Archive for the 'Gun Control' Category

Will Smith & Wesson Buckle To This Pressure?

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 5 days ago


In the early 1880s, legend has it that Daniel B. Wesson, a co-founder of Smith & Wesson, the gun manufacturer, heard about a child who injured himself by cocking the hammer and pulling the trigger of one of his firm’s revolvers. Wesson, known as D. B., was so distraught about the accident that he and his son, Joseph, developed a more child-safe revolver that they called the .38 Safety Hammerless.

Wesson was also my great-great-great-grandfather. Though it has been half a century since my family was involved with Smith & Wesson, I feel a twinge of responsibility every time a mass shooting occurs. I realize this is not entirely rational: I play no part in making or selling firearms and have never lost anyone close to me from gun violence. But it still haunts me.

[ … ]

It is only fair for me, for all of us, to demand that our gun manufacturers become leaders in this national discussion around gun violence. They create products designed to kill human beings. The responsibility that must accompany the creation of weapons like an AR-15 is too large to be brushed aside by shouting about freedom and an amendment to our Constitution ratified in 1791.

Yes, the company and other gun makers have taken some steps in calling for better enforcement of the national background check system and sponsoring firearm safety programs. But they can do so much more.

I would start by asking the parent company of Smith & Wesson, American Outdoor Brands Corporation, to push for gun-violence research. Since 1996 the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been severely restricted in researching gun violence. If gun manufacturers are truly responsible organizations, they should wholeheartedly want to back this research as a public health concern. Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the C.D.C. from 2009 to 2017, asked Congress repeatedly to fund research in gun-violence prevention but never succeeded.

In response to recent questions from BlackRock, an investment firm that owns the largest share of American Outdoor Brands, the gun maker’s president, James Debney, and chairman, Barry M. Monheit, said, “We must collectively have the courage to ensure any actions are guided by data, by facts and by what will actually make us safer.” Sounds like Mr. Debney, Mr. Monheit and Dr. Frieden are on the same page, so let’s see Smith & Wesson lead the charge in renewing gun-violence research by the C.D.C.

I would also ask that the company publicly endorse the Brady Campaign’s Gun Dealer Code of Conduct. It should support requiring universal background checks and a national registry for tracking its products, and indeed all firearms.

To the author, Eliza Sydnor Romm, I would say that it’s not that it doesn’t sound entirely rational to feel responsibility for the criminal behavior of others, I’d say that it’s so irrational it makes you seem like an imbecile and a dolt.  It would be no different than feeling responsibility for hit and run accidents perpetrated by drivers of Ford trucks, and then trying to tell Ford how to design and build trucks because of that.  If that sounds stupid, it’s because it is.

As for Smith & Wesson, I don’t know much about the parent company of American Outdoor Brands, but I have heard fairly bad things about Black Rock.

BlackRock announced new products for clients looking to avoid investing in companies that make or sell firearms for civilian use, a significant step for the world’s largest asset manager as Wall Street comes under pressure to take a stance in America’s gun debate.

“As it has for many people, the recent tragedy in Florida has driven home for BlackRock the terrible toll from gun violence in America,” it said in a statement in March. “It has put a spotlight on the role of companies that manufacture and distribute civilian firearms. Some of the largest manufacturers and retailers are held in the portfolios of millions of individual and institutional investors around the world.”

On Thursday, BlackRock said it had created new exchange-traded funds and products for pensions and retirement plans that screen for companies that make or sell firearms. BlackRock is also shifting the indexes of existing exchange-traded funds focused on socially responsible investments to avoid gunmakers and sellers.

Back to Smith & Wesson, such moves as the author describes would mean certain, sure and almost immediate death in the market place as gun buyers turned their backs on the company and their workers fled for greener pastures with Ruger or other companies.  Perhaps the Performance Shop at Smith & Wesson could relocate South like so many other gun makers and start up shop in a friendlier climate.

And perhaps busting up one of the leading manufacturers of firearms is the purpose of pressure like this.  What will Smith & Wesson do with an owner who doesn’t like their products?

Semiautomatic Rifles To Be Banned In Norway

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 5 days ago


According to the Swedish online hunting magazinecalled Jakt & JägareNorway is to ban some semi-automatic hunting rifles.

