Archive for the 'Firearms' Category



The Myth Of Mental Illness And Gun Violence

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 2 days ago

Forbes:

Random gun violence is a terrifying fact of American life, because of both the violence and the randomness. Terror bred by violence does not really require comment; they are twinned. But terror bred by randomness does, especially when it leads people to accept as true a reasonable story that is false, when a myth functions as an explanation. And that is what is happening with the way we talk about mental illness and random gun violence. Thankfully, a just published report in the Annals of Epidemiology pulls together the facts we need to consider if we really want to adopt evidence-based policies to reduce random gun violence.

The article, “Mental illness and reduction of gun violence and suicide: bringing epidemiologic research to policy,” is a comprehensive, critical survey of the available data (and it is surprisingly accessible and  well-written for an academic treatise). It concludes that “most violent behavior is due to factors other than mental illness.”

[ ... ]

Jeffrey W. Swanson, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Duke University School of Medicine and lead author of the article in Annals of Epidemiology was quoted in the UCLA Newsroom saying ”but even if schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression were cured, our society’s problem of violence would diminish by only about 4 percent.”

That is not very much. When people with mental illness do act violently it is typically for the same reasons that people without mental illness act violently.

In other words, advocacy for mental health checks and blame of the “mentally ill” for violence in the U.S. is not only unfair, it is a ruse intended to hide the real reasons for the advocacy, which is to intrude on civil rights and the moral duty of self defense.

It’s nice to see the recapitulation of things already said about this issue, in fact things I have cataloged.

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

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

What about diagnoses?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Whether folks engage in myth-telling because they believe in myths, or just want to mislead, the result is the same.  Communicating lies is both hurtful and sinful.  We are required to tell the truth, and the truth is that there is little to no correlation between mental health, whatever that is, and violence.

The War On Guns Meets The War On Men

BY Herschel Smith
4 weeks ago

The Scary Reason Some Men Like Guns Better Than Women:

The first time I lived alone, my third year of college, I rented a tiny apartment from the type of university-town pseudo-slumlord you’re familiar with if you went to a big state school in a smallish city. His name was Rob, and I wasn’t scared of him — or of living on my own — until I sat down in his office to go over the lease and saw a sign hanging above his desk. It said, “10 reasons why a handgun is better than a woman.”

(8) If you admire a friend’s handgun, and tell him so, he will probably let you try it out a few times. (6) Your handgun will stay with you even if you are out of ammo. (4) Handguns function normally every day of the month.

I have been lucky enough not to know too many violent men in my life. And even though I grew up in a part of the country where hunting and gun shows are common, and gun laws are relatively lax, I didn’t know many gun enthusiasts, either. The landlord’s list rattled me. I thought of that scene in Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, where the drill sergeant barks, “You will give your rifle a girl’s name, because this is the only pussy you people are going to get.”

When I read that list over my landlord’s shoulder, it was years before George Sodini mass-murdered women in a fitness center in 2009. Before Elliot Rodger went on a killing spree to teach women a lesson. Before social media helped us catalogue dozens of disparate murders every month in which women were killed by men they knew and, at one point in time, loved. The headlines have come to reflect the message of the list in a way that is chillingly consistent: These men control guns. These men wish they controlled women. These men use guns to control women. What was once perceived as the stuff of women’s-studies classes has become routine news analysis.

The rest of Ann Friedman’s article is more of the same.  She says, with approbation, “Paradoxically, the NRA also actively courts female members. “Come explore, connect, celebrate and unite with the women of NRA,” beckons the NRA Women’s channel, alongside clips with names like “Armed and Fabulous” and “Love at First Shot.” (They’re “stories of empowered women like you,” per the site.) Companies offering products like pink rifles and bra holsters promise to help women “look feminine, look good, and still feel safe.”

It’s sickening to her that a woman would have such a thing, and yet she is the one who conflates why we advocate that women be armed, i.e., exactly so that no one does them harm.  If men are such abusers, the real paradox Ann doesn’t address is why we would advocate that women arm themselves?  But the best is yet to come.  Ann has put the ball in play, but the scoring drive is capped off with this comment.

Males are born narcissists and are needier as children. They have to be taught early in childhood to care about something and someone other than themselves. If not taught young that the world doesn’t revolve around them, that extreme weakness for self-absorption edges over into either the weird or dangerous in adolescence, sometimes both and certainly an inability to successfully navigate life outside their own door in adulthood. The desire to control others because of an inability to control oneself is a pathology. To do so with violence is sociopathy and in the extreme psychopathy.

