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]

Mexican Cartel Tactical Note: Confined Spaces

BY Herschel Smith
1 hour, 48 minutes ago

Small Wars Journal:

Tunnels are dark and often wet, hot, and humid. They can contain tight spaces, low overhead clearances, and present a range of explosive and toxic environmental challenges. All of these impediments are enhanced by poor visibility, darkness, impeded sight lines, and amplified noise (echoes) facilitating sensory decrements that inhibit maneuver, engagement, and situational awareness. Tunnels also degrade intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance complicating tactical and operational decision-making. In addition to tactical challenges found in all confined space operations, illicit taps bring an additional explosion hazard both within the tunnel and in proximate inhabited spaces.

It reminds me of the tunnel in Sicario, except not as well-constructed.

I think I’ve said this before, but this poses not just a tactical challenge to anyone, regardless of persuasion, but a challenge to life as well.

This is a confined space.  It has the following hazards (not an all-inclusive list): civil engineering (collapse of roofing or siding), access to breathable oxygen, lighting, noise, concentration of various bacteriological hazards (such as legionella), temperature, humidity, submergence during rain from flash flooding, concentration of explosive gases, concentration of explosive dusts, etc., etc.

Stay out of confined spaces.  They mean death to you.  I think I’ve mentioned it before, but I don’t go spelunking.

Chicago SWAT Team Raids Child’s Birthday Party

BY Herschel Smith
3 hours, 2 minutes ago

Idiots and dolts, incapable of complex thought.

Seven-year-old Samari Boswell said she was terrified the night of her younger brother TJ Boswell’s birthday party last month. She was expecting a party with cake and singing, but instead she and her family suddenly found themselves surrounded by police with guns pointed at them.

With her mother Stephanie Bures by her side, the second grader recalled the scary Sunday night of Feb. 10, when a team of Chicago police officers raided her brother’s party carrying a battering ram and a sledge hammer, and with weapons drawn.

“They were saying F words and stuff,” Samari said. “It was horrible.”

Bures called what happened “horrible” and “unnecessary,” because the suspect who police officers were looking for hadn’t lived in the building for five years.

“As long as they continue to do that, there will never be trust between citizens and the Chicago Police Department,” said Al Hofeld Jr., the attorney who represents the family.

Hofeld Jr. said it is another case of a “bad” search warrant where police did not do their homework.

“My law firm took 30 seconds to do a person search and came up with [the suspect’s] most current address, which is on 83rd street nowhere near the property,” Hofeld Jr. said.

This is the fourth search warrant case Hofeld Jr. has handled involving allegations that police raided the wrong homes and pointed guns at innocent people, including children. He said he plans to file suit against the Chicago Police involving the Boswell children and other adults at the party, including an adult relative, Kiqiana Jackson.

I’ve said it before.  When you’re dealing with American SWAT teams, you have the worst, most dangerous, stupidest people on earth.  Stay as far away from them as possible.  Someone always gets hurt when they’re around.

Good job, boys.  Do you feel proud or stupid?  Do you at least have the minimal intelligence necessary to feel stupid?

D.C. Circuit Court Of Appeals Denies Stay Expansion

BY Herschel Smith
3 hours, 8 minutes ago

Via David Codrea.

Because when we decide constitutionality, it can only be for one person at a time.  You don’t have “standing,” which means you aren’t rich enough to afford the exorbitant legal fees associated with taking on the FedGov.  And we, the judiciary, play right along with that.  It’ll have to go person by person, unless of course we reject plaintiff’s arguments and go along with the FedGov.  Which we probably will.

Because we’re better than you.

Bolt Action Assault Rifles Are “Insane”

BY Herschel Smith
1 day, 2 hours ago

So says Salon.

Take a minute and look at all the military-speak gun-culture nomenclature babble they slap down: “match-grade” and “muzzle brake” and “infinitely adjustable folding stock” and all the rest of that crap. That’s the way they market guns like the “Scorpion,” and you know what it is? It’s insane.

OK, their use of “insane” is a kind of gun-lover-hipster-speak, and the Scorpio isn’t a semiautomatic assault rifle like the ones used to kill 20 children and six teachers at Sandy Hook, or the the 50 Muslim worshipers in Christchurch, New Zealand, or the 17 students and faculty killed in Parkland, Florida, or the 58 concertgoers in Las Vegas. But it’s the same style of weapon, with the same style aluminum stock and ventilated “rails” alongside its barrel, and it’s got capabilities far in excess of what would be necessary for  any sort of legitimate civilian usage. “Loaded up with the faster 230-grain Berger round, I got hits on a 3-by-3-inch steel target at 2,000 yards,” the reviewer boasted. That is 1.13 miles, folks. This guy hit a target about the size of your forehead from over a mile away.

