Friday, November 21, 2014

Cabela's PMC Rifle Ammo Sale

I know this may sound like an advertisement but when I saw the price on a box of .223 is over $3.00 off the regular price, I thought I would share that Cabelas is running a sale on PMC brand rifle ammunition.  You can find your favorite caliber that is included in the sale here, here, and here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Washington Post More Guns Equal More Crime Blog Post Misses Important Facts

Last weekend, Christopher Ingraham of the Washington Post's Wonkblog had this post reporting on a September piece by Stanford law professor John Donohue and his colleagues that purports to discredit Dr. John Lott's work More Guns Less Crime. That in and of itself is not new. A number of anti-rights academics have sought to show Lott's work is flawed since it was first published.  According to Wonk Blog, Donohue has added another decade of data to support their thesis:
Now, Stanford law professor John Donohue and his colleagues have added another full decade to the analysis, extending it through 2010, and have concluded that the opposite of Lott and Mustard's original conclusion is true: more guns equal more crime.

"The totality of the evidence based on educated judgments about the best statistical models suggests that right-to-carry laws are associated with substantially higher rates" of aggravated assault, robbery, rape and murder, Donohue said in an interview with the Stanford Report. The evidence suggests that right-to-carry laws are associated with an 8 percent increase in the incidence of aggravated assault, according to Donohue. He says this number is likely a floor, and that some statistical methods show an increase of 33 percent in aggravated assaults involving a firearm after the passage of right-to-carry laws.
On Sunday, Lott's Crime Prevention Research Center had a post pointing out where Ingraham is wrong. The post notes that Lott had already used the additional data in his most recent updated edition of More Guns Less Crime:
There are many errors in Ingraham’s article.  For example, “Stanford law professor John Donohue and his colleagues have added another full decade to the analysis.”  Yet, the third edition of “More Guns, Less Crime” has data from 1977 to 2005.  Moody, Marvell, Zimmerman, and Alemante have a new paper earlier this year that looked at data from 1977 to 2006.  Gius (2014) looked at data up through 2009.  Zimmerman (2014) looks at crime data up through 2010.   Previously even in the Washington Post, Emily Badger’s misleading column also discussed an earlier version of Donohue’s paper with data through 2006 (7/29).
And, CPRC even used a graph from the 3rd Edition of More Guns Less Crime that uses the very data that Donohue says should be used, the way they say it should be used.

So you tell me, do more guns equal more crime?

Will General Assembly Allow Study of "Bait Hunting" for Deer

The Washington Post had this article on Monday about the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors backing legislation that would ask the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) to study the use of "bait" to hunt deer:
As Loudoun County grapples with a problematic population of white-tailed deer, the county’s Board of Supervisors recently signaled that it would support a legislative study of bait hunting, a controversial practice involving the use of bait to make deer easier targets for hunters.

The use of bait to attract deer is outlawed in Virginia. Bait-hunting supporters say that the method offers a more effective means to cull a herd. Opponents say that gathering deer in a concentrated area promotes the spread of disease, alters natural migration movements and might cause other health and environmental problems for the animals and their habitat.
In Virginia, people who use mineral blocks and wildlife feeders must discontinue the use of both on or before September 1 each year and may not reintroduce them to the property until after the deer season has ended.  It is legal however to continue "agronomic plantings" (including wildlife food plots).  All those bags of deer corn and various attractants like "Acorn Crush" "C'Mere Deer" etc. that you see in Gander Mountain, Bass Pro, or Walmart during deer season are not legal to use here.  You could however buy a bag or two and go across the border to North Carolina and use them.

I use minerals and a corn feeder during the spring and summer on the property I hunt to supplement the natural food source.  I believe it is beneficial to the does that are nursing fawns during this time.  It also gives me photos of what the herd is like in the area I hunt.  Last year I had very few pictures of fawns in the area and also had photos of a coyote which told me there was likely the chance I had a predator problem.  The owner of the property killed the canine critter this spring and my camera noted an uptick in the fawn population over the summer and into the fall.

