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Guiseppe Zangara and the Wobbly Chair That Changed the World by WILL DABBS

Guiseppe “Joe” Zangara stood all of five feet tall and spoke poor English. Back in 1933 this angry little guy very nearly killed the President.

It’s tough for the modern mind to appreciate how bad the Great Depression actually was. It’s not that Americans did without cell phones, the latest sneakers, or Netflix, American citizens back then knew true hunger. Those that had work did OK. However, there wasn’t a great deal of work to be had. If you didn’t work, you just went hungry. In 1933 the national unemployment rate hit 24.9%. By contrast, on the heels of the worst planetary pandemic in a century US unemployment hovers around 6% today. We really have no idea.

During the Great Depression Americans knew real hunger. This Chicago soup kitchen was bankrolled by the infamous gangster Al Capone.

These extraordinary economic trials catalyzed a series of watershed changes to the very fabric of our great republic. In the guise of battling the Great Depression and organized crime, President Franklin Roosevelt undertook unprecedented social reforms. The consolidation of power with the central government, the manipulation of the sundry branches to further his agenda, and the country’s first solid taste of gun control all arose under FDR’s leadership.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was one of the most influential Presidents in American history. The social reforms he instituted altered the course of our society.

Franklin Roosevelt was an undeniably enigmatic figure. FDR ultimately served twelve years through some of the nation’s darkest history. His was the longest tenure of any American President in history.

FDR’s disability was a poorly-held secret.

In the summer of 1921 at the age of thirty-nine, FDR developed a severe form of migratory paralysis. While his symptoms were attributed to poliomyelitis at the time, there has been some subsequent conjecture that it might have actually been Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Regardless, from that point forward FDR could stand and walk only short distances and that only with extreme difficulty. However, great pains were taken to avoid photographing him in his wheelchair out of concern for portraying an image of weakness during WW2.

FDR’s New Deal was a groundbreaking concept.
The Civilian Conservation Corps built state parks like this one near my home all across the country. This cool swinging bridge is a lasting tribute to American industry in the 1930s.

FDR’s New Deal consisted of two separate legislative overhauls that consolidated unprecedented power within the federal government. The Civilian Conservation Corps, the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, the Public Works Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the Federal Emergency Relief Administration were but a few of the massive new government agencies birthed underneath the umbrella of the New Deal. FDR was the initial architect of the Big Government solutions to societal problems so championed by the Left today. It all started here. However, that was a very iffy thing indeed.

FDR was hoping for one last meet and greet before retiring to a friend’s yacht for a brief vacation.

On February 15, 1933, President-Elect Roosevelt, the fifth cousin to former President Theodore Roosevelt, was seventeen days shy of his inauguration as the 32d President of the United States. He was in Miami, Florida, anticipating a cruise to clear his head prior to assuming responsibility for the country. Briefly detouring to the Bayfront Park neighborhood for a quick address to an assembled crowd of some 25,000 supporters, FDR gave an impromptu speech from the back of his green Buick. Surrounding the President-elect were ample straphangers to include Anton Cermak, the mayor of Chicago.

The Shooter

This poor little guy just had a tough life.

Giuseppe “Joe” Zangara was a man simply cursed. Born in Italy in 1900, Zangara fought in World War 1 before immigrating to the United States in search of a better life. He had worked at hard labor from childhood starting on his father’s hardscrabble Italian farm.

By the standards of the day, Guiseppe Zangara had done fairly well for himself. However, when he lost his life’s savings gambling, it kind of pushed him over the edge.

Zangara toiled as a bricklayer to make ends meet in the US and did well for himself through extreme frugality. He made $15 per week laying bricks and had by 1933 accumulated some $3,000. However, in the days and weeks leading up to February 15th, he lost his job and gambled away most of his savings betting on dog races.

Chronic medical problems compounded Zangara’s sordid lot.

Additionally, Zangara suffered mightily from chronic belly pain beginning around age six. He had his appendix removed prophylactically, but that just made it worse. Post-mortem evaluation placed the blame on gallbladder adhesions. However, given the primitive state of the medical arts at the time, there was little to be done about that. He was therefore a chronically bitter and broken man.

On this fateful day in 1933 FDR just represented a handy outlet for Joe Zangara’s frustrations.