Who the hell needs to hit something, anything, from over a mile away? I’ll tell you who: an Army or Marine sniper, that’s who. They’re selling military-grade rifles to the general public. That’s what this sniper rifle is, and that’s what all the various iterations of the AR-15 style assault rifles are. Military-grade killing machines. All of them are for sale on the open market here in the United States of America. You can go down to your local gun store and buy one tomorrow. That means you’ll be able to set the damn Scorpion up on its bi-pod and hit a so-called “soft target” so far away you need a goddamn telescope to see it.

Oh, I can hear them now. The NRA and its ilk will tell you that this military-style assault rifle is just the thing to use hunting deer, or elk, or some other poor creature. But it’s really a killing machine, a thing you can buy that is designed for one purpose: to kill a “soft target” from up to a mile away. That is insane.

Even for your bolt action guns, they want to restrict the muzzle velocity, ballistic coefficient and bullet mass.  Funny how the sons and daughters of hippies and beatniks morphed into communists so fast, yes?  Say, maybe they were never really libertarians to begin with.  Perhaps all they wanted was liberty for them – and slavery for you.  Yes?

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young grok the French revolution and Karl Marx.

The Pillars Of Gun Confiscations

BY Herschel Smith
1 day, 2 hours ago

From someone who has studied it.

“Registration is a pillar of gun control and has been in 150 countries for a century and a half,” he said.

“The first pillar is licensing … then you register the object … and then you make it clear that ownership of a firearm is a conditional privilege, which can be taken away.”

He said all three pillars were absent in the US, in NZ two pillars existed – strong licensing and a definite rejection of the right to bear arms.

“The middle pillar, the third leg on the stool if you like – registration – simply doesn’t exist in New Zealand … so like a two legged stool it’s an unreliable object.”

Statists the world over agree.

The only way we can truly be safe and prevent further gun violence is to ban civilian ownership of all guns. That means everything. No pistols, no revolvers, no semiautomatic or automatic rifles. No bolt action. No breaking actions or falling blocks. Nothing. This is the only thing that we can possibly do to keep our children safe from both mass murder and common street violence.

Unfortunately, right now we can’t. The political will is there, but the institutions are not. Honestly, this is a good thing. If we passed a law tomorrow banning all firearms, we would have massive noncompliance. What we need to do is establish the regulatory and informational institutions first. This is how we do it:

The very first thing we need is national registry. We need to know where the guns are, and who has them. Canada has a national firearms registry. We need to copy their model. We need a law demanding all firearms be registered to a national database. We need to know who has them and where they are. We need to make this as easy as possible for gun owners. The federal government provides the money and technical expertise, and the State police carry it out. Like a funded mandate. Most firearms already have a serial number on them, so it would really be a matter of taking the information already on the ATF form 4473 and putting it in a national database. I think about 6 months should be enough time.

Along with this, make private sales illegal. When a firearm is transferred, make it law that the registration must be updated. Again, make it super easy to do. Perhaps over, the internet. Dealers can log in by their FFLs and update the registration. Additionally, new guns are to be registered by the manufacturer. The object here is to create a clear paper trail from factory to distributor to dealer to owner. We want to encourage as much voluntary compliance as possible.

Now we get down to it. The registration period has passed. Now we have criminals without registered guns running around. Probably kooky types that “lost” them on a boat or something. So remember those ATF form 4473s? Those record every firearm sale, going back twenty years. And those have to be surrendered to the ATF on demand. So, we get those logbooks, and cross reference the names and addresses with the new national registry. Since most NRA types own two or (many) more guns, we can get an idea of who properly registered their guns and who didn’t. For example, if we have a guy who purchased 6 guns over the course of 10 years, but only registered two of them, that raises a red flag.

Now, maybe he sold them or they got lost or something. But it gives us a good target for investigation. A nice visit by the ATF or state police to find out if he really does still have those guns would be certainly warranted. It’s certainly not perfect. People may have gotten guns from parents or family, and not registered them. Perfect is the enemy of pretty darn good, as they say. This exercise isn’t so much to track down every gun ever sold; the main idea would be to profile and investigate people that may not have registered their guns. As an example, I’m not so concerned with the guy who bought that bolt action Mauser a decade ago and doesn’t have anything registered to his name. It’s a pretty good possibility that he sold it, gave it away, or got rid of it somehow. And even if he didn’t, that guy is not who I’m concerned with. I’m concerned that other guy who bought a half dozen assault weapons, registered two hunting rifles, and belongs to the NRA/GOA. He’s the guy who warrants a raid.

I don’t think the first author is correct, as it depends upon which state you live in and whether form 4473s have been made electronic and retrievable.

