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]

There Will Be Resistance

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 6 months ago

There will be resistance.

In his boldest terms yet, he vowed to rally the American people around an agenda to limit gun violence and said he still supports increased background checks and bans on assault weapons and high capacity bullet magazines.

“It is not enough for us to say, ‘This is too hard so we’re not going to try,'” Obama said. “So what I intend to do is I will call all the stakeholders together. I will meet with Republicans. I will meet with Democrats. I will talk to anybody.

“I think there are a vast majority of responsible gun owners out there who recognize that we can’t have a situation in which somebody with severe psychological problems is able to get the kind of high capacity weapons that this individual in Newtown obtained and gun down our kids. And, yes, it’s going to be hard.”

Obama’s comments come as the schoolroom shooting has elevated the issue of gun violence to the forefront of public attention.

[ … ]

Obama said he intended to press the issue with the public.

“Will there be resistance? Absolutely there will be resistance,” he said.

Resistance.  Uh huh.  Perhaps Mr. Obama doesn’t fully understand the nature of that resistance?  Or perhaps other forms of it?

A bill filed by state Sen. Lee Bright a day before the elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn., would allow S.C. residents to buy firearms, ammunition and gun accessories made in the state, even if they violate federal gun-control laws.

Bright, R-Roebuck, introduced The Firearms Freedom Act last year, but the bill died in committee. Bright re-introduced his bill on Dec. 13 — the day before 20 children and seven adults were killed in Newtown — and hopes for a better outcome this time. Despite the renewed and heated national debate over gun control in the wake of the Newtown shootings, Bright told the Spartanburg Herald-Journal he believes there is actually more enthusiasm now for his bill.

“A lot of people are showing a lot of interest in it. We’ve got a better chance now than we had previously,” Bright told the newspaper. In addition to South Carolina being a gun-friendly state, Bright’s positive outlook is also bolstered by a recent Gallup poll that showed the strident pro-gun National Rifle Association held a 54 percent favorability rating among Americans.

The concept behind the bill? The federal government may regulate interstate commerce, but South Carolina gun manufacturers should be able to skirt federal laws and make and sell whatever they like within the state since their guns, gun parts, and accessories would not cross state lines.

The concept isn’t exactly new or novel. Montana was the first state to pass such legislation, though it is currently tied up in litigation in federal court. Regardless, eight other states have passed identical legislation, and similar bills have been introduced in a score of other states, including South Carolina.

Perhaps such a law would be protected for state manufacturers by the power of the state police or National Guard?

Mike Vanderboegh has also commented on the nature of the resistance from his neck of the woods.

UPDATE: David Codrea correctly notes that concerning the resistance, there will be “many forms of it.”

UPDATE #2: The Other McCain comments as well on the resistance.

UPDATE #3: John Bernard writes in with this.

I can’t ever remember a politician throwing down a gauntlet like that. This guy is telling the entire population that he is prepared for whatever death and destruction (he apparently sees as inevitable). He is also telling at least one third of the population that we can expect to be taken out if we don’t comply.

And I haven’t heard a single argument from anyone in the media or congress or anywhere else for that matter.

I think we have just witnessed the death of the 2nd amendment because the dopes in Congress are not going to put their precious careers in harm’s way simply to protect something the majority wants abolished.

I want to see how they characterize those first few skirmishes when the goons come out “to play”.



UPDATE #4: Thanks to Glenn Reynolds for the attention.

New York Gun Crime

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 6 months ago

Valuable statistics from New York Daily News:

The gun scourge in New York goes far beyond the assault weapons that are grabbing headlines in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., massacre.

New state stats show that firearms were responsible for more than 58% of the murders statewide last year — but the biggest problem was handguns.

Of the 769 homicides reported in 2011, 393 were the result of handguns. There were 16 deaths by shotgun, five by rifle, and 33 by an unknown “firearm-type,” the state Division of Criminal Justice Services reports.

The rest of the killings were a mix of stabbings, beatings and other assaults.

A package of new proposals that Gov. Cuomo says he’ll push to give New York the nation’s toughest gun laws would come down on the military-style assault rifles like those used to kill 26 people in Newtown and by the crazed gunman who attacked firefighters responding to a blaze in Webster, N.Y., on Monday.

But Cuomo is also mulling measures that would rein in handguns including tougher gun registration rules and limits on the size of gun magazines to no more than seven bullets.

Gasp!  You mean that the dreaded and evil AR wasn’t the firearm of choice with criminals?  Perhaps owning them requires productive members of society to work hard and save their money because they cost so much?  Just a guess.

