Walkabout In The Weminuche Wilderness

Herschel Smith · 05 Aug 2018 · 39 Comments

"There are no socialists in the bush" - HPS All of my physical training only barely prepared me for the difficulty of the Weminuche Wilderness (pronounced with the "e" silent).  It's National Forest land, not National Park.  The Department of Agriculture no longer prints maps of the area, so we relied on NatGeo for the map, and it's good, but not perfect. We have a lot of ground to cover, including traveling with firearms, the modification I made to one of my guns for the trip, the actors…… [read more]

Commentary On Open Carry Of Guns In North Carolina

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 2 weeks ago

Asheville Citizen-Times:

Question: I know that you have to have a license to carry a concealed weapon in our area. But a friend told me that if you do not conceal the weapon and it is out in the open, with a few exceptions you can carry a weapon in public. Specifically, he said you can walk around downtown Asheville with a shotgun or a machete and it is legal. I’m having a hard time believing that. Could the Answer Man investigate and explain what the particulars of the law are? Where can and where can’t you carry a weapon openly in public? Is there any restriction on the type of weapon you can openly carry? Are there places you can’t carry a concealed weapon?

My answer: Nothing says “holiday cheer” like a question about open carry laws.

Real answer: This subject does get quite complicated, so the following is far from a comprehensive answer.

For starters, you can indeed openly carry a gun around in North Carolina, generally speaking.

“(The reader is) correct in that North Carolina generally allows the open carry of firearms, with a few exceptions,” said Asheville Police Department spokeswoman Christina Hallingse. “A private property owner may restrict the carrying of firearms on their property, whether they be concealed or carried openly. There are a number of statutes that could potentially apply, including ‘Going Armed to the Terror of the People.'”

In part that law says you’re guilty of this offense if you arm yourself “with an unusual and dangerous weapon for the purpose of terrifying others,” and you go “about on public highways in a manner to cause terror to the people.” The North Carolina Supreme Court states that a gun meets the definition of an “unusual and dangerous weapon.”

All sorts of private businesses have restrictions on carrying guns, generally communicated by signs that state in words or pictures that guns and knives are not allowed.

As you can imagine, North Carolina has a lot of regulations about firearms. Hallingse provided a helpful link to “North Carolina Firearms Laws,” a 46-page document on the North Carolina Department of Justice site you can find here: https://bit.ly/2EbdqWr

Generally speaking, you can’t carry a gun, concealed or otherwise, into a bar or other places selling alcohol if you are consuming alcohol. You also can’t carry a gun into banks, schools or governmental buildings such as courthouses. Under the section subtitled “Areas Where Weapons Are Prohibited,” the documents also lists “Events occurring in public places,” and “Areas of emergency and riots.”

As far as weapons that are banned altogether, even for law enforcement officers (in most cases), the state law lays out a couple of pages of them under the section of the aforementioned North Carolina DOJ document called “Restricted and Prohibited Weapons.”

SEE ALSO: Asheville calls for assault weapons ban; mayor says she would go further

Among them are:

• Any spring-loaded projectile knife, a ballistic knife, or any weapon of similar character

• Weapons of mass destruction, including bombs of all sorts, grenades, rockets having a propellant charge of more than four ounces, a missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than one-quarter ounce, mines; and any type of weapon (other than a shotgun or a shotgun shell of a type particularly suitable for sporting purposes) which will expel a projectile using an explosive or other propellant, and which has a barrel with a bore of more than one-half inch.

• Any firearm capable of fully automatic fire.

• Any shotgun with a barrel length less than 18 inches or an overall length of
less than 26 inches.

• A rifle with a barrel length of less than 16 inches or an overall length of less
than 26 inches.

• Any combination of parts either designed or intended for use in converting a device
into any weapon described above, and from which a weapon of mass death and
destruction may readily be assembled.

• Nuclear, Biological, or Chemical Weapons of Mass Destruction

• Teflon-coated bullets

I think this is a bad commentary because it’s misleading and incomplete.  First of all, MG are not prohibited – it’s just that you must have ATF approval for a Class 3 weapon.  I know folks in NC who legally own MGs.  The same thing goes for SBRs (he implies that it’s illegal to own an SBR in North Carolina).  It isn’t, as long as you have a tax stamp.

