Senator Joe Manchin seems to be determined to give the voters in gun-friendly West Virginia more reasons to get rid of him. He’s made anti-NRA ads. He’s working on new gun control legislation. He’s claiming Beretta twisted his words when they said why they won’t consider relocating to the Mountain State. And now…the poster child for citizen disarmament and Manchin’s new BFF, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is hosting a fund-raiser for him at his upper East Side home on July 22. This affiliation is particularly interesting, as Manchin says he has never discussed gun control with Bloomberg. Yet, there they are. If you’re thinking about attending, better dig deep into your pockets. Tickets start at $1000 just to get in. If you want to shake hands, talk, or otherwise interact with the guest of honor, it’ll surely cost quite a lot more. But if you do go, please let us know what it’s like rubbing elbows with royalty (or at least, royal pains in the ass). Meanwhile, back on planet Earth . . .
At the risk of further flagellating an expired equid, the Christian Science Monitor wants to know “Can Gabby Giffords win over gun owners by firing off some shots?” Hmmm… they must have gone to a different event than the one where the videos we all saw were made, as they show her firing off only ONE shot with hubby Mark immediately snatching the gun away from her. CSM says it was a risky move, but not because of her total lack of gun control. “[S]he did run the risk of alienating some gun control supporters who might have found the visual too much to take.” Not nearly as much as she’s further alienated gun supporters who saw it for what it was: pandering to the media to get more attention for their
vacation road show.
In May, the Australians printed a Liberator and freaked out over it. Now a team from the University of Toronto downloaded the plans and built “Canada’s first printed handgun” (that they know of). The Globe and Mail is quick to point out they “didn’t break any laws” because “the researchers changed the design of the pistol to make it impossible to fire.” The reason for the “experiment?” The “team built the weapon to better understand 3-D printing.” (Yeah. Sure.) Now team director Matt Ratto “worries that the government won’t take 3-D printing seriously before one of the undetectable pistols is used on Toronto’s streets.”
What was Dudley Do-Right’s reaction to this? The RCMP “will continue to ‘monitor’ the development of 3-D printers” and “has no policies for 3-D printed handguns.” Montreal Police were “unfamiliar with the technology, having never come across a 3-D printed handgun. One constable was left wondering how a ‘photocopier’ could make a dangerous weapon.” Ratto offered to print a working Liberator for the Toronto police to test. They declined his offer. (And in case you missed, version 4.4 of Defense Distributed’s downloadable gun stuff is now available.)
Indiana has a backlog of 45,000 handgun carry permit applications for both new permits and renewals. State Police are supposed to have 60 days to process an application; currently the wait is almost double that at 110 days. Historically they get about 5,200 applications per month. In January they were hit with 23,000 thanks to fear of anti-gun legislation and tighter controls. State Police have more than doubled their processing staff trying to clear the backlog. I’d feel sorry for them, but I’m still waiting to hear from a claim I filed with the VA two-and-a-half years ago.
The Longview, Texas police department is offering free handgun safety courses and a hands-on day for women 18 years and older at the department’s shooting range. The course is “designed for women with various levels of firearm experience, from those who may have never fired a gun to those who just wish to refresh their skills.” KLTV has a link to download a registration form for the classes, which start July 8 or August 9. Perhaps we should all suggest our local PDs provide a similar program and see how they react.
In the ABA Journal, Radley Balko asks “How did America’s police become a military force on the streets?” He traces the evolution of Federal law enforcement which leads to other questions: “Are cops constitutional?… How did we evolve from a country whose founding statesmen were adamant about the dangers of armed, standing government forces…to a country where it has become acceptable for armed government agents dressed in battle garb to storm private homes in the middle of the night—not to apprehend violent fugitives or thwart terrorist attacks, but to enforce laws against nonviolent, consensual activities?” It’s a long read, but well worth it.