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Liberty Notes – January, 2011

Liberty Notes – February, 2011

Liberty Notes – March, 2011

Liberty Notes – April 2011

Liberty Notes – May 2011

Liberty Notes – June 2011

Liberty Notes – July 2011

Liberty Notes – September 2011

Liberty Notes – October  2011

Liberty Notes – November  2011

Liberty Notes – December  2011

Liberty Notes – January, 2011

K. L. Jamison

It is a good day for Liberty. 

The world is short a mensch, for Aaron Zelman is dead.   A mensch is a Yiddish term describing someone to admire and emulate, someone of noble character. The key to being “a real mensch” is nothing less than character, rectitude, dignity, a sense of what is right, responsible, decorous.  Aaron Zelman founded Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership.  He was vigorous in advocating our rights.  I met him in the depths of the Clinton administration.  He told me that the anti-gun philosophy was doomed, that we had the research to refute it.  I was skeptical, but since that time our studies and research have crushed the prohibitionists.  Much of this research is due to the efforts of Aaron Zelman.  Prohibitionists are still active, because they function from emotion rather than facts but we are winning and have our late friend to thank for it.

Sarah Steelman is running for the US Senate seat now held by Claire McCaskill.  Ms. Steelman has a history of supporting us in the legislature and in state office.  The election of 2012 will be difficult and the earlier started the better.  There is talk that Mr. Talent shall also running for the same seat.  He also has a history of supporting us but has not declared as yet.

I have read Crossing Hitler.  It seems that before he came to power he was subpoenaed as a witness in a murder prosecution of some stormtroopers.  The fellow was asked, as leader of the nazi party, about the violent tendencies of the stormtroopers.  The fellow declared that the nazi party was for legality and against violence.  A lawyer loves it when witnesses lie on the stand.  It is enormous fun to confront such witnesses with prior inconsistent statements.  The judge cut the examination short, always frustrating, so the transcript only runs for ten pages.  The remainder of the book is the background of the case, the parties, and the Jewish lawyer who cross-examined the monster.  The case came too late to warn Germany and the lawyer was in the first wave of arrests after the burning of the Reichstag.  The poor man died in a concentration camp.  Sometimes all we can do is speed bump duty, but some of those speed bumps are remarkable.

We are frequently accused of racism, last argument of the intellectually bankrupt.

I heard a child speaking to her parents in Korean which I recognized from my time stationed in Korea.  When I passed the child I said, “excuse me” in Korean, a phrase which came up often in the old days.  She looked at me like I had grown another head, and not an attractive one.  It is rare for an American to speak a foreign language, but it has a good effect on persons with whom one does business.  Despite my best efforts I only speak English and Law.

A shoplifter was caught in the act and threatened the clerk with a hideous infection on her arm.  This turned a petty theft into armed robbery.

There was a reality mini-series called, “The Colony” which placed a few stray citizens in a warehouse with the supposition that most of the population had died.  They were raided for their small stock of supplies by other survivors and decided to fort up.  One gentle soul devised a flamethrower.  In the course of the program this man’s wife found her way to the warehouse and joined the colony.  The man gave her a tour of the place including his flamethrower.  “Why do you need a flamethrower?” she asked incredulous of the presence of the weapon and the fact her husband had created it.  “You need a flamethrower,” her husband replied in the tone of a man who has seen the elephant.

I saw a request by Royal Navy Chaplains to carry pistols in the war.  Her Majesty’s chaplains said they did not want to engage in combat, but did not want to be taken alive by the Taliban.  There is a precedent.  In Britain’s last Afghan war a civilian chaplain attached to a cavalry regiment earned the Victoria Cross by rescuing wounded from the attention of the Afghans.  Rudyard Kipling knew this warrior chaplain and says that the man had a pistol; it being extremely difficult to discourage Afghans without one.

The House of Representatives has read the Constitution on the floor of the House.  I thought this nothing but a stunt until I saw how unhinged it made the left.  Joy Behar of The View thought that this “Constitutional love” had gone too far.  The NY Times warned that it was racist.  If this is the entertainment we can expect we must do it again.

At a Florida school board meeting a deranged criminal threatened and then shot at members of the board.  A brave woman attempted self-defense with a purse but was ineffective.  An “equalizer” might have ended the matter.  There were excuses for the lunatic claiming that he “deliberately missed” hitting his targets.  Video of the incident shows him aiming, but not with the precision required to deliberately miss.  Whenever there is a mass shooting I am astonished to hear excuses heaped on the shooter and blame elsewhere.  Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and 19 others were shot by a lunatic.  Before a single fact was known the attack was blamed on conservatives, the Tea Party, and of course, us.  We are insulted for provocative language and of course a lack of gun control.  The left-wing pothead nut who did the actual shooting has not been blamed for anything at all.

When the attack began in Tucson, a man with a concealed pistol was buying cigarettes in a nearby store.  He heard the shots and charged for the guns.  When he emerged from the store the killer was already disarmed and a citizen held the gun.  We are constantly warned that in such a circumstance the silly, concealed-carry buffoon would begin shooting wildly, bullets would then, and only then, “go everywhere” and more innocent lives would be lost.  This did not happen.  The citizen immediately recognized the situation, holstered his gun and assisted in holding the killer.  In a nation “awash with guns” the only gun immediately on the scene was in the hands of the psychopath.  The usual suspects are demanding that laws be passed prohibiting guns within 1,000 feet of a federal official.  These demands are so old they are not even couched in the metric system.  The first problem would lie in determining where these bureaucrats might be lurking.  It would be more efficient to prohibit the murder of a federal official.

None of these mass shootings has been committed on impulse.  The killer has planed his attack, sometimes for months.

Gun owners in Oregon have been solicited by a group calling itself “Oregon Gun Owners Political Action Committee” for money to protect their rights.  Research disclosed that this group promoted anti-gun legislation.  It is another false flag operation to divert money from real gun rights groups and to claim that gun owners are such masochists that we want more restrictions heaped upon us.

In the new series “The Walking Dead” a mob of zombies pulls down a horse and eat it alive.  Of course WMSA President-for-Life SHEILA now has declared a “zero tolerance” policy for zombies.  This shall complicate relations with some of our elected officials but standards must be upheld.

We shall overcome.

Liberty Notes – February, 2011

K. L. Jamison

It is a good day for Liberty.

Everyone makes mistakes.  Everyone has problems.  Everyone experiences tragedy.  It is what you do afterwards that tells who you are.

I was reviewing the “sumptuary laws” of the medieval period.  These laws dictated the dress and accessories of people by class, occupation, income and religion.  The stated purpose of these laws is to prevent a Christian from unknowingly marrying a Moslem or a Jew.  Because of this unlikely situation, they established an elaborate code of colors, style, and accessories, which specified a person’s place in society.  One could tell a person’s class, income and occupation from dress; a convenient means of social control.  Today people use invented crises to demand social control.  I recently heard of a private business which boasts a 40 page dress code.  The urge to restrict lives and thrives.

I have had occasion to read some books on how to avoid becoming a criminal target.  They are excellent books, but the authors go off on tangents about how guns are useless for self-defense, even counter-productive.  Their arguments are inconsistent, even contradictory.  They claim in one place that the citizen will shoot anything that moves and endanger innocent persons (but never the criminal) and in another that the citizen does not have the killer instinct and will hesitate, and by hesitating be disarmed and killed with his or her own gun.  One wants to scream “Which is it!”  The authors are making up these arguments as they go along.  They have no evidence for civilians shooting wildly and endangering bystanders.  Several persons have tried to study civilians being disarmed by criminals and not found enough cases to make a valid study.  I found more cases where a citizen disarmed a criminal than the other way around.  There have been cases were burglars found unsecured guns, but taking a gun from a citizen and then shooting the citizen seems to be an urban myth.  If this were the normal result of an attempt at self-defense, the opposition would have millions of examples of such cases.  They cannot cite any.

Editorials and letters to the editor are demanding increased gun restrictions.  We revel in our Supreme Court and legislative victories, but this is how it starts.  The opposition demands restrictions, agrees to settle for “reasonable controls” and we lose some of our rights.  Then there is another high profile murder and the cycle repeats.  We must be vigilant; we must be active.  We must respond to these foolish editorials and naïve letters to the editor.  Many persons have canceled subscriptions to the newspaper out of disgust with its slanted coverage.  However, it is important to know what the enemy is saying and we can use its pages to counter its propaganda.  Letters to the editor are an important tool.  They tell the undecided, the uninformed and the inactive that there is another side.  They say that the media is not telling the “truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”  They tell political staffers that the public is on our side.  The newspapers will publish our letters if only to generate more controversy and sell papers.

