Riding the Red Horse

Riding The Red Horse is a military fiction anthology being published 15 Dec 2014 by Castalia House. It is edited by Tom Kratman and Vox Day. I have a short story in it, the story of the first Armadillo mission. There are some big names in it, and I am honored to be among them. Vox posted about it here.


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First 594 casualty

I-594 has claimed its first casualty, even though it doesn’t go into effect until December. A museum in Lynden, WA, is returning some WW II rifles it was loaned, loans which would become problematic once the law is in effect. So, people going to the museum will not be able to see the parts of history they once could. I’m sure you feel much safer now.

The push to marginalize guns and gun owners, to make them seem “other,” different, freakish, and strange continues.

Veterans Day

It’s here again. Thanks, all you servicemen, current and former.

Google at least sort of recognized it this year, though they had to give it their PC twist by having the female in uniform standing out front saluting, even though men make up ~85% of the US military.

My kid’s school is starting a new tradition, the “wall of honor,” giving a small paper “brick” for each relative the student has who has worn the uniform. It was interesting looking them over, and seeing a number of name clusters where it’s obviously a family tradition. It also makes you realize how small a percentage it represents.

Looking at my own history, I served in the Army Reserve.
My dad and his brother both served in the Army (drafted in the 50s).
My brother-in-law and another uncle on my mom’s side were career AF.
My grandfather served in the cavalry in the 30s, and the Coast Guard in WW II.
A great uncle served. Another great (great?) uncle was even in the Spanish-American War. A great aunt was in the WAAC in WW II. Considering how few people I know anything about in my family history, an awful lot of them spent at least one enlistment in uniform. No spectacular war stories, just a lot of “been there, done that, did my part, moved on.”

Again, thanks to all those who have done their part in serving this great nation.

Keep and bear, not use?

Interesting news story yesterday. The Seattle police had sued over the new “use of force” rules, saying in part that it violated their 2nd Amendment rights.

The judge’s decision came down, and she (judge Marsha Pechman) dismissed the suit. According to the KOMO article :
The judge also dismissed the officers’ constitutional arguments, saying that while the Second Amendment ensures the right to keep and bear arms, it doesn’t protect the right to use the weapons.

Ummmm…. Excuse me? That’s like saying you have the right to free speech as long as you don’t say anything.

Random election thought

The Dem election machine has been touting a massive database of voter information, allowing them to micro-target voters.  The early version was used by the Obama-bots in 2008, then a more refined version in 2012. It has incredibly detailed info on each voter.

Google and Facebook are operated by well-known lefties.

Speculation/question: How much of the incredibly huge and detailed amount of data that these two organizations collect on individuals could be / is funneled into a politically-driven marketing database that would help the Dems figure out the exact right email to send to get them to the pols?

Scary thought.

What are the more libertarian / conservative sources for similar purposes?

Just say “no” to liberal-owned data-mining companies.

A bad free speech decision

Another court case over at Volokh. Bible Believers v. Wayne County (6th Cir. Aug. 27, 2014). Some true believer bible thumpers went a-preaching at a huge Michigan Arab festival. They got balls, even if they might be shy a few common sense points.

Any-hoo, they carried their signs, wore their shirts, did their preaching. The Muslims assembled took offense, and a lot of their kids (naturally) started getting actively hostile (always use kids, so if the cops crack heads it makes for good propaganda videos). The cops told the Bible Believers to shut up or leave. The Bible believers said they had first amendment rights. The cops said “leave or we’ll arrest you for disorderly.” The court agreed. Reading the decision excerpts, the court has an argument, but I think the defense / dissent (the Bible Believers) has a much stronger argument.

Be a good case to appeal, especially if they win. If they don’t, then the incentive is for the hostile Muslims to get REALLY hostile to shut down opposition.

Incentives are important.

Decisions, decisions

In Taylor v. City of Baton Rouge, the ban on guns in places that sell alcohol — including supermarkets and service stations, and their parking lots — was struck down on Second Amendment grounds.

It’s cool to see the 2nd actually meaning something. Not sure if this is the best case to take the the SCOTUS, but it’s not a bad decision. A strange piece was that it was a default judgement, because the defendant didn’t answer the complaint properly.

