The NRA’s Spokeswoman Is Not Happy With Trump’s Latest Hire

The NRA’s Spokeswoman Is Not Happy With Trump’s Latest Hire

Anthony Scaramucci is pro-gun control and a “concerning” pick, Dana Loesch said in a now-deleted tweet.

WASHINGTON ― Here’s something you may not know about President Donald Trump’s new communications director, Anthony Scaramucci: He’s an ardent supporter of gun control.

Scaramucci, a businessman and longtime Trump ally, has tweeted for years about his support for tighter gun laws, stating in 2012, “I have always been for strong gun control laws.” He’s also made the point that keeping a gun in your house is more likely to harm you or your loved ones than a potential intruder (which is true).

His views are not sitting well with Dana Loesch, the national spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association. On Friday, just as news was breaking about Scaramucci’s hiring, Loesch tweeted that Trump had made a “concerning” choice in Scaramucci since he has “a contrary position” to the president on gun rights. The tweet was later taken down.

Here’s a screenshot of the now-deleted tweet, compliments of Wayback Machine, a digital archive of the web.


Loesch is suggesting that Scaramucci’s presence in the White House could complicate the NRA’s effort to advance its No. 1 legislative priority: national concealed carry reciprocity, which would require states that issue permits for concealed weapons to also recognize such permits from other states. Trump has publicly supported this policy.

Jennifer Baker, another NRA spokeswoman, told HuffPost that Loesch was only speaking for herself when she questioned Scaramucci’s views.

“Dana Loesch was not speaking on behalf of the National Rifle Association when she commented on recent White House personnel decisions,” she said.

Asked if the NRA does, then, have an official position on Trump hiring Scaramucci, Baker said only, “No.”

A White House spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment on Trump’s and Scaramucci’s different views on gun safety.

Though her original tweet is deleted, Loesch tweeted out a few more thoughts about her concerns with Scaramucci.

Breaking: House Passes New Bill Mandating Transfer of ALL US Army M1911 Handguns to Civilian Marksmanship Program

Breaking: House Passes New Bill Mandating Transfer of ALL US Army M1911 Handguns to Civilian Marksmanship Program

The United States House of Representatives has passed along a new bill that will mandate the release of all M1911 handguns currently in the US Army’s inventory to the Civilian Marksmanship Program, to be redistributed to eligible US civilians.

The text of this new bill can be read below, and you can find the entire bill right here:

(a)Required Transfers.—In accordance with subsection (b) of this section, the Secretary of the Army shall transfer to the corporation all firearms and ammunition that, on February 9, 1996, were under the control of the director of civilian marksmanship (as that position existed under section 4307 of title 10 on February 9, 1996), including—


all firearms on loan to affiliated clubs and State associations;


all firearms in the possession of the Civilian Marksmanship Support Detachment; and


all M–1 Garand and caliber .22 rimfire rifles stored at Defense Distribution Depot, Anniston, Anniston, Alabama.

(b)Time for Transfers.—The Secretary shall transfer firearms and ammunition under subsection (a) of this section as and when necessary to enable the corporation—


to issue or loan firearms or ammunition under section 40731 of this title; or


to sell firearms or ammunition under section 40732 of this title.

(c)Vesting of Title in Transferred Items.—Title to an item transferred to the corporation under this section shall vest in the corporation—


on the issuance of the item to an eligible recipient under section 40731 of this title; or


immediately before the corporation delivers the item to a purchaser in accordance with a contract for sale of the item that is authorized under section 40732 of this title.

(d)Storage of Firearms.—

Firearms stored at Defense Distribution Depot, Anniston, Anniston, Alabama, before February 10, 1996, and used for the Civilian Marksmanship Program (as that program existed under section 4308(e) of title 10 before February 10, 1996), shall remain at that facility or another storage facility designated by the Secretary, without cost to the corporation, until the firearms are issued, loaned, or sold by the corporation, or otherwise transferred to the corporation.

(e)Discretionary Transfer of Parts.—

The Secretary may transfer from the inventory of the Department of the Army to the corporation any part from a rifle designated to be demilitarized.

(f)Limitation on Demilitarization of M–1 Rifles.—

After February 10, 1996, the Secretary may not demilitarize an M–1 Garand rifle in the inventory of the Army unless the Defense Logistics Agency decides the rifle is unserviceable.

(g)Cost of Transfers.—

A transfer of firearms, ammunition, or parts to the corporation under this section shall be made without cost to the corporation, except that the corporation shall assume the cost of preparation and transportation of firearms and ammunition transferred under this section.

(h)Authorized Transfers.—


Subject to paragraph (2), the Secretary may transfer to the corporation, in accordance with the procedure prescribed in this subchapter, surplus caliber .45 M1911/M1911A1 pistols and spare parts and related accessories for those pistols that, on the date of the enactment of this subsection, are under the control of the Secretary and are surplus to the requirements of the Department of the Army, and such material as may be recovered by the Secretary pursuant to section 40728A(a) of this title. The Secretary shall determine a reasonable schedule for the transfer of such surplus pistols.


The Secretary may not transfer more than 10,000 surplus caliber .45 M1911/M1911A1 pistols to the corporation during any year and may only transfer such pistols as long as pistols described in paragraph (1) remain available for transfer.
(Pub. L. 105–225Aug. 12, 1998112 Stat. 1339Pub. L. 114–92, div. A, title X, § 1087(a)(1), Nov. 25, 2015129 Stat. 1012.)
As of right now, it looks like this bill is heading toward the Senate with plenty of steam. Should it pass there, we could soon see the transfer of thousands of surplus M1911 handguns to the US civilian market thanks in large part to the Civilian Marksmanship Program.
Now, expectations should be tempered as far as the condition of these handguns, but they will without a doubt make for a cool collection piece!



Scott wrote yesterday about a tragic shooting incident in Minneapolis. At about 11:30 last Saturday night, a 40-year-old woman named Justine Damond, a native of Australia, thought she heard a sexual assault in progress in the alley behind her house. She called 911 and a Minneapolis Police Department squad car with two officers responded to her call. She left her house in her pajamas to talk to the officers. While she was standing next to the driver’s door and speaking with him, the officer in the passenger seat shot her, fatally.

The officer who shot Ms. Damond was Mohamed Noor, a Somali-American who joined the force in 2015. Bizarrely, nearly three days after the incident, we don’t know whether Noor shot Damond accidentally or on purpose. My assumption is that it was an accident resulting from almost incredibly inept handling of his firearm by Officer Noor.

If the races of the participants had been reversed, Black Lives Matter would be shutting down highways, politicians like Governor Mark Dayton would be denouncing racist police officers, and newspapers around the world would be writing about racial bias in policing. But those things are not happening. Governor Dayton, who issued incendiary denunciations of the police when the races were reversed, has declined to comment.

And newspapers are forgoing any race angle. In fact, the Washington Post published a long article on the shooting that doesn’t identify the police officer or mention the fact that he is a Somali. Instead, the Post focuses on the fact that a gun was involved, headlining: “‘AMERICAN NIGHTMARE’: Australians react to fatal police shooting in ‘very risky’ United States.” With race out of the picture, it’s all about gun control:

Nearly 9,000 miles away, in Australia — where lawmakers have passed some of the world’s most restrictive gun-control laws — people were struggling to make sense of Damond’s death.

“Why on Earth did U.S. cops kill Aussie who called for help,” the Courier-Mail, an Australian tabloid, asked on its cover.

“AMERICAN NIGHTMARE,” blared a headline on the front page of the Daily Telegraph, a Sydney newspaper.
The Australian government passed strict gun control legislation in 1996, after a gunman opened fire in a Tasmania cafe, then hunted down more people in his car, killing a total of 35 and wounding 19 others. The National Firearms Agreement banned the possession, manufacture and sale of all semiautomatic firearms and pump-action shotguns other than in “exceptional circumstances,” notably military and police use.

The article goes on and on about Australia’s gun control laws.

