VGOF

Friday, October 24, 2014

What Current Polls Can Tell Us About the Midterm Elections

Remember that polls are simply a snapshot in time but National Review's Jim Geraghty has shared the enterprising work of Sean Trende of UVA's Center for Politics that looks at the likelihood that a candidate with a certain percentage lead in the polls at this point in an election will go on to win.  Jim then looks at what Trende's chart tells us about the close races and the chances the GOP will send Harry Reid packing his office and moving to the minority leader's office in the Capitol.  First the good news:
Let’s start with the good news for Republicans.
In Arkansas, Tom Cotton is enjoying a 5.5 point lead. 86 percent chance of victory!

In Colorado, Cory Gardner has a 4 point lead. 91 percent chance of victory!

In Alaska, Dan Sullivan has a 4.3 point lead. 91 percent for him, too!

In Kentucky, Mitch McConnell has a 4.4 percent lead.

In Iowa, Joni Ernst has a 2.5 point lead, right between 2 and 3. Oooh, a 70 to 77 percent chance of victory!

(In Louisiana, Bill Cassidy has a 4.8 percent lead in a head-to-head matchup, but that race is almost certain to go to a runoff. Put that one aside for now.)

In case you were wondering, in South Dakota, Mike Rounds has a 9.8 percent lead in the RealClearPolitics average, but it would be 3.5 if you only used polls conducted in October. So you can interpret his odds of victory as either 97 percent or 91 percent if you round up to 4.

Here’s the kind of intriguing news for Republicans: In Kansas, “independent” Greg Orman’s lead is eight-tenths of a percentage point in the RealClearPolitics average. Rounding that to one, we find on the above chart that Orman has… a 44 percent chance of victory. Yup, somehow having a one-point lead 13 days from Election Day is actually a bad sign. However, by 12 days, the chance of victory with a one point lead jumps up to 88 percent; by a few days later, it’s down to 68 percent.

Georgia Michelle Nunn’s lead in the RealClearPolitics average is 0.4 percent. So she’s not even on the chart. Bump her up to one point for the sake of argument, and she’s in the same spot as Orman.
Then he looks at the not so good news:
In North Carolina, Democrat Kay Hagan has a 1.6 point lead, which we’ll round up to 2 points. Bad news, Thom Tillis, that’s a 70 percent chance of victory for her!

In New Hampshire, Democrat Jeanne Shaheen also has a 1.6 point lead, which comes to a 70 percent chance of victory. Considering how steadily Scott Brown has closed these past weeks, you have to wonder if this is one of those 30 percent cases.

Every other Senate race has a 6 percentage point margin or higher.

This is a nice but not quite ideal scenario for Republicans. Assuming neither Georgia or Louisiana are resolved on Election Night, let’s assume Republicans lose the seat in Kansas and gain seats in Montana, South Dakota, West Virginia, Arkansas, Alaska, Colorado and Iowa. That’s a net gain of six seats! But as great as that sounds, it would give Republicans 50 seats and Democrats 48. If Democrats win both runoffs, they could keep control of the chamber by having Vice President Biden break the ties. If Cassidy wins the December runoff, Georgia’s January runoff becomes moot to control of the Senate.
If you are not a political junkie, then it probably doesn't matter to you whether we will be following run off elections through Thanksgiving and Christmas.  But it matters which party controls congress.  We know what Harry Reid has done to gun owners.  By changing the rules of the Senate, he has allowed Obama to pack the federal courts with anti-rights judges.  It is in the best interest of gun owners that Harry Reid and his band of cohorts are sent into the minority, thus making it harder for Obama to appoint more anti-rights justices to the courts.  And the only way to do that is if all gun owners in states with U.S. Senate races turn out and vote for the candidates who support our rights.

