Archive for the ‘Federal’ Category

posted by Charles L. Cotton on Jan 16

I am on the Board of Directors of the National Rifle Association and recently returned from our winter, 2013 meetings.  It comes as no surprise that the Obama administration’s predictable and despicable  response to the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School was a major topic of discussion.  The information revealed during these meetings makes it abundantly clear that Americans are not facing merely a legislative battle, but a war on our very culture and way of life.

For decades, there have been numerous attacks on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding American gun owners.  These attacks are always based on lies and the false claim that by giving up one’s constitutional right they will be safer.  History and experience prove that these allegations are false, yet those who would deprive American citizens of the right to possess and carry firearms for all lawful purposes are not deterred.  Apparently, they ascribe to the theory that a lie repeated often enough becomes the truth.

Who are trying to deprive Americans of their Second Amendment rights?

The current assault on the rights of American gun owners is like nothing seen before.  The combined efforts of President Obama, multi-billionaires Michael Bloomberg and George Soros, Hollywood media moguls, MoveOn.org and numerous other liberal anti-gun organizations have coalesced in an effort to deprive law-abiding Americans of the ability to possess and use firearms for self-defense as well as other lawful purposes.  The money available to this Obama-Bloomberg Coalition is virtually limitless.  Michael Bloomberg was recently asked how much he was planning to spend in an effort to deprive Americans of their Second Amendment rights.  His response was, “Oh, I don’t know, I spent between $600 million and $700 million trying to stop kids from using tobacco products.”  Bloomberg’s wealth is estimated between $18 – $20 billion, so he could easily afford to spend several hundred million dollars trying to deprive Americans of the right to self-defense.  Coupled his wealth with that of George Soros, MoveOn.org supporters as well as Hollywood liberals, and it is clear that law-abiding Americans are  facing the biggest challenge to their constitutional rights since the British tried to force us to keep flying the Union Jack.

Anti-rights plan was in place long before the Sandy Hook shooting.

To every honest American with even a shred of humanity and decency, the senseless slaughter of 20 six-year old first graders and six brave adults trying to protect those innocent children in the Sandy Hook shootings was a heart-stopping, gut-wrenching event that sent them to their knees in prayer for the victims’ grief-stricken families.  For the Obama-Bloomberg Coalition, however, it was a political opportunity to launch their already organized offensive against the Second Amendment.  An attack on the American Constitution of the size and scope currently seen requires a great deal of planning, financing, preparation and coordination.  An effort of this scale cannot be kept secret and information had been leaking out for months.

The anti-gun response by all of those making up the Obama-Bloomberg Coalition was too rapid, too coordinated, too well-funded, and too consistent to have been an impromptu response to the tragedy in Newtown Connecticut.  President Obama obviously wanted to wait until after the presidential election to launch his the anti-gun campaign.  This should come as no surprise since the President had previously been heard telling the Russian President to wait until after his last election when he would have more “flexibility.”  (President Obama made this comment believing the microphone he was wearing was not live.)  The shameful truth is that the Obama-Bloomberg Coalition used the Sandy Hook shootings as a Hollywood-like soundstage to launch their long planned attack on the Second Amendment.  Regardless of the political issue, this tactic is despicable.  I am so proud that the NRA took the high road and allowed the families of the victims the time and privacy they needed, rather than launching a blatant political attack as did our opposition.  Character does matter.

Cultural war, not merely legislative war

The Obama-Bloomberg Coalition knows full well that passing anti-Second Amendment legislation is going to be difficult with the current Congress.  For this reason, Vice-President Joe Biden first hinted that President Obama may use his “authority” to issue executive orders to achieve many of his gun control goals.  President Obama soon followed Biden’s statement by claiming that he was going to issue numerous executive orders that would directly and negatively impact law-abiding Americans.  Since President Obama learned his political antics in the most corrupt city in the most corrupt state in the entire country, there is every reason to believe he will not view the United States Constitution as any limitation on his authority.

Regardless of the short term impact of President Obama’s executive orders, the Obama-Bloomberg Coalition is well aware that the courts will provide an avenue for Americans to overturn unconstitutional executive orders.  Unfortunately, this will take time and money and the anti-Second Amendment Coalition will not remain idle.  Their goal is to change American culture so that firearms are universally perceived as evil tools that no decent, honest, law-abiding citizen would ever want to possess.  This is where the Hollywood element of the Obama-Bloomberg Coalition comes into play.  For decades, Hollywood producers, directors and actors have used movies, sit-coms, inaccurate news reporting, and so-called “investigative reporting” to promote a liberal agenda.  This machine is already preparing to direct its efforts against American gun owners.  While some believe it will take at least one generation to effectively brainwash a majority of Americans, the impact of an all-out war by the liberal entertainment industry and the Obama-Bloomberg Coalition against the Second Amendment could do irreparable  damage in far less time.

Second Amendment Supporters Must Unite and Join the Fight

It would be a tragic and disastrous mistake to underestimate the power and impact of the Obama-Bloomberg Coalition and its virtually unlimited funding.  The only way the Second Amendment can be preserved is by getting all law-abiding American gun owners and potential gun owners to unite and fight against the anti-Second Amendment Coalition.  The only organization capable of uniting Americans and leading the fight to preserve the Second Amendment is the National Rifle Association of America.

There was a time when having one member of the family join the NRA was sufficient, but that time has passed.  If you are not an NRA member then join today.  If you are a member, then get every member of your family to join the NRA as well.  If you have gun-owning friends who are not NRA members then strongly encourage them and all of their family members to join.  Be sure to donate to the NRA as often as you can.  Donations of any amount are appreciated and when combined with millions of other American gun owners, they help provide the NRA with the resources necessary to counter the lies of the Obama-Bloomberg Coalition.  Consider setting up an automatic monthly donations to the NRA.  Regardless of the generosity and support of American gun owners it will not be possible to keep up with the Obama-Bloomberg Coalition spending, but it is not necessary to match them dollar-for-dollar.  It is necessary only that we have sufficient resources to get the truth to the American people who would otherwise be misled by the campaign of lies that will be launched against the Second Amendment.