But wait! This makes no sense. Police officers in Australia carry guns, too. So there is no relevant difference between the laws here and the laws in Australia.

There is a hierarchy at work, obviously. If it can be about race, it’s about race. If it can’t be about race, it’s about guns. I’m not sure what comes next. How far down the line do you suppose the Post would have to go before the issue would be whether affirmative action is causing police departments to hire unqualified applicants?

Gabby Giffords Praises GOP Rep for Introducing Gun Control Bill


Gabby Giffords Praises GOP Rep for Introducing Gun Control Bill

On Thursday gun control proponent Gabby Giffords praised Rep. Dan Donovan (R-NY) for introducing a bill to expand the number of people prohibited from firearm possession.

Donovan is sponsoring the gun control along with Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.).

According to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Donovan’s gun control bill “seeks to close loopholes in gun laws to prevent people convicted of domestic violence or stalking from buying firearms.” It is called the “Zero Tolerance for Domestic Abusers Act.”

Giffords praised the bill and endorsed it, but she hedged her bets by admitting the bill “won’t stop every act of violence.”  In truth, the bill will not stop any determined attacker–no amount of gun control does–and the success of this particular gun control bill is predicated on the belief that a ban on buying or possessing a gun will keep a determined attacker from buying or possessing gun. Felons in possession of guns prove the fallacy of such a predication daily.

One thing bill will is expand gun control even further that its present reach, adding to the cumbersome set of hoops law-abiding citizens must already jump through to acquire a gun at retail.

The viability of a particular gun control law has never hindered Giffords, who pushes background checks as a solution to crime even though her attacker passed a background check to acquire the gun with which he attacked her.

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at

Why a Women’s March Cofounder Says Every Feminist Should Care About Gun Control

Why a Women’s March Cofounder Says Every Feminist Should Care About Gun Control

It has been a big year for Tamika Mallory.

A lifelong social justice activist, she also happens to be one of the four women who created the Facebook event which would eventually become the epic Women’s March and later evolve into a movement in and of itself. In June, Mallory took the stage at the BET Awards to receive the Shine a Light Award for her fearlessness, and presenter Solange Knowles praised her for all the work that she’s done in drawing attention to essential causes and for raising the voices of women of color around the world.

But Mallory is just getting started. Her next project, #NRA2DOJ, will take her to Washington on July 14 to protest the NRA. The effort is a direct response to a viral — and frankly, despicable — marketing campaign from the gun rights advocacy group, but gun control has been an issue close to Mallory’s heart for a long time. She’s been active in changing the policy and discussion around guns since the death of her son’s father by shooting in 2001, and this new project seeks to bring even more national attention to an issue which has reached a crisis point.

Mallory took some time out of her busy schedule on July 7 to speak with POPSUGAR about the new initiative, her history with activism, and why it is that gun control should be front and center for all feminists.

POPSUGAR: Let’s talk about #NRA2DOJ and the origins of that, what you see coming after the actual march and how it connects back to Women’s March generally.

Tamika Mallory: I think the Women’s March has taken the position that we are going to — along with partners and many voices — ensure that in this time people feel that they have a place to go to get organized, to really push back against so many things that are concerning everyone. And we want to sort of be a hub, a space particularly for new activists, people who have not been engaged in the movement in the past and are looking for avenues, sort of ways to get involved. And then we saw the ad.

We believe that we have a moral responsibility to speak out against any threat to people of color and protesters, people who are exercising their First Amendment right to protest. The NRA will be the first to say to cite the Second Amendment as a right of every citizen, but the First Amendment is alsoa right. They are touting themselves on their website as being one of the oldest civil rights organizations — in the spirit of what it means to be a civil rights organization, we ask the question “What are you doing to protect and defend black and brown lives?”

With women of color really helping to lead and hear the efforts of Women’s March, what better group of people to really sound the alarm? We do not believe — and I think that this is really, really, really important — we are in no way claiming to be the group that has the answers or to be the most prominent organization. We are saying that we will add our voices and our resources to organizations that have existed before us, organizations that have come after us. Because we want to work in communities; we want to be unified with the movement in general and what this resistance looks like from a unified standpoint.

There are many gun violence organizations that work to end gun violence and to address the issues of gun violence in urban communities in pockets across this country, and we want to support them. We want this fight that we have taken on with the NRA to be in support of those organizations. I say that because the NRA is directly in the way of getting things like a responsible and sensible gun legislation passed in this country. They have been blocking that.

And therefore the blood of children in Chicago is on their hands, because those guns — that are not being made or manufactured in the Chicago area — are getting into the hands of young people. Because people are purchasing guns without having any necessary background checks in different states, traveling over state lines. And those guns are making it into the hands of people who are living in situations that many of us cannot even understand. This is not just about the advertisements. It is about the fact that the ad represents the war against people of color that exists in this country, and they basically have given license to people to continue to kill us and for us to continue to have the use of weapons to kill ourselves.

“I think that young women need to know that gun violence is not, in any way, isolated to men.”

PS: What would you say to the young women who read POPSUGAR to help them understand how important this issue is?

TM: Well, I think what a young woman needs to understand is that our lives are in danger — everything from domestic violence to violence that may be happening in your community. When people have access to guns and they are receiving messaging from the organization that represents them as a gun owner telling them that [people] do not have the right to protest, they don’t have the right to speak against any particular views that they don’t necessarily agree with, your life will be in danger.

The NRA’s rhetoric allows for more incidents to happen. And we cannot sit by and watch that happen. I think that young women need to know that gun violence is not, in any way, isolated to men. It can happen to you — and it has. We’ve seen domestic violence incidents over the years where people who are mentally troubled are allowed access to guns and have taken the lives of young women and children, families. This is an issue that concerns us all.

PS: I know your parents were founding members of National Action Network and that you started there at an early age. I’d love to hear a little bit about what that was like.

TM: Being a part of National Action Network when I was a small kid wasn’t necessarily something that I considered to be cool at the time. That’s the honest truth. You know, I was a young kid and going to protests and having to read all of the books and sort of being around the movement wasn’t necessarily bowling and hanging out. (laughter) I’m just laughing because I’m thinking about my mom. If she was on the phone she would say say, “Yeah, you hated it,” but you know, I was a young kid who really wanted to just do things that I was thought was sort of like a normal kid’s life, and for me growing up in the movement, we were always engaged in some type of community activity. So I was never a kid who didn’t have an understanding of how important it was to be a part of uplifting other people and working within my community.

PS: So what led you to join and ultimately work your way up there?

TM: As I got older and other young people were in the same situation that I was in, they had no choice but to be at rallies and to be involved and, you know, there were types of us activists — we found a way to make our work fun. We started to find ways to bring sort of youthfulness to the activism world, and we grew together as a family. But it was still me following in my parents’ footsteps, being a part of the movement because they wanted me to be there. And it wasn’t until my son’s father was killed — when my son was 2 years old and his father was shot and killed — that the movement sort of became my own. I began to own what it meant to be an activist and to be involved in the movement.

PS: Correct me if I’m wrong on this — you left there to work for Joe Biden and Bill de Blasio?

TM: I think it was immediately following the Newtown shooting. The vice president started a task force to look at the nationwide crisis of gun violence, and I served on the task force as a representative for the National Action Network in my role as executive director. Our position at the time, or the perspective that I was bringing at the time, is that gun violence isn’t just mass shootings — it is also shootings that are happening every day in communities, particularly in places like Chicago and Brooklyn and other urban markets across the country. So we wanted to bring that perspective to the task force and we did. It wasn’t something that we did for long, you know, it was a few meetings that took place to try and talk about all the different factors of the issue and how to address gun violence. Let me put it this way: they were a few meetings to discuss how we have to approach the issue of gun violence from many different perspectives, and that is definitely the part I was involved in.

