Colion Noir Episode 2

Hat tip to The Minuteman.

Sat Mar 30 04:15:18 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Disruptive Activity: Getting inside their OODA loop

Bob S at 3 Boxes of BS has video from a group that disrupted a gun control press event, and Sean Sorrentino crashed an Illegal Mayors press conference.

More of this, please.  Stay legal, but make them react to us.

Fri Mar 29 13:06:16 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Joe Donelly is anti-gun

There's a press release from Illegal Mayors Against Guns which won't reprint here, as it is full of poll-tested deceptive language.  I will point out that Donelly was, apparently, motivated by Bloomberg's $12 million ad buy in support of gun control that specifically named Donelly.  Now that Donelly has caved and said he would support background checks, they are removing his name from future ads. 

That's exactly the kind of cowardice we don't need in politicians.  For now, though, we've got to work with what we have -- so if you're in Indiana, tell him you don't support background checks and urge him to change his mind.

Senator Donelly, google has a long memory.  But there is still time to vote the right way.

Thu Mar 28 22:39:03 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

New Yorkers for Gun Safety: Astroturf

No one paying attention will be fooled by any group that talks about "gun safety", but sometimes our voters aren't paying attention this early.  Google has a long memory, and New Yorkers for Gun Safety is a front group for Cuomo, the man responsible for the "SAFE act" that banned magazines that can hold more than 7 rounds... ie, all of them, at least for many popular firearms.

Don't be fooled.

Thu Mar 28 22:35:30 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Knives as protected 2nd Amendment arms

Kopel, Cramer, and Joseph Olson collaborate.  They conclude that bans on switchblades, gravity knives, butterfly knives, and locking knives are unconstitutional -- rightly so.  I've cut myself more than once with knives that lack a lock-open feature, it really is a safety issue. 

Did you know that in Texas you can get a license to carry a concealed firearm, but you can't get a license to carry a concealed knife?  What kind of sense does that make?

Thu Mar 28 02:59:39 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

"Assault weapons" at the firing range

Bob Owens explains why semiautomatic firearms are safe and useful on the firing range, and points out that over 90% of the firearms brought to Project Appleseed -- a basic rifle skills training program -- are technically assault weapons.  That is, they are semiautomatic firearms with detachable magazines holding ten or more rounds.

Many of the rifles are .22 caliber rifles, firing a small and light cartridge suitable for target practice and not much else.  They are, nonetheless, assault weapons by the definition in Feinstein's proposed ban.  Other popular rifles are based on the AR-15 design, firing a larger and more powerful cartridge, but not firing it any faster than the smaller .22 rifles. 

Most importantly, despite being "assault weapons", they aren't being used to assault anyone.  Just like millions of other firearms in the hands of law-abiding citizens.

Thu Mar 28 02:52:13 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Another illegal mayor

Mayors Against Illegal Guns member and Democratic Gainesville, Fla., Mayor Craig Lowe was arrested on charges of driving under the influence and property damage after police found him asleep in his car at the scene of a crash last Thursday.

Police said Lowe appeared intoxicated and his Honda Civic was badly damaged, according to WKMG in Orlando.

Members of Mayors against Illegal Guns are more likely to commit crimes than holders of concealed carry permits.  Of course, so are members of the general public.

Thu Mar 28 02:09:42 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The ACLU finally notices the SWAT problem

Tab Clearing:
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has launched a nationwide campaign to assess police militarization in the United States. Starting Wednesday, ACLU affiliates in 23 states are sending open records requests to hundreds of state and local police agencies requesting information about their SWAT teams, such as how often and for what reasons they're deployed, what types of weapons they use, how often citizens are injured during SWAT raids, and how they're funded. More affiliates may join the effort in the coming weeks.
Took them long enough.

Thu Mar 28 01:41:22 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Why jury nullification matters

Tab clearing:

After being deadlocked twice, a D.C. Superior Court jury yesterday acquitted a Marine amputee on felony charges of gun possession stemming from an arrest while he was on the way to Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

In the 2006 incident, Cpl. Melroy H. Cort, 24, and his wife, Samantha, were en route from their home in Columbus, Ohio, to Walter Reed. Cort's legs had been amputated above the knees when he was wounded by a makeshift bomb in Ramadi during his third tour of duty in Iraq.

The couple's car got a flat tire, forcing them to pull over at a car repair shop in the 5000 block of Georgia Avenue NW. While there, Cort said, he reached into the glove compartment, removed a 9mm pistol and put it in his jacket pocket.

