No, We Don’t Need Massachusetts’ Gun Laws


Bearing Arms has a post up about Rep. Seth Moulton claim that the rest of the county should adopt the gun laws of his home state Massachusetts.

No residents of Lexington or Concord were available for comment, but I will note that if Massachusetts had had the same sort of gun laws in 1775 as it has today, our national anthem would be God Save the Queen.

Interesting Times in Hong Kong


Pro-freedom demonstrations have been going on for the past few months in Hong Kong. The National Interest has a thought-provoking post about the demonstrators and their goals.

In Hong Kong, revolution is in the air. What started out as an unexpectedly large demonstration in late April against a piece of legislation—an extradition bill—has become a call for democracy in the territory as well as independence from China and the end of communism on Chinese soil.

Almost nobody thinks any of these things can happen, but they forget that Chinese rebellions and revolutions often start at the periphery and then work their way to the center. The Qing dynasty of the Manchus, the last imperial reign, unraveled from the edges, as did others.

Some of the demonstrators have been carrying signs reading, “We need the Second Amendment.” Well, yes. As the saying goes, ” You can vote your way into socialism, but you’ll have to shoot your way out.”

El Paso and Dayton … and Chicago


The past weekend had a rather high body count.

Here are some facts about may not be extensively covered by the Main Stream Media—

All three cities are run by Democrats. El Paso has a Republican mayor, but almost every other state or local politician representing the City of El Paso or El Paso County is a Democrat. Mayors Nan Whaley (Dayton) and Lori Lightfoot (Chicago) are Democrats.

The Dayton shooter was a fan of Bernie and Fauxcahontas. And a gun control advocate.

The flow of victims from the multiple shootings in Chicago was so great that one hospital’s emergency room was overwhelmed and was forced to stop accepting patients.

Talking About Something He Knows Nothing About


Breitbart has a post up about some of the more stupid ideas Eric Swalwell has advanced concerning gun control. Most of his proposals demonstrate that he has essentially no understanding of firearms in the Real World.

For example, he thinks that it’s a good idea to restrict ammunition ownership to no more than 200 rounds of any caliber. If he had walked through the ammo aisles at a Bass Pro or Cabela’s (or a Dick’s), he’d have seen that one of the most common package counts for .22LR ammo is around 500 rounds. In fact, the last box of .22LR rounds I bought contained 525, just enough for a weekend of plinking with a couple of friends.

I suppose that there are people who buy ammunition and horde it, but those of us who shoot for a hobby and/or train to maintain proficiency in shooting safely and accurately go through what we buy. Buying practice ammo in bulk saves money and makes it easier to train. Why would a thoughtful person want to make it more difficult to maintain a high level of proficiency in safe firearm handling?

BTW, given my collection of oddball firearms, I’d be able to keep over 4,000 rounds of ammunition under Swalwell’s proposed limit.

A Note on the First and Second Amendments


Journalist Andy Ngo was attacked last Saturday by a gang of AntiFa thugs because he was exercising his free press rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.

I note that while the First Amendment also grants the right to peaceable assembly, that’s not what AntifFa was doing.

AntiFa’s tactics seem to be spiraling toward ever greater violence. It’s beginning to look as if their expectation that they can act with impunity will lead them to attack someone who is willing to defend himself and prepared to do so. I suspect that they will won’t do well in such a confrontation.

I also suspect that the rank-and-file AntiFa members’ apparent ignorance of history eventually will do them in. When the Sturmabteilung became more trouble than they were worth, the long knives came out. When AntiFa is no longer useful to The Narrative, …

Democracy Dies in Derpness


WaPo has published an extremely inaccurate opinion piece about the recent Virginia Beach shooting and suppressors for firearms. In her essay, Juliette Kayyem makes the ridiculously false claim that “a suppressed gunshot can sound like a chair scraping on the floor.” It appears that she’s seen too many Hollywood movies in which the sound of suppressed gunfire on films’ soundtracks were special effects added during postproduction and recordings of real gunfire and that she has little (on no) experience with real world suppressed firearms.

