[Ed. Note: Republished from USA Today, May 3, 2013, "At NRA meeting, Cruz goes after Obama gun agenda."]
By Gregory Korte
HOUSTON — Sen. Ted Cruz brought a pro-Constitution, anti-crime message to the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting Friday, challenging Vice President Biden to an hour-long debate on gun violence.
More than 6,000 NRA members gave Cruz, a freshman Texas Republican and a rising GOP star, a standing ovation for threatening to filibuster attempts to pass gun-control legislation.
Just a couple of months ago, Cruz said, the gun bill “looked like an unstoppable freight train.” But that legislation is now in doubt after senators blocked an amendment last month that would have expanded background checks to include sales at gun shows and over the Internet.
“The Constitution matters. All of the Constitution,” Cruz said. “It’s not pick and choose. It’s not take the parts you like and get rid of the parts you don’t like.”
Some senators have faced home-state protests for voting against that background check amendment last month. But Cruz said there ought to be protests against Democrats who voted against another amendment, which he sponsored with Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, that would have cracked down on violent crime. “Citizens ought to ask them, ‘Why aren’t you willing to support going after felons and fugitives who try to illegally buy guns?’ ” he said.
Cruz mocked Biden, who has taken the lead for the Obama administration on gun issues.
Biden’s advice that firing a warning from a double-barreled shotgun is sufficient to ward off attackers would be “very useful — if it so happens that you’re being attacked by a flock of geese.”
Several opening speakers at the NRA’s annual legislative forum took aim at President Obama, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and — above all — the media. The underlying theme: Political elites and the media don’t understand gun-owning Americans.
“The lamestream media just doesn’t get you, and you don’t give up,” said former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Wearing a black-and-pink “women hunt” Tshirt, she called the media “a poodle-skirted cheerleader” for Obama.
“The media and the political elites can lie about us and demonize us all they want, but that won’t stop us,” NRA Vice President Wayne LaPierre said.
The annual meeting of the nation’s largest and most powerful gun rights group is “the biggest celebration ever of our American values,” LaPierre said. The event is expected to be the group’s largest ever, with perhaps 70,000 people attending the gun exhibition that accompanies the annual meeting.
Among them: The Van Sweden family of Fort Worth, Ind. Bruce and Jenny Van Sweden took their 10-year-old daughter Catherine out of school for the day to listen to three hours of political speeches. “It’s an education for her,” Jenny said.
“I think the government is going crazy, and nothing they’re talking about will change a thing,” said Bruce. “The polls say, ‘Are you in favor of background checks?’ Yeah, I am — the ones we already have.”
The NRA is clearly feeling its oats after its big legislative victory last month.
The man who gets almost single-handed credit for that, NRA President David Keane said, is the group’s chief lobbyist, Chris Cox. “Did anyone think in January or February that we’d be where we are today?”
Cox said politicians and the media were taking advantage of the shooting of 26 children, teachers and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
“Think about that, when a deranged criminal murders innocent children, they blame us,” Cox said. “They use tragedy to restrict freedom, and it’s up to us to stop them.”
Opposition protests are scheduled for Saturday, but for most of Friday a single protester stood across the street from Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center and read the names of victims of gun violence since Sandy Hook. “We want the NRA to hear the consequences of their actions,” said Heather Ross, a 27-year-old Austin woman who read the names from her iPhone. “The Second Amendment says we can regulate guns, and that’s all we want to do.”
[Ed. Note: Republished from USA Today, May 3, 2013, "At NRA meeting, Cruz goes after Obama gun agenda." CLICK HERE for original article.]
By David Edwards
The Craig Daily Press reported this week that the Craig resident Craig Rummel had asked the city council to consider an ordinance that would force the head of every household to own a sporting rifle capable of using high-capacity magazines.
The ordinance included exceptions for anyone not mentally or physically capable of owning a firearm, or anyone who objected to the idea because of religious or personal beliefs.
Rummel said that he hoped the city would pass the ordinance to send a message to the state and the country.
“Coal, the power plant and hunting pretty well sums up what we offer here in Craig, America,” Rummel explained. “For too long, the state Legislature has been hammering us, and they’re destroying our economy.”
“Our voices are not being heard, but if we pass an ordinance, it will go viral, and then they’ll be forced to listen to us.”
According to the Daily Press, most of the council members agreed with the idea behind the ordinance, but hesitated at the notion of using their power just to send a message.
Council member Ray Beck suggested that a resolution could send the same message without carrying the weight of law.
