March 2004

Monday, March 1st, 2004

In Annapolis, Maryland, Gov.
Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. said early last
month that he opposes a statewide
ban on the sale of so-called “assaultstyle”
firearms. This, according to
Tim Craig of The Washington Post,
sets up a showdown with Democratic
leaders in the General Assembly
who want to implement the measure
before the federal ban is set to expire
later this year. Ehrlich did not say
whether or not he would veto the
legislation if it reaches his desk, but
Paul E. Schurick, his communications
director, said the Republican
administration could never support
the measure. “My thoughts have
always been to direct resources,
time, attention and money to bad
guys who have illegal guns and obviously
the guns that cause crime,”
Ehrlich said. “We devote our time,
money and resources to things that
work, not things that are politically
correct.”
In Chicago, Illinois, the Illinois
State Rifle Association (ISRA), a
CCRKBA affiliate, blasted a so-called
“youth protest” organized jointly by
the Chicago Police Department and
the Chicago Board of Education as
“state sponsored terrorism against
the Second Amendment.” Last
month’s proposed protest was slated
to take place in front of Chuck’s Gun
Shop in Riverdale, Illinois. The store
has been a favorite target of anti-gun
Chicago Mayor Daley’s anti-gun
wrath over the years including a
$433 million lawsuit filed by the City
of Chicago against the family-owned
suburban shop. “It’s galling to know
that taxpayer dollars are being used
to finance this politically-motivated
publicity stunt,” said ISRA Executive
Director Richard Pearson. “It
appears that the Chicago Police
Department is being diverted from
enforcing the law in favor of Daley’s
political agenda.”
Outdoor columnist Doug Pike of
the Houston Chronicle recently questioned
the neutrality of Americans for
Gun Safety (AGS). He wrote an “AGS
report stated that ‘a small number of
the nation’s 80,000 gun dealers are
flooding America’s streets with crime
guns – yet Washington rarely investigates,
shuts down or prosecutes
most of these high-crime dealers.’
Flooding the streets with crime guns?
A firearm sold in accordance with
current federal guidelines is not a
‘crime gun.’ Driving under the influence
of alcohol is illegal, but I have
yet to hear the new automobiles on
a dealer’s lot described as ‘crime
cars.’” Pike notes that, “the anti-gun
movement’s efforts to blame firearm
makers for gun violence has failed
in the courts. Since they could not
defeat gun manufacturers and lack
the strength to tackle gun owners, the
logical targets are small companies
and individuals who sell guns.”
“Taser International Inc. investors
may be due for a shock,” wrote Kelly
W. Spors and Jonathan Weil early
last month in The Wall Street Journal.
“The Scottsdale, Arizona stun-gun
maker’s stock shot up to more than
$135 a share…a remarkable run from
less than four dollars a year ago. Now
trading at an electrifying 126 times
trailing earnings and 23 times revenue,
the stock has zoomed so high,
so fast, that even some of its most
die-hard fans – those ever-bullish
Wall Street analysts – are telling investors
to head for the exits…So far,
the killing has been made by stock
watchers who were savvy enough to
get in on Taser early, but even these
lucky speculators are uncomfortable
with the implications of the stock’s
explosive performance.”
“After reports that Dexter Filkins,
a New York Times correspondent in
Iraq, was carrying a gun,” according
to Howard Kurtz of The Washington
Post, “the paper issued a cease and
desist order.” Now, Times staffers
“must never carry a weapon, openly
or concealed…While the Times acknowledges
that its journalists do
find themselves in harm’s way, the
newspaper believes it is imperative
that they be perceived always as
neutral observers. The carrying
of a weapon, for whatever reason,
jeopardizes a journalist’s status as
a writer.” To which, asked CCRKBA
Public Affairs Director John Michael
Snyder, “what about the journalist’s
status as a living writer?”