The Paradox and Absurdities of Carbon-Fretting and Rewilding

Herschel Smith · 28 Jan 2024 · 3 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]

Who’s To Blame For The GOP Debacle?

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 11 months ago

WRSA has this up where it is implicitly suggested that Paul Ryan (weasel that he is), is actually going to make a move for candidacy.  It also appears to be suggested that this behavior is somehow controlled by the GOP machine.

Bhah!  The establishment controls little to nothing, Paul Ryan has as much chance at being the candidate as my dog, and the second example is a bunch of goobers in over their head trying to run things they shouldn’t.  Nothing more.

I’ve heard it until I’m sick and fed up.  The establishment.  They are to blame for Trump.  The establishment.  THE ESTABLISHMENT!  Screw the establishment!  They are responsible for all of the nation’s ills.  Except, not really.

The establishment is mostly filled with gargoyles, demons and pit vipers, except for a few like Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Louie Gohmert (TX), Dave Brat and Jeff Duncan (who as I discussed before, all met in Ted’s office on a regular basis and strategized to kill the gang of eight bill, for which they all give him credit).  But the bad ones, and they are numerous, were put there by voters.

Let’s cover that point again.  Voters put the bastards in office.  Every Senator and member of the House (with the sole exception of which I am aware, Tim Scott) was voted into office, not appointed.  The voters have all the power.  The voters put the bastards in office.  Sure, the voters’ ranks is mostly filled ignoramuses, goobers, idiots who would rather spend time playing fantasy football, and couch potatoes who would rather watch mind-numbing nighttime sitcoms than learn anything about government, human nature, theology, philosophy or anything that requires heavy thought.

But that’s the point.  If voters are too stupid or disconnected to vote honorable men into office, then it’s to be expected that dishonorable men will behave dishonorably.  And by the way, I simply don’t buy Ann Barnhardt’s axiom that “The culture has degraded such that seeking and/or holding office, especially national-level office, is, in and of itself, proof that a given person is psychologically and morally unfit to hold public office.”  It has absolutely nothing to do with the culture, and everything to do with the state of man both redeemed and unredeemed.  There is nowhere in the Holy Writ that Ann can turn that explains that merely seeking leadership marks a man out as being more sinful than any other man (Ann should read more John Calvin on the state of mankind), and she can’t demonstrate that there is.  Screaming it louder and louder doesn’t make it so, and Ann just made that up because she’s so pissed off, like she always is.

As for the GOPe, “the establishment,” they are easily dealt with.  The voters are doing it now.  A single election cycle can throw them all out on their ears.  The establishment has no power not given to it by the idiot voters.  Finally, most of the chattering class is woefully ignorant of most of the things I’m telling you, so you’re now smarter than most of the pundits inside the beltway (you probably were anyway).

Except that they may be beginning to catch on (and I’ll cite with caveats and stipulations).  Enter Jonah Goldberg.

Nominating Donald Trump will wreck the Republican party as we know it. Not nominating Trump will wreck the Republican party as we know it. The sooner everyone recognizes this fact, the better.

[ … ]

Trump’s response to this floor-fight talk was to vomit up the usual word salad. “All I can say is this, I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Trump told ABC’s This Week. “But I will say this, you’re going to have a lot of very unhappy people [if I’m denied the nomination]. And I think, frankly, for the Republicans to disenfranchise all those people because if that happens, they’re not voting and the Republicans lose.”

Even through the syntactical fog, Trump’s point is clear: If he can’t reach 1,237, he should get the nomination anyway. Because he is Trump. If that doesn’t happen, his supporters will stay home, defect from the party, riot, or all three.

And he’s right. Not about deserving the nomination even if he doesn’t have the delegates. That’s typical Trumpian whining. But he’s right that if he’s denied the nomination, many — not all, but many — of his supporters will bolt from the convention and the party. Left out of Trump’s unsubtle threat: Many anti-Trump Republicans will desert the convention and the party if he’s not denied the nomination.

[ … ]

Trump represents just the most pronounced of a spiderweb of ideological and demographic fault lines that are increasingly difficult to paper over. As Joel Kotkin put it in a column for the Orange County Register, the Republican party now “consists of interest groups that so broadly dislike each other that they share little common ground.”

For whatever reason, Trump’s supporters have concluded that (a) they don’t care about issues of life and will vote for candidates who support abortion, and (b) they don’t care about having a single payer socialist health care system for the rest of their lives and the lives of the children’s children.

