Jan 12, 2017
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.
Dec 28, 2016
Whether it is true that seven children per day die from gun violence depends on whether you define 18 and 19 year olds as children. One could argue that it’s a matter of opinion (which I’d point out would put it outside the realm of ‘facts’) but as an objective criteria, we can look at how the law defines it. Eighteen and nineteen year olds are not considered children legally. They would be tried as adults if they commit crimes.
There’s no universe where this claim should be rightly considered “Mostly True.” In one sentence gun control advocates have set the mental picture of Sandy Hook, which sadly involved elementary school children. Then they suddenly switched context without mentioning to the reader they were doing so, promoting statistics that involve legal adults. Gun control groups were hoping that readers wouldn’t follow through; that it would push the right emotional buttons by making people think they’re discussing young children. When Politifact rates statements like this as “Mostly True” they are helping the gun control movement promote a deceptive narrative. They have made themselves part of this deception, whole hog.
If Politifact had a shred of honestly, they would have a rating of “Deceptive” or “Misleading” for situations like this where the underlying facts may be technically true, but are presented in a way that is clearly intended to mislead the reader. But they won’t do such a thing, because Politifact has no integrity. They were created to promote narratives that benefit a certain political viewpoint. In that sense, they are serving their purpose. But the real danger is that organizations like Facebook are planning to include outfits like Politifact to police what has been widely derided as “fake news.”
As much as I’ve been involved with the gun issue, these days I’m becoming more concerned about the future of free expression, especially in a world where Silicon Valley oligarchs are conspiring with the media to decide on what you and I get to see or not see.
Nov 27, 2016
I’ve been seeing the ongoing controversy over Standing Rock and the Dakota Access Pipeline, but this is one of those cases I feel like everyone involved, regardless of the “side” they are on, is lying to me. I’d imagine that, given the intersection of US Tribal Law, rights-of-way, easements, etc, it’s probably a lot more complicated, in which case no one outside of a handful of lawyers really understands the actual issues.
Part of the problem in the return to partisan media is that you can’t count on anyone to give an impartial account of the issue, even if it’s complicated. Sure, the old media had bias, but it was easier to see through that. It’s a lot harder when you’re dealing with media outlets that are willing to outright lie to you to advantage their preferred narrative.
I remember in the golden days of blogging, back when we were all hobbyists thinking we were fighting the man. By that time the media might have been the sick old man, but they were still the man. Well, the man is basically gone, and in those days we never thought all that hard about what would replace us.
Oct 2, 2016
Glenn Reynolds is not staying where he isn’t wanted. For all the same reasons that Sebastian pulled the plug here.
Twitter seemed to be much more about filling the niche of an RSS feed than a peer to peer content network. And Facebook is just as good for keeping up with commercial content (and somewhat better because it doesn’t have the message size restrictions, it has publishable calendars and native media storage).
Aug 17, 2016
OK folks, it’s time to take a rare turn for me and turn on rant mode. Some foul language will proceed.
Ordinary media bias pisses me off, but the bias found at these bullshit “Fact Checker” sites piss me off more than you can imagine. Some of the poorly educated millennials that must run these sites can’t even seem to discern the difference between fact and opinion. That’s something I think mot of us learned in elementary school. If I can’t rely on these phony baloney fact check sites to understand the difference between opinions and facts, why should I trust them on anything else? When you present your opinion as fact checking, you’re not a fact checker, you’re a propagandist. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a propagandist, but a writer should have integrity enough to admit it when they’re doing it.
The Washington Post fact check site wants us to believe it’s four Pinocchios that Hillary Clinton doesn’t believe Americans can keep guns at home. Are you fucking kidding me? The same Hillary Clinton that said at a fundraiser:
“The Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment. And I am going to make that case every chance I get.”
Do you want to argue that she never said that? Is this is all a fabrication of the looney toons right wing media conspiracy and Faux News? Computer generated voiceover from Alex Jones’ secret sound lab? Talented impersonator? Because otherwise, the fact is that she said that. What the Supreme Court said, and what Hillary says they got wrong, was that the right to bear arms was a fundamental, individual right, unconnected from service in the militia, and in doing so they threw out Washington DC’s ban on having handguns in the home. Later in McDonald decision, they said the right applies to state and local government, and threw out Chicago’s complete and total handgun ban in the home. Hillary Clinton believes that was wrongly decided, and when behind closed doors not realizing she was being recorded, told donors as much.
So, sorry WaPo bullshit fact checkers, but Hillary said herself she doesn’t think you should be able to own handguns in the home. Residents of Washington DC and Chicago are Americans, and their laws said no handguns in the home. The Supreme Court threw that out and she says they were wrong. This is what we call an indisputable fact, in case they didn’t teach you that in whatever shitty journalism school you all went to.
Politifact, a project of the Tampa Bay Times, is little better, claiming that Hillary doesn’t want to abolish the Second Amendment. They also just recently claimed that Clinton’s views don’t go against the Constitution.
The Supreme Court has ruled the Second Amendment guarantees the right of citizens to bear arms. Clinton supports gun control policies that gun-rights advocates call contrary to its interpretation.
Clinton said in her speech to the Democratic National Convention that she was “not here to repeal the Second Amendment.” In an interview on ABC’s ‘This Week,’ Clinton said, “I believe we can have common-sense gun safety measures consistent with the Second Amendment.”
PolitiFact earlier this year rated as False Trump’s claim that Clinton “wants to abolish the 2nd Amendment.”
I just established the assertion that Hillary has said she wanted to effectively abolish the Second Amendment is unarguably true. They act as if Clinton doesn’t personally break into the National Archives, rip the Second Amendment out of the original Constitution, stuff it down Sandy Berger’s pants and then set him on fire, well, you’re just a bunch of delusional right-wing jackals for believing what Hillary says to donors behind closed doors. PolitiFact.com are no better on the First Amendment:
Hillary Clinton does not agree with the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission.
