Archive for the 'Gun Control' Category

How To Make The Gun Industry Pay

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 3 days ago


Imagine this: You’re in a church, or a school, or a concert, or a movie theater, and you hear gunshots. The next thing you know, you wake up in a hospital bed. You learn that you’re a survivor of a mass shooting, and that doctors spent hours removing bullets from your body. Soon, you’ll discover that the health care you’ve received so far will cost you thousands of dollars out of pocket, and that you’ve incurred injuries that will require pricey lifetime treatment. You then hear the details of the shooting. The gun that nearly killed you was an assault weapon marketed to civilians for its military-grade performance, it was designed to shoot many people in a brief amount of time, and its manufacturer supplied the weapon to a dealer notorious for selling firearms illegally.

Under centuries-old theories of liability, you should be allowed to sue both the manufacturer and the dealer for torts like negligence and public nuisance. You could then use that money to pay your medical bills. If you are hurt by a car or a prescription drug, after all, you are typically allowed to sue for damages. But thanks to a law called the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, you have no legal remedy if you are hurt by a gun.

The author is lying to you.  There is a great gulf between a lawsuit for negligent manufacturing of a structure, system or component and the malicious use of said component.  For example, someone can sue a drunk driver, a sleepy driver, or someone who hits you with a baseball bat in the head (if the state doesn’t prosecute you for a felony, the victim can sue in civil court for damages plus awards).  No one sues the manufacturer of a baseball bat because a person who buys it decides to hit someone else in the head.  That’s all this law is preventing, i.e., the misuse of tort law.

Of course, it’s no surprise that a write for Slate lies to make his point.  Hey, I also cited Phillip Carter when he wrote for Slate not too many days ago.  Hey Philip – how does it feel to have gone on record having written for a worthless rag like Slate?  Does it embarrass you?  Don’t you feel that you’re above that?

Kevin Drum At Mother Jones: We Should Ban All Semi-Automatic Firearms

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 4 days ago

Mother Jones:

Atrios says that if lefties want to fire people up about gun control, they need to get more passionate about it:

To inspire hardcore single issue voters you have to take an absolutist stance on things. I’m not saying this is good politics….Still, there is literally no politician who goes on teevee and says, “the courts won’t allow it right now, but if it were up to me I’d put the well-regulated back in the 2nd amendment and make it extremely difficult for people to own most kinds of guns, and we should work long term to appoint judges who have a more reasonable view of what our constitution plainly says.” Is this good politics? Probably some places it is. Many places not. But lack of voter intensity on issues can be explained by lack of intensity on issues from politicians.

Actually, that still sounds too milquetoast to me. My campaign slogan is simple: Ban all automatic and semi-automatic weapons. That basically leaves revolvers, pump-action shotguns, and bolt-action rifles. I’d probably have a few regulations around those too, but not many.

So Kevin, I expect you to kick my door in tonight to grab my guns.  Oh, I see, you’re a coward and won’t show up here.  Just as I guessed, you want to send other armed men to do it.  This only proves that you don’t really believe in gun control for everybody, just some people.

As long as the right people have guns, you’re okay with that.  Just like Hitler.  As I’ve said many times before, the sons and daughters of hippies are controllers and statists.  They’ve become everything their mothers and fathers hated.  As they say, when you believe in nothing, you’ll believe in anything.

So What Do We Call The Gun “Safety Advocates?”

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 5 days ago

David Codrea:

Some of us would argue the edicts she demands makes things a lot more dangerous, and just ceding to Delatorre or Becker their own characterizations without at least addng qualifiers like “self-professed” gives credence to their side. Because what they’re claiming to be is debatable.

And more to the point, “Just because gun-grabbers call themselves “Second Amendment supporters” and “safety advocates” doesn’t mean the media should just take them at their word.”

I prefer to call them “The Controllers.”  It’s what they are in their heart of hearts.  Besides, they hate hearing the truth and they’ve tried to change the narrative by focusing on words other than controller.  Don’t let them.

