Thursday, December 27, 2012

Boy Did I Blow The Election!

I have not posted in almost two months, so disappointed was I that President Obama was re-elected to office. But I anticipate a heavier schedule with the new Congress, and all of the shenanigans that they will be getting up to in the near future, so I have to comment on my previous post.

I blew it.  Totally.

And the cruel part of it is that I was truly surprised at the outcome.  I can offer no explanation other than I must have been too deeply embedded in the conservative echo chamber.  I will endevour to keep a more realistic view going forward, but before I do, I would like to make one comment on a remarkable paragraph from this article by the Boston Globe:
"Exit polls told a stunning story. The majority of voters preferred Romney’s visions, values, and leadership. But he had clearly failed to address the problem that Romney’s own family worried about from the start. Obama beat Romney by an astonishing 81 to 18 percent margin on the question of which candidate “cares about people like me.”"
This election was unlike any other that I can remember because the majority of voters voted for a man who they believed was inferior on vision, values, and leadership.  The majority of voters selected Obama because they think that he "cares about people like me".

Incredible.

I'll put it on record right here: President Obama does not really care about anyone, unless they are useful in maintaining his position and power.  Get ready my fellow citizens, because President Obama has a second term, which means that we will see Obamacare fully implemented, increased spending, increased regulations on business, increased spending at the Federal and state levels to support all of the programs that Obama, a dyed-in-the-wool big government guy, supports.  These will result in continued high unemployment and a sputtering economy.

Elections have consequences, and the American people, who voted against their economic best interests in favor of the guy that "cares" will have cause to regret it for the next four years.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Vote Today - CA Polls Open Til 8 PM

I have already voted. Here are some highlights:

Romney/Ryan - YES

Emkin (U.S. Senate) - YES

Prop 30 - NO

Prop 32 - YES: I read the text of the bill, and saw no exemptions for "big oil" or Wall Street. That sounded like FUD, and if I was a union member and disagreed with the political stance of the union management, I would hate paycheck deductions for political purposes.

Prop 34 - NO - It will probably pass anyway, but many of these guys really deserve to die.

Prop 36 - YES

Prop 37 - NO. I will not vote for anymore "boutique" regulations in California. Costs are ALWAYS passed down to the consumer.

Prop 38 - NO

Prop 40 - NO. The Democrats sandbagged the redistricting commissions, and this is the last chance to get some fairness in the district boundaries.  Probably a futile effort.

Presidential Race Prediction:

Romney/Ryan will win by 300+ EC and 5%+ popular vote.  Many polls have been over sampling Democrats, but I don't believe that the energy is there to push Obama over the top.  

Friday, November 2, 2012

Time Magazine - How The Gun Won

I just found this article at Time Magazine.

I posted this comment in response:

I find it interesting that the article fails to mention the increased number of states that have liberalized concealed carry laws.  There are now about 7.7 million people licensed to carry concealed weapons in the U.S., according to this GAO report:
I am willing to bet that many of them are NOT NRA members, but the media is obsessed with the "fanatical" NRA as the primary reason that Congress has failed to enact "common sense" gun control laws.
I think that this number, 7.7 million, is reflective of a new set of values becoming more common in America, the core of which is the willingness of the citizen to take responsibility for their personal protection, and insisting on having the best means to that end.  I think that these millions of quiet concealed weapon licensees are enforcing these new values at the ballot box in ways that the Main Stream Media have yet to acknowledge or comprehend.
The gun won because increasing numbers of Americans are rejecting the old "common sense" that guns are always bad, the cause of violence instead of the means used to inflict violence, and that guns on the hands of citizens have no social value.
The anti-gun groups know this, which is why these groups have dwindling membership, financial resources, and influence.  But it will perhaps take the demise of the Brady Campaign to make the MSM realize it.
It can't happen soon enough


Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2120498,00.html#ixzz2B5FFUeoI

 It never ceases to amaze me that the MSM only sees the NRA as the prime mover of pro-gun legislation, but fails to see how much more popular gun ownership and shooting sports have become over the last ten years.  Perhaps they are being willfully ignorant?  If the population at large is more accepting of guns in society, it kind of blows the liberal anti-gun narrative into tiny bits.  

Monday, October 22, 2012

Radical Environmentalists Hate People

The final sentence in this article states:

When will these groups scurry down from their tree homes and start putting people over plants?
Uhmm, how about never? 

Radical environmentalists do not picture human beings as part of the environment, but as the destroyers of the environment. Hence, they do not care about jobs or the welfare of people who do work that damages the environment.

They would really like all such jobs to disappear, regardless of the human costs, while they salve their conscious with thoughts of the "green jobs" that these people will be retrained to do.

To radical environmentalists, people are the ultimate pollutant.

Oklahoma to Become An Open Carry State on Nov. 1

Oklahoma will become an open carry state on November 1.  While not the first state, by far, to become a shall-issue concealed carry state, Oklahoma has been catching up to the rest of free America fast.  I loved this statement by a lonely Democrat:
State Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre, D-Tulsa, opposed the bill when it came up in the Legislature, and she said her concerns stand. 
"I still think it's a bad bill," McIntyre said. "Like a lot of other people, I'm apprehensive." 
She said many may feel the same, but support for the bill was overwhelming when it came up. If there were detractors, she didn't hear from them. 
"When this bill came up, I don't remember being lobbied by anybody at the Capitol to say this is a bad bill," McIntyre said. 
Now that it's set to become law, she said she will be nervous whenever she sees someone who is armed and will do what she can to avoid that person.
"I'm afraid of guns for one thing," McIntyre said. "I was a social worker, and I saw children killed by guns, whether it was criminal or accidental." 
"It's less frightening if it's someone I know (who is armed), but to be at a place where you don't know the history or the background, it's frightening."

 Um, then Senator, perhaps it is not such a bad bill after all?  Just because she is afriad of seeing guns in public does not mean that it is a danger to the public.  Criminal are already carrying, have always carried, and do not do so openly.

Comments from police officers in the article indicate that they are not expecting any problems, so it seems that Senator McIntyre is simply afraid of guns being visible in public.  This one sums up the law enforcement view nicely:
"My prediction would be that this is going to be a non-issue for Oklahoma just like it has the other states," Jordan said. "Gun ownership by good, law-abiding citizens is not a danger to the public."

Sunday, October 21, 2012

University of Miami Law School Seems to Admit Idiots

At least that is the only thing that I can conclude from reading this article written by Christopher Ivory, a 2nd year law student at the University of Miami.  What follows is the reply to the article that I posted in the comments section.

"We have strayed away from the purpose of the Second Amendment. Our founders afforded the right to bear arms to citizens for the purpose of a “well-regulated militia” and to insure the following: locals could organize and defend themselves in the event of an English invasion, and citizens could protect themselves from government officials illegally entering their homes and taking property as the English government had done."
Completely and totally wrong.  The Second Amendment exists to codify a natural right that pre-existed the Constitution. The purpose of the right was to defend against "any" invasion, not just an English 18th Century invasion, as well as to defend against a tyrannical domestic government, and to provide a means for self-defense against criminals.
"Guns were far less dangerous at the time the Second Amendment was drafted. Semi-automatic rifles, uzis and 12-gauge shotguns did not exist. As Michael Moore told Piers Morgan, “There were only one-shot, long rifles back then. Guns couldn’t spray hoards of people like they can today.” "
This is a specious argument.  The flintlock musket of 1780 was a state-of-the-art military grade weapon. To argue that the 2nd Amendment protects the right to keep and bear only those weapons is the same as arguing that the 1st Amendment only protect speech that is transmitted via a hand-operated printing press, but not television, radio, or the Internet.
"A study by the Harvard School of Public Health concluded that there tend to be more gun deaths in states and regions where guns are more populous and accessible."
Another specious argument. There tend to be more traffic accident deaths in places that have more roads and automobiles.
"Gun ownership allows the antsy Zimmermans of the world to shoot people when the altercation could be solved without deadly force. It allows the young child to take daddy’s gun to school to scare the kid that has been picking on him or her. It allows the jealous boyfriend to threaten his girlfriend."
The trial of George Zimmerman has yet to take place, so we do not know if his actions are self defense or murder, nor do we know if Zimmerman had any other recourse other than deadly force.  The author of this article simply assumes so. Gun owners have a responsibility to secure their firearms against unauthorized access, and boyfriends do not need firearms to abuse their girlfriends.  More specious arguments. 
"There is logic in the argument that legal gun ownership protects against criminals. However, that we would always have to be armed to be prepared to defend ourselves against criminal activity – bad idea."
So, there is logic to the argument that firearms are useful for self-defense, but there is no logic to the idea that citizens should always be armed in case of confrontation? This is just a swipe at the increasingly common liberalized concealed carry laws that have swept the nation in recent decades.  Millions of concealed weapon permit holders would flatly disagree with Mr. Ivory on this, as would the individuals involved in these 50 incidents of successful armed self-defense:
http://leftcoastconservative.blogspot.com/p/armed-citizen-self-defense.html
 
"As for the protection of our homes, we are safer via alarm systems that trigger lights, sirens and immediately alert local authorities upon a break-in, as opposed to criminal hunting in the dark while panicking under ill-advised, adrenaline inspired judgment."
Firearms are not a self-defense panacea, but rather an additional layer of protection, another option to be used in the gravest extreme. What happens if the "local authorities" do not arrive in time? Is the author of this article aware that the District of Columbia Court of Appeals ruled in Warren v. District of Columbia that despite demonstrated ineptitude and abuse on the part of police that innocent victims are not entitled to police protection, that there is no duty for police to protect any individual?  In essence, each citizen is on their own when confronted with a criminal.  If the author, a 2nd year law student does not know this, then perhaps he should pay better attention in class, or request a refund from the law school.
"In 2008, the Supreme Court struck down a Washington D.C. law that banned handgun possession. The court said that lawful handgun possession was constitutionally protected. In disagreement with the majority, Justice Breyer stated that the Second Amendment protects militia-related interests, not self-defense-related interests."
The author, a 2nd year law student, should know that dissenting opinions do not make binding case law.  The Heller decision blasted the militia-service view on the 2nd Amendment into bits.
"This case set the precedent that gun bans in any state or municipality will likely be struck down. Sadly, this means the Second Amendment will probably not be overturned anytime soon, or ever."
Thank God!
"But regardless of what the law says, the proof is in the pudding. Maybe Batman will teach us how to not use guns because we have proved incapable of doing so ourselves."
Why should anyone pay attention to anyone who opens an argument with an appeal to the behavior of a fictional character?
 So much for the quality of education if this is what passes for "critical thinking" in modern academia.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Joan Peterson - Still Irrelevant

