All posts by midnightrunnews

Scalise

We’ve seen violence from the left before, with Antifa, the Berkeley madness, and Sir Bike Lock (also of Berkeley). We’ll be discussing the anti-free speech movement in Berkeley shortly after Blowback.

What we haven’t seen, is a politician being shot as a result of such extremism.

That changed this week, with the shooting of Louisiana Republican Steve Scalise.

1.) Baseline. Let us start with the original shooting. On June 14, 2017, a man walked into a GOP baseball practice and began firing a rifle. The Republicans were there practicing for an annual tradition; a bi-partisan baseball game to support a multitude of charities. The Congressman who was critically injured, Steve Scalise of Louisiana, also happened to be the House Majority Whip. A picture of the shooter soon emerged, and revealed a number of interesting details that essentially destroyed the narratives forming around the case (as tends to happen almost mechanically now). Namely, that he was a Bernie Sanders supporter who had it out for Trump, even going so far to ask if it was Republicans or Democrats on the field, prior to shooting.

He also had a criminal history, including arrests for battery, drunk driving, and resisting arrest. He was shot and killed by Capitol police in the ensuing shootout. (The Congresspeople were unarmed. More on that later.)

Currently, Scalise is expected to make an “excellent recovery, although initially, he was expected to stay in critical for a considerable amount of time.

2.) Noir. Before we go any further, it’s worth noting that the Governor of Virginia went on a pro-gun control rant almost immediately. My InSov colleague over at This is The Line found an absolutely brilliant response from NRATV’s Colion Noir on the absurd reaction from anti-gunners, ranging from suicide rates to their general avoidance of the truth when discussing firearms.

It is a ridiculously good seven minute video that is worth your time.

3.) Aftermath. The revelation that the suspect was anything but a right-wing extremist poked holes in a number of theories. My InSov colleague Catty Conservative found that Huffington Post quietly scrubbed an article essentially saying Trump “must be prosecuted for treason and — if convicted in a court of law — excecuted.”

Not the best thing to post on a public forum.

The more liberal elements of outrage cesspit Twitter didn’t help matters either, looking to advance gun control, and mock Republicans over the shooting.

This mix of vitriol, combined with the violence we saw at the baseball field, at Berkely, and other locations, gave a right-wing group exactly what it needed to re-contextualize the Georgia 6th Congressional race as a matter of not caving into the “violent left.”

4.) Shooting back. Despite being exactly the kind of people who would badly need to be able to protect themselves in the current climate, Congresstypes cannot carry guns. This Is The Line found a report stating that Republicans on the Hill are looking to amp up national reciprocity by dramatically loosening up the District of Columbia’s gun laws, and allowing people who hold permits in other states to carry in the District.

This, presumably, would extend to the members of Congress as well, many of whom very likely hold licenses to carry in their home state.

In other words, the response to the shooting by Republicans is to become harder targets.

Which is exactly what it should be.

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

Groupthink 2017

Apocalyptic rhetoric from anti-gunners on Constitutional Carry as other anti-gunners look to make misdemeanor hate crimes cost a person their firearms rights, and Brits are looking for their version of the Second Amendment after a series of terror attacks.

1.) Constitutional Carry. At this point, discussing anti-gun criticism feels redundant. It’s essentially a bingo card of end-times rhetoric ranging with increasing severity from “it will put more at risk” to “more children will die” to “all living things shall perish in a sea of fire.”

But, since it is the only stuff the opposition appears to have, by definition it’s the only stuff they can use. And so it is with Constitutional Carry as Everytown satellite Moms Demand Action released a statement against such bills in both Michigan and North Carolina. Interestingly, they refer to the handgun licensing system by the trademark “common-sense” terminology, before going right back to the default “this will put families at risk” rhetoric we’re used to.

2.) Hate crime. A term that is, by itself, completely vague, could now be used to strip people of their gun rights. A new (and, in this Congress, doomed) bill would seek to put “misdemeanor hate crimes” on par with felonies in terms of a permanent loss of gun rights.

Yes, misdemeanors. The definition of which meaing a “minor wrongdoing” or “less serious than a felony.”

3.) My InSov colleague at This is the Line brings us this next story. To the presumed shock of anti-gunners here in the US, the recent terror attacks in London do not have people going for tougher bans on various weapons. If anything, the attacks have galvanized the pro-gun movement in Britain. The logic is one that will sound familiar to American audiences; namely that terrorists can’t stab more people if they are shot mid-stream.

