The Federal Government And War With The American People

Herschel Smith · 27 Mar 2018 · 11 Comments

Every time a new contract is issued for weapons and ammunition, the typical cacophony of comments follow.  Those who think that the FedGov has too many guns and too much ammunition weigh in, and invariably (perhaps some of them are trolls or paid commenters?) some people weigh in with support. Terrorism.  Bad people.  Every agent with a gun needs range rounds and personal defense (PD) ammunition (JHP or whatever).  Think of how many rounds you shoot per year, and multiply that times the…… [read more]

The Chilling Effects Of Openly Displayed Firearms

BY Herschel Smith
8 months, 1 week ago

David Frum:

Charlottesville, however, marks a new era of even bolder assertion of the right to threaten violence for political purposes. Gun carriers at the so-called “Unite the Right” rally acted more like a paramilitary force than as individual demonstrators. They wore similar pseudo-military outfits, including body armor. They took tactical formations to surround the site of the expected confrontation. According to Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, “They had better equipment than our state police had.” (The state police have disputed that claim.)

The carrying of firearms by random citizens into public places is typically defended as a contribution to public safety. If criminals must reckon with the possibility of armed resistance, they will hesitate to commit crimes—or so goes the theory. It’s a hard theory to prove or disprove, because the thing to be measured—“defensive gun use”—is so subjective. An altercation erupts after a traffic accident. One motorist raises his voice. The other displays a weapon. Has the weapon carrier prevented a crime? Or has the law empowered a subset of Americans to intimidate their neighbors? The Florida man who shot 17-year-old Jordan Davis dead for playing his music too loud also claimed he was acting in self-defense. If widespread gun carry enhances safety, why are countries that forbid it so much safer than the United States?

Whatever its merits, however, the theory of the crime-reducing effects of citizen carry applies only to concealed carry. Society receives the putative benefit of citizen carry only if the potential criminal does not know which potential victim might be armed.

Open carry has no such justification—and until recently, it has not needed it. Until recently, almost all states forbade the open carry of handguns. Although many Western states ignored the open carry of long guns, they did so not as a matter of policy or right, but as a left-over from their rural origins. A rancher moving about his lands may want to carry a shotgun or rifle in case predators attack his livestock. Is he supposed to put a bag over his gun? Are hunters supposed to carry their rifles in a locked case until they literally see the deer?

Today in Arizona, however, 89.8 percent of the population dwells in urban areas, a higher percentage than in Connecticut; Texas’s population has become 84.7 percent urban, higher than Delaware. Hunting is declining. The most popular rifle in the United States is the AR-15, a look-alike of the military-grade M-16 that can be used for hunting purposes only by the most skilled marksmen. Fewer and fewer American households own long guns at all. Gun sales are up because a few gun enthusiasts are accumulating miniature arsenals: In 1994, the average gun-owning household owned four weapons; by 2015, the average gun-owning household owned eight.

Over that same period, American political culture has become more polarized. Those polarities have become more extreme. And on the political right especially, the rhetoric has become more indulgent of—if not more enthusiastic about—political violence.

[ … ]

What can be done? We can begin by acknowledging that America’s ranching days are behind it. Within metropolitan areas, there is no reason—zero—that a weapon should ever be carried openly. The purpose is always to intimidate—to frighten others away from their lawful rights, not only free speech and lawful assembly, but voting as well.

Frum doesn’t apply his missive to law enforcement, because of course, he retains and reserves the lawful use of force only to them (progressives only believe in a monopoly of force), and because he knows that his suggestion that “Society receives the putative benefit of citizen carry only if the potential criminal does not know which potential victim might be armed” is tactical nonsense, and that law enforcement wouldn’t allow such stupidity to be applied to them.

Frum no more knows that the benefit of open carry doesn’t obtain like concealed carry any more than he knows the reasons men openly carry (e.g., to keep from sweating their weapon, because permitting only applies to concealed weapons, because concealing a weapon is uncomfortable, because concealing your weapon is tactically inferior to openly carrying it, because some men may not like their only holster options for concealed carry, etc., etc.).  He only pretends to know these things.  No one attending the inside-the-beltway cocktail parties he does actually carries a gun, so he wouldn’t know.

But let’s “cut to the chase,” shall we?  Forgetting about all of that, this is just the lead up to what Frum really wants, which is to justify his statist views that no violence is ever justified against the state.  He should have written an essay entitled “Why The War Of American Independence Was Immoral” or “Why Dietrich Bonhoeffer Was Wrong To Oppose Hitler,” and I would have respected him more.  At least he would be honestly stating his views.  With this article, like so many others he writes, he gets to unload on open carry in America, appealing to the progressives in the circles in which he runs, without ever really being forced to examine the logical consequences of his own prose.

Consistency isn’t the hobgoblin of small minds.  It’s the stuff of life, and it makes people dismiss your prose as the meanderings of an idiot when you don’t force yourself to think about what you’re writing or saying.  He beclowns himself, he embarrasses himself, and he only hurts himself, but he is too stupid and lazy to figure out why he is ridiculed by most readers.

