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Roanoke Times Has A Great Editorial Worth the Time to Read

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Today's Roanoke Times has a very good editorial on the shooting of two WDBJ employees that asked the question "What Would Have Prevented This?" The Times notes:
Yet the notion that we need more gun control — what kind of gun control, exactly, would have prevented this? McAuliffe, in that radio interview with WTOP in Washington, said: “We need tougher gun laws in the commonwealth. Everyone who purchases a firearm in Virginia should have to go through a background check.”While the Times dredges up the so-called "gun show loophole", they correctly note that the shooter passed a background check before he purchased his pistol. He was not a convicted felon, he had no protective orders against him, and did not have a history of psychiatric treatment.  They also point out that a waiting period would not have stopped him because he bought the handgun two months before using it.  With this background presented, the Times rightly asks:
What, short of repealing the Second Amendment and prohibiting the sale of any firearms, would have prevented Flanagan from patronizing a gun store?The Times then points out the conversations that do need to be held, one about mental health, which they say is surely underfunded and underappreciated.  The second conversation is about the nature of American culture itself:
The other, perhaps even more difficult, conversation is about the nature of American culture in general. President Obama was correct when he said “the number of people who die from gun-related incidents around this country dwarfs any deaths that happen through terrorism.” What if the deepest problem here, though, is not in our laws or our mental health system but in ourselves? Other countries suffer horrendous crimes, too, but not the way we do. Why is that?And that's the real question.  When I was a kid, we could take our shotguns to school in our trucks or cars to go hunting at the end of the day.  No one shot up the school with them.  People in New York that were on rifle teams took their guns to school on the subway.  All of this before background checks and magazine bans and such that have been passed since that time.  What has changed about people in the last 30 years?  The Times closes with this which could explain the change:
The British journalist Tim Stanley, writing in London’s Daily Telegraph newspaper, put it this way: “I love America, I sincerely do. But it has an anger problem. Flanagan was a classic example of a man who sought conflict and when he found it, escalated it into hysteria and — crucially — politicised it. In reality, he was probably just a mediocre journalist. But he imagined that he was the victim of a conspiracy and that he had to fight back. This tendency to erupt when reason should have prevailed is behind so much of the social chaos in AmericaWell worth the time to read the entire editorial.  Hat tip to Cam Edwards and NRANews.

Walmart Removing AR-15 Style Rifles from Inventory

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The Richmond Times-Dispatch has the story here
The AR-15 rifles and other modern sporting rifles were being sold at less than a third of the company's 4,600 U.S. stores. Company spokesman Kory Lundberg said Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will remove the remaining inventory as stores transition from summer to fall merchandise, which should take a week or two to complete.

Lundberg said the decision to remove the weapons was not political and that the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer made the decision earlier this year.

"It's similar to what we do with any product. Being what it is, it gets a little more attention, but it's the same process for any other product," Lundberg said.While some in the gun ban lobby who push businesses like Wal-Mart to make these decision will probably use this to claim some sort of victory, I would agree that this is probably not political - I've never seen them in the Richmond area stores anyway.  The guns sold in Wal-mart stores in this area are shotguns and .22s.  Maybe a hunting rifle.   And, unlike my favorite locally owned gun store, I don't see people lined up at the counter in the Wal-Mart sporting goods section to buy a firearm.  I figure most serious gun owners are like me, when they are looking to buy a new firearm, they want someone who knows what they are talking about, and that's not usually your average Wal-Mart sporting goods employee.

Grant Cunningham on Situational Awareness

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Firearms trainer Rob Pincus noted on his Facebook page that he has seen a number of posts today related to this morning's shooting of two Virginia television staff and how it was an example of not being aware of your surroundings.  Video that the shooter took at the time of the shooting shows him standing not far from the victims, pointing his gun for what seemed like an eternity, and the reporter and interviewee (the cameraman's back was to the shooter) had no idea the shooter was there.   Pincus linked to an article on the Personal Defense Network web site titled "The Myth of Situational Awareness" by Grant Cunningham to point out that the way most people think about this topic is severely flawed when compared to real life:
It’s because awareness is too often touted as a talisman against attack, and it’s used to justify training that doesn’t reflect the realities of criminal attacks. Being situationally aware doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to see your attack coming farther out. In fact, the opposite is more likely.

