Monday, October 18, 2010

Pro-Gun Oregon Democratic Candidate Statements

Pro-gun Democrats in Oregon are increasingly vocal about their records in support of the Second Amendment. Many have answered the Gun Owners Caucus request for statements about their pro-gun records and quite a few are actual members of the gun owners caucus (Representative Jeff Barker [D-HD 28] even came to our very first meeting, back in 2006!)

Online statements by pro-gun Oregon Democrats have been posted and are available for your viewing, along with information on finding your representative. The website will be updated as more candidates respond up through election day. If you can spare even a single afternoon canvassing or phone banking for any of these hard-working people, your investment in liberty will definitely pay off.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

End Prohibition to Protect Gun Rights

The Washington Post recently ran another story on the Mexican government's losing drug war, focusing on the guns used and their sources, including the United States. Related stories of increasing corruption of U.S. law enforcement, especially border agents, by narcotics gangs are also on the rise. As reported in an earlier post (see: The Myth of 90%), reports of guns flowing into Mexico via the U.S. are wildly exaggerated, but focusing on guns and gun trafficking at all misses the real point:

Prohibition is a failed policy it is time to end.

Understanding supply and demand is the soul of capitalism, yet we, the world's largest and most successful capitalist democracy ignore this rule and instead create laws to control the personal habits of consenting adults and promote a modern-day piracy of transnational and interstate drug gangs whose members and methods would blend in with the worst rum runners or slavers of centuries past, not to mention the Prohibition gangs of the 1920s-30s.

The problem is drug prohibition, not gun shows, not gun dealers and not civil rights to own firearms protected under our Constitution.

End prohibition, and you end the on-going corruption of law enforcement, the profit-motive behind a majority of murders in this country as well as in Mexico, and the general erosion of the rule of law and respect for the same that occurs over the long-term when laws don't correspond to civil or substantive rights, much less to common sense. End prohibition and we gut the finances of the gang culture that has gripped American inner-cities for generations; we free up the courts and prisons for violent offenders. We save money. We save lives squandered in prison or snuffed out in pointless feuds.

It's time to stop the insanity of doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results. It's time to demand change from our politicians, and give those with the courage to end this "war" our backing.

Anybody who wants to can go out to their car right now, soak a rag in gasoline & get high for a few minutes. Are we going to ban the car? Prohibition of recreational drugs (and no, I don't use them or hang around with people who do) is an historical accident that needs to be corrected. Consenting adults can huff gasoline or hairspray, they ought to be able to kill brain cells with pot, meth, heroine or prescription drugs if they really feel the need. We need to start learning from the mistakes of history instead of repeating them.

Al Capone must surely be laughing somewhere.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Portland Mayor Sam Adams' Proposed Gun Laws

Portland Mayor Sam Adams has a new pet project. It seems he is going after gun rights in the city of Portland. Of course he is doing so in the name of public safety, but his new proposals would do nothing more than existing laws are already supposed to do, except limit the options of law abiding firearms owners. Plus, it is my understanding that it is illegal for a city to impose its own laws regarding firearms limitations. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

Below is a link to Mayor Adams' proposal. He is asking for comments. Please do comment, as it is important for Mayor Adams to hear your/our opinion. Also, I would ask that you keep your comments civil and free from personal attacks. Comments that are awash with personal attacks are hard to take seriously. Thanks.

http://www.portlandonline.com/mayor/index.cfm?c=52750&a=314192

Sunday, August 08, 2010

More Media Requests for Concealed Handgun License Records

Two new media requests for Concealed Handgun License holder's personal information were made in July. The requests were made in writing by a reporter from the Statesman Journal. Oregon Firearms Federation brought this to my attention and provided this link. Within this article there is a link to the original letter received by Sheriff Jason Myers, and it has the business contact information for the reporter making the request. There are three reasons I am bringing this up:

