Archive for the 'Guns' Category

Scholarly Analysis Of The National Firearms Act

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

Dave Hardy at Of Arms and the Law links a very in depth and insightful commentary and analysis of the National Firearms Act (NFA).  Dave comments concerning SBRs.

In 1934, they were treated as gangster weapons, although I don’t ever recall hearing of gangsters using them. They tended to have their fights at pistol or shotgun range, not at 100+ yards. Originally the minimum barrel length was 18″; then the government discovered it had sold millions of M-1 carbines as surplus, and they had 16.5″ barrels. So the minimum length was reduced to 16″. Which did a nice job of showing how arbitrary it was.

If you follow the link you’ll get to the scholarly paper (PDF), and I highly recommend it to you.  It would be nice if my readers would tackle this document and make some salient points.  There are a lot of observations I could make but just don’t have the time or energy.

One thing I will observe is that on PDF pages 500 and 521, it’s noted that a “pistol” is defined as follows.

[A] weapon originally designed, made, and intended to fire a projectile (bullet) from one or more barrels when held in one hand, and having (a) a chamber(s) as an integral part(s) of, or permanently aligned with, the bore(s); and (b) a short stock designed to be gripped by one hand and at an angle to and extending below the line of the bore(s).

While some shooting instructors may invoke off-hand or one-handed shooting as a small part of their efforts because of possible hand-to-hand combat situations, reaching for reloads, attempting to keep an attacker from taking the slide out of battery, or other reasons, this is usually what we might call “beyond design basis.”

No instructor in his right mind today would actually teach that it’s appropriate or preferable to shoot a pistol or revolver with a single hand.  That’s how much the science has evolved since passage of the NFA.

It’s an old, antiquated, worthless, useless, tangled, self-contradictory, laughable abomination, and the more the Congress and Senate (and by extension, the ATF) hang on to this ridiculous document, the more absurd they look.

As usual, reader remarks concerning the study are welcome.

Everything You Know About An Active Shooter Situation Is Wrong

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

No, not you.  I’m talking to Jeff Sanders writing for PJM.

I have just completed the ALICE training course on dealing with an active shooter situation. If your business has not gone through this, you need to get them on board. Immediately. This is simply some of the best training I have ever been through. And it does not involve using firearms at all.

We have all heard about the tragedies at Columbine, Sandy Hook, Aurora, and Virginia Tech where an active shooter massacred people. Sadly, this sort of thing is probably not going away any time soon. How should people caught in this situation respond? Not everyone is going to carry a gun. (I am a concealed carry weapons instructor and strongly support the 2nd Amendment. But let’s face it, many people simply are not going to carry, and many should NOT carry a firearm.)

Very, very few people will dedicate the necessary amount of time and training to be able to shoot an attacker without accidentally shooting innocent people. And even if you are armed and trained, it would be incredibly difficult to react fast enough and track down the killer and eliminate the threat. There is training, however, that uses our natural God-given abilities that even children can use, and it’s in the ALICE training seminars.

“ALICE” is the acronym for a series of responses: Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate. You do not need to do all of these responses, or in the order spelled out in the acronym. You do whatever your situation demands at the moment.

Oh good Lord!  I’m so tired of hearing this claptrap I don’t know what to do except call it out for the bullshit it is.  It’s effective bullshit for the masses, just witness the comments at the linked article, or the link that sent me there to begin with.  Let me explain what this is all about.  Security contractors know that the progressive heads of corporations won’t allow their employees to carry firearms for self defense, but those same employees also know that run, hide and fight is ridiculous and sets them up to be sheep led to the slaughter on the altar of those progressive dreams of utopia.  What to do?

Enter, “Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate.”  It sounds so much better, right?  Except there is no difference since employees are unarmed and helpless.  The money quote is this: “Very, very few people will dedicate the necessary amount of time and training to be able to shoot an attacker without accidentally shooting innocent people. And even if you are armed and trained, it would be incredibly difficult to react fast enough and track down the killer and eliminate the threat.”

