Christie Pardons More Gun Owners, Tripped Up by Draconian NJ Laws

Chris Christie has been trying to convince gun owners he’s not like all the other New Jersey Governors and politicians on gun issues, and to be honest, he’s not. Today he pardoned three more people, otherwise law abiding, who happened to run afoul of New Jersey’s draconian gun laws. Chalk it up to wanting to do better among GOP primary voters, but no other New Jersey governor has been willing to pardon honest citizens who mistakenly run afoul of their gun laws. These are not isolated incidents. These kinds of cases have been happening in New Jersey at a pretty regular frequency for years, and often these people just end up rotting in jail, their lives and families destroyed. So I will give Christie credit where it is due.

A tip of the hat to Charles C.W. Cooke over at National Review, who broke the story.

The Atlantic: Gun Rights and Slavery Go Hand in Hand

Slave StatesI was wondering when Saul Cornell, former director of the now defunct Second Amendment Research Center, would show his face again. SARC was a Joyce funded effort to promote anti-Second Amendment scholarship to counter the voluminous pro-Second Amendment scholarship that had started dominating academia. The two disparate points of view came head-to-head in the Heller decision, and not a single justice accepted Cornell’s points of view.

I guess now that the Supreme Court has sufficiently signaled that it would not defend the Heller and McDonald decisions, and with Bloomberg throwing millions of dollars around to promote biased and flawed research, Prof. Cornell must might figure it’s time for him to come back on the scene. At “The Atlantic,” Cornell co-authors “The Slave-State Origins of Modern Gun Rights.” There’s an accompanying paper here.

His argument is as bogus as his previous anti-Second Amendment research partner Carl. Cornell completely glosses over the fact that the origins of gun control also come from the slaveholding South, in the form of attempting to disarms slaves and free blacks. Pro-Second Amendment scholarship has consistently shown that a significant concern for the drafters of the 14th Amendment was protecting the rights of free Blacks to keep and bear arms. Why would they have been concerned about this if there was such a culture of gun control in the North? Cornell points out that several Northern states had laws against going armed in an offensive manner. Yes, you could not legally carry a pistol and rob a bank with it, but that’s a different animal than carrying a firearm without ill intent.

Cornell clearly believes, and probably correctly, that the next big showdown is going to be over the right to bear arms, rather than merely keep them. If a Democrat wins in 2016, he’ll probably get his wish to redact that part of the Bill of Rights. Probably his wish to redact the whole Second Amendment and overturn Heller and McDonald. I believe the other side is very emboldened these days. If I had Bloomberg’s money to spend, and a supportive White House, I would be too. In the coming months and years, it is incumbent on us to be ready to mobilize to teach them once again that they are on the wrong side of history, and that they cannot win.

Carry Your Guns, People!

This is a lengthy article from Foreign Policy about the terrorist attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi in September of 2013, but I’d suggest it ought to be required reading for gun folks:

Far from a dramatic three-day standoff, the assault on the Westgate Mall lasted only a few hours, almost all of it taking place before Kenyan security forces even entered the building. When they finally did, it was only to shoot at one another before going on an armed looting spree that resulted in the collapse of the rear of the building, destroyed with a rocket-propelled grenade. And there were only four gunmen, all of whom were buried in the rubble, along with much of the forensic evidence.

We’re fortunate that our military and police forces are far better than armed looters, but that’s not to say you can be guaranteed a quick and competent response if the situation goes extremely pear shaped.

During the roughly three-and-a-half hours that the killers were loose in the mall, there was virtually no organized government response. But while Kenyan officials prevaricated, an unlikely coalition of licensed civilian gun owners and brave, resourceful individual police officers took it upon themselves to mount a rescue effort.

Well, that kind of destroys the narrative for the gun control crowd, doesn’t it? When the shit hit the fan, it was armed individuals who stood up and got the job done. Of course, they and their ilk are doing everything they can to ensure something like that can never happen in this country.

