(Grayslake, Ill)-- "They're actually going to run on a platform of repeal...My attitude is, go for it... If they want to have that fight, we can have it." - President Barack Obama, speaking on the GOP in Iowa last week
This is the typical, single-party combative nature of this administration and those starry-eyed individuals who follow it like my opponent, Rep. Melissa Bean.
It is the arrogance of power that blinds them to the real issues. This isn't about some juvenile schoolyard fight between Democrats and Republicans. This profound disagreement is about the idea of the federal government completely taking over one-sixth of the American economy. It is battle worth fighting because as we have seen over and over again, the government is much less effective and much less efficient than the private marketplace.
Thank you for the invitation Mr. President, I will indeed "go for it." However, my commitment to repealing, reforming and replacing the legislation just passed is not to score political points against my opponent. Rather, I will "go for it" to protect the privacy of the doctor-patient relationship; to insulate small businesses from higher taxes; and to head off the imposition of untold trillions of dollars in debt on future generations of Americans.
A Rasmussen poll finds nearly 6 in 10 Americans in favor of repeal. A pollin the 8th district shows the majority of voters and 55% of self-identified Independents said they are less likely to vote for Rep. Bean after her vote for health care.
The Northwest Herald summed it up nicely, "Bean voted against her constituents' wishes."
That's the problem in Washington on both sides: legislators who put the interests of their party over the interests of their constituents.
And, it will surprise both the President and Rep. Bean to learn that the people they were supposedly representing want me to "go for it".
I am ready to pursue common-sense reform rooted in market principles that will create jobs and lower the costs of health care. I am ready to make policy choices based on economic facts instead of ideological fiction. I am ready to fight to ensure the liberty that made this country the greatest in the world is preserved for my children.
And that is why I decided to "go for it".
Posted by ShaunKranish on Tuesday, March 30, 2010 @ 20:51:41 CDT (1293 reads)
URGENT: Need Your Support in the Next 72 Hours to Retire Melissa Bean from Congress Mon, March 29, 2010 2:45:52 PMFrom: Joe Walsh for Congress Add to Contacts
Dear Friends, The past week I have been very honored to have received so many of your emails and letters in support of my candidacy for Congress. I am now asking for another kind of support that will help me build the strong campaign needed to take on the incumbent. Over the last month my staff and I have been calling on residents of the 8th district to solicit their opinions on this health care bill. You wrote emails, made phone calls and went to rallies trying to make your voices heard. Unfortunately, Melissa Bean didn't listen. But you know what I know: we can't afford this bill and we can't afford Melissa Bean in Congress. I assure you that if elected I will fight to repeal the federal takeover of health care, reform it with common-sense initiatives and replace it will legislation that will serve the interests of our country and future generations to come.
This is going to be a tough election. My incumbent will be backed with huge money from the Democrats in Washington and public sector unions and big banks here at home. I know you're angry and frustrated. My message speaks to the very real economic anxieties you feel. I just need the means to broadcast it so constituents throughout the 8th district will know that there is a better choice than Melissa Bean.
I need your immediate support to communicate my message of promoting job growth, tax relief, spending restraint, and real health care reform. Please follow this link to make a donation of $25, $50, $100, $250 or more to my campaign. We have a fundraising deadline approaching on March 31st so any amount you can give in the final 72 hours is appreciated. An immediate online donation is the best way to ensure the money we raise is deposited before Wednesday at midnight, so please give right away. We cannot afford to miss this opportunity to take our country back.
Thank you in advance for your consideration and support. Sincerely, Joe Walsh Your urgent support is needed in the next 72 hours to retire Melissa Bean and repeal the federal government takeover of health care that she supported. Joe Walsh is the Republican candidate running against Democrat incumbent Melissa Bean in 2010 for the Illinois 8th Congressional District. Born and raised in North Barrington, a policy advocate, teacher, and business entrepreneur, Joe has spent his adult life advancing limited-government and conservative principles. JOIN OUR MAILING LIST www.joewalshforcongress.com
Posted by ShaunKranish on Monday, March 29, 2010 @ 20:15:38 CDT (1505 reads)
John Lott, an economist who lives in Virginia, says he and his wife once didn’t allow even toy guns in their home.
That was before he researched how crime rates are affected by laws allowing concealed weapons. Now, Lott says, he owns several firearms.
Lott says crime goes down by as much as 5 percent over time when the government allows citizens to carry concealed firearms. The reason, he says, is simple: Robbers and rapists and other thugs don’t like getting shot.
