Gun Ownership comes with Responsibility

An Idaho woman shopping at a Wal-Mart store was killed Tuesday when her 2-year-old son, seated in a shopping cart, reached into her purse and fired her 9mm handgun, hitting her in the head.

According to news reports, Veronica Rutledge was an experienced shooter who had a permit to carry a concealed weapon. The gun was in a zippered section of a specially-designed concealed carry purse, which she left unattended for a moment.

While it’s legal in Louisiana to carry a gun in your purse with a concealed carry permit, that’s not the best way to carry a weapon, Mark LeBlanc, director of operations at Barney’s Police Supplies in Lafayette, said Wednesday.

It’s the responsibility of a gun owner to minimize the opportunity for someone else to gain possession of their gun, said LeBlanc, a former law enforcement officer who teaches gun safety. The safest way to ensure no one else gets your gun is to carry it on your person in a holster or, if in a purse, the purse should be on your person, not left unattended, he said.

Gun sales across the nation are on the rise. In 2013, 12 million new guns were sold in the U.S., LeBlanc said, and 2014 sales are expected to exceed that.

“In the past six years or so, there’s been a massive increase in gun sales,” he said.

Gun stores have had trouble in recent years meeting the demand for some guns and ammunition.

Gun owners come from every part of society — all ages, all backgrounds, all socioeconomic categories, and they’re buying guns for personal protection, hunting and recreation, LeBlanc said.

Whether they received their first weapon as a Christmas gift or are life-long owners, gun owners should be familiar with the mechanics and safe operation of each weapon, LeBlanc said. That means practice, practice, practice.

First-time gun owners should carefully read the informational brochure that came with the gun, familiarize themselves with the weapon before ever loading it, consider taking a gun safety course and practice shooting the weapon at a gun range.

“Safe operation of a weapon and basic understanding of its operation are two slices of bread that make up a sandwich,” he said. “Everything has to go together.”

Gun owners also should be familiar with the laws in their parish and state.

Louisiana is an open carry state. You can carry a gun on you without a permit as long as it’s visible. If it’s hidden, you need a concealed carry permit, said Cpl. Paul Mouton, public information officer, Lafayette Police Department.

Bergeron’s Restaurant in Port Allen made national news in 2014 when it started offering discounts to customers who wear a gun on their hip. According to news reports, the owner implemented the policy after some national chain stores banned customers from wearing guns in their stores, despite state laws allowing the practice.

A concealed carry permit isn’t necessary in Louisiana to transport your gun in your automobile because it’s considered an extension of your home, LeBlanc said.

Louisiana law doesn’t specify that a gun in a vehicle must be unloaded. But best practice is to transport a weapon unloaded or in the safety of a lock box or holster, Mouton said.

And he cautioned gun owners that different states have different laws.

“If you’re traveling in another state, you need research their laws reference the transport of firearms,” Mouton said.

By the numbers:

136,505 Louisiana residents had concealed carry permits as of December 2013.

3.89 percent of adults in Louisiana had concealed carry permits as of December 2013.

(Source: July 9, 2014, report by Crime Prevention Research Center)

Gun safety tips

Treat all weapons like they’re loaded.

Before and after firing a gun, always confirm it is not loaded.

When inspecting or cleaning a gun, don’t have ammunition in the room.

Learn as much as you can about your weapon and gun safety.

Never point a weapon at anything you don’t intend to destroy.

Keep your finger off the trigger and out of the trigger guard until you are ready to fire.

Always be aware of your total environment.

Properly maintain your weapon.

Clean your weapon after every use.

(Source: Mark LeBlanc, director of operations, Barney’s Police Supplies)

Story by: Claire Taylor January 1, 2015 (The Advertiser)

Common Core: Continuing the lies that Divide America

If you look at the “peaceful protestors” talking part in the recent demonstrations across America, what do you see?  Young people who are products of the public school system. If you listen to the “peaceful protestors” what do you hear? Lies about America that were “taught” in the public schools. As if we need another reason to be cynical regarding Common Core, it continues the lies the built Ferguson. There is no doubt that our schools are places where a leftist agenda is being pushed but it gets even more sinister. Are we deliberately encouraging these protests and the resulting civil unrest?

The unrest and the “change” we are seeing in the attitudes of the young is the result of several different factors, one being what is taught in the public schools. For example, History used to teach civics and love of country. Nowadays, history isn’t even considered an important subject. History teachers and the history curriculum do not show America positively. Children used to learn about the history of America in a way that instilled pride. These children grew up to build America, the most desirable country ever to exist.  Instead of continuing the lessons which made America the envy of the world, we are presenting a picture of America that causes our children to question its’ goodness.

As a public school teacher, I have noticed the same broken record played over and over.  I remember watching a movie about Emmet Till with a class of 11 year olds. The movie shows Till, an innocent, black 14 year old, who whistled at a white woman in Mississippi in the 1950s.  As punishment, he died at the hands of white men in a gruesome way.  The school movie spared no horrific detail. The white cops were vile. Their disdain for Emmet and his family was revolting. The screen showed us the actual photo taken at Emmet’s wake, of his face swollen from being beaten and left in the river for days, for far too long. The all-white jury took an hour to come back with a “not guilty” verdict. The murderers laughed and celebrated after the verdict was read. When the movie was over, my class of mostly black students wanted to “kill white people” over the sad injustice.  No doubt this was the desired reaction.
For a long time, I debated whether I should show this movie, even during black history month. I did not understand the point in enraging these kids with this one horrific event without also explaining that his death sparked a movement and angered whites throughout the country as well. Not to mention that we can find examples of horrific crimes committed by blacks against whites where justice was not served.

Since February is also presidents’ month I decided to show a movie about Thomas Jefferson. While all my students knew Emmet Till by fifth grade, none knew Jefferson. I got a movie from the school library. I was sharing with the class some wonderful things about Jefferson, some of his famous quotes and why he is my favorite president. The kids were interested, receptive, and impressed. The movie was going well until…. Slaves built Monticello. A black boy turned to me and asked if Jefferson owned slaves.

Over and over we see the same pictures in the schools. Beginning in kindergarten, we see hundreds of Africans chained together on slave ships and being forced to America, many of them dying miserably during the voyage. We aren’t told they were sold by other Africans. There are many more examples. Even if the worst is true, it’s at the point where I wonder what the point is. I know many black teachers I work with will say that these horrific events occurred and that these things need to be taught.  OK. Are we all happy with the results? Are we portraying America fairly?  Or are we (obviously) trying to make a political point?

Michael Brown is not Emmet Till. Today’s cops are not the cops of the 1950s. The grand juries of today are not the grand juries of 1950. Yet truth doesn’t matter. To these (black and guilt-ridden white) kids, now is the time to avenge these acts. They are being encouraged by our political leaders, teachers, athletes, celebrities, and the media. None of this is good for any kid, black or white. What good is tearing down and the country that they call home and dividing people?

