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Wal-Mart Ending Sales of AR-15s

They claim it’s a business decision. You can see an interview with Wal-Mart over at The Firearm Blog. People there seem skeptical that it’s purely a business decision. I can see why people are skeptical, but I’m willing to take them at their word. First, we know that sales of ARs have been off. The Great Gun Rush is over. Second, when I’m in the market for an AR, I’m generally not thinking Wal-Mart. The type of folks who buy guns at Wal-Mart probably aren’t going to be the type to move ARs off the shelf unless there’s another panic. I don’t have difficulty believing this is indeed a business decision, and not due to pressure from anti-gun groups.

Busybodies Gonna Busy: Petition to Ban Kids From Shooting Machine Guns

Our opponents are circulating a petition to ban minors from shooting machine guns. I’m going to agree that starting the kids off on machine pistols is pretty irresponsible, as we’ve seen from at least two tragic accidents. It’s far better to start the kids off on something belt fed. It would seem they believe this puts us on a weak footing:

Now, opponents of the petition will have to explain why the right of a 9-year-old to shoot an automatic weapon is so important.

“My read on pro-gun activists right now is they are facing tremendous cultural pressure, and being asked tough questions that they weren’t five years ago about … how extreme the pro-gun movement has gotten,” says Ladd Everitt, a spokesman for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence in Washington.

Except I’m not going to accept the premise. This is not about gun rights, primarily. The issue is bigger than that. This is about the rights of parents to raise their children in the manner they see fit, provided they aren’t abusing them on putting them in grave danger. Letting a kid shoot, even shoot a machine gun, is statistically less dangerous than letting them play football. It’s none of anyone’s business where, when, or how a parent teaches their child to shoot. The state has no business poking its snout into parental choices like this. None!

“Laws say that children can’t drink, can’t drive, can’t vote. But they can shoot fully automatic assault weapons. That hasn’t changed,” Mr. Vacca’s oldest daughter, Elizabeth, says on the petition.

In many states, they can, under supervision of parents. The states that absolutely prohibit minors from drinking (like Pennsylvania) I think are wrong, and I would advocate repealing those laws. European children don’t seem any worse for wear for having more tolerant laws in this respect. Children can drive motor vehicles, if it’s not on public roads, and voting doesn’t have anything to do with the freedom of parents to raise their children how they see fit.

When you make something illegal for minors to do, you’re really limiting the parental freedoms of parents, and inserting the state into the parent child relationship. The people pushing this petition should answer why they also are not banning children from participating in other organized sports, or riding bicycles, which have astounding rates of injury. Sports contribute to 21% of all the traumatic brain injuries among American children. Every year approximately 50 children die in sports related injuries. Statistically, the shooting sports are safer than golf. The folks pushing this need to explain why they are singling out a relatively safe activity, while ignoring other sports that are far more dangerous.

Weekly Gun News – Edition 12

We missed last week, since it was such a slow week.

Gun News:

Now we have another high profile mass shooting (sort of) on our hands, this one captured live on TV. This one looks like a case of a disgruntled employee. I typically don’t write much about mass shootings these days because the reporting is generally so bad, almost nothing turns out to be correct. More on that over at Bearing Arms. I couldn’t agree with Pat Rogers more.

Speaking of that, we had a few heroic Americans and a Brit who saved France once again. Good show.

NRA continues it’s original mission: teaching Yankee soldiers how to shoot straight.

Dave Hardy: Brady’s Empty Suits. Dave has been intimately involved in this fight since the beginning, and is a font of knowledge on the movement and it’s history.

Reminder: Bloomberg is targeting Maine. Having lost in the legislature, he’s taking it to the ballot, where his billions can overcome our grassroots energy and numbers. I’d note there are a lot more options available to us to fight back in Maine than in many of the western states.

Taking on the City of Seattle’s “Gun Violence Tax.” It pretty clearly violates preemption.

Finding the NRA in Ireland.

Not your father’s NRA.

Sandy Hook families file campaign finance complaint against NRA. NRA is calling it frivolous. They were willing to admit that they had made a mistake before when that Yahoo article came out, so I’d say it’s a safe bet this is frivolous.