“You make it more costly and riskier for criminals to do something, it’s less likely that they’ll do it,” says Lott, who has written a book on his findings and also testified before Congress and several state legislatures.
Not necessarily, responds John Donohue III, a Yale University law professor and economist who has countered Lott’s findings with research of his own. Donohue says his data shows that laws allowing concealed weapons have, at best, no influence on the crime rate and may lead to increases in aggravated assaults.
“My general sense is, the best we can say today with the most recent data is that the impact of these right-to-carry laws is not great,” Donohue says. “But what effect there is seems to be harmful. … I probably published two or three articles in the last year that showed the reduction of 3 or 4 percent is completely wrong.”
How can two researchers with access to the same data reach such opposite conclusions?
Lott questions Donohue’s methodology. Donohue says data from the 1980s and early 1990s that Lott used in the first edition of his book have proven flawed, and it is can be difficult to admit mistakes.
“The problem is, once you’ve written a book called ‘More Guns Less Crime,’ it’s very hard to back away and say, ‘Oops, I got it wrong,’” Donohue said. “No one ever asked me to testify (before lawmakers). And I think there’s a reason for that. Everybody wants an advocate. I want to figure out what’s true.”
Many variables in play
Figuring out whether concealed firearms reduce crime is a lot more complicated than perusing FBI statistics on crime.
Otherwise, it would be simple to cite Vermont, which allows gun owners to pack concealed firearms without any permits, as proof that hidden guns deter crime. Vermont, with 136 cases of violent crime per 100,000 residents in 2008, has one of the lowest violent-crime rates in the nation.
But for every Vermont, there is an Alaska, which also doesn’t require permits for concealed guns. With 652 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, Alaska’s violent-crime rate in 2008 was also considerably higher than in Illinois, where the FBI reported 525 cases of violent crime for every 100,000 residents.
Then there’s the District of Columbia, which doesn’t allow concealed firearms. The district had the nation’s highest rate of violent crime, 1,438 cases per 100,000 residents, in 2008, the same year the Supreme Court struck down Washington’s ban on handgun ownership.
Any number of variables can come into play when considering whether concealed weapons have an effect on crime rates. Have legislatures altered sentences? How many criminals are incarcerated? How many arrests do police make? Even unionization of police officers can affect the crime rate, according to Lott, who says police become less effective when officers join unions.
“Literally, in my research, there are hundreds of those types of variables that are taken into account,” says Lott, who has considered data on a county-by-county basis.
Sixty percent of fluctuations in crime rates can be explained by arrest, conviction and incarceration rates, with the number of arrests being the single most important factor, Lott said.
Some variables that can be difficult to pinpoint can have dramatic effects, says Donohue, who cites an explosion in crack cocaine use in New York and California during the late 1980s and early 1990s, which he said skewed crime rates in those states.
Urban areas benefit most
Academic papers by Lott and Donohue that draw opposite conclusions on the effect of concealed guns on crime rates are not light reading. Unless the reader enjoys lots of numbers and understands such terms as “regression models,” “dummy variable” and “Huber-White robust estimate of variance,” the analyses can be difficult to understand.
Lott says concealed weapons lower the crime rate most dramatically in dense urban areas, precisely the places where opposition to concealed firearms tends to be highest. Lott blames the media. In high-crime urban areas, the media constantly report on crime involving guns, but rarely runs stories when gun owners successfully defend themselves, he said.
Donohue cautions against relying on anecdotes — the homeowner who gunned down a would-be robber or the rapist who met justice at the barrel of a potential victim’s revolver.
“In such a big country, you can find anecdotes for anything,” Donohue said. “The bottom line seems to be, even if there are benefits at times, there are certainly costs.
“The one thing to remember is, we are such a gun-saturated society. With 270 million guns in this country, it’s only going to make a limited difference if you allow people to carry guns.”
Police in Missouri and Michigan, which have both passed laws allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons during the past decade, say concealed weapons don’t appear to have an effect on crime.
Capt. Tim Hull, spokesman for the Missouri State Highway Patrol, said he’s not aware of any change in crime attributable to concealed weapons since Missouri allowed citizens to carry hidden guns in 2004.
In Michigan, which issued nearly 66,500 concealed-gun permits in the year ending last June, police also say they haven’t noticed any change in crime that can be linked to concealed weapons since the state began issuing permits in 2001.