There is an antidote to this mind poison our children are being fed. I have had opportunities to teach American history the way I learned it. It is easy and natural to teach children the story of America in a way that fills them with pride. I know this because I’ve done it. I’ve had classrooms children from every background. By June they were proud to call themselves American and crying when listening to the “Star Spangled Banner”.  But I am one teacher in a school district with 1.1 million kids. Besides, Common Core tells me exactly what to teach. My students are tested on exactly what the experts want them to know. I am rated on whether they have “learned” the information that the creators of Common Core have deemed is a proper education.

There is no doubt that the “peaceful protestors” feel justified and empowered. They are true believers and have been programmed from an early age (Let’s get them even earlier with universal pre-K). Where we will be as a country if we allow the progressives to have full control and even more time to teach this hate for America via Common Core? Do we want a United States of America? These things have been put into motion and we are seeing the results. What’s it going to take for people to connect the dots?
By: Mary Anne Marcella January 1, 2015 American Thinker

Making Colorado Safe for Guns and Pot

A planned initiative would challenge federal prohibitions on marijuana smokers’ right to carry guns

Two Colorado firearms instructors are planning a ballot initiative in their state to help smash a huge violation of citizens’ rights: that marijuana smokers, according to the federal government, are not allowed to own guns.

The 1968 Gun Control Act declared in section 922(g) that unlawful users of, or those addicted to, a controlled substance can’t legally possess guns. As more and more Americans use marijuana, medically or recreationally, and legally under state law, the feds have more urgently stressed that point. In September 2011, the ATF issued a memo reminding federal firearms licensees there’s no exception to section 922(g). If they sell a gun to someone they know or reasonably suspect to be a marijuana user, even if that use is state-legal, the dealer is violating federal law. Gun purchasers must fill out a form from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in which they are legally compelled to truthfully answer: “Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana…or any other controlled substance?”

These sorts of categorical exclusions of certain types of Americans from their Second Amendment rights might not stand up to intelligent judicial scrutiny in a post-Heller world. Others have already tried and failed to get the Supreme Court to overturn such blanket restrictions of gun rights for illegal aliens and those convicted of domestic violence. But as Jacob Sullum has written, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals declared this month in Tyler v. Hillsdale County Sheriff’s Department that prohibiting gun ownership to everyone who’s ever been committed to a mental institution is overly broad, not narrowly tailored to a compelling state interest, and thus invalid. Whether other circuits or, eventually, the Supreme Court agree remains to be seen.

The Colorado activists behind the would-be ballot measure, Edgar Antillon and Isaac Chase, are making an end run around courts as they launch the Colorado Campaign for Equal Gun Rights. The measure would amend Colorado law so that state-legal use of marijuana would be no barrier to receiving a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

Antillon says that as a firearms instructor he has run into many students who “are users of marijuana for medicinal or recreational reasons. The bottom line is we saw they were being denied their right to self-defense and we thought it appropriate to start this campaign for equal access.”

This Colorado effort isn’t the first recent attempt to topple the pot smoker exception to the Second Amendment. Oregon saw a victory for the cause of gun-toting pot smokers in the 2011 state case Willis v. Winters. Local sheriffs thought that being required to issue concealed carry permits to state medical marijuana permit holders put them in violation of federal law, and sued. The state’s Supreme Court ultimately declared that “State law requires sheriffs to issue concealed gun licenses without regard to whether the applicants use medical marijuana.” That doesn’t mean federal officials, or even state sheriffs, can’t still enforce the federal law against marijuana users possessing guns; merely that such users can get an Oregon permit to carry a weapon and are not violating state law by doing so.

The losing sheriffs tried to take the issue to the Supreme Court, but in January 2012 the Court declined to take up the case. Although it was an Oregon state case, the court’s arguments should be of some value to a hypothetical lawyer who might have to defend any victory for the proposed Colorado amendment, if such victory occurs in 2016. As an Oregon appeals court declared in one iteration of Willis v. Winters as it moved through the state’s court system, and as the Oregon Supreme Court upheld, the “circuit court correctly concluded that Oregon’s concealed handgun licensing statutes are not preempted by the federal Gun Control Act. The concealed handgun licensing statutes do not affirmatively authorize controlled substance users to possess handguns; rather, they exempt a licensee from state criminal liability for the possession of a concealed handgun.” If Colorado ends up also having a concealed carry permit process via ballot measure that allows for known pot users to get such a permit, the same argument could be made that a mere lack of a state carry permit process that punishes pot users is not inherently pre-empted by the federal Gun Control Act—though that is no guarantee a federal court will agree.

Wilson v. Holder is a federal case also challenging the prohibition of medical marijuana licensees from owning guns. Rowan Wilson, then a Nevada medical marijuana card holder, tried to buy a gun from a dealer who knew her status. He refused to sell to her because of the ATF’s letter. The ATF policy that dictated the dealer’s decision violated her Second Amendment rights, she believed, and in October 2011 sued about it in federal court in Nevada.

In March 2014, Wilson’s case was tossed out of court by Judge Gloria Navarro, a decision that Wilson and her lawyers are now appealing to the Ninth Circuit. Among their arguments in their Ninth Circuit filings: it is illegitimate to equate marijuana license possession with current illegal drug use; the ATF letter essentially declares a class of citizens criminals with no due process, and even constitutes a substantive change in law by making mere medical license holders presumptive criminals without following the Administrative Procedure Act.

Wilson’s lawyers also insist the 2011 Ninth Circuit Dugan decision that Navarro relied on in declaring the challenged ATF policy or any other prohibition on gun possession related to drug use had no Second Amendment implications was about someone with a career of criminality, including drug and weapons trafficking. Thus, his position is not analogous in terms of a compelling state interest in prohibiting weapon possession to an otherwise law-abiding medical marijuana card possessor such as Wilson

On the legislative front, Sen. John Walsh (D-Mont.) proposed a bill amendment this year to defund Department of Justice and ATF attempts to enforce gun laws against state-legal medical marijuana users, but it failed.

ATF’s Colorado office didn’t respond to a request for comment on the proposed ballot measure by press time. But the mixture of pot and guns seems very likely to be too combustible for the feds to ignore, except, maybe, with a Rand Paul Justice Department and ATF, or a Ted Cruz one. Dave Workman of the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), which has fought successful court battles to extend Second Amendment rights in the wake of Heller, is sure the Justice Department and ATF would crack down hard on any state that tried to ignore federal prohibitions on drug user’s gun possession.

