Benefits of open carry

At the hearing on the proposed “Assault Weapons Ban” in Olympia last week someone got an education in gun rights:

Prior to the hearing, as several Open Carry activists gathered in the hallway of the John A. Cherberg Senate Office Building, Washington CeaseFire’s Ralph Fascitelli approached a member of the State Patrol’s security team and, after pointing out that there were visibly armed citizens in the building, demanded of the trooper: “Do you know if they’re loaded?”

Sources have confirmed to the Gun Rights Examiner that Fascitelli appeared both irritated and unnerved, and he wanted the State Patrol troopers to check every firearm at the door of the building to see if they were loaded. He was told by the WSP that troopers do not have the authority under state law to do that.

Apparently news of the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. constitution, the Washington State Constitution, and Heller decision hasn’t reach Mr. Fascitelli yet. This is the same guy that said anyone that uses a semi-automatic gun to hunt is “an animal assassin”. Maybe since he is from New York he is just a little “slow”. Odd, he doesn’t look that stupid:

Maybe he just thinks “those people” should just “learn their place” and he was hoping for some support by the police in teaching them a lesson. Instead he got the lesson.

I wish the WSP had just told him, “I would assume they are all loaded. Why would they carry unloaded guns around? We don’t.” Of course had he burst a blood vessel in his brain someone might have been charged with manslaughter. Just imagine the headlines–”Gun nuts kill without firing a shot” or “Looking at gun owners proves deadly”.

Still, I think that in this case the benefits of open carry proved their worth. The risk of manslaughter charges was worth the pleasure of unnerving Mr. Fascitelli and teaching him that as the board president of the anti-freedom organization Washington Ceasefire he has a long hard battle ahead of him.

Understanding the other side

Occasionally I have spent time on understanding those opposed to freedom. Other times I just said it doesn’t matter why — we just have to defeat them.

Kevin put a lot more effort and research into the understanding that I ever would have expended. It’s basically a extended book report on A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles by Thomas Sowell with lots of supporting material from Adam Smith and Friedrich von Hayek to Markadelphia. I’ve put it in my “wish list” of books to buy from Audible.com and will probably start it within a week or so.

It took me an hour to read (it is a classic Kevin Baker post) but I found the enlightenment worth my time.

The main point is there is a fundamental first principle that differentiates advocates for freedom from those that oppose us. Sowell and Baker, in this post, refer to two different “social visions”: the Constrained and the Unconstrained.

The Constrained Vision people advocate, among other things, setting up processes to limit the damage done by the extremes of individual human behaviors such as violent crime and group crimes such as enslavement and genocide. This limits political power for both good and evil. The Constrained Vision advocates view the limit of political power as a trade-off. Sure, it might be that you can create something closer to a utopia if more power is given to the government but the risks are not worth it.

The Unconstrained Vision people minimize or dismiss the possibility enhanced governmental powers becoming a hazard and focus on the possible benefits. When the enhanced governmental powers fail to deliver the anticipated benefits they advocate even more governmental powers and the silence and/or death of those that oppose them. Facts become irrelevant (as seen in my post made a few minutes before I started looking at Kevin’s post).

Ultimately the two differences in first principle lead to conclusions that are diametrically opposed on fundamental issues. In this video where a liberal scumbag running for U.S. president gets rights and privileges absolutely backward you have to conclude that even though he is a lawyer that he cannot have read the U.S. Constitution or the Bill of Rights.

I keep reading Kevin’s post, hoping to find something that could be used as a tool to recover our freedom in this country. What can you say or do that lead us out of what to some appears to be a death spiral?

I didn’t find the conclusion I was looking for. Instead it was in the first few paragraphs. As Sowell says (via Kevin):

Peter Robinson: If you had a sentence or two to say to the Cabinet assembled around President Obama, and this cabinet holds glittering degrees from one impressive institution after another, if you could beseech them to conduct themselves in one particular way between now and the time they leave office, what would you say?

Thomas Sowell: Actually, I would say only one word: Goodbye. Because I know there’s no point talking to them.

Hence, understanding is not all that important. Only defeating them is important. I’ll still be trying to understand but the more I understand the more I agree with son James here and here.

Nanny state fails again

Via daughter Kim:

Laws that forbid motorists from using hand-held phones or texting while driving don’t appear to result in a significant decrease in vehicle crashes, according to a new study by the Highway Loss Data Institute expected to be released Friday.

