Quote of the day—Hope Jahren @HopeJahren

Every species on earth- past or present, from the single celled microbe to the biggest dinosaur, daisies, trees, people- must accomplish the same five things in order to persist: grow, reproduce, rebuild, store resources, and defend itself.

Hope Jahren @HopeJahren
April 2016
Lab Girl
[Via email from Stephan P. who wondered if Ms. Jaren is a firearms owner. I did a little research but I didn’t find any good hints.

See also Paul Koning’s repeated reminders that even mushroom “understand” self-defense:

This quote, which I presume is absolutely true, should be used to confront those who insist we should “just give them what they want” when someone demands our dignity and money or our life. We have a natural right to defend ourselves. To not use tools to do what is a natural right is to abandon our true nature—a tool using species doing what all species must do to persist, defend ourselves.—Joe]

Quote of the day—David Kopel

Germany in 1900 was one of the most tolerant places in the world for Jews; in any country, things can change a lot in a few decades.

Not every nation that adopts the latter policy ends up with genocide. Yet the historical record is clear that mass disarmament of citizens can be the gateway to millions of deaths by mass shooting.

David Kopel
November 9, 2017
Mass shootings in gun-free nations
[See also, Hitler’s Willing Executioners and Death by “Gun Control”: The Human Cost of Victim Disarmament.—Joe]

Quote of the day—John Fogh

Well the initiation process does require one to eat the still-beating heart of a hippie…

John Fogh
Professional Firearms Instructor
November 9, 2017
In response to the question, “Can a vegan join the NRA and how will they be viewed by other gun owners?
[Ask a silly question, get a silly answer.

John has also been quoted here before:

He also taught Barb how to fight with a knife.—Joe]

Quote of the day—John R. Lott

I haven’t found a single case where gun control advocates’ fears were borne out by the facts.  In not one of these cases did a permit holder accidentally shoot a bystander, or a police officer accidentally harm a permit holder.

There are many more of these cases. Imagine how different the gun control debate would be if  some of these heroic permit holders got national coverage. But even the liquor store shooting in Conyers, Georgia couldn’t get national coverage, despite being caught on video.

The more you learn about these cases, the more you appreciate that mass public shooters have good reason to keep attacking gun-free zones.  These killers might be crazy, but they aren’t stupid.  They realize that the longer it takes for a good guy to arrive with a gun, the more people they can kill.

John R. Lott
November 12, 2017
Good guys with guns saving lives
[We need to eliminate “gun-free” zones and prosecute the perpetrators who created these killing fields.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Jeff Snyder

Do you believe that you are forbidden to protect yourself because the police are better qualified to protect you, because they know what they are doing but you’re a rank amateur? Put aside that this is equivalent to believing that only concert pianists may play the piano and only professional athletes may play sports. What exactly are these special qualities possessed only by the police and beyond the rest of us mere mortals?

Jeff Snyder
2001
Nation of Cowards page 19
[This essay was originally published in 1993 by The Public Interest.

The first question is semi-serious. The second is, obviously, a rhetorical question but to answer it anyway, “None.”—Joe]

Frame of reference

On Twitter:

Donald Arant‏ @darant3 Replying to @NRATV @MrColionNoir

More poisonous gun rhetoric and PROPAGANDA! Since you brought up the idea of the evolution of guns…let’s allow all Americans the right to own tanks?

Many other people pointed out that it is entirely legal to own tanks. Expensive, but legal. I thought I could help in a different way. His frame of reference is totally messed up.

So this was my reply:

I think I see the problem here. You believe the government LETS people do things. It’s the other way around. The U.S. Constitution, written by “We the people”, granted the government certain powers. It didn’t grant them powers to infringe upon our right to keep and bear arms.

He has probably been stuck in his alternate reality for so long that I’m not sure he will be able to comprehend things as they really are. But, it was worth a shot.

Quote of the day—SunuvaBeach

I’m also tired of associating the mental illness of gun culture with some kind of “all American” regular folks.
They’re sick.

SunuvaBeach
October 27, 2017
Comment to Finding common ground on gun control
[This is what they think of you.

My guess is if SunuvaBeach had their way with us we would be sent to a psychiatric hospital. Progressives have a long history of doing that.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Ramesh Ponnuru

What motivates the passionate gun-controllers? If saving lives is the goal, then directing more police resources to high-crime areas might have a bigger impact than any push for gun control, as Robert VerBruggen discusses elsewhere in this issue. So might public attention to suicide among the elderly, as statistician Leah Libresco recently concluded in the Washington Post after reviewing the literature on gun policies.