As it relates to Mayor de Blasio, I served on his transition team, specifically around criminal justice, looking at his appointees for criminal-justice-related departments in the city and also for different law enforcement agencies, the fire department — all of that was covered underneath the committee that I worked on. I have supported Mayor de Blasio — when he was running for office, I was a big supporter for him, raised money for him from young professionals, and had been a doorknocker for him.

PS: I have to ask, on a different topic: is there anything you’d like to say about Linda Sarsour’s comments that the protests against Donald Trump should be a sort of jihad against the president?

TM: The only thing I have to say is that if anyone listens to the full speech and reads everything that she said, they would know that there was nothing in her speech that she said that calls for violence or harm, physical harm, to be done to anyone. And that’s just the truth.

I think that some people want to say that her words are being taken out of context. I wouldn’t say that her words are being taken out of context. I would say that she is purposely being demonized. It was happening before the Women’s March, but it really started after the Women’s March, that people have been trying to use her words against her. I hope that folks understand that just like the NRA, when the response is to create a new video and to put my face in a new video, these people are trying to expose us, and we could get hurt.

Now, we have decided that we are prepared to lay our lives down for what we believe in. We have decided that. At the same time, the question has to be “Is it worth it to other people, that one of us may be harmed because you are so tied to the idea that the rest of us don’t have the right to disagree with you?” Our families also become targets when people expose us in that way. The NRA uses the language that we, as protesters, are violent, yet we are constantly dealing with the violence being inflicted upon us.

Wisconsin Bill Would Allow Firearm Safety Courses in High Schools

Firearm safety offered as a class in high school? Where do we sign up?

Lawmakers in Wisconsin have been tossing around an idea that could eventually see public schools in the state offer gun safety training as an elective, the Journal Sentinelreports.

Students would get hands on training and learn how to handle a wide range of guns – from handguns to rifles.

The bill, which was introduced last week, would allow schools to offer on-site gun education classes, its purpose is simply to promote gun safety and and boost participation in trap shooting, Rep. Ken Skowronski said.

The bill also comes with a list of requirements, such as a instructors who have proof of previous training in firearm safety. Also, to the concern of some folks, the bill would NOT change a current law that prohibits live ammunition and its use on school property – can’t leave that important note out.

As of last week, the bill reportedly had 23 Assembly co-sponsors.

How do you feel about your children being offered a gun safety class in high school?

Stanford law prof gets it wrong on guns — right-to-carry reduces crime, not the other way around

Stanford law prof gets it wrong on guns — right-to-carry reduces crime, not the other way around

Would you rely almost exclusively on trends in Hawaii to predict violent crime rates in Idaho, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, and Utah?  Would you look at Illinois to predict changes in Louisiana and South Carolina?   Illinois has a drastically difference crime landscape, with half of its violent crime occurring in Chicago.

Though it wouldn’t pass the laugh test for most people, an unpublished report making just these sorts of comparisons has been all the rage in the media.  Lead author John Donohue, a professor at Stanford Law School, makes a claim which goes against existing national research: that right-to-carry laws increase violent crime.

The report has been covered in NewsweekThe AtlanticBloomberg, other national outlets and many newspapers from Newsday to the Salt Lake City Tribune.  Despite outlets such as Newsweek claiming that the report “debunks” my own research, not a single reporter has contacted me for my thoughts.  The only quotes were from gun control advocates. By contrast, those same outlets have consistently sought out critics when discussing my own research.  Apparently, politically correct results get a free pass on proper journalistic scrutiny.

With 16 million permit holders across 50 states, it is telling that not one state has ever held a legislative hearing to consider rescinding right-to-carry laws.

No other study by an economist, criminologist, or law professor has claimed that US violent crime rose after right-to-carry laws were adopted.

So the game is to find states where murder rates fell relative to the states adopting right-to-carry laws, then use that as evidence of right-to-carry laws causing an increase in violent crime.  Before this researchers made an across-the-board comparison between states that changed their laws and states that haven’t changed them.

This new study picks out just two to four states, and in many cases effectively just use Hawaii to compare with right-to-carry states.  In the cases of Idaho and Minnesota, over 96 percent of the comparison is just with Hawaii.  For Mississippi, Nebraska, and Utah, Hawaii counts for between 72 percent and 83 percent of the comparison.

The study claims that police simply “underestimate criminality by permit holders.”  But Donohue’s only evidence is two news stories from 2000 and 2007 where permit holders committed crimes.  Neither story shows any failure by police to record the incidents.  The study never mentions how large the police error rate would have to be in order to for their results to hold.

Take Michigan, where Donohue claims that right-to-carry laws increased the violent crime rate by 8.8 percent.  During 2015, 22 of Michigan’s roughly 600,000 permit holders were convicted of violent crimes, and many of those had nothing to do with guns. Permit holders accounted for 0.053 percent of violent crime in the state.  Therefore, Michigan experienced an increase in crime that was 166 times greater than permit holder’s share of violent crimes.  And all this assumes that permit holders didn’t stop or deter any crimes.

For these results to be plausible, Michigan police departments would have to be missing 99.4 percent of cases where permit holders have committed violent crimes.

Other states with detailed data show similar results: Louisiana police would have to miss 99.5 percent of crimes committed by permit holders, Oklahoma 99.93 percent, Tennessee 99.98 percent, and Texas 99.54 percent.

But police certainly aren’t making these kinds of errors.

Permit holders are simply incredibly law-abiding.  In Florida and Texas, about one in 42,000 are convicted of weapons violations.  Most of these violations are fairly trivial, such as carrying a gun without a permit or accidentally carrying a firearm into a gun-free zone.  By comparison, one out of every 6,000 police officers are convicted of weapons violations.

The authors also rely on statistical tricks to come up with the claim that violent crime has gone up.  These are issues that have long been pointed out, but that the authors choose to ignore.

There is a reason that over two-thirds of published, peer-reviewed studies find that right-to-carry laws reduce violent crime rates in the U.S.  All but one other paper, another by these authors, has claimed that right-to-carry laws exert no bad influence on any violent crime rates.

With 16 million permit holders across 50 states, it is telling that not one state has ever held a legislative hearing to consider rescinding right-to-carry laws.  Surveys of police show that over 90 percent of officers consistently support such laws.

People who go through the process of obtaining a concealed handgun permit tend to be extremely law-abiding.  If the authors can’t actually find the permit holder crimes needed to support their statistical tests, then perhaps the problem is with their tests.  But someone isn’t looking for the truth if he would rely almost exclusively on Hawaii to predict changes in Idaho’s violent crime rate.

John R. Lott, Jr. is a columnist for He is an economist and was formerly chief economist at the United States Sentencing Commission. Lott is also a leading expert on guns and op-eds on that issue are done in conjunction with the Crime Prevention Research Center. He is the author of nine books including “More Guns, Less Crime.” His latest book is “The War on Guns: Arming Yourself Against Gun Control Lies (August 1, 2016). Follow him on Twitter@johnrlottjr.

After Scalise Shooting, a Twist: Lawmakers Want to Loosen Gun Laws

WASHINGTON — After the nation’s worst mass shootings, in Newtown, Conn.; Aurora, Colo.; Orlando, Fla.; and Columbine High School in Colorado, gun control advocates rose to demand more rigorous laws: stricter background checks, limits on magazine capacities, bans on assault weapons and tougher controls on gun shows and online firearms markets — almost always to no avail.

But in the weeks after the June 14 shooting of Republicans at a congressional baseball practice, the response has had a twist: Conservative lawmakers, some of whom were nearly the victims of gun violence, have pressed to loosen gun controls.

Three bills introduced in the Republican-held House during the past two weeks would allow lawmakers to almost always carry a concealed weapon. A fourth would allow concealed carry permits obtained in other states to be recognized in the District of Columbia. Still another would eliminate federal controls on silencers.

Most of the legislation has been in development for months, and in some cases, years. But the shooting in Alexandria, Va., which left Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the majority whip, grievously injured and three others less seriously wounded, served as motivation for Republicans on both sides of the Capitol to move.

