Backers of gun rights hit some big targets – Washington Times

Backers of gun rights hit some big targets – Washington Times.

D.C. now alone with total ban

By Tom Howell Jr. – The Washington Times

yourlossFlorida is preparing to issue its 1 millionth concealed-carry permit while a federal court ruling this week left the nation’s capital as the only place in the United States with a total ban on carrying concealed weapons — developments that have gun advocates feeling that momentum is on their side in the national debate over whether Americans can remain armed once they leave home.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that the Illinois legislature has 180 days to come up with some type of concealed-carry law, overruling gun control proponents in the final holdout among the states.

The ruling is considered encouraging for the plaintiffs in a similar lawsuit pending in the District, whose Democratic leadership has resisted attempts to loosen its gun laws, citing public safety and its role as the host to important leaders and diplomats.

“We’ve always believed he have a very strong case. The complete prohibition [in the District] is ridiculous,” said Alan Gura, a gun rights lawyer from Alexandria who litigated the Illinois case alongside a Chicago-based lawyer. “The court needs to rule.”

Mr. Gura sent a copy of the decision to the federal court that will decide Palmer v. the District of Columbia, which he also is handling. The case has been languishing since August 2009 and been argued twice, he said.

The Government Accountability Office reported in June that there were at least 8 million active permits to carry concealed handguns in the United States as of Dec. 31 last year.

whydoConcealed-carry permit laws have sparked debate in state legislatures and the courts, driven by intense lobbying on both sides of the issue. Gun control advocates say public safety is at stake, while staunch defenders of the Second Amendment say the wind is at their backs in the fight for the right to carry a handgun in most public places.

“The Bill of Rights is not a smorgasbord. You can’t pick and choose the ones you want to respect,” said Dave Workman, senior editor of TheGunMag publication run by the Second Amendment Foundation, a gun rights advocacy group based in Bellevue, Wash.

While gun rights supporters argue that an armed society deters crime and can thwart mass shootings, groups such as the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence say a review of gun deaths shows “states with the strongest gun laws also have the lowest gun-death rates nationwide.”

“Conversely, many states with the weakest gun laws have the highest gun-death rates,” according to a grading system the center released in November.

Although 49 states offer concealed carry in some capacity — all 50 states if the Illinois decision holds up — a state-by-state look at the permitting process reveals a patchwork of restrictions on whether guns can be carried in bars, churches and other specified places. Ten states employ a “may issue” or discretionary system in which the permit applicant must demonstrate a need for the gun or the issuer decides who can have a permit, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The conference says 39 states have a “shall-issue” system, by which the applicant does not have to demonstrate a need or the issuer has to provide a permit if the requesting person meets certain criteria. People in Alaska, Arizona, Vermont and Wyoming do not require permits to carry concealed weapons, according to the conference and the GAO.

On Capitol Hill, the House last year approved a reciprocity act that would allow states to recognize one another’s concealed-carry permits when a qualified person crosses state lines, unless that jurisdiction expressly prohibits the practice. In November 2011, Wisconsin became the 49th state to enact a concealed-carry provision, leaving only Illinois as the only one banning it.

unfreezoneCity lawmakers in Chicago have threatened to approve an ordinance that would thwart the federal appellate court’s ruling — even if it results in a protracted legal battle — out of fear that concealed carry will increase gang violence, according to The Associated Press.

Conversely, the consumer affairs agency in Florida, a state with a population of about 19 million and the location of the racially charged shooting death of Trayvon Martin in February, announced that it was on the cusp of issuing its 1 millionth permit to carry since it began the licensing program in 1987. States with less than onerous gun laws such as Louisiana and Kansas have issued tens of thousands of permits, and interest shows no signs of waning, according to news reports.

“That tells you something,” Mr. Workman said. “What it should be telling Washington, D.C.’s government is they need to wake and smell the coffee before it spills in their lap.”

The District’s gun laws are no strangers to controversy. In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the city’s long-standing handgun ban in the District of Columbia v. Heller, a landmark case that has been held up as a strong affirmation of Second Amendment rights.

Gun laws are frequent bargaining chips in local leaders’ efforts to gain more autonomy from Congress. More than once, Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill have attempted to amend the city’s approach to firearms through legislative “riders” on bills aimed at giving the city a voting member of the House or extending the District’s control over its local budget.

City officials have strenuously defended their strict gun laws. D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, at-large Democrat, has pointed to the number of high-profile leaders and diplomats who are in the city and need protection.

