The United States Postal Service joins the Department of Education and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as the latest federal agency to announce a major purchase of ammunition.
Many federal agencies have been forming independent law enforcement divisions to govern their specific branches, and the recent stockpiling trend has led to the purchase of billions of rounds of ammunition by various federal agencies.
Despite concerns of secretive dealings, the USPS’s announcement that it will be buying ammunition was made transparent in a post on the Federal Business Opportunities website in early January. The notice begins: “The United States Postal Service intends to solicit proposals for assorted small arms ammunition.” It goes on to explain how organizations can participate in the solicitation.
According to InfoWars, the department has since claimed that the purchase is a “standard purchase” of ammunition necessary for use by the Postal Police.
Critics and conspiracy theorists, however, claim that various branches of the federal government are becoming increasingly militarized and are buying up ammunition in order to stop regular citizens from being able to purchase it. According to NewsMax, the Social Security Administration requested 174,000 rounds of “.357 Sig 125 grain bonded jacketed hollow-point” bullets about a year ago. The Department of Agriculture and the Department of Homeland Security have recently requested similarly large amounts of ammunition.
Many critics acknowledge that these purchases are most likely not being made for the conspiratorial purpose of stealing ammunition away from regular citizens.
“Most of these agencies do have their own police forces,” said Jim Wallace, executive director of the Gun Owners’ Action League.
Still, many Second Amendment activists find fault in the practice.
“What’s the need for that?" said Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League. "Do we really need this? That was something our Founding Fathers did not like and we should all be concerned about."
An Illinois couple is upset after People magazine turned down two of their entries for a photo contest because they depicted the wife posing with a gun.
Bob Ferris says he and his wife Sandra decided to take pictures for People’s “Real Beauty At Every Age” contest, and when they were deciding how to set the pictures up, Bob decided it would be a good idea to have Sandra pose with a .45 caliber Colt.
"That was my husband's idea," said Sandra Ferris.
So Bob grabbed his camera, posed his wife, and took a picture of her holding the gun. The Ferris’ sent one picture in and hoped that People magazine would pick them for their feature.
Some time later, Bob and Sandra received word that the picture was rejected.
"It just so happens that the photo I liked the best has her holding a .45 automatic,” said Bob Ferris. “I didn't think they'd reject the photo. I was a little shocked at first.”
The magazine told the couple that they rejected the photo for at least three potential reasons including size, focus, or inappropriate content.
Bob wanted to see if the reason behind the rejection was because she was holding a gun, so he took another picture of Sandra with a firearm and sent it in. Once more, the picture was rejected for the same set of reasons. Bob sent in a third picture, this time without the gun, and finally, the picture was accepted.
"I don't see anything wrong with the picture and women with guns," said Sandra Ferris.
The contest rules say that they can reject a picture for any reason if they consider it offensive. Bob Ferris doesn’t believe that these pictures were offensive.
"Guns are part of our life," he said.
Regardless, Sandra will still be featured in the magazine, although the Ferris’ say they never had a subscription to begin with.
A Connecticut police officer is at the heart of an internal investigation by the Branford Police Department after a series of comments he made on Facebook.
Officer Joseph Peterson was found telling a man he couldn’t wait to “bang down your door and come for your gun.”
Peterson’s comment was directed at a man named Cameron Smith. The two men were discussing Connecticut’s new law that essentially turns gun owners with semi-automatic rifles into felons if they fail to register their guns.
Smith first provoked Peterson with this comment:
“Just so everyone is clear. POLICE OFFICER Joseph Peterson would round up jews and put them in ghettos, if the government told him to. Just let that sink in. He is the EXACT reason we have the 2nd Amendment.”
In response, Peterson wrote, “I give my left nut to bang down your door and come for your gun…you idiot grow up.”
Here is the exchange:
Peterson’s comments made their way across the Internet and were brought to the attention of the Branford Police Department. Police Captain Geoffrey Morgan said Peterson has been on workers' compensation leave since before his comments were made.
“We want people to know he is off the street,” Morgan said. The police captain added that “at a minimum” he doesn’t expect Peterson to be back any time soon. The Branford Police Department is currently conducting an internal investigation.
“We pride ourselves on being completely transparent,” Morgan said. “That’s how we do things here.”
As anyone who’s ever taken a sixth-grade civics course knows: the legislature passes the laws, the executive branch enforces them, and if the citizens have a problem with any laws, they can challenge them in the courts. The Supreme Court is often the last stand for many laws, but sometimes, the court chooses pass on hearing certain cases, as it has for three cases involving gun control.
According to Reuters, the Court “declined to wade into the politically volatile issue of gun control by leaving intact three court rulings rejecting challenges to federal and state laws.” Two of the cases were backed by the National Rifle Association, involving laws that make it illegal for people under the age of 21 to purchase firearms or ammunition or for them to carry handguns in public in Texas. The third case was not led by the NRA but instead was brought by citizens in Washington, D.C., who wished to purchase guns from Virginia but could not because of a combination of local and federal laws.
