"THE BLOODSTAINED TRAIL"*  [HUNTER GRAY / JOHN R SALTER JR]  APRIL 18 2007 [AND GUN RIGHTS NOTES, UPDATED - NEW UPDATE ADDITIONS 2008 INTO 2012

 

 

 

HUNTER GRAY [HUNTER BEAR] WITH 45/70 BROWNING HIGH GRADE REPLICA OF 1886 WINCHESTER

NORTH DAKOTA  MID-1990S

 

*  This title is taken from that of a now very rare  I.W.W. - sponsored book, written by Ed. Delaney and M.T. Rice, published by The Industrial Worker, Seattle, 1927. It's 172 pages, with fine photos.  I have a copy in my personal collection.  See http://www.hunterbear.org/wobblyart3.htm -- or, for a several page sequence of Wobbly art and writing, see:

http://www.hunterbear.org/wobbly_art.htm

 

GUN CONTROL STIRS AGAIN!  (TWO POSTS BY HUNTER BEAR, JULY 26 AND JULY 27 2012)
 
Thanks for the comments, Michael.  Here are a couple of thoughts of mine:
 
At this point, an often typical American liberal position these days is to seek to ban things which disturb them and about which they know little.  The radical approach should be to get into the basic roots and seek and make fundamental changes -- e.g., economic -- even if it's presently tough to make systemic ones.
 
Gun rights people in this country will never accept direct firearms registration. [Cars are not an explicit Constitutional right but gun ownership is.] Firearms registration was a long-time traditional goal of J. Edgar Hoover.  Some of that is done in some firearms purchases via the 1968 Gun Control Act.  When pervasive gun registration was legally required in Canada several years ago, the central and western provinces -- and virtually all Native people -- bluntly refused to comply.  The gun registration effort broke down completely and died.
 
Here's my response to a good question by Blue on Redbadbear yesterday:
 

Thanks, Blue -

 
On prevention of crime and violence:  A society where there's a full measure of material, libertarian, and -- for those who want such -- spiritual well-being.
 
That's my short answer.
 
A somewhat longer one involves that which I posted the other day:
 
"I've been speaking and writing of those socio-economic causal matters and necessary reforms  since my first piece challenging gun control advocates in 1974 -- and discussing the primary causes of crime as racism  and cultural ethnocentrism, economic deprivation, urban congestion and, in that context, interpersonal and value alienation.  [A constructive answer to the growing problem of youth gang violence in today's inner cities would be reinstatement of the old Neighborhood Youth Corps -- with a strong public works employment dimension.]
 
And I again add this:
 
What we never hear is sensible  and depthy conjecture about the domestic psychiatric effects of this country's involvement in many years of wars -- proliferating and endless wars -- which have gone on ever expansively since 9/11.  The cost in lives has obviously been astronomical and the horrors of technology -- e.g., 120 people, or more, killed by a single explosion -- have been televised consistently to the four directions.  If developing psychotics, sometimes inflamed by personal economic vicissitudes,  see human life as "cheap," it shouldn't be surprising to see these mass tragedies sprouting and gushing blood across the U.S."
 
 
Expansion of mental health outreach and treatment -- with educational campaigns directed at parents and educators and designed to pick up danger signs early on.
 
Not everything violence and crime-wise can be prevented, of course.  Massive as is the Aurora tragedy, the one in Norway a couple of  years ago -- in a relatively "ordered" society -- saw about 70 people killed.
 
That gives an idea, Blue, as to where I am on all of this.  There's one more piece:  Get rid of hot weather.
 
Best,
 
HUNTER BEAR (HUNTER GRAY/JOHN R SALTER JR)
 
---------------------------------------
 
I've written a great deal about civil liberties -- and certainly on the matter of gun rights.  I'm not going to belabor the latter point anymore on these lists but Barack Obama's statements in New Orleans yesterday denouncing "military assault rifles" in the context of the Aurora tragedy do warrant clarifying comment.
 
The weapon  of which he speaks is NOT a military weapon -- something that I've explained patiently and otherwise a  great many times since the ascendancy of Bill Clinton.  It's a semi-automatic weapon, structurally no different than a .22 semi-automatic from Wal Mart.  This means that the trigger has to be pulled each time in order to fire a shot.  Fully automatic weapons -- and that includes genuine military assault weapons -- have been banned for civilian use since 1934.
 
The "military assault weapon" used by Holmes at Aurora was simply a conventional semi-automatic dressed up in superficial military garb.  The Obama administration and a whole lot of other people in  both parties are well aware of this distinction between phony military assault rifles and the real ones -- cloistered liberals often are not or don't want to be -- but the distinction, as was the case with the Clinton administration, is now once again being deliberately blurred.  Until Aurora and the mainline media talk of "gun control", we had several years of accurate reference to the phony ones as semi-automatic in nature.  So, to repeat, this has gone back into Clinton nomenclature.
 
At this point, Barack Obama has signaled that he's definitely on the side of new gun control measures.  As most gun rights people, and other thoughtful civil libertarians in general certainly know, the erosion of civil liberty usually begins with trying to "pick off" the least popular Something, however legal that may be -- in this case, phony assault rifles -- and then go on from there.
 
If I were a Democratic candidate anywhere between the Bay Area and New York City, I'd be concerned about this Obama development.
 
HUNTER BEAR (HUNTER GRAY/JOHN R SALTER JR)
 

 

UPDATE COMMENT BY HUNTER BEAR [JUNE 29   2010]:  THE MAJOR CHICAGO GUN RIGHTS VICTORY -- UPDATED
 

From the always colorful Redbadbear Discussion:

 
John [oldest son] writes and I add some thoughts:
 
"I have a vivid memory of living in Chicago in the early 1970s, when Hunter was doing his typical dangerous and good works.  The phone would ring and someone on the other end would threaten to kill us all.  Luckily Hunter was armed so even as a child, I didn't feel particularly worried.  So put that in your Goetz pipe . . ."
 
My [Hunter's] add-on:
 
"John's quite right about our experiences in Chicago.  In addition to loaded firearms, I had a heavy chain across the front door of our home, with just enough slack for the kids to go in and out of the yard.  I purchased and installed dead bolt locks -- and secured window bars from Sears and placed those on all first floor and basement windows --  and I set up an elaborate booby trap with concealed barb wire in the lower four step back stairway which went down to the basement door.  When a hate call would come, I had this message. "Come on over.  I have a special welcoming weapon for you -- a Marlin .444 lever action."  I would not have hesitated to use it lethally -- a life-long policy of mine [to this moment.]
 
Many police were hostile or, in any event, took between 30 and 45 minutes to answer a call -- especially in neighborhoods that were significantly "minority" in nature.  On one occasion, I went out of town to give a speech at Coe College in Iowa.  That information was top-secret, shared only with three key staff members of mine. But the police had wiretaps which explained why,  at 2:30 am, while I was still in Iowa, men tried to break into our home.  They couldn't because of the locks and window bars.  Eldri turned on all lights and called two of our close by neighbors, Jenkins [who was Black] and Drew [who was white] and they watched the house until I came back next day.
 
Minority people in Chicago have always been heavily armed for self-defense.  This ruling [and the probable ones to come] makes it easier.  And, hopefully, Chicago will have to dig deeper into the real sociological causes of crime and violence and maybe, maybe, act constructively in that context.
 
It's hard to explain things like this to, say, conventional  liberals who have never been in these kinds of situations.  Mostly, groups like ACLU have been unwilling to defend firearms rights.  Glad to be a Life Member of NRA for most of my life [having joined as a Junior Member at age 15.]"
 
Hunter Bear
 
 
A little more.  In large urban areas, handguns are now the defense weapon of choice. [I'm good with several types of firearms -- but I always prefer a lever action big bore rifle. I do have a small caliber revolver.]   Using Chicago as an example, Black migration into it was especially heavy from the World War I period into the '80s, joined in time by a growing Mexican population, and then a significant number of Puerto Rican in-migrants.  With the exception of the Puerto Ricans, the Black and Mexican adults and many young people coming in had hunting knowledge from "down home" and self defensive weapons often tended to be rifles and shotguns.  But, in time, the younger Black and Chicano generations, lacking hunting experience, used handguns for defense.  The Puerto Ricans mostly did all along.  The earlier waves of European newcomers -- Irish, Poles, Italians, Lithuanians and others -- often hadn't had much hunting experience -- and used handguns from the outset.  Upshot is, again, handguns are the defense weapon of choice in large urban areas..
 
As I've noted, the police dimension in big urban areas can often be very problematic in this country -- and often in smaller communities.  Equal protection for the poor and minorities can frequently be minimal.  And equal justice? -- well, we know the answer to that.
 
When those were banned by Daley et al., a vast number of law abiding people became, technically, criminals.  Many -- probably most -- didn't give up their handguns but many who "came" after the ban couldn't buy them comfortably -- and no law abiding peopole could use them comfortably.  Even before the ban, Illinois --  under pressure from Cook County/Chicago -- had  "white tape" re firearms purchases of any kind, and Chicago metro had a great deal if one wanted to purchase a handgun.
 
As I've often said, the causes of crime -- and gang culture -- are complex and involved:  racism and ethnocentrism, unemployment and sub-employment, poor schools, urban congestion and interpersonal and value alienation.  "Gun control" doesn't scratch more than a little surface with these.  Most politicos  aren't about to dig deeply into the causal factors and spend the necessary monies to prevent, control, and eventually eliminate much, if not most crime.
 
Hunter Bear

From Hunter to Ken:

 
Obviously, Ken,  you didn't answered my question on just what you -- you -- would do under the Chicago circumstances described by John and myself. But at least you do seem to recognize that people must do that which they have to in those situations.
 