“Every major American city has diplomatic officials,” Mr. Gura said. “There are many important people everywhere, and my clients are important people.”

Mr. Mendelson did, however, shepherd a bill to passage this year that cuts training sessions and other impediments to registering guns in the District.

antiIn neighboring Maryland, a judge in July ordered the state to stop enforcing a law that requires applicants to provide a “good and substantial” reason why they should obtain a permit to carry. The courts later decided that the law may be enforced while an appeal is pending.

Mr. Gura led the effort against Maryland. However, he recently lost a similar case against New York. He said he will ask the nation’s highest court to take up the case.

“It’s a strong petition,” he said.

The courts may vary in their interpretations of Columbia v. Heller and other landmark gun cases, but strong language in the Illinois decision showed at least one judge feels that no one place stands above the rest.

“There is no suggestion that some unique characteristic of criminal activity in Illinois justifies the state’s taking a different approach from the other 49 states,” Judge Richard A. Posner wrote in his majority opinion. “If the Illinois approach were demonstrably superior, one would expect at least one or two other states to have emulated it.”


MILLER: Gun-carry ban death rattle – Washington Times

MILLER: Gun-carry ban death rattle – Washington Times.

Illinois forced to allow citizens to carry loaded firearms

By Emily Miller – The Washington Times

bretterbringNew life is being breathed into the Second Amendment. After it was beaten down by activist courts over the decades, the nation’s top justices finally decided two years ago that the founders meant what they wrote.

In McDonald v. Chicago, the Supreme Court majority held it was unconstitutional for the Windy City to forbid residents to keep handguns in their homes. On Tuesday, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided the phrase in the Bill of Rights about “bearing arms” has meaning as well.

President Obama’s home state of Illinois is the only state with a blanket ban on carrying a handgun outside the home. The court found this prohibition was unconstitutional. As Judge Richard A. Posner wrote, “A woman who is being stalked … has a stronger self-defense claim to be allowed to carry a gun in public than the resident of a fancy apartment building (complete with doorman) has a claim to sleep with a loaded gun under her mattress.”

The judge nodded to the state’s position that a gun is a potential danger to more people in public than if only kept at home, but he added that knowing “many law-abiding citizens are walking the streets armed may make criminals timid.” When the bad guys aren’t sure whether a victim can fight back, they’re less likely to attack.

A0cohaHCQAAztNM.jpg largeAlan Gura, attorney for the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), argued on behalf of Michael Moore, an Illinois resident who had been allowed to carry a firearm off duty as a corrections officer but was denied a permit as a civilian jail superintendent.

“Illinois’ ban on carrying a loaded firearm for self-protection is now history, and now no other state can come back and ban carry,” SAF founder Alan Gottlieb told The Washington Times in an interview Tuesday. The court gave the state legislature 180 days to craft a new gun law “with reasonable limitations” on allowing for carry rights.

Mr. Gottlieb said his organization is paying close attention to whether the lawmakers outside Chicago have enough votes to create a “shall issue” state for carry. In the unlikely event that Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn vetoes the bill, the state would default to full carry rights with no restrictions as a result of the decision. “If Illinois puts in an overly restrictive law, we’ll go back to court again,” Mr. Gottlieb warned.

idiot-controlThe National Rifle Association (NRA) led the fight as well. Attorney Chuck Cooper argued on behalf of Mary Shepard, who is licensed to carry a concealed handgun in both Utah and Florida but not her home state of Illinois. “This ruling is a major victory for all law-abiding citizens in Illinois and indeed across the country,” said NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre. “The Shepard case has paved the way for the people of Illinois to be able to fully exercise their Second Amendment rights.”

Second Amendment activists now need to set their sights on the District, the last outpost where the right to bear arms is not recognized in any way. The D.C. Council should realize it’s only a matter of time before its carry ban is overturned. It should avoid the drawn-out legal battle by giving residents a chance to defend themselves on the mean streets of the District.

Emily Miller is a senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times.

Useless, Costly Teacher’s Unions – Tea Party Nation


Useless, Costly Teacher’s Unions – Tea Party Nation.

By Alan Caruba

As I close in on age 75 I can still tell you the names of most of my teachers from elementary school on up through senior high. Miss Kenniston was my first grade teacher. I was madly in love with Miss Ward in fourth grade. It was the 1940s and 50s. Women had been the predominant gender of the teaching profession since the early 1900s.

Historically, the teacher’s union movement began in Chicago in 1897 and Chicago was the site of the nation’s first teachers strike in 1902. The latest reports indicate that the strike this past week has been settled and all that really means is that Chicago’s school children will once again receive a poor, but very expensive education.

