Using Water As A Weapon Of War

Herschel Smith · 03 Aug 2014 · 9 Comments

Next City: In a war, anything can be a weapon. In a particularly ruthless war, such as the conflict that has been raging in Syria for more than three years, those weapons are often turned against civilians, making any semblance of normal life impossible. Such is the case, experts say, with the way the nation’s water supply is being manipulated to inflict suffering on the population. According to an article posted by Chatham House, a London-based independent policy institute, water…… [read more]

Duck Hunting With Bullets

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 8 months ago

Sometimes I feel inadequate to be a gun blogger.  For instance, there is a new category of weapon with which I lack familiarity.

For years I have ruminated on what it is about (some) Americans that make gun ownership such a “third rail” issue. I have never heard any person say we should remove weapons from hunters or and sports shooters. One of my grandsons shot his first with a bow and arrow.

I have never heard anyone state that people should not be allowed to own a weapon for home defense.

The following question is never answered by the NRA: “What would justify a regular American citizen having super-assault weapons and massive ammo magazines?” I ask again: Why is this question never answered?

I don’t know what a “super-assault weapon” is, but if you can tell me, I’ll tell you if I need it.  I do know this.  I want one.

On to other things though.

Rep. Mike Thompson, the California Democrat charged with crafting gun safety policies in the House of Representatives, keeps talking about ducks.

More specifically, duck hunting.

“Federal law prohibits me from having more than three shells in my shotgun when I’m duck hunting. So federal law provides more protection for the ducks than it does for citizens,” Thompson said earlier this month during a panel discussion on gun violence at the liberal Center for American Progress.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, also on the panel, was delighted by the line. “That’s a very powerful point,” Emanuel said. “My instinct is we’re gonna hear more of this line going forward.”

[ ... ]

“My point is, when people say, ‘How dare you talk about putting limits on how many shells I can have in my gun?’ — that somehow this is unconstitutional, it’s an affront to, you know, God, country and apple pie — I think it’s important to point out that this isn’t something that’s new,” Thompson told TPM last week. “This is something that we already do and it’s something that we’ve done in the past.”

Brad Bortner, chief of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s’ Migratory Bird Program, told TPM hunters have generally been “supportive of the regulations” because they preserve waterfowl populations that they care about.

You don’t say?  You mean to tell me that states restrict the kinds and capacities of firearms in order to protect the population of game animals and thus their revenue?  Pretty good idea, huh?  Nothing to do with the second amendment, but a good idea nonetheless.  But now on to the learning experience.

And the duck-hunting line does appear to be catching on among Democrats. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) used it at the same news conference where Durbin spoke.

“These are good law-abiding citizens,” McCarthy said. “They want to hunt. They want to go duck hunting. And the guns they use, duck hunting, you’re only allowed three bullets.”

There you have it.  Duck hunting with bullets.

UPDATE: Thanks David.

Prior:

High Magazine Clips And The Shoulder Thing That Goes Up

Automatic Bullets In Rapid-Fire Magazine Clips

What Do I Have To Do To Get Called A Misogynist Neanderthal?

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 8 months ago

We discussed this pitiful character in New York who just couldn’t bring himself to keep his guns in self defense.  He would rather puke and throw his guns away.  Read the story again if you need to.

David Codrea said he was a “panic-stricken, vomiting incompetent.”  Say Uncle called him a “Nancy.”  I called him an “effeminate weasel.”  But at Say Uncle, Breda comments:

I would like SayUncle to use less of the language that makes him look like a misogynist Neanderthal.

This *is* one of the stereotypes you cousin’-humpin’ redneck bible-thumpin’ bitter clingers are constantly fighting against, no?

I try so hard, and I certainly have the credentials.  So what do I have to do to get called a misogynist Neanderthal?

Developments Concerning Women In Combat

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 8 months ago

Women in combat, and in fact, in special operations.

The commander of U.S. special operations said Tuesday he expects to see women in the elite commando forces now that the Pentagon is allowing them to serve in combat.

Adm. William McRaven, head of the US special operations command, said he was “fully supportive” of the decision to lift the ban on women in combat.

I’ll tell you what.  Obama has himself some lackeys doesn’t he?  Adm. McRaven is remarkable.  But no more so than the current Commandant of the Marine Corps.