(BTW, based on my experience being involved in the development of theatre sound equipment when I was VP of Engineering at JBL, I doubt that many theatre sound systems can reproduce the sound of gunfire as loud as the actual muzzle blast without being damaged.)

When Hiram Percy Maxim began marketing exhaust quieting devices for internal combustion engines and firearms over a hundred years ago, his brand name for them was Silencer. That name stuck as a generic term in Europe for engines and worldwide for firearms. In North America, we call them mufflers on engines. The generic technical term of art for them is suppressors.

A suppressor is what we engineers call an acoustical low-pass filter. It permits exhaust gas to flow through (in the case of firearm suppressor to provide thrust for the bullet) but tends to reduce the level of high-frequency components in the impulse of the exhaust. If a suppressor worked “perfectly,” there would be nothing in the exhaust except a steady, non-varying flow of exhaust gas, but in order to become more effective at low frequencies, the suppressor must become larger to allow it to attenuate longer wavelength sounds.

An unmuffled engine on a lawn mower is roughly as loud as a series of gunshots, and the size of a lawn mower muffler is roughly the same as a suppressor that can be handled on the muzzle of a firearm. The Gentle Reader should not be surprised that suppressed firearms are typically about as loud as lawn mowers. My lawn mower is noticeable louder than a chair scraping across the floor.

While I’m on the Pro-Second-Amendment side of the gun control debate, I do recognize that there are reasonable points to be made on both sides of the gun control debate. Thus, neither side should have to resort to provably false claims.

Truth is a stronger foundation than a lie.

Democracy Dies in Derpness.

What Are The Odds?


One of the members of the Democrat Presidential Nomination Clown Posse has radical gun control as a cornerstone of his platform.I’m not sure how broad his definition of “assault weapons” is, but let’s pretend there are 15 million weapons that would be covered by reenacting the 1994 ban list. Let’s also assume that the average owner has a couple such weapons. That would mean that there are around 7-1/2 million people armed with such firearms. For the purpose of this thought experiment, let’s further assume that the compliance rate with such a ban would be comparable to compliance with the Connecticut registration requirements enacted after the Newtown school shooting or the New York SAFE Act. That would leave “assault weapons” in the hands of over 7 million freshly-minted felons.

Even if Swalwell tried to use all of the federal civilian police agencies, conscripted all the state and local civilian police agencies, used the federal naval forces (Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard), and found away around the Posse Comitatus Act to use the Army and Air Force to enforce such a ban, his force would be outnumbered roughly two-to-one. And that’s probably being generous in Swalwell’s favor. It might be that when push came to shove, many in law enforcement and the military might side with the Second Amendment and refuse to enforce what they saw as an unconstitutional law. (We’re seeing such resistance to state laws by sheriffs in several states and even prosecutors in rural New York counties.) Also, many people who own guns not covered by the ban might side with the resistance, pushing the odds further against a successful ban.

Of course, Swalwell may think that he could make his ban work. Given the federal government’s track record enforcing Prohibition and its performance in the War on Drugs, I wouldn’t bet that way. OTOH, neither Elliott Ness nor the DEA was willing to use nukes.

Hmmm.

Kamala Harris’ Handgun


Kamala Harris owns a handgun, so Peter Funt has written an OpEd for USA Today declaring that ownership of that gun disqualifies her for the 2020 Democrat nomination. I agree with Funt that she should be disqualified, but for a different reason. It’s not that she owns a gun, but that she’s told conflicting stories about owning a gun. She’s claimed that it was bought for personal protection when she was a prosecutor dealing with violent criminals and that she disposed of it when she left that job. But while campaigning in Iowa she said that she’s a gun owner (present tense), and a campaign aide said that the gun was bough years ago and kept locked up.

OTOH, Funt gets one thing partially correct in his OpEd.

[S]he has given voters a real choice: Back candidates who care enough about gun control to not own handguns, or support the only major Democratic contender who has one and won’t throw it away.

