Friday, November 17, 2017

"I'm From The Government And I'm Here To Kill You"


That is the title of Second Amendment attorney Dave Hardy's new book. It details how Federal negligence and arrogance got people killed and how the perpetrators got away free due to the law. I've been reading the book and will post a full review of it in the near future. From what I've read so far, I highly recommend it.

However, this post isn't about Dave's book but rather about how negligence on the state and local level in California allowed a mentally disturbed and often violent man to kill five people before he himself was killed in a shoot-out with police. The murders happened earlier this week in Rancho Tehama Reserve. In addition to the murders, this mad man shot up the local elementary school wounding one student.

The murderer was out of jail on bail from an assault in January where he had been charged with a total of five felonies and two misdemeanors. At the time he was released on bail, the judge in the case ordered him to surrender his firearms and had issued a protective order which barred him from “owning, possessing, purchasing or attempting to purchase firearms.” He had certified to the court that he had turned in his firearms to the custody of a local gun shop.

At the time of his shootout with police, the murderer was found to be in possession of two semi-auto rifles which seem to have been made by him as well as two handguns registered to someone else.

As reported by the Orange County Register, police were called to his residence many time between January and this week's murders. However, he always refused them entrance.

Why were police called to his residence?
At a tense news conference Wednesday, police conceded that neighbors had repeatedly complained about (the murderer) firing hundreds of rounds from his house.

Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston said authorities responded to calls several times, but the 44-year-old (murderer) wouldn’t open the door, so they left.

“He was not law enforcement friendly. He would not come to the door,” Johnston said. “You have to understand we can’t anticipate what people are going to do. We don’t have a crystal ball."
So you have neighbors reporting that a prohibited person is having target practice in his yard and the local law enforcement does nothing about it. Let me repeat that he was out on bail awaiting trial on five felonies and had a protective order against him banning his possession of any firearm.

WTF?

As law professor Laurie Levenson of Loyola Law School makes clear below, they didn't need his permission to enter.
“You can have probable cause even if officers don’t see a gun or hear shots,” she said. “They do not have to see the suspect with the weapon if all the circumstantial evidence indicates that he is violating the orders.”

Levenson said officers don’t even need a warrant to search a suspect’s home if they believe the caller and the evidence they are hearing and collecting indicate the suspect is firing a gun.

“If an officer believes there is someone with a weapon who is not entitled to have a weapon, the law permits the officer to go in,” she said.
While I imagine confronting a man who reportedly had both anger issues and was somewhat psychotic is dangerous, that is what police are paid to do and that is why they have SWAT teams.

No one knows if the killer's wife, neighbors, and the random people shot or killed would still be alive if the police had intervened when the neighbors called to complain but the odds certainly are higher.

I don't know California law as to whether the Tehama County Sheriffs' Department can be held liable for negligence. As Dave Hardy makes clear in his book, under Federal law this negligence would come under the "discretionary function exemption" and not a damn thing would happen to that department.

The other thing I do know is that no new gun control law would have stopped this killer. There were laws on the books that were meant to prevent him from having firearms. They were ignored. Moreover, the police declined to enforce them even in the face of complaints from neighbors that indicated he was violating the law. Gun  control laws stop the law abiding. They don't stop criminals and they don't stop those intent on ignoring the law.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

For My Massachusetts Readers - Hearing On Suppressors Today



I should have gotten this out yesterday but better late than never. The Massachusetts Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security will be holding hearings on two bills that would seek to legalize suppressor ownership there.

From the American Suppressor Association who will be testifying at the hearings:
On Thursday, November 16th at 11:00 AM in Room A-1, the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security will hear two bills which seek to legalize suppressor ownership in Massachusetts. S. 1317, and, S. 1340, would replace the current law that prohibits the possession of suppressors by non-manufacturers with language that allows private individuals to own and possess suppressors so long as they are not (1) prohibited persons; (2) committing a violent felony; (3) committing a crime of violence against a family member; or (4) possessing or selling controlled substances.
The American Suppressor Association will be on hand to testify in support of these bills, but we need your help! If you are a Massachusetts resident, please attend the hearing to show your support. Also, using the contact form below, please contact members of the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security and politely urge them to vote in support of S. 1317 and S. 1340. Do this, even if you plan to attend the hearing in person. 