As for his snark about “Nothing says “holiday cheer” like a question about open carry laws,” I quite agree.  Open carry makes me cheerful, as it should.  As I’ve said before, I open carry “For the peace, good and dignity of the country and the welfare of its people.”

It would appear that from the questioner’s surprise, not enough North Carolinians are openly carrying.

Police Struggle To Stop Flood Of Firearms Into UK

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 2 weeks ago

The Guardian:

Police and border officials are struggling to stop a rising supply of illegal firearms being smuggled into Britain, a senior police chief has warned.

Chief constable Andy Cooke, the national police lead for serious and organised crime, said law enforcement had seen an increased supply of guns over the past year, and feared that it would continue in 2019.

The Guardian has learned that the situation is so serious that the National Crime Agency has taken the rare step of using its legal powers to direct every single police force to step up the fight against illegal guns.

The NCA has used tasking powers to direct greater intelligence about firearms to be gathered by all 43 forces in England and Wales.

Another senior law enforcement official said that “new and clean” weapons were now being used in the majority of shootings, as opposed to guns once being so difficult to obtain that they would be “rented out” to be used in multiple crimes.

Because prohibition never works.  Never.  Not once in history, with anything.  Ever.

The UK knows that and they want the defenseless, law abiding, peaceable man disarmed.  It’s not accidental.  It’s intentional.

Gun Parts Buyers Beware!

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 2 weeks ago

Arkansas Online:

On leupold.com, Leupold issues a warning against purchasing Leupold-labeled optics from wish.com, ioffer.com, aliexpress.com, alibaba.com and many others. The most commonly counterfeited products, according to Leupold, mimic Mark 4 rifle scopes, VX-III rifle scopes, Prismatic rifle scopes, CQ/T rifle scopes, LCO sights and Deltapoint Pro sights.

The products are illegally imported from the People’s Republic of China, which is a profligate violator of patent and trademark rights.

Leupold’s warning says, “These fake products bear many of the trademarks and trade dress of current Leupold & Stevens rifle scopes, and are sometimes difficult to distinguish externally from authentic Leupold products.”

If I didn’t know any better I would swear that the Chicoms couldn’t care less about American laws or the American buyer.  Or honesty.  Or integrity.  Or good quality.  Or designing things themselves.

Challenge To Bump Stock ATF Ruling

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 2 weeks ago

David Codrea writing at Ammoland:

The stock I obtained, signed by inventor Bill Akins and still in its original packaging, was initially approved as “legal,” then was deemed “illegal,” subsequently returned for rework to remove the spring and once more deemed “legal.”  Now it is supposedly illegal again and if I don’t obey the order to rid myself of my twice-confirmed “legal” property, I’ll be branded a felon and subject to life and freedom-destroying punishments. For the record, I have no intention of using it and don’t even own the type of rifle it is made for. I own it, among other reasons, because I consider it a piece of firearms history, because it pleases me to own it, because the gun-grabbers don’t want me to, and because it is my right.

Yes, to all of the above.  But note that the ATF couldn’t possibly care less how much unjustified damage they do to life and property.  It’s their bread and butter.

It’ll be interesting to see where this goes, perhaps to the Supreme Court.

Homeschooling Fight In Massachusetts

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 3 weeks ago

Zerohedge:

A school system in Massachusetts is proving to be malicious, incompetent, or maybe both.

Of course, we suspected that already. But the latest example comes from a lawsuit from a woman who pulled her 8-year-old son from Worcester Public Schools to homeschool him last January.

Josilyn Goodall is suing the Worcester School Committee, Superintendent Maureen Binienda, and the state Department of Children and Families after police entered her home, handcuffed her, and arrested her over what amounted to a paperwork dispute.

According to the lawsuit, Goodall is seeking unspecified compensatory damages for the violation of her Constitutional rights and for the “mental pain and suffering” inflicted upon her and her son.

The lawsuit details Goodall’s multiple attempts to contact the Superintendent after filing paperwork in January saying she was going to homeschool her son. She said she never got a response to any of her phone calls or emails.

