Saturday, November 26, 2016

If I exercise my 2nd Amendment Rights, Should I feel like a 2nd Class Citizen?

I've asked this question before, and I still haven't found "A Good Answer".
My  personal answer is to yield to my family preference ... but I've never felt comfortable with it;

New York Times: What To Do If A Guest Wants to Bring a Gun to Thanksgiving Dinner - The Truth About Guns:
No doubt Anonymous’ sister rolled her eyes at the anxiety in her sibling’s voice when the question was presented.Mr. Galanes’ response: Follow up. Ask, “How did Jim feel about leaving his gun at home?” In the event of pushback (or noncommittal dithering), add: “We know that Jim is a responsible gun owner. We just don’t want guns in our home.” If you continue to believe she’s shining you on, install a metal detector at the front door. Happy Thanksgiving!
Yes, I've been exposed to the same question in my family, and I've never felt comfortable with it.

The answer is a personal response, and so far I've always yielded to the preference of my family.

 When I asked "I suppose it would better not to bring my gun to the wedding" (for example), my family has always been negative ... and I have always acquiesced to their preference.

I've never felt comfortable that I bowed to their preference, and I'm darned if I know whether it was better for me to feel uncomfortable, or for them to feel uncomfortable.

Ultimately, I think it's better that they not know that I continue my usual habit of carrying.

If they can see that I am armed, I am not "doing it right".
If they feel uncomfortable knowing I'm armed in a social situation, I'm not carrying "concealed", and that't My Bad; there should never be a circumstance when I'm obviously carrying.

But that's the whole point.  Do I have a responsibility to inform them that I'm carrying?

I feel a responsibility to inform my family that I'm armed in social situations.  Perhaps I'm offering them a choice which is not fair to them, because nobody else in the family carries a firearm.

And perhaps I'm asking them a question  (should I leave my gun at home?) which causes them great discomfort, and in doing so I'm asking them to tell me that I should not carry in a familial situation?  I get the impression that they would rather I had not asked, because they really didn't want to deal with the question.

Should I ask their permission to carry in a family gathering?
Or should I merely tell them, so they are informed?
Or should I just carry without informing them; leaving them outside the "Decision Curve"?

I've been carrying for decades.  My family is aware (although I haven't made an issue of it), and of course there has never been a cause for it to become an issue.  But when I ask if it's 'appropriate' for the moment, the answer from my family is invariably "NO!"

Who do I listen to:  My family (to whom I will lie, and carry anyway), or my conscience?

Ot to my personal judgement?

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Rethinking Firearms Safety (Redux)

Beth at Delta Defense has a fresh Point of View about training New Shooters:

She had a "Pointing The Gun At The Instructor" moment, and found herself in an uncomfortable situation which is not unfamiliar to any firearms-for-newbies instructor:

BUT she turned it into a learning experience for the instructors!

Rethinking Firearms Safety | Pacifiers & Peacemakers - USCCA: ;

A few hours later, as we were out on the shooting range, putting their fresh knowledge and skills to work, one of the ladies, excited about her very first shot, briefly turned to high-five her friend … with the muzzle of her revolver pointed straight at my husband. He immediately stepped over and corrected the issue, taking the time to review that the muzzle needs to be pointed in the safest direction (downrange, in this case) at all times! 
(All Emphasis Added)

I quite concur!

In my six  (+) years experience teaching an "Introduction to USPSA" class, I've often seen class participants who become overly exuberant with their newfound expertise ... and immediately forget everything they've learned .. especially that which made them feel so exuberant.

The mantra which Beth & Company have espoused is "Not A Safe Direction" (printed on the shirts of the instructors!)

I quite agree, and I think that there are some reasonable t-shirt designs which I may consider adopting in the near future for the benefit of my own classes ... and for myself!

However, that mantra that I personally inject into my own classes is this:


Not as pithy as "NOT A SAFE DIRECTION", admittedly.  And perhaps it's excessively exclusionary.

But I teach the USPSA rules, which include:

  1. Finger off the trigger when moving (except when engaging targets)
  2. MUZZLE! (keep it pointed downrange)
  3. SWEEPING (don't point the gun at your own personal body parts)
  4. DROPPED GUN (if it hits the ground and you're not touching it, you're outta here!)
  5. D&D (Drunk and Disorderly: which means no intoxicants or rude behavior on the range)
  6. Over The Hill (if the round goes over the berm, you go home)
  7. Chearing (competition is an orderly sport; if you break the rules, you go home)

Those are my personal interpretations, but for new shooters they're easier to remember than the dozen pages in chapter 15 of the USPSA rule book.