In his first interview since the Pentagon opened ground combat jobs to women, the commandant of the Marine Corps said some occupations may ultimately remain closed if only a small number qualify.

The Marines will not lower physical standards for certain specialties, Gen. James Amos told USA TODAY. “We can’t afford to lower standards,” he said. “We can’t make adjustments on what’s required on the battlefield.

“That’s not why America has a Marine Corps,” he said.

Sounds like he isn’t so much of a lackey, huh?  But wait.

The Pentagon last week ordered that the services provide the opportunity for women to enter all fields, including infantry, tanks, artillery and other combat arms.

The entire process could take years as the services develop and validate “gender neutral” standards. The secretary of Defense would have to approve any fields that remain closed to women.

“If the numbers are so small with regards to qualification, then there very may well be (job fields) that remain closed,” Amos said. “Those will be few and far between.”

Deploying only one or two female servicemembers in a unit, for example, would make it difficult for the women to succeed. “You want to have assimilation … so our females can mentor one another,” Amos said.

“Difficult for women to succeed.”  We wouldn’t want that.  After all, that’s what the military is there for – to allow women to succeed.

I’ve already discussed my own (and my son’s) view of women in combat.  I can’t add that much to it except to say that it’s the most stupid social project the American progressives have ever conceived.  But let someone else tell you that as well.

America has been creeping closer and closer to allowing women in combat, so Wednesday’s news that the decision has now been made is not a surprise. It appears that female soldiers will be allowed on the battlefield but not in the infantry. Yet it is a distinction without much difference: Infantry units serve side-by-side in combat with artillery, engineers, drivers, medics and others who will likely now include women. The Pentagon would do well to consider realities of life in combat as it pushes to mix men and women on the battlefield.

Many articles have been written regarding the relative strength of women and the possible effects on morale of introducing women into all-male units. Less attention has been paid to another aspect: the absolutely dreadful conditions under which grunts live during war.

Most people seem to believe that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have merely involved driving out of a forward operating base, patrolling the streets, maybe getting in a quick firefight, and then returning to the forward operating base and its separate shower facilities and chow hall. The reality of modern infantry combat, at least the portion I saw, bore little resemblance to this sanitized view.I served in the 2003 invasion of Iraq as a Marine infantry squad leader. We rode into war crammed in the back of amphibious assault vehicles. They are designed to hold roughly 15 Marines snugly; due to maintenance issues, by the end of the invasion we had as many as 25 men stuffed into the back. Marines were forced to sit, in full gear, on each other’s laps and in contorted positions for hours on end. That was the least of our problems.

The invasion was a blitzkrieg. The goal was to move as fast to Baghdad as possible. The column would not stop for a lance corporal, sergeant, lieutenant, or even a company commander to go to the restroom. Sometimes we spent over 48 hours on the move without exiting the vehicles. We were forced to urinate in empty water bottles inches from our comrades.

Many Marines developed dysentery from the complete lack of sanitary conditions. When an uncontrollable urge hit a Marine, he would be forced to stand, as best he could, hold an MRE bag up to his rear, and defecate inches from his seated comrade’s face.

During the invasion, we wore chemical protective suits because of the fear of chemical or biological weapon attack. These are equivalent to a ski jumpsuit and hold in the heat. We also had to wear black rubber boots over our desert boots. On the occasions the column did stop, we would quickly peel off our rubber boots, desert boots and socks to let our feet air out.

Due to the heat and sweat, layers of our skin would peel off our feet. However, we rarely had time to remove our suits or perform even the most basic hygiene. We quickly developed sores on our bodies.

When we did reach Baghdad, we were in shambles. We had not showered in well over a month and our chemical protective suits were covered in a mixture of filth and dried blood. We were told to strip and place our suits in pits to be burned immediately. My unit stood there in a walled-in compound in Baghdad, naked, sores dotted all over our bodies, feet peeling, watching our suits burn. Later, they lined us up naked and washed us off with pressure washers.

And what sensible women wouldn’t want something like that?  So that women can experience the ultimate thrill of being shot at, going a month without a bath, getting their limbs blown off, and defecating near the faces of their colleagues, the evisceration of the U.S. military continues unabated so that the social engineers can have a legacy.

