Pushing the Narrative that Civilians Are Inept at Self-Defense

After the attacks in Paris, I’ve never seen the media more enthusiastically pushing the meme that civilians will just form a circular and kill a lot more people, rather than accomplish anything useful. Every town and their media enablers must be aware that the Paris Attack will likely further drive gun sales, and that concealed carry classes are going to start getting a lot busier. Let me turn to Brady board member Joan Peterson, who captures much of the arguments floating around out there:

Predictably there are Americans who actually believe that if only French residents were allowed to carry guns in public, lives could have been saved. These delusional people have an alternate view of the world not shared by most. If someone can explain how a gun could have been used to take out guys wearing suicide vests when there is no expectation that someone will blow themselves up in seconds, then go ahead. Enlighten us. If someone can explain how a pistol in a waistband holster would save innocent citizens from men armed with AK 47s, (maybe automatic type weapons) then go ahead- enlighten us.

Of course, Mrs. Peterson’s blog is her safe-space, so it’s closed off to differing viewpoints. She’s asking questions that she in no way, shape or form wants answered, so I’ll do my best to enlighten.

First thing I would say is that if I were to find myself in such a situation, I am not anybody else’s hero. I carry a gun to protect my own ass and the asses of my loved ones. That it. If I can beat a hasty retreat to an exit, I’m going to do so up against those odds. Absent that, I’m figuring I’m going to die anyway, so I might as well take a few of the buggers out with me. That’ll be a few less for the cops.

Here are a few of the myths gun control proponents like to peddle:

You won’t be able to tell who the bad guys are.

Generally speaking, if a person is shooting at me, they are a bad guy. But in this case, they were armed with Kalashnikovs, so target identification is even easier. Normal people don’t carry Kalashnikovs to theaters, so I feel pretty safe in using that as a determiner (yeah, sorry rifle OC guys, this is why it’s a bad idea). It gets a little harder if someone else is shooting with a pistol, but even here, if he’s shooting at the guys with the Kalashnikovs and not shooting fellow theater goers, he’s a good guy, don’t shoot.

You’ll just kill more people because the bullets will just set off their vests.

Those vests are going to go off anyway, because that’s why they call them suicide vests. I’d much rather it go off not at a time and place of their choosing, where they can maximize body count. If two of them are close together, you might even be able to get a two for the price of one bonus. In this case they were wearing vests made with TATP explosive, which is very unstable and shock sensitive. If it’s a more professionally made vest, most common plastic explosives aren’t sensitive to shock. Even if I get killed or taken out of the fight by the vest going off, that’s still one less terrorist for the cops to deal with, and one less terrorist continuing to shoot at people. When the cops come in, what do you think they are going to do? They are going to shoot the people wearing the vest, because there’s no better option available. The anti-gun folks must assume the police have some special magic that relieves them of having to shoot the bad guy wearing the vest.

A person with a pistol could never successfully take on a person with a Kalashnikov.

This is complete nonsense. First thing to do if you can’t find an exit? Find cover. Theaters often have hefty support columns that would make good cover. Unlike the bad guys, who have given up their element of surprise, you still have yours. They are not going to be expecting people to shoot back. If you do engage them, while they are focused on you, they are not killing other people. At the least, you’re buying time for others to escape, even if you yourself fail to beat the odds.

As to the automatic weapons issue, I would fear attackers taking aimed shots on semi-automatic a lot more than I would attackers spraying automatic fire all over the place. The former signals attackers who are well-trained and know how to use their rifles. The latter signals poorly trained people who are going to empty their magazines quickly and give an opportunity for return fire when they have to reload. It also is indicative that they are using spray-and-pray tactics because they do not actually know how to accurately employ their rifles. Spray and pray may work to rack up the body count in a crowded theater, but it’s not as effective at dealing with a single target who is shooting at you.

