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]

How Do The Polls Stack Up On Support For Universal Background Checks?

BY Herschel Smith
5 days, 10 hours ago

Read this article carefully.

Despite this slight downward trend, expanding background checks still enjoys 93 percent support in the latest poll. That support has remained relatively consistent, with the Quinnipiac poll finding the same level of support in June 2016 as in August 2019 and the ABC/Washington Post poll finding the same level of support in May 1999 as in September 2019.

As I said, carefully.  I’ve always told you this was a load of crap, and the author, Stephen Gutowski, does a good job of showing why.

However, while expanding background checks to cover intrastate used gun sales between private individuals has enjoyed consistently high support in polling, it has been far less popular when proposed as ballot initiatives.

Both Nevada and Maine voted on universal background check initiatives in 2016. While Quinnipiac polls put support for the policy at 93 percent in June 2016, neither initiative came anywhere close to that level of support. Nevada’s initiative passed with only 50.45 percent support—a victory of 0.9 percent. Maine’s universal background check initiative failed, with 51.8 percent voting against it.

Nevada’s initiative, which required the FBI to conduct background checks on private sales, was never implemented. The state attorney general determined there was no way for Nevada to force the federal agency to conduct the checks. Instead, Nevada Democrats passed a similar bill along party lines this year that implemented universal background checks without using the problematic language.

The results came despite gun control proponents massively outspending gun rights proponents in both states. Gun control groups involved in the races spent a total of $25,373,391.76 while gun rights groups spent $7,898,134.10—a threefold advantage for the gun control groups.

So what you’ve learned isn’t just that the statists want you separated from your firearms.  You already knew that.  They fear you, and thus they want you unarmed.  What you’ve learned is that they’re lying when they tell you that 93% of the American public wants you disarmed and wants a national registry of guns.

And also what you’ve learned is that when these pollsters and the democrats try to sell that to Trump, they’re trying to separate him from his voting base for the upcoming election.  Whether Trump, who believes in literally nothing at all, believes this crap polling remains to be seen, 3D chess and all that claptrap from the fanbois.

“Let’s Call Wayne”: Trump Reverses Course On Universal Background Checks Again

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 3 days ago

Time.com.

An aide tracked down LaPierre, and soon LaPierre’s voice was coming through the gray speaker phone on the Resolute Desk. Trump and aides ran down the list of actions the White House is considering. The White House tried to impress upon LaPierre that Trump was “in a good place” and had staff working on the proposals who were concerned about the Second Amendment, mental health, and solving the problem of mass shootings, the senior White House official said.

“What we are talking about is meaningful background checks that would actually go to prevent [shootings like] Sandy Hook or El Paso or Parkland. Those are things we can work on that have cause and effect,” a second White House official told TIME. “This wasn’t Wayne LaPierre dictating to us. We were telling him, ‘Here are the things we are looking at, how big of a fight are you going to put up?’ For most of them, he was like, ‘Whatever you say.’ For a couple, he said, ‘I don’t know about that, I haven’t seen that one yet.’”

[ … ]

But by Wednesday, Trump’s tune had changed. “I have an appetite for background checks,” he said.

Sounds like Wayne didn’t put up much of a fight.

Yahoo.com.

Trump confirmed that he discussed background checks with Wayne LaPierre, head of the National Rifle Association, but he disputed news reports that he told LaPierre that background checks were off the table.

“I have an appetite for background checks,” Trump said from the White House South Lawn as he departed for an event in Louisville, Kentucky. “We’re going to be doing background checks. … We’re going to be filling in some of the loopholes.”

Hmm .. “loopholes.”  Sounds like he’s adopted the gun controllers’ lingo.

Very well.  One term president.  Can you sense that excitement to go out and vote among the people three years ago ebbing away?

Governors Calling For Universal Background Checks

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 3 days ago

In Utah.

After a rash of mass shootings last month, Gov. Gary Herbert said Wednesday all gun control measures should be on the table for discussion.

Speaking at his monthly KUED news conference, the governor specifically mentioned proposals such as expanded background checks and age limits. He also brought up extreme risk protection orders, or “red flag” laws, which allow law enforcement to temporarily confiscate the weapons of someone deemed a danger to themselves or others.

