The Paradox and Absurdities of Carbon-Fretting and Rewilding

Herschel Smith · 28 Jan 2024 · 4 Comments

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

Permit to buy handgun no longer required in North Carolina

BY Herschel Smith
1 year ago


Grass Roots North Carolina and gun rights supporters made history today. Senate Bill 41 cleared its final hurdle and will become law after both chambers of the North Carolina General Assembly voted to override Governor Roy Cooper’s veto. SB 41 is the first override of a Cooper veto since 2018 and the first-ever override of a vetoed gun bill in North Carolina.

SB 41 repeals North Carolina’s Jim Crow-era pistol purchase permit law and closes the loophole under which concealed carry has been prohibited in churches which sponsor schools, giving those churches the same protections that most NC churches have enjoyed since 1995.

Yesterday, SB 41 cleared the NC Senate in a party line vote of 30-19, giving Republicans the expected 6/10 supermajority to override Cooper’s veto.

The NC House then fast-tracked the bill, taking it up as its first order of business this morning. Clearly, Speaker Tim Moore was in no mood to permit grandstanding by anti-gun Democrats as Rules Chair Rep. Destin Hall immediately offered a motion to “move the previous question,” a procedural maneuver that closes all debate and forces an immediate vote on the bill. With all House Republicans voting for the bill, SB 41 passed the House by a vote of 71-45, narrowly exceeding the necessary 6/10 supermajority.

It should be noted that Rep. Michael Wray (D- Halifax, Northampton, Warren), who was a co-sponsor of a similar bill and had voted for SB 41 the first time, apparently did not vote. It is not clear whether that was due to a deal with Republicans, or whether he sold out Second Amendment supporters. However, Rep. Shelly Willingham (D-Bertie, Edgecombe, Martin), who voted for SB 41 last time, reneged on his public statement that he would not change his position on the override. By voting “no” on the SB 41 override, he clearly betrayed gun rights supporters. Also unknown as of this writing is whether the other three Democrats who did not vote were present in the chamber.

AP reports it this way.

Moore used parliamentary maneuvers Wednesday to block floor debate before the vote, causing frustration among Democrats.

Cooper, who is term-limited from seeking reelection next year, criticized the the move by House leadership, saying in a tweet that arguments to uphold his veto would have been “too compelling for them to hear.”

In North Carolina, supposedly free men must turn over their information to the CLEO (Chief Law Enforcement Officer) for approval to purchase a handgun.  The investigation (and information you must turn over) to obtain a concealed handgun permit includes: a full background check, fingerprints, and full medical records.  They contact area hospitals to ensure you haven’t had admissions for mental health or substance abuse.

The investigation if you don’t have a concealed handgun permit is substantially the same as with one, it’s just that you must obtain a permit for every handgun purchase, with a fee to the county each time you apply.  The permitting scheme for a single purchase apparently goes a bit quicker than a concealed handgun permit, but both can take very long (months, and in some cases almost years when the CLEO claims to be “backed up” like the communist Sheriff of Mecklenburg County).

It’s quite the tax collecting scheme, to be sure.

That’s all done away with now.  It’s gone.  Effective immediately.


Without that albatross hanging on us, and with both states now being legal to openly carry, NC and SC gun laws are similar.  Here’s an exception: Open carry is legal in NC without a permit, and in SC, one needs his permit.  Also in SC, the legislature is considering permitless carry.

In neither state, as of today, must a CLEO approve a gun purchase.

Goober Roy Cooper can suck on it.

Interview with Reed Knight on Eugene Stoner and the AR-15

BY Herschel Smith
1 year ago

My regular readers know that in these parts, we speak the names of John Moses Browning and Eugene Stoner with hushed reverence.  As an engineer, I have a special appreciation for fine engineering as was performed by both of these men, as well as by Jim Sullivan.

There have been indications in the past that Eugene Stoner’s family was opposed to civilian ownership of the very weapon he designed and built.  This article points to that.

