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.

Resistance

The UN Arms Treaty gets signed, but won’t be ratified; Canada can’t be asked to sign on; and the resistance to gun laws (and government overreach in general) continues to expand across the nation. It’s not quite as active as in past weeks, but there is still a decent amount of news to check on. So let’s get started.

1.) UN Arms Treaty. The UN has, of course, always been a source of concern among pro-gunners. The catch here is to not let ire get in the way of facts. Filing through the reaction to the UN Arms Treaty this week I’m reminded of the bogus “official” document that claimed the United Nations was confiscating private firearms. That document, despite being impossible to verify, was fired around social media as absolute truth.

What I’m clumsily getting at is this; if pro-gunners are going to strengthen their argument, it’d be awesome if we didn’t use false documents to do it. That in mind, let’s get to the real thing.

Guns Save Lives has a copy of the document and the threats it actually poses (vs. the “threats” that sell subscriptions and product on far-right conspiracy sites). Short version: The UN’s Amendment Process should this thing actually get ratified, increasing the cost and availability of foreign-made guns and ammo (Glocks, PMC ammo, etc.), and that the treaty “strongly encourages all member nations to track the value, source, and destination of all imported and exported guns”, what GSL refers to as a “De Facto gun registry.”

Nonetheless, US Secretary of State John Kerry says the treaty won’t harm US gun rights. Many Senators aren’t convinced, and have vowed to block it in the Senate. Interestingly, our northern neighbors didn’t sign the treaty.

2.) National News. Sunday saw a memorial service for the 12 victims of the DC Naval Yard shooting. President Obama was there as well, and for whatever reason couldn’t go one speech without pressing for “common sense” gun laws:

Sometimes I fear there is a creeping resignation that these tragedies are just somehow the way it is. That this is somehow the new normal. We cannot accept this. As Americans bound in grief and love, we must insist here today there’s nothing normal about innocent men and women being gunned down where they work.

I do not accept that we cannot find a common sense way to preserve our traditions, including our basic Second Amendment freedoms and the rights of law abiding gun owners, while at the same time reducing the gun violence that unleashes so much mayhem on a regular basis. It will happen because it’s the change that we need.”

An op-ed in Australia echoed the same sentiment, suggesting that “No scene of carnage makes any difference”

Meanwhile, some people who used to be anti-gun are slowly coming around on it. CNN’s Don Lemon suggested in a recent radio interview that being armed with a cell phone and not much else essentially makes a person a “sitting duck” when facing someone who is armed.

And then there was news out of the Obama administration on Friday. CNN is reporting that the DOJ plans to spend about $45 million on putting armed police officers in about 365 schools. What was once an insane NRA idea, derided by anti-gunners, is suddenly an idea that the Obama administration is open to. The irony of that says more than anti-gunners would probably like it to.

3.) Local battles. There are four major notes I would like to bring up on the micro level. The first is a lawsuit over recent gun laws in Maryland. The laws included a ban on assault weapons (naturally) and limited magazines to 10 rounds. The lawsuit alleges that both are a violation of the Second Amendment.

The second hits close to home for me. Although the Georgia legislature does not open until January of 2014 (short-term legislature, before you ask. REALLY short-term), the echoes of last sessions debate on allowing guns on campus is still resonating with people. The previous attempt came up for a vote in the last 3 minutes of the session, so it never got through. But, since the Legislature operates on a two-year cycle, the bill was sent back to committee. While, as the AJC notes, some have suggested that the CCW on Campus portion will be dropped, a few people in local Students for Concealed Carry groups and Georgia Carry have told me that they may run House Bill 512, which included campus carry, in the next session.

Thirdly, some late-breaking news out of North Carolina. The Libertarian Republic reports that it will soon be legal to have guns on public school campuses provided those guns are locked in the owner’s vehicle. It’s not much, but it’s a small story worth noting.

Finally, an attorney in Indiana is suggesting expanding the State’s Castle Doctrine to include schools. His argument is that schools should be treated with “the same protection and the same sanctity as our homes, in terms of protecting our kids.”

4.) Looking ahead. To be blunt, the UN Arms Treaty has almost no chance of being finalized by the Senate. Senate Democrats will probably latch on to it, but very few if any Republicans want to stake their political careers on giving the UN any ground whatsoever on guns.

And then there is the general “fear” over the shutdown of the Federal government. The Armed Novelist sent me a note from FOX23 in Tulsa about a government shutdown impacting already long NFA approval wait times. The sale of handguns and other weapons tied to the instant background check system will not be affected, however.

The idea of a government shutdown doesn’t seem as apocalyptic as those with an interest in spreading fear make it sound. While, yes, NFA stuff will be delayed, in general it is pretty insignificant. (Though it is a solid reason as to why suppressors and other items SHOULDN’T be under NFA’s umbrella.)

The major story to me out of all of this week’s news is that the Obama administration has quietly taken a page from the NRA’s playbook. They essentially admit that, to use Wayne LaPierre’s terminology, “good guys with guns” is a viable solution. It is a small program, to be sure, but one based largely on a lot of the points pro-gunners have made. (Besides which, going full-throttle into the program would have been both difficult financially AND politically.)

Yes, it was small. I’m under no illusions that it was a massive program. But there is no better energizer in a debate than when your opponent admits that you are right.