It’s a great country.

The ATF Doesn’t Know Who Has Guns

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 8 months ago

Standard-Examiner:

In the fictional world of television police dramas, a few quick clicks on a computer lead investigators to the owner of a gun recovered at a bloody crime scene. Before the first commercial, the TV detectives are on the trail of the suspect.

Reality is a world away. There is no national database of guns. Not of who owns them, how many are sold annually or even how many exist.

[ ... ]

When police want to trace a gun, it’s a decidedly low-tech process.

“It’s not CSI and it’s not a sophisticated computer system,” said Charles J. Houser, who runs the ATF’s National Tracing Center in Martinsburg, W. Va.

When police trace a gun, the search starts by sending all the information they have about the gun – including the manufacturer and model – to an office worker in a low-slung brick building just off the Appalachian Trial in rural West Virginia, about 90 miles northwest of Washington.

ATF officials first call the manufacturer, who reveals which wholesaler the company used. That may lead to a call to a second distributor before investigators can pinpoint the retail gun dealer who first sold the weapon. Gun dealers are required to keep a copy of federal forms that detail who buys what gun and a log for guns sold. They are required to share that information with the ATF if a gun turns up at a crime scene and authorities want it traced. Often, gun shops fax the paperwork to the ATF.

That’s where the paper trail ends.

In about 30 percent of cases, one or all of those folks have gone out of business and ATF tracers are left to sort through potentially thousands of out-of-business records forwarded to the ATF and stored at the office building that more closely resembles a remote call center than a law enforcement operation.

The records are stored as digital pictures that can only be searched one image at a time. Two shifts of contractors spend their days taking staples out of papers, sorting through thousands of pages and scanning or taking pictures of the records.

“Those records come in all different shapes and forms. We have to digitally image them, we literally take a picture of it,” Houser said. “We have had rolls of toilet paper or paper towels … because they (dealers) did not like the requirement to keep records.”

The tracing center receives about a million out-of-business records every month and Houser runs the center’s sorting and imaging operations from 6 a.m. to midnight, five days a week. The images are stored on old-school microfilm reels or as digital images. But there’s no way to search the records, other than to scroll through one picture of a page at a time.

“We are … prohibited from amassing the records of active dealers,” Houser said. “It means that if a dealer is in business he maintains his records.”

Good.  This is the way I want it kept.  Any further collating, storing, amassing, categorizing or any other kind of analysis means that the federal government would have a national gun registry.  And that would be unconstitutional … and immoral.

The Bible does contain a few direct references to weapons control. There were many times throughout Israel’s history that it rebelled against God (in fact, it happened all the time). To mock His people back into submission to His Law, the Lord would often use wicked neighbors to punish Israel’s rebellion. Most notable were the Philistines and the Babylonians. 1 Samuel 13:19-22 relates the story: “Not a blacksmith could be found in the whole land of Israel, because the Philistines had said, “Otherwise the Hebrews will make swords or spears!” So all Israel went down to the Philistines to have their plowshares, mattocks, axes, and sickles sharpened…So on the day of battle not a soldier with Saul and Jonathan had a sword or spear in this hand; only Saul and his son Jonathan had them.” Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon also removed all of the craftsmen from Israel during the Babylonian captivity (2 Kings 24:14). Both of these administrations were considered exceedingly wicked including their acts of weapons control.

As I said.  Gun control is the action of wicked governments.  A national gun registry grants the government too much power, too much information, and too much control.

And This Is Your Brain On Guns

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 8 months ago

NY Daily News, via David Codrea:

Late one night in the spring of 2008, I was jolted awake by the sound of yet another a burglar trying to break into my Atlanta home. We’d already had a series of scary close calls, but this time I was ready: I had staged my shotgun and a box of shells in a broom closet right by the back door, next to the umbrellas.

While my girlfriend called the police, I ran into the kitchen and looked out the window just in time to see a human form rush to hide in the shadows behind my car. I grabbed the gun and fumbled for the ammunition in the half-light, spilling most on the ground, but finally found one cartridge I was able to slide into the chamber.

