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: 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.

* 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.