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I Like Them to Learn Early

Local municipalities in Pennsylvania are preempted from enforcing any ordinance relating to guns. This is pretty well-established under our law. But that doesn’t stop them from passing ordinances, and a popular thing to do is for Boards and Councils to use their positions to lobby state lawmakers to let them have a go at gun regulation, or lobbying on behalf of some legislation or another that the majority of the Board or Council would like to see. It’s like what we do, only they get to do it with taxpayer dollars.

On a rumor, I dragged a bunch of club people out our township meeting with the belief that they might try to pass something like they did after the Vegas shooting. It was shot down after Vegas, because the three Republican Supervisors could outvote the two Dems. However in November, the Dems flipped a seat, and took control of the Board. The Dems this time were assuring members who e-mailed that no gun issue was on the agenda, and they would be taking no action. Even though they are preempted, I like my politicians to learn early about the gun voter. Also, getting them on the record is helpful if they try to run for higher office.

Last night we get through most of the meeting and nothing comes up. Good, that’s victory. But now I’m worried about having a dozen or so people questioning why I dragged them out to a meeting to hear a retirement speech, watch a few appropriations votes, and hear the Chief of Police give his report. Then, at the end, right before adjournment, the big anti-gun Dem on the Board decides he can’t help himself and opens his yap. Wonderful! Thanks for pulling my ass from the fire there! I was starting to worry they might begin to think I cry wolf, and I won’t be able to rally troops the next time I need them. But then again, if he had let the meeting just adjourn, he probably wouldn’t have gotten hisself in the papers.

Seen on the Book O’ Face

This could pretty much sum up what we’re all seeing on social media lately:

Well, I don’t know about you guys, but her well reasoned post wishing for my brutal murder totally makes me want to give up my guns!

All I can say is that in 2018, get out and vote. I’m pissed off that the GOP hasn’t done anything either, but I’ll take nothing over rewarding people for this kind of behavior by putting them back in power.

Clever Framing on the Part of Bloomberg

Bloomberg’s bought and paid for propaganda wing has an article on firearms lost during shipping. No one, of course, wants to see firearms end up in the hands of people who would misuse them. But notice what they focus on:

Security experts said the new rules were likely too weak to capture the extent of the problem, and that shipping companies might avoid disclosing guns lost in transit in hopes of warding off negative publicity

“A lot of people don’t want to talk about it, so they don’t report it, don’t go public with it,” said Keith Lewis, vice president of operations for CargoNet, a firm that tracks and helps investigate cargo thefts. “It’s all about brand protection.”

 I keep telling people not to underestimate Bloomberg. He has the money to hire smart people. He knows how to hire smart people. He himself didn’t make enough money to buy whole countries by being a dummy.
Bloomberg’s crowd has been looking for easy wins. They’ve been looking to pick fights where we’re on shakier ground, and where it’s easier for them to frame persuasive arguments. This is one of those areas. Who wants firearms to get stolen in transit? But by advocating more regulation for common carriers shipping firearms, it makes it likely the carriers will do one of two things:
  • Raise the cost of shipping firearms to cover regulatory compliance. A win for gun control; higher price, lower demand.
  • Get the big common carriers to bow out of shipping firearms due to compliance costs. Manufacturers and distributers would then have to use specialized carriers which will be very expensive. Win for the gun control crowd; higher price, lower demand.

Remember the what, as a whole, inoculates people from supporting gun control, and you’ll understand what I mean. You see the same thing with the gun violence restraining orders. Who wants to stand up for crazy people with guns? Or wife beaters with guns? People like easy, simple to understand solutions. They don’t like complexity. Our ultimate argument is due process, and to be honest, most people don’t even know what that is. Regulation, any regulation, is a win for them. And once you start losing, you tend to keep losing.

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?

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.

Why My Preference is Usually Doing Nothing

I’m not one of these “something must be done” types. I’m perfectly OK with “shit happens” and that you’ll often do more damage trying to prevent it than just accepting that. Diane Feinstein has a bill already, and its awful:

Except as provided in paragraph (2), on and after the date that is 180 days after the date of enactment of this subsection, it shall be unlawful for any person to import, sell, manufacture, transfer, or possess, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, a trigger crank, a bump-fire device, or any part, combination of parts, component, device, attachment, or accessory that is designed or functions to accelerate the rate of fire of a semi-automatic rifle but not convert the semiautomatic rifle into a machinegun.

She’s not careful about how she drafts stuff because she doesn’t care. And neither Senator Feinstein nor her staff know anything about firearms.

What is a Trigger Crank? Can you define it? What is a bump-fire device? These things don’t have common meaning. If I get a lighter bolt carrier that goes into battery faster than a heavier one, is that “part, combination of parts, component, device, attachment, or accessory that is designed or functions to accelerate the rate of fire of a semi-automatic rifle?” What about if I have a buffer spring that’s a bit stiffer, and cycles the action slightly faster than another? Cycle time is the ultimate arbiter of how fast you can shoot a semi-auto. Note is says designed or functions, meaning if it does it, it’s illegal. Note that if you own it, even if you don’t have it installed, it’s illegal.

