It Can Definitely Happen Here

There are plenty of jurisdictions in this country that are just about, if not more gun free than Paris. Jim Geraghty notes:

We watch chilling scenes like that and wonder whether a small group of Islamist terrorists could do the same here. One might figure that the much higher rate of gun ownership among Americans makes it likely that any attempted attack would face armed response from ordinary citizens much quicker. (Two policemen were among those killed in the Paris attack.)

But this was an attack on a satirical magazine, in the country’s biggest city and capital. How many people in media offices in New York City or Washington, D.C. own guns and carry them with them to work?

I have little doubt the Islamists are noting the non-reaction to brunch interruption in polite society in the blue model cities. A similar attack in New York City would be just as effective.

Just Realized Today is the Blogoversary

We’ve made it to eight years, starting today. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long. Blogs are measured in dog years, so eight is a long time to be doing this. I won’t deny this has been a rough year, but the roughness is probably because there hasn’t honestly been much interesting news. I think the big story for this year was the passage of I-594, because it’s presented Bloomberg with a functional strategy that favors his status as a billionaire with deep pockets. We’ll be talking about that for some time, I think.

But I appreciate the people who keep coming around. Unlike when I started, where blogging was more of a community, it’s very difficult these days keep up with professional bloggers, who are writing in a vastly different environment from the one in 2007. Indeed, blogging today barely resembles the blogging of yesterday. I’m not sure yet whether that is a good or a bad thing. We shall see.

Speaker Vote Kabuki Theater

As much as I’d like to see someone other than John Boehner elected as speaker, I don’t think that’s going to happen. I think this is engineered so the Tea Party guys can look like they’re getting tough on the leadership, without actually changing anything. If this ends any other way I’ll be surprised. Jim Geraghty notes in today’s Morning Jolt:




The problem in budget negotiations for Republicans is that a) the public isn’t as outraged about wasteful and excessive spending as Republicans and conservatives are; b) the president is a shameless demagogue who commands the bully pulpit; c) most of the media will happily assist the president by blaming Republicans for every school bus full of kids that doesn’t get to visit the Smithsonian during a government shutdown […]

Those factors bedeviled Republicans before John Boehner was Speaker, they have bedeviled them throughout his Speakership, and they are likely to bedevil them for the near future.

And it will bedevil them even if Boehner isn’t speaker. We visited with one of Bitter’s friends who works on the Hill over the holiday, and were discussing the real concern about the base’s expectations for what the GOP can accomplish for the next two years, and whether by 2016 the base is going to be dejected and demoralized for lack of accomplishments, and therefore decide to stay home. Of course, the other choice is to fight, fight, fight, get creamed the press and steamrollered by Obama, and lose the election because LIVs think we’re mean spirited, and Independents get turned off by the whole spectacle. It’s kind of a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation.

Ideologically, I have some sympathies for the Tea Party position (to whatever degree you can divine exactly what it stands for), but they’ve shown little understanding for how the system works. Maybe it shouldn’t work this way, but it does, and changing it isn’t going to be easy. Sure, I agree Boehner isn’t a guy who’s going to change anything, except maybe the shade of his fake tan, but I’d also be wary of a hard core Tea Party type who’s going to pick all the wrong fights.

UPDATE: Looks like he won the vote count, with 24 voting against. 29 would have been needed to send this to a second ballot.

The Danger of Off-Body Carry

One of the big stories over the holiday is the unfortunate accident in Idaho involving a toddler who got into his mother’s carry purse, and managed to shoot her dead. I lean more toward Bob Owens position, “I hate off-body carry with an unbridled passion, and personally feel that if you can’t carry a weapon on your body, that you should not be carrying a firearm at all,” but I’m an absolutist about damned few things. That said, it’s I think it’s a pretty terrible option. Anyone who feels they need to carry this way needs to think long and hard. Are you a forgetful person? Are you prone to misplacing your purse, satchel, or briefcase? Are you habituated to leaving it unattended, even for short periods of time? How would you access it if you had to use it? Is your draw technique safe enough to deal with the fact that you will have to cross-draw with a purse?