As my oldest son Josh remarked when he read that comment, “This was written by a person who has never raised children.”  To his point, the notion that man is a tabula rasa doesn’t survive the first child (and I know, as I have four children and he has three, two girls and one boy).  As a Christian, I have an answer as to why both girls and boys are like this.  It’s called federal headship.  We’re all born with a sinful nature.  If you’re not a Christian, you’re on your on to explain evil.  I can’t help you.

Or if she is talking about the fact that boys like machines and things that go boom, this certainly isn’t something to lament.  We should be celebrating the differences in genders.  Guns, like anything else, can be used for evil, or they can help bring out the best innate characteristics in men to protect and serve their familes.

In the end, on a serious note this is a sad commentary on the degree to which Ann Friedman and her commenters don’t really understand what they think they do.  On a slightly more whimsical note, I suspect that the men in Ann’s life have abused her, or that she is married to or dating a confused, effete man who loathes himself and all manhood.  Or both.

Either way, Ann should buy a gun and demand that the men in her life learn how to use it.  It may help change how she sees men and the world around her.

Police Officer Mistakenly Fires Rifle In Court

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

CBS Miami:

A police officer mistakenly fired his rifle Wednesday morning while in court in front of the judge.

A Miami-Dade Police Officer, according to police, was demonstrating a scenario to a judge on the 30th floor of the Lawson E. Thomas Court House around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.

After demonstrating, police say the officer mistakenly fired one shot from his police issued rifle, an AR-15.

The bullet hit the floor and there were no injuries.

Hey folks, forget what I’ve said about trigger discipline.  Remember that cops are highly trained, and are the only ones who can be trusted to own and use weapons.

The Supreme Court Abramski Decision

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

The Supreme Court has decided the Abramski case with a 5-4 vote.  The reaction thus far has been fairly muted, but the implications of the decision are potentially far reaching.  Kagan, writing for the majority, spends a significant amount of painful time [painful for those of us who have filled it out many times] in the nuts and bolts of Form 4473 and what she believes must have been the intent of Congress when they crafted the Gun Control Act of 1968.  Scalia wrote a spirited dissent, and anticipating the objections, Kagan writes:

But Abramski and the dissent draw the wrong conclu­sion from their observations about resales and gifts. Yes, Congress decided to regulate dealers’ sales, while leaving the secondary market for guns largely untouched. As we noted in Huddleston, Congress chose to make the dealer the “principal agent of federal enforcement” in “restricting [criminals’] access to firearms.” 415 U. S., at 824. And yes, that choice (like pretty much everything Congress does) was surely a result of compromise. But no, straw arrangements are not a part of the secondary market, separate and apart from the dealer’s sale. In claiming as much, Abramski merely repeats his mistaken assumption that the “person” who acquires a gun from a dealer in a case like this one is the straw, rather than the individual who has made a prior arrangement to pay for, take pos­session of, own, and use that part of the dealer’s stock. For all the reasons we have already given, that is not a plausible construction of a statute mandating that the dealer identify and run a background check on the person to whom it is (really, not fictitiously) selling a gun. See supra, at 9–15. The individual who sends a straw to a gun store to buy a firearm is transacting with the dealer, in every way but the most formal; and that distinguishes such a person from one who buys a gun, or receives a gun as a gift, from a private party.9 The line Congress drew between those who acquire guns from dealers and those who get them as gifts or on the secondary market, we suspect, reflects a host of things, including administrative simplicity and a view about where the most problematic firearm transactions—like criminal organizations’ bulk gun purchases—typically occur. But whatever the reason, the scarcity of controls in the secondary market provides no reason to gut the robust measures Congress enacted at the point of sale.

If it seems that Kagan is making the judgment of a legislator here, you are not mistaken, and it isn’t a mistake that she spends so much time in her decision on the federal code.

Via David Codrea, attorney Joshua Prince says of the decision:

There is NO law enacted by the Congress regarding straw purchasers! This was made up in whole cloth by the ATF! This is a FAR worse decision than anyone is comprehending. NOW, administrative agencies can enact criminal laws, which have NOT been enacted by the Congress!

David Workman also weighs in at Examiner:

Nelson Lund, a constitutional scholar and Second Amendment expert at George Mason School of Law, had this to say: “Five members of the Supreme Court have decided to make it a federal crime for a lawful gun owner to buy a firearm for another lawful gun owner. No federal statute says any such thing. The Justices are once again legislating from the bench, which violates the Constitution, and enacting a retroactive criminal law, which is even worse.” His comment came via e-mail.

