Optimism

[Originally posted on Tumblr November 30th]

It’s the weekend after Thanksgiving. I’m not up for talking about the end of civilization, and I’m pretty sure you aren’t either. In addition, the year is winding to a close, and Congress is deadlocked on other things besides guns.

Also a friend on Twitter who goes by the name Armed And Studious and I got into a conversation about the future of gun rights, and I felt motivated to get an archive together.

This week, we look back at where the gun rights movement has been, where we are now, and what the future looks like. This is by no means an exhaustive look at every minor event in the gun world (to be blunt….is RECOIL/Guns And Ammo really THAT significant?), but rather a look at some of the major stories this year, and how they relate to one another.

1.) Newtown Baseline. I’m not going to reboot the madness regarding Newtown. At this point, we’ve basically memorized.the details. Allow me to go on a brief tangent on this before we get started to get it out of my system.

As I discussed with Studious, this is one of the few topics I track that makes me genuinely and physically angry. We’ve all seen the images of children bolting out of Sandy Hook, a place they believed to be safe. We’ve seen the images of children being led out hand-in-hand by their teachers; walking out of a situation they can neither comprehend the scale of, nor what actually is happening.

And the teachers, who as adults fully understand the basics of what is happening on a level the children cannot hope to, are as defenseless as the children are.

In a speech at a prayer breakfast posted on YouTube, Lt. Col Dave Grossman puts the difference between Sheep and Sheepdog this way:

When the Sheep heard about the 9/11 hijackings, they said “thank God I wasn’t on one of those planes.” When the Sheepdog heard about the 9/11 hijackings, they said “I wish I was on there. Maybe I could have made a difference.

How many of us felt a sort of burning desire to have been there? To have been able to at least have the chance to stop this guy.

And how many wargamed a similar situation in their own hometowns?

Newtown represented a clear-as-day division between anti- and pro-gun. It caused the fundamental tenants of both to be blatantly obvious. One side chose to believe that future mass murderers would follow “new” laws (but never explained how that would deal with the pre-existing market), the other felt it was time to defend those who cannot defend themselves with something more direct than a sign that essentially said “we’d rather you didn’t but we can’t stop you if you do.” Over time, it has been impossible for the anti-gun side to prove their point on a tactical level; where emotion gives way to hard logic and person-to-person interaction.

While I have more than a few words on the concept of CNN and other “journalists” shoving cameras in the faces of elementary school students (maybe it’s because I’m not a “credentialed” journalist, but that was just repulsive), that rant is a different matter altogether. We will come back to the mindsets of both movements later on, however.

So, with that in mind, let’s get rolling.

2.) Permits, Sales, and Classes. I don’t need to remind fellow gunners that the summer saw a spike in ammo and gun sales, so I ask for forgiveness in advance for treading well-worn ground. An illustration of the progress the gun rights movement has made is impossible without noting that an event antis hoped would make the “difference they wanted it to make” and make pushing gun restrictions incredibly easy, instead gave the firearms world a boost that even those in the industry weren’t ready for.

After Newtown, permit applications surged nationwide. Reports from Georgia, Colorado, and yes even Newtown described the surge as “unprecedented.”  In Pennsylvania, the backlog for background checks was such that the Commonwealth planned a major upgrade of the system while local law enforcement agencies hired new staff to try to speed up the process.

With the climb in gun permits came a climb in gun sales. A report in the Baltimore Sun this October states that Maryland gun dealers sold more guns in 2013 than in 2011 and 2012 combined. This pattern was especially felt in areas that were already seeing a rise in crime, such as after a spike in home invasions in Indianapolis.

Recent surveys suggest that one in four American women now carry firearms.

Of course, this is not just buying a weapon for the sake of having one (mostly, it is impossible to figure out everyone’s exact motive). Classes for gun safety……that is ACTUAL gun safety (The Four Rules, etc.) have also seen a rise in interest this year. One could rationalize that the climb there is merely because it is required. The obvious problem is that states where it isn’t, like my home state of Georgia, are also seeing this increase.

