the slippery slope of gun control

I would like to take a moment today to extend my sincere thanks to the legislatures of both New York State and Connecticut for proving, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that "gun control" is, in truth and fact, a slippery slope.

Anti-rights cultists come absolutely unhinged every time you mention the possibility of "gun control" itself being a slippery slope, and tend to immediately decry such mutterings as prima facie logical fallacies; it is true that the slippery slope can be a logical fallacy, but when you are seeing those trees whipping by your head, reality has to step in. Unfortunately, that reality is the slippery slope has been greased since at least 1934 and we pro-rights activists have been steadily losing ground in the name of "compromise" since at least then, if not beforehand.

The "gun control" extremists have always wanted more, more, more… First it was the National Firearms Act, then it was the Gun Control Act of 1968, then it was the Lautenberg Amendment, then the Brady Law, then the Assault Weapon Ban, then… then… then… Oh, we pro-rights activists have certainly made headway in the past few years, but even with all of the thousands of firearm-related laws on the books, there are still useful idiots clamoring for more! More! More!

Slippery slopes stop being fallacies when you can point to the obvious pattern.

Which brings us up to the modern examples. The state of New York already had an assault weapon ban – any rifle that could accept removable magazines and had two "military" features was prohibited. New York already had a "high-capacity" magazine ban, where "high-capacity" was arbitrarily and capriciously defined as "more than 10 rounds". New York already required all firearm dealers and gun shows to perform background checks on all firearm transactions. New York already had licensing requirements to own firearms.

In other words, New York already had a large number of the "common sense", "reasonable" "gun control" measures most anti-rights cultists out there want. They should be happy with that, right?

Wrong. Consider S2230-2013: Licensure, suspension and revocation of firearm licenses, which just passed the New York Senate [update] and was just signed by Governor Cuomo into law [/update]. It is a long read, but the low points are:

  • The two-feature aspect of the NY assault weapon ban is tossed and replaced with a one-feature test.
  • A ban on all new semi-automatic rifles that can accept a removable magazine and have at least one of: a folding or telescoping stock, a pistol grip, a thumbhole stock, a second handgrip, a bayonet mount, a flash suppressor / muzzle brake (they spelled it "break" in the legislation, amusingly enough) / muzzle compensator / threaded barrel, grenade launcher.
  • A ban on all new semi-automatic shotguns that has at least one of: a folding or telescoping stock, a thumbhole stock, a second hand grip, a fixed magazine in excess of seven rounds, an ability to accept detachable magazines.
  • All such existing "assault weapons" must be registered with the state within one year of the effective date, and registration is subject to "a review of disqualifiers by the State Police."
  • If they are not registered, possession of such "assault weapons" is a crime.
  • All such existing "assault weapons" may only be sold to dealers or out-of-state.
  • All magazines that can hold more than 7 rounds are banned.
  • This ban includes previously-"grandfathered" magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds.
  • Magazines that can hold more than 7 but not more than 10 rounds are "grandfathered", but may only hold 7 rounds.
  • All ammunition sales must be processed through firearm dealers.
  • All ammunition sales must include an NCIS check on the purchaser.
  • All ammunition sales must be recorded and logged.
  • All firearm ownership permits must be renewed every five years (some counties had permits that never expired).
  • All private sales of firearms must be executed through a firearm dealer.

And, like I said, those are just the low points.

So, let us see here… it is still possible to own an AR-15 in the Empire State, but it would have to have an unthreaded bull barrel, some kind of non-pistol-grip grip, and a fixed stock, and you can only feed it 7 rounds or less. Amusingly, though, an M1A without any kind of muzzle attachment would be 100% legal, despite throwing a larger bullet farther and with more energy; but that is about the only funny thing to be found.

At least 75% of modern semi-automatic handguns are functionally banned. What is that? They only banned handguns with certain features? Well, that is great… except they also banned all new magazines over 7 rounds of capacity, which means your Glock or XD or S&W is only useful for as long as its magazines last – the only <10 round magazines I am aware of are for single-stack firearms that already do not have capacities in excess of 10 rounds. Oh, I am (fairly) sure that enterprising companies will step in and start producing 7-round double-stack magazines for common firearm platforms, but let us consider something for a moment.

