Veterans Day

It’s here again. Thanks, all you servicemen, current and former.

Google at least sort of recognized it this year, though they had to give it their PC twist by having the female in uniform standing out front saluting, even though men make up ~85% of the US military.

My kid’s school is starting a new tradition, the “wall of honor,” giving a small paper “brick” for each relative the student has who has worn the uniform. It was interesting looking them over, and seeing a number of name clusters where it’s obviously a family tradition. It also makes you realize how small a percentage it represents.

Looking at my own history, I served in the Army Reserve.
My dad and his brother both served in the Army (drafted in the 50s).
My brother-in-law and another uncle on my mom’s side were career AF.
My grandfather served in the cavalry in the 30s, and the Coast Guard in WW II.
A great uncle served. Another great (great?) uncle was even in the Spanish-American War. A great aunt was in the WAAC in WW II. Considering how few people I know anything about in my family history, an awful lot of them spent at least one enlistment in uniform. No spectacular war stories, just a lot of “been there, done that, did my part, moved on.”

Again, thanks to all those who have done their part in serving this great nation.

Geeks with too much time

Via Art we have this partial output from a tracert to 216.81.59.173:

134 ms  Episode.IV [206.214.251.1]
129 ms  A.NEW.HOPE [206.214.251.6]
165 ms  It.is.a.period.of.civil.war [206.214.251.9]
131 ms  Rebel.spaceships [206.214.251.14]
130 ms  striking.from.a.hidden.base [206.214.251.17]
131 ms  have.won.their.first.victory [206.214.251.22]
131 ms  against.the.evil.Galactic.Empire [206.214.251.25]
131 ms  During.the.battle [206.214.251.30]
131 ms  Rebel.spies.managed [206.214.251.33]
135 ms  to.steal.secret.plans [206.214.251.38]
140 ms  to.the.Empires.ultimate.weapon [206.214.251.41]
131 ms  the.DEATH.STAR [206.214.251.46]
133 ms  an.armored.space.station [206.214.251.49]
132 ms  with.enough.power.to [206.214.251.54]
134 ms  destroy.an.entire.planet [206.214.251.57]
133 ms  Pursued.by.the.Empires [206.214.251.62]
132 ms  sinister.agents [206.214.251.65]
133 ms  Princess.Leia.races.home [206.214.251.70]
134 ms  aboard.her.starship [206.214.251.73]
134 ms  custodian.of.the.stolen.plans [206.214.251.78]
131 ms  that.can.save.her [206.214.251.81]
132 ms  people.and.restore [206.214.251.86]
131 ms  freedom.to.the.galaxy [206.214.251.89]
135 ms  0—–I——-I—–0 [206.214.251.94]
142 ms  0——————0 [206.214.251.97]
133 ms  0—————–0 [206.214.251.102]
133 ms  0—————-0 [206.214.251.105]
133 ms  0—————0 [206.214.251.110]
135 ms  0————–0 [206.214.251.113]
133 ms  0————-0 [206.214.251.118]
136 ms  0————0 [206.214.251.121]
135 ms  0———–0 [206.214.251.126]
134 ms  0———-0 [206.214.251.129]
134 ms  0———0 [206.214.251.134]
135 ms  0——–0 [206.214.251.137]
137 ms  0——-0 [206.214.251.142]
133 ms  0——0 [206.214.251.145]
139 ms  0—–0 [206.214.251.150]
134 ms  0—-0 [206.214.251.153]
137 ms  0—0 [206.214.251.158]
132 ms  0–0 [206.214.251.161]
135 ms  0-0 [206.214.251.166]
135 ms  00 [206.214.251.169]
134 ms  I [206.214.251.174]
136 ms  By.Ryan.Werber [206.214.251.177]
133 ms  Blizzards.Breed.CCIE.Creativity [206.214.251.182]
133 ms  Please.Try.Again.Tracerote.to.obiwan.scrye.net [206.214.251.185]
138 ms  read.more.at.beaglenetworks.net [216.81.59.173]

Quote of the day—John F. Bash

Those cases only verify what I think has been this Court’s judgment in Heller and Miller, Congress’s judgment, the judgment of State legislatures for a long time, that these are exclusively used for unlawful purposes.

