Democratic gains in Congress and state legislatures in 2006 shifted power toward anti-gunners, and they wasted no time betraying the trust of firearms owners whom they had courted last year to win elections.
Joined by a trio of anti-gun Republicans in the House of Representatives, Democrats unveiled legislation to resurrect and expand the so-called assault weapons ban of the Clinton Administration. Anti-gun Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) introduced HR-1022, which would expand the ban.
In Connecticut, anti-gunners tried to rush through several gun bills in mid-January but they were stalled at the last moment. Anti-gunners in Georgia fought a proposal that would allow people to leave guns in their cars while at work, and in Arkansas there was a battle over a bill that would remove the requirement that citizens attempt to retreat from an attack before they use deadly force.
In New Jersey, a scheme was hatched to ration handguns, thanks to anti-gun Assemblywoman Joan Quigley.
Washington state gun activists descended on the capitol in Olympia for February hearings on anti-gun bills, including one that would have essentially put gun shows out of business. Lawmakers were left convinced by the turnout of gunowners that passing anti-gun legislation was a bad idea. That turnout was led by former CCRKBA Executive Director Joe Waldron, at the time also president of the Washington Arms Collectors, which operates the largest gun show in the Evergreen State.
California’s legislature began debating a bill that would ban the use of lead projectiles in Condor habitat. That legislation was passed, and ultimately signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger later in the year.
The anti-gun Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) coalition met in Washington, DC, and in Delaware, Wal Mart outlets dropped firearm sales. Gun Week revealed in late February that MAIG had gotten a huge grant from the anti-gun Joyce Foundation.
On the winning side, Virginia lawmakers rejected a bill that would have allowed local municipalities to ban guns in public libraries. In Montana, lawmakers greeted a bill that would prohibit Katrina-type gun confiscations.
Amid it all, the “model” for international gun controlGreat Britainreported a soaring crime rate with residential robberies up 46%.
And in an unusual departure from standard New York journalism, The New York Sun slammed both The New York Times and Florida Sun-Sentinel in an editorial criticizing their coverage of Florida’s concealed carry statute.
The US Fish & Wildlife Service reported that hunting license sales for 2005 had generated a record for conservation funding, topping $723 million.
March opened with a blast as Gun Week revealed the results of an FBI study that found cop-killers literally laugh at gun laws. This 180-page study, Violent Encounters: A study of Felonious Assaults on Our Nation’s Law Enforcement Officers, had been ignored by the mainstream press. At the time, Waldron suggested it was because the study said things the media did not want to hear.
The study also revealed that none of the criminals who were the focus of the study had gotten their guns from gun shows. And criminal investigative instructor Ed Davis from the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit said none of these criminals was “hindered by any lawfederal, state or localthat has ever been established to prevent gun ownership. They just laughed at gun laws.”
There was suppression of a different sort at work in Salt Lake City, where a shooting at the Trolley Square mall was interrupted because an off-duty police officer from a different jurisdiction had ignored the “No Firearms” signs and was packing his .45-caliber pistol on a visit with his wife. He kept the gunman pinned down until uniformed officers arrived, and ultimately, the gunman was killed.
This became one more example of a shooting in a “gun free zone,” which CCRKBA and other organizations publicly condemned, and demanded that such zones be abolished.
New information from the National Safety Council showed that firearm accidents have hit record lows, another bit of information that was “overlooked” by the mainstream press.
And yet another study that was ignored by the press was released by Family Security Matters that suggested more Americans are killed by illegal aliens than are dying in the Iraq war. That study estimated that more than 2,000 American citizens are murdered annually by criminals who should not even be in this country.
An audit in Chicago, IL, that was kept secret for more than a decade finally surfaced and it was an embarrassment for the Chicago Police Department and anti-gun Mayor Richard Daley. This audit showed that the cops were trafficking guns taken in as evidence back to the street and straight into the hands of criminals. More than 130 such guns were channeled out of custody and back out on the street.
