Thursday, December 11, 2008

Open Letter to the Daily Mail

In response to the horrifically anti-gun articles and editorials here:
The article.
The editorial.

Dear Editor,

I was surprised to see an article and editorial in the Daily Mail that smacked of such distaste for freedom, personal responsibility, logic, and conservative values. While such drivel is certainly common in the state's other leading newspaper, I was floored to see it in the Daily Mail.

It seems that everyone quoted in that article, and every word of the editorial was calling for "action" from the legislature. The irony in these calls for legislation is sickeningly thick. For all of the activity described in the article and in the editorial is already in violation of dozens of federal and state laws carrying heavy penalties. This is a request for failure from the Daily Mail. Existing laws without enforcement equals Failure. (Yes, with a capital "F") Calling for more laws instead of enforcement is requesting more Failure. Do you really advocate more Failure? Your grade for this article and editorial, is "F."


Keith Morgan
Vice President, West Virginia Citizen's Defense League

Friday, August 1, 2008

You should know who you keep electing.

I routinely send letters to my congresscritters in DC. They always send form letter responses. Byrd's office, Rockefeller's office, and Capito's office, all have form letters they send in response to any given issue.

I sent one recently to Jay Rockefeller. It was a fairly boring request that Senator Rockefeller not approve funds for BATFE. I realize that's a futile request, but hey, it's just another letter. I assume they keep tallies on those things, and my request is just a click on the ole pedometer of people who don't like the BATFE.

Regardless, you should be aware that this man would not know the meaning of the Second Amendment if Madison hit him on the bridge of the nose with a flintlock with the constitution wrapped around the stock. Observe the following excerpt, verbatim, from his response.

"I have heard from a number of West Virginians concerned about speculation tha tthe ATF has been working to limit the gun ownership rights of law-abiding citizens. Your suggestion that Congress should limit funding for the ATF is noted. I will be sure to keep your concerns in mind as the Senate considers appropriations legislation for the coming Fiscal Year (FY) 2009."

A number of us, huh? Interesting. Well, if "a number" of your constituents are voicing this concern, why no mention of his willingness to launch an investigation? I realize I didn't ask for one, but hey, if "a number" of folks are concerned, why not do more than "keep our concerns in mind?"

But, that's not what chills me in his response. I will denote my comments within brackets.

"Gun ownership is an issue of great importance to me and many West Virginians. [km: no kidding.] I respect the Second Amendment to the Constitution, and the right to bear arms it guarantees. [km: excellent so far] That said, I agree that there are times and circumstances when it is appropriate for our government to ban certain types of weapons or ammunition in the interest of protecting public safety. [km: uh oh. Don't like where this is going.] I have supported the assault weapons ban, the ban on 'cop killer' bullets, so-called 'banana' clips, which are designed to hold large amounts of ammunition, and other items more suited to military use than to hunting or personal protection." [km: oh boy.]

Well, it seems Mr. Rockefeller doesn't understand the Second Amendment at all, as defined by the founders, nor as defined in the recent Heller decision. The police are not military. And if they're not military, and their weapons are defensive, why do they need "banana" clips? Oh, you mean they are suited to personal protection? And, well, Mr. Rockefeller, there was no mention of duck hunting in the Second Amendment.

This man is an anti. He does not trust you. He views you as a subject, not a citizen. You are not to be trusted with modern arms. Why do West Virginians keep voting this clown into office?

His letter then goes on... I'll comment in-line again.

"At the same time, I do believe that the Second Amendment guarantees the right of law-abiding individuals to own firearms.[km: Except effective ones... like ones with 'banana' clips, right?] I have supported liability protection for gun dealers and manufactures, and I have opposed proposals to tax ammunition and register gun owners."

What a two-faced clown. He clearly doesn't understand the Second Amendment, which is both about self-defense and defense against domestic tyranny. Yet, he sometimes votes in our favor. Probably because he thinks the Second is about Duck Hunting. Senator Elmer Fudd.

If I were you, I'd have a long hard look at Jay Wolfe at

Monday, June 30, 2008

Heller is not the end.

Do not assume that Heller is the end of the gun/arms control question. Do not fall into premature celebration on the reclamation of a little bit of freedom.

Heller is the beginning. It is a layer of stone upon the foundation of the Second Amendment itself, which you and I may build to secure the freedoms for our children.

