VGOF

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Changing Face of the Shooting Sports

This graphic from NSSF's Blog puts the lie to the gun ban lobby's claim that all of those gun sales over the last three to four years were current gun owners adding to their own stocks.

Will NRA Strategy Hanging Bloomberg Around Necks of Democrats Work?

The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire reports that the NRA will begin running an ad in Georgia today tying gun ban advocate and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to Democrat U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn. Bloomberg has contributed the maximum amount an individual can contribute ($2500) to Michelle Nunn.
The Wire then compares this to the strategy Democrats have employed trying to tie the Koch Brothers, who have been major donors to conservative candidates and causes, to the NRA ads tying Bloomberg to various candidates.
Yet these types of strategies take a lot of time and money to bear fruit. A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll in April found that only 21% of Americans had a negative view of the Koch brothers – half didn’t know who they were and a fifth had a neutral opinion.
I would argue however that the NRA is not targeting the entire electorate in Georgia, but are targeting gun owners.  And gun owners know who Michael Bloomberg is and what he means for our rights.

The article also notes that Nunn has not made gun control a central part of her campaign, but, just like Virginia's Mark Warner, who is running for re-election this year, Nunn favors so-called "expanded" background checks.  Besides criminalizing the private transfer of firearms between lifelong friends and family members, the Manchin/Schumer/Toomey amendment (which Nunn's campaign used as a defense against the NRA ad) would have created a number of gun control measures.

I might agree with the Journal that in normal cases, trying to make a boogie man the reason not to vote for a candidate takes a lot of work.  But in the case of the NRA ads, they have a targeted audience to which they are playing and to that audience, Michael Bloomberg is like the plague and should help turn out votes for the pro-rights candidate.

Is Virginia Beach Targeting Legal Gun Owners?

That's the question that News Channel 3 WTKR will ask in a special investigative report on Tuesday, September 23rd.  It is prompted by a proposal from the Virginia Beach City Council that would punish people who have had their firearms stolen, essentially making them a victim twice, if the gun owners don’t report lost or stolen firearms as quickly as City Council thinks they should.  The penalty would be jail time. Bob's Gun Shop owner Robert Marcus told WTKR he believes the proposal indicates that Council has done all they plan to do to punish criminals so now they are going after legal gun owners.

WTKR's report will air on Tuesday at 11:00.  Virginia Beach gun owners should contact their city council members and let them not to target legal gun owners but to go after criminals if they want to reduce crime. 

Mayor William D. Sessoms, Jr. 
January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2016
Municipal Center
City Hall, Building #1
2401 Courthouse Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
Office: (757) 385-4581

wsessoms@VBgov.com

Vice Mayor Louis R. Jones - Bayside​​
January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2014
2401 Courthouse Drive
City Hall, Building #1
Municipal Center
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
Work: (757) 583-0177
Home: (757) 464-2151
l
rjones@VBgov.com

Bob Dyer - Centerville​
January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2016
2401 Courthouse Drive
City Hall, Building #1
Municipal Center
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
Home:
(757) 467-3130
bdyer@VBgov.com

Barbara M. Henley - Princess Anne​
January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2014
2401 Courthouse Drive
City Hall, Building #1
Municipal Center
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
Home:
(757) 426-7501
bhenley@VBgov.com

Shannon DS Kane - Rose Hall​
January 1, 2014 to November 2014
2401 Courthouse Drive
City Hall, Building #1
Municipal Center
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
Work:
(757) 802-3236
skane@vbgov.com

Brad Martin - At Large​
January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014
2401 Courthouse Drive
City Hall, Building #1
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
Home:
(757) 460-6278
Work: (757) 689-4840
bmartin@vbgov.com

John D. Moss - At Large
November 10, 201​1to December 31, 2014
2401 Courthouse Drive
City Hall, Building #1
Municipal Center
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
Home: (757) 363-7745
mossjohn@cox.net​

