Savage Ignorance Part II

Unreasonably warm temperatures (55° on 13, December) spawn tourist outbreaks along woodland trails. How does one differentiate tourists from regular hikers and mountain bikers? Voices as loud as their clothing, hands crammed with devices and radios, unleashed trail-poopers (dogs), and packs of even louder chubby fast-food wrapper spewing hotdog fingered kids for whom being chained to a hamster wheel for six months…without food, would be beneficial. People attend movies to laugh, cry, and escape reality if but for a short time. Conversations, seat-kickers, and cell phone glow can spoil the experience. In like fashion, nature is spoiled when rude civilization intrudes. Didn’t the Bush Administration argue the fight against Tourists was international? Didn’t they coin the term “GWOT” for “Global War On Tourism?” Recently I considered reporting a herd of Tourists to Homeland Security. None appeared menacing, not even their dogs, and some seemed friendly enough. But isn’t that what people say when told their neighbor ran over pedestrians with a truck or blew themselves up at the train station killing many people? I’m keeping an eye on them.

In Part I, I began exposing Michael Savage’s campaign to ban private ownership of certain firearms and magazines, in which he employed arguments perfectly useful…to Confiscationists. If I don’t like Savage, why listen to him? I don’t. I used to enjoy his wit and irreverent humor but his undisguised jealousy of conservative radio-talk show hosts and promotion of a Buddha-ized version of Judaism wore thin. His claim to be the only true radio conservative on the one hand, and assertion FDR’s socialist New Deal solved the Great Depression on the other, was the final straw. Anyone with a modicum of understanding with respect to economics, history, and the Constitution knows this is false. I listen when necessary because 2nd Amendment supporters must be prepared to answer its enemies. Las Vegas was the impetus for Savage’s first salvo against the right to keep and bear arms as the second was the Sutherland, Texas church shooting.

On 6 November, 2017 Savage resurrected with a vengeance his anti-2nd Amendment rant from the previous month yelling into the microphone; “Don’t tell me if everyone had a gun in that church they could have stopped the killer! You John Wayne types.” With a sneer he added, “And please don’t play John Wayne with me on this show. I’m going to hang up on you if you call and say if all those church-goers had had a gun, this wouldn’t have happened. Yeah, you John Wayne types. You’d freeze up, drop the gun, and shoot yourself in the foot if evil came into your church with an ‘assault rifle” (sic). He asked how the “shooter,”1 a nut, got a gun. “Why? Because gun laws are too weak” Savage continued. “Gun shows are wide open ranges and anyone can buy a gun there.” He mocked conservatives arguing more guns are the answer and pastors saying G_d is with us even in the midst of such tragedies. Savage insisted every “nut”2 in the nation can buy an AR15 because of “lax gun laws” and the killer was allowed to buy an “automatic rifle.” Although Savage conceded he was ultimately stopped by a man with a gun, “That was only after he had killed everyone” he said and then trotted out an argument near and dear to the hearts of liberals with respect to the 2nd Amendment; “People have a constitutional right to drive,” Savage argued, which comes with all sorts of regulations, licensing requirements, training, and tests to enjoy this “right” (sic). People have to “demonstrate” knowledge of how to operate the car and that they can drive before getting behind the wheel. Why isn’t this true with guns? Then he shouted; “Why is the right to own firearms one hundred percent free from licensing, but not the right to drive? All you tough guys who want ‘assault weapons’ (sic) say, ‘well that government will come down and get us. Let’s roll armed and go out like the militia.’ Yeah, all the tough guys on conservative radio are going to lead you. Onward Christian soldiers with their ‘assault weapons’ (sic). They’ll run so fast you wouldn’t be able to say Mickey Mouse.” Wow. During this diatribe Savage let out he has a concealed carry permit. How does one obtain a permit in radical Left-wing People’s Republic of Marin County of California’s Bay Area? You can’t unless you’re a rich celebrity or well-connected. But, Savage confessed, he’d be too scared to use his firearm so he has two body-guards. Are they armed? When it comes to self-defense, how long must Americans endure being preached down to by upper-crust gated community, goon-protected self-styled aristocrats? It reminds me of the unquenchable hypocrisy flowing from ultra-rich super-liberal Senator Ed Kennedy raging about the plight of the poor in America. Savage continued railing against conservatives claiming the “knee-jerk” reaction from “right-wingers” is; “You can’t touch guns. But we must touch guns!” He yelled becoming unhinged. “Tell me I’m wrong that every nut-job in the world shouldn’t be able to get ‘assault-weapons’ (sic). You’re wrong! Too many nuts have their hands on too many guns!” He accused conservatives of arguing “nuts” should be allowed to have guns adding that those who claim they “need assault-weapons” (sic) for home defense “would poop in their pants instead. People armed is not the answer!” He shouted.3

