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]

Quote of the day—John M. Snyder

The atmosphere in congress right now, and Washington D.C. generally, is more favorable than it has been since 1966.

John M. Snyder
CCRKBA Public Affairs Director
September 27, 2003
Gun Rights Policy Conference, Morning Session 1
[The quote isn’t in the web page at the link, I pulled it from the recording I picked up at GRPC 2012.

While the quote is from 10 years ago today there is a good chance what he said is still true. Snyder has been part of the gun rights movement since the 1960’s. His perspective is very valuable.

For over 40 years many of the same people fought against the anti-gun forces. Many of the pro-gun organizations have been around for nearly that long and at least one, the NRA, has been around much, much longer. How many anti-gun people and organizations have been around for 40 or more years? I can’t think of any.

Perhaps that tells us something. Perhaps pro-rights people become more passionate and more dedicated the more they learn about the ideas and consequences of adopting policies advocated by our opposition. Or maybe it means our opposition become disillusioned as reality sinks in. Gun control creates victims. It does not prevent predators.—Joe]

It’s black it must be evil

We have long known that anti-gun people openly show their hatred for black rifles and handguns while sometimes giving lip service to tolerating rifles with light brown colors and silver colored handguns. But did you know they also have a bias against black ammunition too?

It’s true.

On March 12, 2013 the Board of Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco passed an ordinance stating:

(a) Definition. For purposes of this Section, “Prohibited Ammunition” shall mean:
(1) Ammunition sold under the brand name “Winchester Black Talon,” or that has physical properties resulting in ballistics performance identical to ammunition presently or formerly sold under the brand name Winchester Black Talon; or,
(2) Ammunition designated by its manufacturer for purchase by law enforcement or military agencies only, unless other ammunition is available to the general public that has physical properties resulting in ballistics performance identical to such ammunition.
{b) Possession Prohibited; Exceptions. No person, firm, corporation or other entity may possess Prohibited Ammunition within the City and County of San Francisco…

It goes on to list exceptions for police, military, and a few other “special people”.

But how are you to know if your ammunition “has physical properties resulting in ballistics performance identical to…Winchester Black Talon”? They, sort of, have an answer to that:

The San Francisco Police Department shall prepare or cause to be prepared a public database of brands and product lines of ammunition meeting the definition of “Prohibited Ammunition” in subsection (a). Failure of the Police Department to create or maintain such a database, or the omission from the database of a particular brand or product line of ammunition otherwise qualifying as “Prohibited Ammunition, under subsection (a), shall not be a defense to or otherwise excuse a violation of this Section.

What? Even if your ammo is not in the database that cannot be used as a defense? Then how can you possibly know if you are breaking the law?

It gets even more interesting as C.D. Michel points out (emphasis added):

NRA’s lawyers then obtained this letter from the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD). The letter confirms not only that the the ordinance doesn’t ban hollow-point ammunition, in fact, the new ordinance applies to virtually no ammunition. The SFPD letter clarifies that ammunition must be “identical in all ways” to Black Talon in order to be prohibited under the new ordinance. Black Talon itself has been out of production for nearly two decades. Ammunition experts have reviewed the SFPD’s position, and confirmed that there is no current production ammunition that is identical in all respects or performs identically in all ways to the Black Talon cartridge. So the City’s ordinance basically applies to nothing – save for those few left over Black Talon cartridges that may still be in circulation.

This would all be funny, in a pathetic sort of way like laughing at the 10-year old kid so dimwitted they can’t tie his own shoes, if it weren’t for the fact that the imbeciles making this law can have you thrown in jail for six months and/or fined $1000 if you violate it.

In case you weren’t involved in the gun rights movement 20 years ago Black Talon ammo was on most of the television “news” shows with animations showing the expanded bullet behaving, and described as, “a buzz saw” going through a human body. Never mind that the twist rate of the barrel, for say 9mm, is on the order of one turn for every 18 inches of travel. Hence the bullet spin is so slow it it wouldn’t even make a single turn going completely through an average sized person, let alone act like a buzz saw.

My guess is that the San Francisco idiots were having drug induced flash backs and remembered “Black Talon” and decided to “do something”. The thing is that Winchester was just a little too fast for them. Those San Francisco law makers are more than a little slow. Winchester beat got the drop on them by about 20 years.

