System Update 3

Updating a ton of Midnight Run’s this week. An update on campus carry, Louisiana’s government tries to make a “decent human” permit, and New Jersey could go “shall issue” as Christie hardens his position against his state’s Legislature.

1.) Dildos. Yes. Dildos. Stay with me.

Down in Texas, this fall sees the first academic year where public colleges allow for carrying firearms concealed. Anti-gun groups, known for their obsession with sex organs, responded by modifying the famous Open Holster Protests by putting dildos in the holsters instead. This has led to some….interesting protests around the campus. It was meant to criticize the idea of campus carry, but the Texas division of Students for Concealed Carry decided to take a very different tact.

Focusing on claims that allowing campus carry would stifle freedom of expression, SCC put out a press release embracing the so-called “cocks not Glocks” event. It reads in part:

In keeping with the organization’s long-held position that individuals should enjoy the same rights on college campuses as virtually everywhere else, Students for Concealed Carry fully endorses the burgeoning movement (https://is.gd/BMuFdZ) of Texas college students who wish to openly carry oversized dildos on campus.

It’s also probably the first time SCC has come even close to a sexual innuendo. The organization notes that using the dildo as a club is a felony under Texas law, but students would be on “pretty solid legal ground as long as they use their dildos only as expressions of free speech or for the manufacturers’ intended purpose.”

2.) Cajun Navy. What do you do when your citizens band together to form their own grassroots “navy” to help people stranded in floodwaters?

If you’re the government of Louisiana, you devise a ridiculous permit system that Good Samaritans have to sign up for next time it floods.

WWL, the CBS affiliate in New Orleans, phrases it like this:

Some of these citizen heroes, a loosely-organized group called the ‘Cajun Navy,’ gained national attention for their rescue efforts last week, but that attention is nowhere near the pushback surrounding a lawmaker’s proposal to require permits for citizen rescue groups.

Incidentally, I’d like to remind readers to get a weather radio (preferably one that is Public Alert certified) and a First Aid Kit.

3.) Christie. Chris Christie has started calling for NJ to go “shall issue,” saying he is growing tired of “the relentless campaign by the Democratic legislature to make New Jersey as inhospitable as possible to lawful gun ownership and sales. Instead of remaining an outlier with overly burdensome restrictions of questionable constitutionality, New Jersey should follow the lead of the vast majority of states across the country and simplify, not complicate the ability of responsible citizens, dealers and retailers, to buy, sell and possess firearms as protected by the Second Amendment.”‎

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

Bayou

Putting the gun news on hold to do some work on the Louisiana floods. This week, the latest on recovery efforts as waters finally receed, the political fallout, and how private companies are stepping up to help those displaced.

1.) Baseline. Roughly 13 people are dead after record flooding in Louisiana. Upwards of 30,000 people have been displaced and at least 40,000 homes have suffered considerable damage as well. About 1,000 pets have also been rescued as well.

In its most recent blog update, FEMA discussed the nearly 3,800 National Guard members in the area.

2.) Politics. As with Hurricane Katrina, there is a political element to it. Most notably accusations of media bias, as shown in a FOX News article entitled “Media that ripped Bush on Katrina ignores Obama on La. flooding.” President Obama has come under increasing pressure to visit the area, and the White House said late this week that he would be touring the flood zone this coming Tuesday.

GOP Presidential Candidate Donald Trump, on the other hand, has already been in the flood zone in what supporters are calling, among other things, a “brilliant maneuver perfectly timed to complement his campaign revamp.” Critics are not so pleased, noting the Governor’s request that Obama and other figures whose visit would need a massive security detail hold off a week or two before visiting.

3.) Stepping up. Airbnb, a service which allows people to rent out portions of their homes to others, is putting a fair amount of effort into doing their part to help those displaced. The company has set up a page for those in the area to either offer a place to stay, and connecting them with those who lost their homes in the flooding. The company is waiving all fees normally associated with transactions on the site from August 14 to September 6.

4.) Final notes. Over on InSov, Nomad has posted a ton of ways you can help with the relief efforts.

