Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Anti-Gun Idiocy in RI

The Boston Globe is running this story about a “gun” buyback program run in Providence , Rhode Island, that buys and destroys TOY GUNS!

It never ceases to amaze me how easily people are duped into thinking that symbolic, feel-good, addle-brained programs like this one will have an impact on gun violence. I also think that elementary school aged children are too young to understand the symbolism. But the program sure works to enable the Attorney General Patrick Lynch to cliam he is doing something about the problem!

About 200 children attended the gun bash, said Jim Baum, a prosecutor with Lynch’s office who helps run it. The event used to be held four or five times a year, but budget cuts have forced them to scale back the program, he said. City and state employees donate many of the toys, along with nearby businesses.

“We hope it makes a difference,’’ Baum said.

How typical of political hacks: spend money on a idiotic program without knowing if it effective, or even what you're trying to accomplish with the program.

Take a few minutes to read the comments at the end of the article. Boston Globe readers think the program is pretty stupid as well.  Why not do something constructive that might actually help children be safe, like hold an Eddie Eagle Safety Program in the school.

Hat tip to Calguns.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Panama City School Board Shooting - Comments At Greg Laden's Blog

I am sure that everyone has heard of the shooting at a Panama City,FL school board meeting. If not, you can read about, and watch the remarkable video of the incident in the Washington Post. Greg Laden posted these comments about this incident on his blog. The one I take particular issue with is this:

Clay Duke tried to kill several school board members, but missed from a distance of between 6 and 8 feet with his Smith & Wesson pistol. Indeed, over 25 rounds were fired in the small public space, all aimed from a short distance, and only one fatal shot occurred. This puts an end to the idea that if everyone in every public meeting had a pistol that the bad guys would be easily dispatched. 
To which I replied on his blog in the comments section:

Your comments about the marksmanship of the shooter proving ANYTHING about the ability of other people being able to stop this attack with lethal force is simply ignorant.
You completely disregard any consideration about the level of training that the shooter may or may not have had. If he was really trying to shoot the people seated at the desk, then his level of training was absolutely minimal, bordering on non-existent. He had target shooting conditions, and he missed. He was either a bad shot, or he deliberately missed.

Either way, he is not excused, because potential victims cannot know what his intent might be, so if armed, they would be completely justified to shoot back.

I can assure with complete confidence that the shooters lack of competence DOES NOT in any way invalidate the possibility of any one of the victims from being able to shoot the assailant and stop the attack. Your assertion is actually nonsense because all of the victims were unarmed, and their level of training is unknown.

Any implication from this incident that armed self defense is worthless is in fact worthless

To which, Greg Laden replied:

Left Coast Conservative: You completely disregard any consideration about the level of training that the shooter may or may not have had.
Of course the level of ability or training matters, an that is exactly my point! When the average gun-nut moron comes around screaming that if only everybody had a gun there would be no shooting, they are of average ability. Some can shoot, some are like Mr Clay. This is not a difficult concept.
I can assure with complete confidence that the shooters lack of competence DOES NOT in any way invalidate the possibility of any one of the victims from being able to shoot the assailant and stop the attack.
Oh, that makes me feel much better. I just watched a guy on a video empty his extra large clip a few feet from a concentration of people and the only hit he could manage is when he put the barrel of the gun to his own head and pulled the trigger.
Your assertion is actually nonsense because all of the victims were unarmed, and their level of training is unknown.
I'm talking about the hooting ability of the assailant, the gun nut with the gun, not the victims, who did not have guns. Jeesh.
Any implication from this incident that armed self defense is worthless is in fact worthless.
No it isn't. On the other hand, any implication that the average gun nut who comes by screaming about how everybody's gotta carry a gun or we iz all dooomeded is .... well, just look at your idiotic comment!

So, let me take these points one at a time:
  1. I don't claim that if citizens were armed, that there would be no shootings. I do claim, that citizens can defend themselves and very possibly stop the attack. Look at what Mr. Duke did when met with resistance: he shot himself. This is not an uncommon reaction.
  2. Once again, just because Clay duke was a lousy shot, does not mean everyone is a lousy shot. I just spent a day in a defensive shooting class and any one of the students in that class could have shot at and hit Mr. Duke from the positions of the board members, especially since they would had the board meeting table to rest their hands on while shooting.
  3. I know you were talking about the shooting ability of Mr. Duke, but you project his lack of marksmanship on everyone else to discount the value of armed self defense.
  4. And hence my claim that your opinion is worthless for judging the value of armed self defense. Remember, it was an armed man that ended this incident, a man with training available to anyone, should they seek it out.
Greg Laden, it seems to me that you think anyone who advocates armed self defense is a gun nut, and idiot, and that they would use their firearms in a irresponsible and ineffective manner. The record shows that you a simply wrong about that:

Learn About Guns
The Bluff

There are many more examples that can be easily found. My core assertion is this: with proper training, any one of the people at the meeting could have quickly ended the attack. No one who carries a gun in public should do so without training.

California Cap and Trade - Kill Jobs without Saving the Globe

Last week the California Air Resources Board voted to impose a cap and trade system in California starting in 2012.
My mind boggles that this state is continuing to careen down the path of economic ruin, but others are looking forward to California's folly:
They also empower the business development arms of the various states now led by Republican legislative majorities and energetic, business-friendly governors like Ohio's John Kasich, Florida's Rick Scott, Texas' Rick Perry, Michigan's Rick Snyder, Wisconsin's Scott Walker and Pennsylvania's Tom Corbett, among others.

The job-seeking professionals accompanied by their smiling, just-elected governors will be happy to set up appointments with the governor so that a side-by-side comparison of life under California's new rules contrasts with life in, say, the Buckeye State.

Arnold's "legacy" is thus a job-killing, metastasizing bureaucracy that accomplishes only the destruction of jobs without even a miniscule impact on the world's climate.
Is anyone paying attention at all? Bueller...Bueller?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

NRA Personal Protection in the Home Class

Last week, 11 December, 2010, I attended the NRA Personal Protection in the Home class offered by Bay Area Professionals for Firearms Safety and Education (BayProfs), and held at the San Jose Municipal Firing Range, home of the Santa Clara Valley Rifle Club. I had previously taken the NRA Basic Pistol class from BayProfs, and found it to be very valuable for a novice handgun enthusiast, and I had been looking forward to taking this class for quite some time. I was not disappointed.

Students were expected to provide a firearm, a holster, gun belt, magazine carrier, and at least three magazines. BayProfs provided the instructors, ammunition, and the venue. BayProfs also provided each student with a packet of instructional materials that included the NRA Guide To the Basics of Personal Protection Inside the Home, and the book How To Own A Gun And Stay Out Of Jail, 2010 Edition, which, in my opinion, every gun owner in California should own and read. The fee for the class was $200 for an entire day of instruction: 9 AM to 6 PM.

While BayProfs recommended standard Kydex training holsters, I had long since purchased a rig in leather, and on consultation with Tom Laye, the training director for BayProfs, got the approval to use my rig. It consists of:

The class size was small, only seven people, with a mix of ages and genders. Two students in my class were women, one of whom could not have weighed more that 90 pounds soaking wet, who shot a full size automatic pistol as competently as any other student in the class. While all individuals in the class had taken the NRA Basic Pistol Class from BayProfs (a prerequisite), some had taken additional classes from other organizations. While a variety of firearms were used by the students, no revolvers were present in this class.