Our work is not complete. Do not brush your hands against each other and consider this a job well done. The Second Amendment is the anvil. Scalia has granted us a hammer. Now we must use them to ring steel so loud and true that our children's government would not dare infringe upon the freedoms recognized in our bill of rights.

Yes, now our true work begins.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Gentleman from the Twenty Third...

Some of you may be aware that the WVCDL (of whom I'm Vice President) defeated a casino carry ban last session with the much appreciated help, and dogged determination of several of your pro Second Amendment legislators. The ban's defeat occurred in the House Judiciary Committee, in the face of some strong opposition. This was a huge win for us, and for the citizens of West Virginia. This bill, if passed in its original form, would have created a legislative precedent. It would have been the first time in state history that the legislature enacted a carry ban on private property. We felt it imperative that we fight this one tooth and nail. And we did have to fight. There was strong opposition to striking the carry ban.

This opposition came in two forms. The most difficult form to deal with is the "behind the scenes" anti-rights legislators. These are the legislators in our state who are smart enough to keep their opposition behind closed doors. And they're wise to do so, as to come out against the Second Amendment in our state can often be a career killer. For such a pro Second Amendment state, we've elected a lot of these closet antis. Over time, rest assured, the WVCDL will bring them out of the closets and into the light.

Now, while most of the the anti-rights folks in our legislature are smart enough to keep their positions behind closed doors, the same cannot be said of the Gentleman from the Twenty Third, Mr. Clif Moore. Mr. Moore made his position crystal clear in these hearings. Honestly, you really have to hear it for yourself. It truly was an amazing set of exchanges between Mr. Moore and the WVCDL. And one of the things that makes it so amazing, is that Mr. Moore has somehow secured an "A" rating from the NRA!

The WVCDL has obtained an audio copy of the hearing for your enjoyment. I'll provide you with three ways to listen to Mr. Moore's comments. If you have a lot of time on your hands, and significant bandwidth, you can listen to the full audio here (mp3).

If you would like to just get to the nitty gritty of Mr. Moores positions, we've chopped the audio down to the relevant sections. Please note, that we have not edited out any relevant context for Mr. Moore's positions. His outrageous questions and commentary, as well as the WVCDL responses from myself and Mr. Mullins (President, WVCDL) are included in their entirety.

Mr. Moore started by asking a clearly pointed question of me, displaying his forgone conclusion within the question. At least he allowed me to answer.

Clif Moore Warms UP (mp3).

Later in the hearing, he shows his true colors by asking questions containing fallacious assertions. This time, (presumably having learned his lesson) he repeatedly attempts to shut Mr. Mullins answers down.

Clif Moore Outs Himself (mp3).

I have to say, I was completely shocked by his treatment of Mr. Mullins. I can't imagine what possessed him to treat Jim in such a manner. The only thing that I can think of, is that after finding out that I was not a soft target with his warm-up question, he thought maybe Jim would stutter, stammer, and roll over. Thanks to some of our allies (and your friends in the legislature such as the Gentleman from the 32nd, Patrick Lane) and Jim's articulate responses, Mr. Moore found out differently.

The WVCDL will likely be producing a video version of this hearing soon and distributing via some more widely accessed media.

Monday, March 31, 2008

So, I got an email at work that included that video. You've probably seen it. It's a video advocating a "tucked in shirt" policy. It shows some kid pulling about 14 firearms out of his waistband. It's ludicrous. I felt compelled to click "reply all." Here was my response:

This strikes me as absurd and comical for multiple reasons. The first, and most obvious of which, is mobility. It would've been pretty amusing to see that "kid" take ten steps. If the shotgun in his pants didn't make him fall on his face, I imagine we would've seen one pistol slip from the waistband, down his leg, and clatter on the floor on an average of every other step.

The second, more serious, and profoundly ludicrous allegation by this video is that "tucked in shirts" will have any deterrent effect whatsoever in keeping weapons out of schools. I can conceal a weapon nearly anywhere on my body in nearly any clothing. How would a "tucked in shirt" address a full-sized 1911 taped to my thigh? How would it address the Benelli 12ga, which will fit in my backpack with the barrel removed. Why didn't they just put 30 handguns in one backpack, and have a "no backpack" policy? I estimate that I could arm two platoons with the number of Glock 26s that would fit in my backpack. School administrators would wrather "address" a non-issue like tucked in shirts than deal with real issues such as criminals walking around in public schools.