Norway is not even a member of the European Union, but they seem to be following – and even prepared to go much further – than the EU Gun Ban that is going to be implemented in the rest of the EU in 2018.

Where Norway used to be is outlined here.

Today there are 1,329,000 guns registered in private ownership in Norway, some 90,000 more than in 2011. Anders Groven, secretary-general of the Norwegian Shooting Association, reckons that the increase reflects the rising affluence of the country, as hunters can now afford selections of rifles for different sorts of game.

Gun laws have been prominent in public debate since far-right terrorist Anders Behring Breivik used two semi-automatic guns to kill 69 young people at a youth camp on the island of Utøya on July 22, 2011. A commission appointed to investigate the mass murder has recommended that semi-automatic weapons be prohibited. But a complete ban seems unlikely, as there’s political opposition to it in the Storting.

After the January 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, the EU initiated drafting of a new directive that will further restrict semi-automatic guns. Countries throughout the Schengen Agreement area, including Norway, will be obliged to comply with it.

The man in Norway most aware of the current and imminent future changes in gun ownership most likely is Willy Røgneberg, the manager of Oslo Skytesenter (shooting center), the country’s largest gun shop (shown above at the shop counter). He observes that, “In Norway we’ve always had lots of guns, as we have a hunting culture. Most people in Norway respect weapons and view them sensibly. Here in the shop we’ve hardly ever had a customer come in to buy a gun on impulse, not least because so doing is illegal.” To that he adds the opinion that the country’s gun laws are sufficiently strict.

“Sufficiently strict.”  Sufficient enough to have to register guns.  So it looks like a gun registry is indeed a precursor to gun illegality and confiscation.  Turn them in, boys.  Or fight.

New Jersey Governor Signs ‘Name And Shame’ Order On Gun Data

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 5 days ago


New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has signed an executive order making data on gun violence more accessible to the public.

The so-called “Name and Shame” order will cite the origin of a gun involved in a crime. According to the state, approximately 80 percent of guns involved in crime come from outside of New Jersey.

Now, New Jersey authorities will identify the origins of those guns involved in crimes. Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy, who was elected to replace Republican Chris Christie, touts the order as being in the public interest, saying in a statement, “Any death due to gun violence, is one death too many.”

According to the order, department and state police would periodically publish data on guns involved in crime and where they came from. This data is already collected and open to the public via the FBI, but according Murphy, this law would streamline the process. The first published data is expected next month.

Currently, New Jersey is ranked as having the third-toughest gun laws in the nation, behind California and Connecticut, and is poising itself to pass more gun legislation. The governor is also urging the Democratically-controlled legislature to pass half a dozen gun-tightening measures for him to sign. Of the measure, one would require people applying for a gun permit to demonstrate a “justifiable need.”

Name and shame.  “Justifiable need.”  Now, replace the words “gun” and “gun permit” with automobile, and read it back to yourself and see how utterly ridiculous the article sounds.  All cars that cause deaths must have their sellers shamed.  In order to purchase a car, you must demonstrate justifiable need.

And to think, driving a car isn’t even mentioned in the constitution.

Tyrants Live Amongst Us

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 5 days ago

David Codrea:

“The AR-15 and its analogs, along with large capacity magazines, are simply not weapons within the original meaning of the individual constitutional rights to ‘bear arms,” U.S. District Judge William Young wrote in a decision Thursday in Boston, dismissing a lawsuit over Massachusetts’ so-called “assault weapon” ban.

[ … ]

And Young is living proof that, as bad as the Democrats re on guns, no one can hurt us quite like a Republican turncoat. He was appointed by Ronald Reagan, making him a disappointment along with no shortage of other “conservative” federal court nominees. And Reagan himself, reputation as a “conservative hero” for gun owners notwithstanding, in actuality was not.

I hold other things against Reagan as well, including the withdrawal of the U.S. Marines from the barracks in Lebanon, and the first immigrant amnesty, not to mention Anthony Kennedy and Sandra Day O’Connor.

As for Young, he is a tyrant.  The think about King George is that he lived a long ways away and had soldiers do the fighting for him.  Judge Young lives among you.  At some point this is going to turn violent.  Do they understand that?