It is well known by any student that has taken BayProfs class that the BayProfs instructors are huge enthusiasts of the famous 1911 pistol, which was designed by the famous John Browning, and has been in continuous use and production for nearly one hundred years. Every instructor present had a 1911 pistol in their holster, and while a few joking comments about how the students should “get a real gun” were heard, the BayProfs instructors are all of the conviction that any gun in a credible defensive caliber will work just fine for personal protection. The gun is a tool, the weapon is a person with training, the correct mindset, and a determination to survive, holding the gun.

The instructor to student ratio was high, with six instructors present to help the students as well as ensure safety on the firing range. The class format alternated between lecture and shooting sessions on the range. Topics covered included, but were not limited to, firearms safety, the ethics and morality of self defense, legal aspects of the use of deadly force, the use of cover and concealment, and defensive shooting techniques. Safety was a paramount concern during the shooting sessions, with each student paired with an instructor, and a range master keeping watch over everyone. NRA rules required that the class was run with a “cold range”, which means that no loaded pistols were holstered. Students practiced the draw and presentation with unloaded pistols, and only loaded them on command of the range master after drawing, presenting to target, and then entering the low ready position. All shooting commenced from the low ready position. When a course of fire was completed, instructors required each student to clear their firearm, show the instructor that the firearm was clear, and then drop the hammer on the empty chamber.

There was as much discussion about how to avoid a gunfight as there was about how to survive one. The class emphasizes that the only gunfight one wins is the gunfight one avoids in the first place. Once the shooting starts, one does not “win”, one only survives. Awareness of ones surroundings was taught as the key discipline to learn to avoid violent encounters whenever possible, and to be fully prepared for them when avoidance fails. Awareness combined with prior planning is essential if one is to act effectively once a threat is encountered, and employment of a firearm is always the last option in any plan, used only when everything else fails.

Shooting sessions started with a marksmanship check of each student, and proceeded to a demonstration of combat accuracy, and the explanation of the “flash sight” picture. As the day went on, more elements were added the shooting problem: shooting from cover, shooting around corners from both the strong and weak sides, shooting from the kneeling position, and transitions between standing and kneeling. One of the final shooting exercises was two fast shots to the center of mass of the target, with aimed shots into the cranio-optical cavity. This exercise was very challenging, and some students had to reload a more than once to accomplish the task. After the very first shooting session all students were responsible for keeping their magazines loaded, and for reloading their firearms as required during all courses of fire, further simulating the conditions that might be faced during a real firefight.

One of the final exercises of the day was BayProfs version of the Teuller Drill, a demonstration of how fast an attacker can close to knife range before an armed defender can draw and fire. With a shooter in the low ready position and facing down range, another student, the runner, placed his hand on the shooters shoulder and faced up range. The runner would start running up range at a moment of their choosing, and the length of distance covered before the shooter could place an effective round on the target was measured. In almost all cases the runner could cover 20 to 30 feet before the shooter could react and fire, demonstrating why all police agencies and defensive shooting instructors consider an attacker with a knife a deadly threat within 7 yards of a defender.

One instructor, fresh from a defensive shotgun class, gave a short talk and demonstration of defensive shotgun usage, including shooting a few rounds to demonstrate the spread of the pellets and effectiveness of the weapon in self defense. Each student was then invited to shoot the gun, a modified Remington 870 Police Magnum. I must say that I was very impressed with the gun, and with the effects of the Vang Comp ported shotgun barrel. Seeing the spread of 00 buckshot at 7 yards clearly showed why shotguns must be aimed for maximum effect, not simply pointed as so many people assume.

The class ended with a recap of the most important points covered that day, and with tips for both dry practice and range drills for the students to use to hone the techniques introduced in the class. Dry practice drawing and presenting the firearm to the target and reloading the fireatm help develop “muscle memory”, making these operations automatic in a defensive situation. Emphasis is placed on correctness of each motion, not on speed. As one instructor said, “Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.” Range drills included a sight flash shot at center mass, followed by a head shot using a 3”x5” index card as a target.

My final impression of this class is that it was a very good introduction to practical, defensive shooting. The quality of the instructors was evident, as well as their enthusiasm for the subject. Instructor demeanor in the class is supportive and consultative, without the “boot camp” mentality that I have heard other instructors use. This must be especially comforting for female members of the class who might be intimidated by strident instructors. An amazing amount of material and new concepts were presented, too much to master in one day, or even adequately absorb. Should this class be offered again, I would be tempted to repeat is because I am sure I would come away the second time learning things that I missed in the first session, and with a deeper understanding of things that I thought I knew. I do know that this class has changed how I will practice at the range, and during dry practice at home.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Political Reality

Democrats = subsidize the poor.
Republicans = subsidize the rich.

Both parties = rip off the middle class.

That is where the money is.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Bizarre Posts on Crime Guns, and Videotape

I have been reading Crime, Guns, and Videotape for a while now, and am constantly amazed at the bizarre conspiracy stories posted there.  But today's post really stands out:
Rod Blagojevich has zero protection, as he poses a danger to the political future of Obama and other criminals in his administration. The Whitehouse occupants have just two choices. They can get Blagojevich a free ride on some technicality or have the former governor murdered. I’m betting on the latter.
Now, anyone who knows me or reads Left Coast knows I am no fan of President Obama or his policies, but I flat out do not believe that Obama is going to have Blagojevich whacked.  Even Nixon didn't go that far.

A Liberal Learns About Guns

I found a fascinating article on Molly Blogs Baltimore about a young woman's first experience shooting a handgun.  Here is what I wrote in reply:

I highly commend you on stepping out of your comfort zone to get some firsthand knowledge about guns, recreational shooting, and the people that enjoy the sport.  Most admitted liberals would not risk their preconceived notions by seeking out the experience.

I would like you to expand a little bit on gun control. You saw and experienced for yourself that people can use and enjoy firearms for lawful purposes, but you say you still favor gun control.  What gun control would that be.  there are many different types of guns control laws, and like all laws, they mainly impact the law abiding.

Do you not see that pretty much every gun control method does not work? I am sure that the vast majority of the 1058 murders in Baltimore were committed by felons, all of whom are prohibited from possessing guns, but they found them and used them anyway.

So, what gun controls do you favor?  Handgun bans? "Assault Weapon" bans?  Background checks? Licensing?  Registration?

Here is what I think: the problem is not guns, but violence in society.  I am not disposed to be violent toward anyone with anything, from fists to guns.  But there are others who are predisposed to violence, and it is these people who I want to identify and deprive of firearms.  for this reason I favor prohibiting felons from possessing guns.  I also favor age restrictions. I think training is a very good idea, but I think that it should not be a legal requirement.

Most every other gun ownership requirement, licensing, registration, training requirements, ammunition limitations, carry restrictions, and all measures that intend to make gun ownership so burdensome, onerous, or expensive, that people simply quit.  The gun control crowd wants to slowly strangle the gun culture in America.

Here is a great site, Women of Caliber, that explains all of the above, and much more, far better than I can.  It is worth the time to take a look:


So, Molly, now that you have gotten a taste of shooting, are you going to go again?
We often hear stories about shooters taking a friend to the range, but it is pretty cool to read about the reactions of the visitor to the new experience.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

What We All Need to Remember From The Heller Decision

As we bask in the glow of the McDonald victory in the Supreme Court last month, and the Heller decision recedes further back in time, it seems that there is a subtle misunderstanding about Heller, that is increasingly common, especially in the anti-gun media, that may harden into "fact".  This is the idea that the 5-4 decision in Heller narrowly affirmed that the 2nd Amendment confers and individual right to bear arms.

