Archive for the 'Gun Control' Category

The Link Between Mental Health And Gun Violence

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 6 days ago

I’ve previously cataloged mental health professionals and their reaction to the notion that their patients perpetrate violence more frequently than others.

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….

A 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.

And finally,

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.

And yet … the raison d’être, we are told, for background checks is to prevent the mentally ill from obtaining guns.  Enter Huffington Post (yet again) claiming that gun violence is a medical condition due to “recurrent violent injury.”

An article has just been published that is a must-read for everyone concerned about violence and guns because it places violent behavior in its proper context — namely, as a disease that, in order to see it decline, needs to be handled like other chronic medical conditions. The researchers followed two groups of young men and women, ages 14 to 24, who were patients at the ER in Flint, Michigan, between 2008 and 2010. One group consisted of patients who were admitted for the first time suffering from a serious injury due to an assault. The other group were first admitted for some other medical issue.

Except for their histories in the ER, both groups were basically the same. They were mostly African-American, mostly from families on public assistance, they had the same degree of drug use and the same number who had either been convicted of some crime and/or were on parole. Finally, a majority of the members of both groups reported family incomes below the poverty line. In other words, both groups of patients shared the same social culture that breeds violence, but one group never came to the ER as victims of violent assaults, the other group not only came at least once, but many came multiple times.

The researchers characterized this latter group as suffering from what they call “recurrent violent injury,” which is estimated to cost the medical system somewhere between $600 million and $1 billion per year.

Welcome to the condition of recurrent violent injury.  I’m willing to bet that you’ve never heard of that before.  And yes, the author linked an abstract rather than a paper.  As if on queue, a more studied author tells us something different.  I have to quote at length for you to get the full force of the argument.

When mass shooters strike, speculations about their mental health—sometimes borne out, sometimes not—are never far behind. It seems intuitive that someone who could do something terrible must be, in some sense, insane. But is that actually true? Are gun violence and mental illness really so tightly intertwined?

Jeffrey Swanson, a medical sociologist and professor of psychiatry at Duke University, first became interested in the perceived intersection of violence and mental illness while working at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston in the mid-eighties. It was his first job out of graduate school, and he had been asked to estimate how many people in Texas met the criteria for needing mental-health services. As he pored over different data sets, he sensed that there could be some connection between mental health and violence. But he also realized that there was no good statewide data on the connection. “Nobody knew anything about the real connection between violent behavior and psychiatric disorders,” he told me. And so he decided to spend his career in pursuit of that link.

In general, we seem to believe that violent behavior is connected to mental illness. And if the behavior is sensationally violent—as in mass shootings—the perpetrator must certainly have been sick. As recently as 2013, almost forty-six per cent of respondents to a national survey said that people with mental illness were more dangerous than other people. According to two recent Gallup polls, from 2011 and 2013, more people believe that mass shootings result from a failure of the mental-health system than from easy access to guns. Eighty per cent of the population believes that mental illness is at least partially to blame for such incidents.

That belief has shaped our politics. The 1968 Gun Control Act prohibited anyone who had ever been committed to a mental hospital or had been “adjudicated as a mental defective” from purchasing firearms. That prohibition was reaffirmed, in 1993, by the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act. It has only become more strictly enforced in the intervening years, with the passing of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System Improvement Act, in 2008, as well as by statewide initiatives. In 2013, New York passed the Safe Act, which mandated that mental-health professionals file reports on patients “likely to engage in conduct that would result in harm to self or others”; those patients, who now number more than thirty-four thousand, have had their guns seized and have been prevented from buying new ones.

Are those policies based on sound science? To understand that question, one has to start with the complexities of the term “mental illness.” The technical definition includes any condition that appears in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, but the D.S.M. has changed with the culture; until the nineteen-eighties, homosexuality was listed in some form in the manual. Diagnostic criteria, too, may vary from state to state, hospital to hospital, and doctor to doctor. A diagnosis may change over time, too. Someone can be ill and then, later, be given a clean bill of health: mental illness is, in many cases, not a lifelong diagnosis, especially if it is being medicated. Conversely, someone may be ill but never diagnosed. What happens if the act of violence is the first diagnosable act? Any policy based on mental illness would have failed to prevent it.