Amelia N. Ross-Hammond - Kempsville​

January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2016
2401 Courthouse Drive
City Hall, Building #1
Municipal Center
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
Home: (757) 646-1709
ahammond@VBgov.com

John E. Uhrin - Beach​
January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2014
2401 Courthouse Drive
City Hall, Building #1
Municipal Center
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
Work: (757) 200-7005
juhrin@VBgov.com
 
Rosemary Wilson - At Large
January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2016
2401 Courthouse Drive
City Hall, Building #1
Municipal Center
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
Home: (757) 422-0733
rcwilson@VBgov.com
 
January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2014 
2401 Courthouse Drive
City Hall, Building #1
Municipal Center
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
Work: (757) 340-8411
Fax: (757) 498-6324
jlwood@VBgov.com
 
It is possible that Virginia Beach cannot pass such an ordinance due to Virginia's pre-emption statute and would have to request their members of the General Assembly to introduce a bill.  That is unlikely to happen as all of Virginia Beach's legislators are pro-rights.  This post will be updated when it has been confirmed whether the City of Virginia Beach has the power to pass this type of ordinance.
 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Rob Pincus on Transitioning to a Back-up Gun

Firearm Trainer Rob Pincus discusses issues surrounding dropping the primary firearm and transitioning to your backup gun as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

D.C. Goes the Maryland Route on Concealed Carry

VSSA Life Member and Second Amendment attorney Steve Halbrook predicted it and the Washington Times reports today that DC has gone the Maryland road in the draft of their ordinance allowing its residents to carry:
Mr. Nathan said the city modeled its “may issue” approach to permits, which is virtually certain to face a lawsuit, on states such as New York and Maryland, where such statutes have withstood challenges in federal courts. But a similar requirement in California stating that a person seeking the permit prove they were confronted with a “clear and present danger” was struck in February. That ruling is on hold pending appeals.
DC residents may have to wait to see if Peruta vs. San Diego makes it to the Supreme Court to get a real chance at carrying outside their home.


Strength and Shooting

Episode 11 of NOIR aired on NRAFreestyle.tv last night and the topic in this episode was whether being a stronger shooter makes you a better shooter.  NFL former NFL linebacker David Vobora put Colion and Darren LaSorte through a workout.  Vobora owns Performance Vault in Downtown Dallas and specializes in training professional and Olympic level athletes, elite military and law enforcement, and adaptive athletes.  Vobora went over balance and stability and what they can do to make you a better shooter. Mr. Olympian competitor Branch Warren joined the group and then went out to the range to put what they learned to the test. Colion reviews the STI Match Master then it's on to the Noir Challenge.  There's some good information in this episode.  Take a look.

Obama Administration Collecting Race and Ethnicity Information on Gun Purchase Forms

When I first saw this article in the Washington Times reporting that ATF Form 4473 was collecting race and ethnicity information, I wasn't going to write about it because the article noted that the change to form 4473 was done back in 2012 and I believed that anyone who purchased a firearm in the last two years would have noticed it. 


But today I noticed that Dave Workman, the Seattle Gun Examiner writer, also wrote about this issue.  Workman noted the quote by New Jersey firearms attorney Evan Nappen in the Times article, so it made me wonder if there is more to the story that I originally thought:
New Jersey attorney Evan Nappen is quoted by the newspaper raising a serious question that nobody in the gun prohibition lobby seems inclined to answer. After observing that requiring this information is offensive, Nappen added, “If there’s no need for an amendment, then there’s usually a political reason for the change. What this indicates is it was done for political reasons, not law enforcement reasons.”
There is nothing in federal law that requires the collection of race or ethnicity.  ATF claims the change was made because it needed to update its forms to comply with an Office of Management and Budget (OMB) reporting standard put into effect during the Clinton administration. Just an aside, that begs the question as to why it took 10 years to comply with an OMB standard.  Prior to 2012, the 4473 forms had been collecting race data.

