Let’s open another front

In the last twenty years most of the progress we have made in the gun rights movement has been in the domain of self-defense. This is our strongest point. We now have concealed carry in nearly all states and even in Washington D.C. with Constitutional Carry (called “Vermont Carry” when I first got involved in the movement) making good progress.

Alan Korwin explains there is another front we can open on the war with the anti-gun forces using our strongest weapon:

The Gun-Free Zone Liability Act of 2018

  • Improving American Safety and Security
  • Eliminating Bias and Prejudice
  • Restoring Constitutional Values
  • Dropping the Pretense: “We don’t want your kind eating here.”

Establishes liability for harm caused by criminal conduct, when such conduct is wholly or partially enabled by limiting an individual’s right or ability to self defense.

We are far better off making the anti-gun people defend their weakest positions rather than let them attack with their strongest weapons. Both sides have limited resources. Make them expend their resources on defense rather than on offense.

Quote of the day—Alan Korwin

I stand by my frequent admonition: “If it’s in the ‘news’ and it’s about guns, it’s probably 100% wrong.” At best, it’s as deceptive as an outright lie.

Alan Korwin
November 30, 2017
Background Check “News” Deceives
[I’m starting out the new year with something I know will be true the entire year.

Korwin is correct. And frequently these “news professionals” will be fractally wrong.—Joe]

Miss a deadline, lose your gun rights forever

Don’t ever let anyone get away with telling you no one wants to take your guns. The state of New York wants to:

The passage of New York’s so-called SAFE Act (“Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013”) drastically changed the landscape for lawful gun owners in the Empire State. Besides new restrictions on commonly owned semi-automatic rifles the state calls “assault weapons,” bans on magazines, and limits on the number of rounds that could be loaded into a gun, the Act imposed a requirement that handgun license holders be “recertified” every five years, with all licensees completing the initial recertification by January 31, 2018. The recertification form requires that the licensee disclose his or her “name, date of birth, gender, race, residential address, social security number, [and] firearms possessed by such license holder,” along with the listed identifying details (make, model, caliber, and serial number). (“Firearm” under the applicable New York law means a handgun or other gun of a size which may be concealed upon the person.)

A failure to recertify operates as an automatic revocation of the license. Possession of a “firearm” without a valid license is a criminal offense, and the revocation makes the person ineligible to apply for or renew a license. Once a license is revoked, state law mandates that every gun owned or possessed by the licensee be “surrendered” to a law enforcement agency. A New York State Police field guide on the SAFE Act, prepared by attorneys for the Division of State Police, unequivocally instructs officers that when “a licensee becomes ineligible to hold a pistol permit, the Safe Act requires the person to surrender all firearms to police, including all rifles and shotguns for which no license or registration is required.” (Emphasis in the original.)

Should the person fail to comply by turning in every gun, the SAFE Act (codified as NY Penal Law § 400.00(11)(c)) not only authorizes but requires that police officers confiscate such property: the guns “shall be removed and declared a nuisance and any police officer or peace officer acting pursuant to his or her special duties is authorized to remove any and all such weapons.”

Once the gun is deemed a “nuisance,” the owner loses the ability to reclaim or legally transfer it. State law directs that nuisance guns be destroyed without the need for a court order or other judicial proceedings, and courts have confirmed that a person has no “legitimate possessory interest” in firearms for which he or she has no license.

Even if you ignored the absurdity of having to get a license to exercise a specific enumerated right consider the following situation. If someone forgets about the renewal deadline, or are serious injured or sick and can’t meet the deadline, their specific enumerated right to keep and bear arms will be forever infringed by the state of New York.

This will come up at their trials.

Quote of the day—Josh Horwitz

We expect our movement to grow. We expect to see a domino effect as one state after another passes common-sense legislation. We expect voters to make gun violence prevention a priority in the crucial 2018 midterm elections. And we expect legislators seeking re-election to take note and listen to their constituents. Gun violence prevention is no longer a secondary issue, and in 2018, policymakers’ records will be scrutinized. As the elections in 2017 have demonstrated, those who have pledged fealty to the NRA should be concerned.

