Rep DeSaulnier’s outrage

Many of us received a recent email (below) from Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord), with the single-world subject line of… “Outrage”.

Rep DeSaulnier is outraged you haven't set him a campaign contribution recently. Maybe mass murder will scare you into it.
Rep DeSaulnier is outraged you haven’t set him a campaign contribution recently. Maybe mass murder will scare you into it.
In his Jeremiad, Rep DeSaulnier laments that, “We should be outraged. How many lives should be lost,” due to gun violence. Why? Because of inaction by Republicans in the U.S. Senate who, in thrall to the NRA and Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, refuse to make our communities safer from gun violence by criminals and terrorists.

Like clockwork, former Democratic Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi has ginned up a three-ring circus of faux outrage about gun violence and the need to take guns away from law abiding citizens. This is nothing more than shameless, self-serving politicization of an American tragedy of the recent Orlando Mass shooting by a self-professed, radical Islamic terrorist, with a hard-on to make gays pay for their collective affront to the Prophet (Bless his name) and Allah (Allahu Akbar).

Obviously Pelosi and Democrats, including junior members like Rep DeSaulnier, would rather demonize law-abiding gun owners than address, or even name, radical Islamic terrorism, the growth of home-grown extremists, a non-existent border that allows illegal fence jumping and criminal elements to enter the nation willy-nilly, not to mention the influx—if Hillary Rodham Clinton has her way—an increase of over 500,000+ new, unscreened refugees on top of the flood President Obama has already sanctioned despite a Federal Court restraining order pending a Supreme Court decision any day now.

No, shaming the GOP, NRA, and the Second Amendment is much easier.

Rep DeSaulnier does present the usual sound bite statistics citing that majorities of Americans favor background checks that would screen criminals, and mentally disturbed from purchasing guns.There has already been an “assault weapon” ban, especially directed at the ever-popular AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. New proposed nostrums (sans nuance) come prepackaged now with catchy names like, “No Fly No Buy”, or registration for ammunition purchase. He even breathlessly cites the Supreme Court passing on a challenge of a State gun ban as if this were huge news. But you don’t know, do you. Rep DeSaulnier just said so.

The general public thinks the AR-15 is an automatic military grade "assault weapon that can fire 3,000 rounds per second.
The general public thinks the AR-15 is an automatic military grade “assault weapon” that can fire 3,000 rounds per second.

Meanwhile, heavily market-researched names like “assault weapon”—which is code for the popular, semi-automatic AR-15 rifle— are the enemy; not hand guns, knives, or nunchucks (ouch). Why, because an AR-15 looks much more dangerous and can be lied about due to plain ignorance. Stringing up AR-15s is much easier than reckoning with the fact that most gun violence in metropolitan areas are drug and gang related. Like Rep DeSaulnier’s ban of AR-15s is going to put a halt to the violent drug culture in cities like Richmond, Oakland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, along the Rio Grande, St Louis, Detroit, Flint, Chicago, New Orleans, D.C., Baltimore, NYC, and Boston…all Democratic Party strongholds with employment crushed by NAFTA and the Left’s third-base romance with Globalism.

Significantly the Outrage email arrived just days before today’s sit-in by House Democrats (including Rep DeSaulnier standing off to the side when allowed to be on camera) giving impassioned, fist-shaking speeches interspersed with calls for silence to remember the thousands killed by Republicans and the NRA. The crocodile tears were backed up by by chants of “no bill, no break” (#nobillnobreak)…as if.

No bill? Give me a break!

A photo shot and tweeted from the floor of the House by U.S. House Rep. John Yarmuth shows Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives, including Rep. Joe Courtney (L) and Rep. John Lewis (C) staging a sit-in on the House floor “to demand action on common sense gun legislation” on Capitol Hill in Washington, United States, June 22, 2016. REUTERS/U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth/Handout
We’re pretty sure Rep DeSaulnier knows (we’re not so sure about Nancy Pelosi) that gun legislation never has and never will keep “assault weapons” out of the hands of criminals and those seeking to do harm to their spouse, neighbor, business, place of worship, or country. The legislation for which Democrats beat the drum is only to keep law abiding citizens from buying guns for sport-shooting, hunting, and home and personal defense and like it.

