Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Press Release from GRNC on Bateman v. Perdue

Grass Roots North Carolina / Forum For Firearms Education

Post Office Box 10684, Raleigh, NC 27605

919.664.8565 / 919.562.4137 (Fax)

Contact: F. Paul Valone, President, Grass Roots North Carolina*

Telephone: 704.907.9206



* *

GRNC Joins Suit Against North Carolina Gun Ban

Lawsuit follows Supreme Court McDonald v. Chicago decision

RALEIGH, NC – Grass Roots North Carolina has joined Michael Bateman, Virgil Green, Forrest Minges, Jr., and the Second Amendment Foundation in a lawsuit against the state’s emergency powers gun ban.

Named in the suit are North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue; Reuben Young, secretary of the Department of Crime Control and Public Safety; Stokes County and the City of King.

Filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, the lawsuit contends state statutes forbidding carrying of firearms and ammunition during declared states of emergency, as well as laws enabling government officials to prohibit purchase, sale and possession of firearms and ammunition are unconstitutional because they forbid the exercise of Second Amendment rights as affirmed by Monday’s Supreme Court ruling in McDonald v. Chicago.

Plaintiffs are represented by attorney *_Alan Gura_*, who won the recent McDonald v. Chicago Second Amendment case and the landmark D.C. v. Heller case preceding it. Local counsel includes Andrew Tripp and Kearns Davis of Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard, LLC.


· Since 2004, at least 12 states of emergency have been declared, especially in the state’s hurricane-prone coastal areas.

· In February King, NC declared a state of emergency for impending snowfall, posting signs prohibiting the carriage and sale of firearms and ammunition, infringing upon its citizens’ Second Amendment rights.

· On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of applying Second Amendment scrutiny to state gun laws.

Says GRNC president Paul Valone:

“North Carolina’s legislature has chosen to infringe upon citizens’ ability to protect themselves and their families in times of need. When King, North Carolina banned guns and ammunition in response to pending snowfall, it clearly highlighted the unconstitutional restrictions endured by lawful North Carolinians.”

Grass Roots North Carolina

GRNC is an all-volunteer non-profit dedicated to preserving individual freedoms guaranteed by the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights. Since 1994, GRNC has conducted grass roots mobilization on legislation impacting Second Amendment issues, as well as voter education and through the GRNC Political Victory Fund, election action to further legislative goals.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Next Case After McDonald v. Chicago

The ink is hardly dry on McDonald and Alan Gura and the SAF are already making their next move, this time in North Carolina.

This time, they are seeking a permanent injunction against the enforcement of NC's law allowing the suspension of the RKBA in the event of a declared emergency.

{H/T Snowflakes in Hell}

Monday, June 28, 2010

More Thoughts on McDonald v. Chicago

IMO, the McDonald decision is interesting for several reasons:

1. The right to keep and bear arms (RKBA) is recognized as a "fundamental right," which places it on par with freedom of speech and freedom of religion, among others.   Although the level of scrutiny wasn't specified, I'll be very surprised to see anything less than strict scrutiny apply.

Strict scrutiny won't necessarily void gun registration schemes, but it will void outright bans, discretionary licensing requirements (see Scalia's discussion of "arbitrary and capricious" licensing requirements in Heller), and prohibitive taxes or licensing fees.

It should also void the Lautenberg Amendment, which extend the class of prohibited persons to those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence crimes.  AFAIK, this is the only instance when a fundamental right is revoked based upon a misdemeanor.

Related to the above, the court's recognition of the Second Amendment as protecting the RKBA especially as it relates to the right of self defense may prove to be the undoing of the "sporting purposes" requirement in 18 U.S.C. Sec. 922.

2. Alito discussed in detail the intent of the 14th Amendment's framers to protect the RKBA of recently freed slaves, which was being restricted by gun control laws in the South. The racist roots of gun control laws are clearly laid out in this opinion.

3. Scalia's concurring opinion was more about eviscerating Stevens' dissent than taking another tack on incorporation. Scalia absolutely trashed Stevens' judicial philosophy.

I would really like to have dinner with Scalia. :-)

4. Thomas concurred in the result but felt that the Second Amendment should have been incorporated via the Privileges or Immunities Clause, essentially overruling The Slaughterhouse Cases.  At least since the mid-90s (when I took ConLaw in my 2L year), academics have viewed the reasoning in Slaughterhouse as bogus. My own reaction upon reading it was, "WTF?!?" I suspect the reason the court declined to follow this road to incorporation was that they weren't able to get at least 5 justices to agree to it. So, they took the safe way out.

5. None of the justices in the minority on Heller voted in McDonald to incorporate the Second Amendment, despite the fact that Heller established the individual nature of the right. Instead, they continued to fight tooth and nail against extending the protection of the 2A to all Americans, letting their own personal ideologies overcome their judicial reasoning (such as it is).  Shame on them.

What now?

