Tuesday, September 30, 2014

CA Governor Signs AB 1014: Gun Confiscation By Accusation

California Governor Brown has signed a bill that will allow the elimination of Second Amendment Rights with only an accusation from family, friends, or "acquaintances". With only the accusers statement, firearms would be seized for an "indeterminate" period. Appeal would come later, before California's notoriously anti-gun judiciary. 

This is probably the most draconian, dangerous and un-Constitutional law ever in California. The potential for abuse should be apparent. It will certainly become the standard tool of divorce attorneys, as well as when there are disputes between family members, neighbors, coworkers, government bureaucrats, etc.  

Best. PSA. Ever.

Completely off-topic, but ... if this didn't get the message across, nothing will.

Stay safe out there.

Monday, September 29, 2014

California Anti-Gun Dreamin’

As part of a continuing effort to build their Golden Utopia upon the breaking bones of California, our Loonislature has put four more bad anti-gun bills on the governor’s desk. They vary from the ridiculous regulation of BB Guns as firearms to the sublime un-Constitutional stripping of Second Amendment Rights based on simple accusations. 

To Wit(less):   

AB 1014 (Skinner, Williams)
        Establishes shall-issue “Gun Violence Restraining Orders” and “Firearm seizure warrants” to be issued by California’s notoriously anti-gun courts

SB 808 (De León)
        Criminalizes home-built (hobbyist) firearms without serial numbers

AB 1609 (Alejo)
          New firearms importation regulations, penalties

SB 199 (De León)
        Expands regulations on BB guns

All is not lost, as our Governor Moonbeam, "Flaky Jerry" Brown, is now an island of reasonableness in the Looney-Left sea of Sacramento. Such is the state of California politics. All friends of Gun Rights should contact the Governor’s Office and oppose all these bills.   

Governor Jerry Brown
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 445-2841
Fax: (916) 558-3160 

E-mail and fax Governor Brown

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Ferguson, MO in the News Again

More Ferguson craziness:

Saturday evening, a Ferguson (the racially wracked suburb of St Louis, MO) police officer was shot chasing two robbery suspects.

Police: Ferguson Officer Shot; 2 Suspects Wanted

The police descended on the area searching for the shooter and his accomplice. A small, but very vocal crowd to gathered around the Ferguson Community Center. This being the 21st Century, "Anonymous" used a starlight scope to webcast the confrontation. (Caution: the language is definitely NSFW.) There seemed to be five to ten agitators bent on violence. Fortunately, their angry calls went unheeded.

My wife reported there were many sirens en route to North St Louis County/ Ferguson.     

Shots fired at off-duty officer on I-70; suspects on the loose

Very close to Ferguson, and about the same time as the protests were winding down, an off-duty St Louis policeman was shot at on a North St Louis County freeway. Apparently unprovoked, the attack left the officer slightly wounded from flying glass. Their was no return fire at the carload of three African-Americans. No arrests have been made.

Violent night in St. Louis leaves one dead, nine others wounded

It was apparently business-as-usual on the St Louis eastside: two drive-bys and a fatal shooting/ critical wounding in a bar parking lot. Overall the night tallied nine wounded and one dead. Community organizers seem to have completely ignored these assaults, even though they were probably black on black crimes.

HT: St Louis Dispatch, Fox 2 St Louis

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Massad Ayoob's 10 Must Read CCW Articles

Seems like there's been a recent spate of news articles pointing out why concealed carry is a damn good idea - and is becoming an even better one all the time. Thanks to Gun Digest, 10 of Massad Ayoob's best, most informative concealed carry articles have been collected in one place:

10 Concealed Carry Articles by Massad Ayoob You MUST Read

Massad Ayoob by Tamara Keel
(All Rights Reserved or She'll Keel You)

Friday, September 26, 2014

BREAKING! Beheading Attack in Oklahoma

Workers at a food processing plant in Oklahoma were stabbed by an ex-co-worker. One victim's head was severed by the attacker.

From NewsOK.com:
MOORE — An incident at a Moore food distribution center left one woman dead, and two people injured, Moore police reported Thursday.

Officers found two women stabbed and a man shot inside Vaughan Foods, Inc., 216 NE 12, in what has been described as an incident of workplace violence. One of the women was pronounced dead.


Shortly before 4:15 p.m., callers told police someone was being stabbed in a fit of workplace violence. Minutes later, police received calls of an active shooter situation at the same location, [police Sgt. Jeremy] Lewis said.
Details are still coming in, but here's a timely observation about the "shooting" part (from WREG):
Investigators said, Mark Vaughan, a Oklahoma County reserve deputy and former CEO of the business, shot [Suspect] as he was stabbing [Victim #2].

"He’s a hero in this situation," Sgt. Lewis said, referring to Vaughan. "It could have gotten a lot worse."
But... But... But guns are never used to stop crimes. Shannon Watts said it, I believe it, that settles it.

Also being reported is the attacker's recent conversion to Islam and his efforts at converting his co-workers. Because of this, the FBI has been called in to assist in the investigation. I have my thoughts on whether the suspect's religious views are related to the attack, but we're waiting for official confirmation.

