Using Water As A Weapon Of War

Herschel Smith · 03 Aug 2014 · 9 Comments

Next City: In a war, anything can be a weapon. In a particularly ruthless war, such as the conflict that has been raging in Syria for more than three years, those weapons are often turned against civilians, making any semblance of normal life impossible. Such is the case, experts say, with the way the nation’s water supply is being manipulated to inflict suffering on the population. According to an article posted by Chatham House, a London-based independent policy institute, water…… [read more]

Can You Really Make Moving Head Shots On Zombies?

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 5 days ago

Jerry Miculek helps you decide.

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 5 days ago

David Codrea:

“We have the avenue to attack both the machine gun ban and the NFA with the BATFE’s recent approval of a number of Form 1s,” Stamboulieh advised on his GoFundMe page. “I have a number of clients that I will be filing a lawsuit on behalf of to seek to overturn the ban and the NFA in different states.”

The Hughes Amendment is certainly an unconstitutional abomination, but in this case I have my doubts that any federal court will overturn it based on the weakness of D.C v. Heller.  That’s a shame for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that the U.S. will fall behind the rest of the world in the development of automatic weapons technology.  Who makes the M249 SAW, and why is a foreign company the only one who can design an open bolt machine suitable for that purpose?

Kurt Hofmann:

As home manufacture of guns becomes more and more accessible to more and more people, “gun control” laws will become more and more irrelevant. A southern California radio station, KPCC, recently interviewed UCLA Constitutional law professor Adam Winkler, who has never been what anyone would call a staunch defender of private ownership of firearms. He doesn’t sound happy.

Kurt is all over the democratization of firearms ownership, this liberty being a positive sign.  For those of use who can afford it, fine precision-machined weapons made from the finest engineered alloys that we can hand down to our children’s children is the best bet.  But I look forward to future developments in home manufacturing.

Via Uncle, Joe Biden says we need another James Brady.  He just makes you shake your head, doesn’t he?

Mike Vanderboegh:

As the article notes, in the aftermath of the OKC bombing elements within the Clinton administration wanted to use the excuse to suppress the constitutional militia movement by measures that would have demanded — with all the force of the federal government backing it up — that we publish our memberships lists, required us to register as “paramilitary organizations” with the Feds and to get permission from them before doing any training.

On 6 Oct 1995, the Clinton political operative Dick Morris wrote in a memo to White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta, as well as Deputy Chiefs of Staff Erskine Bowles and Harold Ickes:

“The public overwhelmingly supports a significant expansion in the FBI’s ability to investigate militia groups. If you and the Justice Department believe such an expansion would be in the public interest, I would recommend that we go ahead with it with a high profile announcement.”

Read the rest at Mike’s place.  There was significant disagreement over this strategy for reasons that Mike explains.  But what’s interesting to me is the actors (Leon Panetta, Erskine Bowles, Dick Morris, all of whom are collectivists) and what they were prepared to perpetrate.  The heart of the totalitarian is violence as an exclusive-use procedure, exclusively used to deal with perceived problems and exclusively in the hands of those in power.

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Lawful Open Carry In Ohio

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 1 day ago

Via Eugene Volokh, here is Northrup v. City of Toledo Police Div., 2014 WL 4925052 (N.D. Ohio Sept. 30, 2014).  I’ll cite extensively, but not as extensively as Eugene.

On the evening of June 16, 2010, Northrup was walking down a street in his neighborhood, with his wife, daughter, grandson, and their Yorkshire terrier, and a handgun holstered on his right hip, when Alan Rose drove by on a motorcycle. Northrup and Rose did not know each other, but Rose stopped his motorcycle and began telling Northrup that he could not walk around in public while openly carrying a handgun. Northrup and his wife told Rose that open carry of a firearm is legal in Ohio, but the conversation quickly devolved into an argument. After a few minutes, Northrup and his family continued walking while Rose called 911. A dispatcher with the Toledo, Ohio Police Division sent Officers Comes and Bright, as well as Sergeant Ray, to investigate.