Giuseppe Zangara stood but five feet tall, and he blamed all of his myriad problems on capitalists and politicians. Though he apparently knew little about FDR, he held the newly-elected President responsible for his sordid state. A few days before the President’s visit, Zangara bought a five-shot .32-caliber revolver made by the United States Revolver Company from a local pawn shop for $8. That’s about $159 today. Zangara was later quoted as having said, “I don’t hate Mr. Roosevelt personally. I hate all elected officials and anyone who is rich.”

The Shooting

Joe Zangara was one of the thousands in attendance at FDR’s impromptu speech.

Zangara was in the third row some thirty feet from where FDR was speaking. However, given his diminutive stature, he was unable to see above the crowd to get a clear shot. As a result, he found an old rickety chair and mounted it to gain a better vantage. He teetered atop the chair behind a woman named Lillian Cross. Zangara then shouted, “Too many people are starving!” produced his tiny pistol, and opened fire.

This is Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak right after Joe Zangara shot him in the chest with a cheap .32-caliber revolver.

After the first shot, Ms. Cross struck Zangara’s arm, throwing his aim wide. The Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak caught a round to the lungs. Another shot hit Mrs. Joseph Gill, wounding her badly. Follow-up rounds struck Russell Caldwell, Margret Kruis, and a New York Detective named William Sinnott. President-elect Franklin Roosevelt was unhurt.

The Gun

These inexpensive little revolvers were everywhere back in the 1930s.

Zangara’s .32-caliber handgun was likely an inexpensive 5-shot top-break design. The United States Revolver Company was a subsidiary of Iver Johnson. Johnson was a Norwegian-born gunsmith who started the Iver Johnson Gun Company in 1871. The company operated out of Fitchburg, MA, and employed O.F. Mossberg. Mr. Mossberg ultimately went on to form a familiar gun company of his own.

We would call this a transfer bar action today. Iver Johnson was quite proud of the efficacy of this mechanism.
Holy crap. Do you think anyone might speak up if a gun company advertised their products as being safe enough to be left in bed with a child today?

These little pocket pistols were known for their top-latching mechanism and the “Hammer-the-Hammer” ignition system. This was an early transfer bar safety system that prevented the gun from firing accidentally without the trigger having been pulled. Similar designs are commonplace among revolvers today.

The sights were an afterthought, but these old US Revolver Company pistols were indeed reliable and handy.

The sights on this pistol are uselessly small. Breaking the top latch free allows the gun to open up and kick out its empties via an automatic ejector. My copy is indeed compact, handy, rugged, and comfortable.

The Rest of the Story

Joe Zangara was apprehended at the scene.

The crowd threw themselves on Zangara, threatening to dismember him on the spot. Only through personal intervention by Roosevelt were they prevented from beating him to death. A nearby policeman smacked Zangara with a sap, and he was taken into custody.

Anton Cermak’s selfless observations in the moments following the shooting were likely the musings of some imaginative political aide.

The Secret Service transported Mayor Cermak to the hospital in the green Buick, Roosevelt cradling him as they sped along. Cermak purportedly stated, “I’m glad it was me instead of you.” This is inscribed on his tombstone today. However, modern scholars suspect the report of such terminal gallantry to have been apocryphal.

Joe Zangara didn’t seem to show a great deal of remorse during his legal proceedings.

The wheels of justice were a bit better lubricated back then. Zangara pled guilty to four counts of attempted murder at the Dade County Courthouse and was immediately sentenced to 80 years in prison. He taunted the judge as he left the courtroom suggesting perhaps it should be an even hundred. However, on March 6, 1933, two days after FDR’s inauguration and twenty-one days after the shooting, Anton Cermak died of sepsis. The charge against Zangara was then upgraded to murder in the first degree. He pled guilty to this as well and was sentenced to death in the electric chair.

Florida’s Death Row back then was just two guys. That’s because convicts were pretty much ganked as soon as they were convicted back in the 1930s.

At this time folks didn’t linger awaiting their appointment with Old Sparky. However, there was already one man ahead of him in Florida. As such prison officials expanded the single pre-execution holding cell to create the state’s first Death Row to house the two condemned men. Zangara languished there an aggregate of ten days.

I’ve mounted one of these before. Suffice it to say they weren’t designed with the sitter’s comfort in mind.

On March 20, 1933, a mere thirty-three days after the shooting, Joe Zangara was strapped into the chair. His final words were, “Viva l’Italia! Goodbye to all poor peoples everywhere!… Push the button! Go ahead, push the button!” Witnesses said the words came out as “Pusha da button!”