3.) Right-To-Carry. Outside of the surge in gun sales/permits/classes, it is worth noting the expansion of Right-To-Carry laws across the country, and even a few major advancements in reciprocity.

West Virigina announced reciprocity with Colorado and Georgia, A bill in Ohio is working on making reciprocity with Georgia and PA possible, and Alabama basically allows everybody with a permit to carry regardless of whether the person’s home State returns the favor.

And then, of course, there is the news regarding the Stand Your Ground laws. The main focus there is the failure of attempts to change the law in Florida, and the possible expansion of SYG in Ohio. There is a lawsuit here in Georgia from Jesse Jackson’s group to stop the law, but I’m not entirely sure that is going to get anywhere.

As a final point before moving on, let us recap the action in Colorado. We have the successful recalls of two State lawmakers, the resignation of a third who was facing recall, and a governor who is facing a rough re-election campaign. Gun laws in the State are so popular that politicians responsible for them either were recalled or are seen as vulnerable.

Legally, one would be hard pressed to claim that the fight for gun rights isn’t going remarkably well.

4.) Looking ahead. There are two things I would like to close with this week. The first is a look at the action in 2014, the second is a look at the community as a whole.

2014 is expected to see a re-focusing on guns nationally. Democrats are determined to revive efforts for gun control in 2014, and are even going to be campaigning heavily on it come election time. There’s one issue….while Dems are going to be really pushing for it, polls suggest that gun control is not that much of a priority among Americans. In addition, the Federal government’s own data states that “gun violence” has collapsed in the last 20 years, running directly counter to the “blood in the streets” and “Wild West” narratives we’ve been dealing with for equally as long. Even the UN doesn’t have that much ground here, with more than half of the Senate stating its opposition to the UN Arms Treaty.

The purpose of this week’s Run has been to illustrate that the gun rights movement has been defying virtually every media narrative. The narrative that “fewer people are buying guns” doesn’t match up with the surge in CCW Classes or CCW Permits. The narrative that “gun control is popular” doesn’t match up with the CO Recall or the spectacular fashion in which the Federal legislation failed. Stand Your Ground has survived a case the media hoped would end it nationwide, and has infact expanded to other States.

But there is one narrative we haven’t tackled, and that honestly we are in the best position to disprove. That is the narrative that all gun owners are either A.) sociopathic, B.) paranoid, or C.) remarkably arrogant.

In my opinion, one of the main strengths of the gun rights movement is how we welcome newcomers. We show them how to operate the weapon, the Four Rules of Gun Safety, and the mindset required to use a gun safely and within the boundaries of the law. All of which is done fully understanding that they won’t be sharpshooters on Day One. Regardless of the reason; whether it is curiosity about guns, self-defense, or just the fun of target shooting; gun ranges have become fixtures in the community, and we’ve even seen them referred to as the “New Bowling Alleys” in NPR, which I’m fairly sure none of you would suggest is pro-gun.

But there’s a deeper level to this that makes it so powerful. We are, in essence, offering a practical toolset, skillset, and mindset for people to use. Whereas the anti-gun movement is based on the fear of a threat AND the tool, the pro-gun movement is based on the acknowledgement of a threat and the tools needed to deal with it. We don’t ask for them to always be reliant on us or any third party, it defeats the entire purpose of training. In short, the pro-gunner works to ensure others can stand on their own, the anti-gunner works to restrict their defense in the name of safety.

We are in the best position to disprove the “psychotic” narrative, and yet I don’t believe we put much effort into it. Speaking for myself in 2014, I would like to see more emphasis on the difference between pro-gunners working to empower the person next to them, and anti-gunners working to force them to rely on someone who everyone knows cannot physically be there when that person needed most (a concept which is misguided at best, and flat-out evil at worst).

But, despite all that, if I have failed to illustrate the state of the gun rights movement. If, despite all of the above, you still disagree that the gun rights movement has made incredible progress in the last two years, I can only suggest to you an article in the Huffington Post (which I’m also sure nobody would call “pro-gun”) that claims that the buying of firearms after Thanksgiving has become a new American tradition.

