May 31, 2012
Earlier in the day, I left a comment over at Tam’s place, in regards to King Bloomberg’s latest anti-soda proclamation, that started like this:
The real irony is that you can still head out to Dunkin Donuts in New York and buy yourself a cream filled donut, which probably has just as many calories and sugar as a 20oz coke, and with a nice heaping helping of fat to boot.
It’s times like this that I start to believe that the universe is an elaborate simulation that was created specifically for my own amusement.
May 31, 2012
Politifact investigates an NRA claim about Tom Barrett’s gun banning ways, and finds some truth to it, but still rules that it’s mostly false. NRA’s claim is:
“Well, Barrett voted to ban 15 different kinds of guns, even a lot of common deer rifles.”
To refute this claim, they contacted a cop, a reporter, and a guy who quit the NRA because he hates pro-gun politics. Real objective crowd there. The warden is probably the one I’d trust the most:
Lawhern, who taught DNR hunter safety classes for 18 years, recalled that when he worked in the field in the mid-1990s he would see perhaps half a dozen hunters each season using an assault-style weapon.
Out of how many hunters interacted with? If you interacted with 25 hunters every season, this would amount to a large percentage. This is meaningless for defeating the claim without proper context. From the reporter:
And Smith said that from his experience, while firearms such as the AK-47 and the AR-15 “have gained favor among some hunters and sport shooters in recent decades, they constitute a small fraction of deer hunting rifles in use today and were an even smaller fraction in 1994.”
The AR-15 is the hottest selling rifle on the market today. It is also the most ubiquitous rifle on the sport shooting circuit. To me, if you’re seeing it fairly regularly in the field, that means it’s not unusual. I don’t hunt, and certainly didn’t in 1994, but in sport shooting the AR-15 is not only common, it’s ubiquitous. I think the mistake here is mistaking the word common, which is not a strong a word as ubiquitous. Common, to me, means it’s not unusual to see in places where you see people with guns.
That’s not to say there’s not traditionalist hunters out there that frown on the popularity of the AR-15. The whole Zumbo incident never would have happened if he hadn’t noticed more hunters using the platform, and loudly echoed his disapproval. The claim was that they were common hunting rifles, not that they were ubiquitous, and the claim was never tied explicitly to the 1994 time frame. If this is more true today, then that’s Tom Barrett’s problem, not ours. That they’ve become so popular for hunting and target shooting 20 years later is just all the more reason that Barrett’s position on this was wrong to being with.
As far as NRA’s actual claim, I’d rate it is as somewhat true. It’s a bit overstated, but that’s a far cry from “mostly false.” Tom Barrett is a gun banner, and the rifles he chose to ban are not uncommonly used by hunters. That’s all that really ought to matter.
In other news, if you live in Wisconsin, you might want to spread the word that the Wisconsin Deer Hunter’s Association is run by a guy who doesn’t give a crap about your Second Amendment rights. Actually, given I can’t find a 990 for this organization, I question its legitimacy when it comes to speaking for deer hunters. This looks a bit more legit to me. Anyone in WI care to comment if Wisconsin Deer Hunter’s Association is a false flag designed to give anti-gun Democrats some pro-hunting pro-outdoors cover? Kind of smells like one.
May 31, 2012
Several Congress Critters have introduced a bill to help force the UN to keep it’s grubby hands off our Internets. Now if only we could get similar bipartisan support for getting Congress to keep its grubby hands off our Internets.
May 31, 2012
SayUncle links to a story that suggests it might not be a wise idea, especially when considering Hornady’s disclaimer. The best advice I’ve ever heard for carry ammo was to find out what your State Troopers carry, and carry the same. That pretty much defeats any prosecutor’s argument that you were carrying shred-o-matic rounds of mayhem and destruction in your carry piece.
Robb has some contrary thoughts on the matter. I tend to think the odds of this coming up in a case are slim, but I believe this advice is based on an actual case that I’ve read about. I just can’t remember the case name, or where I read about it. It might be a story told by Massad Ayoob, who had been expert witness is a number of cases. I think the reason most lawyers suggest carrying ordinary factory self-defense ammo is because, in a self-defense case, there are going to already be enough factors for your attorney to deal with, and there’s not much good sense in introducing yet another element that’s going to make the case complicated for them, and by association you, the defendant. One thing to remember about the legal process, is that much like the political process, it’s a game. It’s about what you can convince a jury to do. One the prosecution decides to bring a case, and they generally won’t bring a case they believe they are certain to lose, they are going to use every angle they can possibly thing of in order to discredit you in the eyes of the jury. If they have to go after the ammunition you carried, they certainly will. That will be one more expert witness you’ll have to pay for, and several more hours of your lawyers time to deal with that issue.