John F. Bash
Assistant to the Solicitor General
Department of Justice
Washington, D.C.
Oral arguments to SCOTUS in Samuel James Johnson v. United States
November 5, 2014
[H/T to Ry and David Hardy.

Bash is referring to short barreled shotguns.

This was said even though he knows tens of thousands of these guns are lawfully owned by people and are not used for unlawful purposes. He claims to believe these are only owned by collectors who don’t actually use them. Any use, he claims, would be exclusively for an unlawful purpose.

His justification appears to be because of NFA34 and various state legislatures put restrictions on this item beyond the restrictions on some other type of firearms. That is what the U.S. government thinks of one aspect of the right to keep and bear arms. Once a gun is restricted then that is justification for more restrictions.

Apparently if there were laws against something then there must have been a valid reason and the courts should not question the law. I would like to hear him draw similar conclusion from the history of laws against interracial marriage, laws against homosexual acts, and prohibitions against people of color using public swimming pools.—Joe]

Not just anti-gun, anti-freedom

The CalGuns Foundation, SAF, and California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees filed a lawsuit based on infringement of the First Amendment by the state of California against gun dealers:

Tracy Rifle and Pistol, a firearm retailer and indoor shooting range located in San Joaquin County, was recently cited by Harris’ Department of Justice for having pictures of three handguns in window signs that can be seen outside the store. California Penal Code section 26820, first enacted in 1923, bans gun stores from putting up signs advertising the sale of handguns — but not shotguns or rifles. An adjacent window image at Tracy Rifle, which shows a photograph of an AR-15 rifle, was not cited by the DOJ.

From SAF’s news release:

The lawsuit alleges that the California Penal Code violates the First Amendment rights of the plaintiffs by prohibiting them from displaying images of handguns or even the word “handguns” where they would be visible to passersby. However, anti-gun protesters are still allowed to appear with signs that use the words or images, constituting what the lawsuit calls “viewpoint discriminatory.”

What could make it more clear these people are not just anti-gun but they are anti-freedom? This shouldn’t just be a civil action. They should be prosecuted as the criminals they are.

Quote of the day—Christopher Cantwell

You give us absolutely no option for escaping this violence. We are forced to choose between the violence of you, or the violence of someone else. You tell us “Love it or leave it!” or “Move to Somalia!” like I don’t have any right to be left in peace in my own home. The fact of the matter is, if you give us a choice of violence or violence, eventually we’re going to give some violence back to you, and making fun of you on twitter will become the least of your concerns.

Christopher Cantwell
April 8, 2014
Top 10 Reasons Libertarians Aren’t Nice To You
[H/T to Say Uncle.—Joe]

This is what they think of us

From Alexis Clark:

B1s3IDFCUAANuLC

She describes herself as “Pleasantly Opinionated.”

If she thinks calling people who live in a certain area names like that is “pleasantly opinionated” you shouldn’t be surprised that she got the labels on her map mixed up.

Update: The Tweet and the picture were deleted a few hours after I posted this.

Quote of the day—Ellen Balfour

I think people should have all the guns their hearts desire. They can sleep with them, oil them, shine them. Bullets, however, should be outlawed, confiscated and never made again.

Ellen Balfour
January 20, 2013
Comment to Please Take Away My Right to a Gun
[Ahhhh yes, “I don’t want to take your guns! (Just your bullets.)

When the confiscation starts I would like to suggest Ms. Balfour take point on that task. I’m sure she would get all the bullets she cares to have before she is done.—Joe]

I-594 transfers

I think the writers of I-594 put some fatal flaws in their initiative by trying to cover “transfers” rather than just sales and in their definitions. Their definition of transfer:

“Transfer” means the intended delivery of a firearm to another person without consideration of payment or promise of payment including, but not limited to, gifts and loans.

I cannot find any exemption for manufacturers, shippers, wholesalers, and perhaps (it’s not clear to me on “dealers”) even retail personal. They do offer this (emphasis added):

All firearm sales or transfers, in whole or part in this state including without limitation a sale or transfer where either the purchaser or seller or transferee or transferor is in Washington, shall be subject to background checks unless specifically exempted by state or federal law.

The way I read the Federal law, and I don’t think there is state law or else they wouldn’t have needed I-594, is that they don’t have specific exemptions for manufacturers or shippers. In fact “prohibited persons” in those occupations are specifically disallowed so why would they be necessary?