Yesterday's gun rights decision was -- to be personally redundant -- a signal victory for Constitutional civil liberties and gun rights and gun owners.  All of this has been in jeopardy, in fact attacked and mangled, in the larger urban areas.  But generally in this country, state and local jurisdictions haven't been nearly the problem compared to that of the Federal government.  [Of course, the passage of time and population expansion in the "hinterland" could see threats in the future in those jurisdictions -- so yesterday's is Good Medicine.]  But the Federal dimension has been extremely problematic -- as per the Clinton witch hunt through most of the '90s -- and that's been nicely taken care of by the Heller decision of two years ago.
 
So "we" are as pleased as you are displeased.  I'm much hoping that, in due course, Clinton's ill works in  this realm will be dismantled.
 
Here's a comment from a Chicago friend on my post re personal self-defense strategies:

"Nice piece, Hunter.  Chicago is less politically violent nowadays, but the goons are still there.  Matt Reichel and I have had our vehicles bashed for opposing the machine.  Other Greens on the south side have had to deal with arson and bullets through windows.

Congratulations to us all on the partial restoration of our constitutional rights in Chicago and the other big repressive cities.  We're expecting more in the not too-distant future.  The VP of the ISRA [Illinois State Rifle Association] said that he expects concealed carry to become law in IL in a year.  Hard for me to believe, but..."
 
Alex
 

See David Kopel on "The Armed Community Organizers"  (John R Salter Jr / Hunter Gray)  http://www.nraila.org/News/Read/InTheNews.aspx?ID=13442

If the above link doesn't work, here is the Kopel piece as published by NRA / ILA:

 

A few weeks ago, I linked to a picture of civil rights activist John Salter being attacked by a mob during a lunch counter sit-in during the 1960s. I also linked to a newspaper op-ed in which Salter explained how he and other civil rights workers used firearms for protection from Klansmen and other terrorists—when Klansmen knew that a homicide would not be witnessed by the news media. Since that blog post seemed to draw great interest from the readers, I thought that some persons might be interested in the longer version of Salter’s history of the role of armed self-defense in the Civil Rights Movement.
The longer version is John R. Salter, Jr., “Social Justice  Community Organizing and the Necessity for Protective Firearms,” which is chapter 2 of The Gun Culture and Its Enemies 19-23 (William R. Tonso, editor, Merril Press,  1990.) (Merril Press is the press for the Second Amendment Foundation.) The chapter was first published as an article by Salter in Against the Current, July/August 1988. The magazine describes itself as an “analytical journal for the broad revolutionary left.”
http://www.solidarity-us.org/current/publications
Unfortunately, neither version is available on-line, so I will provide a summary.
In the mid-1960s, Salter was a full-time community organizer for the Southern Conference Educational Fund, in the very poor and highly segregated North Carolina black belt. Klan activity was heavy, and “Local law enforcement was almost completely dominated by the United Klans of America.” Klan dues were collected at the police station in Enfield.
Having received many death threats, Salter carried a Smith & Wesson .38 special in his attaché case. One night, on a long stretch of isolated country road, a Klan vehicle tried to force Salter’s car into a high-speed chase, by tailing him nearly bumper-to-bumper. “But I continued to drive sedately, mile after mile…with my revolver in my hand.” Salter and the other community organizers had put out word on the grapevine that they were all armed, and he surmises that this was the reason that the Klansmen did not try to shoot him that night.
Soon after, “a local civil rights stalwart, Mrs. Alice Evans, of Enfield, opened fire with her double-barreled 12 gauge, sprinkling several KKKers with birdshot as they endeavored to burn a cross in her driveway one night and, simultaneously , approaching her homes with buckets of gasoline.” The Klansmen fled and went to the hospital. Mrs. Evans donated the cross to the Smithsonian Museum.
Salter then recounts the story of the armed students and teachers who protected Tougaloo College, near Jackson, Mississippi, when Salter taught there in 1961-63. That story is recounted in the op-ed to which I linked in the previous post.
In late 1964, the Klan was scheduling a state-wide rally in Halifax County, near a black residential area. Rally posters were displayed at “most law enforcement offices in the county.” Salter and his fellow organizers asked the office of Governor Terry Sanford to provide state police protection for the black residents. Sanford’s office ignored the requests, until Salter went to Sanford’s office, got a meeting with the chief of staff, and told him that if the state police did not provide protection, “our people, armed to the hilt, would have no hesitation about utilizing armed self-defense in the event of Klan violence. Visibly shaken, the aide left me and conferred with Sanford. He returned quickly to promise the state police.”
Klan rallies continued for several more months in the area, and so did state police protection.
In 1965 in North Carolina, the FBI and Justice Department told Salter than an informant inside a United Klans klavern had reported on a plan to bomb Salter’s home in Raleigh.The FBI agent told Salter and his wife that the federal government could not do anything about it. Of course, “Local law enforcement was not reliable. Fortunately, we lived in the middle of a heavily armed Black community,” and Salter’s neighbors were “very protective.” They and Salter put out the word that the community was armed for defense. Thus, “We were not surprised when the bombing effort never materialized.”
In the summer of 1970, Salter was Southside Director for the Chicago Commons Association. As such, he was a community organizer for mostly “Black, Puerto Rican, and Chicano” people. On the South/Southwest side of Chicago, the racism was “often more violent and sanguinary than the Deep South of the previous decade. The Richard Daley machine was openly antagonistic to us . . .” In some but not all districts, the police were in league with the racists.
Death threats were frequent. When they were phoned in, Salter told the callers, “that I had a ticket for them, a pass to permanent eternity via my Marlin .444.” One day while Salter was at work and his wife was at home, some men with knives came to the home, but a vigilant neighbor with a revolver frightened them away.
In Chicago in 1973, Salter’s community network of nearly 300 block clubs “set up public citizen ‘watch-dog’ patrols.” These were generally unarmed, with “primary backup from a network of armed citizenry in the neighborhoods,” with whom the patrols stayed in contact via Citizens Band radio and telephone. “The effects of this well known campaign in deterring while racial violence were consistently substantial.” Soon, and as a result, politicians “forced in effect increasingly responsible and egalitarian law enforcement practices. But the patrols and vigilance of armed neighborhoods continued.”
In conclusion, Salter writers that firearms are not an absolute guarantee of safety for community organizers;  Medger  W. Evers (NAACP Field Secretary for Mississippi) was murdered in June 1963, but being armed had helped him to live for nine years longer than most people expected he would when he took the job in 1954.
In sum, “I am stating categorically that the number of fatalities” was “much smaller” because “organizers and their grassroots groups”  were “sensibly armed for self-defense.”

A few weeks ago, I linked to a picture of civil rights activist John Salter being attacked by a mob during a lunch counter sit-in during the 1960s. I also linked to a newspaper op-ed in which Salter explained how he and other civil rights workers used firearms for protection from Klansmen and other terrorists—when Klansmen knew that a homicide would not be witnessed by the news media. Since that blog post drew great interest from the readers, I thought that some persons might be interested in the longer version of Salter’s history of the role of armed self-defense in the Civil Rights Movement.

The longer version is John R. Salter, Jr., “Social Justice  Community Organizing and the Necessity for Protective Firearms,” which is chapter 2 of The Gun Culture and Its Enemies , pp. 19-23 (William R. Tonso, editor, Merril Press,  1990.) (Merril Press is the press for the Second Amendment Foundation.) The chapter was first published as an article by Salter in Against the Current, July/August 1988. The magazine describes itself as an “analytical journal for the broad revolutionary left.” Since neither version is available on-line, I will provide a summary.

In the mid-1960s, Salter was a full-time community organizer for the Southern Conference Educational Fund, in the very poor and highly segregated North Carolina black belt. Klan activity was heavy, and “Local law enforcement was almost completely dominated by the United Klans of America.” Klan dues were collected at the police station in Enfield.

Having received many death threats, Salter carried a Smith & Wesson .38 special in his attaché case. One night, on a long stretch of isolated country road, a Klan vehicle tried to force Salter’s car into a high-speed chase, by tailing him nearly bumper-to-bumper. “But I continued to drive sedately, mile after mile…with my revolver in my hand.” Salter and the other community organizers had put out word on the grapevine that they were all armed, and he surmises that this was the reason that the Klansmen did not try to shoot him that night.

Soon after, “a local civil rights stalwart, Mrs. Alice Evans, of Enfield, opened fire with her double-barreled 12 gauge, sprinkling several KKKers with birdshot as they endeavored to burn a cross in her driveway one night and, simultaneously, approaching her home with buckets of gasoline.” The Klansmen fled and went to the hospital. Mrs. Evans donated the cross to the Smithsonian Museum.

Salter then recounts the story of the armed students and teachers who protected Tougaloo College, near Jackson, Mississippi, when Salter taught there in 1961-63. That story is recounted in the op-ed to which I linked in the previous post.

In late 1964, the Klan was scheduling a state-wide rally in Halifax County, N.C., near a black residential area. Rally posters were displayed at “most law enforcement offices in the county.” Salter and his fellow organizers asked the office of Governor Terry Sanford to provide state police protection for the black residents. Sanford’s office ignored the requests, until Salter went to Sanford’s office, got a meeting with the chief of staff, and told him that if the state police did not provide protection, “our people, armed to the hilt, would have no hesitation about utilizing armed self-defense in the event of Klan violence. Visibly shaken, the aide left me and conferred with Sanford. He returned quickly to promise the state police.”

Klan rallies continued for several more months in the area, and so did state police protection.

