Assault Luddism


The Luddites destroyed machinery because of they were threatened by progress.assaultnonsense

So how advanced does the technology of a weapon have to be to enable a rate of fire of 10 rounds per minute?

I have a muzzle-loading rifle, and, if I really hustle, I can get off two rounds per minute. However, there are muzzle-loading firearms that are capable of firing 10 rounds per minute. Consider the Colt Model 1851 Navy Revolver.Colt_Navy_Model_1851

It was probably the most common revolver used during the Civil War. It takes a long time to load the six-round cylinder, but the cylinder is easily removed and replaced. It was not uncommon for soldiers to carry spare loaded cylinders. It’s possible to fire three cylinders (18 rounds) in under a minute.

LongbowHowever, there are even older weapons capable of firing 10 rounds per minute. Consider the weapon shown at the left. Henry V was able to use massed fire from such weapons to devastate an attack by a force that greatly outnumbered his happy few, his band of brothers, at Agincourt.

There are other, even simpler, weapons that can deliver a high rate of fire. David only took five stones when he fought Goliath. He was a good shot and only needed one to kill the giant, but an expert with a sling can get off 10 shots in a minute.

A sling is a stone age weapon.

Using Public Resources for Private Political Purposes


Mayor Bloomberg was first caught using New York City IT resources to further his Mayors Against Illegal Guns gun control agenda. Today, JWF posts that he’s be caught sending a city employee to Nevada to lobby for a Nevada gun control bill. Instapundit suggest that this a matter that should be investigated by the New York Attorney General.

Yeah, it’s probably wrong to use city resources that way. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that the server hosting the MAIG’s assets has a big gulp hard drive that holds more than 16 Gb. Hypocrite. Arrogant hypocrite.

Irresponsible Gun Ownership


Heidi Yewman has a post over at MsBlog about her spending a month with a Glock pistol.

Her behavior is prime example of the fact that not everything that is legal is wise—or, in her case, responsible.

She bought a 9 mm Glock, took it home, and freaked out when she opened the box and found a magazine in the pistol. She found a cop (who was doing a traffic stop) and asked him to remove the magazine for her.

The cop thought I was an idiot and suggested I take a class. But up to that point I’d done nothing wrong, nothing illegal.

Nonsense! She had done something very, very, very wrong. She was fooling around with a firearm and had absolutely no training, not even the Eddie Eagle safely class the NRA offers for kids.

She began her … quest … fool’s errand … whatever … because she’s opposed to Starbucks’s policy of not hassling customers who carry firearms in accordance with local laws.

I was right to protest Starbucks policy. Today, they have a woman with absolutely no firearms training and a Glock on her hip sitting within arm’s reach of small children, her hands shaking and adrenaline surging.

Did I say, “irresponsible”? Let me also add, “immoral”! If she is so afraid of her own self-control that she doesn’t trust herself to be armed, why does she assume that she has the moral right to endanger others.

UPDATE—Zed from Day by Day asks a good question here.

I’m Not Making This Up, You Know


A California elementary school is running a toy gun “buy back” program for kids. (H/T, Instapundit)

Principal Charles Hill maintains that children who play with toy guns may not take real guns seriously. He’s quoted as saying, “If we want older kids to not think guns are cool, we need to start early.”

Well, as Oscar Hammerstein observed about bigotry:

You’ve got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You’ve got to be taught
From year to year,
It’s got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

Dingy Harry


Dingy Harry may be back to trying to get a gun control bill through the Senate. Although he won’t be specific about plans, he’s said that he wants to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill.

The Senator should consult the current version of 18 USC 922, which reads in part:

(d) It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or otherwise dispose of any firearm or ammunition to any person knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that such person—
(1) is under indictment for, or has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;
(2) is a fugitive from justice;

(4) has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution …

It’s already illegal to sell or even to give guns to crooks or wackos. You know, it might be simpler for the Progressives to state their real policy objective, viz.:

[O]rdinary citizens don’t need guns, as their having guns doesn’t serve the State.

—Heinrich Himmler

It would be more honest to offer an Amendment to repeal the Second.

Non-Joking Legal Questions


A three year old deaf child is having trouble with education bureaucrats because the registered sign for his name violates their weapons policy. (I’m not making this up, you know.)

I ask these questions in all seriousness—Does a person have a Ninth Amendment right to his own name? And a First Amendment right to say (or sign) it?

Baghdad Bob Back at Work?


Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf (better known as “Baghdad Bob”) must be coming out of retirement. Who else would be crazy enough to be peddling the meme now showing up on the left that the NRA on its last leg? First, The New Republic; then, The Boston Globe; then, The Philadelphia Daily News; now, The Guardian; and all pushing the idea that the NRA is finally facing real opposition and losing its clout.

