All posts by Carl Bussjaeger

Author: Net Assets, Bargaining Position, The Anarchy Belt, and more

Training Wheels

In my recent spare time, I’ve been amusing myself by sending rebuttals to various columns by confused writers. For some strange reason, outlets that print ignorant rants don’t seem to want to run my responses. So I’ll take advantage of my position with The Zelman Partisans to post here.

First up, we have a young Virginia Tech college student who probably wasn’t ready for college.

Ambiguous gun laws trigger grave consequences for public safety
“You have to know something really well to hate it, and guns haven’t been much of a part of my life”

Mr. Redman should have stopped right there, and gone to someone who knows a little about firearms, because…

“That might be scary enough, but he had also obtained 12 bump-fire stocks to make his semi-automatic weapons function more like automatic weapons.”

That is incorrect. An automatic weapon — a machinegun — is designed to fire multiple rounds per trigger operation. Bump-fire stocks in no way affect that operation/rounds relationship. If you put a bump-fire stock on a semiautomatic rifle, you still individually operate the trigger for each round fired. Bump-fire stocks don’t make the weapon fire faster. The theoretical rate of fire of the rifle is determined by the physics of the internal parts.

Now, some people often say that bump-fire stocks help the shooter pull the trigger faster. No; that isn’t the case.

“However, bump-fire stocks existed neither when the law was initially passed, nor when it was updated in 1986;”

Bump-fire stocks are a relatively recent innovation, but bump fire has been around as long as there have been semiautomatic rifles. I have bump fired rifles (when I had a safe location and the ammunition to waste) but I’ve never even seen a dedicated bump-fire stock in person.

Redman has admitted that he don’t know firearms very well, so allow me to explain that, and elaborate on my comment that such stocks don’t help you shoot faster.

To fire a rifle with reasonable expectation that the round will hit the target, you normally hold the rifle firmly with both hands, and pull it against your shoulder. This provides a stable shooting stance.

A rifle has recoil. When fired, it pushes against your shoulder.

But let’s trying hold that rifle a little differently. With your off hand (the hand you don’t use to pull the trigger) grip the rifle. Your trigger hand does not grip the rifle. Nor do you pull the rifle butt snug against your shoulder. It isn’t a stable stance, and accuracy will suffer.

When your rifle is on target, extend your trigger finger into the guard. Now, with your off hand grip, push the rifle forward until your trigger finger pulls the trigger.

The rifle fires. Recoil pushes the rifle back so your finger disengages the trigger. Your rifle-gripping off hand acts like a spring and pulls the rifle forward again. If your shooting finger was held steady, the trigger is pushed against the finger again, firing.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

A silly way to waste ammunition because, as I’ve mentioned, accuracy suffers due to the unstable shooting platform. Personally, I prefer to use a normal stance and just pull the trigger rapidly.

But some folks feel otherwise. Enter the bump-fire (or slide-fire) stock.

The bump-fire stock is simply a device that can be pulled snugly to the shoulder, and provides a grip to help keep the trigger finger in position. The rifle proper just recoils back in a channel into the stock. It is training wheels for folks who have trouble bump-firing. And since it’s a bit more stable, it helps with accuracy compared to normal bump-fire. However, accuracy even with the stock is poor compared to conventional stance with conventional stock. Folks who don’t want to bother with silly, expensive bump-fire stocks also hook the rifle to belt loops on their pants to the same effect.

Training wheels. A bump-fire stock no more makes a rifle work like a machinegun than training wheels turn a child’s bicycle into a high performance motorcycle.

Note the subtle differences.
Note the subtle differences.

 

If you want to see fast shooting, go to a 3-gun match. You’ll see people who can make a pump-action shotgun sound like full auto, much less a semiautomatic rifle. In 3-gun, speed matters. But you won’t see a competitor using a bump-fire stock because accuracy matters, as well.

The alleged use of bump-fire stocks in the Mandalay Bay shooting is one of the most perplexing aspect of a puzzling case. The shooter, a multimillionaire who could certainly afford several real machineguns — and had the clean record to obtain such — who, based on the timeline of weapon purchases, began planning this at least a year prior didn’t use those resources to obtain automatic weapons or spend the range time learning to pull the trigger quickly? Instead, he bought and used a novelty toy that would degrade his accuracy?

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Hawaii

Hawaii gun laws hit target
“I believe Hawaii is a model for the rest of the country,” said state Rep. Nadine Nakamura. “We have one of the lowest gun-related deaths (rates) among all 50 states due to many factors.”

Well, I’m glad to here that your state is such a crime-free paradise. And how did you manage that?

Those factors include the low rate of gun ownership, strong gun control laws and firearm permit issuing, a gun safety education requirement, and mental health affidavit with medical record accessibility being required at the time of registration.