[UPDATE: 11:52 am PDT] MSNBC is reporting, No Evidence Oklahoma Beheading Linked to Terrorism, Police Say. My opinion: No evidence doesn't necessarily mean no link. The attack itself may have been (and probably was) a dangerous and violent man's vendetta for being fired, but nobody decapitates a victim as a matter of course, especially not with what amounts to a kitchen knife (commercial model, but not significantly different from anything in your home kitchen). I believe he was using the brutality to make a statement, but only he can tell us what, exactly, that statement is. [/UPDATE]

[UPDATE 2: 2:27 pm PDT] William A. Jacobson, who runs the most-excellent Legal Insurrection blog (which is on your frequent-read list, right?), notes that disenfranchised workers now have an option between "going postal" and "going ISIS". Given the gravity of the events, I'm not sure how to feel about it, but it is a powerful insight. [/UPDATE 2]

I would note, however, that the first Fort Hood shooting was perpetrated by a practicing Muslim — who communicated with known Islamic extremists terrorists and referred to himself as a "Soldier of Allah" — but that attack was officially classified as a "workplace violence" incident as well.

I'll try to keep this post updated as new information comes in. Stay safe out there.

Home Invader Forces Woman Onto Her Roof

Woman Escapes to Roof Fleeing Home Invader
(Alexandria Thompson - Venice311@twitter.com)
In a situation that could have very quickly gotten much worse, actress Melora Rivera retreated onto to the roof of her Venice Beach, CA home to avoid an intruder. Holding only a cell phone, Ms Rivera's last refuge was a gable's slight overhang. She was fleeing from Christian Hicks, who broke down a door and pursued her through the house to the roof. At one point, Hicks got within 10 to 15 feet of the terrified woman. Hicks is known to area residents and the police, and is thought to be a mentally ill transient.

Woman Evades Mentally Ill Home Intruder By Hiding Half-Naked On Roof

Hicks was detained earlier in the day for breaking into a yard, but was released by the cops. It was fortunately for Rivera that the police were able to respond in only about 2 minutes to the trendy Venice Beach address. Hicks was in custody approximately 30 minutes after the incident's start. From photos, Hicks is a large, athletically built man, and even unarmed, certainly posed a serious threat to the petite Rivera.   

A question to the Mad Moms: do you still demand that this woman, and millions like her, be disarmed in the face of an immediate, overwhelming threat? Ms Rivera is lucky to live in a well-to-do, well policed area like Venice Beach and to have survived this assault. 

Many women aren't that lucky.  

HT: Fox News

Thursday, September 25, 2014

BREAKING! NPR: Holder To Resign Today

AG Eric Holder
Eric Holder To Step Down As Attorney General

Good Riddance. He was/is a highly polarizing figure and no friend to the Rights community or the Rule of Law.

However, the timing is interesting: done now in order to get a controversial replacement through the Senate while the Democrats still control? If so, the mind recoils at who will be put in his place. Hard leftist California Attorney General Kamala Harris? Or another close to Obama? Could Holder be leaving for his rumored, long-desired judicial appointment - again to be confirmed by a still compliant Senate?    

Did he jump -- or was he pushed? 

Breaking! NJ Blinks! Shaneen Allen to PTI

In a hard fought victory for common sense, decency and justice, The New Jersey Prosecutor <spit> will allow Shaneen Allen to choose Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI.)

Philly mom arrested for carrying handgun in A.C. to receive pre-trial intervention

PTI is a program that allows first time offenders to avoid the life-long stigma of a felony conviction. Ray Rice, the Baltimore Ravens running back, benefited from PTI when he beat his fiancee unconscious in a hotel elevator. That same program was denied a mother of two who made an honest mistake and took her licensed CCW into New Jersey. Unlike Rice's, Allen's incident was without intent nor harm to another.

Shaneen Allen and Her Two Sons
(Gary Bernard Charwin in NJ.com)
From the very start this case has been a travesty of justice, driven by the New Jersey's obsession with guns in civilian hands. The Atlantic County Prosecutor, Jim McClain, threatened Allen with greater than 10 years in jail for crossing a state line with a licensed firearm. Thanks to Tom Gresham, the Second Amendment Foundation, the New Jersey 2nd Amendment Society, the NRA, and the resulting nation-wide groundswell of outrage, McClain was forced to reverse course.

This is a significant victory, but it is also a battle that should never have needed to been fought.  

Ms Allen has already spent 46 days in jail and has lost her job. We think it would be only fitting if Prosecutor McClain endured the same fate.

If the law is an ass, McClain is an @$$hole. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Keep Your Gas To Yourself

I'll share a prepper tip I recently had to relearn.

NOT My Truck - Way Too Pretty
I've got an ol'  Ford F-250 HD 4x4 parked in front of my house. It's as ugly, capable and reliable as I dream of being. Amenities are sparse, it barely has an electrical system, and the only computer in it is my smart phone. It's the epitome of yester-tech: brutally simplistic. That's one of the reasons I keep it around: it's my Mad Max truck.  

The truck does have one Achilles' Heel: it needs fuel - lots of it. As such, it carries 43 gallons in two tanks. Last week, someone thought that was entirely too much gas, so during the night they attempted to redistribute the wealth. Unfortunately, they found out it's a diesel truck. That wasn't to their liking, so they tipped over their container, and let about 4 - 5 ill-gotten gallons drain into my gutter. That's about $20 at Cali diesel prices. Thanks, a-holes. I hope you got a mouthful of California's special, unicorn-safe diesel.  

However, I really do need to thank those scum, as they've pointed-out a flaw in my preparations. 

If SHTF, the wifey and I are going to desperately need every ounce of that diesel - and yet, I haven't secured it in any way. During the '70's gas crises, everyone had locking gas caps - or a gas can and a siphon hose like my douche-bag neighbor. We've largely gotten away from locking caps in the intervening decades. But, that's going to change RealSoonNow: I'm protecting my automotive life blood with two new locking caps.

I've already got the siphon hose.  ;^)'   

Cold Cuts: Meat Market Robber Stopped Cold

Gotta love Bob Owens: sometimes his stuff causes you to think "Did I really read that?"