  1. Those in Polk and Marion Counties need to be aware that their information is likely to be released to a newspaper soon. The rest of us need to be aware that this has now officially spread beyond the original court case in Jackson County, and I am sure our time is coming soon.
  2. The calmer and more rational among us should contact the reporter via her business address or email and explain to her why publishing this information puts people at risk and will increase gun theft and thereby increase illegally available guns. Getting angry with her will only prove the point that gun haters try to make about us.
  3. All of us need to contact our legislators and candidates in legislative races to find out what their position is on passing legislation to fix this public safety problem. Then we need to share their responses here and work to elect the ones that are going to keep our names out of the papers.
I contacted the Benton County Sheriff to find out if she has gotten any of these requests yet. I will post her response when I get it. I know what response I will get from my Representative and Senate Candidate (I've already asked them in the past), but I am going to put them on the spot and post their response here. I encourage each of you to do the same.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Chicago City Council Bans Shooting Ranges, Endangers Public

In last week's historic case of McDonald v. City of Chicago, the city lost the right to ban citizens from owning handguns. But the council apparently believes they still have to right to make sure citizens won't know how to safely and accurately use handguns:

Four days after the U.S. Supreme Court gutted Chicago’s longtime handgun ban, the City Council on Friday enacted a whole new set of gun-control measures. . . And the ordinance outright bans gun sales, firing ranges and shooting galleries in the city.

For public officials ostensibly concerned with public safety, banning firing ranges and other venues for legal target practice is the worst possible thing they could have done. Rather than make the streets safer, this vote virtually guarantees that citizens exercising their constitutional right to own a hand-gun will not have sufficient opportunity to become proficient--and therefore safe--in the use of a handgun.

But no one need pretend that this bill has anything to do with gun safety--even some of the councilors who voted for it admitted to the charade:

Alderman [sic] voted 45-0 in favor even as some of them acknowledged how little the restrictions would do to quell violent crime . . . Several aldermen, however, said the ordinance is more likely to affect responsible, law-abiding gun owners than the thugs causing mayhem on hot weekend nights . . .

“You cannot legislate criminals, they are going to be criminals no matter what,” said Ald. Ed Smith, 28th. “And the people who intend to do crime, they are going to do it in whatever manner they can. They are going to get a gun wherever they can. And they are going to use it. And they are not going to register their gun.”

And yet Alderman Smith and the others voted for it 45-to-0! Such is the power of the Daley machine to squelch democratic (small d and big D!) debate that not a single member of the council had the nerve to vote for their convictions or for the safety or civil rights of their constituents. The situation speaks for itself.

Monday, June 28, 2010

In Chicago Gun Case Four Justices Deny Right of Self Defense

Today the Supreme Court incorporated the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution, deciding in favor of plaintiff Otis McDonald who argued that the right of individuals to own a handgun in their homes and to keep that gun in an "at the ready" state, that is, unlocked and loaded, is a basic constitutional right. It's a good day for civil rights, the Constitution and the American people.

In the aftermath, Chicago's total ban on hand guns is certain to be overturned. Also certain is that Chicago Mayor Daley and other politicians will move quickly to defeat the spirit of the McDonald v. Chicago ruling by drafting laws and regulations designed to thwart the efforts of citizens to keep firearms for self defense. As Independent Firearm Owners Association (IFOA) founder Richard Feldman quipped "Will this be known in history as the firearm lawyers full employment decision of 2010?" No doubt it will for some time.

Hopefully Mayor Daley will focus his energies on working with the Liberal Gun Club, IFOA, Democrats for Gun Ownership and other groups to develop credible, easily-accessible gun training and safety programs for the many new gun owners his city is soon going to have. Rather than buck the trend, instigating the energetic creation of gun safety and handling courses would do more to protect honest citizens in Chicago than their mayor's posturing and efforts to deflect blame for his city's appalling murder rate.

But celebrate--the right to bear arms is secure, for now. But what about the right of self defense?

Four justices dissented from the McDonald v. Chicago decision: Justice STEVENS, who wrote his own dissent, and Justices BREYER, GINSBURG and SOTOMAYOR, who signed on to the McDonald dissent written by Breyer. Justice SCALIA's concurring opinion in McDonald takes Stevens' odd logic to task, but doesn't address the dangerous implications of the Breyer dissent. What Breyer, Ginsburg and Sotomayor did in their dissenting opinion was to challenge not just the validity of the right of individuals to bear arms, but the very right of self-defense itself.

