Weekly Gun News – Edition 66

Fortunately, things are starting to calm down. But I still have much to clear from my tabs.

New York is investigating NRA over Carry Guard. Additionally, anti-gun folks are putting pressure on Chubb, the underwriter. I hope NRA has all its ducks lined up with Chubb, and they will hold and not wimp out under pressure. I’m sure the investigation in New York is a political shake down. NRA is a New York corporation, so it seems unlikely to me they wouldn’t have evaluated the program’s legality under New York law.

Know your enemy: “Gun reform needs grassroots activists, not astroturf.” I might not agree with the author’s goals, but he knows what he’s fighting better than most people who decry “the corporate gun lobby.”

This is always a mystery to the media: “As with many gun control pushes, the effort has already fallen by the wayside despite the support.” Maybe because journalists can’t read legislation. If they had just tried to ban bump stocks, they might have succeeded. But they tried to ban all modification of semi-automatic firearms, and failed. This is what I predicted would happen.

Constitutional Carry being pushed in Michigan.

Now anti-gun folks are looking to restrict night-vision gear. This technology is now ubiquitous, and no longer that sensitive. That’s why it’s cheap. It’s just cameras and displays.

People can bitch about Chris Christie all they want, but if Murphy wins on Tuesday, it will be effectively over for New Jersey gun owners.

Dem AGs fighting National Reciprocity.

They don’t understand why gun control is so hard, because, after all, all their friends agree with them.

Florida Political Review: “This conversation shouldn’t be construed as both-sides-ism. The evidence is clear that higher rates of gun ownership correlate with higher rates of gun violence. Countless studies suggest a variety of policies – waiting periods, universal background checks, buyback programs, limits on magazine capacity – can and do reduce the rate of gun death. The point of this wasn’t to debate policy, it was to understand a different perspective.” What evidence? Provide it. I’ve followed this issue a long time, and there is no credible study that has come to this conclusion. There’s certainly no consensus that this is the case.

Monumental Mental Health Second Amendment As-Applied Challenge Success

Researchers says law to expand background checks in Colorado and Washington failed most likely due to noncompliance and a lack of enforcement.” You don’t say? I never would have predicted this. In truth, it’s better for the cops to chase real criminals than trying to lock Elmer in jail because he lent his rifle to his hunting buddy. None of this was ever going to be reasonably enforceable, and anyone who thinks otherwise is delusional, or doesn’t understand the scale of what’s trying to be regulated.

Are Millennials Moving Right on Guns?

Yep: “Blogs opened up the internet for honest debate. Social media will kill it.

The root of gun control: “On reflection though, as an urban liberal who has not touched a gun in 20 years, that is an easy position for me to take. ‘Taking their guns’ seems reasonable, but owning a gun is a right that I will never exercise and means nothing to me. I should recognize that that might influence my willingness to place the Second Amendment on a sacrificial alter.” There’s also the fact that urban liberals don’t very much care for the kind of people who own guns either. After years of writing on this topic, the idea that this issue has anything to do with public safety is naive at best.

The Evolving Deal on SHARE and National Reciprocity

This article indicates we could get the SHARE Act, with the Hearing Protection Act component removed, and with National Reciprocity and some restriction on bump stocks added. The SHARE act removes a lot of the “sporting purposes” language in the Gun Control Act, so I’d probably take this deal. I don’t know what they are planning to do about bump stocks, but I’ve heard suggestions that they be classified as AOWs. That would require a change in the National Firearms Act.

If we’re going to start adding things to the NFA, I think it’s only fair that we get something in return, such as moving suppressors to Title I. I’m a bit surprised lawmakers are actually more wary of that than they are about National Reciprocity.

