“After 45 years in law enforcement, I’ve had a lot more calls where a gun was misused, obtained by a child, used in the heat of a domestic dispute — a lot more of those calls than of a homeowner defending themselves. When you balance it all out, the minuses of having a gun, on the precept that you’re going to defend yourself, outweigh the pluses.” That’s how Craig Steckler [above] sees it. The recently retired Fremont, CA police chief and president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police now goes about his business unarmed, presumably. While handing ammo to the antis. Let’s shake the bushes and see who else falls out . . .

“Today, ‘nut country’ isn’t so much a place as it is a state of mind, and its population has been steadily on the rise amid the intensifying debate over gun control.” [Note: Given all this talk about nuts, I ripped the above pic from an ad for testosterone supplements on the msnbc web page.]

New York Times coverage of California Town Hall meeting on civilian disarmament previews the media memes to come: gun rights advocates are rude, stupid, aggressive and nuts. And they’re lots of ’em.

“The couple’s new political action committee has already received a pledge of more than $1 million in donations from Texas attorney and gun owner Steve Mostyn and his wife, Amber. Mostyn is treasurer of the new political action committee.” Kelly, Giffords make common-sense plea for gun control usatoday.com

Well that explains CT Senator Meyer’s bill #122. Loaded Revolutionary War-Era Cannon Found In Central Park newyork.cbslocal.com

Walmart calls them “modern sporting rifles.” business.time.com

Gun-savvy Washington Post opinionator Kathleen Parker calls assault weapons ban and magazine capacity limits “hardly draconian.” Her father would not be pleased.

Plain speaking on the plains: “I think [campus carry] is a good thing, because anybody should be able to carry a gun anywhere.” Universities oppose bill allowing guns on campus sfgate.com

Time to forgive Ruger? They do have the coolest contact-your-Congressman app in the history of the Internet, ever.

The civilian disarmament folk keep claiming that 40 percent of firearms sales go through gun shows. The only study on the topic: a 1997 Department of Justice study (page five).

66%  Through a dealer (Gun shop, Pawn shop, and other dealers)
13%  Friend or acquaintance (includes gifts, purchase, theft…)
12%  Member of the family (includes gifts, purchase, theft…)
4%  Gun show or flea market (Dealers sell at gun shows)
3%  “Through the mail”  (Requires delivery through a licensed dealer)
3%  Other

January 12, 2013 9:19:12 AM EST, Richmond VA. Gun Show: “I have been in line for half an hour. The line wraps around the parking lot which is completely filled. Local police directed people to park at a church across the street.”

Not everyone’s a Dick’s.

Will it really come to this? Eastern Kentucky sheriff says he will not enforce gun laws he considers unconstitutional kentucky.com

It sucks to be me. Actually, maybe not. Speaking of assassinations . . .

“Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is convinced that a lone gunman wasn’t solely responsible for the assassination of his uncle, President John F. Kennedy, and said his father believed the Warren Commission report was a ‘shoddy piece of craftsmanship.'” True story: lots of passive construction. dailymail.co.uk

Small “affordable” thermal imaging from ATK: $3995.

The funniest thing I’ve read all week (’cause Dan’s been off-line): “Mexico’s newly named ambassador to the United States says he hopes the U.S. imposes new gun-control laws that will help reduce violence in Mexico.” miamiherald.com

OK, this is pretty good too: “‘Officers often end up arresting the children they are there to protect,’ said Judith Browne Dianis, co-director of The Advancement Project, which has worked for years to reduce the number of students arrested at school.” orlandosentinel.com

And this:

God knows we could all use a laugh right now.

76 Responses to Daily Digest: On the Plus Side?

  1. Of course that cop only responded to negative firearms uses, he was a cop in Commifornia, where gangs own the streets and free men run scared.

    • You know it’s not really like that, right?