But this is NOT true.  All nine justices agreed that the 2nd Amendment confers and individual right to keep and bear arms.   The 5-4 decision was to overturn the Washington, D.C. handgun ban as an unacceptable infringement on the 2nd Amendment.  Let the words of the justices themselves prove this.

Justice Stevens dissenting, page 68 of the opinion:

The question presented by this case is not whether the Second Amendment protects a “collective right” or an“individual right.” Surely it protects a right that can be enforced by individuals. But a conclusion that the Second Amendment protects an individual right does not tell us anything about the scope of that right.

Justice Breyer, agrees, and restates the view on page 116 of his dissenting opinion:

In interpreting and applying this Amendment,I take as a starting point the following four propositions,based on our precedent and today’s  opinions, to which I believe the entire Court subscribes:
(1) The Amendment protects an “individual” right—i.e., one that is separately possessed, and may be separately enforced, by each person on whom it is conferred. See, e.g., ante, at 22 (opinion of the Court); ante, at 1 (STEVENS, J., dissenting).
 All four dissenting justices attached their names to these dissenting opinions, indicating agreement with the principles and legal reasoning contained within them.  Had any justice disagreed with the individual right view, they would surely have been afforded the opportunity to write their own dissenting opinion explaining why their arguments.  None did.

The conclusion that all nine justices find there to be an individual right to keep and bear arms kills the collective right view decisively.  We all need to keep reminding the anti-gun people of this fact.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

But Some People Do Get It

And one of them is Frank J. Fleming in this article at Pajamas Media.  And he says something that totally agree with and have alluded to myself:
Let me say something that is unfortunately still news to some people: The debate over gun control is over. Done. It was over before the Supreme Court told Americans what they already knew about their right to firearms and self-defense.
And he believes this for one of the most obvious reasons:
And that’s why for the past couple of decades more and more states have added a right-to-carry law and none have taken it away.
 But the anti-gun rights crowd are living in the past, especially here in California, where AB1934 continues its inexorable advance into law, despite it being unconstitutional on its face.  No doubt when carry laws are liberalized in California, the same old fear mongering about blood in the streets and fender benders escalating into gunfights, will be heard, despite 40 states and 23 years of experience with such laws proving these claims to be spurious.

But i have no doubt that California anti-gun politicians will be at least as hard headed as Chicago anti-gun politicians.

Some People Just Don't Get It

Even after the Heller decision in 2008, and the McDonald decision last month, some people just don't get it that in the United States, firearm ownership is NOT a privilege, but a civil right.  Rebecca Berg, for example, writing in the Columbia Missourian, states in her July 22, 2010 column:
We don’t need 100 percent gun control, but some increased limits would be a positive step.  Allow handgun bans for the urban areas that need them the most, while allowing states more power to dictate specific regulations.  After all, isn’t the right to bear arms only acceptable when it does not infringe on the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?
News flash Ms. Berg, but handgun bans in urban areas are exactly what the Supreme Court has ruled, not once, but twice, are unconstitutional infringements to the civil right to keep arms for self defense. While I agree that my right to keep arms does not indemnify me from having to justify my use of arms in self defense, prohibiting ones right to keep arms for any lawful purpose is not constitutional. 

Your column is full of fail.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

1911 Pistol is "Unsafe" for California

I have written before about the California Department of Justice Roster of Handguns Certified for Sale, concluding that this system was not a creeping handgun ban based on the information I could get at the time, which was simply the total number of guns on the list.

My method ignored the types of new guns that were being approved, the types expiring and being removed, and the types newly approved and added.  Just last month many new guns were added, but most are classified as derringers, but only one semi-automatic pistol.  I have yet to find a list of new semi-automatic pistol models that have been introduced in the United States firearms market, but I suspect that it is more than the handful of pistols added to the Roster in recent years.

The most common culprit cited is the California requirement that all new pistols be equipment with a magazine disconnect mechanism, a device that prevents the pistol from discharging when the magazine is absent from the magazine well.  Most pistol manufacturers either refuse to market pistols with these devices, or their designs cannot accommodate a magazine disconnect.

Now we come to a new pistol offered for sale by Remington, the Model 1911 R1, Remington's entry into the ever more popular G.I. .45 pistol market.  This pistol is pretty much a copy of the Colt 1911A1 pistol used by the U.S. military for over 80 years, and it is one of the most popular pistol models in the United States.  But this pistol will never be available in California, because this pistol does not have a magazine disconnect feature, and is therefore "unsafe".

Note that my own Kimber Custom II also lacks a magazine disconnect, and is just as "unsafe" as the new Remington gun, but the Custom II was certified for sale before the magazine disconnect requirement, and so that model is "grandfathered in"  and will remain certified as long as Kimber maintains the listing by paying the yearly fee.

But note the arbitrariness of this law: very similar guns, one "new", one old, but both are very similar to each other, but one is declared "unsafe".  The net effect is that one model of gun is banned from the California market.

The roster is beginning to look more and more like a creeping handgun ban.  I just wish I had more industry data to support it.

Arizona SB 1070 and Hipocracy from the Left

There has been a large outcry of protest against Arizona's newly passed SB 1070.  According to many more knowledgeable about Federal law than myself, the Arizona's law largely mirrors the text of Federal law, making these crimes state crimes that will be enforced by state law enforcement agencies.

But if the new law is racist, as the protesters claim, then why is not the Federal law also racist, and why haven't the protesters rallied against the Federal laws as well?

Perhaps the reason is that Arizona laws are now likely to be enforced by the state of Arizona, rather than ignored by the United States.  To paraphrase Forrest Gump:

"Racist is as racists does, sir!"

Don't Blame Proposition 13

I have maintained for years that people blaming California's broken state government on Proposition 13 were flat wrong.  We don't have a taxation crisis in California, we have a spending crisis.  Our legislature never wants to cut any government program, and Californians evidently have never met a bond measure that they would not approve.

A new article by William Voegeli, Don't Blame Proposition 13,  confirms everything I have maintained about the effect Proposition 13 had on state government: the root of our problems lies elsewhere.  My favorite quote:

Property-tax revenues in the state have increased from $4.9 billion to $47 billion in the 30 years since Proposition 13. Adjust those figures for inflation and population growth, and property-tax revenues in California were 87 percent higher in 2009 than they were in 1979, chiefly because of rising property values.

Motion for Summary Judgement Filed in Palmer v. District of Columbia

A great explanation of the plaintiffs case is contained in the Memorandum in Support filed as part of the motion.

This case is very important for gun rights all over the country, but it is especially so for gun owners in California.  This case seeks to establish that "bear" in the 2nd Amendment applies outside the home as well as inside, forcing D.C. to allow some form of carry, either open or concealed, in nonsensitive areas of the city.

Why is this important to California?

The 2nd Amendment already applies to D.C because of the result of the Heller case. A favorable ruling in Palmer would establish a right to bear arms in 2nd Amendment jurisprudence.  While it is true that the 2nd Amendment does not apply to California at this time, a favorable ruling in McDonald v. Chicago is expected to change that in just a few weeks.

