Alan Caruba

Alan Caruba of South Orange, New Jersey is the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month for November. In nominating Caruba for the Award, John M. Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director, said the noted public relations counselor and editorial consultant “for years has been a gun owner and fierce defender in public of the individual Second Amendment civil right of lawabiding American citizens to keep and bear arms. He’s always been forthright and articulate in defense of our freedom. He certainly is most deserving of this Award.” Just recently, Alan Caruba wrote that, “Every despotic regime in the last century favored gun control laws. Today, the gun grabbers are on the move again and are being led by the Obama regime.” Caruba recalled that, “During last year ’s campaign both Hillary Clinton and John McCain tore into Barack Obama for saying that residents of small-town America ‘cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them over bitterness over lost jobs.’ “Obama quickly retreated from that statement, but it revealed his real thinking and real feelings about people who own guns for any reason, as well as his contempt for people whose religious values are an important part of their lives. In both cases he was condemning large segments of the nation’s population.” Caruba wrote that, “In America today, the figure I hear most often is an estimated 90 million people who own guns. No matter the source one cites, there is no question that most Americans have no qualms about owning guns for hunting, sport shooting or for protection. It is no coincidence that, since Obama’s election last year, gun and ammo sales have been off the charts.” The Garden State resident said it was instructive again to “look back at what history teaches us regarding the right to bear arms. The Soviet Union established gun control in 1929. Unable to defend themselves, the regime killed an estimated 20 million Russian dissidents. Turkey established gun control in 1911 and, from 1915 to 1917, an estimated 1.5 million Armenians were rounded up and killed. Germany established gun control in 1938. Prior to and throughout World War Two, the Nazis systematically murdered an estimated six million Jews and another five million others deemed ‘enemies of the state.’ This pattern was repeated in China which outlawed gun ownership in 1935. Gun ownership was outlawed in Guatemala, Uganda and Cambodia. “It is estimated that 56 million people were killed by their own governments in the last century. Despite that, both England and Australia passed laws prohibiting gun ownership. The result has been a surge in deaths of people who were killed because they were left defenseless against criminals. In Australia, armed robberies increased 44 percent.” With this relevant, fairly recent history as background, Caruba noted that now, “there are proposed laws in the House of Representatives and Senate that would strip Americans of their Second Amendment right to ‘keep and bear arms,’ a right the Constitution says ‘shall not be infringed.’ “Recently, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (NJ) introduced S. 1317 that would give the Attorney General the discretion to block gun sales to people on terror watch lists. The government’s consolidated watch list, used to identify people suspected of links to terrorists, has now grown to more than a million names since 9/11. In Lautenberg’s New Jersey, one must have a government issued certificate to purchase a firearm and undergo a difficult process to secure the right to carry a weapon, concealed or otherwise.” Caruba noted also that the proposed “Blair Holt Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009 would make it illegal to own a firearm unless you are fingerprinted and can provide a current driver ’s license along with your Social Security number. It requires people to submit to a physical and mental evaluation each and every time a firearm is purchased. It would require that guns must be locked away and inaccessible to any child under age 18. It would empower law enforcement officers to come into your home to inspect whether or not you are in compliance. Failure to comply includes a fine and incarceration up to five years in prison. In a case of criminal home invasion this would render the gun owner defenseless. This replicates the 1938 German Weapons Act that restricted ownership of firearms to ‘persons whose trustworthiness is not in question and who can show a need for a (gun) permit.” Caruba warned these “are incremental steps taken to ultimately render the Second Amendment null and void.”