      Don’t get me wrong, there are many things that need improving. Widespread CCW would do wonders to encourage gang types to keep the violence focused on other criminals instead of spilling over into burglary and strong-arm robbery.

      Even so, every day ~8m people go about their business in and around the Bay Area without getting slaughtered by gangs. It’s not exactly “Hobo With A Shotgun” around here, and I’d like to keep it that way.

        • Not to mention the mother who was shot in the head (fatally) while walking her kids to school a few years back.

      • it depends where you live. in la, it is gang run. in a more rural area a hour and a half from la is a lot of good ole (legal) gun owners.

      • I had to laugh: Hobos never had shotguns! (Although I’m on a good shotgun ‘like a hobo on a hotdog.’ The International Assoc. of Police Chiefs has been against civilians with effective defensive guns forever, at least thirty years, maybe longer. That’s why they call it “International(e)” I suppose. From another angle this seems true to me: Big-city LEO’s view CCW as competition, if it makes people either feel or be safer without more staffing. Rural and low-density suburban LEO’s seem (anecdotally) to see the utter necessity in effective self-defense given the distances involved between trouble and a cop. We have more scientific methods to determine the realities than asking Steckler. Didn’t San Francisco recently lose a Chief for committing a crime? Threats against ex or such? Or was that a DA?

        • All Rutger hauer movies are horrible/awsome. “Split Second” “Blind Fury” even “Bladerunner”. Terrible movies that I love to watch. “Flesh and Blood”.

        • Roping, don’t pay to see it. I only watched it (well, parts of it) because it showed up on Netflix.

          Pretty sure the main reason to watch Hobo With A Shotgun all the way through is so you can lord that achievement over people with better taste and shorter attention spans.

        • It’s worse than you think. The person in qustion is the new (elected) sheriff and former Board of Supervisors member Ross Mirikami . He and his wife had a spat and he grabbed her arm, leaving bruises. He was prosecuted and during the pendency of proceedings was required to relinquish his three handguns. (He copped a plea to misdemeanor false imprisonment that preserved his right to keep firearms.) The Mayor has been after him ever since to get him fired. And despite owning firearms, he was as adamant against issuing CCWs as his predecessor. Which is kind of interesting in that the Sheriff is a civilian not a LEO and is not authorize to carry a gun-unless he issues himself a CCW.

    • You see a lot of police chief’s who speak out on behalf of the anti-gun/anti-CCW crowd. I figure this comes from a life spent being part of a group referred to as ____’s Finest (NY’s Finest, LA’s Finest, etc). It starts to sink in that because they have a badge they are just better then we are. They can have guns, we can’t. They are trustworthy, we are not. It is a reflection of the Us vs. Them mentality that built up in law enforcement.

      This is the same reason that so many celebs and politicians are anti-gun. A lifetime of having the cameras in their faces, being asked their opinions, they just begin to believe they are better. They are the elite, otherwise why do we look up to them? They they can protect themselves with guns. The rest of us peasants, not so much.

      • I do think there’s a lot to be said for that theory, and I think that’s at least part of it.

        I don’t necessarily buy that they see us as competition for their jobs. I’ve known far too many LEOs personally for that to fit the psych profile. They’re more than happy to show up and take custody of a perp instead of calling for a perimeter and jumping over fences.

        What I do think is that as leadership-track LEOs move up in management, they are under constant pressure to simplify their view of the world so they are able to give reasonably unambiguous, comprehensible direction. I’ve found this to be true in law enforcement, the military, civil service, and the corporate world.

        By the time you’ve spent some time as police chief of a decent-sized city (over 150-200K residents), especially in an anti-gun-rights environment like urban CA, you’ve simplified your views considerably. Your perspective on guns in the community is now “bad guys use guns, cops have them to stop bad guys, nobody else should be using them”. Worse, you’re expected to reflect the “values of your community” which in CA means not scaring the natives.

