Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Encoded Ammunition - pro and con

I've spent more time that I care to during this week and last, writing almost exclusively on one topic: encoded ammunition. If you're tired of reading about it I don't blame you. I'm tired of writing about it.

Also, I'm tired of being almost the only voice in the wilderness which is the Internet. I'm beginning to wonder if this can possibly be as important as I think it is, if nobody else is paying any attention to it. Some days I feel like 'the little boy who cried wolf', other days I feel like Chicken Little running around crying 'the sky is falling, the sky is falling'. What kind of animal am I here?

Still, there are a few niggling little questions that I would like answered.

First, it's obvious that there is an organized effort working in the background to get these bills presented in so many states in such a short time span. Who can it be? Obviously it's one of the more influential gun-grabber groups. If it was, wouldn't they be talking about it on their website(s)?

The Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence is a strong possibility. They have two related articles on their webpage today. One announces the efforts of Senator Kennedy and Congressman Becerra in introducing the 2008 microstamping bill in the senate and house of representatives. The other announces a study showing that 'states lack common sense gun restrictions'; this article specificially mentions "microstamping", while holding up the California law as a shining example. These certainly suggest a strong interest in such bills as an attack on private firearms ownership, but they don't openly acknowledge any activities to prompt state legislators to introduce them.

The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence also displays an article touting "microstamping", and offer an article which purports to prove it is viable technology. But the approach they discuss is for the hammer to stamp a code on the primer, not to require bullets and cases to be serialized or encoded. And they, too, don't mention any active campaigns at the state level.

The Violence Policy Center has nothing on their main webpage about the subject. They do have links to a lot of interesting articles in their VPC IN THE NEWS page, but nothing about activism.

And there's nobody home at Americans for Gun Safety -- I can't get their website to load, which may be a problem with their server or maybe they just don't like me.

I went to the National Center for Policy Analysis website for "Crime Issues: Self-Defense & Gun Control" in case they had any thoughts on the matter. They didn't. I'm not surprised, I didn't really expect to find anything, but I like to stop by there from time to time to read some of their excellent articles, such as "Gun Control Advocates Spread Deadly Myths".

Jurist's Gun Laws is hopelessly out of date, and Alan Korwin's website, while a great central resource to find the gun laws of any state, doesn't refer directly to any current legislation. Again, these turn out to be reference sources and not "the court of what's happening now" as Flip Wilson use to put it.

So, my "I'm Feeling Lucky" search of the gun control websites linked to on my sidebar came up a gigantic whiff-ball. Maybe someone else can perform a more diligent search, but I don't check out the gun control websites often enough to keep current on their mischief.

The second question is, as a reader commented today: are there any organized efforts at a national level to counter these bills?

Well, the Numero Uno of pro-firearms organizations is the NRA. Their gateway didn't mention ammunition encoding legislature at the state level. The NRA/ILA is all about the D.C. Gun Ban case; they don't seem interested in much below the national level, either. The "state legislation" page does include the 2/12 announcement of another "Bullet Serialization" bill having been introduced in Arizona, which (sigh!) I know I'm gonna have to go look at ... maybe tomorrow. But they don't have anything I can find on the bills introduced in Illinois or Indiana. In Mississippi, they have a short blurb that State Senator Gray Tollison, will not bring S2286 up for consideration in his Senate Judiciary B Committee, of which he is the chairman, effectively killing the bill. That's good news right there ... but we don't know how much of that decision has been influenced by the NRA.

And as far as Tennessee, they have announced (February 1) the "bullet serialization" bills introduced January 17 and provide links where readers can contact their state representatives. Well, that's handy, but it looks like a very low-key effort to stir up grass-roots opposition. It might work, although I can only hope that the Tennessee state chapter of the NRA is working a bit more industriously.

I note in passing that the NRA/IRA hasn't issued any alerts during 2008 for Oregon.

What other national organization might be involved in fighting these bills?

Alan Gottleib's Citizens' Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) has no mention of these bills, does his Second Amendment Foundation, nor does Dave Kopel's Second Amendment Project.

Gun Owners of America - Nothing.

Keep and Bear Arms cites an article on serialization in Arizona, but you have to dig for it, and I can't find the actual link to the article.

Locally, the Oregon Firearms Federation talks about D.C. and Heller, but noting about serialization. I guess if it's not Federal, and it's not yet in Oregon, they don't know about it.

Okay, so much for organized groups and lobbying. How about Bloggers?

Besides me and Phil and Rivrdog, that is.

John Lott - Nothing.

The Gun Zone - Nada.

Kirk of Fun Turns to Tragedy (in Maryland) has an article today!

Kim duToit - zilch.

Michael Bane - huh-uh.

David Codrea at The War on Guns - this isn't the issue he's the only one concerned enough about.

Kevin Baker isn't The Smallest Minority on this issue, I am.

Sam and Denise at The Ten Ring aren't talking about gun issues this month.

Here I am at 1am (looks like an anagram, doesn't it?) with unanswered questions and another geek-length article, full of sound and furry, signifying nothing.

I should be in bed. I have to be at the office early in the morning.

The only question I seem to have answered is: What kind of animal am I?

I'm a dumb bunny.

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