The Paradox and Absurdities of Carbon-Fretting and Rewilding

Herschel Smith · 28 Jan 2024 · 4 Comments

The Bureau of Land Management is planning a truly boneheaded move, angering some conservationists over the affects to herd populations and migration routes.  From Field & Stream. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently released a draft plan outlining potential solar energy development in the West. The proposal is an update of the BLM’s 2012 Western Solar Plan. It adds five new states—Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming—to a list of 11 western states already earmarked…… [read more]

Posse Comitatus Hypocrisy

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 8 months ago

If this report is correct, the U.S. Army is preparing to do illegal things:

It’s not just the Department of Homeland Security that is gearing up for the prospect of civil unrest in America. The U.S. Army also recently purchased a stock of riot gear including batons, face masks and body shields.

As we reported last week, the DHS has put out an urgent solicitation for hundreds of items of “riot gear,” in preparation for expected unrest at the upcoming Republican National Convention, Democratic National Convention and next year’s presidential inauguration.

In a previous solicitation, the U.S. Army also put out a contract for riot gear to be delivered to the United States Military Academy at West Point in New York.

The contract, which was eventually awarded to A2Z Supply Corp, included requests to supply riot shields, face shields, batons and body protection.

Fears that the U.S. military would be used to quell domestic unrest in violation of Posse Comitatus have raged over recent years.

A recently leaked US Army Military Police training manual for “Civil Disturbance Operations” outlines how military assets are to be used domestically to quell riots, confiscate firearms and even kill Americans on U.S. soil during mass civil unrest.

On page 20 of the manual, rules regarding the use of “deadly force” in confronting “dissidents” are made disturbingly clear with the directive that a, “Warning shot will not be fired.”

The manual includes lists of weapons to be used against “rioters” or “demonstrators,” including “antiriot grenades.” It also advises troops to carry their guns in the “safe port arms” stance, a psychological tactic aimed at “making a show of force before rioters.” Non-lethal weapons and water cannons are also included.

Preparations for using troops to deal with mass civil unrest on U.S. soil have been in the works for years.

Back in 2008, U.S. troops returning from Iraq were earmarked for “homeland patrols” with one of their roles including helping with “civil unrest and crowd control”.

In December 2008, the Washington Post reported on plans to station 20,000 more U.S. troops inside America for purposes of “domestic security” from September 2011 onwards, an expansion of Northcom’s militarization of the country in preparation for potential civil unrest following a total economic collapse or a mass terror attack.

Again, if this report is true, these things are illegal for the U.S. military.  They simply cannot do them.  But that isn’t really my focus here.  Take note of the hypocrisy.

While illegal, preparations are being made for such activities.  The U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Border Patrols refuses to countenance any role for U.S. troops on the border except for filling out paperwork and doing mundane chores.  They aren’t under arming orders because of Posse Comitatus.

Actually, arming orders to secure the border against foreign invaders isn’t a violation of Posse Comitatus, but the activities described in the article above clearly are.  In the case of the U.S. border, it’s too important to garner new voters after they cross the border, supply U.S. farms and corporations with ostensibly cheap labor (the cost of insurance, medical bills, food stamps, welfare and so on are borne on the back of the U.S. taxpayers), enable transcontinental traffic and trade, and provide work for Mexican truckers than it is to secure the border.

Therefore, Posse Comitatus must be invoked in order to prevent true border security.  It has nothing to do with Posse Comitatus.  It has everything to do with the application and the desires of the ruling elite.  Again, note the hypocrisy.  This is American leadership in action.

Apocalypse Now: Top Secret U.S. Nuclear Weapons Plant Infiltrated

BY Glen Tschirgi
11 years, 8 months ago

(H/T Instapundit)

From time to time, The Captain’s Journal has posted items dealing with the shocking vulnerability of U.S. infrastructure to attack by hostile forces, as for example here.

And normally the hypothetical involves sleeper cells from Hezbollah or Iran or perhaps other hostile groups or nations.

These scenarios are scary enough on their own but it is human nature to discount the likelihood of such attacks occurring in order to avoid facing the grim possibilities.

