Archive for the 'Gun Control' Category



Judge Upholds California Gun Microstamping Law

BY Herschel Smith
1 day, 8 hours 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.

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
5 days, 7 hours ago

David Codrea:

Washington State liberty activist Anthony Bosworth was arrested Wednesday outside a federal building for openly carrying a firearm, an announcement on Bosworth’s Facebook page reports. Within hours, he had been released with no criminal charges, his wife informed supporters.

Liberty advocate Kit Lange has fleshed out further details of the arrest on the website for The Patrick Henry Society. The “co-organizer of Arms Expo 2015 was arrested this morning outside the federal courthouse in Spokane as he attended a states’ rights rally with his family,” Lange reports.

Bosworth was arrested in front of his wife and children by agents for the Department of Homeland Security, who “claimed that Bosworth was in violation of federal law by open carrying a firearm on federal property.”

Read the rest of the report at Examiner.  I won’t be the first one, but I’ll certainly join the chorus and call bull shit on this one.  There is no such law that prohibits firearms on “federal property,” as if all property is subject to a single law.  For example, firearms are certainly allowed in national parks and have been since 2010.  A military base is technically considered a federal reservation, and firearms are allowed there (even personal ones with approval).  The arresting officer just made that one up.

Read Mike Vanderboegh’s take on this.  ” I was particularly interested that the FBI was particularly interested in talking to Anthony about me. Nice to know I’m living in their heads rent-free as well. (Maybe they can get with Gottlieb and split the cost.) The FBI, it seems, is particularly interested in the national armed civil disobedience movement. It really must flummox them. We don’t fit any pattern they’ve seen recently …”

David Codrea:

Setting the state up for massive gun owner civil disobedience along the lines of what has occurred in California and is currently happening in New York and Connecticut, Democrat State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins filed the Firearms Registration Act with the Secretary of State on Friday. The act was then presented for first reading and referred to the Democrat-dominated Assignments Committee.

Collins’ measure “[p]rovides that every person in the State must register each firearm he or she owns or possesses in accordance with the Act,” the official synopsis declares.

It’s easy for people to file legislation that someone else has to enforce.  So send in the enforcers, Ms. Collins.  See what happens then.  Perhaps you can go on one of the raids yourself, no?

Kurt Hofmann:

But Dr. Alan Delamater says even exposing young teens to this environment is dangerous.

“It’s another family gaming activity, right? Wrong. I don’t think it’s just another activity. I think this is something that can seriously affect child development and not in a good way,” Dr. Delamater said.

Delamater does not clarify whether or not “exposing” these young men and women–some of whom will in a few short years be serving in the military–to all firearms represents a problem for “child development” (whatever that unspecified “problem” is), or if the danger is restricted to fully-automatic firearms.

What does the man want, for boys to play with dolls and learn how to self actualize each other?  Every man needs to know things like engine building, guns, and farm animals.  If you don’t, buy a gun and learn to use it, tear an engine down, and volunteer your time at a ranch training horses.  And stay away from Dr. Delamater while he wets his pants.

Kurt Hofmann:

They’re refusing shipment until they know more about how it will be regulated–a pretty strong indicator that they know it’s not regulated now.  As Wilson says, there is absolutely no reason for FedEx to be concerned about legal issues, because there are no legal issues with shipping CNC milling machines. Wilson also points out that FedEx ships actual guns and ammunition, both of which are heavily regulated under federal and many states’ laws, and that hasn’t stopped them.

Read the rest of Kurt’s analysis.  I think Kurt is right.  There has been some dirty dealing going on behind closed doors on this one.

Christian militia takes on ISIS.  I want to be careful and very Christian as I respond to this and provide an assessment  – as a Christian.  Okay, here it goes.  May the Christian militia make the streets run red with the blood of the savages and send them to meet their maker who will send them to hell.  Godspeed to the militia.

The ATF reaffirms the Sig pistol brace is legal after all.  Whatever.  This is all being done by a bunch of worthless lawyers who have never used the thing and wouldn’t know it from a 2X4 if it bit them in the ass.  Ignore them and do what you want to with the brace.  The ATF has turned so paranoid and controlling they have become an undignified, unprofessional, boorish bore, like that uncle who cleans septic tanks for a living, the one with bad breath and creepy looks whom everyone avoids.

Politifact On George Washington On Guns

BY Herschel Smith
1 week ago

Politifact:

Would George Washington have been an ally to modern-day gun-rights groups? A social-media meme suggests that he would have.

