All posts by Chris Knox

To Defend Gun Rights, It’s Trump

By Jeff Knox 

(July 20, 2016) The stage is set for a head-to-head battle between the two most widely disliked presidential candidates in modern history.  There is still significant enmity between Trump supporters and fans of Senator Ted Cruz, just as there is a rift between Hillary followers and Berners.  Hillary has the advantage that Bernie Sanders has officially endorsed her – something Ted Cruz has refused to do for Trump – but his supporters still aren’t happy about the outcome.  The big difference is that Hillary has the Democratic Party establishment firmly in her pocket, while the GOP establishment is swallowing bile not to actively oppose Trump.

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Court Right – for Now

Second Amendment Protects “Assault Weapons”
Fourth Circuit Court says “Strict Scrutiny” applies.

By Jeff Knox

(February 10, 2016) Earlier this month, the Federal Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit handed a stunning, but well-deserved, rebuke to the gun control zealots leading the state of Maryland.  In a 2-1 decision, a 3-judge panel rejected the conclusion of the Maryland District Court that said Maryland’s bans on so-called “assault weapons” and “high-capacity” magazines are permissible under the Second Amendment.  The case, Kolbe v. Hogan, was remanded back to the District Court for reconsideration using “strict scrutiny” instead of the looser standard, “intermediate scrutiny” that the lower court used in its original determination.

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Comey’s Gift and NRA’s Gaff

Comey’s Gift and NRA’s Mistake

By Jeff Knox

(July 6, 2016) FBI Director, James Comey has come under serious fire since he announced that the FBI is not recommending prosecution of Hillary Clinton over her willful negligence in handling classified material on her unauthorized, private email server.  While there is plenty of grumbling about the decision in Republican circles, Comey’s decision, and his statement of facts during his announcement, is much better for Republicans than if he had chosen to seek an indictment.

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Dear Stupid Republicans

Dear Stupid Republicans…

By Jeff Knox

(June 22, 2016) Dear stupid Republicans:

What the hell are you thinking?  What possible benefit is there in avoiding votes on gun control bills?  In what world is using the power of the gavel to block attacks on our right to arms, a sound political strategy?  Why would you be afraid to debate and get clear votes on legislation that will not hurt you at the polls – so long as you stand firm with the Constitution – and which will give GunVoters the ammunition we need to fire numerous gun control supporters from Congress?

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Magical Gun Control

Faith in Gun Bans: Magical Thinking

By Jeff Knox

(June 14, 2016) My brother Chris and I were once again asked to offer up a rebuttal to an editorial in USA Today newspaper after the terrorist attack in Orlando.  Unfortunately the paper rescinded the offer when Chris Cox, Executive Director of NRA-ILA, offered to do the job.  Here’s what we didn’t get to tell USA Today readers.

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Katie Couric’s Deception

Katie’s Deception Nothing New

By Jeff Knox

(June 1, 2016) Katie Couric’s unethical editing in her “documentary,” Under the Gun, a heavily biased propaganda film promoting gun control, attracted some harsh criticism, but the deceit involved is nothing new to rights activists.  We’ve seen media distort, misrepresent, and outright lie about guns, gun laws, and gun owners for decades.  The deception in the Couric film is just the latest in a long string of lies.

For those who might not have heard about the Couric flap, it boiled down to the director splicing in an awkward silence after Couric asks a group of rights advocates in Virginia how they propose we prevent felons and terrorists from buying guns without background checks.  In the film, Couric asks the question and we then see video of participants looking uncomfortable, looking at the floor and scuffing their toes, with no response, for 8 full seconds before a dramatic cut to a new topic.  The impression is that the group has been stumped by the question and simply doesn’t have an answer.  In reality, members of the group responded almost immediately with a variety of comments.  The awkward silence shown in the film was apparently shot while participants were waiting for the interview to begin.

After criticism of the unethical editing started popping up on FOX News and in print media (the other major television networks ignored the story), the director, Stephanie Soechtig, issued a statement saying the silence was just a way of giving the audience a moment to think about the significance of the question.  Couric, who was the executive producer of the film and has repeatedly insisted that her objective was to give a balanced look at the gun issue from all sides, first backed up Soechtig, but later took “responsibility” for the “misleading” edit, saying she should have been more vigorous in her objections to the segment.

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NRA’s 145th Annual Meeting

NRA’s 145th Annual Meeting

By Jeff Knox

(May 25, 2016) The NRA’s Annual Convention in Louisville, KY, with over 80,000 in attendance, was interesting for political junkies this year, as there was drama in NRA’s internal elections, as well as the hotly contested race for President.  Presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump received the Association’s official endorsement before delivering a well-received speech.  Some members were not happy about the endorsement, but the decision makes sense.  The rigged system means only the R or D can possibly win, and the D – whether that ends up being Hillary, Bernie, or someone else – is absolutely unacceptable to GunVoters due to the Supreme Court situation if nothing else.  Trump’s past support for some gun control schemes is uncomfortable, but was in line with the mainstream Republican position of the day.  He has since recanted those comments, and is promising to be the most pro-rights President in modern history.  He has also offered up a list of very qualified and acceptable Supreme Court possibles.  Who knows what assurances he made behind closed doors, but as of now, Trump is the only hope GunVoters have of avoiding the sure disaster of another anti-rights D in the White House.

Once again, the member participation in the mail-in balloting was dismal.  Only 164,026 of the 2,112,643 eligible ballots were returned this year.  That’s a voter participation rate of less than 8%.  On the brighter side though, over 2.1 million eligible voters – Lifetime Members and those who have maintained annual membership for at least 5 consecutive years – is pretty impressive.  Numbers like that are the source of the NRA’s considerable political clout.  If only those millions of members would take internal elections as seriously as they take politics outside the NRA.

The effort to recall NRA Director, Grover Norquist ended up much closer than I had expected, though the recall failed as predicted.  The final numbers were 70,204 voting to retain Norquist in office, and 62,066 voting to remove him from the Board of Directors. 

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Keeping Kids Safe

Our USA Today Rebuttal on Kids’ Safety

By Jeff Knox and Chris Knox

My brother Chris and I are occasionally asked to offer up a counterpoint to an editorial in USA Today when the paper decides to talk about guns and gun laws. When they decided to offer up an editorial railing about negligent access to guns by children, they invited us to give the gun-owner perspective. These op-eds are always a challenge because we never know exactly what we’re arguing against, and our space is always very limited. The editorial board gives us the topic and a general idea of the position they plan to take, and we are given 340 words to present our opposing view.

As expected, the editors took around 600 words to trot out a parade of horror stories of children getting hold of guns and shooting themselves or others, offered up some misleading statistics, and then called for some proven-ineffective measures. Among them:

“Safe storage” laws – that don’t work and make no sense to enforce against grieving parents;

“Stigmatizing” unsafe storage and gun handling – no problem with that so long as the person doing the scolding knows something about guns and gun safety;

Enlisting doctors to talk about gun safety – again, no problem, so long as the doctor isn’t collecting personal information and just spouting anti-rights propaganda, and perhaps even knows something about the topic;

And, of course, “smart guns” – the less you know about guns, the better the idea sounds.

Here is an expanded version of our view.

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