Thursday, April 30, 2015

Forty Years Ago Today...

Forty years ago today, Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese.

      A sad end to a divisive war.

      Echos of that war reverberate today: the counterculture that arose out of opposition to the war now controls much of our society. Their open disdain for existing society, "The Establishment",  and their appetite for its destruction continues today. Our Secretary of State, who served a few days in Vietnam, made his Progressive bones opposing the war. Likewise, the leading Democrat candidate for President was a radicalized child of the 60s. It's bitter irony that a war fought to oppose socialism and communism resulted in society that now espouses many of the same principles.

      I leave this post with a nod of appreciation to the men and women who shed their blood and their youth half a world away.     

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Legal Opinion Bleg....

Do we have any legal professionals in the audience? Preferably licensed in Oregon?

I have a question for any legal minds out there, and would love to figure this problem out. I'm trying to determine the answer to this question:
Is it legal or illegal for a state employee to carry a licensed, concealed firearm into state office buildings?
For the purposes of this bleg, I'm strictly concerned with the legalities. Whether it's a "condition of employment" is another matter for another time.

Please don't be shy; all opinions are welcome, and I won't consider any of them actual "legal advice" — unless the commenter is an Oregon-licensed attorney, and positively affirms that his/her comment can be taken as a legal opinion. I'm mostly just group-testing my logic.

[ADDED:] I should note this is all my own cursory research, and although I believe the conclusions are valid — or at least call into question the "conventional knowledge" described herein — I feel a disclaimer is necessary, so here it is: I am not a lawyer or judge, and this should not in any way be taken as legal advice. In fact, in this post I am asking if anyone can offer a legal opinion or any law/statute/rule/policy or case law I may have missed. Thanks. [/ADDED]

Details and analysis below the fold.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Update on the "Universal Background Check" / Registration Bill

I've been a bit remiss in reporting on this. For that, you have my apologies.

Here's where we're at now: Senate Bill 941 has passed through the Senate. As I said earlier here and here, Senator Prozanski pushed it through the Senate Judiciary Committee on a party-line vote, sending it to the Senate floor. Senate President Peter Courtney (himself no friend to gun owners) got a full vote on it rather quickly, and it passed on near-party-lines; one Democrat — Betsy Close, and actual pro-gun Democrat (yes, they exist!) — voted against it, but even with her dissent it passed.

So now the bill is in the House, assigned to the House Rules Committee. (Why not Judiciary, as in the Senate? Because it could face opposition there. The Rules Committee is much more receptive to anti-gun bills.) House Speaker Val Hoyle — who courted gun owners during her election campaign — has intimated that it will get through the House quickly.

If that happens, it's a near-certainty that ultra-"Progressive" Governor Kate Brown will sign it into law.

So right now the fight is in the House Rules Committee, and they will be holding a public hearing on the bill tomorrow, April 22nd, at 1:00 pm in Room 50 (in the basement of the Capitol building). People wishing to testify in person will need to sign up starting at 11:30 am. We're expecting anti-gun groups like CeaseFire Oregon and Bloomberg's Demanding Moms to try to pack the House (literally, in this case), so any extra support we can get from the pro-gun side will be helpful.

This is it. This is very likely our last chance to fight this thing. If any of our most excellent readers can be there, it will be appreciated. And if you can't be there but live in Oregon, contact your Representatives and urge a "No" vote.

[ADDED:] If you can't make it to the hearing, but still want to submit written testimony, e-mail it to They prefer written testimony in PDF format. [/ADDED]

Stay safe, everyone.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

This Day in History....

... this Sunday, anyway — 240 years ago, as told by the Suburban Sheepdog, Robert Kuntz:
“Stand your ground and do not fire unless fired upon,” Parker ordered. “But if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.”

Faced off across a space no larger than a football field, [American Captain John] Parker and [British Major John] Pitcairn each commanded their respective forces not to fire. Pitcairn had every reason to expect to be obeyed; British regulars did as they were ordered and Pitcairn’s force of elite light infantry were some of the best troops of the best professional army in the world. Parker, commanding farmers, merchants – and a slave named Prince Estabrook – likewise expected to be obeyed, if for no other reason than because his men had families close at hand, some watching from just off the field. Greek governmental theories, philosophical abstractions and offenses such as the Intolerable Acts may have driven rabble-rousers like Sam Adams and his Sons of Liberty. But for the militiamen on Lexington Green, their homes and farms and livelihoods were all too tangible realities, all too close at hand.

