delivered straight to your doors, no questions asked

I realize I may be telling you something you already know, but I want to highlight this quote from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives:

Based on Section 921(a)(3), air guns, because they use compressed air and not an explosive to expel a projectile, do not constitute firearms under Federal law — unless they are manufactured with the frames or receivers of an actual firearm. Accordingly, the domestic sale and possession of air guns is normally unregulated under the Federal firearms laws enforced by ATF.

In other words, and barring any kind of state legislation that might say otherwise, an air rifle can be mailed straight to your door, no background checks required, no questions asked, no paperwork (aside from the actual invoice, of course) necessary.

Of course, when I say “air rifle”, the vast majority of people probably think something along the lines of this:

daisyairrifle

Well, allow me to reproduce a portion of an article that came with a recent catalog from Pyramid Air:

IMG_20141117_100947234In fact, a modern big bore air rifle that shoots a 500-grain .45-caliber bullet at half the muzzle velocity of a centerfire buffalo rifle will still shoot all the way through a 2000-lb. bison, sideways, exiting on the far side.  Unless vital organs are hit, that animal will not drop anytime soon.  But, hit the heart of a full-grown bison with a .45-caliber air rifle bullet, and it’s just as effective as the same bullet driven twice as fast from a .45/70.  Both bullets pass entirely through the animal and do major damage if they hit vital organs or large bones.

Stephan Boles (right) dropped this bison with a Quackenbush .458 Long Action.  His bullets passed entirely through this large animal.  This hunt was guided by Eric Henderson.  Photo provided by Eric Henderson.

The full story of the hunt is available here.

The Quackenbush .458 Long Action Outlaw Air Rifle can launch a 430 grain bullet at 732 feet-per-second at the barrel, translating to 509 foot-pounds of energy.  For comparison, the once-ubiquitous Springfield Model 1873 could launch a 405gr bullet at 1394ft/s with an energy of 1748ft-lbf; for a more-direct analog, the energy output of the Outlaw is equivalent to some hotter loadings for .45 ACP.

And lest you think this is a new development, the Girandoni air rifle was employed by the Lewis and Clark expedition in 1804 for hunting deer with its 20-round magazine and 30-round air tank.  Regardless, the Outlaw air rifle shoots exactly the same bullet as a .45-70 Trapdoor, and can achieve exactly the same end results.

And the Outlaw can be delivered straight to your door, no questions asked, no background checks executed.

So remind me how “universal” background checks are so necessary to ensure everyone’s safety?  When anyone can go out and purchase an air rifle that can, quite literally, longitudinally perforate a buffalo, do we really care who can buy a .22 bolt-action rifle?  To unironically quote our former Secretary of State, “What difference does it make?”  When you can literally build a functioning firearm out of a shovel and spare parts, or when you can go out and mail-order a device that can put a buffalo in the dirt, or when barely-skilled laborers can craft frankly-terrifying firearms out of spare bits of scrap metal in their huts with scant more than hand tools, are you so stupid as to really think having to undergo a pointless and blatantly unconstitutional background check is going to serve as a functional impediment to someone looking to procure a means of killing someone at a distance?

The simple fact is “universal” background checks simply will not work, even looking past alternative methods for procuring ranged weapons.  Firstly, criminals will continue to steal firearms, and a black market will continue to exist where those stolen / illegally procured firearms are sold and passed around.  Secondly, without a universal registry of firearms, there is absolutely no way to prove whether or not a firearm was transferred before the “universal” background check law was passed, and, as such, people will keep selling firearms privately regardless of the law.  Thirdly, both “universal” background checks and firearm registries will be met with massive civil disobedience, as they already are.

For heaven’s sake, states are not even bothering to prosecute background check failures as it is right now; how will adding more failures to the system make a difference?

If you do not know who owns what firearms (and you do not), if you cannot know who sold whom what firearm (and you cannot), and if you cannot stop people from selling each other firearms (and you still cannot), exactly what good are “universal” background checks?

Well that is an easy question to answer:

I594FlowChart

(Found at The View From North Idaho, originally crafted by OpenCarry.org.)

I admit that I have no bothered to wade through all 18 pages of I-594, but everything I have read from people better-versed in legalese than me who did leads me to believe that the above flow chart is more-or-less accurate.

