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Truth Squad Newsletter - February 2014

February 25, 2014


Concealed Carry Upheld in California

The huge news out of California is the startling decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that said California was, in effect, banning the carrying of guns for self defense in violation of the Second Amendment's guarantee to keep and bear arms. California requires that anyone applying for a concealed carry permit show "good cause," which then is judged by the local head of law enforcement. Often, this person or bureaucrat decides that you don't have "good cause" that's enough for you to get a permit. In reality, this has become a ban on concealed carry in many counties and cities, and the court's three-judge panel said, by a 2-1 vote, that this is contrary to the Supreme Court's decision in Heller. The "bear" part of "keep and bear" means to carry, so states must provide some way for people to carry guns for self protection.

California outlawed open carry a few years ago. Essentially, the courts are saying that a state must allow concealed carry or open carry, but it can not ban both. Note that neither the Supreme Court nor the Ninth Circuit are saying that concealed carry is a right. If open carry is an option, it would follow that concealed carry could, in fact, be banned.

This particular case was based in San Diego, but the decision applies across California. San Diego sheriff Bill Gore says he will not seek a rehearing of the case because the ruling "provides clear guidance."

This is a big decision. First, it opens the door for concealed carry in a huge and populous state. Additionally, it puts the Ninth Circuit in conflict with other courts which have ruled that it's okay to ban concealed carry. This is the sort of conflict that increases the chances the U.S. Supreme Court will take up the issue. 


Truth Squad in Action


When Bob Hall saw that Senator Jon Tester (who has been a guest on Gun Talk Radio) voted against removing the ban on carrying your legal gun into a post office, he had to take action. Tester has been known as a supporter of gun rights, but this was clearly a party-line vote, being directed by the top dogs of the Democrat party. 

Hall did what we always talk about. He didn't shrug and just think, "There's nothing I can do." We know that a lie left unchallenged becomes the truth. That's the basis for the Gun Talk Truth Squad. We speak up. We show up. We shine the light on media bias, on two-faced politicians, on bureaucrats who overstep their bounds. 

So Bob Hall wrote a letter to the editor and sent it to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Our experience is that when you write a good letter (short, to the point, and not nasty), it usually gets published. With the advent of online comments, you can almost always get your letter or comment included.

If you want to see the Truth Squad in action, check out Bob's excellent letter.

Speaking of letters to the editor... That's what got me to create Tom Gresham's Gun Talk Truth Squad more than a decade ago. I had grown frustrated that the media wouldn't cover the gun rights issues fairly (they still don't), and was looking for a way to get past the gatekeepers, particularly at newspapers (back when people really read newspapers). The one place where we could break in was in the letters section. It also turned out that this is one of the most-read sections of the paper.

So, I asked for volunteers. I was hoping I could find in each state two people who would care enough, and make the commitment, to challenge media bias when seen. Often this bias comes in the form of simply not covering a story or an issue. Little did I know how many others were frustrated with the slanted reporting, and the volunteers showed up in droves! The Truth Squad now numbers over 70,000. That's you.

We are what is called in the military, a force multiplier. By putting our message in the media, we don't talk to one person at a time. We reach thousands. In addition, when we point out that a reporter has been lazy, misinformed, duped, or even intentionally misleading, that reporter/writer and the editor take note. You may not see a retraction or a correction, but we have many times seen a subtle or even a clear change in the coverage of the gun rights issue.

Be clear. Be polite. Have your facts. Be effective. Be persuasive. And when you do post comments, have your letter published, or speak at a town hall or school board meeting, let me know, and we might just share it with the entire Truth Squad.



"Smart" Guns Return



Several national news articles (really press releases) are touting new technology being called "smart guns." We've been down this road before. The idea is that only the "authorized" user will be able to fire the gun. Technologies vary from fingerprint readers, magnetic rings, sensors which "know" how you grip your gun, RFID chips in a watch or a card you carry, and other schemes. Of course, the gun-haters love this idea. Now they want to "retrofit" this to every gun, even though this would be impossible.