But council member Tony Bohrer said he was “all for an ordinance, because at the end of the day there’s still going to be 20,000 head of elk at Black Mountain, and this would give me another thing to use to promote Craig.”
Bohrer manages Elkhorn Outfitters in Craig and worried that gun control legislation passed by the state would hurt business.
Council member Don Jones, however, pointed out that encouraging every home to have an assault weapon might bring the wrong type of of media attention to the town.
“The state of Colorado is the laughingstock of the country,” Jones argued. “We’ve passed an amendment legalizing marijuana that violates federal law and we’ve passed gun laws that violate the Second Amendment. I don’t think passing an ordinance requiring all residents to own an AK-47 is the type of attention Craig wants.”
Rummel insisted that the ordinance was “about more than just guns, this is about protecting our economy.”
“This is an opportunity for us to protect and defend our economy, culture and heritage of Northwest Colorado,” he said.
In the end, Craig Mayor Terry Carwile said that the council decided not to reject the idea.
“There is enough support up here of what you are saying, and I think there’s room for you to convince us,” Carwile explained. “The bottom line is we don’t need to make a decision tonight, but you have some work to do.”
[Ed. Note: Republished from The Raw Story, Thursday, April 25, 2013 By David Edwards. CLICK HERE to read the original on rawstory.com ]
The San Antonio Tea Party stands with other Patriotic Americans in saluting the 46 United States Senators who stood tall yesterday in defeating the Schumer-Toomey-Manchin Amendment, including our own two Texas Senators, John Cornyn and Ted Cruz. Their principled stand against this proposed infringement of all Americans’ Second Amendment Rights is only overshadowed by the sad fact that 55 Senators would vote to take away these rights.
The Constitution is the law of the land. If proponents of changing it can get two-thirds of the both Houses of Congress to vote on a change to the Second Amendment through the Constitutional process and then three-fourths of the States to ratify it, then that would become the Law of the Land. But for the Senate to act as a de facto Constitutional Convention without due process violates everything we as free Americans stand for and should be opposed by every quarter.
We in the San Antonio Tea Party support those who would abide by the Laws of the Land and will forevermore uphold the rights of all our countrymen to keep and bear arms as provided by the Constitution.
[Ed. Note: Republished from The Daily Caller, April 2, 2013, "Democrats propose $10,000 fine for gun owners who don’t have insurance."]
By Alex Pappas
A contingent of liberal Democrats in Congress is proposing a new federal gun control idea: mandatory liability insurance for gun owners.
When New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney introduced the legislation last month with eight other Democrats, she boasted that it is “the first bill to require liability insurance of gun buyers nationwide.”
Maloney’s “Firearm Risk Protection Act” requires gun buyers to have “a qualified liability insurance policy” before they are able to legally purchase a firearm.
It also calls for the federal government to impose a fine as much as $10,000 if a gun owner doesn’t have insurance on a firearm purchased after the bill goes into effect.
“It shall be unlawful for a person who owns a firearm purchased on or after the effective date of this subsection not to be covered by a qualified liability insurance policy,” the bill text reads.
The bill would also make it a federal crime to sell a firearm to anyone without insurance.
“For too long, gun victims and society at large have borne the brunt of the costs of gun violence,” Maloney said as she introduced the legislation. “My bill would change that by shifting some of that cost back onto those who own the weapons.”
Chris Cox, the executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, told The Daily Caller that the bill is “ridiculous on its face, as it presumes law-abiding gun owners are guilty for merely exercising a fundamental, constitutional right.”
“But it does reveal what Rep. Maloney really thinks about honest people who believe in the right to keep and bear arms,” Cox said.
The bill defines “qualified liability insurance” as a policy that covers the “purchaser specifically for losses resulting from use of the firearm while it is owned by the purchaser.” Buyers would have to obtain insurance from a company licensed or authorized by a state insurance regulatory authority.
Exceptions would be made for law enforcement, military and employees of government departments and agencies.
In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, President Barack Obama and top Democrats have been pushing to pass a gun control measure through Congress. A federal liability insurance mandate for gun owners, while debated in some states, is not a proposal that has been seriously considered on the Hill yet.
Others who have signed on as co-sponsors of the legislation include: Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Massachusetts Rep. Michael Capuano, Virginia Rep. Jim Moran, Illinois Rep. Bobby Rush, Massachusetts Rep. Nikki Tsongas, Massachusetts Rep. Stephen Lynch and Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer.
With many states requiring drivers to carry auto insurance, Maloney argues that, “We have a long history of requiring insurance for high-risk products — and no one disputes that guns are dangerous.”
