Duke University’s Arguments Against A Statutory Second Amendment

Herschel Smith · 22 May 2022 · 14 Comments

The Regulatory Review links a paper by Joseph Blocher of Duke University arguing against state preemption laws that prohibit more restrictive gun control statutes by cities and counties than instituted by the state itself.  The paper is entitled "Cities, Preemption, and the Statutory Second Amendment." He argues: As a practical matter, though, nothing has done more to shape contemporary gun regulation than state preemption laws, which fully or partially eliminate cities’ ability to…… [read more]

Bear Attacks: What About High Capacity Magazines?

BY Herschel Smith
8 years, 10 months ago


… a 12-year-old girl jogging in Michigan is among the latest victims in a spate of bear attacks that have left seven people mauled in five states since Thursday.

Abby Wetherell was out on her nightly jog when she was ambushed by a black bear Thursday outside her home in Cadillac, Michigan. She tried to run at first, but, “It just took me down,” she told CNN’s Piers Morgan Live.

“It clawed me and it was growling,” she said. “It was scary.”

Eventually, she said, she played dead, hoping it would go away. It did, but not before inflicting cuts and scrapes to her face and deep gashes on her legs that required dozens of stitches.

“I just thought I was going to die,” she said. “It was very terrifying.”

After the bear left, Abby ran toward a neighbor’s house, screaming for help. The bear came after her once again, but neighbors were able to scare it away, she said.

Her father, Chris Wetherell, heard her screams and ran out of the house with a gun, but the animal was gone by then, he said.

Authorities also reported attacks in Alaska, Colorado, Wyoming and Idaho …

“The common belief that surprising a mother bear with cubs is the most dangerous kind of black bear encounter is inaccurate, the University of Calgary said in a summary of the study. “Instead, lone male black bears hunting people as a potential source of food are a greater cause of deadly maulings and related predatory attempts.

Other recent incidents include:

A hunter mauled by a bear in Alaska survived 36 hours in the remote wilderness before rescuers found him using night-vision goggles, the Alaska National Guard said Saturday.

A bear clawed its way into a tent and bit a sleeping camper on her arm Thursday night, CNN affiliate KCNC reported.

Two hikers at Yellowstone National Park were injured Thursday after the encountered a female grizzly bear and a cub. The sow charged the hikers, leaving claw and bite marks on one, park officials said.

Two habitat technicians collecting data in Shotgun Valley, Idaho, were injured Thursday when a grizzly bear charged, the Jackson Hole Daily reported.

Or how about 15 stray dogs in Houston, Texas, mauling a woman, or maybe 8 or 9 dogs in Fargo, North Dakota and the man they mauled?  Hey, smart boy, tell me the story one more time about how we don’t need high capacity magazines.  It’s my favorite fairy tale.

Prior: Backpacker Shoots Grizzly In Denali, First Life Saved Since Firearms Legal

Piers Morgan And Bob Costas On Guns Again

BY Herschel Smith
8 years, 10 months ago

As if we could take any more, Piers Morgan and Bob Costas talk guns.

As part of an hour-long conversation conducted in front of a live audience, the man who’s hosted a record nine Olympic games shares his stance on gun control and firearm legislation, offering a response to those that suggest assault weapons with high-capacity magazines are necessary as a means of self-defense:

“They always present this theoretical – ‘well, what if there’s not one or two invaders to my home, what if there’s 10 or 12 and after I’ve killed the first eight or nine, I need to reload?’,” quotes Costas. “Yes, let me know when that happens. And between now and when that happens, sadly, there’s going to be another Aurora, there’s going to be another Newtown.”

We all know that Piers Morgan is a liar, so there’s no need to rehearse that.  But Bob wants us to let him know when someone actually needs a high capacity magazine to defend his life.  Well, here you go Bob.  It happened before you ever did this stupid interview.  It has to do with Mr. Stephen Bayezes.

We may suppose that Costas wants it to happen this way instead (via David Codrea).

I never really had any respect for Costas as a sportscaster anyway.  I think he is an amateur.

Get Some With Jerry And A .44 Magnum!

BY Herschel Smith
8 years, 10 months ago

First, Jerry having some fun.

The V-drill video is found here.

Guns Tags:

Counterinsurgency Cops

BY Herschel Smith
8 years, 10 months ago

CBS 60 Minutes recently did an absolutely fawning review of a police department in Springfield, Massachusetts, who claims to have implemented counterinsurgency tactics (hereafter COIN – Lesley Stahl incorrectly calls it a strategy, when it is more correctly a set of tactics, techniques and procedures).  You can watch the segment on your own time, but it’s worth pointing out that 60 Minutes didn’t do anything earth-shattering in this segment.  This is a fairly well known and well rehearsed report from 2012, and it is here that we will turn our attention.

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) – It’s a story CBS 3 has been following – the success of a state and Springfield police initiative in the city’s North End.

Law enforcement and residents say it’s transforming their neighborhood and cutting crime by 68 percent.

“I wish every hotspot community could use it, it has changed the lives of people here,” said Jose Claudio, director of the New North Citizens Council.

Claudio has lived in arguably the city’s most dangerous neighborhood for more than 40 years.

But he and many others aren’t giving up on it.

“This is our city, this is our neighborhood, we need to all work together,” he said.

After a particularly violent week that claimed three lives in the fall of 2009, police and residents were finally fed up with the violence.

“It was, it was a wake-up call for all of us,” said state police Trooper Michael Cutone.

