Properly Defending Liberty Comes Down To One Thing: World View

Herschel Smith · 25 Jan 2015 · 10 Comments

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…… [read more]

Army Delays Handgun Solicitation

BY Herschel Smith
6 days, 1 hour 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
6 days, 1 hour 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.

Police Union To State Lawmakers: Don’t Mess With No-Knock Warrants

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 1 day ago

News From Georgia:


Carrie Mills is a retired Atlanta Police officer with 30 years on the job – primarily in APD’s drug unit.

Mills is now a union rep for the International Brotherhood of Police Officers. She considers herself an expert on search warrants, particularly no knock warrants, which allows officers to enter a structure without knocking first.

Mills says no-knock warrants helped close a lot of cases while she was an officer.

“If we knock and announced, all evidence is going to be destroyed,” Mills said.

State Sen. Vincent Fort, (D-39), has announced plans to introduce a bill that would make it harder to get no-knock warrants.

Fort says he was moved to introduce his bill after 19-month-old Bounkham “Bou Bou” Phonesavanh was seriously injured when a flash grenade exploded near his face during a botched drug raid involving a no-knock warrant in Habersham County.

“We are saying there should be restrictions on them and we think the situation in the recent past where they have been abused warrants that,” Fort said.

But Mills doesn’t agree.

“I don’t think any changes are needed because it is not easy now,” Mills said.

Mills says law makers should be careful what they ask for.

“You have to draw the line between your right as a citizen to privacy and a community’s right to live in a crime-free environment. You can’t have them both,” Mills said.

This is a picture of a soulless individual, intent on doing the state’s bidding, regardless of the human cost.  Quite literally, Ms. Mills says, she doesn’t believe that even the most modest of controls should be put in place.  Consider what the lawmakers intend to do.

Bou-Bou’s law, named after Bou-Bou Phonesavanh, the toddler who was severely injured during a botched no-knock drug raid, would require that police show someone’s life would be in danger, or evidence could be destroyed without a no-knock warrant.

The bill also would create penalties for officers and agencies that lie to a judge to get a no-knock warrant.

The bill exempts situations where evidence would be lost, and it shouldn’t.  Nonetheless, Ms. Mills believes that the police should be able to throw grenades into the cribs of sleeping babies and mar and maim them for life, if not kill them, in order to return to their own families safely at the end of their shift.  And she believes above all else that evidence is supreme – it is more important than your imaginary right to live in a crime-free world.

She is also confessing to the world that the police are too stupid or lazy to perform complex investigative work, where detectives learn the patterns of life of a suspect, learn the safe times to arrest that suspect, and figure out how to retain evidence without shooting people or blowing them up.  Or in other words, she is saying “We the police are knuckle-dragging morons who couldn’t survive in a world without government handouts if we had to.”  It’s amazing that other police don’t see that and shut her up.  Other police don’t shut her up because they agree with her, apparently.  Finally, she is saying that the police she represents no longer believe in anything except themselves – and the state.  The constitution is all but forgotten.

It’s a sad state of affairs for post-modern America, ruled by children of the enlightenment.*

* See for additional reading Carl L. Becker, “The Heavenly City of the Eighteenth Century Philosophers,” Lectures at Yale University, which I purchased for $1 from the Rock Hill library in South Carolina in a book sale by some government idiot who didn’t know what they had.

What Rifle Did Chris Kyle Use?

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 2 days 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
1 week, 4 days ago


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.

Interview With Chris Kyle

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 4 days ago

Warriors Tags:

Throw Your SAFE Act Pistol Permit Recertification Invitation In The Garbage

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 4 days ago

Sherman’s Weapons Dump In Columbia, South Carolina

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 4 days 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
1 week, 5 days 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.

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