Archive for the 'Firearms' Category



Kids Or Not, Secure Your Guns!

BY Herschel Smith
5 days ago

The Salt Lake Tribune:

Your article (“To curb child suicides, Utah offers gun locks,” March 21) highlighted an important new safety initiative in Utah. We are proud that our Project ChildSafe program’s firearm safety kits are part of this effort, and we commend Rep. Steve Eliason, the Utah Department of Public Safety and the Utah Highway Patrol for taking the lead on this important issue. Their actions are a great model for other states to consider.

We also want to reinforce that firearm owners, regardless of whether there are children or at-risk individuals in the home, should store their firearms securely when not in use. Secure storage is the number one way to help prevent accidents, thefts and unauthorized access. It’s a simple, powerful step that is part of the responsibility of owning a firearm. If you own a firearm, respect it and secure it.

Steve Sanetti

President and CEO, National Shooting Sports Foundation, Newtown, Conn.

So let’s assume you have no kids in the home.  If you want to leave four handguns lying in strategic places around the house, coupled with a rifle and perhaps a shotgun, that’s your business.  To be individually responsible, every gun owner should be able to do the following: allow themselves to be blindfolded, start at the door, walk to every firearm he owns, touch it, and tell someone from memory whether it is loaded and whether a round is chambered.

That’s my personal view.  But I consider it none of my business what you do within the confines of your own home.  How may guns you have, where they are located, whether they are loaded, whether a round is chambered, etc., is your business and yours alone.  How you secure your weapons is up to you. After all, they are your property.

As for Steve Sanetti, you are out of line implying that if someone chooses to handle firearms his way within the confines of his own home, and his way happens to disagree with yours, he is irresponsible.  Making suggestions is okay.  Implying that people must do things your way isn’t.  And by the way, I don’t need law enforcement telling me anything about how to safely handle weapons.

ATF Wants To Go After All 5.56 mm Ammunition, Not Just Green Tip

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 5 days ago

Recall when we speculated about why the ATF had decided to hold its “green tip” ban in abatement?  Well, the questions are answered.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on Thursday raised new concerns about surplus military ammo used in popular AR-15 rifles and pistols just days after pulling back on a proposal to ban the ammo because it could threaten police safety.

In a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing, ATF Director B. Todd Jones said all types of the 5.56 military-style ammo used by shooters pose a threat to police as more people buy the AR-15-style pistols.

“Any 5.56 round” is “a challenge for officer safety,” he said. Jones asked lawmakers to help in a review of a 1986 bill written to protect police from so-called “cop killer” rounds that largely exempted rifle ammo like the 5.56 because it has been used by target shooters, not criminals.

His agency’s move to ban the 5.56 M855 version was condemned by the National Rifle Association and majorities in the House and Senate and as a result was pulled back though not abandoned. At the hearing Jones said that nearly 90,000 comments on the proposal were received, many negative.

As a result, he said that the ATF will suspend rewriting the “framework” used to exempt armor piercing ammo from sale or use. “It probably isn’t going to happen any time soon,” he said. Jones also said, “We are not going to move forward.”

The 5.56 M855 round, he said, is military surplus, typically has a green tip and was used in the M-16. There are several versions of the 5.56. The M855carries a bullet that can penetrate police body armor, though shooters often debate that.

The ATF singled it out for a ban because more AR-15 style pistols that can shoot the ammo are being produced and presumably could be used by criminals in police shootouts. The AR-15 can also shoot the less lethal .223 round, which was not targeted by ATF in the ban proposal.

My God, this is one messy article.  There are too many confused issues to sort through in a short amount of time, but I’ll mention just a few.  The 5.56 mm cartridge and the .223 cartridge are very similar but not identical, with chamber leade being the main difference.  There isn’t enough of a difference to distinguish between 5.56 mm and .223 for purposes of this article.  This would be of interest in the gun community for things like slight differences in muzzle velocity, chambering, shooting a cartridge in a gun specified for another, etc.  Presumably, the author of the article inserted this confusion and not Mr. Jones.

But Mr. Jones did indeed insert obfuscation and confusion, and then asked the Congress to use that confusion to add to the regulatory and legal burden placed on citizens.  There is no reason to debate the issue of green tip, despite the URLs the author inserted into the article.  As I’ve explained:

Common 5.56 mm ammunition will penetrate soft body armor, all of it, period.  Kevlar will not stop 5.56 mm ammunition (lead ball) shot at 3200 FPS.  Nor will soft body armor stop most rifle rounds.  Soft body armor is [routinely] tested for 9mm pistol ammunition, not rifle ammunition.

ESAPI (enhanced SAPI plates, or the ceramic ballistic plates worn in ballistic plate carriers) are designed to stop rifle rounds, and are specifically tested for M855.  No cop today (or anyone else for that matter) wearing Kevlar is protected from any rifle round (unless it is from something like a pistol caliber rifle), and the existence of M855 or lack thereof doesn’t change that.  Likewise, a cop (or anyone else) wearing ESAPI plates is protected from rifle rounds, including the M855, and the existence of the M855 round or lack thereof doesn’t change that.  Finally, even ESAPI plates must stop a certain percentage of rounds (so there is some probability of fracture and penetration even with tested and specified rounds regardless of type).