It seems nothing can suppress perennial anti-gunners like Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), and in early 2007 he was busy filing S-77, the “Anti-Gun Trafficking Penalties Enhancement Act of 2007.” After running around the nation in 2006 professing to support gun rights, Schumer was up to his old tricks, primarily thanks to a shift in power from Republicans to Democrats on Capitol Hill for the first time in 14 years. Schumer’s bill would have required the ATF to turn over sensitive gun trace data to lawsuit-happy politicians like Bloomberg.
In Kansas, various city councils were scrambling to scheme up ways to avoid having to implement that state’s new concealed carry law, and in most cases they met immediate opposition from firearms owners.
Reality Sets In
The truth sometimes hurts, and in Great Britain it must have really pained anti-gunner Ian Bell to admit in a commentary that the nation’s gun bans “have utterly failed.” His stunning remarks were carried in The Scotland Sunday Herald, and he admitted that he had been wrong to support the gun bans and expect crime to decline. Bell admitted that he had campaigned hard to rid the nation of firearms, thinking that violence would vanish. In the end, he was forced to acknowledge, “My idea didn’t work.”
It was a far different kind of reality for veteran gun and hunting writer Jim Zumbo, whose long and distinguished career came to a crashing halt, albeit temporarily, when he wrote on a blog entry for Outdoor Life that he thought semi-auto military style rifles should be banned from hunting, and called them “terrorist rifles.” That entry ignited a furious protest from owners of so-called evil black rifles or “EBRs” and it quickly resulted in his resignation from Outdoor Life, where his byline had appeared for more than 30 years, and the suspension of his popular television program.
In an exclusive interview with Gun Week, Zumbo professed his profound regret, and admitted, “I did it to myself. I have nobody to blame.”
But Zumbo was no quitter in the face of self-inflicted adversity. He came out swinging, promisingand later coming through on that promiseto become the anti-gunners’ worst nightmare. Weeks later, he took off the gloves against anti-gun Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) in a letter he sent to the US Senate. Levin had used Zumbo’s blog remarks to bolster his own anti-gun agenda, and Zumbo characteristically, albeit diplomatically, told Levin where to stick it.
That letter immediately made the rounds on Internet chat forums, and Zumbo’s reputation quickly and significantly improved. At last report, Zumbo’s program was back on the air. He spent time with gonzo pro-gun rocker Ted Nugent and hunted with an AR-15. He attended an “assault rifle” training school and in good natured spirit accepted the “Fudd Award,” a stuffed Elmer Fudd doll.
But the biggest reality of all came in late March in the form of a judicial hammer blow to anti-gun extremists across the nation, when the District of Columbia Court of Appeals threw out that city’s 31-year-old gun ban on constitutional grounds. The ban, said highly-respected Senior Judge Laurence Silberman in his majority opinion, violated the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
One could hear the squeals of anguish from gun control groups from one end of the land to the other. It was the first time in history that a federal court had struck down a gun law on Second Amendment grounds, and it set in motion the appeals process that many on both sides publicly said was long overdue: a high court definitive ruling on the meaning of the Second Amendment.
Meanwhile, the city of Cleveland filed a lawsuit in Common Pleas Court challenging Ohio’s state preemption statute. Anti-gun Mayor Frank Jackson wanted a declaratory judgment, but the president of the Cleveland Police Patrolman’s Association advised union members to disregard a Jackson order to enforce the city’s gun law, despite the preemption law. Over in Columbus, however, police stopped enforcing a semi-auto ban to avoid a lawsuit.
In Illinois, gunowners descended upon the capitol in Springfield to protest a proposed ban on semi-auto sport utility rifles.
March found Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine signing legislation that bans vigilante “sting” operations like that mounted last year by New York’s Bloomberg. Gunowners were astonished in November when it was reported that former First Lady Nancy Reagan actually supported the idea of Bloomberg running for the White House.
