Monday, December 31, 2012

A "wild" way to celebrate the coming of a new year

The only New Year's Eve "noise makers" you'll hear from me tonight will be that coming from aging, creaking joints and the "ugh" I make when I climb out of the recliner as I shuffle off to bed.

As for tomorrow; well, no parades for me unless you think watching a string of wintering woodland birds being observed from an archery deer-hunting blind is better than looking at a bunch of floats decorated with soon-to-be-dead flowers.

As for tomorrow night, I'll leave the TV set on in case Bev wants to watch something

 My favorite game players will be Team Wildlife, with me watching the happenings of fox squirrels, great-horned owls, Cooper's hawks and the like viewed from another deer-hunting blind at a different place. 

Feel free to welcome 2013 your way... I kind of like mine just the way it is, thank you...

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn
Twitter: @Fieldkorn

Racing the calendar a no-win chase

The race is not against the clock; rather, it is against the calendar.

And that chase is a game where I am not only in second place but seriously falling behind.

In two-weeks-plus-one-day the entire book on this current hunting session will culminate in its ending, too.

Knee replacement surgery - elective perhaps, but necessary just the same - will take the scalpel to further hunting opportunities this season.

No more tries to arrow a deer nor a chance to step aside and let a beagle whip a rabbit past my post.

Of course, the waterfowl season will end a short calendar throw before the surgery. That leg of the race was something of a dead heat.

Up until Thanksgiving the skies were ruled by Canada geese willing to buzz the assortment of decoys laid out on the farm pond.

Those decoys are now frozen in place, locked there because I hoped that December would remain warm enough to keep the pond from freezing over, thereby staying an attractive place for the geese to land.

For the most part December fulfilled expectations. Except for the stinging nettle prickliness of uncooperative Canada geese. Including an effort Monday morning over a friend’s plucked soybean field.

So with a sense of anxious urgency I am viewing the calendar’s countdown.

Every day that has even a crumb of archery deer-hunting opportunity I weigh whether or not to head to one of two ground blinds. These fabric cocoons stand with their respective game feeders, each filled with shelled corn for the last of what remains of my hunting season.

Yeah, it’s discouraging. Oh, not to the point of shouting to the wind with fists clenched in anger. I’m disappointed, not distraught.

Enough so I’m in a rush, chasing the calendar.

People (friends, family, coworkers) ask why I push myself, shackled by a year’s worth of dealing with treatments for prostate cancer, neck fusion surgery and a host of other aliments requiring a physician’s attention.

I guess my only answer to their inquiries goes something like this: I’ll always chase the calendar, and though I may never catch up, it won’t be from a lack of trying.

Saturday marks the start of Ohio’s four-day statewide muzzle-loading season.

Current weather reports indicate the opener will be cold - perhaps bitterly cold - along with possibility of snow showers.

Last year’s season saw a kill of 19,459 deer. The same season in 2010 saw 17,887 deer killed, the four-day period experiencing much the same weather forecast for this year’s season.

Ohio’s muzzle-loading deer hunters must possess the proper permits. Regardless of zone, method of taking or season, hunters may take only one antlered deer during the 2012-2013 deer hunting season.

Legal hunting hours for the muzzle-loader season are a half-hour before sunrise to sunset. Deer must be checked in by noon the day after the harvest, except on the last day of the muzzle-loader season when a deer must be checked in by 11:30 p.m. that day.

Ohio’s small game, furbearer and waterfowl seasons are also open during the muzzle-loader season.

All hunters (except waterfowl hunters) must wear a visible solid hunter orange or camouflage hunter orange coat, jacket, vest or coveralls during the muzzle-loader season.

Locally, the deer kill during last year’s statewide muzzle-loading deer-hunting season was (with the respective 2010 muzzle-loading season figures in parentheses) were: Ashland County - 295 (255); Erie County - 43 (30); Huron County - 173 (156); Lake County - 42 (26); Geauga County - 160 (149); Lorain County - 169 (157); Media County - 146 (111); Sandusky County - 73 (60); Cuyahoga County - 5 (also 5); Ashtabula County - 380 (290); Trumbull County - 238 (251).

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn
Twitter: @Fieldkorn

Friday, December 28, 2012

Judge picks former Punderson State park manager for Geauga Park District commissioner

Nicholas Fischbach is in as the Geauga Park District’s newest commissioner, replacing long-time park board member John Leech whose term expires Dec. 31.

Fischbach - who also is the mayor of Burton Village, a position he will keep - was named as Leech’s replacement by Geauga County Probate/Juvenile Court Judge Tim Grendell.

By Ohio law, county park board members appointments are made by the respective county probate judge.

Grendell took pains to promote Fischbach’s experience, noting the latter’s almost 35 years of public park management and service. That service includes being the park district’s first-ever chief ranger, serving from 1979 to 1989.

