Militia

The concept of a militia reaches the pages of USA Today, the ATF ignores restraining orders, Connecticut ramps up confiscation efforts, and a bit of hope for millennials (and gun rights in general). Also, this week we have a blazing speech on the President’s tendency to change laws on his own. Armed Novelist is a co-producer at this point.

1.) Militia. The concept of the militia hit the pages of USA Today this week in a column by Glenn Reynolds. The column goes over the (real) definition of the “militia” as meant in the Second Amendment (i.e. an armed citizenry, not the National Guard). An article on Bearing Arms ran with this, and added notes from Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story and Townhall columnist Rachel Alexander.

It is interesting seeing discussion of the militia hit such a major website.

2.) Raids. The gun retailer Ares Armor got a restraining order against the ATF earlier this week. The ATF threatened to seize the company’s consumer list and about $300,000 in inventory if the company did not hand it over voluntarily.

With the restraining order in place, the ATF respectfully ignored it, brought different charges, and raided the place anyway. The ATF, apparently, has more interest in treating Mexican drug cartels better than it does American businesses.

At the same time, Ares is dealing fighting their home city to keep a sign up outside the building that features an AR-15 silhouette.

The CEO of the company, Dimitri Karras, is a former Marine and apparently has no intention of backing down from either fight. At about midnight, he posted the following to the company’s Facebook page

The ATF did execute a search warrant against all of our buildings today. None of our employees have been detained or arrested. We will be open for business tomorrow. We will be back up and shipping out orders on Monday. We wholeheartedly believe that they are WRONG in their actions and we will be relentlessly pursuing remedy through the courts. Quote from an ATF Agent during the raid “searching is fun! paper work sucks.” Maybe the ATF thinks the Constitution is part of that paper work that sucks… Despicable behavior on their part. This is just the beginning! Thank you all for the support! -Dimitrios Karras, CEO

3.) Connecticut. Now over to one of the flashpoints. We have covered the action in Connecticut extensively here; from the gun laws that were passed, to the registrations that never happened, to the first round of confiscation letters. Now we have a second round of letters going out.

Much like in New York, those with unregistered firearms must either render them inoperable, get them out of the area, or relinquish them to police.

The governor of CT is standing on the law as well. Essentially his response to critics and those who refuse to register their firearms was “your side lost, deal with it.”

4.) The Next Generation. A Pew study suggests that, by a small margin, Millennials oppose gun control. The study found that the views of Millennials is in-line with the views of previous generations…at least by the study.

Expect that margin to expand eventually. Which direction is in our hands.

5.) Government. The final story tonight is a speech from Representative Trey Gowdy (R-SD). Rep. Gowdy took aim at the President’s tendency to enforce bills when he chooses to do so, and rewrite them without any oversight or approval. In his 5-minute speech, he notes how the branches of government are supposed to operate in concert, and where the lines are in terms of their authority (checks and balances). President Obama’s non-stop modifications to laws like the Affordable Care Act, Gowdy says, could be extended to the President changing election or discrimination laws.

The speech was in support of the ENFORCE The Law Act, which streamlines the process for Congress suing the President for failing to enforce laws. It passed the house, but Obama has threatened to veto it under the apparently serious claim that it violates the separation of powers.

Almost through the first quarter of this election year. Primaries in May for most of the country. With the action in Connecticut, New York, and others, guns are looking like central issue for the 2014 elections.

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

Surge

California CCW sees a surge after the 9th Circuit decision (and sees a backlash against smart guns), the fight in Connecticut intensifies, and Americans rally for Connecticut gun owners and for the Second Amendment in general. I owe Armed Novelist range time at this point.

1.) California. Two solid stories out of California this week. First off, we have a surge in CCW permits following the 9th Circuit decision that struck down the State’s “May Issue” system.

Also, with the introduction of a “smart gun” in California came the inevitable backlash that resulted in the store pulling it. Moving on.

