NRA Warmup

The NRA is next weekend. We have news from the lead-up to the Convention, and yet more violence in Chicago.

1.) Speakers. Owing both to his pro-gun platform and the convention being across the street from CNN, Donald Trump will address the NRA Annual Meeting at the Georgia World Congress Center this weekend. Other speakers confirmed to speak include Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Florida Governor Rick Scott, and Georgia Senator David Perdue. Remarkably, despite the recent discussions in the State Legislature, Senator Perdue is the only Georgian confirmed to speak.

2.) Everytown. To the shock of pretty much nobody, Moms Demand Action will be having a protest of some kind outside of the NRA convention. Not much more to say there, so let’s move on.

3.) Suppressors. The NRA is likely to make another push for the Hearing Protection Act at the Meetings. Last week, they highlighted a study showing that a lot of people who have used firearms (for some reason) never used hearing protection. Guns.com reports:

“The results of the study, and the drawbacks of some widely-used hearing protection options, show the importance of increasing access to firearm suppressors,” said the NRA’s release. “While ear plugs and ear muffs are important tools in this battle against hearing loss, expanding access to suppressors will increase the safety options for shooters reluctant to employ other methods of hearing protection.”

There has been very little progress on the bill in either the House or the Senate. The NRA seems intent on changing that.

4.) Chicago. 28 people. Shot in 18 hours. There is a reason that most of last year’s murder rate increase is due largely to a handful of cities, and is not a national trend.

Chicago continues to be the main force behind the murder increase. Which is interesting considering how difficult it is to get guns there.

5.) Alabama. The Senate in Alabama has gotten the state much closer to becoming the latest Constitutional Carry state. It passed 26-8. The bill goes to the House, and if it passes there it goes to the desk of a Governor who has been supportive of the legislation.

NRA next. Protests, speeches, and more in a city short one interstate.

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

Motives

Three separate groups take responsibility for the same attack, Florida takes another crack at expanding the Stand Your Ground law there, and a PSA regarding technology and a recent data drop are the highlights this week.

1.) Dortmund. No fewer than three organizations are trying to claim responsibility for the Borussia Dortmund bus blast in Germany. According to Sky News, a a far-right group is trying to take responsibility. This is in addition to the possibility of Islamic extremists, and a left-wing group apparently looking to do the same. This raises a multitude of strange possibilities, ranging from all three having some hand in it, to all three just wanting to claim credit.

Of course, regardless of who is at fault, it does bring up something we have discussed before, and it’s something I want to bring up again.

All violence has a logic behind it. Regardless of the actual perpetrator, all three groups would have their own motives. Indeed, there have been reports that far-right extremists carried out the attack, with the intention of framing Islamic extremists (in essence furthering their supposed goals).

Here on the Midnight Run, we have discussed acts of violence perpetrated by a racist and extremely hateful man, a man looking to start a race war, and a man who (while not technically part of ISIS) was radicalized by Islamic propaganda. All of whom had different motives, tactics, and psychological profiles.

All of whom knew exactly what they were doing, why they were doing it, and how to get into a position where they could do it. In other words, none of it was senseless, nor was any of it random. By their nature, people looking to plan out events like the ones we have discussed go through their plans in a very thorough manner, including how to circumvent laws (if necessary) to achieve their ends.

All additional laws do, therefore, is put more roadblocks in the way of the people who should be able to defend themselves. It certainly does not prevent those planning on committing horrific acts of violence from doing so. It’s just something else to plan around for them.

2.) Florida. WTVT puts it best.

The Florida Senate passed a bill that would tweak the state’s “stand your ground” law to make it clear residents don’t have to be attacked before using force against someone threatening them in their home.

The bill, SB 1052 “addresses an inconsistency in law caused by 2014 legislation amending s.
776.013(3), F.S., a statute governing the right to self-defense in a person’s dwelling, residence,
or vehicle. The bill also minimizes the circumstances in which a person might be required to
retreat within or from a dwelling, residence, or vehicle before using deadly force in self-defense,” according to an analysis by the Senate.

