Archive for the 'Guns In National Parks' Category



Ted Cruz On Gun Rights

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

CNN:

Three days after a young man named Dylann Roof fatally shot nine people in a historic church in South Carolina—the latest in a string of gun massacres across the U.S.— Ted Cruz campaigned at a shooting range in Iowa.

Bold move for a politician? Perhaps.

But the decision reflects Cruz’s deepening alliance with the powerful gun lobby and his effort to cast himself as an unapologetic warrior for the Second Amendment.

A CNN review of speeches, interviews and court filings shows that Cruz has spent years forging ties with defenders of the Second Amendment — including a group to the right of the NRA. Some of those he’s allied himself with disdain all gun control, including gun-free zones at schools and other government buildings. Cruz has embraced those relationships as an aspect of his candidacy that sets himself apart from his rivals.

[ … ]

Throughout the primary process, Cruz has touted his endorsement by the Gun Owners of America, a gun-rights group that boasts a “no compromise” stance on gun control.

In an election season that has defied all odds, the gun-rights debate has not followed a predictable path in the primaries. And while Cruz has worked to establish his Second Amendment bona fides, some establishment figures in the Republican Party see this alliance as one of the most serious problems he would face in broadening his appeal if he reaches the general election.

“This is a group that could be portrayed as extreme, and off in a ditch,” said South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a former 2016 presidential candidate who has tangled with Cruz in the Senate but now sees him as a preferable alternative to Trump. “Anybody they endorse will have to carry those bags.”

[ … ]

The group’s executive director, Larry Pratt, opposes all gun control and sees massacres like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary School as evidence of the need for more, not fewer weapons in America.

Pratt has little tolerance for those who oppose his views, including the President and members of Congress. He said “it’s kind of a good thing” that politicians who favor gun control are in fear of being assassinated or deposed.

“That’s what the Second Amendment is,” Pratt said, “It’s a warning.”

There is much more at CNN.  It’s a very lengthy article, and good except for the assumption that Cruz has triangulated his position rather than holding it outright.  I wouldn’t expect much more than that from the MSM.  But read the rest of the article.  His position on gun rights goes way, way back, well before he ever even got into politics.

As for the awful little woman Lindsey Graham, his hand-wringing over the baggage associated with Larry Pratt is amusing and pitiful.  Larry is right.  The second amendment is a warning – a warning to people like Lindsey Graham to stop lording it over the people and do their bidding.  That’s why Graham is so uncomfortable with it.

As for what people thing about Pratt’s endorsement, my God.  What a bunch of little girls.  What happened to the men of America, who would stand on principle and say what they thought, back it up, and refuse to equivocate?  It appears we’ve lost most of them.  Cruz is one of the good guys, one who has never backed away from gun rights.

Study Links Rifle Ammunition To Wild Fires

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 8 months ago

Or so they say:

A study by the U.S. Forest Service has concluded rifle ammunition may be to blame for wildfires across the west.

The Forest Service commissioned a research team based in Montana to investigate the link between fires and rifle ammunition, after several reports cited Utah wildfires caused by bullets during 2012.

The study started last year with the first test run in September. Scientists tested 16 different bullets composed of steel, copper and lead, totaling 469 rounds fired.

“We designed an apparatus that consisted of a steel deflector plate and a box at the bottom called a ‘collector box’ that we could fill with various materials that could be tested for ignition,” said research forester Mark Finney.

They found once certain bullets fragmented, they would ignite the moss in the collector box.

“The bullet by itself isn’t very hot until it strikes something very solid,” Finney said. “The process of deforming it….is what heats it up.”

Finney said this test is the first to provide proof rifle ammunition could be the cause of fires. So far, the team has only tested bullets in a controlled environment, which emulated dry conditions.

7NEWS Reporter Lindsey Sablan asked Finney if the research being done may one day have an affect on shooters on federal land. Finney said he was not responsible for policy change but said “I would hope people would just consider ignitions from target shootings as one possibility to watch out for.”

In June of this summer, the Bureau of Land Management in Utah banned “steel-core or steel-jacketed bullets” along with exploding targets and tracer bullets. Colorado BLM Director of Communications Steven Hall said they “certainly took a look at it.” He went on to say they chose not to impose an outright ban this summer because, “we have different situation and conditions in Colorado.”

The full report is found here.  It seems to me that they focused very heavily on steel core ammunition, which most shooters don’t shoot down the barrels of finer weapons (I understand the Eastern Bloc ammunition shot from Mosin Nagants is different, and I also know that we can purchase green tip ammunition for AR-15s, which I wouldn’t shoot for target practice anyway).

