A riddle:

How do you finish in last place in a shooting competition, and still win?

Be the only competitor.

I was the sole contestant in the Airfield Shooting Club’s M1 Carbine match and I won it handily…while simultaneously coming in dead last.

Yea me.

I think the weather had something to do with the…um…low…turnout. It was a bit chilly and it’s been raining for three days. It didn’t actually rain on us at the range, but it was cloudy and looked like it could have at any time…which probably prompted many potential competitors to just stay in bad this morning.

Anyway, the match director and I had a great time.

Did I mention that I won?

After that I went to the VCDL Freedom Rally in Glen Allen (suburb of Richmond) which I’ll report on over at The Sentinel after I get some much needed sleep.

It was an eventful and enjoyable…but long…day.

Paypal and the Geek

I’m with The Geek on this one:

See ya, paypal, and I hope the door slams you in the ass hard & repeatedly on the way out.

Why, you ask me?

Because of This:

And not only did the contributions for the raffle stop coming in, ALL contributions to Soldier’s Angels via PayPal were cut off for twelve hours.

Because PayPal is anti-gun.

I’ve still got a Paypal donation button in the sidebar…please don’t use it. I’ll be getting rid of it as soon as I have a few minutes.

I know I’ll probably be losing out on donations, but sometimes principles demand sacrifice. I’ll re-do the CD/DVD donation request with revised instructions on how to send me a donation…probably involving the US Postal Service.

I’m done with Paypal, they can Kiss My Grits.

[Update]: Done. The donation buttons are gone. [/Update]

We need to get on GearPay and encourage them to get their system up and running so we who actually believe in ALL of our rights…not just the ones considered politically correct…have an alternative.

Body Armor Poll…

…linked from a short article in Parade Magazine online regarding the criminal use of body armor with a one line acknowledgment at the end that ” body armor provides potentially lifesaving protection for civilians—everyone from judges to journalists.”

As of this writing, restrictions on body armor are favored by 62% to 38%.

I don’t favor restrictions on any inanimate objects just because they might be used in a crime. It’s just another way for government employees to set themselves out as deserving of more consideration than we lowly peasants. If you feel the same way, please go vote.

Hat tip to J. Tyler Ballance via contact form to The Sentinel.

Chesapeake City Council Meeting

As I mentioned in Call to Action last week, Dr. Don Tabor of the Libertarian Party of Tidewater and of the blog Tidewater Liberty, presented a proposal to the Chesapeake City Council last night.

Here is Dr. Tabor’s take on the event, and here is his original post which includes the text of the prepared statement.

I did take a few pictures, but the layout of the council chambers is not conducive to that. I did get some pictures of the back of his head…

I also recorded his statement, which you can listen to here.

I thought the statement was very well done, it adequately stated the concerns about Police conduct in the Ryan Frederick case, while still being respectful of Police and the hazardous duties that they perform.

The Pilot even did a minor piece on it.

Detective John Landfair provided a police rebuttal. He was announced as representing “himself” so I don’t know if this is the official position of the Chesapeake Police Department, but he gave the impression that his statement was representing all Police.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t ready for him and didn’t get the recorder back out and turned on until almost half-way through his statement. You can listen to the part that I did get here.

The part that I missed was where he insisted several times that the police were being “disparaged”, and indicated that we who were present at the council meeting were among those “disparaging Police”.

Well, Detective Landfair, I don’t disparage police in general and, though I believe that the policies and procedures of the Chesapeake Police Department that led to the death of Detective Shivers are fatally flawed (so to speak), I don’t believe I’ve disparaged the police at any time throughout my coverage of the ordeal, but I can tell you right now that you can consider the remainder of this post to be a personal disparagement of you.

Detective Landfair went to great lengths to demonstrate that being a LEO in the Hampton Roads area in general, and in Chesapeake in particular, is a very hazardous job. That the Hampton Roads area has a record of Police line of duty fatalities on a par with MUCH larger and more violent areas and that Chesapeake in particular is comparable to Detroit when it comes to line of duty deaths.

I would think that Detective Landfair, versus ridiculing citizens who’s stated concerns are as much for police officer safety as for citizen safety, would be a bit concerned about the high rate of line of duty deaths in this area. Detective…aren’t you even a LITTLE BIT concerned that you guys seem to be doing something WRONG???

