Quote of the day—David Foster

It’s very important to note that every single one of the above 14 phenomena and categories of people is either closely associated with the Democratic Party or is covered for by the Democrats. Yes, there are some threats to free speech from the conservative side as well, but they are not nearly as powerful as those associated with the Democrats, nor are they growing and converging at the same alarming rate.

David Foster
January 4, 2020
The Multi-Front Attack on Free Speech
[It’s not just your guns they hate. It’s your freedom.

It’s not about crime. It’s about control.

Take appropriate action.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Alan Gottlieb & Dave Workman

Here’s a challenge. Using your favorite Internet search engine, type in the words “No charges were filed” and see what happens. When the authors did this as part of our research, using Google we were advised that there were 925 million results.

Or try “No charges were filed in shooting” and one will find a more modest 30 million references. Even considering that there will be a multitude of repeat reports dealing with the same incidents, you are still talking about millions of self-defense uses of firearms. Some of these cases are intriguing and involve armed private citizens, while many involve police officers shooting suspects.

Alan Gottlieb & Dave Workman
2019
Good Guys With Guns, page 133

[It’s a fairly quick read. I think I did it about four hours while on a plane. I wouldn’t consider it required reading but it’s certainly worthwhile. It will enhance your collection of data for debates on the utility of gun ownership.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Dan Patrick

Let’s be very clear to the American people that Joe Biden is dangerous. He’s not just an idiotic person who says impossible, absurd things, and he’s not just naïve, but he’s dangerous. Americans will have to understand, whether you believe in owning a gun or not owning a gun, that the Democrats are dangerous.

Dan Patrick
Texas’ Lt. Gov.
January 2020
Presidential Candidates’ Gun Control: Average Americans Can’t be Trusted
[Politicians, in general, are dangerous. But that doesn’t mean that some aren’t more dangerous than others. And, to best of my knowledge, the most effective way to reduce the risk is to limit their power to specific enumerate areas.

Unfortunately we haven’t been doing that very well. It’s time to end that. It’s time to start prosecuting the most egregious violators. Biden and Bloomberg would be good candidates but they would be tough nuts to crack. It would be better to start with some small town mayor or city council person who doesn’t have the resources of a Bloomberg.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Chris Hill

Virginia is the state that is testing this unlawful, unconstitutional, Second Amendment gun grab. If this is where it begins, then this is where it will end.

Chris Hill
Founder of Three Percent Security Force
January 2010
Prospect of gun control in Virginia draws threats, promise of armed protest
[We live in interesting times.—Joe]

Quote of the day—lana_palooza @lana_palooza29

1.5 less MAGAbilly’s in the world. At least they died supporting their beloved 2nd Amendment.

lana_palooza @lana_palooza29
Tweeted on January 3, 2020
[This was her reaction to a father and his nine year old daughter who were hunting and were killed by another hunter.

lana_palooza’s Twitter account appears to have been deleted or at least deactivated at this time. You can still find the screen shot of the tweet at the link above.

This is what they think of you.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Alexander Hamilton

If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against those of the rulers of an individual State. In a single State, if the persons entrusted with supreme power become usurpers, the different parcels, subdivisions, or districts of which it consists, having no distinct government in each, can take no regular measures for defense. The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair.

Alexander Hamilton
Federalist No. 28
[Via Walter E. Williams.

One could easily conclude Hamilton words were intended for this decade.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Jon Hauptman

I’d be on the side of fact checking if facts actually had anything to do with what people believe. Given the relationship between values, beliefs, and facts, “fact checking” is values enforcement, even if it’s accidental. This is going to reveal itself to be a way to “check” people who believe unapproved facts, more than it’s a tool for improving the information diet.”

Jon Hauptman
December 31, 2019
The Perils of Social Media Fact-Checking
[The points Hauptman makes aren’t always true. Beliefs can be change rather easily if the believer doesn’t have a commitment to the belief. Someone could believe they had plans to have lunch with a friend on on Monday and then check their calendar and find out it was actually Tuesday. It’s a rare person who is going to continue believing the lunch date is on Monday.

On the other hand suppose a person believes the water gods hold up living things like wood, leaves, and small mammals and send things of the earth such as rocks and dirt to the bottom of the rivers and lakes. And further suppose they have been teaching their beliefs to others for many years. Giving the a demonstration of a pumice rock (which floats) and a piece of ironwood (which sinks in water) is likely to cause them to create some explanation which preserves the existence of the water gods.

Also, there exist certain conditions, which can be created, where facts matter and people frequently do change their minds. See When Prophecy Fails for the basis of my claim. My summary of those conditions are:

  • Unequivocal disconfirmation of the false belief must occur.
  • Social support for the false must be minimal or non-existent.

This is how “deprogramming” someone from a cult works. They are removed from their social support network and the flaws in their belief system are presented to them with undeniable certainty.

Conclusion: Mostly true.

H/T to Rolf for pointing it out to me before I caught up on my RSS feeds.

In email Rolf also points out:

What’s interesting to me, after reading it, is the meta:  the author’s bias doesn’t appear to allow him to consider the possibility that the actions of Google, Facebook, etc., are done knowing full well the reality of the situation, and their goal is to shape and form the narrative that people will be conditioned to accept, and are intending to fragment the citizenry, and marginalize specific chosen sub-groups. Subgroups we happen to belong to and are aware of because we’ve been targeted for so long.

Interesting hypothesis. If this is true then I would suspect there would be people who would have leaked this conspiracy. I recall a similar thing has been leaked regarding Google (a video of some sort of an executive) but I don’t recall the exact details even though I know I at least started a blog post on it. I think it had to do with creating a false reality where the uploaded minds of the believers could exist inside their utopian virtual world.

An alternate hypothesis is that determination of reality is really hard problem and it’s irrational for use to expect people to be rational.

And a final hypothesis is that these people just need to be exposed to alternate viewpoints while isolated from their social networks.—Joe]

Update: Phelps points out that Google at least did research on, if not adapted, a policy of “well-ordered spaces for safety and civility”. This is a decent synopsis:

The briefing argues that Google, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are caught between two incompatible positions, the “unmediated marketplace of ideas” vs. “well-ordered spaces for safety and civility.”

The first approach is described as a product of the “American tradition” which “prioritizes free speech for democracy, not civility.” The second is described as a product of the “European tradition,” which “favors dignity over liberty and civility over freedom.” The briefing claims that all tech platforms are now moving toward the European tradition.

The briefing associates Google’s new role as the guarantor of “civility” with the categories of “editor” and “publisher.” This is significant, given that Google, YouTube, and other tech giants publicly claim they are not publishers but rather neutral platforms — a categorization that grants them special legal immunities under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Elsewhere in the document, Google admits that Section 230 was designed to ensure they can remain neutral platforms for free expression.

The original document is here.

Quote of the day—Stephen A. Elswick

Enforcing the constitution, it’s just not in words. Our commitment to this is engraved on the police memorial that you walked by when you came in here which has the names of the police officers and sheriff’s deputies who gave up their blood, their life in blood, to enforce the constitution of the United States and we don’t intend to not do that anymore. But furthermore, I tell you this board and every public safety officer that works for Chesterfield County takes an oath that they will uphold and follow the constitution of the United States. We’re doing what you want us to do, and we will continue to do that.

Stephen A. Elswick
Vice Chair, MATOACA MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT
December 20, 2019
Supervisors’ letter to lawmakers: Uphold the Constitution
[It was probably in the late 1990s when I asked Alan Gottlieb of SAF how can people deal with the unconstitutional gun laws when the Federal Courts didn’t seem to be supportive. His answer was that it really was the job of the states to respond and rein in the Federal government. I’m reminded of this by the sanctuary county/city stuff going on now. There is a similar activity at the state level but hasn’t received as much notice.

It’s all good stuff but as others have observed, it’s not going to be all that effective until politicians are being prosecuted.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Leesa K. Donner

Irish author James Augustine Aloysius Joyce once wrote, “In the particular is contained the universal.” Mining the gold of “the particular” can be especially helpful when seeking to understand a seemingly incomprehensible event. In the Dayton, OH, incident, an examination of 24-year-old Connor Betts reveals a psychological profile startlingly similar to that of other shooters:

  • He is a single male.
  • He was a troubled teen.
  • He once drew up a “hit list” of students he wanted to kill or maim.
  • He experienced serial rejection from the opposite sex.