        People would get the vapors and likely lose their damn minds if we got a strongly pro-2A police chief here in Fremont. The sort of statement we applaud on TTAG, wherein we are encouraged by LEO leadership to arm ourselves and get training, would likely cost an urban CA police chief his job. He or she would be seen as abdicating their duty to defend the public so they don’t have to worry their wooly little heads about such scary things.

        • I am in suburban st louis and our police chief for the county (weird he is not a sheriff) just said he supports armed teachers. This is the same guy who does not charge for ccw renewals.

        • I am in suburban st louis and our police chief for the county (weird he is not a sheriff) just said he supports armed teachers in schools. This is the same guy who does not charge for ccw renewals.

  2. Steckler is, unsurprisingly, far more administrator than cop. He is also grossly exaggerating his experience by ignoring the upswing in gang-related crime in this part of the Bay Area over the last few years of his tenure. Police services in Fremont have been cut to minimal levels, and yet he is against self protection by city residents.

    He served in a city where violent crime hasn’t been a serious issue until recent years, when the economic downturn started to put pressure not just on Fremont’s lower income residents, but also those in nearby cities who travel to Fremont to commit crime. Fremont doesn’t have many murders, but violent crime and strong-arm theft are on the rise.

    He is not a bad guy, but he is mistaking the good fortune of having worked in Fremont during an era of peaceful prosperity, for that being how it always will be, everywhere.

    Source: I live in Fremont and know most of the local politicians. I’m going to violate OpSec by sharing this, but it’s already known that I live in Alameda County.

    • One thing to add: the message that went out from Fremont PD post Newtown was infuriating, and it totally pandered to gun terror among the uninformed and sheltered CA natives. There was not a single element of the strategy outlined in their message that did ANYTHING to improve security in Fremont schools.

      I just don’t understand how PD leaders can oppose guns in the schools when, in fact, they are the ones stationing armed officers at the schools. It makes me all head-explody. Even my kids have commented on this glaring hypocrisy.

        • I would have respected them more if they had been that clear. The message was very much against ALL guns in schools, as if the SROs at our high schools went unarmed.

          But yes, I agree with your assessment of PD leadership’s position. Funny thing is that my last interaction with a patrol officer included swapping recommendations on gear. Working LEOs (as opposed to staff) in CA, like many places, tend to be friendly with gun owners once they assess that you’re not a nutcase.

        • Same experience: I made the bad decision to hit the gas to get ahead of six cars before a lane merge. The lead car was, of all things, a PA State Trooper. Ouch. Two miles of construction walls, then the flashing lights go on. An inquisition. “Oh, so what’ve you got with you that you were shooting?” An hour of chat about the G36 rifle, lots of good advice from him, and on my way. It was both pleasant and useful chat.

        • In this instance it was a stolen UPS package containing a pair of 5.11 boots, and when the officer assigned to my case stopped by we got into a discussion about tactical/duty boots and the merits of various brands. As friendly as he was, I was carefully noncommittal as to the number and type of firearms I owned.

          We also had a nice discussion about the merits of .45 vs .40 for primary sidearms, wherein I learned that Fremont had started allowing officers to buy and carry the major-caliber sidearm that worked best for them. 🙂

      • I must have been thinking it so loud that you heard me.

        Though really, it’s worse: he was a reasonably competent cop who went full-retard administrator, and now he’s a cop politician.

  3. Imagine that, not a lot of calls after someone defended themselves… let’s slip inside a DGU persons’ head for a moment.

    “Let’s see, I pulled my gun and the bad guy split, now if I call the (California) authorities are they going to take my report, or take my firearm and charge me with brandishing or something else….”

    • I wish I could tell you that you’re wrong — but you nailed it exactly.

      Gun ownership isn’t terribly pervasive in Fremont to start with, not by the standards of comparably sized cities elsewhere in the US. Guns are scary here not because they are seen as inherently evil, but because there is no normalization effect from knowing people who are safe, responsible shooters. When your exposure to guns consists of action movies and crime reports of gangbanger violence, you get an unbalanced viewpoint.