Or are you implying that Hampton Roads and Chesapeake have a higher concentration of cop killers than anywhere else in the country? I’m sorry, but that simply doesn’t make sense when taken in consideration of other crime rates in the area. If the problem isn’t more criminals, …then OBVIOUSLY the problem lies in the other end of the equation…the police.

Duh.

I would think that someone placing his life on the line every time he goes out would WANT to take a look at whether the policies and procedures espoused by the department he works for are placing his life in danger.

But to an “Only One”, it is seemingly more important to maintain the facade that the police are beyond reproach and criticism.

Next, Detective Landfair pointedly noted the “adversarial judicial system” that allows for “scrutiny” of officer conduct.

What.The.Heck.

So, Detective, you are saying that police conduct SHOULDN’T be scrutinized? That we should just accept the word of police officers as gospel, take for granted that their professionalism is beyond reproach, their judgment is always unquestionable and that they should be allowed to throw into jail anyone whom they deem should be there?

Talk about visions of a Police State (I could have thrown a lot more links in that paragraph, but the number of examples I came up with in my short time searching was disheartening).

And, the capper…to top it all off…the money quote…the big closer, which I imagine Detective Landfair thought was quite pithy and apropos:

“Just as I would not tell a dentist how to pull a tooth, I would hope that a dentist would not tell me that I should or should not pull my gun.”

(in case you didn’t know, Dr. Tabor is a dentist…very witty of the detective was it not?)

I must wonder, Detective Landfair, were it YOUR tooth that Dr. Tabor were pulling, would you wish to have any input as to how it was done? I mean, surely you wouldn’t mind him pulling it with a pair of pliers and no anesthesia right? After all, he’s the Dentist, not you…who are you to tell him how to do his job, right? The fact that you are paying him to do it shouldn’t matter one whit, now should it?

The CITIZENS are your “patients” Detective. We ABSOLUTELY have the right to tell you how to do your job….BECAUSE WE PAY YOUR SALARY and WE ARE THE ONES upon whom you practice your trade.

Sorry for shouting but the ignorance and arrogance of the good Detective’s statement is infuriating.

Detective, the police powers entrusted to you are granted by the citizens. They are not yours by birthright, or by royal decree or by fiat. They are yours because the citizens of Chesapeake have delegated them to you.

You are not our boss…our ruler…our better. You are our EMPLOYEE.

You’re darn right we have the right to scrutinize, to criticize, to supervise and even to tell you when you may or may not pull your gun on our behalf.

If you, Detective, have a problem with answering to your employers…you, sir, need to find a different line of work.

A hint of the latest anti-gun strategy?

I guess it could be called a “resurgence”, or the latest iteration of an anti-gun strategy that has been tried in the past. Remember IANSA?

This morning the Washington Times published an editorial written by members of the DC “Think Tank”, Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Basically, the editorial trots out many aspects of the “Drug violence in Mexico is all our fault” meme that has been rampant in the media lately.

The escalating violence unleashed by Mexico´s drug cartels as they struggle to control trafficking routes and expand their illegal business left 5,700 dead in 2008, with homicide rates spiraling out of control in cities along the U.S. border.

Illegal trafficking of arms from the U.S. helps fuel the drug violence.

The U.S.-Mexican border is a central route for illicit weapons destined for Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America. It is nearly impossible to purchase guns legally in Mexico, and gun stores in U.S. border states sell twice as many weapons as those in any other U.S. region.

In 2005, the year after the U.S. ban on assault weapons expired, Mexican authorities seized more than 10,000 smuggled weapons, of which 90 percent came from the U.S. A recent Mexican government study spoke of as many as 2,000 guns per day crossing the border.

I’d like to see some supporting documentation for the “facts” that they tout in support. They sound like pure BS to me.

At any rate, the new twist to this meme is that they are using it to promote ratification of a treaty known as the ” INTER-AMERICAN CONVENTION AGAINST THE ILLICIT MANUFACTURING OF AND TRAFFICKING IN FIREARMS, AMMUNITION, EXPLOSIVES, AND OTHER RELATED MATERIALS” (CIFTA). Don’t ask me where the acronym comes from, it doesn’t make sense to me either.

