Again, all feeling, no research

So a Blogger over at Scary Mommy is my next blog post source. Again, like the first post, it is an emotional rant blown out of proportion.  Like, MDA, author Leslie Gaar envisions the “wild west” shootouts returning to Texas with the passage of Open Carry. The truth is shootouts were rare, and not a daily occurrence, even in Dodge City, Tombstone, or Leadville. “Gun control laws may have actually been stricter back in the 19th and early 20th century than they are now, especially in the West” (Wisniewski; Nakamura. 2013). This idea of a violent and lawless free-for-all has been largely drawn out of proportion because it makes for great stories and drama. Research has established that “violent crime was not the daily norm that popular entertainment would have us believe” (Hunsinger. 2007).

The most interesting thing about Gaar’s article is that she does not write in fear of being the victim of a shooting; her entire premise of fear is that her kids might see a gun. As she asks, “are my kids and I going to come face to face with a gun at the place we’re going” (Gaar. 2016).

It should be noted that she either does not or cannot cite any reference to open carry supports and those with custom fit holsters engaging in the mass shootings she fears. She does cite two other ScaryMommy Articles; one with no references, and another that cites Wikipedia. She does not acknowledge that before Texas, open carry of handguns was legal in 30 states and in another, legal with a permit. Places where it is not legal include California, site of the San Bernardino Shooting, and Illinois, home of our favorite gun control utopia, Chicago.

She also does not mention that until the passage of Open Carry in Texas, it has always been legal to open carry a long gun or rifle. This is where the famous “Little Man and Fat Boy” picture came from. I was not always a fan of those who carried their ARs and AKs into restaurants after an open carry protest. I felt it was over the top. But the premise of the protest was that to point out the absurdity that allowed open carry of impractical long guns for self-defense while denying the use of handguns.

Gaar then points out that she might come face to face with “a Colt 45 mere inches from my face as I lean over to pick out a ripe avocado in the produce section” (Gaar, 2016). First, if you bend so far down to examine produce that your head is at waist level, I recommend you find a more efficient way to check fruit. I tend to lift it up and bring it to me rather than bring my head to it. Second, Colt 45 is malt liquor. But I’m guessing, like most anti-gun writers, your searching for a term that sounds close to correct, so I’ll assume you mean an M1911 which regularly is chambered in .45 ACP, or a Colt 1873 SAA revolver, chambered in .45 Long Colt.

My final issue with her article is that she envisions what her “gun-toting friends” might say (Gaar. 2016). She doesn’t reference anyone who said it, and her use of the terms “overcompensating,” “beacons of machismo” and “cowboy complex” tells me that she has bought into stereotypes and biases rather seeking out facts and actual references to confirm her opinion.

Leslie Gaar, I understand that things you don’t understand scare you. I can tell you don’t understand guns by your language and reliance on emotional biases. I urge you to talk to your friends who own firearms. Do you trust them to be good guys with guns? I’m certain they would be open to a facts based conversation if you would give them the opportunity. If you could actually cite references that have not been disproven and show that you actually understand why many people support open carry, then you could potentially craft a stronger argument against what you believe is just paranoia.

Fletch

References:

Gaar, Leslie. (2016) Raising Kids In An Open Carry State Terrifies Me. ScaryMommy.Com. Retrieved 17 January 2016 from http://www.scarymommy.com/texas-open-carry-law-raising-kids/#

Wisniewski J.; Nakamura, Kevin. (2013) 5 Ridiculous Myths Everyone Believes About the Wild West. Cracked.com. Retrieved on 17 January 2016 from http://www.cracked.com/article_20372_5-ridiculous-myths-everyone-believes-about-wild-west_p2.html

Hunsinger, Earl. (2007) The Wild West of Myth and Reality. Buzzle.com. Retrieved on 17 January 2016 from http://www.buzzle.com/articles/the-wild-west-of-myth-and-reality.html

Updated 05 November 2016 for Grammar

End of 2015

It has been a long year for those of us that seek to defend our 2nd Amendment rights.

The most horrific events of the year happened in San Bernardino (Nagourney, Lovett, Pérez-Peña. 2015), twice in Paris (Urquhart. 2015) (Reuters, 2015), Charleston, and Umpqua Community College (Ford, Payne. 2015).  What is tragic is that this is a mere sliver of violence around the world and does not paint a true picture of the issues here in the United States.

Nothing should ever detract from the horror of these events.  They were executed by people who felt that their actions would future their cause. However, within hours, (or in the case of Hillary Clinton and Martin O’Malley, minutes) many who would seek to deny 2nd Amendment Rights were already taking to the internet and airwaves to push an agenda (Cantell, 2015) (Taylor 2015).