2014 is going to be an amazing year for the gun rights movement.The expansion of pro-gun laws, the backlash against anti-gun State lawmakers, and the surge in the popularity of firearms in general give the movement an extreme momentum going into next year. Enjoy the (relative) break, because there is going to be a lot of work to do leading up to the elections.

Knockout

So, back in Sheepdog, we discussed the LAX shooting, and the (hopeful) collapse of the “it can’t happen here” mindset. The following week, in Reality, NOLATAC provided more evidence against that mindset with two stories from New Orleans; one regarding a disabled man who was beaten and robbed, and another involving a man and his 7-month-old son being killed. The two stories were used by NOLATAC as examples of “the world we live in.”

Now, we have what is probably the biggest block of evidence yet against that mindset. The mainstream emergence of the so-called “knockout game.” This “game” (the fact that it is referred to as a game is sick) involves the “player” randomly punching another person with the intent of knocking them out and perhaps robbing them. It’s participants are almost exclusively black teenagers; pseudo-gangsta types. It’s targets are generally Whites, Asians, and more recently Jews.

This week, we dive in feet-first. Coverage of recent attacks, mainstream media’s attempts to ignore or tactfully avoid rougher parts of the story (race, for example), and the obvious implications for concealed/open carry. We will close with some discussion on open carry, and a few gun laws that may be coming down the pipe.

By the way, before we go anywhere, I would like to highly recommend the book “White Girl Bleed A Lot” by Colin Flaherty. A top-notch look at some of the racially-motivated violence the media would rather not discuss. With that in mind, let’s get to the Run.

1.) Recent. Recent attacks have been found in mostly urban areas throughout the nation. We’ve seen a few in Pittsburgh, PA (a re-emergence from last year, frankly); Washington, DC; and Brooklyn, NY among others.

There doesn’t seem to be much motivation for the attacks other than the “fun” of almost killing someone and/or almost getting arrested. That and raw boredom.

2.) Ignorance and Irony. Breitbart has two stories out that highlight some of the more interesting parts of this “new” story. (Truth is, it’s been on the side-streams for months.) The first is how the major networks, which made a national issue out of a local trial (Zimmerman, if that weren’t obvious) are suddenly not all that interested in covering another, much larger race/violence issue.

The other is a note that a lot of the attacks seem to occur in areas where the citizenry has been mostly disarmed or is dealing with absurd gun laws. In other words, these thugs are attacking mostly in areas where they have a distinct advantage.

The “knockout game” breaks a ton of narratives. It sees blacks as not the victims, but the primary attackers. It is almost completely random, and takes place in urban centers. Above all, it brings to light an aspect of the world that the media doesn’t want to focus on; a very real, underlying culture of violence that exists in many inner-city neighborhoods. Whether it’s these random attacks, drug deals leading to innocents being killed in the crossfire. It’s easy to focus on the occasional “mass shooting” and point to “mental health” or “lax gun laws.” It’s a lot harder to suggest that some people are just looking for someone to hurt, for any reason they choose. It’s even harder to assume that people have made a game out of aggravated assault. And yet, here we are, with evidence of both. This is probably the biggest argument in favor of carrying firearms that we have seen in years.

On that subject, let us switch gears to focus on firearms.

3.) Open Carry. There is perhaps no better “stay away from me” signal than openly carrying a firearm. However, this tends to be a controversial issue even within the firearms community. An article on Monderno this week, written by Aaron Cowan of GA-based Sage Dynamics provided an LEO’s perspective on civilian OC. It reads in part

