TriggerFinger


Florida activism opportunity

Via Sharp as a Marble comes an opportunity to make your voice heard on self defense in Florida:
Law abiding gun owners have been prosecuted for simply drawing their firearms to deter an assailant, drawing jail time, and in some cases, a felony conviction which bars them from possessing a firearm indefinitely.

Because of the Zimmerman case, Florida has been a hotbed of opposition to "Stand Your Ground" and "Castle Doctrine" self-defense laws lately. This is a chance to make things better. If we can push through our self-defense agenda in purple states against an already-radicalized opposition, it will go a long way.

Also in Florida news, gun rights activists are putting local governments on notice that their local gun laws are pre-empted by Florida state law.

Mon Jan 06 19:05:01 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Magpul leaves Colorado, fulfilling promise to gun owners

Yeah, companies leave your state when your state bans their products. The gun control laws passed in Colorado last year have now cost the state roughly $80M in annual economic activity, 200 direct jobs and 400 supply-chain jobs.

Major firearms manufacturers still operating in blue states, take note: you do not have to remain in the abusive relationship. If the state government yells at you, blames you for everything that goes wrong (even, and especially, when you had nothing to do with it), or hits you -- there are places you will be welcomed. You can start over in a safer place, a better place. A free place.

And politicians: Magpul is a young company making a accesories for firearms. They have many competitors making similar products. They are a drop in the bucket of the firearms industry as a whole. We can and will vote with our feet if necessary.

To borrow a line originally from, I think, Tamara: We win because there's no such thing as an anti-gun range, or an anti-gun store, or an anti-gun show.

Mon Jan 06 12:02:16 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The enemy has not been idle

Over at Random Nuclear Strikes, Phil points to two instances of apartment explosions that have something in common. At first guess, circumstances suggest that both cases were not so much accidents as premature detonations, and one of them was in the US.

I think the real terrorists have figured out that anyone offering to sell them a working bomb is an FBI agent, and are working on building their own.

Mon Jan 06 01:04:41 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

NSA intercepted packages to add surveillance equipment

The Instapundit points out that this would mean the various shipping services (UPS, FedEx, USPS) are cooperating with the National Security Agency, and that that would be illegal. On the one hand, yes, it is illegal. On the other hand, I am a lot more comfortable with an agency that carefully selects specific targets and conducts intensive surveillance on those targets by labor-intense means such as intercepting packages and applying specific, hardware-based surveillance devices than I am with an agency that indiscriminately conducts surveillance on the entire population, conspires to insert back doors into encryption standards used by everyone, and does so using automated technology that can keep up with the entire population.

One of those activities is traditional espionage. The other is a totalitarian dictatorship.

UPDATE: What would happen if an ordinary person did something like this? We can speculate about it, but we have an instructive example in this case of a local sheriff who installed a keylogger on his wife's work computer. His wife worked for the local judiciary, so he was actually punished. The NSA will never be punished.

Sun Jan 05 14:20:55 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Universal Background Checks

The National Shooting Sports Foundation has released a detailed poll on the background check topic that utterly destroys the 90% support myth. No Lawyers, Only Guns and Money breaks down the results in even more detail, and Phil from Random Nuclear Strikes points out that only three states were polled to get the 90% result.

The bottom line is that when you tell people what current law is, they don't want more gun control laws. You can get licensed dealers to run a background check because they are running a business, and they will want to run that check because their business depends on government permission to operate. You can't get criminals to run background checks on each other, because why would they bother? Remember, to flunk a background check, it's already illegal for you to possess a gun. If you're willing to break that law, you'll break the law about conducting a check before you buy... or just steal one.

Sun Jan 05 14:13:10 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Burn the system to the ground

Clark at Popehat points out the double-standard in criminal justice, and explains that it is not a flaw in the system, it is the intended result of the people presently in power:

Twenty years ago I was a libertarian. I thought the system could be reformed. I thought that some parts of it "worked" whatever that means. I thought that the goals were noble, even if not often achieved.

