Time once again for the (usually) weekly Carnival of Cordite! Let's jump right in, shall we?
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First and foremost, we have the ongoing debacle in New Orleans:
So, let me get this straight... we need troops to come and establish order and safety, but they can't load their weapons?
Fortunately, at least in this instance, someone high enough up in the chain of command overrode the ridiculous orders. I guess this is proof that if you expose a problem, you can get it fixed. Now we need to fully expose the rest of the problems in New Orleans...
Here is some exposure:
Geek with a .45 has links to videos of gun confiscations, including a little old lady literally dropped to the ground by jackbooted thugs on live television over her revolver. Yes, the proper way to make sure society is safe is tackling feeble old women to take away the only means they have to protect themselves!
Here is exposure of a different sort:
So we have confiscations going on (unless you are a famous Hollywood actor). Is it legal? Dave Kopel says NO.
It does look like (now) the confiscations may have ended. See this from Geek with a .45 and read down to the end.
So does the Revolutionary War Veterans Association.
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In comes the NRA!
Here is the text of the NRA statement:
National Rifle Association leader Wayne LaPierre slammed New Orleans authorities Monday for seizing legal firearms from lawful residents.
"What we’ve seen in Louisiana - the breakdown of law and order in the aftermath of disaster - is exactly the kind of situation where the Second Amendment was intended to allow citizens to protect themselves, " LaPierre said.
"When law enforcement isn’t available, Americans turn to the one right that protects all the others - the right to keep and bear arms," LaPierre said. "This attempt to repeal the Second Amendment should be condemned." The New York Times reported last Thursday that no civilians in New Orleans will be allowed to have guns, quoting the superintendent of police that "only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons."
A Louisiana state statute allows the chief law enforcement officer to "regulate possession" of firearms during declared emergencies. "But regulate doesn’t mean confiscate," said Chris W. Cox, the NRA’s chief lobbyist.
"Authorities are using that statute to do what the looters and criminals could not: disarm the law-abiding citizens of New Orleans trying to protect their homes and families," Cox said.
"The NRA will not stand idly by while guns are confiscated from law-abiding people who’re trying to defend themselves," he said.
"We’re exploring every legal option available to protect the rights of lawful people in New Orleans," Cox said, "and we’re taking steps to overturn such laws in every state where they exist."
"Local authorities in New Orleans are turning nature’s assault on human life into man’s assault on human rights," LaPierre said. "Four million NRA members intend to stop this unconstitutional power grab."
But before anyone on our side takes this further and openly criticizes the NRA, I'd like to offer up some analysis:
The NRA is to the residents of New Orleans and their gun rights what the federal government is to disaster relief. The NRA is not a first responder, but is a powerful force that can do great things once it gets rolling.
Who needs to react first when a local authority violates your gun rights?
First responder is YOU. But don't respond with the gung-ho "from my cold, dead hands" bravado. Why not? BECAUSE IF YOU RESIST POLICE WHILE YOU ARE ARMED, THEY WILL KILL YOU. And no matter how improper the orders from above may be, I would not for one moment hold it against a police officer if he defended himself with lethal force when an armed and potentially dangerous adversary refused to comply. He has as much right to self-defense as anyone else.
So what do you do? You comply. And you get the names and badge numbers of everyone involved. You demand receipts for the property taken. Get serial numbers written down. Get the names of superiors who gave the orders. Get phone numbers. Don't do ANYTHING to provoke or harass them. Cooperate. Then get help.
And where do you go? First place you go is to local help. A faceless bureaucracy in Virginia is not going to be effective at getting you legal help fast when your rights are being violated in New Orleans. You need to find legal representation from someone in your own jurisdiction, someone who is licensed to practice law there and who is familiar with your local civil procedure. A local lawyer can get your case in front a judge for an injunction fast. The NRA can't.
Who else do you turn to?
What can these local groups do that the NRA can't? Well for one thing, they tend to have closer contacts with local politicians. For another, they focus on just your area, so their resources aren't spread out. This makes them better able to respond to a local incident.
So where does the NRA come in?
Well, we are seeing it start now, but it won't end with a press release. The NRA has tremendous resources, the types of resources necessary to take high-profile cases to the Federal Courts of Appeal and (hopefully someday) the Supreme Court of the United States. It takes big dollars, sometimes millions of dollars, to win a precedent-setting case in the federal system. Smaller organizations are great for helping out people with local problems, or lobbying for local pro-gun legislation. But the big dogs are under the NRA porch.
We won't see it now; we probably won't see it in the next year; but in the future, we WILL see a massive federal lawsuit over the unconstitutional seizures in New Orleans. The nature of the Second Amendment will be addressed in federal court and the 5th Circuit Court of Appeal. There is a very strong chance that, no matter what the 5th Circuit's decision, the case will be settled once and for all before the Supreme Court.
THIS WILL BE THE BIG ONE FOR GUN OWNERS.
We need the biggest and best on our side. That will be the NRA.
So who do you support as your gun rights advocate?
The answer is: all of them.
