Quote of the day—David Brooks

So why are lawmakers responding to mass killings by loosening gun laws? The wrong answer is that the N.R.A. is this maliciously powerful force that controls legislators through campaign dollars. In fact, the N.R.A. spends a minuscule amount on campaign contributions compared with the vast oceans of dough washing through our politics.

The reality is that in some places people want these laws. It’s true that individual gun control measures, like banning bump stocks, have popular support, but, over all, the gun rights people are winning the hearts and minds of America. In 2000, according to a Pew survey, only 29 percent of Americans supported more gun rights and 67 percent supported more gun control. By 2016, 52 percent of Americans supported more gun rights and only 46 percent supported more control.

Today we need another grand synthesis that can move us beyond the current divide, a synthesis that is neither redneck nor hipster but draws from both worlds to create a new social vision. Progress on guns will be possible when the culture war subsides, but not before.

David Brooks
October 6, 2017
Guns and the Soul of America
[For a New York Times opinion piece I found this to be very insightful. His view on “progress on guns” is much different than mine but I believe his words to be correct even if his intended meaning is 180 degrees from mine. We need to win the culture war.

Even in Brooks opinion piece there is evidence this is about a culture war rather than about the facts of gun ownership related to public safety, constitutional law, or philosophy:

This gigantic shift in public opinion hasn’t come about because the facts support the gun rights position. The research doesn’t overwhelmingly support either side. Gun control proposals don’t seriously impinge freedom; on the other hand, there’s not much evidence that they would prevent many attacks.

Even though he knows the evidence doesn’t support his goal of “progress on guns” he thinks it should be done anyway. Why?

It’s about control. He want a culture controlled by a central committee. We want a culture of liberty. We have to win this war. We should only compromise if it takes us a small step closer when we find we can’t make a large step closer to our goals.

Take new shooters to the range. It works. I just found out a couple days ago that new shooters Kurt and Tracie recently bought their first gun.

Guns are a “gateway drug” to liberty. Get them hooked.—Joe]

Quote of the day—MMSJkenB

The US has too many guns and too many idiots who buy them. And we have too many idiot judges that support the idiotic republican view of guns. It may have to do with “small hand syndrome” or an inability to interact with the opposite sex.

MMSJkenB
October 2, 2017
Comment to Why Congress still won’t ‘do something’ about gun laws after Las Vegas
[This is what they think of you and the specific enumerated right to keep and bear arms.—Joe]

Quote of the day—JDPlenty

I am 100% in favor of total repeal of the 2nd. NO RIGHT TO ANY FIREARMS WHATSOEVER. PERIOD. At the very least, it would get rid of annoying squeaks like that.

JDPlenty
October 2, 2017
Comment to Why Congress still won’t ‘do something’ about gun laws after Las Vegas.
[Considering there are tens of millions of gun owners, with 100’s of millions of guns and billions of rounds of ammunition. Many of which will be inclined turn in their bullets, minus shell casing, primer, and powder, prior to surrendering their guns I would expect few will describe the response as “annoying squeaks”. But as we have long known anti-gun people are mostly disconnected from reality. JDPlenty is, of course, projecting.

And, of course, don’t ever let anyone get away with telling you that no one wants to take your guns.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Bill Simpson

Civilians have no legitimate need for center fire cartridge, semi automatic rifles, with interchangeable magazines. They are weapons of war, developed for killing people in combat in the most efficient manner possible. Whenever the Democrats finally regain power, they should be banned, with people given 2 years to turn them in for some reasonable cash payments, after which, possession would be a felony punishable by a $10,000 fine, and up to 5 years in jail. Ditto with semi auto center fire pistols.

Bill Simpson
October 2, 2017
Comment to Video from Las Vegas suggests automatic gunfire. Here’s what makes machine guns different.
[It’s a Bill of Rights. Not a Bill of Needs.

If I could tell Simpson just one thing it would be that we need to enforce the laws already on the books—18 USC 242.

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

Quote of the day—EricNM

The country is awash in 300 million guns. Until that number actually reduces, rather than grows as the NRA wishes, our nation’s gun death rate will always be the highest of any developed nation. The only way to accomplish that is with some sort of gun buy-back and destruction program.

EricNM
October 2, 2017
Comment to Preventing Future Mass Shootings Like Las Vegas
[Don’t ever let anyone get away with telling you that no one wants to take your guns.

EricNM is delusional. It addition to “buy-backs” presuming facts not in evident (the government can’t “buy-back” some they never owned to begin with), there may be as many as 660 million guns in the hands of private citizens, voluntary “buy-backs” have been found to be ineffectual in our country every time they have been tried, and even if it were politically possible legislate mandatory confiscation the most likely result would be for the police and military to, at best, ignore such laws to infringe upon the inalienable right of the people to keep and bear arms.

There would also be a significant chance the surviving politicians would find themselves arrested, convicted, and sent to prison. But don’t expect delusional people break out of their alternate reality no matter what the evidence.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Engraver

Take the goober’s guns away! Ban the damned things already! Melt ’em down! If Billy Bob has a hissy, so be it. This second amendment is not protecting Americans, it is killing us.

