By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton
AP Photo: Allen West
I have been blogging since right after 9/11/2001. This blog was originally focused on counter-terrorism and is now much more into politics and the Constitution. I mix my own opinions with reporting. That has always been the case. Now, a little opinion piece I wrote on October 29th could potentially hurt someone I very much admire and would never, ever intentionally harm: Allen West. I am addressing this now as articles are being written on it by major news outlets and it has been picked up everywhere. It has grown legs so-to-speak. I am being attacked from all over the Left, including the EPA on this one. West is being maligned and it is just wrong. This is the article in question: Back Door Gun Control Moves Forward.
I awoke yesterday morning to hundreds of emails as par for the course over here. One of them I recognized as a Tweet by a Leftie troll right away. I tend to read those if they catch my attention and unfortunately, this one did. Here is the article that was sent to me: Allen West Plagiarizes Anti-Gun Control Article?
It is known far and wide out in the Blogosphere that I will let anyone and everyone use whatever I have. I am honored that Allen West would use my post. I spoke with his office and it was an oversight. They applied attribution and were very kind, thoughtful and gracious to me. There was no intent to plagiarize or do anything that was out of line. My thanks to Allen West and his team. They are always professional and upfront in whatever they do.
So, if the Left’s intent was to turn us against each other on this minor post, you failed – epically. The Conservative blogosphere as a whole, shares with each other. We have ethics and morals and we help each other. There is no finer example of that out there than Allen West.
Over the years I have seen and heard a great deal of my material “borrowed” in the interest of supporting Conservative causes. While it’s always nice to get credit for one’s work, I always keep in mind the Ronald Reagan viewpoint on this: “There is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit.” It is more important that the message gets out, than if I might accrue some little fame, for which I have no use or desire. Get the message out. Revive Conservative principles. Restore the nation. When that’s done, there will be plenty of time to argue over who gets the credit. My greatest worry here, is that I may hurt Allen West, which I would never knowingly do.
There seems to be a trend here of trying to catch Conservatives with their hands in the cookie jar. Last week it was Rand Paul, this week it is Allen West. I agree with Mike Huckabee that it is absurd. I’ve also noted an uptick of those posting comments on Conservative sites telling them a picture is fake or a premise is wrong and it hurts our credibility. I believe these are plants who are actively attacking us and trying to turn us against each other. I’ll have no part in it period. It smacks of the private Romney dinner that was used to destroy his reputation
Now on to the post itself. As I said before, it was an opinion piece. I do them all the time – I’m a blogger, that’s what I do. A friend of mine, Bob Owens, wrote his own piece which takes issue with my facts. Bob is a brilliant writer and has a point. I will share with you what he wrote in a moment. My contention here, is that even though the notifications of closures started under Bush, Obama’s hand-picked staff at the EPA have really ratcheted up the war on coal, energy and America in general. Closing the plant sets a precedent that I still contend will be used against the Second Amendment. As to only a small percentage of lead there being used for ammo, that may be true, but it still does not change the fact that Obama has promised to shut down the power and manufacturing plants, which he is doing. Please don’t give me the faulty ‘Bush started it,’ ploy. Progressives on both sides of the political aisle own this one, but frankly, Obama is bringing the end game to fruition – he knows exactly what is being done and what the end result will be.
Here is the section of Bob Owens’ piece:
The big question about the story is the fact that the Herculaneum is a primary lead smelter — meaning they don’t produce or manufacture the type of lead commonly used for ammo. Most ammo manufactures use secondary lead (i.e. recycled lead).
“(T)he majority of the lead used by ammunition manufacturers comes from secondary smelters that recycle lead from car batteries,” Bob Owens of Bearing Arms said.
And many ammo manufactures back this claim and agree that the Herculaneum closure isn’t some trick play from the White House.
President and Operations Manager of Missouri Bullet Company said that fears of ammo shortage in the U.S. was a “tempest in a teapot,” adding that the Doe Run closure will have “no impact” on his company’s ability to produce ammo.
“We have not begun production at rates that this will impact,” Steve Weliver of Cape Fear Arsenal told me in an email.
“At this time we do not anticipate any additional strain on our ability to obtain lead,” Tim Brandt of ATK (Federal Premium, CCI, and Speer ammunition), said in reference to the Herculaneum closure in a company FAQ.
Owens added: Roughly 80 percent of “lead used in the United States secondary market (which is what most ammunition manufacturers use) comes from recycled batteries and another 7%-9% of lead on the market comes from other scrap sources … Only 10% of the lead in the U.S. comes from mining.”
Further, the EPA’s battle with the Mo. plant dates back as far as 2003. True, recent 2008 regulations played a role in the closure, but President Obama wasn’t even inaugurated yet.
Bob is much more knowledgeable than I am in this area and I respect what he has written. But I stand by what I wrote and how I feel about it. After all, it was an opinion piece. The fact of the matter is, the plant didn’t close under Bush, it is closing under Obama. Allen and I both believe that closing this plant and others will set precedent and is intended to lead to gun control and infringement of the Second Amendment.
Wonkette and the other loons out there can just stuff it. The Left can’t seem to make up their minds – one day I’m a spy, the next day, I don’t exist. But you can bet, I’m not going anywhere and I will keep writing.
I want to take a special moment and thank Becket Adams at TheBlaze for reporting on this fairly and truthfully. He treated not only Allen West, but myself as well, with respect and dignity. They are, in my opinion once again, what a true media outlet should be and I respect them and count them as my favorite news source even more after yesterday’s developments.
Regardless of what I wrote, Allen West and his people are innocent in this and are being needlessly hounded over an innocent and very minor mistake. All of us have forgotten to attribute or have made a mistake while writing. Few of us have the backbone, ethics and courage of Allen West. Recognize all the Alinsky tactics being used from ridicule to pick the target, freeze it, personalize it and polarize it, for what they are… just another squirrel moment in politics.
***Note: Thanks to Joshua Cook for a great rebuttal on the issue – Exclusive: What the Media is Not Telling You About Future Lead Ammo Shortages
New American: EPA Closure of Last Lead Smelting Plant to Impact Ammunition Production
A special thanks goes to James Simpson who has also written a terrific piece on this at The American Thinker: Lead Smelters and Leftist Lunacy
Michele Hickford over at Allen West’s site had this to say: Lead smelters and leftist lunacy: Follow-up
***By the way… I highly recommend making Allen West’s site a daily visit. You’ll find some of the very best writing on the web there.