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Responsible Firearms Use & Drones

I meant to blog about this the other day, but I have to admit that I’m still a little floored by the news out of California about a guy who shot down the drone that his neighbor was playing around with in the area.

The drone was never over the shooter’s property according to GPS and mapping data. The drone wasn’t equipped with any kind of camera or anything that would give just cause to worries of an electronic peeping Tom situation.

But I think the most troubling aspect came out of that initial story on Ars Technica. This is from the drone owner’s very polite email to the shooter:

This is the third time discharge from your firearms has hit our house and property. The first incident left a bullet hole in the door by our garage. The second incident occurred last Thanksgiving when birdshot from your skeet shooting activities rained into our backyard. The third, of course, being what we’re currently discussing.

I’m obviously a big fan of pretty much any lawful recreational firearms use. However, I can say that if I discovered bullet holes near my door, had shot raining down in my backyard, and then had one of Sebastian’s remote helicopters shot out of the sky over my property, I would not be nearly so polite in addressing your unsafe and irresponsible firearms use.

Unfortunately, the attitude and disrespect from the shooter only makes this case so much worse. The fact is that he was in the wrong to shoot down the remote device that wasn’t over his property. He seemingly has a history of unsafe shooting at his neighbor’s house. Refusing to pay, even after being ordered to by a court, isn’t the way to go. In fact, if I was the judge and had any avenue to do so, I would have also ordered a required NRA safety course for the guy in addition to the money owed the victim. Instead, the shooter is argumentative and is now the cause of stories on recreational shooter bad behavior that have run nationwide and even abroad. Congratulations for working so hard to make gun owners look so bad!

Progressive Racists Don’t Count?

Students at UT Austin are angry that their campus has a statue of a racist on campus:

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Statues of George Washington, Martin Luther King Jr. and Woodrow Wilson, can all be found on the UT Austin Campus. But another historical figure among them, has some students angry.

Wait, another figure? You were talking about Wilson right? God help us that these ignorant and poorly educated kids will be running the country when I’m old.

“Jefferson Davis stood for some things that are pretty abominable today; Slavery, racism.” Rotnofsky believes. “They’re just not in line with the university’s core values.”

 

Without diving into the debate over Jeff Davis, if you’re going to tear down the statue of Davis, because he was a racist, you’re going to have to take the one down of ol’ Woody too, because in addition to being a good old fashioned racist and segregationist, unlike Jeff Davis, Wilson also bought into the eugenics movement, all the rage among progressives, that would later go on to form the basis for Nazi race theory.

But it’s OK for us to honor racists, as long as they were sufficiently progressive, right?

Sometimes You Need to be Reminded Why Social Media Sucks

Somehow my post about FedEx refusing to ship Cody Wilson’s CNC mill has generated far more Facebook drama than I’m used to. I don’t honestly do much to cultivate my Facebook presence, because for the most part I hate Facebook.

First, Facebook’s late policy of charging me money to access the audience I worked to create annoys the ever living hell out of me. I’m not sure how almost every other post of mine ends up “outperforming 95% of your other posts,” and surely you want to give Facebook money so you can access your followers? If you don’t, we’ll be sure to only show your posts to about 1/8th of your audience, so pay up!

Yeah, screw Facebook, even though it’s my number two non-search engine referrer behind SayUncle. Facebook is evil.

Let’s also remember that Facebook is anti-gun owner. You remember Brain Aitken right? He was prosecuted in New Jersey for activity that is legal in nearly any other state (transporting an unloaded firearm), and is only a free man because of being granted clemency by Governor Christie. Facebook is arguing his plight to get custody of his son back violates its policy of advertising firearms.

I do social media, because you just kind of have to these days. That’s not to say I like it. Compared to what blogging was in its heyday, it’s a vast wasteland, much like Cable TV.

I’m Sure This Will Help to Get Open Carry Passed in Texas

Treason! You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means:

“We should demanding these people give us our rights back or it’s punishable by death. Treason. Do you understand how serious this is Texas?” Watkins asks. “This is treason against the American people. You don’t sell my right back to me. You’re going to find trouble.”