In 1965 in North Carolina, the FBI and Justice Department told Salter than an informant inside a United Klans klavern had reported on a plan to bomb Salter’s home in Raleigh.The FBI agent told Salter and his wife that the federal government could not do anything about it. Of course, “Local law enforcement was not reliable. Fortunately, we lived in the middle of a heavily armed Black community,” and Salter’s neighbors were “very protective.” They and Salter put out the word that the community was armed for defense. Thus, “We were not surprised when the bombing effort never materialized.”

In the summer of 1970, Salter was Southside Director for the Chicago Commons Association. As such, he was a community organizer for mostly “Black, Puerto Rican, and Chicano” people. On the South/Southwest side of Chicago, the racism was “often more violent and sanguinary than the Deep South of the previous decade. The Richard Daley machine was openly antagonistic to us . . .” In some but not all districts, the police were in league with the racists.

Death threats were frequent. When they were phoned in, Salter told the callers, “that I had a ticket for them, a pass to permanent eternity via my Marlin .444.” One day while Salter was at work and his wife was at home, some men with knives came to the home, but a vigilant neighbor with a revolver frightened them away.

In Chicago in 1973, Salter’s community network of nearly 300 block clubs “set up public citizen ‘watch-dog’ patrols.” These were generally unarmed, with “primary backup from a network of armed citizenry in the neighborhoods,” with whom the patrols stayed in contact via Citizens Band radio and telephone. “The effects of this well known campaign in deterring while racial violence were consistently substantial.” Soon, and as a result, politicians instituted “increasingly responsible and egalitarian law enforcement practices. But the patrols and vigilance of armed neighborhoods continued.”

Salter write that firearms are not an absolute guarantee of safety for community organizers;  Medger  W. Evers (NAACP Field Secretary for Mississippi) was murdered in June 1963, but being armed did help him to live for nine years longer than most people expected he would when he took the job in 1954.

In sum, “I am stating categorically that the number of fatalities” was “much smaller” because “organizers and their grassroots groups”  were “sensibly armed for self-defense.”

 

UPDATE COMMENT BY HUNTER BEAR [APRIL 26 2009]: EPITAPH FOR GUN CONTROL?  WELL, HOPEFULLY.

 
[It's worth noting that, in writing the following this morning, my computer froze four times, necessitating a re-boot with each occurrence.  Weather is fine, power flow OK, computer is technically in good shape.  Draw your own conclusions].
 
 
"Gun control" -- at least for the long time -- appears now to be a fast dying political issue in the country.
 
As the several recent mass shootings flared -- most of those involving a perpetrator whose personal instability had clearly been badly jarred by job loss -- gun control talk became a conspicuous dimension in some main-line media quarters and a few political ones.  And then, abruptly, it's ceased.  Much publicized features on MSNBC's generally good Keith Olbermann's show and that of Rachel Madow -- never appeared.  Soon thereafter, an MSNBC news article indicated the Obama administration, under direct pressure from several dozen Democratic Congresspeople, was abandoning any efforts it may have contemplated in that vein -- including attempts to re-install the lapsed ban on so-called "assault rifles."
 
That's politically prudent -- and also legally so.  The latter landscape has changed considerably because of the June 2008 USSC decision finally and definitively clarifying the Second Amendment as an Individual right -- no more and no less than any other of the key components in our Bill of Rights.
 
The last word I heard on MSNBC for gun control came from the rather likeable Pennsylvania Gov, Ed Rendell, who wants it -- and who referred to the NRA as a "paper tiger."  That label is a total misreading.  The NRA currently has at least three million members -- including myself -- and can, should tangible efforts in the gun control genre emerge, quickly mobilize millions and millions of firearms owners to and from the country's Four Directions.  Groups like the American Civil Liberties Union have done nothing to protect 2nd Amendment rights -- and, in fact, its National office has traditionally taken the other side of the "individual right" issue.  It and some of its affiliates can become heated about the blurring of church/state lines and do great good work on, say, the First and Fourth Amendments [among others] but virtually not even a bone of assistance to gun people.
 
ACLU and other comparable groups said virtually nothing when the obviously idiosyncratic Randy Weaver, a "white separatist," living in a remote section of Idaho [and unaffiliated with any extremist groups] was obviously set-up by ATF, his wife and son killed, a friend seriously injured. [This occurred in the waning days of Bush I.]  It remained for the intrepid Wyoming lawyer, Gerry Spence, to secure some measure of justice for Weaver.  And ACLU said nothing much about the Waco massacre --  which many observers at the time felt could have been avoided by a less zealous Federal approach, a retrospective position now held fairly widely.  Nor did many of the country's liberals say anything -- save applause -- when the Clinton administration followed up on its Waco with a full scale witch-hunt against guns and gun owners.
 
The ACLU's small Idaho affiliate did verbally support the Second Amendment in the full sense some years ago -- hardly a daring position in the Gem State.  But when we asked several times for its assistance in the matter of our obvious political harassment by "lawmen" [which continues], neither it nor the National  office even acknowledged our requests.  So I have a couple of loaded firearms in the house -- a generally known fact hereabouts.  I haven't felt the need to carry a revolver hidden on my person for some years. Occasionally  and  sometimes frequently in other settings I have -- even a few times in North Dakota -- but I still usually always have "something" in my vehicle when we travel out of town, especially at night. [Haven't done that driving for awhile but probably will before long.]  I should add that I've never gotten a "concealed/carry" permit -- although those are solidly lawful.  And I do have grave reservations about any state laws [e.g., Florida] that encourage folks to pervasively pack guns in their daily routines as a "crime control" measure.  It's permissible under the Second but it makes no sense to me -- nor does it apparently to most states or individuals.
 
Clinton started his campaign against firearms by going after "assault rifles" -- not widely popular among gun owners and clearly the weakest part of the gun sector.  With that ban [later expired during Bush II] in place, the Clinton forces then stepped up a broad offensive which, before it was eventually blocked [thanks much to NRA], did do some lasting damage.  As a number of us have pointed out, the so-called assault weapons are simply conventional semi-automatics, dressed up superficially in militaristic clothing.  They are not automatics.  Through technical modification, they can be made fully automatic -- but that's illegal [going back to the ban on civilian use of machine guns in 1934.]  The conventional "assault" weapons do have the capability of holding larger ammunition magazines -- but any experienced shooter with a clip-using semi-automatic can accomplish the same thing in a few seconds by carrying  extra reloading clips in his or her pocket.
 
I've never been a whit impressed since I was a high schooler in police objections to folks having firearms.  The time-honored saw of those backing gun control -- "license the gun owners as we license vehicle drivers" -- falls as well.  I've had drivers' licenses from a number of states and every single driver's manual has informed me, at the outset, that the license is a privilege, not a right.  Well, fine -- and I, by the way, have a spotless driving record since I started driving in 1949 or so [only a very few very minor traffic things].  But gun ownership in this country is, to be redundant, a Right -- and one now very clearly protected by the Second Amendment.
 
So I'm glad that the Obama people seem to be backing fast away from more "gun control."  There are far bigger Real issues -- and there is the now considerably strengthened Second Amendment.  I remain hopeful that that conclusive delineation of the Second as an individual right will diffuse, over time, much of the "earned paranoia" on the part of some gun owners that began during the Clinton era -- and, in my opinion, is responsible for folks, fearing a repeat of the Clinton proscriptions, rushing out to buy guns in the immediate aftermath of Obama's election.  We continue to wish groups like ACLU very well indeed in their mostly very worthwhile endeavors.
 
And we remain glad that the NRA is part of the national scenery.  As an NRA friend in North Dakota, personally a very sedate guy, said to me once on NRA, "I guess it's kind of like our church when it comes to firearms freedom.  We don't always agree with our church  on everything -- but it's still our church."
 
And so it is.
 
Yours,
 
Hunter [Hunter Bear]
 
 
HUNTER GRAY [HUNTER BEAR/JOHN R SALTER JR] Mi'kmaq /St. Francis
Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´
and Ohkwari'
 
I have always lived and worked in the Borderlands.
 
 

THE RIGHTS OF GUN OWNERS IN THE UNITED STATES:  THE HISTORIC U.S. SUPREME COURT DECISION [HUNTER GRAY/HUNTER BEAR -- JUNE 26 2008]  SPECIAL INSERT -- WE ARE PLEASED THAT THIS HAS BEEN WIDELY CIRCULATED AND PUBLISHED BY MY TOWN AND BY THE MASS CIRCULATION PORTSIDE.

Thanks to today's ruling by the United States Supreme Court in the DC gun
case -- 5-4 -- the Second Amendment's status as a full member of the Bill of
Rights of the U.S. Constitution, and the rights of several million gun
owners in this country, are now relatively assured.

We don't always approve of the current Court's rulings -- but we certainly
do on this one. [And it's good to see the barbaric death penalty take another
judicial hit -- as it did yesterday.]

This specific ruling, widely expected for well over a year, has been a long,
long time coming. What's been surprising is that it's taken the USSC this
long to reach this significant point. It's been inconceivable to many of
us, gun owners and many students of history [and law], that the framers of
the Constitution would install any Right in the Bill of Rights on a
second-class basis.

But for generations, the Court has been ambivalent on this. The Second
contains the one word, "militia," which has served until now as a major
snag, and has been used by many liberals and law enforcement officials to
demean the full individual rights status of the Amendment -- even as these
forces ignored the most critical phrase, "the right of the people to keep
and bear Arms shall not be infringed."

No longer. The Second's real status is now secure. The Court recognizes
that, among other dimensions, "militia" in the early days meant a generally
well armed citizenry. This does not mean that the "slippery slope" problems
will disappear. The First and the Fourth and the Fourteenth Amendments,
among others, have always been recognized as as full individual rights --
but they continue to require "eternal vigilance" with respect to their
protection.