Antillon and Chase’s idea, though it has already won national press attention from the Associated Press and Fox News, is at a very early stage. Antillon admits they haven’t fully worked out a fundraising or legal strategy, though he offers $100,000 as a likely minimum to even get on the ballot, much less fight via ads through the election cycle.

His group has done randomized internal polling of 2500 Coloradans, he says, that finds 60 percent support. Many would-be supporters who themselves are licensed weapons dealers might be understandably reluctant to publicly endorse or fund the effort, he thinks. The list of gun world endorsees so far is small, although the campaign only filed their first paperwork with the Colorado secretary of state a couple of weeks ago.

Antillon says he knows it’s not apt to appeal to the likes of the National Rifle Association, though when Fox and Friends got Tony Fabian of the Colorado State Shooting Association to appear opposing Antillon, Fabian said he was not so much against the proposition as merely not for it, because his group’s mission is to “provide shooting opportunities for law abiding residents and because of the federal ban” support of the measure “would run afoul of that mission.”

Representatives of major national Second Amendment rights groups and major national marijuana rights groups this week both said that, while they can’t predict how the initiative would do if it makes the ballot, the melding of gun rights and pot rights wasn’t a high priority for either movement individually.

Workman of the SAF says that to the firearms rights movement, the prohibition against marijuana smokers “on a scale of one to 10, might be a two or three” and that most such activists think “there are a lot more important things going on with the Second Amendment than this.”

Paul Armentano of the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) says his group has long been aware of the feds’ prejudice against pot users when it comes to guns, especially compared to other potentially judgment-impairing substances such as alcohol of prescription meds. He’s unaware of any national polling on the issue, and his sense is that “this is not an issue that rises to the top of the priority list for the average marijuana consumer.”

That said, NORML’s executive director Allen St. Pierre did list Second Amendment rights for marijuana users as one of his major concerns going forward into 2015, but Armentano says as a matter of policy they don’t comment on the specifics of potential ballot measures until they’ve actually made the ballot.

Given the convoluted multistep process of pre-approval for Colorado ballot measures, it will be at least three months, Antillon says, before a signature collection process might even begin. Colorado law links signatures required to 5 percent of the votes cast in the previous secretary of state election, which means this proposal will need over 98,000 signatures to get before Colorado voters. It’s uncertain how resonant an issue this will be, how many citizens straddle the crossroads of gun rights and marijuana rights. Associated Press reports that Colorado officials do not know how many people in the state have been denied gun possession or carry rights because of marijuana.

For now, Antillon’s nascent operation doesn’t have a well-planned strategy or an idea where big money might even potentially come from. By crossing the streams of Second Amendment and pot activism, they risk alienating large swaths of the dedicated activist financiers of both sides, staking ground in a libertarian middle that recognizes self-defense, self-medication, and self-pleasuring that harm no one else’s life or property as rights eminently worth fighting for. Changing state’s relationship to pot via initiative can be difficult and costly, and it doesn’t always work the first time it’s tried. It’s a grand battle symbolic of a Libertarian Moment. Even if it fails to go all the way the first time around, it’s a logical constitutional victory  that deserves to be won, whether via lawsuit or ballot.

By: Brian Doherty | December 31, 2014


It is a common practice of the left to stage an incident and then demand enormous legal changes to respond to their hoax.

Griswold v. Connecticut was a scam orchestrated by Yale law professors to challenge the state’s anti-contraception law. The case was a fraud: The law had never been enforced and never would have been enforced, until the professors held a press conference announcing they were breaking the law.

But we still got the new constitutional “privacy right” which, less than 10 years later, transmogrified into a constitutional right to kill an unborn baby.

The premise of that case, Roe v. Wade, was also a hoax. Norma McCorvey lied about being raped to get an abortion in Texas, but was denied because there was no police report. There was also no rape: She had gotten pregnant for the third time by her mid-20s as a result of a casual sexual encounter.

After Trayvon Martin was shot by George Zimmerman — the “white Hispanic,” since upgraded to full “white” by The New York Times — liberals howled about Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law. The case had absolutely nothing to do with that law: Zimmerman wasn’t standing his ground; he was lying on the ground having his head bashed in. The jury accepted Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense and acquitted him.

The law of self-defense has been around since William of Orange ascended to the British throne in 1688. But liberals are still harping about the Trayvon Martin shooting to demand the repeal of Stand Your Ground laws.

Jamie Leigh Jones made fantastical claims about being fed Rohypnol, gang-raped and then held at gunpoint while working for KBR, a subsidiary of Halliburton, in Iraq in 2005. Without considering the likelihood of a military contractor doing this to an American citizen, knowing she’d get back to the U.S. someday and be able to tell her story, our adversary media and well-paid Democratic senators believed every word out of Jones’ mouth.

It is a common practice of the left to stage an incident and then demand enormous legal changes to respond to their hoax.

Griswold v. Connecticut was a scam orchestrated by Yale law professors to challenge the state’s anti-contraception law. The case was a fraud: The law had never been enforced and never would have been enforced, until the professors held a press conference announcing they were breaking the law.

But we still got the new constitutional “privacy right” which, less than 10 years later, transmogrified into a constitutional right to kill an unborn baby.

The premise of that case, Roe v. Wade, was also a hoax. Norma McCorvey lied about being raped to get an abortion in Texas, but was denied because there was no police report. There was also no rape: She had gotten pregnant for the third time by her mid-20s as a result of a casual sexual encounter.

After Trayvon Martin was shot by George Zimmerman — the “white Hispanic,” since upgraded to full “white” by The New York Times — liberals howled about Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law. The case had absolutely nothing to do with that law: Zimmerman wasn’t standing his ground; he was lying on the ground having his head bashed in. The jury accepted Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense and acquitted him.

The law of self-defense has been around since William of Orange ascended to the British throne in 1688. But liberals are still harping about the Trayvon Martin shooting to demand the repeal of Stand Your Ground laws.

Jamie Leigh Jones made fantastical claims about being fed Rohypnol, gang-raped and then held at gunpoint while working for KBR, a subsidiary of Halliburton, in Iraq in 2005. Without considering the likelihood of a military contractor doing this to an American citizen, knowing she’d get back to the U.S. someday and be able to tell her story, our adversary media and well-paid Democratic senators believed every word out of Jones’ mouth.

As always happens when members of a disfavored racial and gender group — i.e., white males — are accused of heinous acts, liberals heard Jones’s claims and concluded: Well, the one thing we know is: There was a gang-rape. All that’s left to do now is to investigate the military/fraternity/lacrosse rape culture.

Thus, for example, Sen. Patrick Leahy began a hearing on Jones’ insane accusations with this statement of facts: “Jamie Leigh Jones a young woman from Texas who took a job at Halliburton in Iraq in 2005 when she was 20 years old. In her first week on the job, she was drugged and then she was gang-raped by co-workers. When she reported this — remember 20 years old — she reported this assault, her employers moved her to a locked trailer, where she was kept by armed guards and freed only when the State Department intervened.”