Also in March, pro-gun Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed that state’s “Castle Doctrine” statute, which is actually a “stand-your-ground” law that protects citizens who fight back. Perry infuriated anti-gunners when he declared that armed citizens should be able to pack their pistols anywhere.
Coincidentally, the Oregon State Supreme Court ruled that in the Beaver State, there is no duty to retreat from criminal attack before fighting back. Oregon joins neighboring Washington as a state with a Supreme Court-protected right to stand your ground.
Perhaps the term “craven politics” took on a new dimension when the Democrat majority in Congress tabled a long-sought measure to give District of Columbia residents a voting seat in the House of Representatives. The reason that motion was tabled was because there would have been a recorded vote on an amendment that would have nullified the District’s handgun ban.
Another win came in what may have been a begrudging story in The Minneapolis Star Tribune that revealed Minnesota’s conceal and carry law had not resulted in the kind of rampant violence predicted by anti-gunners who fought the measure four years ago.
While Bloomberg was demanding that Congressional Democrats push stricter gun control measures, mayors began bailing from his anti-gun coalition.
Spring arrived with the news that SAF founder Alan Gottlieb had been elected to the executive committee of the World Forum on the Future of Sport Shooting Activities (WSFA), an international organization founded to promote and preserve shooting sports around the world.
There are losses outside of politics, and for former Asbury Park, NJ, police director Louis Jordan, losing his concealed carry piece was an embarrassing black eye, putting him right up there in the ranks of anti-gun Seattle, WA, police Chief Gil Kerlikowske, whose 9mm Glock, stolen out of his parked car on a downtown Seattle street three years ago, remains missing. Jordan’s gun was found in a commuter parking lot and returned to the embarassed top cop.
In a definite win for Virginia gunowners, the Old Dominion’s attorney general shut down an Internet link to the state’s database of persons licensed to carry concealed handguns. This was in reaction to an attempt by Roanoke Times editorial columnist Christian Trejbal to access the list and publish the names. The columnist never responded to an interview request from Gun Week.
West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, a Democrat, signed two pro-gun bills into law, and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) signed concealed carry reform.
And the Kansas Legislature turned the tables on anti-gun Democrat Gov. Kathleen Sebelius for the second time in two years when lawmakers overrode her veto of state preemption.
However, Democrat Connecticut Gov. Jodi Rell signed into law a measure that penalizes gunowners in that state if they do not quickly report stolen firearms to the police.
The firearms community suffered a couple of very personal losses this past spring, with the deaths of Guns & Ammo founder Robert E. “Pete” Petersen, and Para-Ordnance co-founder Attila “Ted” Szabo within five days of one another.
Spring also saw legendary Remington Arms Company announcing that it was being acquired by a New York-based private equity firm, Cerberus Capital Management LP, for the announced price of $118 million.
Bloody Gun Free Zones
The nation was rocked by the massacre at Virginia Tech in April, but only weeks before, at the other end of the country, a lone gunman stalking his former girlfriend walked into her office on the University of Washington campus in Seattle and shot her five times before taking his own life.
Both incidents, and a later shooting at a Kansas City, MO, shopping mall, brought anti-gunners out of the woodwork, but gun rights leaders fired right back, noting that these shootings, and other school and shopping mall attacks, all had one “dirty little secret” in common: Every one happened in a so-called gun free zone. No matter where the issue surfaced, pro-gunners were there to hammer anti-gun demands for more gun control, and a student organization promoting concealed carry on campus sprang up at colleges and universities across the country. It eventually led to a nationwide effort in October called the “Empty Holster Protest” in which legally-licensed students wore empty holsters on their belts to class.