Cutone took a lesson from his time in the Army Special Forces in Iraq and applied them to the streets in the North End.

“Gang members and drug dealers operate very similar to insurgents…by paralyzing the community and instilling fear in the community,” Cutone said.

But it’s more than just locking people up.

“It starts with every neighbor, it starts with every resident of Springfield,” said Claudio.

Claudio invites people he knows involved in the community to weekly meetings. Community and religious leaders and Springfield and state police meet there to talk about recent arrests, complaints and programs that are helping teens.

Issues brought up at Thursday’s meeting led state police to a home on Washburn Street, where a group of kids has allegedly been terrorizing one family.

Cutone says all too often this neighborhood swallows young kids up into a world of fear and abuse.

And most of the time gangs are seen as the only way out.

“It’s very difficult for that young person to say ‘no’ and they get sucked into the gang, so we have to have a counter-message, and one of those counter-messages is Joseph Mendoza,” Cutone said.

CBS 3 first introduced you to Pfc. Joseph Mendoza last week just days after he had graduated from Marine Corp boot camp.

Since seeing his story as a North End kid staying out of trouble and succeeding, families have approached his mom on how they can do the same.

“First young man from this community to go to the student trooper program, a year later from that joins the Marine Corp,” said Cutone.

But his story is not the only one of hope and survival coming out of this neighborhood.

Some of the people that go to the weekly meetings have done time, learned the hard way and are now paying it forward in various ways.

“It’s very humbling and rewarding at the same time,” Cutone said.

Claudio says he knows that once this group continues to scrape away the crime, the people of the North End can turn a corner.

“If everybody takes that pride and makes it happen, this city will be the comeback city,” Claudio said.

C-3 policing is catching the attention of law enforcement all over the nation.

Since seeing its benefits, police from California and North Carolina have visited Springfield to learn about it.

Police in Paterson, New Jersey, have learned about the COIN approach allegedly used in Springfield, and are reaching out to their police department to obtain mentoring to adopt those same tactics.

Analysis & Commentary

The 60 Minutes report is more remarkable for what it doesn’t say concerning the application of COIN in America.  This didn’t begin in a vacuum.  The theoretical underpinnings for this approach have been in the developmental stages for a long time.

The so-called war on drugs was the casus belli for the militarization of the local police forces in the U.S., although it took time to effect the evolution far and wide.  Near the end of the campaign in Iraq, the favorite think tank of the left, the RAND Corporation, published a report in 2009 entitled Does The United States Need A New Police Force For Stability Operations?  In it, Seth Jones, et. al., conclude:

Weighing all considerations, the researchers concluded that the best option would be a 6,000-person hybrid force headquartered in the U.S. Marshals Service. The personnel in reserve status could be employed in state and local police forces so they would be able to exercise police functions in a civilian population daily and could be called up as needed.

The Marshals Service was deemed to have many of the requisite skills. However, its training and management capabilities would need to be expanded to take on this large mission, and it would have to recruit additional personnel as well. The annual cost, $637 million, is reasonable given the capability it buys. The cost savings in relieving military forces of these duties could be greater than required to create the SPF.

The Military Police option was attractive for a number of reasons, especially its capacity, training, and logistical capabilities, but its inability to engage in policing activities when not deployed was a major stumbling block. The Posse Comitatus Act precludes military personnel from exercising police functions in a civilian setting, and legislative relief might be difficult to get.

Not to be outdone or left behind, the military establishment has weighed in with papers advocating the use of U.S. troops for a similar mission on American soil.  One example, causing me forever to lose any respect for Small Wars Journal, was entitled Full Spectrum Operations In The Homeland: A Vision Of The Future, and SWJ followed this up later with Political Violence Prevention: Profiling Domestic Terrorists.  The former paper advocated the use of U.S. military troops for stability operations in America, while the later paper advocated the use of human terrain systems for profiling “domestic terrorists” (I discussed these papers here).

Just to ensure that we all knew that the full force of the think tanks was behind this effort, the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point published Challengers from the Sidelines: Understanding America’s Violent Far Right (via Western Rifle Shooters Association).  Several observations may be made at this point.  First, while the seeds for military operations on American soil by police and/or U.S. troops had been planted long ago, watching war occur for a decade across our television screens caused a change in those whose predilections would point them in the direction of waring on American soil.

This is how it is to be done, it was easy to conclude.  Social science with a gun: community involvement, town meetings, law enforcement knowledge of everyone all of the time, biometrics to track people (and especially men of military age), door kicking and killing as punitive measures, all sanctioned by the authorities and fully approved.  A new mission.  No longer will we merely perform constabulary duties.  We must rebuild our cities, bring stability, and ensure that the centralized planners work with the military leaders to guide us all.  The example has been set, and we’ve watched it unfold before our eyes for ten years.  It has been paraded across our television screens for years, and now we know how to do it.

Second, in order to effect this revised mission, they must have the same tactics, same military hardware, and the same doctrine.  Police involving the community sounds warm and acceptable to the uninitiated, but it has a dark underbelly.  The carrot and stick approach requires that they perform as COIN troops, as forces of occupation, to enforce their will.  War is, after all is said and done, the use of violence to enforce your will.

