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]

Kids Or Not, Secure Your Guns!

BY Herschel Smith
1 day, 12 hours ago

The Salt Lake Tribune:

Your article (“To curb child suicides, Utah offers gun locks,” March 21) highlighted an important new safety initiative in Utah. We are proud that our Project ChildSafe program’s firearm safety kits are part of this effort, and we commend Rep. Steve Eliason, the Utah Department of Public Safety and the Utah Highway Patrol for taking the lead on this important issue. Their actions are a great model for other states to consider.

We also want to reinforce that firearm owners, regardless of whether there are children or at-risk individuals in the home, should store their firearms securely when not in use. Secure storage is the number one way to help prevent accidents, thefts and unauthorized access. It’s a simple, powerful step that is part of the responsibility of owning a firearm. If you own a firearm, respect it and secure it.

Steve Sanetti

President and CEO, National Shooting Sports Foundation, Newtown, Conn.

So let’s assume you have no kids in the home.  If you want to leave four handguns lying in strategic places around the house, coupled with a rifle and perhaps a shotgun, that’s your business.  To be individually responsible, every gun owner should be able to do the following: allow themselves to be blindfolded, start at the door, walk to every firearm he owns, touch it, and tell someone from memory whether it is loaded and whether a round is chambered.

That’s my personal view.  But I consider it none of my business what you do within the confines of your own home.  How may guns you have, where they are located, whether they are loaded, whether a round is chambered, etc., is your business and yours alone.  How you secure your weapons is up to you. After all, they are your property.

As for Steve Sanetti, you are out of line implying that if someone chooses to handle firearms his way within the confines of his own home, and his way happens to disagree with yours, he is irresponsible.  Making suggestions is okay.  Implying that people must do things your way isn’t.  And by the way, I don’t need law enforcement telling me anything about how to safely handle weapons.

The Second Amendment Creates A God-Given Right To Bear Arms?

BY Herschel Smith
2 days, 11 hours ago

MSNBC:

Asked about the Second Amendment at a town-hall meeting yesterday, the governor told voters, “Send me a Republican legislature. And with a Republican legislature you’ll have a governor who will respect, appropriately, the rights of law-abiding citizens to be able to protect ourselves…. No rights are given to you by government. All our rights are given to you by God.”
The theological reference was a bit odd under the circumstances. Even if Christie genuinely believes the Second Amendment creates a God-given entitlement to firearm ownership, it’s up to policymakers – humans, in positions of governmental authority – to shape and place limits on this right.

First of all, Chris Christie’s campaign is over.  It’s far too late to convince any legitimate gun owner that Christie would be good for gun rights.  Now that this point is out of the way, consider the way the reporter, Steve Benen, worded this objection.  “Even if Christie genuinely believes the Second Amendment creates a God-given entitlement to firearm ownership …”  How on earth could a man-made document create a God-given right?  What kind of ignorance and sophomoric thinking leads someone to make such intellectual missteps?

As I have stated, “The basis [for bearing arms] comes not from the constitution or any other founding document, but from God Himself, and he answers to no one.  His laws have a deontological flavor (see Divine Command Theory).  He refers to no one outside Himself for notions of right and wrong, and when He speaks, it is right because He has spoken it and it follows the nature of His character, which is itself good.  Simply said, God doesn’t need the constitution, and neither do we need it to tell us it is okay to seek and employ means of self defense.”

For the grand finale of embarrassing brain freezes, Steve believes that it’s up to humans to “shape and place limits on this right.”  God, to whom man answers and who is in need of no one and nothing (see the “Aseity of God”), and who demands obedience rather than demurral, apparently hasn’t spoken clearly enough for Steve, who believes that creatures have the right to amend the word of the creator!

And there you have it.  The much heralded main stream media, who wouldn’t be able to perform good analysis work if their lives depended on it.

David Codrea On The Acting ATF Director And Gunwalking

BY Herschel Smith
2 days, 11 hours ago

David Codrea:

Let me tell you something about ATF “gunwalking.” Did you know that if you go to Wikipedia, you’ll find no mention of either me or Mike, or our documented roles in breaking the story while imploring both Congress and the media to even notice it? Go ahead– go explore that last link for a few minutes and see all the reporting that was done before the rest of the media had written word one. Now find anything in that early reporting that later investigations did not bear out — notwithstanding discrediting attempts by those taking their talking points from the administration. Several people interested in a complete chronology of events have tried to change that, but their entries were always edited out within a day or so.

David goes on to explain why the acting director Brandon of the ATF is just as bad or worse than Jones.  Of course he is.  What did we expect from the organized crime gang of the Obama administration?  Go read all of David’s piece.