Officer Bright arrived first. He stopped and exited his car and approached Northrup and his family from behind, while on foot. The parties dispute the exact sequence of the events that took place next. Northrup testified his daughter informed him when she saw Officer Bright’s car driving down the street. Northrup’s cell phone was clipped to his belt, next to his holster. He took his cell phone off of his belt and accessed the camera feature in order to record the impending encounter with the officer. When Officer Bright approached, he said “excuse me” to get Northrup’s attention. Northrup then turned toward Officer Bright with his cell phone in one hand and the dog’s leash in the other.

Officer Bright testified he said excuse me and asked Northrup to hand the dog leash to his wife. At this point, Officer Bright states Northrup reached back to remove his cell phone. Officer Bright thought Northrup had made a “furtive movement” toward his handgun. Officer Bright then placed his hand on his holstered weapon and ordered Northrup to hand his cell phone and the dog leash to his wife. He ordered Northrup to turn around and place his hands above his head while he removed Northrup’s gun from the holster.

Officer Bright asked for and received Northrup’s driver’s license, before handcuffing Northrup and placing him in the back seat of his police cruiser. While Officer Bright entered Northrup’s personal information into the computer in his cruiser, Sergeant Ray arrived. Sergeant Ray and Officer Bright discussed the situation before Sergeant Ray contacted the Detective Bureau to determine if Northrup could be charged with committing an offense. Following this phone call, Officer Bright issued Northrup a citation for failure to disclose personal information; this charge ultimately was dismissed following the request of a City of Toledo prosecutor.

So Northrup sued the Toledo Police.  First of all, I observed that Northrup was acting within the boundaries of the law.  The Judge says the same thing.

While Ohio law forbids individuals from carrying a concealed weapon without a license, there is no prohibition against the open carry of handguns. Northrup was acting within the bounds of Ohio law at the time a then-anonymous person called 911.

My second reaction was to note that Ohio has a stop and identify statute, but it has to be a legitimate “Terry Stop.”  This wasn’t.  The Judge concludes by saying:

I concluded above that there is a genuine dispute of material fact as to whether the Defendants had reasonable suspicion to support a Terry stop or probable cause to support an arrest. If a jury concluded the Defendants lacked a reasonable suspicion or probable cause, they may draw the inference that the Defendants’ actions were motivated by malice. Therefore, statutory immunity does not apply to Northrup’s state law claims against Officer Bright and Sergeant Ray [including the punitive damages claims -EV].

And thus it is important that “statutory immunity” doesn’t apply.  Unfortunately, if Northrup wins the case it will redound to more monetary damages to the city, while the police will walk away unaffected by any of this – and they will have been the perpetrators of the crime.

I Don’t Need An Assault Rifle To Shoot A Duck!

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 1 day ago

Raw Story:

Minnesota Rep. Rick Nolan (D) on Wednesday defended his call for gun safety laws by joking that his Republican opponent might need a military-style assault rifle to shoot ducks, but he didn’t.

Following the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, Nolan had told CBS News that an assault weapons ban was just “common sense.”

Nolan’s opponent, Stewart Mills, and the Minnesota Republican Party have pointed to the statement as evidence that the congressman wanted to limit gun rights.

“Stewart, what I said on CBS Face the Nation was that I don’t need an assault rifle to shoot a duck,” he explained at a debate for Minnesota’s 8th District on Tuesday. “And I don’t. Perhaps you do. Maybe you should spend more time at your shooting range.”

“The fact is, right now, you can only have three shells in your gun when you’re shooting ducks,” Nolan continued.

On Face The Nation, Nolan said:

… an assault weapons ban is “common sense legislation.”  “I’m a hunter. Believe in second amendment rights. But you know what? I don’t need an assault weapon to shoot a duck,” Nolan said. “And I think they ought to be banned, and I think we need to put a ban on the amount of shells you can carry in a magazine, and I think we have to strengthen our background checks.”

So I’m doubting that Mr. Nolan is really an avid hunter like he says.  In fact, given the duck hunting with assault rifles, shells in magazines and so forth, I’m concluding that Nolan doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about.

