Quote of the day—Bay Area Official

No one wants to touch the legitimate hunter. But we’ve got to protect society from nuts with guns.

Bay Area Official
[Via Friday A/V Club: What the Gun Debate Looked Like in 1967.

After nearly 50 years of increasingly strict laws, now with some of the most repressive gu laws in the nation, the words they use are nearly the same. California has banned the most commonly sold rifles, used by hunters, sold in the U.S. and yet they never stop pushing for more.

It stops here. It stops now. And we are reversing the trend.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Polybius

All the Britons dye their bodies with woad, which produces a blue colour, and this give them a more terrifying appearance in battle. They wear their hair long, and shave the whole of their bodies except  the head and the upper lip. Wives are shared between groups of ten or twelve men, especially between brothers and between fathers and sons; but the offspring of these unions are counted as the children of the man with whom a particular woman cohabitated first.

About 140 B.C.
As told by Winston Churchill in A History of the English-Speaking Peoples: The Birth of Britain
[I’m not certain I believe this. I mean, why would all the people shave their entire bodies except the head and upper lip? That’s a lot of shaving.

Interesting about the group marriage thing though.

Winking smile—Joe]

Quote of the day—Winston Churchill

Here was another trading centre, to which high civic rank had been accorded. A like total slaughter and obliteration was inflicted. “No less”, according to Tacitus, “than seventy thousand citizens and allies were slain” in these three cities. “For the barbarians would have no capturing, no selling, nor any kind of traffic usual in war; they would have nothing but killing, by sword, cross, gibbet, or fire.” These grim words show us an inexpiable war like that waged between Carthage and her revolted mercenaries two centuries before. Some high modern authorities think these numbers are exaggerated; but there is no reason why London should not have contained thirty or forty thousand inhabitants, and Cochester and St Albans between them about an equal number. If the butcheries in the countryside are added the estimate of Tacitus may well stand. This is probably the most horrible episode which our Island has known. We see the crude and corrupt beginnings of a higher civilisation blotted out by the ferocious uprising of the native tribes. Still, it is the primary right of men to die and kill for the land the live in, and to punish with exceptional severity all members of their own race who have warmed their hands at the invaders’ hearth.

Winston Churchill
A History of the English-Speaking Peoples: The Birth of Britain
[People like to believe the human race has been “civilized” for some time and mass killings and incredible cruelty are an aberration or an artifact of a particular race or religion. I don’t see it that way. I see “civilization” as a thin veneer which barely contains the true nature of people. I’ve heard people claim the atrocities of the 20th century with many tens of millions of murdered by their government will not happen again because “we have learned better”. I call B.S. on that.

Here we have Winston Churchill claiming, “It is the primary right of men to die and kill for the land they live in, and to punish with exceptional severity all members of their own race who have warmed their hands at the invaders’ hearth.”

This should serve as a stern warning to those who would invade a land and the natives who would aid the invaders. I’m not sure where I read it, it might have been The Good Earth, but it went something to the effect of “If you kill a man’s father he will hate you. If you take his land he will kill you.”

Invaders from whatever distant land, be it another continent or the out of touch politicians in Washington D.C. who view the property of others as plunder should study history. They should not count upon the permanence of the good nature of a society when they plunder their property. There is a threshold beyond which the thin veneer of “civilization” is removed and a terrible, bloodthirsty, barbarian emerges.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Elizabeth Saunders

In all the years I have been in business, I have never seen anything so blatantly un-American as that agreement. The establishment of a government oversight commission with virtually unlimited authority and no accountability is in itself a violation of the basic American concept of free enterprise. No reasonable business person could possibly sign this thing.

Elizabeth Saunders
CEO of American Derringer
March 24, 2000
American Derringer – Statement regarding S&W defection
[Smith & Wesson signed the agreement and came very close going bankrupt after gun owners spontaneously (not the NRA or any other gun rights organization) boycotted them. There were many people who were of the opinion that Smith & Wesson Must Die even after they backed out of the agreement.

See also this quote of Neal Knox about the depth the gun rights movement had fallen to in the mid 1970s. We sometimes think we have it bad now, but remember that in those dark ages we were close to getting national handgun licensing with people openly salivating at the next step being handgun confiscation:

In July 1976, Shields estimated that it would take seven to ten years for NCCH to reach the goal of “total control of handguns in the United States.”

Pete Shields was the chairman of the National Council to Control Handguns (which later became Handgun Control, Inc. which then became The Brady Campaign).

While we do have a long way yet to go we have come a long way.—Joe]

You don’t get to be your own museum

The other day I was unpacking some boxes with targets in them. Some people might say I have a problem with collecting targets but I know that I can quit any time I want.

