Outrage

Paying taxes becomes optional, Obamacare is collapsing, and South Dakota’s Governor goes on record as anti-Constitutional Carry. Lots of things to cover, and not necessarily related to firearms news.

1.) Taxes. Remember when the Affordable Care Act went through? How the mandate (tax) was something you had to pay as a method of “helping society”?

It turns out, with the election of Donald Trump, that paying taxes is no longer the cost of living in a civilized society, but in fact is entirely optional as a form of protest against being forced to pay for something you don’t want. The Guardian does a fantastic job covering this new, but predictably oddball form of protest.

2.) Obamacare. Speaking of ACA, the heads of major insurance companies are slowly starting to suggest that the current environment is basically not survivable for most major insurance carriers. With Aetna and Humana both pulling out, and others like Anthem examining their options, there continues to be little more than anecdotal evidence in support of the Affordable Care Act.

Which is a neutral way of saying that there is a growing mountain of evidence showing why the law needs to be repealed before it does any more damage.

3.) Permitless carry. In this year’s first States Fights update, we discussed the surge of Constitutional Carry. This week, we can now discuss one of the roadblocks. According to Guns.com, the governor of South Dakota has promised to veto the Constitutional Carry legislation working through the legislature.

And things aren’t much rosier in Colorado, where a permitless carry bill has

States Fights 2017: Part 1

A new year means part-time legislatures have new sessions. This week, we check in on Georgia, Mississippi, and North Carolina.

Put bluntly, Constitutional Carry is gonna be BIG.

1.) Georgia. Campus and Constitutional Carry take center stage. Constitutional Carry has a long way to go, not helped by the support of the frequently reactionary Georgia Gun Owners. 

College campuses are also getting a lot of attention. In addition to campus carry, there is a bill that would essentially force colleges to hand over all rape cases to the police. We’ll let slide the issue of why this hasn’t happened already, but it’s worth noting in the context of campus carry, and the overall subject of reducing crime in and around campus.

Campus carry was only recently introduced in the Gold Dome, although it is largely a carbon copy of last session’s.

2.) Kentucky. Constitutional Carry isn’t doing great everywhere. A bill was withdrawn without warning in Kentucky’s Senate. Nobody is entirely sure why the broadly-supported measure was withdrawn regardless.

3.) North Carolina. Consitutional Carry has been introduced in NC, according to the consistently exellent ShallNot.org (who have been a go-to source for all things Constitutional Carry). The bill, as is the norm, would not dismantle the current licensing system to allow for reciprocity.
4.) Mississippi. We have gone over crime and punishment a lot around here. What we haven’t given much attention to the death penalty. Now Missippi now looks at bringing the death penalty back with the electric chair, gas chanber, and firing squad as methods of execution. The bill, which was approved by the State House this week, would add the above to lethal injection, the only legal form of execution in the states.

Expect this to really start picking up national attention.

5.) Outrage. Finally tonight, a lot of the people you see protesting friggin’ everything apparently live mostly with their parents. Which explains all the free time they have to allow for all that protesting.

Stau informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

Grab Bag: Feburary 2017

Georgia State Republicans go for Constitutional AND Campus carry, 2 states already on the verge of campus carry, plus the new normal in gun sales as NICS checks tank in January over the same month last year.

1.) Georgia. While I would argue that they are getting way ahead of themselves, legislators the Georgia State House have introduced a bill for Constitutional Carry this session. The bill would not dismantle the current system, but only so that Georgia residents can have something to use for CCW reciprocity elsewhere (or, depending on Congress, everywhere). The Tenth Amendment Center has been keeping track of multiple Constitutional Carry laws, as the movement seems to be gaining momentum just about everywhere, even with the national reciprocity issue on the table.

2.) Campus Carry. Meanwhile, the State Houses of Arkansas and Wyoming approved campus carry bills in their respective states. The Arkansas measure only allows for faculty and staff, whereas Wyoming’s would allow anybody with a permit. Georgia’s, for the record, appears to be about allowing anybody with a permit. It is, for whatever reason, a carbon copy of the one Governor Deal vetoed last session.

3.) NICS. To say that background checks in January of this year were lower than January of last is to undersell it. FBI records show that, compared to last year, January saw an incredible 43.7% drop.

This is likely the new normal, it also proves that (perhaps ironically), former President Obama was indeed the best gun salesman the industry ever had.

4.) Trump. While that may be the case, former President Obama did leave a ton of anti-gun Executive Orders in place (which were probably the reason gun sales were so high). On the upshot, with a much more gun-friendly President in the White House, most of that should be dealt with in fairly short order.

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

Grab Bag: January 2017

More from Trump, PA sets a background check record, and an update to Midnight Run: Debt.

1.) Trump. A ton of activity from the Trump administraion, largely in the form of a torrent of executive orders. Perhaps chief among them were two orders set on restarting two pipeline projects that have been dormant due to being caught up in political posturing and protests. Of course, the Dakota Pipeine became famous for the Standing Rock protests, which ended with the line being rerouted around the territory in what was called a pyrric victory by the Economist (who predicted it would be overturned).

