Friday, August 29, 2003

Alphecca's Weekly Check on the Bias with New & Improved Graphics Still By Request is up (August 27th Edition)

Missed a Weekly Check? No problem. Alphecca now has them archived for your browsing convenience.
In Alabama there is a man who hosts hunts for those that are seriously ill &/or handicapped.

"Bushman is the founder and CEO of Buckmasters, an Alabama-based organization of deer hunters. As the publisher of Buckmasters Whitetail Magazine and host of the Buckmasters television show, Bushman gets to hunt all over North America.
But it is the deer hunts at Sedgefield Plantation, near Selma, Ala., that mean the most to Bushman.
For each of the past three years, Bushman, Buckmasters and Sedgefield have hosted about a dozen hunters who are either physically disabled or seriously ill. The hunters are joined by their families and by celebrities at the Buckmasters American Deer Foundation Disabled Hunter Services Life Hunt.
Hunters at this year's Life Hunt ranged in age from 9 to 58. Some of the participants had spinal cord injuries or genetic conditions such as spina bifida that required them to hunt from wheelchairs. Others were battling cancer and leukemia, yet they found the strength to get out in the woods and hunt."

"According to Buckmasters, about 1.7 million physically handicapped Americans enjoy hunting and the shooting sports. Besides hunts, the Buckmasters American Deer Foundation Disabled Hunter Services offers scholarships that cover the expenses incurred by disabled hunters, provides crossbows and grants for the purchase of mechanical gun rests that can be used by quadriplegics. For more information, visit or ."
In Cortez, Colorado the city council has tabled an ordinance that would ban the open carry of firearms on all city owner property.

Before you think the city council felt guitly about trampling on the Rights of citizens to bear arms, keep reading.

"After hearing of court proceedings against other municipalities over their weapons ordinances, councilors voted Tuesday to table proposed Ordinance 999, which would ban the open carry of firearms in any area under city ownership and control."

uh-huh. So the threat of legal action caused the tabling - not a sudden epidemic of respect for Rights.

"It has nothing to do with the ownership of firearms or the ability to purchase firearms,' (Cortez Police Chief Roy) Lane said."

Nope. But it has everything to do with the carrying of firearms, which is referred to as 'bearing' in the Colorado & U.S. Constitutions respectively.

In the debate over what to do with the proposed ordinance, Councilman Jeff Gardner advised to table it. His logic was that the carrying of firearms had never been a problem before, so why make an issue of it now & risk potential legal action.

Next comes my favorite part:

"Long contended that the likelihood of a lawsuit was slim, which prompted an unidentified member of the audience to call out, 'Wanna bet?'."

Score: Statist police chief zero - anonymous citizen 1

But the foolishness continued.

"(Mayor Cheryl) Baker assured attendees that the ordinance was not aimed at responsible gun owners because, she said, responsible gun owners don’t typically feel the need to tote guns through parks.
'It (the ordinance) isn’t the ‘tip of the iceberg.’ People focus on the gun issue and pass the (federal) Patriotic Act, which ripped off far more of your civil rights than this ordinance would be doing,' she said."

Now granted, I am no fan of the Patriot Act, but the Patriot Act seemed to have merely built on pre-existing law. Not much newe was added by it. However a city council telling you that you must be defenseless in a park is the tip of the iceberg. Local laws banning weapons lead to state laws - not because there's some notorious plot a-brewin', but because it causes complacency. People get used to not having certain freedoms, so they don't fight as hard against new threats to those freedoms.
But yes, responsible gun owners do tote guns through parks. The reason you don't hear about it is because they are responsible gun owners.

"Councilman Joe Keck motioned to table the ordinance, pending the outcome of the Thornton case, but other members did not want it kept in limbo for what could be years. A time limit of 120 days was set in an amended motion. After that time, the ordinance will come under review.
Long was the lone voice to speak against tabling the ordinance. 'The threat of a lawsuit should not dictate public policy,' he said."

I guess the threat of violating a constitutional prohibition on the legislative power wouldn't be a deterrant either. In 120 days the Cortez city council will take up the debate over this law again. It's passage or failure depends solely on the putcome of a lawsuit filed against the city of Thorton, Colorado. Hopefully Thorton will have the court tell them they cannot keep citizens from carrying arms. But if not then I wouldn't be suprised to see Cortez pass this ordinance the day they hear the outcome of Thorton's case.

Some good news for a change. Mr. Bean has been pardoned by Texas Governor Perry. Mr. Bean still needs federal action - either through the Secretary of Treasury of The President - to have his Rights fully restored. The Supreme Court ruled last December that the two lower courts (a federal district court & the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals) who granted Mr. Bean relief were in error as they did not have jurisidiction to do that. They could only grant relief if the BATF denied Mr. Beans application for relief & they concluded that the BATF's not being able to rule either way on Mr. bean's plight did not constitute a denial. the BATF has been unable to hold hearings & grant relief to those whose firearms Rights were taken away since 1992 when Congress chose to abstain from funding that particular program. Congress felt it easier to deny funds to the program & forbid funds being used for it from other sources than to do away with the program altogether.

