Archive for the 'Featured' Category



Judge Upholds California Gun Microstamping Law

BY Herschel Smith
4 weeks ago

CBS Sacramento:

A federal court has rejected a challenge to California’s gun safety law, possibly paving the way for a requirement that new guns mark the bullets they fire so they can be traced.

The ruling on Wednesday was a defeat for two gun rights groups that argued the Unsafe Handgun Act violated the constitutional right to bear arms.

The law prohibits the manufacture or sale in California of any gun that doesn’t meet certain safety requirements. It was aimed at outlawing cheap “Saturday Night Specials” that were disproportionally used in crimes.

A 2007 amendment added a requirement that new or modified semi-automatic handguns include technology that microstamps a bullet casing with a code identifying the gun’s make, model and serial number.

That requirement was held up by concerns about patent issues on the technology but took effect in 2013. However, the federal challenge continued.

This week’s ruling “means that more gun crimes will be solved, more lives will be saved and California communities will be safer,” said a Friday statement from Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, who authored the 2007 amendment when he was a state Assembly member.

The gun safety law initially was challenged in 2009 by the nonprofit Second Amendment Foundation and Calguns Foundation, Inc.

Their lawsuit argued that the state law unconstitutionally prevented some members from buying certain types of handguns that were not on the state’s roster of permitted weapons.

The judge in the federal case rejected the argument that the law was onerous, saying that the commercial sale of firearms in the state “proceeds robustly,” with about 1.5 million handgun transactions since the lawsuit was filed.

The ruling also noted that the state’s roster of permitted handguns includes 795 models.

More from Orange County Register:

The law doesn’t violate the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment because gun owners don’t have a right to specific types of firearms, U.S. District Judge Kimberly Mueller in Sacramento said in her ruling.

“Plaintiffs insist they have the right to determine the precise way in which they would exercise their Second Amendment rights,” Mueller said. The insistence upon particular handguns falls “outside the scope of the right to bear arms,” she said.

Several observations are in order at this point.  First of all, Ms. Kimberly Mueller was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2010.  So much for gun rights being important to the GOP.

Next, it bears noting that while Ms. Mueller ruled that “[t]he insistence upon particular handguns falls “outside the scope of the right to bear arms,” she should have ruled that the constitution contains the phrase “shall not be infringed,” and that infringing is exactly what this law does.

Third, as to the notion that “this week’s ruling “means that more gun crimes will be solved, more lives will be saved and California communities will be safer,” said a Friday statement from Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, who authored the 2007 amendment when he was a state Assembly member,” it means nothing of the sort and Mr. Feuer is a liar.

Peaceable citizens purchase handguns from FFLs who follow the law.  Such people do not commit crimes where cartridges can be used to trace back to the particular person and weapon used to commit the crime.  That’s all a smokescreen to hide the real intent of the law.

They will no doubt argue that in order for this to work, they must implement the necessary corollary to the microstamping law, which is universal gun registration.  No, not just universal background checks, which effects sales going forward, but universal gun registration where the authorities have a record of all guns and who owns them.  The German Nazis wanted to know this sort of information too.  Of course, none of this has any effect on guns owned by criminals who will not register them.  It only applies to peaceable citizens.

Finally, the entire issue with the number of guns on the approved list today is yet another ruse.  The guns will fall off the list very soon.  The problem is that the list includes guns that do not include microstamping technology, and this is okay as long as no modifications are made.  Modifications might include melonite coating, different grips, safety improvements, match grade barrels, or anything else.  Since manufacturers do make routine minor (or major) modifications involving retooling the assembly line and machinery, that means that any new gun must include microstamping technology.

Gun manufacturers know exactly what will happen to their customer base if they produce weapons that are microstamped.  It will disappear from the face of the earth, and California politicians likely know this and are using it to rid California of legally sold guns.  In other words, they know that the “robust” sale of guns in California is a lie as it pertains to future sales.

I have interacted with Smith & Wesson, and to my dismay they won’t go on record and indicate to me that will refuse to sell to law enforcement if they cannot sell to other citizens.  This is a shame and a travesty of justice.  They will sell guns to law enforcement, while other citizens will see their list of potential guns dry up.  But to be fair to Smith & Wesson, the same is true of Glock, H&K and other manufacturers.  I just have more respect for the quality of S&W products and believe that they could be a beacon of liberty in California if they chose to.  They have not chosen to.  They have chosen money over freedom.

The NSSF has also weighed in.

… as several independent, peer-reviewed studies have shown, this nascent technology is flawed. It is incapable of reliably, consistently and legibly imprinting the required identifying information in two locations on an expended cartridge casing. Even the patent holder in a 2012 study he co-authored acknowledged the problems with this technology and called for further study rather than mandating its use. A National Academy of Science review, forensic firearms examiners and a UC Davis study reached similar conclusions. Because of the technology’s inherent limitations, no manufacturer can comply with this new law.

What the Legislature actually did was ban the innovation and stop the continuous improvement of today’s manufacturing processes that would otherwise enhance firearms safety and other functionality.

Compounding the problem is the state attorney general’s overreaching definition of what constitutes a “new model,” thus triggering the microstamping requirement. According to the attorney general, the slightest modification or design enhancement done as part of the normal manufacturing process for any product, such as changing the way a part is made or its dimensions to make it stronger and more durable, is a “new model,” which would now require microstamping. As a result, pistol models deemed as “not unsafe” by California are rapidly falling off the approved-for-sale roster.

And that’s what I just told you.  But notice the way Lawrence Keane broaches the subject.  He says, “What the Legislature actually did was ban the innovation and stop the continuous improvement of today’s manufacturing processes that would otherwise enhance firearms safety and other functionality.”

He means that the technology could otherwise be good and wholesome and improve safety and functionality.  He doesn’t mention that its corollary is universal gun registration and that we will not cross that line.  Ever.  Ever.

The NSSF is not your friend.  Their argument is wrongheaded because they have crafted it according to their wrongheaded views.  These measures in California are totalitarian in nature and the time has come and gone for peaceable folk to negotiate and befriend the process.  The black robes of the Supreme Court will not overrule Ms. Mueller.  It sounds to me like one of two things is in order.  Either civil disobedience, or relocation because the war for California is lost.  I do not begrudge either choice, and I don’t know which is best.

But as for me and my house, we will treat guns designed with microstamping as I do so-called “smart guns.  I will never have one.

Chicago Police Detain Americans At Black Site

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

The Guardian:

The Chicago police department operates an off-the-books interrogation compound, rendering Americans unable to be found by family or attorneys while locked inside what lawyers say is the domestic equivalent of a CIA black site.

The facility, a nondescript warehouse on Chicago’s west side known as Homan Square, has long been the scene of secretive work by special police units. Interviews with local attorneys and one protester who spent the better part of a day shackled in Homan Square describe operations that deny access to basic constitutional rights.

Alleged police practices at Homan Square, according to those familiar with the facility who spoke out to the Guardian after its investigation into Chicago police abuse, include:

  • Keeping arrestees out of official booking databases.
  • Beating by police, resulting in head wounds.
  • Shackling for prolonged periods.
  • Denying attorneys access to the “secure” facility.
  • Holding people without legal counsel for between 12 and 24 hours, including people as young as 15.

At least one man was found unresponsive in a Homan Square “interview room” and later pronounced dead.

Brian Jacob Church, a protester known as one of the “Nato Three”, was held and questioned at Homan Square in 2012 following a police raid. Officers restrained Church for the better part of a day, denying him access to an attorney, before sending him to a nearby police station to be booked and charged.

“Homan Square is definitely an unusual place,” Church told the Guardian on Friday. “It brings to mind the interrogation facilities they use in the Middle East. The CIA calls them black sites. It’s a domestic black site. When you go in, no one knows what’s happened to you.”

[ … ]

“It’s sort of an open secret among attorneys that regularly make police station visits, this place – if you can’t find a client in the system, odds are they’re there,” said Chicago lawyer Julia Bartmes.

Chicago civil-rights attorney Flint Taylor said Homan Square represented a routinization of a notorious practice in local police work that violates the fifth and sixth amendments of the constitution.

