Carry Your Guns, People!

This is a lengthy article from Foreign Policy about the terrorist attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi in September of 2013, but I’d suggest it ought to be required reading for gun folks:

Far from a dramatic three-day standoff, the assault on the Westgate Mall lasted only a few hours, almost all of it taking place before Kenyan security forces even entered the building. When they finally did, it was only to shoot at one another before going on an armed looting spree that resulted in the collapse of the rear of the building, destroyed with a rocket-propelled grenade. And there were only four gunmen, all of whom were buried in the rubble, along with much of the forensic evidence.

We’re fortunate that our military and police forces are far better than armed looters, but that’s not to say you can be guaranteed a quick and competent response if the situation goes extremely pear shaped.

During the roughly three-and-a-half hours that the killers were loose in the mall, there was virtually no organized government response. But while Kenyan officials prevaricated, an unlikely coalition of licensed civilian gun owners and brave, resourceful individual police officers took it upon themselves to mount a rescue effort.

Well, that kind of destroys the narrative for the gun control crowd, doesn’t it? When the shit hit the fan, it was armed individuals who stood up and got the job done. Of course, they and their ilk are doing everything they can to ensure something like that can never happen in this country.

No, I Did Not Die in the Popeocalypse

The dead air has honestly been for lack of news, and I’ve gotten to the point in blogging I hate just producing useless filler (you know, like this post). There’s way too much of that out there, and it wastes your time and mine. Speaking of the Pope visit, as anyone with half a brain could have predicted, turnout was way lower than expected, and there are businesses that lost a lot of money. Restaurants were told to expect to be very busy, probably figuring a communion wafer is hardly even a light afternoon snack. But the crowd disappeared as soon as Frances did. Now the finger pointing begins! I was out in the Harrisburg area this weekend, partaking in the grand tradition of my Huguenot ancestors: running away from Catholics. Even out there, the signs were flashing advisories that might as well have said, “Danger! Pope Visiting Philadelphia!”, like Godzilla had come ashore and was heading inland. Nonetheless, the light turnout didn’t prevent the Secret Service from turning security into a mess.

The Onion had some commentary on the visit here, and here. That’s funny right there. I don’t care who you are.

Hopefully tomorrow we’ll have non-pope news. It’s been quiet, almost too quiet on the gun front. Every time I worry about a sagging news cycle, I’m reminded that December 2012 was also a sagging news cycle, and I’ve learned to be careful about complaining about a lack of news.

Weekly Gun News – Edition 15

We here in and around Philadelphia are anxiously awaiting the popeocalypse. Being non-catholic, I have no plans to go into the city to engage in any pope watching. The way the media has been portraying it around here, you’d think it’s going to be mass hysteria, hence why people have adopted the popeocalypse hash tag. My prediction is everyone will be scared away by predictions of chaos, and the crowd will be much smaller than expected. With that out of the way, let’s get to the news:

Pope Frances once again gets on his arms manufacturer bandwagon. I should remind you that the pope has an armed guard who use guns that were manufactured by someone. It was this gun, this gun, and this gun that helped take down Hitler. Pope Francis strikes me as a naive figure, in a way that John Paul II assuredly was not.

This proposal from the City of Missoula, Montana almost certainly violates the state preemption law. They are trying to find whatever hole they can to bring back the idea of local regulation of firearms. That way, gun owners, who can’t possibly know thousands of local laws, can more easily be imprisoned where people like Bloomberg think we belong.

Mike “the gun guy” is looking at the bright side of the Heller III ruling. I don’t think anyone on our side claimed it was a victory. I personally don’t think registration or training should be allowed as a prior restraint on purchasing a firearm, and registration should be flat out unconstitutional. As I said, partial win. The court rightly saw gun rationing for what it is, at least.

Half of all Americans think the government is a threat to freedom. I guess we’re all insurrectionists now, or at least half of us are, by CSGV’s standards.

There’s often a lot more to these stories of victimhood if you dig.

Trump’s policy position on guns isn’t too bad.

NRA endorses State Senator John Edwards in Virginia. This is the guy CSGV lead a pathetic protest against. Well, let’s see you deliver some hurt, CSGV. The game is on. Can you hurt Edwards where it counts? At the ballot box?

NRA is being investigated in Connecticut after anti-gun group complains. NRA maintains they have followed the law on this matter.

A win for knife rights in New York.