Phillip Carter: Armed Bystanders Cannot Stop A Truck

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 1 day ago

Phillip Carter writing for Slate:

Before the bodies cooled Tuesday after a deadly terror attack in Manhattan, conservative commentators raced to proclaim that a good guy with a gun might have stopped the speeding truck that killed eight on a bike path along the Hudson River. This is absurd.

As in Las Vegas one month ago, no good guy carrying a gun would have made a difference in New York on Tuesday. A casual bystander with a pistol would face near-impossible odds in trying to stop a speeding truck. The basic physics of stopping a moving truck with a pistol—or even a rifle or a machine gun—work against even the best-trained and -positioned shooter. Cities can do things to protect themselves against this new and increasingly frequent form of attack. But arming the masses and hoping for a good outcome is madness. Armed amateurs in the middle of terrorist incidents can only increase the carnage.

The basic tactical problem in the Manhattan attack is a variant of one that militaries and police agencies have considered for decades: How to stop a vehicle, such as one carrying a bomb, from getting close to a valuable target and killing people. This is the terror tactic that has blown apart Marine barracks, embassies, and federal buildings. The new variant—prompted in part by anti-terrorism efforts limiting the availability of explosives, and in part by the amateurism of today’s “lone wolf” terrorists—is to use the truck itself as a weapon, driving it through crowds in places like LondonBerlin; BarcelonaNice, France; and of course New York City.

To stop speeding vehicles and prevent attacks like these, security forces use a mixture of physical barriers and weaponry. Look at any major military base or U.S. federal building and you will see these measures: concrete barriers to block all direct access; serpentine pathways into parking areas that make speeding through impossible; heavily armed guards operating from armored booths, with radios to call for help. In the event of an attack, armed police or troops at a checkpoint would fire on a speeding vehicle to stop it.

But this is not an easy shot for even a seasoned marksman. It’s difficult to hit a moving target in a stressful situation like this, even if a shooter has the right weaponry and is firing from a stable, secure position on familiar terrain.

Also, it’s one thing to hit a truck—it’s another matter to hit the parts of a truck that matter. To stop a truck, you have to hit the driver (who sits behind an engine block that can be penetrated only by heavy machine-gun fire or shot through a small windshield aperture); or hit the engine (which can only be disabled by heavy weaponry); or hit the wheels (which are small targets that even when damaged may not stop the vehicle from moving). The battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan are littered with cases in which U.S., Iraqi, and Afghan forces failed to stop approaching vehicles carrying explosive devices because this is simply very hard to do.

Of course, it would be impractical to place military-style checkpoints at every intersection or vulnerable area of Manhattan. So in any response, armed first responders like the NYPD’s elite counterterrorism squad start from a position of disadvantage because they must respond while moving themselves, instead of from an established checkpoint with concrete barriers to block or slow approaching vehicles.

Now assume you’re talking about a casual bystander walking along the Hudson River who happens to be carrying a pistol. The physics of pistolry make this shot even tougher …

[ … ]

Marksmanship and physics aside, there’s another huge risk to shooting in a crowded urban area like New York: collateral damage. Tuesday’s truck attack occurred along the bike path of the West Side Highway—a long stretch packed with walkers, joggers, and cyclists on a sunny afternoon. The truck ended its rampage near Stuyvesant High School, which was just letting out, and there were scores of pedestrians including many leaving their offices early to start Halloween. Shooting at the truck would have meant shooting in close proximity to all these people. Many would have likely died from bullets that missed the truck or ricocheted off the truck or the ground in unpredictable ways.

[ … ]

More police activity—in the form of surveillance, foot patrols, counterterrorism investigations, and information sharing—can help reduce the risk of attacks.

[ … ]

As in Las Vegas four weeks ago, there is little that armed bystanders (or even well-armed police) could have done to stop a speeding truck intent on killing people. The right response came in the arrival of New York police officer Ryan Nash, who fired nine shots at Saipov and disabled him after Saipov’s speeding truck crashed into a bus. Arming bystanders in Manhattan—and hoping they could stop the attack with a lucky shot—could have only killed more people in the crossfire.

So Phillip has spoken in the superlative, stated absolutes, and committed formal logical fallacies in this awful commentary.  Let’s dissect it for a while, shall we?