Find out who your state and local gun advocate groups are. Become a member. Give them money. Get on their mailing lists. Then do the same for the NRA. They do different things, and both need YOU. Don't get sucked into the "NRA is too slow and doesn't care about little things" argument. Don't get sucked into the "NRA is the biggest and best group, so giving money to any other is wasting resources" argument. WE NEED THEM BOTH. And they all need you.
Unfortunately, the realities of fund-raising encourage advocates for every group to "cut down" the others in order to maximize their own revenues. We need to be on the same side, people!
And here, Instapundit gets it. Yes, the NRA will be bringing suit. But give them time. This one is too important to screw up. The NRA is going to need to bring all its resources to bear on the issue. In the meantime, Of Arms and the Law reports that the NRA is now seeking plaintiffs.
When the case comes, the NRA will probably need help from other good organizations. This needs to be a team effort. So also support Gun Owners of America, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Jews for the Preservation of Firearm Ownership, and more. It's not a one-dog fight. We are all in this together!
Four words: ASSOCIATE JUSTICE JOHN ASHCROFT. That will strike fear in the hearts of liberals!
(Of course, it might also strike fear in the hearts of some libertarians, and we need their support...)
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More follow up from last week's issue:
New contributor The Second Opinion offers up some advice on affordable protective firearms. Notice the name of the post: "homeowners insurance." Here, I'd like to discuss the importance of insurance as part of disaster preparedness. GET IT. And when you are facing the possibility of evacuation, remember that most things you own are replaceable. That's what the insurance is for. Insurance won't bring back the dead, so don't risk your life trying to spare some possessions. Go through your home today and identify the things, the very few things, that are truly irreplaceable: family heirlooms, photographs, etc. Then think of ways to store them that A) protect them in case of emergency and B) make them easy to gather and transport. You don't have a lot of room in your car. Fill it wisely. If it isn't going to keep you alive while waiting for the crisis to end, you don't need it. Let insurance replace it.
Also, gather up all your important documents relating to things like your insurance policies, your bank accounts, etc. Photocopy them. Then put the copies into zip-type plastic kitchen bags where they will be protected against water damage, and put the copies into a small bin along with your other emergency "bug out" gear. That way, if you are forced to evacuate and your home is flooded and destroyed, you still have all the information you need to get in touch with your insurance companies and file claims.
You should also periodically back up your hard drives onto CD/DVD storage, and put the backups in the same bin. You'd be amazed how much information most people have on their hard drives, but nowhere else.
Speaking of insurance, read this! It is vitally important that you know what your policy does, and doesn't cover!
And the time to get your disaster preparedness firearm is NOW, not when disaster strikes, and as Common Folk Using Common Sense point out, don't get it from Wal-Mart! More from Individ. More from Tam.
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On the political front:
Baboon Pirates has some information from Smith & Wesson about its financial harm due to consumer backlash for its willingness to work with the Clinton administration, and anti-gun local governments and groups in the 1990's.
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And on the legal front:
Of course, the biggest legal news is the nomination of a new Chief Justice. Of Arms and the Law has a lot about this. Just start at the top and work your way down.
Michigan might be getting a little more self-defense-friendly, with reinforcement of the "castle doctrine." The Great Lakes Shooting Sports Association has the news and follow up. And Posse Incitatus has analysis.
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Time for some gratuitous gun pics and stuff:
Michelle Malkin had this up on September 11:
Michelle, you are off to a great start, but we need to work a little on your grouping. For hands on personal lessons, please contact Gullyborg...
... and featuring his new .45:
Notice how he cleverly plugs his friend's blog? I applaud the efficiency!
And how did Coyote Killer spend September 11?
I'm observing the anniversary by giving shooting lessons to a Marine (my secretary, who says that the Corps trained him admirably as a rifleman, but not so well with a handgun, which turns out to matter for a combat engineer defusing IEDs and the like, he found). That seems like a good way for me.
Can't think of a better way myself.
Speaking of weekends, October 29-30 is the Nation of Rifleman Weekend in Texas. Plan your trip today!
OK, I'll bite: "I'm anxious to test out my new 26,000 BMG Wildcat, but I'm having a problem working up the load..."
In a post sure to start a flame way, Uncle picks the AR over the AK.
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Finally, we normally end with a blog of the week. But this time, instead of that, I want to recognize an honor of a different sort bestowed upon one of our favorites. Regular readers are used to seeing the many outstanding photographs of Kit. Well, one of them (one featured in her first contribution to the Carnival of Cordite, no less), has been chosen for the cover of a new book on handguns!
Purchasing details aren't available yet. I'll be sure to post them as soon as they come. I'm looking forward to buying my own copy. Congratulations to Kit (and her darling John!) on this little bit of immortality.
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That wraps up this fine edition of the Carnival of Cordite!
Want to enter? Mail the link to your post to:
c a r n i v a l o f c o r d i t e A T h o t m a i l D O T c o m
For archives and other useful information, please see the main Carnival of Cordite page.
Keep 'em coming, and keep your powder dry!