“This Homan Square revelation seems to me to be an institutionalization of the practice that dates back more than 40 years,” Taylor said, “of violating a suspect or witness’ rights to a lawyer and not to be physically or otherwise coerced into giving a statement.”

[ … ]

When a Guardian reporter arrived at the warehouse on Friday, a man at the gatehouse outside refused any entrance and would not answer questions. “This is a secure facility. You’re not even supposed to be standing here,” said the man, who refused to give his name.

One of the hallmark signs of evil, totalitarian societies is secrecy.  Note that the Chicago police didn’t deny the place existed.  On the contrary, they insisted that the place be kept secret from the balance of society so that they could continue with their illegal activities.  Light scatters the darkness, and they desire the darkness rather than the light.  They aren’t scared of being found out, they don’t fear the courts, prosecutors, the justice department, lawyers or anyone else.  They have become a law unto themselves.  They do what is right in their own eyes and dare anyone to try to stop them.

And note that it is a so-called “open secret” among attorneys that this place exists, this place where basic God-given rights are violated.  This isn’t a trivial thing, so don’t look past this to the horror of such a place on American soil just yet.  These attorneys are officers of the court.  They are bound to obey the law and ensure that others do as well, and are obligated to report illegalities.  They know the place and practices exist, and yet they do nothing about it.

The existence of this facility is an affront to God’s law, and thus constitutes cosmic treason against the most high.  Of the protection of God’s law for the individual and the family, R. J. Rushdoony says in his commentary on Deuteronomy 24:10-11:

This law sets down a premise which has had a major impact on Christendom. When, in colonial America, Judge James Otis decreed that “a man’s home is his castle,” he had reference to this law. Intrusion into a man’s house is a violation of his freedom. God’s law protects a man from the malice and interference of powerful men. To protect men’s houses and properties is to uphold God’s order, because God has established the legitimate boundaries of the family’s jurisdiction and freedom.

And this malice and interference of powerful men, this protection of men’s property that doesn’t occur any more in our society, has been illustrated for us in the recent case on which I commented concerning the immorality of asset forfeiture laws.  Even today we learned of more asset forfeiture of guns as a norm in society.

As for the role of presumably free men in all of this, our responsibilities are growing and loom very large.

Madison and Jefferson gave a critical template of how states and local governments should respond when outside threats are used as the pretext by the federal government to curtail the liberty of law-abiding citizens. Both men took up their pens to oppose the Alien and Sedition Acts which violated the First Amendment’s right to free speech and the Fifth Amendment’s due process clause. In response to these unconstitutional edicts, Jefferson and Madison separately drafted resolutions for the individual states to take up in their legislatures to oppose the abusive acts. Jefferson’s work became the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, and Madison’s the Virginia Resolutions of 1798.

In the Kentucky Resolutions, Jefferson stated “that whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force.”

Madison was equally direct. In the Virginia Resolutions, he declared that “the powers of the federal government” are “limited by the plain sense and intention” of the Constitution “and that in case of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers, not granted by the said compact, the states who are parties thereto, have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining within their respective limits, the authorities, rights and liberties appertaining to them.”

In maintaining that the states were “duty bound, to interpose,” Madison was standing on a long legal tradition dating back to the Magna Charta when England’s nobles demanded that King John honor the rights of Englishmen or be deposed.

In this case, the offending authorities are the local ones, but anyone who believes that the federal government would step in to ensure rights against illegal search and seizure is foolish.

Every law enforcement officer who knows about this illegal and immoral site and doesn’t shed light on its existence and practices may as well be a perpetrator of said practices.  There are no guiltless parties, from the LEOs to the attorneys who keep this “open secret” to judges and city managers who allow it to happen.  They will all be held accountable.

The U.S. has become a banana republic.  It isn’t on the horizon somewhere, we don’t have actions we need to take to ensure that it doesn’t happen.  It has already happened.  It is past tense.  Since this is cosmic crime against God’s law, it would be cosmic justice if this facility burned to the ground, every one of the LEOs who participated in these activities held to account, and every attorney and judge who knew of this facility disbarred and sent to prison.

Properly Defending Liberty Comes Down To One Thing: World View

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

There is a stir among gun rights advocates – or at least, presumed gun rights advocates.  On the one hand, there are the open carriers and opponents of I-594 and their advocates in the state of Washington (and other places like Texas and New York where even Sheriffs are recommending that your thrown your SAFE act pistol permit recertification invitation in the garbage), and on the other hand are Alan Gottlieb, Dave Workman, Bob Owens (who seems like a late comer to the pragmatic approach), and many of their readers.  See for instance this article at Zelman Partisans, this one by Bob Owens, and this article, this article, this article, and this article from Mike Vanderboegh.

As you might be able to guess from my history, I am not an advocate of pragmatism.  I have been a vocal and uncompromising opponent of universal background checks (and anything that enables such statism) from the beginning.  But before we rehearse and and expound on the reasons for my opposition, first let’s survey the pragmatists.  Bob Owens’ prose is stunning.

A small group of long gun open carriers lacking the discernment, basic common sense, and the political savvy of your average garden snail made complete fools out of themselves as they dangerously brandished firearms in the Washington House gallery last week during I-594 protests …

… knuckle-draggers like those pictured above don’t understand the long-game, and can’t grasp that the average citizen thinks that a person carrying a long gun to a protest of any sort is most likely unhinged.

We need to do a better job of patrolling our own, folks, because if we don’t find a way to control these cretins, the forces of gun control will be certain to exploit them for every bit of political capital that they can.

“Garden snail” … “knuckle-draggers” … “fools” … “cretins.”  These are words for open carriers normally reserved for web sites like Mother Jones, Balloon Juice, or perhaps Salon.  I am an open carrier (at certain times), and while this example is atypical of open carriers, it’s important to remember that even if it is perceived to be theatrical, it has context and it was provoked.

Earlier this summer, Rep. Jim Moeller took to Facebook and issued what some gun-rights advocates perceived as a challenge.

“I will refuse to conduct the business of the state as long as any ‘open carry’ nuts (are) in the gallery,” Moeller, D-Vancouver, wrote on his Elect Jim Moeller Facebook page.

Open carriers have experience with open carry of weapons being legal but also being bullied about their choices, or even worse, put in an unsafe position because of their legal choices.  It’s also important to remember that while open carry may not appear to be the norm today, it wasn’t always this way in America.

In the colonies, availability of hunting and need for defense led to armament statues comparable to those of the early Saxon times. In 1623, Virginia forbade its colonists to travel unless they were “well armed”; in 1631 it required colonists to engage in target practice on Sunday and to “bring their peeces to church.” In 1658 it required every householder to have a functioning firearm within his house and in 1673 its laws provided that a citizen who claimed he was too poor to purchase a firearm would have one purchased for him by the government, which would then require him to pay a reasonable price when able to do so. In Massachusetts, the first session of the legislature ordered that not only freemen, but also indentured servants own firearms and in 1644 it imposed a stern 6 shilling fine upon any citizen who was not armed.

When the British government began to increase its military presence in the colonies in the mid-eighteenth century, Massachusetts responded by calling upon its citizens to arm themselves in defense.

Weapons were used for hunting, self defense, and yes, amelioration of tyranny.  It wasn’t too many days ago that we rehearsed the jihadist attack on Charlie Hebdo and the goofy “reenactment” that the boys from TTAG did.  And goofy it was, but I did have the good sense to observe that “when defending against attackers with foreknowledge and rifles, you would rather have foreknowledge and rifles yourself.”

Islamists are being given sanctuary in the U.S., and Islamic calls to prayer are heard over loud speakers in Detroit, Michigan (and have been for about a decade now).  Beyond that, tens of millions of Hispanics and Latinos have flooded across the border, some of whom included very violent gang members who have been so bathed in violence and death that they are said to perpetrate it not only for the sake of crime, but for the sake of the violence itself.  Some strategists see the capability to conduct criminal operations and perpetrate violence to be far greater among the cartels than any Middle Eastern or Asian Islamic group.