The older I get, the more I see, the more I read, the more clear it becomes to me that the entire game is rigged. The leftists and the rightists each see half of the fraud. The lefties correctly note that a poor kid caught with cocaine goes to jail, while a Bush can write it off as a youthful mistake (they somehow overlook the fact that their man Barrack hasn't granted clemency to any one of the people doing federal time for the same felonies he committed). The righties note that government subsidized windmills kill protected eagles with impunity while Joe Sixpack would be deep in the crap if he even picked up a dead eagle from the side of the road. The lefties note that no one was prosecuted over the financial meltdown. The righties note that the Obama administration rewrote bankruptcy law on the fly to loot value from GM stockholders and hand it to the unions. The lefties note that Republicans tweak export rules to give big corporations subsidies. Every now and then both sides join together to note that, hey! the government is spying on every one of us or that, hey! the government stole a bunch of people's houses and gave them to Pfizer, because a privately owned for-profit corporation is apparently what the Constitution means by "public use".

What neither side seems to realize is that the system is not reformable. There are multiple classes of people, but it boils down to the connected, and the not connected. Just as in pre-Revolutionary France, there is a very strict class hierarchy, and the very idea that we are equal before the law is a laughable nonsequitr.[sic]

He is both right and wrong here. I don't think the system is reformable, but I don't think that excuses us from trying to reform it through political means. But I am not a libertarian because I want to reform the present system; to me being a libertarian is a description of what the ideal political system should be. Ideal being a minimal government that focuses on protecting the population from other governments and from violent criminals. That's a long way from what we have now.

(Read More...)

Sat Jan 04 15:10:47 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Obama issues executive actions on gun control

Protein Wisdom is reporting that Obama has issued executive actions on gun control related to mental illness and the background check system. I do not give Obama the benefit of the doubt on this issue; it's not a question of whether he's going to try to screw us with this, but rather, how.

One action "clarifies" (this probably means expands) who is considered a prohibited person for reasons of mental health:
Some states have noted that the terminology used by federal law to prohibit people from purchasing a firearm for certain mental health reasons is ambiguous. Today, DOJ is issuing a proposed rule to make several clarifications. For example, DOJ is proposing to clarify that the statutory term "committed to a mental institution" includes involuntary inpatient as well as outpatient commitments. In addition to providing general guidance on federal law, these clarifications will help states determine what information should be made accessible to the federal background check system, which will, in turn, strengthen the system's reliability and effectiveness.

So, yes, expanding the definition of who qualifies appears to be the order of the day. It's still limited to "involuntary", but if the new definition includes outpatient as well as inpatient, you could be potentially looking at something so broad it includes people with court-ordered anger management classes or medication. This is potentially very dangerous, depending on how broadly it is interpreted, particularly with respect to veterans whose health care is provided by government.

The other makes the background check system an exception to HIPAA privacy rules:
Some states have also said that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy provisions may be preventing them from making relevant information available to the background check system regarding individuals prohibited from purchasing a firearm for mental health reasons. In April 2013, HHS began to identify the scope and extent of the problem, and based on public comments is now issuing a proposed rule to eliminate this barrier by giving certain HIPAA covered entities an express permission to submit to the background check system the limited information necessary to help keep guns out of potentially dangerous hands. The proposed rule will not change the fact that seeking help for mental health problems or getting treatment does not make someone legally prohibited from having a firearm. Furthermore, nothing in the proposed rule would require reporting on general mental health visits or other routine mental health care, or would exempt providers solely performing these treatment services from existing privacy rules.

I'm not convinced that the HIPAA privacy rules were much more than an excuse for a lot of anti-gun states to avoid submitting anything to the federal system. However, the combination of these two proposed changes suggests that Obama sees mental health as his window to target gun rights. He doesn't need to make changes to existing law; all he has to do is expand existing definitions and convince the blue states currently not reporting their involuntary commitments to report not only their involuntary commitments, but also whatever else he can convince a bureaucrat is enough to qualify for a firearms disability.