Workman addressed the issue from the standpoint of Initiative 594 (I-594), currently on the ballot in Washington State, that would require anyone simply loaning firearms to one another, which is perfectly legal, to go through a federally licensed firearms retailer for a background check. If I-594 passes, it could all but outlaw hands-on firearm training because an instructor would have to go to a dealer to do a background check on his/her trainee before handing off the firearm to the trainee, then the trainee would have to have a background check conducted on the trainer before handing the firearm back to that person.  Additionally, privacy is a concern being raised by I-594 opponents, including the two major statewide law enforcement organizations that oppose the ballot initiative, the Washington Council of Police and Sheriffs, and Washington State Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors Association.

So, just what is ATF and the Obama Administration up to?

Gun Ban Lobby Holding Forum in Hampton on Saturday

The Virginia Center for Public Safety & Virginians for Responsible Gun Laws is holding a "forum in Hampton on Saturday to lay out their plan to continue pushing their gun ban agenda.  They are billing it as a discussion of "targeted efforts to keep firearms out of the hands of violent convicted felons and domestic abusers, stalkers, and the dangerously mentally ill."  But we know that nothing they are proposing will stop violent felons from getting firearms.  And much of what they propose to keep "domestic abusers and the mentally ill" from getting access to firearms comes without due process protections.  They plan three panels:

Healthcare & Mental Health
·   Dr. Sean Nix 
·   Chief Richard Myers, Newport News Police 
·   Josh Horwitz, Executive Director - The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence 
·   Dr. Darwin Mills

Public Safety

·  Chief John I. Dixon III, Petersburg Police 
·  Commonwealth Attorney Anton Bell 
·  Rev. Dr. Gregory M. Howard 
·  Sheriff Gabriel A. "Gabe" Morgan, Newport News

Community Voices

·   Chief Terry Sult, Hampton Police 
·   Brian Hawkins M.S.W, Hampton University Promise Program 
·   Andrew Goddard, President - Million Mom March, Richmond Chapter: Board Member, Virginia Center for Public Safety 
·Ernest "Lee" Williams, Division of Social Service Child Support Enforcement Outreach Program Coordinator

The event will be held at the Hampton Convention Center, Hampton Coliseum, 1610 Coliseum Dr, Hampton, VA 23666 from 1:00 to 4:00.  It's open to the public.  So, if you live in the area and have nothing better to do, might be good to stop in to get some intel on what the opposition has in store for Virginia's gun owners.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Rob Pincus Responds to NBC's Today Show Advice on Home Invasions

Last week, NBC's Today Show had this segment over the weekend
Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
Not all of the information provided was bad, but what is getting the most attention among some bloggers and conservative media was the reference to using "wasp spray" as a weapon against an intruder.  Armed American Radio's Mark Walters discussed the Today Show segment with firearm training instructor Rob Pincus.  Rob goes over the couple of things that made sense in the segment, and spends a significant amount of time on what didn't.  He found one piece of , sleeping with your doors open so "your children can hear everything" as just plain weird. Rob did agree with gathering your family together in one place.  The clip below has Rob's thoughts on the advice provided by the NBC "expert." 
video

Stafford County to Consider Change to Noise and Shooting Ordinances

There was an item on last night's agenda of the Stafford County Board of Supervisors that would authorize the county administrator to advertise a public hearing for the purpose of amending the county's shooting ordinance.  According to the background document:
The Board is asked to consider changes to the Noise and Weapons chapters of the Stafford County Code as it pertains to the discharge of firearms, pneumatic guns, arrows, and shooting in prohibited areas (No Shooting Zones). Many of the proposed amendments are technical in nature and are based on changes to the Virginia Code, practical application of regulations, and the effects of land development and urbanization in certain areas of the County. 
The proposed change to the Noise chapter of the County Code would clarify that the “average,” rather than the “geometric mean,” of three sound level readings would be used to determine sound levels. This measurement would apply to all activities, not just sound related to shooting. This change would make the Noise provision easier to understand and enforce.
While the information provided appears to mostly changes to bring county ordinances in line with state law, VSSA has major concerns with any noise changes that would make it harder for gun owners to shoot or hunt on private property.  Gun owners just beat back a change in Sussex County that would have all but prohibited shooting on Sunday.  Additional information related to the specific ordinance language and the date of the public hearing will be posted here when it is available.

