Primer

This week, a bit of housekeeping after last week’s massive update (and the reaction to it), and then a handful of stories to wrap up Breaking Point and prepare for Blowback.

1.) Programming Notes. Breaking Point ended up on the pages of LGBT for Gun Rights and Open Carry Texas. It is always an honor when a group decides to feature the Run in any capacity.

To any new people, welcome to the Run. While normally a weekly rundown of news updated every Saturday night, we do have some specials in the offing throughout July. From a discussion on the history of the Flag, the history of the Second Amendment, and a brief detour into first aid and survivalism set up throughout July. Additionally, while the Run will update on July 2nd as scheduled, it will update again on July 3rd for the annual Blowback Fourth-Of-July special, but not that Saturday.

The Run is updated every week with two in-stone exceptions: the week of Thanksgiving, and the week before and of Christmas.

That aside, we have three stories to cover this week. Tonight, the Dems resort to political theater, Trump and Carson seem to waver on gun control, and Charles Rangel validates every self-defense advocate’s belief that gun control is founded on elitism.

1.) Sit-in. Four amendments for gun control failed in the Senate this week. The amendments ranged from universal background checks to a ban on people on watchlists owning guns (because who needs due process.) The sit-in was broadcast on C-SPAN by way of Periscope and other social media feeds Democrats were using (which almost immediately led to accusations of bias from conservatives for some bizarre reason). Erick Erickson’s The Resurgent posted one of the most direct criticisms of the event, noting that Democrats were essentially asking for us to give up our rights to due process (among others) to be safe from terrorism. In other words, giving the terrorists exactly what they want. Gun Owners of America called it “petulant,” and that the participants were “reliving college.”

But perhaps the most interesting part of what was blatantly an anti-rights protest was that its leader, Georgia Democrat John Lewis, is legendary for his support of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.

2.) Mixed signals. GOP frontrunner Donald Trump and one of his biggest supporters, Ben Carson, joined the NRA in sending out as many mixed signals as possible on the subject of gun control. Trump had previously said that he supported banning people on the terror watchlist. He has somewhat pulled back from that, acknowledging that a ton of people on the list shouldn’t be there. The NRA has disagreed with Trump, although their main lobbyist Chris Cox has said that they do not differ with Trump on the subject. Both Cox and NRA Exec. Vice President Wayne LaPierre said that it would be better to not have people armed in bars, although Wayne was forced to clarify the matter.

Trump then released a statement saying that his position was formed in conjunction with the NRA.

Everyone is pretty much talking past each other. Whatever does come out of that that’s assuming that either of them can maintain their position on firearms for longer than a few months.

Also of note is Ben Carson’s discussion about putting the Second Amendment “on the table.” That went about as well as you would expect it too considering Carson’s past comments on guns.

3.) Rangel. New York Democrat Charles Rangel apparently has no problem taking away the rights of citizens to own guns, but he says he deserves armed protection.

There is really not much else that can be said there. The candor is appreciated. The elitism is not.

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

Breaking Point

Following the attacks in Orlando, and because it has become the deadliest mass shooting in US history, there has been a deluge of information and (naturally) political posturing since we last met. This week, we start with a brief rundown of the attacks, then move to how gun controllers are hoping to reignite their agenda. We will move on to self-defense advocates looking to help defend those in the LGBT community and the other efforts to preserve the right to self-defense after this latest attack.

We will wrap with a look at whether gun control can survive in the present environment politically, and what lessons can be learned from the attacks.

Incidentally, before we go any further, a brief word about editorial here. We do not name mass shooters. They are not worth the time, and it is pointless to give them the infamy they crave. Throughout the Midnight Run’s Tactical Review series, the goal has been not to give the attacker(s) infamy or make them seem like monolithic masterminds, but rather to take their acts and use them only to further learn how to defend against future attacks. It is oddly satisfying to take a shooter who wanted to make history, and wanted his name to be known….only to reduce him to a clinical profile on how to stop future murderers.

