Choose Well

Coloradoans recently experienced a (more or less) collective butt-clenching at the possibility that a crazy lady who wanted to shoot up a school might be running around loose in the state. In anticipation of this possibility, they responded by simply closing all the schools they thought might be at risk and keeping all the kids at home for the day.

Image: Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post

The thing is, this is precisely why an on-site armed response capability is necessary every day. Do you think that if Columbine, or Virginia Tech, or Sandy Hook had actually expected that a shooting was imminent, they’d have been open that day? I’ll guarantee that if you asked any organization which had actually experienced a mass shooting if they expected it to happen that day, every single one of them would answer “no.” If they had honestly expected something like that to happen, or even think there was a truly credible threat, they would do just what Colorado did and close the doors for the day and send everyone home. (And for the record, I find no fault in that decision. I’d do the same thing if I really thought trouble was coming.)

“So what’s your point, Dave?”

My point is that every single mass shooting at a school or business happened when it was not expected, and if one happens at your school, church, or business it will also be unexpected. Just like every other victim of a mass shooting, you will not have advance warning.

If and when that day comes, the time for avoidance and for preparation is over…you will be forced to react, right then and there. The opportunity to avoid bloodshed will have passed, and the only option remaining is whether it will be a shootout, or a massacre…and guess what? You have to make that choice in advance. Choose well.

https://fastersaveslives.org/

Image: Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post

 

Note:  Due to excessive spamming, comments are disabled for the time being.

It’s All About You

Occasionally they will slip up and tell you what the real objective of their “commonsense gun safety” and “good first step” gun laws really is. Notice this comment from a Facebook thread discussing the recent shooting in Aurora, Illinois:
That’s right. The commenter here never mentions how useful background checks are in keeping guns away from criminals; rather he points out their utility in creating lists of gun owners which can be used later to confiscate guns. Remember that…it’s going to come up again.
 
Then, since police had his name on a list, they raided his home and confiscated all his guns. Actually, that’s not true. I made that part up.What the police did do after revoking his FOID card was…send him a letter. In the letter he was informed that the FOID card was revoked and ordered to surrender his guns to his local police department. It’s unclear what happened after that (other than the part where he still had a gun and shot people with it).
Bev Horne/Daily Herald via AP
 
I suppose it is possible that the police were simply too busy to go get his guns, but then that doesn’t make the confiscation of the hundreds of millions of American guns look too feasible, does it?
It’s also possible that the police did go looking for his guns, and he hid them. Or that they did confiscate them and he simply went out and got another (without a FOID card or background check). Doesn’t make those gun control laws look too effective, does it?
 
And it is possible that the reason that cops typically don’t go all raid-ey and confiscate-y on this guy and other prohibited persons who fail background checks is because none of this is about disarming criminals, it’s about disarming YOU.
In fact, people who fail background checks while attempting to purchase firearms are almost NEVER prosecuted (12 prosecutions out of 112,090 denials in 2017), and there are a couple of reasons for this. The first and foremost reason is the extremely high rate of false positives (some estimates run into the 90% range). Bear in mind that when we say “false positive” in regards to a NICS background check failure, we are actually talking about a law-abiding citizen who was denied their right to purchase a firearm.
This brings us to the second big reason that there are so few prosecutions for failed background checks, and it is because…you may want to sit down for this…actual criminals don’t submit to background checks in the first place. Studies have shown time and again (as if we needed a study to tell us this) that criminals obtain their firearms by buying them on the street from other criminals, from friends and family members, or most commonly by stealing them. Sorry, but I don’t think you’re going to get a crook to take that stolen gun to an FFL for a background check.
That’s why the Illinois murderer still had a gun, despite all the controls in place in that state. He was never going to submit to gun control laws, and the truth is they weren’t designed to stop criminals like him. They are only meant to create an ever-tightening noose around the necks of law-abiding citizens, until the point that it is impossible for people like you to own a firearm (see the Facebook comment at the top of the page).
It’s not about crime. It’s all about you, baby.

How to Ban Private Gun Ownership in America

It can be done. You just can’t do it in one fell swoop. You must do it in steps.

You take the first step in 1934 by making some kinds of guns bad, requiring them to be registered with the government and levying a special tax on them. This is to establish the idea that while some guns are OK, other guns are bad. This will be handy later on.

Image result for nfa restricted firearms

You take the next step in 1968. You pass laws adding more restrictions on gun ownership and sales, most notably establishing the requirement of a government-issued license for a business to sell guns. This will be handy later on.