As you can see, “universal” background checks like I-594 are plainly crafted to accomplish one thing, and one thing only – create more felons.  Criminals will simply look at that nightmarish graphic and go, “F*ck it, I’ll get my gun from Tommy down the street,” and that is it.  But if my wife were to go to the range with my parents and one were to hand the other a firearm… congratulations!  They both just committed a misdemeanor.  A couple of range trips like that, and, congratulations, they are both now felons.

All the while, criminals will steal their guns, or buy them on the black market, or, bizarrely enough, buy air rifles that are more than capable of killing a person if someone were to choose to do that.  And while criminals are continuing to prey on increasingly defenseless victims, as more and more otherwise law-abiding citizens fall victim to byzantine idiocy like the image above, anti-rights cultists will pat themselves on the back and proclaim a job well done.  After all, the “gun control” movement cannot remain relevant if firearm-related crime were to drop, and what better way to prevent that than make it functionally impossible to remain law-abiding?

I continue to oppose background checks, of any type, because they are morally and Constitutionally wrong, but the simple fact is the accomplish nothing at all (aside from making a few statists feel better about themselves for “doing something”), and anyone who tries to convince you they do is either lying or clueless themselves.

In any case, I-594 was the straw on my parents’ back – they are abandoning Washington state in the near-ish future, but given all the other idiotic laws that have been passed while they lived there (for example, the state laying claim to all rain water and banning rain barrels), I cannot blame them in the slightest.  And, hell, I do not hunt and have absolutely no plans of ever starting, but I kind of want one of those Quackenbush Outlaws myself… it would be a nice complement to the Trapdoor Carbine I already have.

it was going to happen eventually

Well, would you look at that – it would appear as though some enterprising young entrepreneurs scumbag burglars with an internet connection went and used The Journal News’ map of firearm owners to pick out their next target:

A White Plains residence pinpointed on a controversial handgun permit database was burglarized Saturday, and the burglars’ target was the homeowner’s gun safe.

At least two burglars broke into a home on Davis Avenue at 9:30 p.m. Saturday but were unsuccessful in an attempt to open the safe, which contained legally owned weapons, according to a law enforcement source. One suspect was taken into custody, the source said.

Why, no one could have predicted this could happen… absolutely no one.

*sigh* Assuming it does turn out that the criminals targeted that house specifically because they knew firearms would be present (and given the fact that they only attacked the gun safe, it would seem likely), and if we lived in a just world – and we do not – every single member of the editorial staff of The Journal News, along with its owners and publishers, should be up on charges for being accessories before the fact. But I am not going to hold my breath on that one.

There is precisely no good that has come or will come out of publishing the names of law-abiding firearm owners in any geographical area, but we now have a prime example of harm that can and has come from the same. Of course, that harm was always the point – in the past, bigots did not "out" Jews, homosexuals, Mormons, Catholics, Irish, gypsies, or any other persecuted, marginalized group in order to help their communities better understand and appreciate those groups. No, "outing" was always a tool of oppression, fear, and abuse, and this instance is no different than any of its historical analogues.

To anyone whose house was identified and conveniently mapped out by The Journal News, I would strongly recommend procuring a reliable, functional, monitored alarm system (we use Simplisafe; use "SAFENOW" as a checkout code for 5% off) and revisiting your home insurance to ensure everything is appropriately covered for its replacement value. I would likewise suggest banding together for the mother of all class-action lawsuits against The Journal News, but not being a lawyer I have no idea if your money would be well-spent in that pursuit.

I would ask when "gun control" extremists will stop using such underhanded, despicable tactics as outing firearm owners, but we both know the answer, and I guess it just goes to show how desperate they are getting.

why are gun control extremists so abusive?

[Note:  If excessive foul language, abusive mentalities, and borderline death threats are not your cup of tea, I would advise against reading through this post; I did not write any of that particular material, but I do believe it should be preserved for the future.]

Yesterday, I had the… misfortune… of interacting with the Twitter account @HockeyOpera, whose screen name is “Gloves Off!”, which apparently refers to “A Hockey Opera in Three Act is is a New Canadian Opera – A Tragic Opera with original story by composer and librettist Susan Hannah Rankin”, per the profile of the account.  The opera is based out of Wild Salmon Productions (which might be the best example of craptacular webdesign and graphic artistry I have ever seen) and apparently has been accepting auditions for the past two years without ever (?) reaching production. 