California law places great limits on the ability of people to be armed in public.  Loaded open carry of firearms is illegal in public places of incorporated towns and cities.  Unloaded open carry, thanks to AB 1934, will soon be illegal as well.  Issuance of carry concealed weapon (CCW) permits is at the discretion of law enforcement, and DOJ statistics confirm that low issuance rate in urban counties.  All of which conform that the there is no effective right to "bear" arms in California.

Assuming a favorable ruling in McDonald, a favorable ruling in Palmer will give California residents instant standing in Federal court to sue California due to the unconstitutional restraints imposed by the California laws.  The state will be forced to allow some form of carry, even though that requirement will be extremely distasteful to the state government and to urban police departments, especially in Los Angeles, Santa Clara, and San Francisco counties.

The legal ducks are just about all lined up, with only Palmer expected to take a couple of years to get up through the Federal court system.  But if and when Palmer is decided favorably, then we will be treated to the spectacle of the ultra-liberal state of California "swallowing a frog".

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

DC Voting Rights Bill Abandoned in the House

The Washington Examiner reported in this story that the House has abandoned legislation that would have given Washington D.C. a voting member in the House of Representatives, and the House leadership blamed the National Rifle Association, whose gun-rights amendment to the bill was unacceptable to anti-gun rights House members.

Leaving aside the questionable Constitutionality of this bill, the rationale of the anti-gun faction is typical of the traditional objections that they raise.  My own favorite anti-gun Senator, Diane Feinstein, had this to say:

 "I believe the District will become much less safe, and the opportunity for criminals, mentally unstable persons and juveniles to purchase weapons will increase dramatically,"
"increase dramatically" as opposed to the situation in Washington D.C. now where criminals have no real trouble finding access to guns, guns that are illegal for them to possess, and that are illegal for others to provide to the criminals?

The same old tired arguments and are increasingly being shown to be untrue by liberalized gun carry laws in other states.  With the passage of "constitutional carry", allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons without permits, in Arizona, there is an opportunity for an experiment.  Will gun violence increase, decrease, or stay the same in Phoenix, a large metropolitan area like Washington D.C.?  I offer this prediction:  gun violence will either decrease or stay at the same level.  Society does not have to fear the law-abiding because these people are not inclined to commit crimes, with or without guns.

Gun Control: An idea based on the assumption that people not inclined to follow laws prohibiting armed robbery, assault, murder, rape, kidnapping, and other violent crimes, will follow the laws regulating the possession and transfer of guns.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Jim Beall Replies - Letter from Cris Forsyth

Here is the reply I received from Cris Forsyth, Chief of Staff for Assemblyman Jim Beall:

Hi Mr. Miller.

I am in conversation with the Assembly Member concerning this legislation.

He said he had concerns with bill, spoke with the NRA lobbyist, and requested more information on the legislation.

I'll let you know soon his disposition to the bill.

Sorry for the delayed response.

Chief of Staff

California State Assembly
State Capitol, Room 5016
Sacramento, CA 95814

916.319.2490 Phone
916.319.2124 Fax
"Progress does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but through constant struggle," Martin Luther King Jr.
"Hey, Hey, Hey, are you ready for the day.  Put on your shield and sword.  Are you ready for the games?" Pink
 I have not yet heard back from Mr. Forsyth concerning his disposition on this bill, but today, April 13th, the Public Safety Committee met and voted on this bill.  The members voted as follows:

- Chair Assemblyman Tom Ammiano - AYE
- Vice-Chair Assemblyman Curt Hagman - NO
- Assemblyman Jim Beall, Jr. - NOT VOTING
- Assemblyman Danny Gilmore - NO
- Assemblyman Jerry Hill - AYE
- Assemblyman Anthony Portantino - AYE
- Assemblymember Nancy Skinner - AYE
 So, the bill has passed, but Mr. Beall did not vote on it for some reason, perhaps he was absent.  In any case, this bill advances one more step in the process of becoming the latest useless crime prevention law.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Gun control Quote Archive - A New Tradition

At the top of my banner, I have had the follow quote attributed to Charlton Heston:
"... There's no such thing as a good gun. There's no such thing as a bad gun. A gun in the hands of a bad man is a very dangerous thing. A gun in the hands of a good person is no danger to anyone except the bad guys. ..." Charlton Heston
I have decided to replace it with a new quote, and save the old ones on this post.  Periodically I will place a new quote on my banner and save the old quote here.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Letter to Jim Beall - Oppose AB 1810

Here is the letter I just sent inquiring as to Mr. Bealls position on AB 1810, addressed to Cris Forsyth, Bealls Chief of Staff:

Mr. Forsyth,

I am writing to inquire on Mr. Bealls position on the up comming AB 1810, proposing that rifles and shotgun transfers go through the DROS  process, effectively introducing long gun registration in the state of California.  If Mr. Beall is consistent in his political philosophy on firearms law, most recently expressed in his support of the onerous AB 962, I would expect him to support AB 1810.

But in so doing, I would like Mr. Beall to explain to his constituents how gun registration  will make citizen safer or help to solve crimes.  Lovelle Mixon was able to obtain firearms in spite of existing laws requiring background checks, prohibiting criminals possessing firearms or ammunition, and punishing those who provide them to criminals.  So, would Mr. Beall support making illegal acts more illegaller?

I myself strongly oppose this legislation, and would oppose the continued tenure of any representative who supports increased firearms restrictions.  I will continue my opposition through all possible channels, including my blog, Left Coast Conservative.
I'll post any reply I might get.  Don't expect much, since Beall supported AB 962.

Constitutional Carry Goes to Governor in Arizona

As reported in this story, and by Of Arms and the Law,  the Arizona legislature has approved a law allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons without a permit.  The bill no goes to the Governor for signature or veto.  The Governor is expected to sign the bill.

I find this to be especially ironic because it is happening as the California legislature begins consideration of AB 1934, a bill that would effectively eliminate the open carry of any handgun in public places in the state.  Open carry of loaded handguns has been illegal for many years in California, while open carry of loaded handguns has been legal for many years.

Can two states that share border be further apart on an issue?  I can just imagine how California anti-gun residents would wail and quake with fear if the same legislation ever came before out Governor.  Arnold would probably veto it.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

AB 1810 - Proposed Long gun Registration for California

And the hits just keep rolling in from the Legislature!

Assembly member Mike Feuer has amended AB 1810, formerly covering vandalism, to institute the requirement that all long gun transfers be treated the same as handgun transfers are treated now, effectively creating a long gun registration scheme in California.

Among the effects of this bill:
  • Private parties would have to use an FFL to transfer long guns.
  • New residents moving into the state would have to register their long guns within 60 days.
  • Existing firearms owned by current residents would NOT have to be registered.
This bill is proposed at a time when Canada is debating the issue of ending their long gun registry as being too expensive and ineffectual at fighting violent crime.  I fail to see how long gun registration in California will be any more effective.

Prediction: this bill will probably pass.  As we have seen this year with AB 962, a good way for a legislator to make points with the anti-gun electorate in California is to heap on another gun control law.

AB 1934 - Legislature Reacts to Unloaded Open Carry Events

Who knew this wasn't going to happen?