Then we have something like this happen:

Three peace activists — including an 82-year-old nun — infiltrated the highest-security area of the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in a predawn protest Saturday, reportedly evading guards and cutting through three or four fences in order to spray-paint messages, hang banners and pour human blood at the site where warhead parts are manufactured and the nation’s stockpile of bomb-grade uranium is stored.

It was an unprecedented security breach at the Oak Ridge plant, which enriched the uranium for the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, during World War II and continues to be a mainstay of the U.S. nuclear defense program.

The protesters, who called themselves, “Transform Now Plowshares,” were identified as Michael R. Walli, 63, Washington, D.C.; Sister Megan Rice, 82, of Nevada; and Greg Boertje-Obed, 57, of Duluth, Minn. They were apprehended inside the plant around 4:30 a.m. Saturday, interviewed later by members of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Inspector General, and then transported to the Blount County Correction Center, where they reportedly face conditional federal charges of vandalism and trespassing.

Supporters of the activist group said an arraignment is set for Monday.

Steven Wyatt, a spokesman for the National Nuclear Security Administration at Y-12, declined to discuss details of the early-morning events at the Oak Ridge, but he acknowledged that the unapproved entry into the plant’s inner sanctum — a high-security zone known simply as the Protected Area — was unprecedented.
(emphasis added)

And it gets better.   The break in occurred just shortly after the nuclear facility announced plans to cut back on the number of security personnel guarding this critical facility.

Stock up folks, it’s going to be a long, nuclear winter.

Guns, Lies and More Lies

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 9 months ago

David French says:

The New York Times is in the midst of an editorial crusade against guns, and it’s doing it in standard New York Times fashion: supplementing its own house editorial with classic counterintuitive op-eds — in this case an infantry officer and a cop weigh in on behalf of the paper’s position. (Note to young writers: The absolute best way to get prime space in America’s most famous newspaper is to write a leftist op-ed while holding down a stereotypically conservative job). While I certainly respect his experience with weapons, I daresay that the infantry officer represents a minority viewpoint amongst his own brothers-in-arms …

Well, I don’t know enough to respect this officer’s experience with weapons.  I respect my son’s experience with weapons.  He was in the 2/6 Marines, Golf Company, 3rd Platoon, combat tour of Fallujah in 2007.  He thinks this officer’s opinion is ridiculous and juvenile.  Besides, in discussing the issue he toils mightily over such notions as understanding collateral damage because of the backstop behind your target.  These are basic issues to the firearms owner, and you simply don’t shoot if you can harm innocent victims in an urban setting in America.

But the most juvenile statement is this.

Those who truly believe that need to be carrying a gun right now, wherever they are. They need to keep it closer than I kept my weapon in Iraq. In Iraq my fellow soldiers’ lives were on the line. Soldiers’ lives are important — but our families’ safety is even more precious.

Those who truly believe that anyone should be able to buy semiautomatic weapons will need a gun at soccer practice, at church, at “Batman” movies. That’s the only logical choice. And civilian life will feel almost like being in Iraq.

I carry my weapon from room to room with me at home, to church, and so on like he says.  And I don’t feel at all like I’m in Iraq.  My son doesn’t feel like he is still in Iraq.  In fact, I think the officer is lying about this.  I don’t really think he feels like he is in Iraq.  I think he is using this as a dishonest literary device.

On to other lies.  Joy Ann-Reid is all in a fit.  She says:

… how many Rocky Mountain hunters deem it necessary to stockpile 6,000 rounds of ammunition and enough military-style assault weaponry to take on the Taliban? I’m guessing not many.

… the NRA has morphed from a supporter of responsible gun ownership into a lobbying and fundraising juggernaut, and some would argue, a handmaiden of mass murder.

LaPierre specializes in extremism: calling the federal agents who took part in Waco and Ruby Ridge “jackbooted thugs,” prompting former President George H.W. Bush to quit the NRA in protest in 1995.

He has earned a veritable Ph.D. in paranoia; fantasizing that the United Nations was plotting to somehow confiscate every gun in the United States …

The door has been slammed on the gun debate right up to the White House, except for billionaire New York mayor, Michael Bloomberg, who has no political party, is terming out and doesn’t need, or fear, the gun lobby’s money.

