Archive for the 'Gun Control' Category

Guns Cause All Of Our Problems

BY Herschel Smith
4 weeks ago

According to Josh Marshall:

Earlier I noted that events like this remind us that America is a uniquely violent society when judged against societies and states which have had relative political stability over the last two centuries. As I noted, four of 45 US Presidents have been murdered in office and more than that number again have survived serious assassination attempts. No other countries which have comparable histories over the same period come even close.

But I got an interesting email from TPM Reader VB in Germany.

I still think the overall point holds up well. But VB notes a pretty telling detail. He listed off five attempted or successful assassinations of German politicians or high ranking government leaders since 1990. (He actually noted six but I think the sixth is better termed a government employee.) They weren’t heads of state. They ranged from prominent national politicians to people running for Mayor. Only one of the five died.

The key is that 3 of the 5 attempted killings were stabbings. Those three survived. Of the shootings, current Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble survived a 1990 assassination attempt but was permanently paralyzed. Detlev Karsten Rohwedder, then in charge of privatization of East German state assets, was assassinated by the Red Army Faction in 1991. That was arguably more successful because it was the work of an organized paramilitary group rather than a single assailant.

It is hard to draw too general a conclusion. But it does seem like at least a significant part of the equation is the prevalence of guns. Just to state the obvious, stabbings tend to be easier to survive.

[ … ]

These observations don’t have immediate or obvious policy solutions which seem at all feasible or realistic in anything like our current political reality. Most European countries radically constrain the ability of private individuals to own guns, especially for self-defense. Gun ownership is tightly regulated in Germany. But firearms ownership is actually widespread – mainly for competitive shooting and hunting.

The basic fact is simple and obvious. The widespread presence of guns dramatically magnifies the lethality of the range of mental illness, political dispute, personal vendetta and untethered anger that is more or less universal in modern societies and frankly the human condition. Certainly this would all be different if firearms were not so widespread in the United States, easy to acquire and so deeply imbedded in American culture.

Supposedly an easy analysis if you don’t roll in sin as the reason for misuse of the weapon to begin with, combined with violence perpetrated by the government (because only the government has weapons) such as Stalin’s purge, Idi Amin’s genocide in Uganda, Pol Pot’s genocide in Cambodia or the Armenian genocide.

Gratuitous and self-serving too.

ISIS On Gun Carry Reciprocity According To Cy Vance

BY Herschel Smith
4 weeks, 1 day ago

The Hill:

New York County District Attorney Cy Vance in an interview aired Sunday blasted a GOP plan that would allow qualified owners to carry concealed handguns in other states that allow individuals to carry concealed firearms.

Speaking to radio host John Catsimatidis on AM 970 in New York, Vance argued that the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act introduced earlier this year would only put New York City at risk of violence.

“If that bill passes, I believe the safety, and the greater safety we have achieved will be at risk,” he said.

The bill, which was introduced in the House by Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) and a version in the Senate by Sen. John Cornyn , would allow concealed carry owners to carry in any state that permits the practice as long as they qualify to concealed carry in their home state.

Vance argued that the bill would allow people to bring guns from states with lax gun laws to New York, where gun restrictions are much tighter.

“It would be completely legal for a person to bring a loaded gun or guns in New York as long as it was legal to possess them in the person’s home state,” Vance explained.

“A guy from Idaho, where there’s no permitting requirement whatsoever, could carry his gun into New York city loaded, into Times Square.”

The district attorney warned lawmakers that they were “playing into the hand” of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and other terrorists, pointing to ISIS publications describing the ease of buying guns in some American states.

“This bill is supported, I’m sure, by ISIS,” Vance said.

So according to Cy Vance, ISIS has been waiting in the wings for national carry reciprocity so they can legally carry weapons into New York to perpetrate acts of terror.  There is celebrating in Raqqa tonight.

Cy Vance is of the school of thought that goes something like this: “If you don’t know what else to do, just make up some shit and say, ‘The boogey man is gonna getcha!'”

Boo! Hold me uncle Bob!  I’m askeerd! Boo!

Australian Gun Owners Should Consider The Source Of Their Rights

BY Herschel Smith
4 weeks, 1 day ago


I’m in favor of the right to bear arms, even though they don’t apply in Australia, but when making the argument against gun control being ineffective you must consider that the countries in this world aren’t completely isolated entities and the freedom one allows for firearm ownership can impact the ability for another to enforce a stricter control.

In a perfect world, I believe we would all be best served with an international standard minimum level of registration …

Hold it right there.  The reader David quotes has just run off the rails.  It wasn’t intentional, there was no malice of forethought.  But he’s off the rails nonetheless.