Tell It To The Judge

Trump's Victory Has Fearful Minorities Buying Up Guns - NBC News:
 In one high-profile incident, the live-streamed aftermath of the shooting of Philando Castile at a traffic stop at the hands of police in Minnesota sparked country-wide outrage and was ruled manslaughter. That and another death in Louisiana sparked a protest in Dallas, which a sniper took advantage of to kill five police officers.
You don't have to be a threat to the cops.  You just have to be reasonable.

I was pulled over by a local policeman a few years ago for speeding.

He was right; my Lady was sick, needed a refill of her Cancer medicine from the Pharmacist,
I was more concerned about getting the pain-relieving drugs to her as quickly as possible than I was about driving safely.

It was dark when the policeman pulled me over, and I recognized that he may not feel safe in the encounter.   I knew that he had called my license plate in, and they had told him that I had a CHL (Concealed Handgun License).

When he pulled me over, there was a 3 minute delay while he checked up on me through the radio.

During that time I pulled out my drivers license, my insurance card, and my CHL.

When he approached my car, I had the interior lights on, my hands on the wheel, and those three documents in my hand.  He asked me for my drivers license, and I gave him all the the information he needed to know (and which he had probably already received from his station downtown).

After I gave him the three documents, we chatted for a few minutes.  I acknowledged that I was driving too fast, and explained why.  I was in the wrong, so I was not confrontational.

Hell, he had me dead to rights.

But he wasn't afraid of me.

Even though I told him that I had a pistol in the compartment between the front seats.

My hands were in plain sight on the steering wheel at all times ... again, with the interior light on.

I was no threat to him.

He let me go with only a warning.  Well, it probably helped that I hadn't had a ticket in the past 5 years, but I HAD a warning on a speeding charge 6 years earlier.  That didn't matter.

Folks ... if you're pulled over by a cop, you probably deserve it.  Even if you think you do NOT deserve it, the best thing you can do (especially if you have a CHL) is to NOT present a threat!

If you think it's a bum rap, go to court and explain it to the judge.  He probably doesn't have a gun.

(I actually had that experience 20 years ago ... explained the situation to the judge: he let me go because I manned up and because I was trying to merge with fast traffic at the off-ramp of a bridge.)

I'm not black, so I can't speak to their experience.
All I an say is ,,, well, I've already said it: man up, don't be a jerk, take the ticket if you deserve it.

If you don't deserve it, tell it to the judge.

Not Going To Happen

This Lawsuit Could Shatter ALL Federal Gun Control Laws:
Put bluntly, this could be huge. When Shane Cox began selling his homemade firearms and silencers out of his military surplus store, he stamped “Made in Kansas” on them to assure buyers that a Kansas law would prevent federal prosecution of anyone owning firearms made, sold and kept in the state.
For the last half century, federal laws have repeatedly been established as an over-riding mandate over states rights.   So this isn't going to happen.

Eisenhower made that clear in 1954 during "Brown vs the Board of Education" in Topeka, Kansas,
... and later (1957) in Little Rock in terms of segregation:

On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education that segregated schools are "inherently unequal." In September 1957, as a result of that ruling, nine African-American students enrolled at Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas.
I agreed with him (Eisenhower) then, and I still do.  *  I'm not sure today that States' Rights shouldn't get a larger say in this issue, but that's because I'm as biased on the issue of gun rights today as I was on human rights 60 years ago.

But this discussion isn't about home-made silencers; it's about what the Federal government encourages, vs what it discourages.

Basically, I guess my point is that I believe in the rights of the individual.  Whether to get a good education, be treated like anyone else, or to to build his own firearms ... that's an individual right.

When the government supports individual rights, I side with the government.

When the government decides it knows better than the individual, I side with the individual.

I still believe that the government ,,,  municipal, regional, state or federal ... is the servant of the people.

When the politicians begin to think they have the right (or the duty) to restrict the rights of all individuals, then I'm anti-government.

Can't say it plainer than that.


NFA Firearms Ads

I have no idea; this is listed merely as a curiosity

NFA Firearms Ads: Listed for sale is one (1) John Benjamin, JCB M16 Autosear, commonly known as a DIAS. As you are aware these come up for sale only very rarely as they allow you to legally convert nearly any AR15 lower to include Colt LE901's into a select fire machine gun. Any SP1 spec/low shelf receiver this is installed into can be configured into any multitude of configurations imaginable. It truly is the ultimate for any shooter in today's market. John Benjamin/JCB DIAS's are considered amongst the most desirable as they are nearly indestructible being made from heat treated oil quenched tool steel. This example has had untold 10's of thousands of rounds and is still using the original trip. Truly drop-in and ready to go. References available upon request. $40,000 upfront funding gets the paperwork processing, on Form 4 in Oregon.

