Archive for August, 2009

Get the evil bastards!

August 31, 2009

Get general Motors for supplying the vehicles that are used by drunk drivers to kill and maim all across the land! While you are at it, get Ford Motor Company as well!

Alright, I twisted a few things. So be it. Beat me with a wet noodle so I can sue a pasta manufacturer into oblivion… When I first read about this I was reminded of a televised debate between Ari Armstrong and the hopeless hopolophobe and criminal Tom Mauser on PBS one evening. The essence is about being able to put the blame on one party, due to the sole actions of another person. I find that immoral to the extreme…

Tracking new cases: Suing gun makers

Sunday, August 30th, 2009 7:39 am | Lyle Denniston | Print This Post
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NOTE: From time to time, the blog will examine significant new cases as they are filed at the Supreme Court.  This post is one in that series.  Some of these cases very likely will appear later in the blog’s Petitions to Watch feature when the Court is ready to consider them.


Seeking to revive a lawsuit against a gun manufacturer over a teenager’s accidental but fatal shooting of a friend, lawyers for the Illinois parents of the dead boy have asked the Supreme Court to strike down a four-year-old federal law that shields the industry from many — but not all — lawsuits.  The petition in Adames, et al. v. Beretta USA Corp., filed last Monday and docketed as 09-253, can be downloaded here.  That file includes the appendix.  For a link only to the Illinois Supreme Court decison rejecting the constitutional challenge, click here.

The 2005 law – titled the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act — was controversial when passed, and has been attacked repeatedly since then in court.  The challengers have argued variously that Congress either had no power to wipe out already-filed lawsuits against gun makers, or that it went too far in doing so. So far, the Supreme Court has not been willing to get into the controversy, and the first issue facing the new lawsuit is whether it is sufficiently different that it can not only draw the Justices’ interest, but also overcome likely resistance from the federal government.

Last March 19, the Court denied review in two cases challenging the Act — New York City, et al. v. Beretta (08-530) and Lawson, et al. v. Beretta (08-545).  The federal government joined in both of those cases to defend the law, and successfully urged the Court not to hear either one, arguing that neither one raised clearly the issues it sought to put forward.  In the new case, the Justice Department was not involved as it went through Illinois courts, but because a federal law could be at stake, it could do so in the Court.

The narrower issue in the Illinois case is whether the specific lawsuit by the dead boy’s parents fits within an exception in the 2005 law that permits some cases to go ahead.  The broader issue is whether Congress has intruded too deeply into the way states craft their own laws, barring those that test issues arising under state common law, allowing at least some that test a state statute.  The petition quotes at length from congressional floor debates, with lawmakers blasting juries and judges for fashioning “novel” ways to attack the gun industry while showing respect for laws that emerge from state legislatures.

The tragedy that led to the Adames lawsuit in Illinois occurred eight years ago, when 13-year-old Billy Swan aimed and fired a Beretta pistol at a friend who had come over to play, Joshua Adames, who also was 13. The gun belonged to Billy’s dad, a Cook County sheriff’s deputy. Billy had taken out the gun’s clip before aiming it, believing that would make it harmless. A bullet that had remained in the gun’s chamber killed Joshua.

Billy’s parents sued Beretta, among others, contending that the gun manufacturer failed to warn users of this kind of pistol that removal of the magazine did not make it safe.  Without a cheap device to prevent just such accidents, and without a specific warning about the hazard, the pistol was too dangerous, the lawsuit contended. (There were other claims, but that one is the center of the case now.)

While a lower state court allowed that claim to proceed, the Illinois Supreme Court blocked the lawsuit altogether.  It ruled that, because Billy had intentionally aimed the gun and pulled the trigger, the incident did not come within the exception Congress had made to the lawsuit ban.  But it also went further, and found that the law did not run afoul of the Constitution’s Tenth Amendment, and its protection of state laws, because it did not “commandeer” state officials or processes to carry out some federal order or duty.

Taken to the Supreme Court by some of the same lawyers who pursued one of the earlier challenges, the Adames petition puts its primary stress on the Tenth Amendment issue. That Amendment, leaving states free to create their own laws when the powers have not been assigned to Congress, bars Congress from dictating to states “which branch of state government may authorize  liability against a particular industry so long as the federal enactment does not ‘commandeer’ state officials,” the petition argues.

The Illinois court, like the Second Circuit Court (in one of last Term’s cases), deferred to Congress “when it determined which branch of state government it would recognize as the authoritative expositor of state law, as well as limiting the scope of the Tenth Amendment to its anti-commandeering principle,” the filing contends.  That “cannot be reconciled with our system of federalism,” it says.

On what kinds of lawsuits are affected by the 2005 law, the petition argues that the reach of that law “is an issue of pressing national importance that courts nationwide are continually struggling with and which requires this Court’s definitive construction.”

The Beretta company’s response to the appeal is now due by Sept. 28, unless the time to file is extended.



August 29, 2009

Colorado’s big game hunting season is almost here.  As hunters prepare during the weeks ahead, the Colorado Division of Wildlife reminds hunters to be aware of the following items before entering the field this season:

CWD Testing

Beginning this year, chronic wasting disease (CWD) testing is now $25 at all DOW submission sites.  The DOW has increased hunter testing fees to help cover a larger share of the costs associated with the CWD testing program.  Currently, it costs the DOW nearly $100 for processing, testing, head disposal and reporting for each submission.

Testing is voluntary for elk and deer in all Game Management Units for the 2009-10 seasons.  Moose testing for CWD is mandatory statewide and is free at all DOW submission sites.

