Quote of the day—Louis Pasteur

The greatest derangement of the mind is to believe in something because one wishes it to be so.

Louis Pasteur
[I can’t disagree with the conclusion. But I fear that particular derangement of the mind is so common that one would be hard pressed to prove it was abnormal. Hence my placing it in such a wide variety of blog post categories.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Denning and Reynolds

Political scientists and law professors alike have written extensively on signaling and agenda-setting by the Supreme Court. Despite being dicta—the issues mentioned were not before the Court and were not necessary to resolve those that were before it—the Heller safe harbor seems to us to have been a clear signal, clearer perhaps than any sent in Lopez, that lower courts should not declare open season on any and all federal gun laws. It seems to us that the lower courts have certainly heeded this signal.

If the Heller safe harbor was indeed intended as a signal to lower courts (and litigants, perhaps), then it tends to confirm an earlier observation we made about Heller: that it is another example of the Court’s tendency to constitutionalize the national consensus on certain hot button issues and then enforce it against outliers.

Brannon P. Denning
Glenn H. Reynolds
August 1, 2009
Heller, High Water(mark)? Lower Courts and the New Right to Keep and Bear Arms
[Via Glenn Reynolds.

This conclusion would appear to be true and signals to gun rights activists the incredible importance of changing the culture prior to pushing our luck in the courts. We need to make restrictive laws appear to be nonsensical outliers then, if we cannot get legislative action to our satisfaction, press the issue in the courts.—Joe]

The science is settled

Report: Criminologists, Economists Find Benefits to Gun Ownership:

Economists and criminologists have very different approaches to research and different political views, but they both generally find benefits from gun ownership,” Lott told Townhall in an email. “Economists, on the whole, were much more likely than criminologists to believe that there are benefits from gun ownership.  By a factor of 12-to-1, economists believe that permitted concealed handguns reduce rather than increase murder rates.  Despite their differences, still criminologists also believe this by a factor of just 2-to-1.”

Perhaps surveys such as this will help Americans take a level-headed approach to gun control in the future.

No. It won’t help Americans take a level-headed approach to gun control. This is because anti-gun people have never been “level-headed”. If they had the capacity to be level-headed they wouldn’t have been anti-gun to begin with and they wouldn’t have to lie to gain traction.

We must continue to fight them culturally and politically until they become as irrelevant as the KKK which they so closely resemble.

Quote of the day—Alan Korwin

Nothing points out the bankruptcy of our nation’s gun-control debate better than the mythologies that surrounds it.

Prior “common sense” proposals are perpetually abandoned. The so-called “news” media adopts each new absurd gun-control scheme dutifully, promotes it uncritically, then drops it like a hot potato when it is proven worthless and runs to the next latest greatest bit of hoplophobic (morbid gun fear) ridiculousness.

In effect the nation endures a serial mythology, with new myths invented constantly, so we lose sight of each established myth as new ones spring into the public eye.

Alan Korwin
December 21, 2015
KORWIN: America’s Real Gun Problem – The Gun Myths
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]

I-594 being ignored

I reported some on this last December but KING 5 News has more:

But analysis of federal data by the KING 5 Investigators raises questions about how effective that law has been.

Only 2% of background checks in Washington in 2015 stemmed from “private party” sales of guns, according to data in the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check – or NICS – system.

That number is surprising to researchers Philip Cook of Duke and Jens Ludwig of the University of Chicago, who study gun violence.

They say that their own research – and studies by others – have shown that up to 40% of gun sales nationwide are between private citizens. They’re skeptical that the 2% reported to the FBI is an accurate picture of the private gun market in Washington state.

“I suspect…there are a lot of unreported private-market sales going on,” Ludwig said in an email to KING 5.

In other words, the data could indicate that many gun sellers and buyers are evading the law.

And that doesn’t even count the “transfers” covered by the law which don’t involve a sale. I’ll bet they would be unable find anyone who did a NICS check on someone they loaned a gun to for a short period of time. I-594 is probably, and justifiably so, going to be ignored as much as other stupid laws such those against recreational drugs, underage drinking, and oral sex.