2.) Connecticut. Monderno has an article recapping most of the confiscation story so far. Meanwhile, the organization Connecticut Carry is saying that the government “does not have the balls” to come for people defying the gun registration laws. Others have told lawmakers in person that they have no intention of complying with it.

The Capitalism Institute has another approach on this. They have released an article titled “Why Every American Must Rally Around Connecticut Gun Owners.” The Institute says that those outside the State need to keep the spotlight on CT lawmakers because A.) the media won’t and B.) to not do so would essentially allow CT to go after those fighting the law without anyone noticing.

Personally, I’d just argue it’d be pathetic for us to not back people who have taken the fight into their own hands. The pro-gun side-streams are pretty much the only people tracking this story. (It is quite interesting to see antis ignore it, though. Suddenly they aren’t as interested in using the “nobody is coming for your guns” line….)

Also of note is the fact that apparently law enforcement is refusing to enforce those laws in the first place.

3.) Missouri. Nullification is the word of the day in MO. The Senate there voted to pass a bill essentially gutting Federal gun laws by a 23-10 vote. The bill has been passed off to the House Rules Committee.

4.) Nationally. Apparently looking for a quiet restart, President Obama is using the 2015 budget to renew efforts for gun control. He spend about 30 seconds on it during the State of the Union show in January, and hasn’t been too loud about it since then.

5.) Resurgence. A USA Today piece entitled “Americans Embrace Guns“…..put bluntly, we’re winning. Americans are rediscovering their rights and, at the risk of being dramatic, their history. Gun control has been reduced to seeing minor changes like Facebook’s policies as massive victories. (They wanted basically a ban on all gun sales, what they got was much smaller.) That they are that desperate for victories should tell you more than they’d like about the state of their argument.

With the trend we are seeing now, it is only going to get worse for them.

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

Stand Your Ground

Connecticut gun owners in revolt, the rest of the planet in revolt, Piers Morgan in the can, and lessons from Ukraine. BIG stuff tonight. Of course, thanks to Armed Novelist for contributing a few stories to the Run tonight.

1.) Connecticut. By now, you know it’s not going to well for Connecticut anti-gunners. An editorial in the Washington Times has a solid recap of the events, and the odd position it catches both police and government officials in. The Times notes that, should they choose to enforce the law and go after those who haven’t registered, the likely outcome would be SWAT teams raiding the homes of those who refused to register. It’s an ominous concept, but given the tendency of some police forces to take to a small issue with Boston bomber-levels of aggression, not entirely farfetched.

The recent efforts at confiscation in Connecticut don’t make this any less feasible.

2.) Nationally. The reality of 2013 America is that “it’s the law” is no longer a reason to follow it. Another article in USA Today notes three such examples where this mindset is seeing incredible (and, for many pro-liberty types, heartening) resistance. Namely, the demise of the national license plate tracking system, the FCC’s backtracking on placing “monitors” in newsrooms, and the backlash in Connecticut. In other words, you are seeing a resurgence.

I would like to note that we live in a nation where the phrase “government monitors in American newsrooms” can be used without a trace of sarcasm or irony. It has gone from something we mock other countries on to something we had to face off with.

3.) Globally. The rest of the planet seems to be on fire. Reason has a note on three different revolts happening around the world. Of the three, none of which can be grouped together into a nice package like the so-called “Arab Spring” but all of which are based around distrust of the government boiling over into the streets.

It’s something that is at least worth considering happening here, despite the multiple promises we’ve seen.

4.) Standing. The Bang Switch, the blog of Military Arms Channel, is taking a different approach to the events in Ukraine, and the motivations mentioned above. Specifically, MAC sees the Ukraine action as proof positive that Americans need to continue to support (or, for some, start supporting) the Second Amendment. Ukraine doesn’t have a similar “right” in its legal system, although gun owners in Ukraine have begun calling for one to be added into it Some estimates put government-owned firearms at 7 million while about 3 million are estimated to be in civilian hands.