Assembly member Lori Saldana amended the text of AB 1934 with the intent of outlawing the open carry of unloaded handguns on public places.  It does this by changing the trext of PC 12025 (f), which reads:

   (f) Firearms carried openly in belt holsters are not concealed
within the meaning of this section.  
So, the way this works is that handguns carried in belt holsters are classified as concealed weapons, requiring a nearly impossible to obtain CCW permit from the state.   Since most of the UOC events that have caused so much anxiety among non-gun owners have taken place in incorporated areas of cities, this proposed change effectively ends that practice.

In addition, a new section, 12037, is added defining the punishments one is liable to for committing the newly defined crime of carrying an unloaded handgun, as well as a long list of exceptions that allow many ordinary handgun activities, such as range sessions and handling guns in gun shops.

Note that this bill should not effect the carrying of concealed or loaded guns while engaged in hunting  or fishing because that activity is an exception to the concealed weapon laws.

This bill is currently in the Assembly Committee on Public Safety, with no hearing date set.

Prediction: This bill will very likely pass, further narrowing the ability of law abiding citizens to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights.  Thanks a lot Open Carry Movement

Thursday, March 18, 2010

President Obama Is A Bald-Faced Liar

Anyone trying to follow the evolution of the so-called health care reform bill would do well to read Health Care Policy and Marketplace  Review.  In a post published today we have the following statement:
Proponents of the Democratic health care bill make the claim that it will make health insurance affordable, improve our deficit outlook, and make our health insurance system sustainable. None of those claims are even close to being true and everyone who knows anything about this debate knows that.
What this means, of course, is that President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and every other advocate for this steaming pile of shit is a bald-faced, congenital liar.  If this bill passes we will have no end of Hell.

Congressman Joe Wilson was right.

UPDATE: 3/9/2010

Another good summation of the politics of the health care bill in Commentary Magazine:
Why hasn’t the president been able to win over these and the other needed House Democrats? Well, the nature of the bill simply cannot be disguised – it’s a massive new entitlement, a huge tax increase, a whack at Medicare, and set of Rube Goldberg funding gimmicks designed to conceal the true cost. The lawmakers know it, and the public knows it.
Yes, anyone who has been paying attention, and not deluding themselves, knows this bill is a dog, layering another entitlement program on top of massive unfunded mandates in Medicare and Medicaid that threaten to bankrupt the nation.

UPDATE: 3/18/2010

The Boston Herald seems to agree with me:
As liberal Sen. Dick Durbin just admitted, “Anyone who would stand before you and say well, if you pass health care reform next year’s health care premiums are going down, I don’t think is telling the truth.”

And that “anyone” would be the president.
 So, Senator Durbin also thinks President Obama is a liar.  I'll say it again.  If Obamacare passes I predict that middle class taxes will go way up, and middle class health care will be of poorer quality than we have today.  The Democratic Party is telling the Big Lie here.  I hope the American people can prevent them from ramming this thing into law.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

First Hint of UOC Prohibition Legislation

Who didn't know this was coming?  California State Assemblywoman Lori Saldana has announced that she is considering drafting legislation that will limit or prohibit unloaded open carry of firearms in California.  The text of the bill is not yet available, but it is expected that it will appear as AB 1934, a bill which until now has proposed a minor changes to firearms law.  I will keep an eye on this issue and make another post when the bill text is available.

So, it would seem that the Open Carry movement has provoked a reaction.  But is this the reaction that they hoped to produce?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

McDonald v. Chicago - Oral Arguments Heard Today

Oral arguments were presented before the Supreme Court today in the case McDonald v. Chicago, a suit challenging Chicago's handgun registration ban.  Initial reports on the arguments at the Volokh Conspiracy and at Of Arms and The Law indicate that the Court will likely incorporate the 2nd Amendment via the 14th Amendment.

Where do we go from here?  Back to court of course!  This article explains that the third step in securing the right is to establish the standard of review that courts will use to determine the constitutionality of gun regulations, which will be accomplished in future court cases.  Keep an eye out on the California courts, because there are several cases that have been pending a decision in McDonald.  Once the decision is announced, several of California's gun laws may change quite quickly.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Why the Idea of Control Control is Nonsense

Gun control defined: The theory that people who are willing to ignore laws against rape, torture, kidnapping, theft, and murder will obey a law which prohibits them from owning a firearm. - Unknown

UOC Event at Presidio - First Open Carry Event in a California National Park?

As reported at OpenCarry.org, a group of open carry advocates openly carried their firearms, and picked up trash, at Baker Beach in San Francisco.

A total of 21 people attended the event, with 12 open carrying their firearms.  Eleven bags of trash were collected and hauled out by the attendees.  U.S. Park Service rangers checked on the unloaded status of the attended firearms, as allowed by state law, without incident.

The Three Stupidest Gun Owners Ever

In this video clip posted on YouTube, you actually see a live body armor test, in which one person shoots a living test dummy, who is wearing body armor, with a semi-automatic pistol. After taking off the armor, a small round wound and a trickle of blood can be seen on the targets chest.  The test dummy also coughs a couple of times afterward.

Did the test dummy just get shot through the lung?  Unknown, because the video is too short to determine the extent of the wound, and a lung shot is not immediately incapacitating.  Are these three young men the stupidest gun owners ever? Oh, yeah!

How many of the Four Rules of gun safety have these guys violated?  Here they are for reference:
  1. All guns are always loaded. Even if they are not, treat them as if they are.
  2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. (For those who insist that this particular gun is unloaded, see Rule 1.)
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger till your sights are on the target. This is the Golden Rule. Its violation is directly responsible for about 60 percent of inadvertent discharges.
  4. Identify your target, and what is behind it. Never shoot at anything that you have not positively identified.3

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Open Carry Blowback - Contra Costa Times

The Contra Costa Times weighs into the debate over open carry in California in this editorial published today.  It is predictably negative, strongly disapproving of the practice, but it does correctly describe the legality of the practice, and the fact that these events are political activism, not macho posturing.

Nevertheless, the editorial warns its readers that the open carry events are fraught with risks, and that guns openly carried might cause shootings to occur, especially in this passage:
We can envision a circumstance where a teen comes into a coffee shop and runs out with the tip jar and the good citizen carrying a weapon decides to load up and pursue the youth. That has bad ending written all over it.
I really do not believe that open carry advocates attending these events think of themselves as any type of a police officer, nor do I think that they are ignorant of the law governing the use of force.  This is the Times stirring up more FUD, fear, uncertainty, and doubt, in its anti-gun readers.

That said, open carriers beware!  Anti-gun advocates are being inspired by your events to begin pushing back.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Not untrained, and not unlicensed. Stop spreading FUD.

The Marin Independent Journal spreads more FUD about the new weapons policy in National Parks in this article.

Halfway through the article one reads the following quote:

Allowing untrained and unlicensed people carrying guns in national parks is an invitation to disaster," said John Waterman, president of the U.S. Park Rangers Lodge.
Even though prior to that idiotic statement the article correctly states how the new law would apply in California:
Now under the new rule visitors can legally carry a loaded gun into a park or wildlife refuge - but only if the person has a permit for a concealed weapon and if the state where the park or refuge is located also allows concealed firearms. California allows concealed weapons.
 So, people who can legally carry weapons into the parks will NOT be unlicensed, and they will NOT be untrained, because CCW licenses have a training requirement.  One would think that Mr. Waterman, president of a park rangers organization, would be more informed than he seems to be.

