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Currently Browsing: Anti-Gun Folks

More Media Wagon Circling Over the Hearing Protection Act

This time the LA Times is getting in the game:

Stiff federal regulations on silencers date back to 1934, when they were enacted as part of a crackdown on machine guns and other instruments of mobster violence.

Actually, silencers were included in NFA because of concerns over poaching during the Great Depression. I think it’s hilarious that the LA Times writer cited the Michael Rosenwald’s WaPo article we talked about the other day, because Rosenwald’s article actually said as much. It’s almost as if no one who comments on Rosenwald’s article actually read it! Was the concern over poaching legitimate? I don’t think so. I’d argue politicians back then were just as ignorant as they are now, and Maxim had only started selling them three decades prior.

Manufacturers say it’s illogical to raise a higher bars to silencer purchases than gun purchases, but this is a double-edged sword. They may be right, but that’s an argument for making guns as hard to buy as silencers, rather than the other way around.

That’s not politically tenable in this country. Again, this is the kind of crap the bores me. You’re never going to get ordinary handguns under NFA-like restrictions. Originally, this was tried when the NFA was passed, and handguns were awkwardly removed under pressure from the National Revolver Association and the NRA. What we were left with was the AOW designation.

“There’s no evidence of a public health issue associated with hearing loss from gunfire,” says Kristin Brown of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. “There is evidence of a public health crisis from gun violence, and we think that’s where legislative efforts should be directed.”

Yeah, she’s an authority for sure. Let’s get Kristen to stand next to a Glock 19 as its magazine is emptied and then see how long it takes her hearing to come back to normal, assuming it does not cause permanent damage. Why doesn’t Kristen ask some of the old dudes at my club, who grew up around unsuppressed gunfire in the days before hearing protection was all that good? She won’t be able to without shouting at them, because they are all deaf as a post. Even those of us who wear hearing protection have had instances where either the foam didn’t fully expand, or the rifle butt slipped them out of position and your next shot rings your ears.

OSHA says that any noise over 85 decibels is the “action level” for requiring workers to wear hearing protection. OSHA warns that exposure of 110dB for a period of one minute risks permanent hearing loss. The sound of a 9mm firing is 160 decibels. That is loud enough to physically burst your eardrums. It will hurt if you’re near it. Also note that the decibel scale is logarithmic rather than linear. For those who don’t get that, it means that 160dB is a whole crapload louder than 85dB that OSHA considers action level. Silencers reduce the report of gunfire to below the level that risks bursting eardrums, but it’s still loud: about 120-130 decibels.

Others point to indications that silencers can reduce public awareness of developing firearm attacks and interfere with law enforcement.

Nonsense. Can you hear the sound of a jackhammer from a pretty good distance? Then you can hear the sound of a suppressed firearm.

The fact is this: if you are around a gun being shot in an indoor environment without suppression, you are more than likely going to suffer permanent hearing loss if you’re not wearing hearing protection. Most people who don’t shoot have have no idea how loud gunfire really is. TV and computer speakers cannot do it justice. People like Kristen Brown and her allies are going to deliberately lie about the effects because they are depending on that public ignorance to derail what is, actually, a legitimate effort to make it easier for people to buy what is honestly a firearm safety accessory that never should have been regulated the way it was in the first place.

Nevada Background Check Initiative Can’t Be Implemented

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Years all rolled into one: Bloomberg spent 20 million dollars in Nevada to secure a razor thin win, and he still gets nothing. The Attorney General in Nevada checked with the FBI and the law as it was written is simply not implementable. The FBI stated that states can’t commander federal policy on the matter, and that they refuse to conduct the checks in accordance with the way Bloomberg’s new law requires. How is this so? Hilariously, it’s a pretty simple mistake.

The issue is that Nevada is designated as a Point-of-Contact (POC) state, meaning that, like Pennsylvania, they have a state background check system that is designated by the FBI to conduct background checks under the Brady Act. Bloomberg’s new law states that the checks have to be conducted by the FBI’s National Instant Check System. Given that Nevada is a POC state, the FBI will not conduct checks on behalf of Nevada. The law cannot be complied with, and is therefore completely unworkable and unenforceable.

Never interrupt your enemy when they are in the middle of making a mistake, and always have a backup plan in case your main plan fails. In this case, it looks like we did.

It’s hard to believe Bloomberg sunk 20 million dollars into this with such a glaring error. I will admit I did not read the ballot initiative carefully enough to notice this, but once I started reading the opinion it was obvious. Nevada is a POC state! FBI doesn’t allow dealers to use NICS.

