Archive for the ‘Second Amendment’ Category

If the DFL had the slightest bit of integrity, they’d run Ron Erhardt out of their party. They won’t do that because they don’t have any integrity. This photo (H/T Mitch Berg) shows how demented some DFL legislators are:

Ron Erhardt isn’t a nobody. He chairs the House Transportation Policy Committee. When the chair of a committee threatens to blow an activist’s head off, it’s proof that he’s either violent or naturally mean-spirited. In this instance, it’s likely both. Mitch poses a perfectly legitimate question:

I’m trying to imagine what’d happen if a pro-life Representative had said that to a volunteer from Emily’s List? If a fundamentalist Christian rep had said something like that to a gay marriage advocate?

I won’t pretend that Republicans are pure as the driven snow. I know that isn’t the truth. I don’t have to pretend, though, that the Twin Cities media have a history of downplaying things when Democrats do outrageous things.

Ron Erhardt is one of the most mean-spirited politicians ever elected to the Minnesota legislature. He’s a despicable person. If the DFL supports him, that’s proof that they’re willing to overlook that type of mean-spirited statement to win an election.

I hope that the GOCRA volunteer who was threatened files charges against Rep. Erhardt.

The Twin Cities media is on trial, too, though not to the same extent that Rep. Erhardt is. If they don’t vigorously report on this disgusting incident, that will be an indictment against them, too. When a high-ranking public official threatens a person, that’s a major story.

That isn’t hardball politics. That isn’t passionately debating an issue. That’s a high-ranking politician threatening someone’s life. I’d ask Twin Cities political reporters if they’ve ever heard about a high-ranking politician threatening someone. I’m betting they haven’t.

That’s a good hint that this story is newsworthy.

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Some governors are expressing surprise and outrage after gun manufacturers left their state:

Beretta USA announced last week that it will relocate from Maryland to Tennessee, explaining that stringent gun laws supported by Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley would make it nearly impossible for the company to manufacture or sell many of its products in the Old Line State.

“During the legislative session in Maryland that resulted in passage of the Firearm Safety Act of 2013, the version of the statute that passed the Maryland Senate would have prohibited Beretta USA from being able to manufacture, store or even import into the state products that we sell to customers throughout the United States and around the world,” Jeff Cooper, general manager for Beretta USA, said in a statement.

Lefty Gov. Martin O’Malley is sticking to his guns:

And although Beretta has no plans to move its administrative staff in Accokeek, Md., to Tennessee, O’Malley is apparently unhappy with the company’s decision to move much of its business to Tennessee.

“We’re disappointed with this decision, but the common-sense gun safety law we passed, which includes licenses for handgun purchases, is keeping schools, communities and law enforcement personnel safe,” said a spokeswoman for O’Malley, Nina Smith.

Here’s a question for Ms. Smith. If the bill just passed, how does Gov. O’Malley know that it’s keeping anyone safe? Have crime rates dropped? If they haven’t, then the claim is essentially spin. If they have, how do you know it isn’t attributable to other things?

Meanwhile, another southern governor is happy:

Beretta will reportedly invest around $45 million to set up shop in Tennessee, Fox News reported, and plans to employ about 300 people during the next five years.

“Beretta is one of the world’s great companies, and its commitment to excellence and Tennessee’s rich history in manufacturing make a great match,” Dave Smith, a spokesman for Tennessee’s Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, told Fox in an email.

Here’s another situation where capital goes where it’s welcome. Maryland essentially said that Beretta wasn’t welcome in the state. Tennesssee stepped forward and said that they’d extend some southern hospitality to Beretta. This isn’t that complicated. It’s pretty straightforward, in fact.

Here’s a list of gun manufacturers who’ve left states after those states passed strict gun control laws:

Beretta USA
Colt Competition
Kahr Arms
Les Baer Custom
Lewis Machine & Tool
Magpul Industries
O.F. Mossberg & Sons
PTR Industries
Remington Arms
Stag Arms
Sturm, Ruger & Co.

States that aren’t hospitable to gun companies are finding out that they’re essentially shooting themselves in the foot. Will they ever learn?

