Archive for the 'Guns' Category



Army Delays Handgun Solicitation

BY Herschel Smith
19 hours, 32 minutes ago

Army Times:

The Army on Wednesday formally pushed back release of a final solicitation to produce its new handgun.

Originally projected for a Jan. 2 release, the Army decided to delay the Request for Proposals beyond January “to allow for improvements to the RFP as a result of feedback received from Industry,” according to a notice posted on the government solicitation website FedBizOpps.

No date for future action was proposed, other than to say it would not occur in January. Despite the delay, the notice also reiterated commitment to the pending competition to produce the Modular Handgun System, which will include ammo and a holster as well as a pistol.

“The Army remains committed to the MHS program and ensuring that it is executed using full and open competition,” the notice said.

Uh oh.  What political machinations underlie this delay?  Is Smith & Wesson not the frontrunner as they thought?  To all firearms manufacturers – the military is a fickle mistress.  She will break your heart.

As for polymer frame pistols, I won’t buy any more.  I like the balance and slender (single stack) profile of the 1911 too much (here we all pause in respect to John Moses Browning).  Furthermore, when I think about my plastic pistols I think about machines, utilitarian pieces of equipment that rattle too much and have that crappy, cheap feel but usually perform their intended function.

When I think about 1911s I think about works of art.  Even more than 1911s, revolvers (finely made) are works of art, pieces of craftsmanship, something I would be proud to turn over to my children as a heritage.  I’ve searched in vain, but I cannot find a picture of anyone actually carrying a wheel gun in either the Iraq or Afghanistan theaters.  Kudos to anyone who can find such a treasure.  Please send it our way.

And if you carried a revolver in any theater of war, you are a man among men.  I want to know you.

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
19 hours, 33 minutes ago

Kurt Hofmann:

Registration precedes confiscation–maybe by years, or even decades, but that’s the only purpose it serves, and no government can forever resist the seductive siren song promising the opportunity to secure ever more power to itself, by putting that purpose into effect. The Sandy Hook Advisory Commission has helpfully reminded any of us who may have forgotten that axiom.

Yes, and in the mean time, registration serves the purpose of the state deciding who gets to purchase firearms until final confiscatory actions.  Oppose a national gun registry by any means necessary.

Kurt Hofmann:

So they don’t want people to know what they’re selling? The “military-bred weaponry” to which he refers is how these companies make their living, and they’re hardly secretive about it. His op-ed column, after all, is replete with posters (the ones that are “almost always in capital letters”) advertising these companies’ wares. The images are on the companies’ websites, and in advertising they pay for in various gun magazines.

That, after all, makes rather a lot more sense than trying to hide their advertising. The very purpose of advertising is defeated if that advertising is not seen.

Josh Sugarmann apparently doesn’t even understand basic economics.  I’ve seen so much from the SHOT show – and I didn’t go – that I want it all to go away.  It’s gun manufacturers seeking the goose that lays the golden egg, and I won’t pay the kind of prices I’ve seen for most of these firearms.  So perhaps the manufacturers don’t understand basic economics either.  But I expect the prices to go down.

Mike Vanderboegh.  You have to watch this video.  No really.  You need to watch this.  Who says the A-10 is “unlovely?”  I certainly don’t.  To me it’s the greatest aircraft for field support ever manufactured.  I guess the idiot general wants to spend his money on new toys like the super great … ahem …  wink, wink … F35, that piece of crap that’s so expensive we couldn’t afford it alone and had to go in with other countries to build it, those countries having the plans and specs now.

And good grief!  Am I going to have turn the NRA loose to their own demise and forever forswear membership?  They can’t even get the simplest of things right.

Via David Codrea, Dave Hardy gives us a realistic explanation as to why compromise doesn’t work in the long run.

David Codrea:

Commenting on revelations about Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and Department of Justice (DOJ) actions in the case of retired agent Jay Dobyns against his former employer, attorney David Hardy equated them with “a BATF and DOJ Watergate… or worse,” Friday. Noting that actions taken over a civil lawsuit evidently have included concealing evidence, secret threats against witnesses, and surveillance of attorneys and witnesses, the new information lends further credence to Dobyns’ allegations and appears to show government lawyers engaged in a criminal conspiracy.

