Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A thought on Reasoned Discourse

We all know that groups like CSGV and the Brady Campaign (but I repeat myself) will stifle any dissent in any forum over which they have editorial control.  How does one get the truth to sit in juxtaposition to their lies when they simply scrub anything they object to?  One way is to follow their Facebook pages, which will link to various news articles that allow comments while not letting them have editorial control.

Just make sure that when you go to the linked news story to leave a comment that you mention how you found the article.  We can make everything they link to a painful, public reminder of their journey to history's ashheap.  If it gets bad enough, they may stop linking to stories altogether, or perhaps only linking to stories that allow for no comment.  Either way, it's a win.

I've done two here and here.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

They really are just one organization

Bitter and Linoge both have excellent posts pointing out how the latest gun ban organization to hit the street is composed of first and second stringers from the more well know organizations such as CSGV and Brady.  Pictures, being worth a pile of words, are often more helpful.

The biggest surprise to me was that the NYT pointed out that Congressman Giffords is a supporter of gun rights.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to wish Congressman Giffords well. 

Women and Guns

Just a few quick thoughts:

1)  There is nothing inherently masculine or unfeminine about shooting.  Please encourage the women in your life to try shooting.  They may find an activity that they enjoy and that could prove very useful.  To that end, there is a new annual event that I wholeheartedly support and endorse.  It's national Take Your Daughter to the Range Day.  Deets here.  If I had a daughter that this was appropriate for, I'd surely be taking here.  The blogger linked to is a fairly new female shooter and has some excellent thoughts on firearms, defense and being a female shooter.

2)  The best gun for a woman is the one she likes to shoot.  Unless she's planing on carting about inside of, or operating with her lady bits, her plumbing is perfectly irrelevant.  Women have sufficient strength, intelligence and mechanical aptitude to operate and maintain any modern duty pistol or revolver.  Breda (sadly no longer blogging but has an excellent archive) has gone to great lengths over this.

3)  Manufacturers-talk to the ladies to find out what they want.  Don't just slap a pink grip on something, call it "Lady Blastomatic" and feel like you've successfully reached out.  Miguel has some thoughts here.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Starbucks Buycott

Sebastian over at "Shall Not be Questioned" has deets on a buycott prompted by the latest rehashed gun ban org calling for a boycott because Sbux refuses to deny carriers of firearms a cup of coffee.  Anyone wanting to stand up to these bullies is encouraged to buy a coffee or three on Valentine's Day this year.

Barron suggests tipping w/ a $2 bill with a note attached explaining why-I concur.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Swirling into irrelevancy

NY State has a ballistic database that requires a spent casing from every new pistol sold in the state.  It has been active for 10 years, cost tens of millions of dollars and has solved exactly 0 crimes.  In fact in the entire time of its use, it has only found two matches, neither of which led to a conviction.

Annual reports from the NY State Police can be found here.

On page 135 of the 2009 report, we see the two hit reference.  Looking at earlier years we see that the hits did not result in solved crimes.

Gov. Cuomo's new budget proposes defunding CoBISS , and Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel (one of NY's worst anti-gun politicians) is all aflutter, describing this as a step backwards in fighting crime as quoted in the Daily News. 

When you see stopping something that has been perfectly ineffective in order to move resources to something that does work as a "step backwards", that could be why your movement is loosing at every turn.

It also puts a lie to the notion that these people are doing what they are doing for "public safety".  Fighting to keep pouring resources down an ineffective sinkhole because it is part of the gun control laundry list of stuff to do sort of lets the mask slip.
NY Gun Law Triggers Confusion-CNN

There have been three fairly high profile cases where out of state folks have been arrested for pistol possession in NY.  Mark Meckler (who probably should have been protected under FOPA) attempted to declare and legally check a pistol into his luggage for a flight while Meredith Graves and Ryan Jerome both attempted to check what they believed to be legally possessed pistols at NYC tourist attractions.

It's nice to see the laws in NY getting some almost even handed scrutiny (CNN tracked down Richard Aborn but couldn't find Tom King or Jacob Reiper?), but this article does not even scratch the surface.

For example, according to NY criminal law,

 "Firearm" means (a) any pistol or revolver; or (b) a shotgun having
  one or more barrels less than eighteen inches in length; or (c) a  rifle
  having  one  or  more barrels less than sixteen inches in length; or (d)
  any  weapon  made  from  a  shotgun  or  rifle  whether  by  alteration,
  modification,  or  otherwise  if  such  weapon  as altered, modified, or
  otherwise has an overall length of less than twenty-six inches;  or  (e)
  an assault weapon. 