“Our father, Eugene Stoner, designed the AR-15 and subsequent M-16 as a military weapon to give our soldiers an advantage over the AK-47,” the Stoner family told NBC News late Wednesday. “He died long before any mass shootings occurred. But, we do think he would have been horrified and sickened as anyone, if not more by these events.”

But their comments add unprecedented context to their father’s creation, shedding new light on his intentions and adding firepower to the effort to ban weapons like the AR-15. The comments could also bolster a groundbreaking new lawsuit, which argues that the weapon is a tool of war — never intended for civilians.

Eugene Stoner would have agreed, his family said.

Of course, this is supposition and hearsay, with his family attempting to leverage the reputation of their father for their own political ends.  But you see why nerves are sometimes a bit on edge when someone like Reed Knight speaks about these issues.  Reed knew him better than virtually anyone else and worked with him at KAC before Stoner passed away.

Along with (on the same day as) the shooting in Tennessee, no less than four hit pieces came out in the legacy media on the AR-15.  It’s not my intent to rehearse the details of the shooting (nor to tackle every hit piece).  That has been done elsewhere, from the rapid response of the police (versus in Uvalde), to the need to harden schools, and finally to the fact that she chose this school because it was a soft location whereas other potential targets had too much security.

My intention is to fisk one of the hit pieces from The Washington Post.  In this piece, Mr. Knight is quoted.

Eugene Stoner, a World War II veteran who invented the AR-15 in the late 1950s while working at Armalite, a small engineering firm in Hollywood, had no interest in civilians using his invention, said C. Reed Knight, who owns a Florida gunmaking company and considers Stoner his mentor.

“He looked at this thing as only for the military side of the house,” Knight said. Stoner, who died in 1997, thought his invention was past its prime by the mid-1990s, Knight said. He added that Stoner would have been horrified by the idea that “he invented the tool of all this carnage in the schools.”

I figured that this was a response to a very specific chronological question, and so I contacted Mr. Knight for clarification.  He graciously allowed me to spend some time with him over the telephone.  Since there is no transcript (I didn’t do this interview via email), I’ll try faithfully to reproduce some of the things he conveyed to me.  You’ll have to trust that I got it right.

First of all, Reed began a rundown of the history of Eugene’s work on the AR platform.  I knew all of this anyway, but it was nice to here Mr. Knight reminisce about his relationship and Eugene’s work.  He began in the late 1950s on the design.  It is of course correct to say that Eugene didn’t design the rifle for civilian use, since his work was targeted towards the military, and it was a military contract under which he worked.  He was paid to work on a rifle for the military.

There is a great gulf between saying that his work was done for, and financially supported by, the U.S. military, and asserting that civilians shouldn’t own the rifle, or that Eugene would have been opposed to such ownership.  That’s what’s being implied in The Washington Post.  Both Mr. Knight and I agreed on this point, and Mr. Knight made it clear that he was answering a very specific question on chronology, not politics or liberty and rights.

As an editorial point, I’ll observe that what Mr. Reed stated to me and what I recalled as the next events dovetail together.  Eugene sold the patent for the AR platform rifle to Colt in the early to mid 1960s.  Reed said to me, “… and colt immediately wanted to market the rifle in the civilian community, which of course is their right.”

Also as an editorial point, for more evidence of both the timeline here, and ATF malfeasance, my friend and colleague David Codrea sent me this article (which I had read before but forgot), in which Len Savage worked with Stephen Stamboulieh to obtain original classification letters through FOIA.  The results are interesting.

“Colt sent a pilot model rifle (serial no. GX4968) to the BATF for civilian sale approval on Oct. 23, 1963. It was approved on Dec. 10, 1963, and sales of the ‘Model R6000 Colt AR-15 SP1 Sporter Rifle’ began on Jan 2, 1964,” one critic of the article contended. “The M16 wasn’t issued to infantry units until 1965 (as the XM16E1), wasn’t standardized as the M16A1 until 1967, and didn’t officially replace the M14 until 1969.”

Civilians had this rifle before the troops in the field did.