How One Man Got Rich Selling Machine Guns

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 1 day ago


Over the past decade, patient investors benefited greatly from one of the longest economic expansions in U.S. history, using stocks, gold and even cryptocurrency as vehicles of profit. A few of them even used machine guns.

Yes, machine guns. Not the readily available, semi-automatic rifles that have figured so tragically in recent mass shootings, igniting a national furor over gun laws. We’re talking about actual machine guns, which are about as far from the local gun store inventory as you can get, and much more difficult to buy. A machine gun typically shoots about 600 to 800 rounds a minute, while the Bushmaster AR-15 will fire about 45 rounds a minute, depending on how fast you pull the trigger. Fully automatic firearms are often depicted in movies, but in real life they’re a rare commodity except to members of the military.

Some of the hoops a buyer must navigate to get one mirror what some proponents of tougher gun laws would like for all firearms. But the red tape has also helped make machine guns the ultimate collector’s item, with some having doubled in value over the past 10 years.

Frank Goepfert is one of the biggest machine gun merchants in America. From a 100-plus-acre ranch he shares with his wife, son and German shorthair puppy in rural Jasper, Missouri, he runs a small empire of automatic weapons. Inside a tornado-proof vault, dozens of automatic firearms worth millions of dollars hang on the walls. There are Tommy guns, M2 Brownings, Uzis, a Sterling submachine gun and AK-47 assault rifles, the most popular machine gun in the world.

Goepfert, 47, who regularly sports a leather jacket and a black Stetson, says his company, Midwest Tactical Inc., sold as many as 500 machine guns in 2017, averaging thousands of dollars each. He’s made enough money to purchase two planes and even a tank.

His best customer, a technology company executive, spent $1.6 million on guns last year, while an oil and farming tycoon dropped $1.2 million, he says. By Goepfert’s tally, he has 20 clients who each have spent more than $200,000 on his wares. He declined to identify them, citing privacy considerations. And while the government keeps a record of automatic weapons, it’s not public. That may make Goepfert one of the best sources of information outside the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives when it comes to who has a machine gun in America.

There are “a fixed amount” of such weapons, says ATF Special Agent Joshua Jackson. “Demand has caused the value of these firearms to increase.”

In 1986, President Ronald Reagan signed an act effectively banning civilians from purchasing new machine guns. Suddenly, most of those already out there became a lot more valuable (Goepfert says there were 250,000 at the time). Today, the exact number left isn’t known, though one industry expert put it at 182,000.

Some of Midwest Tactical’s best-selling models have climbed in value by tens of thousands of dollars since Goepfert and his wife Joy, 45, started the company. According to data collected by the Machine Gun Price Guide, which uses information from dealers, auctions and gun shows, the cost of a Tommy gun (the Thompson M1) went from about $9,000 in 2004 to almost $27,000 last July—a 200 percent increase. The Heckler & Koch MP5 soared 250 percent, from almost $12,000 in 2003 to $42,000. Meanwhile, the MAC10, technically a “machine pistol,” more than doubled in price from 2011 to 2017, to more than $8,000.

In addition to the GCA of 1986, a traitorous act along with the NFA, there is another reason that fully automatic firearms will never be manufactured for civilians in America again.  Investments.

There are too many people who stand to lose too much and who also donate too much money to campaigns and the coffers of the NRA for the gun community to come together on repeal of the GCA.  The NRA provides the cover.

As always, follow the money.

London Murder Rate Overtakes New York

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 3 days ago

Evening Standard:

London‘s murder rate has overtaken New York City‘s for the first time ever, according to a new report.

February marked the first month the UK capital saw more murders than New York, with 15 dead (nine aged 30 or younger).

According to the report in the Sunday Times, London also suffered 22 fatal stabbings and shootings in March, higher than the 21 in the Big Apple.

Both cities have similarly sized populations of around 8.5m people. New York City’s murder rate has decreased by around 87 per cent since the 1990s.

Meanwhile, London’s has grown by nearly 40 per cent in just three years, not including deaths caused by terrorist attacks.

On Saturday a murder probe was launched after a 36-year-old woman was killed in what is believed to be the 30th incident of fatal knife crime in the capital this year.

[ … ]

Britain’s most senior police officer recently said social media was partially to blame for the soaring rate of knife crime in the UK.