The 'good thing' about driving a Skoda is ... you get to go out in style

Terrified driver decapitated in 119mph horror crash moments after telling police car was 'stuck in cruise control' - Mirror Online:

The modern car's engine screaming at high revs as Mr Gandhi frantically pushed the engine ignition button during the ride of terror in the minutes before his death, the inquest heard. The coroner heard the car was finally brought to a sickening halt when it slewed off the motorway and into the lay-by where the flat-bed lorry was parked. Emergency services who arrived at the scene soon after the crash found Mr Gandhi's headless body in the wreckage. Almost the whole car was embedded under the lorry, with only its back wheels emerging and its roof torn off. The white Skoda hit the huge three-axle HGV with such force that its rear axle was pushed to the front of the trailer.
... but up until then, he looked really good!

(Am I the only one who is unconvinced that the driver couldn't have stalled the car by shifting into neutral, stepping on the brake, or shutting off the ignition?)

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Docs hate Glocks

Once again, a physician with an affiliation to Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership (DRGO) speaks truth to the AMA.

You can read down to find the links and the details, but what this doctor is saying to guys who are shooting each other in drug and turf wars,  is:
"You're a bunch of gun-crazy drug czars and you'll be shooting each others for the next millennium.
You'll never change.  No matter what WE do to keep you alive, you've probably going to shoot each other again and again and again ... and it's our job to clean up the mess.

* Interpretation:  Frankly, we're getting tired of this shit!  So since there's nothing we can do to resolve the societal issues which keep you assholes shooting each other, would you please stop it?  You're beginning to piss us off!  (And you don't want your Doctors to "Not Care" when you get shot!) *

*(Not a direct quote ... more of an .... interpretation!)

Can ‘Gun Violence’ Be Addressed as a Public Health Issue? – Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership:

Violence done with guns is constantly in the headlines. Gun control advocates, health care sophists, and President Obama assert that ‘gun violence’ is a public health problem.
The latest volley, “Firearm-Related Injury and Death in the United States: A Call to Action” in the Annals of Internal Medicine February 24, comes from 8 medical specialty organizations plus the American Bar Association.
In the same edition is another meaningless exercise in pointless ‘research’: “Firearm-Related Hospitalization and Risk for Subsequent Violent Injury, Death, or Crime Perpetration”.
What an unexpected conclusion: “Hospitalization for a firearm-related injury is associated with a heightened risk for subsequent violent victimization or crime perpetration.” People at risk remain people at risk, until their risks change. Is it really valid to address gunshot injury and death as matters for public health intervention?
The short answer is that this is a smokescreen. The commission of gunshot injuries and deaths (‘gun violence’) cannot be fairly addressed as a ‘public health issue’, as that phrase has become used in its case.

(If anyone has a different interpretation, please phone me at 1-800-GangBangers because personally I don't much give a shit about gang boys shooting each other except they make the legitimate law-abiding gun owners look bad by comparison

And when the last gang-banger kills the next-to-last gang-banger, it still looks bad for honest firearms owners because the Liberals don't know the difference between us!

Fisking the NY Daily News ... it's too much fun

The New York Daily News has its panties in a bind, and the resultant whining BEGS to be made fun of.  Why?  Because they're idiots, devoid of sense, and SCREAMING to be spanked on their naked butt-cheeks!

Not for nothing did the National Rifle Association pump $38 million into electing Donald Trump President and another $24 million to secure the grip of Republicans in the Senate.  Within grasp now looms a trophy long sought: federal legislation that would, if passed by Congress, extend the right to carry a concealed firearm in any one state, no matter how minimal the licensing standards, to all 50.

Here's the original article.   It's a rare screed which takes too much space to display the ignorance of the author:

But I'll do it anyway: one of my favorite things (besides kittens and mittens) is disemboweling New York Editorials.    It's a cheap shot but I don't feel guilty about pointing out the logical fallacies of East Coast Liberals.

Let us proceed with the evisceration:

The statements of the author of the NYDN article are identified by color;

My statements are embedded in indented paragraphs and black bold.

