“I’m From the Government, and I’m here to Kill You”

Dave Hardy’s latest book, “I’m From the Government and I’m Here to Kill you” is now available for preorder on Amazon. I’m told it should ship in a few weeks. I’d strongly recommend the introduction:

The proposition that a king, a government, can do wrong is central to the Declaration, America’s foundational document. So how did America get to a situation where government employees, “public servants,” can kill by sheer sloppiness and walk away? Where an agency can level a town and kill six hundred citizens and escape all responsibility? Where a federal agency can run guns to Mexican drug cartels, causing hundreds of deaths on both sides of the border, and wash its hands of the matter? Where veterans can die awaiting doctors’ appointments, and the hospital administrators can collect their bonuses and walk away?

Answering these questions requires a brief look at legal history. English common law developed the concept of “sovereign immunity,” commonly expressed as “the King can do no wrong.” But common-law sovereign immunity was actually a narrow concept. A subject could not sue or pros- ecute the king, but could take legal action against anyone carrying out the king’s orders. Americans could better hold their government accountable when they were ruled by George III than they can today!

Read the whole thing.

Pardon Me if I Find Gun Control Groups’ Concerns About Suicide Prevention Hollow

This article talks about how gun owners are more receptive to suicide prevention efforts that respect gun ownership. You don’t say? It’s not like this community is unaware or doesn’t care a whit that firearms are an effective tool in the hands of someone intent on ending their lives. Believe me, we know. But pardon me I call the gun control crowd’s concerns about suicide prevention a load of crap because they keep trying to pass laws that make suicide prevention a crime:

The culturally tailored message was then used as part of a nationwide survey of more than 800 gun owners to determine the likelihood of it causing owners of firearms to engage in multiple key gun safety behaviors for suicide prevention – such as asking a suicidal person to give away his or her guns temporarily to another trusted individual.

Except Bloomberg has been going state-to-state trying to make that a crime. I have a standing order with family to remove my access to firearms if I ever have that kind of mental health crisis, but in states like Washington, where Bloomberg has been successful, that is a crime if you don’t first get the person in crisis to an FFL to pay hundreds of dollars to transfer the collection to the “trusted individual,” and then pay hundreds more once the crisis ends. The Oregon legislature was smarter, and made an exception to its laws, but there is a factor of “imminence” in the exception. Generally speaking, transferring a firearm to a “trusted individual” in Oregon is a crime. In Pennsylvania, this is also the case for handguns, unless the “trusted individual” has an LTC.

So don’t give me this bleeding heart shit. If gun control people gave a crap about suicide they wouldn’t be pushing for laws that criminalized gun owners for helping out friends.

A Bright Future

Exurban Kevin:

We haven’t hit that “dot com bubble” yet with gun culture, because since 1994 (or even earlier…) our culture hasn’t been based around expanding our rights and welcoming new people into the fold, it’s been built on fear and defensive warfare that bitterly clings to what few rights we had left.

We’re on the cusp of something truly wonderful here. Let’s not let past fears ruin it.

I tend to agree with Kevin. I’m an optimist on gun rights, but a pessimist on nearly everything else. Trump is doing a great job helping to expand gun rights into key Democratic demos! All we need is another one or two justices, and we’re probably set for a bright future.

It’s a shame to hear about Bearing Arms. I don’t think that really has any bearing on overall trends in the gun world. I think it does reflect the loss Bob Owens, who basically built that brand.

PLCAA Showdown at Connecticut Supreme Court

Connecticut Law Tribune: “Amicus Groups Try to Sway Conn. Supreme Court in Sandy Hook Hearing.” This is an area where gun control groups and ivory tower law professors would be smart not to push these kinds of absurd theories of negligent entrustment, and hopefully the Connecticut Supreme Court isn’t going to buy it either:

Thirteen law professors specializing in common-law torts discuss how negligent entrustment should apply to Remington and Bushmaster. The professors filed their brief to “provide the court with further direction regarding the common law foundation of the tort of negligent entrustment, including relevant scholarship and judicial decision.”