The account seems to be run by the aforementioned Susan Hannah Rankin, though I am not 100% convinced of that, and I only took notice of it when it started tweeting with the #guncontrol hashtag: 

image@thebiglambouski @mr_brugger http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoshihiro_Hattori ONLY MORONS CARRY GUNS #cpc unfit4 #cdnpoli #canpoli #gunregistry #guncontrol

@mr_brugger My 96 yr old mother doesnt need to hide behind a gun. Unlike YOU she has a BRAIN YOU are a COWARD. #gunregistry #guncontrol

As a reminder to those unfamiliar with Twitter, all of these quotes are from the @HockeyOpera account – the @name links in the quotes constitute the accounts to which that account was speaking.  Confusing, I know, but it does not really copy-paste any other way. 

In any case, I started retweeting some of the above material, prepending it with, “Typical #guncontrol #extremist hatred and intolerance. Sad, really.” and other similar statements; unsurprisingly, this appeared to have annoyed the mind behind @HockeyOpera, and then a group of us received this tweet: 

image@BigShoey @linoge_wotc @thebiglambouski @mr_brugger @drmattrawluk PLEASE go shoot yourself the world will rejoice. #cpc unfit4 #cdnpoli

Well, then, is that not the nicest thing in the world?  Why are “gun control” extremists such violent people?  And how can they honestly believe they are bitterly clinging to the moral high ground while simultaneously wishing death upon those who dare disagree with them?  And, seriously, who the hell “rejoices” in the deaths of innocent people who have committed no crime and done no wrong?  That takes a remarkably sick, warped mind indeed. 

image@DVCMAC I prefer u shoot urself before u shoot some innocent lost person cuz uR a PARANOID COWARD http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoshihiro_Hattori #cpc unfit4 #cdnpoli

More implied death threats.  More misspellings.  More lacking grammatical structure.  More warped “logic”. 

I am starting to wonder if the person behind this account is not playing with a full deck at this point, a belief which only became stronger after this particular string of tweets: 

image@bob_owens @linoge_wotc Yep you are a COWERING COWARD Glad you know it. Because everybody else does. #cpc unfit4 #cdnpoli

@lisakauai @DVCMAC http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoshihiro_HattoriCOWARDS COWER BEHIND GUNS Rest of us live nPeace& never have2 shoot anybody. #cpc unfit4 #cdnpoli

@bob_owens @linoge_wotc Yep:D & COWARDS COWER BEHIND GUNS the rest of us live in peace and enver have to shoot anybody #cpc unfit4 #cdnpoli

@Cz858Shooter @BigShoey @linoge_wotc @thebiglambouski @mr_brugger @drmattrawluk http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoshihiro_HattoriCOWARDS COWER BEHIND GUNS #cdnpoli

@bob_owens @linoge_wotc COWARDS COWER BEHIND GUNS the rest of us live in peace and NEVER have to shoot anybody. #cpc unfit4 #cdnpoli

@linoge_wotc @bob_owens COWARDS COWER BEHIND GUNS the rest of us live in peace and NEVER have to shoot anybody. #cpc unfit4 #cdnpoli

@Cz858Shooter @BigShoey @linoge_wotc @thebiglambouski @mr_brugger @drmattrawluk COWARDS COWER BEHIND GUNS #cpc unfit4 #cdnpoli

@lisakauai @DVCMAC COWARDS COWER BEHIND GUNS the rest of us live in peace without every having to shoot anybody #cpc unfit4 #cdnpoli

Hoookay then.  Proof by vigorous assertion, coupled with specious attacks against the characters and mentalities of those you are abusing and non-stop copy-pasting of the same disjointed nonsense.  I should have started backing away slowly, but the mine of priceless quotes was just beginning to be tapped. 

image@990twin I prefer some PARANOID COWARD shoot self and NOT some poor lost kid http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoshihiro_Hattori #gunregistry #cpc unfit4 #cdnpoli

Remember, by the above tweets, when @HockeyOpera says “paranoid coward”, she really means “any law-abiding citizen who has taken upon himself or herself the responsibility of personally protecting himself or herself and his/her family by lawfully bearing arms in a peaceful and responsible manner”.  In other words, again she wants innocent people to shoot themselves for daring to disagree with her. 

I am starting to detect a consistent pattern. 

image@bob_owens @linoge_wotc COWARDS COWER BEHIND GUNS the rest of us go through life without having to shoot people #cpc unfit4 #cdnpoli #roft

image@linoge_wotc @IanStumpf @bob_owens COWARDS COWER BEHIND GUNS Rest of us go thru life w/out ever having 2shoot anybody #cpc unfit4 #cdnpoli

I inquired if she included “military, police, and bodyguards” in that whole “cower behind guns” nonsense; unfortunately, she got somewhat distracted by “proving” – by way of a selection bias logical fallacy – that “all” veterans supported the Canadian long gun registry (which got shut down just a few days ago) because the veterans she knows do, so she never really answered that question. 