“I think all of those things are going to be at the heart of the discussion,” Herbert said, adding that “we need to take some action.”

So readers in Utah may want to prepare for this.  The more disappointing one for me is Greg Abbot.

Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday raised concern about private firearm sales but didn’t commit to crack down on them or act on gun control issues following a meeting on ways to prevent mass shootings such as the El Paso attack that killed 22 people.

[ … ]

Right now there is nothing in law that would prevent one stranger from selling a gun to a terrorist, and obviously that’s a danger that needs to be looked into,” Abbott said.

Yea, that’s exactly what happens in 99% person-to-person transfers.  A stranger sells a gun to a terrorist.

As I said, Abbot is the real disappointment here.  I wouldn’t have guessed this of him, but here we are.  It’s the thing to do – something needs to be done, and right now.  So since terrorists don’t announce their intentions or wear shirts identifying themselves, we’ll just have to prohibit Bob from selling Frank that gun he always wanted to buy from him.  Unless, of course, the FedGov gets their say, and their cut.

Properly Defending Liberty Comes Down To One Thing: World View

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 7 months ago

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 many of their readers.  See for instance this article at Zelman Partisans, this one by Bob Owens, and this article, this article, this article, and this article from Mike Vanderboegh.

As you might be able to guess from my history, I am not an advocate of pragmatism.  I have been a vocal and uncompromising opponent of universal background checks (and anything that enables such statism) from the beginning.  But before we rehearse and and expound on the reasons for my opposition, first let’s survey the pragmatists.  Bob Owens’ prose is stunning.

A small group of long gun open carriers lacking the discernment, basic common sense, and the political savvy of your average garden snail made complete fools out of themselves as they dangerously brandished firearms in the Washington House gallery last week during I-594 protests …

… knuckle-draggers like those pictured above don’t understand the long-game, and can’t grasp that the average citizen thinks that a person carrying a long gun to a protest of any sort is most likely unhinged.

We need to do a better job of patrolling our own, folks, because if we don’t find a way to control these cretins, the forces of gun control will be certain to exploit them for every bit of political capital that they can.

“Garden snail” … “knuckle-draggers” … “fools” … “cretins.”  These are words for open carriers normally reserved for web sites like Mother Jones, Balloon Juice, or perhaps Salon.  I am an open carrier (at certain times), and while this example is atypical of open carriers, it’s important to remember that even if it is perceived to be theatrical, it has context and it was provoked.

Earlier this summer, Rep. Jim Moeller took to Facebook and issued what some gun-rights advocates perceived as a challenge.

“I will refuse to conduct the business of the state as long as any ‘open carry’ nuts (are) in the gallery,” Moeller, D-Vancouver, wrote on his Elect Jim Moeller Facebook page.

Open carriers have experience with open carry of weapons being legal but also being bullied about their choices, or even worse, put in an unsafe position because of their legal choices.  It’s also important to remember that while open carry may not appear to be the norm today, it wasn’t always this way in America.

In the colonies, availability of hunting and need for defense led to armament statues comparable to those of the early Saxon times. In 1623, Virginia forbade its colonists to travel unless they were “well armed”; in 1631 it required colonists to engage in target practice on Sunday and to “bring their peeces to church.” In 1658 it required every householder to have a functioning firearm within his house and in 1673 its laws provided that a citizen who claimed he was too poor to purchase a firearm would have one purchased for him by the government, which would then require him to pay a reasonable price when able to do so. In Massachusetts, the first session of the legislature ordered that not only freemen, but also indentured servants own firearms and in 1644 it imposed a stern 6 shilling fine upon any citizen who was not armed.

When the British government began to increase its military presence in the colonies in the mid-eighteenth century, Massachusetts responded by calling upon its citizens to arm themselves in defense.

Weapons were used for hunting, self defense, and yes, amelioration of tyranny.  It wasn’t too many days ago that we rehearsed the jihadist attack on Charlie Hebdo and the goofy “reenactment” that the boys from TTAG did.  And goofy it was, but I did have the good sense to observe that “when defending against attackers with foreknowledge and rifles, you would rather have foreknowledge and rifles yourself.”