First of all, everyone understands the difficulty of stopping a moving vehicle.  But at some point in the commentary one gets the feeling it must take superman to perform this feat – or Delta Force.  Or Ryan Nash or any other cop in New York (his expansion of the discussion to solutions involving beat cops and the actions by Ryan Nash shows that he doesn’t really believe what he’s saying, but we’ll get to that more in a moment).  My son did this in Iraq (dealt with moving vehicles).  True enough, he didn’t use a pistol to do it, but it doesn’t take superman.

Furthermore, shooting the tires out of moving vehicles does actually happen to bring an end to carnage.  But notice that after Carter paints the most impossible picture imaginable to bring and end to carnage – with physical barriers in place in Iraq, heavily armed Marines ensconced or on patrol, good intelligence as a foundation for their actions, but still all leading to and endless stream of busted and entangled cars and vehicles and bombs – his solution is more police.

Yes, more police.  It takes either Delta Force, or NYPD officer Ryan Nash, because why?  Well, because ordinary citizens cannot be entrusted with firearms.  Why, it would lead to a hail of bullets fired at the wrong thing and mass casualties, no doubt.  Let’s forget about the fact that the NYPD is famous for shooting wildly at targets and then missing.  NYPD fired 84 rounds at the Empire State Building shooter, missing with 70, and injuring numerous other people in the process.  Let’s also not forget that the Stockton Police engaged in an hour-long rolling gun battle involving 32 officers discharging more than 600 rounds, at speeds of at least 120 MPH over 63 miles, with the result that at least one innocent hostage was killed.

Our catalog of negligent discharges by cops, dogs shot by cops, and wrong home SWAT raids makes Phillip’s trust in the police appear juvenile.  But I’ll virtually guarantee that Phillip cannot point to a similar set of incidents where civilian carriers (concealed or open) were responsible for rolling gun battles or the legendary “hail of bullets” we all hear about from “moms against whatever.”  His objection is the chicken little “The sky is falling” warning.  The sky isn’t really falling, no matter what Phillip says.

But there is a larger problem here than this exaggeration by Phillip.  Regardless of what one might think of claims that a concealed carrier might have stopped the carnage (and an open carrier did do just that), Phillip expands his injunction against carriers by stating “Arming bystanders in Manhattan—and hoping they could stop the attack with a lucky shot—could have only killed more people in the crossfire.”

He doesn’t really know any such thing, he just made that up.  But notice how he puts this: “Arming bystanders.”  People don’t voluntarily purchase expensive guns, nor do they go to the range and spend lots of money on ammunition learning to shoot well.  No, by allowing people to carry, we’re “arming bystanders.”  Who’s doing the arming is left a mystery.  Notice the word gaming he’s doing?

Getting past his stilted prose, he argues against carrying firearms generally.  Since someone may not have been able to stop the carnage from a vehicle, no one should be allowed to carry except cops.  This is like saying that since a sharpshooter shovel (forestry spade) is required to trench water mains to the required 16″ freeze line without tearing up too much lawn, construction workers should just throw away all of their other tools regardless of the fact that not all jobs are trenching water mains for homes.  Let’s put this in more formal language.

His syllogism goes like this: (1) Pistols are ineffective against vehicular attacks, (2) Vehicular attacks is terrorism, therefore, (3) Pistols are ineffective against terrorism.  It is the fallacy of the undistributed middle, and either Phillip knows better, or he should.  This is the second commentary in two days from folks at CNAS (Center for a New American Security), Michele Flournoy’s organization and Obama’s favorite think tank, arguing for some form of gun control (the first being written by Adam Routh at CNAS).  So regardless of Phillip’s juvenile trust in the police or his logically fallacious thinking, there may be little more that I can do than recommend the same thing for Phillip that I did for Adam.  These folks are pathologically problematic to themselves and others because of their controller nature.  For Phillip I am recommending a good therapy and support group.  Same as for Adam, you must begin this way.

“I am a controller.  I think I’m smarter than everyone else.  I want to control everything people do.  I want to control what they think, how they behave, how they talk and what they say, what they have, what they do with it, how they spend their money, and what they believe.  I am admitting my problem to you in open honesty.  The only thing I don’t want to control is myself.  People hate me for it.  No one loves me.  I’ve been a controller for ___ years.  Please help me.”

