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Quote of the Day

Glenn Reynolds pretty much sums up my feelings on the whole sad affair.

But to be clear, my problem is not with people saying that body-slamming a reporter is wrong. It is. Rather it’s with the predictably hypocritical nature of the outrage. One might almost say that the political class is happy to wink at political violence, until it affects one of their own.

One of the things I really don’t like about following news and politics on a daily (hourly?) basis for so long is how cynical I’ve become about this sort of thing. I’d rather not feel this way, but it’s pretty hard to escape, given the realities.

I can really relate to that second paragraph.

Sometimes I Hate Being Right

The verdict is in on the Montana special election: “That audio made me cheer.” Though, I’m happy to see a college professor who thinks it’s acceptable to strike people in the head with a heavy bike lock is getting what’s coming to him. The stakes are being raised from both sides. What factor do you see that will lower the stakes? I see my family, family, on social media posting vile, hateful things about people that disagree with them, knowing full well they have family that does.

I’m coming to the conclusion that we’re getting beyond a political struggle of ideas, and that scares me because this country was always about a political struggle of ideas. The only time it turned violence was over the question of slavery, and one has to admit that’s a pretty big idea. Today’s meme wars are vapid, ignorant, and shallow.

I fear the future does not belong to ideas. It belongs to propagandists and marketing experts, who armed with Big Data are going to get much better at manipulating people’s emotions and biases to whip them into mindless frenzy to do their bidding. We’re already seeing it. It’s not that people have fundamentally changed, but never has so much information about so many people been concentrated into the hands of so few. I don’t think this will end well.

Help or Hurt?

Bitter and I were debating this morning about whether the latest news that GOP candidate in Montana’s special election, Grew Gianforte, body slammer a reporter who wouldn’t get a microphone out of his face. It’s my opinion that if anything, it’ll boost Gianforte. Bitter isn’t so sure. Thanks to early voting (don’t even get me started on that), about 1/3rd of the ballots are already cast.

I don’t think it’s a good thing, but the rules are changing. We were all very fortunate to grow up in a period of relative political and social stability. We’re witnessing the unraveling of the post World War II order, and it’s a global phenomena. Everything is at stake and up for renegotiation. When politicians say “I’ll fight for you,” their supporters are increasingly expecting that to be literal.

In the past we’ve been far worse. Fist fights were once common on the House floor. Prior to and after the Civil War, a lot of Members of Congress carried pistols, for their protection… from their colleagues. I’m reminded of a bit of research Dave Hardy was doing, when he uncovered this bit:

Prior to the Civil War, Sen. Ben Wade (R-Ohio) said something on the floor which was deemed insulting to Sen. Robert Toombs (D-Ga), and a friend told Toombs, “you must challenge the old wretch!” Toombs replied, “No, I mustn’t, for that old wretch is the deadliest shot in the District. Wade and I have been out practicing many times together, and he can hit a ten-cent piece at thirty paces every time, and to tell you the truth, sir, I cannot!”

Ben Wade was one of the Radical Republicans, who was largely responsible for the impeachment of Andrew Johnson, and who favored a Reconstruction policy far more punitive than Lincoln did. Are we headed back to that kind of political climate? I fear we are.

Can Someone Tell Me What This Has to Do With Gun Rights?

It’s one thing for NRA to take a black eye over something like “Can you believe NRA wants to let people buy silencers?” or “NRA wants old ladies to be able to carry guns in church. Church!” But why the fuck does the NRA need to take a black eye over the Manchester Bombing?

Is NRATV a means to spread news about RKBA arms issues, or it is conservative entertainment akin to Fox News? Look, I get if you’re pressured to produce hours and hours of content, it’s hard to only talk about RKBA issues. I share the struggle. But this is getting out of hand.

You can say these people don’t actually speak for NRA all you want in the disclaimers, but the fact is they do. Dana Loesch was speaking for NRA as far the public was concerned long before she had any official sanction.

I don’t expect this will blow up into anything major, since I’m not seeing it spread in the media beyond Salon, but the day NRA suffers a major setback to its core issues because it’s bringing along a lot of ancillary issues with their own baggage that don’t need to be brought along is the day I start joining the malcontents.

