Saturday, September 30, 2006

Senator Danny Verdin: Gun Rights Champion of the Week

My long-time friend Senator Danny Verdin is this week's gun rights champion.

Over the years Danny has been a solid, reliable supporter of the Second Amendment. He is one of the Senate leaders we always count on to help advance our cause. We never have to question where Senator Verdin stands on a particular pro-gun measure, because we know he's one of us.

I've known Danny Verdin for over 10-years. He's a frequent guest at "Friends of NRA" dinners around the Upstate area. His business, Verdin's Farm and Garden Center in Laurens, serves as one of the few NRA Second Amendment Activist Centers in South Carolina. Providing the public with a place to get up to the date 2A information is just one of many ways that Danny Verdin "walks the walk".

Danny Verdin and I have spent many hours together discussing gun rights. Last December we shot on the same sporting clays team at the SC Sportsmen's Caucus gathering at the Clinton House Plantation. We didn't win, but I did learn that Danny is a much better shooter than me (at least with a shotgun).

I wish we had more good guys like Senator Danny Verdin. Thanks Senator Verdin for your personal friendship and your unwavering support of gun owner rights.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Let's Talk About Chicks Man!

I love a good self-defense story. Back when I worked in the AG's Office we introduced the anti-Home Invasion concept of "Invade a Home, Invite a Bullet". And, as I've mentioned before, home invasions quickly became a rarity.

On several occasions we actually had to step in to stop local solicitors from charging home owners who defended themselves against intruders. The most satisfying stories involved women who managed to fight off much larger male attackers. So, when I saw this news column earlier today, I naturally had to mention it here.

A BIG "You Go Girl!" to these genuine heroines.

Afterall, what's more sexy than a lady with a gun?

Friday, September 22, 2006

A Gun in the Hands of Every Adult

In the 1980's Morton Grove, Illinois passed an ordinance banning firearms. For the first time I'd ever known a small, rural town was disarming its citizens. Typically only large metropolitan areas (a.k.a. liberal enclaves) were "enlightened" enough to take such drastic measures.

The average, freedom loving citizens of Morton Grove were outraged. Unfortunately, as I recall, they had been overrun politically by big city liberals who ironically moved to get away from the crime.

In part as a show of support the good gun owning Southerners of Kennesaw, Georgia (an almost identical sized town) took the common-sense measure of passing an ordinance requiring every household to have at least one gun.

Care to guess which city saw crime drop and which saw an increase?

Well now in a reminiscent action a small town in Idaho has passed a measure that goes one step further than Kennesaw. That's right, Greenleaf, Idaho now requires all citizens of legal age to own a firearm and know how to use it. Of course the measure is largely symbolic because nearly everyone there already owns a gun.

I like the idea though. We need something like this in every town. I call it the Home Defense solution. Imagine a world with no more burglaries and no more home invasions.

I'll bet you could find it in Greenleaf, Idaho.

Rep. Greg Delleney: Gun Rights Champion of the Week

Rep. Greg Delleney is one of those elected officials that I call a steady performer. During his 15+ years in the legislature he has shown gun owners that we can rely on him for unyielding support.

I first met Greg in 1996 when we worked on right-to-carry.

A quick check of the facts surrounding the "Law Abiding Citizens Self-Defense Act" confirms that Greg was with us every step of the way.

Greg Delleney not only co-sponsored our right-to-carry (H.3730), but he also stood firmly with us on every crucial vote. The House Journal from June 12th confirms his steadfastness with several recorded votes on our bill.

Greg also co-sponsored all of our pro-gun agenda bills over the last few years. And as chairman of the Constitutional Laws Subcommittee he is well placed to ensure our bills move forward. Last year he made sure the "Castle Doctrine" and "New Orleans/Emergency Powers" bills got quick hearings and ultimately final passage.

Sometimes in our push to get things done we forget to thank our most loyal friends. Greg Delleney surely deserves his spot at the top of my list of gun rights champions.

