Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Lunge, Parry, Thrust

Thanks to Jim Shepherd at The Shooting Wire, I have here an excellent summary of recent Federal attempts to infringe upon your Second Amendment Rights.

Some of these issues I have already mentioned; some ... not.

First issue: The National Park Service attempt to 'technically' renege on its recent agreement to allow shooting on Park Service land.

Second, reports about the "Springfield Armory Historic Site and Museum" being newly lead by a director who doesn't think that people are interested in "old guns", and consequently may want to shut down many of the services and exhibits. I don't get that one at all; maybe you are more intuitive than I am.

Finally, new Justice Department head Holder is taken to task by 65 Democratic members of congress in response to 'whispers' that the 1994 Assault Weapons band may be re-instated by the Obama Administration. Response: "We never intended to do that AT ALL!" That one I do get. We knew long ago that Obama is no friend of the Second Amendment. Hint: Obama will never directly attack "The Gun Lobby". He hasn't the intestinal fortitude (or has too much Political Ambition) to attack gun owners directly. He will always, always use his henchmen and attempt to maintain a position of "The High Ground". Look for statements such as: "I will not contradict nor oppose members of my cabinet as they go about addressing issues in the way they think best. If Congress sends me a bill addressing Public Safety issues, I will sign it."

Weasel, words, to be sure. Bush did the same thing during his tenure, and it bit him so hard that he still carries teeth-marks on his sit-down. (And well deserved they are!)

Now read Jim Shepherd's latest article:




Sounds like the three key elements of fencing, but it's the government moving up- and back - on firearms and ammunition restrictions. Last week, two thrusts, a feint, and some retreat made the week infuriating, but telling to gun owners.

First, the National Park Service bans lead - all lead - on any property under NPS control. Then, the Department of Defense puts ammo brass into a different category for disposal. Rather than being able to sell the spent casings, they'll have to be mutilated.

Two lunges.

The first parry came from Senators Tester and Baucus of Montana - a letter advising them that such an action might have consequences for DoD funding. The DoD quickly issued a clarification saying they weren't really intending to go through with the mutilation, they were going through a process of review because of -you guessed it- the catch-all excuse of all excuses - national security issues.

Now, the National Park Service says its no-lead declaration last week was a "misstep" and the lead ban was for the National Park Service employees and agents only. "You can still use lead shot and lead ammunition. The point of the announcement was to let the public know that internally we want to get away from lead-based products," said Bert Frost, Associate Director of Natural Resource Stewardship & Science for the National Park Service."

Now I got it. Thanks for that clarification. Maybe the next time they close down a shooting area for no apparent reason, we'll find it's only closed to NPS employees and agents.

The latest thrust is a disquieting report we've received concerning the Springfield Armory Historic site and museum. As we reported in last Friday's edition of The Shooting Wire, sources at the NPS tell us there's a new boss at the museum, one who doesn't think people would be interested in "old guns". Consequently, a change of emphasis seems to be taking place there - as in closing down research, reassigning employees and maybe- we're told - even planning to return the weapons to storage.

As we promised last week, we're on the story. And, as expected, we're up against a stonewalling process. But we're still tracking on the story. So, too, is our colleague Michael Bane. They'll find Michael's considerably less patient with bureaucrats, so they can't say haven't warned them.

See a pattern emerging? The process of incrementalism through a ceaseless pushing of the boundaries of tolerance. It's as if the anti-gun groups have studied the advancement process of crabgrass. Once it's in the yard, it's almost impossible to get out without wiping out the yard and starting over. As the anti-gun philosophy seems hard-wired into the current administration's thinking, it doesn't look like relief is in sight.

Sixty five Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent Attorney General Eric Holder a letter last week in which they served notice that they will vigorously oppose any efforts to reinstitute the 1994 ban on select semi-auto guns and magazines. They reminded Mr. Holder that the '94 ban was an abject failure, but don't count on his remembering the warning - or the assault not coming from another quarter. Incrementalism relies on that continued pushing. Politicians have managed to add an element of misdirection, but the ultimate goal is the same- disarming "average" citizens.

And the Illinois Supreme Court has dismissed another baseless lawsuit against a firearms manufacturer. In 2001, a suit was filed against Beretta U.S.A. Corp. following a criminal shooting. The suit, as was the pattern at that time, basically sought to hold the manufacturer liable for the shooting. The dismissal was based on the 2005 Protection in Lawful Commerce in Firearms Act which bars lawsuits against firearms manufacturers and retailers for the criminal misuse by others of lawfully sold firearms.

It's not all good news for gun owners. A federal judge has blocked former President Bush's last-minute rule allowing visitors in national parks to carry concealed weapons.

U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly issued the ruling in favor of the three groups bringing a suit against the rule - the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the National Parks Conservation Association, and the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees. Those groups, expectedly, hail the decision as keeping the parks safe for visitors. Hopefully, those visitors won't walk up on any of the illegal drug growers and manufacturers who have discovered the advantages of setting up shop in national parks and wildlife management areas.

(If you are not already subscribed to The Shooting Wire, I urge you to do so here. Geek Rated "Alpha Geek" ... and it don't get no better than that!)

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