Islamists are being given sanctuary in the U.S., and Islamic calls to prayer are heard over loud speakers in Detroit, Michigan (and have been for about a decade now).  Beyond that, tens of millions of Hispanics and Latinos have flooded across the border, some of whom included very violent gang members who have been so bathed in violence and death that they are said to perpetrate it not only for the sake of crime, but for the sake of the violence itself.  Some strategists see the capability to conduct criminal operations and perpetrate violence to be far greater among the cartels than any Middle Eastern or Asian Islamic group.

As if the potential need for self defense isn’t enough, America now has two hundred trillion dollars of unfunded liability, now has full orbed socialized medicine, and has aborted more babies than Hitler killed Jews.  The time would have come and already left that the founders of this great nation would have put their foot down and drawn a line in the sand.

But as a community we still seem to be asleep, or at least comfortably deluded.  The most instructive and educational of all of the links I have provided above comes not from the authors, although some are very good, but from the comments.  Consider this one.

As an advocate of freedom, I’m dismayed at the flawed thinking of so many not so responsible gun owners disregarding the efforts of so many responsible citizens that are trying to preserve and restore our 2nd Amendment rights. Many gun rights advocates are working hard to encourage responsible and knowledgeable leadership out of our legislature. The few that want to use a firearm as a tool of intimidation or civil disobedience will make it even more challenging for the rest of us to convince our representatives that an armed society is indeed a polite society.

Next, consider this.

While open carry may not be ‘illegal’ in a particular case, doing so is not often the right thing to do.  There was a time that, even here in California, we could sling a rifle across our shoulders and ride a motorcycle out to the range and no one freaked out. Then, we had the ‘open carry’ crowd start trying to attract attention, gathering in large groups and parading around, getting loud and vocal and,in general, acting like prissy little drama queens. As expected, people reacted.

The first commenter also slammed the open carriers for horrible muzzle control.  I am not defending poor muzzle control, and if they were brandishing or threatening in any way, they need to learn the rules of gun safety and mature a bit before doing this again.  That is both illegal and unsafe.  But that’s a side show compared to the real issue.  To the first commenter convincing his representative is what it’s all about, even though that hasn’t worked to stop socialized medicine, abortion and oppressive taxation.  From the land of make believe we come to the second commenter, for whom the problem started not with collectivists pressing down with statist gun control laws and regulations, but with open carriers who exercised their rights to carry (and what would have been the catalyst for just such a “display” as suggested, he doesn’t say – it just started happening one day I suppose).  Then there is the hand-wringer, what I consider to be the capstone of the anti-open carry argument.

While I support the concept of unfettered right to bear arms, the reality in most of these “United States” is that one’s appearance on the street with a handgun openly strapped to one’s belt is unsettling to the hordes of liberals out there, and their reaction is definitely averse to our rights, and a threat that they perceive, to them.

Whenever CCW is an available alternative, we should prefer it, and avoid any display of firearms to those idiots who oppose our rights. The objective is not to prove some point, it is to be safer and to be better able to defend ourselves and our families, and CCW serves both objectives well.

Someday perhaps, most Americans will recognize that carrying a gun is not a bizarre fetish, but is a commitment that Americans make, in order to be free, and to incidentally guarantee the freedom of those who do not understand. That day has not yet come, and will come more quickly if we avoid unnecessary confrontation.

I yearn for the day when every housewife can choose to openly strap on a handgun when she goes grocery shopping, or to the mall. Until then, CCW is a better pathway to our freedom.

That day will “come more quickly if we avoid unnecessary confrontation.”  Finally, from the delusional to the defeatist.  Consider Sebastian.

I have no problem with the “I Will Not Comply Crowd.” I live in a state with a similar regime to Washington for handguns, and it’s probably one of the most ignored laws in the commonwealth. I have no problem with civil disobedience.  I don’t disapprove of what the sticks have been doing in Connecticut, because I don’t think there’s anything we carrots can do to help the Nutmeg State, for the time being. We’re challenging the law in federal court, and maybe, maybe down the road we could federally preempt it using Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment. That’s thin gruel, and I recognize that. But we are trying, and I think over the long run we have a good chance of being successful.