For further information on CWD and the Division’s testing program, please visit:

Leftover Licenses

Big game licenses are still available for the upcoming seasons. Leftover and general over-the-counter licenses, as well as over-the-counter bear licenses and turkey licenses (with caps), are available for purchase online (, by telephone (1-800-244-5613) and at statewide license agents and Division of Wildlife offices.   A list of all available leftover licenses is available at: .

Shooting Ranges

Hunters are encouraged to sight-in rifles prior to entering the field. Hunters familiar with their equipment make hunting safer for everyone, and practice improves marksmanship and builds confidence.

Sighting-in of firearms is especially important for nonresident hunters. Scopes and equipment may get knocked out of alignment during transit, and practicing at a range close to the hunting destination provides a last-minute equipment check.

Colorado offers convenient and diverse public shooting ranges that are open year-round.  A large number of private ranges also offer public “sight-in” days prior to the major hunting seasons.

For a listing of shooting ranges by region, please visit:

Hunter Education ‘Crash’ Courses

All hunters born on or after Jan. 1, 1949 must complete an approved hunter education course prior to hunting in Colorado.  The Colorado Division of Wildlife offers one-day “crash” hunter education courses intended, primarily, for non-resident hunters who wish to hunt in Colorado but do not have a valid hunter education certificate/card from their state of residence.

Crash courses are taught during one, eight-hour day of intensive instruction, within one week of the opening of a regular big game rifle season.  This compressed instruction and scheduling enables non-resident hunters to come to Colorado, take and pass the hunter education course and hunt—all in concert with their trip.

Successful completion of a crash course earns a temporary Colorado Hunter Education Certificate, which is valid until the end of the calendar year in which the course was taken and passed.

For a schedule and listing of available crash courses, please visit:

For further information about Colorado’s big game hunting seasons, please visit:


For more information about Division of Wildlife go to:

The War on the CIA: Do you sleep well at night?

August 29, 2009

If you sleep well at night, the chances are that it is a result of rude men doing rude things that nevertheless keep you and yours safe.

On Monday, the Obama administration opened up a new, multi-pronged front in their war on America’s security. The White House announced that a special terrorism interrogation team, supervised by the White House and restricted to using the relatively benign Army Field Manual’s interrogation guidelines, would be created to take the lead from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) on terrorist interrogations. Also, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Department of Justice (DOJ) would reopen some terrorist detainee abuse cases, which could expose current or former CIA employees and contractors to prosecution for alleged “torture” of terrorism suspects.

Holder’s decision was supported by the DOJ’s laughably titled Office of Professional Responsibility, which has been whining about the CIA for five years and now has an advocate in Obama’s America-hating Attorney General. The DOJ also released a 2004 report — held up for security reasons — that described the CIA’s interrogation and detention techniques. CIA Director Leon Panetta, who has at least tried to stand up for his people, reportedly was so upset at the CIA being made a left-wing target that he threatened to resign. After all, as The Wall Street Journal writes, “Interrogations were carefully limited, briefed on Capitol Hill, and yielded information that saved innocent lives.”

The ultimate result of targeting the CIA will be a hesitant, demoralized intelligence agency. But since when has Obama cared about national security?


Violence Policy Center: We told you this was coming

August 29, 2009

I’ve warned here and at other blogs that Gun Control would again become framed as a health issue. Well, it is beginning to appear that I have as much “swami” in me as TexasFred does!

Second Amendment: Beware Permit Holders

Concealed handgun permit holders are the target of a recent report issued by the Violence Policy Center, an anti-gun advocacy organization that says, “Gun violence is more than a crime issue; it is a broad-based public health crisis of which crime is merely the most recognized aspect.” The report, entitled “Law Enforcement and Private Citizens Killed by Concealed Handgun Permit Holders,” is quite possibly the shoddiest piece of investigative research available — an obvious effort to manipulate a particular set of circumstances to support the Center’s efforts to undermine Second Amendment rights. The report relies on news stories rather than hard data to support its claims that between May 2007 and April 2009, permit holders were responsible for the deaths of 51 people.

As Bob Owens of Pajamas Media notes in his analysis, “Of the 31 incidents cited by the Violence Policy Center in its report, eight did not involve the use of concealed weapons. One used no weapon at all, four used rifles, one was a negligent discharge, and three were incidents of domestic violence where non-concealed handguns were used.” Owens concludes, “All told, 30 of the 57 people that the Violence Policy Center suggested were killed as a result of concealed carry should not have been included in any study citing concealed carry of handguns as a significant contributing factor.”

The VPC is funded to the tune of $700,000 per year by The Joyce Foundation, where Barack Obama served as director from 1994-2002. In 1999, Joyce began a significant attack on 2nd Amendment rights, a move that ultimately had bearing in the Heller Supreme Court appeal. While Obama maintains that he supports individual Second Amendment rights, the actions of the Joyce Foundation that he directed, and the latest attempt by the VPC to tag concealed carry permit holders as the villains, should serve as a reminder that the Left will never stop trying to subvert our fundamental constitutional rights.


NRA/ILA: The Bloomberg follies continue!

August 29, 2009

I’m a Life Member of the National Rifle Association, and while I do support what follows in the you tube presentation? I’ll take this a bit farther. Call your mayor, and ask why they support ex post facto law. Call your N.R.A. delegate, and ask them why they support ex post facto law. Ask all of them why they support the taking of unalienable rights for life for less than felonious acts, or sever mental disability. If they are not pounding the ears of Senators and Congress-persons about this issue then they are supporting it in a de facto manner.