Now, I want to address some thoughts concerning the what David said (and I cited) above.  First of all, it has been said of bloggers that we live a symbiotic relationship with the main stream media.  We don’t do original reporting, original analysis, or anything approximating what the real media does.

I reject this notion with prejudice.  While it’s certainly true that much of what we link and analyze comes from the media, there isn’t a chance on earth that anyone in the media could have developed the theological case for guns and self defense I developed in Christians, The Second Amendment And The Duty Of Self Defense.  Nor would they have known where to go to get such an analysis performed.  On occasion I have conducted original interviews and documented and analyzed information no one in the media has done, and to date no one in the main stream media has thought to obtain information on gun crime in national parks after the law had been changed in 2010 through a FIOA request as did I.  Finally, the main stream media simply cannot accomplish the same kind of analysis performed by many bloggers.  If you think so, prove it.  We’re listening.

As for David Codrea and Mike Vanderboegh, they broke the story on gun walking into Mexico as conducted by the ATF.  That much is clear.  It’s also clear that they followed that story until its conclusion, and will continue so as anything else develops.  The fact that they didn’t get the credit for it only speaks to the ugliness of the main stream media.

I may be speaking out of turn, but I also know that David has sent his articles to other venues such as Drudge Report, only to find out that Matt Drudge waited until the stories were carried by the main stream media to report on them.  I have sent one or two links to Drudge, only to see some of my source information (with which I did further analysis) linked by Drudge Report.  Matt Drudge, for all of his claim to hold the main stream media accountable, is a fawning fan boy of the main stream media, and only wants himself to hold anyone accountable.  He worships the main stream media.

I’ve also logged dozens of instances where I’ve sent my links around to large bloggers, only to see my source information linked by those bloggers without attribution.  Dozens of times.  This is very bad form.  I know who you are.  I won’t mention names because it does me no good to pick fights.  But it matters for one simple reason.  Bloggers do this for the opportunity to advocate and persuade.  In order to do that, one has to have readers.  It’s as simple as that.

Whenever you can, forward important links to friends, contact and family.  You have the additional benefit that with David Codrea, you have both a legitimate reporter and a blogger (who as any blogger does more advocacy journalism and commenting).  Persuasion and truth-telling is the name of the game.  And if you don’t blog yourself, it’s always handy and welcome to have reporters who send you information that assists you in your blogging efforts.

Officer “Accidentally” Fires Gun On Junior High Campus

BY Herschel Smith
3 days, 13 hours ago

News from Texas:

ODESSA, TX — An Ector County ISD police officer accidentally fired his gun inside Crockett Junior High on Friday.

“It discharged into the wall of his office and then the bullet went up into the ceiling,” said ECISD Communications Officer Mike Adkins.

“His gun was wet, and he went back into his office and felt it would be an opportune time to clean it and make sure it was working,” said Adkins.

The school system is investigating the incident, and the officer has been placed on administrative duties.

“They want to know exactly what happened, how it can be avoided in the future and if there needs to be retraining done for our officer or even other officers,” said Adkins.

The owner of a business called Guns and Trades, Tommy Atchison, offered reaction on Monday.

Atchison said, “All guns should be acted like they’re loaded at all times.”

Gosh.  I hate it when that happens to me.  I remember the last time I shot up a junior high school while trying to clean my gun.  I didn’t pull the trigger either.  It just “went off.”  But everybody wanted to blame me.

Meanwhile, some folks in Texas are really glad those goober civilians who are about to be allowed to open carry will have to get training since a concealed carry permit is a requirement.  We wouldn’t want them to shoot up junior high schools.

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
3 days, 13 hours ago

David Codrea:

“A Navy veteran and his wife are challenging a ban on handguns in Saipan, arguing in federal court that the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands is bound by the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment” … The right to keep and bear arms is only legally recognized as “conditionally guaranteed,” meaning it’s not. Private possession of handguns is prohibited. All the government allows people to have are “.22 caliber rifles and .410 gauge shotguns.” Naturally, “background checks,” training, licensing and registration are required.

Ridiculous.  A .410 gauge shotgun is good for certain small fowl that would be destroyed with a 20 or 12 gauge, but it cannot be adequately used as a self defense weapon.  Nor can .22LR (including so-called “stinger” rounds).  Of course, my bet is that law enforcement is allowed to have more than .22LR and .410 gauge shotguns.  Some animals are more equal than other animals.

Via Mike Vanderboegh, Army Rangers on civilian land in Georgia.