Thanks Rep. Delleney for protecting and defending the Second Amendment!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Pro-Gun: That's How Thomas Rolls

GOP State Treasurer candidate Thomas Ravenel has been endorsed by the National Rifle Association. As I mentioned in an earlier post, Ravenel is a longtime pro-gunner. And while the state treasurer is not directly involved with the state's gun policy, statewide elected officials all have the ability to influence many different issues.

Having worked for four statewide elected officials I know this first-hand. In fact, when we passed right-to-carry in 1996, I actually worked in the state treasurer's office. My boss, an NRA member and CWP holder, was very supportive of Second Amendment issues. His personal advocacy no doubt helped solidify support for our efforts around the Statehouse. If elected, Thomas will have a chance to help in a similar way. I have no doubt we'll be able to count on him

As legislative director for the NRA state affiliate, I was pleased to have a small part in helping secure this important endorsement for my friend Thomas Ravenel. He deserves our support and I encourage you to tell your pro-gun friends to get out the vote for Ravenel.

FYI, here is a press release about the NRA endorsement from the Ravenel campaign:

GOP Nominee Earns “A” Rating From Key Conservative Organization

Charleston, S.C. – September 19, 2006 – GOP State Treasurer Nominee Thomas Ravenel today announced that he has received the 2006 general election endorsement of the National Rifle Association (NRA), America’s preeminent defender of the Second Amendment and one of the leading proponents of firearms education and safety in the world.

Ravenel received an “A” rating from the organization, which boasts more than 3 million members nationwide (including over 40,000 in South Carolina) and is the largest of several major conservative groups whose endorsement is considered to be a significant factor in elections.

“The Second Amendment is an essential thread in the fabric of American freedom,” Ravenel said. “It is a defining American right, and one I’ve always been proud to support.”

Founded in 1871, the National Rifle Association is one of the most active grassroots organizations in the world. In addition to working at all levels of government to safeguard Americans’ Constitutional right to bear arms, the NRA supports numerous firearms education and safety efforts, including the Eddie Eagle Gun Safety Program for children and Refuse to be a Victim seminars for men and women.

Ravenel, a Charleston businessman, is challenging 36-year Democrat incumbent Grady Patterson. He has made restoring the state’s perfect AAA credit rating, which was twice lost under Patterson’s watch, the centerpiece of his campaign, along with protecting the state's retirement system, which currently has an unfunded liability estimated at $18 to $24 billion. Ravenel also says he’ll put his business background to work to streamline government by reducing wasteful spending.

Ravenel has challenged incumbent Patterson to debate the state's financial issues, but Patterson has refused to debate.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Governor Huckabee: A Real Gun Rights Champion

I finally met a likely presidential candidate who leaves no doubt about where he stands on the gun issue. Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is a true blue gun rights supporter.

I had the good fortune of meeting and talking with Huckabee today. As I have with several other potential candidates for the '08 presidental race, I asked him about his stance firearms issues. I was very pleased with his answers.

I asked Huckabee to share his general views about the Second Amendment and to specifically say whether or not he'd sign a national right-to-carry bill if elected president.

He pulled out his wallet and his CWP to show the crowd of GOP activists. His answer was an unqualified YES. Huckabee said that he'd like to be able to protect himself regardless of what state he's in and that national right-to-carry is the way to go.

He then went on to reinforce his outdoorsman credentials by sharing a hunting story that happend just last week.

Huckabee told about his participation in the one-shot antelope hunt in Wyoming. Huckabee's three man team, which also included SC's Rob Keck of the National Wild Turkey Federation and Arkansas' Forest Wood of Ranger Boats, won the competition. They had the only group where all three team members got their one shot kills. Every other team had at least one miss.

Huckabee is not only a good shot, but he also has good taste. His choice of guns is the Weatherby .300 magnum. I also use a Weatherby (7mm Magnum) on whitetails, so we agree on more than one thing. Huckabee bagged his antelope at 250 yards across a ravine in a driving snow. That's a hard shot to make, even with a rifle as inherrently accurate as a Weatherby. So, I have no doubt about Huckabee's skill with a firearm.