I support responsible open carry. I do not support open carry as a political statement, or a means to incite possible negative contact with law enforcement. I know, as you do, that our Constitutional Rights and our Second Amendment Rights specifically are very emotional subjects, as they should be. I consider the protection of all constitutional rights a responsibility of the people that they protect. When it comes to open carry, the obvious (and correct) explanation to those who do not agree with it is that it is their right by law to do so and in some states, the only manner a firearm can be carried in a lawful manner. I also agree with this. What I do not agree with is someone exercising a right but not being morally responsible in doing so. With the carry of a firearm comes the responsibility to know how to use it and the responsibility to keep it out of the hands, to the best of your ability, those who would use it to harm innocent people. With an openly carried firearm you are announcing to anyone who recognizes it for what it is, that there is a firearm present. I won’t go into the usual hyperbole some use about the subject but I will say this; everywhere you go, you are carrying with you the means to take a life and protect life and it should be accorded the appropriate respect. Without cherry picking specific situations I have encountered, I think each of us can remember a time when we observed someone carrying a firearm openly in an unsafe manner. Using a holster without retention or an obvious lack of situational awareness are but two ways that an OC can and does look like food to anyone with the inclination and the ability to take their weapon.

4.) Backlash. The Armed Novelist sent me a report about a new poll suggesting that Colorado governor John Hickenlooper may be in trouble come election time next year. A Quinnipiac poll out this week suggests that 49% of voters say the Governor does not deserve to be re-elected. Getting Hickenlooper out of office has been a prime objective for CO gun advocates since the recall elections that cost 2 anti-gun State lawmakers their seats.

5.) Looking ahead. Finally tonight, news from The Hill about the Obama administration looking for new gun regulations. Obama admin officials are reportedly targeting stolen and missing weapons. Gun control proponents say that lost or stolen guns, especially ones that disappear from gun stores, “feeds the sort of already large and existing secondary market on guns.”

What those regulations are exactly, has not been released to the public, but it is something to keep an eye on. There doesn’t seem to be much of a chance of Congressional movement on guns for the rest of this year.

Reality

NOLATAC posted two stories this week on their Facebook page in a small effort to put to rest the concept of “it can’t happen here.” Alongside a story about a disabled man who was beaten and robbed, NOLATAC wrote the following:

Watch it. This is the world we live in. These are the kinds of “people” who walk among us. Let it sink in. Watch it twice. Imagine the kind of person it takes to victimize someone like this. It literally turns my stomach. You can close your eyes and say “this is a shame” or “this doesn’t happen here”, but that does not change the reality that it in fact DOES happen everywhere to varying degrees. The world is constantly changing, and you either adapt to account for that change or you become a victim of that change. You cannot pick the moment when violence choses to make you a victim. All you can control is how prepared you are to deal with it.

The second story, focused on a gang shooting a 25-year-old man and his 7-month-old son. NOLATAC wrote

More news from NOLA about why you need to always be prepared to defend yourself. Unfortunately, based on the common trend here, there is probably more to the story such as the “victim” was targeted due to drug or gang activity, as if the two were mutually exclusive around here.
However, what if you were caught in the crossfire? Are you armed?
What if the car lost control and started coming into your lane? Have you had driver’s training?
What if you were hit by a stray bullet or a collision due to this incident? Do you have the medical training and equipment in your car to stop a gunshot wound or massive bleeding due to a car accident?
We often say “let the animals kill themselves”, but the problem is that when sharks get in a feeding frenzy, they often become blind to what they are actually biting at. the same is true for a pack of wild dogs. Sometimes when the animals attack each other, we happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
We live in a world where there is no honor among criminals . They do not care who they hurt or kill to “get mine”, no matter how insignificant “their’s” might happen to be. Well, I am all about “getting mine” too. I am all about getting my tomorrow and getting my family home safely.
I pray every day that I am never caught in the middle of one of these incidents, but I am realistic enough to know the chance exists, and I do everything I can to prepare myself and those around me to come out the other end as well as when we entered.

I bring this up before getting to the news to springboard off the close of Midnight Run: Sheepdog. We may not like it (and antis certainly don’t) but news stories like the two above, and countless others serve as reminders of the state of the world we live in. Stories like this have value in that respect, and in a way can serve as motivation for training in the fields of self-defense and first aid.