      Personally, I have no issue with calling the cops. But I can sure as heck see many if not most gun owners in the Bay Area thinking REAL hard before calling the cops after a no-shoot/crime-prevented DGU.

      • Alpha, you describe a phenomena, “no normalization,” which has affected every big east coast city’s high-end suburbs for a decade or more now. Previously occupied by people with a background which made shooting normal (skeet, trap, upland birds) the last wave contains many academically successful children of urban families with no shooting-as-recreation heritage. I’m surrounded by that west of Philadelphia. It was very different in the ’50’s and 60’s. I should say that they’re picking it up. Not going to become an AR crowd, though. A revolver or pistol. A shotgun perhaps, but not a pump.

        • You might be surprised about whether there’s hope for future shooters.

          For all the wailing about realistic shooting games like Call Of Duty, the popularity of those games has been a significant factor in getting the under-40 crowd to the range. For example, I have lost track of the number of younger Asian folks I’ve seen at the outdoor ranges with ARs, AKs, and various GSG .22LR facsimiles of tacticool firearms, and when I chat with them the recurring theme for how they got interested was… wait for it… playing COD type games.

          These are typically US university educated, middle-class folks whose parents own, at most, a dusty home defense pistol or shotgun. That also describes the 6-10 newbies I take shooting (yes, here in the Bay Area) in a typical year, and that doesn’t even include Boy Scout programs. Oh, yes, there is definitely hope for the future of shooting sports beyond the over-and-under crowd.

  4. Wow, Ruger’s app is The Easy Button for writing your reps on pro-gun support. Complete 180 from the days of Evil Bill Ruger Sr. Time to go clean my Ruger SR-556.

  5. “Mexico’s newly named ambassador to the United States says he hopes the U.S. imposes new gun-control laws that will help reduce violence in Mexico.” miamiherald.com

    Maybe Mexico’s new ambassador ought to consider that their resident narco-terrorist cartels get their vast funding from having a monopoly on selling drugs in the US, and that if they want to eliminate that monopoly, they ought to encourage more US states to follow WA and CO in legalizing and regulating the sale of legal marijuana, the most popular illicit narcotic in the US.

    No more monopoly = no more money = cartel’s power to inflict violence drastically reduced.

    • Maybe the embassador should launch an investigation on Fast & Furious and blame the people in the US who really are responsible for violence in Mexico?

      • F&F was wrong, and at the very least the jackholes running that show should lose their jobs and be barred from Federal service.

        That said… Really? You think all those problems in Mexico are because we supplied a couple thousand rifles? Add this up:

        + Drug prohibition in the US (because that totally works)
        + Corrupt governance for decades in Mexico
        + Corrupt local, federal, and military law enforcement
        + Disarmed and defenseless citizens of Mexico

        I submit that the relatively small number of guns supplied by F&F did fsck-all to make things measurably worse overall, because Mexico was already a complete disaster.

        I further submit that the death of Brian Terry, while tragic and outrageous, is EXACTLY the sort of “one death is too many” crap that we are facing from the anti-2A-rights forces today.

        Frankly, I think we all would have been cheering if the US government had instead put the CIA to good use supplying M9 pistols, M4-pattern AR15s, and all the trimmings to the disarmed populace being slaughtered by the cartels. Even better if we denied the cartels oxygen by legalizing and regulating marijuana using the same system that we already use for liquor.

        Never mind that last, I’m probably being overly optimistic. The TTAG crowd would probably find some other reason to be completely outraged about such a program.

        • “You think all those problems in Mexico are because we supplied a couple thousand rifles?”

          No, of course not. I dont soley blame F&F for violence in Mexico. Im just saying that before Mexico blames US citizens for it, they should look at our government.