Image result for FFL

Your next step is in 1993, when you pass a law creating certain classes of citizens who are prohibited from possessing guns, as well as adding a requirement that licensed dealers (created in 1968) run each prospective purchaser through an FBI background check before selling them a gun. This will be handy later on.

Image result for filling out 4473

It is now “later on.” It is 2019, and none of this has had any impact on criminal gun ownership. Although that is not the true objective, you point this out and insist that we must take yet another step.

Image result for house judiciary committee hearing hr 8
House Judiciary Committee advances HR 8 to markup.

So far you have managed to outlaw certain types of guns and certain types of gun owners, and to require that sales from licensed dealers obtain government permission before proceeding. The problem is that citizens are still allowed to transfer (some) guns to each other without the participation of a licensed dealer (1968) or a background check (1993).

This next step is to pass laws requiring “universal background checks.” (2019) This will now close the loop and ensure that no guns of any type (good or bad) are transferred to any citizen (good or bad) without government permission. And although some would say this is a “good first step,” they are now only two moves away from the end game.

From AWR Hawkins at Breitbart News.

The next step is to point out that “universal background checks” have been ineffective in reducing crime (though they were not intended to reduce crime) since you don’t know who in America owns all the guns. You can’t tell if people are complying with the background check law without gun registration. So you pass that law…to “close the loophole”…and now you have everything you need. All the pieces are in position to take the final step and eliminate private gun ownership in America…at least by law abiding citizens.

 

Let’s review:

We have established that some guns are bad, and the government decides what those are. (1934)

We have decided that some people are bad and prohibited from gun ownership, and the government decides who they are. (1993)

We require government permission to obtain a gun. (2019?)

The government has a list of guns and gun owners. (?)

Remember, every time they pass another law, it is referred to as a “good first step”…right before the next one.

Things That Go Bump

Wow. According to the flames shooting out of my laptop, the President recently banned bump stocks by executive action. These same flames also tell me that this betrayal spells doom for President Trump and the cowardly Republicans. Honestly, if I could figure out how to monetize the anti-Trump and anti-GOP commentary coming from the gun community over this bump stock ban, I’d have my next couple of African safaris paid for already.

Understand that I think bump stocks are a stupid range toy. They are an unserious waste of money and I personally have no use for them. Also understand that I oppose banning them, period…but I agree with Michael Bane that this is not the hill we want to die on.* In fact, I think the President’s attempt at a ban is a “yuge” mistake, and may very well be overturned in court. (Seriously, what’s a liberal judge going to do when blocking a Trump action means supporting gun rights?)

But here’s my proposal. If this “ends” Donald Trump and the Republicans, I’ll buy you a Bentley. You know what’s going to happen to them, worst case? Donald Trump doesn’t get re-elected and the Republicans move back into the minority in the Senate (having already lost the House). You think this “ends” them? Nope. Even if he’s not President anymore, Donald Trump will still be Donald Trump…and at least he was President once. (You get that promotion to Assistant Manager yet?) And the Republicans? They might be in the minority in the House and Senate, but they’re still in the House and the Senate…and you’re still stuck in line at the Chick-fil-A.

So what’s my point? My point is that they aren’t afraid of you, dear Gun Voter. Shake your fist at the sky and threaten to never vote for them again, and watch them scurry off in fear to pass National Reciprocity and the Hearing Protection Act…right after they finish fighting that dastardly bump stock ban. Right?

I’ll never vote Republican again, as long as I live!

The truth is that the GOP prefers to be in the minority. As the minority, they don’t have to produce any results. All they need to do is “fight the good fight,” where they can then vote for all this pro-gun stuff, knowing it will never pass. Then the scrappy losers can hit the campaign trail and tell you how much they loves them some 2nd Amendment, and how they will never give in…as long as you vote for them. Go ahead and throw them in that briar patch, Brer Fox…

But here is where the two parties differ. While the Republicans may not fear their electorate enough to pass pro-gun legislation, the Democrats expect to be loved by their electorate for passing the most stringent gun control imaginable. And although this doesn’t bode well for advancing gun freedom, it ought to be clear which is the worst of the two options.

So what to do? The Vichy GOP will likely never go to the mat to roll back any existing gun control law (and they are all gun control laws). But I am also confident that if Hillary Clinton had been elected, her bump stock ban would be old news, and we’d certainly be facing even worse. Give Democrats enough power, and you’ll be calling Donald Trump’s bump stock ban “the good old days.”

So spare me the tirades about how you’re done with Trump and the Republicans. Sit out future elections, or worse…vote Democrat…and see what happens. Me? I guess I’ll keep voting Republican and working to “bump” them in the right direction.