Houston Meat Market Robbery Thwarted By Global Warming, Bullets, But Mostly Bullets
"When the teen-aged clerk didn’t move fast enough for the criminal and the robber fired at her, manager J.L. Nickel gave the robber several reasons to reconsider his profession, including one to the back of the head."

"Surprisingly, the robber not only fled the restaurant after being shot, but successfully escaped."
       Bob Owens, bearingarms.com
The market hadn't been robbed in 60 years - then it was. There's an important lesson there... somewhere... I suspect ol' J.L. learned it long ago. 

J.L. Nickel, Manager (Houston Channel 2)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Oregon's New Political TV Ad from Bloomberg's Everytown Moms

I just saw this while watching the news this morning:

The majority of gun owners want background checks in place.
Indeed, the majority of gun owners support background checks. The majority of gun owners, however, DO NOT support expanding or enhancing the current background check system.

We need to be clear(er) on this point. The polls and surveys ask, "Do you support background checks on gun sales?" Most of us are OK with them as long as they're non-intrusive and cannot be used to build a registry of guns or gun owners, but the poll answers are being conflated to include actions we don't support.

[sarcasm] Because everyone knows, if we support background checks, then we obviously must support a draconian mental-health-evaluation, traffic-tickets-included, due-process-stripping, 90-day-waiting-period, 100-page-questionaire, felony-if-you-answer-wrong, strip-naked-and-get-up-on-the-probulator* "background check" applicable every time a gun passes from one hand to the next, even if only for a few minutes, right? [/sarcasm]

On top of that, he claims to be a gun owner, but he's playing on his victim status, having lost his brother during the Clackamas Town Center shooting. I'll be the last to downplay his loss, but let's do some fact-checking here.

Here's the Wikipedia article on the shooting. Like a lot of Wikipedia articles, it's a bit short on details, but the pertinent bits are there.
  • The Clackamas Town Center mall has a "No Guns" policy.**
  • The shooter stole his rifle, so no background check was performed; he exploited the "steal-a-gun loophole", I guess.
  • Even if he had tried to purchase the rifle at a gun store or gun show (no "gun show loophole" in Oregon since 2001; see ORS 166.433), he had a clean criminal background and no previously reported mental health issues. He'd have passed.
  • The shooter evidently planned this to be much bigger (he'd purchased ammo and AR-15 magazines before stealing the gun), but seemed to be shooting randomly, without aiming; he attacked a crowded food court, but missed with 13 of his 16 shots (#17 was used on himself).
  • Importantly, but disregarded by many news articles on the shooting, the shooter was confronted early on by a concealed handgun license (CHL) carrier who did not fire due to the proximity of bystanders, which may have caused the shooter to retreat and take his own life, ending the incident.
So like we tend to ask after every such tragedy: Which new "common sense" law being proposed would have stopped this?

And on that note, I will NOT be supporting John Kitzhaber's re-election campaign for Governor of Oregon.

* - Yes, that's a "Futurama" reference.
** - It's worth mentioning that in Oregon, "No Guns" policies -- even clearly posted ones (which this one isn't, IIRC) -- carry very weak force of statutory law (case law is different; IANAL, yadda yadda). If a person is discovered carrying against the policy, he/she can be asked to leave. If they don't, they can be arrested/charged with trespassing -- a misdemeanor (see ORS 164.265). However, it's a distinction only LEOs, attorneys, and CHL holders would recognize. I doubt the shooter considered it.

The Dumbs Equinox

Two long-form posts hanging fire, work, showing the house, and early brain-death have prevented today's post. 

My apologies.

I might just have to go to the range for some recoil therapy. 

Happy First Day of Fall. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

True Believers Confronted By Truth

While this link isn't gun related per say, it does examine the fanatics that compose the activist core of the climate change movement. It's a story of true believers confronted by those inconvenient truths known as facts. The result is often increased levels of rhetoric, emotion, hysterics, demonstrations and sometimes violence. In their need to triumph, the true believers will say and do anything, including outright lying and making even crazier demands.

The Crumbling Climate-Change Consensus
Extremists’ rhetoric heats up as their case falls apart. 
And Then They Came For The Bolt-Actions

Congressional Candidate Just Wished Ebola on NRA

Now does it sound gun related? I give you the Brady Bunch, Bloomby, SCGV, the Mad Moms, etc. You can't ignore the politicians, however, they're apt to be just mercenary.
Click to Imbiginate   (obamacartoon.blogspot.com)

And it's from John Fund.  Come on, John Fund...

Fanaticism consists in redoubling your efforts when you have forgotten your aim.
     George Santayana

HT: NRO, Mark Vanderberg and Bob Owens

Sunday, September 21, 2014

ISIS Plot to Behead Unarmed Australians

Australian counterterrorism forces detained 15 people Thursday in a series of suburban raids after receiving intelligence that the Islamic State militant group was planning public beheadings in two Australian cities to demonstrate its reach.
   Fox News
Australia raids foil reported ISIS beheading plots

With ISIS arrests, Australians wishing they had guns

Australia, ISIS And The Role Of Guns

Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)

A not so gentle reminded that civilian arms have a place in every society. You cannot know when or where the threats will come from. Or from whom: many of those accused in the beheading plot were fellow Australian citizens, radicalized by the ISIS cause.   

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Because This Came Up Elsewhere

And like Tam says, there's no sense throwing away good material at an away game. Besides, this is important.

So Miguel posted up this article, and a good discussion was had in the comments...

...which led me to seek out and find this article from January at the Volokh Conspiracy.

