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This afternoon, CeaseFirePA and the Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network (PINN) made an appearance at the gates of the 2011 NRA National Meetings. ~100 Pennsylvania citizens turned out to voice their displeasure with the NRA, Mr. LaPierre and firearms in general . . .

Jana Finder “Fin-der,” Western Pennsylvania Coordinator for CeaseFirePA spoke with me briefly (The police were already dispersing the crowd, as it was spilling into the streets and backing up traffic.) Today’s event centered around CeaseFire’s efforts to “fix / improve the NICS background system, enforce legislation already on the books, and bring the NRA to the table to talk gun control.” What do they see as their biggest obstacle to these goals? – Surprisingly enough, not the NRA (or as one protestor put it – “No Regard for Anything – Except Selling Guns.”) Instead, Ceasefire takes their beef up with PA’s governor. What do they want? – “Dialogue.”

I asked about the ever present Gunwalker Scandal, and how the revelation of the ATF allegedly contributing to, creating, or otherwise being completely behind the problem affected her view of how effective they and other government agencies could be in advancing the cause of CFPA. While not up to speed on the Gunwalker issues (as I’ve found very few on the “other side” to be), she did articulate that in her opinion a lack of leadership is ATF’s largest obstacle doing near anything worthwhile.

I did not have the opportunity to speak with the Interfaith Impact Network folks, but the signs they held represented the “101 victims” of gun violence discussed on the opposite side of their large, rolling (err.. parked) truck-billboard “open-letter. PINN rolled out in force, lead by the Reverend Glens Grayson and his son Glens Grayson Jr. – Glen’s Sr.’s son Jeron was killed in 2010, and the Reverend has become an outspoken supporter of PINN in the  time following.

The party lines we toed, literally; Protestors on one of the street, a growing crowd of NRA spectators on the other. Pittsburgh police and event security stood by ensuring everyone kept things relatively civil. A spectating officer of Pittsburgh’s finest related a few interesting details that had popped into his head as a result of the chanting and signage standing firm across the street. Last year, he estimated that Pittsburgh logged anywhere from 350 – 450 arrests involving firearms. Of those that involved an actual shooting event, the majority were self  inflicted wounds (not suicides, but ND’s). The kicker – less than 10% of the guns involved were purchased legally, almost all were stolen.. NICS wouldn’t have helped in the least.. So, is fixing NICS really the solution to the problem they (CFPA + PINN) see?

[Video courtesy of “18Riccco” J.L. Martello of the New Pittsburgh Courier.]

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  1. These fools should be chanting “We want to whine”, because the only thing they want to discuss is how to ban all guns. They don’t believe in the Second Amendment and you can’t explain anything to these gun haters.

    • Dear Robert Farago, Chief Editor, I suggest you have a word with Joe about his continually repeating that the opposition wants “to ban all guns.” This tactic on his part does not seem consistent with the prinicples of The Armed Intelligentsia. They, I presume, are supposed to present thoughtful opinions and sensible arguments not simply repeat inanities.

      • I beg to differ. It is gun control advocates’ stated, but more often unstated, goal to ban private gun ownership. To suggest otherwise is disingenuous. Which is, I suppose, the reason why they don’t admit it.

        Nowadays, gun control advocates realize they can’t make a head-on assault against a constitutional right to keep and bear arms. No more gun bans like Chicago. So they don’t speak plainly. Instead, they nibble away at our gun rights when and wherever they can. Machine guns. Assault weapons. High capacity magazines. Concealed carry. Chicago gun ranges. School zones. Nibble. Nibble. Nibble.

        I find the lack of honesty from your side of the argument appalling. If gun control advocates want a ban on private ownership of guns, say it. Make your case. Meanwhile, do not expect TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia to suffer from a sudden drop in their IQ or a catastrophic failure to learn from history or, indeed, fail to rely on common sense.

        • I just wanted to poke a little fun at Joe. But, honestly, I can’t believe you really believe that. Isn’t it more likely that, generally speaking, gun control advocates want to do just what they say they want to do with no secret agenda?

