Saturday, March 21, 2009

Secret Moves to Ban Guns Under Way

When Barack Obama said he supported the Supreme Court decision upholding the Constitutionality of the Second Amendment and the private ownership of guns, we knew he was lying – just as he lied about public financing of his campaign, earmarks, and not hiring lobbyists. It was just part of his campaign to fool everyone into thinking that he was a moderate.

It hasn’t taken long, but already steps are being taken to restrict gun ownership; some steps are secret and sneaky; some are out in the open.

Guns on a plane

March 17, 2009 Washington Times (Excerpt)

"After the September 11 attacks, commercial airline pilots were allowed to carry guns if they completed a federal-safety program. No longer would unarmed pilots be defenseless as remorseless hijackers seized control of aircraft and rammed them into buildings.

Now President Obama is quietly ending the federal firearms program, risking public safety on airlines in the name of an anti-gun ideology.

The Obama administration this past week diverted some $2 million from the pilot training program to hire more supervisory staff, who will engage in field inspections of pilots.

This looks like completely unnecessary harassment of the pilots. The 12,000 Federal Flight Deck Officers, the pilots who have been approved to carry guns, are reported to have the best behavior of any federal law enforcement agency. There are no cases where any of them has improperly brandished or used a gun. There are just a few cases where officers have improperly used their IDs.

Fewer than one percent of the officers have any administrative actions brought against them and, we are told, virtually all of those cases “are trumped up.”

Take a case against one flight officer who had visited the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles within the last few weeks. While there, the pilot noticed that federal law enforcement officers can, with the approval of a superior, obtain a license plate that cannot be traced, a key safety feature for law enforcement personnel. So the pilot asked if, as a member of the federal program, he was eligible. The DMV staffer checked and said “no.” The next day administrative actions were brought against the pilot for “misrepresenting himself.” These are the kinds of cases that President Obama wants to investigate.

Since Mr. Obama's election, pilots have told us that the approval process for letting pilots carry guns on planes slowed significantly. Last week the problem went from bad to worse. Federal Flight Deck Officers - the pilots who have been approved to car - indicate that the approval process has stalled out."

Pro-gun Democrats oppose new assault weapon ban

JIM ABRAMS ASSOCIATED PRESS March 18, 2009 (Excerpt)

WASHINGTON (AP) – “Sixty-five House Democrats said Wednesday that they would oppose any attempt by the Obama administration to revive a ban on military-style weapons that President Bill Clinton signed into law in 1994 and President George W. Bush let expire….

The letters came after Holder, during a news conference to announce the arrest of Mexican drug dealers, said the drug cartels were obtaining high-powered weapons like the AK-47 from U.S. gun stores and said the Obama administration supported reinstituting the ban on the sale of assault-style weapons.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has said she plans to introduce legislation to bring back the weapons ban. Feinstein was an author of the 1994 bill, which banned 19 types of semiautomatic, military-style guns. The law expired under the Bush administration in 2004. Another long-term goal is requiring that all gun shows conduct background checks before selling firearms.”

The left are very skillful at anti-gun propaganda, but the facts are these:

Nationally, gun-rights advocates have been on the defensive since the early '90s. But in the states, where the fight against crime is won or lost, they're winning the debate. That's because they have the facts on their side.

Thirty-one states now let citizens carry concealed weapons -- up from just nine states in '86. Have these "right-to-carry" laws made the public safer, or have they caused a sharp drop in public safety, as opponents warned?

The standard argument against "concealed carry" laws is that there is no good reason for the average Joe to carry a gun. But federal courts have ruled that police aren t obliged to protect individuals from crime. That means citizens are ultimately responsible for their own defense.

But do concealed weapons deter crime? Criminals commit 10 million violent crimes a year. Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck found that victims use handguns about 1.9 million times in self-defense.

Criminals weigh the costs of the crime against the benefits. You don t have to be a criminal mastermind to know that the possibility of a concealed weapon tilts the odds in the victim's favor. Research shows that robbery and rape victims who resist with a gun are only half as likely to be injured as those who don't.

A recent study by John Lott and David Mustard of the University of Chicago published in the Journal of Legal Studies bears this out. They found that concealed handgun laws reduced murder by 8.5% and severe assault by 7% from 1977 to '92. Had "right-to-carry" laws been in effect throughout the country, there would have been 1,600 fewer murders and 60,000 fewer assaults every year.

Vermont has long had the least restrictive firearms-carry laws. Citizens there can carry guns either openly or concealed without any permit. Perhaps in part because of its liberal gun policies, Vermont has among the lowest violent crime numbers in the country.

In 1980, when murders and robberies in the U.S. had soared to 10 and 251 per 100,000 people, respectively, Vermont's murder rate was 22% of the national average and its robbery rate was 15%.

In 1996, Vermont s crime rates were among the lowest in the country: 25% of the national murder rate, 8% of the national robbery rate.

Another objection to concealed-carry laws is that they'll boost impulse killings -- fostering a "wild West" mentality with more shootings and deaths as people vent their anger with pistols instead of fists. Yet FBI data show that killings stemming from arguments are falling as a share of all homicides.

In fact, concealed-weapon permit holders are involved in fewer incidents than off-duty police officers.

Consider also:
Dade County, Fla., kept detailed records for six years. Of 21,000 carry permit holders, there was no reported incident of a permit holder injuring an innocent person.

Virginia issued more than 50,000 permits since it passed a right-to-carry law in '95. In that time, not one permit holder has been convicted of a crime, and violent crime has dropped.

Opponents are left to argue that concealed-carry laws will put guns in untrained hands and accidents will go up.

But there has been no rise in accidental shootings in counties with right-to-carry laws. Nationwide, there are about 1,400 accidental firearms deaths annually -- a figure far lower than the number of deaths blamed on medical errors or car accidents.

And data show that civilians are even more careful with firearms than police officers are. There are only about 30 mistaken civilian shootings in the U.S. each year. The police commit more than three times as many mistaken killings as civilians.

In fact, the death rate from firearms has dropped in the last 20 years even as gun ownership has more than doubled and 22 states have passed right-to-carry laws.

The fatal firearm accident rate has dropped more than 19% in the last decade, and the number of gun-related accidents among children fell to an all-time low of 185 in '94 -- down 64% since '75.

Keeping honest, law-abiding people unarmed and at the mercy of armed and violent criminals was never a good idea. In the gun policy debate, gun-rights advocates can argue honestly that a general concealed-carry law is sound public policy. Gun Facts
Court decision blocks guns in national parks

March 20, 2009 MSNBC (Excerpt)

WASHINGTON - "A judge on Thursday blocked a federal rule allowing people to carry concealed, loaded guns in U.S. national parks and wildlife refuges….

The rule, which took effect Jan. 11, and allowed visitors to carry a loaded gun into a park or wildlife refuge as long as the person had a permit for a concealed weapon and the state where the park or refuge was located allowed concealed firearms. Previously, guns in parks had been severely restricted.” MSNBC

I wonder if the Obama Administration will try to overturn this decision (satire).


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