St. Louis to finally start issuing concealed handgun permits

"Kiddies With Carbines"

Only in America: a high-caliber training camp for the whole family.

Samantha Tibbetts, 5, wears a pink T shirt with a lady on it carrying a sparkly purse. She squirms in her chair. Tibbetts, with big blue eyes and long blonde hair, is sitting in a classroom. But it's a classroom whose walls are cinder block, and her teacher, Paul, has a rifle cradled in his lap. Paul asks the nine kids, ages 5 to 16, to name the parts of the gun. "Can you say ‘trigger'?"

They can. But they'd rather pull one. These kids are at Front Sight Firearms Training Institute near Las Vegas--one of several family-friendly firing ranges springing up around the U.S. Kids learn nomenclature and safety while Mom and Dad take higher caliber instruction--"Handgun Combat Master," for example, or "Uzi Submachine Gun at Night."

Thanks to Jason Morin for sending me this link.

If the French Embassy isn't careful, this could result in a protest

Party poopers: An 80th-birthday party at the French Embassy for syndicated columnist Art Buchwald has a group of women up in arms.

Set for Sept. 28, the black-tie dinner (tickets are $250) will double as a fundraiser for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, an organization Buchwald supports. The Second Amendment Sisters, whose motto is "Self Defense Is a Basic Human Right," got wind of the party and sent a letter of protest to the embassy.

Art Buchwald's birthday party at the French Embassy -- which doubles as a fundraiser for a gun control organization -- came under fire from the Second Amendment Sisters. (By Michael Lutzky -- The Washington Post) "It's a slap in the face to each and every gun-holding American that the French ambassador would do this," Sisters co-founder Mari Thompson told The Post yesterday. She said her group is "outraged" that the French Embassy would host a party for an organization "whose main purpose is to disarm American citizens."

Brady Campaign spokesman Peter Hamm countered: "It seems to me that these people have too much time on their hands to complain about a venue where folks are getting together to celebrate a birthday party."

He added, "It's not something that we should increase global tensions over." Cake, anyone?"

"The Right to Self-Defense"


More judges carrying guns II

More on the UN, Gun Control, and Soros

Alphecca has an interesting link to the UN gun control effort and George Soros' effort to push it. This talking points memo is particularly interesting, and it shows that at least Soros can afford the best PR people to advise him.

Another interesting article is the vain effort by Canadian gun owners to seek help from the UN regarding Canada's new gun control laws. This article is more interesting for the news of yet more regulations than it is regarding the UN.

Two things that go well together: Texans and Guns


Were the Democrat's suggestions on Supreme Court Nominees serious?

Democrats were said by two officials familiar with what took place to have broached the names of at least three judges of Hispanic background who they believed had a strong chance of being approved without a tumultuous confirmation fight: Judge Sonia Sotomayor of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Judge Edward Prado of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa of Federal District Court in Texas. Mr. Leahy would not confirm that those names were mentioned, but said he saw them as strong candidates. These particular judges have not been among the top possible nominees mentioned by Republican allies of the White House. . . .

This is what I sent to the Times:

Dear Letters Editor:

Your article makes the Democrats' suggestions on whom Bush should nominate for the Supreme Court look more serious than they actually are (Bush Says He Might Consider Judicial Newcomers for High Court, July 13). For example, the piece ignores that Judge Sonia Sotomayor was nominated for the circuit court by President Clinton. The Almanac of the Federal Judiciary surveys lawyers who practice before judges on the judges political views and rates Sotomayor as either a moderate or neutral politically and Ricardo Hinojosa as a moderate. Only Edward Prado is viewed by any of the practicing lawyers as conservative, and the views of him are evenly split between viewing him as conservative and neutral.

Compare this with Senator Orin Hatch’s suggestions to President Clinton of Stephen Breyer and Ruth Ginsberg. Both were strong liberals, with Breyer having served as Senator Kennedy's Special Counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee and Ginsberg having been the general counsel for the ACLU.


John R. Lott, Jr.


What am I missing here? A foreign embassy being used to sponsor a dinner for an American anti-gun organization

Putting the risk of guns in the home in some perspective

Movement to open up Federal Parks for public access to federal shooting ranges

Alan Korwin, Author
Gun Laws of America
July 11, 2005

Activists around the country are beginning to probe federal shooting ranges, seeking public access, if my inbound emails are any measure. This follows release of news from Bloomfield Press that federal law specifically allows such use (linked at end). So far, authorities have reportedly been resisting the public's interest in following the law, and that's putting it nicely.