Ask those same people why American citizens have to pay a tax in order to possess or purchase effective weaponry when dealing with gangs and other assorted types of bad people. Slingshots are a poor choice when facing full auto weapons.

Join, and support Gun Owners of America. They don’t trade away your rights for political expediency!

Ted Kennedy: This is no puff piece

August 27, 2009

Between the blogs and MSM one might think that Christ had risen again, and once again been crucified. I’m not one of those people, not by a long shot. I call the shots as I see them when it comes down to the wire, and Ted Kennedy came down to the proverbial wire. Still, I wanted to do so in an honest and forthright manner. While still recognizing the man’s numerous faults.

Once again, Mark Alexander beat me to the essay. (Punch being inappropriate phraseology at this time, at least in my thinking.) Also, for the left wing preacher that lam-blasted me when I opined about the now late Senator? I’m not a Christian in your sense, I am a cold blooded Libertarian with Conservative tendencies. I refuse to speak well of a man that caused so much pain and death while he lived a life of opulence, and depravity.

Alexander’s Essay – August 27, 2009

Lion of the Left

“The foundation of national morality must be laid in private families. … Public virtue cannot exist in a nation without private, and public virtue is the only foundation of republics.” –John Adams

Teddy Kennedy

Have you ever attended a funeral service out of respect for a friend or colleague, and left perplexed as to whom the eulogy was referring? Just once, I would like to go to a service for some disreputable rogue and have a clergyman deliver a eulogy that was faithful to the facts rather than full of fiction. (Hopefully, that won’t be my own!)

I am certainly not suggesting that we should stand in judgment of any man, for that is the exclusive domain of our Creator. However, we should never abandon our responsibility to discern right from wrong.

On that note, Edward “Teddy” Kennedy (22 February 1932 — 25 August 2009) died this week at age 77.

Kennedy spent the last 47 of his years as a senator, having been perpetually re-elected by the people of Massachusetts. This made him the third-longest serving senator — behind Robert Byrd (D-WV) and Strom Thurmond (R-SC) — in that chamber’s august history.

Of course, a fawning Leftmedia will inundate us with non-stop coverage of Kennedy’s life, featuring interviews with his political sycophants up to, and probably well after, his interment at National Cemetery. The airways and printed pages are already sodden with accolades, mostly framing the senator’s life as one of great personal tragedy but great public success.

Let’s take a look at both.

Kennedy was born into great wealth, privilege and political influence, the fourth son and ninth child of Joseph and Rose Kennedy. He never worked a day in a private-sector job, and like his brothers before him, he owed his political career to his father’s considerable political machinations.

But, the mainstream media’s reference to TK’s life as one punctuated by personal tragedy is an understatement.

Before the age of 16, he had suffered through the death of his brother Joseph Kennedy Jr. (his father’s heir apparent), who died when his B-24 bomber exploded over Surrey, England, during World War II, and the death of his sister Kathleen Agnes Kennedy, who died in an airplane crash in France.

In 1941 his father ordered a lobotomy for Ted’s sister, Rosemary Kennedy, then age 23, because of “mood swings that the family found difficult to handle at home.” The procedure failed and left Rose mentally incapacitated until her death in January 2005 at age 87.

Ted, like his brother John, developed a reputation as a serial womanizer in college. Unlike his Ivy League brothers, however, Ted was kicked out of Harvard for cheating, though allowed to return a few years later to complete his undergraduate degree.

Thanks to some election-night manipulation of returns by Old Joe, JFK was elected president in the closest race of the 20th century (49.7 percent to Richard Nixon’s 49.5 percent). That paved the way for TK’s victory in a 1962 U.S. Senate special election in Massachusetts.

The thrill of victory was brief, however. On 22 November 1963, during a political visit to Dallas, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

In June 1964, Ted Kennedy was flying with friends on a private plane that crashed on a landing approach, killing the pilot and a Kennedy staffer. Kennedy survived but suffered severe injuries.

On 4 June 1968, Robert Kennedy, then a candidate for the Democrat Party’s nomination for president, was assassinated after a Los Angeles political event. The political baton then went to Teddy, the last of the four Kennedy brothers, but his alcohol abuse and philandering would keep the presidency out of reach.

In 1969, on one of his infamous junkets to “the island” (Martha’s Vineyard and Chappaquiddick), Kennedy’s moral lapse would cost a young staffer her life, and would cost him any chance of becoming president.

On the night of 18 July, Kennedy left a party with an attractive young intern en route to a private secluded beach on the far side of Dike Bridge. Kennedy lost control on the single-lane bridge and his vehicle overturned in the shallow tidal water. (Note: I drove across this bridge in a large 4×4 truck a few years after this incident, and it was not difficult to keep it out of the water — but then, I was not intoxicated.)

Kennedy freed himself from the vehicle leaving his passenger, 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne to suffocate in an air pocket inside the overturned car. After resting at the water’s edge, he walked back to the party house, and one of his political hacks took him back to his hotel.

Mary Jo Kopechne

Nine hours later, after sobering up and conferring with political advisors and lawyers, Kennedy called authorities to report the incident. Kopechne’s body had already been discovered.

With the help of Father Joe’s connections, Kennedy was charged only with leaving the scene of an accident. In his testimony, he claimed, “I almost tossed and turned… I had not given up hope all night long that, by some miracle, Mary Jo would have escaped from the car.” He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to serve two months in jail — sentence suspended.

With Joan, his pregnant wife of 10 years, and their three children by his side, he claimed that charges of “immoral conduct and drunk driving” were false and he was promptly re-elected to his second full Senate term with a landslide 62 percent of the vote. However, his responsibility for the death of Kopechne would all but disqualify him from ever holding national office. Indeed, the moral composure of the nation differs significantly from that of his Massachusetts supporters and defenders.

