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.

* * * * *

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.

* * * * *

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Nice Court You’ve Got There—It’d Be A Shame If Something Happened To It


Senator Whitehouse (D-RI) has filed a brief with the Supreme Court in case of New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. City of New York. In his brief he warns the court not to take up the case, lest it find itself ruling in favor of the Second Amendment claim made by the petitioner.

The Supreme Court is not well. And the people know it. Perhaps the Court can heal itself before the public demands it be “restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics,”

FDR’s threat of court packing worked 80-some-odd years ago. I hope the justices ignore this one.

BTW, Dick Durbin, Kirsten Gillibrand, Richard Blumenthal, and Mazie Hirono all signed on to Whitehouse’s threat to the court.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.