At this point, some of the folks in the audience were taking some small amounts of umbrage at the constant accusations of cowardice @HockeyOpera was abusively leveling at her current targets, and @IanStumpf offered to meet her in a ring and show her was “cowardice” looks like – not the best argumentative tactic, but it provoked a further decline in @HockeyOpera’s loose grip on reality: 

image@IanStumpf @linoge_wotc Sure, with one hand tied behind my back. #cpc unfit4 #cdnpoli COWARD SHIT SUCKER

I have not really heard swearing like that since my days of driving large metal boats around large salty oceans…  Which kind of makes me wonder about the second sentence in this one: 

image@R_ebecc_a @ianstumpf @bob_owens @linoge_wotc Youre a MORON. I am FEMALE. Now go play w/urself Cause nobody else will #cpc unfit4 #cdnpoli

So this one is hilarious from multiple angles…  First, despite the plethora of usernames in the quote, it was specifically to @R_ebecc_a… apparently @HockeyOpera never really got the hang of not mashing the “Reply All” button.  Don’t’cha hate people like that?  Second, it so closely verges on a Markley’s Law vindication, I dare say you might as well count it.  Third and finally, on account of her being married and not unattractive, I dare say @R_ebecc_a has no trouble finding at least one person to “play” with her. 

It is so cute when anti-rights cultists get angry – they just completely stop paying attention… 

I guess I, myself, should have paid more attention to @HockeyOpera’s Twitter stream archives, wherein I would have found this rather incomprehensible stream of profanities: 

image@wolframrose @mr_brugger GO BACK TO THE STATES AND DROP AMERICAN SHIT SUCKING ASSLICKING COCKSUCKER

In the end, @HockeyOpera, and, possibly, Susan Hannah Rankin, demonstrate a few consistent features of your average “gun control” extremist.  First, they have poor or entirely lacking impulse control – given any debate, the first side to resort to profanities and personal insults is typically that supporting “gun control”.  Second, they resort to those personal attacks at all, making the debate about the people involved, rather than the topic at hand – that is definitionally an ad hominem logical fallacy, and a trick straight out of Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals.  Third, they prioritize criminals’ lives over your lives, even when those criminals are in the midst of perpetrating their crimes, which dovetails nicely into the last point… 

Fourth, some “gun control” extremists want you dead.  Whether it is because you disagree with them, or because you exercise your Constitutionally-protected rights, or because you own firearms, or because of a host of other reasons, some people who support “gun control” genuinely and honestly want you dead.  Some of those folks are willing to express that desire in a recordable and public format, but I am fairly certain that for every one of them who speaks up, there is probably at least one who does not.  And yet people claim we are “paranoid” for wanting to have useful tools to keep ourselves and our families safe, in the face of criminals who do wish to harm us, and people who aid and abet criminals also wishing to harm us. 

It is not paranoid to acknowledge that people really do want to hurt you, and the reality is anti-rights cultists really do want you dead for your beliefs.  Sick. 

[Update]

In response to this tweet by @Gray_Area

image@linoge_wotc @HockeyOpera Great post, Linoge! I’m forwarding to all gun buddy’s in Ms. Ranking’s neck of the woods! #guncontrol #gunregistry

… @HockeyOpera, now almost certainly a product of Susan Hannah Rankin’s warped and twisted mind, replied: 

image@Gray_Area @linoge_wotc R u trying to threaten me?GOSHOOT URSELF PLEASE do planet earth a BIG favor SHOOT yourself #guncontrol #gunregistry

And then, when informed that some of the players in the conversation were not Canadians (you would think the whole “Knoxville, TN” location in my profile would give that secret away), @HockeyOpera wrote the following: 

image@linoge_wotc @Gray_Area AMERICANS INTERFERRING IN CANADIAN POLITICS deserve to be JAILED and SHOT as spies. #cpc unfit4 #cdnpoli #guncontrol

I think what we are witnessing now is the Canadian equivalent of Joan Peterson’s process failure, only with a few more metric tons of violence and hatred.  Quite interesting to observe, and, yes, the appropriate authorities have been informed. 

