Archive for the 'Gun Control' Category



The Gun Law Is An Ass?

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

By now most readers are aware of the sad case of the poor New Jersey retired school teacher who faces felony charges for ownership of an antique handgun.

Gordon Van Gilder, a 72-year-old retired schoolteacher in New Jersey, faces a 10-year prison sentence for possessing an unloaded 18th-century flintlock pistol in his car.

Mr. Van Gilder, a collector of 18th-century memorabilia, said he had the gun unloaded and wrapped in a cloth in the glove compartment of his vehicle when he was pulled over in November by a Cumberland County sheriff’s deputy for a minor traffic violation, according to a video posted last week by NRA News.

After consenting to a search of his vehicle, Mr. Van Gilder said he alerted the deputy of the pistol in his glove box. The deputy let him go that night, but four police officers showed up at his home the next morning with an arrest warrant, he told NRA News.

“Beware of New Jersey. Don’t come here. Don’t live here,” Mr. Van Gilder said. “Here I am, a retired teacher coming out of his house in handcuffs, who had a flintlock pistol and now I’m charged as a felon. It’s unbelievable. It’s outrageous. It’s an insult to decent people.”

New Jersey’s gun laws explicitly include antique firearms, even though federal laws exempt them.

Evan Nappen, an attorney who specializes in gun law cases and is representing Mr. Van Gilder, says that even a plea agreement that avoids jail time but convicts Mr. Van Gilder of a felony would likely jeopardize his teacher’s pension he spent 34 years earning, Legal Insurrection reported.

Charles C. W. Cooke thinks the law is an ass.

The gun in question, Van Gilder says, “was probably made about 1765 in Belgium — for the British market.” A dealer found it in Pennsylvania, and held it for him. “I paid $800 for it. It’s a boxlock pistol, so there’s no hammer. It’s beautiful” …

The idea that he was breaking a law, Nappen concludes, “never crossed Van Gilder’s mind. It’s an antique. He had no intention of shooting it. It wasn’t loaded. There was no flint, no powder, and no ball” …

Putting to one side the myriad problems with New Jersey’s preposterously illiberal laws, Allen’s ordeal was so perplexing because it need never have been brought about in the first instance. In her case — as, now, in Van Gilder’s — the prosecuting authorities had absolute discretion. Then, as now, they did not use it. In this latest case, it seems clear that there was no need to arrest Van Gilder in the first instance, and neither was there any obvious justification for charging him. Indeed, in a reasonable state, the existence of judgment-limiting mandatory minimums would make prosecutors more likely, not less, to drop the fringe cases at the outset. But New Jersey is not a reasonable state, and its authorities are neither kind nor judicious. Rather, they are stubborn and they are zealous. There is something unutterably rotten about the Garden State these days.

Finally, NJ.com is polling folks to see what they think about it.  Many of the responses are utterly pathetic and not even worth your time.  To begin with concerning the artifact, no gunsmith worth his weight in salt would actually fire the gun.  He certainly wouldn’t do it without NDE (non destructive examination) being performed on the firearm to ensure that he didn’t destroy an actual historical artifact while he also allowed someone to be harmed in the process.  More likely, he will do an ultrasonic cleaning of the piece, and then wisely talk the owner into sitting this beautiful relic under glass.  In doing so, he will have earned his consultative fee.  The notion that this is a working firearm is ridiculous.

Second, I am indeed so very sorry for Mr. Van Gilder, and of course there is no reason he should face a felony arrest and lose of his pension.  These things are obscene and an insult to the sensibilities of peaceable and God fearing men and women.  But the notion of charging Mr. Van Gilder isn’t obscene because he owns and attempted to transport an antique relic.  They are obscene because they violate the dignity of an elderly man who has a God given right to own weapons, a right that the constitution codifies, recognizes and specifically stipulates.  “Shall not be infringed,” the wording reads.

I am sorry for Mr. Van Gilder, but I disagree with Mr. Cooke, and profoundly so.  The law isn’t an ass.  The law is words, codified morality.  The notion that we cannot legislate morality is ludicrous.  All law is legislated morality, as R. J. Rushdoony has pointed out.  This law reflects the totalitarian and collectivist morality of the Northeast, where men who spend their lives teaching the little ones lose their dignity because they have an interest in “curios and relics,” as it happens to create a nexus with gun laws of a control freak political mentality.  Make no mistake.  This isn’t about curios and relics, or even guns.  All gun control is about control.

