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Legislation Still Under the Radar Would Devastate U.S. Gun Ownership Rights

September 30, 2009 by Bob Livingston

Legislation Still Under the Radar Would Devastate U.S. Gun Ownership Rights

And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.–President Barack Obama in San Francisco at a 2008 fundraiser.

While high profile issues like passage of a healthcare reform bill and cap and trade energy tax are getting front page headlines and top billing by television talking heads, be very wary of stealth legislation slowly working its way through Congress to restrict gun ownership.

Passage of either of two bills, HR 45 (also known as Blair-Holt Firearm Licensing and Record Sale Act of 2009) and S 1317, would be a devastating blow to Second Amendment rights.

HR 45, introduced by Rep. Bobby Rush, would make it illegal to own a gun unless you are fingerprinted and can provide a driver’s license and Social Security number.

Additionally under HR 45, a person buying a gun would have to undergo both a physical and mental evaluation before making a firearm purchase. It also would require guns be secured from access by children under age 18, and would empower law enforcement officers to come into your home to check compliance.

S 1317, introduced by Sen. Frank Lautenburg, would give the attorney general the right to block gun sales to people on terror watch lists. A third bill, HR 2647, contains a companion clause to S 1317 that gives the attorney general the authority to determine who belongs on terrorist watch lists.

And who are the terrorists? In Obamaworld it’s not the Islamo-fascists flying airliners into buildings, planting improvised explosive devices (IEDs) or strapping bombs to their waists and setting them off in crowded areas.

No, because in Obamaworld, the word terrorism no longer applies to those who were once called terrorists. And those who used to be considered terrorists no longer commit acts of terrorism. No they commit man-caused disasters. The word terrorist, at least in its past usage, has been dropped from the lexicon.

Today’s terrorists, according to those now in power in the United States, are people in flyover country who believe the Constitution is sacrosanct, and that the Second Amendment actually means that people are free to own guns without restriction.

Our own country’s Department of Homeland Security issued an assessment earlier this year warning law enforcement of a possible rise in home-grown terrorism from “right wing extremists.” And who are those rightwing extremists? The assessment tell us: “Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.”

As we’ve reported before in related stories here and here the current administration is no friend to gun owners.

And what does Eric Holder—attorney general for the United States and the person who would under S 1317 be granted the authority to determine who belongs on terrorist watch groups—think about guns?

Following are few of his quotes that have appeared in various newspapers over the last few years:

  • “As President Obama indicated during the campaign, there are just a few gun-related changes that we would like to make, and among them would be to reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons.”
  • “The second amendment does not protect firearms possession or use that is unrelated to participation in a well-regulated militia.”
  • “To further strengthen the ability of law enforcement officials to track those suspected of terrorism or other criminal acts in this country, Congress should also pass legislation that would give the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms a record of every firearm sale.”

Holder’s boss, the president, is equally unfriendly to gun owners. Writing for Gun Digest last October, gun lobbyist Richard A. Pearson called Obama an enemy of the law abiding firearm owner. You can read his article here.

Some of Obama’s own quotes, as they have appeared in various publications, will back this up:

  • “I am consistently on record and will continue to be on record as opposing concealed carry.”
  • “I am not in favor of concealed weapons. I think that creates a potential atmosphere where more innocent people could (get shot during) altercations.”
  • “The package (legislation passed in the Illinois Senate) closes the Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card loopholes which resulted in the shooting out in Melrose Park. We’re eliminating 17 specific assault weapons. There is no reason why anybody should need an assault weapon to protect themselves or their family. We’re limiting handgun sales to one a month. We’re calling for handgun registration. It’s very hard right now to track whether or not a felon has turned in his weapons or if he has a FOID card because we don’t know how many weapons he has purchased.”

Without a doubt, the current administration is the most anti-gun administration in our nation’s history. Don’t let the hullabaloo over healthcare and cap and trade cause you to let your guard down.

And be sure you cling to your guns and religion. They may soon be all you have.


NASA To Bomb The Moon Oct 9th

NASA's LCROSS mission will culminate with two lunar impacts at approximately 4:30 a.m. PDT on Oct. 9. The mission will search for water ice in the Cabeus A crater near the moon's south pole

click here for older story from the archives.



NASA Science News for October 5, 2009
On Friday morning, Oct. 9th, you can watch a pair of spacecraft crash into the Moon with your own eyes. The purposeful impacts are the climax of NASA's LCROSS mission to unearth signs of water in lunar soil. Today's story tells how and where to look.



Obama made a ‘historic mistake’: Ahmadinejad
Tehran Times Political Desk

TEHRAN – President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said here on Saturday that U.S. President Barack Obama has made a historic mistake when he accused Iran of secretly building a nuclear fuel production plant.