Lewis Diuguid, Star columnist, writes that guns are ineffective for protection and aggravate situations leading to murder and suicide.  He cites the “Brady Campaign” for this superstition.  He cites this known anti-gun advocacy group without question and without mentioning its prejudices which is bad policy and poor journalism.  At my last count there are eleven nationwide studies which found 1.5 to 3.5 million self-defense uses of firearms every year.  These studies have been done by various scholars and even President Clinton’s justice department.  These studies were not done by the NRA.  The most detailed study found 2.5 million defensive gun uses per year.  Mr. Diuguid demands that gun makers pay for injuries committed with firearms.  He does not consider paying disarmed people who are attacked because he made them defenseless.

Rally Day will be 6 April, 2011 in the Rotunda of the Capital Building in Jefferson City.  The speakers start at 10 AM.  At noon we break to speak to our elected representatives.  This is always an enlightening experience.  This year we will have live music with firearms appropriate selections.  Various elected officials will speak.  It is possible that people who aspire to be elected officials will speak.  There are a number of interesting bills this year.  A Firearms Freedom Act declares that a firearm made and sold in Missouri is no business of the federal government and not subject to federal regulation.  Some have argued that this will be struck down by the federal courts.  They may be right, but again, they may not be right.  Together with similar bills in other states this may strike a blow against federal regulation and inspire a more reasonable view in Washington D.C.  At minimum this will give the opposition a speed bump to dispose of before turning against our rights.

The “reasonable regulation” of firearms in Washington D.C. requires the new gun owner to pay over $800 in costs and fees before buying the gun.  It also takes time from work getting the required clearances and licenses.  In Chicago it costs about $550 in costs and fees before buying the gun.  If these were the costs of any other constitutional right the ACLU would burn a cross in front of city hall (figuratively speaking).  This is the danger of those promoting “reasonable” regulation of guns.  At one time the Jim Crow laws were considered “reasonable.”  The persons demanding “reasonable” restrictions are promoting laws developed by the people who hate us.

An armed robber confronted a cell-phone store manager in Miami.  She preached the gospel to him until he fled empty-handed.  This is not a course of action I would suggest, but one cannot argue with success.  Perhaps the age of miracles is not over.

Heraclitus, one of the pre-Socratic Greek philosophers wrote “Eyes and ears are bad witnesses for men with barbarian souls.”  People with prejudices against us see and hear what they want to see and hear.  Telling people the truth is not the first step, getting them to listen is the first step.

I was on a radio program which, I was told, would deal with the Tucson killings.  When I arrived I found that I was one of six guests on a one-hour program.  This meant that I had to be more aggressive in getting microphone time.  I was the gun nut; there was a community activist, and four police officers, two from Kansas City and two from the Jackson County sheriff’s office, including the sheriff himself.  Major Hugh Mills of the Sheriff’s Department told me that they would be qualifying retired law enforcement to carry concealed weapons under federal law.  He also said that the Department had insignificant problems with persons who have licenses to carry.  The community activist wanted to know if the police would do “gun buybacks.”  A police major said they would not and that it was worthless because they bought up junk and the criminals did not participate.  The activists then referred to the Glock used in the Tucson killings as a “killing machine.”  Since it was first designed for the Austrian army this is a difficult argument to confront head on.  I interjected that it was the most commonly encountered handgun make in police holsters, that the wounded congresswoman had a Glock and that that it was a shame that in a nation “awash with guns” the only gun in that crowd was in the hands of a lunatic.  A later caller objected to calling him a lunatic.  I said that truth is an absolute defense.  Every little bit helps.

We shall overcome.

Liberty Notes – March, 2011

K. L. Jamison

It is a good day for Liberty.

Jason Bieber is a pop star who is popular with young girls.  Unlike most pop stars he has done some Christian-themed work.  As a Canadian he was asked if he considered taking American citizenship.  He responded that Americans are “evil,” seemingly on the grounds that we do not have the Canadian national health system.  I do not criticize Mr. Bieber, I don’t want to gain the enmity of pre-pubescent girls, one of whom knows where I live.

Sonia Johnson is quoted as saying “We must remember that one determined person can make a significant difference, and that a small group of determined people can change the course of history.”  She is right.

WMSA President-For-Life SHEILA has taken her “Off With His Head” tour to the state capital.  She has testified in favor of a number of bills this session.  A spokesman for the legislature says that there is no truth to the rumor that she left the legislators curled up in corners whimpering for their mommies, at least not all of them, at least not all the time.

President Obama has declared that he is pro-gun.  Since there seems to be some confusion on this point I must repeat, I am not as stupid as I look.

I read of a farm family that slaughtered its hogs with a .25ACP, all headshots.  I would not have thought the cartridge capable of such a feat, but do not argue with success, I just don’t count on it when life or limb is at stake.

There is a recent account of a burglar calling 911 to report that he was calling from the home he was burglarizing and the lady of the house has returned, “And I think she has guns!”  The police responded and saved him from the consequences of his own actions.

I am told that for rapid contact with legislators a fax is superior to an e-mail because with a fax someone must handle the paper and it is thus harder to ignore.  This is likely to change as e-mails become the default communications method.  However, one cannot ignore the attention paid to a tangible communication.

I assume e-mails will be the default communications method.  For all I know some more advanced method is already in play and is simply incompatible with my technological hardware, software and abilities.

Open-Carry advocates in Seattle prompted a Brady Campaign effort to force Starbucks to keep them out of the company’s shops and when that failed, a boycott of Starbucks which also failed.  Elliott Fineman, president of the “National Gun Victims Action Council” has demanded that Starbucks ban armed customers and contribute $10 million to gun ban organizations.  If we had done this, we would have been accused of extortion.

Surveys show that 85% of new Kansas City area residents are Hispanic.  This does not mean that they are illegal aliens.  Still, there is concern that they will bring Old Country values of knuckling under to the government.  They will if we allow government flacks and leftist activists to be their introduction to our society.  If our people volunteer for language classes and citizenship classes we get to tell them what the Second Amendment really means.

I have recently discovered FM 102.5 comedy radio.  It broadcasts standup comedy routines 24 hours a day.  Listening to it in my car it occurred to me that a driver could be consumed with hysterical laughter and cause an accident.  It has wonderful possibilities for lawsuits.  I blame these thoughts on having associated with bad company.

While dancing in the blood of the Tucson killings, anti-gun people use it as a platform to promote nonsense about guns.  One columnist claims that semi-automatic firearms are so deadly that the Army had adopted a “semi-automatic” 3 round burst rifle.  Of course a 3 round burst is not semi-automatic, it is by definition a machine gun.  However, the opposition is not interested in truth, only propaganda.  We must respond to this nonsense.  I understand that many people have canceled subscriptions to the local paper out of disgust with its propaganda slant.  However, we can read it on line at KansasCity.com.  This gives us an opportunity to refute the nonsense.  If we do not, the readers, and politicians are among them, will believe that the tide of opinion is turning.  The paper will print pro-gun letters if only to stir attention.  This is something anyone can do and should do.  Keep them short, on one subject and do NOT abuse anyone (no matter how much they might deserve it).  There was a great letter from Jack Cook in the 13 March 2011 Star.

A column “Myth of Hero Gunslinger” claims that self-defense is at least unlikely and therefore we should not allow people to carry guns “ready to kill.”  The irritating thing is that the opposition does not count a defensive gun use unless someone is killed.  In 85% of defensive gun uses it is only necessary to show a gun; criminals are evil, not suicidal.  Despite their macho posturing they are looking for soft targets; when a citizen pulls a gun they surrender or run.  It is extremely rare to kill in self-defense.  In the reported mass killings, as soon as the killer meets any resistance he typically commits suicide.  Jeannie Assam, volunteer guard at New Life Church in Colorado, responded to gunfire on 9 Dec 2007.  She wounded the killer who promptly committed suicide, with 1,000 rounds of ammunition left in his backpack.

