GRPC day 1

Yesterday was the main day for the Gun Rights Policy Conference. It was wonderful meeting and listening to all the big names of the gun rights movement.

The thing that struck me most was that it would appear that we had more speakers at our conference than everyone that attends the Brady Campaign meetings. I count nearly 70 speakers.

Another thing of particular note is that the attitude at GRPC 2012 is much different than the last one I attended in 2000. The feeling was of confidence and reports of winning on multiple levels and in so many jurisdictions. There are more than 8,000,000 active CCW licenses out there. There are 200 campuses that do not infringe upon the rights of the students to defend themselves.

Alan Gura was not able to attend due to the birth of his son a week ago. But he did send us a report telling us that there is a good chance the next 2nd Amendment case to reach the Supreme Court will be one regarding the right to carry a firearm in public. In 2000 we were having trouble getting a majority of states to recognize it as a privilege.

Last night at dinner I found a small table with some room at it and asked if the chair was taken. It wasn’t and I was welcomed to sit down. After a bit one of the people introduced himself as Fran Becker the Republican challenger to Carolyn McCarthy (of “shoulder thing that goes up” fame). Wow! As we chatted about McCarthy I said something about it seemed that those most ignorant about firearms are those most opposed to firearms ownership. He extended that thought and said liberals seem to be ignorant on nearly all issues. I told him of my recent date with a liberal being like a visit into an alternate reality and he started taking notes. He said he really liked how I expressed a particular thought.

Wow!

I emailed him a link to the post where I had developed the thought in more detail.

I have a plane to catch now but there will be lots of pictures and other content to post about GRPC 2012 in the coming weeks.

ASSAULTED: civil rights under fire

I met with and talked to people from Dead Patriots Films last night. This is the project they are currently working on:

When the subject of California’s gun control laws are discussed, rarely are they associated with the civil rights movement and the quest for equal rights for all. This film will compare the historical aspects of gun control targeting the indigenous tribes of North America and emancipated slaves through the Jim Crow era to today’s laws that favor elitists and denies the rights guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment to the most vulnerable in our society.

The film takes a critical look at the original intent of the current California guns laws in contrast with crime and murder statistics before and since their implementation; and compares these laws to those of the adjacent states. Story threads also look at the myriad of concealed carry permitting processes across the state to illustrate that not all residents are treated equal.

A few minutes ago I donated $200 to help make this film a reality. Please consider donating. There are only four more days left to reach their goal.

Quote of the day—Richard Nascak

We are not fighting for rights. We are fighting to regain rights we once had.

Richard Nascak
Co-Executive Director Florida Carry.
September 29, 2012
Gun Rights Policy Conference: Panel on State Legislative Affairs Briefing I.
[The only tweak I have to add is that gun rights aren’t lost or gained. They are infringed or respected. Hence I think this should be stated as “We are fighting to have our rights respected.”—Joe]

GRPC day 0

I arrived in Orlando last night without incident and checked into the hotel which was conveniently at the airport. I just walked across the terminal and went up the escalator to the hotel lobby.

After checking in, loading, holstering my STI, and dumping my stuff in my room I started looking for the “Regency Ballroom”. I almost immediately came across Alan Gottlieb (founder of SAF) and his wife Juliann. Alan was headed to the ballroom so I chatted with him as we walked to the ballroom. When I got to the lobby in front of the ballroom almost immediately Robb Allen spotted me and came up to greet me. We hung out together most of the time when he wasn’t doing Florida Carry stuff.

Robb and I went to Chick-fil-A for a snack while waiting for registration to open. This was my first visit to a Chick-fil-A. I wasn’t impressed. I asked for the “eight nugget” package and got seven “nuggets” which were no bigger than the tip of my thumb. Plus, I’m pretty sure the clerk was rubbing her nose with the bottom of the plastic lid she put on my lemonade. I wondered if it was the Celebrate Diversity t-shirt I was wearing. Anti-gun people can be so uncivil.

I got in line for registration and realized Jeff Knox was in front of me. I introduced myself and he told me he wants the recipe for Boomerite (here). While talking to Jeff Alan Korwin came up to me and gave me a “Guns Save Lives” sticker. And then Juliann brought my badge to me without me having to wait in line. Wow!