In an address to the G-20 summit on September 25, Obama claimed that Iran’s new nuclear plant is inconsistent with a peaceful program. “The size and configuration of this facility is inconsistent with a peaceful (nuclear) program,” and it further raises concerns that Iran is seeking a nuclear weapon, Obama claimed as quoted by the USA Today.

“Once again, Mr. Obama made a historical mistake while we had informed the (International Atomic Energy) Agency of the (nuclear plant in) Fordoo,” the president said as he was addressing the Third Session of the General Assembly of the Islamic Radios and Televisions Union.

Ahmadinejad’s remarks came ahead of IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei visit to Iran reportedly to discuss the inspection of the new nuclear plant.

Ahmadinejad pointed out that the U.S. and certain other states continue their allegation despite the fact that Iran has informed the IAEA 18 months before making the nuclear fuel plant operational while UN rules require it to inform the agency six months before a nuclear facility becomes operational.

In a statement issued on September 25, Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Director Ali Akbar Salehi announced that the Islamic Republic is building a new nuclear fuel production plant.

In a new successful step and in line with its inalienable right to peaceful nuclear energy, the Islamic Republic of Iran has begun construction of another plant for enriching nuclear fuel, Salehi said


IAEA ready to inspect Iran’s uranium enrichment plant
04 October, 2009

With US and European powers suspecting it is another step towards the country getting atomic weapons, Iran insists it is all above board.

Last week Iran once again drew attention to its nuclear program with the revelation that the country had a second uranium enrichment facility that would soon become operational.

The plant was kept secret from the time construction began in 2006. However, the country's president says IAEA experts are welcome to inspect the uranium enrichment facility at anytime.

“The Iranians announced the site within the framework of international law,” Dr. Seyed Mohammad Marandi of the University of Tehran told RT. “And, therefore, it was only built because of the certain threats made by countries like the United States and Israel to bomb the country and attack the country.”

“But, Iran's relations with Russia have improved. The Iranians believe that it is in Russia’s interest to remain a consistent partner,” the professor added.

Russia could become the third party that would enrich Iran's uranium up to the level needed for peaceful purposes. This would be for medical purposes at the experimental reactor in Tehran.

“We agreed on a scheme – by ‘we’ I mean Russia, the US, the IAEA and maybe France will take part in this,” said Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. “According to this scheme, we will take low enriched uranium from Iran, further enrich it and use it as a fuel for the absolutely legal experimental reactor in Teheran.”

The scheme would provide transparency and could become the key to solving the Iranian nuclear problem for the whole world.

“This is a very, very skillful and surprising face-saving agreement,” says Michael Adler of the Woodrow Wilson Center. “Iran is effectively reducing the amount of uranium they have, because they have made so far about 1500 kilograms of low-enriched uranium. And this is a crucial number. It’s the number that they would need to enrich further if they were going to make a nuclear weapon.”

Russia's nuclear agency Rosatom has confirmed it is ready to receive Iran’s nuclear fuel. In fact, it has been ready for quite a while: the solution has been on the table for years, but negotiations came to a dead end in summer 2008.

However, with Obama's administration ready for a “change”, the new initiative could now come up a winner.

“The IAEA proposal that was agreed to in principle today, with regard to the Tehran research reactor, is a confidence-building step that is consistent with that objective, provided that it transfers Iran’s low-enriched uranium to a third country for fuel fabrication,” US President Barack Obama said on October 1.

Saeed Jalili, the Chairman of Iran’s National Security Council and the country’s chief nuclear negotiator, reminded that last year his country came up with several initiatives and suggestions in the talks, but “they were all halted.”

“Now I have a feeling that the talks would go ahead, and we would only progress,” he also said.

Presidents Obama and Medvedev insist that Iran allows IAEA observers into its nuclear facilities.

If Iran does not meet its promises, Washington says sanctions will follow. During the recent meeting with Obama, President Medvedev said that sanctions rarely lead to productive results, but in some cases they are inevitable.


Israel names Russians helping Iran build nuclear bomb
October 4, 2009

Israel's prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, has handed the Kremlin a list of Russian scientists believed by the Israelis to be helping Iran to develop a nuclear warhead. He is said to have delivered the list during a mysterious visit to Moscow.

Netanyahu flew to the Russian capital with Uzi Arad, his national security adviser, last month in a private jet.

His office claimed he was in Israel, visiting a secret military establishment at the time. It later emerged that he was holding talks with Vladimir Putin, the Russian prime minister, and President Dmitry Medvedev.

“We have heard that Netanyahu came with a list and concrete evidence showing that Russians are helping the Iranians to develop a bomb,” said a source close to the Russian defence minister last week.