At some point in the past (hell if I know when), New York had no limitation on the size of a firearm’s magazine. Then, on 13SEP94, New York banned the sale of any new magazines that could hold in excess of ten rounds; however, old ones were grandfathered in.

Now New York is arbitrarily banning all of those pre-’94 magazines, even the ones previously grandfathered, but graciously telling you those greater-than-seven-but-less-than-11 round magazines of yours are grandfathered under the new law? Yeah, and how long will that "grandfathering" last until it, too, is arbitrarily legislated out of existence?

And this is all without even touching on the fact that registration has invariably preceded confiscation, even here in the United States.

Oh, you think I am sliding back into the realm of a logical fallacy again? I guess two data points are insufficient for you to be happy, huh? Well, recall that I mentioned Connecticut in the opening line of this post. The ironically-named Constitution State has an assault weapon ban (No, really. I have to wonder how the mother of the Sandy Hook murderer owned hers.), but does not have a "high capacity" magazine ban; they attempted to pass one in 2011, but it got nowhere.

Apparently State Senator Edward Meyer is unhappy with this situation, given 2013 SB 00122 he proposed:

That the general statutes be amended to establish a class C felony offense, except for certain military and law enforcement personnel and certain gun clubs, for (1) any person or organization to purchase, sell, donate, transport, possess or use any gun except one made to fire a single round, (2) any person to fire a gun containing more than a single round, (3) any person or organization to receive from another state, territory or country a gun made to fire multiple rounds, or (4) any person or organization to purchase, sell, donate or possess a magazine or clip capable of holding more than one round.

Read through that again. It makes it a crime for you, as an average citizen, to own a firearm, of any type, if it can fire more than one round or a magazine if it can hold more than one round. Every semi-automatic firearm of any type, every revolver, and almost every rifle, pistol, and shotgun would be banned by this legislation; no grandfathering, no registration, just outright banned. Granted, this is just a bill at the moment and has a long way to go before becoming a law, but still.

Hell. With. That.

Hell with State Senator Meyer, hell with New York, and hell with any other politician who would propose any other similar legislation.

That little pleasantry dispensed with, however, this is why the "slippery slope" has been, and continues to be, a valid concern when applied to "gun control"; those who would unjustly deprive us of our rights and property are never happy until they are entirely successful, and they will keep chipping away, using different tactics – all in the name of "compromise", mind you – until we are left with nothing at all. First it is 10-round magazines… then seven… then five… then why do you need magazines at all? Then one shot rifles. Then why do you need guns at all?

"Gun control" is and always has been a slippery slope, precisely because those who advocate it want control… not over guns, mind you, but over you.

why we win

CSGVBloodDancingIt really boils down to a difference in perceptions.

On the one hand, "gun control" fetishists gleefully dance in the blood of victims and exploit the murder of innocents to further their own, personal, unjust, totalitarian, anti-Constitutional dreams, as documented in the image to the right. (Highlights added to really bring out the crazy in those cultists’ eyes.)

On the other hand, we quite cheerfully and respectfully celebrate the lawful, peaceful defense of civil rights and the restoration of the same to an entire state of people for whom certain aspects of the United States Constitution might as well have never existed.

Now, tell me – to an outside observer, which group of people would appear to be the more rational, reasonable, well-adjusted, and positive? And which would be perceived as being destructive, irresponsible, and negative? Hm.

In other news, I am very thankful I am not the only person who considered the Portland, OR mall shooting yesterday to be remarkably… coincidental… what with it happening on the same day as the decision in Moore v. Madigan being passed down. Obviously I am not hypothesizing that "gun control" extremists keep spree shooters locked in a big pen until they are needed, and then release them into the wild to distract/detract from pro-rights victories; that would require more coordination and intelligence than those organizations are capable of. But I do think the media sees incidents like these transpire on the same day as something major like that court case, and think, "Oh, hey, this would make a great counterpoint; let’s blow this out of proportion!"

After all, more people were murdered in Chicago on the 30th than were murdered in the Clackamas Town Center on the 11th, but the former is the "gun control" capitol of the country, and we would not want to highlight the fact that such policies demonstrably do not work, now, would we?

