Congress

Obama: ‘I Haven’t Given Up’ On Tighter Gun Control

During this renewed push by Democrats for more gun “control,” I’ve noted efforts at the state level here in Illinois and in Congress as well. Now, U.S. President Barack Obama had thrown down the gauntlet in 2015. Obama recently spoke with Dr. Richard Besser of ABC News during a sit-down interview at Howard University. From their exchange which was uploaded on the ABC News website on April 8:

BESSER: Following Sandy Hook, you promised America tighter gun control. Have you given up?
OBAMA: No, I haven’t given up. What we’ve done is to try to do as much as we could administratively- to tighten up how background checks are run, to go after illegal drug runners. But I will tell you that trying to get something through Congress has proven to be really difficult. And it’s heartbreaking…


YouTube Video

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Proposed Ban Of Common AR-15 Rifle Ammunition Suspended

In case you haven’t heard the latest about that proposed ban on common M855 ball ammunition (or SS109 as it’s sometimes referred to) for the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action reported on their website yesterday:

Fairfax, Va. – The National Rifle Association (NRA) was instrumental in stalling the Obama Administration’s initial attempt to ban commonly used ammunition for the most popular rifle in America, the AR-15. The announcement that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) will suspend its proposed framework to ban M855 ammunition validates the NRA’s assertion that this effort was nothing more than a political maneuver to bypass Congress and impose gun control on the American people.

“Today’s announcement proves what we have said all along — this was 100% political. President Obama failed to pass gun control through Congress, so he tried to impose his political agenda through executive fiat. But every gun owner in America needs to understand Barack Obama’s hatred of the Second Amendment has not changed,” said Wayne La Pierre, Executive Vice President of the National Rifle Association.

Chris Cox, Executive Director of NRA-ILA criticized the dishonest campaign to ban this common ammunition: “The lies used to justify the ban were shameful. This proposal was never about law enforcement safety – it was about the Obama Administration’s desire to pander to billionaire Michael Bloomberg and his gun control groups. Since they haven’t been able to ban America’s most popular rifle, they are trying to ban the ammunition instead.”

Since the BATFE announced its plan to ban commonly used ammunition less than a month ago, the NRA rallied its five million members and tens of millions of supporters across the country in strong opposition. In addition, the NRA worked with congressional leaders in both the U.S. House and Senate to oppose this misguided proposal.

“The NRA would like to thank House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and House Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman John Culberson for leading the fight against this unconstitutional attack on our Second Amendment freedoms,” continued Cox. “This was a significant victory for our five million members and tens of millions of supporters across the country.

“Make no mistake, this fight is not over. We will remain vigilant and continue to fight against President Obama’s attempt to dismantle the Second Amendment,” concluded LaPierre.

To view the congressional letters to BATFE, along with the Member signatures, click here and here.

To view recent op-ed in the Daily Caller by Chris Cox on the proposed ammunition ban, click here.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Latest On Proposed Ban Of Common AR-15 Rifle Ammunition

Back on February 16, I blogged about the push by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) to ban common M855 ball ammunition (or SS109 as it’s sometimes referred to) for the AR-15, a semi-automatic rifle incredibly-popular with America’s shooting community. The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) charged on February 13:

In a move clearly intended by the Obama Administration to suppress the acquisition, ownership and use of AR-15s and other .223 caliber general purpose rifles, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives unexpectedly announced today that it intends to ban commonplace M855 ball ammunition as “armor piercing ammunition.” The decision continues Obama’s use of his executive authority to impose gun control restrictions and bypass Congress…

Earlier today, I tuned in to the Mrgunsngear Channel on YouTube.com, and noticed Mrgunsngear had uploaded a video this weekend in which he discussed the latest developments going on with the proposed ban of “the second-most common ammo sold for the AR-15”:


“Is M855/SS109 5.56 Banned Already?
**Edit—Update With Current Latest Info At End…”
YouTube Video