I can’t control whether the news sources linked to name the shooter, but around here, the shooter only serves as an example, not as a major figure.

What follows is the result of near-constant feedback and links from the InSov team over the last week and my own work. I can not and will not take full credit for this week’s discussion, as it would not be nearly as large (or frankly, as good) without their feedback.

1.) Baseline. At 2:00 AM Eastern on June 12, a man walked into Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The man killed 49 and injured 53. Further investigation revealed that he had pledged allegiance to ISIS, which itself would later claim responsibility for the shooting. It is being investigated as an act of terrorism for this reason, although there is as yet no direct evidence that the shooter was part of ISIS.

The shooter was background checked to the hilt prior to the shooting, holding both a Florida concealed carry license and a Private Security Officer license (in other words he was background checked twice before he even had a gun). The FBI had interviewed him in the past, but could find no reason to press charges.

2.) Anti-gun. Despite this, for some unknown reason, gun control advocates have reheated calls for background checks. That is the almost mechanical reaction at this point. What is more concerning however, is the idea of banning people added to a controversial “terror watch list” that both has no public criteria and no recourse for someone who is on the list to prove they don’t belong there. In other words, banning someone from owning guns without due process of law.

On MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) essentially complained that such gun control was, as Mediaite explains, difficult because of “constitutional protections against depriving citizens of their rights without due process of the law.”

In other words, they can’t pass gun control because of the 4th and 5th Amendments standing in their way.

In the interest of balance, it’s worth noting that the GOP frontrunner, Donald Trump, is also in support of this measure despite its blatant unconstitutionality. He even wanted to meet with the NRA, who had endorsed him, to get them to follow suit. The NRA has said that they favor due process for American citizens and that their position had not changed.

Democratic Presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton has proposed a revival of the Assault Weapons Ban from her husband’s administration, as well. (Trump did support an AWB back in 2000, but has since disavowed the idea as ineffective. Statistically, he is correct.)

Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) has taken the anti-hate crime angle, proposing a ban on people convicted of misdemeanor hate crimes from owning firearms.

Representative Shelia Jackson-Lee (D-TX) has proposed background checks on “high-capacity” magazines and “assault rifles.” The term “semi-automatic assault weapon” has seen a revival, although nobody seems able to define what that actually is. There have also been calls for banning the AR-15, although that doesn’t seem to be getting anywhere, either.

3.) Pro-gunners. The reason gun control legislation faces such an uphill fight is due in large part to the active resistance those efforts have been facing in recent years from an ever expanding self-defense movement. Of particular note in this instance, of course, are two pro-gun groups focused on the LGBT community, namely Pink Pistols (easily the most well-known such group, who also released a statement on the matter), and the Facebook page LGBT for Gun Rights. Both groups have argued that LGBT people need to carry a firearm for personal protection, and should have the right to do so if they choose. This response to and by LGBT people has shown up in West Hollywood, with rainbow signs carrying the hashtag “#shootback” popping up throughout the city.

In Texas, CJ Grisham’s group, Open Carry Texas, has offered to provide an armed escort “for any event, rally, or large outing in which people within the LGBT community need or want some peace of mind.” Texas’ Attorney General, Ken Paxton, told The Glenn Beck Program that Texas would go to court over any legislation they saw as infringing on the rights of Texans to defend themselves.

In Missouri, Bates County Sheriff Chad Anderson announced that he is waiving CCW license fees for the rest of June in response to the Orlando shooting.

But, at least in my opinion, two of the best responses to the shooting have come from NRANews contributors Colion Noir, and Dom Raso. On his personal YouTube, Noir delivered a blazing monologue on the tendency of gun control advocates (or “gun safety advocates” as they suddenly call themselves) to exploit tragedy for the purposes of advancing their agenda rather than supporting people’s ability to protect themselves and their families.