From, among other things, a political perspective, this ruling will
significantly reduce the "earned paranoia" felt by most American gun
owners [including this writer.] We well remember the systematic and
often vicious attacks on gun owners, firearms in general, and the
Second. Much of this occurred, year after year, during the Bill Clinton
administration. Civil liberties groups, such as the ACLU, and many
generally committed civil libertarians, remained "discreetly" silent. The
NRA did yeoman service in protecting the rights of gun owners -- often
incurring denigrating attacks of the worst sort [e.g., accused of supporting
para-militarism -- which NRA has consistently and explicitly opposed.]
In the midst of this, NRA membership grew from about 2.5 million to the
well over 4 million of today.

The Court obviously recognizes that various jurisdictional settings will
wish measures of "gun control" based on respective exceptionalism. But these
will now have to be measured against the formal recognition that the Second
is now rooted in hard-rock, now and forever.

From age seven on, I personally have been an avid gun owner. At 15, I was a
founder of our Junior National Rifle Association club at Flagstaff [Arizona]
High [Northern Arizona junior marksmanship champs] and served as its
president. In those days, we opposed J. Edgar Hoover's "gun registration"
proposals with zeal [and later at least I had many more reasons to oppose
Hoover and his nefarious agency.] I've been an NRA member from that time
onward and a Life member for most of my life, presently holding the highest
grade of NRA Life membership.

The NRA was founded in 1871 by Union Army veterans. Its primary focus
has always been the defense of the rights of gun owners -- and the integrity
of the Second Amendment. And it traditionally sponsors firearms safety
courses and is active in conservation causes. Politically, it's
non-partisan.

From those high school days onward, through the Army and far beyond to this
present moment, I've spoken and written and published widely on the critical
importance of the individual's right to keep and bear firearms. Early on,
my emphasis shifted somewhat from hunting [which I certainly support] to
principled individual self-defense. This has included self-defense against
armed adversaries of social justice [e.g., the Ku Klux Klan and company
goons and comparable elements] as well as criminals. [This position has
certainly engendered flak from openly frightened as well as stealthy
proponents of gun control measures -- but flak, verbal or physical, has
certainly never stopped me from pursuing that which I believe is right.]

Nor has it stopped a great multitude of others. And we all now stand at the
top of a most significant mountain peak.

I have, close at hand here in Idaho, a loaded Marlin 45/70 lever action
rifle and a loaded .22 Magnum Ruger revolver. [I also have the
impressive and rather archaic Family Tomahawk in my possession.]
Since we moved to Idaho eleven years ago, it's clear that at least
a few locals are hostile. There have been a number of disturbing
night-time things.

As I have previously written:

The causes of crime are complex and involved: racism and ethnocentrism,
economic deprivation, urban congestion -- and, in that context,
inter-personal and value alienation. They can't be effectively touched by
diversionary and gimmicky (e.g., "gun control") legislation. But
diversionary and gimmicky legislation can hurt good people and profoundly
damage the foundation stones of any good society.

For much more on this, see this representative essay of mine, "Civil Rights
and Self-Defense" from Against the Current [excellent socialist journal]
http://www.hunterbear.org:80/liveissueshtm.htm

Yours, Hunter [Hunter Bear]

_____________________________________________________

A FOLLOW UP NOTE TO DISCUSSION GROUPS  [HUNTER BEAR]:

I'm very pleased that Edward Pickersgill has placed my piece in my Bear's Lair at My Town -- and that Portside is carrying it tonight in its packet of posts.

One of my major volunteer involvements in North Dakota and Idaho during the very difficult Bill Clinton period was providing public relations services for various Friends of NRA organizations -- and training locals in the effective handling of news media. At one time, I was even working long-distance with faraway [from Idaho] groups at Billings and Cheyenne. At Grand Forks, Thomas [our grandson/son] and I would man the NRA booth at the Dacotah Gun Shows and handle silent auctions at the Friends of NRA functions. He and I were recalling those days fondly during a long phone visit the other evening. After those events, we would go to Arby's for our respective plate-fulls of great roast beef sandwiches.

Before he left for Med School, I gave him one of my favorite lever action rifles. Hard to believe that, in less than a year, he'll be a doctor.

Ever, Hunter [Hunter Bear]

_____________________________________________________________

INSERT PIECE:  ERIC HOLDER [HUNTER BEAR]  FEBRUARY 25 2009

In response to John's post on Redbadbear -- stemming from my post on Nat Hentoff's critique of Eric Holder.
 
What this boils down to is that Holder -- like much of the Obama inner circle -- is no friend of gun owners.  In his case, judging from his career as Deputy Attorney General under Janet Reno and Bill Clinton, it's clear that he's more of an open and explicit foe of gun owners than at least most of the others.  But he's also a born "team player" -- though one whose advice on the gun score could certainly be problematic.  He does have two major problems:  the last thing most Democratic politicians -- and at least some of the Republicans -- want to get into is "that issue."  Secondly, there is the June USSC decision clarifying the Second Amendment as an individual right -- and this, a strong bulwark of defense for gun owners, promises tangle after tangle of litigation should the Obama administration move in an overtly anti-gun fashion. 
 
Holder was a prime force behind heavily armed ATF raids on a number of gun owners in the latter '90s -- whose prime "sin" in many cases appears only to have been that they had large quantities of firearms.  [The Second Amendment doesn't place a limit on the number of guns a person can possess.]  These raids were denounced by NRA people as initiated and carried by "jack booted thugs" -- a phrase initially used verbatim in that specific context by liberal Democratic Congressman John Dingell of Michigan -- a Life member of NRA.  Holder was certainly involved in the administrative decrees of the Clinton period which, using frivolous criteria such as selling guns from one's residence rather than maintaining a commercial store, wiped out 200,000 small Federally licensed gun owners who sold mainly to family and friends and who were a significant check on the price gouging "big" gun dealers.  Holder was certainly a key figure in grossly exaggerating the "militia menace" in this country -- virtually all of those statistically minimal groups, in entity numbers and membership, being made up of harmless wannabe soldiers who played nonviolent games on weekends. [Only a few of the militia groups were genuinely dangerous by reasonable yardsticks.] Another major contributor to this "inflation" was Morris Dees of the Southern Poverty Law Center.  Clinton's 1996 Anti-Terrorism and Death Penalty Restoration Act, used by Bush in the immediate post 9-11 era, was, as I've often noted, the precursor of the Patriot Act.  In 1999, FBI director Louis Freeh began to predict an armed para-military outbreak when the clock struck midnight [he didn't give the specific time zone] on January 1 2000 and "the computers turned over date-wise."  Those dire and hysterical warnings proved pure fantasy.  It's probable that Holder, who from the AG's office has traditionally worked closely with the FBI, was a party to the furtherance of this truly wild canard.
 
But these days, I see the matter of  certain "other" civil liberties in our atmosphere of "war on terror" and emphasized national security as the immediate challenge in that arena -- just as it's been for the preceding eight years and at many other points in this nation's history.
 
Holder bears watching -- and so, frankly, does Obama.  And civil libertarians need to keep the pressure on -- and on.
 
Yours, HUNTER [HUNTER BEAR]

____________________________________________________________

 
NOTE BY HUNTER BEAR:  [April 18 2007]    AND SCROLL DOWN FOR MUCH MORE

 

It still remains difficult -- given the endlessly pervasive preoccupation of virtually all television media with the events in Virginia -- to get much of a specific handle on the general run of national and global challenges and tragedies.  Even locally, here in Eastern Idaho, some of the high points of a truly gory murder trial at Pocatello were preempted on some stations by the national networks.  The "historical" discussion and analysis on Redbadbear re other specific colossal tragedies -- those directed against Native people such as the slaughter at Wounded Knee in late 1890 -- and the Kent State situation [remember Jackson State in the same time frame as Kent] , are commendably lively and interesting.  It is a long "river of blood and pain."  One thinks, in addition to those cited, such sanguinary crucibles as the Bear River Massacre just south of here in early 1863:  three hundred or so Shoshone men, women, and children summarily killed by California Volunteers and others sponsored by the Union Army. [As I've noted a few times before, a good friend indeed and a former student, Dr Kass Fleisher, published a fine and revealing book -- which travels well beyond the historical period and its horrific events -- into the implications and ramifications [often troubling] of Right Now. The book is The Bear River Massacre and the Making of History [Albany:  State University of New York Press, 2004.]  And as we mention the Sand Creek slaughter of peaceful Cheyenne and Arapaho in eastern Colorado in 1864 by Colorado militia, let's remember as well the 1914 Ludlow Massacre in southern Colorado when about two dozen [at least] striking coal miners and women and children were shot down by Rockefeller gunmen.  Some years ago, Mack [youngest son] and I stopped by the UMWA monument [which I had visited several times earlier] commemorating that martyrdom.  I, myself think of the English massacre of  several hundred Abenaki men, women, and children [and their Jesuit priest] on the banks of Maine's Kennebec River almost 150 years before Sand Creek -- and the equally genocidal 1759 assault by the British Rogers' Rangers on the St Francis Abenaki mission village at Odanak in southern Quebec.  Lots and lots of tragedy on The Bloodstained Trail.
 