I will remember 2015 as they year Star Wars returned to the big screen, but it is the year the NRA and its members were blamed for the actions of people who were neither members or supporters. Why?  Because they are an easy target?  Somehow they spend fractions of the money Moms Demand action and Michal Bloomberg (yes, I know, one and the same) spend, yet they keep winning everywhere but the bluest of states.  In 2015, new gun laws were passed in Washington, California, and Virginia.  Rights previous allowed in DC were taken away on a technicality (the judge that struck down the DC policy did not have jurisdiction).

The result has been three attempts to deny second amendment rights.  The first was in July when the Obama administration pursued a failed publicity campaign that clearly illustrates the steps gun grabbers would take to deny the rights of its citizens.  President Obama sought to add those “who cannot own guns based on financial competence” to the NCIS rolls as those who could not own firearms (FoxNews. 2015).  What is interesting is that not one of the mass shootings in the US was committed by anyone who would fall into this category.  It sought to use the VA standard of those requiring a financial representative payee as also incompetent to own firearms.  This makes automatic assumption that those who cannot pay a bill are therefore a danger to themselves or others. This is a vague standard of denying one’s rights.

The second failed push was the democrat sponsored bill to deny the sale of firearms to those on the ‘no fly list.’  As the Washington Post, Time, ABC News, and even the ACLU concluded, this was a poor way to screen for gun violence.  This push came in the wake of the San Bernardino shooting.  However, those killers were not on the no fly list. Neither was the killers of every other mass shooting in recent memory (Jacoby. 2015).  As many other organizations point out, the criteria for adding someone to this list are not clearly defined, nor is the process for removing a name from this list.  So much so that former Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) was on the list and required three weeks to be removed room it.  The Washington Free Beacon reported that 72 DHS employees were on the terror watch list.

Throughout the proceedings, the media, and bill sponsors routinely made references to both the terror watch list and the no-fly list as though they were the same thing.  But regardless, there is no due process for adding someone to this list.  Therefore, rights are abridged by fiat because a bureaucrat made a decision.  There is also no notification that someone’s name has been added to the list. What is scary is that rights that gun grabbers do not agree with could be abridged so easily under this law.

Finally, on 16 December 2015, Davie Cicilline (D-RI) reintroduced the assault weapons ban.   This new bill would ban the manufacture of “Assault Weapons,” grandfather in the possession of all currently owned weapons but prevent their transfer after the passage of this bill.  This has little chance of passing and will only serve as campaign fodder about how those mean Republicans who are only in the NRA’s pocket are preventing common sense gun reform.

Gun grabbers will go to any lengths to deny the rights of Americans to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights. It is telling that they would seek to remove due process as well to attain this goal.  Meanwhile, they have yet to show how their “common sense” reforms would have prevented any of the events that have occurred over the past year.

Fletch

References:

Nagourney, Adam; Lovett, Ian; Pérez-Peña, Richard (2015) San Bernardino Shooting Kills at Least 14; Two Suspects Are Dead.  NYTimes.com. Retrieved on 31 December 2015 from http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/03/us/san-bernardino-shooting.html?_r=0

Urquhart, Conal. (2015) Paris Police Say 12 Dead After Shooting at Charlie Hebdo. Time.com. Retrieved on 31 December from http://time.com/3657246/paris-charlie-hebdo-shooting/

Reuters Staff (2015) Timeline of Paris Attacks According to Public Prosecutor. Reuters.com.  Retrieved on 31 December 2015 from http://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-shooting-timeline-idUSKCN0T31BS20151114#h8KRqimXftutLeR3.97

Ford, Dana; Payne, Ed. (2015) Oregon shooting: Gunman dead after college rampage.  CNN.com Retrieved on 31 December 2015 from http://edition.cnn.com/2015/10/01/us/oregon-college-shooting/index.html

Ellis, Ralph; Ford, Dana; Payne, Ed; Perez, Evan. (2015) Shooting suspect in custody after Charleston church massacre. CNN.com.  Retrieved on 31 December 2015 from http://edition.cnn.com/2015/06/18/us/charleston-south-carolina-shooting/index.html

Cantrell, Michael (2015) Hillary Clinton Politicizes San Bernardino Mass Shooting Before Suspects are Even Caught. YoungConservatives.com. Retrieved on 31 December 2015 from http://www.youngcons.com/hillary-clinton-politicizes-san-bernadino-mass-shooting-before-suspects-are-even-caught/