So you understand, don’t you, that the M855 ban has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with LEO safety, the liar in the White House notwithstanding?

Banning green tip does nothing to prevent anyone from using a rifle round (shot from any weapon) to penetrate soft body armor, and wearing ceramic ESAPI plates protects against both frangible 5.56 mm ammunition and green tip ammunition.  Furthermore, a so-called 5.56 mm “pistol” is nothing more than a SBR (short barrel rifle) with a barrel length of less than 16″ and no stock.  It isn’t concealable.

So speculation of course ran wild as to the exact intent of the ATF.  Are they stupid?  Do they not really understand the technical issues they are dealing with?  But today B. Todd Jones answered those questions.  They are concerned about all 5.56 mm cartridges.  Of course they are.  But that .270 pointed soft point, shot from a necked down 30-06 cartridge from my bolt action deer hunting rifle?  Yes, that’s the one.  It will penetrate soft body armor too – lead ball, soft point, all of it.  So will lead ball 30-06.  So will lead ball .308.  So will lead ball 7 mm.  Virtually all rifle rounds (except .22LR and .22 WMR) will penetrate soft body armor because kevlar is specified to 9 mm rounds (as regards mass and velocity).

Jones knows that.  The ATF at large knows that.  What Jones is telling the Congress is that he wants their help in banning rifle ammunition.  Rifle ammunitionAll of it.  They will start with 5.56 mm ammunition, green tip, lead ball, pointed soft point – all of it.  Then they will make it clear that all other rifle ammunition is as lethal as 5.56 mm ammunition, so they need a ban on that too.

Here’s a warning flag to all the Elmer Fudds out there who only care about your bolt action hunting rifles, and think this stuff about AR-15s is all just a bunch of made up theater to bother pampered folk like you.  They want your rifles and ammunition too.  You do understand that, don’t you?

Houston Police Officer Open Carry Stop

BY Herschel Smith
4 weeks, 1 day ago

The video below is being bandied about over various internet forums, as well as via Bob Owens.  Bob’s commenters are all confused and basically don’t know what they are talking about.  Similarly, the comments over the YouTube video – some of which are supportive and some of which aren’t – point to a problem of understanding and confusion.  Watch the video and then I’ll clear up that confusion for you.

He was just trying to tell if the person was a felon, or so the comment[s] at YouTube go.  The cop clearly is in favor of gun rights, claiming (falsely) that he is a three percenter.  “I’m sympathetic to the cop here,” says Uncle.

Now, take a deep breath, calm down and let’s clear up the confusion.  The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a legendary body slam to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department for stopping a man for openly carrying a weapon in an open carry state (North Carolina), even when it was later determined that the man was a criminal.  See Fourth Circuit Finds That Carrying A Firearm In An Open Carry State Does Not Create Reasonable Suspicion And Provides Thorough Analysis Of The “Free To Leave” Standard.

This was clearly not a so-called “Terry Stop” (the cop didn’t believe a law had been broken) and the LEO had no need or right to know whether the man was a felon.  According to the court, it was none of his business.  No demurral, case closed, end of discussion.  Period.  That’s all.  You don’t need to know any more than that.

But since the bed wetters (who may be reading this) might need to know more, we’re going to help you.

OK, it is fairly simple.  If you are under arrest refuse to provide your name, date of birth, or residence address, you commit a Class C misdemeanor unless you have warrants outstanding, when it is a Class B misdemeanor.  If you are either under arrest or lawfully detained, it is an offense to provide a false name, date of birth or address.  The later is a Class B or A misdemeanor, dependent on whether you have outstanding warrants.

What is not an offense is refusing to provide your name, date of birth, or residence address when you are lawfully detained. See Dutton v. Hayes-Pupko, No. 03-06-00438-CV, 2008 Tex. App. LEXIS 6030, 2008 WL 3166324 (Tex. App.–Austin 2008, no pet.).  The court held that Deputy Derrick Dutton had arrested Sheryl Hayes-Pupko without probable cause since the law did not require her to identify herself while she was only being detained..  Dutton’s mistake of law did not provide a defense for the false arrest claim.

Unfortunately, this is not unusual for Texas.  Police officers in this state have an idea that they have the right to identify anyone at anytime for any or no reason.  The courts have repeatedly slapped them down on this.