New Jersey lawmakers fail to override Chris Christie’s veto of a gun control bill.

Lawsuit over campus carry in Missouri tests how far strict scrutiny can go. They recently passed an enhancement to the RKBA provision demanding the courts apply strict scrutiny.

More radical nonsense from Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. I’ll join with Bob’s reiteration that their coalition partners should be aware of what they are doing. This is not mainstream,  this is a crazy train position this group is taking, and CSGV is far from the only one.

Florida isn’t processing as many new applications for gun permits. Better reciprocity is probably also contributing to this. Florida only gets me about 3 more states than my PA license does, but since Delaware is one of them, I hold on to it.

The recall petitions for Oregon legislators who voted for gun control have failed. Generally speaking, you’re going to get some signatures dismissed. Groups usually collect at least 20% more than they need. Perhaps they were running out of time. Gun control groups are saying this shows the tide us turning in their favor.

Campus Carry is on the move in Florida.

SayUncle: “On lights and guns

RPG v. bullet proof glass.

Elizabeth Price Foley: “The House GOP would be well advised to stop fighting its own base, listen to them, and select someone from the House Freedom Caucus–which has been fighting Boehner tooth and nail–who would unify the party with its own voters. Someone like Raul Labrador, Mark Meadows, or Jim Jordan.” Don’t count on it.

Why gun control isn’t at the heart of Black Lives Matter: “Stricter gun laws could do more harm than good to poor, black communities, experts and activists say.” The left have been conspiring to screw poor minority communities out of their Second Amendment rights for years, and then turned around and tried to convince them they are better off for it. I’m glad to see people waking up.

Townhill: Toomey walks the high wire on gun control.

Best News I’ve Heard in a While

John Boehner is stepping down as speaker, and resigning from Congress. Maybe now we have a prayer of getting some opposition to this Administration from Congress. I can’t say I’m optimistic though. Boehner, more than anyone, I think deserves the blame for the Trump phenomena. Boehner has been so easy on Obama, you almost have to wonder what kind of dirt they have on him. Good riddance, I say.

Another Northampton County Club in Trouble

I wrote not long ago about Stockerton Rod and Gun Club being in trouble over accusations that rounds were leaving the range. Now it seems another ther club in the area is coming under scrutiny over errant rounds. This time it’s Belfast Edelman Sportsman Association. The local news station reports:

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Not all complaints against gun ranges represent anti-gun or NIMBY sentiment. People who build or buy houses next to ranges should expect to live with noise, but bullets leaving a range at dangerous velocities and trajectories are a different beast entirely. The setup of Belfast Edelman looks similar to Stockerton. I decided to Google the club’s location, start up street view, and “drive” down the road downrange of the club. Sure enough, I found the house in this report right where I worried I’d find it:


She’s about 1000 yards downrange, which is close enough for bullets to strike her house at sufficient velocity to maim or kill. A 7.62x51mm (.308 Win) round would still be traveling in excess of 1000ft/sec at that range, and with about the muzzle energy of 425ft-lb. This woman isn’t exaggerating. If she’s being hit by the kinds of rounds typically used for hunting, it is as big a deal as if someone fired a 9mm into her house from the street.

The club made the right decision to close their range. Hopefully they have the funds to make needed safety improvements. If you’re ever involved in a club that ends up in a situation like this, NRA does offer range consulting to clubs in trouble. They can also offer grants and whatnot to make the needed safety improvements so that struggling clubs can stay open. I’m very sympathetic to clubs that end up in this kind of trouble, but residents do have a right to expect clubs will maintain safety standards such that rounds will not leave the range in a dangerous manner such as this.

A Good Explanation for the Trump Phenomena

Trump’s success in the early primary season has pretty much baffled anyone who is an avid observer of politics. I’ve been reading Scott Adams series that Donald Trump is a master persuader, very skilled in the art of persuasion. I think there’s probably something to that, but the big fact that I think stands in the way of that theory is that Trump has run for President before, and never managed to get all that far. It’s possible that the environment had to be just right for his populist fire to start burning, and now he’s at the right place at the right time.