The study, expected to be released at a conference in Washington, D.C., Friday, comes amid stepped-up efforts by federal highway-safety regulators to ban texting while driving and curb other forms of driver distraction. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood earlier this week announced rules to forbid commercial truck and bus drivers from text messaging while driving. Mr. LaHood has said he would ban all texting while driving if he could.

The HLDI, a research organization sponsored by the insurance industry, studied data on monthly collision claims in four states that banned the use of hand-held phones by motorists before and after the bans went into effect. The HLDI also compared collision data from states that enacted bans on driving while texting or phoning to accident claims in states that didn’t enact such bans.

I find the Department of Transportation response “interesting”:

The Transportation Department in a statement Friday criticized the HLDI findings, saying “it is irresponsible to suggest that laws banning cell phone use while driving have zero effect on the number of crashes on our nation’s roadways.”

Typical of the nanny state mentality — in their minds the use of actual facts and data is “irresponsible”.

Quote of the day–John Lilly

In the province of the mind, what one believes to be true either is true or it becomes true.

John Lilly
[See also what Paul Simon said on essentially the same topic.

There are lots of examples of this. It helps explain why there are so many religions that have incompatible "immutable truths". It helps explain advocates of socialism even after the deaths of tens of millions and the misery of 100's of millions by those attempting to build a "workers paradise". And in my favorite example it helps explain why Chicago politicians put up such an irrational defense in the McDonald v. Chicago case (via Dave Hardy)--Joe]

Quote of the day–Andy Ostroy

What’s happened is that, true to form, Democrats can’t seem to get out of their own way. Unlike their counterparts on the right, the party leadership, from Obama on down the Congressional line, is comprised of a bunch of spineless, visionless, disorganized, pseudo-intellectual sailors sinking in a sea of their own delusion and denial.

Andy Ostroy (Democrat)
January 27, 2009
The Problem with Democrats
[Considering that nearly everything they attempt to legislatively do cannot be found in the enumerated powers granted them by the U.S. Constitution I don't have a problem with this.--Joe]

Quote of the day–Lt. Ray Lunny

When police are called to a ‘man with a gun’ call they typically are responding to a situation about which they have few details other than that one or more people are present at a location and are armed. Officers may have no idea that these people are simply ‘exercising their rights.’

Lt. Ray Lunny
San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office
January 28, 2009
News report inspires man to display gun in E. Palo Alto store
[Sounds a lot like responding to a call about someone "driving while black" in the "wrong" neighborhood.

You have to "love" them putting "exercising their rights" in quotation marks.

Via Say Uncle.--Joe]

Politicians Respond to Wa State ‘Assault ban’

Writing to one’s state or U.S. representatives is quite easy, thanks in part to Algore’s internets/tubes, and it is often an important thing to do.  They need to know what we’re thinking, whether or not they agree.  More importantly, they need to be reminded of their duties in upholding the state and/or U.S. constitution, as they are so prone to (eh-hem) forget.  Soon after writing my WA state senators, cc-ing the house, thusly;

—–Original Message—–
From: Lyle
Sent: Monday, January 18, 2010 4:29 PM
To: Schoesler, Sen. Mark
Cc: Fagan, Rep. Susan; Schmick, Rep. Joe
Subject: Stop This Nonsense

HOUSE INTERNET E-MAIL DELIVERY SERVICE
SENATE INTERNET E-MAIL DELIVERY SERVICE

TO:  Senator Mark Schoesler

CC:  Representative Susan Fagan
     Representative Joe Schmick

FROM: Lyle

BILL:  6396 (Against)

SUBJECT:  Stop This Nonsense

MESSAGE:

Senate Bill 6396, the “assault weapon” bill is not only an affront to the Washington state and federal constitutions, it cannot possibly do anything to “keep guns out of the hands of criminals”.  Criminals by definition don’t obey such laws, and if certain guns are outlawed, criminals will be the only ones using them.

Further, it is well known that the federal “assault weapon ban” of 1994 (expired in 2004) did nothing to reduce or prevent crimes.

This new state bill can only be described as gun owner harassment, and an attack on the very concepts of liberty and self defense.

I point out that the AR-15 style rifle has recently become the most popular rifle platform in the U.S., and it would be outlawed by SB6396.  Millions of handguns carried for defense would become illegal under this bill also.  Is this how we are to fight crime– by disarming or harassing the potential victims?

I urge you and your colleagues to stop this in its tracks, by any means necessary.  Further, I expect you to take decisive action within both the House and Senate against any law-maker who so brazenly attacks our personal liberties.  We will be watching.

Thank You.