I sorted them and stored most of them in a cabinet. A bunch of random stuff went in a pile to for my next trip to the range. but there was one from JPFO I just couldn’t take to the range. And as near as I can tell they don’t sell it anymore. But Barb correctly says, “You don’t get to be your own museum.” And since I don’t really have a good place to store it anyway I scanned it:


It is copyright 1991.

Quote of the day—Jeff Snyder

The essence of the “weapon of choice” argument is that, because criminals and madmen use these guns to commit crimes, the law- abiding must give them up. But to ban guns because criminals use them is to tell the innocent and law-abiding that their rights and liberties depend not on their own conduct, but on the conduct of the guilty and the lawless, and that the law will permit them to have only such rights and liberties as the lawless will allow.

By criminalizing an act that is not wrong in itself the purchase and sale of a firearm the ban violates the presumption of innocence, the principle that insures that government honors the liberty of its citizens until their deeds convict them. By completely banning the sale of assault weapons to prevent crime before it occurs, the law effectively and irrebuttably presumes that all who want such a weapon are no better than murderers or madmen, forever ineligible to acquire these firearms.

Obviously, a law which restricts the liberty of the innocent because of the behavior of the guilty, that rests on principle that the conduct of criminals dictates the scope of liberty the law will allow to the rest of society, in no sense “fights” crime. It is, instead, a capitulation to crime, born of a society in full-bore retreat from crime, a society fearful of and desperately accommodating itself to crime.

Jeff Snyder
August 25, 1994
The Washington Times, page A19.
Who’s Under Assault in the Assault Weapon Ban?
[H/T to Craig in the comments.

This same argument can be used against almost any law that presumes to “prevent crime” rather than punish acts which injury others. I’m specifically thinking of I-594 in Washington state but the application is far broader.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Josh Sugarmann

Across America, the firepower in the hands of gun owners of varying stripes is increasing dramatically. The reason: assault weapons. Drug traffickers are finding that assault weapons—in addition to ‘standard issue’ handguns—provide the extra firepower necessary to fight police and competing dealers. Right-wing paramilitary extremists, in their ongoing battle against the “Zionist Occupational Government,” have made these easily purchased firearms their gun of choice. And rank and file gun aficionados—jaded with handguns, shotguns, and hunting rifles—are moving up to the television glamour and movie sex appeal of assault weapons. The growing market for these weapons—coupled with a general rising interest in the non-sporting use of firearms—has generated an industry of publications, catalogs, accessories, training camps, and combat schools dedicated to meeting its needs.

Josh Sugarmann
Introduction to Assault Weapons and Accessories in America
[See also this quote from the same report that contains this infamous quote about deliberately taking advantage of “The weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons” to push through bans on “assault weapons”.

I find it interesting that Sugarmann doesn’t talk about actual, measurable crime rates. He conjures up potentialities but not actual victims. This sort of tactic is no more valid than the sort of talk that came about when slave holders wanted to scare people about the problems that might occur from freeing their slaves.

Sugarmann might as well be talking about the hazards of people of color using the same water fountains as whites, black children in the same swimming pool as white children, and interracial marriages. He just doesn’t like it that people have guns even though he can’t show the actual harm and he certainly doesn’t want to talk about any potential benefits.

This 1988 paper is a classic and I can easily see it being a centerpiece in the evidence to be used at his trial.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Pete Shields

It is important to understand that our organization, Handgun Control, Inc., does not propose further controls on rifles and shotguns. Rifles and shotguns are not the problem; they are not concealable.

Pete Shields
Chairman of Handgun Control
In his 1981 book “Guns Don’t Die People Do: The Pros, the Cons, the Facts” (chapter 3, pages 47-48).
[Via email from Jay F.

I find it interesting that the book is available for $0.01 on Amazon. A penny for his thoughts is apparently the going rate.

Handgun Control is now The Brady Campaign.

Even before the name change the organization pushed for more restrictive background checks on rifles and shotguns. And they pushed hard for the “assault weapon” ban that ultimate became law in 1994 which banned many rifles and shotguns in common use.

Do not ever think they will be content with just some class of guns being banned.—Joe]

Quote of the day—The Responsive Communitarian Platform

There is, however, one measure sure to gain monumental benefits in the short run. It is politically nearly impossible to take, otherwise low-cost and very effective.

What is needed is domestic disarmament. This is the policy of practically all other Western democracies, from Canada to Britain to Germany, from France to Scandinavia. Domestic disarmament entails the removal of arms from private hands and, ultimately, from much of the police force.

The Responsive Communitarian Platform
November 18, 1991
[From the dark ages of gun ownership.