Met Commissioner Cressida Dick said websites and mobile phone applications such as YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram were partially to blame for the bloodshed.

This seems impossible.  Britain has gun control.  Britain has knife control.  How are all of these guns and knives ending up in the wrong hands?

Hmm … yea, just do away with Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube and everything will be okay.  That’ll fix the problem.  I’m sure of it.

Sheesh.  And the Brits think they’re all that and more, yes?

Dave Workman In His True Colors

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 3 days ago

I had a run-in with Dave before.  It looks like the things I sense invariably come to pass.

Even gun rights advocates, who are afraid of government abuse, say it appears to be working…“We’ve seen the downside of people who are distraught or crazy taking out their problems on the general public,” said Dave Workman of the Bellevue, Wash.-based Second Amendment Foundation. “We don’t want that to happen here.”

That all depends upon whether you consider Dave Workman a “gun rights advocate.”  I don’t.  Oh, and by the way, give me a legally and logically defensible definition of the word “crazy,” Dave?  Or “distraught?”

David Joy And Feelings About Guns

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 4 days ago

From one thing to another, and another, and another until all the feelings about anecdotal experiences have been flushed out of his mind into the world.  Or something like that.

Two weeks before Christmas, I had a 9-millimeter pistol concealed in my waistband and a rifle with two 30-round magazines in the passenger seat beside me. I was driving down from the mountains to meet a fellow I didn’t know at a Cracker Barrel off I-40 in the North Carolina foothills. He was looking to buy a Kel-Tec Sub-2000, and I had one for sale. Other than that, I didn’t know him from Adam except for a few messages back and forth on Facebook.

We were both members of a Facebook group where people post pictures of firearms and buyers private-message to ask questions and make offers — sometimes cash, sometimes trade. I needed money to pay a buddy for an old ’70s model Lark teardrop trailer, and that rifle wasn’t doing anything but taking up space in the safe.

What I was doing was perfectly legal. In North Carolina, long-gun transfers by private sellers require no background checks. Likewise, it’s perfectly legal to sell a handgun privately so long as the buyer has a purchase permit or a concealed-carry license. But as I headed up the exit to the restaurant where we agreed to meet, I felt uneasy. I was within the law, but it didn’t feel as if I should have been.

He was backed into a space parallel to the dumpster, a black Ford F-250 with a covered bed, just as he described on Facebook Messenger. As I pulled in, he stepped out. He smiled, and I nodded.

“You can just leave it in the seat so we don’t make anybody nervous,” he said as I rolled down my window. There were families in rocking chairs in front of the restaurant. Customers were walking to their cars to get back on the road.

I climbed out of my truck so he could look the rifle over while I counted the money he’d left on his seat. He was about my age, somewhere in his early to mid-30s, white guy with a thick beard. He spoke with a heavy Southern accent not much different from my own. Said he built houses for a living, and that was about all the small talk between us. He liked the rifle. I needed the cash. We shook hands, and off we went.

If you’re wondering what the hell the point of all of that was and what he’s trying to communicate other than sharing an anecdotal experience, you’re not alone.  It’s all entirely legal as it should be.  It’s called a person-to-person transfer.  Let’s continue with his feelings for a while longer.

Where I live in the mountains of North Carolina, I am not alone. With fewer than a dozen guns in the safe, I wouldn’t even be considered a gun nut. Most of my friends have concealed-carry licenses and pistols on their person. If there are 10 of us in a room, there are most likely 10 loaded firearms, probably more, with a few of us keeping backups in ankle holsters. Rarely do we mention what we carry. We don’t touch the guns or draw them from their holsters. They are unseen and unspoken of, but always there.

I can’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t around guns. When I was a kid, there was a gun rack hanging on the wall in the living room. My father kept a single-shot .410 and an old bolt action .22, small-game guns, though he didn’t hunt anymore. I can remember watching older boys shoot skeet at a junkyard in the woods behind my house, my fingers plugged in my ears while orange clays turned to smoke against a backdrop of post oak and poplar. I can remember the first time my father taught me to shoot a rifle, how he had me sit on the concrete driveway and use my knee for a rest, aiming for a cardboard target in a honeysuckle thicket across the road. I think I was 8 or 9. I pulled the stock in too high on my shoulder, and craned my neck awkwardly to line up the iron sights. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I knew the rules: Always assume a firearm is loaded. Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction. Know your target and what’s beyond it.