Mike Stollenwerk

Mike Stollenwerk, a gun rights activist and U.S. Army retired veteran located in the Washington, D.C. area, is the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month for October. In nominating Stollenwerk for the Award, John M. Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director, said “Mike has repeatedly demonstrated his articulate and incisive capability in defending Americans’ gun rights against various opponents. In so doing he certainly has shown he deserves the recognition implicit in the conferral of this Award.” Stollenwerk recently criticized columnist Bill Moyers, a senior writer at the Public Broadcasting System, for editorially equating gun ownership with violent crime. “As in most anti-gun rhetoric,” notes Stollenwerk, “Moyers forgets to note that there are millions of defensive uses of guns each year which save lives. Moyers also ignores peer reviewed studies from Harvard and elsewhere consistently finding that neither the overall degree of gun ownership in a community nor the lack of gun control regulations are correlated with higher criminal and suicide death rates inside or outside the United States.” Stollenwerk noted in showing the illogic of Moyers and others who blame guns for deaths caused by the misuse of guns that, “Every year there are over 40,000 car deaths and 10 million car assaults. Cars don’t kill people, they say. People kill people. True. People kill people – with cars. Enough’s enough.” Stollenwerk also blasted travel writer Arthur Frommer for advocating a travel boycott for the entire state of Arizona because Arizona permits law-abiding citizens to carry firearms. Frommer wrote that, “I will not personally travel in a state where civilians carry loaded weapons onto the sidewalks.” He stated that, “I not only believe such practices are a threat to the future of our democracy, but I am firmly convinced that they would also endanger my personal safety there. And therefore I will cancel any plans to vacation or otherwise visit in Arizona until I learn more. And I will begin thinking about whether tourists should safeguard themselves by avoiding stays in Arizona.” Stollenwerk wrote in response that Frommer “is basically telling Americans not to travel in, well, ‘most of America.’ I don’t want to have an online ‘macaca moment’ here and use the term ‘real America’ but well, let’s get real: outside of New York, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., us mere ‘civilians’ (including the police, who are also civilians) can pretty much own and carry guns anywhere we want, sidewalks and all, from Pittsburgh to Seattle and most parts in between. “And why pick on Arizona? After all, Arizona is just like most states where folks can legally open carry guns without any permit, and can carry concealed guns if they have the proper permit. Is Mr. Frommer also going to urge a travel boycott of the entire inter-Mountain American West where folks can legally carry concealed guns in their vehicles without any permit from Canada to old Mexico? What about Florida and the East Coast? Motorists on I-95 can freely carry guns in their vehicles from Virginia all the way down to the Conch Republic without any permit, and all of those states issue and recognize permits to carry concealed guns while on foot as well, meaning it’s highly unlikely that anyone can walk more than 20 paces even on Ocean Drive near Wet Willies or the South Beach promenade without brushing past a fellow American legally carrying a concealed weapon.” Stollenwerk wrote also a new phobia “has arisen over the last few years that afflicts some elected officials: pistolgriphobia, the unnatural fear of pistol grips on otherwise ordinary looking guns. In a few states, state legislatures have gone so far as to say that a rifle or shotgun with a pistol grip is an ‘assault weapon,’ requiring special registration, or perhaps banned from private ownership.” After spending 20 years in the United States Army, Mike entered the Georgetown University Law Center, and now has nearly completed there his preparation for a Juris Doctor degree. He already has an MBA in Economics and Financial Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Sloan School of Management, and a BS in Economics from the United States Military Academy at West Point. When Mike left the Army with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, his selected training had included Airborne School, Air Assault School, Armored Cavalry Officer Basic Course, and Infantry Officer Advanced Course. Mike was coordinator of current operations analysis at the Center for Army Analysis re Operations Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