In his dissent, Scalia notes that there is evolving history in how the ATF has applied and enforced the Gun Control Act.

After Congress passed the Act in 1968, ATF’s initial position was that the Act did not prohibit the sale of a gun to an eligible buyer acting on behalf of a third party (even an ineligible one). See Hearings Before the Subcommittee To Investigate Juvenile Delinquency of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, 94th Cong., 1st Sess., pt. 1, 118 (1975). A few years later, ATF modified its position and asserted that the Act did not “prohibit a dealer from making a sale to a person who is actually purchasing the firearm for another person” unless the other person was “prohibited from receiving or possessing a firearm,” in which case the dealer could be guilty of “unlawfully aiding the prohibited person’s own violation.” ATF, Industry Circular 79–10 (1979), in (Your Guide To) Federal Firearms Regulation 1988–89 (1988), p. 78. The agency appears not to have adopted its current position until the early 1990′s.

Then Scalia offers up this zinger.

In the majority’s view, if the bureaucrats responsible for creating Form 4473 decided to ask about the buyer’s favorite color, a false response would be a federal crime.

He has put his finger on a core problem with this decision [and other such rule-making inside the beltway].  As I’ve noted before:

Laws are passed by the Senate and Congress.  But after laws pass, thousands of lawyers inside the beltway go to work writing regulations based on those laws, or not, using the law as a pretext for further regulation that Congress didn’t specifically intend.  At times, Congress has even had to pass laws undoing regulations because the regulations don’t meet the intent of the law, and yet the executive branch won’t stop enforcing that regulation (or class of regulations).

Regulation is passed merely by entering them into the federal register, allowing a waiting time for public comments (which are nothing but a chance afforded to the authors of the regulations to ignore them or write sarcastic rebuttals), and then after the waiting period, it takes on the force of law including prosecution, fines and imprisonment for failure to follow them.

This happens every day, all over the nation, and in the DOT, NRC, EPA, DOJ, ATF, DHS, and other departments and agencies that the reader cannot even name and didn’t know existed.  Any law giving the executive branch the authority to further regulate firearms will be an opportunity for abuse, overreach and exploitation.

I’ve seen it in my own line of work.  Regulations take on the force of law after comments responding to entries in the Federal Register are summarily ignored by the agency doing the regulating.  It makes little sense to respond with comments when the regulator’s mind is made up.  These regulations frequently far surpass the law in breadth, scope, depth and magnitude.

One such example on Form 4473 might be the following.  My own son was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps, but knew of one poor soul who became inebriated the eve of his discharge and was caught for DUI on base.  This Marine was dishonorably discharged.  According to the wording on Form 4473, he will never be able to legally purchase a gun even if a judge agrees with him because the USMC won’t revisit its discharge and thus he won’t be able to answer – truthfully – on Form 4473 about discharge from a branch of the service.

[I don't mean here to exonerate the ridiculous GCA for its requirement that gun transfers across state lines go through an FFL.  I have gifted a firearm to one of my sons this way, and in order to fulfill this part of the law (he couldn't legally carry it with him on the airline even by following TSA regulations since he didn't own it), we had to pay the exorbitant cost of shipping the gun air express to an FFL and then a transfer fee in his home state.  It had the effect of escalating the cost of the whole affair, and I'm convinced that this was part of the intended effect by Congress.]

To me, this kind of regulation seems onerous compared to what Congress wrote, but it is latitude given (and taken) by the federal regulators.  If there is a problem with legislating from the bench, there is even a worse problem with regulating by the executive branch from inside the beltway.  The problem will continue (and grow) as long as the public abides the abuse.

The Truth Concerning Open Carry

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

I won’t wade into the recent debate over rifle-toting folks going into stores and restaurants, except to say that I’ve never done it and don’t intend on doing it.  I don’t buy the explanation that there is no safe way to observe muzzle discipline with a rifle, but I also don’t buy the notion that a rifle is the preferred weapon (and I don’t buy other things, like the notion that I’m safe when I get on the road in an automobile).  If your state doesn’t allow open carry, then replace the legislators until they do.

But there was a moment of honesty about open carry (of any weapon) displayed in a recent dustup over the issue that deserves your ponderance.

“We’ve had a tough time over the years promoting Lake Ozark as a family area,” said Alderman Larry Buschjost, who voted for the ban. “We want you on the Strip with families, everywhere in Lake Ozark with families. We want you to bring your kids down here and let them loose. For the life of me, I don’t understand why I would have to carry any type of gun, concealed or otherwise. “

As with collectivist South Carolina Senator Larry Martin (who needs to be replaced and defanged as soon as possible), when a legislator objects to open carry, he or she is rarely objecting solely to open carry.  It’s the very idea that you would have a weapon at all that they don’t like.  The good part is that if you let them talk long enough, they’ll often tell you exactly that.