In actuality, the new policy changes almost nothing in California.  CCW issuance is very limited.  Take a look at the CCW permit issuance statistics released by the California Department of Justice.  In 2007 there were only 40296 permits in the entire state (population in 2008: 33.8 million), and since California does not recognize any other state's concealed carry permits, non-resident visitors to national parks in California are not able to carry their firearms legally in California national parks.

The sky is not falling, the new law affects almost nobody.

New York Times Notices California Open Carry Events

We finally hear from the liberal voice, the New York Times, about recent open carry events in northern California in this editorial.  While I do not make a habit of deconstructing articles bashing gun-rights advocates,  I think that this article was especially egregious.

It starts off with the very first sentence:

It looked like a casting call for a Sam Pekinpah shoot-’em-up: 100 or so gun enthusiasts showed up at the Buckhorn Grill in Walnut Creek, Calif., this month with revolvers strapped on their hips.
Why is it that anti-gun people invoke the cowboy image when describing open carriers, or gun owners in general, if it is not to imply childishness and immaturity, and thus to dismiss the entire position of the gun-rights advocate?  The cowboy image is further embellished by the use of the word "revolvers", when photographs of the event clearly show most people carried semi-automatic pistols.  Invoking Sam Peckinpah's name implies that there is also a potential for the violence he portrayed in his films to become real violence at these events.

The editorial explains that this activity is, unfortunately, legal, and mourns that fact:
Unfortunately, more than two dozen states also have allowed themselves to be bullied by the gun lobby into adopting similarly dangerous law.
"gun lobby", a code phrase for the National Rifle Association, is blamed for all the terribly lax gun laws in states outside of New York, as if no real person would ever vote in favor of such an insane practice.  The truth is less appealing to the Times, because open carry laws are often decades old, and have usually been approved by the majority of voters or state legislators without the influence of the N.R.A.  A great many people in this nation believe in armed self-defense.

But all is not lost, the Times opines, because two restaurant chains have banned the open carriers:
The good news from California is that more businesses are summoning the courage to say no thanks and no entry to the flaunters. 
Right.  These people are not carrying firearms, they are not responsible adults.  They are "flaunters".  Further, one restaurant chain, Starbucks, refuses to take the common sense approach and banish open carriers as well:

Should customers be free to sip Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Lattes at their laptop screens while brandishing a gleaming Ruger .357? So far, Starbucks executives say yes, claiming they are quite safety-minded within a policy that “supports the federal, state and local laws in the communities in which we do business.”
So, open carriers not only "flaunt" their firearms, they also "brandish" their firearms,  Never mind the fact that unholstering and actually brandishing a firearm is a crime in California, one that not one open carrier at any of the several events held recently has been accused of, once again a open carriers are portrayed as irresponsible cowboys.

But the editorial does not mention one important FACT about open carry events in California, omission of which accentuates the menace that the idea of 100 armed people in a family restaurant must inspire in New Yorker's minds: not one firearm carried at these events was loaded, because loaded firearms are illegal to carry in public places without a concealed carry permit.  Further, the organizers of the event coordinated with the Walnut Creek police department to have an officer present to verify that all firearm were indeed unloaded as required by law.

Either the New York Times was ignorant of these facts, which I can scarcely credit given the publicity these events have received, or it is selectively omitting inconvenient facts in order to heighten the alarm of "right minded" citizens.

I'll leave it for you to decide which.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Brady Campaign Scorecard Out - California 79, Utah 0

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence is making a lot of news today after releasing updated state scorecards rating each states gun laws.  California makes the top spot with a score of 79, while Utah comes in dead last with a score of 0.

Reaction around the 'net has been swift and varied.  A blogger from Arizona lamenting that states low score of 2 quotes Paul Helmke:
"Since Arizona does not require Brady criminal background checks on all firearm sales, including those at gun shows, gun traffickers don't need to leave the state to funnel illegal guns to felons and gang members," says Paul Helmke, Brady Campaign president. "Arizona officials have done nothing in the past year to stop the flow of illegal guns within the state, including closing the loophole that allows dangerous people to walk into gun shows and buy guns without background checks."
 Aw, yes! The dreaded gun show loophole!  Well California has had that hole closed for a very long time indeed. But does anyone actually think that California criminals need to go out of state to get their guns, or that criminals cannot obtain a gun if they want one? Lovelle Mixon did not seem to have much trouble, and four Oakland PD officers were killed by him as a result.

After seeing the effects of our strict gun laws versus Utah's lax gun laws I am beginning to think that if California scrapped most of our gun laws our violent crime and homicide rates would not change much.  After all what do we have to show for our strict gun laws?  A lower homicide rate than Utah?

UPDATE 19 Feb. 2010: corrected typos and language in the original post. Also, take a look at David Hardy's post on the Brady Campaign Scorecards at Of Arms and the Law.  Follow the links to the stories he linked to.  They are worth reading.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Comments on Open Carry

SFGate published this article about the Buckhorn Grill prohibiting open carrying of unloaded firearms in their restaurants. The article is not remarkable, being pretty much a rehash of all of the other articles about the same event that have been published by Bay Area newspapers this week.  But reading the comments posted by readers can sometimes be a barometer of their views on the issue.

Do Bay Area citizens support the goal of the Open Carry Movement to reform California laws to allow carrying of loaded weapons in urban and suburban area, either openly or concealed?  Or do they want the open carry activists to just go away.  Here are the two most highly rated comments to that article:

Posted by: no1thing
Believe it or not, most people do not want to be surrounded by guns. The open-carry crowd seems intent on making scenes and making people uncomfortable.
This comment was rated at +348, -67 at the time I read the article.  Note that this comment contains none of the condescending liberal jibes that so many of the other highly rated posts have, but it has the highest positive rating of any comment.

Contrast that comment with the following one, which is typical of comments posted all over the Web by gun-rights advocates:

Posted by: obamacommie
So now the only people carrying guns into their business will be criminals. The same people carrying guns to rob the place and perhaps just be intent on murder. Whereas the gun carry crowd legally purchased, carry and advocate their beliefs; spend $1300 to help a small business and get kicked out.
This post is rated at +124, -386, the highest negative rating of any comment posted for this article.  This post would be considered a rational exposition of the gun-rights view of the open carry issue, but the general public, judging by the rating, is simply not buying the argument.

I think that there is a political message here that the Open Carry movement needs to understand: regions of this state that have votes and political influence do not want armed people in public.  One hundred people open carrying unloaded handguns in public alarms them, and if the Open Carry movement continues to generate high profile news coverage, it will be only a matter of time before some favor-currying politician in Sacramento (DeLeon, or  Lowenthal)  decides to cash in on the publicity windfall by writing legislation that will outlaw open carry of any weapon.  Indeed, they just might go further and abolish the California CCW permit system as well.  We all know that every urban police chief and sheriff would support that bill.

So, I ask the Open Carry movement:  Could you please tone it down?  We are at a critical juncture in the nation for gun rights: oral arguments for McDonald v. Chicago are set for March 2, and I have every expectation that the SCOTUS will strike down the Chicago gun ban.  Many high profile cases in California are currently waiting for that decision to determine how those cases will be decided, cases that challenge the capricious CCW system and ever more restrictive DOJ Roster of Handguns.  Lastly, guns are so unpopular in the urban areas of this state that I don't think that there is ANY chance of a legislative solution to the awful CCW issuance practices in the state.  Relief will only come through the courts, so these open carry events are NOT helping, and may end up hurting all gun owners in California.