Regarding the issue of U.N. confiscatory measures, Joy hasn’t read my U.N. Arms Treaty: Dreams Of International Gun Control.  She also needs to read my category on SWAT Raids to learn about jackbooted thugs.  But I don’t believe that she really believes that the NRA, which is comprised of and gets its funding from citizens, is a hand maiden of mass murder.  I think she is lying, and using this as a dishonest literary device.  And I think Joy knows that just about the only thing America is doing right now is debating guns.  I don’t think she really believes that the “door has been slammed” on gun debate.  I think Joy is using that as a dishonest literary device too.

Finally, Stewart Patrick really wants the U.N. Arms Treaty to be ratified.  He says:

An international arms treaty would work to stem the flow of licit and illicit arms into unstable countries and regions, and prevent such weapons from falling into the wrong hands. However, despite three years of preparations and nearly a decade of advocacy campaigns, there remains a lack of consensus on the scope, criteria, and implementation of the treaty. The usual suspects, Russia, China, and—to a certain extent—the United States, are among the most influential of a handful of countries raising objections, particularly over the proposed inclusion of small arms and ammunition, human rights criteria, and regulatory measures. And to compound matters, the United States continues to face domestic opposition to its participation in the treaty negotiations.

[ … ]

In response to the charges that the treaty would coopt U.S. national sovereignty, arms control experts argue that the treaty would have “little to no impact” on existing regulatory processes, and that American businesses would not assume any additional regulatory burdens. The United States already has in place a rigorous export control system, defined as the “gold standard.” Instead, the treaty is primarily aimed at countries in which rigorous controls and oversight are absent, in an attempt to harmonize and coordinate standards worldwide.

I think Mr. Patrick is a liar.  I think he knows that the treaty wouldn’t do anything at all to stem the tide of weapons from rogue nations, and I think he also knows that it would affect the ownership of weapons within the U.S.

Andy Ostroy wants to get rid of the damn guns.

This is a simple issue, people. It’s a choice between allowing mass killers to easily purchase assault weapons and ammunition… or not. We can stick our collective heads in the sand and “come together” to talk about God, prayer, healing and sing Kumbaya, but none of that — let me repeat…none of that — will stop the blood from spilling again.

And let me say that we can confiscate every known, legal weapon in America and it will not, let me repeat, it will not affect the fact that criminals violate the law and commit crimes, sometimes violent crimes.  Andy isn’t considering the price of gun control.

So instead of getting rid of the damn guns, I say we keep the guns and get rid of the damn lies.

Concerning Guns, Bill O’Reilly Is An Idiot

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 9 months ago

From Fox News:

BILL O’REILLY, HOST: “Impact Segment” tonight as we reported last night the far- left is trying to use the Colorado movie massacre to promote gun control. The brother of a young woman murdered by James Holmes was confronted by that last night.


MSNBC HOST: Do you feel compelled to push for tighter gun laws?

JORDAN GHAWI, BROTHER OF JESSICA GHAWI: Well, here’s the thing. We can try to politicize this and make some sort of polarizing debate and make this a tenet of the election. But that’s not what we are here to do right now. We are here to celebrate the lives of the victims that have been lost. If somebody’s to do harm to somebody they are going to find a way to do it.


O’REILLY: Then of course that’s true. But it also makes sense for Congress to pass a new law that requires the sale of all heavy weapons to be reported to the FBI. In this age of terrorism, that law is badly needed.

Joining us now from Washington, Congressman Jason Chaffetz who disagrees. Where am I going wrong here, Congressman?

REP. JASON CHAFFETZ, (R) UTAH: Bill, giving the FBI a master list of everybody who owns weapons in this country is not the right direction.

O’REILLY: Now do you think you just categorize what I said accurately everybody who owns weapons. That’s not what I said and you know it?

I said, heavy weapons, all right. Mortars, howitzer’s machine guns. In this age of terrorism, if you do a flight school, the FBI is alerted. But you can buy a machine gun and the FBI doesn’t know. And you think that’s responsible?