So no one was meant to fire a shot, but as it as has time and again throughout the years, the shot nevertheless was fired and then everyone on the field let loose. It was over in minutes and the outcome, with many rebels killed or wounded, and only one of his own men hurt, couldn't have surprised Pitcairn, who couldn't have had much doubt about how the rest of the day would go.

But it was only dawn. And he hadn't heard Parker.
[links and footnotes omitted]
Read the whole thing. All the way to the end.

Stay safe.

(Hat tip and many thanks to Miguel for the reminder.)

Friday, April 17, 2015

Quote of the Day — Sheila Stokes-Begley (April 15, 2015)

Writing, as she often does, at The Zelman Partisans:
For people to live in freedom, freedom from slavery, from poverty, from annihilation, the first thing we need to do is to quit committing suicide.
She's referring to the Jewish people, in honor of Yom HaShoah — the Holocaust Remembrance Day* — and how Jews and others likely voted for the very politicians and laws that would eventually be used in an attempt to destroy them.

In the modern era, American Jews overwhelmingly vote Democrat and support the same "common sense gun laws" that disarmed their forebears and enabled the lawfully-elected government of the time to exterminate them. The relevant German laws were the 1928 Law on Firearms and Ammunition, which did relax prior restrictions but created a mandatory licensing and registry scheme for all firearms; the March 1938 German Weapons Act, which further relaxed some regulations for some people (mostly government workers), but tightly controlled handguns and completely prohibited issuing firearm manufacturing licenses to Jews; and the November 1938 Regulations Against Jews' Possession of Weapons, which removed all gun rights from all German Jews.

Do I need to say that, because of the 1928 law requiring full licensing and registration, the government workers charged with collecting Jewish-owned firearms knew exactly where to find them?

Or that America's Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA'68) was rooted in the German example and copied nearly verbatim from their March 1938 law?

At this point, I don't think it's hyperbole to say that the Jews of the time (or now, for that matter) were/are assisting in their own suicide.

American conservatives and gun owners, generally, aren't any better. As a group, we're so easy to divide into warring factions too busy fighting each other to mount an effective resistance to lock-step "Progressives" and their collectivist agenda. Libertarians don't trust Republicans, and vice versa, and refuse to work together consistently. "Gun Culture 1.0" (generally older folks, mainly hunters and "sport shooters", shotguns and bolt-action rifles) doesn't stand up to help "Gun Culture 2.0" (generally younger crowd, focused on self-defense, prefer semi-auto pistols and modern rifles) when the gun-grabbers go after "assault weapons". The "concealed carry all the time" crowd doesn't tend to support the "open carry all the time" crowd.

Here's the reality, as stated by Benjamin Franklin: "We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately." We are here to defend our rights. How we choose to exercise our rights is not anywhere near as important as protecting our rights. All of our rights. We must cease the in-fighting; it only serves the "gun control" and "Progressive" agendas by making us easier to defeat politically.

In short, in order to continue to live in freedom, we must quit committing suicide.

Stay safe.
* - I'll be reminding my pastor about this day, too. We're not Jewish, but we do support Israel, and the historical parallels are numerous. As they say, "The more things change, the more they stay the same."

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Oregon S.B. 941 Clears Senate

Surprising precisely nobody.

What is surprising (or perhaps not, if you've been paying attention lately) is that the Democrats used Senate rules and procedural moves to actively shut down Republican participation — killing a number of bills and amendments that would ultimately benefit all Oregonians, not just gun owners — and the chief sponsor, Sen. Floyd Prozanski, reportedly open-faced lied about what was in his bill and what it would do.

Giving him the benefit of doubt, it's possible he hasn't read the very bill he's sponsoring and doesn't know what's in it (taking a page from Nancy "We'll have to pass it to find out what's in it" Pelosi's book), or he's deliberately obfuscating and deceiving both the Senate and the public.

I don't know which is worse, but either is unacceptable behavior for a Senator (although oddly not unexpected for a committed anti-freedom [not just anti-gun] collectivist).

So now we take the fight to the House. Expect procedural shenanigans there, too, and probably lies and deceptions about what the bill does.

