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Fairfax Supervisor Engineered NOVA Firearms Protests to Boost Election

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You may recall earlier posts on this blog about the plight of NOVA Firearms when they attempted to move to a larger location in Arlington, then after their landlord canceled their lease, they found another location in Fairfax, not far from the location from which they were trying to move.  As they planned to open, protests flared because the new location was near a school.  New information has been discovered that shows a member of the Fairfax Board of Supervisors was behind the original protests in Arlington, then again in Fairfax.  Bearing Drift broke the story Monday:
According to Fairfax County email records obtained by Bearing Drift under a Freedom of Information Act request, School Board member Janie Strauss relayed news of the store’s opening to Foust at 10:28 AM on Sep. 25th. Shortly thereafter, Foust began investigating the store’s legality.

That evening, at 7:38 PM, John Foust emailed an issue briefing to local Democratic leaders, summarizing his research into the legality of the store’s placement and Fairfax County’s prior approval of its non-Residential Use Permit (RUP).

“The reviewer did not give anyone notice that a gun store was moving into McLean, but it also appears they did not know,” Foust explained in his briefing. “However, from a zoning standpoint, they would have issued the non-rup whether they knew it was guns or not because they have to.” The store’s non-RUP had been issued two weeks earlier in accordance with zoning classification C-8, which broadly permits “retail sales” – the correct classification for a gun store. As Foust explained, the permit was granted because the county lacked any legal basis to deny its issuance.

“State law pretty much prohibits the county from regulating guns,” said Foust, as he attached a verbatim copy of Va. Code § 15.2-915 in the group email to Democratic leaders.

On the day before the store’s opening, John Foust knew the county lacked legal options, but he didn’t let that stop his re-election campaign from exploiting the situation for political gain.

“I will join you at the protest,” Foust closed, as he began preparing for the morning’s political fray.
From the beginning, Foust repeatedly and personally attacked the store’s owners and landlord, stating, among his other attacks, that they lacked “decency and respect” while calling them “antagonistic to our community.”

Meanwhile, Foust’s supporters wasted no time in following the antagonistic example he set. One supporter, Victoria Manoogian, organized a boycott of the landlord’s business – not the gun store – while posting the landlord’s home address on the Internet, opening the door for harassment.According to Bearing Drift, Foust was facing heavy criticism in his re-election campaign for not delivering funds for traffic congestion relief and public education. He needed something that would allow him to distract from those issues in the last month of the campaign and the NOVA Firearms store move provided just what he needed.

It's some pretty damning information uncovered by Bearing Drift complete with copies of emails so read the entire story.

Coalition of Police Chiefs Back "Expanded" Background Checks Ahead of Obama Speech

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A coalition of nine police organizations announced yesterday that they are calling on Congress to require background checks on all firearm purchases.  From USA Today:
Leaders of nine national law enforcement groups made the call at the annual International Association of Chiefs of Police conference the day before hundreds of police chiefs and sheriffs are to hear from President Obama, who has vowed to be more forceful in his push to bolster U.S. gun laws.

The coalition called on Congress to specifically expand background checks to cover all gun purchases. It also asked Congress to strengthen the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to ensure that all states and federal agencies include disqualifying records in the system.

The coalition also called for increasing the current time that the FBI has to complete a background check before a sale is automatically completed.

Currently, background checks only cover gun purchases made through licensed gun deals, not private sales or purchases made at a gun show.Chicago police superintendent Garry McCarthy claims that the spike in his city's crime rate is due to the "easy access to guns."  But that is not what FBI Director James Comey told those gathered at the IACP conference yesterday.  From NPR:
....Well, he's doubling down on this notion that he's already floated before in smaller venues that there's - really is what's called a YouTube effect. This is something police chiefs and police talk about quite a bit since Ferguson - this feeling of being under scrutiny that if you make a wrong move or a move that looks wrong, it'll end up as a viral video, and you're going to lose your career - that that fear is driving police to look past potential problems, to not get out of their cars as much and not have the kind of contact they need in communities that good police work depends on.

And here's the contentious thing that he raised. He believes that there's no other explanation that he can see for the current spike in violent crime in big cities around this country. The overall crime rate doesn't necessarily seem to be going up, but big cities are seeing spikes in violent crime - places like Chicago, where I am right now. And he thinks it's the only real explanation here for this simultaneous rise in crime.Don't look for Obama to talk out the "Ferguson Affect" in his remarks to IACP today.

