Journalist education 99; Assault Rifle

Words continue to mean things, even though 99% of journalists fail to use them correctly. This post is for journalists, or for those who take them seriously. For everyone else who already knows this stuff; thank you for your patience while we dabble in some remedial education for the less fortunate.

There’s now a trend among conservatives in talk radio to declare that there is no such thing as an “assault rifle”. They’ll say it proudly, as though they’re among an elite few who know the truth about something. This is the sort of thing you “know” because some guy you know knows a guy who’s cousin’s step-father’s uncle knows a thing or two because he once knew a guy who knew a cop, and the story trickled down through several get-togethers and backyard BBQs. In other words it’s not something you know at all. Apparently they mean well in this case, but they are attempting to make a point that, at best, they didn’t quite get the first few times it was explained to them. We’ll try again.

Yes, there are assault rifles. The Germans seem to have cemented the design concept back in the 1940s. In short, an assault rifle (Sturmgewehr) is a smallish rifle firing a cartridge of intermediate size and power (in-between a pistol and a rifle), feeding from a detachable, box magazine, capable of full-automatic fire. The original had a pistol grip stock, but the latter feature is not critical to its purpose or function. Assault rifles really, really do exist. They’re a sort of halfway rifle, between the submachine gun (which fires pistol ammo) and the automatic rifle (which uses full power rifle ammo) and practically all militaries of the world now use an assault rifle of some kind as standard issue to regular infantry. They’re also found occasionally among law enforcement and private collectors.

Assault rifles were essentially banned in the U.S. (before they were even invented) by the National Firearms Act of 1934, as modified by the Firearm Owners’ Protection Act of 1986.

The thing that does NOT exist is any firearm design known as an “assault weapon”. Notice the difference there; “rifle” verses “weapon”. Sure; a rifle can be used as a weapon, but a weapon is not necessarily a rifle. A “weapon” could be a rock, for example, or a stick, or a fist, et al.

When we’re talking about classifications within the firearm industry, words really, really do mean things. There is no such thing as the firearm classification, “assault weapon”, and therefore no one can define it. When you think about it just a little bit, it makes sense that no one can define it, being that it does not exist.

Just as a politician talking about banning “assault weapons” is only showing his ignorance and therefore disqualifying himself from the discussion, those of you who say there’s no such thing as an “assault rifle” are just as ignorant, or more so. The assault rifle is a significant part of 20th century military and political history, and you seem to have missed the entire story. Please stay out of the conservation until you’ve got it right.

To summarize then;
Assault rifles DO exist. See right here.
Assault weapons (as a firearm design) do NOT exist.

Thank you.

Quote of the day—Charlie Rangel

If it is difficult to get a concealed weapon permit, I’m glad to hear that.

I wouldn’t want them to have it. Law-abiding citizens just shouldn’t have to carry a gun.

[The reporter pointed out the armed U.S. Capitol Police inside the building, just a few feet away from the congressman, Rangel laughed and responded:]

Well that’s a little different. I think we deserve — I think we need to be protected down here.

Charlie Rangel
Congressman (D-N.Y.)
June 21, 2016
Congressman Says His Constituents ‘Shouldn’t Have to Carry a Gun’ — However, Congress ‘Deserves’ and ‘Needs’ to Be Protected by Them
[I’ve seen this referenced several places but I think it was Paul Koning who sent me the first email.

It’s just amazing to me the level of hypocrisy some people are capable of. The hypocritical people I know in real life are like toddlers compared to world class athletes in their prime like Congressman Rangel.—Joe]

Interesting question

Via Say Uncle: What Will Gun Controllers Do When Americans Ignore an ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban?

In the states that have such bans what the gun controllers did when 85%+ of citizens ignored them was declare victory and ignore them back. I suspect this will only last for a while. Eventually the laws will have to be repealed or things will get more and more tense.

Our job is to continue changing the culture by taking non-gun owners to the range and being open about gun ownership in hopes of decreasing the tension.

How is this not a felony?

I often claim people are in violation of 18 USC 241 and/or 242 and know it will almost certainly not result in even a sideways glance from a prosecutor.

But via Alan Korwin we have something that has me baffled.

This is from HR2578 (“To authorize the Attorney General to deny the transfer of firearms to known or suspected terrorists.”):

No district court of the United States or court of appeals of the United States shall have jurisdiction to consider the lawfulness or constitutionality of this section…

The writers of this have to know they are attempting to create a law that will be thrown out as unconstitutional. Otherwise they wouldn’t care if it were reviewed by the courts for constitutionality. Right?

If they are knowingly working together to infringe upon rights, guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, then tell me how a prosecutor can squint their eyes, twist the meaning of words, and claim what these people are doing is not a conspiracy to deny rights?