NRA’s Approach to Defending the Second Amendment against Obama-Bloomberg Coalition

The NRA realizes that the only way to oppose the Obama-Bloomberg Coalition’s attempt to disarm American citizens is to approach the fight the same way we do a political campaign.  We must get the truth to the American people so they are not deceived by the daily dose of lies they are going to see coming from Hollywood, the media and the White House.  Campaigns also require that Americans get involved and contact their senators and congressmen to let them know they will not tolerate any additional infringement upon their Second Amendment rights.  If your Senator and Congressman support the Second Amendment, then be sure to call and write them to express your thanks and your support for their position.  If they do not support the Second Amendment then you must contact them and tell them that that you demand nothing less than their unfaltering support of your right to keep and bear arms.

Many in Washington are true believers in the Second Amendment and they will be unwavering in their opposition to gun control legislation.  Many others, however, currently support the Second Amendment with far less enthusiasm and they could well waiver under the weight of political pressure at home, and through unrelenting media attacks.  They will feel the need to “do something” so they can go home and tell their constituents they have taken action to protect innocent children.  It is critical that these lukewarm friends of the Second Amendment understand that their constituents will not accept further restrictions on their Second Amendment rights.  The NRA is the only organization that can get the word out to millions of American gun owners of this critical need to make direct contact with their elected representatives.  But as noted below, we need your help to win this fight to save the Second Amendment.

What Can Each of Us Do?

It is human nature that the majority of people supporting a cause or a belief are not actively involved in the effort.  Unfortunately, most have heard the statement that “90% of the work is done by 10% of the people.”  If this phenomenon holds true in the current battle to save the Second Amendment, then American gun owners will lose the fight.  Every one of us must be on the playing field; none of us can sit in the stands and cheer.

It is not sufficient for us to merely be members of the NRA, each of us must be NRA recruiters.  Do not merely suggest or request that a friend or family member join the NRA, pull up the NRA website on your laptop or your mobile device and ask them to do it now.  Impress upon them that time is of the essence as this battle can be lost in the opening weeks if the response of Americans supporting the Second Amendment is lacking.

The battle to save the Second Amendment is comprised of three critical time periods, the immediate fight to prevent and overturn unconstitutional executive orders, the legislative battle that will wage until at least the 2014 mid-term elections, as well as the long-term cultural battle that will last for years.  Joining tomorrow is too late; thinking about joining is not sufficient.  If we lose the short term battles, the war on the Second Amendment could be lost.  The only way to counter the limitless funding of the Obama-Bloomberg Coalition is by growing the NRA far beyond its current four million members.  We need to be 20, 30, 40 million strong or more to provide a lasting and effective bulwark against efforts to destroy the Second Amendment.

State level efforts and opportunities

The strength of the NRA is in its grassroots capability.  Tens of millions of American gun owners willing to answer calls-to-action with letters, faxes and telephone calls comprise a political force that no anti-gunners can defeat.  But merely being in uniform is not sufficient, people must stand ready to act each and every time they are requested to make phone calls and write letters or send faxes.  Not just one letter either, we must be ready to answer each and every call-to-action.  We cannot think “I’ve done my part, now someone else can respond.”  All of us must stay engaged and resign ourselves to the fact that this is going to be a long battle.  The impact these communications have on elected officials cannot be overstated, so let no one think we are asking people to engage in trivial acts or mere “busy work.”  Fear of  the American electorate is the only way we can fight the financial strength of the Obama-Bloomberg Coalition.

When we make contact with elected officials, when we have the opportunity to engage in public speaking, or when we are talking with friends and families we must remember to keep our emotions in check.  Making threats or engaging in “saber rattling” is not only ineffective in communicating our message, it is counterproductive because it destroys our credibility by making us appear to be unstable zealots.  Liberals and others seeking to destroy the Second Amendment often try to bait us by making inflammatory or insulting remarks hoping that we will respond in kind.  The best approach to engaging others about the importance of the Second Amendment is to be “resolute but respectful.”

The simple and sad truth is that we all have a clear-cut choice; we either join the fight or we sit on the sidelines and watch the Second Amendment become a mere historical footnote in the story of America.  To paraphrase Joshua’s deathbed speech, for me and my family, we choose to fight.

posted by Charles L. Cotton on Aug 11

Charles CottonNRA endorsements are powerful, very very powerful, and every gun owner had better hope they remain so. Gun rights are not the only issue I care strongly about, but gun rights are a litmus test. If a candidate is wrong on guns, then I don’t care where they stand on anything else. Most people who take gun rights seriously feel the same way and that’s why NRA endorsements are so important in elections. Were it otherwise, Gore and/or Kerry would have been President and many legislative battles would have been lost. Like it or not, admit it or not, those are the facts.

The general public tends to believe that Second Amendment supporters are conservatives, but we also have moderates and liberals in our ranks.   Good, as Second Amendment supporters we need people from every political persuasion if we are to protect gun rights and some day make the Second Amendment a non-issue. If we want guns to be off-limits to all political parties, then we had better make everyone welcome on our side of this issue. Otherwise, our future will always be in doubt and dependent upon the party in power.

The media are abuzz about the NRA’s presumed endorsement of Nevada Senator Harry Reid.  However, the NRA has not endorsed Harry Reid.  Most of the time people who support the Second Amendment also support conservative values, so it’s relatively rare that we have a voting dilemma in supporting pro-gun candidates. This is precisely why the majority of pro-gun elected officials are Republicans and why most newly elected Democrats in Congress are considered “blue-dog” pro-gun Democrats.  Hopefully, this will change and we will see more Democrats supporting the Second Amendment.  I’d love to see the day when gun rights are absolutely safe regardless who is in power in Washington or Austin, so we can fight over abortion, taxes, school vouchers, immigration, prayer in school, and numerous other issues that will surely divide us. Unless we make guns a do-or-die issue above everything else, that day will never come. Politicians and Party leaders need to know that, no matter how divided we may be on other issues, we will come together to defend the Second Amendment and that we will vote “guns” above anything else.

