Wednesday, October 26, 2011

HR 822 - Passed Committee

As reported by The Hill, and elsewhere, HR 822 successfully passed out of the House Judiciary committee and is clear to proceed to the House floor.  The sole Republican member voting against the bill was Rep. Dan Lundgren.  He voted against the bill because of states rights issues, and he had wished to amend the bill:

“I wanted to offer an amendment that the person be a resident of the state in order for the reciprocity imposed by federal law — in other words, a resident of the state that granted the permit,” Lungren said, noting that his concerns were not adequately addressed in committee.
 So, Rep. Lundgren favors a policy that would disarm people holding non-resident permits, as well as the vast majority of California citizens who are unable to obtain a license to carry given the restrictive issue policies of most sheriffs offices in this state.

Or perhaps he is just worried about a lot of "fly-over" states residents carrying in California?  Either way, Dan Lundgren is not a friend of gun rights in this state.  Perhaps the citizens of House District 3 need to remind him for whom he works.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

As Read on Common Gunsense

Blogger gregorycamp had this to say in response to this post on Common Gunsense: 
This is your website, so you have the right to do with it as you choose. That being said, I'd like to see you be honest about your actual purpose here. What you want is to make pronouncements and have your audience sing along in a chorus of agreement. So be it. Just don't expect those of us on the other side to be fooled.
Or to continue to waste our time "debating" Joan Peterson.  I have stopped commenting on her posts because I know she and I will never agree.  The differences in world views and values are too profound for total agreement.

About the only things that Joan Peterson and I agree on, after some reflection on my part, is that all firearms transfers should involve a background check, and that a better job must be done to include mental health records in background checks.  I also think that training should be required for a license to carry a concealed weapon, and that training must include a qualification course of fire. Drug or alcohol use while armed should be prohibited, just as it is when operating automobiles.

As is the case now, one is always responsible for the use of the weapon in public, so everyone who carries a weapon must know when, and when not to use it.  However, a person who uses a weapon in an act of lawful self defense should be immune from civil lawsuits.

Other then that, if you are not a prohibited person, you're good to go.  No waiting periods to pick up a gun.  No purchase limits: 1 handgun per month. No weapon-type bans: police officers and citizens get to carry the same weapons.  No registration of weapons, no ammo restrictions, no micro-stamping, no rosters of supposedly safe weapons, unless the police are subject to the very same limits.

I would also limit the definition of sensitive places, and I would not allow private property owners to prohibit weapon carry if they offer sales of services or products to the public.   If schools are deemed to be sensitive, then that should apply to the school property itself, not to zones surrounding the property.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Does President Obama Have Dog?

Because he sure isn't getting any love from liberals.

This story mentions a bit about the attitudes of the Occupy Wall Street protesters:

"When Douglas Schoen, a Democratic pollster, sent an agent to Zuccotti Park, where the protests began, to make inquiries, he got back surprising data. Just 198 occupiers were polled, so this was hardly a scientific sampling, but an experienced pollster nevertheless is careful about whom he talks to. Just 48 percent said they will vote for Mr. Obama next year. Only about 15 percent are unemployed, and they clearly aren’t the downtrodden “99 percent” they claim they are. However, “We’re the 85 percent” wouldn’t make much of a message on a T-shirt."
President Obama is in real trouble if these people are not solidly behind his re-election.

Long Gun Open Carry Event Today

The event will be held at the Bayfair Mall, in San Leandro, from 12 noon to 1 PM today.  Any and all California legal long guns are allowed.  SFGate has an article about the event here:
"The point is to be provocative enough to spur action by the courts or legislators to repeal the new law and restore the right to pack unloaded pistols in the open."
I am sure that they will be provocative, but what they provoke is likely to be a new law banning open carry of long guns.  Any new law could very well be poorly crafted and a huge burden on lawful gun owners, but it seems the open carry advocates are not going to stand down.

Oh, well.


Here is a comment I posted on the SFGate site:
"The people holding the event are not gun nuts, they are rights nuts.

Let me explain.

These people believe, as I do, that the 2nd Amendment protects the right of the individual to be armed for self defense, both in the home, and in public.  So far, the Supreme Court has validated the "in the home" part of that view, but has not yet affirmed the "in public" part.

Meanwhile, about 40 states in the United States allow law abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons in public legally, after satisfying objective criteria.  However California is not one of these states.  While California does have a concealed weapon law, licenses to carry are very rarely issued in urban counties where the need to be armed is greatest.  In Santa Clara county, only 55 licenses to carry are currently issued to civilians.

The Open Carry movement uses open carry events to protest the current state of the California laws governing law carry of arms in public - laws that almost totally prevent a citizen from carrying weapons openly or concealed, laws which therefore deny thhe exercise of 2nd Amendment rights.