However, they also say they haven’t noticed a downside.
“There was a great concern when the law first passed that it would be problematic for law enforcement,” said Shanon Banner, spokeswoman for Michigan State Police. “That really hasn’t come to fruition.”
Bruce Rushton can be reached at 788-1542.
Handgun bills in the General Assembly
*House Bill 5221, sponsored by Rep. Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg. Would let state police issue concealed carry permits. Applicants would have to attend firearm classes and pass live firing exercises.
Status: House Agriculture and Conservation Committee voted 11-2 Tuesday to move the measure to the House floor.
*House Bill 462, also sponsored by Phelps. Would allow sheriffs to issue concealed-carry permits, under similar requirements.
Status: Passage stage in House.
*House Bill 6249, sponsored by Rep. John Bradley, D-Marion. Would allow state police to issue concealed-carry permits.
Status: House Agriculture and Conservation Committee sent measure Tuesday to House floor.
*Senate Bill 3292, sponsored by Sen. Dale Risinger, R-Peoria. Would let Peoria residents test concealed-carry for two years. Permits could be given to people over 21 who have lived in Peoria for one year and have a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification Card.
Status: Senate Public Health Committee voted 9-0 Mar. 3 to send the bill to a subcommittee on “special issues.” It was recently moved to the Assignments Committee.
Posted by ShaunKranish on Monday, March 15, 2010 @ 15:29:08 CDT (761 reads)
The deep economic recession had Americans sticking to their guns, literally, as firearm sales shot up in 2009, increasing more than 23% according to one analyst. But so far in 2010, it seems that far fewer citizens are building bunkers, stockpiling canned goods and packing heat.
Shares of Smith & Wesson ( SWHC - news - people ) plunged 12.5% Friday to $4.14, after the gun manufacturer gave a slimmer outlook for its fourth-quarter sales than Wall Street expected. The company forecasts a revenue of $97 million to $101 million -- $81 million to $84 million in firearm sales. That comes up short of the $103 million expected by analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.
Smith & Wesson's fiscal third-quarter, ended Jan. 30, revenue came in at $89.4 million, up from $83.7 million a year earlier, and profits came to $2.4 million, or 4 cents a share.
In a Thursday press release, Smith & Wesson CFO William Spengler said the projected firearms revenue "reflects more stable levels of demand and production versus the spike that we experienced in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009.”
“They have a lot of firearms in their inventory and the next quarter is going to be a challenge,” says Bret Jordan, senior analyst at Avondale Partners. The company has more inventory in the current quarter than it had at the end of its fiscal year 2009, according to Jordan.
But the drop in gun sales is not Smith & Wesson's Achilles’ heel. The weak performance of the recently acquired Universal Safety Response wing has weighed on the gun-maker's profits. Investors were let down after USR, which makes vehicle barrier systems and perimeter fencing installations, did not grow as expected. Actually, the division's profit margin was under 30%, below expectations.
Simply, it was the fear of Obama rapping the 2nd ammendment that spurred gun buys.
"USR sales were disappointing,” says Cai Von Rumohr, managing director at Cowen and Company. “They had start-up problems with three of their projects.” Von Rumohr dropped his fourth-quarter forecast from 7 cents per share to 5 cents.
Analysts think investors should wait until the end of the fiscal year in July to see how USR performs before shooting for Smith and Wesson.
“We need more visibility on what the USR business is going to be into the summer – if it’s normalizing or it’s still lagging,” Jordan says.
Posted by ShaunKranish on Saturday, March 13, 2010 @ 16:11:38 CST (999 reads)
The Brady Bunch folks are having a difficult time coming to grips as to what has been happening lately. Their world is crumbling around them and they have no answers.
Take for instance what the gun-grabbers have been saying since McDonald v. Chicago was heard this past Tuesday.
They keep bringing up quotes from the Heller ruling and affirmations made in this case of "reasonable regulations" as said by several of the justices.
Now, we don't know what those "reasonable regulations" will be as they have yet to be defined by the court.
But Dennis Hennigan of the Brady Campaign thinks he's figured it out. Here's his most recent quote:
"The argument in McDonald gives hope that the McDonald majority, even if it strikes down Chicago's handgun ban, will amplify the Heller message that the Second Amendment erects no constitutional barrier to reasonable laws – at any level of government - to make it harder for dangerous people to obtain dangerous weapons. The gun lobby will be displeased, but the American people will have dodged a constitutional bullet."