It's worth looking at because it gives a unique glimpse into the Leftist/"Progressive"/Collectivist mind. As it happens, conservatives and libertarians (both big 'L' and small 'l' varieties) -- hereafter referred to as "The Right" -- really do resolve moral dilemmas differently from Leftists. Psychologist Jonathan Haidt identified five (or six) "vectors of morality" people use to decide the "correct" position, and noted that while the Right tends to weigh all five (or six) more-or-less equally, the Left places value in only two, essentially ignoring the rest.

Perhaps most interestingly (and perhaps as a direct result), while the Left is unable to accurately determine or predict what the Right thinks and does, the Right has no trouble at all figuring out the Left's positions.

Where the Left can seem to justify anything based on their values, the Right can only "universally" justify a few things and seems confused or conflicted on others. According to Haidt, this happens when the five (or six) factors conflict. The Left, using only two factors -- the most highly subjective two at that, in my opinion -- rarely experiences this dilemma. On the other hand, where all the values align and agree, the Right has a much stronger moral position and a "thicker", more layered justification for holding that position.

I believe this is also why the Left relies so heavily on straw-man arguments, projection, and other logical fallacies; they really don't understand the conservative mind or value system, so they have to fill in the gaps somehow. Their conclusions are technically logically sound, but their initial assumptions are way off-base. Garbage in, garbage out, as it were.

The take-away is this: We really can't reason with the Left on issues of right/wrong; their moral compasses are calibrated to a different value of North.

Just thought I would share. Enjoy!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Astroturfy Prosecutors Against Gun Violence

The problem with being a world-weary, cynical pessimist is that the human condition doesn't surprise anymore. Nothing is ever new. No extraordinary depravity invigorates. Peter has been robbed for Paul so many times that it's a given. No lie is too big, no crony capitalist too brazen, no politician too craven to eclipse what has already occurred. It's all the same o' - same o'.

Then... something pops up that restores one's faith in the lacks of humanity:

Prosecutors Form New Coalition to Combat Gun Violence
          USA Today, Yamiche Alcindor, 9/17/14

(USA Today)
This breathless article from USA Today (America's Fish Wrapper) plows the same old barren ground, but does so in such an over-the-top, unreflective, and unexamined way as to make it truly extraordinary. It's penned by Yamiche Alcindor, who, despite her name, is not an Asian basketball player, but a "breaking news reporter, [who] splits her time covering quickly developing incidents and stories about the social issues affecting the USA. She's also a proud Miami Heat fan." (Well, that ship has also sailed.) Apparently proficient with the copy/paste function, she has crafted an article almost certainly pulled directly from the Prosecutors Against Gun Violence press release. That lack of journalistic discretion is in no way unique these days, but her transmittal of so many obvious howlers and her own embellishments make it damn enjoyable.

"As concerns mount over shootings and mass killings..." Ms Alcindor wastes no vowels before sticking her toe in the incredulity. On Sep 17th, 2014, just where are those mounting concerns? It may seem like a small literary fiction, but it provides a disingenuous answer to the important "Why now?" question. I don't see it - maybe those prosecutors are better at discerning the facts... To that point: 

"The group, Prosecutors Against Gun Violence, includes attorneys from several major metropolitan centers including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Seattle, Miami, Houston and Milwaukee." Umm... any faint suspicion that since the cities listed have some of the worst rates of violence, they might not have the best solutions to gun violence?

" 'We are really key players in fighting gun violence proactively,' said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr." (He's the son of Cyrus Vance, failed Secretary of State to Jimmy Carter, the second worst President of the modern era.) Junior then spends the rest of paragraph describing how he procedurally reacts  to crime. Junior DA also claims to have "[H]elped dismantle gun gangs in New York City." Oh, this is good: gun gangs? Poly pistols or ol' skool 19-eleventy fans? Hey Cy, how about calling them drug gangs, robbery gangs, or extortion gangs? That is, if you intend to be the least bit honest. 

Feel the Smarm
LA DA Mike Feuer

" 'Our members will draw from our colleagues' most effective strategies and join forces to advance policies that can save lives,' said Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, the other co-chairman." Oh, man... that's some Extra Large Grade AA feldercarb right there. In a town (my town) with 450 acknowledged gangs, a justice legal system charitably described as "catch and release", a frightening amount of radically reduced plea bargained charges, a vicious inner city, and an out of control murder rate, this ex-city councilman, ex-state assemblyman, current political whore is holding himself out as the fount of all wisdom? With barely a year in office? Oh, this is rich

"Feuer says the group will be more than just slogans."  ....Stop it! You're killin' me! 

He Fights Your Freedom
Click to Imbiginate
Look for lots of press releases with half-baked declarations, juicy quotes ...and slogans, lots and lots of slogans. There will be elaborately staged TV appearances, commercials, and fawning articles and "news reports" like Ms Alcindor's. Whomever paid for this goat rope (and I'll bet Miley Cyrus' modesty we all can guess who the Sugar Cola Daddy really is) will expect nothing less. As for "Why now?" I'll further bet that these Prosecutors, cloaked in the dignity of the office they are absent from, will figure prominently in attack ads in this coming November. Perhaps they'll support Bloomberg favorite John Hickenlooper, the hard-pressed, anti-gun light-weight, stooge and Colorado Governor.

Does anyone not feel the hairy, hidden hand of Michael Bloomberg, That Nasty Little Fascist? (Thank you, Michael Bane.) The obsessive focus on the guns themselves is a damn good indicator. After all, the agendas and conclusions came long before the Prosecutor's first meeting. Might it be, I don't know, a rush to judgement? (Feuer should be very familiar with that term.) Think the tried and untrue demonization of an object was a foregone conclusion? You betcha: It's the guuuuuns!