With that in mind, let’s look at the rest of the gun news. This week, foreign governments warn their Citizens about some American cities, Dems attempt to deflect from Obamacare by way of gun control, and the two students in the Gonzaga University story speak out on FOX News.

1.) Warning. Just as our State Department puts out warnings about traveling to certain countries, other governments do the same with certain areas of ours. The Washington Post listed sixteen of these cities, which include New Orleans, Atlanta (which I can vouch for), Houston, and Chicago. None of which should come as a surprise to any of you. All I can say is this: avoid the area around Underground Atlanta. Ironically, that is walking distance from the Capitol building.

2.) Deflection. It’s no secret at this point that Obamacare is a huge failure. They bet on a skeptical public to take a chance because of the mandate and it just didn’t happen. Now, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, and Rep. Nancy Pelosi have introduced a universal background check bill seemingly out of nowhere. Of course, the bill has almost no chance of getting through Congress, but it is a show of desperation. That tactic is pretty much dead in this age of instant information.

3.) Gonzaga. The two Gonzaga University students who used a gun on campus to scare an intruder (they didn’t fire, mind you) were on FOX News this week. The school responded by placing both students on probation for the remainder of the year. Going by the NRA’s unfortunately-titled “Outrage of the Week” segment (outrage is now a weekly thing now….wonderful), the University returned the guns to the students and is “reviewing” its firearm policy in the face of national backlash.

4.) Pittsburgh. In another Armed Citizen story this week, three pseudo-gangstas attempted to rob a delivery driver of chicken wings using a fake gun. According to local NBC affiliate WPXI, the driver pulled out his concealed handgun in response. The three living stereotypes fled the scene, but two were found later eating those wings on a street corner. The third suspect was arrested in Ohio. No idea how he got there.

5.) Education. Finally tonight, news from Texas A&M. A supposed law professor, Mary Margaret Penrose, told a “gun violence symposium” that it was time to “repeal and replace the Second Amendment.” Leaving aside the irony of a law professor ignoring the foundation of American law, Penrose makes a bizarre states-rights argument; stating that it “allows those of you who want to live in a state with very loose restrictions to do so.” Breitbart notes that she advocates redrafting the entire US Constitution in her classes.

Not something that gives one hope for the next generation of lawyers, is it?

Undercurrent

A new study connects owning guns to being racist, the number of women packing heat surges, and the head of the Senate says he doesn’t have the votes for gun control. Also, a few self-defense stories worth noting.

1.) Guns and racism. A “new study” suggests that there is a link between gun ownership and racism among white people. As the NY Daily News puts it, the result of the study is basically that “racism and guns go together.” There’s really not much else to say on this one, except what you already knew; studies can show anything the people doing them want to show.

That aside, noted firearms expert John Lott has a damn fine piece out rebutting most of it. It’s probably more worth your time to check that out, honestly.

2.) Women and guns. Moving on, more concrete stats suggest that one in four US women are carrying firearms. I would like to highlight the following excerpt from the NBC12 story:

“They got less than $200. They shot her with a shotgun and walked out,” said Katherine.
The unsolved murder victimized the whole family. It wasn’t until Katherine met her husband that she decided to face her fear head on.
“We went out and we shot. And I felt so much stronger than I’d ever felt before,” said Katherine. “Like I didn’t have to be a victim. I didn’t have to become a statistic like my grandmother had to.”
More women than ever before are now packing heat. According to a Gallup Poll, in 2005, just 13% of women in the U.S. owned a gun. By 2011, 23% of women had a gun. That’s a 77% increase in just 7 years.
“I wanted to start carrying for my protection. My kid’s protection,” said stay-at-home Louisa County mom Erin Albert.
Erin has two young boys. She’s shot guns all her life, owned them for years but only recently got a permit to conceal carry.
“Women can’t protect themselves as well without that force,” said Erin. “Without that gun… I mean, you’re on an equal playing ground if you have that gun,” said Albert.

Would love to see that rationalized, honestly.

3.) Politics. In the Democrat-controlled Senate, there apparently aren’t enough votes to pass gun control. Interestingly, there’s also a note on CNN this week about Obamacare making Democrats nervous, so take from that what you will. Elections are wonderful, aren’t they?

