Walkabout In The Weminuche Wilderness

Herschel Smith · 05 Aug 2018 · 40 Comments

"There are no socialists in the bush" - HPS All of my physical training only barely prepared me for the difficulty of the Weminuche Wilderness (pronounced with the "e" silent).  It's National Forest land, not National Park.  The Department of Agriculture no longer prints maps of the area, so we relied on NatGeo for the map, and it's good, but not perfect. We have a lot of ground to cover, including traveling with firearms, the modification I made to one of my guns for the trip, the actors…… [read more]

Trump’s Risk With Suppressors

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

Breitbart:

Here are seven reasons why action against suppressors is politically risky:

  1. A Suppressor Has Been Used in One Mass Shooting — A suppressor was used on one of the two guns in the Virginia Beach mass shooting. In other words, of all the mass shootings and/or high profile shootings constantly beamed into homes via the establishment media, a suppressor was used in one of them.
  2. Police Still Heard the Gun Shots and Moved Toward Them to Find the Gunman — On May 31, Breitbart News reported Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera’s observation that police officers located the Virginia Beach gunman by moving toward the sound of his gun shots.
  3. Suppressors Are Not Silencers — The fact that police moved toward the sound of the gunman’s shots, and that witnesses recalled hearing shot after shot, illustrates the fact that suppressors are not silencers. Rather, they are mufflers that remove the dangerous, high pitches associated with a gun shot.
  4. Suppressors are Already the Most Highly Regulated Firearm Accessory in America — The acquisition of a suppressor requires the submission of fingerprints and photographs, and an in-depth background check. It requires the would-be buyer to pay a $200 federal tax and to register the suppressor with the government. The process of doing these things takes seven to nine months. The would-be buyer is then allowed to come in and receives a federal tax stamp, showing the suppressor is in the buyer’s name, and the buyer is then allowed to take possession of his suppressor.
  5. Suppressor Acquisition Involves Many of the Democrats’ Favorite Gun Controls — As seen in the above paragraph, acquiring a suppressor involves a background check and registration, as well as fingerprinting and photographing the buyer. Yet when these gun controls fail–even in a single instance–Democrats push for more, more, more.
  6. Suppressor Ownership is Legal in 42 States — The American Suppressor Association reports that suppressor ownership is legal in 42 states. Many of these states allow use of suppressors in hunting, for the noise-reducing benefits that hunters and the environment gain through suppression use.
  7. Smacks of Bump Stock Ban — The fact that suppressors are not silencers; that they have been used in only one mass shooting; that police in that shooting could still hear the gunshots and run toward them; that witnesses could hear the shots and run from them; and that suppressors are legal in 42 states (which only magnifies their infrequent use in crime) is reminiscent of the way bump stocks were banned after they were used only once in a crime. Ironically, the one criminal use of bump stocks, and the criminal use of suppressors, were related in that the accessories were legally purchased both instances, then used against citizens in a situation where the citizens could not shoot back.

This doesn’t even begin to touch the risk he faces, and there may be no way to mitigate the risk even now.

First of all, let me say that if suppressors completely silenced a gun shot, there still wouldn’t be a basis for banning them.  “Shall not be infringed” means what it says, and you and I know it.  I just hate it when people stipulate the high ground to the opposition, inasmuch as admitting that in certain circumstances it just may be a good idea to regulate something-or-other.

Trump has already alienated gun owners with: “Take them first, follow due process later”, his choice of AG, his choice of ATF head, his bump stock ban, and now his statement of hatred for suppressors.  With his bump stock ban he turned more than half a million peaceable men into felons overnight with the stroke of a pen.

He thinks, or he has been told by his idiot advisors, that stunts to appease the Fudds will fix his problems with being a gun control advocate.  His idiot advisors are wrong in the superlative degree, and he will find that out in little more than a year.

But I said that “it wouldn’t surprise me to see a bill pass the House and Senate headed for Trump’s desk to outlaw them completely, something that is no more than a muffler intended to save the hearing of target shooters and sportsmen.”

True to form, when the controllers see an opening and a weakness, they’re waiting to pounce.

Gun silencers like the one used in a recent lethal shooting in Virginia Beach would be banned under legislation that U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey introduced Friday.

The Democrat unveiled the legislation at news conference in Trenton alongside Democratic Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora and representatives from the gun-control group Moms Demand Action.

Well, Mr. 3D-chess is in a pickle now, yes?  He’s gone on record saying that he hates suppressors, and that they are looking at what can be done.  The democrats have the House, and effectively the controllers hold the Senate.  They’ll send him a bill, and you can count on it.  What will he do then?