Universal Background Checks: The Monster That Just Won’t Die

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 2 days ago

Someone named Carla Axtman is celebrating (perhaps prematurely) the potential passage of I-594 in the state of Washington.  With the gun control money pouring into the fight, this piece of legislation poses a real danger.

And the commentaries by the leftists are virtually breathless.  Consider what Alexander Zaitchik says at Salon.

Gottlieb’s controversial bill is a direct response to another initiative on the ballot, 594, which expands background checks to include sales at gun shows and over the Internet. It is polling high and expected to pass. If Washington votes “yes,” it will join the growing list of states that have taken gun policy into their own hands in the wake of Newtown. Both the NRA and Gottlieb’s organization oppose 594. But Gottlieb has done more than just denounce it. He has raised more than a million dollars to promote an alternative bill, 591, which would prohibit the state from ever ”requir[ing] background checks on the receipt of a firearm unless a uniform national standard is required.”

Can you spot the offending language? It’s this: “unless a uniform national standard is required.”

For Jeff Knox and much of the gun-rights movement, to even accept the future possibility of federal background check legislation constitutes apostasy. Some of the groups represented at the GRPC are the ones that, along with stalwarts like the NRA and Larry Pratt’s Gun Owners of America, mobilized in April 2013 to torpedo the Manchin-Toomey Senate bill, which would have closed background check loopholes across the country. After looking at the polling data, Gottlieb initially supported Manchin-Toomey as a way for the movement to get some “goodies” (such as relaxing laws on interstate gun sales) while supporting something that he thought was going to pass anyway. (Gottlieb later dropped his support when Chuck Schumer stripped the bill of Gottlieb’s prized “goodie.”)

Gottlieb’s early support for the Senate bill earned him names like “sellout” and “traitor.” But it’s now looking like he understood something his critics did not. Steadfast opposition to a federal background-check bill would give rise to a growing and well-funded movement for background-check referenda in the states. In Washington, the coalition behind 594 is supported by a group of wealthy donors, including Bill Gates and Michael Bloomberg, the head of the gun violence prevention group Everytown for Gun Safety. In his newsletter, Gottlieb describes their efforts as the “Billionaire’s Club war against freedom.”

So when Knox asked Gottlieb to defend the language of 591 at this year’s GRPC, attendees sat up in their seats. After a weekend filled with enough policy weeds to replant the Everglades, the confrontation amounted to high drama.

With his comb-over, pencil mustache, and brightly colored bowties, Alan Gottlieb has the presence of a harried, slightly eccentric accountant. But the Queens native is no dutiful CPA; he’s a convicted tax felon who does not flinch easily on questions of strategy, let alone challenges to his commitment to the Second Amendment. In the 1970s, while still in his twenties, Gottlieb began organizing the legal workshops that grew into the brain trust that won the landmark Supreme Court rulings of Heller and McDonald, which enshrined gun ownership in the home as an individual right guaranteed by the Second Amendment. At the podium in Chicago, Gottlieb welcomed the chance to deliver a blunt message to the background-check dead-enders who had been calling him a traitor since Manchin-Toomey.

“The bottom line is that” the background check issue “is different” from other gun gun policy debates, Gottlieb explained, pointing to public opinion. “What issues do you find that get 70 to 90 percent of the people to agree on anything?”

After Knox asserted that he doesn’t believe polls showing support for background checks, Gottlieb responded, “You may not believe the number, but I’ve seen well over 500 polls all across the country over the last six years on background checks. They all say the same damn thing. They’re not wrong, believe me.”

Knox countered with another reality: Many gun groups, especially those in the referendum states of the Southwest, are never going to sign off on background checks, ever, at any level. In Arizona, “I wouldn’t be able to get our members to proactively concede anything,” said Knox. His hardline solution is to “let them go ahead and deal with the consequences.”

By “them,” Knox means the feds. In the purist view, the best way to deal with any gun law is to dig in, take the hits, and ignore the law, forcing the government to “deal with the consequences.” Knox said he wished the NRA had taken that approach with the 1934 National Firearms Act, which regulated machine guns and banned short-barrel rifles.