Joan Peterson writes on her blog:

"Can we at least have a national conversation about one of our biggest national public health and safety problem? We all know we have too many gun violence victims. But we sit back as a country and just let them happen because of one mythically uber powerful lobby group- the NRA. This is ludicrous, unacceptable, irresponsible and just plain wrong and dangerous. If you agree with me, check out the we are better than this web site to let Jim Lehrer know you want a question asked about guns asked at the debate. Or check out the demand a plan site to demand that our Presidential candidates and other elected officials come up with a plan to deal with too many people being killed and injured in daily senseless shootings."

Joan, we have had a "national conversation" about this issue, and your position has been rejected by a majority of citizens.  You're complaining about it will not make you any more relevant to the political reality that gun-rights are civil rights, and people want to protect them from the restrictions you would impose.


Columnist Philip Morris writes in the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
It remains a continuing source of frustration for me to witness the weakness and the impotence of the gun control lobby and those who sympathize with them. Gun enthusiasts and Second Amendment purists have taken complete ownership of the domestic arms race, leaving us without a much-needed genuine debate and resulting compromise.
Mr. Morris, the reason why we gun-rights advocates own this debate is that the so-called gun lobby is not interested in anything that we recognize as "compromise".  "Gun control" to them is little more than gun confiscation, they want to control guns right out of citizens hands.  Every gun-owning citizen is to them a "potential criminal".

Independent-minded citizens have considered the issues in this debate and have decided in favor of the right to self-defense.

Successful Self Defense

Yet another example of a legally armed citizen defending themselves successfully, this time in Akron, Ohio.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Daily KOS Article on RKBA

This article was one of the more lucid of those that I have read on the debate about the right to keep and bear arms on the Daily KOS, but it still misses the point.  While i agree with the author's point about laws being effective, he misses the key limitation of laws: they affect only the law-abiding individual, and justifies punishment of the offender.  But what happens if the law is not enforced? Then only the law-abiding are affected.

So, in my opinion, the debate over additional gun laws is moot because we do so little to punish offenders with current laws as to render them meaningless. New laws will not solve the problem of enforcing the old ones.

It is all wasted effort in any case. The nation has already had a conversation about gun laws, and the gun-control side has lost. There is very little chance of any of the "reasonable" gun laws proposed of passing any legislature, except maybe for California.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Reply to AN Anti-Gun Gun Owner

An editorial appeared in the Willits News calling for the renewal of the Federal AWB.  The author attempted to burnish her 2nd Amendment street cred by appearing in photograph with the shotgun. You can read the editorial and see the author here.

I posted the following in reply:


Ms. Futcher,

You write,

I despise that damn shotgun, but I'm glad I have it.”

I'm glad you have it too, and despite your distaste for the shotgun, your statement seems to indicate that you acknowledge that firearms have social utility. Many of our fellow citizens would agree, including the 8 million people who are licensed to carry concealed weapons in the U.S. In fact, many people use guns for self defense every year. Here are 43 examples of citizens who successfully defended themselves outside their homes with legally carried handguns:

http://leftcoastconservative.blogspot.com/p/armed-citizen-self-defense.html

And lest you think these are rare events, this survey reports that defensive gun use is more common that reported in the news:

http://www.cato.org/pubs/wtpapers/WP-Tough-Targets.pdf

While you decry the availability of so-called “assault weapons”, and want to jump on the bandwagon to renew the Federal Assault Weapon ban, these rifles are also excellent self defense weapons, as this man found out recently:

http://www.digtriad.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=239947


Lastly, before going too far down the road of banning a class of firearms, we should perhaps take stock on the effectiveness of the previous AWB. This report

https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/204431.pdf

written for the National Criminal Justice Service draws the following conclusion about reinstating the AWB:


Should it be renewed, the ban might reduce gunshot victimizations. This effect is likely to be small at best and possibly too small for reliable measurement. A 5% reduction in gunshot victimizations is perhaps a reasonable upper bound estimate of the ban’s potential impact (based on the only available estimate of gunshot victimizations resulting from attacks in which more than 10 shots were fired), but the actual impact is likely to be smaller and may not be fully realized for many years into the future, particularly if pre-ban LCMs continue to be imported into the U.S. from abroad. Just as the restrictions imposed by the ban are modest – they are essentially limits on weapon accessories like LCMs, flash hiders, threaded barrels, and the like – so too are the potential benefits.118 In time, the ban may be seen as an effective prevention measure that stopped further spread of weaponry considered to be particularly dangerous (in a manner similar to federal restrictions on fully automatic weapons). But that conclusion will be contingent on further research validating the dangers of AWs and LCMs.

Hardly a ringing endorsement.