Defeatism

Starbucks issued a “request” that gun owners not bring their guns into Starbucks stores. While groups that have been waiting for this are celebrating a victory (depending on how you look at it) for this battle….it’s the war they are clearly losing. This week, a look at Starbucks, some of the last echoes of the gun control movement’s attempts to exploit the Navy Yard shooting, and a look at the next attempt at changing the language.

1.) Starbucks. The major news in the gun world this week is, of course, Starbucks’ open letter to gun owners. The letter from the company’s CEO basically “requested” that guns not be brought into the stores. This has generated at-best mixed reaction from gun owners. I have seen more than a few posts blaming people who open carry around the Internet. NRANews’ anchor Cam Edwards, in a piece for Rare.com, seems to believe that a ban may be in the works if the company feels the “request” is not being honored. Colion Noir believes Starbucks has “come out of the anti-gun closet”, but that blaming those who Open Carry is essentially dividing the pro-gun movement “over a couple of java beans.” Personally, I tend to align more with Mr. Noir’s views, but that’s just me. I don’t Open Carry, I find it to be ASKING for trouble (especially in a major city) but I don’t hold anything against those who decide to openly carry their firearms.

For whatever reason, McDonalds and Dunkin Donuts have felt the need to release statements on their own policies for firearms.

2.) Navy Yard Shooting. At this point, even those who support it know that gun control has almost no chance of returning to the forefront after the DC shooting. Aside from the irony of a shooting in a gun-free-zone in gun-free DC, and with the budget theater reloading, there simply isn’t enough time or enough momentum to bring up the topic. And it’s not just in Congress where the idea has been barely recieved. As reported by MarketWatch, the two major publicly-traded gun manufacturers, Smith and Wesson and Ruger, barely moved in the days following the Yard shooting. The two companies’ stock basically crashed following the Newtown shooting, but their performance recently has led many to believe that the market isn’t too concerned about the post-Navy Yard performance of these two companies and perhaps the gun market at large. As far as the public is concerned, a Rasmussen poll suggests that opposition to gun control is at its highest point in over a year. 58% of respondents told pollsters that the shooting was unlikely to lead to new gun legislation, and 59% of respondents think tougher gun laws wouldn’t have stopped the shooting anyway.

3.) Looking ahead. My friend The Armed Novelist found what is likely the next move by gun control proponents. Since “high-capacity assault rifle” “weapons of war” and so forth aren’t being anywhere near as effective as they used to be, a new term has come up in gun control vernacular: the “Law Enforcement-Style Shotgun” (which may or may not have Biden’s approval anyway). This is largely similar to how “global warming” alarmists then changed to talking about “climate change”, then when that failed it became “global climate disruption.”

Outside of that is the media’s odd lack of interest in the mass shootings in Chicago. The irony that we had two rather large shootings in two gun control havens is not lost on most people. (The narrative, by the way, seems to be that it’s about guns coming in from other States, not because Chicago and Illinois gun laws are so tight.)

At the risk of sounding hyperbolic, it’s almost as if even the gun control movement sees its own momentum slipping. “Weapons of war” has become robotic, “military-style” has become easily and frequently debunked, and the movement’s steadfast unwillingness to discuss crime in Chicago and DC (among others) is starting to grow tiresome even to those outside of the gun rights movement.

Just before this brief “went to print” if you will, Armed Novelist sent me what may be another potential angle for the gun control movement that is both a little unnerving and a show of desperation. There is an op-ed in The Guardian in the UK asking “shouldn’t the world intervene” to “lower” gun violence in our country. A movement predicated on increasing government power and trampling on people’s rights would have nothing against bringing in the U.N. It is a small note, and I only have that op-ed, but it is certainly something to consider as the domestic gun control movement becomes increasingly desperate and irrelevant.

Force

I am starting to become exhausted of the almost regular notifications of active shooters in areas where guns are prohibited and the ignorance that floods social media thereafter.

Put bluntly: Shit’s getting old.

The idea that military bases are gun-free-zones is apparently insane even to gun control advocates. We saw this madness at Fort Hood too. Worst part is that this is DC. It’s a shooting at a gun-free-zone WITHIN a gun-free-zone.

Over on Twitter, the requisite screeches of “what will it take” and “we must do something” flood my Twitter feed as if a sewage pipe burst. Key parts of the story are left out and replaced with emotion. It doesn’t matter that he stole the weapon, nor that he carried a gun into a place where he REALLY wasn’t allowed to. What matters is we need to do “something.”

And what stopped the shooter? What horrible force brought it to an end?
Another gun. Proportionate force.

The response, apparently, is that there weren’t ENOUGH laws for this lunatic to break. What laws, for example, would have prevented him from stealing the AR from the base? (In addition, note that this guy passed all military background checks and even had a Secret security clearance.)

It wouldn’t hurt everyone to start noticing patterns like this. And how the “next” mass shooting is flat-out impossible to predict, and therefore impossible to stop. The “only option” right now (as many college handbooks note) is essentially to keep a low profile and pray he doesn’t off you. I would suggest another option; having even the CHANCE to fight back.

Anti-gun vs. pro-gun comes down to submission vs. empowerment. Do you want to pray police get there in time, or have a defense while the police are on the way? Would you place bets on an LEO who is on the other side of the campus when the Wolf is LITERALLY at the door, or would you prefer to be prepared for him?

In short, do you want to hope you don’t get killed or have a 165 decibel say in whether you get killed?

The idea that there are people who would force you to rely on others who simply cannot get to you in time (no matter how much they want to) is repulsive at best, and flat-out evil at worst.