Kennedy’s political advocacy swung evermore to the left in the years that followed, and his personal conduct led the way.

In January 1981, Joan announced she had had enough, and they divorced.

Two Senate terms later, Kennedy was partying at the family’s Palm Beach compound with his nephew, William Kennedy Smith, who was charged with the rape of Patricia Bowman during that evening. The Kennedy machine was able to undermine Bowman’s charges by assassinating her character ahead of the trial.

Not surprisingly, Kennedy was an ardent backer of his friend Bill Clinton after the latter lied about sexual encounters with a subordinate White House intern in 1998.

In turn, Clinton awarded Kennedy the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which, along with the Congressional Gold Medal, is the highest civilian award in the U.S. It is designated for individuals who have made “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

Setting aside all of his personal tragedies, what about the tributes and rave reviews of Kennedy’s public life, his success as a legislator?

According to Barack Obama, “Our country has lost a great leader, who picked up the torch of his fallen brothers and became the greatest United States Senator of our time.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi insists, “No one has done more than Senator Kennedy to educate our children, care for our seniors and ensure equality for all Americans. Ted Kennedy’s dream of quality health care for all Americans will be made real this year because of his leadership and his inspiration.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid adds, “Ted Kennedy’s dream was the one for which the Founding Fathers fought and for which his brothers sought to realize. The Liberal Lion’s mighty roar may now fall silent, but his dream shall never die.”

Oh, really?

Kennedy has a very long legacy of legislative accomplishments, but not one of them is expressly authorized by our Constitution, that venerable old document he has repeatedly pledged by oath “to support and defend.”

Kennedy’s long Senate tenure was, in fact, defined by hypocrisy.

For example, consider that this fine Catholic boy’s advocacy for abortion and homosexuality was second to none.

In regard to Operation Iraqi Freedom, consider his claim during the Clinton years: “We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction.” A few years later, with his cadre of traitorous leftists at his side, Kennedy claimed, “The Bush administration misrepresented and distorted the intelligence to justify a war that America should never have fought.”

Who can forget Kennedy’s outrageous 2006 inquisition into the integrity of then Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito? In 1987 when Ronald Reagan nominated Alito to be a U.S. District Attorney, Kennedy’s vote was among the Senate’s unanimous consent. And when Sam Alito was nominated for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in 1990, he again received Kennedy’s vote and unanimous consent from the Senate. But after impugning Alito’s character in his Supreme Court hearings, Kennedy blustered, “If confirmed, Alito could very well fundamentally alter the balance of the court and push it dangerously to the right.”

Of course, Kennedy was an expert at “borking” judicial nominees. Indeed, he is responsible for the coining of the term. In 1987, President Ronald Reagan nominated an exceptional jurist, Robert Bork, to the Supreme Court. During Bork’s confirmation hearings, Kennedy proclaimed, “Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the Government, and the doors of the Federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens.” Despicable.

No agenda was more sacred to Kennedy than opposing Constitutional Constructionists in order to convert the Judiciary into what Thomas Jefferson called the “Despotic Branch” stacked with jurists who subscribe to the notion of a so-called “Living Constitution”.

But among über-leftists like Kennedy, there is perhaps no greater hypocrisy than the fact that they are among the wealthiest of Americans but pretend to be advocates for the poor. Of course, they never give up their opulent trappings and lifestyles while pontificating what is best for the masses. (I have written on the pathology associated with this hypocrisy under the label “Inheritance Welfare Liberalism, or “rich guilt” if you will.)

And there is a long list of Kennedy legislation that has proven disastrous.

Second only to the looming disaster of his pet nationalized health care promotion, Kennedy led the charge for the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, ending quotas based on national origin. He argued, “[O]ur cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually. The ethnic mix of our country will not be upset. …[T]he bill will not inundate America with immigrants from any one country or area…”

How did that one turn out?

Kennedy also had some dangerous dalliances with the Soviets in 1983, endeavoring to undermine Ronald Reagan’s hard line with the USSR. Fortunately, his efforts did not prevail.

But Kennedy did have one thing in common with his older brothers: He had powerful oratorical skills.

At the 2004 Democrat Convention to elect his lap dog, John Kerry, Kennedy, who wrote the book on political disunity, declared to delegates, “There are those who seek to divide us. … America needs a genuine uniter — not a divider. [Republicans] divide and try to conquer.”

Fortunately, the American people weren’t buying his rhetoric — at least not until the 2008 convention, when Kennedy joined Barack Obama’s “hope ‘n’ change” chorus: “I have come here tonight to stand with you to change America…. For me this is a season of hope — new hope for a justice and fair prosperity for the many, and not just for the few — new hope. And this is the cause of my life — new hope that we will break the old gridlock and guarantee that every American — north, south, east, west, young, old — will have decent, quality health care as a fundamental right and not a privilege.”

Predictably, and before the man has even been laid to rest, there is already a rallying cry from Ted Kennedy’s grave: The Left and their mainstream media talkingheads are exhorting us to fulfill the late senator’s misguided mission to nationalize health care. (I checked, and the Constitution doesn’t authorize this either.)

As I contemplate the life of Ted Kennedy, I am left with two primary conclusions.

First, Ted Kennedy was no JFK.

In his 1961 Inaugural Address, John Kennedy said famously, “My fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” Ted Kennedy inverted that phrase to read, “Ask not what you can do for your country, ask what your country can do for you,” and in the process, turned the once-noble Democrat Party on end.