Taylor, Kristen. (2015) Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley Race to Politicize San Bernardino Mass Shooting. Politomix.com. Retrieved on 31 December 2015 from http://politomix.com/the-gateway-pundit/817649/hillary-clinton-martin-omalley-race-to-politicize-san-bernardino-mass-shooting/

FoxNews (2015) Obama admin looks to ban some Social Security recipients from owning guns. FoxNews.com. Retrieved on 31 December 2015 from http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/07/20/obama-looks-to-ban-social-security-recipients-from-owning-guns.html

Zarembo, Alan. (2015) Obama goal: no guns for some on Social Security disability Seattletimes.com. Retrieved on 31 December 2015 from http://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/obama-goal-no-guns-for-some-on-social-security-disability/

Jacoby, Jeff (2015) Beware the ‘no-fly’ list and guns.  Boston Globe.com. Retrieved on 31 December 2015 from https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2015/12/08/beware-transparency-due-process-fly-list/F4el4qJDvegPg8CpvM47TO/story.html

Hawkins, Awr. (2015) House Democrats Introduce Bill to Ban Manufacture of ‘Assault Weapons’. Breitbart.com. Retrieved on 31 December 2015 from http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/12/15/house-democrats-introduce-bill-ban-manufacture-assault-weapons/

Updated on 05 November 2016 for Grammar

Poor Comparisons

Sally Kohn has this great idea that since we regulate toys and kids’ furniture when children die, that we should be able to use the same logic to outlaw guns.  As she points out, “between 2000 and 2010, there were 32 infant deaths due to so-called “drop side” cribs. And so in 2011, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission banned drop side cribs altogether” (Kohn, 2015).  She then goes on a rant about how many children are killed by guns each year and yet we fail to “pass even the most measly common sense safety laws” (Kohn, 2015).

What Sally fails to mention is that drop side cribs were designed to safely hold babies while they sleep.  She makes the same analogy about Toyota accelerators and Firestone tires.  All of these products were designed to perform a specific function and failed, which led to an accidental death.  This is a false comparison and she knows it.

She even tries to cover by drawing a roundabout argument that “For sure, there’s no Second Amendment right to Easy-Bake Ovens” (Kohn. 2015).  This of course brings out all the counter arguments that there is no right to toys but I have a right to my gun comments on the article.  The items she uses as a reference are because they failed to perform their intended purpose resulting in death or serious injury.  If the safety on my pistol failed because of a poor design, then it would be a similar comparison.  If the slide of my pistol broke because of poor gunsmithing and material, that would be a similar comparison.  But that would not further her agenda.

The phrase “we have to hand out guns like candy” is also interesting in how anti gunners view America’s “Gun Culture.”  She lumps all gun sellers, legal FFLs, and illegal street dealers into the same category.  She lumps all gun buyers, legal and illegal into the same group.  There is a clear distinction between legal gun owners and criminals, and how each procure firearms.  But like President Obama and his easier to get a gun than vegetables claim, it’s all a pure farce from those who have no idea about what legal gun owners go through to make a purchase.

Finally, she makes the dubious claim that “simple measures like requiring universal background checks and restricting semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines are supported not only by a majority of Americans but a majority of gun owners” (Kohn, 2015).  I have yet to see any reference that supports this claim but it seems that each time I see in in a gun control rant, it includes something else. It started with just “Gun Owners support Universal background checks.”  Now it is “Gun owners support bans on Semi-Automatic Weapons?”  Tell me Sally, what is a semi-automatic weapon?   And what restrictions do the majority of gun-owners support on them?

 – Fletch

Reference:

Kohn, Sally (2015) We regulate toys, so why not guns? Atlanta, Georgia. cnn.com. Cable News Network, Inc. Retrieved from: http://edition.cnn.com/2015/10/29/opinions/kohn-gun-safety/index.html 

Updated 05 November 2016 for Grammar

 

Next Gun

In 101 days, I will leave Korea and return to the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.  Kind of. Before I move on to my next duty station in Alaska, I’m stopping in Washington, home of Universal Background checks and taxes that drive gun shops out of the city limits.  But anyway, it’s not like I could buy a gun in that state if I wanted too.  Here is my dilemma – I’ll be a resident of WA for tax purposes, with nothing that proves that other than my LES from the Army.  My driver’s license is from Tennessee, and My orders will say I am assigned to Alaska.  Needless to say, no new gun until I get to Alaska.

That said, There will also not be a new gun until I get a locker and a night stand lock box.   Last time we had guns in the house, my son was 9 months old.  Now he is two and a half, you get the idea.