Okay, so here we are in the South where guns are ubiquitous, and he is sharing an experience and his feelings about that, and we’re left wondering about the point of all of this.  So let’s continue a while longer.

The second and last time I had a gun put to my head it was by the police. After a drunken fight, I left a friend’s apartment to walk five miles and sleep on the porch of a buddy’s house across the river. I was walking down the side of Wilkinson Boulevard in Belmont.

Okay, I know right where he’s talking about.  So what happened?

I was carrying a shoe box. I saw a police cruiser pass me and make a U-turn at a stoplight up ahead. When the Crown Vic came back, the driver jumped the median and next thing I knew there were multiple cars, lights flashing, officers ordering me to the ground.

They had their guns drawn. There was a K-9 unit, and the German shepherd wouldn’t quit barking. I was lying flat on my stomach, and one officer came forward and put his knee in my back, his service weapon pushed into the base of my skull. They let the dog close enough that I could feel him barking against my ear. They said I matched the description of someone who’d burglarized some houses nearby. They asked what was in the shoe box, and I stuttered, “Papers.” They asked if they opened the box if there was anything inside that would hurt them. With my face in the grass and the officer’s weight making it hard to breathe, I was so terrified that I couldn’t mutter a single word. I just shook my head, and they opened that box to find nothing but a stack of notebook papers, a pile of half-assed stories I’d written. They told me I could get up, and I stood there trembling while they apologized. They gave me a ride across the river and dropped me off at the Mecklenburg County line, told me they were sorry but they couldn’t take me any farther.

So at least that night the cops in Belmont were a bunch of ignorant hicks roughing innocent folks up and assuming something for which they had absolutely no basis and which they could have ascertained with a little intelligent conversation.  Actually, I suspect this was the Gaston County Police, but who knows because he doesn’t say?  We’ll come back to this in a moment.  Let’s continue for a while longer.

Just before the deer strolled behind a cedar sapling, I touched the trigger, and the .308 blew apart the morning. A hundred and fifty grains of copper-jacketed lead hit just behind the shoulder and blood-shot the backside to pudding. The buck stooped forward and sprinted, back legs driving him over tangled ground. He made it 40 yards before he crashed. From my stand, I could just make out the white of his stomach through the brush. I watched his ribs rise with each breath, that breathing slowing, slowing, then gone.

There is a sadness that only hunters know, a moment when lament overshadows any desire for celebration.

Hunting isn’t for everybody, but I’m still not sure what this all has to do with anything.  For the love of God, let’s get somewhere, okay?

When the trooper had my license and registration, he went to his cruiser. In a few minutes, he came back to the window and issued me a warning for speeding. I asked if there was anything I could’ve done differently to make him more comfortable when he first approached the truck. The trooper told me what I’d said was fine. He said that some officers might have been uncomfortable with where the pistol was located, being holstered near my wallet, but that he felt we had a good rapport. Depending on the officer, some might have asked me to step out of the truck so they could remove the weapon. He smiled and told me: “But this is South Carolina. Most every car I pull over has a gun.”

Frankly, I think we should be more worried about what the cop intends to do with his weapon than what the cops think about the fact that we have one.  But let’s continue still.

Last summer I drove back to Charlotte to visit my father for his birthday. While I was there, I went into a Cabela’s store in Fort Mill, S.C., to buy him a new depth finder for his fishing boat. After I found what I was looking for, I headed across the store to see if there were any good deals on ammo.

There were floor displays of AR-15s, and probably a hundred or more other rifles and shotguns for anyone to walk up and hold. I watched a kid about 8 or 9 pick up one of those ARs and shoulder it to the center of his chest. He held the gun awkwardly, cocked his head hard to the side, squeezed one eye closed to aim and dry-fired the weapon. I watched two men, presumably his father and grandfather, smile and laugh, then break out their cellphones to snap a few pictures.

