All posts by Carl Bussjaeger

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

Only The Professionals

James Comey thinks basic biological functions, like defense in support of the survival instinct, are best left to the professionals.

Riveting: Former FBI Director James Comey Refused To Carry A Gun
He was permitted to carry one himself but chose not to. “I was surrounded by armed people all day long. If I wasn’t safe in the hands of the FBI, then our country was really in trouble.”

The rest of us don’t have the option of a 24/7 federal security detail. And as the line goes, when seconds count, the police are minutes away. And rumor has it that Comey hired a porn star to bang his wife for him, knowing that a paid professional would do a better job than he ever could.

Yes, our country really is in trouble.


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Independence Day

The majority of modern Americans think of July 4th as “Independence Day.” The more historically astute note the Continental Congress actually declared independence on July 2, 1776. The documented prepared to explain that declaration to the English was merely signed on the Fourth.

But Americans had already declared their independence more than a year earlier, on April 19, 1775. The amateur politicians had spent the intervening months attempting to test the winfs, and playing catch up.

“Stamp Act.” “Taxation without representation.” The Boston Tea Party. These are the things schoolchildren are usually told led to the War for Independence, and it’s — incompletely; with a million people, you’ll find a million and a half motives — true, so far as it goes.

Ah, but the shooting. What ticked off the Colonials enough to abandon legal challenges, parliamentary action, and civil disobedience? To start the war proper?

On the aforementioned April 19th, the British attempted to ban and confiscate American weapons and supplies. Specifically, they tried to confiscate and destroy “military-style,” “military grade,” weapons held by citizens.


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ATTN: Bump-Fire Stock Owners, Sellers, Manufacturers, Distributors

From the Firearms Policy Coalition:

If you know of anyone who manufactures, distributes, sells, bought, owns, or possesses a “bump-stock” type device, or you/they did manufacture, distribute, or sell “bump-stock” devices but no longer do because of the ATF’s proposed ban, they should contact the Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) Legal Action Hotline at https://www.firearmspolicy.org/hotline AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. FPC and Firearms Policy Foundation have retained Firearms Industry Consulting Group attorneys to oppose the ATF’s unconstitutional and unlawful proposed ban on these devices. If the ATF’s proposed rule goes into effect, it would require the destruction of all such devices, nation-wide, or a possessor might face federal felony criminal penalties and the loss of rights. For more information on FPC and FPF’s efforts to oppose the ATF’s proposed “bump-stock” ban, please see “FPC/FPF Opposition to ATF’s Proposed Ban on Bump-Stock-Type Devices (docket no. 2017R-22)” at https://www.firearmspolicy.org/fpc-fpf-opposition-atf-bump-stock-ban.

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If it’s the gun…

How many times have I heard that it’s not the gun, it’s the people? But it is the gun. Without the gun there would be no shooting. That’s such an obvious fact — why can’t people see that?
Al Duerig

Then why haven’t 55 million to 120 million gun owners with at least 400 million firearms depopulated the nation?

Tens of millions of gun owners with 40% of the world’s small arms didn’t kill anyone today. If it’s the gun, why not?

In 2016 11,004 people were murdered with firearms. 64% of the killers had prior felony convictions. 88-91% of the firearms used were stolen, which means as many as 91% of the killers were criminals before pulling the trigger.

Just 7% of convicted criminals obtained their firearms through lawful channels. The rest broke laws restricting the purchase and possession of firearms.

55-120 million honest gun owners did not. If it’s the gun, why not?


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Slippery Slopes

The Trace: The NRA Has Been Making the Same Slippery Slope Argument Since 1934
Confronted with federal regulation that sought to restrict access to certain types of military-style firearms, as well as taxes on handguns, the NRA rallied its members in opposition. Its stance was less categorical than it is today, as the organization declared itself “absolutely favorable to reasonable legislation” that confined itself to submachine guns and sawed-off shotguns, exclusively. At the same time, the group was developing the argument that gun restrictions on any kind of firearm were the first step on a slippery slope to a federal registry and excessive gun taxes.