Personally, I suspect the proposed (current?) ban is simply more “backdoor” gun “control” coming out of the White House. Remember what I wrote back on May 31, 2011:

This report comes after a recent Washington Post piece that was published on April 11th by Jason Horowitz in which President Obama is alleged to have said his administration was working on gun control “under the radar.” Horowitz wrote:

On March 30, the 30th anniversary of the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan, Jim Brady, who sustained a debilitating head wound in the attack, and his wife, Sarah, came to Capitol Hill to push for a ban on the controversial “large magazines.” Brady, for whom the law requiring background checks on handgun purchasers is named, then met with White House press secretary Jay Carney. During the meeting, President Obama dropped in and, according to Sarah Brady, brought up the issue of gun control, “to fill us in that it was very much on his agenda,” she said.

“I just want you to know that we are working on it,” Brady recalled the president telling them. “We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar.”

In the meeting, she said, Obama discussed how records get into the system and what can be done about firearms retailers. Her husband specifically brought up the proposed ban on large magazine clips, and she noted that even former vice president Dick Cheney had suggested that some restrictions on the clips might make sense.

“He just laughed,” Sarah Brady said approvingly of the president. Both she and her husband, she emphasized, had absolute confidence that the president was committed to regulation.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar.”

That’s how this administration is going to roll, especially after those gun and ammunition magazine ban setbacks at the federal level post-Newtown.

That being said, gun “control” supporters will be ready to breach the “front door” with the next major mass shooting/casualty event. Readers may recall my February 18 post about the Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act (bans ammunition magazines accepting more than 10 rounds) already introduced in the U.S. House and Senate (H.R. 752 and S. 407, respectively).

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Congressional Democrats Push ‘High-Capacity’ Magazine Ban

Like I blogged Monday, the gun “control” crowd is off-and-running several weeks into the new year. In addition to a ban on certain AR-15 rifle ammunition, they’re also pushing to ban “high-capacity” firearm ammunition magazines. From the website of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislation Action (NRA-ILA) last Friday:

Anti-gun U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and U.S. Representative Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.), have introduced their Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act (S. 407 and H.R. 752, respectively), in yet another attempt to ban magazines that accept more than 10 rounds. Similar legislation has been introduced in previous Congresses, and has repeatedly failed since the expiration of the Clinton “large” magazine ban in 2004.

Firearms designed to use magazines that hold more than ten rounds have been around for more than a hundred years. Today they constitute a majority of all new firearms manufactured, imported and sold in the United States, for what the Supreme Court, in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), called the central purpose of the Second Amendment: self-defense. While gun control supporters claim that the magazines are unnecessary for self-defense, millions of Americans disagree, and the Supreme Court has ruled in Heller that laws are unconstitutional if they prohibit firearms that are in common use for defensive purposes.

Moreover, studies have shown that magazine bans don’t reduce crime. The congressionally-mandated study of the 1994-2004 federal “large” magazine “ban” concluded that its 10-round limit on new magazines wasn’t a factor in multiple-victim or multiple-wound crimes. A follow-up study concluded that “relatively few attacks involve more than 10 shots fired,” and “the ban’s effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement.” And a majority of law enforcement in the United States acknowledges that banning standard-capacity magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds will not increase public safety.

A person attacked in a parking lot, or at home in the middle of the night, will probably have only the magazine within the firearm. No one should be arbitrarily limited in the number of rounds he or she can have for self-defense.

The NRA opposes this legislation and will continue to fight attempts in Congress to limit magazine capacity.

As I type this, each and every co-sponsor of this legislation is a Democrat (16 in the Senate and 107 in the House).

You can track the status of Senate Bill 407 here and House Bill 752 here via Congress.gov.