Conspiracy Theories

The notorious mobster Frank Nitti was suspected of playing a part in the assassination attempt at the time, but this theory has since been discredited.

Despite not having the Internet to feed the inevitable lunatic fringe, then as now folks’ imaginations occasionally got the better of them. As mayor of Chicago, Anton Cermak naturally had a nexus to organized crime. The exploits of Chicago gangsters captured the imagination. It was then postulated that Zangara might actually have been in the covert employ of Chicago mob boss Frank Nitti who had staged the whole assassination attempt as a cover to waste Mayor Cermak.

Though conspiracy theorists suspected otherwise, it turned out that Joe Zangara was just another garden-variety, run-of-the-mill loser.

Subsequent scholarship stretching into the 21st century reliably indicates that Joe Zangara’s story was actually just as simple as it seems. He was poor, down on his luck, and angry. FDR was apparently just a handy target upon whom to vent his frustrations.

Folks linger on Death Row for decades nowadays. Things moved more quickly back in the 1930s.

Giuseppe Zangara died in the electric chair just one month after he pulled the trigger. The average stay on death row in America today is fifteen years. Unlike today, the expeditious death penalty back then was an effective deterrent to crime.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and I have absolutely nothing in common except perhaps our species. Her peculiar brand of cultural revolution all began back in the 1930s with FDR.

It is thought-provoking to imagine how the world might have been different had Giuseppe Zangara connected with his intended target that day. On June 26th of the following year, FDR signed the National Firearms Act of 1934. This legislation established the National Firearms Registry and Transfer Record, subjecting machineguns, short-barreled weapons, and sound suppressors to registration and a $200 transfer tax. FDR also laid the foundation for most of the Left-wing big government that was to follow. AOC is his heir apparent today. FDR’s inspirational leadership also ably carried America through World War 2. However, sometimes the most profound stuff turns on the smallest things, like an old wobbly chair and a really short angry man.

The myriad laws governing this quirky little hobby of ours all began back in 1934 during the Roosevelt Administration.
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Stephen Hunter: The Assault Weapon Massacres of 1964 by William Lawson

You may have heard of Stephen Hunter. He won a Pulitzer Prize as the chief film critic for The Washington Post. He also wrote the Bob Lee Swagger novels on which the movie Shooter is based. There’s also a Netflix TV series of the same name.

Stephen Hunter holding an M-1 Carbine
Stephen Hunter with America’s first “assault rifle.” (AP Photo/ The Bellingham Herald, Philip A. Dwyer via Bearing Arms)

Hunter didn’t know much about guns until he began researching Point of Impact, the first in the Swagger series. But he hung out at shooting ranges, gun clubs, and frequented online forums to learn what he needed. If you’re looking for a good adventure story with lots of guns, Hunter’s books might be your next good read.

Hunter recently made an astute observation in the wake of the anti-gun uproar of the last month or so, writing in a column:  “Possibly you’re old enough to remember the great massacre spree of 1964? Classrooms shot up, strip malls decimated, Scout troops blown away, fast food restaurants turned into mortuaries. And all because, in its infinite stupidity, the U.S. Government dumped 240,000 high-capacity .30-caliber assault rifles into an otherwise innocent America.”

Remember when that happened? No? Me neither, despite being a historian. That’s because it didn’t happen, despite hundreds of thousands of M-1 Carbines being dumped on an unsuspecting public in 1963 for less than a hundred bucks apiece. NRA members could buy them for a 20-dollar bill. No background check either.

You could even have them shipped right to your door, complete with a “high capacity” 15-round magazine. Ultra-high catastrophic murder capacity 30-round mags were also available for little or nothing. .30 Carbine ammo was cheap and widely available. I’ll bet some of those bullet casings even had a shark’s mouth painted on it to make it extra scary and more able to blow lungs out of the body.

And that’s not all, as Hunter recalls:

Stephen Hunter column on gun control
(powerlineblog.com)

Hunter correctly notes that the M-1 Carbine was essentially America’s first “assault rifle.” It didn’t have all the features of the M-16, but it filled that role when the US military was still trying to field a battle rifle, resulting in the less than successful M-14. The walnut stock doesn’t make gun controllers lose bladder control like Eugene Stoner’s rifle, but since that has no effect on the gun’s performance, the Carbine did just fine, thanks.