No, I Did Not Die in the Popeocalypse

The dead air has honestly been for lack of news, and I’ve gotten to the point in blogging I hate just producing useless filler (you know, like this post). There’s way too much of that out there, and it wastes your time and mine. Speaking of the Pope visit, as anyone with half a brain could have predicted, turnout was way lower than expected, and there are businesses that lost a lot of money. Restaurants were told to expect to be very busy, probably figuring a communion wafer is hardly even a light afternoon snack. But the crowd disappeared as soon as Frances did. Now the finger pointing begins! I was out in the Harrisburg area this weekend, partaking in the grand tradition of my Huguenot ancestors: running away from Catholics. Even out there, the signs were flashing advisories that might as well have said, “Danger! Pope Visiting Philadelphia!”, like Godzilla had come ashore and was heading inland. Nonetheless, the light turnout didn’t prevent the Secret Service from turning security into a mess.

The Onion had some commentary on the visit here, and here. That’s funny right there. I don’t care who you are.

Hopefully tomorrow we’ll have non-pope news. It’s been quiet, almost too quiet on the gun front. Every time I worry about a sagging news cycle, I’m reminded that December 2012 was also a sagging news cycle, and I’ve learned to be careful about complaining about a lack of news.

Weekly Gun News – Edition 15

We here in and around Philadelphia are anxiously awaiting the popeocalypse. Being non-catholic, I have no plans to go into the city to engage in any pope watching. The way the media has been portraying it around here, you’d think it’s going to be mass hysteria, hence why people have adopted the popeocalypse hash tag. My prediction is everyone will be scared away by predictions of chaos, and the crowd will be much smaller than expected. With that out of the way, let’s get to the news:

Pope Frances once again gets on his arms manufacturer bandwagon. I should remind you that the pope has an armed guard who use guns that were manufactured by someone. It was this gun, this gun, and this gun that helped take down Hitler. Pope Francis strikes me as a naive figure, in a way that John Paul II assuredly was not.

This proposal from the City of Missoula, Montana almost certainly violates the state preemption law. They are trying to find whatever hole they can to bring back the idea of local regulation of firearms. That way, gun owners, who can’t possibly know thousands of local laws, can more easily be imprisoned where people like Bloomberg think we belong.

Mike “the gun guy” is looking at the bright side of the Heller III ruling. I don’t think anyone on our side claimed it was a victory. I personally don’t think registration or training should be allowed as a prior restraint on purchasing a firearm, and registration should be flat out unconstitutional. As I said, partial win. The court rightly saw gun rationing for what it is, at least.

Half of all Americans think the government is a threat to freedom. I guess we’re all insurrectionists now, or at least half of us are, by CSGV’s standards.

There’s often a lot more to these stories of victimhood if you dig.

Trump’s policy position on guns isn’t too bad.

NRA endorses State Senator John Edwards in Virginia. This is the guy CSGV lead a pathetic protest against. Well, let’s see you deliver some hurt, CSGV. The game is on. Can you hurt Edwards where it counts? At the ballot box?

NRA is being investigated in Connecticut after anti-gun group complains. NRA maintains they have followed the law on this matter.

A win for knife rights in New York.

New Jersey lawmakers fail to override Chris Christie’s veto of a gun control bill.

Lawsuit over campus carry in Missouri tests how far strict scrutiny can go. They recently passed an enhancement to the RKBA provision demanding the courts apply strict scrutiny.

More radical nonsense from Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. I’ll join with Bob’s reiteration that their coalition partners should be aware of what they are doing. This is not mainstream,  this is a crazy train position this group is taking, and CSGV is far from the only one.

Florida isn’t processing as many new applications for gun permits. Better reciprocity is probably also contributing to this. Florida only gets me about 3 more states than my PA license does, but since Delaware is one of them, I hold on to it.