The more I’m seeing from the gun control side, the less I think they really care about bump stocks. They were willing to get excited about a bill that would effectively ban any aftermarket modification to a semi-automatic rifle, but I don’t notice a whole lot of movement to single out bump fire devices and ban those, especially if that means having to eat SHARE or National Reciprocity in return. It’s almost like if we concede we’re willing to trade something, that must not mean it’s important to us, and if it’s not important to us, they aren’t interested in a deal. It’s almost as if the attitude is: “Those people have to be made to pay.” Nope. Sorry. We’ve taken enough blame for the actions of psychos, and we’re done with that.

Gun Control Folks Try to Muscle in on Suicide Prevention

And they are rebuffed. Why? Because the suicide prevention groups are already working with NSSF on a program. Despite all the cries of “evil gun lobby!” from the gun control crowd, this is a smart move on the part of American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

If your actual goal is to prevent suicides, gun owners need to be a part of that conversation. Embracing the Brady Campaign or Mom’s Demand’s message would cause us to reject the AFSP’s message and our community would circle the wagons. It would weaken AFSP’s mission.

Gun owners are not unaware of suicide. Our community recently experienced a high-profile loss. We are not inherently hostile to suicide prevention, or friends and family taking reasonable measures to try to keep guns away from those who are a danger to themselves or others. But that depends on suicide prevention as a movement not adopting an anti-gun position.

What’s Going on With Bump Stocks?

I’m always surprised by how many people think the political process involves Very Smart People of good faith gathering ’round the table to try to solve the problems of the people. They are often shocked and dismayed when the actual process is explained to them, “That’s just not how it should work. Everyone should work together in good faith.”

Usually those folks have had zero or very minimal involvement in civic society. There’s nothing quite as eye opening as being involved with an organization that is run by committee. I’ve been either directly or peripherally involved in organizations like that since I was a teen, and so were my parents, and their parents before them. Decisions don’t come about because Very Smart People work together and problem solve, decisions come about by managing personalities and their interests. Even when the organization has leaders that are effective at managing those things, decisions are usually very suboptimal.

For example, very recently at my club we had the clubhouse repainted in a very drab, neutral color, without any accent coloring. It needed to be done to protect the building. But why not do an accent scheme that really makes it pop? Have you ever tried to get a body of people to agree on a color scheme? Drab doesn’t offend anyone, and no one has strong opinions one way or another.

So I get tired of people who say, “Why don’t you get in there and write some good legislation if you know so much about this?” Are you fucking kidding? I’m not jumping into that shit show unless you force me into it.  I’m not conceding anything because “it’s the right thing to do.” People who approach democratic institutions with that attitude get eaten alive. That’s not to say I’m not willing to trade or make deals: that’s how things get done in a democratic body. But why would I concede something I don’t have to? Because it’s the right thing to do? Please. Any time you hear a politician talking that language, they’re blowing smoke up your ass. They know better, and are hoping you don’t.

It is with this in mind we approach the issue of bump stocks, which The Daily Beast is reporting is effectively stalled out in Congress. NRA needed to buy time, and kicking the issue over to ATF for a bit accomplished that. In the mean time, bills were introduced that predictably banned much more than bump stocks, and instead focused on any parts or modifications that affected the rate of fire, which includes nearly anything you can put in a semi-automatic firearm. Can a match trigger let me shoot faster? Sure it can. That might not be its intent, but it can. Can a lighter bolt carrier make the action of a semi-automatic cycle faster, theoretically increasing the rate of fire? Absolutely. These kinds of modifications are common, and while they are aimed at accuracy, they do incidentally affect the “rate of fire,” whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean in something that isn’t a machine gun.

So why not just jump in and give them better language? Because I’m not a damned fool and neither is the NRA. I’m not going to preemptively trade something because it’s “the right thing to do,” I’m going to trade for something else I want. And what if I can still get what I want without having to trade anything? I’ll do that too, and hold onto the bargaining chip because it might be useful at a later date.

On the other side of the argument are the folks on our side who think just shouting “no” very loudly is a legislative strategy. How much impact do you think Ron Paul had on the overall direction of Congress? Because that’s effectively what he did for his whole career. People who do that in deliberative bodies get ignored, and worked around. For these people, the question is this: would you rather sulk in the corner and take solace in the fact that you believe you’re right and righteous as you lose one thing after another, or do you want to actually play the game and win? The latter is what you’re seeing now.