If he signs it, he will finish the alienation of the balance of the gun control crowd.  There are many more suppressor owners than bump stock owners.  If he doesn’t sign it, he’ll be pointed out as an inauthentic liar.

Does he even care at this point which it is?

Joe Biden On Smart Guns

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

David Codrea:

Unsurprisingly, Biden either doesn’t know what he’s talking about or he does and doesn’t care that he’s spreading lies. While we’ve seen numerous abortive attempts over the years to bring the technology to market, recent ones involve technologies relying on fingerprint recognition, bracelets and rings, and embedded RFID chips. If DNA is to be added into the mix, it would be interesting to see that idea fleshed out, including how the sample will be extracted and then analyzed to allow for immediate firing by “authorized” users under all conceivable real-world conditions.

Herschel grins and chuckles, begging for someone to take his challenge.

Perform a fault tree analysis of smart guns.  Use highly respected guidance like the NRC fault tree handbook.

Assess the reliability of one of my semi-automatic handguns as the first state point, and then add smart gun technology to it, and assess it again.  Compare the state points.  Then do that again with a revolver.  Be honest.  Assign a failure probability of greater than zero (0) to the smart technology, because you know that each additional electronic and mechanical component has a failure probability of greater than zero.

Get a PE to seal the work to demonstrate thorough and independent review.  If you can prove that so-called “smart guns” are as reliable as my guns, I’ll pour ketchup on my hard hat, eat it, and post video for everyone to see.  If you lose, you buy me the gun of my choice.  No one will take the challenge because you will lose that challenge.  I’ll win.  Case closed.  End of discussion.

Yet another note to the controllers.  Just ponder how awesome it would be for you to get a picture of a gun advocate eating crow (or in this case, his hard hat), covered with the thing he hates the most, Ketchup.

I beg you again, controllers, take my challenge, signed and sealed with the stipulations – you get me eating crow, or I get my choice of guns.

Any takers?

Ignoring The Republican Role In Advancing Gun Control

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

Advocates for Self Government:

Biden was the Senator who introduced the Gun-Free School Zones Act in 1990. In this same tweet, Kirk called out Biden saying that he “has done more to allow school shootings than the NRA or any Republican ever has.”

Although Biden deserves the brunt of the blame for creating this terrible piece of legislation, Kirk conveniently ignores on a key point in his Biden hit—the 1990 GFSZA was signed by Republican President George H.W. Bush.

It takes two to tango in today’s status quo of ever-expanding government. Gun rights have not been excluded from this trend. Indeed, the Democrats held both chambers of Congress during that time. However, it stands to reason that a Republican president, who is supposedly “pro-gun”, would veto such legislation. Unfortunately, that was not the case.

[ … ]

Generic Republicans can huff and puff about being pro-gun, but they too have been complicit in advancing gun control. As a matter of fact, it was a Republican Governor, Rick Scott, who signed Florida’s most expansive gun control law to date following the Parkland shooting.

There is something more at play with regards to why gun control continues to move forward. It’s not just about electing the “right” Republicans.

Ultimately, it boils down to changing the culture and the political environment around politicians in order to get them to behave accordingly. Bad politics follows bad ideas.

The author still hasn’t put his finger on exactly what’s wrong.  He understands the ailment, but not its cause.  Thus he cannot prescribe a cure.  Here it is for you.

In God’s economy, there are three institutions: Family, Church and State.  When either usurps the role of another and takes to itself the province belonging elsewhere, it is an affront to God’s laws.

God has decreed that the family would raise children and teach them moral values as well as create a society of education, work and play.  The Church is the moral institution for the family – not against it, but as an aid.  The state’s rightful task is to punish evil-doers and protect boundaries of the state.

It isn’t the state’s proper function to teach ethics, encourage morals, attempt to eradicate sin, or enhance man’s behavior towards good.  That is a usurpation of the power and authority belonging to other institutions.  It also isn’t the job of the government (the state) to dispense grace, e.g., largesse, meals, clothing, goods, wares, etc.  That’s the province of the family and church.

God never blesses disobedience to His law-word.  He will never bless the state’s usurpation of the province of another.  That is an insult to the Almighty, high-handed sin, a declaration that the creature is wiser than the creator, the same sin that afflicted Adam.

Republicans have bought into the great lie just like democrats.  That’s why republicans often lead the charge for do-gooder, meddling, nanny-state programs to lift the poor out of poverty and control over weapons to combat crime.  Those programs will always fail.

Only obedience to God’s law will be blessed.

NRA Suspends Chris Cox

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

Yahoo News.