“Hawaii also has a 14- to 20-day waiting period, (and) bans handgun magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition and semi-automatic handguns with certain features,” Nakamura said.
[…]
Fully automatic firearms, shotguns with barrels less than 18 inches long, and rifles with barrels less than 16 inches long are prohibited by state law.
[…]
Permits are valid in the issuing county only, and Hawaii does not recognize concealed carry permits issued by other states.

“Currently, all firearm buyers must undergo a criminal background check, a mental health background check and subject themselves to active monitoring on an FBI-sponsored crime database,” Bryant said.
[…]
All firearms, including those brought into the state by new residents, must be registered.

That’s… draconian. Still, they say it paid off.

Sort of.

Let’s compare darned gun-free Hawaii to another state. Hawaii has a population of 1,428,557, so I’ll run with New Hampshire, which is close at 1,334,795 (2016 numbers). New Hampshire is also a good test of the effectiveness of those victim disarmament laws because it’s the virtual polar opposite of Hawaii: high rate of firearms ownership, CCW licenses available (shall issue) but not required to concealed or open carry, background checks only when purchasing from an FFL, no registration, NFA items are allowed, no weapon-type bans, no magazine limits, no waiting periods, CCW reciprocity is moot because visitors don’t need licenses either, no specific mental health check, and the cops don’t get to read your medical records without a warrant.

New Hampshire must be a crime-infested hell, right?

Well…

Crime Rates per 100K (2016)
Violent Crime Property Crime Murder
Hawaii 309.2 2992.7 2.5
New Hampshire 197.6 1512.9 1.3

Oops.

Hawaii ranks 30th in violent crime. New Hampshire ranks… 48th.

Hawaii ranks 8th(!) in property crime. New Hampshire ranks… 50th.

Hawaii ranks 41st in murder. New Hampshire ranks… 50th again; go figure.

I’ve never been to Hawaii, and don’t want to. I used to live in New Hampshire. Other than winter, it’s a nice place. The road I lived on had several shooting ranges; roughly 1 in 3 houses had a range, possibly more.

Everybody didn’t open carry, but it wasn’t all that unusual. I often did, and offhand I only recall three times someone said something. 1) A woman from Taxachusettswas  outraged that I carried a gun in the grocery store. I told her that based on the statistics, I was more worried about her killing someone with her car, than me having to shoot someone. She rushed to the front of the store, presumably to warn the manager that an armed man was in there. Since I’m not the only person who open carried in there I was unsurprised when nothing happened.

2) A little boy whose family moved in down the road asked why I had a gun. I started listing the wildlife in the area — starting with the ubiquitous bears. I told him that I’d probably never need it, but it’s like a fire extinguisher.

3) I was headed to the mailbox when the guy running the local police department drove by. He stopped to chat. He glanced at my gun and said, “I’m glad to see that. I wish more people would carry.”

Hawaii regulates the heck out of what firearms they even allow, yet has significantly higher crimes rates than heavily armed New Hampshire.

I think the real difference is the people, not the laws. And if all those laws are holding down crime rates in Hawaii, what the heck are the people like?

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Belling the cat

As seen at Slate:

Two Guns Per Person
Why is this legal? I’m not talking about why we don’t require reporting multiple sales of long guns to federal authorities (which we don’t). I’m not talking about the bump stocks the shooter used to make his semi-automatic weapons fire like machine guns. I’m talking about why people are allowed to own more than, say, two firearms without a really good reason.

TL;DR: The Second Amendment doesn’t say how many guns you can have. Nobody needs more than two guns. If someone wants a third gun, it’s full NFA procedures and taxes.

Doug Pennington notably does not address how to figure who might have more than two firearms. Nor does he explain how the powers that be will go about collecting the extant extras. Certainly he isn’t volunteering to collect them; possibly he’s seen my observation regarding the wisdom of kicking in millions of door because the occupants are well-armed.

Perhaps he believes all the government has to do is pass a law and everyone will meekly “turn them all in”.

That doesn’t seem to be working in Chicago where repeat felons — prohibited persons who lawfully shouldn’t have any guns — are found with… guns. It’s almost as if they don’t obey laws.

In 1990, California instituted “assault weapon” registration and got a whopping 2.33% compliance rate.

The NY SAFE Act yielded a slightly better 4.45% compliance rate.

Connecticut gun owners are a little more obedient. That state saw a huge “assault weapon” registration 13.44% compliance rate, although they must have been disappointed with the “high capacity magazine registration 4% compliance rate.

Come on, Pennington; you can’t even get people to comply with universal preemptively-prove-your-innocence checks.