I was interviewed by a reporter doing a piece on “high capacity” magazines, which I insisted on calling “full size” magazines.  This was prompted by claims that the Tucson killer could not have done as much damage if limited to smaller magazines.  Such claims are made by persons who have not heard of magazine changes and carrying extra guns.  It is said that full size magazines are not useful in self-defense, but are in massacres.  It would seem almost mathematical that they would be as useful in self-defense as in assault.  When home invaders kick the door in at 2 AM they will have their guns and ammunition ready.  I will have the ammunition available in the gun I snatch up.  Of course by the time the bad guys fight their way through my dogs, they may decide that invading the house next door would be less work, but both my neighbors have dogs.  The man up the street has a mastiff the size of the national debt.  Criminals might invade homes in my neighborhood, but retreat is another matter.

I’ve read American Insurgents, American Patriots by T. H. Breen.  It focuses on the American revolutionary movement at the grassroots.  The gentlemen in Philadelphia signed the Declaration of Independence, but it was the county-level Patriot groups that made the revolution.  Reading the book, I kept being reminded of the Tea Party movement.  The grassroots enthusiasm for Liberty swept along the political figures of the time.  Let it be so.

I am reminded that when the Titanic sank in 1912, the “Unsinkable Molly Brown” encouraged reluctant lifeboat passengers at gunpoint to search for survivors.  Another defensive gun use that killed no one and saved some.

We shall overcome.

Liberty Notes – April 2011

K. L. Jamison

It is a good day for Liberty.

Six Christian denominations share management of Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre.  The Church has a sewage problem because three of the denominations control a 10-stall restroom and cannot agree on how to divide responsibility for repairs.  The sewage pipe runs under and area controlled by a fourth denomination which refuses to help unless it is granted exclusive control of one of the 10 stalls.  For those of you who were hoping for peace in the Middle East, it does not look good.

This administration has promised that no crisis shall go to waste.  It has recently been revealed that it has manufactured its own crisis.  For a year we have been told that 90% of weapons used by the Mexican drug cartels come from the United States.  The 90% figure is not true to begin with.  We cannot be sure of the true percentage because it is deliberately manipulated and a certain amount of American weapons in the hands of the cartels arrived in Central America as police and military aide and were sold out the back door of armories or accompanied deserting soldiers.  Some American weapons found in Mexico appear to have been smuggled there for the self-defense of ordinary Mexican citizens.  One Mexican rancher was told that he was moving, that a cartel wanted his land.  He shot it out with hunting rifles, killing four, but military weapons in the hands of the cartel carried the day.  The issue had been exacerbated by the revelation that the BATF has been allowing firearms to be smuggled into Mexico.  Often gun dealers warned of suspicious characters but were told to go through with the transactions.  Field agents of BATF warned that these guns were going into Mexico where they could not be traced but were ordered not to stop them.  Some of these guns were later found to have been used to kill American lawmen.  All the while we have been told that more registration and more restrictions were necessary because the drug cartels were buying guns in America.  The administration denies any knowledge of the BATF program of allowing guns to flow to the cartels.   Investigations proceed apace.  Doubtless some low-level scapegoat will be found.  Then another crisis will be found which, we will be told, requires more registration and more restriction.  When this happens we must remember, they manufactured the last crisis.

Not only must we remember that it is not our rights that create problems, we must tell others.  Letters to the editor, talk radio, conversations with neighbors and co-workers; all of these are mediums to transmit our message.  All must be short, polite and to the point.  As John Wayne said, “Talk low, talk slow, and don’t talk too much.

The Missouri Sport Shooting Association will be sponsoring a grassroots activist seminar.  We held one a few years ago and it was very helpful.  Dates and times will be announced.

President-for-Life SHEILA has been re-elected president of WMSA.  The Board and officers were re-elected however there will be some openings in a few months due to people moving to better opportunities.  We shall need some people to step forward.

The Hillbrook-Tall Oaks Civic Association, which appears to be in the Washington DC area elected a dog as president.  The sitting president was unable to run for re-election under the bylaws and no one would volunteer, so the president put his dog’s name on the ballot.  There being no other candidates the dog was elected by acclamation.  Our WMSA President has been known to say “woof” at times, and we have learned to keep our heads down when she does.

A columnist for the Star breathlessly reports finding a cartridge in a local parking lot.  She calls it a bullet, but from her description it was clearly a complete cartridge; many people use the terms interchangeably.  She called the police and was miffed when they did not respond.  The next day she put the cartridge in a bag and “carefully” took it to the nearest police station.  She was again miffed that the desk officer was unimpressed with her efforts and bounced the cartridge she had so carefully handled on the desk.  The officer assured her it would be taken care of, which probably ment the nearest trashcan.  The columnist was left to wonder about the interrupted fate of the cartridge.  Her imagination went to tragedy and evil.  She allowed that it might have stopped a rapist, but clearly did not consider that to be likely.  These are the people we see every day.  She found her encounter with a lost cartridge to be chilling, evoking frightening thoughts of evil in the world.  She thought the owner would be much better off without this, or any other cartridge.  These people do not understand our interest in guns; they do not think self-defense is likely or even possible.  We cannot change these people’s ideology in one fell swoop.  We must move them in small increments toward tolerance and then understanding.  This will take a long time.  I would settle for tolerance, but we cannot rest.

Rally Day went well.  We gathered in the Capital Building to celebrate the process of recovering our rights.  Over thirty political figures, including the Lt. Governor and a representative of the governor spoke.  This is a big change from the days when political figures did not want to be seen with us.  The difference is that each of us has done something.  Even showing up at a Rally is something.  The legislators count the crowd and they remember the event when our activists tell them what bills we like and dislike.

Our President-for-Life SHEILA was interviewed by one of the TV stations covering the Rally.  Our Sheila used to be afraid of public speaking, now the public is afraid of her.

I’ve been listening to a recorded book Betsy Ross and the Making of America by Marla R. Miller.  It is, of course, about Betsy Ross and the making of the first US flag.  The author boasts that hers is the first scholarly biography of the great seamstress.  Actually, she did embroidery; there may be a difference.  The book goes into more detail on the community around her than Betsy Ross herself.  Ms. Ross was from a family of Quakers, she married outside the faith, was read out of the meeting and thus could take military contracts.  Her ancestors came to Pennsylvania and began to clear a plot of land.  At sundown the man turned to his wife, who had labored at his side the entire day and said, “You’d better get started on dinner.”  Even I know better than that.  Because they were Quakers there was a great deal of praying, and I think an oath of celibacy.  Another ancestor went on a missionary voyage in the Caribbean during one of the wars with the French.  As the ship neared port it was overtaken by a French warship.  The crew cursed the Quakers because they had insisted on removing the ship’s cannon and now they would be killed or taken to France as prisoners.  The Quakers asked if they would not rather die or go to France rather than go to hell for fighting?  No one seems to have considered an alternative beyond death, France or hell; nor a clear choice between them.  They did not consider victory.  The ship escaped, which the Quakers put down to pious pacifism.  It was actually because the ship was in range of the harbor defenses.  Cannon served by violent men saved the pacifists.  Pacifists are not better persons, we are.  We stand on the battlements and defend civilization from conquest by evil men who will change it to a demonic wasteland made more monstrous by the light of a perverted science.  To prevent this apocalypse it is necessary to kill.  The inheritors of the world will be killers.  We decide if the inheritors of the world will be defenders of evil or civilization.

We shall overcome.

Liberty Notes – May 2011

K. L. Jamison

It is a good day for Liberty.

I was watching a History Channel program “The Private Voice of Hitler.”  The topic has always puzzled me.  The oratory spewing from this creature is credited with the success of the nazi party and with keeping it going while the Russians were rummaging through the rubble of Berlin.  Contemporary accounts claim charisma; I never saw it.  All I ever saw was a dumpy, pasty-faced psycho.  Charlie Chaplin mimicked his gestures and they were funny.  According to the History Channel the psycho’s first speech was a bomb (figuratively speaking, with nazis you must be specific.).   A magician taught him theatricality and public speaking.  We can blame this magician for WW II.  It seems that rehearsal, review of past speeches and planning speeches so they create a rhythm building to a crescendo, sometimes repeatedly, was the key.

