Grab Bag: November 2015

The big late-breaking news this week is a shooting in Colorado Springs but, frankly, I don’t have enough information on it to do a Tactical Review segment on it and, barring that, I don’t feel there is much the Run can contribute to the discussion on that shooting.

It is also Halloween 2015, which will be marked in history by something that I never thought we’d see: a near-constant discussion and, in some cases mockery, of the outrage culture taking aim at Halloween because that’s what humorless SJWs do with their otherwise empty lives.

Anyway, this week we have a lot of anti-gun regulations, we have an anti-gun advocate threatening to seriously injure a pro-gunner, and going back to going after Armslist.

1.) “Safety For All.” In California we have the “Safety For All Act.” The Firearms Policy Coalition has a great rundown:

Instituting a total, confiscatory ban on the possession of “large-capacity magazines” – even legally-owned “grandfathered” magazines and those that are possessed by active and retired law enforcement officers;

Adding severe and expensive new restrictions on ammunition purchases, including a mandatory DOJ ammunition purchase permit for anyone who wants to buy ammunition, a ban on private ammunition sales, and a gun owner database of ammunition purchasers;

A ban on the private purchase and importation of ammunition from out-of-state retailers;

Requiring all ammunition sellers to acquire a special DOJ ammunition sales permit and to have every employee that handles or sells ammunition to have a DOJ-issued Certificate of Eligibility;

A $25 Million theft of fees paid by gun owners to fund the new DOJ ammunition program;

And other gun control regulations that have already failed passage in the Legislature or were vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown.

Don’t ask how they’ll enforce a ban on private sales nobody actually knows about. It’s not worth asking how this will actually lead to “safety for all.”

2.) Philly: A Philadelphia Dem has introduced a bill that would mandate a permit to purchase a handgun. (As in a permit separate from a carry permit. This is merely to purchase the gun in the first place. The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Art Haywood, issued the following statement:

“No statement in the 2nd Amendment is related to individual self-defense, but is instead related to collective security in the form of militas. At the time the 2nd amendment was written, the primary collective security concerns were slave insurrections and attacks by Native Americans.”

Of course, “militia” meant “the whole of the people” and, regardless, the militia was mentioned in the prefatory (aka non-binding) clause of the Amendment. The bill has almost no chance of surviving the GOP-controlled Legislature, and SCOTUS would take it out under all three Heller cases. It’s also worth noting that all this ultimately does is require a second license to exercise one’s right.

3.) Anti-gun….violence. Andy Parker, the father of WDBJ reporter Allison Parker has dedicated his life to anti-gun legislation. He has a reputation for heckling pro-gun State Senator William M. Stanley. In a recent discussion, Parker wrote one comment that read “I’m going to be your worst nightmare you little bastard,” following that up with “When you see me again, you best walk the other way lest I beat your little ass with my bare hands.”

This ended up getting the police involved, but anti-gun groups are strangely critical of the pro-gun Senator for getting the police involved and getting a permit shortly after the regular threats.

4.) Armslist. After the attempt to bring down Armslist backfired, anti-gun groups moved to Lucky Gunner. That backfired famously, and now officials in New York are now going after Armslist once again. This time it is to see if Armslist is helping people skirt Federal, State, and local laws. This was essentially the premise of the dismissed Brady Camp lawsuit.

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

Silence

Let’s talk suppressors. Their purpose, their legality, and the backing of the most schizophrenic gun rights organization on Earth; the NRA.

1.) Why? Let’s get one thing out straight away: suppressors are also called silencers, which is weird because physics doesn’t allow for an explosion to be silenced. At best we’re talking a 20-30db reduction in noise, but that’s just enough to prevent serious hearing damage and bring a gunshot’s report under OSHA standards.

2.) Legality. Of course, surpressors are also a safety device that the government makes you bend over backwards to get. As SilencerCo has shown through it’s extremely effective silencers are legal campaign, it generally involves going through things that most other safety devices would never have attached to them. For example, you need to be fingerprinted, get a signature from the head LEO in your county (who can deny it for any reason or for no reason), and cut a $200 check to the ATF. (Again, this is for a tube.) The $200 check is based on what it originally cost when the National Firearms Act was introduced. It was basically a 1000% increase on what it actually cost originally.

3.) Legalization. This week’s big news was the introduction of a bill to remove suppressors from the NFA items. This would mean that suppressors would be subject to the same buying process as buying a handgun. (In other words, background check.) Realistically, the bill would almost certainly be vetoed by President Obama and faces a tough ride in the Senate. Anti-gunners have already lined up against it, largely resting on the public’s ignorance of suppressors and their “knowledge” of suppressors by way of movies.