As if the potential need for self defense isn’t enough, America now has two hundred trillion dollars of unfunded liability, now has full orbed socialized medicine, and has aborted more babies than Hitler killed Jews.  The time would have come and already left that the founders of this great nation would have put their foot down and drawn a line in the sand.

But as a community we still seem to be asleep, or at least comfortably deluded.  The most instructive and educational of all of the links I have provided above comes not from the authors, although some are very good, but from the comments.  Consider this one.

As an advocate of freedom, I’m dismayed at the flawed thinking of so many not so responsible gun owners disregarding the efforts of so many responsible citizens that are trying to preserve and restore our 2nd Amendment rights. Many gun rights advocates are working hard to encourage responsible and knowledgeable leadership out of our legislature. The few that want to use a firearm as a tool of intimidation or civil disobedience will make it even more challenging for the rest of us to convince our representatives that an armed society is indeed a polite society.

Next, consider this.

While open carry may not be ‘illegal’ in a particular case, doing so is not often the right thing to do.  There was a time that, even here in California, we could sling a rifle across our shoulders and ride a motorcycle out to the range and no one freaked out. Then, we had the ‘open carry’ crowd start trying to attract attention, gathering in large groups and parading around, getting loud and vocal and,in general, acting like prissy little drama queens. As expected, people reacted.

The first commenter also slammed the open carriers for horrible muzzle control.  I am not defending poor muzzle control, and if they were brandishing or threatening in any way, they need to learn the rules of gun safety and mature a bit before doing this again.  That is both illegal and unsafe.  But that’s a side show compared to the real issue.  To the first commenter convincing his representative is what it’s all about, even though that hasn’t worked to stop socialized medicine, abortion and oppressive taxation.  From the land of make believe we come to the second commenter, for whom the problem started not with collectivists pressing down with statist gun control laws and regulations, but with open carriers who exercised their rights to carry (and what would have been the catalyst for just such a “display” as suggested, he doesn’t say – it just started happening one day I suppose).  Then there is the hand-wringer, what I consider to be the capstone of the anti-open carry argument.

While I support the concept of unfettered right to bear arms, the reality in most of these “United States” is that one’s appearance on the street with a handgun openly strapped to one’s belt is unsettling to the hordes of liberals out there, and their reaction is definitely averse to our rights, and a threat that they perceive, to them.

Whenever CCW is an available alternative, we should prefer it, and avoid any display of firearms to those idiots who oppose our rights. The objective is not to prove some point, it is to be safer and to be better able to defend ourselves and our families, and CCW serves both objectives well.

Someday perhaps, most Americans will recognize that carrying a gun is not a bizarre fetish, but is a commitment that Americans make, in order to be free, and to incidentally guarantee the freedom of those who do not understand. That day has not yet come, and will come more quickly if we avoid unnecessary confrontation.

I yearn for the day when every housewife can choose to openly strap on a handgun when she goes grocery shopping, or to the mall. Until then, CCW is a better pathway to our freedom.

That day will “come more quickly if we avoid unnecessary confrontation.”  Finally, from the delusional to the defeatist.  Consider Sebastian.

I have no problem with the “I Will Not Comply Crowd.” I live in a state with a similar regime to Washington for handguns, and it’s probably one of the most ignored laws in the commonwealth. I have no problem with civil disobedience.  I don’t disapprove of what the sticks have been doing in Connecticut, because I don’t think there’s anything we carrots can do to help the Nutmeg State, for the time being. We’re challenging the law in federal court, and maybe, maybe down the road we could federally preempt it using Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment. That’s thin gruel, and I recognize that. But we are trying, and I think over the long run we have a good chance of being successful.

The big strategic question of gun rights in the last two years of the Obama Administration is how we defang Bloomberg, because he, without a doubt, is the single biggest threat our gun rights have faced since the 1990s. He’s not going to be intimidated by sticks; he has enough money to hire his own private army to protect him if he wishes. He’s not going to be concerned with carrots either, because most of us aren’t billionaires, and don’t have the money to throw around the political process that he does. So what do we do?

And this brings me to my main points.  Background checks are not a problem because they currently constitute a national gun registry.  If you recall my previous discussion on the subject, I played “devil’s advocate” to see just how close the ATF could come to such a monster.  I am still skeptical that the schema is in place (or could be put in place without a lot of additional pain and work).  But the danger in universal background checks is twofold.  First, it would indeed put the procedures and protocol in place for a national gun registry.  Second, it makes the government the ultimate arbiter of God-given rights.

There is an intensely moral element to control of this sort.  Gun control is evil, a sign and symptom of wicked rulersSebastian doesn’t think so.

I really don’t like it when churches insert themselves into political matters under the guise that these are really spiritual matters. Murder, rage, and vengeance — these are all matters of the spirit. Gun control is a matter of politics.

But to the educated man or woman, politics is ethics, which is a category of philosophy, or a description of a comprehensive world view, including metaphysics and epistemology.  It’s all related, and has to do with how you know what you know, how you assign truth value, and what lies beyond the physical.  That which is so intensely moral is not ripe terrain for compromise.  And a proper anthropology – a right view of mankind – knows that “the heart [of man] is deceitful above all things, and is desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9).  Only God understands it, and all attempts by men to divine the intentions and correct the maladies of the heart end in despair and failure.

Lastly, there is an element of eschatology in these demurrals from the pragmatists.  They see failure where many see potential success.  But fear not, God has always had His remnant, and He will not allow liberty to perish from the earth.  The chains always fall off, sometimes by His mighty hand, other times by using us as secondary causes and only by the utmost of peril to our lives, health and wealth – but always by His kind providence.

As much as I detest the propensity to compromise, especially out of fear of defeat, and as much as I loath Gates, Bloomberg and their minions, I don’t think what they do is all that significant.  Nor do I think that Gottlieb is all that significant.  He will be irrelevant in future circles of lovers of liberty, and I don’t think he will sway many minds.  Rather, with one commenter to this piece by Clair Wolfe I think that “the seed of the larger problem lies in the troubling correlation between politically and socially conservative people and their acquiescence to, even active subservience to, authority” (see here also my Foundation of Liberty).

And as much as I am accused at times of “preaching to the choir,” I think that the choir is a rather small ensemble of singers.  The problem is one of heart, or moral fiber, and of faith.  The collectivists turn to the state as their god, and the rulers mutually enjoin the people into the herds who need the state to determine the difference between right and wrong for the great unwashed masses.

Thus, most people would have no basis on which to demur if the state decided to kill every third man named Jerry before NFL games as a sacrifice to the football gods.  Utilitarianism has a very dark side.  For those who would oppose it with force but with no foundation, they are no different than Machiavelli.  The salient and important question is whether the people will wake from their slumber in enough time to prevent the degree of pain that can come from this conflict.  There is a massive cultural and religious war going on in America, and gun control is one front in that war.  People will gird their loins and engage now, or suffer the consequences later.

Blaming The Gun For The Battle Losses

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

Robert H. Scales wrote a piece for The Atlantic entitled Gun Trouble, with the catchy subtitle as follows: The rifle that today’s infantry uses is little changed since the 1960s—and it is badly flawed. Military lives depend on these cheap composites of metal and plastic. So why can’t the richest country in the world give its soldiers better ones?

Scales then proceeds to rehearse the history of flaws after the initial rollout of the M-16 in Vietnam, well known flaws (and failed to mention others, such as the fact that the chamber and barrel weren’t chrome-lined in the initial stages of production).  He pans the 5.56 mm NATO round, and ends up recommending two (what he considers to be) improvements.  First, he wants a larger caliber round, and second, he wants a gas recirculation system rather than the current DI system in use in the Eugene Stoner design (He fails to mention that the gas recirculation system weighs the front end of the rifle down and makes it more difficult to maneuver in CQB such as room clearing.  This is a point made to me by my son, who didn’t even like my quad-rail on the front end of my RRA rifle due to its weight).  Scales points to Wanat as proof positive that American lives are being wasted by a bad design.