Quoting from Breyer's McDonald dissent:
"[E]xamination of the Framers' motivation tells us they did not think the private armed self-defense right was of paramount importance...Further, there is no popular consensus that the private self-defense right described in Heller is fundamental."
- Justice Breyer (Ginburg & Sotomayor)

Breyer & friends continue with similar attacks on Heller v. D.C. and the right of self-defense throughout the dissent, concluding with the following thoughts:
"In sum, the Framers did not write the Second Amendment in order to protect a private right of armed self defense. There has been, and is, no consensus that the right is, or was, 'fundamental.' No broader constitutional interest or principle supports legal treatment of that right as fundamental. To the contrary, broader constitutional concerns of an institutional nature argue strongly against that treatment."
Make no mistake, denying the substantive right to self defense is as underhanded an attack on people's security and independence as is possible. Humans are the tool makers; culture and firearms--especially hand guns--are the primary tools used in protecting our our persons. Denying the right of self defense as these justices have, is akin to denying our humanity. But given Breyer's appalling lack of historical knowledge, his poor grasp of anthropology isn't surprising.

Regarding history and the "Founders" and whether They thought the right to self-defense was "fundamental," there are many examples that easily prove Breyer is uninformed. I'll leave you with two, one from Thomas Jefferson (lately written out of history by the right-wing in Texas) and another from the "Founder's Founder," Roger Sherman, the only person to sign the Continental Association, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution:
"No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms."
- Thomas Jefferson
"[C]onceived it to be the privilege of every citizen, and one of his most essential rights, to bear arms, and to resist every attack upon his liberty or property, by whomsoever made."
- Roger Sherman
'Nuf said--Breyer, stop making stuff up.

Despite the McDonald victory, given what is at stake, a five-to-four margin seems a very slim. Given the lengths to which different justices of both right- and left-wing persuasion are willing to go to subvert our foundational document to their personal views, Congress needs--right now--to live up to its duty to demand frank responses to direct questions in the Kagan Supreme Court confirmation, and in all other cases where they advise and consent to whom is seated on the Supreme Court.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

BATFE Revises Policies Regarding Firearms Transfers

I know that we often aren't so keen on the NRA, but I must admit that I do retain a membership. The NRA has done very important work in the past, and they continue to send informative "alerts" to current members regarding firearms-related legislation and rules. I recently received one of these "alerts" regarding the BATFE revising policies regarding firearms transfers. I have copy and pasted it below for your perusal. While this new policy seems like it will only affect people such as gun writers, my fear is two fold:

One, it may be open to interpretation and therefore start to effect other private citizens such as you and I.

Two, it is likely to reflect poorly upon the Democratic Party.

Read through the "alert" below (taken from the NRA's website) and let us know how you feel about about it.

BATFE Revises Policies on Firearms "Transfers"

Thursday, June 03, 2010

In a recent ruling regarding the “transfer” of firearms, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATFE) has reversed policies that have been in place for more than 40 years.

In the ruling, BATFE declared that a temporary shipment of a firearm by a federal firearms licensee to a non-employee for business reasons (such as a manufacturer's shipment to a gun writer or engineering consultant for a technical evaluation), will now be considered a “transfer” and require completion of a Form 4473 and background check.

This reverses a ruling issued in 1969, right after the passage of the Gun Control Act, although BATFE provided no explanation of the need for the change. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, BATFE hasn’t been able to name a single case in which a gun temporarily shipped under the old rule has been used in crime.

The short-term impact may be limited, because many major manufacturers already require firearms sent to non-employees to go through the transfer process. But manufacturers who didn’t follow that practice will now have to ship guns to licensed dealers to complete these “transfers.”

Furthermore, the ruling only applies to temporary shipments by federal firearms licensees to carry out those licensees' business operations. Given that limitation, the new ruling won't affect private individuals who ship guns to themselves when traveling to shoot or hunt, or who ship firearms to a manufacturer or gunsmith for repair or customization.