That’s a lie and the writer knows it, as does every security contractor who purveys this bullshit (or if he actually believes it he has poor judgment).  We’ve seen otherwise, from the young lady who had a gun to her head, reached down, unholstered her firearm, and shot the assailant.  Or consider the elderly folk who have acted in self defense, most of them essentially untrained.  I’m not advocating getting no training.  What I am advocating is that it’s possible to defend your life without the supposedly super Ninja warrior stress control training that infantry goes through.

And the notion that the police are trained to that standard is absurd.  Most police never discharge their weapons in self defense.  Neither, for that matter, do Soldiers and Marines who aren’t infantry.  That is a myth.  The bottom line is that if you are left unarmed by your employer, you are left as sheep to be slaughtered on the altar of the progressive utopian dream.

And every security contractor who teaches corporate security knows it.  Every … single … one.

Long Island Village Considers Allowing Dart Guns To Control Deer Population

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago


Head of the Harbor Village officials are considering allowing researchers to use dart guns to treat deer in an experimental contraception program intended to shrink the population there.

Residents have complained the roughly 600 deer living in and around the densely wooded North Shore village feast on gardens and treat expensive landscaping like “an open salad bar,” as one person wrote in response to a village survey on residents’ experiences with the animals. Residents also worried about deer colliding with vehicles on the village’s winding, unlit roads, and the animals’ role as hosts for the ticks that carry Lyme disease.

New York State’s preferred method of deer population control is hunting, which many village residents reject as inhumane. So trustees decided last year to pursue nonlethal means of population control and contacted researchers from the Humane Society of the United States and Tufts University exploring use of porcine zona pellucid, or PZP, a substance derived from pig ovaries that uses an animal’s own immune system to prevent pregnancy in wildlife populations.

Head of the Harbor would become the second community on Long Island, after Fire Island, to host the work, which researchers estimate will cost $242,215 and take place over six years. The money would come from the village, foundations and private donors.

Eric Stubbs, a member of the village’s Deer Management Advisory Committee and an economist who commutes by train to New York City, said he sees deer on his morning drive to the station about once a week. “They’re a significant presence,” he said.

Most of his neighbors are eager for the project to start, he said. “It has implications not just for us, but for towns all over Long Island . . . It’s one of the few things where you can get majority support,” he said.
Researchers use dart guns to dose female deer with PZP or sedatives so they can be injected by hand with the substance.

“What we’re hoping to do long-term is offer a solution for wildlife managers to use for areas where hunting or lethal means are not feasible or kosher with the community,” said Kali Pereira, HSUS senior wildlife manager.

HSUS dart guns – Pereira called them dart projectors – are similar to paintball guns and powered by carbon dioxide, she said. Only trained researchers use them, she said.

But the same law that effectively outlaws hunting in Head of the Harbor could keep the researchers from their work. It bans discharge of most projectile weapons including those, like the researchers use, that are gas- or air-powered.

“The activity they’re seeking to import into the village does not comply with their own local law,” said Assemb. Tom McKevitt (R-East Meadow), a lawyer who specializes in municipal law.

No-discharge laws are common across Long Island, he said. Although Head of the Harbor’s code makes exceptions for police and for non-officers who discharge a weapon “provided it is reasonably necessary for the protection of life or property,” McKevitt said it would be “a stretch” to apply that clause to the defense of perennials from hungry deer. Violators face fines of up to $250 and jail time.

You Yankees are so janky.  You’re planning to spend a quarter of a million dollars to neuter deer in order to do what hunting has done for decades so well – control the herd population.

Oh well, since money grows on trees this is a viable option for you, I guess. And hey, at least you aren’t sending the king’s men into the king’s forests to cull the population because no one else is good enough to do that.

Is The 1911 An Effective Defense Platform?

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

It sounds juvenile even to be asking the question.

The question has been asked: Is the 1911 an effective defensive platform?