A note from my oldest son, [John/Beba] earlier this morning mentioned that another former student of mine, now a lawyer, has secured acquittal for a young Black man charged with murder in the Fargo/Moorhead setting.  Always good to hear things like that.  John also mentioned, as I have observed here and there within the current television marathon, the fact that "gun control" is now again being raised -- as the desperate search for blame at Virginia picks up steam.  Since my lifelong stance against That is well known, I won't belabor it at this point.  But, more than thirty years ago, I wrote -- and have since repeated -- that crime and violence are not caused by guns.  They are generated by "racism and ethnocentrism, economic deprivation, population growth and urban congestion and inter-personal and value alienation."  Address those substantively and we all may get somewhere but, again as I wrote almost a year ago, if --
 
"Now, the Democrats do finally stand a fighting chance -- in the Lost Lands
of the Mountain West, the Midwest, the South.  There is, obviously, no end
of issues of social concern.  But if the "national Democrats" swallow "gun
control" -- especially in any national form [and there is a fair chance some
may try that one] -- and if they embrace Hillary for President [not too
likely at this point but who knows, given the tendency of much of Humanity
to "snatch defeat from the jaws of victory"] -- it'll be right back to the
Funeral Mountains of Death Valley."
 
Our Left, such as it is in this country, should think long and hard before it jumps into gun control advocacy.  It already has the signal problem -- given its tendency to talk only to and with itself and to swim into the less rational waters of "political correctness"[I'm not talking about reasonable good taste and good sense] -- of an obviously very basic and often multi-faceted non-connect relationship with mainline America.
 
I should add that, since the DC gun ban has been overturned by the Federal Appellate body and has now been accepted judgment-wise by the USSC, a possible ruling by the high court conclusively delineating the Second Amendment as that which it has always been -- an Individual Right [with all of its companion Rights] -- may reduce some of the gun control concern and fervor on all sides. That could open the door, within the context of the Second, to regionally sensitive and thoughtful state approaches.
 
Solidarity -- H.

______________________________________________________________________

COMMENT TO ED PICKERSGILL BY HUNTER:

Thanks, Ed, for placing my piece in your quite good indeed web magazine [My Town].

We also have it now on our Hunterbear website under the name, "The Bloodstained Trail." That is the title of one of the now rarest IWW-sponsored books, The Bloodstained Trail: A History of Militant Labor in the United States, by Ed. Delaney and M.T. Rice, and published by The Industrial Worker [then the western organ of the IWW] at Seattle, 1927. [I credit it on my website caption.] I am fortunate to have a copy [right here on my desk, btw] in my pretty large collection of Wobbly, WFM, and Mine Mill materials.

Anyway, again thanks much. As Ever, H

http://www.mytown.ca/ev.php?URL_ID=119184&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

SPECIAL INSERT [DECEMBER 25 2007]:  ANOTHER CHRISTMAS, ANOTHER TIME [HUNTER BEAR]

 

NOTE BY HUNTER BEAR:

I'm attaching a short response of mine to an African-American scholar.    We consistently practiced tactical non-violence in civil rights demonstrations -- but, more or less quietly, we did support and did indeed sometimes explicitly practice thoughtfully active individual/family self-defense via firearms.

It's been 45 years since Eldri and I and Baby Maria had a long Christmas dinner and family visit with Medgar and Myrlie Evers and children at the Evers home on Guynes Street.  The ethos was somber, especially as night came on.   James Meredith was in Ole Miss -- protected by legions of Federal troops and U.S. Marshals.  Our economic boycott of Jackson was off and going well. And we were already planning its extension into a vastly broader Movement -- which was precisely what happened.  Four nights before, our home on the Tougaloo campus had been shot into -- and several of us had since been standing armed guard on the campus borders.  Racist hysteria pervaded Mississippi [and the other recalcitrant sections of the South] and violence and murder were in the air, all around us.  Our pleasant Christmas dinner, no matter how much we all attempted to "lighten" things, was grim. Medgar and I knew guns, had guns.

 Less than six months later, June 11 1963, Medgar was shot in the back and killed by a night-time assassin.  And much more in that genre occurred.

 From Hunter:

Your question is solid.  The short answer is that the National Office of NAACP was not concerned about Medgar's being armed. [It was obviously concerned about other things -- but not that.]  It was understood in every civil rights organization that field representatives -- and certainly the grassroots people with whom we worked -- would very likely be armed.  [Then and now, of course, most people in what's called the United States do have firearms.  This is certainly true of African Americans, South and North -- and universally true with Native Americans.]  But although many if not most civil rights field people were armed, we were not -- usually -- too public about that. A major reason was the concern that many liberal/left Northern supporters [not all] would be troubled by that.  I was probably more open about my firearms than were many civil rights field persons. The NAACP had felt itself to be "burned" by the Rob Williams self-defense situation in Monroe, NC -- where Williams, NAACP local president, and faced with constant and very substantive Klan violence, secured an NRA charter and organized a broad self-defensive structure in the Black community. [He was also a supporter of the Cuban revolution.]  When trouble erupted in the Monroe situation, the NAACP attacked Williams, who was forced from the country and several of his colleagues subjected to "criminal" charges.  Medgar, during one of our earliest conversations, expressed to me his strong sympathy for Williams and his self-defensive actions.

There were "ways of warning" the hostile forces we faced.  I and my wife, Eldri, recall vividly Medgar's telling us that a young white utility worker came by his house, somewhat nervously, to check on some outside power lines.  When the guy was finished, Medgar invited him into his home, ostensibly to show him "a large fish that I caught, stuffed, and put on my wall."  The young man came in but, only glancing at the stuffed fish, stared at a couple of Medgar's rifles that were also racked on the wall. "He couldn't take his eyes off my guns," Medgar told us, chuckling. 

Hope this has been helpful.  All best -- and write again if so inclined.  In Solidarity, Hunter [Hunter Bear]

HUNTER GRAY [HUNTER BEAR/JOHN R SALTER JR] Mi'kmaq /St. Francis
Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´
and Ohkwari'

_____________________________________________________________________________

COMMENT TO MICHAEL MARINO BY HUNTER:  4/19/07

Michael:

Your thoughts are thoughtful. You've mulled these gun issues over in a fashion that is often absent in liberal and left circles. Handguns are not my own "gun focus." Of the seven firearms I now have, one is a Ruger single-action .22 magnum revolver, one is a single-barrel ten gauge 3 1/2 inch magnum  shotgun, and the others are all big bore "Western" lever action rifles whose mechanical  origins are pre-1900. On the other hand, looking at it functionally and realistically, the country is full of good folks who enjoy handgun shooting and/or who have handguns for protection [and often protection is needed.] The "assault rifles" that are often used as media scare stuff are actually semi-automatics, whose actions are no different than a very conventional.22 semi-automatic that is readily available in many stores around the country. As you may know, a semi-automatic requires a trigger pull for each shot. Fully automatic weapons -- pull the trigger once and a full flow of shots follow -- have been banned in this country since the year I was born [1934.] The so-termed "assault rifles" are dressed up in superficially militaristic clothing -- trimmings -- but are still simple semi-automatics [not machine guns!] Their nature was deliberately misrepresented by the Clinton crowd -- and those canards were widely believed [and probably still are] by all too many normally thoughtful liberals and left folk [most of whom don't know the difference between a Red Ryder "bb" gun and real firearms.]

In the end, I'm against virtually all "gun control." Most of the people who advocate "gun control" and mass Federal registration of firearms, etc., really want confiscation and prohibition of all firearms. "Slippery slope" [erosion] concerns are very legitimate concerns where gun rights and other rights are involved. And "outlaw types" will always have guns -- whatever the degree of so-termed official "gun control." Virtually all of the many handguns in this country -- a vast number -- are used legitimately by sensible people.

And, "gun control" is often a diversion -- deliberate and otherwise -- to avoid dealing with the basic systemic issues that, directly and indirectly, lead to criminal behavior: e.g., corporate capitalism.

Again, I do very much appreciate the serious thought that you are giving to all of this. I see very little of that on this issue among many liberal and left people. But you have always been a commendable Free Thinker, Mike!

Best, H

________________________________________________________________________________

LIST POST BY HUNTER:  4/19/07

 

NOTE BY HUNTER BEAR:

 Some may have already seen this -- but this excerpt from one of our Website pages ["Young Red"] is worth another shot, especially in view of Michael Marino's thoughtful examination of the Gun Question on RBB this morning and my response.  I should add that I have written and spoken pretty widely in favor of gun rights  and sensible self-defense for virtually my whole life and have been favorably quoted in a very wide range of journals on the topic. [I do, essentially, support tactical nonviolence in demonstrations.] Papers of mine have been included as chapters in books on gun rights. [My Website "Narrative" section mentions some of my published  writings on the subject.]  Frank Dolphin, mentioned in my  following  little intro, was an early mentor of mine. [See "Coming of Age in the Red"  on our website.]  Frank, a cowpuncher by trade, had also been a radical strike organizer in the turbulent California farm labor wars in the 1930s -- and later an officer in RCAF in the Pacific Theatre during World War II. 
 
I can cite a number of my own personal examples re principled self-defense all the way through to the present.  H

I've been an organizer all of my life and I always will be one -- and you have to be tough, damn tough, to be a really effective organizer.   Here, quoted by Attorney David Kopel  [formerly an assistant district attorney in Manhattan and  an  active civil libertarian] in his essay, "Trust the People," is a part of the critically important legacy given by Frank Dolphin to me.

"In the 1950s and 1960s, a new civil rights movement began in the South. White supremacist tactics were just as violent as they had been during Reconstruction. Blacks and civil rights workers armed for self-defense.

John Salter, a professor at Tougaloo College and chief organizer of the N.A.A.C.P.'s Jackson Movement during the early 1960s, wrote, "No one knows what kind of massive racist retaliation would have been directed against grass-roots black people had the black community not had a healthy measure of firearms within it."

Salter personally had to defend his home and family several times against attacks by night riders. After Salter fired back, the night riders fled.

The unburned Ku Klux Klan cross in the Smithsonian Institution was donated by a civil rights worker whose shotgun blast drove Klansmen away from her driveway.