The M4, the standard carbine in use by the infantry today, is a lighter version of the M16 rifle that killed so many of the soldiers who carried it in Vietnam. (The M16 is still also in wide use today.) In the early morning of July 13, 2008, nine infantrymen died fighting off a Taliban attack at a combat outpost near the village of Wanat in Afghanistan’s Nuristan province. Some of the soldiers present later reported that in the midst of battle their rifles overheated and jammed. The Wanat story is reminiscent of experiences in Vietnam: in fact, other than a few cosmetic changes, the rifles from both wars are virtually the same. And the M4’s shorter barrel makes it less effective at long ranges than the older M16—an especially serious disadvantage in modern combat, which is increasingly taking place over long ranges.

In spite of the high number of kills in the wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, Scales calls the 5.56 mm a “varmint round.”  We’ve seen all of this before, much of it coming from experience many decades ago.  But we’ve seen testing that simply shows much of the bad press for the Stoner design (and good press for the Kalashnikov design) to be false.  Recall the testing done on the Knights Armament rifle, and reader Pat Hines sends two more examples here and here.  The point is granted that Rock River Arms, Knights Armament, LaRue Tactical and Daniel Defense isn’t the Colt produced under milspec for the Army and Marine Corps (these are all superior to the Colt M-16 and M-4).  Furthermore, recall that we’ve discussed what it means to be milspec and what it doesn’tNot milspec isn’t always worse, and milspec isn’t always better.

Still, my own son Daniel tells me that he never had any problems with either his SAW or an M-4 when he used that in training and in Fallujah, Iraq (while still claiming that my RRA rifle was better than the Colt he used).  The biggest problem with Scales’ argument isn’t that it doesn’t rely on hard evidence regarding quality battle rifles today (and it doesn’t, and some AR-15s are better designed and manufactured than the M-4 it must be admitted).  The biggest problem with his argument is that it blames the wrong culprit.

My coverage of the Battle of Wanat goes back to before the Cubbison report, from 2008 until recently.

Analysis Of The Battle Of Wanat

Investigating The Battle Of Wanat

The Contribution Of The Afghan National Army In The Battle Of Wanat

The Battle Of Wanat, Massing Of Troops And Attacks In Nuristan

Second Guessing The Battles Of Wanat And Kamdesh

And many other articles.  I am proud to have contributed in some small way to the Wanat report still on file at Fort Leavenworth (on page 255 three of my articles are cited).  Specifically, it was published by the Combat Studies Institute Press, U.S. Army Combined Arms Center.

The kill ratio was indeed lower at Wanat than has been noted at other engagements, but the fact that Soldiers had to put 400 rounds through their weapons in such a short time frame is indicative of a different problem than the gun.  First of all, with all due respect to the Soldiers who were there, fire control and long distance optics would have been a valuable commodity.  When training his “boots,” my son worked first, middle and last on rate of fire and fire control.  And use of a larger bore weapon wouldn’t have helped barrel temperature (have you ever shot a large caliber weapon?), and would certainly have hurt the ability to regain sight picture after firing due to significant recoil.

Use of DMs with M-14s or bolt action sniper rifles would have helped (the Marines make use of such tactics), as would have training in shooting uphill (to which very few units train – I know this from conversations with Army trainers).  But the biggest problems with Wanat were associated with command choices that could have been done differently.  Vehicle Patrol Base Wanat (it was a VPB rather than a FOB), took entirely too long to set up, allowing enemy massing of forces, something I’ve noted on a number of occasions in Afghanistan (it’s a favorite tactic when the Taliban think they can greatly outnumber their opponent).

Furthermore, terrain was critical in that the U.S. troops didn’t control the high country surrounding the VPB which was in a valley.  One Marine Captain commented to me as follows:

The platoon in Wanat sacrificed control of the key terrain in the area in order to locate closer to the population. This was a significant risk, and I don’t see any indication that they attempted to sufficiently mitigate that risk. I can empathize a little bit – I was the first Marine on deck at Camp Blessing back when it was still Firebase Catamount, in late 2003. I took responsibility for the camp’s security from a platoon from the 10th Mountain Div, and established a perimeter defense around it. Looking back, I don’t think I adequately controlled the key terrain around the camp. The platoon that replaced me took some steps to correct that, and I think it played a significant role when they were attacked on March 22nd of 2004. COIN theorists love to say that the population is the key terrain, but I think Wanat shows that ignoring the existing natural terrain in favor of the population is a risky proposition, especially in Afghanistan.

The force was simply too small (platoon size versus virtual battalion size Taliban force), and they were simply outgunned.  It’s remarkable that they didn’t have even more casualties.  Blaming the gun we deployed with the Soldiers is the easy thing to do.  It’s also the wrong thing to do, and it’s disingenuous.  Blaming the men who made the decision to deploy the way they did would be the hard thing to do because it gets personal.  But at least it would be honest.

See also:

Battle Of Wanat Category

War is Boring, The M-4 Carbine Is Here To Stay

Dan Morgan on Wanat

WeaponsMan Part 1 and Part 2

The Firearm Blog

Free Men Bear Arms

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 2 weeks ago

Mike Vanderboegh:

You know the Founders were as suspicious of unrestrained democracy as they were of absolute monarchy. Both can be tyrannical. Both can be deadly. Both are threats to life and liberty and property. This is why they crafted a constitutional republic. The Founders knew that the mob could be manipulated by cynical elites to rob other citizens of their liberty, their property and their lives – cynical elites, wealthy men, powerful men, with unceasing appetites for more and more power …

Tyranny as you have now experienced with I-594 can be voted into existence by a majority. This does not make it right. This does not make it legitimate. Indeed it is a violation of natural law and natural rights derived from God …

This is one of Mike’s best, and I’ve been thinking about freedom, slavery and God-given rights over the last few days.  Slavery in all of its forms is evil.  To be sure, forced labor for the benefit of others is theft.  Forced relocation is kidnapping, and forced sex is rape.  But as heinous as these things are, they are byproducts of the main focus of the evil behind slavery.

Slavery is an interdiction and attempted thwarting of the main institution and building block in God’s economy – the family.  When I say “economy,” don’t think money and finances, although that would certainly be included.  Think of the role of the family in education, self determination, living location, choice of labor, value system, religious proclivities, and every other aspect of life.  Think God’s administration of His created order.  The family is central, it is essential, it cannot be harmed without both adverse natural consequences and God’s divine punishment on people, individually and corporately.

Whether it is a totalitarian state that sucks bank accounts dry through taxation, Boko Haram who steals girls from their families for sex, ISIS who beheads teenagers who refuse to relinquish their Christianity and swear allegiance to a false religion, diktats which govern what guns can be owned by whom and when, or whatever the form, it all steps in between the head of a family and his wife and children, a man’s work, a man’s calling before God, a man’s ability and freedom to say how his family will live and how he will care for and protect them.  Thus it is an affront to the laws of God, sinful, a cosmic crime against the most high.  It is all (what the Bible calls) high-handed sin (Numbers 15:22-31).  It is perpetrated by men who raise their fists to God and say they will not bow their knee to His laws.

Men who engage in this high-handed sin might be so bold as to kidnap girls for sex, or they might be so surreptitious as to sell their ideas to the stupid public as for their own safety and protection, such as gun control in the form of dictating what can be owned by whom and what one must do to placate the state if he engages in bartering.  Or, in the case of entitlements, it might take the form of “assistance” to families which ultimately destroys the family like it has with minorities in America.  But make no mistake about it, it is all high-handed sin, and God will judge it, now and in eternity.

Control over weapons is the final step and the signal accomplishment of a state which seeks to enslave its people.  Thus is disobedience to these evil measures a righteous calling.

The Perfect Rifle

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 3 weeks ago

Rifles and their advocates are in the news and blogs these days.  It doesn’t take a handgun to perform home defense.  A man using a rifle recently detained three burglars until police arrived.  It could have been any type of rifle.

Rifle Shooter Magazine recently did a piece on the best bolt action rifles of all time.  Brad Fitzpatrick covers a number of the ones you would expect to see, including the Remington 700, Winchester model 70, Weatherby and so on.  But he includes one interesting and noteworthy rifle.