Liberals pride themselves these days on their empiricism, yet policies such as these do not seem to excite their interest as much as a campaign against guns.

Ramesh Ponnuru
Senior Editor of National Review
November 6, 2017
Why Gun Control Loses
[So… what’s the real reason?

As I have rhetorically asked many times before:

It’s not about guns or safety. It’s about control.—Joe]

Quote of the day—David Scharfenberg

If gun-control advocates really want to stanch the blood, there’s no way around it: They’ll have to persuade more people of the need to confiscate millions of those firearms…

David Scharfenberg
November 10, 2017
Hand over your weapons
[Don’t ever let anyone get away with telling you that no one wants to take your guns.

In response to Mr. Scharfenberg, NO!

Your move David.—Joe]

Boomershoot driveway improvement

As I mentioned at the Boomershoot dinner this year I contacted someone to fix the driveway into the parking area. I told him it wasn’t urgent and as long as it was finished before the roads got too soft in the fall (the county puts load limits on the roads that would have prevent him from hauling the 200+ tons of gravel to Boomershoot). I suggested sometime in September would be the latest that would assure it would get done before it got too wet.

In early September I started bugging him. I was less than happy with the (lack of) response and commitment over the following weeks and had essentially given up on him. Last week he finally called and said he was still going to do it.

Today, via my web cam (see here), I can see work being done:P17111311501510P17111312255510

For the last several years I have been making improvements to safety and target production facilities. This will be the biggest improvement specific to the participant experience I have made in many years. I’m glad it is finally getting done.

Visualization

I love the post Looking at the “gun violence” problem by Carl Bussjaeger. But I think some of the comparison could be made a little more relatable. I’m attempting to do that in this post.

Let’s set aside for the moment that a government has no business criminalizing behavior based on the statistics of a particular group. For example, just because Democrats in prison outnumber all other political affiliations combined by a factor of more than two to one does not justify sending all Democrats to prison to prevent the majority of crimes. Hence, even if the numbers on gun ownership showed a very high percentage of criminal activity, it would still be morally and philosophically wrong to put people in prison for owning or using a gun when they had not hurt anyone or their property.

With this set aside for the moment we can show that prevention of crimes committed with guns is crazy talk as well as grossly immoral.

From Carl:

We know that we have a theoretical maximum of 10,228 firearms-wielding murderers. In fact, since we also know of serial and and mass shootings, the number of gun murderers must be lower, but is not quantifiable with available data. For purposes of discussion I will use the high 10,228 figure for murderers.

Estimates of American gun owners vary by significantly large amounts. The lowest I have seen is 55 million, or roughly 17% of the general population. The highest is 120 million, or approximately 37%.

Therefore, murderers are 0.0085 to 0.0186% of all gun owners. 85 ten-thousandths of 1 percent to 186 ten-thousandths of 1 percent.

The first paragraph misses the case where two or more people contributed to the same murder, but I can’t imagine it changes the conclusion presented in the last paragraph much. Carl does a pie chart with these numbers. In this situation I think a different graphical image would better. Taking the midpoint of these two numbers, 0.01355% of all gun owners are a murderer each year, lets visualize this as one murderer facing a line of life protecting gun owners. Let’s assume the life protecting gun owners are shoulder-to-shoulder with enough space to easily draw and fire their guns without bumping into each other. This would mean they are are spaced about four feet apart. This line of life protecting gun owners, facing a single murderer, would be over five and a half miles long.

Even if the air were very clear, there were no visual obstructions, and the murder had 20/20 vision the murderer would still not be able to see the people on either end of the line facing him because the width of the gun owners bodies at that distance would be narrower than human visual perception.

Moving on, Carl tells us:

We have no idea, given the lack of data, of the average number of guns used by murderers. We know it ranges from 1 to 24, but those 10,228 individual shooters could have used any number in that range. For this discussion, I’ll make the probably outrageous assumption that the average is as high as 12, midway in the range (my gut feel is that average is closer to 1.1 per shooter).

So… 10,228 shooters time 12 guns, gives a hypothetical number of “murder guns” of 122,736 (gut feel would be 11,250).