By comparison, the US military has roughly 1.4 million people, whereas there are about 310 million firearms in private hands.

5.) Piers. Citing pathetically low ratings, CNN and Piers Morgan have decided to cancel the anti-gun crusader’s program. Regular readers/amyone with a pulse in the gun community already know Morgan’s background, so not much else needs to be discussed there.

6.) China. Islamic militants in China killed about 29 and injured about 130 today. Contrary to what American networks were hoping for, it was all done with knives.

The incident that stands out to me this time was when a UK soldier was beheaded on a London street by a pair of Islamic nuts while virtually everyone around the pair was powerless to stop them.

The action in Ukraine, the terror attack in China, and the beheading last year in London. All three are incredibly powerful arguments for the right to keep and bear arms here in the United States.

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

Overreaction

Wild West, guns “blowing up railroads”, and a newspaper calls for the arrest of CT gun owners who didn’t register. We’ve got all kinds of hyperbole from antis, and some good news on CCW this week. Thanks as always to The Armed Novelist for helping gather stuff for tonight’s Run.

1.) “It’s the law.” The Hartford Courant published an op-ed this week entitled “State Can’t Let Gun Scofflaws Off Hook.” In it, the Courant’s editorial board suggests that “widespread noncompliance” to the “hopefully effective” law is a problem for the state. The paper concedes that willful noncompliance is a “major issue” only to immediately suggest that it’s also possible many gun owners are unaware of their “obligation to register military-style assault weapons and would do so if given another chance.”

I give (most) of the people in CT credit. A lot of them quite itterally stuck to their guns and refused to register.

2.) Who will blow up the roads? Jesse Jackson doubled down on a claim that semi-auto weapons can be used to blow up railroads. He added that guns can also be used to shoot down airplanes (though how anyonw on the ground can hit a target moving THAT fast at 30,000 feet up is anyone’s guess). The concept doesn’t need much more exposure, so let’s move on.

3.) Wild West….again. Georgia’s gun bill was the subject of a column in the Albany Herald, in which the author stated that the bill currently going through the Senate would revert the state back to (what else?) the days of the Wild West. It is quite honestly dripping in sarcasm and exaggeration, but you expect that at this point. The “rumors” about campus carry are false, by the way.

Also, I say that it is working its way through the Senate because earlier this week it passed the House 119-56. I have no ETA on the Senate, but will update when I do.

If you need a refresher, the bill would allow for CCW in bars and churches (assuming the bar or church ALLOWED it), remove the fingerprinting requirement from RENEWALS, strengthen the state’s Stand Your Ground law, among many other very much pro-gun measures.

4.) Surge in manufacturing. New information on the production of firearms in 2012 reveals that over 8.5 million guns were manufactured in the US. This is, of course, prior to the Newtown shooting and the surge in gun sales that followed and sent manufacturers into a rush to keep up. The number is a 31% jump from 2011’s 6.5 million. A National Opinion Research Center poll suggests, however, that gun ownership has actually DECLINED. Admittedly, this concept was something that NRANews contributer Billy Johnson handled brilliantly in one of his recent commentaries.

5.) Surge in ownership. News about a surge in CCW permits continues into 2014. An article by Examiner.com’s Dave Workman provides a nice summary, touching on the Ninth Circuit Court victory, plus a surge in permits in New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Washington State. Women are a huge portion of the surge across the nation, and were also a big part of the audience in the Great Outdoors Show here in Georgia.

Despite this surge, however, the latest FBI report suggests that violent crime (and murder specifically) have tanked in the first half of 2013.

6.) Finally this week, guns and football. The Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association is sueing the NFL over its ban on virtually all handguns in stadiums. Police say it goes against state law, and puts the public in danger.

Texas, meanwhile, has come up with a more efficient way of going around the NFL’s handgun ban. Ignoring it, and allowing off-duty cops to carry via normal procedure anyway.

Because Texas is awesome.