“While many individual states are debating this issue now, it makes more sense for Congress to establish a national requirement to allow the insurance markets to begin to price the risks involved consistently nationwide,” she said.
[Ed. Note: Click here for original article.]
Gov. Rick Perry speaks wistfully — almost lovingly — about a rifle he recently fired while he was at a range in Leander owned by the manufacturer LaRue Tactical. “I’m incredibly passionate about a well-made piece of equipment,” Perry said in a phone interview last week, “whether it’s an automobile or a weapon.”
After the visit, LaRue posted Perry’s results online. From 100 yards away, the governor took three shots and skillfully grouped them together — two shots hit the same spot — mere millimeters from the center of the target.
“That was pretty good wasn’t it?” Perry said, though he reserved most of the credit for the machinery. “If you don’t have a very well-made weapon, then I don’t care how steady your aim, how controlled your breathing or how smooth your trigger pull is.”
As debates over gun control intensify across the nation, Perry and some of his colleagues in the Texas Legislature are pushing to have more weapons of this sort made in the state. Perry said his office has sent letters to 34 different firearms and accessories manufacturers in other states, particularly where stricter gun and ammunition laws are being considered or passed, encouraging them to relocate to Texas.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz have made similar overtures to out-of-state companies, including Beretta USA in Maryland and Smith & Wesson in Massachusetts. The effort is not limited to a letter-writing campaign. State Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls, has filed a bill that would formally add incentive programs for gun manufacturers to the state’s economic development statute.
“Gun manufacturers and people in that industry have been under attack by states who are threatening their Second Amendment rights,” Estes said. “We want them to realize that Texas is open for business and Texas is a gun-friendly state.”
When the legislation was considered recently before the Senate Agriculture, Rural Affairs and Homeland Security Committee, no one testified against it. One committee member, Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio, voted against the bill, but his opposition had less to do with guns and more to do with giving the governor what Uresti called “a blank check to offer a variety of tax exemptions and other incentives” to such manufacturers.
Uresti, whose committee vote means the bill will likely be debated by the full Senate, rather than sliding through on the little-scrutinized local and uncontested calendar, argued that any businesses desiring to move to Texas should share the full burden of financing state services.
“According to the comptroller’s office, such tax breaks this year will cost the state $37.7 billion and school districts $6.2 billion in lost revenue,” he said. “I’m not against attracting gun and ammunition manufacturers to Texas.”
Perry said he does not need legislation to use state resources to recruit businesses to Texas; his activities related to gun-makers are just a part of his overall economic development strategy.
But, he added, “often there are pieces of legislation that get filed that send a message.”
Even the state’s gun control advocates concede that Texas is gun-friendly.
Marsha McCartney, president of the Texas Chapters of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, conceded that Texas is “a few election cycles away from passing laws like they did in Colorado.”
Lawmakers there recently passed bills limiting ammunition magazine capacity and requiring background checks for all gun purchasers. The move prompted gun accessory manufacturer Magpul Industries to announce on Facebook that it would begin its “transition out of the state.” Perry has been courting the company heavily.
McCartney said she did not have particular concerns about more weapons-related businesses moving to the state. “I’m sure they will follow the laws in Texans,” she said, “just like all Texans will have to follow the federal laws.”
The success of Texas’ recruitment efforts may hinge on how the federal gun control debate shakes out.
“If there was a federal ban on certain types of firearms, it wouldn’t matter where you were,” said Joe Bartozzi, senior vice president and general counsel for Connecticut-based gun manufacturer O.F. Mossberg & Sons. Bartozzi said support for measures that would curtail manufacturers appears to be waning in Washington, D.C.
On Thursday, President Obama delivered an impassioned speech aimed at breathing new life into the push for tighter federal gun laws. He referenced the December shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. — not far from Mossberg headquarters — saying, “Shame on us if we’ve forgotten.”
Connecticut is considering gun control measures that include a potential ban on assault weapons of the sort made by Mossberg.
“All things being equal, we don’t want to move,” Bartozzi said. “But we have to consider that the Legislature here could do things that make staying here very difficult.”
Bartozzi said he has received inviting letters from Perry as well as from local chambers of commerce throughout Texas.
Perry accused those who have responded to recent tragedies by proposing tighter gun restrictions of “playing politics” and erroneously blaming weapons for societal failures.
His recruitment effort, he said, was different. “We’re responding to the age-old situation of, ‘Go live where you’re most comfortable,’” Perry said. “If other states want to restrict component manufacturing, that’s their call. Texas wants to be a place where freedom is still very much alive.”
