Thursday, March 10, 2005


It was shooting time, and Deborah Courtney politely excused herself to reapply her deep pink lipstick. She headed to the ladies room, black Prada purse in hand. She arrived at the indoor shooting range in a black suit and wine-colored blouse, patterned black nylons and black boots with 4-inch heels. Sort of the stylishly functional business look she had the day she was raped nearly five years ago.

The brutal sexual assault transformed Courtney into one of Orange County's most tireless advocates for victims' rights and a well-known Second Amendment activist who supports the right of women to defend themselves by using firearms as "equalizers." Her lipstick reapplied, Courtney pulled some neon-pink earplugs out of an Elizabeth Arden cosmetics case and wrapped her manicured fingers around the barrel of "Rock,'' her 9 mm Glock. "Oh, I forget to breathe," Courtney told instructor T.J. Johnston after firing at a target 15 feet away at Evan's Gunsmithing World in Orange. "Inhale as you bring (the gun) up, exhale and then fire," Johnston corrected her.

Courtney relishes her role as a "girly girl" shooter in a male-dominated arena, but her aim is dead serious. In addition to pushing to strengthenMegan's Law by requiring that information on convicted sex offenders be posted on the Internet, she advocates making it easier for Californians to obtain concealed-weapons permits. "This is about much more than me becoming proficient in firearms just for the hell of it," said Courtney, a 44-year- old mortgage broker. "This is about empowering women to be able to defend themselves, rather than becoming victims of crime. Sometime I get angry that I have to spend all this time doing (advocacy), but God puts good people in bad places sometimes to see how they handle the adversity, and to see if they will rise up to the challenge of helping others."

The Orange County Register does not identify victims of sexual assault, but Courtney granted permission for this story. Her desire to put a face on female victims of violent crime has won kudos. "She truly has a passion for changing the way victims are traditionally viewed, and her entire paradigm is turning victims into victors," says Judi Fouladi, a criminal-defense attorney who met Courtney through the Aliso Viejo Republican Women Federation. "Deborah's entire focus is assisting those who are primarily in a psychological state of extreme emotional trauma, and giving them a sense of hope and the future."

The air was thick with the stench of gunpowder when Courtney put her Glock back into her black nylon range bag, next to her gun belt with the rhinestone-flower buckle.

More here


Ted Nugent, self-proclaimed "Mother Teresa with a Glock," appeared at Sunday's Dixie Deer Classic to deliver a "whack 'em and stack 'em" call to arms among American outdoorsmen. His "big bubba campfire" gave him a standing ovation. The three take-home lessons from "The Nuge":

* Persuade the state to legalize hunting on Sundays: "You can go to a topless bar on Sunday. Is that more religious?"

* Persuade everybody at work to be a card-carrying member of the National Rifle Association: "If you're not a member of the NRA, you're no friend of mine."

* Persuade your kid's school principal to let you bring in an M16 to show-and-tell to teach children about environmental stewardship: "They will handle them. Will they handle them under your supervision or otherwise?"

Uncle Ted also had some advice for the kiddies. "Kids, you say that war is not the answer," the father of four intoned. "That's what Ozzy [Osbourne] says, and he's retarded." Nugent, an anti-drug rock guitarist and best-selling author of the cookbook "Kill It and Grill It," headlined the state's premier hunting expo, now in its 25th year. The weekend event showcased "high maintenance camo" -- camouflage designed for and by women -- and a gun sling invented by a father-and-son team. It wrapped up Sunday, with nearly 20,000 attendees, coinciding with the Woman's Club of Raleigh's Spring Antiques Show at the N.C. State Fairgrounds. Other featured speakers at the Classic included Charlton Heston's replacement at the NRA, Kayne Robinson, a fast-drawing handgun artist who can split playing cards mid-air, and a world-class wild game caller.

The Classic's sponsor, the Wake County Wildlife Club, had been working since 1999 to score Nugent, said admissions manager Larry Tysor, who helped negotiate the staunch conservative's $25,000 fee. Nugent said he would donate the fee to his Kamp for Kids in Brighton, Mich., where children can get certified in how to operate a bow. "He's the man that stands up for all of us," Tysor said. "All of us guys in sports."

Wearing a wild animal print sleeveless shirt, Nugent, 57, spewed venom about the "Dan Rather-ing going on out there against our rights to be part of the two-fanged law of the natural world," in between sips of bottled water. "Whenever you hear the words 'animal rights,' you just need to go out and kill a bunch of stuff," said Nugent, who keeps a laser-shooting rig in his dressing room.

Criticized by some as bloodthirsty and brash, the Motor City Madman, who lives in Crawford, Texas, and attended a private inaugural event for the president, says he's weighing a bid for governor of Michigan. After the 40-minute talk, John Dale Wiles, 7, of Elkin presented Nugent with a knife that his father carved out of a deer horn. Nugent promised to "get it bloody" and reminded the young hunter to do his chores. Later, he signed autographs for a line backed up to the wild turkey and water fowl feed stand. Rob Walker, a countertop installer in Raleigh wearing a patriotic windbreaker, camouflage pants and a baseball cap stitched with "Whackmaster," said Nugent refuses to candycoat the truth. "You don't like what Ted says, don't listen," said Walker, whose 6-year-old jams to Nugent's "Stranglehold."

More here

SAF applauds California appeals court dismissal of gun lawsuits: "The lawsuit had originally been dismissed by California Superior Court Judge Vincent P. DiFiglia in March 2003. The lawsuits, filed by Berkeley, Compton, Inglewood, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco, and West Hollywood, and the counties of San Mateo and Alameda, alleged that gun makers engaged in unfair trade practices and that resulted in criminal misuse of firearms, causing a 'public nuisance.' The First Appellate District, Division One, in the Court of Appeals of the State of California upheld the dismissal."

No comments: