Monday, August 14, 2017

NRA ≠ Nazi


I was reading Prof. William Jacobson's Legal Insurrection this morning. He had a post about the clash in Charlottesville this past weekend. He had a link to this tweet by Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos.



I hate to disappoint Mr. Moulitsas but he is wrong in so many ways.

First, it has to be pointed out that conservatives and Nazis are not one and the same. In fact their beliefs are antithetical to one another. A conservative generally believes in smaller government while Nazis (from their origin in German) believe in a strong national government that pervades all aspects of life.

Second, while the NRA is generally a conservative organization, they are accepting of people from all walks of life. They have liberals and conservatives as members. They have gays and straights as members. They have Democrats and Republicans as members. Indeed, when the president of the NRA Pete Brownell has a scheduled phone conversation with Erin Palette of Operation Blazing Sword and asks how they can work together, I think that says it all in terms of acceptance.

I will grant you that there might be a member of the NRA who holds Nazi and/or fascist beliefs. But I would say that any mass organization of 5 million members with open membership is liable to have a few outliers within its membership rolls.


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Some Tab Clearing


It's summer and I've gotten a little lazy when it has come to blogging. Sometimes it is just preferable to sit out on the front porch, sipping a drink, and reading a bit of this and bit of that. There have been some things I've been meaning to comment on but never got around to it.

First, regarding Charlottesville, "white nationalists", the Klan, Nazis, Antifa, and the violence that happened yesterday:  when two groups filled full of hateful, violent people that I disdain go at hammer and tong, I say a pox on both their houses. It was the same feeling I had after the "Greensboro Massacre" back in 1979 when the Klan and American Nazis shot it out with the Communist Workers' Party at a "Death to the Klan" rally. I'm with Miguel on this when he says he doesn't care much about what happens to either group.

Leaving the sensationalism of the mass media behind, one of the bigger stories in the gun community has been the issue of Sig P320s accidentally firing when dropped in a certain way. Sig has issued a voluntary "upgrade" to fix this. If I owned one of these pistols, I'd send it in for the retrofit with the military trigger. It only makes sense from a civil liability standpoint. You can just imagine the questions that a plaintiffs' attorney would be asking if you dropped your firearm and someone was injured. It wouldn't be pretty. This post in The Firearm Blog has more on the story along with a ton of links.

While on the subject of recalls, Ruger has issued a recall on some of their Ruger Precision Rifles with the aluminum bolt shroud. The issue is the potential for interference between the bolt shroud and the cocking piece. This safety recall only pertains to those rifles with an aluminum bolt shroud and within serial number ranges of 1800-26274 to 1800-78345 and 1801-00506 to 1801-30461.

In legal news, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled 8-1 on Thursday that the Seattle "gun violence" tax did not violate that state's firearms preemption law. The lawsuit against the tax was a joint effort of the Second Amendment Foundation, the National Rifle Association, and the National Shooting Sports Foundation along with two businesses, Philip Watson, and the late Ray Carter aka GayCynic. Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation called the decision a "slap in the face to the Washington Legislature." He also correctly noted that gun owners need to get more involved in Supreme Court races (where the justices are elected).

Dave Workman, editor of The GunMag, has done superb reporting on the issue at Liberty Park Press and Conservative Firing Line. His posts on the court decision can be found here, here, here, and here. I think Dave is correct when he says that the Washington State Supreme Court may have opened a Pandora's box. I can see these sort of taxes being implemented up and down the West Coast as well in other gun control paradises.