Gun-Mounted Flashlights Linked To Accidental Shootings

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

The Denver Post:

Gun_Mounted_Flashlights

Ronny Flanagan took pride in his record as a police officer in Plano, Texas. He had an incident-free career. He took safety training regularly. He was known at the range as a very good shot.

Yet he killed a man when he was simply trying to press a flashlight switch mounted beneath the trigger on his pistol.

In a deposition, Flanagan expressed his remorse and made a prediction.

“I don’t want anyone to ever sit in a chair I’m in right now,” he said. “Think about the officers that aren’t as well trained, officers that don’t take it as seriously, and you put them in a pressure situation, another accident will happen. Not if, but will.”

Flanagan was right. Three months after the October 2010 shooting in Plano, a 76-year-old man took a bullet in the stomach from a New York police officer trying to switch on the same flashlight model.

At least three other people in the U.S. over the past nine years have been shot accidentally by police officers with gun-mounted flashlights, an investigation by The Denver Post found. Two victims were fellow officers.

In Colorado, Denver’s police chief banned the use of tactical flashlights with switches below the trigger guard after two officers accidentally fired their guns last year.

One of the officers may have shot a suspect when his finger slipped from the flashlight switch to the trigger, firing a bullet into a car window of the fleeing driver.

[ ... ]

In Plano, Flanagan tried to shine his flashlight on a suspected drug dealer in a dark parking lot outside a fast-food restaurant. Instead, he shot and killed Michael Alcala, leaving a 2-year-old boy fatherless.

“I don’t think it’s a very good idea to have any flashlight on a gun. You’re turning it into a loaded flashlight,” said Luke Metzler, a lawyer who sued Plano and the flashlight maker on behalf of the son, Michael Alcala Jr.

Here’s what’s happening.  In order to depress the pressure switch, shooters (in this case, cops) are squeezing their third finger, and because they have no control over their sympathetic muscle reflexes, they are also squeezing their trigger finger at the same time.  Suing the manufacturers of flashlights is about as nonsensical as I can imagine.  That’s like suing a hammer manufacturer because I may choose to hit someone over the head with it.

But what does this also show us?  The astute reader says, “that cops are (a) using their weapon mounted light as a tactical light to see things in the dark, violating requirements for muzzle discipline, and (b) they have their finger on the trigger of their weapon, showing that they are violating requirements for trigger discipline.

Recall what I said about this?

My son was a SAW gunner in the 2/6 infantry, Golf Company, 3rd Platoon, during the 2007 combat tour of Fallujah and the pre-deployment workup.  The senior Marines had experienced a tour of Iraq, and wanted their SAW gunners to have a round in the chamber, bolt open (the SAW is an open bolt weapon anyway), and finger on the trigger.  They had seen combat and they wanted their SAW gunners with zero steps to shooting.  Their lives depended on it.  They also did CQB drills with live rounds, along with squad rushes.

My son had an ID (if I’m not mistaken it was during training at Mohave Viper).  He tripped and had a sympathetic muscle reflex, squeezing the trigger of his SAW.  He spent an extended period of time in the “room of pain.”  They wanted him trained to overcome that sympathetic muscle reflex (which can be done, but it takes hundreds or thousands of hours of drills).  He spent the time learning to overcome that reflex, and performed well during his tour.  He also tried to teach his “boot” Marines the same way he was trained, but the Marines had begun to change and focus more on cultural sensitivity training and other COIN tools.  He got out of the Marine Corps.

Why am I discussing this?  Because no matter who you are, no matter how much time you spend, no matter how earnestly you wish it, no matter how many directives you write, if you are a SWAT team member, you will never be trained in such a manner.  Never.  You will never be trained like a U.S. Marine who has spent every day for a year and a half in pre-deployment workup to do a combat tour of Iraq.  Because you will never be trained in this manner, your tactics are dangerous, all of the time, and in all situations.  I don’t care how many times you have inexperienced Soldiers spend a week with you doing CQB drills.

As for cops, if they obey the same rules as we do, this kind of thing won’t happen.  And I don’t care how sad Ronny Flanagan is over this.  The shooting is his fault.  Period.

If you keep your booger hook off of the bang switch, the gun won’t go boom.  And for the sake of everything that is sensible, good and righteous, don’t use your weapon mounted tactical light as a flashlight so that you can see things in the dark.

