Friday, February 27, 2015

Fight the Ban!

With just a few keystrokes, the Firearms Policy Coalition will add you to a letter delivered to the BATFE opposing the illegal, un-Constitutional and dangerously precedence setting ban on M855 ammunition. This is a blatant attack on a very popular round that has been used for decades for plinking and target shooting.

Make no mistake, this is the Obama administration's direct attack on the AR-15 and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. 

Fight the Ban!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Free Ice Cream Machine on the Fritz

Sorry, all. We've been a bit slow posting here.

For me, it's not the lack of gun-related news — the recent court decisions, overturning not one, but two (2!) provisions in the venerable Gun Control Act of 1968 (the prohibition on any involuntary committal to a mental-health facility, as applied in Tyler v. Hillsdale Co. Sheriff's Dept.; and the prohibition on interstate handgun sales, even through FFLs, in Mance v. Holder) are, as "Crazy Uncle Joe" Biden says, "A big F-ing deal" — or the lack of interesting local news.

It's just Life, speaking in its Outdoor Voice.

Not to offer empty platitudes or excuses, but work has been Hell On Earth, and it's been hectic at home, too, leaving shockingly little time or energy for even reading up on events, let alone researching and writing about them. "Life doesn't just stop and wait for tech support," I say at work; I can attest, it doesn't take a break for blogging, either.

So let me offer my apologies to our readers for the lack of new content. Here's to hoping we can get the Free Ice Cream machine fixed, and soon, and get back to our regular schedule.

In the meantime, as always, stay safe.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

On Oregon's New Governor, Kate Brown

I'm attempting to stick to actual facts here, but for full disclosure: I'm not a fan.

TL;DR version: Oregon's conservatives and gun owners will have our hands full.

Photo of Oregon Governor Kate Brown
Governor Kate Brown
(source: Wikipedia)
I've been trying to do research on Gov. Brown since hearing of former-Gov. Kitzhaber's resignation last week, but as Secretary of State elections aren't as … high-profile … as other races, I haven't been able to dig up much.

On the surface, the Secretary of State's job duties are pretty straightforward. As put forth in Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) Chapter 177, the office has very few explicit duties, and most provide surprisingly little wiggle-room for partisan politics. The Oregon Secretary of State is responsible for:
  • Keeping records of all official acts of the Oregon Department of Administrative Services (DAS) and informing the legislature of the same; and,
  • Affixing the state seal, countersigning, and keeping a register of official acts and commissions issued by the Governor; and,
  • The safekeeping of all enrolled laws and resolutions; and,
  • Keeping the office open during business hours.
Really, not that much. The Secretary of State's office also oversees elections, which includes monitoring the electorate rolls (i.e. who can vote), approving petitions (including validating signatures), verifying candidacy of electoral candidates, etc. That part of the job has a bigger impact to Oregon, but Oregon's laws and rules for elections are a lot of "if ... then ... shall" language; there's not much room to influence any particular race, or really any race for that matter. Either petitioners and potential candidates meet all requirements and follow the rules and get added to the ballot, or they don't and they don't.

On the other hand, the Office of the Secretary of State is a powerful loudspeaker, elevating an otherwise-mundane official into a powerful spokesperson. People listen to the person who holds this office, and as an elected official, we can look at who supported Kate Brown's last races, when she was elected in 2008 and re-elected to another term in 2012. And here is where it gets interesting (and no, the picture is not pretty).

Looking through her views on the issues particular to her office, she's a vocal opponent to "voter ID" laws — y'know, the ones that keep illegal immigrants from voting illegally. We can also infer from that link that she's in favor of limiting campaign spending. Say what you want about it, but getting the word out about someone's candidacy and position on issues requires money, and at the time she was promoting voluntary (for now) spending limits, she was the incumbent. She already had a metaphorical soapbox and bullhorn, and would have denied an equivalent voice to her challenger (also, he was out-raising and out-spending her by a wide margin).

As far as endorsements and campaign contributors from the 2012 election, it's a veritable who's-who of leftist, "Progressive" groups. Additionally, one of the controversies from the 2008 election was the involvement of the Secretary of State Project, described as "a below-the-radar 527 political organization whose stated purpose is 'wrestling control of the country from the Republican Party' through the process of 'removing their political operatives from deciding who can vote and whose votes will count,' namely the office of Secretary of State in many cases."

To be clear, I'll say that again: Kate Brown was supported, by both endorsement and financial assistance, by a (now-dissolved) group committed to removing Republican candidates from power by disallowing and/or disqualifying Republican voters from voting. Whether or not the Oregon Secretary of State is able to do such a thing is irrelevant; her campaign accepted the endorsement and money, so obviously they have some shared interests.