She’s not the only gun owner among the major Democrat contenders. Biden, O’Rourke, and Buttigieg own guns. But she does offer Democrats the choice of a candidate who believes that she is so special that the rules she would inflict on us shouldn’t apply to her. Such a politician would have much less conflict with her colleagues than one who thinks that everyone should play by the same rules.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day


Like Abraham Lincoln said, “You can’t believe everything you read on the Internet.” There stuff out there that just as fictitious as that quote. Some people have multiple made up resumes posted.

This episode of Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign was posted four years ago today.

* * * * *

Johnny Atsign Logo 2ANNOUNCER: From Westminster, it’s time for—

SOUND: Skype rings once.

JOHNNY: Johnny Atsign.

ZOMBIE: (Telephone Filter) Good morning, Johnny. It’s Phil Candler. How was the fishing?

JOHNNY: Not bad. I wound mostly catching catfish, but I got few large mouth bass on Kentucky Lake.

ZOMBIE: (Telephone Filter) Good. I’ve been trolling for something else.

JOHNNY: Any luck?

ZOMBIE: (Telephone Filter) I’ve snagged something you may find interesting.

MUSIC: Theme up and under.

ANNOUNCER: The Lickspittle Broadcasting System presents W. J. J. Hoge in the transcribed adventures of the man with the action-packed Twitter account, America’s fabulous free-lance Internet investigator …

JOHNNY: Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign!

MUSIC: Theme up to music out. Continue reading

Voting Rights for the Marathon Bomber


Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris have come out in favor of allowing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to vote from prison. Jim Geraghty notes over at NRO that position might be a tough sell in some parts of the country.

One of the underappreciated aspects of the 2020 primary is how many contenders have spent their lives in very liberal communities and states and have never had to calibrate their stances and rhetoric to appeal to voters in a place like Ohio, or Florida, or Pennsylvania. Kamala Harris had to appeal to voters in San Francisco and then California as a whole; Bernie Sanders had to appeal to voters in Burlington and Vermont. I suspect “restore the Boston Marathon bomber’s voting rights” would not be a popular rallying cry in much of the country.

Harris has hedged her proposal during followup questioning, saying that we needed to have a conversation on the subject. She added, “There has to be serious consequences for the most extreme types of crimes.”

Given Harris’ views on gun control, she may want to rethink her position. After all, when Tsarnaev was on the run, he was armed with a handgun, he was under 21, and he too young to be eligible for a gun license in Massachusetts. Carrying a gun without a license a serious crime in Massachusetts which would have required a one-year mandatory minimum sentence if he’d been tried by the state rather than the feds.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day


This episode of Blognet first ran three years ago today.

* * * * *

BlognetTitleCardMUSIC: Theme. Intro and fade under.

NARRATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, the story you are about to hear is true. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

MUSIC: Up, then under …

NARRATOR: You’re a Detective Sergeant. You’re assigned to Internet Detail. A cyberstalker has filed motion for sanctions in a lawsuit alleging that a blogger has engaged in the unlicensed practice of law by ghost writing court documents for another blogger. Your job … help get the facts.

MUSIC: Up then under …

ANNOUNCER: Blognet … the documented drama of an actual case. For the next few minutes, in cooperation with the Twitter Town Sheriff’s Department, you will travel step by step on the side of the good guys through an actual case transcribed from official files. From beginning to end, from crime to punishment, Blognet is the story of the good guys in action.

MUSIC: Up and out. Continue reading

They’re Not Going to Like Their New Rules


The Progressives believe that they can declare their cities and counties “sanctuaries” for illegal immigrants where local officials do not have to cooperate with the enforcement of federal immigration laws. The mostly Democrat politicians who run those jurisdictions presume they can nullify federal laws on their turf.

John Calhoun was unavailable for comment, but local officials in other jurisdictions were.