The National Rifle Association suspended its top lobbyist and one of his deputies, adding further turmoil to the gun-rights group’s leadership ranks as it wages legal battles on multiple fronts and prepares for a bruising 2020 election cycle.

The NRA confirmed Thursday that it had suspended Chris Cox, the lobbying chief who was viewed widely as a future leader of the group, and his deputy chief of staff, Scott Christman.

David Codrea has this bit of wisdom.  “Never f*** with a guy who got to where he is by eliminating his superior.”

The link he supplies has this interesting (and to me, previously unknown) bit of history.

The core issue was how the NRA’s PR company, Ackerman McQueen, was drawing millions of dollars a year from the organization and improperly controlling NRA staff. The Board directed Wayne to sever ties with Ack-Mac, and Wayne promised to do so, then claimed to have done so, by bringing in a new PR company called Mercury Group. The “new” PR company turned out to be a wholly owned subsidiary of Ack-Mac, with all of the same players in all of the same positions, still bleeding the association of the same millions of dollars.

So it would appear that NRA politics is as dirty and ugly as American politics, and that chasing the money is the name of the game.

It’s too bad for Chris, really.  I know very little of him, and were I to know more, I might hate him as much as I do Wayne LaPierre.

But I maintain that Wayne is trash.  He’s an unmitigated scoundrel, a ne’er-do-well, a rapscallion, a wretch.  As long as he is at the helm of the NRA, I won’t be connected with it again.

Soldier Nails Perfect Score In High Power Shooting Event With Service Weapon

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

Guns.com.

The competitor, Sgt. Benjamin Cleland of Swanton, Ohio, pulled off the feat at the National Rifle Association’s 2019 Charlie Smart Memorial Regional in Oak Ridge, Tennessee on June 2, with a score of 800-34x. This means Cleland not only notched 80 back-to-back hits in the 10-ring but that 34 of those nailed the even smaller “X” ring at the target’s dead center. For reference, at 600 yards, the 10-ring measures 12 inches while the “X” is 6 inches.

[ … ]

The 80-shot course is fired in four stages. This begins by firing 20 rounds from 200 yards in a standing position, followed by 20 sitting/kneeling, rapid-fire rounds before delivering 20 rounds from a prone position at 300 yards. The final stage, at 600 yards, consists of a further 20 rounds. A perfect score is 800, or 10 points for each round in the 10 ring.

The previous high score with a service rifle was a 798 set by Marine Gunnery Sgt. Julia L. Watson.

Service rifles in the match are limited to M16s, M14s and M1 Garands with a maximum of a 4.5x power scope.

That’s 1-2 MOA shooting for 80 straight rounds, some of it rapid fire.  That’s extremely consistent shooting.  That’s something we should all be striving for.

New Zealand’s Plan To Buy Back Illegal Firearms Angers Gun Advocates

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

News from New Zealand.

“Some of the offered prices for higher-end firearms are well out of kilter,” Nicole McKee, a council spokesman, was quoted by The New Zealand Herald as saying.

McKee said gun owners are “angry and they’re frustrated” because the government reneged on a promise not “to rip us off.”

You didn’t really expect otherwise, did you?

“The component prices are horrible robbery,” David Tipple, who owns a gun shop where the Christchurch shooter bought weapons, tells the Herald.

Tipple says he expects to lose “tens of thousands of dollars” in the buyback. Even so, he encourages owners to hand in their illegal weapons.

“We want them to comply,” he said. “Let’s get them paid quickly so we can get compliance. Nobody wants a black market.”

Oh, I suspect most gun owners want a black market.  Regardless of what anyone wants, that’s what’s going to happen.

Send Bachelors And Come Heavily Armed

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

News from Oregon.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) authorized the state police to bring Republican lawmakers back to Salem after several left the state to avoid a vote on a climate bill.

[ … ]

Oregon state Sen. Brian Boquist (R) on Wednesday appeared to threaten violence if state police were sent to return Republicans to Salem.

“This is what I told the superintendent,” Boquist said, referring to Oregon State Police Superintendent Travis Hampton. “Send bachelors and come heavily armed. I’m not going to be a political prisoner in the state of Oregon. It’s just that simple.”

I think I like the cut of his jib.

Ninth Circuit: There’s Nothing Inherently Suspicious About Running From The Police Or Carrying A Gun

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

TechDirt:

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has just handed down a refresher [PDF] on a few legal issues, most notably what is or isn’t “reasonable” when it comes to suspicion. Police officers thought an anonymous tip about a man carrying a gun and someone running away from them created enough suspicion to chase down Daniel Brown, stop him at gunpoint, and search him for contraband.