CHAFFETZ: No that — well, first of all, I don’t think that’s absolutely not true. If you buy a fully automatic weapon, you have to go get a tax certificate from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in order to do that. You have to pass a fingerprint background check.

O’REILLY: Have you ever been to a gun show, Congressman? Have you ever been in a gun show?

CHAFFETZ: Yes, I have.

O’REILLY: You know, you can buy any weapon you want there and there’s no reporting anyway; you can walk right out there.

[ … ]

O’REILLY: You can buy an AK-47 in this country and no federal agency will know you by it. And as the guy in Colorado proved, you can buy a mass amount of ammunition on the net, ok, and nobody is reported.

Good grief.  The ignorance is astounding, but idoicy is brazen ignorance, and that’s what is on display here.  We’ve covered this before, but the Firearm Owner’s Protection Act of 1986 banned the sale of machine guns manufactured after the date of enactment to civilians, inflating the cost of fully automatic weapons then in circulation to $10,000 or more (far beyond their actual worth).  For most people, it is cost prohibitive to own a fully automatic weapon, and purchase of one requires registration and approval with the ATF and local law enforcement (oftentimes not granted).

You cannot own a fully automatic weapon without ATF approval, a tax stamp and registration (as well as local LEO approval).  A fully automatic weapon has not been used in an illegal shooting in the U.S.  in nearly a century.  Even purchase of a semi-automatic weapon requires a background check and completion of ATF form 4473.  This applies as well to gun shows.

To be sure, individuals can sell weapons to other individuals without going through a Federal Firearms License in many states, but this is true regardless of whether the circumstances of the sale include being at a gun show.  And selling to individuals who cannot otherwise own a weapon is still illegal, regardless of whether you are an FFL or a non-licensed individual.  To say that people can have illegal things because they can break the law is a tautology, and doesn’t advance the discussion.  It only makes people more ignorant.

O’Reilly goes on to mention howitzers.  Yes, howitzers.  I’m not sure what color the sky is in O’Reilly’s world, but he has the same knee jerk reaction to guns that most Northeastern elites do (e.g., Chris Christie).  The offensive part in this case is his transmission of ignorance to his viewers.  Be aware – concerning guns, Bill O’Reilly is an idiot.

UPDATE: Thanks to Glenn for the attention!

Gun Carrying Man Ends Stabbing Spree

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 9 months ago

In Salt Lake City:

A citizen with a gun stopped a knife wielding man as he began stabbing people Thursday evening at the downtown Salt Lake City Smith’s store.

Police say the suspect purchased a knife inside the store and then turned it into a weapon. Smith’s employee Dorothy Espinoza says, “He pulled it out and stood outside the Smiths in the foyer. And just started stabbing people and yelling you killed my people. You killed my people.”

Espinoza says, the knife wielding man seriously injured two people. “There is blood all over. One got stabbed in the stomach and got stabbed in the head and held his hands and got stabbed all over the arms.”

Then, before the suspect could find another victim – a citizen with a gun stopped the madness. “A guy pulled gun on him and told him to drop his weapon or he would shoot him. So, he dropped his weapon and the people from Smith’s grabbed him.”

By the time officers arrived the suspect had been subdued by employees and shoppers. Police had high praise for gun carrying man who ended the hysteria. Lt. Brian Purvis said, “This was a volatile situation that could have gotten worse. We can only assume from what we saw it could have gotten worse. He was definitely in the right place at the right time.”

Dozens of other shoppers, who too could have become victims, are also thankful for the gun carrying man. And many, like Danylle Julian, are still in shock from the experience. “Scary actually. Really scary. Five minutes before I walk out to my car. It could have been me.”

As has been pointed out befrore, gun free zones are premised on a fantasy, i.e., that criminals will obey the law.  No one who is sane actually wants to endure this kind of confrontation, and in a knife fight, even as a weapon carrier (sometimes concealed, sometimes open), my own rules are based on three E’s: Evasion, Egress and Escape.  Get out of the way of the attack, egress from the area, and escape the danger.  But this may not work, and when it doesn’t, a gun is your best bet.  And in this case the concealed carrier potentially saved lives other than his own.