The big strategic question of gun rights in the last two years of the Obama Administration is how we defang Bloomberg, because he, without a doubt, is the single biggest threat our gun rights have faced since the 1990s. He’s not going to be intimidated by sticks; he has enough money to hire his own private army to protect him if he wishes. He’s not going to be concerned with carrots either, because most of us aren’t billionaires, and don’t have the money to throw around the political process that he does. So what do we do?

And this brings me to my main points.  Background checks are not a problem because they currently constitute a national gun registry.  If you recall my previous discussion on the subject, I played “devil’s advocate” to see just how close the ATF could come to such a monster.  I am still skeptical that the schema is in place (or could be put in place without a lot of additional pain and work).  But the danger in universal background checks is twofold.  First, it would indeed put the procedures and protocol in place for a national gun registry.  Second, it makes the government the ultimate arbiter of God-given rights.

There is an intensely moral element to control of this sort.  Gun control is evil, a sign and symptom of wicked rulersSebastian doesn’t think so.

I really don’t like it when churches insert themselves into political matters under the guise that these are really spiritual matters. Murder, rage, and vengeance — these are all matters of the spirit. Gun control is a matter of politics.

But to the educated man or woman, politics is ethics, which is a category of philosophy, or a description of a comprehensive world view, including metaphysics and epistemology.  It’s all related, and has to do with how you know what you know, how you assign truth value, and what lies beyond the physical.  That which is so intensely moral is not ripe terrain for compromise.  And a proper anthropology – a right view of mankind – knows that “the heart [of man] is deceitful above all things, and is desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9).  Only God understands it, and all attempts by men to divine the intentions and correct the maladies of the heart end in despair and failure.

Lastly, there is an element of eschatology in these demurrals from the pragmatists.  They see failure where many see potential success.  But fear not, God has always had His remnant, and He will not allow liberty to perish from the earth.  The chains always fall off, sometimes by His mighty hand, other times by using us as secondary causes and only by the utmost of peril to our lives, health and wealth – but always by His kind providence.

As much as I detest the propensity to compromise, especially out of fear of defeat, and as much as I loath Gates, Bloomberg and their minions, I don’t think what they do is all that significant.  Nor do I think that Gottlieb is all that significant.  He will be irrelevant in future circles of lovers of liberty, and I don’t think he will sway many minds.  Rather, with one commenter to this piece by Clair Wolfe I think that “the seed of the larger problem lies in the troubling correlation between politically and socially conservative people and their acquiescence to, even active subservience to, authority” (see here also my Foundation of Liberty).

And as much as I am accused at times of “preaching to the choir,” I think that the choir is a rather small ensemble of singers.  The problem is one of heart, or moral fiber, and of faith.  The collectivists turn to the state as their god, and the rulers mutually enjoin the people into the herds who need the state to determine the difference between right and wrong for the great unwashed masses.

Thus, most people would have no basis on which to demur if the state decided to kill every third man named Jerry before NFL games as a sacrifice to the football gods.  Utilitarianism has a very dark side.  For those who would oppose it with force but with no foundation, they are no different than Machiavelli.  The salient and important question is whether the people will wake from their slumber in enough time to prevent the degree of pain that can come from this conflict.  There is a massive cultural and religious war going on in America, and gun control is one front in that war.  People will gird their loins and engage now, or suffer the consequences later.

Support For Gun Control Drops

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 10 months ago

As I’ve discussed before, I have never believed in holding rights hostage to favorable statistics outcomes.  See also Kurt Hofmann on this issue.  However, for the weaker among us who don’t believe in much (i.e., politicians), and for those who reflexively stick their finger in the wind to see which way it’s blowing, public opinion seems to matter.  And thus there is utility in information like this.

Less than half of Americans, 47%, say they favor stricter laws covering the sale of firearms, similar to views found last year. But this percentage is significantly below the 58% recorded in 2012 after the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, spurred a nationwide debate about the possibility of more stringent gun control laws. Thirty-eight percent of Americans say these laws should be kept as they are now, and 14% say they should be made less strict.

The percentage favoring stricter gun sale laws in the two years since Newtown occurred has declined despite steady and tragic high-profile shootings in the U.S at schools, malls and businesses. This past week, shootings occurred at a Seattle-area school and of police officers in Sacramento and Placer County, California. Amidst events like these in 2014, and the resulting calls for stricter gun sale laws, the 47% who favor stricter laws is just above the historical low of 43% measured in 2011.