I was reading US Immigration Handbook by David Hampshire & Sid Rizvi.  Its purpose is to tell foreigners how to apply for visas to the United States and what to expect when they get here.  It tells the world that crime in the US is due to guns (Switzerland and Israel have more guns per capita than we do and may find this surprising).  The authors also say that American police use .38’s and are frightening.  To emphasize the point it contains a cartoon of a thuggish cop.  Suggested literature is The Grapes of Wrath, To Kill a Mockingbird, Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.  It is entirely possible that the authors may be trying to scare people into staying out of the United States.  This is what happens when we let raving leftists have free reign with immigrants.

I got a copy of Gun Running on the Northwest Frontier.  The frontier in question was the North West frontier of British India, which is now Pakistan.  The book was written in 1911, which, for those of you not paying attention, was a century ago; it does not appear that much has changed.  I was interested in gun-running.  However, the book is more of a travelogue written in the paternalistic style of the British sahib.  It does mention gun running across the frontier and by sea through Iran but only in passing.  One sentence refers to tribal gun factories, but the author never saw them.  There were no laws against owning guns in India until the British decided they could civilize the place.  The North West tribes saw no reason to obey the gun laws; they obeyed no other British law and saw no reason to start with this one.  I am not certain how the author obtained his information about the local people.  His interpreter may have told him what he wanted to hear, or he may have gotten the information the old-fashioned way and made it up.  He mentions the importance of a tribe having the grave of a Moslem saint.  Such shrines gave the tribe status, and income from pilgrims.  One tribe reportedly did not have grave of a saint and so invited a holy man to visit and killed him.  If true, this shows a certain practicality but clearly they are working from a different set of principles.

I listened to an audiobook, Supersense; Why We Believe in the Unbelievable.  The author is an atheist, so his view of the unbelievable is larger than most person’s.  He discusses the awe people have for objects.  He conducted seminars in which he showed the audience a fountain pen which he said belonged to Albert Einstein (he lied).  Everyone wanted to touch the pen.  He then showed a cardigan sweater and asked who wanted to try it on.  Einstein was famously shown wearing a cardigan and most wanted to try it on.  He then said that it belonged to a notorious serial killer; the audience changed its mind.  People associate the object with the owner and tend to believe that it transmits the characteristics of the owner.  This is magical thinking and we frequently encounter this sort of thing in the firearms world.  Some primitive minds believe that not only the gun used by the criminal carries his attributes, but that all guns carry his cooties.  The author speculates why collectors value antique objects but not replicas.  We know why.  Our antiques were carried by people in great and mundane acts which have made our history.  They are imbued with the DNA of individuals who do not appear in the history books but collectively made our history.

As I write this the Missouri legislature has finished its 2011 session.  They passed the omnibus firearms bill.  This bill reduces the age at which one may get a License To Carry to 21.  It also allows us to buy long guns in all other states and persons from other states to buy long guns here (if allowed by their home state).  There were some changes in the bill at the last minute and it will be a little time before I understand exactly what passed.  I will post my evaluation at www.KLJamisonLaw.com/author.

The bill to establish a handgun hunting season was not pushed in favor of working with the Missouri Department of Conservation.  This should have been done earlier, but we have failed to have an ongoing relationship with the MDC.  We can fix this.

We should have a handgun season for deer.  We have an atlatl season.  An atlatl is a spear thrower, a short stick used to give extra leverage and therefore power to a thrown spear.  No one has taken a deer with an atlatl in Missouri, at least not for the last 20,000 years or more, but the sport is called hunting, not killing.

People have likened making laws to making sausage.  It is more like making jigsaw puzzles with poor quality control.  One legislator will not allow a bill to go forward unless it includes a handful of pieces from his puzzle.  Others want certain pieces of the puzzle removed, altered or replaced with other pieces which may or may not fit with the other pieces.  In the end there is no telling what the picture will look like until we have a chance to examine it in detail.  Often the picture looks a great deal like making sausage, and not the sort you would want for breakfast.

I was watching a DVD of the old Dragnet series from 1969.  The series clearly gave the Los Angles Police Department’s official line in these episodes.  In one, a man came in to pick up his permit to buy a handgun.  It is quickly determined that the man is a raving loon and the permit is decisively shut back in the file.  This is the image portrayed of people who want to buy handguns.  In another episode Sgt. Friday is on a panel answering questions from the public.  One citizen objects to the delays in getting handgun permits and is told that policemen carry only because it is required and do not like carrying guns, that he is better off without one and if he has time to get his gun he has time to call the police.  This last may be correct, but then one must wait for the police to arrive.  In every large city there are “blackout” periods in which no police officer is available, no matter the crisis.  Such blackouts did not occur in the old series, it not being department policy.

It has been a year since MacDonald vs Chicago ruled that the states must respect the Second Amendment.  After a year we still do not have a standard for judging restrictions on arms.  Courts have ruled that even the First Amendment allows for restrictions on time, place and manner of speech.  The MacDonald case did not specify the standards for judging restrictions on the Second Amendment. The Supreme Court sent the case back to the 7th Circuit appellate court for determination of a standard; there it sits.  In the last year we have seen the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rule once again in the Nordyke case.  The plaintiffs in Nordyke sued Alemeda County, California after the county passed an ordinance forbidding gun shows at the county fairgrounds.  The case has been litigated up and down the judicial system for the last eight or nine years.  The last ruling was that the county can prohibit gun shows on county property.  The Brady Bunch has declared this a great victory.  However, the court went on to rule that laws cannot touch on the core right of self-defense.  This calls into question California’s laws against carrying guns for self-defense.  This is encouraging.  The NRA has filed a lawsuit in Illinois challenging its denial of the right to carry guns for self-defense.  Illinois failed to pass a concealed carry law this year and further steps are required.

We shall overcome.

Liberty Notes – June 2011

K. L. Jamison

It is a good day for Liberty.

I was reading an appellate court decision on a self-defense case; Plakas v Drinski, 19 F.3d 1143 (7th Cir. 1994).  The court began by saying, “The details matter here, so we recite them.”  The details matter very much in all self-defense cases.  The first trick is getting the details into the record so they will get into court.  The second trick is getting them believed.  The first trick is accomplished by telling your story.  The second trick is accomplished by a good, coherent set of details as early as possible.  This second trick is quite difficult, as the gunfight victor will have adrenaline pounding through his veins and is prey to a roller coaster of emotions.  The WMSA “Stay Out of Jail” card has a section on what to tell the 911 operator and the responding officer.  Without an outline to help focus one’s thoughts they can easily stray into triumphant comments which may sound like malice.  People often make disjointed statements which can be re-assembled into a confession.  Victors of gunfights have reported intrusive thoughts that, if spoken out loud, would have made them sound like a proper psychopath.  The card guides the statement.  It also reminds the victor to point out forensic evidence before it disappears through wind, rain, theft or witnesses who have better things to do.  The cards are free, they are on the WMSA website www.WMSA.net.  If the card keeps one out of a dollar’s worth of trouble, send us the dollar.

John Connor, a columnist for American Handgunner and other magazines notes that the 1911 Colt .45 ACP is now the state firearm of Utah.  The classic Colt’s designer, John M. Browning, is from Utah and did his early work there.  John Connor suggests that the remaining states also adopt a state firearm.  The anti-gunners shall scream predictions of “blood in the streets” decry the effect on the children and sniff that it is an inappropriate glorification of violence.  We should be glad that they will do these things; any opportunity to make them look foolish should be grabbed with both hands.  None of their bloody predictions has come true when we passed laws reforming gun laws, concealed carry laws and self-defense laws.  There is no reason to believe their predictions will come true through a purely symbolic law.  There is no reason that Missouri could not also adopt the 1911 Colt.  The legendary Hawkin rifle was made in St. Louis in the days of the fur trade.  Target rifles were popular in the early German communities of Missouri, and were used to seize strategic points for the Union in 1861, this may uncover an old wound, let it pass.  Automatic weapons were restricted by the National Firearms Act of 1934 after Tommyguns figured in the Union Station Massacre in Kansas City the previous fall.  This too may open some old wounds.  Many young men were introduced to the Springfield, M 1, M 14 and M16 in Basic Training in Missouri.  Pony Express riders left St. Joseph armed with a single 1851 Navy Colt.  In the basement of the Capital Building in Jefferson City is an exhibit of a stagecoach and a number of pocket pistols carried by passengers for protection.  There are other candidates as well.  Perhaps we should make this a contest.  If the legislature will not adopt a state firearm, we shall.