  • “The application of Tex. Penal Code Ann., Tit. 8, § 38.02 (1974), to detain appellant and require him to identify himself violated the Fourth Amendment because the officers lacked any reasonable suspicion to believe appellant was engaged or had engaged in criminal conduct.  Accordingly, appellant may not be punished for refusing to identify himself, and the conviction is Reversed.”  Brown v. Texas, 443 U.S. 47 (1979).
  • “It is clear petitioner was arrested and convicted for his refusal to answer Officer Jennings’ question requesting that petitioner identify himself. This is impermissible even in the context of a lawful investigatory stop.” Spring v. Caldwell, 516 F. Supp. 1223 (S.D. Tex. 1981), reversed on other grounds 692 F.2d 994 (5th Cir. 1982).
  • “First, Officer Lowe obtained identification from each occupant of the automobile though he had no legal basis whatever for demanding them.”  Lewis v. State, 664 S.W.2d 345 (Tex. Crim. App. 1984).
  • “Moreover, the Supreme Court has previously dealt with a case in which Texas police officers demanded that an individual identify himself even though they had no reasonable suspicion that he had committed a crime. In Brown v. Texas, the Court [11]  ruled that Texas Penal Code Ann. § 38.02 (a), as enacted by the Texas legislature in 1974, was unconstitutional because it allowed an officer to stop and demand identification of an individual without any specific basis or belief that he was involved in criminal activity.” Weddle v. Ferrell, No. 3:99-CV-0453-G, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2659, 2000 WL 256891 (N.D. Tex. 2000).
  • “Officers have the right to conduct an investigation of a driver following a traffic violation, but do not have authority to investigate a passenger without reasonable suspicion.”  St. George v. State, 237 S.W.3d 720 (Tex. Crim. App. 2007) (holding that arrest of passenger for failure to identify not valid absent legal detention).

Yet we still see police officers demand identification in Texas and threaten arrest (or actually make arrest) on Failure to Identify when in fact, no offense has occurred.

Although oriented towards Texas law, this is true even in states that have stop and identify statutes if the stop isn’t a so-called “Terry Stop.”  The officer has no need or right to know who the person is.  Period.  Do you understand now?

The officer was a jackass, but worse than that, he was wrong as to the details and application of the law, like many LEOs today are.  Before the bed-wetters blow their bladders, they need to study the law a little bit.  And Bob Owens needs to educate his readers rather than allowing the pooling of ignorance in comments over his web site.  That is unseemly and undignified.

Judge Upholds California Gun Microstamping Law

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

CBS Sacramento:

A federal court has rejected a challenge to California’s gun safety law, possibly paving the way for a requirement that new guns mark the bullets they fire so they can be traced.

The ruling on Wednesday was a defeat for two gun rights groups that argued the Unsafe Handgun Act violated the constitutional right to bear arms.

The law prohibits the manufacture or sale in California of any gun that doesn’t meet certain safety requirements. It was aimed at outlawing cheap “Saturday Night Specials” that were disproportionally used in crimes.

A 2007 amendment added a requirement that new or modified semi-automatic handguns include technology that microstamps a bullet casing with a code identifying the gun’s make, model and serial number.

That requirement was held up by concerns about patent issues on the technology but took effect in 2013. However, the federal challenge continued.

This week’s ruling “means that more gun crimes will be solved, more lives will be saved and California communities will be safer,” said a Friday statement from Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, who authored the 2007 amendment when he was a state Assembly member.

The gun safety law initially was challenged in 2009 by the nonprofit Second Amendment Foundation and Calguns Foundation, Inc.

Their lawsuit argued that the state law unconstitutionally prevented some members from buying certain types of handguns that were not on the state’s roster of permitted weapons.

The judge in the federal case rejected the argument that the law was onerous, saying that the commercial sale of firearms in the state “proceeds robustly,” with about 1.5 million handgun transactions since the lawsuit was filed.

The ruling also noted that the state’s roster of permitted handguns includes 795 models.

More from Orange County Register:

The law doesn’t violate the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment because gun owners don’t have a right to specific types of firearms, U.S. District Judge Kimberly Mueller in Sacramento said in her ruling.

“Plaintiffs insist they have the right to determine the precise way in which they would exercise their Second Amendment rights,” Mueller said. The insistence upon particular handguns falls “outside the scope of the right to bear arms,” she said.

Several observations are in order at this point.  First of all, Ms. Kimberly Mueller was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2010.  So much for gun rights being important to the GOP.

Next, it bears noting that while Ms. Mueller ruled that “[t]he insistence upon particular handguns falls “outside the scope of the right to bear arms,” she should have ruled that the constitution contains the phrase “shall not be infringed,” and that infringing is exactly what this law does.

Third, as to the notion that “this week’s ruling “means that more gun crimes will be solved, more lives will be saved and California communities will be safer,” said a Friday statement from Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, who authored the 2007 amendment when he was a state Assembly member,” it means nothing of the sort and Mr. Feuer is a liar.

Peaceable citizens purchase handguns from FFLs who follow the law.  Such people do not commit crimes where cartridges can be used to trace back to the particular person and weapon used to commit the crime.  That’s all a smokescreen to hide the real intent of the law.

They will no doubt argue that in order for this to work, they must implement the necessary corollary to the microstamping law, which is universal gun registration.  No, not just universal background checks, which effects sales going forward, but universal gun registration where the authorities have a record of all guns and who owns them.  The German Nazis wanted to know this sort of information too.  Of course, none of this has any effect on guns owned by criminals who will not register them.  It only applies to peaceable citizens.