To Gottlieb, that’s a doomed strategy. In any case, he stressed, “the Bloomberg people” know gun groups will never support background-check legislation, so they can “knock our teeth out and there’s nothing we can do about it.” He later added, “They’ve got us hogtied because they know we’re not going to change. I’m being honest with you. I’m not expecting you to change, but that’s why we’re going to lose.”

I’ve quoted extensively from the article (normally bad form, but it’s Salon so I don’t really care), so let’s deal with a few facts now.  First of all, good pollsters could get the vast majority of the American public to agree with the assertion that the man in the moon stayed alive by eating the green cheese the moon is made from.  Please stop citing polls to me.  Just stop.  Second, when posed this way, what percentage of the public would be in favor: “Would you favor background checks for all gun sales even if it involved bloodshed and possible civil war when warrants were served on otherwise peaceable Americans for selling guns person-to-person?”

As for Gottlieb, I always knew that the “stupid” act he played after support of Manchin-Toomey was a ruse.  He has a deep character flaw that enables him to support totalitarian measures.  We all have our flaws, but this one runs deep and dangerous.  In fact, read again his excuse for supporting universal background checks.  Basically it boils down to this: if you don’t voluntarily agree to it, they will do it anyway.  Or by way of analogy, if you don’t give a pick pocket you money, he’s just going to take it anyway.

Someone please try to convince me that isn’t what he is saying, because it looks to me like it is.  And that’s puerile and childish reasoning, and in this case I think he advances it not because he really believes that it is logically compelling, but because he is frightened, or a publicity hound, or something dark.  As I said, I don’t know exactly what, but the character flaw runs deep in Alan.

Queue it up, all of the polls, and money, and voters, and whatever else you want.  I will not submit to universal background checks and/or its corollary evil cousin a national gun registry.  We know why they want it.

The only way we can truly be safe and prevent further gun violence is to ban civilian ownership of all guns. That means everything. No pistols, no revolvers, no semiautomatic or automatic rifles. No bolt action. No breaking actions or falling blocks. Nothing. This is the only thing that we can possibly do to keep our children safe from both mass murder and common street violence.

Unfortunately, right now we can’t. The political will is there, but the institutions are not. Honestly, this is a good thing. If we passed a law tomorrow banning all firearms, we would have massive noncompliance. What we need to do is establish the regulatory and informational institutions first. This is how we do it.  The very first thing we need is national registry. We need to know where the guns are, and who has them.

The writer at Salon has it all wrong, and Alan has it equally wrong.  Passing a bill is the easy part, and it isn’t the first in a string of compromises.  It will be the last straw.

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 2 days ago

David Codrea:

“That is nonsense,” he responded to the contention that arms are needed to defend freedom, revealing just where he stood (still stands?) on citizens resisting the tyranny he now warns against. “If the government wants to take your rights away or imprison you for whatever reason, your owning an assault rifle is not going to stop it.

Trying to take away my guns would be a very messy and ugly affair, and notice how Savage doesn’t say who exactly is going to do the taking.  Advocates of gun bans never consider that they advocate putting someone else in harm’s way.

Mike Vanderboegh has a long and interesting post on Ralph Peters’ book “Wars of Blood and Faith.”  Mike remarks:

Peters’ eye is focused on the world picture of 2007, not the American domestic reality as we experience it now after 7 years, most of them reflecting the neo-tyrannies of the Obama regime. Yet Peters’ description of the elites of both parties and of the permanent Mandarin bureaucracies that serve them is even more accurate today. And the disconnect between their collectivist ideologies /slash/ godless-religion and the deeply held beliefs of those of us who still revere the Founders, seek liberty, and worship the God of Abraham, Moses, David and the Christ could not be any more stark than that between us and the beheading savages of the Islamic State.

As I have observed before, we are a nation divided along the answer to the existential question, “Does the government serve the people or do the people serve the government?” This is a political question, yes. It is an intellectual question. It is a question of competing and mutually exclusive world views. It is thus also a moral question. It is a religious question. It is a question of blood and belief, to use Peters’ words.