Social Security Administration: We’re not going to add everyone with a representative payee, just some people. They are starting to walk back the proposal. Good.

The FBI is beginning an investigation of Kathleen Kane. She’s a Clinton ally, so possibly the White House won’t mind steamrolling her too much either, right along with Hillary’s campaign.

Expanding the category of prohibited persons is one of the gun control movements major strategies right now. This is pretty clearly going to have a disproportionate affect on the gun rights of minorities, which is probably the idea, to be hoenst.

Some easements for folks facing “Gun Violence Restraining Orders” in California. There still isn’t enough due process involved with these GVROs.

Hey, Vivek Murthy is an unapologetic gun control advocate. Who knew?

I get tickled pink to see gun control groups like Coalition to Stop Gun Violence tripping all over the politically correct obstacles the social justice movement has thrown up. They helped make this bed, so now they can lie in it.

Media outlet in Connecticut shocked to find there are 328 “assault rifles” in their town. Hate to tell you, there are a lot more than that. That’s only what people registered, and compliance with the registration law was almost nonexistent.

Again, I’m glad there are liberal gun owners out there. You should be getting behind Sanders and pushing him back to the side of gun rights, which is where I think his instincts lie. He needs some cover from the howling anti-gunners on the left. If you’re not willing to vote gun rights, you’re not really of any political use to the movement.

The shooting sports are coming back to high schools. This is a big deal in terms of winning the culture war. I won’t be satisfied until schools in New York City have rifle teams again.

I’ve seen this meme going around in the media, probably driven by Bloomberg’s group. Public opinion matters, but only to the degree you can scare politicians with it. There’s also the bandwagon effect. As long as we keep voting the issue, we can overcome public opinion. Here’s another one. This WaPo article is a bit more balanced.

Australia is going to allow lever action shotguns. Note that they call these “rapid fire.” Once they get the semi-automatics, then they’ll call simple repeaters “rapid fire,” and then try to get those banned. Then muzzle loaders can go under “large caliber.”

Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey is trying to convince everyone that gun control works. Show some faith in action, Senator. Take a stroll through Dorchester at 2AM without your security detail. I mean, Massachusetts has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation. What do you have to worry about? It’s working great in Britain too.

Just Guns:

The AEK-971, “the dark horse of the Russian next-generation individual weapons trials”

This is quite a staple gun. But hey, gun control works!

Tam gets a Smith & Wesson Bodyguard .380 up to 1235 rounds before it malfs for want of a cleaning. I’ve been looking for a better pocket gun for a while, and looking at all the options available today. I thought that Smith & Wesson had taken the pocket gun to the next level with the BG .380. This will move acquiring one up on my short list.

Off Topic:

The Institute for Justice does God’s work for civil liberties in this country. Real civil liberties, not some of the fake ones the ACLU imagines and defends.

Glenn Reynolds on Donald Trump: “The candidate he most resembles, actually, is Barack Obama, circa 2007.” I’ve been thinking that too.

Jacob notes that Hillary is a “but it’s her turn,” candidate. That almost never turns out well. But since Hillary’s candidacy is imploding, they are warming up Uncle Joe in the bullpen. It’s his turn too.

Gun Control Folks Polishing the Turd Again

First it was “handgun ban,” but people rejected the idea thoroughly in very liberal Massachusetts. Then it was “handgun freeze,” but Californians overwhelmingly rejected that idea. Then it became “handgun control,” and when that got nowhere, they switched to trying to ban scary looking long guns. Then Third Way came along with “gun safety.” After that didn’t work, “gun violence prevention” became the rallying cry. Then back to “gun safety” when Bloomberg’s people came in and must not have realized people didn’t fall for it the first time around. Now it looks like they are trying out “gun responsibility.”

Same bullshit, no matter what you call it. Keep trying to polish that turd. We are not fooled.