State or federal assistance sometimes came not when disorder began but when blacks reacted by arming themselves. In North Carolina, Governor Terry Sanford refused to command state police to protect a civil rights march from Klan attacks. When Salter warned Governor Sanford that if there were no police, the marchers would be armed for self-defense, the Governor provided police protection."

Hunter Bear

___________________________________________________________________________________

COMMENT BY HUNTER:
 
Well, Mike, I agree that military assault weapons of any genre have no role in civilian society. Paramilitary posturing has always turned me totally off; once invited to a Dakota/Minnesota "militia" organizational conclave, I rather rudely declined. I remain a good NRA member and a devotee of most gun shows. Our Junior NRA Rifle Club at Flag High, [top Junior Marksmen in Northern Arizona], of which I was President, formed an early dislike of J. Edgar Hoover because of his fervent advocacy of Federal gun registration. Later, of course, I had many other good reasons as well.

I shall, of course, always oppose "gun control" -- unless we are speaking of my [or anyone's] trigger finger as a logical constraining/initiating influence.

Hunter Bear
 
__________________________________________________________
 
 
COMMENT BY S.
 
A lot of members of my peace group are into gun control. Some of them are the same folks who worry about attacks by right wingers or even a coup. Their lack of understanding of the role of self-defense in social change never stops amazing me...though I do what I can to help them understand it, Some are impervious to learning.
 
S.
________________________________________________________________
 
COMMENT BY JOHN SALTER:
 
Well, from a practical standpoint, banning handguns just wouldn't work. There are millions upon millions of handguns floating around. Making something illegal doesn't make it simply evaporate. Drugs are illegal and there has not been a decline in their availability.

Energy spent trying to enact gun laws would be better spent trying to attack the root causes of violence and crime. Have you ever considered that the forces in power enjoy the pointless efforts to outlaw guns because it sucks energy from helping the truly marginalized gain a foothold?
 
J.S.
 
______________________________________________________________________

AND NORLA ANTINORO OBSERVES:

Have any of the mass killers of our times [recorded history] been responsible, well trained gun owners? I think not. All the gun owners are not republican and not all anti gun people are liberals. Most people who are vehemently pro gun control are control freaks who would hide their own guns under the bed and then make a law that says you can't have one.

Norla

________________

HUNTER BEAR COMMENT ON NRA ISSUES:

My stand for the Second Amendment [and the Bill of Rights in general] is too
well known on RBB to repeat at this point. But there are a couple of points
with respect to this piece that warrant mention: NRA is quite right indeed to
sharply question the validity of government-designated "suspected terrorists" on
secret governmental lists -- i.e., bills of attainer. Anyone who knows the sordid
history and cruel fall-out in periods of fear and hysteria in this country
knows precisely to what that kind of witch-hunting leads. A second point is that
NRA has never -- never -- sanctioned "militias" and other types of para-military
organizations. Since it has almost four million members, it can hardly be
responsible for any one individual -- but, in 1994 and 1995, aware of
militia growth, NRA took extremely strong positions against all forms of
para-military organization:

http://www.firearmsandliberty.com/nra.militia.statement.html

Hunter Bear

_____________________________________________________________

Feel like I'm back in the Billy Clinton days. Fire courses through my veins.

Pope's piece states:

"George H.W. Bush, the current Bush's father, withdrew his membership when
an NRA mail-out described civil servants as "jack-booted government thugs"
wearing "nazi bucket helmets and black storm trooper uniforms,"  etc. but Bush Junior
remains faithful. In 2004, he allowed the law banning assault weapons to
sunset."


In 1992, the  essentially non-partisan NRA declined to endorse either
Clinton or Bush I. [NRA, I should add, remains non-partisan.]

The statement by NRA -- "jack-booted government thugs," etc -- was taken
verbatim from that originally given shortly before by liberal Democratic
Congressman from Michigan, John Dingell -- still in Congress and still a
Life Member of NRA. Dingell was quite rightly alarmed at police state tactics.
Most of the media were not -- nor was most of the ACLU.

The "assault weapons" in question are, as I have frequently noted,
conventional semi-automatic rifles dressed up in superficially "scary" militaristic
clothing. In actuality, there is no structural difference, save in caliber, between
them and semi-automatic .22s . Fully automatic weapons have been banned in the US
since 1934. All of this was deliberately confused by the Clinton folks and
their media allies.

If Pope is going to get into these things, he should learn, as the lawyers
put it, the factual situation.

Hunter Bear -- Benefactor Life Member of NRA and Life Member of North Dakota
Shooting Sports Association.

_________________________________________________________________
 

AND EVEN MORE GUN COMMENT!  [MAY 16 2007]

ATTORNEY REBER BOULT WRITES FROM NEW MEXICO:

This, from an article
at http://www.lexisone.com/news/nlibrary/n050707a.html , is interesting;
it's not exactly my view but maybe I'll come around too:

'Laurence H. Tribe, a law professor at Harvard, said he had come to
believe that the Second Amendment protected an individual right.

'"My conclusion came as something of a surprise to me, and an unwelcome
surprise," Professor Tribe said. "I have always supported as a matter of
policy very comprehensive gun control."

'The first two editions of Professor Tribe's influential treatise on
constitutional law, in 1978 and 1988, endorsed the collective rights
view. The latest, published in 2000, sets out his current interpretation.

'Several other leading liberal constitutional scholars, notably Akhil
Reed Amar at Yale and Sanford Levinson at the University of Texas, are
in broad agreement favoring an individual rights interpretation. Their
work has in a remarkably short time upended the conventional
understanding of the Second Amendment, and it set the stage for the
Parker decision.'

Reber Boult



HUNTER BEAR WRITES IN RESPONSE TO SEVERAL RBB LIST COMMENTS:

First, I much appreciate Reber's post on the now fast developing recognition
that the Second Amendment is an individual right -- along with all of the
other individual rights guaranteed in the Constitution. Professor Tribe's
current assessment is a valuable contribution to our [non-violent] arsenal.
And I am delighted that Reber, whose opinions I much respect, is most
thoughtfully "coming over" [with "deliberate speed"] on this one.
The Heavens smile in cordial fashion, Reber, and the Angels sing. All of
this, of course -- Figuratively.

With all due respect to Canada, Ed, within which I have more relatives from
both sides of my family than I do in the 'States, it has made a holy mess of
the gun thing. Its mass gun registration scheme [rightly feared by many as a
prelude to outright confiscation and prohibition] which grew out of Ontario,
has angered the western provinces and virtually all Native people. [BTW, I
have never met an American Indian or Alaskan Native -- or Canadian Native
anywhere in Canada -- who supported even a modicum of "gun control." There
may be some but we have never met.] The Canadian West has largely refused to
comply with the national firearms registration policies levied by the
Federal government. And the Natives, with unique and vital socio-cultural
and legal sovereignty and often with some economic dimensions contingent on
hunting and trapping, most certainly have not.

We all know the sweeping gun bans that have occurred in Great Britain and
Australia et al.

The logical and functional fallacies in, say, taking a gun-related tragedy
and seeking to build restrictive national gun policies out of that, should
be obvious to all -- especially after the debacle of the Clinton years.

I should add that, while I have a respectable firearms collection -- all of
which stem from pre-1900 patents -- and this includes one revolver, I myself
have never been interested in a "concealed / carry" permit [though I
obviously believe the right to have one falls within the context of the
Second.] There have been a number of social justice organizing occasions
where I have carried -- and in very, very rare cases, used -- firearms for
self-defense. I have, when I've felt the need, sometimes carried a rifle in
my vehicle or a revolver in its holster on the front seat -- and, now and
then, I have carried a revolver out-of-sight on my person, though not in
recent times. In our Southern years, I usually had a revolver in my vehicle
and frequently in my attaché case. Presently, I have a loaded .444 Marlin
lever action rifle here in our Idaho home.

I think it's reasonably well known that I have written and spoken widely on
behalf of the Second and gun rights in general. John will recall our 1988
trip to Mississippi and New Orleans where I had several pending
involvements. In New Orleans, I spoke on behalf of firearms and self-defense
at the National Popular Culture conference, drawing heavily from my Southern
movement, Chicago, and other organizing experiences. Most of the
sociologists present, including Bill Tonso who chaired the session, agreed
with me. I did have a somewhat unpleasant clash with Gary ____, a
supercilious Easterner. Sitting in the back of the room, and unseen by all
save me, and smiling broadly, John held up my attaché case and pointed -- 
very pointedly indeed -- within it. It contained my .357 Ruger revolver. But
I used words to successfully  make my points. My presentation, "Civil Rights
and Self-Defense" was widely published: Tonso made it a chapter in his The
Gun Culture and its Enemies, it appeared in the fine socialist journal,
Against the Current, and in various other places. I find it quoted
hither-and-yon even now.

When my son, Peter [Mack] graduated from the UND journalism school, and
immediately joined the Bismarck Tribune -- quite soon becoming its State
Editor -- I gave him that revolver as a graduation gift. He was glad to have
it when he went down into LaMoure Co. [ND] to investigate and write about a
racist coven [the Missouri-based Winrod outfit], a genuinely dangerous gang.
He did a fine series of pieces but did not need to display his reassuring
weapon. I gave John my Derringer a few years later; and to Thomas I recently
gave one of my favorite rifles [a nice little .357 lever action.]

But I still have a very respectable firearms collection and I still have a
loaded Marlin quite nearby.