The law isn’t an ass.  The people who made the law, and the people who voted the politicians into office, the culture that created this controlling totalitarianism, they are the true ass.  They always have been – they always will be.  “Can a leopard change its spots?”

Eugene Volokh On Open Carry

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

The Washington Post:

So the Florida Court of Appeal held Wednesday in Norman v. State. It concluded that the Second Amendment applies to carrying for self-defense outside the home.

“A blanket prohibition on carrying [a] gun in public prevents a person from defending himself anywhere except inside his home,” and as such constitutes a “substantial … curtailment of the right of armed self-defense.”

… the Legislature’s discretion in this area is not limitless. For example, the [Second Circuit] in Kachalsky upheld New York’s prohibitive licensing scheme using an intermediate scrutiny analysis that gave too much deference to the legislature, without considering the fact that the licensing scheme in question rendered the right to bear arms outside the home virtually non-existent…. A right is essentially “destroyed [if the] exercise of [that] right is limited to a few people, in a few places, at a few times.”

The Legislature “has a right to prescribe a particular manner of carry, provided that it does not ‘cut[] off the exercise of the right of the citizen altogether to bear arms, or, under the color of prescribing the mode, render[] the right itself useless.’” The Legislature is permitted to regulate the manner in which arms are borne for the purpose of maintaining public peace and safety, so long as any such regulation leaves available a viable carry mode.

I think the court was quite right to recognize a right to carry guns in public for self-defense (for more on this, see here). I also think the court was right to allow the state to limit such carrying to concealed carrying, precisely because such carrying doesn’t substantially interfere with the ability to defend oneself. (That’s especially so because, if a situation arises in which a person reasonably perceives an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury, the person would be free then to display the gun in self-defense, as well as use it, if necessary.)

So let’s play a thought experiment.  Suppose rather than the rights of an “ordinary” citizen being addressed here it was the rights of law enforcement officers who may need to defend their lives.  Would Eugene have made the same argument?  Would law enforcement have stood for being told they must carry concealed?  Would any court in the land have dared to force LEOs to carry concealed?  Do you think law enforcement would make the argument that drawing from a concealed carry position (IWB covered by clothing or perhaps ankle carry rig) might endanger their lives more than if they have the weapon ready from open carry due to response time?

Remember under Tennessee versus Garner LEOs can use their weapons for the very same reason we can use ours, i.e., for self defense or the defense of the life of someone else (or to prevent assault or bodily injury), and for no other reason(s).  So then how are we any different than LEOs, and why should such requirements be placed on us if they are not placed on LEOs?  How is it the right decision by the court to uphold a law that treats us differently?

Surely Eugene knows as much about Tennessee versus Garner (and its follow-on cases) as we do.  Does Eugene have an answer for why it’s okay for the court to treat us differently?  Has Eugene thought through this clearly enough yet?

John Lott On Texas Open Carry

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[ … ]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enough Is Enough: Oregon Freedom Is Next On The Collectivist Menu

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

Portland Tribune:

A handful of Oregon Episcopal School 12th grade students will ask Portland’s City Council on Wednesday to adopt a strict gun control measure.

It’s part of a semester-long class research project on engaged citizenship, says Mike Gwaltney, chairman of the OES History Department and a teacher at the Raleigh Hills school on Southwest Nicol Road.

During the council’s Wednesday morning meeting, OES students Maddie Mosscrop, Elizabeth Keeney, Zach Solomon, Rowan Berridge, Nut Cheepsongsuk, Meredith Loy, Teddy Morrissette, Jackson Thomas, Peter Graham and Chelsea Choi, will propose that the city adopt an ordinance banning the manufacture or sale of “assault weapons” and large-capacity magazines for semi-automatic weapons …

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, who has advocated for stricter gun safety laws, in January 2013 signed on to a statement of principles endorsed by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a national group formed in the wake of the December 2012 shootings at Clackamas Town Center and at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Hales proposed requiring criminal background checks for all gun sales, banning “military-style” assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines and making gun trafficking a federal crime.