These all would have been landmark cases had they made their way before the Supreme Court, but by passing on the cases, it is effectively allowing all of these laws to stand. The Texas case, in particular, would have been remarkable because it would have forced a ruling on whether or not “open carry” of weapons is a protected Second Amendment right. Currently, this is a question the Court has not yet addressed.
While the other two cases don’t exactly represent really significant changes to U.S. gun policy, the Court’s decision to pass on these cases is seen as a loss for the NRA. Despite legal gun-owners’ willingness to follow gun control laws, the NRA has become far more radical of late. It has taken the position that any gun regulation at all is an attack on Second Amendment freedoms. Given the recent media focus on mass shootings lately, this has arguably hurt the gun rights movement in the court of public opinion.
11'It’s The Right To Bear Arms, Not The Right To Be a Dumbass,' Says Controversial Gun Safety Ad (Video)
A controversial ad from a moderate gun group features America’s Founding Fathers debating whether the second amendment should state, “It’s the right to bear arms, not the right to be a dumbass.”
Calling itself the “third voice” in the gun debate, the group Evolve says “safety is not a side.”
Evolve's website asks gunowners to “Take On The Code,” a pledge for gun safety that states, “I believe that owning a gun is not just a right, it’s a responsibility.”
“I will keep all of my guns unloaded, locked and properly stored when not in use,” the code also says. “I will be answerable for every gun I own at all times.”
The group's founding couple, Jon and Rebecca Bond, says they’re not against guns, but rather irresponsible gun use.
“People immediately shift to the defensive arguments that exist within the political debate. And we’ve got to be able to get above that,” Rebecca Bond told MSNBC. “We cannot make it a rights conversation, a laws conversation. It really includes everyone, so there isn’t a gun owner, a gun manufacturer, in this country that should be offended by that message.”
Evolve’s ad “The Bill of Rights for Dumbasses” is set in colonial America with America’s Founding Fathers discussing the language of the Second Amendment.
“Ah, tell me Jefferson,” says a politician in a white powerdered wig, “Do these amendments do adequate honor to your consitution.”
“The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, as long as people aren’t being dumbasses about it,” says a man playing Thomas Jefferson.
“Sounds good to me,” the politician says.
“You don’t need the dumbass part,” says Jefferson.
“Without it how will future generations know that the right to own a gun doesn’t give you the liberty to act like a dumbass with it?” the politician asked. “How will people know that they shouldn’t leave loaded guns lying around the house, unlocked will-nilly? Or that you shouldn’t be all cavalier when you handle one?”
“It’s common sense. I mean like duh,” says Jefferson. “Nobody’s gonna be that dumb.”
11The Dichotomy of the Gun: Proposed Georgia, Mississippi State Laws Miss Central Point of Gun Debate
One of the fundamental problems in the gun control/gun rights argument is that the central item in the discussion, i.e. the gun, is seen as two completely different things from either side. For those who find themselves on the side of the spectrum that wants guns controlled (or banned outright) the gun is a terrifying death machine that ordinary citizens should not possess. For those on the side of the spectrum who prefers easy access to firearms (or mandatory ownership) the gun is the only real “protection” they trust.
Georgia lawmakers have recently introduced a bill that would essentially protect Georgians from any future federal laws that would “nullify certain federal laws…which attempts to govern firearms manufactured” in Georgia. Democratic State Senator Vincent Fort, who last year tried to pass an assault weapons ban, believes the new law is dangerous. He told CL Atlanta, “it’s unfortunate that this right-wing crowd [is] making these kind of extremist, ideological statements,” rather than focusing on the poor or the economy.
The ideological opposite of this bill is the recent "bullet control" proposal in the Mississippi State Legislature calling for individuals purchasing ammunition to provide personal details such as their name, Driver’s License, and Social Security Number. Law enforcement and government officials wouldn’t be the only people to have access to this information, but the records would be also open to the public.
No two individual laws better embody the central disconnect between the two sides of this argument. For gun control advocates, the idea that the entire state of Georgia would ignore federal laws seems to validate their position that there is no such thing as a “responsible” gun advocate. For those in favor of gun rights, the idea that purchasing some rounds means that the public has access to their personal information seems to validate their belief that the system is stacked against them.
What is difficult to address in legislation or even legislative discussion is the dichotomy of the gun. The thing these two laws have in common is that both come from a view of guns that the other side not only doesn’t share but doesn’t understand. A victim of gun crime wouldn’t see these weapons as protection from predators (human and animal), a way to put food on the table, or harmless sport and vice versa. Until this is addressed, any attempts to either protect gun-owners’ rights or responsibly limit everyone else’s risk will be doomed to fail on the national level.
11Man Fires Gun While Discussing Gun Rights In Vitamin Store, Flees Saying, "I Can't Go Down For This"
A man in Wilkesboro, N.C. was engaged in a spirited discussion about gun rights when his gun went off Tuesday.
The man has not been identified because, rather than stay and make a stand in favor of his right to bear arms, he hightailed it out of there.
The incident happened in a GNC nutrition store on Winkler Street in Wilkesboro sometime around 6:50 pm in the evening. The customer was talking to an employee of the store at the time.
According to the employee, they two were discussing the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees the right to bear arms, at least in the context of a “well-regulated militia.”