I want to be clear that having a gun in a situation like this is no guarantee you’ll come out on top, and everybody lives. News reports are that there were three attackers inside the Paris theater. Reports also indicate they were quick with reloads and seemed pretty competent in employing their rifles. As one person armed with a pistol, I already don’t like my odds. But I like them a lot better with my Glock 19, or even a 7 shot pocket pistol, than I would with nothing to offer but harsh language.

The media and gun control advocates (but I repeat myself) seem to believe we live in some kind of fantasy world. We don’t live in a fantasy world any more than they do, because unless you’ve actually been in a situation like happened in Paris, speculating on tactics and outcome is just a mind exercise. The difference is when they do this, they do it without the benefit of knowing their own capability with a gun (or knowing it’s non-existing), the limitations of what different guns can do, and the limitations of individual shooters. It’s not some Rambo fantasy: if a defender is sufficiently well trained, and the attackers make mistakes, there’s no reason a single person with a pistol could not take out three attackers armed with rifles. Is your average licensee that well trained? No. But neither is your average police officer. And like police officers, there are licensees out there who are that well trained, and our country is better off and more secure for it.

Woman Freaks Out Over Jeep Jack, Mistaking it for “Large Assault Rifle”?

Seen on the Book of Face:


Superficially, I can see that his jack has a kind-of-sort-of gun-like shape, so maybe this actually happened. But I hold out the possibility this is a troll, much like the Starbucks cup controversy. You can’t really tell anymore. We live in Poe’s Law Nation.

Par Solidarité

Hollande is calling this an act of war. I wish we had more to offer than hashtag activism, but that’s probably all you’re getting out of Barry’s regime. But despite our inherited tendency to mock the French, they are arguably the second most potent military power in Europe after the Russians. In retrospect, it may not be the very best of ideas to mess with people whose national anthem roughly translates as this:

Though, they don’t sing those lyrics anymore, just like the Germans don’t sing the “Deutschland Uber Alles” part of “Deutschland Uber Alles” anymore. But I’m going to bet you’ll be seeing a lot more of the forbidden lyrics being sung if this kind of shit keeps up. Arguably the biggest casualty of this evenings events will be the European Union.

The big question in my mind is whether the French are going to cozy up to Vladimir Putin because we’re mostly useless as allies these days.

Mumbai Style Attack in Paris

The story is developing, but it seems to be multiple coordinating shootings and hostage takings. It could happen here. Carry your guns. Pay attention to their tactics and numbers, that will give clues as to what we can expect. If they try something like this here, let us teach them, once again, Americans shoot back.

God bless all those people in France who may be among the victims, and God help anyone who is facing a hostage situation.

Weekly Gun News – Edition 19

It’ll be a very busy next several weeks, since we just settled on our new building, which we’ll be moving into before Thanksgiving, and I’m trying not to fall behind with client work at the same time. So thinks around here may be scarce some days. But my tabs are getting crowded, so it’s time to clear them:

Smart guns don’t work so well, so now it’s time for smart magazines!

Maryland scraps its gun fingerprint database because it was useless. Most ideas floated by gun control advocates are useless.

Troll or derp? It’s hard to tell these days.

What gun porn is from the guy who invented the term. I can’t think of anyone using gun porn as a term before SayUncle did.

Clayton Cramer has a new paper out “Do Ammunition Background Checks Reduce Murder Rates?” This is good stuff. The people passing this garbage couldn’t care less whether it’s effective. It’s only meant to frustrate you from your rights. But federal courts are supposed to care.

Dave Kopel has been writing about gun issues a lot over at The Volokh Conspiracy. See:

Safe storage of firearms: The harms from Bloomberg’s strange background check system.”

English Legal History and the Right to Carry Arms.”

Handgun bans for persons under 21: A hidden problem in Everytown’s ‘universal background checks’” and finally,

Sharing firearms for informal target shooting: Another legitimate activity outlawed by Everytown’s ‘universal background checks.’

Kindergartners get gun safety lessons at school. To a lot of gun control folks, this is a bad thing as long as NRA is doing it. They promote an abstinence only method. Puritans.