Contraband was found, leading to Brown’s motion to suppress. The lower court said this combination — an anonymous report of a gun and Brown’s decision to run when he saw the police cruiser — was reasonable enough. Not so, says the Ninth Circuit, pointing out the obvious fact that a person carrying a gun can’t be inherently suspicious in a state where carrying a gun in public is permitted.

In Washington State, it is presumptively lawful to carry a gun. It is true that carrying a concealed pistol without a license is a misdemeanor offense in Washington. See RCW §§ 9.41.050(1)(a) (“[A] person shall not carry a pistol concealed on his or her person without a license to carry a concealed pistol . . . .”), 9.41.810 (explaining that any violation of the subchapter is a misdemeanor “except as otherwise provided”). However, the failure to carry the license is simply a civil infraction.

There was no reason for officers to assume Brown’s gun was unlicensed. Since carrying a gun in Washington is “presumptively legal,” the officers would have needed more info than they had to perform a stop to just to ask Brown for his carry license. The anonymous tip officers received said only that a YWCA resident had approached the desk and said they’d seen a man with a gun. No further information was given by the tipster.

Faced with the weakness of the tip and the presumptive legality of gun ownership, the police then argued Brown might have been illegally “displaying” his gun to “cause alarm.” But the court denies this argument — first raised on appeal — as being no better than assuming Brown’s mere gun possession was enough to justify a stop.

Faced with this reality, the government now argues that the officers suspected that the manner in which Brown was carrying his gun was unlawful: it is “unlawful for any person to carry, exhibit, display, or draw any firearm . . . in a manner, under circumstances, . . . that warrants alarm for the safety of other persons.” RCW § 9.41.270. Never mind that nothing in the record could support such a finding. No evidence shows that the resident was alarmed at the time she reported seeing the gun. There is no report that she yelled, screamed, ran, was upset, or otherwise acted as though she was distressed. Instead, the 911 call reported only that the resident “walked in” and stated “that guy has a gun.”

Finally, the government argued that Brown’s decision to flee when he saw police officers was inherently suspicious. Again, the court says this is wrong. While fleeing officers can be suggestive of wrongdoing, it is only one factor and it’s one heavily influenced by the deteriorated relationships many law enforcement agencies have with the communities they serve.

[ … ]

The public isn’t obligated to stop just because an officer says, “Stop.” … If law enforcement doesn’t like the way this decision breaks, it really can’t blame anyone else for the public’s reaction to the unexpected presence of officers.

Good for them, and I’m extremely surprised to see this come from the Ninth Circuit.  LEOS have to be told, and told, and told again the same thing, and they never learn, or just don’t want to.  The problem is, of course, that there are no repercussions from ignoring the court’s opinion because the courts and LEOs are all on the same side.  They are one and the same, even if one is technically the executive and the other technically the judiciary.

This is very similar to a decision by the Fourth Circuit concerning Mr. Nathanial Black.

Nathaniel Black was part of a group of men in Charlotte, North Carolina who local police officers suspected might be engaged in criminal activity. In particular, Officers suspected that after seeing one of the men openly carrying a firearm – which was legal in North Carolina – that there was most likely another firearm present. When police began frisking the men one by one, Mr. Black wished to leave, but was told he was not free to leave. Officers chased Mr. Black and discovered that he possessed a firearm; it was later discovered that he was a previously convicted felon. Mr. Black was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. Before the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, Mr. Black moved to suppress the evidence against him. His suppression motion was denied, he entered a guilty plea preserving a right to appeal the denial of the suppression motion, and he was sentenced to fifteen (15) years imprisonment. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, however, determined that the officers had improperly seized Mr. Black, suppressed the evidence against him, and vacated his sentence.

Because open carry is legal in North Carolina.  See, carrying a weapon isn’t a valid reason to stop people, innocent or not.  Black was in fact a felon in possession of a firearm and the Fourth Circuit let him go and vacated his sentence, as they should have.  Innocence or guilt has nothing whatsoever to do with anything concerning rights, the behavior of the police, and precedent.

But LEOs don’t learn the law these days, so sadly, I know more about it than most cops do.  And you do too.

Encouraging Home Schooling

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

John Lovell and his wife are home schoolers.  For a period of time all four of my children went to private Christian schools, but of course that becomes expensive, as much at the time as sending a child to college locally.  It becomes cost-prohibitive.

Home schooling is a great option, especially since public schools are centers for communist indoctrination now.  When time permits (it’s tight right now), I’ll give you a complete run-down of an experience I had in our brief time in public school with one of my children, and the utter stupidity and ignorance of one of the science teachers.