When Swanson first analyzed the ostensible connection between violence and mental illness, looking at more than ten thousand individuals (both mentally ill and healthy) during the course of one year, he found that serious mental illness alone was a risk factor for violence—from minor incidents, like shoving, to armed assault—in only four per cent of cases. That is, if you took all of the incidents of violence reported among the people in the survey, mental illness alone could explain only four per cent of the incidents. When Swanson broke the samples down by demographics, he found that the occurrence of violence was more closely associated with whether someone was male, poor, and abusing either alcohol or drugs—and that those three factors alone could predict violent behavior with or without any sign of mental illness. If someone fit all three of those categories, the likelihood of them committing a violent act was high, even if they weren’t also mentally ill. If someone fit none, then mental illness was highly unlikely to be predictive of violence. “That study debunked two myths,” Swanson said. “One: people with mental illness are all dangerous. Well, the vast majority are not. And the other myth: that there’s no connection at all. There is one. It’s quite small, but it’s not completely nonexistent.

In 2002, Swanson repeated his study over the course of the year, tracking eight hundred people in four states who were being treated for either psychosis or a major mood disorder (the most severe forms of mental illness). The number who committed a violent act that year, he found, was thirteen per cent. But the likelihood was dependent on whether they were unemployed, poor, living in disadvantaged communities, using drugs or alcohol, and had suffered from “violent victimization” during a part of their lives. The association was a cumulative one: take away all of these factors and the risk fell to two per cent, which is the same risk as found in the general population. Add one, and the risk remained low. Add two, and the risk doubled, at the least. Add three, and the risk of violence rose to thirty per cent.

Other people have since taken up Swanson’s work. A subsequent study of over a thousand discharged psychiatric inpatients, known as the MacArthur Violence Risk Assessment Study, found that, a year after their release, patients were only more likely than the average person to be violent if they were also abusing alcohol or drugs. Absent substance abuse, they were no more likely to act violently than were a set of randomly selected neighbors. Two years ago, an analysis of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (which contained data on more than thirty-two thousand individuals) found that just under three per cent of people suffering from severe mental illness had acted violently in the last year, as compared to just under one per cent of the general population. Those who also abused alcohol or drugs were at an elevated, ten-per-cent risk.

Internationallytoo, these results have held, revealing a steady but low link between mental illness and violence …

Psychiatrists also have a very hard time predicting which of their patients will go on to commit a violent act. In one study, the University of Pittsburgh psychiatrist Charles Lidz and his colleagues had doctors at a psychiatric emergency department evaluate admitted patients and predict whether or not they would commit violence against others. They found that, over the next six months, fifty-three per cent of those patients who doctors predicted would commit a violent act actually did. Thirty-six per cent of the patients thought not to be violent in fact went on to commit a violent act. For female patients, the prediction rates were no better than chance. A 2012 meta-analysis of data from close to twenty-five thousand participants, from thirteen countries, led by the Oxford University psychiatrist Seena Fazel, found that the nine assessment tools most commonly used to predict violence—from actuarial ones like the Psychopathy Checklist to clinical judgment tools like the Structured Assessment of Violence Risk in Youth—had only “low to moderate” predictive value.

Mental health does not bear on propensity to violence any more than any other condition, or said another way, some mentally ill people are intent on evil just like mentally healthy people.  Not, by the way, that I think that one can logically define “mentally ill.”  Definitions of mentally ill fall prey to a formal logical fallacy.  The definition requires a listing of conditions that doctors consider mentally ill, and thus presence on the list crafts the definition itself.  It’s circular reasoning.

But gun controllers don’t care about that, or the mentally ill either.  It’s another tool to effect their designs on your freedom.  And in conclusion, I would remind you of reader menckenlite on psychiatry.