Ten years ago, three in five Americans (60%) said they favored stricter laws regulating the sale of firearms, but support fell to 44% in 2009 and remained at that level in polls conducted in the next two years. Days after the Newtown shooting, support for stricter gun sale laws swelled. Since 2012, however, Americans have retreated from those stronger attitudes about the need for more gun control, and the percentage of Americans who say the laws should be less strict — although still low — has edged up.

These findings come from a new Gallup Poll Social Series survey, conducted Oct. 12-15.

Universal background checks and waiting periods have never been associated with “reductions in homicide rates or overall suicide rates,” and readers know that I’ve never bought the idea that 90+ percent of the American public wants universal background checks.  It’s was a myth before and it’s a myth now.

So I don’t want to hear another damn word about how 90% of the public wants increased gun control at the point of sale, or trying to plug the mythical “gun show loophole” or “internet loophole” which are fabricated phrases for person-to-person sales.  Not another … damn … word.

Collectivist Inadvertently Admits No Trust In Background Checks

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 11 months ago

Salon:

It’s one thing to accept and understand that plenty of reasonable and responsible people own guns and that is their constitutional right. It is another to be so outrageously afraid of legitimate and sane restrictions that you have a situation in which it is entirely permissible to carry a loaded weapon into an event that carries a threat that the people attending it will “die screaming.”

It is terrifying enough to face a barrage of harassment and threats and continue to work and speak out. It’s harder when what ought to be fairly straightforward safety precautions cannot be taken because of permissive gun laws. This isn’t what freedom looks like. This is what the Second Amendment trouncing the First does. And as Sarkeesian explains it, “To be clear: I didn’t cancel my USU talk because of terrorist threats, I canceled because I didn’t feel the security measures were adequate.” 

The writer is of course talking about the cancellation of the feminist speech at the Utah State University due to a threat, or for reasons as explained above (in protest of “permissive gun laws”).  Ignoring the fact that the two paragraphs cited directly contradict each other and offer differing accounts of the concern, occasionally collectivists open up their true thinking to the world.  We all know what they really believe, but it’s nice to be able to point it out to those who don’t follow these issues.

On the one hand, collectivists like this want universal background checks and talk about things like “plenty of reasonable and responsible people own guns and that is their constitutional right.”  But she didn’t request or advocate that only those who had been issued concealed handgun permits be allowed to carry (trusting in not only the background check, but approval by their CLEO).  She wants no guns at all to be allowed, meaning that she doesn’t really trust approval granted through the background checks or concealed handgun permit.

Collectivists can’t have it both ways.  Either the background check is trustworthy or all guns are a menace, meaning that not even LEOs should be carrying.  On the other hand, perhaps she has inadvertently admitted what we all know.  She doesn’t really care about universal background checks.  That is only a vehicle to a national registry, the next step forward to national control.

Background Check First Step To Registration And Confiscation

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 11 months ago

David Codrea:

Understanding that much of the electorate reacts based on impressions gleaned from the media, a detailed fisking of the dry proposal seems unlikely to change many minds. That said, there are some “bullet points” that have the benefit of being true which could be persuasive, providing gun owners take it on themselves to be force multipliers and do what they can to pass them along to everyone within their spheres of influence.

The first point is, a background check bill is impossible without creating registration data. That was admitted by no less an authority than Greg Ridgeway, Deputy Director of the National Institute of Justice, who wrote a summary report on gun violence prevention strategies in which he concluded “Effectiveness depends on the ability to reduce straw purchasing, requiring gun registration…”

[ … ]

You can further move open-minded people with another documented reality: Gun registration only applies to the law-abiding. Many people don’t realize that criminals don’t have to register their guns …

You can also tell them a way exists to ensure prohibited persons are excluded from lawful gun sales, and no information identifying either gun buyers or what they purchased needs be collected.

This is perhaps the most important piece David has ever penned.  His insight into the issue is outstanding, and his logical connections from one point to the next impeccable.  If you have ever involved yourself in political action, do it now.  This is the first step in a multi-state strategy with lots of dollars behind it.