          Edit to add: I see my original message wasnt very clear. Its very hard for me to make any long or descriptive messages. I dont know why but this site is very very difficult for me to access or comment on via mobile. Thats why my messages are usually short and vaugue and my responses rare.

          But yea, I dont blame the US for all of Mexicos violence at all. I just think if we are at all to blame, Mexico is looking at the wrong people in our country

        • Heh. You think reading and commenting are bad, try using the “edit comment” function while you’re on an iPad. It’s a tragedy.

  6. Also, it would be absolutely hilarious, in a horrifying, apocalyptic, god I hope we never get to that point kind of way, if, instead of using semi-automatic, “easily available”, American bought guns, the cartels started using automatic weapons that we all know they could bring into this country without even trying all that hard.

    • You’re making the unfounded assumption that they’re not already smuggling in full auto weapons.

      They just haven’t used them in a high profile incident or sold them to any other groups in the US yet.

  7. That embarrassment to the US from Mexico should do stand up. He’s F@Ç*ing funny. He’s in serious need of a lobotomy.

  8. Wow. Wish I’d gone to the gun show. No, wish I’d had the cash to. That’s pretty impressive, but I’ve been there before.

  9. I love the so-called ‘gun owners’ in that NY Times article about the meeting in Santa Rosa CA who parrot the antigunners anti NRA talking points……I bet those two weren’t even gun owners….

  10. Some notes:

    * If the young lady in the second photo is what my adblocker has been “protecting” me from, perhaps it’s time to turn it off.

    * From the article about the California Town Hall meeting, I pull this exchange:
    “Look, I have 30 seconds. I’ll do what I want, O.K.? You work for me; I pay your salary,” said one gun rights supporter to cries of “yeah!” from the audience as he stood before the congressman.

    “I’ll give you a buck and a half and pay you back right now,” the congressman told the man.
    The article described it as the congressman “defusing” a “tense situation.” I describe it as “I’m going to do my level best to see you out of office, you arrogant sonofabitch.”

    * The NYPD’s response to unloading the loaded Revolutionary War cannon found in Central Park is full of win: “‘We silenced British cannon fire in 1776 and we don’t want to hear it again in Central Park,” the NYPD said in a statement.”

    * The Ruger contact-Congress page is awesome. I’ve written emails manually, but I hit it anyway, and then emailed the link to everyone I know on our side. It’s so easy, there’s literally no excuse to not take 30 seconds and do it.

    • Matt — agree about the adblocker, but not enough to turn it off. 🙂

      Someone made a pedo comment about your avatar pic the other day. Didn’t want to mention it at the time, but I had assumed it was of your (theoretical) daughter, not someone of adult age. Just thought I’d mention that.

      • That’s an interesting observation. I don’t have children, and that’s certainly not my daughter. As I said, it was just a random picture I had laying around. I never gave more than a moment’s thought to her apparent age. Just a pretty girl.

        How about this one? I can pretty much guarantee she’s underage. Is this one more or less provocative than the other?

        Edit: Well, that was slow to update, so now I feel silly. Apparently it takes 5-10 minutes to update. Whenever it shows up… it’s a picture you may have seen already, of a girl of about 8 or 10 shooting what appears to be a 9mm subgun. Brass flying through the air and everything. Wearing a pink plaid coat with peace signs on it. Pure awesome.

        • I see it, and it rocks. Unless your sexual wiring is completely crossed up with your loud-noise-and-hot-brass wiring, I can’t see how anybody’d have a problem with that.

          Now that I think about it, though, I wouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t have some closet loud-noise-and-hot-brass fetishists around here…

        • H&K MP5, the girl is about my grand-daughter’s age. I have a .22 version (GSG-522) I’m fixing up for her to try out.
          Pic is so FOW …”Peace Through Superior Firepower” indeed…

  11. If a tiny percent of homes with guns do not secure their guns with the result that a child picks one up or a gun is misused in a domestic argument then that it is the fault and responsibility of those people. Not my problem and not going to be a reason my rights and freedoms get stolen.