Control freaks love psychiatry, a means of social control with no Due Process protections. It is a system of personal opinion masquerading as science. See, e.g., Boston University Psychology Professor Margaret Hagan’s book, Whores of the Court, to see how arbitrary psychiatric illnesses are. Peter Breggin, Fred Baughman and Thomas Szasz wrote extensively about abuses of psychiatry. Liberals blame guns for violence. Conservatives blame mental illness. Neither have any causal connection to violence.

Despite this, expect the calls for universal background checks to continue, and the “mentally ill” – whatever that means – to endure discrimination.  Soldiers and Marines with PTSD – are you listening?

Stop The Insanity: Ban Guns

BY Herschel Smith
4 weeks ago

Tallahassee Democrat:

It’s the guns, stupid.

The shootings Thursday at the Florida State University library. The shootings Saturday in a northwest Tallahassee neighborhood. The shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. The shooting of Arizona U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. The shootings at Virginia Tech. The 10,000 senseless shooting deaths that happen every year in this country.

Take away guns and they don’t happen.

How is it that the supposed greatest nation on earth refuses to stop the unholy availability of guns?

I’m not talking about gun control. I’m not talking about waiting periods and background checks.

I’m talking about flat-out banning the possession of handguns and assault rifles by individual citizens. I’m talking about repealing or amending the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

[ ... ]

Gun supporters say, “It’s not guns that cause gun violence, it’s mentally ill people with guns; fix the mentally ill.” Even if those same people did not oppose government spending on the mentally ill — which they have for decades — there is no predicting when mental illness will express itself in violence.

[ ... ]

Gun freaks say if you take away their guns only outlaws will have guns. That’s a chance worth taking.

[ ... ]

Let the hunters keep their rifles and shotguns; those weapons are ineffective tools in a mass shooting. But we need to ban handguns and assault rifles for all but police and military.

[ ... ]

One of the frequent refrains of gun freaks about President Obama is “He’s coming for our guns.” Obama never said such a thing. But I will:

We’re coming for your guns. And someday, we’ll take them.

Hmm … I cannot help but think of Charles Whitman as I read this.  And there goes that sweet tactical bolt action gun I’ve been looking at.  Because apparently it’s an ineffective tool.  And I need a good tool, you know, so that I can stop people like this writer.

So in order to keep filling my gun safe, it’s another semi-automatic rifle for me before I procure that sweet tactical bolt action gun and some high powered glass.  I need to be prepared for the writer – Gerald Ensley – because I’m sure that he’ll lead the charge into our homes to confiscate our guns.  I’m sure he will fire the first shot of this civil war he wants rather than send the cops to do his bidding.  Gerald doesn’t actually think that passing a law to turn in our weapons will cause us to relinquish our right to bear arms, does he?  Surely Gerald understands that this means war?

Israel, Self Defense And Guns

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

There had been recent reports of Israelis arming up with baseball bats, knives and clubs in expectation of the coming “intifada.”  Then this happened.

“They stormed the synagogue and shouted, ‘God is great!’ in Arabic and started killing people with axes and knives,” said a man in disbelief, holding his head in his hands. “They are animals!” The profoundly incongruous juxtaposition of a sacred house of worship and the violent mass murder that two Palestinian terrorists perpetrated there on Tuesday morning transformed a picturesque and peaceful Jewish neighborhood in western Jerusalem into a scene from a horror film.

[ ... ]

“There were people hacked with axes on the floor screaming,” said Ezra Batzri, a 24-year-old yeshiva student.

“I heard seven gunshots, and people were running in all different directions. The cops came and told us to go back home because they thought one of the [terrorists] was still out there.”

The attackers were in fact armed with a gun, and five people are dead.  Thus far the Israeli response is to ease restrictions on guns.

Israel is to ease controls on carrying weapons for self-defence after a deadly Palestinian attack on a Jerusalem synagogue, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said on Tuesday.