Take note of the other important point here.  At 42%, murder by other-than-firearm accounts for nearly half the total.  This is remarkable, and yet leave it to New York politicians to work hard at more of the same failed gun control policies to address the issue.  In order to address crime, the Governor is proposing more rules for law-abiding citizens.  If something doesn’t work, do it again … and again … and again.

Feinstein’s Law Wouldn’t Have Stopped The Connecticut Shooting

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 6 months ago

Here is Senator Feinstein’s proposed law.  Of course, the remarkable thing is that not a single aspect of the law would have stopped the Connecticut shooting, or the Colorado shooting for that matter.

Magazine size is irrelevant, since the shooter was unimpeded (which is the core problem anyway).  Registration of firearms is also irrelevant, since the firearm owner was fully legal (the firearm was stolen and then used to perpetrate another crime).  Finally, grandfathering firearms is also irrelevant, since this firearm would clearly have fallen under such a stipulation (which Feinstein sees as necessary to pass the law).

Also note that the old issue of “sporting purposes” is back in the framework.  Recall what I said about such a test.

The ATF must decide what is the “sporting purposes” category by populating the list with examples, and then make the claim that such-and-such an example is deemed to be or not to be a “sporting purpose” because it is or isn’t on the list.  It reasons in a circle.

And moreover:

While ATF lawyers might disagree, for something to have a “sporting purpose” means nothing more than it can be taken to the range and operated by the owner to his or her entertainment or training.  The shooting skills – whether for official competitions such as IDPA or 3-Gun, or for unofficial activities such as regular range visits for the purpose of betterment at the science of firearms operation – are sports.  All of them.  Period.  This is non-negotiable.  If it is a firearm, it has a sporting purpose.

But then again, this isn’t really about sporting purposes, or safety, or public concerns, is it?  It’s about government control, as such progressive laws always are.  Gun control has always been about gun control.  Progressives aren’t liberal.  They’re statists and control freaks and micro-managers and social engineers.  This proposed law is another testimony to that.

Some Guns Are Just For Combat

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 6 months ago

Some reactionary commentaries achieve little more than the following result: “A .223 caliber weapon (or an AR) killed the children in Connecticut, therefore ban those guns and this won’t happen any more.”  Or something thereabouts.

But occasionally a more technical argument is presented, and (ret.) Lt. Gen. John Castellaw has recently given us one.

The marksmanship and weapon handling skills I learned gave me a good start when I became a Marine. — But if my grandfather were alive today, he would be sorely disappointed that a major reason for gun ownership has changed from being a sportsman to being a “resistance fighter in waiting.”

[ … ]

This generation of assault weapons and ammunition weighs less than previous combat rifles, allowing more ammunition to be carried, hence increased lethality of the basic infantry unit. The wounds produced are more traumatic; the bullet tends to yaw or tumble when it hits soft flesh as it transfers kinetic energy to the body. The reason most cited by purchasers for the frenetic buying is the fear of “the government taking away our Secnd Amendment Rights,” the rallying call not for sportsmen but for aspiring resistance fighters.

This resistance fighter mentality has been stoked by those who seem to feel deeply that our country is in the hands of illegitimate political leadership. The calls for “secession” reveal an inability by a vocal group to abide by the results of our democratic process and instead call for state and local governments as well as individuals to refuse to work within our system. Extremists decry political positions other than their own on topics from immigration reform to forging a plan for government fiscal responsibility. The words used to attack and defend political and cultural beliefs are words of war, not of civil discourse.

We must stop and ask ourselves if our country has gotten to a point where a substantial portion of our citizens has a fear, and maybe hatred, of our popularly elected national leadership and our fellow citizens who may look different or worship differently or vote differently. And is willing to endure multiple Newtowns materially enabled, if not caused, by the easy purchase of combat assault-style weapons.

There are many things we can do to reduce these scenes of carnage, ranging from dealing more effectively with those with severe mental illness to improving the security in our schools to returning to civil political discourse to reducing our culture of violence. One that seems a no-brainer is to make a distinction between a gun designed to hunt game and a gun designed to kill people and act now to keep those weapons for use where they were made for, combat.

He trots out his credentials at the end of the commentary, including being retired USMC.  My son was a Marine who saw combat in Fallujah, and earned the combat action ribbon.  He knows Marine officers who are idiots, and I’ve talked to some of them myself.  His having been a Marine Lt. General means absolutely nothing to me.