Bay Area Open Carry - Group Inspires Another Ban

Bay Area Open Carry held another open carry event last week at the Buckhorn Grill in Walnut Creek.  Reports of up to 100 people attended the event, open carrying unloaded pistols in order to protest California law preventing loaded open carry, and the capricious nature of the states "may issue" CCW permit law.

But if the purpose of these events is to win over California residents to support a loosening of firearms laws, it would seem that these tactics are having the opposite effect.  How long will it take for someone alarmed by the sight of dozens of people carry firearms in a restaurant to contact their state representative and ask for a law repealing open carry of any sort?  Our state legislature has proved over and over again that it really does not like guns, or gun rights.  AB 962 was passed and signed into law late last year.

I am waiting for news of the pending legislation.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Open Carry Event This Weekend

As planned, East Bay Open Carry held an event at a Starbucks coffee shop in Antioch on Saturday. KGO 7 TV covered the story and video may be viewed here.

There is the usual puling from Brady Campaign representatives quotes in the story:
The Brady Campaign to prevent gun violence does not buy it. They do not see why anyone except police should be bearing arms in public, even if they have the right to.
This really sends me off: if I have a right to carry firearms, then I don;t need to give a reason.  I think that the Brady Campaign is also trying to set the narrative for future challenges to California gun laws, such as this case currently in San Diego.

We should all stay tuned.  If the SCOTUS rules in favor of the plaintiffs in McDonald v. Chicago, then several pending lawsuits in California could result in some big changes in the law.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Open Carry in The News This Week

Open Carry of firearms was in the news this week in the Bay Area, and more events are planned.

This article describes the reaction to an man open carrying his handgun in an East Palo Alto supermarket, provoking a police response of four officers, who verified that the firearm was unload. The man was evidently inspired by recent open carry events he saw in TV:
The man, who lives in Redwood City, later apologized to police and said "he didn't really think it out," Norris added.
Another article ,  from the SF Examiner, serves as an introductory piece describing the open carry movement, recent events, and legal status of open carry.  They make a point: most Bay Area residents are pretty surprised to find that open carry of handguns is legal.  How can they not be surprised, when law enforcement agencies are caught off-guard:
The truth is that many law enforcers and prosecutors had not even heard of the phrase “open carry” until late 2009, when the growing movement gained footing on the Peninsula, said Steve Wagstaffe, chief deputy district attorney of San Mateo County. It’s been legal in California to openly carry unloaded firearms since 1999 as long as you are not within 1,000 feet of K-12 schools.
I will fault what is an otherwise informative article for this mistake: as far as I know it has always been legal to open carry in California, not just since 1999 as mentioned above.

Recent open carry activity in the Bay Area has attracted the notice of newspapers in other parts of the country, like West Virginia, and Bay Area gun control groups like the local chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, which has prevailed upon local Peet's Coffee & Tea and California Pizza Kitchen restaurants to refuse to serve open carrying customers, as related in this KPIX television report.  It is unclear if this is a company wide policy, or the decision of the local store owner: neither company mentions an open carry prohibition on their web sites.

Open Carry advocates reacted by planning another open carry event for this weekend at a Starbucks Coffee shop in Antioch, reported to be open carry friendly.  Brady Campaign members promise to protest that event as well.

I guess the drama will only escalate from here.

UPDATE: I guess KGO was just slow out of the gate, but they finally did cover this story here. This one quotes a CPK spokesperson, implying that the open carry policy is official and company-wide.

UPDATE: SFGate also covers this story, and quotes the official policies of Peet's and CPK.  One comment from the above article expresses my own concern about open carry events gaining more publicity:
If you really want to draw attention to yourself AND prompt our over zealous legislators to make yet another new law - this one banning you from open carrying - my advice is to keep on wasting police time running backwards and forwards to the coffee shop with an empty gun strapped to your thigh. Please stop - our cops have got better things to do than stopping losers and checking thier weapons every 10 mins. Time to grow the fark up.
In this state where AB 962 was passed without any real opposition, I could well imagine several legislative responses from Sacramento:  banning open carry, or even scrapping the CCW permit system altogether.  The Democratic legislators in this state are pretty uniformly anti-gun and will use any excuse to narrow gun rights.

Remember, there is no right to bear arms in the California Constitution.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Update on The California Roster of Handguns Certified for Sale

In this post I took a look at the California DOJ Roster of Handguns Certified for Sale and tried to determine if the DOJ Roster was a creeping handgun ban. While I did not conclude that the DOJ Roster was the same as an outright ban, I did identify several limitations to my analysis:
And nothing on this chart indicates the number of handguns offered for sale in the United States, but that have not been approved by the DOJ, or the number of guns introduced in any given year that are available for sale outside of California that have not yet been approved, or that have never been submitted for approval.
 The Sacramento Bee published this article on December 30, 2009.  It describes how the new firearm microstamping law has gone into effect, and how the law will  discourage gun makers from introducing new semi-automatic pistols into the California market.  Since microstamping will be a newly required "safety feature", it is required on all new pistols sold in the state, but since the technology is not free of patent encumbrances, the law is deferred.

Some statistics about new handgun approvals in the state are cited in the article that would have been useful in my previous post bout the DOJ Roster:
The Department of Justice's Bureau of Firearms is charged with approving weapons for sale in California each year. From 2002 to 2006, the bureau approved 72 new semi-automatic pistols on average each year.
In 2007, a law took full effect mandating that new center-fire semi-automatic pistols include both a mechanism that prevents firing when the magazine is removed, as well as an indicator showing when a live round is in the gun chamber. Rim-fire semi-automatics must have the magazine disconnect device.
In three years, the Bureau of Firearms has approved only nine new semi-automatic weapons, including only one in 2008.
 I know from talking to pistol shooters that magazine disconnect devices are very unpopular.  Most people consider them a dangerous "feature" that could get you killed if you ever use a handgun in self-defense.  But it is the numbers of new pistols approved that I wish could have included in my previous article that I am interested in most.  An I know that there were more than one model of semi-automatic pistols introduced in the U.S. in 2008.

I wish I could find out how many.

But with so few pistols being approved, then I think that the Roster is indeed going to resemble a handgun ban, but one that will take years to develop.

Why I'm Glad I did Not Vote for Obama

Today Real Clear Politics has a great article by Jill Dorson, "Why I Regret Voting for President Obama".  A great read that succinctly summarizes the reasons I am glad I did not vote for Obama.  My regret is that this country needs a President who can lead, but we got a man who, in my opinion, is overwhelmed by the job.

And to make things worse, I do not see at this time any Republican who could do any better.  It seems to me that the lack of talent on the Republican side is an issue because Obama is on track to be a one term President.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Fontano Charged with a Misdemeanor

I have previously written on this story. Sherman Fontano foolishly openly carried his unloaded .357 magnum revolver into a school property and was arrested by San Jose police.

As reported today in the San Jose Mercury News, Fontano has been charged with a misdemeanor charge of possessing a firearm in a school zone. He will appear in court again on February 22.

As I wrote in my previous post, Mr. Fontano acted in ignorance of California firearms laws, and got himself in trouble as a result. All gun owners in California must follow our sometimes nonsensical gun laws closely to stay out of trouble.

