Category: News

In the wake of the Las Vegas shootings people are asking “what could have been done?”. The answer might be unsettling.

The solution to a problem, of course, depends on the root cause of that problem. If your transmission is having a problem, fixing the brakes won’t help. To find a potential solution in this case, we need to understand the root causes of the event.

Some people are suggesting that background checks on gun purchases are the answer. But, the shooter passed background check after background check. So that’s not the solution.

Perhaps he was, as ISIS claims, a radicalized Muslim. If that’s the case, then better surveillance of fringe Muslim groups might be the answer. But there’s no evidence that he converted to Islam, so that’s not the answer.

He had a lot of guns. Could limiting purchases to one per month have stopped this? He seems to have purchased the guns over a long period of time. So that’s not the answer either.

Magazine size limits? He had dozens of guns. He could have, and did, switched guns as easily as magazines. No answer there.

Better monitoring of the mentally ill? There’s nothing to suggest that he was diagnosed with mental illness. Was he a member of an extremist group like Antifa? Nope. Past episodes of suicidal behavior? None. Anything in his online presence? Not a thing.

In short, there was nothing in the guy’s background that provided a clue as to what he was very carefully planning. No law, either currently on the books or proposed, could have stopped him. So says California Senator Dianne Feinstein. Even she says that there is no legislative solution that would have prevented this killer from doing what he wanted. (But don’t think that’s stopping her from proposing more gun laws!)

The unsettling answer is that there are no right answers here.

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Legislation is very often like trying to swat a fly with a wrecking ball. You might actually get the fly, however, you’re also going to get a lot more; particularly more of what you really didn’t want to smash. Gun laws are nearly always legal wrecking balls. Not only do they fail to address whatever problems their supporters claim will be fixed, but they go on to create new problems. At FiveThirtyEight blog, researchers looked into gun laws and their effects. They didn’t look at the rosy predictions of anti-gun activists, nor did they look at the dire predictions of pro-gun activists. They looked at the statistics of gun related homicides in the US and found that one size truly doesn’t fit all.

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Oh sure, they’ll tell you that their donation is to help prevent “gun violence”. In fact, they probably believe that wholeheartedly. But, the end result will be more attempts to relieve law abiding gun owners of their rights. Why? Because they’re giving that money to people like the Brady Campaign and Michael Bloomberg’s mommies.

If they really wanted to prevent violence perpetrated with illegal guns, then they’d use that money to promote proven methods like Project Exile. The search engine giant is probably aware of the project. (Just a wild guess there!) Instead, they’re giving that money to groups who consistently view the law abiding gun owner, and not criminals, as the source of “America’s gun problem”. And of course, when you ignore a problem’s root cause, you can’t solve that problem. It gets worse when you dogmatically insist that there’s another root cause!

If Google really wants to do some good in this area, here’s another place that they could spend their money: The NRA’s Eddie Eagle program. Unlike the Mommies and their screeching, this program really does protect children from gun accidents; over 29 million thus far! Perhaps they should Google it to find out more.

News Safety

Federal district court Judge Roger Benitez has issued a preliminary injunction stopping enforcement of Prop. 63‘s ban on the possession of standard capacity magazines. The judge found that irreparable will be done to law abiding California gun owners should the ban be allowed to go into effect pending litigation.

The Court does not lightly enjoin a state statute, even on a preliminary basis.
However, just as the Court is mindful that a majority of California voters approved
Proposition 63 and that the government has a legitimate interest in protecting the public
from gun violence, it is equally mindful that the Constitution is a shield from the tyranny
of the majority. Plaintiffs’ entitlements to enjoy Second Amendment rights and just
compensation are not eliminated simply because they possess “unpopular” magazines
holding more than 10 rounds.

If this injunction does not issue, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of
otherwise law-abiding citizens will have an untenable choice: become an outlaw or
dispossess one’s self of lawfully acquired property. That is a choice they should not have
to make. Not on this record.

Accordingly, with good cause appearing for the reasons stated in this opinion,
Plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction is GRANTED.

