Saturday, March 15, 2008

Gun Nut Roundup

Story 1
Ron Paul Reminds Us Why We Like Him

U.S. Congressman and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul has introduced three bills in the U.S. House of Representatives that target various disarmed victim zones (a.k.a "gun free zones") created by the federal government.

HR-2424, the "Citizens Protection Act," would repeal the dumb law that bans possession of a firearm in school zones. "The Gun-Free School Zones Act" was passed in 1990 and every famous school shooting you can think of has happened after it was in effect. Despite the ban, at least three famous school shootings (off the top of my head) have been stopped by armed civilians confronting the gunman. (That part of the stories never "grew legs" with the national media. Go figure.) The Supreme Court ruled the Gun-Free School Zones Act unconstitutional, so Congress reworded it and reinstated the same damned thing again later. HR-2424 would squash it again.

HR-1897, the "Nat'l Park 2nd Amendment Restoration and Personal Protection Act," would get rid of the ban on firearms in national parks. Instead, the gun laws of the state where the park is located would be enforced. This is how it is on Forest Service land and has never been a problem. Bawb may be able to speak with more authority on this topic, since he's a denizen of "grizzly country," with lots of federal land and knows how dumb it is to have to ditch your gun because you just stepped across an invisible line in the forest.

Finally, HR-3305, the "Anti-Terrorism Act," would allow specially-trained airline pilots, copilots, navigators or law enforcement personnel, specifically detailed for protection of an aircraft, to carry a firearm. While an armed pilots program was implemented by Congress after 9-11, the Bush administration allowed a left-over bureaucrat from the Clinton Administration to sandbag the program. HR-3305 would allow the airlines to decide who can protect their planes, although numerous other state and federal laws would still be in effect.

Gun owners (and any surviving fiscal conservatives out there) NEED guys like Ron Paul in Congress, if not the Whitehouse. Whether you live in his Texas district or not, let's do what we can to support his re-election to the U.S. House. His presidential campaign site is to the left, in the "Important Links" section.

Story 2
Supreme Court Showdown Is Set

Mark March 18 on your calenders, gun nuts! That's when the Supremes will hear oral arguments in the DC vs. Heller case, which may decide the fate of the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

Most of you probably know that outgoing President Bush decided to wave his naughty parts in the face of America's gun owners one (hopefully) last time by filing a brief with the Supreme Court that, essentially, threw the Second Amendment under the bus. Robert D. Novak wrote a good article detailing the goings-on and analysing the Bush administrations possible political "strategery" for allowing its Solicitor General to file the anti-Second Amendment brief. My own thoughtful and reasoned analysis is: Bush allowed it, so up his!

Bush has been a lackluster friend to American gun owners from the start. Even the official view of Bush's Attorney General John Ashcroft, that the Second protects an individual right to keep and bear arms, which was lauded by gun rights supporters, was not radically different than the Clinton administration's interpretation:

Clinton Administrations Interpretation-
1. The 2nd Amendment protects a collective right of states to arm their militias.
2. Therefore, state and federal government can restrict civilian gun ownership any way they see fit.
3. So, ha ha ha!

Bush Administrations Interpretation-
1. The 2nd Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms.
2. But, state and federal government can restrict that right in any way they see fit.
3. So, ha ha ha!

The only bright spot in this story is that Vice President and noted shotgun marksman Dick Cheney proceeded to wave his naughty parts in Bush's face by signing a pro-Second Amendment amicus (friend of the court) brief in the case, along with 55 Senators and 250 Representatives. Also 31 states, numerous military officers, and more scholars than you can shake a stick at have also filed similar pro-individual rights briefs with the court, defending the Second Amendment.

Story 3
New Name For Iowa Weapons Bill

A good bill seeking to provide uniformity to Iowa's concealed weapons permit system has changed its nomenclature. Formerly called HF 2092, the newly amended bill is now called HF 2613. (You can read Ben's brilliant analysis of the bill here.) It has cleared committee and expects a House vote on the bill during the week of March 17-20. If it passes the House this week it will go on to the Senate. If you write your Iowa reps to support the bill, remember it's now called HF 2613.

1 comment:

Bawb said...

I sure hope Iowa can get their poop in a group on the CCW. Montana honors Iowa's CCWs, but Iowa does not honor Montana's CCW. I felt kinda naked when I was back there.

Concealed carry is a must in National Parks. Part of the reason for gun bans in the parks is poaching, but I doubt anyone's gonna poach a buffalo with a pistol. When I read a book by Yellowstone's former head Ranger, he talked about ALWAYS taking his .357 Magnum into the backcountry, even on off-duty trips with his family. Yet the peasants are not allowed the same protection?

Besides the four-legged varmints, two-legged crime has greatly increased in the parks. I get email from some assocaiations of Federal employees, and they were shouting about how the USFS and NPS have so few Law Enforcement Officers and how they can't even begin to prevent crime, nor protect you when you are visiting. Like gun-free school zones, criminals know when their victems are un-armed, such as in the Parks, and take advantage of that.

But then again, the whole anti-gun debate is not about YOUR safety, it's about the government's safety.