I got some real food at the reception and wandered around looking at badges. I saw Emily Miller talking to Joe Tartaro of SAF. I saw Joe Waldron of CCRKBA. I talked to Bob Meier from JPFO about their new initiative (more details later). And I spent some time playing with the Laser Shot simulator which looks like an excellent training aid.

Robb spotted Miguel of Gun Free Zone and we talked to him for a bit. His day zero report is here.

John Richardson of No Lawyers – Only Guns and Money recognized Robb and/or me and introduced himself and chatted for a bit.

A longtime reader of my blog (who I don’t think has ever left a comment on my blog, [hint, hint]) came up and introduced himself.

It was a great start and that was just the reception. The real deal starts in a little over an hour.

How’s that working out for you?

Two days after I received an email from anti-gun group (who shall remain nameless) inviting me to watch a fund raising video I finally got around to it. It had 111 views. 111? From their “supporters”? Wow! And I wonder how many of those were actually from the pro-gun side, like me, keeping an eye on the enemies of freedom.


When Barron and I (mostly Barron) put together a video of a bunch of “beer guzzling, uneducated hillbillies” shooting a USPSA stage we get thousands of views.


I think it’s time for the anti-gun groups to carefully evaluate the effectiveness of their fund raising efforts and scrap those when are actually losing money. Of course that would mean they would have to scale back to begging on the sidewalk outside Joyce Campaign headquarters. I’d be okay with that.

Free speech as a revolutionary tool

H/T to Bruce (Squirrel Hunter) who sent this to me via email.

There may come a time when speech isn’t free and/or nearly all freedoms are gone in which case you or your descendants have little choice but to make like you are George Washington. Don’t jeopardize the last ditch option just because you don’t need to exercise it today.

WashingtonFreeSpeech

Of course this reminds me of something Weer’d Beard said.

Quote of the day—Judge Michael Pert QC

If you burgle a house in the country where the householder owns a legally-held shotgun, that is the chance you take. You cannot come to court and ask for a lighter sentence because of it.

Judge Michael Pert QC
September 26, 2012
‘Expect to be shot if you burgle gun owners’, judge warns criminals
See also The police should heed this judge’s wise words and Burglary shooting couple emigrate to Australia.
[H/T largebear2 of the WA-CCW email list.

This wouldn’t be particularly noteworthy if it hadn’t happened in England. Had it been in one of the free territories of the U.S. I would have expected the judge to have advised the householder to use the same brand of buckshot the police use instead of birdshot.—Joe]

Gun Right Policy Conference

I made it through TSA (A Security Theater) wearing my “Celebrate Diversity” t-shirt without problems. I’m now waiting to board at the gate for my flight to Orlando and the Gun Rights Policy Conference. I’m looking forward to hanging out with Robb, Chris Knox, Mark Vanderberg, John Richardson, and many many other “cool kids”.

Quote of the day—Larry Hyatt

Ten thousand baby boomers a day are turning 65. They can’t run, they can’t fight, they got to shoot.

Larry Hyatt
Owner of a North Carolina gun shop.
Gun Control Fears And Obama Partially Responsible For Recent Increase In Weapons Sales
September 13, 2012
[Reality has this funny way of knocking down your door when you try to shut it out. Realizing that you are more at risk for a violent encounter at an older age even though you live “in a safe place” is one of those times.—Joe]

Brace For Impact

I was asked by Gresham Bouma’s PR guy to speak at a press conference held last Monday.  I had all weekend to think about it.  The idea was to have some local Business people talk about their challenges in running and growing a business in this economy, with emphasis on the old “jobs” meme (a meme I find ridiculous simply because jobs are the side effect of creation and production, which in turn arise from inspiration, which can’t blossum without liberty. If we seek to add “jobs” without addressing all those prerequisites, we’re completely missing the point and if we allow the prerequisites to exist, we don’t have to worry about “jobs”).


It was only as I was driving to the conference that this little thought came;


A lot of people are not so much thinking of hiring right now as they’re just Bracing For Impact.


