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No, this isn’t the same sort of paradox as the bootstrap paradox. I’m talking about the weird, nearly simultaneous arguments that anti-gun types make claiming that we pro-gun types are either stuck in the past or not stuck in the past.

We’re told, on the one hand, that the 2nd Amendment is an outmoded document. We’re told that it’s a relic of a bygone era when most of the country was lawless frontier. We’re told that we need to get with the times, be like Europe, and all but ban firearms from civilian ownership. If there’s trouble, the argument goes, just call 911.

And in the next breath, we’re told that our view of the 2nd Amendment is far too modern. “The Founders could never imagined fearsome weapons of war like the AR-15!” And then, after stating that the 2nd Amendment only protects Brown Bess muskets, these same anti-gun leftists will hop back into their TARDIS and proclaim that the Constitution is a “living document” that evolves with the times.

…but not when we’re talking about guns.

Both arguments are ridiculous. The 2nd Amendment did not create a new right out of thin air. It recognized a preexisting freedom that flows from a right that all Humans have: The right to self defense. If one has the right to self defense, then one has a right to the means of self defense. It doesn’t matter whether that means is a sharp stick or a semiautomatic rifle. Not one of the Founders would have argued that a version of the 2nd Amendment written in the Bronze age wouldn’t have applied to steel weapons. And not one of these anti-gun leftists would argue that the 4th Amendment applies only to documents written on parchment. (Unless, of course, it were necessary to do so to argue against private gun ownership!) Just as the 4th Amendment applies to electronic files on your computer, so too the 2nd Amendment applies to the modern firearms in your gun safe.

As to their first claim that firearms are now “unneeded” in a modern, civil society, I suggest that they skim a few headlines from media outlets in Chicago. The Wild West was far more peaceful than is “civilized” Chicago.

News Privacy Self-defense

Some of you may be familiar with The Trace. This is Michael Bloomberg’s purpose-built, anti-gun “news” outlet. It provides all of the anti-gun news that’s fit to print. It does deserve some props, however. Unlike Bloomy’s other anti-gun propaganda operations, this one is up front with being an anti-gun propaganda operation. It’s also a very nicely composed and designed website. Unless I miss my guess, it’s built around WordPress. (The same software this site uses.) As anti-gun site go, theirs is a pretty good site. But (Yes, that big but was on its way!), they may have to get a better handle on what makes its way onto the site.

Take this story from last July, for example, about how ineffective gun buyback programs are.

How did I miss this?

The author, Kate Masters, presents data that most of us already knew: That guns collected in these programs by the police are often non-functional pieces of dren and that they are the guns least likely to be used in crimes. Furthermore, the police are often duped into paying top dollar for junk guns and the funds they pay are then used to buy better guns.

There’s no evidence that gun buybacks actually curb gun violence. Though the events have become ubiquitous in the U.S. since the ’90s, they’re coupled with a number of academic studies that pointedly demonstrate the ways that buybacks fail to reduce crime. “[Studies show that] the guns you get back are nonfunctioning, that we’re paying money and we’re not getting real benefits,” Ralph Fascitelli, the president of Washington CeaseFire, a Seattle-based gun safety organization, tells The Trace. “They’re just feel-good things that don’t do much real good.”

The feel-good nature of gun buybacks often spurs police departments to organize them in the wake of major killing sprees, such as a 2014 buyback organized by L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti after a gunman killed six people near the University of California’s Santa Barbara campus. This June alone, local officials from Florida, Connecticut, California, Arkansas, and Massachusetts launched city- or county-wide buybacks in response to violent shootings or rising crime rates. But experts claim it’s unlikely that these officials truly believe the events help reduce crime.

The “no questions asked” policy shared by most buybacks can also make them vulnerable to what [Alex Tabarrok, professor of economics at George Mason University] calls “gun entrepreneurs,” generally private sellers who use the events to profit off their local government. He cited a particularly notorious 2008 buyback in Oakland, California, where police bought handguns and assault rifles for $250 each. The event attracted local gun dealers, who bought cheap guns out-of-state and sold them back to the government for a profit

One suspects that Ms. Masters is no longer in the employ of Michael Bloomberg after posting something like this!