Meanwhile, we have the elections in Virginia. What is being talked about is the election of a man under 2 federal investigations. What ISN’T is that the Legislature is deadlocked, and Mike Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns lost another round of elections despite throwing millions of dollars at them.

Personally, I still want guns to be the central issue. But whatever gets the party most apt to try and pass gun control is fine with me.

4.) Stand Your Ground. Back in October, we had Ted Cruz’s excellent speech on Stand Your Ground as it related (or rather, as it didn’t relate) to the Zimmerman case, then we had Jesse Jackson’s lawsuit here in Georgia. Now we have news from Florida where an attempt to change the State’s Stand Your Ground law was soundly rejected by a House Committee. Florida’s SYG, of course, was center stage during the Zimmerman case, despite both never being a defense he made and not even applying to the case on any level to start with.

In other barely-related-to-Zimmerman news, a story out of WESH in Orlando says that the city of Sanford will allow neighborhood watch groups to carry guns despite the case.

5.) Self-Defense Shootings. There’s a ludicrous story in Guns Save Lives this week about the family of armed robbery suspects who were killed trying to rob someone wanting “justice” for the killings. Apparently he “took the law into his own hands” by defending himself.

6.) Look ahead. It’s always good to look at what anti-gunners don’t want to talk about, and how they define things. For example, the election in Virginia is a “victory” yet the Colorado recall is barely referenced. Also, there’s a new term somehow entering the vernacular. For whatever reason, pro-gunners who organize counter-protests at anti-gun events are now referred to as “gun bullies.” It’s a name that is equal parts completely overdramatic, presumptuous, and more than a little embarrassing. But, although I believe this was the purpose of the protest, it does show the main crux of the anti-gun argument; paranoia and emotion. The mere presence of guns is intimidating; an idea based on presuming the intent of its carrier. The concept of “peaceful armed protest” is apparently completely impossible.

That, and we have finally reached the point where “you big bully” is the high point of a political movement. It shouldn’t be that hard to see why the anti-gun movement is grasping at whatever victory it can to maintain its dwindling relevance.

Sheepdog

CCW on Campus gets several boosts, Ted Cruz knocks down the anti-Stand Your Ground argument (in front of Trayvon Martin’s mother no less), and a verdict on the Virginia Tech shooting absolves the school of any responsibility. Solid week in gun news.

1.) Schools. Lead story this week is the concept of guns in schools. We begin in the small town of Briggsdale, Colorado. Far from going in the anti-gun direction the State legislature has, they have allowed teachers to carry concealed weapons so long as they commit to heading to the range and firing 100 rounds per month. (Because what shooter doesn’t like a little range time?) Same thing is happening in St. Helens, Oregon, which builds upon Oregon’s current law, allowing basically anyone with a permit to carry on school grounds.

This is making the wait for Georgia’s session painful for me.

2.) Stand Your Ground. Two major stories in Stand Your Ground news this week. The first is a hearing on Capitol Hill over the laws, the highlight of which was when Republican Senator Ted Cruz stated that the “hearing” was essentially politically motivated, and that the crux of the hearing, the Zimmerman case, was irrelevant seeing as how SYG was never used as a defense. The mother of Trayvon Martin, who Zimmerman shot and killed, was present at the hearing as well. Martin’s family has been pushing for changes to the Stand Your Ground laws across the nation for quite some time.

On the flipside, we have a lawsuit by Jesse Jackson here in Georgia. He claims that the laws encourage violence. He announced the suit at a press conference flanked by people claiming to have been “victims” of the law.

3.) Virgina Tech. It is often noted that the police have no explicit duty to defend/protect you. This has been held up in the past by the Supreme Court’s ruling in Warren v. District of Columbia. Now we have a more recent example of this with Virginia Tech. Virginia’s State Supreme Court revesed a wrongful death verdict in the case, stating that “as a matter of law” the commonwealth “did not have a duty to protect students against third party criminal acts.” In other words, they are not responsible for the safety of the students.