I’ve told you before and I’ll say it again.  This election cycle is the last chance … the … last … chance … you have to turn back a single payer health care system.  If Trump dumps Obamacare and substitutes his own version of a single payer system (which is no different except that it opens state lines), it will never be reversed in American history without bloody revolution.  It will take weapons to turn it back.  Maybe that’s what you want.

And yet there are those Ted Cruz voters, who have said that they will bolt the party if Trump is nominated.  I’ve outlined my four non-negotiables, and Trump misses on two of them, and is weak on a third (he misses on pro-life, misses on a single payer health care system, and he’s weak on gun rights).  I won’t vote for Trump, so I’m in the category I mentioned above.  On election night, I’ll sit back and laugh, but I won’t whore my vote out to the least bad candidate.

But that’s the point of this whole thing, yes?  The fault of the GOP debacle lies not with the GOPe, not with Trump, and not with Cruz.  The responsibility for the debacle lies in fault lines developed years ago, irreconcilable differences, voters who have fundamentally different world views on very important matters.

The GOP is not finished if Trump is the candidate (future tense).  The GOP is not finished if Cruz is the candidate (future tense).  The GOP is not finished because of the GOPe.  The GOP is finished – past tense – because of fault lines in the voters.  It is irreversible, having to do with things theological and philosophical and things related to incorrigible values and world and life view.

Prepare yourself now for the fallout.

Harvard Business Review: Gun Manufacturers Need To Lead Change

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 11 months ago


Absent from much of the discussion, and President Obama’s recent Executive Order in particular, is any role for the gun manufacturers. When it comes to guns getting into the wrong hands, the President’s executive order frames it as a dealer issue to be addressed by expanding the capability of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). When it comes to technological development for safer guns, it is a task assigned to the Departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security — not to the U.S. based firms who have been designing and manufacturing guns since the Civil War. So it’s natural to ask: Where are the gun manufacturers?

To understand why they’re absent from any discussions of gun safety, you have to both grasp how the gun industry works — and go back about a decade to a landmark piece of legislation.

None of the “Big 3” sell guns directly to consumers. Ruger sells exclusively to a small set of wholesalers, each of which are licensed by the federal government. Remington sells to both federally licensed wholesalers and directly to some federally licensed retailers (Walmart being its largest retail account). In each case, the company uses this buffer of its distribution structure as a disclaimer of any responsibility for the ultimate use of their weapons. For example, in the wake of Sandy Hook where one of its Bushmaster assault rifles was used for all 26 killings, company management issued a statement saying the company: “…does not sell weapons or ammunition directly to consumers, through gun shows or otherwise. Sales are made only to federally licensed firearms dealers in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.”

Statements like this seem to suffice as legal protection for manufacturers due to the 2005 passage of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Firearms Act, which the National Rifle Association referred to as its “number one legislative priority and a monumental victory for the Association…” The Act grants broad immunity to manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and even industry trade associations. No action can be brought as long as the product functioned “as designed and intended” and there is no evident negligence. Since the act’s passage, no case has been successfully brought against a gun manufacturer. So without the threat of litigation, the manufacturers’ stance has been to protect the status quo – no matter how unhealthy that status quo is to the public.

“Obey the law” is generally good business advice. But gun manufacturers, guided by senior leaders trained at some of the best business schools in the country, are quite capable of more.

[ … ]

Step one is for manufacturers to adopt the role of steward for the entire gun marketing system, all the way to the buyer. This would include not only efficient distribution within the legal channel but directing meaningful effort to minimize the flow of guns from legal to illegal channels …

Step two is to monitor and stop selling to “problem” dealers …

Step three is to put some portion of the research and development spend — about $25 million in 2015 for the Big 3 — in technology-enabled gun safety to direct a new generation of guns to consumers.

There you have it.  Three easy steps to business success!  First, do the job of law enforcement.  Second, be intrusive into the lives of their customers.  Third, invest money into things (smart guns) that no one will buy, no one wants, and no one will use.

It’s a sad day when a Harvard Business School professor ignores business realities and teaches vapid tripe in order to push a political agenda.  The business realities of his suggestions would certainly be harmful to firearms manufacturers, but of course, that’s his intention, yes?

And how much does it cost to attend Harvard Business School?  Couldn’t you just take that same amount of money, invest it in firearms manufacturers and be much better off?  How is that for business advice professor?