I wanted to keep it really short, so I just laid out the two visions of government.  In one, I said, the government’s job is to reign us in, control us, direct us, redirect us, tell us what to do and what not to do.  It starts with the notion, which comes to every one of us at some point as we watch other people speaking, debating, or running a company, that WE could do a better job if only WE were in charge.  I made the point that in a free society, that confidence, justified or not, is what inspires us to go out into the market and prove ourselves.  It’s the motivation for the engine of prosperity.


It’s when government comes along, appeals to the spirit that tells us “I can do better”, then promises to take the reins and use the coercive power of government to FORCE people to “do it the right way” that we step off into the abyss.


The other vision of government is that its job is to protect our rights– our property rights and freedom, rather than to direct us.


I looked the press people in the eyes and asked them, personally; “If you were starting a business, under which model of government would you prefer to do it– the one that says government’s job is to rein you in, control you, direct you, pile on requirements and restrict you, and then tax you to pay for public works, or the one in which government is there to protect your rights?  “I think it’s pretty obvious” and I left it at that.  It only took two minutes or so.


I was watching an old episode of Glen Beck a few nights later.  It was almost year old and I’d never seen it, but I was randomly searching the site– something I’d never done because I don’t have the level of subscription that allows me to watch much on there.  But there was that old episode under some other heading, way down on the menu, and in it were those exact same words that Beck said had come to him last summer;  “Brace for Impact”.


So what if things aren’t going to get all that bad.  Maybe we somehow can avoid hyper-inflation, energy and fuel rationing, and all the unrest combined with blatant and not so blatant attacks from all directions by multiple enemies of liberty.  If you’re somewhat ready anyway, the worst that can happen is that you’ll have some extra food, backup power, expanded capabilities and overall greater independence.  That doesn’ seem like a bad thing.

Zombies

H/T to JoeyD Sr. for the email.

ObamaZombies

I got a laugh out of this even if the zombie meme is wearing thin and I don’t really think of Obama supporters as being mindless.

To think of Obama supporters as being mindless is to underestimate the intelligence, power and resourcefulness they have. Many may indeed be little more than “useful idiots” but there are also those that believe they are the intelligent ones that “should be in charge”. They understand politics, psychology, and sociology well enough to be dangerous and frequently have the mindset such they don’t have a problem being extremely dangerous to their political opponents. All with the best intentions for the greater good of course.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Roberta X

Mitt’s probably the best practical hope — and a thin, thin reed indeed. Changing the slope isn’t the same as reversing the slope.

Roberta X
September 27, 2012
“Not Getting it” Less Is Not The Same As Having A Clue
[I agree. And as near as I can tell the slope is such that sliding off the “cliff” is pretty close to inevitable. No set of viable politicians will be, or can be, elected that have the political capital to reverse the slope. Approximately 47% of the population is dependent upon the slope remaining the same or increasing. Reaching them and getting them to vote against their own short term best interest is extremely unlikely.

I see the communists and socialists passing out flyers on the street corners and signs, speeches and chanting in the park across the street from where I work. I feel a chill up my back when I wonder if these are the same indicators that foretold the coming to power of the tyrannical governments of the USSR, China, Italy, and Germany and the deaths of 100+ million people in the last century.

I understand the psychology of postponing the chaos, hardships, and horrors of the “safety net” (it’s really more of a trampoline that bounces people up and then off into the dirt at a later time) and the “guarantees” of other “free” stuff people have come to depend on going away. But it’s going to happen. The only questions are when, how massive the disruption will be, and the form of society as we reboot. Is postponing it going to make it less painful or more? Without data and very little rational thought to support the belief I believe it will make it more painful.

I will vote in a few weeks but without passion or even “practical hope”, as Roberta put it, the elections can change much. I’m betting my best interest is in continuing to invest in copper, lead, brass, nitrogen based chemicals, food production, and smart capable friends as my hedge against inflation and the big “splat” at the bottom of the cliff.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Bubblehead Les

If there’s any conflict between Hillary and the Chicoms, it’s kinda like the difference between a Maoist and a Trotskyite.

Bubblehead Les
September 26, 2012
Comment to She’s a libertarian all of a sudden.
[In political philosophy anyway. Hillary wouldn’t want to play second fiddle to Mao or Trotsky.