It's obvious Virginians don't need "bait" to kill deer.  Last year Virginia hunters killed 242,734 deer.  We also know, thanks to the Post article, that Loudoun had 360 deer-related car crashes last year - the highest number of all jurisdictions in Virginia, and the county also has the highest rate of Lyme disease infection in Virginia.  Should "baiting" be a local option so localities like Loudoun and Fairfax have the option of allowing hunting deer with "bait" to better control the herd?  It would be interesting to see if those states that allow the use of food attractants have documented an increase in disease as DGIF claims would be the case if the practice was allowed in Virginia.  That will only happen with a study.  And because of that, The Virginia General Assembly should authorize DGIF to conduct a thorough study of the issue so that sound science can back up their regulations.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Deer Harvest Up 20% Over Last Year for First Weekend of Muzzleloader Season

The Fredericksburg Free Lance Star reports that muzzleloader hunters found a lot of deer during the first weekend of muzzleloader season this year:
The first weekend of Virginia’s early muzzleloader season opened with a lot of smoke as the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries’ early harvest numbers for deer and turkey show nearly a 20 percent increase in deer taken compared to last year.
Hunters were able to hunt on private land on Sunday this year, which certainly helped fuel the increase.
DGIF Director Bob Duncan told the Star that he was very happy to see hunters taking advantage of the additional opportunities opened to them with the new Sunday hunting law and noted that the numbers from both the archery season and the first week of muzzleloader season look really promising for a great season this year.

Hat tip to Legalize Sunday Hunting for All.

California AG Can't Intervene on Behalf of San Diego in Peruta Case

The LA Times has the story here.  You may recall that the sheriff in the Peruta case decided not to challenge the decision of the Ninth Circuit so the state Attorney General and the Brady Campaign requested the right to intervene in the case.  Yesterday, the court said no.  The Times notes it may not be the last word however:
Harris refused Wednesday to say what she will do. Gun advocates have only mildly opposed Harris' intervention. They believe the Peruta case is the best vehicle to persuade the Supreme Court to strike down restrictive open carry regulations throughout the country, and an appeal would move the case closer to the Supreme Court.

It has been thought that Peruta may be the best case on state issue of concealed carry permits for a hearing before the U.S. Supreme Court.  If Peruta ends here, there is still another case involving Yolo County that could be heard en banc by the 9th Circuit.  But for now, this is good news for California gun owners.  Bob Owens over on estimates that an additional 2 million people in California may apply to carry concealed if yesterday's decision ends up being the last word in the Peruta case.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Civil Disobedience in Washington State Over I-594

Bob Owens has the story at Bearing Arms. Gun owners intend to show enforcing the law that billionaires were successful in imposing on the state may not be so easy.

Americans Believe Firearms Make them Safer

This just has to tick off the gun ban lobby.  Their mantra for years has been having a firearm in the home makes you more likely to be the victim of gun violence. This new Gallup poll reports that more than 60% of the public believe a firearm in the home makes them safer.  This is double the percentage that said that in 2000.
The poll also found that 42% of Americans report having a firearm in their home. Gallup notes this is a self-reported measure and it has fluctuated from survey to survey.  Gallup has found that household gun ownership has ranged from a low of 34% in 1999 to a high of 51% in 1993.  It is unknown how many gun owners refuse to say in a phone call if they own a firearm so it is possible that the 42% is significantly higher.

Frank Newport, editor-in-chief at Gallup, appeared on Sportsman Channel's NRANews Cam and Company on Friday to discuss the poll.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Will 2014 Election Be Remembered as the Final Defeat for Gun Control Advocates?

That's what columnist Ken Braun suggested in his article yesterday at MLive:
Following the release of this week’s election results, many big issues will be credited or blamed for altering the balance of power in Congress and state capitols. But despite the political and financial capital spent to the contrary, one issue that won’t leave much of a mark will be gun control. History may record the aftermath of this election as the era when stricter gun control advocates finally gave up.
He goes on to detail in the article reasons to back-up his theory.  Things like the fact that when Gabby Giffords was making her rounds in nine states pushing gun control last month, not a single candidate appeared with her.  Braun also noted that even Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy was in a tight battle with a candidate who was promising to repeal the gun bans that Malloy signed into law.  The same with Governor John Higgenlooper in Colorado.  Both Malloy and Higgenlooper prevailed in very tight races but Braun notes that neither incumbent ran on protecting the laws they signed.  Braun spoke with Cam Edwards of yesterday and talked a little more in depth about his article and his theory.
I'm not quite convinced that gun control advocates have faced their final defeat, but I do think as a campaign issue, candidates have avoided it whenever possible for about 20 years.  That's why Bloomberg's groups shifted tactics to strategies like they employed with Initiative 594 in Washington state.  It is likely we are going to be facing ballot initiatives more often than candidates who run on gun control as an issue in future elections.