Glenn Beck

CCRKBA is naming national radio and television personality Glenn Beck the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month for September.
In nominating the talk show host for the Award, John M. Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director, said the noted TV host “is incisive and articulate in defending the individual Second Amendment right of law-abiding American citizens to keep and bear arms. He is rapier-like in demolishing the gun control arguments of his opponents. Besides that, he uses satire effectively in exposing the ridiculous arguments of anti-gun spokesmen.
“During this time of media contentiousness regarding our gun rights, it is most helpful that there is a media spokesperson of Glenn Beck’s caliber to stick up so effectively in defense of our right to keep and bear arms. He certainly deserves this Award.”
On a recent segment of The Glenn Beck Program, a nationally-syndicated talk-radio show that airs throughout the United States on Premiere Radio Networks, Glenn attempted to show the idiocy of anti-gunners who oppose the carrying of concealed firearms by citizens with state-issued ccw permits. “I went to the movie this weekend with a gun,” he said, “and surprise, surprise, I didn’t kill anybody.”
Beck said, “I think the media may be slightly out of touch and perhaps no more out of touch in any other area besides guns. They help protect you, your family, you know, those things. They’re something to treat with respect. You use them responsibly, they provide peace of mind. But the media lives in Manhattan or Washington, D.C. or the little green bubble in Los Angeles. You know, these are the places where acquiring a gun is more difficult than looking like me and acquiring a date with Carrie Underwood. You know what I’m saying? It ain’t happening. To me guns do not kill people. To the media guns, not people, are responsible for killing people. They are responsible for all criminal activity in America. It’s the evil gun. People who have guns are threats. They are not responsible citizens. But I’ve learned something else.”
Glenn then related an interview he had with Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, also a CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month, who is sponsoring federal legislation to allow citizens with state-issued ccw permits to carry in states which also issue such permits.
It was then that Beck revealed he carried a gun when he went to the movie.
That revelation, said Glenn, “set the liberal media on fire. Ahhhh! Ahhhh! Ahhhh! That made people go crazy. The Huffington Post headlined their story, ‘Glenn Beck’s Startling Post.’ Ahhhh! It was startling, wasn’t it? I’m not sure exactly what was so startling about it but they can’t imagine someone would be so unsafe as to endanger American citizens by bringing a gun into their presence! This goes back to the leftist idea of what guns are. They’re just a dangerous mistake by the Founding Fathers. They are in the Constitution for no other reason than for them to get powerful enough in the courts to remove them! That’s all they’re for.”
Beck said that the anti-gun media people have “a fundamental misunderstanding of what guns are. For a lot of people in America with concealed carry permits, they’re not something that you lock in your gun safe and pull out only when the alarm goes off and you hear glass breaking at 3:00 a.m. You conceal the weapon and carry it. Here’s the shocking thing. Depending on where you live, you have probably been in a movie theater with guns every time you are in the movie theater. Ahhhh! Somehow or another you survived every single movie theater you had where everyone had a concealed weapon…You carry your gun…You bring it with you every time. Sure, movies don’t seem dangerous but neither did English class at Virginia Tech…When I leave my house in the morning, I take all of my rights with me.”
Glenn also related the situation on his self-titled television show on the Fox News Channel.
Born February 10, 1964 in Mount Vernon, Washington, Glenn Lee Beck graduated from Sehome High School in Bellingham, Washington. In addition to being a television and radio host, he also is a political commentator, author and entrepreneur.
In addition to broadcasting, he has written three New York Times bestselling books, and is the publisher of Fusion Magazine. He also stars in a one-man stage show that tours the United States twice a year.
He is married to Tania Beck, has four children and resides in New Canaan, Connecticut.

Ken Pagano

Rev. Ken Pagano, Pastor of New Bethel Church in Louisville, Kentucky, is the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month for August.
In nominating the clergyman for the CCRKBA Award, John M. Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director, said that, “Rev. Pagano has rendered tremendous service to those of us who believe firmly in the individual Second Amendment civil right of law-abiding American citizens to keep and bear arms. When he held an open carry service at the church to commemorate the Fourth of July and the Second Amendment, he indicated loudly and publicly that the ownership and use of firearms by decent citizens is a good and laudable practice. He showed that it is as American as apple pie, if not even more so. His public, articulate and church-centered defense of gun rights countered the phony claim of some clergymen of various religious persuasions that there somehow is something wrong in the possession and use of rifles, shotguns and handguns.”
“It was as peaceful as a family picnic, maybe even more so because everyone seemed to agree – it is time, they said, to stand up openly for gun rights, even in church, which is where they stood today,” reported The New York Times.
About 180 people came to the church on the last Saturday afternoon in June, noted the newspaper, “some of them wearing side arms, many of them saying ‘Amen,’ as Ken Pagano, the pastor, spoke from the sanctuary stage in front of a large wooden cross.”
Pastor Pagano preached, “We want to send a message that there are legal, civil, law-abiding intelligent people who also own guns” in an hour and a half program that emphasized gun-safety. “There is nothing to be afraid of from a legal firearms owner.”
Rev. Pagano, according to press reports, was not wearing a firearm during the service. However, Rev. Charlie Hinckley, who like Rev. Pagano was until recently an Assembly of God preacher, but at another church, and who joined Rev. Pagano at the platform, did wear his caliber .380 Smith & Wesson on the belt of his jeans. After the program, Rev. Hinckley said it was the first time he had worn his handgun into church. When a reporter asked him if he felt weird doing so, he replied, “No, considering what we’re here for.”
Before the event actually took place, Rev. Pagano said he got a lot of criticism from people who disagreed with him. “This is like I’m driving down the highway and doing the speed limit of 55 and people are honking and making obscene gestures because I’m obeying the speed limit. I’m not doing anything that’s illegal, unbiblical, unhistorical or unconstitutional, but people still want me to justify it.”
In the run-up to the church celebration, Rev. Pagano noted the church was welcoming “responsible gun owners” to wear their handguns inside the church, scene of a handgun raffle, patriotic music and information on gun safety.
“We’re just going to celebrate the upcoming theme of the birth of our nation,” said Pastor Pagano. “And we’re not ashamed to say that there was a strong belief in God and firearms – without that this country wouldn’t be here.” He noted that guns must be unloaded and that private security guards would check visitors at the door.
Under Kentucky law, residents of the state may carry guns in public with some restrictions.
A Marine veteran and police chaplain, Rev. Pagano repeatedly has been forthright in defending the right to keep and bear arms. He told at least one reporter that one cannot defend a person’s First Amendment right to religious liberty without the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
“We love God, we love our country,” he told an applauding crowd. “Without a belief in God, without a belief even in firearms, I don’t believe this country would be here the way it is today. There’s nothing to be ashamed of.”
Ken has served as an assistant pastor in a small, rural church plant, as well as a staff pastor for a mega-church in Louisville. He was pastor of a rural community church for eight years, paying off two mortgages, seeing the church grow to the 200 mark. He travelled nationally as an evangelist for six years until becoming New Bethel Church pastor in 2000.
Ken has a Doctorate of Ministry Degree. He attended Boyce College, Campbellsburg University, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Assemblies of God Theological Seminary and Covenant Seminary.
He and his wife, Dana, have been married since 1982.