But this does lead us to a larger truth about the anti-gun movement: It’s entirely based on “feel-good” politics and not hard data. People like Michael Bloomberg are driven by emotion. Guns are icky. Gun owners are icky. Guns should be banned because they’re icky. Gun owners should be locked up because they’re icky. They ignore the reality of firearms: That they’re far more likely to be used to prevent violent crimes than to perpetrate them. Most guns are never fired in anger and most gun owners never hear a shot that’s been fired in anger. Those guns and their owners lead boring, uneventful existences.

Do bad things happen with guns? Of course they do. Bad things happen with hammers too, but you don’t see millions being spent to shut down the home improvement industry and “big hardware”. There isn’t a consumer product anywhere that’s completely risk free. But with every one of them, we apply risk/benefit analysis. People like Bloomberg pointedly refuse to do so with firearms. But then again, Bloomy’s not known to be a particularly rational individual.

News

What is it with Democrats and their inability to accept the outcomes of elections?

First it was the election of 1860, now it’s the election of 2016. The Democrats lost both elections and chose violence over democracy. (One would think that they’d recognize that word, but apparently not!) Instead, its radicalized wing is, just as it did in 1860, pushing the rest of the Party toward succession and open conflict. They chose badly last time around; this time would actually be worse.

Much worse

The Democrat stronghold in 1860 was the South. The region was largely rural and well armed. They lacked numbers, but arguably had a formidable military capability. Ultimately, quantity counted more than quality. The Democrats went down to defeat, they lost their slaves, and they wouldn’t regain power for 7 decades.

Now they want a rematch.

This time, their stronghold isn’t one region; it’s a handful of urban centers. They’re separated from one another by “flyover country” and have virtually no military capacity. (Snowflakes in black do not an army make.) Their one potential advantage is that they still have a few fingertips that are able to reach the levers of power over which they formerly had a firm grasp. They hold lots of court appointments and they hold the nation’s media corporations. They can issue court rulings that ignore the Constitution and have a compliant media report how this is actually OK.

The problem comes when push truly comes to shove. That sort of heavy handed, anti-democratic behavior can only go so far before the People decide that they’ve had enough. The results of the last election ought to serve as notice that they’ve reached that point. What comes next is up to the Democrat Party. This can end in blood and fire, like it did last time, or they can choose to live up to their name. This time, they would do well to remember that the rabble are heavily armed. We own somewhere between 300,000,000 and 500,000,000 firearms. We own billions of rounds of ammunition. The military that you may have been counting on to be your muscle is made up of our sons and daughters. Who do you really think they’ll be aiming at if it comes to that?

You’ve been wondering for years why we “rednecks” keep buying more and more guns and ammo. It’s not so that we can over throw the government; it’s so we can keep people like you from overthrowing the government. We like our Republic and our Constitution and we intend to keep them. If you’re intent upon changing either, there are legal mechanisms for doing so. Convince us that you’re right and we’ll go along with you. But before you Democrats start whistling Dixie (again) and go marching off to war armed with sticks, black bandannas, and clever hashtags, you may want to rethink those plans for a glorious revolution. It will not go well for you.

News Politics

Watch out 9th Circuit! The 4th is a-comin’ fer ya!

San Francisco’s 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has the dubious distinction of being the most overturned court in the Federal judiciary. Over 80% of 9th Circuit rulings reviewed by the Supreme Court get tossed. Not to be outdone, the 4th Circuit issued this ridiculous ruling in the Kolbe case. The court’s en banc panel held that, and I’m paraphrasing a bit here, since “assault weapons” are icky and scary looking, they’re not protected by the 2nd Amendment. The court contends that the affected semi-automatic firearms are “weapons of war” and thus not protected as per Heller.