The NRA has a “friendly noncombatant” policy that is crucial to its success. No offense intended, but anyone who thinks this policy is not absolutely necessary simply does not know how politics works in the real world.   As soon as an organization abandons someone who supports its programs, legislation and goals, that organization has lost power in Washington (or Austin). Reliability is just as important in politics as in combat.  If an elected official who votes as you want them to vote (even against his Party’s position) can’t depend upon your support during tough times as well as the good times, then you have lost influence not only with that politician, but with all elected officials.  Betrayal is a message that travels quickly through the halls of congress and its impact is both lasting and devastating.

Occasionally I have to take a position on an issue or candidate that really goes against the grain, but it’s necessary for the protection of the Second Amendment.  It reminds me of the days when my two sons were young.  Sometimes it was necessary spank them or ground them or take them to the doctor to get shots (I HATE needles); I hated doing it, I would loved to have found a way around it, but because I love them I did what was necessary for their protection.  I love the Second Amendment too, so I answer the call to protect it even when I’d rather say home.

Chas.

posted by David J. Theroux - President, The Independent Institute on Dec 20

December 15 marks America’s Bill of Rights Day, the anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution. Beginning on this day, we have created the Second Amendment Book Bomb, a unique and powerful way to communicate the importance of the Bill of Rights’ Second Amendment for the protection of liberty. With your help, we can launch constitutional rights to the top of national book bestseller lists, making a loud and clear statement that Second Amendment rights are unalienable!

As you know, the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 2008 landmark District of Columbia v. Heller ruling finally affirmed that the Founders fully intended the Second Amendment to protect an individual right to own and bear arms. The renowned Second Amendment scholar and lawyer Dr. Stephen P. Halbrook, Research Fellow at The Independent Institute, was key to the Heller victory—as well as to three previous gun-rights victories in cases before the Supreme Court. And his definitive defense of the Second Amendment is now available in The Founders’ Second Amendment: Origins of the Right to Bear Arms the first in-depth, book-length account of the origins of the Second Amendment and the most readable, comprehensive, and compelling work ever assembled arguing that the right to own a gun is as fundamental under the U.S. Constitution as is freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

Yet, even before the ink was dry on the Heller decision, efforts were underway in Washington, D.C., to resume the assault against gun rights. Further, and despite the rhetoric, both President-elect Barack Obama and his choice for Attorney General, Eric Holder, have repeatedly opposed Second Amendment rights, and any new federal judge appointments will likely be similarly biased.

Thus, preserving our constitutional rights will hinge on our ability to educate the American people on the imperative of Second Amendment rights. The Supreme Court’s Heller decision has provided us with an unprecedented opportunity to do this.

And now we have the tool to do so. Fascinating, seminal, and inspiring, The Founders’ Second Amendment is the perfect way both to educate ourselves and to reach friends and family who don’t yet understand Second Amendment rights. Our goal is to reach one million Americans with Steve Halbrook’s book during the Christmas Holiday Season and throughout the New Year ahead. Will you help?

Let’s make the Second Amendment Book Bomb a publishing phenomenon so great that even the mainstream media will have to take notice. Let’s spread The Founders’ Second Amendment so far and wide that Americans across the political spectrum, and all walks of life, will be discussing the Second Amendment in every possible venue.

With your help, we are seeking to make Stephen Halbrook’s book #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. To make this happen, please pledge to buy at least one copy of the book before or on the December 15th Second Amendment Book Bomb date (or even afterward, if this is your only option), and then spread the word to others. Let’s make this the most amazing and explosive event ever on the right to bear arms, and declare in no uncertain terms that the Second Amendment will be around for a very long time to come.

About Stephen P. Halbrook

Stephen P. HalbrookThe winner of three gun-rights cases before the U.S. Supreme Court (Printz v. United States, United States v. Thompson/Center Arms Company, and Castillo v. United States), Dr. Stephen P. Halbrook is Research Fellow at The Independent Institute. He received his J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center and Ph.D. in social philosophy from Florida State University, and he has taught legal and political philosophy at George Mason University, Howard University, and Tuskegee Institute.

A contributor to numerous scholarly volumes and journals, Dr. Halbrook is the author of eight books, and he has testified before the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution, Subcommittee on Crime of the House Judiciary Committee, Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, and House Committee on the District of Columbia.

Click here to learn more about Stephen P. Halbrook.

www.secondamendmentbook.com/

posted by Stephen P. Halbrook, Ph.D., J.D. on Dec 15

stephen-halbrook1Today is the United States’ Bill of Rights Day, but District of Columbia residents are second-class citizens when it comes to the Second Amendment. President-elect Barack Obama certainly does not support it. When I filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court supporting the respondent in District of Columbia v. Heller on behalf of 55 senators, the senate president, and 250 representatives, Obama declined. And his voting record in the Illinois legislature and the U.S. Congress has been as hostile to American gun owners as King George III was in 1775. What’s in store for Second Amendment rights come January?

Imagine that at Lexington and Concord, British Major John Pitcairn does not shout “Disperse you Rebels—Damn you, throw down your Arms and disperse!” . . . and that the shot heard ‘round the world is not fired. Imagine that instead he reads to the assembled colonists the following decree by British Commander-in-Chief General Thomas Gage, modeled of course after the newly minted 2008 District of Columbia gun law:

  1. Bans “assault weapons,” defined by a long list of various rifles, pistols, and shotguns, and concludes with the catch-all: “Any firearm that the Chief may designate as an assault weapon by rule.” Anyone who disobeys will be imprisoned.
  2. Requires all non-banned firearms to be registered with the Chief, who promises never to confiscate them—unless you forget to register or re-register them, that is—and “registration certificates shall expire three years after the date of issuance unless renewed.”
  3. A non-banned pistol can be registered but only “for use in self-defense within that person’s home.” You cannot defend yourself outside the home. “The Chief shall require any registered pistol to be submitted for a ballistics identification procedure and shall establish a reasonable fee for such procedure.” Oh, and only one pistol can be registered in a thirty-day period.
  4. Within two years—1777 for the colonists, 2010 for D.C. residents—you will go to prison if you have a pistol that is not “microstamp ready” or is an “unsafe pistol” as determined by weirdoes in the futuristic state of California.
  5. Knapsacks with more than ten rounds of ammunition are banned as “large capacity ammunition feeding devices.” Essentially, you will be arrested if you have eleven or more rounds.