Also, Fischbach served as both the assistant park manager and later, the park manager, of Punderson State Park in Newbury Township.

And before Fischbach retired from the Natural Resources Department, he served as that agency’s Division of Parks and Recreation’s regional district manager.

“Mr. Fischbach will bring his vast wealth of knowledge and experience with public parks and public park management to the Geauga Park District Board,” Grendell said.

 “The residents of Geauga County are fortunate to have someone with Mr. Fischbach’s background on the Geauga Park District Board.”

For his part, Fischbach says he’s looking forward to the job.

“You couldn’t ask for a better park district,” Fischbach said. “In fact, my wife and I use them all the time.”

As for any possible agency shortcomings, Fischbach says he doesn’t “see too many negatives.”

“Maybe once I get settled into the job I’ll see something that I didn’t see before, but that being said, it’s a wonderful parks system with very professional people who have a genuine concern for the people of Geauga County,” Fischbach said.

Tom Curtin, the park district’s executive director, says few other people in Geauga County have a love of parks more than does Fischbach.

“I’ve known Nick since 1984,” Curtin said. “I’m really excited to have the opportunity to work both with him and for him, especially since his wealth of park management knowledge will be an excellent platform from which to work.”

Fischbach was one of nine applicants which Grendell received for the non-paying, volunteer job of park commissioner.

Of concern to Grendell was Leech’s involvement with the Western Reserve Land Conservancy, serving as that group’s current board chairman.

Since the Conservancy and the park district work closely on land management and purchase issues, Grendell had questions about possible conflicts of interest on the part of Leech.

The other two park board members are Jim Patterson and Michael J. Petruziello, whom Grendell also appointed to the park board shortly after the judge assumed his duties as jurist.

Fischbach said he knows Patterson a little but says that both he and Petruziello have demonstrated their concern for the parks system, as has Grendell.

“He’s a good judge, and absolutely he has a genuine concern for the parks and for the outdoors as a whole,” Fischbach said. “Even when the judge was a state senator he was always concerned about the status of the state parks system.”

Fischbach will attend his first park board meeting as a commissioner Jan. 3.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn
Twitter: @Fieldkorn

Battle over firearms set to begin in less than one week

The battle lines are being drawn regarding the issue of proposed new federal firearms legislation and as led by California's senior U.S. Senator Diane Feistein.
Long an advocate for ever-more-strict firearms laws, Feistein's latest proposal - to be introduced next month in the new Congress - is breathtaking in its scope and expansiveness.
Here is the National Rifle Association's press release on the proposal, using bullet points to address each of Feistein's expected specific points. (Note, one can receive updates from Feistein on her expected piece of legislation. The link is contained within the following NRA statement):

Feinstein Goes For Broke With New Gun-Ban Bill 
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)—author of the federal “assault weapon” and “large” ammunition magazine ban of 1994-2004—has announced that on the first day of the new Congress—January 3rd— she will introduce a bill to which her 1994 ban will pale by comparison. 
On Dec. 17th, Feinstein said, “I have been working with my staff for over a year on this legislation” and “It will be carefully focused.” Indicating the depth of her research on the issue, she said on Dec. 21st that she had personally looked at pictures of guns in 1993, and again in 2012.
According to a Dec. 27th posting on Sen. Feinstein’s website and a draft of the bill obtained by NRA-ILA, the new ban would, among other things, adopt new definitions of “assault weapon” that would affect a much larger variety of firearms, require current owners of such firearms to register them with the federal government under the National Firearms Act, and require forfeiture of the firearms upon the deaths of their current owners. Some of the changes in Feinstein’s new bill are as follows:
 Reduces, from two to one, the number of permitted external features on various firearms The 1994 ban permitted various firearms to be manufactured only if they were assembled with no more than one feature listed in the law. Feinstein’s new bill would prohibit the manufacture of the same firearms with even one of the features.
 Adopts new lists of prohibited external features. For example, whereas the 1994 ban applied to a rifle or shotgun the “pistol grip” of which “protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon,” the new bill would drastically expand the definition to include any “grip . . . or any other characteristic that can function as a grip.” Also, the new bill adds “forward grip” to the list of prohibiting features for rifles, defining it as “a grip located forward of the trigger that functions as a pistol grip.” Read literally and in conjunction with the reduction from two features to one, the new language would apply to every detachable-magazine semi-automatic rifle. At a minimum, it would, for example, ban all models of the AR-15, even those developed for compliance with California’s highly restrictive ban.

·         Carries hyperbole further than the 1994 ban. Feinstein’s 1994 ban listed “grenade launcher” as one of the prohibiting features for rifles. Her 2013 bill carries goes even further into the ridiculous, by also listing “rocket launcher.” Such devices are restricted under the National Firearms Act and, obviously, are not standard components of the firearms Feinstein wants to ban. Perhaps a subsequent Feinstein bill will add “nuclear bomb,” “particle beam weapon,” or something else equally far-fetched to the features list.