Charlie Crist

Governor Charlie Crist of Florida is the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month for July.
In nominating the Sunshine State’s chief executive for the Award, John M. Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director, noted that, “in late May, Gov. Crist vetoed a bill that if signed into law would have had a serious negative impact on the right to keep and bear arms.
“The state legislature had intended with its bill to take six million dollars from the Division of Licensing Concealed Weapons and Firearm Trust Fund that is intended, by law, to be used solely for administering the state’s concealed weapons and concealed weapons law.
As Marion P. Hammer, Executive Director of Unified Sportsmen of Florida, NRA Past President, and a CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month pointed out, ‘that would have been a de facto tax on gun owners.’”
Snyder added that “Gov. Crist vetoed the $6 million raid on the Concealed Weapons and Firearms Licensing Trust Fund included in the budget by the legislature. In this time of economic difficulty and various political attacks on the right of individual law-abiding American citizens to keep and bear arms, it is good to see a public official, in this case a governor, stand up successfully to attempts to undermine gun rights. Observers feel the money in the Fund is needed to repair and improve computers and add more temporary workers to process an unprecedented backlog of permit applications. Gov. Crist surely deserves the recognition implicit in this Award.”
It was just a year ago that Gov. Crist signed into law a bill to protect the right of qualified Floridians to keep a firearm in their vehicle for personal protection. He did this despite attempts by the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Retail Federation to kill the proposal. The bill provided that businesses can not prohibit employees or customers from keeping a legally owned gun locked inside their cars, as long as the owner has a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
“The Second Amendment is very important,” said Gov. Crist. “I understand there are competing interests, but people being protected is most important to me.”
The proposal that Gov. Crist signed into law last year provides that Florida citizens have a constitutional right to possess and securely keep legal private property within their motor vehicles, out of sight, particularly such property as is necessary for or incidential to their exercise of other constitutional rights.
It stipulates that these rights are not abrogated by virtue of a citizen becoming a customer, employee, or invitee of a business entity.
It states that a citizen’s lawful possession, transportation and secure keeping of certain private property within his or her motor vehicle is essential to the exercise of fundamental constitutional rights, including freedom of speech, freedom of association, the free exercise of religion, and the right to keep and bear arms.
It provides that no public or private entity may prohibit any customer, employee of invitee from possessing any personal private property that is a legal product when such product is lawfully possessed and locked inside or locked to a private motor vehicle, out of sight, in a parking lot and when the customer, employee of invitee is lawfully in such area.
Although some gun owners this spring were disappointed with Gov. Crist for not appointing Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Alan Lawson to the Florida Supreme Court, Gov. Crist has supported repeal of federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms by law-abiding citizens. He does of course favor allowing citizens to carry concealed firearms.
Charles Joseph “Charlie” Crist, Jr. was born on July 24, 1956, 53 years ago this month.
Crist was born in Altoona, Pennsylvania and moved to St. Petersburg, Florida as a child, where he attended Riviera Middle School and graduated from St. Petersburg High School in 1974.
Crist attended Wake Forest University for two years, where he played quarterback for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. He earned his undergraduate degree from Florida State University and received his law degree from Cumberland School of Law in Alabama.
Crist was elected to the Florida State Senate in 1992. He earned the moniker “Chain Gang Charlie” in some editorials for sponsoring a bill to reestablish chain gangs.
In 2000, Crist was elected Education Commissioner of Florida.
In 2002, Crist was elected Attorney General of Florida. He prosecuted civil rights and fraud cases.
Crist was elected governor in 2006, succeeding outgoing Gov. Jeb Bush in January, 2007.