Hunter’s point is that capable, concealable, inexpensive rifles were widely available in 1964 had anyone decided to shoot up schools, grocery stores, parks, or whatever. They came with 15 or 30-round detachable mags that could be changed quickly. Some had a dreaded folding stock and pistol grip. The ammo was light but effective. A shooter could easily carry hundreds of rounds on his person. But no one did that.

M-1 Carbine, M-1A1 Paratrooper Carbine, and M-2 Carbine
The M-1, M-1A1, and M-2 Carbines had everything a mass murderer could want. But no one took advantage of them. It’s almost like something different drives murderers these days. (gunsmagazine.com)

Why not? After all, we’re told that it’s easier to buy a gun than to vote. And that if guns weren’t so easy to get, bad people wouldn’t do bad things. Yet, guns were far easier to buy in 1964 than they are today. There were no background checks of any kind. The mailman would drop it at your door if you wanted. No questions asked. You could literally buy guns at gas stations. I know because I bought my first gun at a gas station in the 1970s.

Firearm background check form
There were no background checks of any kind in 1964. (Shutterstock)

Does that mean there were no bad people around in 1964? Doubtful. But maybe, just maybe, people are bad in a different way now. Could it possibly be true that something other than access to firearms could be driving these twisted individuals to kill innocent people? Even children? Gun owners are often pilloried in the media for not offering solutions to these horrific trends. But what have the gun controllers offered? Ban “assault weapons.” Ban “high capacity” magazines. Tax ammunition. Ban all the guns. Run a microscope up your ass and wait 30 days before allowing the sale. That’s literally all they have.

But 1964 exposes the lie. This is a relatively recent trend. There are multiple causative factors at work here. For instance, those of us who pay attention are aware of what some medications do to people susceptible to their side effects. I witnessed firsthand the complete loss of inhibition in a close friend. The consequences were ugly. Does that mean that medications are solely responsible? No, but I’d bet everything I own that some of them are part of the puzzle. Not to mention how quickly they’re pumped into kids at the first sign of the latest trendy diagnosis.

Medicine bottle with pills spilled out
One thing that didn’t exist in 1964: psychotropic medications for teenagers. (Shutterstock)

There are many possibilities and I’m not qualified to address most of them in detail. But we have a pretty good idea what they might be. How about the crippling lack of a strong father figure in the lives of many young men? Think that just might have something to do with it? Or perhaps the social media obsession over views and likes pushes some weak-minded people to do anything for fame. After all, we know the media will plaster a mass murderer’s face all over the place for at least a week. And bad stuff lasts forever on the internet. Think maybe some of these losers see that and think it’s a good trade? Again, I’ll wager that notoriety looks better than anonymity to many.

I could go on, but you get the point. I don’t hear a peep about that stuff from the gun controllers. Just watch their heads explode when a pro-gun advocate dares to bring up mental health or the destruction of the nuclear family. But it’s just more proof that the operative word in gun control is “control.”

I can’t close any better than Hunter, so I’ll leave you with his final thought. Regarding the M-1 Carbine, Hunter writes:

“Either Peyton Gendron [Buffalo] or Salvador Ramos [Uvalde] could have employed it to the same results. So, in 1964, the guns were there— lots of them, everywhere, dirt cheap. But Gendron and Ramos were not. We must look elsewhere for the reason why.”

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All About Guns Anti Civil Rights ideas & "Friends" Gun Fearing Wussies You have to be kidding, right!?!

New York Historical Reenactments Canceled Over Gun Laws by Madeline Leesman

New York Historical Reenactments Canceled Over Gun Laws

Source: AP Photo/Wilson Ring

Several historical reenactments in New York have been canceled in recent weeks over concerns that participants could be violating the state’s restrictive gun laws.

A law that took effect Sept. 1 prohibits carrying weapons in “sensitive locations,” including public parks, sport fields and museums.

In Allegany County, a Civil War reenactment weekend for Sept. 23-25 was nixed after participants consulted with local law enforcement about the new law. A War of 1812 Battle of Plattsburgh reenactment was postponed. A separate Living History Weekend in German Flatts, which included a Civil War reenactment, was canceled after law enforcement consulted their attorneys, the Observer-Dispatch reported.

“Our attorneys advised us that there is no exemption in the law for civil war reenactments,” Herkimer County Sheriff Scott Scherrer told the Dispatch. “It would be illegal according to the letter of the governor’s law.”

