Walkabout In The Weminuche Wilderness

Herschel Smith · 05 Aug 2018 · 40 Comments

"There are no socialists in the bush" - HPS All of my physical training only barely prepared me for the difficulty of the Weminuche Wilderness (pronounced with the "e" silent).  It's National Forest land, not National Park.  The Department of Agriculture no longer prints maps of the area, so we relied on NatGeo for the map, and it's good, but not perfect. We have a lot of ground to cover, including traveling with firearms, the modification I made to one of my guns for the trip, the actors…… [read more]

A Gun Nut’s Guide To Gun Control That Works

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 3 months ago

Jon Stokes writing at Politico:

I’m for Second Amendment rights. I am a Texan and an American patriot who hauls my family to church every Sunday in a diesel pickup truck, where I sit in the pew and listen to the Word with a 9mm pistol tucked inside the waistband of my fanciest jeans.

Isn’t this the part where the author inserts the inevitable “but”—as in, “I’m a firm Second Amendment advocate, but … ”? Well I’ve got no “buts” for you, because I don’t need them. I believe there is a way to increase both our individual gun rights and our collective safety, if we can only get gun controllers to quit bitterly clinging to outmoded feature bans and gun registries, and convince gun rights advocates that “liberty” isn’t just about “what’s in my gun safe” but also about being able to exercise one’s full spectrum of Second Amendment rights in every part of this great nation.

The idea is simple but powerful: a federally issued license for simple possession of all semi-automatic firearms. This license would allow us to carefully vet civilian access to semi-automatic weapons, while overriding state-specific weapon bans and eliminating some of the federal paperwork that ties specific firearms to specific owners.

I offer this idea not only because I actually want to live in a world where it, or something like it, is the law of the land, but also because I and my fellow gun nuts are worried that a storm is coming that will sweep away a substantial portion of our gun rights without really making the country safer in return. We’re not even five months into a midterm election year, and 2018 has seen a string of high-profile incidents that have darkened the public’s view of civilian gun ownership: February’s massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, followed by this month’s shootings at YouTube headquarters in San Bruno, California, and at a Waffle House in Nashville, Tennessee. In the aftermath of these killings, we’re hearing proposals for anti-gun measures that we thought were widely considered out of bounds in the gun control debate, like a ban on all semi-automatic firearms, a repeal of the Second Amendment, or even an outright ban on the private ownership of guns. Some of us think this will all blow over, as it always does. And maybe it will. But this time definitely feels different.

Our side faces a potent new enemy in the form of private-sector companies like REI, Delta Airlines, Citibank, YouTube and Reddit, which are taking an increasingly anti-gun stance. My fellow gun owners and I are now concerned not just with the potential erosion of our gun rights at the hands of our government, but also with the erosion of our ability to communicate and to educate about this topic in the online spaces that make up so much of modern civic life.

There is fear, despair and anger on both sides, and neither side wants to give an inch. We seem doomed to fight endlessly over the same handful of half-measures that neither side is happy with. A new approach—a federal gun license for semi-automatic weapons like the AR-15s used in the Parkland shooting and at the Nashville Waffle House—has the potential to make us all safer while offering a net increase in liberty for the country’s law-abiding gun owners.

[ … ]

If you weren’t a license holder, then simple possession of any semi-auto weapon would be a felony.

[ … ]

An initial set of licensing requirements would undoubtedly include having one’s fingerprints on file with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and a thorough background check that screens for things like domestic violence convictions and inclusion in the government’s terrorist watch list (assuming that list has been fixed by adding a way for innocent people to get their names removed). Gun controllers have long desired a national firearm licensing scheme that includes safe storage requirements and a demonstration of basic weapon proficiency; these things would be part of the negotiations. If they didn’t make the first cut, there would be a place to implement them should they gain popular support. Maybe gun controllers could offer the pro-gun side something it badly wants, like relaxing the federal restrictions on suppressors, in exchange for them.

Here’s the best part.  “Jon Stokes is a founder of Ars Technica and a former editor for Wired. He writes about guns and technology for TechCrunch, AllOutdoor.com, TheFireArmBlog.com and other publications.”

So it remains to be seen if he will ever write again for AllOutdoor or TFB, but Stokes has seriously and passionately embraced the dark side.  It may be no accident that he’s done it in Politico.

Only a dolt and simpleton believes things like what he is advocating being an advantage for personal safety.  Only some in the gun community will actually do this, and certainly not criminals.

Second, he apparently doesn’t believe in the predilection of mankind towards evil and wickedness, witness his sophomoric belief in the idea that a national registry will be given up by the progressives, and that we should later (after already succumbing to the wishes of the progressives) be at the mercy of ideas that “gain popular support.”  The Armenian genocide had popular support too.

Third, a fundamental error he makes runs contrary to the intent of the founders.  He advocates centralization of power, which is exactly what the Bill of Rights was intended to prevent (albeit imperfectly).  He we are again at his naïve belief in the inherent goodness of man, whereas Paul advocated a different viewpoint (Romans 3:23).

Fourth, when he considers the effect on public safety, Stokes ignores the biggest effect, which is mass shootings in gun-free nations at the hands of government actors, which in the twentieth century was near 170 million souls.  Jon’s math is all screwed up.

Finally, he actually appears to believe that his gun creds are stamped and sealed because he is a so-called “gun nut.”  He writes for TFB and AllOutdoor.  I too love to talk guns, love to work them, love to clean them, assemble and disassemble them, study barrels and twist rate, study reticle holdover subtensions and scope design, love to build and reverse the process, love to study ballistics, and on the list goes.  Rather like boys working on cars when you could rebuild carburetors with float and gasket kits, change the plugs and ignition wires, and set timing on the points all without the involvement of onboard computers or professional mechanics.

But that doesn’t mean anything more than I’m a gearhead.  Jon’s “gun nut” creds means nothing whatsoever to me, and it shouldn’t to you either if he intends to compromise the observation of our liberties to progressives on a naïve promise of good will.  The second amendment, as I’ve pointed out, is a covenant.  It is an agreement, not the source of our rights to be armed.  Loving mechanics and being a gearhead obviously doesn’t translate to loving liberty or being devoted to doing what it takes to preserve it.

The fountain of our rights and liberties isn’t the state.  It is the almighty Himself who issues forth such edicts, and because He has done so, let no man feel the freedom to whisk them away in panicked compromise because he fears loss.  There are worse things than losing, and worse things than death.  Losses are only temporal, and death isn’t the end.

My hope is that Jon Stokes never again writes another word for TFB, AllOutdoor or any other gun related publication.  To the gun community, Jon’s name must be Ichabod.  He is anathema.


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