Quote of the day—Jon Miltimore

A new academic study has found that, once again, gun laws are not having their desired effect.

A joint study conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the University of California at Davis Violence Prevention Research Program found that California’s much-touted mandated background checks had no impact on gun deaths, and researchers are puzzled as to why.

Jon Miltimore
December 5, 2018

California’s Background Check Law Had No Impact on Gun Deaths, Johns Hopkins Study Finds
[When someone demands more background checks on gun sales tell them, according Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the University of California at Davis Violence Prevention Research Program, it is a waste of resources. The existing resources used to do the background checks should be reallocated to things that might make a difference. Perhaps more police officers or better mental health care. Or even letting people keep their tax money and spend it as they see fit.

If they insist, them ask them, “Since we know for a fact that background checks do not improve public safety what is your real reason for continuing to insist on expanding them?”—Joe]

Quote of the day—Jason Brennan

Most people seem to subscribe to what I call the Special Immunity Thesis: the idea that the set of conditions under which it is permissible, in self-defense or defense of others, to deceive, lie to, sabotage, attack, or kill a government agent is much more stringently constrained than the set of conditions under which it is permissible to deceive, lie to, sabotage, attack, or kill a private civilian.

On the flip side, we have what I call the Moral Parity Thesis: the idea that, very simply, you have the same right of self-defense against government agents as you do against civilians. Officials have no special moral status that immunizes them from defensive actions. When they commit injustices of any sort, it is morally permissible for us, as private individuals, to treat them the same way we would treat private individuals committing those same injustices. Whatever we may do to private individuals, we may do to government officials. We may respond to governmental injustice in exactly the same ways as private injustice.

The Moral Parity Thesis has radical implications. It means you may assassinate leaders to stop them from launching unjust wars. You may fight back against a police officer who arrests you for something that shouldn’t be a crime—e.g., marijuana possession or homosexuality. You may escape from jail if mistakenly convicted or convicted of a bogus crime. Your business may lie about its compliance with an unfair regulation and evade excessive taxes. A jury or judge may nullify an unjust statute by refusing to convict those who break it. The Moral Parity Thesis vindicates helicopter pilot Hugh Thompson, who threatened to kill fellow American soldiers to stop them from killing civilians during the My Lai massacre in Vietnam. It vindicates Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden for sharing at least some state secrets. It vindicates government agents who sabotage unjust efforts from within.

My basic argument is simple: By default, we should accept the Moral Parity Thesis, unless we can find some good reason to believe the Special Immunity Thesis instead. Upon inspection, though, the arguments for the Special Immunity Thesis fall flat. Governments and their agents aren’t magic.

Jason Brennan
December 2018
When Nonviolence Isn’t Enough—Does the right to self-defense apply against agents of the state?
[It’s an interesting article on personal and political philosophy.

Lysander Spooner had some things to say on this topic as well:

It is a natural impossibility that a government should have a right to punish men for their vices; because it is impossible that a government should have any rights, except such as the individuals composing it had previously had, as individuals. They could not delegate to a government any rights which they did not themselves possess.

I took a philosophy class in college but it was far less interesting and relevant than what I have read in the years since. And it was philosophers never mentioned in class, such as Ayn Rand and Spooner, that my Marxist professor left out of the curriculum that made the difference.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Gary Kleck

News accounts of 23 shootings in which more than six people were killed or wounded and LCMs were known to have been used, occurring in the United States in 1994–2013, were examined. There was only one incident in which the shooter may have been stopped by bystander intervention when he tried to reload. In all of these 23 incidents, the shooter possessed either multiple guns or multiple magazines, meaning that the shooter, even if denied LCMs, could have continued firing without significant interruption by either switching loaded guns or changing smaller loaded magazines with only a 2- to 4-seconds delay for each magazine change. Finally, the data indicate that mass shooters maintain such slow rates of fire that the time needed to reload would not increase the time between shots and thus the time available for prospective victims to escape.

Gary Kleck
June 1, 2016
Large-Capacity Magazines and the Casualty Counts in Mass Shootings: The Plausibility of Linkages
[The next time someone claims society needs to ban standard capacity magazines because of mass shootings tell them the facts do not support their hypothesis. Then ask them, “What is the real reason you want to ban them?”