Of course the “Chief” is the Chief of Police, and these quotes came directly from the new law. Imagine that the colonists reverently surrendered their “assault weapons” and sought to register their non-banned arms and pay the Chief his “reasonable fee.” Imagine that our founders were sheepish wimps who remained subservient to royal tyranny instead of demanding the American Revolution. Imagine that two centuries later we delegated all power to the California legislature and that in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), D.C. won instead of lost.

Thankfully, that was not the case. The Supreme Court ruled against D.C. and held its handgun ban to be in violation of the Second Amendment’s “right of the people to keep and bear arms.” But with Obama’s recent appointment of Eric Holder as his attorney general and D.C.’s determination to leave its citizens helpless against the criminals the police can’t control, history shows you can’t hold your breath waiting for others to protect your rights. It seems the colonists at Lexington and Concord had it right.

www.secondamendmentbook.com


Stephen P. Halbrook, Ph.D., J.D., is Research Fellow at The Independent Institute in Oakland, Calif., and author of the book, The Founders’ Second Amendment: Origins of the Right to Bear Arms, as well as the books, That Every Man Be Armed (Independent Institute) and Freedmen, the Fourteenth Amendment, and the Right to Bear Arms.


posted by Charles L. Cotton on Sep 30

The so-called “Wall Street Bailout Bill” is the hottest topic to hit the airways and Internet in a long time. Regardless of where one stands on the government bailout, the facts are clear as to how this gigantic problem arose. It started with President Jimmy Carter who wanted to generate “affordable housing” and the creation of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to accomplish that goal. While that effort “helped to make affordable housing available,” the seeds of disaster were not truly planted until President Bill Clinton instructed his Treasury Secretary to amend the underwriting rules for loan approvals. This revision lowered the requirements for getting a home mortgage and allowed hundreds of thousands of people to purchase a home they truly could not afford.  (Chick here for a 1999 New York Times article giving a short summary.)

No one can be certain when we passed the point of no return and how late disaster could have been avoided. However, since 2001, the Bush Administration has been warning of serious financial problems looming within Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. These warnings were in 2001, 2003, and 2005. In 2005, Senator John McCain supported “The Housing Enterprise Regulatory Act of 2005.” This bill was strongly opposed by Democrats, many of whom now try to point the finger at the Bush Administration and the Republicans in Washington.

By now you are probably checking the web address to make sure you are really on the TexasCHLblog and wondering why an article on the Wall Street Bailout is posted here. Politics and the 2008 Presidential Election is why this article was written. Senator Barack Obama, Congressman Barney Frank, Senator Charles “Chuck” Schumer and many others in the Democratic Party leadership are desperately trying to avoid taking the blame for the financial crisis they have created. Rather, they are blaming President Bush and every other Republican they can slander and they are trying to make it and issue against Senator McCain in the election.  Here is a clip from an interview with Senator Schumer:

Senator Schumer knows his statement was false, he was part of the Democratic blockade of this legislation. But Schumer isn’t the only leading Democrat to lie about Senator McCain’s attempts to pass legislation to regulate Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Look at what Barack Obama is saying:

One of the most vocal Bush/Republican bashers seen on television in recent days is Congressman Barney Frank. However, Mr. Frank must have forgotten that YouTube has published his many public speeches and comments supporting expansion of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and opposing regulation of those entities. So too has Senator Chuck Schumer. To listen to what they said when opposing the efforts of the Republicans and Senator John McCain to pass “The Housing Enterprise Regulatory Act of 2005,” please go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gP3vBqfag7A (YouTube has disabled embedding of the video at the poster’s request.)

But Democratic Representative Barney Frank and Senator Schumer are not the only Democrats to have opposed any oversight of Freddie Mac and/or Fannie Mae.  Look at  the efforts of other lesser known Democrats to bury a scathing report by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight presented during a 2004 hearing to investigate Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae “questionable” accounting practices.  Pay particular attention to the salaries and bonuses paid to senior Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae officers.  And now the Democrats screem of over-paid executives in other companies.  Their hypocracy knows no bounds!

The final video in this article is Democratic Speaker of the House, Nancy Polosi’s speech on the House Floor just before the Wall Street Bailout failed on Friday, September 19, 2008.  As Speaker of the House, she blatantly lied about the history of Republican attempts to regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  She summarily credited the failure of these entities and the resulting financial crisis on “eight years of failed economic policies” of the Bush Administration and the Republicans.  That’s a lie Nancy and you know it.

So whether you support or oppose the “bailout,” it’s clear how we came to be standing on the brink of a financial crisis, whether great or small. It’s also clear who repeatedly sounded the alarm and tried to regulate Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to avoid a meltdown of the U.S. financial markets. It’s also clear that Barack Obama and other Democrats are lying about Senator McCain’s position on this issue and his attempts to bring these giants under control.

Choosing to lie about an issue or one’s opponent when there is no proof to the contrary is a test of one’s integrity. Choosing to lie when there is documentary and video evidence to the contrary is a test of one’s stupidity!

Chas.

posted by Charles L. Cotton on Sep 17

The American Hunters & Shooters Association (AHSA) is an organization that was created by long time gun control and anti-hunting activists in 2006.  Its sole reason for existing is to deceive hunters and attack the National Rifle Association (NRA) by making false allegations.  AHSA’s goal is to drive a wedge between the NRA and hunters and keep hunters from supporting pro-gun/pro-hunting candidates in November.  It has been exposed for what it is, but that hasn’t stopped the AHSA from mass-mailing emails to supporters of the Brady Campaign gun control agenda.