Conclusions The enactment of CBC policies was associated with an overall increase in firearm background checks only in Delaware. Data external to the study suggest that Washington experienced a modest, but consistent, increase in background checks for private party sales, and Colorado experienced a similar increase in checks for sales not at gun shows. Non-compliance may explain the lack of an overall increase in background checks in Washington and Colorado.”

(That was funded in part by the anti-rights Joyce Foundation and they still couldn’t show compliance.)

If blue states like California, New York, and Connecticut have such poor participation rates with simple registration, imagine how places like Georgia will respond to door to door confiscation.

So, Mr. Pennington; who is going to bell your cat? You haven’t volunteered. When California toyed with the idea, a police union spokesman declared that if confiscation were ordered they’d see the largest outbreak of blue flu in history. And we bloody well won’t kick in our doors.

Let’s pretend law enforcement will play. Consider:

  • The FBI estimates a total of 698,460 law enforcement officers in America (federal, state, local).
  • Estimates of gun owners range from 60 million to 120 million.

Let’s use the conservative gun owners number: 60,000,000. For the sake of argument, let’s pretend that The Pennington Edict magically reverses the usual compliance ratios and only 10% don’t turn in their extra guns.

6,000,000 vs. 698,460

The cops are going after heavily armed Americans, so they’ll use SWAT teams. This suggests a typical team size of 12, for 58,205 teams (sure, we’ll also pretend every cop is put on this, ignoring all real crime).

Each team will have to conduct 103 raids. Figure 8 hours for the standoff (remember, you’re going after cantankerous curmudgeons already proven to be uncooperative), and another shift to do the paperwork: 16 hours per raid. 16 x 6,000,000 = 96,000,000 man hours. Better give the guys time to sleep, another 8 hours. So each team runs a one raid per day

Assuming 58,205 teams (-giggle-), the snatch and grab is going to run well over three months. With 8 hours of overtime per day per 698,460 officers. This not only going to take a while, it going to be expensive.

And that doesn’t even factor in attrition, funeral costs, and death benefits. In reality the Pennington Patrols are kicking in doors of heavily armed, noncompliant SOBs. I wouldn’t be surprised to see an average of one officer lost per raid. Which means Pennington runs out of suckers before the HANSOBS run out of people and guns.

Fewer door-kickers, fewer teams, more raids per team… Suddenly this is taking longer than projected. Oh, well. At least there’ll be fewer officer drawing expensive overtime. Those pensions and death benefits though…

Maybe Pennington can bring in the military, too. Activate the Reserves alongside the active duty folks, add them to the cops…

And they’re still outnumbered by HANSOBs by more than 2 to 1.

I wonder how many of those LEOs and mil-folk are multiple gun owners. And how compliant they are.

That’s a best case scenario for the Pennington Proposal. What if there are 100 million gun gun owners, and they have a compliance rate closer to historical rates of 10%?

Now the 2,791,360 police and military are outnumbered by 90 million pissed off, noncompliant heroes. They’ll be outnumbered 32 to 1.

Sure, a lot of hold-outs will fold when the cops show up. But a lot won’t. The average won’t be pretty, or conducive to long-term police survival. Blue flu, Pennington; try to keep up.

If even one-half of one percent of the noncompliant shoot back, that’s 30,000 to 450,000 shooters (depending on the scenarios above).

Please recall that Pennington’s little trip down Tyranny Lane started with — as of latest claims — a single shooter killing 58 and wounding hundreds — in approximately ten minutes.

So tell us: How will you achieve your two-gun goal?

Who will bell the cat?


Ed. note: This commentary appeared first in TZP’s weekly email alert. If you would like to be among the first to see new commentary (as well as to get notice of new polls and recaps of recent posts), please sign up for our alert list. (See sidebar or, if you’re on a mobile device, scroll down). Be sure to respond when you receive your activation email!

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NRA delenda est

The National Rifle Association was once a good thing. Back in the 19th century it encouraged firearms ownership and marksmanship. For a long time it was the place to go for high quality training.

I used to be an NRA member. I quit a couple of decades ago.

While the NRA was still good on training, I finally noticed other things. Well, thing; fundraising. To fight “gun control.” A lot of fundraising. I could get 3-4 mailings a week.

Yet somehow we got the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act (“assault weapons ban”), Brady waiting periods followed by (replaced with at federal level) preemptively-prove-your-innocence checks, “gun-free” school zones, Project Exile (shifting unconstitutional firearms cases to federal court for more severe penalties), and more.

And well before that, the NRA went along with the NFA ’34 (registration/taxation), GCA ’68 (no more mail order), and FOPA ’86 (no more new NFA items for you).

Like I say, I quit back in the ’90s when I realized that the NRA just used the fear of gun control as a money-making tool. The NRA needs gun control to “fight.”