Hat tip to jfrazerlaw.com.

Update: A few of the supervisors were very concerned about the boundaries of some of the proposed no-shooting areas, and possibly about some other issues.  They voted to delay authorizing a public hearing to allow further review.  VSSA will keep gun owners updated as the process continues.

Friday, September 12, 2014

VSSA's New AR-15s for Junior Highpower Rifle Program

VSSA's Highpower Rifle Chairman Mike Jamison would like to thank the many people who contributed in various ways to provide VSSA's  Junior Rifle team with new AR-15s for competition.  Using funds from the sale of the association's antique M1s, Jamison purchased two AR-15s from Rock River Arms while the team was at Camp Perry shooting in the National Matches.  Because the firearms were for our Junior team, Rock River gave VSSA a very good price.

The Firearms were shipped to Dance's Sporting Goods in Colonial Heights, VA, who handled the FFL transfer for VSSA.  Again, because they were for our Juniors, Dance's handled the FFL transfer and related paperwork at a very good price.  Bill McKaig (a VSSA Board Member and the senior coach on the team) helped pick up the guns and prepare the paperwork.

Thanks to Rock River Arms, Dance's Sporting Arms, and Bill!

Leftist Group Waving the White Flag on Banning Assault Weapons

The Wall Street Journal Washington Wire reports that the Center for American Progress (CAP) is "waving a white flag" on banning assault weapons in a study out today titled “Assault Weapons Revisited:”
“The answer is not that assault weapons aren’t dangerous and people having access to them is a good thing,” Mr. Gerney said in an interview this week. “There are other things that we can do to lessen the risks of assault weapons short of banning them. … When you’re making policy, it’s always a mix of what’s going to have a biggest positive impact and what is practical and politically possible.”
CAP says the appropriate focus should be background checks and licensing firearms.  And the Journal notes that even though President Obama pushed for renewal of the so-called "assault weapons" that was a threat used to push for a compromise on expanding background checks:
Instead, CAP makes an argument for six policy prescriptions that are equally unlikely to receive a hearing in a Congress with zero appetite for any gun restrictions: implement background checks for all gun sales, force dealers to report to the federal government multiple sales of long guns, expand the prohibition on interstate handgun sales to include shotguns and rifles, forbid the use or possession of machine guns by people younger than 16, and require licenses and permits to possess an assault rifle or manufacture guns using 3D printers.
We've already seen some of these proposals in Virginia.  There was a bill introduced in the last session of the General Assembly to ban out of state sale of long guns.

8th District Democrat Don Beyer Campaigns for Gun Control

The Washington Post has the report here.  This should come as no surprise to anyone.  When Beyer ran for Governor against Jim Gilmore in 1997, Beyer supported gun control.  He is running in the overwhelmingly Democrat 8th District so he probably figures openly campaigning to restrict our rights won't hurt him.  Gun control is the first of the "Eight Ideas" that he will take to the voters before election day.  Unfortunately, gun owners don't have a lot of choice in the 8th District as the GOP candidate also supports gun control:
Beyer is not alone in his belief that gun laws need tightening; his Republican opponent, Micah Edmond, says the U.S. should ensure that “crazy people shouldn’t have guns” and emphasizes the need for rigorous background checks.
Beyer specifically wants to close the so-called “gun show loophole,”  ban standard-capacity ammunition magazines, and supports the latest scheme of the gun ban lobby - making it easier for family members or law enforcement officials to petition for so-called "gun restraining orders" on people they believe could be dangerous to themselves or others.

