All posts by midnightrunnews

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.

Financial Burden

In Florida, the cost of a license to carry is roughly $102.

In New York City (if you can get it approved at all), the cost is $87.

In Texas, it’s $140.

All of which ignores any required training or other external cost. Numerous arguments have been made in the past that the fees are little more than end-arounds; where owning a gun is not banned per se but is essentially too expensive to be reasonable.

As that logic starts taking hold, the costs of permits have started coming under scruitiny. This is in paralell with the growing Consitutional Carry movement, as well. (And, interestingly, we have also seen increased opposition from people with a financial interest in keeping the scheme running.)

This week, we look at one state looking to lower the cost, and one looking to eliminate the license requirement.

1.) Ohio. First, however, it is worth noting some major progress out of Ohio. A new law went into effect this week greatly expanding where CCW holders may carry. Campus carry is still banned, but colleges may now authorize groups of people to carry.

2.) Texas. The Lone Star State is looking to reduce the cost of applying for the license, although many in the state still want to go to a Constitutional Carry system. The bill headed for the Senate would drop the cost down to $40, a full $100 cheaper than where it is now.

Interestingly, some looked to exempt only law enforcement from the fee altogether. This raises the idea of why a fee is needed at all, of course.

3.) North Dakota. North Dakota has gone permitless. The state is the latest in the ever growing list of states supporting some form of permitless carry. With luck, Georgia and Texas will eventually join those ranks.

It’s important to note that, for now, permits are still required in many states for the purposes of reciprocity. However with the advent of Constitutional Carry, and its seemingly unstoppable spread, it’s only a matter of time before that is no longer an issue, either.

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

Fake News

Silencers bounce between being worse than earplugs and capable of breaking science depending on the narrative, a new LGBT gun control group uses old gun control promises, and the EU manages to toughen its gun laws. Lots of propaganda to sift through today, so let’s get to it.

1.) Suppressors. Last week, the angle against the Hearing Protection Act was that suppressors made a gun perfectly silent. Despite that no reality exists where 120 decibels is silent, the angle was reliant on ignorance and a belief that James Bond was real.

Now, Americans for Responsible Solutions, a gun control group headed up by Gabrielle Giffords, says that silencers aren’t nearly as good at protecting your hearing as earplugs are. Suppressors have gone from being physics-defying wonders to basically useless versus a thumb-sized piece of foam.

This bizarre shift in narrative has not gone unnoticed by pro-gun groups like Open Carry Texas, of course. It now finds opponents in a strange position where they have to land on one or the other, explain why the narrative they didn’t choose was held onto regardless, and how the new narrative makes any sense logically.

The kind of gymnastics that endeavor is going to take will be good enough for the Olympics.

2.) LGBT. Last week, we discussed a video from Dana Loesch about LGBT Americans arming up after the Orlando shooting. Now we have the opposite. A group calling themselves “Gays Against Guns” is opposing national reciprocity legislation on the basis that the ” Guns Everywhere bill will mean more gun violence and more gun deaths,” according to an activist with the group.

“Guns Everywhere” was the name gun controllers gave to HB60 here in Georgia. Like that bill, the opposition is predicated on apocalyptic imagery.

HB60 went live back in 2014. The apocalypse is incredibly late at this point.

3.) EU. The European Union has managed to find parts of the firearms world it hasn’t outlawed completely yet, introducing a new series of gun laws including strict controls on handguns. The justification, naturally, is that terrorists exploited loopholes in the law and carried out the Paris attacks as a result. The new package even includes new restrictions on so-called “acoustic” firearms. (That is, guns that fire blanks.)

Admittedly, Brexit does not necessarily mean that the UK will become suddenly pro-gun. Handguns there have effectively been banned since the Dunblane school shooting back in 1996.

Still, though, with the surge in populism we have seen across the globe, and the rise of people like Nigel Farage over in the UK, it is not entirely out of the question that the laws would be relaxed somewhat in the UK after Brexit.

Besides which, nobody said the UK would leave the EU either.

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

Volume

This week, we deal with a fundamental misunderstanding on suppressors, Gander Mountain somehow manages to come out of the Obama-era gun sales surge bankrupt, and we look at a video by Dana Loesch on the LGBT community arming itself.

1.) The law of suppressors. A Senator has gotten ahead of everybody with the Hearing Protection Act fearmongering, playing the only card anti-gunners have; think about movies. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut), told the Huffington Post that suppressors concealed a gun when it was fired. He said that silencers “are used to commit crimes.” Obviously, he has no proof of this, and even the ATF’s own statistics debunk his theory. But there’s a much deeper problem with this angle of attack.

2.) The science of suppressors. Put bluntly, there is no physical way to completely silence an explosion powerful enough to send a projectile at supersonic speeds. Even with a good suppressor, a 9mm pistol would still be at about 125 decibels, louder than an ambulance siren, but quieter than a jackhammer. (How many times have you missed hearing an ambulance with sirens blaring?)

Silencers have that untraceable sound in movies because of editing, and that really should not have to be said at all.

The point being, on this bill, is that anti-gunners are not only defying logic with the idea that silencers in action films are in any way realistic. Their position is scientifically wrong on every possible level.

2.) Gander Mountain. A major firearms retailer (one that refers to itself as the country’s “firearms superstore” has managed to come out of the Obama era with a bankruptcy filing. Gander Mountain has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, This is an official announcement, although rumblings of the filing have been running around since early February.

The press release blames the bankruptcy on under-performing stores and online vendors.

3.) LGBT. We covered the reaction to the Orlando shooting back in Breaking Point. Dana Loesch now has a characteristically great piece on firearms in the LGBT community produced for NRATV. The video is about seven minutes long and discusses the Orlando shooting, and the rise in threats against LGBT individuals. It also shows the lengths the pro-gun community goes to in order to help that community.

Self-defense always has transcended virtually all barriers. The self-defense movement, indeed the self-reliance/survivalist movement as a whole, has always been focused on giving people control over their own lives, and the tools needed to be resilient. We discussed this concept; that a movement predicated on empowerment is an inherently strong and welcoming one; when we closed for the year in Stand Down, and Loesch brings up the perfect story of a Texas shooting range that reached out to the LGBT community after Orlando, and got a response they never expected.

Both movements have never cared for who the person is, only that they have the tools they need to survive.

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.