And I thought the depths of the human condition had already been plumbed.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Quote of the Day - Vik Khanna (Sept. 11, 2014)

Vik Khanna
(Source: Khanna on Health Blog)
Vik Khanna, writing for The Health Care Blog, lays down some unfortunate truth:
Public health students are taught early on that guns are evil, that the people who think otherwise are an ignorant, backward, Jerry Springer watching lot and that there are some questions you don’t ask: at least not if you want to pass the class.

This says more about the public health community than it does anything else.
Bingo. I couldn't have said it any better than that myself.

Actually, the whole article is chock-full of potential Quotes of the Day, so I strongly encourage you to read the whole thing.

(Hat tip: Robb Allen at Sharp as a Marble)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Legal Question: Shooting in Defense of Pets?

There's some interesting discussion going on over at Gun Nuts Media, on the topic of whether armed deadly force is appropriate in defense of pets, specifically dogs. Caleb posits a hypothetical:
Source: Gun Nuts Media
[L]et’s say you’re out walking your dog. Someone shouts "if you bring that pit bull* near me I’m going to stab it." You, being a smart person, move in the opposite direction of the shouter. Then you come round a corner, and there he is. He attacks your dog with a knife, stabbing it.... Could you in that situation reasonably articulate that you were in fear for your life?
I know my blog-partner Charlie Foxtrot keeps German Shepard Dogs, and my family will likely also adopt a dog (probably a GSD as well) by the end of the year. As such, I would really like to get a legal opinion on this.

Any attorneys in the audience, please sound off in the comments (non-attorneys are welcome to chime in, too). As a disclaimer: I'm only asking for an off-the-cuff opinion, not "legal advice"; I promise I won't hold you to it.

(Hat tip: Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned)

* - As an aside, this isn't just about pit bulls; you'd be surprised how many normal people wouldn't recognize a pit bull breed if it bit them on the @$$, literally.**
** - On that note, would it be fair to say that pit bulls are the "assault weapons" of the dog world? I mean, why does anybody need such a "dangerous" dog breed, with "no legitimate companionship purpose"? Just sayin'.

More on Washington's I-594

Quite possibly the worst gun bill ever, possibly second only to bills with the word "ban" in the title.

Source: NRA's VoteNo594.com page
From Lee Williams at the Herald-Tribune:
You're at the range.

A longtime friend comes over and asks if he could try your handgun, as he's contemplating buying one.

Of course you agree. That's what gun owners do.

If this scenario occurs in Washington State after the passage of Initiative 594, both of you have broken the law.

Initiative 594 would classify this as a transfer -- something that would require paperwork, fees, a waiting period and if it involves a handgun, government registration.
There's been a lot of misinformation about this bill, but make no mistake: it's a bad one for gun rights. Mr. Williams calls it "ill-conceived" and "poorly thought out", but I think he's being too generous; there's no way something this damaging is an accident.

Its supporters tout it as a simple background check bill on firearm sales/purchases with no registration.

The reality? The bill is 18 pages (what 18-page law is "simple"?) and specifically names transfers (broadly defined with very few exemptions), not "sales". As for registration ... I-594 doesn't need it; if passed, it will piggy-back on an existing-but-little-known Washington law requiring that people purchasing handgun sales through dealers undergo a background check and submit paperwork for Washington's handgun registry.

Yes, Washington has a handgun registry.

And I-594 would require that nearly all handgun "transfers" (broadly defined, remember?) go through a dealer's background check, which means nearly every handgun transferred in Washington will be required to be registered, including "private" sales and temporary loans. In the case of temporary loans, the paperwork must be filled out, background check passed, fees paid, and handgun re-registered, on both sides: when you loan the gun, and when you get it back.

If you're in Washington State -- or even if you're not but you know people in Washington -- please help spread the word. Read Lee Williams' article (it's short), check out the NRA's Vote No on 594 page, and if you like, print off their "pocket guide" (PDF warning) for a handy-dandy list of talking points and dispelled myths.

Source: WAGunRights.org
And while you're chatting with Washington folks, do what you can to promote SAF's Initiative 591. It's a half-page, two sentence measure -- supported by law enforcement groups and nine (and counting) individual county Sheriffs -- that provides that a) background checks in Washington comply with a uniform national standard (a.k.a. the FBI's NICS check), and b) firearms cannot be confiscated or seized by law enforcement without due process.

If I-594 passes, you can expect similar ballot initiatives to come to your area, and be funded by billionaires trying to buy your local elections and your rights. We need to shove this in their faces and make it clear this tactic is a waste of their money.

[UPDATED TO ADD:] Dave Workman weighs in (again):
"Gun prohibitionists continue to portray themselves as underdogs when they have a $7 million advantage, and are asking $1,000 to co-host the [Seattle Mayor Ed] Murray event, $500 to sponsor it and $250 to support it.

Nobody is asking for money to attend the [pro-gun] Westlake Center Park rally. This is grassroots possibly at its finest...."
Just so we're all clear on which side has the monetary advantage, and which side is being honest about who has the monetary advantage. [/UPDATE]

(Hat tip: Herschel at The Captain's Journal)

Happy Constitution Day! The Foundation of America's Freedom and Success


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tom Gresham's Free Shaneen Billboard

Free Shaneen Billboard (GunTalk.com)
Tom Gresham, along with the Second Amendment Foundation and the New Jersey 2nd Amendment Society have supersized their objections to the Shaneen Allen case. For an honest mistake, Ms Allen now faces 10 years in prison for a "gun crime" without intent nor victim. The gun-rights orgs are attempting to shame the shameless New Jersey prosecutor for Atlantic County: Jim McClain. McClain is the same "tough on crime" prosecutor that excused Baltimore Raven running back Ray Rice for beating his fiancee unconscious in an elevator. 