I’ll have more to say about this later.

WeaponsMan gives us a review of American Sniper.  Some of what he says dovetails with what I said.  I finally got a chance to talk to Daniel about the film, and he didn’t like the portrayal of Marines.  He also had a number of technical nits, like digital cammies before they were in Iraq, MRAPs before they were deployed to Iraq, etc.  It’s one man’s view, and it doesn’t mean that it represents reality.  It represents reality according to what he saw and believes.  Again, I think Bradley Cooper did the best acting I think I’ve ever seen on screen.  This is a must see film, extremely noteworthy cinema.

WeaponsMan gives us a suggestion for what to do if you don’t intend to watch the idiot bowl.  And I don’t.

From We Are The Mighty, this is a nice rundown of some of the more notable exploits of Carlos Hathcock.

Properly Defending Liberty Comes Down To One Thing: World View

BY Herschel Smith
19 hours, 39 minutes 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.

What Rifle Did Chris Kyle Use?

BY Herschel Smith
4 days, 17 hours ago

In my review of American Sniper, readers Comrade X, Ned Weatherby and I had a discussion about the rifle Chris Kyle used.  Here it seems to be answered affirmatively correct for all of us.

Being a highly trained Navy SEAL, Chris Kyle had used many weapons over the course of his military career. There were two rifles Kyle liked to use, one of which he used to make the record-setting long distance shot.

A lot of Kyle’s marksmanship was done while using the Remington 700 Long Action chambered to fire a .300 Winchester Magnum round. This is a very common hunting rifle that can be purchased for less than $500 from Cabelas. But of course Kyle’s rifle had several expensive modifications.

In his autobiography, Kyle mentions his love of Nightforce scopes for the quality of the optics and its durability in harsh conditions. He also reduced the trigger pull weight to 2 pounds, stating he liked to be surprised when the gun went off, he didn’t want to jerk the gun when pulling the trigger. “I used a 2 pound trigger on my rifles. That’s a fairly light pull. I want the trigger to surprise me every time; I don’t want to jerk the gun as I fire.”

The .300 Winchester Magnum round is one of the most popular rounds used by American hunters. It is extremely effective at ranges around 1,000 yards, and a skilled operator can easily hit a target at the maximum effective range of 1,210 yards. The round is effective against elk, moose, and even brown bear. In his book, Kyle spoke of the round, saying, “I used the .300 Win Mag for most of my kills. It’s an excellent all-around cartridge, whose performance allows for superb accuracy as well as stopping power. It shoots like a laser. Anything from 1,000 yards and out, you’re just plain nailing it.”

It’s useful to see tactical advice, in this case accolades for Nightforce scopes.  But that’s not the end of the matter.

During his later tours, Kyle was given a McMillan TAC-338 rifle. This is a far more advanced and expensive weapon system than the average hunter would shoot an elk with, costing north of $5,000. This superior rifle fires a much larger round, the .338 Lapua Magnum.

“I used a .338 on my last deployment. I would have used it more if I’d had it,” said Kyle, “The bullet shoots farther and flatter than a .50 caliber, weighs less, costs less, and will do just about as much damage. They are awesome weapons.”

Kyle made his record-setting shot with this .338 round. It has a maximum effective range of 1,910 yards, which makes Kyle’s 2,100-yard shot even more impressive.

Yes, tactical bolt action rifles are extremely, extremely expensive, except for the Tikka T3 CTR weighing in at around $1000.

Is The M&P The Frontrunner To Become The Army’s New Pistol?

BY Herschel Smith
5 days, 18 hours ago

CNN:

Smith & Wesson fired up investors on Tuesday by saying it sees “recent, positive trends” in the consumer firearm market, and that’s likely to translate directly into higher profits for the gun maker.

The firearm company feels so confident that it raised its sales and earnings targets for 2015 above what Wall Street had been banking on.

The stock surged nearly 20% as investors cheered the news.