“Have they ever been shot at, multiple times, at close range, trying to save someone without any way to defend yourself?” Representative Barry Loudermilk, who was on the field during the shooting, said of gun control advocates.

“When you’ve experienced that yourself, maybe then we can have this debate,” said Mr. Loudermilk, Republican of Georgia, evoking some of the emotion often conveyed by victims of gun violence who come to Washington seeking gun safety laws.

The legislative push underlines a continuing partisan clash after highly publicized mass shootings, one in which national lawmakers tussle over gun regulation and rarely stray from party lines. Gun rights legislation after the baseball practice shooting received a lift: The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which would require each state to honor another state’s concealed carry permits, reached 200 co-sponsors.

“I think what happened in Alexandria sharpened people’s resolve to make sure this right is protected,” said Representative Richard Hudson, Republican of North Carolina, who introduced the bill in January.


What Happened at the Shooting at a Congressional Baseball Practice

Five people were shot at a morning practice about five miles from the Capitol, the police said.

Politicians in the District of Columbia have spent years trying to stave off congressional Republican efforts to weaken the city’s gun control laws, but never under these circumstances.

“Washington, D.C., is the last place you want to condone or allow concealed-carry weapons,” said Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat and the District’s nonvoting House member. “They are certainly not going to be successful if I have anything to say about it.”

She said she objected not only to the attempt to bypass the city’s strict gun laws, but also to the timing of the push.

“It says everything about my colleagues that they would use the occasion of a tragedy on one of our members to come forward the day after with one of these bills,” Ms. Holmes Norton said.

But those who were on the field during the shooting, such as Representative Mo Brooks, Republican of Alabama, are motivated. Mr. Brooks, who is in a heated primary campaign for a Senate seat, introduced a bill that would allow members to carry a concealed weapon anywhere except in the Capitol and in the presence of the president or the vice president.

“Now seemed like an appropriate time to introduce it because of the obvious risk congressmen and senators face, as evidenced by the attack,” Mr. Brooks said.

“It makes it very difficult to slide into second base when you have a pistol on your side,” Mr. Crowley said.

When lawmakers return this week from their Fourth of July recess, the politics of guns could return with them. Just before they left, Senators Mike Lee, Republican of Utah, and Mike Crapo, Republican of Idaho, introduced a bill that would eliminate the federal regulation of silencers.


A display at a National Rifle Association show in Harrisburg, Pa., in February. A proposed bill would eliminate federal controls on silencers. CreditDominick Reuter/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Earlier that day, the National Rifle Association released an advertisement featuring incendiary charges that “they use their media to assassinate real news,” and images of violent protesters, concluding with a call to “fight this violence of lies with the clenched fist of truth.”

In contrast to the sit-in that followed the deadly Orlando nightclub shooting last year, Democrats have refrained from introducing new gun control legislation like the measure they pressed to bar gun sales to people on federal terrorism watch lists. Instead, they have focused on objecting to gun-rights legislation before congressional committees.

“Congress right now is a difficult place for any progressive issue, and ours is no exception,” said Josh Horwitz, the executive director for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. “I’m disgusted by the fact that we have to have mass shooting after mass shooting, and Congress isn’t doing anything about it.”

Before the end of July, Representatives Peter King, Republican of New York, and Mike Thompson, Democrat of California, plan to reintroduce their bipartisan bill to expand federal background checks to cover all gun sales, including online purchases — legislation inspired by the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. But Mr. King admitted he was pessimistic.

“Everything has been tried, and if Sandy Hook didn’t change people’s opinions, if Gabby Giffords’ case didn’t change people’s opinions, then it’s hard to see at this stage what would change,” said Mr. King, citing the shooting of a colleague, former Representative Gabrielle Giffords, Democrat of Arizona.

States have steadily drifted away from once-strict prohibitions on carrying concealed guns since the 1980s, when 19 states refused to allow concealed carry, said Robert Spitzer, a State University of New York professor who specializes in gun control research. Now, he said, more than half of the states have laws that make it relatively easy to obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon, a reversal heavily influenced by the N.R.A.’s state lobbying.

Republican majorities in recent years have in the House shut down gun control legislation, and in the Senate stopped measures to block gun purchases by people on the federal terrorism watch list and to tighten background check rules.

The debate in Washington is now shifting to federal legislation that would effectively block individual states from prohibiting the carrying of concealed guns.

“We think it boils down to safety and people being able to protect themselves,” said Erich Pratt, the executive director of Gun Owners of America, a gun rights group that is considered more conservative than the N.R.A. “The bad guys are always going to get guns.”

Mr. Spitzer said such safety is probably illusory.

“The weight of evidence suggests strongly that concealed carry does nothing to improve public safety,” Mr. Spitzer said. “That’s the most optimistic thing you can say statistically.”

Left-wing radicals want more gun laws. Here’s how to resist

Left-wing radicals want more gun laws. Here’s how to resist

Left-wing radicals want more gun laws. Here’s how to resist
© Getty Images

Gun control is the set of laws or policies that regulate the manufacture, sale, transfer, possession, modification, or use of firearms by civilians, not the radical left’s definition of gun control.

Gun control only means that one should be in control of their firearm at all times.

How is this accomplished?

Through responsible firearm ownership, which can be broken down into three critical measures.

First, know how to use your firearm.

Second, keep your firearm safe.

Third, promote firearm safety.

These three critical measures that result in responsible firearm ownership are the type of gun control that should be promoted. By practicing responsible firearm ownership, you are controlling your gun.If you are a law-abiding gun owner, it is your duty to practice responsible firearm ownership. As a gun owner, you have passed numerous requirements to purchase and own a firearm. The more prominent reasons to be denied include a felony conviction, a misdemeanor conviction punishable by more than two years in prison, a domestic violence charge, dishonorable discharge from the military, or ruled mentally unfit by a judge.

By not falling into these categories it is expected of you by society to practice the three critical measures of responsible firearm ownership previously stated.

Even with the long list of requirements to meet in order to purchase and own a firearm, the left would still like to see their ideas of gun control become law and further restrict law-abiding citizens from owning firearms.

According to a recent Pew Research Center poll, protection tops the list of reasons for owning a firearm. Furthermore, 74 percent of gun owners believe that owning a firearm is tied to their sense of personal freedom.

So why then does the left continue their assault on their second amendment rights, when the primary reason for owning a firearm is for self-defense?

There can be no sound reasoning for implementing stricter gun laws on law-abiding citizens when the data proves that stricter gun control laws do not work. As of June 30, more than 1,700 people have been shot in Chicago.

Yet, the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence ranked Illinois number eight in the country for strictest gun control laws — California is ranked number one.

California has extreme gun control measures such as a ten-day waiting period on gun purchases, universal background checks, gun registration, gun confiscation laws, an “assault weapons” ban, and a “good cause” requirement for concealed carry.

With all of these restrictions, a troubled person was still able to acquire firearms and kill three people.

Why then does the left continue to push for legislation that will only harm law-abiding citizens?

Remember, always practice responsible firearm ownership. Be in control of your firearm. Know how to use it, keep it safe, and promote firearm safety.

If you live by these three critical measures, you will be helping all firearm owners and hurting the Radical Left’s gun control agenda.

Tyler Yzaguirre is the co-founder and president of the Second Amendment Institute, which promotes gun rights through education and activism. Follow him on Twitter @tyleryz3

Legislators Hope to Reclassify Suppressors as Gun Accessories with the SHUSH Act


Legislators Hope to Reclassify Suppressors as Gun Accessories with the SHUSH Act

A new law has been pitched up on Capitol Hill that would mandate all suppressors be treated the same as firearm accessories.

The Silencers Helping Us Save Hearing Act, (S.H.U.S.H) would do exactly that, and it has been backed in the Senate by Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Mike Crapo of Idaho, and in the House by Iowa Congressman Steve King.

“Suppressors can make shooting safer for the millions of hunters and sportsmen that exercise their constitutional right to use firearms every year,” Lee said in a statement. “The current process for obtaining a suppressor is far too expensive and burdensome. Our bill would remove these unnecessary federal regulations and make it easier for firearms users to protect themselves.”