Permission has been granted by the NRA-ILA to reproduce the above.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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NRA: BATFE To Ban Common AR-15 Ammo

It was only a matter of time. Several weeks into the new year, and the gun “control” crowd is off-and-running again. There’s been a number of developments lately, but here’s one that seems to be really worrying American gun owners- particularly those possessing the popular AR-15 rifle. From the website of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislation Action (NRA-ILA) this past Friday:

In a move clearly intended by the Obama Administration to suppress the acquisition, ownership and use of AR-15s and other .223 caliber general purpose rifles, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives unexpectedly announced today that it intends to ban commonplace M855 ball ammunition as “armor piercing ammunition.” The decision continues Obama’s use of his executive authority to impose gun control restrictions and bypass Congress.

It isn’t even the third week of February, and the BATFE has already taken three major executive actions on gun control. First, it was a major change to what activities constitute regulated “manufacturing” of firearms. Next, BATFE reversed a less than year old position on firing a shouldered “pistol.” Now, BATFE has released a “Framework for Determining Whether Certain Projectiles are ‘Primarily Intended for Sporting Purposes’ Within the Meaning of 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(17)(c)”, which would eliminate M855’s exemption to the armor piercing ammunition prohibition and make future exemptions nearly impossible.

By way of background, federal law imposed in 1986 prohibits the manufacture, importation, and sale by licensed manufacturers or importers, but not possession, of “a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely . . . from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium.” Because there are handguns capable of firing M855, it “may be used in a handgun.” It does not, however, have a core made of the metals listed in the law; rather, it has a traditional lead core with a steel tip, and therefore should never have been considered “armor piercing.” Nonetheless, BATFE previously declared M855 to be “armor piercing ammunition,” but granted it an exemption as a projectile “primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes.”

Now, however, BATFE says that it will henceforth grant the “sporting purposes” exception to only two categories of projectiles:

Category I: .22 Caliber Projectiles

A .22 caliber projectile that otherwise would be classified as armor piercing ammunition under 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(17)(B) will be considered to be “primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes” under section 921(a)(17)(C) if the projectile weighs 40 grains or less AND is loaded into a rimfire cartridge.

Category II: All Other Caliber Projectiles

Except as provided in Category I (.22 caliber rimfire), projectiles that otherwise would be classified as armor piercing ammunition will be presumed to be “primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes” under section 921(a)(17)(C) if the projectile is loaded into a cartridge for which the only handgun that is readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade is a single shot handgun. ATF nevertheless retains the discretion to deny any application for a “sporting purposes” exemption if substantial evidence exists that the ammunition is not primarily intended for such purposes.

BATFE is accepting comments until March 16, 2015 on this indefensible attempt to disrupt ammunition for the most popular rifle in America. Check back early next week for a more in-depth analysis of this “framework” and details on how you can submit comments.

How to comment – from the BATFE

ATF will carefully consider all comments, as appropriate, received on or before March 16, 2015, and will give comments received after that date the same consideration if it is practical to do so, but assurance of consideration cannot be given except as to comments received on or before March 16, 2015. ATF will not acknowledge receipt of comments. Submit comments in any of three ways (but do not submit the same comments multiple times or by more than one method):

ATF email: APAComments@atf.gov

Fax: (202) 648-9741.

Mail: Denise Brown, Mailstop 6N-602, Office of Regulatory Affairs, Enforcement Programs and Services, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, 99 New York Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20226: ATTN: AP Ammo Comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Denise Brown, Enforcement Programs and Services, Office of Regulatory Affairs, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, U.S. Department of Justice, 99 New York Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20226; telephone: (202) 648-7070.

Permission has been granted by the NRA-ILA to reproduce the above.


“BATF to ban M855/SS109 ammo”
YouTube Video

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Quote For The Week

“To state the obvious, the past six years have been really, really hard for this country.”

-U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, at a House Democratic Retreat in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on January 29, 2015

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Democrats Push ‘New Message’ Of Rebounding U.S. Economy

Big eye roll on my part when I spotted the following on my Internet service provider’s home page this afternoon. Charles Babington of the Associated Press reported Friday:

Democrats’ new message on America’s economic recovery is: We told you so, and we’re going to keep telling you so.