No doubt this won’t be the end of this controversy, since I imagine they’ll attempt to get a judge to bend the plain wording of the language to match Bloomberg’s drafter’s intent rather than what they actually wrote. I imagine someone at LCAV is seething right about now. We’ve benefitted a lot from their lack of real expertise and experience in this area of law. To be honest, their people just aren’t very good, and we should be thankful for that.

But Remember, They Support the Second Amendment

The Second Amendment as an individual right is a lie, and gun owners are stupid people who lap up and regurgitate everything the NRA says, and are “primed to trade in ‘fake news’.”

There’s an old adage that one should never interrupt your enemy when they are in the process of making a mistake, and I’m certainly not going to. I think we were even accused of being Russian stooges in there, but I’m not sure.

This is why they have lost, and why for the foreseeable future they will continue to lose. For the most part, we went out into the culture with a mission to persuade and change minds, and save the handful of states where the law and/or culture has already been rigged against that, we’ve succeeded. The only reason the gun control movement has seen any success at all is because Mike Bloomberg is a good strategician, and has the will and capability to outspend us. If it had to depend on the minds at the Brady Campaign, the issue would have made no gains whatsoever in the past five years.

Just an Observation

I don’t know how many of you follow “The Trace,” which is part of Mike Bloomberg’s new media strategy. It’s actually a pretty soft-sell type publication when it comes to gun control. They obviously have a pro-gun control bent, but they also do some decent reporting on the issue. So I admit, I use them as one of my sources. I tend to think “The Trace” is to the gun control movement was Guns.com is for us. Guns.com also does some decent straight reporting on the issue, bit with a bit of a pro-gun bent.

Anyway, I noticed since the election that The Trace has gone from more of the soft-sell to a much harder sell. I don’t know if that’s part of a deliberate strategy change, or whether a lot of people over there are just pissed off at the election results. Not that I’m complaining: the hard sell is a lot easier to make fun of, and it should provide some good material in the future. The mainstream media has gotten pretty boring with their gun reporting, and the fever swamp places like Media Matters are so hilariously over the top as to be hardly worth paying attention to. It’s self-parodying.

Nevada Being Primed for More Bloomberg Funded Ballot Initiatives

Nevada voters very narrowly approved a ballot measure that ended private firearms transfers, at least officially. Unofficial the law is unenforceable, and most chief LEOs in the state aren’t going to enforce it. But the purpose never was to just get a private transfer ban in place and then move on. The purpose is to build the organization necessary (even if it’s paid organization funded by Bloomberg) to rinse and repeat on the ballot, nibbling away at the edges until they get something they really want. The groundwork is now being laid to put a magazine ban on the ballot in Nevada. This is why you need to convince people to vote “no.” I don’t care how sensible it sounds. I don’t care even if it is sensible. By voting yes, you will be enabling Bloomberg to keep going back again and again. We’ve seen it in Washington, and now Nevada has signaled it is willing to follow the same model. You know where I’ll bet he won’t be headed back to the ballot trough? Maine. Because Mainers told him to go f*** himself.

Head of Everytown: Throw the Book at Them

John Feinblatt is Bloomberg’s chosen leader for Everytown. He was a muckety muck in Bloomberg’s Administration as Mayor of New York City, and has been involved in Bloomberg’s gun control efforts since the beginning. He pens an article in the Daily News, which I will address point by point. The gist of the article is that NRA doesn’t really mean it when they say “enforce the laws we already have,” and so Feinblatt offers his own ideas on what that means:

For decades, though, NRA lobbyists have fought to suppress trace data, even using the federal budget to try to limit intelligence-sharing among law enforcement.

You might recall when that data was freely available before, it was used to target high-volume gun shops for lawsuits with the intent of putting them out of business. It is still available to law enforcement for bonafide investigations. It’s just not available to people like Bloomberg and the Brady Campaign, and they are butthurt about that.

To help catch more murderers and gun criminals, it can also advance an investigative tool called microstamping …

Yes, a tool so great even UC Davis had to admit it was bullshit. Additionally, both California and New York have both passed Microstamping laws, but have yet to issue any regulations about it. Why? Because it’s a bullshit issue and even the bureaucrats know it. I’m a bit disappointed in Mr. Feinblatt here. This is the kind of pie in the sky dreaming I’d expect from the Brady Campaign.