The Observer-Dispatch noted that in each of the events, the use of a black powder musket “seems to violate” the law’s restrictions. However, a statement sent to USA TODAY Network New York claimed that the law allows historical reenactments to occur.

“These laws allow historical re-enactments to occur,” Hochul’s statement read, “and we will work with legislators and local law enforcement to ensure these events can legally and safely proceed.”

Terry Parker, who runs the historical reenactment events in Allegany County, told the Observer-Dispatch that there are “no plans” to revive the Civil War reenactment weekend.

“All it would take is a citizen complaint,” he said, adding that “and the whole thing will become a mess.”

Last week, Townhall covered how Mayor Eric Adams has taken to scapegoating gun manufacturers for New York City’s rise in violent crime. In remarks he made at the National Press Club, he claimed that gun violence has stemmed from “greedy” gun manufacturers who employ “aggressive” marketing tactics to sell guns.

When a gun crime is committed, we need the name of the gun and how that gun was obtained by the shooter. Who looked the other way. Where it was bought and who profited from that sale. Following the money is how you get to the heart of the story.

Gun violence is no exception.

Guns don’t magically appear in the hands of shooters. They don’t fall from the sky or grow on trees. Guns are made and marketed with the express purpose of generating profit.

Over the summer, President and CEO Mark Smith of Smith & Wesson fired back at politicians like Adams and Hochul. A report from the New York Daily News found that Glock, Taurus, Smith & Wesson, Ruger and Polymer8o produced more than half of the guns used in crimes in New York and 11 other major U.S. cities.

A number of politicians and their lobbying partners in the media have recently sought to disparage Smith & Wesson. Some have had the audacity to suggest that after they have vilified, undermined and defunded law enforcement for years, supported prosecutors who refuse to hold criminals accountable for their actions, overseen the decay of our country’s mental health infrastructure, and generally promoted a culture of lawlessness, Smith & Wesson and other firearm manufacturers are somehow responsible for the crime wave that has predictably resulted from these destructive policies…

But they are the ones to blame for the surge in violence and lawlessness, and they seek to avoid any responsibility for the crisis of violence they have created by attempting to shift the blame to Smith & Wesson, other firearm manufacturers and law abiding gun owners…To be clear, a Smith & Wesson firearm has never broken into a home; a Smith & Wesson firearm has never assaulted a woman out for a late-night run in the city; a Smith & Wesson firearm has never carjacked an unsuspecting driver stopped at a traffic light. Instead, Smith & Wesson provides these citizens with the means to protect themselves and their families…

We will continue to work alongside law enforcement, community leaders and lawmakers who are genuinely interested in creating safe neighborhoods. We will engage those who genuinely seek productive discussions, not a means of scoring political points. We will continue informing law-abiding citizens that they have a Constitutionally-protected right to defend themselves and their families. We will never back down in our defense of the 2nd Amendment.

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All About Guns Anti Civil Rights ideas & "Friends" California Cops You have to be kidding, right!?!

Los Angeles County Creating ‘Buffer Zones,’ Demanding Gun Shops Keep Fingerprint Logs by S.H. BLANNELBERRY

 

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is moving forward this week with plans to enact various gun control measures that will chill the 2A rights of law-abiding gun owners and place an undue burden on responsible gun dealers.

Among the ordinances included in the motion authored by Supervisor Janice Hahn are:

  • A ban on the sale of .50 caliber handguns and .50 caliber ammunition
  • The creation of “buffer zones” between gun stores and “sensitive areas” (schools, daycares, parks, etc.)
  • To make all Los Angeles County property a gun-free zone
  • Require gun stores to keep a fingerprint log, submit sales reports and inventory reports in real-time to the county board, install security cameras, limit minors’ access and provide gun owners with information about the local laws.
  • Deny sales to individuals on the federal government’s no-fly list

“When I was in Congress, we responded to horrific mass shootings with little more than moments of silence and thoughts and prayers,” said Supervisor Hahn in a press release.

“I will not sit idly by when there is action that we can take to save lives,” she continued. “These gun violence prevention measures are commonsense and are under our authority at the County level to implement.”

Attorneys will be drafting up the details for each ordinance over the next three months.  Once finished, the completed drafts will come before the board for a final vote.

Hahn told Fox11LA that these “common sense gun regulations” are “just one piece of the puzzle.”

“If we move forward with implementing these “four common-sense gun regulations”, I hope others in our county will follow suit,” Hahn said.

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Is Pistol Brace Amnesty About to Become the Biggest Trap Ever Set?