Open Carry In Louisiana

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

Open_Carry_Louisiana

Offbeat:

Steve Maloney, OffBeat’s web editor, texted me a photo that his uncle took in the French Quarter on Tuesday. Note the handgun on this young man’s right hip. My jaw dropped.

Did you know that the state of Louisiana recognizes “open carry,” which is apparently what this guy is practicing as he strolls down a street in the Quarter. “Concealed” guns require a special permit.

Scary.

In my personal opinion, New Orleans should be a gun-free zone, period. Politically, no one locally has the moxie to stand up for this concept. What you’ll hear is if we get rid of guns, “then only criminals will have guns.” Yeah, like this young man. Why does he need to carry a firearm with him in the French Quarter? Are we in the Wild, Wild West or something?

It make take a couple of decades, but there’s no reason why we need guns in our society for “protection.”

What are you going to do over that two decades to ensure that we don’t need or have guns, Jan?  Are you going to send the police after folks with guns?  Because if you are, then your entire philosophy is a lie.  You just want only certain people to have guns.

But if the police aren’t going to confiscate guns, then how are you going to get them?  We won’t willingly give them up, Jan.  And what are you going to do about the criminals who want to use theirs for untoward things, Jan, like raping you or harming you in other ways?  The police can’t take care of you.

As for open carry, do you carry all of your belongings – purse, credit cards, car keys, cell phone – inside your waist band?  Why do you expect me to do that with my gun?

You do understand, don’t you, that making New Orleans a “gun free zone” won’t do anything to ensure that there aren’t guns in New Orleans?  You do understand that rapists, thieves, robbers and muggers will still carry weapons, don’t you?

And you understand that folks who conceal carry consists of two groups: those who do so legally (like me), and those who do not do so illegally.  You do understand that there are folks who carry concealed illegally, don’t you Jan?  And you do understand that the whole notion that the gun being concealed makes you feel safer is entirely a false psychological construct, don’t you Jan?

Or perhaps not.  Perhaps you haven’t thought through any of this.  And perhaps you should.

Colt: The Gunmaker Who Can’t Shoot Straight

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

Bloomberg Businessweek:

In the 1970s, Colt and other American gunmakers, following the bad example of Detroit’s Big Three automakers, grew smug and lazy. Like Japanese and German car companies, more nimble foreign gunmakers grabbed market share. By the 1980s, Smith & Wesson had lost the U.S. police to Austria’s Glock, while Colt saw Italy’s Beretta snatch its main U.S. Army sidearm contract. In 1985, Colt plant employees who belonged to the United Auto Workers launched a protracted strike for higher pay. Replacement employees weren’t up to the task, and “quality suffered badly,” says Feldman, then an organizer for the National Rifle Association. In 1988 the Pentagon gave Colt’s M16 contract to FN Herstal of Belgium. Four years later, Colt filed for bankruptcy court protection from its creditors. “With the end of the Cold War,” says Hopkins, the firearms marketer, “it seemed like the company might never recover.”

[ ... ]

Complicating matters, Colt then blundered into the vortex of American gun-control politics. In a December 1997 editorial in American Firearms Industry magazine, Zilkha’s handpicked CEO, Ron Stewart, made a pair of proposals that set off alarms in Second Amendment circles. He urged “the creation of a research and development program to further firearm technology toward more advanced methods that promote safety (such as personalized firearms).” And he recommended that Congress require gun owners to obtain a federal permit. “All hell broke loose,” says Feldman …

Zilkha relieved Stewart of his CEO duties in late 1998; by the following year the Colt smart gun was dead …

The withered commercial handgun business—by now reduced almost exclusively to producing copies of classic handguns—was left behind under the name Colt’s Manufacturing. The two companies shared the West Hartford factory. To the consternation of workers, a metal fence was erected to denote the corporate split …

Among other failings, the severed halves of Colt somehow missed the post-2008 “Obama surge” as much as other U.S. gun manufacturers. Whipped up by NRA warnings that the Democratic president intended to toughen gun control, consumers cleared gun store shelves of ammunition and weapons. Better-prepared manufacturers such as Glock saw sales rise sharply. Under the terms of the Colt split, however, Colt Defense could reach the booming civilian market only by first selling its rifles to Colt’s Manufacturing, a debilitated company with sclerotic lines of distribution. Colt’s Manufacturing, for its part, offered only a limited selection of the handguns so much in demand. …

S&P projects that company revenue will fall by 5 percent to 15 percent in 2014. It cites “declining commercial rifle sales as demand returns to more normalized levels following a surge in recent years” and a sharp reduction in Pentagon demand for new M4 rifles following the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. “The government’s plan to shrink the size of the Army also poses a threat to long-term demand for the rifle,” S&P notes. On May 14, Colt reported that revenue for its first quarter of 2014 slumped 22 percent, to $50 million. The company suffered a loss of $7.8 million for the period. During an investor conference call, CEO Dennis Veilleux said, “I’m not pleased with these results.”