Half True is the Best We Ever Get

Yes, our friendly neighborhood fact checkers are at it again. The people who want to be the final arbiters of fake news struggle to even give us a half-true for something that was entirely 100% factual. Here they are “fact checking” Ted Cruz:

“Anyone know the first gun control laws in the United States?” Cruz went on. “The first Congress passed a law mandating that every able-bodied man must own a musket. That’s gun control Founding Fathers’ style.”

Apparently our steadfast journalists had never heard of the Militia Act of 1792 and had to turn to an expert. Not that I’d expect them to have heard of it, but let me Google that for you.

Seriously, if you can’t use Google, I’d strongly suggest giving up the profession of journalist and find some dank corner of a bar to hang out in to work on your drinking problem. You might find you’re more successful with that career choice.

It’s my impression that many of these people honestly aren’t very smart, and thus have no real expertise on much of anything to be pontificating on what’s true and false. What Ted Cruz said obviously wasn’t the full text of that bill, but if anyone expected he’d say:

“Anyone know the first gun control laws in the United States?” Cruz went on. “The first Congress passed a law mandating that every able-bodied man must own a musket. Well, except for black men, Indians, ferrymen employed on ferries along post roads, the Vice President, Congressmen and Senators, some federal employees, Quakers, or any other contentious objector where allowed by state law. That’s gun control Founding Fathers’ style.”

you need to get your head out of your ass. What Cruz said was an accurate summary of the Militia Act of 1792. For the most part, males of military age were required to be armed. The statement is not half true, it’s true.

Weekly Gun News – Edition 60

I know it’s been quite some time before we had a news links post. Things are just slow. Not that I’m complaining. No sir. Bad things happen when I complain. But lets see how clean I can get my tabs:

I’d note this dude is writing a book about his indoctrination into America’s gun culture, yet he admits in this article he’s not a gun owner. If you want to write a book on gun culture, maybe you should treat it as something more than an anthropological study, like we’re some kind of remote tribe in Papua New Guinea that’s never seen Europeans before.

I think this is a fairer coverage of NRA Annual Meeting from someone who is pretty clearly left of center.

NSSF responds to that latest lead study I linked to a few weeks ago.

NRA and CRPA are suing California over their newest ban on “assault weapons.” Even if changes to the Supreme Court are coming, it takes a long time for a case to make its way up.

Not coincidentally, the California DOJ has finalized the regulations surrounding their new ban on “assault weapons.”

San Francisco is suing magazine seller who don’t make it clear you can’t ship to California.

John Lott: Murder isn’t a nationwide problem.

Looks like I’m not alone in having anti-gun relatives.

Bearing Arms: “Progressive Rapper Explains Why he is a Gun Owner, NRA Member

Not gun related, but good news: “Court strikes down rule forcing toy drone users to register with govt

Mark Warner comes out against concealed carry reciprocity.

April gun sales were still pretty strong, which goes against the media narrative of a severe slump in gun sales. I’ve been shooting more again, given that prices have come down. So clearly there has been some cooling. I did not stockpile during the Obama years, and even I’m still shooting off the stock I bought years ago.

Why Do Gun Haters Want Shooters To Lose Their Hearing?” I think we know the answer to that. Suppressors have started showing up at my club. A suppressed AR-15 is still too loud to shoot without hearing protection under a covered shooting line. But you can get away with much less hearing protection!

Inside Manhattan’s Lone Gun Range.

Bloomberg is engaging professional lobbyists. I’ve seen rhetoric turned up too, which is making me wonder if the Hearing Protection Act and/or National Reciprocity will be moving soon.

Daily newspaper columnist who defended NRA quits after suspension.

Out of Touch, Even in Flyover Country

You say this like it’s no big deal:

Rob Quist and Nancy Pelosi are not going to take our guns. Threatening the Second Amendment would be political suicide. Quist supports a registry for assault rifles only. This old Marine sees sense in controlling a weapon designed only to kill people.

Jesus. Why not just donate to Greg Gianforte and save yourself some typing?

First off, Democratic politicians threaten the Second Amendment all the time. This being a prime example: he only supports forcing the registration of the most popular rifles in the US. That’s all. No Second Amendment implication there at all. No sir! Why yes, we Second Amendment advocates think there just ain’t nothing wrong with any regulation that don’t have the government come and take em.