I received the following response;

From: Schmick, Rep. Joe [mailto:Schmick.Joe@leg.wa.gov]
Sent: Tuesday, January 19, 2010 4:22 PM
To: Lyle

Subject: RE: Stop This Nonsense

Thank you for your comments.  I have heard an overwhelming objection to this bill from others in the 9th legislative district.

I oppose any gun regulation.  I fully support your second amendment rights to bear and keep arms and rest assured, I will vote accordingly.

Sincerely,

Joe Schmick
State Representative

Good for Joe Schmick.  Just one little bone to pick; he makes no mention of going after law makers “who so brazenly attack our personal liberties”.  No big surprise there.  This is a new concept.  Even pro-liberty politicians (or is that an oxymoron?) are accustomed to playing defensive holding actions 99 to 100% of the time.  We’ll let that one go for now, though at some point this will have to change.  Your team will never make it to the SuperBowl with the greatest defense and no offense.  I replied;

Thank you very much for your response.  If it helps to convince others who may be on the fence, I invite you to recall that state initiative 676 back in the 1990s, which was a sweeping weapon restriction scheme, failed overall by a margin of about 69 to 31.  Washington citizens may be evenly split on some issues, but [this] is certainly not one of them.

Best Regards,

Lyle

No one else responded for about a week.  Then came this bit from state rep Susan Fagan (oh boy);

Lyle,

Thank you for contacting me to express your concerns and comments.  I appreciate your taking the time and effort to share your views with me.

I am humbled and honored to represent our constituents in the 9th District.  As legislators, we have hundreds of issues to consider.  We need to be fiscally responsible and work towards stimulating the economy.  We also need to help protect our most vulnerable citizens and maintain individual rights and freedoms.

Please know that I am working hard to make the best decisions possible towards responsive and efficient state government.  Your input alerts me to issues of major concern and helps me to effectively serve our district.

Best regards,

Susan Fagan
State Representative
9th Legislative District

439 John L. O’Brien Building
P.O. Box 40600
Olympia, WA  98504-0600
(360) 786-7942
Fagan.susan@leg.wa.gov

It’s a form letter, designed as a blanket response, no matter the issue, no matter the position.  The only clue in there as to any sort of a position is that the term “individual rights and freedoms” appears.  A hard-core communist revolutionary probably wouldn’t say that, but then again a hard-core communist revolutionary is also a chameleon, or a liar, by definition.  Not much to go on as part of a universal “I don’t have the time to respond to you directly so here’s some crap for you to chew on.  Now go away and don’t bother me” letter.  A bit insulting.  She could have at least hired a junior high school delinquent to send a form letter addressing this particular issue as part of his public service requirement.  Such is life.  Very few politicians have the courage to actually say things.  No one else responded, but they did get my letter and that must count for something (so I tell myself).  If nothing else, the sheer volume can tell them a lot, and volume they have been getting.

I love engineering

Kevin has the story.

I just want to add that my degrees are in Electrical Engineering but when I worked for the Aerospace Division at Boeing a lot of my time there was in the “Terminal Guidance Lab”. Now at Microsoft I work on “location for cell phones”. In my spare time I play with my chemistry set and make targets.

It’s almost as if Kevin was talking about my career.

Quote of the day–John F. Kennedy

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

John F. Kennedy
[This doctrine should be universally applied to all infringements of liberty here and abroad. If the president were doing his job he would start arresting the anti-gun and anti-liberty politicians in Washington D.C. then Chicago, New Jersey, California, etc. After the U.S. is cleaned up Canada and Mexico should be encouraged to get in line.

I'm posting this for January 27th on January 26th, a day early because I need it for another post. I thought I had already posted it years ago but I can't find it now.--Joe]

Head count from the “assault weapon” hearing in Olympia

Joe Waldron reported the following to the WA-CCW and WA-Guns email lists on the hearing in Olympia on Tuesday:

I just finished scanning the sign-in sheets on the bill.

313 signed in

14 signed “pro” (yes) on the bill
299 signed “con” (no) on the bill.

Actually, it was 11 “yes” and three blank, but they were in a bunch, all from Ceasefire, so I gave them the benefit of the doubt.

Congratulations to Washington gun owners on a fine turnout! It doesn’t quite beat the count for the gun show bill three years ago (SB 5197), but it was close!!!

21.4 to 1.

Typical. And probably the reason the MSM didn’t mention numbers.

Also in the comments there was mention of people on our side that didn’t sign in because they got there a little bit late (parking is hard to find near the capital) and who were directed to the overflow area away from the sign in table.