·         Expands the definition of “assault weapon” by including:

·         Three very popular rifles: The M1 Carbine (introduced in 1944 and for many years sold by the federal government to individuals involved in marksmanship competition), a model of the Ruger Mini-14, and most or all models of the SKS.

·         Any “semiautomatic, centerfire, or rimfire rifle that has a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds,” except for tubular-magazine .22s.

·         Any “semiautomatic, centerfire, or rimfire rifle that has an overall length of less than 30 inches,” any “semiautomatic handgun with a fixed magazine that has the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds,” and any semi-automatic handgun that has a threaded barrel.
·         Requires owners of existing “assault weapons” to register them with the federal government under the National Firearms Act (NFA). The NFA imposes a $200 tax per firearm, and requires an owner to submit photographs and fingerprints to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE), to inform the BATFE of the address where the firearm will be kept, and to obtain the BATFE’s permission to transport the firearm across state lines.

·         Prohibits the transfer of “assault weapons.” Owners of other firearms, including those covered by the NFA, are permitted to sell them or pass them to heirs. However, under Feinstein’s new bill, “assault weapons” would remain with their current owners until their deaths, at which point they would be forfeited to the government.

·         Prohibits the domestic manufacture and the importation of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. The 1994 ban allowed the importation of such magazines that were manufactured before the ban took effect. Whereas the 1994 ban protected gun owners from errant prosecution by making the government prove when a magazine was made, the new ban includes no such protection. The new ban also requires firearm dealers to certify the date of manufacture of any >10-round magazine sold, a virtually impossible task, given that virtually no magazines are stamped with their date of manufacture.

Targets handguns in defiance of the Supreme Court. The Court ruled in District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment protects the right to have handguns for self-defense, in large part on the basis of the fact handguns are the type of firearm “overwhelmingly chosen by American society for that lawful purpose.” Semi-automatic pistols, which are the most popular handguns today, are designed to use detachable magazines, and the magazines “overwhelmingly chosen” by Americans for self-defense are those that hold more than 10 rounds. Additionally, Feinstein’s list of nearly 1,000 firearms exempted by name (see next paragraph) contains not a single handgun. Sen. Feinstein advocated banning handguns before being elected to the Senate, though she carried a handgun for her own personal protection.
Contains a larger piece of window dressing than the 1994 ban. Whereas the 1994 ban included a list of approximately 600 rifles and shotguns exempted from the ban by name, the new bill’s list is increased to nearly 1,000 rifles and shotguns. Other than for the 11 detachable-magazine semi-automatic rifles and one other semi-automatic rifle included in the list, however, the list appears to be pointless, because a separate provision of the bill exempts “any firearm that is manually operated by bolt, pump, lever, or slide action.”

The Department of Justice study. On her website, Feinstein claims that a study for the DOJ found that the 1994 ban resulted in a 6.7 percent decrease in murders. To the contrary, this is what the study said: “At best, the assault weapons ban can have only a limited effect on total gun murders, because the banned weapons and magazines were never involved in more than a modest fraction of all gun murders. Our best estimate is that the ban contributed to a 6.7 percent decrease in total gun murders between 1994 and 1995. . . . However, with only one year of post-ban data, we cannot rule out the possibility that this decrease reflects chance year-to-year variation rather than a true effect of the ban.  Nor can we rule out effects of other features of the 1994 Crime Act or a host of state and local initiatives that took place simultaneously.”

“Assault weapon” numbers and murder trends. From the imposition of Feinstein’s “assault weapon” ban (Sept. 13, 1994) through the present, the number of “assault weapons” has risen dramatically. For example, the most common firearm that Feinstein considers an “assault weapon” is the AR-15 rifle, the manufacturing numbers of which can be gleaned from the BATFE’s firearm manufacturer reports, available here. From 1995 through 2011, the number of AR-15s—all models of which Feinstein’s new bill defines as “assault weapons”—rose by over 2.5 million. During the same period, the nation’s murder rate fell 48 percent, to a 48-year low. According to the FBI, 8.5 times as many people are murdered with knives, blunt objects and bare hands, as with rifles of any type.

Traces: Feinstein makes several claims, premised on firearm traces, hoping to convince people that her 1994 ban reduced the (relatively infrequent) use of “assault weapons” in crime. However, traces do not indicate how often any type of gun is used in crime. As the Congressional Research Service and the BATFE have explained, not all firearms that are traced have been used in crime, and not all firearms used in crime are traced. Whether a trace occurs depends on whether a law enforcement agency requests that a trace be conducted. Given that existing “assault weapons” were exempted from the 1994 ban and new “assault weapons” continued to be made while the ban was in effect, any reduction in the percentage of traces accounted for by “assault weapons” during the ban, would be attributable to law enforcement agencies losing interest in tracing the firearms, or law enforcement agencies increasing their requests for traces on other types of firearms, as urged by the BATFE for more than a decade. 