California already has an assault weapon ban, but that did not prevent Lovelle Mixon, a convicted criminal who should not have had any access to firearms, from getting a rifle and a pistol with which he killed four Oakland PD officers. Many mass shootings do not involve so-called “assault weapons” at all, but are perpetrated with handguns, as the Sikh Temple shooter, Virginia Tech shooter, and the Tuscon AZ shooter all demonstrated. Where are the calls to ban handguns? Oh, that's right, these guns are now constitutionally protected as a result of the 2008 Heller decision from the Supreme Court of The United States, so handgun bans are off the table. I suggest to you Ms Futcher that your so-called “assault weapons” are equally protected arms, and that the Supreme Court will rule that to be so within the next few years. The push to renew the Federal AWB are no more than a PR stunt, an attempt by certain politicians to be seen to be “doing something” about “gun crime” instead of a serious attempt to reduce the level of violence in society. You're misguided if you think the AWB effort is anything more than political Kabuki Theater.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Calguns Call to Action!


Yesterday the Calguns.net forum issued a call to action for all Calgunners and California gun owners generally to resist efforts to pass SB 249 in the state legislature.

Why is this bill so important? Because it affects all owners of rifles equipped with bullet buttons, the device used to covert a CA illegal assault weapon into a CA legal semi-automatic rifle. The number of owners affected by this law number into the hundreds of thousands.

As stated in this press release by State Senator Leland Yee, the intent of SB 249 is to make the bullet button illegal:

Specifically, Yee’s bill will prohibit featured assault weapons with ammunition feeding devices that include but are not limited to magazines “that may be detached from the firearm by depressing a button on the firearm either with the finger or by use of a tool or bullet.” The bill will also direct the Attorney General’s office to develop new regulations regarding the definition of assault weapons.

The intent is clear: bullet buttons will be made illegal because Yee thinks that this is a loophole in the California Assault Weapon law, a position that the hypocritical Attorney General Kamala Harris now supports, despite her office going on the record in court filings deeming bullet button-eqquiped rifles to be legal:

In recent years, the gun industry has developed a loophole that undermines California's assault weapons law,” said Harris. “I applaud the Legislature's interest in addressing this problem, and support efforts to pass legislation needed to restore the law's original intent. The Bureau of Firearms stands ready to prepare and implement regulations that will follow this clarifying legislation.”

To stop this bill we need all California gun owners to act. Using the information and guidelines in the above linked Calguns.net article, contact your representative today to voice your opposition to SB 249.

Request for Feedback on gun Control

The Mineola Patch published this article requesting readers to give their ideas about increased gun control laws. Here is what I contributed:
We do not need more gun control laws.  Most of the guns used in most of the attacks in recent years were bought legally and in compliance with all laws.  This indicates that the entire traditional approach of gun control is wrong, and more layers of the same types of laws will not help.
As has been the case so often recently, I am sure that someone will be found to say that the Sikh temple shooter was having mental health issues for some time, but that this knowledge slipped through the cracks of the system.  So why not try some outside-the-box thinking and approach this as a mental health issue?

Not In Favor of Gun Bans, Huh?

The pro-gun control side often claims that they are not after your guns, that they only want "common sense" gun laws.  But consider this statement made by Josh Sugarmann, made in this article:
"There is no valid reason for civilians to have assault rifles, semiautomatic handguns and high-capacity magazines," he said. "We have to start ratcheting down the firepower in civilian hands in the United States."
Sound to me like he wants not one but three bans in place: one of so-called assault weapons (Hey, Josh, "assault rifles", the fully automatic military weapons, are already banned), semi-automatic handguns, and high capacity magazines.  So, I guess Ruger Mini-14, revolvers, and standard capacity magazines (15-17 rounds) are okay then?  And when deranged people commit mass murder with these weapons, what will you ban then?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

I so hope that this is true...

Douglas MacKinnon writes in Investors Business Journal:
Today, in 2012, Barack Obama stands on his own — an unqualified man who did not have the gifts to grow into the presidency.
I have thought the same since 2009.  Elsewhere in the article he says that Democrats that he knows have finally come to the realization that the Emperor has no clothes.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

My Reply to Bill Press


Mr. Press,


This is in reply to your column in The Metrowest Daily News, “Praise the Lord – and stockpile the ammunition”. I have posted this as a comment to the column, as article on my blog Left Coast Conservative, directly to you in an email message.


You write:

Don't get me wrong. I believe in the Second Amendment.”


and then later in your column you write:

There is no need for anyone, outside the military, to own an assault weapon. There is no need for anyone, outside of law enforcement, to have a handgun.


I submit to you, sir, that nobody who writes the above sentence really believes in the 2nd Amendment, nor would that person really understand the purpose of the 2nd Amendment in our system of ordered liberty.
But that is okay, because we, us gun owners of America, we understand the 2nd Amendment, and we understand the state of guns in society much better than you do, sir. If I may, let me enlighten you a bit. You write:
Such is the power of the NRA, the most dangerous lobby in Washington. By standing in the way of any sensible gun control measure, they have blood on their hands. Worse than the NRA, however, are the politicians afraid to stand up to them.
From where do you suppose the NRA gets the power to be the most dangerous lobby in Washington? The collective will of some four million members, Americas who believe that guns are an overall positive force in society, is the power of the NRA. Sure, gun manufacturers support the NRA, but are are not gun company owners and stock holders also citizens, free to support any cause and invest in any company that they see fit? Not all of the anti-gun organizations combined has even a tenth of the resources that the NRA can marshal in support of American gun owners, and as a membership organization, the NRA acts to support membership goals. And the chief goal is that no new gun laws are necessary in the United States.