I remembered how when I was his age, I used to love going to the sporting-goods section of Walmart to look at fishing lures and camouflage clothes. I’d walk over near the register and push the manual turntable on the curio display to look at all the rifles and shotguns. There were usually a few big game guns — a gray stock Remington 783 in .30-06, maybe a Marlin 336 lever action — a couple of pump shotguns, a single shot .410 or 20-gauge. There were always Ruger 10/22s and Marlin Model 60s, the .22LRs kids unwrapped when their grandfathers gave them their first rifles for a birthday or Christmas. There were always guns, but nothing like the assault weapons that line the shelves today.

Maybe it’s how I was raised and the types of firearms my family kept, but the idea of owning a rifle designed for engaging human targets out to 600 meters just never interested me. I keep a Savage 10 in .308 to hunt whitetail and hogs. I have a CZ 920 that’s absolute hell on a dove field. I have a handful of .22 rifles that I use for plinking at the range and hunting squirrels and rabbits each winter. Then there are the weapons I keep for defense — the shotgun by the bed, the pistols — firearms whose sole purpose would be to take human life if I were left with no other choice. I’ve witnessed how quickly a moment can turn to a matter of life and death. I live in a region where 911 calls might not bring blue lights for an hour. Whether it’s preparation or paranoia, I plan for worst-case scenarios and trust no one but myself for my survival.

My friends see no difference between the guns I own and their ARs. One or two of them rationalize assault weapons the same way I justify what sits by my bed. When I ask if those rifles are really the best option for home defense, they joke about the minute hand of the doomsday clock inching closer to midnight. They post Instagram photos of Sig Sauer MCXs and tac vests loaded with extra magazines, their bug-out bags by the door as they wait for the end of the world.

But a majority defend their ARs the same way I defend the guns I use for plinking and hunting. They say they own them because they’re fun at the range and affordable to shoot. They use the rifles for punching paper, a few for shooting coyotes. Every weekend they fire hundreds of rounds from custom rifles they’ve spent thousands of dollars building. They add bump stocks and Echo Triggers to increase rates of fire and step as close to Title II of the federal Gun Control Act as legally possible without the red tape and paperwork. They fire bullets into Tannerite targets that blow pumpkins into the sky.

None of them see a connection between the weapons they own and the shootings at Sandy Hook, San Bernardino, Aurora, Orlando, Las Vegas, Parkland. They see mug shots of James Holmes, Omar Mateen, Stephen Paddock, Nikolas Cruz — “crazier than a shithouse rat,” they say. “If it hadn’t been that rifle, he’d have done it with something else.” They fear that what starts as an assault-weapons ban will snowball into an attack on everything in the safe. I don’t believe that politicians are going to ban ordinary guns or overturn the Second Amendment, but I understand their reasoning because I understand what’s at stake. I think about that boy picking up that AR in Cabela’s, and I’m torn between the culture I grew up with and how that culture has devolved.

Aha!  We’re finally there.  A gun dude is sharing his feelings about how his culture has “devolved,” and says that he “understands” the reasoning behind politicians and their gun bans.

Would the New York Times have published anything else?  The comments are amusing if not downright ridiculous.  He is a great writer!  He has started a commonsense conversation among gun nuts and the rest of the world.  It’s a “moving and beautifully written article.”  Who needs a gun that can “spray bullets with one pull of the trigger?”  “Concealed carry is a bad idea unless you have a job that requires it.”  And this from Dara Resnik.

Thank you, David Joy, for this thoughtful piece. I wonder how many more are like you, and how we can bring them into the open. I think many of them are afraid of what you experienced when you brought up the subject of banning assault weapons to your friend — it’s taboo in gun culture to talk about curbing any gun rights at all. But I know you are not alone in your views.

I imagine given who your friends are, there will be, to use a firearm term, some kick back for having published this piece. But writing it was the right thing to do.

I hate to break it to you Dara, but most of us don’t feel this way.  We call guys like David a “Fudd.”  You can look it up, dear.  And this from Peter.

People on the other side of the divide are fearful of all those paranoid gun-toters hoping that they’re not in someone’s line of fire when things go bad, with reason or without. How have we as a society arrived at this point

I’m more worried about the cops, Peter.  And yes, “we as a society” have arrived at this point.  At one time, kids carried their guns to school with them.  No, I’m not kidding.  So point your finger of blame somewhere else.

As for the author, David Joy, he’s apparently now fulfilled his bona fides for selling more books, as well as commenting on NBC, CNN, CBS and ABC.