Call Your U.S. Senators and Representative: As noted, Feinstein intends to introduce her bill on January 3rd. President Obama has said that gun control will be a “central issue” of his final term in office, and he has vowed to move quickly on it. 
Contact your members of Congress at 202-224-3121 to urge them to oppose Sen. Feinstein’s 2013 gun and magazine ban. Our elected representatives in Congress must here from you if we are going to defeat this gun ban proposal. You can write your Representatives and Senators by using our Write Your Representatives tool here: 

Millions of Americans own so-called “assault weapons” and tens of millions own “large” magazines, for
self-defense, target shooting, and hunting. For more information about the history of the “assault weapon” issue, please visit

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn
Twitter: @Fieldkorn

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Mentor's controlled first-ever archery deer hunt's success well above expectations

With a to-date known kill of 101 animals, at least one Mentor official is pleasantly surprised with the success of the city’s first-ever controlled archery deer hunt.

Mentor Natural Resource Specialist Nick Mikash said when the city first launched the controlled hunt he was expecting a total season take “somewhere in the 50s.”

“Obviously we’re well above that figure,” Mikash says.

Before approving the hunt in September, Mentor’s city council faced an acrimonious debate between council members as well as residents who took sides either in favor of the activity or were opposed to archers shooting deer.

The ordinance was passed 5-2 by City Council and requires 5 acres or more on up to three contiguous properties.

Participants also have to pass a proficiency test with the type of archery tackle they will use during the hunt, must hunt from an elevated stand at least 8 feet above the ground, only, no Sunday hunting, each arrow has to include the hunter’s permit number, and must secure Mentor Police assistance should an shot deer run off of the permitted property and before recovery is undertaken.

Other rules apply as well, the city’s intent on minimizing conflicts between hunters and residents.

With only one instance where a hunter was cited for trespassing without first seeking police help, the program has proven problem-free, Mikash says.

The breakdown of the known to-day kill includes 74 does, 14 antlered deer (bucks) with the remainder being fawn bucks, called “button bucks.”

Button buck is a commonly used term to designate a young-of-the-year male deer with just a “bump” of antler growth where next year a branched antler would form.

In all, Mikash says as well, 58 hunters are participating and only 16 of them have each failed to shoot at least one animal.

However, says Mikash also, three hunters have each legally killed six deer, with several other permittees having legally killed 3, 4 or 5 deer each.

As for whether the hunt has thus far helped reduce the city’s over-population of deer, Mikash says he’s heard from residents who say they are seeing fewer animals while others are noting no change.

Too, says Mikash, the to-date harvest has indicated “hot spots” where a goodly number of deer have been shot while other areas of the city have seen few animals taken.

Mentor’s controlled archery deer hunt runs parallel with that of the state’s, the conclusion of which is Feb. 3.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn
Twitter: @Fieldkorn

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

How did wildlife know the Great Holiday Blizzard of 2012 was approaching?

Nearly a full day before the threatened Great Holiday Blizzard of 2012 was to arrive, the wildlife of Northeast Ohio were busy feeding in anticipation of a long lay-over.

No nay-Sayers these, the wildlife were fattening up in preparation of hunkering down, a well-documented but little understood natural history phenomena, says wildlife biologists.

Deer, especially, on Christmas Day, were mowing the grass, eating succulent twigs and still-forming buds off trees, or else rooting around the earth in search of fat- and protein-rich acorns.

“That’s always been the thought; that wildlife can tell when there’s a weather change, especially when something major is brewing,” says Jeff Westerfield, a wildlife biologist for the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s District Three (Northeast Ohio) office in Akron.

“Just this morning one of our guys here in the office remarked that his trail camera was going ‘pop,’ ‘pop,’ ‘pop,’ showing all kinds of activity from deer as the animals fed.”

The obvious question then is how do these animals know when a storm is approaching?

“I asked that of the deer once,” “Westerfield said with a laugh. “Not really, but it’s just the same as it is for how waterfowl know when and where to migrate. Mother Nature has given them the ability to know.”

Westerfield also says that perhaps human’s senses have just gotten “soft,” no longer being able to gauge when a storm is on the warpath.

Yet even without fully understanding the physiological dynamics of why deer, wild turkeys, song birds, waterfowl and the like can sense a storm’s approach, the process remains a fascinating scientific area of study, says Westerfield.

“Oh, yeah, that what makes my job so interesting,” he said. “We can’t just say that ‘x’ equals ‘y’ when it comes to wildlife. Maybe in the end we won’t figure everything out but we have to keep working on it.”

Then asked how soon after a storm event will critters begin to stir and move about, Westerfield says wildlife won’t waste any time.

