on the military and firearms

Let me tell you a story, though an admittedly dry, boring one. 

Regular readers will know that I am a United States Navy veteran*, and, specifically, a Surface Warfare Officer; in short, this means I directed other people to drive ships around oceans.  However, while ships are in port, they have something called a “quarterdeck”; I have no idea what happens to the quarterdeck when the ship is underway, but think of it like laps – they disappear when you stand up.  In any case, quarterdecks are where the visitors and crew of the ship embark and disembark, and where the only access to and from the ship – the brow – is attached. 

IMG_0216-001On the quarterdeck, you will find a variety of things – the ship’s log, a connection into the 1MC (the ship’s loudspeaker system), the various flags (assuming they are not already flying), and, of course, the Officer of the Deck (OOD) and the Petty Officer of the Watch (POOW).  The Commanding Officer (CO) of a ship is always responsible for the ship**, whether it is in-port or underway, but he cannot always be onboard.  When he is not and the ship is in-port, the Command Duty Officer (CDO) is his appointed representative, and is delegated some of the CO’s authority.  The OOD, on the other hand, operates as the CDO’s representative on the quarterdeck of the ship, with the POOW operating as the OOD’s assistant. 

OODs are responsible for ensuring the overall safety and operation of the ship while in-port – they pass 1MC announcements, sound bells for time progression, keep track of whether an officer is aboard or ashore, act as an interface between shoreside workers and onboard personnel for repair tasks, organize working parties, and check the IDs of persons attempting to access the ship.  Additionally, should the situation arise, OODs and POOWs are the ship’s first line of physical defense while in-port – both carry M9 pistols.  Depending on the ship’s size and threat condition, there can be additional roving/fixed patrols armed with a variety of other weapons, but if someone means to storm the ship, they are coming up the brow… right into the OOD and POOW. 

As a junior officer in the Navy, I stood OOD for four to six hours every six days for the first three years of my career.  Thankfully, all I did for those… countless… hours was check ID cards – there are a few stories I probably will not share, but the upshot is there were no shootouts on any of the ships I served on.  In order to be qualified as an OOD, however, I had to get qualified on the M9. 

Which is a sad story in and of itself. 

“Qualifying” on the M9 consisted of sitting through a presentation given by the Gunnery Mates on how to operate, load, and fire the M9… and then go to the range and shoot the qualifying course.  I was afforded no opportunity to practice, familiarize myself with the firearm, or do anything except get in front of the qualifying target and hope for the best.  Thankfully, I managed to qualify as a “Sharpshooter” (meaning I scored somewhere between 204 and 227 out of 240)… and that was the last time I ever fired that ugly-arsed POS in the Navy. 

400deckportholeHowever, despite the… lacking… “training” I received on that particular firearm***, the Navy, from my Department Head on up, trusted me to carry an M9 in Condition 2 with 45 rounds of ammunition in Pascagoula, Mayport, Ingleside, Norfolk, San Diego, Panama City, Manta, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Darwin, Brisbane, and other ports I am sure I am forgetting. 

Do you know what the Navy did not trust me to do, however?  The Navy did not trust me to carry a firearm off duty, or on the ship any time I was not on watch.  While I was stationed in Mayport, FL, I possessed a Florida CCW permit; if I dared to bring a firearm onto base, concealed or otherwise, and it was discovered, I would have been up on serious, federal charges and/or court martial. 

I satisfied the Floridian requirements for peacefully, responsible carrying a handgun in the state.  I satisfied the military requirements for carrying a handgun on watch.  It is even worth noting that I received and maintained a Department of Defense Secret clearance during my time in.  But if I were to go out into Jacksonville, purchase the same handgun, stick it in the same craptacular holster the military used, and carry it onto the base as a personal firearm, the reaction I would have received would have been… one I would rather not be on the receiving end of. 

Because that makes sense. 

So, yes, military bases are “gun-free zones”, in that private citizens cannot carry personal firearms onto them, just like every other “gun-free zone” in existence.  A lot of folks have been blaming President BJ Clinton for that particular rule, but the oldest thing I have found is Department of Defense Directive Number 5210.56 (*.pdf warning), dated 25FEB92, which states: 

It is DoD Policy to limit and control the carrying of firearms by DoD military and civilian personnel.  The authorization to carry firearms shall be issued only to qualified personnel when there is a reasonable expectation that life or DoD assets will be jeopardized if firearms are not carried. 