I enjoyed Peters’ book and can always take away something from his interviews.  But I don’t always agree with him, and one specific black mark on his book is its tendency to lump all religious view into the same category.

But I too disagree with Peters and his diagnosis of the malady.  I must unfortunately wax philosophical for a moment and recommend that you read the first chapter of Gordon H. Clark’s “Religion, Reason and Revelation.”  Clark utterly demolishes all attempts to define religion by showing how those who would do so set out boundary conditions for the definition that reason in a circle (or assume the consequent).  It’s best to discuss these matters in terms of world view, or philosophical systems.  Christianity is a system, or world view, as much as Dewey’s instrumentalism, Mill’s utilitarianism, communism or any other ‘ism.  It just happens to be the truth, but that is beside the point.

The point is that communism is a faith as much as Christianity is a faith, and it is much of a world view as Christianity is a world view.  As far as Islam is concerned, it is a political faith more than anything else, and a totalitarian one at that.  There are many manifestations of evil, but the most prominent one in politics is totalitarianism.  Separating Islamists from communists isn’t a very useful or meaningful bifurcation, and I think Peters has missed the boat on this one.  Yesterday it was the communists, today it’s Islam, today and tomorrow it’s the contemporary manifestation of communism in America.  They are different faces of evil.  But “there is nothing new under the sun,” as the wise man said.

Grand Jury Recommends No Charges In Georgia Police Raid That Severely Injured Toddler

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 4 days ago

WSB-TV:

HABERSHAM COUNTY — A grand jury recommends no criminal charges in the Habersham County SWAT raid that critically injured a toddler.

Bounkham Phonesavah, affectionately known as “Baby Boo Boo,” spent weeks in a burn unit after a SWAT team’s flash grenade exploded near his face. The toddler was just 19-months-old and asleep in the early morning hours of May 28. SWAT officers threw the device into his home while executing a search warrant for a drug suspect.

In their 15-page presentment, the grand jury found no cause for criminal charges against the any deputies involved in the botched SWAT raid. but they had plenty to say about the investigation.

The jury called it “sloppy and hurried” and “not in accordance with best practices.” The grand jury said while they want law enforcement to pursue drug dealers “the zeal to hold them accountable must not override cautious and patient judgment.”

They went on to say “there should be no such thing as an emergency drug investigation.”

A sheriff’s task force said they had a witness to drug sales at the home and expected to find a known drug dealer inside. They obtained a no-knock warrant. Instead, they encountered the child and his parents sleeping just beyond this door.

To that point, the grand jury recommended “that every effort should be made in determining presence of children.”

“What stood out to me is how hard they worked and struggled,” said District Attorney Brian Rickman.

Channel 2’s Kerry Kavanaugh asked Rickman, “A lot of people have said throughout this that if a flash bang, a grenade, exploded inside a child’s crib, something went wrong. A lot of people were hoping that someone would be held accountable.”

They wanted someone to be held accountable, they just didn’t want to be the ones to do it.  So here is the summary.  In Georgia, and perhaps in many states around the nation, cops can go into a man’s castle on sloppy police work (rather than spend their time chasing MS13 and other gang activity), throw a grenade behind a door they hadn’t breached so without knowledge of who or what was on the other side, injure a toddler for life (sentencing him to multiple painful surgeries and recoveries), and get off without so much as a slap on the wrist.

And this, from a jury of people who could suffer the same fate tomorrow at the hands of the police.  Welcome to Amerika!

Related: Man Who Defends His Life In No-Knock Raid Now Faces Death Penalty

Okra In Garden Mistaken For Marijuana Leads To Police Raid In Georgia

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 4 days ago

Times-Picayune:

A Georgia man says drug suppression officers mistook his okra plants for marijuana.

Dwayne Perry of Cartersville tells WSB-TV that he was awakened by a helicopter flying low over his house Wednesday and then some heavily-armed deputies and a K-9 unit showed up at his door. They were from the Governor’s Task Force for drug suppression and they were out looking for marijuana plants.