Which begs the question; if they aren’t…..who is? And if they aren’t, why do they still dictate what your options are?

4.) Airport shooting. Despite not having much value in terms of the overall gun news, to not mention the LAX shooting would be ignoring a rather large elephant. The reaction to the shooting has been interesting, in that we’ve seen calls from people for “more” security and laws in the wake of the shooting, oblivous/ignorant of the fact that airports are supposed to be among the most secure sites in the country.

If there is anything to take away from it, it’s that he managed to get into the terminal of one of the busiest airports in the country, past hundreds of thousands of dollars in security tech with little more than a rifle and a backpack. Any security, online or off, can be broken.

Which brings me nicely to another major reaction that we, as a country, really need to get past. Preparing for disasters, talking about “if” a person is attacked, and essentially wargaming for when things get real bad real fast is currently seen as “paranoid” or “hoping for something to happen.” And yet, after every major event, you always hear the same refrain:

“I didn’t think it could happen here.”

We have heard it for years now. Meanwhile, shootings have taken place in small towns and big cities, in schools and theaters, and in malls and places of worship. These things are rare, but not impossible

It might be time to stop acting shocked when these events occur, and to start fighting against the people who don’t care who they kill, so long as their message gets across. To stop thinking that people with no regard for the law or human life will listen to more laws because “they have to, it’s the law.”

In other words, it might be time, as a country, to stop thinking “it can’t happen here” and start planning for what can be done if it did.

Boost

The head of INTERPOL discusses armed Citizens, the UN Arms Treaty faces more resistance in the Senate, and the effort to recall Legislators in California finally gets underway. After a few tame weeks, we have a mountain of strong headlines to run through.

1.) INTERPOL. Top story is an interview the head of the International Criminal Police Organization, also known as INTERPOL, gave to ABC News. In the interview Secretary General Ronald Noble openly discusses the idea of armed citizens and wonders aloud whether armed citizens could have either prevented or mitigated the attack on a mall in Kenya. Noble says that whether armed citizens are “more necessary now than it was in the past with an evolving threat of terrorism” needs to be openly discussed.

His comments spread through social media, but it has been difficult to find much anti-gun response to the comments. If you find them, please post it.

2.) Arms Treaty. In other news this week, four Democrats joined 50 other Senators from both parties in opposing the UN Arms Treaty. With more than half of the Senate now opposed to the treaty, it has virtually no chance of being ratified by the United States. The 54 Senators have voiced concerns about the treaty ranging from its broad terms, to fears that the amendment process could be used to force the United States to violate the Constitution.

Secretary of State John Kerry signed the treaty late last month, but his signature is largely symbolic as the Constitution demands a 2/3 majority in the Senate.

3.) California. An effort to recall gun control opponents in California officially got underway this week. While generally seen as an uphill battle in California, which has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, Assemblyman Tim Donnell says that the effort is important, regardless. He told the Sacramento Bee that “every single assemblyman and state senator swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution,” and that citizens have a duty to remove people who try to violate that oath.

Of course, the other side has noticed the effort. Specifically, the Latino Caucus has noticed that all of the targets in the recall are Hispanic, which they claim makes the effort racist. State Senator Ricardo Lara told the LA Times “The shame is even more stark and pronounced when the strategy targets only Latinos. Californians will not stand for any campaign that is clearly racist and devoid of any political or legal legitimacy.”

The group “Gun Owners of California” notes that the man in charge of the recall elections is Hispanic, and said the Senators remarks were an “interesting response.”

4.) Common Core. The controversial education standards known as “Common Core” have caught the attention of gun advocates once again. The Tennessee Firearms Association slammed the standards, claiming that the material in approved textbooks teaches students a “reckless” misrepresentation of the Second Amendment. As an example the group notes that Common Core textbooks say that the Second Amendment is limited to a “militia of citizen soldiers.”