So now the questions is what to acquire.  I’m looking at going two routes.  I love my Beretta Px4 Storm, so naturally I’m intrigued by a Cx4 Carbine.  It shoots pistol ammo so it would not have the same power as most MSRs, but I like the idea of having something my wife can use in the event she needed a rifle.  right now the only semi-auto rifle we own in my S&W15 and I’d like to change that.

The next firearm I am looking at is actually two.  I’m not about to start cowboy shooting, but I would love to have a revolver and lever gun in a .45 Colt.  Personally, I’d prefer a Colt SAA, but that is a little outside of what I’m willing to acquire.  The Ruger Vaquero is right up my alley.  For the Lever Gun, I’ve always been nostalgic for a Henry Rifle.

The final option is one that may come in handy in Alaska.  A friend of mine who was stationed there have told me to get a bear defense gun.  In that case, maybe I need something like the above listed combo in a .44 Magnum.  As much as I love the idea of a classic .45 Colt revolver, the round just doesn’t have the same stopping power.  Also, it is not available in a Vaquero.  Maybe the solution is another Lever Carbine in something like a .45-70.  Who knows.  The right solution is probably to ask the locals when I get there.

Fletch

UPDATE:  After arriving in Alaska, and moving into my residence, I decided on a Henry Big Boy Carbine in 44. Magnum.

Politicizing Tragedy

So a new shooting and a new call for more regulations, it’s getting old.

Only this time the president didn’t bother to wait the customary few days before making a push for more gun control.  He said it right away in his speech.  I wish I still had the article but if you watch his press conference, he is very plain and unassuming when he talks about the Oregon shooting.  He only gets emotional when he switched to gun control and politics.  It’s very telling about his personality.

I wonder where we are going to go next. Oregon only recently passed Universal Background checks.  But then again, just like so many other tragedies, the shooter passed a background check.  Even so, it is unlikely that all of those guns (12) were purchased since that legislation was passed.  I usually argue that the next step on the united control agenda is registration. But that also would not have made a difference.

There is this strange belief among some politicians that we can legislate the evil out of existence. But all we end up doing is trying to take away the tools.  In doing so, we also remove the few tools available for people to defend themselves from evil.

One other thing telling about the president and what he believes the solution to be, is what he references as examples to follow; Australia and Great Britain. Both the countries resorted to confiscation.  Australia at least offered to buy the guns from the owners. But as I’ve outlined previously, it did nothing to diminish violent crime. It just made criminals seek out other weapons while the general public was defenseless.

If you really want to see how well Australia’s “gun ban” is doing, check out the Yahoo video in the link below.

Gun control advocates know there agenda has no chance of passing.  And now it is beginning to show.  Both Obama and Hillary are now lying through their teeth.  Obama has stated that the majority of gun owners favor his reform.  I don’t have my own survey to back it up, but That’s probably the same majority that he claims wanted his health insurance reforms.  Hillary is just as bad, claiming that most Americans support her gun control platform.

My bet is that the next push will not be for more for Universal Background checks or even registration.  I’m betting the push will be to hold gun manufacturers and store liable.

Meanwhile, you won’t hear much that the gunman singled out Christians.

You also won’t here the truth about Umpqua Community College’s gun policy.  Oregon law allows some concealed carry on campus.  Naturally, the gun control crowd will jump on this as an example that this doesn’t stop crime.  But the will misleadingly leave out the part that allows schools to set their own regulations that can supersede state law.  Umpqua Community College had just such a regulation.  How many gun free zones must become shooting galleries before they realize that signs don’t stop criminals?

gun-free-zone

Fletch

I really didn’t use anything worth citing in today’s post, but some information on the topics discussed is listed below.

References:

http://cowgernation.com/2015/10/01/obama-we-should-politicize-tragic-shootings-and-use-victims-to-push-anti-gun-agenda/

http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/2015/05/05/background-expansion-checks-okd/26908717/

http://www.wnd.com/2015/10/oregon-shooter-vs-obamas-universal-background-check/

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/father-oregon-shooter-blames-gun-easy-article-1.2385380

https://screen.yahoo.com/popular/police-alarmed-gun-numbers-114756370.html?soc_src=default

Updated 30 October 2016 for grammar and added image.

Time to create another loophole

This week’s post is inspired by two sources: the New York Times subsidiary Women in the world and Al Jazeera.  Both deal with guns and domestic violence against women.

Last year, you may remember that Everytown for gun safety made a commercial that was meant to show how violent guns can be in the hands of abusive partners.  But the piece backfired and instead demonstrated what we already know. 1) that the police won’t get there in time, and 2) restraint Ning orders are just a piece of paper.  It was one of the worst commercials the anti-gun crowd ever used.