[/Update]

ngvac set gun control up the bomb

I have to admit – I really, really love it when our opponents stab themselves in the back. It is no great surprise that the Germans had a word for that concept, but no matter how you cut it, watching anti-rights cultists destroy their own arguments with wanton disregard for the damage they are causing is hilarious indeed.

Speaking of, one of the few advantages of keeping at least half an eye on Twitter is that you occasionally find out about things before they hit the bigtime – for instance, when I read about some new "gun control" extremist organization called the "National Gun Victims Action Council" and how they were planning on boycotting Starbucks (yeah, because that has never failed before), I recalled seeing their Twitter account spouting a few stupid things before. At the time, their tweets were so remarkably inane that I figured they were yet another upstart, astroturf anti-rights organization offshooting from one of the parent organizations and scrabbling to gain traction in their dying community, and, as it turns out, I was not terribly far off-base.

ngvacboardbradyJust take a look at their board of directors, screencaptured to the right so you do not have to give them any traffic (arrows added for clarity). Who are these people? Well, they provide nice, complete bios on each one of them, but here are the important takeaways:

Elliot Fineman – "Senior member of the Brady Pac-Illinois". (He is also a "behavioral-science-based proactive marketing" professional, which explains why the site reads like one huge propaganda machine.)
Andrew Goddard – "President of the Richmond Chapter of the Million Mom March". (As a reminder, the Million Mom March is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Brady Campaign.)
Lori O’Neil – "Served as president of the Cleveland chapter of MMM for two years and as vice president for two years". (Yet another marketing professional, to boot.)
Kenny Barnes – Has generated press releases with the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. (As a reminder, the CSGV is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Joyce Foundation, which accounts for most of the anti-rights funding in the country.)
Jeanne Bishop – "Volunteers with the Brady Campaign through its Million Mom March chapters as well as with the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence".
Griffin Dix – "Chairman of the Brady Campaign’s Million Mom March National State Presidents Council and the chapter-elected member of the Brady Campaign Board of Trustees".
Bill JenkinsBill and his wife, Jennifer, frequently represent the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence at debates, panels, and other public meetings.
Thom Mannard – "President of States United to Prevent Gun Violence" and "founding member of the Brady PAC- Illinois". (As a reminder, SUPGV is another wholly-owned subsidiary of the Joyce Foundation.)
Alice Thomas-Norris – "President of the Million Moms March Chicago Chapter of Survivors".
Tom Vanden Berk – "One of the founding members of The Bell Campaign, which eventually became known as the Million Mom March" and "board member of the Brady Campaign/Million Mom March".
Amanda and Nick Wilcox – "Serving as the Legislative Co-Chairs of the California Chapters of the Brady Campaign and interim leaders of the Sacramento Valley Chapter" and "President of the Nevada County Brady Campaign Chapter".
Willie WilliamsFrequently works with the Brady Campaign to further "gun control" agendas.
Heidi Yewman – "Washington state president of the Million Mom March/Brady Campaign".

Notice a pattern? Well, apart from not a single one of them being an actual, first-hand victim of "gun violence" (which I find particularly interesting, given Collin Goddard’s willingness to jump on any "gun control" grenade out there), the overwhelming majority of the board has not-insignificant ties to almost every other major and minor anti-rights organization in the country.

In and of itself, this is hardly surprising, given how incestuous anti-rights organizations are these days (and with their decreasing memberships and support, can you hardly blame them?), but this overlap of members is not the backstabbing to which I was referring.

ngvactakeyourgunsawayInstead, I would direct your attention to the screencapture to the left. Verily, that thing could provide me blogfodder for… well… years*, but I want you to ignore the rest of the material (that I only screencaptured as proof that this did, indeed, come from NGVAC’s webpage) and instead focus on the highlighted-in-pinky-purple block.

So far as I can tell (the Board may be comprised of marketers and anthropologists and other high-brow pseudo-"intellectuals", but damned if they can create a webpage that communicates their ideas clearly and efficiently), the format of this section is:

#. Our Buzzword-Laden Name for One of the NRA’s Supposed ‘Main Tactics’
What they are doing.
• Our counterpoint.

While that is just a guess, it is substantiated by the pattern in item number 6. Now, pay attention to item number 7:

7. Simplistic Sound Bite Logic
Law abiding citizens are always going to be law abiding.
Fact: Every criminal was once law abiding citizen.

The government secretly wants to take your guns away:
Any sane gun law will lead to the government being able to take your guns away.

