Less Lethal Advice


Several people have asked me for advice about buying a gun. The best general advice I can give on the subject is to take proper firearm safety training (such as the NRA Safety Course or your state’s hunter safety course) prior to buying a gun. In the course of that training you’ll learn material that will help you decide what might work best for you.

It’s also a good idea to have some kind of “less lethal” (what that term really means is less likely to kill than a firearm, but still dangerous) means of self defense available for use when deadly force isn’t absolutely necessary. One tool that I’ve adopted is the Kimber PepperBlaster II. It looks like a firearm, but it isn’t. It can project a blast of pepper spray and dye about 13 ft, and it holds two charges of spray. It’s available from Amazon.

It’s small enough to slip into a trouser pocket or purse, but I don’t recommend carrying it without some sort of holster which protects the trigger. (Imagine a pepper spray blast going off by surprise in your pocket or purse.) I carry mine in an Uncle Mike’s Size 3 Pocket Holster. It’s an excellent fit.

Remember, force offered in response to an attack should be proportionate to the danger the attack creates. There are times when deadly force is called for, but there are also times when it isn’t. It’s wise to be prepared to respond appropriately.

Finally, check your local laws and obey them.

Certain Sections That I Wouldn’t Advise You to Invade


As I’m drinking my second cup of coffee this morning, I’m finding pictures on the Interwebz of an armed couple confronting a BLM mob outside of their house. This may become a more common scene as the ongoing marxist lunacy tries to metastasize to the interior of the country.

While Rick Blaine’s advice to a couple of totalitarian thugs may no longer apply in New York, it still holds true in most of America.

It’s even true in certain parts of Maryland.

Prediction: Some Busy Days at NICS


The past couple of months have seen a significant increase in background checks for firearm purchases as a large number of first-time gun buyers decided to exercise their Second Amendment rights just in case things get out of control because of the Wuhan virus pandemic.

I’ve got a hunch that there may be a sizable number of additional first-time buyers going to gun stores over the next few weeks with a new-found understanding of why those stores are essential businesses—and that they may develop a changed attitude about their states’ waiting periods for gun purchases.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day


Politics makes strange bedfellows. How else can one explain Brett Kimberlin’s use of not-for-profits to support gun control? The TKPOTD for seven years ago today took note of that irony.

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Brett Kimberlin received a 50 year sentence for his conviction for using explosives to cause injury. He has claimed that his conviction was based on evidence manufactured by the ATF. Here’s what Mark Singer concluded about Kimberlin’s claim as recorded in the Appendix of Citizen K (p. 377):

To believe that Kimberlin’s conviction represented a widespread effort to frame him required the postulation of a sophisticated, ingenious, and illegal network of his enemies—nothing less, it seemed, than a “conspiracy per se.” Sometime the ingenuity with which Kimberlin credited the ATF specifically seemed too generous. For instance, on 20 September 1978, the day of Kimberlin’s arrest and the impounding of the Impala, the ATF agents involved in the search did not have the lab results from the bomb scenes. If the government had wanted to lace the Impala, they would’ve needed to guess exactly which substance—Tovex, that is, not dynamite or TNT—would link Kimberlin to the bombings. Additionally, the ATF was unlikely to have known that Kimberlin was using Tovex to excavate his property three years earlier.

It’s interesting that, although Brett Kimberlin doesn’t trust the ATF to honorably deal with crime scene evidence, he is campaigning through his NRA Watch website to increase the ATF’s gun control authority.

Go figure.

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Most of the NRA members I know aren’t the sort of people who would contribute to one of Kimberlin’s not-for-profits. Follow th money.

They’re Not Gonna Like Their New Rules …


… or at lest, Chuck Schumer won’t if one of those New Rules is enforced against him as it would be enforced against a Deporable.

The Minority Leader made remarks earlier this week that most rational people (and even some Democrats) found to be threats against two Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, Neal Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. Based on those remarks, the Second Amendment civil rights organization Gun Owners of America has sent a letter to New York Governor Cuomo seeking a Temporary Extreme Risk Protection Order (Red Flag Order) against Senator Schumer.

I hate say it, but I’m betting against equal justice under law in this case.