On the following day, Savage claimed “right-wingers” oppose any and all restrictions on who can have a gun and the number of rounds held by a “clip” adding; “I have no idea why anyone in this country ‘needs’ a thirty-round clip (sic). Who really needs an assault-rifle? What, to hunt elephants? Don’t they use single-shot rifles, in .30-06 to hunt elephants? A single round from that caliber would drop an elephant. So what in the hell do we need a thirty-round ‘clip’ (sic) for? I know, you’re going to stand up like Paul Revere and you’re going to say Charge! You won’t say charge. You’ll drop your gun, you’ll drop your shorts, and you’ll run like everyone else. Stop pretending that you’re a big hero!” He then called for banning “assault weapons” (Meaning ARs, AKs, and similar function rifles) and “multiple round ‘clips” claiming this would limit the number of guns in circulation hence limiting criminal access. The Texas killer was able to kill so many people because “He had a machine gun in his hands!” Savage shouted. But, with an “assault-weapons” (sic) ban, he continued, the killer would have been forced to use a single-shot rifle which would have allowed the men in the church to have subdued him by beating him over the head with a chair. To this insanity Savage added; “One in five police officers is killed by an assault-rifle” and then he screamed; “I no longer believe Americans need to run around with thirty-round ‘clips’ (sic) and assault rifles! When the hell did the 2nd Amendment ever say you had the right to own an ‘assault-weapon?’ (sic) What am I going to do with one, wait for the day the government comes to get me? I’m going to hold off a platoon of government agents? You people are living in a dream world!” He then asserted, as before, AR15s were useless for home defense. The best weapon, he said, is a shotgun but they “are complicated to use” and “their mechanisms are complex, not for amateurs.” Savage again claimed an AR15 round will go through house walls but shotgun pellets would not. A pistol round might go through a wall but this was unlikely, he claimed, because they had 15 to 20 round “clips” (sic) as opposed to the thirty-round capacity of “assault-weapons” (sic). Finally Savage claimed because there are restrictions on the 1st Amendment, you can’t yell “fire” in a crowded movie theater or threaten the president, banning “assault-weapons” and thirty-round “clips” didn’t violate the 2nd Amendment. “There’s a difference between the right to bear arms and the right to bear machine-guns” he said.4

It would be beyond charitable to describe what Savage said as either abysmally ignorant or intentionally deceptive. His persistence in calling magazines “clips” and conflation of the terms “assault-weapon” (no such animal), assault-rifle, and machine gun with semiautomatic rifles demonstrates his knowledge of firearms is limited, at best, and promotion of an agenda supersedes honesty.

Conceding the Texas killer was stopped by an armed man but this would have failed inside the church because, Barney Fife-like, fear-stricken and trembling men would have dropped their guns shooting themselves is illogical. It is stupid. It also ignores the many, more than capable, men and women who carry and could have stopped the killer. It makes no sense unless Savage, shamed there are real people with spines out there, beyond the Bay Area, in places like Texas, is projecting his own timorous nature onto others. During any mass shooting event, in the time it takes to call the police, for them to respond, set up a command post, assess the situation, identify the good from the bad guy(s), and formulate a counter-response, the massacre is usually over. Contrary to the lies told by Savage, when a “good-guy” with a gun is on the scene, casualties are “dramatically lower” and is often the deciding factor in limiting the “body count.” In nine mass shootings in which victims had to wait for police arrive, from Luby’s Cafeteria, Killeen, Texas (16 October, 1991) to Pulse Night Club, Orlando, Florida (12 June, 2016) 220 people died. In eight similar shootings in which an armed good-guy was on the scene, from Pearl High School, Pearl, Mississippi (1 October, 1997) to the Curtis Culwell Center, Garland, Texas (3 May 2015), 37 people died.5 Savage’s attack on men and women willing to shoulder the responsibility for the safety of others, putting their own lives on the line, is disgraceful.

Why do liberals seem to go after the rights of law-abiding Americans as opposed to violent criminals (Chicago)? Why do they mock and ridicule notions of personal responsibility with respect to self-defense? Are the spines of liberal men removed in-vitro or do they dissolve naturally as they progress toward puberty? Savage’s allegation; conservatives want every “nut” to have guns, is a malicious lie and ignores the fact that, under “federal” law, they are already prohibited from so doing. Information on anyone institutionalized and or adjudicated “mentally defective” by mental health officials and judges must be forwarded to the FBI where it is entered into their massive data base known as NICS (National Instant Criminal Background System). If anyone so classified attempts to purchase a firearm, once the FFL (Federal Firearm License) holder calls and submits the individual’s name as required by law, they will be rejected. Further, as to Savage’s assertion armed law-abiding citizens are not the “answer,” approximately 2.5 million people per year employ a firearm to prevent violent criminal attack. In 98% of those cases, displaying the firearm is enough to stop the attack.6 Instead of reducing violent crime, Savage’s solution, disarming intended victims, always the first on the scene by virtue of their status as targets of criminals, would lead to even more murders and mass shootings.

Savage’s analogy between the “right” to drive and to keep and bear arms is slick sleight of hand. There is no constitutional right to drive and it is untrue that the manufacture, sale, and possession of firearms is completely unregulated, unrestricted, and unlicensed. All manner of legal restrictions, including age, legal status as a citizen, mental health, criminal record, and so forth apply to obtaining a firearm. Savage ignores the fact that each year more than 37,000 Americans are killed by other drivers in automobile accidents, essentially negligent homicide, with an additional 2.35 million injured, maimed, and crippled. Automobile accidents are the single greatest cause of death in the United States.7 Speaking as a passionate car lover and former police traffic investigator, Americans in general are careless, cavalier in attitude, irresponsible, and exert little effort to perfect driving skills. And yet once started, they and their automobiles pose a grave hazard to everyone in their path. By contrast, more than 124 million Americans own close to 300 million guns but there were only 505 deaths by gun accident in 2013 and of 2,596,993 deaths from all causes the same year, only 1% were firearm related and most were suicides.8 Comparing drivers to people who own guns makes for a very poor argument. One wonders to which constitution he refers.