In other court news, in Sylvester v Harris California’s 10-day waiting period was struck down with respect to people who already own guns. Not strict scrutiny, not any clear other level of scrutiny, either. In any case, good news.

As always, much more at the links.


I-594 questions

Text of I-594 here.

Video of testimony here.

I’ve been going over it a bit. I’ve got a few questions that might be good to ask its supporters.

A person wants to take an adult friend to do some casual training and firearms familiarization, planning on loaning her a variety of guns and ammo during the afternoon. They want to go to a nearby parcel of public land that has been legally and safely used for recreational shooting for decades. What specific section or subsection of 594 would exempt them from having to run a background check every time they handed a gun back and forth? Considering a vast amount of training is done this way, it seem important.

A friend discovers her violent ex-husband just got released from jail, and she calls you at 10 PM Saturday night, fearing he might show up at her door any time. She’s a decent shooter, but due to finances she doesn’t already own a gun. What specific section or subsection of 594 would exempt you from having to run a background check to loan her a gun for a month until she can get the money together to buy one?

Sec 3(4)(f) states that [requiring background checks] shall not apply to a list of specific activities, such as”: The temporary transfer of a firearm (i) between spouses or domestic partners;
Why are no other family members included?

(ii) if the temporary transfer occurs, and the firearm is kept at all times, at an established shooting range authorized by the governing body of the jurisdiction in which such range is located;
Why is there no section listing such shooting ranges, or providing for how an existing range can become authorized?

(iii) if the temporary transfer occurs and the transferee’s possession of the firearm is exclusively at a lawful organized competition involving the use of a firearm, or while participating in or practicing for a performance by an organized group that uses firearms as a part of the performance;
Why isn’t training for self defense, hunting, or recreation included?

(iv) to a person who is under eighteen years of age for lawful hunting, sporting, or educational purposes while under the direct supervision and control of a responsible adult who is not prohibited from possessing firearms;
Why only minor children, not other family members or adult children?

or (v) while hunting if the hunting is legal in all places where the person to whom the firearm is transferred possesses the firearm and the person to whom the firearm is transferred has completed all training and holds all licenses or permits required for such hunting, provided that any temporary transfer allowed by this subsection is permitted only if the person to whom the firearm is transferred is not prohibited from possessing firearms under state or federal law;
Can you clarify exactly when it would, or would not, be legal to borrow a gun to hunt with?

More generally, what section allows for temporary transfers for training for recreation, self defense, or hunting with privately owned guns without requiring a background check every time a gun changes hands?

MAIG bribery

To be more specific, Mayors Against Illegal Guns member Gordon Jenkins, a New York, Democratic Mayor, was arrested on bribery charges. Not just ““bribe receiving” but also “endangering the public health” and “intimidating a witness in connection with an incident in Fallsburg.”

A fine, upstanding bunch of folks those gun controllers mayor Bloomberg hangs with are.


I came across an interesting article at the Blaze about a conversation with a former gang member. It was from an excerpt from the book “The Future of the Gun.” It looked at guns as symbols, specifically symbols of power in inner cities neighborhoods, and how the youngsters saw people in light of the laws, guns, and power/strength, in a way that makes a lot of sense, but a perspective articulated in a way I’d never heard before.

Let me show you what’s going on here: Over there you see some stores that are open — there are shop owners there. They should be the pillars of this society. They should be the leaders…everyone should look up to them. But they don’t. They’ve been neutered, their guns have been taken away. They have to call 911, and hope [someone comes to rescue them] if something happens. So they’re victims waiting to happen.


Now look around more: There’s a cop. Unfortunately, too often the youth…they don’t look up to police officers, and there’s all sorts of deep reasons for that…Now look around more, what else do you see? What you see are…gang leaders.

The end result in this former gang member’s view is that for the young kid:

he looks around the neighborhood, and he looks for the power…He looks to the gang member who has a gun tucked away in his shorts. He’s the power in that neighborhood. Whereas the average person who has been disarmed, the average store owner who has been disarmed are neutered, they don’t.