Shooting Aids on Defensive Rifles

In the below video, firearms instructor Rob Pincus notes that if you have a defensive rifle, you should know how to use it as an aiming device in unorthodox situations. If you can’t use your sights for any reason, a laser aiming device can help you predict where your bullets will go. Pincus demonstrates the use of a Crimson Trace Railmaster Pro green laser in situations where you have low contrast for a sight, or red-dot can’t be used or is broken, or in situations where you cannot get the rifle into a traditional shooting position.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Virginia Beach City Council Approves Amended Anti-gun Proposal With Legislative Package

Pilot Online reported yesterday that the Virginia Beach City Council approved an amended anti-gun proposal Tuesday night to be included with their legislative requests for the 2015 session of the Virginia General Assembly.   The chief of police, who requested that the council make the request, said this isn't about gun control but a way to make it easier to reunite the owner with his or her lost or stolen firearm:
The agenda item - one of 26 recommendations by the council - came at the behest of police Chief Jim Cervera, faced with the exact problem Frost described. Cervera said the proposal is an administrative change to make it easier to reunite gun owners with their property, not a gun control initiative.
One has to ask, if this is simply a way to reunite the owner with their stolen property, why was the first request to make not reporting a Class 1 Misdemeanor carrying up to a year in jail, and now an undetermined civil penalty?  I had the opportunity to discuss the issue yesterday with Cam Edwards of NRANews's Cam and Company.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

This Hill Article Says it All

Virginia's U.S. Senate race is considered a long shot to send Mark Warner back to the private sector.  But the real prize in 2014 has always been seeing the GOP sending Obama's gun ban supporting Harry Reid packing his majority leader office to the minority.  While many pundits point to signs that the prize is within reach, this article in The Hill should energize gun owners and other voters wanting to turn back many of Obama's unpopular polices to work that much harder until the votes are cast.  The article specifically talks about the Colorado U.S. Senate race but could be about any of the races that the GOP are close to winning.  It's never over until it's over and a good number of election laws that allow voting by mail and to register right up to election day give our opponents the opportunity turn out their voters.
Every registered voter received a ballot in the mail last week, giving both Republicans and Democrats the opportunity to follow turnout in real time and pester holdouts. Coloradans can also register to vote through Election Day, allowing for the possibility that both parties could increase turnout.

Democrats boast that their ground game is better than ever.
So, whether you live in Virginia where the challenger has a hard road ahead in the final two weeks, or Colorado, North Carolina, South Dakota or Kansas, now is the time to get out and do everything you can to see your candidate win, and see Harry Reid lose his job as Obama's top Lieutenant in the U.S. Senate.  You can find an NRA Campaign Field Rep or Election Volunteer Coordinator in your area and volunteer to help by clicking here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

VSSA Annual Meeting Raffle Winners

The VSSA Annual Meeting was held Saturday, October 18, at the Arlington/Fairfax IWLA.  There was a lot of shooting going on throughout the day and we had some winners who received plaques for showing their skills.  The winners were:

Archery: JR Wingfield
Shotgun: Joe Turner
Air Rifle: John Duran
Pistol: JR Wingfield
Rifle: JR Wingfield

Top Gun: JR Wingfield

The drawing for the Annual Raffle was also held and the winners were:

1st Place: Winner of the Sig P938 pistol: Wes Newbrough 
2nd Place: Winner of the Henry Golden: Joe Turner
3rd Place: Winner of the $100.00 Bass Pro Gift Card
: LW Cowley

Congratulations to all the winners!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Virginia Beach City Council Amends Anti-gun Request for General Assembly

In September, VSSA noted that the Virginia Beach City Council planned to request the General Assembly pass a law that would allow them to charge any gun owner who had their firearm stolen with a class one misdemeanor if they did not report it to police within a certain amount of time.  WTKR reported yesterday that the Council and chief of police heard 100% negative feedback on the proposal, causing the council to amend their request.


Council still wants to charge gun owners a civil penalty which still makes them a victim twice. Gun owners in Virginia Beach need to turn out in force at the council meeting to voice opposition to the amended proposal as well. It will do nothing to prevent crime but will be an attack on lawful gun owners.

NRANews Finds What Media Can't About the Negative Impact I-594 Will Have on Washington Gun Owners

Opponents of Washington state's Initiative 594 (I-594) have been pointing out that the simplest of transfers among gun owners would be impacted by the 18 page law if it is approved by voters.  Most recently San Juan Island Sheriff Sgt. Scott Brennan wrote about how residents on the island off Washington's coast would be negatively impacted if the initiative passes:
This means if you want to sell your long time neighbor John that shotgun he has always admired, you, John and the shotgun have catch the ferry to the mainland and drive to a licensed gun dealer in Anacortes or Mt. Vernon.

You have to register the gun. John has to fill out background check papers. You have to pay a ‘reasonable fee’ (whatever the gun dealer wants) You then both go home and wait.