Pretty heady stuff for a vitamin store. But the men were really getting into it.
Right in the middle of the Constitutional conversation, the customer whipped out a handgun. And then, apparently by accident, he shot a printer.
That was pretty much it for the discussion. The customer declared that he “could not go down for this.” So he fled.
Police are looking for the accidental gunman and self-styled Constitutional scholar. He is described to be a white male, of about 28 or younger with brown hair, and brown eyes. He is 5’8″ and weights approximately 170 pounds. He fled the GNC in a dark-colored Honda Civic that appeared about 10 years old.
No one was hurt in the incident. Except the printer
SOURCES: My Fox 8, WFMY News
The 2012 Election was noteworthy for a number of reasons, but for the residents of Louisiana it saw a slew of new constitutional amendments passed by voter referendum. One amendment stripped public officials convicted of felonies of their pensions. However, an amendment requiring “strict scrutiny” of gun laws, could allow those felonious officials to keep their right to bear arms.
The amendment switches the burden of proof, with respect to the constitutionality of gun laws, to the state from citizens. Now, it is up to the state to prove that the laws restricting gun rights, such as the right to regulate concealed-carry permits, are constitutional, instead of the other way around. According to The Times-Picayune, “regulations must be narrowly tailored to fit a public purpose and it would be up to the government to prove that regulations were constitutional, rather than requiring opponents of a measure to prove that the law violates the constitution.”
Since the amendment passed, many felons who have since been convicted of possessing a firearm (illegal under a law passed in 1975), are seeking to have those convictions overturned because gun ownership is now a “fundamental” right.
The state argues that restricting firearms from convicted felons is in the best interest of public safety. So far, a number of convictions have been overturned, even in the case of violent offenders like Chris Coleman who killed one drug dealer and wounded another, although his conviction for these crimes still stands.
Although for a juvenile defendant, identified only as “J.M.,” his conviction of possessing a firearm was upheld by a Juvenile Court judge, leading his defense attorneys to challenge that ruling as well.
Still, those against this worry that given the high recidivism rate of felons, that arming them could lead to more gun violence in the state.
A conservative student group at Texas Christian University is upset after school officials rejected several attempts by the group to advertise for a pro-2nd amendment speech.
The group, a Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) chapter, hosted an event featuring former US Treasurer Bay Buchanon last Wednesday. The group tried to advertise for the event with a flyer featuring an old school shotgun with the words “Fully Loaded” printed below the gun. But when the group submitted the flyer to the school for approval it was rejected. Officials told YAF they could hand the flyer out to students, but they would not be allowed to post it in academic halls or on the school’s event website.
The school also rejected two more proposed promotional ideas from YAF – a raffle for a concealed carry class and a raffle for a shotgun.
Kathleen D’Urso, student and president of TCU’s YAF chapter, recently spoke to members of the media about the school’s decisions.
"I was shocked. It's all about political correctness," she said. “They just shot us down, told us … we can’t do anything with guns whatsoever. Bay’s speech was received really well, she answered a lot of questions about guns on campus and stats.
“…I am frustrated. This event wasn’t supposed to advocate guns on campus, we simply wanted to open up a discussion on Second Amendment rights.”
Dr. Kathy Cavins-Tull, TCU’s vice chancellor for student affairs, spoke to Texas news station KENS-5 recently about the school’s decision.
"We are mindful that we students have a right to gather and dialogue about ideals and beliefs that they support. That is a big part of what being at a University is all about. However, those dialogues and discussions should be managed in a tasteful manner that does not offend or alarm other students, faculty or staff or members of our surrounding community who have differing viewpoints. Producing a poster with a rifle on it and the words 'fully loaded' can certainly cause alarm in today's environment."
Secretary of State, John Kerry signed The United Nations’ Arms Trade Treaty on Wednesday and immediately Senators threatened to block its ratification. Opponents of the treaty fear that it might lead to stricter gun control measures in the US that would infringe on the Second Amendment. The only countries to vote against the treaty were Iran, North Korea, and Syria, although 20 additional nations, including China and Russia, abstained from the vote.
This treaty has been part of a misinformation campaign on the internet that dates back to the earliest days of the Obama Administration. However, the treaty explicitly states that it does not apply to the manufacture, sale, or regulation of any arms within a nation’s borders. Instead the treaty seeks only to curb the ever-expanding international black market for weapons.
However, the more serious critics of the bill – to include the National Rifle Association, or NRA – know that it is not a “gun grabbing” treaty that seeks to disarm legal gun owners. Their objections surround the part of the treaty that advocates keeping a record of arms purchases which the gun-rights groups believe is tantamount to an international arms registry that could lead to a violation of the privacy of legal gun owners.
Leader of NRA, Wayne LaPierre has been quoted as saying that the treaty would lead to “manufacturers of civilian shotguns [complying] with the same regulatory process as a manufacturer of military attack helicopters.”
Much of this concern centers around the vague language of the treaty, especially with regards to ensuring that weapons are not sold to human rights abusers. It is this distinction that most likely kept China and Russia from signing on with the other 154 countries who voted for the treaty. The US is the largest manufacturer and exporter of weapons in the world.