The gun lobby will be displeased? I consider myself part of the gun lobby and I didn't hear the part where dangerous people will obtain dangerous weapons. Did you? Both Heller and McDonald focused on law-abiding citizens being prevented from owning handguns. Did I miss something here? I think not.
What it all boils down is Mr. Hennigan desperately trying to pluck victory out of defeat. He is, as the entire anti-gun lobby, are running for their lives. They're trying to figure out what they can do, if anything, since Alan Gura launched a missile in the Heller case. They throw a little meat to their rabid left-wingers out there to let them know that they're still on top of the situation. How sad.
About all they can seem to muster is that no matter what happens dangerous people, meaning criminals I presume, will not obtain dangerous weapons, guns most likely. Well, tell that to the people of Chicago who live in a world where the only people that have dangerous weapons are dangerous people. Another example, as was Washington D.C. of gun control creating nothing but chaos for law-abiding citizens.
Good luck Mr. Hennigan, because 40 years of partying are over. The game has changed and now it's your turn to play defense.
Posted by ShaunKranish on Tuesday, March 09, 2010 @ 12:49:15 CST (713 reads)
Everyone should be aware of what is happening. ICarry members and ordinary gun owners have been threatened and intimidated by the Illinois State Rifle Association and IllinoisCarry.com because of what they want to wear to "pro-gun" events. There is a large number of gun owners, you may be one of them, who believe we've talked long enough, and it's time to do SOMETHING to show our resolve and solidarity. We're talking about expressing, symbolically, our right to bear arms and how we have been disarmed and rendered defenseless by bad and unconstitutional public policies.
Illinois gun owners have shown increasing interest in wearing fanny packs or empty holsters as a sign that they've been disarmed. Fannypacks represent "container carry" in Illinois. Illinois law allows and even instructs FOID card holders to carry firearms unloaded and enclosed in a case. For some reason, the ISRA and IllinoisCarry.com do not want this fact publicized!!! We are not sure what they're afraid of.
The ICarry.org board of directors - made up of myself, Shaun Kranish from Rockford, IL, Joe Franzese from Hainesville, IL and Christopher Morley, formerly of Chicago, IL (now living in Wisconsin) have concluded that the issue of freedom of expression at public events where all gun owners should be welcome must be resolved now.
Repeated attempts to quell our message - that we always have and will support law-abiding gun owners who conduct themselves responsibly in exercising their rights. We support the full exercise of rights under the law. In Wisconsin this is "open carry" and in Illinois this is "container carry." Changes will not happen until gun owners can exercise their rights without fear or intimidation by government. All gun rights groups should be supportive of lawful behavior.
Our mission statement and beliefs - publicly posted after being adopted by the ICarry.org board - say it all. We always have and will support the exercise of rights even if no one else does. We're proud to say that up in Wisconsin there ARE groups who support it. Wisconsin Carry, Inc for example. We just finished attending an open carry event with them, and all groups are welcome, all people are welcome, and no one is discouraged from exercising their rights. Everyone is welcome, and everyone is free to behave responsibly. No one is told how to dress, what to wear. Up there they carry loaded pistols in holsters in public!!!
ICarry.org is launching a new initiative - encouraging firearms owners to express their beliefs with fannypacks, pouches, other containers, and/or empty holsters. As our mission page states, we TRUST gun owners to be responsible. We are not hesitant for one minute to encourage gun owners to do this, because we know there won't be any problems.
We are very sorry that Illinois Carry can't be like Wisconsin Carry. We are sorry that the Illinois State Rifle Association doesn't trust you. We are very disappointed and enraged that these organizations have the nerve to tell gun owners how to dress and even threaten to turn them away from public events because they want to express themselves. ICarry will continue to seek a diplomatic resolution to this problem. The only resolution we see is the willingness of these two groups to respect gun owners, trust them, and never again show such insecurity, fear, and obsession with control as to tell gun owners what to wear and exclude groups based on the exercise of their rights.
ICarry.org will continue to find ways to INVOLVE gun owners, represent their interests, survey and listen to their needs, and be their voice even if no one else will.
Below is the message from the Illinois State Rifle Association and IllinoisCarry.
Contrary to an individual calling for empty holsters and fanny packs to be worn to the NEIU town hall meeting, scheduled for Mar. 3 at the Carruthers Institute for Inner City Studies in Chicago, the event is an educational/informational meeting and not a demonstration or protest.