Around the time of Washington’s 282nd birthday, a reader sent us the meme, which includes a painting of Washington and a quote purportedly written or uttered by the nation’s first president: “When government takes away citizens’ right to bear arms it becomes citizens’ duty to take away government’s right to govern.”

But are those really Washington’s words?

We contacted Edward Lengel, editor in chief of the Papers of George Washington project at the University of Virginia. He said “there is no evidence that Washington ever wrote or said these words, or any like them.” Lengel cautioned that it’s impossible to prove a negative, but he added that he’s “as certain as he can be” that the quote did not originate from George Washington.

This is not the first time a similar claim has popped onto our radar screen.

In December 2012, PolitiFact Texas rated False a claim made two days after the Newtown elementary school shooting. When U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican, appeared on Fox News Sunday, he was asked why he believed ordinary Americans should be able to buy semi-automatic weapons designed for military use. Gohmert answered in part, “For the reason George Washington said a free people should be an armed people. It ensures against the tyranny of the government.”

PolitiFact Texas contacted Gohmert’s office to seek details on the Washington quotation but didn’t hear back.

The closest statement they could find was one Washington made in his first State of the Union address on Jan. 8, 1790: “A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined.”

The academic consensus is that Washington was referring to a trained militia to defend the new nation, rather than anticipating citizens seeking to head off perceived governmental tyranny.

Ron Chernow, whose Washington: A Life won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for biography, told PolitiFact Texas that Washington was “talking about national defense policy, not individuals arming themselves, and the need for national self-sufficiency in creating military supplies.”

Some post-Revolutionary lawmakers did expect citizens to own firearms, but Washington does not appear to have been among them, experts said.

“The idea of resistance to tyranny being dependent on a nation of gun-wielding individuals acting at their own behest or even on local initiative would have been anathema to Washington,” Lengel told PolitiFact Texas.

Yes, that’s right.  Per “academic consensus,” the very man to whom the continental congress turned to lead the effort to wage war on their own government was opposed to the very idea of waging war on your own government.  You simply cannot make this kind of thing up.

Let’s forget about a singular quote that may or may not have been properly attributed to Washington.  That clouds the issue, and it allows Politifact to launch into a much deeper presentation for which they cited absolutely no evidence.

The private ownership of weapons was so ubiquitous in colonial America that there is no need to explain that the “militia” purchased, maintained and trained on their guns individually.  As we’ve discussed before:

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. One colonial newspaper argued that it was impossible to complain that this act was illegal since they were “British subjects, to whom the privilege of possessing arms is expressly recognized by the Bill of Rights” while another argued that this “is a natural right which the people have reserved to themselves, confirmed by the Bill of Rights, to keep arms for their own defense”. The newspaper cited Blackstone’s commentaries on the laws of England, which had listed the “having and using arms for self preservation and defense” among the “absolute rights of individuals.” The colonists felt they had an absolute right at common law to own firearms.

In fact, it may properly be said that the beginnings of the American war of independence was fought over gun control imposed by the British.  As to the private ownership of weapons, it doesn’t stop with the individual colonies declaring that men should be well armed in order to travel, or that they should practice their marksmanship every Sunday.

The Mount Vernon slaves hunted and trapped animals for income, both physical and documentary evidence suggests. Within the past decade, archaeologists working in the cellar of a slave dwelling on the Mansion House Farm came across both gun flints and lead shot in a variety of sizes; remains of small mammals (rabbits, squirrels, opossums, and raccoons); and a variety of wild birds (several types of ducks, coot, grouse, partridge, and passenger pigeon). Contrary to popular belief, slaves could legally own guns under certain circumstances. A Virginia statute of 1785 forbid slaves to keep firearms unless they were either traveling with their master or had written permission from him or their employer to have a gun. Washington clearly knew about and sanctioned the keeping of guns by at least some of his slaves (although no such documents of permission appear at Mount Vernon). He even provided shot on occasion, most likely for hunting game for the Washingtons’ table or for hunting vermin, as on 19 January 1787, when slave Tom Davis received one pound of shot.

