The Irony Of Gun Grabbers

Today is the day we celebrate the birth and life of civil rights leader Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today is also the day that various anti-gun groups will gather in Newtown to protest your right to self-defense.

NAA-MLK

Oh, the irony of people rallying to limit the constitutional rights of those they dislike on the very day that we celebrate a man who gave his life fighting for all Americans to be guaranteed those same constitutional rights.

A man who was denied the right to lawfully keep and bear arms based on the color of his skin, but defied the law to exercise that basic human right.

A man who these same anti-gun groups would today condemn and demand be jailed because he illegally owned guns without any background checks.

And while it is true that later in life King himself decided to go unarmed, much has been written about how his supporters continued to possess firearms in defense of both themselves and Dr. King.

“The right to defend one’s home and one’s person when attacked has been guaranteed through the ages by common law.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. 1967

CCDL is asking people to come out and show your opposition to this intrusion upon your rights. See this previous post for more details.

Are You An Extremist?

So apparently now “Due Process” is an extremist view according to the Connecticut Democratic Party.

The Connecticut Citizens Defense League, just like their allies in the national and state Republican Parties, is fighting to make sure terrorists have access to deadly weapons. This is beyond extreme. To try to use the Second Amendment to claim that Congress cannot regulate terrorists’ ability to do harm to our citizens with firearms is just plain wrong.

And yet Republicans in the Senate last night – spurred on by the extremest views of the NRA and CCDL – blocked a bill that would have blocked people suspected of terrorism from obtaining weapons.

So “innocent until proven guilty,” which has been the law of the land since the beginnings of this country, is now an extremist view.

CCDL is a nonpartisan organization. Many of our members are registered Democrats. As an organization we have endorsed many progun Democrats, and have even honored a Democrat as our “Legislator Of The Year“. We know this political rhetoric is coming from the leadership, not well-informed rank-and-file members.

Does anyone else actually believe in revoking rights guaranteed by the state and federal constitutions and written into law, without any hearing? Without any chance to defend yourself? Without any due process?
Because that’s exactly what this is about.

The surprising thing is many of these same people were opposing this very same watch list not long ago. Saying it unfairly targets Muslims, pointing out there is no oversight, mentioning how petty people have used it to punish people they don’t like (like the MD police office dept that submitted 50+ people from a democrat protest). They’ve pointed out ridiculous mistakes that went unnoticed, such as babies, senators, and the entire Ford Motor Company.

They’ve pointed out how easy it is for innocent people to mistakenly be added to these watch lists, and they’ve rightly pointed out that it’s hard to find out why you’ve been placed on these secret lists, and even harder to get off them, even if you were placed there in error. They admit the list is ineffective, and riddled with errors.
They’ve even gone to court, calling the list illegal and unconstitutional!

So for years, the terror watch list has been flawed, riddled with errors, and even called illegal and unconstitutional by the ACLU. This is not a list of known terrorists at all, and real terrorists certainly should not be allowed to freely walk the streets.

And now our President, our Governor, our Legislators, and the CT Democrat Party are calling for the rights of law-abiding citizens to be trampled upon without any due process at all based upon these same lists? The spokesperson for the CTDems goes so far as to call CCDL and it’s members extremists who are trying to aid terrorists? Because we expect our elected officials to follow the laws we elected them to protect?

If due process is an extremist point of view, I’m happily an extremist. What about you?

Now what?

Gun Owners MUST Stand together

As many members might know, there is a large Fishing and Hunting Show held every year at the Convention Center in Hartford. Every year CCDL has a table there. Not to sell merchandise, not to solicit donations (though we’ll gladly accept donations toward the Litigation Fund there), but just to educate and raise awareness.

Now, this is a hunting a fishing show, not a “gun” show, so even though guns are often used for hunting, we sometimes encounter what some might call “anti-gun gun owners”. The members staffing the table had one at our booth today, and I think it illustrates perfectly how much work is still needed to educate our fellow gun owners. Because it’s not just the AR-15 and Glock owners that are having their rights trampled on, it’s ALL gun owners, even the hunters and sport shooters. There is no need to go into all the details, suffice to say this gentleman’s argument was along the lines of we don’t need AR-15s or standard capacity magazines. His Remington VersaMax 12g shotgun was all anyone should need.

Now, everyone has different opinions, and he’s certainly entitled to his. However, he’s not entitled to his own facts. One of those facts is that as we’ve warned about many times, a key point of the recommendations coming from Governor Malloy’s Sandy Hook Advisory Commission is an outright ban (no grandfathering in of current owners) on the possession of any gun CAPABLE of being made to fire more than 10 rounds without reloading. While our friend’s Remington most likely only holds 3 shells plus one in the chamber, it’s CAPABLE, with a simple swap of the magazine tube, of holding 10 or more shells.