The individual calling for the demonstration is not affiliated with the sponsoring groups in any way and did so without notice to, or consent or approval from the organizers of the event. Any continued call for such conduct is in direct opposition to the organizers.
Gerald Vernon, of the UTATU Collective advisor and key organizer, wishes to emphasize the purpose of this event is to begin an open dialogue within Chicago about the Right to Carry and as such is an invitation for attendees to bring their questions and concerns about the issue - and not to raise concerns among those from the inner city about what may or may not be in holsters or packs.
Attendees are asked not to bring holsters and fanny packs. Anyone doing so will risk being turned away at the door.
Gerald Vernon, UTATU Collective
Valinda Rowe, IllinoisCarry spokesperson
Mike Weisman, 1st Vice President, Illinois State Rifle Association
I may be the loudest voice because I do most of the administration of this website, but this will NOT be made to look like it is an individual. Read the live and active forum discussion for an example. Make your voice heard there as well!! http://www.icarry.org/ftopict-2460.html
I don't believe gun owners, no matter what group they may be a part of, need to ask for permission to attend an event. No one has advocated a "demonstration" or "protest." ICarry and its members have advocated expressing themselves as they wish.
If a true dialogue with the public is what is wanted, then gun owners should be able to express themselves as they wish. We will do this not by disrupting events or interfering with their schedules or plans, but by attending the events and showing our solidarity with all gun owners!!!
Personal attacks will not hide the truth: organizations in Illinois are unwilling to represent gun owners who want to take the next step - moving from talk to action. Our action now is to increase our numbers, force media coverage, and not stand back idly waiting for just a few people to represent us as they continually tell us to hold back.
IMPORTANT CALL TO ACTION:
Please use the following links to send a message to the Illinois State Rifle Association and Illinois Carry. Please ask them to respect the wishes of those who want to wear "containers" or empty holsters at events as a freedom of speech expression. Ask them not to discriminate, not to segregate, and to stop trying to control others in such trivial ways. Lastly, please ask them to work with ICarry.org so we can all support one another's events with promotion, getting people there, and news and media coverage. All public events should be for everyone - no gun owners should be turned away. Your emails will be forwarded to the correct person(s) at the respective groups.
Here's a message from our friends at the Chicago Tea Party!!!!
Chicago Tea Party Rallies for Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Adam Andrzejewski and Welcomes Back SOLIDARITY Leader and Polish President Lech Walesa
The Chicago Tea Party is proud to announce their endorsement of Republican candidate Adam Andrzejewski for Illinois Governor!
On Friday, January 29th, at 2:30 p.m., at the Federal Dirksen Plaza, 230 South Dearborn Street, we will be holding a One Voice, One Mission, for One Country Tea Party for Adam Andrzejewski.
Tea partiers throughout the state of Illinois will gather in the BELLY of the BEAST, where we will say: Be Gone Liberal Spending - We Welcome A New Day with Adam for Illinois!
In a sign of SOLIDARITY, a REAL Noble Peace Prize winner, Solidarity Leader and Polish President Lech Walesa will speak to the tea partiers about the strong sense of conservatism that Adam will bring to Illinois and about the evil ills of socialism!
ICarry.org's board of directors has unanimously voted to endorse Republican candidate Adam Andrzejewski (An-gee-eff-ski) for Governor in the upcoming primary election in Illinois.. We believe it is better to endorse a candidate than to simply wait and see. We would rather give firearms owners the best chance to band together and vote for one candidate.
We conducted a poll to see how our members feel about the candidates and who they were planning on voting for in the upcoming primary election.
Adam Andrzejewski and Bill Brady were almost even, at less than 5 points from each other. After much consideration, we went with Adam for a number of reasons, believing him to be the best candidate for the job. Let's not see this vote split - let's show some unity and vote for Adam Andrzejewski.
We are asking everyone who reads this endorsement to please vote for Adam Andrzejewski. Our best chance at beating vehemently anti-gun Jim Ryan is to all band together and vote for the same guy. That guy is Adam. Please help us get out the vote! Copy this endorsement to every pro-gun individual and group you know. Adam has lots of support from other pro-freedom groups. For gun owners to become more politically effective, we need to start affecting elections by endorsing candidates and getting votes for them. We're starting now!!
The Federal Government has no constitutional authority to regulate firearms. How then have all these federal laws been passed and enforced? What about all the new laws that are always hanging over the heads of tens of millions of peaceful gun owners?