While disaster relief as a whole was beyond the scope of the piece, I would suggest reviewing the topics we discussed back in “Lethal Ignorance.” Get a weather radio, preferably one that supports the National Weather Service’s Specific Area Message Encoding system. Analyze what the big weather threats in your area are (hurricanes in the southeast, massive snowstorms in the northeast, etc.), and equip yourself with the tools you need to stay ahead of them and sustain yourself through them.

Nothing good ever came out of “it can’t happen here.” Find what you need to have, do, and know in case it does.

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

Thrasher and Rhode

The first Olympic Medal for the US comes from an air rifle shooter, the first woman to medal in six straight Olympics is also a shooter, and why businesses want nothing to do with either of them. Great performances in Rio, but we really need to deal with the stigma of guns.

1.) Thrasher. First off, how cool is it that the first US gold medal is from a shooter with the last name “Thrasher”? Anyway, Ms. Thrasher took gold in the 10 meter air rifle event. Naturally, this has invited a ton of mockery from the perpetually angry anti-gun types in the country.

For her part, Thrasher (and her competitors), have been slightly irritated in how even Olympic sport is politicized if it involves firearms.

2.) Rhode. Normally, you’d think people would absolutely love when a woman competitor sets a record. Apparently that isn’t the case given the staggering lack of coverage of skeet shooter Kim Rhode, who became the first woman in any nation to earn a medal in six straight Olympic Games. (In other words, she has won in Rio this year, London in 2012, Beijing in 2008, Athens in 2004, Sydney in 2000, and of course Atlanta in 1996.)

Six games, meaning she has been at this for over 24 years and has medaled each time she has competed in the Games. That is a massive achievement, but doesn’t seem to be getting nearly as much coverage.

And it’s also not getting much in the way of corporate attention.

3.) Business. Put bluntly, the stigma the media and others have attached to firearms is making it difficult for Olympic shooters to get endorsements from outside of the firearms industry. If there is one upshot to that, it’s this from Bloomberg News:

“You talk about rifles and pistols and people are afraid, especially in Europe with the recent terrorism,’’ said Luciano Rossi, an Italian senator who is also president of the country’s shooting federation, and also vice-president of the international shooting federation. “We must offer a new image of our sport. If the spectators know our sport, they understand and love us, and if they love us, the sponsors come.’’

Considering the recent spike in people (particularly women) in this country getting into either the shooting sports or getting their CCW permits, we are seeing a change in how people (in this country , at least) perceive guns. As that fear dissipates, the environment may get easier for those competitors.

Until then, the very least we can do is recognize these Olympians for their historic achievements and the amount of work it took to get there.

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

Grab Bag: August 2016

An update on Midnight Run: Lethal Ignorance, an anti-gun pastor runs afoul of anti-gun laws, and can weed manage the symptoms of PTSD. A wide-ranging grab bag this month as we head into the post-convention phase of the elections.

1.) Good Samaritans. A new law in Ohio would protect people who rescue kids and pets trapped in hot cars. It’s an expansion of the usual “Good Samaritan” laws that focus on rendering aid to people.

It’s kind of sad that laws are needed to protect people trying to do the right thing from legal retaliation, but such is the world we live in.

2.) Anti-gun irony. In what is seeming to be a strange trend post-Couric “documentary,” an anti-gun pastor trying to raffle off an AR-15 with the purpose of destroying it, transferred it to a friend in such a way that Oregon laws do not allow. To top it off, the pastor is a law school graduate.

There is a comedy to anti-gun types being snared by laws they supported. We saw it with Couric, and now we have this.

3.) PTSD. I’m not here to beat you over the head with statistics on veteran suicide. Derek Weida had a fantastic video on that a while back.

No, I’m actually more interested in a study that looks to at least partially treat PTSD, and possibly bring down suicides in the process. A new study involving two separate research teams is looking for veteran volunteers to see if marijuanna can blunt the impact of combat-related PTSD. The researchers are adamant that they are looking for symptom management and aren’t about to start on if weed can cure the effects of PTSD.

It’s worth looking into, though results from the study aren’t expected for another two years.

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.