The only… *ahem*… "sane" response to the first italicized sentence is, "Duh." Every adult was once a child, every rapist was once "just a man", and every prostitute was once "just a woman". What was your point again? Oh, right, obviously the solution is to lock everyone up! (Which, given NGVAC’s love affair with once-Great-Britain and the developing police state there, may not be as sarcastic as I might like it to be.)

But the second italicized line… well, that is the money quote, so to speak. "Any sane gun law will lead to the government being able to take your guns away." The NGVAC seems big on "sane gun laws", with the phrase, along with "insane gun laws" (referring, of course, to anything the big, bad NRA proposes), occurring somewhere around once every two sentences on their webpage – can you say, "SEO-whoring"? I knew you could. But Google-bombing or not, that single sentence, right there, is a seven-inch, ivory-handled KA-BAR shoved between the third and fourth ribs of the dorsal side of "gun control".

Why? Simple: one of the favorite talking points of "gun control" extremists – especially when someone accurately observes that registration leads to confiscation – is that no modern "gun control" organization wants to take your guns away.

ORLY?

Well, then, thank you Elliot and thank you Andrew and thank you to the rest of the National Gun Victims Action Council for providing us such an easy counterpoint to that claim – after all, why would people so viciously obsessed with firearms and the demonization of them want the government to have the ability to take our firearms away if they did not actually want the government to do exactly that?

And look at the phrasing of the sentence – note how they simply say "take your guns"; not "take criminals’ guns", not "take convicted persons’ guns", not "take some people’s guns". Nope, take your guns – as in every single firearm-owning person who happened upon their webpage and happened to read that sentence. Nevermind the "why" of the situation (especially because it boils down to nothing more complicated than their deep-seated, pathological, uncontrollable fear of an inanimate object) – these people want to empower the government to whimsically and capriciously confiscate your private property… ironically, at the point of a gun.

We have committed no crimes. We have no convictions levied against us. We might not even know what the inside of a jail or courtroom looks like (I certainly do not). And yet these deluded, frothing-at-the-mouth blood-dancers sound like they are on a mission from God to disarm everyone and anyone, regardless of whether they want to be or not.

Is it any wonder why we fight them on every front? Is it any wonder why we "get angry"? Is it any wonder why I refer to them, and people like them, as ‘cultists’?

And remember, these are not just wierdos off the street or some fringe organization just spouting off nonsense; no, this organization is comprised of honest-to-God movers-and-shakers the lead "gun control" organization in the country (not as though that is saying a lot). Do you really think these bigoted, narrow-minded, and zealous views do not percolate down through their daily dealings in the Brady Campaign, SUPGV, or CSGV as well?

So thank you again, boys and girls of the National Gun Victims Action Council – your words will prove to be invaluable in showing the "gun control" movement for the authoritarian, intolerant, illogical, and irrational disaster it really is. I wonder if you comprehend that yet?

(* – Just look at the last two sentences of the first section. The first is a lie, confuses the causalities of market pressures, and implicitly spreads other lies that simply are not true. The second is a non sequitur; it does not follow logically from the first – simply due to the fact that respecting individual rights, especially that of self defense, is intrinsically sane – so there cannot be any "as a result". And this is without even touching on the fallacy of comparing once-Great-Britain’s crime rates to America’s, or the fallacy of maliciously narrowing the playing field to only the fabricated statistic of "gun murders", or the fallacy of "common sense"… er… "sanity". Oy.)

(Note: As always, family members of those killed by criminals, regardless of the tool employed by the criminal have my condolences. However, being related to someone who was killed in a criminal action, or even being someone a criminal attacked yourself, does not make you above reproach, it does not make you automatically right, and it does not give you the right to go about wantonly attacking other people’s rights. Your grief/outrage/anger/etc. is an insufficient reason to infringe on my right to self-defense, much less my Constitutionally-protected, unanimously-recognized-by-the-Supreme-Court individual right to own firearms.)

mythbusting in the real world

One of the favorite myths of "gun control" extremists is that firearms – and specifically handguns – have no use other than killing people. Obviously, this is not true – an object’s use is entirely dependent upon the intent of the user (and intent is non-transferable ), not the narrow-minded edict of ignorant fools – but not matter how many times the inconsistency is pointed out, those who blame the object rather than the wielder refuse to listen to logic.

I wonder how they are coping with this news report:

Former police officer Chris Willden didn’t hesitate when he realized children were trapped in an upside down car in an icy Utah river. He pulled his handgun, pushed it up against the submerged windows and shot out the glass.