The OES students’ measure is modeled on similar ordinances adopted by Sunnyvale, Calif., Highland Park, Ill., and Washington, D.C. It’s also an extension of ordinances adopted by Portland’s city commissioners in December 2010.

[ … ]

The students’ proposal comes on the heels of a plan by U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer announced Monday to treat gun safety like automobiles and tobacco use.

Blumenauer, a Democrat representing Oregon’s 3rd Congressional District, outlined his proposal during a Feb. 9 press conference with the introduction of a new report, ‘Enough Is Enough.’

Blumenauer plans to turn the report’s nine proposals into federal legislation later this year. The proposals are based on the federal government’s response to automobile safety and reduction of tobacco use “two significant public safety challenges where the government responded in ways that dramatically reduced injury and death, success came from defining the problem, identifying risk factors, testing prevention strategies, and ensuring widespread adoption of effective solutions,” Blumenauer said Monday in Portland …

Among Blumenauer’s proposals:

• Closing the private sale loophole so no guns could not be sold without a background check.

• Improve the mental health system so some people with mental illnesses cannot get guns.

• Authorize and increase research on ways to prevent gun violence.

• Limit access to “the most dangerous weapons.”

• Include firearms in the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Act.

If you read Blumenauer’s report – and I have – you will find a veritable orgy of government control over every aspect of your rights, from giving the government bureaucrats control over the design, testing, sale and manufacture of guns, to involvement of the CDC and other health professionals in whether any one individual or class of individuals should be allowed to have weapons, to prohibition of certain types of weapons and magazines, to ending what they call the “private sale loophole” (see page 11).  It’s a collectivist’s wet dream of government regulation and control.

Now, this won’t get passed in either the House or Senate.  I have come to believe that this isn’t the point of the report.  This “protest” by the school children (probably all orchestrated by their collectivist teachers) was timed to begin with the push for federal legislation, which won’t pass but that fact will be used to pressure local officials because “we can do something even Congress can’t.”

Money will eventually flow into Oregon from Bloomberg and Gates if it hasn’t already started.  The new paradigm for gun control efforts is the state level, not the federal level (where they will lose) or the local level (where preemption laws turn their efforts to waste).

This serves as a warning to all readers in Oregon.  Saddle up your horses now.  Get you bedroll ready, strap it on to the saddle, get some oats, salted pork, and horse feed.  Grab your oilskin coat.  Get your carbine and pistols ready, clean them, and get your ammunition.  Hit the trail now, your posse is needed.  It will be a long time before you sleep.

Get busy immediately or you will be the next in line after Washington’s I-594.  The evil one has designs on your soul.  You’re in the fight of your life.  It has already begun while you were sleeping.

Michael Bloomberg Wants To Ban Minority Males From Gun Ownership

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

The Aspen Times:

Bloomberg claimed that 95 percent of murders fall into a specific category: male, minority and between the ages of 15 and 25. Cities need to get guns out of this group’s hands and keep them alive, he said.

“These kids think they’re going to get killed anyway because all their friends are getting killed,” Bloomberg said. “They just don’t have any long-term focus or anything. It’s a joke to have a gun. It’s a joke to pull a trigger.”

At one point, the former mayor brought up New York City’s stop-and-frisk practices, which gained national attention in 2011. Bloomberg said that during his last year in office, a minister at a Baptist church in Harlem invited him to speak.

“While I’m sitting there waiting for him to introduce me, he said to his congregation, ‘You know, if every one of you stopped and frisked your kid before they went out at night, the mayor wouldn’t have to do it,’” Bloomberg said. “And so I knew I was going to be okay with that audience.”

Well, this is just rich, isn’t it?  The state is acting as mommies, or daddies, in place of the non-existent mommies or daddies (can you say in loco parentis?).  What a hell the progressives have created for the black man and themselves!  They have pressed for policies that impoverish the black man and make him dependent upon government largesse, incentivizing fatherless families, and then step in to act as the parent.

And take note that this, in the view of the collectivist, is the rightful place of the state.  Add to this the fact that progressives are racists, and you have a witches brew of ugliness for the inner cities that usually displays itself in crime against the middle class, the militarization of police, and class animosity.