“In the coming hours, I will ease restrictions on carrying weapons,” he said in remarks broadcast on public radio, indicating it would apply to anyone with a licence to carry a gun, such as private security guards and off-duty army officers.

Aharonovitch did not elaborate, but it is believed that under the planned changes security personnel would be allowed to carry their arms even when off duty.

So it isn’t really easing gun control.  It’s just allowing those who are armed anyway to carry in public when off duty.  Apparently, only on-duty security personnel can carry weapons.  And as for the advertized ease on gun control, it’s a lie, and even Uncle misinterpreted the headlined advertizement.

So it’s back to rocks, sticks, kitchen knives and baseball bats for the poor Israelis.  Not much to rely on when the terrorists have guns, no?

Governments who prohibit means of self defense hate their own people.  It’s as simple as that.

Will Democrats Control The Legislative Agenda On Guns?

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

David Codrea:

Although recently set back at the national polls, Democrats could still dominate the legislative agenda on guns and other crucial issues for the next 10 months if the Republican leadership allows a long-term continuing resolution to pass, Gun Owners of America warned members Monday in a national action alert. If that happens, GOA cautioned it will “allow the repudiated Democrats currently in control of the Senate (until January 5) to make all of the spending and policy decisions [and] set policy and spending until the end of the fiscal year (September 30, 2015).

Will the GOP go along to get along like they always do?  Codrea concludes:

That makes a recent “rare Capitol Hill appearance” suspect when the purpose of Christie’s visit was to encourage newly-elected lawmakers to “embrace compromise and common ground.” If those representatives heed the governor’s advice, they will pass the long-term CR GOA warns about, and give the Democrats what they want on all other issues as well, including and especially on guns.

Read all of David’s piece and share the link with others.  As for the legislative agenda on guns, it’s like everything else.  The GOP is in control of the House.  It’s that simple.  The GOP could stop anything they wanted, dead in its tracks, and without delay.  Nothing happens on Capital Hill without GOP concurrence.  So David is right to point out that the real threat lies within the GOP lack of will and principle.

Chicago Sun-Times Editorial: Gun Lies

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

Chicago Sun-Times:

Blase Cupich’s arrival as archbishop presents a historic opportunity to turn Chicago away from its horrific gun violence.

As Cupich officially assumes his duties Tuesday, we urge him to take a leading and visible role in fighting the devastating flow of illegal guns into our city.

Nothing could be more God’s work.

Cupich has said he is “prepared to speak” on a gamut of pressing social issues in the Chicago archdiocese, from the “deep pockets of poverty” to income inequality to compassionate care for the elderly — all profound matters. But arguably no issue is more pressing than the violence — the gun violence — that makes so many Chicago neighborhoods virtually uninhabitable …

It is easy to forget, given all the cheap political rhetoric, but sensible legislation to keep illegal guns out of the hands of gangbangers and thugs is by no means supported by liberals only. Nor are conservatives, including gun owners, lopsidedly opposed to reasonable gun reforms. Consider this: Ninety-two percent of American voters, including 92 percent of gun owners and 86 percent of Republicans, support background checks prior to all gun sales …

Liars.  We’ve covered this before.

Less than half of Americans, 47%, say they favor stricter laws covering the sale of firearms, similar to views found last year. But this percentage is significantly below the 58% recorded in 2012 after the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, spurred a nationwide debate about the possibility of more stringent gun control laws. Thirty-eight percent of Americans say these laws should be kept as they are now, and 14% say they should be made less strict.

Less than half.  That doesn’t come close to the 92% value the progressive media likes to pimp.  As for the notion that nothing could be more God’s work than pushing the social gospel, that’s popular because the church whored itself out to such silliness the entirety of the twentieth century.  The church is at fault for dressing like a whore and acting the part.  It’s no wonder the rest of America expects it to continue.  Only the church can change that.