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This afternoon, I got this email from the Sivarajah for Congress campaign:


I am honored to have received an AQ rating from the National Rifle Association. An AQ rating as explained on the NRA website means the following:

“A pro-gun candidate whose rating is based solely on the candidate’s responses to the NRA-PVF Candidate Questionnaire and who does not have a voting record on Second Amendment issues.”

I look forward to the opportunity to prove my commitment to our 2nd Amendment rights with my vote in the United States Congress.

The highest grade a candidate can receive from the NRA is an A+. It will be my personal goal to be “a legislator with not only an excellent voting record on all critical NRA issues, but who has also made a vigorous effort to promote and defend the Second Amendment.”

My message to Ms. Sivarajah is simple. Talk is cheap. Anyone can fill in the right answers on a questionnaire. Here’s what matters:

U.S. House of Representatives District 6 Republican Primary

Tom Emmer (R) Grade: A
Status: Candidate

Rhonda Sivarajah (R) Grade: AQ
Status: Candidate

It’s nice that Ms. Sivarajah got a nice grade but the NRA endorsed Tom Emmer. Here’s what the grades mean:

A: Solidly pro-gun candidate. A candidate who has supported NRA positions on key votes in elective office or a candidate with a demonstrated record of support on Second Amendment issues.

AQ A pro-gun candidate whose rating is based solely on the candidate’s responses to the NRA-PVF Candidate Questionnaire and who does not have a voting record on Second Amendment issues.

In the Sixth District, we insist that our candidates walk the walk on the Second Amendment. Just talking the talk isn’t good enough. Tom Emmer’s consistently walked the walk. Thus far, Rhonda Sivarajah has only talked the talk.

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The Metrocrat wing of the DFL is the dominant wing of the party at the moment. Typically, Metrocrats love gun control and hate mining. Consider this post my argument that Rick Nolan’s views align best with the Metrocrats, not with the Iron Range. This website exposes Rick Nolan as the anti-Second Amendment activist that he is. Check this out:

Rick Nolan On the Record

The NRA is “very toxic in the effect they’re having on the American public.” Rick Nolan, MSNBC, 2013
“…I am concerned over the easy accessibility of small handguns… I will vote to prohibit the sale or manufacture of such weapons.” Rick Nolan, Constituent Letter, 1977
“I think we should outlaw assault rifles.” Rick Nolan, DFL Primary Debate, 2012
“I don’t need an assault weapon to shoot a duck, and I think they ought to be banned…” Rick Nolan, Face the Nation, 2013
“…I think we need to put a ban on the amount of shells you can carry in a magazine.” Rick Nolan, Face the Nation, 2013

I transcribed Stuart Mills ad (titled 2nd Amemdment) for this article. Here’s the key part of that ad:

Around election time, Rick will put on his hunter’s orange and grab a rifle but in Washington, he’s repeatedly voted to take away your rights.

Rick Nolan’s views on guns are compatible with Michael Paymar’s or Dianne Feinstein’s. They aren’t a fit with Eighth District voters. This video shows Nolan’s true colors:

That’s pretty emphatic. Nolan isn’t in step with his pro-Second Amendment district. Based on this information from the Nolan for Congress Issues page, Nolan’s anti-mining views don’t fit with his district, either:

The Environment

The environment, our air, lakes, rivers and forests, are crucial to our 8th district economy. The degradation of our air and water, along with global warming, threaten the very survival of our species here on mother earth. We must protect the environment in order to preserve our way of life and our tourism industry.

In environmental activists’ minds, there’s only one way to degrade a the “air and water” in a lightly populated area like the Range. That’s through mining. Apparently, Nolan’s views on mining are more compatible with Al Franken’s views than with Tommie Rukavina’s view.

Based on how little he agrees with the Eighth District, it isn’t difficult seeing him in the fight of his political life. I wouldn’t be surprised if Mills defeats Nolan this November.

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In special recall elections yesterday, Coloradans swept 2 Democrats out of office for supporting restrictive gun control laws:

Two Democratic lawmakers in Colorado, including the president of the state Senate, were recalled Tuesday in elections brought about by their support for tougher gun control laws.

