Shooting News Weekly debuted last Thursday as a new firearms blog. It’s a new venture by the Outdoor Wire Network. They’re launching this new blog with former long-time The Truth About Guns editor Dan Zimmerman at the helm.
Shooting News Weekly remains a new venture and is just a baby at this point. We’ll see in the coming months as it grows what its tone and tenor will become. Since the Bruen decision came out in the summer of 2022, it’s been a very busy time for bloggers and gun rights activists. Very busy indeed.
The SNW has another name besides Zimmerman that you may recognize: John Boch. I accepted an invitation to join the crew at SNW on a part-time basis, generating content on a wide range to topics ranging from news analysis and commentary to reviews to social commentary. Oh yeah, and gun rights activism.
It’s be another iron in the fire for me in addition to my work in Illinois with Guns Save Life.
As a kid, I have fond memories reading magazines like the NRA’s American Rifleman, as well as Guns & Ammo. Like many, I drooled over the pictures and was amazed at those guys who shared so much for readers. I remember the old writers like Ed Nowicki, Mas Ayoob and countless others. They were like the gods of the gun community back then.
And then I began writing nationally for The Truth About Guns, kind of like my old role models. Yeah, trust me, it’s not glamorous and we’re not all knowing. Some of us might be all-learning, but we’re never all-knowing, trust me.
I started at TTAG with my first post under my own byline in 2011, and started writing there professionally in August 2016. My writing for TTAG put me in front of more eyeballs every week than those old dead tree pubs had monthly subscribers back in the heyday of Nowicki and Ayoob in the 70s and early 80s.
1650ish stories later, I’m now the senior writer at TTAG with Zimmerman’s exit. They’re excited to keep me around even if I’m writing some stuff for SNW, and they like having a full-time gun rights activist on staff. After all, I usually net at least two or three of the top ten stories by readers each year.
Robert Farago, the founder of TTAG, recruited me based upon some of my writing in comments at TTAG and my writing with the GSL website. Zimmerman interviewed me in a restaurant in St. Louis long years ago and I started writing for money for them a few days later.
It’s been fun. It also gives Guns Save Life a lot of national exposure and has brought GSL some unique opportunities which have helped us over and over to further our mission defending your right to defend yourself.
One recent example? Remember when Springfield Police (and the Sangamon County State’s Attorney Dan Wright) wouldn’t return a Springfield resident’s gun after seizing it because her FOID recently expired. This despite the fact she had gotten her FOID brought back into good standing?
Well, they continued to drag their feet. So I contacted them. I warned them what might happen.
At first blush, Ms. Rojas case certainly has a rich potential for mass appeal as a story of the government making matters worse for a little person. A single, female senior citizen – a veteran who served her country at that – living in a not-so-great part of town who calls police to a prowler. The police come, check out the prowler call, then take her only effective means of self-defense before they go.If this case is as it seems – and I’ll freely admit I’ve only got her half of the story but she does seem very credible – this seems like a no-brainer for you and your office to make this potential embarrassment go away by returning her gun.
And all of them, including Dan Wright, blew me off after multiple emails.
So I wrote about it at TTAG. Oh my. What a difference a little national publicity does.
Protecting and Serving: Springfield, IL Police Seized Homeowner’s Gun After Investigating Her Report of a Prowler
“We’re from the government and we’re here to help.” Those words should strike fear into the heart of any American. Too often government “protects and serves” the little people – good and hard – making any situation worse.
Imagine you’re a senior citizen living as a single woman in a not-so-great neighborhood in Illinois’ capital city. You’re in the bathroom and you hear what sounds like someone trying to break out a kitchen window to gain entry. You holler for the would-be intruder to go away and call 911.
You’re grateful when police show up after just a few minutes. They look around and find no evidence of the potential home intruder. After chatting with the somewhat helpful officers for a few minutes, they ask if you’ve got a gun. You answer in the affirmative, thinking you’ve got nothing to hide. After all, you’re familiar with firearms from your time serving your nation in the armed forces in your youth.
The only problem is your FOID card expired recently and you didn’t know it. The cops then take your Smith & Wesson pistol, a loaded magazine, and your holster. “Get your FOID renewed and then you can come get it back,” they tell you
Fast forward a few of months. Rena Rojas now has a freshly-printed and valid Firearms Owner ID card, so she calls the Springfield PD to arrange to pick up her gun. The “public servants” at the local cop shop give her the runaround and tell her to call the State’s Attorney’s office.
She does, and at first she couldn’t even get anyone to talk with her about the case. Finally, after a few calls, she gets an office assistant who takes a message for Sangamon County State’s Attorney Dan Wright.
He doesn’t call back.
He’s probably a busy guy.
So Ms. Rojas lathers, rinses and repeats. Over and over again. Over the course of a couple of months or more, she leaves message after message. The best thing she hears is that approval to release the gun “is on his desk,” referring to Mr. Wright.
Then she called Guns Save Life pleading for help…
Within two hours of the post going live, Dan Wright called Rena Rojas. What timing, right? She called me minutes later as I drove down to the Decatur GSL meeting and caught me as I drove past Clinton on Rt. 51. I still remember her call to tell me how Mr. Wright didn’t apologize for how poorly things were handled, but he did tell her they would finalize the process and she would have her gun back most Ricki-tick. I expected him to take action fairly quickly but I never dreamed it would happen within a couple of hours.
A few days later she picked it up.
I found out the Illinois Republican party leadership caught flack for Wright’s mishandling of the case which quickly became a national story. I’m not sure where else the calls came from, maybe even the National RNC, but Dan Wright (now Judge Wright) caught a major dose of “you better fix this right now” from all sorts of “important to him” folks.
And a few days after Rena got her gun back, we (as GSL) presented Rena with not only a home defense shotgun of the 20ga. variety, but also a subscription to the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network. At the time I wrote, “She’s probably never going to call 911 for a prowler ever again. If she does call the police, it’ll be to report a dead perp in her kitchen. At least now she’ll have the best legal defense money can buy to explain to investigators precisely why she didn’t call 911 sooner.”
Of course Mr. State’s Attorney wasn’t happy with me, but if I’m not causing consternation for those who aren’t doing the right thing (no pun intended Mr. Wright), then I’m not doing my job.
That’s just an example of the benefits of having a national megaphone for GSL to make a difference. You could be the next person who benefits from these unique resources GSL can bring to bear on your behalf.
Bottom line? GSL will now have two megaphones with which to spread the word or to call for help. If you’re not a regular at The Truth About Guns, become one. And go visit Shooting News Weekly (dot com). Bookmark it. You’ll find some stuff there you like in the coming days and weeks.