Silencer Op-Ed From Someone Who Clearly Knows Nothing About Silencers

Dr. John Anthrony Herring should stick to treating kids’ sniffles and leave gun policy to people who actually understand the topic:

A silencer is a device that is attached to a gun in order to virtually eliminate the sound of the gun and the “muzzle flash” that accompanies the bullet. If the Las Vegas shooter had used a silencer, people would have just continued to fall over with no evident cause for heaven knows how long. No one would have known in which direction to look, and no flash would have been seen.

Did the writer of this article bother to do even the most basic of research? No, of course not. This is what he learned from movies, and it’s completely untrue. Gunshots fired from a silenced firearm are still very loud. Bullets breaking the sound barrier are very loud.

I am a novice at political writing. I am a children’s doctor.

You don’t say?

I have young patients who have been shot accidentally. I have patients who have committed suicide with guns. I have patients who are teenage children who have been shot in their neighborhoods.

What does this have to do with silencers? How do the current regulations on silencers help any of these things? I’m sure he could come up with examples, all of which will be completely ignorant of how the devices actually work.

Also there are clear examples of successful gun control. Australia, a country with as high a percentage of gun owners as the U.S., was able to implement effective and fair gun laws that dramatically reduced gun violence.

They did this by banning every semi-automatic firearm in the country, and then confiscating them. Do you think this is even remotely achievable in a country where tens of millions of people own them, and you can’t even get the ridiculous pseudo-ban that existed from 1994-2004 reimplemented?

ATF Won’t Reclassify Bump Stocks

The Washington Examiner is reporting that ATF is refusing to reclassify bump stocks.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives has signaled to Congress that it would prefer new legislation instead of new regulation to impose restrictions on “bump stocks,” which could end up being a major hurdle to any federal action on the firearms accessory.

This is what was likely to happen. If they changed their mind, they’d be setting themselves up for blame, and that is not something any federal bureaucrat wants to do. So they are kicking it back to Congress. Whether NRA tries to kill bump stock bills, or trades it for National Reciprocity remains to be seen.

“It is illegal to convert a semi-automatic to fully automatic,” NRA Executive Director Chris Cox said this month. “The ATF needs to do their job, review these and if there is [a need for] further regulation, then we will work on further regulation.”

I don’t know if that’s an indication of an impending deal, or whether it’s just more delaying tactics. I’ve seen no indication that the gun control folks are interested in a deal on bump stocks. They are much more afraid of National Reciprocity or SHARE. The former I understand: the unwashed flyover people being able to carry in Manhattan? Scare bleu! But SHARE? Really? A silencer in and of itself is only dangerous if I throw it at you really hard.

Camera Bleg

It’s always interesting how many things my readers collectively know, hence why I ask. My club is looking to replace an old CCTV system with a new IP high-definition system. I’m interested in whether I have anyone among my readership that does this for a living and can offer advice.

We have a few quotes from vendors. One is for Hikvision gear, which is cheap, but Hikvision is also owned by the Chinese Communist Government and has been responsible for a number of security problems as of late. There have been accusations of outright espionage, but I’m not sure how much stock I put in those. But either way, their reputation is of being careless with security, and that rubs me the wrong way.

I have a vendor that resells Panasonic, but that stuff is expensive. Samsung and Axis seem to be cheaper options, but I have no experience with how well their NVRs work. These brands are the market leaders. Is there any up-and-comers I might want to look into? In theory I like Ubiquiti, but their solution seems to have a low end feel.

It seems to me like a lot of camera installers don’t really understand IP networking very well, and only have a few installation types they are comfortable with and don’t want to deviate from it. This is becoming a frustration for me, but maybe it’s my IT bias. They all seem to love microwave extenders, which I loathe. I like wires. That’s largely why I took up evaluating doing fiber on my own.