They need it so much that they helped write an “assault weapons” ban for a city in which I lived; my ten-round-fixed-magazine SKS was illegal. The NRA said they had to do that or someone else would have written a worse law. As was, that law was so bad the state supreme court tossed it in its entirety.

When I lived in New Hampshire, RKBA activists spent years working for Constitutional carry. We finally lined up enough — too often reluctant — votes to pass it and a governor who said he’d sign it.

Lo and behold, the NRA sent in a lobbyist for the first time in a decade who told the reluctant Republicans that the NRA did not support the bill. That gave the weasels the necessary wiggle room to render the bill “Inexpedient To Legislate;” they killed it in an after hours session after the bill’s backers went home to sleep, believing it was passing, unknowing of the NRA’s backstabbing. (The NRA later claimed that never happened; that they merely told the law-makers that the bill needed to duplicate federal law language regarding prohibited persons. Legislators explaining themselves to pissed off constituents gave my version of the story.)

The NRA watched the concealed carry insurance industry grow, and decided to try it, too. Among their first actions was to ban their competition from their annual gathering.

The NRA is even having trouble with training these days.

Skipping plenty of other despicable NRA actions and inactions, Some Asshole shoots up a Las Vegas country music festival in a “gun-free” zone. Even as early police statements said the shooter used at least one fully automatic rifle and two “bump-fire” stocks, the NRA sharpened its knife and taped targets to honest gun owners’ backs.

The National Rifle Association preemptively surrendered by calling for the ATF to reevaluate bump/slide-fire stocks and regulate them as NFA items. Because they help shooters pull the trigger a bunch of times pretty fast.

The Zelman Partisans objected to further regulation, as did Gun Owners of America.

The NRA went into CYA mode with the red herring that they never called for a ban on any firearm. We know that.

We also know that what they did was signal to victim disarming scum like Dianne Feinstein that deep pockets NRA was cool with regulation.

Feinstein offered a bill banning bump-fire stocks and anything else that would help a semiautomatic firearm faster, effectively redefining “machine gun” as anything that shoots arbitrarily fast regardless of actual operation.

The NRA said, “Nah, we want bureaucratic regulation, not legislation.”

Feinstein said, “Nope.”

Pro-RKBA people were still noting the NRA’s surrender signaling to gun control-inclined Republicans. The NRA said, “No, we didn’t.”

Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo Introduces Gun Control Bill for Bump Stocks.

Gee, we never saw that coming. Oh, wait…

We did. We told the NRA. They blew us off.

I expect a flurry of fundraiser flyers in the mail: “Help the NRA/ILA fight the DC Bump Ban.”

Set aside the surrender-signaling for a few moments. Go back to the part where the NRA said they want the ATF to regulate stocks. Think on that.

Way back when, the original National Firearms Act draft called for hand guns to be regulated just like machine guns, suppressors, short-barrel shotguns, yadda yadda. It was unpassable that way, so hand guns were stripped out. We were left with — still unconstitutional — restrictions set by Congress, which at least pretends to be answerable to the people.

The NRA, in contrast, is calling for the ATF to have the power to arbitrarily add stuff to the NFA. You know, the guys who brought us Fast & Furious resulting in deaths in Mexico, the United States, and France. The folks who are apparently answerable to nobody.

Raise your hands: Who thinks the ATF wouldn’t abuse such power? (No, not you, LaPierre and Cox; we know you’re moronic quislings. And you, too, Gottlieb.) Anyone else?

Next question: Are you going to scribble down your credit card number or write a check to the NRA/ILA when you get those inevitable flyers to “Help the NRA/ILA Fight the ATF”?

For a long time after I quit the NRA, I said they’d never get another penny from me until they learned to respect the Second Amendment. More recently I said they have proven themselves an unredeemable deadly enemy and will never get another penny, period.

That is not enough. I am tired of the NRA presenting itself as speaking for all gun owners. They don’t speak for me, and likely not you.

The NRA claims 5 million members (the numbers are questionable). Estimates of American gun owners range from 60 million to as many as 120 million. So best case scenario for the NRA is that they actually speak for 8.3% of gun owners. Maybe a mere 4%.

I know of people who’ve “joined” the NRA only because it was a requirement to use a specific shooting range, or other facility.

So here’s this big money group representing a tiny fraction of gun owners using its resources to screw us all over, trampling rights, and begging for more.

It is no longer enough just to stop supporting the bastards. The NRA/ILA have hundreds of millions of dollars in assets. Every principled member could (and should) quit today, and the they can continue to fund human/civil rights violations for years.

The NRA, as an organization, must die. I suggest civil suits under 18 U.S. Code § 241 – Conspiracy against rights. Those who have donated to the NRA Foundation can sue for return of their donations on the grounds that the NRA misrepresented how donations would be used.

NRA delenda est

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The Zelman Partisans Statement on Proposed Legislation to Ban “Bump-Fire Stocks” and other accessories.