The Heartland Institute, a 28-year-old, national, non-profit research organization is headquartered in Chicago and I have served in an advisory capacity. One of its areas of interest is education.

Robert C. Holland, a Senior Fellow, points out that “Thanks to Chicago’s independently managed charter schools remaining open…50,000 of Chicago’s 400,000 public school children will not be shortchanged. That reality could strongly reinforce in parent’s minds the desirability of school choice for all children.”

Heartland’s S.T. Karnick, Director of Research, noted that “The average teacher salary in Chicago is $74,839, plus benefits far better than those available in the private sector. Yet Chicago Public Schools are among the nation’s worst, which is saying a lot.” According their own data, Chicago’s public schools “failed to make adequate yearly progress in student achievement last year. Children in the city’s private and charter schools do much better at a fraction of the cost.”

Are you thinking what I am thinking? Given the cost of public schools and the fact that the teachers union have negotiated some of the best salaries and perks, all while providing decades of poor performance, why would any city want to continue with this system?

To put it another way, as Heartland’s John Nothdurft, Director of Government Relations, noted, “Chicago Public Schools have offered teachers a four-year package worth $400 million despite the fact that the city is already expected to face a $369 million deficit in 2013.” If you or I conducted our financial affairs in this manner, we would soon be living in a cardboard box on a sidewalk somewhere.

Maureen Martin, Heartland’s Senior Fellow for legal affairs, weighed in with a politically incorrect appraisal of today’s generation of women teachers. “In the 1960s, most high-achieving female college graduates became teachers, largely because they had few other career choices. By 2000, almost none of them became teachers, largely because they had many other career choices.”

“The fact is that female teachers nowadays are not as smart as they used to be. And the fact is that’s why students nowadays are not learning as much as they need to learn in order to succeed.”

So, since Chicago teachers are well paid, the strike is clearly not about money. For the union, says Martin, “Teacher evaluations and potential dismissal of incompetent teachers are front and center in the negotiations, according to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.”

A Washington Post article, “Five Myths about Teachers Unions” noted that a 2009 report by the New Teacher Project “found that 94 percent of teachers in Chicago received ‘superior’ or ‘excellent’ ratings, and just four in 1,000 were rated ‘unsatisfactory’. Clearly , the evaluation system is broken.”

Karen Lewis, the head of the Chicago Teachers Union, when speaking at a teachers’ conference last year was caught on video. She told them “I am the only black woman in the class of 1974 from Dartmouth College. Woo, people are impressed. Let me tell you, I spent those years smoking lots of weed, self-medicating, thank you.” When the audience laughed, she added, “Sounds like you all did too.”

Chicago will yield to the union. Syndicated columnist, Michelle Malkin, explained why:

“The Chicago Teachers Union rakes in nearly $30 million in forced dues from rank and file teachers every year. CTU is an affiliate of the behemoth AFL-CIO, which dropped an estimated $100 million in forced dues to support Democratic candidates and causes during the 2008 and 2010 election cycles.”

I have been hearing and reading about how bad our nation’s schools are since Bill Bennett, the U.S. Secretary of Education from 1985 to 1988, named the Chicago school system the worst in the nation twenty-five years ago!

The reason there has been no improvement in reading scores and other indices, along with a disgraceful drop-out rate of 56% who never make it to graduation, is the teachers’ union. Yes, there are cultural and economic factors, but in a decent school system, even poor children can learn. It should come as no surprise that the highest achievers academically nationwide are those who are home-schooled!

What Illinois and every other State in the nation needs is a right-to-work law. The only way to restore fiscal sanity to their budgets and see real reforms occur is to end the grip of the teachers and other public service unions.

© Alan Caruba, 2012


Four More Years. – Tea Party Nation

Mitt Romney - The King of Bain

Mitt Romney - The King of Bain (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

Four More Years. – Tea Party Nation.

Posted by Judson Phillips

Are you ready for four more years of Barack Obama and the Party of Treason in charge of the White House?  If not, you need to get ready.  We are only one step away from that and there is only one thing we can do to stop it.

 What is it?

 If you are in Illinois tomorrow, vote for Newt Gingrich

 Some folks are going, oh no not again.  Some others are asking, “didn’t you get the memo.  Gingrich cannot win.”

 You are right.  Newt cannot win.  He is all but mathematically eliminated in the delegate race.  Even Newt knows this. 

 Newt’s strategy is now simple.  Deny Romney the nomination. 