Good old-fashioned communication can boost enforcement, too. Felons broke the law and tried to buy a gun more than 40,000 times last year alone — yet they rarely face any consequences, beyond the gun store turning them away.

This is actually one area I disagree with the NRA on, and one area I’m pretty sure they are mostly sincere in wanting stronger enforcement. The reason most of those felons who tried to break the law aren’t prosecuted is that most of them are non-violent felons who are no threat to anyone. It would be a waste of public resources to prosecute and incarcerate them. If the prohibitions on felons was limited to violent felons, and was part of their conviction, I would have little issue with more rigorous enforcement.

We all know the reason prosecution rates for NICS denials are low, but no one wants to admit it: I’m not all that worried about the dude who gets a NICS denial because a decade ago he cheated on his taxes, and no one else is either. Yet any felony, including tax evasion, regulatory crimes like importing a lobster in the wrong bag, possessing a bald eagle feather, and having a bit too much pot on you will earn you a lifetime prohibition.

There’s actually no federal gun trafficking law, and “straw purchasing” a gun for a criminal is nothing more than a paperwork violation.

This is an outright lie, and it’s one repeated often by gun control advocates. Straw purchasing, that is buying a firearm for someone else, anyone else, is a federal felony with a 10 year prison sentence. Many states have analogue crimes with similarly harsh sentences. The exception is if you wanted to buy a gift for your wife or brother. But if someone gives you money to buy a firearm for them, and you do, that’s a straw purchase. It is also unlawful sell guns to people who are residents of another state without being a licensed dealer. Only Federal Firearms Licensees may ship firearms via common carrier (there are exceptions to this, like shipping a gun to an FFL for repair) out of their home state to a non-licensee. So there is a federal trafficking statute, even if it’s not explicitly called that.

The issue they have, when you really analyze their arguments in this area, is that it can sometimes be hard for the state to meet its burden in prosecuting federal gun law violations. Rather than viewing that as a feature, necessary to prevent ordinary people tangled in the web of non-violent federal crimes, gun controllers have always viewed the state’s burden as a bug, and consistently support weakening or eliminating due process when it comes to gun violations.

Impact of Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law

Appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association (what this has to do with medicine is dubious, unless you subscribe to guns as a public health menace, which I don’t), a study looking at the effect of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground Law.” Given the AMA’s anti-gun position, it should not surprise you that they found it increases homicide. But the study does admit to a number of limitations, and makes some further admissions that tell me this was cooked up. Take this statement, for instance:

 

A potential limitation of interrupted time series designs is the possibility that other factors that occur simultaneously may distort estimates of intervention effects. Such factors might include national changes in social or economic variables (eg, a recession) or events that have a profound and lasting impact on society (eg, natural disasters). Additional design elements can be added to interrupted time series designs to assess whether such factors are influencing statistical estimates. We employed 2 such design features: analysis of homicide rates in 4 comparison states (New York, New Jersey, Ohio, and Virginia), and analysis of control outcomes (suicide and suicide by firearm).

Why pick those states as controls? The demographics of Ohio and Virginia are nothing like Florida. Virginia and New York also follow the common law that when faced with someone committing a forcible felony, you may employ deadly force to stop the commission of said felony, and you have no duty to retreat. This covers the vast majority of circumstances a citizen is going to be legally entitled to use deadly force in self-defense. New York and Virginia are already, via common law, Stand Your Ground states, so they make a very poor comparison to Florida. Also, why study just Florida? Maybe this is why, as the study admits: “Evaluations of Arizona’s and Texas’ stand your ground laws found no statistically significant impact on homicide.”

So keep studying the issue until you get the result you’re looking for? Pick the control states poorly to drive your desired result? Looks like it to me. The studies themselves usually do admit to their limitations, but the media never covers that. Therefore, these studies help drive a certain narrative, which is why Bloomberg spends big money to get them.

Busybodying May Be The Most Powerful Force in the Universe

How much have busybodies infiltrated the corridors of power? Enough that the National PTA has a position on guns, and it’s so badly done, you almost won’t believe it. Their definition of a semi-automatic assault weapon is hysterically ignorant. There’s one part of the position I’m somewhat OK with, “require knowledge of appropriate firearms use and safety practices.” I agree, so let’s get rifle teams back in our high schools, and have the team members run the gym class where the kids get introduced to that kind of thing.