A considerable amount of political blood spilling erupted in the spring, and continues off and on today, with the announcement by the NRA that it had negotiated a so-called National Instant Check System Improvement Act with House Democrats. Gun rights hard core activists, spurred by opposition from Gun Owners of America, immediately cried foul, asserting that the proposed legislation was a sell-out. Firing back, the NRA insisted there was nothing in the proposed legislation that would adversely affect any law-abiding gunowner, and the organization also said the proposal would open the doors to relief-from-disabilities appeals by tens of thousands of military veterans whose names had been put on the NICS list arbitrarily during the Clinton Administration.
This negotiation began in the wake of the Virginia Tech massacre, with only NRA participating, while other gun rights groups were not involved. While the bill passed by an unrecorded voice vote in the House, it was stalled in the Senate.
The massacre happened on the day after the NRA held its annual meeting in St. Louis, MO, and almost prophetically at his address to the members meeting 48 hours prior to the attack, Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre had predicted that the “calm” was behind gunowners, and a storm was looming. It was the meeting that saw NRA second woman President, Sandra Froman, pass the gavel to John Sigler.
Give it to Profs. Don B. Kates and Gary A. Mauser for puncturing gun ban arguments with a revealing study that shows the rate of firearms ownership is irrelevant to the homicide and violent crime rates in America and abroad. The study refuted long standing claims by anti-gunners that America’s higher rate of gun ownership is responsible for higher violent crime rates here.
“Though this has been endlessly repeated,” they wrote, “in fact, (it) is false and…substantially so.”
Significantly, the study appeared in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy.
While that study was making some small waves, the NRA was making more of its own, by opposing legislation sponsored by anti-gun Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) that would have allowed the attorney general discretionary power to deny gun purchases to persons whose names appear on the government’s secret terrorist “watch list.” That legislation got the support of former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, and that support may have partly led to his departure months later.
Acting ATF Director Michael Sullivan scored some points of his own in the gun community when he publicly refuted claims by Bloomberg and others that municipal police departments could not access important gun trace data under a federal statute barring access for anything other than a legitimate criminal investigation. ATF insiders told Gun Week that Sullivan had simply had enough when he penned an Op-Ed piece that set the record straight, and explained why under his command the agency consistently opposed allowing random access to that sensitive trace data.
Sullivan was joined in his criticism by the Fraternal Order of Police, which also blasted Bloomberg for fighting to get his hands on that trace data.
Another myth that burst this year was about how safe Britain became with its handgun ban. According to a report in The Washington Post, that’s not true. Since 1995, Great Britain has seen a 300% rise in handgun crime, the newspaper reported.
While California now has a Microstamping requirement, earlier this year a study showed that the technology is feasible, but flawed. And one of the best myth busters of all, ABC’s John Stossel, struck again when he destroyed the claim that school campuses are dangerous.
In the rough and tumble world of the press, even Gun Week is not invincible, and at mid-year, this newspaper went to a twice-monthly publication schedule. Executive Editor Joe Tartaro explained the economic reality of it in late May, due to rising postage rates and other economic factors, and the rise of Internet use. Unlike other newspapers, however, there were no Gun Week staff reductions, and Tartaro has lived up to his promise that the newspaper would “continue to deliver our special brand of independent, in-depth reporting on gun and hunting-related news.”
That reporting revealed, for example, how terrified anti-gunners became at the prospect of an appeal of the District of Columbia gun ban to the US Supreme Court. While the issue was discussed by The Washington Post, other newspapers have virtually ignored this story, instead selecting to criticize the lower court ruling, and complain about how an “activist judge” had issued an opinion in conflict with years of jurisprudence that held the Second Amendment protected only a collective right of states to organize militias.
We continued reports, good and bad, including the raid and arrest of a Louisiana firearms dealer and his staff for falsifying records and other charges.
On the other hand, Gun Week has covered the on-going controversy surrounding the ATF’s continued alleged harassment of Idaho’s Red’s Trading Post.
We also reported that Alabama police praised the armed intervention of a private citizen in a bank robbery. That citizen, Chris Chappell, confronted gunman William Merriweather Jr., giving lawmen time to move in. Merriweather was arrested on two counts of murder in the
bloody botched heist.