The right to keep and bear arms is not subject to a utilitarian “needs” test. It’s no one’s business how many neckties, cars, horses, guns, or pairs of shoes anyone owns. People have a G_d-given right to their property and to accumulate however much of it they desire. But, for the non-gun owning public swayed by such arguments, let me ask you this; how many guns, rounds (not bullets) of ammunition, and magazines will you need when the power goes out, it’s not coming back on for a long time, and when called, the cops aren’t coming either. Remember the riots in Los Angeles (1992), Ferguson, Missouri (August 2014), and Baltimore (April 2015) and attendant looting, robbery, destruction of private property, and even assaults including murder? Where were the cops? Where was the National (sic) Guard? Natural disasters like Hurricanes Andrew (August 1992), Katrina (August 2005), and Harvey (sic) (August 2017) all resulted in attempted looting, rape, robbery, and destruction of property. Again, where were the police? In each case it was armed citizens, or lack thereof, who prevented crime or fell to predatory animals called looters.

Savage’s attempt to delegitimize semiautomatic rifles by tying them to elephant hunting is pathetic. No one hunts elephants with so-called “assault rifles,” nor a .30-06 single shot rifle. It is illegal to hunt elephants (as is the case with buffalo, Rhinos, and lions) with a caliber smaller than the .375 H&H. Most professional and experienced hunters use either the .404 Jeffrey, .416 Rigby, .416 Remington, .458 Winchester, or the .470 Nitro Express in bolt action repeating rifles.9 The point is not to argue the efficacy of one caliber compared to another but to demonstrate Savage hasn’t a clue what he’s talking about. These are all strawman arguments. Savage also seems ignorant of the fact that it was the American citizen soldier; the farmer, mechanic, tradesman, shopkeeper, and laborer, trained to arms, who were the backbone of the resistance to Britain’s armies in the War of Independence possessing modern equivalents of the “assault rifles” of their time.

In Federalist Paper #28, Alexander Hamilton declared the people held an “original right of self-defense” to take up arms, resist, and defeat even their own government should it betray and usurp their liberties.10 In Federalist #29, Hamilton added the “best possible security” against a standing army was the whole body of the people, who are armed and “stand ready to defend their own rights.”11 In the Federalist Papers and writings of many other Founding Fathers it becomes clear the main purpose of an armed populace, not a military or National (sic) Guard was to serve as a bulwark against infringement of their liberties by their own government.

Savage’s claim one in five police officers is killed in the line of duty by “assault-rifles” is false. It comes, from Senator Dianne Feinstein (Democrat, California), who appeared on Face the Nation making this claim. She took this “statistic” from the Violence Policy Center, a virulently anti-2nd Amendment Leftist organization. Here’s the trick. California classifies all semiautomatic firearms, including pistols, rifles, and shotguns, as “assault-weapons” (sic) a classification rejected by the FBI. Feinstein and Savage conflate California’s broad and ambiguous “assault-weapons” category with semiautomatic rifles meaning ARs, but this is a lie. Roughly 1% of officers shot and killed in the line of duty are killed by semiautomatic rifles.12 Using lies spun by ultra-liberal Senator Feinstein and an extremist anti-2nd Amendment group? Does Savage attack conservatives so viciously, while claiming to be one himself because, well, he’s not really one after all?

More demonstrations of ignorance can be found in Savage’s claim that shotguns are complicated and complex to use. This is absurd. A shotgun is typically one of the first guns kids learn to shoot because its operation is so simple. His claim AR15 rounds will, but shotgun pellets won’t penetrate sheetrock walls is wrong to the point of being dangerous. They all will. Finally, his use of the hackneyed “you can’t yell fire in a crowded theater” cliché is another liberal shibboleth. Pay attention Michael; the 1st Amendment is a prohibition against government interfering with free political speech. For it to be free, one must rightly possess or control the platform from which one speaks. Yelling “fire” in a crowded theater is not political speech nor does its shouter own the platform from which they yell. At the least, it’s a property rights violation of the theater owner, the sole determiner of what will or will not be said on his platform. The same holds true for threats against the president. These are fallacious if not atrocious analogues.

Savage’s straw man arguments and discreditable analogies demonstrate ignorance of the fact America’s Declaration of Independence proclaimed all rights G_d-given, inalienable, and among them is life. They are off limits to a majority vote of one’s neighbors or act of government. Inherent in the right to life is the right to protect it which also presupposes the means to do so. It is an illegal and unconstitutional act by man or his governments to alter, modify, regulate, infringe upon, or in any way denature a G_d-given right. It is not possible to square calls for “reasonable gun laws,” which by their nature must violate the 2nd Amendment, with equal claims to support the 2nd Amendment.