A Modest Proposal For Guns In The Workplace

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 11 months ago

Our firm regularly prepares employee handbooks that include policies against violence that are protective of employers while allowing employees to carry their firearms to work. If you are an employer and would like to implement such a policy, here are a few

1. Screen your employees before you hire them, and always, always, conduct a thorough background check. A safe workplace begins with the hiring process.

2. Set requirements for training—if your state laws allow you to do so. At a minimum, require that your employees have a state concealed carry permit, which means they have passed a background check conducted by law enforcement.

3. Establish requirements for storage and control of the firearm. Leaving a firearm unattended inside the workplace where it is accessible to others is grounds for termination without discussion.

4. Ensure that employees have read your firearms policy and have had an opportunity to ask questions.

5. If not prohibited by your state’s law, implement a reporting system for employees who carry. Employees should at least annually update you with proof of their training. They should also at least annually sign a declaration stating they are not a prohibited person under state or federal law.

6. Have a self-reporting policy that requires employees to report immediately to their supervisor if they become a person who is prohibited from possessing a firearm.

7. Make sure you have a procedure for other employees to report threats of violence.

My company already has most of those things since I work under a fitness for duty program that meets the requirements of the code of federal regulations.  I’m not sure what she intends for number 2, but I put more rounds downrange than most LEOs.  I shouldn’t have to demonstrate over and over again at a cost to me that I know how to safely and effectively operate my firearms.

On the other hand, if the company wants to rent out a range for a day and have employee fun day at the range with a qualification supervisor watching, I’m all in for that.  I’d even buy my own ammunition.  I just don’t think I should have to go pay a state-approved CHP instructor every year for this.

What’s not to like about this?  It’s a win-win, and as few of those that come along in life, you have to grab them when you can.

Army Seeks Patent On Durable Solid Lubricant

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 11 months ago

Army Times:

What if you never had to clean and lubricate your rifle again?

Army engineers at Picatinny Arsenal believe they’ve cracked the code to make it happen with a new surface applicant, which they said could go into production in 2018.

When rifles and machine guns are fired, byproducts accumulate, leading to what’s known as “fouling.” Buildup of powder residue and moisture can eventually cause the weapon to jam, or lose accuracy, reliability and cyclic rate (rounds per minute). That’s why soldiers have to clean their rifles, generally with a wet lubricant known as CLP (cleaner, lubricant and preservative).

The new material, known as durable solid lubricant, would be applied during manufacturing and coats the weapon’s moving parts. DSL simply prevents material from sticking to the weapon’s surface. Since the fouling buildup only loosely adheres to a DSL surface, any force from the other moving parts or vibrations from firing is enough to knock it loose and keep the rifle clean.

“We see this as a major breakthrough in a technology that hasn’t been able to demonstrate performance like this in the past,” said Adam Foltz, an experimental engineer at Picatinny working on the project.

Christopher Mulligan, a research engineer who has a doctorate in materials science and has worked for Army Research, Development and Engineering Command for 13 years, said the material is a hard coating that drastically reduces friction and corrosion, improving the rifle’s reliability. Explosive byproducts don’t stick to the material, he said. The Army has a patent pending on DSL; he and Foltz didn’t want to go into detail on the technology until the patent is approved.

Testing so far has been limited but encouraging, the two said. A 10,000-round test of an M4A1, for example, produced zero stoppages despite testers never cleaning the gun, Foltz said. “The only time we weren’t shooting was to let the barrel cool.” There have been other tests that, while lab-based, incorporated sand, mud and extreme temperatures.

Not only does DSL make a rifle easier to maintain, but it greatly reduces wear thanks to removal of CPL. The oil mixes with phosphate and hot propellant gas produced by firing, which increases the volume of a buildup that can erode a weapon’s moving parts, Mulligan said. The engineers provided an image depicting test results which they say show parts of a bolt and bolt carrier 50 percent to 90 percent worn after firing 15,000 rounds while treated with CLP. The DSL-coated parts showed wear ranging from 10 percent to less than 5 percent on the same parts over the same use.

In order to keep Dr. Christopher Mulligan employed, it takes a lot of money.  Ph.D. engineers don’t come cheap, and their research time doesn’t either.  Paying an engineer for five or six years to do one thing in hopes that the entire project doesn’t fail for lack of viability is a pricey endeavor, tailor made for endurance rather than sprint.