In Massachusetts, parents who wish to homeschool their children must submit an education plan to the superintendent of the local school system for approval. However, according to Care and Protection of Charles (1987), the court case upon which homeschool legal precedent was established, the burden of proof is on the school to show that the homeschool program is insufficient.

The lawsuit further alleges that the Worcester School Committee’s homeschool policy is unlawful, in that it requires students to continue attending public school until the education plan is approved. Charles allows for homeschooling to begin as soon as the plan has been submitted.

To most rational people, Charles makes sense. If parents are to have any right to educate their children at home, they must be able to begin homeschooling before receiving approval from the schools. Otherwise, a school could conveniently hold hostage the education plan and never approve it, essentially forcing the child to stay in the public school.

But instead of following the state law or even their own policy, Worcester school administrators ignored Goodall’s education plan and her attempts to contact them, continued marking her son absent, and never reached out to Goodall to discuss their concerns.

It would be hard to tell if the school was being passive-aggressive or just plain incompetent, unable to send or receive emails and phone calls. Except that they had no problem contacting the Department of Children and Families to report Goodall for “educational neglect.”

DCF officials apparently took the school’s word for it, never asking for attendance records for Goodall’s son before showing up at her door on March 30. In addition, a DCF investigator believed the superintendent’s secretary, who told her there was a new law that required homeschooled students to continue attending school until their education plan was approved.

Yes, a state department took legal advice from a superintendent’s secretary.

Then, police escalated the situation, to the surprise of absolutely no one. The lawsuit states that officers pounded on Goodall’s door and threatened to forcibly open it. When Goodall was intimidated into letting them in, an officer laid hands on Goodall, handcuffed her, ordered her into a chair and yelled in her face — while her son watched and cried.

Additional officers arrived and started searching the home, while the DCF investigator questioned the son. Goodall was arrested and brought to the police station and was booked, though no charges were filed. She paid bail and finally made it back home after a 7-hour ordeal.

The legal battle continued with DCF filing a complaint of educational neglect that was eventually dropped by the court. Goodall submitted another education plan to the Superintendent on April 10.

You would think school officials would jump right on it this time around, but they dragged their feet yet again. Goodall left another voicemail and sent an email before finally hearing from the secretary on April 25. Her plan was not officially approved until May 9, after Goodall’s legal counsel wrote a letter essentially asking the Superintendent’s Office to piss or get off the pot.

Goodall’s ordeal is just the most extreme of many examples of harassment and intimidation the Worcester School District is doling out to homeschoolers.

According to the Worcester Telegram, many homeschooling families were waiting on District approval of their education plans months after submitting them. To add to the stress, many were receiving letters that said they could face truancy charges if their children were not in school and they had not received approval.

The hypocrisy of the District is astounding. Rather than sending approval letters—or even rejection letters— in a timely fashion, they sent letters threatening parents, as though it was the parents’ fault that their plan might not be approved “in time.”

While it is bad news that school administrators seem intent on harassing homeschoolers and escalating disputes, there is a silver lining to this whole issue.

We’re not going to take it.

Homeschoolers routinely show up in large numbers to protect their right to homeschool their children. The Homeschool Legal Defense Association hosted an informational forum on Aug. 15 in Worcester to discuss the concerns of local homeschooling families and to clarify the state’s laws.

As a Massachusetts homeschooler myself, I attended the meeting. There were upwards of 100 people in attendance from Worcester and surrounding towns. The group shared advice, made plans to turn out en masse to School Committee meetings, and made sure they were educated on what is and is not legally required in state homeschool law.

This one comes via WiscoDave.

No, to rational people, the Charles law doesn’t have to make sense.  In fact, I can discern where you stand by asking you two questions: [1] Who owns children, and [2] To whom have they been given for governance and training?

My answers are simple: [1] God, and [2] Parents.  If you believe that parents own children, you believe in slavery and you deny God’s ownership of all of His creatures.  You own your dog, not your children.  If you believe that anyone but the parents have been given responsibility for governance and oversight, teaching, training, love, discipline, correction and rebuke, you are a communist.

The reason the government of Massachusetts declares they have a right to decide what is appropriate education for children is because they are communists.  God does not recognize their authority in any of this, and His wrath will come down upon them, more than likely in time and space, and certainly and without fail, in eternity.