A strict reading of the new law would seem to conclude that a background check and paperwork is required for each firearm transferred between these people. The Federal law on background checks avoided this problem by only requiring background checks on sales. The Feds do require Federal Firearm licenses for manufactures and dealers. The Feds do require background checks on employees who have constructive possession of firearms. But there is no specific exemption for background checks on each transfer between employees or employees of common carriers (shippers).

Compounding things further they even use an interesting definition of “person”:

“Person” means any individual, corporation, company, association, firm, partnership, club, organization, society, joint stock company, or other legal entity.

So how do you do a background check on all these legal entities? There is no specific exemption for any of them in Federal law and I-594 doesn’t mention one in state law.

Hence, the law has a difficult problem. If they were to enforce the background check and paperwork requirement on each transfer then commerce in guns would grind to a halt, placing such a burden on the specific right to keep and bear arms that it fails any level of scrutiny. If they don’t enforce the law against “legal entities” and their employees then I-594 has serious issues with selective enforcement.

The Feds avoid this bag of worms by only requiring background checks on FFL sales and making it illegal to transfer guns to prohibited persons. By expanding background checks and associated paperwork to all transfers the authors of I-594 created a law that clearly infringes upon our specific enumerated rights at any level of scrutiny.

Update: As Lyle points out, Federal law specifically exempts private sales from requiring a background check. By I-594 own words private sales are not covered. The sales aspect of the law is, at best, ambiguous.

Update 2: I was unable to find a specific law or regulation that confirms the point Lyle made in my previous update. It appears that the ATF FAQ I linked to is derived from the things that are not prohibited rather than those things which are specifically exempted.

However, if the person you are transferring to/from is from out of state there is a specific Federal exemption:

§478.30   Out-of-State disposition of firearms by nonlicensees.

No nonlicensee shall transfer, sell, trade, give, transport, or deliver any firearm to any other nonlicensee, who the transferor knows or has reasonable cause to believe does not reside in (or if the person is a corporation or other business entity, does not maintain a place of business in) the State in which the transferor resides: Provided, That the provisions of this section:

(a) shall not apply to the transfer, transportation, or delivery of a firearm made to carry out a bequest of a firearm to, or any acquisition by intestate succession of a firearm by, a person who is permitted to acquire or possess a firearm under the laws of the State of his residence; and

(b) shall not apply to the loan or rental of a firearm to any person for temporary use for lawful sporting purposes.

This may be result in another unconstitutional point of contention. I believe it is unconstitutional for a state to give non-residents rights it denies it’s own residents. However this doesn’t say the nonlicensee is exempt from background checks. It just says they may transfer it. But since there is no provision for a nonlicensee to do background checks they are exempt by default.

However there are exemptions for loan or rental of firearms:

§478.97   Loan or rental of firearms.

(a) A licensee may lend or rent a firearm to any person for temporary use off the premises of the licensee for lawful sporting purposes: Provided, That the delivery of the firearm to such person is not prohibited by §478.99(b) or §478.99(c), the licensee complies with the requirements of §478.102, and the licensee records such loan or rental in the records required to be kept by him under Subpart H of this part.

(b) A club, association, or similar organization temporarily furnishing firearms (whether by loan, rental, or otherwise) to participants in a skeet, trap, target, or similar shooting activity for use at the time and place such activity is held does not, unattended by other circumstances, cause such club, association, or similar organization to be engaged in the business of a dealer in firearms or as engaging in firearms transactions. Therefore, licensing and recordkeeping requirements contained in this part pertaining to firearms transactions would not apply to this temporary furnishing of firearms for use on premises on which such an activity is conducted.

This would appear to give the specific exemption from background checks and paperwork to many, if not all, legal entities engaged in loans and/or rentals.

Quote of the day—TS

Democracy allows for criminal code to be passed this way? Not to mention the very abhorrent idea that 51% of the people can lock up the other 49% if they want via ballot initiative.

TS
November 6, 2014
Comment to More on the I-594 Loss
[Direct democracy also allows 50+% to impose oppressive taxes on the 50-% as well. This is why we have the concepts of enumerated powers and inalienable rights written into our constitutions.

