Archive for July 20th, 2009

West Kelowna Fires: The Continuing Story

July 20, 2009

Our area has so far avoided an actual evacuation order and my personal feeling is that we are in little danger of that happening. Although we are in close proximity to the Rose Valley Dam fire, which is burning in the canyon just over the hill behind us, I doubt that it is going to come over the top. The canyon is quite steep and not very accessible to fire fighting crews but they are bombing it constantly with fire retardant. However with the right (or wrong) conditions you can never bet on what a wildfire is going to do.

The local media, particularly radio, is giving constant updates but it is mostly repeat information throughout the day. However you have to stay tuned because you never know when some new information might actually become available. If the evacuation alert gets lifted for your area then you can resume your normal life. For the people who have already been evacuated it is waiting to see if they will be allowed to go back into their homes, if not permanently, at least to pick up things they need and see if they have sustained any damage.

If you are under an evacuation alert you are afraid to leave your home in case an evacuation order comes through and you can’t get back up to your property for a final check.

And of course the rumour mill is in high gear. Mostly it feeds the hope that something good is going to happen; evacuees will be allowed access to their houses, or the highway south will open on some limited basis. But so far everything remains a rumour.

Air quality is much better today and little sign of active smoke from the Rose Valley fire, apparently due to a shift in wind direction.

There is nothing you can do to affect the outcome, so it is stay prepared and hope for the best.


The backdoor push for US gun control: Hope and Change

July 20, 2009

In the U.S election the NRA was very vocal about Barack Obama’s history on gun control legislation; and it wasn’t good. But gun owners, didn’t or wouldn’t listen.

In the Obama love-in that marked this election voters were more taken by the message of ‘”hope and change” and the possibility of electing a young, charismatic, black president to lead their country for the next four year than the reality of past voting records and speeches and interviews made prior to becoming a presidential candidate¬† ‘

It was as if the public didn’t want to hear anything that might flaw the perception of a president who would do everything for everyone. And gun owners were no exception.

Obama said that he supported gun rights and that was good enough. But to accept that he had become a supporter of the 2nd amendment it was necessary to ignore his past voting record and public statements which were as anti-gun as the best of them.

Since his election, President Obama has continued to publicly state his support for gun owners, but looking at many of the people surrounding him, as well as some of his comments on related issues, makes it difficult to reconcile his actions with his newly acquired pro-gun stance.

Some of his surroundees:.

Vice President Joe Biden
Chief of Staff: Rahm Emanuel
Attorney General: Eric Holder
Secretary of Education: Arne Duncan
Health and Human Services: Kathleen Sebelius
Drug Czar: Seattle Chief of Police Gil Kerlikowske
Legal adviser to the US Department of State: Harold Koh
Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA): Cass Sunstein (not confirmed yet)

Not a group that a US gun owner would want to rely on to protect his or her 2nd amendment rights and I have probably missed some (notably Hillary Clinton).

But while Obama personally continues to publicly maintain his 2nd amendment support he chose as his appointment to the US Supreme Court, Judge Sonia Sotomayor who also has a pro-gun control history.

Will these appointees drive an anti-gun agenda in Washington?

Well, back in February, 2009, Eric Holder talked about resuming the assault weapon ban and he used as his justification the drug violence in Mexico.

The Obama administration will seek to reinstate the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004 during the Bush administration, Attorney General Eric Holder said today.

“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,” Holder told reporters.

Holder said that putting the ban back in place would not only be a positive move by the United States, it would help cut down on the flow of guns going across the border into Mexico, which is struggling with heavy violence among drug cartels along the border.

“I think that will have a positive impact in Mexico, at a minimum.” Holder said at a news conference on the arrest of more than 700 people in a drug enforcement crackdown on Mexican drug cartels operating in the U.S.


During his confirmation hearing, Holder told the Senate Judiciary Committee about other gun control measures the Obama administration may consider.

“I think closing the gun show loophole, the banning of cop-killer bullets and I also think that making the assault weapons ban permanent, would be something that would be permitted under Heller,” Holder said, referring to the Supreme Court ruling in Washington, D.C. v. Heller, which asserted the Second Amendment as an individual’s right to own a weapon.

Sort of, ‘I’m all for gun owner’s rights – right after I pass a few little legislative surprises that I think I can slip by Heller’.

And now the government is using the Mexican government’s problem with their drug cartels as an opportunity to further attack civilian gun ownership in the US, using a government study whose numbers seem a bit suspect.

As time goes on those gun owners who voted for hope and change may find that there has been change but not that which they had hoped for.