Robert D. Culver

“In these troublous times, anti-gun extremists are on the offensive in the Nation’s Capital and in a number of states throughout our country,” noted John M. Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director. “Fortunately for us who honor traditional American principles of freedom, there are a number of dedicated and articulate activists at the local, state and national level who work assiduously in the face of tremendous obstacles to maintain our individual, Second Amendment civil right to keep and bear arms.
“Such an individual is Robert D. Culver, an outstanding gun rights activist in Maryland, where anti-gun activity is especially prevalent, and where Bob for years has given unstintingly of himself in combating gun-grabbing extremists in the media and at various levels of government. He most certainly deserves to be named CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month, and I nominate him for the Award.”
Bob is Chairman of Montgomery Citizens for a Safer Maryland (MC SM), a grass roots discussion and action group which seeks to protect law-abiding citizens’ gun rights in Montgomery County, Maryland and throughout the State of Maryland. Montgomery County borders Washington, D.C. and is the area in which many of the anti-gun politicians and other anti-gun activists who make their influence felt in the Nation’s Capital hang their hats.
When Bob fights for gun rights in Montgomery County, his leadership has reverberations in Washington, D.C.
He says he has been involved in the gun rights movement since his “dad taught me to shoot and bought me my first rifle at age 10. Being a good dad, an engineer and a good provider, he bought me a Belgium Browning ATD .22lr semi-auto.”
Bob continued his shooting interest and activities in high school and beyond.
Then, he says, “Things started to change. People in positions of political power, but without much sense, started to try to tell the citizens what was best for them. Not that this hadn’t been going on for years, but now it was in the area of my interest, firearms. I should have been paying more attention. Each criminal tendency, acted out by a social nut-case, was attempted to be solved for all future time by legal restrictions on society. This was obviously hard on the 99.99 percent of gun owners who were NOT criminals. Guilt by association, I guess. The Constitution was being warped. The need to become active was seen.
“If the state wants to outlaw certain pistols, then it must be time to buy one and I now have the first of several side arms. If the state wants to ban private transfers of regulated firearms between family members, time for another purchase and now my wife has her first personal firearm. She does not have to borrow mine and hopefully she will enjoy cleaning and maintaining it as much as she seems to think I do. The state wants to require integrated trigger locks and spent shell casing ‘ballistic fingerprints,’ time to buy some more before this additional burden goes into effect, so we have a His and Hers Pistol Christmas. The state begins classifying firearms as ‘assault weapons,’ now I have several military pattern semi-auto rifles. The list goes on. Each snip, each cut at liberty as reflected by attempts to ban firearms causes another spurt of interest.”
Bob is active “to educate others at venues like town fairs, shooting range open houses and other public events that promote the ‘shooting sports.’” He says he is “the hunter and the trap shooter. I am the High Power and the small bore shooter…I am several tens of millions of civilians who have decided to become citizens.”
Bob is a native of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and a partner in the consulting engineering firm of Lohnes & Culver. That firm has been engaged in communication consulting engineering for more than 60 years, since 1944. Bob has been employed there as an engineer since 1965 and a full partner since 1977.
He graduated from the University of Maryland in 1970, with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. He has taken post-graduate studies at The George Washington University and elsewhere. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in Maryland. He is Past President of AFCCE, the Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers. His professional practice includes technical representation and expert testimony for broadcast and technology companies.
For the last several years he has been working on Digital Radio Broadcasting (DRB), Digital Television (DTV) and related projects.
He and his wife Cathy enjoy Alpine skiing, mountain hiking and the shooting sports.

