On November 6, 2012 Americans will go to the polls to vote for the next President of the United States of America. Either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney will win this contest.
It has become cliché, but this really is the most important election in our lifetime.
In the last few years, gun owners have celebrated two of the most important Second Amendment rulings the in our nation’s history. Heller v D.C. and McDonald v City of Chicago have set the stage for national reciprocity and the elimination of discriminatory “may issue” concealed carry laws. But we can lose it all and more in the blink of an eye.
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy, both Reagan appointees are 76 years old. Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 79. Stephen Breyer is 74.Clarence Thomas is 64 and Samuel Alito is 62. Losing one vote in a 5-4 ruling means losing your rights. The next President will almost surely appoint one or more justices. Obama’s appointments Sotomayor and Kagan are openly hostile toward your rights, which are hanging by a single vote.
The last time our nation faces such a “generational election” was 32 years ago. In 1980 we had high fuel prices, economic uncertainty, dashed hopes for the future and problems in the middle east, including assaults on our embassies (which are American soil) where American’s died. Sound familiar?
We would decide to continue with the failed policies, weak leadership and appeasement foreign policy of President Jimmy Carter, or the bold, strong, “America is special” vision of Ronald Reagan. We chose Reagan, returned America to greatness, ended the cold war, and ushered in a period of prosperity that lasted nearly 30 years.
Other elections that set the course of our nation not just for years, but for decades, were the election of Dwight Eisenhower after WWII, and Abraham Lincoln. This year is another such vital election for our country.
While there are other candidates on the ballot, they cannot and will not win. Either Romney or Obama will win this election. A vote for anyone else is throwing your vote away.
I have voted for third party candidates. I have voted in primaries for candidates that have already dropped out of the race. I understand voting for the “best” candidate rather than one the big parties are pushing. There are times this is a great idea. But now is not that time.
Votes for Ross Perot enabled Bill Clinton to defeat George H.W. Bush in 1992. Votes for Ralph Nader enabled George W. Bush to defeat Al Gore in 2000. This year’s election is too critical to help the worst candidate win because you think the other candidate is “not good enough.” Failure to vote, or voting for other candidates, will result in supporting the wrong candidate.
Supreme Court Justices are appointed for life. This election will shape your firearms rights not just for a few years, but most likely for the next 20-30 years, and possibly longer. Cast your vote like your rights depend on it, because they do.
Jim Irvine is the Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman, and winner of the NRA-ILA’s 2011 “Jay M. Littlefield Volunteer of the Year Award.”
Without a doubt, you can not think of modern military small arms and not have the image of an AK-47 come to mind. For years, and still to this day, the AK was seen as a ‘commie gun’ or the rifle of terrorists and the proverbial ‘bad guy’. But, today in America you are just as likely to see and AK pattern rifle on the range as you are the American counterpart the AR.Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)
The AK quickly earned its way into the history books by becoming the most prolific small arm ever produced. There are several reasons for this that go beyond its simple, reliable and legendary rugged design, such as the use of the rights to produce AK’s as a diplomatic tool during the Cold War era. Perhaps this use of the AK by then Soviet Russia is why we have such an association with it being the weapon of the enemy, considering every foe America has faced since the Korean War was armed with some variant of the AK design I suppose this would be accurate.
The times have changed though, and with the collapse of the Soviet Union the American market has been flooded with various copies, some licensed, some not, of Mikhail’s original design – and Americans have been buying them.
In the years following the Vietnam War the AK was a novelty item and was limited to very few Class III versions, mainly Type-56 Chinese rifles that found their way from Vietnam. Oddly enough, actual Russian made AK’s were some of the last to make it to the American market. The Chinese were the initial venture capitalists to offer their versions. Companies like Polytech and Norinco introduced various models of the Type-56 to an eager market for many years up until the import ban of 89’ and the assault weapons ban of 1994 that banned both companies. It is important to note that there was a lot of controversy regarding the illegal importation of military arms during the Polytech and Norinco import years. The Chinese AK’s are still considered some of the finest AK’s ever offered to American consumers and are worth many times their initial back page of gun magazine prices of $175.00.
Unfortunately, though the market has opened up it also opened up to some AK’s of a lesser quality in the Post-Ban era. Everyone has heard horror stories of the quality of the WASR warhorse – some of which is earned but most of which is blown out of proportion. Most of the quality concerns of today’s AK’s are mainly an issue of importers such as Century International Arms (who seems to have no concerns over quality or end user safety when assembling their rifles). Most of today’s AK’s are imported into the states as a parts kit – that is that the receiver is cut and disassembled and reassembled on a new receiver sometimes using barrels and trunnions from different rifles. There in lies the biggest issue. Most AK’s based off of the AKM pattern feature a barrel that is pinned into the receiver and trunnion by two pins. Over use wear begins to develop and the holes in the trunnions will open-up more as well as wear of the barrel itself. This of course leads to wider groups and is translated as Minute of Milk Jug by the gun-pros.
So what is the best AK to get you may ask – your mileage may vary, but I have found the newly imported, and new production, Saiga rifles to be quit affordable and amazingly accurate compared to parts guns. In addition to being new, Saigas are also produced by the Izhmash company where Kalashnikov and his son continue to work as weapon designers. There are companies that sell converted, or modified, Saigas as well – such as Arsenal Inc. in Las Vegas, NV, Kreb’s Customs and Redstick to name a few. There are many that swear by the quality of Bulgarian AK’s and will argue till they are red in the face that milled receivers are inherently better and more accurate – that is not the case and it is important to note that the original design of the AK was to be used on a stamped receiver. The only thing a milled AK has over a stamped AK is weight to be honest.
So in the end with some many choices, like Romanian, Yugoslavian, Egyptian, Russian, Chinese, Bulgarian, Polish, Hungarian and American home grown, what’s best for you will be a matter of your own intended use and personal likes and dislikes – but know that when it comes to choosing an AK, there is no wrong choice.