Now The Controllers Want To Regulate Night Vision Equipment

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 2 days ago


In July 2015, a North Korean native named Song Il Kim walked into a Honolulu hotel room to hand over $16,000 cash for three pairs of night vision goggles that he was planning to mail overseas.

Kim, 42, lives in China and was traveling on a Cambodian passport. He planned to ship the goggles from Hawaii to China in a box labeled “toys.”

The sale turned out to be a sting operation, and Homeland Security agents arrested Kim a short time later. Federal prosecutors charged him with violating the Arms Export Control Act, which regulates the sale of military equipment, and a judge sentenced him to 40 months in prison after he pled guilty in 2016. A separate smuggling charge was dropped as part of a plea deal.

But Kim’s crime wasn’t buying military-grade technology — it was his attempt to export the equipment without a license. Prosecutors argued that the high-tech military equipment could have ended up in the hands of the North Korean government.

The kind of gear Kim was trying to export was once prohibitively expensive, but low-end night vision gear is now marketed to hunters and can be purchased from sporting goods retailers for under $100. Advanced models can cost over $20,000, but are also perfectly legal and available to buy online. There are a variety of models on the market — goggles, handhelds, devices integrated in rifle scopes. Some models allow users to see in the dark by electronically enhancing the amount of light available, while others use thermal imaging to create a picture from the heat radiating from bodies or objects.

If Kim had an export license, very little would have prevented him from sending the equipment to North Korea, which is a major concern for experts who warn that military-grade night vision gear could fall into the hands of terrorists or rogue states.

Low-quality night vision equipment is easily available overseas and used by the militaries of most countries. But the high-end equipment available in the U.S. isn’t ― and if exported, that gear could give adversaries similar night vision capabilities to those of the American military, said Adam Routh, a research associate with the Defense Strategies and Assessments Program at the Center for a New American Security, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank.

While the Las Vegas massacre rekindled the debate over the millions of assault-style rifles owned by American civilians, there’s been much less public scrutiny of all the gear designed for military operations that is now marketed directly to civilians.

Armasight, a San Francisco-based company specializing in night vision and thermal imaging equipment, sells the FLIR PVS-7 night vision goggles with an ad featuring a man dressed in a black military-style uniform. It offers many other kinds of goggles, binoculars and sights, including a set of $9,250 night vision goggles that, it says, have “optics that are equal to or better than current military night vision.”

Hunting retailer Cabela’s sells dozens of night vision scopes, including Armasight’s Zeus Pro, a $7,000 thermal scope. “Take versatile and sophisticated thermal visibility into your nighttime hunts,” says a blurb on the store’s website.

And a Texas company, HeliBacon, advertises expeditions where participants can hunt feral hogs under cover of darkness using night vision gear. Its website features pictures of customers swooping down on prey from helicopters, dressed in tactical gear and wielding machine guns ― something more like a military raid than a hunting trip. The tag line that appears when you visit the site is “Wait… so you’re telling us you’ve never shot machine guns from a helicopter?!”

Hunting with night vision equipment is illegal in many states. But in parts of Texas, shooting feral hogs is considered pest control, which means almost any type of equipment is allowed. For a rate of $695 per person, HeliBacon’s customers get the opportunity to use assault-style rifles and night vision gear similar to what U.S. special operations forces use — equipment that’s worth about $25,000 per set, according to HeliBacon co-owner Chris Britt.

Okay, so let’s not pretend that only the military has the best equipment.  That’s ridiculous and certainly false.  I saw the crap the Marine Corps issued to my son in the Marines, and he usually got better equipment of all kinds at TAGs (Tactical Applications Group) right outside Camp Lejeune than he got in the military, whether boots, tactical vests, or whatever.

Furthermore, every Marine got issued a Colt M4 that had too many rounds through it to be reliable, and he demanded that the action in his SAW be replaced before he deployed to Iraq because of reliability issues related to SAW operation.  They did, and it changed everything for him by giving him a reliable machine gun.