Finally, the entire issue with the number of guns on the approved list today is yet another ruse.  The guns will fall off the list very soon.  The problem is that the list includes guns that do not include microstamping technology, and this is okay as long as no modifications are made.  Modifications might include melonite coating, different grips, safety improvements, match grade barrels, or anything else.  Since manufacturers do make routine minor (or major) modifications involving retooling the assembly line and machinery, that means that any new gun must include microstamping technology.

Gun manufacturers know exactly what will happen to their customer base if they produce weapons that are microstamped.  It will disappear from the face of the earth, and California politicians likely know this and are using it to rid California of legally sold guns.  In other words, they know that the “robust” sale of guns in California is a lie as it pertains to future sales.

I have interacted with Smith & Wesson, and to my dismay they won’t go on record and indicate to me that will refuse to sell to law enforcement if they cannot sell to other citizens.  This is a shame and a travesty of justice.  They will sell guns to law enforcement, while other citizens will see their list of potential guns dry up.  But to be fair to Smith & Wesson, the same is true of Glock, H&K and other manufacturers.  I just have more respect for the quality of S&W products and believe that they could be a beacon of liberty in California if they chose to.  They have not chosen to.  They have chosen money over freedom.

The NSSF has also weighed in.

… as several independent, peer-reviewed studies have shown, this nascent technology is flawed. It is incapable of reliably, consistently and legibly imprinting the required identifying information in two locations on an expended cartridge casing. Even the patent holder in a 2012 study he co-authored acknowledged the problems with this technology and called for further study rather than mandating its use. A National Academy of Science review, forensic firearms examiners and a UC Davis study reached similar conclusions. Because of the technology’s inherent limitations, no manufacturer can comply with this new law.

What the Legislature actually did was ban the innovation and stop the continuous improvement of today’s manufacturing processes that would otherwise enhance firearms safety and other functionality.

Compounding the problem is the state attorney general’s overreaching definition of what constitutes a “new model,” thus triggering the microstamping requirement. According to the attorney general, the slightest modification or design enhancement done as part of the normal manufacturing process for any product, such as changing the way a part is made or its dimensions to make it stronger and more durable, is a “new model,” which would now require microstamping. As a result, pistol models deemed as “not unsafe” by California are rapidly falling off the approved-for-sale roster.

And that’s what I just told you.  But notice the way Lawrence Keane broaches the subject.  He says, “What the Legislature actually did was ban the innovation and stop the continuous improvement of today’s manufacturing processes that would otherwise enhance firearms safety and other functionality.”

He means that the technology could otherwise be good and wholesome and improve safety and functionality.  He doesn’t mention that its corollary is universal gun registration and that we will not cross that line.  Ever.  Ever.

The NSSF is not your friend.  Their argument is wrongheaded because they have crafted it according to their wrongheaded views.  These measures in California are totalitarian in nature and the time has come and gone for peaceable folk to negotiate and befriend the process.  The black robes of the Supreme Court will not overrule Ms. Mueller.  It sounds to me like one of two things is in order.  Either civil disobedience, or relocation because the war for California is lost.  I do not begrudge either choice, and I don’t know which is best.

But as for me and my house, we will treat guns designed with microstamping as I do so-called “smart guns.  I will never have one.

75 Percent Of Texas Police Chiefs Oppose Open Carry

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

Trail Blazers Blog:

Among the more interesting data points – and there were a slew of them – to come out of Thursday’s Senate committee hearing on two high-profile gun bills was a recent survey conducted by the Texas Police Chiefs Association.

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo, in his testimony, pointed to data that the vast majority Texas police chiefs surveyed opposed open carry of a handgun. He added that if open carry were to pass, a greater majority supported licensed open carry over unlicensed.

That information, at least the first part, didn’t apparently move the Senate committee. The panel voted 7-2 – with only Democrats voting against – to send to the full Senate the bills on so-called campus carry and licensed open carry of handguns.

But given that law enforcement continues to be central to the debate, we wanted to learn more about the survey. And James McLaughlin, executive director of the police chiefs association, on Friday passed along more detail on the six-question survey.

The group recently sent the survey to 800-plus police chiefs – covering municipalities, college campuses, independent school districts and others. Though Acevedo said around 285 responded, a hard copy of the survey results shows a response from 192 chiefs.

Here are the major data points from the survey, which can be seen after the jump:

– Nearly 75 percent opposed open carry in Texas.
– 90 percent said that if open carry passes, a license should be required.
– 94 percent said an openly carried handgun should have to be holstered.
– 71 percent said that holsters should have retention ratings, which help secure the gun.

While that certainly shows a consensus, it’s harder to make broader generalizations. McLaughlin said the responses came in blind, so there’s no way to know if these chiefs are mainly from big cities or small ones, East Texas or West Texas, and so on.

[ … ]

But he said the association does want to point out some of the challenges that law enforcement has already faced with those who openly carry long guns. And he said there are certain issues that, if open carry passes, the association would like to see dealt with.