Well, despite what the mainstream news is reporting, the court in McDonald did NOT strike down Chicago's handgun ban.  Rather, it remanded the case to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, which had previously upheld the trial court's dismissal of the case.  So, the case can now either go back down to the district court level for trial or perhaps the appellate court can rule on whether the Chicago law violates the Second Amendment.

It's quite possible that Chicago will revise the law to bring it into what it feels is compliance with the constitution, but this fight isn't over by a long shot.  A lot of how McDonald proceeds will depend upon how many taxpayer dollars Fuhrer Daley wants to waste.

Aside from the Chicago law, others are now ripe for being challenged, including the draconian and arbitrary pistol ownership licensing schemes in places like NYC, CA, and NJ. Additionally, the assault weapons bans in NY, NJ and CA are in jeopardy.

With the Second Amendment now recognized as protecting a fundamental right, discretionary carry license laws such as those in NY, NJ, MD, and CA may also eventually be replaced with shall-issue laws.

But no matter what, we need to recognize that the enemies of freedom have never given ground willingly, and we still have a long fight ahead of us.

Edit 6/29/10: This post seems to be generating a lot of visits.  If you're new to this blog, welcome, and please do check out the rest of my posts.

McDonald v. Chicago - WE WON!

SCOTUS just released their opinion in McDonald v. Chicago, which challenged Chicago's handgun ban.  The court held that the Second Amendment DOES apply to the states, based on the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment.

As expected the decision was 5 to 4.

Full text of the decision is here:

I haven't yet read the entire decision, and will offer more comments after having done so.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Another Wheelgun Night at the Range

Having been laid low with a sinus infection for most of the past week and a half, I really needed to do something enjoyable.  So, Saturday night I went the to range with my dad and did some shooting.

As is usual for our Saturday night range trips, we stopped at Wal Mart to see what ammo they had in stock.  Dad wanted to pick up some .45 ACP for his Colt 1911, since he'd shot all of his handloads.  No dice there, so he just wound up shooting his S&W Military & Police 9mm.  (We noticed they had plenty of 9mm and .40 S&W.)

I picked up three boxes of Winchester white box .38 Special 125 grain JHP +Ps, and a single box of Remington .38 Special 130 grain ball.

I brought two guns with my tonight.  First was a World War II vintage S&W Victory Model Military & Police .38 Special which I bought back in May.  Additionally, I brought along my S&W Model 28-2 .357.

S&W Victory Model .38 Special

This was my first time shooting the Victory Model.  As expected it runs like a champ and is very accurate. I put a 50 round box of Winchester 148 grain wadcutters into one fist-sized hole at 7 yards shooting double action.  Dad put a couple cylinders through it, making a rather small one hole group.  The action is extremely smooth, especially considering it's unlikely that gun has been shot much, based on its exterior condition.

Aside from the wadcutters I put two or three cylinders-full of the 130 grain Remington loads through it.  I bought this ammo mainly out of curiousity, never having tried this GI-type load before.  It's hotter than the 148 wadcutter load and with the old style skinny service grips, the Victory Model wacks my hand with them.

After putting around a box and half of ammo through the Victory Model I took out the Model 28.  Dad's range doesn't permit shooting magnum loads indoors, so I shot it with .38s.  Wadcutters are real easy shooting in the big N-Frame, while the 130 grain Ball loads were still very pleasant to shoot.  I also ran about a half box of the WWB .38 125 grain +Ps through it.  They, too, aren't bad to shoot in that gun.

Since my last range trip a few weeks ago, I'd replaced the Herrett's Shooting Star wood grips on the Model 28 with a set of Pachymar Presentation grips I had in my spare parts stash.  I'd originally bought them for a 1937 Brazilian contract S&W .45 ACP revolver.  I'll be taking them off.  They cover the backstrap, which makes the trigger reach too long for me and throws off the gun's balance.  I may buy a set of Pachymar Grippers with an expose backstrap.  I have a set of these on my S&W Model 625, so I know they're comfortable.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

New Home WiFi

This past week and a half has been a real PITA at Chez Markowitz.  All of us, except my younger daughter, came down with some form of sinus/bronchial crud.  I missed two and a half days of work last week, a half day this week, and still have congestion and a cough.  So, when Judith called me up Monday afternoon to let me know she couldn't get online at home, and that one of my UPSes was beeping, I was not too happy.

Something caused one of our breakers to trip.  After getting the UPS back online I found that the SMC 802.11n WiFi router which I've been using as an access point for the past couple of years was dead.  No lights, no nothin'.  So, after getting a bite to eat I took a trip down to Microcenter.

I looked over the various WiFi routers and access points they had on hand and wound up getting a Cisco-Linksys WRT54GL.  I could've gotten it cheaper at Amazon or NewEgg but didn't want to wait several days for it to arrive, since we all use wireless access daily.