Second, a man who can’t govern his own life should never be entrusted with the government of others.

One of our most astute Founders, Noah Webster, wrote, “The virtues of men are of more consequence to society than their abilities. … In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the particular sect or denomination of the candidate — look to his character.”

In Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language, the first use of “government” is defined in terms of self-government, not the body of those who govern.

Despite the Left’s insistence that private virtue and morality should not be a consideration when assessing those in “public service” (unless, of course, they are Republicans), the fact is that the two are irrevocably linked.

Finally, in 1968, when Ted Kennedy delivered the eulogy for his brother, Robert, he said, “My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life…”

I would hope that whoever is slated to deliver Ted Kennedy’s eulogy follows that advice because we do a disservice to him and our country to suggest Kennedy was anything more than he was.

I do not know who will bestow his final tribute, but I do know it will not be Mary Jo Kopechne.

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!

Mark Alexander
Publisher, PatriotPost.US

SB-2009 hoax still out there…

August 27, 2009

“SB-2099” a hoax
IRS 1040 does not require you to list guns

Daily, we’ve being deluged by well-meaning gun owners who are scared that a bill called “SB-2099” has passed Congress secretly, and that you must now list your firearms on your IRS 1040 forms.  If you fell prey to this e-mail hoax, you need to join a real gun rights group you trust.There are a great number of indicators in this e-mail that prove the sender is not to be trusted.

“This bill will become public knowledge 30 days after it is voted into law.” Baloney. I don’t trust the scumbuckets in Washington, D.C. either.

But a bill can’t become law without “public knowledge” or without a vote. If this were possible, is there any doubt the liberals would use it to immediately enact their gun control fantasies? The only thing stopping them is…well, frankly, you.

Another thing that tells you this isn’t accurate is that the US Senate doesn’t list them as “SB 2099” or “SB-2099”. It would be “S. 2099”.

The third glaring indication that it isn’t real is that when you do a search of “S. 2099” or even “2099” from the US Senate website, it returns nothing.

I’m a former US Senate employee (Sen. Bill Armstrong’s staff), and still have a lot of contacts on the Hill. So I’ve got a good handle on federal legislation — we track federal legislation here: one thing they did get right is that 2099 was, at one time, a bill in the U.S. Senate… in 2000. And yes, it was a gun control disaster.

It didn’t get anywhere, but 9 years later it’s not still alive.

However, this illustrates why we exist: There’s a lot of misinformation out there — especially on the internet — and gun owners need someone they trust take the time to decipher it. They want to know what’s happening without being scammed, so they become members of groups they trust.

If you are sent this e-mail, forward our above reply, with a note from you to the sender and all the recipients:

“I asked a gun lobbyist I trust about the legislation you referenced, “SB-2099”. And, as you can see from this 15-year veteran of the wars to save our freedoms, the referenced legislation isn’t as advertised.

There are plenty of real threats to our right to keep and bear arms.

Let’s put our energy into fighting them, not ghosts.

That’s why I’m a member of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners: I trust them to know what’s happening and alert me when my help is needed.

If you live in Colorado, you need to be a member. There is no other group in Colorado who truly defends our rights without compromise.

Click here to join RMGO

Click here if you’d like to receive more information in the mail

Click here to read more about RMGO

This is getting old to say the least. I am beginning to believe that these email hoax’s are the work of anti freedom and liberty types in an attempt to keep people riled up…

Stopping Urban violence Chicago style

August 27, 2009

Chicago has latched onto the method of choice for controlling urban violence. It’s just so simple that it cannot be ignored in fact! How can we all learn this simple lesson? With the stroke of a pen you can get rid of all the violence that plagues America. Who would have thought it would be so simple? Let’s all just follow the Chicago example, and all of our cities across the nation will be just like Chicago!

Shootings rampant despite gun ban
Proponents, critics argue over effectiveness of weapons ban

Medill News Service

You cannot legally buy a handgun in Chicago, yet the city is the nation’s most murderous city.

You can own one, but only if you’ve owned it since before 1982, and it’s registered every year with the Chicago Police Department. Gun-control advocates and gun-rights advocates don’t – or can’t – agree on how a city with a handgun ban can lead the nation in murders. To proponents of owning guns, it means the ban doesn’t work.

“Laws are only for law-abiding citizens anyway,” said John Riggio, owner of Chuck’s Gun Shop and Pistol Range in Riverdale. “Criminals, by definition, don’t follow the law.”

But to proponents of regulating guns, it means the ban isn’t big enough.

“Gun control opponents like to look at Chicago and say, ‘They have a handgun ban and look at all their murders,’ but I think, frankly, that’s ignorant,” said Thomas Mennard, executive director of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence. “They’re not taking into account that you can get handguns just outside of Chicago.”

Indiana Avenue cuts straight south from the Calumet Water Reclamation Plant into Riverdale, past a row of boarded-up and abandoned buildings. At 143rd Street, on the right, sits Chuck’s Gun Shop, one of the closest places to legally buy a handgun outside Chicago’s city limits.

A trip to Chuck’s on a recent weekday morning saw nearly 30 patrons walking through the door in the span of an hour. They were there for guns. Trade-in, apply for, shop or rent – it’s all available at Chuck’s. In 2006 Chuck’s won the Dealer Recruiter of the Year Award from the National Rifle Association for getting the most patrons to join the association.

Employees wear handguns in hip holsters, and before they’ll let customers see or touch anything, they ask to see their Firearm Owner’s Identification card. According to Illinois law, anyone who owns or wants to own a firearm must apply for a “gun card,” as the FOID is commonly known. Once approved, there’s a 72-hour waiting period from the time you buy a handgun to the time you can pick it up.