 This needs to be the strategy of the conservative movement.  We need to deny Romney the nomination by getting as many conservatives picked as Delegates for the Republican Convention in Tampa this August. 

 If Romney is nominated, Obama will almost certainly win.   Romney can only win in areas where he massively outspends his opponents.   He won’t be able to outspend Obama.  His best-case scenario is close to parity.  More than likely Obama will be able to out spend him significantly.

 Plus Obama will have an energized base.  Conservatives will be out there voting for Romney but we won’t be out there doing the boots on the groundwork that has to be done.

 Romney is a disaster for the GOP and the sooner we embrace the idea of an open convention that denies Romney the nomination, the better off we are. 

 Who can come out of the Convention as a nominee?  If we get enough conservatives as delegates we have a chance for someone who can excite the base and win.   I still believe Newt Gingrich is the best candidate out there, but if he has not been able to close the deal in the primary, the chances of him being chosen by a deadlocked convention are remote.

 We need someone who will take Newt’s ideas forward. Unlike Romney, Newt is talking about $2.50 a gallon gas.  That’s something that looks pretty good as we head into the third summer of the Great Obama Depression and gas prices spike towards $5 a gallon.   Newt is talking about cutting taxes.  Romney is simply talking about managing big government. 

 Who could we get as a nominee?  Certainly not a Bush nor a northeastern liberal like Chris Christie

 Paul Ryan’s name has popped up some in the discussions.  He would be a good choice or perhaps we could get the convention to go really outside of the box and get someone we are not even thinking of. 

 The RINOs are screaming about how a brokered convention would be a disaster.   A disaster for who?  The establishment?  Certainly, it would be a disaster for them.   For rank and file Republicans and for real Americans, a brokered convention offers the opportunity for a conservative candidate to emerge. 

 Who is our next Reagan?

 It certainly is not liberal Mitt Romney

 We need to start looking for him or her and we need to keep fighting to make certain Mitt Romney does not win the nomination. 

 The best way we can stop Romney is by getting our friends and family to vote for Newt.  If you are in Illinois, help save America.  In the GOP primary tomorrow, vote for Newt!

PETA Wants Memorial to Cow Victims of 5/22 – John Ransom – Townhall Finance

PETA Wants Memorial to Cow Victims of 5/22 – John Ransom – Townhall Finance.

PETA has asked the Department of Transportation in Illinois to commemorate the spot where 16 cows lost their life on May 22 in a traffic accident says a report in the Chicago Tribune.

The cows plunged from the back of a tractor trailer when it jackknifed on a bridge on an I-80 highway overpass.

I’m wondering if we could just have a memorial BBQ. I’ll bring the grill.

Now, before you start laughing remember: This is Illinois.

Yes, that state.

You know how people warn you about avoiding stupid mistakes by saying, “You don’t want to be that guy.”

Well, ladies and gentleman I present you your Daley-Obama-Rahm Emmanuel-led State of Illinois. That state.

It’s a state where graft makes everything “work,” and where 3 out 4 governors go to prison, because someone has to take the rap for all that graft. You have to keep up appearances that you are interested in good government. And there is nothing like sending both Republican and Democrat governors to jail to make the message clear.    

You don’t want to be that guy? Then, don’t become governor of Illinois.

In other states the position of governor is one of honor. In Illinois governors are elected patsies so the graft machine can keep going.        

The PETA proposal memorializing the Cow-Victims-of-5/22 asks Illinois to glorify the animals that died while performing their function “in the meat trade.”

The “meat trade” is what you and I call groceries.

“These proposed signs would also remind tractor-trailer drivers of their responsibility to the thousands of animals they haul to their deaths every day,” said Tracy Patton, 26, a campaigner for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals according to UPI. “It’s a big enough tragedy that these animals end up in slaughterhouses, where they are kicked, shocked with electric prods and finally dragged off the trucks to their deaths. Sparing them from being tossed from a speeding truck and deprived of care afterward, sometimes for several hours, seems the least that we can do.”

So they want drivers to act more responsibly while driving animals to their deaths? Maybe keeping truck drivers’ eyes on the road and not on some signs would be a good start.

Because, that’s all we need:  truck drivers squinting at memorials to cows while speeding across bridges in downtown Chicago. What’s next? Cow-sensitivity training?  

PETA submitted their application under a 2007 provision in Illinois law, where family members of those who die as victims of DUI accidents may request memorials to the victims. The law was passed, according to a DOT spokesman, in order to regulate unofficial roadside memorials says the Trib.