According to unofficial results, voters in Colorado Springs favored recalling state Sen. John Morse, the body’s president, by 51 percent to 49 percent. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, state Sen. Angela Giron of Pueblo was defeated in her recall election, 56 percent to 44 percent.

Defeating incumbents is a tough thing, which means Republicans did a great job of appealing to voters. Then they did a great job of getting these people to the polls. Mitch Berg notes that gun control advocates’ money didn’t win the day:

Even better? The avalanche of liberal money didn’t do the job (emphasis added)!:

While both sides campaigned vigorously, knocking on doors, holding rallies and driving voters to the polls, gun-control advocates far outspent their opponents. A range of philanthropists, liberal political groups, unions and activists raised a total of $3 million to defend Mr. Morse and Ms. Giron. Mr. Bloomberg personally gave $350,000.

Money won’t defeat tons of true believers. People still believe in the right to keep and bear arms. They still believe in the right to defend themselves and their families.

Nedless to say, Democrats were licking their wounds after these stinging defeats:

Colorado’s Democratic governor, John Hickenlooper, said he was “disappointed by the outcome of the recall elections” before calling on state residents to “refocus again on what unites Coloradans, creating jobs, educating our children, creating a healthier state, and on finding ways to keep Colorado moving forward.”

In other words, they want to put this defeat in the rear view mirror ASAP. They’d rather change the subject than defend their position on gun control. Meanwhile, Republicans were jubilant:

The Colorado Republican Party called the vote results “a loud and clear message to out-of-touch Democrats across the nation” in a statement released late Tuesday.

It’s natural for people to gloat following a big victory like this. The Colorado GOP is right that tons of Democrats are out of touch with people on gun control and other issues. It’s proof that Democrats who listen to their special interest fanatic base will get defeated.

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The federal government is attempting to reduce gun violence by taxing law-abiding citizens through this legislation:


‘There is hereby imposed upon the sale by the manufacturer, producer, or importer of the following articles a tax equivalent to the specified percent of the price for which so sold:

‘(1) Articles taxable at 20 percent:
‘(A) Pistols.
‘(B) Revolvers.
‘(C) Firearms (other than pistols and revolvers).
‘(D) Any lower frame or receiver for a firearm, whether for a semiautomatic pistol, rifle, or shotgun that is designed to accommodate interchangeable upper receivers.

‘(2) Articles taxable at 50 percent: Shells and cartridges.’.

(b) Exemption for United States- Subsection (b) of section 4182 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended to read as follows:
‘(b) Sales to United States- No firearms, pistols, revolvers, lower frame or receiver for a firearm, shells, and cartridges purchased with funds appropriated for any department, agency, or instrumentality of the United States shall be subject to any tax imposed on the sale or transfer of such articles.’

First, this bill won’t get a hearing in the House of Representatives. It’s going nowhere fast. Second, even if such a bill would pass, it wouldn’t reduce gun violence. Violent criminals commit violent crimes. The feds imposing a huge sales tax on guns and ammo won’t stop gun violence because violent criminals don’t buy guns and ammunition from retailers. They buy those things on the black market.

The only impact this legislation would have is on law-abiding citizens. It’ll dramatically drive up the cost of guns and ammunition for law-abiding citizens, making it more difficult for people to defend themselves. This is as nutty as Seattle starting a campaign to announce which stores are gun-free:

MAYOR MCGINN: Over 50 businesses in Seattle have declared themselves as gun-free zones and they would prefer that people not come in with guns. And if they do come in with guns, they will be asked to leave.
GRETA: Mayor, before I got into TV, I was a criminal defense attorney and if my clients heard that there was a store that was part of a gun-free zone, it would be open season on that store. And I know that part of the program is that they put stickers in the windows.

This is just the opening to the interview. Watch the entire thing to see just how naive this mayor is. Frankly, it’s breathtaking.

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This NRO article is both maddening and frightening:

Perhaps a suddenly firearm-friendly President Obama can put in a good word for Jared Marcum. In April, Marcum, an eighth-grader at Logan Middle School in Logan, W. Va., was arrested when he refused to take off his NRA t-shirt. The New York Daily News reports:

The clothing kerfuffle began when Marcum wore a shirt bearing the NRA’s logo and a hunting rifle. As he stood in line in the cafeteria, a teacher ordered him to either change shirts or turn it inside out.