What he hasn’t done is crafted a commentary that’s anything but a running list of anecdotes and his feelings about them, appended by a statement of agreement with gun bans.  And he hasn’t offered any compelling reason to believe that the justification for owning weapons – self defense and the amelioration of tyranny – has changed since the beginning of time.

Free Rifle Magazines Handed Out By Gun Rights Activists In Vermont

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 5 days ago

Burlington Free Press:

CORRECTION: This story has been updated to show that the magazines were not high-capacity.

MONTPELIER – Gun rights activists gave out free rifle magazines Saturday in Montpelier as Gov. Phil Scott is poised to sign gun-control proposals into law.

“17 senators didn’t want to hear anything about unenforceable laws like the mag ban,” Chris Bradley, president of the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, said on Saturday.

Bradley introduced Sen. Joe Benning, R-Caledonia, one of 13 legislators who voted on Friday against a package of gun restrictions that passed in the Senate. Saturday’s rally on the steps of the Statehouse was a protest against restrictions on gun ownership and a lawsuit fundraiser as 2nd Amendment advocates vowed to take the fight to the court system if Scott signs the bill into law.

Last week 2,500 students and gun control advocates rallied in support of restrictions, following two weeks of school walkouts.

Benning, who was in Montpelier for another meeting last Saturday, witnessed the student rally. He took a conciliatory tone as he addressed several thousand gun rights activists.

“You guys are as passionate as the other side was,” Benning said. “I know you are going to find this difficult to believe, but some of those folks on the other side are really scared of you.”

Safety, Benning said, was the uniter, though each group had different methods of achieving that goal. Benning urged both sides to talk to each other and not yell at each other, while promising that the fight for gun rights had just begun.

“Lets use this as the beginning of the discussion not the end,” Benning said, referring to the November election.

After several more speakers Rob Curtis of Williston, the executive editor of Recoil Magazine, a “lifestyle magazine” based in Los Angeles according to its website, began handing out the promised 1,200 30-round polymer magazines that can be used for AR-15 and M4 weapons. The double line of receivers stretched out and down State Street.

The FedEx delivery tracking information shared in Recoil press statement showed a 12 package delivery of approximately 400 pounds was delivered to a residence in Williston on Saturday morning. The magazines are worth between $10 and $20 at online retailers. Curtis said that MAGPUL, a manufacturer and retailer based in Wyoming, helped organized the “Green mountain Airlift” to get ahead of the proposed restrictions.

Vermonters can keep magazines already in circulation, according to the bill.

The action was also a fundraiser with the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs taking donations high on the steps of the Capitol. Down the stairs, Keith Stern was collecting signatures for a run for governor while a few kids frolicked in the sun and collected packets of magazine with their families.

“My kids have been to the range and they know how to shoot,” Andy Roberts said standing with her son Ethan and husband Phillip. Ethan clutched his magazine and shyly admitted he was not yet a hunter.

There’s a little more at the link.  I left the correction in there because I thought it was amusing.  So I have to say several things if no one else does.

That doesn’t look like a crowd of several thousand to me.  Even if the photo was a bad one to represent all the people there, several thousand is an insignificant number of people considering what’s at stake.  Truthfully, I’m not sure if it happened in my own state we could get more than several thousand at the state capital to protest or rally.  Maybe I’m preaching to the choir, but I’ve never seen a worse group of people to protect and fight over their rights than gun owners.  They’d rather send a few dollars, compromise and get back to [whatever they do].

Next up, I have to say about the rally-goers, you missed the boat when they interviewed you.  You didn’t supply the right optics, you didn’t communicate your message very well.  I see a sea of orange and the final meaningful statement in the article had to do with a hunter who had a boy who didn’t know if he was a hunter yet.

Folks, this has nothing to do with hunting.  Nothing.  It has nothing to do with sportsman’s clubs, or hunting weapons or gear, or turning over a hunting legacy to your children.  You don’t need a Pmag to hunt.  In fact, you can turn your bolt action rifles in at a state-controlled armory and check them out prior to each hunting trip and turn over a legacy of hunting to your boys.

What you can’t turn over by doing that is a legacy of liberty and freedom.  Governor Scott says he’s changed completely on gun issues.