    • How do you think Sandy Hook happened? Politicians say it could have been prevented, or at least the probability could have been reduced, through a complicated series of anti-gun laws.

      Reality: It could have been 100% prevented if the shooter’s mother had a gun safe that she actually used.

  12. As usual it sounds like they intend on voting on this issue with their emotions, and how they think we feel, without even checking to see how we feel. And do it really fast, while our heads are still spinning from all the talk about the fiscal cliff, their new raise, and thank God I’m not one of those that make over $400k a year, so my taxes won’t go up. (right) They can’t even vote to help bail out AIG after all of the claims from the other Sandy incident, with more money from China. And Barry is all rested up from the $40m vacation, we paid for, and he took while, while the flood victims lived out of their car, if they still had one. Over a billion $ spent on the election, with commercial after commercial, about what a sorry no count, SOB, the other guy/gal is, ‘and if I’m elected, I’ll go to Washington and vote for what is right for you.’ instead of voting for you about what is right, like leaving the Constitution and The Bill of Rights alone. I know I can say anything I want to and I’m protected by the 1A, but I also know that Everything I say can and WILL be used against me, if they don’t like what I say. The 2A says a well regulated militia is necessary for a free state, their idea is the LEO that stands between them and We the people. the right to own and bear arms shall not be infringed, as long as you only hunt, or shoot targets with it oh yeah and for defence as long as you register it or add your name to a CCW permit list, in case they decide what is OK for us to own and bear, and there is the LEO if you really need protection, because as I’ve been told the can’t really do anything unless a crime has been comitted. And it sure looks like they are conspiring to commit one, to me. They say the founding fathers had no idea there would be arms like these went they wrote the 2A but I’m sure they knew there would be leaders like these thats why they wrote it. To take them out, and I don’t think they meant at the next election, but thats my opinion. So lets let them know we will, by what ever means it takes that, they work for the US eh.

  13. I’m not sure of what to make of the notice below:

    “We have been notified by our suppliers that components for 223 ammunition are backordered 5 – 6 months.”
    http://www.rimrockammunition.com/

    I found the above statement at Rim Rock, an Oregon based manufacturer of new and one-time fired bulk ammo specializing in .223 and .308. I don’t know anything about them. I hope it is not an indication of component re-supply problems for other ammo manufacturers and other calibers.

    • There’s a pecking order in any supply chain. Apple gets first pick of LCD screens and other key components. The major ammo manufacturers get priority access to brass tube stock, lead, copper, etc. Bet you $5 it’s because the big boys have exercised their options to the max so they can be the ones meeting demand, not the little guys.

      • True, the big players with the buying clout get first shot at the goods. In this case, this company does re-manufacture 223 as well as make new bulk 223. They might be getting hit by both barrels: a dried-up supply of new materials and a difficulty getting empty fired shells to re-load since people are now increasingly picking up their spent shells to re-load themselves. I’m just throwing out some guesses.

    • One possible bright point to this situation, assuming that attempts to pass further restrictions fail of course, is that situations like this can and will give birth to new businesses and others expanding: A (re)manufacturer like the one you mention could expand into bullet or case production.

  14. Note: Link to the DOJ study is broken.

    The recently retired police chief of my city just wrote a letter to the editor expounding for more gun control & a couple more logical things. I had never heard much anti-gun rhetoric from him while he was chief, but now there’s speculation that he’s considering running for some political office.

  15. Of course the police man sees all the uses of a gun that resulted in the deaths of children. When some guy tries to mug you but then runs away because you are armed, or somebody tries to kidnap your wife but gives up when she turns out to be armed…. cops don’t get called for those instances.

    Perception is not necessarily reality.

