By Dave Workman
In case you’ve overlooked it, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has declared that August is “National Shooting Sports Month,” and the timing for many people is perfect.
Not only is the month good for summer shooting games, it’s also the month when millions of hunters head to the range to sight in their rifles or hunting handguns, and shotgunners tune up their reflexes for mourning dove and looming upland game and bird seasons.
This is also a good month for introducing new shooters to what amounts to a constitutionally protected pastime. The right to keep and bear arms is inclusive of learning the skills to use them properly and responsibly.
If nothing else, plinking at tin cans is a relaxing way to get someone started. Work up from there.
NSSF has a program called “First Shots” that has been very successful at introducing new shooters. The organization suggests that people who do take new shooters to the range or another safe place to shoot to share their experiences on social media. Hashtag: #LetsGoShooting.
If you do this, don’t post embarrassing videos of someone making a mistake. That’s a good way to turn off a new shooter. Some people can’t resist an opportunity to boost their own ego by trying to demonstrate how much smarter they are.
NSSF has a website (shootingsportsmonth.org) that allows people to share their experiences. Their message is simple: “Take time in August to introduce a new person to the shooting sports, visit a local shooting range, take a class, or host an event at your location.”
To which Insider Online will add: Shoot safely, be sure of your backstop, and because August is a particularly dry month in the national forests and on other public land, be careful with fire.
A lawsuit challenging the City of Seattle’s “gun violence tax” failed Thursday when the Washington State Supreme Court ruled in favor of the city, and against the National Rifle Association, Second Amendment Foundation and National Shooting Sports Foundation.
The state high court in an 8-1 decision said the tax does not violate Washington’s 34-year-old state preemption law. The city has been charging a fee of $25 per every firearm sold in Seattle, plus two- to five cents for every round of ammunition, depending upon caliber.
Plaintiffs, which include two local gun dealers, argued that the tax violates the preemption law because it is a gun control regulation in disguise. One gun store has already moved out of the city, and another tipped Insider Online that their gun sales may be moved to a new location outside of Seattle, while retaining a fishing tackle retail operation at its present location.
Reacting to the decision, SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb had this to say: “The high court’s decision to uphold what clearly appears to us as a violation of Washington’s 34-year-old State Preemption Act is proof positive that the court places political correctness above the rule of law. Gun owners must get more involved in Supreme Court races.”
Insider Online will have more about this ruling next week.
Pew Narrows It Down
A couple of weeks ago, Insider Online reported on a recent Pew Research survey that revealed a great deal about gun ownership in the United States.
More recently, Pew narrowed its focus to note the following: About half of American gun owners who identify as members of the National Rifle Association say they own five or more firearms. This compares to 24 percent of non-NRA members who own that many guns. Thirty-eight percent of the non-NRA members only own one gun.
NRA members “hunt and shoot with more frequency than gun owners who aren’t NRA members.”
One more little item that got our attention: “NRA members are also significantly more likely than other gun owners to say they have a gun that is loaded and easily accessible to them at all times (53% vs. 34%). And, among handgun owners, NRA members are twice as likely to say they carry a gun with them outside of their home all or most of the time (44% vs. 22%).”
You’ve probably all heard the assertions that NRA members are a bunch of careless gun twits. According to Pew’s results, a whopping 84 percent of NRA members have taken some kind of firearms safety course, while gun owners who are not NRA members have taken such a course.
When’s the last time anybody heard of Michael Bloomberg bankrolling firearms safety courses? The closest that Bloomberg’s “Everytown for Gun Safety,” and like-minded gun prohibition lobbying groups come to that is simply urging people to not own firearms or get them out of the house.
Support Your Local/National Gun Rights Group
Anti-gun groups have taken to using email to raise money for their cause, and one of these recent efforts asked recipients to “give $5 right now to help us save lives by pushing for commonsense gun policies!”
Reacting to that, some gun owners instead think digging into their wallet to send $5 to a gun rights organization is a swell idea. Make it “Five dollar Friday.” Pick a group — there are several — that could use an extra five bucks and, say in conjunction with “National Shooting Sports Month,” send your favorite group $5 every Friday during the month of August.
One gun rights leader, Alan Gottlieb with the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, has alternately suggested “Membership Monday.” Come Monday morning, join or renew your membership in a gun rights organization. This would include the CCRKBA (ccrkba.org), National Rifle Association (nra.org), the Second Amendment Foundation (saf.org) and/or Gun Owners of America (gunowners.org).
Join a local gun club, and find out what they’re doing to protect your rights. If they don’t have a program, volunteer to start one for them. Years ago, at my local club, we passed around a “Bucket of Bucks” at the monthly meetings and sent the proceeds to a gun rights organization.
Just because there do not appear to be any current threats to your Second Amendment is no reason to think this fight is over. Now is the time to support efforts to roll back onerous gun control laws. It takes lobbying and lawsuits, and neither of those strategies are cheap.
He’ll Have Lots Of Time To Think
Back in December, when Kaleb Edward Daniels was wanted by authorities in Great Falls, Montana, he apparently couldn’t resist putting frosting on that cake by breaking into a home in Wolf Creek and getting into a gunfight with the homeowner.
We’ll save you the trouble of asking “How stupid is that” by telling you: It’s felony stupid. A jury in Helena made it official after deliberating less than an hour, according to the Helena Independent Record. Daniels was convicted of attempted homicide, aggravated burglary and tampering with evidence. He will be sentenced on Sept. 13, the newspaper reported, and he may be lucky to be around for the event.
Daniels and an accomplice were on the downrange end of rounds fired by the homeowner. The companion, Jory Russell Strizich, was hit in the leg. He was hospitalized and now faces a charge of aggravated burglary, which is also a felony in big Sky Country.
The judge in this case, the Hon. Mike McMahon, wants to make sure Daniels keeps his court date, so he ordered the now-convicted outlaw to be held with no bond.
This case, as the newspaper described it, produced what has to be an unusual closing argument by defense counsel. Attorney Steven Scott “didn’t deny that his client is a criminal and a liar,” the newspaper reported. Oooookay!
“Ladies and gentlemen,” Scott reportedly told the jury, “Kaleb is a burglar, he’s not a murderer.”
Well, he apparently was trying. The newspaper said the shooting scrape began when the cabin owner and his wife showed up to find “an unfamiliar sport utility vehicle parked outside and two men burgling the residence.”
Daniels aimed a handgun at the homeowner and pressed the trigger, but the gun didn’t discharge. That’s when Daniels reportedly chambered another cartridge. The homeowner shot Strizich in the leg after firing a “warning shot” into the ground.
That’s when Daniels reportedly did get a shot off, but then the two would-be burglars ran. Daniels was sacked about three hours later after a second encounter with a different armed homeowner who called lawmen. When Daniels tried to run, he got as far as a snowbank.
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