So in other words, the firearms that are far and away most common in the state of NY-shotguns of "proper" length and rifles lacking the cosmetic features to make them "assault weapons" do not actually meet the statutory definition of "firearms".

Our definition of "Loaded" is equally batty.  If you have in your possession everything you need to make your gun go bang (cartridges,magazine or clip as appropriate, powder/cap/ball etc) even if they are in separate bags, your gun is considered "loaded"  See item 15 in the above link.

From the CNN article  "Erin M. Duggan, director of communications for the district attorney's office...added, "New York state has enacted rational gun laws for one very simple reason: to protect everyone visiting, living, or working in New York."

Check your history, Ms Duggan.  The law under which these people are being persecuted was passed in 1911 under the direction of "Big Tim" Sullivan, and it was passed to protect Tammany Hall thugs from the immigrants they were shaking down.  It was not passed to protect anyone else.

"For example, the 1911 Sullivan Laws were passed to keep guns out of the hands of immigrants (chiefly Italians--in the first three years of the Sullivan Laws, roughly 70 percent of those arrested had Italian surnames). Why single out foreigners? The answer can perhaps be found in the popular press of the time. The New York Tribune, for example, grumbled about pistols found "chiefly in the pockets of ignorant and quarrelsome immigrants of law-breaking propensities," and the New York Times pointed out the affinity of "low-browed foreigners" for handguns."

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Who's mainstream and who's extreme?

There are a number of "arguments" that those who would place greater hurdles between the law abiding and their fundamental civil rights spout to justify their actions. They make claims regarding the meaning and intent of various historical documents, they buy and promote half baked studies with Joyce foundation money and they mangle all manner of statistics: All in the name of depriving you of your civil rights.

One of the most common themes is the notion that more people agree with them, tied in with the notion that there are fewer and fewer gun owners. Allow me to retort.

Actually, the first part of the retort comes from folks like Linoge, Tam, Uncle and anyone else I may be forgetting that expressed this thought first.

It does not matter.

That's correct-it does not matter how many folks think firearms ownership is an antiquated concept best left on the frontier. Fundamental to this line of thinking is the concept of Natural Rights. Natural Rights is the notion that your rights exist because you exist. They are something that belong to all humans as a function of their humanity. (Overview of natural rights) Although the early proponents of this idea couched it in terms of rights endowed by God and therefore were something that could not be taken by men from other men, there is no reason why the agnostic should not view human rights as a condition of humanity. There is no need for a creator to adopt this view. There is no room in this idea for racial, gender or religious bigotry. We all have our fundamental rights until we actively seek to initiate harm to others, at which point these rights become forfeit. In short, your rights exist because you exist, and the votes of the majority have no claim on these rights of the minority. I'm pretty sure that last line is a quote from someone else, but I can't recall who-probably Kevin Baker or Joe Huffman.

From another angle, I refuse to be penalized for another person's misdeeds. I am not responsible for their actions, and you will not restrict my liberty because some other person failed to handle the animated contest with the degree of success we should expect.

There is a wealth of reasons to suppose that more people support an expansion of gun rights than support increased restrictions. I will list a few here.

1) Facebook: The Brady Campaign (formerly known as Handgun Control, Inc) has about 14,000 likes on their Facebook page. Some fraction of these are pro-rights folks who have clicked "Like" to be able to comment on their page. The NRA Facebook page has almost 1.3 MILLION likes. In other words, almost 100 times more people have clicked "Like" on the NRA page than the Brady page.

2) Forums: There are a large number of internet message forums dedicated to firearms and gun rights. From some of the giants like AR15.com and Calguns (290,000 and 100,000 members respectively) to smaller specialty boards dedicated to particular regions or manufacturers (NYFirearms, Glocktalk, Ruger) there are easily a million folks that read and post on these boards. AR15.com typically has 4-5 thousand people viewing it at any given time. I have yet to find a gun control forum, let alone one that is in front of four thousand pairs of eyes at any given time.

3) Youtube: There are several documented cases of Brady, CSGV etc posting videos and only getting a few hundred views over the course of weeks, while pro rights folks will post videos that get a few thousand views in a shorter period of time. (Brady Campaign-after two weeks the too many victims video has about 900 views. The Gunnie reply to that video has about 7000 views in the same timeframe ) This time the factor is about 10 times versus 100. Bear in mind that this Brady event was hyped nationally by the largest gun control groups in the nation, groups with dedicated staffs and large (but ever shrinking) piles of cash from the Joyce foundation. The counter protest was something thrown together by a few bloggers that do this in their spare time.