Judge Benitez found that while the new law arguably fails the simple 2nd Amendment tests suggested by the Supreme Court in the Heller case, the law also likely fails the more lenient tests favored by the Ninth Circuit. The judge, who is based in San Diego, is bound to use the Ninth’s screwball tests; tests that seem like they were concocted to uphold whatever gun law comes before that court! But even under that low bar, the judge thinks that the State would fail to make its case.

The judge extensively examines the arguments presented by Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s office. The DOJ presented over 3100 pages of “evidence” supporting the law, but most of it can be summed up by the Dothraki phrase Me nem nesa; “It is known”. The “evidence”, which the court was apparently supposed to accept without question, is mostly anecdote, news clippings, and position papers. There’s also a curious reliance upon Mother Jones as an authority. (Some of you will recall that I’ve cited Mother Jones in these pages. But, I did it in the sense of “Look, if even Mother Jones says that    (Fill in the blank)    isn’t true, then it isn’t true.”) We were all just supposed to “know” that Prop. 63 is vital to public safety and that an injunction was thus unjustified. (For you GoT fans, the judge was expected to play the part of the Dothraki girls telling Daenerys Targaryen that “it is known” that dragons don’t exist anymore while there were all in the same tent with three dragon embryos!)

One a side note for those of you keeping score: Prop. 63 was also intended to be one of the jewels in Gavin Newsom’s gubernatorial crown. The whole thing wasn’t so much about keeping Californians safe as it was about getting the slimey, used car salesman into the Governor’s mansion.

Legal News

Readers of these pages don’t need to be told that California recently passed new “assault weapon” regulations into law. (Why the quotes? Because, as the new laws themselves demonstrate, the term “assault weapon” has no fixed meaning. It’s a legal chimera.) Those laws are the subject of legal action, but, pending lawsuits do not relieve the Department of Justice from from its obligation to issue the regulations that will actually guide enforcement of the laws. Care to take a guess at what Attorney General Xavier Becerra has been doing? If you guessed “dragging his feet“, then you got it in one.

Gun owners have four options for dealing with the new law:

  1. Surrender or otherwise dispose of their very expensive property
  2. Register their firearms with the State
  3. Remove the features that cause the guns to be called “assault weapons”
  4. Or just ignore the law entirely

(Yes, that last one is an option.)

Option 1 was the intended result. The anti-gun Left thought that passing a law would make all of the naughty, evil, wicked, naughty guns just go away. But as mentioned above, these guns cost money. Some are less expensive than others, but they’re not free either. Expecting people to just give up their property isn’t realistic. Option 2, even if most gun owners view it with suspicion, isn’t possible. Thanks to the glacial pace at which AG Becerra is working, there is no mechanism to register these guns as “assault weapons”. So option 2 is also a non-starter. Option 3 is where things start to get interesting.

The law defines an “assault weapon” mostly by a series of cosmetic features. These do not affect the way the gun functions. The one functional feature is the presence of a detachable magazine in combination with those cosmetic features. Removing the detachable magazine means that it can no longer be called an “assault weapon”. The intended result was that one would have to at least partially disassemble the gun to reload. But thanks to the new market that these laws created, products like this now exist…

This is just one of many reloading systems that now exist that allow a fixed magazine to be reloaded quickly.

The flip side to removing the detachable magazine is removing the cosmetic features. These are generally called “featureless builds”. Why would someone do this? Because a “featureless” gun can have a detachable magazine! If the entire point of the law was to get rid of detachable magazine guns, then it’s failed miserably. These guns and those with fixed magazines need not be registered.

Now back to option 4: do nothing and ignore the law. As long as there’s no way to register an “assault weapon” under the new law, one is by default ignoring the law. But once Becerra finally gets off his lazy backside and establishes a registration system, there is no obvious way to tell a registered gun from an unregistered gun. We’ve mentioned this problem before.