Ever seen a movie or television show where someone is planning a jail break or burglary? They case the joint (usually at night), watching the guard patrol the area. They learn how long it takes the guard to make a complete circuit of the building, and just as he turns the corner, they make their move—secure in the knowledge that they have a predictable amount of time to work before he gets back.

This is the fallacy of situational awareness. You can “check your six” all you want, but if your attacker has determined you’re worth the increased risk, he’ll simply wait until your head starts to turn to the front again, and attack you from the rear. You’ll be ambushed because that’s the safest thing for him to do. He’s not going to stand 21 feet in front of you, knife in hand, and start running while your hands hover over the butt of your gun. He’ll wait until your attention is diverted and suddenly appear from your blind side.

Situational awareness doesn’t reduce your need to prepare for that ambush attack! An ambush, by its very nature, happens when you are least expecting it. Everyone, no matter how aware of their surroundings, has moments (lots of them) when their guard is down. Even if it’s only for a second or two, that’s all an attacker needs once he’s decided on his target. He’s not going to attack you while you’re looking at him—he’s going to wait until you’re not looking and then strike!

Don’t make the mistake of assuming the criminal is going to engage in a protracted surveillance of his target, giving you time to spot him. His assessment can happen in a matter of seconds, because an experienced perp uses the same kind of apperceptive pattern matching and recall that you do when you perform a task that you’re good at. That’s what makes him an expert at what he does, and it’s why he’s so dangerous.That's not to say situational awareness is useless. Cunningham notes it can alter the criminal’s risk-reward assessment in our favor and it might reduce the number of potential attackers simply because not all of them will be sufficiently expert enough to work around your alertness. The article goes on to talk about the best training regimen to help change the risk/reward equation.  It's a good read.

McAuliffe Says Police Pursuing Shooter of WDBJ Reporter and Cameraman

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Thoughts and prayers for the families and friends of the WDBJ reporter and cameraman that were killed early this morning during an on-air interview.  Governor Terry McAuliffe said police have a suspect and are pursuing.  Unfortunately, even before police have caught him or know the facts of why this sad incident occurred, McAuliffe also calls for more gun control.

Update: WDBJ reports suspect is in custody after shooting himself.  He is a former employee.

Dave Hardy on Brady's "Empty Suits"

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Lawyer and blogger Dave Hardy has a great article over on the NRA America's 1st Freedom website about that law suit against a number of online retailers that the Aurora theater shooter used before going on his killing spree in 2012.  You may remember our post earlier this summer about how Lucky Gunner, one of the retailers named in the suit, was going to give away to 2nd Amendment organizations, the money that the court ordered be paid by the plaintiffs to the defendants after the court dropped kicked Brady's suit.  Hardy calls that decision Brady's "Little Bighorn Moment":
On June 17, Matsch granted the motion, and ruled that Lucky Gunner and the other defendants were entitled to $203,000 in attorney fees! Matsch’s ruling slapped Brady down, and hard.

“It is apparent that this case was filed to pursue the political purposes of the Brady Center, and given the failure to present any cognizable legal claim, bringing these defendants into the Colorado court where the prosecution of [the killer] was proceeding appears to be more of an attempt to propagandize the public and to stigmatize the defendants than to obtain a court order which counsel should have known would be outside the authority of this court,” he ruled.

Brady had argued that the attorneys’ fees claimed were too high; too much effort had been put into the defense. The judge made short shrift of this.

“This was an all-conceivable claims attack on these Internet sellers, attempting to destroy their legitimate businesses and invalidate the federal and state statutes protecting them, …” he wrote. “Those who ignite a fire should be responsible for the cost of suppressing it before it becomes a conflagration.”

The ruling was a stunning blow to Brady’s litigation business model. From this point on, its strategy of sticking dealers with the costs of defense, even if Brady loses, becomes risky. Brady, or its clients, may wind up bearing those costs.Brady has lost cases before.  The "Little Bighorn Moment" comes in because, you see, Brady brought the suit on behalf of survivors of one of the victims.  So, as Hardy points out, the judgment is against "Brady's clients, not Brady.   The judge noted in his ruling that if this puts a hardship on the plaintiffs (Brady's clients) it could be "ameliorated by the sponsors (Brady) of this action in their name."  That puts Brady in the uncomfortable position of either leaving the folks they convinced to bring the suit holding the bag, or coughing up what Hardy states is more than half of their yearly payroll.