He’s right. People, especially young men, want power, to feel empowered. Welfare laws what they are, there are few good fathers to be role models in a lot of inner city “families.” Boys and young men look for “strong”  men to emulate, and they see gang-bangers above shop-keepers in the social hierarchy. The anti-gun laws have created the inner city gang problem, and here is the underlying mechanism. Gun laws are not only unconstitutional, they are anti-human, they are anti-black, anti-business, anti-woman, and anti-equality. As people are wont to say, “read the whole thing.” It’s not long.

Summer Trip

I grew up in Alaska, and still have most of my family there. Summer is a great time to go places with the kids, and visiting home is always an item high on the list. But, because Alaska Airlines normally has a defacto monopoly on flying into Juneau, it’s usually around $500 a ticket from Seattle. When Delta decided to give them some competition this summer, priced promptly got cut in half. The daughter has been there once before, when she was two, and the son only in utero. So, we went. Continue reading

Halbig vs Burwell

The DC Court of Appeals handed down it’s decision in Halbig vs Burwell, an ObamaCare challenge. The crux of the challenge is that the law, as written, says that people on exchanges established by a state can get the subsidies, people using the Federal exchange established by Uncle Sam cannot. This was done (they said at the time) as an incentive to encourage states to set up their own exchanges, and it was estimated that only a small number of knuckledragging states would fail to do so (so screw them)… (OK, so the last part was my words for their actions).

But when 34 states failed to set up their own exchange, it caused a problem. Millions of people don’t want to have their promised subsidies “taken away.” So, the HHS said “well, it really means any exchange, including the Federal one.” The DC Court of Appeals just said “No, state means state.” And, as an added bonus, just a few days ago the HHS itself said that in the ACA, “State” means “State,” not “state and/or territories.” A bit more than a week ago, Obama’s law professor said it would likely turn out this way.

This is potentially a nuclear bomb in the heart of the law. Next stop, en banc review on the (packed?) court, or the Supreme Court. Only downside is finding out how the Rs will manage to shoot themselves in the foot with this news (with the media’s willing help, of course.)

UPDATE: the 4th Circuit just ruled the other way on the same thing. Wow, that was timely.

Another good analysis.

Another one from Forbes. If upheld, it would cancel the subsidies, AND the tax for not buying insurance (i.e., kill the mandate).

Electronic Marques

Interesting idea. The US Constitution authorizes operations against pirates. Article 1,Section 8, Clause 10 “To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;”

It also covers issuing letters of Marque and Reprisal, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 11 “To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;”

Why not do the suddenly obvious and issue Letters of Marque and Reprisal to private corporations to go after international electronic pirates, foreign agents who are attacking our corporations and infrastructure electronically? Makes sense to me.

Sadly perfect gun case?

In order to advance gun law in the right direction, it is often (sadly)  necessary for bad things to happen to good people in order to create the “correct” circumstances for a compelling court case that can overturn stupid laws. There may be one in New Jersey now. Short version: a Pennsylvania nurse with a concealed carry permit drove into NJ, got busted during a traffic stop, charged with second degree handgun possession, faces three to ten years if convicted. She has no criminal history, a good job, and two kids, and prosecutors are passing up every opportunity to lighten the charges or penalty. If the facts of the case are as presented in this article, this would be a case to take to the supreme court to strike down such idiot laws. For her sake, I hope the Governor steps in and slaps some sense into the prosecutor and she gets off with a warning- but it shouldn’t have to need that. Anti-gun people like to compare concealed carry permits to driver’s licenses. Well, here’s their chance to see how well that works.

Rights+ vs Rights-

There are two main views on “rights”: positive rights, and negative rights.

Negative rights are those rights that say you (or the government) can’t do something to me. For example, you CAN’T take my guns. You CAN’T throw me in jail forever without charging me. They impose a restriction on someone else’s actions.

Positive rights are those that say you (or the government) must do something for me. For example, you MUST provide me with health care. You MUST keep me safe.

It is very rare that conflicts arise between competing negative rights. But problems arise often and in nasty ways with positive rights, because your positive right imposes an obligation on other people, that is, it requires active coercion on other people to secure those items and services and provide them to you, but there is no reciprocal duties placed upon you. But that, obviously, sets up a whole chain of conflicts.

The demands and costs of negative rights are, by definition, limited. They require little more than restraint, doing nothing.