In the fall of 1792, Davis and another slave, Sambo Anderson, sold their master eleven dozen birds. Both men were well-known hunters. Davis, who regularly supplied the Mount Vernon household with fresh game, had a “great Newfoundland dog” named Gunner as his hunting companion. Ducks were extremely plentiful along the Potomac in the eighteenth century, and one shot from Davis’s “old British musket” generally brought down “as many of those delicious birds as would supply the larder for a week,” said George Washington Parke Custis, Martha Washington’s grandson. Anderson had been born in Africa and in the 1750s had been enslaved and brought to Virginia, where he became a carpenter. A vivid character, he wore gold rings in his ears and adorned his face with tribal scars and tattoos. After his manumission in 1800 under the terms of Washington’s will, Anderson supported himself by hunting wild game, which he sold to hotels and to “the most respectable families” in Alexandria, according to an 1876 correspondent to the Alexandria Gazette and Virginia Advertiser. He made enough money from this endeavor to purchase and emancipate two members of his family, William and Eliza. Sambo Anderson probably earned money from those same sources while Washington was alive.

Even Washington’s slaves owned weapons.  Do not ever trust Politifact.  And as for that matter, do not ever trust Snopes or Truth or Fiction.  Be better students that they are, and refuse to honor people who perform middle school level research with your visits or your time.  When I do, I visit these sites so you don’t have to.

Washington, like all other founders, viewed gun ownership as a right, and relied upon such ownership to prosecute the American war of independence.

Prior: Politifact Lies About The NRA

The Gun Law Is An Ass?

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 4 days ago

By now most readers are aware of the sad case of the poor New Jersey retired school teacher who faces felony charges for ownership of an antique handgun.

Gordon Van Gilder, a 72-year-old retired schoolteacher in New Jersey, faces a 10-year prison sentence for possessing an unloaded 18th-century flintlock pistol in his car.

Mr. Van Gilder, a collector of 18th-century memorabilia, said he had the gun unloaded and wrapped in a cloth in the glove compartment of his vehicle when he was pulled over in November by a Cumberland County sheriff’s deputy for a minor traffic violation, according to a video posted last week by NRA News.

After consenting to a search of his vehicle, Mr. Van Gilder said he alerted the deputy of the pistol in his glove box. The deputy let him go that night, but four police officers showed up at his home the next morning with an arrest warrant, he told NRA News.

“Beware of New Jersey. Don’t come here. Don’t live here,” Mr. Van Gilder said. “Here I am, a retired teacher coming out of his house in handcuffs, who had a flintlock pistol and now I’m charged as a felon. It’s unbelievable. It’s outrageous. It’s an insult to decent people.”

New Jersey’s gun laws explicitly include antique firearms, even though federal laws exempt them.

Evan Nappen, an attorney who specializes in gun law cases and is representing Mr. Van Gilder, says that even a plea agreement that avoids jail time but convicts Mr. Van Gilder of a felony would likely jeopardize his teacher’s pension he spent 34 years earning, Legal Insurrection reported.

Charles C. W. Cooke thinks the law is an ass.

The gun in question, Van Gilder says, “was probably made about 1765 in Belgium — for the British market.” A dealer found it in Pennsylvania, and held it for him. “I paid $800 for it. It’s a boxlock pistol, so there’s no hammer. It’s beautiful” …

The idea that he was breaking a law, Nappen concludes, “never crossed Van Gilder’s mind. It’s an antique. He had no intention of shooting it. It wasn’t loaded. There was no flint, no powder, and no ball” …

Putting to one side the myriad problems with New Jersey’s preposterously illiberal laws, Allen’s ordeal was so perplexing because it need never have been brought about in the first instance. In her case — as, now, in Van Gilder’s — the prosecuting authorities had absolute discretion. Then, as now, they did not use it. In this latest case, it seems clear that there was no need to arrest Van Gilder in the first instance, and neither was there any obvious justification for charging him. Indeed, in a reasonable state, the existence of judgment-limiting mandatory minimums would make prosecutors more likely, not less, to drop the fringe cases at the outset. But New Jersey is not a reasonable state, and its authorities are neither kind nor judicious. Rather, they are stubborn and they are zealous. There is something unutterably rotten about the Garden State these days.

Finally, NJ.com is polling folks to see what they think about it.  Many of the responses are utterly pathetic and not even worth your time.  To begin with concerning the artifact, no gunsmith worth his weight in salt would actually fire the gun.  He certainly wouldn’t do it without NDE (non destructive examination) being performed on the firearm to ensure that he didn’t destroy an actual historical artifact while he also allowed someone to be harmed in the process.  More likely, he will do an ultrasonic cleaning of the piece, and then wisely talk the owner into sitting this beautiful relic under glass.  In doing so, he will have earned his consultative fee.  The notion that this is a working firearm is ridiculous.