As cool as that hunting story was, I was most impressed with Governor Huckabee's quick acknowledgement of the fact that the Second Amendment is not about hunting. He very impressively made the point that the right to own firearms was more about self-defense. But more specifically, he said, it gives the citizenry the ultimate protection against a tyrannical governement.

Friends, Mike Huckabee is the real deal. He understands gun rights as well as anyone I've met. You can't fake the answers he gave and the depth of knowledge that he displayed.

Kudos to Mike Huckabee and I wish him the absolute best of luck.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

PETA Publicizes Dove Hunt

The anti-hunting group PETA is upset about a fundraiser dove hunt set to take place here in South Carolina.

Ironically, in their efforts to pick up support in our solidly pro-gun/pro-hunting state, PETA has only helped publicize what will no doubt be a very successful event.

PETA voiced their opposition to the private fundraiser and dove hunt that is being hosted for GOP superintendent of education candidate Karen Floyd.

The dove hunt, originally planned for September 11th, will take place on October 3rd.

The important thing to remember is that hunting is a legal and ethical activity. Thousands of sportsmen go out to the dove fields in South Carolina every year. Most of these licensed hunters are also registered voters. It's also important to remember that anyone who finds hunting offensive or distasteful has every right not to participate.

I personally find PETA offensive and distasteful. I suspect the majority of South Carolinians would agree with me. In fact, up to now it's been nearly 20 years since I've even heard PETA's name mentioned here in connection with an event. They are pretty much irrelevant and non-existent here in the Palmetto State.

In fact, the last time they came to South Carolina our coalition of sportsmen ran them out of town.

As I recall PETA scheduled a "training" session at the old Sheraton on Bush River Road. They scheduled the event around the time of the annual Sportsmen's Classic at the State Fairgrounds. The anti-hunting, anti-fishing, and anti-gun PETA crowd was upset over a fishing demonstration that was being conducted at the Sportsmen's Classic.

According to the dozen or so out-of-state PETA members who showed up, it was cruel to hook and release fish. Go figure. I guess they had nothing else to do that particular weekend.

At any rate, we staged a "counter protest" outside their Sheraton seminar. While about 12 0r 13 folks (including our three plants) attended the PETA training camp, nearly 200 sportsmen protested outside. Apparently they got the message as they haven't been heard of since.

Hopefully the Floyd campaign will stand strong against the puffed up bluster of these outside rabble rousers. They are threatening to picket the area around the hunt. If they are as successful with that effort as they were in Columbia, it ought to be good for a belly laugh.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Castle Doctrine:
The Train Keeps Rolling
Two more cases that appear to fall into the "Castle Doctrine" category occurred this week in South Carolina.

The first incident took place in Myrtle Beach when a man was robbed by two men. One of the robbers shot the victim in the thigh and big toe.

The victim responded by pulling his own gun. One of the robbers was shot and killed and the other ran away.

In the second incident a homeowner in the Columbia area was awaken early Friday morning by sounds in his driveway. Upon investigation the victim discovered two men attempting to break into his car. He challenged them and one of the thieves came towards him and tried to enter the home.

The homeowner exchanged gun shots with the attacker. Both the victim and the assailant were injured and hospitalized. The second criminal was arrested and booked.

These kinds of incidents are becoming more and more common. Although each case I've outlined here recently would have most likely been considered self-defense prior to "Castle Doctrine," the good guy would have still been arrested. Under the new law, however, in a clear case of self-defense, the victim cannot be arrested.

Yes, I know this point has been made by me several times already. But I think the most significant feature of "Castle Doctrine" is it's protection from prosecution.

The right to stand your ground, although not previously protected in the statutes, was always presumed. Making it clear with a law was needed, but protecting the good guys from prosecution and the related legal expenses is clearly the best news of all.