4) Meetings: Every year the NRA holds its annual meeting, with attendance in excess of 60 thousand, while organized protests of that meeting draw about two hundred. See here for instance. And again, that factor of approximately 100. It just keeps popping up...Even in Illinois, a place where citizens fundamental rights are squashed without regard, gunnies manage huge turnouts.

Now, I would not claim that any of these indicators are definitive proof that the advocates for firearms freedom outnumber the advocates for restriction of the same. Taken as a whole, they make a fairly compelling case that we do, in fact, outnumber the Brady types.

There are several indications that the current gap in enthusiasm for further gun control is widening beyond where it already is. FBI NICS checks have been steadily increasing for years, meaning that more names are being checked to see if it's legal for them to posses firearms. Not every check is a purchase, and some checks are for a single purchase of multiple firearms. So, while there is not a one to one and onto mapping of checks to purchases, increasing checks strongly implies increasing purchases. Remembering that guns are rather durable, even a steady rate of NICS checks implies an increasing number of guns in circulation.

Gallup is showing that self reported gun ownership is at its highest level in decades.

Firearms manufacturers are recording record profits.

Ruger is trying the unprecedented feat of selling 1 million guns in1 year.

The anti rights folks will try to claim that these are simply indicators of people that already own guns buying more guns, and not an indicator of more people buying guns. That is nonsense. Yes, some people are increasing their inventory, but there is no way this is simply a stockpiling by current owners. First time/introductory shooting courses are filling up faster than instructors can teach them, CCW applications are skyrocketing and even formerly hostile or ambivalent media outlets are covering firearms positively. TV shows like Top Shot, American Guns and Pawn Stars show guns in a generally positive light and get pretty good ratings. Good ratings means more of them, and that means more people getting exposed to the cultural notion that guns are not de debil.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

What's in a name?

There are a number of contentious issues that face us as a nation, and few generate more heat and sparks than the gun rights/gun control debate.  It is an issue about which I care deeply, and have chosen to blog about to the near exclusion of all other topics.  Living in New York, we are subject to some of the most onerous laws in the nation, and this blog will focus on both national and state level gun control issues.

I've chosen to blog under an assumed name for the simple reason that I worry about what those on the other side of the issue of RKBA will try to do to those around me.  This is no idle concern, as the following examples will show.  

Exhibit A:  Massachusetts gunblogger TJIC
In Massachusetts, permits are required to own any firearms, and a gunblogger had his permits to own firearms revoked based on a blog post.  To be sure I am not defending his post, and quite frankly since the content of the post did not rise to a level of criminality, and did not pose an actual threat to anyone, the post is irrelevant.  The backstory for this event can be found here:

Exhibit B:  Ladd Everitt's attempt to have a gunbloggers child abducted by CPS
Anti-Tango is a gunblogger out in Utah.  He is a former Marine, proud father and reportedly a pretty good dude.  He posted the drama associated with getting his young son to eat something he did not want to, repeatedly sticking it in the child's mouth until he ate it.

Exhibit C:  Jadegold
Jadegold is an internet troll extrodinaire.  Details on Jadegold can be found here:  

Apparently, jadegold has fraudulently called the authorities to accuse pro gun blogger kaveman (blogging at Days of our Trailers) of mail fraud.

Exhibit D:  CSGV gets their twitter feed suspended for intimidation
The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence was using it's twitter feed to link meatspace names with usernames, places of employment etc of prominent gunbloggers in an attempt to stifle debate.  Although CSGV will claim that the individuals involved were abusive and threatening, they have yet to provide any evidence of those outed as being abusive.  As shown above, there are very good reasons to maintain anonymity.  details here: 

The bottom line is this:  Gun control is a mortally wounded animal, but like any animal in its death throes, letting your guard down could be fatal.  They are losing the argument, and it is taking their word view along for the ride.  This makes for some rather unhinged, potentially dangerous folks, folks I'd rather not have force my hand.

The name of the blog itself was inspired by David Codrea, (blogging at The War on Guns ) who has coined and Latinized the phrase "Any chair in a barfight" (CUM ULLA SELLA IN PUGNO TABERNA) to describe the state of mind of of gun rights advocates as we press forward on the issues of gun rights.  It is my aim to contribute to the state of our argument.