The convention text is available here.

This concerns me in two ways. First, although this treaty is fairly innocuous…most of the requirements are already in place in the US…and doesn’t address lawful private ownership of firearms and ammunition, one provision is troublesome:

1. “Illicit manufacturing”: the manufacture or assembly of firearms, ammunition, explosives, and other related materials:

a. from components or parts illicitly trafficked; or

b. without a license from a competent governmental authority of the State Party where the manufacture or assembly takes place; or

c. without marking the firearms that require marking at the time of manufacturing.

4. “Ammunition”: the complete round or its components, including cartridge cases, primers, propellant powder, bullets, or projectiles that are used in any firearm. [emphasis added]

If I’m reading that correctly, this treaty would classify home reloading as “Illicit Manufacturing”

Which then requires, under Article IV, Legislative Measures:

1. States Parties that have not yet done so shall adopt the necessary legislative or other measures to establish as criminal offenses under their domestic law the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms, ammunition, explosives, and other related materials. [emphasis added]

So…under this treaty, owning a home reloading press would require a license?

Am I reading this wrong???

The Second problem I have with this is the precedent it sets. That precedent being, if the gun banners can’t get what they want through the full legislative process, and their prospects for getting their agenda enacted through judicial fiat seem to be waning…doing it through the treaty process.

They’ve been trying to mislead the public about guns and their use in the US for decades now. It seems that they are refocusing their efforts on misleading the public about the impact of US gun ownership on other countries.

The trick is that the ratification process for treaties is, in some ways, less stringent than that of passing legislation. Treaties only need to be ratified by the Senate (albeit with a 2/3 majority) and then signed by the President to take on the full effect of law.

Basically, it seems to me that the latest and greatest strategy of the anti-liberty forces is coming into focus. Their new strategy is to blame gun ownership in the US for the high violence rates in Mexico and other countries. They are doing this by the tried and true method of misleading, obfuscating and outright lying to create a false impression. Then they exploit this false impression by using it to dupe the public into accepting restrictions in the form of “international treaties” that would never fly as domestic legislation.

In my humble opinion, we need to be on top of this strategy and fight it just as vigorously as we do the misinformation campaigns that the anti-liberty forces focus on domestic gun ownership issues. Assuming, of course, that we can all get along long enough to do that.

Crossposted on The Sentinel

A call to action: Civic Duty

A representative of the Tidewater Libertarian Party is going to address the Chesapeake City Council on February 24.

It is not just our right to address our elected officials in matters of this nature…it is our duty as citizens. Whether you are a supporter of the Libertarian party or not (I am not a member), the issues involved in the Police’s violent raid in serving a search warrant on a citizen with no prior record on nothing more than the unsworn word of a petty criminal must be addressed.

Next time it may be you defending your home against unknown assailants in the dark of night and finding yourself charged with murder…or finding your pets executed, your family terrorized and your home vandalized.

The proposed address to the city council says it better than I could:

The police are answerable to the people, not only to themselves. Our military and our police are subject to civilian control and review. Citizens are owed the truth.

The police ARE answerable to the people…but they will only answer to us if we insist.

I urge all Tidewater area residents to support this effort; to attend the city council meeting on February 24 and stand in support when the address is presented.

The Council meeting begins at 6:30pm and is conducted in Council Chambers on the first floor of City Hall, 306 Cedar Road (Google Map)

Virginia Restaurant Ban Petition

You may remember that last year we got VCDL sponsored legislation to repeal the ban on concealed defensive firearms in restaurants that serve alcohol all the way to the Governor’s desk last year. Unfortunately, the Governor chose to ignore his campaign promises to support gun rights and vetoed the bill.

The provision has been introduced again this year and stands a good chance of making it past the General Assembly again. The one thing we can do that may convince the Governor (who does have aspirations of higher office) to sign the bill is to let our voices be heard and let him know in no uncertain terms that this bill has strong public support. To that end:

VCDL has set up an online petition to Repeal the Restaurant Ban on concealed carry in restaurants.

http://www.petitiononline.com/VCDLrtrb/petition.html

We want to let the Legislature AND the Governor know that Virginians WANT this absurd ban repealed!