Bloomberg doesn’t want those horrible black boys to have guns, any more than he wants them to have a father.  And all Jim Crow gun laws – such as in my own state where CLEOs get to make the final call on gun permits – are in place to keep those “horrible Negros” from getting their hands on guns.

Bloomberg is a racist.  It’s nice that he openly admitted it rather than us having to drag it out of him.  But in order to appear that he isn’t, his proposed gun laws (like I-594 in Washington and so-called “assault weapons ban”) hits only law abiding citizens.  Or in other words, the innocent and law abiding suffer for the sake of the special class of people he is trying to redeem.  In Bloomberg’s view, the state has a salvific role in the policies it implements, and everyone must make atonement for the sins of a few.

Going After The Enablers Of Bad Guys With Guns

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

Baltimore Sun:

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

If he stole them, the case ends there.

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

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

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

Opponents of the measure called it an infringement on liberty.

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

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

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

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

David Codrea:

… those associations in and of themselves don’t relate how Carter would be able to use the position of Secretary of Defense to impact gun owners.

Here’s one area that it might: In following up on reports of military installations destroying expended ammunition brass rather than making it available to the commercial reload market, this column uncovered a copy of a June 23, 2011 memorandum from Carter on “Department of Defense (DoD) Implementing Guidance for the Commercial Sale of Expended Small Arms Cartridge Cases (ESACC).”

The memorandum includes an “Implementing Guidance” attachment stating “DoD will dispose of ESACC as quickly and effectively as practical, and in compliance with applicable laws, regulations and DoD guidance.” Of relevance, it also states “The DoD will not expend resources to determine whether ESACC are serviceable for non-military purposes.”

Ashton Carter is a progressive leader – not just shill – but leader.  Obama wouldn’t have appointed him if this were not the case.  You can lay bets on the notion that he will do everything in his power to ensure progressive policies are implemented.

Kurt Hofmann:

In other words, everyone who obediently registered their “assault weapons” and “high capacity” magazines, as per the new law, had provided the state with a map telling the gun confiscation raiding parties just where to go … let’s focus on one particular provision–registration of every gun. Actually, that’s annual registration, which is to be accompanied every time with a test of “firearms handling capacity” and knowledge of gun laws.

It never stops folks.  When they talk about “common sense” gun laws, what they really mean is that if you will let them get a foot in the door, they’ll force their way inside and take over.  It’s what control freaks do.  It’s what they believe.  They cannot not try to control every aspect of your life.  It’s like a dog returning to its vomit.  And it’s just as grotesque.

David Codrea:

“A Kermit [Texas] parent said his fourth-grade student was suspended Friday for allegedly making a terroristic threat,” the Odessa American reported Friday. After seeing “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” nine-year-old Aiden Steward allegedly brought a ring to school and told a classmate it was magic and could make him disappear.

The boy’s father, Jason Steward, said Kermit Elementary School Principal Roxanne Greer informed him “threats to another child’s safety would not be tolerated — whether magical or not.” For her part, Greer declined to comment …

Yea, I’ll bet she declined to comment.  This woman is an imbecile.  Do you really need another reason to get your children dissociated from the communist indoctrination program?

Iraqi father guns down seven ISIS members.

Seven Islamic State terrorists were no match for an elderly man hell-bent on avenging the execution of his son at the hands of the terrorist organization.

When Basil Ramadan, reportedly in his 60s, approached an ISIS checkpoint in Tikrit, about 120 miles northwest of Baghdad, he gunned down the terrorists manning the facility, according to the Daily Mail.

Ramadan managed to take out seven using an AK-47 before he himself was shot and killed.

So I’m just fine with this.  In fact, I delight in things like this.  I think I’ll tip a glass of wine in celebration of the deaths of the murderous thugs working for ISIS.  Show us more of it and ISIS wouldn’t exist.  For my part I won’t use an AK-47 if ISIS comes to America.  It will be a gun far better than that.

Properly Defending Liberty Comes Down To One Thing: World View

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

There is a stir among gun rights advocates – or at least, presumed gun rights advocates.  On the one hand, there are the open carriers and opponents of I-594 and their advocates in the state of Washington (and other places like Texas and New York where even Sheriffs are recommending that your thrown your SAFE act pistol permit recertification invitation in the garbage), and on the other hand are Alan Gottlieb, Dave Workman, Bob Owens (who seems like a late comer to the pragmatic approach), and many of their readers.  See for instance this article at Zelman Partisans, this one by Bob Owens, and this article, this article, this article, and this article from Mike Vanderboegh.