However, this new ruling may have broader implications for future issues. For example, some have suggested that although the ruling doesn’t relate directly to rental of guns for use on commercial shooting ranges, its reasoning might require rentals to be treated as “transfers” subject to recordkeeping and background check requirements.

Please rest assured that NRA-ILA is seeking clarification of the scope of this new ruling. If necessary, we will consider appropriate action to reverse any adverse impact on law-abiding gun owners.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

We need to increase our membership!

I recently received an email from the DPO about the Castillo / Maurer race for Superintendent of Public Education. The email stated that the election is close and that anyone who is notified that the signature on their ballot was rejected should get it taken care of immediately, so that every vote is counted. That part of the email was fine, but this statement really frustrated me:
"And this election counts … keep in mind that Ron Maurer, Susan Castillo's opponent, supports handguns in public schools & opposed the Healthy Kids Plan. If he wins, it will turn back the clock on public education in the State of Oregon."
I am not taking a public position on this race, but I am taking issue with the use of the "gun issue" as a scare tactic by a representative of the DPO. I, and several others, sent a reply to that email pointing out that alienating gun owners by statements like this will not benefit the Party.

I am frustrated, but not ready to leave the DPO. It took a lot of thought, though, after seeing that email message. This is my solution: WE NEED TO GROW THE GOC! We currently have 118 GOC members in 28 counties. We need to be in all 37 counties and we need a membership that demonstrates to the DPO that gun owners and Second Amendment supporters are active voting members of this Party and that they need to respect us. We know we exist in large numbers, but the DPO doesn't. We need to come together so we can flex our muscles in the Party.

I am sure you have friends that are either Independents because of the "gun issue" or Democrats who support gun rights, but don't necessarily own a gun. We need to each actively contact our friends and discuss the Second Amendment with them. If they say they support it, encourage them to join the GOC. If they are Independents point out to them that the general election ballot will give them the same choices if they are a Democrat as it does as an Independent, and by becoming a Democrat and a member of the GOC they will help us change the landscape of Oregon politics with respect to guns.

We also need volunteers to be Local Chapter Representatives, so we can organize events locally and grow our membership. If you are interested in becoming a County LCR for the GOC, please let us know here.

Here are some tools to help you recruit friends:

  • Here is the Democratic Party of Oregon's official position on the Second Amendment: 2005-008.
  • Voter Registration changes or new registrations can be done online.
  • Here is information about the GOC.
  • New members can join here.
  • Order a GOC hat and wear it to the range to help us advertise.


We are the second largest DPO Caucus, and I can tell you that the largest Caucus gets more respect than we do. The difference in our numbers is significant (118 v. 3,500), but there were 37,126 Democrats in Oregon with hunting licenses in 2008 (the last numbers I have access to). Hunters are only a portion of the gun owners and Second Amendment supporting Democrats in this state. We just need to get the word out.

The best and easiest place to start recruiting members is in your home. Does your wife or husband support the Second Amendment? How about your other relatives? How about the guys you hunt or shoot with? Get them to sign up and check the box "I'm interested in joining this caucus". They can choose if they want to receive the newsletter or not.

Please join me in growing our Caucus, so we will have the impact that I think all of us would really like to see.

Friday, May 07, 2010

New Gun Owners Caucus Hats Available

An email will be going out today to all GOC Members, with information on how to order a GOC hat. For now, you can see what they look like here. I am not posting the information on how to order in the blog, because it will include Jay's contact information.

The hats will cost $10 + $5 shipping. This is not a Democratic Party Fundraiser. This will just cover the cost of the hat and shipping. If Jay has any money left over after covering costs, he will make a donation in that amount to the DPO.

If you want to receive information about how to order your own GOC shooting hat, be sure you are an official member of the Democratic Party of Oregon's Gun Owners Caucus: Join Here.