Well, yes it is. The pistol may not be the PERFECT defensive pistol, but it is a workable platform for those who choose to carry it; workable if you train properly.

Two of the biggest knocks against the 1911 are the light, single-action trigger and the frame-mounted thumb safety. Some people say the light trigger is the cause of negligent discharges with this type of pistol. Others claim the safety is a problem in a gunfight because, under stress, one will forget to disengage said safety and therefore get killed.

Seriously?  Someone has actually raised the objection to the 1911 that it isn’t designed with double action?  I find the infatuation with cheap plastic guns almost amusing if it wasn’t so sad.

Look, if you want to be sure that you have a ready weapon, chamber a round and put the safety on.  Or don’t.  My holsters guard the trigger anyway.

It’s easy to practice sweeping the safety down as soon as you unholster the weapon.  And John Basilone says hello.

Firearms,Guns Tags: ,

Limiting Firearm Access Of Mentally Ill Does Not Reduce Suicide Deaths

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

Reader Michael Schlechter, MD, sends this along.

Boggs and colleagues conducted the Treatment Utilization Before Suicide (TUBS) study to determine if limiting firearm access for individuals with a mental health condition or a history of suicidal attempts prevented suicide deaths. They identified 2,674 adults and adolescents from eight integrated health systems who were continuously enrolled in the system for at least 10 months prior to suicide. The researchers separated participants into two groups based on medical records and claims information. The first group consisted of those who were diagnosed with any mental health or substance use condition in the year before death. The second group consisted of those who had made previous suicide attempts. The researchers noted that the groups were not mutually exclusive and that there was considerable overlap between individuals who had a mental health condition and whose who previously attempted suicide.

Researchers found that the majority of patients with a history of suicide attempts or mental health or substance abuse committed suicide through means other than firearms, while the majority of people who did commit suicide with a firearm did not have a previous diagnosis of mental health issues or suicide attempts. More than half of individuals who died by suicide (54.7%) had a mental health or substance use condition and among those, 42.8% used a firearm. Previous suicide attempts were documented in 10.9% of individuals who died by suicide and only 37.5% of those used a firearm. Approximately 4.1% of individuals who died by suicide with a firearm had previously attempted suicide, while 23.5% were diagnosed with a mental health or substance use condition.

“Our findings show that, even if successful, current efforts to limit firearm access only for persons with a mental health condition (including substance use disorders) or those who previously attempted suicide would prevent few suicide deaths by firearm,” Boggs and colleagues concluded. “We suggest that prevention of firearm suicide should be expanded beyond the current focus on these patients to include other persons at risk for suicide… Our findings also highlight the importance of expanding attention beyond an exclusive focus on firearms — especially for persons with mental health or substance use conditions — to include other common means of suicide, such as instruments used for suffocation (for example, rope for hanging) and poison (for example, medications, alcohol, and recreational drugs).”

I have not read the study, and would be happy to evaluate the statistical calculations if I had the chance.  But assuming the fidelity and accuracy of the analysis, this seems to me to be important work.

You always hear three things from the gun controllers as justifications for more control.  First, high gun violence rates, which as I’ve pointed out predominately occur in the inner cities as black on black violence, pointing to a moral and cultural problem rather than guns.  Second, mentally ill people and their propensity to violence.  But as we’ve conclusively shown (or at least we’ve conclusively shown what the mental health professionals think), mental illness has no correlation to propensity to violence.

Finally, there is the study above.  Take note that of the three, two reasons for more gun control concern the mentally ill.  Frankly, I’ve never seen such maligned class of people by such a prejudiced bunch of bigots.

Should You Shoot Reloads For Personal Defense?

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

Glenn Reynolds links TTAG where the author is discussing daily carry of reloads.  It’s not a trivial discussion by any means, but something else caught my eye.  See these comments.

If you have to use the pistol to defend yourself, which I presume is the reason you’re carrying it, you could be placing yourself in a very ill advised position by using reloaded ammunition, particularly in light of the prevailing legal climate. There’s nothing in that equation that bodes well for you.