It is worth noting this directive supersedes DoD Directive 5210.66, “Carrying of Firearms by DoD Personnel”, dated 17MAR86. 

DSCF4971-001Yes, military bases have gate guards – bases have between one and 10+ gates, with anywhere between two and 10+ guards (typically rent-a-cops of various types; we generally stopped using Marines at base gates long ago) per gate – and they might have some sort of roving patrol, but even that is not guaranteed (Pascagoula did not, and Mayport did not as far as I am aware).  However, once an aggressor were to penetrate the outer shell of security afforded by those gate guards, there is no immediate second layer of defense – calls would have to be made, forces would have to be mobilized, and all the while, service members and their civil service counterparts are… well, screwed. 

Why not allow service members to be their own second layer of security?  After all, you are your own first responder, and you are the only person legally or morally responsible for your own safety.  And, realistically, a vast number of military members – predominantly Marines and Army, granted, but more and more Air Force and Navy, thanks to the Individual Augmentation program – have received significantly more firearm-related training, if not real-world experience, than your average beat cop that would respond to a “mass shooting” event.  Why not allow them to put that training and experience to work, rather than be forced to “shelter in place”**** and wish they had ammunition?   

Oh, right, because the political points garnered by continuing the myth that “gun-free zones” victim disarmament zones work is more important than anyone’s life, military or not.  It is well past time for us to realize criminals do not obey signs, and disarming peaceful citizens only helps facilitate those who would prey on them. 

(* – And, thankfully, free of any and all legal, moral, or contractual obligations to the military, which means I can say whatever I want about it now. 

** – Barring two unique circumstances; can anyone name them? 

*** – That “training” is why I went out and purchased my very first firearm and then got interested in the firearm-owning community, ending up with this weblog right here.  So, thank the Navy?

**** – Can you imagine the Founding Father’s responses to the military – much less any American citizen – being ordered to “shelter in place”?  Good grief.)

(Image of me on the deck of the Cleveland shamelessly stolen from the Brisbane Times.) 

all i am going to say

Do not expect much of a post from me about the shooting at the school in Newtown, CT last Friday; I, for one, do not believe in using the blood of victims as a fuel to further my political goals, unlike your average "gun control" fetishist. My thoughts and prayers are unquestionably with the families of those killed in this horrific crime, though, and if you do want something to read, you should read this.

I will say this much: "gun control" failed those children. Connecticut has an "assault weapon" ban. It did not work. Schools are "gun-free zones". That magical forcefield did not work. It is illegal to carry a handgun in Connecticut in public without a license. That did not stop the murderer. The teachers and principal of the elementary school were disarmed by the force of law. Even though at least one of them tried to resist, he lacked the tools to do so effectively.

And yet, despite the abject and complete failure of "gun control", the answer is… more "gun control"? How does that even begin to make sense?

More to the point, how does it make sense to punish millions of law-abiding American citizens because one person chose to become a criminal? I am not responsible for other people’s actions. I am not accountable for other people’s actions. As such, I refuse to be punished for those actions. At least the asshole murderer (who shall remain nameless on this site, for reasons well-documented here) took care of his own punishment for us.

And one final comment: "gun control" remains racist, even to this day. Every month, Chicago sees more firearm-related fatalities than transpired in Newtown on Friday, with the overwhelming majority of the victims being of darker skin tones. "Gun control" extremists never seem to care about those people, though (probably because such caring would be something of a tacit admission that the draconian "gun control" in Chicago is not working out so well for the city). Likewise, we will probably never know how many thousands of Mexicans, and possibly Americans, were killed with firearms the federal government smuggled across the border into Mexico as part of Operation Fast and Furious. Unfortunately, anti-rights cultists do not seem to care about brown victims.

But give those blood-dancing, victim-exploiting vampires a school full of lily-white children murdered by someone using a firearm, and all of a sudden, it is "GAME ON!" (Yes, there were minorities represented amongst the Sandy Hook shooting victims, but there were also whites shot in Chicago; the point stands.) I do not think I can adequately describe my contempt for such people.