Request For Arming Orders For Louisiana National Guard During Katrina, Part II

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

Recall that I requested arming orders for the Louisiana National Guard during Katrina in July of this year.  This would aid in studying just who ordered the Guard to be armed, what their mission was, and why they confiscated firearms from the public.

On July 22, I received this note from the Louisiana National Guard.

Dear Mr. Smith:

The attached letter is to acknowledge receipt of your Freedom of Information Act request dated July 20, 2014 requesting records of arming orders for the Louisiana National Guard during the response to Hurricane Katrina.  This request has been assigned the case number FA-14-0006.

We will make every effort to provide the responsive records as soon as possible.  All communications concerning this request should be identified with the above reference number and addressed to the address shown above.

If you have any questions regarding your request, please contact the undersigned at (___) ___-____, fax (___) ___-____, or via email at

Mackenzie G. Eady
Administrative Services Division
(Office) redacted …
(Mobile) redacted …
(Fax) redacted …

To date I have heard nothing from the Louisiana National Guard.

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

David Codrea:

That was all part of a well-planned and funded effort to expand “action group” efforts to the states reported in this column, initially in July of 2013, and warned of again in December of last year because no one else seemed to be noticing. It’s hard to organize against developing threats if the existence of where they are and how they’re structured is unknown.  Significantly, the KTNV “legitimate news media / real reporter” story mentioned none of this.

Of course not.  The main stream media is owned and operated, at least ideologically, by the DNC.  And notice how the collectivists work.  As I’ve remarked before, they work from the top down.  They need Gates’ and Bloomberg’s money, “leaders” like Mr. Obama, and propagandists to tell them what to think and how to speak (the MSM).  It represents a stark difference with patriots, and it’s why the collectivists always think the NRA tells us what to think and what to do.  But the nefarious plots from high up will continue until good men decide to act.

Kurt Hofmann:

Interestingly, the reporting requirement expansion request was worded subtly differently from the language of the initial requirement. This time, nothing was said about the two or more sales being made to the same buyer. This is in marked contrast to the language of the initial request, which explicitly stated that the reporting requirement is operative only if the same buyer purchases two or more of the firearms in the five business day time frame. In other words, the BATFE seems to have been seeking the power to demand the details of every sale of so-called “assault weapons” from any store that sold more than one of them in a five day period.

This is indeed interesting, and it’s a good analysis by Kurt.  So the expansion of power sought via federal register as opposed to law-making was even more extensive than previously thought.  As for the temporary retreat by the BATFE, Kurt is right.  “Can a leopard change its spots?”

The Seattle Times:

Now, a Washington State Patrol spokesman says people won’t be arrested for exchanging guns.  “We don’t think that we could prove that that’s a transfer,” said Bob Calkins, spokesman for the patrol.

Right.  And so what does this make of the idiotic rule that was just passed by voters (as opposed to representatives voting on laws)?

In Dayton, SWAT was called on an earlobe biter.  And no, this isn’t a joke headline.

Buffalo Police Department Confiscates Guns From Widows

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

BUFFALO, NY – Buffalo Police say they’re determined to get more guns off the streets and now they’re checking to see whether pistol permit holders have passed away and what happened to their gun or guns.

During a press conference last week regarding weapons brought in illegally from Pennsylvania, police officials told reporters their biggest problem with weapons in crimes seems to involve guns that are stolen in burglaries from homes.

They feel that, in some cases, families are holding on to weapons even after the person who bought them originally has died.

So now they’re actually looking for those situations.

“We recently started a program where we’re cross referencing all the pistol permit holders with the death records, and we’re sending people out to collect the guns whenever possible so that they don’t end up in the wrong hands,” said Police Commissioner Daniel Derrenda.” Because at times they lay out there and the family is not aware of them and they end up just out on the street.”

Some police agencies give families of the deceased permit holder 15 days to sell or transfer a weapon or weapons held with the permit to another permit holder or a dealer.