The Marines used ACOGs, we can get ACOGs and any number of other good optics.  I have a Vortex Strike Eagle 6X scope with illuminated reticle and BDC holdover indices for much less than an ACOG costs, and just as good.  The Marines got used and beaten up M4s, and if we’re willing to spend the money, we can get Rock River Arms, Daniel Defense, Head Down, or any number of better and newer rifles.  As those who financially support the military rather than being members of the professional military, we can purchase the very best Night Force scopes if we can afford them.  Virtually every innovation comes from the market, e.g., PMags, lighter MLOK forends, etc.

We can choose to purchase a very good 1911 from Springfield Armory, Smith & Wesson Performance Center, or Dan Wesson (CZ).  For a little more, we can have a Wilson Combat if we can afford it.  We get to choose.  If we want a double stack gun, the sky is the limit and the field is wide open.  And as we’ve discussed so many times before, the way to have the very best equipment for your military is to vet it in the civilian marketplace before you deploy it.  If it fails, ten thousand negative posts and discussion threads will be written on it.  The market is the best gauge of success.

It’s no mistake that the author of the article, Sascha Brodsky, contacted CNAS for his moral support.  This is the group led by Michele Flournoy, and upon whom Obama relied so much during his failed tenure.  And it’s no mistake that they sent the author to supposed expert Adam Routh, who is former military.  He is not stupid, and he knows and understands everything I’m saying.

But note his “concern.”  It’s not for cost or equipment success in the market in order to deploy the best equipment.  It’s for imperial operations overseas.  We need to “own the night,” as they say.  In order to effect open borders and a sociological death wish by ensuring diversity, we need to tamp down on the sources of violence overseas, as if that’s ever going to be possible.  The problem Adam is worried about is a problem created by the globalist elites who want to fundamentally change America.  Otherwise, this isn’t really the problem it’s purported to be with a closed and sealed border and diversity not the ruling factor in American politics.  Adam knows this.  The author, I suspect, is just stupid.

Finally, in addition to the idea that we will always be able to afford better equipment than the military (and I haven’t even brought up for discussion the fact that we simply cannot continue to throw away money on defense as if costs don’t matter), Adam also knows that the ownership of firearms under the second amendment isn’t about hunting or self defense, it’s about the amelioration of tyranny.  Thus, whether weaponry can fall into foreign hands is a secondary concern to the notion that our own standing army has it, and they are potentially a greater danger to us than any foreign army.  At least, the founding fathers saw it that way.  Based on a survey of history and the nature of mankind, that idea isn’t antiquated.

As a postscript, note the misdirect thrown in by the author that feral hogs are considered pests in Texas and thus there are no limits on hunting them.  In fact, there are very few limits on hunting them anywhere, anytime, and the word pest doesn’t even begin to describe the ecological disaster wrought by these awful creatures.

To the author, Sascha, may the turds of a thousand swine lay in your own yard and you need a gun you don’t have to kill them.

To the controllers, you will not be successful trying to control night vision, since it is just cameras and optics.  I suggest instead that you try to find a support and therapy group for your problem.  You can begin like this.  “I am a controller.  I think I’m smarter than everyone else.  I want to control everything people do.  I want to control what they think, how they behave, how they talk and what they say, what they have, what they do with it, how they spend their money, and what they believe.  I am admitting my problem to you in open honesty.  The only thing I don’t want to control is myself.  People hate me for it.  No one loves me.  I’ve been a controller for ___ years.  Please help me.”

Adam, you’re very young to be such a control freak, and you need to consider a support group like this too.

SHARE Act Could Drop Suppressor Deregulation And Target Bump Stocks

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 3 days ago

An omnibus sportsmen’s package of legislation in the House that has drawn fire for its plan to curb regulations on suppressors may be reworked.

According to E&E News, an outlet that covers energy and environmental issues, the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act, or SHARE Act, is still a priority for Republicans but could see some modifications from the version that passed the House Committee on Natural Resources last month.

Sponsor of the bill, U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., said the most divisive of the 16 sections of the SHARE Act — removing suppressors from National Firearms Act control — may be dropped from the legislation while language addressing bump stocks may be added now that the bill is in a “sort of a cooling off period” after the Las Vegas shooting.

