Crimson Trace

February 13, 2013

Raging -Pointlessly-Against The Machine?

Yesterday, Olympic Arms became the latest company to tell the state of New York they were fired as a customer. The dismissal began with a clear enumeration of the firing offense: exceeding the authority granted to the government of New York by its citizens and violation of the Constitution of the United States.

Those offenses led Olympic Arms president Brian Schuetz to announce Olympic would no longer do business with "any Law Enforcement Departments, Law Enforcement Officers, First Responders within the State of New York, or any New York State government entity or employee of such an entity".

As Scheutz explained, "If the leaders of the State of New York are willing to limit the right of the free and law abiding citizens of New York to arm themselves as they see fit under the Rights enumerate to all citizens of the United State through the Second Amendment, we feel as though the legislators and government entities within the State of New York should have to abide by the same restrictions."

Unfortunately, that decision by Olympic Arms is a small consolation to several hundred gun rights supporters who surprised Colorado politicians by showing up-in force- for a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee on a universal background check and a magazine restriction.

Late last night they were still holding their ground, trying to dissuade the committee from passing the proposals through their committee and on to the Appropriations Committee. From there, the proposals would proceed to the full Colorado House and - most likely- from there to the full Colorado Senate.

Our colleague Michael Bane was there, but dispirited at what he'd seen and heard over the course of a very long day. "What can I tell you," Bane said, "despite hundreds of gun rights advocates who flocked to Denver -on short notice-to testify, this committee voted along party lines (7-4) to approve universal background checks."

Essentially, Bane explained, "Democratic members of the Committee disregarded both expert and civilian testimony and accepted as articles of faith a set of statistics provided by Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG)."

Normally ready for a good fight, Bane had a hard time disguising his disappointment and disgust. "This feels to me like an exercise in futility, like the deal is done," he said, "Most of the PRO speakers either rehash MAIG talking points or dance in the blood of children."

"The blood dancing," he said, "is repulsive."

When given a chance to speak (for two minutes) Bane hit on key points most of us can recite without much thinking: standard-capacity magazines, the unenforceable nature of any law banning high with the volume of magazines in circulation, and the fact that, for many of us, including returning servicemen and women, the AR-15 is our choice for self defense.

But he told us a group of Colorado sheriffs who testified just before him "rocked the house" with their opposition to the proposals. "They were eloquent," Bane said, "but we knew where they stood: against these proposals.

As President Obama was delivering his State of the Union address, testimony continued in Denver.

And as you're reading this morning, New Jersey Second Amendment supporters are making their way to Trenton to speak out against a plan to "fast track" twenty three gun control bills. The New Jersey Second Amendment Society (NJ2AS) and the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs (ANJRPC) put together ten buses to help get supporters in front of the Law and Public Safety Committee.

When that committee begins its hearing in Committee Room 11, on the fourth floor of the State House Annex in Trenton at 10 a.m. this morning, the committee is virtually assured to be playing to a packed house. The question is will they continue their "fast tracking" of twenty three measures that seek to restrict, regulate or eliminate rights of the state's citizens, or listen to "vox populi" -the voice of the people.

No one on either side of the gun issue is saying they're for allowing horrific events like Sandy Hook to continue. Unfortunately, one side of the issue seems perfectly willing to criminalize many of their friends, neighbors and business associates so they can say they "did something" about gun violence.

Unfortunately, what they're attempting to "do" isn't something that will make anyone safer.

We'll keep you posted.

--Jim Shepherd