Secretary of State Condoleezza
Rice, a CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender
of the Month, stated recently that
the constitutional right of Americans
to own firearms is as important as
their rights to speech and religion.
Rice said during a CNN “Larry King
Live” interview that her father, a
black minister, and his friends armed
themselves to defend the black
community in Birmingham, Alabama
against the White Knight Riders in
1962 and 1963. She said if local
authorities had had lists of registered
weapons, her father and other blacks
would not have been able to defend
themselves. She said she favored
background checks and gun show
controls but that, “we have to be
very careful when we start abridging
rights that the Founding Fathers
thought very important.” Rice said
the Founding Fathers understood
“there might be circumstances that
people like my father experienced in
Birmingham when, in fact, the police
aren’t going to protect you…I also
don’t think we get to pick and choose
from the Constitution. The Second
Amendment is as important as the
First Amendment.”
CCRKBA Executive Director Joe
Waldron congratulated Minnesota
lawmakers for their quick, decisive
effort to revive that state’s reasonable
personal protection act. Passage
of the bill by an 86-47 vote in the
State House of Representatives just
days after the Senate approved the
measure in a lopsided 44-21 vote
“was the right thing to do,” Waldron
stated. “This sends a message to
criminals that Minnesota citizens are
not going to be made easy targets,
through the efforts of anti-gunners
or because or a court ruling. Minnesota
gun rights activists should
be congratulated for quickly reviving
this law, thanks to Sen. Pat Pariseau
and Rep. Larry Howes, who took
leadership positions to shepherd
this important legislation through
both chambers.”
In West Palm Beach, Florida,
an appeals court rejected a lawsuit
that the widow of a teacher gunned
down by a 13-year-old student had
filed against a gun distributor. Pam
Grunow’s lawsuit charged that
Valor Corporation was negligent in
selling the cheap handgun used in
the shooting and should be held
liable for the May 2000 death of her
husband, Barry Grunow. He was
shot in the doorway of his middle
school schoolroom by Nathaniel
Brazill, who stole the gun from the
man he considered to be his grandfather.
“We certainly sympathize with
Grunow and recognize the tragedy
of the events that transpired,” read
the court’s decision. “However, it
was Brazill, his grandfather, and
perhaps the school that were liable,
not Valor.” A jury that heard the case
in November 2002 had ordered the
company to pay $1.2 million, but the
trial judge threw out the verdict and
Grunow appealed.
Faced with violence in courtrooms,
a number of judges are
thinking long and hard about their
own personal security, reports David
Finkel of The Washington Post.
Some are thinking about carrying
personal firearms into the courtroom
if they in fact have not already done
so. One who already has is U.S.
District Court Chief Judge Joseph
Hood in Lexington, Kentucky. “‘It’s
with me whenever I move,’ Hood
said after reaching into his briefcase
and pulling out a semiautomatic
pistol this he is holding in the air,”
wrote Finkel. “‘There are people out
there wrapped not too tight. Their
bubble is off-center, if you know what
I mean.’ “‘He added, ‘These Glocks
are good pieces of equipment.’”
In the Philippines, journalists,
tired of being targeted by criminal
gangs, politicians and rogue police
who don’t like their critical reporting,
are getting ready to pack pistols
along with their pens and notebooks,
according to the Scotsman, a United
Kingdom publication. “We believe
in the adage that the pen is mightier
than the sword,” said Joel Sy Egco,
and organizer of a new journalists’
self-defense group, the Association
of Responsible Media, or ARMED.
“It always will be, but the problem
is, they use guns on us. To silence
us, they shoot at us. Therefore, we
should also know how to use their
tools against them.” Recently, about
100 ARMED members trudged to a
Department of National Defense firing
range to practice marksmanship
with their firearms. Some wore black
shirts that read, “Stop killing journalists”
in front and, in back, “We don’t
get mad, we get even.”