(And for a dose of humor, that Michael Barkley character at the bottom, whinging about not being supported by his anti-rights cultist ilk? We have discussed him before, and apparently even his fellow fetishists think he is too far out in the weeds to really care about – he admits to coming in "a distant fourth" in his district. Poor baby.)

nothing changes

Image(25)

Think about your day. You have almost countless opportunities to murder tens, hundreds, and possibly even thousands of people every single waking day. And yet you do not.

Why?

Because, by and large, you are a mature, responsible, reasonable, rational, "civilized" human being who is cognizant of the consequences of his actions and the social contracts that bind us together.

So why do "gun control" extremists seem to believe you will suddenly, radically, magically, and murderously change simply because you happen to have a firearm strapped to your hip?

Because "rational arguments" have never been the strong suits of people who are accurately described as "cultists" or "fundamentalists". 

(Comic borrowed from Abstruse Goose, discovered by way of Schneier on Security.)

the best they have to offer

The scumbag murderer solely responsible for the Aurora, Colorado theater shootings and murderers started his rampage somewhere around 0100 on 20JUL12.

Some time before 1930 on 26JUL12, Senators Chuck Schumer, Frank Lautenberg, Barbara Boxer, Jack Reed, Bob Menendez, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Dianne Feinstein decided it would be a great idea to punish all Americans for the actions of one murderous whackjob:

Democratic senators have offered an amendment to the cybersecurity bill that would limit the purchase of high capacity gun magazines for some consumers.

Shortly after the Cybersecurity Act gained Senate approval to proceed to filing proposed amendments and a vote next week, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), a sponsor of the gun control amendment, came to the floor to defend the idea of implementing some “reasonable” gun control measures.

[…] S.A. 2575 would make it illegal to transfer or possess large capacity feeding devices such as gun magazines, belts, feed stripes and drums of more than 10 rounds of ammunition with the exception of .22 caliber rim fire ammunition.

Honestly, it took them a bit longer than I was expecting – you and I both know bottom-feeders like Chucky have drafts of these kinds of bills just sitting in their My Documents folders, waiting for the right tragedy to exploit.

So let us take this from the top… First, why does Chucky think barring American citizens from lawfully purchasing magazines of a certain size or larger has anything to do with “cybersecurity”? Oh. Right. It does not. But Chucky and the rest of his merry band of blood-dancers know there is no way in hell of their idiotic little amendment making it through the Senate, much less the House, on its own merits, so they know they have to attach it, like the leech it is, to a bill that probably will get approved. I mean, who wants to vote against cybersecurity?

It rather speaks to how far the “gun control” movement has fallen in the past two decades. In 1994, the misnamed “Assault Weapon” Ban passed the House by a voice vote and passed the Senate 95-4. In 2004, it was not renewed despite “gun control” extremists shrieking about how “gun violence” would spiral out of control if the bill was not resurrected (note: it did nothing of the sort). And now, in 2012, the petty totalitarians in Congress acknowledge the futility of the gesture and do not even bother to try to put their “gun control” wet dreams up for vote as an actual bill, and instead limpet-mine it to an already existing and fairly popular bill.

From “voice vote” to “irrelevant” in 18 short years; must suck to be them.

Second, dispense with this “reasonable” crap; it is a misappropriation of the English language, and a standing United States Senator should know better than to sink to that level. It is not “reasonable” to punish millions of American citizens simply because one jackass finally came unhinged; it is not “reasonable” to blame objects rather than the jackass in question; it is not “reasonable” to think that if the jackass in question only had access to 10-round magazines (and, given the number of normal-capacity magazines out there, he could easily shop the black market) that less people would have been shot; it is not “reasonable” to think that “10 rounds” is the magic number, and not 11, or not 9.

Hell, regarding that second-to-last point, the murderer’s 100-round drum magazine jammed, which might just have saved a few people’s lives right there. Why do you want to make it easier for deranged mass murderers to kill more people, Chucky?

Third, that “illegal to… possess” line is not exactly correct, per the text of the bill:

“(v)(1)(A)(i) Except as provided in clause (ii), it shall be unlawful for a person to transfer or possess a large capacity ammunition feeding device.

“(ii) Clause (i) shall not apply to the possession of a large capacity ammunition feeding device otherwise lawfully possessed within the United States on or before the date of the enactment of this subsection.

