Tremors

May Issue is tossed in California, an effort to repeal the SAFE Act in New York and a lot of candor from New Jersey. We have news from multiple States tonight, almost all of which are in a positive direction. As per usual, thanks to The Armed Novelist for helping gather some of this weeks reports (DeviantArt Journal here and Tumblr blog here). This is the latest on the progress of the gun rights movement. This week, we’re keeping it State-by-State and to-the-point.

1.) California. California’s restrictive “May Issue” system may be on its way out. A recent court ruling from the Ninth Circuit (of all places) affirmed the right to carry guns in public for personal protection. The ruling read in part

The Court ruled that a government may specify what mode of carrying to allow (open or concealed), but a government may not make it impossible for the vast majority of Californians to exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms.

So, that could scratch off California in addition to Illinois. Note that last year, Rand Paul noted that it was entirely likely to turn California red.

2.) New York. As if having a ton of people refusing to register and skirting the SAFE Act through mere cosmetic tweaks wasn’t enough, there are now efforts to flat-out repeal the act outright. The SAFE Act just hasn’t worked as intended. This bodes well for the movement, as it shows a grassroots resistance on multiple levels.

Other late breaking news out of New York is the departure of Remmington for Alabama, with the company citing the SAFE Act as the reason for leaving the State.

3.) Colorado. If there is one problem this week, it’s that Colorado had a CCW bill that would allow school districts the choice to arm teachers and staff. The bill was defeated in a party-line vote, of course. Even with the recall and Magpul, Colorado never left the spotlight, and remains a major fight in the overall gun rights movement.

4.) Idaho. A Republican lawmaker has introduced a bill that would punish Idaho officers for attempting to confiscate firearms. Not much more needs to be said there, so moving on.

5.) Connecticut. Another quick story here. Like in New York, it turns out that millions of Citizens in Connecticut are refusing to turn in their firearms. As little as 15% of the rifles “classified as assault weapons” have been registered.

6.) Louisiana. Finally tonight, the State that brought a lifetime CCW permit online is joining with 18 other States to ask that the Supreme Court examine the gun laws of New Jersey. New Jersey is a “may issue” State at the moment….just like California. The case, going by the multi-state brief, is Drake v. Filko.

A lot of brawls happening at the State level, almost nothing of relevance happening at the Federal level. If I had any influence over the movement I would advise making guns an election issue locally, then blowing that out into the coming Federal elections. It is, and it always has been, a move from the ground up.

Progress

I noted back in Brevity that campus carry here in Georgia was axed from the gun bill. However, that was not to say that the gun bill going through the legislature isn’t impressive. This week, a look at the bill, plus CCW on Campus elsewhere, and the return of Dick Heller. Thanks again to The Armed Novelist for helping gather this week’s reports.

1.) Georgia. Despite the loss of campus carry, a major gun bill that would allow for CCW in churches and bars. The bill passed the Public Safety and Homeland Security committee, will move to the House Rules Committee, before finally coming to the House floor for a vote.

In other Georgia news, a group calling itself the “Millenials Movement” (you only wish I was making that up) is opposing a portion of the gun bil which, while not legalizing campus carry, lowers the penatly from criminal prosecution to a $100 fine. A Morehouse College student, Ronnie Mosley, says the bill basically endorses guns on campus through that alone.

To repeat, this does NOT legalize campus carry. That is likely dead for the session.

2.) MAIG. To the surprise of pretty much nobody, a former of Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns group left after noticing that the objective of the group was gun confiscation. In a column in the Poughkeepsie Jorunal, mayor John Tkazyik wrote the following:

It did not take long to realize that MAIG’s agenda was much more than ridding felons of illegal guns; that under the guise of helping mayors facing a crime and drug epidemic, MAIG intended to promote confiscation of guns from law-abiding citizens. I don’t believe, never have believed and never will believe that public safety is enhanced by encroaching on our right to bear arms, and I will not be a part of any organization that does.

We can only hope other mayors see that, and also defect from the organization. Still though, it is good to see such candor from someone who used to be part of that group.

3.) November. Kicking up the hype well ahead of the elections, the NRA has referred to the 2014 cycle as “do-or-die” in terms of the Second Amendment. NRA President Jim Porter says the organization “fully expect” to win a pro-gun Senate in the 2014 elections. He also noted that even anti-gunners are seeing their narratives collapsing, with the release of crime reports plus the lack of long-promised “blood in the streets” gunfights materializing.

4.) Postal Service. A persistent Senator Rand Paul got a measure to allow guns NEAR but not IN Post Office buildings passed unanimously through a Senate committe. Paul noted the support of his ammendment allowing guns both near and in the buildings was backed by the NRA, GOA, and National Association for Gun Rights.

Minor victory, to be sure. But at least leaving a gun in your car before entering the Post Office may no longer be a criminal act if the bill passes. I’m curious to know what criminal would stop at being “near” the building though.

Storm

As I’m sure you know by now, we in Atlanta suck at dealing with snowstorms. While I will briefly touch on the absurd firestorm in the aftermath, I am more interested in zooming in on the timeline of events, as we have a case study on panic buying and our (or at least our country’s) tendency for misguided over-reaction.

This week, we focus on the storm. And no, we are not using it’s “name.”

