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.


It’s Time to Push Back

Jazz Shaw has a post up at Hot Air about the latest trial balloon from the gun grabbers, firearm insurance. As others have pointed out, this is simply an attempt to make legal gun ownership more expensive. And as has been noted by others, the fact that the Progressives are having to float this kind of idea is a sign that they understand that they have lost the main argument for gun control with the public at large.

OK, if we’re winning, it’s time to push back. We probably can’t get a repeal of some of the more obnoxious portions of the Gun Control Act of 1968, but we can propose some “common sense” solutions.

For example, it’s clear that Gun Free Zones are essentially attractive nuisances not unlike swimming pools. We require owners to fence off their pools or face, in some instances, strict liability for the danger to someone (such as a child) who falls in and drowns. Why not require that the owners of Gun Free Zones either provide adequate protection for invitees who enter their property or be held strictly liable for the invitees’ safety? That’s a common sense approach that lets a hoplophobic property owner choose how he wishes to exercise his right to have a Gun Free Zone. Of course, this might have an effect on his liability insurance rates.

Just an idea.

Dread Pirate #BrettKimberlin and the Second Amendment

There’s a post up on the Justice Through Music Project front page blog (No, I won’t link to it.) taking Ted Nugent to task for standing up for the Second Amendment while on Piers Morgan’s show on CNN.

Apparently, we have to solve our gun safety problem with out inconveniencing gun owners in any way shape or form. I don’t know if we could do that Ted.

Now, I don’t know for sure, but I’ll bet that was written by Brett Kimberlin. Assuming that he is currently obeying the law, TDPK is not a gun owner. As a felon, he is barred by state and federal law from possessing a firearm, so he wouldn’t suffer any further inconvenienced from stricter gun laws.

Of course, he hasn’t always obeyed the law, especially the Gun Control Act of 1968. When he was arrested for drug smuggling in Texas, he was already a prohibited person because of his perjury conviction. Yet, he had several firearms in his possession when he was busted. His having guns while a felon is a worked example of a fundamental flaw with gun control—criminals don’t obey the law.

If It Just Saves One Child …

A reader from Western Maryland writes:

A thought occurred to me while catching up on my daily reading. With all the rhetoric over gun control being spewed out and the constant claim that “if it saves just one life”, then why not throw it back in their face with abortion. If it will save just one life, shouldn’t abortion be overturned. Fifty-five million lives have been murdered in 40 years vs how many from guns. We can even treat Planned Parenthood like high capacity clips, or better yet, like McDonald’s use to advertise on their signs, “Over 50 million served.”

I can hear the argument from the left stating that it’s just tissue matter and doesn’t really count, but why is it considered as such when in the animal kingdom it’s not? How many babies have been aborted during the third trimester and didn’t Obama support such procedures. Again, if just one life is saved? Just saying …

Gun Control and Math

Jonah Goldberg has a column over at NRO that touches on the “if it saves just one life” fallacy often used to support gun control and other nanny state meddling in our lives. He cites the example of the FDA bureaucrat who had a 100 percent success rate in avoiding the approval of an unsafe drug by refusing to approve any drugs for four years.

If something saves one life, it may also cost many more. But that’s math. And using math is an unfair rhetorical device according to many on the left.

Doing the Same Thing Again Expecting a Different Result

New Jersey adopted what sponsors described as “the most stringent gun law” in the nation in 1966; two years later the murder rate was up 46% and the reported robbery rate had nearly doubled.

In 1968, Hawaii imposed a series of increasingly strong gun controls, and its murder rate tripled from a low of 2.4 per 100,000 in 1968 to 7.2 by 1977.

In 1976, Washington, D.C. enacted one of the most restrictive gun control laws in the nation. Since then, the city’s murder rate has more than doubled while the national murder rate has declined.

Chicago has the broadest restrictions on firearms of any place in America and had over 500 murders in 2012.

So why is it that politicians like Martin O’Malley, Andrew Cuomo, Dianne Feinstein, and Barack Obama want to enact laws of the sort that have made crime rates worse in the past?

UPDATE—One of the effects of more restrictive gun laws (or the threat of them) has been push back by voters (aka “the little people”), even in blue states. Jackie Wellfounder tweeted this and several other pictures of a Pro-2A rally in Annapolis today:jw20130119

UPDATE 2—Nice Deb has posted nice pictures of rallies in Albany and other state capitals.