Deciding on your method of carry, or whether to carry at all, requires serious introspection. I had considered briefly keeping a pistol in a jacket pocket, but I remembered that one time I left my coat at a restaurant. I’ve left my laptop bag in a restaurant once. Two incidents is enough to convince me that off-body carry is not an option for me, because I’m too careless with items that aren’t directly on my person.

The other big issue with purse carry is that in perusing concealed carry purses with Bitter, I’ve come to the conclusion that they are all pretty awful. Most models I’ve seen just have a special pocket you stuff the gun into. Some of them provide an access opening so small, you couldn’t effectively and confidently draw from it. You almost certainly couldn’t re-holster the firearm intuitively. None I’ve seen have adequate protection for the trigger. None I’ve seen have good enough retention to keep the firearm in the purse if you decide to leave the compartment unzipped. If there’s retention at all, they often have awkward passive retention, often just velcro. A simple polymer sleeve, fit to the gun, would be enough to provide both good trigger protection and to keep the gun locked in sleeve until broken by the draw. I’ve never seen a concealed carry purse that had such a thing, or could even reasonably accommodate it. In belt holsters, we mock the sausage sack, but I’ve never seen a concealed carry purse that had anything better than one, if it had anything in the gun compartment at all.

That said, if you have enough people, with enough guns, the law of averages is going to catch up with you eventually. This case is the first I’ve ever heard of like it. With probably about 10 million people having toters permits by now, many of them carrying regularly, one incident is hardly an epidemic. With the need to keep bringing more women into the issue, I’d hate to demand that all women eschew off-body carry. But I do think off-body carry requires a lot more habituation and training than other methods, if it is to be done safely. Holster and carry purse makers designing better options for women wouldn’t hurt either.


While I Was Out News Links

Familypalooza is now over, and despite the Friday after New Years this year, realistically this is when everyone is returning to work. The important thing for me is that I get to eat ham, and eat ham I did. Jews and Muslims really have no idea what they are missing. Especially the spiral cut hams that come with the glaze packets that fixes things up real nice. Now to clear out my tabs so I can start the week anew:

Over the holidays, #ImBlockedByShannonWatts became all the rage. Hey, looks like I’m blocked too!

Shocker: Wendy Davis was faking it.

Gun control groups move their attention to the states. There have been a lot of puff pieces in the media about gun control being on the ascendancy. It’s almost like someone is trying to drive a narrative. Of course, this is only because Bloomberg is willing to dump millions into it. When Bloomberg does it, it’s good. When the Koch brothers do it, EVIL!

Another Shocker: Looks like ATF was trying to use Fast and Furious to justify gun control after all. Unfortunately, because the media is willing to run cover, none of this will amount to a hill of beans. I believe the media is now a bigger threat to the Republic than any single segment of American society.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Eliminating the ATF would be horrible for gun rights. We’d have absolutely no control over the FBI, and they would be free to run roughshod over our rights, and they would do so competently.

From Washington State: Self-defense is a constitutional right.

Why are NRA people such awful Americans? Dave Hardy looks at burial places of past NRA Presidents. Most frequent place? Arlington National Cemetery. Three were awarded CMH, two Navy Crosses, and a Silver Star. Really, they only care about their gun fetish.

Much hand wringing going on in our pacific territories about the possibility that they might have to follow the Constitution.

Not that this doesn’t exist in the shooting sports, but I’ll say it again: Hunters are their own worst enemies.

Mass killing in Australia. But because there was no gun involved, I doubt it will quash the narrative that the Australian gun ban stopped mass killing in its tracks, and was thus hugely successful. Also, a mass shooting in Canada.

Attorney Joshua Prince is keeping a running tally of local municipalities in Pennsylvania which are looking at repealing their illegal gun ordinances. It looks very promising.