For your easy review 18 USC 241:

If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same; or

If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or on the premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured—

They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

18 USC 242:

Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or to different punishments, pains, or penalties, on account of such person being an alien, or by reason of his color, or race, than are prescribed for the punishment of citizens, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

These people need to be prosecuted.

The mask drops

So, my Former Classmate I talked about the other day came back and posted a rant on Facebook:

Personally I don’t like guns and superbly do not agree that there is any NON military need for many types of guns available to just anyone.
But what I am absolutely sick to death of is the flaccid guns laws in place. And just as sick of the blockade the criminally financed fucking NRA puts up against any laws that would make harder to buy a gun.

If you are TRULY a responsible gun owner what is your big bitch with doing what CAN be done to mitigate murder by gun?

Your …crappy example of what happened in Paris ( sad as it was) is poor at best when you look at ALL the stats. Gun ownership and gun murders by country.

The USA has the highest gun ownership AND the highest death by gun.
IF IF IF you are a responsible gun owner then keep your bloody masterbatory toys but you MUST know the ease with which you bought them was just wrong. And you know you have gun owning friends that pushed just a tad would roll a full bubble out of plumb.

If if if you want to be a responsible gun owner then support laws that might make it a modicum harder for assholes like the Orlando murderer to get guns.

Oh……and my heartfelt condolences to the “responsible” gun shop owner that offered conceal and carry and gun handling classes. He was shot to death by one of his students because some “responsible” person loaded live vs rubber bullets into the students gun.

I found this very telling. The insults, the demands that gun owners “MUST know” things which she believes. She has an extremely low opinion of gun owners and demands control over them. The mask dropped. She wants to be a tyrant and she is dehumanizing gun owners to justify whatever “whatever it takes” to get her way.

I responded with:

Do you really want to have this conversation with me?

Her response:

No. I did not.

Mine:

You have some options to consider because I won’t be quiet while you insult the nation’s oldest and (probably largest) civil rights organization, the NRA and their 5+ million members. And “bloody masturbatory toys”? Really? You think 100+ million men and women have exercised their specific enumerated right to keep and bear arms for masturbation? I think it’s very telling you use insults instead of facts and logic.

As I see it you have the following options available to you.

1)    You can unfriend me. This, of course, would mean that you know your stated beliefs cannot stand up to scrutiny.
2)    You do not bring up the topic again. This probably means you don’t have confidence in your position.
3)    You engage me in a civil discussion on the topic. As someone told me recently, “Rare on FB”.
4)    You ignore me as I dissect your hateful rants.
5)    You research the facts and admit you were wrong.

Your choice. What’s it going to be?

I waited a couple days and then yesterday she made another post, addressed to no one in particular, apologizing for being so hateful.

I responded to that post, thanking her for saying that. I also responded to her rant:

I’m tired of the gun laws in place as well. What part of “…shall not be infringed” don’t people understand?

But beyond the snark let’s think about this some.

Terilyn wants to make it more difficult to buy guns so there would be less “murder by gun”. This motive is either deliberately deceptive or naïve. The method of murder is irrelevant. What matters is the total murder rate and, more broadly, the violent crime rate.

Private ownership of guns makes self-defense against a younger and stronger attacker feasible. Guns are an equalizer. If criminals have difficulty acquiring guns they will substitute other weapons or chose easier victims. And let’s imagine making guns the most difficult to acquire as possible. Let’s imagine banning them completely. Would that prevent criminals from getting them?

We know the answer to this. How difficult was it for people to get alcohol during prohibition? Or how difficult is it for the average high school drop out to get recreational drugs? That’s right, they can probably score whatever they want within an hour 24x7x365.

Banning guns will be no different. And the harder you make it to obtain guns the less likely innocent people will go though the effort to purchase them and become skilled in their use. And that means they will be less likely to have a gun to defend themselves when they really need one.

So how can anti-gun people claim gun restriction are a good thing? It’s by being deceptive or naïve and only talking about “gun murders” or “gun crime”.

When comparing violent crime of ALL TYPES in other countries to the US we get a much different picture:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1196941/The-violent-country-Europe-Britain-worse-South-Africa-U-S.html.

The violent crime rate per 100,000 in a few other countries (from the late 2000s) is as follows:

UK: 2,034
Austria: 1,677
South Africa: 1,609
Sweden: 1,124
Belgium: 1,006
Canada: 935
Finland: 738
Netherlands: 676
Luxembourg: 565
France: 504

So care to guess where the U.S. fits in there?

….