This is a well done commentary by David and a heavily commented one.  It’s worth your time to read it all, including the comments.  David points out in his column that rights don’t come from the government, but I must emphasize that only by understanding that the very basis of your existence, and certainly of your rights, depends upon the only sovereign God in heaven, can one understand that gun control is wicked.

At its root, gun control is usurpation, a replacement of man’s right with God’s right to dictate the terms of our existence.  It is a corollary of what caused the fallen world to begin with, i.e., the man who would be like God.

The Hearing Protection Act And ‘Silencers’

BY Herschel Smith
4 weeks, 1 day ago

David Kopel:

In the early 20th century, the most influential advocate for banning many firearms and accessories was William T. Hornaday, director of the Bronx Zoo. Using the resources of the Bronx Zoo and others for conservation, Hornaday helped save the American bison from extinction.

Hornaday’s 1913 book, “Our Vanishing Wildlife: Its Extermination and Preservation,” warned that over-hunting was wiping out American wildlife. According to Hornaday, one problem was that modern guns were too accurate. Also, hunters now had better scopes and binoculars. In Wyoming, hunters were using silencers so one shot didn’t frighten away other game.

Even worse, in Hornaday’s view, was who was hunting. Namely, lower-class Americans and immigrants. He urged new laws to “prohibit the use of firearms by any naturalized alien from southern Europe until after a 10-years’ residence in America.” Wildlife was vanishing because “the Italians are spreading, spreading, spreading. If you are without them to-day, to-morrow they will be around you. Meet them at the threshold with drastic laws, thoroughly enforced.”

In the South, Hornaday argued, the problem was hunting by “poor white trash” and blacks. In an earlier time, black Americans “were too poor to own guns.” But “the time came when . . . single-shot breech-loading guns went down to five dollars a piece. The negro had money now, and the merchants . . . sold him the guns, a gun for every black idler, man and boy, in all the South.” Hornaday favored an Alabama proposal for an annual tax of at least $5 a year on every firearm, to prevent poor people from owning inexpensive guns.

Hornaday argued that all pump-action guns should be banned, as should all semi-automatics and all “silencers.” Some of Hornaday’s proposals did become law, in attenuated form. For example, states did not ban hunting by immigrant citizens, but they did enact laws against hunting or firearms possession by legal resident aliens. North Carolina enacted a statute (later repealed) that required a license for purchasing a pump action gun. (These laws are described in my article in the Harvard Journal on Legislation, Background Checks for Firearms Sales and Loans: Law, History, and Policy.)

The National Firearms Act of 1934. In 1934, Congress enacted the National Firearms Act, which used the tax power to set up a tax and registration system for certain arms and accessories. As enacted, the NFA applies to machine guns, short-barreled shotguns and rifles, “silencers,” grenades, mortars and various other devices.

Kopel has done a very nice job of outlining the history and technology of suppressors.  I would never actually recommend that someone visit The Washington Post and push traffic their direction except for The Volokh Conspiracy when writing about gun rights.  But this one is so well done it’s worth it.

Prior: Revisiting The National Firearms Act

Katie Pavlich Advocates For More Gun Control

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

Fox News:

On “America’s Newsroom” today, Katie Pavlich said it’s a “no-brainer” that congressmen and women should be allowed to carry a firearm in D.C. if they have the proper permit.

She pointed to Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) comments that if armed Capitol Hill police had not been present at the baseball field last week, “it would have been a massacre.”

“The only reason why that shooting stopped is because two people with firearms were able to take out the assailant,” Pavlich said.

She said that everybody, members of Congress included, should be able to carry a concealed weapon in these currently restricted areas.

Mary Anne Marsh said she’s not in favor of this change, but she said if it does happen, then there should be one uniform standard for concealed carry across the nation.

“If you want to do this, then let’s have one uniform national standard, because people come from every state, every city and town, capital,” March said. “Let’s have everyone have one standard.”

Pavlich agreed that there should be a national standard. She argued that should include D.C., so that members of Congress and regular citizens can take responsibility for their own safety.

Do you want more gun control?  Because this is how you get more gun control.

Good Lord, Katie.  With constitutional carry either passed or under consideration in many states, the very last thing we want is for some allegedly pro-gun girl to argue in favor of putting the fedgov in charge of “uniform standards” for anything, most especially guns.

And worst of all is if the fedgov made carry not only subject to CLEO regulation, but some sort of law or federal code.

Good grief honey.  Think before you speak.