The recall petitions for Oregon legislators who voted for gun control have failed. Generally speaking, you’re going to get some signatures dismissed. Groups usually collect at least 20% more than they need. Perhaps they were running out of time. Gun control groups are saying this shows the tide us turning in their favor.

Campus Carry is on the move in Florida.

SayUncle: “On lights and guns

RPG v. bullet proof glass.

Elizabeth Price Foley: “The House GOP would be well advised to stop fighting its own base, listen to them, and select someone from the House Freedom Caucus–which has been fighting Boehner tooth and nail–who would unify the party with its own voters. Someone like Raul Labrador, Mark Meadows, or Jim Jordan.” Don’t count on it.

Why gun control isn’t at the heart of Black Lives Matter: “Stricter gun laws could do more harm than good to poor, black communities, experts and activists say.” The left have been conspiring to screw poor minority communities out of their Second Amendment rights for years, and then turned around and tried to convince them they are better off for it. I’m glad to see people waking up.

Townhill: Toomey walks the high wire on gun control.

Best News I’ve Heard in a While

John Boehner is stepping down as speaker, and resigning from Congress. Maybe now we have a prayer of getting some opposition to this Administration from Congress. I can’t say I’m optimistic though. Boehner, more than anyone, I think deserves the blame for the Trump phenomena. Boehner has been so easy on Obama, you almost have to wonder what kind of dirt they have on him. Good riddance, I say.

The Cleaning of the Glock

Did what I should have done last night, and broke down the Glock to clean and lube it, and went beyond my usual field-strip, toothbrush the slide assembly and snake the bore, drop a little lube and call it done. (Given that the usual advice seems to be to break down the slide assembly for cleaning every 3K rounds or so, I don’t think I was being that neglectful).

Took apart the slide assembly. The firing pin was pretty clean (I mean, it left some dirt behind when I wiped it down, but nothing bigger than some dust), and most of the rest of the slide assembly was the same. The extractor, though, had collected a bunch of gritty-looking nastiness, and the firing pin safety had a small collection of its own. Didn’t appear to prevent function (I never had any failures to extract), but I cleaned it all up anyway. Found an empty rattling around the safe in the process, (from a previous range session, I didn’t have any open containers with me at the firing line this time, and there was no brass in my pocket either), and compared the striker impact to the photos of the duds, and the empty was definitely a center hit and showed a faint rectangular outline around the main impact point, so whoever it was that had “light off-center strikes” in the pool wins a no-prize. It’ll probably be a couple of weeks before I can make it out to the range again to test-fire (and make sure I got the extractor in right).

I’d say “why only those three rounds,” but the answer is probably somewhere around “tolerance stacking.”

Another Northampton County Club in Trouble

I wrote not long ago about Stockerton Rod and Gun Club being in trouble over accusations that rounds were leaving the range. Now it seems another ther club in the area is coming under scrutiny over errant rounds. This time it’s Belfast Edelman Sportsman Association. The local news station reports:

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Not all complaints against gun ranges represent anti-gun or NIMBY sentiment. People who build or buy houses next to ranges should expect to live with noise, but bullets leaving a range at dangerous velocities and trajectories are a different beast entirely. The setup of Belfast Edelman looks similar to Stockerton. I decided to Google the club’s location, start up street view, and “drive” down the road downrange of the club. Sure enough, I found the house in this report right where I worried I’d find it:


She’s about 1000 yards downrange, which is close enough for bullets to strike her house at sufficient velocity to maim or kill. A 7.62x51mm (.308 Win) round would still be traveling in excess of 1000ft/sec at that range, and with about the muzzle energy of 425ft-lb. This woman isn’t exaggerating. If she’s being hit by the kinds of rounds typically used for hunting, it is as big a deal as if someone fired a 9mm into her house from the street.