Forget passing down heirlooms to family members, or bequeathing cherished things to those you love.  The state has decided to send the Gestapo to collect your stuff.  Instead of calling it “stealing private property,” which would land you or me in prison, they do it all under the rubric of protecting the safety of the public.  That’s always the stated reason, no?

The Bible has strong words for those who would mistreat and take advantage of widows and orphans.  Men like this are the lowest of the low, and God will judge them for their actions.  Those men have no right to weeping and gnashing of teeth on judgment day – they have been warned concerning their sin.

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

David Codrea:

“The law did prohibit Jews and other persecuted classes from owning guns, but this should not be an indictment of gun control in general,” Alexander Seitz-Wald wrote unbelievably in a Salon hit piece, as if that made it all OK then, because non-threats to the regime could still have them. And it wasn’t just guns forbidden to “persecuted classes,” as a JPFO analysis of the November 11, 1938 (the day after Kristallnacht) law reveals.

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To those who would “whistle past the graveyard of history,” deny that brutal tyranny could ever happen here, and call talk of armed defense against it unsupportable and even treasonous, where in history is any civilization guaranteed stasis? Has not despotism and mass destruction plagued every civilization that preceded ours? Is it not, in fact, still commonplace throughout the globe? By what suspension of reality, by what denial of the observable and the probable, by what art, device or magic are we sheltered few immune from catastrophe?

Yea, I’ve discussed the silly notion too that gun control wasn’t part of the stock and trade of the Nazis since they allowed their supporters to have guns.  The salient point is that gun control isn’t gun control if it forbids every one from having guns.  Someone always has guns.  The point of gun control is to make sure that only certain people have guns.  You understand that, don’t you?  By arguing like they do, the collectivists fall into our trap and stipulate to our definitions.

As for the final paragraph I’ve lifted, this is David at his best, waxing philosophical.  This prose is just that good.  If you don’t read anything else today, go over to David’s place and read this piece.

Kurt Hofmann:

In other words, the heat and pressure that previously had to be contained by the plastic barrel and breech of a printed gun is now instead contained in a thick steel cartridge case. Moreover, although, as the article acknowledges, the cartridge cases require some painstaking machining, they can be used over and over. Crumling is not manufacturing ammunition for sale, as doing so would require a federal license, although he has said that he would be willing to obtain such a license if there is sufficient interest in the rounds. If he sold only the steel cases themselves, without loading them with a bullet, the propellant powder, and the primer, the license would be unnecessary.

I had wondered what they were going to do about the high chamber pressures for such a firearm (approaching 55,000 – 60,000 psi).  Now you know.  Kurt is doing a great job of watching this issue.  I sense frustration with the ATF, like there is someone or something somewhere they don’t control.

Via Mike Vanderboegh:

Or in other words, the federal government stole the property of a peaceable and law abiding businessman.

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

David Codrea:

The point I was trying to make is the Bill of Rights gives and grants no rights. It merely defines some, but not all rights, which the Founders correctly viewed as preexisting to the government they were establishing. That understanding was further solidified in the 1875 Cruikshank decision (and repeated in the 2008 Heller decision), when the Supreme Court noted, “The right to bear arms is not granted by the Constitution; neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence.

For having the cheek to point that out, along with citing the debate between the Federalists and anti-Federalists on the need for a Bill of Rights in the first place, I was called “a Trojan horse” a “clown” and an “idiot.” I “sound[ed] like an anti-gunner.” Even if I was right, I shouldn’t have written what I did, because it might somehow tip off the anti-gunners to use the information against us, and “if this kind of article or information appears again, refund my money and cancel my subscription.”

Sorry, but I’ve got to do it once more, and this time risk being labeled a Begala puppet, to boot.

The Second Amendment does not “give” us the right to rebel against civil and military authorities. Focus on the word “give”.

Well, if people are too stupid to read with their brains in gear, then ignore their dumb ass comments.  David’s point is important.  Yes, I believe that the second amendment stipulates certain things, and that it speaks to the states as well.  But in focusing on the second amendment I believe that we ignore the important things to our peril.