My son remarked after the Connecticut shooting that a trained shooter isn’t going to choose an AR anyway.  He will going to use a bolt action rifle with expensive glass and ensconce himself in a protected, stand off position to wreak the most havoc.  But I’m willing to concede the point that a shooter may not be trained like my son.  He was a SAW gunner, but also completed some of the Scout Sniper training and was a designated marksman for his unit.

So what of the AR and its round?  I will also grant the point that I’ve called an AR a legitimate home defense weapon.  If that’s the weapon you choose to defend yourself and your family, it’s immoral to force you to choose otherwise.

But notice the equally absurd (but analogous) arguments he didn’t make.  At the place where the gun aficionados hang out, there are many folk who still (and will always) believe that the best close quarters battle (CQB) weapon every invented by mankind is the .357 magnum revolver.  But note that General Castellaw didn’t argue for making the .357 magnum round illegal because it achieves a velocity that causes hydrostatic shock.

Instead he chose to focus on the fact that it yaws when it strikes tissue.  Even in this, he is wrong.  The 5.56 mm round doesn’t just yaw when it strikes tissue.  It yaws in flight, even with boat tail ammunition.  That’s one reason that it is an effective round for CQB while being inferior to the 7.62 round at distance.

But it was larger caliber rounds that allowed the Texas tower shooter to achieve his nefarious aims.  Those larger caliber rounds don’t yaw and fragment like the 5.56 mm round does.  And that’s the point.  The general knows that the whole issue of the weapon pattern is irrelevant.  Magazine changeout on an AR takes 1 – 2 seconds, and even if you’re shooting a revolver, speedloaders can essentially make the weapon the equivalent of a semi-automatic handgun.  Typical (Bolt Action) deer hunting rifles can be used with great effectiveness to wreak havoc.

He knows that hating on the AR platform is a loser’s argument, so he invokes caliber and ballistics, still a losing argument because of the implications of allowing other calibers and rounds that have other ballistic (but equally deadly) performance.  The argument the general really wants to make in advocating that we distinguish weapons of war with any other is that in his opinion, only the police and military should have those weapons of war, and thus only the police should make war on the civilian population and only the military, under the control of the politicians in approved campaigns, should have the option of sanctioned violence.

But of course, the analogue is that the general also believes that you shouldn’t have the option of choosing certain kinds of weapons for your own defense.  That, dear people, is a political rather than a technical position.  The general is in over his head on ballistics, and it’s better to heed my counsel: “It isn’t the caliber of the weapon one is holding that’s the problem.  It’s the caliber of the one holding the weapon.”

So ban ARs or their round – I cannot stop you, although I can certainly stop you from confiscating mine.  But if you do it, don’t be a coward and hide behind disingenuous and silly arguments that focus on the platform, the round or its ballistics, the pattern, or the safety of the public.  We see through all of those arguments.  Do your deeds because you’re a statist and want to see the public disarmed.  Admit the truth.

Merry Christmas!

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 6 months ago

Matthew 1:21-23 (NASB)

21 And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins.”

22 Now all this took place that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying:

23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.”

Merry Christmas from me and my family to you and yours.

When You Say It About Wayne LaPierre, You’re Saying It About Us Too

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 6 months ago

There is no end to the ugliness being spewed towards NRA’s Wayne LaPierre over his press briefing.  There are too many main stream media articles, blog posts and tweets to link, and frankly, I wouldn’t want to give them credit they don’t deserve by calling attention to any of them.

True enough, the job Wayne did wasn’t perfect.  David Codrea points out that it was a mistake to target video games.  I’m ambivalent about dragging into the mix anything but the root cause of evil, or the defeater of righteous self defense.  Good men and second amendment advocates will have different views of things, and I need not have my views synched with anyone else.  We don’t all have to agree on every jot and tittle of Wayne’s presser.

The main point of the statement is this: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”  It is this that so infuriates the progressives.  That Wayne didn’t bend on the issue of further restrictions on firearms and continues to oppose increased gun regulations is obscene to them.

They have tried to paint gun owners as somehow opposed to the NRA, with the NRA being the controlling, evil, monster that loves violence and death.  The followers, it would seem, are just deluded, confused, and drunk from the bloodlust.  If we could only break free from our evil masters, we could think more clearly.  Or so I assume they think.

The irony is that the NRA gets its authority from us, even when we disagree on the details.  Wayne isn’t persuading any of us to think differently than we did before.  The NRA gets its power from us, and with the exception of the details, Wayne is reading our talking points.  We oppose further restrictions on firearms.  We don’t believe that gun control works to stop crime, and we believe that you’re infringing on our freedoms when you legislate and regulate our gun rights away.