You will find that gun owners in America support restrictions on firearm ownership by certain prohibited classes of people, convicted felons and mentally ill people. What we oppose is the imposition of gun laws that we see only restricting law abiding gun owners, and failing to accomplish the task for which they are intended. Indeed, even the current regulations on the books often fall short of the goal. We have now learned that James Holmes was under treatment by a psychiatrist, but for some reason that did not trigger a flag on the background check Mr. Holmes had to pass to obtain his weapons. And there is not legal requirement to pass a background check to purchase ammunition in any quantity. The 6000 rounds that is not at all an unusually amount of ammunition. Many recreational shooters buy ammunition in bulk to save money, and they can easily go through 1000 round per day, or more, if they shoot in a competitive match.


There is another thing which you may be ignorant of, but which you must be cognizant of it if you are going to comment intelligently about 2nd Amendment issues: since 2008 gun ownership is a civil right, one that cannot be abridged without the government having a compelling reason, and since 2010 that new civil right has been applied to limit municipal, county, and state action as well as Federal action. While the limits of the new civil right are still being defined in the courts, there is one thing that I can tell you, and which may make you sad, there is no way to prevent any non-prohibited person from owning a handgun. Handgun bans are completely off the table since the 2008 Heller decision. You're just going to have to get used to it.


Another thing you might have to get used to is the realization that a renewed Assault Weapon Ban may be unconstitutional as well. How could that be? Well, compare the AR-15 rifle that Mr Holmes, reportedly a Smith & Wesson M&P15, and another rifle, the Ruger Mini-14. Both fire the same ammunition: 5.56mm NATO. Both have detachable magazines. Both are reliable and accurate. Large capacity magazines are available for both rifles. They are equally deadly weapon in the hands of a monster like the Aurora shooter, and both are reliable self-defense and sporting rifle in the hands to a citizen. So, what is the difference? Cosmetics. The pistol grip, muzzle brake, adjustable stock, and overall military appearance does not make the M&P15 a more dangerous rifle than the Mini-14. Another difference is that the Mini-14 never fell under the previous Federal Assault Weapon Ban, and it would not fall under the one proposed by anti-gun politicians. The inconvenient truth of the matter is that the AWB is arguably unconstitutional in its previous form, and broadening it to include rifles like the Mini-14 would make the unconstitutionality argument much easier to make. The Supreme Court of the United States also held in the 2008 Heller decision that the 2nd Amendment protected the right to own firearms “in common use”. Many gun-right activist actually want the AWB to come back so that they can sue in Federal court; it is an argument that they dearly want to make. They think that they will win, driving a stake through the heart of the AWB now and forever. Smart politicians like Dianne Feinstein know this, so I would not expect them to seriously push for a renewed AWB.


There is more bad news for the gun control side, and that is the proliferation of liberalized concealed carry laws in the United States. The nature and scope of concealed carry laws is described in this GAO report, Gun Control: States' Laws and Requirements for Concealed Carry Permits Vary Across the Nation, released just a few weeks ago. 7,787,000 people hold licenses to carry concealed weapons in the United States. Of the states that have enacted shall-issue permitting laws, not one has repealed the law after it went into effect, which seems to confirm that people in these states like these laws. If you consider NRA members to be the “hard core” of the gun-rights movement, think of the concealed carry licensees to be the middle ground. These people run the gamut of society, class, and politics, but they are all people to whom the right to keep and bear arms is very important. So important that they have gone to the time, expense, and effort to purchase a weapon, obtain the required training, and complete the application process. These people do not want to give up their right to carry defensive firearms in public while they go about their daily business, so while the political Independents and Liberals among this group may support other Liberal causes, they will split from you on the more radical anti-gun solutions, especially your assertion “There is no need for anyone, outside of law-enforcement, to have a handgun.” These 7 million would disagree.


We now come, Mr. Press, to the most inconvenient truth of all for you: there will be no more new gun laws passed in this country without the cooperation of gun owners. Think about this for a while. Besides the hard-core 4 million NRA members, and the 7.7 million concealed license holders, there are roughly 70 to 80 million people who own firearms, perhaps as many as 40 million of those owning handguns. Gun control advocates used to be able to propose and pass restrictive legislation because many people thought that guns were the root cause of violence. That argument has completely fallen on its face with the FBI reporting ever decreasing violent crime rates in the United States at the same time as the NSSF reports ever more robust firearm sales. The old arguments are hollow, so you must compromise with us to get anything accomplished.