The brief’s co-author, Stanford University law professor Nora Freeman Engstrom, said negligent entrustment boils down to whether a defendant took adequate precautions. “And, here, the jury might ultimately find the defendant failed to take adequate precautions in their sale of military grade assault weapons to an untrained population,” according to the brief.

We left exceptions in PLCAA specifically so that dealers which violated the law, or who committed the actual tort of negligent entrustment, not this fanciful, bizarre tort being foisted by these law professors, may still be sued despite the general immunity provided by PLCAA. Under the theory proffered by those siding with the Plaintiffs, a tort would be created for any type of complex and potentially dangerous product, such as automobiles. Because drunks sometimes plow into school busses, Ford and its dealerships have to make a reasonable efforts not to sell cars to drunks. Why wouldn’t gas stations also have such a duty?

Currently under PLCAA, if someone walks into a gun dealer and says, “I’m really pissed off at my wife. Let me see that .357,” and the dealer sells it to him anyway, if he later kills his wife the family would still have a viable action against the dealer.

If the gun control crowd wins on these arguments, that selling an AR-15 to any civilian represents negligent entrustment because some people might do bad, evil, or stupid things with them, do you think we lack the political power and will to narrow PLCAA’s exceptions? The law is not a scalpel. Narrowing the exceptions to PLCAA will almost assuredly let some folks who ought to be open to suit gain immunity. But if the gun control groups win on this theory we will have no choice. I’d also expect a host of other industries who sell complex and potentially hazardous products to also start demanding immunity.


Peak Social Issues?

Say Uncle asks whether we’ve reached peak social issues. My prediction is that no, we have not. But I think every new generation is always looking for things they can do that will piss off their parents, and the Millennials had to reach to completely absurd levels to accomplish that. So things really have no where to go but backwards.

I believe over the next 50 years, this country is going to see a good old fashioned religious revival, not unlike the ones we had two centuries ago. Only it won’t be strictly protestant, and probably will have a lot of tendencies none of us today will like. I don’t dare say socialism, because I’m not convinced Generation Z has any better idea what Socialism actually is than Millennials do. There’s already evidence the ground work is being laid.

We even have our very own Jacksonian in the White House.

Another Article on African American Gun Ownership

Patrik Jonsson, whose reporting on the gun issue has always been pretty fair, writes: “There’s evidence that black gun ownership has spiked since the 2016 campaign began. While white Americans have led the liberalization of gun laws in the past decade, black gun carry is becoming a test of constitutional agency.” Gun control historically targeted minority communities for disarming. It’s just now we’re nice enough proceed with a fiction that because the fees, the requirements that you have a squeaky clean record, and the high level of education required to comply with the patch work of laws and regulations apply to everyone, that means we don’t worry about disparate impacts on minority communities, even though we worry to death about that in every other context.

NRA should be very concerned that this movement is happening outside their umbrella, and adjust its rhetoric accordingly. At the very least, outreach and coordination with Black gun rights groups is in order.

You Don’t Say: Gun Control Disarms Poor

I’m glad people are really starting to notice:

When it comes to voting rights, any obstacles outrage liberals; even free government-issued IDs are viewed as disenfranchising poor and disproportionately black people. But when it comes to the right to own a gun for self-defense, liberals don’t hesitate to pile on fees, ID requirements, expensive training and onerous background checks.

That’s too bad, because many law-abiding citizens in crime-ridden neighborhoods really do need a gun for self-defense. Since poor, urban blacks are the most likely victims of violent crime, there is little doubt that they stand to benefit the most from owning guns. Research, including my own, has demonstrated this.

Your position on gun control I think is a good proxy for how committed you are to democratic popular sovereignty. The instinct for elites throughout history is to disarm the lower, non-ruling classes. You don’t have to pay much attention to a disarmed population. You can look down on them with scorn and indignation, and there’s not much they can do about it. Certainly if you want to oppress minority populations, it’s a lot easier to do that to a disarmed population rather than one that can shoot back.