John Thune

U.S. Senator John Thune of South Dakota is the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month for April.
John M. Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director, nominated Sen. Thune for the Award.
“Sen. Thune,” said Snyder, “throughout his public life, has been an outspoken proponent of the individual Second Amendment civil right of law-abiding American citizens to keep and bear arms. As most Point Blank readers are aware, Sen. Thune has taken the lead in the Senate in working for enactment of legislation to allow state-issued CCW permit holders to carry in any state. He is most deserving of this Award.”
“I strongly support the Second Amendment,” says Sen. Thune. “I firmly believe that the plain language of the Second Amendment guarantees the right of law-abiding citizens to own firearms.”
During the 110th Congress and now in the 111th Congress, Sen. Thune has introduced legislation that, he says, “would allow individuals who have a concealed carry permit the ability to carry a firearm in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The law is needed because some states refuse to honor concealed weapons permits from other states.
“Also, as a long time defender of Second Amendment rights, I applauded the Department of Interior’s December 2008 final rule allowing individuals to carry concealed weapons in national parks and wildlife refuges if that person is permitted to do so under the state law in which the park or refuge is located. One year ago, I along with 46 of my other Senate colleagues had requested the Department of the Interior to craft a rule allowing individuals to follow state laws in national parks and wildlife refuges. I commend the Department of Interior’s decision to finally allow law-abiding citizens to exercise their constitutional right to carry firearms on and across federal lands.”
Sen. Thune declares that, “I am committed to continuing to support legislation that ensures that South Dakotans are able to enjoy their Second Amendment rights, especially when it comes to the numerous hunting traditions we enjoy.”
In late February, when the Senate took up S. 160, the District of Columbia Voting Rights Bill, Sen. Thune was an original cosponsor of an amendment by Sen. John Ensign of Nevada to ensure that the District of Columbia abide by last year’s Supreme Court ruling overturning the District’s previous comprehensive handgun ban.
After the Senate accepted the amendment by a 62-36 vote, Sen. Thune noted that, “The Supreme Court clearly ruled last year that the District of Columbia’s gun ban was unconstitutional, and District officials promptly responded by passing new restrictions designed to circumvent the ruling. The District of Columbia has an extremely high violent crime rate, and its citizens are unable to legally defend themselves. I am proud the Senate acted to restore the constitutional right to the residents of the District, which also sends a message to other communities with restrictive gun laws.
“However, I am dismayed that the Senate ultimately passed the so-called DC Voting Rights Bill. The underlying bill is clearly unconstitutional, and it is my expectation that the legislation will ultimately be struck down by the courts. Fortunately, the Ensign Amendment will remain law even if the underlying legislation is declared unconstitutional.”
Earlier in the debate, Sen. Thune offered his bipartisan stand-alone legislation, S. 371, the proposed Respecting States Rights’ and Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, as an amendment to the DC Voting Rights Bill. Sen. Thune withdrew his bipartisan amendment because of objections to a recorded vote, but was able to get an explicit commitment from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy of Vermont that the bill would receive a hearing in this session of Congress.
The Senate passed the DC Voting Rights Bill by a vote of 61 to 37 and sent it to the House of Representatives for consideration there.
John Thune grew up in Murdo, South Dakota. He received his undergraduate degree at Biola University and his Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of South Dakota. Upon completion of his Master’s Degree in 1984, he married Kimberley Weems, a native of Doland, South Dakota. They now live in Sioux Falls. They have two daughters, Brittany, a college junior, and Larissa, a college freshman.
John was elected three times to the U.S. House of Representatives. He then honored his 1996 campaign pledge to serve only three terms in the House. After a narrow loss in a Senate race in 2002, Thune won his Senate seat in 2004, when he made history by defeating the Senate Democratic leader, Tom Daschle.

