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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?

The Media are Suckers? You Don’t Say

Forgive the lack of posting. Very busy. John Lott has an article in The Hill about “How gun control advocates play the mainstream media for suckers.” It’s good that an outlet like The Hill chose to run this:

Among police, firearms violations occur at a rate of 6.9 per 100,000 officers. For Florida permit holders, the rate is only 0.31 per 100,000. Most of these violations were trivial offenses, such as forgetting one’s permit.

The data are similar in other states.

The media is doing an injustice by inaccurately reporting about an issue with such immediate relevance to public safety

John Lott has done a lot of good work on behalf of the issue. I only wish he had maintained the position as more of a detached academic, rather than embracing outright pro-gun advocacy. Not that advocacy doesn’t have its place, but our opponents are far better at passing off activists as detached academics than we are. Our side could stand to up our game here.

Is NRA in a Position to Exploit These Trends?

First being the increase in black gun owners. Some of John Lott’s research has backed up the anecdotal stories. The other trend is hipster hunters. Note that article is appearing in a lefty outdoor site, but they’ve bought the left’s take on NRA hook line and sinker. But what is NRA doing to dispel these myths?

There’s a hell of a lot of conservative branding and conservative outreach from NRA, and to some degree I understand that it’s easier fishing where there are a lot of fish. I am understanding that NRA will tend to reflect its members. But I do worry the organization is so far out in the conservative weeds, there’s no going back. If the Democratic Party is ever going to push gun control off of its platform, the impetus to do so is going to have to come from within. This is opportunity, and I fear it will be wasted.

Shannon Watts: “A Self-Promoting Tyrant”

Daily Caller has run an article about woes in the gun control movement. It looks like Shannon Watts is running people off:

“Two beliefs unite nearly all gun control supporters: background checks save lives, and Shannon Watts is a self-promoting tyrant.”

Fake News? Or someone leaked to conservative media, knowing there’d be deniability. Possibly a shot fired across the bow at Shannon Watts? A warning to mend her ways? If I were on their side I’d want to be rid of her because, as I’ve said many times, she’s just not very good at what she does. Starting with picking the wrong side if what she was interested in was self-promotion.

Ms Watts: if you were looking for opportunities for shameless self-promotion, you really can’t beat the pro-gun side. I would have suggested taking up IDPA or USPSA. Or maybe establish your own state group and intimidate your way to power and influence (far more, I might add, than you have as Shannon Watts, gun control advocate).

You’d have tons of attention. Don’t even get me started on the potential a YouTube channel might hold! You’d have thousands more followers than you could ever hope to have with Everytown. Additionally, you can’t swing a dead cat in the gun rights movement without hitting other shameless self-promoters. We’re used to it. We don’t complain much. And the opportunity for networking and perfecting that craft are far greater than anything you’ll find in the very tiny gun control movement. You know, it’s not too late, Shannon. I can guarantee you’ll rise to far greater heights as a chick with a gun than you will as a chick who wants to control them. So what do you say?

The Lead Issue Will Continue Dogging Us

This study on lead exposure, which was highlighted by Bloomberg’s propaganda mouthpiece “The Trace,” is more of a compilation than original work, but I have little doubt that people who frequent indoor shooting ranges have higher blood lead levels than people who don’t. Just because these studies are being pushed by people who would love to shut down every shooting range in the country doesn’t mean the issue is fake. Here are the facts we face:

  • There are no good alternatives for lead in bullets. There are other metals with similar properties, but they are considerably more scarce. It probably wouldn’t take the shooting community long to shoot up, for instance, all the bismuth that can be dug out of the earth, assuming we could even afford it.
  • Bullets with steel cores, and cores made up of other less malleable but more common metals are problematic because they can be classified as armor piercing under the law. Additionally, they will tend to tear up range equipment more readily than softer lead core bullets. Typically lead free bullets are made of copper and copper alloys, but copper is more expensive and doesn’t perform as well as lead.
  • There is currently no reliable alternative to lead styphnate and lead azide in primers. Well, there is one: good old mercury fulminate and potassium chlorate. But obviously mercury isn’t any better regarded for its environmental friendliness than lead, and these types of primers are corrosive. There have been advances in Non-Toxic (NT) primers, and they are getting better. The typical NT primers use Diazodinitrophenol (DDNP) instead of lead styphnate or lead azide. The big issue with NT primers has been shelf stability and reliability.

Atomic lead is not nearly as dangerous as compounds of lead. The byproducts of primer combustion is vaporized atomic lead, and lead oxide. Lead oxide is readily absorbed by the human body and is mobile in soils. To the best of my knowledge, no one has ever done a study to determine whether increases in blood lead levels or range contamination was primarily from primer byproducts, or from atomic lead found in bullets. I’d wager that most, and probably the vast majority of the lead exposure is coming from the primers. I think in the future it will be important to know because lead in primers is probably a solvable problem.  The military is doing the bulk of the work trying to develop and study the performance of lead-free primers, and I expect in a few decades, there’s a good chance we’ll all be doing most of our shooting with NT primers, even if carry ammo still uses lead-based primers. The problem of elemental lead in bullets I believe can be successfully managed with good range practices. I suspect the primers are actually the bigger health and environmental issue.

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