Category Archives: Guns

Shooting Irons!

Animal’s Daily Policy Stunt News

Forewarned is forearmed.

Be sure to check out the latest in my History of Lever Guns series over at Glibertarians!

Speaking of guns:  In Missouri, a state lawmaker wants to mandate that able-bodied residents all own an AR-15.  Yes, really.  Excerpt:

A Missouri State lawmaker has introduced a bill that is sure to upset anti-gunners. Rep. Andrew McDaniel (R-Deering) introduced House Bill 1108, which would establish the “McDaniel Militia Act.” If passed, everyone between the ages of 18 and 35 would be required to own an AR-15.

“Any person who qualifies as a resident on August 28, 2019, and who does not own an AR-15 shall have one year to purchase an AR-15,” the bill reads. “Any resident qualifies as a resident after August 28, 2019, and does not own an AR-15 shall purchase an AR-15 no later than one year after qualifying as a resident.”

A section of the bill would establish tax credits for those who didn’t own an AR-15 before the law went into effect. They would be given a tax credit of 75 percent of AR-15’s purchase price. 

Citizens would be allowed to sell their AR-15s as long as they still had at least one in their possession.

McDaniel told WDAF-TV he knew the bill wouldn’t pass but he introduced it to “make a point on mandates in general.”

The former deputy sheriff said the bill “points out the absurdity of the opposite side,” and anti-gun proposals to “add more requirements and barriers for law-abiding citizens.”

Fortunately McDaniel obviously understands that his bill is a stunt, intended to illustrate absurdity by being absurd.  But let’s assume for a moment that he’s serious about this bill, because let’s be honest, odder things have been proposed in the various state legislatures, not to mention the Imperial Congress.  If this was a serious proposal, it would be a really bad idea for a few reasons.

  1. Mandating folks to own something – a weapon, a watch, a health insurance policy, anything – is as antithetical to liberty as forbidding them from owning that same thing.  What is not banned is not mandatory.  What is not mandatory is not banned.  That’s not how a free society works.
  2. You don’t have to be Milton Friedman to figure out what a subsidy of 75% of the rifle’s price would do.  Prices of AR-15s would skyrocket, fast.
  3. Why only an AR-15?  What if I wanted to defend home and hearth with a Winchester 94 in .30-30, one that I’ve owned for decades and with which I am an absolutely deadly shot?

But, of course, this is a stunt, and a not particularly creative one.  While I’m sure McDaniel is trying to make a point, and in truth I appreciate the point he’s trying to make, I just don’t see how this sort of thing moves the ball forward.

 

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

There’s a continual RRHHEEEE from the political Left these days on the epidemic of mass shootings that are, apparently, something that only happens here in the U.S. – except, that’s not true.  We’re not even the country with the most mass shootings.  Not by a (hah!) long shot.  Excerpt:

…But a study of global mass-shooting incidents from 2009 to 2015 by the Crime Prevention Research Center, headed by economist John Lott, shows the U.S. doesn’t lead the world in mass shootings. In fact, it doesn’t even make the top 10, when measured by death rate per million population from mass public shootings.

So who’s tops? Surprisingly, Norway is, with an outlier mass shooting death rate of 1.888 per million (high no doubt because of the rifle assault by political extremist Anders Brevik that claimed 77 lives in 2011). No. 2 is Serbia, at just 0.381, followed by France at 0.347, Macedonia at 0.337, and Albania at 0.206. Slovakia, Finland, Belgium, and Czech Republic all follow. Then comes the U.S., at No. 11, with a death rate of 0.089.

That’s not all. There were also 27% more casualties from 2009 to 2015 per mass shooting incident in the European Union than in the U.S.

“There were 16 cases where at least 15 people were killed,” the study said. “Out of those cases, four were in the United States, two in Germany, France, and the United Kingdom.”

“But the U.S. has a population four times greater than Germany’s and five times the U.K.’s, so on a per-capita basis the U.S. ranks low in comparison — actually, those two countries would have had a frequency of attacks 1.96 (Germany) and 2.46 (UK) times higher.”

Yes, the U.S. rate is still high, and nothing to be proud of. But it’s not the highest in the developed world. Not by a long shot.

Yet, some today propose banning rifles, in particular AR-15s, because they’ve been used in a number of mass killings. It’s important to note however that, according to FBI crime data cited this week by the Daily Caller, deaths by knives in the U.S. outnumber deaths by rifles by five to 1: In 2016, 1,604 people were killed by knives and other cutting instruments, while 374 were killed by rifles.

Now, to be fair, Norway’s stats are skewed (as the study notes) by one horrific event.  But hey, folks, the EU has us beat cold when it comes to mass shootings.  And they have the kind of gun laws that would give the worst gun-grabber in our Congress wet dreams.