A Civil Rights Victory in Virginia


HB961 was the Democrats’ prime bill in a package of anti-Second-Amendment legislation they were threatening to pass after gaining control of both houses of the Virginia legislature. It would have banned many common firearms and standard-capacity magazines. It’s been tabled for until next year by the state Senate Judiciary Committee because four Democrats broke ranks and voted with Republicans.

I suspect that those Democrats took notice of two facts. First, the vast majority of the states counties have joined the Second Amendment Sanctuary movement. The odds are the four who voted with the Republicans represent sanctuary counties.

Second, the Democrats just barely took control of the legislature. Something on the order of 6,000 votes statewide would have kept the Republicans in charge, so there are a lot of potentially vulnerable Democrats outside of the DC suburbs.

BTW, I’ve heard a rumor that Governor Blackface has promised to keep the bill comfortable until a final decision on aborting it is taken.

On Being Dangerous


The men in primitive human societies are the hunters and warriors. As such, they must be dangerous. They must be capable of the violence necessary to harvest game and to protect their tribe, but they must restrain their violence in order to be cooperative members of the tribe. That ability to act with restraint in one of the marks of a proper adult male human being. Indeed, as we have become more “civilized,” that restraint and cooperation have become even more necessary to allow large societies to function smoothly.

The attendees at the pro-second-amendment rally in Richmond today were mostly men, and the peace and calm reflected in their behavior is an example of mature restraint.

It’s a bit early yet, but it seems that there is a great deal of disappointment in certain quarters because the rally was peaceful. There seems to have been an expectation that mature men would act like spoiled children and have some sort of hissy fit because they weren’t getting their way.

The governor and legislature in Virginia are on a path that could take them beyond the point where peaceful protest of their actions is no longer appropriate, but they aren’t there. Yet. Perhaps, they will reconsider their unwise attack on Second Amendment rights, but it may be that they won’t. If they persist, many Virginians may be inspired by these words written by the second governor of Virginia—

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Now, one peaceful way of handling such a situation would be recall elections, but the legislature is moving to make recall more difficult. If they unfairly game the political process, they should not be surprised if other means are sought.

There are times when it justified for dangerous men to be dangerous.

UPDATE—Seen on Gab—

When Overreach Starts to Fail


Nancy Pelosi allowed the forces on her left wing to go a bridge too far. She tried to find a way to salvage the House Impeachment Hoax, but she’s been outmaneuvered by Cocaine Mitch. The mopping up action will begin in the Senate next week, and the hapless PR skirmishing by the Maddows in The Media will not save The Narrative.

Meanwhile in Virginia, Governor Blackface and his friends in the Legislature are pushing ahead with California/New York style gun control. As anyone who has looked at a map of those Second Amendment sanctuaries can see, the proposed laws have little popular support outside of the DC suburbs and a few urban areas. The legislature has responded to public unrest by changing its rules in order to be make lobbying by gun control supporters more difficult and by moving to change the law related to recalling public officials. The governor plans an emergency declaration to prevent the carrying of firearms at a pro-Second-Amendment rally. These are not the acts of fair-minded politicians seeking to do the will of their constituents.

We see the system of checks and balances envisioned by The Founders working in the case of the Impeachment Hoax. We see it apparently failing in Virginia. I doubt Madison or Jefferson would be pleased with their home state today.

President Trump will face an election, and the voters will either keep him for another term or fire him.

Virginia … well, the state’s motto is sic semper tyrannis, so let’s hope that cooler, wiser heads prevail.

Shooting One’s Self in the Foot


Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS Shoes, is a strong proponent of gun control, and he has spent millions of dollars of company funds pushing universal background checks. Now, creditors are taking control of the company, which has been losing money and was in danger of being unable to pay a $300-million loan due in 2020.

I took a look at the company’s website and found the image on the left. Maybe times have changed more than I realized, but I’m so old that I remember when men’s dress shoes were actually … well … dressy and suitable for wear with formal attire. If the company’s management has this sort of trouble understanding how to properly categorize their own products, I suppose it’s not surprising that they wouldn’t fail to see that sinking corporate funds into virtue signaling on a matter unrelated to the company’s business might not good for its bottom line.

Get woke. Go broke.