The I-594 people do not recognize these concepts.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Hank B Reardon

Just wait for the next initiative and you all will be shooting those nerf guns.

Hank B Reardon
November 5, 2014
Comment to Editorial: Voters stand ground on gun control in passing I-594 over I-591
[The irony of his handle aside, our opponents know what their objective is and occasionally let it slip.

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

I-594 election night at CCRKBA

Barb and I visited the election watch party at CCRKBA last night. Here are some pictures:

SeattleTimesI-591_2024953219_thumb
Anette Wachter, CCRKBA staff (?), Boyd, Barron, and Janelle via the Seattle Times.

WP_20141104_002Adjusted_thumb[1]
My version of nearly the same thing as above. We are not happy with what we see.

SeattleTimesI-591_142791_YesGuns_1328__thumb
Mr. Completely, Anette, Alan Gottlieb, Janelle, Barron, via the Seattle Times.

More than anything I was struck by the event was in the offices of CCKBA which could only hold a few dozen people. At a similar event for I-676 in 1997 they rented a event hall and hundreds of people showed up. This time we probably had almost as many media people as we did supporters. This time I knew nearly all the non-media people attending.

In many ways I-594 was identical to I-676. They both required paperwork and state involvement for simple, innocent, ordinary transfers of firearms. Both had deceptive and innocent sounding titles (“Mandatory background checks” versus “Mandatory safety training”). In both cases law enforcement were opposed. Yet we didn’t get the traction to come even close to defeating it.

I had lunch with Ry today and discussed why this might have happened. Our conclusions were twofold:

  1. In 1997 we were outraged with the 1994 “assault weapon” ban and the follow-on attempts in congress to push us into extinction as well as similar efforts in the states. Today we have a lot more confidence the courts will protect us. We didn’t have our backs to the wall and in a win or die fight.
  2. This time most people, at some level, recognized it was a loosing battle and it wasn’t worth the effort. I know this was a significant component of my mindset. I had a lot of other things going on in my mind that took a higher priority. I was finishing up my divorce (and follow-on skirmishes), I had time sensitive Boomershoot 2015 details to attend to, and I had a relatively new relationship with Barb that was a lot more pleasant to focus on than something I knew was almost a certain loss.

But how, beyond a simple gut feel, did I know it was certain loss?

A year or two after I-676 went down in defeat I had lunch with Alan Gottlieb. He told me our opponents were planning a new initiative. This was an initiative mandating universal background checks. CCRKBA had done their homework and tried many different concepts in presenting our opposition to such a thing. They did focus group studies with various sound bites and slogans. Nothing worked. It appeared inevitable we would lose such a battle. He didn’t signal this to anyone but close insiders. Publically he pointed out how we had bloodied their noses in the I-676 battle and how the people were on our side and claimed we could do it again if we needed to. But behind the scenes we were scared. Very scared. We had no hope of winning the battle if they attacked again.

I don’t know for certain why our opponents didn’t come back at us then but I’m glad they didn’t. As terrible as the passage of I-594 was yesterday it would have been much worse 10 or 15 years ago, before D.C. v. Heller. Today we have a decent hope of court protection. Then it would have been “a good first step” toward the massive restrictions they are so eager to inflict upon our specific enumerated rights that we could have today been in a situation like California or even Chicago is now.

I can imagine an alternate universe where a different history exists. In this alternate history our opponents were not quite so demoralized and/or timid and attacked us again a few years before the 2008 Heller decision and changed the course of gun rights in this country with a win in Washington state. With a model playbook for our opponents to impose their tyranny in most states, chill the exercise of our rights, we then lost mindshare, and we lost Heller. And then we lost it all.

We still have a lot territory to recover but with the Heller and other decisions behind us we are in a much stronger position to win it back. Let’s work toward making sure we still win the long battle even with this setback today. We must choose the fights and not let our opponents choose them for us. When we attack at their weak spots they must expend resources they could better use attacking our weak spots. For us I-594 was a defensive battle against our weakest point. We lost. We need to keep attacking their weak spots even if every attempt does not result in a win.