According to Reuters, the sheriffs in many jurisdictions (including some here in Maryland) are saying that they will refuse to enforce unconstitutional firearm laws being passed by state legislatures. Over sixty cities and counties in Illinois have declared themselves sanctuaries for gun owners should pending legislation pass. In Oregon, voters in eight counties approved Second Amendment Preservation Ordinances last November that allow sheriffs to determine which state gun laws to enforce. More such ballot measure are on the way in that state.

If the New Rule is that local officials can nullify federal laws, then other local officials should also be able to nullify state laws. If the Progressives can do it, then surely we Normals (I like Kurt Schlichter’s term for us) can as well. Alinsky’s Rule 4 states: Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.

They’re not going to enjoy it.

Common Sense Gun Control Legislation


Gabriella Hoffman has a post over at The Resurgent about a bill introduced into the Washington state legislature which would require the legislators who wish to introduce bills concerning the regulation fo firearms actually demonstrate that they understand what they are doing. The bill includes training requirements for legislators.

Contained in the senator’s bill would be the following requirements for those who desire to propose gun control legislation:

  • Washington State lawmakers who want to draft legislation will be required to pass the state’s criminal justice firearms training for each firearm they wish to regulate.

  • They’d have to complete classroom instruction and live-fire requirements to pass the test .

  • They would be required to range safety officer training

  • They must pass a knowledge test for calibers and gauges of firearms.

Read the whole thing.

An Attempted Totalitarian Twofer


A New York Senate bill would, if passed into law, require that the purchaser of any firearm

consent to have his or her social media accounts reviewed and investigated pursuant to subdivision four of this section …

Such a law would clearly violate rights secured by both the First and Second Amendments. Eugene Volokh offers an analysis of the bills constitutional deficiencies here and concludes with these words—

But remember: No-one is trying to take away your guns, or your freedom of speech.

Read the whole thing.

High-Capacity Credit Cards


Andrew Ross Sorkin has an article over at NYT reporting that some people who have used firearms in mass shooting bought their guns using credit cards.

Well, duh. Most firearms cost at least several hundred dollars, and most purchases for items that expensive are paid for using either credit or debit cards. Fifty years ago, such purchases would have likely been paid for with checks. Either method is more secure than cash, but whether an electronic or a paper transaction, the funds would have been routed through the buyer’s and seller’s banks.

Sorkin seems to think that banks should be monitoring transactions related to firearms in order to … well, someone has to do something to keep those people in flyover country from buying guns. And if the government won’t because of that pesky Second Amendment, the banks should step forward.

<sarc>Maybe Sorkin is right. It could be that we have a problem with high-capacity credit cards falling into the wrong hands. The Progressive states limit access to normal-capacity firearm magazines to specially-approved individuals. Perhaps most people should be prohibited from possessing high-capacity credit cards and only be allowed debit cards with a ten-dollar daily limit. Anyone with a legitimate need to spend a larger sum can plan ahead and withdraw cash from his bank account in a face-to-face transaction that can be subjected to a proper background check.</sarc>

If It Bleeds, It Leads


Seen at Instapundit

SEEN ON FACEBOOK: “Jesus, NBC is still wallowing in the blood. The Borderline shooting is wall-to-wall, pictures of the shooter, his full name, teary next of kin of the victims. It’s like they want copycats.”

Well, of course! Back in the ’60s when I was working in broadcasting, the film crews (this was before portable video tape recorders) would get back with their evening reels, and decisions would have to be taken (choices are taken not made) about which film to develop first. Big car crashes or other disasters would always get processed ahead of the Metro Council meetings. NBC is sticking with an ancient form which has the advantage of also supporting their anti-Second-Amendment narrative.

Gun Free Zones


As a general principle, I believe that private property owners should be able to declare their properties to be “gun free zones.” I can think of several kinds of businesses that might want to keep firearms away. For example, the muzzle flash from a firearm could cause a serious disaster in an industrial plant with volatile fumes in the air. Also, some people are hoplophobes and have an irrational fear of weapons; they should be entitled to their “safe spaces.” However, they should have to accept the consequences for doing so.