Sanctuaries


Reaction in Virginia to gun control proposals from members of the incoming Democrat majority in the state legislature has been swift and decisive. Over 90 % of Virginia’s counties and many of its independent cities are now Second Amendment sanctuaries. However, they aren’t the only sanctuary jurisdictions in the state. Arlington, Chesterfield, and Fairfax Counties are immigration sanctuaries.

BTW, there is exactly no overlap between counties protecting gun rights and those protecting illegal immigration. No one has bothered to bring the 2A sanctuary question before the supervisors in the DC suburban counties. When it was brought up on 11 December in Chesterfield (just south of Richmond) by a large crowd of voters, the supervisor deferred the subject to a later meeting.

John Hinderacker has a post over at PowerLine about the Democrat’s cockiness and overreach that led to the rapid growth of the 2A sanctuary movement in Virginia.

The Democrats have died on this hill more than once before. It seems obvious that, to stick with the case at hand, their riling up Virginia’s gun owners will hurt them politically and will serve no tangible goal. So why do they do it?

Maybe they are true believers. Maybe they honestly think that if we add two or three more gun regulations to the thousands that already exist, violence will magically wither away, despite all evidence to the contrary. But despite my low opinion of liberals, I don’t think they are that dumb. I think, rather, that most of them hate the sort of people who own firearms, and simply want to harass and delegitimize them. I don’t think there is any more noble objective in view, which is why the gun sanctuary movement has taken off with lightning speed.

Yep. They’re not that dumb. They want us deplorables humiliated and brought to heel.

A Troubling Remark


Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, Inc. v. City of New York. The case challenges the constitutionality of a city gun control regulation which forbade persons with a so-called premises licenses to transport their firearms any place other than on of seven approved firing ranges within the city. They could not even be removed from their licensed premises to be taken out of town.

New York City prevailed in the case in District Court and in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, but when the Supreme Court took the case, the City and the State of New York changed their laws and regulations in an attempt to moot the case. Under the new regime, firearms could be transported out of town for certain purpose as long as the trip was “continuous and direct.” No allowance was made for stops for fuel, meals, or overnight rest.

Both the petitioners and the United States argued that the case was not moot because the regulation was still unreasonable, and a couple of the justices seemed to favorably consider the idea that there was still a live controversy and that the City should not be able to dodge having its gun control regime tested against the standard set by D.C. v. Heller. The petitioners argued that allowing a government to moot a case after the Supreme Court accepts it for review would be a bad precedent. Speaking for the United States, the Deputy Solicitor General argued that the case was not moot because the petitioners could still seek money damages and because the text and history of the Second Amendment “condemn” New York City’s transport ban.

There was push back from the liberal justices—the most disturbing to me was a remark by Justice Sotomayor characterizing Heller as a “made-up new standard.” IANAL, but it seems to me that Antonin Scalia’s opinion clearly lays out what the Second Amendment has meant since it was enacted. Moreover, her comment seems to show a certain intellectual dishonesty. She is certainly not strict constructionist, so new standards of interpretation shouldn’t be a problem per se. I suspect that she would be all for the application of stare decisis to Rove v. Wade, so why not to Heller?

The court has been dodging Second Amendment cases recently. The justices may use mootness to punt this one. We shall see.

Meanwhile, there are more 2A cases in the pipeline.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day


Sometimes, the members of Team Kimberlin make it almost too easy to use them as the focus of pointage, laughery, and mockification. Six years ago today, this post—#BillSchmalfeldt, Abrams Tanks, and the Second Amendment—made fun of the Cabin Boy’s™ lack of knowledge about private ownership of weapons.

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I was going spend the entire day ignoring Cabin Boy Bill Schmalfeldt, but someone sent me a link to his latest waste of bandwidth over at Digital Journal (No, I won’t link to it.). It’s called Op-Ed: If Abrams tanks are outlawed, only outlaws will have Abrams tanks. Schmalfeldt seems to believe that ownership of an Abrams tank by a U. S. citizen is (or should be) illegal.

Other than nuclear, biological, and most chemical weapons, citizen ownership of weapons is not generally prohibited under federal law. Some are restricted. Some are taxed. But few are prohibited. Some states are more restrictive than the feds.

I don’t know how one would go about buying one, but I’m not sure that there is any federal law that bans private ownership of an Abrams tank.