As you might be able to guess from my history, I am not an advocate of pragmatism.  I have been a vocal and uncompromising opponent of universal background checks (and anything that enables such statism) from the beginning.  But before we rehearse and and expound on the reasons for my opposition, first let’s survey the pragmatists.  Bob Owens’ prose is stunning.

A small group of long gun open carriers lacking the discernment, basic common sense, and the political savvy of your average garden snail made complete fools out of themselves as they dangerously brandished firearms in the Washington House gallery last week during I-594 protests …

… knuckle-draggers like those pictured above don’t understand the long-game, and can’t grasp that the average citizen thinks that a person carrying a long gun to a protest of any sort is most likely unhinged.

We need to do a better job of patrolling our own, folks, because if we don’t find a way to control these cretins, the forces of gun control will be certain to exploit them for every bit of political capital that they can.

“Garden snail” … “knuckle-draggers” … “fools” … “cretins.”  These are words for open carriers normally reserved for web sites like Mother Jones, Balloon Juice, or perhaps Salon.  I am an open carrier (at certain times), and while this example is atypical of open carriers, it’s important to remember that even if it is perceived to be theatrical, it has context and it was provoked.

Earlier this summer, Rep. Jim Moeller took to Facebook and issued what some gun-rights advocates perceived as a challenge.

“I will refuse to conduct the business of the state as long as any ‘open carry’ nuts (are) in the gallery,” Moeller, D-Vancouver, wrote on his Elect Jim Moeller Facebook page.

Open carriers have experience with open carry of weapons being legal but also being bullied about their choices, or even worse, put in an unsafe position because of their legal choices.  It’s also important to remember that while open carry may not appear to be the norm today, it wasn’t always this way in America.

In the colonies, availability of hunting and need for defense led to armament statues comparable to those of the early Saxon times. In 1623, Virginia forbade its colonists to travel unless they were “well armed”; in 1631 it required colonists to engage in target practice on Sunday and to “bring their peeces to church.” In 1658 it required every householder to have a functioning firearm within his house and in 1673 its laws provided that a citizen who claimed he was too poor to purchase a firearm would have one purchased for him by the government, which would then require him to pay a reasonable price when able to do so. In Massachusetts, the first session of the legislature ordered that not only freemen, but also indentured servants own firearms and in 1644 it imposed a stern 6 shilling fine upon any citizen who was not armed.

When the British government began to increase its military presence in the colonies in the mid-eighteenth century, Massachusetts responded by calling upon its citizens to arm themselves in defense.

Weapons were used for hunting, self defense, and yes, amelioration of tyranny.  It wasn’t too many days ago that we rehearsed the jihadist attack on Charlie Hebdo and the goofy “reenactment” that the boys from TTAG did.  And goofy it was, but I did have the good sense to observe that “when defending against attackers with foreknowledge and rifles, you would rather have foreknowledge and rifles yourself.”

Islamists are being given sanctuary in the U.S., and Islamic calls to prayer are heard over loud speakers in Detroit, Michigan (and have been for about a decade now).  Beyond that, tens of millions of Hispanics and Latinos have flooded across the border, some of whom included very violent gang members who have been so bathed in violence and death that they are said to perpetrate it not only for the sake of crime, but for the sake of the violence itself.  Some strategists see the capability to conduct criminal operations and perpetrate violence to be far greater among the cartels than any Middle Eastern or Asian Islamic group.

As if the potential need for self defense isn’t enough, America now has two hundred trillion dollars of unfunded liability, now has full orbed socialized medicine, and has aborted more babies than Hitler killed Jews.  The time would have come and already left that the founders of this great nation would have put their foot down and drawn a line in the sand.

But as a community we still seem to be asleep, or at least comfortably deluded.  The most instructive and educational of all of the links I have provided above comes not from the authors, although some are very good, but from the comments.  Consider this one.

As an advocate of freedom, I’m dismayed at the flawed thinking of so many not so responsible gun owners disregarding the efforts of so many responsible citizens that are trying to preserve and restore our 2nd Amendment rights. Many gun rights advocates are working hard to encourage responsible and knowledgeable leadership out of our legislature. The few that want to use a firearm as a tool of intimidation or civil disobedience will make it even more challenging for the rest of us to convince our representatives that an armed society is indeed a polite society.