In spite of the new appeals for gun control, law abiding people must not be disarmed.  Nothing good comes from it.

Jesus, Guns and Georgia

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 9 months ago

The Colorado shooting has brought out the worst in analytical reasoning in what I had called (in a different context) confused and goofy Christians who “forgot all about their theology and think that a new regulation, law or treaty will bring peace on earth and good will toward men.”  There is David Gibson at Huffington Post, and Chuck Currie at Huffington Post, and others.  Gun control is certainly a religious issue (at least for me), as I discussed in Let He Who Has No Gun Sell His Robe And Buy One.  The question “what would Jesus do” if he had the chance to have weapons or jettison them is easily answered.  Jesus advocated weapons.

But it was in this context that a church in Georgia went to court to request legal relief from Georgia’s law that forbids the carrying of weapons in places of worship.  About one and a half years ago:

A gun rights group filed a notice Wednesday that it will appeal a federal judge’s dismissal of a suit challenging a state law banning weapons in churches, mosques and synagogues.

John Monroe, the attorney for, filed a notice that he plans to ask the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to review U.S. District Judge Ashley Royal’s decision. Royal ruled Monday that a 2010 law that lists places of worship among locations where guns are not allowed did not violate the First Amendment right to freedom of religion or the Second Amendment guarantee of a right to bear arms.

The lawsuit — brought by, the organization’s past president and  the minister at the Baptist Tabernacle of Thomaston — challenged the inclusion of places of worship on a list of places where guns are not allowed –  government buildings, courthouses, jails and prisons, state mental hospitals, nuclear power plants, bars without the owner’s permission and polling places.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has made their decision.

A federal appeals court has upheld Georgia’s law banning guns in churches and other places of worship.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision, published Friday, upholds a lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit challenging the law. The lawsuit was filed by a gun rights organization — — and the Rev. Jonathan Wilkins of the Baptist Tabernacle of Thomaston. Wilkins had said he wanted to have a gun for protection while working in the church office.

The 11th Circuit rejected arguments that Georgia’s ban violates the plaintiffs’ First Amendment right to freedom of religion and Second Amendment right to bear arms.

John Monroe, a lawyer for Georgia Carry, said Monday the plaintiffs hadn’t decided whether to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“We’re looking at it,” Monroe said of the 11th Circuit decision. “We respect the court’s decision, but we were disappointed.”

[ … ]

“We conclude that the Second Amendment does not give an individual a right to carry a firearm on a place of worship’s premises against the owner’s wishes because such right did not pre-exist the Amendment’s adoption,” the opinion says. “Enforcing the Carry Law against a license holder who carries a firearm on private property against the owner’s instructions would therefore be constitutional.”

This last part is very important, because the news report has, in my opinion, hit the core of the court’s argument.  It says:

A place of worship’s right, rooted in the common law, to forbid possession of firearms on its property is entirely consistent with the Second Amendment.  Surely, given the Court’s pronouncement that the Second Amendment merely “codified a pre-existing right,” Plaintiffs cannot contend that the Second Amendment in any way abrogated the well established property law, tort law, and criminal law that embodies a private property owner’s exclusive right to be king of his own castle. By codifying a pre-existing right, the Second Amendment did not expand, extend, or enlarge the individual right to bear arms at the expense of other fundamental rights; rather, the Second Amendment merely preserved the status quo of the right that existed at the time.42 Indeed, numerous colonial leaders, as well as scholars whose work influenced the Founding Fathers, embraced the concept that a man’s (or woman’s) right to control his (or her) own private property occupied a special role in American society and in our freedom.

Regardless of one’s views on weapons on private property, this might be a compelling argument if it had anything to do with the case.  This isn’t a case about concealed carry permit holders wishing to carry their weapons when the church authorities had a policy against such actions.

The original complaint states that “The Tabernacle would like to have members armed for the protection of its members attending worship services and other events at the Tabernacle’s place of worship, but is in fear of arrest and prosecution of such members under the Carry Ban for doing so.”