Tremors

May Issue is tossed in California, an effort to repeal the SAFE Act in New York and a lot of candor from New Jersey. We have news from multiple States tonight, almost all of which are in a positive direction. As per usual, thanks to The Armed Novelist for helping gather some of this weeks reports (DeviantArt Journal here and Tumblr blog here). This is the latest on the progress of the gun rights movement. This week, we’re keeping it State-by-State and to-the-point.

1.) California. California’s restrictive “May Issue” system may be on its way out. A recent court ruling from the Ninth Circuit (of all places) affirmed the right to carry guns in public for personal protection. The ruling read in part

The Court ruled that a government may specify what mode of carrying to allow (open or concealed), but a government may not make it impossible for the vast majority of Californians to exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms.

So, that could scratch off California in addition to Illinois. Note that last year, Rand Paul noted that it was entirely likely to turn California red.

2.) New York. As if having a ton of people refusing to register and skirting the SAFE Act through mere cosmetic tweaks wasn’t enough, there are now efforts to flat-out repeal the act outright. The SAFE Act just hasn’t worked as intended. This bodes well for the movement, as it shows a grassroots resistance on multiple levels.

Other late breaking news out of New York is the departure of Remmington for Alabama, with the company citing the SAFE Act as the reason for leaving the State.

3.) Colorado. If there is one problem this week, it’s that Colorado had a CCW bill that would allow school districts the choice to arm teachers and staff. The bill was defeated in a party-line vote, of course. Even with the recall and Magpul, Colorado never left the spotlight, and remains a major fight in the overall gun rights movement.

4.) Idaho. A Republican lawmaker has introduced a bill that would punish Idaho officers for attempting to confiscate firearms. Not much more needs to be said there, so moving on.

5.) Connecticut. Another quick story here. Like in New York, it turns out that millions of Citizens in Connecticut are refusing to turn in their firearms. As little as 15% of the rifles “classified as assault weapons” have been registered.

6.) Louisiana. Finally tonight, the State that brought a lifetime CCW permit online is joining with 18 other States to ask that the Supreme Court examine the gun laws of New Jersey. New Jersey is a “may issue” State at the moment….just like California. The case, going by the multi-state brief, is Drake v. Filko.

A lot of brawls happening at the State level, almost nothing of relevance happening at the Federal level. If I had any influence over the movement I would advise making guns an election issue locally, then blowing that out into the coming Federal elections. It is, and it always has been, a move from the ground up.

Progress

I noted back in Brevity that campus carry here in Georgia was axed from the gun bill. However, that was not to say that the gun bill going through the legislature isn’t impressive. This week, a look at the bill, plus CCW on Campus elsewhere, and the return of Dick Heller. Thanks again to The Armed Novelist for helping gather this week’s reports.

1.) Georgia. Despite the loss of campus carry, a major gun bill that would allow for CCW in churches and bars. The bill passed the Public Safety and Homeland Security committee, will move to the House Rules Committee, before finally coming to the House floor for a vote.

In other Georgia news, a group calling itself the “Millenials Movement” (you only wish I was making that up) is opposing a portion of the gun bil which, while not legalizing campus carry, lowers the penatly from criminal prosecution to a $100 fine. A Morehouse College student, Ronnie Mosley, says the bill basically endorses guns on campus through that alone.

To repeat, this does NOT legalize campus carry. That is likely dead for the session.

2.) MAIG. To the surprise of pretty much nobody, a former of Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns group left after noticing that the objective of the group was gun confiscation. In a column in the Poughkeepsie Jorunal, mayor John Tkazyik wrote the following:

It did not take long to realize that MAIG’s agenda was much more than ridding felons of illegal guns; that under the guise of helping mayors facing a crime and drug epidemic, MAIG intended to promote confiscation of guns from law-abiding citizens. I don’t believe, never have believed and never will believe that public safety is enhanced by encroaching on our right to bear arms, and I will not be a part of any organization that does.

We can only hope other mayors see that, and also defect from the organization. Still though, it is good to see such candor from someone who used to be part of that group.