“There are several things that are interesting,” Savage told AmmoLand News about the classification letter. “One, it shows pre-Gun Control Act ATF policy on the AR-15 system,” He noted. “It also shows why the most likely reason an AR lower is considered a ‘frame or receiver’ is that from 1962-1968 Colt marked the lower receivers with the information (flat surface as the upper is round). Meaning the regulatory scheme used by ATF  1968 to present is based on what Colt marked pre-1968 and not the statute. Willfully and knowingly.”

“Len hit the nail on the head,” Stamboulieh weighed in. “The current notice of proposed rule-making reads as if there was just no way the ATF could have known that the AR-15 split modular design was a thing. Back in 1968, the agency promulgated the definition of frame or receiver, post-dating the classification letter of the AR15, and that shows why they should have originally known what they were making a definition for.”

He and Savage also cleared up a point of potential confusion on why the classification letter refers to the AR-15 as an “automatic rifle.”

“It is because (my thoughts) that they sent two rifles,” Stamboulieh offered. “One was an automatic rifle, and the other was the modified rifle made to be not a machinegun (a semi-automatic version). So the ATF said, yes, this modified ‘automatic rifle’ is not a firearm under the NFA (therefore, not a machinegun and in other words, a semi-auto).”

“Bingo!” Savage replied. “They sent an ‘Unserviceable’ M16 so ATF could compare it and the new rifle and were told it was still considered an MG even if unserviceable since it was not properly destroyed. I laughed when Colt was told ‘file a Form 2’ in order to get it back… Wonder if it is still in National Firearms Collection?”

“In 1968 firearms industry terminology ‘automatic rifle’ means the same as ‘auto-loading rifle,’ i.e., a rifle that loads itself for the next shot,” he recalled. “Even in 1979-1980 when I took my hunters’ safety course the State of Michigan used the two terms interchangeably throughout the course.”

Thanks to David for reminding me of this article, and to Len and Stephen for the work on the FOIA.

Returning to Reed Knight, I continued with him on what Eugene thought about firearms ownership by civilians.  He told me that Eugene had a large collection of firearms and was a strong supporter of the second amendment.  Just to close the loop on all of this, I asked Reed if he believed that the rifle he currently builds at Knight’s Armament should be prohibited from civilian ownership?

I was met with an unequivocal ‘NO’.  He did opt to clarify that he firmly believes that, but most of the work they do at KAC is for the military since they focus their efforts on military contracts.  But that doesn’t change his beliefs about and support for the 2A.

Reed went on to discuss the current state of affairs concerning schools, shootings, etc.  We both believe in firmer security including armed resource officers and armed teachers, and he mentioned cultural changes that might have led to the situation we see today, including video games (I don’t happen to agree with that assessment concerning FPS gaming), unaddressed mental health issues, and other things.  I mentioned that my own readers might strongly add spiritual and moral problems as the primary cause, and he agreed with me that those issues play a role.

I’ll close my interview report by conveying two quotes by Reed: “I can’t blame the thieving that goes on in the jewelry store on the hammer that broke the glass.”  “It’s terrible to piss on Eugene’s grave because of what evil people do.”

That’s common sense, but not so common today.

I’ll also leave a few more editorial remarks.  If we’re going to consider chronology, it’s a fact that the Remington .223 was designed before the NATO 5.56mm, and in fact, Eugene based the 5.56mm on the .223, making a few minor changes to the casing before adoption as the standard NATO round.  So civilians had both the cartridge and the gun before the U.S. military did.  I won’t go into detail on the minor differences between the .223 and 5.56mm cartridge.  That’s not within the scope of this article.

I’m left wondering how writers like Philip Bump continue to be employed, who stated flatly that …

It is estimated that there are 20 million AR-15-style rifles in the United States at this point — a powerful, deadly type of weapon that didn’t exist as a consumer product two decades ago.

First, I think this estimate is quite low.  But note that he puts the commercial availability as 2023 – 20 = 2003.  How on earth do these writers get paid unless the pay master knows they’re writing pure bunk and wants it that way?

