Monday, March 30, 2015

Quote of the Day — "Bill Volckening" (March 27, 2015)

From the comments of an article on Oregon Senate Bill 941, "Oregon lawmakers introduce bill to expand gun background checks":
"@Blind Archer @Bill Volckening Sorry, but if you're a gun person, we have nothing to discuss. You're koo-koo-kray-kray."
Sorry, there's no way to link directly to that specific comment, but for the sake of posterity and "memory hole insurance", I got a screen cap:

(Full disclosure: Yes, I'm the "Blind Archer" to whom he's responding.)

The first part is a lie; he's not sorry — not one bit. You can tell from the scorn and disdain nearly leaking from the computer monitor.

But the sadly funny thing is, I didn't ask for anything particularly difficult or unreasonable. You can read the exchange, starting from his original comment…

… followed by the brief back-and-forth:

So much for that "national discussion on 'gun violence'" we're supposed to have. Was that too much, to ask that he respond by citing actual incidents and keep name-calling and ad hominem attacks to a minimum? (Rhetorical question)

This is what they think of us: we like guns, and so we are too crazy/stupid/unstable to converse with. We're the "Other"; less than human — certainly less then themselves — and therefore less worthy or deserving of even basic courtesy.

Makes you wonder: what other rights and courtesies would they be willing to deny us, given the chance?

Stay safe.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Updated: Oregon Gun Owners: Your Weekend Activism

Sen. Floyd Prozanski
(source: article)

By now, many of you may have heard of Senate Bill 941 (PDF warning), introduced by one of our resident perennial gun-grabbers, Senater Floyd Prozanski.

I can sum up my feelings on this one in four simple words:

This. Bill. Must. Fail.

This is a bill for the infamous "Universal Background Check" (UBC). It is a ban on private transfers of firearms, with a few exceptions. A violation of this bill, should it become law, is a Class A misdemeanor on the first conviction, and a Class B felony on any subsequent convictions. Penalties for the first conviction are up to a year in prison, a fine of up to $6,250, or both. Subsequent convictions: up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, or both.

But wait (as the late, great pitch-man Billy Mays used to say), there's more: Background checks in Oregon are not run through NICS for free. Oh, no; that would be too simple. They're run by the Oregon State Police Background Check Unit (OSP BCU), who charges $10 for the "service" of running that check for you.

But wait, there's still more: The "dealer number" for the OSP BCU is still not available for "civilians" to use. Nope, if you want to do a private sale/transfer, you and the buyer/seller will have to appear, in person, before a federally-licensed gun dealer, who can call and run the check, charge you the OSP BCU's $10, plus whatever the dealer chooses to charge for the "service".

And, if you're the seller, you would be required to follow all the "record retention" laws in regards to the paperwork concerning that sale, as if you were a dealer. Penalties are the same as if you were a dealer whose "bound book" didn't quite measure up to ATF inspection.

Oh, yeah, and OSP BCU is the group that creates the registry of commercial firearm transfers, and this bill now extends the same guidelines and requirements to private transfers. Welcome to full registration, folks!

So I'll repeat what I said above: This. Bill. Must. Fail.

You're weekend activism homework: Contact the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee (where the bill currently resides) and urge them to vote against passing this travesty to the Senate floor. The members are (click to e-mail):

You might have noticed that Sen. Prozanski is not only the author of the bill, but he's also the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee where the bill currently resides. Hardly seems fair, does it?

[UPDATE: 3/30 5:00 pm] Written testimony can be submitted to the whole committee staff by e-mailing it to They prefer written materials to be in PDF format, but the advantage is that any materials submitted become part of the public record attached to the bill. According to the agenda for the day, "The committee meeting record will remain open and testimony will be accepted until 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, April 1." That's the deadline. [/UPDATE]

Let's do what we can to kill it in committee.

Thanks, and stay safe.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Movie Review: God's Not Dead (2014)

This is a movie that we'd been meaning to watch for a while, and it just recently showed up in our Netflix queue.

God's Not Dead movie poster
(source: IMDB)

Short synopsis: Josh Wheaton (played by Shane Harper) is a college freshman who finds himself enrolled in Professor Radisson's (Kevin Sorbo) philosophy class. Radisson is a devout atheist, and on the first day of class requires every student to write "God is dead" on a sheet of paper and sign it. Josh finds he cannot do so; it conflicts with his Christian beliefs. Radisson then offers a philosophical challenge: If Josh will not admit that God is dead, then he must debate and prove the "unprovable" opposite thesis — that God is not dead.

The movie follows several individuals and groups directly or tangentially connected to Josh and/or Radisson, and their journeys toward Christ and God as this challenge plays out. Also featured are Willie and Korie Robertson (of Duck Dynasty fame) and the Newsboys.

The characters (other than the Robertsons and the Newsboys, who appear as themselves) are believable and endearing. You empathize with them (at least I did); there wasn't a single named character you don't feel for, one way or another. Even the professor, who's kind of an ass (OK, not "kind of"), with his "Tony Stark" style and "Tony Stark +10" arrogance (seriously); you want to just hate the guy, but you can't help but feel sorry for him, even before you learn his back-story. And while the story and dialogue have a very strong pro-Christianity bias, I wouldn't say it's excessive to the point of being a propaganda film, which is how many critics described it*.