Sebastian had a very thought provoking post on his blog regarding suicide and the unintended consequences of universal background checks. Research conducted at Oregon State University-Cascades found that gun owners were more receptive to suicide-prevention messages if they respected gun rights than if they were neutral. However, as Sebastian notes, universal background checks make it harder for a person to have their family hold their guns if they experience a mental health crisis.
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.
Hat tip to my friend and podcasting co-host Rob Morse for pointing me to a success in court by NY gun rights attorney Paloma Capanna. Her case, Robinson v. Sessions, is on appeal to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. The lawsuit involves the sharing of information on the Form 4473 for purposes other than purchasing a firearm. The issue before the 2nd Circuit is whether the plaintiffs have standing to sue. In an answering brief, the Department of Justice lawyers acknowledged that the FBI has been running all NICS checks through the Terrorist Screening Database since 2004.
The error below arises from more than 15 years of litigation conducted by the ACLU, Amnesty International, and other groups, seeking to halt civil rights violations for those who are interrupted during travel because of a suspected match of the passenger to the “No-Fly List.” (The “No-Fly List” is a subset of the TSDB.) In those cases, the unlawful search and the invasion of privacy doesn’t begin until the person is pulled out of line and treated differently than other airline passengers going through open and obvious TSA screening procedures.

Plaintiffs in the Robinson case state that the violation of their civil rights begins the moment the FBI secretly uses their personal information from the ATF Form 4473 for the unauthorized purpose of checking them against the TSDB. Yes, a person who gets matched to the TSDB during a gun purchase at an FFL might have greater damages, but the harm hits every American attempting to make a lawful purchase at an FFL.
My friend Laura Carno has brought the FASTER training program to Colorado. The program involves intensive firearms, defensive, and medical training for school personnel in an effort to protect the students in the case of an active shooter event. FASTER was the brainchild of Buckeye Firearms Association and Tactical Defense Institute. She was interviewed about the program and their successes by Cam Edwards of NRA TV this week.

Is firearms training a religion? Regardless of whether it is or isn't, Kevin Creighton thinks it should be.  Looking at the great martial arts, they tend to include an element of religion in them according to Kevin. They helps inspire practitioners to rise about themselves in extraordinary situations. Situations like a gun fight which is definitely an extraordinary situation. Kevin concludes, "A religion of CCW isn’t going to save your soul, but it just might save your life."

Finally, attorney and Second Amendment scholar Dave Hardy has a new book coming out. The book entitled, I'm from the Government and I'm Here to Kill You: The True Human Cost of Official Negligence, is now available for pre-order on Amazon. I have pre-ordered my copy and would suggest that you might want to do so as well. Dave reports that the official release date is October 10th but it could actually ship earlier. Some of the events covered in the book include Waco, Ruby Ridge, Operation Fast and Furious, and the fallout from atomic testing. As Dave notes in the introduction which is available online:
One might have thought the premise “the King can do no wrong” would have no application in a nation with no king, but that is not how things turned out. Indeed, by the time our courts finished, they had immunized government officials high and low from liability for any wrongful injuries they inflicted upon the citizens who paid their salaries....

Federal officials have, as we shall see, blown up hundreds of people, spread radioactive waste over enormous areas, and ordered their subordinates to commit murder, all with legal impunity. When the government’s misdeeds were challenged in court, attorneys from the U.S. Department of Justice did not hesitate to conduct cover-ups, defraud the courts, and intimidate witnesses—all without worries about disbarment or other discipline. (In this book’s concluding chapter, we’ll examine how we can deal with these problems.)

When federal civilian employment was small, the risk of being injured by a negligent governmental employee was trifling. Today, there are over two million federal civilian employees, a workforce that dwarfs those of our largest corporations. This enormous workforce has almost complete legal immunity, no matter how lethal its transgressions.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Proper Response To GOP Requests For Money Is No


I received a plea for money today from Phil Berger who is the President Pro Tem of the North Carolina Senate. He was one of the politicians visited in Raleigh last week in GRNC's Squish the Magic RINO demonstration. He was targeted because HR 746 which would allow permitless concealed carry is still bottled up in the North Carolina Senate.




The proper response to any of these supposedly pro-gun Republicans asking for money is NO. As I said in my response to Sen. Berger, I wanted to see action and that means both bringing bills to a vote and an affirmative vote.

Any damn fool in Congress or a state house can introduce a bill. It doesn't mean it has a chance in hell of being passed. That is just a means of appeasement.