Now, one might criticize Mr. Knight for even agreeing to interviewed by The Washington Post.  But that’s his business, not mine.  But it must be noted that there are two ways to write things: truthfully and with the complete story, or twisted so that every remark, every comment, every [partial]fact, every half-truth, and every quote feeds a narrative, that narrative being the one the publisher wants to push.

That’s what you see when you read The Washington Post and similar publications.  Legacy media indeed.  I repeat: there is a world of difference between making observations and statements in response to questions of chronology (even if the writer is too stupid to know that’s what the question and answer is really about), and world and life views concerning liberties and rights.  It’s easy enough to string hearsay together with false implications of chronology and make a narrative.  It appears to be much harder to tell the truth.

I’ll say the same thing I did to Reed Knight.  Over these pages, we value the truth above all else.

Judge Richard G Andrews Makes Awful Gun Ban Decision in Delaware

BY Herschel Smith
1 year ago

Well, Delaware.  And well, Obama appointee.

If you live in Delaware … why?

Richard G Andrews.png

This man is an idiot … or just dishonest.  He considers himself to be better than you.

The Throne of Grace

1 year ago

The Throne of Grace, by Charles Spurgeon, Preached November 19, 1871

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” – Hebrews 4:16


These words are found embedded in that gracious verse, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need”; they are a gem in a golden setting. True prayer is an approach of the soul by the Spirit of God to the throne of God. It is not the utterance of words, it is not alone the feeling of desires, but it is the advance of the desires to God, the spiritual approach of our nature towards the Lord our God. True prayer is not a mere mental exercise, nor a vocal performance, but it is deeper far than that—it is spiritual commerce with the Creator of heaven and earth. God is a Spirit unseen of mortal eye, and only to be perceived by the inner man; our spirit within us, begotten by the Holy Ghost at our regeneration, discerns the Great Spirit, communes with him, prefers to him its requests, and receives from him answers of peace. It is a spiritual business from beginning to end; and its aim and object end not with man, but reach to God himself.

In order to such prayer, the work of the Holy Ghost himself is needed. If prayer were of the lips alone, we should only need breath in our nostrils to pray: if prayer were of the desires alone, many excellent desires are easily felt, even by natural men: but when it is the spiritual desire, and the spiritual fellowship of the human spirit with the Great Spirit, then the Holy Ghost himself must be present all through it, to help infirmity, and give life and power, or else true prayer will never be presented, but the thing offered to God will wear the name and have the form, but the inner life of prayer will be far from it.

Moreover, it is clear from the connection of our text, that the interposition of the Lord Jesus Christ is essential to acceptable prayer. As prayer will not be truly prayer without the Spirit of God, so it will not be prevailing prayer without the Son of God. He, the Great High Priest, must go within the veil for us; nay, through his crucified person the veil must be entirely taken away; for, until then, we are shut out from the living God. The man who, despite the teaching of Scripture, tries to pray without a Saviour insults the Deity; and he who imagines that his own natural desires, coming up before God, unsprinkled with the precious blood, will be an acceptable sacrifice before God, makes a mistake; he has not brought an offering that God can accept, any more than if he had struck off a dog’s neck, or offered an unclean sacrifice. Wrought in us by the Spirit, presented for us by the Christ of God, prayer becomes power before the Most High, but not else.

Here is a basic instruction in prayer that should be helpful for any believer.

Unexpected Revelations in Gun Control

BY Herschel Smith
1 year ago

One of the several AR-15 hit pieces today was published by The Washington Post.  It’s full of the usual blather (except for one interview I hope I get to conduct tomorrow), but this one revelation stood out to me.

Shortly after Parkland, President Donald Trump repeatedly floated the idea of supporting a new assault weapons ban.

He mentioned it on live television to one of the Senate’s most vocal gun-control backers, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and in a private meeting with Parkland families. His comments rattled NRA officials and some of his own advisers.

NRA representatives later warned Trump against taking action. “They came up here and said to him, the base is going to blow you up,” according to a former official who sat in during a series of meetings with the NRA. They, like others interviewed for this article, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private interactions.

But Trump kept coming back to the idea, according to several former administration officials.