Good job guys.

Oh, there were some people that open carried. The cops helping with crowd control were just fine with it. They OC, so why should there be a problem if their bosses OC?

Feds must prove interstate commerce

I find this very interesting:

To establish the interstate nexus element, the government presented testimony of Special Agent Daniel Meade of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). Meade is formally trained in trafficking techniques for firearms in the United States and his job is to determine whether or not a particular firearm traveled in or affected interstate commerce. Meade testified that the RG Industries, Model RG 31, .38 caliber revolver, serial number 019420 was a firearm. He testified that RG Industries is located in Miami, Florida, “where this firearm would have been assembled” and also stated that “[t]his particular firearm, the frame was manufactured in Miami, Florida . . . .” Meade further testified that “[o]ther than the gun] being bought and sold through interstate commerce, I don’t know how it particularly got to Texas in this instance, but it would have been bought and sold in commerce.”

A criminal defendant has a Fifth Amendment right to be “tried only on charges presented in a grand jury indictment.” United States v. Chandler, 858 F.2d 254, 256 (5th Cir. 1988). Only a grand jury has the power to amend an indictment. See id. “A jury charge constructively amends an indictment . . . if it permits the jury `to convict the defendant upon a factual basis that effectively modifies an essential element of the crime charged.’” United States v. Daniels, 252 F.3d 411, 413-14 (5th Cir. 2001) (citing Chandler, 858 F.2d at 257). The accepted test is that a “constructive amendment occurs if the jury is permitted to convict on an alternative basis permitted by the statute but not charged in the indictment.” Id. at 414 (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).

Section 922(g)(1) provides in relevant part that:

It shall be unlawful for any person . . . who has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year . . . to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm.

18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). “Firearm” is a term of art. It means “any weapon . . . which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive[;] . . . the frame or receiver of any such weapon[;] . . . any firearm muffler or firearm silencer[;] . . . or any destructive device.”[ 3 ] 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(3). “To establish a violation of § 922(g)(1), the government must prove three elements beyond a reasonable doubt: (1) that the defendant previously had been convicted of a felony; (2) that he possessed a firearm; and (3) that the firearm traveled in or affected interstate commerce.” United States v. Guidry, 406 F.3d 314, 318 (5th Cir. 2005).

So, in order to convict this guy the firearm’s violation they had to show, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the firearm traveled in or affected intersate commerce.

Why isn’t this the “Magic Bullet” that the Firearms Freedom Act folks need to win their lawsuit?

A step closer to freedom

Canadians took another step closer to freedom last night:

A decision by MPs in Ottawa to repeal the federal long-gun registry was met with harsh criticism by the Quebec government, and law enforcement groups across the country.

MPs voted 164-137 last evening to repeal the federal long-gun registry, despite police assertions that it saves lives.

The proposed legislation now moves to an all-party committee for public hearings before it returns to the House of Commons for a final vote and then heads to the Senate.

If the bill makes it through Parliament, it would mean the dismantling of eight million firearms records, say police.

The article is very negative on the news. The only thing positive in the article about the proposed easing of the infringements on an inalienable right is the following:

Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu, the president of the Association des familles de personnes assassinées ou disparues du Québec, said he hopes yesterday’s decision will allow lawmakers to focus on more pressing matters.

“There are fewer and fewer hunting guns being bought, because fewer people are hunting, not because the registry has been a success,” Boisvenu said. “The real problem is caused by knives and handguns. (The long-gun registry) has cost $1 billion, and it’s not up to date. About half the people on that registry have changed addresses by now.”

Boisvenu, whose daughter Julie was kidnapped, raped and strangled to death in June 2002, said the money would be better spent cracking down on the trade of handguns and knives, many of which are funnelled through Native reserves. He said the long-gun registry would not have prevented a tragedy like the Polytéchnique massacre.

“All the mass killers have done their crimes with illegal guns,” he said. “There is nothing in place to stop someone from getting a gun on the black market and going to kill someone.”

If our president was doing his job he would praise the legislations and encourage them to hurry it through to completion–other presidents were advocates of liberty why not all?

Looking for a gun related job?

Are you out of work and looking for a job. Would something gun related make it more fun to go to work each day?

The Brady Campaign is looking for someone.

The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence and its legislative and grassroots affiliate, the Brady Campaign and its dedicated network of Million Mom March Chapters, is the nation’s largest, non-partisan, grassroots organization leading the fight to prevent gun violence. We are devoted to creating an America free from gun violence, where all Americans are safe at home, at school, at work, and in our communities. We are searching for spring interns to assist us in our Research and Messaging and Marketing Departments.