In the end, I hate that these children were murdered, but I also hate that people like Dawn Hochsprung, the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School who attempted to stop the murderer bare-handed, were prohibited from employing tools that have a recorded history of stopping spree- and mass-shooters. "Gun free zones" demonstrably do not work, and only create an environment where mass-murderers know they will not encounter any kind of armed, effective resistance. How about we give up on a failed program and try something else?

you are your own first responder

Here is an interesting graphic for your weekend contemplation: 


And, no, I am not just pulling those numbers out of my ass; Davi Barker of The Daily Anarchist analyzed 29 mass shootings from 1949 forward and came up with that comparison.  Go ahead and take a look at his methodology; while I actually agree with the measures he took to ensure he was comparing apples to apples as much as possible, I still feel the sample size is a bit small to draw any serious, earth-shattering conclusions. 

That said, the notion that on-scene civilians can stop rampage shooters faster than the cops can only makes sense.  After all, those civilians are already present at the scene of the shooting, they are already aware of the pertinent details (like, say, who the shooter is and where he is), and they are only a scant few feet from the shooter, rather than miles.  Add to that the simple fact that the police have no duty or obligation to protect individual citizens, and the fact that more and more police departments’ standard operating procedures for spree/mass/rampage shooters seems to be “hold back until we have overwhelming force and then maybe move in and do something”, and the reason behind those wildly disparate numbers above suddenly become clear. 

I would, of course, stress that “makes sense” is not equivalent to “true”, but time will tell whether Davi’s hypothesis holds up. 

Tenuous though his conclusions may be, this question is an outstanding one for the “gun control” extremists, though: 

So, given that far less people die in rampage shootings stopped by a proactive civilian, only civilians have any opportunity to stop rampage shootings in roughly half of incidents, and armed civilians do better on average than unarmed civilians, wouldn’t you want those heroic individuals who risk their lives to save others to have every tool available at their disposal?

Citizens fighting back immediately rather than waiting around for police response seems to work out far better for the citizens, but when you compare armed self-defense to unarmed self-defense, the casualty numbers are 1.8 versus 2.6; given that one of the favorite arguments of anti-rights cultists is that “gun control” is worth it if it saves Just One Life, it would seem to me that encouraging law-abiding citizens to lawfully carry if they are interested in doing so could save Just One Life in rampage shooting scenarios as well (so long as you are willing to round up slightly). 

Furthermore, to take his point a bit farther, assuming Davi’s point is anywhere near accurate or in the ballpark, and given that anti-rights organizations across the board universally encourage people to not fight back (and have done so for decades) and instead wait for the police to arrive, well, that only substantiates my point that “gun control” extremists want firearm-related fatalities, does it not?  “Gun control” aids and abets violent criminals by rendering their prey defenseless, but encouraging people “give them what they want” and not to fight back goes beyond “aiding and abetting” into the realm of “encouraging”. 

Mass / spree / rampage shootings are unquestionably horrible things and those responsible for them should be punished to the utmost level possible (for example, the military is pursuing the death penalty in the case of the Fort Hood shooter, and rightly so), but the honest truth is that your odds of stopping them before they act are so stupidly small as to be unworthy of notice.  However, fighting back once the shooter has decided to act, and especially fighting back armed, seems to work out better in the end for you and most folks around you. 

So fight back.  If you are able and willing to carry a gun, do so everywhere you are legally allowed to.  If you do not carry a gun, understand that everything around you is a potential weapon, and learn, or at least consider, how best to employ it against someone attacking you.  And, finally, do not allow the Brady Campaign, CSGV, VPC, and various other anti-rights organizations to deprive you of arguably the best way to defend yourself and your family.

(Note:  I heartily disagree with the distinction between “police” and “civilian”; unless the police officer in question is a reservist or in some other way bound by the Uniform Code of Military Justice, he is a civilian, just like you or me.  However, that is the terminology Davi used, and that is the terminology most news sources use, so that is what we are stuck with.) 

the drunken punches just keep coming

So it appears as though an end-run attempt at banning normal-capacity magazines is not the only underhanded trick the idiot Democrat congresscritters (but I repeat myself) have up their sleeves; it would appear as though they very much want the ability to ban "anonymous" online ammunition sales as well:

U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY4) and advocates from the gun safety community announced new legislation being introduced this week to make the sale of ammunition safer for law-abiding Americans who are sick and tired of the ease with which criminals can now anonymously stockpile for mass murder.