The Open Carry advocates do not want to carry weapons in a way that alarms the public, but the public has not afforded the citizen any other way to carry, and the public prevents effective self-defense by tolerating restrictive laws.  Many comments to this article have mentioned that unloaded guns are useless for self defense, and have wondered why these Open Carry advocates do not conceal their weapons.  The reason is that Open Carry advocates believe in following the law, and not open carry of unloaded long guns is all that is allowed.

This event is a protest, intended to illustrate the stupidity of the current California laws concerning bearing arms in public.  One solution to this situation would be to reform California laws by adopting a shall-issue license to carry system.  Other states do it without many problems, California could as well.  Once this state was a social trend setter, but now it has fallen behind the rest of the nation.

Time for us to catch up."

Friday, October 14, 2011

New Page - Roster of Handguns Uncertified for Sale

I have created a new page for Left Coast: a roster of new handguns that are not certified for sale in California, usually because they are pistols that lack a magazine disconnect.  This page, available here, will be updated as I get time and learn about new handgun models.  Your submissions will also be welcome and added to the page.

Long Gun Open Carry Event

The Responsible Citizens of California are planning an event that will be irresponsible from a political point of view, that is an open carry event in Pacific Beach where participants will be carrying unloaded rifles and shotguns.

I predict a sequel to AB 144 in the next legislative session, restricting the open carry of long guns as well.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know it is a right, and all that, but come on!  You're not accomplishing anything constructive by holding these events, except scaring the Hell out of people, and handing our adversaries political capitol.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Calguns Publishes List of Active LTC by County

In a feat of stupendous effort, Calguns Foundation has published a report detailing the number and type of active licenses to carry by county in the state of California.  The report, in PDF format, is available for download here.  I will also add the download URL to my Get The Facts section on this blog.

Salient Statistics:

Total Active Civilian LTC: 32666
Total Possible Civilian LTC: 37465
Total Possible LTC Santa Clara Co.:92

That is correct, 92 LTC in Santa Clara Co., an issue rate of 0.068 LTC per 1000 eligible persons.

Monday, October 10, 2011

What do the OWS People Believe?

I have long thought that the best way to find out what people in a group believe is to read comments on their blogs.  I was curious about the Occupy Wall Street people, and checked out their web site.

The discussions were wide ranging, and so far as I read, thoughtful debates on issues.  One comment:
"What happened to the Green Revolution? I have been waiting for Iran to take it back up."
inspired me to reply:
"The Green Revolution got stamped out because the protesters were unarmed.  In the face of ruthless men, citizens must secure their rights with guns.  Thankfully we live in a nation of laws so that people can "peaceably assemble" to petition "for redress of grievances". The Iranian people, unfortunately do not, and so they were brutally suppressed because  they had no arms."
I can't wait to see what the reply might be.

Issa Accueses Holder of Lying About Fast & Furious

The House of Representatives investigation into Fast & Furious has perhaps moved into a new phase.  In this letter, published on the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform website, and originally published by David Codrea, Chairman Issa accuses Eric Holder of lying in his testimony before Congress.  One damning paragraph among many:
Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of this intransigence is that the Department of Justice has been lying to Congress ever since the inquiry into Fast and Furious began. On February 4, 2011, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich wrote that "ATF makes every effort to interdict weapons that have been purchased illegally and prevent their transport into Mexico." This letter, vetted by both the senior ranks of ATF as well as the Office of the Deputy Attorney General, is a flat-out lie.
This letter lays out Rep. Issa's justification for continued investigation, and throws down the gauntlet to Holder, and by extension, the Obama Administration, to come clean about this scandal. I encourage everyone to read this letter: it summarizes the extent of the corruption involved in the cover-up.

I am beginning to believe that Eric Holder will be forced to resign in order to deflect he damage from the Obama Administration. If he resigns, however, will he resist testifying about any wider extent of the scandal, or will Holder "roll over" on others?

Another question: Why in Hell did the DOJ do this, Fast & Furious, that is, in the first place?

Sounds Like Obama Has Given Up.

In this article, Micheal Goodwin of the New York Post writes:
The gist is this: President Obama has become a lone wolf, a stranger to his own government. He talks mostly, and sometimes only, to friend and adviser Valerie Jarrett and to David Axelrod, his political strategist.

The president’s workdays are said to end early, often at 4 p.m. He usually has dinner in the family residence with his wife and daughters, then retreats to a private office. One person said he takes a stack of briefing books. Others aren’t sure what he does.
The first paragraph, if true, is really bad for a President.  He would be seeking out, and finding, only the point of view of people that certainly agree with him in most matters.  Obama is avoiding intellectual challenges, and with such a small group, the odds of falling into groupthink are very great.