This is just the kind of thing they would use tax money for, and that brings to mind the following question.  Why is the Army seeking a patent on this?  A patent is an odd thing to attach to this project, and is normally reserved for use when money is at stake.

For something like a secret project involving DARPA, or perhaps some project involving the nuclear assets of the nation I can see the need for secrecy, FOUO and other types of classifications.  But what’s the intent here?  Does the Army intend to sell it, or perhaps prevent some company inside of the states from reverse engineering this and marketing it?

When the national laboratories conduct work and research, normally the results of their work are in the public domain unless it involves secrecy (such as with the nuclear program).  The idea is that if tax money has been used to create the intellectual property, then taxpayers own it.

And it’s not such a bad idea.  So why is the Army seeking a patent on this technology?

Financially Punishing Gun Owners

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 11 months ago


Senator Coleman Young II introduced Senate Bill 851, which is a bill to amend the insurance code of 1956, to the Michigan State Senate this month. The bill would add a new chapter to Michigan’s 1956 PA 128 that would require Michigan firearm owners to purchase firearm liability insurance if they want to legally own guns.

Coleman Young II is the son of former Detroit Mayor Coleman Young, who was booted from the UAW, according to Powerline, for being too radical. Sen. Coleman Young II is a Michigan State Senator for the 1st District in Michigan. Opposition to SB 851 in Michigan note that one of the state senator’s biggest campaign donors is the insurance industry, which donated over $11,000 to Young over the years. Young also recently made the news when he introduces a bill that would eliminate exemptions that allow lawmakers and the state’s governor from being subject to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

SB 851 would also establish a Firearms Claims Association as an unincorporated, nonprofit association. According to the terms of the proposed amendment, an insurer that would provide the firearm liability insurance required by Michigan firearms owners would be required to be a member of the Firearm Claims Association. The Firearms Claims Association would establish procedures by which insurers would report claims that would involve the Association paying out insurance.

Additionally, in Michigan, a Firearms Authority would provide financial support to the Department of State Police and to local law enforcement agencies for the creation of illegal firearm enforcement teams that would work to reduce the number of illegal firearms. It would also provide financial support to local prosecutors for programs that are designed to reduce the number of illegal firearms in communities. It would also provide financial support for educational programs about firearm safety and firearm insurance.

This is all the rage now among the statists, i.e., raising revenue on the backs of gun owners.  We’ve just recently seen with the bill in Oklahoma to remove permitting requirements for open carry that the singular objection in the legislature appears to be that the permitting revenue stream will be lost, thus necessitating a hard look at the future employment of those doing the permitting.

In this case, the statists are going for all the marbles.  Not only does the state itself stand to gain from this, but crony corporatism is alive and well in Michigan.  Can you imagine the astronomical cost associated with insuring gun owners, how much the corporations stand to gain from this, and how little gun owners will benefit?  What would an insurer do – assure a gun owner of never being charged with a crime?  Of course not.  This is a money laundering scheme run by the best criminals in the business, the government.

And it’s all on the backs of gun owners.  The statists kill two birds with one stone.  They raise largesse, and they enact gun control without calling it gun control.  What do you want to bet the NRA won’t even score this or take a stand on the issue?

Guns, The Easter Rising, And Ireland Gun Laws

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 11 months ago

Say what you will about the NRA and failure to score the things they should about politicians (and I’ve said plenty), but American Rifleman fields a great article from time to time.  Hence, they have come through with Guns Of The Easter Rising.

On Easter Monday, April 24, 1916, scattered groups of men of the Irish Volunteers and Irish Citizen Army, as well as women of the nationalist auxiliary organization, the Cumann na mBan, assembled at their mustering points throughout Dublin. Most of them were unaware that, instead of meeting for a routine maneuver, they were embarking on an armed uprising against the British Crown. Due to a series of mishaps and intrigues, only a fraction of the Volunteers’ nominal strength actually reported for duty. While some were in the green uniforms of the Irish Volunteers or the Citizen Army, the majority of them were in civilian clothes, and they carried an amazing assortment of firearms.

The Easter Rising of 1916, or as it is sometimes known, the Easter Rebellion, marked a significant shift in Irish-British relations, and is considered by many to be the first stroke of the popular uprising that severed Ireland from the British Crown in 1922. Time and space here do not allow a detailed discussion of the causes of the Rising, but a short introduction is necessary to understand the reasons for the variety of small arms carried in this battle.