In any event at least Texas recognizes an injustice when they see it & further they attempt to correct it.
Live in California? Feel like any republican would be an improvement over Gov. Davis? Think Sen. McClintock doesn't have a chance? Want to risk having your Right to Arms trampled even further? Then vote for Arnold.

Dave Codrea has a piece up at entitled Schwarzenegger Wrong for Gun Owners, Wrong for California For the rest of the nation it's not as important, but for Californians this is the one thing you should read if you don't have time ot read anything else today. Now personally I feel he hammers the monarchist angle a bit heavy, but in general Mr. Codrea nails it.

Mr. Codrea points us to the following quotes by Mr. Schwarzenegger on the subject of firearms:

"I don't run around every day with a gun in my hand," he reportedly said. "So I want kids to understand the difference; one is make-believe, like we do in the movies. But in reality I'm for gun control. I'm a peace-loving guy."

When asked by Sean Hannity if he supports "the Brady Bill or the 'assault weapons' ban or both," Schwarzennegger replied "Yes, I do [unintelligible] support that, and also I would like to close the loophole of the gun shows."

Still want Mr. Schwarzenegger in the Governor's mansion? Well, I guess California's victim disarmament laws weren't tough enough anyway.

For the heck of it here's a link to Hugh Hewitt's interview with Mr. Schwarzenegger. I listen to Mr. Hewiit as he's very entertaining. However he is a die hard Republican. Capital friggin' "R". & he has been know to be an apologist for the Republicans. Any center Right Republican can do very little wrong in Mr. Hewitt's eyes, & the wrongs that do happen he won't discuss - unless it's a bad campaign strategy move. So don't expect Mr. Hewitt to throw Mr. Schwarzenegger any curves, fast-balls, sliders, change-ups or knucklers. Expect a medium-slow underhand pitch right over the plate. & should any infield pop-ups occur expect Mr. Hewitt to knock the infielder out cold before he can make the catch. Mr Hewitt supports Mr. Schwarzeneggar over Sen. McClintock simply because Mr. Schwarzenegger would be an easier candidate to get elected.

Visit the McClintock campaign's home page. If you're still doubting that he should be the next governor of California then read this speech Sen. McClintock gave in 2001 called Freedom & Firearms. & I would point out that Sen. McClintock received a "100%" rating from GOA in 2001 & 2002. Contrast that with Mr. Schwarzeneggar's thoughts on firearms.

Now that Bill Simon has dropped out of the race, Sen. McClintock has a chance to narrow the lead that Mr. Schwarzenegger has on him. & should someone talk Mr. Schwarzeneggar into dropping out then Sen. McClintock would have an easy victory over Lt. Gov. Bustamante. According to an LA Times poll from August 24th, Lt. Gov. Bustamante had 35%, Mr. Schwarzenegger has 22%, Sen. McClintock had 12%& Mr. Simon had 6%. So if Mr. Simon's 6% swings over to Sen. McClintock, then he'd only be 3% behind Mr. Schwarzenegger. Ideally, if Mr. Schwarzenegger drops out & his 22% swing to Sen. McClintock then that would be 40% of the vote locked up.

In any event vote for Sen. McClintock. Encourage your friends to vote for Sen. McClintock. He is perhaps the best qualified candidate that California has seen in a while, & definitely the most pro-gun governor California could hope for.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

There's something y'all should read over at the GOA homepage. It's called The Feds Want To Teach Gun Control

An excerpt:

"H.R. 1078, introduced by Rep. Roger Wicker (R-MS), would set up Presidential Academies to train educators in teaching civics and history. That certainly sounds innocuous enough. What's the problem with that?
The problem is that by further centralizing the training process for teachers, radical educators will find it much easier to excise Second Amendment rights and other important principles from this nation's classrooms.
The Feds have already imposed curriculum standards on the nation's government schools with previous legislation. The result was the publication of "guidelines" which are reflected in an anti-gun textbook called We the People.
The guidelines and We the People are so busy teaching multiculturalism and environmentalism that they have no time for teaching the Tenth Amendment, which severely limits what the federal government can do.
Is that a surprise to anyone? If kids are never taught there are limits to the federal government's power, then we shouldn't be surprised when tomorrow's leaders don't have problems passing gun control legislation.
We the People does mention the Second Amendment in the section on historical development. But it gets the student to start questioning the wisdom of the amendment, asking the student whether the right to keep and bear arms is still as "important today" as it was in the eighteenth century and to decide what "limitations" should be placed on the right."

Go read the whole thing & contact your congress-critters about this. However if this kind of thing doesn't make you give serious consideration to home schooling or private schooling for your kids, then perhaps this will. (Courtesy of The Bitch Girls' very own Bitter Bitch who credits the initial find to Wizbang)

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Some of you may remember a previous post concerning Denver Post columnist Jim Spencer who wrote an Op/ed praising Colorado Springs decision to ban open carry in meetings. Or perhaps it's more appropriate to say he wrote a column damning a citizen for peaceably exercising his Rights.

In the August 19th 'Letters' section of The Denver Post I came across several retorts to Mr. Spencer's column. One was of particular interest. It was penned by Anthony J. Fabian, the President of the Colorado State Shooting Association. The CSSA is the Colorado affiliate of the NRA.