Now, as Hardy concludes, they could turn to fundraising to raise the funds, but, they have the choice of say "hey, we screwed up" or "we need your money to pay Lucky Gunner."  Not much of a choice in either case.

As Crime Rises, Violent Criminal Gets Probation in Milwaulkee

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In cities like Washington DC, Chicago, New York, and others, violent crime has been on the rise this summer.  Recently in Milwaukee, one criminal was sentenced to probation at the time he was charged with over 50 felonies.  While sentencing the man who had 55 counts of illegal gun purchase and sale charges, U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Randa, said, “People kill people, guns don’t kill people.” The perp got one year of probation.  Most crime is committed by repeat offenders.  I wonder when this guy will become part of that statistic.

On Friday, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke shared his thoughts on the story with NRANews host Cam Edwards, saying that we don’t need more gun laws, we need to do a better job of enforcing the laws we have. 

Brady Campaign and the Indiana National Guard

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The gun ban lobby isn't happy that Indiana Governor Mike Pence has asked NRA Instructors to teach concealed carry training to the state's guardsmen.
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence criticized Pence for recruiting the NRA, suggesting the organization is "first and foremost" a "lobbying organization."
"There is no institution better equipped to train our servicemen and women than the US military itself," Dan Gross, the Brady Campaigns president said. "This is not a job for lobbyists."Once again, Brady gets it wrong.  Here are the facts via NRABlog.com:
If anyone has done their research or knows a little bit about the NRA, they would know that we were founded on the principles of marksmanship, and have continued till this day to teach firearm competency and safety to civilians through a network of over 120,000 certified instructors. No other organization in the world does more than the NRA to educate people on the safe and responsible use of firearms.

Not only do we instruct civilians, but we also instruct law enforcement. Over 65,000 Law Enforcement instructors have gone through our NRA training programs, and there are currently over 13,000 active instructors - specifically in law enforcement. Protecting our rights in the halls of Congress is just one part of what the NRA does for gun owners. But we already know that.  If the mainstream media was interested in doing its job right, they would have pointed that out too.

Bloombergs Billions vs Our Grassroots

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Sebastian makes a great point over on Shall Not Be Questioned talking about the gobs of money that Bloomberg is spending and how it likely tilted Oregon in his favor in this year's legislature:
Bloomberg’s anti-gun movement has been frustrated in many states, except Oregon has recently tilted in his favor. It should be no surprise, then, that Everytown outspend pro-gun rights groups 10 to 1 there too. The other side wants to talk about the well-funded “gun lobby,” but reality is that Bloomberg can outspend us election after election if he really wants to, and money talks. If we don’t match Bloomberg’s cash with real and sustained grassroots energy, he will end up being able to successfully buy legislation, as he succeeded doing in Oregon.

Will he get involved in the handful of state senate races in Virginia this year to try and get a victory here?  We have the opportunity to match his money with grassroots activity.  NRA-ILA has Campaign Field Reps in the handful of competitive senate districts this year.  Please consider contacting them and volunteer to help the pro-rights candidate in your area.  Our grassroots can beat Bloomberg's money.

Virginia Beach
Talmadge East

Michael Rubino

Northern Virginia
Hunter VanDusen

Northern Virginia
Thomas Bingham

Retailers Bass Pro, Cabelas, Thumb Nose at Bloomberg

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The Washington Examiner reports that the nation's largest outdoor retailers, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's are not buckling under to Bloomberg funded Everytown for Gun Safety's demand that they ignore the rules put in place by the Brady Act.  Those rules allow an FFL to transfer a firearm to the buyer if the NICS has not denied the purchase with in 72 hours:
Under current FBI rules, the buyers are allowed to get their weapon after the third day, although the check for disqualifying information through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System will continue for a total of 90 days. It's a small number, however, since 91 percent of the background checks are completed instantly, surpassing the attorney general's own goal.

The Examiner also noted that even if a denial is received after the firearm has been transferred that there is a policy in place to recover the firearm from the purchaser.  Add these to Kroger, another company that has not buckled to Bloomberg's bullying.  All three businesses deserve the patronage of gun owners.