In the summer of 2019, after back-to-back mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso involving an AR-15-style pistol and an AKM-style rifle, Trump told aides that he wanted to ban AR-15s, according to people present for the statements.

I don’t know why anyone needs an AR-15,” Trump told aides as he flew on Marine One to the White House in August 2019, according to a person who heard his comments.

As one former official put it in describing the real estate developer turned politician, “His reflexes were a New York liberal on guns. He doesn’t have knee-jerk conservative reflexes.”

But Trump was also petrified of the NRA and others taking him on, former advisers said, and heard from a number of advisers that it would be unpopular. Trump ultimately stopped entertaining the idea of working with Democrats on gun control later that year, when he was caught in a scandal over his now-infamous phone call with Ukraine’s president.

“F— it, I’m not going to work with them on anything. They’re f—ing impeaching me,” Trump said in one Oval Office meeting, according to a participant.

There’s your gun rights president.  Never forget he said that.  And never forget he supported red flag laws (with “due process” coming after the fact), and the bump stock ban, what has turned out to be an awful precedent for the current ATF shenanigans and malfeasance literally making law over pistol braces.

Never forget these things.

If a Weapon is in Common Use, Heller and Caetano Protect it from Gun Control Laws

BY Herschel Smith
1 year ago

I should be more specific and say that those weapons are protected from bans.

“Under Bruen and Heller, the irreducible minimum of the Second Amendment is this: States may not ban arms that millions of Americans possess for lawful purposes. That most basic of principles dooms HB 5471. The Court should grant Plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction.”

“The Second Amendment secures “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms.” U.S. Const. amend. II. And as the Supreme Court made clear last year, “when the Second Amendment’s plain text covers an individual’s conduct, the Constitution presumptively protects that conduct.” N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n, Inc. v. Bruen, 142 S.Ct. 2111, 2126 (2022). The first question this Court must ask in analyzing HB 5471 is thus whether the firearms and magazines the statute bans fit within “the Second Amendment’s definition of ‘arms.’” Id. at 2132. After all, one can neither “keep” nor “bear” what one cannot acquire or possess in the first place. If the answer to that first question is yes (which it plainly is, see infra pp.1-6), the Court must then ask whether the firearms and magazines HB 5471 bans are “highly unusual in society at large” today. Id. at 2143 (quoting Heller v. Dist. of Columbia, 554 U.S. 570, 627 (2008)). If the answer to that question is no (which it plainly is, see infra pp.6-11), then the inquiry is over and the statute is invalid, because a state may not “prohibit[] … an entire class of ‘arms’ that is overwhelmingly chosen by American society for [a] lawful purpose.” Heller, 554 U.S. at 628; see also Bruen, 142 S.Ct. at 2128, 2143 (“[T]he Second Amendment protects … weapons that are unquestionably in common use today.”).”

“The rifles, pistols, and shotguns that HB 5471 flatly bans, see 720 ILCS 5/24-1.9(a)(1), (b)-(c), obviously fit that bill. Indeed, if the most ubiquitous firearms in America do not even fall within the ambit of the Second Amendment, then Bruen, Heller, and the Amendment itself mean nothing. The AG nonetheless contends that the firearms HB 5471 bans are not “Arms” covered by the Second Amendment because (he says) “they are not commonly used for self-defense” today and were not “in common use at the time the Second or Fourteenth Amendments were ratified.” AG.Br.2, 16. The first argument is analytically confused; as for the second, the Supreme Court has twice “rejected” it as “‘bordering on the frivolous.’” Caetano v. Massachusetts, 577 U.S. 411, 414 (2016) (Alito, J., concurring) (quoting Heller, 554 U.S. at 582); see id. at 411-12 (per curiam).”

Read the whole brief to the court.

School Shooting in Tennessee

BY Herschel Smith
1 year ago

Everyone has seen the news reports on the school shooting at a PCA church school in Tennessee.  I won’t rehearse the facts here.  Pray for the families.  We have friends who are close to some of those who perished today.

I have a few observations to make, and then more for tomorrow.  I have a [hopeful] interview with an individual cited in one of the pieces today on AR-15s.