I worked the action furiously, once, twice, and again, realizing dimly as I did that in doing so I was actually ejecting the shell, unspent, and basically unloading the weapon. But the unmistakable sound of the pump carried to the backyard, and, in a flash, the prowler was gone — a blur of raggedy jeans and tattered flannel sliding across the hood of my car and vaulting over the picket fence into the night.

I couldn’t make out his face or tell if he was armed. The next moment I was in the bathroom, vomiting hot puke all over the floor and toilet, water from the bowl splashing my face and eyes. Later, my girlfriend told me I had made her feel safe, protected. I just felt ill.

Codrea calls him an effeminate weasel, or something like that.  It does cohere with what Amanda Ripley says happens when your brain gets around guns.

But the research on actual gunfights, the kind that happen not in a politician’s head but in fluorescent-lit stairwells and strip-mall restaurants around America, reveals something surprising. Winning a gunfight without shooting innocent people typically requires realistic, expensive training and a special kind of person, a fact that has been strangely absent in all the back-and-forth about assault-weapon bans and the Second Amendment.

[ ... ]

Under sudden attack, the brain does not work the way we think it will. Millbern has seen grown men freeze under threat, like statues dropped onto the set of a horror movie. He has struggled to perform simple functions at shooting scenes, like unlocking a switch on a submachine gun while directing people to safety. “I have heard arguments that an armed teacher could and would respond to an active shooter in the same way a cop would. That they would hear gunshots, run toward the sound and then engage the shooter,” Millbern writes in an e-mail from Baghdad, where he now works as a bomb-detection K-9 handler. “I think this is very unrealistic.”

Unrealistic.  But maybe not so much for this wheelchair-bound veteran (h/t Marooned):

A U.S. army veteran who uses a wheelchair confronted a burglar with a pistol, scaring the intruder away from his home.

Mark Sikes of Bogart, Georgia, tells MyFoxAtlanta.com that he was watching TV when he heard a noise at his door and saw a man appear in his hallway.

Or this mother:

Investigators are looking for three burglary suspects who forced themselves into a Magnolia home where there was a mother and her 6 year-old child inside.

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office says around 9:30 last night, they were called out to a home on the 18700 block of Mink Lake Drive in Magnolia. Investigators say three male suspects went into the home where they found a 33-year-old female with a pistol in her hand and her 6-year-old child alone inside.

Investigators say the mother fired the pistol at the burglars and thought she hit one of them, but they all escaped.

Rock on, folks.  Don’t listen to Amanda, or the weasel either.

Guns Tags:

Arkansas Town Unleashes SWAT To Patrol Streets

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 8 months ago

Paragould, Arkansas, that is:

In response to a recent increase in crime, Paragould Mayor Mike Gaskill and Police Chief Todd Stovall offered residents at a town hall meeting Thursday night at West View Baptist Church what could be considered an extreme solution — armed officers patrolling the streets on foot.

Stovall told the group of almost 40 residents that beginning in 2013, the department would deploy a new street crimes unit to high crime areas on foot to take back the streets.

“[Police are] going to be in SWAT gear and have AR-15s around their neck,” Stovall said. “If you’re out walking, we’re going to stop you, ask why you’re out walking, check for your ID.”

Stovall said while some people may be offended by the actions of his department, they should not be.

“We’re going to do it to everybody,” he said. “Criminals don’t like being talked to.”

Gaskill backed Stovall’s proposed actions during Thursday’s town hall.

“They may not be doing anything but walking their dog,” he said. “But they’re going to have to prove it.”

[ ... ]

“To ask you for your ID, I have to have a reason,” he said. “Well, I’ve got statistical reasons that say I’ve got a lot of crime right now, which gives me probable cause to ask what you’re doing out. Then when I add that people are scared…then that gives us even more [reason] to ask why are you here and what are you doing in this area.”

Stovall said he did not consult an attorney before announcing his plans to combat crime. He even remained undaunted when comparing his proposed tactics with martial law, explaining that “I don’t know that there’s ever been a difference” between his proposals and martial law.

Statistics isn’t a good enough reason to stop citizens on the streets.  As best as I know, Arkansas is a so-called stop and identify state, but only for loitering.  Additionally, even in stop and identify states, the stop has to be a valid “Terry stop.”  It cannot be because you just want to, or because crime is high in a given area.