The bill, called the Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act, will keep Americans safe by limiting the ability of people planning for mass murder to anonymously purchase unlimited quantities of ammunition through the Internet or other mail-order means. It would also require that ammunition dealers report bulk sales of ammunition to law enforcement.

Once again, where to begin?

Just as before, they lead off with a blatant misappropriation of the English language – Frankie and Carolyn are for "gun safety" in the same way that MADD is for "alcohol safety"; in reality, both groups want the named objects banned beyond all possible recognition.

Second, ammunition sales are about as "safe" as you can possibly make them already. The cartridges are generally packed in cardboard or plastic boxes to keep their primers from impacting anything and unintentionally going off, sometimes the individual cartridges are even partitioned off by themselves, and all shipments have to be labeled ORM-D and transported accordingly. Likewise, federal law already prohibits the possession of ammunition by persons under indictment for a potential felony, convicted felons, controlled substance users/abusers, fugitives from justice, illegal aliens, dishonorable dischargees from the military, anyone subject to a domestic violence restraining order, and unsupervised minors.

In other words, it would appear as though the whole "safety" thing is already covered by existing laws… but you and I both know Lautenberg means "impossible" when he means "safer".

Moving on, how does one "stockpile" anything "anonymously" off the internet? Sure, I suppose you could pay with money orders (which rather defeats the purpose of shopping on the internet to begin with), have the ammunition shipped to one of those "Mailboxes Etc." kind of places where you have a box rented out for cash and a fake ID, and no one would really be the wiser… except most of those stores keep records, most of those stores have cameras, and you would still be leaving a trail of information from the retailer straight back to you. In reality, the Aurora murderer probably used his home address and his own personal credit card for all of his ammunition purchases, making this "anonymous" crap just another idiotic canard.

Fourth, say this bill actually gets signed into law – a hypothetical situation I do not at all find possible given the current political and social climate, but accept it as a postulate for the time being. Now, in theory, you cannot "anonymously purchase unlimited quantities of ammunition through the Internet", all well and good… what about purchasing "unlimited quantities of ammunition" through your local brick-and-mortar sporting goods store, in cash, 100% anonymously? Buy 500 rounds of ammunition every week; within a year, you will have 26,000 rounds of ammunition, and not even Lautenberg’s idiotic bill will be able to tell the police a bloody thing about you. In the end, this bill (the specifics of which we will get to momentarily) is just as stupid as the 10-round magazine amendment – why ten rounds in magazines, why 1000 rounds of ammo from the internet? Why not one and 100?

Finally, every competitive shooter in the country had better get used to being "report[ed] … to law enforcement". The buy ammunition by the gorramed pallet, and for good reason too. And speaking of good reasons, every single recreational shooter I know of purchases ammunition by the thousands-of-rounds – most ammo is packaged in bulk in that fashion, most ammo is cheaper when purchased in bulk, and it simply makes maintaining your inventory easier. Which leads us to the obvious conclusion: should this bill become law, we all must purchase ammunition in lots of at least a thousand rounds. Why? To flood the system with our names, making sorting and data-mining damned near impossible.

Now, let us take a break and think about a few things before we delve into the few "specifics" about this bill I was able to dig up.

The Aurora murderer allegedly purchased somewhere around 6000 rounds of ammunition from the internet. Through the course of the mass shooting, an AR-15 was used until its Betamag jammed (though pictures seem to indicate a mag change may have happened, if the 100-round magazine was used at all), a shotgun was employed, and two Glock .40 handguns were used. Assume, for the sake of argument, that the 100-round drum was emptied, the 30-round magazine pictured was also expended, the shotgun was emptied, and both handguns were depleted, and assume the murderer performed no magazine reloads (under the assumption he was too busy dealing with New York Reloads) – that puts us at a maximum number of expended rounds of 100 + 30 + 7 + 15 + 15 = 167. So if it "only" takes <200 rounds to murder 12 people and wound another 58, why do we care about >1000-round purchases? Seems we should be regulating >100-round purchases.