Washington Post/ABC News Poll: Americans Don't Blame Gun Laws for Mass Shootings

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The Washington Post reports this morning results of a new Post/ABC News Poll that shows respondants overwhelmingly (63 percent to 23 percent) say mass shootings reflect problems identifying and treating people with mental health problems rather than inadequate gun control laws.  There does seem to be a disconnect between that view and whether new gun laws should be a priority however when that question was asked:
The survey finds that 46 percent say new laws to reduce gun violence should be a bigger priority, while 47 percent say it's more important to protect the right to own firearms. This marks a shift away from gun laws since April 2013, when Democrats' push for increased background checks fell short in the aftermath of the massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.; back then, a 52 percent majority said new laws should be a priority.It will be interesting to see if the views of Virginia voters are similar to those of the people polled on November third.  Bloomberg has invested heavily in two suburban districts (10th and 29th) hoping to turn the State Senate.  While a small majority of people (52 %) in urban areas say new gun laws should be a bigger priority than protecting Second Amendment rights, that number dips to 45 percent in suburban areas. The poll shows women are 13 percentage points more likely to prioritize new gun laws than men.  With that in mind, it is probably a good move on the part of the Glen Sturtevant (10th District) campaign to use women in their response to the Bloomberg ads.  The new Sturtevant ad also mentions mental health.
VSSA urges all gun owners in the 10th District to contact the NRA-ILA campaign field rep, Tim Lagerman (Tim@nrailafrontlines.com or by phone 570-898-3160) to find out how you can help in the final two weeks of the campaign.

Richmond Times Dispatch Endorses Sturtevant Citing Bloomberg Money as Deciding Factor

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The Richmond Times Dispatch this morning came out with their editorial endorsements for the November 3rd General Election and Glen Sturtevant was one of the beneficiaries:
The retirement of Republican John Watkins opens the seat in the 10th District, which includes Powhatan as well as portions of Chesterfield and Richmond. We endorse Republican Glen Sturtevant who appears likely to embody the thoughtful independence that defined Watkins’ exceptional career. Sturtevant, a member of Richmond’s School Board, belongs to the GOP’s reform wing and stands in the philosophical mainstream. He supports changes to make merit the basis for judicial selection, would restrain governmental overreach and understands the role Virginia can play in national energy policy. His principal opponent, Democrat Dan Gecker, has served ably on Chesterfield’s Board of Supervisors and would prove a diligent senator. A close call was made easier when an outside group led by Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City, decided to drop $700,000 into an effort to boost Gecker, whom it considers an ally in its pursuit of anti-gun laws. Voters in the 10th seem unlikely to embrace the cause or approve of outsiders meddling in their politics. Gecker would have enhanced his reputation if he scorned the dubious help. Marleen Durfee’s independent candidacy adds an outside voice to one of the state’s most competitive races. The results in the 10th could determine partisan control of the Senate. This stands as central Virginia’s most compelling assembly campaign in several cycles. Sturtevant would bring to the Senate the intellectual curiosity and temperamental moderation the GOP needs.I have wondered if Bloomberg and McAuliffe overreached with the amount of money that was dropped into the 10th and 29th districts.  The Times Dispatch thinks so.  We'll see on November 3rd.

Gun Ban Lobby Write NRA Post Mortem While Americans Show Strong Support

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From a Washington Post opinion piece by anti-gun professor Adam Winkler, to Michael Bloomberg's anti-gun online mouth piece The Trace, the story this week was how the NRA is falling, or will fall.  At the same time, a new Gallup Poll shows Americans strongly approve of the NRA.

Let's first look at that Winkler piece.  He writes that the numbers aren't in favor of long term strength for the NRA:
Support for, and opposition to, gun control is closely associated with several demographic characteristics, including race, level of education and whether one lives in a city. Nearly all are trending forcefully against the NRA.

The core of the NRA's support comes from white, rural and relatively less educated voters. This demographic is currently influential in politics but clearly on the wane. While the decline of white, rural, less educated Americans is generally well known, less often recognized is what this means for gun legislation. Polls show that whites tend to favor gun rights over gun control by a significant margin (57 percent to 40 percent). Yet whites, who comprise 63 percent of the population today, won't be in the majority for long. Racial minorities are soon to be a majority, and they are the nation's strongest supporters of strict gun laws.He goes on to point to the large number of Blacks and Latinos (the fastest growing minority according to Winkler) say gun control is more important that gun rights.  What he doesn't say is while support for Second Amendment rights among minorities lags behind whites, the percentage of minorities who support gun rights is higher now than it was 20 years ago.