Hillary Not Backing Down on Gun Control

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National Journal has the story here:
Asked what she would do to strengthen gun-control laws across the country, Clinton said the current situation is "way out of balance" and that she is "not backing off of this fight," mentioning the shooting in Charleston that killed nine black churchgoers. "I don't see any conflict between the legitimate protection of Second Amendment rights and protecting people from gun violence from people who should never have guns in the first place," she said.

On another question, about "Stand Your Ground" laws around the country, Clinton said she thought many of those laws need to be "rewritten" and that reaching for a gun has become a "knee-jerk reaction."

"Yes, there is a role in extreme situations to defend yourself and defend your home, but unfortunately what we've seen too much of in the last few years is a spate of people who have reached for a gun before they really figured out what was going on," she said. "They've been much too eager to use that gun. We've seen it with policing and we've seen it with civilians."The facts don't support Clinton's claim that people are just "too eager to use" their guns.  There are over 100 million gun owners in this country.  We don't see untold numbers of people using them in "knee-jerk" ways to settle arguments or what ever else she may have had in mind when she made that comment.  Clinton and former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley have both made gun control a central part of their campaign for the White House.   If you think we've been under attack the last six years, if either one of them wins in 2016, it can only get worse.

Thanks for Keeping Our Costs Low

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Last week, the VSSA Executive Director shared this information with me and I intended to post it, but as is the case sometimes with bloggers who have a real job and a family, work and family responsibilities caused it to fall to the bottom of the stack. He sent me a "gentle" reminder late Wednesday afternoon, so here goes:
This marks the ninth year in a row that VSSA annual dues have not seen an increase! While postal rates have increased several times over the same period, and the cost of the renewal forms has also increased, there has been an overall savings to VSSA. This is due in large part to you, the members.

Not long ago, VSSA did a complete revamp of the association web site and began accepting new members and renewals online. As people now do everything from shopping, paying bills, and banking online, it only made sense to add this feature to the revamped web site. That feature has been a contributing factor to the savings. Online renewals save in repeat renewal notices, save in postage and save in time necessary to produce statements.

If you have not used this method for your membership renewal (and War Chest donations too), please take a moment to look at this simple and cost saving feature when it's time to renew your membership. You can access the renewal page at http://www.myvssa.org/renew.  You can visit the War Chest donation page at http://www.myvssa.org/content/vssa-war-chest.

Why Schumer's New Gun Ban Scheme is a Bad Idea

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 has a great piece over at Reason.com on the problems with Chuck and Amy Schumer's push to add more mental health records to the National Instant Check System (NICS).  Tuccille points out the main problem with the proposal is the arbitrary way that individuals are deemed to be a danger to themselves or others:
“On one extreme, I've seen at least one case where an applicant was unable to appeal his denial because local police entered an ominous but vague warning in his NICS entry that he was ‘dangerous,’ and thus he had no way of even knowing what motivated police to enter this record in the first place,” notes Jennifer Carlson, an assistant professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto and author of this year’s Citizen-Protectors: The Everyday Politics of Guns in an Age of Decline.  “And on the other extreme, I've come across cases where individuals with repeated domestic violence issues--including documented physical harm--are told they can have ‘one more chance’ despite--at least in my view--presenting some pretty clear-cut evidence as to their ‘danger to self and others.’"

“This level of arbitrariness is a problem,” she adds. “And I don't think anyone on either side of the gun debate really has come to terms with how uneven our records are--whether because of poor procedure, lack of resources, or arbitrary decision-making.”Another problem with the proposal, one that has been discussed more than once when the issue of mental health comes up, is making sure people who need help are not discouraged from seeking help:
“There’s a lot of criticism about denying more people their Second Amendment rights based on mental illness,” notes Prof. James Jacobs, Director of the Center for Research in Crime and Justice at New York University School of Law and author of Can Gun Control Work?, published in 2002. “Mental health professionals think it will deter people from seeking help and will stigmatize the mentally ill.”

“Would we say that anybody who has ever seen a therapist is disqualified from owning a gun?” asks Jacobs, who wonders where you could draw the line.