The point is, the NRA calls for identical concealed-carry laws in all states, so that a person who can legally carry a concealed firearm in his/her home state is not subject to arrest or harassment in a neighboring (or any other) state.   The author objects on the grounds that state laws are, and should be, more stringent than federal laws.

Here is the screed, with my embedded arguments.

The NRA’s dead aim - NY Daily News:

No matter how readily another state arms individuals already known to law enforcement as prone to violence, New York would have to allow its permit holders to carry a hidden pistol in public, overriding state law allowing gun permits only to those with the temperament and need for a firearm.

The Second Amendment applies to all peoples, all states, and carries the same weight as the right to have an abortion: whether you agree with it or not, it is the National Creed and it trumps (excuse the pun) State Laws.   If you're an adult, not a felon, and you are in control of your emotions (not a lunatic), your constitutional right to possess and carry a firearm is guaranteed.

 How the NRA's grades for pols shape U.S. gun policy So it would go for New Jersey, and Connecticut, and other states with stringent safety-focused prerequisites for carrying guns. Trump promised “national right to carry” as part of an absolutist Second Amendment agenda that would leave in place gargantuan loopholes in existing background checks for gun buyers, which allow anyone — convicted felons and the mentally ill among them — to purchase firearms on the internet or at gun shows without interference. 

This is a lie.
There are no "loopholes" in the Second Amendment.
 Convicted felons MAY have their 2nd Amendment rights reinstated after release, if they have not been convicted of violent felonies ... "Forgers" are not considered violent felons, for example.  Their 2nd Amendment rights MAY be reinstated upon application and case-by-case approval, but this is a federal issue and not affected by any National Rifle Association influence.

 Even someone on the FBI’s terrorist watch list can stroll into a gun store without impediment if his or her criminal and mental health records are clean. That’s a rare, perhaps the only, loophole Trump has hinted at a willingness to close.

You may have overlooked that constitutional thingie called "Due Process".
That means that nobody is subject to arbitrary evisceration of their Constitutional Rights.
So you may not agree with my politics, but you can't deprive me of my liberties without taking me to court and proving (to the satisfaction of a judge or jury, and while I'm protected by legal counsel) that I have forfeited my rights by my illegal actions.
People get on the FBI's Terrorist Watch List because of suspicion.   They are there because a governmental agency has deemed them worth of special attention.  If they were found to be guilty of  a crime, they would be arrested.  And Prosecuted.  
Short of that level of confidence, nobody loses their Constitutional Rights. 
Suspicion is an heinious thing, and if you use that as your guide to abbrogating the rights of others ... I think you are a stinker and should not be allowed to exercise your First Amendment Right to Free Speech.
How do you like them apples?

 Atop that tinderbox the President-elect girds to pile what amounts to carte blanche for gun owners registered in states with barely-there licensing hurdles to traipse armed through states with much stricter conditions for carrying firearms in public. Every now and then, a poor, well-meaning tourist gets arrested at an airport for violating the law; pleas for leniency follow. The possibility of armed tourists and other visitors roaming streets where open- and concealed-carry is now heavily restricted is problematic enough, making cops’ jobs that much harder

Now you're just ranting ... and doing a darned poor job of it, too!
You talk about 'barely-there licensing hurdles', which I assume refers to the criteria to qualify for Concealed Handgun License (CHL) in the individual states.

I agree that we need to define reasonable criteria, but the national trend is that if you're not a convicted felon you haven't lost your Constitutional "Right To Keep And Bear Arms", so most states would issue a permit to a non-felon.   The local laws vary: as an example, some states restrict CHL owners from bearing arms in an environment where liquors are served as their primary income (bars, rather than restaurants)  But other states do not have this restriction, assuming that anyone who is sufficiently responsible to carry a handgun is sufficiently responsible to remain sober while doing so.
But your comments about a " .., a poor, well-meaning tourist gets arrested at an airport for violating the law very much to the point!
Why should that passerby (someone who has a ticket on a plane from Maine to Texas, but the plane is rerouted through New Jersey and the cops arrest the flier because he has a firearm in his checked luggage) be persecuted because his firearms are legal in Maine and Texas, but not in New Jersey

But that’s not even the main threat national right-to-carry reciprocity, as it’s called, would unleash. Because many states with especially lenient laws, such as Florida and Utah, invite outsiders to obtain their firearms permits, the federal law would as much as demolish New York’s common-sense limits. Live in New York, get a Florida permit — and, via the internet, a gun. 