In Washington State we had been winning the defensive battle against background checks in the legislature and occasionally making successful offensive plays for many years. That sort of avoiding defeat, one year at at time, is incrementally less costly than winning an initiative measure but it is far less influential. Winning the initiative would have been more permanent. It probably would have silenced that issue for a dozen years in Washington State and perhaps have discouraged the billionaires from spending money in other states. But it also is an opportunity for us.

But some our most dramatic and long lasting wins have been in the courts. Shutting down the “collective rights” argument in the Heller decision resonates today and probably will continue for decades. If we can win this issue in the courts it will be more permanent and have greater benefit to people in other states being attacked. And because of the 10 to 15 year delay in taking this issue to court we have a lot stronger hand to play than we did then.

Support SAF and their “goal of winning firearms freedom, one lawsuit at a time.” If not them then some other pro-rights group with a history of accomplishment.

Loopholes in I-594

I-594 makes it a crime to transfer a gun to another person without doing a background check except for some particular exceptions. Using just one example will demonstrate a particular egregious chilling effect upon our right to keep and bear arms. Suppose your spouse child/sibling/parent/etc. wishes to use your gun for a week or two while their gun is being repaired. You would think there shouldn’t be a problem with an innocent act like this. You would expect there would be an exception in the law for this. The closest thing to an exception for this case is:

This section does not apply to:
(a) A transfer between immediate family members, which for this subsection shall be limited to spouses, domestic partners, parents, children, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, first cousins, aunts, and uncles, that is a bona fide gift;

Update: It has been pointed out to me there is another spouse/domestic partner exception which I overlooked:

(f) The temporary transfer of a firearm (i) between spouses or domestic partners;

So change my example to be ‘child/sibling/parent/etc.’ for the temporary transfer concern.

End Update

So, unless the transfer is a “bona fide gift” or you go through the paperwork and expense of doing a background check you are committing a crime. You have to again do the paperwork and incur the expense when you transfer the gun back. If you don’t do the paperwork the first time it’s a misdemeanor and the second time it’s a felony.

One could claim you gifted the gun back and forth but that’s not going to fly with someone being a stickler for the letter of the law. You don’t give gifts back and forth in the course of week or two. And if the transfers were for purpose of cleaning the guns or minor maintenance or even carrying the gun into the house from the car it becomes absurd to claim the transfers were gifts.

However, there does appear to be a loophole for at least some of the above situations. The restrictions apply as described thusly:

All firearm sales or transfers, in whole or part in this state including without limitation a sale or transfer where either the purchaser or seller or transferee or transferor is in Washington, shall be subject to background checks unless specifically exempted by state or federal law.

Do you see it?

If neither of you are in Washington state at the time of the transfer it’s not a crime.

Update: This appears to be true for Washington State law. But under Federal law even though the two of you could transfer it legally while inside the borders of your state you may not transfer it between the two of you while outside your state then bring it back across the state line into Washington. The crime in not acquiring the gun from an out of state resident or dealer. The Feds don’t want you to acquire a gun from anyone, even a resident of your own state while out of your home state then bring it home. Read 18 U.S. 922 for the details.

H/T Sebastian.

But as far as the ATF/Feds are concerned, if you have a home in two states you are considered a resident of the state you are currently in for gun purposes and can transfer guns as if you were a full time resident in that other state. Hence if both parties were dual residents you could legally do the transfer while in that state and avoid the issues with I-594. Hence since I have a home in Idaho as well as in Washington I could transfer guns to/from my brothers who live in Idaho while in Idaho, but not while in Washington state because they do not have a home in Washington.

But if John Doe were a resident of both Washington and Idaho we could met in Idaho, do the transfer, then return to Washington without breaking any law (that I know of, I am not a lawyer). Or if John Doe were only a resident of Washington I could receive a gun from him in Idaho and then return with it to Washington. But he could not receive a gun from me in Idaho and return to Washington.

Get legitimate legal advice if you plan to push the envelope!

End update.

For people living on the border with Idaho this makes it almost trivial to avoid committing a crime. If you and your spouse child/sibling/parent/etc. or buddy attend a match in Idaho and then come back to Washington at the end of the day who, other than the two of you, is to know who has “possession” of guns in the trunk?

I’m not sure about the law in Oregon. I think they have a mandatory background check as well. You might also be able to take your boat into international waters or just inside the Canadian waters and get away with it as well.