Now the representative from New Yorkers for Gun Safety, Leah Gunn Barrett, suggested that “Women are not physically powerful like men are.  A gun could easily be turned on the woman” (Garda, 2015). So, a woman less powerful than a man should not have a firearm to defend herself against a more powerful attacker.  Did I miss something?  If she can’t defend herself with a gun because she is not strong enough, how is she going to defend herself without one?

Let’s go back to that adage, “God made man, Samuel Colt made them equal.”

The second article creates the new concept of the “boyfriend” loophole.  I’m still a little confused on this because the author does not explain the concept until halfway through the article.  She starts her premise by citing that “women are 11 times more likely to be murdered with a gun than women in other high income countries” (Maloney. 2015)  She does not cite what the total murder rates are for these murders regardless of the weapon of choice.   Even then, author Allison Maloney can’t help but reference the debunked gun show loophole myth.

If I understand the boyfriend loophole correctly, it argues that certain domestic abuse laws only apply to spouses instead of all intimate partners.  And even though men are more likely to assault women then the other way around, it is still fairly sexist that this is the “boyfriend” loophole.  What the author is concerned about is that initial orders, which are in place because of an unverified claim, do not imitate a confiscation or restriction on firearms for the accused individual.  Strange that we live in a country where guilt must be proven before you take away someone’s rights.

She then loses any credibility she might have when she cites Everytown three separate times in the article.  Maybe if she had cited academic research instead of activists, I might give her more credit.  But Everytown has always shown that their research is only useful if it supports their claims.

What is also amazing is that she sees that there are problems with NICS.  The system is only as good as the information the states submit.  Maybe she should petition states to be more active in providing criminal information to the system before she says the system itself is failing.

My guess is that they realize no one is drinking the gun show loophole Kool-Aid, so now they have moved onto the Boyfriend Loophole instead.  What it really boils down to is government confiscation of guns based on accusations.  So when an individual’s uses a gun that should have been removed, they will say how to new system failed as well because the individual had no requirement to register and the government had no way to track what guns the individual owned.  The next step will then be registration.  The playbook is so easy to read it’s sad.

Fletch

References:

Maloney, Alli (2015) The boyfriend loophole is costing women lives. New York Times. Retrieved from: http://nytlive.nytimes.com/womenintheworld/2015/09/18/the-boyfriend-loophole-in-u-s-gun-laws-is-costing-womens-lives/

Everytown for Gun Safety (2015) Will your Stop this? YouTube video.  Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUAL6ie1ufc

Garda, Imran (2015) Third Rail Barrett interview Al Jazeera. Retrieved from: https://iqmediacorp.com/ClipPlayer/?ClipID=024485c2-0e39-4fcb-9519-1e4868d85e8b

Updated 30 October 2016 for grammar and to properly cite references.

No Details, but it Helps the Numbers.

So I’d like to visit this incident in Everett, Washington because it was not to0 far from where I grew up.

This is the second shooting that has occurred near an area that I frequented as a teenager. The first was the shooting last year at Marysville-Pilchuck High School. This one was at Discovery Elementary School, near Mariner High School.  I competed in competitions for wresting, cross country, and track at both locations.

1

My reaction was actually sort of apathetic. As soon as I heard about it, my first thought was, bet it was near Mariner High School.  As you can see from the map, I was not that far off. This used to be such a nice neighborhood, and when it was built, Mariner was one of the three most modern high schools in the country. But the area has fallen on hard times, and now is overrun with gang violence.

2

This event was a perfect example. We will probably chalk this one up as being due to the easy access of guns. Is anyone going to talk about the morality of a 20 year old who thinks that murder is justified because the other person’s shorts were the wrong color?

But this is Washington. Remember, it is illegal to sell guns to someone without a background check. So how did the 20 year old, who shot the 17 and 14 year olds, get his handgun? Why was he carrying it on his person? In Washington, there is no open carry, and you cannot get a CCW if you are under 21. You cannot even buy a pistol in Washington State if you are under 21. So how did he pass the mandatory background check that was going to prevent tragedies like this? This only proves that criminals don’t care about laws. Oh, and it was in the parking lot of an elementary school, a Gun Free Zone.

I suspect that due to the location of the shooting, Moms Demand Action and Everytown will soon add this to their list of school shootings.  It will not matter that neither of the victims, nor the shooter were students there. It also won’t matter that it was after school hours. This will soon be a number to inflate the gun grabber’s statistics. But what you won’t hear are the circumstances of the shooting because that would not support their claims of rampant school shootings.