Individuals might avoid seeking help if they’re worried that treatment will end up as an entry in a government database—but so might the family and friends of troubled people who think a loved one needs care, but fear a loss of civil liberties as a result.Schumer's legislation is not likely to go anywhere. Unfortunately, Obama's regulatory agencies have found a way around Congress, which is why we now find ourselves fighting to protect the rights of veterans and senior citizens whose only problem is they need someone to assist them with their finances.

Tom Gresham on the Gun Dealio App How Honest Gun Owners Get Snared by Gun Control

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On Friday, Gun Talk Radio host Tom Gresham talked with NRANews' Cam Edwards about the new Gun Dealio App that allows gun owners and sportsmen to know what sales are going on in their area.  The app is available for both IOS and Android operating systems.  He also talked about new gun control laws passed by the Los Angeles City Council, and explains that the magazine ban and gun storage laws make it easier for law-abiding gun owners to run afoul of the law. It becomes more difficult and dangerous to be a gun owner, but causes no problems for criminals. Further, he responds to the Social Security gun grab, infringing the Second Amendment rights of more than 4 million benefit recipients.

Congressional Research Service Report on Mass Shootings

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We have all seen news reports in the last year or so that claim mass shootings are on the rise.  But a new Congressional Research Service Report notes that is not really the case.  If you are like me, your eyes go crossed when it comes time to look at statistical data.  Never fear, Jesse Walker at Reason.com has a great article that explains the data so the average person can understand.  Then, he talked in more detail about the article and the numbers during an appearance on NRANews.com earlier this week.  It's great stuff and worth the time to listen.

GOP Senator Counters Schumer Mental Health Proposal With NRA Backed Effort

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Just days after N.Y. Senator Chuck Schumer and his actress cousin unveiled gun control legislation dressed up as a carrot and stick approach to get states to report more mental health information to the National Instant Check System (NICS), Texas Senator John Cornyn has come out with a counter proposal that has the dual benefit of insuring those who should be included in the NICS database are reported while at the same time protecting millions of Social Security recipients who also have a  “representative payee”, as well as veterans who aren't managing their own affairs.  From the report on Guns.com:
The Mental Health and Safe Communities Act aims to fix the existing background check system without expanding it, said U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) in his announcement of the measure. The bill also aims to bolster treatment options for mentally-ill offenders, and response and prevention plans for local officials.

“While potentially dangerous mentally-ill individuals are often known to law enforcement and local officials, gaps in existing law or inadequate resources prevent our communities from taking proactive steps to prevent them from becoming violent,” said Cornyn, who voted down legislation in 2013 to expand background checks to include online and certain private sales.

The NRA has endorsed the measure not because of recent string of high profile mass shootings but because of a push by the Obama administration that would ban Social Security beneficiaries from owning guns if they’re determined to lack the mental capacity to manage their own affairs.

“We thank Senator Cornyn for his leadership in standing up to the Obama administration and introducing legislation that will take meaningful steps toward fixing America’s broken mental health system,” said Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA’s lobbying arm.The NRA-ILA alert notes the specific provisions of the legislation:
  • The bill will stop the Obama administration’s Social Security Administration and other agencies from defining as “prohibited persons” those who meet arbitrary criteria such as having a representative payee assigned to their account.
  • The bill will stop the Obama administration’s Veterans Administration (VA) from throwing veterans into NICS simply for having a fiduciary assigned to their account.
  • Veterans who have been swept into NICS under previous VA rules will be given the opportunity to have their case reviewed in a full hearing. Requires a specific finding that the veteran is a danger to self or others. Veterans who are not found to be a danger will have their rights restored and will be removed from NICS.
  • Requires that real adjudications take place before an individual can be determined a prohibited person under federal law. Full notice, hearing, the right to participate, and the right to counsel are required.
  • Provides funding for the states to forward records of mental health adjudications which meet the new due process requirements outlined in the bill.
  • Recognizes state orders restoring the firearms rights of individuals under state law.
  • Requires AG to remove individuals from NICS in cases where rights have been restored or procedures failed to provide adequate due process protections, as with the VA program.

