Friday, December 31, 2004

Ten Ring's Biggest Stories of 2004

December 31. This is the day that the ink-stained wretches of newspapers and their big haired counterparts on television list their biggest stories of the year. Of course, the tsunami a half a world away from Bill and me here in New Hampshire is the biggest story, over 100,000 dead and counting. We almost pity the poor pundits who filed their end of year stories and settled down to eggnog and New Year’s Eve plans and then had to rush back and add the tsunami to their list.

Well, here in the Ten Ring we must follow traditions. Here is our list of the three biggest stories of 2004 for gun nuts.

The election is the biggest story. We gun people dodged a big one here, folks. As much as Denise as a former Democrat hate to admit, a Kerry victory would have been a disaster for gunowners. The election also brought new gun-friendly Congress Critters to Washington, D.C. Had the election turned out differently, the gun-banners would have poured out of the woodwork. We would already be hearing about plans to introduce an expanded assault weapons ban, limits on ammunition types, and other such folderol.

The second biggest story must be the expiration in September of the assault weapon ban. This ban, as gunnies know, was useless as a practical way to reduce gun violence or make guns less lethal (c’mon people guns are by definition a lethal weapon, might as well make knives less pointy). The ban did nothing at all except annoy gun people. It was a way to begin a slippery slope. Someone in gun-grabber territory must have thought, “Hmmm…we can demonize one class of firearms and then move to the next class and pretty soon guns in private hands will all be muskets.” Good riddance to the ban and its concomitant ban of normal capacity magazines (then called high-cap mags).

The third biggest story is the defeat of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Firearms Act (PLCFA) back in March. This bill would have given firearm makers immunity against lawsuits designed to bankrupt them. It was defeated after anti-gun Senators added amendments that would have hurt us gunnies. Its sponsor, Larry Craig of Idaho, then led the charge to defeat the bill. We supported the bill, but the way it was defeated became good news for us gunnies:
  • Kerry and Edwards left the campaign trail and rushed back to Washington to vote against the bill and ruined any inroads they could have made on the gun vote with Kerry's staged hunting trips;
  • Diane Fienstein, Charles Schumer, and Ted Kennedy added many anti-gun amendments (assault weapon ban extension, bans on “armor-piercing” ammunition, etc.) to the bill and showed their true colors;
  • Finally, the rank and file of the NRA held that organization to their word and made sure it did not trade a renewed assault weapons ban for the much-desired PLCFA.
So these are our three stories. I am sure we short-changed others and one might argue with the order of our list, but there it is. We think 2004 was a good year for those of us who own guns. We think that 2005 has the potential to be even better. We predict the PLCFA will be back and will pass. We gun people need this bill. If gun makers close their factories, where will we get our new guns? There is also an opportunity to roll back some gun laws still on the books.

So let’s raise a toast to 2004 and then roll up our sleeves and get to work in 2005.

From Denise and Bill "Yosemite Sam"

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