[…]

Highway Patrol Lt. Steve Winward said that after shooting out a window, Willden cut a seatbelt to free one child.

He said the rescuers then helped turn the Honda Accord upright in the Logan River, and lifted it enough to free all three trapped children.

Through a combination of bad conditions and the driver losing control, a car ended up upside down in a freezing-cold river in Utah. At that point, the doors were basically impossible to open due to pressure differentials (Mr. Willden attempted and failed), and since the car was shiny-side-down, attempting to break the glass through "normal" means from the outside (a rock, a carbide-tipped breaker, etc.) was going to be likewise pretty damned impossible. So what if those other eight bystanders had not arrived in time, or at all? Only two of the vehicle’s occupants had escaped injury and found air pockets to breathe – one of the children in the car was still strapped into his car seat, upside down, in the water, with another "floating lifelessly" in the passenger compartment. How much longer do you think they could have lasted?

In the world the anti-rights cultists want to force on us, Chris likely would not have been able to force his way into the vehicle, and probably would have been right about seeing some dead kids that day.

Is this instance, in and of itself, a compelling reason to permit law-abiding citizens to legally bear arms? Of course not; the only reason you need to do that is contained within the question itself (specifically, that the citizens are law-abiding). Is this a defensive gun use? No, not really, given that there was not a predatory threat currently being leveled at the occupants of the vehicle. This incident does, however, wonderfully highlight the life-saving capabilities of tools, such as, specifically, firearms, in the hands of those who are willing to use them and imaginative enough to think outside of arbitrary boxes (such as those imposed by "gun control").

Which is not all that hard, really.

As a famous librarian once said, "Carry your gun – it’s a lighter burden than regret," and, thankfully, Mr. Willden will never have to regret not being able to save those three children he pulled out of the river over the weekend.

(Courtesy of Better Half.) 

a lawsuit hardly cuts it

Regular readers will recall the series of posts I wrote concerning the killing of Jose Guerena by the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, as well as my contentions that:

The Pima County Sheriff’s Department created this situation when they reached and stretched for every piece of unrelated information they could possibly find to manufacture something approximating "probable cause". The Pima County Sheriff’s Department created this situation when they decided to stage a full-force invasion of his home, rather than simply arrest him at the job they knew he worked. The Pima County Sheriff’s Department created this situation when they sent a full, tac’d-out SWAT team to execute a simple arrest warrant, rather than simply send a few squad cars and uniformed officers. The Pima County Sheriff’s Department created this situation when their SWAT team skulked around the exterior of a Marine’s home, and especially one that had lost family members to home-invaders. The Pima County Sheriff’s Department created this situation when, through their gross negligence and incompetence, they inadequately and insufficiently identified themselves before bursting through the Guerenas’ door (a "police siren" that strangely sounds like 90% of car alarms out there, and "yelling" "Police!" barely loud enough to be heard on their own helmet cams?).

You may likewise remember my doom-and-gloom prognostication that:

I guess our country had a good run, but welcome to the police state. When an apparently law-abiding citizen and veteran can be gunned down in his own home for owning legal property and being unfortunately related to a family of allegedly law-breaking pikers, this "America" experiment of ours is well and truly over.

Even if you do not remember all of that, however, you should pay attention to this:

Jose Guerena, a 26-year-old Marine and Iraq war veteran, was killed May 5 when a SWAT team broke into his home a little after 9:30 a.m. According to Guerena’s wife, Vanessa (who was home at he time, along with their 4-year-old son), Guerena thought the police were home invaders. He ushered his family into a closet, then grabbed a rifle. When the police battered down the door, they saw Guerena and his rifle, and opened fire. The SWAT team released 70 rounds. Guerena didn’t fire a shot; the safety of his rifle was still on.

Last week, Arizona attorney Chris Scileppi filed notice of a $20 million lawsuit against Pima County, Ariz., on behalf of Guerena’s family.

No, unfortunately, this court case does not include criminal charges being brought against everyone from Sheriff Dupnik on down for the illegitimate and unnecessary murder of Jose Guerena, but we would do well to watch how it proceeds. Even looking past the manufactured justification and convenient "discoveries" that have cast a massive shadow of doubt over this entire case, perhaps the most damning observation comes from the above-linked article:

Three months have now passed, and police in Pima County have yet to make a single arrest related to the home invasions investigation. If Alejandro Guerena or any of his relatives or associates — including Jose Guerena — were so dangerous that they required the use of paramilitary police tactics — and police found illegal weapons, drugs, and cash indicative of a criminal operation — it’s difficult to comprehend why the alleged dangerous criminals are still at large.