Senate President Pro Tempore Tim Ashe, D/P-Chittenden, promised that universal background checks would reach the Senate floor by the end of next week for an “up or down vote.”

Scott sent a wide-ranging memo to lawmakers asking them for immediate and long-term actions that he said would bolster school safety and keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them.

Read Gov. Scott’s full memo here.

[ … ]

The Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, a gun-rights group affiliated with the National Rifle Association, prefers the extreme risk protection order bill but has requested some changes. 

“I don’t think we’ll oppose it. In fact, as best we can, we agree with it,” said Chris Bradley, the organization’s president. Bradley added that he was concerned that the bill could morph into an omnibus proposal that’s “absolutely intolerable” for his group.

Scott said he was not interested in banning the sale of certain types of guns, but would consider restrictions on high-capacity magazines. He also called for a state ban on “bump stocks.”

He said that arming teachers, as suggested by President Donald Trump, was not a viable solution to violence. 

“There are other steps we can take that are more achievable and create a safer atmosphere,” Scott said.

With the Fudds already retreating before the first salvo is fired, I’m not sure I would have shown up at the “rally” either.  The very folks picking up Pmags are part of the “Sportsmen’s Clubs” who are supporting the infringements along with the NRA.

How sad all of this is.  So go ahead and wear your orange, boys, and teach your children how to shoot.  Pick up those Pmags as a token of what was once a free country.  But take careful note.  You are a poor substitute and replacement for the inspiration for magazine handouts and smuggling, Mike Vanderboegh.

Stop Arguing Over The Features Of The AR-15

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 1 day ago

Our stolid friend James Fallows at The Atlantic has yet another dense post up mainly consisting of letters to him and a few lines in reply.  There’s not much to see, except that he does make an admission that brings a much-needed breath of fresh air.

I understand that the AR-15 is not functionally unique. Thus anyone who argues that the AR-15 should not be in civilian hands should be willing to extend the argument to similar weapons. That’s what I think about the AR-15, and and I say the same thing about functionally similar weapons.

Good.  It’s a healthy and helpful thing to speak honestly about such matters.  This whole thing began some years ago with arguments over select-fire and the definition of assault rifle, the smaller caliber cartridge and whether it is any good for deer hunting, the value of a pistol grip, the “scary looking” features of the AR-15, the standard capacity magazine, its semi-automatic design, and on and on it went.

These were merely the first steps in the dance.  We’re way past that now.  Honesty has demanded that the progressives admit their demands, and honesty has demanded that we reply.  The definition of “military” is nonsensical anyway, and we all know it.

There was an article recently about Glock making their “military-grade” pistol available to civilians.  This means that it’s a Glock with a flat dark earth finish and pretentions of being modular.  Nothing more.  And truthfully, all weapons are “military grade.”

Let’s talk 30-06 bolt action deer rifles.  Yep.  Ask those whom Carlos Hathcock killed in Vietnam to speak from the grave and tell you all about that 30-06 round that hit them from a Winchester bolt action gun.  Marines were still using Winchester bolt action rifles for DM guns at the beginning of OIF, and most sniper rifles in military use today are bolt action.  How about 30-06 semi-automatic?  Yep.  The M1 Garand.  WWII.  And how about semi-automatic or automatic carbine?  Yep.  The M1 Carbine.  WWII.

How about shotguns?  Yep.  The Marine Corps was using Benelli M4s for room clearing in Now Zad, Afghanistan, during OEF.  How about revolvers?  Yep.  They were the sidearm for many years, and today .357 Magnum and .44 Magnum wheel guns are still in use defending homes and against big predators in America.

No one who knows anything should have to ask about Browning’s best design of his life, the 1911, which is still the most expensive handgun that can be purchased.  The point is that there is no such thing as a weapon that hasn’t been used on the field of battle between countries or various actors, and it makes no sense to argue over whether something is called “military grade.”  We’ve got virtually everything the military has ever had, and vice versa (except that the professional precision rifle shooters probably have better guns than the military).

The freshness about what Fallows said is that he admits that there is no stopping point, and that’s good, because logically he’s right.  And the freshness for us is actually not all that fresh, I just don’t think Fallows is hearing it, or perhaps he’s hearing it, but he just doesn’t believe it.

No.  We won’t give them up.  Period.  Your move.

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