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All About Guns Ammo Anti Civil Rights ideas & "Friends" You have to be kidding, right!?!

Financial Deplatforming Just Got Closer

Financial Deplatforming Just Got Closer iStock-458089183

Financial Deplatforming Just Got Closer iStock-458089183

United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- When Letitia James is celebrating, Second Amendment supporters need to check and see if our rights have become more threatened. Earlier this week, one of her celebratory press releases is a warning that financial deplatforming has become that much easier.

Just before the Labor Day weekend, James and California Attorney General Rob Bonta demanded that Visa, Mastercard, and Discover create a specific merchant category code for sales of guns and ammunition. A week later, she celebrated the International Standard Organization’s requirement for the new code.

This shouldn’t be a surprise. While New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen in conjunction with the Heller and Caetano decisions should block any government bans on firearms, it is powerless against private businesses who make ostensibly “business” decisions.

Given her past track record which includes targeting firearms manufacturers, companies that produced 80% receivers, and her election-interfering effort to dissolve the National Rifle Association, this news is presumptively bad news. It has now become easier to single out firearms purchases, and while James and Bonta are only demanding this specific category… how long will they just be demanding only the category?

The probable next step will be to demand separate categories for firearms and ammunition, so as to start telling whether people are buying guns, ammo, or both. Then they will demand to segregate out the modern multi-purpose semi-automatics into yet another category.

Once that is done, it becomes easy to demand they block the purchases. That demand will be backed up with the threat of civil litigation egged on by anti-Second Amendment extremists groups, whether the Brady Campaign, Giffords, or Everytown. The purpose of the litigation will be to drum up bad publicity and force a settlement that will force the companies to cut off purchases.

Then, of course, there is the fact that generating a lit of possible gun owners just got outsourced to the financial industry – where such data can be subpoenaed by a state AG who is channeling Lavrentiy Beria. Think that won’t happen? Do we need to go over the track record of Letitia James again?

The most dangerous part about this is that this decision is going to be much harder to address via grassroots action. The credit card companies are private businesses and have pretty much the same First Amendment rights we do. They can also run their business as they see fit, and in the cases of Visa, Mastercard, and Discover, we don’t exactly have competition we can turn to.

We’re not helpless, though. Those in states that respect the Second Amendment can urge their elected officials to promulgate regulations to mitigate the potential harm that the recent actions of the International Standard Organization. The other step is to work to defeat anti-Second Amendment extremists like Letitia James via the ballot box at the federal, state, and local levels.


About Harold Hutchison

Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.Harold Hutchison

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Further Firearm Restrictions Incoming – We Only Have Ourselves To Blame!

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Gunmakers Could Take a Stand & Stop Arming the Disarmers by David Codrea

Why would members want to arm political regime enforcers that their own industry trade association recognizes as scary? (NSSF/Facebook)

U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)-

“Are you going to arm an increasingly tyrannical government deep state takeover seeking to diminish AMERICANS’ CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS and intending to target and abuse your customers?” colleague Dave Licht asks gun manufacturers on my War on Guns Placeholder blog. “Will you keep arming the states and agencies that unconstitutionally restrict your customers from buying your products? Will you keep arming the officers in states that intend to red flag your customers and seize their property purchased from you, without notice, hearing, or due process?”

I created the blog as a supplement for when I get emails that are too long to post in their entirety and have no link for sharing. This allows me to pass along important information by creating a linkable post that can then be posted on other blogs, social media sites, and the like.

Why Do You Keep Arming The States And Agencies That Unconstitutionally Restrict Your Customers?

Lich’s open letter makes an important point: Why would manufacturers want to provide customer disarmament tools to states like New York, California, New Jersey, Hawaii, and others, where politicians are not only trying to shrink the market, ban products and destroy the industry through lawsuits? It’s actually a follow-on post to one he’d sent me a few weeks earlier, wherein he noted:

“I spent this am contacting every gun manufacturer I do business with and asking them to PICK A SIDE and go full Ronnie Barrett on every state and agency presuming to infringe on HellerBruen and the Constitution generally. It is time for the industry to stand up for their customers and NOT SELL GUNS TO AGENCIES AND STATES ADOPTING & ENFORCING RED FLAG LAWS and passing rebound statutes to p*** on Bruen.”