The idea of armed citizens as a defense against terrorism isn’t new. In an interview with ABCNews, INTERPOL had suggested that such a defensive force would be an excellent tactic The Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Milos Zeman, also suggested that their citizens could help fight terrorists by shooting them.

It’s not a bad tactic, it has great support, and it’s far better than hoping they wouldn’t do anything.

Further, while the shows of solidarity, strength, and patriotism are perfectly fine on their own; an armed citizenry would be an enhancement to the only kind of strength terrorists understand.

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

Grab Bag: June 2017

It’s worth noting at the start that it appears London is once again dealing with terrorism. Multiple reports from the BBC and Sky News have suggested that the London Bridge “incident” is very much terroristic in nature, on the heels of the Manchester attacks.

As there is not enough information (actually, there is next to no information) on the attacks, we will not focus on them here, and a Tactical Review segment for an event in progress is counterproductive and silly. The only way to glean anything from such a Run would be to base it on wild assumptions and speculate.

Both of which are unacceptable.

This week, Texas lawmakers want allow first responders to carry, Wisconsin wants to go permitless carry, and the Washington Post acknowledges that silencers are anything but silent.

1.) Texas. Continuing a sudden run of pro-self defense legislation, Senators in the Texas legislature approved a bill to allow first responders to carry firearms. This extends to everybody from paramedics to VFDs. The bill was proposed by a Texan firefighter.

2.) Wisconsin. Looking to add itself to the growing list of permitless carry states, Wisconsin is now mulling a bill that would allow the carry of handguns without a permit so long as it was openly carried. The bill had a hearing this week, but whether the bill can actually survive remains to be seen. Opposition has been largely what you expect, including a slightly-differently phrased take on “I support the Second Amendment but”:

Milwaukee Democrat, State Senator Lena Taylor, has a problem with that. “I voted for concealed carry. I believe that people have a right to carry. But I believe that some levels of restriction are appropriate,” Taylor said.

3.) Suppressors. The Washington Post nuked essentially all reason for opposing the use of suppressors this week by publishing their own tests of suppressed guns vs. unsuppressed guns. The results are what readers of the Midnight Run and InSov would likely expect; the can only reduced the sound of the explosion to just barely safe hearing levels, but in no way silenced the weapons.

The takeaway line on this article is the final one

There is little that’s quiet about a firearm with a silencer, unless one also thinks a jackhammer is quiet.

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

Tactical Review: Shock Value

“What is the world coming to?”
“Who could target teens and children?”
“What sort of person would do this?”

These questions littered social media in the wake of the terror attack in Manchester, England. As this was an attack by an ISIS militant and extremist, the answer was very simple.

The people who could do such a thing are the types who see it as part of a larger strategy. Who fully accept that they may be killed in the process, and indeed see that as an end in itself.

This week, we tackle both events. As usual, we will take a clinical approach to both, focusing on tactics and motives.

1.) Suspects. Shortly after the Manchester attack, Britian’s terror alert system was raised to its highest level, indicating the belief that additional attacks were imminent.

The suspect had traveled to Libya for three weeks, only being in the UK for a few days before executing the attack, according to US officials. Essentially, the theory is that the suspect was radicalized in Libya, in order to carry out attacks in England. This is in-line with recent developments suggesting that the UK government was warned about British extremists returning home.” As we have discussed previously, the primary ISIS tactic, regardless of how the attack is perpetrated, is to radicalize someone, whether by propaganda online or directly in person. This presents a number of challenges for most Western societies, and will (and has) pushed immigration to the forefront in the UK’s coming election, as well as reheating the discussion in the United States. (The UK General Election is still slated for June 8.)

It is also worth noting that, while the suspect may have perpetrated the attack alone, he did not work towards it alone. Police in Britain have made what they call “significant arrests” in locating a network that surrounded the suspect and helped him acquire the materials needed for the attack. The network could be fairly large, as recent government reports have suggested upwards of 23,000 jihadists live in Britain.

2.) Location/Victims. The goal of terrorism is to shock and horrify a society; to completely offend every last one of its values and to engage in violent behavior against extremely vulnerable parts of that society. Ariana Grande is seen as a pop star popular with younger audiences (a “favourite of pre-teens” as one source put it), and as such many teens and younger were in the audience when the attack occurred.