In any case, that is how they intend to do it.  Remember those words: “We need to make this as easy as possible for gun owners.”

Why Is The ATF Making Secret Rules For The Firearms Industry?

BY Herschel Smith
1 day, 3 hours ago

Ted Bromund:

The Sessions memo was backed up in January 2018 by a new Department of Justice policy that “prohibits the use of agency guidance documents in affirmative civil litigation in a manner that would convert such guidance into binding rules of conduct.” The ATF understood these directives to mean that it had to stop issuing public, industry-wide guidance or opinions—the very documents that could ensure uniform compliance in industry with existing regulations. When this author reached out to ATF for comment, the ATF stated that it was of course abiding by the former Attorney General’s memo, and that “we do not interpret the law.”

As a result of its understanding, the ATF now operates almost exclusively by private letters. It has not published a ruling on firearms or explosives since July 2017, and its only notifications on proposed rule-making since December 2017 relate to the politically-charged (and politically-motivated) pursuit of bump stocks.

This was not the outcome the Sessions memo envisaged. The memo makes it clear that “not every agency action is required to undergo notice-and-comment rulemaking…. [A]gencies may use guidance and similar documents to educate regulated parties through plain-language restatements of existing legal requirements or provide non-binding advice on technical issues.” The point of the memo was to prevent department rule-makers from using public guidance documents to evade the rulemaking process, not to stop them from issuing any public guidance at all. Education is not interpretation.

The ATF’s approach means that each industry member that asks a question about how to apply or interpret the rules gets its own private answer, an answer that none of its competitors knows about and which does not serve as a legal precedent. It means that no one in the industry has any certainty, not even the firm that asked the question in the first place, because the ATF can always change a decision it made in a private “no-action” letter later on. And it means that the ATF has almost complete discretion in how it regulates, because it is creating no precedents.

According to Jared Febbroriello, a lawyer working with firearms and defense companies “It is disconcerting that any agency that is tasked with interpreting the law might seek to restrict the public’s ability to access their interpretations but given the potential for criminal prosecution and the heightened risk for the loss of life, liberty and property that is associated with firearms one would think that ATF would be embracing complete transparency. Sadly, they are not.”

I do not thing any such stupid thing.  The administrative state won’t do anything in the interest of America or her citizens.  It exists wholly to serve itself.

The ATF does this sort of thing because there is a such a thing as the administrative state to begin with, but also, because Jeff Sessions is a crap-weasel of mammoth proportions who did nothing of any lasting value and lacked the guts to reign in the worst offenders.

And then again, we cannot exonerate the legislative branch who allows all of this, not the president who [a] agrees with it all, [b] lacks the guts to shut it down, [c] pretends it isn’t occurring, [d] claims that it cannot be stopped, or [e] secretly wants to use that administrative state to accomplish what no one else will despite what he tells the voters (e.g., the bump stock ban).

Little Rock Police Serve Every Search Warrant With A SWAT Team

BY Herschel Smith
1 day, 3 hours ago

Radley Balko:

Last fall, I published an investigation into the way the Little Rock Police Department has been serving its drug warrants. The piece explored three general allegations: First, the LRPD has been serving drugs warrants with extraordinarily powerful explosives that other SWAT veterans told me are wholly inappropriate.

Second, there’s irrefutable video evidence that one LRPD informant and his police handlers were misleading about their investigation into a man named Roderick Talley. There’s also persuasive evidence that they did the same in other cases as well.

Finally, when I reviewed nearly 100 drug warrants from the past several years, I noticed that nearly all of them were for no-knock raids. To get a no-knock warrant, the police must provide specific evidence that the suspect is dangerous, or a threat to destroy evidence if police were to observe the knock-and-announce rule. The LRPD officers were offering no such evidence. Instead, they were using boilerplate language about how all drug suspects are dangerous and/or a threat to destroy evidence. The Supreme Court has explicitly ruled that such boilerplate language is not sufficient. Therefore, every one of these raids was illegal. Worse yet, Little Rock judges were signing off on these warrants, in spite of the law.

I’ll have a post soon laying out what has happened in Little Rock since we published that report. But over the weekend, I received a document that adds a bit more to the original story. It’s a page from a 2014 LRPD report about a drug raid. The raid in question was a no-knock raid that was served by the city’s SWAT team. In this particular case, the report says the suspect was known to have possessed firearms in the past, though it isn’t clear whether that information was conveyed in the search warrant. It also includes the broad statement that “many times guns and violence are associated with narcotics.”

But one line seems particularly significant: “It is a mandate from the Office of the Chief of Police that the SWAT team execute all search warrants.”