Having that handgun with him would have been perfectly legal at home in Ohio and presumably on the military base at Walter Reed.  Had he not had a flat tire, he would not have stopped in DC.  Had he not stopped in DC, or arguably transported the firearm in his trunk instead of the glove compartment, he would have been protected by a federal law governing travel with firearms through jurisdictions hostile to gun rights. 

Prosecuting him for illegal possession of a firearm in DC is clearly unjust, but it took a jury to see that and act on it.  That's one reason we have juries.

Thu Mar 28 01:28:21 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

NRA makes the case against banning private firearms transfers

We have several concerns about the proposal including the burden it would place on law-abiding gun owners, the failure of the DOJ to prosecute prohibited persons who attempt to buy firearms and the cumbersome delays that it would place on legal purchasers, while leaving criminals free to buy firearms illegally on the black market.
Read the whole thing.  We need to make sure that any ban on private transfers doesn't make it out of Congress, and your legislators need to hear these arguments in order to understand the issues.

Thu Mar 28 00:43:21 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Lies, damned lies, and statistics

... the Charlie Rangel edition.

One reason we win in the long run is that we don't need to lie to make our case, and they do.

Thu Mar 28 00:40:40 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Illegal registration in Missouri

Earlier this month Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder held a press conference to expose the backdoor gun registration operation in Missouri. Kinder accused the Missouri Department of Revenue of working with the Department of Homeland Security to install new hardware and software to obtain data on Missouri citizens and transfer this information to DHS and unnamed third parties.
What's disturbing about this is the secrecy. 

Thu Mar 28 00:39:28 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Biden, Obama to continue to push semiauto ban

They aren't going to stop until they are out of office:

Vice President Biden on Thursday pushed ahead with the White House's pursuit of an assault weapons ban, putting the administration at odds with centrist Democrats who would rather see the legislation die on Capitol Hill.

Even though Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has already pulled the ban from gun control legislation soon heading to the chamber's floor, Biden was bullish about the prospects for such a prohibition. He reminded the public about the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., saying it would be a disservice to the victims there to give in to political obstacles.

They are dancing in the blood of dead children:
"For all those who say we shouldn't and can't ban assault weapons -- for all those who say the politics is too hard, how can they say that?" asked Biden during a joint news conference with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a vocal gun control supporter. "When you take a look at those 20 beautiful babies and what happened to them? And those six teachers and administrators?"
So-called assault weapons did not murder those children and their teachers.  An insane and evil individual murdered them.

There are a couple factors at play here. 

First, the assault weapons ban is seriously bad law.  If passed, it will have a major impact on American gun owners, as millions of people who own semiautomatic rifles will be forced to register them as if they were machine guns and, of course, new manufacture will be forbidden.  We keep hearing that the semiauto ban will not pass, but Obama and Biden are still pushing it.  They may well try to ram it through with last-minute parliamentary tricks.  We need to be alert to that and stop it.

Second, the real target here for the administration is a background check law that bans private transfers.  For those who have been paying attention to the dribbles of information we get about behind-the-scenes negotiations, the sticking point is not background checks as such -- the sticking point is how to keep records.

In other words: Obama, Biden, even the ATF, they all want a gun registration system.  They want to be able to plug a name into a database and find out if you own a gun, what guns you own, and ideally, they want to be able to charge you with a crime if their list does not match what is in your gun safe.

Registration leads to confiscation.  All they have to do is wait for the next horrific mass murder.  It worked in England, it worked in Australia.  Gun control does not prevent crime, so there will always be a "next incident" to ratchet the laws up another notch.

Wed Mar 27 20:25:54 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee plans filibuster on guns

Sens. Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee are threatening to filibuster gun-control legislation, according to a letter they plan to hand-deliver to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's office on Tuesday.
What concerns me about this is that it seems to be only those three planning to filibuster.  It only takes one to filibuster (and 41 votes to sustain it), but still.

Don't forget to contact the Senators who are planning to filibuster and thank them.  They would rather hear from you than from a pissed-off Obama.

The article also mentions the vote count from Mike Lee's test measure I mentioned earlier:
Lee staged a test vote on the issue during consideration of the Senate budget last week. He tried to amend a point of order against gun control legislation to the budget but fell short. It needed a three-fifths supermajority and failed 50-49, needing 60 votes to pass. But the final tally emboldened Lee, Paul and Cruz because they were so close to a majority and a filibuster takes just 41 votes to sustain.
50 votes is enough to sustain a filibuster and stop gun control, although we can probably expect to lose a few to administration pressure on real votes -- particularly if they can say they voted against the actual gun control law and gloss over the filibuster vote.  It's promising that we have a reasonable margin for sustaining the filibuster, and we can remind Senators that we will be watching procedural votes carefully.