Uh, huh.

That’s must be the reason why paid membership has soared past 5,000,000.

It’s Only a Constitutional Right


What could go wrong? All these Democrats are proposing is to make a right enumerated in the Bill of Rights subject to the whim of unelected bureaucrats who can suspend it by placing your name on a secret list you can’t see without any due process and no judicial review.

Oh, and they claim that banning gun purchases by persons on the terrorist watch list would have stopped the Boston Marathon bombers. How? Will pressure cooker purchases be subject to background checks? Or the common household chemicals available at most supermarkets that can be used to homebrew explosives?

You know, it would be easier for these control freaks to run our lives for us if they’d simply repeal the Bill of Rights wholesale.

UPDATE–Prof. Reynolds notes that what the politicians control they use against us.

To borrow a word: Indeed.

We’re From the Government, and We’re Here to Help


And more and more Americans are beginning to say, “No, thank you.” Why? Peggy Noonan suggests this answer in a post at WSJ.

A major problem for those who want an immigration bill is lack of faith in government to do all the jobs it’s set itself well. People don’t trust it to be able to execute—to do, adequately, the thing it’s set itself to do in its big new laws. We always look at the motives and politics behind a big bill, and talk about that. But simple noncrisis execution—the ability to track and deal with a Tamerlan Tsarnaeu, or to patrol and control a huge border—is a big reason why which people lack faith. Because, you know, they read the papers.

Most of us have to work pretty hard to get things right. Babe Ruth had a lifetime batting average of .342—which means he failed to make it to first base almost 2/3 of the time. Government doesn’t seem to be doing nearly as well as the Sultan of Swat, and as it has become more unsuccessful in many of its basic functions, it has tried to meddle in area outside its rightful sphere. Managing public safety is one thing. Regulating Big Gulps is another.

Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism outlines the history of what I call “nannystateism,” a form of socialism with a smiley face. The control freak forms of socialism split into two main streams a bit over a hundred years ago. In Europe, they wound up with totalitarian forms such as Italian Fascism, German National Socialism, and Russian Communism. They were police states. In America, we flirted with police state socialism during the Wilson Administration, but returned to normalcy during the ’20s. When the Progressives returned to power during the Great Depression and the Second World War, the horrors of the gulag and the holocaust kept Americans away from that kind of state brutality. Instead of control through fear, our politicians have tried to practice control through gift giving.

And so we have a kind and gentle form of control freak meddling by the government. The path we’re on doesn’t lead to Orwell’s Room 101, but it seems headed to a place very like Huxley’s Brave New World. The problem is that there isn’t enough soma to go around, and there probably never will be. Most of us will have to work to support ourselves and our families. So when folks see that a couple of immigrants who never had jobs were supported well enough that they had cell phones and nice clothes and leisure time to party and guns and explosives with which to attack us, they naturally begin to wonder about what’s going on. Some will ask, “Where’s my share of the goodies?” Others will ask, “Why are we supporting these creeps?”

I hope that the second group is larger.

Reduced Capacity Magazines and Fingerprints


It’s been reported that the police who engaged in a gunfight with the Tsarnaev brothers last week fired over 200 rounds of ammunition. They didn’t kill the older brother outright. The autopsy says that he died of gunshot and blast wounds (from his own explosives). The younger brother was wounded but still in action a day later.

And Gov. O’Malley wants the already below-normal 20 round limit on magazines here in Maryland reduced to 10 rounds.

It’s also been reported that neither of the Tsarnaev brothers ever filled out any state paperwork for any of the handguns they used.

And Gov. O’Malley wants to fingerprint folks who fill out the paperwork to legally buy handguns.

I’m Not Making This Up, You Know


The new gun control law passed by the Maryland Legislature created the following section in the Criminal Law:

§ 4-102 (b) A person may not carry or possess a firearm, knife, or deadly weapon of any kind on public school property.

The prohibition on knives has no exception for cafeteria staff. Or tableware in the cafeteria.

UPDATE—@MSchumacher asks, “Baseball w no bats?” A fair question. I seem to remember that Al Capone murdered someone with a baseball bat.

UPDATE 2—Conviction of a violation of this section can result in 3 years imprisonment. That is a sufficiently long possible sentence to cause loss of the right to possess a firearm under 18 USC 922(g) for any conviction under 4-102.

Think of it.

Someone walks into a school to pick up his sick child and forgets to take the Swiss Army knife out of his pocket …

Hello, Foot. Meet Gun.


