Category Archives: Guns

LA Times: “Should people on the no-fly list be able to buy guns? Yes.”

The LA Times surprised me by breaking with the President and saying that yes, people listed on the no-fly list shouldn’t have their rights infringed without due process. I’m sure the President, Senators Feinstein and Schumer, and the various gun-control groups aren’t super thrilled.
Full article here.
This paragraph sums up the whole article:

One problem is that the people on the no-fly list (as well as the broader terror watch list from which it is drawn) have not been convicted of doing anything wrong. They are merely suspected of having terror connections. And the United States doesn’t generally punish or penalize people unless and until they have been charged and convicted of a crime. In this case, the government would be infringing on a right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution ? and yes, like it or not, the right to buy a gun is a constitutional right according to the U.S. Supreme Court.

They even point out that the majority of people on the list are foreigners who are already prohibited from buying guns legally in the US:

Of those, the vast majority [of people on the list] are noncitizens living overseas; the number of American citizens on the list is believed to be fewer than 10,000 people.
That’s important because federal law already bars gun sales to most people who are not U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents or holders of valid visas, which means the vast majority of the people on the suspected terror list would already be barred from buying a firearm in the U.S. even without Feinstein’s law. That leaves us with about 10,000 American citizens (and some legal residents) who, under the proposed law, would be barred from exercising a constitutional right. That gives us pause.

Of course, just because the LA Times supports due process doesn’t mean they support gun rights. It’s wise to keep?Maxim 29 of the Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries?in mind: “The enemy of my enemy is my enemy’s enemy. No more. No less.”
Supporting gun rights is?a bridge to far for the LA Times, and they still strongly support stuff like bans on popular firearms and other measures. Still, they recognize that, like it or not, people have a right to own guns and so long as that right exists the government shouldn’t infringe on it:

Truthfully, no one should be allowed to buy assault rifles or other military-style firearms, and the country would be better off with much stronger gun control laws for other firearms than exist now. What’s more, this page disagrees with the Supreme Court’s 2008 ruling that the 2nd Amendment guarantees an individual the right to own a gun. But that is a recognized right, and we find it dangerous ground to let the government restrict the exercise of a right based on mere suspicion.
[…]
Ending gun violence is critically important, but so is protecting basic civil liberties. Although we agree to the ends here, we object to the means.

Still, it’s better than?sycophantically supporting gun control no matter what, so I’ll take it.

New York Times: “We want to take your guns away.”

It is past time to stop talking about halting the spread of firearms, and instead to reduce their number drastically ? eliminating some large categories of weapons and ammunition.
[…]
Certain kinds of weapons, like the slightly modified combat rifles used in California, and certain kinds of ammunition, must be outlawed for civilian ownership. It is possible to define those guns in a clear and effective way and, yes, it would require Americans who own those kinds of weapons to give them up for the good of their fellow citizens.

– “The Gun Epidemic“, December 5th 2015 Editorial, New York Times
Hey, look at that. They?do want to take your guns (and ammo!) away.
Of course, we knew that all along, but it’s nice for them to finally come out and say it.

“Long Gun” and “Assault Clothing” are now scary words.

It’s long been the case that firearms have been classified into various categories.
For example, “handguns” describe relatively small firearms like semi-auto pistols, revolvers, etc. that can be held with a single hand.
“Long guns” like rifles and shotguns are typically larger and are intended to be operated with both hands.
The media recently — and accurately — reported that the San Bernadino shooters used “long guns” in their attack. This is true: they used rifles (DPMS and S&W AR variants, according to the news) in their attack and possessed, but apparently did not use, handguns.
Shortly thereafter I saw idiots on social media wondering, “Why does anyone need a long gun? They should be banned!”
*facepalm*
Adding to the facepalm were claims that since the original name for Smith & Wesson M&P guns comes from “Military & Police”, there’s no reason for private?citizens to own such firearms even though they’re essentially identical to every other AR out there.
Evidently the bad guys wore?”assault clothing” which allowed them to be much more deadly than if they wore, for example, jeans, t-shirts, and?fishing vests. I had no idea that “assault clothing” was a thing.
Finally, I’ve seen feverish calls to ban the private ownership of body armor. Why? I have no idea. Armor is purely defensive and cannot be used to harm someone, so why would it pose any threat? I suppose one could whack someone with an armor vest or bonk them with a helmet, but come on…
Honestly, where do people come up with such idiocy?

On making things worse

I’ve seen people claim that having an armed citizen engage an active shooter in self-defense would somehow make things worse.
How? Isn’t an active shooter targeting innocent people without resistance already one of the worst things possible?
I don’t get that thought process?at all. Why would someone not want themselves or others to have a fighting chance in?the event of violent attack? I can’t wrap my mind around that thought process at all.
There’s no guarantees that the armed citizen will succeed in stopping the bad guy, but at the very least the bad guy would be distracted and need to respond to the armed citizen, giving others the opportunity to escape, move to a safer location, or fight back.?Sure, the armed citizen may miss and might hit innocent bystanders,?but the same could be said about police, and those people may well have been intentionally shot by the bad guys regardless.

“We need more gun control! It’ll totally work this time!”

In the wake of the San Bernadino shooting I have several long-time friends on the Book of Face calling for more gun control as a means of stopping such tragedies.
One person proposed “common-sense” things like “banning assault weapons, closing the gun-show loophole, universal background checks, restricting magazine capacity, waiting periods, training requirements, safe storage laws, actively taking guns away from people no longer eligible to own them, licensing, registration” and so on. They failed to realize that every single one of those things is already the law in California and did nothing to prevent the bad guys from carrying out their terrible crime.
Another went so far as to say that the country should ban bullets, since banning guns is legally off the table. <sarcasm>Right, because that’ll totally work, no court would ever have a problem with that, there’d be no incentive for criminals to illicitly produce or import cartridges using the same methods?used for human or drug smuggling, and nobody can possibly make bullets, powder, and primers from scratch.</sarcasm>
*sighs*

Whaddya know, they *do* want to take your guns away.

