Friday, October 27, 2017

What Happens In Vegas ...

I'm not saying that everything that happens in Vegas is weird.

I'm just saying that it should stay in Vegas.   And it doesn't matter if the politicians involved  are Democrats or Republicans, they all have one single priority: to get their name in the newspapers.

Unfortunately, this tendency toward over-reaction seems endemic to the area; even editorial writers get caught up in the excitement.

CASE IN POINT: Recent article in the Vegas newspaper (edited here for brevity):

Rosen-backed gun control bill goes too far – Las Vegas Review-Journal:
October 21, 2017 - 10:19 pm
It was entirely predictable that Democrats would use the horrific Las Vegas Strip shooting to renew their push for gun control. It was also entirely predictable that they would go too far. In the days after the shooting, it looked like a rare consensus had emerged on gun control. ...
 Rep. and U.S. Senate candidate Jacky Rosen, D-Nev, jumped on the opportunity to do just that. She recently bragged in a news release that she is an original co-sponsor on “legislation to ban bump stocks.” The bill would ban bump stocks. It would also ban all semi-automatic rifles. Here’s why. It makes it illegal “to manufacture, possess, or transfer any part or combination of parts that is designed and functions to increase the rate of fire of a semiautomatic rifle.”
There’s a part on every rifle that’s “designed and functions to increase the rate of fire of a semiautomatic rifle.” You may have heard of it. It’s called a trigger.
[emphasis added]


The author [Joecks] of the Review-Journal article declares that Rosen's proposed legislation is too "broad", and would ban all semi-automatic firearms because a "trigger" can be used to increase the rate of fire.  Even if it is activated only by the firearm user's trigger finger without the addition of a 'device'.

The bill cited in the article has the following text:

(a) PROHIBITION.—Section 922 of title 18, United 9 States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following: ‘‘It shall be unlawful for any person— ‘‘(1) in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, to manufacture, possess, or transfer any part or combination of parts that is designed and functions to increase the rate of fire of a semiautomatic rifle but does not convert the semiautomatic rifle into a machinegun; or ‘‘(2) to manufacture, possess, or transfer any such part or combination of parts that have been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.’’. 
(edited to remove line numbers and other confusing detriti)

Joecks seems to suggest that the bill would result in triggers being outlawed by the bill.

I'm not a professional journalist, like Joecks seems to be, but I can't believe that a bill which specifically mentions "parts or combination of parts" can be so grossly misconstrued to suggest that a trigger is designed to INCREASE the rate of fire.   Not even a Democrat can be so dumb as to think that ....


Never mind.

"Sensible" gun control ?

An Op Ed "Letter to the Editor" style opinion article in The ADVOCATE (Baton Rouge, Louisiana) offers an ... interesting ... mix of Gun Control suggestions.   Some of which are reasonable (which means I don't necessarily disagree with them), some of them are a not-so-subtle support of registration of guns and gun-owners, and a few of them are outrageous. 

(NOTE: Reader Op Eds links are not necessarily permanent; I've added a copy of the original text "under the fold".)

Letters: Some ideas for sensible gun control | Letters |

 1) Guns purchased legally, according to laws in effect at time of purchase, and not used illegally since, are private property and cannot be arbitrarily confiscated by federal, state or local authorities. 
<ME: concur ... it's in the Constitution?>

2) The Second Amendment does not need reinterpretation or revision. Private gun ownership and possession is a constitutional right.
<ME: Sneaky, since he's just about to "infringe" on that right?>

 3) All gun sales need to be accompanied by an efficient background check of the purchaser. This includes gun show, private and online purchases.
<;ME: Disagree ... always includes both buyer and seller identification, as well as description of the firearm; which is tantamount to  registration of the gun and identification of both buyer and seller as firearms owners.  And yes, this is an increasingly common practice and I'm still against it because the firearm serial number is invariably included!  Protests that the records of such a transaction are permanently deleted after a certain period of time are not convincing; nobody has said that the identity of buyer and seller, and firearm, are deleted; just the transaction record itself.>