[…]

(d) Identification Markings.–Section 923(i) of such title is amended by adding at the end the following: “A large capacity ammunition feeding device manufactured after the date of the enactment of this sentence shall be identified by a serial number that clearly shows that the device was manufactured after such date of enactment, and such other identification as the Attorney General may by regulation prescribe.”.

It is, however, worth noting that this ban would not target exclusively “assault weapons”; in fact, something like this would be expressly illegal should this amendment and the bill it is attached to get approved. After all, it is an “attached tubular device” that does not only work with .22 caliber rimfire ammunition and is capable of handling more than 10 rounds at a time. So, yeah, apparently lever-action, wood-furnitured rifles originally designed in 1892 are now ban-worthy items. Go figure. (Also, want.)

Fourth, this quote evinced a hearty laugh from me:

Schumer suggested that both the left and right find common ground.

“Maybe we could come together on guns if each side gave some,” Schumer said.

Screw you mate; we have “given some”, and we are in the “common ground”.

Consider the two extremes. On the one hand, you have pro-rights activists like me, who honestly do believe you should be able to walk into your neighborhood Wal-Mart and walk out ten minutes later with a fully-automatic M4 and a crate of ammunition, with the only thing changing hands between you and the cashier being cash. On the other hand, we have anti-rights cultists who are firmly convinced that no non-LEO, non-military citizen should be permitted to have so much as a single-shot shotgun in their homes. We have already given some. We have given some for damned near a century now. Your turn.

See here for another take on the same concept.

Finally, you do not get to tell us, as law-abiding, responsible, mature American citizens, what we do or do not “need”:

He also said average Americans don’t need an assault weapon to go hunting or protect themselves.

Especially since you would be dead wrong.

Look, Chuck, I get it – you do not like guns, and especially you do not like guns that carry lots of rounds. And that is fine; you are more than welcome to like or not like whatever you want. In fact, that is the whole point of America – that you get to not like the things you do not like, and I get to like the things I do. But if you do not like guns so much, simply do not buy guns, do not be around them, and do not associate with folks who do either. It really is that simple. The very second, however, you start using your own personal, baseless preferences and predilections to unjustly limit the rights and actions of other people, though? In that very action, you are violating the implicit and explicit social contract of America, and undermining damned near everything this country stands for. This blatant violation of your oath as a Senator is only further compounded by your irrational, idiotic belief that all people should be punished for the actions of the few… or, in this case, the one.

Hell with that, and hell with you. In fact, I might just make that magazine-and-ammunition order I had been contemplating, in your specific honor, Chucky. Why? Because f*ck you. I would suggest everyone else do the same, but I shudder to think of what magazine prices are doing right now.

And while, unlike Chucky here, I am not one to tell people what to do any more, I would strongly suggest you get in touch with your duly-elected representatives and remind them that their continued employment by the United States Government would be very dubious indeed should they decide to support this amendment and the eventual bill if it gets successfully attached. They serve at our pleasure, and I would not be pleased to see my rep supporting something like this.

the starbucks buycott

I do not drink coffee, but I appreciate companies that respect our individual rights to self-defense and self-preservation, and I further enjoy reminding anti-rights cultists how increasingly irrelevant they are making themselves; thankfully, Starbucks sells some stuff other than coffee:

starbucksbuycott

The barista manning our local Starbucks seemed completely unfazed by my People of the Gun ballcap, and she commented to the customer before me (an apparent regular) that the day had been busier than normal.  So much for the boycott… not as though we expected the <200 people signed up for it to make that big of an impact on a multi-million-dollar-a-day corporation. 

One important thing in this entire "buycott", however, is to remain honest: Starbucks does not "support" open carry. That talking point is a rather pernicious lie started by the "gun control" extremists and unfortunately perpetuated by my fellow pro-rights advocates, but the truth is that Starbucks has no official position on open carry or "gun control" in general. Instead, Starbucks has made it abundantly clear, through every official communication I have seen from them on the topic, that they simply choose to abide by whatever the state laws are wherever their stores and branches are located – if concealed carry is permitted by the state, they allow it; if open carry is permitted by the state, they allow it; if nothing is permitted by the state, they make no objection.