Alas, Rep DeSaulnier’s the bottom line solution to gun violence is for you, the hipster gal or guy who thinks AR-15s shoot bullets at 3K/sec to send his campaign, $100, $50, $25, or even $5. For that is the only solution to gun violence Democrats and Rep Desaulnier; to hijack tragedy to play on fears and ignorance as a ploy to raise campaign cash for themselves.

The outrage.

desaulnier outrage pretend

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Firearms Ordinance battle in Pleasant Hill, continues June 9

The Pleasant Hill City Council will hold a special public hearing on June 9, to consider its Planning Commission’s refusal to amend that city’s Zoning laws to accommodate the recent City Council Firearms Ordinance, which would further restrict the sale and purchase of firearms and ammunition. The hearing will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, June 9, 2014, in the City Council Chambers, 100 Gregory Lane, Pleasant Hill. Interested parties will be heard at that time.

pleasant hill city council gun store zoningThe ordinance requires a police permit for firearms and ammunition dealers to satisfy a number of new restrictions such as not being located within 150 feet of a residence; within 500 feet of a park, another gun dealer, a massage parlor or an adult entertainment venue; or within 1,000 feet of a day care or school. Additionally, firearms dealers owners and employees must pass a criminal-background check. Dealers must have a working alarm system with surveillance cameras, and submit annual reports to the police chief detailing compliance with the new regulations.

Councilman Tim Flaherty, Mayor Michael Harris and Councilman David Durant voted for the firearms ordinance while Councilmen Jack Weir and Ken Carlson voted no.

But a lawsuit from the NRA and gun dealers challenged the firearms ordinance that forced the City Council to cover its tracks concerning several of its prohibitive zoning provisions that would leave few available spaces for firearms dealers to do business. The City Council then directed that City’s Planning Commission to “clear up” the zoning issues.

As previously reported in Halfway To Concord, the Firearms Ordinace came under furious attack by local residents. Additionally, members of the Planning Commission expressed weariness about having to deal with the restrictive zoning issues (again) after it refused to hear such recommendations back in 2011, making it clear that they saw no ‘need for additional regulation of firearms retailers.’

The litigation brought against Pleasant Hill by the National Shooting Sports Foundation claims that the distance requirements in the firearm ordinance restricting store locations is essentially a zoning ordinance. According to Lisa White’s report in the Contra Costa Times,

The lawsuit — filed with City Arms East, one of Pleasant Hill’s four gun dealers — also claims that by giving the city the right to inspect gun stores without a search warrant, the ordinance violates the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. The lawsuit further alleges that the ordinance conflicts with state gun and labor laws and requires insurance against liability for criminal conduct. It is impossible to insure, the National Shooting Sports Foundation claims, or gun dealers have statutory immunity from such a requirement.

The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence (LCAGV), a national advocacy group, has arranged for a San Francisco law firm (Keker & Van Nest) to defend the lawsuit pro bono for the city. Several of the attorneys are residents of Pleasant Hill. This is significant, because the Planning Commissioner Abbott is said to have told the LCAGV that they should never appear before the Planning Commission in Pleasant Hill again.

According to knowledgeable sources, in punting the ball back to Council, the Planning Commission as much as stated that staff (and by inference, the proponents of the firearms ordinance) had failed to provide adequate information on which to make a sound decision and had not answered a number of pertinent questions raised by the Planning Commission.

Some speculate that the Planning Commission, which has previously heard a proposal to regulate firearms in the city, and found no basis in terms of any existing need for prospective zoning changes, is signaling to staff and council that it will not rubber stamp the ordinance nor legitimize an end-run around proper zoning process.