And now, besides being ill-informed, you're just wrong.
 Buying a gun over the internet is illegal.  just as having a handgun in certain areas is illegal.   You can make contact with someone who owns a gun and wants to sell it over the internet, but the actual transaction must be made through a licensed dealer, who is required to perform a  background check through the National Instant Check System before completing the transfer.  I know, because I sold a pistol to an internet contact last year and it was a legal transfer; like all responsible gun owners, I was aware of the legal requirements and abided by them.
And oh .. by the way?  New York's "Common-sense limits" are neither common nor sensible.  They are anti-constitutional, onerous, disruptive, and contrary to the interests of your average citizen.  You don't agree?  How many OTHER states impose those illegal infringements on their citizens?  How's that "No Guns" thingie working for your citizens who have no defense against the thugs who don't obey the laws?   And don't get me started talking about Chicago, and Maryland, with some of the most restrictive laws and the most unrestricted thugs!

Needless, heartless, pointless: Blood would spill, because the gun manufacturers bought friends in Congress and now in the White House, because no one had the spine to take a stand. 

The Senate must. 

You know, they said the same thing when Florida opened their doors to legal, responsible gun owners to carry a concealed weapon.
What really happened was ... nothing.  Except crime went down, because muggers were aware that their victims might be prepared to defend themselves.
Blood will run?
Hasn't happened yet.    Well, except for the blood of bandits who run unchecked when robbing businesses, and the mild-mannered customer in the corner blows their brains out before they can kill the clerk.  That happens.
It's the new Cost of Doing Business for Bad Guys.
I call that a good thing.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Oh, NO!

It's not yet Thanksgiving, but my local radio station is already playing Christmas Carols in their ads!

("We Wish You A Merry Christmas ...")

I think it's very unfair that the Season of Political Posturing is immediately followed by the Season of Christmas Cheer!

Sometimes, growing old only means I must endure Unendurable Seasons of Public Broadcasting.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Can Trump Rob Peter To Pay Paul?

 Is our new president making promises he can't keep?

Oh, HELL yes!

Can Trump Deliver More Water to California's Farmers? - Breitbart:
President-elect Donald Trump has stated his commitment to helping California’s farmers attain more water, as the Golden State prepares to enter its historic sixth year of a crippling drought, with a federal water policy in place that favors fish over agriculture.
Where is he planning to get more water for California?

A large  (YUGE!) part of the water that soothes California Drinkin' comes from the Pacific North West ... parts of which have their own irrigation problem.

What's more important?  Salmon or Lettuce?

One of those problems is that the Pacific Salmon fishing industry (not so much the fish, as the people) depends on Salmon returning to spawn in their 'home waters.   Most of those waters are not located in California, but in Oregon and Washington.  And small farmers in Southern Oregon could produce bigger crops, if they could get more water.

When California draws irrigation water from other states, Pacific Salmon mortality rate soars.
The facts are, Oregon/Washington/Idaho/Colorado are already suffering from threats to harvests because they are sharing their water with California.

Not only are the Northern California farmers "part of the problem", but mega-cities such as San Francisco and Las Angeles are unable to provide sufficient water to service their rapidly growing population without "stolen water":

Colorado River Supply
A California Plumbing Supply industry (link at paragraph heading) provides the answer:
The Colorado River provides water usage to seven states, parts of Mexico, and several Native American tribes. Naturally, all parties are looking out for their own interests first. Many people in other states upriver resent having to let water they want to use flow by them and go to California.The Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct provides more than three-quarters of the water for urban San Francisco. It draws primarily from the area encompassing Yosemite National Park. The East Bay also gets most of its water from the high Sierra, via the Mokelumne Aqueduct. 

We're All "JOADS" Now:

These problems were not created by Donald Trump.  They were created by the mass immigration into California since the Dust Bowl brought failed farmers from Oklahoma to California back in the 1930's.

(See: Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck)

No American president has been able to find a better solution to California droughts than "Redistribution" ... which was Obama's solution to the flow of money; and we all know how well that worked out.

We will be treated to the drama of a billionaire who cannot buy himself out of a problem.  This is the immovable object being faced by the unstoppable force.

I can't wait to see how the Trump Administration handles itself.

Eliminating Liberal Reproduction?

The National Institutes of Health is spending roughly a quarter of a million dollars to create a video game about reproductive health. The University of Chicago and a video game developer were awarded a joint project this summer to develop a STEM game for teenagers called “Caduceus Quest,” named after a mythological symbol popularly (and incorrectly) associated with medicine.

I wonder ... is there a GoFundMe website where I can pay Liberals to NOT have children?