The bill – S. 1505 in the Senate and H.R. 3139 in the House, would not only remove suppressors from National Firearms Act requirements, but they would also be reclassified as a simple firearm accessory.

Of course, the bill received some scrutiny from anti-gun folks, who were quick to jump on and slander the new proposal.

“The bill would end the federal requirement for background checks on firearm silencer sales, and make it legal for convicted felons, domestic abusers, and the dangerously mental ill to buy and possess silencers,” Everytown said in a statement. “To the satisfaction of the NRA headquarters, the legislation would profit gun manufactures, who could mass market firearm silencers at the expense of public safety.”




Because he’s taken long shots — and triumphed — before.

Join OZY as we travel through all 50 states to uncover the challenges and meet the innovators reshaping a country that’s more divided than ever.


 s a Stanford mechanical engineering grad in 1990, Bryan von Lossberg joined NASA’s Pathfinder project, building what engineers nicknamed the “Martian Beer Cooler.” The white-cased container protected delicate electronic equipment from extreme temperatures and breakneck speeds. The project succeeded, somewhat miraculously, placing Pathfinder on Mars in 1997, despite a razor-thin budget in space terms — just $175 million — while relying on a parachute, a honeycombed air bag system and a bouncing landing.

When von Lossberg recounted this story at dinner parties, people would react with amazement — or with fury that the “crazy” mission was paid for by tax dollars, the 49-year-old recalls. In present-day Missoula, Montana, folks are having similarly polarized reactions to another project of his, one that in Big Sky Country sounds as outlandish and perhaps even more implausible: passing gun reform.


The first-term city councilman with shock-white hair belongs to a small swath of gun control advocates working in the red heart of conservative states. Von Lossberg took up the issue two years ago, when a Moms Demand Action chapter came to him concerned. The state has had one of the nation’s highest suicide rates for nearly 40 years, the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services reported last year. And while its high schoolers attempted suicide at a similar rate to the rest of the country, Montana children ages 11 to 17 were far more likely to complete the act — with 11 suicides in 2014 (the most recent year of data), and double the national rate for the same age group. What’s more, in the past 10 years of study, 65 percent of youth suicides involved firearms. Those figures stunned von Lossberg, and in October he led the Missoula City Council to an 8-4 resolution requiring background checks for all private sales. “They’re trying to fulfill their obligation to the citizens by enacting a law that they believe to be legally sound and has been proven to save lives,” says Laura Cutilletta, legal director for the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

Bryan Von Lossberg

Bryan von Lossberg


What von Lossberg has accomplished is unprecedented in recent Treasure State history — and for good reason, critics say, because it may be unconstitutional. Montana is one of 40 states with a “pre-emption law” barring local municipalities from restricting gun access without statehouse approval. In full knowledge of this, “they forged ahead … and created a lot of turbulence and distress in the community that was unnecessary,” says Gary Marbut, president of the Montana Shooting Sports Association and author of Gun Laws of Montana. With the pre-emption law in place, it wasn’t surprising when, in January, Montana’s Republican Attorney General Tim Fox opined that von Lossberg’s ordinance was illegal, leaving the measure virtually unenforcable.

Perhaps, but von Lossberg, with support from the city attorney, believes the case has merit if they pursue it. He references a state code saying localities can “prevent and suppress” firearm possession by felons, undocumented immigrants, the mentally ill and minors — legitimizing his push for background checks, he argues, with a nod toward local control. “There’s a significant amount of people that don’t take kindly to the trampling of the city’s ability to do this within its jurisdiction,” he says. Which leaves the former space engineer with a conundrum: Should he idle in neutral, or shoot for the moon, enforce the resolution and wage what will surely be a costly court battle against the state? Hanging in the balance is not just Missoula’s welfare — should von Lossberg prevail, the measure could also pave the way for other jurisdictions to fight for local control on gun issues.

With his bicycle helmet beside him, von Lossberg explains his philosophical journey on gun issues. After graduating in environmental studies from the University of Montana, he learned how to hunt from a former classmate who gifted him his first rifle. Years later, when von Lossberg advanced the background check legislation, the same friend confided that when he resold his guns, the sale was contingent on the buyer agreeing to a background check, even though it wasn’t required. It was a moral and practical issue, the friend said, to ensure that the guns never fell into the wrong hands — a sentiment von Lossberg heard echoed by gun owners in town hall meetings. Today, the married father talks about teaching his 5-year-old daughter to hunt someday, and preaching the background check system he urgently espouses.

Bryan Von Lossberg

Bryan von Lossberg


Still, many Montanans don’t see the need for such measures. “Suicide is a much more complex problem” than simply access to guns, Marbut argues, although he doesn’t deny the state’s high suicide rate. He views folks like von Lossberg, a California transplant, as imports trying to change the state ethos, a culture in which families pass guns from generation to generation, with some households owning more than two dozen firearms. Marbut believes roughly 9 in 10 households in Montana own guns, an “educated guess,” he says, based on studying firearm and ammunition sales data.

Von Lossberg concedes that many of those who approved of the ordinance don’t want to see the city dragged into a lengthy court battle, especially after it just ended a years-long case to gain control of the local water utility. While the ordinance sits in limbo, von Lossberg is betting on the long game, noting that even Missoula, now a thriving city, was once the bottom of a glacial lake. “I’m much more a believer in glacial, incremental change,” he says.

California’s gun control efforts suffer 2 legal setbacks

California’s gun control efforts suffer 2 legal setbacks

 June 30 at 4:28 AM
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California’s efforts to strengthen what already are some of the nation’s strictest gun laws took two blows this week, the latest coming when a federal judge blocked a law set to take effect Saturday that would have barred gun owners from possessing high-capacity ammunition magazines.

The judge ruled Thursday that the ban approved by the Legislature and California voters last year takes away gun owners’ Second Amendment rights and amounts to the government seizing people’s private property without compensation.

California law has prohibited buying or selling the magazines since 2000, but until now allowed those who already owned them to keep them.

Allowing the law to take effect would have given thousands of otherwise law-abiding citizens what San Diego-based U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez called an untenable choice: “Become an outlaw or dispossess one’s self of lawfully acquired property.”

He issued a preliminary injunction blocking the law from taking effect while he considers the underlying lawsuit filed by the National Rifle Association-affiliated California Rifle & Pistol Association.

Earlier this week, California regulators temporarily blocked proposed new rules on assault weapons submitted by Attorney General Xavier Becerra in May. The Office of Administrative Law said Becerra went too far in trying to impose the new regulations without allowing for public comment.

Becerra’s office is developing regulations on how current owners of soon-to-be-illegal assault-style weapons can keep them if they’re registered starting in July 2018.

Becerra, who also is defending the high-capacity magazine ban, criticized the San Diego judge’s decision without saying what he will do next on either setback.

“Proposition 63 was overwhelmingly approved by voters to increase public safety and enhance security in a sensible and constitutional way,” he said in a statement. “I will defend the will of California voters because we cannot continue to lose innocent lives due to gun violence.”

Lawyers representing both sides said Becerra can appeal both decisions.

“Unfortunately this law will be delayed but we are confident it will go into effect, and soon,” said Ari Freilich, staff attorney at the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. He called the San Diego lawsuit and ruling part of the NRA’s efforts “to delay and dismantle California’s law brick by brick.”

Had the ban taken effect, owners would have been required to get rid of their magazines by sending them out of state, altering them to hold no more than 10 bullets, destroying them or turning them into law enforcement agencies.

Owners can now keep the magazines until a final ruling by Benitez or if an appeals court overturns his injunction, said Chuck Michel, attorney for the NRA and the California Rifle & Pistol Association.

“This court recognized that the Second Amendment is not a second-class right and that law-abiding gun owners have the right to own these magazines to defend themselves and their families,” Michel said.