The National Rifle Association needs a new Election Volunteer Coordinator for Missouri’s 5th District.  The duties involve distributing information about who is on our side.  This district will have new borders and some unwilling residents.  This may be an opportunity to teach the current congressman a lesson.  Volunteers should contact my office (816) 455-2669.

The Missouri legislature, in its nearly infinite wisdom, has reduced the age necessary to qualify for a license to carry from 23 to 21, made a number of other good changes and two massively stupid provisions.  The new law allows Missourians to purchase long guns in other states even if not contiguous to Missouri, and allows out of state residents to buy long guns in Missouri if it does not violate the law of their home state.  It prevents guns from being taxed at a higher rate than other products, a measure that has been proposed elsewhere.  However, in the debate over lowering the age for an LTC two nitwit St. Louis senators threatened to filibuster unless the training was increased.  The sponsor caved and the new law requires firing twice the ammunition as previously required and the student must qualify with both revolver and semi-automatic.  This will add to the cost, add an hour to range time and some people do not have the finger strength to qualify with revolvers.  There is absolutely no reason for this requirement.  This is a harassment measure and we can be sure that these nitwits will be back next year to add more harassing measures.  This came up in the last two days of the session and we were unable to mobilize fast enough to stop it or kill the bill.  I am assured that a repeal of this provision will be introduced next year.  Now we are back to recovering rights.  For the first time in many years we have lost ground.  Collectors of switchblades and brass knuckles also lost ground.  These weapons were illegal unless one was a collector.  This is purely a matter of fact and since switchblades could arguably include the ubiquitous butterfly knives one of some importance.  The new law requires that the collector have a curio and relics license.  Again, there is absolutely no reason for this restriction.  We have lost ground and we must take it back.

I have often heard that it is against federal regulation for commercial truck drivers to carry guns.  I finally researched the question and found that this is an urban myth.  There is no such regulation although some trucking companies tell their employers that there is such a regulation.  State gun laws appear to have been enforced at truck weight stations

Lt. Col. Grossman will lecture on the “Bulletproof Mind for the Armed Citizen” in Columbia Missouri on 27 August, 2011 and 15 October, 2011 in Branson Missouri.  The lecture is $110 and includes lunch.  There will be door prizes but the value is in the lecture.  Contact www.LearntoCarry.com for details.

There has been much huffing and puffing about the assassination of Osama Bin Laudin.  Credit for the decision to send in the SEALS is greedily taken.  The decision to kill him would seem to have been made in the rubble of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon ten years ago.  The only decision required now was to determine if the intelligence was good.  We had a blood feud against this murderer.  We are entitled to our revenge.  The raid was not unique.  In WW II Commandos were sent to kill General Rommel and a squadron of P-38s was sent to ambush Admiral Yamamoto’s plane and kill the architect of the Pear Harbor attack.  Richard the Lionhearted was killed by a crossbowman, and Richard III was famously killed on Bosworth Field offering his kingdom for a horse.  Other military and political figures were targeted for assassination and were legitimate targets.  My father’s P-47 squadron jumped a train over the Japanese home islands during the war.  The engineer had less to do with the conduct of the war than political figures who would later be executed for war crimes; yet he died trying to make his train outrun a fighter plane.  Bin Laudin committed war crimes from anyone’s standpoint including that of the Koran that he purported to follow.  It could not have happened to a nicer guy.

Now we are told it is time to withdraw from Afghanistan.  My question is; did we win?  It makes no sense to leave now if we will only have to return.  The enemy has been weakened but not destroyed.  When the enemy is weak, advance and destroy.  The withdrawal plan then becomes simple.

The United States Concealed Carry Association is selling an insurance policy for self-defense; see www.USConcealedCarry.com.  The policy is called “Shield.”  When you buy the policy you are given a short treatise on your rights entitled, “Can a Policeman?”  I wrote the treatise and it is well worth whatever they charge for the insurance policy.

We shall overcome.

Liberty Notes – July 2011

K. L. Jamison

It is a good day for Liberty.

It is reported, but not confirmed, that US Customs is preventing servicemen from bringing knives with blades over 4 inches in their shipped baggage when they return from the war.  There is no law against importing knives of this length into the United States.

Mohammed Sohail greeted a robber with a shotgun.  The robber dropped to his knees crying, begging and finally offering to convert to Islam.  Mr. Sohail tossed him $40 and sent him away.  I would not want the sniveling punk in my religion either.  It would not be worth $40 to me to get rid of him.  I think I could stand his company until the police arrived.

I was listening to an audiobook, Priceless.  The author investigated stolen art for the FBI.  The definition used by the FBI included anything over a certain value that was stolen from a museum.  The author is also a collector of Civil War militaria.  This made the book more enjoyable for me, and his description of swords and flags as the common heritage of mankind are vivid.  He was involved in recovering a “Blood Flag” stolen in transit from the West Point museum.  The flag was the regimental colors of one of the units formed from freed slaves, and five men were killed carrying the flag into combat.  He conned a collector into selling him the flag.  The collector had purchased the stolen flag along with the warning that it could not be displayed or sold publicly because it was stolen property.  The collector appears to have been from Kansas City, but I did not recognize the name.  When recovered, it still had the tag on it from the West Point museum.  He bought the flag knowing it was stolen and sold it with the apparent belief there was a legal problem as to title but without a thought in the world that it was a crime.

Harvey Milk was a homosexual activist and a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, their city council.  He has been the subject of a documentary and a Hollywood movie.  I have the impression I would have despised nearly all of his politics, but we can learn from his life.  He promoted causes having nothing to do with gay politics in order to strengthen his political position.  He got Coors beer out of the gay bars to curry favor with the unions.  He passed a “doggie-doo” ordinance requiring people to clean up after their dogs because it was a hot issue.  When TV cameras covered this issue, he made sure there were dog feces he could step in to give them a photo-op.  When the governor tried to get his groups’ support he later told the media, “The Governor almost answered our questions, and we almost endorsed him.”  When California voted on Proposition 6 to ban gay teachers President Carter was induced to make a statement against the proposition after being told that Presidents Ford and Reagan has already come out against it so it was “safe.”  This is called giving political cover for a position.  He urged his people to tell shop owners, families and co-workers that they were gay.  When people had a face to the image it was much harder to hate gay people.  We need to tell neighbors and merchants we are gun owners.  This has to be subtle or they will take it as a threat; a pin, a hat, a T-shirt gets the message across.  At one time Harvey said that “Gays are an extended family, dysfunctional, but family.”  Gun people are family, often dysfunctional, but always family.  I have the feeling Harvey would have opposed our movement, but all the more reason to use his tactics; he won.

Mexican drug cartels sell marijuana.  They sell other drugs as well but marijuana (also known as “only marijuana”) is a big seller.  Liberal Gringos buy their weed and blame American gun laws for violence in Mexico, while the money they paid their dealer goes to buy heavy weapons on the international arms market.

Counterfeit money was passed at the Ararat Shrine gun show in June.  The dealers could not keep the counterfeit, as possession is a crime.  Office supply stores sell pens which detect counterfeit money.  Sellers can check for the watermark in the bills and the security strip.  A quick test is to rub the floral pattern along the edge.  Due to the high pressure printing process of real currency, this part will feel rough, counterfeit is smooth.

We all go to gun shows looking for good deals.  However, a deal that is simply too good a deal is an indication of stolen property.  Even worse, Missouri law states that the low price is evidence that you knowingly received stolen property.  It is not irrefutable evidence, but a great deal can be used against you.

A group of fools fired a gun into the air celebrating the 4th of July and a little girl is dead.  This will be used against us.  There are already demands to make firing a gun in the city limits a felony.  Reckless discharge of a firearm is Second Degree Assault in Missouri, a felony.  Possessing a firearm in a negligent or illegal manner while intoxicated is a felony; I feel in my bones that alcohol was involved in this case.  A felony with a firearm is Armed Criminal Action, a felony carrying a term of three years to life with no possibility of parole.  If someone commits a felony which results in the death of any person it is felony murder.  If the owner of the gun handed the gun off to a drunk, he gave it to a prohibited person and that is a crime.  They might even charge the entire group with conspiracy to commit Second Degree Assault.  There are plenty of laws to deal with these stupid acts, but the opposition does not run on facts.  A little girl is dead and someone must be punished.  The authorities are unlikely to discover which idiot fired the deadly shot, so the punishment will fall on innocent gun owners.

