Category Archives: Jeff’s Blog

Jeff's Blog

Hello Gun Lobby!

Much of what you see here you might later see as a the core of a full column in The Knox Report which is a regular feature of Shotgun News and many club and organization newsletters, or featured in our own newsletter, The Hard Corps Report. This area will serve as my notes and brain-storming zone for other writing so you'll see it here first.

Please let me know what you think of the information you find here and the work that we are doing.

Yours for the Second Amendment,

Jeff Knox


Got by the Good Old Boys?

Collegial Buddies in the Senate Pull a Fast One

    Sometimes we are so busy looking at the forest we don't see the trees.  It is beginning to look like that is what happened last week in the Senate Judiciary Committee.  After some contentious remarks and posturing during the preceding weeks and a very anti-climactic two days of hearings on the confirmation of Eric Holder as Attorney General, Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) announced that Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) had requested that the vote be delayed by a week and that under the rules of the committee he was obliged to grant the delay.  So rather than going to a vote of the committee on Wednesday, January 21 the vote was postponed to Wednesday, January 28.  What wasn't mentioned was the situation regarding the makeup of the committee.

    With the wrangling over "found" votes and more votes than voters in Minnesota, the contentious appointment of Roland Burris to fill the seat vacated by Barack Obama, questions about the appointment in New York to replace Hillary Clinton, and a few other issues, the Senate leadership was slow about their bi-annual reorganization and committee assignments.  Most of the new assignments were not made official until Wednesday evening, January 21.

    That means that on Wednesday, when the vote was supposed to have taken place, the makeup of the Senate Judiciary Committee was still as it had been in the 110th Congress.  With 10 Democrats and 9 Republicans – but wait – there's more to that story.  Among the 10 Democrats were Joe Biden and Ted Kennedy.  Biden officially resigned from the Senate on January 15.  Kennedy has been hospitalized since his collapse at an inauguration party on January 20.  So on January 21 when the Judiciary Committee was scheduled to vote on whether to recommend confirmation of Eric Holder there were only 8 Democrats available to vote on the committee and 9 Republicans.  That's 8 "F" rated Democrats versus 9 "A" rated Republicans to decide whether an anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment political lackey should be the guardian of the Constitution and the nation's top cop.

    Rather than press the advantage, the "A" rated majority instead asked for a delay of a week during which one of their members was removed from the committee and three additional "F" rated Democrats were added.

    Now I'm as fair-minded as the next guy and I understand that there are professional courtesies to be observed in a body such as the US Senate – though the Democrats have not extended much in the way of courtesy over the past couple of years – but if the Democrats wanted more time so they could stack the committee, they should have admitted that fact and requested the delay themselves rather than having the Republicans request the delay for them and pretend they were delaying to be tough.

    I might be missing something – the rules and traditions of the Senate are a complex mess about which I am nowhere near an expert – but this looks to me like the good old boys maneuvering in an effort to keep the rubes back home – that's you and me – from realizing that it's all just a big game.

Holder Appointment Headed to Full Senate

A Rated Judiciary Committee Republicans Betray Gunowners

    Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have some explaining to do to their gun owning constituents back home and we need to make them start making those explanations right now.  Only two of the eight Republicans on the committee voted against confirmation; those two were Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and John Cornyn of Texas. 

    Orrin Hatch of Utah, rated "A+" by NRA, stabbed gunowners in the back early on with a statement of support for Holder even before hearings were held.  Ranking Republican Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, also rated "A" by NRA, made a lot of noise about Holder's activities regarding the pardon of fugitive Marc Rich, but in the end voted to recommend confirmation.  Jon Kyle of Arizona, who barely won reelection in 1994 after voting for the Clinton "assault weapons" ban, but who has subsequently been rated "A" by NRA, also voted in support of confirmation as did Chuck Grassley of Iowa, rated "A" by NRA, Jeff Sessions of Alabama, rated "A+" by NRA last November, and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who is also rated "A" by NRA.

    While the Republicans on the committee were outnumbered by several Democrats, all of them patently anti-rights, and therefore could not expect to win a vote against Holder, they could have and should have stood by their principles and the Constitution to vote against Holder.  Had Republicans held fast and voted against Holder in the committee, there would be a better chance of defeating the appointment through a filibuster on the Senate floor.  With these key Republicans having already voted for confirmation, the chances of a successful filibuster are greatly diminished.

    Reliable sources have reported that NRA informed Senate leadership that votes for or against Holder would not be counted in NRA grading.  That would mean that Hatch and Sessions will retain their "A+" ratings while the rest of the Republicans who voted for Holder will continue to be rated "A" by NRA even if it turns out that Holder uses the office of AG to wage a focused campaign against legal gun ownership – as I expect he will.