His “only gun I need” is about to go on the chopping block and he doesn’t even know it because he’s still got his head in the sand like an ostrich. I have to wonder when’s the last time he tried to buy a box of shells? Maybe he’s still working off that box of 25 from a few years ago, and doesn’t even realize yet he can’t buy more without a permit now. I’d like to think that if he knows and understands that Connecticut wants to make it harder for him to buy ammo, and even wants to take away his duck hunting gun that he will be signing up as a FREE CCDL member as soon as he gets home. I’d like to think he will stand side-by-side with the black rifle owners and the pistol shooters in Hartford when it comes time to testify against these unconstitutional attacks on our rights. I’d like to think that we got through to him.

Even if we didn’t, there are thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of gun owners just like him here in Connecticut. CCDL currently has over 17,000 members. Just think if every single member reached out to someone like our friend at the show and recruited them as a new member? We’d be over 30,000 strong for the next public hearing!

4 Boxes

Because of recent national news stories (many misleading or inaccurate), there has been a huge surge in interest in our fight here in Connecticut. That’s a great thing. Not only is CCDL’s membership surging, but so are other rights groups’ as well. New groups are popping up all over in support of CT gun owners. That’s a great thing too. The more people involved, the better. But with that surge comes a few folks that either don’t understand our state’s laws, don’t understand the legal process, or don’t understand what CCDL has done, and is doing. Some of that stuff I want to try to address.

First though, there is an old adage about the four boxes of liberty. It usually goes like this:

“There are four boxes to be used in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury and ammo. Please use in that order.”

There is much truth to that statement.

Soap Box
Let’s start with the soapbox, and how it relates to CCDL and our state. The first step in the fight for our rights is to speak up and let our voices be heard. CCDL has helped organize gun owners to do just that at dozens of rallies, public hearings, and political events since our inception just 5yrs ago. We’ve continued to do that. Just yesterday CCDL members packed a community forum and forced Governor Malloy to face an issue he surely wishes would go away in an election year. And of course we’re organizing a huge rally to protest the anniversary of our loss of rights, with people from around the country joining us in solidarity.

Ballot Box
The second step in the fight for liberty is the ballot box. The BEST way to protect your rights is to elect politicians who respect those rights and will not infringe upon them in the first place. Every election, CCDL does it’s best to identify and promote pro-Second Amendment candidates, and support the ones already in office. We offer them a chance to address our members at our meetings, and we encourage people to support their campaigns in every way possible. Sometimes our support is less apparent. The fact is right now our issue is very polarizing here in Connecticut. A very public push by CCDL for a progun candidate may generate an offsetting push by those who wish to restrict our rights. In that case we may work more quietly and directly with our members and with the respective campaigns. We’ve also been very successful in getting CCDL members elected to local Republican and Democratic Town Committees. This is vitally important because those committees influence what candidates get to go to the general election in the first place. Again, because in many towns ours is a polarizing issue, Town Committee members may not be wearing CCDL shirts and yelling “shall not be infringed!” at meetings, but we’re there, and we’re trying to make a difference.

Too many people think “I can’t do that”, or “why bother, my vote doesn’t count anyway”. Well, that’s a pile of poo. There are less then 2 million registered voters in CT, and in most towns only 30-60% of them actually vote in an election. There are also an estimated 500,000 lawful gun owners here in Connecticut. That means gun owners could potentially make up 25-50% of the vote. If every gun owner voted, and voted to protect their rights, we could win almost any election. Look at our last election for Governor in 2010. Just 1,145,799 people voted in that election. Dan Malloy won that election by just 6,404 votes. I’ll say that again. Malloy won by just 6,404 votes. That’s just about half of the current CCDL membership. If just 40 gun owners in each town had bothered to take 15 minutes out of their day and vote against Malloy (who was a known antigunner) and any other antigun legislators in their district, then maybe, just maybe we would not have the fight on our hands that we have today. EVERY VOTE MATTERS!