When I first heard of Operations “Gunrunner” and “Fast and Furious” I thought they were ordinary stings that went bad.  I was wrong.  The program was funded with “stimulus” money and sent guns into Mexico against the advice of ATF agents that there was no way to trace the guns once they crossed the border.  They were then used to murder Mexican nationals and US law enforcement.  This was clearly done to promote gun control in the United States.  Since they were caught, there has been considerable effort to blur the facts.  Anti-gun Democrats held hearings which found that the ATF was “forced” to send these guns to Mexico by the NRA.  Their argument is that since we did not cave into their demands for gun control the ATF was forced to send guns to Mexico.  They think we are stupid enough to buy this argument simply because the media is stupid enough to buy it.  The ATF is requiring gun dealers in four Southwestern states to provide lists of people buying semi-automatic rifles.  These are the same dealers who warned ATF that suspicious people were buying guns, but were told by ATF to complete the sale.  The government does something stupid and we get punished for it; doubtless that was the plan all along.

Someone has suggested that I have supported doubling the amount of ammunition required to qualify for a License To Carry.  This person has bolded the lettering in part of a message I distributed to change the plain meaning.  To be clear:  I oppose doubling the amount of ammunition required for a license.  There is no good reason for the increase.  It hampers weak and disabled persons in passing the training course.  These are the people most in need of a license.  The increase encourages further restrictive training requirements next year.  Doubling the amount of ammunition required is an evil law and I will do whatever I can to see it repealed.

We shall overcome.

Liberty Notes – September 2011

K. L. Jamison

It is a good day for Liberty.

Acquaintances frequently tell me that they are tired of holding their nose when they vote for a candidate and will not settle for the lesser of two evils in the future.  I understand this attitude but the purpose of voting is not to make the voter happy but to make the country better, not perfect, not even good, just better.  I am in favor of the best Second Amendment candidate with a real chance of winning.  No candidate is perfect unless he or she has a realistic chance of winning.  Without an existing base of support or money there is no realistic chance.  We can be a big part of that base, but we cannot usually be the entire base.  If we could, then SHEILA would be president of the United States instead of WMSA.

Some have speculated that a second Obama term will cause a backlash, even an uprising which will carry us to the perfect libertarian society.  This speculation assumes that we would win such an uprising and the result will not turn the nation into a new version of Somalia.  If it triggers a political backlash, there are still monsters.  A second Obama term will not have to worry about re-election and can enact any horrible program it pleases.   It will have four years to hurt us.  The administration has shown a talent for buying off opponents with exemptions and patronage and taxpayer money.  The media has been an arm of the administration and has been vicious in its attacks on the backlash we have now.  When we are told that the administration had to provide guns to Mexican drug cartels because the NRA would not acquiesced to gun control we cannot expect fair reporting.

President Obama has enacted a “Dream Act” by executive order.  The “Dream Act” rejected by congress would have allowed illegal aliens under some circumstances to go to college and join the military.  This could ultimately lead to amnesty.  At the recent immigration attorney meeting we were told that this executive order only required them to prioritize deportation cases.  This means that the deportation case of an illegal (or legal) alien who has committed crimes in the United States will take priority over deportation of illegal aliens whose only crime was illegal entry.  The immigration services insist that they have always done this and the order will have no effect on their procedures.  So, why would the administration issue an order to do something that is already being done?  One might suspect ignorance.  It is wisely written that one should never attribute government action to malice when it can be explained by stupidity.  I believe that it is somewhere in between.  This order has been widely reported in the Hispanic community as amnesty.  The administration had to know this would be the result, and their would be a backlash against it elsewhere.  The administration would not have grabbed this nettle without a reason.  Its reason is to prevent the Republicans from getting 40% of the Hispanic vote in 2012.  Assuming that President Obama will get nearly all of the African American vote (albeit without the previous enthusiasm) and 60%+ of the Hispanic vote and the labor vote he could win.  He is out to buy the necessary blocks of votes.

The left has demanded attacks on the Tea Party movement in the most abusive terms.  There is a video game entitled “Tea Party Zombies Must Die” and it includes Sarah Palin, Fox News reporters and others as some of the zombies.  When asked if this does not violate the “civility” proposed in the wake of the Tucson murders the left excuses itself by blaming the Tea Party for disruptions of town hall meetings put on by congressmen.  Those disruptions consisted of taxpayers demanding answers of congressmen who did not seem to believe that they are accountable.  These congressmen had just shoveled obscene amounts of money to questionable projects.  They had bailed out failed private companies.  Money given to private companies had formally been disguised as tax breaks or other polite fictions.  Now they rub this theft in our faces.  We are entitled to answers, very polite, very abject answers.  I grant that some actions of the Tea Party are naïve.  A new movement is entitled to some mistakes.

I was consulted by a police sergeant who was writing department policy on dealing with open carry advocates.  Such advocates openly carry firearms in public.  The web site for this movement states that if they do not exercise this right, it will be lost.  I have also heard the rationale that by openly carrying they make people more comfortable about civilians with guns.  The problem is that many people do not react as expected.  People have been conditioned to believe that the only purpose for carrying guns is to commit mass murder.  They call the police with hysterical “man with a gun” reports and the police must do something.  Their first question on arrival is to ask the advocate’s name.  From the videos I have seen and other accounts the advocate then demands to know if he is required to give his name, is he under arrest, is he free to go etc.  Under an old Supreme Court decision, one is not required to give his name to an officer.  Under another decision one is required to give a name if being investigated.  But, why make everything an argument?  If a citizen makes a police officer’s job difficult, the officer is likely to make the citizen’s day difficult.  Worse, refusing to give a name is counter-productive.  Instead of giving an impression of gun owners being reliable they give an impression of being jerks.

A pistol instructor recently wrote that the majority of mechanical failures on his range were from 1911A1’s.  I find this hard to understand.  The 1911 has enjoyed a reputation for reliability for a century.  Elite police and military organizations carry 1911’s.  When a pistol jams I always check the magazine.  People do not clean magazines and this leads to problems.  Feed lips crack and bend and this causes other problems.  In the case of this instructor I suspect that the mechanical failures are products of the many gunsmiths meddling with the design.  Tight tolerances are the enemy of combat handguns, which need to be a little loose to function reliably.  There are also persons who fail to lock their wrist, which causes numerous failures.  Perhaps John Browning’s great legacy is an expert’s pistol and newer models are user-friendly.  Still, I have only had two occasions when a 1911 failed.  Both were due to a weak recoil spring which did not close the slide after recoil.  A tap on the rear of the slide sent it into battery, but when this malfunction starts the spring must be replaced without delay.  My father laughed at WW II shows in which 1911 pistols were used.  He had been issued one and said it was hopelessly inaccurate.  I believe that he was a victim of poor instruction.  He was a fighter pilot and his training stressed avoiding the need for a pistol fight.  One Colt collector obtained a number of WW II vintage 1911’s and found they shot as accurately as the man behind them.  This year is the anniversary of the 1911 pistol and there is a rule that all gun commentators must write an awe-struck article about the Great Combat Handgun; this is mine.

Star columnist Mary Sanchez cheerfully predicts that the British riots will come here but will be worse because we have guns.  She cites the Rodney King riots which saw about 50 dead.  She does not differentiate between people burned to death or shot, or shot by police or in self-defense.  The British riots saw four dead, all appear to have been persons killed by rioters.

The WMSA Board had a brief discussion over the utility of letters to the editor over electronic postings on web, tweet or facebook.  I see no reason not to do both, or whatever feels most comfortable.  I have a facebook and tweet account courtesy of a temporary clerk who insisted that I needed them.  I probably do need them, so I have them, what I do not have is the knowledge of how to use them.  One thing at a time.

Larry wants me to teach Americanism to immigrants, but only so I can suffer the travails of a teacher as he does.

We shall overcome.

Liberty Notes – October  2011

K. L. Jamison

It is a good day for Liberty.