Second, I am indeed so very sorry for Mr. Van Gilder, and of course there is no reason he should face a felony arrest and lose of his pension.  These things are obscene and an insult to the sensibilities of peaceable and God fearing men and women.  But the notion of charging Mr. Van Gilder isn’t obscene because he owns and attempted to transport an antique relic.  They are obscene because they violate the dignity of an elderly man who has a God given right to own weapons, a right that the constitution codifies, recognizes and specifically stipulates.  “Shall not be infringed,” the wording reads.

I am sorry for Mr. Van Gilder, but I disagree with Mr. Cooke, and profoundly so.  The law isn’t an ass.  The law is words, codified morality.  The notion that we cannot legislate morality is ludicrous.  All law is legislated morality, as R. J. Rushdoony has pointed out.  This law reflects the totalitarian and collectivist morality of the Northeast, where men who spend their lives teaching the little ones lose their dignity because they have an interest in “curios and relics,” as it happens to create a nexus with gun laws of a control freak political mentality.  Make no mistake.  This isn’t about curios and relics, or even guns.  All gun control is about control.

The law isn’t an ass.  The people who made the law, and the people who voted the politicians into office, the culture that created this controlling totalitarianism, they are the true ass.  They always have been – they always will be.  “Can a leopard change its spots?”

Eugene Volokh On Open Carry

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 5 days ago

The Washington Post:

So the Florida Court of Appeal held Wednesday in Norman v. State. It concluded that the Second Amendment applies to carrying for self-defense outside the home.

“A blanket prohibition on carrying [a] gun in public prevents a person from defending himself anywhere except inside his home,” and as such constitutes a “substantial … curtailment of the right of armed self-defense.”

… the Legislature’s discretion in this area is not limitless. For example, the [Second Circuit] in Kachalsky upheld New York’s prohibitive licensing scheme using an intermediate scrutiny analysis that gave too much deference to the legislature, without considering the fact that the licensing scheme in question rendered the right to bear arms outside the home virtually non-existent…. A right is essentially “destroyed [if the] exercise of [that] right is limited to a few people, in a few places, at a few times.”

The Legislature “has a right to prescribe a particular manner of carry, provided that it does not ‘cut[] off the exercise of the right of the citizen altogether to bear arms, or, under the color of prescribing the mode, render[] the right itself useless.’” The Legislature is permitted to regulate the manner in which arms are borne for the purpose of maintaining public peace and safety, so long as any such regulation leaves available a viable carry mode.

I think the court was quite right to recognize a right to carry guns in public for self-defense (for more on this, see here). I also think the court was right to allow the state to limit such carrying to concealed carrying, precisely because such carrying doesn’t substantially interfere with the ability to defend oneself. (That’s especially so because, if a situation arises in which a person reasonably perceives an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury, the person would be free then to display the gun in self-defense, as well as use it, if necessary.)

So let’s play a thought experiment.  Suppose rather than the rights of an “ordinary” citizen being addressed here it was the rights of law enforcement officers who may need to defend their lives.  Would Eugene have made the same argument?  Would law enforcement have stood for being told they must carry concealed?  Would any court in the land have dared to force LEOs to carry concealed?  Do you think law enforcement would make the argument that drawing from a concealed carry position (IWB covered by clothing or perhaps ankle carry rig) might endanger their lives more than if they have the weapon ready from open carry due to response time?

Remember under Tennessee versus Garner LEOs can use their weapons for the very same reason we can use ours, i.e., for self defense or the defense of the life of someone else (or to prevent assault or bodily injury), and for no other reason(s).  So then how are we any different than LEOs, and why should such requirements be placed on us if they are not placed on LEOs?  How is it the right decision by the court to uphold a law that treats us differently?

Surely Eugene knows as much about Tennessee versus Garner (and its follow-on cases) as we do.  Does Eugene have an answer for why it’s okay for the court to treat us differently?  Has Eugene thought through this clearly enough yet?

John Lott On Texas Open Carry

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 4 days ago

The Austin-American Statesman is carrying an opinion piece by John Lott on the open carry bills in Texas.  It is subscription, but Mr. Lott also mirrors the entire commentary on the web site Crime Prevention Research Center (where he is president).  Mr. Lott felt the latitude to undercut the Austin-American Statesman by publishing the entire piece on his site, but I will only provide excerpts.

With well over 700,000 concealed handgun permit holders in Texas, there is a good chance that someone next you in a grocery store or restaurant is carrying a concealed handgun. But some are only satisfied if others actually know that they are carrying.  They think that by openly carrying guns they can make others comfortable with guns. They want to make a statement.