Breaking News!


Guess who blinked?

Trial Postponed for Philly Mom Charged With Carrying Licensed Gun in Wrong State as Prosecutor Takes a Second Look at Her Case

HT: GunTalk.com

Ms Allen has already spent 40 some days in jail and has lost her job. I think it would be only fitting if Jim McClain, the Atlantic County Prosecutor, endured the same. 

Popular Solutions for Gun-Crimes?

"[Y]ou cannot possibly subscribe to the idea that only social sanctions,well-designed law-enforcement penalties and a more equitable welfare policy stand between us and a nearly-crime-free utopia."
        Megan McArdle, writing in the Bloomberg <spit> View
Megan McArdle
There's hardly been a better description of what many actually DO believe. Add "bans of scary-looking guns" and it would be the perfect description of the populist beliefs behind anti-gun laws. It's so simple, direct and appealing... and wrong. Encouraged in their misconceptions by the intelligentsia, politicians, celebrities and media one more law, ban, common sense solution, another "do something", just one more abridgement of rights,  and all will be fixed.

Ms McArdle continues slowly towards why there is crime:
"That’s because many people are … well, something that’s not printable on a family blog. Let’s just say that a troublesome minority of people will ignore basic decency and morality and do terrible, wrong things to get what they want."  
Ms McArdle (BTW: a center-right/libertarian blogger of some note) has stumbled upon a basic truth. One that many of us know innately. There are bad, even evil, people out there. They exist largely outside of societies rules and norms. They're literally lawless: Homo Praedatorias, Preying Man, violent actors. Call them what you will.

The lawless are fortunately a small percentage: scientists estimate about 2 - 5% of the populace. Why? Science now knows there's a genetic predisposition to behaviors, add family (or lack of same), micro-culture norming, education, expectations and companions, etc and sometimes you get evil. This has been true since Cain bagged his limit of Abels. The stupid, lazy, crazy and evil, have always been with us - and always will.
The key is how society manages their aberrants. Their lawlessness set them apart from society as a whole. The Ivory Towers have no idea how little their laws effect them; they're outside that. Occasionally, they get caught, tried and punished. However, this is seen as just the cost of doing business.

Where is this going? Back to McArdle's paragraph at the top. All the laws in the world are not going stop the lawless. Expecting that after 30 millennium is crazy. Pushing laws as solutions is disingenuous at best.    

Yet, laws are usually the preferred "solution" to a perceived gun-violence problems. And the reason we have to continuously fight for our rights. 

HT: Ian ArgentShall Not Be Questioned uberblog

Monday, September 15, 2014

NYT - The Assault Weapon Myth

Gray Lady Down
After twenty years of constant lies, the New York Times admits to The Assault Weapon Myth

"It turns out that big, scary military rifles don’t kill the vast majority of the 11,000 Americans murdered with guns each year."
      New York Times, The Assault Weapon Myth, ep 12, 2014  

Thanks for that blinding flash of the obvious. The Times was also shocked to learn:
"Most Americans do not know that gun homicides have decreased by 49 percent since 1993 as violent crime also fell, though rates of gun homicide in the United States are still much higher than those in other developed nations. A Pew survey conducted after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., found that 56 percent of Americans believed wrongly that the rate of gun crime was higher than it was 20 years ago."
No responsibility is assigned for those misperceptions; although gun-rights advocates such as the NRA and Dr John Lott have long been scorned in the pages of the NYT for pointing out those facts. America's tattered "Paper of Record" ignores its complicity in withholding or dismissing that information. Interestingly, the author also refrains from any mention the decades of growth in lawful concealed carry. By ignoring CCWs, the NYT is unconscionably hiding their apparent effect of reducing violence and spree killings. It's simply not in line with the NYT's progressive narrative.  
 “We spent a whole bunch of time and a whole bunch of political capital yelling and screaming about assault weapons,” Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu of New Orleans said. He called it a “zero sum political fight about a symbolic weapon.”
Similarly, there's no mention of the gun-rights community that invested "a whole bunch of time and a whole bunch of political capital" to successfully fight those unsupported infringements of everyone's rights. True to form, the NYT continues their biased, one-sided reportage by suppressing facts that do not support their narrative.

The Times does telegraph a shift of policy:
"More than 20 years of research funded by the Justice Department has found that programs to target high-risk people or places, rather than targeting certain kinds of guns, can reduce gun violence."  "...and building on successes in other cities, New Orleans is now identifying the young men most at risk and intervening to help them get jobs."
Sounds expensive -- and intrusive. Again, no mention of the proven techniques of arrest, prosecution and incarceration. Just more feel-good bureaucratic programs, several of which have already failed dangerously in the LA area, including one highly touted effort where the Feds and State were essentially funding a murderous drug gang. What could (not) go wrong?

Selecting one of my extensive collection of tin-foil hats: this all seems worrisome. These initiatives could bring yet another facet to the burgeoning surveillance culture. Does anyone else sense the dangers in the government "identifying the young men most at risk"? The Obama administration is already targeting veterans and Tea Party activists. With that targeting could logically come attempts to eliminate fundamental rights. California's Governor currently has a bill on his desk that would strip an individual's rights based on nothing more than a suspicion. Bills that would automatically eliminate 2nd Amendment Rights for being placed on the nebulous Terror Watch List are continuously being discussed.

(Full Disclosure: I've been on the Terror Watch List -- for a false positive swipe of my CPAP machine. I latter asked one of the TSA Barneys annoying me how I could get off the damn list: "Canz tell yah, iz a sekrut!"   *Sigh*)

Unfortunately, it may be easier to demonize a person or group than an inanimate object.