This is, of course, an incorrect reading of Heller as well as the facts.

While the Heller ruling was narrowly confined to Washington D.C.’s handgun ban, the Court did caution against reading the ruling as only applying to handguns; that the 2nd Amendment may apply to firearms such as semi-automatic rifles. Justice Scalia writes:

   Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose. See, e.g., Sheldon, in 5 Blume 346; Rawle 123; Pomeroy 152–153; Abbott333. For example, the majority of the 19th-century courts to consider the question held that prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment or state analogues. See, e.g., State v. Chandler, 5 La. Ann., at 489–490; Nunn v. State, 1 Ga., at 251; see generally 2 Kent *340, n. 2; The American Students’ Blackstone 84, n. 11 (G. Chase ed. 1884). Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment , nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.26

    We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. Miller said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those “in common use at the time.” 307 U. S., at 179. We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of “dangerous and unusual weapons.” See 4 Blackstone 148–149 (1769); 3 B. Wilson, Works of the Honourable James Wilson 79 (1804); J. Dunlap, The New-York Justice 8 (1815); C. Humphreys, A Compendium of the Common Law in Force in Kentucky 482 (1822); 1 W. Russell, A Treatise on Crimes and Indictable Misdemeanors 271–272 (1831); H. Stephen, Summary of the Criminal Law 48 (1840); E. Lewis, An Abridgment of the Criminal Law of the United States 64 (1847); F. Wharton, A Treatise on the Criminal Law of the United States 726 (1852). See also State v. Langford, 10 N. C. 381, 383–384 (1824); O’Neill v. State, 16Ala. 65, 67 (1849); English v. State, 35Tex. 473, 476 (1871); State v. Lanier, 71 N. C. 288, 289 (1874).

    It may be objected that if weapons that are most useful in military service—M-16 rifles and the like—may be banned, then the Second Amendment right is completely detached from the prefatory clause. But as we have said, the conception of the militia at the time of the Second Amendment ’s ratification was the body of all citizens capable of military service, who would bring the sorts of lawful weapons that they possessed at home to militia duty. It may well be true today that a militia, to be as effective as militias in the 18th century, would require sophisticated arms that are highly unusual in society at large. Indeed, it may be true that no amount of small arms could be useful against modern-day bombers and tanks. But the fact that modern developments have limited the degree of fit between the prefatory clause and the protected right cannot change our interpretation of the right.

While “dangerous and unusual” weapons are not protected, those “in common use” are. And “Black rifles” certainly are in common use! There’s a reason why the AR-15 is called “America’s Rifle”.

This ruling is doomed to reversal once it reaches the High Court. There it will join similarly goofy rulings from the 9th Circus. It is nothing more than a temper tantrum issued by a pack of black-robed idiots. But the fact that it will be short lived does not undo the damage that it will cause. There are law abiding citizens within the 4th Circuit’s jurisdiction that are now at risk of having their rights violated while the ruling is in force.

The more long lasting damage is to the law’s reputation. We have mentioned before that laws and court rulings that make a mockery of the law erode respect for the rule of law; and this is a very dangerous situation. A civil society cannot exist in the absence of the rule of law. As upsetting as this might be to some special snowflakes, society needs rules that everyone can follow. Rulings like this one upend the rules. Instead of a Constitution that sets firm limits on the power of Government, the 4th Circuit would replace it with judicial whimsy. This reduces the rule of law to a game of Calvinball.

…which is only funny if a boy and his stuffed tiger are involved. It’s not so funny if you’ve been arrested for something that was legal last Tuesday and might be again at the next new moon.

Legal News

The California DOJ recently withdrew a proposed set of regulations to enforce the State’s new “bullet button” ban. This ban redefines an “assault weapon” to mean any detachable magazine centerfire rifle with two or more features from the naughty list; such as an adjustable stock or a pistol grip on the forearm. While the proposed regulation were an overreach of the law’s intent, they were still rules that could be followed.