What kind of compromise might be possible? Take you idea about background checks for all firearm transfers. With the current state of the NICS system, this would be not too onerous, and quite a few gun owners would be fine with this, but we would demand something in return, like national concealed carry reciprocity. If the idea of trading differing regulations for more freedom to carry firearms frightens or disgusts you, then I say get used to being perpetually frustrated and disappointed with the state of gun laws in this country. As you admitted in your column, the NRA is the most dangerous lobby. The gun control lobby must compromise with us, or we will block everything that they propose, and we'll probably win what we want in the courts anyway, killing their ability to negotiate compromise legislation. The time window for that is short, ten years or less, so instead of blaming the NRA for everything, why not try to talk some common sense into the gun control lobby?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Great Article by Dan Baum

Dan Baum has written a great editorial in Harpers entitled "The Price of Gun Control".  Here is the money quote:

"In 2010, I drove 11,000 miles around the United States talking to gun guys (for a book, to be published in the spring, that grew out of an article I wrote for this magazine), and I met many working guys, including plumbers, parks workers, nurses—natural Democrats in any other age—who wouldn’t listen to anything the Democratic party has to say because of its institutional hostility to guns."
I think that the institutional hostility to guns of the Democratic Party is simply one facet of an institutional parochialism with which  the Left imbues the Democratic Party.  Far from being intellectual, tolerant, and diverse, the modern Democratic Party doctrinaire, intolerant, politically homogeneous, and increasingly resembles an ideological echo chamber of urban elites, labor union officials, and urban minorities that reinforce their prejudices against traditional American values.

Outstanding Article on Pro-Gun Rights Views

Vince Warde, on his blog Reasoned Politics has written an outstanding article about the current state of gun control in the United States with the wake of the Aurora, CO, shootings: An Open Letter to A Gun Control Advocate in the Wake of the Colorado Shootings.  IT is as good as anything I have read about gun control, the state of the laws and court cases, and the likelihood of new laws passing in the aftermath of the recent mass shootings.  My favorite quote:

Both sides in the gun debate must stop thinking that they are going to get everything they want without giving up anything.  Frankly, the gun rights movement is holding ALL the cards at this point - both politically and legally. No new laws are going to be passed unless they agree.  Gun control advocates need to recognize this reality. 
Spot on!  He goes on to describe some of the ways that gun control and gun rights sides might compromise.  I am skeptical that the gun control side will compromise because most of them are True Believers who, while they might deny it, would prefer to eliminate all guns and think of tightening gun control laws as incremental steps to that end. 


I encourage everyone to visit the blog and read the entire article. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Congressional Report on the 2nd Amendment

In 1982 Senator Orrin Hatch commissioned a study on the history of the 2nd Amendment.  The results of this study were published in The Right To Keep and Bear Arms. I have never heard of this report before, even though I have been paying attention to 2nd Amendment issues for some time, and I only learned of it in this article by Jill Lapore in the New Yorker, where she writes:
"The assertion that the Second Amendment protects a person’s right to own and carry a gun for self-defense, rather than the people’s right to form militias for the common defense, first became a feature of American political and legal discourse in the wake of the Gun Control Act of 1968, and only gained prominence in the nineteen-seventies. A milestone in its development came when Orrin Hatch, serving on Strom Thurmond’s Senate Judiciary Committee, became chair of the Subcommittee on the Constitution. Hatch commissioned a history of the Second Amendment, resulting in a 1982 report, “The Right to Keep and Bear Arms,” which concluded, “What the Subcommittee on the Constitution uncovered was clear—and long lost—proof that the second amendment to our Constitution was intended as an individual right of the American citizen to keep and carry arms in a peaceful manner, for protection of himself, his family, and his freedoms.”
This makes the report an important historical document in the development of social and legal  thought about the right to keep and bear arms in America, and it helps place in context the RKBA in America today.
 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Stop SB 249

SB 249, a bill introduced by State Senator LeLand Yee is the latest, and potentially most damaging, anti-gun bill currently before the legislature.


When first introduced it seemed innocuous enough: it seemed to be a bill banning the Mag Magnet. Use of this device with a bullet-button equipped rifle could make that rifle into a CA-banned assault-rifle, which is illegal to posses without registering it with the DOJ.


SB 249 attempts to ban possession of "conversion kits", but  it contains language that would, intentionally or unintentionally, make the definition "conversion kits" so broad as to make thousands of legally possessed rifles today, illegal upon the effective date of this law.


To see how this is so, please read this legal analysis made by Davis & Associates of SB 249 commissioned by the Calguns Foundation and the California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees. Please read the legal scenarios with particular care as they really make clear how SB 249 can cause untold and innumerable problems California gun owners.


For additional information about how to stop this bill, please visit STOP SB 249 and read both the FAQ and the Take Action page.



Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Zimmerman May Have Been Beaten By Martin

Some more information has emerged in the Zimmerman case that would tend to support Zimmermans self defense story over that of the Martin family. A fractured nose, two black eyes, and lacerations to the back of the head sure imply that George Zimmerman was beaten, and bloody knuckles on Trayvon Martins hands seem to indicate who was doing the beating.