State lawmakers approved the ban last year as part of a package of gun restrictions. Voters agreed in November when they approved Proposition 63, a measure that toughened the penalties by allowing violators to be fined or jailed.

Benitez criticized Becerra’s arguments that magazines often holding 30 or 100 bullets are typically used in mass shootings and aren’t needed by hunters or civilian owners. Forcing assailants to change magazines more frequently gives victims time to flee or subdue the shooter, Becerra argued in court filings.

“Persons with violent intentions have used large capacity magazines, machine guns, hand grenades and pipe bombs, notwithstanding laws criminalizing their possession or use,” Benitez wrote. “Trying to legislatively outlaw the commonly possessed weapon de jour is like wearing flip flops on a slippery slope. A downhill slide is not hard to foresee.”

The judge suggested in his ruling that the Attorney General’s office failed to show that banning high-capacity magazines would have a significant effect on limiting mass shootings in California.

Becerra said opponents’ Second Amendment challenge has repeatedly been rejected by other courts, allowing at least seven other states and 11 local governments to already restrict the possession or sale of large-capacity ammunition magazines.

Last Year’s Gun Control Sit-in May Have Democrats in Hot Water With Ethics Committee

Last Year’s Gun Control Sit-in May Have Democrats in Hot Water With Ethics Committee

Last Year’s Gun Control Sit-in May Have Democrats in Hot Water With Ethics Committee

The House Ethics Committee has its eye on Reps. John Lewis (D-GA) and Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM) after fielding concerns from the watchdog the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust. The watchdog group filed a complaint in June 2016 against Lujan, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, for his participation in a 25-hour sit-in demanding votes on gun control. He and his colleagues were guilty of using the House resources for political purposes, FACT charged. For instance, during the protest, Lujan’s campaign sent out emails to supporters asking for donations.

“There can be no doubt that the sit-in and voting on a bill are actions taken in the Members’ official capacity,” FACT explained in its complaint. “The emails directly tie the sit-in and holding a vote on a bill to a solicitation for a contribution, and some include official House Television images.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan also noticed the Democrats’ untoward behavior at the time, shaming them for trying to fundraise off of a political stunt.

Then, this past January, FACT filed a complaint against another Democratic representative, John Lewis. Lewis was mentioned in their complaint about the gun control protest, but FACT had a separate concern about the Georgia representative for reportedly allowing his Chief of Staff Michael Collins to act as both his campaign treasurer and chief of staff.

In their letter to the ethics committee, FACT explained that Lewis was violating the rules that prohibit this kind of employment “outside salary limitations.”

Matthew Whitaker, FACT’s executive director, is pleased that the committee has referred both complaints.

“We are pleased that the Office of Congressional Ethics has referred two of FACT’s complaints to the House Ethics Committee,” Whitaker said in a statement Tuesday. “Members of Congress are sent to Washington to not only enact laws, but more importantly, follow them. With respect to Congressman John Lewis’ (D-Georgia) Chief of Staff Michael Collins and Congressman Ben Ray Lujan (D-New Mexico), these were not inadvertent mistakes, but egregious violations of crystal clear house rules. For Mr. Collins, this was not his first ethical offense.

“Congressional ethics rules exist to ensure that Members of Congress are not abusing their power and influence to their own personal benefit, including financial gain, as well as misusing taxpayer property and resources. We hope that the House Ethics Committee conducts a very thorough investigation into these cases.”

Supreme Court Turns Down Case on Carrying Guns in Public

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a Second Amendment challenge to a California law that places strict limits on carrying guns in public.

As is their custom, the justices gave no reasons for deciding not to hear the case. The court has turned away numerous Second Amendment cases in recent years, to the frustration of gun-rights groups and some conservative justices.

Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, dissented. The court’s refusal to hear the case, Justice Thomas wrote, “reflects a distressing trend: the treatment of the Second Amendment as a disfavored right.”

“For those of us who work in marbled halls, guarded constantly by a vigilant and dedicated police force,” Justice Thomas wrote, “the guarantees of the Second Amendment might seem antiquated and superfluous. But the framers made a clear choice: They reserved to all Americans the right to bear arms for self-defense. I do not think we should stand by idly while a state denies its citizens that right, particularly when their very lives may depend on it.”

The court has seldom addressed the scope of Second Amendment rights. In 2008, in District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep guns at home for self-defense.

Since then, the court has said little about what other laws may violate the Second Amendment. In the lower courts, few challenges to gun control laws since the Heller decision have succeeded.

But legal experts say it is only a matter of time before the court confronts the question of whether and how the Second Amendment applies outside the home.

The case, Peruta v. California, No. 16-894, concerned a state law that essentially bans carrying guns openly in public and allows carrying concealed weapons only if applicants can demonstrate good cause. The challengers, several individuals and gun-rights groups, sued San Diego and Yolo Counties, saying that officials there interpreted good cause so narrowly as to make it impossible to carry guns in public for self-defense.

 San Diego, for instance, defined good cause to require proof that the applicant was “in harm’s way,” adding that “simply fearing for one’s personal safety alone is not considered good cause.”

In a 7-to-4 ruling, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, said there was no Second Amendment right to carry a concealed weapon.

“Based on the overwhelming consensus of historical sources, we conclude that the protection of the Second Amendment — whatever the scope of that protection may be — simply does not extend to the carrying of concealed firearms in public by members of the general public,” Judge William A. Fletcher wrote for the majority.

The court did not decide whether the Second Amendment allows leeway for states to ban carrying guns in public.

“There may or may not be a Second Amendment right for a member of the general public to carry a firearm openly in public,” Judge Fletcher wrote. “The Supreme Court has not answered that question, and we do not answer it here.”

The Supreme Court also turned down a second case on gun rights, this one about the constitutionality of a law prohibiting people convicted of serious crimes from owning guns. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor noted that they would have granted review, but they gave no reasons.

The case concerned a federal law that prohibits possessing a gun after a conviction of “a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.” The law has an exception for “any state offense classified by the laws of the state as a misdemeanor and punishable by a term of imprisonment of two years or less.”

In separate cases, two Pennsylvania men said the law was unconstitutional as applied to them.

They were convicted of minor and nonviolent crimes decades ago, they said, and received no jail time. Though the laws under which they were convicted allowed for the theoretical possibility of sentences longer than two years, they argued, they should not have been stripped of a constitutional right for that reason.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in Philadelphia, ruled in their favor.

In urging the Supreme Court to hear the case, Sessions v. Binderup, No. 16-847, the Justice Department said the appeals court had “opened the courthouse doors to an untold number of future challenges by other individuals based on their own particular offenses, histories and personal circumstances.”

“The decision below,” the government’s brief said, “threatens public safety and poses serious problems of judicial administration because it requires judges to make ad hoc assessments of the risks of allowing convicted felons to possess firearms — a high-stakes task that Congress has already determined cannot be performed with sufficient reliability, and one for which the judiciary is particularly ill suited.”

Strict California Gun Control Impotent as UPS Gunman Uses Stolen Firearms

Strict California Gun Control Impotent as UPS Gunman Uses Stolen Firearms

California has universal background checks, gun registration requirements, gun confiscation laws, a ten-day waiting period on gun purchases, an “assault weapons” ban, a “good cause” requirement for concealed carry, and a high-profile shooting that garners national attention two or three times a year.

The latest occurred on June 14 in San Francisco, where a UPS employee pulled out a gun during “a company meeting” and opened fire, killing three innocents.

Moms Demand Action was quick to post news of the incident on its Facebook page–another high-profile shooting it can use to push for more gun control. However, to be honest, the only gun controls California has yet to pass are a ban on semi-automatic guns and/or an outright ban on gun ownership.

A ban on semi-automatic handguns would do nothing to slow crime, as it would only mean that criminals would have semi-automatic guns, and law-abiding citizens would not. Moreover, the Fresno gunman, who attacked in April, killed his victims with a revolver, which is more than sufficient as a murder weapon when one lives in a Democrat-run state that goes out of its way to prevent law-abiding citizens from being armed for self-defense.