There may be some who shake their heads at the addition of the Tikka to this list, but it’s impossible to ignore the rifle’s impact of recent bolt action trends. The Tikka has a two-piece bolt with a Sako-style extractor and plunger-type ejector, and it utilizes a one-piece machined action with a reduced ejection port for added stiffness and, in theory, better accuracy. The Tikka also has a lot of plastic parts, most notably the magazine, which causes some grumbling from purists, and it has a light, crisp, adjustable trigger.  When Beretta began importing Tikka rifles it became apparent that the design was capable of producing excellent accuracy in a budget rifle. Since that time, there have been many budget rifles that adopted the Tikka’s use of reduced-weight (and cost) plastics, a good trigger and the reduced ejection port. The Tikka started changing what shooters expected from budget-priced rifles, and in doing so it has become one of the most important bolt action designs in recent memory.

I agree.  I bought a Tikka T3 .270 and couldn’t be happier with it.  I bought it after becoming furious with the Remington 700 trigger problems (to which they all but refused to admit), and then Winchester for fabricating their parts in Columbia, S.C., at the FN plant who bought them out, and then shipping them to Portugal for assembly, creating a situation where no one knew when my rifle was going to come in.  Literally, there was no estimate of time because the distributor knew nothing whatsoever about availability versus every other rifle (which he knew something about).  My Tikka is a worthy competitor to any of the mid-range priced bolt action rifles.

Tikka T3

Next is Lucky Gunner discussing Scout Rifles (via Uncle).  The most informative comment on this comes from Uncle’s post.

Cooper was very, very clear as to what a Scout rifle is and what it isn’t, and he wrote about this right up to 2004. Since he made up the term, the term is his and should be respected as such. Most of what’s talked about as a “Scout rifle”, he would call a “pseudo scout”.

For African hunting, he had what he called a “Dragoon” or a “Dragoon Scout” which was a Styer Scout in a heavier caliber. He described the Dragoon as the rifle that the Professional Hunters would see for the first time and say “What the hell is that?!” and after seeing it use throughout one safari, would ask, “Where do I get one?”

It is true that the “Scout scope” probably should have provisions for a sun shade at both ends, but then all of my deer have been taken either just after sunset, or in mid morning when the sun is high.

Also; Cooper was very clear on the point that a Scout rifle need not have a telescope on it at all, necessarily, to qualify as a Scout rifle.

So, although we sell several optic mounts as “scout scope mounts” we mean a mount that facilitates the attachment of a scout scope, as opposed to a scope mount for a Scout rifle. There is a distinction.

Now that Springfield sells an M1A “Scout” model (and Cooper commented on this rifle favorably, though he did not consider it a true Scout rifle) things have become somewhat confused.

Almost without exception, people I’ve talked with who consider themselves shooters, have balked at the idea of shooting well past 100 yards without magnification. This is proof positive that they’ve never tried it, at least not with a serious attitude. I usually use the example of High Power competitions, which start at 200 yards, standing, unsupported, with no magnification. The prone position is reserved for the 1,000 yard line, still with no magnification.

There is a world of difference between carrying everything you need on your person, on foot, ready to shoot within three or four seconds of identifying a target, and shooting at fixed targets at measured distances from a bench at your local 100 or 200 yard range with a buffet table of tools, ammo and accessories. The latter is for the purpose of load development and fisking out the performance of your equipment. The other is the real world which said fisking, along with much field practice using improvised positions on targets of opportunity at non-standard, unmeasured distances, was done to facilitate.

Sorry to steal your thunder Uncle.  The comment was too informative to pass up.  But perhaps the most interesting post comes from Bob Owens who is discussing the do-anything rifle.

Earlier today on Twitter I laid out my thoughts on what my “ideal” rifle would be (those of you who aren’t yet following me on Twitter can do so here), since I’ve been unable to find the “one gun” that would do everything that I would like a rifle to be able to accomplish (nor have I been able to find a unicorn).

In general theory, this rifle would be adequate as a hunting rifle for North American big game animals (deer, elk, bear, moose). It would also be useful as a self-defense/militia firearm, capable of running well in battle-rifle courses of fire.

These are the qualities I desire in this “do anything” rifle:

  • A semi-automatic, magazine fed rifle.
  • The “standard” magazine would be ruggedized and nearly “bombproof,” made of steel, and would have a 20-round capacity. 20-round magazines tend to work better in the prone position. Magazines of 5 and 10 rounds could be used for hunting and target shooting.
  • The cartridge I want doesn’t yet exist. I desire a caseless 6.5-7mm cartridge firing bullets of 110-140 grains. I’d want sub-MOA performance, a practical barrel life of 10,000 rounds, and 1,200 meter range. Theoretically, the lack of a case would mean you could carry more rounds with less weight as opposed to brass-encased ammunition.Why caseless? No brass to litter the ground (or give away your firing position), no ejection port to allow in outside muck and mud, and no ejection cycle means no ejection-related malfunctions (a more reliable firearm).
  • The rifle would feature an integral brake to reduce recoil to .223 Remington/5.56 NATO levels, and would port gases in such a way as to prevent creating a dust cloud that would give away the shooter’s position.
  • Suppressor capable.
  • The rifle would feature an integral 1x-6x variable power scope with an illuminated bullet-drop compensating reticle with range-finder.
  • The rifle would be in a bullpup configuration to minimize overall length, while providing an optimal barrel length to maximize bullet velocity and reduce flash.

Bob later mentions the “short-comings of the 5.56 NATO.”  This is a recurring theme with Bob, who is no fan of the 5.56 mm NATO round.  The 5.56 has a number of detractors, but it’s important to remember that between the wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, this round has killed hundreds of thousands of enemy fighters.

RRA

The 5.56 was deployed for a number of reasons, but the primary conceptual reasons for the assault rifle are as follows: (a) capable of selective fire, (b) fires and intermediate cartridge, and (c) has mild recoil.  The mild recoil allows rapid reacquisition of sight picture compared to heavy recoil cartridges.  In addition to the mild recoil, the corollary of this for the intermediate cartridge is that more ammunition can be carried by the infantryman.

This specific NATO round tends to yaw in flight, creating the tendency to fragment upon impact causing multiple wound tracks.  It is especially effective in close quarter battle, but it’s misleading to say that it is ineffective at longer ranges.  At Al Najaf Travis Haley was killing insurgents out to 600 meters.

Oh there are detractors, indeed.  TTAG has a lot of 5.56 mm hate going on in this post from someone alleging to have been in Fallujah using the M4 against insurgents.  Despite this evidence, my own son Daniel had a high degree of success with the same round, and in Fallujah fighting insurgents who were hopped up on epinephrine and morphine.

Furthermore, I’ll give you two more scholarly studies on the 5.56 mm lethality, one from The Bang Switch and the other from NATO Army Armaments Group, the later focusing on the ability of the 5.56 to penetrate plates and armor compared to the .308.  The truth of the matter is that the 5.56 mm is a fine round for CQB and medium range warfare, while longer range warfare is conducted better with a larger caliber like the .308 and a Designated Marksman (Daniel was also a DM and trained with the Scout Snipers, and still finds the 5.56 to be fine for its intended purpose).  It’s okay to prefer something else and favor a larger caliber if that’s what you want.  It’s not okay to be ignorant and call the 5.56 mm a poodle killer intended for women and children to shoot (as alleged at TTAG in the comments).

With all of that said, there are reasons to have a semi-automatic rifle chambered in .308 / 7.72 mm, even if I cannot find an AR chambered in my favorite large caliber, the .270 Win.  There are reasons for each of the rifles and calibers, and the main point is that I reject the premise that a single rifle can accomplish it all.  The better option is to select the best rifle type and caliber to accomplish the desired mission, whether it is performance and competition shooting, hunting game or hunting men.

Finally, you are aware of standard rifle break-in procedures, aren’t you?  I have followed a procedure closely approximating this one.  I can’t honestly say that I’ve noticed a huge difference after the procedure, probably meaning that I need to get better and more consistent with my shot groups.