In truth, I see this as the most reasonable position for any corporations or companies with public stores/branches/offices/etc. – Starbucks is not intentionally limiting their customer base by either prohibiting those people who chose to exercise their Constitutionally-protected right to keep and bear arms, but neither are they scaring off the hoplophobes by putting up a "Lawful Carry Allowed Here" sign or its equivalent. After all, a business’ purpose is to separate people from their money, and telling people they are not welcome at your business is a lousy way to get their money.

All that said, I applaud Starbucks for standing up to the bullying thugs at the National Gun Victims Action Council, and thank them for continuing to quietly respect our rights. In a perfect work, this never would have been an issue, but apparently the frothing-at-the-mouth anti-rights cultists are simply incapable of tolerating opinions that are different from their own, even to the point of demanding tithes from those who disagree with them. Would that the spittle flecking their lips came from a latte, rather than their own delusional rage.

we are winning

Behold – a reasonable, rational, informative, educational (well, apart from that being a starter pistol Governor Perry is holding), and remarkably-well-linked article on concealed carrying while jogging… from Slate:

Reporters asked newly announced presidential candidate Rick Perry on Monday whether he carries a gun while campaigning. Perry refused to answer, but he does seem to carry guns in unexpected places. He shot a coyote while jogging in 2010, for example. What’s the safest way to carry a gun while running?

Oh, sure, the comments are just wall-to-wall pants-wetting hysterics of the usual type we have come to know and love from hoplophobes, but the actual article? Replete with suggestions, manufacturer name-dropping, concrete information, anecdotes and historical precedents, and all the things that will actually educate people on the topics of firearms and safely carrying them, rather than just carrying the water of fear and misinformation like so many other media sources tend to.

And, yes, I know one article in one news source is a small thing indeed, but avalanches can be started by pebbles, and the more you look around, the more you see pebbles rolling towards the side of preserving, protecting, and exercising individual, Constitutionally-assured rights… which is a good thing indeed.

(Courtesy of Say Uncle.)

yesterday, at best buy

Better Half and I were out shopping for (or at least trying on) laptops yesterday (speaking of, if anyone is aware of a <5 pound, <$500, >14" laptop that would probably hold up for a few years, feel free to sound off), and we were in our local blue-and-yellow big-box store while one of the employees there was busy gearing up for the upcoming tax-free weekend here in Tennessee. As he walked by on one of those runs, the following conversation transpired:

Best Buy Employee: Walther PPS?

Me: Indeed it is.

Best Buy Employee: 9mm or .40 caliber?

Me: Just the 9mm.

Best Buy Employee: Good choice!

Me: Why thank you.

He proceeded to give us relatively honest opinions on various laptops and companies, as well as some other suggestions for things we could look at or consider.

No hysteria. No requests to "cover it up" or leave the store. No shying away. And, in fact, he is the first person to correctly guess make and model of that particular firearm from just seeing me openly carrying it (though given that he was aware of both caliber options, he might know a few things about firearms in general).

Once again, the lies and misdirections of the anti-rights cultists are laid bare – we went in no fewer than five different stores and one restaurant last night, and the only person to obviously care about me openly bearing a firearm was this employee at Best Buy – the rest of the customers and employees at the various establishments either did not care, or did not care enough to do anything about it. This has been a consistent theme across my history of openly carrying here in Eastern Tennessee, Knoxville, Northern Georgia, and Atlanta, in both rural and metropolitan areas.

Be polite, be respectful, be reasonable, and be a responsible adult, and people simply will not care what you have strapped to your hip.

In other, mostly unrelated news, I really want one of these and the keypad/docking station to go with it… I am not entirely sure what I would use it for (apart from free-range writing and Android games on a bigger-than-my-phone screen), but, damn, what a cool idea. However, 32GB of storage space? Seriously? What is it with tablets having miniature hard drives, and, furthermore, why are there no larger-than-10.1" tablets in general? ‘Course, if the Splashtop Remote app on the Transformer works like it could/should, maybe hard drive space does not matter that much… But, aside from that, if you need someone to review your new little toy, Asus, you know where to find me… We were fairly impressed with your nettop, though it did not work to well as an HTPC…