Thanks to Jay Sexton for taking the initiative to have these hats made!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Great Change in the Executive Committee

I just want to inform everyone that we (the Gun Owners Caucus of the Democratic Party of Oregon) have a new Treasurer. This is great news as I was formerly the Treasurer, and have been trying bestow that title onto someone else for quite some time now.

Our new Treasurer is Jay Sexton. Jay is one of the more active members of the GOC, and is an excellent fit in the Treasurer role. He is also a very welcome addition to the Executive Committee of the GOC. He has a vast knowledge regarding the political process (which I do not), and is highly motivated.

Besides graciously accepting the position of Treasurer, Jay also took on the responsibility of arranging for new GOC hats to be made. All of the arrangements regarding the hats are in order, and we will let you all know how to order them as soon as we work out all of the details.

With the addition of Jay, I feel like we have an even stronger team in the GOC. This addition is very exciting.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Hypervigilant law enforcement want the public disarmed: Man cited for open carry even though it's legal

A Vancouver man was cited recently for openly carrying a handgun in a grocery store even though it's legal to do so. [Click here to read full article.] Many in the public, including many gun owners who carry concealed firearms every day, do not support our centuries old open carry laws. Portland Democratic Senator Ginny Burdick is particularly hostile to our gun rights and has recently spoken out against the right to open carry.

Remind your friends and representatives that the Second Amendment is not our "right to keep and bear sporting goods." It's our right to keep and bear arms. This is based on our inherent and natural right to be free from oppression and our natural right of self defense. A gun is worthless in self defense when it's not easily accessible. Some people find a firearm more accessible when it's not concealed. That's their business and their choice -- a choice that free men are permitted to make in a free society without government intervention.

Which brings us to the primary reason for the Second Amendment: to be free from oppression. It is often said that the Second Amendment is there to protect the other nine. Governments in modern times have enslaved people and committed acts of genocide AFTER DISARMING THE PUBLIC. This can't happen to us, right? "This is America," you might say. You are correct. It can't happen to us, because James Madison and the gang contitutionally guaranteed that our government can't do what others have done.

It is amazing how quickly we forget the gun control laws of the Soviet Union, Nationalist China, Nazi Germany, Communist China and the Khmer Rouge that preceded their killing of more than 60 million people. And that still leaves us to ponder the gun control legislation that preceded the death of the one million Armenians at the hands of Ottoman Turkey, or the indigenous peoples and other political enemies killed at the hands of Guatemala or genocide at the hands of government in Rwanda and Uganda. Our Founding Fathers knew the threat of a government to its people, hence the Second Amendment. History has unfortunately reaffirmed this lesson again and again.

History proves that a government's oppression of its people always begins with disarming the public and hypervigilant law enforcement enforcing those laws. Educate your friends and neighbors of this or we are doomed to repeat the mistakes of others.

C. Michael Arnold,
Attorney at Law
Arnold Law Office, LLC
Family Law, Personal Injury, & Criminal Defense Attorneys
Eugene, Oregon, USA

Thursday, March 11, 2010

News from the Quarterly GOC Meeting

The first GOC quarterly meeting for 2010 was recently held at the SCC meeting in Hood River. Overall it was a very productive meeting. I would just like to share a few key points that were discussed/decided at the meeting.

First off, we had a quick election for both Chair and Vice Chair positions. This is because I was temporarily filling in as Chair because our former Chair resigned his position. I was previously the Vice Chair, which left a vacancy in that position. I temporarily appointed Ed Ebbs to be Vice Chair until we could have an election for both positions. After the election, I (Brian Reichhoff) am still the Chair, and Ed is still the Vice Chair. With those little details out of the way, it was time to move on to the real business.

Once again, the topic of local chapters of the GOC was discussed. We talked about changing the language of our bylaws to allow for local chapters. There was previously mention of the posibility of future local chapters in the bylaws, but we all decided on new language since it was unanimously agreed that local chapters would be beneficial to the caucus. The executive committee is currently in the proccess of making these changes. Local chapters will be based on a county level. A local chapter will consist of two or more members, and a representitive will be appointed by each chapter. That representative will report all activity of their chapter to the Executive Comittee of the GOC one week before each quarterly GOC meeting. Each local chapter representative will then have a seat on the Executive Comittee.