          Yours sounds like a cynical and paranoid view of things and one, interestingly, which justifies all kinds of excess on your part.

          • Wow! What we have here folks is a case of the pickle calling the cucumber green.

          • Mike, that is what I believe. Paranoid or not (it’s not in my opinion), it is exactly how I perceive anti-gun activists. They want to ban all private gun ownership in this country. One baby step at a time. Then another. And another. Why do you think public sector unions get so worked up over the tiniest concession? Because they recognize this tactic also. You chip away at something long enough, you get the desired result.

          • MikeB:
            If not a complete ban, which guns do you support?
            If you don’t want it all, where is the point that you will say “There, we’re all done. Everything else is good.”
            Very few of the many legitimate gun owners/users think that you and those you stand with have reasonable or common sense answers to those questions.

          • “If not a complete ban, which guns do you support?”

            Good luck getting Mike to EVER answer this question. That would make it harder for him to constantly move the goal post.

    • Friends of the forum Mikey Bee and Magoo say the same thing about us. Works both ways I guess.

    • “Intrepid reporting,” you’ve got to be shittin’ me. That post was a spin job all the way, starting with the protester estimate of “100 Pennsylvania citizens,” and ended with the opinion of “A spectating officer of Pittsburgh’s finest,” as fact.

          • Mike. I cited in both instances that “estimates” were used. I was able to talk with one member of the protesting crowd, and one member of the police team trying to keep everyone out of the street.

          • You mean like your case against guns, its against your “feelings” someone has been watching to much Italian television

  2. So what do we call members of the Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network? I’m thinking Piinheads sounds right.

    • Aw, Ralph-you stole my joke! So, I would like to see a comparison with the stats of drug overdoses in comparison to all the gun related stats all these types like to toss about. Further, as a victim of a high speed hit and run, how about stats on deaths of those in comparison!

  3. LaPierre is wise to refuse to come to the table with these gun-grabbers as well as Obama and his gun-hating ilk. LaPierre would only receive the same treatment Paul Ryan received at Obama’s budget speech; insults and denigration for public consumption. How, pray tell, does one have a productive discussion with a group waving signs which read, “NRA, Murder Inc.” and “No Regard for Anything?” Their tactic is, “Let us insult you, and then you do what we say.”

    I say, no talks, no discussion, no compromise. Steamroll right over these idiots.

        • ….AND in conjunction with the ridiculous signs they were waving, the “loose facts” on the truck are a pack of lies. They are morally incapable of bringing truth and intellectual honesty to the table, so why bother?

          LIBERALS…..Throwing stupid gas on crazy fire!

  4. These protests prove only that these people have NOTHING productive to do with their time. Bravo.
    Now, please stop trying to oppress us?

  5. Oh my! Look at the numbers! 100 out of 305,000+ citizens of Pittsburgh… why that is .00033 of the population! We really should take their misinformed whining seriously.

  6. The compromise between right and wrong is wrong. Nothing good can come from talking to these people.

  7. I googled a name on one of the signs the protesters were holding: “Dwain Heath”

    Apparently, he was shot and killed with his own gun when the woman he was trying to rob wrestled it away from him and shot him.

    I’m unclear as to how the protesters think bringing that up will further their cause…

  8. Long-time reader, first time commenter;

    I googled the signs as well, and the results were similar to Kevin’s.

    Daniel Hawkins, 17-years old, was killed while trying to rob an unidentified person in a “dark sedan”. He, and his partner Diontre, came out of an alley wearing black masks and carrying pistols. Apparently, there was a small shootout, ending with Daniel and Diontre’s deaths.

    Seems to me, these types of cases don’t help their group very much

    • They sure helped me! I love hearing about the suspect becoming the victim! Actually, I support it whole- heartedly.

  9. ” Isn’t it more likely that, generally speaking, gun control advocates want to do just what they say they want to do with no secret agenda?”

    No. See Britain and now Australia.

    • That is one of the reasons my soon to be ex is back in London and I remain here in the States!

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