But beyond the unconstitutionality of this approach, it is one more step in the militarization of police tactics in the United States.  And don’t expect the courts to stop this kind of thing – they agree with the police and almost always side with them.  They are, after all, both part of the “criminal justice system.”

I asked my former Marine son to survey this picture and tell me what he thought.

His response:

Fat ass Johnny-Soldier-Boy wannbe, who has no business walking around the streets like that.  He should consider himself to be a peace officer, and if he wants to do CQB or room clearing, he should sign up, get the training, fly across the pond and do it for real.  Pitiful.  Just pitiful.

Pitiful indeed.  If the crime is so high that patrols are needed, then the Governor of the state should call out the National Guard.  Otherwise, the police should simply do their jobs.

Mental Health Checks Are Not The Answer To Gun Violence

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 8 months ago

The current focus by the politicians in their quest for social and human factors solutions to gun violence appears to be two-fold.  First, there is a call for universal background checks.  Even the NRA has indicated potential approval of this approach (while there is still vacillation and equivocation within the ranks of the NRA on this issue).  While this is tempting, it won’t solve any problems, and instead it will lead to a national gun registry.

But if there is vacillation on the issue of universal background checks, there appears to be growing consistency in the call for more intrusive and comprehensive mental health checks for firearms ownership.  Progressive and conservative alike, from politician to random interviewee on the street, casting aspersions on mentally troubled people and pointing to mental health screenings as the problem and solution, respectively, is the one area of agreement.

Walter Russell Mead weighs in in the affirmative on this problem – solution coupling:

Love it or loathe it, legislative gun control is unlikely to have much impact on violence American style. But there is another door to progress: taking care of America’s mentally ill. The good people at Mother Jones recently compiled a study, revealing that of the 62 mass shootings since 1982, 38 were carried out by a person suffering from mental illness (mostly men). Most had displayed signs of paranoia, depression, and other issues with mental health well before reaching for a weapon.

While most of the gun violence in America is committed by the clinically sane, the most horrific massacres are often the work of deranged people whose problems had come to the attention of family, neighbors or work associates.

I have shared before that I have a concealed handgun permit in my county, and in order to get permitted like this, one of the requirements is to sign over authority to examine your medical records to the county Sheriff.  Any admissions to one of five or six regional hospitals for mental health or substance abuse issues would have been reason to have denied my permit.  But I have often wondered, what if I had a recorded admission for some matter in one of the above two categories?  What would that have proven?  Little to nothing, as we will see.

What about the logical contraposition?  I am in a fitness for duty program because I have unescorted access to nuclear power plants.  Does that make me mentally stable?  How about law enforcement officers, since they are in a similar kind of program?  Anecdotal cases demonstrate problems.

Reports of Metro Police Lt. Hans Walters underscore the mental health component of the current gun control debate. Walters shot and killed his wife, a former police officer, and his son and then set fire to their Boulder City home before taking his own life.

Most would agree police departments conduct exhaustive background checks, screening tests, training and safety procedures before authorizing officers to carry and deploy a number of firearms. Yet a former colleague comments to the Las Vegas Review-Journal that Walters “didn’t seem out of the ordinary at all,” adding that “Cops are pretty intuitive. They can tell when something’s wrong with someone. He seemed totally fine.”

Beyond the anecdotal level, there are problems with diagnosis and with the very nature of psychology.  One clinician weighs in this way.

Clinicians treating patients hear their fears, anger, sadness, fantasies and hopes, in a protected space of privacy and confidentiality, which is guaranteed by federal and state laws. Mental health professionals are legally obligated to break this confidentiality when a patient “threatens violence to self or others.” But clinicians rarely report unless the threat is immediate, clear and overt.

Mental health professionals understand that, despite our intimate knowledge of the thoughts of our patients, we are not very good at predicting what people will do. Our knowledge is always incomplete and conditional, and we do not have the methods to objectively predict future behavior. Tendencies, yes; specific actions, no. To think that we can read a person’s brain the way a scanner in airport security is used to detect weapons is a gross misunderstanding of psychological science, and very far from the nuanced but uncertain grasp clinicians have on patients’ state of mind.