Rival Sturm, Ruger & Co. also saw its shares pop about 4% on the upbeat sentiment.

All of this marks a 180 turn for gun makers. Only a few weeks ago Smith & Wesson and other firearm manufacturers warned that Americans didn’t seem to be buying guns anymore. They pointed to sluggish rifle sales and a supply glut caused by retailers placing unrealistically high orders for guns.

Smith & Wesson predicted it will generate sales of around $125 million in the quarter that ends January 31. That would easily exceed expectations from analysts for revenue of less than $118 million.

“They are really showing improving fundamentals and continue to work off a lot of their retail inventory,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities.

He said the “wild card” with Smith & Wesson is the bidding war that’s underway to become the new handgun manufacturer for the U.S. Army. Hogan said the company is the “frontrunner” for the new contract, which would trigger an initial revenue gain of roughly $500 million.

Does Mr. Hogan know something we don’t?  Is the M&P the real “frontrunner” in the competition to replaced the Beretta, or this just wishful thinking or fabrication?  If Smith & Wesson wins the contract, in my opinion while this may be an initial infusion of welcome cash, it will ultimately cause S&W to be less responsive to customers.

On another issue related to S&W, I received an e-mail notification today from S&W on new products for 2015.  It mainly looks like more variants of the M&P.  The e-mail said, and I quote, “Smith & Wesson Corp. announced today that the company has expanded its award-winning line of professionally engineered M&P Series firearms with new offerings for 2015.”  S&W may want to rethink this language.

When you use the words “professional engineer,” “engineer,” “engineering” or “professionally engineered,” you invoke all sorts of legal stipulations that the service or product was designed and specified by a registered professional engineer.  In the past, companies who have done this without having a registered professional engineer on staff with the work being performed under his responsible charge were fined and issued cease and desist letters from the attorney general’s office of the state in which the company does business.  Perhaps they don’t know this, but you can’t just throw around the words professional engineer, any more than you can throw around the words doctor or lawyer.  Moreover, the legal burden such language places on the product manufacturer (for product liability) is rather onerous.

Throw Your SAFE Act Pistol Permit Recertification Invitation In The Garbage

BY Herschel Smith
5 days, 19 hours ago

Sherman’s Weapons Dump In Columbia, South Carolina

BY Herschel Smith
6 days, 18 hours ago

The State:

That confounded Union general whose name still draws hisses in South Carolina 150 years after he laid waste to the Capital City is causing yet another ruckus in Columbia.

On their way out of town, Union troops led by William T. Sherman dumped loads of captured Confederate ordnance – from cannonballs to ball cartridges, rammers, sabers, bayonet scabbards and knapsacks – into the Congaree River.

The artifacts have long been part of local lore, and the few pieces retrieved over the years indicated there might be more.

Now, through the science of sonar and metal detection, historians and researchers have better evidence of precisely where the munitions were dumped near the Gervais Street bridge in downtown Columbia. Excavators are planning how best to retrieve the artifacts.

“It’s really going to help us interpret what was a defining point for Columbia’s history, and, really, South Carolina’s history,” Joe Long, curator of the S.C. Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum, said of the impending finds.

In 1865, Sherman’s troops kept what they wanted of confiscated rebel ordnance, then threw the rest into the river to keep it away from the Confederates. Better armed, Sherman then headed for North Carolina on his destructive march.

[ ... ]

A formal archeological study of the site has not been done, so precisely what will be uncovered during dredging remains a mystery.

But a Feb. 17, 1865, inventory of the ordnance and ordnance stores captured in Columbia lists 1.2 million ball cartridges, 100,000 percussion caps, 26,150 pounds of gun powder, 4,000 bayonet scabbards, 3,100 sabers, 1,100 knapsacks, 58 tents and 20 blacksmith vices, among much more equipment.

As Sherman’s army roared in from the west, three divisions and a Union cavalry unit camped Feb. 16, 1865, on the west bank of the Congaree directly across from the Capital City.

After a short battle at Congaree Creek near what is now Cayce, one of three corps of Sherman’s army spread out and began shelling Columbia, from among other places, the West Columbia shoreline.