I agree with Mr. Savage. My reloads are better than a lot of factory cartridges for the same reason your mom’s apple pie beats anything you can buy at the grocery store.

Just beware that in the aftermath of a defensive shoot, you will get destroyed in court for using reloads. Even if you did everything else right, even if you prove the shoot was self defense, the few dollars you saved could cost you everything you own. A halfway decent prosecutor can convince a jury that you created a round that causesd undue suffering, that only a madman predispoaed to violence would.use. Legally, the best defensive ammo is what the police use, for it destroys any argument a prosecutor may present that the ammo was used for some nefarious purpose. I know, it is silly, but that is what happens in our courts.

Regarding the use of reloaded ammo causing extra jeopardy in court, please cite a case where this happened. Otherwise, I call BS.

Well, I’ve already dealt with this issue directly, so you missed hearing an expert weigh in.  No, not me.  Someone else.

For years, I’ve warned people that there are a couple of serious concerns with using handloaded ammunition for personal or home defense.  The big one is forensic replicability when the shooter is accused, and opposing theories of distance become a factor.

How often does this happen? One time some years ago, that question came up on an internet debate.  I looked through the ten cases I had pending at the time as an expert witness, and gunshot residue (GSR) testing to determine distance from gun muzzle to the person shot was an issue in four of them.  Forty percent is not what I’d call statistically insignificant.

[ … ]

… if you have any friends who use handloads for serious social purposes, please share. You might just save them from the sort of nightmare suffered by the defendant in New Jersey v. Daniel Bias, who was bankrupted by legal fees before the first of his three trials was over, and wound up serving hard time.  Both of his attorneys were convinced he was innocent, and told me they believed that if he had simply had factory ammo in his home defense gun, the case would probably never have even gone to trial.

So there you have it.  The commenters are advised to get around a little more.

M249 SAW Suppressor Meltdown

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

Well, here it is.  I’m not really sure why anyone would want to shoot a SAW like that.  Fire control is important for barrel life and a number of other things, including proper functioning in times of need.  But in the interest of watching people tear things up, this is interesting.

California Gun Store Owner Holds Cardboard Cutout AR-15 For Advertising, People Call The Police

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

CNS News:

A California gun store owner was reprimanded by the cops after waving an AR-15 cardboard cutout outside of his business to draw in customers, according to a report by ABC10 News in Oceanside, Calif.

Brendan Vona Marine veteran, started waving the large, cardboard sign in front of his store, “Firearms Unknown,” last fall during Black Friday shopping. The store told today that it uses the sign “on a regular basis.”

According to ABC 10, some people assumed the over-sized gun-sign was real, prompting complaints and even a visit from the local police.

A local woman told ABC 10 that she believed the sign was over the top.

“It looks like a machine gun, it is pretty aggressive,” she said. “I think he’s doing too much, but then again, they do have the freedom to do that.”

“A couple people just going by, flipping me the bird,” said Von, the store owner.  “Either scolding me or yelling some type of obscenity.”

“It kind of frustrated me that somebody would call [the police] and make a false statement like that, knowing that it is a cardboard sign that is very flimsy,” he said.

According to the ABC report, Von said the police asked him to stop or change the sign and after he refused, the police left.

The sad part about this isn’t so much the woman to whom we have to say, “Get thee to thy fainting couch.”  I would expect this from California.

The sad part is that the LEOs would actually ask him to stop.  When he refused, they had no recourse except to leave, since demanding what they did was illegal.

Then again, I confess that I’ve come to expect this from LEOs too.

How sad.

One Year After Constitutional Carry In Idaho And There Is No Blood Running In The Streets

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

The Washington Times:

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho (AP) – Exactly one year after it went into effect, an Idaho gun law that allows people to carry concealed firearms without a permit has had little effect on crime rates, state law enforcement officials said.

It has, however, impacted the number of Idaho concealed carry permits being issued, some firearm trainers said.