Next, consider this.

While open carry may not be ‘illegal’ in a particular case, doing so is not often the right thing to do.  There was a time that, even here in California, we could sling a rifle across our shoulders and ride a motorcycle out to the range and no one freaked out. Then, we had the ‘open carry’ crowd start trying to attract attention, gathering in large groups and parading around, getting loud and vocal and,in general, acting like prissy little drama queens. As expected, people reacted.

The first commenter also slammed the open carriers for horrible muzzle control.  I am not defending poor muzzle control, and if they were brandishing or threatening in any way, they need to learn the rules of gun safety and mature a bit before doing this again.  That is both illegal and unsafe.  But that’s a side show compared to the real issue.  To the first commenter convincing his representative is what it’s all about, even though that hasn’t worked to stop socialized medicine, abortion and oppressive taxation.  From the land of make believe we come to the second commenter, for whom the problem started not with collectivists pressing down with statist gun control laws and regulations, but with open carriers who exercised their rights to carry (and what would have been the catalyst for just such a “display” as suggested, he doesn’t say – it just started happening one day I suppose).  Then there is the hand-wringer, what I consider to be the capstone of the anti-open carry argument.

While I support the concept of unfettered right to bear arms, the reality in most of these “United States” is that one’s appearance on the street with a handgun openly strapped to one’s belt is unsettling to the hordes of liberals out there, and their reaction is definitely averse to our rights, and a threat that they perceive, to them.

Whenever CCW is an available alternative, we should prefer it, and avoid any display of firearms to those idiots who oppose our rights. The objective is not to prove some point, it is to be safer and to be better able to defend ourselves and our families, and CCW serves both objectives well.

Someday perhaps, most Americans will recognize that carrying a gun is not a bizarre fetish, but is a commitment that Americans make, in order to be free, and to incidentally guarantee the freedom of those who do not understand. That day has not yet come, and will come more quickly if we avoid unnecessary confrontation.

I yearn for the day when every housewife can choose to openly strap on a handgun when she goes grocery shopping, or to the mall. Until then, CCW is a better pathway to our freedom.

That day will “come more quickly if we avoid unnecessary confrontation.”  Finally, from the delusional to the defeatist.  Consider Sebastian.

I have no problem with the “I Will Not Comply Crowd.” I live in a state with a similar regime to Washington for handguns, and it’s probably one of the most ignored laws in the commonwealth. I have no problem with civil disobedience.  I don’t disapprove of what the sticks have been doing in Connecticut, because I don’t think there’s anything we carrots can do to help the Nutmeg State, for the time being. We’re challenging the law in federal court, and maybe, maybe down the road we could federally preempt it using Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment. That’s thin gruel, and I recognize that. But we are trying, and I think over the long run we have a good chance of being successful.

The big strategic question of gun rights in the last two years of the Obama Administration is how we defang Bloomberg, because he, without a doubt, is the single biggest threat our gun rights have faced since the 1990s. He’s not going to be intimidated by sticks; he has enough money to hire his own private army to protect him if he wishes. He’s not going to be concerned with carrots either, because most of us aren’t billionaires, and don’t have the money to throw around the political process that he does. So what do we do?

And this brings me to my main points.  Background checks are not a problem because they currently constitute a national gun registry.  If you recall my previous discussion on the subject, I played “devil’s advocate” to see just how close the ATF could come to such a monster.  I am still skeptical that the schema is in place (or could be put in place without a lot of additional pain and work).  But the danger in universal background checks is twofold.  First, it would indeed put the procedures and protocol in place for a national gun registry.  Second, it makes the government the ultimate arbiter of God-given rights.

There is an intensely moral element to control of this sort.  Gun control is evil, a sign and symptom of wicked rulersSebastian doesn’t think so.

I really don’t like it when churches insert themselves into political matters under the guise that these are really spiritual matters. Murder, rage, and vengeance — these are all matters of the spirit. Gun control is a matter of politics.