Marcum declined and was sent to the office, where an officer was dispatched after he again refused to comply with the school’s request.

Cops arrested him and charged him with disrupting the educational process and obstructing an officer.

The teacher who told Marcum he shouldn’t wear the t-shirt apparently doesn’t care about the First Amendment. It’s pretty clear that the teacher doesn’t like the Second Amendment, either. With that in mind, perhaps this teacher should learn from people smarter than him. I’d submit that this young lady could teach this teacher a ton about the Constitution:

First, the school didn’t have the right to tell the student he couldn’t wear that t-shirt. The First Amendment trumps everything else. That should be case closed.

Second, this teacher should be disciplined for teaching a student through his actions that the Constitution should be ignored. After that, this student should put the fear of God into this teacher and the school district for violating this student’s constitutional rights.

Spring brings new hope to just about everyone. Everyone but gun control advocates, it seems. Based on this article, it sounds like gun control advocates are having a miserable spring:

Rural Democrats’ opposition to changing Minnesota’s gun laws casts doubt on what legislation, if any, will pass this year to tackle gun violence.

A group of at least eight Democrats from outstate Minnesota are standing firm against virtually any expansion of the state’s background check system. Together with Republicans, who need just six votes from across the aisle to block a bill, those Democrats hold the keys to shape, or sink, any gun legislation.

Bills to ban assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines in Minnesota were quickly dropped, and an effort to impose universal background checks for gun sales was whittled down in the House to a bill that would close the so-called gun show loophole.

Advocates and lawmakers backing gun control measures acknowledge the possibility that even that bill won’t pass. Senate legislation for universal background checks is in limbo as top Democrats there wait to see what happens in the House.

The St. Paul Democrat who led an unsuccessful push to impose universal background checks on gun sales hopes a bill will hit the House floor for debate in the next two weeks. House Speaker Paul Thissen wouldn’t guarantee they’ll take up a gun bill this session, but said he wants to have the debate.

When the Newtown tragedy happened, gun control advocates stepped forward, saying that this was the best chance they’d ever get to pass sweeping gun control legislation. That’s true. If they couldn’t pass sweeping gun control legislation after that, they’d never pass sweeping gun control legislation.

Now that this coalition of rural DFL legislators and GOP legislators has formed, the gun control advocates are staring at another humiliating defeat. This is a major defeat for Speaker Thissen, Rep. Hausman and Rep. Paymar, especially Speaker Thissen. His inability to keep his caucus together on this issue indicates his agenda isn’t Minnesota’s agenda. Rather, it says that the metro DFL’s agenda is significantly different than the rest of the state.

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Gabby Giffords’ NYTimes op-ed is disheartening because it’s based mostly on emotional blackmail. Here’s a perfect example of her emotional blackmail:

SENATORS say they fear the N.R.A. and the gun lobby. But I think that fear must be nothing compared to the fear the first graders in Sandy Hook Elementary School felt as their lives ended in a hail of bullets. The fear that those children who survived the massacre must feel every time they remember their teachers stacking them into closets and bathrooms, whispering that they loved them, so that love would be the last thing the students heard if the gunman found them.

Thankfully, Charles Krauthammer’s reply puts things in proper perspective :

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: The question is: Would it have had any effect on Newtown? If you’re going to make all these emotional appeals — he’s saying you’re betraying the families — you’ve got to show how if this had been law it would’ve stopped Newtown. It would not have. It’s irrelevant.

I wouldn’t have objected, I might’ve gone the way of McCain or Toomey on this, but it’s a kind of emotional blackmail as a way of saying, ‘You have to do it for the children.’ Not if there’s no logic in this. And that I think is what’s wrong with the demagoguery that we’ve heard out of the president on this issue. (Special Report, April 17, 2013)

The Manchin-Toomey Amendment wouldn’t have prevented the tragic shootings in Newtown, CT or Aurora, CO. The Manchin-Toomey Amendment was the last part of President Obama’s sweeping gun control legislation still left standing.