HB 746 is languishing in the North Carolina Senate waiting to be sent to the floor. Meanwhile, both national reciprocity and the Hearing Protection Act (or its variants) have not made it to the floor of either chamber of Congress. It is long past time for the state and national GOP to reward some of their most faithful supporters with passage of pro-gun legislation. Until I start to see some action, my checkbook stays closed.

Monday, August 7, 2017

"Only Cowards Carry" - Anti-Knife Campaign In The UK


The Essex Police Department in the United Kingdom is partnering with a group called Only Cowards Carry. Part of this partnership includes placing "knife bins" around the area where you can anonymously dump knives and, it appears, other sharp objects. They are calling it knife amnesty and the object is to reduce "knife crime" (sic). They had a post about it up on their Facebook page but it has been taken down according to KnifeNews.com.


Picture captured from Facebook by www.knifenews.com
According to the Essex Police Department's website, the bin is in Southend and is part of that town's knife amnesty campaign.

From their website:
In a move to tackle knife crime, Sergeant Kayleigh Webster from Southend’s Local Policing Team sought to have the bin donated to Essex Police by Only Cowards Carry, it will enable the safe disposal of all bladed items handed in as part of the amnesty.

The introduction of the knife amnesty bin in Southend follows bins being placed across the county. Since a trial of a knife amnesty in Tendring in 2014, more than 7,000 knives have been surrendered safely.

Since the launch of the bin, Southend’s Local Policing Team has opened the bin to discover over 30 knives and weapons have been surrendered.

The amnesty is being supported by Essex Police, the Essex Police and Crime Commissioner, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and the Only Cowards Carry charity set up by Caroline Shearer in memory of her son Jay Whiston who was stabbed to death at a party in Colchester in September 2012.

Sergeant Kayleigh Webster from Southend’s Local Policing Team and her team have been working tirelessly over the past few months to carry out a number of operations around the clock to reduce weapon related crimes and violent crimes in Southend.

In a number of dedicated operations, Sgt Webster’s team have carried out over 50 stop and searches which led to police finding and seizing over 200 knives in Southend. A total of 40 people have been charged for being in possession of an offensive weapon.

Along with continued operations, Sgt Webster believes the knife amnesty bin will take more knives off of the streets of Southend. She said: “Knife crime has a devastating impact on the victim’s family, friends and the community. Having served Essex Police for nearly ten years, I’ve seen first-hand the impact that knife crime can have.
Only Cowards Carry Weapons Awareness is a registered charity - the UK version of a non-profit - located in eastern England. They have five of these knife bins in place and have plans for nine more. They put on a number of workshops in the area.

I feel for any mother who lost her child to a violent crime. However, blaming the tool instead of the actions of the violent offender is misplaced. You see that here in America with the various gun control groups. Moreover, terms like "knife crime" and "gun violence" are oxymorons. The knife didn't commit the crime anymore than the gun perpetrated the violence. They are both inanimate objects incapable of independent actions. It is the violent person who decides to act that is the problem and not the tool. If we are to blame all objects that are used in the commission of a violent act, then we also have steel-toed boot crime and stick on the ground violence. I doubt we'll see any organizations devoted to the outlawing of steel-toed boots or limbs that have fallen on the ground anytime soon.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Dave Workman And SAF Win Against City Of Seattle (Updated)


The City of Seattle thought adding a "gun violence tax" of $25 for every firearm sold within the city limits would raise between $300,000 and half a million dollars. They forgot to factor in that buyers can vote with their feet and patronize gun stores outside the city limits. Thanks to a lawsuit under the state of Washington's Public Records Act by Dave Workman and the Second Amendment Foundation, we now know the real amount collected. It was just a bit over $100,000 and most of that comes from one gun store that publicized its own figures.

It is not surprising that Seattle wanted to keep this embarrassing amount quiet. No politician wants the public to know that his or her pet program is an abject failure

According to the press release from the Second Amendment Foundation, they will be awarded a $377  fine plus their attorneys' fees. The fine is a dollar a day for each day the City of Seattle drug its feet in bad faith on releasing the requested information. The unfortunate part is that city taxpayers and not the politicians are the ones footing the bill.