Low cost? The cost would be incalculable.

Effective? At what? The only thing I can see it being effective at is mobilizing people to “recall” (one way or another) all the politicians foolish enough to support it.—Joe]

And another thing that made me angry

Thinking back to the dark ages of the ‘94 Assault Weapon ban today reminded me of some other things that upset me at the time. There were numerous court challenges to the law. One of the most frustrating things about the disposition of these cases were that the government would say, in essence, “We haven’t prosecuted anyone under this law so you don’t have standing to challenge it.” I recall (but cannot find a quote) Attorney General Janet “Butcher of Waco” Reno saying that they had no intent of enforcing the law either. Hence the courts dismissed the challenges. Here is one such case.

My interpretation of it was that this they knew they would lose in court and were deliberately preventing us from proving they had overstepped their Constitutional limits.

They lie. They can’t help themselves

Over at Sebastian’s he talks about the distortion of the language by the anti-gun people. In specific the attempt to change the meaning of the phrase “well regulated militia” from “well functioning” to “government regulated”. And how it upset him when he found out about it:

I went through most of the Clinton years not understanding how the Assault Weapons Ban was even remotely constitutional, and wondering why nothing was done about it. When I found out, I became angry.

It was just a few minutes ago when I was having lunch with Barb L. I told her about Speaker of the House Tom Foley losing his seat over the AWB. At about that same time she was a Washington State lobbyist and generally pretty plugged into Washington State politics. But she didn’t understand how he lost his seat.

I explained it was because of the AWB and there were two things that really, really pissed us off above and beyond the ban itself.

One was they called the ban “Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act”. It’s a firearms use protection act that bans guns? They lie. It’s what they do. They can’t help themselves.

And the other was that Foley kept the voting open for several minutes after the stated voting period had expired. The bill failed but by keeping the voting open they got people to change their votes until they had enough for passage. He then closed the voting. The video of him doing that was incredible propaganda for the pro-gun side during his election that fall. Foley became the first sitting Speaker of the House to lose his bid for re-election since Galusha Grow in 1862.

If the gun owners his district in Eastern Washington could have gotten away with it I’m sure you could have sold thousands of tickets to use a horse whip on him.

Quote of the day—New York Times

One way to discourage the gun culture is to remove the guns from the hands and shoulders of people who are not in the law enforcement business.

New York Times
September 24, 1975
The Gun Culture
[“Discourage” the gun culture?

I don’t think “discouragement” would be the response. The New York Times was, and still is, quite out of touch with reality.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Stephen J. Solarz

Mr. speaker, we must take swift and strong action if we are to rescue the next generation from the rising of tide armed violence. That is why today I am introducing the Handgun Control Act of 1992. This legislation would outlaw the possession, importation, transfer or manufacture of a handgun except for use by public agencies, individuals who can demonstrate to their local police chief that they need a gun because of threat to their life or the life of a family member, licensed guard services, licensed pistol clubs which keep the weapons securely on premises, licensed manufacturers and licensed gun dealers.

The time has come for the Congress to place reasonable controls on handguns. I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting the Handgun Control Act of 1992.

Rep. Stephen J. Solarz, New York
August 12, 1992
Congressional Record, 102nd Congress, 1991-1992, Daily Edition, Pages E2492-2493.
[Those were dark days when “reasonable controls” were a ban on an entire class of firearm.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Richard O. Simpson

My general counsel tells me that while firearms are exempted from our jurisdiction under the Consumer Product Safety Act, we could possibly ban bullets under the Hazardous Substances Act.

Richard O. Simpson
Chairman, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
[Via GunCite.

The current efforts to ban lead bullets are in part a watered down version of the same mindset and is getting much better traction.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Roger Rosenblatt

As for the Second Amendment, it may pose an inconvenience for gun-control advocates, but no more an inconvenience than the First Amendment…

Lasting social change usually occurs when people decide to do something they know they ought to have done long ago but have kept the knowledge private. This, I believe, is what happened with civil rights, and it is happening with guns. I doubt that it will be 25 years before we’re rid of the things. In 10 years, even five, we could be looking back on the past three decades of gun violence in America the way one once looked back upon 18th century madhouses. I think we are already doing so but not saying so.

Roger Rosenblatt
August 2, 1999
Get rid of the damned things
[An “inconvenience”? That should tell you all you need to know about these people. Specific enumerated rights are an “inconvenience” when they are “doing the right thing”. This wasn’t Pravda, Democratic Underground or some other openly communistic forum. This was in Time magazine.