Oregon Firearms Federation logo
Oregon's Only No Compromise
Gun Rights Organization
(click to visit OFF's site)
So while her views on guns and gun laws may be relatively unknown, her past campaigns and behaviors paint her as a far-leftist — an "extremist", to use the SPLC vernacular — so I'm willing to give the Oregon Firearms Federation (OFF) the benefit of the doubt when they recently stated, "While many will see [John Kitzhaber's resignation] as good news, since he promised to make more restrictions on gun rights a 'priority,' keep in mind his replacement, Kate Brown, will be every bit as bad as he was on gun rights. There is plenty of reason to believe she will be worse."

I pray for all gun owners and conservatives in Oregon.

Stay safe.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

BATFE To Ban Common AR-15 Ammo

Developing now.

From the NRA-ILA:
"In a move clearly intended by the Obama Administration to suppress the acquisition, ownership and use of AR-15s and other .223 caliber general purpose rifles, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives unexpectedly announced today that it intends to ban commonplace M855 ball ammunition as “armor piercing ammunition.” The decision continues Obama’s use of his executive authority to impose gun control restrictions and bypass Congress."

"By way of background, federal law imposed in 1986 prohibits the manufacture, importation, and sale by licensed manufacturers or importers, but not possession, of “a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely . . . from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium.” Because there are handguns capable of firing M855, it “may be used in a handgun.” It does not, however, have a core made of the metals listed in the law; rather, it has a traditional lead core with a steel tip, and therefore should never have been considered “armor piercing.” Nonetheless, BATFE previously declared M855 to be “armor piercing ammunition,” but granted it an exemption as a projectile “primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes.” "
Law-Abiding Gun Owners
Are #1 in 'Boma's Book.
BATFE's circular:
Framework for Determining Whether Certain Projectiles are ‘Primarily Intended for Sporting Purposes’ Within the Meaning of 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(17)(c),
      The M855 is the current standard, all-purpose load for the Army M4 carbines. Many cartridges have become surplus, and have a broad civilian acceptance for plinking and target shooting. Millions of the M885 round are in civilian hands. The round utilizes a 62gn bullet with a steel tip. According to independent authorities, it is not armor piercing, as it does not have a core of penetrating metal - just lead. Obama's ATF decided completely arbitrarily that just the tip makes it armor piercing. This is a blatant violation of physics, common definition, and the law. 

     This proposed regulation is extremely worrisome as it shows the administration's willingness to artificially restrict the definition of 'sporting purposes". We have seen the Sporting Purposes definition abused in the past by much more ethical administrations. The proposed regulation perverts the law's definition of armor piercing ammunition. The regulation bans the M855 because they determine it to be a pistol round, even though AR Pistols are a relatively rare firearm.

     The BATFE is accepting comments until March 16th, 2015 -- only a month. The NRA-ILA link above contains a method for contacting the BATFE. I know what my comments will be.

      As always: write your Congressional represntatives, join the NRA, donate to the NRA-ILA, support all of the other worthy gun-rights organizations, and make you voice heard!

Friday, February 13, 2015

BREAKING: Governor Kitzhaber Resigns!

Soon-to-be-former-Gov. John A. Kitzhaber, M.D.
(source: The Statesman Journal)
Governor John A. Kitzhaber, M.D., has announced that he's resigning his office, effective 10 am, Wednesday, February 18, 2015.

His public statement can be read at The Statesman Journal.

In accordance with Article V, Section 8a of the Oregon Constitution, Secretary of State Kate Brown will take over as Governor until the next biennial general election (November, 2016), and will appoint someone to serve out the remainder of her term (which ends at the same time). At that point, both seats are up for grabs; Mrs. Brown gets to decide whether to run to keep the Governor's seat for the remaining two years of the term, or step down and run for her normal Secretary of State re-election.

It's always a sad day when a scandal-wracked executive needs to resign, but we can't say we didn't see this coming.

Stay safe.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Federal Interstate Handgun Sales Ban Ruled Unconstitutional!

Breaking Now!

Federal Interstate Handgun Sales Ban Ruled Unconstitutional

"...[T]he Court found that strict scrutiny was the proper standard of review for the type of burden on Constitutionally-protected conduct..." The more that Strict Scrutiny standard is applied to restrictions on the Second Amendment, the more that the anti's ineffectual restrictions will be struck down.   

Thank you, Alan Gura and the CCRKBA. 


HT: Firearms Policy Coalition

Friday, February 6, 2015

Local Newspaper The Oregonian Calls for Governor's Resignation [UPDATED]

Gov. John Kitzhaber (source: Fox News)
In a surprising development, the editorial staff at The Oregonian, Oregon's largest-circulating birdcage-liner, is asking that recently-reelected Governor John Kitzhaber resign from office, over the scandals concerning his and his fiancée's apparent unethical conflicts of interest.

Via Fox News:
Kitzhaber, a Democrat in his fourth term as governor, has been under attack since revelations that his fiancée, Cylvia Hayes, was being paid to lobby on behalf of the clean energy industry while at the same time holding the title of Oregon's first lady and filling the role of unpaid policy adviser in the Kitzhaber administration. The Oregon Government Ethics Commission is investigating whether Hayes' consulting work was a conflict of interest, but the Oregonian says the evidence is clear.