We also discussed GOC hats, and formulated a plan to make them happen. We decided on logo, font, color, material, etc., and have a place lined up to do the work. Along with the hats, we are also looking in to bumber stickers, and business cards. We will keep you all posted about the progress of these projects.

I put the bug in everyone's ear to start thinking about the next GOC group shooting event. A few ideas were thrown out there, but nothing has been solidified. If anyone has any ideas, please comment. The group shoots are a great way to build comradery, and also introduce new shooters to our hobby. It is also always fun to get a few politicians out there shooting with us. Please give the shoot some thought and let me know if there are any ideas.

As I stated earlier, the meeting was quite productive, and there was a decent turn out. Thank you to all of those who attended. Everyone had great insight and all were very helpful guiding me through my many fumbles while leading my first GOC meeting as Chair. We have a great group and I am very excited about the future of the GOC!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Some Gun Owners Caucus business

I have a brief bit of GOC business I want to share:

  • First Quarter 2010 Gun Owner’s Caucus Meeting
    • On Sunday March 7th 10:30am -12:00pm
    • At the Columbia Gorge Hotel in Hood River Oregon
    • This is the site of the State Central Committee Meeting this quarter. More info can be found here: http://www.oregondemocrats.org/scc
    • Please join us. An agenda was just sent out in email.
    • You must be a registered Democrat and a GOC Member to vote at the meeting, but everyone is welcome.

  • The GOC online signup form is fixed. If you had trouble accessing the form previously, please try again: http://www.oregondemocrats.org/node/1529. The form was coming up blank for Internet Explorer 7.0 users, but that has been corrected.


Now back to regular Blog posts!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Gratuitous Paraphernalia - Share Your Gun Bling

I don't hoard of lot of gun culture "bling" but now and then I find something that I like too much to pass up:


This hat button is from Bob Zimmer; Blue Steel Democrat, caucus member, former Multnomah Co. sheriff, one-time gunshot victim (no permanent damage, thankfully), and ardent 2nd Amendment supporter. Bob believes these buttons were promos given out in the early 70s.

Be assured, Bob, it's worn with pride.

Anybody else got some favorite bling to share? Post it in the comments.

-Z.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Vast Left Wing Conspiracy to promote the Second Amendment

Guest Column by "KVoimakas," founder of RKBA on Daily Kos:
--------------------------

There is a new pro-2A group on DKos. We're dedicated to informing and educating any liberals on the political hazards of gun control and the history of the Second Amendment. We cover serious discussion, ranging from the Heller court case and the intent of the founding fathers to lighter conversation about what each individual members owns.

For those who don't know, DailyKos.com is a Democratic, partisan blog. The founder of Daily Kos (kos himself) is Markos Moulitsas. He had this to say in early 2010 about his website:

"Daily Kos will be what Daily Kos is, and that oftentimes evolves. I know everyone wants their clearly defined rules, but nothing is that simple. This site is CERTAINLY NOT for all Democrats. Joe Lieberman learned that. Blanche Lincoln is about to learn it. This site is about more and better Democrats, not necessarily in that order."

Gun rights are not a right wing issue.
Gun rights are an American citizen's issue. More gun control equals lost elections for the Democrats. Look back at '94 after the "assault weapons ban" (what a joke for the name, by the way) was passed. Clinton himself said that the NRA could be given credit for the Republican takeover of Congress. (What good could Clinton have done with a liberal/progressive Congress? I would think it'd be a lot better than what the Republican Congress ended up doing.)

Our mission statement is as follows:

"RKBA is a DKos group of second amendment supporters who also have progressive and liberal values. We don't think that being a liberal means one has to be anti-gun. Some of us are extreme in our Second Amendment views (no licensing, no restrictions on small arms) and some of us are more moderate (licensing in some instances) Moderate or extreme, we hold one common belief: more gun control equals lost elections. We don't want a repeat of 1994.