The Supreme Court held in the case that restrictions could not be placed on how corporations spend money to influence an election. In the opinion of the court, since corporations have the same rights as individuals, they are also guaranteed free speech under the First Amendment.
That does not mean Clinton does not believe in the First Amendment. It means she, like many others, does not agree with the court’s interpretation of the First Amendment in this case.
Let’s get something straight here assholes: if I tell you that the Court got it correct when they ruled in favor of Citizen’s United, that’s an opinion you jackass, not a fact. If I argue that Clinton’s position on Citizen’s United means she doesn’t believe in the First Amendment, that’s my opinion. There no facts to dispute here. I doubt the recent college graduate from journalism school who probably compiled this article has ever read Citizen’s United v FEC. Often times, if I make a horrible mistake and end up arguing in a thread on social media, sometimes I have to say, usually a good bit more politely, “Go read the whole decision, and at least then we can have a discussion based on the actual case, and not whatever caricatures of it you’ve picked up from social media memes and propaganda rags.” I don’t mean to just target lefties here. Read any internet argument about an area where you have a decent level domain knowledge, and you’ll quickly realize 95% of people in the thread have almost no idea what they are talking about.
Citizen’s United is a non-profit corporation, and like many political non-profits, it has a conservative bent. It is not a charity, but a 501(c)(4), just like the National Rifle Association, the ACLU, NARAL, etc. Citizen’s United wanted to air a film critical of Hillary Clinton before an election. Get that? They wanted to air a film critical of a politician prior to an election. That is the very heart of the First Amendment. If the First Amendment can’t protect Americans from pooling their resources to more effectively engage in political speech, you might as well rip the First Amendment from the Bill of Rights and stuff it down Sandy Berger’s pants for all the good it will do protecting our liberties. Personally, if you think Citizen’s United was wrongly decided, I feel pretty safe saying you don’t believe in the First Amendment. In fact, to be frank, if you think Citizen’s United was wrongly decided, you scare the hell out of me.
I don’t like that Bloomberg can outspend us all year long, and single handedly reverse the work of millions of individual gun owners, but he has just as much of a right to speak out on political issues as you and I do. Granted, he has the coin to have a voice far louder than me, and far louder than 5 million of us pooling our meager resources. I don’t like it, but it’s a cost we have to pay to be free. A world where we all speak individually is a world where individuals have no voice, and where Bloomberg and people like him will be the only voice. If you believe Citizen’s United was wrongly decided, you actually believe our First Amendment freedoms should be effectively without meaning, and that only the rich and the established deserve to speak freely.
I once thought the Internet was going to change politics for the good, enlighten us as a people, make us better informed, and make politicians and bureaucrats more accountable. Then social media came along, and boy did I turn out to be wrong! Trump and Clinton are really just manifestations of the social media zeitgeist and the cultural wasteland it has created.
Rant mode off.
Jul 11, 2016
CBS News reports, or rather misreports, because they don’t know what they are talking about:
The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives calls the SKS rifle Micah Johnson used to kill five Dallas police officers on July 7 a “Curio or Relic.”
Due to this status, which the SKS shares with many other models of Berettas, Colts, Remingtons, Rugers and other firearms that are at least 50 years old, gun dealers said that in some states and jurisdictions the Soviet-era rifle can be purchased online and delivered to your door without securing a permit.
Um, you can only have one of these “delivered to your door” if you apply for a Federal Firearms License. So you do indeed need to secure a “permit,” whatever the fuck they think that means.
Yes, old technology can still be pretty effective in the hands of a well-trained shooter. Yes, having a ten round fixed magazine is not really much of an impediment to a well-trained shooter either. This is why we keep saying that assault weapons bans are stupid. The SKS is legal even in California, with it’s very severe Assault Weapons Ban. Even the new ban allows the SKS.
I also love how in these articles, they always talk about how quickly you can apply for a license. How long should it take? There’s only so much information they need to know to run a background check. You half expect if they aren’t asking you the name of your pet hamster when you were a kid, then it cannot, of course, be very thorough.
It sure would be nice if they actually took the time to understand how all this stuff works before writing about it.
Jun 27, 2016
This is real Baghdad Bob shit right here. Basically, to sum up, the NRA is increasingly dependent on the firearms industry for money, because $14 million has been donated by gun makers over the years. The author even mentions NRA’s revenue is $310 million from membership dues. Do you even math!?!?
But even with that, white men are headed to political extinction, gun ownership is in decline, especially among women, because the General Social Survey says so. NRA is facing stiff competition from Larry Pratt and Dudley Brown, most of its members secretly hate the NRA and disagree with it. Members will probably revolt just like Republicans did against the establishment because they secretly support gun control. 3D printing will be the end of the NRA because it will dry up that 14 million a year because it will put all the manufacturers out of business.
Seriously, Sarah Ellison ought to stick to writing about topics she knows about, and should also stay away from math. Last I checked $14 million dollars was 4.5% of NRA’s revenue from individual members. We call that “not really a lot.” Ms. Ellison could also use a lesson in discerning propaganda from gun control groups from actual research.
Jun 22, 2016
Apparently Sig Sauer is a shady company because Nazis. That is, if you’re a know-nothing writer for Slate. Some of the crap the left believes about NRA, the gun industry, and gun industry profits would fit squarely into tin-foil hat territory if it were coming from the right:
My colleague Rachael Larimore recently noted that the media’s reportage on firearms is often shallow and sloppy. I agree.
The author then goes on to finish an article that is both shallow and sloppy. Given that the Secret Service use Sig pistols, Kevin won the Internets with this one:
Bob Owens of Bearing Arms has more about this stupidity.