Public schools are centers of communist indoctrination and socialization.  And just to make clear that I know my facts, my wife and I were once part of a small group church fellowship based on home schooling.  One former home schooler now flies F-35s, another graduated from the Naval Academy, the Navy nuclear school, and commanded aboard a submarine.

Still others from that group went into the military, and my daughter is a Nurse Practitioner with a Master’s degree, ER experience and cardiology experience, and today is a “first-assist” for surgery.

There are hundreds of thousands of such examples in America and in fact all over the world.  Don’t tell me that children need the state to educate them.  I know that to be a lie.

The educational system and cops in Massachusetts aren’t liars -they’re just communists.  They know they aren’t needed, they just want the control.  The desire to control others is the first sign, incorrigible pathology and premier sin of the wicked.

SWAT Team: “Sorry, Not The Right House Ma’am”

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 3 weeks ago

KSAT.com:

SAN ANTONIO – A Leon Valley family is suing several law enforcement agencies after authorities mistakenly raided their home in a search for drugs and left them traumatized, according to a lawsuit filed Monday.

On Nov. 14, the suit said, Lucil Basco was on her way to pick up her son from Empower Behavioral Health, which offers clinic-based applied behavior analysis services to learners across the state.

During her drive, Basco was “unlawfully” pulled over for not using “her blinker, her license plate was obstructed, and she did not pull over immediately,” the suit said.

After a search of her vehicle, Basco was given a warning ticket. An hour later, the front door to her home was smashed in and she and her 5-year-old son were met with masked, armed officers on a “narcotics search warrant,” according to the suit.

Authorities placed Basco in handcuffs while they searched for drugs in her home, breaking down two additional doors inside it. The raid was based on “information from a confidential informant,” the suit said.

According to a police report, the informant pointed out Basco’s house as a “stash house” to BCSO deputies and agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration. The report said an entry team knocked and announced their arrival “several times” before forcing their way in to Basco’s home.

A BCSO deputy was later told it was “not the right house” and no drugs were found inside the home, according to the report.

Oh well.  At least the cops got to go home safely at the end of their shift.  That’s what’s really important here.

Gun Controller In Chief

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 3 weeks ago

The Washington Examiner:

President Trump’s Tuesday announcement of a bump stock ban is upsetting members of a core constituency: gun owners wooed by his effusive campaign-trail vows to defend the Second Amendment, with two groups promising to see Trump in court.

“If there’s anything that irritates you more than a president like Obama who’s trying to stab you in the heart, it’s one who is trying to stab you in the back,” said Michael Hammond, legislative counsel of Gun Owners of America, a group that claims more than 1.5 million members.

Bump stocks allow semi-automatic rifles to fire more rapidly, contributing to the 59-person massacre at a 2017 Las Vegas concert, and the ban was widely anticipated. Owners have 90 days to destroy or give the government their devices.

The ban was regarded as a less-controversial gun control step after Trump shocked gun groups in February by endorsing a higher age limit for AR-15 rifles, background checks for private gun sales, and reforms to let police “take the guns first, go through due process second.”

Hammond, who branded Trump the “gun grabber in chief” when he voiced support for various forms of gun control after the massacre at a high school in Parkland, Fla., now calls him the “gun grabber in chief, with a vengeance,” arguing the bump stock ban is illegal and opens the door to more weapon seizures.

“I don’t think Trump understands that just because he goes to 10 rallies and says ‘I love the Second Amendment’ that if he does things that are dramatically anti-Second Amendment, our people are going to be mad. Our people are not stupid,” Hammond said.

On Friday, Gun Owners of America intends to sue the Trump administration over the bump stock ban, citing the Obama administration’s conclusion that the plastic devices don’t meet the legal definition for machine gun, meaning they cannot be banned.

Hammond estimates that up to 1 million people own a bump stock and objects to the approximately $300 item being taken without compensation. He argues the Trump administration’s legal justification could later allow for a backdoor AR-15 ban.

Another group, the Firearms Policy Coalition, filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday challenging the ban.

“The bottom line is President Trump has been more anti-gun in his tenure, in terms of legislation and regulations, than the Obama administration,” said Brandon Combs, president of the Firearms Policy Coalition.