Jury Box
That fact is too many gun owners were complacent back in 2010. We allowed the most antigun governor (and many would argue one of the worst ever on many other issues as well) in the history of this state to be elected, and he then signed into law one of the most unconstitutional laws ever. Almost everything the antis had been dreaming of for decades became law.
Rather then wait for another chance at the ballot box, CCDL joined with others and advanced to the next level; the jury box. We have been the driving force in a federal lawsuit aimed at overturning the law. Here’s where some of the criticism starts to come in. I understand people want and expect instant gratification, especially when it comes to our constitutional rights. And really, in a perfect world, we should get it. But we don’t live in a perfect world, and the legal system is both slow and expensive to navigate. We filed our lawsuit as soon as possible after the law was signed. We’re less than a year into that process. For comparison, the landmark DC v. Heller decision took 6yrs start to finish. The McDonald v. Chicago case took 3yrs.
In my opinion, Connecticut is still in the jury box stage.
No, the first court hearing did not go the way many had hoped, but that really doesn’t matter. We’re appealing, which is just the second rung up the ladder to the top of the jury box. Even if we had won, the state would surely have appealed themselves, and we would be in the exact same place we are today. And while we didn’t win, we didn’t exactly lose. The judge in that case also helped us by reconfirming certain facts that may be useful down the road.
Remember, from day one our legal team has prepared for the fact that we may go all the way to the Supreme Court, like with Heller and McDonald. A careful observer may have noticed that our lead attorney at this stage is licensed to practice in both CT and NY. It’s no coincidence that he is also representing the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association in their lawsuit against the very similar NY antigun law also recently passed. Gun owners in both states, with assistance from groups like CCDL, NYSRPA, and the NRA must be prepared to fight this all the way. A win would help gun owners nationwide by hopefully settling once and for all that the 2nd Amendment is NOT limited to muskets or deer rifles or 10 round magazines.

Now, a supposedly progun group out there has accused CCDL of running some type of “scam” by “still collecting donations for an already failed lawsuit with no hope of winning” or some crap like that. Personally it didn’t make a lot of sense. Remember, Heller and McDonald had losses along the way, and yet they prevailed. They prevailed even though they originated in lower courts that were just as anti-gun as ours. They prevailed in a Supreme Court which has pretty much the same political makeup as we have now.

Lastly, to throw in the towel now and say there is no hope for success in the jury box stage, means your only remaining method left to reclaim your rights is the ammo box.

Ammo Box

Molon Labe!
From my cold dead hands!
You can have my guns one bullet at a time!

Some people/groups seem to think we’re at this stage.
God I hope not.
This stage is war. Real mutha-effin’ war, not some movie or video game. This is your friends and loved ones dying, and they aren’t going to respawn in the next level.
I can only assume most of the people pushing for this next step either have no actual experience with war, or even a real self-defense shooting. Either that or they plan on being safely far away hiding in their mommy’s basement when it starts. They’re hoping some one else pulls that trigger first, because if they really believed everything they type on the internet, we’d be hearing about their glorious deaths in a hail of bullets. If we were really lucky, Palin Smith would even be there to capture the jack-booted brown shirts battling the Klingon patriot warrior for YouTube.
But that’s not happening.
So either there are a whole lot of chickenshits out there pounding out threats in a basement somewhere, or we’re not really at the ammo box stage yet.
Or both.

Now I’m sure there are a few sick bastards who really do want to see the poop hit the fan, but the rest of these people are just backing themselves into a corner with no way out alive. The thug in the Governor’s office is not going to back down, he can’t. Government never admits it’s wrong. So whatcha gonna do?
Whatcha waitin’ for?
If you really believe there is no other option left, you should be out there eliminating your oppressors already. Be the badass hero you claim to be and pull the trigger already. Save yourself from the tyranny the rest of us sheeple are too stupid to stop. I’m sure once you eliminate a few of those gun grabbers with your mad skillz learned playing Call Of Duty on the X-Box for 8hrs a day, Malloy and the State Police will immediately decide the best way to end the violence will be to repeal all the gun laws ASAP.

Since it appears nobody is actually doing the above, I think it’s safe to assume we have NOT exhausted the other, non-violent options yet.
The police are NOT kicking down doors and confiscating guns, registered or not, yet. So for now, shut up, sit down, and go back to honing your skills on Black Ops while the grownups continue to work on a solution that DOESN’T involve your family and mine getting killed.

Speaking of registration… I’ve also heard a few people say “CCDL wanted us to comply with unjust laws!” and “CCDL is Malloy’s puppet!”. Interestingly enough, I’ve heard others say “CCDL told us to not to comply with the law, now we might be in trouble!”. Someone else said “CCDL called gun owners ignorant for not registering!”
All are wrong. From day one we’ve been of the opinion that how you handled this is a personal decision only you yourself can make. All we’ve tried to do is make sure gun owners had all the information and resources made available to them to make their own decision. For those that decided to register, we tried to ease the burden imposed by the state. We made the registration forms available and provided notary services free of charge. We answered thousands of questions and tried to make sure those that didn’t need to register did not mistakenly do so. We even stood with them in those horrible lines.