Senator Dianne Feinstein, long a foe of free and armed people, is introducing legislation (PDF) to ban “bump-fire stocks.”

“It shall be unlawful for any person to import, sell, manufacture, transfer or possess, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, a trigger crank, a bump-fire device or any part, combination of parts, component, device, attachment or accessory that is designed or functions to accelerate the rate of fire of a semiautomatic rifle but not convert the semiautomatic rifle into a machine gun,” the bill states.”

Since The Zelman Partisans do value free and armed people, having an understanding of history when wanna-be tyrants like Feinstein succeeded, we utterly oppose this legislation.

We oppose it for the usual RKBA philosophical reasons. It is yet another infringement on the very right to life, as expressed through self defense.

We oppose it for practical reasons as well.

The rate of fire of a semiautomatic firearm is based in physics. Force is applied to the firing pin. That force and the pin’s mass determine its acceleration into the cartridge primer. The primer ignites at a given velocity for that cartridge; that in turn ignites the powder with its own ignition velocity. The bullet is propelled forward; force and mass again.

The force of the detonating powder also works to move the bolt backwards; the old “equal and opposite reaction.” How fast the bolt goes back is determined by its mass and the resistance of the spring behind it. When it has traveled all the way back, the spring applies force and pushes the mass forward once again.

The bolt is slowed as it strips the next round out of the magazine. Finally it moves the round’s mass into the chamber.

In a machine gun, the firing pin would continue forward starting the cycle over again. In a semiautomatic firearm, the pin does not go forward until the trigger (with its own mass and springs) returns to the ready position and is manually operated again. So semiautomatics have an inherently slower rate of fire than machine guns, all else being equal.

The only way to even approach the theoretical maximum rate of fire of most semiautomatics is to have a fast finger.

Old-timers know the trick of pushing your rifle forward with your grip on the stock or barrel shroud as you fire. Recoil pushes the rifle back, and your hand acts as a spring to pull it forward driving the trigger into your finger. The mechanicals have typically cycled already, so the rifle fires again. It’s a fun trick, but wasteful of ammunition, and very inaccurate.

Thus were born “bump-fire” stocks. They merely provide a way to hold the rifle a little steadier while you perform the same silly stunt. They absolutely in no way increase the theoretical rate of fire. They help folks with slower fingers get a little closer to the theoretical.

Should Feinstein’s bill pass, it would necessitate outlawing holding the rifle by the stock like we did in the old days. I suppose possession of an off hand would be a felony.

In fact, this bill is so broadly written that far more than “bump-fire” stocks would be banned. Light-weight after-market bolts can increase the rate of fire, as can different replacement buffer springs. Likewise nicely polished and sensitive trigger groups.

Polishing the parts in the stock trigger group would be illegal.

Basically this Constitution-shredding Senator wants to redefine “machine gun” by how fast you can make something fire, rather than being designed to fire automatically as long as the trigger is depressed. Apparently Jerry Miculek is going to be outlawed.

We understand that other people are reacting in shock and grief to the horrible incident in Las Vegas. But if we are to ban every fun or useful thing that has ever been misused, we will have to eliminate microwave ovens, sandpaper, fire extinguishers, doctors, and senators, among many other things.

The Zelman Partisans opposes this, and any other legislation with similar Bill of Rights violating intent, on the grounds that it is both wrong and stupid. We urge Senator Feinstein — clearly in her dotage — to withdraw it and to retire in ignominy.

We urge anyone with a lick of sense to also oppose it.

Please contact your Senators and House Representative to voice your opposition.

We also note that the National Rifle Association has issued a statement in support of further regulating or banning fun stuff, saying, “devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.” We disagree, and urge principled members of the NRA to consider quitting and joining a real pro-RKBA organization.

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Mandalay Misconceptions

Or outright lies, in some cases.

As yet, very few hard facts about the Las Vegas shooting are available to the public.

The alleged shooter, Some Asshole (whose name I refuse to use) had — per nearly all current reports — a clean record. He could — and did, according to the gun store that sold him three firearms, pass background checks. Per that one store, he passed multiple checks.

There is much speculation that he used one or more fully-automatic weapons. Based on the sounds of fire in a video, I subscribe to that theory. Fox News has an anonymous source that claims the shooter had ARs converted to full auto. Plural. Allegedly in .223 and .308.

Automatic weapons are highly regulated. To legally own one, you must pay a $200 tax above and beyond any sales taxes, undergo a background check, get approval from local law enforcement, and the ATF’s permission.