“I think his base is probably going to see in the next election cycle the choice between someone who has not been great for us and someone who would probably be worse. Then the question is, what would that mean for turnout?” Combs said.

The bump stock was banned the same day as Trump’s Federal Commission on School Safety adopted a report calling for states to pass laws allowing the temporary gun seizures using “extreme risk protection orders.”

Having done that which Obama wouldn’t even do.  And that about sums it up.  Trump’s Northern progressive proclivities combined with his awful counsel from senior staffers has caused a situation in which he might not get the turnout necessary for another win.

Trump gave us time without another Clinton presidency.  That’s all.  Use it well.

Merry Christmas 2018

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 3 weeks ago

“And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will who will save His people from their sins.”

Matthew 1:21.

And “His people” are all those who believe in Him, believe that He is the only Son of God, very God and very man, that He came to earth, was a vicarious atonement for our sins, the Word of God, and who call upon His name.

Merry Christmas 2018!

Selco On Gun Rights

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 3 weeks ago

Via WiscoDave, this observation from Selco:

I see here something which is much more dangerous than the fear of communism.

It is how people react to news or new laws about any weapon limitation. It’s how they talk about what the majority of them are planning to do.

Government at its core has the urge to control people in whatever way they can.  If you are more armed that means you are less controllable.

But if you are acting in a way that you are screaming from the rooftops how you “will defend your right to have (whatever) weapon (contrary) to the newest law” and how you’ll “be proud to own i, and to show it”  you eventually are not doing yourself any favors.

Do you really think that when the time comes that the government will send two pale clerks to search your home looking for whatever weapon?

Nope.

Here is how it might actually go down. This is one possible scenario:

First, you’ll be labeled as a terrorist, some weird guy who wants to overthrow the government. Maybe your photo will be posted somewhere stating that you are very sick, and that you pose a danger to society.

If you are a member of some group, let’s say a prepper group, you all will be labeled as terrorists first, and through the media, you can be portrayed as a domestic terror cell, to the point that your next door neighbor will help police to get you.

Do not underestimate the power of the government machine. You may truly be a fighter for constitutional rights and a real patriot, but in 3 days you can become a crazy terrorist that citizens will actually hunt down and shoot like a mad dog.

The point here is there is no point of publicly “yelling” about what you own and what are your rights to own.

Of course, you need to own weapons that you think it makes sense to own.

But why does everybody else need to know that, including government and government services?

The 2nd Amendment is very cool, and I like it very much, but here is the ugly truth:

It works only if the government wants it to work.

One day, when the government does not want it to work anymore it will be out of order, illegal, or even terrorist to practice it.

Sorry, it is not your inalienable right. The government lets you THINK  it is your inalienable right.

Here are two quick observations from me, not complete by an stretch and with many blanks that could be filled in, and then I have to be off to other things because of the busy season.

First of all, I’ve always believed that a wise man is measured in his words and tailors them for his audience, especially the words he speaks in public or writes for public consumption.  That’s all I’ll say about that.

Second, ownership of the means of self defense is certainly an unalienable right because it comes from God, not the state.  We’ve been through this many times before so there is no reason to rehearse it again now, but the constitution is a covenant between men.  The more important covenant is between God and man, and when man breaks it, he is in for trouble.

Preventing men from properly defending themselves, home, family and hearth is wicked, once again, because the right (and duty) come from God and His immutable nature, not mankind, government or any document.

That Selco doesn’t understand that taints his analysis, hollows it out and makes it vacuous.

Attorney General Bill Barr On Gun Rights

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 3 weeks ago

What gun rights?

On the DeConcini amendment, I would prefer a limitation on the clip size. But ultimately, I would recommend the President sign a bill that had the Brady waiting period and the DeConcini assault weapons provisions in it as long as we had other tough crime measures in it that dealt with the other problems. And I have not considered before whether the waiting period should apply to assault weapons, but — and I want to think about that, but off the top of my head, I don’t think there should be an objection to that.

You mean that Red-Flag gun law “Take the guns first,” “ban the bump stocks,” Trump, did it again by completely ignoring gun rights in favor of somebody who mouthed off in favor of Trump?  You mean that Trump chose a personality over deep, ideological commitment?

I’m shocked.


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