Happy shooting. HUNTER BEAR

_________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________________________

MY SMALL BUT VERY SELECT FIREARMS COLLECTION [HUNTER BEAR]

My Browning Super High Grade 1895 30/06 -- One In One Thousand  [Serial Number 00314]

 

 

A Northern Arizonian, I have been a life-long hunter and gun person.  Since the day that I turned seven and  a cousin gave me my first rifle --  a .22 Winchester pump with an octagon barrel and a steel curved butt plate -- I have had, via buying and selling and trading, at least 200 different firearms.  My present collection includes seven -- five rifles, a shotgun, and a revolver:  Browning  1895 30/06 lever action ["One In One Thousand"];  Browning 1886 45/70 lever action ["High Grade"]; Marlin 45/70 lever action; Marlin .444 lever action;  a Rossi .44 magnum lever action; a single barrel New England Firearms 3 1/2" magnum shotgun; and a Ruger Single Six revolver in .22 magnum.  The Browning rifles are recent top-flight replicas of the respective old Winchesters. [John Browning of Northern Utah created most of the original Winchesters.] The two top-of-the-line that I have feature the highest grade steel -- and polished wood -- and are beautifully and tastefully engraved with gold inlaid big game animals: bear, moose, deer.  My two Marlin rifles also stem from pre-1900 patents but are themselves quite new.  The Rossi .44 mag is a fine contemporary copy of the old 1892 Winchester lever action.  And the shotgun and revolver are both very new.  I have been an NRA member since my mid-teens, a Life Member for most of my life, and presently hold the highest grade of Life Membership.  I am also a Life Member of the North Dakota Shooting Sports Association.

HUNTER GRAY [HUNTER BEAR]

 

________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 

THE FINLAND HIGH SCHOOL SHOOTINGS [NOVEMBER 2007]

Hunter, [From Jyri Kokkonen] 11/08/07


      I assume you've heard about the high school shooting in Finland
yesterday. Eight people died: the principal of the school, the school nurse,
five students and the perpetrator, from a self-inflicted wound to the head.
The 18-year-old young man had posted videos and a blog text on the Internet
more or less announcing his intentions. a rambling manifesto in which he
declares himself a "natural  selector" fit to weed out those unfit to live.
It imitated in many ways the events at Virginia Tech last spring.

      Our small country is frankly in a state of shock. We're not used to
things like this, and I, for one, am more than a bit depressed.

      Explanations have started to appear. Some idiots blame it on American
influence (cf. Virginia Tech and Columbine), others on the Internet or
heavy-metal music. I think the explanation is  far more simple, a mentally
unhinged young man who was dumped by his girlfriend and went on to act out
his fantasy of revenge, albeit a complex one involving declarations of
intent, or calls for help if you like.

      This begs the question of why no one noticed his situation or why
didn't he seek help.  Basically futile questions and speculation at this
stage, but there is an underlying and not too distant political aspect even
here. Since the early 1990s we have witnessed in many areas the dismantling
of the services of our type of Nordic welfare state. One area that has
suffered is mental health services for children and young people, often
including counsellors in schools. These services still exist but their scope
and extent have been seriously reduced. A great number of young people with
problems of this kind simply do not get the help that they need soon enough,
or they go undetected too long.

      Cheap political points could be made by arguing that the events at the
school ultimately resulted from misguided policies pursued by individuals
that can be named. That is pointless, as each case is unique in all its
tragedy, and even the worst bastards in our political arena would hardly
have anticipated anything like this from budget cuts, but if the high school
shooting marks the emergence of a pattern, or worse still the tip of an
iceberg, as some say, we are heading for serious trouble. I think there will
be a political response to these events and one for the better, I hope.

      All the best,

      Jyri [Kokkonen]


Dear Jyri:  [From Hunter Gray]

Thanks very much indeed for your just arrived [and not unexpected] post.
I'm posting it -- a sad but timely commentary -- on a couple of our lists.
It's almost trite to say that we, here, of course, are all too used to these
sorts of tragedies.  In general, much of your thoughtful analysis with
respect to the Finnish situational challenges applies here.  Interpersonal
and value alienation are two obviously common factors -- and there certainly
have been substantive cuts in much needed social services on these shores.
For us, I'd also add a few others found in our setting which you all
essentially do not have: economic deprivation and general insecurity in that
realm,  national legacies of violence and racism, burgeoning
urban/industrialization.  I don't know what the negative effects of
year-after-year "war killings"  and public cheapening of human life [via
television and other media] are in Finland, but I am certain all of that
plays a significant role in this country. [I'm also chary of making
grandiose cross-cultural judgements when I know nothing first-hand of the
"other" culture -- and thus we are grateful for your timely and reasoned
first-hand assessment.]  On a couple of personal notes, Eldri, who
identifies significantly with Finland, was especially shocked; and I add,
again, my own special commercial [with which I suspect you may basically
agree], that sweeping policies of "gun control" are no positive answer at
all to any of these sanguinary events.  More from me soon -- including with
respect to the political situation hereabouts.

Our very best to you and your fine family -- and to Finland.
As Ever, Hunter [Hunter Bear]

 

Hunter, [From Jyri Kokkonen] [Crossed with Hunter's message]
Brief postscript to my last message. The high school shooting has also
aroused a debate of sorts about access to guns here. According to some
statistic, Finland ranks third in the world in per capita possession of
firearms, after the US and Yemen, they say. The young man in question owned
a .22 caliber self-loading pistol, which he had acquired as the member of a
reputable shooting club, a completely common practice here. Now some people
are calling for strict psychological screening of those wanting to own
handguns in addition to the normal checks for criminal record and the
requirement of storing concealable short-barrel firearms at shooting club
promises for everyone under 30. I think that is pointless. Someone bent on
causing  damage can just as well take to an axe, cleaver, machete, knife, or
a variety of household items, and criminals can always lay their hands on
firearms.  Besides, we had a case some years ago where a young woman went
berserk and started shooting people at a shooting club firing range in
Helsinki, and she had been a regular member of the club. Guns are not the
issue.
Jyri [Kokkonen]

 

HUNTER GRAY  [HUNTER BEAR/JOHN R SALTER JR]   Mi'kmaq /St. Francis
Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´
 and Ohkwari'

___________________________________________________________________________________
 

AN INTERIM COMMENT:  HUNTER BEAR  FEBRUARY 25 2008

 

I keep trying to Stir the Redbadbear Discussion Nest.  Let's try this:  my slightly expanded and cordial remarks to an un-named family member:

 
_________________________
 
 
Think about this:  Virtually all of the people who visit national parks are tourists, dudes, tenderfeet, greenhorns -- in almost all cases city people.  If they saw a [usually rather quiescent] Park Bear half a mile away, some of them would just start shooting.  Or they might shoot each other. [I do readily concede that most Park visitors are fine people, but . . .]  I think there are more solidly compelling issues for our genuinely good NRA to confront -- e.g., privacy-invasive background checks by government -- than the Park/Gun thing.
 
In my thing to Mack, I conceded that "danger" is relative and ambiguous.  I saw some awful Clucks in the Forks who "packed" guns via permit.  And, as I implied in my recent post, there may not be much to be done about that given the vagueness of definition of terms such as "need" and "danger".  But people I have known who were in genuine danger simply quietly carried something on their person, sans permit -- and, too, always had a weapon in their vehicle, technically "in the open".
 
". . .all I can say is that I have, on occasion in the past, carried a concealed revolver. [Never sought a permit.] But I always did it for good reason, judiciously. Frequently enough, I've carried a weapon -- openly -- in my vehicle. In any jurisdiction west [or south] of Illinois, no problem there.

Best,  [H.]
 

LIFE DOES EXIST IN THE OLE BEAR DEN [REDBADBEAR DISCUSSION]  HUNTER BEAR

NOTE BY HUNTER BEAR: FEBRUARY 26 2008

Well, it was certainly pleasant to awake briefly around midnight and note the copious and worthwhile exchange between Norla and Edward -- and to see the entrance early this morn of Michael and Sam. Spring is indeed coming -- pretty obviously here in the Snake River country -- and the Bear Den is marked by constructive stirrings. [Actually, it's done right well discussionally all through the winter.]

[On "gun rights issues," I am pleased to note that our major website page on that is one of those presently visited in consistently heavy fashion. Most on RBB have at least skimmed it, but I give its Link for reference. I should add that its title lies in a mostly different context: the name of a very rare I.W.W. book of martyrs which is mentioned just before I [and Edward and others] get into gun talk. The book is in my large personal collection.


A few thoughts:

I checked out my very recently arrived March copy of The American Rifleman -- primary organ of NRA -- and in its sedate and well done editorial discussions of "gun free zones" and related matters, noted virtually nothing on the matter of National Parks and firearms. Whatever our good NRA's involvement in that may be, it's obviously not a top priority. [As I noted yesterday, I really don't feel firearms belong in National Parks, though perhaps we could arm the bears.] Locally -- hereabouts -- there has been some public discussion about a proposal to arm students and faculty at Idaho State University but I, at least, have heard of no NRA involvement in that. [The matter seems to be receding.] I should add that I don't feel that arming classroom participants is conducive to a good teaching/learning atmosphere in any school, living our lives always entails some risk, and I'm willing to leave security in the hands of those who, at least and hopefully, are properly trained to provide those services.

I have always resented, however, the successful move during the Clinton administration to prevent high school students from having firearms in their vehicles while such are in school parking lots. In my day, anyway, we often hunted in the early mornings before heading directly to our educational penal institution.