Former Navy SEAL Dom Raso, on the other hand, zeroes in on the obsession over the AR-15, and draws from his own experience to explain why the rifle is an excellent tool for home defense, and how its critics simply do not understand its purpose or even how it functions.

On the slightly more humorous side of things (though, frankly, the ultimate evidence of Raso’s monologue), is a New York Daily News article about a reporter, Gene Kuntzman, who apparently was neither ready for nor aware of what occurs when an AR is fired. His article has become the (rifle) butt of many jokes for its hyper-dramatic (and stunningly ignorant) interpretation of what happens when an AR-15 is fired. From the AR apparently bruising the reporter’s shoulder (despite the AR having almost no recoil to speak of), to the follow-up from the author on whether a handgun could carry a nuke, both articles have become case studies in the gun control movement’s over-reliance on drama.

4.) Bottom Line. Regardless of anti-gun efforts, there is almost no chance of gun control succeeding in the present environment. The current proposals by anti-gun Democrats in Congress are so bad progressive outlets like Mother Jones can’t stand them. Additionally, CCW permits have surged over the last few years, and NICS checks consistently set records, indicating a very healthy market for firearms. Stand Your Ground laws have expanded across the country as well, as self-defense becomes more accepted as a natural right (and a responsibility).

Additionally, I would note to you that when we meet on July 2nd, Georgia’s HB60 will have turned two years old. This is despite the promises of the end times we had to deal with when it was first passed.

Reuters has noted that there is “scant hope” for any real “reform” from Congress, as well.

The simple reality is that the anti-gun movement is now based purely on emotion, and its main advocates seem to be willing to play that last card to the hilt, as we saw with the 14-hour filibuster.

But gun control cannot stand on any other level. It certainly cannot fight terror. (Fighting is the antithesis of gun control, which is based entirely on disarmament and defenselessness.) It certainly cannot provide reasonable solutions for a person’s own defense, and it most definitely cannot, therefore, provide reasonable solutions for defending the rights of others.

What is most shocking here is the desperation with which the anti-gun talking points have been paraded. This is the movement’s attempt at another Newtown. They want to reignite what they had hoped would be enough emotion and fear to make just about any gun control legislation sail through after the tragedy in Orlando.

That isn’t happening, and with naked attacks on the 2nd, 4th, and 5th Amendments as the main focus of this new effort, their actual motives could not possibly have been more clear.

Gun control isn’t going anywhere, the right to self-defense is expanding everywhere.

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

Programming Notes: Reboot

Long-time readers know how things work around here in mid-June, early July. We prepare to celebrate the Fourth. This year, the Run will use the Fourth as the checkpoint for the country it always has been, and the re-calibration it needs to be.

This week saw a meeting between all of the InSov crew and I have walked away from it with a ton of material for Blowback and the rest of the July. With that in mind, this week we put the news on hold to discuss the immediate future of the Midnight Run.

1.) Blowback. Blowback will mark a return to form for the annual broadcast. This year, a brass-tacks discussion on the history of our nation. Specifically, the Flag of the United States. Its history, what it represented then and represents now, and yes, how to hang it properly. The rationale for this topic as Blowback is threefold. Firstly, there is simply no way to look at the current election cycle positively, even polls have repeatedly suggested that this year’s “choices” have the highest negatives in history. Secondly, the Flag has an obvious (yet barely known) historical significance.

But most importantly, going into the history of the Flag allows us to bring Blowback back to the Revolutionary Era. It allows us a way to get back to the ideals of the era, and sets the backdrop for the rest of the month.

2.) Second Amendment. The Second Amendment to the Constitution is not complicated. It can be easily broken down grammatically, it states its reasoning first and its intent second, and we have a ton of info from the authors to back up its stated intent.

And yet we have managed to make reading twenty-seven very specific words almost impossible. After Blowback, we remain in the Revolutionary Era, and get back to basics on the Second Amendment. The original “militia,” the motivations behind the Amendment, and how the Amendment breaks down grammatically. We look at recent rulings, including the landmark Heller case.