“I suspect it will come pretty quickly,” Westerfield says. “They’ll know when it’s over and time to fed.”

Until then the wildlife will live off their reserves, their bodies burning up stored body fat.

In the case of deer, these animals can easily go 72 hours before refueling with whatever the woods and fields can provide. The same is true for wild turkeys and almost any other wild animals as each is entering their winter mode of conserving energy, Westerfield says.

“We can go without food, too, for a while, though who wants to go without hot chocolate and cookies this time of year?” Westerfield says.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn
Twitter: @Fieldkorn

Monday, December 24, 2012

What's it worth to 'ya? Plenty if you're a (legal) trespasser

Yes, my Christmas sleigh is red, and, yes, I am something of a jolly old elf.

Or at least the plump part, anyway.

But I don’t own any reindeer. None that fly, anyway. There is the head of a mounted one on our living wall. And this poor beast must undergo shameful Christmas decoration treatment from Bev, my wife.

So instead of a herd of flying reindeer I have a duel package of black Labrador retrievers to keep me company on my seasonal rounds.

That trip is done a few days before Christmas and is intended for one purpose: To thank those property owners who let me trespass on their grounds in search of either game or fish.

You might be tempted to refer to this as “bribery.” Some have but I don’t, simply because I get so much of a charge out of playing an outdoors Santa Claus.

The work - and I would imagine the same is true for the real Santa Claus - begins earlier in the year. Sometime in early February, in fact.

With a long stretch of a look to December, Bev and I begin the ground floor work. We start by tapping maple trees, firing up the backyard sugarbush and pouring some of the golden elixir into decorative decanters.

These collectable glass receptacles are locked away until mid-December when they are brought out and made ready to be given away to the families who’ve signed off on letting me stalk their woods, build a goose-hunting blind on the cusp of their farm pond or else let my hip wader-wearing legs hike up and down a steelhead-filled creek.

A few other long-time supporters get a little fancier package but the intent is the same; that being to say “thank you.”

So I hop into the vehicle, open the tailgate for the dogs to join me and off we go for an approximately 120-mile round trip, all told.

The effort takes all of the morning and a wad of the afternoon to complete.

(Of course I don’t count the stolen first two hours and the dogs and I are goose hunting but that’s a another story for another time).

Some of the property owners are home and if they are, we exchange Christmas greetings.

When one of the property owners who lets me trespass in order to hunt for steelhead said “you’re welcome here any time, Jeff,” I was almost brought to tears. I had to turn away and get back in the SUV.

That’s why I do this, too. Not just for the fishing, not just for the hunting.

Rather, because the gesture means so much to them and because their kindness means so much to me.

As far as I am concerned, it’s the best investment of time and money I spend each year.

Merry Christmas to you, all you landowners. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn
Twitter: @Fieldkorn

Friday, December 21, 2012

Transcript of NRA's LaPierre response to Sandy Hook shooting

Here is the transcript text from the NRA's Wayne LaPierre on the organization's response to the Sandy Hook school shooting. Note that it is long and probably in some minds, controversial:

The National Rifle Association's 4 million mothers, fathers, sons and daughters join the nation in horror, outrage, grief and earnest prayer for the families of Newtown, Connecticut … who suffered such incomprehensible loss as a result of this unspeakable crime.
Out of respect for those grieving families, and until the facts are known, the NRA has refrained from comment. While some have tried to exploit tragedy for political gain, we have remained respectfully silent. Now, we must speak … for the safety of our nation's children.

Because for all the noise and anger directed at us over the past week, no one— nobody — has addressed the most important, pressing and immediate question we face: How do we protect our children right now, starting today, in a way that we know works?

The only way to answer that question is to face up to the truth.

Politicians pass laws for Gun-Free School Zones. They issue press releases bragging about them. They post signs advertising them.

And in so doing, they tell every insane killer in America that schools are their safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk.

How have our nation's priorities gotten so far out of order? Think about it. 

We care about our money, so we protect our banks with armed guards. American airports, office buildings, power plants,courthouses — even sports stadiums — are all protected by armed security.

We care about the President, so we protect him with armed Secret Service agents. Members of Congress work in offices surrounded by armed Capitol Police officers.

Yet when it comes to the most beloved, innocent and vulnerable members of the American family — our children — we as a society leave them utterly defenseless, and the monsters and predators of this world know it and exploit it.

That must change now!

The truth is that our society is populated by an unknown number of genuine monsters — people so deranged, so evil, so possessed by voices and driven by demons that no sane person can possibly ever comprehend them.

They walk among us every day.

And does anybody really believe that the next Adam Lanza isn't planning his attack on a school he's already identified at this very moment?

How many more copycats are waiting in the wings for their moment of fame — from a national media machine that rewards them with the wall-to-wall attention and sense of identity that they crave — while provoking others to try to make their mark?