In fact, the church is a plaintiff in the complaint.  So in addressing (under the rubric of the second amendment) the issue of whether weapons may be carried on private property where there is a policy against it, the court has erected and knocked down a straw man.  Instead they could have granted the plaintiff’s petition and still left intact the prohibition for private property when the owner’s policy went contrary to the plaintiff’s desire.  They avoided the core issue in their cowardly ruling – they cut and ran when faced with people who wish exercise their constitutional rights.  Typical American workers can’t get away with such foolishness in the work place and still retain a job.

Do Gun Bans Reduce Violent Crime? Ask the Aussies and Brits

BY Glen Tschirgi
11 years, 9 months ago

(H/T Instapundit)

Nothing original to add here, but this posting I picked up from Instapundit is well worth passing along, particularly in light of the typical, knee-jerk, Statist reactions to the horrific Aurora CO shootings:

Actually, if the Australian Bureau of Criminology can be believed, Americans would be insane to concern themselves with what non-Americans think about American gun rights.

In 2002 — five years after enacting its gun ban — the Australian Bureau of Criminology acknowledged there is no correlation between gun control and the use of firearms in violent crime. In fact, the percent of murders committed with a firearm was the highest it had ever been in 2006 (16.3 percent), says the D.C. Examiner.

Even Australia’s Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research acknowledges that the gun ban had no significant impact on the amount of gun-involved crime:

In 2006, assault rose 49.2 percent and robbery 6.2 percent.
Sexual assault — Australia’s equivalent term for rape — increased 29.9 percent.
Overall, Australia’s violent crime rate rose 42.2 percent.

Moreover, Australia and the United States — where no gun-ban exists — both experienced similar decreases in murder rates:

Between 1995 and 2007, Australia saw a 31.9 percent decrease; without a gun ban, America’s rate dropped 31.7 percent.
During the same time period, all other violent crime indices increased in Australia: assault rose 49.2 percent and robbery 6.2 percent.
Sexual assault — Australia’s equivalent term for rape — increased 29.9 percent.
Overall, Australia’s violent crime rate rose 42.2 percent.
At the same time, U.S. violent crime decreased 31.8 percent: rape dropped 19.2 percent; robbery decreased 33.2 percent; aggravated assault dropped 32.2 percent.
Australian women are now raped over three times as often as American women.

So, if the USA follows Australia’s lead in banning guns, it should expect a 42 percent increase in violent crime, a higher percentage of murders committed with a gun, and three times more rape. One wonders if Freddy even bothered to look up the relative crime statistics.

The International Crime Victims Survey, conducted by Leiden University in Holland, found that England and Wales ranked second overall in violent crime among industrialized nations. Twenty-six percent of English citizens — roughly one-quarter of the population — have been victimized by violent crime. Australia led the list with more than 30 percent of its population victimized. The United States didn’t even make the “top 10” list of industrialized nations whose citizens were victimized by crime.

Now all this statistical and factual information isn’t going to mean anything to Lefty’s and Statists, but it is always good to know that reality backs up the conservative position on gun rights and the 2nd Amendment. 

Closure Of Border Patrol Stations In Four States

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 9 months ago

From Fox News:

The Obama administration is moving to shut down nine Border Patrol stations across four states, triggering a backlash from local law enforcement, members of Congress and Border Patrol agents themselves.

Critics of the move warn the closures will undercut efforts to intercept drug and human traffickers in well-traveled corridors north of the U.S.-Mexico border. Though the affected stations are scattered throughout northern and central Texas, and three other states, the coverage areas still see plenty of illegal immigrant activity — one soon-to-be-shuttered station in Amarillo, Texas, is right in the middle of the I-40 corridor; another in Riverside, Calif., is outside Los Angeles.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection says it’s closing the stations in order to reassign agents to high-priority areas closer to the border.

“These deactivations are consistent with the strategic goal of securing America’s borders, and our objective of increasing and sustaining the certainty of arrest of those trying to enter our country illegally,” CBP spokesman Bill Brooks said in a statement. “By redeploying and reallocating resources at or near the border, CBP will maximize the effectiveness of its enforcement mandate and align our investments with our mission.”