The Public Hearing then will feature spirited public comment and discussion around the Firearms Ordinance and the Planning Commission again rejecting zoning change requirements for firearms dealers.

See the Pleasant Hill hearing notice below followed by comments from Planning Commission members reported in Halfway To Concord in March, and a letter to the Pleasant Hill Planning Commission from Mitchell & Associates concerning the current litigation over the firearms ordinance.

Pleasant Hill Cty Council Public Hearing Notice for June 9 on Fireamrs Ordinance

The City of Pleasant Hill City Council will hold a special meeting to conduct a public hearing to consider a negative recommendation from the Planning Commission on a proposed ordinance to amend Sections 18.15.040 (Commercial Use Classifications), 18.20.070 (Home Occupations) and 18.25.020 (Land Use Regulations for all Commercial, Retail Business, Neighborhood Business, Office and Light Industrial Districts) of the Pleasant Hill Zoning Ordinance (Title 18 of the Municipal Code) to conform as needed to the provisions of Chapter 9.35 of the Pleasant Hill Municipal Code regulating firearms and ammunition sales.

grandmas with guns save GOP in 2010Pursuant to Section 15061(b).3 of the Guidelines for the Implementation of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) of 1970, as amended, the lead agency has determined with certainty that the proposed activity will not have a significant effect on the environment as the proposed amendment is intended to define a firearms and ammunition sales use, regulate said use as a home occupation and establish distance provisions from certain uses consistent with Chapter 9.35 of the Pleasant Hill Municipal Code.

The City Council will hold a special meeting to conduct a public hearing on this matter, starting at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, June 9, 2014, in the City Council Chambers, 100 Gregory Lane, Pleasant Hill. Interested persons will be heard at that time.

NOTICE IS ALSO GIVEN pursuant to Government Code Section 65009(B) that, if this matter is subsequently challenged in Court by you or others, you may be limited to raising only those issues you or someone else has raised at a Public Hearing described in this notice or in written correspondence delivered to the City of Pleasant Hill at, or prior to, the Public Hearing.

For information on this matter, please call or email Troy Fujimoto, at (925) 671-5224 or tfujimoto@ci.pleasant-hill.ca.us.

Pleasant Hill Planning Commission member comments on proposed zoning changes for legal firearms dealers arising from the new Firearms Ordinance

– Commissioner Robert Abbott: “There is no need for regulation or a zoning ordinance amendment . . . There is no safety issue or problem that warrants this regulation.”

– Commissioner David Mascaro (current Vice-Chair): “I’m not interested in seeing this ordinance come back to us . . . I want to see regulations for firing ranges, but not regulations re firearms stores.”

– Commissioner Steve Wallace (current Chair): “I don’t want to see this again before this Commission.”

– Commissioner (and current Mayor who voted for the new law) Tim Flaherty: “I see nothing for this Commission to consider.”

– Commissioner Diana Vavrek: “I’m still in the dark regarding how this came to us. I don’t yet understand it . . . I’m open to this coming back to us, but I need more background . . . I need to know exactly what the danger is [with having a firearms store near DVC] . . .The concerns haven’t been spelled out . . . I don’t quite get the nature of the risk, concern . . . What’s the problem we’re trying to address?”

– Commissioner Jim Bonato: “I have not heard any compelling arguments that support need for a use permit [for retail firearms stores] . . . There is no basis for discussing this further . . . No risk has been spelled out . . . I don’t want this issue to come before us again.”

Letter from Mitchell & Associates to Pleasant Hill Planning Commission re taking action while the Firearms Rodinance is in litigation

We write on behalf of our clients, the National Rifle Association (“NRA”) and the California Rifle and Pistol Association (“CRPA”), as well as the hundreds of thousands of their members in California, including members residing in the City of Pleasant Hill. Our clients oppose adoption of the proposed Firearms and Ammunition Sales Ordinance currently being considered by the Commission that concerns the zoning of firearm and ammunition retailers in the City of Pleasant Hill (“Zoning Amendments”.)