[…]

Even Storie concedes the police didn’t have enough evidence against Guerena — and didn’t find evidence in his home during the raid — to charge him with a crime. The question remains as to why the Pima County Sheriff’s Department found it necessary to send a SWAT team to serve its search warrant for the Guerena residence in the first place.

The PCSD did not have any substantial evidence against Guerena. The PCSD found no substantial evidence against Guerena after searching his home, apart from a supposedly-stolen firearm (and Guerena may have been unaware of its criminal-related history). And since their shooting of Guerena, the PCSD has made no further arrests or charges related to the investigation they shot him over.

I am going to belabor one point, because it deserves belaboring – if the PCSD genuinely believed that Jose Guerena was the kind of person they have incessantly been trying to paint him as (an inactive Marine who used his military training to become the "heavy" of a well-armed, violent home-invasion squad), then why on Gods Green And Fluffy Earth did they perform a full-up, "tactical" raid on his house when he was known to be home and probably armed? Did they want to get into an all-out gun battle, in a crowded neighborhood, with a wife and child in the house they were assaulting? On the other hand, if they knew Jose was not the criminal thug they are making him out to be, why the massive SWAT raid to execute a simple search warrant?

This whole chain of events simply does not make sense. One starts to wonder whose pockets Sheriff Dupnik is in, and how the Guerenas pissed that person off…

Regardless, this will be a case to watch – if the Guerenas emerge from this lawsuit successful, I may yet be proven wrong about the American experiment. If, however, the Pima County authorities hide behind "qualified immunity" and makes this lawsuit simply disappear… well, I will not claim that proves me right, but it certainly substantiates my argument.

(Courtesy of Curses! Foiled Again!.)

the collapse will not be aired

By and large, I do not go to political speeches, rallies, or events… I generally read faster than most people talk, so I tend to get bored, and the honest reality is that I hate having to listen to people tell other people that they are going to to do something when they have next to no actual interest in actually doing it. I guess I am old-fashioned like that.

In the end, though, it is probably just as well I do not waste my time at those public celebrations of prevarication, just to minimize the chances of something like this happening to me:

Representative Steven Chabot, if you did actually instruct those police officers to take cameras away from law-abiding citizens in attendance to your little speech, you have egregiously violated your oath of office, broken your word to your constituents, and failed in your duties as a duly-elected representative of the people, and should be held to the appropriate consequences for those actions, up to and including ejection from office.

And to the police officer who unlawfully confiscated people’s phones and video cameras, you should be brought up on charges of armed robbery and assault at the least, and administrative proceedings should be commenced to drum you out of your respective police force. Yes, this halfwitted Representative may have “ordered” you to confiscate private citizens’ property, but that does not give you the right to do so, and you bloody well should have known better… or do they not teach the Constitution in Police Academy any more?

This was a blatant trampling of those people’s First Amendment-protected rights, and should be regarded – and handled – as such.

But it will not be. They almost never are. Representative Chabot will continue going around like he is better than his constituents, and people will continue tolerating having their rights squashed before their very eyes because they are too afraid of saying “No”… because we all know where that ends up.

However, I say “almost” for a reason – it would appear as though the First Circuit Court of Appeals, surprisingly enough based in Boston, has the faintest of understandings on how our country was supposed to work:

The First Amendment issue here is, as the parties frame it, fairly narrow: is there a constitutionally protected right to videotape police carrying out their duties in public? Basic First Amendment principles, along with case law from this and other circuits, answer that question unambiguously in the affirmative. It is firmly established that the First Amendment’s aegis extends further than the text’s proscription on laws “abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press,” and encompasses a range of conduct related to the gathering and dissemination of information. As the Supreme Court has observed, “the First Amendment goes beyond protection of the press and the self-expression of individuals to prohibit government from limiting the stock of information from which members of the public may draw.” …

Granted, in this particular case, we are talking about police officers, and I sincerely doubt that Representative Chabot would consider himself “equal” to a police officer, but it is a step in the right direction.

Unfortunately, it is also a step we never should have had to take. I wonder what our Founding Fathers would think of our having to constantly stand up and point out that the Constitution really does mean what it says…

(Courtesy of The Breda Fallacy, No Silence Here, and A Geek With Guns.)