Joe Huffman wonders if this is going to be our next fight. I don’t see this as being off the mark, in terms of being something they could do. Recall that his original executive orders asked every agency to have a good hard look at where they could screw us. Joe is right to point out the complications, but they could easily overcome that by allowing business to apply for exemptions, which would of course only be granted to companies in “appropriate industries.”
Of course, there’s a part of me that thinks, “Maybe we shouldn’t give them ideas,” but that conflicts with the part of me that thinks we do ourselves a favor in trying to think of ways they could come after us. That might allow for preemptive measures to remove the topic of firearms in the workplace from the purview of OSHA.
In Pennsylvania, there have traditionally been a lot of extralegal requirements for Licenses to Carry Firearms (LTCF) implemented by county Sheriffs, with the City of Philadelphia being the most notorious of the offender. The rest of the ring counties were often pretty non compliant as well. Bucks County had a number of extralegal requirements. I want to say there was a psychological evaluation (or something pretty draconian like that) imposed at one point (this is before I lived here), until a local activist challenged the requirement. Up until pretty recently, the county was overcharging for LTCFs. Bucks County is now following the law. Delaware County used to illegally call references, including employers, until it was pointed out to them that disclosing information about an LTCF application crime, and my understanding is that they no longer do this. Montgomery County has continued with extralegal requirement to get local police sign-off, but now it seems that may be at an end too.
The right to defend life and limb, and to have access to effective tools for doing so is not an American right, it is a human right. I would argue it is perhaps the most basic human right there is. It is a shame there are so many countries in the world that don’t recognize and protect it.
I’m glad to see my county making itself a harder target, with LTCs up 175%. I just hope the folks getting these LTC a) seek training (a basic course won’t make you a gun ninja, but it’ll give you exposure to how much more there is to know), and b) will actually carry their guns. The Democrats can push gun control in response to terrorism all they want. This congressional district is only R+1 on the Cook Index, and people are still voting through actions against what the Democratic Party wants to promote. Americans are choosing to arm themselves in record numbers. I guess we’ll see how this plays in 2016.
This isn’t looking like a lone nutcase. If reports are to be believed there were multiple shooters, they were prepared, and executed a swift getaway. Could we be seeing the start of a Paris-like terror campaign on our shores? Either way, carry your guns folks, it’s going to be your only prayer if you find yourself in an unlucky situation like this.
After the attacks on Paris, I turned to Bitter and said “I’ll bet this will see another surge in gun sales, and particularly a surge in people applying for concealed carry licenses.” Sure enough, western Pennsylvania sheriffs departments are reporting they are overwhelmed by the number of new applicants:
Requests for licenses to carry concealed handguns jumped sharply in some Western Pennsylvania counties Monday and Tuesday, a reaction some sheriffs’ offices said they have come to expect in the days after mass shootings and terrorist attacks.
And this kind of poll is the only kind that counts. Regardless of what Bloomberg wants to trick people into believing, when Americans become concerned they may come under attack, they arm themselves.
I first got my LTC in 2002, less than a year after 9/11, and it was 9/11 that convinced me to pull the trigger, so to speak. I figured they’d eventually try something here like they did later in Mumbai, Kenya, and now Paris.
I asked Joe Huffman, who runs Boomershoot and who has more explosive experience than any other gun blogger, if he would have any commentary about suicide bombers who were armed with TATP bombs, and he has responded. He’s certain that if TATP gets hit with a bullet impact it will detonate, so necessitates head shots. He goes into a lot more detail than I will, so read the whole thing.
One weakness in my own shooting is that I’ve spent very little time shooting at moving targets. I’ve done it once, and I did OK, but I’d love to spend more time with targets like this:
Of course, I should offer the standard Internet disclaimer which goes: “That kind of gamer stuff will get you killed on the street,” or something like that, but since you can’t practice shooting terrorists in the gourd, these kinds of moving targets seem like a good idea.
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.
“[O]nly 2.5 percent of the population can legally carry a firearm,” the Times of Israel reported in 2012. “But those who are licensed to carry a weapon have proved capable of acting swiftly and effectively time and again to neutralize attackers during acts of terrorism.”
Armed civilians have often stopped terror attacks.
I’d note that more than 2.5% of the US population can legally carry firearms. If it works in Israel, why would it suddenly not work here? No, if you’re an American you’re apparently more likely to shoot yourself with it.