By Dave Workman
On the heels of Wednesday’s attack on Republican lawmakers at a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia that left House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) seriously wounded, one of his Republican colleagues proposed to allow every member of Congress who is licensed to carry in his/her home state to carry in the District of Columbia.
This incident may be the reality check for a gridlocked Congress to move the proposed National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act introduced earlier this year. Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) offered the proposal.
After the shooting, during which the gunman had been fatally wounded by law enforcement officers who were at the baseball field simply as a security detail for Scalise — and not for other members of Congress who were there — Rep. Mike Bishop (R-MI) told a reporter, “The only reason why any of us walked out of this thing, by the grace of God, one of the folks here had a weapon to fire back and give us a moment to find cover.”
How about that? Good guys with guns stopped a bad guy with a gun. That fact wasn’t lost on Alan Gottlieb, recently profiled by this column. He’s the head of the Second Amendment Foundation, and he furiously ripped Capitol Hill Democrats for promising to block the concealed carry reform legislation.
“Maybe now the anti-gun rights Democrats will support everyone’s right to carry a firearm for self-defense,” Gottlieb said. “We are the first line of defense when it comes to personal protection from crazed individuals.”
The difference between the Loudermilk plan and Gottlieb’s is that the gun rights leader wants everyone to enjoy the same kind of personal security that the congressman is proposing for his colleagues. But anti-gunners have already trotted out their traditional objection that include gunfights in the streets over fender benders, fast-draw confrontations in bars and loss of local control over who gets to carry in what jurisdiction.
And a few have also dragged out their time worn agenda that includes closing the mythical “gun show loophole” (Hodgkinson didn’t buy his guns at a gun show) and “universal background checks.” Since Hodgkinson bought his guns at retail, he had to pass a background check, and that’s what happened, according to a joint news release from the FBI and ATF.
Gun rights activists dismiss the gun control rhetoric as so much nonsense, but they are wary of any new proposals that may develop as a result of the attack on Scalise.
The would-be assassin, James T. Hodgkinson, reportedly had an Illinois Firearms Owners Identification Card. He did have a history that included some prior troubles with law enforcement in that state.
A resident of Belleville in the southern part of the Prairie State, Hodgkinson reported had purchased at least three firearms, including an SKS rifle, from a gun store in that community. He also had a permit to carry a concealed firearm in Illinois, according to the Chicago Tribune. Investigators recovered a 7.62x39mm SKS rifle and 9mm handgun at the crime scene, according to Fox News.
If the gun control debate catches fire, which seems unlikely, nobody has been able to explain what gun law would have prevented Hodgkinson from carrying out the attack.
Speaking Of Fast Draws, Meet Deke Rivers
His real full name is Dekean Rivers, but he prefers to go by “Deke.”
He’s a third-generation rancher, showman, stockman and one of the fastest guns alive. His grandfather was a stuntman, rodeo cowboy and Wild West showman. His father was an animal trainer as well as working in those other endeavors.
Deke does all that stuff and he also shows up at places like the National Rifle Association convention and annual SHOT Show for Taylor’s & Company, the vintage reproduction firearms outfit. He does several personal appearances throughout the year when he isn’t working the ranch or supplying livestock for some production.
Rivers certainly dresses the part of a star in an old “B” western, with a fancy tooled gunbelt, two sixguns, boots, spurs and a black hat. But this guy isn’t some dime store cowboy. He’s a real working cowpoke, with a ranch down in Ocala, Florida. He grew up in the business, living much of his early life in an Airstream trailer, he said in a brief chat with Insider Online.
Now 44, Rivers does attract a fair amount of attention at the big firearms exhibitions. He’s personable, carries on an intelligent conversation with the best of ‘em, and he is fast.
How fast? So fast you can hardly see his hand move, and he’s willing to give people a chance to beat him to the draw.
A tall, slim native of Missouri, Rivers has a baritone voice and a genuine drawl that would have been exactly what central casting supplied to any 1950s horse opera. He’s got that “real deal” quality, right down to his handlebar moustache.
There are plenty of images of Rivers on Facebook, where he is called “The Pistolero.” And remember, he’s fast on the draw.
Motion Renewed In Seattle ‘Gun Violence Tax’ Probe
Attorneys for the Second Amendment Foundation and its print and on-line magazine, TheGunMag.com, have renewed their motion for a summary judgment against the city for refusing to release an accurate figure on revenue in 2016.
When the city adopted the tax in 2015, proponents on the anti-gun city council predicted it would pull in between $300,000 and $500,000 that would be used to finance research to reduce “gun violence.” Instead, the city reluctantly admitted earlier this year that the tax had actually brought in “less than $200,000.”
How much less? Could be quite a bit, considering that one gun dealer apparently paid 80 percent of that tax revenue during all four quarters of 2016. Outdoor Emporium owner Mike Coombs declared in court documents filed this week that his tax payments came to just over $86,000. Break out a pocket calculator and do some math. If Coombs’ share came to about 80 percent, then the city probably collected about $108,000 to $110,000, and that estimate is now in a court document.
TheGunMag.com filed a Public Records Act request more than a year ago to get a figure. The suspicion now is that the city is playing hide-and-seek with the revenue figure because it is embarrassingly lower than the forecast.
The tax has already driven one gun dealer out of the city, costing Seattle not only the gun tax revenue, but also B&O taxes. SAF, the National Rifle Association and National Shooting Sports Foundation are suing the city separately over the gun tax, as a violation of the state preemption law. That lawsuit has been referred to the state Supreme Court.
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