Texas lawmakers are now wrestling with the questions of campus carry and open carry. They couldn’t face a clearer choice between enhancing safety or making political statements.

Open carry advocates carry rifles because they can’t legally openly carry handguns. While no problems have occurred, simply handling a rifle as opposed to keeping a handgun in a holster, raises the risk that something might go wrong.

Open carry advocates have not been the best at public relations and they have scared some people. Much has been made of supposed gun bans by Starbucks, Jack in the Box, Chipotle, Wendy’s, Applebee’s, Chili’s and Sonic’s supposedly banning guns. In fact, these companies merely “respectfully request” that customers not openly carry guns. Passing an open carry law where proponents carried handguns, instead of rifles, would be less threatening and thus likely make it less of a PR issue.

Still, there is a more basic problem with open carry – it isn’t as effective in protecting people.

Criminals and terrorists can strike anywhere and at any time, that gives them a huge strategic advantage. When an attacker sees someone openly carrying a gun, they can either attack that person or wait for a more opportune moment. Alternatively, they can select another target.

Concealed carry makes attacks riskier. A killer can’t attack an auditorium in Texas without facing near-certain resistance. And, of course, an attacker has no idea who might be packing heat.

[ … ]

Open carry isn’t bad, but concealed carry is better. There are more important changes to be made. At $140, Texas has one of the highest permit fees in the US. Lower fees would increase the number of people who can protect others. It would especially help those who are most likely to be victims of violent crime — poor blacks living in high-crime urban areas.

If safety is the goal, let’s eliminate gun-free zones or lower permit fees. Open carry may make a political statement, but is that really the top priority?

In order fully to answer this, I have to point folks back to an article I wrote entitled Suburban Battle Rattle.  I didn’t write this to be silly, trivial or even tendentious.  I did it in order to get feedback from readers about what they do and how they approach this subject.

Mike Vanderboegh linked it, and one reader in particular put me on edge by saying this.

I would not recommend an ankle rig unless it was for your “third gun”. For years I worked plain clothes assignments as a DA Investigator. I was in some of the worst areas of SoCal. My duty weapon was a Glock 19 in a very secure DeSantis rig on my right hip. In my left front pants pocket was a S&W model 37 with a bobbed hammer in a Galco pocket rig. Extra mags were on my belt and in the left pocket of my sport coat, I kept an impact device, edged device, and a few other lightweight goodies.

If you have to evac and area in a hurry, ankle rigs will not only slow you down, they can loosen and start spinning around your ankle. Been there, done that.

The best weapon I had was the one between my two ears. Situational awareness and OODA techniques kept me in one piece until I was eligible to retire. H/T to Mr. Mike: I did not poke any wolverines in their nether regions unless I had a good plan in place and a secure method of egress.

” …ankle rigs will not only slow you down, they can loosen and start spinning around your ankle. Been there, done that.”  I don’t so much disagree with him, as dismiss it as bluster if he doesn’t back it all up by political action and other necessary things to force changes to both law and cultural norms to allow open carry.  Let me explain a bit and then I’ll get back to John Lott.

I’ve had my ankle rig swing around on me too, and beyond that, if I needed it quickly I am hampered by the location of the weapon and its being covered by my trousers.  But it’s one thing to complain about ankle rigs while you’re a LEO who can open carry, and quite another to work to change the situation for those of us who cannot open carry all of the time.

Even though my own home state is a traditional open carry state, I cannot open carry all of the time because of cultural norms.  Sometimes I am left with concealed carry IWB or ankle rig.  I find IWB carry obnoxious for a number of reasons, including but not limited to: (1) sweat and body oils rust and corrode your weapon, (2) it’s uncomfortable, and (3) you must use a small handgun or print your clothing.

With swollen knuckles due to my arthritis, I cannot efficiently handle small frame subcompacts (I do just fine with larger frame weapons).  So I am left with a large frame weapon which weighs too much and prints at my side.  I may as well use a rigger’s belt and open carry, which I find significantly more comfortable than IWB carry.  I’m saying all of this to suggest that Lott’s assertion that open carry is done in order to make a political statement is both insulting and ignorant.  When I open carry, I don’t do it to make any kind of statement.