Josh Horwitz
Executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
December 28, 2017
Enough Gun Violence: 2018 Is the Year Americans Say No to the NRA
[And children expect Santa will slide down the chimney and put presents under the Christmas tree late on Christmas Eve. Horwitz is very childlike in other ways as well. It’s time for him to grow up and face reality.

In the mean time we need to keep taking new shooters to the range and changing the culture.—Joe]

What about the background check?

This week the gun shop I visit most frequently was in the news (see also here and here):

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) says the surveillance video above shows thieves using a stolen vehicle to smash-in the door of the West Coast Armory gun shop in Bellevue early Tuesday morning — the day after Christmas — to make off with approximately 70 firearms.

The ATF and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) — the trade association for the firearms industry — announced a reward Friday for
information leading to the arrest and conviction of the persons responsible for the December 26th  burglary. The ATF is offering a reward of up to $5,000, matched by the NSSF for a possible reward of up to $10,000. To be eligible for the reward, you must contact The ATF at:

  • 1-888-ATF-TIPS (888-283-8477)
  • Email ATFTips@atf.gov
  • atf.gov/contact/atf-tips
  • Tips may also be submitted to ATF using the ReportIt App, or at reportit.com. All calls and tips will be kept confidential.
  • Online tips can also be given to Bellevue Police by CLICKING HERE.

I visited the range (connected to, but has a door between them) the following night. The gun shop was still closed and the door had this sign on it:


You can see bits of broken materials at the bottom of the door and I could see people sweeping inside. I don’t know when it will be open for business again.

One of the first things that went through my mind was, “I wonder if they complied with the Washington State mandatory background check law?” Probably not. That law is just for suckers who think the government would never abuse that data to create a gun registration database for eventual confiscation.

Quote of the day—Dean Winslow

I’d also like to, and I may get in trouble with other members of the committee, just say how insane it is that in the United States of America a civilian can go out and buy a semi-automatic assault rifle like an AR-15.

Dean Winslow
November 6, 2017
Trump Pentagon nominee on Texas shooting: It’s ‘insane’ that civilians can buy ‘assault’ rifles.
[Don’t ever let anyone get away with telling you no one wants to take your guns.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Maj Toure

America would not have even been created without firearms. Some people say it’s a contradiction for me as an African-American man to have a position: “When they wrote the Second Amendment, they didn’t mean it for you.” I don’t give a fuck who they meant it for. It’s mine now.

Maj Toure
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
December 26, 2017
Why Black People Own Guns
[Actually, the Second Amendment applied to all free people. Maj Toure is not a slave. He is a free man. It always did and still does apply to him.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Carlton LeFlore

I have a hammer for my home improvement. I have my gun for self-protection. They’re just tools to me. I don’t give them any power other than that. And I feel like most people give the gun so much power, but the gun can’t pull the trigger itself.

Carlton LeFlore
Winter Garden, Florida
December 26, 2017
Why Black People Own Guns
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]

Quote of the day—John Robb

Over time, perhaps in as little as twenty years, and as the leverage provided by technology increases, this threshold will finally reach is culmination—with ability of one man to declare war on the world and win. Now, with every improvement in genetic engineering and nanotechnology (only some of many potential threats), we come closer to the day when a single individual will have the budget, the knowledge, and the tools necessary to make this future possible.

John Robb
Brave New War, page 8.
[As Brett has told us:

Three weeks of utilities are all that separate us from savagery.

And also:

What people can do with what they buy at the gun store doesn’t bother me much. It’s what the brilliant molecular biologist who has gone sideways can do in his basement in mayonnaise jars that absolutely terrifies me.

I don’t see any insurmountable obstacles to Robb’s claim. And if he is correct then we are now 10 years or less from this prophecy becoming a reality.

I’m reminded of a t-shirt I have. On the front it says, “One man can change the world.” On the back it says, “With enough ammunition.” Perhaps the back should be edited to say, “With the correct type of ‘ammunition’”.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Leah Libresco

I can’t endorse policies whose only selling point is that gun owners hate them. Policies that often seem as if they were drafted by people who have encountered guns only as a figure in a briefing book or an image on the news.