We may not vote ourselves out of the problems that we face, as the saying goes, but it is a moral imperative that we do everything we can to avoid the violence and turmoil to surely follow if universal background checks leads to a national gun registry, like I think it will, and a national gun registry leads to confiscations, like I think it will.

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

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 11 months 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.

The Worst Gun Bill Ever

BY Herschel Smith
5 years ago

Herald Tribune:

You’re at the range.

A longtime friend comes over and asks if he could try your handgun, as he’s contemplating buying one.

Of course you agree. That’s what gun owners do.

If this scenario occurs in Washington State after the passage of Initiative 594, both of you have broken the law.

Initiative 594 would classify this as a transfer — something that would require paperwork, fees, a waiting period and if it involves a handgun, government registration.

The proposed legislation doesn’t even recognize a loan among family members.

A dad couldn’t loan a shotgun to his son on opening day without the proper paperwork.

I am not kidding.

It’s a registration scheme disguised as  “Universal background check” legislation.

I-594 is perhaps the most ill-conceived ballot initiative I’ve ever seen. Sure, there are gun laws that have been more harmful, such as those with “ban” in the title. Few, however, are so poorly thought out.

As you can imagine, there is a lot of money rolling in to support the ballot initiative. Michael Bloomberg and Bill Gates have donated millions.

NRA and other gun groups are getting involved.

Washington gun owners are pushing back hard.  They have created a must-read website, and are getting the word out via social media.

Their handy “pocket guide” explains the bill very clearly.

Well, there are many bad gun laws, and it’s hard to pick out the worst one.  But it’s seems true that the recent surrender on the assault weapons ban by the anti-gunners is a misdirect.  It isn’t what they’re really interested in.  This is what they really want.

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.

All gun control is wicked, but perhaps the most wicked is the government desire to catalog all gun owners and their weapons.  Fight it, never surrender.  Never give one inch.  Never compromise.  Never.  Don’t even consider it.  Ever.

Are Gun Background Check Claims True?

BY Herschel Smith
5 years ago

Reno Gazette-Journal:

Background checks for all handgun sales make women and police safer: The group cites a different report by Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

In this one, the group uses FBI data to come up with its own conclusions. It does this by compiling data from states with mandatory handgun background checks and those without to arrive at the claim that women and police are about 40 percent less likely to be killed with a handgun in states with mandatory checks.

Fact Checker started re-creating the finding about women but soon stopped after the first four states examined. New Hampshire and Vermont, which have no background check at shows, had much lower rates of women being killed by men than New York and New Jersey, which do require background checks on handguns at gun shows.

But that wasn’t the reason Fact Checker stopped this line of inquiry. The homicide statistics come from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports — and the FBI cautions against people comparing places based on the statistics because not all law enforcement agencies submit their data and there are other factors that can also comparisons, such as more densely populated areas vs. more rural places.

Further, the Mayors Against Illegal Guns report was not peer reviewed, it doesn’t share the numbers used to reach its conclusions, and it treats correlation as causation, strongly implying that lower rates of violence against women and police was caused by handgun background checks without even attempting to deal with all of the factors that would make the statistics less valid. One could just as easily come to the opposite conclusion by pointing to the surge in gun sales with a corresponding drop in murders of women over the past 20 years nationwide.

There has been a peer-reviewed study on this topic worth noting. A 2000 study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association examined data to see if the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act made a difference. The law was implemented in 1994 and instituted background checks and waiting periods for handgun sales. The study concluded that it was not associated with “reductions in homicide rates or overall suicide rates.”

Mark Robison does a very good job with his analysis.  He begins by addressing the charge that 40% of the firearms sold in the U.S. are sold without a background check, finding it false.  Frankly, I couldn’t care less if it was 100%, since I believe that the federal laws and regulations concerning such sales are an infringement of the Second Amendment.

However, it’s good to see honesty in the media, with the result that the claims of the anti-gunners are proven to be without merit.  Furthermore, the whole issue of peer review is important to me for reasons that I have pointed out before.

Note to the collectivists.  If you want your “studies” to hold any merit at all, analyze it, get a report written and a professional engineer’s seal on it, send it to me and let me analyze it, and then we’ll talk.  Until then, you’re just a nagging old woman making stuff up.


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