 4) Carry, both concealed and open, should be prohibited with exceptions for hunters and recreational shooters. If you are going hunting, going recreational shooting, carry the gun. If you are going to church, the store, a demonstration and gun-free-zones: Leave the gun at home. 
<ME: Disagree ... and so does the Supreme Court.  re: HELLER> and MACDONALD>

 5) Gun manufacturers must be regulated to include the requirement to imprint permanent, non-erasable serial numbers on multiple parts of any gun. This regulation would also require a serial number or code imprint on all bullets sold. Reloaders, who don’t sell, are exempt. Letters: Congress should strengthen gun control I hope my U.S. senators, John Kennedy and Bill Cassidy, along with my U.S. representative, C… 
Disagree, with bells and whistles.   You see what the author has done, lulling you to sleep with the first couple of paragraphs and then he trots out his unrealistic Liberal philosophy.   Reasons: inadequate definition of terms such as "bullets" (one assumes he means "loaded cartridges" rather than components), but the idea of serialized ammunition has long been debunked as unrealistic, impractical, and ultimately without redeeming value.  See: "Connecticut">
6) Manufacturers of so-called “smart guns” would be encouraged with substantial tax breaks and/or other federal/local financial incentive to create guns that cannot be randomly fired.
<ME: Disagree, if only because the idjit author introduces terminology ("randomly fired") without context or definition.   If nothing else, this 'minor error' demonstrates the  basic incompetence/inexperience of the author.>

 7) Conventional gun purchases would accrue extra taxes, added to both gun and ammunition, with the proceeds dedicated to implement gun control. 
<ME: Disagree, not only because this "extra taxes" clause is undefined (though an increasingly "common practice", but if Gun Control is everybody's problem, then everybody should chip in.   Asking law-abiding gun owners to bear the burden is like a Fascist state executing dissidents, and then requiring the surviving family members to pay for the bullet.>

 8) Weapons classified as “assault” guns (as commonly understood) and all rapid-fire guns or guns capable of automatic fire are prohibited to private owners. They may be owned by clubs to be used by members and cannot be moved off site. Shooting clubs possessing these guns must carry liability insurance. Collectors (to be defined) and museums may also own these automatic weapons. These type of guns already in private hands are private property and cannot be arbitrarily confiscated. 
<ME: Disagree, because (A) the term "assault" is not commonly understood or defined, (B) "rapid fire" and "automatic fire" not defined , (C) under the broadest terms, constitutes over 50% of firearms in America, (D) under only slightly narrower terms, protected by the Constitution in most cases.   Note also that true "Assault Rifles" are rifle-caliber, capable of 'selective fire', and are already closely regulated since the 1930's.>

 9) Who is barred from gun ownership? Violent felons, those accused of domestic violence until the accusation is dismissed, anyone deemed by psychiatric experts to be mentally unstable and anyone refusing to take a gun safety course and/or refusing to demonstrate safe handling procedures. This is not an all-inclusive list.
<ME: Convicted violent felons and convicted domestic abusers are already denied their Second Amendment Rights (and some other civil rights as well).   "Accused" persons cannot be permanently denied their civil rights under the Constitution.  Refusal to "take a course" or "demonstrate safe handling procedures" is not grounds to deny a legal American his Constitutional rights, nor should it be.    The author might consider whether his right to vote should be obviated because he refuses to, or is unable to, define the Bill of Rights.    The comment "not an all-inclusive list" smacks of tyranny; if you're not prepared to define all the things you don't like about the Second Amendment, Bucky, then you're no better than a petty third-world dictator.>

10) Controversial gun accessories prohibited: high-capacity magazines. This accessory is not for private ownership, but for shooting clubs only. Current owners of high-capacity magazines have property rights to them. Bump stocks — no private ownership. Current owners have property rights. This is not a complete list of controversial gun accessories.
<ME: It doesn't matter whether you provide a 'complete list', it's sufficient that you are of the mind set of Dictators through-out history:    "IF it is not specifically permitted, it is prohibited.":

This is America; we don't work that way any more.  A bunch of guys in Concord and Lexington laid down their lives to start the ball rolling.  Are you sure you're not British?