We are an inclusive group: if you see the Second Amendment as safeguarding our right to keep and bear arms individually, then come join us in our conversation. If you are against the right to keep and bear arms, come join our conversation. We look forward to seeing you.

RKBA stands for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms."

Daily Kos RKBA look forward to greeting any newcomers. If you'd like to join the RKBA mailing list, please email us at dkos.rkba at gmail.com with your DKos username and if you'd like to be added to the private email list (BCC) or the public (TO) email list.

Welcome to the conversation!

-KVoimakas

Friday, January 29, 2010

Tell Oregon GOP To Keep Violence Out of Political Ads

I don't really care what the intent of the Washington County GOP was when they posted the image below showing a red figure shooting a blue figure in the head. Whatever they meant to say, they said it the wrong way.

Violent imagery has real-life consequences and if political parties want to work within our legal and Constitutional framework, they need to behave like responsible and LOYAL opposition, not wild-eyed maniacs. In the past year, a state Democratic party leader has been murdered by an assassin, ranting partisans have come to presidential rallies carrying loaded firearms, doctors have been murdered, and so on, all of it partially driven by overheated partisan rhetoric. Images matter. Rhetoric matters. Stop yelling "fire" in a crowded senate chamber!

Civility is the basis of civilization, guys, not stuff like this:


Tone....it....down. Way down.

Read the whole story, You stay classy, WaCoGop, at Blue Oregon.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Cato Institute Accuses NRA of Endangering Chicago Gun Rights Case

In a move that may actually end up compromising this landmark gun rights case, the NRA has succeeded in taking away 1/3 of the argument time in McDonald v. Chicago from Alan Gura, the lawyer who successfully argued Heller v. D.C* and who is the primary lawyer for McDonald v. Chicago, a case that could potentially extend the Heller decision to cover all local governments.

Ilya Shapiro of The Cato Institute, certainly no liberal outpost, takes the NRA to task for this reckless, unprofessional move:

NRA Cares More about NRA Than Gun Rights, Liberty, Professional Courtesy

"If the NRA were concerned about the final outcome of the case, it would be unlikely to attack Alan’s [primary lawyer in Heller] strategy or question his preparation (an odd way to be “helpful” to one’s side). It is not a stretch to predict that this case will be favorably decided at least in part on due process grounds, however, so what we are seeing here is likely an attempt by the NRA to position itself as responsible for such a victory – and that Alan isn’t. Utimately, then, the NRA is engaging here in fundraising, not liberty-promotion or ethical lawyering."


Shapiro makes a good argument that the NRA needs to sit down and shut up. Let's hope the NRA's grandstanding isn't fatal to Gura's arguments.

Read the whole article, here.

-----
Footnote:
* The 2008 Heller decision marked the first time the Supreme Court ruled that states and other local juridictions may not ban ownership of firearms, including pistols, by private citizens for use in their homes. Many places, such as Chicago, still do this and the McDonald v. Chicago case, to be argued in the Supreme Court in March, has the potential to force cities to stop abridging 2nd Amendment rights, most likely by invoking 14th Amendment protections.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Changes in the Gun Owners Caucus

Hello all. I just wanted to keep you all informed about the changes that are occurring within the Gun Owners Caucus. Recently our Chair, Chuck Butcher stepped down which some of you may or may not know. Chuck and our previous Chair, Zak Johnson are the co founders of the Gun Owners Caucus. After recently being elected Vice Chair (and still treasurer), I (Brian Reichhoff) stepped into the role of Chair when Chuck stepped down. This left us in a bit of a conundrum as we no longer had a Vice Chair.

As acting Chair of the GOC it falls within my power to appoint a Vice Chair. I spoke with our Secretary (Jodi Russell) and asked for her invaluable input as to who might make an effective Vice Chair. In the process I offered her the position which she graciously declined. Jodi offered a couple of names and lo and behold, one of them was someone that I too had in mind. The name that we both came up with is Ed Ebbs. Ed has a good background in politics (unlike myself) and would be a valuable asset.