The law allows most residents age 21 or older to carry concealed guns without a permit inside cities, in bars and in most government buildings.

When the Idaho Legislature enacted its permitless firearms concealed carry law a year ago, it was not without warnings from a broad spectrum, including anti-gun groups and Idaho chiefs of police.

The warnings are still in place, but so far, adverse results haven’t materialized.

“We believe dismantling the longstanding and effective permitting system without taking additional precautionary steps will weaken public safety,” Bill Bones, Jeff Lavey and Rick Allen, chiefs of police in Ada County, wrote in a letter to the Idaho Statesman last year. “Our concealed weapons licensing system is the only way to determine the person is not a felon or dangerous person prohibited from possessing firearms.”

Coeur d’Alene Police concur that the permitless carry law has disabled at least one tool police used to check felons for firearms, but Detective Jared Reneau said the state’s latest gun law seems to have had little effect on crime rates in Coeur d’Alene.

“It hasn’t been a topic of discussion,” he said. “We haven’t noticed a significant increase.”

So far, 12 states – the number has increased from eight a year ago – have adopted permitless concealed carry firearms laws. They include Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Vermont, Wyoming, and West Virginia. A permitless carry bill was passed in Michigan’s House this month and is on the way to its Senate.

In Nez Perce County, Idaho’s most gun-friendly county where an estimated 59 percent of residents own guns – the highest rate in the state – Sheriff Joe Rodriguez said his department did not anticipate an increase in gun crimes a year ago when permitless carry became law.

“The way we look at, we live in the Northwest. Everyone has a firearm,” Rodriguez said.

His officers are trained to be alert for weapons, and permitless carry didn’t change that. It didn’t affect crime rates either, he said.

“Nothing has changed,” Rodriguez said.

He anticipated the number of residents applying for concealed carry permits would fall off, but that didn’t happen, either.

“We’re still processing a lot of concealed weapons permits,” he said.

Concealed weapons permits are required in neighboring states and Idaho’s enhanced concealed weapons permit is honored in a majority of them. That makes it a popular choice among gun owners.

Ed Santos, who operates Center Target Sports in Post Falls, which has trained 24,000 firearm owners in 12 years to obtain a concealed permit, has noticed no downward trend in its business.

Santos said some thought the number of concealed carry permits would decrease because they would no longer be needed.

“That has not been the case,” he said. “We’ve actually seen an increase.”

He attributes that to firearms owners becoming accustomed to carrying without a permit, and wanting to travel to other states with a gun in their belt. In most states, they need a concealed permit to do that.

“We really haven’t seen a negative impact,” Santos said.

Post Falls Police Chief Scott Haug, president of the Idaho Chiefs of Police Association, said the permitless carry law has not resulted in an increase in crime. It may, however, have given a green light for people inexperienced with guns to carry firearms without proper training.

One of Haug’s officers found a handgun under a tree in a park, he said, and he has seen people in Walmart with pistols hanging out of their back pockets.

“People get complacent,” he said. “They don’t understand how quickly that gun can be used against them in a matter of seconds.”

This is an amazing article.  First of all, blood isn’t running in the streets.  Second, we learn that peaceable, law abiding citizens still want to be peaceable and law abiding, meaning that for states that still require permitting and with travel freedom being at stake, permits are still valued.  Constitutional carry needs to continue sweeping the nation for God-given rights to be fully realized.  Only peaceable men follow the law.

Third, read the LEO’s warnings again.  They preached their “blood will be running in the streets” sermon before passage of the bill, it didn’t happen, and yet that has had no effect on their sermon.  Facts don’t inform their hysteria.  They never have, anywhere this has ever come up.  I’ve documented this same sort of thing with open carry in Texas, only to see them react with shock when blood didn’t run in the streets.  They’ll preach it until they have no more breath to speak.

Finally, consider that gun sitting under the tree in the park.  It must be the fault of permitless carry, huh?  So what the hell does that have to do with the rest of the article?  Do they pay people money to write this crap?

