Archive for the 'Guns' Category

The Dumbest Gun Headline Of The Day (That Google Thinks Is News Worthy)

BY Herschel Smith
5 hours, 29 minutes ago

How Guns Are Getting Bigger – And Possibly More Deadly.

Not only are guns getting bigger, they’re getting into the hands of more criminals, according to a recent investigation by The Trace, with deadly effect.

While all bullets could kill if they hit vital organs, arteries, or the head, experts told The Trace that the bigger the bullet, the more likely any wound will be fatal. Bullets are measured in calibers, or the diameter of their width, in fractions of an inch or millimeter.

In the past 20 years, higher demand from law-abiding citizens and criminals, both claiming concern about self-protection, has led gun manufacturers to make more of these deadlier guns. Legal and illegal citizen buyers alike are scooping up higher-caliber pistols like those originally designed for police from the civilian market and illegal gun runners. As a result, guns with higher caliber bullets are showing up at more crime scenes, leading experts to expect the lethality rate of gun violence to rise, too.

“Demand is shifting because supply is shifting,” SUNY-Albany sociologist David Hureau told The Trace. “Bigger, badder guns are just more available on the secondary market.”

This is a stark change from just 50 years ago, when the criminal’s gun of choice–dubbed the “Saturday Night Special”–was smaller and cheaper. Since then, gun companies have marketed bigger, higher-caliber weapons like 9mm, .40, and .45 caliber pistols as adequate for keeping average citizens concerned about self-defense—”citizen protectors,” as one sociologist called them—safe.

I sent this to myself today with that subject line (“The dumbest gun headline of the day).  I see that Bob Owens has already posted on this, and I basically concur with his sentiments.  The article is nonsense, and the writers obviously don’t know anything about their subject.

The .45 ACP has been around and in use by both military and civilians for more than a century, and the large revolver cartridges have been around for an even longer time than that.  In fact, the .38 Special is approximately the same diameter as the 9mm, or in other words, the “Saturday Night Special” to which the author refers is about the same as the 9mm that she calls a “bigger, higher caliber” round.

Actually, I see the opposite happening because I actually know something about guns.  I use .45 ACP and always will, but the most popular cartridge in America is the 9mm and I see people leaving the larger calibers for the smaller ones (e.g., 9mm, .380 ACP, etc.).

But I’ll observe something about this article that Bob missed.  It was “written” by someone named Carla Javier with Fusion.  Within an hour, another writer with Fusion wrote an article that could be mistaken for the one you just read, by someone named Alex Yablon, entitled America’s Obsession With Powerful Handguns Is Giving Criminals Deadlier Tools.

Some editor at Fusion, if they have such a thing there, made the decision to publish virtually the same article under different bylines within one hour of each other.  In and of itself that is only moderately interesting and goes to show their utter disdain for Americans whom they think they can beat into submission with words.  But here’s the really interesting thing.

Guess how I found these two articles?  That’s right, by a Google News search on the word “guns.”  Think about that for a moment.  These articles are quite literally fake news.  There is nothing in them but propaganda, and any pseudo-educated gun owner can debunk the data in there, and if a Google employee cared to convert inches to millimeters, s/he could easily have called bullshit on the two articles.

But no, these are seen by Google news feed as newsworthy.  Here’s the kicker.  The Captain’s Journal, which provides vastly superior analysis to anything Fusion could ever hope to put out, cannot get on the Google News feed.  Bob Owens is on the Google News feed (for which I don’t begrudge him), and Bob didn’t say anything different than I did.  But I connected the dots to propagandizing by Fusion.

You didn’t read that anywhere else but TCJ.  But remember boys and girls, Google thinks I’m not news worthy.  Perhaps Google is trafficking in fake news, yes?

Handgun Optics

BY Herschel Smith
6 hours, 11 minutes ago

Handgun optics have become popular, and I admit that they look promising for those who cannot see as well as they once could, and I also like the fact that it eliminates the needs for front and rear sight alignment.

American Rifleman has an article up on this, embedding an instructive video.