The anti-gun-rights side is getting desperate at their near-complete inability to restrict our rights at the federal level, with only slightly more success at the state level. We have the Brady Campaign calling the NRA “terrorists” and we have?Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo coming clean with something that pro-gun folks have known for a while: they actually do want to take our guns. He even says as much in an earlier article: “Yes, we really do want to take your guns. Maybe not all of them. But a lot of them.”

As long as it seemed possible to pass regulations limiting the most egregious abuses of gun ownership, there was some political logic to accepting the gun culture basically on its own terms and advocating for specific fixes. These include limitations on weapons designed for or less exclusively mass violence, basic background checks on gun purchases, perhaps waiting periods for purchasing a firearm, etc.
Getting those sorts of limited, incremental restrictions passed would certainly be harder if gun advocates knew that the gun control supporters actually wanted or were building toward more dramatic efforts to take guns out of circulation, require licensing – in other words, to fundamentally change the nature of gun ownership in the country.

(Bold added by me. -AZR)
Sorry, Josh, we’ve known that was endgame for you and others who feel the same as you?for decades. It hasn’t fooled anyone, no matter how many times the Brady Campaign or Bloomberg’s groups change their names.

It’s now clear that even the most innocuous restrictions on guns – simply requiring real background checks, restrictions on big magazines which let you snuff out more people before someone at your school massacre tackles you – are not even up for discussion or any good faith bargaining. No restrictions are allowed. Period. This present reality has to be accepted and understood.

Glad to see he recognizes that our?rights aren’t up for discussion or bargaining away. Sorry, you get nothing, nor should you.

I’m under no illusion that there’s any political will at the moment to dramatically reform private gun ownership in the country. But precisely because no reforms are possible today it makes perfect sense to flesh out the alternative – not minor restrictions on the margins but a society which has dramatically fewer guns, where private ownership was limited and regulated like how you would in a civilized society and one in which we took seriously limiting the needless deaths and suffering guns cause today.

You want to take my guns away.
I won’t give them up.
Your move.

It’s as good a time as ever to donate…

Now that it’s almost one year until the election, the anti-gun groups are?dumping?money?into?commercials?for politicians.
Unfortunately, Bloomberg has enough money to keep this up essentially forever. Sure, money doesn’t vote, but it can sway voters and ~$40 billion can sway quite a few.
Now would be an ideal time to donate some money to the NRA-ILA?(no NRA membership required) and the NRA-PVF (NRA membership required). I just chipped in $100 each to the ILA and PVF.
If you’re not already a member, join here. They have a promotion now where you get a free duffel bag (whoo!) and $10 off the one-year membership (and more off the longer-term memberships). That money can do a lot to counter Bloomberg, and having the NRA be able to say “We have X million dues-paying members.” makes a big difference in the legislature.

Rachel Lu: “I Want My Husband To Have A Gun On Campus”

Over at The Federalist, Rachel Lu writes:

It?s one thing to accept that my husband?s mostly-safe job has a slightly increased risk of death by psychopath. It?s quite another to accept that he can?t do anything about it. Granted, it isn?t likely that someone would try to murder him and his students in cold blood. We now have to agree, though, that the risk is no longer entirely negligible. If news rooms were being shot up at the same rate, I?m guessing we?d be seeing major movement on the protect journalists front.
[…]
In the end, that?s really the question we have to ask. In a real emergency, do you want the psychopath to be the only one with a gun? Or would you rather take the terrible chance that people like my husband (a legal gun owner and married father of four) can handle carrying a weapon responsibly, knowing he might then be in a position to save your life if a deranged gunman chooses our university community for his next rampage?

Go read the whole thing.

Making private sales safer

I’ve bought and sold a small number of guns in private sales over the years, mostly with friends I’ve known for decades and others I know are non-prohibited (e.g. I watched them pass a NICS check a week or two before) so the risk of my inadvertently selling to a prohibited person was quite small. Still, I was thinking about ways to make private sales safer for both buyer and seller.
It seems to me that the most logical thing would be to perform a NICS (or equivalent) check when issuing drivers licenses or state IDs. People who pass the check get a green checkmark or something on the back of their license, while those who fail get a red “X” or some other mark. It doesn’t need to be huge or obvious (think “Organ Donor”-mark sized), and it doesn’t even need to suggest guns (so squeamish people don’t get annoyed or even know what the mark is for).
Since everyone, gun owner or not, gets the marks on their drivers license or state ID, there’s no privacy risk that could be used to identify who is a gun owner or who isn’t. The marks merely indicate if someone is or is not prohibited from owning guns.
If someone’s circumstances change so that they’re now prohibited from possessing guns,?their license is replaced with one with the “prohibited” mark. Since such a change in circumstance almost always involves the authorities (e.g. being arrested by the cops, tried in court, etc.) enforcement should be reasonably easy. Costs would be negligible, since similar checks to determine one’s eligibility to drive are already carried out by the DMV at the time of issuance.
Those participating in private sales can easily check for the “approved” mark and have confidence that they’re dealing with a non-prohibited person.
Criminals would, as they do already, engage in illegal sales without compunction and wouldn’t care about marks on licenses. That’s not what this proposal is intended to stop: I’m interested in making it easier for people to buy or sell guns privately without inadvertently selling to or buying from a prohibited person.
In short, like Illinois’ FOID cards, only without needing to specifically apply for a separate license that uniquely identifies them as a firearms owner.
Of course, since this?proposal has no possibility for backdoor registration, I’m pretty sure the anti-gun folks aren’t remotely interested.