4.) The NRA. Seemingly shifting policies by the day (recall their strange and constantly-changing stance on open carry), the National Rifle Association has backed the bill. It’s not like they had a choice, frankly, both considering the rather inconvenient fact that the NRA originally supported the bill and that there was absolutely no reason for suppressors to be on it.

At best the bill faces an uphill fight. But it’s good to see the NFA be taken apart piece by piece. (Besides which, as Andrew Branca likes to note, virtually every gun control law is unconstitutional on its face.

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

Confiscate

Hillary Clinton admits that gun confiscation is an option, the NRA cheers an anti-gun governor, and a discussion on whether gun control laws are Constitutional at all.

Truthfully, there isn’t much major to cover. Also, as we enter the holiday season, I should note that the Run takes a break the weeks of Thanksgiving and Christmas.

1.) Australia. It’s always nice to see candor from anti-gun advocates at times. RedState has a piece out about Hillary Clinton entertaining the idea of a gun buyback program similar to what happened in Australia.

In other words, mandatory gun buybacks AKA de facto confiscation.

But at least she is honest about “not coming for your guns” being a complete lie. It’s something to think about when people discuss dealing with “gun violence” incrementally.

2.) Virginia. Virginia’s governor took matters into his own hands by enacting gun control through executive order. The EO will, among other things, ban guns from state government buildings.

The NRA has praised the EO, which was itself immediately criticized by CJ Grisham of Open Carry Texas on his personal Instagram account. CJ has always seen the NRA has an organization that claims to be pro-gun but ends up obstructing a lot of pro-gun legislation.

3.) Constitutional. ShallNot.org has placed itself firmly in absolutist territory. The group stated this week, with help from the Tenth Amendment Center, that all gun laws are unconstitutional.

(Note that I am not using “absolutist” in a negative way. It is very good to see people interested in the original meaning of the Second Amendment.)

4.) Carry. Maine has now become a bit of a Constitutional Carry state. A law allowing those otherwise able to own a firearm to carry concealed without a permit has gone into effect. Constitutional Carry has seen impressive progress as of late, and is the ultimate goal of organizations like Open Carry Texas. Georgia Gun Owners also has it as a goal, but they have done themselves no favors with recent stunts at the RedState gathering and hyperbolic emails.

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

Grab Bag: October 2015

Too much time being laser focused on one subject. I’m relaxing this week. Guns, hypersensitivity, and fear are the main topics.

1.) Florida. The Florida state Senate’s Criminal Justice Committee approved a bill allowing for concealed carry on college campuses. It still has about 2 other committees to go through before getting anywhere near the full Senate.

Anti-gun groups criticized the bill promising (sing it with me) blood in the streets, blood and alcohol in the streets, and both more frequently.

Not that we expected anything else.

2.) Offensive. Ever notice how everything is offensive now? Humor that is, in any way, possibly offensive is a great way to rain down the social media justice mob on you.

Hypersensitivity is a virtue. Ruining careers for perceived slights is expected. It’s a culture where victimhood is a strength.

National Review has a fantastic piece out on how the victim culture is damaging us as a culture. We discussed some of this during Blowback, so it warrants a place here.

3.) Fear. Anti-gunners traffick in fear. Their policies are, by their own admission, only palatable after a high-profile shooting.

Many supporters of the surveillance state are the same way. After a major attack, they are the first to promote an ugly policy, which is predicated solely on its supposed ability to prevent the attack from repeating.

CityLab argues what should be obvious. Fear, as we’ve discussed in the Tactical Reviews, isn’t helpful. But even worse, it prevents rationally discussing what a problem is and how to solve it.

4.) Intent. That being said, we have seen anti-gun groups be more honest about their intentions. Vox has actively considered the concept of a gun-free country.

In other words, they intend to exploit that fear to the fullest extent possible, for a motive that has nothing to do with genuine safety.

While the honesty is appreciated, recent trends in favor of gun rights, and gun control’s inherent illogicallity show it may have been better for them to continue to lie.

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

Tactical Review: Contrast

There are only two ways to respond to a mass shooting. You can either be a reactionary/emotionally-driven person or analytical/tactical. The reactionary will do things ranging from hashtag campaigns to calls for yet more laws (which future mass murdering freaks will swiftly break).

The tactically-minded will analyze the event, acknowledging that laws didn’t stop the actor and that there was little to no physical security. He will look into what motivated the shooter, how he acquired his tools and what (if any) push back he saw. Above all, the tactically-minded will propose solutions well beyond hoping the murderer will obey brand new laws.