You think that because you look to your progressive idea-makers and leaders to know what to think, we do too.  But we’re not like you.  The irony is that when you say those things about Wayne LaPierre, you say them about all of us.  When you attack Wayne, you think there is one.  While this may seem terrifying to you, there are really about four million of us, and Wayne is only saying – in a mannerly way – what we all believe.

House Resolution 308

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 7 months ago

That’s its formal title.

U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici on Tuesday co-sponsored House Resolution 308, Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Devices Act, following the horrific shootings in Newtown, Conn., and Clackamas Mall last week.

“The loss of so many promising lives to gun violence last week was a call to action that we cannot ignore,” said Bonamici.

“As a first step, this legislation will help to keep ammunition clips like those used in the recent massacres out of public circulation. My colleagues and I will continue to explore additional policy options for ending gun violence in all communities and addressing our mental health crisis, but this commonsense bill is a step to protect American families from the unimaginable horror and grief that follows the mass shootings that have become too common in recent years.”

The Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Devices Act, introduced by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy of New York and co-sponsored by 113 members of Congress, is modeled on provisions in the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act that was signed into law in 1994. The bill will prohibit the possession, transfer, or import of large ammunition clips manufactured after the date of enactment. It includes exemptions for law enforcement and public safety.

Mike Vanderboegh (correctly) says that Speaker Boehner is a liability.  Chance Ballew gives us three reasons gun control isn’t going to happen.  Boehner can stop this from ever coming to a vote.  Will he?  Does he have the spine?

Either way, fight House Resolution 308.  It increases the power and control of the federal government, and doesn’t add a single thing to your safety.

Private Ownership Of Firearms Makes No Sense

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 7 months ago

According to one of the “experts.”  Here is his brief resume.

Thomas Nolan, a lecturer at Tufts, spent 27 years as a Boston police officer before earning an Ed.D. from Boston University. When he was with the Boston Police Department, Nolan was a member of the elite mobile operations patrol unit and worked in the Youth Violence Strike Force. He ended his law enforcement career as a lieutenant and shift commander in the patrol division. He taught criminal justice at Boston University from 2004 to 2011, and then was a senior policy and program analyst at the Department of Homeland Security’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties in Washington, D.C. This fall he taught a course in the Experimental College called Forensic Behavioral Analysis.

Ooooo .  He’s an expert, so let’s hear him in his own words, inteview format.

Tufts Now: What was your experience with guns as a police officer?

Thomas Nolan: If you are hired as a police officer in Massachusetts, you cannot carry a gun until you have at least 80 hours of training and have fired 1,000 rounds, so you have become intimately acquainted with that weapon. But for the general public in most of the country, no training is required. I can sell you a gun at a gun shop, and I have no idea if you can shoot it or what you want to do with it. It’s like selling someone an iPod.

[ … ]

What about the rest of the country?

When I worked for the Department of Homeland Security and traveled to many places around the country, when the topic of guns came up, I would ask trainees how many did not have a gun and no hands went up. In many places, people seem to feel there is an obligation that you have to protect yourself against some kind of attack from intruders, whoever they think that might be. And some people who are extremists have the mindset that this is the only way we have to protect ourselves from the federal government coming into our lives and communities and taking over everything, including their guns. Of course, that’s a crazy, irrational thought. But don’t be surprised to see a rush on buying weapons soon, because the topic will come up in Congress and people fear there will be a ban.

Some say if more people had guns, they could prevent such mass murders as occurred in Newtown or in the Aurora movie theater shootings, because an armed person could kill the murderer.

If we armed people, the carnage would increase exponentially. Take the Aurora movie theater shootings, for example. If we had people in the audience who were armed, it’s safe to assume there would be an exchange of gunfire, but it would not necessarily result in the death of the shooter, who in this case had on body armor.

So let’s stop and examine what he has said.  First of all, the shooter in Colorado was not wearing body armor.  Period.  He is communicating myth that he has heard over news networks.  The shooter was wearing a tactical vest, but it didn’t include soft armor or hard plates.  And if he had been, how does it make the police more qualified to deal with it anyway?

Oh yea.  There’s the issue of training.  You know, only the police are qualified enough with their firearm to be competent to carry one.  They have fired 1000 rounds with their issued weapon.  Except that I have fired many more than 1000 rounds with every one of my weapons.  So according to Nolan, it’s better if a moviegoer simply sits in his chair and hopes that he isn’t shot!  Literally, it’s better to allow a shooter to pick off people like ducks in a shooting gallery than it is to attempt to stop him by an armed citizen.  Leave the shooter alone, says he.

