- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 29, 2013

Wait, they want this old M-1? Firearms collectors are livid over President Obama’s new executive action that bans the re-importation of military surplus firearms by private buyers and sellers. Vice President Joseph R. Biden delivered the news, framing it as a “common sense” measure.

Collectors, competitors and historic re-enactors are caught in the crossfire, says Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, a Washington state-based grass-roots group. Specifically, the action will prevent recovery of thousands of military-surplus M-1 Garand rifles prized by the historically minded, Mr. Gottleib says, noting that the rifles were loaned or donated to South Korea decades ago.

“This is an outrage, and the only people being hurt are law-abiding citizens. If there were any doubt about the level of anti-gun extremism in the Obama administration, this announcement just put those doubts to rest,” declares Mr. Gottlieb, stressing that pending legislation — the “Collectible Firearms Protection Act” sponsored by Rep. Cynthia M. Lummis, Wyoming Republican — would remedy the situation.

“This new prohibition will have far-reaching effects on all kinds of curio and relic firearms. Such firearms have considerable historic significance and value to American firearms aficionados, and there is no evidence that such firearms have ever been favored by criminals,” Mr. Gottlieb says.

“And Joe Biden is likely to have real trouble pandering himself as a reasonable gun owner when he decides to run for president in 2016, because gun owners will not forget his involvement in this prohibition,” he adds.


Where are the high-profile conservatives this weekend? A small battalion surfaces in the Sunshine State for the Americans for Prosperity Foundation’s “Defending the American Dream Summit” at a splashy resort in Orlando. Everyone will bask in the glories of limited government and free market thinking, no doubt.

Among the many luminaries on the podium: Republican Sens. Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Ron Johnson; Govs. Rick Perry of Texas, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Rick Scott of Florida; commentator Michelle Malkin; radio hosts Dana Loesch and Lars Larson; Fox News host Greg Gutfeld; plus American Enterprise Institute President Arthur Brooks; PJTV’s Bill Whittle; and David Horowitz, founder of the David Horowitz Freedom Center.


Author Dinesh D’Souza, one of the driving forces behind the surprise blockbuster documentary “2016: Obama’s America” has announced that the film’s esteemed producer Gerald Molen protested the treatment of the film by the Academy Awards committee, which denied it an Oscar nomination. Mr. Molen pointed out those who vet films for nominations were “led by three well-known progressives, notably that uber-liberal, Michael Moore,” Mr. D’Souza writes in TheWrap.com.

“I was most gratified to learn that in their recent elections, academy voters decided to oust Moore from his position as a decider of which documentaries should make the cut for Oscar contention. This is a great victory for the American people and the first glimmer of hope that future academy voting will look less like a North Korean election.”


We’re touchy-feely on a global level. Several large scale “happiness” indexes have emerged in recent years from the United Nations and other sources, measuring the quality of life and national well-being, among many things. Cute, but not necessarily productive. A new report from the Competitive Enterprise Institute challenges the idea of using feel-good happiness indices that aggregate emotional fare for political purposes.

“The idea is that if governments attach significant value to this happiness research and data, they could formulate policies that would attempt to maximize aggregate happiness,” say authors Blake Taylor and Iain Murray. “The first step toward this central planning approach to happiness would be to supplement or replace traditional economic performance measures, such as gross domestic product with one that focuses on subjective well-being.”

Should America worry? Uh, yeah. The authors note some states also have started down this path by putting forward a “Genuine Progress Indicator” that attempts to gauge the citizen success. See the eight-page analysis here: Cei.org; check under the “studies” heading.

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