Those include ideas mentioned on Thursday by Houston Assistant Police Chief Don McKinney: boosting the standards for training and holsters.

They didn’t all respond to the questionnaire but its a fair assumption that these police chiefs are representative of the whole bunch.

First of all note the man who brought all of this up to the committee – Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo.  Acevedo is the chief cop who pressed for “no refusal” blood draws.  That’s right, he believes that police have a right to strap your arm down and shove a needle in you to test for BAC.  But then also recall that he believes gun enthusiasts need to be vetted by law enforcement.

“Folks, let me tell you what keeps me up at night, it’s these guys. It’s these homegrown extremists that are lone wolves, that are mad at the world, that are angry. And that’s why it’s important for us as Americans to know our neighbors, know our families. Tell somebody. If you know somebody that’s acting with a lot of hatred towards a particular group especially if you know somebody who’s a gun enthusiast or they’re armed with this type of fire arms and they’re showing any type of propensity for hatred, doesn’t mean that we’re going to go and take them to jail, but we might want to vet these people. He may well be alive today had we had the opportunity to do that.”

Finally, the presumed “concerns” and issues LEOs have with open carry have all been thrown around before.  In fact, in Mississippi open carry was going to be the wild, wild West, and blood running in the streets.  Except it wasn’t.  Louisiana is an open carry state, but no one has been hurt from it.

My own home state of North Carolina is a traditional open carry state.  We still all go about our business as usual, women and children don’t run screaming in the streets, and men don’t run around crazy when they finally get to put their weapons outside their waistband instead of inside their waistband.  The sad thing about the open carry bill that has made its way to the Senate is that it is licensed open carry rather than constitutional carry.

The Texas LEOs see the devil around every corner, and bogeymen under the bed and in the closet.  They sound like frightened little girls.  Someone tell them that everything will be alright, and the sun will come up tomorrow.  And for heaven’s sake, Austin needs to get rid of Art Acevedo and send him back to the hole from which he crawled.

John Lott On Texas Open Carry

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

The Austin-American Statesman is carrying an opinion piece by John Lott on the open carry bills in Texas.  It is subscription, but Mr. Lott also mirrors the entire commentary on the web site Crime Prevention Research Center (where he is president).  Mr. Lott felt the latitude to undercut the Austin-American Statesman by publishing the entire piece on his site, but I will only provide excerpts.

With well over 700,000 concealed handgun permit holders in Texas, there is a good chance that someone next you in a grocery store or restaurant is carrying a concealed handgun. But some are only satisfied if others actually know that they are carrying.  They think that by openly carrying guns they can make others comfortable with guns. They want to make a statement.

Texas lawmakers are now wrestling with the questions of campus carry and open carry. They couldn’t face a clearer choice between enhancing safety or making political statements.

Open carry advocates carry rifles because they can’t legally openly carry handguns. While no problems have occurred, simply handling a rifle as opposed to keeping a handgun in a holster, raises the risk that something might go wrong.

Open carry advocates have not been the best at public relations and they have scared some people. Much has been made of supposed gun bans by Starbucks, Jack in the Box, Chipotle, Wendy’s, Applebee’s, Chili’s and Sonic’s supposedly banning guns. In fact, these companies merely “respectfully request” that customers not openly carry guns. Passing an open carry law where proponents carried handguns, instead of rifles, would be less threatening and thus likely make it less of a PR issue.

Still, there is a more basic problem with open carry – it isn’t as effective in protecting people.

Criminals and terrorists can strike anywhere and at any time, that gives them a huge strategic advantage. When an attacker sees someone openly carrying a gun, they can either attack that person or wait for a more opportune moment. Alternatively, they can select another target.

Concealed carry makes attacks riskier. A killer can’t attack an auditorium in Texas without facing near-certain resistance. And, of course, an attacker has no idea who might be packing heat.

[ … ]

Open carry isn’t bad, but concealed carry is better. There are more important changes to be made. At $140, Texas has one of the highest permit fees in the US. Lower fees would increase the number of people who can protect others. It would especially help those who are most likely to be victims of violent crime — poor blacks living in high-crime urban areas.

If safety is the goal, let’s eliminate gun-free zones or lower permit fees. Open carry may make a political statement, but is that really the top priority?

In order fully to answer this, I have to point folks back to an article I wrote entitled Suburban Battle Rattle.  I didn’t write this to be silly, trivial or even tendentious.  I did it in order to get feedback from readers about what they do and how they approach this subject.

Mike Vanderboegh linked it, and one reader in particular put me on edge by saying this.

I would not recommend an ankle rig unless it was for your “third gun”. For years I worked plain clothes assignments as a DA Investigator. I was in some of the worst areas of SoCal. My duty weapon was a Glock 19 in a very secure DeSantis rig on my right hip. In my left front pants pocket was a S&W model 37 with a bobbed hammer in a Galco pocket rig. Extra mags were on my belt and in the left pocket of my sport coat, I kept an impact device, edged device, and a few other lightweight goodies.