Sen. Al Franken raved about “the culture of impunity” among defense contractors, saying, “Jamie Leigh Jones was gang-raped by KBR employees.” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse helpfully added, “But as best I can tell, there is no legitimate intelligence function that involves rape.”

And then, after all the grandstanding, it turned out Jones had made the whole thing up. DNA evidence proved she’d had sex with only one man, and he said it was consensual. The female doctor who examined Jones the day after the alleged attack found no traces of Rohypnol in her system. Both the female doctor, as well as Jones’ own plastic surgeon back in Houston, contradicted Jones’ claim that her breast implants had been ruptured. It also turned out that none of KBR’s employees carry guns, much less machine guns. By the age of 20, even before Jones had left for Iraq, she was 0-for-2 on rape allegations, having already falsely accused two other men of raping her.

No grand jury would indict the poor, falsely accused KBR employee who foolishly had sex with Jones, so she filed a civil suit against that one man. The jury ruled for him, and the court ordered Jones to pay $145,000 in legal costs. Jamie Leigh Jones’ place in the Crystal Magnum, Tawana Brawley Hall of Fame was thus secured.

But we still got Sen. Al Franken’s pro-trial lawyer amendment to a Defense Department bill, touted as the “Anti-Rape Amendment,” prohibiting military contractors from including mandatory arbitration clauses in their employment contracts. Any Republican brave enough to oppose this sop to trial lawyers was denounced as “pro-rape” in mass-phone calls to their offices and by liberal prophet Jon Stewart, who railed on his show “How is ANYONE against this?”

Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson’s shooting of Michael Brown is today being used as grounds to demand all sorts of new rules for cops. Most people had a pretty good sense of the case after seeing surveillance camera shots of Brown assaulting the manager of a liquor store he was robbing about 10 minutes before his encounter with Officer Wilson. By the time the grand jury documents were released, there was no serious doubt that the shooting was justified.

But again, as a result of a hoax racial incident, Democrats are demanding race quotas for arrests. To hell with due process. If we can stop just one thing that never happened from ever happening again, it will have been worth it.

The only new rule we really need is one to stop these infernal liberal hoaxes.

By: Ann Coulter, December 30, 2014

Gun Owners fear Maryland Cops Target them for Traffic Stops

Stories pile up but police say searches are legal

A year ago this New Year’s Eve, John Filippidis of Florida was driving south with his family on Interstate 95 when the Maryland Transportation Authority Police pulled over his black Ford Expedition and proceeded to raid it while his twins, wife and daughter looked on — separated in the back seats of different police cruisers.

The officers were searching for Mr. Filippidis‘ Florida-licensed, palm-size Kel-Tec .380 semi-automatic handgun, which he left at home locked in his safe. (Maryland does not recognize handgun permits issued by other states.)
When the search turned up nothing, Mr. Filippidis, 51, was allowed to go and was issued only a speeding warning.
The incident gained national attention. Mr. Filippidis went on multiple radio programs and described in detail how scared and outraged he and his family were. He wondered: How did the police know he was licensed for concealed carry, and what right did they have to search through his personal items on the side of the busy interstate filled with holiday travelers on that 10-degree day?

“My wife’s hysterical, shaking and crying,” Mr. Filippidis recalled in an interview with The Washington Times. “I don’t have a criminal record. I own a business. I’m a family man, and I tried to explain that to [the officer]. But he had a bad attitude, didn’t want to hear my story. He just wanted to find that gun and take me away from my family. That was his goal, but he couldn’t do it, because I didn’t have a gun, like I told him.”

Mr. Filippidis‘ case earned the support of Second Amendment advocates and subsequent apologies from the MDTA. But an internal police review concluded his stop and search were lawful and did not violate police protocols.
Those findings, however, have not satisfied other out-of-state gun owners, who worry that they, too, have been targeted for minor traffic stops in Maryland because they have concealed weapons permits. Their stories are accumulating.

John Tonnesen IV of Lake Worth, Florida, was pulled over and arrested after a search of his work truck — by the same officer who stopped Mr. Filippidis — turned up his .45-caliber Ruger, licensed in the state of Florida. He doesn’t believe the stop was coincidental.

“It was unloaded and stuffed into a bag far from me,” Mr. Tonnesen told The Times. “There’s scanners in Maryland that scan every tag, and Florida is one of their target vehicles. They’ll find whatever reason they can to pull you over.”

MDTA denies it targets out-of-state gun owners and noted the review of Mr. Fillipides earlier traffic stop concluded the officers did nothing wrong.

“The MDTA Police conducted a review of the traffic stop and have concluded that the stop and subsequent search of the vehicle were justified,” spokesman Jonathan Green wrote in an emailed statement. “The investigation did not reveal any violations of law or agency policy.”

The officer who stopped both gun owners is “assigned to the I-95 corridor where there is a large volume of out of state travelers,” Mr. Green said.

Baltimore-based criminal defense lawyer Paul Kramer says these type of stops and searches happen far too often in Maryland and are a waste of taxpayer money. Mr. Kramer represented a Pennsylvania security officer who was pulled over in the state for speeding. The Maryland officer asked Mr. Kramer’s client whether he had a gun in the car, and once the man acknowledged he did, the officer arrested him for having the gun and the cartridge in the same locked container — not separated, as per Maryland law.
“You think that Maryland would honor legitimate people with guns rather than charging people who are legitimately carrying but doing it incorrectly,” said Mr. Kramer, who was former deputy U.S. attorney for Maryland. “I would think that the police would want to take the time to go after those people who don’t have a legitimate right to have a gun rather than locking up people who have a valid license.
“An otherwise law-abiding citizen can get arrested here. It’s just a waste of officer time and resources. The police should let those people go,” he said.
Maryland is one of the toughest gun control states in the nation and passed the Maryland Firearm Safety Act of 2013, which, among its provisions, bans 45 assault weapons and limits gun magazines to 10 rounds. Maryland also has strict laws governing the transportation of guns and issues concealed carry only on a “need-based” determination. Maryland does not recognize any out-of-state carry licenses.
Gun rights advocates are trying to pressure Gov.-elect Larry Hogan, a Republican, to get involved in a legal effort by a coalition of gun owners and gun rights groups to invalidate the law. Twenty-one states have filed briefs with the court supporting the challenge. In a news conference in November after winning the election, however, Mr. Hogan said he would leave it to the courts to decide.

That’s not stopping advocates like Mr. Tonnesen, 50, from pleading to Mr. Hogan to investigate whether Maryland is targeting out-of-state concealed-carry holders.