No one appears to be surprised by the stonewalling. Some of these target shooters have actually been motivated by the resistance they have encountered, saying it is a good arena for "shoe-leather activism." The reward of having a lot of cool new places to go shooting has also encouraged people to act.

One leverage point was brought up by an attorney. The law specifically says that range fees, which may be charged in some cases, "shall be credited to the appropriation available for the operation and maintenance of that rifle range and shall be available for the operation and maintenance of that rifle range." In plain English, that means the range keeps the money.

Normally, fees are taken away from the unit that collects them, and put in a general fund for all government offices to spend. Money staying at the range is a strong incentive to range operators who might otherwise be reluctant to comply with the federal law.

Wiggle room has been found by some ranges claiming they are pistol ranges, and not rifle ranges. The law is limited to rifle ranges, an undefined term. If rifles are or have ever been used on the range, the authorities would be hard pressed to claim it is not a rifle range. Carbines are rifles. The Uzi carbine popular with some federal officials is technically a rifle, since it is designed to be fired from the shoulder, even though it shoots a 9mm cartridge. The official definition of a rifle is in 18 USC 921:

"(7) The term 'rifle' means a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the energy of an explosive to fire only a single projectile through a rifled bore for each single pull of the trigger." . . .


UN meets this week to discuss banning guns

UN to Chart Progress Suppressing Small Arms Trade
Monday, 11 July 2005, 9:51 am
Press Release: United Nations
UN Meets Next Week to Chart Progress on Suppressing Illicit Trade in Small Arms
New York, Jul 8 2005 6:00PM

Calling small arms the real weapons of mass destruction because of their daily toll on human life, the heads of a conference next week to review how United Nations Member States have implemented a programme to eliminate the trade in illicit weapons today said that despite some progress, much more needed to be done.

The Chairman of the Biennial Meeting of States on the illicit small arms trade, Pasi Patokallio of Finland, said the welcome news included the entry into force a few days ago of a legally binding UN protocol against illicit firearms trafficking which sought to fight criminality by using the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

Two weeks ago, he added, another politically binding UN instrument was negotiated to identify and trace small arms, both in crime and in conflict situations.

On the other hand, the annual "Small Arms Survey" estimated that about 100,000 people per year died in direct conflict and small arms were responsible for up to 90 per cent of those deaths. In addition, a recent study by the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue called "No Relief" showed that small arms violence played a major role in preventing the delivery of humanitarian and development assistance, Mr. Patokallio said.

UN Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Nobuyasu Abe said people were now realizing that the "culprits" in the spread of small arms were international arms brokers, not necessarily Governments.

Brokers bought the arms legitimately, but then diverted them into underground markets, a practice which had saturated African countries and fuelled conflicts elsewhere, he said.

With the conclusion of the negotiations on tracing small arms, attention was now moving to controlling the brokers and that topic would also be discussed next week, Mr. Abe said.


Campaign finance regulations continue becoming more extreme

From John Fund at OpinionJournal's Political Diary

First, the McCain-Feingold bill placed restrictions on ads run by advocacy groups within 60 days of an election. Then the Federal Election Commission staff proposed regulating the activities of Internet bloggers if they promote a candidate. Now a Washington state judge has ruled that two Seattle talk show hosts will have to place a monetary value on "campaign contributions" they make when they argue in favor of a proposed ballot measure.

Angry motorists in the state have collected signatures to put Initiative 912 on the ballot, which would repeal a three-cent increase in the state's gas tax. But city attorneys in several Washington counties took I-912's backers to court because some of the donors giving money to the effort through the Internet payment service PayPal weren't revealing personal information as required by the state's campaign disclosure laws.

Judge Chris Wickham, a superior court judge in the state capital of Olympia, not only found in favor of the opponents but went further to argue that Kirby Wilbur and John Carlson, two hosts at Seattle news/talk station KVI, were required to determine and report a monetary value for their pro-I-912 commentary. . . .

What is next? A judge ordering one of Seattle's newspapers to determine a monetary value for an editorial that praises one candidate while disparaging another? . . .