If you live in Oregon, contact your representative (listed alphabetically by last name) and tell him/her you expect a "No" vote on this. If you don't know who represents your district or what district you're in, check this map (residents of the Salem and Portland area, zoom in to make sure; the boundaries are … interesting).

And as always, stay safe.

(Hat tip: Oregon Firearms Federation e-mail alert)

Happy B.A.G. Day, 2015!

(image links to source)
I always thought Buy A Gun Day was April 16th — the day after Tax Day.

Apparently, I was mistaken. If you're partaking of the "festivities", feel free to share in the comments what you're doing and/or getting. (No obligation; if you believe such sharing violates OPSEC, or if you're like me and your refund monies are already ear-marked for other expenses, feel equally free to not share. We're all about freedom here. ;) )

Stay safe.

(Hat tip to ASM826, posting over at Borepatch's site, for the reminder.)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Rand Paul: The Conservative's Proper Response to "Gotcha" Questions

I'd make this a Quote of the Day, but it's so much bigger than a mere QOTD. (Via Ace of Spades, in turn via Legal Insurrection.)

So Rand Paul just announced his 2016 Presidential campaign, and at a press conference was asked about his views on abortion (and abortion exemptions) by NH1 reporter Paul Steinhauser. Mr. Steinhauser pointed out that the Democratic National Convention (DNC) had picked up on some comments Rand had said on the topic and asked him to clarify.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)
Rather than fall for the "gotcha" question, Rand caught it and threw it back harder:
Why don't we ask the DNC: Is it okay to kill a seven-pound baby in the uterus? You go back and you ask [DNC head] Debbie Wasserman-Schultz if she's okay with killing a seven-pound baby that is just not born yet. Ask her when life begins, and you ask Debbie when she's willing to protect life.

When you get an answer from Debbie, come back to me.

"Gotcha" questions are intentionally pointed, designed and intended to fracture and divide the voter base, thus weakening the support any candidate can claim.

Republican candidates have to start realizing that the media is biased against them, and act/answer accordingly. The media is full of Democrat shills: they will never ask tough questions of Democratic candidates.

Call them to the carpet on it.

It's not about the question or the answer: Debbie Wasserman-Schultz's views on any restrictions on abortion are well-known (if you can call that 18-word deflection to a "yes/no" question an answer). It's about the press grilling conservative candidates with hard-ball question after hard-ball question (and taking everything out of context whenever it makes the conservative look worse), all the while asking easy questions and no tough follow-ups of Democrats. It's about media bias, and the best way to confront it is to expose it for what it is.

Ace's conclusion is God's Honest Truth:
This should be the standard answer to any media question about the fringier parts of the Republican coalition: I will answer your question the very moment you ask the Democrats about this analogous fringe demand of the Democrat Party.

Come back to me with an answer, and I'll answer your question.

Oh, and caveat: If you ask the Democrat the question in an obligatory manner, and don't bother to ask the obvious follow-up questions to get past the first answer (which is always a hot ball of stinky gas), then that's the exact sort of answer I'll give you, refusing to answer the follow-up questions you wish to ask me but not your Beloved Democrat Politician.
[emphasis in original]
I'll even add my own caveat: If you ask a "yes/no" question and accept anything other than "yes" or "no" (as in DWS's response), expect the same from me. If you want a one-word answer to a "yes/no" question from me, press for nothing less from your Democrat buddies.

Now, I'm not sure yet who "my candidate" will be, so I can't tell yet if Rand Paul is "my guy", but this was an epic turn-around of a hostile question and he deserves no small credit for it.

And because this is a gun blog, we can draw a parallel to gun-related questions: anytime the press asks about firearms and gets an, "I support the Second Amendment, but…" response, follow it up with a hard question like, "Can you reconcile all the proposed infringements you describe as 'common-sense' with the clear language of the Second Amendment, which you said you support, and which says 'shall not be infringed'?" Or, "You say you support the Second Amendment. What current gun laws are, in your opinion, overly burdensome or unfair, and will you work to repeal them?" At the bottom line, these are "yes/no" questions; if you get any wishy-washy statements that don't include a clear "yes" or "no", they are liars and should be exposed as such.

Stay safe.