Licht’s Ronnie Barrett reference, of course, recalls a 2002 letter the President of Barrett Firearms Manufacturing, sent to then-Chief William J. Bratton of the Los Angeles Police Department, about his company’s .50 caliber rifles:

“I will not sell, nor service, my rifles to those seeking to infringe upon the Constitution and the crystal clear rights it affords individuals to own firearms.”

Barrett again sent similar letters, one to the State of California in 2005, the Honolulu Police Department in 2008, and the State of New York in 2013.

I recounted these and more in my 2018 AmmoLand article, “More in the Firearms Industry Should Follow Hornady’s New York Example,” documenting President Steve Hornady’s announcement saying in part:

“Hornady will not knowingly allow our ammunition to be sold to the State of NY or any NY agencies. Their actions are a blatant and disgusting abuse of office and we won’t be associated with a government that acts like that. They should be ashamed.”

Picking up on Licht’s industry missive around 29 minutes into his August 25 program was Armed American Radio’s Daily Defense host Mark Walters.

Audio Player

“This is interesting stuff, guys,” Walters told his audience. “These questions are brilliantly asked.”

“Is it the individual New Jersey State Police officer’s fault that his state is the way it is and does what it does, and he should be punished simply because he wants to be a New Jersey State cop…?” Walters asked. “But then that gets back to ‘Well, I’m just doing my job…’”

“I would send a letter to those individual officers saying ‘Look, I’m sorry, but because of what your state does, because of your employer’s policies… you will not enforce those laws with my products,’” Walters rhetorically concluded.

His wasn’t the only national “gun rights” program picking up on Licht’s letter.

A caller to Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk brought it up on the Sunday, August 28 program, around 12 minutes into Hour 1. Responding, Gresham brought up an important point concerning what manufacturers can and cannot do by law.

“The thing you’ve got to understand is that the gun companies cannot get together and make that decision,” Gresham noted. “That would be, frankly it would be illegal. The gun companies cannot get together and collude, if you will, to restrict sales.”

He’s correct; that and other points about Licht’s letter were part of a discussion I had with Mark Walters when I joined the program in Hour 1 on August 29. The industry as a whole doing it would lead to federal action. But that still would not preclude companies from doing it independently without coordination or collusion based on customer feedback.

Audio Player

How could enough pressure be generated to get some manufacturers to take notice, so that gun owners could see who would take a stand? That’s something national and state gun groups could take the lead on, at least the ones not afraid to rock the boat.

It’s past time gun manufacturers stopped acting like neutral parties, willing to reap the benefits of RKBA activism as long as they don’t have to take a stand. It’s not inappropriate to publicly ask those companies what their position is, and to favor and patronize those that stand with American gun owners (and publicize those who won’t).

Or, as Licht concludes his open letter:

“So … Manufacturers … whose side are you on? If we don’t hang together, they’ll pick us off one at a time … and America will be lost. PICK A SIDE.”

And, of course, let’s not forget those arming ATF…


About David Codrea:

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

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All About Guns Anti Civil Rights ideas & "Friends" Cops

Clearly… ATF Needs to Go as 4 Million+ Face Gun Registration by Lee Williams

Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives Flag iStock-mirza kadic 1371231628
Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives Flag iStock-mirza kadic

Washington, DC –-(AmmoLand.com)- According to an exclusive story published by AmmoLand News, the ATF is about to force millions of gun owners to register their pistol braces as short-barreled rifles, which will then be regulated by the National Firearms Act.

To be clear, this is exactly the type of jack-booted thuggery we’ve come to expect from a morally bankrupt federal agency, which has outlived its usefulness.

According to the AmmoLand News story, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) calls their monumentally stupid idea an “amnesty” because they won’t charge the normal $200 fee for an NFA tax stamp.

Wow. How magnanimous.

Of course, the Bureau’s new rule negates and invalidates all of their previous opinion letters, which told us it was perfectly fine and absolutely legal to install a pistol brace on our guns.

In other words, they told us we wouldn’t have to worry about politically motivated enforcement actions like this if we bought a brace, and an estimated 4 million plus people did.

Then, after Joe Biden declared war on guns, the ATF changed its mind and bent over. Now 4 million law-abiding folks are about to pay a steep price and face having their names entered into a national gun registration database.

ATF Funding Request for Pistol Brace Amnesty Screengrab
ATF Funding Request for Pistol Brace Amnesty

What does this have to do with reducing the skyrocketing violent crime rates plaguing Democrat-run cities across the country? Absolutely nothing. This is just another way for the Biden-Harris administration to screw over legal gun owners.