I’m told that shooting oneself in the foot is a bad idea. I suppose so. I’ve never tried it, although I have been around more than my share of negligent firearm discharges.

There are four very simple rules which will make a negligent discharge unlikely.

1. All firearms are always handled as if they are loaded.
2. Never point the muzzle of a firearm at anything you are unwilling to destroy.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger until the sights are aligned on the target.
4. Be sure of your target.

Those rules are simple, and following them will keep you from negligently shooting yourself or any one or thing else. The rules and laws governing who can have a gun and under what circumstances are more complicated, and failure to attend to those rules can also be quite painful.

Here in Maryland, for instance, for almost 20 years we have had strict controls on the transfers of certain kinds of rifles and magazines. Here’s how that affects me.

I have a collector’s item WWII vintage M1 Carbine made by National Postal Meter. It isn’t on any of the state no-no lists, at least not yet. However, the 30-round magazines commonly used with M1 Carbines are restricted in that they cannot be transferred to another individual in Maryland. So if I take my Carbine to the range, I can shoot it using one of my old 30-round magazines, but if I allow someone else to shoot it (lending it is a transfer), they must use a 15-round magazine because I can’t transfer the 30-round magazine to them.

I also have a Colt AR15 Sporter Carbine. It doesn’t use the usual .223 Remington/5.56 mm NATO ammunition; it’s chambered for 7.62 X 39 mm Russian round that is legal for deer hunting in Maryland. The only magazines I have for it are the 5-round units provided by Colt. Since an AR15 is regulated firearm, I can’t just hand it to whomever I wish. So-called “gratuitous” temporary loans are OK, but anyone other than a family member, close friend, or licensed dealer can be risky. All transfers are supposed to go through a licensed dealer. However, the 5-round magazines have no restrictions whatsoever.

This is what happens when laws are cobbled together by people who have little understanding of what they are trying to regulate. When I was a federally licensed dealer a couple of decades ago, there were over 20,000 federal, state, and local gun laws in the book that the ATF sent me, some of them contradictory. There are more of ‘em now.

Sigh.

It’s a Feature, Not a Bug


The Maryland Legislature has joined with New York, Colorado, and Connecticut in passing a gun control law of doubtful constitutionality. Our governor will certainly sign the bill, and the law will certainly be petitioned to referendum. We’ll see how thing go from there.

Companies such as Magpul in Colorado and Beretta in Maryland will be moving to states that respect the Second Amendment. Some Maryland residents are beginning to talk about voting with their feet. However, many supports of these laws view these exoduses as feature rather than a bug. Having those bitter clingers move away gets them out of the neighborhood.

Sigh.

There are days when I wonder why I ever left Tennessee.

If They’ve Lost the ACLU …


The NRA is not the only civil rights organization opposed to the Senator Reid’s universal background check bill. Now, the ACLU is piling on, citing severe privacy issues. The problem is the retention of transaction records for private sales. Buying a gun at retail requires a background check, but the record of the check is normally destroyed with 24 hours. The Reid bill would require that the record of a private transfer be maintained, and there is nothing in the bill that would prohibit the Justice Department from using those records to create a gun registry.

The last time I remember the ACLU siding against the Democrats in the Senate was during the filibuster over the Civil Rights Act during the ’60s.

A First Amendment Challenge to Gun Control


The Washington Times reports that a practicing Sikh, Gursant Singh Khalsa, in California is suing the state in federal court. He is asserting that his religious beliefs require that he be armed in order to “be at all time fully prepared to defend themselves and others against injustice.” The suit says that the Mr. Khalsa “fears arrest, criminal prosecution, incarceration, and fine if he were to possess loaded weapons with 11 or more round magazines within his home, within his vehicle on the streets, or within his temple. But his religious beliefs require no less.”

Read the whole thing.

#BrettKimberlin Wants You Disarmed


When I’ve been blogging about The Dread Pirate Kimberlin and his attacks on the Bill of Rights, I’ve been dealing with First Amendment issues so far. He is now attacking the Second Amendment as well. His 501(c)4, Velvet Revolution US, has a new subgroup called NRA Watch (No, I won’t link to their website.) that is dedicated to more gun control. (H/T, Lee Stranahan)

Among the control measures the “group” advocates are:

Banning military style assault weapons–which I suppose would include the AR15s that TDPK unlawfully possessed during his drug dealing days.

100% background checks on all gun sales–which might have caught TDPK’s straw purchasers transferring firearms to him.

Correcting the myth that the “solution to our problem is to arm more people”–which brings up the question of whose problem “our problem” is. Certainly, having guns in the hands of good guys does not solve a problem for crooks and thugs.