There is no such thing as the perfect rifle.  There are rifles very nearly perfect for specific applications, which means that you need to have multiple rifles.  The best rifle is the one you have in your hands and with which you have trained.  But there are things that you don’t do even with the best rifles, like try to stick it in your pants.

Using Water As A Weapon Of War

BY Herschel Smith
7 months, 4 weeks ago

Next City:

In a war, anything can be a weapon. In a particularly ruthless war, such as the conflict that has been raging in Syria for more than three years, those weapons are often turned against civilians, making any semblance of normal life impossible. Such is the case, experts say, with the way the nation’s water supply is being manipulated to inflict suffering on the population.

According to an article posted by Chatham House, a London-based independent policy institute, water infrastructure has been targeted by both sides in the conflict, leading to crippling disruptions in water supply over the last several months in cities such as Aleppo, Homs and Hama. The disabling of water treatment plants has led to a reported increase in waterborne diseases such as typhoid.

According to Chatham House researcher and fellow Nouar Shamout, the war has only worsened an already complicated and precarious water situation. ISIS, the Islamist rebel group that has seized control of many parts of Syria and northern Iraq, controls key parts of the water infrastructure in the regionally crucial Euphrates River system, including Al-Raqqa dam, which supplies one-fifth of Syria’s electricity and controls irrigation flows downstream.

Shamout writes:

The Euphrates River, which provides 65 per cent of the country’s water needs, is also experiencing a dangerous decrease in its flow rates. This is likely to be due to a combination of factors: decades of poor water management, current neglect of water infrastructure on the Euphrates, and the absence of any coordination between Syria and upstream Turkey regarding the river flow. As a result, in late May, the river dried up downstream of Al-Raqqa city, depriving many downstream towns of water. The water level of Al-Assad Lake — Syria’s largest reservoir, which provides irrigation for some 500 square miles of agricultural land and all of Aleppo’s drinking water — has dropped by six meters since ISIS took control in January. If the lake loses one more meter the water system will stop working. This will leave more than four million inhabitants without access to safe water. This could result in a humanitarian catastrophe that would overwhelm agencies on the ground.

The article devolves at that point, with analysis by Peter Gleick about how water is one of the causes of the current conflict.  In fact, the conflict is caused by militant Islam and criminal warlords (and Islam, given its history and inherent problems and self contradiction, welcomes criminal warlords).

But up until that point the article is worth heeding in its warnings.  For those of us who believe that the current system and infrastructure cannot and will not continue due to the ideological and moral rot at its core, there are a number of object lessons.

First of all, without logistics – and this includes ordnance, food, ammunition, water, clothing, hygiene products – an army cannot even survive, much less be effective and succeed.  But this goes for men and their families too.

Consider the recent example of Toledo, Ohio:

Water in Toledo, Ohio, and surrounding areas remained officially undrinkable Sunday evening, more than 24 hours after a do-not-drink order went into place for 500,000 people.

Water at a Toledo treatment plant tested positive for a toxin on Saturday, leading the governor to declare a state of emergency in three counties, state officials told the Los Angeles Times.

[ … ]

Ohio Gov. John Kasich declared a state of emergency for residents of Lucas, Wood and Fulton counties early Saturday after two water samples from a Toledo treatment plant tested positive for microcystin, a toxin possibly caused by an algae bloom in Lake Erie.

[ … ]

Earlier Saturday, state officials warned residents in Toledo and surrounding areas not to drink, or even boil, the water tainted with microcystin, which can cause nausea and impair liver function.

This incident presumably has natural causes, and yet it has literally shut down Toledo’s water supply.  Consider the damage that could be done with intentional and malicious actions by, say, terrorists bent on inflicting death and destruction.

The same could be said of terrorist actions against the nation’s electrical grid, as we’ve discussed before here, here and here.  Without electricity, the nation’s financial system and manufacturing infrastructure comes to a halt.  But the issue of water and other essential logistics is even more pernicious in that the lack of it means certain death, and very quickly.

In addition to death without it, it means certain violence and pandemonium among those who are deprived of it.  Those who are left without the requirements for life will lose patience quickly with efforts to find them, and thievery and killing ensues.

If the lack of water and other requirements for life is pernicious because of the very nature of basic necessities, what man can do with that need is even more pernicious because nature isn’t evil.  Man is.

Suppose that the state decides to approach the basic necessities of life as a means to ensure their own survival and power?  You and your clan are then at the mercy of the authorities unless you have the means to provide those necessities yourself without state support (and it goes without saying, without state interference).

The Islamists have already learned to do that, and in fact used the electrical grid, drainage systems, sewage systems, and water supply as weapons of war during Operation Iraqi Freedom.  The Syrian authorities and ISIS are not the first to do this.  The Roman Empire long before had learned to use water as a means of control over the population.

… powerful individuals followed legislation on rural water use with considerable interest. Water was always central for crops and animals, and the access to and right to use rivers, torrents, lakes, ponds,springs and wells was of paramount importance. Thus there should always have been much attention paid to legislation dealing with irrigation and rural water rights and servitudes.

Again, one could substitute electricity, food and other necessities here, but the best example is the most extreme.  Don’t believe for a second that the modern counterinsurgency theorists haven’t thought of basic needs as keys to populations, e.g., see Kilcullen’s own prose on this subject.

This era’s unprecedented urbanization is concentrated in the least developed areas of Asia, Latin America and Africa.  The data shows that coastal cities are about to be swamped by a human tide that will force them to absorb—in less than 40 years—almost the entire increase in population absorbed by the whole planet, in all of recorded human history up to 1960. And virtually all this urbanization will happen in the world’s least developed areas, by definition the poorest equipped to handle it—a recipe for conflict, crises in health, education and governance, and food, energy and water scarcity.

Rapid urbanization creates economic, social and governance challenges while simultaneously straining city infrastructure, making the most vulnerable cities less able to meet these challenges. The implications for future conflict are profound, with more people fighting over scarcer resources in crowded, under-serviced and under-governed urban areas.

There is no specific recipe for success against terrorists, whether foreign or your own government, except to know and read the signs of the times, think about your options, and be prepared.

UPDATE #1: What It’s Like To Die Of Thirst

As this barbarism continues, I asked Jeffrey Berns, president-elect of the National Kidney Foundation and a nephrologist at the University of Pennsylvania, what these children may be going through.

“Thirst, as you probably know, is one of the most potent drives for behavior we have. It may be the most potent we have, more than even hunger,” he said.

“People are going to be miserable.”

The body is about 60 percent water, and under normal conditions, he said, an average person will lose about a quart of water each day by sweating and breathing and another one to three quarts by urinating, he said. In the heat and under more difficult physical conditions, that amount increases, he said.

If it’s not replaced over time and dehydration becomes severe, cells throughout the body will begin to shrink as water moves out of them and into the blood stream, part of the body’s efforts to keep the organs perfused in fluid.

“All the cells will shrink,” Berns said, “but the ones that count are the brain cells. They don’t operate normally when they’re’ shrinking.” Changes in mental status will follow, including confusion and ultimately coma, he said. As the brain becomes smaller, it takes up less room in the skull and blood vessels connecting it to the inside of the cranium can pull away and rupture.

This man, who died of dehydration, during a wilderness survival exercise, suffered delirium and hallucinations before he succumbed, according to an Associated Press investigation.

Victims’ kidneys may shut down first, Berns said, as they continue to lack access to both water and salt. The kidneys cleanse the blood of waste products which, under normal conditions, are excreted in urine. Without water, blood volume will decline and all the organs will start to fail, he said. Kidney failure will soon lead to disastrous consequences and ultimately death as blood volume continues to fall and waste products that should be eliminated from the body remain.

Also see WRSA.

The Administration Implementation Of The Cloward-Piven Strategy

BY Herschel Smith
9 months ago

The setup for this has been occurring for quite a while.  The collectivists on the right have helped the leftists gain strength, but the rate and fury of activity that has been consequential in destabilizing the United States has increased almost beyond comprehension.