Robert Marshall

It was nearly two years ago that a mentally disturbed student used a firearm to murder 32 people at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia and then committed suicide.
While this tragedy was used by gun control advocates as an occasion to promote additional restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms in the Commonwealth of Virginia and elsewhere, CCRKBA pointed out that it was a Virginia Tech policy which was at fault and which may in fact have facilitated the violent rampage of the mass murderer.
CCRKBA noted that while Virginia law allows individuals with state issued permits to carry concealed firearms, the administration of Virginia Tech prohibits both faculty and students from carrying firearms on campus even if they have CCW permits.
In effect, then, the Virginia Tech policy actually prevented any professors or students with CCW permits from interrupting or stopping the April 16, 2007 rampage.
Since that time, there has been much discussion of the policy of Virginia Tech and other institutions of higher learning in Virginia and throughout the country.
One of the people who is trying to do something about the situation in Virginia is Delegate Robert Marshall, the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month for March.
In nominating Marshall for the Award, John M. Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director, said that, “Bob recently introduced legislation in the Virginia House of Delegates to allow faculty members at institutions of higher education in Virginia with CCW permits to carry on campus. Because of this, and because he has been a staunch defender of gun rights throughout his public life, he certainly is most deserving of this distinction.”
The bill, HB 1656, would provide that, notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, no board of visitors or other governing body of a public institution of higher education shall adopt or enforce any rule, regulation or policy, and no appointee, employee, or agent of the institution shall take any administrative action governing the carrying of a concealed handgun on the property of or in buildings owned by the institution by a full time faculty member of the institution who possesses a valid concealed handgun permit.
The bill also would provide that any rule, regulation or policy adopted by a board of visitors or governing body of a state institution of higher education prior to July 1, 2009, that would prohibit a full time faculty member of the institution who possesses a valid Virginia concealed handgun permit from carrying a concealed handgun on the property of or in the buildings owned by the institution is invalid.
The bill has been referred to the Committee on Militia, Police and Public Safety.
“One of the most important freedoms Americans have is the right to protect themselves from unlawful aggressors,” says Marshall. “This freedom is so important that our founding fathers saw it necessary to declare it our Second Amendment right, just after freedom of speech, assembly and religion. I strongly support the right of competent, law-abiding citizens to own and possess arms to defend themselves, to hunt or to pursue sporting interests. The freedom to own and bear arms for self defense or to defend another from an unjust aggressor is a natural right.”
Marshall was born in Tacoma Park, Maryland on May 3, 1944. He is married to Catherine Ann Fonseca. He is the father of Teresa Marie, Christopher Gerard (deceased), Mary Clare, Joseph Richard and Thomas James. Delegate Marshall is a member of All Saints Catholic Church, the Knights of Columbus and the Prince William County, Virginia Republican Committee.
Bob received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in History in 1969 from Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, North Carolina and his Master of Arts in Humanities in 1991 from California State University.
Delegate Marshall is an independent research consultant. He has worked as a Vice President of Communications for Shenandoah Electronic Intelligence, an adjunct professor for George Mason University, the Director of Congressional Information for the American Life League, Staff Director of a U.S. Senate subcommittee, Legislative Assistant for two U.S. Representatives and one U.S. Senator, and in the Executive Office of the President as a “cost-cutter” reviewing grants for waste and efficiency.
Marshall was first elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 1991. He serves on the Counties, Cities and Towns, Privileges and Elections and Technology committees. He is chairman of the Counties, Cities and Towns Subcommittee # 1, and the Privileges and Elections Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments, Campaign Reform and Ethics.

Alderman Charles Quincy Troupe

St. Louis, Missouri Alderman Charles Quincy Troupe has been named CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month for February.
“Alderman Troupe has called upon citizens to arm themselves to protect their lives and property from violent, predatory criminals,” said John M. Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director. “For stating this in the face of an anti-gun political establishment and for the support his statement provides generally for gun rights, we think he truly deserves this Award. Joe Waldron, former CCRKBA Executive Director, and now CCRKBA Legislative Director, nominated Alderman Troupe for this distinction.”
Alderman Troupe’s action comes in the midst of the ongoing controversy over gun rights.
For quite some time now, gun rights activists and other supporters of the individual Second Amendment civil right to keep and bear arms have been engaged with gun control advocates and firearm prohibitionists on a number of fronts.
One of the most significant of these areas of conflict revolves around the question of whether or not in this day and age the private possession of firearms, especially handguns, is necessary.
Many gun grabbers maintain that, while firearms historically may have served a useful purpose, that historic time is long since past. Guns, and the private possession of firearms, they say, no longer serve a useful purpose, and their private possession ought to be severely restricted or outright prohibited.
We gun rights activists, on the other hand, reject that view as erroneous, if not downright ridiculous, and point out that the individual right to keep and bear arms is as necessary today as it ever was.
We know that only armed citizens can protect themselves and other citizens from perpetrators of criminal violence, especially violence from armed criminals.
We know that, in order for innocent individuals and civil society to be protected from those who prey upon the innocent, law-abiding citizens must be free to arm themselves. It’s really a matter of common sense, although a number of academic studies, such as those by John R. Lott, Jr., outlined in More Guns Less Crime, demonstrate statistically that this is true.
Alderman Troupe, 72, certainly seems to agree. He said he was frustrated with the police response to rising crime when he called upon residents early in December to arm themselves to protect their lives and property.
Alderman Troupe said police are ineffective, outnumbered or don’t care about the increase in crime in his north St. Louis ward, according to the Associated Press. AP reports St. Louis had 157 homicides in 2008, as of the time of Alderman Troupe’s statement. That was 33 more than in 2007 as of the same time of the year.
“The community has to be ready to defend itself, because it’s clear the economy is going to get worse, and criminals are getting more bold,” Troupe said.
Troupe said that when he and residents approached a district police commander in 2007, they were told “there was nothing he could do protect us and the community…that he didn’t have the manpower.”
For 24 years, Troupe was a state legislator from the city of St. Louis, serving in the General Assembly. He was forced out of his seat by a terms limitation provision in state law. While a state representative, Troupe was a member of the Health Facilities Review Committee, Certificate of Need, in the House of Representatives. He was appointed by President Bill Clinton to serve on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA).
Troupe, an African American, says he made a point of fighting against discrimination against rural and urban poor of any race, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Troupe is Vice President of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 788.
Troupe’s call for citizens to arm themselves for self-protection, even agreeing to the advisability of obtaining permits to carry, is engendering some opposition from gun control advocates who point out that Troupe has filed for reelection.
Troupe, however, says he’s been running for office for 30 years now, and his pro-right to self-defense opinions, now getting national attention, are opinions he’s expressed publicly for years.
While leading a KSDK news crew on a tour of his ward recently, Troupe said he’s fed up with crime in the north St. Louis neighborhoods he represents.
He says the issue is one of self-preservation.
“I don’t think more guns are going to make north St. Louis any more dangerous,” says Troupe. “I think if the citizens are armed it’s going to make north St. Louis more dangerous for the criminal element.”