What about diagnoses?

If mental health professionals were required to report severe mental illness (such as paranoid schizophrenia) to state authorities, it would have an immediate chilling effect on the willingness of people to disclose sensitive information, and would discourage many people from seeking treatment. What about depression, bipolar disorder, substance abuse or post-traumatic stress disorder, along with other types of mental illness that have some link to self-harm and impulsive action? The scope of disclosure that the government could legally compel might end up very wide, without any real gain in predictive accuracy.

Diagnosis is an inexact and constantly evolving effort, and it is contentious within the profession. To use a diagnosis as the basis of reporting the possibility of violence to the authorities would make the effort of accurate evaluation much more fraught. And what of the families and friends of the mentally ill? Should their weapons purchases be restricted as well? A little reflection shows how unworkable in practice any screening by diagnosis would be.

And more clinicians weigh in similarly:

“We’re not likely to catch very many potentially violent people” with laws like the one in New York, says Barry Rosenfeld, a professor of psychology at Fordham University in The Bronx….

study of experienced psychiatrists at a major urban psychiatric facility found that they were wrong about which patients would become violent about 30 percent of the time.

That’s a much higher error rate than with most medical tests, says Alan Teo, a psychiatrist at the University of Michigan and an author of the study.

One reason even experienced psychiatrists are often wrong is that there are only a few clear signs that a person with a mental illness is likely to act violently, says Steven Hoge, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University. These include a history of violence and a current threat to commit violence….

The next problem is that even if the science was capable of sustaining the load that we want to place it under, it still wouldn’t have the desired effect:

Perhaps most important, although people with serious mental illness have committed a large percentage of high-profile crimes, the mentally ill represent a very small percentage of the perpetrators of violent crime overall. Researchers estimate that if mental illness could be eliminated as a factor in violent crime, the overall rate would be reduced by only 4 percent. That means 96 percent of violent crimes—defined by the FBI as murders, robberies, rapes, and aggravated assaults—are committed by people without any mental-health problems at all. Solutions that focus on reducing crimes by the mentally ill will make only a small dent in the nation’s rate of gun-related murders, ranging from mass killings to shootings that claim a single victim.  It’s not just that the mentally ill represent a minority of the country’s population; it’s also that the overlap between mental illness and violent behavior is poor.

Finally, it isn’t just anecdotal evidence that calls into question the whole notion that mental health professionals can bear the weight of societal violence, or even the warnings of mental health professionals themselves.  Evidence doesn’t substantiate the current emphasis on mental health as the answer.

President Obama has called for stricter federal gun laws to combat recent shooting rampages, but a review of recent state laws by The Washington Times shows no discernible correlation between stricter rules and lower gun-crime rates in the states.

States that ranked high in terms of making records available to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System also tended to have tighter gun laws — but their gun-crime rates ranged widely. The same was true for states that ranked poorly on disclosure and were deemed to have much less stringent gun-possession laws.

For example, New York, even before it approved the strictest gun-control measures in the country last week, was ranked fourth among the states in strength of gun laws by the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence, but was also in the top 10 in firearm homicide rates in 2011, according to the FBI.

Meanwhile, North Dakota was near the bottom in its firearm homicide, firearm robbery and firearm assault rates, but also had some of the loosest gun laws and worst compliance with turning over mental health records to the background check system.

[ ... ]

The Times analysis looked at the Brady Campaign’s rankings for strength of each state’s gun laws and at Mayors Against Illegal Guns’ rankings for how states perform in disclosing mental health data to the background check system. That information was then matched against the FBI’s 2011 gun-crime rankings for homicides, robberies and assaults.

The results showed no correlation among the strength of laws and disclosure and the crime rates.

For example, Maryland and New Jersey — both of them populous states with large metropolitan areas — have tight gun laws but poor mental health disclosure. But New Jersey’s gun-crime rate was in the middle of the pack, while Maryland ranked sixth-highest in homicides involving guns and second-highest in robberies with guns.

Delaware and Virginia, which both ranked high in mental health disclosure and ranked 18th and 19th in the Brady tally of tough gun laws, also had divergent crime rates.

Delaware ranked among the top 10 in number of gun robberies and gun assaults, while Virginia was in the middle of the pack on its measures.

