” Shooting a handgun at a target is a thrill; don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You load bullets into a clip, push it up into the gun, turn off the safety catch, take careful hold of the gun with two hands, aim and shoot. The thing jumps in your hand and you see the bullet knock a hole in the target and spark off the floor at the back of the range. There is an extraordinary rush and then you do it again. Another spark; perhaps this time the hole in the target is a little closer to the centre. Soon you have fired the whole clip and you’re loading the deadly weapon in your hand again.
That is just to preface a more obvious point. To a liberal European reporter, from afar, American gun culture appears utterly insane. Americans are far more likely to murder someone or to kill themselves than people in almost all Western European countries, largely because guns make it easier. That almost 33,000 people are killed with firearms each year in America (including three Muslims in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, earlier this week) is a colossal and largely unnecessary waste of life. That people celebrate these deadly devices and carry them around while shopping, picking up their children from school or working, seems monstrous.
Yet shooting is fun. And what Europeans—and liberal Americans—often don’t realise is that these deadly weapons are also an accessible, affordable and interesting hobby for millions of people. My experience of firing a pistol took place at a shooting range in the Maryland suburbs, about half an hour’s drive outside of Washington, DC. I had until then never visited a shooting range and I had no idea of what to expect. But the experience was actually oddly familiar. This place was not a temple to violence. Rather, it mostly closely resembled the golf driving range that my father would occasionally take me to as a child.”
Then there is this:
” In the range people fired guns gleefully at targets. Some were white, male, middle-aged and somewhat scary-looking. But not all. Across from where I fired my pistol, two black women, one with a small son, were taking turns (the child heavily supervised). Shooting targets was a fine family day out. At a practice target outside of the range, plenty of people were learning how to hold a weapon for the first time, without pointing it at anyone, dropping it or injuring themselves as it recoiled. Again, it resembled a driving range: people hitting targets for fun.
And the truth is that in the range, the violence that guns inflict on America felt extremely remote. A few stickers here and there made political points (“My right to own a gun is what protects your right to tell me I can’t”, said one). But mostly, the idea of guns as a means to kill somebody was absent. And so it is for most people who fire guns. The most dangerous neighborhoods for gun violence in America are in poor cities, not in the suburban areas where most gun owners live. Most of the 21,000 or so suicides in which guns are used take place behind closed doors. And the numbers, while devastatingly high, are not so high that most Americans will know someone who was killed with a gun.
For the majority of gun owners, being told that their harmless hobby is somehow responsible for the deaths of other people must be deeply unpleasant. Worse still is when they are told it by metropolitan types with more money than them. Michael Bloomberg, for example, New York’s billionaire ex-mayor. Or possibly me. And it makes me wonder whether one of the problems—certainly not the main problem, but one of them—with attempts to control guns is precisely that the people making the loudest case for reform are people like Mr Bloomberg and me.”
There is some confusion sown by the writer with the two separate fatality statistics wherein the ill-informed reader could easily be lead to believe ( intentionally?) that the linked 21,000 suicide deaths are in addition to and not a part of the total firearms related deaths but the typical gun owner knows better .
And while the writer does take the obligatory shots at demonizing that leftist bogeyman , the NRA , overall the article from a self-declared liberal with no firearms experience and plenty of pre-conceived anti-gun bias is fairly evenhanded .
” But keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill is not incompatible with widespread gun ownership. And bringing about the changes that will make America safer means convincing people who routinely use guns safely that they are not the enemy. Perhaps what gun control needs is a few advocates who are a little more visibly familiar with the sheer fun of holding a pistol and pulling the trigger.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly the author chooses to remain anonymous , writing under the byline DK . Still , the article is worth your time . Read it all at The Economist .
” If you only follow news in the Left wing echo chamber, you might be tempted to think that Americans have begun turning their backs on gun ownership. Whenever there is one smidgen of data to suggest a decline in sales, the media will latch onto it as proof of a larger trend. The most recent example was when Virginia saw a slight decrease in background checks following three years of exponential growth. (Note the difference in terminology between actual sales and background checks which will become crucial a bit later.) Time Magazine, just last summer, went so far as to list guns as one of the ten things people just aren’t buying anymore. (Along with cereal, gum and … bread. Really?) But is there any truth to this? Are we falling out of love with our beloved tools of self-protection?
The NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action takes a look at the actual figures and finds the claims to be less than substantive.
The media’s claims about gun purchase trends are based upon the annual numbers of firearm-related background checks conducted through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). NICS statistics are not a perfect measure of gun purchases, but to the extent they illustrate trends in purchases, they show that the rate at which Americans are acquiring firearms is actually increasing.”
” Our first “Throwback Thursday” for 2015 is only a few years old, but in the spirit of creating a “bucket list” of things to do or see before you “kick the bucket,” we have brought back Jerry Lee’s compilation of handguns he believes all firearm enthusiasts should have at some time in his or her life.”
Clicking the link in the title of on the picture will take you to the original article where the reader can click on each individual gun for more detailed information about the chosen piece such as our favorite pistol , the Browning Hi-Power …
” Browning Hi Power
Posted by Jerry Lee
No list of important handguns is complete without the Hi Power. Today’s gun catalogs are full of “high-capacity nines” but this was the original. With its double-stack magazine holding 13 rounds plus one in the chamber, you can see where the name “Hi Power” originated. Considered to be John Browning’s last handgun design (with final touches by Dieudonne Saive of FN), the Hi Power is considered by some to be an improved 1911. It has been used by the militaries of more than 50 countries since 1935, and still serves many to this day. The grip fits some hands better than just about any handgun and as the design approaches its 80th anniversary, it is a fine example of a full-size 9 mm. “
Read about them all here and join the lively discussion
” MSNBC anchor Krystal Ball and NBC correspondent Anne Thompson shamelessly politicized the Ebola crisis in a Thursday op-ed on MSNBC.com. Ball and Thompson bewailed how due to “Senate dysfunction and NRA opposition, we don’t have a surgeon general right now….during a time when, we not only have Ebola arriving on our shores, but are also dealing with the mysterious Enterovirus, which is infecting and contributing to the deaths of children in the U.S.”
The two on-air personalities led their piece, “How the NRA is making the Ebola crisis worse,” by noting that “poll by Harvard found that 39% of U.S. adults are concerned about a large outbreak here, and more than a quarter fear someone in their immediate family could get sick with Ebola.” They continued with a lament: “If only there was someone around who could educate the American public about the actual level of risk. Someone who was trusted as a public health expert and whose job it was to help us understand what we really need to worry about and what precautions we should take.”
Even with the poll slanted in the usual MSNBC way the results are surely not what they had hoped for with 51% choosing answer number two that states: “No, they are depicting their beliefs.” . Question number one was phrased: Yes , this is the first election cycle since Newtown . You can’t get much more leading than that . Of course this whole article and the poll leave unmentioned the fact that these pols , especially the Dems , are doing nothing but pandering for votes and actually do not believe in the sanctity of the Second Amendment , but it does go a long way towards demonstrating the power of us gun owners …
” Guns are becoming the prop of choice in campaign ads around the country this midterm year.
Take it as another sign that the Obama administration’s gun control push is running aground: Firearms have become this year’s go-to accessory for candidates of both parties seeking to advertise their toughness and willingness to fight.
Republicans, and even some Democrats, in a dozen states are showing off their shooting skills in videos and television ads or posing with firearms in mailers, underscoring the backlash against federal and state proposals to restrict access to guns and ammunition.”
” This year’s tone was set by Republican Joni Ernst, who won the Iowa Senate primary in June after running a television ad that shows her firing at a bull’s-eye at a shooting range while promising to “unload” on Obamacare. She now faces Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley.
“ Give me a shot,” quips Ms. Ernst in the ad. The Iowan is by no mean the only one locked, loaded and ready for her close-up.
Alaska Republican Dan Sullivan, who’s running for Senate, kicked off his campaign after the August primary with a memorable ad in which he shoots a television set in response to negative campaign advertising.”
“ Our Second Amendment rights are under attack by the Obama administration and Sen. Mark Udall,” says one 30-second ad unveiled on the Politico website to be aired in Colorado. “That’s why we need leaders like Cory Gardner in the U.S. Senate to fight back for us.” “
” The phenomenon has become so widespread that it prompted liberal TV network MSNBC to post Monday an online poll asking, “Are candidates acting insensitively firing guns in their campaign ads?” “
” In a new video entitled “Everyone Gets a Gun,” NRA commentator Billy Johnson this week dishes on his view of guns and education in America, comparing the two and drawing on some startling comparisons and thought-provoking contrasts in our nation’s schools as balanced against gun laws.