The long term evolution of America to a position where such a strategy might stand a greater chance of success began long ago with the move towards urbanization.  The flight from rural America was helped along with family farms bought out by Monsanto and Archer-Daniels-Midland, with low paid migrant workers on those farms, all subsidized by tax payers and rate payers who couldn’t see that there was a very high hidden cost for the low cost of produce.

The urbanized familes – at least, many of the uneducated families – have absolutely no means to earn a living in the inner city.  They are repeatedly told, “we’ll take care of you.”  And we do, via public transportation, food stamps, welfare, socialized medicine, public education, jobs programs, and a host of other entitlements.  The cost, of course, is borne on the shoulders of the middle class.

Furthermore, the previous administration had its wolves in sheep’s clothing.  Hank Paulson, father of TARP and bailout, has joined the anthropogenic global warming fanatics, and here is the catch, is now advocating a carbon tax.  The key here isn’t AGW, it is that Hank Paulson advocates a tax, which is the whole point of AGW.  But the current administration has accelerated implementation of the Cloward-Piven Strategy with a fury.

The Fast and Furious scandal is one manifestation of Cloward-Piven, with the administration fully expecting to pass onerous gun control and perhaps even so-called immigration reform from the influx of illegals due to the increased violence in Mexico.  But when that didn’t materialize due to folks like Mike Vanderboegh, David Codrea and [later] Sharyl Attkison, the chaos at the border had to be catalyzed some other way.

Enter the rumor mill, effective enough, it would appear, to make it into newspapers in Central America.  Don’t for a second doubt that this chaos is having the intended long term effect.

A flood of illegals has massively surged at our southwestern borders. The economic impact of medical care, education and incarceration for illegals forced on taxpayers is bankrupting Arizona.

Why are such swarms entering the U.S. illegally NOW, particularly children? Newspapers in Mexico and Central and South America are actually describing U.S. “open borders,” encouraging people to come with promises of food stamps or “amnesty.” It is textbook Cloward-Piven strategy to overwhelm and collapse the economic and social systems, in order to replace them with a “new socialist order” under federal control.

Carried by this tsunami of illegals are the invisible “travelers” our politicians don’t like to mention: diseases the U.S. had controlled or virtually eradicated: tuberculosis (TB), Chagas disease, dengue fever, hepatitis, malaria, measles, plus more. I have been working on medical projects in Central and South America since 2009, so I am aware of problems these countries face from such diseases.

A public health crisis, the likes of which I have not seen in my lifetime, is looming. Hardest hit by exposures to these difficult-to-treat diseases will be elderly, children, immunosuppressed cancer-patients, patients with chronic lung disease or congestive heart failure. Drug-resistant tuberculosis is the most serious risk, but even diseases like measles can cause severe complications and death in older or immunocompromised patients.

The costs are cascading down to the local level.  “Small towns and counties in states bordering Mexico are drowning in debt due to the swarm of illegals stealing and destroying property, requiring expensive medical care and needing proper burials, all of which the federal government has largely refused to pay for.”  In Brooks County, Texas, the concern is mainly public safety.

 Sex offenders, murder suspects and gang members are making their way through the vast rangelands of Brooks County.

The Vickers ranch is one of the many land spreads affected by the surge in illegal immigration. What is more concerning to the ranch owners is the type of people trekking through their land.

Linda Vickers never wanders away from her house without her trusty canine companions – Blitz, Elsa, Schotten and Tinkerbell.  The dogs provide a sense of security in a land of insecurity.

“The safety factor out here has changed,” Vickers said.

Vickers and her husband own and operate a nearly-1,000-acre ranch in Brooks County.  Vickers reports anyone who crosses her fence line to Border Patrol.

“As of yesterday, 196 illegal immigrants with 136 apprehensions by Border Patrol,” she said.  The dogs sniff out those hiding in the brush.

“There are some good, helpless people. Then, there are some really bad ones,” Vickers said.

Earlier this week, Vickers took a photo of a man on her front porch. She said the man had a Tango Blast tattoo.  Tango Blast is the largest and one of the most dangerous gangs operating in the state, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

“I sometimes have to take a step back and realize the jeopardy that could happen out here,” Vickers said.

It’s not just gang members that worry Vickers. Border Patrol agents arrested a wanted murderer near Falfurrias and sex offenders in the Rio Grande Valley last weekend.

“They’re everywhere,” Vickers said.

The goal of the administration is for the local and state governments to demand federal dollars, but with federal dollars comes federal control.  The ultimate aim of Obamacare wasn’t to work or function, it was to fail, thus driving America to a single-payer system.  Unless one understand everything this administration does within the framework of Cloward-Piven, you cannot understand them at all.

The corollary to the urbanized collective, the redistribution of wealth, and the single payer health system, is a heavy policing presence, whether regulatory thugs inside the beltway, uniformed thugs who enforce the laws, or militarized SWAT teams who kick doors down.  Or in other words, heavy policing is the corollary for the problems that modern society chooses to create for itself.  The problems themselves are not a necessary product or outcome; rather, we have chosen the problems, and an overbearing, statist police presence is the intended outcome, while the problems are the catalyst.

Via Mike Vanderboegh, DianaWest asks if the Southern border can be saved?  Mike points to Boehner’s treachery on immigration, while we will perhaps in the future point to the treachery of recently elected House majority leader.  For the House majority leader who wants border enforcement and then amnesty, they’ll fabricate phony metrics on border arrests and call the issue closed.  As for the reason both parties want immigration, both legal and illegal, the corruption runs too deep to be rooted out.

The alleged need for immigrants pertains to the desires of corporations to have low paid workers.  It doesn’t enrich you or me, it enriches the rich (heads of corporations, boards of directors, and so on).

Here’s how it works.  It helps the corporate bottom line by forcing the middle class to pick up the tab for medical care, which burden happens largely on the backs of nurses in emergency rooms (my daughter is a nurse in an ER), with medical insurance premiums escalating in order to pay for the service.  Food stamps (so called SNAP) also factor into the calculus, as well as driver’s insurance (for uninsured motorists coverage).

It isn’t that there is no cost for low paid workers.  It’s that the cost is borne by the middle class as welfare to corporations and the wealthy.  The GOP is connected at the hip to such interests in terms of money, while the Democrats are connected in terms of future voters.  With such powerful interests at stake, it should be obvious why the Southern border is a sieve and illegals are left in the country unmolested.

As to whether the GOP will ever be able to rely on votes from the Hispanics, that is a non-starter.  “Hispanics are not historically and ideologically aligned with what the GOP is supposed to be.  To point to Roman Catholicism and claim that Hispanics will vote GOP because of socially conservative viewpoints misses the bigger picture of the state of Catholicism in South and Central America.  It is a synthesis, or a hybrid mixture, of Catholicism, superstition, Marxism, and in some cases evil “patron saints” for the cartel criminals.”

The elaborate setup for the problem is far too embedded into American culture and government to eradicate.  There’s too many border crossings, too much border traffic, too many Mexican truckers driving in the U.S., too many Mexican workers, and too much corporate money at stake to reverse the course now.  It would take far more than simply “securing the border,” whatever that might mean given that the horse left the barn years ago.

I am not suggesting that we don’t try, but I am suggesting that we prepare for failure of the routine, typical political strategies.  Personal and family preparation for failure of the American system is the advisable course of action.

Police Antics And SWAT-Capades

BY Herschel Smith
10 months, 4 weeks ago

It’s a well worn category here, and that itself is a sad commentary on the state of affairs in Amerika.  Here is the first report we discussed just recently.

HENRICO, Va. (WTVR) –Ruth Hunter, a 75-year-old woman, said she was tied up while State Police invaded her Henrico apartment.

She said officers told her during the raid what they were looking for, and court documents also show the information. She said she had nothing to do with the investigation.

Virginia State Police said a drug investigation is what prompted a Henrico County magistrate to issue a warrant for an apartment in the 5600 block of Crenshaw road.

The woman claims that officers ultimately arrested a man who lives two doors down from her.

“I thought someone was breaking in to rob or kill me,” Hunter said.

Seconds after her front door flies open Hunter said she heard a voice yell “Police!”

“…Took my hands with a tie-thing and said ‘You’re under arrest’ and started asking questions,” she recalled. “The more I told them I didn’t know these people, the more he continued.”