And this history of COIN in America has indeed been violent, partly because of the paradigm which guides the mission.  I know something about the mission because my son is a former Marine and conducted operations in Fallujah in 2007.  He performed counter-sniper operations, cleared rooms with an M4, cleared rooms with his Squad Automatic Weapon, performed satellite patrols, and operated an M2 aboard a helicopter targeting insurgents as they crossed over the Euphrates River into Fallujah after checkpoints had locked down the city.  Marine Corps 2/6 went into Fallujah hard in the summer of 2007, but there’s an interesting instance that demonstrates how SWAT teams operate in America.

The Marines had control of Fallujah, but on rare ocassion special operations would roll through the city on their way to Ramadi after bad actors.  On one such occasion when my son and one other Marine were coupled with Iraqi Police in one precinct, U.S. special operations based in Baghdad sped through his AO.  He stopped them, and emphatically stated, “If you ever speed through my AO like that again in an unmarked vehicle, without uniforms and insignia, I’ll light you up like a f****** Christmas tree and laugh while you bleed out.  You inform me the next time you’re in my AO.”

After that SO and the Marine Corps in Fallujah had a clear understanding and there were no more problems.  But special operations desires anonymity, all of the time.  I am unpersuaded that this is primarily for OPSEC or protection of families, since there is no anonymity for conventional Army or Marines.  But SWAT teams have taken on the same tactics in America, wearing hoods, prohibiting photography, and generally refusing to divulge their identities.



In Chicago SWAT Raid Gone Terribly Wrong, we discussed a case in which the Chicago SWAT team raided a wrong address, hurling profanity at the family, pointing weapons at children, and demanding that one eleven month old show his hands.  I later filed a FOIA request to find out the identities of the officers, and the request was denied.  To have divulged the identities of the officers would not comport with the paradigm of special operations.  But the problem runs deeper, and while we could run through the litany of dilemmas brought by the militarization of police in America, we’ll discuss it is three headings.

While SWAT teams have adopted the tactics of the military, they aren’t trained like the military.  One prime example of this is the death of Mr. Eurie Stamps.  Mr. Stamps was innocent of any wrongdoing.  The police of Framingham, MA., forcibly entered his home and forced him into the prone position on the floor.  One officer who had his finger on the trigger of his weapon stumbled over Mr. Stamps and discharged his firearm into the completely compliant Mr. Stamps, killing him.  My son has been trained to overcome the sympathetic muscle reflex to pull the trigger of his weapon if he stumbles, but SWAT teams have not been through such training, and will never sustain the pressure, get the training or be required to have such skills and abilities.

Max Velocity sums up the situation very well in his discussion of the horrible situation in which the head of a household finds himself in a SWAT raid.

Realizing that this is a Law Enforcement raid, you decline to open fire. The stack comes in through the door. If you decline to fight, you better drop that weapon before they see it, or they will riddle you with bullets. At this point, you are putting your trust in the restraint of the HIT team. They now own you, your house and your family. Remember, they are poorly trained and afraid. They want to go home at the end of their shift. Your safety is not really their concern, only as far as any liability goes. If they kill or injure anyone, they will cover it up and get away with it. You are encouraged to pursue these actions within the system of the courts, but there will never be any satisfaction to be had there. The courts are corrupt and stacked towards the HIT team.

Oh yea, and they just shot and killed your beloved family pet as they made entry.

Remember: It is very important to note that any danger created by the HIT raid is unnecessary and purely created by the actions of the HIT itself. The very methods they use are creating danger, in particular for the home occupants. The HIT is liable, pure and simple, for their unnecessary militarized actions. Any threat to “officer safety” is greatly overborne by the threat to civilian victim safety, and entirely avoidable by the use of civilized methods, as opposed to the current thuggery.

What to expect? If you are not killed immediately, you will have weapons pointed at you. You wife and kids will be rousted out of bed, the family dogs killed and laying around thrashing in front of them. Rifle barrels will be pointed at your family. Death is only a twitchy trigger finger away. You and your wife will be screamed at, cussed at, thrown to the ground and restrained. If you argue you will be tasered and beaten if not shot, until you ‘stop resisting.’ Anyone in your house who is slow to react, such as a handicapped adult looking relative or child, or an ornery old WWII veteran from the Greatest Generation, risks being shot and killed for not immediately complying with orders.

The HIT team now owns your house and your family. They will tear it apart looking for whatever it is they are looking for, even if it is the wrong address. Your kids will be segregated until a social worker arrives to take custody of them. They are now wards of the state until you are freed. You property will be torn up. You will be cussed at and threatened by HIT team guys looking like military in their full gear. They will take all your legally owned firearms and you will never see them again.

They are afraid, trigger happy, generally untrained to perform these functions, and poorly led.  In fact, SWAT teams in America will never rise to the level of control, discipline, leadership and training in special operations or the U.S. Marines.

Even if SWAT teams were trained like the military, their actions violate the fourth amendment of the U.S. constitution.  This is true even if they obtain bench warrants for said operations (although oftentimes they do not).  They operate with virtual impunity since their actions have judicial approval.  In other words, they can generally find a judge who will sign anything.  Without judicial approval for these tactics they would cease to exist, and thus the problem has its cancer deep into the fabric of the establishment.  Judges are usually very well know and deeply influential in their communities anyway, and they not only know about these tactics, they approve of them, both implicitly and explicitly.  The brutality with which the occupants of a home are treated is seen as collateral damage in a society that needs to be controlled with the application of force.

The application of force isn’t discriminatory.  The Pittsburgh SWAT dragged a ten year old out of the bathtub and made him stand naked next to his four year old sister at gunpoint.  The Detroit police were all in a tizzy over an art gallery.