11 Typically I employ terms like: Killer, murderer, dirt bag, scum bag, and so forth. A shooter is someone engaged in target practice and competition at the range. Never let your foes and the ignorant shape the narrative through misuse, intentional or not, of vocabulary.

22 Unless someone clearly defines what they mean by “nut,” you should not presume you share the same understanding. For example, to me the term applies to an individual clinically diagnosed as schizophrenic. A person suffering an emotional meltdown, depression, or PTSD, for example, is not necessarily insane, often far from it. Savage lumps them, including soldiers returning from war who have difficulty adjusting to civilian life with the same broad brush as the insane. Cops who have seen too great a loss of life, in tragic ways, too many times and are having trouble dealing with it, could, under Savage’s broad brush, be characterized as nuts as well. They are not.

33 Michael Savage, The Savage Nation, broadcast 6 November 2017.

44 Michael Savage, The Savage Nation, broadcast 7 November, 2017.

55 Caleb, “Fact: Armed Citizens Do Stop Mass Active Killers,” 16 June, 2016, at http://www.preparedgunowners.com.

66 Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz, “Armed Resistance to Crime,” at http://scholarlcommons.law.northwestern.edu/jclc/vol186/iss1/8/1995. See also John R. Lott, Jr., More Gun’s Less Crime (Chicago, Illinois, The University of Chicago Press, 1998)

88 Atlanta Center For Disease Control at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/invsr64/nvsr64_02pdf.

99 Cameron Hopkins, “African Big Game Hunting Rifles,” American Hunter (July 9 2010).

1010 Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, James Madison, Clinton Rossiter, Editor, The Federalist Papers (New York, N.Y., A Mentor Book, New American Library, 1961), 178-181.

1111 IBID. 182-187.

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Bump-Fire Rule Pending

For some reason, the coming rule banning bump-fire stocks is all over the news, as if it’s something new. Maybe it is to some of these people, but The Zelman Partisans have been on this since October of last year.

The only new data I see is this bit from CNN, which does appear to answer one question.

Under the new rule, bump stock owners would be required to destroy or surrender the devices to authorities. Members of the public will be given 90 days to turn in or otherwise discard their bump stocks, according to a source familiar with the final rule.

Instead of making instant NFA felons out of bump-fire stock owners, they’ll have 90 days to get rid of their expensive gadgets.

How generous.

Earlier this month I noted an amusing typo in the rule notice.

It is anticipated that the rule will cost $129,222,483 million in the first year (the year with the highest costs).

ONE HUNDRED-TWENTY-NINE TRILLION, TWO HUNDRED-TWENTY-TWO BILLION, FOUR HUNDRED-EIGHTY-THREE MILLION EFFING DOLLARS.

I expected that “typo” to be fixed once I brought it to their attention (and people laughed). I stand corrected: It is not a typographical error.

I believe that must be the anticipated litigation cost of defending a rule based on an outright lie, and contradicting US Code, against hundreds of thousands of bump-fire stock owners (a guesstimate based on other folks’ guesstimates of more than half a million stocks in circulation).

 

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Oh, puck it.

I thought the school that put buckets of rocks in the classrooms to “protect” students was pretty bad… and dumber than a box of rocks, as the saying goes.

The school that asked students to bring in canned goods for the purpose was worse (and in violation of their own “no weapons” rules).

But this: A university, full of putative adults, some of whom could lawfully carry effective weapons if allowed

Puck it.

No; I mean it. They’ll puck up an active shooter.

Faculty trained to use hockey pucks to thwart shooters
Faculty members at Oakland University in suburban Detroit have received hockey pucks and are being trained to use them to potentially thwart active shooters.
[…]
The faculty union also is working with student groups to distribute an additional 1,700 pucks to students.

You know what would work? Letting the honest folks carry guns for defense. 10 out of 10 dead murderers never re-offend.

Maybe I’ve misunderstood the situation. Could they be doing something so suicidally ridiculous to call lawmakers’ attention to the fact that they’ve rendered campuses into helpless-target rich environments?


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NY SPY Act: S. 9191

While people are starting to take notice of the New York bill that would include social media in licensing background checks, most seem to missing an important point or two.

When I first heard about this being draft, I asked, “Realizing you’re politicians, & thus insane, I ask: HOW are you going to see a 1YR Internet search history?”

The bill has been filed, and my question semi-answered.

NY: S09191 Summary: Relates to requiring social media and search engine reviews prior to the approval of an application or renewal of a license to carry or possess a pistol or revolver

Here is the most relevant part:

54 deem appropriate. In order to ascertain whether any social media
55 account or search engine history of an applicant presents any good cause
56 for the denial of a license, the investigating officer shall, after

S. 9191 3

1 obtaining the applicant’s consent pursuant to subdivision three of this
2 section, and obtaining any log-in name, password or other means for
3 accessing a personal account, service, or electronic communications
4 device necessary to review such applicant’s social media accounts and
5 search engine history, review an applicant’s social media accounts for
6 the previous three years and search engine history for the previous year
7 and investigate an applicant’s posts or searches related to (i) commonly
8 known profane slurs or biased language used to describe the race, color,
9 national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age,
10 disability or sexual orientation of a person; (ii) threatening the
11 health or safety of another person; (iii) an act of terrorism; or (iv)
12 any other issue deemed necessary by the investigating officer. For the
13 purposes of this subdivision, “social media accounts” shall only include
14 Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram, and “search engine” shall
15 only include Google, Yahoo and Bing.