3.) November. Kicking up the hype well ahead of the elections, the NRA has referred to the 2014 cycle as “do-or-die” in terms of the Second Amendment. NRA President Jim Porter says the organization “fully expect” to win a pro-gun Senate in the 2014 elections. He also noted that even anti-gunners are seeing their narratives collapsing, with the release of crime reports plus the lack of long-promised “blood in the streets” gunfights materializing.

4.) Postal Service. A persistent Senator Rand Paul got a measure to allow guns NEAR but not IN Post Office buildings passed unanimously through a Senate committe. Paul noted the support of his ammendment allowing guns both near and in the buildings was backed by the NRA, GOA, and National Association for Gun Rights.

Minor victory, to be sure. But at least leaving a gun in your car before entering the Post Office may no longer be a criminal act if the bill passes. I’m curious to know what criminal would stop at being “near” the building though.

Storm

As I’m sure you know by now, we in Atlanta suck at dealing with snowstorms. While I will briefly touch on the absurd firestorm in the aftermath, I am more interested in zooming in on the timeline of events, as we have a case study on panic buying and our (or at least our country’s) tendency for misguided over-reaction.

This week, we focus on the storm. And no, we are not using it’s “name.”

1.) Monday. Monday night saw what modern America calls “preparing” for the storm. This largely consists of panic buying and way-too-late pre-treating of major highways and other arteries of the city. For whatever reason, buying stuff hours prior to the storm is “just what people do” in this country. It’s a practice that still baffles me.

2.) Tuesday. Tuesday is when things got interesting. As this timeline from 11Alive shows, schools and the Atlanta government essentially closed at the same time and about an hour or so after the snow started falling. This led to a surge of traffic in quickly-deteriorating road conditions. At around 2:00 PM, reports of widespread gridlock started to emerge. That gridlock essentially lasted into the following morning, with many literally spending the night stuck in traffic. I personally know one man who had to walk from Kennesaw to Marietta. How he managed to come to class on Friday I’m still not sure.

3.) Wednesday. With the snow mostly gone, many cars on the road abandoned, and gridlock still on the roadways, Wednesday was essentially a day for the government to catch up on clearing out the roads. With a State Of Emergency declared (and frankly, with traffic at an unprecedented dead stop) many schools simply did not open Wednesday, or Thursday. Temperatures remained below freezing the entire day. It should be noted that, while there were power outages, they were not widespread, and many areas still had all the basics.

4.) Thursday. Temps briefly passed freezing, and most of the city had gotten into a shelter. This was largely a wrap up for the city, but already people were looking for someone to blame. Invariably, the main two men taking the flak were Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and Atlanta Mayor Kasim (ka-seem) Reed. Now while there is a huge fight over it, I’m not going to wade into that. Both because it is largely irrelevant (there is no “one” party to blame for all this) and because it is at best a cover for the ignorance of everyone else.

5.) Samaritan. While the overall picture is bleak, there is one element I want to draw attention to for different reasons. The aftermath of the storm saw amazing gridlock, and a paralyzed city. At the same time, many who were not in the gridlock took it upon themselves to help those who were. In addition, as it was used in West, Texas, social media saw people coordinated efforts to help stranded motorists. At the apex of the storm, Home Depot announced plans to keep many of its stores open overnight in case people needed shelter. While the national media focuses on the politics and who is to blame, I prefer to focus on the people working to make the best of a horrid situation.

6.) Aftermath. I bring all this up to pose a number of questions. As I have said in the past, all major events have tactical value to the prepper or survivialist. That statement is no different here. What would you do in that situation? If you were one of the people stuck in traffic for twelve to eighteen hours, how would you manage that and would you eventually abandon the car? What about those around you? In my opinion, the purpose of prepping, the purpose of survivalism as a whole, is to rely on one’s self regardless of what happens and, as we saw all over Georgia, sometimes that also means rolling with the events, and helping others out in the process.