Andrew Branca tears apart a “scientific” study of Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.

Dave Hardy links to the oral arguments in the Ezell II case. Note the difference in the level of preparedness and presentation between the Chicago attorney and Alan Gura. I think the judges noticed too. I figure at least one dissenter. Hopefully this case will go well for us. I’m optimistic after listening to that.

I’m not sure why I’m bothering to link this, since no one likes Martin O’Malley, but his 7 point plan on gun control is the same tired shit I’ve been listening to from anti-gunners my whole life.

Speaking of tired shit: “Does the phrase ‘gun control’ hurt the push for new gun laws?” You can call it whatever you want at this point. The public hasn’t been fooled by this crap in the past, and it won’t be in the future. Cam Edwards seems to agree.

Hey, I agree with Hillary on something. But I don’t think she and I agree what the end result would be of making this a fact. Hopefully she keeps writing our 2016 campaign ads.

Speaking of Hillary, apparently she’s making video games an issue. The youth vote is going to love that.

As this country descends further into lunacy, this handy guide to might be useful. This probably goes double for millennials, who mostly don’t know what fascism, or socialism for that matter, are.

New False Flag Group Appears

They are called American Coalition for Responsible Gun Ownership, and you can find their press release here. Apparently they are quite proud of their “viral” video. I put viral in quotes, because the last time I checked a 122,000 views video does not constitute “going viral.” Notice the usual “reasoned discourse” in effect. One of the videos on the blog’s YouTube channel has 484,941 views. Another 247,619 views. Yet another 107,462 views. I don’t really work on my YouTube channel either. Where’s my invitation to the White House? If anyone believes this is a spontaneous grassroots movement, let us get together and discuss some opportunities I can offer you in Florida real-estate. Their Facebook page has about 6100 followers. There are blogs with stronger Facebook presence.

It’s an election year, and what would an election year be without a false flag group to try to offer vulnerable Dems some cover on the gun issue.

Happy Veterans Day

A happy veterans day to all who have served. I’ve done quite a bit of research into my Grandfather, John J. Milligan Sr.’s service on the Belgian front in December to January 1944, and at this point understand most of what his unit was doing during the time he got on the front until he was wounded about a month later. My great-grandfather, Samuel F. Milligan, served in the First World War, and I have only begun to research his service.

Milligan Generations

On the left is my great-grandfather and World War I veteran Sam holding my oldest first cousin Billy (who also served in our nation’s military). To the right is my grandfather, World War II veteran. The picture was taken about 1966.

I never knew my great-grandfather, since he died a few years before I was born. In piecing together his service, I don’t have the advantage of having heard some stories, like I did from my grandfather.

At age 23, my great-grandfather was drafted into the National Army on 26 May 1918. After training at Camp Meade (now Fort Meade), Maryland, he joined the American Expeditionary Force in France. He fought with Company M, 316th Infantry.  I have in his own handwriting:

I arrived in France July 18th, 1918, took part in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive until wounded on Nov 6th, 1918. I was removed to Base 67 on November 11th, 1918. I left Bordeaux on March 12, then arrived in Embarkation Hospital #3, New York City. I was discharged from Camp Dix April 19th, 1919.

Camp Dix is now Fort Dix, in New Jersey. Sam’s record says he was severely wounded in the left leg on the 6th of November. Ninety seven years ago to the day, on the 11th hour, he would have heard the guns fall silent, and would be removed from the front to face a long recovery. A generation later, my grandfather’s story would sound much the same.

As I mentioned, I never knew my great-grandfather, but I also never even heard of his service until I discovered it, and neither did my father. If there was one thing my grandfather talked about less than the war, it was his family. Sam would later serve the Civilian Conservation Corps, but he had a lot of personal problems later in life, and struggled with alcohol. My grandfather did not get along with him. He died 24 July 1970 and is buried in New Jersey, not far from where I live now.