Stupid Reactions To The Alexandria Shooting Of Congressional Members

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

Rolling Stone:

“This is a horrible aberration, and it makes us fear for our security,” says a visibly shaken Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, who has cuts and scrapes on his arms and knees from hitting the dugout floor to avoid the bullets. While he talks to reporters, he’s still in a dirt-covered jersey emblazoned with the word “Republican.” The morning’s tragedy is just beginning to dawn on him. “Just a horrible … experience. And actually, now thinking [about] the magnitude of the shots that were fired and the carnage that was there, I’m still in a state of shock.”

[ … ]

“It’s about the person. We have people in this country, sadly, who have just a horrific value system – somebody like this, today, who would do that, people who engage in terrorism. They will unfortunately find their weapon of choice,” Fleischmann tells Rolling Stone. “What we need to do is focus on keeping Americans safe. But I am, and will always be, a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. Put it this way: If we had had more weapons there, we’d be able to subdue the shooter more quickly. Thank God that the Capitol Police were there and were armed, because otherwise we’d have had a situation where there’d be a lot more damage.”

Party leaders also canceled other proceedings, like a hearing in a House Natural Resources subcommittee on a piece of legislation that would ease restrictions on buying silencers for guns. Currently, getting a silencer requires purchasers to submit to being fingerprinted and produce a photograph that’s kept on file, and the waiting period can last as long as nine months. The bill being proposed by Republican Rep. Jeff Duncan would do away with those restrictions.

“It’s one of the things that makes you feel more normal – the camaraderie that we have in the mornings,” Republican Rep. Pat Meehan, who wasn’t at practice Wednesday morning, says to a group of reporters before being overwhelmed with emotion and tearing up. “The camaraderie that we have in the mornings when we are there is such a change from the pressures that we all feel on a regular basis, and is kind of a return to the fun things. You know, Scalise is the Whip, but when we’re out there we kind of treat each other like we’re in high school again.”

[ … ]

Other Republicans are avoiding specifics too. Rep. Rodney Davis, who represents the shooter’s home state of Illinois, was up to bat when the shooting began. “I heard a loud noise and thought it was a construction site dropping a large piece of metal, and then the next thing I heard was, ‘Run – he’s got a gun!” he says, still in his cleats and uniform. Davis gets heated mad when I ask whether there could have been greater carnage if the shooter had employed a silencer during his rampage.

The number one most stupid thing after this shooting is asking if suppressors would have made this worse.  The second most stupid thing is acting like high schoolers playing ball.  I don’t want you to build camaraderie with anyone.  I want you to go to the mattresses and stop the drunken advance of government power.

The third most stupid thing is acting as if you alone are victims of shooting rampages.  You want guns?  Fine.  Make them available for everyone for self defense.  And don’t act as if you have PTSD when you send sons of America on every stupid foreign misadventure known to man in your quest for global imperialism.

And if you care about PTSD and young boys whom you have sent to war where the real shooting is, then fix the VA.  There.  I’ll bet you didn’t expect that from this event.  Did you, you gaggle of pricks?

Australian Government Says It Wants To Confiscate Weapons From Peaceable Citizens

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

The Guardian:

Australia has announced a sweeping national firearm amnesty that will allow owners of illegal firearms to hand in weapons for the first time since the aftermath of the Port Arthur massacre in Tasmania in 1996.

The amnesty was one of the measures agreed as part of the revised 2017 National Firearms Agreement by the state and territory governments.

The amnesty has been precipitated by a steady increase in the number of unregistered firearms in Australia, which law enforcement and intelligence agencies now believe to number approximately 260,000.

My expectation is it will probably not be the case that we will have hardened criminals who have made a big effort to get a hold on illegal guns would necessarily hand them in. The purpose is to reduce the number of unregistered and illicit firearms in the community”.

He couldn’t have been clearer.  He doesn’t expect that criminals or terrorists will hand in weapons.  Only peaceable citizens will turn them in, making them less able to defend themselves.

The security situation in Australia is degrading with an increase in both gangs and the potential for Islamic terror, and yet there are still those in America and around the world who embrace the false Australia gun narrative.

Michael Savage Beclowns Himself On Guns

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

Via Codrea.

Drums are notoriously unreliable for AR-15s, and only really effectively used for belt-fed weapons like the open-bolt FN SAW (which by the way, I should be able to own under the second amendment).

Notwithstanding that, why should I listen to some clown in California, a world away, who doesn’t know how to pronounce his R’s (I can’t stand to hear someone try to say “more” and end up saying “mowa”).  Learn to use your R’s Michael.  It sounds annoying and cranky when you don’t.

So who’s going to do the collecting of all of those armaments, Michael, you or LEOs?  Any LEOs around my neck of the woods, if they really care about their own safety and health, would refuse to obey such orders.  So are you going to do all of this yourself?