Anti-Gun Article on Feministing

I learned about this condescending article on Feministing from Learn About Guns. Granted that this is a really old article, I thought I would reply in the hopes that my contribution might help. Here is my reply, as posted on that site:


Perhaps you should read this article. Go ahead, I'll wait...

So, what do you think now about a woman defending herself in suburbia? My point, and Dr. Hupps as well, is that violence can find you whether you are prepared for it or not. While you don't actually advocate that guns should be banned, your condescending tone to those who choose to arm themselves is revolting. Other people who replied to this article have noted the condescension as well. hippychik7:
It is true that maybe I am not in great danger of violence at any one time, but if a woman can be trusted to determine and CHOOSE to have an abortion, then I think she should be able to choose when to carry a gun.

Absolutely! To us gun owners, and advocates of armed self-defense, it is all about responsibility. Taking responsibility to protect ourselves, and taking responsibility to not harm others while we carry guns. Charlton Heston, past president of the NRA, that group you despise so much, said this well:
... There's no such thing as a good gun. There's no such thing as a bad gun. A gun in the hands of a bad man is a very dangerous thing. A gun in the hands of a good person is no danger to anyone except the bad guys. ...

Another Open Carry Event in Bay Area

This article reports that another Open Carry event was held in the Bay Area recently. The tone of the article is pretty neutral, with coverage from both the pro-gun rights and anti-gun rights side.
Open Carry aims to make it possible for Americans in every state to legally carry loaded guns in public. The loosely organized Bay Area chapter is igniting powerful feelings among law enforcement agencies, gun control advocates and ordinary residents.

I won't argue with the goal, but I am still skeptical of the methods used to attain it. This article shows that too many people are fearful of seeing guns in public, especially in suburban California, where they are never seen. Perhaps the Open Carry movement is right: if enough people see others carrying guns without causing problems, peoples opinions might change.

UPDATE: I just viewed the video associated with the source article, and I recommend anyone reading the article to view the video as well. It is very interesting to see the range of reactions to people open carrying: supportive to negative, the reactions of the public are worth seeing.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Constitutional Challenge to California CCW Law

A very interesting lawsuit was filed in October challenging the constitutionality of the Carry Concealed Weapon law in California. Hat tip to Of Arms and the Law for posting the decision of the Judge Gonzales denying the defendants motion to dismiss.

Reading the original complaint, the plaintiff was denied issue of a CCW permit primarily because the Sheriff determined that the plaintiff did not have "good cause" and was not a permanent resident of San Diego County. The really interesting part is the reasoning that since other forms of carrying a weapon are illegal in California, i.e. loaded open carry, then the "good cause" and "good moral character" requirements of the CCW law used to deny a applicant are unconstitutional because a person has no other means to excercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms.
37. Defendants has deprived Plaintiff of his right to carry a handgun for self defense purposes, which is guaranteed by the Second Amendment, because there is a general ban on the exposed carrying of loaded handguns, and because of subjective "good cause" policy
All of the plaintiffs complaint has survived the defendants motion to dismiss, and Judge Gonzalez's decision makes interesting reading. The constitutionality of the CCW law is challenged by the following logic. From decision on the motion to dismiss:

The Supreme Court’s decision in Heller made it clear–for the first time–that the Second Amendment guarantees “the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation.” 128 S. Ct. at 2797. It also made clear that this right is not unlimited. Id. at 2816-17.
So, while citizens have a right to carry arms, that right may be subject to regulation. But Judge Gonzalez denies that the California CCW law is presumptively constitutional because in other states where concealed weapons prohibitions have been determined to be constitutional, open carrying of weapons allowed the exercise of one's Second Amendment rights:

Thus, just like in Chandler and Nunn, but unlike California, there is a ready alternative available to the affected individuals–the ability to carry weapons openly if they cannot obtain a concealed weapon’s permit.
In the context of California gun laws, this kind of legal reasoning has the potential to effect real change. The CCW law may be found to be unconstitutional since there is no provision for loaded open carry in the state. Or, the state may have to change the loaded open carry law in order to preserve their CCW law and policies commonly applied in urban counties.

I am not a lawyer, and I do not know if this case is at all similar to the 14th Amendment cases filed for plaintiffs is the assistance of Team Billy Jack, but if this case goes to trial and the court finds for the plaintiff, California's CCW law may be struck down.

My prediction: San Diego County Sheriffs Department will settle the case and issue the permit in order to make this case go away.

UPDATE: corrected typo in title.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Where can one carry a gun on one's property?

California law places many restrictions on where one may carry a loaded gun, but it is clear that inside one's home or on one's private property, a person can carry a loaded weapon. Does this mean that i can carry a gun in my front yard? It is assuredly private property, but is it also a public place?

I have recently learned of case law cited in "Heller, High Water(mark)? Lower Courts and the New Right to Keep and Bear Arms" that indicates that this may not be allowed:
...the conclusion of a California court that a private drive was a “sensitive place,” thus bringing a conviction for carrying a concealed weapon under the Heller safe harbor,49 seems a stretch.

49. People v. Yarbrough, 86 Cal. Rptr. 3d 674, 682–83 (Cal. Ct. App. 2008) (rejecting challenge to conviction for carrying concealed weapon, and stating that “[t]reating as criminal defendant’s concealment of a firearm under his clothing on a residential driveway that was not closed off from the public and was populated with temporary occupants falls within the ‘historical tradition’ of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous weapons in publicly sensitive places”).

So, while the author of the paper seems to think that the California courts may be carrying the prohibition a little too far, it is valid case law, and it makes me cautious about carrying a weapon in my front yard, my driveway, or even inside my garage when the garage door is open. I don't know about my backyard, but this is California after all.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

San Francisco - Death by Progressivism

This article succinctly describes the modern liberal progressive doctrine using San Francisco as an example. It also describes why my wife and I never, or hardly ever, go into the City. While I have done business in the City, I actually try to avoid it because it is far away (90 road miles, one way) from San Jose, and because the parking problems are even worse than described in the article.

Problems with homeless people and illegal immigrants are not tolerated in San Jose like they are in San Francisco, so you don't see these people on the streets, except in front of Home Depot stores.

Look out America, San Francisco is what progressives want to foist onto the rest of America.

Hat tip Right on The Left Coast.

UPDATE: 1/21/10. Added the title and corrected typos and some phrasing in the post.  I still thank that the original article was dynamite.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Case for Profiling

In the wake of the Christmas Day bombing attempt, we see the bankruptcy of our airline security system in this country. In this RCP story we learn that our system focused on the wrong thing:

As Bob Poole, director of transportation policy at Reason Foundation, recently wrote, this failure reflects the flawed thinking of aviation security policy, namely a fixation "on keeping bad things -- as opposed to bad people -- off of airplanes."

It is an unavoidable fact that these "bad people" tend to come from certain places and subscribe to a certain religious affiliation. Focus on them.

And in the case of the bomber, this was certainly true: young Muslim man, recently in Yemen, paid cash for a one-way ticket, no luggage checked in for his international flight. These should have immediately indicated that the bomber be screened further.

Some people would call this "racial profiling", and object on moral grounds. I would call it common sense. The people attacking us are not Lutherans, but Muslims, and we need to face up to the fact that while not all Muslims are terrorists, every terrorist that we have captured or encountered in the last 20 years has been a Muslim.

Political correctness on this issue is going to kill a lot of Americans.