But we’ve dealt with this before, although with statistics.

I am not willing to concede at all that a concealed carrier would be so ineffective against someone trying to take his life.  But for the sake of argument, let’s stipulate his case, or worse.  Let’s assume that a law enforcement officer would be 30% effective against a shooter, that a shooter in a crowded place would be no more than 25% effective with his shot placement, and worst of all, that a concealed carrier would be no more than 20% effective.

Terry’s argument is this: I am willing to subject my family to a shooter at 25% effectiveness for the duration of time it takes a LEO (at 30% effectiveness) to arrive on the scene, usually 10 – 15 minutes, rather than have a concealed carrier attempt to deal with the shooter at 20% effectiveness, because of the fact that a concealed carrier might also harm me or my family just like the police might harm me or my family.

It’s worse than nonsense.  It’s irresponsible nonsense.  But hey, whoever said that I am not easy to get along with.  If I’m ever in this situation with Terry’s family and I have gotten my own out of harm’s way, I will oblige Terry’s edict.  I’ll leave the shooter alone for Terry to deal with unarmed.  As they say … as you wish.

Finally, Mr. Nolan is only saying that the threat of home invasions is crazy and irrational because it’s never happened to him or his family.  And because he hasn’t read my articles, where I detailed some six and then nineteen home invasions that were easily found over the course of several minutes of searching.  And … Mr. Nolan is only saying what he is about home invasions because he doesn’t care about the safety of you or your family, caring more about his own ideological and political views.  That’s how the entire article should be studied, if you study it at all.  In fact, that’s the way you should treat all such diatribes.  These guys aren’t experts.  They’re just political hacks masquerading as researchers, and so are the people who print this piffle.

Obama Calls On Congress To Ban Assault Weapons And High Capacity Magazines

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 7 months ago

As if you didn’t know it was coming.

President Obama on Wednesday urged Congress to vote on measures banning the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines and requiring background checks before any firearm sale, part of an emerging White House response to a massacre last week at a Connecticut elementary school.

[ … ]

In an effort to demonstrate the shift in political thinking since the Newtown shooting, Democrats have tapped Rep. Mike Thompson (Calif.), a lifelong hunter and gun rights activist, to lead their gun-related efforts. Thompson said Wednesday that several Democratic proposals “certainly make sense,” including the ban on high-capacity magazines.

“I’ve been a hunter all my life, and there’s no reason to have a magazine that holds 30 shells,” Thompson said.

I don’t care that he is alleged to have been a hunter his whole life.  That brings with it absolutely no authority to me.  He is a nobody.  And he is no gun rights activist.  But I guess no one who is hunting really does need 30 rounds in a single magazine if you’re hunting regulated game such as deer.  If you’re hunting feral hogs you want as many rounds as you can get,  and if you are defending yourself against a home invasion, you want the best weapon suited for the purpose, including a high capacity magazine, just like Mr. Stephen Bayezes who saved his life with one.

Here is a prediction.  The majority of shooters who are intent on harming people choose multiple firearms (including a mix of guns), or in the future will choose to fabricate their own high capacity magazine if they want it for their nefarious aims.  This ban won’t affect the level of gun violence in the least.  It will, however, increase the power and control of the federal government, and that’s its purpose.

The Police And Their View Of Assault Weapons

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 7 months ago

David Codrea has an interesting post on police and their view of assault weapons.

State Police Supt. Col. Steven G. O’Donnell said Monday they’d like to see a reinstatement of the ban on the sale of assault weapons…O’Donnell said assault weapons have one purpose, to kill people in war. He says civilians should not have assault weapons. [More]

So that’s why you guys have them, Steve? To have your standing army make war on and kill “civilians”?

Yet another indication of this elitism is seen up North.

The head of the NYPD’s largest police union yesterday called for an ”absolute ban” on assault weapons — except for cops and members of the military.

“There is no legitimate reason for an assault weapon with their high capacity magazines to ever be in the hands of a private citizen,” said Pat Lynch, head of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association.

[ … ]

“There’s no reason for anybody to have those type of weapons,” he added.

Lynch’s comments echoed those of Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.

If there is no reason for anyone to have these weapons, and if their only purpose is in making war, then why do the police need them?  Ah.  Here is a key point.  The Supreme Court decision in Tennessee versus Garner clearly decided that law enforcement doesn’t have the right to enforce the law by the power of arms.  They can only shoot in self defense.  If that’s the case – and it is – then why do the police get to defend themselves with their choice of arms and I don’t?

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