First of all, I don’t agree with the notion that the potential to destroy evidence is a reason for an armed raid.  Evidence isn’t that important.  Second, I don’t agree with the so-called war on drugs.  Third, I don’t agree with SWAT raids in general when good investigative and detective works will suffice.  Make the arrests when the folks come out to go grocery shopping, idiots.

‘Murica.  Land of liberty.  And a standing army violating the fourth amendment.  Just how those patriots envisioned it when they fought and bled for freedom.

Request To Modify Bump Stock Stay Filed

BY Herschel Smith
1 day, 3 hours ago

David Codrea:

Likewise, the Codrea Plaintiffs-Appellants (No. 18-cv-3086 (D.D.C.) in their Motion for a Preliminary Injunction (Doc. 5-1, p. 24), Reply Brief (Doc. 18, p. 17), and Principal Brief before this Court (p. 29), requested a “systemwide preliminary injunction.”

Good.  The stupid way the court works the stay would only have been good for the specific plaintiff.

We shouldn’t even be here.  Thanks Trump.  And NRA (who gave you the original idea and cover for it).

Pistols Or Handguns 95% Effective When Used To Defend Against Bear Attacks, 63 Cases

BY Herschel Smith
4 days, 3 hours ago

Dean Weingarten at Ammoland.

In January 2018, I published some original research on the efficacy of pistols in stopping bear attacks. It started with this observation, on the Internet, and in print, many people claim that pistols lack efficacy in defending against bear attacks. Here is an example that occurred on freerepublic.com:

“Actually, there are legions of people who have been badly mauled after using a handgun on a bear. Even some of the vaunted magnums.”

OK, give us a few examples. As you claim “legions”, it should not be too hard.

I never received a response. I believe the claim was made in good faith. There has been much conjecture about the lack of efficacy of pistols for defense against bears. A little searching will find a plethora of fantasy, fiction, mythology, and electrons sprayed about the supposed lack.

In the original article, there were 37 instances of bear attacks where people attempted to defend themselves or others from a bear or bears, with a pistol.

Of the 37 attacks, there was only one failure, giving a success rate of 97%.

The criteria for inclusion in this study is a pistol had to be fired to defend against a bear or bears. If a pistol was not fired, the incident was not included. If the use of the pistol stopped the attack, it was a success whether the bear was killed immediately, or left the scene, as long as it stopped attacking.

All methods of defense against bears have similar problems of access. A handgun or bear spray in a pack, or a rifle slung over the shoulder without a round in the chamber, should not be counted as a use of the method to defend against bears.  All of the methods can be carried for easy access. It is not a fault of the method if the user did not have them available for use, or if the attack was too quick to allow use.

I and colleagues have searched for instances where  pistols were used to defend against bears.  By the time of the original article I and my associates found 37 instances which were fairly easily confirmed.

Our renewed efforts have found another 26 instances. The earliest happened in 1936, the latest mere months ago. The incidents are heavily weighted toward the present.  The ability to publish and search for these incidents has increased over the years. In addition to the pistol defenses, there are two new instances where pistols were used in combination with rifles, one where a pistol was used on an aggressive bear hit by a vehicle, two examples where pistols were present but not used, one indeterminate case, and two examples of unconfirmed incidents.

Both bear and human populations have increased.  Reliable and powerful pistols have become more popular, legal, and commonly carried.

The 63 cases include three that meet the criteria for failure. That translates to a success rate of 95%. You need not rely on my judgement or that of my colleagues. Read of the successes and failures for yourself. Make your own judgements. Some links may not work. Sources on the Internet often go dead after a few years.

What a great article and stellar research.  Make sure to go look at his data.  It includes cartridges all the way from .22LR to the big bore rounds.

New Zealand Police Level Threats At Gun Owners

BY Herschel Smith
4 days, 3 hours ago

News from New Zealand.

“We’ll be working with everyone to take those firearms off them and into a place of safekeeping,” he told media this afternoon.

“The first step is to do it voluntarily, we’ll then be working to ascertain if they haven’t complied and those people will be in all likelihood prosecuted,” Mr Bush said.

There were about 250,000 firearm holders in New Zealand, he said. People wishing to surrender their firearms must first contact police – either online or by phoning at 0800 311 311.

Referring to CCTV footage of the mosque attacks, Mr Bush said: I’ve seen that footage. It’s really disturbing. I don’t think that kind of thing should be in the public domain.”

Yea, I’ll bet you don’t.  There appears to be problems with it too numerous to catalog.  But as to confiscations, how is that going to happen?

“New Zealand is at a considerable disadvantage to countries that have had registries, because there’s no way of tracing the firearms because they don’t know who’s got them,” Mr. Alpers said. “We’re relying entirely on the honesty of the gun owner to turn it in.”

And there you have it.  That’s the value of a registry to the communists.


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