I'd give it a solid 4.5 out of 5. Great movie, highly recommended.

Stay safe.

* - Full disclosure: I'm a Christian, so I can't be fully trusted to remain 100% objective on this point. That said, some clearly pro-Christian films have and do put me off by being over-the-top propaganda. This is not one of them.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Quote of the Day — Sheila Stokes-Begley (March 19, 2015)

Writing at The Zelman Partisans, which if you weren't aware is the group spun-off from the Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, after JPFO got bought out by the SAF/Alan Gottlieb machine.

From her article, "The Watchmen (and Women) on the Wall":
I recently had a very brief discussion with a Rabbi. […] I said I just think Jews should be allowed to pray on the Temple Mount, and I do, and I mean right now yesterday. His comment was “When the Messiah comes back”. Really. Because this attitude of accepting little scraps of freedom, the little bits of the Jewish identity people are allowed to retain, the areas where it is safe to walk or as Y.B. pointed out, worship should all be determined by others? The Southern Cowgirl in me rears up and says “OH HELL NO”!

Because when you see attacks on a persons [sic] religion, on their ethnicity on their belief system when it harms no one else, you can just about bet the farm that not long after follow the physical attacks. WHY does it need to get to that point?
(hyperlink added to Y.B.'s article)
Embedded in the article are a couple short videos. I highly recommend both articles and the videos, especially the one with New York City Councilman Daniel Greenfield, who has the nerve to call it like it is.

I know many if not most of our readers are not Jewish. I myself am a Christian. However, in my opinion ALL of God's people are under attack. It's just that the Jewish people and culture are the subjects of open, overt, sometimes even physical hostility, while attacks against Christians are more … subtle.

For now.

I think what we're seeing — and what the Jewish people worldwide, but especially in Europe* are seeing — can be summed up in one word: contempt.

Contempt is born of disagreement and disrespect, and in turn leads to anger, hatred, and eventually hostility and violence. It's a pattern repeated throughout human history. Biblically, it goes all the way back to Cain and Abel. And right now the Jewish communities (and to a lesser extent, Christian communities) are viewed by other cultures with open, naked contempt.

The problem stems from what Sheila said of her conversation with the Rabbi: Many, including nominal leaders of whole communities, are content with whatever scraps of freedom the government deems worthy of allowing. It's almost as if the members of a whole culture have lost respect — and are headed down the path to contempt — for themselves!

Many American Christians, on the other hand, realize that rights are God-given (not government-granted), and hold ourselves in enough esteem to demand more recognition of those rights from our representatives.

I demand more. So should you. And so should we all.

Stay safe.
* - Tolerant, sophisticated Europe, which America should strive to emulate, right?

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Quote of the Day — Beth Alcazar (March 10, 2015)

Today's Quote of the Day comes from Beth Alcazar's article at the USCCA entitled, "The Problem With Statistics":
According to them, and to these vast collections of statistics, there is a direct correlation between gun ownership and gun accidents. To that I say, well, of course there is. Isn’t that kind of a pointless statement? For instance, wouldn’t it also be much more likely for someone to have a fireplace accident in the home if there is, indeed, a fireplace located somewhere inside?


The thing that a lot of people seem to overlook with these statistics is that guns don’t automatically equal violence. Period. To believe that extreme, you may also have to believe that alcohol automatically leads to alcoholism and that a sweet tooth automatically yields gluttony. Preposterous, right? There are just too many factors, circumstances, experiences, values, and decisions involved for it to be “that easy.”
As anyone who's studied statistics knows, correlation does not equal causation. Just because the numbers show that variable 'A' and variable 'B' seem to be related does not prove that 'A' causes 'B', or that 'B' causes 'A'.

Now, the argument over our rights should not depend on statistics. Rights are rights, regardless of how distasteful someone else might find them. I don't begrudge our opponents' right to own and use computers and the Internet, even though they use them to attack my rights; indeed, a computer and the Internet is precisely how I engage and resist!*

But because our opponents do invoke statistics, and because statistics is a language politicians and bureaucrats understand, we must be able to present the other side — the one our opponents would just as soon remain unstated. Or, as Professor Aaron Levenstein says (also quoted by Ms. Alcazar), "Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital." (There. You got a two-fer QOTD today. You're welcome!)

Forgive the innuendo, but we should be prepared to rip the coverings off and reveal the whole truth in all its beautiful glory!

Stay safe.

* - It's been said, most notably after the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, that the only proper answer to calls for restricting free speech is more free speech. I'd argue this principle applies to other rights, as well.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Quote of the Day — Kevin D. Williamson (March 8, 2015)

From an article at National Review Online, "Next!" (emphasis in original):
It’s easy to enforce the law on people who are inclined to be law-abiding, which means those of us in the middle, mainly: We have enough to lose that there’s a real cost to breaking the rules, but we don’t have so much that we can conduct our personal and professional lives as though we had sovereign immunity. […] When the law does not apply to the lawmakers and law-enforcers, you are not being governed: You are being ruled. And we are ruled by criminals.
Ain't that the truth? If you all are anything like me, you can't afford to not live within the law. Getting caught means either a) losing everything you have and everything you've worked for and spending time in prison; or b) throwing away five or six figures on a stout legal defense; or c) both a and b.