Sure enough, that is precisely what has happened, and it is clear that both Trump and the pipeline’s opeator are eager to get the project moving again.

2.) Debt. A man in Arizona was hailed as a hero this week for shooting a suspect who was beating a state trooper.

While that in and of itself is newsworthy (as DGUs tend to be), there is another part of this story that is definitely worth paying attention to. Namely, the man is a former felon who had his gun rights restored.

There is a post by a man named Greg Ellifritz on this subject that makes a number of excellent points on the story. Both the restoration of rights and that a lot of people would look down on the guy for his past and his appearance.

A story with many lessons.

3.) PICS. Pennsylvania deserves special mention this week. A report from Leigh Valley Live states that the Commonwealth’s background check system set records firearm checks in 2016. For the uninitiated, generally PA residents must file two background check forums. One for the NICS system we all know, and a second for the State Police system (the PA Instant Check System or PICS).

With the growth of the overall liberty movement, a pro-gun Congress, a pro-gun President, and the possibility of supressors becoming more easily available, the number is almost certainly going to stay high.

Continue to follow the National Reciprocity and Hearing Protection acts. Expect critics to resort to “nationwide bloodshed” with the former, and “James Bond” fantasy with the latter.

Because, at this point, it is ignorance and fear really are all they have left.

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

Daybreak

Suddenly, we have a ton of extremely solid news for the liberty movement as a whole. This week, manufacturing on suppressors ramps up as the Hearing Protection Act appears almost certain, major reforms on the docket during the Trump administration, and some news from Inauguration Day that will set the stage for weeks to come.

1.) Suppressors. Controversial Times has a report out stating that the manufacturing of suppressors has been accelerated at major companies as the passage of the Hearing Protection Act starts looking like a near certainty. This is obviously in preparation for the surge of sales that is expected upon passage of the bill, which looks to take what are essentially hearing safety items (that cannot silence an explosion, let us be absolutely clear) off of the National Firearms Act. While this is happening, at least right now, there does not appear to be much appetite for taking the rest of the NFA down with the suppressor restriction.

2.) Gun reform. Bearing Arms adds to CT’s work by noting the Hearing Protection Act, as well as four other reforms that look certain to pass under a Trump presidency, that would never pass under now-former President Barack Obama. Among them, of course, is the National Right-To-Carry Reciprocity bill (which has seen some resistance from within the pro-gun community), and the reform of the NICS background check system.

3.) The road ahead. It is worth noting that, regardless of the wild-card/almost-constant backtracking that we saw during the campaign, his present Cabinet choices are appearing to be both incredibly competent and, for the most part, intent on shrinking the power of their respective departments. Of course, one department that is aiming for incredible growth (and a general reorientation) is the Department of Defense under Marine Corps General/Legend James Mattis (who penned a memo to DoD noting ““it’s good to be back.”) Outside of that, we have an Education secretary who endorses school choice and vouchers, an EPA head that is an EPA skeptic, an Energy Secretary who once suggested dismantling the agency, and a host of other very solid choices.

In addition to all of that, of course, we have the idea of the Affordable Care Act, which has helped millions pay far too much for absurd deductibles being replaced with a program more focused on choice and competition, including not providing a bizarre framework where all programs must carry certain things that the person may not use. (Like requiring a male to carry maternity coverage in the off chance he manages to break science.)

The next four years are going to be one of significant, if not very fast, change. The end result remains to be seen, of course, but the rough sketch looks promising in terms of gun rights, the liberty movement as a whole, and the dismantling of a disastrous healthcare law.

And talk of “resistance” appears to be going absolutely nowhere at present. It could be a very solid four years.

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

Ignition 2017

Campus carry reloads in Georgia, the Hearing Protection Act is introduced, and Marines choose Magpul.
All that and a LOT more. Welcome back.

1.) Texas and Georgia. A carbon copy of last years Campus Carry bill has been introduced for this session. Governor Deal vetoed it last session, along with the religious freedom bill. It is widely believed that both decisions led to the Opportunity School District’s demise at the polls in November.

Texas is going a step further. Introducing a Constitutional Carry bill.

2.) Suppressors. The only safety tool the government makes you go through hell to get may finally have the process streamlined. The Hearing Protection Act, which aims to remove suppressors from the NFA, was introduced to the new Congress. The anti-gun angle is that it’s about making it easier to sell suppressors and not about making sure that people don’t have to blow out their eardrums to defend themselves.

Expect them to play up the Hollywood version of suppressors. The version physics ensures can’t happen in the real world.

If, however, the bill passes both chambers, it will almost certainly be signed by President Trump, as he has tapped the head of SilencerCo to advise him on firearms issues.

3.) National Reciprocity. Whether you support it or not, national right-to-carry reciprocity is happening. A bill has been introduced, as fairly solid support, and will see a fair amount of attention over the next few months. It is clear that many in Congress are seizing the initiative and introducing a number of pro-gun reforms…..