Congratulations to Dave, Alan, and everyone else at SAF for their win on this First Amendment case with Second Amendment overtones.

UPDATE: More on the win by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Mike Coombs, owner of the Outdoor Emporium, was the store owner whose collections constituted about 80% of the collections. Given his comments in the interview, I think the real aim of Seattle City Council is to make the city the next San Francisco. That is, no gun stores within the city limits.
Coombs sought to force the city's hand by releasing his own pay-ins to the tax. He wrote in a memo to the court that he paid $86,410.63 last year.

The city has only said it collected less than $200,000 and that one business has paid more than 80 percent of the total tax revenue -- by that math, Coombs believe he is that big fish, and estimates the city only brought in about $108,000 total.

Coombs also laid out additional devastating statistics for his business: Outdoor Emporium's firearm sales dropped about 20 percent last year from 2015 and its ammunition sales were cut in half. Overall sales were cut 15 percent because customers who bought guns and bullets also bought other supplies at the store.

His store in Fife has not suffered the same losses.

"Many of our customers have told me that they stopped shopping at our store because of the firearm and ammunition tax, and that has meant that they have started shopping at stores outside Seattle for all their sporting goods needs," Coombs wrote to the court. "I believe most of Outdoor Emporium's loss of sales is directly linked to the firearm and ammunition tax."

What's more: Coombs laid off some staff and collected $183,747 less in sales tax last year. Deducting the portion of the sales tax that goes to the city from the amount it collected with the gun safety tax, Coombs estimated that Seattle gained only $25,000 from Outdoor Emporium as a result of the ordinance.
 Given the city pulled $275,000 from its general fund to help fund the "gun violence" (sic) prevention pilot program at Harborview General Hospital, the tax was never about raising money. It was about control.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Well, It's Not A Sten But It Would Work


When some of the politicians in California were railing on about 80% lowers and "ghost guns" (sic), if I remember correctly Tam said in response that you could get a 90% Sten at your local Lowe's. That comment stuck with me. Thus, when I saw Ian McCullom's video on the homemade full auto firearms made by Philip A. Luty which were in the Royal Armouries' National Firearms Centre collection, I was reminded of it.

Mr. Luty was a man of conscience who objected to the British firearms laws. He designed a 9mm submachine gun from scratch and published the plans to it in his book "Expedient Homemade Firearms" (which is available on Amazon). With a quick Google search you will find PDFs of many of his plans and blueprints around the Internet. I might even suggest that you download these to a thumb drive just because you can. I'm not saying to build one of them but in a TEOTWAWKI situation it might prove useful.

Unlike the US where the receiver is the restricted part, in much of the rest of the world it is the parts like a barrel which must take pressure that is the restricted part. By restricted, I mean subject to government regulation. As Ian notes, Mr. Luty wanted to show the foolishness of British firearms laws and paid for it with his freedom. The British police eventually caught him test-firing one of his submachine guns for which he was convicted and imprisoned.

Mr. Luty passed away in 2011 from cancer while he was facing charges related to his gun rights activism. May he rest in peace.


Meet Squish The Magic RINO


While I may have hated what Saul Alinsky stood for, I must admit his Rules for Radicals does come in handy when pushing for gun rights. Grass Roots North Carolina has learned this lesson and plans to unveil their version of Rule No. 5 tomorrow. That rule states "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon" and GRNC plans to make the most of it. They will have a new mascot to go along with their bulldog. The new mascot is named Squish the Magic RINO. You can guess where that name came from.

To protest the failure of the North Carolina Senate to bring HB 746 which included permitless concealed carry to the floor for a vote as well as to highlight those Republicans in the House who voted against the bill, they plan to have a rally in Raleigh against these Republicans in name only. Given that the Republicans achieved a super-majority in both house of the General Assembly through the hard work, efforts, and votes of gun owners, they need to be reminded that they should be dancing those that brung them. It seems that some of these Republicans would rather be beholden to Michael Bloomberg than to the voters of their own districts.

I think Squish makes a perfectly fine addition to the roster of mascots. Perhaps, in addition to Squish, there needs to be one called Squirmy because that is what I want to see these Rino guys and gals squirm.