Likewise, we reported about the praise heaped upon a private citizen who shot and killed a New Hampshire cop-killer, using the fallen officer’s service sidearm.
Gun Week’s Bob Lesmeister investigated rumors that Yugoslav-manufactured SKS rifles were being banned for US import and debunked the story in an exclusive report, and we were also first to report that SAF had called for Gonzales’ resignation in the wake of his announced support for the Lautenberg legislation mentioned earlier.
Gun Week also offered far more coverage of protests outside of Chuck’s Gun Shop by anti-gunner Jesse Jackson and Catholic Priest Michael Pfleger than either would have liked. Pfleger declined interview requests, but we talked plenty with Chuck’s owner John Riggio, who gave a detailed account of how Jackson and Pfleger were arrested for trespass, and how Pfleger had called for Riggio to be “snuffed” in a speech near the store.
Angered by Jackson’s interference with the gun shop, CCRKBA proposed federal legislation that would ban such interference, on the same level as a law currently prohibiting such interference with clinics that provide abortion counseling.
And Gun Week tracked down Ohio lawmaker Michael DeBose, a Cleveland resident and Baptist minister who had a sudden change of heart on the gun issue when he was confronted by two armed thugs outside his home. DeBose vowed to never be caught unarmed again, and said he would be a supporter of concealed carry and gun rights.
So, about the only thing that’s changed here is our publication frequency.
Open Carry, Closed Minds
Gun Week is perhaps the only publication in America that has covered the Open Carry movement head-on with extensive coverage this past summer. Open carry is legal in many states, though the practice has long ago passed by the wayside, until now. Open carry activists have gotten busy in several states, including Virginia, New Hampshire and Washington.
Polling this past summer revealed that Americans have more open minds about gun ownership, rejecting the notion that more laws are necessary, even in the wake of the Virginia Tech massacre.
In Cleveland, The Plain Dealer newspaper turned loose a couple of columnists to explore and accurately report on community outrage in the aftermath of a shooting that left a street punk dead and the shooter victimized by his hoodlum friends. Both the dead teen and the shooter were black, and in this case, the community overwhelmingly supported the action of 25-year-old Damon Wells. The community came together to fight back against rising street crime, and the newspaper earned kudos for its no-nonsense look at armed self-defense.
In Utah, a gay gun rights activist filed a complaint with the Salt Lake City police after he was ejected from a Gay Pride event for openly-carrying a handgun, which is legal in the Beehive State.
Camp Perry, OH, celebrated its 100th anniversary for the National Matches, and at the same time Ohio gun activists declared war on a newspaper editor in Sandusky for publishing the names of concealed carry permit holders. In response, the Buckeye Firearms Association revealed facts about the newspaper editor on their website.
A major flap, but ultimately much ado about apparently nothing erupted in mid-summer over remarks made on the air by the head of a Massachusetts anti-gun group and an anti-gun columnist for The Boston Globe, who told the tale about their involvement in an out-of-state gun show purchase that had all the earmarks of a self-confessed straw man sale.
ATF agents investigated the sale, which allegedly occurred in late 2005 with the involvement of columnist Steve Bailey and John Rosenthal, head of Stop Handgun Violence Now, who had also been founding president of the American Shooting and Hunting Association Foundation. Their remarks occurred on a live talk radio show on WRKO radio.
SAF’s Alan Gottlieb called for an investigation, and in reaction, Bailey wrote at least two columns blasting Gottlieb and discussing his tax conviction more than 20 years ago, while making light of the gun transaction. The Globe refused to run Gottleib’s Op-Ed rebuttal, instead “referring” his remarks to the Letters Editor. By contrast, Gun Week ran an exclusive interview with Rosenthal, who offered details of a handgun purchase made, ostensibly on their behalf, by a New Hampshire resident, to demonstrate how easy it might be to conduct a straw man purchase at a gun show.