On his way up north to visit family for the holidays this year, Mr. Tonnesen left his weapon behind but came armed with a letter addressed to Mr. Hogan instead, detailing his arrest last year and questioning why Maryland is using its limited resources to target out-of-staters.
“I got six months probation before adjudication on my record, and I didn’t do anything wrong,” Mr. Tonnesen said. “My father gave me my first rifle when I was eight. I have respect for guns and know how to use them. A terrible injustice happened to me, and it’s a phenomenal waste of the state’s resources that the governor should be aware [of].”

Mr. Hogan’s office confirmed receipt of the letter but declined further comment on it.
As governor, Mr. Hogan will “uphold both the U.S. Constitution and the laws of Maryland; he will not overturn existing Maryland law and will work across party lines to reduce gun violence,” Hogan spokeswoman Erin Montgomery told The Times.

Academics say Mr. Hogan is likely to stay far away from gun control issues as he begins his tenure as a rare Republican elected official in a mostly blue state.

“Of course, some conservatives would love to see Maryland’s gun control law changed, but Hogan recognizes the political reality that Maryland is a liberal state — and if he wants to accomplish anything economically, he’s going to have to stay away from the social issues,” said David Lublin, a professor of political science at American University who runs a blog, Seventh State, dedicated to Maryland politics. “Gun control is popular in the state, and, although I don’t see him strengthening it, a sort of vagueness suits him well on the issue.”

Mr. Hogan ran in the blue state on his strengths as a businessman — someone who understood working-class families and the consequences of increased taxes.

With Democrats holding nine of the state’s 10 seats in Congress, having large majorities in both state houses, and with the attorney general and state comptroller both being Democrats, if Mr. Hogan wants to generate good will to pass through some of his economic changes, he will have to stay away from gun control, which the majority of the state favors, Mr. Lublin said.

According to a 2013 poll conducted by Gonzales Research & Marketing Strategies Inc., which surveyed more than 800 of the state’s registered voters, 58 percent said they support the gun control law enacted under Gov. Martin O’Malley.

As for the MDTA, officials maintain only people who are committing traffic violations are pulled over, not those who have out-of-state concealed carry licenses.
“It is important to note that no gun-permitting information is programmed into any License Plate Reader units accessible to MDTA Police,” Mr. Green said.

In Mr. Filippidis‘ case, he was pulled over because he was going 72 mph in a 55 mph zone and was tailgating the officer, Mr. Green said.

“The officer observed the concealed carry gun permit while the driver was searching for his driver’s license and vehicle registration in his wallet,” Mr. Green said.

“After personally observing the gun permit, the officer asked the driver to step from the vehicle and inquired about the location of the weapon,” Mr. Green said. “The driver denied that there was a weapon in the vehicle.

“The officer returned to the vehicle to ask the occupant of the front passenger seat about the location of the gun. The occupant of the front passenger seat indicated that the gun was possibly in the glove box or the console of the vehicle and reached for the glove box before being advised by the officer to stop.”

“The officer who stopped Mr. Filippidis smelled the odor of marijuana in the vehicle on his initial approach of the vehicle,” Mr. Green said. “Based on the conflicting stories regarding the location of the gun, the observations made while the vehicle was being stopped and the suspected odor of marijuana, the officer had probable cause to search the vehicle for possible controlled dangerous substances (CDS) and the weapon.”

Mr. Filippidis vehemently denies there was any smell of marijuana in his car, and he didn’t know that was the excuse used to justify the search of his SUV. He did say he may have been going a little over the speed limit, and his wife was confused about the whereabouts of his gun.

“If they smelled pot, why didn’t they arrest me for pot?” Mr. Filippidis said. “This whole thing just doesn’t add up. Smoking in front of my kids driving home from Christmas with the family? Come on. We walked away from the entire incident without even a ticket — for anything.”

As for Mr. Tonnesen, a search of his vehicle was justified after the same officer felt threatened and that Mr. Tonnesen was hiding something as both of his hands weren’t readily visible. He was also pulled over for speeding.

“They have kids shooting each other in the face up there in Maryland,” Mr. Tonnesen said. “And yet here I am cooperating with the officer, because I know his job is hard, and I respect that. Yet I’m thrown in Baltimore County Jail. It’s just crazy.”
By Kelly RiddellThe Washington Times – Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Photo Credit:

Second Amendment Organization Names Top 10 Anti-Gunners List for 2014

BELLEVUE, WA – The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms today named the Top Ten Anti-Gunners for 2014, with billionaire Michael Bloomberg topping the list for using his wealth to buy elections in an effort to turn the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms into a heavily-regulated government privilege.

“The people on this list have worked very hard to undermine the civil rights of every American citizen who owns a firearm, or may one day want to, and they deserve vilification,” CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb said.

Bloomberg spent $50 million to create Everytown for Gun Safety, the anti-gun lobbying organization. He helped finance the Initiative 594 gun control campaign in Washington State and he is supporting a similar effort in Nevada. Others on the list are, in alphabetical order:

Paul Allen – The billionaire co-founder of Microsoft and principle owner of the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trailblazers, he dumped a half-million dollars into the I-594 gun control campaign in Washington State.

Steve Ballmer – Another Microsoft alumni and owner of the L.A. Clippers who added more than $1 million to the I-594 effort to criminalize perfectly legal activities in the Evergreen State.

Hillary Clinton – The former First Lady and Secretary of State suggested earlier this year that gun owners “terrorize” people by vigorously defending the Second Amendment. She also supported the unratified UN Arms Trade Treaty.

Andrew Cuomo – The New York governor who championed that state’s Draconian SAFE (for Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement) Act, which is responsible for job losses in addition to penalizing every gun owner in the state.

Rahm Emanuel – The vehemently anti-gun mayor of Chicago whose administration has stubbornly resisted adoption of rational gun policies that would allow citizens to defend themselves against out-of-control violence in the Windy City.

Bill Gates – This billionaire Microsoft co-founder and his wife contributed more than $1 million to the I-594 gun control effort, thus helping to pay for one of the most insidious political campaigns in the United States.

Nick Hanauer – Another elitist Seattle-area billionaire who launched the I-594 gun control campaign and poured more than $1 million into the effort. His deplorable effort to exploit the Pilchuck High School tragedy by sarcastically suggesting that, “We need more school shootings” was an offensive new low in anti-gun politics.

Eric Holder – The outgoing U.S. attorney general fought to stall release of thousands of documents related to the Operation Fast and Furious scandal, final losing his battle in federal court this past fall.

Shannon Watts – As founder of the Bloomberg-supported Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Watts has spread disinformation about gun crime and campaigned against laws that bolster personal protection outside the home.