I’m not a regular reader of RedState, but this particular article caught my attention, and I think it’s a pretty good explanation for the Trump phenomena:

I don’t think the Trump support is reflective of any issue at all. I don’t think it’s even reflective of disgust with the GOP. I think it’s reflective of the disgust we have with the new unwritten rules of society …

… The reality is that people are excited to see, hey, here’s a guy who goes on TV, and if he wants to pop off at the mouth, he pops off at the mouth, and if this guy can rise to being President of the United States then maybe I don’t have to always shut my mouth and I can sometimes say what I feel and maybe I can call my annoying coworker ugly and not have to risk being sued, too.

Read the whole thing, as they say. That makes a lot of sense to me. I know I’m tired of the Troller in Chief in the White House stirring up division for political advantage, and sick of seeing people’s lives destroyed for expressing opinions that run counter to the prevailing left-wing orthodoxy. It is satisfying to watch someone giving the middle finger to the PC police and the media (but I repeat myself) and get away with it.

I was leaning towards Scott Walker out of the gate. Walker is a proven fighter and reformer,and he pulled it off while coming off as midwestern boring to the public. To me the ideal candidate is one who can maintain an air of public respectability and charm, but behind the scenes will eviscerate his enemies with a surgical precision. Walker did that very well. That is his record. Another political figure who is very good at that schtick? Barack Obama. In fact, I would argue that Obama is the master of this style, with a talent for it not likely to be seen again in our lifetimes.

Walker is out now, largely because I don’t think very many people wanted what he was offering. He probably also screwed himself by listening to the GOP consultant class rather than being himself. But I think he was ultimately done-in by the fact that a large part of the GOP base, the ones enamored with Trump, don’t want midwestern nice. They want vengeance, and Trump is playing to that.

Scott Adams is predicting Trump will go all the way, and win the Presidency in a landslide. I will admit, I’d vote for Trump over any of the three possible Democratic candidates, but I will definitely have a “Dear God, what have we done?” moment if that ends up being the choice. Right now I don’t have a horse to back, and it’ll probably stay that way until I can see whether Carly can build momentum, or whether she starts getting repetitive. I’m also keeping an eye on Rubio.

Shooting the LARC M19-A

In the last news links post, I mentioned having fired an LARC M19-A BB-machine gun, linking to an article about it in Small Arms Review. My friend and sometimes co-blogger Jason still has the one I fired, and offered to take some video of it in action. It’s a lot of fun. If the anti-gun folks like calling semi-automatic rifles a bullet hose, this is about the closest you’ll come to one, except it shoots BBs. Watch it tear up this empty anti-freeze bottle:

Jason told me that the regulator on his air compressor struggled to feed the beast enough air, but there’s one good satisfying burst.

Partial Win in DC Circuit

A 3 judge panel has struck down some of DC’s gun laws. In the Heller III case. The Court threw out their gun rationing scheme, which is good news. The panel struck down the requirement that gun owners re-register every three years, appear in person, but upheld registration and training in general. The full opinion can be found here:

For the reasons set forth above, the district court’s final order is AFFIRMED with respect to: the basic registration requirement as applied to long guns, D.C. Code §7- 2502.01(a); the requirement that a registrant be fingerprinted and photographed and make a personal appearance to register a firearm, D.C. Code § 7-2502.04; the requirement that an individual pay certain fees associated with the registration of a firearm, D.C. Code § 7-2502.05; and the requirement that registrants complete a firearms safety and training course, D.C. Code § 7-2502.03(a)(13). The district court’s order is REVERSED with respect to the requirement that a person bring with him the firearm to be registered, D.C. Code § 7- 2502.04(c); the requirement that a gun owner re-register his firearm every three years, D.C. Code §7-2502.07a; the requirement that conditions registration of a firearm upon passing a test of knowledge of the District’s firearms laws, D.C. Code §7-2502.03(a)(10); and the prohibition on registration of “more than one pistol per registrant during any 30-day period,” D.C. Code § 7-2502.03(e).

Mixed bag, really. I’d probably not want to file cert on this case unless there’s a change on the Supreme Court that would make it stronger on the Second Amendment. It would be risky taking a case challenging these issues forward.

h/t Dave Hardy

Weekly Gun News – Edition 15

Just when you think maybe your fall won’t be that busy, the landlord boots our company from its palatial estate. Not because they don’t like us or anything, but because we lease from a client of ours, and they need the space for themselves. We’ve known this was coming for a while, but now it’s panic time. This is going to make a lot of work for me over the next several weeks, so I appreciate everyone’s patience. But let us see how many useful tabs I have open:

Gun writer Frank James has passed on. R.I.P.