A dozen more killers? A hundred? More?

How can we possibly even guess how many, given our nation's refusal to create an active national database of the mentally ill?

And the fact is, that wouldn't even begin to address the much larger and more lethal criminal class: Killers, robbers, rapists and drug gang members who have spread like cancer in every community in this country.

Meanwhile, federal gun prosecutions have decreased by 40%— to the lowest levels in a decade.

So now, due to a declining willingness to prosecute dangerous criminals, violent crime is increasing again for the first time in19 years!

Add another hurricane, terrorist attack or some other natural or man-made disaster, and you've got a recipe for a national nightmare of violence and victimization.

And here's another dirty little truth that the media try their best to conceal: There exists in this country a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people.

Through vicious, violent video games with names like Bulletstorm,Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat and Splatterhouse. 

And here’s one:it’s called Kindergarten Killers. It’s been online for 10 years.

How come my research department could find it and all of yours either couldn’t or didn’t want anyone to know you had found it?

Then there’s the blood-soaked slasher films like "American Psycho"and "Natural Born Killers" that are aired like propaganda loops on"Splatterdays" and every day, and a thousand music videos that portray life as a joke and murder as a way of life. 
And then they have the nerve to call it "entertainment."

But is that what it really is? Isn't fantasizing about killing people as away to get your kicks really the filthiest form of pornography?

In a race to the bottom, media conglomerates compete with one another to shock, violate and offend every standard of civilized society by bringing an ever-more-toxic mix of reckless behavior and criminal cruelty into our homes — every minute of every day of every month of every year.

A child growing up in America witnesses 16,000 murders and 200,000acts of violence by the time he or she reaches the ripe old age of 18.

And throughout it all, too many in our national media … their corporate owners … and their stockholders … act as silent enablers, if not complicit co-conspirators.

Rather than face their own moral failings,the media demonize lawful gun owners, amplify their cries for more laws and fill the national debate with misinformation and dishonest thinking that only delay meaningful action and all but guarantee that the next atrocity is only a news cycle away.

The media call semi-automatic firearms "machine guns" — they claim these civilian semi-automatic firearms are used by the military, and they tell us that the .223 round is one of the most powerful rifle calibers ... when all of these claims are factually untrue.

They don't know what they're talking about!

Worse, they perpetuate the dangerous notion that one more gun ban — or one more law imposed on peaceful, lawful people — will protect us where 20,000 others have failed!

As brave, heroic and self-sacrificing as those teachers were in those classrooms, and as prompt, professional and well-trained as those police were when they responded, they were unable — through no fault of their own — to stop it.

As parents, we do everything we can to keep our children safe.

It is now time for us to assume responsibility for their safety at school. The only way to stop a monster from killing our kids is to be personally involved and invested in a plan of absolute protection. 

The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. 

Would you rather have your 911 call bring a good guy with a gun from a mile  away ... or a minute away?

Now, I can imagine the shocking headlines you'll print tomorrow morning: "More guns," you'll claim, "are the NRA's answer to everything!"

Your implication will be that guns are evil and have no place in society, much less in our schools.

But since when did the word "gun" automatically become a bad word?

A gun in the hands of a Secret Service agent protecting the President isn't a bad word. A gun in the hands of a soldier protecting the United States isn't a bad word.

And when you hear the glass breaking in your living room at 3 a.m. and call 911, you won't be able to pray hard enough for a gun in the hands of a good guy to get there fast enough to protect you.

So why is the idea of a gun good when it's used to protect our President or our country or our police, but bad when it's used to protect our children in their schools?

They're our kids. They're our responsibility. 

And it's not just our duty to protect them — it's our right to protect them.

You know, five years ago, after the Virginia Tech tragedy, when I said we should put armed security in every school, the media called me crazy.

But what if, when Adam Lanza started shooting his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday, he had been confronted by qualified, armed security?

Will you at least admit it's possible that 26 innocent lives might have been spared? Is that so abhorrent to you that you would rather continue to risk the alternative?

Is the press and political class here in Washington so consumed by fear and hatred of the NRA and America’s gun owners that you're willing to accept a world where real resistance to evil monsters is a lone, unarmed school principal left to surrender her life to shield the children in her care? 

No one — regardless of personal political prejudice — has the right to impose that sacrifice.

Ladies and gentlemen, there is no national, one-size-fits-all solution to protecting our children. But do know this President zeroed out school emergency planning grants in last year's budget, and scrapped "Secure Our Schools"
policing grants in next year's budget.

With all the foreign aid, with all the money in the federal budget,we can’t afford to put a police officer in every school?

Even if they did that, politicians have no business — and no authority — denying us the right, the ability, or the moral imperative to protect ourselves and our loved ones from harm.