Katie Pavlich quotes from other reports, but contributes a list of vulnerable Democratic senators up for election in 2014.

Wed Mar 27 09:52:15 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Yahoo tries to push mandatory gun insurance

The theory behind such proposals is that mandatory gun insurance provides a market-based tool to reward safe, responsible gun ownership. Hypothetically, insurance companies would consider a gun owner?s risk characteristics to determine insurance rates. For example, gun owners who have no criminal record or history of mental illness, take safety courses, own fewer weapons, and store them securely would have lower rates than, say, an ex-convict with an arsenal of assault rifles and a record of domestic abuse.
I can discredit this whole proposal right here: the ex-convict with an arsenal of assault rifles and a record of domestic abuse is not allowed to own, or even touch, a firearm under existing law.

His arsenal of assault rifles would get him thrown in jail for 5-10 years each when he applied for insurance on them.  So, of course, he could not be required to apply, because it would be self-incrimination prohibited by the 5th Amendment.

Every legal gun owner has no felony criminal record, no history of involuntary commitment for mental illness, and no history of domestic violence.  And every illegal gun owner would laugh at the idea that one more law would stop them.

Wed Mar 27 09:44:05 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Bob Casey is anti-gun

The Washington Times has detailsSebastian has regrets.
Sen. Bob Casey Jr. of Pennsylvania says the Connecticut school shootings in December caused a significant change in his position on gun laws, despite the vast number of hunters in his state and the reality that politicians tend to "fall in their lanes and vote the way they vote over time."
He's up for election in 2018.  Google has a long memory, Bob.

Wed Mar 27 02:10:57 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

2014 elections are looking like a gun control battle

The Senate's upcoming vote on the assault weapons ban is going to put vulnerable Democrats in a difficult spot.

Democrats facing tough reelection races will either attract the ire of the National Rifle Association or prominent gun control activists such as New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I). A vote against the ban could spark primary challenges that could weaken Democrats in the general election.

The NRA on one side, and Bloomberg on the other.  Real grassroots versus well-funded astroturf.  We beat them in 1994, and we will need to do so again.

Wed Mar 27 00:28:35 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

So it looks like Nightline did a hit piece on Glock the other night...

... and Breitbart debunked it, saving me the trouble of watching and debunking it myself.

Wed Mar 27 00:07:16 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

John Lott dominates a gun control debate in West Texas

Well, ok, it's not really news -- anyone volunteering to go up against Lott on guns has to expect to lose.  But since this particular news report chooses to print the arguments of the opposition rather than Lott's answers despite admitting Lott won the debate in the eyes of the audience, I'll mention it in order to debunk the arguments.
Bringing an opposing viewpoint to the lecture was Skeptic magazine founder and psychologist Michael Shermer, who believes more gun control is needed.
In other words, he has no expertise on guns or gun policy.  He may have expertise in dealing with insane people, but he doesn't make use of that expertise to propose policy changes for better dealing with insane people. Instead, he proposes treating everyone in the country as if we were all criminally insane.
While Shermer acknowledges nothing can be done to completely eradicate crime and violence, he does believe more control can be placed on the sale of guns, the amount of ammunition people can buy and the places guns can be carried. He believes America should reduce the number of guns available, rather than to continue increasing them.
He acknowledges gun control doesn't work and won't stop violence, then calls for gun control.  That's practically the definition of irrational behavior.  As for his specific proposals:
  1. The government doesn't have the resources to enforce the gun control laws in place already;
  2. There's no point in restricting the amount of ammunition people can buy for lawful purposes.  People who go shooting as a hobby or for professional reasons use a lot of ammunition.  Criminals usually don't need to fire their guns, the threat is sufficient -- they don't actually need more than a box or two of ammunition to commit their crimes.  Mass murderers like Lanza plan their crimes for months or years, and won't have any trouble amassing the few hundred rounds they need for their one big shooting spree -- whereas a serious hobbyist could go through a few hundred rounds a month.
  3. People carrying guns legally with a concealed-carry permit simply do not commit crimes.  Banning people who carry legally from carrying in more places will do absolutely nothing about crime -- except possibly encourage it, as criminals pick "gun free zones" to attack.
  4. People carrying guns to commit a crime do not care if there is a sign that says the area is a gun free zone -- except possibly to prefer such areas for their mass murders.
  5. It is impossible for all practical purposes to reduce the number of guns available without banning and confiscating all firearms.  Firearms are durable, long lasting objects.  There are firearms over a hundred years old that, with basic maintenance, are still functional and safe today.  Millions of people are buying new guns.  Dozens of gun manufacturers are producing and selling new guns.  Only a tiny fraction, less than 1%, of those guns will ever be used in a crime -- unless you make simply owning the gun a crime.
Allowing college students to carry guns likely would lead to deaths as a result of lovers quarrels and drunken brawls that could have otherwise been prevented or would not have happened had their not been access to guns, Shermer said.
Gun control advocates need new lies.  The old ones aren't working anymore.  They have tried this same line every single time a state considered passing shall-issue concealed carry legislation.  Every single time, the blood in the streets failed to materialize, yet they are making the same old argument.
"The idea of arming teens and students in their early 20s, who have access to alcohol and narcotics and are also emotional and competitive in nature, is a bad mix," said Shermer, who calls mass shootings such as Sandy Hook "black swan" events because they were rare and unpredictable.
You must be 21 years old to own a handgun, and the same age to have a concealed carry license in Texas.  That's not only legally an adult, it's three years past the age of legal adulthood.  The people who are getting drunk or using drugs are not going to be the same people getting a concealed-carry license, even if both sets of people are students.