A few years before the outbreak of World War I in 1914, the British government pledged to return a semblance of Home Rule to Ireland, after a hiatus of more than 100 years. The northern province of Ulster, populated mainly by Presbyterians who had emigrated from Scotland some 300 years earlier, feared domination by the other three overwhelmingly Catholic provinces, and pledged to oppose Home Rule by force, equating it with “Rome Rule.” In a daring smuggling operation, the newly formed Ulster Volunteer Force armed itself with modern Austrian Mannlicher rifles, obsolescent German Model 1888 “Commission” rifles, and obsolete Italian Vetterli rifles.

The Irish Volunteers (pledged to fight for Home Rule), who had been smuggling in small lots of arms, followed suit when they landed two small boatloads of antiquated Model 1871 German Mauser rifles in Ireland. Arms smuggling on both sides continued right up to the point when Great Britain declared war on Germany in August 1914, resulting in a wide array of shoulder arms and handguns coming into Ireland. Under a mutual agreement, the Home Rule controversy was temporarily shelved for the duration of the war, and both the Ulster Volunteers and the Irish Volunteers (immediately renamed the “Irish National Volunteers”) volunteered en masse for service with the British Army. However, a small number of the original Irish Volunteers (retaining their original name) refused to fight for the government they considered as oppressors.

The article goes on to discuss both the history and the guns used in the Easter Rising.  It concludes thusly.

The wide variety of arms in the Easter Rising was a result of a disarmed populace trying to end foreign domination by using whatever firearms it could find. This same motley array of armament would plague the men and women who would fight another war, just three years later, in their successful attempt to make “Ireland, once a province, be a nation once again.”

There are many observations we could draw, but my job is to send readers their direction and let you comment here, because what you say will undoubtedly be better than what I could say.  But my oh my, what I wouldn’t give to shoot some of those old guns, the Mauser, Lee-Enfield, etc.

They weren’t properly armed.  And they’re not properly armed now either.

While homicide rates at least started to decline over the past decade in England and Wales, there is little sign of any such trend in Ireland at this time.

Ireland has a long history of highly restrictive gun control laws, many of them justified on the grounds of combating the IRA and similar organizations. Gun control was stepped up in the early 70s when new legislation was introduced, accompanied by a large-scale gun confiscation operation that occurred when police asked for guns to be turned in “temporarily” for inspection. The guns were never returned by police.

Since then, the homicide rate in Ireland has increased significantly, and in recent years, Ireland has adopted numerous additional gun control laws in the face of growing homicide rates.

murder_irelandSource: Graph 9.4 (Retrieved by Google Cache from Central Statistics Office of Ireland.) and this report.

So there you have it.  Seldom will you find a more telling pictorial depiction of the stolid commitment to presuppositions (i.e., we can control violence by confiscating the firearms of peaceable and law-abiding citizens) than here.  They keep pressing confiscation and increased gun regulations, it keeps having the opposite effect of what they claim they want, and they keep doing it.

Or at least, a reduction in violence is what they claim is the reason for gun regulations.  Perhaps that’s just a pretext, yes?

Merrick Garland: Obama’s Anti-Gun Nominee

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 11 months ago


He doesn’t like free speech.

The Second Amendment Foundation and The National Rifle Association oppose his appointment to the court.

He supported a hearing to ban handguns in DC.

He supported a gun registry.

And back in 2008, Dave Kopel ran down his record on guns.

Okay, so here’s my take.  We can accept this bastard now, which is absolutely loathsome and objectionable, or we can wait until, in order, (1) Trump is nominated, (2) Trump loses to Hillary, and (3) Hillary appoints someone as bad or worse.

I’m not suggesting that we accept the bastard.  If the Senate caves and has hearings on him, they all ought to be tarred and feathered.  I’m merely placing bad and worse in juxtaposition to make a point.  Terry McAuliffe and the power of the vote in northern Virginia will give Virginia to Hillary.  I guarantee it.

In know North Carolina because I live here.  Folks around these parts are horrified at Trump’s antics.  Listen to me.  Embarrassed and horrified.  North Carolina will go for Hillary, I guarantee it.  Florida will be reliable democrat territory.  Colorado is too dominated by Denver, Vail and Aspen, with too few blue collar workers, to go GOP this time, especially with so little difference between the two candidates.  The key swing states will go for Hillary.

