Judge Upholds California Gun Microstamping Law

Herschel Smith · 01 Mar 2015 · 13 Comments

CBS Sacramento: A federal court has rejected a challenge to California’s gun safety law, possibly paving the way for a requirement that new guns mark the bullets they fire so they can be traced. The ruling on Wednesday was a defeat for two gun rights groups that argued the Unsafe Handgun Act violated the constitutional right to bear arms. The law prohibits the manufacture or sale in California of any gun that doesn’t meet certain safety requirements. It was aimed at outlawing cheap…… [read more]

North Charleston Police Officer Faces Murder Charge After Video Surfaces Showing Him Shooting Man In Back

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 4 days ago

He discharged eight shots from his sidearm, with time to aim, with a pause between the seventh and eighth shots, all eight shots taken in the direction of the victim’s back while the victim was running away.

A white North Charleston police officer was arrested on a murder charge and the FBI opened a civil rights investigation Tuesday after video surfaced of the lawman shooting eight times at a 50-year-old black man as he ran away.

Walter L. Scott, a Coast Guard veteran and father of four, died Saturday after Patrolman 1st Class Michael T. Slager, 33, shot him several times in the back.

The video footage, which The Post and Courier obtained Tuesday from a source who asked to remain anonymous, shows the end of the confrontation between the two on Saturday after Scott ran from a traffic stop. It was the first piece of evidence contradicting an account Slager gave earlier this week through his attorney.

[ … ]

The three-minute clip of Saturday’s shooting starts shaky, but it steadies as Slager and Scott appear to be grabbing at each other’s hands.

Slager has said through his attorney that Scott had wrested his Taser from him during a struggle.

The video appears to show Scott slapping at the officer’s hands as several objects fall to the ground. It’s not clear what the objects are.

Scott starts running away. Wires from Slager’s Taser stretch from Scott’s clothing to the officer’s hands.

With Scott more than 10 feet from Slager, the officer draws his pistol and fires seven times in rapid succession. After a brief pause, the officer fires one last time. Scott’s back bows, and he falls face first to the ground near a tree.

After the gunfire, Slager glances at the person taking the video, then talks into his radio.

The cameraman curses, and Slager yells at Scott as sirens wail.

“Put your hands behind your back,” the officer shouts before he handcuffs Scott.

As another lawman runs to Scott’s side.

Scott died there.

[ … ]

Slager said earlier this week in the statement from his attorney at the time that his encounter with Scott had started Saturday morning as a routine traffic stop.

His department said he pulled over Scott’s Mercedes-Benz sedan near Remount and Craig roads because it had a broken brake light. But at some point, Scott ran away with Slager in pursuit on foot. Scott’s passenger stayed with the Mercedes.

During the foot chase, Scott confronted Slager, according to the lawyer’s statement. Slager got out his Taser to subdue the man, but Scott took the device during a struggle, the statement said. That’s when the officer fired at Scott several times because he “felt threatened,” it added.

Now listen very carefully.  We all know how abused and overused the idea is that an officer can “feel threatened” and thus discharge his weapon at anything and everything.  But this doesn’t even rise to the level of abusive policy.  The officer had the temerity calmly to walk back to the scene of the struggle, pick up the taser, and casually drop it next to the now-deceased body.

What’s the lesson?  The officer didn’t know a video of his actions would be produced.  It was going to be his word against a dead man’s word, and we all know how that would have gone down.  He reflexively turned to the best, surest, most trusted and well-worn defense cops use: “I felt threatened.”  There is the first tier of concern with this incident, that is, a shooting in the back that violates the constitution.  But the second tier of concern pertains to coverup of the shooting.

And as long as that defense exists and is reflexively accepted by a gullible public and a willing judicial system, “I felt threatened” will keep being used and cops will continue to perpetrate this sort of thing.  But the fifth amendment clearly doesn’t allow this officer to kill the unarmed man running away, who is no threat to the officer, by the way, and who hadn’t shown himself to be a threat to anyone else (he was stopped because of a minor traffic violation).

When Can You Kill A Bear?

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 4 days ago

In this silly article, the author cites someone parroting that ridiculous line again that the best defense against a bear is bear spray.  But the following quote caught my eye.