I watched a documentary called “No Tomorrow.”  It concerned the murder of a young woman and the sentencing of her killer.  The young woman had previously been the subject of a documentary lauding her success at graduating from the California foster care system, from high school, and obtaining multiple scholarships to college.  Any one of these appears to be rare and all three were cause for a documentary.  The young lady appears to have known her killer, a gang member, and perhaps she had other failings, but was entitled to the accolades.  The murderer killed two gang members, and a week later killed the young lady because she could connect him to the murders.  Her documentary was used in the sentencing phase of the trial and the jury came back with the death penalty.  The makers of this documentary were in agony, not over the murder of the young lady, but because they had done the original documentary which was used in a death penalty case.  They clearly wanted to rush out and do a documentary against the death penalty and excusing the killer.  This documentary is as close as they could get.  It shows that murderers in California spend decades on death row and are more likely to die of old age than lethal injection.  They spend these decades in tiny cells with an hour for recreation, in handcuffs, and no human contact at all.  I would prefer death, but some people have lower standards.  The film is of interest to lawyers for its discussion of issues involving humanizing victims and defendants.  It has some general discussion of the death penalty which is of interest.  I find it fascinating that the film crew were more upset at being a small part of a death penalty prosecution than they were at the murder of a young woman who fought her way to a future.

In the Place of Justice is an autobiography which begins with a murder and traces the killer’s forty years in the Louisiana penal system.  The killer had an unpleasant home life, but had a reasonably promising job in 1962 when the man suddenly decided that life would improve if he robbed a bank.  He planned it for fifteen minutes, but banks had spent the better part of a century planning not to be robbed and like many new entrepreneurs he failed.  He took hostages and tried to escape.  The hostages thought escape was a good idea and tried it themselves.  He began shooting and killed a female teller.  As a Black man who killed a White woman in 1962 rural Louisiana he was lucky to make it to the penitentiary.  His death penalty was erased when the US Supreme Court found the death penalty system unconstitutional.  His sentence was converted to life, which in Louisiana at that time meant 12 and a half years; a fact he mentioned repeatedly in the book recording his next forty years in prison.  Each time he mentioned this injustice, it occurred to me that the woman is still dead.  He blames the injustice on racism, and this can never be discounted.  I believe that the greater reason is that the guy had a talent for writing.  He wrote for publications in and out of the prison system coldly analyzing the system, prisoners, guards and staff.  This did not make him entirely popular with any of these groups.  However his cause was taken up and his lawyers found defects in his original trial.  The state had to re-try him and they really hate that.  It took several trials before he was well and truly convicted and his continued incarceration was likely simple revenge.  He said that the prosecution witnesses “improved” their testimony and there had been some monkey business with the autopsy.  These things happen.  He was paroled in 2002; his victim was still dead.  In his 40 years incarceration the author met many other killers.  He had ready excuses for all but one.  He interviewed the state executioner and found him decidedly odd.  The interview took place in the presence of the warden.  The executioner had executed a number of prisoners and said that he had not a single second thought about it.  He said that if his own son were condemned to death that he would administer the lethal injection.  My excuse for the executioner is that he may have been posturing in front of an inmate, and was saying what he thought his boss wanted to hear.  It came off decidedly odd, at least as recorded by the author.  Once the reader understands the prejudices of the author this is an important book on the corrections system.  The author refers to himself as the most rehabilitated man in the corrections system.  He gives himself too little credit.  He rehabilitated himself.  This is no small feat.

I have spent nearly half my column this issue on book reviews.  But this fulfills this column’s purpose of giving you every stray thought that crosses my mind.  If I did not it might lead to people thinking for themselves.

Open carry is now illegal in California.  The open carry movement began in order to get people used to seeing citizens with guns.  They made no trouble doing so.  But the political reaction was not as expected.  It is all very well to say that the law is unconstitutional, but now there is an additional case which must be fought.  We have seen this in Missouri where towns, which had no interest in gun laws, felt constrained to do “something” because of open carry.  I do not reject open carry as a tactic, but it has to be thought out first.  Many of the open carry people refuse to give responding police officers their names; it is their right.  However, I suggest that we stick to one right at a time.  Refusing to give a name seems suspicious to the police and that is not helpful.

In following the international weather reports I find that Iraq sees temperatures constantly topping 100 degrees 5 months out of the year.  This may account for the short tempers.

I frequently receive calls from persons who committed some crime in their youth but received a “Suspended Imposition of Sentence” (SIS).  This is not a conviction in Missouri.  Since it is not a conviction it does not prevent one from owing or buying guns.  However, for some time I received reports that people with an SIS had been denied by NICS.  The Missouri Attorney General had told NICS, with no written opinion that an SIS prohibited ownership of guns.  This opinion could not survive the light of day so we pestered our legislators to demand an opinion on the subject.  The Attorney General’s Office produced a letter stating that an SIS is not a conviction.  Now the NICS has its mind right.  However, the License To Carry law does not speak of convictions.  It says that one cannot have an LTC if he “pled guilty or was found guilty” of a felony.  To get an SIS one must plead guilty.  With an SIS one can own guns not get an LTC.  It does not matter how long ago or what the circumstances.  There is no Missouri law under which we can expunge old convictions.  Other states have such laws; we do not.  We have work to do.

The NRA convention will be in St. Louis next April 13-15.  We have some legislation to pass by then.  The Missouri grass roots groups have hired a professional lobbyist to promote our interests in Jefferson City.  This was not lightly undertaken.  He is a true believer and I trust him.  The fact that we have a professional on the ground at all times gives us more credibility.

There is a rumor that anti-gun elements are buying up American gun companies.  There is no truth to this rumor.

A number of churches have asked how to legally post armed guards.  Churches are perceived as soft targets and are therefore popular targets.  The governing body of the church can authorize specific persons in writing to carry concealed inside the church.  The churches generally detail deacons for this purpose.

We shall overcome.

Liberty Notes – November  2011

K. L. Jamison

It is a good day for Liberty.

I keep hearing that certain wars were the, ”Wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time.”  I wonder at the criteria used.  Dad rarely spoke about WW II, but he never said it was the best war in the best place at the perfect time.

A recent case from the Southern District Court of Appeals found that a violation of the gun safety rules was sufficient to support a conviction for manslaughter.  It also supports Armed Criminal Action, which is a mandatory three years in prison, no probation, no parole.  In this case the man will not only feel sorry for his fatal mistake, he will feel sorry in prison.  Keep your gun pointed in a safe direction.

The “Fast and Furious” scandal grows.  The Obama administration allowed guns to be smuggled from US dealers to the Mexican drug cartels.  The dealers (contrary to reputation) complained to the BATF that they were being required to sell to bad guys, but were told to continue making the sales.  The Obama administration then stated it was shocked, shocked, to discover that American guns were in Mexico.  We were then told that we must give up some of our rights because of these guns.  Administration officials denied knowing about the program, but e-mails and other record prove they were lying.  Administration apologists claim that the program had to send guns to Mexico because we would not give up our rights.  They expect that we are stupid enough to buy the argument.  We can only imagine the stunts they will pull if they are re-elected.

The Missouri gun groups have not endorsed a Presidential candidate as of this date.  The Republican candidates have all staked out a pro-gun position; some have a better history with us than others.  No matter which one gets the nomination, we shall have to make sure he or she is elected.  The leader in the polls continues to shift.  Mitt Romney, always in the top two or three places in each poll has some bad history with us.  Four years ago the Gun Owners Action League in Massachusetts wrote that much of this history was due to Massachusetts politics.  It was not a ringing endorsement, but an indication that we can work with him as president.  The worst Republican could not do us the harm in a first term that Obama would do in a second.

The Kansas City Star, a daily tabloid, printed a front page story claiming that felons were getting their gun rights back and committing crimes.  The story was a near hysterical screed cribbed from the New York Times.  In Missouri there is no expungement statute.  There are only two ways to clear a record; get a pardon from the governor, an expensive, slow and uncertain process or if the DNA test comes back proving absolute innocence.  In the case of absolute innocence the Department of Public Safety always contests these cases.  In Kansas there is a possibility of expungement for some cases, but a court appearance is required.  This screed has appeared in newspapers across the country.  Curious timing.  The “Fast and Furious” scandal is finally penetrating the media blackout, and this appears to be cover for the anti-gun side.

We must have people respond to anti-gun articles in newspapers, radio or the internet.  Every little bit helps.  We cannot allow the public much less the politicians to believe that we shall let these things slide.

The venerable Gun Week magazine will convert to a monthly, supplemented by a web site.  We shall all be sorry to see it go.  For decades it has been timely, reliable and informative.