Engraver
October 2, 2017
Comment to A scary turn: Las Vegas may be first mass shooting using an automatic weapon
[Dear Engraver,

I would like to suggest you take point on one of the teams going through the door to collect them and “melt ‘em down”. You’ll meet a lot of people who do a good job of on the spot copper engraving you might have an interest in.

Regards,

Joe]

Gun details are coming out

It’s still early but this seems to be detailed enough to be believed:

Stephen Paddock, the Las Vegas shooter, had an arsenal of 17 weapons in his hotel room, mostly military-style rifles, according to a law enforcement source.

At least one of them had been modified with a legal “bump stock” style device that allows the shooter to rapidly fire off rounds without actually converting it to a fully automatic weapon, the source said.

The devices modify the gun’s stock so that the recoil helps accelerate how quickly the shooter can pull the trigger. The devices are legal in the U.S.

Other weapons may have been converted to fully automatic fire, and were still being examined, the source said.

Paddock had four Daniel Defense DDM4 rifles, three FN-15s and other rifles made by Sig Sauer.

Glad to hear it

CBS did the right thing:

CBS fired a company executive Monday after she criticized some victims of the Las Vegas mass shooting as “Republican gun toters” who did not deserve sympathy.

She wrote:

If they wouldn’t do anything when children were murdered I have no hope that Repugs will ever do the right thing. I’m actually not even sympathetic bc country music fans often are Republican gun toters.

Don’t forget, this is what some people think of gun owners. They do not think of us as fully human and deserving of life and/or liberty. Violence in support of their beliefs is easily justified. It’s part of their nature.

Something to remember

On this day of extreme sadness and the predictable attacks on private gun owners remember this evil person could have chosen a worse weapon to kill and injury. From Nice France in 2016:

On the evening of 14 July 2016, a 19 tonne cargo truck was deliberately driven into crowds of people celebrating Bastille Day on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France, resulting in the deaths of 86 people[2] and the injury of 458 others.

If “properly” equipped such a vehicle could have killed many times more than this in some Las Vegas venues.

That didn’t take long

Early this morning The New York Times posted an editorial by Nicholas Kristof titled “Preventing Future Mass Shootings Like Las Vegas” and described infringements upon the right to keep and bear arms which would have done absolutely nothing to have prevented the mass shooting:

After the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas, the impulse of politicians will be to lower flags, offer moments of silence, and lead a national mourning. Yet what we need most of all isn’t mourning, but action to lower the toll of guns in America.

Here is what this liar said, “that would, collectively, make a difference”:

  1. Impose universal background checks for anyone buying a gun.
  2. Impose a minimum age limit of 21 on gun purchases.
  3. Enforce a ban on possession of guns by anyone subject to a domestic violence protection order.
  4. Limit gun purchases by any one person to no more than, say, two a month
  5. Tighten rules on straw purchasers who buy for criminals.
  6. Make serial numbers harder to remove.
  7. Adopt microstamping of cartridges so that they can be traced to the gun that fired them, useful for solving gun crimes.
  8. Invest in “smart gun” purchases by police departments or the U.S. military, to promote their use.
  9. Require safe storage, to reduce theft, suicide and accidents by children.
  10. Invest in research to see what interventions will be more effective in reducing gun deaths.

The intentional deception continues with comparison to regulations on ladders in the workplace and automobile accidents. This deception conflates accidental deaths with intentional deaths. If he were being honest here he would have compared accidental deaths by falls off of ladders or automobile accidents to firearm accidental deaths. Or the use of automobiles in violent crime such as bank robberies, kidnapping, and terrorist attacks. That would be fair. But it’s obvious Kristof is not interested in fair or honest.

Lets do an “apples to apples” type comparison with accidental firearm deaths and see how gun ownership stacks up. I’ve reported the accidental death by firearm numbers before, but here is it again with slight editing to make it consistent with this blog post.

Here is the data I downloaded from the CDC on accidental firearm deaths.

From 1985 to 2015 the total number deaths dropped from 1649 to 489. A decrease of over 70%. And if we look at the death rate instead of total deaths it went from 0.69 to 0.15 per 100,000. That’s a drop of over 78%. And that’s without a government program.

I can’t say that it is cause and effect but the NRA Eddie Eagle program (gun safety for children of any age from pre-school through third grade) was developed in 1988. And there was a big push for more NRA firearms instructors in the mid 1990s.

AccidentalDeathByFirearm1981-2015

AccidentalDeathRateByFirearm1981-2015

But don’t expect Kristof or any other anti-gun person to talk about the successes of the private sector or gun organizations. It’s not about safety. It’s about government control.

Quote of the day—Roger Canaff‏ @rogercanaff

People in civilized cities who don’t want your little substitute penises going off in parking lots and killing their children have no say

Roger Canaff‏ @rogercanaff
Tweeted on April 24, 2017
[It’s another Markley’s Law Monday!