H/T to Matthew Carberry‏ @CarberryMatthew via a Tweet.—Joe]

Quote of the day—CIrcuit Judge Stephanos Bibas

The ban impairs using guns for self-defense. The government’s entire case is that smaller magazines mean more reloading. That may make guns less effective for ill—but so too for good. The government’s own police detective testified that he carries large magazines because they give him a tactical “advantage[],” since users must reload smaller magazines more often. App. 116-18. And he admitted that “law-abiding citizens in a gunfight” would also find them “advantageous.” App. 119. So the ban impairs both criminal uses and self-defense.


The law does not ban all magazines, so it is not per se un-constitutional. But it does impair the core Second Amendment right. We usually would stop there. How much the law impairs the core or how many people use the core right that way does not affect the tier of scrutiny. So like any other law that burdens a constitutional right’s core, this law warrants strict scrutiny.

Stephanos Bibas
Circuit Judge, dissenting.
December 5, 2018
Page 5 of the dissent in Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs, Inc.; Blake Ellman; Alexander Dembrowski, Appellants v. Attorney General New Jersey; Superintendent New Jersey State Police.
[See also my “dissent”.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Robert Snaza

This law does nothing to prevent criminals from doing what they want to do. This law is more like going after people who are gun owners who are not criminals and telling them what the state wants them to do.

Robert Snaza
Lewis County Washington Sheriff
November 30, 2018
Lewis County Sheriff’s Office won’t seek out I-1639 violators
[Correct. Gun owners are resentful of this and I expect there will be a lot of people who ordinarily are law abiding who will ignore this law and donate money to court cases to see that the law is overturned.

Via email from Chet.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Tom Arnold (@TomArnold)

This explains why 80% of gun owners shoot themselves or members of their own families.

Tom Arnold (@TomArnold)
Tweeted on November 30, 2018
[See also, Math is hard by Carl Bussjaeger.

As we have known for a long time, anti-gun people have problems with numbers and arithmetic. Arnold is just reminding us of that and that Hollywood types do not have any special knowledge in anything other than pretending to be something other than what they are and reciting lines from a script.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Braden Lynch

I appreciate “studies” about firearms, but discount them in regards to policy decisions. The absolute right to be armed was decided in 1791.

Braden Lynch
November 30, 2018
Comment to Quote of the day—Jacob Paulson
[Furthermore, this right includes military weapons. Thinking about it from the point of the founders and the text of the 2nd Amendment this makes sense. But following up on this it was clearly pointed out in the Miller Decision. Even further it implies that unless it was a weapon useful to the militia it is not protected. In other words, it could be claimed that according to SCOTUS the 2nd Amendment only protects military weapons:

In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a ‘shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length’ at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument.

I would also point out that the right preexists 1791. It is a right which has been claimed by all species for all time. Even mushrooms claim this right.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Karl Popper

The so-called paradox of freedom is the argument that freedom in the sense of absence of any constraining control must lead to very great restraint, since it makes the bully free to enslave the meek. The idea is, in a slightly different form, and with very different tendency, clearly expressed in Plato.

Less well known is the paradox of tolerance: Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. — In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal.

Karl Popper
1945
The Open Society and Its Enemies: New One-Volume Edition, Notes to the Chapters: Ch. 7, Note 4
[Via email from Bob T.

Interesting observation. I had a similar discussion with a co-worker many years ago. We didn’t arrive at a solution. And it is quite clear our government and society has gotten us into the end game of this paradox without implementing the apparent solution offered by Popper over 70 years ago.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Wheel of Death

Most people don’t realize an easy high explosive is nothing but nitromethane and ammonium nitrate. Beats TNT in some aspects. Add 800 mesh Al powder, and you can make EFP’s with a decently formed plate.

An RPG is a step up in complexity. And fusing a fuel air bomb is as well. All doable with patience.

Wheel of Death
November 29, 2018
Comment to Mark Walters: What a Democrat House Means to Our Gun Rights
[People talk the talk over there but I haven’t seen anyone walking the walk. Until then we need to invest in lobbying, voting, and lawsuits.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Jacob Paulson

Of all the active shooter events there were 33 at which an armed citizen was present. Of those, Armed Citizens were successful at stopping the Active shooter 75.8% of the time (25 incidents) and were successful in reducing the loss of life in an additional 18.2% (6) of incidents. In only 2 of the 33 incidents (6.1%) was the Armed Citizen(s) not helpful in any way in stopping the active shooter or reducing the loss of life.