News

Perennial screwball, Virginia Governor, and potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Terry McAuliffe recently stated that 93 million Americans die each day from gun violence. Sounds a little off, doncha think?

McAuliffe made this claim the day a Democrat extremist and Bernie-bro attempted to assassinate members of the House GOP. It’s been more than three days since his remarks and we’re all still alive. It’s thus safe to conclude that 93 million of us don’t die every day from “gun violence”. (Or any other flavor of violence, for that matter.)

Well… OK… It was a slip of the tongue. Even though he said 93 million, twice, he really meant 93; as in three more than ninety and 7 less than one hundred; the precise value between 92 and 94. But it does raise a pair of questions: Where did he get the number 93 and why did 93 million pop into his head, twice?

The first answer is easy: He’s cooking the books. 93 per day is the total number of firearms related deaths in the US each day. This includes suicides. He’s deliberately conflating the two in order to make homicides look more common than they really are. Suicides are not preventable via gun control laws any more than homicides are. In both cases, those intent upon killing, either themselves or others, will find tools appropriate to the task. It’s also important to remember that this is a nation of 321,000,000 people. Even if there were 93 homicides each day, that’s only .000029% of the US population.

As to the spurious multiplier, My guess is that McAuliffe said it because he truly believes that there are that many deaths per day. He’s not alone. There are lots of anti-gun activists out there who are thoroughly convinced that we’re all gonna DIE, if “something” isn’t done. You can hit them with the real numbers all day long, but you won’t get past their irrational fears.

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You sometimes have to wonder why the MSM is so consistently wrong on subjects such as guns. Are they simply stupid? Are they being willfully ignorant?

Or are they just lying?

It really could be that last one. But what I don’t get is how they think that they can away with it. It’s not like it was back in the good ol’ days. They can’t tell a lie and then expect it to be months or years before they’re found out. (Just ask Dan Rather! His career was over before “Fake but accurate” had finished airing in the Hawaiian market. And that was over a decade ago.) The latest are claims that Democrat Party extremist and Bernie-Bro James Hodgkinson was armed with an “M4 assault rifle“.

It was an SKS.

Now, to borrow from Hillary Clinton, what difference does it make? The M4 is a military weapon system capable of fully automatic fire. That’s like a machine gun for those of you in Rio Linda. (Or journalism school.) The SKS is a semi-automatic rifle. It fires once and only once for each pull of the trigger. The M4 fires the 5.56X45mm round while the SKS fires the 7.62X39mm round. They’re very different rounds. The 5.56mm round is a much higher velocity round, though both have the similar effective ranges.

And now the really important differences: The SKS can be purchased by civilians in the US while the M4 cannot. The M4 accepts a detachable magazine, while the SKS (almost always) does not. (There are some after-market modifications and some versions that do accept a detachable magazine, but these aren’t common.) The standard magazine for the M4 holds 30 rounds. The standard fixed magazine for the SKS accepts only 10. This means that the SKS isn’t classified as an “assault weapon” anywhere in the US.

But all of this information is available on the Interwebs. Why didn’t the dim bulbs at CBS, ABC, or the New York Post bother to look? Don’t they have computers?! Do they know about Google?! Or were they just trying to squeeze in a little more propaganda?

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duckspeak [duhk⋅speek]

noun
To quack like a duck; to speak without thinking.

As predictable as the rising sun, the attempted assassination of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise has anti-gun wingnuts calling for more and more gun control. In particular are calls for “universal” background checks. Never mind that the shooter in this case passed several of these beloved background checks. Perhaps those calling for more gun laws should do a little research before they start quacking.

There were ample opportunities for the legal system to catch the assassin before he struck. He had multiple encounters with law enforcement that could have ended in arrests and convictions. But they didn’t. in each case, he was given a pass. Convictions that could have marked him as a prohibited person, and thus would have allowed the police to disarm him, didn’t happen. And yet, we’re supposed to believe that, but for a few more gun laws, this crime could have been prevented.

What good are more gun laws when the legal system seems determined to ignore the ones already available to it?

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