Jim DeMint

U.S. Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina has been named CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month for January.
Sen. DeMint is Chairman of the Senate Steering Committee, a group of conservative Senators which works to oppose restrictive firearms legislation and to promote legislation favorable to the individual Second Amendment right.
In nominating Jim for the Award, John M. Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director, said that, “this Senator, over the years, has demonstrated an ability to articulate the issues relative to preservation of our gun rights and the fallacies of gun control. He also has shown the capability to think strategically on these issues within the legislative context, and to formulate positions designed to develop maximum Senate support for the preservation of our rights. He has played a key role in Senate battles over the individual right to keep and bear arms over the past several years. We expect him to play a crucial role in this regard in the months and years ahead. He is most deserving of this Award.”
In mid-November, 2008, when reports surfaced that President-elect Barack Obama was requiring Administration job applicants to state on a questionnaire whether or not they or members of their family own firearms, Sen. DeMint delivered an immediate critical response.
“I am deeply disturbed that President-elect Obama is asking job applicants whether they or members of their family own firearms,” said Sen. DeMint, “and they should not be discriminated against.
“The questionnaire already seeks information about illegal activity so there is no reason to ask this question unless the Obama Administration plans to use it to discriminate based on lawful activity. For this reason, I will seek to enact legislation to prohibit this type of discrimination.”
Sen. DeMint’s office in Greenville, South Carolina pointed out that number 59, which appears on the Obama employment “Questionnaire,” reads: “(59) Do you or any members of your immediate family own a gun? If so, provide complete ownership and registration information. Has the registration ever lapsed? Please also describe how and by whom it is used and whether it has been the cause of any personal injuries or property damage.”
When the Supreme Court nullified a District of Columbia ban on private handgun possession as unconstitutional and declared that the Second Amendment protected an individual right to keep and bear arms, Sen. DeMint reacted with great approval.
“The decision is a major victory for the constitutional right and freedom of all Americans to bear arms,” declared Sen. DeMint. “Today’s Second Amendment decision is an example of the Court fulfilling its constitutional duty to uphold the law instead of legislating from the bench.
“For too long; liberal activists and anti-gun rights politicians have attacked the individual right of every American to own firearms. Today, the Supreme Court removed any doubt that the Constitution guarantees our right to keep and bear arms, and protects those rights from liberal politicians. From self-defense to hunting, our country’s proud tradition of gun ownership should be preserved and celebrated.”
In 2007, Sen. DeMint voted to prohibit foreign and United Nations aid that restricts United States gun ownership by voting for an amendment to the U.S. Department of State International Aid bill which amendment prohibited the use of funds by international organizations, agencies and entities, including the United Nations, that require the registration of, or taxes guns owned by citizens of the United States.
In 2005, Sen. DeMint voted for a bill to prohibit civil liability actions from being brought or continued against manufacturers, distributors, dealers or importers of firearms or ammunition for damages, injunctive or other relief resulting from the misuse of their products by others. When enacted into law, this legislation became known as the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.
In 2003, as a member at the time of the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman DeMint voted for an earlier version of the legislation. He also cosponsored a bill to prohibit appropriated funds from being used by any U.S. official to promote any action by the UN which advocates the taxation of firearms or any other abrogation of rights under the Second Amendment to the Constitution.
In 1999, DeMint voted to pass a bill which requires anyone who purchases a gun at a gun show to go through an instant background check which must be completed within 24 hours rather than 72 hours.
Sen. DeMint and his wife, Debbie, reside in Greenville, South Carolina and are the proud parents of four married children and also are doting first-time grandparents.