Ignoring the source (Bloomberg), this is actually good reporting and analysis and a good rundown of the troubles that have plagued Colt.

Colt got fat from military contracts, lost control over good QA, and lost interest in the civilian firearms market.  This happens often to manufacturers for the military, since making milspec parts means that there is very little innovation and contracts aren’t as flexible to customer feedback as in the civilian market.  Soldiers and Marines have to use what they’ve been issued.  I get to choose my guns, and hence I have a Rock River Arms AR-15 instead of a Colt.  I have always said that a gun isn’t truly tested until it hits the civilian market.

There is one aspect of Colt’s demise that isn’t mentioned here, and that is the role of labor unions.  All gun manufacturers in Northern states (which are not “right to work” states) have suffered from the same erosion of quality and cost problems or they will in the future.

The lessons for all gun manufacturers should be clear.  First, labor unions kill companies.  The future of industry is in right-to-work states.  Second, any flirtation with gun control is death to a gun manufacturer.  Gun owners punish cooperation with gun controllers.  Third, fat-ass government contracts tends to corrupt a company.  The most healthy market for guns is the civilian market.  It also happens to be the least fickle and most reliable.

Finally, overseas production (in Japan, for instance) is a loser proposition.  I turned down the chance to buy a Browning bolt action rifle because of that very thing (made in Japan stamped on the barrel), and thought that Winchester rifles were now made exclusively in Columbia, S.C.  I later found out that parts are now made in Columbia, while assembly is done in Portugal.  Instead I purchased a Tikka T3 Hunter 0.270.  In other words, I went with a foreign manufacturer who actually knows how to make guns.  The Remington and Ruger bolts were so loose they flopped like dog ears.  The Tikka was tight and is a tack driver.

Bottom line: move South to right-to-work states, make guns for the civilian market, make them well, and avoid the corruption that goes along with being in bed with the government.  It’s too late for Colt.  They will go belly up before long.  It isn’t too late for others – you know who you are.

 

The History Of Magazines Holding 11 Or More Rounds

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

David Kopel has a nicely argued brief filed with the Ninth Circuit on the history of magazines holding 11 or more rounds.  The context is the case of Fyock v. Sunnyvale, where the district court upheld the California ban on standard capacity magazines because “magazines did not exist at the time the Second Amendment was ratified.”

Some of the history I knew, and some of it I didn’t.  In Either case, the brief is very interesting, filled with both facts and analysis, and much better than Eugene Volokh’s ill-advised (and unripe) commentary on magazines.

Kopel colors outside the lines when he says this:

If the firing of several shots has wounded one attacker, and has resulted in the other attacker putting up his hands, the defender needs to control the situation until the police arrive. That is why reserve capacity is so important for law enforcement and for citizens. Reloading is very difficult when the second hand is holding a cell phone. Even a two-handed reload will likely make the gun temporarily inoperable and cause the gun to move off target for at least a few seconds, giving the criminal(s) a new window of opportunity. Citizens do not carry police radios, and police response to a cell phone call about citizen in trouble is often slower than the response to a radio call about an officer in trouble. The reasons why magazines for greater than 10 rounds are the overwhelming choice for law enforcement officers for lawful defense of self and others apply a fortiori to citizens, who rightly  look to law enforcement officers as good models for gun safety practices.

The point is fundamentally sound, but I have never in the past, do not currently, and will never in the future look to law enforcement for gun safety practices.

More ‘Only One’ Negligent Discharges

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

News from Pittsburgh:

Pittsburgh police are reviewing an incident in which they say an officer accidentally fired a gun while chasing a suspect in Crafton Heights, an official said on Tuesday.

Public safety spokeswoman Sonya Toler said Detective Martin Kail accidentally fired his gun when he fell while pursuing a suspect on foot about 9:40 p.m. May 21 in the 1400 block of Crucible Street.

No one was hurt.

“No one was shot, no one was injured,” Toler said.

She did not know what prompted Kail, a member of the narcotics and vice squad, to chase after the suspect.

Toler said the suspect was not apprehended.

Supervisors were notified of the incident and arrived at the scene, she said.