In fact, this won’t impact criminals at all – it won’t even slow them down. Do you think Joe or Kamala actually believe criminals will register their braced pistols? Of course, they don’t.

Once Biden shuffles off into history, I hope his replacement takes a hard look at the utility of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) because I certainly don’t see any. They have yet to focus on getting guns out of the hands of criminals because they’re solely focused on persecuting the law-abiding.

This plan could turn millions of gun owners into felons overnight. There’s a word for a law or rule that instantly criminalizes the law-abiding – tyranny – and tyranny is what we’ve come to expect from the ATF.


About Lee Williams

Lee Williams, who is also known as “The Gun Writer,” is the chief editor of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project. Until recently, he was also an editor for a daily newspaper in Florida. Before becoming an editor, Lee was an investigative reporter at newspapers in three states and a U.S. Territory. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a police officer. Before becoming a cop, Lee served in the Army. He’s earned more than a dozen national journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. Lee is an avid tactical shooter.

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All About Guns Anti Civil Rights ideas & "Friends"

A credit card industry group has approved a plan to track sales of guns and ammo with a new merchant code by JOHN SEXTON

CBS News has a big scoop this afternoon. The industry group that sets international standards for credit card companies has decided to create a new code for the purchase of guns and ammo that, while not identifying the exact purchases, will separate those items from the more generic category they had been lumped in with previously.

Merchant category codes are made up of four digits and are used across all sorts of industries as a means to classify retailers, while not revealing individual product purchases. Credit card companies currently lump firearm retailers in with other outlets, classifying them as either “5999: Miscellaneous retail stores” or “5941: Sporting Goods Stores.”

With a new code for firearms merchants, potentially suspicious purchasing patterns could be flagged to law enforcement — much the same way banks and credit unions made more than 1.4 million suspicious activity reports in 2021 for other types of transactions that might suggest anything from identity theft to terrorist financing.

This is part of a plan being pushed by congressional Democrats after Amalgamated Bank of New York, a progressive bank that often involves itself in social issues, made repeated attempts to push for the new code, all of which were denied.

A group of congressional Democrats is urging credit card companies to track suspect firearm and ammunition purchases as a means to identify and stop gun crime, according to a letter obtained by CBS News Thursday.

The letter, drafted by Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Rep. Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania and signed by over a dozen of their colleagues, urges the CEOs of Mastercard, American Express and Visa to back the creation of a merchant category code for gun and ammunition retailers — a measure the industry had initially resisted, according to an investigation by CBS News in June.

“The creation of a new [merchant category code] for gun and ammunition retail stores would be the first step towards facilitating the collection of valuable financial data that could help law enforcement in countering the financing of terrorism efforts,” the letter says.

So it looks like the congressional pressure worked. The new code has been approved but it sounds like Visa is not happy about it even as the CEO of Amalgamated Bank is celebrating.

In a letter obtained by CBS News, sent by Visa on Wednesday in response to congressional Democrats who supported the plan, the company said, “We believe that asking payment networks to serve as a moral authority by deciding which legal goods can or cannot be purchased sets a dangerous precedent.”

Visa wrote, “We understood Amalgamated Bank’s request to be justified, at least in part, by an interest in blocking transactions that would fall under such a new category, and Visa’s rules expressly prohibit blocking of legal transactions under an MCC.”…

“We all have to do our part to stop gun violence,” said Priscilla Sims Brown, President and CEO of Amalgamated Bank. “And it sometimes starts with illegal purchases of guns and ammunition. The new code will allow us to fully comply with our duty to report suspicious activity and illegal gun sales to authorities without blocking or impeding legal gun sales. This action answers the call of millions of Americans who want safety from gun violence and we are proud to have led the broad coalition of advocates, shareholders, and elected officials that achieved this historic outcome.”

Priscilla Sims Brown recently appeared on CNBC where she was asked about her effort to push the new category code for guns. “If we did have a merchant code for gun stores we could detect patterns that would indicate that there had been something unusual going on,” Brown said. She says all the banks will do is file a suspicious activity report at which point it would be up to local or federal law enforcement to act on those reports (she wasn’t very clear about who would be doing the follow up).

If that’s so, why is Visa concerned about attempts to block transactions using these codes? I just checked and so far Elizabeth Warren hasn’t posted any tweets celebrating this outcome. She’ll probably get around to it this weekend.