The firearms manufacturing community has been introducing new products that would allow Californians to comply with the terms of the law without having to register their rifles as “assault weapons”. (Remember: Registration == Confiscation!) But, by delaying their new rules, the CA-DOJ makes it uncertain which of these new products would actually pass the department’s legal tests. Thus we cannot say with certainty that a “featureless” rifle configuration is really featureless under the law. Nor can we say that a particular magazine release system truly satisfies the requirement that the action of the gun be disassembled to remove the magazine.

One does have to wonder: Is this delay deliberate? Is its purpose to prevent manufacturers from introducing legal products for California gun owners ahead of the ban’s January 1, 2018 enforcement date? Without these products, Californians would be forced to register their legally owned firearms with the State to stay compliant. Or…

Legal News

I’m pretty sure that we warned y’all this would happen. But did you listen? Why start now, right?

Californians, faced with yet another round of unconstitutional gun laws, responded by buying a record number of firearms in 2016. Of course, this happens every time crazy, gun hating liberals roll out new gun laws. Real Americans respond with their wallets.

News

It ain’t fun hearing a bullet whiz past your ear. It means that you almost got your head taken off. On the upside, it does mean that you dodged one that could have taken your head off.

We dodged one of those last night.

Hillary Clinton, possibly the most anti-gun candidate in American political history, came within a hairsbreadth of winning the White House last night. While Donald Trump will come away with a commanding electoral college win (306-ish to 228-ish as I write this), Hillary won a slight majority in the popular vote. 59,408,297 people (as of 8:31 PST), damn near sent that harridan to the Oval Office. Had she gotten to that desk, your freedom to own and use whatever firearms you deem fit for your needs would have flushed down the nearest toilet.

However, this isn’t the time for gun owners to pack up and head home. The battle was won and the end of the war is in sight, but this is the GOP we’re talking about here. If anyone can rescue defeat from the jaws of victory, it’s that pack of creepy clowns. Trump has put forward a list of names for possible Supreme Court justices. Our job now is to vet these and others before they receive the consent of the Senate. (Remember that Souter and O’Connor were appointed by Republicans!) Don’t start thinking that having a little “R” behind someone’s name makes them a friend to your gun rights. We have the opportunity to reshape the Court for at least the next generation.

It’s time for the mopping up to begin.

News Politics

America’s gunnuts are actually on the Left…


From NRA-ILA:

Clinton Pushes Semi-Auto Ban as Public Rejects Gun Bans in Record Numbers

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2016

Is she trying to look like Donald Sutherland?!?

Hillary Clinton has made clear that she would make gun control a top priority of her presidency, and has pointed to a new ban on commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms as one of her chief goals. At a June 17, 2014 CNN “town hall” event, Clinton was asked, “Do you think that reinstating the ban on assault weapons and banning high capacity magazines would do any good?” Clinton affirmed her support for a ban, and stated, “We cannot let a minority of people — and that’s what it is, it is a minority of people — hold a viewpoint that terrorizes the majority of people.” Clinton’s team might want to rework this line of attack, as a Gallup poll released this week shows that a record number, and a majority, of Americans oppose a ban on popular semi-automatic firearms.

In a poll conducted October 5-9, Gallup asked 1,017 adults, “Are you for or against a law which would make it illegal to manufacture, sell or possess semi-automatic guns known as assault rifles?” An overwhelming 61 percent of respondents answered that they were against such a ban, while a mere 36 percent support the restriction.

Gallup began asking this question in 1996, and has done so several times in the last two decades. The trend in favor of greater respect for gun rights is undeniable. Since 1996, support for a ban has dropped more than 20 points and opposition has risen 19 points.

Moreover, Gallup’s data shows that support for a ban has fallen across both major political parties and independents. Gallup points out, “Currently, 50% of Democrats and 25% of Republicans favor a ban; in 1996, 63% of Democrats and 50% of Republicans did so.” Additionally, support for a ban is well below 50 percent in both gun-owning and non-gun-owning households.