CCRKBA also gave “dishonorable mention” to Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe for wanting to resurrect one-gun-a-month legislation in his state, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who both have pressed their gun control agendas, driving businesses and jobs out of their states; California Attorney General Kamala Harris, who has steadfastly defended arbitrary and discretionary concealed carry permits; former CNN commentator Piers Morgan for continuing his anti-gun rhetoric even though it forced his program’s cancellation. Also on the list, Gerald Ensley, the Tallahassee Democrat columnist who wrote in November that handguns and semiautomatic modern sporting rifles should be banned, and that the Second Amendment should be repealed; and former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who wrote earlier this year that he would like to see the Second Amendment changed to confine the right to keep and bear arms to people serving in the military and state militia.

(Via: Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms)

The Reason for Free Speech

Walter Lippmann began writing The Public Philosophy in 1938 and completed it in 1955.  His words have particular relevance today when the Obama administration tries to “discredit stories and sources and reporters that the powers-that-be don’t like.”

In Chapter IX, Section 3, Lippmann explains why freedom of speech is a necessary component in a society.  It is “a principal method of attaining truth” because of “the ability to raise searching difficulties on both sides of a subject [that] will make us detect more easily the truth and error about the several points that arise.”  Thus, freedom of speech is not merely the “pleasure of [an] utterance” by an individual; it is more essential than that.  Freedom of speech is the” ability to confront ideas with opposing ideas in order that the pro and the con of the dispute will lead to true ideas.  But the dispute must not be treated as a trial of strength.  It must be a means of elucidation.”

And it is this “means of elucidation” that infuriates the left as well as spokesmen for terrorist groups.  They will harangue, scream, berate, shout, bellow, and yell – in an effort to drown out any meaningful discussion.  And too often, in a gesture of being polite, one side quietly waits until the screaming is completed, but by then, time is up for a genuine interaction of ideas.  Rather than having the “disputants argue cooperatively in order to acquire more wisdom than either of them had when [they] began,” censorship rears its ugly head.

In today’s world we see “silliness, baseness and deception” so much so that it “submerges the kernels of truth.”  As a result, freedom of speech “is no longer respected as a procedure of the truth and [instead] becomes the unrestricted right to exploit the ignorance, and to incite the passions, of the people.”  Consequently, how is it possible that the Ninth Circuit Court ruling that students can’t wear American flag T-shirts because they may offend Mexican students celebrating Cinco de Mayo is upheld?  How is it conceivable that no matter the facts of the Ferguson situation, Obama, Holder, and Sharpton continue the false assertions that result in violence, destruction, and fear?  Moreover, Obamacare lies are getting as high as the original stack of pages that constituted the law, while any credible debate about aspects of the law are ignored.  Anyone exposing the underbelly of the law is demeaned and humiliated.  Heck, we were too stupid to comprehend the scam, according to Gruber!

Thus, as Lippmann explains, freedom of speech ultimately becomes “such a hullabaloo of sophistry, propaganda, special pleading, lobbying, and salesmanship that it is difficult to remember why freedom of speech is worth the pain and trouble of defending it.”

Therein lies the crux of the matter.  As the government whittles away freedoms, the people become exhausted and dejected and eventually surrender because it is just easier than speaking up.

To wit, at a college where I teach, the internet security policy has now restricted access to the site “Religion of Peace.”  Under the category of “Hate/Racism,” “access to this site is blocked according to the organization’s security policy.”  But the Religion of Peace site includes “direct reference to the Qur’an, Hadith and Sira – the sacred texts that objectively define [Islam].”  The site is “not a political site and [they] do not promote any particular religion.”  In essence, the site is a valuable resource of articles from national and international sources (including American Thinker) that covers a wealth of information on Islam.  The creators of this site ask if it is  “possible to reform Islam into a 21st century religion, or is the dysfunctional and hate simply too deeply rooted within the teachings and history of the faith?”  Though “pessimistic about reform,” they accept that “there are intelligent and compassionate members of the Muslim community who disagree[.]”  Thus, the site is a forum that seeks the free expression of ideas.  Nonetheless, a school of higher learning will not permit its students or faculty access to it.

Then there is the University of Minnesota library, which has put together a freely available online video collection that includes Al Jazeera Video Creative Commons Repository, containing broadcast footage that Al Jazeera has released under various Creative Commons licenses.  Yet Al Jazeera’s “newscasts and on-air discussions are staged to show its mostly-Muslim viewers a relentlessly visceral, emotion-charged drama in which Jews, Israel, and Americans are almost always cast as villains, infidels, and evil-doers.”
Without the “willingness to debate,” a society cannot “achieve moral and political truth.”  In fact, in 1927, Louis D. Brandeis maintained that “[i]f there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.”

For example, as much as I detest the actions of the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), well-known for their anti-Israel demonstrations and political theater, I accept that the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has defended SJP’s right to speak.  But there should be an equally vocal explanation of the prevarications and misinformation expounded by SJP, because, as Lippmann writes, “when genuine debate is lacking, freedom of speech does not work as it is meant to work.  It has lost the principle which regulates it and justifies it – that is to say, dialectic conducted according to logic and the rules of evidence.”

FIRE maintains that interruptions such as the 2010 lecture when Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, was repeatedly forced to stop his talk do not equate to free speech.  Thus, “if a precedent is set on this issue” that it’s OK to shout during a campus talk, “then any group that opposes any speaker can literally stop discussion and debate from taking place” by repeatedly interrupting.  FIRE asserts that “[f]ailing to punish offenders appropriately is likely to threaten the free speech of future speakers by effectively condoning a ‘heckler’s veto’ through disruptive actions. That would make a mockery of the First Amendment.”  In the end, according to Lippmann, “what men will most ardently desire is to suppress those who disagree with them and, therefore, stand in the way of the realization of their desires.  Thus, once confrontation in debate is no longer necessary, the toleration of all opinions leads to intolerance.  Freedom of speech, separated from its essential principle, leads through a short transitional chaos to the destruction of freedom of speech.”

Thus, Greg Lukianoff, president of FIRE, in the Encounter Broadside publication entitled Freedom From Speech, explains that “unfortunately, far from teaching the intellectual discipline that welcomes a free and robust exchange of ideas, campuses are actively accelerating the push for freedom from speech.”  Often a desire to avoid “intellectual discomfort” rather than a pledge that one must tackle hard issues that entail allegedly “hurtful” “inconsiderate” or  “offensive” speech is making the duty regarding free speech less compelling.  This is a dangerous trajectory for a free people.

Which is why it is heartening to learn that the William F. Buckley Program at Yale University “refused to be bullied by the Muslim Students Association” and did not “rescind an invitation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali to speak on campus.”  This stands in stark contrast to Brandeis University, which capitulated to the demands that Ms. Ali not be permitted to speak.