In the four-minute video, which begins with a disclaimer that Johnson’s commentary “does not necessarily” reflect the larger organization’s views, Johnson proposes that schools be mandated to introduce a curriculum that forces kids to learn shooting skills, as part of his tongue-in-cheek suggestion for “gun required zones.” “
” With concealed weapons now legal in all 50 states, the National Rifle Association’s focus at this week’s annual meeting is less about enacting additional state protections than on making sure the permits already issued still apply when the gun owners travel across the country.
The nation’s largest gun-rights group, which officially opens its meeting of about 70,000 people Friday in Indianapolis, wants Congress to require that concealed weapons permits issued in one state be recognized everywhere, even when the local requirements differ. Advocates say the effort would eliminate a patchwork of state-specific regulations that lead to carriers unwittingly violating the law when traveling.
“ Right now it takes some legal research to find out where you are or are not legal depending on where you are,” said Guy Relford, an attorney who has sued communities for violating an Indiana law that bars local gun regulation. “I don’t think that’s right.” “
” Conservative commentator S.E. Cupp had some tough words for former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in the wake of him giving $50 million to push his gun control agenda.
Appearing as a guest on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, the CNN Crossfire co-host mocked Bloomberg’s efforts: “Well, he’s the best, and by that, I mean the worst face for gun control. And believe me, my friends at NRA high-fived when they heard about this.
Prior to the segment on Bloomberg’s gun control agenda, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos hosted former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens to lobby for gun control. Stevens proposed a constitutional amendment in which the Second Amendment would read “The right of the people to keep and bear arms when serving in the militia should not be infringed.”
Following the Stevens promotional segment, ABC’s Jeff Zeleny proclaimed that Michael Bloomberg was “absolutely not” the right face for gun control before arguing “That’s the exact question because during the Senate debate on this, in the months after Sandy Hook, everybody thought that some sort of background checks would pass the Senate. But it’s too easy for politicians out there to say that’s the New York City Mayor.”
After Zeleny’s repudiation of Bloomberg’s efforts, Cupp continued to dismantle Bloomberg:
Going after the NRA is a very odd thing. The NRA represents law-abiding gun owners, like myself, they don’t represent criminals. They don’t event represent gun manufacturers. So why Mayor Bloomberg is turning his figurative guns on people like me when there are criminals out there seems a very strange way to go about reducing gun crime. His efforts on this issue have been measurable failures. “
” Michael Bloomberg has pledged to pour 50 million dollars into his new gun control advocacy group, Everytown. The goal is to create a grass roots network of concerned mothers, mayors and Hollywood celebrities that can work to persuade Congress as effectively as the pro-gun lobby.”
” Eric Cantor faces a challenge in November’s midterm election, but if his opponent ends up being Mike Dickinson, Cantor can worry about … well, almost anything else. Dickinson, a Democrat looking for the nomination in VA-07, has pledged to use his campaign to wage “war” on the Tea Party, the NRA, and Fox News. Greta van Susteren offered him a battle last night, and it didn’t take long for Dickinson to turn his war on Fox News into a rout. Via Twitchy, this is must-see TV:”
Hot Air has more
” Kansas legislators gave final approval Saturday to a bill that would nullify city and county gun restrictions and ensure that it’s legal across the state to openly carry firearms, a measure the National Rifle Association sees as a nationwide model for stripping local officials of their gun-regulating power.
The House approved the legislation, 102-19, a day after the Senate passed it, 37-2. The measure goes next to Republican Gov. Sam Brownback. He hasn’t said whether he’ll sign it, but he’s a strong supporter of gun rights and has signed other measures backed by the NRA and the Kansas State Rifle Association.
Kansas law doesn’t expressly forbid the open carrying of firearms, and the attorney general’s office has in the past told local officials that some restrictions are allowed. The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan., has prohibited the practice, but the bill would sweep any such ban away, except to allow cities and counties to prevent openly carried weapons inside public buildings.”