Quote of the day—United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

We reject the State’s argument that the Second Amendment does not apply to detachable magazines because magazines are not firearms—that is, detachable magazines do not constitute “bearable” arms that are expressly protected by the Second Amendment. See U.S. Const. amend. II. By Maryland’s logic, the government can circumvent Heller, which established that the State cannot ban handguns kept in the home for self-defense, simply by prohibiting possession of individual components of a handgun, such as the firing pin. But of course, without the ability to actually fire a gun, citizens cannot effectively exercise the right to bear arms. See Jackson v. City of San Francisco, 746 F.3d 953, 967 (9th Cir. 2014) (“The Second Amendment protects ‘arms,’ ‘weapons,’ and ‘firearms’; it does not explicitly protect ammunition. Nevertheless, without bullets, the right to bear arms would be meaningless.”). In our view, “the right to possess firearms for protection implies a corresponding right” to possess component parts necessary to make the firearms operable.

United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
February 4, 2016
No. 14-1945; STEPHEN V. KOLBE et al. v. State of Maryland
[It’s nice to find a court that agrees with us and is making clear what we gun rights activists all know to be true and essential.

This answers the ignorant high school kid I quoted yesterday.—Joe]

OSHA is going after ammo manufacturers

I received a call today from someone who works for a major ammunition manufacturer. They required anonymity but want the following information to get out to the public.

NSSF is also involved in the fight but doesn’t want to speak out about it either.

It turns out my blog post about OSHA considering a requirement of “no guns at work” policy got their attention.

They referred me to this letter from OSHA as background and proceeded to tell me:

For about two years we’ve been BITTERLY fighting, and ultimately losing, a battle with OSHA over warning labels on ammunition.

They have repeatedly asked something to the effect, “Are you doing this due to pressure from above?” They haven’t been able to get an answer. Everything just seems a little odd about it. My blog post dialed the paranoia up another notch.

It’s a little obscure so you may not be aware that the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is prohibited, by law, from regulating firearms and ammunition. This means that, by law, ammunition is not considered a “consumer product”. And some other agencies don’t have authority to regulate them for other reasons.

Ammunition manufacturers have long recognized they could be a target of repressive regulation if the government were given a plausible excuse and hence have been very careful to “police their own”. With no major events attributable to poor quality, indifference to safety, or newsworthy events attributable to ammunition they have managed to avoid undue attention for many decades. The only thing I can recall in my lifetime that put them at serious risk was the big fuss about Black Talon ammo back in the mid-90s. Winchester nipped that in the bud by taking it off the market faster than the tyrants in congress could pass a bill to ban it.

So for decades the ammunition manufacturers have been avoiding undue scrutiny and everyone has been getting along pretty well. Then a couple years ago OSHA approached them and said, in essence, “You need to put warnings on all your products because indoor range employees are at risk from exposure to lead.”

What?

Sure, some indoor ranges have had severe problems with air quality. And some employees and customers have been exposed to too much lead. So one shouldn’t have a problem understanding how OSHA could find a way to poke their nose into the business of indoor ranges. They have never had oversight over ammunition before so how do they imagine they have authority to regulate it now? Well, from reading the letter OSHA sent to SAAMI lawyers ammunition it appears their claim is that ammunition is a “chemical container”. And hence manufacturers much comply with all the nuances of proper labeling of chemicals in their use at the place of business. They can sort of explain this away because ammunition is not, legally, a “consumer product”.

Okay. Fine. Using the proper weasel words the power hungry regulators think they have an angle to harass the ammunition manufacturers. Why not just comply with the labeling requirements and get them off their backs? They are. But it’s not all that easy.

It turns out this is non-trivial for a number of reasons. One reason is that some of the larger manufacturers have many thousands of different packaging configurations. It can cost over a million dollars to change the packaging on everything. Another reason is that the labeling requirements are such that it can’t fit on some of the current packages. A fifty round box of .22 LR ammo is just too small to have the required warnings and still be readable. Another reason it’s a problem is that the environment where the ammo is used varies so much. The same ammo that is perfectly safe for the shooter in a hunting environment can be toxic at an indoor range with inadequate ventilation due to plugged air filters. There are just so many things out of the ammo manufacturers control that the valid safety issues need to be addressed at the location where it is being used.

There are a couple of things that are kind of strange about this whole thing. One is that this person talked to several importers at SHOT show this year. None of them had been contacted by OSHA. Also, there have not been any sanctions or direct threats of sanctions over this. OSHA is providing guidelines and “suggestions” but doesn’t actually claim they have the authority to tell them what to do.