But beyond being insulting and ignorant, Lott’s procedure is the same as he has used before, and it is as objectionable as it has always been.  As I’ve stated before:

What happens to society at the macroscopic level is immaterial.  My rights involve me and my family, and don’t depend on being able to demonstrate that the general health effects in society are not a corollary to or adversely affected by the free exercise of them.  It’s insidious and even dangerous to argue gun rights as a part of crime prevention based on statistics because it presupposes what the social planners do, i.e., that I’m part of the collective.”  I object to John Lott’s procedure, and have stated frequently that I do not believe in the second amendment.  I believe in God.  The Almighty grants me the rights to be armed, and when the Almighty has spoken, it is eternal law for all men everywhere and in all ages and epochs.  See also Holding Human Rights Hostage To Favorable Statistical Outcomes, and Kurt Hoffman on the same subject.

And that’s the main problem with John Lott and his procedure.  If you need to, read his commentary above again, very carefully.  He doesn’t come right out and say he is opposed to the legalization of open carry, but he spends his entire time trying to prove that it is inferior to concealed carry, and ends with the question, is it “really a top priority?”

He is trying to talk the Texas legislators into letting the bills perish in committee.  It isn’t good enough for him to enable the practice of God-given rights.  It isn’t good enough for him to couple with other gun rights activists to press forward to the enjoyment of more freedom.  No, for some inexplicable reason he must work to undermine the gun rights community and be divisive and schismatic.  Being quiet isn’t good enough.  He must engage in chest pounding, blathering on in front of people about how much he knows.  As to how much he supposedly knows, I do Monte Carlo particle transport calculations, worrying over things like the first, second and third moments of a problem, sampling statistics, variance reduction and meeting the central limit theorem.  John Lott doesn’t impress me (with his anecdotal accounts in the distribution “tails”) any more than the VPC or Brady gun controllers.

Ironically, while various anti-gun groups such as the VPC attempt to use arguments like this to prohibit the practice of God-given rights by a subterfuge of worthless “statistics” they don’t really understand, John Lott attempts to do the very same thing under the guise of being safe and ensuring the best response to potential attackers.  He is more like the anti-gun crowd than he would be willing to admit.  It isn’t enough that we must do battle with the collectivists to ensure the free exercise of our rights.  We must also do battle with self-proclaimed gun rights advocates like John Lott.  Working to legalize open carry in Texas doesn’t change cultural norms, but it’s a starting point.  Those of us who favor such legalization will have to step over the “gun rights” activists to make this happen.

Enough Is Enough: Oregon Freedom Is Next On The Collectivist Menu

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 6 days ago

Portland Tribune:

A handful of Oregon Episcopal School 12th grade students will ask Portland’s City Council on Wednesday to adopt a strict gun control measure.

It’s part of a semester-long class research project on engaged citizenship, says Mike Gwaltney, chairman of the OES History Department and a teacher at the Raleigh Hills school on Southwest Nicol Road.

During the council’s Wednesday morning meeting, OES students Maddie Mosscrop, Elizabeth Keeney, Zach Solomon, Rowan Berridge, Nut Cheepsongsuk, Meredith Loy, Teddy Morrissette, Jackson Thomas, Peter Graham and Chelsea Choi, will propose that the city adopt an ordinance banning the manufacture or sale of “assault weapons” and large-capacity magazines for semi-automatic weapons …

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, who has advocated for stricter gun safety laws, in January 2013 signed on to a statement of principles endorsed by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a national group formed in the wake of the December 2012 shootings at Clackamas Town Center and at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Hales proposed requiring criminal background checks for all gun sales, banning “military-style” assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines and making gun trafficking a federal crime.

The OES students’ measure is modeled on similar ordinances adopted by Sunnyvale, Calif., Highland Park, Ill., and Washington, D.C. It’s also an extension of ordinances adopted by Portland’s city commissioners in December 2010.

[ … ]

The students’ proposal comes on the heels of a plan by U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer announced Monday to treat gun safety like automobiles and tobacco use.

Blumenauer, a Democrat representing Oregon’s 3rd Congressional District, outlined his proposal during a Feb. 9 press conference with the introduction of a new report, ‘Enough Is Enough.’

Blumenauer plans to turn the report’s nine proposals into federal legislation later this year. The proposals are based on the federal government’s response to automobile safety and reduction of tobacco use “two significant public safety challenges where the government responded in ways that dramatically reduced injury and death, success came from defining the problem, identifying risk factors, testing prevention strategies, and ensuring widespread adoption of effective solutions,” Blumenauer said Monday in Portland …

Among Blumenauer’s proposals:

• Closing the private sale loophole so no guns could not be sold without a background check.