In other words, The bill revamps the SYG law, and fills in a lot of the blanks that could be used against somebody for shooting an intruder. It is the direct opposite of the completely backward bill from Nevada we discussed in last week’s edition of State’s Fights.

3.) Microsoft. This week, a ton of tools the NSA allegedly used to hack virtually every system they wanted, ended up being dropped by a group of hackers calling themselves the Shadow Brokers. Microsoft has now announced that, while the tools did take advantage of exploits in the Windows OS, were patched in OSes the company still supports (right now, that is almost exclusively Windows 10).

It’s worth noting that this came quite a few hours after the tools were released. During which time, there were reports that the hacks worked on all Windows operating systems, thus essentially opening everybody to various forms of state-level hacking.

The moral of the story is three fold. If you don’t have a firewall, get one; keep all of your software (particularly your operating system) up-to-date, and realize that security can be extremely fragile.

As an aside, this drop also had a motive. Apparently, it was political in nature

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

State’s Fights 2017: Part 3

In this latest check of the state-level gun/self-defense movement, we check in on a new bill in Nevada that gives home invaders every reason to escalate a home invasion, and a bill in Oklahoma gives veterans the right to carry (even if they are only 18).

Plus, South Carolina inches closer to being a Constitutional Carry state.

1.) Nationally. Before we do all that, we need to briefly discuss a major national topic. Namely, the confirmation this week of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. As the NRA notes, Gorsuch is very much a pro-Second Amendment judge, who has referred to the Heller decision as “the law of the land” when he responded to an extremely confrontational Senator Diane Feinstein.

2.) Nevada. If there is one way to escalate a home invasion, it is most likely to either give the intruder a reason to escalate the confrontation or to give the homeowner reason to hesitate during the confrontation. A bill in Nevada apparently seeks to accomplish both by allowing intruders to sue homeowners if the latter shoots the former. It’s an interesting concept. And also completely backwards.

3.) South Carolina. Yet another state inches closer to permitless carry. The SC state House passed a bill that would see a permitless system of carry put in alongside the current one (for reciprocity purposes, of course).

4.) Oklahoma. OK Governor Fallin has signed a bill allowing military members to carry handguns even if they aren’t 21. The bill appears predicated on the notion that those old enough to be trained on and trusted with using guns in high-stress warzones can almost certainly be trusted to use them responsibly in the US.

Given that servicemembers have also been targets of crime/terrorism domestically only makes the move seem more rational as a means of giving servicemembers under 21 a way to defend themselves and others.

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

Grab Bag: April 2017

Campus Carry passes in Georgia, an armed robber goes bad for three people, and a discussion on if background checks help reduce crime.

1.) Georgia. The 2017 GA legislative session concluded tbis week, and with it many pro-gun bills managed to pass both chambers and get to the Governor. Perhaps chief among these is the fifth annual effort at campus carry. This bill answered a lot of Governor Deal’s problems with last year’s bill, so it faces good odds of being signed.

But then again we said that last year.

2.) DGU. My InSov colleagues found this one and it’s worth it just for the staggering ignorance. A man killed three people trying to break into his home this week, and a relative of one of the suspects spoke to a local TV station to claim that the shooting wasn’t needed. Reasons range from “there has to be a limit to the law” to saying that what they did was stupid.

It’s actually a fascinating read to see how armed robberies are apparently not supposed to have the possibility of death as a potential consequence.

3.) NICS. Are background checks worth it? Guns.com has a long, thorough article on the efficacy of background checks since the assassination attempt that spawned the NICS system. How you veiw the topic depends both on if you see NICS as constitutionally valid and if you see the system as something other than an arbitrary burden.

It’s worth noting, of course, that Constitutional Carry does not necessarily make the entire system redundant as A.) you still need permits for reciprocity reasons and B.) buying from an FFL still requires a background check.
4.) FFLs. Provided the FFL even bothers to do their job correctly. This week, a Pittsburgh gun store is facing a host of charges. The store, known for holding huge discounts after mass shootings, is facing everything from failing to keep records of purchases (or even record the purchases to begin with) to unregistered weapons.

The owner faces a full fifty years if convicted of all charges.

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.