Most likely, the same group that passed I-594 will now claim that the laws are ineffective (which they are) because they can’t track the sales of all firearms unless they know where all the firearms are. The next step, will be registration. And as poorly as they wrote the first resolution, this one would not be any better.

Fletch

References:

http://q13fox.com/2015/09/03/14-year-old-girl-17-year-old-boy-shot-in-south-everett/

http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Two-teenagers-wounded-in-Everett-shooting-324280221.html

http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20150905/NEWS01/150909488

http://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=9.41.070

http://www.experts123.com/q/what-are-the-requirements-for-buying-a-firearm-in-washington-state.html

Updated 30 October 2016 for grammar.

What is the real problem?

Mayor Rawlings-Blake of Baltimore has her work cut out for her.  She must find a way to convince everyone that the violence in the city (which hit 211 murders for the year yesterday) is the fault of some outside force and not her failed leadership.  Or the failure of the gun control laws already on the books thanks to former governor and now long shot democrat presidential hopeful Martin O’Malley.  She cannot figure out that encouraging violence, blaming police, and simply removing tools will not solve the issue.  As she notes, “We’ve taken more illegal guns off the street this year than last year. With all of that activity, yet we’re still here with that surge in violence” (Page. 2015).  Maybe because it’s not the guns that make people violent.

So naturally, let’s blame guns.  And it’s the fault of other states who do not have draconian laws like Maryland that Baltimore murder rates are climbing. But this line of attack is just a smoke screen.  It requires you to believe that guns cause violence.  In reality, some people are evil and immoral and will use the tools available to achieve their goals.  It ignores the fact that many inner-city youths do not value an education, responsibilities, ethics, or other people.

What makes people believe that the best way to solve a dispute or get back at someone who has insulted you is to end their life?  Hell, even classic dueling had rules and a code of honor.  But we don’t have that anymore. We took responsibility of parents away and replaced it with government handouts.  Parents needs to take responsibility for their children.  And many do, but the child still goes astray.  But tighter gun laws won’t change that.  It won’t change the mindset of someone whose solution to being rejected for a date to the dance is to kill the girl and two of her friends.

The point is, evil exists.  Banning the tools, they might use does not make it go away.  If Mr. Roof had burned that church down with everyone in it, would it have somehow been more noble than simply opening fire like he did?  You can either confront evil or try and protect people from it, but to deny it exists is just lunacy.  A to think you can somehow legislate it out of existence is a fool’s errand.

Fletch

References:

Page, Susan (2015) Baltimore mayor on guns, gangs and homicides. USA Today.  Retrieved from: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2015/08/27/stephanie-rawlings-blake-baltimore-mayor-capital-download/32461517/

Updated 29 August 2016 for reference.

Updated 30 October 2016 for grammar.

Misleading To Gain Support

The Boston Globe is the source of today’s discussion.  Author Scot Lehigh published the opinion piece, After Charleston, voters must demand new gun laws. Like most articles calling for new gun laws, he relies heavily on emotion and puts forth proposals without showing how these new laws would stop these events in the future.

I have a problem with the way I am characterized by many gun grabber organizations.  In many twitter arguments, my side of the debate has been characterized as “it won’t work so we shouldn’t do anything.”  This is a horrible way to look at it. The argument is that we should not pass laws that are useless.  We will simply end up in another one of these situations, and when it is shown that the changes we did make were ineffective, they will call for something even stronger.

Take Washington State and the passage of I-594.  I was visiting family there when the debate was going on.  I was certain it was going to pass because I know that the ultra-liberal populace of King, Snohomish, Whatcom, and Pierce County.  The tragic shooting incident at Marysville-Pilchuck High School sealed the deal.  At that point, there was no longer a chance and gun rights group had of defeating that bill.  Regardless, it does nothing to prevent these sales from happening.  All it does is give the state the authority to go after you if it is found out that you did make this kind of transaction.  In which case, the gun must be found by LEOs, most likely, after it has already been used in a crime.

So how would I-594 have prevented the shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck?  It would have had any impact.  The truth is that the father purchased the gun legally, with a background check.  It did not even involve the transfer between father and son, which may or may not be legal depending on how you read the bill.  There was no transfer; the son just took it.  It was not even a straw purchase where he got around the BGC to buy it for his son.  No one in the Washington state media wanted to look at how a kid decides that being turned down for a date should lead him to kill three people and then take his own life.  There is a serious issue with your decision-making process and morals if this is what you feel is the best resolution to a situation.