ME: And by the way, "shooting clubs" have no absolute need for "high-capacity" magazines.  During the shameful era when magazines of greater than 10 rounds were outlawed, shooting competitions which previously allowed "high-capacity magazines" (here, >10 rounds) adjusted their rules.   Those of us who competed with guns were disgruntled, but obeyed the law.   The "high-capacity magazine" was not designed for competition ... I've been shooting competitively for sixty years, and I've dealt with all the rules. 

"High-capacity magazines" were designed for non-competitive purposes.  Are they used in competition?  Sure .. some varieties of competition.   But if you have to do a reload in competition, it's because the rules require it.  Everybody abides by the same rules, so it merely adds an interesting complexity to the shooting problem.

But when you're alone in a dark parking lot and you're waylaid by a gang of thugs, you don't get a 'time penalty' when you have to reload; you get hurt.  Badly.

 11) Finally, manufacturers, research institutes and universities must be encouraged with grants and favorable laws to design safer, less-lethal guns intended for use by the general public. 

<ME: There is no way to design "less-lethal guns", because a gun is, by definition, a "lethal weapon".  (Look it up, it's in the book.)   We do have "less-lethal" alternatives to guns, such as pepper-spray, whistles, cell phones.  You strike me as a man who has never been attacked by someone who is bigger, stronger, more aggressive ... more violent than you.>

 Gun control in the U.S. is far too complex and emotional an issue to be settled quickly. Compromise is essential. Fanatics and extremists on both sides must not be allowed to commandeer the debate. We must plan for the future and accept the idea that it will take more than a generation to reach consensus.

<ME: That's the funny thing about "Gun Grabbers" (and you are one); they always talk about "COMPROMISE".In Lib-Talk, "COMPROMISE" means: "Gun Owners Give Up Something Important To Them, And We Move On And Ask Them To Compromise On The Next Reasonable Gun Control Safety Item On Our To-Do List".>
 What's the compromise here?  What are "people like you", who always know what I should do to undermine my Constitutional Rights, willing to give up in return to my sacrifice?
Never mind, I already know that this is a one-way street, and for you it's "my way or the highway".>

[NOTE: the original article was submitted by "Greig Olivier retired fabricator".   Because links to opinion editorials are not necessarily "permanent", I've included the full text below the fold]

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Murder Insurance?

The NRA has shot itself in the foot ... again.  And it's their own damn fault.  (My annual membership dues are paid up for this year, so I can say this.)

A recent "Hello Giggles" article accuses the National Rifle Association of offering "Murder Insurance":

Why the NRA’s new “murder insurance” is so alarming to gun control activists:
Gun lobbyists have been working tirelessly to protect gun owners and their “right to bear arms.” In a move that has left many gun control activists absolutely appalled, the National Rifle Association is now putting its weight behind insurance coverage for NRA members who may find themselves dealing with lawsuits that stem from shooting someone. In other words, the NRA-sponsored insurance policy will provide “clean-up costs for any covered claim resulting from the use of a legally possessed firearm — including an act of self-defense.” The NRA’s “Carry Guard” sells itself as the “most complete self-defense insurance program and training for those who carry a gun.” But some are calling it “murder insurance.” This move is prompting many to ask: Why implement better laws to regulate guns when someone can shoot first and show their “murder insurance” card later?

Why call it "Murder Insurance"?

Good question;  the NRA website (see below) doesn't present the details in a manner as obvious as it might have, and that makes it reasonable to misunderstand the conditions. 

The "Carry Guard" insurance policy will NOT reimburse the insured if the firearm was not legally possessed, is not used in self-defense, or if the insured is otherwise found guilty (of a felony).

Which is to say, it specifically does not pay if the insured murders somebody.

But anyone who casually visits the NRA website might be forgiven for not having noticed the "fine print".  I think that the NRA has deliberately (or on the advice of shysters lawyers) buried the details deep in the webpage which offers the insurance plan.  Well, that's what lawyers do; give bad advice.

So when someone criticizes their policy, and automatically assumes that the policy will recompense "murderers" ... it may be somewhat naive, but it's politically useful!

The NRA has nobody to blame but themselves for this misinterpretation.