Next let's look at two pieces that appeared this week in The TraceOne targets NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, trying to make the case that the silence of the NRA after the rash of recent mass shootings shows that the NRA is losing its place as the preeminent gun rights group it once was:
Something has changed this year. In terms of speaking to a broader American audience, the organization that also calls itself “a major political force” and “America’s foremost defender of Second Amendment rights” has been uncharacteristically silent. Its absence from the stage raises real questions about the organization’s identity and potency. What is the National Rifle Association’s place in American culture and politics, if it no longer bothers to address or define a national event like this?
The Trace posits that because the NRA finds itself challenged for money and power by groups like the Gun Owners of America and the fringe National Association for Gun Rights, and because these groups are quick to point out when they think the NRA is not sufficiently pro-rights, "keeping your mouth shut has a way of being the obvious move."

Today, The Trace followed up that article with one that kind of mimics Winkler's, arguing that the NRA is hemmed in by demographic changes in the country:
As LaPierre and company gloated over the Democrats’ loss of working class and rural white voters being the NRA’s gain, however, they may have confined themselves to a demographically losing position in presidential elections. With a constituency that is solidly whiter, older, and lives in parts of the country that are losing population, the group needs a way to grow its base. But since Democrats’ Bush-era nadir, the party has regrouped around a coalition strategy focused on urbanites and minorities that has largely offset its declining support among rural whites, at least in White House contests. An electoral strategy dependent on motivating rural white voters fell short for Republicans in 2008 and 2012, when minorities in states like Ohio and Pennsylvania grew faster as a share of turnout than as a share of the total population. It’s the same political strategy the NRA seems to be pursuing now, as the group plays up the differences between Democratic candidates and their own values. Last Friday, the NRA made sure to ring alarm bells when Hillary Clinton dared to discuss an Australia-style mandatory gun buyback program during a New Hampshire campaign stop.
And, just as Bloomberg dumps over $2 million in to Virginia Senate races, The Trace picks up the meme of knocking off the NRA in the organization's home state, pointing to the oft repeated talking point (but not proven) that running against the NRA in 2013 is why Terry McAuliffe, Ralph Northam, and Mark Herrin won.  What doesn't square with this is the fact that 67 out of 68 NRA endorsed House of Delegates candidates won in 2013 and two anti-gun candidates that the gun ban lobby invested in heavily lost, even in the more gun control friendly northern Virginia.

But the biggest push back against this meme is a just released Gallup Poll that shows strong approval for the NRA among Americans - 58%.  In fact, according to NPR, the survey released Thursday included "the highest recording of 'very favorable' opinions (26%) since Gallup began asking this question in 1989."

The bottom line according to Gallup:
The gun safety organization has been a political advocate for gun rights, lobbying on behalf of particular legislative bills and candidates who support the Second Amendment nationwide, while lobbying against most restrictions on gun ownership. It has also stoked controversy by suggesting that more Americans should be armed in public places, and that guns are not to blame for mass shootings. In short, they believe that gun rights generally should not be restricted. Gallup's survey shows that, even after shootings nationwide, Americans overall still have a favorable opinion of the NRA, as they typically have, suggesting that the public may not be specifically blaming the organization for the crimes of those who commit mass shootings.
While not totally discrediting that changing demographics pose challenges (something by the way that the NRA is addressing with commentators like Colion Noir and Gabby Franco as part of the NRANews team) the fact that almost 60% of the public view the NRA favorably indicates that running solely against the NRA is not a winning political strategy.

Bloomberg Drops $1.5 Million in Northern Virginia State Senate Race

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Not long after I spoke with Cam Edwards on NRA News yesterday about the $700,000 that Michael Bloomberg's Everytown for Gun Safety is dropping into the 10th State Senate District, the Washington Post reported that he is dropping over twice that amount - $1.5 million - in the 29th Senate District targeting GOP candidate Hal Parrish:
Less than two weeks before Election Day, Everytown for Gun Safety announced Thursday that it would spend $1.5 million in TV and online ads for Democrat Jeremy McPike. He is running against Manassas Mayor Harry J. “Hal” Parrish II (R) to succeed retiring Sen. Charles J. Colgan (D-Prince William).

A day earlier, Everytown said it would spend $700,000 on ads for Democrat Dan Gecker, who is battling Republican Glen Sturtevant to represent part of Richmond and the surrounding suburbs in the Senate. That seat is being vacated by retiring Sen. John C. Watkins (R-Powhatan).