Let's get on to Mr. Fabian's letter...

"Which way is it, Jim?
Re: “Bearing arms exposes gap in pro-gun logic,” Aug. 19 Jim Spencer column. Before Jim Spencer gives lessons in exposing gaps in logic, he should review his own amusing contradictions in his column regarding the recent Colorado Springs open-carry controversy. Spencer first states that the open carry of firearms should be illegal because the mere presence of firearms freaks out him and others, but later in the same column he also complains that lawfully concealed firearms that he never even sees bother him, too."

A good point to make. I would have written it differently, but that's just me.

Now on to the interesting part:

"As for Don Ortega being “one of ours,” Spencer could not be more wrong. We advocates of responsible firearms ownership continuously strive to separate and distance ourselves from the kooks in our ranks, while liberal gun-haters like Spencer are proudly identified and defined by the kooks in their ranks."

"...kooks in our ranks..."? WTF??? A man exercising his Rights in a peaceful manner is to be shunned as a kook? Was Mr. Ortega not a member of the CSSA & therefore not deserving of any defense by the president of that fine organization?

Lemme tell y'all something: I can accept arguments revolving around Mr. Ortega not being particularly wise in his actions. I disagree & will do so vehemently but I can accept that some people view things this way. In fact I can accept a lot of viewpoints as being (for lack of a better word) valid.

But Mr. Fabian is exactly the kind of person that makes gun control possible. His attitude of reasonable restrictions under the guise of responsible firearms possession is merely a way to avoid growing a backbone & making a principled stand. It is this attitude that has led to the compromises that collectively have enslaved us all.

Instead of attacking the Colorado Springs city council for deciding to outlaw the exercise of a basic Right recognized by two constitutions that they are ultimately subject to, Mr. Fabian chose to attack the man who was merely exercising his Rights. It's nothing more than a continuation of a school-yard tactic: when the bully you can't stand comes to pick on your friend, instead of standing up to the bully together you decide to help the bully pick on your friend thinking it will make you safe from the attacks of the bully.

Now admittedly I am a bit biased against the CSSA. This is because they tend to mirror the positions of the NRA as any good state affiliate is prone to do. More specifically though the CSSA had a lot to do with the tabling of a good CCW bill (as far as anything requiring a permit to exercise a Right can be considered 'good') & the passage of a carry bill that is in most ways worse than it's may-issue predecessor. For more details please look here.

But this abandoning of Mr. Ortega, who is a self admitted NRA member no less reinforces my belief that the CSSA is not any more of a friend to the gun owner than the NRA. I do believe either organization wouldn't fight too hard if a law was proposed that only allowed members of the NRA & its respective state affiliates to own arms.

& one other thing (albeit unrelated to this post's initial topic) that infuriates me about the NRA & its state affiliates: in order to compete in any state championship High Power match, one has to be a member of the NRA &/or CSSA.
In fact I was rejected for membership by a very promising looking gun club a while back because I was not an NRA member.
At the membership meeting they asked if I was NRA & I said I wasn't. They then started to explain how easy it was to be a member. I interrupted them & stated that it was always easy to sell your soul. I went on to tell them that I wasn't an NRA member for lack of knowing how to join, but because I felt giving money to the NRA was only marginally better than giving money to Sarah Brady. Of course I was a bit more polite about it than it seems from my recounting, but that was the gist of it. They then started laughing & lapsed into a ten minute bitch-session about the NRA. But eventually they calmed down & told me that the NRA gives them a deal on insurance & w/o it they couldn't exist. One of the stipulations is for the club to have 100% NRA membership. There was no way around it. So I thanked them for their time & left.

So the NRA & to a slightly lesser extent the CSSA have a captive membership - you're either a member of their respective organizations or you don't get to participate in certain activities, like a state championship or being a member of a gun club. Kind of explains why they never add the 'willing' qualifier when they boast of membership, doesn't it?

Back to the rant at hand though:

Mr. Fabian will gladly turn on one of his own if it means taking less heat from the other side. Never mind if Mr. Ortega should have carried a weapon into a city council meeting: he did. That's that. Further it was not illegal. In fact it was an act protected by the state & federal constitutions respectively. Want to argue etiquette? Sure, I'll be happy to argue if it was proper or not. But you must first realize that it is none of your damned business what anyone does with their property as long as it does not directly interfere with your Rights. In other words, before I take you seriously we must either agree that Mr. Ortega's action are really none of anyone's business since he broke no law & was in fact exercising a constitutionally protected Right, or you must provide a reasonable argument as to why it's anyone else's damned business how someone exercises a constitutionally protected Right, & how that applies to Mr. Ortega.

I leave you with the Colorado Constitution's language concerning Mr. Ortega's actions. Unfortunately Mr. Fabian has presumably read it without understanding that it's more than just a catchy slogan to keep the donations rolling in & his job security intact.

Colorado Constitution
Section 13. Right to bear arms.The right of no person to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall be called in question; but nothing herein contained shall be construed to justify the practice of carrying concealed weapons