Walkabout In The Weminuche Wilderness

Herschel Smith · 05 Aug 2018 · 41 Comments

"There are no socialists in the bush" - HPS All of my physical training only barely prepared me for the difficulty of the Weminuche Wilderness (pronounced with the "e" silent).  It's National Forest land, not National Park.  The Department of Agriculture no longer prints maps of the area, so we relied on NatGeo for the map, and it's good, but not perfect. We have a lot of ground to cover, including traveling with firearms, the modification I made to one of my guns for the trip, the actors…… [read more]

Australia’s Rising Suicide Rate Sparks Calls For National Target To Reduce Deaths

BY Herschel Smith
9 months, 1 week ago

News from down under:

There are calls for a national target to reduce Australia’s suicide rate as new statistics show 3,128 Australians took their own life in 2017.

This represents 262 more deaths than the previous year.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics released national data on Wednesday that showed intentional self-harm is now ranked the 13th leading cause of death, moving up from 15th position in 2016.

Australia’s suicide rate is now at 12.6 deaths per 100,000 people. This is equal to 2015 as the highest recorded rate in the past 10 years.

The counselling service Lifeline has urged the Morrison government to set a national target to achieve a 25% suicide reduction over five years.

Ah yes, it’s another government problem in need of another government solution.  Why don’t you blow up the nanny government and that may give people some reason to live again?

Say, how’s that gun control thing working out?

Melbourne, Australia: The Gun Crime City

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 2 months ago

The Age:

The notion that a military-grade weapon could be in the hands of local criminals is shocking, but police have already seized at least five machine guns and assault rifles in the past 18 months. The AK-47 was not among them.

Only a fortnight ago, law enforcement authorities announced they were hunting another seven assault rifles recently smuggled into the country. Weapons from the shipment have been used in armed robberies and drive-by shootings.

[ … ]

Despite Australia’s strict gun control regime, criminals are now better armed than at any time since then-Prime Minister John Howard introduced a nationwide firearm buyback scheme in response to the 1996 Port Arthur massacre.

Shootings have become almost a weekly occurrence, with more than 125 people, mostly young men, wounded in the past five years.

[ … ]

Crimes associated with firearm possession have also more than doubled, driven by the easy availability of handguns, semi-automatic rifles, shotguns and, increasingly, machine guns, that are smuggled into the country or stolen from licensed owners.

These weapons have been used in dozens of recent drive-by shootings of homes and businesses, as well as targeted and random attacks in parks, shopping centres and roads.

“They’re young, dumb and armed,” said one former underworld associate, who survived a shooting attempt in the western suburbs several years ago.

“It used to be that if you were involved in something bad you might have to worry about [being shot]. Now people get shot over nothing – unprovoked.”

Sounds rather like Chicago, yes?  But wait.  I predict that they’ll try to make a new set of laws that makes it illegal to disobey laws already on the books.

In response to the violence, it can be revealed the state government is planning to introduce new criminal offences for drive-by shootings, manufacturing of firearms with new technologies such as 3D printers, and more police powers to keep weapons out of the hands of known criminals.

They’re all the same everywhere, these collectivists.  The law abiding citizens turned in their weapons, and so now they are defenseless against the criminals.  What they need is to rearm peaceable men and women to shoot the criminals and Melbourne will regain a sense of peace.  The police can’t stop this.  No police anywhere can stop this.  Since that’s the only option that will work, they will studiously avoid it.

An Australian View Of Guns In America

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 9 months ago

Perspectives from down under:

On a recent trip to the US while filming Unplanned America, we visited three groups of what some may call extreme gun nuts. And for a group of anti-gun Australians, we found them surprisingly hard to argue with.

[ … ]

When I popped my cherry and shot the vintage “Sten” sub-machinegun, the rapid pop pop pop of the bullets down the indoor range was deeply satisfying and the action movie-loving eight-year-old boy inside me was in heaven.

But when the next weapon came out, s**t got real and kick-arse elation turned to sickening shock. Legend has it that the Geneva Convention bans the Barrett M82A1 from being shot at human targets, due to it being a war crime. And while this may not technically be true, the US Army does train soldiers not to shoot it at personnel.