So what can we conclude from this?  Simple:  Bad people do bad things.  Restricting or banning objects won’t stop them from doing bad things.  And when people do bad things, those people who have done the bad things are responsible; not any inanimate object that they chose to use as a tool.

It’s really not that complicated.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to Pirate’s Cove for the Rule Five links!

Being something of a rifleman and an adherent to the school of “You Can Shoot Little Stuff With A Big Gun, but You Can’t Shoot Big Stuff With A Little Gun,” I’ve always wondered why the U.S. Army adopted the M-16 platform as a primary weapon instead of the jungle carbine it was more suited to be.  There is still a true Main Battle Rifle (MBR) in U.S. inventories, that being the M-14.

Nowadays it seems my thoughts on rifles are gathering some steam in the U.S. military.  Excerpt:

The M-14 was the U.S. military’s last battle rifle. It appeared in 1959—the contemporary of the Pentagon’s first jet fighters and ICBMs. With its heavy steel parts and walnut stock, the M-14 looked positively archaic.

It was hardly a Space Age weapon. And it only endured as America’s battle rifle until 1970, when the M-16 completely superseded it—the shortest service record of any U.S. military rifle in the 20th century.

Yet, the M-14 has come and gone and come back again. Its accuracy and power—it fires the 7.62 x 51 millimeter NATO round—have given it a new lease on life as a weapon for snipers and designated marksmen.

The M-14 refuses to surrender.

“The M-14 has re-appeared in recent years in the hands of U.S. troops,” Alan Archambault, former supervisory curator for the U.S. Army Center of Military History, tells War Is Boring. “The sniper version is designated the M-25 and has proven to be very effective in Iraq and especially Afghanistan.”

“I believe the M-14 was a better weapon for combat where accuracy and range are more important than volume of fire,” says Archambault, an Army veteran. “This is why some troops in Afghanistan have used the M-14.”

The M-14 is, of course, the modernized, select-fire version of the venerable M1 Garand.  But it remains today something I think the U.S. military needs, a full-power Main Battle Rifle, far better suited to open-country mechanized warfare than the M-16/M4 platform.

A modernized M-14 with a modern shooter.

I see that the reissued M-14s have been modernized with synthetic stocks and optical sights.  While I remain skeptical of the value of an optical sight in direct combat, as long as they are backed up by stout iron sights and the troops are trained in the use of those iron sights, that’s not much of an issue.  Getting troops to the range more often will count for a lot more than any particular kind of sighting equipment.

I’ve long thought about buying a Springfield Armory M1A, the semi-auto civilian version of the M-14.  In National Match trim the M1A runs about two grand, not an insignificant investment even in a hobby not known for being economical.  One of these days, maybe.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Firearms aficionados will know that Washington state recently passed some pretty draconian anti-Second Amendment laws.  Arguing (correctly, to my thinking) that those laws are unconstitutional, several Washington county sheriffs are refusing to enforce this law.  Excerpt:

Sheriffs in a dozen Washington counties say they won’t enforce the state’s sweeping new restrictions on semi-automatic rifles until the courts decide whether they are constitutional.

A statewide initiative approved by voters in November raised the minimum age for buying semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21, required buyers to first pass a firearms safety course and added expanded background checks and gun storage requirements, among other things. It was among the most comprehensive of a string of state-level gun-control measures enacted in the U.S. after last year’s shooting at a Florida high school.

The National Rifle Association and the Second Amendment Foundation have filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging the initiative is unconstitutional. They say its purchasing requirements violate the right to bear arms and stray into the regulation of interstate commerce, which is the province of the federal government.

Sheriffs in 12 mostly rural, conservative counties — Grant, Lincoln, Okanogan, Cowlitz, Douglas, Benton, Pacific, Stevens, Yakima, Wahkiakum, Mason and Klickitat — along with the police chief of the small town of Republic, have said they will not enforce the new law until the issues are decided by the courts.

“I swore an oath to defend our citizens and their constitutionally protected rights,” Grant County Sheriff Tom Jones said. “I do not believe the popular vote overrules that.”

All I can say is, good on those sheriffs.

Well, OK, I can say a bit more than that.  The refusal of these lawmen to enforce a law they see as illegitimate sets a very interesting precedent.   Consider Imperial overreach, especially as it is being proposed by the political Left in the Imperial City right now (Green New Deal, anyone?)  Consider if increasingly overbearing laws are increasingly ignored by counties and towns across the nation.

Would not there be some backlash by increasingly frustrated voters against overweening pols who keep passing intrusive laws that nobody in the flyover counties want enforced?

Or will there be an Imperial backlash against local law enforcement who are, as they see it, doing duty to a higher authority – the Constitution?

Either way, the outcome is sure to be very interesting – as in the old Chinese proverb.