But wait, it gets even better:

“I don’t think they want to mess around with us too much longer. They better start giving us our rights or this peaceful non-cooperation stuff is going to be gamed up. We are going to step it up a notch. I think here in Texas we are tired of jacking around with people in suits,” Watkins said.

Apparently all the videos are getting pulled down, including the one linked to in the article. Now he’s saying he meant nothing violent by his statements, but the damage has already been done.

UPDATE: More commentary here, though it’s important to note that this is OCTC, and not OCT behind this. OCT has condemned stuff like this.

UPDATE: Bearing Arms has the video back, and this: “At this moment, I think that there is an argument to be made that Kory Watkins is the single most effective advocate for gun control in the United States. I hope he’s smart enough to ask Mike Bloomberg for a check.”

Another Response to Jan Morgan

I believe this response goes farther than either Caleb or I did in excoriating Jan Morgan from banning muslims from her gun range, much of which I agree with. Reading some of the comments over at Caleb’s post, I was struck by how many folks don’t really get the context under which we’re arguing, so I thought I’d take a minute to explain it.

The key law at work in this context is Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlaws discrimination based on race color, religion, or national origin in “public accommodations.” When most people talk about the Civil Rights Act, they usually mean the 1964 Act. There could be some debate about whether a gun range is a public accommodation under the act, but I think it would be quite surprising if a court were to agree that it is not. There had been an attempt in the Civil Rights Act of 1875 to use the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments to reach a similar result, but the Supreme Court said no. The 1964 act relied heavily on Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce. So it has been established law for some time that this type of discrimination is unlawful.

There are some who argue that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 went too far in regulating private behavior and limiting property rights. Barry Goldwater was one of the more famous opponents to Title II of the Civil Rights Act, but it’s likely his opposition cost him his bid for the Presidency. I do believe the libertarian argument against Title II of CRA64 is a legitimate one, is not based in a desire to perpetuate racism, or beyond debate. But politically, I’ve written before, opposition to CRA 64 is a non-starter, and probably will continue to be for some time.

It’s worth making sure people understand what the law currently says about what Jan Morgan is doing, and why I think that makes her a distasteful person to have on “our side.” Opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 has never been a winning political position, and she’s bound to lose any lawsuit. This was attention grabbing, pure and simple.

Discriminating Gun Range?

Bob Owens has the story about a gun range that has decided to exclude muslims. I’m with Caleb of Gun Nuts Media on this one. This does not show gun owners in a good light, and merely serves to reinforce the stereotype of gun owners being ignorant bigots. This kind of discrimination is also illegal, so this is certain to invite a lawsuit which Jan Morgan will lose.

She could refuse to rent to someone who came in and said “Please, I would like to rent a semi-automatic rifle so I can practice killing infidels.” But refusing to rent to someone for just being muslim would violate the Civil Rights Act’s prohibition on discrimination in public accommodations.

It’s my view that this is a shameless publicity stunt done by a woman who makes money feeding the worst instincts of the political right. One problem I think the right has is too many people who make a living doing that.

The KISS principle & Stupid Jerks

Caleb at Gun Nuts Media talks about a topic that I sort of hinted at in the comments on a post from yesterday: “There are a lot of jerks, idiots, and assholes in the world, I can guarantee that some of them legally own guns.”

Not every bad situation involving guns is invented by anti-gunners. The fact is that there are some people with very poor decision-making abilities who use cars in a dangerous manner, exercise their right to speak to say dumb things, and even brandish guns in a way that reflectors poorly on gun owners. As Caleb notes, we should be calling out these people for their poor decisions and bad actions and making clear that this kind of behavior isn’t acceptable in the modern gun community.

I realize that the easiest form of thinking is to just assume that everything is the fault of gun controllers, but just stop and consider it for a moment. Think of every hoop they would have to jump through to make whatever bad incident you’re thinking about happen. Chances are, you’ll realize that it’s really outlandish.

Energy spent coming up with conspiracy theories in every single situation is better spent on being a better representative of the pro-gun community and encouraging others to do the same.

