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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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?
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,” 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.
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.
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.
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.”
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?
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.
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/
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…
Use your words…
“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.
A recent article on Huffpost, by alleged hunters, is repeating the old narrative that the only guns which merit any protection are those which are deemed necessary for hunting. After all, they say, you just don’t need an AR-15 to hunt. Big mistake, Elmer.
Never mind that the 2nd Amendment has nothing to do with hunting, and never mind the obvious arguments against living in a society where you are only allowed to possess the things which you need (as decided by someone else). Let’s stick to the idea that you only need guns which are suitable for hunting, because there is a very specific problem with that position.
The problem is that once need becomes the linchpin of your position, you now open up the debate as to whether or not you really need to hunt at all. And you know what? You don’t.
There are very few people left in this country who require hunted game meat to feed themselves, if any. We hunt because we enjoy the activity, and because we like game meat, but we don’t need it any more than we need a new Xbox. And if you really want to argue the case that you and your family need hunted game meat in order to survive, I’ve got a solution for you…and you aren’t going to like it.
It involves means testing before being allowed to hunt for subsistence. If your income as reported to the IRS does not fall below the poverty line, then you do not qualify as a subsistence hunter. Remember, the only allowable guns are those suitable for hunting, and since your income level means you do not need to hunt, you may possess no firearms at all.
The next phase of the solution comes once all the non-subsistence hunters and their nasty old non-hunting guns are weeded out. Now we have a relatively small subset of impoverished gun owners who simply cannot afford to buy meat at the grocery to feed their families. It then becomes a simple matter to put them on government assistance (if they aren’t already) and bump their allowance enough to enable them to buy their meat at the supermarket like everybody else.
The supposed need to hunt has now been removed once and for all. Now, not only have the awful guns no one needed to hunt been eliminated, the so-called “good guns” are unnecessary as well. Once you put need into the equation, you are one government-issued EBT card away from no longer needing to hunt. There’ll be no tasty venison for you, but you won’t starve. And once you no longer need to hunt, you won’t need any of those guns at all, Elmer.