My own view is somewhat more pedestrian and pragmatic.  New programs to empower the government rarely avoid abuse, and man’s evil propensities always tend towards totalitarianism and excessive control.  The innocent who get swept up in the mental health screenings and refused means of self defense will be considered the price to pay for government control.  With the right administration, simply wanting means of self defense will be justifiable cause for denying such.

With so little good that can come from this emphasis, coupled with such a large chance for abuse, mental health isn’t the answer that the politicians tout it to be.  As I have previously noted, the common element in the high profile gun violence cases (theater, schools, churches and malls) is that they’re all gun free zones.  Glenn Reynolds points out that this causes a false sense of security.  “Policies making areas “gun free” provide a sense of safety to those who engage in magical thinking, but in practice, of course, killers aren’t stopped by gun-free zones. As always, it’s the honest people — the very ones you want to be armed — who tend to obey the law.”

This is, as it were, the low hanging fruit.  Tackle the easy things and leave the questionable ones behind.

Prior Featured:

What To Expect On Gun Control In The Coming Months

The War To Disarm America

Christians, The Second Amendment And The Duty Of Self Defense

Do We Have A Constitutional Right To Own An AR?

U.N. Arms Treaty: Dreams Of International Gun Control

Mixed Signals From NRA On Universal Background Check

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 8 months ago

Kurt Hofmann points out some unfortunate vacillation and equivocation by the NRA on the issue of universal background checks.

The GOP seems to have decided that on the question of universal background checks for gun purchases (an outright ban, in other words, on private sales), not only is discretion the better part of valor, but abject cowardice is the better part of discretion. As noted in the Huffington Post Tuesday, several GOP senators when asked about the issue appeared absolutely terrified of the question:

“Uh, I don’t know what you mean,” said Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), who then ended the conversation by turning around and walking into a room where senators were having lunch, closing the door behind him.

“I need to have more details. I, you know, I just need — you need to ask me after I’ve talked to our judiciary staff in our office,” said Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), also heading to the Senate lunch. “I hate to respond just in the hallway, so I won’t.”

“I’ve got — my wife’s here. I’m sorry. I’ve gotta — thanks,” said Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.).

Completely understood, Senator–no one should be expected to answer whether or not he favors banning private gun sales within his wife’s hearing. Even Tea Party “firebrand” Rand Paul claims not to have decided yet on the issue.

Missouri’s own Senator Roy Blunt (“A” rated by the NRA) appears open to the idea, saying, “I think we ought to talk about that [universal background checks],” although he did seem reluctant to impose checks on “two guys living next door [who] want to trade shotguns.”

As noted here Tuesday, NRA president David Keene has recently openly advocated background checks at gun shows. Granted, when NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre addressed a hunting group in Nevada this week, he spoke forcefully against universal background checks (relevant portion is about a minute and a half long).

In other words, if we are to believe both Keene and LaPierre, they are inventing a distinction between private sales at gun shows (seemingly on the bargaining table), and those elsewhere (seemingly not on the table).

But on or about the same time, current member of the board of directors, Marion P. Hammer, was writing the following commentary.

Imagine a grandfather who wants to give a family shotgun to his 12-year-old grandson having to do a background check on his grandson before giving him the shotgun.

Or a friend having to do a background check on his lifetime best buddy before lending him a hunting rifle.

Or, if your mother had a prowler at her home, having to do a background check on your own mom before you could give her one of your guns for protection.

That’s what “universal background checks,” as proposed by President Barack Obama, do. They turn traditional innocent conduct into a criminal offense. They target law-abiding gun owners.

Universal background checks are background checks on every transfer, sale, purchase, trade, gift, rental and loan of a firearm between any and all individuals. All background checks must be conducted through a federally licensed dealer. Universal background checks have nothing to do with gun shows.

[ ... ]

Universal background check system legislation, which we have previously seen, allows the government to keep a computerized registry of gun owners.

In addition to the absurdity of having to do background checks on people you know are not criminals, would you like to pay up to $100 or more just to give your grandson a shotgun or lend a hunting rifle to your best friend or give your mom a gun for protection?