So the obvious downside of all of this is that installation of an optic on your pistol requires either purchase of an optic-ready pistol (relegating your non optic-ready pistols to the gun safe if you like optics), or cutting the slide to install the optic (which can be expensive, and is certainly irreversible).  Unless, of course, you have an installation kit for your specific firearm.

Law Enforcement Weighs In On The Blight Of Open Carry

BY Herschel Smith
1 day, 5 hours ago

The California Aggie:

Only California, Florida, Illinois, New York and South Carolina prohibit the open carry of handguns. That means 45 American states allow the intimidation of the public, wasting of law enforcement resources and endless opportunities for accidental injury caused by firearm misuse.

In a heart-wrenching moment following the July shooting of five police officers, Dallas Police Chief David Brown addressed the public and spoke on issues ranging from race to open carry laws.

“It’s increasingly challenging when people have AR-15s slung over and shootings occur in a crowd… We don’t know if they’re the shooter or not. We don’t know who the good guy is versus who the bad guy is if everybody starts shooting,” Brown said.

Especially during an emergency, trying to weed out the bad guys from the good guys — likely with limited information about the shooter to go off of in the first place — detracts from time that could be used to stop senseless violence and instead makes an officer’s job infinitely harder.

In this sense, times of crisis or high political tension should call for a limit on open carry laws. On the eve of the Republican National Convention, the head of Cleveland’s police union called for a temporary ban on the open-carrying of guns for fear of impending violence from protestors and dissented individuals. Stephen Loomis, the president of Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, accused open carry participants of irresponsibility, going on to say “you can’t go into a crowded theater and scream fire. And that’s exactly what they’re doing by bringing those guns down there.” Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s right. And openly carrying a firearm during a volatile situation isn’t right.

Open carry laws also scare the public into thinking there’s more wrongdoing than really exists. According to a San Mateo County Sheriff’s report, several incidents have arisen where people called police dispatch in response to seeing an individual carrying a revolver or a semi-automatic handgun on them. This leads to a waste of time when, consequently, police officers have to investigate these citizens who are simply “exercising their right,” but are really engendering unnecessary fear and trepidation in the minds of other citizens.

Yet sometimes this fear is more than justified. 10 minutes before an armed shooter walked into a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood, the Colorado Police Department received two calls regarding the shooter. One of the callers reported him as looking “scary” at several points during the call, but the emergency response technician acknowledged that Colorado is an open carry state so, technically speaking, he was not breaking any laws. He left three people dead and nine wounded just minutes later.

Open carry is a double-edged sword. Seeing an individual with a weapon displayed is undoubtedly scary, but reacting on this fear can have wasteful consequences on law enforcement resources if the individual carrying has no bad intentions. On the other hand, a lack of response from police dispatch can also have deadly ramifications.

What’s more worrisome, however, is the prospect of accidental misuse of a firearm in a public setting. Deputy Chief of the Davis Police Department Ton Phan said that states like Texas, where it is now legal to openly carry a handgun on college campuses, are especially at risk for these types of misuse.

This is what happens with little girls who don’t know anything about guns try to write articles about guns.  First of all we’ve covered the Dallas shooting.  No one in engaged in the fire fight stopped, went to Twitter, and tried to determine who the shooter was based on Twitter or any other social media.  That’s ridiculous.

They engaged the shooter until he was dead.  All of the additional work to identify whether there were other shooters was done after the fact.  Open carriers didn’t stop or adversely affect anything.  Furthermore, whether someone was open carrying is irrelevant.  That’s just a psychological issue the writer has, and the Police share it because they want to be the only ones who get to carry weapons.

Someone could just as easily have been a concealed carrier and been a shooter, so the act of open carrying meant absolutely nothing.  The same goes for the Colorado shooter, who open carried to his crime.  Make open carry illegal, and he’ll conceal carry to his crime.  It’s a matter of convenience for him.  Nothing more.

The write is equally confused concerning the danger open carriers pose compared to LEOs.  She is apparently unaware of the danger this assumption can be.