There would be a lot of paperwork and tax filings involved in owning an Abrams. The two 7.62 X 51 mm machine guns and the .50 M2 machine gun would need to have the appropriate ATF tax stamps (and the guns would need to have been made before the 1986 ban). The main gun (either the 105 mm for early M1 or the newer 120 mm) would also have to be registered with the ATF as a destructive device and the appropriate tax stamp purchased.

Here in Maryland, the three machine guns would have to be licensed by the State Police, and the owner would have to pay a $10/year fee for each. The MVA wouldn’t issue tags, so the owner would be restricted to off-road use.

If the owner kept live rounds for the main gun, the ATF would impose requirements on the storage magazine, and, here in Maryland, the State Fire Marshal would get involved.

So, yes, the Second Amendment does protect a citizen’s right to possess arms.GE

Even an Abrams tank with the right paperwork.

UPDATE—Stacy McCain has more about crazy folks with guns here.

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Someone should use that photo to make a meme.

My Other AR


I’ve occasionally mentioned that I own a Colt AR15 Sporter chambered in the unusual caliber of 7.62X39mm. I use it for hunting deer in wooded terrain. Because of the taper of the cartridge case, a magazine that would normally hold 20 rounds of 5.56mm NATO ammunition will only hold 5 rounds of 7.62x39mm. Other than being semi-automatic and having lower ammunition capacity, it’s essentially the functional equivalent of a Model 1894 Winchester lever action rifle.

The Hoge household also owns another AR. It’s an AR-7, a take-down rifle that’s easy to carry packed away while backpacking or canoeing. The barrel, receiver, and magazine can be taken apart and stored in the stock. The current version made by Henry Repeating Arms will float either assembled or disassembled. It’s chambered in .22LR, so it’s cheap to shoot, and it’s accurate enough to take small game out to any range that such critters should be hunted with a .22.

UPDATE—Of course, the AR-7 does have a history in movie fiction as a sniper rifle. James Bond was issued one in From Russia With Love. I suppose that will be sufficient justification for Robert O’Rourke coming to confiscate our AR-7s as well.

You Can’t Buy Back What You Never Sold


Only two of the firearms in my collection were ever sold by the federal government, a Model 1903 Springfield rifle I inherited from my father-in-law and an M1 carbine that I’ve owed for decades. Even though there were at least two intervening owners between the government and me for both rifles, I suppose it would be technically possible for the government to say it wanted to buy them back, but they’re not for sale.

Now, about my AR15 … Mine is a Colt Sporter in 7.62x39mm. That’s an odd chambering for an AR15, but the cartridge is legal for deer in Maryland—the more common .223 Rem/5.56 NATO round isn’t—and it’s my preferred deer rifle for hunting in the woods. I didn’t buy it from the the government, and even if Colt were to make an offer, it’s not for sale.

BTW, the Springfield is an interesting collector’s item. It was produced just after World War One, so it was one of the first made using the improved heat treating process for the receiver. It also has the cutout for a Pedersen Device.

Don’t Know Much About History


The first example of the use of guns to secure a community’s rights that comes to my mind is the Battle of Athens. This is from the Wikipedia article about that event.

The Battle of Athens (sometimes called the McMinn County War) was a rebellion led by citizens in Athens and Etowah, Tennessee, United States, against the local government in August 1946. The citizens, including some World War II veterans, accused the local officials of predatory policing, police brutality, political corruption and voter intimidation.

On a less grand scale, I’ve been told by a fellow engineer (a graduate of Tuskegee Institute) about how his father used a shotgun to protect the rights of his family.

I’m sure the Gentle Readers who know a bit of History can cite other examples.

My Latest A-Salt Weapon


I ordered one these Bug-A-Salt “weapons” for use against insects around stately Hoge Manor. I’ve found mine to be very effective. Click on the image on the left to order one from Amazon.

The Bug-A-Salt shoots ordinary, non-toxic table salt accurately to a range of about 3 feet. No batteries are required. The sights pop up to indicate that it’s cocked and ready to fire.

Common Sense Controls


While I don’t agree with the exact compromise Aaron proposes here, he’s thinking in the right direction.

BTW, we have universal background checks here in Maryland. They’ve been effective at inconveniencing private individuals engaging in otherwise lawful gun transactions, but Baltimore’s murder rate is up almost 50 % since the background checks became law.