They suspect this may be due to politics rather than a semi-legitimate concern of regulators for the health of range employees. But, they don’t have any hard evidence to support that hypothesis. Do you?

Strict scrutiny in MD by the 4th on the 2nd

The 4th Circuit Court ruled on an assault weapon ban in Maryland. They said, in part:

Strict scrutiny, then, is the appropriate level of scrutiny to apply to the ban of semi- automatic rifles and magazines holding more than 10 rounds.

…..

In our view, Maryland law implicates the core protection of the Second Amendment—“the right of law-abiding responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home,” District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, 635 (2008), and we are compelled by Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago, 561 U.S. 742 (2010), as well as our own precedent in the wake of these decisions, to conclude that the burden is substantial and strict scrutiny is the applicable standard of review for Plaintiffs’ Second Amendment claim. Thus, the panel vacates the district court’s denial of Plaintiffs’ Second Amendment claims and remands for the district court to apply strict scrutiny.

It was a 2-1 majority. To put it technically, “Suck on that one, anti-rights cultists!”

Ahem. That is to say, “I’d count that as a potentially important win.”

Quote of the day—Murray Rosenbaum

If you have a single gun and over 50 bullets, you could be a public danger.

The amount of ammunition you would need to keep your home safe from potential thieves and those who would cause you harm wouldn’t be even close to 100 rounds of anything. A single clip is more than enough to be threatening and protective if worse comes to worse.

Murray Rosenbaum
A eighteen-year-old senior at Columbia Prep in NYC
February 3, 2016
Bullet, Not Gun Control
[Children say the cutest things!

But children with crap for brains like this shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

Murray, let me help with your education.

A typical pistol match requires a 100 to 150 rounds.

Last month reloaded, for my own use, just under 2000 rounds. Last year it was 9531 rounds. Later this month I’m taking a class which requires, “2000 rounds of brass-cased FMJ ammunition (minimum)”.

When I took a friend to the range last weekend for a couple hours to teach her how to defend herself she went through about 200 rounds and her education and practice is far from complete. After I get her to a basic competency and comfort level she will probably take this class which requires, “600 rounds of brass-cased, FMJ ammunition (minimum)”. I expect getting her to that level will require another 500 rounds of ammunition.

Murray, you say,

the trick is making bullets more expensive…

I have no doubt there are plenty of other people who would claim that I’m endorsing the destruction of the second amendment. They can say that all they want, but in the end the Constitution says “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” but it doesn’t say anything about bullets.

Okay. Then using that same argument I have to conclude you would be unable to find a constitutional problem with a heavy tax on books. The First Amendment says freedom of the press, but doesn’t say anything about you being able to read it. Right?

When practicing I sometimes go through ammunition at the rate of up to five rounds per second. I figure that is about half the speed you can read words. So I propose we tax your use of reading of words at double whatever tax you want to impose on bullets. The number you used as an example in your post figured out to $75 per bullet. So, doing the arithmetic for you just in case your ignorance extends to the area of numbers as well as firearms and constitutional law, that would be a tax of $150 per word.

If you want to inflict a crushing tax on my education and those of others exercising their specific, enumerated, constitutionally protected, rights then you can say all you want, but in the end the constitution doesn’t protect you any more or less than it does me.*


* If you want to claim “books don’t kill people” ask your history instructor about Mein Kampf, The Communist Manifesto, and Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book. Then reevaluate your claim before you engage me on that issue.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Paige‏ @Trunthepaige

@SnowdenEd @Duck_Hunter7 @orangeblood307 @JoeHuffman Somebody is talking about penises so it must be a gun conversation with anti gun folks.

Paige‏ @Trunthepaige
Tweeted on January 20, 2016
[In a break from the usual Markley’s Law Monday I’m presenting a slightly different view of the theme today.—Joe]

Our next fight?

I don’t like this:

Proponents of President Barack Obama’s executive orders in the area of gun control point to OSHA’s General Duty Clause as a possible basis for a national “no guns at work” policy.

The General Duty Clause requires employers to maintain a safe workplace, including the implementation of policies that may be necessary to further that goal. Proponents argue that this significant increase in workplace violence coupled with the expansion of concealed carry laws would be the basis for this regulatory change. Moreover, because a General Duty Clause already exists within the OSHA statute, there would not be a need for congressional approval.