Back in June, Georgia ForestWatch District Leader David Govus came across two soldiers on foot and one in a pickup truck near Bryant Creek, a tributary of Cooper Creek. Talking with them, he learned that they were scouting out potential helicopter landing zones in the area because, as the sergeant said “the colonel wants to step out.”

[ … ]

In an apparently unrelated incident, I recently happened to be at Wilscot Gap, where the gated road to Brawley Mountain (FS45) begins, when a big pickup truck turned in toward the gate. I thought it must be Forest Service employees and went over to talk with them. But the truck was not a Forest Service one. The driver was not in military uniform, but the passenger who got out to unlock the gate, was. We had a brief, friendly conversation during which he informed me that, “This is a military road.” “No,” I contradicted him, “it’s a Forest Service road.”

This is very troubling.  The Marine Corps has trained before in various civilian venues such as Linville Gorge, and I’ve seen them doing cold weather training at Snowshoe, W.V., during the winter during ski season.  But they weren’t intrusive, and in my opinion this kind of thing ought to be the exception rather than the rule.  Military time on civilian land should be limited.  Recalling the line from the movie Patriot, “This ISN’T the King’s highway.”

Ban all guns:

But in hindsight I now wonder how did that young man get a gun?  Either he stole it, as I assumed, or he purchased it on the black market which exists all throughout America.

This got me to wondering and I realize now that guns are selfish and bring nothing productive to the conversation.

Therefore, civilian gun ownership should be banned.

I know.  You’re blown away by the power of his syllogistic reasoning.  Leave it to me to supply your intellectual challenge for the day.

Gun crime:

Investigators said the burglars took heirlooms, jewelry and cash. Most concerning for Lohmeier, though, are the 45 guns, which included 15 assault rifles. The burglars also stole 1,000 rounds of ammunition. In total, Lohmeier said the burglary cost him at least $200,000 in stolen property and money.

“The sheriff’s department said they’ve never seen anything like this and it had to take hours, so there had to be people watching,” Lohmeier said. “A crew that came in and did this.”

Insure your guns, fellows.  Just do it.  Make that call today to your insurance agent or broker, and get them covered.  Go ahead.  Do it … don’t wait.

Guns Tags:

Army And Marine Corps On M855 Ammunition

BY Herschel Smith
4 days, 12 hours ago

Military.com:

But the Marine Corps and the Army’s decision to use two separate types of 5.56mm ammo is not a simple oversight.

The Army adopted the M855A1 in 2010 after years of struggling to find a lead-free replacement for the Cold-War era M855.

In recent years, troops also criticized the M855, saying it often delivered ineffective results on enemy behind battlefield barriers such as car windshields.

The M855A1 features a steel penetrator on top of a solid copper slug, making it is more dependable than the current M855, Army officials have maintained. It delivers consistent performance at all distances and performed better than the current-issue 7.62mm round against hardened steel targets in testing. It penetrated 3/8s-inch-thick steel at ranges approaching 400 meters, tripling the performance of the M855, Army officials said.

The Corps had planned to field the Army’s M855A1 until the program suffered a major setback in August 2009, when testing revealed that some of the bullets did not follow their trajectory or intended flight path.

The earlier design of the M855A1 featured a bismuth-tin slug which proved to be sensitive to heat, prompting Marine officials to stick with the M855 and also the Special Operations Science and Technology round developed by U.S. Special Operations Command instead.

Commonly known as SOST ammo, the bullet isn’t environmentally friendly, but it offered the Corps a more effective bullet, Marine officials have said.

I confess that until this article I didn’t know that the Army and Marine Corps were using two different types of ammunition.  If I’m not mistaken, the SOST is an open tip bullet with a lead core and copper shank.  It expands much like a hollow point should.

Saying that the better penetrating capability of the M855A1 through car windshields was the reason for transition from M855 to the M855A1 (with copper slug instead of lead) is like a recapitulation of the reasons for transitioning from the FMJ lead ball to the M855 in the first place.  It’s more likely that environmental concerns caused the Army to transition to the M855A1.  I cannot think of a worse excuse.

I will also remark that when I learned of the copper slug in place of the lead ball for M855A1 my thoughts immediately went to barrel wear and loss of rifling.  It appears that this is in fact a legitimate concern.

So in summary, the SOST is much like the .223 pointed soft point for game hunting, except that it has a copper shank.  If a reader would like to weigh in on the effects of the copper shank, please do so (in an educated fashion – and do not allow this to become yet another worthless argument over 7.62 v. 5.56).

Finally, don’t forget the main reason for the lethality of the 5.56 mm round, which is the fact that it is frangible and immediately fractures into pieces leaving multiple tracks through ballistics gelatin.  See the excellent paper Small Caliber Lethality: 5.56 mm Performance In Close Quarters Battle.  It appears that the Army has forgotten the simple things.