While this will not make the charges go away, this new information certainly appears to erode the narrative that Trayvon Martin was a purely innocent victim, and the state of Florida likely knew this after their investigation.  Jerelyn Merritt writes:
The state waited to charge Zimmerman until its investigation was complete. They had to know (or at least believe) Trayvon was the one who turned the encounter from a verbal one into a physical one. The language of the affidavit and the testimony at the bond hearing strongly suggest it did know this. As I've said before, one of the first rules of trial practice is that a lawyer, in creating a theme and a theory for a case, must accept the "facts beyond change." You build your story from that.
The state may have done its best in coming up with a theory of criminal responsibility that accepts the "facts beyond change," including that Zimmerman had a broken nose and head lacerations, caused by Trayvon punching him and slamming his head against the ground or on concrete. It may sound reasonable to some, but I doubt it is legally supportable.
So why did the state of Florida charge Zimmerman at all? It has to be political appeasement of the African-American community  in Florida and the U.S. in general.  And what happens if, and as seems increasingly likely, when George Zimmerman us exonerated? There will be a new "betrayal" of the blacks by the whites, and the race pimps will have won another round.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

This is an Outrage!

Here is the story of an Occupy protester being a victim of an attempted rape, defending herself from a perpetrator with a lengthy rap sheet, and then falling victim the the citizen disarmament committee that is the government of the City of Seattle.


If Ms. Burkett is charged with anything more than possession of a concealed handgun without a permit, it will truly be an outrage.  She is being held without bond for trial while the alleged rapist is granted a $250 bond.  Ms. Burketts father may be facing charges of unlawfully transferring a handgun in Washington state, and the family is reported going to be sued by the family of the rapist.


There are MANY lessons here:



  • Women should get their own firearms and training before the threat is evident. It takes time to become proficient, and women are more likely to be victims.
  • Get your concealed handgun permit before you think you will need it.
  • Pay attention to weapon transfer laws. Anti-rights DAs will try anything to convict you if you defend yourself, but why give them the means to do it.
  • Support Stand-Your-Ground and Castle Doctrine laws and politicians that support these laws.  It is situations like this that inspired them in the first place.
  • The Occupy movement has been a bunch of cynical, manipulative, cowardly assholes when it comes to denying incidents of sexual assault in their encampments. They sacrifice the safety and security of women to uphold their public image.  Assholes!  I wonder how they will spin this incident? Probably by throwing Ms. Burkett under the bus.  That is the Liberal Obama way.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Great Example of Concealed Carry Saving Lives

A man with a concealed carry permit stopped a knife wielding man during a stabbing rampage, allowing other store patrons to subdue the suspect and hold him for police. Said Salt Lake City Police Lt. Brian Purvis:
"This was a really volatile situation that could have gotten even worse," Purvis said. "(The bystander) was definitely in the right place at the right time."
It seems that the man in the store ignored common sense and carried his gun that day, much to the relief of other shoppers in the store:
Dozens of other shoppers, who too could have become victims, are also thankful for the gun carrying man. And many, like Danylle Julian, are still in shock from the experience. "Scary actually. Really scary. Five minutes before I walk out to my car. It could have been me."
I have added this incident to my page listing 40 examples of armed citizens defending themselves in public places.  Yet more proof that concealed carry works and makes people safer.


Update: 4/29/2012:


Well it did not take long for my favorite anti-gun fanatic to comment on the incident cited in the original article:
In response to a comment made on my last post, I found myself remembering all of the times I have posted about people shooting themselves with their own guns in and around grocery stores. The comment was in response to a gun permit holder who held someone at bay who had stabbed some folks at a grocery store. I wondered what the point of sending me the article was and one commenter noted that "Because everyone knows you don't need a gun at the grocery store." Sarcasm.
 No, Joan, the point is to show that sometimes guns in public can serve a useful purpose.  But Joan Peterson will never admit that this is true even part of the time because that would blow her entire thesis for supporting her main goal: eliminating public carry of firearms.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

How Many People Have a License To Carry?


How many licenses to carry (LTC) a concealed weapon exist in the United States? I have often wondered what this number might be because I have believed for a long time that LTC holders have become the largest constituency for change in gun laws across the nation, a constituency that is overlooked by most in the media in favor of the more visible NRA, and a constituency that is studiously ignored by the anti-gun organizations because the number of LTC holders dwarfs the embarrassingly small numbers of members and direct supporters that anti-gun organizations can claim.


Calculating the number of LTC holders is more difficult than it seems. While presumably every issuing authority knows how many LTCs it has issued and how many are active, not all are required by law to report LTC statistics to the public. This is particularly true in those states that issue LTCs through county sheriffs offices, but it is also true in several other states as well. In addition the number of active LTCs is constantly changing as more people apply for LTCs and are approved, as more states become shall-issue, and as LTCs are revoked. Many people hold more than one LTC because the lack of nationwide reciprocity prevents one LTC being used in every states. Arizona, Florida, and Utah non-resident LTCs are very popular for this purpose. No estimate of LTCs will include the number of people legally carrying concealed weapons in those states that do not require a permit to do so, which include Arizona, Alaska, Vermont, and Wyoming. Any attempt to calculate the number of active LTCs in existence will result only in an estimate.


The best source for an estimate of the number of LTCs that I have seen is the CCW Statistics page of the Legally Armed website. All fifty states are covered, and sources are cited. The authors of this site have gone to great lengths to contact issuing agencies that do not publish statistics publicly to obtain LTC statistics from an official source. When that is not possible, a news media article is cited instead. The site is also updated regularly when new information becomes available. Adding all the numbers for the states listed on this page one arrives at a figure of 7,412,049.