The ad campaigns, featuring the father of a Roanoke TV journalist shot to death on the air in August, target the two seats considered most up for grabs in the 40-member Senate. Democrats need to pick up one seat to take control of the chamber and give Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) a chance for legislative success for the final two years of his term. The GOP enjoys an overwhelming majority in the House of Delegates.The amount of money Bloomberg is dropping in is unprecedented.  The money he is putting in for one candidate in the 29th is almost as much as both candidates have raised combined.  It's all part of the anti-gun meme "Take out the NRA in their backyard".  Governor Terry McAuliffe all but admitted he has been coordinating with Bloomberg's group, though he denied speaking to Bloomberg himself:
Asked at a public appearance Thursday outside Richmond if he had spoken with Bloomberg about the ad buys, McAuliffe said no. But he responded coyly when a reporter asked if he’d had any contact with Bloomberg’s “people.”

“Oh, I didn’t say that, but I haven’t talked to Mayor Bloomberg,” McAuliffe said.By the way, it is not illegal in state races for campaigns to coordinate with outside groups.

Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned summed it up pretty well in his post on this news:
Yes, it is possible for one rich asshole to buy power in our Republic if he has enough and is willing to spend enough to do it. Bloomberg seems able and willing. I’m sorry that’s the case, but it is just is. Grassroots is the only way we can counter it. But will it be enough? Will enough people step up?

NRA-ILA has a Campaign Field Representative, Thomas Bingham,  on the ground in the 29th District to coordinate volunteer efforts for gun owners.  You can contact him by email at Thomas@nrailafrontlines.com.

Hat tip to Sebastian.

Media Reports Only Part of New Gallup Poll on Gun Control

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You probably read the report on a new Gallup Poll that showed a slight uptick in support for more gun control.  What you likely didn't hear was the rest of the story:
The latest increase, from the Gallup Crime poll conducted Oct. 7-11, came in the days after the most recent high-profile mass shooting, at a community college in Oregon. However, that event seems to have mainly affected Americans' views about laws on gun sales, but not other topics relating to guns.Not long after the Gallup poll was released, other outlets released polls.  For instance, CNN released a poll that showed 52% of respondants oppose additional gun control.  NRANews host Cam Edwards spoke with Brietbart's AWR Hawkins about the polls various polls that came out this week.

Bloomberg Joins Gabby Giffords in Dumping Money into Virginia Senate Races

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Sebastian has the story here.  As this blog has noted in the last couple of weeks, the gun ban lobby and Governor Terry McAuliffe have targeted Virginia's 10th Senate District as their best hope to pick up the one seat they need to take control of the State Senate.  Sebastian writes that Bloomberg's money will also target the 10th:
Bloomberg’s target is Glen Sturtevant. He will need money yesterday. Even if you can only donate 10 bucks, that can pay for a few lawn signs, or a pizza for volunteers. And speaking of volunteers, if you live anywhere near that district, I’d offer to help out on the ground. Grassroots is the only tool we have to counter Bloomberg. We can’t outspend him, because our movement doesn’t have any rich billionaires of our own that can afford to spend that kind of coin. Donate to NRA’s Political Victory Fund. This is our collective pool of money to challenge Bloomberg. I will tell you for certain, NRA cannot afford to match Bloomberg’s spending in this one state senate race. NRA-PVF has about 8.4 million dollars of cash on hand right now. Mike Bloomberg’s net worth is 38.5 billion. Get the word out that Everytown = Mike Bloomberg. It’s all him. It’s all his money. It’s one rich billionaire trying to hijack Democracy from ordinary middle-class Americans. Bloomberg is not a likable guy. Part of the Everytown move is to distance the organization from it’s founder and pocket book, because they know this. Hand Bloomberg around Everytown’s neck like the albatross he is, and make them wear the unpopularity of their funder. Sturtevant's opponent, Dan Gecker, is Terry McAuliffe's hand picked candidate.  He has an "F" rating from the NRA-PVF.  Thanks to Bloomberg, the anti-rights crowd has more money than they have ever had and can target specific races like the 10th.  NRA-ILA has a campaign field rep, Tim Lagerman, on the ground in the 10th to coordinate gun owner volunteer efforts.  You can contact Tim by email (Tim@nrailafrontlines.com) or by phone at  570-898-3160 to help.   Don't let Bloomberg's money buy this election.