Here's the applicable FAQ text from the NRA Carry Guard website:

Each NRA Carry Guard member’s insurance applies to four components: Civil suit liability, civil defense legal costs, criminal defense reimbursement and supplementary payments. When an NRA Carry Guard member uses a legally possessed firearm in self-defense, the member will have immediate access to their insured supplementary payments. This amount is up to 20% of the criminal defense reimbursement limit. Any criminal defense costs incurred by the member are reimbursed when their case is dismissed or are found not guilty. If a civil suit is presented by the alleged victim(s), the remaining policy limit will apply. Supplementary payments and related criminal defense reimbursement expenses will reduce the amount of insurance available for civil suit damage awards.

Side Note:

Hello Giggles was co-founded by Zooey Deschanel, an actress from a family of actors (including sister Emily Deschanel, "Doctor Temperance Brennan" in BONES).   I like BONES more than I like the people who run the NRA.   I think Zooey appeared on one episode.

But sometimes, like today ... the NRA is almost as entertaining as Television.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

"I Fought The Law, and The Law Won"

Good for you, Judge Benitez; at least one high court officer understands his obligation to support the Constitution!

(The Judge denied California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom's petition for a magazine ban.)

Gavin Newsom Asks Court to Allow 'High Capacity' Magazine Ban: Breitbart
Note that Newsom’s claim contains an admission that the ban will not stop “high-fatality” attacks altogether. Rather, it is yet another in a long list of California controls that is promulgated in the name of safety, only to result in diminished freedom. The loss of freedom would result from the fact that only law-abiding citizens would follow a “high capacity” magazine ban, like any gun law, and law-abiding citizens are the very people who are not misusing “high capacity” magazines to begin with. This was not lost on 
note again:
(Judge Benitez) ... blocked the ban because its implementation would have meant “hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of otherwise law-abiding citizens [would] have an untenable choice: become an outlaw or dispossess one’s self of lawfully acquired property.”

Compare that decision to this story (see below).

"Dude ... he's got a gun too!"

Detroit CPL holder unloads on armed robber caught on video - Story | WJBK:

Cynthia Quinn rushed to Henry Ford Hospital when she heard her son Sanchez Quinn had been shot. She called FOX 2 upset because she didn't know why she was not allowed to see her wounded son.

Reason why the cops wouldn't let her see her son was because he was shot while attempting an armed robbery ... against two men who were CPL holders (Concealed Pistol License).

The intended victims drew their weapons and shot the son and his cohort. (see video at the link above).

Some folks don't understand why innocent people "need" to carry a concealed weapon.

At least in Detroit, there are two sorry (and wounded) young men who now understand the rationale all too well.

Gnome Count: +2

(Hat Tip: thetruthaboutguns)

Confiscation: "There Ought To Be A Law ...

What's old is new again.

NRA-ILA | Anti-Gun Congresswoman Introduces Magazine Ban, Aims Slippery Slope at the Gun on Your Hip:
Last week Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-CT) introduced H.R. 4052, a ban on what she is calling “large capacity ammunition feeding devices.”
 Esty’s bill would ban any “magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition … .” It exempts firearms with “an attached tubular device designed to accept, and capable of operating only with, .22 caliber rimfire ammunition.” Mere possession, as well as import or transfer, would be prohibited by the bill.
Did you see what she did there?

She is requiring that legal devices be disposed of ... or confiscated, certainly not with the hope of compensation.  (And if they have to come get them, you can expect to pay the penalty.)

What other personal possession (with the possible exception of Drugs)  is subject to such draconian illegality?   Especially those possessions which were entirely legal when purchased.

She didn't even offer to kiss you.  (I'm given to understand that 'her kind' never kiss their 'clients'.)\

Gun Laws in Connecticut are already strict:

"Eat It!"

Termed the "Keep Americans Safe Act",  co-signed by at least 57 Members of Congress, the bill prohibits simple possession "or transfer" of a "large capacity feeding device" (etc. etc. etc.).  Terminology prohibits, you will note, selling the magazines.  Should the bill pass (chance are somewhere between SLIM and NONE, considering that the bill is unconstitutional in light of recent Supreme Court decisions), law-abiding Americans would have no choice but to destroy or "lose" said infernal devices.

Or have them confiscated ... and serve hard time for simple possession!