At some point, you have to stop treating people like children, and start treating them as rational adults capable of behaving responsibly.

As for black swan events -- yes, mass murders like Sandy Hook are rare and unpredictable.  That's why it's a bad idea to base gun control policy on such events.
Pitrucha and 54 percent of the 221 UTPB students polled in a recent survey agree that students with a valid CHL should be able to bring their handgun on campus and into the classrooms.
Students want guns on campus.
In contrast, Macias does not believe guns should be allowed on campus, as students may make snap, uneducated judgments and use them detrimentally.
Macias doesn't seem to have faith in his students, or in his ability to educate them -- even though educating them is supposed to be his job.
Macias said all decisions regarding guns on campus should remain local and be made by each school?s board of trustees, not state or federal governments.
He says that because if the state government makes the decision, it will overrule his own personal opinion, just as he is overruling the opinion of 54% of students at his school.

Wed Mar 27 00:02:12 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

A very insightful article on education...

... that explains, in part, why our country is so screwed up.

Tue Mar 26 23:53:18 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

I'm sure this will never be used for warrantless domestic surveillance

After all, it's not like our police officers are using military surplus equipment on a regular basis or anything.


Hold on... Why is there a bird in here?

Tue Mar 26 23:51:35 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Good arguments against sin taxes

Burdened by unfunded public pension liabilities and healthcare costs, state and local governments are in bad shape, considering the willingness of voters to embrace new spending proposals and their general reluctance to pay taxes to finance them.

Responding to the latest round of public budget "crises," policymakers around the country have begun reviving an old, but not necessarily good idea with added enthusiasm?taxing "sin." What better way to raise revenue than to find something that your neighbor buys or an activity he engages in that you don't like and tax it?

You could argue that the whole Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms is about "sin taxes".  Read the whole thing, but I want to call out a specific part of the article for a little extra commentary:
Millions of dollars have been spent to thwart taxation of the soft drink industry's products and to prevent existing taxes from being raised. In 2009 alone, the industry spent more than $57 million on lobbying. Such lobbying expenditures are socially wasteful. How much money is now being spent attempting to block Mayor Bloomberg's ban on 32-ounce soft drink containers?
It's obviously not in the public interest for government to constantly threaten to tax or ban items the public desires to use and considers worth the costs.  Nonetheless, we frequently see our elected "representatives" making exactly that sort of threat.  Why?

There are a couple reasons, most of which are touched on in the original article.  Revenue for the public coffers that is taken from only a subset of voters is one significant reason, but there is another, subtler way that revenue is involved.

Consider: what happens when a politician leaves office?  Sure, sometimes they leave in disgrace after a scandal and spend time in rehab or jail... but what about the more typical case of a Washington politician who retired from a federal government position or lost an election?  Well, lots of them become... lobbyists.

Sin taxes -- and many other ways that the government is an intrusive, bullying busybody aggressively involving itself in as many lives as possible in the most annoying way possible -- represent what amounts to an investment in a politician's retirement plan, because corporations pay lobbyists huge sums of money to make annoying government laws and regulations go away.

Sometimes the lobbying succeeds, sometimes it doesn't, but companies have to pay because the lobbying is cheaper than the threat of regulations and cheaper than the legal costs of challenging an unbearable regulation in court. 