What they had seen, apparently, were Perry’s okra plants and a shrub at the end of his house.

Perry says the officers ended up apologizing to him.

Cops think they’re doing something good for society, as some sort of heroes, by spending resources (helicopter pilot time, aircraft fuel, wages and benefits for the officers, etc.) hunting for a plant.  In the mean time, MS13 continues to cross the border unmolested, black gangs are roaming Atlanta, and real crime goes unnoticed.

Your tax dollars at work.

N.C. Law On Guns In Bars One Year Old

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 4 days ago

WNCN:

A state law that allows concealed carry permits holders to take their guns into bars and restaurants is now one year old, but even though the law is set in the books, the debate over concealed carry has not died down.

Restaurants can still ban concealed carry by posting signage at their entrance.

Raleigh’s Players’ Retreat off Hillsborough Street is one such restaurant.

“That’s the reason why I’m here,” Rose Caldwell said. “I would not be comfortable dining in a place where I thought people were bringing weapons.”

But the gun rights group Grassroots NC said that sign makes Players’ Retreat and hundreds of other restaurants that ban concealed handguns across North Carolina “high risk,” according to a running list on their website.

“I don’t want to be sitting in a restaurant that’s posted where I can’t carry my weapon safely and concealed on me,” said Josette Chmiel with Grassroots NC. “And in the chance that it gets robbed or somebody comes in, a criminal, a felon, shooting, that I can’t defend myself. To me, that’s a high risk.”

State lawmakers made it legal to carry concealed handguns in places like bars, movie theaters and in locked compartments of cars on school and state government parking lots one year ago Wednesday.

So what’s the result of the law?  Is the blood running from the bars out into the streets from all of the gun fights?  We get our answer next.

“And there’s been no incidences, so the law is playing out exactly as we thought it would,” Chmiel said.

You mean that the blood isn’t running in the bars, just like for the Mississippi open carry law, the blood isn’t running in the streets from all of the gunslinger scenarios like in the movies?  You mean that the gun control lobby is dead wrong?  You mean that people who openly carry weapons waited until it was legal because they are peaceable citizens?  You mean that the folks who waited until it was legal to carry in bars did so because they are peaceable citizens?

Wait.  Something’s wrong.  That’s not the narrative they want us to hear.

Jersey City Mayor Wants To Shape The Gun Dialogue

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 5 days ago

Remember that we discussed the boy-Mayor of Jersey City in Jersey City And Responsible Gun Manufacturers?  Well, he’s happy he spent the tax payer’s money.

Gun rights advocates are blasting Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop for a new city initiative that the mayor says uses the power of the city’s purse to reward “socially responsible” gun distributors.

They say Fulop’s plan will do nothing to stop the flow of illegal guns into the city, and is merely intended to tout his liberal credentials. Fulop is among the Democrats eyeing the governor’s mansion in 2017.

Fulop’s political future may be torpedoed by his gun-control advocacy, Frank Fiamingo, president of the New Jersey Second Amendment Society, told The Jersey Journal.

“He wants to be governor of the state of New Jersey?” Fiamingo said. “Not if the million gun owners have to say anything about it. He’s making the wrong enemy.”

Last week, the city announced it plans to award a $500,000 contract to Lawmen Supply Company to provide weapons and ammunition to the police department after a bid process that involved the city quizzing potential vendors about their business practices.

The city asked bidders how they would handle firearms returned by the city, whether they sell assault weapons to citizens and whether they agree not to sell certain models of firearms for civilian use.

Lawrence Keane, a vice president at the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a firearm trade association, said the questionnaire “will have no impact” on keeping illegal guns away from criminals.

“If the mayor’s intent was to try to advance his gun-control agenda by politicizing the purchase of law enforcement equipment, he has utterly failed,” Keane said.

Fulop shot back, saying the National Shooting Sports Foundation has “zero appreciation for the flow of illegal guns into cities.”

Where Jersey City can shape the dialogue in a productive and safer manner it is money well spent,” the mayor said.

Sort of like Solyndra and any number of other scams on the federal level.  Except they always demand to use other people’s money, don’t they?

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