I know plenty of you (many personally) who intentionally did not comply. Great! I support your choice too. But it’s a sad fact that many gun owners didn’t comply by choice. Despite all the media attention, they either “don’t pay attention to political stuff” or they just didn’t realize the law applied to them.
No, not you.
If you’re reading this you’re involved and aware, at least you are now. I’m talking about all those gun owners who didn’t bother to vote against Malloy and the gun grabbers in 2010. I’m talking about the gal with a Glock 17 she keeps in the nightstand for protection and hasn’t shot it except for 15 rounds when she bought it. I’m talking about the guy who ran out and bought an AR-15 in 2008 when Obama was first elected because all his friends told him to buy it before all the guns were banned, and it’s been sitting in his closet ever since. I’m talking about the guy who has the magazine from his grandfather’s Korean War M1 Carbine on the shelf with the triangle folded American Flag in a case.
I’m talking about the guy with the $2500 .22 target pistols, as well as the 25yr old who bought a Walther P22 for plinking on the farm. These gun owners are not ignorant, but they are ignorant of the law. They didn’t even know their guns are now illegal. Maybe some of them tried to read the law, but face it, Public Act 13-3 is so long and poorly written even the State Police don’t really know what is or isn’t legal. While it should be obvious to anyone with an IQ above friggin’ moron that CCDL does not support unconstitutional laws, we think that these once lawful gun owners, who are now felons through no action or fault of their own, should be allowed to register without penalty, if they choose to.
CCDL supports the rights of ALL lawful Connecticut gun owners; even the ones who don’t know yet that their rights have already been infringed.

Giving Thanks

Note: This is a guest post by CCDL Membership Coordinator Cheryl Lemos
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Since Thanksgiving will be here in a couple of days, I would like to say what I’m thankful for.

I am thankful for the founding members of CCDL who planted the seeds for a great organization.

I am thankful for all our volunteers, especially the executive board, who work so hard to make this organization so amazing.

I am especially thankful for 10,000+ members!!!!! That’s right, CCDL now has OVER 10,000 members.

I couldn’t be prouder.

Every gun owner in the state should be a member! It’s their rights we’re fighting for.

When you’re giving thanks this Thanksgiving, be thankful that there’s an outstanding organization that is fighting SO hard for your rights as gun owners and American citizens. I know I am!

Guest Post – Making Up For Lost Time

Note: This is a guest post by CCDL member Brian Saucier.
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Two months of intense lobbying along side all of you culminated on April 3rd in the Senate gallery. There I sat for 6 hours and listened to Senator after Senator applaud themselves and tell each other how wonderful they were for trampling on the Constitution. That celebratory display of tyranny hit home really hard. I now fully understand the cost of apathy.

My apathy is turned to passion, passion to replace my two representatives with people who share, rather than despise, my values. I can say with no doubt that will think about how I can replace them every single day between now and November 2014.

Litigation is crucial to protect and restore our rights, but I am hesitant to put my faith in a slam dunk case that will restore the 2A to full “I got my permit in 1791” status. Heller was considered a victory but look at how it was relentlessly twisted against us this year. Maybe I will be surprised but I expect to see only incremental gains from the courts. These gains will be set against the endless incremental attacks from the other two branches of government.

That is, unless we take back the elected positions. As many of them as we possibly can.

We have over 7000 members in the CCDL and we all need to support the legal challenges however we can, but there is a spot for every single one of us jump in politically and turn this ship around.

If running for office does not make sense for you, then help find the right candidates and back them with everything you got. Get involved with your local RTCs or DTCs (whichever is the most welcoming to our cause) and make your voice heard.

Just showing up to vote in November is the equivalent of locking your door and considering yourself safe. My apathy was forced into passion and I am going to make up for lost time in the next few years. How about you?

Enfield Town Chair To Skip GOP Dinner

According to a post on the Hartford Courant’s Capitol Watch blog, Enfield RTC chairwoman Mary Ann Turner will not be attending the state GOP’s annual Bush Dinner and fundraiser in Stamford this year. The reason is the GOP is awarding Senator John McKinney it’s highest honor; the Prescott Bush Sr. Award.

“The man may have done many things in his career that would warrant this accolade,” Mary Ann Turner wrote in a letter to her fellow chairs from north central Connecticut.

“But with the gun bill just passing and his finger printers [embedded] in the cement – I can’t support this total disregard for our constitution and our personal liberties,” she wrote.