We were speechless. So why does the weapon exist, we asked? Tony replied that it’s to shoot at “material”. Like a building or vehicle or army equipment — even military issued zippers or military issued glasses. And if a human happened to be attached to that equipment, well it might be the case that the massive 50 caliber bullets accidentally ensure that human becomes nothing more than “red mist”.

One by one we leant over the huge weapon and pulled the trigger, and each time everyone within a two meter radius felt a shock wave from the barrel like a punch in the chest. Boom! And the chilling thought of a cloud of red mist left behind was felt in the pit of my stomach.

So why do Americans love guns? Why the hell do they need them? Why do they take such joy in owning and shooting these things, when so many Australians would be terrified to even touch them?

The way Tony explains it is that due to the prevalence of violent crime in the US, and given the remote location of his own home, he’d be crazy not to have a gun. He says if an armed intruder broke into his house to kill his loved ones, by the time the county sheriff eventually got there, he would be trying to solve a slaying, not prevent one.

Secondly, Tony says there are so many guns in the US it would take a government generations to entirely rid the nation of them. And most gun owners would never agree to it, indeed many would respond in violence.

This point is key. Once you consider that the guns might be here to stay, the issue gets infinitely more complicated.

Let’s stop and assess what we’ve read so far.  First of all, self defense is a legitimate reason for weapons ownership, and it’s partly why I own them.  But it isn’t the basis for the second amendment.  Amelioration of tyranny is the reason, but we’ll get to that in a moment.

Second, these authors need to get their information reviewed and checked before publishing it.  The Marine Corps Scout Snipers shoot the .50 rifle if needed, and some carry it as their primary weapon.  The Marines have two larger caliber rifles for this purpose, the .308 and the .50.  The Army uses a more filled out version of calibers, including the .300 Win Mag and the .338 (they also employ the .50 as needed, all calibers against personnel).  All of these calibers are used and have been employed for anti-personnel work, and the only reason the .50 is brought up as an anti-material round is because it is most effective for that type of work versus the .308.  Again, the authors need to get their stuff reviewed before publishing it.  Do they have editors in Australia?

The next group of presumed gun nuts we spent time with was the Virginia Open Carry group. Remarkably, in most states in the US it is totally legal to openly carry a firearm on your hip. Without a license of any kind. We could’ve even done it.

This immediately conjures up images of a lawless Wild West that has no place in a modern civilised society. But as we sat down for a lunch of BBQ ribs (what else) with the open carriers we found them to be intelligent and thoughtful in their views.

There was not a nut among them, but each was staunchly attached to their view and their gun and would never ever let them go. It’s the opinion of these guys that the tragic daily mass shootings in the US are the result of a mental health problem in America, not a gun problem and that the government misdirects the issue so they don’t have to tackle the more complex and expensive issue.

Where it gets tricky for our open carry friends however is that while they agree that psychologically disturbed people are the ones that carry out mass murders, they still believe they have a constitutional right to own a gun, and a God given right to privacy that means the government shouldn’t be allowed to dig into their backgrounds when they want to purchase a firearm. Tricky.

Stop it!  Just stop it.  Stop connecting violence to mental health.  We’ve discussed again and again and again and again how this just isn’t the case, so says mental health professionals.  It is counterfactual to say that when a shooter kills people, it was because of mental health issues.  And pimping this falsehood only leads to the conundrums that writers think they find in the gun rights community.  So just stop it.  Don’t do it any more.

The final group we shot the s**t out of a bunch of cans with were the ones we were most scared of before we met them. They were the Texas State Militia — a self-styled army consisting of ex-military men who have armed themselves to the hilt to protect the American way of life.

We were expecting racist rednecks, paranoid about Muslims and Mexicans taking over their country. This was far from the case. When we spoke to Matt, the young leader of the 1100 strong group we found an ex-soldier who feels deep guilt for the things he did in Iraq and thinks that the US wars in the Middle East are based on government lies.

His group for now however is still keen to work with the government like a terrifying Neighborhood Watch, until such a time where the government stops respecting the rule of law.

And herein lies the crux of the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, the part that most Australians don’t understand.

All of those we spoke to believe that it is a citizen’s duty, as explicitly stated in the founding document of the United States, to be armed in order to keep the government in check. They say that the country was founded after their British rulers became corrupt and an armed uprising saved a whole nation from tyranny. They say it will happen again, and they’re ready to protect their freedom if and when it does.