IANAL, but it seems to me that something analogous to the attractive nuisance doctrine should apply to such properties. Just as person who has an unfenced swimming pool can be held liable for a someone wandering into the pool and drowning, a property owner who invites visitors (especially, customers) into a “gun free zone” should be held liable (perhaps strictly liable) for the visitors’ safety.

Rights have responsibilities attached.

The Jacksonville Shooter and Some Facts


The shooter at the Madden 19 tournament in Jacksonville was from Maryland, and he used a handgun.

The Baltimore Sun reports that the shooter had a history of psychiatric problems that include hospitalization.

All handguns legally sold in Maryland since 1 October, 2013, have been registered with the Maryland State Police. This includes private transfers which must be run through a licensed dealer in order to create a paperwork trail for a background check.

Part of the MSP background check includes the purchaser’s mental health history. A release form for the check is part of the paperwork submitted to the MSP.

The Gentle Reader may draw what conclusions he will from these facts.

Playing by the Rules


David Hogg has been on the Twitterz threatening Smith & Wesson with some form of dire direness—

Wow. Hogg seems to think he’s holding all the high cards in this game.

The first thing that’s obvious from those tweets is that this kid slept through both civics and grammar classes, but another thing he appears to have missed was learning one of the practical rules of life: A Smith & Wesson beats four aces.

Progressives Are Clutching Their 3D-Printed Pearls


It’s perfectly legal to manufacture your own firearm. However, it’s illegal to sell such a gun to anyone else without first obtaining a manufacturer’s license from the ATF. And since 1968, any gun that’s manufactured for sale must have a serial number. And since the plastic gun nonsense of ’80s (over those evil Glocks like the ones now carried by the FBI), it’s been illegal to manufacture and sell a gun that won’t set off a properly calibrated security metal detector. We’re talking serious felony time for breaking these laws

It doesn’t take much google-fu to learn those facts, but facts are inconvenient. They can get in the way of a good rant, one like the op-ed from the San Francisco Chronicle containing these lines:

Homemade firearms aren’t new, but a basement gunmaker generally isn’t allowed to sell such weapons. With unmarked, self-made plastic weapons, that limitation won’t exist at all.

Uh, no.

As noted above, any unlicensed “manufacturer” commits a felony by selling any firearm regardless of how it was made.

No new laws further abridging the First and Second Amendments would be effective. The technology of 3D printing and the availability of inexpensive computer-controlled machine tools aren’t going to go away. The CAD files for many existing firearm designs are already in circulation on the Internet on servers beyond the reach of the American legal system. The battle has already been decided, and free speech and technical innovation have won.

Crazy People Are Dangerous™


That headline belongs to my friend, co-defendant, and co-podcaster Stacy McCain. I’m just borrowing it for this post.

Jarrod Ramos, the shooter at the Annapolis Capital Gazette, has apparently had some sort of feud going with the newspaper for several years, feud triggered by the paper’s truthful reporting of the facts of a previous harassment case. The shooter’s attempt at lawfare failed when a judge threw out his defamation suit. CBS News reports:

In July 2012, Ramos filed suit against Capital Gazette for defamation, according to the 2015 court filing. The complaint was just four paragraphs long, but Ramos filed a longer 22-page claim several months later.

In 2012, a judge dismissed the lawsuit on the basis that “there is absolutely not one piece of evidence, or an assertion by you that the statement [in the article] was false.”

“I think people who are the subject of newspaper articles, whoever they may be, feel that there is a requirement that they be placed in the best light, or they have an opportunity to have the story reported to their satisfaction, or have the opportunity to have however much input they believe is appropriate,” Judge Maureen M. Lamasney said when dismissing the case. “But that’s simply not true. There is nothing in those complaints that prove that anything that was published about you is, in fact, false.”

The Truth was a complete defense in court, but apparently not effective against a crazy person who would continue to hound the paper for years on Twitter. I will be interested to see what measures the Capital Gazette (and its parent the Baltimore Sun) take to improve the safety and security of their offices and employees.

UPDATE—Stacy has more to say about this at The Other McCain.