    The issue now moves to the full senate which can be expected to vote on Holder's confirmation any day now.  Since NRA is not holding the politicians accountable for their votes in this matter, successfully blocking the confirmation is considered to be a virtual impossibility.  Even in the committee vote, John Cornyn stated his reasons for voting against Holder had to do with Holder's involvement in the Rich pardon and his attitudes toward terror suspects with no mention of Holder's radical positions on guns and the Second Amendment.

    Readers are encouraged to contact Senators and urge them to reject Holder on constitutional grounds.  Had Holder actively worked and advocated against any other constitutional right he would undoubtedly be rejected, but the Second Amendment continues to be neglected and ignored by many elected officials.

    Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) is an exception to that rule as he has written an editorial in the Washington Times stating his opposition to the confirmation of Holder because of Holder's actions against the Second Amendment.  I hope Senator Barrasso will take his opposition a step further and place a "hold" – institute a filibuster – against Holder's confirmation.  Many other senators owe their seats to support from gunowners and now is a great opportunity for them to – as my father used to say – dance with the ones what brung 'em.  Every Senator, whether Democrat or Republican, who sought and received endorsements and/or high ratings from pro-rights organizations, should vote against Holder and vote against any effort to shut down a filibuster.  Any who fail to do so are betraying their campaign promises and violating the trust of GunVoters.  This is the first gun control vote of the 111th Congress and the results will be reported, recorded, and remembered.  If Republicans are hoping to regain lost ground in the elections of 2010 they had better start taking advantage of opportunities to distinguish themselves from their Democrat rivals.

    Continue contacting Senators and urging them to place a hold on the Holder confirmation, support any hold placed on the confirmation, oppose cloture or limiting debate, and demand that President Obama offer a candidate who does not have a record of opposition to an enumerated constitutional right.

Good News for New Yorkers

Gillibrand Appointment Good News but No Guarantee

    The appointment of upstate Representative Kirsten Gillibrand to fill the Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton is a welcome surprise, but she has already suggested that she might adjust her position in the Second Amendment as a senator representing a more diverse constituency.  Gillibrand was considered a dark-horse candidate for the senate seat and political watchers were caught flat-footed by Governor Paterson's announcement that he was appointing her.  The media immediately locked onto three defining handles with which to paint Gillibrand calling her a "blue dog" Democrat, mentioning that she voted against the massive government bailout bills, and pointing out that she has a favorable rating from the NRA.

    Anti-gun groups began wailing and gnashing teeth declaring that they will support anti-rights leader, Long Island Representative Carolyne McCarthy in the primary when Gillibrand comes up for election.

    While the appointment of Gillibrand is rather refreshing amidst the partisan backdrop of the last few months, the fact that Senator Chuck Schumer is supporting her and that the Brady Bunch has declared a "wait and see" position is not heartening.  Gillibrand stated that she understands that she now represents a much larger and more diverse constituency than previously and pledged to work with McCarthy on legislation restricting guns.

    I fear that the pressure from Schumer and the media will convince Seator Gillibrand to abandon her principles and support restrictive gun laws.  Doing so would be a mistake, morally and politically, but unfortunately probably not a carreer ending mistake given the political realities on New York.  Hopefully some of her upstate constituents can convince her to stick to her guns and ignore the clamour of the anti-rights crowd.  Elections prove over and over again that taking anti-gun positions almost always hurt more than they help in elections and pro-gun positions almost always help more than they hurt.  Democrats have been rediscovering this truth and their pro-rights roots over the past decade or so and I hope that Gillibrand recognizes this before making any big mistakes.

Olofson’s Attorney to be on Lou Dobbs Tonight

Olofson's Attorney on Lou Dobbs Tonight

    An attorney for David Olofson, the Army Reservist convicted of illegally transferring a machinegun when an AR he loaned to a friend malfunctioned and fired a couple of short bursts, is scheduled to be featured on the Lou Dobbs Show tonight.  Olofson continues to serve a 30 month sentence in a federal prison in Minnesota while his family struggles to retain their home.

    Gun Owners of America has set up an assistance fund to help David and his family here.

Ohio Marine Partially Acquitted in DC

Marine Corps Double Amputee Acquitted of Felony Gun Charge

    The wounded Marine was charged with felony possession of an unregistered firearm, carrying a pistol without a license, and possession of ammunition.  In his third trial – after two jury deadlocks – the three-tour veteran of Iraq was acquitted of the firearms charges, but found guilty of the misdemeanor ammunition possession charge.

