It’s May, and the political silly season is definitely on


Elections matter, and even though many gun people are either hunting wild turkeys or getting ready to decimate prairie dog towns, or simply preparing for matches, save some time to keep an eye on people who want to be your next president.

At last count, 15 Democrats had entered the race, and that didn’t include former Vice President Joe Biden.


Congressman Eric Swalwell is running for president on a gun control platform. Screen snip, CNN, YouTube

Congressman Eric Swalwell, the California Democrat who wants to ban semi-auto modern sporting rifles by compelling their owners to surrender the guns for cash—it’s not a “buyback” as he calls it, but more like strong-arm compliance—insists gun owners can “keep your pistols, keep your long rifles, keep your shotguns.”

Remember the last guy who promised you could keep something you like?

Then came anti-rights New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, declaring at a CNN Town Hall that the National Rifle Association, which met last weekend in Indianapolis, is largely funded by gun manufacturers. Well, a rebuttal in Townhall provided a nasty smack down of that claim. Gillibrand isn’t the first politician or anti-rights activist who has made such an argument, but it doesn’t make her any less wrong.

As a former NRA director (three terms), this correspondent can say without fear of correction that Ms. Gillibrand has quite an imagination. NRA gets funding from a variety of sources. Member contributions, advertising sales in its magazines, sales of various products, memberships; all kinds of things provide funding for the 5 million member organization.

The firearms industry has its own umbrella group, the National Shooting Sports Foundation. They’re the folks who put on the annual Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show. But, of course, none of this is of any interest to the gun prohibition lobby. They’re interest is only to demonize NRA and other gun rights organizations, such as the Second Amendment Foundation.

Swalwell Has A Problem

No doubt the California congressman thinks his gun control platform will turn heads and get attention, but he may have a bit of a problem.

As noted by Gallup, “support for banning (so-called) assault rifles has changed over time.” Back in 1994, under then-President Bill Clinton, Congressional Democrats committed political suicide by passing his crime bill including a ten-year ban on those nasty black guns. Furious gun owners booted more than 50 members of Congress that November.

Gallup is a polling group, and here’s what they say about gun control. Back in 1996, the ban was supported by 57 percent of survey respondents. But in 2016, support had declined to 36 percent, with 61 percent opposed, and that was four years after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary. Even last year, after the Las Vegas mass shooting, Gallup said support for a ban rose 12 percentage points, but by last October, support had dropped back to 40 percent, and that was months after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

By no surprise, Democrats are more likely to support a ban than Republicans, and only 38 percent of independents favor a ban. Equally unsurprising was the revelation that people who don’t own guns are more likely to support a ban than people who do. Stepping on rights is okay so long as it’s somebody else’s rights being stepped on.

New Book Says NRA Can Be Defeated

At this writing several days ago, a new book titled Guns Down – How to Defeat the NRA and Build a Safer Future with Fewer Guns, by Igor Volsky, co-funder of Guns Down America, had just been announced.

The promo says “Ninety-six people die from guns in America every single day.” It’s an alarming figure but about two-thirds of those fatalities are suicides, and there are also some accidents, and justifiable slayings by police and armed private citizens. The promo acknowledges that the number of murders is approximately 12,000, and when one breaks out a pocket calculator and compares that number with the estimated number of gun owners (about 100 million) and the number of firearms (at least 350 million and probably closer to 400-450 million, depending upon whose estimates one believes), those slayings represent a fraction of a fraction.

Granted, any murder is a tragic thing, but tens of millions of honest gun owners didn’t harm anyone.

According to the promo, “Volsky tells the story of how he took on the NRA just by using his Twitter account.” He reportedly found “common ground with gun enthusiasts after spending two days shooting guns in the desert.” Right, 48 hours is all one needs to get firmly entrenched in the American gun culture.

“An aggressive licensing and registration initiative, federal and state buybacks of millions of guns, and tighter regulation of the gun industry, the gun lobby, and gun sellers will build safer communities for all,” the book promo contends.

Skip the Second Amendment for just a moment and wonder whether the author ever heard of the First Amendment. We are, after all, talking about restraining a constitutionally enumerated fundamental right.

All the more reason to pay attention to politics even during the long, lazy days of late spring and summer that are on the horizon.

New From Taurus

Fans of the Taurus Raging Hunter, that awesome wheelgun originally chambered for the .44 Magnum, should delight in the recent announcement from the folks in Miami.


The Raging Hunter is now offered in .357 Magnum, a proven versatile caliber that crosses lots of landscape, from personal protection to hunting medium-sized game including deer, black bear and mountain lion.

According to Taurus, there are three barrel lengths available, at 5.125-inch, 6.25-inch and 8.375 inch, all with factory-tuned porting. As you can see from the accompanying image, they’re impressive-looking specimens with a handsome two-tone finish option, integral rails on top of the barrels, textured rubber grips and adjustable rear sights.

They also have seven-round cylinders, which is no small consideration.

This double-action round gun can be had with either a matte black or stainless frame, while the barrel and cylinder are matte black, along with the trigger and hammer.