In reality, it is the guy who buys just the one gun, a few magazines, and enough ammunition to fill them that would arguably concern me the most; just like people who go to the range by themselves, rent a gun, and buy all of one box of ammunition, there is the distinct possibility they only "need" that much material to get done what they want to get done. Does this mean I think all ammunition sales should be regulated? Of course not; I am just pointing out the inconsistency of the "gun control" extremists’ position.

So about those specifics…

The Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act works through four components:

· It requires anyone selling ammunition to be a licensed dealer.

And let me guess how much that "licensing" will cost? Or how much of a protcological exam from the BATFE it will entail? In any case, say good-bye to small-time ammo fabricators, custom loaders, experimental shops, and so forth…

· It requires ammunition buyers who are not licensed dealers to present photo identification at the time of purchase, effectively banning the online or mail order purchase of ammo by regular civilians.

Well, that is pretty much a straight-up lie to begin with, and a horrible Personally-Identifiable Information problem as well. The lie comes from the notion that you cannot provide photo identification at the time of purchase; multiple online ammunition sellers request that you send them a picture of your driver’s license to prove that you are, in fact, over 18 or 21, or a copy of your C&R FFL to allow you access to the "dealer" side of their house. However, having to send information containing your full name, address, date of birth, driver’s license number, and photograph is a blatant violation of privacy, and represents a hellacious filing problem for ammo retailers, especially should their databases ever be hacked and that information get loose.

For Heaven’s sake, I can purchase legitimately radioactive uranium ore from Amazon (the reviews are hilarious) without even so much as a "by your leave"; requiring ID for ammo sales is just ludicrous.

And, of course, there is tremendous irony in requiring ID for ammunition sales, but not for voting. I can guarantee you the Obama Administration has been responsible for more deaths than every single firearm I have used or bullet I own or have fired (and that counts the milsurp rifles I own that may have whacked the occasional Nazi).

· It requires licensed ammunition dealers to maintain records of the sale of ammunition.

This particular clause amuses the hell out of me; the federal government is prohibited, by federal law, from keeping records or registries of firearm purchases (even though everyone knows the ATF Form 4473s are nothing but a back-door registry). The solution? Track ammunition, and have the sellers do it, not the government. You may not be able to tell exactly what kind of firearm a person owns by their ammo purchasing habits, but you can get a pretty good idea, and if these dealers maintain their records, you can always subpoena them, or make it a requirement of their "license" to turn them in every X years for "safe storage".

· It requires licensed ammunition dealers to report the sale of more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition to an unlicensed person within any five consecutive business days.

Why do I see a bright-and-shining future for ammunition packed in 7×7 boxes (rather than the 5×10 that is prevalent now) should this law come to pass? 20 of those into a crate, and you have 980 rounds, and as long as you buy only one a week, no one will ever know, which is why arbitrary numbers like "10" or "1000" or whatever are just completely idiotic.

I have already touched on how flooding the system would be both inevitable and beneficial, but also bear in mind that this is yet another registry, only a quicker version than the previous one…

Thankfully, Our Glorious President’s reaction to this recent, overreaching bill has been less than encouraging… for Lautenberg and his authoritarian buddies:

"I haven’t seen the specific piece of legislation that has been offered up today," spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters at the daily press briefing. "But as that and other pieces of legislation make their way through the legislative process, we’ll evaluate them."

I would expect a sitting President to "evaluate" any "piece of legislation" that makes it past a certain point in the House or Senate; in other words, Josh basically told Frankie to get in line.

Which brings us to the real point of this post – the surprisingly-appropriately-named Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act still has to make it through both houses of Congress, so contact your duly-elected representatives now and express to them that their opposition to it is strongly recommended. You and I both know Obama would sign this bill if it hit his desk, so it is up to us to ensure it does not.

Oh, and Frankie and Carolyn? In the past two days, I have purchased 4200 rounds of ammunition from three different retailers on the internet. Why? Because f*ck you.

candles… with fire support

Over the course of today, various subchapters (but not all of them, pointedly enough) of the main “gun control” extremist organizations here in America will be gathering around the country to light candles in order to… do something.  By some accounts, the candlelight vigil is in memory of those murdered in the Tucson shooting a year ago.  Others say that they are gathering and increasing their carbon footprints in order to “honor the victims of ‘gun violence’”.  And, finally, still others are saying that this movement will somehow manage to “prevent” “gun violence”.