Montana is having a special election this Tuesday for Congress. Dems are pouring tons of money into Quist’s campaign in hopes of taking the seat and building momentum to flip Congress in 2018. If the Dems end up in power again running on gun control in places like Montana, you can kiss our whole agenda goodbye. Whatever you might think of Trump, the solution is not to put the Dems in power in Congress.

Pro-Gun Myth of the Day: False Flags

I have often seen articles like this presented as false flag operations by people on the pro-2A side of the debate, or at best that they are anti-gun activists trying to burnish their creds by pretending to be gun folks.

For decades I was a member of the National Rifle Association and had its conspicuous round insignia on my cars and trucks. I was even enrolled into the “National Rifle Association of America Millennium Honor Roll.” It wasn’t that I thought the NRA and its members had some ill intent when I decided to discontinue my membership; it was because of the evermore unlikeable image of the NRA to many people. An organization that used to mostly represented hunters and sport shooters, and even wildlife conservation has become a spokesperson for the manufacturers and marketers of military-like assault weapons. If you want to see this trend, just go to a gun show and see all the black and camouflaged semi-automatics that are replacing the aesthetically appealing guns with contoured fine wooden stocks and elegant inlays and engraving. These new quasi-machine guns have all sorts of unusual configurations and often are collapsible to be more easily concealed. The guns displayed at shows more and more like those in news photos of confiscated gang weapons.

But the idea that there aren’t people out there who think this is a myth. There are, actually, a fair number of them, though they are increasingly in the minority within the gun culture. Why? Because they are dying off. Look at the picture of the dude on the article? He’s almost certainly pre-Boomer. That’s the cohort you’ll find the largest number of this type in.

Call them Fudds, call them whatever, but they are real. The shooting sports went through a major transformational change during the past several decades, and the divisions that transformation created are, in my experience, almost wholly generational.1

There is significant anxiety among many older shooters about the new shooting culture, and that’s what you see expressed in the above paragraph. That’s why they always yearn for the good old days of “aesthetically appealing guns with contoured fine wooden stocks and elegant inlays and engraving.”

Make no mistake, this guy is not pro-gun, as it’s defined in the current movement. He’s more on the side of the Brady Campaign than NRA. But really, he’s only in favor of guns and shooting sports he likes. The rest of you who have different tastes can go to hell. If you spend enough time around gun people, you’ll run into this a lot more often than you’d be comfortable with.

1 I’m making gross generalizations here. Of course there are exceptions. I know many more pre-Boomer shooters who “get it” than don’t. But you don’t find this attitude as much among younger shooters who actually shoot and participate in the culture in some meaningful way. Unfortunately, “I don’t like and am possibly scared of your shooting sport,” is common across the Board, even if there isn’t as much drive to go join the Brady Campaign or speak out about it in a newspaper.

What Happens When There’s no Sheriff?

Apparently Blair County, PA lost its Sheriff, and due to a lack of someone to sign LTCs, they just stopped issuing them. A judge has authorized the Chief Deputy to act in the Sheriff’s stead until a replacement can be confirmed. It looks, in this case, like the seat has only been vacated since April 9th, and Sheriffs have 45 days by statute to issue.

This kind of licensing scheme would never be allowed in any other context. There’s a movement now to let people vote without first having to register to do so. If we ever get judges willing to take the Second Amendment seriously, as opposed to judges who are fine with it being a second-class right, this kind of thing is what will eventually take down licensing regimes.

Down One Drive

Well, the fresh spring heat killed one of the drives on this server, so now we’re running on the spare. I’m debating if I order an SSD to replace the system drive whether I really need to do mirroring anymore? Like anything, SSDs can fail too, but is it an improbable enough event to justify the cost of a second disk and the write overhead of mirroring? But then again, if I had relied on a single disk before, we’d be offline until Amazon could get me another disk.

I have generally not bothered to mirror system drives if they are on SSD, believing they are reliable enough to use alone for non-write intensive applications. Or at least no less reliable than the other components in the server that you don’t have redundancy for. Fortunately, Linux has TRIM support for RAID1, so at least now I have the option. But should I bother?

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