The catalog (even at this web site) of the awful muzzle and trigger discipline and behavior with guns is staggering: wrong home raids, pulling shotguns on a ten year old, pointing a pistol at a seven year old, being known as dog butchers, abusive treatment of innocent victims during a botched raid, dangerous gun play with other cops, lack of knowledge of the state of their weapons, negligent discharges, negligent discharges in an airport, killing dogs for sport, negligent discharges in police precincts, shooting each other while cleaning their weapons, hitting people on the head with guns, 600 rounds discharged in a rolling gun battle through the inner city, mistakenly shooting a gun instead of a taser, killing a man, firing a gun on a junior high campus, more negligent discharges in police stations, accidentally killing each other, shooting men in the back during raids, killing innocent men because of negligent discharges, throwing flash-bangs into baby cribs, pointing guns at city councilmen during meetings, firing rifles in court, negligent discharge of an AR-15, losing guns, 23 police officers firing 377 rounds at two men with no guns, losing machine guns, shooting each other while trying to kill dogs, and in the author’s own city, shooting 84 rounds at a man, missing with 83 of them.

So, little miss, go back to the drawing board, spend some time with gun owners and open carriers, interview them, go to the range with them and observe their safety protocols, and come back and write something less biased and more useful.  This one failed to hit the target.

The Right To Bear Arms And The American Philosophy Of Freedom

BY Herschel Smith
2 days, 5 hours ago

Nelson Lund has a very interesting article at Heritage concerning the second amendment.  It’s a very lengthy article, and here is one sample.

With respect to arms, however, there was a special problem. The federal government was given almost plenary authority to create a standing army (consisting of full-time paid troops) and to regulate and commandeer the state-based militias (which comprised most able-bodied men). Anti-Federalists strongly objected to this massive transfer of power from the state governments, which threatened to deprive the people of their principal defense against federal usurpation. Federalists responded that fears of federal oppression were overblown, in part because the American people were already armed and would be almost impossible to subdue through military force.

Implicit in the debate between Federalists and Anti-Federalists were two shared assumptions: All agreed that the proposed Constitution would give the new federal government almost total legal authority over the army and militia, and nobody argued that the federal government should have any authority to disarm the citizenry. Federalists and Anti-Federalists disagreed only about whether the existing armed populace could adequately deter federal oppression.

The Second Amendment conceded nothing to the Anti-Federalist desire to sharply curtail the military power of the federal government, which would have required substantial changes in the original Constitution. Instead, it merely aimed to prevent the new government from disarming American citizens through its power to regulate the militia. Congress might have done so, for example, by ordering that all weapons be stored in federal armories until they were issued for use in performing military or militia duties.

Unlike many people in our time, the Founding generation would not have been puzzled by the text of the Second Amendment. It protects a “right of the people”: i.e., a right of the individuals who are the people. It was not meant to protect a right of state governments to control their militias; that right had already been relinquished to the federal government. A “well regulated Militia” is, among other things, one that is not inappropriately regulated. A federal regulation disarming American citizens would have been considered every bit as inappropriate as one abridging the freedom of speech or prohibiting the free exercise of religion. The Second Amendment forbids the inappropriate regulation of weapons, just as the First Amendment forbids inappropriate restrictions on speech and religion.

The only place where I have real disagreement with Lund is his ensconcing the ideological basis for the American war of independence in John Locke.  I’ve made my position clear on that, i.e., it has more basis in the continental Calvinist view of covenant than it does John Locke.  This is especially true of the constitution, and more true of the constitution than it is of the Declaration of Independence.

I’ve also discussed some of these things in Christians, The Second Amendment And The Duty Of Self Defense, where I rehearsed the historical and cultural context of firearms in colonial America at the time of the war of independence.

That having been said, I commend this paper to you.  Lund has done some meaningful research that will be helpful in how you think about these issues.

Travis Haley Concerning Offline Of Attack

BY Herschel Smith
2 days, 6 hours ago

This is a short video from Travis that I think is very useful to demonstrate his point.  I’m surprised that there is anyone out there who argues for “stay in your space.”  Regular readers know that I’ve always argued for searching out means of evasion, egress and escape.

Besides, it seems to me that staying in your space means that someone can close the distance, place his hand on your pistol and take it out of battery with a slight movement of the slide.  Better to move, in my opinion.  Fighting over a weapon means that you don’t have complete control over the weapon.  This isn’t a situation you want to be in.