Web Stokes for Hanover Supervisor Ashland District

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Web Stokes is running for Hanover Board of Supervisors, Ashland District.  Web is a strong supporter of our Second Amendment rights.  The same can't be said for his opponent, Town Councilwoman and former Ashland Mayor Faye Prichard.  When Prichard was the mayor of the town of Ashland, she was listed as a member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG).  While MAIG masquerades as a group of mayors who "supports Second Amendment rights but knows we can do so much more to protect our towns and cities", they are an arm of former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's anti-rights conglomerate Everytown for Gun Safety.

Web needs your help in the closing weeks of the campaign.  Local campaigns are fueled by committed volunteers.  If you can help Web win, please contact him at web4hanover@yahoo.com.

Kaine, McAuliffe, Herring Hold Joint Press Conference on Gun Control

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Governor Terry McAuliffe, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, and Attorney General Mark Herring just completed a joint press conference on gun control proposals they are taking and will push.  Among them are:
  • McAuliffe has issued an executive order to ban all firearms in all state buildings except for law enforcement officers.
  • McAuliffe said he will establish a joint task force to prosecute gun crimes and enforce existing laws.
  • McAuliffe said the Commonwealth is aggressively going after gun dealers who sell guns illegally.
  • McAuliffe will authorize the AG to prosecute gun crimes, giving cases state resources.
  • McAuliffe also said he will continue to look at what "executive action" can be taken to curb "gun violence."
When Kaine got up to speak, he said he thought the "NRA no longer speaks for its members" and instead works for the gun manufacturers.  He also said his worst day was the Virginia Tech shooting.  Kaine claimed that  the legislature has stalled any "gun safety" legislation and has actually made "gun safety worse".  Maybe someone should remind Kaine that Virginia's crime rate is the lowest it has been since the 70's,  dropping some 26% between 2006 and 2013.

More on details will be posted later today.

In the meantime, you can share your views on Virginia gun laws with NBC12 which will hold a moderated townhall on October 21st.

Busness Week: Clinton Can't Win By Going After NRA

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Well this is refreshing!  Paul Barrett writes over at Bloomberg Business Week on how the culture war against the NRA is a losing proposition for Clinton and by extension the Democrats:
Clinton sees the gun issue as a way to motivate her progressive base while simultaneously outflanking her main primary challenger, Senator Bernie Sanders of rural firearm-friendly Vermont. Asked during the debate whether Sanders is “tough enough on guns,” Clinton answered, “No, not at all,” noting he’d voted repeatedly in the early 1990s against the criminal-background-check law. The liberal wing of the Democratic Party likes what it’s hearing from Clinton. “For a major presidential candidate to break the logjam in the way she’s doing is a momentous shift,” says Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).

But Clinton may be making a mistake framing her argument in culture-war terms—as a battle against the National Rifle Association, which is a conspiracy-minded extremist group that thrives when under attack. Moreover, while some of her ideas make sense, others, including her emphasis on “assault weapons,” come straight from a tired, ineffective gun-control playbook.Barrett also points out that every time one of these "high profile" mass shootings occurs, the Democrats trot out their favorite target - "assault weapons."  He notes that need to stop talking about things that we know have no impact on crime:
Focusing on assault weapons remains futile today. In 2014, according to the FBI, less than 3 percent of the roughly 12,000 murders in the U.S. were carried out with rifles of any sort, ranging from wooden-stock .22 squirrel plunkers to AR-15s, the civilian equivalents to the weapons used by U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Americans killed each other far more often with knives (13 percent) and hands and feet (6 percent) than they did with semiautomatic rifles. Handguns—concealable and plenty lethal—are the source of the overwhelming amount of gun crime, and that’s where the focus ought to be. We need to deny all prohibited individuals access to all guns, not just to particular types of weapons.

But most interesting was what he said about background checks and mass shooters.  While he calls "universal background checks" the "low hanging fruit" for the gun ban crowd as something they could probably get, he at the same time points out a few paragraphs lower how futile this likely would be in stopping a mass shooter:
While background checks may deter an interstate gun trafficker or a gang-banger who bothers to buy at retail, the FBI record system is unlikely to flag the next campus shooter. That’s because most mass killers lack serious criminal records or formal determinations that they’re mentally disturbed. As was the case in Roseburg, these deranged individuals, typically self-hating young men, plan their suicidal attacks carefully and obtain their arsenals legally. 

I don't agree with everything in the long article but there are some very good points.

Hat tip to Jim Geraghty.