A leading forensic psychiatrist and expert in mass murders, Dr. James Knoll, says that “most perpetrators are young males who act alone after carefully planning the event,” according to Psychology Today. These people, Knoll asserts, are “injustice” collectors – that is, they spend a good deal of time living in a world of rejection and past “humiliations,” real or imagined. In other words, these men are world-class grudge-holders fueled by “social persecution or envy.”

Leesa K. Donner
August 6, 2019
The Mind of a Mass Shooter or Why Gun Control Won’t Work
[Interesting read.—Joe]

Quote of the day—William Cairns @guppy270

What’s it like to be such a robotic, soulless gun nut freak, making up for an incredibly small part of your anatomy by brandishing a gun?

William Cairns @guppy270
Tweeted on August 23, 2019
[It’s another Markley’s Law Monday!

And to answer his question: “You are the best person to answer that question because such people only exist in your delusions.”—Joe]

Quote of the day—Jeff Snyder

The argument that  gun is useless because in a particular circumstance you might not be able to use it in time, or it might not save you, is no less nonsensical than the argument that there is no point owning or using a seat belt, since if you collide head on with a tractor trailer, it will not save you, and in some cases it might be better if you were thrown clear.

Similarly, the fact that “it might be used against you” is true of any tool, since the use of a tool depends on the purpose of the person wielding it. A recent syndicated column by Mike Royko pointed out, for example, that a number of murders in Chicago had been committed by drowning the victims in toilets. Ms. Jones could with equal force assert, “Bring a toilet into the home, and he might use it against you.”

Jeff Snyder
2001
Nation of Cowards, Guns and Feminism page 42.
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Tom Knighton

Ebbin and his fellow Democrats simply want to feel safe, and that means endangering the safety of everyone they happen to disagree with that will come for the protest in February. After all, it’s funny how only the side he disagrees with will be impacted, despite the complete lack of violence.

Then again, sticking it to your enemies is an age-old political tactic.

Tom Knighton
December 27, 2019
VA Democrats Want To Ban Carrying Gun In State Capitol Grounds
[Such activities must not go unanswered. Otherwise they will continue to encroach upon our rights.

The gun rights side of the political aisle need to have a good way of “sticking it to their enemies” and play a game of tit for tat. I’m inclined to suggest prosecution and imprisonment but we aren’t there yet.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Erik Simonsen

The same people who feel it’s necessary to give driver’s licenses to defiant law-breakers are the same ones trying to pass this nonsense. When did we become a state that put lawbreakers first, while attacking the rights of hard-working, law-abiding citizens?

Erik Simonsen
New Jersey Assemblymen-elect.
December 20, 2019
Proposed N.J. gun law would mandate $50k insurance policies for all gun owners
[Answering the rhetorical question, evidence would indicate it was shortly after getting a socialist/communist majority in the state.

If you read the article you also find this interesting bit:

Governor Murphy signed an executive order in September making it practically impossible for a legal gun owner to obtain a firearms insurance policy. Attacking gun insurance as a gun ownership “enabling” concept has become a popular trend in blue states as of late.

So, the governor, through executive action has essentially banned people from obtaining firearm liability insurance (the NRA Carry Guard insurance). And:

A-6003 sponsored by Patricia Egan Jones (D-5) mandates that each New Jersey gun owner obtain a minimum of $50,000 in liability insurance at the time of purchase.

New Jersey is the one state that I refuse to visit until their oppressive gun laws are repealed or I can get a varmint hunting license for the politicians who created and/or perpetuate this tyranny.

These people need to prosecuted. I look forward to their trials.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Victor Joecks

Gun grabbers frequently talk about banning “assault weapons,” but that term doesn’t have an agreed-upon meaning. For instance, the since-expired 1994 Assault Weapons Ban defined the term as a semi-automatic rifle with two of the following features: a pistol grip, collapsible stock, bayonet mount, flash suppressor or grenade launcher.

If you know anything about firearms, the assertion that these secondary characteristics make a firearm more deadly is laughable. Grenades are already illegal.