In addition to the question about semi-automatic firearms, Gallup also asked respondents, “Do you think there should or should not be a law that would ban the possession of handguns, except by the police and other authorized persons?” As with commonly-owned semiautomatics, the results reveal that Americans are opposed to a handgun ban in record numbers. In the 1980s and early 1990s Gallup measured support for a handgun ban at around 40 percent. Today, only 23 percent support this restriction. 

While Clinton might like use incendiary rhetoric that labels gun rights supporters as a minority that “terrorizes” the majority of Americans, in fact it’s her support for gun bans that is extreme. We’d ask Clinton to stick to the truth, if she were familiar with the concept.


A few take-aways from this:

  1. Hillary Clinton knows what she knows and she’s not going to let the opinions of the “small folk” stand in her way. (Like that’s a surprise!)
  2. Support for an “assault weapon” ban fades away when it’s not called an “assault weapon” ban. Did you notice how Gallup phrased the question? Usually the question is “Do you favor banning deadly assault weapons that slaughter women and children?”. Whether they mean to or not, pollsters push-poll the question with wording like that. One wonders why Gallup did not do so here. Perhaps they’re tired of getting smacked for it by people like us.
  3. Gunnuts, those who obsess over firearms, are on the Left in America. Only people like Hillary get their knickers in a twist over rifles that are almost never used in violent crimes.

News Politics

Virtually all Americans are of the opinion that this is the single worst presidential election in our nation’s history. I submit that the opposite is true.

The candidates of the two major parties are a weasel and a toad. I’ll let you decide which is which! There have never been two more unlikeable characters running for elective office. For every negative thing you can say about Hillary Clinton, there’s something just as bad to say about Donald Trump. Neither can be held up as shining example of virtuous living. But, as TownHall.com columnist Wayne Grudem points out, this makes the election about policies instead of personalities.

Voting for Clinton and her ultraliberal policies is not an option for me as an evangelical Christian. Therefore I am left with two options: (1) vote for Trump, or (2) vote for a third-party candidate whose hopes of winning belong to fantasy, not reality.

And if these are my only two options, then voting for a third-party candidate has the clear effect of helping to elect Clinton, because it is taking my vote away from Trump. That is why the liberal media loved it when I said I was finding it hard to decide.

It also means that my two options are actually this: (1) vote for Trump, or (2) help Hillary Clinton get elected.

Once I put the choice in those stark terms, there is a good way to make a decision. Since I find both candidates morally objectionable, I am back to the old-fashioned basis on which I have usually decided how to vote for my entire life: Whose policies are better? Do I agree more with Trump’s policies or with Clinton’s?

And that is how elections are supposed to be!

Elections in the US (Well… everywhere.) devolve into beauty contests. Who said or did what to whom becomes far too important. What a candidate did in the past is important, but not nearly as important as what they will do once elected. We should, but never really do, look at their policies rather than their wardrobes. But since neither Clinton nor Trump are viewed by the American People in a favorable light, we’re forced to decide based on their policies.

For gun owners, this is a no-brainer. The stated policies of each viable candidate are known. Yes, Trump could be lying about his support for gun rights; but what are the odds that Hillary is lying about her hostility toward your liberties? So unless you agree with Hillary that the 2nd Amendment only protects the National Guard, then you’re left with one and only one option: Donald Trump.

News Politics

Today is your last day to register to vote in California. You can register online here. You’ve been reading about how awful Prop 63 is here and elsewhere for months now. DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! Even if Prop 63 wins at the polls, the NRA and other groups will fight it in the courts. They will do so on solid legal footing, but there is an undeniable influence that polls have on judges. A resounding victory for Gavin Newsom’s vanity proposition could provide a weak-kneed judge the cover he or she needs to ignore the Constitution and approve the law. If it squeaks by, that’s another story. Your vote matters whatever the outcome!

Don’t let the party elites (in either party!) demoralize you and keep you away from the polls. Register today and vote on November 8.

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