High Tech Shooting in Germany

This post comes to us from the Firearms Blog:


I’m going to guess that membership in this club isn’t cheap, but it’s an interesting way to solve a lot of problems shooting ranges have. Namely, I’m going to guess that lead management is no issue here. I notice they have neat buckets on the trap range, and you see no shells on the ground. I guess no good German would want to dirty the range.

Brady Membership Numbers

Joe Huffman has a great find, namely the number of Brady Campaign members, and how many have recently donated. Short answer is, it doesn’t look good for them. But go over and have a look.

Most groups don’t want their membership numbers to be public. NRA keeps the exact figure a not so closely guarded secret, but my understanding is NRA is currently running a good bit higher than 4 million members, but I guess not quite enough to claim 5 yet. Still, that’s orders of magnitude more than the Bradys claim. To compare to NRA, I would only look at the number of Brady donors who have given in the past twelve months.

UPDATE: I should also point out that it’s interesting Brady is selling their list. NRA does not sell its membership list. It’s one of the reasons we know Frank Luntz poll claiming to be polling NRA members is completely bogus. There’s no way for the pollster to know.

Standoff in Bethlehem

This one was due to a prank call from someone on a deactivated pre-paid cell phone telling police he had just shot his wife and was going to shoot himself. They apparently extracted everyone from the house, and the calls kept coming. What I want to know is, why call out the “emergency response team” for a guy threatening to complete the suicide part of the murder-suicide. Shouldn’t the correct response to “I just shot my wife, and I’m going to shoot myself,” be “It would be nice if you could save the taxpayers all that money. Go ahead. I’ll wait for the bang to dispatch the meat wagon?”

ATF Redefines Transfers

Hopefully this is not a harbinger of more to come, though that wouldn’t surprise me, but ATF has concluded that certain transfers by manufacturer FFLs should be subject to the Gun Control Act and Brady Act:

Reversing an interpretation of the Gun Control Act that has been on the books for more than four decades, ATF today posted a rulingdeclaring any shipment of a firearm by a manufacturer (FFL) to any agent or business (e.g., an engineering-design firm, patent lawyer, testing lab, gun writer, etc.) for a bona fide business purpose to be a “transfer” under the Gun Control Act of 1968.  As a consequence, legitimate business-related shipments will now require the recipient to complete a Form 4473 and undergo a Brady criminal background check.  In many instances, these requirements will force shipments to a third party, thereby lengthening the process and the time that the firearm is in transit.

But of course this is to prevent criminals from exploiting the dreaded engineering design firm loophope. Well, except that, “ATF is unable to identify a single instance during the past 40 years where a single firearm shipped in reliance upon ATF’s rulings was used in a crime.” Well, that may be, but surely terrorists are going to become patent attorneys so they can steal the guns they are sent to evaluate, and use them to shoot down jetliners. It’s only a matter of time.

Why Independence Seaport Museum Can’t Raise the Money

Speaking once again of saving the Olympia, I found this explanation for why they might have difficulty raising the money to save this floating bit of history. From Wikipedia:

In June 2007 former Independence Seaport Museum president John S. Carter pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and tax evasion from misappropriating more than US$1 million in funds from the museum. He received a fifteen year sentence in federal prison.[3] Carter, who was president of the museum from 1989 to March 2006, was accused of using money from the museum to buy numerous personal items, including two boats, an espresso machine and a carriage house for his home in Cape Cod between 1997 and 2006.[2][4]

So it looks like Philadelphia’s penchant for graft and corruption will finally end up doing what the Spanish could never do.

Sea Shepherd Trial Begins

Japan is not noted for having a fair justice system that respects the rights of the accused. But these idiots probably should have thought of that before boarding a Japanese vessel on the high seas. Interesting that he’s facing knife charges. What’s the difference between a legal and illegal knife in Japan? Surely they have cutlery.

What Color is the Constitution in Eleanor Norton’s World?

So says Eleanor Holmes Norton in a press release, opposing exemptions to DCs gun laws for active duty military:

“It is difficult to understand the obsession by some members of Congress with a congressional district that is not their own.  Worse, neither Mr. Gingrey, nor any other member of Congress, would tolerate interference with the local laws of their district.  Neither will I,” Norton said.  “However, Mr. Gingrey’s aim is transparent: to score political points at the expense of residents of the nation’s capital.”

Not their own? I could swear there being something in my copy of the constitution about Congress having the power, “To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States,” among other things. I don’t know what color the Constitution is in Eleanor Holmes Norton’s world, not even speaking of the sky, but Congress is vested by the constitution with ultimate authority over the District of Columbia, which means what goes on in The District, especially when it comes to constitutional issues, is most definitely Congress’ business.

DC Trying to Screw Gura on Attorneys Fees

Basically they don’t want to pay up. Alan Gura, understandably, wants to be paid. It’s important that Gura win this, not just for his own sake, but for ours as well. DC should have to pay the cost of defending an unconstitutional law, and that has to include reasonable fees for the person who challenges them.

The fact that this is getting some public play is also good. That 3.5 million dollar price tag DC is getting slapped with will be noticed by other state or municipalities, and that might make them decide to just fold rather than proceeding forward with a court case and losing. I look forward to Mr. Gura pursuing Chicago for attorneys fees if we prevail there. The idea of Chicago having to fork over a seven figure check is even sweeter than DC having to do it.

Mother Jones Not Happy With Obama on AWB

They seem to be upset that even after Calderon’s speech before Congress, that Obama still doesn’t want to touch the assault weapons issue. There’s a great irony, also, in the photo Mother Jones chose for their article. The rifle appearing is a South Korean assault rifle made by Daewoo, which has never been lawful to import into the United States for civilian use. There is a semi-automatic variant called the DR-200, but they were made illegal for importation into the United States in 1997 because they were determined to be non-sporting under the Gun Control Act of 1968. There are very few of those in the country. Obama hasn’t reversed that determination. If you’re going to pick a firearm to illustrate the point that Obama won’t ban assault weapons, it’s probably best not to pick one that’s already banned, and still banned.

Gun Debate Breaks out in Finland

Looks familiar to anyone in this country:

A pro-weapons advocate, Otso Vainio claims that the hysterical media has distorted the scope of the problem.

“The [average] amount of people killed with legal guns in Finland, I can’t remember exact figures, but it was two point something annually. Thirty-nine people die from the heat of the sauna annually.”

The gun debate will continue to divide Finland, but if further shooting tragedies happen, it may eventually spur Finnish lawmakers to make citizens surrender their firearms.

If the Finns want to keep their guns, they are going to have to fight to keep them. One of the big problems I think European gun owners have had is they fall back reflexively to the sporting position. The problem with that is, no one is going to agree to preserve your sport over what they see as social ills. Pit sports against the public good and sports are going to lose.

It becomes a very different argument when you frame it as removing people’s ability to defend their own lives. Having spoken with some Europeans about this issue, I will say I don’t know how much this will resonate with them versus how much it resonates with Americans. Some Europeans I’ve spoken with are very committed to the idea that protection is a community function rather than an individual function. In the US, even fairly liberal, lefty people fundamentally believe in the right to use lethal force in self-protection, even if they aren’t completely comfortable with the idea of guns. A big aspect to our success here has been to get ourselves on the side of individual self-protection, and our opponents on the other side of that debate. In any political struggle, you want to pass your position off as the mainstream position, and paint your opponent as a nutty extremist. What’s the issue in Finland? I don’t know. Defense against bears maybe? Then there’s also this kind of bear, which has occasionally been known to wander into Finland.

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