We realize from the Chicago example that an all-out ban on the possession of handguns of any kind correlates with even higher murders than we see in that city now. In short, bans empower criminals and terrorists while making the vulnerable more vulnerable.

So despite almost every gun control imaginable, a UPS employee opened fired on colleagues during a meeting, and we now know the guns he used were stolen.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the attacker had two guns on his person, one of which had been stolen in Utah and one in Napa, California.

The Chronicle reported that although “California outlaws an array of assault weapons as well as high-capacity ammunition magazines, the weaponry frequently travels across the border.” In reporting this, the outlet overlooked that they had already announced one of the stolen guns was from Napa, and a gun stolen in Napa does not have to cross state borders before being used in a crime in San Francisco.

Clearly, the UPS attack is just another shooting that shows strict gun control is not an effective means of stopping determined attackers from attacking. But it certainly guarantees their victims will not be able to shoot back.

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at

Pew U.S. survey finds agreement on some gun-control proposals

Pew U.S. survey finds agreement on some gun-control proposals

By Chris Kenning

More than 80 percent of Americans want to limit firearms access for people with mental illness and require background checks at gun shows and in private sales, according to a Pew Research Center survey released on Thursday.

Eighty-three percent also favor barring gun purchases by those on federal no-fly or watch lists, the survey found.

But gun owners were far less supportive than non-owners of creating a federal database to track gun sales or to ban assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines.

The survey of 3,930 U.S. adults, including 1,269 gun owners, in March and April, provided a snapshot of American views on guns and gun policies as the nation grapples with gun violence.

On June 14, an Illinois man opened fire on Republican members of Congress with legally purchased guns during a baseball practice near Washington, wounding Louisiana Representative Steve Scalise.

A few hours later, a UPS driver opened fire with a handgun inside a United Parcel Service Inc delivery center in San Francisco, killing three co-workers before fatally shooting himself.

Some advocates called for a renewed push for gun control measures, as the Republican-controlled Congress has sought to relax existing gun laws.

The National Rifle Association has opposed expanded background checks and argued the government was already being notified when someone on a no-fly list attempts to buy a gun.

Pew’s survey respondents often diverged based on whether they were gun owners or non-owners, Republicans or Democrats and urban or rural residents.

“Overall, 52 percent of Americans say gun laws should be stricter than they are today,” according to Washington-based Pew.

Forty-four 44 percent of adults surveyed said they personally knew someone who was shot, accidentally or on purpose, and 83 percent believed gun violence was a very big or moderately big U.S. problem.

As for violence in their local communities, 49 percent of black respondents said it was a very big problem, compared with 11 percent of whites.

A large majority said easy access to illegal guns contributed to gun violence, but just as many thought expanding gun ownership would boost crime as reduce it.

Among all adults, 89 percent favored policies preventing the mentally ill from purchasing guns, and 84 percent favored background checks in private sales and at gun shows.

Tracking gun sales was favored by 71 percent overall, banning assault weapons by 68 percent, and banning high-capacity magazines by 65 percent, with gun-owners showing less approval than non-owners.

(Reporting by Chris Kenning; Editing by Richard Chang)

How U.S. gun control compares to the rest of the world

How U.S. gun control compares to the rest of the world

The U.S.’s lax gun control laws may negatively affect other countries



How U.S. gun control compares to the rest of the world

This article was originally published on The Conversation.

Editor’s note: This is an updated version of an article first published on June 24, 2015.

The shooting in Virginia that wounded House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, as well as the shooting in a San Francisco UPS facility that left four dead on the very same day, have generated — yet again — the standard set of responses in the wake of a mass shooting in the United States.

The details of any such tragedy often emerge slowly, but a few points can be made. While deaths from mass shootings are a relatively small part of the overall homicidal violence in America, they are particularly wrenching. The problem is worse in the U.S. than in most other industrialized nations. And it is getting worse.

The political overlay of the Virginia shooting also carries a particular social harm. Any thought that guns can play a helpful role in reducing tyranny in a democratic country like the United States should quickly be dispelled. Hopefully, that message will penetrate everyone from the NRA leadership and Sen. Rand Paul to anyone on the opposite end of the political spectrum who doesn’t like the current developments of Republican rule.

I’ve been researching gun violence — and what can be done to prevent it — in the U.S. for 25 years. The fact is that if the NRA claim that guns helped reduce crime were true, the U.S. would have the lowest homicide rate among industrialized nations instead of the highest one — and by a wide margin.

The U.S. is by far the world leader in the number of guns in civilian hands. The stricter gun laws of other “advanced countries” have restrained homicidal violence, suicides and gun accidents — even when, in some cases, laws were introduced over massive protests from their armed citizens.

The state of gun control in the US

Eighteen states in the U.S. and a number of cities including Chicago, New York and San Francisco have tried to reduce the unlawful use of guns as well as gun accidents by adopting laws to keep guns safely stored when they are not in use. Safe storage is a common form of gun regulation in nations with stricter gun regulations.

The NRA has been battling such laws for years. But that effort was dealt a blow in June 2015 when the U.S. Supreme Court – over a strident dissent by Justices Thomas and Scalia — refused to consider the San Francisco law that required guns not in use be stored safely. This was a positive step because hundreds of thousands of guns are stolen every year, and good public policy must try to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and children.

The dissenters were alarmed by the thought that a gun stored in a safe would not be immediately available for use, but they seemed unaware of how unusual it is that a gun is helpful when someone is under attack.

Statistics show only the tiniest fraction of victims of violent crime are able to use a gun in their defense. Over the period from 2007 to 2011, roughly six million nonfatal violent crimes occurred each year. Yet data from the National Crime Victimization Survey show that 99.2 percent of victims in these incidents did not protect themselves with a gun — this in a country with roughly 300 million guns in civilian hands.

Breaking News: VEPR Banned in The U.S. Due To New Russian Sanctions

If you’re a gun enthusiast and have been eyeing a VEPR rifle to add to your collection, your time may be severely limited to grab one before they fade away.

It appears the U.S. Department Of Treasury has updated the sanction list in connection to the Russian – Ukranian conflict, and as a result, VEPR rifles and shotguns have been added to the “banned” list.

The text from the US Department of Treasury can be read below:

MOLOT-ORUZHIE, OOO (a.k.a. OBSHCHESTVO S OGRANICHENNOI OTVETSTVENNOSTYU ‘MOLOT-ORUZHIE’; f.k.a. OBSHCHESTVO S OGRANICHENNOI OTVETSTVENNOSTYU PROIZVODSTVENNO INSTRUMENT KACHESTVO), 135 ul. Lenina, Vyatskie Polyany, Kirov Obl. 612960, Russia; Registration ID 1094307000633 (Russia); Tax ID No. 4307012765 (Russia); Government Gazette Number 60615883 (Russia) [UKRAINE-EO13661] (Linked To: KALASHNIKOV CONCERN).

Image courtesy wikimedia

Hot Take: Salon Says GOP Won’t Budge On Gun Control Because Of ‘Right-Wing Male Power Fantasies’

Hot Take: Salon Says GOP Won’t Budge On Gun Control Because Of ‘Right-Wing Male Power Fantasies’

Matt Vespa
Posted: Jun 19, 2017
Hot Take: Salon Says GOP Won’t Budge On Gun Control Because Of 'Right-Wing Male Power Fantasies’

After the horrific shooting in Alexandria, VA this week, which left House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) in critical condition—there will be a discussion about guns in America again. James Hodgkinson, a Bernie Sanders supporter with a history of anti-GOP sentiments, opened fire on the Republican baseball team that was practicing a day before their annual charity game against the Democrats. Congressional staffers and members of the Capitol Police, whose engagement with Hodgkinson saved lives, were also wounded. Blessedly, Rep. Scalise is doing much better.