In the days immediately after the event that claimed the lives of 58 and sent hundreds to area hospitals, potential suppressor deregulation was a popular line in the sanddrawn by everyone from Democrats on Capitol Hill to frequent presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, even though the shooter did not use the devices.

In addition to the suppressor language, the bill in its current form would open the 11.7 million acres of land controlled by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to concealed carry and protect travelers crossing state lines with firearms.

Other facets would cut the ATF’s authority to reclassify popular rifle ammunition as “armor piercing” and how regulators classify some shotguns, shells and rifles as “destructive devices” under the NFA. It also allows changes to the Pittman-Robertson Act to expand the allocation of already authorized funds for use in public shooting ranges while limiting restrictions on traditional ammunition and fishing tackle and scaling back protections for gray wolves. “There’s a lot of stuff in there for sportsmen,” Duncan said.

Good Lord.  They never miss a chance to ignore that “shall not be infringed” thing, do they?

No, representative, there isn’t a lot there.  Why is this so hard to understand.  NOT … ONE … MORE … GUN … LAW.  No.  We won’t accept further regulation of anything, and I won’t accept this for that, a trade for a trade.  Most of the rest of my community feels the same way.

Listen to me, Duncan, this is a chance for you to man up and dump your own bill if it becomes a catch-all for further regulation, spending add-ons, and earmarks.  We would respect you if you did that, knowing that you tried your best to give us what we wanted.  Instead, you may have to play hard ball with these demons, pit vipers and gargoyles.

If you want to see what my community has to say about this, see this Reddit/r/firearms discussion threadNo, we’re not happy, and we’re not in the mood to compromise.

My Life As A Convicted Gun Offender Who Did Nothing Wrong

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 4 days ago


At 6 AM, the sky outside my apartment is still purple-black. It’s too early. I stagger out of bed and stand under a scalding jet of water in the shower, trying to remember where I’ve been, where I am, and where I need to be. Oklahoma. Austin. Houston. In less than eight hours I have to climb a stage and tell a roomful of strangers my story. As far as stories go, it’s pretty interesting, I guess. It’s got thrills, heartbreak, what technically counts as crime, and even a little bit of vindication. But telling it wears me out. Living through it was more than enough.

Three years ago this month, thanks mostly to poorly written laws and a vindictive judge, I turned 27 while incarcerated in Mid-State Correctional Facility in Fort Dix, New Jersey.

I got sentenced to seven years in prison for legally owning guns. I had purchased them in Colorado and brought them with me to New Jersey, home to some of the harshest gun laws in the country, where I moved to be closer to my young son. I complied with all of the regulations, but one day the police searched my car and charged me with unlawful possession of a weapon—even though my handguns were locked, unloaded, and in my trunk. The court said it was on me to prove that I wasn’t breaking any laws, which obviously was very difficult. When Reason magazine covered my case, it wrote, “Even the jurors who convicted him seem to have been looking for a reason to acquit him. But the judge gave them little choice.”

[ … ]

Since I’m practically the only person in the room who’s not a lawyer, I realize there’s nothing I can tell them about my case they don’t already know from a legal standpoint. The only real value I can add is to tell them what it feels like to get caught in a patchwork of draconian gun laws. I decide to focus on the consequences I’ve faced as a convicted felon who has broken no laws.

I start with how a family court judge decided I wasn’t a fit parent and couldn’t see my son because of all of the (nonviolent and victimless) charges against me. I go on to explain how my record included so many weapons offenses, all for that one incident …

Did I mention how the judge refused to let the jury to consider the laws in my case? Did I remember to tell them how the jury asked three times what the exemptions to the law were that would have let me walk? Did I mention how I am not allowed to vote, or own firearms, or that my passport was revoked?

Two things bear mentioning here.  First of all, always remember this case.  Never forget it as long as you live.  Do what I do.  I never go to New Jersey or even fly over or drive through New Jersey.  I will not even knowingly spend money that goes to a company in New Jersey.  I hope the state goes bankrupt.  The same thing goes for New York.