Even if you can’t attend Lobby Day, you can make your voice heard — sign the petition.

Spread the word. Post the petition link on blogs and discussion forums. Get your friends, family members, and shooting buddies to also sign the petition.

A lot going on…

…on the VCDL front over the past week or so.

First a little background. VCDL member Danladi (Dan) Moore has been repeatedly harassed by the Norfolk Police Department for openly carrying his defensive firearm. For those who are not familiar with Virginia Law, open carry is perfectly legal with or without a permit. I believe that this is a longstanding precedent as set by Virginia Supreme Court ruling, but have no case citations to back that up, so take it for what it’s worth. Regardless, current Virginia law does not preclude open carry and localities are pre-empted from deviating from State law regarding the bearing of arms.

Dan isn’t the only one who has been harassed, but his case is relatively high profile because he sued the city and was recently awarded a $10,000 settlement. I mentioned Dan in this story about the City Council meeting at which we addressed the arrest of Chet Szymecki. The picture of the young black man wearing a black t-shirt in that post is Dan.

Just a few weeks ago, Dan was again harassed by the Norfolk Police Department. He was riding an HRT (public transit) bus. One of the bus drivers that noticed his firearm, called the Police and had him illegally detained.

As a result, VCDL members, including myself, Dan, Chet Szymecki, who was arrested during harbor fest a couple of years ago and currently has a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city pending, President Phillip Van Cleave and about 60 others converged on the City Council again to let them know that these violations of citizen’s rights will not stand.

I felt that the city council meeting went fairly well. I spoke as did several others. I posted about the meeting on The Sentinel last night after returning home. Here’s the Virginian Pilot Coverage of it. The photo that accompanies the article is of me…or, more accurately…my butt. My rear end is famous. At any rate…

After the meeting, I was invited to go to Hooters at Waterside for a bit of fellowship and food but I declined.

Boy do I regret that decision now. Guess what happened as Dan and another open carrying VCDL member were leaving Waterside:

Upon reaching the second floor and stepping off the escalator, a Norfolk police officer approached Danladi and his friend and told him that he couldn’t have a gun in a public building.

The officer then handcuffed Danladi, who is black, and issued a him summons with a charge of trespass at that point and released him. His friend, who is white and also open carrying, was escorted off the premises and not handcuffed or charged. Hmmmm.

I first became aware of the situation through the comments left on the Virginian Pilot article. I called the reporter and spoke to her about the latest developments. She said she was aware of it and was looking into it. I’ll update you if and when I hear more.

I have a feeling that it’s about time to move out of Norfolk. Not because of the harassment specifically, that I’d rather stay and fight…no, it’s time to move out of the city because I’m afraid our property taxes are going to have to go through to roof (so to speak) to pay all the legal costs, awards or settlements from the now inevitable lawsuits.

If only those could be assessed directly against the City Council members who’ve shown so little leadership, and the Police Officers who seem to delight in playing the role of authoritarian thugs, rather than against the taxpayers of this city.

I’d like to think that this would be impetus for getting rid of some dead weight on the city council, but I fear it would take more than this to stir the interest of the apathetic sheep that make up the majority of the population.

International Profit Associates

This popped in my Google News Alerts this morning:

IPA Charities Supports the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

IPA Charities is a 501(c)3 charitable foundation dedicated to the quest of improving communities and people’s lives around the world. International Profit Associates, Inc. (IPA-IBA), the largest privately held management consulting and professional services firm for small and medium size businesses in North America, is a leading authority on small business.

I checked out their web site. They graciously have provided a searchable database of their customer businesses. If you click on advanced search you can search by city and state as well as by industry and customer name. There is also a comprehensive, A-Z list of all 1500+ of their customers.

How convenient. I plan to check this list for companies I’ve patronized in the past or may in the future, inform them of IPA’s contribution to the Brady Campaign and let them know that I will not be doing business with them as long as they are associated with IPA. I would urge all gun owners to do the same.

I’ll also look over the list for any IPA customers that may be of particular interest to gun owners. I’ll post a list after my look-see is complete.

I’ve already contacted IPA to inform them of this action.