But I’ve run off on a tangent.  The Boston Globe Article talks about the letting “gun buyers sidestep federal background checks” and of course the first thing that he mentions is gun shows (Lehigh. 2015).  He tries to protect himself with the note of “purchasing from private dealers at gun shows” (Lehigh. 2015).  What is sad is that this accounts for less than 0.7% or gun purchases (Olmstead. 2013).  But it is one of the general reactions from the media and many democrats after a shooting like what occurred in Charleston, SC.

The Gun Show loophole is the biggest myth of the gun control debate.  I have only been to three gun shows, I buy most my firearms from Cabela’s (Sorry Bass Pro and Gander Mountain) and Quantico Tactical.  But of those I have been to, every booth was an FFL and required by law to conduct a background check for a firearms transaction.  The only vendors who were not FFLs were selling holsters and other accessories or showcasing their shooting range.

The fear is that I show up at a gun show wanting to sell a gun.  Rather than sell it to a vendor, I run into a private citizen willing to pay more than what I would get form the vendor.  I make the sale with no background check.  This is a private sale, that was facilitated by both buyer and seller being at the same gun show, but not a part of the gun show in any way.  It should be telling that the gun control crowd still refers to this as a gun show loophole instead of a private sale loophole which is a much more accurate description of what they want to prohibit.  The problem is that if you say private sale loophole, you cannot generate the same support that you could if you use the much more menacing “Gun Show” term.

The other transaction he hopes to prohibit are gun sales over the internet.  What they leave out is that all online gun sales must either be done in person (another private sale) of if all transactions are done online, the gun must be shipped to an FFL before being released to the customer.  So how do they propose to stop people from meeting in private to execute a sale?

What it comes down to is that the only way to enforce any kind of gun transaction from happening is to require registration, and a reoccurring validation that a firearm remains in your possession.  How on earth is a government going to enforce this?  And is the criminal who illegally possesses a firearm going to show up to register their gun?

Here is the best part.  Lehigh states that “All the presidential candidates, certainly, should be queried about whether they support measures to keep guns out of the hands of the criminally or violently inclined and the mentally ill.”  Who in their right mind would not support this?  But what it comes down to is that our methods of accomplishing it.  None of the proposals he set forth would prevent criminals from getting guns.  It is already illegal for these people to possess guns.  What this does is set up additional legal traps that will turn law abiding citizens into criminals.

Regardless, the Charleston shooter passed a background check (he should not have).  He went to a store, not a gun show or an online vendor or some guy on the street.  This means that the purchase occurred before his arrest and the information of his pending charge was entered into the NICS system.  There is also a report that Roof’s father bought him a gun as a gift, knowing he was facing charges.  This means that the straw purchase took place.  A quick search of Google and Bing does not show any reference to an arrest or charges for the father making a straw purchase, i.e. the gift he gave his son who was barred from owning a gun for his previous arrests “on charges of trespassing and drug possession” (Warren. 2015).  The Washington Post even goes further and says this is a legal Loophole.  The Author invalidates his argument when he states that “If prosecutors can show that the father knew about Roof’s indictment but gave him the gun anyway, Roof’s father could face up to 10 years in prison” (Guo. 2015).  Are we to assume the father did not know that his son had pending felony charges?  This is not a loophole.  This is a straw purchase which is already illegal.

This gets to the frustration gun rights proponents have any time we hear calls for more restrictive gun laws.  Why do we not enforce the laws we have, and why do you constantly call for laws to address things that are already illegal?  Why are gun charges always pleaded away?  If we actually enforced our gun laws, prosecuted those who illegally obtain guns, and those who knowingly sell to them, and we could show that it was still was failing, maybe then we could talk about our failed gun system.

Fletch

References:

Lehigh, Scot (2015) After Charleston, voters must demand new gun laws. Boston Globe, Boston, MA http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2015/06/23/after-charleston-voters-must-demand-new-gun-laws/AkTI6dvy7hQMVmCfn2L2DM/story.html

Olmsted, J. Scott (2013) Where criminals get their guns. Washington, D.C. The Daily Caller http://dailycaller.com/2013/02/11/where-criminals-get-their-guns/

Warren, Lydia (2015) Friends of suspected race-hate killer, 21, reveal he’s a pill popper who got a gun for his birthday, wears apartheid flags and has a Confederate license plate. London, UK. The Daily Mail. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3129887/Dylann-Roof-21-suspected-murdering-nine-race-hate-church-crime-got-gun-birthday-arrested-twice-year-drug-trespassing-charges.html

Guo, Jeff (2015) The legal loophole that allowed Dylann Roof to get a gun. Washington D.C. The Washington Post  http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2015/06/18/the-legal-loophole-that-allowed-dylann-roof-to-get-a-gun/

Law References: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_laws_in_Massachusetts http://www.nraila.org/gun-laws/state-laws/massachusetts.aspx http://gun.laws.com/purchasing-guns/online-purchasing

Updated 30 October 2016 for grammar.