This would be another chilling effect on our rights. I frequently go to the range at lunch time or after work. And I know a lot of other people go hunting before or after work. And OSHA creating a regulation such as this would have to make exceptions for a many of places of employment. Police stations, security firms, gun manufactures, gun ranges, gun stores, any place which hires armed guards, etc.

I can see it being a valid concern for guns to be prohibited in some places of business (I’m thinking of oil refineries and other places where “high energy events” could be triggered). But it should be up to the business to decide if they have an overriding set of circumstance where firearms are just too high of risk to allow.

This could be our next fight for our right to keep and bear arms.

Quote of the day—David E. Petzal

The forces acting upon the gun industry are Armageddon, for which we are all tooling up, and our Peerless Leader, who has sold more firearms than even Bubba Clinton, and The Horror That Is Hillary, who is lurking in our future like the Wicked Witch of the West.

David E. Petzal
January 25, 2016
SHOT Show 2016, Part I
[Via Caleb who has a much different, but entirely valid, angle on Petzal’s post.

As others have observed, if Obama and his friends want to reduce the number of guns being sold in this country they should resign from politics.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Richard Feldman

In 1994 [when President Clinton introduced a ban on assault weapons] I remember being asked ‘Why do you need these guns?’ My response was ‘Well, I never needed them before, but if the government thinks I shouldn’t be able to own them, I guess I want them now’, and I did go out and buy about 15 of them before the ban.

Richard Feldman
January 26, 2016
How has the US gun lobby been so successful?
[Just like I buy and read banned books I also buy and use banned guns.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Carl Bogus

There had been only three US Supreme Court cases that dealt with the second amendment. They all held that the second amendment was related to militia service [and] granted a collective right, not an individual right. This was considered pretty settled until the 1960s.

They won the war in 2008 in a case called ‘The District of Columbia versus Heller’, when the Supreme Court held for the first time that the second amendment grants an individual right.

The nine justices of the US Supreme Court divided five to four along perfectly ideological lines. The conservatives said it grants an individual right, and the liberals all said, no, it grants a collective right.

Carl Bogus
Professor of Law at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island
January 26, 2016
How has the US gun lobby been so successful?
[Bogus is correct. As a name for this liar that is.

  1. The Bill of Rights, including the Second Amendment, does not grant rights. It protects preexisting rights. Read the words of the Second Amendment. Or read US v Cruikshank, “This is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence.”
  2. I can only think of two Supreme Court cases directly addressing the Second Amendment before Heller, one being Cruikshank, and the other is United States v. Miller 59 S.Ct. 816(1939). Neither say anything at all about a “collective right”. Miller is sometimes misunderstood to imply something like that but that interpretation is obviously wrong. Read my comments on that here.
  3. The Heller justices were not divided on the issue of an individual versus collective right in regards to the Second Amendment. The four dissenting justices said, The question presented by this case is not whether the Second Amendment protects a “collective right” or an “individual right.”  Surely it protects a right that can be enforced by individuals.

Anti-gun people lie. It’s in their culture. It’s what they have to do to have any hope of making progress in their battle to eliminate our specific enumerated right to keep and bear arms.—Joe]

Quote of the day—W. Kamau Bell

We could use a President who was, like, “OK. Everybody turn in all your guns tomorrow by 5 p.m. After that, if I catch you with a gun then I’m sending SEAL Team Six to your house with a recent Facebook picture of you and those tanks that shoot fire that we haven’t used since Waco — Ummm — I mean since World War II.”

And let me be clear about something else, gun owners. I want President Obama to want to take your guns away. I don’t trust you with your guns. I don’t trust you to fire them safely. I don’t trust you to store them safely. I don’t trust your kids not to find them. I don’t trust you not to get them stolen.

W. Kamau Bell
January 12, 2016
I want Obama to take away your guns
[H/T to The Writer in Black.

Don’t ever let anyone get away with telling you that no one wants to take your guns.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Mr. Fusion

If physicians are unable to, by law, ascertain the mental stability of someone to own a gun in Florida, then the Federal Government should deny everyone in Florida the ability to purchase a gun.

Mr. Fusion
January 10, 2016
Comment to The Absurd Logic Behind Floridas Docs vs. Glocks Law
[What is it with anti-gun people and their obsession with assessing the mental health of gun owners? It is they who demonstrate mental health problems (see also here).—Joe]