Now, the National Rifle Association knows that there are millions of qualified active and retired police; active, reserve and retired military; security professionals; certified firefighters and rescue personnel; and an extraordinary corps of patriotic, trained qualified citizens to join with local school officials and police in devising a protection plan for every school. We can deploy them to protect our kids

We can immediately make America's schools safer — relying on the brave men and women of America’s police force.

The budget of our local police departments are strained and resources are limited, but their dedication and courage are second to none and they can be deployed right now.

I call on Congress today to act immediately, to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every school — and to do it now, to make sure that blanket of safety is in place when our children return to school in January.

Before Congress reconvenes, before we engage in any lengthy debate over legislation, regulation or anything else, as soon as our kids return to school after the holiday break, we need to have every single school in America immediately deploy a protection program proven to work —and by that I mean armed security.

Right now, today, every school in the United States should plan meetings with parents, school administrators, teachers and local authorities — and draw upon every resource available — to erect a cordon of protection around our kids right now.

Every school will have a different solution based on its own unique situation. Every school in America needs to immediately identify, dedicate and deploy the resources necessary to put these security forces in place right now.

And the National Rifle Association, as America's preeminent trainer of law enforcement and security personnel for the past 50 years, is ready, willing and uniquely qualified to help.

Our training programs are the most advanced in the world. That expertise must be brought to bear to protect our schools and our children now.

We did it for the nation's defense industries and military installations during World War II, and we'll do it for our schools today.

The NRA is going to bring all of its knowledge, dedication and resources to develop a model National School Shield Emergency Response Program for every school that wants it.

From armed security to building design and access control to information technology to student and teacher training, this multifaceted program will be developed by the very best experts in their fields.

Former Congressman Asa Hutchinson will lead this effort as National Director of the National School Shield Program, with a budget provided by the NRA of whatever scope the task requires.

His experience as a U.S. Attorney, Director of the Drug Enforcement Agency and Undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Security will give him the knowledge and expertise to hire the most knowledgeable and credentialed experts available anywhere, to get this program up and running from the first day forward.

If we truly cherish our kids more than our money or our celebrities, we must give them the greatest level of protection possible and the security that is only available with a properly  trained — armed — good guy.

Under Asa’s leadership, our team of security experts will make this the best program in the world for protecting our children at school, and we will make that program available to every school in America free of charge.

That's a plan of action that can, and will, make a real, positive and indisputable difference in the safety of our children —starting right now.

There'll be time for talk and debate later. This is the time,this is the day for decisive action.

We can't wait for the next unspeakable crime to happen before we act. We can't lose precious time debating legislation that won’t work. We mustn't allow politics or personal prejudice to divide us. We must act now.

For the sake of the safety of every child in America, I call on every parent, every teacher, every school administrator and every law enforcement officer in this country to join us in the National SchoolShield Program and protect our children with the only line of positive defense that's tested and proven to work.

And now, to tell you more about the program, I'd like to introduce the head of that effort — a former U.S. congressman, former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas and former administrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Honorable Asa Hutchinson.

Changes to Ohio's concealed carry permit laws get okay

On Thursday, Governor John Kasich  House Bill 495 into law.

This bill was introduced by state Representative Terry Johnson (R-89) to address several issues with current Ohio gun laws.
An amended substitute to the original bill passed in the Ohio Senate on December 13 by a 26-7 vote and the Ohio House of Representatives concurred with that version later in the day by a 66-23 vote that includes further clarifications regarding the transportation of loaded magazines and firearms and permits lawfully owned firearms to be stored in vehicles in some government-owned parking lots.

However, in order to ensure its passage during this legislative session, the sections regarding expanding concealed carry reciprocity were amended out of the bill with a commitment to address this issue early next session, says the National Rifle Association, which heavily backed HB 495..

The final version of this bill remains strong and includes several necessary improvements to Ohio’s concealed carry laws.

The final version of HB 495 makes the following changes:
  • Eliminates the renewed competency certification requirement for concealed carry license renewals.  Currently, after the first renewal of your concealed handgun license, you must submit proof of renewed competency to show that you are range competent for all subsequent renewals.  HB 495 would make it so that you can simply show your existing or expiring license or your original competency certificate as proof that you have had the necessary training for all renewals.
  • Modifies the definition of a loaded firearm in a vehicle.  Currently, a firearm is considered loaded if a loaded magazine is present in the vehicle, even if the magazine is not inserted into the firearm.  HB 495 further clarifies the definition in current law to give gun owners various options for storing loaded magazines during transport.
  • Defines “Concealed Handgun License” in one section of the Ohio Revised Code and clarify that this definition applies to all references of a concealed handgun license throughout the state code.  HB 495 would simplify state law and make it easier to read, understand, comply with and enforce.
This measure will go into effect ninety days fromThursday.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn
Twitter: @Fieldkorn

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

NRA to issue on Friday its statement on shooting tragedy



Silent since Friday's horrific tragedy in Newtown, Conn., the NRA says it is preparing to address the issue at a Friday news conference.