A court ultimately ruled that Wallen had not acted in self-defense, due to conflicting and unreliable testimony. At one point, he said the bears appeared to be charging toward him, while at another time he claimed they had come back to finish off his chickens, which Manley said is not an excusable defense for shooting the federally protected bear.

“In the case of grizzly bears, the only time you can shoot … is in defense of your life or someone else’s life,” he said. “You can’t just shoot because it’s in your yard and killing your chickens.”

Manley added that he would never recommend shooting at bears to scare them away.

“If they’re around your house, make noise. Bang pots and pans, yell at them from a safe position or set off you car alarm with a remote,” he said.

That list of suggestions by Sean Albrite, a firearms salesman at Snappy Sport Senter – “Bang pots and pans, yell at them from a safe position or set off you car alarm with a remote” – is highly irresponsible.  If a bear is in the vicinity of you, your family, or your beasts, you should grab a .45, a .357 magnum, or better yet a rifle (not .22LR), and prepare for self defense.

As to the notion that “You can’t just shoot because it’s in your yard and killing your chickens,” that’s just like saying that you can’t just shoot a felony intruder just because he’s in your yard and threatening harm to your children.  Only a progressive (who doesn’t believe that man is made in God’s image or that beasts who our property warrant defending) could come up with such an obscene idea.  And how could anyone seriously defend the proposition that a bear should be any more protected than my dogs or chickens?

Prior: Man Who Shot Grizzly Bear Defending His Family Gets Fined

Guns Tags:

Weapons Discipline Was Lacking In Watertown

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 6 days ago


A newly released report by local authorities details the response of law enforcement following the Boston Marathon bombings.

The full report is available here.

The report says that during the early morning shootout in Watertown on Friday, April 19, 2013, the first officers to arrive “practiced appropriate weapons discipline while they were engaged in the firefight with the suspects.” But it added that “additional officers arriving on scene near the conclusion of the firefight fired weapons toward the vicinity of the suspects, without necessarily having identified and lined up their target or appropriately aimed their weapons.”

After the firefight, one officer fired upon plain-clothes officers in an unmarked Massachusetts State Police vehicle that was wrongly reported as stolen, according to the report, which also cites lack of weapons discipline by law enforcement during efforts to apprehend Dzhokhar Tsarnaev when he was hiding in a boat behind a Watertown home.

Via WRSA, WeaponsMan also has an analysis of the report.  But focus for a moment on these takeaways from the report.  First, “officers arriving on scene near the conclusion of the firefight fired weapons toward the vicinity of the suspects, without necessarily having identified and lined up their target or appropriately aimed their weapons.”  This is very serious, with LEOs shooting wildly at nothing and everything, innocent victims in danger of being shot, and LEOs held completely guiltless in the lack of discipline, even if they had killed someone.

Second, the officer who shot at the vehicle violated Tennessee versus Garner in that he didn’t make the shot in self defense.  If you or I did someone like that we would be in prison today.  And the sadly ignorant, “sheeple” public trusts the LEOs and fears peaceable concealed or open carriers.  It just boggles the mind, honestly.

Special Operations Troops Doubt Women Can Do The Job

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 6 days ago

Stars and Stripes:

Surveys find that men in U.S. special operations forces do not believe women can meet the physical and mental demands of their commando jobs, and they fear the Pentagon will lower standards to integrate women into their elite units, according to interviews and documents.

Studies that surveyed personnel found “major misconceptions” within special operations about whether women should be brought into the male-only jobs. They also revealed concerns that department leaders would “capitulate to political pressure, allowing erosion of training standards,” according to one document.

Some of those concerns were not limited to men, researchers found, but were found among women in special operations jobs.

Dan Bland, force management director for U.S. Special Operations Command, said the survey results have “already driven us to do some different things in terms of educating the force.”

Well, there you go.  If the force believes that women can’t do the job, the only recourse is to educate them differently, because surely, surely, surely they must be wrong.  Otherwise the advocates of gender homogeneity would be wrong, and that couldn’t be the case because command says so because the administration and God-hating, elitist, Marxist liberal arts colleges around the nation say so.

Dan Bland responded the way he did because he has lost his soul and joined the dark side.

See category Women in Combat.