What happened, 20 years ago, was that as a result of all the negative publicity there were people in congress writing up bills to ban the ammo. This was the dark ages of gun ownership and there was a good chance they could have gotten the votes to do it. Of course the sales of Black Talon exploded but Winchester did what was probably the appropriate thing even though they had a hit product on their hands. They discontinued it. They then replaced it with what they called “Ranger” which was also “SXT”, just like the Black Talon ammo. This had the politically acceptable jacket color of copper instead of black. They also put “Law Enforcement” on the boxes but the gun shops were happy to sell it to you and probably even bumped the margins a bit in the process.

Winchester said the SXT name stood for “Supreme eXpansion Technology”. But the people in the gun shops would tell you it really meant “Same eXact Thing”.

The media and anti-gun legislators, dolts that they are, didn’t catch on. I don’t know if they were fooled by the politically correct coloring or couldn’t understand the meaning of “expansion” but they left the new ammo alone.

I have a strong tendency to buy banned books and guns. And it should be no surprise I also bought, what I thought would soon be, banned ammo. I still have a box of the evil Black Talon in 9mm I bought from Lance who was my local gun runner:


If the Board of Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco want them they can come and get them. I’ll be glad to let them have the evil black bullets. I’ll keep the box and shell casings with me.

Update: Wikipedia has the story on famous shootings in which Black Talon ammo was used.

Quote of the day—Ronald Reagan

There are those in America today who have come to depend absolutely on government for their security. And when government fails they seek to rectify that failure in the form of granting government more power. So, as government has failed to control crime and violence with the means given it by the Constitution, they seek to give it more power at the expense of the Constitution. But in doing so, in their willingness to give up their arms in the name of safety, they are really giving up their protection from what has always been the chief source of despotism — government. Lord Acton said power corrupts. Surely then, if this is true, the more power we give the government the more corrupt it will become. And if we give it the power to confiscate our arms we also give up the ultimate means to combat that corrupt power. In doing so we can only assure that we will eventually be totally subject to it. When dictators come to power, the first thing they do is take away the people’s weapons. It makes it so much easier for the secret police to operate, it makes it so much easier to force the will of the ruler upon the ruled.

Ronald Reagan
Column published in Guns and Ammo (1 September 1975)
[First half via Proclaiming Liberty: What Patriots and Heroes Really Said About the Right to Keep and Bear Arms by Philip Mulivor, the rest via Wikiquote.

As I have said before, in the 20th Century more people were murdered by their own government than by individual or even gangs of criminals. People willing to give up their arms in the false hope of the government making them more secure from common criminals are missing the big picture. We have far, far, more to fear from an overly powerful government than from common criminals. In other words the hazards of too much freedom are of much less consequence than the hazards of not enough.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Don B. Kates Jr.

The argument that an armed citizenry cannot hope to overthrow a modern military machine flies directly in the face of the history of partisan guerilla and civil wars in the twentieth century. To make this argument (which is invariably supported, if at all, by reference only to the American military experience in non-revolutionary struggles like the two World Wars), one must indulge in the assumption that a handgun-armed citizenry will eschew guerrilla tactics in favor of throwing themselves headlong under the tracks of advancing tanks. Far from proving invincible, in the vast majority of cases in this century in which they have confronted popular insurgencies, modern armies have been unable to suppress the insurgents. This is why the British no longer rule in Israel and Ireland, the French in Indo-China, Algeria and Madagascar, the Portugese in Angola, the whites in Rhodesia, or General Somoza, General Battista, or the Shah in Nicaragua, Cuba and Iran respectively–not to mention the examples of the United States in Vietnam and the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. It is, of course, quite irrelevant for present purposes whether each of the struggles just mentioned is or was justified or whether the people benefitted therefrom. However one may appraise those victories, the fact remains that they were achieved against regimes equipped with all the military technology which, it is asserted, inevitably dooms popular revolt.

Perhaps more important, in a free country like our own, the issue is not really overthrowing a tyranny but deterring its institution in the first place. To persuade his officers and men to support a coup, a potential military despot must convince them that his rule will succeed where our current civilian leadership and policies are failing. In a country whose widely divergent citizenry possesses upwards of 160 million firearms, however, the most likely outcome of usurpation (no matter how initially successful) is not benevolent dictatorship, but prolonged, internecine civil war.

Don B. Kates Jr.
Handgun Prohibition and the Original Meaning of the Second Amendment
Michigan Law Review 82 (1983): 204-273.
[Via Proclaiming Liberty: What Patriots and Heroes Really Said About the Right to Keep and Bear Arms by Philip Mulivor.

This is along the same lines as what Lyle described as the Plausible Threat.