Honestly, I have no problems with people remembering their dead however they see fit, so long as that remembrance does not harm anyone else and is within the bounds of the law, and if these people think their fallen would want them standing around holding candles, then more power to them.  But let us examine that last claim by the extremists.

How, exactly, does standing around holding candles stop “gun violence”?  Ignore, for a second, the completely meaningless nature of “gun violence” (just like the completely meaningless nature of “gun deaths”), and likewise ignore the inherent dangers of having such a tunnel-vision view on the world.  Just answer me this: how is a group of people – no matter how large and no matter how distributed across the country – standing around holding candles going to stop a murderer from using a firearm to kill someone in a dark alley?  How is it going to stop a rapist from using a firearm to threaten a woman into submission?  How is it going to stop a robber from “whipping it out” to encourage his prey to hand over their wallets?

Simply put, it is not.  Worse, the belief that standing around holding a candle will convince these bloodthirsty thugs to give up their violent ways is much akin to the ancient celebrations around bonfires during the Winter Solstice, with the associated belief that the revelers were “driving back the darkness”.  In other words, this “candle light vigil” being organized by the Brady to Prevent Gun Violence Ownership is nothing more than further substantiation that “gun control” is a cult and those who support it are cultists.

As an engineer and a rational, adult human being, I am exclusively concerned with what works, and history has shown us, time and time again, that “gun control” simply does not work – it does not achieve any of its stated goals, and standing around holding a candle will not achieve the goal of reducing “gun violence”.  So what does stop all violence?

Well, even that is a misstatement of what should be your goals; you see, there is a difference between “violent but predatory” and “violent but protective”*.  The first unquestionably needs to stop, but, realistically, it is only through the second that it will be achieved:

One bleeding-heart type asked me in a recent interview if I did not agree that ‘violence begets violence.’ I told him that it is my earnest endeavor to see that it does. I would like very much to ensure—and in some cases I have—that any man who offers violence to his fellow citizen begets a whole lot more in return than he can enjoy.

Speaking more generally, what is the one thing that stops consistently, verifiably, and historically stops murderers, rapists, robbers, and other thugs cold?  A person with a gun.  These days, more often than not, that “person with a gun” is also wearing a badge and a uniform, but as Tam recently said, “If you don’t have your own pistol, you may have to wait the rest of your life for the police to bring theirs.”  Why should we law-abiding American citizens be forced to wait up to 21 minutes (and beyond) for the police to respond to our situation, when our very lives are on the line, and when we know exactly what could keep us alive?

We should not.  So, courtesy of an outstanding idea by the inimitable Weer’d Beard, I am going to take a few moments today to show you what can stop predatory violence being levied against my family or myself, unlike some random collection of paraffin and oils.

Offhand, I would guess somewhere around 2500 ft-lbs of energy being applied to a murderer’s thoracic cavities would do wonders for stopping him from committing any form of predatory violence against me and mine, and thanks to Buffalo Bore Ammunition and Smith and Wesson, that number is fairly easy to achieve:


Additionally, as you can see, I am very much a modern tool-using monkey in that instead of relying on the weak, inconsistent, and easily-extinguished light from a paltry exothermic reaction, my illumination – a necessary aspect of “identifying my target” is courtesy of a Novatac Storm LED flashlight, putting out somewhere around 120 lumens of crystal clear white light.  To say there is no competition between those light sources would be putting it very mildly.

But that is just what I use when I am out and about on the town…  If we are closer to home, we all know that pistols are only used to get to your rifles, or, in my case, a shotgun, loaded up with eight rounds of reduced-recoil #00 buckshot and four rounds of reduced recoil slugs, complete with a recoil reducing stock such that my wife can comfortably employ it as well:


This time, our effective, efficient illumination comes courtesy of an original Surefire 6PD flashlight, which, unlike its low-tech brethren also in the picture, actually stands a fair chance of momentarily blinding those it is pointed at with its directed 120 lumens of light.