The truth can be found only “when the human mind is capable of receiving it.”  Yet far too many Americans have been inundated with pseudo-empathy lessons.  Furthermore,  many students are historically illiterate and cannot comprehend that “[w]e live in a world in which people are censured, demoted, imprisoned, beheaded, simply because they have opened their mouths, flapped their lips, and vibrated some air. Yes, those vibrations can make us feel sad or stupid or alienated. Tough [s***]. That’s the price of admission to the marketplace of ideas. Hateful, blasphemous, prejudiced, vulgar, rude, or ignorant remarks are the music of a free society, and the relentless patter of idiots is how we know we’re in one” (attributed to Daniel Gilbert).

One need only look to the “tyranny of silence” now enveloping Europe, where courageous Flemming Rose is calling for the  “equivalent of a worldwide First Amendment.”

European laws balance freedom of expression against other rights such as the right to privacy and the right not to be offended. Therefore, European countries have various laws prohibiting hate speech, religious denigration, and racism. However, ‘almost absolute’ freedom of speech, with exceptions for incitement to violence and defamation of individuals, ‘makes America unique.’ Free speech is ‘not a balancing test’ against the so-called right not to be offended. Offensive speech is constitutionally protected if it’s true or mere opinion.

And yet, in America we have a burgeoning Fourth Estate abdication of its obligation to promote the freedom to speak and think.  In an interview in the December 2014 Limbaugh Letter, investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson relates how news stories were massaged at CBS.  “[I]f reporters and producers … found facts that differed with [their] managers’ preconceived notions, they often either wouldn’t air the story, or sometimes they would try to make [reporters] shape the facts of the story to fit their [managers’] version of reality.”  In addition, as recounted in her book Stonewalled, Attkisson describes how the government actually hacked her computer and phone lines.  “It was only through multiple forensics exams that the sophisticated monitoring and surveillance was discovered.”

Furthermore, the administration continues to “controversialize” an individual or an issue.  That is, “instead of having to address the facts of Benghazi, they do opposition research on Sharyl Attkisson[.]”  Facts, credible evidence, research, photographs are all but ignored, and the media aids and abets this.  At The Guardian, Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen write about how “across the globe, governments are monitoring and censoring access to the web.”  And the issue of net neutrality brings us much closer to the possibility that  “a quarter century of online liberty in the self-styled ‘land of the free’ will crash and burn.”

Walter Lippmann explains that “when genuine debate is lacking, freedom of speech does not work as it is meant to work” and “an unrestricted and unregulated right to speech cannot be maintained.  It will be curtailed for all manner of reasons and pretexts and to serve all kinds of good, foolish, or sinister ends.”

Without “honest reflection” via freedom of speech, we all suffer.
By Eileen F. Toplansky December 27, 2014 (American Thinker)

A Lesson to be Learned on the Anniversary of Wounded Knee

December 29, 2014 marked the 124th Anniversary of the murder of 297 Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee Creek on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. These 297 people, in their winter camp, were murdered by federal agents and members of the 7th Cavalry who had come to confiscate their firearms “for their own safety and protection”. The slaughter began AFTER the majority of the Sioux had peacefully turned in their firearms. When the final round had flown, of the 297 dead or dying, two thirds (200) were women and children.

Around 40 members of the 7th Cavalry were killed, over half cut down by friendly fire from the Hotchkiss guns of their overzealous comrades-in-arms. Twenty members of the 7th Cavalry were deemed “National Heros” and awarded the Medal of Honor for their acts of cowardice.

We do not hear of Wounded Knee today. It is not mentioned in our history classes or books. What little does exist about Wounded Knee is normally the sanitized “Official Government Explanation” or the historically and factually inaccurate depictions of the events leading up to the massacre on the movie screen.

Wounded Knee was among the first federally backed gun confiscation attempts in United States history. It ended in the senseless murder of 297 people.

Before you jump on the emotionally charged bandwagon for gun-control, take a moment to reflect on the real purpose of the Second Amendment- The right of the people to take up arms in defense of themselves, their families, and property in the face of invading armies or an oppressive government. The argument that the Second Amendment only applies to hunting and target shooting is asinine. When the United States Constitution was drafted “hunting” was an everyday chore carried out by men and women to put meat on the table each night, and “target shooting” was an unheard of concept, musket balls were a precious commodity in the wilds of early America, and were certainly not wasted “target shooting”. The Second Amendment was written by people who fled oppressive and tyrannical regimes in Europe, and refers to the right of American citizens to be armed for defense purposes should such tyranny rise in the United States.

As time goes on the average citizen in the United States continues to lose personal freedom or “liberty”. Far too many times unjust bills are passed and signed into law under the guise of “for your safety” or “for protection” . The Patriot Act signed into law by G.W. Bush, then expanded and continued by Barack Obama is just one of many examples of American citizens being stripped of their rights and privacy for “safety”. Now, the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is on the table, and will, most likely be taken away for “our safety”.

Before any American citizen blindly accepts whatever new firearms legislation that is about to be doled out, they should stop and think about something for just one minute- Evil does exist in our world. It always has and always will. Throughout history evil people have committed evil acts. In the Bible one of the first stories is that of Cain killing Abel. We can not legislate “evil” into extinction. Good people will abide by the law, defective people will always find a way around it.

And another thought Evil exists all around us, but looking back at the historical record of the past 200 years across the globe, where is “evil” and “malevolence” most often found? In the hands of those with the power- governments. That greatest human tragedies on record and the largest loss of innocent human life can be attributed to governments. Who do governments target? “Scapegoats” and “enemies” within their own borders … but only after they have been disarmed to the point where they are no longer a threat. Ask any Native American, and they will tell you it was inferior technology and lack of arms that contributed to their demise. Ask any Armenian why it was so easy for the Turks to exterminate millions of them, and they will answer “We were disarmed before it happened”. Ask any Jew what Hitler’s first step prior to the mass murders of the Holocaust was- confiscation of firearms from the people.

Wounded Knee is the prime example of why the Second Amendment exists, and why we shouldn’t be in such a hurry to surrender our Right to Bear Arms. Without the Second Amendment we have no right to defend ourselves and our families.

Author Unknown

(Via: JPFO)

Eleanor Roosevelt Had a Carry Permit, So Why Can’t You?

Eleanor Roosevelt had a permit to carry a handgun in New York state (though not in New York City, it should be noted). If you find yourself in a jurisdiction that forbids law-abiding citizens from packing heat, you might ask why she could carry but you cannot.

The good news is that guns laws have been radically liberalized over the past three decades or so. As Grover Norquist noted a few months ago at OZY:

Thirty years ago, 80 percent of Americans supported stricter gun control laws. Certain guns were banned. Organizations formed and expected they would soon “ban handguns” in private hands. In 1987 Florida passed a “shall issue” concealed carry law that required local government to give any honest and sane adult a permit to carry a gun concealed on his/her person or in a purse or car. Today, 41 states have enacted such laws. In 2007 there were 4.5 million such permits. Today there are more than 11.1 million. Arizona, Vermont, Wyoming and Alaska do not even require permits to carry for their citizens. Five percent of the adult population has a concealed carry permit. One in 20. This drive has been fueled and validated by the fact that violent crime falls faster in states with concealed carry laws and even faster as more citizens avail themselves of that “new” right.