Brady Campaign and anti-gun/anti-hunting AHSA share email lists

Apparently the Brady Campaign to [Ban all Guns] has provided its email list to the bogus anti-gun/anti-hunting organization deceptively named the American Hunters & Shooters Association . I was forwarded a copy of an email from the AHSA blasting the NRA and supporting proven gun control proponent, Barack Obama. The person who sent me the email is on the Brady email list, but they never signed up for emails from the AHSA. Oops Sarah, you have been caught trying to deceive us — yet again! Do you think freedom-loving gun owners are so simple minded as to fall for this lame trick?

Here is the AHSA Anti-gun email

Connection between Brady Campaign and AHSA

There is more evidence of the Brady/AHSA connection. As noted on the NRA’s website, its President, Ray Schoenke, has a financial history of promoting gun control groups, including the Brady Campaign. He has made political donations to Al Gore, John Kerry, Barbara Boxer, Bill Clinton, Dianne Feinstein, and Ted Kennedy. Mr. Schoenke donated $5,000 to Handgun Control, Inc. (now the Brady Campaign) in 2000 and his foundation, the Ray and Holly Schoenke Foundation also donationed to the Brady Campaign.

AHSA Board member John Rosenthal remains the leader of Stop Handgun Violence, a Massachusetts anti-gun group. And one of the leading organizers of AHSA is Bob Ricker, who has served as a paid expert witness against gun manufacturers in a number of reckless lawsuits. These are mere examples of the connections between AHSA, Brady and numerous other gun control politicians and organizations.

Overall goal and philosophy of AHSA and the Brady Campaign are identical

Even a cursory review of AHSA’s website shows they are nothing more than a shill for the Brady Campaign’s long-standing anti-gun campaign.  The AHSA foolishly used the identical phrase “common sense” used by Brady in a futile attempt to conceal their true goals of gradually disarming Americans.  See if the language in the website tab labled “Common Sense” sounds familiar.

Common Sense

AHSA is committed to advancing common-sense gun policy initiatives that will have an immediate impact on violence, crime, accidental injury and death and make our country safer.

AHSA’s President, Ray Schoenke, must agree with Sarah Brady’s view that those who truly support the Second Amendment are fools who will fall for anything.

Listen to Mr. Schoenke himself and you decide if the AHSA supports  hunters and gun owners, or the Brady Campaign agenda.  Just as the Brady Campaign resorts to lies and scare tactics, so too does the AHSA when it throws out anti-gun cliches like “illegal guns,” “criminals and terrorists,” “support police chiefs and mayors,” and “keep our communities safe.”  Just as the Bradys lie about the Tiahrt Amendment, so too does the AHSA when it claims that  the Tiahrt Amendment denies law enforcement access to BATFE gun trace information.  (For the facts on the Tiahrt Amendment, check out the NRAs website.)

Did you notice the reference to dog fighting and cock fighting?  AHSA’s President Schoenke is so intellectually dishonest as to imply that the NRA supports dog fighting and cock fighting, though he is not so brazen as to expressly state something that preposterous.  In truth, the dog fighting and cock fighting angle was created in the mind of Wayne Pacelle of the anti-gun/anti-hunting Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), but the AHSA is only too happy to promote this false allegation.  The tactic is to equate legal hunting with illegal dog and cock fighting and argue that those who support hunting also support dog and cock fighting.  It is a despicable lie, but Mr. Schoenke is no more constrained by the truth than is Sarah Brady and Mayor Bloomberg.

Here is an excerpt from the NRA’s website on constitutional amendment to defend hunting, and the  opponents’ attempt to equate hunting to dog and cock fighting:

This new approach provides specific protections against the kinds of prohibitions most likely to be sought by Wayne Pacelle’s Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and others. It is hard to argue that including more specific language in a constitutional amendment is bad, especially in an age when many judges seem to believe that their personal political agenda trumps the plain language of constitutions. Addressing specific issues limits the potential for mischief from the bench.

Make no mistake about it; the threat to our sporting heritage posed by HSUS’ Pacelle and the young anti-freedom crusaders his $120 million-a-year organization is funding is real. They are hoping that the continuing population shifts from rural to urban America and the associated changes in values will soon provide for a political climate that will allow the majority of non-hunters to crush the hunting minority—relegating us to political insignificance. For the time being, however, polls show that hunting is supported by a healthy majority of Americans. They understand that America’s hunters are the nation’s true conservationists and ethical wildlife managers who provide an essential public service.

Pacelle has told the Associated Press, “If we could shut down all sport hunting in a moment, we would.” He wasn’t concealing his agenda when he told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, “Our goal is to get sport hunting in the same category as cock fighting and dog fighting. Our opponents say that hunting is a tradition. We say traditions can change.”

AHSA and Brady Campaign support “reasonable restrictions” a/k/a radical gun control

Look also at the not-so-veiled anti-gun rhetoric posted on AHSA’s website. You will recognize the arguments as vintage Brady Campaign lies and propaganda. For example, AHSA sprinkles the terms “common sense,” “safety,” and “security” in their propaganda just like other anti-gun organizations in an attempt to conceal their true goals.  While claiming to believe the Second Amendment is an individual right, AHSA quickly resorts to the use of traditional anti-gun buzz words equating gun owners to “criminals and terrorists.”

Gun Legislation & Policy

‘A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed’

These 27 words protect the rights of Americans to own and use guns. The American Hunters and Shooters Association is committed to these words and the ideas and principals behind them. Protecting our homes, preserving our liberties, hunting, and sport shooting are American values that AHSA will vigorously defend.

But, there is no constitutional right to arms for criminals, terrorists, or others who seek to abuse the very freedoms the Constitution guarantees.

According to legal memoranda filed in court by the United States Justice Department, the Second Amendment allows for the passage of reasonable laws designed to keep guns out of the wrong hands.

Under the Constitution and laws of the United States, gun ownership is a protected right. But it is a right that when exercised requires the utmost in responsibility and vigilance.

In formulating AHSA legislative policy the AHSA Board of Directors will always weigh the common sense interest of hunters and shooters against basic safety and security interests of our community at large. In this way a rational, well thought out approach to firearms policy will be developed and promoted.