The last paragraph has all of the right keywords, but I told you what this is really all about Changes in Mexican Border Strategy.  This aligns personnel with the objective of increasing transcontinental and cross-border traffic.  It’s all part of a larger nation and state level plan to make the border less significant, make it easier to cross, and raise cross-border shipments of goods and products, especially with Mexican truck drivers.

Mark Krikorian passed on a revelation that alone should have cost this administration the upcoming election.  In the initial fight with drug cartels fighters, Brian Terry and his team shot beanbags rather than bullets.  But the situation is really even worse than that.

First it was confirmed that Border Patrol agent Brian Terry and his elite tactical unit initially fired bean bags at heavily armed dope smugglers. Now comes news that a Border Patrol training video is instructing agents that, when confronted by a shooter. they should “run away” and “hide”. Only as a last resort, if they are cornered, should agents get “aggressive” and “throw things” at the perps. Throw things? Really; here’s the site of the largest local of the Border Patrol agents’ union describing the training they’re required to undergo. The site reports that the suits in D.C. have “offered to revise and clarify this training” — sure, only because it was exposed. It’s debatable whether Bill Clinton actually loathed the military, but this administration certainly loathes the Border Patrol.

This is sad but not surprising.  It dovetails with the overall administration policy for the border, that is, the last three administrations.  As I have observed, “The National Guard is bored, has little to do other than watch, isn’t under arming orders, and has sagging morale, while the administration is using the lack of security on the border as an opportunity to make political hay on so-called “assault weapons,” and study groups are more concerned about militarization of the border than they are border security.  Don’t look for a secure Southern border in this generation unless something catastrophic happens to the U.S. homeland.  By then it will be too late.”

Securing the border would look so different than what we currently have that it would be indiscernible to the average American, and we aren’t prepared to implement what’s necessary.  The border would have to come before trade and trucking deliveries, all traffic would be fully searched, the U.S. Marines would have to patrol the border, under arming orders, outside of the constraints of the Supreme Court ruling in Tennessee versus Garner, men with weapons would be shot by Scout snipers before they ever became a threat, and e-verify would be implemented on a national level.

Again, don’t look for this unless something catastrophic occurs, such as Hezbollah fighters crossing the border and perpetrating acts of terror.  Right now, trade and cheap labor on the backs of the American taxpayer are far too important to prevent “alignment of our assets with our strategic goals.”  Expect more border station closings and a more diminished Border Patrol.

Aurora, Colorado Shooter’s Weapon Jammed

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 9 months ago

Continuing with the things we are progressively learning about the shooting in Aurora, Colorado, the shooter’s weapon jammed.

The semiautomatic assault rifle used by the gunman in a mass shooting at a midnight showing of the latest Batman movie jammed during the attack, a federal law enforcement official told The Associated Press, which forced the shooter to switch to another gun with less fire power.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to in order to discuss the investigation, said the disabled weapon had a high-capacity ammunition magazine. Police have said that a 100-round drum magazine was recovered at the scene and that such a device would be able to fire 50 to 60 rounds a minute.

As I have pointed out, the rifle wasn’t an “assault rifle” (since it didn’t have selective fire capability) and the phrase “semiautomatic assault rifle” is nonsensical.  It is a contradiction, since a semiautomatic rifle cannot be an assault rifle.  The police and media are both to blame for sloppy work.

But note also what I said about mass shootings.

“… the most frequent choice for such shooters in order to achieve effectiveness seems not to rely on magazine capacity, but having multiple weapons and magazines.”

Unlike me, he had a crappy rifle and his jammed.  He also had a high capacity magazine.  It didn’t matter.  He reverted to use of multiple weapons.  It also won’t matter to the anti-gun lobby.  They will continue to use this as yet another example of why high capacity magazines should be banned.

My readers know better, and you’re among the first to learn the right definitions, in the right context, the right way.