Rebel troops burned the then-wooden Gervais Street bridge to slow Sherman’s advance, the Tidewater report states.

“Columbia citizens were trying to evacuate the city, and bales of cotton were dragged into the street to be carried off and burned to keep them from falling into enemy hands,” wrote the consultants, who studied the area’s history dating to the Paleoindian period between 10,000 to 12,500 years ago.

“Wade Hampton, hastily promoted to lieutenant general, was left to defend the city with General Joseph Wheeler’s cavalry,” the historical account continues. “Sensing the futility of the defense, Wheeler’s men began looting the city, ostensibly to prevent capture by the Union army.

“On the night of the 16th, Hampton announced that he planned to evacuate on the following morning, leaving behind the cotton which he was unable to transport. That evening, fueled by spirits dispensed without restriction, Union troops created more mischief through the city. When the cotton in the streets caught fire, they were unable or unwilling to contain the blazes.

“The result was the near complete destruction of Columbia,” the consultants’ report states. “Having the run of the countryside for several days, Union troops burned many homes and farms in the region.”

So let’s get this straight.  The union troops Dipp’d their bill, got hammered, and went on a wild rampage through Columbia burning and destroying things, and all of it allowed by leaders who didn’t care.  They confiscated weapons, took what they wanted, and dumped the rest in the river.

Okay.  Got it.  We won’t forget.

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

BY Herschel Smith
6 days, 18 hours 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
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.

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
1 week ago

Kurt Hofmann:

… much of the Mexican drug cartel violence uses weapons–like those so infamously used in France recently–far more powerful than those legally available to most U.S. citizens–machine guns, grenades, rocket launchers, etc. If some handguns and “assault weapons” can so easily cross the U.S./Mexico border going south, heavier weapons can do so coming north, along with all the drugs (and illegal aliens/future Democrat voters).

Perhaps the gun ban zealots should re-think their love of open borders.

Yes, but I don’t think they will.  The collectivist mindset will always reflexively revert to more and more government control, including control over weapons.  The collectivists won’t see the problem as open borders.  They will see the problem as the availability of weapons at all among non-state actors.  Thus, they will push for tighter and tighter control over guns, regardless of the fact that this control has absolutely no effect on criminals.

Mike Vanderboegh sends an open letter to Alan Gottlieb.  Mike has more patience than do I.  I consider Alan to be a lost cause, an irrelevant fixture on the gun control scene, a tool for the collectivist media to exploit.  I’m not depressed, and I am not encouraging you to be a defeatist.  I just don’t think Alan will play a role in the coming festivities.

David Codrea:

The role of citizen disarmament in assuring the killers would succeed was expanded on by Kurt Hofmann in his latest JPFO Alert  

“Let there be no doubt, we are asking that all weapons will be issued for self-protection only, and to designated personnel that will undergo thorough investigation and training by local authorities,” Margolin continued, essentially revealing he never learned the lesson of Alfred Flatow on the dangers of letting “authorities” determine who they will allow to have guns – and who they will not.  While Margolin is on the right track, he’s on the wrong understanding of what a right is. Certainly European Jews have a right to keep and bear arms, and not just sanctioned designees – it’s a human right, one that’s recognized in the Second Amendment, but not dependent on the Constitution, and not limited to Americans. Likewise, it is not limited to European Jews, and any who presume to withhold or dispense it, that is, to “grant” it, assume the roles of usurpers and tyrants, the very people we’re supposed to have guns to guard against and repel.

I’m sorry to lift so much prose out of the article, but it is involved while still worth the time to read it.  David is emphasizing a theme I’ve pressed before.  I don’t believe in the second amendment.  I believe in God.  The almighty gives me the right to bear arms, and no man can legitimately take it away.  What God has spoken is law for all men, everywhere and in all ages and epochs.

Mike Vanderboegh links a piece where a number of armed women drive off a recent Boko Haram attack.  Well, I guess they aren’t such bad asses after all when facing gun fire, are they?  Pussies, they are?

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