Gun control groups seem happy to be rid of pro-gun Democrats. That’s all well and good, but remember they had to embrace gun rights and blue dogs to get back to a majority in 2006. How many times to Dems have to be convinced that gun control is a loser for them?

The anti-gun writers seem to be engaging more in social signaling than in argument.” It’s always been about that. They’ve never wanted a discussion. They just want to revel in their delusions of being better human beings than we are.

I’d really like to know more about how Master Card was willing to screw us. Makes me glad I only use Discover.

I-594 Update

Since I’ve been away, I thought I’d give an update on the happenings with I-594 in Washington State. The media is already doing ground prep for the narrative that the implementation of I-594 is essentially no big deal, and what are all those stupid gun owners complaining about anyway. Expect to see a lot of this as the media tries to run cover for Bloomberg’s project.

Remember there is going to be a rally at the Capitol in Olympia on the 15th of this month to protest I-594. Joe Huffman is going to be a speaker at the rally. I think it’s important that lawmakers see a significant presence. The previous non-compliance rally drew about 1000 people from various accounts, but to really make an impact on lawmakers, it needs to be something they don’t often see. If you live in Washington, I’d make plans to go.

Also, SAF has filed suit against I-594 in court. The suit is on both Second Amendment and vagueness grounds. It doesn’t challenge the concept of background checks on change of title per se, but it really doesn’t need to. All they need to show is that the definition of “transfer” in the law is constitutionally untenable. Despite whatever severance clause may be in the law, the core of the law hinges on that definition, and the court should toss the entire law if it’s written too broadly or vaguely. It would then be up to the legislature to either fix it, or for Bloomberg and his allies to spent millions more trying to hoodwink voters again.

Taking a Blog Holiday (Obviously)

If the lack of posting this week hasn’t given it away, I’m taking a holiday off from the blog, probably until Monday there won’t be much on here. It’s not so much a break from the blog, but a break from having to follow everything, which is really most of the work. Sometimes it’s just relaxing to take leave of the RSS reader and bathe in the blissful ignorance.

Christmas time was down in Nashville with Bitter’s family, but we took a route through Southern Virginia to do some genealogical research. Then on the way back from Nashville we spent two days in D.C., one day at the National Archives, and the second at the Daughters of the American Revolution Library. I have most of my family back to the boat. My mom’s side was easy to research, because they are all recent immigrants, except two lines. One line are technically recent immigrants from Canada, but they ended up in the land of snow and beavers because they were Quaker loyalists on Long Island who were kicked out after the Revolution for supporting the crown. The other is possibly tied to a Colonial Delaware family, but I’m not making any headway on proving that.

My dad’s side, on the other hand, has four Revolutionary War Veterans, and one additional patriot who paid supply taxes. There are also four Civil War veterans, one with the 71st Pennsylvania Vols., two with the 29th Pennsylvania Vols., and one with the 1st West Virginia Vols. All were Army of the Potomac, though the 29th was assigned to the Army of the Cumberland later in the war and participated in Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign and March to the Sea (sorry about that, to any of my Georgia readers).

Researching colonial lines is difficult, requiring old fashioned research in libraries, and careful examination of historical documents. isn’t of much help for people prior to 1800. Fortunately for me, my entire family stayed in Philadelphia, which makes it easier than it is for Bitter, whose family moved every few generations. I managed to gather quite a lot of clues at the DAR Library from a compiled index of Philadelphia church records from 1644-1780. I feel I don’t have very long to get back to the boat, since I’m starting to get back to the time period where the only people in the Delaware Valley were Indians, Swedes, and Dutchmen. William Penn didn’t arrive in the New World with his charter for the Province of Pennsylvania until 1682. Whether I have ancestors who were original settlers of Pennsylvania will be difficult to prove or disprove, since Penn’s passenger manifest from his first voyage did not survive.