We must remain forever vigilant.   

HT: Mark Vanderberg, Gun Rights Advocate Podcast

[Update:] Hmm... on the same day, essentially the same story as the New York Times' appeared in the Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire: Finally Waving the White Flag on the Assault Weapons Ban. Coincidence?   


Saturday, September 13, 2014

On "Common Core" Education Standards

Representative Dennis Richardson (source)
I'm going to take a moment to stump for Oregon's Republican gubernatorial candidate, current State Representative Dennis Richardson (R - District 4). It's fantastic to see him running for Governor, but as he's a Republican candidate in a solid-blue state, he'll need all the support he can get.

Rep. Richardson puts out a newsletter that he writes "on issues of significance for all Oregonians." Quite a few of them, like this latest one (which came out August 20th -- yes, this post is a bit behind the times), should be significant to all Americans, even if he only claims to represent Oregon.

This one tears into the new "Common Core" education standards. (I'll be borrowing heavily from the newsletter's sources, but I highly recommend reading the whole thing. If that link doesn't work, it can also be found on the State Capitol website here.)

Now, for full disclosure, from what I can tell Common Core is intended to create standardized benchmarks and methods for the whole nation. To be honest, I think there are quite a number of benefits to this. For example: a more objective measure of student achievement (everyone is taught the same curriculum at the same relative time, so knowledge and mastery should be closely correlated); consistency between districts (a student moving from one district or state to another will experience little disruption when the schools are teaching the same thing); less spending on curriculum, textbooks, and materials (these can be mass-produced for economic scale benefits).

Objective, consistent, less expensive. Sounds great!

The problem is the devil living rent-free in the details of the implementation. It's one thing to come up with a good concept, but it's quite another to put that concept into practice in the real world.

Or, in the words of Jan L. A. van de Snepscheut, "In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is."

 As Rep. Richardson points out (underlined emphasis added):
At Common Core’s outset, when the federal government offered “stimulus” money to the state Governors that accepted Common Core, the standards and tests involved had not even been written. In other words, the Governor and state education leaders unilaterally committed all Oregon’s school districts to adopting a new statewide curriculum before it had even been developed, and Oregon was committed without Legislative consideration or approval.
Moreover, it's being developed behind closed doors by "educators" with little-to-no classroom experience, at least one of which even has an incomplete Master's degree in an unrelated subject to the standards he's helping develop.

Plus, being a brand-spanking-new set of methods and standards, by definition it's entirely untested. We have no idea yet how the kids will absorb the material or how the test scores will turn out.

Cartoon by John Trever, Albuquerque Journal
May 21, 2008 (source)
Nevertheless, the plan is to tie the anchors millstones test outcomes around the necks of to teacher evaluations, with no adjustments allowed for "high-risk" students or kids with documented learning disabilities* (PDF warning). It's expected -- by no less than the State Deputy School Superintendent Rob Saxton (who supports Common Core, BTW) -- that only 35% of students will actually pass the new, untried, untested, standardized tests**. For those who are math-challenged, that means it's expected that 65% of Oregon students will FAIL! Oregon already has a 35% high-school drop-out rate; what sense does it make to aggravate that? And to tie teachers' job security to an untested system approaches criminality!

Last, but certainly not least, it's being revealed that there are some serious corporate financial conflicts of interest, wherein the companies in charge of designing this new curriculum are the same ones who stand to profit from its mandated use***.

Cartoon by Bob Englehart, Hartford Courant
August 27, 2013 (source)
So we have Common Core's aforementioned objectivity, consistency, and lower costs, which are now overshadowed by its non-transparent development by inexperienced (and arguably lacking in knowledge) people, untried and untested methods of instructions and testing, and an abysmally low expectation of standardized testing success, all being linked to teachers' job evaluations. Plus, there's also the strong potential for corruption from closed-door corporate/government inside dealing.

And we're supposed to be A-OK with this?

Quoting Rep. Richardson again (emphasis in original):
Who will flourish in this setting? Gifted students will be bored, students who already dislike school will be even more inclined to skip, and students with obstacles to learning will simply be unable to succeed.
I'm inclined to agree. The whole systems seems designed for the lowest common denominator -- all but ensuring that gifted (and average) students will suffer -- while simultaneously guaranteeing the failure of the lowest common denominator.

It's no wonder so many states are now opposing the implementation of Common Core, and even two teachers' unions -- one national, one state-level -- are calling for a moratorium. This is not a normal, partisan political issue; Common Core opponents represent both sides of the aisle. The question is: Why should we be implementing this at all? The newsletter provides several examples of individual teachers and schools going above and beyond, and building highly successful programs (another reason to read the whole thing; success stories are awesome!). If those local programs are working, we should be using them as a template for other schools and districts. Why should we mandate changing (read: ending) them, in favor of a top-down, untested, unworkable, one-size-fits-all "standard"?

That, for the record, was a rhetorical question.

(Hat tip: Rep. Dennis Richardson's e-mail newsletter.)

(Obligatory message to Electoral Commission types: While I would love to see Mr. Richardson elected Governor of the great State of Oregon and support making that happen, I am writing this article of my own volition and initiative, using my own words [except where noted], and no compensation of any kind has been offered or accepted for it. Go bother someone else.)

* - "Students with disabilities ... must be challenged to excel within the general curriculum and be prepared for success in their post-school lives, including college and/or careers. These common standards provide an historic opportunity to improve access to rigorous academic content standards for students with disabilities." Translation: Push 'em harder, disabilities be damned! Because nobody's tried that before, right? Right!
** - Money quote from that article, from teacher Elizabeth Thiel: "We're not assessing their ability to think, the test is assessing knowledge." A-yup.
*** - Why am I not surprised to see Andrew Cuomo involved? And the anti-gun folks wonder why we stand against so-called "smart guns" being mandated?