Potential Texas Law Could Eliminate Handgun Fees

BY Herschel Smith
2 days, 7 hours ago


AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) – Owning a handgun in Texas may soon become more affordable.

Currently, the application fee for a standard condition handgun license is $140 and renewing it cost $70; however, under the new legislation these fees would be eliminated.

People would still need to go through a background check and training before becoming fully certified.

“SB 16 [proposed bill] will make lawful carry more affordable for law abiding citizens across the state,” Lt. Governor Dan Patrick said. “No Texan should be deprived of their right to self protection because of onerous licensing fees imposed by the state.”

Ayvrie Dixon, owner of Dixon Firearms Training, was skeptical about whether or not the bill will pass.

While this makes the process more affordable, the state loses a consistent source of revenue.

Uh huh.  And thus we’re to the crux of the matter, aren’t we, just like when this came up in Oklahoma.

… opponents said it would have serious financial consequences for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, which administers firearms licenses issued under the Oklahoma Self Defense Act.

A fiscal analysis performed for the House indicates the measure would reduce OSBI’s revenue by at least $6 million and would lead to the loss of jobs and reduced operating expenses at the agency.

The reduction in revenue would be because firearms owners would no longer seek concealed carry licenses – which cost $100 for initial 5-year license and $200 for 10 years – if they could carry a gun openly without a license. There are now more than 238,300 Oklahomans with active licenses to carry handguns, according to state figures.

That’s seldom brought up in this context, yes?  But it’s the major issue associated with Jim Crow laws such as this one.  The State behemoth would have to become leaner, and no monster wants to go on a diet.

Expensive, Designer ARs In Mid-Range Calibers

BY Herschel Smith
6 days, 6 hours ago


RTH Firearms today released its first semiautomatic production rifle chambered in 6.5x47mm Lapua or 6.5mm Creedmoor precision cartridges.

These rifles achieve amazing precision, hitting below sub-MOA at 100 yards with the ability to reach 1,400 yards with very little felt recoil.

Here is a picture of it.


Sweet rifle, yes?  Here is the web site, and here is the URL for the gun.  Now get ready for the sticker shock.  Are you ready?


We covered precision shooting and semi-automatic mid-range caliber rifles before, and I noted that the guns were in that price range as well, most of them special order guns.  They’re not shelf guns, they’re not even mid-range priced.  These aren’t even highly priced, as you can get designated marksman rifles that will shoot < 1 MOA for much less than that.

I’m sure this gun is nice, but folks, what good is it, realistically, to have a gun that shoots < 1 MOA as compared to a gun that shoots 1 MOA, unless you’re a professional precision shooter or a professional sniper in the military?  And not only that, what good is it to have a gun that can shoot better than you can?

I admitted to my failures several weekends ago, failures that had to do with not checking my dope before I started shooting, and failing eyesight forcing me to consider a higher power scope.  Perhaps with perfect eyesight (uncorrected), years of experience, and your livelihood depending upon accuracy, it makes sense to worry over this sort of thing.

I suppose that they are targeting the very people I said would be interested in this gun, rather than the typical man who has trouble affording even much less than that, even for a really nice AR.  It would be nice to have a mid-range caliber AR that shoots well and doesn’t tear the gun up (like I hear about AR-10s and the .308), but until manufacturers are able to pull the price down by a wide margin, this isn’t going to happen for the common man.  They won’t be making many of these guns.

In the mean time, it’s easy enough to take my really nice ARs and slap a .300 Blackout upper receiver on it (which takes 10 seconds) and have a really nice mid-caliber AR that shoots 1 MOA or slightly less, which is as good as I can shoot anyway.

Gun Rights Work To Be Done At The State And Local Level

BY Herschel Smith
1 week ago

With the election of Donald Trump to the office of President of the United States, the tendency is to rest on our laurels and take a break.  That’ a mistake, and the time to strike is now rather than later.


Gun rights advocates see the upcoming legislative session as their best shot yet to get rid of an Indiana law that requires a license to carry handguns.