First, don’t you find it just a bit odd that no less than four (4) hit pieces came out over the legacy media today, and before the morning was over, an attack on a school occurred with the woman carrying ARs?

Second, the shooter was engaged within 15 minutes after the 911 call was made and put down the shooter.  Suck on that, Uvalde police.  Cowards.

Third, something seems wrong with this account.  She was carrying two AR-15s and a pistol.  Something doesn’t add up.  No one needs or carries two rifles and a pistol.  The additional rifle would just get in her way and bang around, impeding her mobility.

The Copper Fouling Lie ~ Don’t Fall for It!

BY Herschel Smith
1 year ago

Recall when I recently asked the question why anyone would work hard and put harsh solvents down his barrel to remove copper when the first shot after cleaning will simply refill the discontinuities and imperfections with copper all over again?  And I asked why it wasn’t better to leave it alone?

I can’t locate that post at the moment, but I know I posed those questions.

This experienced gunsmith is telling you not to worry about it.

That’s good enough for me.  I have never worried about copper fouling before, I don’t now, and I don’t intend to in the future.

7 Rifles I Wouldn’t Trust on a Hunt

BY Herschel Smith
1 year ago

I think his list devolves a bit into 7 rifles he either wouldn’t trust or wouldn’t choose to carry again.  Anyway, his views are always interesting, and I know he carefully tests out his equipment. I’m not sure I would choose to carry a 13 pound rifle very far on a hunt either. I’m also not sure I’ll ever have a need for 28 Nosler.

South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds Thinks You’re Stupid

BY Herschel Smith
1 year ago

David Codrea.

“Senator Mike Rounds, R-S.D., is taking on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) with a new bill expanding full-time travelers’ gun ownership rights,” Fox News reports. “Rounds reintroduced the Traveler’s Gun Rights Act on Thursday, a bill that aims to update federal law to account for gun residency issues full-time travelers — such as people who live in recreational vehicles (RVs), individuals with multiple homes, and military personnel and spouses.”

Yawn … big deal.

Read the rest of David’s analysis.  He’s a pro-immigration pol, supporting amnesty for more than ten million illegals in America.  That means your medical bills and tax dollars go towards medical care for someone other than your family since they treat the hospital ER as their PCP and then lean on the entire medical system to finish the job and foot the bill.  Ask me how I know and I can send you to an NP who works in surgery and emergency medicine.  There are no arguments here.  These are facts, and they are not in dispute.

For pro-immigration libertarians out there, that’s one of the most un-conservative and un-libertarian things you could do to the American people system.  It’s also theft, and therefore immoral.

David ends with Mark Smith’s video (which we’ve embedded), and then this.

Bearing Arms takes exception to Smith’s video.

I take exception to Bearing Arms. So does my colleague Herschel Smith at The Captain’s Journal.

By the way, his orange attire and bird vest doesn’t impress me.  I upland bird hunt too, but whereas he’s a realtor and insurance salesman and broker, I’m a working man.  He supports legalized theft, and many big businessmen do (so they don’t have to bear the brunt of the expense of immigrants), and I support morality.

He also fails to acknowledge what I’ve pointed out so many times before from Pew research that Hispanics support gun control by some 75%.  It’s a fact, and it is not in dispute.  Comments to my linked research from others say things like ““Hispanic” is a chimera. Around here the Cubans are damn near 100% gun owners. I think what they mean by “hispanic” is Mexican.”

Interesting, and totally irrelevant.  I didn’t say anything about where this commenter was from.  I quoted Pew who told us that 75% of the immigrants being let into America do not support their RKBA.  It’s a fact, and it’s not in dispute.

This guy doesn’t get it either at The Libertarian Institute.

The principle at stake here is the same principle at stake in the gun control debate–whether peaceful, law-abiding individuals should lose their freedoms because a few bad people commit atrocities.

Nice misdirect.  That’s not the principle and he knows it.  The principle is whether we let those people here to begin with given their opposition to our RKBA.  They oppose it by 75%.  That’s a fact, and it’s not in dispute.

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