Second, this case was perfect for jury nullification.  No judge can put you in prison for deciding that the state didn’t meet their burden of proof.  Jury nullification is within your power as a juror.  Don’t ever let a judge tell you that you MUST decide something or other, or that you CANNOT consider something or other.  And you don’t have to tell them it had to do with jury nullification – you tell them, if it comes up, that the state didn’t meet the burden of proof, end of discussion.  Or better yet, keep your mouth shut.

If you are too stupid to know these things, please don’t ever allow yourself to be put on a jury.

Bump Stock Ban Doomed?

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 1 day ago

Daily Beast:

Three weeks after the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history, efforts to pass even scaled-down gun-control legislation have effectively stalled on Capitol Hill.

Congressional aides and issue advocates say they see no viable path for passing even the most promising bill: an effort to ban the manufacturing and sale of bump stocks, which were used by the Las Vegas shooter to essentially turn his semi-automatic weapons into fully automatics ones.

“Depressing but not surprising,” is how one senior House Democratic aide put it.

“It’s pathetic,” said another.

The failure of lawmakers to move bump stock legislation comes despite the willingness of several House Republicans to sign on to the measure. A bill introduced by Reps. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and Seth Moulton (D-MA) has 20 co-sponsors in total—ten Democratic and ten Republican. But aides say that there is no indication that the House Judiciary Committee is going to consider that bill, or a similar one signed by 173 Democrats. Democrats are expected to ask the Committee’s chairman, Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), to address the matter in the week ahead.

Prospects look bleak in the Senate too. Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) bill banning bump stocks has 39 Democratic co-sponsors but not one Republican, though an aide said that she is still hopeful that she can convince one to sign on to the measure. Even were she to find a GOP co-sponsor there is no guarantee that the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley (R-IA), would bring the bill up for consideration.

Good.  I’m glad it’s depressing for them.  Nothing makes me happier than to see control freaks depressed.  But we’ll see if this lasts.  There is still the cowardice of the Senate who wants the ATF to do what it hasn’t the courage to do, i.e., ban the stocks by rulemaking and regulation rather than law-making.

If such an abomination passes into law or such a regulation hits the books, it’ll be the NRA’s fault.  If it doesn’t, it won’t be because the NRA didn’t try to undermine its own constituency.

Marc Thiessen On Bump Stock Ban

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 5 days ago

Marc Thiessen:

Congressional Republicans are backing away from legislation banning “bump stocks” – devices used by Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock that effectively turn semi-automatic rifles into machine guns – and are turning to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to ban them by executive action instead.

“We think the regulatory fix is the smartest, quickest fix, and then, frankly, we’d like to know how it happened in the first place,” House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., said in a news conference last week.

Ryan is wrong. Empowering ATF to ban firearms devices without explicit authorization from Congress is a far greater threat to the Second Amendment than any legislation Congress could pass.

In 2010, under President Barack Obama, ATF ruled that “bump-fire” stocks were legal under current federal law, declaring in a letter to manufacturer Slide Fire: “We find that the ‘bump-stock’ is a firearm part and is not regulated as a firearm under the Gun Control Act or the National Firearms Act.” This was a proper, limited reading of our gun laws.

So far so good.  He’s right, of course.  Asking the ATF to ban bump stocks is asking the ATF to take the fall for infringement of the second amendment, an action that neither the Congress nor the NRA wants to be responsible for.  That’s why both have asked the ATF to do their dirty work for them.

Now Republicans want ATF to simply overturn its 2010 determination that bump stocks are legal – effectively banning them by executive fiat. Do conservatives really want to set the precedent that ATF can ban firearms or firearm devices without explicit authorization from Congress? Imagine what Hillary Clinton would have done with that power as president.

If ATF takes such action, it could set a precedent for other executive action on guns without explicit congressional authorization. A future Democratic president could use this precedent to have ATF reclassify all semi-automatic weapons as machine guns. They would argue, correctly, that you don’t actually need a bump-fire stock to produce a bump-fire effect. It can be accomplished with rubber bands or a belt loop, or even without any external device by a skilled marksman.