This is not the first time Common Core has caught criticism for its anti-Second Ammendment curriculum. Other examples include “asking students to “prune” the Bill of Rights and that police can confiscate guns for no reason whatsoever.

5.) Campus Carry. 4 Georgia State University students were robbed Thursday night by three armed men in a GSU dorm room. Though they have been arrested, the event reheated the debate over guns on campus, especially considering that all of the robbers had gone through the security that was already there.

Local story, but pertinent to the conversation.

6.) DC. Finally today, news from the nation’s rights-free Capitol. The Armed Novelist brought up a story from the Washington Times about a businessman facing facing two years in prison for possessing an unregistered firearm. The story has also been picked up by the NRA, though the press release from them is rather timid. The best part of the NRA’s release is when they briefly bring up the work of, but never directly address, the work of gun rights activist Adam Kokesh:

We can only wonder whether a peaceful counter-demonstration using Joe Biden-approved double-barreled shotguns to extol the virtues of the Second Amendment would be similarly tolerated. Recent events suggest it would not.

Admittedly, this sort of cowardice (or timidity if you are generous) from the NRA is nothing new. The embarrassment of a press conference post-Sandy Hook, in which a random online game was used to represent the entire industry, is a fine example of this.

Still, it is interesting to see more attention brought to anti-gun strongholds like DC and California. If the California recall works, it will be a bigger warning than even Colorado’s efforts, it would add to the already huge momentum the movement has as we enter the last two months of 2013.

Restart

The UN Arms Treaty is DOA, CO’s governor wants gun control groups out of the latest recall efforts, and some thoughts on training from NRANews’ Dom Raso. Fairly laid back this week, and not much to cover.

1.) UN Arms Treaty. The US Constitution states that any treaty the President or his Cabinet signs must be ratified by a 2/3 vote in the Senate. That isn’t going to happen with the UN Arms Treaty. Armed Novelist sends word that 50 US Senators have signed a letter stating their intent to block the treaty from passage.

The Senators cite, among other things, the treaty’s broad language, and their concerns that the amendment process could force the US to violate its own laws; namely the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, as their reasons for refusing to support the treaty.

With 1/2 of the Senate against the treaty, it is simply impossible for it to pass. This is a major victory considering the idea of bringing the UN in to “fix” America’s supposed problem with guns has been floated in the past.

2.) Recall Redux. A third anti-gun CO State Senator is facing recall efforts after the first two successful attempts. This time, however, the attitude of gun control advocates, namely CO Gov. John Hickenlooper, is a LOT more measured. Hickenlooper says that gun control groups, like Bloomberg’s “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” should stay out of this latest recall effort.

He says that “Colorado is a state that people like to be themselves and solve their own problems. They don’t really like outside organizations meddling in their affairs, and maybe the NRA gets a pass on that.”

No word on when or if the election will take place.

3.) Training. The latest from NRANews contributor Dom Raso is probably one of his best. His latest, named “Training” focuses on the fact that “self-defense” is about more than simply buying a firearm, and briefly looks into what motivates people to train.

One of the quotes that I love is find something you would die for and living for it. Makes sense right? For some in special operations it is literally to go kill the bad guy, some just want to protect this country, and others want their kids to grow up in a better world. But regardless, they are motivated by something. Its up to you to figure out what drives you and motivates you to wake up everyday. Then get after it.

4.) CCW On Campus. A recent article in Technique, the student paper of Georgia Tech, seems to be getting a head-start on the debate over guns on campus. The 2014 session loads up in January, goes to about March or April (long story).

5.) 3-D Revolution. Finally this week, authorities in Europe are concerned that criminals might start breaking laws. As many of you know, the EU in general has some extremely strict gun control laws, including requiring guns to be registered. European authorities are worried that the advent of 3-D printing will completely undermine the registration system by allowing people to make their own guns, at home, with a (relatively) cheap printer and free blueprints downloaded off the Internet.

Or, put another way, we have seen Eric Holder admit that guns in schools are a viable solution, and now Europeans are thinking criminals don’t follow laws. They are laying waste to a narrative they’ve spent decades building.