The largest pro-Second Amendment organization said also it withheld making a statement earlier as matter of respect for the dead and their families. This process has marked previous strategies when other shootings happened.

Here is the text of the NRA's press conference announcement:

Important Statement from the National Rifle Association

Posted on December 18, 2012

The National Rifle Association of America is made up of four million moms and dads, sons and daughters – and we were shocked, saddened and heartbroken by the news of the horrific and senseless murders in Newtown.
Out of respect for the families, and as a matter of common decency, we have given time for mourning, prayer and a full investigation of the facts before commenting.
The NRA is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again.

The NRA is planning to hold a major news conference in the Washington, DC area on Friday, December 21.

Details will be released to the media at the appropriate time.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn
Twitter: @Fieldkorn

UPDATED: Freedom Arms owner wants to throw gun maker overboard because of shooting

In its news accounts, the left-leaning Huffington Post is saying  that several states' teachers' pension funds are invested in firearms manufacturers.

But the story also goes on to add the parent owner of the Freedom Group (Remington Arms, Bushmaster, Marlin, others)  wants to bail out because of the Connecticut shooting.

From Huffington Post, edited version to allow for press release from Cerberus Capital, which owns Freedom Arms:

Gun manufacturers have enjoyed lucrative growth in recent years, a trend now under scrutiny after the massacre of 20 children inside a Connecticut elementary school.

Investors in the industry include one group that now stands out conspicuously: public school teachers, via their pension funds.

According to a Huffington Post survey of public databases, several of the nation's largest teachers' retirement systems -- including those in California, New York and Texas -- hold tens of millions of dollars worth of stock in two publicly traded gun manufacturers, Sturm, Ruger & Co. and Smith & Wesson Holding Corp.

The California Teachers Retirement System has also committed more than $700 million toward private equity funds managed by Cerberus Capital

 Over the last six years, Cerberus has amassed a holding company, the Freedom Group, which has purchased some of the nation's most prominent firearms brands

According to securities filings, the Freedom Group owns Bushmaster, the company that built the rifle that law enforcement authorities say was used in Friday's shooting spree in Connecticut.

UPDATE to include the Cerberus Group press release:

Cerberus Capital Management Statement Regarding Freedom Group, Inc.

NEW YORK, Dec. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- We were shocked and deeply saddened by the events that took place at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT on December 14, 2012. 

We cannot comprehend the losses suffered by the families and friends of those killed by the unthinkable crimes committed that day.  No words or actions can lessen the enormity of this event or make a dent in the pain that was inflicted on so many. 

In 2006 affiliates of Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. made a financial investment in Freedom Group. 

Freedom Group does not sell weapons or ammunition directly to consumers, through gun shows or otherwise.  Sales are made only to federally licensed firearms dealers and distributors in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. 

We do not believe that Freedom Group or any single company or individual can prevent senseless violence or the illegal use or procurement of firearms and ammunition.  

It is apparent that the Sandy Hook tragedy was a watershed event that has raised the national debate on gun control to an unprecedented level.  The debate essentially focuses on the balance between public safety and the scope of the Constitutional rights under the Second Amendment. 

As a Firm, we are investors, not statesmen or policy makers.  Our role is to make investments on behalf of our clients who are comprised of the pension plans of firemen, teachers, policemen and other municipal workers and unions, endowments, and other institutions and individuals.  It is not our role to take positions, or attempt to shape or influence the gun control policy debate. 

That is the job of our federal and state legislators.

There are, however, actions that we as a firm can take. 

Accordingly, we have determined to immediately engage in a formal process to sell our investment in Freedom Group.  We will retain a financial advisor (sic)  to design and execute a process to sell our interests in Freedom Group, and we will then return that capital to our investors. 

We believe that this decision allows us to meet our obligations to the investors whose interests we are entrusted to protect without being drawn into the national debate that is more properly pursued by those with the formal charter and public responsibility to do so. 

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and communities impacted by this tragic and devastating event. 

About Cerberus Capital Management, L.P.
Established in 1992, Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. is one of the world's leading private investment firms.  Cerberus has more than US $20 billion under management invested in four primary strategies: distressed securities & assets; control and non-control private equity; commercial mid-market lending and real estate-related investments. 

From its headquarters in New York City and large network of affiliate and advisory offices in the US, Europe and Asia, Cerberus has the on-the-ground presence to invest in multiple sectors, through multiple investment strategies in countries around the world.

Media Contacts:

Peter Duda:   
+1 (212) 445-8213
John Dillard:  
+1 (212) 445-8052
Cerberus Media Line:
+1 (212) 891-1558
SOURCE Cerberus Capital Management, L.P.

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- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn
Twitter: @Fieldkorn