Jesus Wept: OCT President Unholsters Firearms in Public for Photo Op

Miguel, who is much more engaged with following anti-gun and pro-gun groups on social media than I could ever be, noticed something very important from Open Carry Texas’ statement the other day, quoting from their statement:

Black Powder revolvers have proven to be very effective and align with our goal of legalizing open carry with a handgun. We do understand that not everyone will be able to afford one, but if you can, we are requesting you do so. Almost every leader has gone to Black powder for a reason. It works.

I basically share Miguel’s reaction to this; what a wonderful idea. Surely no one would be alarmed greatly by a cap and ball revolver in a proper holster, right? Well, nope.

So here we have Open Carry Texas’ president in a public place, without any apparent holster I can see, finger fucking his side arm. A commenter on their Facebook page very wisely chastised [UPDATE: Seemingly has gone down the memory hole over there.]

 

IdiocyOnParade

“It’s not a firearm.” Dear God, is this really what we’re dealing with? Stop touching it! You have no business drawing a firearm in a public place unless it’s to protect life and limb. I echo the sentiments of Mr. Braaten: it doesn’t matter what the State of Texas calls it, or ATF calls it, for the purposes of safety and sensible carry protocol, if it launches a projectile at a speed sufficient to cause grave bodily injury or harm, it’s a firearm. It should be treated with the respect it deserves as a potentially deadly instrument.

Just when I want to start thinking better of this group, they up the ante on jackassery. I know some readers are tiring of this, but I honestly don’t care. These people are costing us hugely. They live up to everything the antis want the public to think about people who own and carry firearms. They have to be exposed for being the careless, thoughtless people they are. Back to Miguel:

If anything, it has been proven that their methods have been counterproductive delighting the Opposition (always looking for excuses to “stick it” to us) and garnering a massive amount of anger from Gun Owners who are tired of getting typecasted as brutish & dangerous people, undeserving of the right to Keep and Bear Arms. And they (we) are right to be pissed.

Amen. We’re going to be very lucky if we get through this without further damage. God give us the strength to deal with these thoughtless attention whores.

Because Your Blood Pressure is Too Low This Weekend

Read this letter from a DC mom who is fighting charges that she neglected her child because the girl and a friend were safely walking just a few minutes from a home – the same home they could give a phone number for where their parents available to pick them up if someone was truly concerned. But some man decided that the best decision was the call the police so that the parents would be arrested for the “crime” of allowing children to play unsupervised.

If you need to bring your blood pressure back down, there’s also this story about a group of parents who decided to stand up to the extremely anti-fun and anti-kid staff at what one parent called “Worst First Play Centre of Gloom” and encouraged their kids to violate all the rules against running and having fun. The parent report says that the staff hid away in the corners when they realized they were outnumbered by people who wouldn’t be strict rule enforcers. When these most obnoxious nannies are ignored and marginalized, they back down. We need to teach more people to stand up to them.

I realize these aren’t directly “gun rights” stories, and they both come out of areas (DC & Montreal) where the parents themselves might be horribly anti-gun, but these are issues related to freedom to live your life as you choose when you aren’t infringing on anyone else’s rights.

There’s No Shame Left in this World

A grown man called 911, apparently unashamed he is unable to deal with his angry house cat. In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that we are a house divided in regards to pets. I am a cat person, whereas Bitter is a dog person. But despite my affection for our feline friends, if I had a cat that scratched my 7 month old kid, and then couldn’t begin to understand who’s the apex predator in this equation, kitty is going to be in for quite an education. I’m definitely not calling 911 to have someone else come deal with the cat, because that’s just pathetic.

You’re the superior species dude, a hell of a lot bigger, and a hell of a lot smarter, and kitty knows it. If you act like it you’re the boss, kitty is going to back down, trust me. It won’t have to come to either him or you. I mean, hell, a blanket is a fantastic weapon in such a situation if you really want to turn the tables here. How about a laundry basket?

The mind boggles. Really. I hope this is a hoax.

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