How would a "tucked in shirt" policy have addressed Columbine, where students came from off-campus wearing trenchcoats.

How would a "tucked in shirt" policy have stopped Cho at Virginia tech, who also came from off-campus carrying two firearms, either of which would easily hide in a pocket?

How would a "tucked in shirt" policy have stopped Andrew Golden and Mitchell Johnson in Jonesborough Arkansas who once again, came from off campus? Golden and Mitchel rang the fire alarm, sending all of the students out the doors and into an ambush killing zone. Should we have a "no fire-alarm" policy?

In fact, I challenge the author of this video to name one school shooting where a "tucked in shirt" would've made a bit of difference.

Here are some things that would actually make a difference:

1. Parents that give a damn about, spend time with, and are involved in the lives their kids.
2. A school system that expels and segregates bullies.
3. A judicial system that keeps criminal teens in jail where they belong, instead of releasing them on the streets.
4. The ability of teachers and administrators to lawfully carry concealed weapons in defense of their own (and by proxy their student's) lives.

But hey, making kids tuck in their shirts is so much easier. And gee, it'll solve everything.

I'm very interested in your comments on this one. Obviously, "tucked in shirts" won't mean squat. But what would make a difference?

Friday, March 7, 2008

Where did gun control come from?

Two plantation owners are talking:

"That black man has a gun."
"Yep, yep he does. Didn't you own him yesterday?"
"Yeah, I did. Him and his whole family. Think he's mad?"

Most people have forgotten the origins of gun control. The liberals in this country tend to tout themselves as champions of minorities. I've often wondered how they reconcile this idea with their rabid and pervasive gun control agenda. The two concepts are mutually exclusive, once you understand the original (and in my opinion ongoing) purpose behind gun control.

To the uninitiated, this probably comes across as quite a serious charge. And it is. And unfortunately, it's completely true, and supported by nearly two hundred years of legal history. Laws were enacted in Georgia, for example, that predated the civil war. In Georgia, in 1833, a law was passed that read "It shall not be lawful for any free person of colour in this state, to own, use, or carry fire arms of any description whatsoever." Later, in 1848, the Georgia Supreme Court opined "Free persons of color have never been recognized as citizens; they are not entitled to bear arms, vote for members of the legislature, or to hold any civil office." States passed and maintained similar laws all over the south. The idea of a free black man who may have been in chains yesterday suddenly carrying a rifle today seemed to unnerve white men. It was probably particularly disconcerting to powerful and wealthy plantation owners and other slave owners.

Then the civil war happened. Imagine this running through the mind of a former slave owner. "Um, you mean this black man right here is free? And, by free you mean just like me? Complete with actual civil rights? YOU MEAN HE CAN OWN A GUN? The man whose entire family I horsewhipped not a month ago CAN CARRY A RIFLE LIKE A WHITE MAN!?" Yeah. The white man freaked out. And, I have to admit, whitey the slave-owner freaking out at the concept of his former slaves having the right to keep and bear arms makes me chuckle a bit. Not to make light of slavery, but mainly because whitey deserved that anxiety and much worse. But whitey still had the money and the power. And whitey solved that little problem along with a host of others. Enter the Jim Crow era laws.

Along with the Jim Crow laws, a host of other gun control laws were enacted often placing the right to bear arms in the hands of the local (and very white) sheriff. The sheriffs would pull all kinds of shenanigans. There were stories of one southern ordinance that required that anyone who wanted to own a firearm had to take a simple intelligence test. It was agreed that reading the front page of a newspaper would be a sufficient test of intelligence. This test was to be administered by the local sheriff. Of course, no black man could read the paper. Though, that had little to do with his intelligence, considering the paper the sheriff held up for him was printed in Chinese. And guess who signed off on my concealed carry permit? Yep, the county sheriff. This brings to mind a scene from the 1986 movie crossroads, where an old black blues player, after being incarcerated for a couple of decades and freed by a young white guitar player, is confronted with a racist southern sheriff, who happened to be black himself. After being thrown out of the county by the racist sheriff, the old blues player said "My my, things sure have changed 'round here. But then again, they kinda still the same."