What the term has come to mean is “scary-looking rifles that mass shooters use.” But, as Sisolak now admits, “It’s not the look of a weapon that makes an assault rifle.” This puts gun grabbers in a double bind. They’re either banning secondary characteristics that won’t stop mass shootings — even if gun bans worked, which they don’t — or they’re banning every semi-automatic rifle in the America, which is politically unpalatable.

It’s much easier to say you want to ban assault rifles — and then trust the media won’t dig deep enough to find out if you know what you’re talking about.

Victor Joecks
December 21, 2019
VICTOR JOECKS: Sisolak promised to ban assault rifles, but he doesn’t know what that term means
[Sisolak is the Governor of Nevada.

As a friend in high school, Ken Franklin, once told me, “If you can’t define a word then you literally don’t know what you are talking about.” And here we have a politician becoming the governor of Nevada based, in part, on a promise of something he literally had no idea what he was talking about.

This is not to say he is stupid or even ignorant. It’s self evident that he didn’t need to know what he was talking about. He won the election, right? In this context “assault weapon” is political tool used to gain power. And not in the sense Mao Tse-tung used it.

I’m reminded of the quote attributed to Adolf Hitler:

If the Jews didn’t exist, we would have to invent them.

And our country’s political left, and Governor Sisolak in particular, has Josh Sugarmann to thank for recognizing the utility of the “assault weapon” boogie man. Sisolak successfully used it in his bid for the governorship. And, if this article is to be believed, he did that without even knowing that they didn’t exist.

Think about that. A concept of something which cannot be defined, and hence is largely imaginary, was instrumental in getting someone elected state governor. The concept is a real tool so powerful that even if you don’t know what it is you can use it to win elections.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Samuel Culper

Politicians know that the groundswell of peaceful pro-gun activism is backed up by something harder. That’s why in the near term they’re most likely to try and erode support for “assault weapons” and legislate them out of existence, as opposed to confiscate everyone’s AR-15s… for now.

Samuel Culper
December 23, 2019
Eyes on Virginia 2020 – Here’s what to expect
[Via email from Tony.

Scott Adams almost categorically dismisses slippery slope arguments in the general case, not just in the case of gun control. I mostly disagree with him. Here, and in the post this quote was taken from, Culper alludes to my disagreement with Adams.

Adams, in his most recent book, Loserthink: How untrained brains Are Ruining America, elaborates more on this. He says, if I recall correctly, that it’s a slippery slope only until something changes.and then it isn’t. In the case of gun control case he claims travel down the slope will continue only until gun owners stop it. Things that are not terribly unpopular will be enacted, perhaps background checks for retail sales, but that doesn’t affect the probability of gun confiscation. They are two different, unrelated things. Gun owners, and even many non-gunowners, will put up much stronger resistance to gun confiscation and the slide down the slope is stopped.

I don’t see it that way.

As Culper points out, the political response is to make it costly to be a gun owner. Not just in dollars and thing like requiring insurance and difficult licensing procedures but in risk and day to day hassle. I went to the range with a friend in Canada a while back. Each gun had to be unloaded, a trigger lock installed, then locked in a case, and put in the trunk of the car in order to transport it from his home to the range and back. If he were to have lost a trigger lock while at the range he could not have legally transported the gun back home without the risk of going to prison. The “gun-free zone” within 1000 feet of a school is another example of a cost imposed on gun ownership through increased risk of committing a victimless crime.

As these costs increase it decreases the number of people who are willing to pay the “price”. Each of these relatively small price increases is not sufficient to take a bunch of time off work or to donate a lot of money to help defeat it like you would if it were something like confiscation of America’s most popular rifle. Yet, because the increasing cost of gun ownership it means fewer gun owners which means there is less resistance to the next slide down the slope. Whereas in Adams view you get increased resistance as you slide down the slope.

We both see the slope as non-linear but he sees the slope as upturning and stopping further progress and I see it as downturning and increasing progress.

I claim we can see support for my view on two different slopes.