On the gun control debate, I’ll extend an olive branch. There are times when the left sort of makes sense about guns. For example, I think we can agree that terrorists should not get their hands on firearms, or at least make it hard for them to do so. Where they go off the hinges is when they try to use that argument to expand the grossly unconstitutional no-fly list program and bar Americans, who haven’t been convicted of any crimes, from being able to exercise their Second Amendment rights. How do you get on the list? How can you get your name removed from it? We don’t know. There’s really no due process. And then, there’s Salon’s analysis of the shooting, which gets into this analysis of how gun marketing is linked to “right-wing male power fantasies,” and how Republicans won’t change their minds about gun control. I know, spoiler alert, right? [Emphasis mine]:

The gun industry and the National Rifle Association market guns with promises that owning guns will make a customer feel manly and powerful, and that fantasy has a power that can transcend political boundaries. And no one knows better than gun industry leaders how feelings of political frustration caused by seeing your preferred candidate lose an election can be channeled into a pitch to buy more guns.


Gun marketing, helped along by the political messaging of the NRA, , is targeted largely at conservatives. That said, the emotional buttons being pushed — the wish to feel powerful, the desire to prove one’s masculinity, the appeal of violence as a political shortcut — cannot be contained by something as pedestrian as political partisanship. Through years of marketing and cultural messaging, the appeal of guns has been crafted into something totemic, even primal — desired by all manner of people who yearn for some kind of cleansing violence to solve their problems.

Around the time of Trump’s inauguration, a debate emerged in leftist circles about the value of political violence, particularly after an anonymous person punched white supremacist Richard Spencer in the face on camera on Inauguration Day. While I strongly relate to the desire to lash out at people who would dismantle our democracy in the name of white nationalism, I’ve been persuaded by friends and allies, especially journalist Dave Neiwert of the Southern Poverty Law Center, that political violence is always a bad idea. Not only is it wrong but it tends to backfire, creating the pretext for the violent suppression of liberal or leftist ideas.

Already there are right-wing street gangs forming, eagerly looking for an excuse to lash out against anyone they perceive as being on the left. Already there’s been a shooting of a left-leaning protester — who by all accounts was trying to restore peace — by right-wingers who seemed to be out for blood. Already two men have been killed, and a third was badly injured by an unhinged reactionary and white supremacist who claims he was acting in self-defense because the three men tried to interfere with his verbal assault on two women of color. There is every reason to believe that the baying alt-right wolves cannot wait to use this shooting as an excuse to escalate their efforts at using violence to quell liberal dissent.

And when it comes to the Republicans, sadly there is no reason to believe they will react to this dreadful crime by rethinking their resistance to saner gun control laws that could go a long way toward minimizing the amount of damage that people disposed to carrying out violence can do. Despite watching their friends and colleagues running away from a hail of gunfire, Republican politicians and pundits are sticking with the thoughts-and-prayers narrative and not even discussing taking steps to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people.

The socialist writer Upton Sinclair had a saying he liked to trot out at public events: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

Yeah, if you’re going to make at least a half-assed attempt to convince the right about something, don’t quote socialists. Second, the white supremacist that killed two men in Portland during his berating of two Muslim women on a train was, like Hodgkinson, a Bernie Sanders supporter. Also, I’ve never really seen the NRA market firearm ownership as one that will make you powerful and manly, only that it’s your right enshrined in the Constitution, that it’s a great equalizer for women when facing a potential life-threatening situation, and they’re to be used safely and responsibly. They tell kids what to do if they see an unattended firearm. How to handle them properly when shooting them at the range, and they offer concealed carry courses for law-abiding Americans who wish to carry firearms for their own protection. Liberals always cite statistics about how firearms increase the likelihood of fatal accidents. That’s false. Between 1991-2011, unintentional firearm fatalities dropped 58 percent, according to the National Safety Council. Only 1.5 percent of unintentional deaths of children 14 years of age or younger is attributed to a firearm. In 2017, unintentional firearms fatalities dropped 17 percent between2015-2016. Also, was that the insinuation that political violence is wrong, but especially bad because…leftist ideas could be squashed?

The piece added, “The NRA’s stories about how scary black and brown men are about to bust down your door and kill your family are good for selling guns, but they were the also same narratives that helped propel Trump to the White House.” Oh, and again with the psychoanalysis stuff, “Fears of emasculation, racist anxieties about crime, power fantasies about silencing dissent through threats of violence, and a widespread loathing for liberals and their insistence on rational evidence — all these things sell guns.”

What stories are these? I’ve rarely seen Dana Loesch or Colion Noir discuss how people of color are going to kill us all in their media spots for the NRA? As a proud member of the NRA, I have yet to get a piece of literature, mailer, door hanger, or email where the oldest civil rights organization in the country said I need to be fearful of brown people, so buy guns. It’s mostly been about how Democrats’ anti-gun policies hurt innocent people (i.e. Chicago), how the no-fly list is being used as an unconstitutional backdoor to curb gun rights, how the Second Amendment is fundamental to preserving our freedoms as Americans, how the liberal media distorts and at times-outright lies about shootings to further an anti-gun agenda. I think Salon has the NRA mixed up with the American Nazi Party, which had posted horrific and racist stories on their website about black people killing whites. It frankly was not the most enjoyable part of my junior year seminar in high school.

I may not have supported President Trump in the primaries, but he touted fairer trade deals, job creation, being a warrior of the working class, and positioned himself to be a cheerleader for the country. On the latter, Obama failed spectacularly. He had a message, he was an outsider, he was fresh, and we elected him. Not a day goes by where I don’t regret my vote for him; Hillary Clinton is not, and never will be, president. Sorry Never Trumpers, that’s what was key to me. Stopping Clinton.

I’ve shot with and spoken to scores of gun owners and they don’t fear emasculation, they don’t have power fantasies, and they’re not racist. This is pure unadulterated crap and when liberal media personalities think that Trump has a dark vision of America, please direct them to Salon. You’d think we’ve entered some post-apocalyptic era akin to The Postman. Gun owners, who number in the tens of millions, are law-abiding, patriotic Americans who proudly exercise their right to bear arms. They’re good guys with guns. Period. There’s nothing to be afraid. Also, the police officers who stopped Hodgkinson are good guys with guns. The people who stopped the two escaped Georgia inmates who murdered two correctional officers are good guys with guns. In Vermont, at least 70 percent of residents own a firearm. Are they all part of a right-wing male power fantasy orgy? Are they racist? Do they fear black men breaking into their homes? Are they really loathing of liberalism having elected a self-described democratic socialist to represent them in the U.S. Senate? Yeah, no—it’s none of the above. Anti-gun analysis like this is nothing more than dispatches from the progressive cesspool of urban America.

Australia announces national gun amnesty

Australia announces national gun amnesty

Illegal firearms sized by Australian police
Image captionIt is estimated that there are as many as 260,000 illicit guns in Australia

Australia is bringing in its first national gun amnesty since 1996 because of the growing terrorism threat and an influx of illegal arms in the country.

During the three-month amnesty running from 1 July, people can hand in unregistered weapons without the fear of prosecution, the government says.

Those caught outside that period face fines of up to A$280,000 ($212,730; £166,480) or up to 14 years in prison.

It is estimated that there are as many as 260,000 illicit guns in Australia.

Justice Minister Michael Keenan said illegal guns were used in recent terror attacks in Australia as well as for organised crime.

“This is an opportunity for people to present the guns to authorities, no questions asked and with no penalty,” he said.

“If people don’t take that opportunity, the penalties for owning an unregistered or illegal gun in Australia are very severe.”

Australia brought in a similar amnesty deal after the 1996 shootings in Port Arthur.

Attacker Martin Bryant killed 35 people in the historic tourist town in Tasmania – the worst mass shooting in Australia’s history.

In recent years the authorities have been expressing growing concern over the threat of possible terrorist attacks in the country.

Last month, they said they were treating as a “terrorist incident” a siege in Melbourne in which a gunman was killed.

In 2014, a 16-hour hostage situation in a Sydney cafe ended with three people dead, including the armed hostage-taker.