I’ll just get this part out of the way, so I can move on to the real problems (not that this isn’t pretty bad): “[K]nown profane slurs or biased language;” also known as protected speech, unless it involves a direct threat, or actual slander/libel. I see 1st Amendment issues if they deny a licensed based on protected speech they don’t like. Especially if they don’t know what “niggardly” means.

It’s almost as if Sen. Parker set out to shred the 1st Amendment, as well as the 2nd.

Now, as to how they would check for bad-think… We don’t know. This bill says what, but doesn’t specify the process, the how.

obtaining the applicant’s consent pursuant to subdivision three of this section, and obtaining any log-in name, password or other means for accessing a personal account, service, or electronic communications device necessary to review such applicant’s social media accounts and search engine history…

You have to give them your usernames and passwords. Not just for your social media accounts, but to your phone and/or computer. That’s how they’ll be able to see your browser search history. When you hand over your phone and computer; as that’s the only reason they would need the computer logon for themselves.

When you surrender your device, make them sign a receipt with the date and time. Send the state a bill for the time. It may be useful in other ways, too, as you’ll see.

Or your boss’s computer. I can tell from web site logs (I’m an admin for several sites) that a lot of people appear to be using company computers, which matches personal in-office observations over the years. If you’ve been surfing at work, you’ll need to let them search that computer, too. I wonder how companies are going to react to that, what with proprietary files and all.

I see no mention of controls to prevent them playfully scanning through all your directories in search of… oh, financial data, HIPAA-protected medical information, your porn stash, whatever.

But let’s say the thugs are just looking at your iPhone. Is the plan to check search engine history, then hand it back to you? When do they check years of multiple social media posts? Will they use your passwords to login from your phone, or from their own computers?

If they use yours… well, that puts you out-of-pocket for a phone for quite some time. And speaking of time…. air time. Are they going to burn your air time, or provide WiFi at their expense?

I also wonder about “search engine history.” Do they differentiate between that and browser history? When checking referral search terms, I see a lot of people entering URLs (“http://www.whatever.com/index2.html”) into the search engine instead of the browser address bar. Do these politicians know the difference, or are they like people I’ve met who said their browser is “Google”?

But either way, will they follow a URL entered into the search engine to see if it really is “profane” or “biased”? What if it turns out to be a URL for a medical appointment schedule, or your online banking account? I think they’ll run afoul of HIPAA again, or federal banking laws.

And if your browser cache is part of the “history” they think is from search engines…

On the other hand, if their techno-probing is that comprehensive, there would be some wonderful opportunities for malicious compliance. If they follow URLs…

One might prepare for the probing by loading up on every Russian malware site on the Internet. If the authorities use your computer/phone for the search, have your java/ad/malware blockers turned off, then sue the hell out of them for rendering your device useless. If they download the history files to their own computer and start browsing, they’ll infect themselves.

Or My Little Pony and brony sites; that might be worse.

All in all, it would safer — for the goons — to use your device. In which case, if your computer skills are up to hacking file properties, and you’re willing to take a chance…

Install an incriminating file — child porn is extremely risky, so you might want to use ISIS videos and bomb-making instructions — with creation/access properties showing it appeared on your device while it was in the goons’ custody (you got that receipt, right?). When you get your device back, “find” it and report that someone was being very naughty with your stuff. Child porn and terrorism can fall within the feds’ purview, so report this unlawful activity by NY cops to the FBI.

And watch the great state of New York try to explain it.

Depending on how they pull the history data from your device, other options might be available. It would be a darned shame if they plugged into a USB port and sucked everything out of your browser profile folder.

Including all the trojans and worms you thoughtlessly left there.

I could probably monkeywrench without doing anything special. I don’t use Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Google, Yahoo or Bing. I can imagine a brain-dead bureaucrat going nuts trying to find them on my device. I don’t like being tracked, so I routinely delete my entire browser history. If they stick to only what’s listed in this bill, all they would see from me is a series of Twitter posts making fun of idiots, including state Senator Parker himself.

No doubt that will be “biased language used to describe his mental disability.” There’s a reason I refuse to live in New York.


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Self Defense notions from a Patriarch

So this last week the Parasha was Vayishlach. This is an exciting portion. It’s when Jacob/Yakov/Israel returns home from his exile working for his crooked uncle Laban. Yakov had fled his brother Esav’s murderous rage after Esav regretted having sold his birthright for a bowl of beans, lentils. Esav didn’t value his birthright in the least. Probably a message in there for those that would pressure Israel to give up land for peace. It never works, because like Esav, they just always want more and don’t keep their end of the bargain. So, Yakov is returning home with his wives, their handmaidens and 12 children, a passel of camels, donkeys, sheep, goats and some servants. Yakov has done well, he is a very successful shepherd. But, he is in a quandary, what will his meeting with his brother be like? Will Esav still want to kill him, or will time have mellowed him. Yakov sends angels to ascertain his intentions. Turns out Esav hasn’t changed a bit. He’s heading towards Yakov with 400 men. Yakov is way outnumbered.

Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed (Gen. 32:8)

From Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks:

The fear is understandable, but his response contains an enigma. Why the duplication of verbs? What is the difference between fear and distress? To this a Midrash gives a profound answer:

Rabbi Judah bar Ilai said: Are not fear and distress identical? The meaning, however, is that “he was afraid” that he might be killed; “he was distressed” that he might kill. For Jacob thought: If he prevails against me, will he not kill me; while if I prevail against him, will I not kill him? That is the meaning of “he was afraid” – lest he should be killed; “and distressed” – lest he should kill.

And this brings us to self-defense.

One might argue that Jacob should surely not be distressed about the possibility of killing Esau, for there is an explicit rule: “If someone comes to kill you, forestall it by killing him.” Nonetheless, Jacob did have qualms, fearing that in the course of the fight he might kill some of Esau’s men, who were not themselves intent on killing him but merely on fighting his men. And even though Esau’s men were pursuing Jacob’s men, and every person has the right to save the life of the pursued at the cost of the life of the pursuer, nonetheless there is a condition: “If the pursued could have been saved by maiming a limb of the pursuer, but instead the rescuer killed the pursuer, the rescuer is liable to capital punishment on that account.” Hence Jacob feared that, in the confusion of battle, he might kill some of Esau’s men when he might have restrained them by merely inflicting injury on them.

Self defense is very definitely a Jewish concept, but unlike his brother Esav who delights in it, Yakov will do so if required, but he wants to avoid it. The taking of a life is not something to be done lightly. So what did he do to try to prevent needless loss of life?

He had a three pronged approach. Prayer, he threw himself on G-d’s mercy, he sent lavish tribute female and male goats, sheep, donkeys, camels all with the proper proportion for the most effective breeding program. Sort of a gift that keeps on giving. But then he prepared for battle. He divided his people into camps, his thinking was that if one camp was attacked the other might escape. Then he had the children with each of their mothers. Yakov knew the four women would fight for their children, so he left the children with their mothers, then he placed himself in front of them. Esav would have to go through Yakov to get to his family.

I’ve heard the opinion that if Yakov had really trusted G-d there would have been none of this battle preparation business. He would have just gone and met his brother. I don’t agree with this opinion. I think people are people and they have plans of their own. Plans I may not appreciate or agree with. I think if their plans concern me, I want a say in how they turn out. As Esav’s plans would have included Yakov’s family, I figure he felt the same way. There are cemeteries with those that refused to believe anything bad would happen to them. I’ve heard that there were Jews in the Warsaw ghetto that refused the chance to escape because they didn’t really think the nazis wanted to annihilate them, and perhaps, because they expected a miracle. I heard Rabbi Tovia Singer say in a lecture that while the Jewish nation will always be preserved, that promise does not extend to individuals. I’ve also heard it said that when you pray for help, you usually have to do something, expend some kind of effort for him to have something to help you with. And so, Yakov had his three pronged approach, which ultimately was successful. There was no battle between brothers, only a brotherly meeting, with quite possibly temporary brotherly feelings judging from Yakov’s refusal of Esav’s offer to escort them. It’s like having a black snake to guard your chicken house from mice. Yeah….the snake may eat the mice, but more than likely it is eating the chicken eggs, and/or baby chicks. I’ll pass, and Yakov did as well.

Yakov and concealed carry holders face a moral dilemma. More from Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

Moral dilemmas are situations in which doing the right thing is not the end of the matter. The conflict may be inherently tragic. Jacob, in this parsha, finds himself trapped in such a conflict: on the one hand, he ought not allow himself to be killed; on the other, he ought not kill someone else; but he must do one or the other. The fact that one principle (self-defence) overrides another (the prohibition against killing) does not mean that, faced with such a choice, he is without qualms, especially given the fact that Esau is his twin brother. Despite their differences, they grew up together. They were kin. This intensifies the dilemma yet more. Sometimes being moral means that one experiences distress at having to make such a choice. Doing the right thing may mean that one does not feel remorse or guilt, but one still feels regret or grief about the action that needs to be taken.

Even people of great faith, realize that there is a time to “Praise the L-rd and pass the ammunition”.

There is nothing about being prepared with a gun, a concealed carry endorsement if your state requires it, that says you don’t believe that G-d can and will keep you safe. We have fire extinguishers and spare tires, right? We have generators for bad weather, and carry an umbrella. The right tool for the right time.

That I think, is one of the things about concealed carry holders that leftists, politicians and the #FakeNews (sometimes one in the same) don’t understand about “gun nuts”. We are not anxious to kill, we don’t want to do that. What we do want is for us and our families to be safe.

Heat seeking bullets, who knew? Did BassPro have these listed in the Black Friday flier?

Self defense is not a spur of the minute deal. We put thought into what gun, training tactics, classes and tests to be able to live as free citizens. Just like Yakov had his three pronged approach for meeting Esav, we too plan our defenses.

These mixed feelings were born thousands of years earlier, when Jacob, father of the Jewish people, experienced not only the physical fear of defeat but the moral distress of victory. Only those who are capable of feeling both, can defend their bodies without endangering their souls.

Because like Yakov facing Esav, there can be bigger, stronger, mightier evil that hates us.

Elected Moonbat Swalwell
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Another Country Heard From: Mere Suggestions

On the one hand, you might think this is good news for NY staters.