 

 

*And if you want my pro-2A bonafides, here goes: I really and truly believe that every single gun law enacted since 1781 should be repealed. All of them. I am not exaggerating one bit. So there.

It Can’t Happen Here

“It can’t happen here,” is a phrase often associated with denial, and in the firearms industry, we usually discuss denial within the context of violent crime. Not today.

In my state of Kentucky, we have enjoyed a strong pro-gun environment for quite a while. Kentucky joined the concealed carry wave relatively early on, adopting shall-issue concealed carry in 1996. Here in the Bluegrass State, concealed carry licensing is relatively easy and reciprocity is widespread, and there are many other robust protections for gun owners.

But now we are facing a bill which is truly a gun controller’s wet dream. Pre-filed in the Kentucky General Assembly by Representative George Brown (D-Fayette County), BR 349 is basically an omnibus gun control bill. I would encourage you to read it for yourself here, but here are some highlights of this atrocious piece of anti-gun legislation:

  • Defines semiautomatic rifles ‘assault weapons’ based on a removable magazine plus a single feature, such as a pistol grip.
  • Defines pistols with a threaded muzzle as an ‘assault weapon’.
  • Defines magazines which hold more than 7 rounds as ‘high capacity’.
  • Enacts requirements for all transfers of firearms to go through a licensed dealer (FFL), to include a background check.
  • Makes all firearms transfer records public.
  • Enacts mandatory reporting requirements for loss/theft of firearms.
  • Enacts safe storage requirements.
  • Requires inventory of firearms belonging to the estate of deceased persons be reported to the county Clerk of Courts.
  • Creates licensing requirement for handgun possession.
  • Registers all handguns.
  • Registers all ‘assault weapons’ and ‘high capacity magazines’ as defined above.
  • Requires dealers to log sales and periodically transmit that log to the Kentucky State Police.

Now, it is unlikely that this bill will even make it out of committee. But this is pro-gun Kentucky, and the fact that a bill like this even exists here ought to give you chills, even if you live in another state…especially if you live in another state. Because it can happen here. And if it can happen in a state like Kentucky, it can happen anywhere.

Where liberty goes to die.

Don’t think it can’t. Don’t fall asleep and assume that politicians will simply do the right thing. Contact your legislators and remind them that we value our gun freedom here, and that you expect them to represent those values when they kill this thing.

Click on the picture below to find out who your Kentucky legislators are and how to contact them.

 

From A Distance

Disclaimer: This has nothing at all to do with guns or politics.  I’m taking a break from that for a moment.

While traipsing around the internet recently, I stumbled across this website:

Open the page, and you’ll see a large red blob. But zoom in a little closer, and you’ll find that the red blob is composed of small red symbols shaped like little buildings.

Click on one of those symbols, and you’ll find that it represents a building which has suffered more than 50% damage in  the Camp Fire in Paradise, California.

In the information window which appears when you click the little red symbol, you’ll see a link to an attached JPG image. Click on that, and the next thing you see will be a photo of a home or a business which has in most cases been burned to the foundation.

This is what that one small red symbol represents. Click the one next to it, and you’ll see the same thing. And the one next to that. And the one next to that. And so on, and so on. All you see is a big red blob…from a distance. Get close, and you see devastated individual lives.

I’m not going to debate the politics or practicalities of wildfire control and management here. We can do that another day. And you can make your own decisions about charitable giving, but I’ve made mine. I’ll be finding a reputable charitable organization and giving a little bit of what I have to someone who used to live in one of those little red symbols.

Just Like Any Other Day

Today, as I watched live news coverage of a multiple shooting at a business local to me, one theme kept resurfacing. News anchors, reporters, and witnesses repeatedly emphasized that prior to the eruption of violence, today seemed “just like any other day.”

Just like any other day. Until it wasn’t anymore.

Of course it did. This isn’t the movies, you know. There isn’t going to be some ominous background music to warn you that something bad is getting ready to happen. Everyone thought it was just another Thursday…and it was.

There is still very little information on this incident so far, so I’ll refrain from extensive commentary right now. However, it is already evident that it was quite lucky that the attack occurred in a downtown area which typically has a heavy law enforcement presence. Most other locations in this area would not have the benefit of such rapid police response and resolution.

But remember this: Tomorrow, you will get up and go about your business…just like any other day. Are you prepared?

Review: Hunters HD Gold Shooting Glasses

Eye protection might well be the least exciting shooting accessory in our range bags, but it is certainly one of the most essential. We only have two eyes, and a moment of neglect can have tragic and permanent consequences.