Interns with the Research Department choose a specific research project to complete during the course of the internship in addition to pitching in on administrative tasks related to research, public affairs, or fund-raising.
Examples of research projects include summarizing research for our website and for our monthly Brady Research Update, short reports (2-3 pages) that are part of our Gun Laws Make A Difference series, e. g. explaining the impacts of gun control laws in California, New York City, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Canada and other projects.

Oh, there is something you should know–it’s an unpaid position. I guess working to infringe a specific enumerated right and risking prosecution for violation of 18 USC 241 doesn’t pay as well as working toward preserving and enhancing that right.

But you could have some fun with it. Check out the projects you could work on. I have some pointers to help you get started. There is even a picture of a Glasgow Smile you can use.

Gone in 32 seconds

There were three positions that opened up for Boomershoot 2010 in the last couple weeks. I made them all available at precisely 6:00 PM PST.

That didn’t last long.

Position 18 was gone in 32 seconds.

Position 47 was gone in 5:47.

Position 50 was gone in 8:45.

It didn’t hurt that the KING 5 Evening Magazine video ran again in the last day or two. I got a calls and email about it.

Good turnout in Olympia

I was unable to attend but the reports coming in indicate we had a good turnout. The MSM didn’t give us any clues (check here, here, and here–do you any hints at all?) as to the ratio but it appears it was fairly typical:

More than 300 Washington gun owners descended on the John A. Cherberg Building in Olympia Tuesday morning for a hearing on SB 6396, the so-called “assault weapons” ban legislation sponsored by Senate Judiciary Chairman Adam Kline.

Opponents of the bill vastly outnumbered its supporters, and for many in the audience who had traveled several hours to reach the capitol, it was disappointing that Kline allowed only 30 minutes for the hearing, and only a handful of speakers – evenly divided between pro and con – were allowed to speak. The crowd spilled out into the hallway, and at least a couple of auxiliary hearing rooms were jammed.

Also typical is the following type of stunt:

Several in the audience, including National Rifle Association lobbyist Brian Judy, were astonished when Pillo claimed to be “here today representing myself and my personal opinions,” yet she was in full uniform, complete with duty belt and sidearm.

This happens a lot at these type of events. It’s very frustrating to have people who should be arresting and prosecuting people like the sponsors of these bills actually support them and openly admit they draw a government paycheck. They couldn’t openly be a member of the KKK so why can they get away with openly supporting gun control laws? This has to change.

Quote of the day–Charles Caleb Colton

It is almost as difficult to make a man unlearn his errors as his knowledge. Malinformation is more hopeless than noninformation; for error is always more busy than ignorance. Ignorance is a blank sheet, on which we may write; but error is a scribbled one, from which we must first erase. Ignorance is content to stand still, with her back to the truth; but error is more presumptuous, and proceeds in the wrong direction. Ignorance has not light, but error follows a false one.

Charles Caleb Colton
[I was reminded of this by:

Sen. Adam Kline, D-Seattle, sponsor of the bill and chairman of the Judiciary Committee that was hearing it, said the bill includes descriptions of features on firearms such as pistol grips on rifles and barrel shrouds that make a gun “more lethal than your average deer rifle.” That prompted laughter in the hearing room...

I also considered the following as QOTD in response but I had already used them. Anti-gun people suck up my supply of ignorance quotes at a prodigious rate:

I have news for Mr. Kline. The days of ignorance by the people at large is over. It's not going to work this time.

The sponsors of this bill have, and spread, malinformation. It's sometimes tough to deal with. But public laughter is a far more effective cure than anger and is better for your blood pressure too.--Joe]

Brady Campaign strategy

They are down 97 points from the NRA who is in the lead. SAF is ahead of them by 95 points. Even GOA and JPFO lead them by 80 points. There is only one stage left in the match. It’s a 20 round field course worth 100 points. Both the NRA and SAF have to almost zero the stage and Brady has to almost win the stage to come out ahead. It doesn’t look good for the Brady Campaign.

A banjo playing in the background keeps getting louder. The gun nuts are oiling their guns, calling them “My Precious”, and smiling that funny smile. They stare at the Brady’s squirming and fully expect them to drop their guns and few remaining possessions and bolt for the nearest homeless shelter any second.

So what do the Brady people do? Dennis sends Sarah out for cookies.

[Actually, my understanding is Sarah probably would get distracted by something else she found in the kitchen and wouldn't get to the cookies.]