Kail was hired in 2007, records show.

Officer Howard McQuillan, president of Fraternal Order of Police Fort Pitt Lodge No. 1, the labor union that represents city police officers, declined to comment.

Yea, I’ll bet he “declined to comment.”  Notice the term accidental.  I suspect another example of negligent discharge because someone stumbled with their finger on the trigger, squeezing due to sympathetic muscle reflex, which I discussed here again.

Can’t they at least train these guys at the same level as we civilians?


26th MEU (10)
Abu Muqawama (12)
ACOG (2)
ACOGs (1)
Afghan National Army (36)
Afghan National Police (17)
Afghanistan (675)
Afghanistan SOFA (4)
Agriculture in COIN (3)
AGW (1)
Air Force (28)
Air Power (9)
al Qaeda (83)
Ali al-Sistani (1)
America (6)
Ammunition (12)
Animals in War (4)
Ansar al Sunna (15)
Anthropology (3)
AR-15s (34)
Arghandab River Valley (1)
Arlington Cemetery (2)
Army (34)
Assassinations (2)
Assault Weapon Ban (24)
Australian Army (5)
Azerbaijan (4)
Backpacking (2)
Badr Organization (8)
Baitullah Mehsud (21)
Basra (17)
BATFE (43)
Battle of Bari Alai (2)
Battle of Wanat (15)
Battle Space Weight (3)
Bin Laden (7)
Blogroll (2)
Blogs (4)
Body Armor (16)
Books (2)
Border War (6)
Brady Campaign (1)
Britain (25)
British Army (35)
Camping (4)
Canada (1)
Castle Doctrine (1)
Caucasus (6)
CENTCOM (7)
Center For a New American Security (8)
Charity (3)
China (10)
Christmas (5)
CIA (12)
Civilian National Security Force (3)
Col. Gian Gentile (9)
Combat Outposts (3)
Combat Video (2)
Concerned Citizens (6)
Constabulary Actions (3)
Coolness Factor (2)
COP Keating (4)
Corruption in COIN (4)
Council on Foreign Relations (1)
Counterinsurgency (214)
DADT (2)
David Rohde (1)
Defense Contractors (2)
Department of Defense (113)
Department of Homeland Security (9)
Disaster Preparedness (2)
Distributed Operations (5)
Dogs (5)
Drone Campaign (3)
EFV (3)
Egypt (12)
Embassy Security (1)
Enemy Spotters (1)
Expeditionary Warfare (17)
F-22 (2)
F-35 (1)
Fallujah (17)
Far East (3)
Fathers and Sons (1)
Favorite (1)
Fazlullah (3)
FBI (1)
Featured (159)
Federal Firearms Laws (14)
Financing the Taliban (2)
Firearms (238)
Football (1)
Force Projection (35)
Force Protection (4)
Force Transformation (1)
Foreign Policy (27)
Fukushima Reactor Accident (6)
Ganjgal (1)
Garmsir (1)
general (14)
General Amos (1)
General James Mattis (1)
General McChrystal (38)
General McKiernan (6)
General Rodriguez (3)
General Suleimani (7)
Georgia (19)
GITMO (2)
Google (1)
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (1)
Gun Control (185)
Guns (493)
Guns In National Parks (2)
Haditha Roundup (10)
Haiti (2)
HAMAS (7)
Haqqani Network (9)
Hate Mail (7)
Hekmatyar (1)
Heroism (4)
Hezbollah (12)
High Capacity Magazines (11)
High Value Targets (9)
Homecoming (1)
Homeland Security (1)
Horses (1)
Humor (13)
ICOS (1)
IEDs (7)
Immigration (27)
India (10)
Infantry (3)
Information Warfare (2)
Infrastructure (2)
Intelligence (22)
Intelligence Bulletin (6)
Iran (169)
Iraq (377)
Iraq SOFA (23)
Islamic Facism (33)
Islamists (37)
Israel (17)
Jaish al Mahdi (21)
Jalalabad (1)
Japan (2)
Jihadists (70)
John Nagl (5)
Joint Intelligence Centers (1)
JRTN (1)
Kabul (1)
Kajaki Dam (1)
Kamdesh (8)
Kandahar (12)
Karachi (7)
Kashmir (2)
Khost Province (1)
Khyber (11)
Knife Blogging (2)
Korea (4)