Since then, the slippery slope apparently hasn’t included mail order bans, age limits, a new class of prohibited persons, ex post facto misdemeanor prohibitions, prior restraint background checks, “gun-free” zones, an “assault weapon ban,” arbitrary new definitions of machine gun, state-level bump-fire bans, and an upcoming federal ban on bump-fire stocks that would make any semi-auto a machine gun.

The NFA is also notable as the first major federal victim disarmament legislation for which the NRA rolled over and bared its belly.


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“Due Jun 27 2018, at 11:59 PM ET”

That’s when commenting closes on the ATF’s Notice of Proposed Rule-Making on Bump-Stock Type Devices.

Recently, the victim disarmers have been flooding the system with pro-ban comments. I’m sure the ATF will use that to justify rationalize implementing the rule, despite the fact that it is based on multiple lies, and claims a criminal use of bump-fire stocks which the Mandalay Bay shooting investigators have refused to confirm. (That’s critical because, before the investigators stopped talking, they early on stated that at least one rifle converted to fully-automatic fire had been found in the killer’s suite in addition to the bump-fire stocked rifles.)

I’ve gone into the many problems of the NPRM already, so I won’t rehash it all. The TL;DR is:

  • They lie and say “BSTDs” allow continuous fire with a “single pull of the trigger.”
  • If bump-fire stocks convert a semiautomatic firearm into a machine gun, then any firearm that can readily accept a stock can be “readily” converted into a machine gun; under current rules, any firearm which can be readily converted is a machine gun.
  • It redefines “machine gun” by theoretical rate of fire, rather than mechanical action. Any firearm which can be fired arbitrarily “fast” becomes a machine gun.
  • “Machine gun” is defined in legislation. The ATF lacks authority to arbitrarily expand the definition to new devices.
  • The ATF lacks constitutional authority to exist.

This rule will be implemented; that seemed clear from the beginning. Reality matters not. Now, the point of commenting is just to makes sure they understand that we understand and are watching.


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Estimating Firearms Ownership: A possible direct measurement, and a possible problem

Someone recently stumbled upon a way to estimate firearms ownership in America; a method which I don’t recall seeing used in any published research.

Real estate listings.

It seems a great many online real estate listings with interior photographs show numerous firearms, racks, hunting trophies, reloading equipment, and other direct and indirect indicators of firearms possession, presumably lawful since listers are comfortable with posting the images publicly.

This was a narrow sample of America: single-family dwellings in rural portions of a specific state. But examining a wider selection might be fruitful.

Some advantages of using real estate listings for such an estimate include:

  • Listings can show geographic distribution down to the neighborhood (but it might too cumbersome to go below the county level).
  • Other studies have associated geographic location with political leanings; this could cross-referenced to suggest a firearms ownership/politics correlation which is usually assumed.
  • Likewise could a demographic (race, ethnicity, etc.) be more accurately established.
  • Asking/sale prices may be a proxy for the owner’s economic status.

Sadly, I lack the resources to fund such a study. Nor do I have the knowledge of statistics to conduct it personally. But this is data — if it can be reliably inferred — would be very valuable to many people.

That said, I have to ask: WTF?

A common criticism of telephonic surveys on firearms ownership is, “I’m not going to tell a total stranger on the phone what guns — or other valuables — I have. Maybe it’s really a burglar screening for lucrative targets.”

So why would you post photos, or let your real estate agent do so, of your firearms (or other equipment indicating their presence) complete with your address?


Carl is an unpaid TZP volunteer. If you found this post useful, please consider dropping something in his tip jar. He could use the money, what with truck repairs and recurring bills.

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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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What gang’s colors does the governor wear?

About that Trenton, NJ art festival shooting…

Right off the bat, I assumed it was gang related. And that’s just what the cops are saying.

I figured the shooter(s) would be prohibited persons already. And, at least, the dead one was; felony manslaughter, shot a guy to death.