• Improve the mental health system so some people with mental illnesses cannot get guns.

• Authorize and increase research on ways to prevent gun violence.

• Limit access to “the most dangerous weapons.”

• Include firearms in the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Act.

If you read Blumenauer’s report – and I have – you will find a veritable orgy of government control over every aspect of your rights, from giving the government bureaucrats control over the design, testing, sale and manufacture of guns, to involvement of the CDC and other health professionals in whether any one individual or class of individuals should be allowed to have weapons, to prohibition of certain types of weapons and magazines, to ending what they call the “private sale loophole” (see page 11).  It’s a collectivist’s wet dream of government regulation and control.

Now, this won’t get passed in either the House or Senate.  I have come to believe that this isn’t the point of the report.  This “protest” by the school children (probably all orchestrated by their collectivist teachers) was timed to begin with the push for federal legislation, which won’t pass but that fact will be used to pressure local officials because “we can do something even Congress can’t.”

Money will eventually flow into Oregon from Bloomberg and Gates if it hasn’t already started.  The new paradigm for gun control efforts is the state level, not the federal level (where they will lose) or the local level (where preemption laws turn their efforts to waste).

This serves as a warning to all readers in Oregon.  Saddle up your horses now.  Get you bedroll ready, strap it on to the saddle, get some oats, salted pork, and horse feed.  Grab your oilskin coat.  Get your carbine and pistols ready, clean them, and get your ammunition.  Hit the trail now, your posse is needed.  It will be a long time before you sleep.

Get busy immediately or you will be the next in line after Washington’s I-594.  The evil one has designs on your soul.  You’re in the fight of your life.  It has already begun while you were sleeping.

Michael Bloomberg Wants To Ban Minority Males From Gun Ownership

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 1 day ago

The Aspen Times:

Bloomberg claimed that 95 percent of murders fall into a specific category: male, minority and between the ages of 15 and 25. Cities need to get guns out of this group’s hands and keep them alive, he said.

“These kids think they’re going to get killed anyway because all their friends are getting killed,” Bloomberg said. “They just don’t have any long-term focus or anything. It’s a joke to have a gun. It’s a joke to pull a trigger.”

At one point, the former mayor brought up New York City’s stop-and-frisk practices, which gained national attention in 2011. Bloomberg said that during his last year in office, a minister at a Baptist church in Harlem invited him to speak.

“While I’m sitting there waiting for him to introduce me, he said to his congregation, ‘You know, if every one of you stopped and frisked your kid before they went out at night, the mayor wouldn’t have to do it,’” Bloomberg said. “And so I knew I was going to be okay with that audience.”

Well, this is just rich, isn’t it?  The state is acting as mommies, or daddies, in place of the non-existent mommies or daddies (can you say in loco parentis?).  What a hell the progressives have created for the black man and themselves!  They have pressed for policies that impoverish the black man and make him dependent upon government largesse, incentivizing fatherless families, and then step in to act as the parent.

And take note that this, in the view of the collectivist, is the rightful place of the state.  Add to this the fact that progressives are racists, and you have a witches brew of ugliness for the inner cities that usually displays itself in crime against the middle class, the militarization of police, and class animosity.

Bloomberg doesn’t want those horrible black boys to have guns, any more than he wants them to have a father.  And all Jim Crow gun laws – such as in my own state where CLEOs get to make the final call on gun permits – are in place to keep those “horrible Negros” from getting their hands on guns.

Bloomberg is a racist.  It’s nice that he openly admitted it rather than us having to drag it out of him.  But in order to appear that he isn’t, his proposed gun laws (like I-594 in Washington and so-called “assault weapons ban”) hits only law abiding citizens.  Or in other words, the innocent and law abiding suffer for the sake of the special class of people he is trying to redeem.  In Bloomberg’s view, the state has a salvific role in the policies it implements, and everyone must make atonement for the sins of a few.

Going After The Enablers Of Bad Guys With Guns

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 1 day ago

Baltimore Sun:

Where do criminals get guns? I’ll explore that question a lot this year because the supply of guns to people prohibited from having them remains a principal cause of Baltimore’s violent eruptions. When a convicted felon can allegedly walk out of his house with an AR-15 style semiautomatic rifle and a 9 mm handgun and kill two men in a dispute over a parking space, we need to know: Who enabled him? Where’d he get the guns?

If he stole them, the case ends there.