It is the nature of anti-gun rights organizations to dispute all claims about the popularity of firearms and legal carry. Their view is that these activities are engaged in by an increasingly smaller group of citizens and that guns will someday be so rare as to be unusual in society. They certainly do not want to admit or encourage guns to become normalized in modern American society. In order to come up with a number of LTCs that could be defended by citing authoritative sources, I attempted to repeat the exercise of the Legally Armed CCW Statistics page, but to use only publicly available sources from issuing authorities. Naturally this number would be smaller than the Legally Armed figure, but it may be more authoritative because it can be checked by anyone. Using the Legally Armed CCW Statistics page as a starting point, I attempted to find more up to date numbers from issuing authorities and arrived at the number 4,410,564 active LTCs nationwide.


What can we conclude from this? First, the legally armed populace in the United States is a large group. It is at least 7,400,000, and not smaller than 4,400,00 perhaps as high as 8.5 million. This compares to an reported NRA membership of 4.3 million, AARP membership of 40 million, and labor union membership of 14.8 million. While not the largest political demographic, numbers this large can and do have an effect on elections, and it while is may not be publicly acknowledged, I think politicians are paying attention to these numbers. Why is it that President Obama has stayed away from covert anti-gun efforts? These numbers are one good reason, besides the NRA, politicians avoid controversy on this issue.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Diane Feinstein Fears Concealed Carry Reciprocity


This week, in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, Senate Diane Feinstein (D – CA) described the reasons for her opposition to two concealed carry reciprocity bills currently in the Senate:

"Imagine that a man who has been convicted of a domestic violence crime against a woman he had been dating seeks — and obtains — a permit to carry a concealed firearm from his state of residence," she wrote. "Under the concealed carry reciprocity bills, he could legally travel across state lines and confront his former girlfriend ..."

Comments and articles decrying the apparent cluelessness of this scenario have sprouted up all over the blogosphere, many people incredulous over Feinsteins idiocy. First, Diane Feinstein is not an idiot.  She is actually very smart, and I am sure that she is familiar with the laws the result in one becoming a prohibited person for firearm possession: she wrote or sponsored many of them.



The above  statement is actually a cunning appeal to a certain class of voter, especially women, voters who are ignorant of gun laws and who will accept the scenario without questioning it.  Feinsteins real goal here is to head-off a California problem: the horror of people people from flyover country carrying concealed weapons in California.  What would happen if (or, more likely, when) people started carrying concealed weapons in California and no Wild West Shootouts happened? Would the people of California demand shall-issue or themselves?  What would happen nationally if California went shall-issue?  Is is just possible that entire debate over concealed carry would be over?

Take a look at two maps that illustrate the types of concealed carry permits systems adopted by the various states.  Here is one from 1992, the year Feinstein was elected to the Senate: 


and here is another from 2011, the last year that the status of a state changed. 


Quite a change, almost a complete reversal! Only Illinois among the fifty states still bars public carry of concealed weapons, and only California, New York, and a handful of Eastern states still have may-issue laws, laws that are often interpreted by authorities to result in de-facto no-issue, especially California, which has only  37465 current concealed weapons licenses. 


Diane Feinstein is well aware of these maps, and what they mean politically for gun control, an issue very near her heart, in which a handgun ban was highly desired:

 "If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them . . . Mr. and Mrs. America, turn 'em all in, I would have done it. I could not do that. The votes weren't here." -- 60 Minutes, Feb. 5, 1995.

What would happen to gun control as a political issue if California, one of the last great bastions limiting concealed carry (Illinois and New York being the other two) were to change from yellow to blue on the map?  I think Feinstein fears that gun control would be  truly dead.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Defensive Gun Use - An Important New Study


The Cato Institute has just released an important new study, written by Clayton E. Cramer and David Burnett: Tough Targets: When Criminals Face Armed Resistance From Citizens. The authors surveyed defensive gun usage as reported in news media stories, categorized the events, and discussed trends they identified. While this study does not purport to be complete, it does seem to lend support to the idea that armed citizens exercising their rights to self defense has real social value. Many of the most common arguments against armed self defense are refuted. It should be read by anyone interested in the subject.


I wonder how long it will take Joan Peterson to deny the study, dismissing it as nothing but a collection anecdotal that are statistically meaningless, even though she uses the same technique herself on her blog?


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Women and Guns

Kristen Houghton is a blogger whom, before this morning, I had never heard of, until I read this article.  In it she juxtaposes her personal fear of guns against her rejection of many of the anti-gun talking points using a more rational view of the rick of being a woman in modern society.  It all leads up to her decision to get firearms training for self-defense.
"I may not like it but society has very likely made women and guns a necessity. Even I see the reasoning behind knowing how to protect yourself with a firearm. If a gun is what I need then I'm going to make sure I train well and practice my shots. I also know that I have to keep it loaded. Having to take time to load a gun when danger presents itself is ludicrous."
Yes indeed, the times they're changin'.

Most of her blog pieces seem to end up on the Huffington Post.  It will be interesting to see how the reader respond to this article if it appears there.