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
4 days, 13 hours ago

David Codrea:

A significant number of American households own guns, and a significant number of those have disposable income allowing for regular entertainment expenditures. With word spreading that the actors have been going out of their way to disparage the right to keep and bear arms, it’s likely that accounts for some of the reluctance toward giving aid and comfort to Penn and Neeson.

It’s difficult to know details like this, but it isn’t difficult to see the trend.  If Neeson had courted the gun rights patron rather than pissing off peaceable gun owners, do you think we’d be having this conversation at all?

David Codrea: “Cities using work permit aliens to enforce gun edicts and laws against citizens.”  I’m left speechless.

Kurt Hofmann:

Nevertheless, B. Todd Jones threw the yellow flag about a month ago, charging the M855 round with “unsportsmanlike conduct.” He, though, intended to impose a penalty of far greater than 15 yards. Perhaps that’s just what the NFL needed to see from their prospective new sheriff in town.

This may be down in the weeds of things we would like to know but never will.  Was he booted from the ATF for ham handed handling of the proposed M855 ban?  Was this just a great opportunity he couldn’t pass up?  Was this a golden parachute?  In any case, with an NFL increasingly defined by criminals, self serving and obscene end zone dances, and overall thuggery, Jones deserves the NFL and they deserve him.  Both are loathsome.

Useful thoughts on guns and wills.

Here’s what happens when idiots write letters to the editor.  The write doesn’t get the fact that it was only those defined as enemies of the state who weren’t allowed to have firearms.

Nineveh Christians.  This is so very sad, and as I’ve observed before, partially comes from Christians who simply cannot reconcile the person of Jesus with the notion of self defense.  Get your intellectual act together, Christians, before you get run over by criminals, thugs, jihadists, ne’er-do-wells of all stripes.  Yes, this means Christians everywhere, not just in Nineveh.

Guns Tags:

Take Away White Man’s Guns

BY Herschel Smith
5 days, 11 hours ago

Daily Caller:

Andrea Grimes, senior political reporter at the lefty women’s site RH Reality Check, sank to a disgusting new low Thursday by saying that guns should be confiscated only from white men.

“Suggestion: we don’t have to vaporize all the guns. Let’s just vaporize white men’s guns,” Grimes tweeted, linking to an article about Arizona shooter Ryan Giroux.

“White guys cannot be trusted to use guns responsibly. It is time to stop giving guns to white guys,” Grimes added. ”I mean, it’s time to stop giving guns to everybody, but we can start with the white guys.”

[ … ]

“As a bonus, we can collect their tears for research and resource purposes while they line up to surrender their weapons,” Grimes said.

Hahahahaha … is that the way you think this is going to go down, deary?  You’re going to pass a law to make our guns illegal, and we’re just going to line up to turn them in?  We’re going to cry while we do it?  You don’t get out much, do you?

The more likely scenario is this.  Against the advice of the police, you pass a law that makes our guns illegal.  The police have to enforce the confiscatory policies you learned in your idiotic sophomore collectivist classes in college.  Blood runs in the streets, women weep for being made widows, and children weep for being made fatherless.  The police curse you for making policies they have to implement while you sit perched on your elitist throne.  Civil war consumes the nation, the electrical grid goes down not to return for years, medicines are unavailable, and the economy has collapsed.  The things called the federal reserve and the stock market are but a distant memory of a different time that your children will never know except as told in fairy tales and stories.

You didn’t consider that possibility, did you?  You’d better.

Drunk Prison Guards

BY Herschel Smith
5 days, 11 hours ago

News from California:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California’s corrections department has a problem with off-duty prison guards brandishing or carrying firearms while they are intoxicated, the department’s inspector general said Friday.

One correctional officer danced atop a bar while drunkenly flashing his gun several times at private citizens in the tavern.

Another drunken officer pointed a .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun at a citizen’s chest during an argument.

They are two of seven incidents since June 2014 that show the department needs to automatically and immediately revoke concealed carry permits for officers caught consuming alcohol while possessing weapons, the inspector general said.

Gosh.  I hate it when that happens to me.  I remember the last time I flashed my guns around while drunk and standing atop a bar dancing.  I remember.  Well, sort of.  I woke up in jail that night.  I wonder if the prison guards did too?

God, Guns And Texas

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 1 day ago

Houston Chronicle:

But by Wednesday afternoon, when members of the upper chamber had spent more than a full working day debating the two bills, the dean of the Senate felt it necessary to question his Republican colleagues’ characterization of gun rights as God-given.