Friday, September 12, 2014

100 Post Milestone

Well, I'll be danged... this blog has hit 100 posts. 

Who'd ah thunk it?

It started as a perceived need, a suspicion of competence, delusions of adequacy, a hesitant experiment and a quavering written voice. We've learned a lot, improved, gotten lucky, got some notice, earned some favorable comments, and now we're very, very small.  ;^)'   We've got a daily readership in the hundreds and the blog is seen worldwide. Here's a shout-out to our lone Venezuelan reader. Not too bad for a three month-old blog. I'd like to thank co-blogger Archer, our mentors, friends, readers and commentators for being there as we make these first clumsy, hesitant steps.

By some weird coincidence, we've also hit 12,000 page views and 100 comments at the same time. I'm surprised to find out just how important comments are to a blogger: They're our essential connection with the readers: Is our message getting out? - Is it being accepted - Is it making a difference? - Can we do better? - Is this thing on?

I do believe we're helping in a small way in the the protection of our Rights. We all do what we can.

Thanks again!

     Charlie Foxtrot

Thursday, September 11, 2014

In Remembrance: 9/11/01

World Trade Center: Twin Towers (theatlantic.com)

Never Forget

Pentagon  (pic4.gophoto.com)
Shanksville, PA

We are in an ongoing war for the future of Civilization. Some may wish to deny, to blame, to distract, to ignore, to hide. However, war has been declared by our self-described blood enemies, like it or not. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Honest Brokers

Click to view “Honest Broker,” one of the spots from NRA's latest TV campaign: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJ_X0YLcLpg&feature=youtu.be&list=PLyaSPxNidLLv6bIdAyQaHEfSBMfe08u-K

Powerful messages from the NRA.  

The Snark Strikes Back

The Tam Dual Wielding The Snark Once Again
(Oleg Volk)
Possibly warned by her doctors about increasingly dangerous levels of midi-chlorian Snark in her bloodstream, The Tam of View From the Porch has resumed blogging. Abet without comments enabled: The Dumbs being a much more powerful force than The Snark.

Please join me in welcoming the Queen of Snark back to her righteous throne.

Massad Ayoob: Lost Secrets Of Combat Handgunnery

Massad Ayoob
(Tamara Keel - All Rights Reserved)
One of the facets of preserving a Right is the ability to exercise it competently. Past Master Massad Ayoob provides a primer on shooting a handgun well:

Massad Ayoob: 5 Lost Secrets Of Combat Handgunnery

(Daily Caller)

Highly Recommended.

HT: DailyCaller.com

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Quote of the day - Steven Pinker (April 3, 1994)

I found this during a "Wiki-Wander" a while back, starting at a post at Weer'd's place, through a few Wikipedia entries, and ending up at a New York Times Op-Ed piece from April 3, 1994, written by Harvard psychology/cognition/linguistics professor Steven Pinker, entitled "The Game of the Name" (PDF warning).

Steven Pinker in 2011
(source: Wikipedia)
This will actually be a two-fer Quote of the Day because there's some context required. First, we need to describe a concept Mr. Pinker calls the "euphemism treadmill":
People invent new "polite" words to refer to emotionally laden or distasteful things, but the euphemism becomes tainted by association and the new one that must be found acquires its own negative connotations.
To sum up, a politically-correct and -neutral term becomes emotionally charged -- and therefore offensive -- and so it must be replaced by a new politically-correct and -neutral term. As an example, Mr. Pinker offers the word "slum," which was replaced by "ghetto," which was in turn replaced by "inner city," and has since reverted back to "slum" (presumably because "slum" has "healed" from its negative connotations).

Now that that's out of the way, we get to the real Quote of the Day:
The euphemism treadmill shows that concepts, not words, are in charge: give a concept a new name, and the name becomes colored by the concept; the concept does not become freshened by the name.
So, what does all this psycho-babble have to do with a gun blog, you ask?

Two words: "Gun Safety".

I'll leave the inferences and conclusions to you, dear readers. Feel free to sound off in the comments; I have some additional thoughts, but I'd like to know what you all think.

Monday, September 8, 2014

9/11 Prep

This Thursday is the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center.

Islamist Rage   (thepeoplescube.com)
Because of the newly invigorated Islamists, our feckless defense and foreign policy, the deliberately compromised immigration system and the wide open southern border, this is probably the most dangerous 9/11 anniversary to date. Unfortunately, the danger will probably ratchet up each year for the foreseeable future.

In any case, it's probably a good time to review your everyday disaster preparations.
  • Always keep no less than a half of tank in the cars and trucks
  • Have at the very least one week's worth of water, food and supplies
  • Be able to live "off the grid" (light, heat, cooking, sanitation, etc) for a week
  • Money talks; be prepared to shout with physical cash
  • Get a good first-aid kit: more than the cheapy band-aids and aspirin kits
  • Have a good toolset: standard tools, plus prybars, axes, util. knives and guns
  • Prepare your bug out bag, or as we call them: Go Boxes (3 Rubbermaid boxes)
  • Lock your house and car doors
  • Keep your head on a swivel
That's the minimum: many experts are recommending at least 3 weeks of capability.
  • Most importantly: exercise, get in shape, lose weight, and quit smoking -- a heart attack is by far the most probable killer you will face

As I tell the wife when she accuses me yet again of paranoia: "Yes, I'm paranoid -- But, am I paranoid enough?"