So, gun-control advocates could argue, all semi-automatic weapons are really in fact automatic guns – and thus banned under the 1986 Firearms Owners’ Protection Act. They could use an ATF ruling banning bump stocks as precedent for a back-door reimposition of the so-called assault weapons ban.

For the party that railed against Obama’s unlawful executive actions on immigration and other issues to now urge President Donald Trump to take unlawful executive actions on guns that even Obama refused to take is stunning.

The better option is to pass limited, carefully crafted legislation to ban these devices. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and 38 Senate Democrats have introduced the Automatic Gunfire Prevention Act that would “ban the sale, transfer, importation, manufacture or possession of bump stocks, trigger cranks and similar accessories that accelerate a semi-automatic rifle’s rate of fire.” According to Feinstein, the bill “makes clear that its intent is to target only those accessories that increase a semi-automatic rifle’s rate of fire.”

Oh, well if she said it, it must be true.  The progressives really don’t want to target anything else beyond bump stocks.  And of course, Marc Thiessen was the former Bush speech writer.  Neither Marc nor Bush are conservative, any more than the “conservatives” he criticizes in his commentary.

And it’s no accident that you see a former Bush speech writer aligning himself with a proposed bill by Dianne Feinstein and other Senate democrats.  But we should thank Marc for the commentary.  At one and the same time, he demonstrated both the cowardliness and the traitorous spirit of “conservatives” in America.  Afraid to do what they want, and wanting to infringe on the only covenant that binds the nation together.  What a loathsome bunch.

It’s Always Wrong To Compromise On God-Given Rights

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago


Joan Peterson’s shout out in frustration should be exhibit A for why nothing changes after public mass shootings:

The cynical and evil leadership of the NRA suggested that they may be able to support a ban on bump fire stocks. NOT. Not even that very small measure will pass muster with this group of disingenuous group of guys who represent the industry that sells these things.

There’s not even an acknowledgement that perhaps your side has drafted something that’s very broadly worded, and sweeps up far more items than merely bump stocks. Some will no doubt argue the broad language is done out of malice rather than out of ignorance. But whichever way it goes, the language of these bills is unacceptable. Show me some acceptable language, and we can make a deal. But with this? No deal. They honestly can’t help themselves:

So Speaker Ryan and Republicans in control of our country- what say you? Shame on them all. We need much more than a ban on bump fire stocks.

What we need is a comprehensive bill to make America safe again, including a ban on bump fire stocks, a reduction in the number of bullets in an ammunition magazine, a ban on certain types of assault rifles and the accompanying features that can be added to make them more deadly, universal Brady background checks, research into the causes and effects of gun violence, adequate funding for the ATF, stronger straw purchasing and gun trafficking laws, mandatory training before owning or carrying a gun, mandatory secure storage of guns, child access prevention laws, gun violence protection orders, limiting who can carry a loaded weapon around in public, and yes, perhaps even a system of gun registration.

Remember what I predicted in the beginning? A deal will be offered. The deal with be rejected, because whatever X is offered isn’t what the other side really wants. It will force them to show their hand, it will fire our people up and they will get nothing in the end.

After Sandy Hook, gun folks put out an initial offer on universal background checks, that would have provided a technological means for private parties to conduct them. That offer was rejected, and they overreached, got defeated, tried to put together that last-minute awful compromise in the form of Manchin-Toomey, and by that time the issue was so toxic, the only thing that could be agreed on was nothing.

So I predicted the same thing would happen this time. The gun control people were offered bump stocks, because we don’t really care that much about them and we have a stalled agenda we really do care about. But they aren’t interested in bump stocks. They want the whole kit and caboodle, and they can’t get it, they’ll take their ball and go home.

Well, we’ll see what happens.  The GOP is weak and spineless, along with having no moral constitution, scruples or coherent world view.  But in my estimation it’s always wrong to compromise on a right.

I don’t recall there being any discussion about whether the gun owning community at large likes or dislikes a particular product being the basis for our rights, or whether we think it can be used accurately to shoot anything.  Likes, dislikes, accuracy and functionality – these are all the things of free market capitalism, not law.

I doubt Sebastian would be so willing to compromise on something he cherished that others didn’t particularly like, just because they didn’t feel the same way he did.

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