    Corporal Melroy Cort, a former Marine who lost both legs in an IED explosion during his third tour in Iraq, was arrested in 2006 at a service station near Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington DC while awaiting repair of a flat tire.  Before releasing the vehicle into the control of the service station employees, Cort, who had just driven in from Ohio to begin a treatment program at Walter Reed, retrieved a 9mm pistol from the car's glove box, putting it in his pocket.  Someone apparently saw him retrieve the pistol and called police.  When police approached him, Cort raised his hands and cooperated with police.  Cort claimed that he intended to secure the firearm with the Provost Marshall at Walter Reed upon arrival.

    There is some confusion about where exactly the ammunition was located during the incident.  Cort says the ammo was locked in the trunk, police say it was in the gun's "clip," but news reports failed to specify whether police claim that the clip was in the gun.  It sees obvious that the conviction on the ammunition charge was a compromise among members of the jury who apparently felt that some punishment was called for, but that a felony conviction – which could have seriously impacted Cort's military benefits – was too harsh.

    You've got to wonder about DC police and prosecutors pushing this case so hard.  There has been no suggestion that Cort, an Ohio resident and holder of an Ohio concealed carry permit, was planning to commit any crime with the firearm, merely that his possession of it in that location was a violation of local DC laws.  Had this been almost any other jurisdiction Cort probably would have been warned by police and sent on his way or at most, the matter would have been dropped after the first jury deadlocked.  For such a case to be tried three times is an absolute outrage.

    Cort says he intends to appeal the misdemeanor conviction.

Read the Washington Post story here.

[Hat tip to David Hardy at www.ArmsandtheLaw.com ]

Armed Defense in Montana

An Armed Citizen Saved Countless Lives in Montana.

From our good friend Gary Marbut of Montana Shooting Sports Association:


Confirmed: There was a shooting incident in Glasgow, Montana on Saturday
afternoon. Besides the shooter, one person was killed and two were
injured. Police locked down the community, warned people to lock doors
and stay inside, and followed a blood trail which eventually led to the
deceased shooter.

Unconfirmed but probable: The shooter made his attack at a local
hospital and killed a female Emergency Medical Technician. Scott
Billingsly was present because his wife works at the hospital. Scott has
a Montana concealed weapon permit, was armed, and engaged the shooter in
defense of himself and others. Scott was injured in the hand and Scott's
wife was also injured. The shooter was seriously injured and was driven
off by Scott's armed engagement of the shooter. The seriously wounded
shooter sought shelter, leaving the blood trail that law enforcement
followed, where they found the shooter dead of a possibly self-inflicted
gunshot wound.

The people of Glasgow who know these details are highly thankful that an
armed citizen was present and able to interdict the killer before he
could kill more than the one person murdered, possibly saving the lives
of many other hospital employees.

Gary Marbut, president Montana Shooting Sports Association
http://www.mtssa.org author, Gun Laws of Montana
http://www.mtpublish.com 406-549-1252

Keep Calling About Holder!

January 29 Update

Final Confirmation Vote Set for Monday, February 2!

    During his confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Eric Holder stated that the Second Amendment means what the Supreme Court says it means and then went on to declare that the Court's decision in Heller leaves plenty of room for such things as closing the "gun show loophole,"restricting "cop-killer bullets," and reinstituting a ban on "assault weapons."  So much for supporting theSecond Amendment.

    The Judiciary Committee delayed their vote by a week and finally voted last Wednesday.  They recommended confirmation by a vote of 17 to 2. (See related story)  The final vote of the full Senate is now scheduled for Monday!

    Please continue contacting your senators and urging them to oppose the Holder confirmation.   Ask your senators to place a hold on the confirmation or to support a hold placed by another senator.

    To contact your senators click here and go to your senators' web pages to use their web contact forms and to get their phone numbers.  Put a call in to each office number they list and call and e0mail every day until the vote!  Get friends and family to do likewise.

    Remind your senators that Holder has been vocally anti-gun, vocally anti-Second Amendment, and actively supported illegal restrictions and record keeping on guns and gunowners.  Tell your senators that you see a vote for Holder, or a vote for cloture to end a filibuster against Holder's confirmation, as an anti-gun vote and you will remember their decision in their next election.

    Please spread this message to every friend, forum, blog and bulletin board you can find.  Since NRA has told Senators that they are not counting the Holder vote in their grading, calls and letters from outraged constituants are the only real pressure being brought to bear against the nomination.  Your Calls Can Make ALL the Difference!  Don't Let Up!