You can buy as many guns as you want at once, but at Chuck’s you can only take possession of one every 31 days – a Riverdale law. Most of the customers are blue collar, Riggio said, and most of his business is in handgun sales. But he doubts there is any relationship between guns and gun violence.

“I would think there’s no relationship at all,” Riggio said. “Ever seen a gun shoot by itself? I haven’t.”

Riggio declined to provide shop sales figures and demurred when asked whether the Chicago handgun ban has any effect on his business.

“I don’t know if it has an effect one way or another,” Riggio said. “I just follow the law.”

Chicago passed its handgun ban on April 9, 1982. In the wake of a 2008 Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, its legality is being challenged. After the Supreme Court decided that a federal district could not prohibit handguns, the NRA and the Illinois State Rifle Association challenged the Chicago ban. A circuit court judge dismissed the suit but it is currently on appeal before the 7th Circuit.

Jennifer Hoyle, director of public affairs for the city’s law department, stressed that until the courts say otherwise, the city’s handgun ban will remain in effect.

“There have been no changes and it is still being enforced,” she said.

Currently, several hand-gun bills are under consideration in the state legislature. One, for instance, mandates background checks in private gun sales, which currently don’t require them. Another prohibits sales of multiple handguns to one person within a 30-day period. A third bans assault weapons altogether.

The Chicago-based Joyce Foundation, which lists gun violence as one of its six priority issues, chooses not to take sides in the debate over gun control.

“What we are in favor of,” spokesman Charlie Boesel said, “is a reduction in gun violence.”

The foundation offers grant money to groups looking to study the problem or with ideas on how to address it.

“We are very concerned about gun violence in Chicago,” Nina Vinik, the Joyce Foundation gun violence senior program officer, said. “We’re based here so it’s a hometown issue for us.”

Analyzing the gun issue

According to a study released in the spring by the University of Chicago Crime Lab, and funded by the Joyce Foundation, gun violence costs Chicago taxpayers $2.5 billion a year, the equivalent of $2,500 per household. That’s aside from the emotional costs that victims and their families must bear.

The study also found that, too often, programs addressing gun violence lack the kind measured analysis needed by policymakers and expected by the medical community.

“One of the frustrating things is that the criminal justice system has for many, many years been trying programs to address gun violence, but when you go ask them what works and for whom, there’s very little data,” said Harold Pollack, co-director of the Crime Lab and a public health researcher who worked on the study.

There’s no shortage of people working on the problem, and the Crime Lab offers anyone with an idea the chance to get it rigorously tested. Rev. Michael Pfleger, pastor at Saint Sabina’s Catholic Church in Chicago’s Auburn Gresham neighborhood, organizes gun drives and runs the Do You Care? intervention program to teach young people ways to resolve conflicts nonviolently.

He sees the problem as largely a cultural one.

“Kids are armed with guns because it has become part of the wardrobe in America,” Pfleger said. “I’ve never been at a high school in the last year and asked if they needed to get a gun, [or] whether they knew where to get one and not had at least 75 percent of the student body raise their hand.”

Pfleger maintained that the challenge is to create an atmosphere in cities that doesn’t tolerate gun shootings.

“You shoot one of our children, we’re going to put a bounty on your head,” he said.

Law enforcement has its own ways of approaching gun violence. Last weekend, the city hosted its annual summer gun turn-in program. Former Chicago police officer and Cook County state’s attorney John Armellino also suggested that crime is linked with financial destitution.

“Crime is really a function of economics. It is a function of poverty,” he said. “Turf wars are fights over money. Whoever’s got the more lucrative corner to sell drugs is going to protect it.”

The majority of guns used in crimes in Chicago come from Illinois, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Both the mayor’s office of criminal justice and the Chicago Police Department mentioned community policing as among the most important methods of combating gun violence. Sgt. John Delgado, a team leader of the Chicago Police Department’s Community Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS), agreed.

“In my experience, the most organized communities have the best ability to change things,” he said. “My job is to make criminals uncomfortable. If the neighborhood is well-lit and clean, and if people look out for each other and take pride in their property, the likelihood of criminals getting a foothold is greatly diminished.

But, Delgado warned: “If the neighborhood doesn’t care, nothing’s going to change.”


note: yes, the lead in was sarcasm.

I2I newsletter

August 27, 2009

Jon Caldara at the Independence Institute brings us this newsletter. Commie’s cry, go ahead, it’s alright to whine…

Benefits of the H1N1 “swine” flu scare – Dave Kopel is wearing one of those surgical masks around the office.  The women here are saying the place never looked better.

He’s Not My Doctor! Remember those anti-Bush bumper stickers that read, “He’s not my President”? Well, I am pleased to announce that we at the Independence Institute recently debuted our new awesomely awesome “He’s Not My Doctor” bumper stickers. If you’d like to show the world that Obama is not your doctor, email Mary MacFarlane at and send her your name, address, and primary email account, and we’ll send you a brand spanking new bumper sticker – free of charge! PS – Due to the overwhelming demand, please limit your requests to just 2 per household. Thanks!

Free our health care: Our brilliant Health Care Policy Center director Linda Gorman alerted me to a couple great health care links. First, we have the Free Our Health Care Now online petition, that some 732,000-plus people have already signed. Let’s help spread the word to our elected officials that we do not want a government takeover of our health care. As much as some may want to see doctor’s offices resembling the DMV, I prefer that didn’t happen.