The controversial legislation failed to advance during the 2016 session, but supporters think this time could be different after sweeping Republican victories on Election Day and with a new, gun-friendly lawmaker overseeing the committee that acts as a gatekeeper on such bills.

“I think the planets are aligned this year,” said Rep. Jim Lucas, a Seymour Republican who plans to file the bill when lawmakers convene in January.

He and other advocates of so-called “constitutional carry” — including the powerful National Rifle Association — see licensing requirements and fees as unnecessary impediments to the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. They want Indiana to join at least 11 other states that allow people to carry concealed handguns on their person or in their vehicles without a permit.

“I want to decriminalize our constitutional right to bear arms,” Lucas said. “Our right to self-defense shouldn’t be controversial.”

[ … ]

Indianapolis police say guns are being used more often in those killings. Of the 144 homicides last year, 84 percent involved guns. This year, guns have been involved in 91 percent of the homicides.

Getting rid of the state’s licensing requirement would only make it easier to carry a weapon, opponents of the legislation say.

“I would be totally against that. I think that’s nonsense and crazy,” said the Rev. Charles Harrison, a pastor at Barnes United Methodist Church who leads the Ten Point Coalition, an Indianapolis crime prevention group.

As you might expect, I’m 100% behind this effort, and I would like a reader in Indiana to keep me posted on the progress of this legislation.  But with all due respect, this isn’t about stars aligning.  I understand that this is a figure of speech, but the point is that this is all going to be about hard work, and in the case of Indiana, we’ll have to fight (in many cases) the police, and in other cases progressive clerics.

Tampa Bay Times:

This week, Rep. Jake Raburn, R-Lithia, proposed the first pro-gun measure for the upcoming legislative session, which convenes March 7.

The bill (HB 6001) would allow concealed weapon permit holders to carry guns in airport terminals. Guns are not allowed past the security checkpoint, and state law currently bans them in terminals except as checked baggage.

A similar plan failed to pass last year.

The Nov. 8 election secured strong Republican majorities in the Legislature and paved the way for a more gun-friendly state Senate.

“You’ve got, I believe, a much more favorable environment for Second Amendment legislation in the Senate,” said Sen. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota. “The House has always been a place where those types of bills move pretty easily.”

This is all well and good, but he neglected to mention open carry, the very reason that we defeated Florida State Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, R-Miami, in his reelection bid.  It’s time for the Florida politicians to go to the mattresses over this.

We’ve mentioned constitutional carry in Texas as an upcoming fight, and let’s not forget the defeat of State Senator Larry Martin in South Carolina over open carry legislation that he buried.  It’s time to go to the mattresses in South Carolina.

There will never be a better time for us than the one we have right now.  Rest is for when we get done.  There are many miles to go before we rest.

Another Open Carry Fight Is Brewing In Texas

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 1 day ago


GARLAND (CBSDFW.COM) – Tom Mannewitz has owned the Targetmaster Indoor Shooting Center in Garland since 1979.

He supports open-carry, which lawmakers approved in 2015, allowing people to carry handguns openly just the same as long rifles.

But Mannewitz said he opposes a new bill that would make licensing to carry a handgun, required education classes and fees optional.  I understand why people would like to have constitutional carry but I have to say I would vote against it. Not everybody should be carrying a gun. Not everybody has the right to own a gun. If the police have some way of determining are you licensed or not, I think that’s an asset to the law enforcement community,” he said.

We don’t think Texans should have to pay for the right to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights, said the man who filed the legislation, HB 375, Republican State Representative Jonathan Stickland of Bedford.

Stickland said his bill would make the rules for handguns the same as they already are for long rifles.

What my bill is not it is not an expansion of who can carry. Under constitutional carry, anyone who is eligible for a CHL now would be able to carry. No one new would be able to carry.”

He said under his legislation, people would still need to pass a federal  background check when buying a firearm. But Mannewitz said he also wants the state to continue doing background checks for those who are carrying guns.

The state license costs $140 for the first time and $70 for renewal every five years after that. Once a gun owner reaches the age of 60, the cost of the license drops to $35.