Probably the biggest concern I have is what about “constructive possession”. If you and your spouse were to store your guns in the same safe or without a safe can you be charged with crime of transfer because the other person has uncontrolled access to the guns?

And how about joint ownership? Is that even possible? The existing paperwork doesn’t allow for joint ownership. I can legally give a gun to my adult child but not my child’s spouse. So is this another loophole or is it a legal landmine if I were to give the gun to my child and their spouse as joint ownership then did the paperwork for their spouse?

So this line of thought leads to what looks like a less awkward loophole. If you put your guns in a trust that would let you handle the joint ownership issues. The trust owns the guns and each member of the trust could use any of the guns at any time. And furthermore it is my understanding you can add and remove members to the trust at will without notarized signatures or filing paperwork. I could add some random acquaintance to the trust for the evening to allow them to handle a gun or take them shooting for the first time then remove them from the trust after they hand the gun back.

Trusts may also be the way to save junior programs and instruction programs where the instructors loan guns to the students for the duration of the class.

And of course you could also add some stranger to the trust, “rent” the gun to them for 99 years and not be in violation of the law as long as they didn’t put sell the gun to someone else or put it in another trust.

Overheard

Barb: She told me about her “Vertical Vixens” group of female friends. It’s a group of women, all over six feet tall, that go out together occasionally.

Joe: Would this be opposed to the “Horizontal Vixens”?

Barb: Only a guy would have that as his first thought.

Actually, that wasn’t my first thought. It was just the first thought I allowed myself to express. But correcting her on that point would not have been in my best interest.

I have “a thing” for tall women.

Tools and ideas

Although there are still lots of votes to count no one I know has any realistic hope the outcome is going to change on I-591 or I-594 in Washington state. Washington State gun owners got stomped on pretty hard last night.

What our opponents don’t seem to realize is that both the Second Amendment and the Washington State Constitution protect the very right they are intent upon infringing. If it were a law infringing upon the right to free speech or freedom of religion nearly everyone would get it. Requiring a background check before someone can loan you their religious book and another when you give it back is ridiculous and would clearly be unconstitutional. It would create an incredible chilling effect upon the legitimate exercise of a natural and legal right by the threat of a legal sanction.

Somehow our opponents don’t or can’t understand this. I’ve had people tell me, “It’s not the same.” “Books don’t kill people!”, they say.

Wrong.

Ideas are far more dangerous than tools. The Communist Manifesto, Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book, and many religious books enabled the murders of over 100 million in the 20th century and millions more in the previous centuries. And I’m betting many millions more in this century will be murdered because the exercise of these rights propagates and enables very dangerous ideas. Yet we still recognize that freedom of speech and freedom of religion are more important that the dark side of infringing upon these natural rights.

Books, speech, and firearms are all the tools of ideas. Those ideas can been evil or they can be good. The tool is amoral and can be used for good or evil. Restrictions on a tool used for good enables evil. It doesn’t matter which of these tools you restrict. You enable evil because you disable the expression of the good more than the expression of evil.

This concept is very clear in the context of the First Amendment. But somehow the general population has a delusion that the right to keep and bear arms is different. The correction of their delusion can’t be accomplished in a sentence or two on a ballot initiative so now we have to attempt correcting it in the courts. The courts aren’t as influenced by sound bites as the general public but delusions can be deadly in their persistence even in courts of law.

Update: As I was reminded of in the comments by Windy Wilson there is a somewhat famous U.S. Supreme Court case that says:

If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.

Which, as Windy points out:

This is tremendously close to the concept articulated by the head of the NRA, that the only thing that will stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

The connections between the First and Second Amendment are easy to make and very strong.

Quote of the day—Midwest Carry Academy

In the city that was originally built to house a government derived from the consent of the governed comes a plan to distribute a constitutionally guaranteed right unto only those people whom the government deems “suitable.”  Which is, in the mayor’s opinion, no one.  Fancy that.

Midwest Carry Academy
October 29, 2014
Via email from Nick
[With all that power concentrated in one place what do you expect? Abuse of power is inevitable. Which is why the government was created with only enumerated powers. It’s long past time to trim its powers back to the proper legal limits.

The election today is projected to slow down the rush to tyranny but no one has realistic hopes of one election or even ten stopping it. Dreams of reversing it are better characterized as bloody nightmares.—Joe]

My life is never boring

I received a call from the FBI today. We had a nice chat about Boomershoot and everything is cool.