Korengal Valley (3)
Kunar Province (20)
Kurdistan (3)
Language in COIN (5)
Language in Statecraft (1)
Language Interpreters (2)
Lashkar-e-Taiba (2)
Law Enforcement (2)
Lawfare (6)
Leadership (5)
Lebanon (6)
Leon Panetta (1)
Let Them Fight (2)
Libya (11)
Lines of Effort (3)
Littoral Combat (7)
Logistics (46)
Long Guns (1)
Lt. Col. Allen West (2)
Marine Corps (229)
Marines in Bakwa (1)
Marines in Helmand (67)
Marjah (4)
MEDEVAC (2)
Media (22)
Memorial Day (2)
Mexican Cartels (20)
Mexico (21)
Michael Yon (5)
Micromanaging the Military (7)
Middle East (1)
Military Blogging (26)
Military Contractors (3)
Military Equipment (24)
Militia (3)
Mitt Romney (3)
Monetary Policy (1)
Moqtada al Sadr (2)
Mosul (4)
Mountains (9)
MRAPs (1)
Mullah Baradar (1)
Mullah Fazlullah (1)
Mullah Omar (3)
Musa Qala (4)
Music (16)
Muslim Brotherhood (6)
Nation Building (2)
National Internet IDs (1)
National Rifle Association (13)
NATO (15)
Navy (19)
Navy Corpsman (1)
NCOs (3)
News (1)
NGOs (2)
Nicholas Schmidle (2)
Now Zad (19)
NSA (1)
NSA James L. Jones (6)
Nuclear (53)
Nuristan (8)
Obama Administration (203)
Offshore Balancing (1)
Operation Alljah (7)
Operation Khanjar (14)
Ossetia (7)
Pakistan (165)
Paktya Province (1)
Palestine (5)
Patriotism (6)
Patrolling (1)
Pech River Valley (11)
Personal (16)
Petraeus (14)
Pictures (1)
Piracy (13)
Police (98)
Police in COIN (3)
Policy (15)
Politics (131)
Poppy (2)
PPEs (1)
Prisons in Counterinsurgency (12)
Project Gunrunner (20)
PRTs (1)
Qatar (1)
Quadrennial Defense Review (2)
Quds Force (13)
Quetta Shura (1)
RAND (3)
Recommended Reading (14)
Refueling Tanker (1)
Religion (70)
Religion and Insurgency (19)
Reuters (1)
Rick Perry (4)
Roads (4)
Rolling Stone (1)
Ron Paul (1)
ROTC (1)
Rules of Engagement (73)
Rumsfeld (1)
Russia (27)
Sabbatical (1)
Sangin (1)
Saqlawiyah (1)
Satellite Patrols (2)
Saudi Arabia (4)
Scenes from Iraq (1)
Second Amendment (133)
Second Amendment Quick Hits (2)
Secretary Gates (9)
Sharia Law (3)
Shura Ittehad-ul-Mujahiden (1)
SIIC (2)
Sirajuddin Haqqani (1)
Small Wars (72)
Snipers (9)
Sniveling Lackeys (2)
Soft Power (4)
Somalia (8)
Sons of Afghanistan (1)
Sons of Iraq (2)
Special Forces (22)
Squad Rushes (1)
State Department (17)
Statistics (1)
Sunni Insurgency (10)
Support to Infantry Ratio (1)
Survival (9)
SWAT Raids (46)
Syria (38)
Tactical Drills (1)
Tactical Gear (1)
Taliban (167)
Taliban Massing of Forces (4)
Tarmiyah (1)
TBI (1)
Technology (16)
Tehrik-i-Taliban (78)
Terrain in Combat (1)
Terrorism (86)
Thanksgiving (4)
The Anbar Narrative (23)
The Art of War (5)
The Fallen (1)
The Long War (20)
The Surge (3)
The Wounded (13)
Thomas Barnett (1)
Transnational Insurgencies (5)
Tribes (5)
TSA (10)
TSA Ineptitude (10)
TTPs (1)
U.S. Border Patrol (4)
U.S. Border Security (11)
U.S. Sovereignty (13)
UAVs (2)
UBL (4)
Ukraine (2)
Uncategorized (38)
Universal Background Check (2)
Unrestricted Warfare (4)
USS Iwo Jima (2)
USS San Antonio (1)
Uzbekistan (1)
V-22 Osprey (4)
Veterans (2)
Vietnam (1)
War & Warfare (210)
War & Warfare (40)
War Movies (2)
War Reporting (17)
Wardak Province (1)
Warriors (5)
Waziristan (1)
Weapons and Tactics (57)
West Point (1)
Winter Operations (1)
Women in Combat (11)
WTF? (1)
Yemen (1)

about · archives · contact · register

Copyright © 2006-2014 Captain's Journal. All rights reserved.