Previous attacks throughout Europe have included the attack on Parliament, the Nice bombings, and the Charlie Hebdo shooting in 2015.

None of which explicitly targeted children and teenagers as this one did. This, as Stratfor’s Fred Burton points out, represents a clear shift in strategy for the terrorist group.

Described at it’s most basic level, the event was a night of entertainment for younger people and (presumably) their families. The attack sent the double-message of making otherwise innocent events like that one a nightmare and showing no compunction against killing teens and children.

And, as there is clearly a network of conspirators, both facts were accepted as necessary for people who saw it as part of a broader strategy. We view it as shocking, we see it as a depraved act and the product of madness.

They see it as a key tactic in terrifying a society and making it appear very, very vulnerable. The definition of “terrorism.”

It’s also worth noting something else in terms of the location; multiple reports suggest that the security at the venue did not check bags, and that this had been a concern weeks in advance.

3.) Final thoughts.. The purpose of this Review is to demonstrate that we’re dealing with people who hold no regard for their life or anyone else’s, and who seek to exploit as many holes in a free society’s laws as they can to achieve their own ends.

It is also to demonstrate that they are not monolithic. There is a network, there are motives, and there are ways to deal with terrorism. Already we’ve seen calls for the British people to gain the right to self-defense that we have in the US.

Shock, horror, and anger are exactly the reactions ISIS is looking for. While there are certainly reasons for such emotion in the wake of the attack, there is also a much stronger avenue against such attacks. By analyzing the weakpoints exploited by the suspects, their tactics, their motives, and in general their strategy; we can see a pattern forming and devise ways to counter the threat.

But, in order to do that, we must remember to do two things above all else: stop thinking of ISIS as a monolithic, almost ethereal entity, and continue to demonstrate strength in the face of a threat that has the explicit purpose of shattering us.

And as always…

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

Gestures

Springfield Armory addresses the current controversy with a slick video, a PD in Texas holds a gun buyback, and a torrent of lawsuits planned for Campus Carry in Georgia. Plus, a new bill that would force the death penalty for anybody who murdered police.

1.) Springfield Armory. A long, complication story that was exhaustively covered over at AR15.com has apparently culminated in a slick video from one of that controversy’s main targets. My InSov colleague at This Is The Line found a video Springfield has released trying to both do some serious damage control and reaffirm the company’s support for the Second Amendment.

At this point, you either believe them or you don’t.

2.) Gun Buybacks. For some reason, the police department in Fort Worth, Texas held a gun buyback today. Any guns, $50 gift card, no questions asked.

Not much more to say on that, really. We all know that gun buybacks don’t accomplish their stated goal.

3.) Blue Blood. A bill that would essentially make attempted murder or murder of a first responder a death sentence passed the House this week. Critics call the bill redundant, and argue that it could drive a deeper divide between law enforcement and the community at large. Supporters see it as forcing extremely harsh penalties for those who deliberately target first responders. President Trump has not signaled whether he would sign the bill, but has heavily shown his support for law enforcement, often comparing how he intends to treat them with how he believes his predecessor did.

4.) Campus Carry. After a failed protest at the NRA Convention in Atlanta, and a lot of bluster that went nowhere when the the bill originally was signed, opponents of Georgia’s new Campus Carry bill are now looking to grind the bill down with a ton of lawsuits. The suits are expected to be focused on the grammar in the bill, what the AJC calls “murky language.”

At this point, it’s obvious that campus carry WILL come to Georgia, though how is anybody’s guess at this point.

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

Owens

This week, a recap of news surrounding the death of Bearing Arms EiC Bob Owens, plus two setbacks for Constitutional Carry, and some good news out of Tennessee as an NRA-backed bill passes the Senate.

1.) Bob Owens. Robert Eugene Owens, the founder and editor-in-chief of Bearing Arms, was found dead this week of an apparent suicide. Moments before, Owens had posted to Facebook “In the end, it turns out that I’m not strong. I’m a coward, and a selfish son of a bitch. I’m sorry.” This post was seen as wildly out-of-character for the by-all-accounts friendly and selfless Owens by most of those who knew him.

Gun control advocates eventually sounded off, not exclusively in a negative tone, surprisingly enough.