That’s been a terribly pressing problem for the US. If we could only get federal control of those roadside monuments, this economy would really boom. And certainly replacing spontaneous, personalized, ad-hoc memorials by friends and relatives who knew the victim with a sanitized government memorial will probably better aid the grieving process for those who are left behind.

Thank God for good government in Illinois.

The problem for PETA isn’t that their proposal is outrageous, stupid, ridiculous, insulting and loony; no the problem for PETA is the same problem that the rest of us have with government. The only reason why Illinois politicians aren’t rushing to support PETA in raising a memorial is because PETA doesn’t have the cash to get the graft machine to use the misguided law regulating personal acts of grief to help PETA with their outrageous, stupid, ridiculous, insulting and loony proposal.

Because earlier this year the Illinois legislature, in an outrageous, stupid, ridiculous, insulting and loony move, raised personal income taxes by 67 percent and corporate income taxes by 47 percent…and then started exempting the very biggest corporations from the tax.

And if you don’t think that those exemptions weren’t driven by cash and graft, then congratulations!

You qualify for either the Republican or the Democrat nominations for governor in Illinois.

Occupying occupied Chicago – Tea Party Nation

Occupying occupied Chicago – Tea Party Nation.

The Occupy Wall Street movement has spread out through the country.  Small groups of anarchists have set up shop, probably not looking for their next shower, certainly not looking for a job and probably already have their next dime bag of marijuana with them. 

 In New York, protestors marched with a photoshopped image of what was the decapitated head of the chairman of Goldman Sachs.  Two hundred years ago, real mobs separated real heads from real bodies, planted them on pikes and paraded them through the streets of Paris. Today’s mobs, for the moment anyway, just use photoshop.

 In Chicago, which has been occupied territory for the last 60 years or so, the Occupy Chicago group has posted its “demands.”

 From the Wall Street Journal:

 The local spin-off of the Occupy Wall Street protests born in Manhattan released 12 proposed demands during the weekend, some of the first specifics to emerge from collection of groups that have sprung up in recent weeks across the U.S.

Occupy Chicago, an independent group inspired by the New York protests, which take aim at corporations and the wealthy, appear to be the first in the movement to adopt official demands: Repeal the Bush tax cuts and prosecute “Wall Street criminals.” At an open meeting Saturday in downtown Chicago, nine-tenths of the nearly 300 present voted to adopt those demands.

This week, the group plans to vote on other proposed demands, which include giving the Securities and Exchange Commission more regulatory power, forgiving student debt, reforming campaign-finance law and enacting the so-called Buffett Rule, a White House proposal to prevent millionaires from paying lower tax rates than middle-class Americans.

Occupy Wall Street has taken flak for not announcing specific demands in a protest that has engulfed sections of lower Manhattan and is now entering its fourth week. Bill Dobbs, a member of the Occupy Wall Street press committee, said he doesn’t know of plans to adopt specific demands.

“I mean, I’ve got my own set of demands,” he said. But “all our energy is going to ringing the alarm bells about economic conditions in this country.”

 Like most of the other mobs, this one is clueless too.  The State of Illinois in the last year pretty much followed what they wanted, at least as far as tax policy is concerned.  Illinois raised taxes by 67%. 

Capital, jobs and people are fleeing Illinois. 


 Many of those people and jobs are going to Wisconsin, where the GOP legislature and Governor have been cutting spending, taxes and making Wisconsin much more business friendly. 

 Funny, the same thing happened in Maryland, where there were tax hikes.  Virginia is reaping the rewards of Maryland’s folly. 

 Wisconsin and Virginia are doing well, despite the Obama economy while liberal Illinois and Maryland are doing the slow circle around the toilet bowl. 

 These anarchists simply want socialism.  While facts and history are something they do not seem to have a grasp on, perhaps people should remind them that what they want has been tried in the past.

 The end result has always been poverty, tyranny and frequently mass murder.

 Personally, I still choose liberty.

The Dept Man’s Magical Tax Payer Funded Campaign Bus Tour (via Village of the Banned)

The Dept Man's Magical Tax Payer Funded Campaign Bus Tour Obama‘s Magical Misery Dept End Bus Tour H/T to Keith Koffler If Obama’s Not Campaigning, Why is He Campaigning? by Keith Koffler on August 16, 2011, 12:18 pm White House officials have been insisting for a couple of weeks that Obama’s bus tour through the Midwest has nothing to do with campaigning. It’s just a way to get the president among the people, especially, um, the people in presidentia … Read More

via Village of the Banned