Here’s the e-mail I sent to them:

To Whom it May Concern,

According to a recent press release (http://www.pr.com/press-release/106506) your affiliated charitable organization, IPA Charities, has chosen to contribute $3,000 to the Brady Campaign.

As one of the approximately 80 million law abiding gun owners in this country, It interests me that you would support the Brady Campaign and would advertise it in a press release as if it were an accomplishment. Based upon your financial support of this organization, I must assume that you support both their goals (the rendering of law abiding citizens as defenseless wards of the state) and their methods (misleading, misdirection, use of inaccurate language to confuse the issues, smear campaigns, vitriol, etc).

Since that is the case, I am very grateful that you announced your bigotry publicly. I commend you for your honesty, if not your judgment. I am also grateful to you for providing such a handy list of your customers on your web site. That will make the decision making process much easier when choosing companies with which to do business (or, more accurately, the businesses with which to choose NOT to do business) in the future. And, of course, I will be sure to contact those businesses to explain exactly why I won’t be utilizing their services.

Sincerely,
Curtis Stone

Sunday at the Fun Show

The first local gun show after the long summer drought (last one was in May IIRC) was this past weekend.

As usual, I wanted to help out with the VCDL table, unfortunately, the time they needed the most help was Sunday morning. I wanted to do my part, so I played hooky from church. I think God will forgive me this time. I’ve just got to remember to double my tithe next week to make up for the shortfall.

Actually, I’ve never been much for the “sabbath is God’s day” thinking. EVERY day is God’s day. We are always supposed to be praising and glorifying God, not just on Sunday. Sunday is actually for us, not for God. It’s the day that we meet together to fellowship, compare notes, think about our successes and failures over the past week, receive guidance and wisdom from those who have it to offer and give it to those who seek it from us…and just recharge our batteries in general in anticipation of re-entering the Mission field after the day’s worship is over.

Church is not the place where perfect people go to try to fix things…Church is where imperfect, flawed, and broken people go to get fixed. At any rate, as heretical as some people may feel that my opinion about Church is, I don’t see it as a horrific sin to miss one Sunday.

So…off to the gun show I went. It was a good day. I decided that, since I was there anyway, I may as well make a day of it, so I worked the VCDL table from Opening to 1:00pm, and then the Airfield Shooting Club/NRA table from 1 to closing at 5. That also meant, of course, that I missed most of the first full day of NFL football of the season. Sacrifices must sometimes be made.

I personally signed up 3 new VCDL members and a couple of renewals, and 5 new NRA members as well as a couple of renewals there as well.

That was just me. In total, I think we ended up with 14 new VCDL members, 15 renewals and 40 some people signed up for VA-Alerts.

I think we had something like 30 new NRA memberships and about the same number of renewals.

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

Good progress on both fronts if you ask me.

Of course, while there, I had to do some shopping. Didn’t find everything I was looking for (namely spare mags for…well…anything I own). But I did get a couple of Vietnam era canteens and pouches to attach to my Alice style TEOTWAWKI bug out gear. I looked for Alice web belts and suspenders upon request by PDB, but, alas, no joy on that front. I haven’t had a chance to hit the surplus stores yet so keep up hope, my friend.

I also topped off my .45 bowling pin ammo (185 grain hollowpoints), my 7.62x54r (Wolf steel cased soft point) and .22 long rifle (a brick of CCI Blazer) at the Georgia Arms table.

All in all, it was a good day.

At least until Payton Manning and the Colts (sounds like a bad rock band, doesn’t it?) decided to wander aimlessly about the field against the Chicago Bears, rather than actually try to play a coherent game.

Sigh.

They’ll get better. They’ve got too much talent not too. Hopefully this stinging defeat will be a wakeup call and get them focused. It can’t have helped anything that Payton missed the entire pre-season recovering from his knee surgery. Time will tell. The new stadium is freaking huge.

One more note: The Airfield Shooting Club is raffling off a Correct Grade M1 Garand from CMP. They had it on display at the show and it is a beautiful specimen. The tickets are $10 each and only 250 tickets will be sold. The next gun show we’ll be at is the one in Hampton on the 20th and 21st of September so if you want a chance (a pretty good chance at that) at winning a piece of history, don’t miss the opportunity.

The drawing will be held after 250 tickets are sold, or December 28th, whichever comes first.