Any time you feel froggy.

Should Members Of Congress Carry Guns?

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago


As Bloomberg News reported Thursday morning, some Republican members of Congress responded to these events by proposing that lawmakers carry their own guns for protection. Representative Dave Brat of Virginia told reporters that Congress should consider allowing members to arm themselves for the sake of safety. At present, firearms and other dangerous weapons (except those carried by law enforcement) are prohibited on the U.S. Capitol grounds.

Representative Chris Collins, a New York Republican, said he now intends to carry a firearm at public events, according to television station WKBW. “I can assure you, from this day forward: I have a carry permit. I will be carrying when I’m out and about,” Collins said. “It’s going to be in my pocket from this day forward.”

Sorry Chris, you can’t, unless the D.C. police grant you a dispensation because you’re more special than other people.  Go back to New York and solve your own damn problems.  Your state has some of the most restrictive firearms laws on earth, just short of Hawaii and South Africa.  Don’t come crying to me until you fix your state’s problems.

Dave, instead of arguing for Congressional members being armed, why don’t you give us a national carry law?  Oh, I see.  Because you can’t get that passed, but the congresscritters will arm themselves for their own protection.  Got it.

Rehabilitating Pat MacNamara’s Image

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

We previously discussed Pat MacNamara and his support of universal background checks and waiting periods for firearms purchases.  Uncle weighed in today with this.

I waited until the dust seemed to settle on this one. But a pro gun guy said something that seemed dumb, likely due to editing from Comedy Central. The internet lynch mob kicked in. Tam is correct. Everyone should, right after one of these things happens, cool their shit and find out what happened before grabbing the pitchforks and torches.

Good advice from Sebastian:

So for Christs sake, for the dozenth or so time: dont talk to the fucking media or Comedy Central. They are snakes with cameras and editing rooms. They will make you look bad. No you cant beat them at this game

Nope, don’t like it.  And I don’t like Sebastian’s counsel either, not one damn bit.  This has nothing whatsoever to do with talking to the media.  If I talked to the media there isn’t the slightest chance anything I said could be mistaken for any kind of support for universal background checks or waiting periods.

Besides, I think it’s good to know what people think.  I see no need to wait – he clearly said he supported what he said he supported.  There was no mistake, and there is no mistaking what he said.  He said what he thought, and he thought what he said.  This isn’t a tautology – it’s clearheaded thinking on Pat’s part, albeit very foreign to liberty and very wrong.

Now let’s take a stroll through Tam’s thoughts on this.

Well, that was pretty heavily edited, but it sounded like Pat Mac was in favor of waiting periods. The background check remark was pretty ambiguous. I mean, we already *have* background checks, so…

Yes, Pat was in favor of waiting periods.  And yes, he was in favor of universal background checks.

I reserve the right to form my opinions on these things on a case-by-case basis. I haven’t really formed mine here yet, other than I think Pat Mac is as wrong as tw…well, as a very wrong thing…when it comes to the utility of waiting periods.

As far as Universal Background Checks, here’s the correct and constitutional way to implement those: Since the right to keep and bear arms is a civil right, the default setting is that everyone has it. If someone becomes a felon or is otherwise debarred from arms, then make a NO GUNS ALLOWED black mark on their DL/ID/passport/whatever.

Show me an ID without that disclaimer, and you’d be good to go, no background check necessary. And you’d be good to go in all 50 states, at that.

I’d trade that for moving suppressors to Title I, repealing the Hughes Amendment, and interstate handgun sales. Hell, I might throw in a 3-day wait on sales from FFL dealers for that package deal.But that’s not what the other side means by “compromise”.

Oh dear.  Since this post is pregnant with ideas and there is an awful lot here it might be difficult to fisk all of it.  I’m not going to try in this post.  But I’ll observe first of all that many felons are convicted of non-violent offenses and deserve to have their rights restored.

Second, even if you don’t want violent felons to have firearms, that doesn’t mean that form 4473 stops them, or that they have to keep records of non-offenders like you and me (by keeping form 4473s) in order to conduct a background check.  It doesn’t, and they don’t.  Form 4473s are written and kept for reasons other than doing a background check, and you know it full well, don’t you?  Just admit the truth.

Finally, you know what they are going after with universal background checks, Tam.  They are going after person-to-person transfers, and we all know it.  My position on gun control remains unchanged.  It is evil, perpetrated by wicked rulers for nefarious purposes.

And my position on Pat MacNamara remains unchanged.  What he said was clear and I have no need of waiting or trying to dissect it or find out what he “really” meant.  He said what he really meant.

Hey, doesn’t Tam write for the NRA?

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