Stickland though believes the cost of the required license and class can be prohibitive to people with lower incomes.  He said some gun shop owners oppose his bill because they may lose a lot of money if the gun safety classes are no longer required.

But Mannewitz said the income he generates from those classes is half of one percent of his gross revenues.

Democratic State Representative Eric Johnson of Dallas strongly disagrees with Stickland’s bill.

I have a real problem with the idea of unlicensed open carry.  It’s asking for trouble. It’s just beyond the pale. I have a real problem with open carry in large urban areas like Dallas,” he said.

As a result, Johnson has proposed his own bill, HB 291, that would exempt Dallas from open carry.

As I’ve stated before, the reason to oppose nullification at the local and county level is that little Napoleons like to rule over other people, negating duly enacted laws.  To my knowledge, there has never been a time when local or county nullification actually enabled liberties rather than curtailing them.  The advocates of exception for Dallas or other cities don’t really believe in pushing authority downward unless is suits their needs at the time.

As to Mr. Mannewitz, you really find out who your friends are when the issue invokes money, yes?  And as for the notion that Mr. Mannewitz earns half of one percent of his revenue from these classes, I wish I could believe that, but I doubt it.

There is something more going on, perhaps being a one stop shop and offering up their services to complete paperwork for a fee, or running students past counters full of guns in order to sell them to class participants.  Either way, progressives never sleep, and it looks like Texas is in for yet another open carry fight to bring constitutional carry to their state.

I told you this wasn’t the end of it when they passed that ridiculous law allowing permitted open carry.  Stay frosty folks.  The war isn’t over yet, you’re just in an interlude.

The New York Times On Smart Guns

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 2 days ago


… the guidelines reignite the promise of smart guns — a promise cut short 16 years ago when the N.R.A. led a boycott of Smith & Wesson after the gun manufacturer pledged in a White House agreement to explore smart-gun technology.

The technology is available. In fact, Jonathan Mossberg, scion of the nation’s oldest family-owned gunmaker, O.F. Mossberg & Sons, patented a shotgun in 2000 that successfully blocked firing by anyone not wearing the shooter’s radio-frequency identity ring. The gun industry lacks not the high-tech know-how, but the fortitude to advance the safety of its weapons in the face of gun-lobby politics and threats. The new voluntary guidelines aim to create industry standards for reliable battery power in a smart gun, for ensuring unhindered speed in drawing the weapon and for the distance allowed between the gun and its owner’s ID device.

We’ve dealt with this before, but I’ll repeat it here for those of you who may have missed it.

… let’s talk yet again about smart gun technology.  I am a registered professional engineer, and I spend all day analyzing things and performing calculations.  Let’s not speak in broad generalities and murky platitudes (such as “good enough”).  That doesn’t work with me.  By education, training and experience, I reject such things out of hand.  Perform a fault tree analysis of smart guns.  Use highly respected guidance like the NRC fault tree handbook.

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

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

But that’s not the end of the discussion because I’ll add to it.  First of all as I pointed out above, the additional electronic components add additional failure modes to the firearm, making it more unreliable when it needs to be used than a gun without those same failure modes.

Second, the additional electronics is an additional maintenance headache because there will inevitably be breakage due to heat, shock from the recoil, and moisture and oil associated with gun usage.

Third, gunsmiths won’t be able to work on them and the guns will have to be shipped back to the factory for maintenance, or otherwise maintenance will have to be done by plug and play replacement of electronic modules.  This adds expense and time to maintenance.

Fourth, the additional electronics will add unnecessary weight to the gun.

Fifth, the additional electronics will occupy additional space inside the gun, making the gun less ergonomic and more difficult to use

Sixth, the additional electronics gives the government (or anyone else who designs the means to defeat the electronics) a door inside to cause the gun to malfunction when it’s called upon to operate.

There are more reasons that readers could add, but it isn’t necessary.  Six is enough.  Here is an engineer’s / mechanic’s / machinist’s adage that should guide your thinking.  Make the machine as simple as you can so that we can work on it.  That’s why we don’t like modern emission control systems and onboard computers.

Prior: Smart Gun Tag

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