Gun control has always been a weapon of the elite ruling classes to keep the masses in a state of subjugation. When all you have is the vote, you don’t really have much. Elites can manipulate the masses into voting the way elites want them to vote, or can outright manipulate the system (see Venezuela). An armed population will always have an actual say in how things are run.

Leftist Guide to Gun Ownership

Ladd Everett is going to hate this:

But doesn’t “common sense” gun control help to protect marginalized communities? Well plain and simply, no it doesn’t. In fact most gun control actually has the opposite effect leaving marginalized communities unarmed and defenseless in the face of violence. Gun control actually has quite the racist history. Many of the first gun laws enacted by the united states government were in order to keep slaves and free black people from owning or carrying firearms except under supervision of their master for fear of slave rebellions. The uprisings led by John Brown and others and the slave armies formed during the Civil War proved their fears to be true. For those enslaved, guns meant freedom. Decades later during the height of the black civil rights and liberation movements Martin Luther King, Jr. was denied a gun permit after his house was firebombed in 1956, Malcolm X urged African Americans to defend themselves using any means necessary, the Black Panthers held open carry marches, and the National Rifle Association delved into gun politics for the first time.

No wonder Ladd has been upset lately that the left is abandoning him. All that research on the history of gun control, and its use for disarming marginalized communities, was done by our academics, and people are listening.

AFib Story

The lack of blogging has not been because I’m dead, fortunately. But I was hospitalized for a few days for atrial fibrillation (AFib). I’ll tell the story in case it helps any readers.

We were getting ready to go to the store when I suddenly felt my heart flutter in a very strange feeling way. If it had just been a second of that, I probably would have dismissed it. But it lasted long enough that panic set in. I knew something was wrong, but I was not sure what. I had no chest pain or shortness of breath, but my heart felt like it was going to jump out of my chest and run off to New Jersey.

“I think I need to go to the ER,” I told Bitter, as I got to the top of the stairs, “Something isn’t right with my heart rhythm.” Then she starts to panic. In the car I start to calm down and debate whether I’m just having a panic attack. But I was feeling my pulse and felt like it was off.

We got to the hospital, and I told her to pull into a parking spot near the ER so I could get a better sense of how I was really feeling. I took my pulse again now that the car was stationary, and it was all over the place. Strong, weak, weak, strong, and not in a steady rhythm. I start thinking “I wonder if this is AFib? Is this what AFib feels like?”

To me, going to a hospital for treatment is one of my big phobias. It’s probably more acute than Indiana Jones laying in a pit of snakes. But when your pulse has all the rhythm of two nerds dancing at the prom, you tend to think in terms of lesser fears, and dying is the greater fear. Yes, please be sure my bed has extra snakes! I’ll take it.

I told Bitter to pull up to the ER and went up to the check-in desk and very calmly announced “Hi, I’ve never been to an ER before, but I think there’s something very wrong with my heart rhythm. I have a racing and irregular pulse.” They immediately took me back to the EKG and I was on an ER bed in minutes. I later saw on my chart the computer had flagged “Atrial Fibrillation” on the EKG, which I thought was pretty neat.

First they got me IV’d up and started me on Heparin, an anti-coagulant. AFib is not generally a life threatening arrhythmia, but it is a big stroke risk because the irregular rhythm can send clots flying around.

Then they started me on Diltiazem, a calcium channel blocker, to get my pulse rate and blood pressure down, both of which were sky high, the former from the AFib, and the latter from the sheer terror I was experiencing. Later the first blood work came back and showed I had very low potassium, so they started another IV for that. That shit made my hand feel like it was on fire until they dialed back the rate.

My pulse and BP did indeed come down, but I didn’t come out of AFib, so they admitted me for the night so I could consult with a cardiologist in the morning.