A lot has changed in the industry switching from analog CCTV to IP, and a lot of the IP camera vendors seem to cater to that mentality by building PoE switches into their NVRs like the old DVR systems used to be bristling with BNC connectors. To me this seems unnecessary. I expect to have only one or two LAN connectors on the back of an NVR, and put my PoE switches out where I have clusters of cameras. Is there any reason to bring 32 Cat6 cables back to one NVR rather than cluster and trunk? I can’t think of any reason not to, given that a 1080p H.264 stream is only like 8Mb/sec. A gigabit IP network seems to be a firehose compared to the needs of IP cameras.

What You Feel When You Shoot

Bearing Arms links to a study that tries to understand how new shooters feel when they fire a gun for the first time.

Firing a gun can be startling. In response, first-timers can experience a fight-or-flight response – the body’s way of automatically responding to what it perceives could be mortal danger.

I remember the first time I shot in an indoor range, and I remember being startled by the noise, but I think that’s more aptly classified as the startle response. Even today, I can get that from gun fire if I’m not expecting it. But I’ve not experienced any of the feelings he mentions here.

The initial response and come-down that follows can lead to a strong sense of pleasure and reward in some people.

“That rush of serotonin feels good,” Fleming said. “A lot of people don’t like being scared, but there are people who like to jump out of aeroplanes or bungee jump.”

However, Fleming noted that most professional shooters he’s met – primarily police officers and military personnel – aren’t adrenaline junkies and espouse a “healthy respect for guns.”

Maybe people who don’t have that reaction are the ones who get into shooting.

Why They Get Nothing

Joan Peterson’s shout out in frustration should be exhibit A for why nothing changes after public mass shootings:

The cynical and evil leadership of the NRA suggested that they may be able to support a ban on bump fire stocks. NOT. Not even that very small measure will pass muster with this group of disingenuous group of guys who represent the industry that sells these things.

There’s not even an acknowledgement that perhaps your side has drafted something that’s very broadly worded, and sweeps up far more items than merely bump stocks. Some will no doubt argue the broad language is done out of malice rather than out of ignorance. But whichever way it goes, the language of these bills is unacceptable. Show me some acceptable language, and we can make a deal. But with this? No deal. They honestly can’t help themselves:

So Speaker Ryan and Republicans in control of our country- what say you? Shame on them all. We need much more than a ban on bump fire stocks.

What we need is a comprehensive bill to make America safe again, including a ban on bump fire stocks, a reduction in the number of bullets in an ammunition magazine, a ban on certain types of assault rifles and the accompanying features that can be added to make them more deadly, universal Brady background checks, research into the causes and effects of gun violence, adequate funding for the ATF, stronger straw purchasing and gun trafficking laws, mandatory training before owning or carrying a gun, mandatory secure storage of guns, child access prevention laws, gun violence protection orders, limiting who can carry a loaded weapon around in public, and yes, perhaps even a system of gun registration.

Remember what I predicted in the beginning? A deal will be offered. The deal with be rejected, because whatever X is offered isn’t what the other side really wants. It will force them to show their hand, it will fire our people up and they will get nothing in the end.

After Sandy Hook, gun folks put out an initial offer on universal background checks, that would have provided a technological means for private parties to conduct them. That offer was rejected, and they overreached, got defeated, tried to put together that last-minute awful compromise in the form of Manchin-Toomey, and by that time the issue was so toxic, the only thing that could be agreed on was nothing.

So I predicted the same thing would happen this time. The gun control people were offered bump stocks, because we don’t really care that much about them and we have a stalled agenda we really do care about. But they aren’t interested in bump stocks. They want the whole kit and caboodle, and they can’t get it, they’ll take their ball and go home. This would seem to be exactly what they are doing. They are interested in death of a thousands cuts. What they aren’t interested in is true compromise: we give a little, and they give a little.

I keep seeing: “Bumps stocks aren’t enough!” Well, OK then. You get nothing.