    Learn more about Holder by following the links below and on the next several pages.  This guy is really bad news.

Next Newsletter

Another "Knox Hard Corps Report" Coming Soon!

Between the crush to raise awareness and opposition to the confirmation of Eric Holder as Attorney General, the weekend trip to Orlando for the SHOT Show, and the rallies in Richmond on Monday, I've been pretty swamped.  Now I find I'm several days behind in preparing the next edition of our newsletter, but don't fret, it will be hitting subscriber's mail boxes soon.

If you have not yet subscribed to the "Knox Hard Corps Report" Now would be a great time to do so.  Don't Miss Another Issue!

To subscribe, just send your name and address along with a donation of $20 or more to PO Box 3313, Manassas, VA 20108, or you can subscribe on-line using the "Contribute" link in the main menu.  Contributions can also be made over the phone with a credit card by calling 703-753-0424. 

Contributions of $50 or more can take their pick of the book, "The Founder's Second Amendment" by Stephen Halbrook, "The Heller Case: Gun Rights Affirmed" by Alan Korwin and David Kopel, or the video DVD "In Search of the Second Amendment" by David Hardy.  A contribution of $120 or more gets you all three titles and the newsletter!

Stay active and informed and help us stay in the fight with your contribution.

Also worth noting; I am trying to post all updates to the site on the front page first so they will be logged by the RSS feeder.  If you are not familiar with RSS, it is a system which will keep tabs on your favorits web sites and let you know about new content.  By installing an RSS reader (free from Google and other sources) you can have your own "newspaper" that shows you what's going on on your favorite web sites like FirearmsCoalition.org so you don't have to bounce from web site to web site looking for new information; the RSS feed and reader puts it all in one place for you to see.  I encourage you to give it a try and let me know what you think.   I'm always interested in your feed-back so please don't hesitate to drop me a note.  Just add "Jeff@" to our web site to get directly to me.  I can't promise a rapid response, but I am interested in your thoughts.

Don't miss the next "Knox Hard Corps Report."  Subscribe with a contribution now.

Jeff

SHOT Show 2009

EBR's Rule!

Evil Black Rifles once again dominated the Shooting Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show in Orlando, FL.  I was not planning to attend, but Chris talked me into it when we found a $28 a night hotel and discount air fares and I'm glad I made the trip.  It seems like everyone and his brother is making an AR-pattern rifle these days in everything from .17 caliber up to .50 BMG and 40mm grenade launchers.  There was even a fancy cross-bow that uses an AR lower.  Most of the manufacturers and distributors I spoke with say that they are 3 to 12 weeks behind in production and working overtime to get caught up. 

There were some interesting new products and I met with some folks who are really doing some innovative things.  More importantly, I met with a lot of folks who are very supportive of the work we are doing and are interested in working with us to help us do more and grow stronger.  

The Firearms Coalition fills a unique niche in the gun rights movement and we're glad that more and more folks like you are joining and supporting us in our efforts.  One thing you can do to really help is to be sure and tell your friends about us and encourage them to join.  Along with the scary news that we expect from the Obama administration and the new Congress, there is some exciting news around the corner so stay tuned.

Jeff

Senate Soft on Holder

Holder Skating Toward Confirmation

   Barack Obama's choice for Attorney General appears to be skating toward easy confirmation in the Senate.  During confirmation hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee Holder declared his support for the Second Amendment as defined by the Supreme Court in the Heller decision and then went on to say that closing the "gun show loophole" and banning "cop killer bullets"should be the primary focus and that banning "assault weapons" permanently is something which should be done and that doing so is not in conflict with the Heller decision.

  The NRA sent a letter to committee members earlier this week telling them that they weren't happy with the Holder nomination and that they hoped the senators would keep NRA's position in mind when they cast their votes.  Previously NRA had let Senate leadership know that they were not going to weigh votes for holder in determining grades for politicians.

  Republican Senator Mel Martinez of Florida has joined Orrin Hatch (R-UT) in supporting of Holder.  This is surprising considering the low esteem Holder enjoys in the powerful Cuban community in Florida due to his involvement in the forced deportation of six-year old Elian Gonzalez.  The declarations of support from Republicans signals that even procedural moves like a filibuster would be quickly defeated and a confirmation vote taken.

   Until the vote is taken in the full Senate though, the nomination remains in play.  Readers are urged to continue contacting their senators to express opposition to Holder's confirmation.

   For contact information for your senator, click here or follow the link below:

http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

   Keep the pressure on!