Thus the headline of our report that Armed Citizens Are Successful 94% Of The Time At Active Shooter Events.

At the 33 incidents at which Armed Citizens were present, there were zero situations at which the Armed Citizen injured or killed an innocent person. It never happened.

Active-Shooter-FBI-Data-Infographic

Jacob Paulson
September 18, 2018
Armed Citizens Are Successful 94% Of The Time At Active Shooter Events [FBI]
[33 is a pretty small sample so it’s not a fair comparison but do remember it has happened that when the police showed up they injured or killed an innocent person.

I have never been able to find the study referenced but according to Jeffrey R. Snyder in A Nation of Cowards:

A nationwide study by Kates, the constitutional lawyer and criminologist, found that only 2 percent of civilian shootings involved an innocent person mistakenly identified as a criminal. The “error rate” for the police, however, was 11 percent, over five times as high.

This is not to say that the police are necessarily stupid, poorly trained, or trigger happy.  The more likely reason is that they were not there as the situation developed and don’t know the participants as well as the armed citizen who is caught up in a deadly force situation.

Via an email from Rolf.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Michael Crichton

I have been asked to talk about what I consider the most important challenge facing mankind, and I have a fundamental answer. The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance.

Michael Crichton
September 15, 2003
Crichton: Environmentalism is a religion
[Or as I sometimes say, truth and falsity.

It’s critical, and extremely difficult, in all things. I see it most often in the fight to preserve our right to keep and bear arms.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Harvey Milk

It takes no compromising to give people their rights. It takes no money to respect the individual. It takes no survey to remove repressions.

Harvey Milk
Sometime prior to November 27, 1978
[The previous talk of compromise made me think this was an appropriate time to bring this up.

Milk was thinking of rights other than the right to keep and bear arms but it applies to all true rights. His words resonate well with some people who think of us as the enemy. Use them to your advantage.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Alan Gottlieb

If a citizen is law-abiding in his home state, he or she is going to be law-abiding in a different state where they might find a firearm they want to buy, but the interstate sales ban prevents that. Citizens can purchase all sorts of other goods across state lines, but why not the one tool that is specifically mentioned and protected by the Constitution’s Second Amendment? That simply defies logic and common sense.

Alan Gottlieb
CCRKBA Chairman
November 26, 2018
CCRKBA SEEKS SCOTUS REVIEW OF MANCE INTERSTATE HANDGUN SALES CASE
[While it’s true that many anti-gun people steadfastly oppose logic and common sense (see examples in this post), it is probable that in this case, at some level, there is a logic to this situation. Such a law makes perfect sense and is entirely logical to anyone that who is of the mindset to deny people their specific enumerated right to keep and bear arms. Such people are the enemy of our country and the U.S. Constitution.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Charles R. Kesler

Under present circumstances, the American constitutional future seems to be approaching some kind of crisis—a crisis of the two Constitutions. Let us pray that we and our countrymen will find a way to reason together and to compromise, allowing us to avoid the worst of these dire scenarios—that we will find, that is, the better angels of our nature.

Charles R. Kesler
October 2018
America’s Cold Civil War
[A pleasant call for peace. Unfortunately for our future no further compromise is tolerable for those whose vision of the constitution is the original intent. If we compromise further, and probably even if we fail to turn back the existing compromises, we will sink into a socialist hellhole.—Joe]

Quote of the day—People for US Disarmament (@USDisarm)

People for US Disarmament is a movement of Americans working to ban all guns and imprison or execute all gun owners i.e. potential mass shooters.

People for US Disarmament (@USDisarm)
Twitter profile as of November 21, 2018. It is now suspended.
[It was a satire account but it was close enough to reality you had do dig a little bit to convince yourself of that (Poe’s Law) and many people were taking it seriously.

It’s a sad state of affairs when you realize that such views can be taken seriously now. Beware the normalcy bias and don’t let reality catch us by surprise.—Joe]

Quote of the day—KrisAnne Hall

The entire argument for gun control is built upon a false premise. The second amendment is not about self-defense from criminals.

As unpleasant as it may be for this modern society to say out loud, historically and constitutionally speaking, the right of the people to keep and bear arms has always been a right to protect yourself from those in power who want to enslave you. If America wants to engage in a real factual debate on the right to keep and bear arms, then it must be approached from the proper perspective.