Trump has won his states with less than a majority of the GOP voters.  Of the voters left, many of them are conservative Christians who will never vote for someone who supports abortion (not to mention socialized medicine, the two things to which we said we would never agree – remember?).  I said I won’t vote for Trump, and I won’t.  I won’t throw away my vote on yet another least bad option, one who supports abortion, supports a single payer health care system, has a squishy record on gun rights, and is a proven hypocrite on foreign workers and immigration (my four no-compromise issues).  The GOP voters won’t turn out for him like they turned out for the primaries, the party is too fractured.  It will not become fractured, it already is fractured, like a light bulb thrown down on the floor.  Totally busted.  Not in the future, but right now.  It’s over.

Trump cannot win a general election, and virtually all of the polls say that.  So Hillary will be the next president.  The biggest issue we might face will be that Hillary wins with a single party vote with voters pulling a single “lever,” thus ushering in democratic control of the senate and house.  This would give Hillary everything she needed for an assault weapons ban, national gun registry, control over sales of ammunition, and justices on the supreme court to back it all up.

The long and short of it is this.  Prepare for what’s coming.  Steel yourself.  Or better, I hope you are already prepared and putting the finishing touches on your preparations, mental and otherwise.

Hawaii Firearms Seizure Bill

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 11 months ago


Kailua, HI -( The Senate Public Safety Committee, Chairman Senator Clarence K. Nishihara, will hold a public hearing on HB2632 March 17, 2016.

Please click on the bill number above for bill information and to send testimony.  HRA OPPOSES.

Deadline to submit testimony, 1:45 pm Wednesday March 16.

Requires the county police to seize all firearms from any person who is a danger to self or others due to mental health reasons and requires emergency hospitalization. Good idea! But where’s the due process?

The bill language in the present draft is unclear as to whether a judge’s order is required to seize guns. HPD thinks they won’t need one.

HRA remains STRONGLY OPPOSED unless the bill is amended to specify that a court order must be obtained for the hospitalization before firearms can be seized, as required under the 2nd and 4th Amendments and Hawaii State law:



For more information, visit:

Ah, mental health again.  So tell us, Senator Nishihara, all about the awful things you’re going to stop with this additional power and bureaucracy?  Remember that we’ve got mental health professionals on record stating that mental health maladies do not constitute propensity to violence, and that they cannot be predictors of violence with their profession.  So with that in mind, tell us all about how you’re going to stop awful things from happening?  We’re listening.  Tell us all about your scholarly prowess in mental health and how you know more than the professionals.

I’ve exchanged email with Harvey Gerwig.  Nice guy, and I hope Hawaii gun owners are able to wrap their arms around the problem of this terrible, totalitarian state government.

Gun Permitting As A Revenue Stream And State Jobs Program

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 11 months ago

News From Oklahoma:

The Oklahoma House Thursday overwhelmingly adopted legislation that would permit gun owners to carry their weapons openly without a state-issued license.

House members voted 73-15 for House Bill 3098, the so-called “constitutional open carry” measure, and sent it to the state Senate for debate and a vote.

The measure’s author, Republican Rep. Jeff Coody of Grandfield, said it is similar to open carry laws in more than 30 other states and would allow gun owners to exercise their Second Amendment right to carry firearms openly, such is in a holster, without having to comply with existing state government licensing requirements.

Coody said persons who want to carry a concealed weapon would still be required to obtain a state permit.

“It’s the ultimate freedom bill regarding open carry,” Coody said. Coody and other supporters said citizens who are qualified to own a handgun should not be required to ask the government for permission and pay a fee to openly carry it.

“It’s our God-given right to defend our self,” said Rep. John Bennett, R-Sallisaw.

But opponents said it would have serious financial consequences for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, which administers firearms licenses issued under the Oklahoma Self Defense Act.

A fiscal analysis performed for the House indicates the measure would reduce OSBI’s revenue by at least $6 million and would lead to the loss of jobs and reduced operating expenses at the agency.

The reduction in revenue would be because firearms owners would no longer seek concealed carry licenses – which cost $100 for initial 5-year license and $200 for 10 years – if they could carry a gun openly without a license. There are now more than 238,300 Oklahomans with active licenses to carry handguns, according to state figures.

Seldom do you see it in such stark words.  Recognizing God-given rights will lead to the rejection of state-granted rights, thus leading to less power by the state, and fewer jobs at the feeding trough of public wealth.  Therefore, the statists are against recognizing God-given rights.