Leah Libresco
October 3, 2017
I used to think gun control was the answer. My research told me otherwise.
[Leah Libresco is a statistician and former news writer at FiveThirtyEight, a data journalism site. The three months she and her colleagues spent analyzing the deaths of people who died via gunshot wounds arrived at conclusions most gun owners had arrived at decades ago.

So, why do the politicians propose such nonsensical policies? It’s about the control of gun owners.

See also Quote of the day—Ramesh Ponnuru.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Dave Workman

Perhaps the biggest “fake news” of all is that gun control has worked and will work even better if laws restricting the rights of law-abiding citizens are made stricter.

The consensus among firearms owners is that such nonsense – as opposed to common sense – takes a distant second, especially at this time of year, to believing in Santa Claus.

Dave Workman
December 20, 2017
‘Fake News’ Annoying, And Abundant from Anti-Gunners
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]

Quote of the day—DebateChallenge

If you care about saving lives than you should crack down on cigarettes. Cigarettes cause about 480,000 deaths per year, there are far more deaths by cigarettes than there are deaths by guns. And of those 480,000 deaths, about 41,000 of them are from secondhand smoke. So just secondhand smoke alone causes about as much, if not more, deaths than guns.

December 17, 2017
Comment to Should Hawaii become the model for nationwide gun-control?
[Good point. One could debate the numbers of deaths correctly attributed to secondhand smoke, but those who are anti-gun (control freaks) tend to be the same type of people who want to claim secondhand smoke is a serious threat as well.

While I think one can make a freedom/liberty case for unrestricted recreation drugs for consenting adults, including tobacco and alcohol, they aren’t a specific enumerated right and the push back against restrictions would have less constitutional standing.

So, when someone want to ban guns (such as “assault weapons”) “for the children” you can point out that if they really wanted to “save the children” they should be an advocate for banning tobacco instead of guns. They would have a much higher potential pay off with less constitutional resistance.

We all know it’s not about saving lives and if you point out their misdirected concerns they will come up with some rationalization to remain fixated on guns. But you can hammer them with their lack of logic and make it clear to everyone “in the room” the motivation for this person is not “saving lives”. It’s about control of people who would own guns.—Joe]

Quote of the day—James B. Jacobs

The SAFE Act succeeded in making a big political splash. It generated widespread and intense protest by gun owners and mobilized Second Amendment advocates and advocacy groups. In 2014, Governor Andrew Cuomo was reelected by a much diminished majority and Republicans regained control of the State Senate. This demonstrated that even in a very blue state like New York, gun owners are a significant constituency, one that punches above its weight because it includes so many one-issue voters. In the legislature, Democrats continue to introduce new gun control bills at the rate of about 50 per year, while Republicans regularly introduce bills to repeal or at least scale back the SAFE Act. Neither side currently has any chance of actually passing new legislation.

The SAFE Act’s impact on gun crime, suicides and accidents has never been seriously assessed, although both gun control proponents and gun rights advocates make extravagant claims. In truth, there seems little likelihood that the SAFE Act has had much, if any, effect since it has been only partially implemented, almost completely unenforced, and widely ignored.  Its various provisions are easily circumvented.

James B. Jacobs
December 19, 2017
Assault Rifles and The Impact of New York State’s SAFE Act
[It’s a very factual article with near zero emotional content. I like it.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Charles C. W. Cooke

Ed Asner, is a 9/11 truther. Given that, the quality of the work is about what you’d expect. Having proposed that Congress, the Supreme Court, and the majority of Americans “claim the Second Amendment is not simply about state militias but guarantees the unfettered right of everyone to own, carry, trade and eventually shoot someone with a gun” — ah, yes, the right to “eventually shoot someone with a gun,” so beloved to those of us who can read — Asner and his co-author, Ed Weinberger, proceed to offer up the most comprehensively illiterate and most embarrassingly researched example within what is, alas, a growing genre. As an example of Second Amendment trutherism, this one will likely never be beaten.