Some NY agencies to stop enforcing gun law
When the SAFE Act became law, it emerged as one of the most controversial pieces of legislation on the books in New York.
[…]
In Erie County, including in Buffalo, people kept getting charged with a crime under that part of the law even though federal judges had struck it down.
[…]
Those defendants will soon see those charges dropped, said Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn.

And in the future, that charge will no longer be prosecuted in the county under his administration, according to Flynn.

Charges dismissed. Excellent.

On the other hand, the provision was struck down years ago. Why were they enforcing it at all?

On the gripping hand…

Rulings from federal courts below the U.S. Supreme Court ARE NOT BINDING ON STATE AGENCIES, so the 2013 and 2015 rulings on this part of the SAFE Act amount to MERE SUGGESTIONS, according to Flynn. It is up to individual county district attorneys to decide whether they will abide by the rulings of federal judges, he said.

Federal court rulings are not binding? Since when?

It isn’t like he’s in one federal court district, and the ruling came down from the other district. The ruling against the magazine limit (7 rounds in a 10-round magazine) was upheld by the 2nd Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals. the 2nd Circuit covers the entire state, not to mention Connecticut and Vermont.

Yes, rulings are binding, if we still have a system of law, if New York (and Erie County) are still part of the United States of America.

It’s… nice that Flynn decided to obey the court. This time. But I’m deeply troubled by a district attorney who thinks it’s optional. Not according to the Constitution, Article III, Section 1.

The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.

And Section 2.

The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;—to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls;—to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;—to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;—to Controversies between two or more States;— between a State and Citizens of another State,—between Citizens of different States,—between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.

States do not get to pick and choose with which “suggestions” they feel like complying. For instance, if the folks convicted under that unconstitutional provision were to sue in federal court for deprivation of rights under color of law, and win, Flynn doesn’t get to say, “Nah. We ain’t paying up. The Constitution doesn’t apply to us.”

Unless he’s acknowledging that he has seceded from the Union. Perhaps Flynn sees federal taxes as optional as well.


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Another Licensing Proposal

Thomas Gabor, a Canadian pontificating on US policy, thinks we can solve all our firearms crime problems by registering, taxing, folding, stamping, spindling, and mutilating gun honest gun owners. Sort of.

Point of View: U.S. needs a more comprehensive licensing system to curtail mass shootings
A central theme of gun rights advocates is that gun laws are futile as “bad guys” will simply get around any background check system by buying their guns on the illicit market. However, in many recent mass shootings — Thousand Oaks, Pittsburgh, Parkland, Las Vegas, Sutherland Springs (Texas), Orlando, Charleston — the shooters obtained their weapons legally from licensed firearms dealers after passing the FBI’s background check system (NICS). They either had no criminal records or had run-ins with the law that were not recorded in the FBI’s databases.

This “criminologist” proceeds to explain that comprehensive, universal, and astonishingly arbitrary firearm owner licensing will solve everything “mass shootings”.

Note the immediate bait and switch: When rights advocates suggest criminals will just break more laws, Gabor suddenly points and exclaims, “Look! Over there! Mass shooting!” And pretends the issue was never more general.

By suddenly shifting the discussion to “recent mass shootings,” he deflects attention from the simple facts that 63% of murderers using firearms had prior felony convictions, and that over 93% of firearms used in crimes are obtained through unlawful channels bypassing background checks. By focusing on a few high profile crimes (and ignoring shootings such as Sante Fe where the firearms were obtained illegally; and mischaracterizing the Sutherland Springs and Charleston shooters who did not obtain their weapons legally), he rationalizes licensing that cannot and will not deter the overwhelming majority of gun-armed criminals already ignoring laws.

His proposed licensing system is quite general though. Besides universal background checks preemptively-prove-your-innocence prior restraint on all sales, he wants:

I recommend a comprehensive licensing system that would identify signs of troubling behavior beyond criminal records. Law enforcement would interview license applicants, consult references, and examine criminal, military, and mental health records. Spouses or ex-spouses would be notified of the application and could inform authorities of disturbing behavior.

Applicants would receive police training and testing in the proper use of force, safe handling of firearms and marksmanship. A 15-day waiting period would preclude gun purchases by those in the midst of a crisis. The license would apply for five years and a fee would support the licensing process.

We already know none of that will deter the vast majority of killers, but maybe it will work on those inclined to commit massacres.

For the record, Russia has far more draconian licensing laws than even Gabor is advocating. They don’t seem to have worked very well. I suppose Russia doesn’t count since gun controllers always leave it out of the comparisons between developed nations.

Norway seems pretty developed, and has licensing similar to Gabor’s concept.

In fact, Norway ranks higher than the US for mass shootings.

Hmm… Maybe we should check Gabor’s own Canada.

Oops. And look at those restrictions.

Gabor’s proposal fails cost (loss of constitutional guaranteed rights):benefit (fewer firearms fatalities) analysis.


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Nuke us till we glow, and shoot us in the dark?

With the Democrats winning a House majority, we have been warned to expect a lot of gun control laws, with firearms bans topping their evil wishlist. Back in May, the psychotic Rep. Swalwell [D-CA] penned an op-ed, giving us a heads-up on their intent.