(Read More...)

Sat Jan 04 12:55:48 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Constitutional ignorance

Even in an article explaining exactly this problem, so-called journalists don't understand the Constitution:

Eleven GOP attorneys general say the Obama administration is breaking the law by repeatedly making changes to ObamaCare without going through Congress...They say the healthcare fix was "flatly illegal under federal constitutional and statutory law."

... Republicans have often criticized the administration for making changes to the law after the fact. Other switches included the decision to delay the employer insurance mandate for a year, something many lawmakers said should have required a congressional vote.

... Obama changed the law to allow insurance companies to allow canceled plans after coming under criticism when millions of people found out their plans were no longer being offered despite Obama's repeated promise that under ObamaCare, people would be able to keep their insurance plans if they liked them.

Our President, no matter his race or party affiliation, does not have any power to change the law. He can sign, veto, or refuse to act on whatever Congress passes. That's it. Legally, he doesn't even have much discretion about whether to enforce a law that Congress has passed, though he can refuse to enforce an unConstitutional law or allocate resources to avoid enforcement to some degree.

But he cannot change the law.

11 state Attorney Generals made exactly that same point, and this article is about the letter they sent making it. And it still says that "Obama changed the law", without even a pretense of qualification, as if he had the unquestioned authority to do that simply by making a speech.

He does not.

Fri Jan 03 14:06:52 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

So-called border exception to the 4th Amendment upheld

The American Civil Liberties Union brought the challenge nearly three years ago, claiming U.S. border officials should have reasonable suspicion to search gadgets along the border because of the data they store. But Judge Korman said the so-called "border exemption", in which people can be searched for no reason at all along the border, continues to apply in the digital age.

There is no justification for the border exception in the Constitution. Judges simply made it up because they thought people should be searched at the borders. And they define "borders" as roughly 100 miles inland, which, when you think about it, probably covers a lot of the east coast population in their homes.

Fri Jan 03 10:10:40 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Obama's top ten constitutional violations in 2013

When there's a top ten list for just one year, there's a problem with the person sitting in the top chair.

Fri Jan 03 08:33:11 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Study confirms more guns, less crime

Applied Economics Letters has published a study on the effect of concealed carry and assault weapons bans on state-level murder rates. I'm not personally inclined to drop $40 for the article or $120 for the full paper, but here's the abstract:

The purpose of the present study is to determine the effects of state-level assault weapons bans and concealed weapons laws on state-level murder rates. Using data for the period 1980 to 2009 and controlling for state and year fixed effects, the results of the present study suggest that states with restrictions on the carrying of concealed weapons had higher gun-related murder rates than other states. It was also found that assault weapons bans did not significantly affect murder rates at the state level. These results suggest that restrictive concealed weapons laws may cause an increase in gun-related murders at the state level. The results of this study are consistent with some prior research in this area, most notably Lott and Mustard (1997).

Gun control advocates are science deniers.

Wed Jan 01 14:38:31 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

A good sign

It seems the Boston mayor doesn't want the police armed with AR-15 rifles. Jay at MArooned reacts:

Please, please, PLEASE, Mayor Walsh, please pick this hill to die on. Please make this a rock-solid cornerstone of your administration, that Boston PD not be allowed to carry AR-15 style rifles. Please, make the stance that the police are no longer special, protected classes. Please. I beg you. AR-15 style rifles are so dangerous that not even police should have them, yes. So are magazines with capacities of more than 10 rounds, now that you're thinking about it...

You see, I want law enforcement on board with the forces for freedom. For too long, they've been getting exemptions from the onerous gun laws passed, from being allowed access to new machine guns to carrying magazines in excess of 10 rounds during the Clinton ban, to using AR-15 pattern rifles when many want to ban them completely. It's time that being a law enforcement officer NOT exempt one from the laws that govern us all.

Yeah, that's about right.

Wed Jan 01 00:11:58 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

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