4.) Abolishing the ATF. ….like abolishing the ATF altogether. According to Guns.com a new bill aims to completely dismantle the organization, transferring most of its responsibilities over the FBI and the DEA. The bill is being supported not only on the basis of the ATF’s history for botching schemes like Fast and Furious, but also on the idea that the ATF is redundant. Essentially, if the other organizations can do the ATF’s job, there’s no reason for the ATF.

5.) Bottom line. The era that anti-gun groups hoped would not come almost certainly has. Trump has made his pro-gun plans clear and many Republicans in Congress are clearly eager to get into it. Consider that all of the above have happened simply in the time we have been away. These reforms will almost certainly be seen as “radical” by gun control advocates.

Because they are. National reciprocity (criticism of which is a bit ironic considering we always hear how guns need to be treated like cars), the abolition of the ATF, and finally making suppressors less of a crap-shoot are truly radical ideas in the context of the last eight years.

None of which would even be possible had Democrats taken control in the election. Which is odd, since guns were seen as a winning issue according to the Washington Post.

Regardless, we are looking at a remarkable time in the liberty movement. We’re back to our weekly schedule here, but also monitor This Is The Line and the Facebook page for Individual Sovereignty Network as events unfold.

And as always….
Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

Stand-Down

We are at a turning point in the gun rights movement. In broad terms, this is a shift from defense to offense. It is predicated on a surge in gun sales, a surge concealed carry permits; as well as a focus on the tactical side of the debate.

Another major focus has been the rise of domestic terrorism, so-called “lone-wolf” attacks. These attacks are nearly impossible to detect, have no regard for laws by definition, and involve all manner of weapons (not specifically firearms). These attacks also showed the incredible cynicism of the anti-gun movement. Specifically, the media and anti-gun advocates jumped on the active shooter alert at Ohio State University, only to run from the story when it became obvious that the suspect was a lone-wolf, radicalized Muslim who attacked his victims with a knife. This was shown last year when Moms Demand Action referred to the victims of the Paris attacks as victims of “gun violence” while ignoring those killed in explosions and by the vehicle used to start the attack.

But as discussed in both the Tactical Review series and in Dirt and Blood last year, terror attacks are incredibly complex in terms of motive, weapon, and overall tactics. Anything can be a weapon, and both the Paris attacks and the Ohio State attacks proved that. The gun control argument simply cannot operate in that environment, as the argument is predicated entirely on undying faith in the law’s non-existent ability to prevent outright and virtually nothing else. It is predicated on perpetual defense, and never going on offense (no matter how many times the movement’s main advocates claim they support self-defense).

Additionally, we are seeing increasing support for concealed carry from law enforcement. From staunch advocate Milwaukee Sheriff David A. Clarke (who almost certainly has the ear of President-Elect Trump and was one of Mr. Trump’s biggest supporters), pages like Deputy Matt of TheBangSwitch, and of course events like the 2013 PoliceOne survey of law enforcement (and more recent details from a survey taken this year. This was another pillar of the anti-gun movement, claiming that police supported tighter gun control laws. That is clearly no longer the case.

Perhaps the most direct evidence we have is the statistical evidence that the gun rights movement is beginning to seize on. Violent crime hit its lowest levels in decades back in 2014. Despite this, the public is (up until very recently), largely unaware of this, which is exploited by anti-gunners desperate to engage on an emotional level.

But beyond all of this; the statistically-proven surge in gun sales, the expansion of gun rights across the nation, the tactical applications of expanding firearms rights (i.e. defense against lone wolf attacks, etc), and the major drop in violent crime (despite all of the above), there is another thing driving the strength of the gun rights movement. That is the overall pro-liberty movement, and the emphasis on self-reliance that it is predicated on. We discussed back in Lethal Ignorance the impact that the utter lack of self-reliance skills the American public seems to have. The liberty movement (and the survivalist offshoot), is predicated on self-reliance, empowerment, and a realistic interpretation of the world. Put more simply, both movements exist to allow people to have sole control of their lives, to have the tools and skills necessary to gain that control, and a realistic way of interpreting the world (evil exists vs. evil can be swatted down with a sheet of paper).

A movement based on giving people control over their own lives, up to and including the ability to defend their life (arguably the most important of all) is a powerful movement indeed.

it is because of all of the above reasons that the pro-gun movement (and the liberty movement generally) enter 2017 with an absurd amount of momentum. The recent attacks in Switzerland, Turkey, and Germany underscore the lack of response the anti-gun movement has to the emerging threat domestic terrorism, as well.

In short, as the pro gun movement shifts to a more tactical, statistical, and logical argument (beyond simply “it’s a right,” even though it most certainly is), the anti-gun movement is left with a message of dependence and defenselessness. In this age, that simply isn’t an acceptable stance, and the constant promises of bloodshed if their agenda is ignored continue to be proven as hyperbolic at best.

A few years ago, the pro-gun movement was supposed to be ruined. Now we stand on the edge of a renaisance.

Enjoy the holiday, and happy new year. 

And as always:

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.