"Nice industry you have here.  Be a shame if someone regulated it."

What if a politician actually believes in the laws and regulations they passed, though? 

Don't worry, that never actually happens. 

However, sometimes a politician anticipates running for office again and wants to avoid the appearance of corruption by lobbying against things he might want to vote for, or did actually vote for in the past, or the like.  In that case, he doesn't go into the lobbying industry.  Instead, he goes into consulting, where companies pay him millions of dollars for his expertise in following the laws he played some part in drafting, amending, or hell, even just flipping a coin and voting on.

Tue Mar 26 23:22:09 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Emily Miller points out safety issues in Bloomberg anti-gun ads

The ad does not specify if the man is an actor, but the text accompanying it says he is a "gun owner."  Either way, the man violates all three gun safety rules taught by the National Rifle Association (NRA).
Anyone who starts a sentence -- and especially if they are starting a whole discussion -- with "I'm a gun owner, but..." is lying to you.  They aren't a gun owner.  They are using a rhetorical tool designed to create a sense of similarity to better persuade you of something.  This is usually where I tune something out and move on to the next thing.  Of course, if it's an actual conversation in public, it's a good point in the conversation to interrupt and ask "Oh, really?  What guns do you own?  Do you shoot IPDA or three-gun or benchrest?  Bag any deer lately?"

At that point, the expression of utter shock and terror on their face will usually end the discussion and make your point for you.

PS: Also, anyone who appears in a professionally-produced advertisement is an actor even if they look like a normal person, whether the advertisement says so or not.  Perhaps especially if they look like a normal person.  Looking like a normal person on TV takes skill.

Tue Mar 26 09:27:32 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Waiting periods for laws, not guns

After the state of New York passed its far-reaching and poorly thought out post-Newtown gun law with unseemly haste, I suggested that we might need a waiting period for laws more than for guns. After all, the idea behind waiting periods for guns was that people might get overexcited and do something rash, but would "cool off" if they had to wait a few days before getting their hands on a dangerous instrument. But laws are dangerous instruments, too, and legislators seem highly prone to sudden fits of hysteria.
The Instapundit pundits again!

Thomas Jefferson supported a mandatory period of one year between the introduction of a law and a final vote on its passage.  This idea didn't make it into the Constitution, but obviously should have,

To be honest I'd support a delay of longer than a year.  Make Congress stand for re-election before they can pass any new laws they propose.

Tue Mar 26 09:27:03 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Kudos to DiamondBack

Earlier, I reported that Mark Kelly, Gabrielle Giffords' husband and the head of a newly formed anti-gun political pressure group, had purchased a 1911 pistol and an AR-15 rifle at a gun store in Arizona.  He was photographed and identified while doing so, and had to release a public statement to the effect that he was just buying the rifle to turn it in to police.

There's an odd quirk in Arizona law that if you are buying a used firearm from a dealer, you need to wait a period of time (20 days?) before taking possession, purportedly so the police can figure out if it was stolen.  (It seems easier to me to do this check when the FFL takes possession, but what do I know?)

Turns out the store he bought the gun from decided it doesn't want his business:

"While I support and respect Mark Kelly's 2nd Amendment rights to purchase, possess, and use firearms in a safe and responsible manner, his recent statements to the media made it clear that his intent in purchasing the Sig Sauer M400 5.56mm rifle from us was for reasons other then for his personal use. In light of this fact, I determined that it was in my company's best interest to terminate this transaction prior to his returning to my store to complete the Federal From 4473 and NICS background check required of Mr. Kelly before he could take possession this firearm. A full refund was sent to Mr. Kelly, via express mail, on Thursday of last week.

The Sig Sauer rifle will be donated to the Arizona Tactical Officers Association where it will be raffled off to generate funds the association can use to purchase much needed tactical equipment for the organization's members. The A.T.O.A. represents the SWAT and Special Response officers of the state's law enforcement community who regularly place their lives on the line to protect the residents of this state.

Additionally, Diamondback Police Supply will make a $1295.00 contribution (the selling price of the M400 rifle) to the Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program that teaches children, in pre-K through 3rd grade, four important steps to take if they find a gun. The emphasis of the program is on child safety, something that is important to all of us and at the core of the current debate on gun control," stated Douglas MacKinlay, Owner/President, Diamondback Police Supply Co., Inc.

I can find no fault with their position on this.  While the "Police Supply" is a bit annoying, Arizona is a free state and if people want to focus their business on a law-enforcement niche, that's ok. 

Hat tip to Heels and Handguns.

Tue Mar 26 09:26:29 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

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