David Frum + Guns = Chicken Little

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 2 months ago

Frum again.

He says he’s working on a full response to my earlier post, but he provides an “appetizer portion” here. He offers a new anecdote of a gun accident, the statistic that there are more than 600 fatal gun accidents per year in the U.S., and an assertion that guns are not regulated like other consumer products.

First of all, the anecdote is a little bizarre. According to the story released by the police department — and I called to confirm — an old man tossed his coat on top of a gun while it was on a dresser, and the gun went off. The sergeant I spoke with said he didn’t think the gun fell to floor; it just went off when the coat hit it. The sergeant said the gun was “not an antique,” but an older-style revolver. Older revolvers are often not designed to be dropped without firing, but they usually have pretty heavy trigger pulls. If this is the way events really unfolded, it’s a one-in-a-million occurrence.

Earlier this week on Twitter, Frum said that people who say guns are safer than cars must not know what a denominator is. So let’s do the math on these 600 fatal accidents. Somewhere between 35 percent and 47 percent of Americans have a gun in the home; to be generous let’s go with the low number and say 100 percent have a car. Back-of-the-envelope math indicates that 600 fatal gun accidents would be the equivalent of 1,700 car fatalities if we’re assessing the average risk of owning one versus the other. There have been more than 30,000 car fatalities almost every year since the mid-1930s.

This is becoming boring.  So let’s grant the fact that older revolvers didn’t have something like the transfer bar in modern day Rugers.  Fine.  Still, unless the hammer was cocked, I don’t believe this story.  It’s a tall tale.  I don’t care that it was “confirmed” by a phone call.  Without the hammer being cocked, there is no mechanism to make this happen.

However, let’s go ahead and set the framework for Frum.  It is a gun.  It is not safe.  Got it?  That’s why we have rules like knowing your backstop, observing muzzle discipline, observing trigger discipline, securring it from children, and so forth.

It is not safe similar to the fact that automobiles aren’t safe, operating power equipment isn’t safe, and any of a host of activities in which we engage daily aren’t safe.  It isn’t safe to cross the street in my city on foot, even when you have the right-of-way.

Any activity can be made safer by observing the rules and having proper discipline.  The fact that Frum keeps trotting out anecdotal evidence of people who do not observe these rules only means that he thinks we’re stupid.  Rather, it is Frum who embarrasses himself because he can’t understand the ameliorative effects of good behavior.  Or he doesn’t want to because of his long, dark experiment into progressive ideology.

Prior: Further Proof That David Frum Is An Idiot

Guns Tags:

Further Proof That David Frum Is An Idiot

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 4 months ago

From The Daily Beast:

David Hemenway, the author of this debunking, traces the overstatement of defensive gun uses to an inherent statistical problem: with very rare events (like defensive gun use), seemingly small sampling errors can lead to very large overstatements of incidence.

Say that survey findings are a 1% overestimate of the true incidence. If the true incidence were 40%, estimating it at 41% might not be a problem. But if the true incidence were .2%, measuring it as 1.2% would be six times higher than the true rate, and if the true incidence were .1%, measuring it at 1.1% would be a teen fold overestimate.

How might this work in practice? Hemenway offers a funny example.

In May 1994, ABC News and The Washington Post conducted a national random-digit-dial telephone survey of over 1,500 adults. One question asked: “Have you yourself ever seen anything that you believe was a spacecraft from another planet?” Ten percent of respondents answered in the affirmative. These 150 individuals were then asked, “Have you personally ever been in contact with aliens from another planet or not?” and 6% answered “Yes.”

Extrapolating to the U.S. population as a whole, we might conclude that 20 million Americans have seen an alien spacecraft, and 1.2 million have been in actual contact with beings from other planets.

Frum then goes on to undercut his case.  He says “I wouldn’t want to suggest that defensive gun use against real dangers (i.e, not carrying a shotgun to investigate raccoons rooting through the trash) is quite so rare as contact with extra-terrestrials. But it’s rare enough that conscientious people should think very hard about exposing themselves, their children, and their loved ones to the large and amply documented dangers of a weapon in the house.”

“Real dangers,” he says.  A Raccoon isn’t the animal that would have immediately come to mind.  Frum lives a sheltered life.  I have chased many of them away myself, and although I have multiple guns, I live in an area where discharging firearms into the yard is illegal.  I just went for a baseball bat.  Some other animals might be bears, wolves, hogs (and more hogs), mountain lions, or maybe gangsters in the inner cities of Detroit, Chicago or L.A.  My own son was hired to kill coyotes by a church in Anderson, S.C., because the animals were so aggressive that the congregants couldn’t even get into the building to attend worship.  He used … here it is … guns.

Frum also behaves as if guns are dangerous even to the trained person.  It’s as if he should be opposed to the use of cars because people cannot be taught to drive.

Over-sampling statistically insignificant data is the problem according to Frum.  Here’s what I think.  We’ve oversampled Frum’s brain and we’ve reached the very end of its usefulness a long time ago.  His experiment into progressive ideology has caused him to be even more puerile than he was before.

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