If you have to evac and area in a hurry, ankle rigs will not only slow you down, they can loosen and start spinning around your ankle. Been there, done that.

The best weapon I had was the one between my two ears. Situational awareness and OODA techniques kept me in one piece until I was eligible to retire. H/T to Mr. Mike: I did not poke any wolverines in their nether regions unless I had a good plan in place and a secure method of egress.

” …ankle rigs will not only slow you down, they can loosen and start spinning around your ankle. Been there, done that.”  I don’t so much disagree with him, as dismiss it as bluster if he doesn’t back it all up by political action and other necessary things to force changes to both law and cultural norms to allow open carry.  Let me explain a bit and then I’ll get back to John Lott.

I’ve had my ankle rig swing around on me too, and beyond that, if I needed it quickly I am hampered by the location of the weapon and its being covered by my trousers.  But it’s one thing to complain about ankle rigs while you’re a LEO who can open carry, and quite another to work to change the situation for those of us who cannot open carry all of the time.

Even though my own home state is a traditional open carry state, I cannot open carry all of the time because of cultural norms.  Sometimes I am left with concealed carry IWB or ankle rig.  I find IWB carry obnoxious for a number of reasons, including but not limited to: (1) sweat and body oils rust and corrode your weapon, (2) it’s uncomfortable, and (3) you must use a small handgun or print your clothing.

With swollen knuckles due to my arthritis, I cannot efficiently handle small frame subcompacts (I do just fine with larger frame weapons).  So I am left with a large frame weapon which weighs too much and prints at my side.  I may as well use a rigger’s belt and open carry, which I find significantly more comfortable than IWB carry.  I’m saying all of this to suggest that Lott’s assertion that open carry is done in order to make a political statement is both insulting and ignorant.  When I open carry, I don’t do it to make any kind of statement.

But beyond being insulting and ignorant, Lott’s procedure is the same as he has used before, and it is as objectionable as it has always been.  As I’ve stated before:

What happens to society at the macroscopic level is immaterial.  My rights involve me and my family, and don’t depend on being able to demonstrate that the general health effects in society are not a corollary to or adversely affected by the free exercise of them.  It’s insidious and even dangerous to argue gun rights as a part of crime prevention based on statistics because it presupposes what the social planners do, i.e., that I’m part of the collective.”  I object to John Lott’s procedure, and have stated frequently that I do not believe in the second amendment.  I believe in God.  The Almighty grants me the rights to be armed, and when the Almighty has spoken, it is eternal law for all men everywhere and in all ages and epochs.  See also Holding Human Rights Hostage To Favorable Statistical Outcomes, and Kurt Hoffman on the same subject.

And that’s the main problem with John Lott and his procedure.  If you need to, read his commentary above again, very carefully.  He doesn’t come right out and say he is opposed to the legalization of open carry, but he spends his entire time trying to prove that it is inferior to concealed carry, and ends with the question, is it “really a top priority?”

He is trying to talk the Texas legislators into letting the bills perish in committee.  It isn’t good enough for him to enable the practice of God-given rights.  It isn’t good enough for him to couple with other gun rights activists to press forward to the enjoyment of more freedom.  No, for some inexplicable reason he must work to undermine the gun rights community and be divisive and schismatic.  Being quiet isn’t good enough.  He must engage in chest pounding, blathering on in front of people about how much he knows.  As to how much he supposedly knows, I do Monte Carlo particle transport calculations, worrying over things like the first, second and third moments of a problem, sampling statistics, variance reduction and meeting the central limit theorem.  John Lott doesn’t impress me (with his anecdotal accounts in the distribution “tails”) any more than the VPC or Brady gun controllers.

Ironically, while various anti-gun groups such as the VPC attempt to use arguments like this to prohibit the practice of God-given rights by a subterfuge of worthless “statistics” they don’t really understand, John Lott attempts to do the very same thing under the guise of being safe and ensuring the best response to potential attackers.  He is more like the anti-gun crowd than he would be willing to admit.  It isn’t enough that we must do battle with the collectivists to ensure the free exercise of our rights.  We must also do battle with self-proclaimed gun rights advocates like John Lott.  Working to legalize open carry in Texas doesn’t change cultural norms, but it’s a starting point.  Those of us who favor such legalization will have to step over the “gun rights” activists to make this happen.

Police Corporal Charged In Firearms Training Accident That Killed State Trooper

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

NBC10.com:

A Pennsylvania state police corporal was arrested Tuesday on reckless endangerment charges in a firearms training accident that claimed the life of a state trooper.

Cpl. Richard Schroeter, 43, was conducting a training session Sept. 30 and pulled the trigger on his firearm while discussing the weapon’s mechanism, prosecutors said. The gun discharged, killing 26-year-old Trooper David Kedra.

Prosecutors said they asked a grand jury to consider charges of homicide, involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangering. The panel found sufficient evidence that Schroeter, although a highly qualified firearms instructor, recklessly endangered those present, they said.