Second Amendment Extended to Non-Residents by 7th Circuit

Despite the fact that the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment right was a fundamental right, there is still an open question about whether or not it’s a fundamental right of personhood, like freedom of speech, or a citizenship right that can be restricted to non-citizens, like voting. Preexisting Supreme Court precedent essentially made Second Amendment rights for permanent residents a slam dunk after Heller and McDonald, and we’ve seen the courts have been favorable to that idea. For non-resident aliens, it’s a different matter. If it’s a citizenship right, then they can be barred from exercising that right, the same way they can be barred from voting.

Most of the rights protected in the Bill of Rights are fundamental rights of people. The idea of voting being a right at all was an alien concept until very recently. The 7th Circuit recently ruled that non-citizens have the right to bear arms, but that 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(5) was a permissible restriction. This makes me question whether or not someone in the country on a non-immigrant visa, but here legally, would have a reasonable chance of challenging 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(5)(B). Remember, it is technically illegal (felony illegal, in fact) to take a foreign national who is not here on an immigrant visa shooting. This is not usually enforced, but it is the law.

I would imagine an originalist analysis would have to look at the public understanding of the right at the time of ratification. The issue there is the concept of an illegal immigrant may have been foreign to the population at the time. Prior to about the late 19th century, there was virtually no federal laws controlling immigration, yet as early as 1798, Congress did pass a law that allowed for deportation of aliens that were “dangerous to the peace and safety of the United States.” Of course, it also restricted free speech and was roundly condemned by Thomas Jefferson. We know them as the Alien and Sedition Acts. It wasn’t until the 1870s and 1880s with the Page Act and Chinese Exclusion Act that Congress asserted a power to control immigration as well as naturalization at the federal level. You had Congress exercise at least some level of control over immigration with the Steerage Act if 1819, but that was just a reporting requirement. Prior to the existence of the United States, many of the colonies had their own immigration laws, most of which encourage immigration from Britain and Germany, but largely excluded Catholics. I’ve read articles arguing that Congress originally had no power to legislate on immigration, which would leave it up to the states. A question is how many states did so. But I’m also not sure that just because Congress didn’t exercise that power until 1875 didn’t mean they weren’t understood to have it.

My feeling is that the founding generation probably understood non-resident immigrants to have full Second Amendment rights, but in today’s political environment that seems untenable.

This Kathleen Kane Drama Couldn’t Get Any Weirder

Apparently Kathleen Kane has an evil twin, who is in some legal trouble of her own:

Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s twin borrowed $200,000 from an FBI agent who was living with her and then kicked him out the door, the agent says in a civil lawsuit filed in Lackawanna County.

Kane’s twin is being sued because apparently that was the guy’s life savings, and he’d like it back. Classy. Meanwhile, apparently Kathleen Kane has used her evil twin to throw off the press. Maybe her next defense will be that it was her evil twin all along!

Surreal Headline of the Day

You can bet the editors were just itching to run this one: “Lawyer Invokes Porn as Pennsylvania AG Is Ordered to Trial.” I wish I could say Bloomberg must be cringing about the 600,000 dollars he donated to her campaign, but the fact is he already got what he wanted out of her, and Kane’s reciprocity take backs are unlikely to be overturned by any future successor, at least until we can have an election. What’s unbelievable to me is that she refuses to resign. Even Governor Wolf is calling on her to resign.

For those of you who haven’t been following, Kathy Kane’s defense has essentially been this whole indictment thing is just a “stealth political weapon” to get back at her for exposing various high-ranking state employees sharing tasteless jokes and porn via state e-mail, including former Democratic Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery.

Weekend Festivities: Gettysburg Brew Festival

Pardon the late posting today, but I’ve been polishing up a proposal for more business (i.e. paying the mortgage). I didn’t have much time over the weekend, because we were busy attending the Gettysburg Brew Festival. I have never attended a brew festival before, so I was unaware of some of the brew fest cultural items, like wearing pretzels around your neck, beer t-shirts, neckbeards, and in this case at least, field artillery.

They counted off time for the festival with what looks to be a parrot rifle, but I don’t claim to be an expert. It definitely had a rifled barrel. You could see who amongst the crowd wasn’t used to loud noises. Personally, after having fired Civil War era field artillery with live ammunition once, blanks just don’t have the same thrill.