The moment the assault rifles surrounded her, Angie Wong was standing in a leafy art-gallery courtyard with her boyfriend, a lawyer named Paul Kaiser. It was just past 2 A.M., in May, 2008. Wong was twenty-two years old and was dressed for an evening out, in crisp white jeans, a white top, and tall heels that made it difficult not to wobble. The couple had stopped by a regular event hosted by the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit (CAID), a red brick gallery with the aim of “turning Detroit into a model city,” and arrived to find a tipsy, jubilant scene: inside, gallerygoers were looking at art and dancing to a d.j …

Only then did masked figures with guns storm the crowd, shouting, “Get on the fucking ground! Get down, get down!”   Some forty Detroit police officers dressed in commando gear ordered the gallery attendees to line up on their knees, then took their car keys and confiscated their vehicles, largely on the grounds that the gallery lacked the proper permits for dancing and drinking.

A naked ten year old in a bathtub, dancing and drinking at an art gallery … these are the things occupying the SWAT teams of America. In the case of Brian Terry’s death, border agents initially fired bean bags at the killers.  Yet bean bags were precisely what killed a 95 year old innocent man in Park Forrest (via Mike Vanderboegh).

The old man, described by a family member as “wobbly” on his feet, had refused medical attention. The paramedics were called. They brought in the Park Forest police.

First they tased him, but that didn’t work. So they fired a shotgun, hitting him in the stomach with a bean-bag round. Wrana was struck with such force that he bled to death internally, according to the Cook County medical examiner.

“The Japanese military couldn’t get him at the age he was touchable, in a uniform in the war. It took 70 years later for the Park Forest police to do the job,” Wrana’s family attorney, Nicholas Grapsas, a former prosecutor, said in an interview with me Thursday

Illegal Mexicans bent on killing, or a 95 year old veteran of WWII who had done no wrong.  Eh … what’s the difference?  Actually, the irony of these two cases is quite sad.  In the one situation that should garner our support for militarized policing – the border – the authorities are prevented from acting in a manner which would secure the border.  Illegal aliens are (a) promising votes for the Democrats, and (b) workers for Archer-Daniels-Midland and Monsanto as they scarf up family run farms, which they despise, while the American ratepayer and taxpayer foots the bill for medical care, uninsured motorist coverage, welfare and food stamps.  Illegal aliens are loved by the big corporations in light of the corporate welfare that we all pay, and an economic disaster for the balance of Americans.  The border is easy enough to secure, and remains open because the elite and powerful in both parties want it to be open.  So a better way to state this problem may not be that the use of force isn’t discriminating, but that it is discriminating according to the wishes of the power brokers in America.

Finally, the COIN narrative is false.  For those who are interested in the details of my assertions, see the category The Anbar Narrative.  This is a subject that Professor and Colonel Gian Gentile (of West Point) and I have discussed in detail together – that is, the Petraeus narrative is a happy story made for the masses who do not understand warfare.  Petraeus, it is said, stopped being brutal, befriended the people, brought peace to their neighborhoods, listened to the town leaders, and placed his folk in harm’s way in order to make the people safer and thus win hearts and minds.  Winning hearts and minds means that they give up the insurgents, and presto, counterinsurgency made easy.

But there is nothing easy about it, it didn’t exactly happen that way, and in the end more than a thousand Marines perished in the Anbar Province and more than 4000 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines perished in Iraq.  Afghanistan was the campaign led by the social planners rather than a war fought by the NCOs and their men.  Thus we lost in Afghanistan.  Many tens or hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and others perished in Iraq, and the scene on the street and in the countryside was brutal, bloody and awful.  The belief that the COIN narrative can be applied in America or any place else by coupling with the community is a myth, at least as far as that narrative has been told to America.

The police cannot apply such a paradigm in the hopes of ameliorating social and cultural problems, because the police and armed forces cannot change the soul of mankind.

Summary and Conclusion

The evolution of militarized police in America has its doctrinal roots long ago, but has seen an acceleration during the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The mission has evolved to one of COIN and stability operations, but this is a mission too far for constables.  No constabulary operation or operations can possibly bring cultural change to a community.  Thus the police have become occupational forces, without the training, discipline or leadership of the military, but with veritable impunity and complete judicial approval for their actions.

The use of force is indiscriminate, and armed invasion teams are being used to enforce trivial warrants that at one time would have been enforced by uniformed officers acting wisely and with restraint.  In many cases the innocent suffer, and animals are routinely shot as a potential threat before any other actions occur.  The police will always paint a happy face on their community involvement, but it’s corollary – de facto legalized home invasions by occupational forces – is the dark underbelly for which they anticipate and expect treatment as heroes, much like military troops returning from a hard deployment.

A man’s home is his castle and he has a God-given right to defend it, and thus armed invasion teams, state sanctioned or not and in all but the most extreme circumstances like situations with hostages, are evil and the men who perpetrate them are deeply sinful.  These raids violate constitutional protections, but the judiciary is in bed with the executive branch rather than acting as a balance and counterweight to it.  Judicial approval for these tactics is complete and comprehensive.