“Schroeter breached routine, yet critical, safety protocol by failing to visually and physically check to ensure his weapon was unloaded, failing to obtain confirmation from another that his firearm was not loaded, and failing to point his weapon away from the direction of everyone present (including Trooper Kedra),” Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said in a statement explaining the five reckless endangerment counts.

[ … ]

Kedra’s sister, Christine Kedra, spoke with NBC10 Tuesday and said she was outraged by the decision to only charge Schroeter with reckless endangerment.

“He willfully chose not to check the chamber of his firearm,” Christine Kedra said. “He then pointed his gun directly at my brother’s chest and he deliberately pulled the trigger.”

Schroeter obviously wasn’t the “highly qualified firearms instructor” he was made out to be.  There is no doubt that Schroeter bears the brunt of the responsibility, but I wonder about a police training academy that authorizes such men to conduct firearms training.  Do they bear some of the responsibility?  No one I know would point a weapon at another man and pull the trigger – relying on an empty chamber to save the potential victim.  What kind of a police department calls this man a “highly qualified firearms instructor?”

Folks, learn and practice firearms rules of safety.  Empty the chamber (but assume it’s loaded), keep your booger hook off the bang switch, point the weapon down range (and only down range) and know your backstop.  It’s all so simple, isn’t it?

Gun Rights In Olympia, Washington

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

Inquisitr.com:

Olympia_Washington

Hoping to get attention by being placed under arrest, about 50 pro-gun advocates gathered at the Washington State Capitol building on Saturday morning. They were protesting the decision against allowing guns to be openly carried into the Legislature’s viewing gallery. However, the doors to the gallery were kept locked by the Washington State Patrol after the capitol was opened to the public at 11 a.m.

 As reported by Yahoo! News, the pro-gun protesters, which included two state legislators, marched down the hallway of the building and were prepared to knock on the gallery’s door and the door of Jay Inslee, the Governor of Washington. There were no arrests and no reports of disturbances …

This is emblematic of the bad reporting on the event.  They wanted to send a message, tell the legislators where the line was, and that it had been crossed many times over.  They wanted to demonstrate that this isn’t over – far from it – and that they will not stand for more infringements.  To the contrary, the very ones they illustrated had better be reversed.  Mike Vanderboegh – shown above – gives us a better report.

Briefly told, we gathered on the portico of the building waiting for the rotunda doors to be unlocked, chatted as people gathered (I gave the prefatory talk that is captured in the video post earlier) and then we had the speeches. I thought that the legislator’s speeches were particularly good and WA state is very lucky to have such principled folks representing them. When the doors opened, we trooped in, armed, and went to the gallery doors, which as we had learned the night before were going to be locked. They were. In a spontaneous moment, and I know this to have been completely unscripted, people approached the door and knocked on it, some asking in loud voices to be let in. As they did so, one little girl emulated the adults and went to door and knocked, crying out “Let Freedom in!” I hope that the designated videographer got that moment, because if so it will likely go viral. The protestors, like Martin Luther and his Theses, affixed their petition for redress of grievances to the doors of the gallery and those of the Governor’s office in the Capitol building. We then marched to the mansion where a very nervous gate guard accepted another copy for the Governor. The gesture, and the optics, were striking.

There is more in Mike’s report.  How utterly cowardly.  They passed a law that they now do not now want to enforce, and so rather than doing the hard business of enforcing it or otherwise reversing it, they simply kicked the can down the road and obviated the need for a decision at the moment.  What a bunch of worms.

David Codrea weighs in.

Much is being made of Mike Vanderboegh calling an unsafe demonstrator a “moron” in a preliminary talk he gave before his main speech yesterday at the Washington State Capitol in Olympia. Contrary to some of the arguments being made, using that term for someone who ignored specific gun handling cautions is not equivalent to others who have invoked the word “extremist” …

[ … ]

We’ve moved into new territory, or more precisely, been moved into it whether we want to go or not. And the only thing those who disagree with such direct tactics can do about it is side with the antis, the same people who would call them extremists.

Another argument is the pile-on by anti-gun readers and “reasonable” gun owners in comments to press accounts.It should not be a surprise most of those condemn Saturday’s actions. Most gun owners probably will too, at least for now. The defiant ones don’t call themselves Three Percenters for nothing.

There were plenty of good people in 1771, those objecting to heavy-handed disregard of their rights, but still trying to work the system, who thought the similar-sized handful of impatient and angry people throwing tea into Boston Harbor were radical extremists who hurt the cause, and made them all look bad. But looking back, it’s doubtful public sentiment could have been galvanized without such “impatient” patriots setting the necessary tone though actions many disapproved of. And today’s protesters haven’t even approached that level of defiance and resistance — yet.

I don’t have a crystal ball, but I believe disparaging and dismissing what we saw yesterday will not serve those doing so well, especially since there is nothing you or I can do about dissuading further such demonstrations.