If Congress decided it did want to ban bump fire stocks, it has to meticulously define them, and not include language that will sweep in a lot of commonly possessed items that have nothing to do with bump firing, but do slightly affect the rate at which the action cycles. Any definition of “trigger crank” has to be careful not to sweep in historic gatling guns, or replicas thereof.

Nope. This bill sucks. She can go to hell. Banning trigger cranks is stupid anyway. You could 3D print one in an hour. It’s a dirt simple device.

Her Choice or the Colorado Dems?

Shannon ain’t running. For all the folks at Everytown: I’m sorry. Looks like you’re stuck with her now. I realize this was a prime opportunity to dump a problem onto the Democratic Party of Colorado, but apparently they even realize the issue of nominating a candidate who has an establishment background and then picked up gun control as an issue, which, despite efforts, even Dem voters don’t really give a shit about.

But there’s always hope for Everytown: maybe she’ll run to replace Hickenlooper when his term is up.

Point-Counterpoint on SHARE

It’s a disappointment that we don’t have too many articles in the media anymore that are just chock full of good old fashioned disdain for shooters combined with an unbelievable ignorance of the hobby. As a citizen, that’s probably a good thing. But as a blogger, I weep. Dana Milbank in the WaPo last week has in spades what I’ve been missing.

It’s not the same with most stories. As Obama’s foreign policy adviser Ben Rhodes once said “The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.” That’s right there is what’s taken the fun out of it. Your average reporter spouting Bloomberg talking points is a nobody. And what fun is it going after a know-nothing nobody? But Dana Milbank is not a nobody.

Consider Title XV of the sportsmen’s bill, also known as the “Hearing Protection Act,” which makes it easier for gun owners to buy silencers for their weapons. The uninformed might suspect that silencers are used by people who want to fire weapons without being caught by cops or observed by witnesses. But more and more hunters are finding that conventional earplugs and muffs are not adequate for today’s weapons — for example, quail hunting with an M777 howitzer or grouse hunting with an FIM-92 Stinger missile launcher.

People who’ve never been around gunfire often do not really grasp how loud it is. I expect a 27 year old millennial with a journalism degree to be mostly clueless about the world. The reason going after people like Milbank is so much more fun is they are respected, but often times they don’t know any more than Ben Rhodes’ 27 year old ignoramus.

Chris Cox notes in the Daily Caller:

Milbank’s article, about a new piece of pro-sportsmen legislation, the SHARE Act, is littered with misleading and incorrect terminology to describe even the most basic firearms classifications, revealing how little he actually knows about guns.  His contempt for hunters, NRA members and gun owners in general is made clear through his condescending tone and misrepresentation of the facts.

Back to Milbank:

Among these recreational enhancements: […] Allowing people to bring assault guns and other weapons through jurisdictions where they are banned.

I think most everyone can agree that there’s no public good created by locking up generally law-abiding people in prison, ruining lives and families. I am particularly tuned to these concerns because I live in a gun friendly state that’s surrounded by states that are very hostile to shooters. I literally have the scour my car before I go into New Jersey because a single hollow nose .22 that’s escaped from my range bag can get me 5 years. I’ve had this happen.

Whether Dana Milbank wants to accept it or not, ownership of “assault weapons,” is very common outside of the jurisdictions that ban them. Even in those jurisdictions, in New Jersey, this is an assault weapon. There are still thousands, possibly tens of thousands of these in closets and safes throughout the Garden State, their owners completely unaware they are a heart attack and a 911 call away from possibly spending 5 to 10 years in New Jersey State Prison. This is not some fanciful hypothetical: it has happened.

People have been arrested and jailed for transporting ordinary firearms through New Jersey and New York. Again, not some fanciful hypothetical: it’s happened, multiple times to multiple people. We’re not talking gang members or drug dealers here. These are people much like Dana Milbank, but who happen to enjoy shooting, and are not trained lawyers who understand all the ins and outs of legally owning firearms in this country.

People like Milbank should explain why they think it’s a public good for good people to rot in prison and suffer felony raps for technical violations of laws that have very little effect on people who engaged in other criminal activity.

Bad Satire Gets Confused with Reality

Apparently a number of gun control groups and at least one Brady Campaign Board Member were confused by a parody Facebook event. Looking through the Facebook Event, it even looks like it was mostly being enjoyed by the “Let’s make fun of those dumb, toothless, cousin humping rednecks” crowd. So either anti-gun groups are really, really dense, or they’re deliberately trying to use this anti-redneck parody to make gun folks look like people who are stupid and irresponsible enough to think shooting a hurricane will help things.

Which is it? I don’t know. I could see them believing gun owners are dumb enough to put something like this together for real. In that case, who’s the joke on here?

Baltimore Gun Task Force

Glenn Reynolds notes, “How many members of Bloomberg’s mayors-against-guns group wound up in jail?” in response to the news that there’s only one officer left standing after a bunch of federal indictments in the Baltimore Gun Trace Task Force.

My take? The US doesn’t culturally view such services as an important public good, so it is not a high status job in the mind of the public. If that’s the case, the people attracted to busting down doors for guns are those with bad incentives and attitudes. Bloomberg’s problem was that he self-selected a group of people that’s highly prone to graft and corruption, and the results were predictable.

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