I guesstimated gun owner numbers. Firearms estimates are just as vague. Recent lowball estimates are around 265 million. Others put it well over 300 million. Or over 400 million. The highest estimate I’ve encountered is 750 million.

Again, Carl makes a minor mistake. Some, perhaps a significant number, of guns are used in multiple murders. For example one murderer uses a gun to kill two people in one incident. Or he uses it to murder one person in each of three incidents. Or after using it in one crime sells it to someone else who uses it on the other side of town in a different murder. I would guess the total number of guns used in murders is less than the total number of murders each year. Hence, I’m going to assume that, on average, for each murder there was one gun, or 10,228 guns involved in a murder each year.

Using the approximate midpoint of Carl’s estimate of the number of guns in the hands of private citizens, 500 million, that means that about 0.002046% of all guns were used in a murder in any given year.

Let’s visualize one of those murder guns against corresponding guns not used a murder that year. Lets put those guns lying on their sides, in a line pointing all in the same direction, with an average spacing of one foot (many of them are long guns with normal capacity magazines). That line would be over nine and a quarter miles long.

Extending Carl’s comparison to ammunition, let’s assume that each murder consumed two rounds. That would mean that about 20,500 rounds were used for murder each year. Yet, private consumption of ammunition is 10 to 12 billion rounds per year. That means about 0.00019% of all ammunition is used in murders. Assuming a typical 9×19mm Parabellum cartridge and spacing them side to side with the bases not quite touching we get a line of cartridges over three and a quarter miles long.

Now visual trying to prevent one of the gun owners, guns, or cartridges from being used in a murder. What sort of police state would be required to have a reasonable chance of keeping an unknown gun owner from using one of those guns and two of those cartridges to prevent him from committing a murder? It is no more possible than it would be to prevent the average high school dropout from finding someone willing to sell him a recreational drug. It is crazy talk for anti-gun organizations to imagine they can prevent gun crimes in any significant numbers by placing restrictions on gun owners, guns, or ammunition.

The only practical prevention is by punishing gun owners who hurt others or their property. The scarce law enforcement resource we have must be focused on finding and punishing people who maliciously hurt others and not on creating victimless “crimes” and punishing people who have hurt no one.

Quote of the day—Kurt Schlichter

Liberals so desperately want us disarmed because they hate that we hold a veto over their Venezuelan dreams. But they also want us disarmed because they hate us, and they yearn to break us and humiliate us and make us give in. When you own a weapon and can defend yourself and your rights, you are a citizen. When you do not, you are a subject. Your dignity gnaws at them.

They want to convince you to submit, but that only happens if you allow it. Their tool is the narrative, but a proud American with courage and a rifle just shot their narrative dead. And that’s the real reason the gun grabbers are grieving.

Kurt Schlichter
November 9, 2017
Thoughts and Prayers for Anti-Gun Freaks Grieving Over Death of The Narrative
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Emily Miller @EmilyMiller

The government passing more firearms laws is not going to “do something” other than infringe on a constitutional right. This is because no gun control law in the U.S. has been proven to reduce gun crime. I often debate gun control advocates and repeatedly ask them to tell me what law, at any level of government, has resulted in a reduction of gun crimes. They can never answer that question.

Emily Miller
November 7, 2017
How to Respond to Those Who Want to ‘Do Something’ After Texas Shooting
[It’s a variation of Just one question.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Heather Wilhelm

In the wake of Sunday’s horrific Texas church shooting, America’s chattering classes promptly responded with silent, respectful, and somber reflection, holding off on divisive and caustic political debates for the day.

Unfortunately for all of us, that was over on Earth 2.

Heather Wilhelm
November 8, 2017
Gun Control and Magical Thinking
[She goes on to say:

Government bureaucracy often fails. It should be held accountable; it is not always our friend. To think otherwise, in fact, might be the ultimate in magical thinking.

Yup.—Joe]

John Vlieger won the Indiana Section Championship

From Ammoland:

John Vlieger won High Overall in the Open Division at the 2017 Indiana Section Championship, held at the Riley Conservation Club in Riley, Indiana, Oct. 28 – 29, 2017.

Video here.

This was a USPSA (action shooting) match.

John is my son-in-law.

Quote of the day—David Kopel and Joseph Geenlee

For decades researchers have found that many Americans do not understand how strict gun control laws already are. Some elected officials and journalists are similarly misinformed. Widespread ignorance about existing law makes things easier for anti-gun lobbyists who always insist that every notorious crime proves that we need more gun control laws.