The crime rate per 100,00 people has declined as carry permits have increased. In 1987, for instance, the total crime rate was 5,550 and the violent crime rate was 610. In 2013, those numbers stood at 3,099 and 368.

In arming herself, Eleanor Roosevelt was ahead of the curve.

Image via the Twitter feed of historian Michael Beschloss.

By: Nick Gillespie December 28, 2014

Big Brother in Virginia

Leftist gun control advocates use divide and conquer tactics on a routine basis, to deprive Americans of 2nd Amendment rights. A clear current example is the current effort by Virginia’s new governor (and Clinton apparatchik) Terry McAuliffe to impose new restrictions on Virginia gun ownership, though it is unlikely to get through the state’s Republican-dominated legislature.

The Washington Post lamented this likely outcome in typical fashion, beginning an editorial by invoking polls purporting to show that “Virginians, by overwhelming margins, favor tighter restrictions on gun purchases and ownership.” Thus, by this narrative, which would warm the heart of any totalitarian from Mussolini to Big Brother, the evil minority (through a representative legislature!) is denying the will of the righteous majority. And indeed, McAuliffe’s proposal is tailored to attack just a small minority of gun owners, to wit: collectors first, pretend to support hunters and everyone else, and drive a wedge into defenders of the 2nd Amendment.

The tactic presents gun control proposals that sound reasonable to many people, including most Americans who support 2nd Amendment rights, and start nibbling. McAuliffe’s proposed restrictions focus on two favorite targets of 2nd Amendment opponents, closing the so-called gun show loophole and limiting handgun purchases to one per month. There is little or no evidence that such restrictions keep guns from felons, or reduce crime or gun violence. But that’s of no consequence to the left, rather it’s a start. The tactic works because it really targets only a small minority of gun owners, and a tiny minority of the population as a whole — gun collectors.

The “gun show loophole” applies to private sellers at gun shows, who are not 01 FFL federal firearms licensees (i.e., those who own commercial gun shops and are also the majority of sellers at typical gun shows.)  01 FFLs (both commercially and at gun shows) sell the vast majority of the modern handguns and sporting rifles (assault guns in leftist lingo), that so bedevil gun controllers. These sellers must do federal background checks.

Private sellers might offer similar wares, but typically focus on collectables that are marketed to other collectors. They also tend to overvalue inventories, making them unappetizing compared to what the licensed dealers offer. And they are prohibited from knowingly selling to felons, mentally disturbed individuals, or others restricted under federal law. They just are not required to do background checks. How often do felons and mentally disturbed people drive out of their way to gun shows, pay the entrance fees, and successfully navigate their way to a private seller of a desirable modern firearm? Hardly ever, and then they still have to get past a wary seller, who is most likely an upstanding citizen who has no desire to break the law or incur liabilities.
Such legislation helps nobody, but it sounds good.  It only immediately injures the small minority of gun owners that collect firearms for a hobby, making it politically palatable in an otherwise pro-gun state.

The same with a one purchase per month handgun limit.  Few people have the desire or financial wherewithal to buy more than one gun a month, and so the restriction sounds reasonable. Most people that do are pretty well-off gun collectors. But does imposing this restriction do any good? Again, there is scant evidence that it does, and only a very few, very blue states so restrict purchases. It is just a way to limit gun rights in a palatable way.

The gun controllers, at least at this stage of the game, are particularly “respectful” of the interests of hunters. Often the politician in charge of the move (as in McAuliffe’s case) is identified as a gun owner or hunter himself (though McAuliffe has made no secret of his anti-gun rights stance.) In particular, the favorite firearm of President Obama and Joe Biden — the shotgun — is kept off limits to restriction, since it is also the most common and versatile gun for hunters. Trying to drive a wedge between hunters (including the new class of liberal “hipster” hunters) and other gun owners is a common tactic, straight from Saul Alinsky’s book. Thus, when shotguns are used in notorious incidents, like the Navy Yard shootings (where originally police and news organizations were quick to wrongly identify the weapon as an AR-15), or an incident in January 2014, at a Columbia, Maryland mall, there is no conspicuous call for restrictions — yet.
Virginians need only look across the Potomac into Maryland to see the end game of the “reasonable” restrictions proposed by Governor McAuliffe. Maryland moved from state background checks and one-gun-per-month limits, to imposing waiting periods for pistols and modern sporting rifles. Even that proved insufficient when the political opportunity the came after the Connecticut shootings in 2012. That led to far more sweeping restrictions which now outlaw modern sporting rifles, impose licensing requirements for all new handgun purchases, and limit magazine capacity to ten rounds. Local gun stores are being driven out of business across the state, and Beretta is moving its Maryland facility to Tennessee, at the cost of hundreds more jobs.

And while Marylanders (at least outside the D.C. suburbs and Baltimore) have fought back by electing a Republican governor, the new attorney general (Brian Frosh) was the chief legislative proponent of the new laws, and the legislature still remains solidly Democrat. More to the point, the hypocrisy and dishonesty of Maryland’s leftist politicians should send a chill up the spine of any supporter of 2nd Amendment rights, in Virginia or nationally.

In Maryland, in the months between the passage of the new gun control law in February 2013 and its effective date in October, those “minor, reasonable” restrictions already in place worked to frustrate and hinder Maryland gun owners from purchasing soon-to-be banned or heavily restricted firearms. The one-gun-per-month limit, seven-day waiting period, and state-mandated background checks created a confused and backlogged mess that denied honest gun owners their rights and put them in legal peril. Yet, despite the difficulties and risks, gun sales boomed, as Marylanders purchased tens of thousands of high-capacity pistols and modern sporting rifles.  Marylanders today own many more of these “dangerous” weapons than would have otherwise been the case.

Yet in his recent campaign, with Marylanders owning more guns than ever before, Frosh ludicrously claimed that the new law would save “thousands of lives.” Of course, it hasn’t saved anyone, though perhaps the new glut of weapons has deterred a crime or two. And unusually, Maryland officials seemed to go out of their way to turn the Columbia Mall shooting into a would-be mass killing (when there is contrary evidence) that was frustrated only because the shooter had a shotgun rather than an AR-15. Remember, shotguns good (for now) other guns bad.

Virginians should be thankful that alert legislators seem ready to put the kibosh on McAuliffe’s initiative. He will keep trying.
By Jonathan F. Keiler, December 27, 2014 (American Thinker)