But the story had holes, the handgun apparently never left New Hampshire or the possession of the man who bought it, even though Bailey acknowledged that he paid for the gun and charged the expense to the newspaper. The gun was confiscated by ATF agents, but no charges were ever filed. The case ultimately only proved that anti-gunners need to watch what they claim on live radio, else it will get them in trouble.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) had its own troubles when it published proposed rules that would have severely impacted gunowners and the ammunition industry. OSHA, part of the Department of Labor, was flooded with angry mail and phone calls, the NRA, CCRKBA, National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), NMLRA, and what seemed like the entire gun industry expressed outrage at the proposed rule changes, and ultimately, they were withdrawn.
Jesse Jackson couldn’t stay out of the headlines, and he announced a 25-city gunshop protest effort for Aug. 25 that essentially fizzled.
Global warming guru and former anti-gun Vice President Al Gore had an embarrassing moment when his 24-year-old son was busted for drugs while, appropriately, driving a hybrid car. The younger Gore reportedly was speeding along the Los Angeles freeway at about 100 mph when he was pulled over by an Orange County sheriff’s deputy.
Here’s one for irony: a Texas lawmaker who opposed strengthening the Lone Star State’s self-defense statute made headlines when he shot a thief who was stealing copper wire from a Houston construction site. State Rep. Borris Miles (D-Houston) took a lot of flak from irate gunowners for his double-standard approach to personal defense.
Reporters collectively took the heat when MSNBC investigative reporter Bill Dedman “blew the whistle” on colleagues who, by a 9-to-1 margin, donate cash to Democrats over Republicans. One newsman singled out by Dedman’s report has a personal blog on which he ranted about the “fing NRA” and accused the organization of fostering “a culture of violence” against animals and people.
In the Courts
Through the summer and into the fall, America was poised to learn whether the Supreme Court would hear the District of Columbia’s gun ban appeal, and meanwhile, other courts were busy.
In New York, federal judge Jack Weinstein okayed a lawsuit by the city against more than a dozen gun shops around the country, with a trial date set Jan. 7.
A trial date of Nov. 26 was set for the trespassing charges against Jesse Jackson and Father Michael Pfleger of Chicago.
A federal judge in Georgia confounded Bloomberg by denying a request by the mayor’s attorneys to dismiss or transfer a lawsuit filed against the mayor and others by Adventure Outdoors, a Georgia retailer and target of Bloomberg’s vigilante gun sting.
About the same time, a circuit judge in Wisconsin issued a ruling that might crack the door open for concealed carry. The judge ruled that the state’s ban on concealed carry, at least as it pertained to the case before him, is unconstitutional. His decision was later appealed to a higher court by the DA and is pending as this issue goes to press.
After two years of Gun Week reporting and investigating recreational shooting on national forest land, and the obstacles being thrown at shooters by the US Forest Service over the contention that shooting near a road is illegal, the Forest Service headquarters issued a memorandum that reverses that policy.
Gonzales finally stepped down and is being succeeded by former Judge Michael Mukasey, who has been quoted as believing the Second Amendment affirms an individual civil right.
An Oklahoma federal judge blocked a state law that allowed employees to have guns in their cars on company property. That statute had been passed in reaction to the firing of several Weyerhaeuser employees a few years ago who had guns in their vehicles on the eve of the hunting season.
It’s All Politics
The 2008 presidential campaign has been going on for months, with front-runners emerging, then falling behind, and then advancing again.
All but one DemocratNew Mexico Gov. Bill Richardsonseem to be giving lip service to gunowners by declaring their “support” of the Second Amendment. Richardson has shepherded his state’s concealed carry legislation and also signed into law good amendments to that original statute. The others, however, seem far less enthusiastic about gun rights, with front runners Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama supporting all manner of gun legislation. When John Edwards floated a proposed “Sportsman Bill of Rights,” gunowners shrugged.