But for those with little or nothing to lose, or those with so much that no one dares challenge or question them, that's not an issue.

As with most QOTD sources, I encourage you to RTWT.

Stay safe.

(Hat tip: Claire Wolfe)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Just Putting This Out There...

On the lighter side, but because some people actually DO try to do this:

Stay safe.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Why Are Anti-Gunners...

... so damned violent?

I'll just leave these two headlines — referencing the same story — here for your perusal.

Anti-Gun Filmmaker Attacks, Hospitalizes Pro-Gun Cameraman

Anti-Gun Oregon Filmmaker Arrested After Attacking Gun Rights Supporter

Money quote, from the first article:
[T]his brutal attack is just a sample of what we in the pro-gun movement has [sic] said all along. Gun owners seem to show more responsibility and restraint, while the anti-gun movement has repeatedly shown a violent streak.
Runner-up money quote, from the commenter "Jeff S. Howard" at the second article:
If Pro Gunners were as violent as Anti Gunners say we are...there would not be any Anti Gunners left!

And the best part is, the first people the attacker tweeted afterwards were two of the most rabidly anti-gun politicians in the Oregon Legislature — Earl Blumenauer and Ginny Burdick — and a political planner, Jake Weigler. Greater minds than mine can play "What's the Connection?" if they wish.

Stay safe.

(Hat tip: David Codrea)

'Boma Blinks! Ammo Ban Tabled - For Now

     Early Tuesday afternoon, The BATFE tweeted out "You spoke, we listened. @ATFHQ plans more study on the proposed AP Ammo exemption framework." 

     Listen they did: Even the haughty, dictatorial, tone deaf Obama administration and the ATF had to listen to the NRA, 52 Senators, 238 Representatives, 80,000 commentators, and a large swath of angry gun owners. 

     It should be noted that the ATF only promised to withhold the regulation in order to "further study" the proposed ban. Leaving it a possibility - certainty - that the ban will be reintroduced sometime in the future. Probably when the public's attention is elsewhere, in the dark of night, with sleight of hand... Remember, the Obama administration has another 22 months to work its phone and pen mischief.

    As Thomas Jefferson said; "The price of Freedom is eternally watching those sonsabitches like a hawk."

Thursday, March 5, 2015

DOJ v Ferguson

     I listened to Eric Holder's DOJ Findings on Ferguson press conference. I listened from the perspective of someone living just a few miles away and one who's seen some of the same abuses firsthand.

     My wife got caught up in one of Ferguson's neighbor's aggressive traffic enforcements. In Missouri, city police can write tickets on Interstates going through their city, and the burg's cop got my wife.  She swears she wasn't speeding... much. And I believe... well, I... I take the Fifth. She also got tagged for other violations. It was exactly like Holder depicted.

     She was ordered to appear in the city's court, a seedy little justice mill in an old bar. It was in a really sketchy area, so I was dragged along as the sacrificial meat shield. With about 90-110 other defendants, we waited while the judge described her town's particular version of jurisprudence. To paraphrase mightily: You're probably guilty. You could ask for a trail, but it would be expensive, inconvenient, and most likely futile. It would be so much easier if you threw your wallet on the mercy of the court. Justice takes cash, checks, American Express, Visa or Master Card, and easy payments at reasonable rates can be arranged. See the cashier in the back.   

     It was all as Holder described. More than 95% of the defendants were African-American. The condemned awaited their fate with surly resignation. Justice was curt, perfunctory and cynical. The defendants were separated from their money as efficiently as a pig from it's blood in a slaughterhouse.

     It was exactly as Holder described: an abusive, grasping, uncaring, racist system.

     Except, it wasn't. Not completely.  

     The judge was African-American. All but one of the many court officers and workers were minorities. The police commander was Black. The police security team was entirely Black. Furthermore, the city itself boasts an African-American Mayor and a totally Black City Council.  

     Abusive? Yes. Money Hungry? Certainly. Racist? Are you serious?

     Holder made much of Ferguson's unjust city justice system. In this I believe he's correct. However, to damn all of Ferguson as racist - based on behaviors that can be shown as being anything but, is fundamentally incorrect.  I haven't read the 110 page report yet, but it's seeming reliance on simple, unnormalized statistics and unsupported conclusions is troubling. Given the history of Holder and the Obama administrations willingness to play on race, this may be just another instance of their  elaborate racialist posturing. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Two Weeks Left: Fight the Ban!

Comments on the proposed ban of SS109/M855 "green tip" surplus 5.56mm/.223 ammunition close on March 16.

That's in two weeks, folks.

If you haven't yet submitted your comments in opposition, sooner is better than later.

And if you're struggling with coming up with a decent argument, you should read GeorgiaCarry.Org's response, as it's both strongly worded and logically sound.

Time's running out. Get your comments in!

Stay safe.

(Hat tip: This post from Herschel over at The Captain's Journal.)