Each week AHSA will examine a gun policy issue in order to better inform our members of the issues that shape public opinion about the shooting sports.

(Emphasis added.)

Well, this sounds quite familiar. It should, they are the same lies the Brady bunch has been spewing for years.  While claiming to support “hunting and sport shooting,” there is no reference to lawful use of firearms in self-defense, much less concealed carry for self-defense.

AHSA supports background checks at gun shows

AHSA supports requiring all transfers of firearms at gun shows to be subject to all federal, state and local laws and regulations currently applicable to federally licensed firearm dealers including the conducting of the instant background check on purchasers.

What does this have to do with protecting hunting and hunting grounds? Absolutely nothing! This is nothing more than an attempt to make it look like a hunting organization supports yet more unnecessary and ineffective gun control.

AHSA supports regulating rifles chambered for the .50 cal. BMG

Issue: Modern semiautomatic .50 caliber BMG sniper rifles are weapons designed for military use that combine long range, accuracy, and massive power. Intended for use in combat situations, these weapons can penetrate structures and destroy or disable light armored vehicles, radar dishes, helicopters, stationary airplanes, and other “high-value” military targets. The Branch Davidian cult in Waco, Texas, Al Qaeda, the Irish Republican Army, street and motorcycle gangs in California, Missouri and Indiana, and various militia groups and criminals across the United States are all documented as having possessed or used modern .50 caliber BMG sniper rifles.

AHSA supports legislative efforts to regulate .50 caliber BMG sniper rifles in the same manner as machine guns are regulated under the provisions of the National Firearms Act of 1934.

What does this have to do with protecting hunting or hunting grounds? Absolutely nothing! Brady and her ilk have been trying to create a problem where none exists, simply to argue that rifles in .50 BMG should be banned.  The AHSA has now joined in that effort.

The American Hunting & Shooting Association is a fraud.  It is nothing more than an attempt by long-time opponents of gun ownership and hunting to deceive hunters and either get them to support Barack Obama, or stay away from the polls on election day.  This tactic is despicable.

People and organizations that have opposing views should virarously argue their respective positions, but they should do so honestly and openly.  Committed gun control fanatics creating an organization named the American Hunting & Shooting Association and claiming to be pro-gun and pro-hunting is as dishonest and deceitful as a bunch of Nazi war criminals forming the Holocaust Survivors Educational Association and trying to convince people the holocaust never happened.

Shame on you Ray; Sarah Brady was a poor role model to choose.

Chas.

posted by U.S. Congressman John Culberson on Sep 9

Throughout my 22 years of public service, I have been a strong and active supporter of our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.  While I support instant background checks that are immediately erased from government computers if the applicant is a law-abiding citizen, I do not believe that new federal laws and restrictions will do anything to curb gun violence in America.  As a state legislator, I helped pass the conceal-carry law in Texas.  As a Congressman, I have helped pass legislation to arm pilots against terrorist hijackers, as well as the Lawful Commerce in Arms Act which will protect law abiding firearms manufacturers and dealers from liability for crimes committed with firearms, and I supported allowing the Assault Weapons Ban to expire.

Our nation’s capital has the most restrictive gun control laws in America, yet it has some of the country’s highest rates of crime and violence.  Since my first term in Congress, I have cosponsored the DC Personal Protection Act to allow law abiding citizens in Washington, DC to own and keep firearms in their homes.  In June, the Supreme Court overturned the 32 year old DC gun ban in a monumental case upholding our basic freedoms.  I am proud of the Court’s decision, which I endorsed by signing an amicus brief with 55 Senators and 250 Members of Congress expressing our unwavering support for the Second Amendment.

Before we pass more gun laws, we should focus our efforts on enforcing the laws that are already on the books.  The Second Amendment is a basic right and freedom recognized and protected by our Founding Fathers and I will continue to use my vote in Congress to protect that freedom.

posted by Jerry Patterson - Texas Land Commissioner on May 8

“I, Jerry Patterson, do solemnly swear or affirm, that I will faithfully execute the duties of the office of Commissioner of the General Land Office of the State of Texas, and will to the best of my ability preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this State, so help me God.”

I understand that solemn oath as a commitment similar to the oath I took decades ago as an officer in the United States Marine Corps to “uphold and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” I do not regard such affirmations as mere anachronistic formalities. I feel compelled to uphold these commitments even at the risk of my political future in the case of the oath of office as Commissioner, or of my life as in the case of my past career as a Marine.

You’ll note that the above recitation DOES NOT STATE I “will preserve, protect, and defend the constitution and laws of the United States and of this state” ONLY WHEN APPLICABLE TO THE DUTIES OF LAND COMMISSIONER.

The 2nd Amendment provides that, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

Art 1 Sec 23 of the Bill of Right of the Texas constitution also provides, “Every citizen shall have the right to keep and bear arms in the defense of himself or the State; but the Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms with a view to prevent crime.”

Transferring 9300 acres to an agency of the federal government that clearly ignores these constitutionally enumerated rights would simply violate my oath of office. I can only assume that the Fort Worth Star-Telegram believes elected officials should not be expected to comply with their oaths of office.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram may consider my position “untenable” and my zeal for the Bill of Rights “obstinate” and an “obsession,” but I couldn’t care less. In my opinion, any elected or appointed official at any level of government lacking the same zeal and commitment to the U.S. and Texas constitutions should be subject to impeachment.

I guess you can just call me an old-fashioned believer in the wisdom of those who penned the Bill of Rights and not much of a believer in the wisdom of editorial boards.

In the case of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, it’s not even close.

Jerry Patterson
Commissioner, Texas General Land Office
LtCol., USMCR, ret.

[Editor's Note: This is Commissioner Patterson's response to a Fort Worth Star-Telegram editorial appearing on May 8, 2008.]

posted by Charles L. Cotton on Apr 27

As I am writing this article, I’m sitting in a lounge chair on my patio. A strong wind is blowing and dark clouds are rolling in. It’s clear that a storm is coming. Well, I wish the only storm brewing was related to the weather! Eight years of relative peace on the federal front are coming to a close and political storm clouds are gathering. President Bush didn’t go out of his way to help gun owners, but he didn’t hurt us either, even when pressured to do so after the Democrats took control of Congress and tried to “deal” on legislation he wanted.