..The Right of the People

So, why this blog.  I began shooting with my grandfather when I was a kid.  He taught me very simple gun safety, and it was just something fun to do when I would visit him in western Kansas.  Honestly I wasn’t very good.  But Grandpa would always take us to the range.  It was something he had done for many years.

Grandpa shot black powder in local shoots.  Most were for fun, but he did not go to the more competitive shoots.  It was something he loved; he even had his own buckskin mountain man outfit he wore that he had crafted himself.  Grandpa’s had many hobbies and one was working with leather.

He also made toy wooden guns for my cousins and I.  He traced outlines on wood, cut them with a jigsaw, and even beveled the edges for comfort.  It was very sad the day they became too small for my hands.  He had even crafted me a leather belt with a holster and bullet loops and made small little wooden bullets for me to give it an authentic look.

My Mother had one gun in the house for many years.  We never used it, but I know it made her feel safer knowing that in emergency, it was at least an option.  I saw it, knew exactly where it was, even as a kid.  I never played with it, never pulled it out of the draw to use as a toy. Something like that never crossed my mind.

When I was 18, I joined the Marines.  I realized then how bad of a shot I was.  I was doing horribly during qualification week and I was becoming concerned about being recycled because I would not be able to qualify with my weapon.  I ended up passing with the bare minimum score.  I was very thankful, but I realized that I would need to get better.  And I did nothing about it.

I was in the reserves and in the two years I was there, I never once went to the range.  I got more trigger time when I joined Army ROTC than I did with the Marine Reserves.  But going to the range once in the spring and once in the summer does not give you the time to get good at shooting.

My senior year of College, I was working at the local Bi-Mart and got promoted from cashier to the sporting goods an automotive department.  I worked at the gun counter.  I learned a little bit more about rifles, shotguns, and ammunition.  Eventually, I bought my first gun, a Rossi Break Action Matched pair .223/12Ga.  This would be my only gun for many, many years.

As my Army career progressed, I got better with the M16 and M4, and would no longer scrape the bottom of the qualification limit, and occasionally, I would shoot good enough to make Sharpshooter.  But that all came to a halt when I switched over to the M9. My Pistol skills were horrible.  I UNQed more times than I care to count, and was back to just getting by on my qualifications, which was embarrassing for a company commander.  Finally, I decided to do something about it.  In 2012 I acquired a Ruger Sr22, a .22LR pistol that I could take to the shooting range and practice as often as I wanted.  When I returned from my deployment, I also acquired an M&P Shield in a .40S&W.  I was going to the range about twice a month, and was no longer limited by my 10 rounds familiarization and 30 round to qualify.  I was a target shooter, and I was loving it.

Today, I have maxed out the score on back to back pistol qualification, I understand fundamentals of shooting, and I have been approached about advice on which gun to buy next from others in my section at work.

The point of all of this is that I have been around guns for most of my life.  But not once did I not respect what a gun was or what it represented. It was dangerous, and to be treated with care.  I’ve seen too many young Marines and Soldiers have a negligent discharge.  But I never once though the solution was to ban them.  But the more I learned about guns, run rights, and the gun control movement, the more and more I realized how little those who seek to ban guns understand about them.

The argument is always the same.  Guns are evil, and I don’t need to learn about them to know that.  But many of the followers of gun control movements are not doing the research on guns to back up their position.  They repeat talking points or skewed statistics and use dramatic language to try and make their point.  All of which come crashing down as soon as you look at the facts behind their claims.

This all came to a head when I watched a compilation video of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America supporters appearing before the Texas Legislature to oppose a campus carry initiative.  As the video shows, not one of these individuals has an original thought.  They show up, read a script, and most have probably never been exposed to guns or researched the claims Moms Demand Action is asking them to repeat.

The second video I watched showed a woman giving misleading testimony to the legislature to use the death of her husband to push their agenda.  I just want to ask Moms Demand Action one question, if their cause is so noble and just, why do they need to lie about it?

I decided to write this blog to look at the gun control movement and what they are saying.  Most of what is written needs revision, and it is amazing how few media outlets have someone with the least bit of familiarity with firearms to ensure that they use the correct language.  I will do this for them and correct what they are saying because when you look at their argument in real terms without all the dramatic embellishments, it is empty.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-eBWqAgD5A Thank you to Lone Star Gun Rights

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2xuLczHV1M Thank you to Open Carry Texas