Bearing Arms other half, Jann Jacques, penned an article for Bearing Arms a day or so after the events occurred

A memorial has been set up on GoFundMe for Bob’s wife and daughters who are 9 and 17.

We are asking everyone to respect his family’s privacy during this most difficult time, and I’d like to personally remind everyone that what you write impacts more than just the stupid thread you’re writing on.

Please know that his family will be reading what you write and act accordingly.

I would turn off the lights here at Bearing Arms, but that wouldn’t honor Bob or his work. Please give me a few days, and I promise we’ll be back. Or rather, I’ll be back.

We most certainly are diminished.

Of course, our condolences to his family and friends. As of this writing, the GoFundMe linked above is still in operation if you are so inclined.

2.) Legislatures. You wouldn’t expect Louisiana or Texas to be opposed to Constitutional Carry, and yet both have, in some form, shot down such a measure in their respective legislatures. Louisiana simply voted it down out right, whereas, according to Texas State Representaive Jonathan Stickland, the bill wasn’t voted on but is dead regardless. Stickland places the blame on party leadership, noting that Democrats cannot be held responsible for stopping a Republican bill in a Republican-controlled legislature.

Stickland notes, however, that he fully intends to continue fighting for permitless carry in future legislative sessions.

3.) Smart Guns. There is also a bill in the US House mandating that only smart guns be manufactured within 5 years. This isn’t going anywhere, and is kind of a bizarre attempt to mandate technology known for failure and putting way too many steps in between the gun being loaded and the gun being fired.

Not worth discussing further, so we won’t.

3.) Tennessee. The Senate in Tennessee has passed an NRA-backed measure that would require cities/counties that do not want people carrying in their buildings to hire security, install metal detectors, and check bags. The measure passded by a large margin of 26-5, however it is slightly different than the bill the House sent the Senate.

The NRA claims the bill would hold local governments responsible for the safety of citizens in their buildings.

4.) Blowback. Finally, a few thoughts on the annual Fourth Of July special, Blowback. For those unfamiliar, Blowback may be a bit jarring, as we dispose of the mostly-clinical approach of the news, Dirt and Blood, and the Tactical Reviews. Instead, Blowback is an article dedicated to American history, self-reliance, and yes the concept of American Exceptionalism. In short, Blowback celebrates and embraces American patriotism in the classic sense.

Last year saw Blowback expand on the origins of the American flag, which largely set the tone for the month. This year, Blowback will continue to focus on the origins of this country, which will dovetail into future editions on the free speech movement, and an update on Lethal Ignorance; which focused on first-aid and severe weather.

This week, we ended up taking on a negative tone, and for that I apologize.

Blowback will have no such negativity. It’s extremely difficult to study American history and come away with a dim view of the country.

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.3

Grab Bag: May 2017

Campus carry is signed into law in Georgia, the French go to the polls once again, and Trump shows his support for religious liberty.

1.) Georgia. After what was basically a five-year standoff between a Republican governor and a Republican legislature, campus carry was finally signed into law this week, complete with the expected promises of doom from people who had previously seen the Governor’s scathing veto statement last year as proof that campus carry was dead in this state. The bill does have quite a few limits, as Students For Concealed Carry’s Robert Eagar and Ja’Quan Taylor noted in a Reddit AMA, but the bill is an excellent step forward.

Congrats to those responsible for getting this bill through.

2.) France. Macron and Le Pen won the election two weeks ago, and their runnoff is this weekend. Euronews is definitely the source for news on the election as it happens tomorrow.

Anyway, major stories in that election include an avalanche of leaked documents from Macron’s campaign suggesting extremely close ties to the banking industry. Macron has denied the allegations that he is under that sector’s control.

“I’m not under the thumb of the banks. If that were the case, I would have carried on working for them. If I was under their control, when I was in the French cabinet, I wouldn’t have proposed a law to cut the banks’ monopoly. If that were the case, I wouldn’t have presented a programme which is also for the middle and working classes,”

The election is Sunday, with results likely coming during Sunday afternoon here in the US.

3.) Trump. Fulfilling a campaign promise, President Trump signed an executive order that eased restrictions on the political activities by religious organizations. Trump said that “”no one should be censoring sermons.” The purpose of the order was to alleviate the “burden of the so-called Johnson Amendment,” according to FOX News.

Stay alert. Stay informed. Stay free.