Four Virginia Senate Races Test Ground for Anti-gun Election Message

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The Trace, Michael Bloomberg's online anti-rights mouthpiece has this article on how gun ban advocates are using four Virginia state senate races as a proving ground to show pushing gun control in elections can be a winning formula:
In this Virginia races, those messages are being guided by the results of experiments conducted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee during the 2014 cycle, says a source familiar with the planning. Married women ages 18 to 60, for instance, seem to react best to gun messages focused on family safety when specifically delivered by a law enforcement official or other first responder. Black voters, a group that tends to vote less frequently in non-presidential election years, can be mobilized by receiving mail about high-profile shootings of unarmed black youths.

“We are starting to build an analytical model of who to target, how to target them and how to do that well,” says Arkadi Gerney, vice president of campaigns and strategies for the Center for American Progress Action Fund. “Some of the most sophisticated analytics firms, the guys from the Obama campaign, are involved. It’s getting better, but still has a ways to go.”Up until now, gun ban advocates have tried using the 2013 election of Terry McAuliffe as Virginia's governor to show that gun control is no longer the recipe for defeat.  But even the folks over at the Trace know that is a stretch as a number of factors played in the defeat of the GOP candidate in that race.  Plus, all of the pro-rights House of Delegate candidates the gun ban lobby targeted in 2013 won.  So, the gun ban crowd is hoping wins in the four targeted races will prove gun control is no longer a loser.

The basis for their strategy appears to be this:
One eye-opening stat is already driving the Virginia project: Gun messages are the No. 1 issue that voters there say can motivate them to turn out this November, according to polling seen by The Trace on condition that the exact numbers not be disclosed. Notably, the survey was conducted before the on-air shooting in August of two Roanoke journalists, a local event that operatives believe only intensified the sense that something needs to be done to curb gun violence. The other side thinks our side is already motivated to go to the polls and we can't turn out more than we already do.  They are looking to do something that for the most part hasn't worked up to this point - get people who support restrictions to vote solely on that issue, and/or get people who may not usually vote in off-year elections to go out and vote for gun ban candidates.

As this blog reported at the end of last week, the gun ban lobby is dropping over a half million in Virginia to help the Democrat anti-rights candidates.  The candidates mentioned in that post are the folks mentioned in the Trace article plus a forth, State Senator Frank Wagner.  The previous post did not mention Wagner because his opponent has made some major missteps (misleading statements about prior military service, his employer cutting ties) recently and it looks as if that race may no longer be competitive.  The candidates that gun owners need to support in addition to Senator Wagner are:

10th District: Glen Sturdevant (The Trace incorrectly said Sturdevant is an incumbent)
13th District: State Senator Dick Black
29th District: Hal Parrish

Verizon Drops Outdoor Channel, Sportsman Channel, From TV Offerings

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Sporting Classics Daily reports that Verizon has dropped the Outdoor Channel and Sportsman Channel from its television line-up blaming low viewership and high costs as the reason.  But according to Sporting Classics Daily, that reasoning has some wondering if other issues are really the cause of the decision:
...While other niche channels like Al-Jazeera America continue to be broadcast, outdoor viewers are being told they don't make up a large enough audience to justify contract renewals between the telecom giant and the channels' provider, Outdoor Sportsman Group Networks.The owner of Outdoor Channel/Sportsman Channel has enlisted the head of the AFL-CIO to their cause:
“We have more than 6.5 million members who make the outdoors an important part of their lives,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said on the group's website. “We are disappointed that Verizon has chosen to take these actions against Outdoor Channel and Sportsman Channel. Working people can’t be silenced by big corporate interests and will stand up to fight back against this unfair move by Verizon.”  Trumka, Chairman of the Union Sportsmen's Alliance as well, sent Verizon's Ceo and Chairman Lowell C. McAdam a letter expressing his and the unions' concerns.The Outdoor Sportsman Group Networks is encouraging sportsmen to contact Verizon and urge them to begin carrying the channels again or to outright cancel their service.