The shooter’s local PD says they had no contact with him, so he didn’t have Local LE approval, and thus did not lawfully buy a machine gun. The asshole’s brother claims his psycho sibling had no automatic weapons when he helped him move to Nevada a couple of years ago, so the killer would have had to contact Mesquite PD to lawfully obtain one. The shooter is not on the ATF’s list of Federal Firearms Licensees, so he did not lawfully convert semi-autos to full auto.

Nonetheless, at least Dimwitocrat senator claims universal background checks would have prevented this shooting. The shooter passed background checks, and proceeded to violate enough laws to spend most of the rest of his life in Club Fed just on NFA ’34 related charges.

Felonia Von Pantsuit claims the shooting proves why the Hearing Protection Act should not pass. The HPA would remove suppressors from NFA regulation, leaving them treated as mere firearms. Clinton says a suppressor would have prevented victims from hearing the shots and running away. Clinton being Clinton, I assume she’s lying rather than suffering a misconception. .223 — and especially .308 — is quite audible even with a suppressor. Enough Arkancide cases involved shootings so I expect her to know.

As noted above, machine guns — full auto weapons — are heavily regulated, and have been since 1934. Despite brain-dead babbling in the lamestream muddia, the 1994 “assault weapons ban” had nothing to do with NFA machine guns. The sunsetted ’94 law was only a ban on sales to civilians of semi-automatic firearms with arbitrary cosmetic features manufactured or imported after that date. NFA weapons continued to be heavily regulated before, during, and after the so-called AWB.

I’m also seeing Twitter twits tweeting about “high capacity magazines.” However, I note two points:

1) Someone did an audio analysis of shooting video and determined that 280 shots were fired in 31 seconds. I am unaware of any 280 round AR magazines; if you have a source for them, let me know.

2) A former US Army SAW gunner claims that is what he heard in video. Belt-fed, NFA-regulated machine guns are largely immune to hi-cap magazine bans.

But let’s say the asshole used an illegally modified AR-pattern rifle with magazines.

The shooter took his room days before the shooting. He reportedly brought in as many as twenty firearms and ammunition for same. With days to prepare (even assuming he did it in the hotel room), he could have pre-loaded an awful lot of… say, California-legal 10 round magazines. With a mag swap time of seconds, he could have run through said awful lot in the 72 reported minutes from the first 911 call to the cops breaking down his door.

Hi-cap mag limits are bullshit.

I haven’t seen this brought up yet, but let’s nip it before it buds. Seattle imposed a punitive firearms and ammunition tax to reduce “gun violence.” It hasn’t worked, and it wouldn’t have here either. According to asshole’s bro, he was a multi-millionnaire. Reports say he owned a $400,000 home, two automobiles, two airplanes, and routinely gambled away $10,000-$20,000 a day in casinos. He could afford a gun tax.

Licensing didn’t work.

Registration didn’t work.

Background checks didn’t work.

Magazine limits wouldn’t have worked.

Suppressor taxes and registration didn’t apply and wouldn’t have worked.

Taxes wouldn’t have worked.

So what’s left? Complete confiscation? As your parent or grandparents how well that worked when FDR banned private possession of gold in 1934. Ask your local drug dealer how well drug bans work.

You know what else didn’t work? Gun free zones. According to internal security documents and web site guidelines, firearms aren’t allowed in Mandalay facilities. I’m sure the asshole felt real bad about breaking that rule, too.

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Childish Things

“When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”
― C.S. Lewis

When I was a child, I believed some — in retrospect — silly things. Things like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

One Easter morning I happened to wake up unusually early, and caught my parents loading the Easter baskets. I’m no genius, but neither am I an idiot. I told them I knew.

And then I generalized… and asked if they were also Santa Claus. Nailed it. To be honest, I’d had suspicions about him for a while; how did he manage to work so many stores simultaneously? How did he have time to make toys when spending so much doing photoshoots at said stores? Why did he sometimes have a real beard, and sometimes a fake? Sheesh, the excuses my parents came up with to explain discrepancies…

I don’t recall just how old I was; maybe five years old; I don’t think I’d started school yet. I know I’d broken the conspiracy well before a lot of kids my age (some of whom, at school, professed to still believe in Santa until the third or fourth grade).

Another childish thing I believed back then was “gun control”. “Saturday Night Special” was a big part of that. When I heard that propaganda news about how they were just cheap pieces of junk not good for anything but killing, I just knew they were terrible and should be banned. And, just of course, “criminals” shouldn’t have guns.

I believed that into my teens. But, as with the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus, it was observation and reasoning that led to disbelief, beginning with “Saturday Night Specials”.

Reasoning: If a SNS works well enough to fire offensively, why won’t it work defensively? “Cheap POS not good for anything” doesn’t make sense.