To make a long story short, I contacted Ed to get his thoughts on the matter. Ed's response was that he "would be happy to help out wherever needed." I offered Ed the position of Vice Chair and he graciously accepted. So the current Executive officers of the Gun Owners Caucus are as follows:

Chair: Brian Reichhoff
Vice Chair: Ed Ebbs
Secretary: Jodi Russell
Treasurer: Brian Reichhoff

Keep in mind that these positions may be temporary as we will need to hold an election at the next GOC meeting. The meeting date is currently unknown, but GOC members will be notified of time date and location via email.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Slaves, Guns and Mind Control in Colonial America

Archaeology is challenging the belief that American slaves were controlled by denying them weapons, including guns. Recent work by historical archaeologists like Ywone Edward-Ingram and Marley Brown reveals that not only were slaves armed, their owners armed them intentionally:

Says Brown:
"Providing guns to slaves was also, quite literally, against the law of the day. But it turns out that the practice of giving firearms to slaves so that they could hunt was widespread."

This makes sense: picking cotton, cutting indigo or planting rice is hard work that requires a lot of calories. Even if you don't have to pay your laborers, you still have to feed them. This is easier and cheaper if you let them feed themselves.

But why on earth would armed slaves allow themselves and their loved ones to be degraded and abused, sold and separated? Brown provides the answer:
"The risk of an armed resistance had already been substantially reduced by a complex set of emotional and psychological relationships as well as by the threat of actual physical restraint and punishment. Thus, the recovery of gun parts at slave quarters in the 1970s, surprising as it seemed then, made sense in terms of the larger complex of slave-master relations, and particularly the well-established techniques used by slaveholders to maintain control over their slaves."

This should make clear to contemporary 2nd Amendment advocates that the means to keep your freedoms are useless without the will to keep them. Look at the typical gun owner talking about defending freedom and compare that with the cowering acquiesce with which Americans have accepted warrantless wiretaps and evasion of court oversight, suspension of habeas corpus, secret detentions, torture and the pervasive lie that challenging the executive's decisions during war time is somehow treasonous. If daily updated terror-level color charts and pointless "security theater" by airport TSA drones aren't part of a "complex set of emotional and psychological relationships" designed to subdue the population, I don't know what to call them. I can't help but shake my head at the disconnect between rhetoric and action in our "home of the brave."

As Bob Marley said, "Emancipate yourself from mental slavery; none but ourselves can free our minds."

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Obama's the most pro-gun presidency in recent history

Examining the record instead of the rhetoric, outdoor writer "Wild" Bill Schneider recommends the NRA erect a monument to Barack Obama on their front lawn:

"Obama, with help from his fellow Dems throughout the country, has done more for firearm owners than any President in recent history, including vocally pro-gun Republicans."

Check the record:
  • Applying state concealed carry laws to National Parks? Done.
  • Allow guns on Amtrak? Done.
  • Support state law for carrying openly at political rallies? Done as well.

Will the NRA's anti-Obama hyperbole and fear-mongering (which is fund-raising in disguise) subside? Probably not. But hopefully if Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor joins the majority in favor of incorporating the 2nd Amendment to the states in McDonald v. Chicago when that is argued March 2, 2010, the NRA will at least start rethinking its current strategy of acting as a surrogate for the GOP.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

NBA and Random Metal Detectors

On the news last night and this morning it was briefly mentioned that the NBA has decided to institute walk-through metal detectors at random times during basketball games. This means that the Rose Garden will have these walk-through detectors during occasional Trail Blazer games. This very well may prove to be a hassle for CHL holders like myself (although I attend very few Blazer games). One will not know if the detectors are in place until one reaches the door. Therefore, a CHL holder must decide to either leave the gun at home (not a good choice in my eyes), leave the gun in the vehicle (which could result in theft), or chance it and walk up to the doors with the gun on one's person. The NBA says this is a measure to keep players, and spectators safe. I think it sucks. What do you all think?

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Would ending prohibition protect gun rights?

Please vote (at the right) and comment on our member poll:

"Would ending prohibition protect gun rights?"

What's your opinion? Please explain your reasoning.