It’s worth noting that the estimate of 160 million firearms in the U.S. was in 1983. The estimate is nearly double that now.—Joe]

Anti-gun brainwash

Via Sebastian and Glen Beck this morning:

“Every day, every school, every level… Every day of the week and really brainwash people.”

This is who we have as the Attorney General of the United States. He apparently interprets “The rule of law” as “When I am the law I rule regardless of the Bill of Rights”.

Is it any surprise he is running guns to Mexico so he blame it on gun dealers?

Quote of the day—Wallace Carroll

Can’t we Americans here at home do something to lift the gun terror from our schools, playgrounds, parking lots, malls, post offices, housing projects, highways and the grim reaches of our cities where the police must risk their lives to uphold the law?

Of course we can. What we have to do now is to free ourselves from one of the great hoaxes of the 20th century.

This mighty country stands paralyzed in the face of an ever-spreading plague of guns. This national calamity we owe to the leaders of the National Rifle Association in Washington. With a tenacity and ferocity worthy of a better cause, they have fought every proposal, however moderate, to bring the menace under control.

In this endeavor, their principal weapon has been the Second Amendment to the Constitution — or, rather, their version of the Second Amendment.

That amendment, they have insisted, gives everyone an absolute constitutional right to have every kind of firearm. Brandishing that “right,” spending millions in lobbying and legal maneuvers and threatening doom to politicians who would oppose them, they have killed or stalled gun control initiatives in Congress, state legislatures and city governments.

At last, however, the nation is on the move.

Now the great Second Amendment hoax can be nailed once and for all if the rank-and-file of the NRA and other responsible citizens will master one simple truth: The Second Amendment means what the courts say it means. It does not mean what the NRA leaders have been telling the nation all these years.

Wallace Carroll
July 4, 1993
To End the Gun Terror, End the Second Amendment Hoax
[Those were the dark days of gun rights activism. That was the attitude nearly everywhere in the media and many of the politicians. Guns were a terror, a plague, a menace, and a national calamity. The standard view of the Second Amendment was a hoax, a lie, and a fraud.

I agree with one thing he said. The Second Amendment means what the courts say it means.

The problem for Mr. Carroll is that he was, probably deliberately, misreading the Miller decision and ignoring the Cruikshank decision. The Heller decision made things much more difficult for people like Carroll to distort. The question is now that the courts have agreed with the NRA on the meaning of the Second Amendment does Carroll still insist that the meaning of the Second Amendment is what the courts say it is? Or does he now insist that the Supreme Court has perpetuated a fraud on the American people as well?

Or does Carroll now admit it was he that was the hoaxer or at least the one that fell for a fraud?—Joe]

Quote of the day—NRA-ILA

Sporting events involving automatic firearms are similar to those events such as silhouette shooting and other target-related endeavors and deserve the same respect and support.

NRA to Fight Machine Gun Ban
Monitor, Vol. 13, No. 13, (August 15, 1986), p. 3.
The Monitor was a publication of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action.
[We still have a way to go before the NRA and other gun rights organizations can start working on support for fully automatic weapons. But people should not think the NRA kicked them to the curb without a second thought.

For more background on the situation behind the scenes at the NRA at the time see Neal Knox – The Gun Rights War.—Joe]

A lot can happen in ten years

It was just a little over ten years ago the news was U.S. Handgun Production Dives 52%:

The American handgun market has dropped off so steeply that some industry experts worry that it may never fully recover.

Observers and critics cite a number of factors for the decline, including tougher rules for buying handguns, the revulsion caused by workplace and school shootings and the possibility that Americans already own all the guns they want.

The handgun business is “a dying industry,” said Cameron Hopkins, editor in chief of American Handgunner magazine.

Combined production for domestic and overseas handgun sales tumbled 52 percent between 1993 and 1999, according to an Associated Press analysis of data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Industry experts foresee more rough going in the future for the country’s 50 handgun manufacturers.

Handgun imports also are way down, ATF figures indicate.

Of course a big share of the production “dive” was the boycott of Smith and Wesson the previous year. But still those were dark days for the industry and for gun rights.

We are “riding high” now but in ten years things could change again if we do not keep pushing as fast and as hard as we can in the proper direction. Liberty is always unfinished business.

See also Quote of the day—Tom Diaz from earlier today.

Quote of the day—Tom Diaz

I think the era of the mass marketing of handguns is going to end.

Tom Diaz
Violence Policy Center analyst
April 13, 2001
U.S. Handgun Production Dives 52%
[Lest anyone get too cocky about our current situation keep in mind this was just 10 years ago. A lot can happen in ten years.—Joe]