  16. There is a now-should-be-obvious (but to many isn’t) tactic of the Progressive Left to co-opt seemingly authoritative groups that are “representative of” or “represent” their membership, but don’t. And use those co-opted groups (or at least co-opted “leadership”) to serve as props. Thus we get this clown from the International Association of Chiefs of Police; and we got co-opted AARP and AMA promoting Obamacare, and for years the ABA “vetting” judicial candidates (to make sure they’re suitably liberal).

    As for the Ruger effort — filling out electronic petitions and such is fine. But having in college interned in a U.S. Senators office, I can definitively tell you that there’s a hierarchy of impact. Personal letters are #1 — that someone took the time to compose a letter and mail it was deemed indicative of passion for the issue, and so carried much more weight that “mass produced” postcards (or its electronic counterpart) that take but a few seconds. BTW, letters written in an articulate, reasonable and persuasive manner carry the most weight; letters filled with insults, rants or invectives actually count as a negative and actually hurt the cause of persuading the elected representative to “our” side the argument.

    I would place phone calls to the politicians’ offices as second most effective. As we’re facing a Constitutional crisis, I highly recommend that those of us who cherish our Second Amendment rights utilize ALL of those methods.

    • I’m curious how long ago you interned in that Senator’s office. I’m not calling you old. I’m simply asking because several people lately have commented on their (fairly) recent experiences that the junior staffers who read the letters basically read them far enough to make a “for” or “against” determination, and that’s it. At the end of the day, those determinations are tallied up to see which way the wind is blowing. I’m sure there are exceptions, letters that catch someone’s eye and get passed up the chain, but those are just that: exceptions. No one is naive enough to think that the representative actually reads the letters, or sees more than that exceptional one, or at most, a representative sampling. While I believe it’s possible to sway a representative’s opinion through sheer quantity of constituent letters, I find it highly unlikely that a single letter is going to do it, no matter how “articulate, reasonable, and persuasive” it may happen to be.

      Also, though “taking the time to mail” a letter does indicate a higher level of concern, there is another side to that coin. Several of the representative’s websites that I’ve visited have had a note on their “Contact” page to the effect that “urgent matters should not be sent through regular mail, as security concerns can result in letters taking up to four weeks to be delivered.” As I consider this to be an urgent matter, that would seem to preclude mailing it through the USPS.

      • Jimmy Carter was President when I was an intern, so that predates even email. But the point I was making is still valid because there’s a timeless imperative: elected officials keep their fingers to the wind to gauge both constituent interest in a particular issue (or lack thereof), and the passion concerning it.

        You are correct that individual pieces of mail don’t get to the elected official (unless from a notable personage of for some exceptional reason … or because some just like to read a sampling themselves). Overall it’s a staff function to skim them to assess which side the constituent is on and gauge the passion level.

        By articulate etc. I meant that sometimes the better letters do in fact get read by the officeholder, and more generally they get counted in the “high passion” side of the column, and so get the most “bang for the buck” for the constituent.

        I recall getting outlier letters from, e.g, KKK types with the usual garbage that group professes, monkeys drawn on them and such. Those would not be counted as (rightly) they were dismissed as coming from a looney outlier.

        In the present circumstances, what I’m referring to is avoiding things like “from my cold dead hands” or “this’ll cause a second civil war” and such.

        We are on the side of Second Amendment rights and self-defense, and the other side is going to try to portray us as “extreme” and perhaps even potential domestic terrorists (see, e.g., the April 2009 DHS report branding returning veterans, guns rights advocates, pro-life individuals and such as potential domestic terrorists).

        We must avoid anything that will play into the caricature they’re going to attempt to draw. There’s a reason they’re trying to isolate the NRA as “extreme” and divide gun owners into “hunters / sportsmen” and the (impliedly) “gun nuts.”

        As for the post-anthrax mail warnings, fair enough. All the more reason to simultaneously use email petitions, phone calls and snail mail.

  17. Steckler is a professional police chief who hasn’t made a call “on the street” in decades. He’s nothing but a bottom feeding political parasite not worthy of being called a cop.

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