Members of the Commission are undoubtedly aware of changes the City Council made to Pleasant Hill Municipal Code (“PHMC”) Chapter 9.35 late last year concerning firearm retailers (“Firearms Ordinance”). It is important to understand that the Zoning Amendments before this Commission have only one purpose: to cover the City Council’s illegal actions and mistakes in adopting the original Firearms Ordinance. The Commission should not accomodate the City council’s nefarious objective.

We understand this Commission has been placed in a difficult situation, and is busy diligently reviewing materials presented to it at the April 1 meeting. We write to the Commission now to bring to its attention the true nature of the Zoning Amendments potential effects, what actions can and should be taken by the Commission in the interest of justice, and some additional legal material not previously discussed in prior communications from the public.

I. THE PENDING LAWSUIT CHALLENGING CHAPTER 9.35

It is apparent that the City Attorney and City Council believe that the current lawsuit challenging the Firearm Ordinance’ will likely be successful in striking that provision down as violating the California Goverment Code. They now seek a recommendation from the Commission on the Zoning Amendments in an attempt to moot certain issues in the lawsuit. Basically, they are trying to remedy the legal errors they made in passing the original ordinance, which they blatantly ignored beforehand, and hoping to get cover from the Commission for their abuse of process that they thought they would get away with. The Commission should not stand for it.

II. WHAT THE PLANNING COMMISSION CAN DO

Because the constitutionality of the Firearms Ordinance is already being challenged in court, it makes little sense for the Commission to act on the Zoning Amendments at this time. If the ordinance is invalidated as unconstitutional as a whole, it would be a waste of the Commission’s time to have considered the proposal in the first place. Moreover, the City Council has not adequately explained the present need for this law. Therefore, the Commission should continue the item until litigation is resolved. By doing so, the Commission will be in a position to make a fully informed decision concerning the legality of such a proposal, based on guidance from a court.

The City Council may attempt to bypass the Planning Commission altogether in pushing this item through. Regardless of whether it has the authority to do so, such an action would expose the City Council’s disregard for this Commission’s role and for fairness. We urge this Commission to continue the item regardless of any possible action the City Council may take. If, however, members of this Commission decide to weigh in, we strongly urge a unanimous negative recommendation for the following reasons.

III. WHY ANY RECOMMENDATION SHOULD BE A UNANIMOUS NEGATIVE RECOMMENDATION

A unanimous negative recommendation will serve as a strong rebuke of the City Council’s usurpation of the process, and will perhaps provide the only method of official protest this Commission can take in regards to the City Council’s duplicitous actions. It is clear that the City Council does not respect the Commission’s role in this process, and is attempting to use the Commission to remedy its own mistakes, which resulted from its disregard for the law in the first place.

It was clear from the special meeting on April 1 that the honorable members of the Commission were frustrated with the position the City Attorney and City Council placed them in. Residents ofPleasant Hill have already expressed their strong opposition to the proposal. And the materials (‘City Arms East, LLC v. City of Pleasant Hill, Case MSN13-.1922 (Filed 12/23/2013) already provided by the NRA, the CRPA, FFL-Guard, and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, as well as several reputable businesses located in the City of Pleasant Hill, show that both ordinances raise serious legal concerns.

In addition to the points raised in those materials, we invite the Commission to apply the court’s reasoning in the case of Anderson v. City of Hermosa Beach, 621 F.3d 1051 (2010)2 to the provisions at issue in Pleasant Hill. In Anderson, Hermosa Beach sought to prohibit tattoo parlors within their municipality just like Pleasant Hill is now attempting to prohibit firearm retailers.

pleasant-hill-gun-ordinanceBecause tattoos are speech under the First Amendment, the court correctly held that tattoo parlors were also protected by the First Amendment. Courts would undoubtedly view a library or bookstore as protected under the First Amendment. The Anderson court then correctly concluded that the ordinance violated the First Amendment because it was “substantially broader than necessary to achieve the City’s interest of health and public safety,” noting that instead of ensuring tattoo parlors operate in compliance with health and safety codes, the city effectively banned what is already a heavily regulated business.