Someone tried to get me in trouble but I’m pretty sure it was more trouble for them than me. For the record I don’t even let people use the “B-word” in the context of Boomershoot. So telling law enforcement I am teaching people to make such things is laughable, which is what happened when the nice Special Agent hesitantly brought it up.

The end of the conversation was, paraphrasing:

We have to check these things out and write up a report. As long as the information you gave me is correct, as I expect it will be, this will be the end of it.

I gave him information on the most likely suspect who sent them “the tip”. Ry thinks it probably was someone else but it just doesn’t matter. It’s just a funny story for me to blog about and tell my kids and grandkids.

Michigan Episcopal Church wants to ban guns

Don’t ever let anyone get away with telling you no one wants to ban your guns.

We have Episcopal Church in Michigan passes gun resolution as evidence to the contrary. The resolution says:

RESOLVED: that the 180th Convention of the Diocese of Michigan, in response to the impact on Michigan communities of deaths from gun violence, join with other faith communities calling for the following steps to be taken by Federal and State lawmakers:

1. Requiring and enforcing universal background checks on all gun sales;
2. A clear ban on all future sales of military-style semi-automatic weapons, high-capacity ammunition magazines and high-impact ammunition (i.e. ammunition more deadly than ordinarily used in hunting);
3. Making gun trafficking a Federal crime;

The Episcopal Church supports the U.S. Constitution’s protections of the rights of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms; but, we also stand for public policies to ban gun violence and assault weapons.

You have to marvel at the naiveté and/or stupid exhibited here.

You can’t support the Second Amendment then make the demands for background checks anymore than you could require background checks for sales of First Amendment materials. One would guess they support the First Amendment and would claim protection if gun owners were to demand they be punished for hate speech because of their vocal support of restrictions to gun ownership.

Background checks on all gun sales? As the supporters of I-594 in Washington State found out there are lots of devils in the details. Will gifts and loans require background checks? If not then they have a big loophole. If yes will we then end up with me being able to loan my gun to my son but not my daughter in law? If I loan it to him can he then loan it her? Or maybe I can gift it to him and then he can loan it to her and then after a week he can gift it back to me. Or if all “transfers” require background checks will it make gun rentals impractical? Or how about letting your buddy (or a new shooter or student) take a few shots with your gun? Or loaning a gun to someone for the evening or a weekend with a suddenly active stalker and no FFL available to do the background check? Truly “universal background checks” will result in a chilling effect on the exercise of specific enumerated right. If there are enough exceptions to avoid clear infringement of the right then any claim of society benefit is delusional.

A “clear” ban on “military-style” weapons? I’m speculating the word “clear” was an acknowledgement of the difficulties with the Federal 1994 (and various states) “assault weapon” bans. But the issues aren’t resolved by demanding the ban be “clear”. Bayonet lugs, pistol grips, barrel shrouds, and detachable magazines restrictions were all minor stumbling blocks to people wishing to exercise their rights. We were still able to create, sell, and use firearms that gave anti-gun people the evil black rifle hysterics. And now we have the Heller decision which said firearms in common use are protected. Evil black rifles are now the most popular type of rifle in the entry country. So, good luck with your demands to violate that specific enumerated right.

“High capacity” magazines? The Heller decision said firearms in common use were protected so good luck with that as well.

I have no idea what they mean by “gun trafficking”. Firearm wholesalers? Retailers? Private sales? The Second Amendment would rendered meaningless if you couldn’t buy and sell the protected items.

But the item that pegged my naiveté and stupid detection meters was their call for a ban on “high-impact ammunition (i.e. ammunition more deadly than ordinarily used in hunting)”. The very purpose of hunting is to kill as quickly and humanly as possible. To that end hunting ammunition has been evolving for the last several centuries to make it the most deadly it can possibly be with the exception of delivering chemical, nuclear, or biological agents which kill more slowly than a lead projectile which expands upon impact. There is no commercially available ammunition more deadly than that ordinarily used in hunting.

So just what were they thinking here? I’m pretty sure thinking is outside of their domain of expertise so such a question should be rejected on the basis that it presumes facts not in evidence.