Then 10 days later, you, John and the shotgun again catch the ferry back to the mainland and go back to the dealer, where John finally pays you and you get to hand him the shotgun. That’s SALES.

Now, we get into TRANSFERS. Sooo, the deputies want to surprise a retiring officer with a gun as a gift. The gun owner, the gun and the retiring officer again have to catch the ferry and go the mainland gun dealer. We have to register the gun and the ‘surprised officer’ has to do the background check paperwork. We again pay the ‘reasonable fee’.

Then we all get to go home again and wait ten days. Then we again catch the ferry to the mainland, go back to the gun store and finally ‘surprise’ our coworker with his gift (TRANSFER).

Here is one better. I want to loan my friend Gary my break down shotgun for his motorcycle trip to Alaska. We, once again, have to go to the mainland, drive to Anacortes or Mt. Vernon, register the gun, Gary does the background check and we pay the ‘reasonable fee’.

Ten days later we’re back and I get to ‘loan’ him the gun in front of the dealer. Gary has a great trip and comes back three weeks later. After he comes back, we all have to go back to the mainland, go back to the dealer and now I have to fill out the paperwork and pay the fee to be approved to get my own gun back.
What has been the response of proponents to folks that point out these facts? They simply deny it and move on and the media in Washington have been happy to leave it at that.  So, it has been left to the new media, in this case, Cam Edwards of NRANews, to go to the 18 page document and confirm what Sgt. Brennan and others have been saying.
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These arguments appear to be gaining traction as polls have shown support for the initiative has begun to drop even though supporters have spent millions and still have millions more to spend in the closing weeks.  And, gun ban proponent Gabby Giffords will be closing out her "Protect All Women" tour in Washington just before the election.  Pro-rights forces have their work cut out for them.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Why I-594 is Important to Virginia

This November, an important ballot initiative is before the voters of Washington state.  It is known as I-594 and if it passes, it will make the simple act of handing your firearm to a friend at the range, or an instructor handing a firearm to a trainee, a criminal offense.  I-594 is being sold by billionaires like Mike Bloomberg and Bill Gates, both of whom have contributed the bulk of the $7million raised by supporters of the initiative, as "universal background checks".  But this proposal spanning 18 pages is much more.
You might ask why Virginians should care about I-594.  Virginia doesn't allow ballot initiatives and one half of the Virginia General Assembly is firmly in pro-rights hands and would never pass such a law.  But for how long will that be the case?  Last week's federal court decision throwing out Virginia's Congressional redistricting could have ripple effects on state legislative districts in the not too distant future.  There are voices in Virginia who want a "non-partisan" commission to undertake the task of redistricting every 10 years.

It is not lost on the pro-rights community that I-594 could just be the start of the trouble.  Washington is being used as a test to see if the model can be used in other states that allow the initiative process.  The forces aligned pushing the bill have far more money than the pro-rights side, not withstanding the claim by the anti-rights folks that the NRA has gobs of money and uses it to beat back "commonsense gun safety proposals."  There has been a small family feud in the pro-rights community, with some in Washington fighting I-594 complaining that the NRA is not spending enough to fight the initiative.  But the NRA's strength has not been its money, it has been an active grassroots, and the NRA has had staff in the state working with those grassroots supporters for months.

As the information is getting out, support for the initative, which stood at over 70% in the spring, is beginning to slip, though a majority of those polled still support it.  Now the NRA is up with a new add that points out that law enforcement are opposed to the measure.
As Sebastian wrote earlier today, let's hope that the ad hits the "low-information" voter and continues to chip away at the support in the final 21 days of the election.  Because if this scheme passes, look for it to come to a state near you.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Virginia International Raceway Ranges a Popular Destination

Roanoke's WDBJ 7 reports that the recently opened ranges at the Virginia International Raceway (VIR) have become a popular destination:
"We're seeing an increase in our corporate groups and events, social folks coming out to do something different, so they may never go out on the track, they may not come to spectate," said Sandy Currie, the VIR Resort Operations Director.
VIR, located close to the North Carolina border in Alton, Virginia, between South Boston and Danville, was recently chosen as one of Car and Driver Magazine’s top six road courses in the nation.  The ranges offer folks who may not be race fans another reason to visit the facility.   Most of the ranges are 50 to 100 yards but also includes one  1,000 yard range.  There is also a 360 degree range.

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