My research is meant to be a tribute to all my ancestors who served. Whatever faults my great-grandfather may have had as a person and as a father, his service deserves to be documented and remembered.

Bloomberg Moves in on Celebrities, Brady Moves in on Mayors

As you’ve all seen in recent months, Bloomberg has been moving in on the Brady Organization’s turf, in the form of celebrity recruitment. We know there has been some tension between Brady and Bloomberg in this regard from the Freedom of Information requests to the City of New York. That’s why I find this recent release from the Brady Campaign to be filled with hilarity:




We have exciting news! The mayors of America’s three largest cities — Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago — have joined the Brady Campaign in calling on Attorney General Loretta Lynch to take action against the five percent of ‘bad apple’ gun dealers who are responsible for ninety percent of the crime guns terrorizing our communities.

This letter calls for the investigation, reform and possible closure of ‘bad apple’ gun dealers, as well as the adoption of an enforceable code of conduct. Simply put, we know who the ‘bad apples’ are, and we want the Attorney General and the Justice Department to take action!

This is an important step in our Stop Bad Apple Gun Dealers campaign, and the voices of many are more impactful than the voices of a few.

That’s why we need your help in getting more mayors to sign on to this important letter!

We want to show Attorney General Lynch that stopping ‘bad apple’ gun dealers is a priority across the country and you can help make that possible!

Thank you for your continuing support and stay tuned for more exciting updates about our Bad Apple Gun Dealer campaign!

Brian Malte
Senior National Policy Director
Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

You move in on our turf, and we’ll move in on yours? You know, there was a reason that Everytown absorbed MAIG right? There was a reason Bloomberg deemphasized that effort. It’s because Mayors tend to be corrupt, narcissistic, borderline sociopaths who often find themselves in trouble with the law. Good luck with this new strategy, Brady folks. Good luck! Way to bring the fun back in this debate. I can’t wait to start pointing out how many Brady mayors are being incarcerated.

Glenn Reynolds: “If you care about civil rights for minorities, gun control is not the answer.”

Writing in USA Today, and echoing the words of George Washington Law Professor Robert J. Cottrol:

Cottrol discussed a number of such cases, including that of Melroy Cort, a double-amputee Iraq veteran who in 2006 was traveling to Walter Reed Army Hospital for treatment from Ohio. He was charged with possession of a pistol not registered in the District of Columbia (though he said he had a permit in Ohio), a felony that would not only have sent him to prison, but would have cost him his veterans’ benefits. Although, as Cottrol notes, prosecutors in the DC Attorney General’s office had discretion to drop the charges; they instead threw the book at him.

Fortunately for Mr. Cort, he was saved by jury nullification, but not everyone is so lucky.

[Prof. Cottrol’s] point: Strict gun laws with stiff penalties are just another example of the overcriminalization that has led to mass incarceration in America, particularly among minorities.

Read the whole thing. I’m glad this point is being made, because this has always been the unintended consequence of “enforce the laws on the books,” which I’m noticing NRA is retreating to again. Prof. Reynolds goes on to reiterate his proposal for federal civil rights legislation that would set the maximum penalty a state can assess for possessing or carrying a firearm on the part of someone not prohibited under federal law to $500. I think it’s a great proposal. The only downside I’d worry about is that the anti-gun states would start passing (more) strange and unusual gun regulations, seeing gun owners as a cash cow to be milked. But I’d prefer that situation to the current status quo that exists in those states.

Beyond that, I would like to pursue under the 14th Amendment a complete federal preemption on state and local regulation for the manufacture, sale, and possession of firearms anyone not prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms. Basically, if you’re not a prohibited person federally, you can buy and possess anything that’s legal under federal law. But we’re a long way from something that radical.