Lessons from the field: don’t misplace your gun.

As a tech geek, it gets on my nerves when tech geeks comment on technology, like guns, they don’t know the first thing about.

Millennial may be moving to greater gun ownership. I feel like I wrote about this or linked this before, but maybe I only intended to. I’ve said before, I think gun control advocates are going to be disappointed with this generation. Gun control is a movement of old white women, for the most part.

A dose of reality about Australian gun laws.

The biggest gun grabber in the IL State Senate, Dan Kotowski, is stepping down to join a ‘Child Advocacy’ group in Chicago.”

Here’s the old gun and cars meme again, saying we should treat guns more like cars, even though we already mostly do. Cars are actually far less regulated in many areas. Our opponents have always tried to deceive people into believing that guns are essentially unregulated.

Al-Queda is targeting billionaires, including Mike Bloomberg. Good thing they have all that armed security. Remember, good guys with guns never stop bad guys with guns, right Mike?

Dave Hardy has been digging through the Clinton Archives, looking at his executive agenda on guns. I’d wear gloves if I were you, Dave. You don’t know where those documents have been.

A look at Time Kaine’s gun control bill.

They don’t want a national conversation about gun control, as they claim, they want to lecture everyone else.

A guide for GOP candidates on how to fill Court vacancies. A lot is at stake this coming election. The next President will shape the court for a generation.

I’ve actually fired one of these. Very fun.

GOA endorses Ted Cruz. Jacob is right, that it’s way too early. But it all makes sense if you understand that GOA may have motivations that go beyond gun rights.

The Pennsylvania State Police have no authority to conduct inspections of FFLs, absent a valid warrant.

Apparently hunting licenses and hunting fees are an important part of wildlife conservation in Africa. Who would have guessed? Actually, I’m surprised to see this in the New York Times.

The police are allowed to take your firearm during a traffic stop, says federal court. Pennsylvania isn’t a duty to inform state. How did the officer find out you had a gun? If I’m not legally obligated, I never tell an officer I’m armed. Just goes smoother and safer that way.

McAuliffe brings an armed guard to the gun control rally. They are big, important people, you see. Know your place, peasant!

I don’t know how many times I’ve seen people floating this idiotic idea over the 15 years I’ve been paying attention to this issue, but it’s still as dumb today as it was then.

Clayton Cramer says to the anti-gun folks, if they don’t like guns, stop promoting bans, because threats of bans seem to sell a lot of guns. Like I’ve said before, the gun control movement is having an impact.

You don’t say: “Criminals Pretty Much Avoid Buying Guns Legally, Says University of Chicago Study

Dispelling a common myth: “You Don’t Need a License to Own a Gun In Philadelphia” Gun ownership in Philadelphia is the same as in the rest of the state, except you need a License to Carry Firearms to carry a firearm on the streets at all, openly or concealed.

Off Topic:

Rudy Giuliani shows how to sell conservative ideas without making it seem like you want to push grandma off a cliff or starve the homeless.

Hillary’s campaign is imploding. This is no real surprise. I’ve seen Township Supervisors with more raw political talent. Her only real political accomplishment was marrying Bill Clinton. She’d have trouble getting elected dog catcher otherwise.

Text of S.2016, Tim Kaine’s New Gun Control Bill

This bill isn’t meant to be serious, it’s mean to grab headlines. It’s shameful. It doesn’t not have even a single cosponsor as of this writing. It’s so short it’ll take just a minute to read. Basically it converts the offense of selling a gun to a prohibited person into a strict liability offense. That’s all it does. It doesn’t define what measures constitute “reasonable steps to determine that the recipient is not legally barred from possessing firearms or ammunition.” So we have no idea how one complies with this law. It’ll end up being whatever the judge decides it is. If this were a serious bill, and not an epic troll on the part of Senator Kaine, this bill would be a big concern to FFLs.

In actuality, this bill is likely unconstitutional, since it creates a serious felony offense as a strict liability crime. Typically serious offenses require culpability on the part of the accused. That’s even putting aside the Second Amendment issues. This bill is a joke, literally. Kaine thinks so little of your gun rights, he doesn’t even have the decency to take twenty more minutes to make a serious bill. This was about grabbing headlines, and little else.

Hopefully the Virginia GOP gets serious next election and finally puts the Former Senator Macaca out to pasture. Those seats could be up for grabs with a serious candidate.

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