I’ve read a fair amount about Hillary. She is smart, extremely ambitious, craves power, and the ice water in her veins is pumped by a heart of steel.—Joe]

She’s a libertarian all of a sudden

Seen at Tam’s;



U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in turn urged China and its Southeast Asian neighbors to resolve disputes “without coercion, without intimidation, without threats and certainly without the use of force”.


I wish she’d seen the light 40 years or so ago.  I wish the U.S. government would treat our citizens the same way.  I was at a press conference Monday to say the same thing for Gresham Bouma, but we got thrown off the front porch of the Idaho Department of Labor (which will cease to exist if Hillary gets her way with her new-found policy of eschewing all coercion, intimidation and threats).


Hillary is of course a die-hard Progressive (incremental comminust) and so she is all about using coercion, intimidation and threats.  Her quote above does prove that she at least understands coercion, intimidation and threats to be bad things, even if she’s been advocating them all her adult life.  There wouldn’t be a Democrat Party without coercion or threats, and only about 3 or 4% of Republicans could exist in their current iterations.  It could be said that the main purpose of today’s Democrat Party (together with their media allies and the government education complex) is to rationalize the increased use of coercion, intimidation and threats, and I suppose the purpose of the Republican Party has been to make it possible for the Democrats.


But talk about brass.  She’s made a career calling for coercion and threats in nearly every aspect of American life, and now it’s not to be tolerated from communist China.  Wow.  They must be laughing pretty hard at her right now.  You’d think she would lay awake nights thinking of her wild contradictions.  That is if she had a conscience.  Even if she were only concerned about her reputation for the sake of her position and power, caring nothing for the truth, maybe she’d want to think a little bit before opening her mouth.

Random thought of the day

If people “are crazy, can’t be trusted, and need to be regulated and controlled”, as one Socialist recently told me, then doesn’t that mean that government which are made up of people need the same type of supervision?

It would seem to me that, if you value consistency and hence truth, you must conclude that either both people and governments made up of people need to be controlled or governments/supervisors must be made up of greater beings.

Governments which rule by divine authority have an extremely poor record of generating peace, prosperity, and happiness. Hence I think we can dismiss them outright. That leaves us with governments which have some degree of control over their actions or no control.

Again it would seem the choice is clear. Governments with no controls upon them are historically hostile to peace, prosperity, and happiness. Hence the only question would seem to be how much control. What is the optimal amount of control for a government and it’s people such that some measure of “public good” is optimized?

I suspect we have all the data we really need to answer that question. We have 50 states with various amounts of controls upon the government and the people living in those environments. The question can thus be refined a bit more. How do you measure “public good” and how do the various states rate using that system of measurement? Do there exist states with too much or too little control of government and/or their people? Or can it be shown that all states have too much/little control over government and/or the people and we need to increase/decrease the scope of the regulation of government/people in our experiments to find the optimum?

I think I know the answer but I’m willing to look at the data to see if my hypothesis is correct.

Or course there is also the valid concern of natural rights and where government gets it’s authority to regulated and control people. That is my preferred domain to have a discussion about limits on governments. But it’s challenge enough to get people to think about facts and results. Getting them to think about fundamental principles is generally an advanced topic beyond the scope of ordinary discourse.

What would YOU do?

Someone I Know (hereinafter refered to as SIK) related an incident at his home that occurred some weeks ago, and I thought that this blog would be a good place to mention it.


In the wee hours of the morning, SIK woke up, went to the living room for some reason or other, and found a stranger passed out on his couch.  He tried rousing him to no avail.  Shook him a bit, even, as you would do to wake up someone for an urget conversation.  No response.  The stranger was breathing, but obviously very drunk.  SIK went back to bed.  In the morning SIK’s wife went to the combination room to make coffee while SIK managed to rouse said drunk for a little chat.  Mr. 20-something-year-old Drunk didn’t know where he was at first.  He apologized for the intrusion.  SIK offered him a ride.  Drunk declined, and went on his way.  Wife said that she thought she’d seen him at a nearby house before (nothing suspicious – just there, like a neighbor or friend of a neighbor) but wasn’t sure.  SIK and his wife have guns in the house and know how to use them, if that matters to you.


End of story.