But to the educated man or woman, politics is ethics, which is a category of philosophy, or a description of a comprehensive world view, including metaphysics and epistemology.  It’s all related, and has to do with how you know what you know, how you assign truth value, and what lies beyond the physical.  That which is so intensely moral is not ripe terrain for compromise.  And a proper anthropology – a right view of mankind – knows that “the heart [of man] is deceitful above all things, and is desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9).  Only God understands it, and all attempts by men to divine the intentions and correct the maladies of the heart end in despair and failure.

Lastly, there is an element of eschatology in these demurrals from the pragmatists.  They see failure where many see potential success.  But fear not, God has always had His remnant, and He will not allow liberty to perish from the earth.  The chains always fall off, sometimes by His mighty hand, other times by using us as secondary causes and only by the utmost of peril to our lives, health and wealth – but always by His kind providence.

As much as I detest the propensity to compromise, especially out of fear of defeat, and as much as I loath Gates, Bloomberg and their minions, I don’t think what they do is all that significant.  Nor do I think that Gottlieb is all that significant.  He will be irrelevant in future circles of lovers of liberty, and I don’t think he will sway many minds.  Rather, with one commenter to this piece by Clair Wolfe I think that “the seed of the larger problem lies in the troubling correlation between politically and socially conservative people and their acquiescence to, even active subservience to, authority” (see here also my Foundation of Liberty).

And as much as I am accused at times of “preaching to the choir,” I think that the choir is a rather small ensemble of singers.  The problem is one of heart, or moral fiber, and of faith.  The collectivists turn to the state as their god, and the rulers mutually enjoin the people into the herds who need the state to determine the difference between right and wrong for the great unwashed masses.

Thus, most people would have no basis on which to demur if the state decided to kill every third man named Jerry before NFL games as a sacrifice to the football gods.  Utilitarianism has a very dark side.  For those who would oppose it with force but with no foundation, they are no different than Machiavelli.  The salient and important question is whether the people will wake from their slumber in enough time to prevent the degree of pain that can come from this conflict.  There is a massive cultural and religious war going on in America, and gun control is one front in that war.  People will gird their loins and engage now, or suffer the consequences later.

The Study That Gun-Rights Activists Keep Citing But Completely Misunderstand

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

Todd Frankel blogging at The Washington Post:

So what does the study say?

It’s hefty, running 121 pages. The title is “Priorities for Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence.” The National Academies’ Institute of Medicine and National Research Council published it in 2013.

And the study clearly makes the case for why more gun-violence research is needed.

The CDC requested the study to identify research goals after Obama issued his January 2012 executive order. The National Academies’s study authors clearly see gun violence as a problem worth examining:  “By their sheer magnitude, injuries and deaths involving firearms constitute a pressing public health problem.”

The authors suggested focusing on five areas: the characteristics of firearm violence, risk and protective factors, interventions and strategies, gun safety technology and the influence of video games and other media. The document is peppered with examples of how little we know about the causes and consequences of gun violence — no doubt the result of an 18-year-old CDC research ban.

But gun-rights supporters zeroed on in a few statements to make their case. One related to the defensive use of guns. The New American Magazine article noted that “Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year, in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008.”

So it would appear the “good use” of guns outweighs the “bad use.” That may be true, except the study says all of those statistics are in dispute — creating, in the study authors’ eyes, a research imperative.

You can read the whole post for yourself.  I’ve lifted the money quotes out (and hopefully not out of context).  Mr. Frankel charges gun-rights activists with an error in interpretation of data and statistics, and whether Mr. Frankel is correct in his own interpretation or not is irrelevant.  The Germane point is that gun rights activists – if they are indeed using such data and statistics to demonstrate a point – are in error for simply using the data, not for misinterpreting it.

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

There is probably little constitutional basis for such a thing as the Centers for Disease Control at the expense of our tax dollars even when studying diseases.  But there is certainly none whatsoever for its existence when it pens studies for the express intent of infringing on God-given rights.  If gun rights activists are arguing statistics with the collectivists, that’s the mistake right there.  Full stop.  Don’t do that.  Ever.  You presuppose their world view when you do that.

Reenacting The ‘Charlie Hebdo’ Massacre

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

Vice News:

As US lawmakers are proposing nixing gun-free zones and arming teachers and guards with firearms to halt potential school massacres, one pro-gun group has unwittingly provided a case in point against fighting guns with more guns.