But we can’t discuss the history of the Second Amendment, and its motivations, without getting into tactics. On a macro level, we’ll get into asymmetric warfare (“well how can a tank be beaten by a rifle”? Quite easily if you do it right.). On a micro level, we go back to the tactics of self-defense.

3.) First Aid/Survivalism. No, the Midnight Run is not going to try to sell you gold. We’re not here to insult your intelligence with “it has never been worth zero” or any of that other garbage that was used to get people to buy gold at record prices. (Because why wouldn’t you buy stuff at its most expensive?)

No, here we shift from self-defense to self-reliance. Basic first aid, trauma, where to learn the skills, etc. will all be covered.

Basic skills, like swimming and how to treat even minor wounds in the field have become stunningly rare. (A recent Red Cross survey showed that half of all Americans literally cannot swim to save their lives. Adult Americans, folks. If they can’t swim well enough to save their own lives, logic says they won’t be able to save someone else’s.) What is tragic (aside from the obvious inability of most Americans to save their own lives or the lives of others) is that learning the skills necessary to step up in a disaster or when someone is injured is incredibly easy. In short, we will discuss the skills themselves and where to learn them. We will discuss specialized training as well.

July will be a big month for the Midnight Run. If major news breaks it will be covered briefly before the meat of the Run gets underway.

But, on occasion, it is good to stop discussing the news, and focus on why you follow it. We follow the news to be aware of intrusions on our right to defend ourselves and rely on ourselves. We aim to be able to help ourselves, but also to help and defend others in the same way, and being informed of what is going on around us forms a rock-solid foundation to build upon.

Stated another way….

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

Under The Gun

Katie Couric’s creatively edited documentary on gun laws violated about four of them, a look at crime during the NRA Convention, and an op-ed calling for people to calm down about suppressors. Plus, could California gun owners actually be winning the fight in their state?

1.) Under The Gun. The anti-gun “documentary” famous for creative (read: slanderous) editing of the Virginia Citizens Defense League is now taking heat for breaking at least four federal gun laws in their zeal to prove why we need more gun laws. The documentary crew apparently broke federal gun laws at least four times.

This is a clear sign of the desperation of the gun control movement at this point. (We’ll discuss other desperate measures from gun control later tonight.)

This latest revelation has led to the National Shooting Sports Foundation to call for an ATF investigation into the movie.

2.) Crime around the Convention. GunFreeZone.Net (which, to be clear, is anything but anti-gun) did an experiment for the Convention that showed some fairly interesting results. The duo behind the blog looked at crime heatmaps for the weeks before, during, and after the convention. The maps showed that crime cratered around the convention sites during the event. It’s also worth noting that, despite the staggering number of guns and gun owners in such a concentrated space, homicides around the area were nowhere to be seen.

3.) Suppressors. Why is an object that is now standard on cars such a pain to get for firearms? The Los Angeles Times has a great piece on the purpose and the history of the “gun muffler”, as it was known; what we now call the suppressor. The op-ed makes a fantastic case for deregulating suppressors, and in particular looks at the difference between how movies portray them and how science makes that portrayal impossible in the real world.

4.) Illinois. Attempts to make life even more miserable for gun dealers in Illinois failed in the state House this week. The bill would have required FFLs, who are already licensed with the Federal government (hence “Federal Firearms License” remarkably enough) to also be registered with the state.

5.) California. Finally this week, an interesting op-ed in Ammoland. Put simply, what are the odds California gun owners are winning? It says in part:

The machine Democrats are even whispering that once Gavin is defeated, they will soften their gun bills and make them less unconstitutional.

So, why are we winning?

Consider this; this whole farce is happening because CA gun owners are now powerful enough, numerous enough and organized enough to have defeated Newsom’s initiative. We held enough sway that there were Democrats willing to OPENLY oppose a gun control initiative to beat another Democrat in an election.

The whole piece paints a very good picture for gun rights in one of the most anti-gun states in the nation.

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.