Second, we’ve got the Conservatives for Patient’s Rights website, which has a large amount of important links and resources.

And of course don’t forget our Patient Power Now blog, written mostly by health care policy analyst Brian Schwartz, with special guest appearances by Linda Gorman herself. Be sure to check out the John Goodman Health Policy Blog, where Linda is a featured writer.

Does Obama care violate the constitution? That’s the question posed by Independence Institute Senior Fellow and constitutional law expert Rob Natelson (and the answer appears to be a big, fat yes). Guest blogging over at The Cauldron, Rob lays out what he calls “profound” constitutional difficulties with “empowering the federal government with decisions over the life, death, and health of three hundred million Americans.”

Not only does Rob find constitutional issues with a federal takeover of health care from an “Originalist” perspective but also points out several glaring issues in the context of modern Supreme Court jurisprudence.

Meet the “Second most hated woman in America” (or so says Sean Hannity): Come to our personal legislative briefing with Minnessota Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. Join us for an update on all the latest national issues — health care, cap and trade, stimulus and more — on Monday, August 31. RSVP online here.

Sexism run amok: Can you believe September 9th will be our 10th Independent Women’s Lunch?! I can’t believe I’ve let the women have this much fun without us. This time the keynote speaker is Lisa Schomp, CEO/President of Ralph Schomp Automotive. RSVP required!

Light rail losing its luster with the media? I recently saw a pig fly by my window and I think it had something to do with this Denver Post piece by editorial board member Chuck Plunkett. In an op-ed titled “Prius effect: Energy efficient cars undercut the appeal of light rail,” Chuck cites, and even agrees with some of the work of the Independence Institute’s own Randal O’Toole from the Center for the American Dream.

Money quote from the piece, “Light rail–useful from the gritty aired 1970s to not so long ago, when cars drank gasoline like frat boys drink beer–is now obsolete, and a transportation option that our environment can no longer afford.”

R.I.P. Rose Friedman: The wife of one of the greatest economists the world has ever known died last Tuesday of heart failure. Rose Friedman, who happens to be a damn good economist in her own right, was believed to have been 98 years young. I’ll never forget the day that I met both Rose and Milton Friedman. I was walking into an elevator as they were walking out. The elevator doors opened and I couldn’t help but blurt out, “Has anyone ever told you that you guys look just like Rose and Milton Friedman?!” To which they replied, “Well, that’s because we are!” And so we went an ate breakfast together. It was one of the best experiences of my life. I mean, it’s on the same level for me as getting to hang out Pete Townshend. It doesn’t get much better than that. Rest in peace, Rose, you and Milton will truly be missed.

In honor of both Rose and Milton, I urge you to watch the series Free to Choose, available in its entirety here.

Must See TV: What’s the state of property rights in Boulder County? Land use attorney Bob Hoban and Gary Zimmermand of the No Trail Alliance join guest host Jessica Corry on Independent Thinking to discuss the taking of private property in Boulder County to build a nature trail. Tune in this Friday night at 8:30 pm to KBDI Channel 12; repeated the following Tuesday evening at 5 p.m.

Perspective: Ex-Independence Institute mintern (minion/intern) Todd Hollenbeck reminds us all of the desperate and shrill tactics opponents of TABOR used to try and scare Colorado voters into saying no to TABOR in 1992. You will probably be hearing some of the same half-truths and outright lies about TABOR soon enough, so check out Todd’s piece, “Your tax dollars: Will they say anything to get them?”

Until next week…

Straight on

Jon Caldara

Obama and the swimmer

August 27, 2009

What follows is a collection of quotations having to do with the impostor in chief, and the recently departed felon…

“There is a lot one could say of Senator Kennedy — positive from supporters, negative from critics. They say one should not speak ill of the dead. True. But I am of the view that one should not lie about the dead either.” –political analyst Bill Bennett

“[Ted] Kennedy left the scene of a fatal accident for which he was at least partly responsible. Then he used his extraordinary power to get off, spending the rest of his career in pseudo-remorse, playing the most liberal of Senators. It was always an act to me, even when I agreed with him politically. This was not a life well lived.” –author and screenwriter Roger L. Simon

“The American people must regain the ability to distinguish between wants and needs and must shed the ridiculous notion that government exists to provide either. Our Constitution — drafted by men well acquainted with the abusive capacities of a centralized government — limited the roles and responsibilities of the federal government in order to allow the principle of self-government to flourish in the new nation. Government exists to preserve and protect the sphere of civil freedom within which we can work to meet our needs and our wants. Government does not exist to provide them.” –columnist Ken Connor

“With its stimulus, the Obama administration borrowed more money, and realized fewer economic benefits, than the government of any other major economy. Perhaps results would have been better had the stimulus been directed at the economy instead of at the 2010 campaign.” –columnist David Frum

“What if America transcended race, and Barack Obama wasn’t invited? The question comes to mind as cries of racism grow ever louder from Obama’s supporters. No one should be surprised. Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, liberal Democrats have to accuse their opponents of racism.” –columnist Jonah Goldberg

“Barack Obama’s escapes from his own past words, deeds and associations have been escapes worthy of Houdini. Like other magicians, Obama has chosen his distractions well. The insurance industry is currently his favorite distraction as scapegoats, after he has tried to demonize doctors without much success. … Obama even gets away with saying things like having a system to ‘keep insurance companies honest’ — and many people may not see the painful irony in politicians trying to keep other people honest.” –economist Thomas Sowell

“[I]t’s a mistake to think of the current legislation as a health-care reform bill. It is actually a bill for the formation of a massive health-care bureaucracy charged with the task of scheming endlessly to expand its own power. The only way to prevent this kind of free-floating grant of power to the bureaucracy is to prevent it from forming in the first place, by keeping government out of medicine. …[W]e don’t want a modified or watered down version of this health-care bill. We want no version of this health-care bill and no new health-care bureaucracy.” –columnist Robert Tracinski

Then we have…

Editor’s Note: If it were a matter of mere political disagreement, we would join the calls to strike a conciliatory tone and mourn the death of Sen. Edward Kennedy. But we do a disservice to him and the country to call him anything but what he was. Ted Kennedy was not a good man and we mourn the damage (or worse) he did both to individuals and to America.