“You believe it’s a God-given right to arm yourself and to defend yourself. I don’t want to put words in your mouth. Is that the premise of your legislation?” John Whitmire, D-Houston, the longest-serving member of the Senate asked campus carry sponsor Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury.

What followed was the most detailed explanation offered thus far this session by a Texas lawmaker.

“The Declaration (of Independence) says we are endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights and that to protect these rights, governments are instituted among men to preserve them. Article VII of the U.S. Constitution brings forward the Declaration as original law, therefore, creator and God are the same to me,” said Birdwell.

He added, “the right to self preservation and the right to defend one’s life is God-given because of the language in our Declaration and Article VII of the U.S. Constitution.”

Whitmire responded, “And you’ve explained that to me and I do not understyand (sic) fully the “God right” (sic?) … I don’t remember in the Sunday school lessons or in my Scriptures that God spoke, obviously to weapons, or concealed weapons holders.”

Whitmire’s question (and appended clarification) was stupid, but Birdwell’s answer doesn’t entirely stay on point.  If Birdwell is trying to harken back to the Christian roots of the nation, we’ve done that before and there is plenty of basis for showing reformational thinking in the the war of independence and constitution.

But the question goes to the basis for self defense, or what Whitmire calls the “God right” (whatever that means).  The basis comes not from the constitution or any other founding document, but from God Himself, and he answers to no one.  His laws have a deontological flavor (see Divine Command Theory).  He refers to no one outside Himself for notions of right and wrong, and when He speaks, it is right because He has spoken it and it follows the nature of His character, which is itself good.  Simply said, God doesn’t need the constitution, and neither do we need it to tell us it is okay to seek and employ means of self defense.  To the extent that either the U.S. or Texas constitutions don’t follow the rights delineated in the Holy Scriptures, they are evil and must be amended or ignored.

As for what the Holy Scriptures have said, we’ve also discussed that.  It is all based on the fact that God created mankind in His image.  As I’ve summarized before:

I am afraid there have been too many centuries of bad teaching endured by the church, but it makes sense to keep trying.  As I’ve explained before, the simplest and most compelling case for self defense lies in the decalogue.  Thou shall not murder means thou shall protect life.

God’s law requires [us] to be able to defend the children and helpless.  “Relying on Matthew Henry, John Calvin and the Westminster standards, we’ve observed that all Biblical law forbids the contrary of what it enjoins, and enjoins the contrary of what it forbids.”  I’ve tried to put this in the most visceral terms I can find.

God has laid the expectations at the feet of heads of families that they protect, provide for and defend their families and protect and defend their countries.  Little ones cannot do so, and rely solely on those who bore them.  God no more loves the willing neglect of their safety than He loves child abuse.  He no more appreciates the willingness to ignore the sanctity of our own lives than He approves of the abuse of our own bodies and souls.  God hasn’t called us to save the society by sacrificing our children or ourselves to robbers, home invaders, rapists or murderers. Self defense – and defense of the little ones – goes well beyond a right.  It is a duty based on the idea that man is made in God’s image.  It is His expectation that we do the utmost to preserve and defend ourselves when in danger, for it is He who is sovereign and who gives life, and He doesn’t expect us to be dismissive or cavalier about its loss.

Self preservation goes beyond a right.  It is a duty, as much of a duty as protection of the little ones.  It is so because man is made in God’s image.  Life is thus sacred, holy, and set apart.  That Whitmire doesn’t understand this means only that he is stolid and hasn’t understood anything he has read from the Scriptures, or that he is a liar and hasn’t really read the Scriptures like he claims.

The next steps to things like open carry require a bit of thought, as I have pointed out to Professor Eugene Volokh.

… carrying concealed means that the weapon can get hung on shirts, pants, and other clothing, and certainly means a delay in presenting the weapon due to the need to remove the offending clothing in order to get to the weapon) …

And if this isn’t an infringement of rights, then at what point does it become so?  Can the law require us to have one hand tied behind our back?  If seems a silly question, and how about one to which the courts would no doubt be more amenable?  Would it infringe on our rights if the law required us to have our weapons unloaded, regardless of method of carry?  Or would it infringe on our rights if the law required us to have two or more garments covering a weapon in order to ensure that we had no inadvertent flashing of the weapon if we bend over or in a stiff wind?

Some of us open carry for reasons other than making a statement.  As for the protests, making a statement to politicians is only necessary when the politicians are dense and relentlessly recalcitrant concerning rights.  It’s time for the politicians in Texas to do the right thing and honor God-given rights.  As for the slower ones like Whitmire, Sunday School is usually held every Sunday.

Guns Tags:


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