Mark Warner Joins Senate Democrats on Gun Control Proposals

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NBC News reported yesterday Senate Democrats have introduced a "sweeping" gun control proposal, and Virginia U.S. Senator Mark Warner has joined in.
Sen. Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat, said he was moved to support the plan when his daughters asked him "what are you going to do to stop this." Warner said he was also moved by the pleas of Andy Parker, the father of Alison Parker, the news reporter who, along with a colleague, was shot and killed on air in August.This isn't the first time that Warner has used his daughters as his reason for supporting gun control:

But I digress.  According to Warner, the proposal focuses on:
...strengthening existing background checks to effectively identify and block purchases by dangerous individuals who should not get weapons; closing loopholes that allow people to purchase guns on the internet or at gun shows without a background check; and making “straw purchases” – in which one person buys a gun for someone who is not legally allowed to have one – a federal crime. Nevermind that straw purchases are already against federal law.  Oh, and you'll note that in 2012, Warner said "Enough is Enough" and that is also the catch phrase for this new proposal.  At least Warner sticks to the talking points.

Washington Post: Giffords Group to Invest Heavily in Virginia Elections

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The Washington Post reports that the gun-control group founded by former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, plans to focus the Virginia State Senate races this year, planning to dump $600,000 in three races that could decide control of the State Senate.  They are targeting the 13th District (State Senator Richard (Dick) Black) as well as two open seats, one in the 10th District, and the 29th District in Northern Virginia.
Democrats have said that the races­ are among those that will give them the best chance to wrest control of the upper chamber from Republicans, who have a two-seat majority. One vote separates the parties because Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) is the tiebreaker.

This year’s expenditure matches­ the amount the group spent in 2013 to help elect Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Attorney General Mark R. Herring, who were embroiled in two of the most contentious political contests in the country that year.Virginia gun owners living in the 10th, 13th and 29th districts need to contact the NRA-PVF endorsed candidates in their district to see how they can help those candidates between now and election day.

Click your candidate below to find out how to contact them.
10th District: Glen Sturdevant
13th District: State Senator Dick Black
29th District: Hal Parrish

Is Clinton's Gun Control Proposal's Really a Challenge to Obama to Act

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One of the things Hillary Clinton said when she unveiled her proposals for more gun control earlier this week, she said if Congress doesn't act, she will take executive action.  U.S. News notes that the Washington Post's Greg Sargent wonders if this is a challenge to President Obama to act.  The thinking goes if Hillary could take "executive action" in some areas related to restricting our rights, why hasn't Barack Obama already done it, since he doesn't seem to be hesitant to act unilaterally in other areas.  Probably because as Jonah Goldberg notes over at National Review, railing against "gun violence" is not about a solution for President Obama, it's about the issue and how he can score politically.

Katie Pavlich: Yes Obama Does Want to Take Your Guns

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Katie Pavlich has this Op/Ed at The Hill that explains exactly what President Obama means when he says America should pass laws like Australia and Great Britain, "countries like ours, our allies" to address mass shootings.
The so-called “common-sense” and “modest” laws in Britain and Australia Obama refers to aren’t common-sense or modest at all, but rather require extreme confiscation and bans.

In 1996, the Australian government confiscated hundreds of thousands of personally owned firearms as part of their new “common-sense” gun control laws. In 1997, British citizens were forced to turn over their handguns for destruction. The prettier and more expensive versions were confiscated and placed in museums. Is this what Obama is suggesting should happen to the estimated 300 million firearms owned by American citizens? Is that what he means by “common sense,” “modest regulation” and “changing our laws?”

Of course it is.Pavlich is not the only commentator to point out what Obama really means when he constantly points to those two countries as examples of great gun laws.  Last week Charles C. W. Cooke wrote over on National Review Online:
This is remarkable. Customarily, Democratic politicians react to mass shootings by calling for pointless around-the-edges reforms: “universal” background checks, hard limits on the size of commercially available magazines, rules that determine how certain rifles may look, etc. In fact, since 2012 Obama has tended to take this approach himself. Now, however, the president is openly praising two countries that confiscated — yes, confiscated — firearms. That matters — and a great deal.

Why? Well, because the president’s defenders like to mock those among his critics who argue that he wants to “take their guns away.” As of today, they will no longer be able to do so.

This is not “hysteria” or “a matter of opinion.” This is a cold, hard fact. If you praise Great Britain or Australia, you are praising confiscation. Before yesterday, Obama has always alluded to Australia in passing. Now he is praising it directly and adding Great Britain into the mix. That’s a significant change.Freed from having to run for re-election, Obama is making his true colors on guns known, yet the average American probably doesn't understand what he is pushing.  As long as he has the mainstream media to cover for him, most Americans probably won't know what Obama means when he points to Great Britain and Australia as perfect examples of gun control.