The second paragraph seems to portray a man who has given up, who is simply going through the motions until his tenure is completed.  If so, then he does himself, and the American people, a great disservice.

Wall Street Occupiers - Their Ignorance Explicated.

I have not posted about the Wall Street Occupiers because I have been unsure about their aims, or if they have any potential for lasting influence.  But they have seemed to be from the start to be remarkably ignorant of how the real world works for people who presumably have college educations.  The following quote says it better than I ever could:

Reader Harold Theurer sees another angle. Noting the passing of Steve Jobs, he wonders how many protesters carrying Apple products understand how those gadgets came to exist.

“What started out as two men in a garage with ideas and passion would have been nothing more than two guys in a garage with ideas and passion had it not been for an IPO on Dec. 12, 1980, when Apple went public at $22 per share,” he writes.

“Big Bad Wall Street raised $101 million for Mr. Jobs to expand his ideas, create jobs and change the landscape of technology. The next time any of the Wall Street occupiers makes an iTune purchase, it can be traced back to some Big Bad Banker’s belief in Mr. Jobs and his company.”

Class dismissed.


Long Gun Open Carry - Comming to A Starbucks Near You!

Well, Governor Brown did it.  Starting January 1, 2012, it will be illegal to carry an unloaded handgun in public in California.  But as noted here, and many other places, this bill says nothing about log guns.  I think we will see more protest activities in the future, but this time people will be carrying their long guns, especially so-called assault weapons.

This may not be a wise policy.

When confronted with firearms in public, our legislature reacts by outlawing the practice of carrying guns, even unloaded guns, where the easily frightened sheeple of California can see them.  Given that most people in California think that AK-47 and AR-15 rifles are illegal to possess because of the assault weapon ban, the sight of bullet button-equipped rifle might be just a little alarming, I would expect the legislature to act to prohibit public carry of unloaded rifles as well.

They may also re-visit the CA assault weapon law in order to outlaw Off-List Lowers and the use of bullet buttons.  It would be interesting to see if such efforts would survive the inevitable court challenges.

Update 10/11/2011:

Here is one reaction from an UOC advocate, Yih-Chau Chang, press secretary of Responsible Citizens of California:
Chang added that many such advocates, including himself, carry exposed, unloaded handguns on a daily basis and will likely choose to openly carry unloaded long guns in lieu of handguns once the law takes effect in January.
I wonder what the reaction of the Legislature will be once people start carrying rifles in public.

California Gun Bills - Results Are In

Governor Brown has signed or vetoed the various firearms bills sent to him by the Legislature.  This post on Calguns has the scorecard:

  • AB809 Long Gun Registration: Signed.  Starting January 1, 2014, all long gun transfers will have to be performed using a FFL and DROS.   In effect, California now requires long gun registration.
  • SB819 Redirection of DROS Fees: Signed. Starting immediately, DROS fees are to be redirected into the DOJ budget for regulatory and enforcement activities.
  • AB144 Unloaded Open Carry Ban: Signed.  As of January 1, 2012, open carry of an unloaded handgun will be a misdemeanor.
  • SB610 LTC Reform: Signed. Starting immediately, all agencies processing applications for a License To Carry a concealed weapon must follow uniform procedures as outlined in this bill.  This is a VERY GOOD result.
  • AB427 Handgun Ammunition: Vetoed. Thank God! At least we don't have to fight the AB 962 fight again this year!
These results are not as good as I hoped, but not as bad as I feared.  The worst of the bills that have passed is long gun registration, of course, and I am sorry about AB 144.  SB819 is not really a surprise since the state is broke, and Brown will be trying to sweep any amount to money he can into operating budgets.  But two very big pieces of legislation are now law: LTC application process must be uniform, and we don't have to re-fight the ammunition fight from last year.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Violent Crime in U.K. - Proof That Gun Control Does Not Equal Crime Control

This 2009 article from the Daily Telegraph indicates that, far from the violence free utopia that gun control advocate would have us believe would result, violent crime has increased in recent years until  the U.K. is the most violent country in Europe:
"The total number of violent offences recorded compared to population is higher than any other country in Europe, as well as America, Canada, Australia and South Africa."
 Clearly, largely eliminating firearms ownership has not helped prevent violent crime.  It is logical to assume that such policies would be equally fruitless in the United States.  The experiment in the U.K. shows that presence, or absence, of an object in society does not have an effect on complex social trends like violent crime.  Violent crime cannot be controlled by controlling guns, only by controlling criminals.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Presidential Campaign 2012 - Racism Rhetoric

As 2011 winds down we are entering the 2012 political season, and we must brace ourselves for a dominant theme of the political race: racism.