OK, maybe there are some guns that are just plain Pieces of Sh garbage. The Clerke 1st revolver I once encountered was so poorly made that I wouldn’t fire it with Hillary Clinton’s hand.* Well… All right; maybe hers, but not yours. But how many Clerkes would be out there after the first use/failure? I kept hearing about recovered guns linked to multiple shootings. Those couldn’t be Clerkes.

Observation: I kept seeing news reports of guns labeled “Saturday Night Specials” which even I recognized as Smith & Wessons. It appeared the defining characteristic of an SNS was price: if you got a new Smith at full retail price, it was all good. If you bought a used model at a price that someone on a budget could afford, it’s evil.

How’s that again?.

Remember how I extrapolated from “Easter Bunny isn’t real” to Santa Claus? I kept thinking: If affordable guns are bad, doesn’t that mean only financially well off folks can have “good” guns by definition? Rich = Good, Poor = Evil? Not being wealthy, but knowing my parents — just example — were decent people, I could see right through that once I bothered to consider it.

And that whole “prohibited person” thing to keep crooks from buying guns… C’mon, even as a kid I saw the “crook buys stolen gun in back alley” trope in cop and detective shows, movies, and books. Sometimes a stereotype reflects reality. I saw that same “trope” in a lot of news stories, so I knew it was real.

So if crooks didn’t get their “Saturday Night Specials” through lawful channels anyway, didn’t that suggest the law targeted honest people, and not criminals?

That was my “slippery slope”. Before long I was wondering why kids used to safely carry .22 rifles across their bike handlebars, but suddenly couldn’t be trusted to have a gun. So far as I knew, none of my .22-toting friends had ever robbed anyone.

Being an aspiring writer even then, I figured words had to have meaning. Like “infringe”, as in

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Infringe:

  1. to commit a breach or infraction of; violate or transgress
  2. to encroach or trespass (usually followed by on or upon)

“Breach,” “infraction,” “encroach.” It seemed pretty clear: You can’t encroach on that right. Not even a little bit. Not just major infractions, minor infractions are out, too. Words have meaning because if they don’t, no two people can communicate. The Second Amendment doesn’t say “The right to keep and bear arms shall not be revoke in its entirety, but encroachments are dandy.” It doesn’t say “The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, except when it’s convenient for the government.”

I was a kid of maybe thirteen or fourteen and I figured it out. I guess gun controllers never grew up.

Case in point: Dana C. Jones’ column Gun obsession is an issue of a nation, not just a male one

The pandemic of guns in the United States is the problem of a nation, not a particular sex.

Says there that Jones is a journalism junior, which suggests a minimum age of twenty years. Jones still has trouble with the “words have meaning” thing at a point years past where I’d figured it out (and at an age where I was already
an E-4 Senior Airman in the USAF).

“Pandemic of guns.” Prevalent, general, universal. Maybe Jones knows something we don’t know. America has the most armed civilian population in the world by a large margin, yet most estimates of American gun owners range from sixty million to a a hundred-twenty million, which makes us a minority. A heavily armed minority, but still not “prevalent” or universal.

If you keep reading (and try not to giggle too much) you’ll see that Jones really alleges to be concerned about gun violence. ‘Cause that’s… not so prevalent either.

Let’s say that there are a mere — chortle — sixty million gun owners out there.

According to this, there are approximately twenty million felons in America, including those incarcerated, paroled, on probation, or whose time is done. Bureau of Justice statistics suggest that around 3% of those are weapons offenses; let’s pretend all the weapons were firearms, just for discussion. 3% of 20,000,000 is 600,000. This isn’t six hundred thousand per year; it’s six hundred thousand cumulative total. That can include someone convicted of underage possession — not a crime of violence — and never committed another crime in his life for decades.

But pretend. 600,000 is just 1% of of sixty million gun owners. Not “prevalent” or “universal”.

Did you see what I did there? I pretended the groups actually overlap. But felons can’t lawfully own guns, so they shouldn’t be included in the group of admitted gun owners. So they’d be less than even the 1%.

You know… 600,000 total felons. That’s less than two-tenths of one percent of the total American population. Hardly “pandemic”. (Heh; given an average life expectancy of 79.3 years, that could potentially mean an average of 7,566 firearms felons — including nonviolent offenses — per year for the past eight decades. Still not “prevalent” or “universal”.

Apparently Jones childishly failed to observe that.

Back to the junior journalist’s panty-twisting.

The Second Amendment, which grants citizens the right to bear arms…

A little study of American history, not to mention Supreme Court rulings, could have shown Jones that the Second Amendment does not “grant[s] citizens the right to bear arms.” It is a pre-existing right, and the Second Amendment was intended to protect it from government meddling. (Since Jones failed to notice it, I’ll provide a recent SCOTUS hint: Heller.)

Words. Meaning. Grants vs. Protects.