The club made the right decision to close their range. Hopefully they have the funds to make needed safety improvements. If you’re ever involved in a club that ends up in a situation like this, NRA does offer range consulting to clubs in trouble. They can also offer grants and whatnot to make the needed safety improvements so that struggling clubs can stay open. I’m very sympathetic to clubs that end up in this kind of trouble, but residents do have a right to expect clubs will maintain safety standards such that rounds will not leave the range in a dangerous manner such as this.

Bang, Bang, Click?

I finally made it out to the range for the first time in (mumblemumble). Had fun, but of the 100 rounds of 9mm Remington UMC expended, I had 3 failure to fire. The weird thing is, they all happened out of the same string in one magazine (of the 10 rounds loaded, 7 went bang, 3 went click), were not adjacent, and the next 10 rounds out of the same magazine were fine. I recovered the rounds and took a picture.IMG_20150923_152859017

Since I’m actually somewhat inexperienced at actually shooting, I figured I’d ask here: did I just get unlucky, or is there something I did or failed to do here?

Pistol is a G17L, with probably somewhat less than a thousand rounds down the pipe since I’ve owned it, and it was allegedly new when I purchased it. I’ll run a boresnake after a range session and usually take the slide assembly apart and scrub the places the book says I should – range sessions are 100-150 rounds. It’s sat unfired for a couple years since last session. Magazine is OEM 10-round.

A Good Explanation for the Trump Phenomena

Trump’s success in the early primary season has pretty much baffled anyone who is an avid observer of politics. I’ve been reading Scott Adams series that Donald Trump is a master persuader, very skilled in the art of persuasion. I think there’s probably something to that, but the big fact that I think stands in the way of that theory is that Trump has run for President before, and never managed to get all that far. It’s possible that the environment had to be just right for his populist fire to start burning, and now he’s at the right place at the right time.

I’m not a regular reader of RedState, but this particular article caught my attention, and I think it’s a pretty good explanation for the Trump phenomena:

I don’t think the Trump support is reflective of any issue at all. I don’t think it’s even reflective of disgust with the GOP. I think it’s reflective of the disgust we have with the new unwritten rules of society …

… The reality is that people are excited to see, hey, here’s a guy who goes on TV, and if he wants to pop off at the mouth, he pops off at the mouth, and if this guy can rise to being President of the United States then maybe I don’t have to always shut my mouth and I can sometimes say what I feel and maybe I can call my annoying coworker ugly and not have to risk being sued, too.

Read the whole thing, as they say. That makes a lot of sense to me. I know I’m tired of the Troller in Chief in the White House stirring up division for political advantage, and sick of seeing people’s lives destroyed for expressing opinions that run counter to the prevailing left-wing orthodoxy. It is satisfying to watch someone giving the middle finger to the PC police and the media (but I repeat myself) and get away with it.

I was leaning towards Scott Walker out of the gate. Walker is a proven fighter and reformer,and he pulled it off while coming off as midwestern boring to the public. To me the ideal candidate is one who can maintain an air of public respectability and charm, but behind the scenes will eviscerate his enemies with a surgical precision. Walker did that very well. That is his record. Another political figure who is very good at that schtick? Barack Obama. In fact, I would argue that Obama is the master of this style, with a talent for it not likely to be seen again in our lifetimes.

Walker is out now, largely because I don’t think very many people wanted what he was offering. He probably also screwed himself by listening to the GOP consultant class rather than being himself. But I think he was ultimately done-in by the fact that a large part of the GOP base, the ones enamored with Trump, don’t want midwestern nice. They want vengeance, and Trump is playing to that.

Scott Adams is predicting Trump will go all the way, and win the Presidency in a landslide. I will admit, I’d vote for Trump over any of the three possible Democratic candidates, but I will definitely have a “Dear God, what have we done?” moment if that ends up being the choice. Right now I don’t have a horse to back, and it’ll probably stay that way until I can see whether Carly can build momentum, or whether she starts getting repetitive. I’m also keeping an eye on Rubio.