A nationwide reciprocity bill has overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives.  It is expected to die in the Senate.  As a practical matter, we must assume that some representatives voted for it because it was expected to die in the senate.  The bill has some problems from our standpoint.  It is a start and we must start somewhere.  The reaction from the other side has been hysterical even by the standards of persons who print books like, “Every Handgun is Aimed at You.”  The benefit of bills such as this, even if they are expected to die in the senate, is that they tend to crowd out anti-gun bills.  Given the hysteria it has drawn, we may see a backlash, but we cannot stop moving forward.

We have finished shooting the second edition of the DVD “Missouri Concealed Carry and Self-Defense Law.”  It took eleven hours to shoot and is expected to be a three-hour DVD.  Editing and special effects to make me look smart are in progress and it will be available for sale by the first week in December.  Contact www.LearnToCarryProductions.com to order.

Certain parents are suspicious of inoculations for measles and have turned to the internet to purchase spit from infected children which they use in an attempt to give their children measles and thus an immunity to the disease later in life.  As I understand the story, they are suspicious of Food and Drug Administration approved and medically accepted inoculations but will buy spit on the internet from someone they do not know and could not find if they had to.  If their kid does not get measles and gets food poisoning instead what is the recourse?  When I was a child I was told not to take candy from strangers and these people are buying strange spit for their children.

There is a discount tobacco store three quarters of a mile south of me, and another a tenth of a mile north of me.  This is good; a person should not have to drive too far to get cancer.  They also have pipe cleaners which I find essential for cleaning my AR-15.

A couple of our members have donated belly-button protectors towards our next drawing.  They were clearly designed as belt buckles but I am looking at them and they are enormous.  They will prevent alien probes of your belly-button and any other belly-button related atrocities.  We will set up a new drawing just as soon as we have a firearm as the big prize.

“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.”  Attributed to Plato.  If we don’t vote, it makes it easy for the opposition to steal the election.  There is no good reason for making it easy for the opposition.

I have seen another defendant appear in court wearing a T-Shirt featuring Al Pachino’s psychotic drug dealer character from the movie “Scarface” (“Say hello to my little friend!”)  The fool was pleading guilty to a drug offence and was clearly mystified that the judge was giving him a hard time.  Appearances mean more than they should.  People know that we are gun nuts.  We are always on display and must behave accordingly.  Some of the more provocative slogans may draw a smile from our people, but not the people we are trying to convince.  They may have a very opposite reaction.  We must consider the reactions of outsiders to our buttons and bumper stickers.  We must even consider their reaction to showing up in camouflage.  People react better to similar people.  We do not have to look like liberal yuppies, but we cannot be too far off the average if we expect people to listen to us.

We shall overcome.

Liberty Notes – December  2011

K. L. Jamison

It is a good day for Liberty.

An early December poll finds that 41% of the population believes that Obama should be re-elected.  Given his courting of special interest and demographic groups, and a certain malaise among conservatives over our leading choices, he could win.  I also see that Ron Paul is leaving open the possibility of a third-party race.  This will bleed votes mostly from the Republican candidate.  Should it do so in certain key states, it will hand the election to Obama.  We cannot forget that the only reason that George W. Bush won in 2000 is because Ralph Nader bled votes from Gore.  We cannot forget that Justices Roberts and Alito were appointed to the US Supreme Court by President George W. Bush.  We would not have the Heller or MacDonald victories without their votes.  Justice Alito wrote the MacDonald decision.  George W. Bush was not a huge Second Amendment supporter.  He said that he would sign a renewal of the assault weapons ban if it came to his desk.  His support lay in ensuring that it never did.  Yet his judicial appointments were conservative and that saved us.  Voting for a third party to teach the major parties a lesson will give the election to Obama and thus give us at least one new Obama Supreme Court Justice.  This will end our run of successful cases, and lower courts will take note and their ruling will reflect the change.  I do not believe that this is the year for ideological purity.

Many have said that they will no longer hold their nose and vote for the lesser of two evils.  In the past WMSA has endorsed the Libertarian candidate, but desperate times call for desperate measures.  When hitler invaded the Soviet Union Winston Churchill was criticized for announcing his support for stalin.  His famous reply was that “If hitler invaded hell, I would stand up in the House of Commons and put in at least a good word for the devil.”  We have to be able to survive just a little longer.  This may mean embracing a lesser evil, but it is a means to an end, not an end in itself.

I know that I am supposed to capitalize proper names, but these are not proper persons.

A WMSA Board Member told President-for-Life SHEILA that he would be unable to attend a board meeting.  She “harrumphed” him.  I don’t know what that means and am afraid to find out.

I have been taking my Goddaughter back and forth to high school and I have determined that Social Security is doomed.  I now disregard all plans for its salvation because the next generation is stupid.  Students step directly in front of cars, even when not distracted by electronic devices.  If they are doomed to be laid up in hospitals from traffic accidents they will not be paying into the system.  I shall never get that wheel chair with a motor.  They will doubtless all be getting Social Security Disability payments; stupid is a disability.  In the immortal words of John Wayne, “Life is hard.  Its even harder when you’re stupid.”

The Postal Service claims a right to ban guns in parking lots around post offices.  A Louisiana man was convicted of violating this regulation.  I must pause to remind everyone that federal regulations have the force of law.  This is troublesome enough, but the postal regulation goes beyond the federal law, which only applies to federal buildings.  The defendant had a gun in his car, not on his person.  He was an employee of the post office and the court’s decision stated that the employee paring lot was a “sensitive area” because mail was loaded in the vicinity.  There may be relief in sight.  A civil suit has been filed by the Mountain States Legal Foundation to strike down the postal regulation on Second Amendment grounds.  For twenty years I have told people that if they wanted to argue with the Postal Service on this point they needed to get a 55 gallon drum, stuff it full of $100 bills, then wheel the barrel into my office.  Then we would talk, until then it is just talk.  The Mountain States Legal Foundation can accept contributions in a more convenient form, and give a tax deduction for doing so; how bad can that be?   Contact Mountain States Legal Foundation, 2596 South Lewis Way, Lakewood, CO 80227 www.mountainstateslegal.org.

New Jersey has suffered an explosion in its bear population.  The situation was so severe that people had found bears in their homes.  The state conservation department determined that the solution was a bear hunt.  Anti-hunting activists went to court to argue that the judge should not be misled by experts in game management.  They believe that hunting is bad, that hunters are bad and must not be allowed.  They succeeded in extending the period in which people had confrontations with bears.  When bear season opened these same nitwits were on hand to claim that hunting does “not reduce the bear population.”  The state reported that 200 bears were killed that first day.  News media showed dead bears at check-in stations.  Simple subtraction would indicate that hunting had reduced the bear population but these nitwits work on emotion, not facts.  They think of bears as Winnie the Pooh and Disney cartoons.  There is a vast difference between entertainment and reality which they just cannot grasp.

A contributor to an internet discussion group advocated carrying concealed in defiance of a property owner’s sign.  He sneered that since it was concealed they would never find out, and if they did, it was only an infraction at worst.  I told him that the number of concealed cases I saw indicated that concealed weapons are discovered.  I suggested that the property owners he defied might get angry even only if this public forum was published somewhere.  Property owners might then petition the legislature to make concealed carry in violation of a sign a felony.  I asked if he would walk the halls of the legislature to convince them not to make it a felony.  I received a snippy reply that he would get some other lawyer to advise him, perhaps, I thought, one with a case of testosterone poisoning equal to his own.

I strongly believe that property owners who post such foolish signs become responsible for the safety of all persons who are thus disarmed.  They are financially responsible for injuries.  We do not have a case on this point yet, but we will.  We are trying to pass a statute to establish this principle so that someone does not have to suffer because some property owner believes that guns can read, or that people who violate the law will obey signs.

It has been a reasonably good year.  It has not been universally good, but there have been some successes.  An anti-gun appointee for a federal judgeship was denied the seat when the Senate refused to consent to his appointment.  A provision was slipped into a funding bill which prevents the federal government from denying importation of certain self-defense shotguns.  It does not overturn the “sporting use” test; it is only a start.  The anti-gun efforts of the administration have been placed on the defensive by the “Fast and Furious” gunwalking hearings in congress.  There is a great deal more to be done.  We have an election next year and that will take much of our time, and determine the success for years to come.  We have a Gun Rights Rally Day in Jefferson City on 18 April, 2012.  That will help us build successes for next year and I hope to see you there.

I received a Christmas card from President-For-Life SHEILA.  It said, “Have a Merry Christmas, I know where you live.”  Taking no chances I ran right out and had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for good measure.

We shall overcome