“That is why it was kept secret. The point is not to embarrass Moscow, rather to spur it into action.”

Israeli sources said it was a short, tense meeting at which Netanyahu named the Russian experts said to be assisting Iran in its nuclear programme.

In western capitals the latest claims were treated with caution. American and British officials argued that the involvement of freelance Russian scientists belonged to the past.

American officials said concern about Russian experts acting without official approval, had been raised by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in a report more than a year ago.

“There has been Russian help. It is not the government, it is individuals, at least one helping Iran on weaponisation activities and it is worrisome,” said David Albright, a former weapons inspector who is president of the Institute for Science and International Security.

However, Israeli officials insist that any Russian scientists working in Iran could do so only with official approval.

Robert Einhorn, the special adviser for non-proliferation and arms control to Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, is understood to believe that Russian companies have also supplied material that has been used by Iran in the production of ballistic missiles.

The disclosures came as Iran agreed at talks in Geneva to submit to IAEA inspections of its newly disclosed enrichment plant, which is being built under a mountain on a military base at Qom. Iran revealed the plant to the IAEA to pre-empt being caught out by an imminent announcement from western governments, which had discovered its existence.

The West says the plant is tailor-made for a secret weapons programme and proves Iran’s claim that its nuclear programme is intended only for peaceful purposes is a lie. The plant is designed to hold 3,000 centrifuges — enough to produce the material needed for one bomb a year.

Iran’s conduct over the next few weeks will determine whether the West continues its new dialogue or is compelled to increase pressure with tougher United Nations and other sanctions.

Ephraim Sneh, a former Israeli deputy defence minister, warned that time was running out for action to stop the programme. “If no crippling sanctions are introduced by Christmas, Israel will strike,” he said. “If we are left alone, we will act alone.”

A key test for the West will be whether Iran allows IAEA inspectors unfettered access to the Qom plant. Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the IAEA, was in Tehran this weekend to discuss this and Iran’s agreement, in principle, to ship most of its current stocks of low-enriched uranium to Russia so it can be used in medical research. President Barack Obama has told Iran he wants to see concrete results within two weeks.

While there is consensus in the West that Iran is trying to acquire the capability to build a weapon, the progress of its weaponisation programme is a matter of fierce debate among intelligence agencies.

The Americans believe secret work to develop a nuclear warhead stopped in 2003. British, French and German intelligence believe it was either continuing or has restarted. The Israelis believe the Iranians have “cold-tested” a nuclear warhead, without fissile material, for its Shahab-3B and Sejjil-2 rockets at Parchin, a top-secret military complex southeast of Tehran.

The vast site is officially dedicated to the research, development and production of ammunition, rockets and explosives. Satellite imagery as early as 2003 has shown Parchin to be suitable for research into the development of a nuclear weapon, say western experts.

The Shahab-3B, which the Iranians test-fired last Monday, is capable of carrying a 2,200lb warhead. Its 1,250-mile range puts parts of Europe, Israel and US bases in the Middle East within its reach.

According to the Israelis, Russian scientists may have been responsible for the nuclear warhead design. But western experts have also pointed the finger at North Korea.

Additional reporting:
Michael Smith, Christina Lamb


The Latest from the LHC: Towards the big chill

With 6 sectors out of 8 at nominal cryogenic temperature (1.9 K= about -271 °C), the commissioning at the LHC is progressing well. According to the present schedule, the whole machine will be cold in about two weeks.

Only Sectors 3-4 and 6-7 are still in the cooling phase (currently between 60 and 20 K). As already mentioned in the previous update, as soon as a sector reaches the nominal cryogenic temperature, teams can start powering the magnets. At present, the current is flowing in the magnets of three sectors, while the remaining three will be powered in the coming two weeks.

Screen shot showing the first ion beam in the T12 transfer line.

The new layer of the Quench Detection System (QDS), installed in four sectors, is functioning well. In particular, the new software and hardware QDS components allowed teams to measure, with unprecedented accuracy and very quickly, the resistance of all the splices in Sector 1-2. The lower the resistance, the better the quality of the splice. All the measured resistances showed small values, and most are significantly below the original specifications. In addition, in the same sector, teams were able to test the new energy extraction system that dumps – twice as quickly as last year – the stored magnetic energy, thus better protecting the whole machine. Tests showed that both quadrupoles and dipoles are performing as expected.

During the weekend of 25-29 September, particles were extracted from the Super Proton Synchrotron (SPS) injector and injected into the transfer lines that link it to the LHC. Although the proton beams were dumped before entering the LHC, these crucial tests showed that the whole injection chain is ready and performs well. For the first time also, lead ions have arrived at the doorstep of the LHC.

Watch the video here.

Older stories updates and pictures click here.

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