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One thing I noticed at the brew festival is that it was largely composed of what most people would generally regard as the stereotype of NRA members; basically a lot of fat white guys. While I’m pleased to report that NRA conventions are more diverse these days than brew festivals, after running the experience through my trusty Perpetual Outrage Comptabulator, I’m sorry to report the social justice algorithms have concluded that craft beer is racist.

Speaking of NRA, we ran into one of our NRA friends at the brew festival. Sarah Gervase is Assistant General Counsel at the NRA, and puts on the Annual Firearms Law Seminar every year.

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The Gettysburg Brew Festival is located on the grounds of the Lutheran Theological Seminary, and is in fact a fundraiser for it. Behind Bitter & Sarah, you’ll notice Schmucker Hall and its cupola in the background. This is the same cupola from which General John Buford viewed the advancing confederate troops from at the very beginning of the battle.

You can see General Buford (played by Sam Elliott in the movie “Gettysburg“) riding across the same field the brew festival was hosted on.

Confessions of an Ordinary Gun Toter

Summer Time Carry GearIn the comments over on a previous thread, HappyWarrior offers what I’ll call the lament of the non-gun-ninja, regarding the burden of carrying around all the equipment advice on the Internet would have you carry if you took it all seriously. I can sympathize, because I’m no special gun carrying ninja. We all have to make tradeoffs, and it’s OK to make those tradeoffs. It’s your life, not someone else’s.

There are only two things on my belt at all times, and that’s a Leatherman multi-tool and an iPhone. No, I don’t carry a tactical folder anymore. Why? Because I can’t carry it everywhere, and I use the Leatherman enough that grabbing it and one handed opening is quite natural to me. If I’m leaving the house, and it’s winter, and sometimes in summer, there will be a Glock 19 on the belt in a Comp-Tac Infidel holster just behind the iPhone.  Tactical advice is to “dress around the gun,” but realistically, there are times you can’t do that. Tactical advice will dispute this, but it’s your life, not someone else’s.

I’m not carrying the Glock, it’s an LCP in a pocket holster in the strong-side pocket. I’m usually carrying OC spray in the weak side pocket, along with a flashlight clipped to the pocket, and a spare magazine for the LCP. If it’s winter, the OC goes in the weak side coat pocket so my jeans pocket only has the reload and flashlight in it.

Yes, I realize this is not very “tactical,” and I’d be fumbling for a reload if things end up going pear-shaped, but if things end up going that pear-shaped and all I have is an LCP, I’m already figuring I’m pretty well screwed to begin with. It’s all trade-offs, and only you can make them. Sometimes I don’t even carry, which is the biggest tactical sin of all!

And why do I make these tradeoffs? Because I can’t run around looking ridiculous with half a dozen things clipped to my belt in summertime, and having to dress around the gun. Yes, my professional reputation and that of my company are more important than the very unlikely event that I find myself in a situation where a firearm would come in handy. That said, I manage to successfully carry something most of the time I’m out of the house.

But I don’t feel bad about making tradeoffs to accommodate life. You shouldn’t either. As Tam’s original post noted, you should just understand and accept the risk those tradeoffs impose on you.

On Feeling Safe and Self-Delusion

As a community, we often don’t have much patience for people who are just fine with security theater measures, because they want to feel safe. They don’t want to confront the idea that life entails risk, and that bad things can happen regardless of what precautions you take. Tam makes a very excellent point that people in the gun community often exhibit the same behavior.

I still remember the initial hostility I got when I started recommending people who carry a gun also carry a defensive spray. I was initially hostile to the idea myself, because I figured a prosecutor would argue, if I had spray, that I should have used it instead of shooting the bastard.

But I was turned into a believer by a series of articles that disassembled all my assumptions and refuted them. Unfortunately these articles seem to have disappeared from the Internets. A lot of the arguments against defensive spray struck me more as “this makes me uncomfortable, because it threatens the world view I’ve constructed” rather than solid arguments against the practice of carrying defensive sprays. We are all capable of fantastic feats of self-delusion to defend our own world view. No one is immune. The key is to be capable of recognizing self-delusion when someone points it out. Some people will never be convinced.

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