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 6 days ago

David Codrea:

What Hollis won’t do, if the suit prevails, is rescind the National Firearms Act of 1934, including registration and transfer tax requirements. What it would do is invalidate the absurd prohibition that says you can own a machine gun made before May 19, 1986, but if you possess an identical firearm made after that arbitrary date, you’ll be a felon in for a world of hurt. And the other thing it would do is create all kind so interesting market repercussions that have kept the prices of pre-’86 machine guns at artificially inflated (and then some) prices.

To anyone capable of grasping basic logic, acknowledging the ludicrousness of the cutoff would seem cut and dried. But when descending into the bizarre and often contradictory world of ATF rulings and judicial interpretations, a happy resolution is anything but a slam dunk.

Read David’s entire piece.  I sure would like to see the arbitrary cutoff go down in flames.  As I’ve argued before, this arbitrary cutoff also has other nefarious affects on the American arms industry, like preventing the development of fully automatic weapons technology.  Why do you think the only squad automatic weapon fielded today in the Army and Marines is made by FN Herstal?  Wouldn’t it be wise to invest in open bolt technology in order to have better weapons ourselves?  Sorry, can’t do that, because there isn’t enough money to develop weapons that may or may not be contracted by the U.S. armed forces.  Weapons like this need a civilian outlet in the case of rejection by the Army and Marines to make them financially feasible.

David Codrea:

“It is not believed that members of the various shooting clubs and organizations would concern themselves over a curtailment of highly-powered firearms,” Hoover opined, probably not altogether incorrectly considering the indifference of many who to this day still place sporting interests over rights. “Additional penetration is of no value to target shooting, and it is logical to assume that organizations promoting this sport would be in hearty accord with legislation curtailing high velocity bullets in an attempt to insure their members the continued use of target pistols.”

How interesting.  David has a great find on history of the .357 magnum cartridge and Hoover’s opinion of civilian ownership of weapons that can handle the cartridge.  He (Hoover) uses the word “insure” rather than the correct word “ensure,” a pet peeve of mine, so I think he was an idiot, and I would have slapped him around for it.  See David’s link to the document.  Between David’s research and what Jerry Miculek lectured and demonstrated, we are learning more about the .357 magnum.  And the more we learn, the more I like it.  I’ve always liked shooting it.

Handgun permitting by CLEOs may be done away with in North Carolina, like it should be.  Personally, I think it’s a pain in the ass in addition to being an infringement.  It’s a reversion to Jim Crow laws.  But look for CLEOs to fight it because they would lose revenue, control and justification for staffing.

See this billboard courtesy of Mike Vanderboegh.  This is a great billboard, in addition to being a very nice piece of art work.  I’d like to see a few in every state, or as many as we can get, with people all over this nation asking, “What’s this I’m seeing about III%?  What does it all mean?”

Deputy Killed Man When He Thought He Shot Taser Rather Than Gun

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 6 days ago

Tulsa World:

A 73-year-old reserve deputy who shot and killed a fleeing suspect Thursday during an undercover operation believed he was holding a Taser, not a gun, when the shooting occurred.

The reserve deputy who shot the man is Robert Charles Bates, a Tulsa insurance company executive who was working undercover Thursday as a member of the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office Violent Crimes Task Force.

Bates confirmed in a phone interview with a Tulsa World reporter Friday that he shot and killed Eric Courtney Harris the previous day.

“It was me,” Bates said during the interview. “My attorney has advised me not to comment. As much as I would like to, I can’t.”

The Sheriff’s Office on Friday evening released Bates’ name and said he received his reserve status in September 2008.

The release states that Bates was assigned to the Tulsa County Violent Crimes Task Force and had received specialized training in homicide investigation, meth lab identification and decontamination, and other specialized training.

Bates had also spent time with the Tulsa Police Auxiliary and then as a full-time police officer, according to the release.

Bates, who owns an insurance company, served as chairman of the Re-elect Sheriff (Stanley) Glanz Committee in 2012 and donated $2,500 to Glanz’s campaign that year.

[ … ]

Clark said “preliminary information” has led investigators to believe Harris was under the influence of PCP at the time of the shooting.

Gosh, I hate it when that happens to me.  I remember the last time I pulled a gun on a dude and thought it was a taser instead.  It was all in good fun, but I used the fact that he was high on drugs to argue he deserved it anyway.  It kept me out of too much trouble with the law.