One of the more interesting options I’ve come across is the shooting glasses offered by Hunter’s HD Gold. I had the good fortune to meet the President of Hunters HD Gold, Brian Conley, at the NRA Annual Meeting earlier this year, and he offered me a pair of their glasses to try. I took him up on it, and have been wearing a pair of their “Gauge” glasses since late spring. I’m primarily a pistol shooter, and participate in USPSA and steel matches all summer long.

I’ve typically worn a set of glasses from another large manufacturer (begins with “O”) with interchangeable lenses for different lighting conditions. That works fine, as long as you’re willing to carry the spare lenses with you all day. But one of the great features of the Hunters HD Gold line of glasses is that they feature photochromic lenses which become lighter or darker as the ambient light changes. Combined with the high definition gold tint, this means great visibility whether indoors or outside, in bright sunlight or shade, and in all types of weather.

Whether in clouds or sun, there’s no need to change lenses with Hunters HD Gold.

One thing I was curious about, however, was how well I might be able to see different fiber optic sight colors, or red-dot sighting systems through the gold lenses. I shouldn’t have worried; both red and green fiber optics and the dot in my Aimpoint sight all popped clearly into view. Bright white painted steel targets didn’t wash out the picture, either, as the glasses provided excellent contrast between my sights and the steel plates. I even tried them with my archery sight, with the same great results. In every shooting situation I’ve worn them in, the Hunters HD Gold glasses have helped cut glare and enhance contrast and clarity.

Hunters HD Gold glasses are available in a variety of styles, and are made in the USA with impact-rated and UV blocking Trivex lenses. Need prescription lenses? Hunters HD Gold glasses can also be made with single vision prescriptions, or with bi- or tri-focal lenses using their TriVueLens progressive design which eliminates lines and image jumps typical to some lined lenses.

If you are looking for advanced eye protection for the shooting sports which offers both safety and great vision, I’d suggest giving Hunters HD Gold a look. Detailed information and retail links are available on their website at: https://huntershdgold.com/

 

Enough

I’ve had it.  I had hoped it was just an anomaly the first time.  But it seems like every time I get on the internet, there has been another one, and one more is too many.  Now, it is time for us to accept some reasonable restrictions, and enact some commonsense reforms.

And don’t go waving the Bill of Rights in my face.  The farsighted Founders of our great nation never envisioned atrocities like this, and I am sick and tired of it.  I do not believe for a moment that the eloquent, educated men who wrote our Constitution ever intended the First Amendment to protect the use of the words “booger hook” and “bang switch”.

Just stop it.

It sounded sort of clever the first time I heard it a couple of decades ago, for about two minutes.  But I’m pretty sure that using playground words instead of professional and correct terminology doesn’t really help make the case that we in the gun community take ourselves or our hardware seriously.  It’s time to grow up, and speak like adults.  So next time you need to show what a savvy gun person you are and lecture about how not to shoot yourself, remember…

This is a finger.

 

This is a trigger.

 

Use your words…

Thinkable

Image: KTRK-TV

“It is with great sadness that I stand here today to share with you that we experienced an unthinkable tragedy at our high school this morning.”

–  Dr. Leigh Wall, Santa Fe ISD

To be fair, it is entirely possible that Dr. Wall did not mean “unthinkable” in the literal sense. Still, I think it is worth addressing the use of that word when it comes to mass murder in a school…or any other act of violence, for that matter. While violent crime is thankfully unfamiliar to the vast majority of America (386.3 offenses for every 100,000 people) , no one with access to a television, a radio, a computer, or smartphone should be in denial of the possibility.

Anyone who steps out their door in the morning truly believing “it can’t happen here” is a fool. Furthermore, if you are in some sort of position which entrusts you with responsibility for the lives of others and you still believe “it can’t happen here,” you are both negligent and morally bankrupt.

Although there were armed officers present today, and by all accounts they performed admirably, no law-abiding adult should be denied the right to defend themselves immediately from violence…right now. While prevention is certainly preferable, I know of no one who has a realistic proposal to guarantee that such violence can be prevented without fail. And once the killing begins, prevention is no longer an option. History has proven again and again that the longer it takes for an armed defender to arrive at the scene, the more people die.

If you are a leader…in a school system, a business, or any other organization…and you sit safe in your office while those in your charge are left vulnerable, you are wrong. It is one thing to opt for defenselessness for yourself, but to force others to be so is wrong. “Gun-free zones” are wrong. “Gun-free zones” kill.

Unthinkable, my ass. You had better think about it.

Image: KTRK-TV