This will be the main theme of the progressive allies of President Obama, especially of economic indicators and job approval ratings continue to slide.  We can see a preview of this from Janeane Garofalo:
Garofalo told Keith Olbermann, "Herman Cain is probably well liked by some of the Republicans because it hides the racist elements of the Republican Party." Asked if she meant the entire Republican party, she added. "Conservative movement and tea party movement (are) one in the same."
To Garofalo, and other believers of identity politics, Obama's and Cain's blackness is the determinant of voter appeal or repulsion, not their ideals, political positions, or characters.  Therefore, conservatives supporting Cain must be doing so from latent white-guilt, not because of Cain's 9-9-9 economic plan.  Likewise, conservatives opposing Obama's re-election must be doing so because of overt racism, not because of his drunken-sailor budgets or intrusive medical care regulations.

To be sure, Obama will not play the race card.  He will hold himself and his campaign at a higher level and run on his record.  But the shakier that record looks, the more we can expect Progressive foot-soldiers like Garofolo to turn to racism to shore up the campaign dike. Expect it, dismiss it, and move on.  2012 is too important to allow Progressive Know-Nothings like Garolafo to dictate peoples votes.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Guns in Schools: Always a Bad Thing?

Common sense says that guns and schools go together like a match and gasoline: they know nothing good can come from the combination.  Joan Peterson thinks, and has said many times on her blog, that the idea of ordinary armed people stopping a school shooting incident is fantasy:

Who are these people that we would entrust to "protect" our children? How will they be vetted? At least we know that police officers are trained for this stuff and are vetted and hired to do the job of protecting us. That is their primary job when they are on duty. It is not a part-time, as needed, and when they are available.
But it is not fantasy.  It has happened in the past, and it could happen in the future.  How many times have teachers or students, legally armed, intervened in school shootings with beneficial effects? At least four times in the 20th century:

Utah allows carry permit holders to carry their concealed weapons on K-12 school property, but when was the last time an active shooter incident happened at a Utah school?  There are many more reports of unarmed teachers, staff, and students stopping active shooters.  To me it only makes common sense to allow teachers with carry permits to carry their concealed weapons while on duty.  We trust these people with our children already, so why not give them the ability to repel an attack?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Concealed Carry Laws - No Increase in Crime

While there is no way anti-rights people will admit this, the fact of the matter is that liberalized concealed carry laws have NOT increased violent crime.  Mike Stuckey, writing in this 2010 MSNBC article,  agrees:

"Statistics from the national Centers for Disease Control do indicate that the murder and mayhem predicted by many opponents of concealed-carry laws have not come to pass. But even that point, while celebrated by gun-rights activists and conceded by some concealed-carry opponents, is disputed by others.
Both sides do agree on one thing: More Americans than ever are carrying hidden guns."
 Oh, gosh! More guns in public does not mean more crime.  Joan, what ever will you say to that!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Does The Violence Policy Center Still Support a Handgun Ban?

While perusing the website of the Violence Policy Center, I came upon their March, 2000 study Unsafe In Any Hands: Why America Needs To Ban Handguns.  This study concludes:
"A clear-cut plan to ban handguns should be developed and implemented soon. Considering the many thousands who are killed or maimed by the handgun each year, how much more motivation do we need?"
If, as Joan Peterson claims:
 "Things have changed since that time. You won't find Josh Sugarman saying that today. The Brady Campaign is not saying it. The Supreme Court has assured you all that you have your guns for self defense and hunting. People change. Times change. Things change."
Then why is this study still on the violence Policy Center website?  Is that just an oversight, or is a handgun ban still a policy goal of the VPC?  This article seems to indicate that the VPC still supports a handgun ban:
“Their efforts at reaching out to minorities and women have failed,” said Rand, whose group advocates banning all handguns and some rifles but believes sporting rifles and shotguns should remain legal. “The industry constantly has to look for a way to make a guy who already owns 15 guns buy a new one.”
 Joan Peterson does have a point.  Much has changed since 2000.  Support for increased gun control has declined 22% since 2000, and the Supreme Court has interpreted the 2nd Amendment to protect the individual right, making this statement in the study hollow:
"An objection continually raised to gun control is that the Second Amendment to the Constitution somehow forbids it. This is pure myth. No gun control law has ever been overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court on Second Amendment grounds."
 What has not changed is the philosophical approach of the VPC, The Brady Campaign, and Joan Peterson: to control gun crime it is necessary to control guns.  I believe this to be wrong headed, even hilariously idiotic.  To control gun crime it is necessary to control criminals.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

License To Carry Statistics

This site is new to me, and I found it useful in this post, so I am adding to the Get The Facts section of the blog.  I really wish they had it in a table format, however.

In general, I have found that the hardest thing about blogging about gun-rights issues is finding statistical information about various aspects of firearms ownership and usage.  I have found some interesting things that give some data, and I will be blogging on those soon.