This is from the dark ages when even at the high levels of professional gun rights advocates were telling me, “It will all be over in 10 years.” It’s now been nearly 15 years and we are in a much stronger position than we were in 1999. Public carry of a firearm is now legal in all 50 states with only D.C. still in the dark ages. 41 states have shall issue concealed carry and three states have constitutional carry.

What Rosenblatt didn’t and perhaps still doesn’t understand is that 100 million gun owners with 300 million guns buying 10 billion rounds of ammunition each year is going to be more “inconvenient” than words on a piece of paper written 200+ years ago when he sends someone by to “get rid of the damned things”.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Sarah Brady

The House passage of our bill is a victory for this country! Common sense wins out. I’m just so thrilled and excited. The sale of guns must stop. Halfway measures are not enough.

Sarah Brady
July 1, 1988
[The Brady Campaign has been using the phrase “common sense” for a long time. It’s good of her to confirm what we all suspected they meant by that.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Molly Ivins

I used to enjoy taunting my gun-nut friends about their psycho-sexual hang-ups – always in a spirit of good cheer, you understand. But letting the noisy minority in the National Rifle Association force us to allow this carnage to continue is just plain insane.

I do think gun nuts have a power hang-up. I don’t know what is missing in their psyches that they need to feel they have to have the power to kill. But no sane society would allow this to continue.

Ban the damn things. Ban them all.

You want protection? Get a dog.

Molly Ivins
Columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram
March 15, 1993
Taking A Stab At Our Infatuation With Guns
[She also says, “As a civil libertarian, I of course support the Second Amendment.”

Note that this is someone who lives in Fort Worth Texas in 1993. Those were very, very dark days for gun owners.

I could spend several paragraphs picking apart the quote above but I really don’t have the time or interest. I just want to address one point.

If you “get a dog” for your protection keep in mind that it has a mind of it’s own. It isn’t under your full control. A gun does not have a mind of it’s own. You can lock up the gun in a safe and leave it there when you are at work without worrying it will get cranky and bite the neighbor kid that is poking a stick at it if you left it in your yard. When you decide your life is in immediate danger of termination or permanent injury you can pull the trigger and be nearly certain your persuasive forces have been significantly increased when the dog could be thinking of begging for a treat.

If your dog is a weapon big and determined enough to pull down a large attacker do you really want that weapon to have a brain with that much independence, and that much less judgment controlling it’s actions?

If Ivins has evaluated the judgment of dogs versus her own and decided in favor of the dog I’m certainly not going to dispute her conclusion on the basis of the evidence I have seen so far. But she has no business making a similar decision for me or anyone else.—Joe]

Quote of the day—U.S. Representative Major Owens

My bill prohibits the importation, exportation, manufacture, sale, purchase, transfer, receipt, possession, or transportation of handguns and handgun ammunition. It establishes a 6-month grace period for the turning in of handguns. It provides many exceptions for gun clubs, hunting clubs, gun collectors, and other people of that kind. It sets a penalty of $5,000 or 5 years in prison for people who violate it.

Mr. Speaker, the American people are way ahead of the Brady bill at this point. I understand this has to be a very carefully crafted rule in order to move forward. It is important to take the first step with the Brady bill. But the American people realize this is already too little, too late. They demand more.

Mr. Speaker, there are many bills that have been introduced by my colleagues which do go further. This bill, H.R. 3232, the Public Health and Safety Act, will solve the problem in the future of the proliferation of handguns. We must go forward and stop the carnage on our streets, and the Brady bill is a very important first step.

U.S. Representative Major Owens, Democrat
November 10, 1993
Congressional Record
[This was during the debate about the Brady Bill. They regarded it as a “first step”. There were plans then, and now, to go much further than merely background checks. The background checks is nothing but a ruse. Background checks to reduce criminal access to guns is crazy talk. It’s real goal is an attempt at backdoor registration. Confiscation is the ultimate goal.—Joe]

Quote of the day—John Silber

I don’t believe anybody has a right to own any kind of a firearm. I believe in order to obtain a permit to own a firearm, that person should undergo an exhaustive criminal background check. In addition, an applicant should give up his right to privacy and submit his medical records for review to see if the person has ever had a problem with alcohol, drugs or mental illness… The Constitution doesn’t count!

John Silber
August 16, 1990
Former chancellor of Boston University and candidate for Governor of Massachusetts.
Speech before the Quequechan Club of Fall River, MA.
[This was in the dark days of the 1990’s. Back then a lot of people believed that in 20 years anonymous private gun ownership would be illegal. And private gun ownership would be extinguished in another 20.

It didn’t turn out that way but it’s good to know what rules the enemy is playing by so we can all use the same rule book.

The Constitution doesn’t count? It would appear the 13th Amendment is off the table when dealing his type then.—Joe]