The Cardiologist said probably the best thing you could say to a phobic patient, or at least this phobic patient: “This is a pretty common thing. It’s a little less common in someone as young as you, but you have absolutely nothing to worry about. I will fix you. I’m going to start you on an anti-arrythmetic, and I think that’s going to get you back to a normal sinus rhythm probably on the first pill because you’re young and have never had this before. Worse case scenario, I have to do a ‘Cardioversion’ which is a slight electrical shock of the heart to bring you back into normal rhythm. But I’m really confident medication will fix you and you won’t need that.”

And that’s basically what happened. Within 6 or so hours of the first dose of Sotalol the night nurse came by before his shift ended he told me “Your heart is trying. I can see it go normal for a bit, but then go back into AFib. But I’m betting when I come back you’ll be in a normal rhythm,” and I was. Great. Can I go home now?

No! I had to get an “echo” ultrasound of the heart. But the main reason, I think, was that any person starting on Sotalol has to be monitored continuously for three days in a clinical setting because it has a serious but rare side effect of, well, killing people. Yeah, OK… you can keep me for three days then. Though by the second day I was thinking I’d rather take my chances.

Anyway, I’m back to a normal rhythm, though I’m on a blood thinner and the Sotalol at least until I follow up with the cardiologist, but probably longer.

Hospitals suck. The staff were very attentive and caring, but there are always communication issues, and I found it’s very important to keep mentally aware of what’s going on, what they are doing to you, and what they are giving you. Be able and willing to communicate that to staff as shift’s change, etc. You effectively cannot sleep in a hospital. I decided to sleep with earbuds in playing white noise, which helps, but they still come in to take vitals and that wakes you up.

I felt more exhausted and weak walking out with a normal heart beat than I felt going in with an abnormal one, and all I needed was some drugs and observation. I can’t imagine what it’s like for someone like the 88 year old gentlemen I shared a room with. He was also in AFib, but he had so many other problems they couldn’t safely cardiovert him until those problems were death with. I’m half his age and don’t have 1/4 of his problems, and I feel like the process chewed me up and spit me out.

The nursing staff strongly suspect I have obstructive sleep apnea, and since they have me wired up and check on me all night, I believe them. They referred me to a doctor for a sleep study. The Cardiologist said, “The stress you’ve been under, your low potassium level, and the fact that you have sleep apnea, were probably a perfect storm and your heart is now basically just pissed off.” He seemed skeptical of how much diuretic I’m on for blood pressure control. I have a feeling he might change out some of my BP meds during the follow up. Fine by me as long as it works.

Ultimately I’m glad I made the decision to face my fears and anxiety about over being poked and prodded, and the loss of personal control that comes with being in a hospital. Eventually I was telling the numerous phlebotomists I was introduced to, “Use the hand. You won’t get anything out of that arm. If you want to try, that’s fine, but I’ll wager you good money you won’t succeed.” Didn’t get any takers once they started looking at it.

Anyway, that’s my story. I hope someone finds it helpful.

Opposition to National Reciprocity from Former PPD Commish

This seems like a silly assertion:

Twelve states — including Pennsylvania’s neighbor, West Virginia — do not require any permit or training to carry hidden loaded guns in public. If this bill becomes law, almost any person from these states would instantly be able to carry concealed in Pennsylvania, regardless of whether that person meets the commonwealth’s standards for carrying a concealed gun in public. This not only puts communities in danger, it makes it harder for law enforcement officers to do their jobs.

Surely we have such strict standards! Last I checked, if you can come up with 20 bucks and clear a PICS check you can get an LTC in Pennsylvania. It’s usually the other states that use us a bogey man.

It’s also funny that Ramesy talks a good game on how well trained police are, when under his watch at the PPD, the US DOJ found that training for his department was substandard.

Also recall, that this is the same guy who was allegedly carrying around a firearm without legally being a sworn police officer in Pennsylvania.