"Whether through gross inattention or complicity, Kitzhaber has broken faith with Oregonians. His career in Oregon politics is one of great accomplishment, but his past success does not excuse the mess he has made of the office with which Oregonians entrusted him. He is now less a governor than a source of unending distraction," The Oregonian wrote.
(emphasis added)
KGW reports both how much Cylvia Hayes made from her unscrupulous side work, and also how the "jobs" were lined up:
The call for resignation follows an earlier Oregonian report that associates of Kitzhaber helped create jobs for Hayes, work that influenced state policy on energy.

Her calendar shows Hayes held the paid posts simultaneously as she served as an unpaid energy adviser inside Kitzhaber's office, The Oregonian reported.

One of the jobs paid her $5,000 for five months after Kitzhaber started his third term. A current Kitzhaber aide, Greg Wolf, was key in creating the position and in suggesting Hayes take the job, the newspaper reported.

The second was a two-year fellowship created by Dan Carol, a Kitzhaber campaign advisor who later joined his staff. It paid $118,000 over two years.

The Oregonian reported that both jobs involved foundations and organizations with direct interest in state policy making.
And in a move that surprises precisely nobody, Gov. Kitzhaber responds that he's not going anywhere (via the same Fox News article):
"I'm not going to consider resigning," said Kitzhaber. "I was elected by the people of this state to do a job, and I intend to do it."
This whole mess is shocking for several reasons, not the least of which is that Gov. Kitzhaber was re-elected despite these scandalous concerns, but also that The Oregonian editorial staff endorsed his campaign!

If this were happening in any other state, the ironic schadenfreude would be delicious. But because this is my state, I weep for our future.

[UPDATE:] A "prospective petition" has been filed to recall Gov. Kitzhaber, and needs to gather at least 220,000 signatures in 90 days. As petitioner Arin Marcus says, "Two hundred twenty thousand people in Oregon are upset with the governor so it shouldn’t be that difficult." The election was pretty close, so I'd say there's a lot more than that. The hard part will be finding them all and getting them to sign in time.

If Gov. Kitzhaber resigns or is recalled, the Oregon Constitution says he will be succeeded by the Secretary of State, which in this case is Kate Brown, a Portland-area Democrat. I'll admit I don't know too much of her personal political leanings, but: She's a Portland-area Democrat (Strike 1); she's a career politician, holding office for more than half her life (Strike 2); her educational background is in Environmental Conservation, Women's Studies, and law (Strike 3); and she's received various awards and distinctions from groups like Basic Rights Oregon (LGBT-rights advocates), Oregon Commission for Women, the American Mental Health Counselors Association, and the Oregon Psychological Association (Strike 4?). It's a safe bet that gun owners' rights aren't high on her priority list, but maybe we'll get lucky and she won't be a fully-committed anti-gunner [*snerk*]. [/UPDATE]

Stay safe.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Defending the Home On the Range

"For the female of the species is more deadly than the male."
                          Rudyard Kipling

     Brigid, of the Home on the Range blog, is a renaissance woman. Her curriculum vitae includes wife, mother, military officer, jet pilot, dog lover, hunter, best selling author, shooter, Gumby fan, real science Doctor, Secret Squirrel, home renovator, gourmet cook, bacon aficionada, and... redhead. <shudder> 

     She can go from waxing eloquently about hand soap scented with <two seconds of guy static> to discussing handguns suitable for shooting off an attacker in contact. All with thoughtful reasoning, intelligence, experience, veracity and clarity. 

     So, when she writes about Self Defense in the Home, it's something that needs to be read Right Damn Now. Go there. Now.

     Highly Recommended.  

Quote of the Day — JohnC (February 4, 2015)

In the top comment on an article over at Legal Insurrection"Eric Holder: Justice Dept Not Politicized":
Holder insisted that “there’s been no politicization of this Justice Department” and said such an accusation is “totally inconsistent with the facts.” Holder then stated with a wave of his hand that these were most certainly “not the droids you’re looking for.”
KUDOS, sir! To what location would you like your Internets delivered?

Stay safe.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Super Nannybowl

     Anyone else a little off-put by all the preachy ads during the Superbowl? 

     When the wife orders pizza, she's not being beaten. Our nieces and nephews are not snacking on poison or shooting-up heroin. The extended family cheers the kidlets on in softball, where they certainly do not throw like a girl. Their harried fathers are continuously involved in their lives. In short, they live normal lives. Along with the majority of Superbowl viewers.

     So why all the angst?
Could it be... Nannies?
 Dana Carvey as the Church Lady (SNL)
     It seems the old-fashioned, stogy, tragically unhip, nuclear families are doing pretty well by the ads' measures. As they have for centuries. There's the answer - one that's been sneered at for years by the intelligentsia. 

     So... go bother someone else.