According to the article I linked to it’s 466. You can verify the US numbers with the FBI here: https://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2009/data/table_01.html

We have still further means of verifying that private gun ownership in the U.S. is not a problem. Look at the rate of gun sales (millions per year) compared to homicide, violent crime, and accident gun deaths in the attached picture.

CllsSS-WYAAjBsc

Correlation does not prove causation. But a negative correlation certainly proves that “easy access to guns” cannot be blamed for murder and violent crime.

We have still other means to test the claim that “flaccid gun laws” are a problem. I have been asking a question for over a decade now. And many others, including the CDC and the Department of Justice, have been asking it in slightly different forms without being able to find an answer that agrees with those who want more repressive gun laws. The background for the question can be found here: http://blog.joehuffman.org/2004/12/14/just-one-question/

The question is, “Can you demonstrate one time or place, throughout all history, where the average person was made safer by restricting access to handheld weapons?” The answer turns out to be, “No.”

That question is so popular among gun rights activists that I was asked to put it on a t-shirt (available here: http://www.cafepress.com/theviewfromnorthcentralidaho ).

So the final question one has to ask is, “Since we know private gun ownership does not make violent crime more likely, what is the real reason so many people want to restrict gun ownership?” I’ve been working on the problem for over 20 years now and it’s clear the answer is complicated and not very pretty. I’ll leave that for everyone else to think on and we can discuss it another time and place if desired.

I checked Facebook this morning to see if there was any response. There was. I’m glad I kept a copy of almost everything because I no longer have access to her posts on gun control.

Terilyn Reber, Orofino Idaho High School, class of 1973, chose option 1). Reasoned Discourse.

Quote of the day—Scott Adams

We do know that race and poverty are correlated. And we know that poverty and crime are correlated. And we know that race and political affiliation are correlated. Therefore, my team (Clinton) is more likely to use guns to shoot innocent people, whereas the other team (Trump) is more likely to use guns for sporting and defense.

So it seems to me that gun control can’t be solved because Democrats are using guns to kill each other – and want it to stop – whereas Republicans are using guns to defend against Democrats.

Scott Adams
June 22, 2016
Why Gun Control Can’t Be Solved in the USA
[I’ve seen various numbers but they range from 65% to 75% of prison inmates are Democrats. And, of course, my readers will know that nearly all mass murderers are Democrats/progressives/Socialist/Communists.

As I have said before:

One might even be able to make the case that the Second Amendment isn’t only not about hunting–it’s about protecting us from liberals.

A modification to Adam’s claim is that Democrats want to control (and failing that, kill) those who oppose them. And removing the means of  defense against that is their true motive.

Regardless of the motivation, molṑn labé.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Jonah Goldberg

I started writing about such instances of “lying for justice” 20 years ago, and it has only gotten worse.

I don’t think people appreciate how pernicious and widespread this crowdsourced totalitarianism really is. Routine lies in the service of left-wing narratives are justified in the name of “larger truths,” while actual truth-telling in the other direction is denounced as hate speech or “triggering.”

Jonah Goldberg
June 10, 2016
Liberals go to extremes to start a dialogue.
[H/T Walla Walla TEA Party Patriots.

We need to stand up to these lying totalitarians. Confront them, shame them, and tell them they can either tell the truth or be publically disgraced.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Elizabeth May

It’s horrific that such weapons exist.

Elizabeth May
Leader of Canada’s Green Party referring to AR-15s, the most popular rifle in the United States.
June 16, 2016
Canadian gun enthusiasts and their truly bad timing
[Don’t ever let any get away with telling you no one wants to take your guns.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Brandon Combs

No person that participates in terrorism should be allowed to acquire or possess firearms. And no one that is provably planning to commit a crime or heinous act like the tragedy in Orlando, Florida should be free to walk our streets. Terrorists and violent criminals should be arrested, tried, convicted, and imprisoned — or immediately deported, if they are in the United States by permission.

However, if a person is free enough to walk our streets, they should not be denied fundamental human rights due to their potentially erroneous presence on secret government lists.

Someone who is dangerous enough to be denied access to firearms because of alleged ties to terrorism should be arrested and prosecuted, not simply turned away at the gun store counter. As we’ve seen throughout history, people committed to doing evil will find an alternative means to carrying out a deadly attack.

Brandon Combs
Firearms Policy Coalition President
June 16, 2016
ALERT: Congress Is Secretly Trying To Steal Your Gun Rights
[I don’t see what’s secret about it. It seems blatant to me. But I agree with the rest of it.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Bugei

Yeah, Congress. Grow a pair. Like King George did.

