No, I’m not on fire.
Rather, I’d like to direct your attention to The FIRE, The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a group dedicated to:

[D]efend and sustain individual rights at America’s colleges and universities. These rights include freedom of speech, legal equality, due process, religious liberty, and sanctity of conscience ? the essential qualities of individual liberty and dignity. FIRE’s core mission is to protect the unprotected and to educate the public and communities of concerned Americans about the threats to these rights on our campuses and about the means to preserve them.

They’re good people.
While neutral on various hot-button issues (including firearms on campus), FIRE is willing to bat for various individuals and groups whose speech is being repressed on campuses. Take, for example, their work on behalf of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus — an individual was denied the right to form a local chapter of SCCC when the administrators told the student that “such a group would never be allowed on campus and threatened her with disciplinary action for her attempts to inform her fellow students about the cause.” She went to FIRE, who lawyered up, and the college caved.
If you’re not familiar with them, I urge you to check them out.

On Prohibitions

As many readers may know, Costco prohibits the carriage of firearms within its stores. As a private entity, they are perfectly within their rights to do so, and while I may disagree with their decision, I respect it.
Naturally, there are those who do not agree with their decision and will carry anyway. This is prohibited by Costco’s policy, and Costco can ask them to leave (and failing to do so is trespassing). Even so, I’m sure there’s not a few people who think “concealed means concealed” and don’t worry about it. I may disagree, but I understand.
Then, there’s the guy who walked in to the local Costco tonight: baseball hat on backwards, tag still attached to it, oversized t-shirt, with a Ruger semi-auto pistol (exact model unknown) openly carried in a cheap, nylon holster with no retention other than a small velcro strap. Oh, and he’s there with his wife and four kids. He totally took “classy” to a whole new level.
It’s one thing to carry discretely where it’s not permitted, but it’s another thing entirely to do so brazenly and openly.
Don’t be “that guy”.

On Nukes

Someone in a thread on Fark asked why, if the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear arms, he can’t have a nuke.
Another commenter replied with a rather snarky answer: “Two reasons, you don’t have the money to buy one and you’re not smart enough to build one.”
I was amused.


The ASUA voted 9-0-0 to approve the measure opposing SB1011, according to Richard, who attended the meeting. I was unable to attend due to prior commitments.
According to Richard, it was clear that they had made up their minds prior to voting. When I was at the public forum the night before, I also observed similar behavior: they rolled their eyes, didn’t pay much attention, and generally looked aloof and uninterested. None of this surprises me.
Richard sent me video of the vote, and it’s of higher quality than my previous video, and I’ll get it up here soon. I’m on campus right now and don’t have any audio, so I can’t figure out a good place to split it for YouTube.

ASUA Public Forum After Action Report

Here’s a video of the proceedings from the ASUA meeting tonight.
Sorry for the poor quality video and audio — I recorded it with my cellphone video camera, which is clearly not the best recording tool. Such is life.
I’ll go through the videos and add annotations/captions in the future.

At several points, I wanted to say to the pro-gun people, “Stop it. You’re not helping.” — we’re not talking about the Second Amendment, nor guns in parking lots, nor anything else. We’re talking about whether the ASUA, the University of Arizona student government, should support or oppose a state senate bill that would allow faculty with valid CCW permits to carry concealed firearms on campus. Your efforts basically confirm every negative stereotype, though most of the pro-gun females who spoke were clear, articulate, and made some good points. This is a matter of giving responsible adults — professors, specifically — the choice to carry a firearm on campus if they wish.
The ASUA is holding a voting meeting tomorrow in the Ventana Room at the Student Union at 5:00pm. They’ll allow a brief period of public discussion on the topics (the gun issue is the first thing on the schedule, so show up promptly), but then the ASUA Senate will have their own discussions and vote on the matter. I highly encourage decent public speakers (i.e. not like those who spoke tonight) to attend and speak tomorrow. If we get good public speakers, particularly those who don’t fit into classic stereotypes of gun owners (e.g. women, disabled, professors, etc.), that could go a long way toward getting the ASUA to support this measure.

Public Debates About Guns On Campus Held Tonight

The Arizona Daily Wildcat is reporting that there will be a public meeting tonight at 7:00pm in the Santa Rita room of the Student Union building at the University of Arizona to discuss whether or not the Associated Students of the University of Arizona (ASUA, the student government) should support or oppose the proposed law that would allow faculty members (but not students) with CCW permits to carry guns on campus.
From the article:

Although anyone from the public can participate in the forum, Quillin said it will be structured with an emphasis on students? opinions.

While it’s short notice, it’d be great if pr0-gun people in Arizona could show up, particularly if they are current or former students or faculty. According to the article most of the responses have been non-committal, with both students and professors indicating support for the forum, but having mixed feelings on the topic. It doesn’t sound like many students or faculty are terribly interested, and so won’t be attending.
That said, comments on last week’s article (scroll down) seem to be leaning toward the pro-gun side. Let’s keep it up.
Of course, if one decides to come to the forum tonight, be presentable, be polite, don’t be a nutjob, and don’t come armed (remember, guns are still prohibited on campus, even with a permit). This is a big opportunity, and could lay the groundwork for future improvements.

Interesting Product

I received an email the other day from Mr. Dublin ((Interestingly enough, he’s presently 19 and a college freshman, and designed his charging system at age 18. I’m impressed.)), asking me if I’d be so kind as to comment on a product he’s selling: a HK-style charging system for AK-pattern rifles.
While I haven’t actually used his product, it certainly looks interesting. After a brief email exchange, he said he’s hoping to get a left-handed model and a non-reciprocating model constructed soon. That makes me, a lefty, happy.
If you’ve got an AK but prefer the HK-style charging handle, this looks like a pretty snazzy product to check out.