Sanders, O'Malley Follow Clinton with Gun Control Proposals for Campaign

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Yesterday I shared news via National Review's Jim Geraghty that Hillary Clinton was unveiling gun control proposals for the campaign that included the usual so-called "universal" background checks, so-called "gun violence" restraining orders, and repealing the Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.  Later in the day the Wall Street Journal reported that Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley followed suit.
Mr. Sanders, who has a mixed record on backing gun-control measures, laid out a set of proposals on Monday afternoon that have considerable support among Democrats, including Mrs. Clinton. They include requiring background checks for sales by unlicensed dealers at gun shows, banning assault-style semi-automatic weapons and providing better mental-health care.While Clinton has tried to drive a wedge between Sanders and his supporters because of his past mixed record on Second Amendment issues, he took the opportunity to remind people he has a "D-" rating from the NRA.  Compared to O'Malley however, Sanders looks like a friend to gun owners:
Another Democrat running for president, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, has the most aggressive set of gun-control proposals. Among other ideas, he would require that every person who buys a gun get a license and be fingerprinted, and he would establish a national gun registry.

“It doesn’t matter who you support in this race—common-sense gun reform is something we should all fight for,” he said in an email to supporters on Monday.None of the Democratic candidates have talked about how the homicide rate involving guns has dropped dramatically while the number of firearms in the hands of Americans have almost doubled:
Courtesy National ReviewOn top of that, it was reported by BearingArms.com yesterday that some of the survivors and the family of a victim have responded to Obama's calls for more gun control, saying such proposals would not have stopped last week's attack.

Guns are the easy target for politicians and the gun ban lobby.  No one wants to talk about the  real problem, something that is much harder to address, and that is the fact there are those who will do bad things and not care about the consequences.

Obama Urges Gun Control Advocates to be Single Issue Voters.

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It has worked for pro-rights supporters so President Obama is hoping he can get gun ban advocates to do something they generally have not been known to do in the past - to vote solely on the issue of gun control. He's not quite ready to do what New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has suggested though, which is shutdown the government until Congress passes gun control.

If Congress Doesn't Act, Clinton Would Use "Executive Actions" to Enact Gun Control

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Jim Geraghty noted in today's Morning Jolt that Hillary Clinton will roll out her gun control proposals for the 2016 campaign at a Town Hall today.  But nothing new is in her wish list, except she would take a page out of Obama's governance book by enacting them by "executive action" if Congress does not pass them.  Even Obama hasn't been that brazen, yet! From Geraghty:
Please Make the 2016 Election a Referendum on the Second Amendment!
But imagine how Hillary’s numbers will soar when she loudly embraces gun control!

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton is set to unveil a sweeping gun-control proposal Monday that would include closing the “gun show loophole” and allowing victims of gun violence to sue firearm manufacturers. Almost no mass shooters buy their guns at gun shows! Very few criminals buy their guns at gun shows!

In a survey of almost 100 detainees in the Cook County Jail, few said they get firearms at gun shows or through the Internet, said Harold Pollack, co-director of the crime lab. They also said they don’t normally steal guns or buy them at a licensed store. About 70 percent said they got their guns from family, fellow gang members or through other social connections. Only two said they bought a gun at a store. It’s unclear how many of those surveyed were felons, but they can’t hold a state firearm owner’s permit -- so they can’t legally purchase a weapon at a store. Back to Hillary’s proposals:

Under the plan, which comes in the wake of a mass shooting at an Oregon community college that left 10 people dead last week, Clinton would tighten rules governing gun show and Internet sales using executive action “if Congress will not act,” aides said. A runaway executive: Catch the fever! Show me where it says in the Constitution that if Congress does not pass a law, the president can enact the law through executive action? President Obama normalized ignoring the legislative branch.

She would also push to repeal a law backed by the National Rifle Association that prevents crime victims from suing gun manufacturers. And her proposal would revoke the licenses of “bad actor” dealers who knowingly supply guns to straw purchasers and traffickers.

Except knowingly selling to a straw purchaser is already a crime:

Furthermore, if a [federally licensed firearms dealer (FFL)] knew that the statements on Form 4473 were false and that a straw purchase was taking place, the FFL has also violated federal law. 18 U.S.C. § 922(d) prohibits any individual from selling a firearm to a person whom they know or have reason to know is a criminal or other prohibited buyer. A separate fascinating fact illustrating the difference between “gun deaths” and homicides:

“Wyoming is an interesting case, because it has one of the highest firearm death rates but a homicide rate of zero.” Gun deaths can include suicide, unintentional discharges (accidents), non-homicide legal discharges (i.e. police or someone acting in self defense, so no charges are filed).


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