It wasn’t long after that we decided to home school for the final years.  Not only are public schools centers of communist indoctrination, they’re homes for idiots.

Oh, John, take a brush to that hair at least once a day like I do. You have a lot, I have little left. Care for it while you can.

Take A Wild Guess Who Wants The North Carolina Concealed Handgun Law Changed To Add A “Moral Character” Clause And “Discretion” By The CLEO?

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

GRNC:

To GRNC supporters from GRNC president Paul Valone:

The good news is that, at least for now, you have won a great victory. The Proposed Committee Substitute (PCS) for S90 has been pulled from the Judiciary Committee calendar and will not be considered tomorrow. If you had planned to attend the meeting, please do not go… at least for now.

It has come to our attention that Senator Dan Britt has been responding to the many respondents to GRNC’s alert by telling them we are incorrect about the bill. At least initially, Sen. Britt apparently didn’t understand his own bill… perhaps because it was the NC Sheriff’s Association that fed him a bill of goods. Now that he apparently understands the problem, he has professed the best of intentions. We will take him at his word.

Why Sen. Britt was wrong about the S90 PCS
In its current form, the S90 PCS would indeed make concealed handgun permits discretionary by adding essentially the same subjective “good moral character” clause which sheriffs have been using to arbitrarily deny pistol purchase permits for many decades. It would do so under a new GS 14-415(a1)(2) by requiring applicants for concealed handgun permits (which it now calls “Class A” permits) to also qualify for pistol purchase permits (renamed “Class B” permits).

The language is, at best, vague. We can argue forever whether its vagueness limits or actually expands sheriffs’ arbitrary “discretion,” the bottom line is this: 1919 Jim Crow language originally intended to deny guns to blacks has no place in modern statutes, and especially not in a hugely successful “shall-issue” concealed handgun statute which GRNC got passed back in 1995, and which has produced a huge plummet in NC violent crime ever since.

Why a ‘fix’ won’t work
We appreciate that Sen. Britt has offered to “fix” the language to remove the “moral character” clause from the concealed handgun language. While a nice gesture, doing so fails to address the problem that the S90 PCS is flawed not only in execution, but in concept.

The portion of the PCS dealing with pistol purchase permits (a/k/a “Class B” permits) purports to be an improvement because it “authorizes” (yes, “authorizes”) applicants to purchase as many handguns as they want over 5 years for a higher $25 fee. Ignoring for a moment, that “authorizing” handgun purchases turns a right into a privilege, and that people of lesser means, who can afford only one defensive handgun now experience a 500% “tax increase” (from $5 to $25) to buy a single handgun, please consider the following.

Six years ago, thanks to the efforts of GRNC and then-Sen. Buck Newton, as part of restaurant carry bill H937, the NC Senate voted to repeal our Jim Crow pistol purchase law in favor of point-of-sale checks as done in nearly all other states. Unfortunately, when the bill was sent to the House, then-Speaker Thom Tillis insisted the measure be removed.

By contrast, what the NC Senate is doing now is to cement our Jim Crow purchase permit law permanently in place, permanently enshrining it in such a way to make full repeal all but impossible. It is often said that “the perfect is the enemy of the good.” In this case, the mediocre is the enemy of the morally just.

Sheriffs association: All about money and power
At issue is the role of the NC Sheriffs’ Association (NCSA) in this debacle. By all indications, they wanted the “moral character” clause added to concealed handgun permits and were, perhaps, disingenuous in their negotiations with Senate bill sponsors.

As GRNC VP Don Pomeroy notes, in at least its original form, the PCS lines the pockets of NC sheriffs while hanging the NC Department of Public Safety out to dry.  Language in this bill would strip 100% of the permit fees currently shared with NCDPS and create a cash windfall by giving that money to sheriffs increasing their current share of the permit fees by over 100%.

Moreover, the PCS would have given sheriffs power over to whom they issued either pistol purchase permits or concealed handgun permits… if they issued such permits at all.

The second you turn your head, the communists are at it again.  They never sleep, do they?  There isn’t a single God-given right you have they wouldn’t take to themselves if they could, there isn’t a single dollar you or anyone else has that they wouldn’t take if they could, and there isn’t a single bureaucratic machine they don’t like.

That’s right.  Your single guess was good enough, and you got it right.  North Carolina CLEOs and the Sheriff’s association.

Or in other words, the communists.

Thanks to Paul Valone and GRNC for their diligent work on this and similar issues.  We’d be in a pickle without them.


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