The rest of the Obama-Feinstein bill went up in flames because people noticed that the Obama-Feinstein bill wouldn’t have prevented these shootings. For once, the American people insisted on genuine solutions to real problems. They rejected the Democrats’ surely-we-must-do-something legislating style.

The American people said that we don’t have to do something if it isn’t a solution. Doing something for the sake of doing something is mostly about people feeling guilty.

Here’s more from Ms. Giffords’ diatribe:

Some of the senators who voted against the background-check amendments have met with grieving parents whose children were murdered at Sandy Hook, in Newtown. Some of the senators who voted no have also looked into my eyes as I talked about my experience being shot in the head at point-blank range in suburban Tucson two years ago, and expressed sympathy for the 18 other people shot besides me, 6 of whom died. These senators have heard from their constituents — who polls show overwhelmingly favored expanding background checks. And still these senators decided to do nothing. Shame on them.

Expanded background checks wouldn’t have prevented Newtown. It wouldn’t have prevented the Tuscon shooting. Both shooters, Adam Lanza and Jared Loughner, had mental health issues.

Rather than focusing on mental health issues, the gun confiscation crowd focused on confiscating guns:

The governor then laid out several ideas for how the state would enforce stricter laws on those so-called “assault” weapons: “Confiscation could be an option. Mandatory sale to the state could be an option. Permitting could be an option — keep your gun but permit it,” he said.

Dianne Feinstein attempted to use the same emotional blackmail in justifying her legislation. Thankfully, Sen. Cruz, (R-TX), stopped that emotional blackmail dead in its tracks. Sen. Feinstein attempted to justify her gun confiscation legislation by talking about seeing a mayor shot down.

Horrific events don’t give people permission to ignore the Bill of Rights. Apparently, Sen. Feinstein and Ms. Giffords don’t agree with that principle. Their approach is to ignore the Constitution that they took an oath to uphold. Finally, this is disgusting:

Speaking is physically difficult for me. But my feelings are clear: I’m furious. I will not rest until we have righted the wrong these senators have done, and until we have changed our laws so we can look parents in the face and say: We are trying to keep your children safe. We cannot allow the status quo, desperately protected by the gun lobby so that they can make more money by spreading fear and misinformation, to go on.

Shame on Ms. Giffords. The “gun lobby” that she’s decrying are mostly made up of ordinary citizens paying $35 a year for membership. These aren’t high-powered K Street lobbyists. They’re your neighbors and co-workers.

As for “the wrong these senators have done,” they voted against an amendment that wouldn’t have solved any problems. God help us if we think voting no on amendments that don’t solve problems is a wrong that needs correcting.

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Thursday night, I was flipping through the channels at about 10:30. Lou Dobbs was discussing gun violence with Bill O’Reilly so I thought I’d take a moment to hear what they’d have to say.

O’Reilly said that background checks were good but that it was necessary for legal gun owners to register guns. Then he said something that frightened me and angered Dobbs. O’Reilly said that there should be a law that gave a 10 year mandatory sentence to people who didn’t register their guns. Here’s O’Reilly’s explanation/’justification’ for his law:

O’REILLY: But if you had the registration and the cops went out and stopped and frisked and grabbed the gun, that’s a 10 year penalty.

Later, he said that this would be done as a preventative measure. There’s just one sticky problem with O’Reilly’s law. It’s unconstitutional. The first time it got challenged in the Supreme Court, it’d be ruled unconstitutional with a near-unanimous vote. The Fourth Amendment prohibits searches of this kind. Here’s the text of the Fourth Amendment:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

I’m not a constitutional attorney but I’d argue that requiring probable cause to be proven prohibits ‘preventative searches’.

Imagine police being able to search a person without obtaining a warrant. Without the Fourth Amendment’s protections, law officers would be able to go anywhere and search for anything at any time for any reason. That isn’t American. That’s what Third World dictators do in a police state. It’s what they did in the former Soviet Union or Saddam’s Iraq. It’s what they’re doing in China and North Korea.

I don’t doubt that Mr. O’Reilly’s intentions are sincere. There’s no question in my mind that he genuinely wants to protect children from gun violence. That said, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. O’Reilly is a reactionary. He doesn’t think things through. It isn’t likely that he ever will.

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