I have always said my rights are granted by God.  I believe in God, not the second amendment.  My beliefs are not subject to the vicissitudes of judicial interpretation or the latest trends in literary deconstruction.  Read all of David’s piece – with your brain in gear.  I’ll mention one semi-related thing about Ms. Joni Ernst.  I have heard twice now that she endured and commanded a “combat deployment” in Iraq.  Her political opponent may have been a putz, but according to the record, she commanded a logistics group who moved supplies from Kuwait to Baghdad.  I’m sorry, but there’s a huge difference between what my son did in Fallujah and what Ms. Earnst did in wherever she was at the time.  For me to believe that she had a “combat” deployment I need to see the Army equivalent of the Marine Corps Combat Action Ribbon.

Kurt Hofmann:

These developments have prompted AWR Hawkins, writing for Ammo Land, to ask, “Are Millionaire-Funded State-Level Initiatives the Next Phase of Gun Control?”  If so, it’s a very dangerous new phase for gun rights advocates, because it would take the Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms, and hold it hostage to the popularity contest of the vote. We live not in a “democracy,” as we’re so often told, but in a republic, in large part because the Founding Fathers had the wisdom to take certain policy options off the table–off limits no matter how popular they are. As John Adams reminds us …

And you have to go visit Kurt to see what the great John Adams said.  Good on Kurt.  No innate right – and I claim my rights are granted by God whether they are recognized by the state or not – should be left for a vote.  See my take on holding rights hostage to favorable statistical outcomes, and also see Kurt on that same subject.

David Codrea: “Just a chest full of ammo makes the medicine go down … medicine go doowwwnnn …, but David doesn’t sing it for us.  I don’t know about you, but I have a problem with that.

David asks, is Facebook deleting gun pages?  Could be, but I wouldn’t know for sure.  I deleted my Facebook account.  When they asked me why, I told them Mark Zuckerberg is a horrible person.  I haven’t heard back from them.

Mike Vanderboegh posts concerning Fast and Furious.  We all knew it – that the program wasn’t a “botched operation” as the talking heads and pampered class likes to say – that it was designed all along to justify a demand letter on long gun sales, or better yet, what I really think, more laws from a Congress too damn stupid to know what was really going on.

Charles C. W. Cooke passes on the fact that recently elected Greg Abbot in Texas said he will approve a Texas open carry bill when it crosses his desk.  So what are you waiting for, Texans?

By the way, in the same Cooke article linked above, Charles says concerning I-594, “This will presumably be touted as a great victory. But it’s really not. For a start, universal background checks represent the most modest of all the Left’s aims in this area. This was not a ban on “assault” weapons, which remain legal in Washington. It was not a reduction in magazine sizes. It was not a ban on open carry. Instead, it was a law that requires residents of the state to involve a gun dealer when they transfer a weapon to another resident within the state. (Transfers between immediate family members and between spouses or domestic partners are exempt.) I’m against these rules because I think that they are pointless and because they seem invariably to ensnare innocent and unaware people. Nevertheless, the significance of Washington’s having adopted the measure should not be overstated.”

Ahem … um.  Charles.  Dude.  What the hell is wrong with you?  As recently as October 2, you thought differently.

I think there are two big threats at the moment. One is the continuing attempt to criminalize firearms that look a certain way, these so-called assault weapons. I have an AR-15. It looks like a machine gun, but it’s not. It’s no different than my hunting rifle. It’s just lighter. It’s more customizable, and it’s easier for my wife to shoot because of that. That gun has, in some states, been banned for those reasons. There’s no material difference whatsoever. The second threat is, I think, from these universal background checks.

I disagree with the November 5 Charles C. W. Cooke, but I agree with the October 2 Charles C. W. Cooke.  I too think that universal background checks pose an extreme threat to our liberty.

So now.  Would the real Charles C. W. Cooke please stand up?

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