View our entire blog post HERE and our testimony submitted to the committee HERE.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Truth Or Wishful Dreaming On His Part


I saw a note that firearm company stocks were up today on rumors of a deal on gun control. What spurred it was a tweet by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) who is one of the most ardent gun prohibitionists in both houses of Congress.



This leads to the question as to what gun legislation. Will it be merely a ban on bump stocks, a bill to improve NICS, or is it something more? Therein lies the question and I just don't have a good answer to that.

I do know that the Senate Judiciary Committee was supposed to hold hearings yesterday on "Firearm Accessory Regulation and Enforcing Federal and State Reporting to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)." However, that hearing has now been postponed to December 6th.

Monday, November 13, 2017

90% Of Success Is Just Showing Up


Adam Kraut, a firearms law attorney in Pennsylvania, is running for the NRA Board of Directors again this year. He qualified to be on the ballot by petition under the new, harder rules. Last year, he was about 60 votes shy of being the 76th Director. I supported Adam last year and I plan to vote for him again this year. I had dinner with Adam at the 2017 NRA Annual Meeting and came away impressed. I have spoken to him a few times since and his knowledge of firearms law has been helpful to me with my blogging. Frankly, we need energetic young people who will rock the status quo on the Board of Directors.

In addition to running for the Board, Adam has promulgated four bylaw changes that I think are well worth your time examining. The first proposed bylaw would require a candidate for the Board to run by petition-only after serving two consecutive terms. They would not be eligible to be nominated by the Nominating Committee. Think of it as a soft term limit. They wouldn't be precluded from serving more than two terms on the Board but would be required to go to the voting members and get their support if they wanted to serve a third term or more.

The second proposed amendment would require attendance at two out of three Regular Meetings in order to be renominated by the Nominating Committee.
Proposed Amendment Two would require that a Director attend two of the three Regular Meetings held each year or lose their eligibility to be nominated by the Nominating Committee. There is a provision which would allow for an excused absence due to 1) a medical emergency, 2) death in the family, 3) natural disaster, or 4) their flight, etc. being canceled by the provider (eg. airline). However, if a Director were to miss three or more successive Regular Meetings due to a medical emergency OR two or more successive Regular Meetings due to the other 3 exemptions, they would be ineligible for consideration by the Nominating Committee.
The third proposed amendment would amend the section of the Bylaws pertaining to the Nominating Committee to contain these restrictions on nominations while the fourth proposed amendment would create an Honorary Board whose job would be to advise the Board of Directors as their time permits. This would be an ideal place to put the celebrities. It is akin to what many colleges and universities have with a Board of Trustees (the BOD) and a Board of Advisors (the Honorary Board).

Look at the three charts below to see the current attendance records of the existing Directors. Some directors take their job very seriously and some are flat out slackers. The worse offenders seem to be the celebrities and the politicians. If you want the honor of serving on the NRA Board of Directors, I think it is incumbent upon you to get yourself to the meetings. Time conflicts should generally be resolved in favor of the Board meeting.



Below is a copy of the ballot that will be sent to Life and 5-Year members with the February issues of the official NRA magazines (American Rifleman, American Hunter, etc.) You will note that only two candidates are on the ballot solely by petition and another three who were both nominated by petition and by the Nominating Committee. I would give strong attention to the attendance records of existing Directors when casting a vote. By my count, only nine of the Class of 2018 Directors have a perfect attendance record which is and of itself embarrassing.



Adam has created a page with short videos on his amendments, the attendance issue, and how to fill out the bylaw petitions. You can find it here.

I have served on boards ranging from a quasi-judicial board dealing with zoning adjustments to the Catholic Social Services of the Diocese of Charlotte Board of Directors. All of these boards were composed of work horses and not show horses. That is how it should be with the NRA's Board of Directors. The enemies of gun rights are getting increasingly sophisticated in their attempts to abridge our civil rights. We need a Board of Directors that not only shows up but can be proactive rather than reactive to these threats.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

A Great Letter To The Editor


The Wall Street Journal ran an op-ed commentary on the 100th anniversary of Communism this past Tuesday. It was entitled, "100 Years of Communism - 100 Million Dead." The article discussed the consequences of the Bolsheviks' turning Marxist-Leninist ideology into reality.