Why Did Houston’s Proposition One Lose?

vote-here-woman-1436537This might seem like an off-topic post, given that Prop 1 was an anti-discrimination proposition for LGBT community, and not anything gun related, but I think it’s useful to analyze political failure and decide what lessons might be drawn from it for use in other contexts. First, I should introduce Proposition 1:

Proposition 1, would have banned discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity—criteria not covered by federal anti-discrimination laws—especially “in city employment, city services, city contracting practices, housing, public accommodations, and private employment.”

The proposition failed 39% to 61%, much to the shock of supporters. It’s failure is not a shock to me, once you break it apart and look at it. In my opinion, the failure boils down to three things. Demographics, timing, and overreach.

Let’s start with demographics. The City of Houston is about 25% white, 6% Asian, 25% Black, and 44% hispanic. The city is overwhelmingly Democratic, but supporters failed to recognize that many white Republicans are farther along to agreeing with them on these issues than black and hispanic voters. Demographically, Prop 1 faced an uphill challenge right out of the gate. Urban black and hispanic voters may vote overwhelmingly Democrat, but on social issues like this they are about as supportive as your most bible thumping evangelical GOP voter, and probably even less so in many respects.

Move on to timing. It’s really only a small minoring of people who are comfortable with rapid change. Activists can often delude themselves into thinking how strongly the population really supports their cause. There is a tendency to push too fast, and that risks a backlash. This referendum comes fresh on the heels of the cake controversies, where public opinion lags far behind support for gay marriage. The fact that Prop 1 had carve out for religious organizations and non-profits won’t really matter. There’s a tendency for the public to apply the brakes when they think activists for change are pushing too fast.

One could argue timing is really just a form of overreach, but I wanted to treat it separately. Gun rights has achieved because we were determined to not be a flash in the pan movement. We have persisted for several generations now in pushing this issue forward, often sliding backwards for periods of time; not able to achieve everything we’ve wanted. Timing is an important part of moving forward, independently of overreach.

Which brings us to overreach itself. If activists had only included sexual orientation in Proposition 1, it probably would have done much better, and perhaps even won. At this point, gays have achieved widespread tolerance and acceptance in our society. They achieved that through decades of coming out of the closet and confronting society with their existence and normality. It’s easy to discriminate against people when they are “shady deviants” (those people) who go to special clubs and bars (those places) and do “God knows what.” It’s much harder when they are family, friends, coworkers and neighbors who are mostly normal people.

Sound familiar? It should, because we have built the pro-gun movement in the same manner. How much do you think we’ve achieved in the past 20 years in demystifying gun shows? You notice how many families come these days? That’s a reward for decades of cultural normalization.

Transgender people are currently where gays were a few decades ago. While public polling shows that most people don’t have a problem with the transgendered (the public is about equally divided), I think it’s safe to say most people are still a bit uncomfortable with it. Without diving into the debate about whether this is right or not, how many companies do you think would feel comfortable putting an obvious transwoman in a public facing customer service or sales position. Now change that to a visibly butch lesbian woman, and I think you’d agree there’d be a lot more acceptance.

To put this in a Second Amendment context, transgenderism to them is what machine guns are to us. Most activists in this issue would like to ease or end the 1986 ban on machine guns, and most would also like to end NFA treatment of them as well. This is a sound anti-discrimination principle! But it’s one that just isn’t ripe yet. It may never be, even with a strong effort to demystify and mainstream.

The LGBT community enforces a conformity that would make the most rabid 2nd Amendment activist blush. We also have our own “no one gets thrown off the lifeboat” principle, but in fact we are willing to throw people off the lifeboat in order to save the ship. We’ve done it. Notice that all of the DC preemption bills floated in Congress don’t cover NFA items. Neither do any of the national reciprocity proposals. It would also be doubtful that if we managed to pass a federal law preempting state and local bans on semi-automatic “assault weapons” that the bill would not also carve out NFA items. As firearms enthusiasts, we’ve been more realistic about what can be achieved and when it the right time to achieve it. The failure of Proposition 1 is a lesson in what happens when reality is ignored and deluded activists turn a generational struggle to an immediate all or nothing game.

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