Armed 11-Year Old Boy Saves Fishing Party From Charging Bear

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

Juneau Empire:

Quick action from a Hoonah boy saved a fishing party from a charging brown bear on June 18, the Empire has learned through Alaska State Troopers and family members.

It was the first Defense of Life or Property (DLP) killing in the Hoonah area this year, according to trooper spokesperson Megan Peters.

When the attack occurred, Elliot Clark, then 11 years old, was walking through the woods near Game Creek in Port Frederick several miles south of Hoonah. The young outdoorsman was heading to a nearby fishing hole with his uncle, Craig Stoltzfus, Stoltzfus’ father, a cousin and three dogs.

Stoltzfus and Elliot Clark were armed when a brown bear came out of the woods, charging the group head on. The other members of the party were not armed.

Lucas Clark, Elliot’s father and himself a bear hunting guide, told the story in a Tuesday phone interview with the Empire. Elliot Clark declined to be interviewed at this time.

Lucas Clark was in Washington state at the time of the attack, but his account squares with that from Alaska State Troopers, who investigate DLP killings in Alaska. Stoltzfus couldn’t be reached for this story.

“There was four of them in a line … my son was third,” Clark said. “The bear came down the trail at them, fella in the front, who was his uncle, the bear was on him so quickly that he didn’t have time to take his rifle off his shoulder.”

The bear ran through the first two men, who were pushed to the side of the trail, leaving Elliot Clark in front of his unarmed cousin. The boy raised his pump action shotgun and shot the sow, hitting it with birdshot, which is often used just to scare bears off, Lucas Clark said.

“His first shot was a light load of birdshot. That first shot hit him in the shoulder and did absolutely nothing. The next shot hit him in the nose and traveled down through the neck,” Lucas Clark said.

The third shot went into the bear’s shoulder and his back, dropping it to the ground. The bear was so close when Elliot hit it with his third shot, there were powder burns on the bear’s mouth. Still alive, the bear then slid by Elliot’s feet.

“As the bear slid past him and came to a stop, he put a kill shot it him,” Lucas Clark said.

Stoltzfus finished it off with another round.

The moment could have turned out differently. Lucas Clark hadn’t gotten around to putting a sling on his son’s shotgun, leaving the 11-year-old to carry it in his hands. He credits this and a lot of shooting practice with preparing Elliot for the moment.

“He was carrying it in his hands rather than on his shoulder. That was the problem with the other ones, when the bear came at his uncle, he had his rifle on his shoulder and the bear was very close, so he couldn’t get it off in time,” Lucas Clark said.

Just the day before, Elliot still had a plug in his shotgun, meaning his gun only carried three rounds: the “topround” of birdshot and two slugs. He had taken the plug out the day before, Lucas Clark said, after calling his father to ask permission to do so.

The family had seen bear in the area for a few days, and had been carrying guns for protection.

This inspiring story leads to as many questions as it answers in the brief article.  The report hints that the first round was bird shot and the remainder of the tube magazine had slugs, but it isn’t clear.  It would be nice to know this for sure.  Also, what gauge shotgun was he carrying?  That has the appearance of a 20 rather than a 12.  If this young man is going to be traipsing around in the Alaskan bush, give him a 12 gauge, Dad.  He’s ready.

This is what I’ve heard about being in the bush in this part of the states.  The low ready position is the most prepared, and if your weapon is slung on your back you may not have time to react to the threat a bear poses.  Finally, why were the other members of the party not armed?  There is absolutely no way I would be in the Alaskan bush without being armed, preferably with a rifle or shotgun (with slugs in the tube magazine), or a large bore sidearm like a .460 S&W, .454 Casull, .44 magnum or at least .357 magnum wheel gun.

In any case, congratulations to young Mr. Clark. and kudos for your bravery.  You are a legend in the making.  For the rest of your life, men will want to buy you drinks to tell them your story again.

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