun ban. And some of those few have been struck down. In Nunn v. State, the Georgia Supreme Court struck down a prohibition on carrying pistols openly (even though it upheld a prohibition on carrying concealed weapons). See 1 Ga., at 251. In Andrews v. State, the Tennessee Supreme Court likewise held that a statute that forbade openly carrying a pistol "publicly or privately, without regard to time or place, or circumstances," 50 Tenn., at 187, violated the state constitutional provision (which the court equated with the Second Amendment). That was so even though the statute did not restrict the carrying of long guns. Ibid. See also State v. Reid, 1 Ala. 612, 616–617 (1840) ("A statute which, under the pretence of regulating, amounts to a destruction of the right, or which requires arms to be so borne as to render them wholly useless for the purpose of defence, would be clearly unconstitutional").

3. The court also dismissed the argument that the California scheme is saved by the fact that people might get concealed carry licenses if they show "good cause" to the satisfaction of the police department, or by the fact that there are some other exceptions:

[T]he California scheme does not prevent every person from bearing arms outside the home in every circumstance. But the fact that a small group of people have the ability to exercise their right to bear arms does not end our inquiry. Because the Second Amendment "confer[s] an individual right to keep and bear arms," we must assess whether the California scheme deprives any individual of his constitutional rights. Thus, the question is not whether the California scheme (in light of San Diego County's policy) allows some people to bear arms outside the home in some places at some times; instead, the question is whether it allows the typical responsible, law-abiding citizen to bear arms in public for the lawful purpose of self-defense. The answer to the latter question is a resounding "no."

That too strikes me as right. If there is no individual right to carry guns in self-defense, then a ban on such carrying is just fine. But if there is such a right, it is an individual right, and a ban on most people's exercise of this right can't be justified on the grounds that some people are allowed to exercise it.

4. Finally, note that nothing in the opinion means that narrower regulations of gun carrying are unconstitutional. "Shall-issue" schemes that require a license to carry, but let pretty much all law-abiding adults get such a license, would likely be upheld. The same is true for restrictions on carrying in particular places, such as schools or government buildings. But a broad ban on all gun carrying in public, the court held, violates the Second Amendment.

18. [CA] Even the police are afraid of parts of Oakland [VIDEO]

In parts of Oakland, even the police are afraid. The result is anarchy, of course.

Member Charles Hunt emailed me this:



People That Endanger Other People in Oakland Behave Badly
by Mario Sevilla
February 11, 2014

OAKLAND (KRON) — It is literally the Wild Wild West out on the mean streets of Oakland.

As social media videos show, Oaktown's illegal sideshow scene runs rife with a lack of respect for life or the police. One YouTube clip resembles a riot and captures nefarious youth firing guns into the air indiscriminately.

Another video shows how the crowd runs police off its streets.

KRON 4's Stanley Roberts looks into the shocking and lawless sideshow culture in Oakland.

19. Good gun free zone sign [PICTURE]

Member Rick Evans emailed me this:


This Gun Free Zone sign speaks for itself ... :-)


"Gun Free Zone. In case of emergency find someone with a gun"

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.

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