On the Republican side, Rudolph Giuliani, Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson have argued gun rights and appealed to gunowners, with Thompson clearly holding a lead on that issue among gunowners. However, Rep. Ron Paul clearly appears to have a strong populist appeal to gunowners and civil libertarians, and he scored huge points when he declared on the pages of Gun Week that he would abolish the ATF. The mainstream press has also razzed Giuliani on his shift on the issue of gun rights versus gun control.
Another strong gun rights supporter is former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
The Sept. 15 issue detailed the differences between Giuliani and Thompson on the gun issue.
The gun issue is going to be front and center in the debate, despite the best efforts of candidates on both sides to dance around the topic.
Activists are bracing for 2008 because they are genuinely concerned that if a Democrat takes the White Houseparticularly if it is Clintonwith a Democrat majority in Congress, all pretenses will be dropped as the anti-gun leadership pushes to pass every kind of restrictive gun measure it can. Thus, 2008 could be the year that sees the highest turnout of gunowners since 2000 and 1994, when gun owner outrage took Congress away from Bill Clinton and subsequently kept the White House away from Gore.
State legislative races will also get plenty of scrutiny as gunowners scramble to put pro-gunners into office so that even if Congress unleashes a torrent of anti-gun legislation, they may find some insulation at the state level. Perhaps not surprisingly, the first political blood was spilled in Virginia, where anti-gun Republican state Sen. Jeannemarie Devolites Davis was thrown out of office after getting a public endorsement from Bloomberg.
Playing politics with data is what anti-gunners do very well, but when the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence claimed that “More officers are killed with firearms than through any other single cause,” they goofed by not analyzing statistics gleaned from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. NLEOMF breaks down officer traffic-related fatalities into three different categories, car crashes, motorcycle accidents and car-pedestrianbut they are all traffic deaths.
Legislation that would mandate reciprocity between all of the states for concealed carry again stalled in Congress, despite perennial resurrection by Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) since 1995.
The Knoxville, TN, police chief did some apologizing to Trevor Putnam over an incident that occurred in the summer, when Putnam was confronted by a Knoxville officer for open carry. The officer grabbed Putnam, who was reaching for identification, and told Putnam that “I can put you in jail for something. It’s called inducing a panic.” The only “panic” seemed to belong to the officer, whom Police Chief Sterling P. Owen said would get additional training, and he was also given a written reprimand.
In October, it was revealed that the much-touted “Great Lakes Summit on Gun Violence” was largely financed by the anti-gun Joyce Foundation, as was a pro-gun control report issued by that summit. No gun rights organizations were invited to the event, sponsored by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, but anti-gun groups were well represented.
Local and Global
Bringing the year to a wrap-up, Gun Week’s Tartaro wrote a front page report on the threat of international gun control, disclosing that Japan, Great Britain, Australia and other nations are pushing for the adoption of a treaty to regulate the world small arms trade. This is the same effort derailed two years ago by former UN Ambassador John Bolton.
A Gallup poll found that the public’s support for gun control is continuing to slip. People living in coastal states east and west support the notion of more gun laws, but in the South and Midwest, the idea gets a thumbs down.
Down in Louisiana, pro-gun US Rep. Bobby Jindal became the nation’s youngest governor when he succeeded Kathleen Blanco in that office. Blanco, readers will recall, presided over the chaotic state of affairs following Hurricane Katrina
The Second Amendment Foundation was represented in Palermo, Italy by Julianne Versnel Gottlieb during the WFSA meeting. SAF joined the WFSA in 2006.
With the holidays fast approaching, and 2008 just over the horizon, the next 12 months are likely to be unprecedented for challenges facing the gun rights community. America appears headed toward a watershed election, with gun rights being a critical issue in that process.
Through it all, Gun Week will continue to report the facts as they are available, and how they will impact gunowners for months and years ahead.