And they might stand a decent chance, given there’s more guns that people in the US right now.

So we are at the crux of the issue, yes?  These folks explained why the second amendment exists, and why we will never give up our guns.  That would run contrary to the very justification for having them in the first place.  As to the soldier who feels guilty for his participation in the war, I wish I could talk at length with him and explain why he has no reason for such guilt.

If only they could find a way to stop turning their weapons on each other. Ending gun violence is one of the most serious and complex problems this country faces. And the most unique to the “land of the free”.

As a note to the authors, in case no one talked to you about this, the gun violence America faces is primarily an inner city black-on-black problem due to the breakdown of the family caused by entitlements (see here and here).  Guns aren’t responsible and bear no relation to the problem.

 

Australia, ISIS And The Role Of Guns

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 2 months ago

Fox News:

Australian counterterrorism forces detained 15 people Thursday in a series of suburban raids after receiving intelligence that the Islamic State militant group was planning public beheadings in two Australian cities to demonstrate its reach.

About 800 federal and state police officers raided more than a dozen properties across 12 Sydney suburbs as part of the operation — the largest in Australian history, Australian Federal Police Deputy Commissioner Andrew Colvin told the Associated Press. A sword was removed as part of evidence at one of the homes.

Separate raids in the eastern cities of Brisbane and Logan were also conducted.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported that the plan involved kidnapping randomly selected members of the public off the streets in Sydney and Brisbane, beheading them on camera, and releasing the recordings through Islamic State’s propaganda arm in the Middle East.

[ … ]

A second man was charged Thursday night in connection with the raids. The 24-year-old, who police didn’t name, was charged with possessing ammunition without license and unauthorized possession of a prohibited weapon. He was released on bail and ordered to appear in court next week.

Most readers probably pondered how ISIS was able to infiltrate a country and the awful acts they were prepared to perpetrate.  I didn’t.  My thoughts ran immediately to the fact that at least one of the individuals had a “prohibited” weapon and ammunition.  As with all gun control, law abiding citizens are unarmed and unprotected, while the criminals have their weapons.

Australia has some of the most restrictive gun control laws on earth.  We’ve discussed this before.  An Australian farmer lost his fight to obtain a handgun to shoot feral hogs because he couldn’t satisfy the woman heading the “administrative tribunal” that he really needed the gun.

The response to the ISIS members in Australia points out several important things.  First of all, gun control doesn’t apply to those in charge.  Law enforcement will always have their weapons.  Second, when law enforcement acts, they do so in order to secure the hive, or the collective.  Their concern isn’t and wasn’t for any particular individual who may have been (or will be) targeted by ISIS, because if it was, they would allow people to be armed for purposes of self defense.  But actions directed against the collective is a threat to their command and control, and will not be allowed.

So do the ordinary people feel threatened?

Never before have I felt so naked.

Now more than ever, I wish I was armed.

 And I’m not alone.

Any and all home-grown Islamic terrorism should be able, if need be, to be met by a well-armed civilian militia. The United Kingdom has had two beheadings of members of the public in the last two years, with neither police nor civilians able to prevent it. It has prohibitive gun laws.

With news of the ISIS plot to randomly abduct members of the Australian public and behead them, Australian sentiment on guns is dramatically shifting.

It appears Australians are finally understanding the importance of gun ownership and craving it at a time when the world is increasingly unsafe.

“I’ll tell you this point blank: I’d feel safer in a country where I was legally allowed to carry around a firearm,” says J. Coughran, 30, a businessman.

According to Coughran, media coverage of Islamic State is fueling the change in heart.

“This ISIS stuff is seeing quite a few people changing their opinions.. one of my mates told me today- he’s coming around on the gun issue. He’s 68 years old, been against guns his whole life- now he’s turning around because of these savages,” he said.

We’ll see what comes of this.  But time is short.  For Australia it may be ISIS or criminal gangs which have become more prominent in Australia lately.  With America the problems run deeper, with a porous Southern border and criminal cartel gangs ravaging country from the border and on up to large cities like Chicago.

Self defense is a luxury when times are safe.  When times become hard, the giggling and jokes go away, and people begin to think grown up thoughts.  Those who want to continue to think as children pretend that the police will take care of them.  Adults know better.


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