Mossberg & Sons already has a toehold in Texas. The company recently expanded its roughly 20-year-old facilities in Eagle Pass. “It’s coincidental,” Bartozzi said, “but it certainly takes on much bigger import now.”
Some companies are coming unprompted. Though no one recruited him, John Harrington, a native Texan, recently decided to relocate his company, Shield Tactical, from Orange County to Shiner.
In Texas, he said, “it’s an iota of bureaucracy.” In California, he said, “it’s like, before you put up your range, you have to be worried about whether the noise level is going to bother the 10-headed duckmouse.”
Harrington said he is not concerned about more competition moving in. After all, he said, Texas is among the world’s top 20 economies.
“If Magpul wants to come and move right next door to me,” he added, “I say bring it on.”
Texas Tribune donors or members may be quoted or mentioned in our stories, or may be the subject of them. For a complete list of contributors, click here.
[Ed. Note: Ordinarily it is not our policy to republish articles from blogs or circulating email, since they are difficult to validate. However we are deviating from established policy in this case. This article is republished from cowboybyte.com blog. CLICK HERE to read the original post]
Prepared for the New Hampshire Legislative Assembly January 22, 2013
Dear citizens of New Hampshire,
Four days ago, I was across the street for a gun rally on the steps of the Capitol. I had never been to a gun rally before. I expected it to be all about hunters and guns. I was surprised: People were not afraid of not being able to hunt. They were not afraid of criminals at all. Do you know who they were afraid of? The Federal Government. I was shocked. They were afraid of the government taking away their freedoms.
The reason I went to the rally in the first place was that I heard children, like me, talking with President Obama about guns on the radio. I think those kids were far too young to make policy, and got it all wrong.
Naturally, I don’t want my mom or dad to die either, nor my friends or family. But I learned in school that the First Amendment gives us our Basic Freedoms, like Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion and Freedom to Assemble. To protect our God-given rights, our Founders gave us the 2nd Amendment: The Right to Bear Arms.
My Civics teacher taught us that the reason our Founding Fathers gave us the right to bear arms is to protect ourselves from the government of man because when man is given absolute power, he becomes absolutely corrupt. In 1776, guns freed us from the abuses of King George. Today, guns keep us free from tyranny by government.
If President Obama wants to take our guns, isn’t he taking away our means to protect our right to freedom? Wasn’t the 2nd Amendment given to us to protect our 1st Amendment rights? It’s not by chance that those are the first two amendments. They were the two most important gifts our Founders gave the American people.
I don’t know. I’m just a 14 year old girl, and that’s what I thought I learned in school. Did Mr. Obama learn something different in school than that?
I think it is terrible for someone to use a national tragedy for political gain, don’t you? So, when I heard Mr. Obama issued 23 gun control orders in the wake of the Newtown tragedy, I was upset. In school, I was taught executive means to execute laws — not make them. When did that change? Didn’t the president swear an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution? Doesn’t the 2nd Amendment state: “the right for people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed?” Tell me how 23 orders on gun control is not an infringement. Can someone please tell me that? Has King George returned?
I hope New Hampshire members of congress remember their pledge and do not use this to create unjust laws.
So I ask myself, what gun would our Founders want their citizen militia to have today to protect us from a government greedy for power. I think Thomas Jefferson would recommend a semi-automatic rifle with 50-round clips, and pistols that hold 20. But, I’m sure George Washington would demand these arms.
Just so you know, I don’t even own a gun, nor does my mom, or dad. But when I’m old enough, I want the right to buy a gun — if I want to – so I can protect the America that I love. I hope I never need one, but I always say, “plan for the worst and hope for the best.” Unfortunately, that’s sort of why the government is taking away our guns: they are planning for the worst Americans, and not thinking of the best. Maybe the question we should be asking is what caused the moral fabric of the United States to decay? Are permissive parents no longer teaching their kids “thou shalt not kill?”
I want to live in an America with laws that protect the best people on Earth, not the worst, don’t you? Wouldn’t that be more free? Wouldn’t that be more American? Isn’t freedom what America is all about? The right to bear arms is our best guarantee to live free.
Finally, at my track meet at UNH on Sunday, I read the banner on the wall. It said three words: Tradition. Pride. Excellence. I hope and pray that New Hampshire will continue its tradition of excellence and lead the way for the rest of the county, and never infringe on my rights. May the people of the great state of New Hampshire carry on their long tradition of freedom, so we can proclaim with pride the words our forefathers gave us: Live Free or Die!
This is our United States. This is our New Hampshire. And that should never change.
Live Free or Die, New Hampshire!
Thank you, Daphne Jordan Nottingham, NH