Positives rights are an illusion, they cannot stand, they are not compatible with freedom, they are synonymous with slavery, abuse, stagnation, and lawlessness, because the demands (coercion required) of positive rights are without limit, and therefore destructive to the public weal.

1911 ‘smithing

A little while back I asked some 1911 barrel questions. I had mistakenly ordered the wrong sort of Storm Lake Barrel, (needed the non-ramped) and wondered about the best path forward. After reading the comments (thanks, everyone, very educational!) and a bit of Bing-fu I contacted John at JPL Precision. I talked to him for a little while, then returned my wrong barrel to MidwayUSA (great customer service) and dropped off my fairly stock Colt 1991A1 to fit a new barrel.

My requirements were minute-of-bad-guy accuracy and magazine-of-OH-SHIT! reliability. Yeah, I’m a “tools guy” sort of shooter. He ordered the proper KKM Precision threaded barrel for me, fitted it properly so it’s nice and tight (noticeably tighter lockup than previously, and he pointed out the wear patterns on the factory barrel that were not good, but typical of Colts) with a Wilson Combat hardened link, test-fired it, and got it back to me in about a month, for less than the cost of the back-ordered-until-October Storm Lake barrel by itself. I haven’t had a chance to test-fire it rigorously with my normal ammo, magazines, and all that, but so far things are looking good. Guess I’ll have to go to the range soon, so I can post an update.

Side note: Anyone have a good link/source of images that show normal and atypical or dangerous wear patters, showing how a well-used gun should and shouldn’t show where things are rubbing, demonstrating proper and improper fitting/timing for a barrel? Not really necessary, for anything, just curious.

Two legal thoughts

Well, thoughts on legal issues, anyway.

First, the Hobby Lobby decision came in from the SCOTUS. They won, the left-o-sphere melted down because the corporation could choose to not be involved in your sex life. To be more specific, they cannot be compelled to pay for contraception for the company employees. Somehow, the left equates “not required to pay for something they find repugnant” with “denying them basic medical care.” But their logic is that, because you have a right to healthcare, the company can’t deny them any specific birth control methods. Yeah, I know, it’s warped, but that’s sort of the left-wing thinking. Well, couldn’t we apply that to gun rights? I mean, if we have a right to own a firearm, must not a corporation recognize your right to carry them, so all those “gun free zones” are a clear violation, right? It’s amazing how selective some people are. This is just the abbreviated form of the argument, but I’m sure y’all are smart enough to figure out the details.

Secondly, It seems that some SWAT teams in Massachusetts are claiming to be exempt from normal FOIA and open records law requirements, because they have incorporated as 501(c)(3) corporations. Clever. But it seems that *IF* that were the case, they would *ALSO* not be immune from lawsuits via sovereign immunity. They should have the advantages of one or the other, but not both. If this thing doesn’t get shot (ahem) down right promptly, then I think we will see a HUGE wave of incorporation in government “industries.” If it’s upheld, then we can safely assume that another leg of the stool the constitution is standing on just got sawed off to a very short stump. Be fun to see them get sued for doing something stupid, make their argument in court, and be told that they gave away immunity for thirty pieces of paperwork (to mix my metaphors), so suck it up and face the jury.


Well, the Supreme Court handed down the Abramski decision. He lost.

On the one hand, it’s not unexpected, and for most of us nothing really changes: straw-man purchases are illegal. But on the other hand, the dissent basically argued that isn’t what the statute passed by congress and signed by the prez actually SAID, and thus that isn’t illegal according to the letter of the law, and trying to interpret legislative intent is a bad way to go about making decisions. The decision could have been worse, but I still wish that it had gone the other way, even if that means congress would likely pass a law in record time to “correct” the situation.




Armed admins

Interesting news blurb today. Toppenish is a city/school district in central Washington state, about 20 miles south of Yakima. It’s a poor, gang- and crime-ridden part of the state, with lots of native Americans and Spanish speakers. It’s the sort of place that if I stop in to gas up, I’m likely the only white guy in the joint. They have decided to allow 11 administrators to exercise their 2nd Amendment (and article 24 of the WA St constitution) rights to carry arms at school. Be nice if they allowed teachers to be armed, but hey, baby steps, one at a time.

Be interesting to see how it all goes.