In short, the emotional will propose new laws, and the tactically-minded will prepare for when those laws inevitably fail.

(Incidentally, before we go anywhere: Not supporting useless laws is not the same as supporting the abolition of all laws. We have laws to punish murder, not tell ourselves law can prevent murder. Law. Can’t. Prevent.)

We have gone over the tactical profile of high-profile shootings in the past in Newtonian, Radicalized, and Broadcast. This week, we are doing things a little differently. We will still profile the shooting, of course, but it is also worthwhile to look at the incredible deflections we’re seeing in the media, as facts about race and religion that had previously resulted in wall-to-wall coverage suddenly don’t seem all that worth discussing in this case. Additionally, the media seems more intent on digging through Sheriff John Hanlin’s past than focusing on what actually happened.

As with previous Tactical Reviews, leave your emotions at the door. Outrage has no place here. This week, we focus on the shooting in Roseburg, Oregon.

1.) Targeting. The basics discussed in Newtownian still apply. A man presented a ton of force, was presented with almost no force (barring a single unarmed officer), and proceed to murder people uninterrupted because nobody was able to defend themselves. The shooter did not appear to have a grudge against the school specifically, in fact most accounts place his motive as a mix of hate and borderline nihilism. He was, by all accounts, an extremely angry and depressed man.

His online postings also suggest that he was interested in the actions of mass shooters and looked to get the same kind of fame they did.

In one post on the blog about Vester Flanagan, the man who killed the reporter and cameraman in Virginia, Mercer apparently wrote, “I have noticed that so many people like [Flanagan] are alone and unknown, yet when they spill a little blood, the whole world knows who they are. A man who was known by no one, is now known by everyone. His face splashed across every screen, his name across the lips of every person on the planet, all in the course of one day. Seems like the more people you kill, the more you’re in the limelight.”

Incidentally, this is why we don’t name mass shooters around here. Let them burn in obscurity, good only for examining how to defeat future mass shooters.

2.) Control. One of the primary motives for a mass shooter to select defenseless targets is that they have complete control of a building almost the instant they enter it. Nobody can stop them, nobody can really stand up to them. They are in control of everything, including when it starts and when it ends. (The carnage usually ends, as it did in this case, when the shooter kills himself. Usually this happens when the police arrive. Also known as when overwhelming opposing force presents itself.)

This shooter’s own writings suggested that he saw himself at the bottom of the totem pole. For a few minutes, he had total control of the building.

3.) Media. Despite all that, barely anyone is looking at the lack of security, or that all of the guns were purchased legally in a state with Universal Background Checks.

No, the focus seems to be on the county sheriff. Specifically his posting of a Sandy Hook conspiracy video and his staunch belief that gun control was useless. (The latter would later see support from two other extremely blunt sheriffs, Polk County, Florida’s Grady Judd and Milwaulkee Wisconsin’s David Clarke. The latter of whom called for the abolition of gun-free schools

But there are two other things that seem to suggest a bias in the majority of the media coverage. RedState has a great piece out entitled “The Shooter Targeted Christians. But How Did He Get His Guns?” (For the record, every last one of the guns authorities linked to him was confirmed to have been bought legally.)

The other part worth noting is a mass killing in China where over 50 are dead and 50 others injured. Although mass stabbings are “not uncommon in such places as China,”
as Politifact learned after the Charleston shooting looking into Obama’s statement that “This type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency.” Apparently, it most certainly does.

Mass stabbings. Again, anything can be a weapon, and anything can be lethal. We’ve discussed that in the past as well.

4.) Prevention. The only prevention of violence is physical deterrent. A person willing to murder is not impacted by its illegality. A person willing to murder who has also factored in his own suicide is most definitely not concerned with it, since all punishments are ex post facto (unless we punish someone for what they “might” do) and therefore don’t bother a man who is going to kill himself after the attack.

Even if a physical deterrent fails to deter an attack, deterrent can easily switch to defense and begin responding to an actor almost immediately. Proposing laws to stop people intent on first-degree murder is illogical. It feels good because it’s “doing something” regardless of whether that “something” has any real impact.

Virtually every high-profile shooting centers around three things: they all have a motive, they all had a plan, and every firearm involved was legal.

None of them are senseless, none of them are random, and none of them cared too much about the illegality of their actions. If we truly intend to defend against attackers, we need to do a fair bit more than wave heavier stacks of paper in their face, and work to actively deter an attacker.

Deter the attacker, and if that fails make his life hell.

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.