Editorial

Heston Speaks Out At Harvard

Charlton Heston, president of the National Rifle Association, spoke at the Harvard Law School Forum on Tuesday, February 16. Though his speech, “Winning The Cultural War, ” didn’t exclusively focus on gun topics, he made some points about liberty and fighting for our rights—including gun rights—that made me say, “Yes!” as I read his text. Herewith, then, are a few points from Heston’s speech we should all consider, especially in light of continuing efforts to demonize gun owners and gun ownership, and to strip our gun rights from us.

-Todd Woodard

About a year ago I became president of the National Rifle Association, which protects the right to keep and bear arms. I ran...

Fallout From Littleton

The latest school shooting has fostered a new set of regulatory proposals from anti-gun activists, which includes the president, of course. There is no pretty way to describe what Bill Clinton did in the aftermath of the Columbine High School massacre — plain and simple, it was political ambulance chasing. He climbed up on the graves of 13 innocent teenagers to advance his anti-gun agenda at their, and our, expense. Would that he had the manners of Charlton Heston, who chose not to comment about gun issues out of respect for the families. Oh, well, this president oozes plenty of things, but honor isn’t one of them.

Instead, half-baked policy throwaways are Clinton’s mainstay, especially w...

This Is Who We Are

One of the advantages we enjoy at Gun Tests is our ability to compare firearms and other shooting equipment head to head. We think the best way to purchase firearms is to shoot them side by side and learn about the warts on a particular product, and then determine whether a competing product, shot at the same time with the same ammunition, is better or worse than its stablemate. But darned few of us can afford to do this individually, mainly because of a lack of money and time.

As a consumer, I have shot many concealable pistols, hunting revolvers, competition shotguns, big-game rifles, and top-end .22s, since those are my favorite pursuits. However, I was never able to spend the time wit...

A Liability Strategy

One of the frustrating aspects of the recent gun-restriction debate has been the astounding timidity of the gun industry, gun-industry trade groups, and political supporters of guns to speak out against the erosion of our gun-ownership rights. Basically, the assumption by the other side is that anyone who owns a gun is simply a criminal in waiting. They portray gun owners-me and you-as being cocked and locked, needing only a bit of trigger pressure before we go off on a killing spree.

Of course, that characterization is personally insulting, and the irritation of law-abiding citizens being described that way is only compounded by the accommodation of gun representatives in the political a...

Aftermath of Atlanta

One of the tough questions that will go unanswered as the result of the recent Atlanta shootings will be this: How would more regulation have prevented this tragedy? The answer is, of course, that more laws wouldn’t have done a darn thing.It has been reported that Mark Barton, 44, who killed his wife, his children, and nine other people in two brokerage offices, left a rambling letter at his home in which he said he suffered unnamed terrors and wanted to kill people who “greedily sought my destruction.” He used a hammer on his family and two as-yet-unidentified handguns in the shootings, which ended when he killed himself in his van surrounded by police. He had another two guns and 200 bull...

Protecting Your Own

There are few gun-related items in the mainstream media that make much sense to me. But a recent column by Jill “J.R.” Labbe, senior editorial writer and columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, was the exception. I thought you’d like to read some of her thoughts, which pretty well sum up my own. Ms. Labbe writes:


Within hours after the shootings at the Wedgwood Baptist Church, a letter arrived at the Star-Telegram expressing the wish that I had been inside the church on that deadly Wednesday night.

I wish I had, too, but for a different reason than the writer’s desire for me to witness the carnage left by two handguns wielded by a raging paranoid.

At least the se...

Follow-Up: “A Liability Strategy”

I was torn when I initially proposed a more aggressive gun-sales program that would dry up supplies of firearms and ammunition for law-enforcement agencies in municipalities that are suing the gun industry (July 1999). On the one hand, I wanted gun makers to do something that pointed out the hypocrisy of the big-city mayors. Petulant? You bet. The flipside, which I recognized at the time, was that it was unfair to penalize the cops for their bosses’ actions.

I expected to hear thunder from law enforcement, criticizing my suggestions as irresponsible, which, in fact, they were. Instead, I’ve heard mostly whispers from policemen, constables, sheriffs, BATF and FBI trainers, military instruc...

Follow-Up: “A Liability Strategy”

I was torn when I initially proposed a more aggressive gun-sales program that would dry up supplies of firearms and ammunition for law-enforcement agencies in municipalities that are suing the gun industry (July 1999). On the one hand, I wanted gun makers to do something that pointed out the hypocrisy of the big-city mayors. Petulant? You bet. The flipside, which I recognized at the time, was that it was unfair to penalize the cops for their bosses’ actions.

I expected to hear thunder from law enforcement, criticizing my suggestions as irresponsible, which, in fact, they were. Instead, I’ve heard mostly whispers from policemen, constables, sheriffs, BATF and FBI trainers, military instruc...

Why I Shoot

It’s been a tough year for the serious shooter, the firearms aficionado who’s more than casual about his or her guns and who helps comprise the core of the Gun Tests readership. Between murderous teenagers fomenting America’s anti-gun sentiment, to an onslaught of litigation by municipalities directed against law-abiding gun manufacturers, to the complete capitulation of once-stalwart Colt’s Manufacturing, the year now ending saw setbacks abound in the furtherance of America’s firearms freedoms. One headline from The Wall Street Journal, quoting a disaffected gun enthusiast, summed it up: When you shoot, “You feel like a smoker.”

But not me. And probably not you, either. So at this time o...

Bits and Pieces

Those of us who’ve toiled in the oil fields at least some of our lives know what it’s like to actually see inside a pipeline that will eventually carry oil or gas—and realize what incredible volumes of fluid these tubes can carry. But they are nothing like what the information pipeline, especially the Internet, can deliver. Like oil gushing out the end of a 36-inch trans-state pipe, news comes flooding into our homes and businesses, more than we could ever consume. But unlike oil, not all news is valuable, so finding interesting bits and pieces of it in the flood becomes quite a task.

Here are a few items we found and refined recently that might be interesting to gun owners:

A Solution To All Our Problems

Nearly all the gun owners I know wonder how the world took on the character and flavor of Alice in Wonderland, especially in the last 20 years of the 20th century. By this I mean that up is down and right is wrong, and wrong is so horribly right these days, especially when it comes to guns. It wasn’t so long ago that kids took shotguns to school because they’d already been hunting that morning; it never crossed the minds of those youngsters to take potshots at their fellow classmates. Now, even high achievers take 9mm handguns to class and fire off a few rounds at their chums. One such miscreant, when asked why he did such a horrible thing, could only utter, “I don’t know.”

How utterly pe...

Gun Law Threatens Wildlife Causes

California wildlife programs will be dealt a serious blow if the Assembly passes a newly amended bill now in committee.

Assembly Bill 1010, introduced by Assemblyman Tony Cardenas (D-LA), would ban the distribution, drawing, or lottery of any firearm, component or ammunition at any California fundraising event. This is significant because nearly all California conservation organizations use sporting arms as prizes at their events.

“For a state that has a reputation for concern about the environment, California’s elected officials are close to selling their outdoors as well as their citizens down the drain,” said Bud Pidgeon, president of the Wildlife Legislative Fund of America (WLFA)....

Armed Citizens Stop Attacks

John Lott, Jr. has done an interesting study of how often armed citizens like ourselves intervene to stop mass shooters. Bottom line: The rate...