Max Velocity has another excellent article where he discusses for us the only possible solutions.  Submit or resist.  Resistance may and probably will mean that you resist alone.  But submission may be equally dangerous, as armed teams acting as LEOs have become a favorite tactic of crime gangs.  Submission may mean that you’re dropping your weapon only to learn that those invading your home intend to rape your wife and kill you and your children.  The health and safety of your family may be at stake, and in fact, the very health and future of the republic.  Choose wisely.  But remember as you choose, the same establishment who would send armed invasion teams to shatter the safety of your home would prefer that you not have weapons.  It makes their job much easier.

Update: Thanks to Glenn Reynolds for the attention, and welcome Instapundit readers.

Thanks to Western Rifle Shooters Association for the attention.  WRSA has some worthy ideas for confronting local leadership to ascertain where they stand on these issues.  All politics is local – or at least, it should be.

Thanks to Mike Vanderboegh for the attention.

Thanks to David Codrea for the attention.  David has some salient ideas on hood-wearing shooters.

Other reading:

Max Velocity Tactical, The Home Invasion Dilemma – Discussion & Scenarios

Max Velocity Tactical, Solutions – Followup To The Home Invasion Dilemma

Jack Minor, WND Reports On SWAT Raids On The Innocent


Son, Will You Fire On American Citizens?

Police Arrest Man For Filming Raid, Then Shoot His Dog In Front Of Him

Yet Another Wrong Home SWAT Raid

You Have No Right To Invade My Home Or Kill My Beasts

SWAT Team Rams Wrong Man’s Car

The Hazards Of A Militarized Police Force

Another Wrong-Home SWAT Raid

Apparent No-Basis Raid In Kansas

Chicago SWAT Raid Gone Terribly Wrong

Jack Booted SWAT Raids

Police Officers Never Intentionally Pointed Guns At A Sleeping Toddler

Arkansas Town Unleashes SWAT To Patrols Streets

Ogden SWAT Team Raids Wrong Home

Yet Another SWAT Team Raid On The Wrong Home

SWAT Team Terrorizes Family In Wrong Home Raid

What Does A SWAT Team And Eight Children Have In Common?

SWAT Raids A Snake Shooting


Continuing SWAT Raids Errors And Pranks

DEA SWAT Raid And Ninth Circuit Ruling

ATF SWAT Failure

D.C. Police Bullies

One Police Officer Dead And Five Wounded From No-Knock Raid

Judges Siding With SWAT Tactics

The Moral Case Against SWAT Raids

Department Of Education SWAT Raid On Kenneth Wright

The Jose Guerena Raid: A Demonstration Of Tactical Incompetence

Recommended Reading

BY Herschel Smith
8 years, 10 months ago

John Jay:

my dear friends, the 5.56x45mm nato cartridges being expended at the 25 yard range is to provide and prepare for government agents, whether civilian or national guard, coming to our homes to try and take our guns, or suppress our speech, or inhibit or prevent our right of free association to fight the political oppression we see all around us.

the people at the ranges do not see the need to prepare for a 400 yard battlefield, and set battle.  they see the coming threat on their doorstep, and for that, 25 yard shooting will do just fine.

so, mr. obama and various & assorted minions, be aware that your final few steps in the completion of your plans will be hotly contested.  you may find force entry into our liberties far more difficult than you ever dreamed.

i see that, every day, at the 25 yard target standard.  i see the evidence of that thinking on the ground, in the form of shooting practice for the day a lot of people see coming.

i hear it on the lips of my neighbors, ordinary farmers, workers, small business people, and ex-servicemen who fought in viet nam, in iraq and in afghanistan.

those final steps, obama & minions, will not be taken easily.

I think John is right and it makes perfect sense to me.  I would warn, however, against the perceived ease of CQB.  Government troops should be wary of the boy with the bolt action rifle and high powered scope hiding in the hills and behind the flora.  As for me, I regularly shoot my AR-15 at a paper plate at 100 yards with iron sights.  If I cannot put all or most of the rounds in a magazine on a plate at 100 yards, I need more practice.  Of course, I always need excuses for more practice.

Say Uncle, citing an Army report on a new side arm:

“It’s kind of hard to beat the Smith and Wesson M&P right now,” said one industry insider from a competing company, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “It is a polymer gun with high-capacity steel magazines. It has a positive safety and ambidextrous controls … they simply came out of the gate with the right gun.”

Chance agrees with this statement, and I sure do like my M&P .40 too.  But I demur.  Read the list at the Army Times article.  Missing from the list is the best handgun to be purchased today, the Springfield Armory XDm (mine is a .45).  I shoot both on a regular basis.  The XDm is better.

David Codrea is a nice guy and doesn’t tell the anti-gun folks to go to hell like some of us would do.  He recommends going to NK.  Oh … err … nevermind, it might be hard to tell the difference.

Speaking of David, he reminds us that Obama is a liar (we knew that already), and that the Washington Post is still carrying water for Obama.  I would remind everyone that he and Mike Vanderboegh are responsible for breaking Fast and Furious, so David is in a position to know the details of the WaPo report and how it deviates from the truth.

Kurt Hofmann takes on lawyer and professor Burton Newman.  Bottom line up front.  Governor Jay Nixon is a coward.  He vetoed the proposed Missouri second amendment preservation act.  It’s painfully obvious that Kurt knows more about the law than professor Newman, and Newman isn’t a coward like Nixon, just a communist.  But Newman isn’t finished yet.  If this isn’t clear enough for you, read Kurt’s piece.  I would add that I’ve discussed this case before, and some of these laws are just posturing.  Nullification laws have as much leg under them as states want them to have, no less, no more.  Bottom line up front for my article.  I want to see some federal agents arrested and thrown in with the general prison population for attempting to enforce federal firearms laws.