And I assumed guns would blamed. Yep.

So Gov. Murphy thinks criminals sentences are too long. The dead asshole had been sentenceed to 18 years on the manslaughter charge. He picked up an additional 6 years for helping run a gang inside the prison. 2004 (year sentenced) + 18 + 6 = 2028.

Under ol’ Murph’s new policies, the scumbag got an early release in February of this year. Whereupon he apparently went right out and got another gun, somehow bypassing as those New Jersey laws that apply to the honest, non-criminal folks.

Seems Murph also defunded a post-release employment assistance program that supposedly helped reduce the recidivsm rate. Murph apparently thinks a life of crime is dandy.

Now, Jersey already had some of the toughest victim disarmament laws in the country, and the gov signed 6 more gun control bills into law shortly before this shooting. It makes it even tougher to be a law-abiding gun owner, yet somehow doesn’t stop early-released thugs.

Did Murphy suddenly see the error of his ways? Of course not. He’s calling for more victim disarmament laws.

So he lets violent criminals out, limits their non-criminal employment options…

And disarms their prey. How helpful.

Is it bribery, or is he a member of one of those gangs?


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For the ignorance and stupidity of the enemy

… let us give thanks.

Warren J. Blumenfeld, Ed.D has a plan.

“Gun violence could be stopped with some simple measures
While no single or a combination of measures will completely eliminate firearms deaths and injuries, I have constructed a list of proposals to buck the current deregulation trend, intended to substantially diminish the plague of violence:

I read that column with amused fascination; his list of proposals shows that his knowledge of the subject is rather limited. Just for example, those with domestic violence convictions, or those subject to restraining orders are already prohibited from buying firearms. And there is no federal “ban on the purchase of firearms and ammunition on the internet” to strengthen. Nor is there a federal waiting period to lengthen. It is already a felony to sell armor-piercing ammunition to civilians. A person with “a history of serious mental illness” is not not necessariy a prohibited person; one who been adjudicated to be mentally deficient already is.

And banning semiautomatic firearms, then banning bump-fire stocks? Perhaps he thinks they can turn bolt-action rifles into machineguns.

To go forward effectively, you need to understand where you are starting from. I would have thought they’d cover that in the Education department, but I studied engineering, so what do I know?

Fortunately for the doctor, The Zelman Partisans have prepared a “Gun Culture Primer” to assist those newly come to the field. It summarizes various federal laws and applicable court decisions, and history. You will also find helpful definitions and explanations of firearms terminology, and other useful bits of knowledge complete with links to more detailed source material. It’s written in language simple enough for even an Ed.D to comprehend.

Additionally, I would like to present Blumenfeld with a little three step thought experiment, which might be useful as a test of a proposal’s effectiveness.

Convicted felons are prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms. Yet 64% of those who commit murder using a firearm have prior felony convictions. Nearly 91% of firearms used in crime are stolen. Multiple federal studies have shown that no more than 7% of criminals obtained their firearms through lawful channels.

The first experiment/test is to ask how a proposal would impact felons who already evade laws like licensing or background checks.

The second experiment/test is to ask how such a law could be effectively imposed on those same criminals in compliance with the Supreme Court’s HAYNES decision.

The third step is to consider your first results, applied to a comparatively small group (11,004 murders in 2016 implies no more than 11,004 murderers) of known, registered felons, and figure out how to apply them to honest gun owners of unknown numbers (estimates range from 55 million to 120+ million) when you don’t who or where they are. Nor do you know how many firearms there are (estimates range from 265 million to 750 million).

If you cannot successfully gain compliance from a small known group, then exacting compliance from an unknown group several thousands of time larger may be problematical.

But so long as the victim disarmers concentrate on dreaming up new redundant laws, they probably won’t ever get around to coming up with real ways and means of enforcing their little 18 U.S. Code § 241 & 242 violations.


Carl is an unpaid TZP volunteer. If you found this post useful, please consider dropping something in his tip jar. He could use the money, what with truck repairs and recurring bills.

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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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