I have weighed in before on the issue of muzzle discipline among anyone whom I am around.  There is no need for me to do that again.  You point your gun at me and we’re going to tangle.  Regarding working the system to which David refers, I really don’t have a problem with that.  That’s why if any party out there can field a candidate who is worthy of my vote, I’ll go to the trouble to cast it for that man.  I will also engage in political action, send notes, make calls, and engage in protests as I deem appropriate.  Some of my open carry in North Carolina has to do with just that, since I could be arrested for “going armed to the terror of the public.”

What I have a problem with is compromise while “working the system.”  That, my friends, you do not have a right to.  When you speak for the gun community, you speak for a large, non-monolithic group of men and women, many of whom do not acquiesce to your compromises.  If you “work the system,” you can only work towards less restrictive laws and regulations, not more.  There is nothing about my God-given rights that is open to your consideration for negotiating capital.  Do you understand?

Here is Mike’s speech.

Rick Perry The Gun Rights “Moderate”

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

Politico:

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday positioned himself as a pragmatic, pro-compromise presidential candidate, dismissing 2016 rivals whom he said merely seek to be “critic-in-chief.”

Perry in recent weeks has sought to portray himself as a more moderate, thoughtful contender than he was during his 2012 campaign, when he entered the race as a firebrand conservative. In an appearance before the socially conservative group American Principles Project in Washington, Perry argued that Republicans should nominate someone with a message that goes beyond merely opposing the other side, an apparent swipe at fellow Texan Ted Cruz, a conservative hard-liner.

Guess one subject on which he has “moderated” his views?  That’s right.  Guns.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) said Thursday he was skeptical of open carry gun laws, as conservatives in his home state are attempting to push such measures through the legislature …

In an interview with the The Texas Tribune and The Washington Post, Perry said he was “not necessarily all that fond of this open carry concept.” His concerns, however, seemed to be more practical than philosophical.

“I don’t want the bad guys to know if I’m carrying,” he said. “I don’t want to be the first person shot if something’s going down.”

A Perry spokesman didn’t immediately return a request for clarification on whether Perry would sign open carry legislation if he were still governor.

In his interview Thursday, Perry also said gun owners should be “appropriately backgrounded, appropriately vetted, appropriately trained.”

“We license people to drive on our highways,” he said. “We give them that privilege. The same is true with our concealed handguns.”

The most important revelation about Perry’s views isn’t his opposition to open carry, although he wouldn’t advocate that LEOs conceal rather than open carry (and thus his view here is hypocritical).  The most significant revelation pertains to his view of licensing carriers, noting that it is a “privilege.”

Privilege it isn’t, as God has not only granted the right of self defense, he has stipulated that men will be prepared to protect their families at all times if they want to honor His laws.  It is more than a privilege.  It is a duty before God.  In attempting to track towards the middle, Perry won’t gain a single vote in his corner, but this will come back to haunt him with gun owners.  Another one bites the dust.  His political career is dead.

The GOP is so corrupt and wasted that it can only think about fielding men like Perry (a gun control moderate), Christie (who made his fame in gun control in the great collectivist Northeast), Rand Paul (an open borders freak), and Jeb Bush (wrong on everything under the sun).

Going After The Enablers Of Bad Guys With Guns

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

Baltimore Sun:

Where do criminals get guns? I’ll explore that question a lot this year because the supply of guns to people prohibited from having them remains a principal cause of Baltimore’s violent eruptions. When a convicted felon can allegedly walk out of his house with an AR-15 style semiautomatic rifle and a 9 mm handgun and kill two men in a dispute over a parking space, we need to know: Who enabled him? Where’d he get the guns?

If he stole them, the case ends there.

But if he bought them, then those who supplied the weapons ought to be held accountable, too. The way I see it, they are accomplices to murder.

Oh goody.  That’s just what we need.  Another progressive “exploring” the issue of guns.  I can’t wait.

While Welch-Sutton is a federal case, the straw purchases they admitted to are exactly what the Maryland General Assembly had in mind when it toughened up the state’s firearms law in 2013. The law now requires people who want to buy a gun to submit to a background check, fingerprinting and four hours of gun-safety training.

Opponents of the measure called it an infringement on liberty.

But it’s no such thing. The intent is to discourage straw purchases, to keep old buddies from buying firearms for felons. It’s one piece of what should be a steady, comprehensive effort to reduce the size of the black market of guns that end up causing so much havoc and death. More to come.

Here’s what you won’t find Mr. Rodrick’s focus on: machetes.  Or Chicago gang violence with machetes and knives.  Like this.  Or hammer attacks and the need for a ban on assault hammers and background check before purchasing one.  Or finally, the need to disarm the police because attacking officers and perpetrating crime upon their person for the sole purpose of stealing their weapons has become a favorite tactic of criminals.

Because despite what Mr. Rodrick says about this not being infringements on your rights, it really is about that, and about the state having even more power than it does now.  All progressives want more state control, because it is in their nature.  It’s part of their DNA.  It’s their all encompassing world view.  The hippie movement was never about freedom, love and peace.  It was all about changing ideas and replacing those in power with their own people so they could control things.


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