Torrance, CA Police Keep/ Destroy Gun Collection

Torrance Police Dept Source
The Torrance, California Police Department has admitted liability for the failure to return a man’s firearm collection and its eventual destruction. For nearly three years, the police kept 17 firearms worth $15,800, ignored two court orders to return them, and finally destroyed the collection. The collection contained several irreplaceable family heirlooms. This high-handed arrogance will cost Torrance $30,000. 

It should have cost them much more.

Torrance resident Michael Roberts surrendered his firearms early in 2010 when a temporary restraining order was filed against him. He had become involved in a dispute with his doctor’s office staff. When the TRO was lifted, Roberts asked for his firearms. Citing Cal DOJ’s Law Enforcement Gun Release letter, Torrance PD refused. The DOJ’s letter wrongly implies that police should not return guns unless the person can document their ownership and the gun is in the DOJ’s database. The law simply does not allow those bureaucratic hurdles. Often, gun owners can’t comply, because police themselves fail to enter the firearms into the DOJ’s database, and most people don’t have receipts for the guns they own. The result: California gets to keep firearms away from its subjects. 

Gun Rights Atty Chuck Mitchel
“It’s been an ongoing problem for years,” said attorney Chuck Michel, who filed the federal lawsuit. Cities such as San Francisco and Oakland have also been sued based on the same erroneous interpretation, and those cities settled their cases and revised their procedures.” Roberts’ dilemma in dealing with a law enforcement agency that doesn’t follow the law is fairly common, said a CRPA spokesman. The NRA and CRPA expect to use this ruling to restore gun owner’s rights throughout California.
The lawsuit alleged a malicious motive on the part of the department, which willfully disobeyed judicial orders in order to punish Roberts for not yielding to Torrance PD’s unlawful registration policy. A settlement was reach for more than the value of the firearms and a requirement to change in TPD's policies. Unfortunately, it's the citizens of Torrance who will pay the bill. Although It is hard to see this as anything but theft under the color of authority, police and city officials will not personally have to answer for their wanton disregard of the law.

The citizens of Torrance might just want to take a hard look at their government: it looks to be no longer a servant, but a terrible master.     

Personal note: I've had direct experience with Torrance PD and the city's management. In my estimation, they're haughty @$$hats. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Senate Bill 941 Update — Bad News

All good things must come to an end, apparently.

I reported this weekend that Oregon Senate Bill 941 was facing opposition in the Senate Judiciary Committee, and we were looking at possible amendments that would remove any "teeth" from the bill, and potentially kill it.

Via another update from the Oregon Firearms Federation, I have some bad news: S.B. 941 was passed out of Judiciary on a party-line vote, and Judiciary Chairman Sen. Floyd Prozanski (who is also the author and primary sponsor of the bill) would not even consider any of Sen. Kim Thatcher's proposed amendments.

It's no surprise; S.B. 941 is Sen. Prozanski's baby. Why let little things like rational opposition, Constitutional rights, or moral decency get in the way of a perfectly good agenda?

So now it goes to the full Senate (there's little chance that Senate President Peter Courtney — also a committed anti-gunner — is going to assign it to another committee), where it's likely to pass. After the 2014 elections, the GOP lost two Senate seats: Democrats have a 18-12 majority, and there's only one reliably pro-gun Democrat in the mix.

Then it goes to the House, where we still have a chance to end it; the Dems have a majority in the House, too, but it's not quite as overwhelming. We'll still need to find out which committee(s) the bill gets assigned to, and light up the phones and e-mail servers. I'll post the committee assignment(s) and contact information for the committee members when I learn more.

Until then, stay tuned, and stay safe.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Quote of the Day — Ann Coulter (April 1, 2015)

From her article, "Hands Up, Don't Discriminate Against Gays!":
Every single cause championed by liberals is based on a fake story. They make up events that didn't happen and get apoplectic over things that never will happen. The definition of "liberal" is quickly becoming: people who believe their fantasies should be facts.
This is reminiscent of something Joe Huffman said a while back, about some people who, while generally able to function in "normal" society, nevertheless lack the thinking process that allows them to distinguish what is true from what is false.

It's been joked that "gun control is a mental disorder". In reality, probably not, but it is a symptom of a larger, underlying issue: the complete inability to reasonably and objectively test beliefs to determine truth from falsehood.

Welcome to the mind of an anti-freedom personality. Watch your step.