At the worst, there is infighting within the ranks of the NRA.  At the very best there is confusion and indecision within the ranks of the NRA leadership.  This is the best possible scenario, and yet even this isn’t good.  It’s sad to see the NRA divided on such an important issue.  The GOP is in disarray over just about everything these days, and needs the direction of the NRA.  Unfortunately, if they did look to the NRA for this direction, they would look in vain.  Hopefully, Hammer’s view prevails, but they need to hear from you on this important issue.

Prior:

Universal Background Check And National Gun Registry

The NRA On Universal Background Checks

Guns Are The Only Answer To Criminal Government

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 8 months ago

From Joseph Farah:

Are private firearms really necessary in society run by representative government?

After all, the police are there to protect us from criminals. And the politicians serve the interests of the people.

Right.

A small-scale example of how so-called “representative government” and the rule of law broke down took place in 1946 at what became known as “The Battle of Athens.”

For a decade before World War II and afterward, a corrupt political machine ran the town. But veterans returning from the war didn’t like what they found in their hometown. So they fielded opposition candidates for sheriff and state senate.

But the machine politicians seized the ballot boxes to ensure they would not be ousted by a popular political vote.

The vets grabbed what today would be called “assault weapons” – you know, the kind that shoot one round at a time while another round enters the chamber, just like 90 percent of today’s firearms.

They surrounded the town jail where the ballot boxes were being secured. When the machine politicians refused to turn over the ballot boxes, the veterans blew up the jail and took possession of the ballots.

Not surprisingly, they found the challengers had won the election fair and square.

Right here in the good old USA, firearms proved necessary in toppling a local tyranny in McMinn, Tenn., just 67 years ago.

That’s the real reason the Founding Fathers enshrined in the Bill of Rights a guarantee of the unalienable right to bear arms. It wasn’t about hunting. It wasn’t just about defending one’s life, liberty and property from run-of-the-mill criminals. It was also, first and foremost, a guarantee against liberty being hijacked by criminal government.

There isn’t anything wrong with pointing out the usefulness of firearms for hunting, for self defense and for the shooting sports.  I do it all the time.  But it’s necessary from time to time to point out that the Congressional and/or Department of Justice (ATF) “sporting purposes test” is an unconstitutional fabrication of men who want to forget that they have a propensity to evil totalitarianism, and need the ubiquitous threat of armed resistance from those whom they rule.

LA Times Gets Into A Gun Time Machine

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 8 months ago

LA Times:

There are plenty of reasons right here at home to support President Obama’s effort to reform the nation’s gun laws. But if Congress requires additional arguments, it should consider that easy access to guns is also undermining the United States’ avowed goal of combating drug trafficking and transnational gangs abroad.

The U.S. has sent nearly $2 billion in aid to Mexico since 2007, much of that as part of the Merida Initiative, a counter-narcotics program designed to provide aid and equipment for that country’s drug war. Yet that assistance has been undermined by lax U.S. gun laws, which allow members of the drug cartels and their associates to buy weapons here and smuggle them across the border. At least 68,000 of the firearms seized in Mexico between 2007 and 2011 — and probably quite a lot more — came from the United States, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The stricter gun laws proposed in recent weeks by the White House and some Democrats in Congress would help quell the flow.

This is a truly remarkable commentary.  It’s amazing how the main stream media can put on time-blinders and forget or ignore the truth and reality of the current events.  Commentaries like this are full of lies, and they know it.  But the fact that all of America knows about the ATF criminality in Fast and Furious makes the LA Times commentary all the more stupid.  Even the readers know that the Times is overreaching, and the editorial staff knows that Americans know it.  And it still doesn’t embarrass them to publish tripe like this.

The problem isn’t that there is no security on the Southern border, or that the border patrol is being bribed and corrupted, or that they have pitiful rules for the use of force, or that the ATF has sent weapons to the cartels and continue to lie to the American public about the supposed flow of weapons from civilians to Mexico.  The problem according to the Times is that Americans need more restrictive gun laws.

Again, truly remarkable.  And sad … that they would still be trying to get milage out of this debunked twaddle.  Note to the Time editorial staff: take a giant leap into the twenty first century.  It’s modern times now, and we know more than you do about current events and how to analyze them.  You’ve got to do better than this if you’re going to survive.


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