Finally, Mike Vanderboegh reports:

The old man, described by a family member as “wobbly” on his feet, had refused medical attention. The paramedics were called. They brought in the Park Forest police.

First they tased him, but that didn’t work. So they fired a shotgun, hitting him in the stomach with a bean-bag round. Wrana was struck with such force that he bled to death internally, according to the Cook County medical examiner.

“The Japanese military couldn’t get him at the age he was touchable, in a uniform in the war. It took 70 years later for the Park Forest police to do the job,” Wrana’s family attorney, Nicholas Grapsas, a former prosecutor, said in an interview with me Thursday.

Good grief.  Here is the report.  Barney Fifes with ammunition in their weapons.  The Keystone Cops with automatic firearms.  Idiot totalitarians with guns.  Dangerous, hazardous to men, children and beasts.  If we don’t see you again, mommy and daddy love you.  Run, children, run for your very lives.  Here comes a cop.

Freedom Group And Remington

BY Herschel Smith
8 years, 10 months ago


Not too long ago the Internet was filled with warnings that some mysterious company, supposedly owned by ultra-liberal businessman George Soros, was buying major firearms manufacturers with the idea that they would be closed down.

It wasn’t true, although I’ve spent months countering versions of the story sent to me. But one big company — investment group Cerebus — was indeed buying up gun companies under its Freedom Group name.

It already owned Remington when the story broke, then added Marlin and H&R/New England Firearms; then Bushmaster and DPMS and Dakota Arms. A lot of the manufacturing for all of them has been swept from their former homes and is now being done at the Remington plant in Ilion.

You can imagine the paranoia returning since Reuters News Service broke a report this week that Alliant Techsystems was in the final stages of acquiring Bushnell Outdoor Products from investment group MidOcean Partners.

ATK is known for making rockets, tank and artillery ammunition and has the contract for small arms ammo for the armed forces. It also owns the nation’s largest ammo maker, Federal Cartridge, and recently purchased Savage/Stevens Arms. It already owned Alliant Powder, CCI, RCBS, Speer, Weaver Optics, and Champion Targets.

Acquisition of the Bushnell brand portfolio would give ATK an instant market presence with Bushnell, Butler Creek, Final Approach, Hoppe’s, Millett, Night Optics, Primos Hunting, Simmons, Tasco, Stoney Point and Uncle Mikes brands.

According to Jim Shepherd’s Outdoor Wire, the acquisition would put ATK on equal or slightly higher footing than Cerebus/Freedom Group.

Paranoia be damned, having so many ordnance manufacturers under stable regimes good news.

My feelings concerning Remington and the plant in Ilion (and their commitment to the state of New York) are well known.  As for Cerebus / The Freedom Group, I have monitored from a distance and tried to let the free market dictate the outcome.

But according to the article, as for the companies they bought, “A lot of the manufacturing for all of them has been swept from their former homes and is now being done at the Remington plant in Ilion.”

If this is true, then Freedom Group essentially bought out the competition rather than acquiring it, making it better and letting it contribute to the community.  They closed down manufacturing and put it all in Ilion.

Good grief.  They centralized and conglomerated rather than managed, and now it’s all concentrated in a totalitarian state.  Nothing good came from it, and it won’t end well for anyone involved.  How sad.

And my opinions concerning Remington haven’t changed.  If anything, they have become stronger.

Open Carry In Maine

BY Herschel Smith
8 years, 10 months ago

A report from Farmington, Maine:

We can’t imagine why a 20-year-old man was carrying around a toy gun Thursday night in Farmington, but he must have had his reasons.

Instead of a night on the town with his toy pistol, John Cushman ended up at the Franklin County Detention Center charged with terrorizing.

Cushman “made lots of people nervous,” according to Deputy Chief Shane Cote of the Farmington Police Department, as he strolled around the downtown.


Employees of the Homestead Bakery first called police at 9:50 p.m. They were so concerned by Cushman and his gun that they also called The Roost pub to warn them.

Roost employees locked their customers inside until police arrived, and then asked for a police escort for them when they left.

Farmington police officer William Tanner had trouble finding the toy gun troublemaker, but he finally caught up with him outside Dunkin’ Donuts.

The gun looked real to Tanner until he saw the orange ring indicating it was actually a toy, which must have been a relief.

For frightening people, as well as for some threatening statements he had made on an earlier occasion, Cushman was charged with terrorizing and taken into custody, which eased a lot of people’s minds.

But the incident says a lot about how people generally regard other people carrying guns in public — with suspicion.

It is legal to carry a gun openly in Maine, and it’s equally legal to carry a look-alike replica. Few people do, which is probably a good thing considering the ruckus it causes in populated places.

I have no idea why Mr. Cushman wanted to carry a toy firearm either when he could have legally carried a real one.  Maine is indeed an open carry state; moreover, they have no stop and identify statute.

As we’ve discussed before, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has weighed in an an analogous case, reiterating that engagement in a fully legal activity supplies no basis for a detention or arrest.

Causing terror to the public would necessarily involve an illegal activity such as brandishing a firearm.  It appears to me that the Farmington Police Department illegally detained Mr. Cushman, and the folks of Maine needs to read up on their rights.

Just Say No To Compliant Firearms

BY Herschel Smith
8 years, 11 months ago

In an article similar in spirit to those here at TCJ, Paul Markel at Ammoland writes on California Compliant Firearms: Enabling Bad Behavior.

