Home Viewpoints Page 109


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...

Firing Line 05/99

Slow Burning Powder Test
I have just finished reading the slow burning rifle powder test (January 1999) more than once, and I cannot find any reference to the specific cartridge being tested. I would conclude from the loading data and projectiles that the cartridge is 7mm Rem. Mag. Is this correct?

James B. Lewis

Since we were dealing with powders and how they respond—in what might be unsafe loads if duplicated—we deliberately left out any reference to the cartridge and bullet used to prevent the data from being used as actual loads. If you don’t have a pressure transducer, we suggest you start with a good handloading manual and work up from t...

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...

Firing Line 06/99

.32 Auto Fine Points
The article on .32 ACP pocket autos in the January 1999 issue was very interesting. However, you neglected to mention that the NAA Guardian has an extractor, while the Beretta Tomcat does not. I could not determine from the photographs if the Seecamp LWS-32 is so equipped, nor could I locate a specimen to examine. I suspect that it has an extractor because there appears to be no other way clear the chamber.

The lack of an extractor is a design feature that should be carefully evaluated by anyone considering the Tomcat as a back-up for a larger semi-automatic. The vast majority of semi-autos have extractors. In fact, the only currently produced, larger au...

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...

Firing Line 08/99

Glock Rebuttal
I would like to respond to the Firing Line letter in June, “Glock Model 31 Criticism.” I have two Glock pistols and have never had a problem with either pistol. I also respect the SIG line of firearms. But I feel that “Name Withheld” is making an impromptu decision with a problem that in my opinion was not caused by a manufacturer’s flaw but by the improper installation of the rubber grip. I have installed the Hogue Mono-grip on one Glock and to this day have no to problems to report.

John Luebano
via internet

Padlock Solution
I have been using padlocks (June 1999) since my first gun purchase. What I have done is to get surgical tu...

Firing Line 07/99

Ruger 10/22 Still The One
Your publication is excellent. I read a few other mags for entertainment, but I read yours for objective and accurate information. I found your article in the June 1999 issue comparing Remington's 597 and Ruger's 10/22 very interesting. I happen to own two copies of Ruger's 10/22 and consider them excellent little rifles.

I agree with your assessment regarding the rather unwieldy mag release on the Ruger. However, for around $3 to $5, you can purchase an aftermarket mag release that dramatically improves this and makes the Ruger far superior (at least in the mag-release department) to the Remington 597 or any other detachable-mag .22 I know of. Thi...

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...

Firing Line 09/99

Police Training Lacking
I have just read your August 1999 article on 9mm polymer handguns. Let me state here that I am not a fan of 9mm, but that is not why I'm writing.

In the article the author talks of the reduced accuracy of police officers since they have started carrying semi autos. It really pains me to say this, but the author is correct in his assumptions about officers' lack of training.

I have been a police officer in Michigan for more than 11 years and a firearms instructor for five years. While I cannot speak for other departments in Michigan and the other states, I can tell you that my department qualifies two times a year. I can also tell you that from spea...

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...

Rebellion In The Lower Courts

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the Protect Illinois Communities Act in January 2023, and it is among the nation’s worst gun-control laws. It bans...