In response to this article, Jack Wissner of Atlanta had this to say:
Wanton killing of millions in the name of some bankrupt ideology is a bit more difficult when everybody, not just the elite, are armed.
Mr. Wissner shows an astute understanding of why our Founding Fathers made the right to keep and bear arms part of the Bill of Rights.

Thank You To All Our Veterans


Veterans Day honors all those who served in any branch of the military. It was originally conceived as Armistice Day and was first celebrated on November 11, 1919. The significance of the date is that it was the day that the armistice was declared effectively ending World War One.

I never served in the military but my dad and my Uncle George served in the Army while my Uncle John and Uncle B served in the Navy during WWII.

I have many friends in gun rights community who are veterans and I salute them for never forgetting the oath that they took to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Happy 242nd Birthday, US Marines Corps




It has become a tradition on this blog to celebrate the birthday of the US Marine Corps. Even though I come from an Army family, I recognize their drive and dedication.

In years past, I've chosen old recruiting posters from the turn of the 20th century or the WWI or WWII era. This year's recruiting poster is much more modern and it was chosen due to its message in light of the church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas.  Just like the poster above says, "Nobody likes to fight. But somebody has to know how." No one wants to imagine something like church shooting happening but it does and we need to be prepared. We need to know how to respond to unimaginable with lethal force and we need to know how to care for the injured. Get training and take a class in tactical first aid.

Now back to the Marines.

You can read the Commandant's Birthday Message here which celebrates among other things the Battle of Guadalcanal.

The video birthday message from the Commandant and the Sgt Major of the Marine Corps is below:




Thursday, November 9, 2017

CCRKBA Says Anti-Gunners Stymied By The Facts


The Citizens' Committee Right to Keep and Bear Arms issued a statement yesterday regarding the Sutherland Springs church shooting. They say the gun prohibitionists are stymied by the facts given that Stephen Willeford, the nearby hero who shot the killer, used an AR-15 to stop more carnage.

I have to disagree with Alan Gottlieb on this. While rational people would look at the facts and say that the presence of a firearm prevented further bloodshed, the gun prohibitionists ignore facts. They work on emotion and the facts be damned. The fact that Mr. Willeford used an AR-15 was ignored yesterday when Sen. Dianne Feinstein and a coterie of her power and control mad colleagues introduced the Assault Weapons Ban of 2017.

Rational people like thee and me, Alan, and Texas AG Ken Paxton recognize that an armed man using an AR-15 helped to end the killing sooner than later. You can read Alan's statement on this below:
ANTI-GUNNERS STYMIED BY FACTS IN TEXAS SHOOTING, SAYS CCRKBA

BELLEVUE, WA – As more facts emerge from the tragic Sutherland Springs, Texas church shooting, gun prohibitionists and their cheerleaders in the media are stymied in their efforts to exploit this case, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.

“The perpetrator’s rampage was stopped by a law abiding citizen, using an AR15-type rifle,” noted CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “The shooter bought his guns at retail and passed background checks because the military failed to forward his criminal records to the National Instant Check System. Now it is being reported that the gunman once escaped from a mental health facility in New Mexico.

“Isn’t it ironic,” he mused, “that a private citizen, who the anti-gunners would prefer to be defenseless, used a rifle that gun control extremists have tried to ban with the claim that such guns do not belong in civilian hands?”

Gottlieb noted that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton told two different cable news networks that adding more gun control laws that penalize honest citizens and interfere with their right of self-defense is not the answer.

“We stand in agreement with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton who told both MSNBC and Fox News that Kelley had already violated laws against murder, so another gun law would not prevent this from happening,” Gottlieb said. “Sunday’s incident proves that the kind of gun controls advocated by politicians and anti-gun groups would have prevented the heroic actions of Stephen Willeford and Johnnie Langendorff, and may have allowed the shooter to continue his rampage.

“Mr. Willeford’s heroic intervention and his pursuit of the wounded madman, with Mr. Langendorff, is exactly what the Second Amendment is about,” Gottlieb observed. “They followed the killer and kept him covered with a semiautomatic rifle until lawmen arrived.

“America is blessed to have men like these,” he said. “But gun control extremists? Not so much.”