“What you do is up to you and your town committee, but this may be the time we finally will get ‘leadership’ to understand, they can’t lead if we won’t follow,” Turner’s letter states. “Enfield is taking that stand.”

You can read the rest of the post here.

Good for her!
My wife and I are somewhat active in state politics, trying to help progun candidates get elected. My wife was recently asked by a high ranking member of the state GOP if we would be attending the dinner this year. Unlike last year, the keynote speaker is someone I’d really like to hear. Someone with solid 2nd Amendment credentials. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. My lovely bride replied almost exactly the same as Mary Ann Turner did, though I think my wife added that we might be there protesting outside, lol. I don’t know if I’ll do that, but I did send Governor Walker a message asking him to reconsider attending. Especially considering Senator McKinney’s vote on SB1160 was in direct opposition to the official Republican Party Platform. On the 2nd Amendment it says in part:

We uphold the right of individuals to keep and bear arms, a right which antedated the Constitution and was solemnly confirmed by the Second Amendment. We acknowledge, support, and defend the law-abiding citizen’s God-given right of self-defense. We call for the protection of such fundamental individual rights recognized in the Supreme Court’s decisions in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago affirming that right, and we recognize the individual responsibility to safely use and store firearms. This also includes the right to obtain and store ammunition without registration. We support the fundamental right to self-defense wherever a law-abiding citizen has a legal right to be, and we support federal legislation that would expand the exercise of that right by allowing those with state-issued carry permits to carry firearms in any state that issues such permits to its own residents. Gun ownership is responsible citizenship, enabling Americans to defend their homes and communities. We condemn frivolous lawsuits against gun manufacturers and oppose federal licensing or registration of law-abiding gun owners. We oppose legislation that is intended to restrict our Second Amendment rights by limiting the capacity of clips or magazines or otherwise restoring the ill-considered Clinton gun ban.

Now, McKinney (along with Larry Cafero and many others) completely went against that, as well as his oath of office with his support of SB1160. How can the Republican Party still honor such a man?

Guns And Ammo Sales Spark Jobs Boom

That’s the headlines today in CNN’s Money section. I’m sure nobody reading this is shocked by that. The story talks about how firearms and related businesses like ammunition and gunsmithing are one of the few sectors of our economy that is actually growing, and growing at a record pace. Again, CCDL members already know this. Oddly enough, this one sector of the economy that is doing better then virtually every other is also the one sector Governor Malloy, Donald Williams, Martin Looney and others are trying hard to drive out of Connecticut. Apparently scoring points with the powers that be in Washington, DC is more important then keeping good paying jobs with tax-paying companies here in Connecticut.

If this state’s leaders REALLY want to protect the residents, then they should concentrate on keeping the jobs we have, and making the climate more friendly for companies to come here without having to bribe them. Instead, they continue to push for regulations that hurt the companies, that hurt the law abiding residents, and do nothing to reduce the problem of violent crime, especially in our inner cities.

As the good paying jobs leave, the good, law-abiding, tax paying folks leave too. It’s a downward spiral that can only end in a crash if we don’t pull up soon.

Yesterday’s Public Hearing

What a day!

The night before I went to bed early, hoping to grab a little extra sleep before what would most certainly be a long day. Unfortunately, going to bed early also apparently means waking up early. I woke up at 1:30am and tried for 90 minutes to fall back asleep before I gave up and worked on some CCDL stuff before heading up to Hartford at 6am with Lenny Benedetto.

From 7am until after 5pm I was at the LOB. Waiting on lines, seeing old friends and making new ones, keeping up with the over 100 comments on the blog, and yea, 3 whole minutes to tell the committee members there just how wrong and harmful the bills under consideration were.

Despite being dead tired and running on only 4hrs sleep, after coming home from the LOB I found myself up watching the testimony on CT-N until the bitter end – 2.30am.

I was just so damn proud of ALL those people, many of whom had been there 15-18hrs waiting for their “180 seconds to address 90 pages of legislation” as someone put it. I felt the least I could do was listen to what they had to say.  Of course that means I only ended up getting 2hrs sleep before work, but it’s a small price to pay.

 Guys and Gals, we’re doing a great thing. I don’t know if we will “win” or “lose” this session, but it was obvious to me CCDL’s 4yrs of hard work is starting to pay off. Almost every man, woman, and even child on our side was polite, educated, and dedicated.
Their side (the few that spoke) were confrontational, emotional but not factual, and most of the only 2 dozen that signed up to testify got tired and left after a few hours. By the time public testimony ended at 2:30am, our actual speakers outnumbered theirs 20 to 1.

My body is tired as hell, but my soul is energized.

Carry On!