See ... this is why Firearms owners voted unanimously (or near enough to make no-nevermind) against the Hillary-Beast last November.

Elizabeth is equally anti-gun.  She has a reason.   From her House biography:

Elizabeth also serves as Vice Chair for the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. As the Representative for Newtown, CT, Elizabeth believes it is critical for our country to address gun violence and make a strong commitment to keeping families safe. That means sensible gun policies – expanded criminal background checks on all commercial gun sales, stricter penalties for illegal gun trafficking and straw purchases, a ban on high-capacity magazines, and a firm and lasting commitment to mental health services.

Gun Laws in Connecticut are already strict, and their Representative Esty seems determined to impose them on the rest of the country:

Location of Connecticut in the United States
Gun laws in Connecticut regulate the sale, possession, and use of firearms and ammunition in the U.S. state of Connecticut. Connecticut requires training, background check and permitting requirements for the purchase of firearms and ammunition; and a ban (with exceptions) on certain semi-automatic firearms defined as "assault weapons" and magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds. Connecticut's licensing system for open and concealed carry is relatively permissive.
That red dot in the upper right hand corner of the map of America (continental U.S.) is the tiny state of Connecticut.

It's a weekend get-away for denizens of NYC ... when folks want to escape America for a couple of days but don't feel like driving all the way to Canada.

I'm sorry.  I'm sure it's a wonderful part of the country and the folks who live there love it, and are equally wonderful. Perhaps they don't feel they're "stuck with Esty".   They keep electing her.

My own home state continues to elect the Insufferable Earl Blumenaur to Congress.  Old Earl knocked on my front door one day about 30 years ago and asked me for my vote for him as one of Oregon's representatives.  He had been a council member in Portland, where I lived at the time.  I told him I wouldn't vote for him for the office of dog catcher, because I didn't dislike dogs that much.  My friends and neighbors have continued to keep him in office ever since ... GOD ONLY KNOWS WHY!

And yes, Ol' Earl is a co-sponsor of this bill.

And no, I have STILL never voted for him; yet he gets elected every year.

The world is full of Insufferable Twits; these are only two of them.

There ought to be a law ...

Monday, October 23, 2017

Steven Crowder... not his best journalistic contribution to the Second Amendment!

Steven Crowder Challenges College Students To Change His Mind On Guns - Bearing Arms - college students, Gun Control, ill-informed voters, Steven Crowder:

 Steven Crowder is one of the more interesting personalities on YouTube, mostly because he’s funny while also providing some pretty smart commentary. He recently tried something new. He set up a table at Texas University and challenged students to change his mind. In the process, he challenges their points of view. Check it out:
"Pretty Smart Commentary"?

It's pretty smarmy commentary.

Even if I agree with Crowder, he hasn't provided any valid discussion of the Second Amendment. 

Challenging College Frosh on campus in front of a camera is apparently nothing more than a publicity stunt.   And I always thought Crowder was better than that.  But I was wrong.

I found the miniscule count of dialogues interesting, but one-sided.  I would have preferred to see what happened when the students who sat in his visitor chair were more than "Bobble-Heads".   But he didn't have the guts to publish any encounters where he had to actually WORK to defend the Second Amendment.   The most intelligent response from any of the few college-age adolescents he "interviewed" was HUH? 

Unfortunately, it's impossible to comment directly on the article without a FaceBook page.  Like that's going to happen!


Two Thumbs Down for obvious editing of responses to make the Host look good.

... and a Third Thumb Down (if I had one) for restricting comments to FaceBook. 

Crowder has done some decent journalism in that past (not much, but some). But this is nothing more than Ambush Journalism, and clue-less college frosh are his unsuspecting targets of choice.

"Smart Commentary"?   I call it "Smarmy Commentary", and that's being generous.


Moms Say The Darndest Things!

[Video] Oops! 'Moms' say laws would not have prevented Vegas shooting - The Gun Feed: [Video]

Just because you're a "Moms Opposed" doesn't mean you're not a Racist.

See the last video clip* (18 minute video ... it's the same feed you would find by clicking on the title marked [Video])

(Obvious Hat Tip: The Gun Feed)