Whatever area of business or politics you examine, when you get down to the nitty-gritty, the back room deals, its all about control. Who is in control? Who will control whom? When a state legislature passes some type of arbitrary ruling that a firearm must be configured this way or cannot be configured that way, they are exercising control. They are forcing private enterprise, and that is what gun companies are, into a position of even greater subservience and submission. Do these bureaucrats do so from genuine interest in public safety? If you answer honestly, it is no. Then why do it?

There is this little thing called precedence. You could also use the terms “establishing a narrative” or “setting the tone”. When a group of politicians get together and “set the terms” for how firearms can and cannot be manufactured they are essentially setting a precedent …

Gun registration is an excellent example of fallacy being presented as fact. In certain states, New York for example, lawful citizens must ‘register’ their handguns with the state. Because of this precedence, citizens in New York have a misconception that this registration policy is universal throughout the United States. Thanks to Hollywood, non-gun people or new gun owners assume that they have to ‘register’ their guns or that everyone who owns a gun must register it with the state …

When it is suggested that firearms makers refuse to make guns that ‘comply’ with the thoughtless and empty regulations of certain states the word “fair” gets thrown around. It’s not ‘fair’ to punish the citizens for the actions of their government some will say. Why should we be punished? To that question I would ask, who elected and continues to elect the politicians who pass these empty, feel-good laws? If not the citizens of the state, then who?

Corporate executives will attempt to placate ‘hot-headed’ customers who question their motivation and spinal status regarding the sale of “compliant” guns. These professional businessmen will explain that it is “complicated” and not so black and white …

For the “it’s complicated” crowd I would offer this. Every time you comply, every time you take the “reasonable” approach, you perpetuate and enable bad behavior.

I’m sympathetic to the objection that in rejecting compliant firearms we’re punishing people who didn’t vote the totalitarians into office.  But in the end, innocent people always suffer in the wake of bad decisions.  Consequences is no respecter of persons.

“Hot heads.”  I guess that’s what they think.  We bloggers and gun owners who reject compliant firearms and lobby for companies to relocate and allow states to feel the affects of their actions, while also voting with their own dollars to shutter businesses who go along to get along with the totalitarians – we’re just hot heads.

We aren’t well considered, thoughtful, free market practitioners of liberty, we’re hot heads.  So be it.  They can call us whatever they want.  We must follow our conscience whether they consider that to be principled or hot headed and spiteful and non-pragmatic.

As one more leverage point for principled gun owners, friends don’t let friends enable bad behavior.  Just say no to compliant firearms.

Hygiene In The Field

BY Herschel Smith
8 years, 11 months ago

Outdoor Life has this post on maintaining hygiene in the field.

No one needs to step on a “landmine” when wandering the perimeter of camp for firewood. Designate a place for cat holes or utilize a proper latrine, and you will keep a great deal of dangerous filth out of your camp.

And of course, you’ll need some toilet paper!

Don’t waste valuable cloth or clothing for wiping. See what toilet paper substitutes can be found in the local environment. I like a stack of dead, dry leaves—with one green leaf in the center of the stack for structural integrity. You can also try bundles of dead grass or fibrous inner bark, or even a stack of just green leaves.

IMPORTANT: Make sure you know what poison oak, ivy, and sumac look like and avoid them! Some fuzzy leaves, like mullein, can also cause a rash.

This no-brainer only gets tricky if you get caught without soap or hand sanitizer. In that case, you can wash your hands with saponin-bearing plants. Yucca roots and leaves; sweet pepper bush flowers; bouncing bet (aka common soapwort) leaves and roots; and clematis leaves and flowers can be crushed in a little water to produce suds. Don’t just try strange plants, though. Make the wrong choice and your skin can absorb toxins and produce a rash, at the very least.

Make a toothbrush from a hardwood stick like oak or hickory by cutting off a live twig and crushing one end to make it fibrous. You can also improvise dental floss from a variety of non-toxic cordage fibers, and toothpicks from dull thorns and wood splinters. Just be careful not to injure your gums. If you do poke your gums and they feel infected later, rinse your mouth with acorn water. Acorns and their shells can be boiled to release tannic acid. Swish this water in your mouth for a few minutes at a time a few times a day, until the irritation subsides.

I’ve mentioned before how difficult hygiene is in the field and how what you think you will be able to accomplish doesn’t last past the first several days.  I think his advice to search for toilet paper substitutes is horrible if you still have toilet paper.  If not, then remember what I said about the difficulty of hygiene in the field.

Looking for natural sanitizers is clever if you know your flora.  As for toothbrushes, through-hikers on the AT carry child toothbrushes in order to have one, first of all, and in order to minimize weight, second.  Everything a through-hiker does has the ulterior motive of minimizing weight.


Living In The Field

Living In The Field Part II

Massachusetts, Gun Control And The Future Of Smith & Wesson

BY Herschel Smith
8 years, 11 months ago

News from what was once the land of liberty, the home of the venerable John Adams, who along with Abigail fomented a revolution against the tyrant.

State lawmakers looking to balance safety with the rights of gun owners and the state’s burgeoning gun industry spent Friday listening to folks from both sides of the issue.

Michael J. Ball is a Marine Corps veteran and head of the student shooting club at the University of Massachusetts. He said everyone wants safety, and gun owners are willing to work to make sure the mentally ill and criminal can’t get their hands on firearms.