Charles C. W. Cooke
December 19, 2017
No, Salon, the U.S. Was Not ‘Founded on Gun Control’
[I’m skeptical of the claim that it will never be beaten. Human genius has limits but stupidity and evil do not appear to be so handicapped.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Steven Strauss

What National Review’s “Republicans in Name Only” don’t understand is that “freedom!” trumps federalism. This act will free people from places like Mississippi from having to learn about other states’ laws when they visit those states. And the GOP really has a valid point here. Learning isn’t one of the strengths of the great state of Mississippi — it ranks 49th in the U.S. for the educational attainment of its citizens. Having to learn about another state’s laws before visiting there with a concealed, highly dangerous weapon is clearly too much of an imposition on residents of a state who have trouble graduating high school and college at the same rate as other Americans.

Steven Strauss
Opinion columnist, USA Today
December 18, 2017
Concealed carry reciprocity isn’t enough. What about drugs, driving and sex?
[Strauss was careful to call out Mississippi for comparison with (elsewhere in the opinion piece) with New York. Vermont, with gun laws even more lax than Mississippi with higher education and lower homicide rates than New York would not fit the narrative.

He doesn’t stop with cherry picking his data to reach is conclusion. He conflates speed limits and other rules of the road with a concealed carry license. A fairly reasonable comparison would driving licenses and concealed carry licenses. Explaining how “full faith and credit” does not apply is required too, but Strass has a narrative to fit and wouldn’t want to hear of a fair comparison. Implying gun owners are uneducable and being smug is more important than truth to him.

One could conclude that Strauss is a bigot and make a good case for that. But you should also leave open the option he has evil intent and put him on your list for consideration of prosecution.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Ed Asner & Ed Weinberger

Let’s consider the case made by the NRA, its Congressional hired hands, the majority of the Supreme Court, and various right wing pundits who claim the Second Amendment is not simply about state militias but guarantees the unfettered right of everyone to own, carry, trade and eventually shoot someone with a gun.

Ed Asner & Ed Weinberger
December 16, 2017
Sorry, NRA: The U.S. was actually founded on gun control
[This is what they believe our, and the Supreme Court’s, opinion of the right to keep and bear arms is. You know they have a weak case when they start out with a straw man argument.

They continue with claims that the individual rights conclusion of Heller decision was a completely new interpretation of the 2nd Amendment. They claim it ignored 200 years of precedent and historical context when all nine justices agreed it referred to an individual right. Yes, only five justices agreed that D.C. had infringed upon the right but all nine agreed the 2nd Amendment protected an individual right. Apparently a couple of people who are best known for their work on the television series “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”, a work of fiction, think they know constitutional law and history better than the nine justices on the U.S Supreme Court in 2008.

I know these Hollywood types can develop an exaggerated sense of self importance, but WOW, these guys are operating on a different plane of existence.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Jonathan Walder

When your proposals never would have stopped the massacre that inspired the proposal, it makes it very clear that the proposals are not made in good faith. As we’ve seen, the problem lies not with the private sale exception, but with the fact that the NICS checks are not particularly effective. Fix that before you start passing unenforceable laws that require drug dealers to run background checks on other drug dealers.

Jonathan Walder
December 14, 2017
[“Fix that”? I don’t think it is fixable. Well, maybe getting rid of NICS and spending the money on something more productive might be considered a “fix”.

Prosecuting violent criminals would seem to be a good alternative.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Alan Korwin

The FBI set a record for checks! The FBI had to pull staff from other crucial tasks to manage the management of innocent shoppers! The federal agencies spent enough money to beef up the system from last year’s record, to handle this year’s record! Here, lapdogs, take your handout. Everyone did.

Missing was the blatantly obvious — were any criminals caught, any crime stopped, by this over-hyped, ultra expensive, democrat-promoted system? Not one word addressed that — the supposed reason the thing exists. Not one story posed the question. It is a 100% error of omission or misguided spin. Hooray for our side, we set a record! Did we do any good? Who cares, we don’t report on that.

Alan Korwin
November 30, 2017
Background Check “News” Deceives
[It’s because it’s not about catching criminals or stopping crime. It’s about hassling gun owners and getting one step closer to gun registration.—Joe]