Once again our old world kept on a turning and the stars, sun and moon stayed in their places so here we go again. Each month in these pages, I try very hard to find and pass on information about your rights, legislation, and the wacky things that go on around us. Some months I find a lot to pass on and some months not so much. But there is always something going on that is worthy of note. So let get going.
Let’s start with this. Last month it was touched upon that with the election of Donald Trump as President the gun control battle will most likely shift from the federal arena to the states. And of course, Oregon will be no exception.
As stated before, and backed up with our Governor’s own words, our Governor Kate Brown has made it very clear that she is “in bed” with the anti-gun folks. She has made it no secret that she wants to restrict the sale of hi-capacity magazines, limit the transfer of firearms without a background check, and close what she sees a “loopholes” in the firearm transfer system. In addition, she has made it very clear that she wants the federal government to ban the sale and possession of “assault weapons”. (And if she can’t get her wish, she will push for a state ban.) You can bet your bottom dollar that she and her anti-gun cronies in the 2017 legislature will try to do everything in their power to place more restrictions on the right of the law-abiding gun owners in Oregon. And if we the law abiding gun owners don’t stand up for our rights we will lose them. Consider yourself warned! The legislature convenes in January.
So along that line, think about this Oregon. After the mass shooting in 2013 and 2014, five states – Connecticut, New You, Illinois, Colorado, and Delaware – passed draconian gun control legislation including bans on high capacity magazines and certain firearms. The results have not been pretty economic wise. Since the passages took effect, more that 16 billion dollars in combined revenues have been lost by these states as guns, gun accessory, and outdoor products manufacturers have left these states for more favorable places. Oregon needs to be aware of the possible economic impact of toying with it gun owners and outdoorsmen.
Last month the question was posed as to what effect the election of Donald Trump might have on firearms sales given the fact that he is a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment where President Obama was not. Well, it appears that for all practical purposes the election changed nothing. Gun sales are still breaking records. This could be based on the foreboding of what Obama might do in his last few days in office, or it could be just holiday buying. Time will explain.
Now for a piece of really good news. Liberty University, located in Lynchburg, Virginia, already permits students to carry firearms on campus, and last year, President Jerry Falwell Jr. encouraged students to obtain their concealed-carry licenses through a college course.
Now, the evangelical university is taking the next logical step: Liberty will soon become the first U.S. college to build a National Rifle Association-approved firing range on campus.
A proposal was filed last week for a special permit from the Campbell County Planning Commission, and it states that Liberty wants to build a nationally recognized, full-scale shooting, training, and competition center on campus. According to Yahoo News, the outdoor facility will include a pistol range, a rifle range, an instructional area and a three-gun competition range. The school plans to eventually add an indoor firing range.
Liberty spokesman Len Stevens told Yahoo that the firing range project was introduced last year during NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierreâ’s visit. He said the gun-lobbying organization has generously offered their expertise to help us develop it.
Stevens said the range was inspired, in part, by the success of Liberty’s handgun safety course.
We’ve had nearly 900 students go thru the class since we first started it nearly two years ago, he said. The present facility has been deemed antiquated and ill-suited for that number of students by university leadership.
The decision to build the nation’s first on-campus range comes after Liberty chose last spring to lift its ban on guns in dorm rooms, a policy shift approved by the college’s board of trustees. Falwell told students during a convocation appearance last December that the change came at your request.
Students complained the old policy kept them from accessing their guns quickly if necessary because it required firearms to be kept in vehicles.
As Liberty built more residence halls, our residents were having to park further from their rooms, David Corry, Liberty’s general counsel, told Yahoo, adding that students said they would feel safer if they didn’t have to leave their weapons locked in their glove compartments when walking from their cars to the residence halls, especially at night.
Corry went on to say the university researched some 70 other campuses with similar concealed carry rules. All had policies in place with no incident, he said.
But not everyone likes the idea of guns on Liberty’s campus. Gun control advocate Rob Schenck, president of Faith in Action, a Washington, D.C. based Christian outreach organization, called the idea of a gun range morally reckless.
Liberty has said they intend to make sure all students feel safe and comfortable amid the controversial policy change.
No one has to have a roommate with a gun in their room if they are uncomfortable with it, Corry said. Everyone in a room has to agree for concealed carry to be permitted by a dorm resident and a [gun] safe installed in their room.
According to a student-operated blog, the gun range will be located near Liberty’s Camp Hydaway, the university’s outdoor recreation area.
Let’s conclude with some quotes.
George Washington didn’t use his right to free speech to defeat the British … he shot them.
In this world, one must be either an anvil or a hammer.
Well, that is all for now. More maybe next month if the world keeps turning and the sun doesn’t get too close to the earth. Until then, shoot straight, keep em in the ten ring, be safe on the range, be vigilant and protective of your freedoms, and God bless the USA.