Update: Regarding ballot initiatives, Bloomberg thinks it's the wave of the future too.  Hat tip to VSSA Executive Director Lu Charette for the update.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Message To Gun Owners from Election Night 2014

Much is being written about last night's huge victory for Republicans.  In Virginia, the big story was how close the U.S. Senate race ended up.  While Warner has not claimed out right victory and Gillespie has not conceded, Warner clings to a razor thin 13,000 vote margin out of over 2 million votes cast.  The disappointing thing to note is had everyone who cast a vote for Dave Brat in the 7th District, and Barbara Comstock in the 10th also voted for Ed Gillespie, Warner would be packing his senate office this morning.  In my home county of Chesterfield, Gillespie underperformed his ticket mates Brat and Forbes (Chesterfield is split between two congressional districts) by about 5500 votes - almost half his final deficit.  If you are voting for Brat, the candidate who defeated former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, it is hard to understand how that same person votes for Mark Warner, or doesn't vote in the Senate race at all. You have to believe those folks oppose President Obama's policies and anyone who has supported them.

Across the country, candidates who supported the rights of law-abiding gun owners won in places like Maryland where GOP candidate Larry Hogan will be the next governor, North Carolina where Thom Tillis defeated Senator Kay Hagan, and Iowa where Joni Ernst defeated Bruce Braley.  There are some exceptions however.  In Colorado, John Higgenlooper, the man who signed the ammunition magazine ban that caused Magpul to leave the state, looks like he survived a close race all the while Republican Cory Gardner was defeating Senator Mark Udall.

The troubling result is passage of Initiative 594 (I-594) in Washington State.  I wrote last month that what happens with I-594 will impact us in Virginia.  Supporters of I-594 say it simply requires so-called "universal" background checks on the sale of privately owned firearms.  But it would do so much more. And as Caleb notes over on Gun Nuts media, the strategy employed by its supporters should be a wake up call to pro-rights activists:
But allow me to return to the point. The reason why 594 passing is bad news for gun owners everywhere is because it validates Bloomberg’s strategy. This is a new kind of gun control game, they’re smarter than the Brady Campaign and they have functionally unlimited resources. Yes, they played it smart in Washington. They picked an issue that’s easy to misrepresent in universal background checks; they played that issue to a strong blue voter base, and then they spent a ton of money on marketing and GOTV. That’s textbook “Winning Ballot Questions 101″ and it’s really hard to fight against.

I would expect to see a lot more ballot question fights in the near future, and I’d expect them to be over things like background checks. It is by far the toughest fight for us, because defeating their argument requires low information blue voters to actually care about facts, and that right there is why we lost in WA. Gun rights had all the facts on their side, and they still lost.

Sure, gun control at the national level is dead for at least two years. But buckle up Sally, because at the state level things could be getting rodeo pretty quick.
Virginia is not an initiative state, but that doesn't mean we won't have to expend a considerable amount of effort on defeating legislative proposals pushing so-called "universal" background checks. That fight will be greatest in the State Senate where we have had to work hard to keep background check bills from getting out of committee even with a GOP majority.  Get ready because it's going to be a busy legislative session.

Update: John Lott asks the question, considering the initiative passed with just slightly less than 60% of the vote, with the gun ban lobby finally stop claiming that 90% support "universal" background checks?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

You've Used Deadly Force, Now What?

Lee Vernon, and CEO of Combative Weapon Solutions, has some useful information titled The Aftermath of Using Deadly Force over on the Personal Defense Network web site:
At the Concealed Handgun Licensing classes I’ve taught for years, I often throw out the old “What would you do in x, y, z situation?” question to students. And just as often, I’ve been amused and appalled at the responses. I then try to explain that, depending on the situation, what we think we will do and what we actually end up doing may be two totally different things. Simply put, every situation is different. That plus your experience and amount of training will dictate to a large degree the choices made. And the choices made in those critical few seconds have major implications in more ways than people realize. Let’s look at what you will likely have to deal with after a situation where you use deadly force. 
Vernon goes through the law enforcement response, lawyers and insurance, financial and emotional distress that you will likely encounter.  It's a must read.

This is a good time to mention that VSSA members get a special discount at Virginia Self Defense Law.  This isn't insurance, it's a retainer agreement.  VSSA President Ernie Padgette is a client of VSDL, and if you carry concealed, you should be too.  If you want peace of mind about what might happen if you have to use your self defense firearm to protect you or your family, contact VSDL today.