So there you have it.  I believe some of these grievances are similar to those that were enumerated by the colonists against King George.  Yes, now that I think about it, I’m sure of it.  “He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.”

Brandon Howard Victory Against Hopewell Police

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 11 months ago

Via reader Mack, this from The Rutherford Institute, and written up at Richmond-Times Dispatch.

A Hopewell man who filed a federal lawsuit against a Hopewell police officer who had him arrested and detained at a peaceful public protest while armed with a rifle and pistol has settled the case.

The lawsuit was resolved to the “mutual satisfaction” of both sides, the two parties said in separate statements. Specific terms of the settlement were not disclosed; the lawsuit was formally dismissed last week.

The nine-page complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Richmond in 2014 said Brandon Howard drew the attention of Hopewell police on Aug. 26, 2013, when he was seen displaying a 6-by-4-foot sign that read “Impeach Obama” on an Interstate 295 overpass.

He had an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle slung over his shoulder on a strap and a .380-caliber Bersa pistol holstered on his waist.

Howard had been protesting lawfully for about 30 minutes when a Hopewell police officer pulled up to the area on the overpass where Howard was standing and parked his vehicle. Three to five police cruisers arrived a short time later with their emergency lights flashing, the suit said.

Six to eight officers then got out of their cars with their guns drawn and commanded Howard to drop his sign and get on the ground with his hands spread above his head, the complaint said.

After Howard immediately complied, Sgt. John Hunter stated to Howard, “What do you think you are doing threatening people on my interstate?” Howard replied that he had not threatened anyone and was simply exercising his First Amendment and Second Amendment rights.

To that, Hunter said, “Not on my overpass you’re not,” according to the suit.

The complaint says Hunter then handcuffed Howard, with Hunter advising Howard that he was being detained but not arrested after Howard asked if he was under arrest. Howard was placed in a police cruiser and taken to the Hopewell police station without anyone informing him of his legal rights or providing him “with any basis or authorization for his arrest and detention,” the suit says.

Howard spent the following 90 minutes in an interrogation room, with handcuffs still binding his hands behind his back, but was never questioned during his detention, the suit says.

He was then told he was free to go, his weapons were returned, and he was driven back to the interstate overpass.

The complaint said the police violated Howard’s First Amendment right to free speech, Second Amendment right to bear arms, and Fourth Amendment right to be free from a groundless arrest when they confronted him with guns drawn and ordered him to the ground on the unfounded belief that Howard was violating the law by being in public with a rifle slung over his shoulder.

Howard’s suit sought “nominal compensatory and punitive damages in an amount to be determined at trial.”

The settlement “resolved the lawsuit to the mutual satisfaction of the parties,” according to a news release emailed Friday by the Rutherford Institute, a nonprofit civil liberties advocacy group in Charlottesville that represented Howard.

Hunter said in a statement Saturday: “The parties have resolved this matter to their mutual satisfaction. As a gun owner, avid hunter and former Marine, I, John Hunter, respect and honor citizens’ Second Amendment rights. Similarly, as a citizen and former candidate for public office, I respect the rights of citizens to express themselves and engage in political speech as protected by the First Amendment.

“It was not my intention to compromise Mr. Howard’s rights under the Constitution. As a police officer, my number one priority was the safety of the public.”

So let’s get several things cleared up.  First of all, when a LEO unholsters his weapon and points it at someone, the only person in danger is the person in the direction of the muzzle.  The LEO isn’t observing the muzzle and trigger discipline I am require to exhibit.

Second, the interstate and overpass does not belong to the LEO, no matter what kind of bravado has been taught to them in their classes.  Third, as to the comment by the LEO that “It was not my intention to compromise Mr. Howard’s rights under the Constitution,” that’s a lie.  It was entirely his intention to deprive Mr. Howard of his rights.

It’s sort of like the surprised teenager who exclaims “I didn’t mean to get pregnant!  It was an accident!”  Of course, it wasn’t an accident.  It wasn’t like she and the boy bumped into each other in an elevator and suddenly the girl was pregnant.  It is never an accident.  There is knowledge and intentionality behind the action.

Fourth and finally, it would have been better if a grown up LEO had appeared at the scene and ordered the other LEOs to holster their weapons, walked up and talked to the man, and told everyone they could all go back to what they were doing because the man had done nothing illegal.

But I guess that’s too much to ask.  I do hope they paid his legal fees.

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