Jerry Miculek Does .357 Semi-Auto

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 2 days ago

This is a very educational video, with Jerry going over the history of the .357 magnum round and demonstrating what it can do.

Like I said, a great video.  But still, a .357 semi-auto?  Hmm … I don’t know.  I love me a .357 magnum wheel gun.  Love me one.  I’m just sayin’.  Love.

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 2 days ago

David Codrea:

“Twenty months into implementation, Colorado’s controversial gun-control laws are mostly unenforceable and have done little to nothing to attain bill sponsors’ goals, according to gun rights advocates and statewide data,” Stephen Meyers observed. Not only are prosecutions statistically almost non-existent, determined gun owners are flouting the law and satisfying their demand for standard capacity magazines in other states.

But of course.  And we won’t obey any of the laws that we consider infringements of our God-ordained rights.  So are you prepared to bust in doors and get shot up in order to enforce those stupid laws?

David Codrea:

Racine’s public air of confidence will be tested as conflicts between courts leave an ultimate judicial ruling on “may issue” vs. “shall issue” concealed carry permits up in the air, while a movement in the states to adopt permitless “Constitutional carry” is growing. The Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge to Maryland’s “may issue” law in 2013, but state challenges to “shall issue” rulings before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California could force the High Court’s hand.

As far as I’m concerned, the supreme court is full of cowards, and “may issue” may as well be “shall not issue” since it gives the right to infringe to humans rather than God.

Um, so what’s the deal with Mike Vanderboegh not getting media creds for the upcoming convention?  Can someone from the NRA explain that one to me?  We’re waiting.  Right here in the comments.  Or by email.

Kurt Hofmann:

You see, when, as a 15-year-old, Thrasher was threatened by a thuggish armed hooligan, he modestly reached the conclusion that his experience with guns defines their value, and that, therefore, the Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms is null and void–because he modestly says so.

Kurt makes an outstanding point.  The writer presumes to decide rights for everyone because of (and in spite of) his limited, self-important world view.  But then, don’t all elitist rulers do that?  It’s just that the writer doesn’t consider himself to be an elitist ruler.

Comment of the week from WRSA:

America is the rent-a-cop enforcer who just happens to reside on some good farmland. The mineral rights under his feet have already been sold off and his wife is in bed with a different man every hour while he’s away. He doesn’t care as long as he comes home to a big TV and a cold beer. He’ll pass out in his easy chair and if he doesn’t die from heart failure, one of her lovers will eventually slit his throat.

Gun control in the Ukraine:

Ukrainians can volunteer to surrender their firearms, ammunition, explosives and other weapons to the police, without punishment, from April 1 to 30, the Ukrainian Interior Ministry public security department said.

The ministry noted that citizens who would bring their firearms and other dangerous ordnance to the police would be exempted from criminal liabilities.

In addition, citizens who surrender their hunting guns, cold steel and gas pistols will be able to register these weapons as their property and use them on legal grounds.

Non-lethal weapons firing rubber bullets will be registered in the case and in the procedure established by the Ukrainian legislation, the Interior Ministry remarked.

Note to the Ukrainians.  Don’t do it.  Don’t even think about giving up your guns.

From reader Mack H, this:

As this survey illustrates, animosity toward Christians involves racial, educational, and economic factors; the people most likely to hold negative views of conservative Christians also belong to demographic groups with high levels of social power. Rich, white, educated Americans are major influencers in media, academia, business, and government, and these are the people most likely to have a distaste for conservative Christians.

Mack worries that the progressives are learning and that this may affect their tactics in the fight against gun rights.  Yes, perhaps faster than we are.  Furthermore, reflecting (very briefly) on the recent religious controversy in Indiana, Governor Mike Pence lost some respect from me.  If they had never brought legislation to the table to protect religious rights, I wouldn’t have thought of the issue (as it pertains to Indiana).  But they passed the law, and then walked it back.  Disgusting.  Finally, do you think there is a bit of overlap between “conservative Christians” and gun rights?  Me too.  But what’s this stuff about being “educated” and hating on Christians and conservatives?  I know men who work at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and teach at colleges of engineering across the country who are conservative Christians.  Methinks someone doesn’t know what it means to be educated, if it involves passing humanities courses at Duke, University of North Carolina, American University, Dartmouth and Emory.