Animal’s Daily Lever Gun News

For some time now I’ve been eyeing a way to get myself a light, handy lever gun chambered in the .45 Colt, as a companion piece for my .45 Colt sixguns.  I’ve thought about refurbishing an original Winchester 1892, but I wouldn’t want to alter a collectible and the metallurgy in older guns might make it unwise to run my favored heavy .45 Colt loads through the finished piece.

The company that calls itself Winchester nowadays has reintroduced the 1892, but it has a damnable sliding tang safety that ruins the original look; ditto for the Rossi/Braztech version and its idiotic pivot safety marring the top of the bolt.  A gun with an external hammer shouldn’t need an additional safety.

But I think I may have found an answer.

This, True Believers, is the Cimarron 1892 Saddle Ring Carbine, an 1892 replica with a big lever loop and a 20″ round barrel, frequently described as the best combination of quick handling and balance in the ’92.  The big-loop version is called, of course, the Cogburn Carbine.  From the manufacturer’s catalog:

For decades, the 1892 Winchester was the rifle of Silver Screen cowboys, and none was more recognizable than the Duke’s large loop lever-action 1892 carbine.  As a mainstay in film after film, this rifle showed true grit, providing some of film’s most exciting action sequences.

Mind you, that’s not why I want the gun; I want it because it’s a light, handy carbine with enough punch to settle a typical Colorado black bear or an overly aggressive mountain cat.

This is a 6.6 pound piece, light enough to easily carry in one hand.  I like the big lever loop, not because John Wayne favored one (although I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t a factor) but because I have big hands and am frequently out and about in cold weather.  Big finger levers are easier to handle with gloved hands.

This might just be the perfect off-season woods-bumming rifle.

 

Rule Five Political Hypocrite Friday

I know, I know – the title is a redundancy, but there you are.  A powerful – and by that, read “crooked as a snake with a busted back” – Chicago politician has not only been busted, but the notoriously anti-gun pol has been ordered to turn in his own personal collection of twenty-three guns.  Hah!  Excerpt, with my comments:

Alderman Ed Burke, 75, is charged with one count of attempted extortion for conveying to company executives in 2017 that they’d get the (city remodeling) permits only if they signed on as clients at Burke’s private property-tax law firm in Chicago, a 37-page complaint unsealed on Thursday says.

Apparently Alderman Burke was fond of the old-school “nice contracting business you’ve got there – shame if something were to… happen to it.”

For many Chicagoans suspicious of dealings behind closed doors at City Hall, Burke has personified the city’s machine politics for decades. Dozens of aldermen have entered U.S. District court on corruption charges, but Burke seemed too powerful, too wealthy and too savvy to land himself in the kind of legal trouble he now faces.

A career state police officer of my acquaintance some years back once told me that every criminal he ever encountered combined three character traits in various proportions:  Greedy, mean, and stupid.  Apparently the same applies to Chicago aldermen.

He sat in a packed Chicago federal courtroom Thursday afternoon with his arms folded, wearing his trademark pinstriped suit with a pocket square. Minutes later, he stood before U.S. Magistrate Sheila Finnegan, who asked if he understood the charge and that a conviction could carry a lengthy prison sentence.

“Yes, your honor,” he answered calmly.

And if there is any justice to be found in Cook County – a highly doubtful supposition – that prison sentence will indeed be lengthy.

Burke’s attorney, Charles Sklarsky, commented briefly to reporters as he left the courthouse with his client, saying he looked forward to proving Burke did nothing wrong.

“The transaction described in the complaint does not make out extortion or an attempt to extort,” he said.

Which statement is lawyerly hogwash.

Here’s the punch line:

Prosecutors told the judge that Burke, who has publicly opposed the National Rifle Association and proposed multiple gun-control ordinances over the years, had 23 guns at his offices alone. The judge said one condition of his continued release is that he gets rid of all his guns, including any at his home. He also was required to turn over his passport.

Haw!

If I had a dollar for every anti-gun politician who ascribed to the “laws for thee, but not for me” school of thought, I’d have… well, a whole bunch of dollars.  Like Dianne Feinstein and her politically-connected CCW permit, or Mike Bloomberg and his retinue of armed guards.

Of course this is Illinois, which state in general and Cook County in particular has a long history of political corruption, as the linked article points out:

Burke joins a long list of Illinois lawmakers charged criminally, including former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who is serving a 14-year prison term on multiple federal corruption convictions.

Now hypocrisy isn’t against the law, for which fact many members of Congress no doubt breathe the occasional sigh of relief.  But there should damn well be some cost on Election Day; should be, but in all too many cases there isn’t, as much of the electorate apparently expects nothing else from pols of either party.

Animal’s Daily Gun Buy-Back Shenanigans News

Guns Not for Sale.

This elicited a chuckle:  Man Sells Junk Guns to Buy-Back Program, Buys New Gun With Cash.  Excerpt:

Nine times out of 10, those selling us their guns are law-abiding citizens getting rid of broken or unused weapons.