Look at the slippery slope the anti-gun people are on. For decades they fought the passage of concealed carry licensing laws as they slowly swept the nation. Now Constitutional Carry is slowly spreading. I remember people saying licensing our rights was actually a step in the wrong direction for us. It should be “Vermont Carry”, as what we now call Constitutional Carry was called 20 years ago, or nothing because once the right to carry was licensed we couldn’t get back to a principled claim of right to carry without a license. The anti-gun people have been sliding down this slope for something like 30 years now with no end in sight.

On the other side we can see the march of restrictions on “assault weapons” up and down the west and east costal states. Each year they come up with another type of restriction or cost to add to the burden of owning and using them. Had the anti-gun people gone for an outright ban and demand for confiscation, again about 30 years ago, few politicians would have given the ideas support. This year people hoping to become president seem to be competing on who can confiscate them in the shortest period of time. We have slid down a slippery slope. Those early restrictions enabled further restrictions as soon as the legislature reconvened the next year.

On the other hand Adam could say the 2nd Amendment Sanctuary movement proves his point.

Am I missing something? Adams is a smart guy and I may too close to this issue to see the issue clearly. Is there some special case situation that Adams would concede in my examples while being substantially correct in the more general case?—Joe]

Quote of the day—Alan Gottlieb & Dave Workman

Nothing so vividly illustrates the delusional state of the gun prohibitionist’s mindset than the stubborn defense of the so called “gun-free school zone.”

Alan Gottlieb & Dave Workman
2019
Good Guys With Guns, page 105

[You would think they would give it up after being shown that 95+% of all mass shootings occur in “gun-free” areas. Or just pointing out that if “gun-free” areas worked making banks “gun-free zones” would eliminate bank robberies. Or making schools “drug-free zones” would cause recreational drug to cease.

But it is irrational to expect people to be rational. And those rational enough to know the truth but evil enough to further their agenda with the deaths of innocent children use this lack of rationality in the masses to their advantage.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Adam Kraut

Rule by executive fiat was rejected by the Thirteen American Colonies, including Pennsylvania, when they declared independence from England, and we reject such lawlessness today. The Attorney General’s revisionist legal opinion adds an entire class of inanimate objects to the definition of ‘firearm’ under Pennsylvania law that the General Assembly never considered, nor intended. As such, we are requesting the Commonwealth Court to enjoin Commissioner Evanchick and his Pennsylvania State Police from implementing and enforcing any policy or practice that would follow the Attorney General’s misguided definitional structure.

Adam Kraut
Director of Legal Policy
The Firearm Policy Coalition
December 20, 2019
BREAKING: Emergency Injunction Sought Against Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Evanchick Following ‘Lawless’ Gun Ban Mandate, “Legal Opinion” by Attorney General Josh Shapiro
[See also: GUN-RIGHTS GROUP SUES PENNSYLVANIA OVER NEW ‘GHOST GUNS’ RULE

I donate money every month (matched by my employer) to the FPC.

It’s amazing what these politicians want to get away with. It’s almost as if they believe they are rulers instead of public servants.

The courts need to slap them down hard and soon!—Joe]

Quote of the day—Jonathan

We genuinely have no idea how many firearms there are in America, and that is fine.  We do know how many have been produced a year for the past ~35 years, the only correlation between the change in firearms in America and the change in firearm-related fatalities is negative-to-non-existent, for both raw numbers and per-American rates.  Thus, “more guns = more deaths” cannot be true.

Jonathan
December 4, 2019
fixed points in data
[I found the blog post quite interesting because Jonathan points out something that I knew from my multiple classes in statistics but had not thought applied to the topic at hand. That is, a time correlation does not care about absolute values of the variables being considered, just the change in the values over time.

For example the correlation between the number of firearms in circulation and the murder rate by gun fire is the same in each of these cases with the following assumptions 1) The murder rate over time is the same in all cases; and 2) The number of guns added or removed from circulation over time is the same.

  • The number of guns in circulation on January 1, 1990 is zero.
  • The number of guns in circulation on January 1, 1990 is 100 million.
  • The number of guns in circulation on January 1, 1990 is 1 billion.

And of course, the result of this exercise does not have any effect on the specific enumerated right to keep and bear arms. It does, however, have utility in demonstrating anti-gun people do not understand math when they claim “more guns = more deaths”.—Joe]