David Kopel and Joseph Geenlee
November 8, 2017
What if there were serious gun controls?
[“Many”? How about “the vast majority”?

Other than that it’s a pretty decent opinion piece, but that is as you would expect from Kopel.

Anti-gun people prey on the ignorance of the public.—Joe]

Quote of the day—David Frum

Americans die from gunfire in proportions unparalleled in the civilized world because Americans own guns in proportions unparalleled in the civilized world. More guns mean more lethal accidents, more suicides, more everyday arguments escalated into murderous fusillades.

David Frum
October 6, 2017
The Rules of the Gun Debate–The rules for discussing firearms in the United States obscure the obvious solutions.
[If you are totally ignorant it’s a reasonable hypothesis. But if you have half a brain and do a little research you will discover it fails the reality test:

Frum is totally ignorant and/or doesn’t have half a brain, and/or is deliberately lying.—Joe]

Time for me to stop drinking alcohol

I very rarely drink alcohol anyway, so it’s not a big deal for me to stop entirely. Why would I want to do this? Drinking alcohol causes cancer:

The American Society of Clinical Oncology, which represents many of the nation’s top cancer doctors, is calling attention to the ties between alcohol and cancer. In a statement published Tuesday in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the group cites evidence that even light drinking can slightly raise a woman’s risk of breast cancer and increase a common type of esophageal cancer.

Heavy drinkers face much higher risks of mouth and throat cancer, cancer of the voice box, liver cancer and, to a lesser extent, colorectal cancers, the group cautions.

“The message is not, ‘Don’t drink.’ It’s, ‘If you want to reduce your cancer risk, drink less. And if you don’t drink, don’t start,’” said Dr. Noelle LoConte, an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the lead author of the ASCO statement. “It’s different than tobacco where we say, ‘Never smoke. Don’t start.’ This is a little more subtle.”

Typical

I’ve known Les Freeman for over 35 years. My ex-wife and I didn’t see nearly as much of him after he moved to Oregon in, I think, the 1990’s. But there was occasional contact and then when Facebook became a thing we were “friends” there. I don’t spend much time on Facebook but occasionally I would check out his posts. In the last few years I saw a lot of really hateful stuff about Republicans and his support for Sanders, then Clinton in the last election. Sometimes there would be rants about gun ownership but I ignored it all. Les has had a lot of stress in his life recently with the loss of all his siblings, the loss of both parents, the loss of his only child, and then brain surgery which required him to relearn talking, reading, and walking. I saw no need to add more stress in his life by confronting him on his home turf.

Occasionally he would make a comment on Facebook about one of my blog posts about guns. They were always negative and I would gently correct his errors and that would usually be the end of it for a few weeks.

Until last night.

It started with this comment about my QOTD by Saurus post, “STOP THE SHOOTINGS. STOP REPUBLICANS”. Les responded with:

I didn’t really understand what he was saying and asked for clarification:

He didn’t respond to that and started a new Facebook comment thread on my QOTD by the NRA post:

Ahh yes, a thinly veiled threat of violence. Progressives are all about forcing people who disagree with them to do what they want. It’s part of their nature.

I responded with:

Yes, I know. The first point was somewhat overstated. This is particularly true from a practical standpoint. But I wanted to cut off the common claim that the Second Amendment never meant individuals could own guns until the rogue Heller decision and this was the most succinct way I know of to do that.

I was then unfriended and blocked. Then he proceeded to make a half dozen or more anti-gun posts on Facebook (I have more than one account).

I guess he didn’t want to have a discussion. He didn’t even want to know what I had to say. I know this because from looking at my log files I could see that he didn’t read a single one of the blog posts I linked to. He just wanted to assert his opinion and then threaten me if I didn’t conform to his beliefs.

Typical. It’s called Reasoned Discourse.

Continue reading

Quote of the day—NRA-ILA

It would be nice to think that with a pro-gun president and pro-gun majorities in Congress, statehouses, and governor’s mansions across the country, the battle to secure the Second Amendment is won. But as long as decent, law-abiding gun owners are blamed for the acts of deranged murderers, the battle can never end.

For us to think otherwise is to sow the seeds of our own undoing.

NRA-ILA
October 13, 2017
Gun Banners Unmasked: The Vengeful Face of the Anti-gun Agenda Emerges Once Again
[Eternal vigilance and all that.—Joe]