Stay safe.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Update on Oregon Senate Bill 941

I figured I'd kick off the weekend with some good news!

Via the Oregon Firearms Federation's e-mailing list, I learned that the committee vote on Oregon's Senate Bill 941 (which I wrote about here) has been postponed until Monday, April 6th. The postponement is due to amendments introduced by Sen. Kim Thatcher, who historically has been solid on gun rights.

Sen. Kim Thatcher
The first proposed amendment (PDF warning), if passed, would require that instead of subjecting private firearm transfers to Oregon State Police background checks — which include registration — the Dept. of Justice will notify the Dept. of Motor Vehicles of all Oregonians with felony convictions, and when their driver licenses, learning permits, and non-driver ID cards are up for renewal, they will be marked. All the private seller is recommended to do, then, is check the ID of the buyer: no "felon" brand, and the sale is good to go. It will also help dealers, too; if they check the ID and it's marked as a "felon", they don't need to contact OSP and pay the $10 fee to run the check in the first place.

Another amendment put forth by Sen. Thatcher removes all the text of the original S.B. 941 and replaces it with a provision that merely removes the "knows or reasonably should know" language from the criminal statutes on selling to prohibited persons (ORS 166.436 and 166.470). No DMV records get updated, no changes to ID cards; if you sell to a prohibited person, you're liable, but background checks remain 100% voluntary for private transfers (although, as an incentive, there is a criminal and civil immunity provision [ORS 166.436(7)] for the private seller if he/she runs a background check on the buyer, the buyer passes, and the buyer uses the firearm in the commission of a crime). There's no text for this proposed amendment yet; I'll update this post if/when it becomes available.

These are not bad amendments (I prefer the second one, as it mostly maintains the system as-is), but I believe in the end one or the other will serve as a "poison pill"; it'll cause the legislative death of the original bill when the sponsors pull the bill or refuse to vote for it. In this case, we can call it A Good Thing™. We'll see how the amendments do in committee and/or the Senate floor.

Stay safe.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Christe Pardons Shaneen Allen

     Exhibiting none of the aggressive decisiveness he's shown around the buffet table, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has finally done the right thing and pardoned Shaneen Allen.

Shaneen Allen and Sons
Burlington County Times
      Eighteen months ago, Allen was arrested for mistakenly taking her concealed carry pistol into New Jersey. Traveling to a birthday party on the Jersey shore, Allen was pulled over for a minor traffic offense. An honest citizen, she immediately informed the officer that she was carrying a weapon under her newly minted Pennsylvania CC license. The cop's reaction was also immediate, Allen was arrested and charged with a felony.  

   The single mother of two spent the next 46 days in jail. John McClain, the prosecutor for the hoplophobic Atlantic county, decided to make an example of her. Even though Allen had a spotless record, he denied her a program would have excused the felony with good behavior. The full weight of the state was poised to crush her with more than ten years of prison. All for an offense without intent, nor victim. 

     Festering corruption like Jersey's can rarely stand the attention: McClain subsequently allowed a hometown professional football player, who had beaten his fiancee unconscious in an elevator, into the program denied Allen. That travesty allowed the NRA, the Second Amendment Foundation, the New Jersey 2nd Amendment Society, talker Tom Gresham, and the odd blogger or two, to ignite a nation-wide public firestorm. McClain had to ungracefully back down and allow Allen into the diversion program.

     Now, still feeling the heat, Christie has pardoned Allen. He did the right thing; eventually, grudgingly. However, the insane, unConstitutional laws that put her in jail remain in force. Other law-abiding citizens, like Brian Aitken, are being destroyed for similar petty violations of the state's draconian, anti-rights laws. Christie has done nothing to counter those injustices, and has in many ways supported the anti-gun measures.  

    You can choke on your Presidential ambitions fat guy. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Quote of the Day — John Hawkins (March 31, 2015)

From a article, "If Liberals Are The Good Guys, Why Do They Lie So Much?":
If you’re a liar, maybe you’re actually not such a great person. If you feel like you need to lie in order to get people to adopt your ideas, maybe they’re not such great ideas. If you have to lie about your “evil” enemies to get people to dislike them, then maybe YOU’RE THE ONE WHO’S THE BAD GUY. [caps in original]
Or, as our friend Miguel is fond of saying, "If your cause is so righteous, why lie?"

Stay safe.