Gun group to lampoon GOP RINOs

Failure of Senate to pass HB 746 will be topic of demonstration at NC General Assembly

At 11:00 am on Thursday, August 3, Grass Roots North Carolina will hold NC Senate Republicans accountable for the Senate’s failure to pass House Bill 746 (“Omnibus Gun Changes”) which would, among other things, bring North Carolina on board with the 13 states which have already passed permitless carry of concealed handguns. The event will be held at the Halifax Mall at the NC General Assembly.

Meet “Squish the Magic R.I.N.O." & Friends!

To highlight the fact that some GOP senators (including Senator Phil Berger?) seem to be behaving like “Republicans in Name Only” (R.I.N.O.s), GRNC will be introducing a new mascot, “Squish the Magic R.I.N.O.” and friends. If Republicans fail to pass HB 746 during or before the 2018 short session of the General Assembly, “Squish” could become a regular feature at GOP campaign events.

Take advantage of this highly photogenic event!

Squish and his friends will be cavorting under a highly photogenic banner proclaiming:

“NC Senate R.I.N.Os:
Giving Gun Voters ‘The Horn’ Since…?”

Event details:
When: August 3 at 11:00 AM EDT
Where: Halifax Mall, NC General Assembly, 16 West Jones Street, Raleigh, NC 27601

Monday, July 31, 2017

Rally Against The RINOs In Raleigh


The North Carolina General Assembly is returning for a special session on August 3rd. Grass Roots North Carolina is preparing a welcome for them called Rally Against RINOs in Raleigh. It is to remind the Republicans that they only achieved their supermajority in both houses due to the efforts of gun owners. The impetus for this rally is the inability of the Republicans in the House to pass HB 746 with a veto proof majority and the refusal of the State Senate to bring the bill to the floor for a vote.

If you are in the Raleigh area or if you can be in the Raleigh area for the rally on Thursday, the details are below:

LET'S REMIND OUR REPUBLICANS WHO
PUT THEM IN OFFICE.

Remember in the last election how the Republican candidates couldn't get enough love from pro-second amendment North Carolinians? Remember how they promised to be the stalwart guardians of your gun rights?

As expected, they have forgotten who "brung 'em to the dance." We know this because House Bill 746 is stuck in the Senate -- the result of petty quibbling and inactivity. Politicians are always at risk of becoming complacent (especially when their party holds a supermajority in both the house and the senate), and they sometimes need to be reminded of who they work for.

Worse yet: we know that Michael Bloomberg's out-of-state money has been hard at work in North Carolina, with a few well-paid operatives whispering fear and doubt into the ears of our elected leaders. This isn't a new game for them, since they prognosticate doom about every pro-Second Amendment measure that comes up ... and when these pro-gun bills are passed into law, their fears of doom are proven to be completely unfounded. Still, we want to make sure that responsible, law-abiding gun owners are being seen and heard by their elected leaders. Let's remind them that rich New Yorkers and a few paid minions don't speak for us in our state legislature.

The General Assembly returns for a special session on Thursday August 3, and we've planned a gun rights rally for the mall area between the Legislature and the Legislative Office Building. Most importantly: we need YOU there to join the chorus of North Carolina's law-abiding, responsible gun owners. Together, we can encourage our leaders to move House Bill 746 in this special session.

The demonstration will take place on Thursday August 3 at 11:00 AM. This will be a safe, fun, family-oriented event where we will introduce a new figure to North Carolina's political scene: Squish the Magic RINO!


IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!


  • RSVP on the GRNC website and let us know that you can attend the rally (https://www.grnc.org/august-3-demonstration).
  • Attend the rally! It will be located on the grass mall just north of the Legislative building at 16 W. Jones St., Raleigh. The rally will begin at 11:00 AM, but it's wise to get there early to alleviate parking concerns.
  • Please make sure that you dress for the press. We encourage professional attire. Please, no inflammatory slogans on clothing or signs. We want to show everyone that North Carolina's gun owners are the most civil, respectful, law-abiding citizens!