The other seven ideas Beyer has include employment and immigration.  Interesting how Beyer puts gun control as his number one concern when the economy and jobs tend to be at the top of voter's concerns.  In a June Rasmussen poll, gun control ranked 10th among the concerns of voters.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

New NRA Membership Ads

The NRA has added three new ads to the group released earlier this month.  One asks the question what would it mean for our country if one man's money could take away our rights:
In the next ad, Top Shot Season 4 Champion talks about how it seems like more and more we’re surrounded by anger and asks how we turn that around with the spokesman being Top Shot Season 4 Champion Chris Cheng:
The last of the new ads talks about freedom of speech:
All of them continue to build on the theme that NRA members are the "Good Guys."

Discontent Among Gun Groups Over Initiative 594

The Washington Post has a piece this morning on its GovBeat blog that says Washington State firearm advocates are asking where the NRA is in the battle to defeat Initiative 594, the ballot measure that would criminalize transfer of firearms between anyone, even at training sessions, that does not involve a background check:
“The NRA has really not been involved at all until very recently, and not in the area of spending significantly at all,” said Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and founder of the Second Amendment Foundation. “I have no idea why. We have a coalition made up of all the gun rights groups in Washington, and they are not participating. They’re doing their own thing.”

Barron Barnett, a pro-gun rights activist, asked in a recent blog post: “Where the F*** is the NRA?!” “[T]he NRA is more than happy to take my money but then is no where to be found when things actually go sideways,” Barnett wrote.
From what I can tell, NRA has been active getting the message out to defeat I-594. It was the cover story on this month's America's First Freedom. Cam Edwards has covered it a number of times on NRANews.com. But, it appears that some think that the NRA needs to match Billionaires Bill Gates, Mike Bloomberg, and others pushing the initiative dollar for dollar. NRA has been active in other ways too:
Andrew Arulanandam, a spokesman for the NRA in Virginia, said the group has had two full-time staff on the ground for months. He estimated that the NRA has spent a total of $300,000 to $400,000 so far against I-594, with that number likely to grow in the final two months before Election Day. That figure doesn’t include communications with members and those who receive the NRA’s magazines and publications, he said.
It's true that the pro-I594 forces have raised over $7 million. But, it doesn't serve our cause for pro-rights groups to complain that some are doing more than others to defeat the measure. And as Arulanandam told the Post, while money is important, the Milwaulkee County Sheriff's race proved the power of grassroots. That's where I-594 will be defeated. And the grassroots is the NRA's strength.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Is "Tough on Crime" Dead?

That's the question that the Washington Post Wonkblog asks.  The writer, Emily Badger, leads in with the discussion of the questions some of the public and politicians have raised related to whether we have militarized our civilian law enforcement and uses it to transition into a discussion of what most of us have associated with the term "Tough on Crime:"
For decades, that idea has dominated sentencing policy, political ads, local police tactics and federal law-enforcement support. "Tough on crime" became intertwined with the "war on drugs." It yielded "three strikes" laws and mandatory minimum sentencing. It drove the unmatched rise of American incarceration. It justified the deployment of harsh police tactics and the need for meaner equipment, both of which have been used beyond drug crime. It became a potent political label, the only acceptable adjective: If you're not tough on crime, then you don't have anything worth saying about crime at all.
In Virginia, George Allen rode into the Governor's Office in 1993 talking about "liberal lenient parole."  By the time he left office, parole had basically been abolished.  He built new prisons but Virginia actually rented out prison space to other states for a time.  Virginia led the nation in some of these policies, but not all states followed our example.  No parole, three strikes laws, and keeping violent criminals off of the streets is what I associate with "tough on crime,"  not "harsh police tactics," armored vehicles and military grade weapons.  So, you understand my confusion at the connections Badger makes in her piece.  She asserts that the phrase is now in retreat:
Today, "tough on crime" appears to be decidedly in retreat, as conservatives have begun to balk at the financial costs of incarceration, and as liberals have objected to the costs in civil liberties — and the disproportionate racial impacts — of aggressive policing. The rhetoric of "tough on crime" is fading.
Hopefully, Badger is wrong and policy makers will separate the question of the type of equipment civilian law enforcement uses from the question of keeping violent criminals in jail.  We certainly don't want more of the type of stories that Cam Edwards of NRANews shares daily on his program.