The economy is rebounding on nearly every front, even if the middle class still needs help, and it’s time to tell that story loudly, top Democrats say. That’s the key to reversing their midterm election setbacks, according to a host of House Democrats, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, all of whom came to Philadelphia this week for pep talks and strategy sessions.

“Democrats have to stand up, you’ve got to explain what we did,” Biden said to loud applause Friday. “Be proud of it… We can’t let the Republican Party rewrite history.”

Obama said much the same the night before. “The record shows we were right” the president said, referring to the 2009 stimulus, the bank and auto industry bailouts, and other strategies to pull out the great recession of 2008…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

A couple of thoughts here:

1. The true state of the U.S. economy and larger financial system is worrisome, as the “great recession of 2008” was merely “papered over” (I talk about that enough on this blog on a regular basis that I don’t feel the need to go into it today).

The news radio station I listen to most often in Chicago has been going on and on this week about the U.S. economy being on such strong footing these days. It’s almost as if they (like others in the mainstream media?) are carrying out the marching orders of the Democratic spindoctors to promote this “new message.” It’s been so ridiculous that if you didn’t know any better, you might think you were listening to old newsreels laying it on thick with the propaganda of the day:


“Vintage 1930s Inflation Propaganda”
YouTube Video

2. “We can’t let the Republican Party rewrite history.” “The record shows we were right.” Democrats vs. Republicans. Us vs. Them. Liberals vs. Conservatives. Left vs. Right. Coke vs. Pepsi…

Personally, I prefer RC.

And like that situation with the sodas, two choices often aren’t ideal for me. Particularly when it comes to the major U.S. political parties, who I’ve come to see as merely two “heads” belonging to the same monster (special interests of the rich and powerful).

3. Finally, I’ve said this before but it bears repeating:

Use this economic “rebound”- as much of an illusion as it may be- to your advantage.

Is your employment status less than ideal? You may want to consider improving that situation while “the getting’s good.” Need some extra income? You may want to look at taking on a part-time job while they’re available. Looking to purchase some emergency preps? “The shadow of crisis has passed.” President Obama said so in his recent State of the Union speech. Shop around for discounted gear, supplies, and other items while demand isn’t as strong as it has been lately and will be when hard times arrive down the road.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Babington, Charles. “House Democrats’ new message on the economy: We told you so.” Associated Press. 30 Jan. 2015. (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/house-democrats-message-economy-told-183956034.html). 30 Jan. 2015.

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Quote For The Week

“Let me say this to anyone who is listening at Citi: I agree with you. Dodd-Frank isn’t perfect. It should have broken you into pieces.”

-U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), in a speech on the Senate floor Friday on banks’ influence on the political process and concerning language in the spending bill (now before the Senate) she claims “would let derivatives traders on Wall Street gamble with taxpayer money and get bailed out by the government when their risky bets threaten to blow up our financial system.”

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Boston Globe: We Need Financial ‘Doomsayers’ Like Jeremy Grantham

“Legendary value investor Jeremy Grantham, chairman of the global investment management firm Grantham Mayo Van Otterloo (GMO), said in a recent letter to shareholders we are now witnessing the first global bubble in history, covering all asset classes. ‘From Indian antiquities to modern Chinese art; from land in Panama to Mayfair; from forestry, infrastructure and the junkiest bonds to mundane blue chips; it’s bubble time!’ Grantham adds, ‘Everyone, everywhere is reinforcing one another. Wherever you travel you will hear it confirmed that ‘they don’t make any more land,’ and that ‘with these growth rates and low interest rates, equity markets must keep rising,’ and ‘private equity will continue to drive the markets.'”

-Christopher E. Hill, Boom2Bust.com, June 14, 2007

Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity know I blog regularly about “crash prophets” Marc Faber, Jeremy Grantham, Jim Rogers, and Peter Schiff- individuals well-known in financial/investing circles who correctly-predicted the global economic crisis that reared its ugly head back in 2008.