NRA Fact Checks Politifact on Social Security Gun Grab Regulations

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Apparently, Politifact has out sourced their fact check services to interns.  At least that is who was tasked with determining the validity of the charge that President Obama's effort to strip the gun rights of millions of Americans who receive social security and disability benefits who also have someone who handles their finances.  In determining that the claim is false, the intern missed some key information.  This from NRA-ILA:
The following Politifact claims are FALSE:

“The new policy would not ban all Social Security Administration (SSA) recipients from owning guns. Rather, it would only affect the small fraction who are deemed mentally incompetent, and who are thus are barred from purchasing guns under the law.”: “The policy would not take away guns from people who already own them. There is no indication that this policy would take guns away from people who already own guns. Rather, the policy would affect the ability of some mentally incompetent people from buying new guns.”:

The facts:
  • Social Security Administration recipients who have a representative payee have not been deemed “mentally incompetent.” That is not a legal term recognized in federal law as it relates to prohibitions against acquiring or possessing firearms.
  • The federal prohibitions against acquiring or possessing firearms apply to those “adjudicated as a mental defective.”
  • Under the proposed new policy, individuals who have representative payees would lose the right to possess any guns they might currently own and would be prohibited from purchasing new firearms.
  • The term “adjudication,” refers to a determination made after a judicial-type process that includes various due process protections. In no case does the federal law describe or contemplate the type of prohibition by bureaucratic fiat exercised by the SSA in developing its guidelines for those with “representative payees” assigned to their accounts.
  • The SSA’s representative payee system is not the type of process envisioned by federal firearms statutes.
  • Since 1968, federal law has barred the possession or acquisition of firearms by anyone who “has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution.”[1]
  • The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has issued regulations that define an “adjudication” as a “determination by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority that a person is, as a result of marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency, condition, or disease: (1) Is a danger to himself or to others; or (2) Lacks the mental capacity to contract or manage his own affairs.” This includes a finding of insanity or incompetency in a criminal case.[2]
  • “Committed to a mental institution” is defined as a “formal commitment of a person to a mental institution by a court, board, or other lawful authority.” The definition makes clear that “[t]he term does not include a person in a mental institution for observation or a voluntary admission.” The Supreme Court has held that an involuntary commitment is a serious deprivation of liberty that requires due process of law under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.[3]
  • Common reasons SSA beneficiaries request a representative payee include:
    • Individual lives far from banks and grocery stores and may wish to have a family member or friend make bank deposits and grocery purchases for them;  
    • individual may not own a car and needs help with banking and shopping;
    • individual may simply want help paying bills, or 
    • individual may not be good at balancing their checkbook.

[1] 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(d)(4), (g)(4).
[2] 27 CFR § 478.11.
[3] Addington v. Texas, 441 U.S. 418 (1979).

Delta Airlines Bans Transport of African Hunting Trophies

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In a number of African countries, hunting big game is perfectly legal, provides an income stream, and food for villagers.  Even a wildlife biologist who admits to disliking hunting has written how it can benefit wildlife in Africa when done correctly.

In response to killing of the Zimbabwe lion known as "Cecil," Senator Bob Menedez (D. NJ) rushed to ban bringing trophies from hunts back into the country.  While that would not prevent Americans who desire to hunt African big game from doing so, it would likely make the practice less desirable if they could not import mounts back into this country.  Now Delta Airlines has posted a notice that they will not allow African big game trophies to be transported on their flights.  From North American Hunter:
Delta issued the following statement:
Effective immediately, Delta will officially ban shipment of all lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros and buffalo trophies worldwide as freight. Prior to this ban, Delta's strict acceptance policy called for absolute compliance with all government regulations regarding protected species. Delta will also review acceptance policies of other hunting trophies with appropriate government agencies and other organizations supporting legal shipments.

If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times: Uninformed activism is the most dangerous thing this country faces every day. Or, said in another way: People acting on incorrect information will ALWAYS do more harm than good to themselves and others. Period.While anti-hunting activists rush to use this one incident to their advantage, there is another side to the debate as pointed out in this Op/Ed by a Zimbabwe native that was published in yesterday's New York Times:
Cecil who? I wondered. When I turned on the news and discovered that the messages were about a lion killed by an American dentist, the village boy inside me instinctively cheered: One lion fewer to menace families like mine.

My excitement was doused when I realized that the lion killer was being painted as the villain. I faced the starkest cultural contradiction I’d experienced during my five years studying in the United States.