“I think there is common ground,” Ball said.

The hearing, held at the American International College’s Griswold Theatre, is the latest in a series of public forums on a number of proposed changes to the state’s gun laws. Proposals include requiring gun owners to buy insurance, limiting magazines to seven rounds, down from 10, and limiting gun buyers to just one gun purchase in 30 days.

Massachusetts legislators filed 60 pieces of legislation in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting. This legislative committee’s job is to whittle that down to a package of workable laws, probably by fall.

About 150 Smith & Wesson employees had lined up outside the theater for seats nearly an hour before the forum began. The venue seats 500.

William Innocent, of South Hadley, whose grandson Sheldon Innocent was gunned down in a Springfield barbershop in 2011, called for the state to search for a way to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, and away from the mentally ill or suicidal. The shooter, an escaped inmate, was trying to kill someone else out of revenge.

“I just hope we all, gun owners and non-gun owners, can work together to stop gun violence,” Innocent told the packed auditorium.

[ … ]

On Thursday Smith & Wesson president and CEO James Debney told The Republican the company wanted to ensure its voice — and the voices of its 1,500 employees — were heard at the forum.

In remarks to the panel Friday morning, Debney described Smith & Wesson as “… an industry leader that is committed to safety,” selling only through federally licensed dealers and including a lock with each firearm. Citing the company’s large number of employees, Debney said the company hopes to remain in the city for a long time.

Founded in Springfield in 1852, Smith & Wesson has more than 1,600 employees, including 1,500 production workers at its sprawling firearms plant on Roosevelt Avenue. The company has a $77.5 million annual payroll.

In terms of any new gun regulations, Debney asked the state not to infringe on residents’ Second Amendment rights. Instead, the executive suggested that Massachusetts report mental health data to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Massachusetts requires the collection of mental health records for an in-state database, but does not require those records to be submitted to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

Other Smith & Wesson employees also spoke against laws that could erode gun owners’ rights. David Findlay, of Athol, an engineer for the company, said, “The real issue is how we deal with mental health in this country.”

A revolver assembly worker for the company told the panel that he makes objects that either function or fail. “Violence is from the heart,” he said, making the argument that only people can be blamed for gun violence.

Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno called for limits on magazine capacity, but prefaced the request with a nod to Smith & Wesson. “They are a responsible employer,” Sarno said of the company. “They are a good corporate citizen.”

“No one is looking to take away anybody’s Second Amendment rights,” Sarno said.

And another state lawmaker said the same thing: “One thing we want to stress,  it’s no one’s intent to step on anyone’s 2nd Amendment Rights,” said State Representative Harold Naughton.

Debney also said in his prepared remarks that:

“Massachusetts is our home,” said Debney at the company’s sprawling Roosevelt Avenue factory. “All you have to do is look behind you at the hundreds of (computer numerically controlled ) milling machines. They are not going anywhere.”

Earlier this year, Texas Gov. Rick Perry specifically lobbied gunmakers in Connecticut and New York state to relocate to Texas. Debney said he gets numerous solicitations form states all over the union.

“We are not listening,” he said. “It all happens here.”

But Debney acknowledged that any firearm restrictions would further cement Massachusetts’ reputation as an “anti-gun” state. There could be a consumer backlash against Smith & Wesson similar to the hate which flowed from gun owners after Smith & Wesson cooperated with Clinton-era gun restrictions.

“It almost took down the company,” he said. “We won’t make that mistake again. At the end of the day, shooting is a passionate sport.”

First of all, a quick note to Sarno and Naughton.  Stepping on second amendment rights is exactly what you intend to do, and you’re both liars.  As for Debney, his issues are more complicated.

He has his feet in two worlds.  He makes it clear that S&W is staying put.  They are in Massachusetts to stay, says he.  On the other hand, S&W won’t make the same mistake again.  Of course, the mistake to which he is referring is aligning themselves with Bill Clinton’s gun control, a mistake which almost killed the company.

But times have changed.  Firearms companies can no longer simply make it clear that they oppose additional gun control.  Magpul knew better and is moving from Colorado, and so did Beretta who is moving from Maryland (and they had better not lollygag and delay as they seem to be doing – we’re watching).

Gun owners won’t send money to companies who will give tax revenues to totalitarian states.  This is the reason Remington will eventually have to move from New York or perish in spite of the silly article they persuaded National Review to do praising the company.

Here’s a note to Debney.  You won’t win.  Massachusetts is too far gone, and the statists have too much sway to turn back the tide of gun control.  Gun owners won’t approve, and Smith & Wesson will suffer from the decrease in revenue.  Gun owners never forgive and never forget.  Our actions are based on principle and well grounded in the soil of moral economics.

Make your decision now.  You can relocate to a free state where the workers are non-union, the people loyal and the land vibrant, or you can stay put and die on the vine.  As for me, I have two Smith & Wesson weapons, both of which I love.  I had intended to buy more, but if Smith & Wesson stays in Massachusetts, I won’t spend another penny of my hard earned money on revenue for Massachusetts to enact more gun control.

Time is of the essence.  South Carolina, North Carolina, Texas and a host of other free states beckon you.  You will soon reach the point of no return, where you have spent too much energy and time on trying to ameliorate an unmanageable situation in Massachusetts.  Your time is better spent on calling the board of directors together and forming a strategy for survival.  Your future depends on it, and you must move quickly.

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