The Truth About Guns, a weapons rights group based in Texas, recently recreated a set mirroring the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, where masked gunmen last week killed 12 people. The group then reenacted the massacre with paintball rounds to determine whether throwing an “armed defender” into the mix could have saved lives.

In nearly every single setup, the armed civilian — portrayed by 12 different local volunteers — died. The only exception was in the scenario where the team member with the gun immediately fled the scene.

The group ran the exercise in Plano, Texas and posted footage from a camera mounted to one of the attacker’s rifles to YouTube on Thursday. The Truth About Guns did not immediately respond to VICE News’ request for comment on the experiment Friday.

Sigh.  I’m not even going to link the video.  It’s meaningless.  Here’s Uncle’s take on it.

So, if one were to recreate what happened, they’d probably do something based on what happened. Or, instead, you could get some firearms trainers who know how to handle simunitions, let them strap on their gear and tell them to go practice a room-clearing exercise on random people you got to volunteer off the street to play CCW holder. Surprisingly, the firearms trainers manage to outperform the random people from the street.

Then, you could compound the error by inviting local media. Then, you get picked up by all the shitty, sensationalized listicle sites and are all over social media. And, boom, you got self-promotion.

Leave it to the occasional jackass to conclude that gun control helps the situation.

France’s ban on guns isn’t actually a gun ban of any sort. In fact, most French citizens share the same rights to firearm ownership as Americans.

The difference, however, is that French leaders haven’t sold out to the deep pockets of gun manufacturers and their lobbying group and removed important regulations that dramatically alter the mindset of citizens about those very deadly firearms.

Instead, these are the ultra-restrictive laws that some claim were responsible for the French terrorist attacks: Citizens must acquire a license to own a gun, including handguns. A requirement to obtain and keep that license is that the holder show proof of being an active shooting club member with at least three trips to the range each year and certification from a physician of the holder’s physical and mental capabilities.

Once that license is acquired, the only “gun ban,” is on fully automatic weapons, just like the one in the U.S.

Aside from that, the French can own pretty much any gun that an American can own.

But usually, they don’t own them. They don’t carry them around on their hips like this is some old West movie.

But it’s more invasive than that.  This point of view was written by a Frenchman right after Newtown.

From the French point of view, this shooting is just another example of the United States’ gun addiction …

France, however, underwent a major shift in its regulation of weapons in 1939. The French government worried that tough living conditions during the upcoming war with Germany could lead to revolts and unrest similar to those experienced by Germany and Russia during World War I. The government thus passed a law that would ban most guns. Moreover, when the Germans invaded France in 1940, another decree required every Frenchman to hand over his weapons.

This ban, justified by historical reasons, remained enforced after the war and has been the backbone of French firearm regulation ever since. In today’s legislation, the only weapons easy to purchase are hunting rifles, which has remained a French pastime.

The purchase of any type of military and civil firearm is only permitted in shooting sports for which a license is required. To obtain the licence, a year long process is required, including  a 6 month membership at a shooting club and background check by the police. This license needs to be renewed every three years.  Thus, for the last 73 years, weapons, except hunting rifles, have been ban for most Frenchmen. Promoting a gun-free environment has become the country’s answer to preventing mass shootings.

But it didn’t prevent a mass shooting, and I wonder if this Frenchman would care to revisit his position since the recent shooting in Paris?

See this analysis and this analysis for a discussion of category A, B, C and D in French gun control law, and if you wish to carry a handgun for personal defense, that isn’t viable.  It won’t happen in France.

Simply put, any attempted analysis, including that at TTAG, that focuses on what happens when shooters who plan their attack go to work on unsuspecting victims who have handguns (or nothing) proves only that when defending against attackers with foreknowledge and rifles, you would rather have foreknowledge and rifles yourself.

There are other variables that such a test doesn’t measure, such as could a potential victim in another room, hearing the commotion or seeing the attack, prepare in such a way as to save his life and the lives of others?  Philosophers call it “possible worlds,” and reenacting events like this one doesn’t even come close to exploring what might have, what could have, what may have happened.

Ignore all such “tests” and “reenactments.”  Arm yourselves to have a better chance to live in such an attack.  That’s the simplest and best advice anyone can give you.  The rest is just self promotion.


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