Hunter said that police left her apartment and went two doors down, while she was left handcuffed with a zip tie.

The fiancé of the man arrested says she was there at the time, and asked CBS 6 to hide her identity

“Just so happened they came to the apartment and they got it mixed up,’ she said.

The team left her zip tied because as you know, seventy five year old women are such an ever-present danger to law enforcement.  She could have thrown down with the best of them while they were busy doing other things, like going to the right house rather than grandmother’s place.

Next up, police in Miami-Dade badly beat a young man with Down Syndrome for packing a Colostomy bag.

Gilberto Powell says the police were following him in their cruiser as he was walking home. The police report says the officers decided to stop Gilberto after they noticed a “bulge” in Gilberto’s pants. After an officer tried to conduct a patdown, the report claims Gilberto attempted to flee.

Gilberto denies trying to run away and says he did everything the officer asked him to do. What happened next resulted in the photograph above.

After Powell was finally handcuffed and questioned, the officers realized he was “mentally challenged, was not capable of understanding our commands, and that the bulge in his waistband was a colostomy bag,” the report said.

By that time, Gilberto had been hit, knocked to the ground and the bag had reportedly been ripped from his body. The father says by the time he and Gilberto’s mother ran outside to their son, the cops had removed Gilberto’s pants and had him out there in his boxer shorts.

The mother asked the officer, “Didn’t you know he was a Down Syndrome kid?” to which the cop responded, “I’m not a doctor, I didn’t know.”

The family’s attorney Philip Gold said that it should’ve been immediately obvious that Gilberto has special needs.

If you just look at Gilberto, he 5-foot-3, 130 pounds with Down Syndrome, it’s 100 percent obvious he has Down Syndrome,” he said. It’s impossible to believe [the police’s story] if you hear one word out of Gilberto’s mouth.”

Because even though Florida’s stop and identify statute applies only to prowling and loitering, 5 foot tall boys with Down syndrome and colostomy bags are such a danger to society.

Next up, news from Framingham.

A Boston television station reported Thursday night,  Framingham Police and members of the Massachusetts State Police raided the wrong apartment Thursday morning, when conducting a drug raid.

The police meant to raid 78A at 6 a.m. Thursday morning but instead raided 78B, which was occupied by a mom and her five children, ranging in age from 4 to 18.

Oh, what’s the difference, 78A and 78B?  The alpha-numeric characters are, after all, so similar.  I’m sure that officers pointed rifles at women and children just in case, you know, so they could be assured of going home safely at the end of their shift.  But don’t forget that we have history with the Framingham Police Department when innocent Mr. Eurie Stamps was shot to death by their SWAT team.

Finally, no door is safe with a SWAT team on the prowl.

Midland-A Midland family says they don’t feel safe in their own home after the Midland Police Department’s SWAT team kicked in their front door during last Friday’s tragic standoff.

The family is asking that the city fix the damages that were made to their door, but it could take several weeks before the city takes any action.

For the past four nights, Cesar Reyna and his girlfriend have not been able to sleep in peace knowing that at anytime someone could walk right through their front door.

“I worry for the safety of my son, anything can happen whenever,” said Reyna. “Anybody can just walk into my house, it’s just uncomfortable.”

When Reyna got home from work last Friday night, his front door was wide open and police officers covered his front lawn.

“I came out and talked to them [police officers] and they said they had kicked it in, but they wouldn’t tell me why,” said Reyna.

According to Sarah Higgins,  the Public Information Officer for Midland, the SWAT team knocked on the door several times before kicking it in. She said the team had to evacuate the home being that it was right across the street from were the standoff took place.

Reyna and his family were told to call the City’s Safety and Risk Management department to file a claim for the damages that were made to their door, but when they did make the call they were told their case wouldn’t be reviewed until May 13.

These folks weren’t just on some correct or incorrect raid party list.  They lived across the street from the raid party.  They had the misfortune of living in the wrong place, and the SWAT team decided to bust in their door, and are now guilty of breaking and entering, trespassing, violation of due process rights, violation of rights against illegal search and seizure, destruction of property, vandalism, and so on the list could go.  But hey, they got to go home safely at the end of their shift.

The saddest part about all of this is that no judge in America, local, state or federal, so much as gives a damn about any of this.  They all play for the same team.  And in anticipation of comments concerning the root cause of this sorry state of affairs, it isn’t either police or judges (or politicians, for that matter).  It’s not either-or.  It’s both-and.  All participating parties are culpable for the moral obscenity and the grotesque, twisted monster that has become our system of justice.  Let the fan boys from PoliceOne.com chew on these things for a while.

The Admixture Of Military And Law Enforcement

BY Herschel Smith
11 months, 1 week ago

My son Daniel did a combat tour of Fallujah in 2007, but his other deployment with the Marine Corps was a MEU to the Gulf of Aden and Persian Gulf (which both he and I think is a horrible way to throw away money if we’re never going to use the Marine Corps for anything on these MEUs except for humanitarian missions – but that’s another topic).

As the pre-deployment workup for this MEU, the Battalion underwent extensive training in evidence collection protocol and procedures.  At the time I dismissed this as an aberration and thought no more of it.  Then the Washington Post recently had this article, and it made me think again.

When U.S. Special Operations forces raided several houses in the Iraqi city of Ramadi in March 2006, two Army Rangers were killed when gunfire erupted on the ground floor of one home. A third member of the team was knocked unconscious and shredded by ball bearings when a teenage insurgent detonated a suicide vest.

In a review of the nighttime strike for a relative of one of the dead Rangers, military officials sketched out the sequence of events using small dots to chart the soldiers’ movements. Who, the relative asked, was this man — the one represented by a blue dot and nearly killed by the suicide bomber?

After some hesi­ta­tion, the military briefers answered with three letters: FBI.

The FBI’s transformation from a crime-fighting agency to a counterterrorism organization in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks has been well documented. Less widely known has been the bureau’s role in secret operations against al-Qaeda and its affiliates in Iraq and Afghanistan, among other locations around the world.

With the war in Afghanistan ending, FBI officials have become more willing to discuss a little-known alliance between the bureau and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) that allowed agents to participate in hundreds of raids in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The relationship benefited both sides. JSOC used the FBI’s expertise in exploiting digital media and other materials to locate insurgents and detect plots, including any against the United States. The bureau’s agents, in turn, could preserve evidence and maintain a chain of custody should any suspect be transferred to the United States for trial.

[ … ]

… FBI agents were regularly involved in shootings — sometimes fighting side by side with the military to hold off insurgent assaults.

“It wasn’t weekly but it wouldn’t be uncommon to see one a month,” he said. “It’s amazing that never happened, that we never lost anybody.”

Others considered it a natural evolution for the FBI — and one consistent with its mission.

[ … ]

In 2005, all of the HRT members in Iraq began to work under JSOC. At one point, up to 12 agents were operating in the country, nearly a tenth of the unit’s shooters.

It’s been routine to watch every little Podunk Hollow across America acquire MRAPs, and we’ve all seen the horrible result of the militarizaton of police in America with SWAT raids.  With former military snipers going to work for federal law enforcement agencies and former military in general finding work with law enforcement across America (which both Daniel and I think is a horrible idea), there may as well never have been a law such as the Posse Comitatus Act.  We have virtual military enforcing law and warring against citizens of America as we speak.

But this level of admixture is a new feature (to those of us who weren’t part of JSOC).  The professional military has welcomed both law enforcement officers and law enforcement protocol and procedures into its ranks.

The implications of this are perhaps enormous.  Quiet Man at WRSA points out that there are formal Army field manuals and doctrine and training documents for site exploitation, and remarks that “virtually everything they do will be ‘”joint” in the agency sense.”  Yes, and in the intra-agency sense as well.  The military is looking more like law enforcement, and law enforcement is looking more like the military.  For those who have been watching, this is likely not accidental, and is an evolution that is at one and the same time both immoral and lawless.  This admixture of law enforcement and military is probably irreversible and this fact will prove to be determinative as a catalyst in coming events.


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