Did all those Americans signing petitions understand that lions actually kill people? That all the talk about Cecil being “beloved” or a “local favorite” was media hype? Did Jimmy Kimmel choke up because Cecil was murdered or because he confused him with Simba from “The Lion King”? In my village in Zimbabwe, surrounded by wildlife conservation areas, no lion has ever been beloved, or granted an affectionate nickname. They are objects of terror. When I was 9 years old, a solitary lion prowled villages near my home. After it killed a few chickens, some goats and finally a cow, we were warned to walk to school in groups and stop playing outside. My sisters no longer went alone to the river to collect water or wash dishes; my mother waited for my father and older brothers, armed with machetes, axes and spears, to escort her into the bush to collect firewood. A week later, my mother gathered me with nine of my siblings to explain that her uncle had been attacked but escaped with nothing more than an injured leg. The lion sucked the life out of the village: No one socialized by fires at night; no one dared stroll over to a neighbor’s homestead. When the lion was finally killed, no one cared whether its murderer was a local person or a white trophy hunter, whether it was poached or killed legally. We danced and sang about the vanquishing of the fearsome beast and our escape from serious harm.Maybe instead of being caught up in the emotional meme being painted by the media and anti-hunting activists, those calling for an end to African big game hunting should consider the bigger picture.

Big City Chiefs Push More Gun Control As Solution to Rising Crime

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A couple days ago D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier hosted fellow chiefs from Chicago, Atlanta, Baltimore and other cities to discuss their rising violent crime.  The Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA) convened the meeting after a survey of its members showed police in many cities are seeing more crimes committed with firearms and more killings.  According to the Washington Post, which ran a story on the meeting, four of the nation’s largest cities — New York, Chicago, Houston and Philadelphia — recorded a rise in homicides by mid-July compared with the same period in 2014.  That same Post report noted, unsurprisingly, that those in attendance want to push for more gun control to respond to the problem:
Among the recommendations that came out of the summit, the chiefs called for more stringent gun laws, including harsher penalties for gun crimes and the use of high-capacity magazines.

“We’re going to shooting scenes now where you’ve got more and more victims being shot, you’ve got more spent rounds being collected as evidence and we’re finding more and more high-capacity magazines involved in these shootings,” Manger said.Yesterday, the Atlanta Chief of Police George Turner spoke to NPR, and he pointed to the real problem - a small number of repeat offenders. This at a time when President Obama and Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, among others, want to roll back many tough on crime measures that were put in place in the 90s.

Chief Turner hit the nail on the head when he talked about repeat offenders - people that should be in prison but aren't. On Monday, Cherylyn Harley LeBon, contributing fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis, discussed the increase in violent crime in Baltimore and other U.S. cities with NRANews' Cam Edwards.  The city of Baltimore has seen a record number of homicides this year, 189 by the end of July. July 2015 was the single deadliest month in 43 years.

The solution is not more gun control, it is more criminal control.

More Guns, Less Unintentional Firearms Deaths

Virginia Shooting Sports Association -

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has released the 2015 Edition of the Firearms-Related Injury Statistics and the numbers continue to show even as the number of firearms in the country has increased exponentially in the last six and a half years, the number of unintentional firearm deaths has decreased:
Data released by the National Safety Council demonstrates that unintentional firearms-related fatalities continue to remain at historically low levels. In fact, in the last two decades, the number of unintentional firearms-related fatalities has declined by 65 percent — from 1,521 unintentional fatalities in 1993 to 530* in 2013.

Firearms are involved in fewer than a ½-percent of all unintentional fatalities in the United States. In a side by side comparison, firearms rank among the lowest causes of accidental injury.The rate of unintentional firearms deaths has decreased faster than the rate of unintentional deaths caused by moter vehicles and choking. For children 14 years of age and under, unintentional injuries are the leading cause of fatality. Firearms are one of the lowest causes of injury among children.   So much for the anti-rights meme that a gun in the home makes it more likely that a family member will die.

NSSF notes too that the combination of increased number of firearms training courses and safe storage programs have had a major impact on unintentional deaths caused by firearms.  Don't look for the story to be reported in the mainstream media though.

Flouting The Law, Some New Yorkers Won't Register Guns


New York state has some of the toughest gun laws in the country. Compliance with those laws is another matter.New York passed a broad package of gun regulations after the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., despite the objections of hunters and gun rights advocates. Now it appears that many gun owners are refusing to comply with a key provision that requires the registration of so-called assault weapons.


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