But what if we do not want to blind ourselves?  Well, that is where the attached flip-up red filter comes in:


You see, my dear anti-rights cultists, I am only concerned with what works, and courtesy of modern technology, there are so many demonstrably-better methods for stopping predatory violence against me and mine that something as paltry and pathetic as a candle blowing in the wind simply does not make the cut.  Now, if you all want to stand around and remember the loved ones you have lost, that is your call, and you are more than welcome to do as your heart desires so long as it is not hurting anyone else.  But the very second you imply that doing so will somehow affect “gun violence” on a national scale, you are lying, and, worse, you are using the memories of those lost loved ones to perpetrate and give weight to those lies, and that is a pretty damned reprehensible thing indeed.

On the other hand, my peacefully and lawfully owning and carrying firearms affects no one, damages no one, misleads no one, and dishonors no one’s memories, so why is it that you so fervently wish to leave me disarmed and defenseless against a plethora of people who do mean to do harm to my family and myself?  Whose side are you on, exactly?

Thankfully, I know whose side these good folks are on, as they throw their support in behind the only thing we know can stop most kinds of predatory violence against law-abiding citizens, not just self-serving narrowings of the playing field like “gun violence” or other statistics-abusing concepts.  So go take a look at the celebrations of self-defense here at Weer’d’s where he is collecting pictures from all over the world, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here, with more to be added as the day progresses. 

(* – One interesting side-effect from not making this distinction is that by holding their candle-light vigils for “victims of ‘gun violence’”, the Brady Campaign and their sycophants are, by definition, memorializing those murderers, rapists, thieves, muggers, robbers, home-invaders, and other scumbags who were shot down in self-defense by their intended victims, or by the police in the execution of their duties.  As always, “gun control” extremists are aiding, abetting, and sympathizing with criminals.  Disgusting.  (For further clarification on this notion, please see here.))

the failure of gun control, again

By now, you have undoubtedly heard about the horrific murder of 12 children at a school in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and given how much I am typically behind the curve on current events, it should come as no surprise to anyone that others have beaten me to what I was going to say on it. However, I did want to stress two quick points.

The shooter used a revolver. He did not use a semi-automatic pistol, he did not use an automatic pistol, he did not use normal-capacity magazines, he did not use sub-capacity magazines, and he did not procure the revolvers legally, despite the unquestionably draconian firearm-related laws in Brazil that the anti-rights nuts claim would stop illegal firearm trade (including full firearm registration). And notwithstanding all of this, the Rio shooter (who shall remain nameless) managed to kill more people than the Tucson shooter. A firearm is a tool and its efficacy depends entirely on the shooter; the murderer in Brazil had obviously thought and planned ahead, and had not only procured speedloaders for both of his revolvers, but apparently practiced using them as well – the final round count was somewhere north of 60, out of firearms that can hold no more than six rounds at a time.

The shooter was stopped when force was brought to bear against him. Specifically, a police officer shot him in the legs, and after taking a tumble down the stairs, the murder cowardly shot himself in the head. This is a consistent, repeatable, and demonstrable theme amongst the vast majority of mass/spree shootings throughout history – when an active shooter is engaged by people on the scene, the situation typically resolves itself through the death/disabling of the shooter (either self-inflicted or enacted by the responders). Obviously, the “cessation of hostilities” can be greatly accelerated, and made potentially more safe for those attempting it, if the people attempting to discourage the active shooter are themselves armed, as the police officers in this situation were – this increases the distance between them and the shooter, which correspondingly augments their safety and decreases their response time. In short, fighting back slows/stops spree shooters, and fighting back with a firearm does so even faster.

This unfortunate incident more than adequately demonstrates the inherent failure of gun control. Firearm registration failed. Firearm licenses failed. Anti-carry laws failed. Firearm purchasing caps failed. Waiting periods failed. The list just goes on and on and on… and yet you can count on anti-rights cultists exploiting this shooting spree as yet another reason to enact in America all those laws that failed in Brazil. ‘Cause, y’know, that makes sense.

History has shown us, time and time again, the most effective and most successful method for dealing with spree killers; as someone who is sincerely interested in saving and protecting lives, I thoroughly support the implementation of this method wherever and whenever necessary. Unfortunately, given that they support legislation and policies which demonstrably puts people at risk, “gun control” supporters can make no similar claims…