Childish insults. It’s what they do when they realized they are on the wrong side of the law, have a philosophically losing position, and are outwitted.—Joe]

Worst mass shooting in US history

The numbers are subject to change but the current count is 50 dead.

The shooter was on the 32 floor of the hotel across the street from a music festival.

No known motive. The best info on the shooter I have seen is here.

Speculation the shooter was a Democrat is premature. Speculation that Democrats will immediately use this horrific act for political gain is a winning bet if you could find someone to bet against you.

Quote of the day—Dana Milbank

Consider Title XV of the sportsmen’s bill, also known as the “Hearing Protection Act,” which makes it easier for gun owners to buy silencers for their weapons. The uninformed might suspect that silencers are used by people who want to fire weapons without being caught by cops or observed by witnesses. But more and more hunters are finding that conventional earplugs and muffs are not adequate for today’s weapons — for example, quail hunting with an M777 howitzer or grouse hunting with an FIM-92 Stinger missile launcher.

Dana Milbank
September 11, 2017
The NRA’s idea of recreation: Assault rifles, armor-piercing bullets and silencers
[One might guess Milbank is so out of touch with reality that he believes the right to keep and bear arms is about recreation. And one also has to wonder what part of “shall not be infringed” he doesn’t understand.

But, just as likely is that Milbank does have at least a passing grasp of reality and knows he can’t put up a valid argument so he just goes straight to mocking.

We can make most of the stuff Milbank is “concerned” about in our garages with cheap metal working equipment and a trip to the local hardware store. These changes in the law are a mere recognition of reality. The existing law did nothing to improve public safety and made life more hazardous for good and gentle people who just want to be left alone. But to be left alone is asking too much from authoritarians like Milbank. So, I won’t be asking. I’m telling.

Molṑn labé, Dana.—Joe]

Rounds in the last month

In September I only loaded .40 S&W. It was 1875 rounds of Black Bullets for USPSA matches, 93 rounds of Acme Bullet Company’s 180 grain “Lipstick Bullets” (I’m probably going to replace The Blue Bullets with these for steel matches), and 95 rounds of Montana Gold bullets over 3.0 grains of Clays for some “powder puff” loads for new shooters. This is a total of 2063 rounds this month.

I had a revision of some numbers on 300 Win Mag ammo. A few years ago I made some ammo for a friend and didn’t count the rounds. I put them in zip lock bags and gave them to him. In my log I just entered estimates of 300 and 100 rounds for the two different reloading sessions.

Then… earlier this month I was visiting him and found out he still hadn’t shot them. I counted them and found I had reloaded a total of 299 rounds. Whoops. That changes things a little bit. I corrected my log file so that shows up in the numbers below.

The corrected and updated lifetime reloaded ammunition totals are:

223: 2,424 rounds.
30.06: 756 rounds.
300 WIN: 1591 rounds.
40 S&W: 76,772 rounds.
9 mm: 21,641 rounds.
Total: 103,184 rounds.

Year to date I have loaded 17,567 rounds. I’m still on course to reload about 20,000 rounds this year for a lifetime total of over 105,000 rounds.

Quote of the day—Michael Jacobus

My Baba said the Nazi’s were better than the communist.

Coming from a woman who earned a few years of slave labor and a tattoo number from the Nazi’s, makes you wonder how socialism/ communism has such a good PR program on our higher education campuses.

Michael Jacobus
September 24, 2017
Comment to We Still Need To Kill Commies For Mommy, And For The Children.
[I could speculate I don’t think that would be as productive as making more ammunition and more practice.—Joe]

Prep-Check

It’s Gravity season. Time for things to fall. Things like leaves and branches. On power lines, naturally. And roads. Oh joy, be still my beating heart! Since Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and Maria, I’d been meaning to dig out the generator for a test run, and do my other fall emergency checks. Thus begins a short story of preparedness and failure. Continue reading

Quote of the day—Hoxw

Why don’t we have a “terrible implement of the soldier” test? That would actually be in line with the intention of the Second Amendment.

Hoxw
September 19, 2017
Comment to Article on Heller’s “firearms in common use” test
[Hoxw is making reference to:

“The power of the sword, say the minority…, is in the hands of Congress. My friends and countrymen, it is not so, for The powers of the sword are in the hands of the yeomanry of America from sixteen to sixty. The militia of these free commonwealths, entitled and accustomed to their arms, when compared with any possible army, must be tremendous and irresistible. Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom. Congress has no power to disarm the militia. Their swords and every terrible implement of the soldier are the birthright of Americans.”

Tench Coxe
Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788.

It’s a good question and a good point.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Michael Z. Williamson

It is the triumph of Western democracy that philosophies are allowed to exist and propagate even if they are ultimate evil. It is the failure of Western democracy that we support this to a fault, of allowing Communists to breathe air needed by human beings.

Then we can get back to killing National Socialists and regular Socialists as well, since their difference is only one of path, not destination.

Michael Z. Williamson
September 21, 2017
We Still Need To Kill Commies For Mommy, And For The Children.
[I’m going to need more ammo.—Joe]