Gun owners have enjoyed tremendous success at the polls for several years, even considering the Democrats regaining majorities in the U.S. House and Senate. Many of the newly elected Democrats claim to truly support the Second Amendment, but only time and an opportunity to vote on gun bills will tell whether these claims are election rhetoric or true commitments. One thing is certain, the 2008 Presidential Election offers the very real prospect of returning an anti-gun President to the White House. This has implications even more ominous than the 1994 passage of the Clinton gun-ban, also known as the “assault weapons” ban. As noted, many of the “new” Democrats in Washington have not had the opportunity or misfortune to see a vote on a gun bill. So Second Amendment supporters must still view the likelihood that the Democratic Party’s margins in both the House and the Senate will increase as an ominous possibility. Clearly, the battle to defend our Second Amendment rights is far from over.

After suffering stunning defeats at the polls in 2000 and 2004, anti-freedom groups like the Violence Policy Center, Sara Brady and their ilk focused on state legislatures. They were hardly content to accept the demise of the so-called “assault weapons” ban and introduced even more menacing legislation in several states. After taking control of the U.S. House and Senate, the Democrats introduced an even more Draconian “assault weapons” ban at the federal level. Though filed, this bill has not been pushed by the Democrats for fear it would hurt them in the 2008 Elections. The anti-gun forces bankrolling the anti-gun Democrats are confident that whether Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton is in the White House, they will remember them as their “friends.” So if we see a President Obama or President Clinton in 2008, then the far-reaching “new” assault weapons ban will be the first of many battles we will have to fight. Remember, Obama has stated he supports not only the assault weapons ban, but also a federal law banning concealed carry by citizens throughout the entire Country!

Under President Bush’s direction, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton lead a successful fight against anti-gun forces within the United Nations and against George Soros’ puppet Rebecca Peters, all of whom were trying to do with a UN treaty what the anti-gun forces have been unable to do in the Legislature. Unfortunately, the U.N. small arms treaty is like a summer cold, it always seems to come back. If Clinton or Obama are in the White House and Democrats like Senators Schumer and Feinstein continue to enjoy a majority in the Senate, a devastating U.N. smalls arms treaty is a very real possibility.

At a time when we should be gearing up for battle, there is a distinct danger that the pro-Second Amendment voter base has grown complacent, because of our successes at the state and federal levels for the last eight years. Our victories have been numerous. The NRA and its state associations have steadfastly expanded law-abiding citizens’ rights to carry handguns for self-defense. “Shall issue” concealed carry statutes are now the rule, rather than the exception, in the majority of states; a feat many would have considered impossible only a few years ago. Anti-lawsuit statutes have been passed in several states to protect firearms manufacturers from frivolous, politically motivated suits filed solely to drive them out of business. This is in addition to the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act passed at the federal level to provide a two-pronged defense.

The NRA also took action in response to the atrocities inflicted on helpless citizens in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Former Mayor Ray Nagin, illegally and unconstitutionally ordered the confiscation of all firearms from law-abiding but stranded and helpless citizens, leaving them without the means of self-defense at a time when their lives were clearly in danger. As one woman said, “They didn’t offer me a drink of water, they didn’t offer me any food, they didn’t offer me a ride out, they just took my gun and left!” Thanks to the NRA, federal legislation was passed preventing the repeat of such despicable acts by public officials. However, the NRA didn’t stop there. Suit was filed on behalf of citizens whose property was illegally confiscated and the scope of Mayor Nagin’s lies and deeds came to light during the discovery process. We should also take pride in the fact that this suit was made possible because the NRA had investigators on location in New Orleans to obtain documentary proof of Mayor Nagin’s quest.

The NRA made passage of laws commonly known as the “Castle Doctrine” a top priority in the states. These laws vary by state, but at their core they allow a citizen to defend themselves from violent attack, without having to worry about facing prosecution and prison. Many of the states included civil liability protection in their version of the “Castle Doctrine.”

But make no mistake, all of these successes are in danger. With the Democrats in control of the House and Senate, not only do we face the very real possibility of another assault weapons ban that is more encompassing than Bill Clinton’s version, we could see the repeal of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act and the Emergency Powers Act that prohibits the confiscation of firearms in times of emergency. If John McCain is President, he likely would veto such legislation; Clinton or Obama would sign it with a big grin on their face.

I made this statement in 2005 and it bears repeating.

Ironically, our successes can actually work against us, unless we are ever vigilant. It is comforting to see the great strides we have made, but we cannot allow that success to lull us into complacency. Rather, we must use our successes as a springboard for new efforts.

Unfortunately, three years after first making this statement, our “new efforts” are going to be directed largely toward protecting what we have gained.

There is much work to be done. In truth the fight to defend all Constitutional rights, including the Second Amendment, will never end. There will be times of relative peace as we enjoyed from 2000 to 2008, but the threat will always be present to some greater or lesser degree. While we have to guard against complacency that is born of success, so too must we guard against fatigue caused by a seemingly endless battle. So how do we accomplish this? We win by staying in the fight with our commitment of time, energy, effort and money. If you are not a member of the NRA and the TSRA, then by all means join both. If you are already a member, then consider a donation or better yet, regular sustaining donations. Our successes have always come at the cost of time, effort and money and this isn’t going to change. In addition to money, be ready to respond to a call to action by voting, getting others to vote to support their Second Amendment Right, and placing calls, faxes and emails to Senators and Representatives.

Millions of our ancestors fought World War I, the “war to end all wars,” with the fervent hope that their children would know war only on the pages of history books. But only 23 years later, Americans found themselves in World War II locked in a battle to save our way of life. We’ve learned there is no “war to end all wars” whether it is fought on the battlefield, or in the political arena. So pray for peace, even if only for a little while, but do so while preparing for the coming political battles. To do less would guarantee the demise of the Second Amendment.