” Support is mounting for a lawsuit that challenges New Jersey’s tight restrictions on handgun ownership and its high standard of “justifiable need” for carrying a weapon outside the home.
Nineteen states as well as the powerful National Rifle Association have joined the case’s plaintiff John Drake, who in his lawsuit claims he was denied a permit following a thwarted robbery attempt on his Sussex County business.
Drake lost his appeal before a three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last year and now a growing number of states, led by Wyoming, are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case, claiming New Jersey was wrong when it determined that the business owner failed to prove “justifiable need” to carry a gun under state statute.
Drake’s suit also claims that his right to bear arms under the Second Amendment has been violated.”
Read more at Newsmax
” NRA Giveaway Description:
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” You might think the question would be settled by now, but the U.S. Supreme Court has yet to opine on whether the Second Amendment right to “bear” arms for self-defense extends outside the home.
We may soon get an answer. Lyle Denniston, writing for the Constitution Daily, reports about two gun rights cases that may get a hearing before the U.S. Supreme Court. Both cases, dealing with restrictions on the ability of minors to possess weapons in public, hinge on the difference between the right to “keep” a gun and a right “bear” one. The National Rifle Association thinks the issue is ripe for Supreme Court review. The justices are expected to discuss the cases next week and may then decide whether to grant review.”
” Smith & Wesson announced it will stop selling its handguns in California rather than manufacture them to comply with the new micro-stamping law. The other publicly traded firearms manufacturer in the U.S., Sturm, Ruger, also said this month that it will stop new sales to California.
The announcement late Wednesday came a week after the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for firearms manufacturers, filed suit against California for requiring that all new semi-automatic pistols that are not already on the state’s approved gun roster have the micro-stamping technology.
Smith & Wesson President and CEO James Debney said, “As our products fall off the roster due to California’s interpretation of the Unsafe Handgun Act, we will continue to work with the NRA and the NSSF to oppose this poorly conceived law which mandates the unproven and unreliable concept of micro-stamping and makes it impossible for Californians to have access to the best products with the latest innovations.” “
” The viral content blog Gawker published an article Friday headlined: “The NRA Literally Wrote Florida’s New Bill to Legalize Warning Shots.” However, a brief investigation by the Free Beacon revealed that the NRA literally did not write Florida’s new bill to legalize warning shots.
The Florida legislature is considering expanding the state’s “stand your ground” law to encompass “threatened use of force.” Specifically, the bill is intended to shield those who brandish a gun or fire a warning shot in self-defense from the state’s 10-20-Life law, which imposes mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines for felony crimes involving a firearm.
Gawker reporter Adam Weinstein wrote Friday that Marion Hammer, a former NRA president and lobbyist for the Unified Sportsmen of Florida, was responsible for writing and pushing the bill.”
” In an interview with Greta Van Susteren on Thursday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) outlined the hypocrisy of anti-gun movie producer Harvey Weinstein, who has cashed in on countless films depicting graphic gun violence. Weinstein revealed earlier this week that he is making a “big movie” featuring Meryl Streep that will make the National Rifle Association “wish they weren’t alive.”
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, arrives at the Capitol as the Senate votes to approve a $1.1 trillion spending package, the Omnibus Appropriations Act, a bipartisan compromise that all but banishes the likelihood of an election-year government shutdown, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
“ The Hollywood liberal elites, they have their view of things,” Cruz said with a grin after watching a montage of violent scenes from Weinstein films.
The Texas Republican referenced a scene in “Kill Bill,” saying “you don’t see people wanting to ban knives.” “
Mr. Stern asked Mr. Weinstein on Wednesday whether he owned a gun. The Hollywood heavyweight replied that he did not and never would. “I don’t think we need guns in this country. And I hate it,” the producer said. “I think the NRA is a disaster area.”
Mr. Weinstein then revealed his secret project about the gun rights group. “I shouldn’t say this, but I’ll tell it to you, Howard,” he said. “I’m going to make a movie with Meryl Streep, and we’re going to take this head-on. And they’re going to wish they weren’t alive after I’m done with them.”
The shock jock asked whether the film was going to be a documentary. Mr. Weinstein said no, that it would be a “big movie like a ‘Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.’” “