Someone might read this, and say "well, that's ancient history." First off, it's not so ancient. Just because the vast majority of early gun control laws were Jim Crow doesn't mean that they stopped and died with Jim Crow. Consider for a moment the gun control act of 1968. The country was in turmoil. In 1962, James Meridith (a black student) had just been enrolled at the University of Mississippi. He was escorted by US Marshals. White men, still used to Jim Crow followed by Segregation were not happy about having black men enrolled in their centers of higher learning at gunpoint by federal agents. The Civil Rights movement was in full swing. There were riots. There were assassinations. The Kennedys and Martin Luther King had recently been assassinated. It's my suspicion that this huge erosion of the second amendment was a direct result of fear of an armed black uprising in the United States. I believe that fear persists today. I've heard it. I live in a rural area, and unfortunately, I've been exposed to some truly racist scumbags in my time. I've heard more than once a racist state that he has this or that for "when them damn n*'s riot." Now, when I say that, you're probably envisioning some inbred redneck in coveralls. No. I've heard that from "pillar of the community" types. It's disgusting. But it doesn't change the fact that fear of armed black uprising still exists. And it still exists among white men of power and influence.

It's simple. The origins of gun control have, and to some degree still remain rooted in racism. To what degree, I cannot say for sure. But it is my suspicion that in their heart of hearts, those that espouse gun control do so in fear of young, urban, black youths. From pre civil-war Georgia through GCA68, racist fear has driven gun control. To my astonishment, liberals (by and large) continue to champion this racist concept. Actually, let me back up a bit. Let me make a minor correction. It's not JUST liberals. Most of our current republican candidates have stated that they support gun control in some form or other. Some of them have actively voted against second amendment rights in their respective political offices. George H. W. Bush signed the "Gun Free School Zones" act of 1990. Mitt Romney stated he'd support an AWB and John McCain has voted in favor of several gun control laws. This is not unique to liberal politicians. None of them want an armed populace. None of them. I suppose the liberals should be credited for at least being honest about it. However, in the ultimate irony, Barack Obama strongly supports and champions gun control. The man is African-American and supports a racist ideal!

In another stroke of irony, I've noticed that "civil rights champions" (read Jesse Jackson et al) are also rabidly anti-gun. I have to wonder if anyone's pointed out to them that they're perpetuating a racist concept. If it has been pointed out to them, I'd sure love to hear their defense of the idea. If anyone should be armed for self defense in my opinion, it's an oppressed minority. How can they preach about empowerment when among their stated goals is the desire to strip the "power" of their followers to defend their very lives?

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Gazette wants your guns.

Clearly. They want them. Otherwise, why print such clearly biased rubbish? Whenever you pass those guys trying to give you or sell you a free paper at Walmart or on the street, simply reply "No thanks, I don't subscribe to communist propaganda." It's what I do.

Check out this pile of drivel.

"February 25, 2008
Bring more crime
Researchers based in Charleston have published a study showing that violent crime is worse in Mountain State regions with the greatest number of pistols - especially where there's a high rate of "illegal guns" that have been stolen.

Researchers based in Charleston have published a study showing that violent crime is worse in Mountain State regions with the greatest number of pistols - especially where there's a high rate of "illegal guns" that have been stolen." Gee, you think maybe that's because the areas with the highest number of pistols are also the areas with the highest population? You'll note that NO numbers are provided. Just a half-assed interpretation of them. This is transparent "statistics" if I've ever seen it. What controls are applied in this study? Which ones are left wide open? Like say, oh, population density?

"Gun Availability and Crime in West Virginia" is the title of a report in the Justice Research and Policy professional journal. It was written by Dr. Stephen Haas and others at the Criminal Justice Statistical Analysis Center, a unit of the West Virginia Division of Criminal Justice Services."

Never heard of them. Who funds them? The state? The Brady Campaign? The Violence Policy Center? Who gives these guys their money? Are our taxpayer dollars being spent to cook up bogus reasons to disarm us and make us subjects? Not that it would surprise me.

"The survey - designed to support America's "Project Safe Neighborhoods" to reduce gun violence - compares county-by-county figures in three categories: the per-capita rate of violent crimes, the per-capita rate of "legal guns" as indicated by concealed pistol permits, and the per-capita rate of "illegal guns" as indicated by thefts reported to police."