Instead, we should ban possession of military-style semiautomatic assault weapons, we should buy back such weapons from all who choose to abide by the law, and we should criminally prosecute any who choose to defy it by keeping their weapons. The ban would not apply to law enforcement agencies or shooting clubs.

My response at the time was an email asking how he planned to enforce his totalitarian wetdream. He declined to explain.

Now we know. While Alison Airies was satisfied with stop & frisk, followed up with summary public execution, Swalwell is willing to go a bit farther.

For some reason, that May column started making the rounds again, folks apparently thinking it was published last week.

Joe Briggs tweeted an observation regarding the consequences of the ban.

So basically @RepSwalwell wants a war. Because that’s what you would get. You’re outta your fucking mind if you think I’ll give up my rights and give the gov all the power.

Swalwell, war criminal-in-waiting, explained how he would manage it.

And it would be a short war my friend. The government has nukes. Too many of them. But they’re legit. I’m sure if we talked we could find common ground to protect our families and communities.

By Friday afternoon, the nutjob was backtracking.

Joe, it’s sarcasm. He said he’s going to war with America if gun legislation was passed. I told him his government has nukes. God forbid we use sarcasm

No; Briggs said Swalwell’s attempt to massively violate the human/civil rights of tens of millions of Americans would spark a war, one started by the government. Which it would. Swalwell replied with the threat of overwhelming military force against civilians, demonstrating another bit of profound ignorance about other laws he’d have to change.

Sarcasm would be something along the lines of, “Well gee; everyone knows all the evil gun owners will meekly surrender their expensive property to the police state, so force won’t required.” Or, as he tweeted later:

But you seem like a reasonable person. If an assault weapons ban happens, I’m sure you’ll follow law.

That’s sarcasm. The threat of military force was not sarcasm. That was an explicit threat against innocent civilians.

Swalwell is unhinged. He is mentally ill. He has posted a threat more serious than those incriminating social media posts of recent mass shooters. He should be removed from office, and involuntarily committed as a danger to others.

It’s worth noting that this nuke-threatening politician is considering a Presidential run in 2020, potentially giving him access to the nuclear football.


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Turns out there is such a thing as a stupid question.

Toledo, Ohio Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz is riding his gun control hobbyhorse. This time, he’s hoping to use the imaginary economic clout of Toledo (74th largest city in the United States) to force firearms manufacturers to…

I’m not sure what. But he’s going to ask manufacturers which want to do business from whom Toledo wants to buy stuff a few questions as a condition of doing business. Seemingly, wrong answers will result in the city turning down manufacurers begging the small city to buy stuff hysterical laughter from companies which don’t need their business.

I have a few suggested answers to Kapszukiewicz’s questions, for properly motivated manufacturers.

Do you manufacture assault weapons for civilian use?

No. Ohio has no definition of “assault weapon” to put that in context, and there is no other standardized definition. Where there is a state ban on defined assault weapons, we don’t manufacture them for civilians there, because it would be illegal.

Do you sell assault weapons for civilian use?

No. No. (Ohio has no definition of “assault weapon” to put that in context, and there is no other standardized definition. Where there is a state ban on defined assault weapons, we don’t sell them to civilians there, because it would be illegal.

Which firearms does your company agree to not sell to civilians?

Agree? Which ones are you asking us not to sell? We already don’t sell machineguns to civilians, since that’s been law for 32 years. You had something else in mind?

Do you require your dealers to conduct background checks?

No. We found that us requiring background checks is redundant, since federal law already requires dealers to conduct background checks, and has done so for decades.

Does your company have a plan in place to invest in gun- and ammunition-tracing technologies?

We have a firearm tracing system in place. It’s called serial numbers and inventory control, as required by federal law for a long time. We do not manufacture ammunition, so tracing it would be impossible for us.

Do you use, at a minimum, industry best practices for inventory control and transactions?

Yes. It is and has been required by federal law for 50 years.

Ask a stupid question, get schooled.


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King County Customer Service

In Washington state, some anti-gun busybodies have taken it upon themselves to force firearms dealers to post signs warning how “terrible” their products are.

King County to require warning signs at gun shops and ranges
The signs say the presence of a firearm in the home increases the risk of suicide, homicide and unintentional deaths to children.

Specifically, the signs must read:

“WARNING: The presence of a firearm in the home significantly increases the risk of suicide, homicide, death during domestic violence disputes and unintentional deaths to children, household members and others.”

Oh dear, we wouldn’t want people committing sui… wait.

Washington legalized assisted suicide. But you have use drugs obtained through a doctor. I guess the medical/pharmaceutical industry simply doesn’t want the competition. Can’t have tax-payers checking out without enriching the medical-industrial complex, I suppose.

King County gun stores should assist visitors by directing them to the proper shop. I suggest taping this sign to the bottom of the mandated “warning” signs.

I wonder if King County requires doctors and pharmacists to post warnings about the lethal dangers of their own products. I see to recall hearing something about an “opioid epidemic”


Carl is an unpaid TZP volunteer. If you found this post useful, please consider dropping something in his tip jar. He could really use the money, what with truck repairs and recurring bills. And the rabbits need feed. Truck insurance, lest I be forced to sell it. Click here to donate via PayPal.
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