Chas.

posted by Charles L. Cotton on Mar 11

More hypocrisy from a leading anti-Second Amendment Crusader

New York Governor Eliot Spitzer has been accused of being involved with a prostitution ring providing high-price “call girls” to its customers. The full extent of his involvement has not been disclosed and may not even be known at this time. The accusations against Governor Spitzer were reported on virtually every major news outlet, much to the chagrin of the Spitzer’s supporters the likes of which include New York Senator Charles “Chuck” Schumer and Presidential hopeful New York Senator Hillary Clinton.

As yet, no official charges, if any, have been released and early reports of an indictment against Governor Spitzer appear to have been premature. The only allegations publicized at this time appear to be based upon the Governor arranging to have a specific prostitute named “Kristen” travel by train from New York to Washington D.C. to have sex with him at the Mayflower Hotel. If Governor Spitzer is the now-infamous “Client No. 9″ discovered during court-ordered wiretapping of the Emporors Club, then his actions would violate the Mann Act and the former New York Attorney General may find himself doing time in the same prisons to which he sent others convicted of the same crimes of which he may be accused.

Spitzer’s Public Apology

What does a New York Governor without a moral conscience do when he has been caught breaking the very laws he once vigorously and hypocritically enforced? Why, he makes his devastated and betrayed wife stand next to him at a press conference so he can publicly apologize to her and the rest of his family, and hopefully gain some sympathy and support with her grief-stricken face and his crocodile tears. So typical of a corrupt politician who has been caught, Governor Spitzer did not have the intestinal fortitude to stand in front of the media’s cameras alone and admit that he cheated on his wife and broke a number of state and federal laws. Rather, he gave a self-serving statement that he hopes will convince at least some people that he is truly sorry for what he has done.

“I have acted in a way that violates my obligations to my family and violates my, or any, sense of right and wrong. I apologize first and most importantly to my family. I apologize to the public, whom I promised better.

Well Governor Spitzer, you certainly violated family “obligations” and “any sense of right and wrong,” but you know well that you violated federal and state law as well. If you were as remorseful as you would have the public believe, you would have admitted that also, and you would have immediately resigned as Governor of New York.

Special Significance of Spitzer’s Apparent Crimes

Allegations against high-ranking political figures, especially allegations of involvement with prostitutes, are unfortunately rather commonplace. But the allegations against Governor Spitzer are especially troubling in light of his undeserved reputation of being tough on crime, including organized prostitution rings. Apparently, Governor Spitzer was tough on other peoples’ crimes and other peoples’ prostitution rings, but not his own.

Prior to being elected Governor of New York, Spitzer served eight (8) years as New York Attorney General. During those years, he built a reputation of being a crusader against crime, ironically including the prosecution of prostitution rings. As time went on and his deception grew, he was dubbed “Eliot Ness Spitzer” and “Mr. Clean,” titles he spent like political monopoly money to feather his political nest and “work” his way into the Governor’s Mansion. But in truth, Spitzer is much more than a fallen political figure, he is a fraud. He is not sorry for what he did, only that he got caught. He is not sorry for the betrayal and humiliation his wife and family feel, but he morns the effect this scandal will have on his political future and possibly his freedom. Why else would he flaunt his wife’s shame and grief before television cameras, other than to feign remorse and hopefully salvage some political support. A man who is truly sorry for his actions does not subject his wife to being a media spectacle and he fully admits his guilt; he does not simply recite a result-oriented prepared statement.

Frivolous lawsuits against innocent firearms manufacturers

Playing on undeserved nicknames was not the only dishonorable thing Spitzer did in his quest for power and position. He was a prime offender in the filing of frivolous lawsuits against firearms manufacturers solely to put them out of business through mounting legal defense costs. In the days before passage of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, politically motivated groundless lawsuits against firearms manufacturers were threatening to destroy the American firearms industry. Prior owners of Smith & Wesson reluctantly made a deal with New York that nearly destroyed the company when its customers abandoned it. When the deal looked like it was falling apart, then-HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo managed to salvage it and in so doing, sparked a conflict with Spitzer who needed disparately to get credit for the “deal” of the century. Thankfully, Smith & Wesson ownership changed as did its management, the Spitzer’s extortion plot failed when Smith & Wesson repudiated the “deal,” and the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act passed making such Spitzer-esk arm-twisting impossible.

But Spitzer’s political battle plan included frivolous lawsuits against high profile people and companies outside the firearms industry. And those lawsuits garnered him a great deal of criticism. As Kimberly Strassell, a member of the Wall Street Journal editorial board put it “Eliot Sptizer’s Real Agenda is . . . Eloit Spitzer! It is obvious that, until yesterday, Spitzer believed the old adage that “there is no such thing as bad publicity.” His perspective has probably changed in the last twenty-four (24) hours.

Silence from Spitzer supporters is deafening

Where is the outcry from leaders in Democratic Party? Where is the outcry from Senators Schumer and Feinstein, both stalwart anti-Second Amendment rights activists? Undoubtedly Schumer and Feinstein are devastated that their anti-gun champion, founder of the frivolous lawsuit theory of victory, has been so unceremoniously defrocked. And where is the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (a/k/a Brady Campaign to Ban All Guns) on this issue? Who knows, not a peep has been heard from their camp. One can only imagine the thunderous roar that would be heard from these people if an officer of the National Rifle Association had been accused of such conduct and crimes.

Fellow Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer managed only to say the following:

I feel bad for him and his family but until he makes a more complete statement, I have nothing more to say.

You feel bad for Spitzer and his family, Senator Schumer!? What about your own constituents, the good people of New York? What about the people and companies who were falsely targeted for politically motivated lawsuits solely to promote Spitzer’s lust for power and position? What about the New York Attorney General’s Office and the Governorship of New York? All have been betrayed, disgraced and tainted by the acts of a power-hungry, grand-standing politician concerned only with his own well-being and pleasures.

Oh how the mighty have fallen!

Chas.

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