Everyone has to weigh the risks versus the benefits. Personally, I think factory self-defense ammo works well enough to rely on it. In fact, I will trust it over my own loads. I just don’t see the advantage to carrying hand loads, or other unusual ammunition for self-defense purposes, enough to make up the downside.
May 31, 2012
I’m sure there is more to this case than the media story here is covering, but I find several things about it odd. For one, I don’t know why his attorney would have his client waive his right to trial-by-jury in a self-defense case. Any of you criminal defense lawyers out there, feel free to comment about this. I would imagine in virtually all circumstances, that a jury is going to be more likely to acquit on self-defense grounds than a judge is. Based on the media reports here, this looks like a cut and dry case of self-defense to me, meaning this is yet another case of the city frowning upon people defending themselves. I’m surprised the Daily News reporter is surprised by this:
The case underscores how uncertain the claim of self-defense can be, even in a state that revised its “Castle Doctrine” last year to give an individual the right to use deadly force in self-defense anywhere in which a person has a legal right to be.
Such was the case before castle doctrine, and such will continue to be the case after castle doctrine, because the honest truth is that the castle doctrine laws in the various states don’t change that much in regards to the standards that have to be met for self-defense. Because there’s a reasonableness element to it, it’s always going to be subject to some degree of uncertainty in some cases, as to whether one’s perception of the threat was reasonable.
You have to wonder if a lot of reporters really bought into the chicken little nonsense from the gun control crowd and the D.A. association.
May 31, 2012
Busybody-in-chef for the City of New York is looking to ban large sized bottles of sugary drink in an effort to fight obesity. It’s not just our Constitutional freedoms Bloomberg hates. I’m pretty sure he hates pretty much all freedom. This is the most anti-choice politician in America today, and it’s a sad testament to New York City that they tolerate this bozo lording over them like he’s everybody’s mother.
UPDATE: Whatever you do, don’t read the comments. If it’s true that global warming is going to cause sea levels to rise, and put Manhattan underwater, I’m thinking I’m not driving nearly a big enough vehicle.
May 30, 2012
On Mitt Romney:
I received a free bumper sticker from his campaign in today’s mail: “Romney. Believe in America.”
Believing in America is not the problem. Believing in Romney is.
Jacob also has some thoughts on keeping Mitt in line on the gun issue. My expectations of Romney are almost entirely placed around his short list for the Supreme Court. Some of the names I’ve seen floated would be welcome. One good thing about McDonald and Heller happening when they did is we now know a good number of “conservative” judges on the bench who are either not reliable, or outright hostile to gun rights. If the Second Amendment gets erased on Mitt’s watch, I’ll be looking to help these guys in 2016.
May 30, 2012
It has finally caught up with the whole “the criminal will just take your gun away from you,” meme long beaten to death by our opponents. Only took them nearly a quarter century of shall-issue to finally come up with a concrete example, but here it is.
A bit more on the law of averages, unrelated to this incident, which suggests that if there’s, say, six million people with concealed carry permits, that some percentage of them will be total morons, even though they will have cleared the hurdles and jumped through hoops. That percentage can be extremely small, but it’s still going to be the case that in any group as large as the number of concealed carry permits holders, or gun owners in general, not everyone is going to be a real genius.
This creates an interesting paradox for our opponents. On one side of the paradox, there will be more incidents of stupid people doing stupid things with guns, or incidents where a long time meme plays itself out. On the other side of the paradox, more people keeping and bearing arms means there’s a larger constituency to fight new gun control, so I’m not certain it really helps our opponents any.
I’ve generally of the opinion that the vast majority of people can be trusted to do the right thing, exercise good judgement, and be responsible. For me that’s reason enough in society to tolerate the very small minority of morons and losers. A primary difference between us an our opponents is that particular philosophy. They are more of the mindset that everyone freedom needs to be restricted, because you might be a moron or a loser. It kind of makes you wonder what they really think about their fellow citizens that they are willing to do that over the poor judgement and actions of the very few.
Hat Tip to Common Gunsense for the link, who hopefully won’t think this post amounts to illegal harassment.
May 30, 2012
I just upgraded our WordPress instance and plugins last night. Normally when I do this, I don’t expect anyone to notice, but it looks like there’s been a significant change to the comment editing plugin. One reader is already having an issue, but it always helps to hear from others if they are as well. It would help me track down the problem, if there is one.
May 30, 2012
Apparently Roanoke County cops had some issues with an armorer not sticking a firing pin back in a gun. I’d also add to the discussion here that if I had someone work on my gun, I’d at least field strip the gun to make sure everything was where it was supposed to be. All the more reason to learn how to do basic maintenance on your own. It kind of amazes me, given that police are far more likely to need their firearms than ordinary citizens, how little effort many put into not only competent shooting skills, but into basic firearms maintenance skills.