The key, when addressing this with others, is to understand the one, most important point. This technology does... not... work. Reports are saying the failure rate is as much at 1 in 10 (10 percent) or down to 1 in 100 (1 percent). No matter. A self-defense gun must work, first time, every time. It is a parachute. It is a life-saving device. If you need it, and it doesn't work, the bad guys can rape and kill. 

If this is such a great idea, let's require a five-year test period where law enforcement is required to use it. No? Anyone suggesting that "smart guns" be required by the public always says that law enforcement would be exempt. Why is that? Because they know it will get police officers killed. 

At its core, the push for "smart guns" (and I'll keep using quotation marks because they are nothing of the sort) comes from two groups. The first are the inventors who want the government to require the adoption of their product (think microstamping). The other group are those who know nothing about how firearms work, don't believe in the concept of armed self defense, or just want to be seen as doing something -- even when that "something" will get good people killed.

Now you have your intellectual ammunition on "smart guns." Do your thing as a Truth Squad member and spread the truth.


Where is the media on the good news about guns?


When polled, the public thinks that "gun violence"* and accidental shootings of children are both on the rise. The numbers show the opposite. Clearly, this is a result of the media 1. not covering the current data, and 2. pushing the notion that there is an "epidemic" of gun violence and children being shot.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics says that we saw right at a 40 percent reduction in gun violence over the last 20 years. That's worthy of banner headlines. Or, it would be if it were a 40 percent increase. 

It's not just the media that's cooking the books on gun stats. Chuck Michel documents how a med student wrote a paper (hardly a study) that is being touted by the gun banners because it purports to show that children being shot is an increasing number. 

Here's how Michel sets the record straight.

"To be clear, from 1981 through 2009, the number of child firearm fatalities has fallen 48%. But because the population kept growing, the rate of child firearm fatalities has fallen 56%. This reduction occurred in a period where the number of handguns went up 216%."

You'll want to save his entire article for reference:

*Why is "gun violence" in quotes? We got a note on our Facebook page from Scott, asking that we spread the word to stop calling it "gun violence". He said no other crime is reported as such (like "knife violence", or "baseball bat violence"), and when we say gun violence, it spreads a negative message. I agree.  Using the term "gun violence" puts a bias on the story. I used to say "so-called gun violence" when discussing it, and I'm going to return to that, or something similar, in my future discussions.


What caliber is best for self defense?

Gun magazines (the print kind, not the hold ammunition kind) have sold millions of copies by comparing the 9mm and the 45ACP, the 40 caliber versus both, and asking the never-ending question of whether the 9mm (or .40, or .45) is "enough gun." Allow me to answer the question.

It doesn't matter. There. Done.

Except that everyone wants more. 

First off, no handgun caliber for a revolver or pistol you will carry every day is really "enough." I talked to one officer who recounted a man who was shot squarely in the chest with a .44 Magnum revolver. The man then got up, went outside, got into his car, and drove 100 yards before he died. 

For me, I'd prefer a .308 semi-auto rifle with several full magazines, but we can't generally carry that.

The wounding and stopping statistics indicate there's very little difference between the most popular handgun calibers when it comes to stopping an attacker. They all suck. Sorry, but that's the way it is. 

The key is to put multiple hits in the right place as quickly as you can. That requires training and practice. 

"But, Tom. I don't have time to practice. I have a life."

Uh huh. I'm just passing along the info that the key to effective self defense with a gun (and without one, for that matter) is not a hardware solution. Once you have a good gun (reliable) and good ammo (which means good bullets), it's a software solution. Train seriously, so you know what to do. Practice as though your life depends on it, because... well, you know.


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We're on Sportsman Channel!

Gun Talk Television and Guns & Gear TV are now on the Sportsman Channel. The current seasons of both shows air through June 2014.

Gun Talk Television airs on Mondays at 10:30 pm Eastern, Tuesdays at 1:30 am ET and 5:30pm ET.
Guns & Gear TV airs on Mondays at 8:30pm Eastern and 11:30 pm ET, and Wednesdays at 5:00 pm ET.


Both shows will be back on the Pursuit Channel with new seasons in June. 



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Take out those ear buds and check your six.

Tom Gresham

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