A proper debate on one’s right to keep and bear arms is NOT one that is framed in the terms of whether you can feel safe from wicked and depraved people, full of hate and malice, who want to hurt you. You will NEVER feel safe from those people and those people will not cease to exist just because YOU are not allowed to legally own a gun. Why? Because those people do not care about laws and they will always find a way to hurt and destroy, with or without gun laws.

If society is honest and historically accurate, the only question that has any relevance to the gun control debate is,

“Do you trust those in government, now and forever in the future, to not take your life, liberty, or property through the force of government?”

If the answer to that question is “no,” the gun control debate is over.

KrisAnne Hall
Facebook post, October 2, 2017
DoYouTrustGovernment
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]

Quote of the day—enemy of the state‏ @NormaltonJim

Of course it’s going to be a long uphill battle to disarm you dumb fucks. Start with shutting down gun stores, then use a buyback program, then anyone caught with a gun after the buyback expires goes to jail.

enemy of the state‏ @NormaltonJim
Tweeted on November 22, 2018
[Interesting.

No apparent concern for the Constitution. No apparent concern for the development of a black market. No apparent concern for the the ethics of the forced confiscation of property from people who have harmed no one. No apparent concern about the potential for the backlash to affect him directly.

And he thinks we are dumb.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Larry Correia

To pull off confiscation now you’d have to be willing to kill millions of people. The congressman’s suggestion was incredibly stupid, but it was nice to see one of you guys being honest about it for once.  In order to maybe, hypothetically save thousands, you’d be willing to slaughter millions. Either you really suck at math, or the ugly truth is that you just hate the other side so much that you think killing millions of people is worth it to make them fall in line. And if that’s the case, you’re a sick bastard, and a great example of why the rest of us aren’t ever going to give up our guns.

Larry Correia
November 19, 2018
The 2nd Amendment is Obsolete, Says Congressman Who Wants To Nuke Omaha
[The quote above is the conclusion to his post. The post is basically a confirmation of my Boots on the Ground analysis.

The political left doesn’t understand numbers and they don’t understand the psychology of gun owners. Correia gives them some insight:

A friend of mine who is a political activist said something interesting the other day, and that was for most people on the left political violence is a knob, and they can turn the heat up and down, with things like protests, and riots, all the way up to destruction of property, and sometimes murder… But for the vast majority of folks on the right, it’s an off and on switch. And the settings are Vote or Shoot Fucking Everybody.  And believe me, you really don’t want that switch to get flipped, because Civil War 2.0 would make Bosnia look like a trip to Disneyworld.

Don’t expect the political left to let facts get in the way of their beliefs.

We live in interesting times.—Joe]

Quote of the day—City Council of the City of Republic, Washington State

A. The Republic City Council declares that all federal and state acts, laws, orders, rules and regulations past, present or future, in violation of the U.S. and/or State Constitutions are not authorized by the said Constitutions and violate the true meaning and intent as given by the Founders and Ratifiers and are hereby declared to be invalid in the City of Republic, shall not be recognized by the City of Republic, are specifically rejected by the City of Republic and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in the City of Republic.
B. No agent, employee, or official of the City of Republic, or any corporation providing services to the City of Republic shall provide material support or participate in any way with the implementation of federal or state acts, orders, rules, laws or regulations in violation of the 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article 1 Section 24 of the Washington State Constitution.

City Council of the City of Republic, Washington State
From Facebook on November 9, 2018
[This is very much like the contemporary Firearms Freedom Act at the state level and the Personal liberty laws just prior to the Civil War:

Because most of the abolitionists and supporters of the Personal Liberty Laws resided in the northern states, the controversy added to the already growing rift between the two halves of the country.[1] The northern states refused to repeal the laws and the southern states were not willing to give up slavery. The end result was the bloodiest war of American history; the Civil War.

See also what the Spokesman Review has to say about the proposed ordinance.

I wonder how this will work out if an 18-year old were to travel there to purchase a “semiautomatic assault rifle” after I-1639 goes into effect. Would the gun shop owner sell to them knowing it was against state law but the local police had orders not to enforce the law?

We live in interesting times.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Vote Blue November 6‏ @AlvardoMitchell

Unless you ban civilian firearms and make illegal possession a capital crime, you will never stop the paranoid cowardly delusional gun trash. Stop pretending gun owners are in any way decent and human.

Vote Blue November 6‏ @AlvardoMitchell
Tweeted September 30, 2018.
[This is what they think of you. Take appropriate action.—Joe]