Well, it would have worked equally well to shoot the billboards up with several hundred 12 gauge 00 buck loads.

Uncle asks:

I often wonder if I’ve lost my sense of reality because of what is “news”.

Hands up don’t shoot did not happen.

The UVA rape incident did not happen.

Trayvon Martin was not shot in cold blood by a racist white guy.

Indiana’s RFRA doesn’t allow discrimination. It’s a silly law but it doesn’t do that.

The story of the pizza joint not catering gay weddings was bullshit.

There’s a nuclear deal with Iran, except it’s unenforceable and not written down.

Yet, these are prominent narratives among the media and pundits.

No sir, you’re not the one with the distorted sense of reality.  And if any readers believed any of those main stream media narratives, you’re a dumb ass.

Chris Christie Pardons Shaneen Allen

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 2 days ago


Gov. Christie on Thursday pardoned a Philadelphia mother who had faced up to five years in prison for bringing a gun into the state that was legally registered in Pennsylvania but not in New Jersey.

Shaneen Allen admitted during a routine traffic stop on the Atlantic City Expressway that she had the firearm in her purse.

Allen, 27, a phlebotomist, was indicted following her October 2013 arrest for illegally bringing a concealed weapon into the state, and in September last year agreed to enter a pretrial intervention program. The program would have required her to give up her .380 caliber Bersa Thunder and complete 25 hours of community service to avoid jail time.

Allen, who said she worked odd hours collecting blood samples from medical patients, contended that she legally purchased the gun after being robbed and beaten twice in her South Philadelphia neighborhood.

The Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office originally denied the woman an opportunity to enter the diversionary program, indicating it wanted to use the case as a deterrent for people bringing guns that aren’t registered in New Jersey into the state.

New Jersey’s gun laws – which are considered among the strictest by national standards – require that even weapons duly registered in the state be transported unloaded and locked in the vehicle’s trunk.

The pardon by Christie was likely to burnish his conservative credentials as he weighs a presidential run.

The governor’s action quickly drew praise from the National Rifle Association.

“This ends a vulgar chapter in an endless series of shameful episodes where political opportunists seek nothing but their own advantage,” Wayne LaPierre, the CEO of the gun-rights lobby, said in a Facebook post. “I compliment Gov. Christie for doing the right thing.”

Ridiculous.  Christie could have pardoned her the first day this was made public by the media.  Instead he waited while Ms. Allen wondered if the exercise of her God-given duty of self defense would bring ruination to her life.  Christie is a putz.

Moreover, none of this changes the fact stated in the article, which is that “New Jersey’s gun laws [are] … considered among the strictest by national standards.”  Chris Christie has argued that the lack of a GOP legislature is the culprit for the onerous gun laws in New Jersey.  Like Christie couldn’t have shut down the ports or the schools until the legislature brought him pro-gun legislation if he wanted to.  This would have happened overnight.

As for “burnishing his creds,” this is what happens with idiots write articles.  Chris Christie will never be president.  As for Wayne LaPierre, he’s a putz for praising Christie.

D.C. Collectivists Not Finished Infringing On Gun Rights

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 2 days ago

Washington Times:

Washington, D.C., will drop its appeal of a federal court ruling that overturned the city’s ban on carrying handguns in public, Attorney General Karl Racine announced Wednesday.

City attorneys will instead focus on defending concealed-carry laws adopted by legislators in the months after U.S. District Court Judge Frederick J. Scullin Jr. declared the ban was unconstitutional.

“We need to focus our energies not on litigating old laws, but defending new ones that our leaders enacted in good faith to comply with court rulings while still protecting public safety,” Mr. Racine said.

[ … ]

… gun owners have criticized the permitting scheme as too restrictive, citing the fact that the Metropolitan Police Department requires proof of a “good reason” why a gun owner would need to carry a firearm for protection.

Right.  Nothing has been won for gun rights.  Like the good communists they are, the D.C. politicians and police will find other ways to prevent the free exercise of God-ordained rights.  When one method runs dry, they go to a different fishing hole.  The fact that the courts have found their infringements unconstitutional means nothing to them.  They only follow the law when they agree with it.

What a bunch of loathsome, terrible, despicable men and women.

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