I chose the WRT-54GL for a couple of reasons.  First, it has a very good reputation for reliability.  Second, there are several projects which are dedicated to providing open source firmware which extends the box's functionality.  E.g., dd-wrt, OpenWRT, and Tomato.  As explained below I'm using it only as a switch and a WAP for the time being but this might change in the future.  (Note: If you're interested in putting 3rd-party firmware on a Linksys router, make sure you buy the WRT54GL.)

Why an 802.11g router instead of a new 802.11n router?  Even with the 802.11n SMC, I had to keep it in g/n mode, since we have a few g-only devices.  E.g., Judith's iPod Touch, my Droid, and an Apple iBook.  In g/n mode I wasn't seeing any better performance than with it in n-only mode.  Also, I the Linksys's Fast Ethernet ports are not a handicap for my needs, as they are plenty fast to handle my Internet connection.  Internet speed tests give results about the same as before.  We don't do any major file transfer between systems on the LAN.  I just don't need Gig-E now.

One advantage of the SMC box was that you could put it into bridge mode, which disabled the routing functions.  My router is an SMCD3G DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem/gateway, so I don't need the WiFi box to do routing.  The WRT-54GL does not support this, so instead of connecting it to my SMCD3G via the WAN port, it's connected using a LAN port.  The DHCP server is turned off on the Linksys so there's no conflict with the SMC's.

After using the WRT-54GL for a few days it seems like the WiFi signal coverage is a bit more uniform than the dead SMC gave me.  So much for 802.11n as a range extender.  Aside from wireless protocol, antenna design and transmit power play a big role in the range of one's WiFi device.

My home webserver,, is plugged into the Linksys box.  The web server has the same publicly-routable IP it's always had, while the Linksys has a private IP on the same subnet as the SMC's private LAN interface.  There's no problem with running more than one network on the same wire.

Finally, along with the WiFi router, I bought a new APC UPS Monday night.  My old Back UPS 650 was due for a replacement.  This time I got a 1000 VA APC box, which will provide backup power to and the Linksys.  I have another Back UPS 650 powering the SMCD3G, my Arris eMTA, and our cordless phone base unit.  I can wait awhile before I'll need to replace that one.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Save the oceans from the Evil Oil Companies

Farm whales!

My green energy solution: Factory whale farming.

We would first need to secure a large enough facility for the farm. With the recent crude oil based disaster hurting the local economy, Louisiana would be the perfect location for cheap land and labor. The New Orleans Super Dome has had a history of problems and should be closed. We should be able to purchase it for a song.

We would have to caulk the doors and ticket windows – possibly spread a layer of sealant over the entire stadium and bleacher section. There aren’t a lot of windows, so the public doesn’t have to see the slaughter house and cry about “veal production”.

Using the pre-existing pump facilities associated with the levee system, it should be easy to fill the dome with sea water. We could re-circulate the water back into the storm sewers and repeat when the smell gets bad.

The most difficult part would be catching the breeding stock of Sperm Whales. That will have to be determined later. Breeding will require large quantities of lava lamps and Berry White CDs.

Feeding will be a breeze. As Obama bows to the environmental nut-jobs and stops oil drilling in the U.S. people will need clothing. Some other ARFCOM entrepreneur will need to begin a large scale leather farm. He can supply us with dead, skinned cows to feed the sperm whales. In return, we’ll provide him ground up whale meat for fertilizer and animal feed.


Gulf Oil Spill Timeline

From the UK, here is a page giving a detailed timeline of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.  One thing which I've found to be very interesting is the graph at the bottom of the page comparing this spill with others.  It's still dwarfed by the size of the 1991 spill engineered on the orders of Saddam Hussein, in an effort to frustrate Coalition forced in Gulf War I.

In a related note, I researched a little about ship sinkings in the Gulf of Mexico during World War II.

  • 42 ships were attacked by U-Boats in the Gulf of Mexico during World War II.
  • 25 of these were tankers.
  • 28 of the 42 ships were sunk
  • Another 4 were sunk in the GoM in 1943 (2 tankers and 2 freighters).

Although there no doubt was environmental damage, even with all that oil being spewed into the Gulf of Mexico, it wasn't killed.

I post this not to minimize or somehow negate the significance of the current oil leak, but it does provide some cause for optimism.

Monday, June 07, 2010

SCCSFA Junior Rifle Program

My shooting club, the Southern Chester County Sportsmen's and Farmer's Association, will be starting a junior rifle program in the Fall.

Full details here.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Obama's Gulf Oil Spill

The hypocrasy of the MSM in how they are giving Obama a pass on his lack of engagement, vs. how they pilloried Bush's handling of Hurricane Katrina is telling.

As the president, Obama could help marshal resources from the Federal .gov and other oil companies and clear through bureaucratic gridlock. Instead addressing an emergency of national import, he goes on tours to promote other parts of his agenda, raise funds for political allies, and goes on vaction.

President Present, indeed.