Norway, for instance, has a low gun homicide rate and has stricter, more reasonable gun laws. Norwegians need a hunting or sporting license, which can only be acquired by completing a “nine-session, 30-hour course on guns, wildlife and environmental protection.” A sports shooting license is issued only upon completion of a firearms safety course of at least nine hours.

True, Norway has a low murder rate and restrictive gun laws. But Brazil, Mexico, and Venezuela have far more restrictive laws — of the sort that would make California socialists swoon with delight — and murder rates that dwarf that of the USA. Jones fails the  “observation” test, not to mention confusing a Norwegian hunting license with a firearms license. That ““nine-session, 30-hour course on guns, wildlife and environmental protection” isn’t the requirement for a Våpenkort. That’s the requirement for a hunting license; a hunting license is merely ONE of the possible qualifiers for a Våpenkort. Words. Meaning. Great Ghu, this person expects to be a reporter and is less capable of observation and reasoning than a thirteen year old.

Gun control is not synonymous with annexing the Second Amendment, but it does mean protecting the people who live in this country.

As a humorous Internet meme notes, if Jones likes gun control so much, why not move to the south side of Chicago? It’s worked so well there. Gun-controlled Baltimore might be another good choice for Jones. But… “annexing” the Second Amendment? Words. Meaning.

I’ve piled on Dana Jones here, but only for a convenient example. Consider Gabby Giffords, Shannon Watts, or pretty much any gun controller and ask yourself if that person appears to display adult-level observation and reasoning abilities. Or do their whines for control — ignoring the fact of generally fall violent crime rates (outside of gun control Paradises like Chicago and Baltimore) — sound more like a child crying because she can’t bring her freshly dug hole into the house?

In the past, I’ve accused gun controllers of rejecting reality. Perhaps that was unfair. Maybe they just aren’t grown up enough to recognize it. They still operating at a pre-teen mental level.

Hey! That explains why they always want to “do this for the children”. They meant themselves.


* Several years ago, a friend showed me a Clerke 1st he’d somehow acquired. I looked it over. Then I wiped it down to be sure I didn’t leave any fingerprints behind. I suggested that he clean it very carefully, with forensics in mind, and load it with a single round (likewise forensically sterilized), mount it in a clamp, and fire it with a long string. He should then — still wearing gloves — load one more cleaned cartridge, leaving the fired case in place. He should then put the thing in a sealed envelope labeled “For Emergency Use Only,” and save it in case he ever shot someone in dubious circumstances and needed to plant exculpating evidence. I was joking, but I wanted to reinforce the idea that he should never ever try to use that thing.


Ed. note: This commentary appeared first in TZP’s weekly email alert. If you would like to be among the first to see new commentary (as well as to get notice of new polls and recaps of recent posts), please sign up for our alert list. (See sidebar or, if you’re on a mobile device, scroll down). Be sure to respond when you receive your activation email!

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Mandating Technology

It’s not RKBA-related, but it’s exciting:

New bill bans electrical generation unless they are fusion-based
Introduced as the Make Power Green Act, the proposal would strip the ability of utility companies to build power plants with any greenhouse gas emissions. Backers argue that as much as 40% of global warming is caused by human CO2 emissions, which fusion power is incapable of producing.

Oh. Wait. My bad; this one — H.R.3458; text not yet posted — bans “pistol sales unless they can microstamp their bullets.”

“Introduced as the Make Identifiable Criminal Rounds Obvious (MICRO) Act last month, the proposal would strip the ability of federal firearms licensees to sell pistols that do not carry the controversial microstamping technology. Backers argue that as much as 40 percent of murders go unsolved due to lack of evidence, which the bill is meant to address.”

You can see my mistake: microstamping is about as workable as as breakeven fusion power. Technically, both work a little in the lab, but not in the real world.

Microstamping would also be expensive (rather like fusion is expensive. But while governments — courtesy of taxpayers’ pockets — can dump billions into fusion research, individuals looking for affordable defensive solutions would be harder pressed to afford microstamping pistols. (But we all know that’s the real point.)

My imaginary fusion bill might halt the construction of new power plants, but it wouldn’t do anything about the 7,658+ existing plants. Nor would halting the sale of future pistols do a darned thing about the 265 million to 750 million guns already in civilian hands in America. Well, the Obama administration made a start on shutting down coal plants, no doubt these idiot Dim-ocrats have a similar plan for our guns.

You’d think that rational people would have learned their lesson about legislating that which cannot be. Oh. Wait.

My bad again; rational people.

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Poll: National Concealed Carry Reciprocity

Last week James Yeager made an argument against national concealed carry reciprocity based on “states’ rights.” That is, that federal legislation requiring states to give full faith and credit to licenses of other states violates states’ rights to self-determination.

Do you agree with Yeager that national concealed carry reciprocity (H.R. 38) should be stopped?


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