What would you do?  What is the right thing to do?  SIK has no small children or anyone else at the house.  Just he and his wife, if that matters to you.  I think it would matter to me, as I am something of a mother bear if you will.  I don’t know the answer for my sake.  There are many, many situations that are extremely difficult, at best, to second-guess if you’re not there– if you’re not the person responsible for making the decision.  So don’t.  You weren’t.  Just think about it.  I can tell you from experiences (though very different from this scenerio) that I have a hard time going counter to my “instinct”, which ever way that “instinct” might go.  Or is it “conscience”?  That could be a strength or it could be a weakness.  I admit that I don’t know.  Reason, alone, as I believe most people think of it, doesn’t always provide the best answer, but then maybe it depends on the depth of the reason.  In this case I think it could be argued that SIK made the worst possible decision, from a “tactical” point of view, and that at the same time it had the best possible outcome.  But what if the guy had been in a diebetic coma or something?


Edited to Add; The front door was unlocked, so the guy just walked in.

Don’t be an accessory

On Friday there was a robbery and shooting just across the street from where I work. The bad guy exited the mall door which I use nearly every day when I go to lunch and/or do my banking:

An armed robbery downtown leads to a foot chase and struggle over the suspect’s gun. On September 21st at 10:30 a.m. a lone black male suspect entered a jewelry store on the second level at Westlake Mall wearing sunglasses and a thin latex mask depicting a bald white male over his face. The suspect inquired about engagement rings. The store owner (victim #1) was suspicious but afraid to do anything. Suddenly the suspect brandished a handgun, pointed it at the victim and demanded a whole tray of rings. The victim picked up the ring tray and handed it to the suspect. He resisted letting go of the tray during which time the suspect fired one shot towards the victim, grazing his shirt sleeve. The victim released the tray and the suspect ran out of the business into the mall. He ran towards the 4th Avenue/Hotel Lobby hallway with the victim in pursuit. The victim was screaming for help and announcing a robbery had occurred.

Once in front of the Wells Fargo/Westlake Mall entrance the suspect turned around and fired two more shots towards the victim, who then backed off. The suspect exited the mall running northbound on 4th Avenue in possession of over a dozen rings taken from the jewelry store during the robbery.

When I went for lunch on Friday the bank was closed and I had to use a different entrance because the area was all taped off. I then went to get some chocolate covered strawberries and found the chocolate store was next to the jewelry store that was robbed and it was also behind the police tape and closed. Bitter thought it should be a crime for the police blocking the entrance to a chocolate store. And the thought of that causing a riot did cross my mind.

So the lesson to be learned from all this is that if you don’t want to be a accessory to starting a riot you should carry your gun and drop the bad guy before he shoots up the place so badly they close the chocolate stores.

Who wants to move to Honduras with me?

Via Say Uncle.

This is very appealing to me. It almost sounds like Galt’s Gulch:

Small government and free-market capitalism are about to get put to the test in Honduras, where the government has agreed to let an investment group build an experimental city with no taxes on income, capital gains or sales.

Proponents say the tiny, as-yet unnamed town will become a Central American beacon of job creation and investment, by combining secure property rights with minimal government interference.

“Once we provide a sound legal system within which to do business, the whole job creation machine – the miracle of capitalism – will get going,” Michael Strong, CEO of the MKG Group, which will build the city and set its laws, told FoxNews.com.

Strong said that the agreement with the Honduran government states that the only tax will be on property.

“Our goal is to be the most economically free entity on Earth,” Strong said.

The laws in the city will be separate from those in the rest of Honduras. Strong said that the default law that will be enforced in the city will actually be based on Texas state law, which has relatively few regulations.

“It will be Texas law with more freedom of contract. Texas scores well on state economic freedom rankings,” he explained.

Hmmm… I wonder what I could build and export using native labor and materials.

Quote of the day—Frances Carodine

i can understand kill to eat but for sport. that like killing a tiger cause dick won’t get hard

Frances Carodine
September 11, 2012
Facebook comment.
[It’s another Markley’s Law Monday!

H/T to Miguel.

In addition to exhibiting symptoms of an obsession with Markley’s law Carodine has problems with punctuation and grammar. It must be rough to live with a mind that messed up.—Joe]