“Our country has lost a great leader, who picked up the torch of his fallen brothers and became the greatest United States Senator of our time.” –President Barack Obama, lamenting the death of Ted Kennedy

“No one has done more than Senator Kennedy to educate our children, care for our seniors and ensure equality for all Americans. Ted Kennedy’s dream of quality health care for all Americans will be made real this year because of his leadership and his inspiration.” –House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (Does she mean that Kennedy did more than the people who actually educate our children and care for our seniors?)

“Ted Kennedy’s dream was the one for which the Founding Fathers fought and for which his brothers sought to realize. The liberal lion’s mighty roar may now fall silent, but his dream shall never die.” –Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) (Actually, the Founding Fathers fought against oppressive big government.)

“[Ted Kennedy was] the best senator, the best advocate you could hope for.” –Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) (He was the best advocate — unless your last name was Kopechne.)

Messiah complex: “We are God’s partners in matters of life and death.” –Barack Obama (Apparently Obama got a promotion since stating that abortion decisions were “above his paygrade…”)

Say what?: “There is something about August going into September where everybody in Washington gets all wee weed up!” —Barack Obama

Clear as mud: “I think ‘wee-wee’d up’ is when people get nervous for no particular reason. … This is an August pundit pattern. …’Bed wetting’ would be the more consumer-friendly term.” –White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs explaining BO’s “joke”

The log is his eye: “I know there’s been a lot of misinformation in this debate, and there are some folks out there who are frankly bearing false witness.” –Barack Obama, the master of bearing false witness

Cry us a river: “We need to understand that it is very, very hard for the president or anybody else to take on not just the Republican Party, that’s the easy part — to take on all of right-wing talk radio, which covers 90 percent of talk show hosts, a whole Fox network which is nothing more than an arm of the Republican Party and the Democrats got to think long term. Why is there not a progressive television network?” –Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on MSNBC, which is, well, a “progressive” network, laying the groundwork for the so-called Fairness Doctrine to make a comeback

Victimitis: “Part of what I feel is that one very successful minority is permissible, but when you see too many success stories, then some people get nervous. … I don’t think the media has acted in a racist way, but I have felt stereotyped at times.” –New York Gov. David Paterson, who is black and using that fact to complain about being treated badly.

Then we have…

Selling health care: “As with most of us, [Ted Kennedy’s] final days were another object lesson in the necessity of good health care. He thought it should be available to everyone, and he worked to make that a reality until the end. Moving toward that goal would be the greatest tribute his fellow legislators could pay him.” –The Washington Post, using Kennedy’s death to push socialized medicine

From the sycophants: “Mr. Obama has continued a presidential tradition, what Thomas Jefferson called neology, making up a new word or giving new meaning to an old one. … President Obama has introduced us to ‘wee wee’d up.'” –CBS’s Katie Couric on Obama’s most recent bizarre crack (“Do you recall anyone in the media ever hailing Bush’s ‘misunderestimated’ as advancing ‘a presidential tradition’?” –Media Research Center’s Brent Baker)

Slamming the protestors: “Instead of a multicultural tableau of beaming young idealists on screen, we see ugly scenes of mostly older and white malcontents, disrupting forums where others have come to actually learn something. Instead of hope, we get swastikas, death threats and T-shirts proclaiming ‘Proud Member of the Mob.’ President Obama has proven quicksilver instincts, but not in this case. You would think that a politician schooled in community organizing and the foul balls of a presidential campaign would be ready to squash this kind of nuttiness.” –New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd

Wrong on so many levels: “The debate over the ‘public option’ in health care has been dismaying in many ways. Perhaps the most depressing aspect for progressives, however, has been the extent to which opponents of greater choice in health care have gained traction — in Congress, if not with the broader public — simply by repeating, over and over again, that the public option would be, horrors, a government program. Washington, it seems, is still ruled by Reaganism — by an ideology that says government intervention is always bad, and leaving the private sector to its own devices is always good. Call me naïve, but I actually hoped that the failure of Reaganism in practice would kill it. It turns out, however, to be a zombie doctrine: even though it should be dead, it keeps on coming.” –former Enron advisor and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman

Everybody else is doing it: “We’re the only industrialized democracy that doesn’t cover every citizen. That is immoral. …[E]very other industrialized democracy has done this through a government program.” –Time Magazine’s Mark Halperin

Sarcasm detector failure: “[H]ere’s one from Republican Congressman Wally Herger of California. At his town hall meeting some guy yelled out, bragging that he was quote, ‘A proud right-wing terrorist.’ To which the Congressman responded, ‘Amen. God bless ya! Now there’s a great American.’ A great American. A guy who thinks it’s okay, in this day and age, to call himself a right-wing terrorist. This is the dangerous edge, in which these people, including some elected officials are now dancing.” –MSNBC’s Chris “thrill up my leg” Matthews, too dense to understand that the citizen-speaker was mocking guys like … well, Chris Matthews for falsely alleging common Americans are “right-wing terrorists”


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