1.) Monday. Monday night saw what modern America calls “preparing” for the storm. This largely consists of panic buying and way-too-late pre-treating of major highways and other arteries of the city. For whatever reason, buying stuff hours prior to the storm is “just what people do” in this country. It’s a practice that still baffles me.

2.) Tuesday. Tuesday is when things got interesting. As this timeline from 11Alive shows, schools and the Atlanta government essentially closed at the same time and about an hour or so after the snow started falling. This led to a surge of traffic in quickly-deteriorating road conditions. At around 2:00 PM, reports of widespread gridlock started to emerge. That gridlock essentially lasted into the following morning, with many literally spending the night stuck in traffic. I personally know one man who had to walk from Kennesaw to Marietta. How he managed to come to class on Friday I’m still not sure.

3.) Wednesday. With the snow mostly gone, many cars on the road abandoned, and gridlock still on the roadways, Wednesday was essentially a day for the government to catch up on clearing out the roads. With a State Of Emergency declared (and frankly, with traffic at an unprecedented dead stop) many schools simply did not open Wednesday, or Thursday. Temperatures remained below freezing the entire day. It should be noted that, while there were power outages, they were not widespread, and many areas still had all the basics.

4.) Thursday. Temps briefly passed freezing, and most of the city had gotten into a shelter. This was largely a wrap up for the city, but already people were looking for someone to blame. Invariably, the main two men taking the flak were Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and Atlanta Mayor Kasim (ka-seem) Reed. Now while there is a huge fight over it, I’m not going to wade into that. Both because it is largely irrelevant (there is no “one” party to blame for all this) and because it is at best a cover for the ignorance of everyone else.

5.) Samaritan. While the overall picture is bleak, there is one element I want to draw attention to for different reasons. The aftermath of the storm saw amazing gridlock, and a paralyzed city. At the same time, many who were not in the gridlock took it upon themselves to help those who were. In addition, as it was used in West, Texas, social media saw people coordinated efforts to help stranded motorists. At the apex of the storm, Home Depot announced plans to keep many of its stores open overnight in case people needed shelter. While the national media focuses on the politics and who is to blame, I prefer to focus on the people working to make the best of a horrid situation.

6.) Aftermath. I bring all this up to pose a number of questions. As I have said in the past, all major events have tactical value to the prepper or survivialist. That statement is no different here. What would you do in that situation? If you were one of the people stuck in traffic for twelve to eighteen hours, how would you manage that and would you eventually abandon the car? What about those around you? In my opinion, the purpose of prepping, the purpose of survivalism as a whole, is to rely on one’s self regardless of what happens and, as we saw all over Georgia, sometimes that also means rolling with the events, and helping others out in the process.

Brevity

Well, I had a few notes planned for this week…..then the week happened.

There is a story in the LA Times highlighting every school shooting/lockdown event this week, plus we have the mall shooting in Maryland.

So this week, we’re keeping it really brief. This week an emphasis on CCW on Campus, the FBI says AR-15s in schools are a solid idea, and a look back to the Arapahoe shooting. Thanks once again to Armed Novelist for helping out this week.

1.) CCW On Campus. The current gun bill in the Georgia Legislature does not have a provision for CCW on Campus. This does not mean that CCW On Campus won’t come up in a later bill. The demise of the CCW On Campus provision comes after an attempt to leave the decision to ALL university admins was potentially unconstitutional.

2.) ARs in Schools. Meanwhile, a report from the FBI seems to suggest that putting AR-15s in schools may be a better idea than many are wanting to admit. The report reads in part:

The data clearly support equipping officers with patrol rifles. Many ASE sites involve open spaces or long hallways that create engagement distances beyond the ability of most officers to effectively engage a suspect with a pistol. Add this to the possibility that the officers may have to place precision fire on a suspect while avoiding hitting fleeing or injured victims, and the need for patrol rifles is clear. Additionally, about a quarter of attackers are armed with rifles. Officers ought to have firepower at least equivalent to what they will face if they go in harm’s way.

So the FBI supports armed officers in schools with ARs, while the head of INTERPOL suggests an armed citizenry can prevent massive attacks. Alongside that and the PoliceOne survey, it’s doubtful we’ll be hearing much about how Law Enforcement “overwhelmingly” supports gun control.

3.) Arapahoe. As with most mass shootings, the warning signs were ignored at Arapahoe as well. A guard named Camerson Rust says that the administation there ignored multiple warnings about the shooters erratic behavior. Arapahoe, of course, was where the shooter was stopped by an armed guard. Not that anyone wants to discuss that….

4.) Preparation. How many people carry a knife and a gun with them? How many of you have been told “you’ll never need it.”

In talking to The Armed Novelist tonight, a story from 2012 about a man named Chris Willden came up.  Willden had come across a car that had slipped off of bridge, landing wheels-up in an icy river. Willden shot out the windows, and used a knife to cut away the seat belts. From The Truth About Guns:

He said the other two children were lifeless, the boy upside down in his car seat and the second girl floating in the front passenger compartment. Both were pulled from the vehicle.
Buzzy Mullahkel, of North Logan, told the Deseret News of Salt Lake City that the boy wasn’t breathing and didn’t have a pulse, but was revived when another passer-by performed CPR.
“Emotions started taking over when he started to breathe. Everybody started to cheer. Lots of tears and clapping,” said Mullahkel, a father of a 4-year-old.

Guns, ladies and gentlemen, are tools. Nothing more, nothing less.