Why do I like reading and writing about their investment activities/recommendations?

From this blog’s “About” page:

“Vice President Dick Cheney says that his boss, President George W. Bush, has no need to apologize to the American people for not doing more to head off the financial calamity, saying no one saw the crisis coming.

During an interview Thursday with The Associated Press in his West Wing office, Cheney defended the administration’s performance on an economy that is growing weaker daily and which recently collapsed in spectacular fashion. Cheney said that ‘nobody anywhere was smart enough to figure it out.'”

-Associated Press, January 8, 2009

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Who are the “Crash Prophets?”

Contrary to the former Vice President’s assertions, a small number of individuals did see the current economic crisis coming. Among them were prominent investors, advisors, and money managers who, despite being ridiculed by their so-called “peers,” bravely warned others that a financial storm was coming. Perhaps their now-discredited colleagues should have known better, for these same persons also have impressive track records when it comes to calling the markets. Today, the “Crash Prophets” are positioning their or their clients’ money and continue to share their insights for what they see is more financial turbulence ahead.

Others are also now recognizing the worth of what the “crash prophets” have to say. Writing about British-born investment strategist Jeremy Grantham and his latest quarterly investment letter (I blogged about it here on November 20), columnist Carlo Rotella for The Boston Globe penned the following on the paper’s website on November 22:

Grantham’s ice-bath clarity, coming from a self-described fat cat, gives me some faint hope that the currently infantile conversation about economics and the planet being conducted by our money-handlers and elected leaders, many of them awash in the oil money that lubricates our political system, might someday advance beyond the notion that we can’t do anything about the long term for fear of inhibiting short-term growth.

Clear, forceful, disciplined thinking like Grantham’s seems obvious when you read it, but it makes much of what everybody else is saying on the same subject seem twisted and bizarre. Grantham’s quarterly letters, wry and measured in tone and solidly based on well-presented data, feel like an antidote to the magical thinking purveyed by Congress and hysterically optimistic stock-pickers.

Grantham’s long-view investment philosophy centers on the principle that prices eventually revert to the mean, and his bemused view of human nature centers on a similar reversion to the behavioral mean. We want to hear good news and assume that present conditions will persist, we tend to be bad with numbers and uncertainty, and we take comfort in short-term-oriented herd behavior of the sort that characterizes the financial industry. We need doomsayers like Grantham to counteract these tendencies.

Yes, we do need “doomsayers” like Jeremy Grantham to counteract the Pollyannish tendencies of many Americans.

Do they actually believe the same people who brought us the 2008 financial crisis and so-called “Great Recession” were actually able to “fix” that mess?

I, for one, hope to be fairly “insulated” from the Pollyannas when the balloon finally goes up, because I’ve seen how this crowd reacts WTSHTF. And it ain’t pretty.

By the way, did I mention Dick Cheney was a former client of Grantham’s?

“Nobody anywhere was smart enough to figure it out.”

Rotella’s November 22 piece- “Why we need financial doomsayers”- is a good read (don’t expect much investment intel although Grantham’s U.S. stock bubble-crash warning is touched on), which you can view in its entirety on the Globe website here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Another Quote For The Week

One more QFTW to ponder as the work week kicks off:

I think the American people should know that the members of Congress are underpaid. I understand that it’s widely felt that they underperform, but the fact is that this is the board of directors for the largest economic entity in the world.

-U.S. Representative Jim Moran (D-VA 8th District), in an interview last Thursday with CQ Roll Call

Members of Congress make $174,000 a year and have their travel and work-related expenses covered by American taxpayers.

Gallup reported back on March 10 that only 15 percent of Americans approve of the overall job Congress is doing.

Perhaps other elected representatives to Congress who think along the same lines as the departing Moran should make way for aspiring civil servants willing to make sacrifices when it comes to salary and terms served. After all, from what I understand, I don’t think it was the intention of the Founding Fathers for citizens to make a career out of serving in the national legislature– which is exactly what a number of these politicians are doing.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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