The analysis for the Anderson case applies to the issue here which involves an equally important albeit different constitutionally protected right. Firearm retailers must be afforded protections under the Second Amendment, as a right to keep and bear arms implies a right to buy and sell arms.

See Jackson v. City and County of San Francisco, No. 12-17803, 2014 WL 1193434 (9th Cir. March 25, 2014) The City Council may have legitimate concerns for public health and safety with regards to firearm retailers, but it has not provided the Planning Commission with any evidence as to why the proposed restrictions are needed, let alone how they are related to furthering public health and safety. The requirements of the proposed zoning ordinance amount to a total ban on firearm retailers altogether. The map only just now supplied to the Commission does not rebut that conclusion as was pointed out during the April 1 meeting.

For these reasons, any recommendation by this Commission to the City Council should be a unanimous negative recommendation.

VI. CONCLUSION

In sum, we strongly urge the Planning Commission to continue the item until the pending litigation is resolved, as to not waste any more time of the Commission on consideration of an ordinance whose legitimacy is still pending in court. If, however, the Commission decides to give a recommendation, we strongly urge a negative recommendation for the above reasons.

NB: The decision in this case was given by the Ninth Circuit, which means that it is binding in all states within the Ninth Circuit, including California, and all municipalities within those states, which includes Pleasant Hill.

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Harmer alternate votes against gun rights

David Harmer is a complete fraud and needs to be held accountable for his actions and anti-gun leanings.

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David Harmer Disappoints

UPDATED NOV 21 — Alameda County- This past Tuesday, the Alameda County Republican Central Committee held its November monthly meeting in San Leandro at the County Party Headquarters. Over fifty local Republicans attended to conduct official Party business.

At the meeting the committee considered several proposed resolutions. One of the resolutions was in opposition to a recent ammunition restrictions bill (A.B.962) passed in the California State legislature and signed into law by Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Most of the Republicans’ on the committee were not supportive of the Governor’s decision to sign A.B.962 into law. The California National Rifle Association and the California Rifle & Pistol Association have already decided to get behind efforts to repeal the restrictive new law. Republican Assemblyman Curt Hagman [AD-60 Chino Hills] plans to introduce an amended version of his bill (A.B.373) in January that would repeal A.B.962.

If efforts to repeal A.B.962 fail, the new law will take effect in February 2011 and California residents’ looking to purchase or transfer handgun ammunition will be required to submit their right thumb print to gun-retailers along with other detailed identity verifications. The retailer would then be required by the State to keep the information on file and make records available for inspection by the California Department of Justice. The new law bans all mail-order and Internet sales of handgun ammunition as well.

That brings us to Republican David Harmer, the newest Ex-Officio Member of the Alameda County Republican Central Committee byway of receiving the GOP nomination in California’s special election to replace Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher (D). Unable to overcome the large voter-registration disadvantage, Harmer ended up getting pounded on election day by former California Lt. Governor John Garamendi (D). Harmer came up short in three of the four counties that make up Congressional District 10. Alameda County was the only bright spot in the district that Harmer actually received enough votes to beat Garamendi. Harmer won there by 7% of the vote.

How does Harmer return the favor to the volunteers that helped his campaign in Alameda County? Well, Harmer’s first order of business as a committee Member was to appoint an Alternate, Diane Hefner [AD-15 Livermore] to attend the meeting and cast an anti-gun vote against a proposed resolution in opposition to A.B.962. Harmer, and other Ex-Officio Members’ appoint alternates’ to vote on their behalf on matters concerning official Party business when they are unable to attend meetings themselves.

During Harmer’s campaign he claimed to be a Republican that supported gun-rights. He even received an endorsement from Gun Owners of America. However, like many other politicians interested in advancing their political careers’, Harmer found it hard to live up to his own campaign promise of being a strong supporter of gun-rights.