Towards a Correct Understanding of Assault Rifles

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 9 months ago

The Phoenix New Times reports on “assault rifles” found by hikers in the desert of Arizona, and the three weapons – two SKS’s and an AK-47 – according to the news report, “could have come from almost anywhere, considering the hundreds of gun stores in Arizona that sell such weapons.”  The report is followed by another which again calls the guns “assault rifles.” reports that a man was charged with discharging an AK-47, later citing a witness who saw “what appeared to be a clip connected to an automatic weapon in a back passenger floorboard.”  Without knowing any better, one would be tempted to think that rogue New Yorkers were running around with machine guns given this news report about a recent shooting in the Springfield Gardens area of Queens.  It shows a picture of an AK-47 take from Wikipedia, with the following caption: “The AK-47 is a deadly assault rifle that can fire 10 rounds per second.”

Most main stream media reports concering “assault rifles” and “assault weapons” become badly confused, with terms conflated with other, and with competing (and oftentimes incorrect) terms.  Thus does the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986 become important in our discussion.  Among other things, this act banned the sale of machine guns manufactured after the date of enactment to civilians, inflating the cost of fully automatic weapons then in circulation to $10,000 or more (far beyond their actual worth).  For most people, it is cost prohibitive to own a fully automatic weapon, and purchase of one requires registration and approval with the ATF and local law enforcement (oftentimes not granted).

Why is this important?  The answer hinges on the technical, formal, official definition for “assault rifle.”  The correct definition comes from the U.S. Military.

Assault rifles are short, compact, selective-fire weapons that fire a cartridge intermediate in power between submachinegun and rifle cartridges … Assault rifles have mild recoil characteristics and, because of this, are capable of delivering effective full-automatic fire at ranges up to 300 meters.

When understanding the phrase “assault rifle,” one needs to imagine U.S. Marine Corps squad rushes; the fire team member using the Squad Automatic Weapon fires area suppressing fire while the other three fire team members run forward.  After a certain distance has been covered, the three Marines carrying the M4s or M16s go prone and lay down suppressing fire with their rifles (capable of selective fire) while the SAW gunner runs forward, goes prone, and then the rush continues in like manner until the enemy position has been assaulted and overrun.

So assault rifles have at least three characteristics: (1) capable of selective fire (which includes fully automatic fire), (2) fire an intermediate cartridge,  and (3) mild recoil.  My Rock Rivers Arms rifle has two of the three characteristics, and so it is not an assault rifle.  The confused phrase “assault weapon” pertains to weapons that were banned and later allowed because of the sunset provision on September 13, 2004, and have to do with weapons that look scary because they have collapsible (or telescoping) stocks, forend grips, high capacity magazines, and so forth.  The expiration of the assault weapons ban doesn’t have any affect on the continued ban on fully automatic weapons in the Firearm Owners Protection Act.

The phrases “assault rifle” and “assault weapon” (now a defunct and outdated definition) are used interchangeably in the main stream media, and sloppiness is to blame, even if firearms owners refer to their weapons as ARs (AR is shorthand for ARmalite).  One humorous example refers to .50 caliber assault rifles, a contradiction in terms and an impossibility.

But not all media is as ignorant or reluctant to be precise as the dozens of examples I find daily.  For one such report headlined with the phrase assault rifle, I contacted the author, Jessica Schrader, with the following note.


I am a gun rights and second amendment blogger.  I strongly suspect that the use of an “assault rifle” is incorrect (to fully meet the definition of “assault rifle” it must be capable of select(ive) fire, which includes fully automatic fire).  The phrase “assault weapon” is purely a political definition, and went out when the federal “assault weapons” ban … because of the sunset provision on September 13, 2004.  It pertains mostly to weapons that look “scary,” not to fully automatic weapons.
I strongly suspect that the shooting was done with a semi-automatic rifle of some kind, of which there are 50 million plus in the U.S.  Can you confirm that a semi-automatic rifle was used, or was it in actual fact a machine gun capable of fully automatic fire?  The wording in the headline may have been a function of sloppy police department communications, so I am not attempting to place blame on anyone, just get to the facts.

To which she responded:

Thanks for your note. That is a good point- actually, in the follow up we published yesterday, police used the term semi-automatic. We will update the other one. Thanks again!

So even though the police are sometimes to blame for sloppy word usage, they occasionally get it right too.  We may not ever win the battle, but words mean something, and it’s important to be precise.  Jessica Schrader knows this and serves as an example for how the rest of the main stream media should cover the facts.

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