But if he bought them, then those who supplied the weapons ought to be held accountable, too. The way I see it, they are accomplices to murder.

Oh goody.  That’s just what we need.  Another progressive “exploring” the issue of guns.  I can’t wait.

While Welch-Sutton is a federal case, the straw purchases they admitted to are exactly what the Maryland General Assembly had in mind when it toughened up the state’s firearms law in 2013. The law now requires people who want to buy a gun to submit to a background check, fingerprinting and four hours of gun-safety training.

Opponents of the measure called it an infringement on liberty.

But it’s no such thing. The intent is to discourage straw purchases, to keep old buddies from buying firearms for felons. It’s one piece of what should be a steady, comprehensive effort to reduce the size of the black market of guns that end up causing so much havoc and death. More to come.

Here’s what you won’t find Mr. Rodrick’s focus on: machetes.  Or Chicago gang violence with machetes and knives.  Like this.  Or hammer attacks and the need for a ban on assault hammers and background check before purchasing one.  Or finally, the need to disarm the police because attacking officers and perpetrating crime upon their person for the sole purpose of stealing their weapons has become a favorite tactic of criminals.

Because despite what Mr. Rodrick says about this not being infringements on your rights, it really is about that, and about the state having even more power than it does now.  All progressives want more state control, because it is in their nature.  It’s part of their DNA.  It’s their all encompassing world view.  The hippie movement was never about freedom, love and peace.  It was all about changing ideas and replacing those in power with their own people so they could control things.

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 5 days ago

David Codrea:

… those associations in and of themselves don’t relate how Carter would be able to use the position of Secretary of Defense to impact gun owners.

Here’s one area that it might: In following up on reports of military installations destroying expended ammunition brass rather than making it available to the commercial reload market, this column uncovered a copy of a June 23, 2011 memorandum from Carter on “Department of Defense (DoD) Implementing Guidance for the Commercial Sale of Expended Small Arms Cartridge Cases (ESACC).”

The memorandum includes an “Implementing Guidance” attachment stating “DoD will dispose of ESACC as quickly and effectively as practical, and in compliance with applicable laws, regulations and DoD guidance.” Of relevance, it also states “The DoD will not expend resources to determine whether ESACC are serviceable for non-military purposes.”

Ashton Carter is a progressive leader – not just shill – but leader.  Obama wouldn’t have appointed him if this were not the case.  You can lay bets on the notion that he will do everything in his power to ensure progressive policies are implemented.

Kurt Hofmann:

In other words, everyone who obediently registered their “assault weapons” and “high capacity” magazines, as per the new law, had provided the state with a map telling the gun confiscation raiding parties just where to go … let’s focus on one particular provision–registration of every gun. Actually, that’s annual registration, which is to be accompanied every time with a test of “firearms handling capacity” and knowledge of gun laws.

It never stops folks.  When they talk about “common sense” gun laws, what they really mean is that if you will let them get a foot in the door, they’ll force their way inside and take over.  It’s what control freaks do.  It’s what they believe.  They cannot not try to control every aspect of your life.  It’s like a dog returning to its vomit.  And it’s just as grotesque.

David Codrea:

“A Kermit [Texas] parent said his fourth-grade student was suspended Friday for allegedly making a terroristic threat,” the Odessa American reported Friday. After seeing “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” nine-year-old Aiden Steward allegedly brought a ring to school and told a classmate it was magic and could make him disappear.

The boy’s father, Jason Steward, said Kermit Elementary School Principal Roxanne Greer informed him “threats to another child’s safety would not be tolerated — whether magical or not.” For her part, Greer declined to comment …

Yea, I’ll bet she declined to comment.  This woman is an imbecile.  Do you really need another reason to get your children dissociated from the communist indoctrination program?

Iraqi father guns down seven ISIS members.

Seven Islamic State terrorists were no match for an elderly man hell-bent on avenging the execution of his son at the hands of the terrorist organization.

When Basil Ramadan, reportedly in his 60s, approached an ISIS checkpoint in Tikrit, about 120 miles northwest of Baghdad, he gunned down the terrorists manning the facility, according to the Daily Mail.

Ramadan managed to take out seven using an AK-47 before he himself was shot and killed.

So I’m just fine with this.  In fact, I delight in things like this.  I think I’ll tip a glass of wine in celebration of the deaths of the murderous thugs working for ISIS.  Show us more of it and ISIS wouldn’t exist.  For my part I won’t use an AK-47 if ISIS comes to America.  It will be a gun far better than that.


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