Most of us here are Dems, Republicans, Libertarians, etc. But if we had to really pick a party that would truly represent us, it would probably be the “Leave Me the Hell Alone” Party. The problem is, because we’re the types that like to be left alone, we don’t really seek out offices and avenues by which we put ourselves in the position of running other people’s lives. We’re just not into that. You do your thing, I’ll do my thing, and as long as you’re not screwing up my shit and I’m not screwing up yours, we’re good.

But the busybody, especially the morally crusading busybody (lets face it, most gun control activists come off as Gladys Kravitz types to me), have every incentive to seek out those kinds of positions. You can even see it in this election: the DC-based religious right establishment is ready to have a cow if Trump wins, because the people they claim to represent put him there! The system picked out the worst moralizing crusaders and sent them to DC because they are the ones with the right incentives to get into those kinds of positions. To give government more power is to give moralizing busybodies more power, because that’s what’s attracted to government.

Most of us don’t want power to rule others: we want to be left alone. But in order to be left alone, you have to seek enough power to make them leave you alone. That, I think, is our great Catch 22.

Really? This is a Controversy?

Looks like Shannon Watts is gunning up controversy because NRA decided kids might enjoy some fun targets. I know this is hard for certain people to believe, but a lot of responsible parents teach their kids to shoot, and the kids might find some targets a bit more enjoyable to shoot than others. Hell, even I think it this looks like a fun and challenging target.

Upon seeing the NRA’s post, the consensus among Twitter users was shock. Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, called out the association for marketing guns to American children.

Shannon Watts, a gun control group, and a couple of other people now represent a consensus? It’s an insult to the millions of parents who teach their kids how to safely shoot to suggest that something like this represents “marketing guns to children.” If you don’t think these people will pass laws that prevent you from teaching your kids to shoot if they ever had the political power, you’re kidding yourselves.

Buying Elections

I am not a fan of the ballot. When there was murmuring about passing that in Pennsylvania, I wrote my reps. I got an unusual phone call back from a staffer of my State Senator, perplexed someone wrote them on this topic and looking for clarification as to my reasoning. My response basically was, “Look at how badly the ballot has screwed up California. It’s not democracy, it’s mob rule; the victor is almost always the side that spends the most money. It’s a great way for monied interests to dupe the people into voting for nonsense legislators would never be foolish or stupid enough to pass.” I was reassured by the staffer that the article I read was not indicative of a serious effort to get the ballot passed in Pennsylvania (which would require a Constitutional Amendment) and that my Senator would be unlikely to support such an effort should it come up. That was before Bloomberg started using the ballot to buy his political preferences.

Everytown for Gun Safety, the gun control group founded by billionaire former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has been leading the charge, throwing its financial weight behind three of the four measures. The organization plans to spend $25 million nationwide on the issue, almost as much as the powerful National Rifle Association has spent on television advertising for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

NRA has made the calculation that Trump is a better investment than fighting the ballot initiatives. The collective wisdom of gun fora will certainly declare, if Trump wins and puts desirable people on the Court, that was a brilliant move! If he loses, or screw us, NRA will be the worst gun rights group ever! It’s a tough position. NRA is not capable of outspending Bloomberg in a ballot fight, so fights must be picked carefully. Past ballot initiatives we have won on have been defeated purely through grassroots effort. In both Massachusetts’ handgun ban ballot initiative, and California’s handgun freeze initiative, we were outspend heavily, but we had enough people on the ground who were good organizers to get it done. We’ve seen some of that recently (like the Colorado recall) but not nearly enough. Our people are very good at self-organizing when you hit at the heart of something very important to them (like  gun or magazine bans).

What you can expect Bloomberg keep doing is using the ballot to nibble around the edges. It’s an expensive thing to do: so expensive that once more money limited gun control groups realized they couldn’t go big, so they might as well go home. Bloomberg doesn’t seem to mind blowing tens of millions of dollars for incremental, marginal gains. People in Washington State may just have seen a glimpse of what Bloomberg has in store for them next. But I have to wonder if he’ll go for something big like universal registration, or some other real culture breaker. Bans on private transfers will largely be ignored by both the public and the authorities. It’s unfortunate to see Bloomberg win a victory, but it won’t break the culture. It won’t make the activists and hard core gun rights folks leave the states this passed in. At some point, Bloomberg will probably have to go after a culture killing issue to really win, and flip a state into the anti-gun column. Otherwise he’ll spend a decent chunk of his fortune whittling away at the margins. When and where will that move occur? Your guess is as good as mine.

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