Nonetheless, I read some of the report, but I noticed that of the four authors, not a single one is a registered professional engineer, and so the work lacks a PE seal.  Thus, I see no reason whatsoever to read any further or lend any credibility to the report.

You can do with it what you want.

Is A Gun Protection Against A Bear?

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 8 months ago

One would think that the answer to this question is fairly straight forward after the change in federal law allowing firearms to be carried into National Parks saved its first backpackers.  But there was a proliferation of stupid articles about a gun being no protection against bears, articles such as this one.

A well placed bullet might stop an aggressive grizzly, but not shooting could be just as effective in protecting yourself in bear country, according to a new study by Brigham Young University wildlife biologists.

Longtime bear biologist Tom Smith and colleagues analyzed 269 incidents of close-quarter bear-human conflict in Alaska between 1883 and 2009 in which a firearm was involved. They found the gun made no statistical difference in the outcome of these encounters, which resulted in 151 human injuries and 172 bear fatalities

“It really isn’t about the kind of gun you carry. It’s about how you carry yourself,” said Smith, lead author of the study published online in the Journal of Wildlife Management.

“Guns are great, but for a gun to be great you have to be very, very good. No one ever practices on a 500-pound animal charging at you through the brush at 10 meters. They practice on paper targets,” he added. “That’s a big, big difference from being in the moment of stress.”

One commenter noted how bad studies like this are, observing that:

For any study to be valid, controls must be in place to make certain that conditions are identical for the options being tested.  That is patently false in this scenario and for a very simple reason:  Bear spray is carried with the full purpose of using it on a bear.  That may seem like a simple premise, but let me continue.   A firearm may be carried for any one of several reasons; small game hunting, bird shooting, etc.  In other words, the bear spray examples they give are all in preparation for those specific situations, the firearm examples may be anything from someone carrying a 12 gauge loaded with OOO buckshot, strictly on the concern for meeting up with B’rer Bruin, to a squirrel hunter armed only with a .22.  Likewise would be the case of shotgunner, out for birds and carrying only birdshot.

For this study to be valid, it would have to compare those using bear spray for protection with those carrying heavy enough firearms for the specific intent of protecting the carrier from bears.

Well, yes, but things that seem intuitive to us (e.g., that the presence of a man-killing animal requires protection) get buried by biased “researchers.”  Fortunately we have other writers who aren’t so stolid.

A predatory black bear attack on a camper in Montana’s Bob Marshall Wilderness area illustrates why guns–not bear spray–are sometimes the best tool for self-defense.

A five-year old, 185 pound male black bear jumped on the camper’s tent at 7:30 in the morning. The bear then ripped through the tent and mauled the man in what Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials describe as a predatory attack.

The camper–who has chosen not to be identified or talk to the media–used bear spray to deter the bear, however, the bruin did not leave the area.

Since the man was out of bear spray, he was helpless. That would not be the case if he had a pistol, rifle, or shotgun because most of these firearms hold five or more rounds. The man could have killed the bear.

Incredibly, a U.S. Forest Service trail crew employee came upon the injured man just outside his camp. The Great Falls Tribune said the Forest Service employee “chased off the bear,” but no explanation was offered on how this was accomplished.

The Forest Service employee then radioed for help. A helicopter arrived, and the injured man was taken to the Kalispell Regional Medical Center.

Later that afternoon, Montana FWP sent a team to dispatch the bear. The bear was killed just 70 yards from the campsite. It was in the process of moving closer to the tent.

The bruin had bear spray on its fur. It had blood on its claws. A necropsy showed that after the initial attack, the bear had been able to get into food at the campsite. Its stomach contents included bits of Ziplock bags, dried pasta, and other food.

If there’s such a thing as a typical predatory black bear, this bear “fits the mold.” A recent study shows that 92% of all predatory black bears in the past century have been males. This bear was healthy, and that too is typical.

In the 2nd edition of Bear Attacks: Their Causes and Avoidance, biologist Stephen Herrero writes that “If predation is the motive for an attack, the attack typically continues until the bear is forced to back down, or the person gets away, or the bear gets its prey.” (p.106)

Better to have a minimum of five or six shots from a firearm, than one 5-8 second burst of bear spray.

You can keep your bear mace.  I’ll carry my XDm .45 or some similar gun, thank you.


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