Harmer failed to respond to numerous requests for information about why he supports A.B.962 and what made him decide to vote against the proposed resolution calling for its repeal.

Gun Owners of America (GOA) is known for being “the only no-compromise gun lobby in Washington.” They have consistently held the line when it comes to protecting the 2nd Amendment and have always held candidates to the highest standard when making endorsements.

Turns out that the GOA may have let one slip through the cracks when it comes to David Harmer!

GOA Executive Director Larry Pratt said, “Harmer’s grade was based on an ‘A’ survey” and his “BYU Law Review article titled Securing a Free State: Why the Second Amendment Matters.”

Executive Committee Member David LaTour [AD-18 Hayward] told Halfway to Concord that, “Harmer must have forgotten why the Second Amendment matters from what I saw at the monthly meeting on Tuesday.” LaTour continued, “David Harmer doesn’t deserve an ‘A’ rating from the Gun Owners of America. They should take it back!”

Pratt said, “We [the GOA] certainly would have been content to sit this one out… if this is true. We could not find anything out about it. If this was known before the election maybe we could have done something about Harmer. We’ll certainly keep this on file in case he runs again. Pratt concluded by suggesting, “We [the GOA] can also simply take him off our Political Victory Fund [endorsement] page.”

Now, that would be totally appropriate coming from a group that doesn’t support compromising our gun rights! After all why would the Gun Owners of America want to tarnish their good name supporting a fraud like David J. Harmer?

CONTACT INFO: Gun Owners of America, 8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102, Springfield, VA 22151 Phone: (703) 321-8585

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NRA leader talks in Orinda, Oct 15

National Rifle Association (NRA) immediate Past President Sandra Froman is the featured speaker at the Thursday, October 15 luncheon meeting of the Lamorinda Republican Women’s Club. Froman’s topic is “Why the Second Amendment Keeps Us Free.”

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National Rifle Association (NRA) immediate Past President Sandra Froman is the featured speaker at the Thursday, October 15 luncheon meeting of the Lamorinda Republican Women’s Club. Froman’s topic is “Why the Second Amendment Keeps Us Free.”

The luncheon, to be held at the Orinda Country Club, located at 315 Camino Sobrante, Orinda, CA, begins with registration at 11:30 a.m. This program is open to the public with advance reservations available through Monday, October 12 by calling 925-254-8617. Tickets are $25 and $15 for program only. See program details at the club’s website at: lamorindarepublicanwomen.org.

Sandra Froman is the immediate past president of the National Rifle Association of America, only the second woman and the first Jewish American to hold that office in the 136-year history of the NRA. Froman has served on the NRA Board of Directors since 1992 and holds a lifetime appointment on the NRA Executive Council.

A native of San Francisco, Froman is an international speaker for the right to keep and bear arms. Froman promotes the NRA as a civil rights organization, dedicated to the protection and advancement of the Bill of Rights, and the role of the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms as an insurance policy for all civil liberties—the one right that protects all the others.

froman cheney musket 2004 nraAs NRA president, Froman emphasized the need for federal judges who interpret and apply the Constitution—as well as any other legal document—according to its original meaning. She also speaks of the right to keep and bear arms as especially important for women and minorities, seeking to reach those constituencies with her message of self-protection and self-sufficiency. Experienced in long-term nonprofit planning and past president of The NRA Foundation, Froman has also been heavily involved in NRA’s long-term strategy to permanently fund NRA’s educational, training and charitable programs.

A graduate of Stanford and Harvard Law, Froman is a practicing attorney in Tucson, Arizona and has been a partner at several law firms and has taught law school. She currently serves on the board of visitors of the law schools of George Mason University and the University of Arizona.

Lamorinda Republican Women Federated (LRWF) was founded in 1950 and its membership is open to all registered Republicans; meetings are open to the public. The club has over 100 members and is dedicated to the promotion of the Republican platform; the election of Republican candidates; presentation of local and national issues and legislative and ballot measures; and to provide a forum for discussing these issues.

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