Bugei
June 16, 2016
Comment to Quote of the day—Andy Cohen ‏@Andy
[Washington D.C. treats U.S. citizens as subjects rather than its employer so the comment is quite apropos. What will perplex so many people is the response from those who recognize that being treated like subjects is unacceptable behavior and refuse to tolerate this behavior from their public servants.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Scott Adams

If Clinton successfully pairs Trump with Hitler in your mind – as she is doing – and loses anyway, about a quarter of the country will think it is morally justified to assassinate their own leader. I too would feel that way if an actual Hitler came to power in this country. I would join the resistance and try to take out the Hitler-like leader. You should do the same. No one wants an actual President Hitler.

So I’ve decided to endorse Hillary Clinton for President, for my personal safety. Trump supporters don’t have any bad feelings about patriotic Americans such as myself, so I’ll be safe from that crowd. But Clinton supporters have convinced me – and here I am being 100% serious – that my safety is at risk if I am seen as supportive of Trump. So I’m taking the safe way out and endorsing Hillary Clinton for president.

As I have often said, I have no psychic powers and I don’t know which candidate would be the best president. But I do know which outcome is most likely to get me killed by my fellow citizens. So for safety reason, I’m on team Clinton.

Scott Adams
June 5, 2016
My Endorsement for President of the United States
[Progressive are violent for a reason.—Joe

Quote of the day—Bonnie Schaefer

Not just keeping the guns out of the hands of mentally ill people and criminals but I really don’t personally think anyone should have a gun.

Bonnie Schaefer
DNC Platform Committee member in response to testimony by Lucia McBath, a spokeswoman for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.
June 2016
Woman Shaping DNC Platform: Nobody Should Have a Gun
[Via a tweets from Katie Pavlich and TriggerFinger.

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

The gun battle in California

California is suffering terrible attacks by the anti-gun politicians. One of the battles is that Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is running for governor in 2018 and has managed to put an initiative on the ballot for this fall which:

  1. Prohibits Possession of Large-Capacity Military-Style Magazines: The Safety for All initiative outlaws possession of large-capacity magazines of 11 rounds or more and provides for their legal disposal. If passed, California would join New York, New Jersey, Hawaii and The District of Columbia in banning possession of these military-style clips.
  2. Treats Ammunition Sales Like Gun Sales: The initiative requires licensing of ammunition vendors and point-of-sale background checks for ammunition purchases. Under the initiative, if a person is convicted of a felony, a violent misdemeanor, has a restraining order or has been declared dangerously mentally ill, they will no longer be able to buy ammunition in California. California would be the first state to require background checks at point of sale.
  3. Ensures People Prohibited from Owning Guns Do Not Possess Them: The initiative defines a clear firearms relinquishment process for those convicted of a felony or a violent misdemeanor.
  4. Requires Reporting Lost or Stolen Guns: The initiative requires firearm owners to notify law enforcement if their firearm has been lost or stolen. With the Safety for All initiative, California would join 11 other states and the City of Sacramento requiring lost and/or stolen firearm reporting.
  5. Shares Data with Federal System on Prohibited People: The initiative mandates that California share data with the FBI/NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System).

Bad stuff.

How do they imagine this cannot be infringing up on the specific enumerated right to keep and bear arms? Short answer, they don’t. They intend it to infringe up on the rights of gun owners. That is the entire point.

In response the California Rifle & Pistol Association (CRPA), which is the official state association of the NRA, put up a website asking for money and released this ad:

It’s a very emotional ad, but that is what it takes to reach a lot of people.

Quote of the day—Flemming Rose

Human beings are morally self-governing individuals that are able to make up their mind about the speech of other people and decide how to respond. No politician or public opinion should have the power through criminalization and bans to hide opinions and speech from us, implying that we are not able to handle it in a reasonable and responsible way. It takes away our dignity because it is based on the assumption that we cannot be trusted to listen to certain kinds of speech. As Lincoln assumed in another context, free men should not be free to choose unfreedom for others.

Flemming Rose
May 25, 2016
Notable & Quotable: The Milton Friedman Prize
From remarks by Danish journalist Flemming Rose upon receiving the Cato Institute’s Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty, in New York City.
[Via email from Paul Koning who points out, “The same reasoning and the same principles apply to the right to arms.”—Joe]

Preparing for another Clinton presidency

WP_20160604_10_07_49_Pro__highres

  • 5805 Blue Bullets
  • 7400 Black Bullets
  • 8800 Montana Gold Bullets

I also have almost all the powder and primers to go with those. I have several thousand shell casing which may or may not be enough depending on the percentage I recover from practice and matches.

This probably will be enough to get me through another election year scare and shortage of ammo and components if it looks like Hillary will win the election.

It’s time to start cranking on the Dillion 550B.