In fact, one NRA editorial focuses -- and very appropriately in my opinion -- primarily on Hillary and her companion Clinton and their very well known anti-gun sentiments. Those, of course, initiated and carried a full-scale witch-hunt against gun owners and gun rights organizations for years during the very anti-civil libertarian Clinton era. The NRA -- and several comparable but smaller organizations -- not only stood up well but, in the case of NRA especially, grew very substantially. During that era, in addition to my other 'rights involvements, I handled, in an official fashion, much media relations re NRA and Second Amendment issues -- from a very vigorously pro-gun perspective -- for various Friends of NRA groups in North Dakota and, later from Idaho, continued the N.D. involvements via mail and also was most active around here in the Gem State and, again via mail, in a few Montana and Wyoming settings as well. Kinko Copy may have declared a dividend via me, and the US Postal Service didn't do badly either during those frenetic days.

And I'll always fondly remember how our grandson/son, Thomas, and I would faithfully man the NRA booth at various gun shows and handle the silent auctions at the big Friends of NRA annual affairs.

If NAFTA quite rightly indeed is an angering term for working people and their families, the name Clinton stirs the same level of passion among most American firearms owners. My Jeep Cherokee carries [and I've previously mentioned this] these stickers: "UAW" and "I'm A Gun-Toting Idaho Democrat."

And there is another one as well, "Organize!"

And, of course, there is my always consistent -- over the decades -- NRA Life Membership sticker.

A note on Western lands:

Most of the land in the Western states is publicly owned -- via U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Park Service. This also includes much turf in the western parts of the Dakotas. [Firearms are no issue at all in the first two agency settings.] State parks are minimal. And there are also, of course, many Native reservations -- many substantial in land acreage. [BTW, I have never -- never -- met a fellow American Indian person who supported, say, anything even remotely like the Clinton version of "gun control." Most of us in the Native world are very knowledgeable gun owners. And for a variety of very good reasons! ]

And there are, too, a number of significant public and reservation land holdings back beyond our "Golden West" -- in the rest of what's called the United States.

All of the public lands [and the reservations as well] have been able, in recent times, to pretty successfully fight off incursions by land- and resource-coveting interests: e.g., the privatization-focused so-called Sagebrush Rebellion and its poisonously voracious kin.  

http://www.hunterbear.org/western_issues_2.htm


But, anyway, many thanks again to the Stirring Furries [not furies] in our Bear Den -- and let's always ride all of the "fence lines" [figuratively] for the protection of all of our rights and liberties.

An Old Army guard-duty adage has suddenly popped back up into my mind. And, with a bit of cultural modification, it fits for all of us who struggle in our various ways for food -- and freedom, too: "I walk my post in a military manner -- and I don't take ____from the Company Commander."

Always In Solidarity,

Hunter [Hunter Bear]

________________________________________________________________________

COMMENT:

 

ROBERT GATELY:

 
I would reckon Hunter that you heard that tune of Waylon's which
said, " Son, the pistol is the devil's right hand, the devil's right
hand..." I think it was Al Capone that said, "A smile will get you
money, but a smile and a gun will get you more money." Given the two
sides of every issue, I'm with you...Outlaw guns and only outlaws
will have guns.

I know that my Daddy packed a piece. Shoot, didn't every man that had
something/ones to protect? Shoot first, ask questions later. Indeed
that was the lexicon of an era, a mantra for a man or woman whose
security was threatened by external forces. Now, not meeting my ole
man till he was dying in a Denver Hospital, I had to learn a
different mantra.. "My Daddy didn't teach me how to shoot, so I had to
learn how to duck.. . ."

[Bob's father was an organizer for the old Mine, Mill and Smelter
Workers union.  H.]
 
HUNTER'S RESPONSE:
 
I join David and I am quite sure others do, Bob, in appreciating your lively post. My reason -- guns -- is somewhat different than David's, but I too have memories of challenging saloon situations, especially in the West. And some were for sure pretty rugged. We all share a special brotherhood from that perspective.

We have some background things in common, Bob, and it does sound like an appreciation of firearms is certainly one of them. We are cut from some similar hard-rock. I've always believed that a gun is no better nor worse than the man [person] who holds it. Yesterday, I posted a response I'd sent to a son [who had sent me some items from New West] and I put part of that on the Redbadbear list:

". . .and all I can say is that I have, on occasion in the past, carried a concealed revolver. [Never sought a permit.] But I always did it for good reason, judiciously. Frequently enough, I've carried a weapon -- openly -- in my vehicle. In any jurisdiction west [or south] of Illinois, no problem there." [H.]

A professor, a Northerner, came up to me in the midst of our Jackson Movement. I believe his name was Carleton Maybee, and he was studying non-violence. He congratulated me on my presumed "non-violence" -- with especial reference to the Woolworth sit-in, during which I'd been attacked repeatedly over the better part of three hours. I demurred. "I come out of a background that has often been violent," I told him, "and you'll just have to take my word for it since I really don't want to go into it all." He smiled, shook my hand. "To me," he said, "you are really a great example of nonviolence."

God will have to sort the souls.

I much appreciate the very reasons, Bob, that your father carried a weapon on his person.

As always, our thanks to you as a fine contact and friend -- and our very best to you all.

Solidarity -- Forever

Hunter [Hunter Bear]

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________
 

NOTE BY HUNTER BEAR:  FEBRUARY 27 2008

The foregoing piece has just been published by Norla Antinoro and Edward Pickersgill in WE! MAGAZINE:

http://www.mytown.ca/ev.php?URL_ID=122277&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

A REASONABLY ARTICULATE RANT ON THE MORNING OF APRIL 6 2008, WIDELY POSTED [HUNTER BEAR]

 
 
There have been a few comments on the SNCC list -- pro and con -- about the just-passed Charlton Heston.  My contribution to that follows.
 
But first, just a little on yesterday's Texas raid against the polygamists.  This was based on statements given by just one unidentified sixteen year old girl.  Using that as their lever, Texas lawmen raided the compound and, using buses conspicuously labeled "Southern Baptist," seized dozens of young people -- taking them off for questioning.  This is, in many respects, reminiscent of the infamous raid on Short Creek [now Colorado City] by Arizona authorities in the early '50s -- a very widely protested assault and seizure which led to the children being returned to their families.  The Constitutional issues in this Texas episode should be obvious to anyone.  It'll be interesting to see if the sanctity of religious freedom, for example, can still be a matter of concern to even those who may disapprove of plural marriage.  I occasionally think that the last Real Civil Libertarian in the Lone Star State was the late Frank Dobie -- the great Southwestern writer, and a crusader for many good causes.  But I do know there are others there -- some are among "my best friends".  And, of course, there is always the wider United States -- and the world.
 
I never met Charlton Heston but I enjoyed most of his flicks -- and much appreciate the stand he and some other Hollywood luminaries took against segregation.  Like all "originals," he was obviously complex.  And I very much appreciate his stand on behalf of the Second Amendment and for the rights of firearms owners.  While I may occasionally disagree with some of the positions taken by the NRA [I can also say that with respect to my church], I am glad to have been an NRA member since my early-teens, president of our Flagstaff [AZ] High Junior NRA club [Northern Arizona small-bore marksmanship champs in those days], and a Life Member of NRA for most of my life.  In fact, I presently hold the highest grade of NRA Life Membership -- as well as being a Life member of the North Dakota Shooting Sports Association.  I've had a vast number of firearms throughout my existence -- same holds true for all of my family members -- and I've written and spoken widely on the matter of principled and sensible individual/family self-defense -- with particular focus on the signal "challenges" posed by racist and far-right "night-riders" [and, with respect to our interesting experiences right here in Idaho, right now, hostile night-time prowlers.]
 
Early on, the NRA took and reaffirmed a vigorous position against para-military so-called "militias."
 
We have some of this on our large website and it's not difficult at all to find in our Index/Directory.
 
The Clintons et al. launched a full-scale attack on the Second Amendment, gun owners [of which there are many millions in this country], and gun rights organizations -- especially the NRA.  Many "liberals" either joined these Clinton efforts or, like most of the ACLU, remained silent.  The NRA, founded btw in 1871 by Union Army vets, fought back with vigor and effectiveness.  In the course of this, NRA membership climbed rapidly from something under two million to its present level of almost four million.  Charlton Heston's principled public stand on behalf of the rights of firearms owners and the Second Amendment took much courage.
 
A key factor -- a very key one -- in Gore's loss in 2000 stemmed from the widespread grassroots reaction to the Clintons' anti-gun witch-hunt.  That angry upsurge by a great many gun owners was evident as early as the 1994 Congressional elections.
 
NRA is bi-partisan.  In 1992, it had declined to endorse either Clinton or the "first" George Bush -- and simply left that open.
 
At this point, the USSC, in the District of Columbia case, is considering the  Second Amendment as a "full" individual right in the Bill of Rights family. A vast number of Americans have always considered it to be exactly that.  The Court's ruling is expected in June or so and most observers expect it to rule on behalf of the full individual right status of the Second -- though leaving the door open to some state and local level policy adjustments.
 
In Solidarity, Hunter [Hunter Bear]
 
HUNTER GRAY [HUNTER BEAR/JOHN R SALTER JR] Mi'kmaq /St. Francis
Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´
and Ohkwari'
 
I have always lived and worked in the Borderlands.
Our Hunterbear website is now eleven years old.
Check it out and its vast number of links: 
www.hunterbear.org
 
See - Extensive Personal Background Narrative (updated into 2011):
http://hunterbear.org/narrative.htm
 
See this on the new (2011), expanded and updated edition of my book,
Jackson Mississippi -- the classic and fully detailed account of
the historic and bloody Jackson Movement of almost 50 years ago: 
http://hunterbear.org/jackson.htm
 
And see Shooting Lupus, now expanded July 2011 -- my account of
killing a very deadly disease in an eight year war.  Systemic Lupus has
a predatory preference for Native Americans, Blacks, Chicanos, some
Asian groups, and women in general.  It's a civil rights issue.
http://hunterbear.org/shooting_lupus.htm

 

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