Oh man, where do I start shredding this. The "per capita rate of 'legal guns' as indicated by concealed pistol permits" simply has to be completely bogus. How many people do you know with a gun in their home, but no carry permit? These numbers are skewed off the charts right there. There is absolutely NO way they can measure "legal guns." So just take whatever "ratios" or conclusions they're trying to draw, and throw them out the window as completely bogus. Once you do that, what you're left with is someone's agenda. Because all the of the actual data is broken.

"The authors acknowledge that these categories are fuzzy, because some gun thefts aren't reported to police and some unlicensed "street guns" are traded informally among drug dealers and others. "More comprehensive measures of true illegal gun activity are likely to be substantially higher," the report says."

No kidding the "categories" are fuzzy. Everything's fuzzy. Mainly, because this article is bullshit, as I suspect is the study. Just remember, "fuzzy" = "bullshit."

"Counties with a high rate of legal guns have more violence, the study found - but the danger soars further in counties with many illegal guns."

Hah! You can't even measure the rate of "legal guns." So the findings are worthless. And I have yet to see a population reference. So, we've got bad conclusions based on nebulous "fuzzy" (ahem... make that "bullshit") data.

"The results indicate that counties with high concentrations of both legal and illegal guns are associated with violent crime, gun crime and knife crime," the report concludes. "... Our analysis supports the notion that both legal and illegal guns contribute in specific ways to crime problems in West Virginia."

Gee, once again, I have to wonder about that "population density" factor so conveniently omitted from this whole article. And what exactly are those "specific ways?" The article doesn't say. So the "specific ways" could be positive, but due to the tone of the article, we're left to infer that they're negative, whether that is the case or not.

The authors added that their findings contradict the common belief that legal, licensed pistols kept for self-defense cause crime rates to be lower

So the bogus finding on the "fuzzy" (ahem, "bullshit") data contradict the "common belief" that legal licensed pistols cause crime rates to be lower. Hey, at least the good news is that the "common belief" is coming around to the realm of sanity! And, well, the Gazette isn't doing a very good job of debunking it with their "fuzzy" (ahem, "bullshit") study.

Kanawha and Mercer counties - the Charleston and Bluefield regions - have the state's worst gun crime rates, according to the journal article.

Thoughtful West Virginians should ponder this report. It's a shame that most legislators fear the right-to-bear-arms lobby so much that they constantly vote for more pistol-carrying. The report's conclusion is clear: The more pistols, the more crime.

If a "thoughtful West Virginian" ponders this article, let alone the report, the only conclusion available is that the Gazette will spin any "fuzz" (ahem, "bullshit") towards their statist socialist agenda. I truly hope "thoughtful West Virginians" actually do ponder this article.

Thoughtful West Virginians should likewise ponder the idea that this article is unsigned. I might be blind, but I can't find a single credit for the author. And to be honest, I don't blame him. If I'd written such ignorant trash, I wouldn't want my name associated with it either.

Again, one lucky commenter who posts within the next 24 hours will win a $25.00 membership in the WVCDL.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Media Hypocracy on the Bill of Rights

Recently, apparently at the urging of West Virginia's media organizations, the House has wavered on a bill that would protect the private information of WV's holders of concealed handgun permits. The sources of this hesitancy appear to be mostly from the newspapers, and particularly the Gazette. However this is being manifested in the House.

Delegate Carrie Webster, who once favorably compared Europe's gun laws to our own in a personal email to me, said "
"The West Virginia Press Association and others raised some valid issues about the press' right to know." I'll believe that when Betty Chilton (publisher of the Gazette) publishes her home address. I think we the public deserve to know who's exercising their first amendment rights if they want to print those who exercise their second amendment rights.

And listen to what Delegate Brown said in the Gazette:
"I read those lists so I know who to stay away from," she [Delegate Bonnie Brown] said. "This goes against the public's right to know."

From this we can see that Delegate Brown (D-Kanawha) does not wish to be in the company of background-checked, criminal record free, law abiding citizens. Perhaps she prefers the company of criminals. Is Delegate Brown's home address published anywhere? I think the public has a right to know.

I'm giving away a $25.00 annual membership in the WVCDL to one lucky commenter who responds to this post within the next 24 hours.

A quick search of tax records indicates that Elizabeth E. Chilton pays taxes on a property at:

Elizabeth E. Chilton