It’s entrepreneurship at its finest. So for that, I need to give some serious props to state leaders. While they failed at the whole “gun handover” thing, they sure succeeded at giving people a side hustle.

Like this guy, for example.

A Missouri man sold his firearms made out of scrap metal and garbage to a gun buy-back program… and then used the money to buy a real gun.

We call that man a “patriot”.

YouTuber Royal Nonesuch made a quick $300 by taking 3 firearms that he’d built out of scrap and selling them back to the state of Missouri. He described two of the pipe guns as the ‘crappiest guns I’ve ever made’ but was still able to successfully sell them off to the program.

First off; yes, gun buy-backs are stupid.  What’s more, they’re a waste of taxpayer money.  Even more than that, the “no-questions-asked” models of most buy-backs allow criminals to safely dispose of weapons that may well be linked to a crime, and get some cash or prizes into the bargain.

And riddle me this:  How the hell can a city “buy back” something that never belonged to the city in the first place?

The last gun “buy-back” done in Denver was in 2008, and netted a grand total of fifteen guns; at least that one was done by a church, and not by the city at taxpayer expense.  But if they ever do another, I expect I’ll have to find some time to drag loyal sidekick Rat out of his lodgings to head to a scrap yard.  I’m fairly certain we can bang together a few zip-gun style gizmos to sell, and I’ve been toying with the idea of trying out one of the Ruger Gunsite Scout rifles…

…Opportunities are where we find them.  Right?

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to Pirate’s Cove for the Rule Five links, and to our pals over at The Daley Gator for the linkback!  Also, go read my latest article over at Glibertarians.com.

Now, with all that said…

On January 1st, the new “assault weapons” ban in the People’s Republik of Boulder took effect.  Independence Institute leader and Boulder resident Jon Caldera, having previously announced his intention to do precisely that, is refusing to comply.  Excerpt:

My strong belief in my Second Amendment rights is core to who I am. I know that is not understood by many today, however I am not asking to be understood. I’m asking to be left alone.

I am asking for progressives who run city government to live up to their assertion of tolerance and just let me be.

Because I own a long gun with a pistol grip and a detachable magazine, I had to the end of December to self-identify to the police, present myself for investigation and my gun for inspection, pay fees in order to receive a police-issued permission slip, all to avoid jail time, monetary penalties, and the confiscation and destruction of my gun.

I have never been convicted or even charged with a crime in my 54 years of life, but this week I became a criminal. I am no different then potentially thousands of other Boulderites who cannot bring themselves to submit to this ugliness. And yes, I know, most people today don’t see this as ugly or intolerant, but simply a reasonable thing to do about this “epidemic.” After all, something needs to be done.

For publicly stating that I will not comply, my daughter has been targeted at her Boulder school, the one with posters celebrating tolerance and diversity all over the walls. My refusal to submit has been commented on by teachers in front of their classes. She has been ganged up on by students and bullied because “her father is a murderer.” She is worried that I will be taken to jail. As a single dad to her and her handicapped brother, I have to admit I’m worried about that too.

Now illegal in Boulder.

And Mr. Caldera has company.

I’ve said it before, but the four words “I Will Not Comply” are some of the most powerful words in the English language.  Our own Denver suburb of Aurora has not yet given in to this nitwittery, but if they were to do so, I’d have to join Mr. Caldera and the legion of “gun toting hippies” in refusing to comply.

I can’t say as I’m optimistic about all this.  Local and state governments (see New Jersey, California and Washington for recent examples) will continue passing stupid laws, and more and more people will join the ranks of those who will not comply.  I’m looking for a way this can end without violence, but I’m damned if I can see one.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Good news for Bruce Lee fans!  Nunchuks are now protected by the Second Amendment.  Excerpt:

A federal judge found last week that New York’s 45-year old ban on a popular martial arts weapon is unconstitutional when squared against the right to bear arms.

Judge Pamela K. Chen found in favor of James M. Maloney in her 32-page ruling on Friday, arguing that the sale, use, and possession of nunchaku or chuka sticks — a simple weapon consisting of two sticks connected by a length of chain or rope — is protected by the Second Amendment. As such, New York’s ban on such weapons, enacted in 1974 after their popularity in martial arts films of the time, went too far and is an unconstitutional restriction.

Maloney, a college professor and an amateur martial artist, created his own martial arts style of which he is the sole practitioner. Key in his style is the use of nunchucks for self-defense, which are illegal to possess or sell in the Empire State. As he wants to both train his children in the art and possess the weapons in his home legally, he filed a lawsuit back in 2003 in an effort to overturn the law and, last Friday, the court sided with him.

As part of his case, witnesses for Maloney advised that at least 64,890 factory-produced metal and wood nunchakus were sold to individuals in the U.S. since 1995, that they are legal and in common use in 48 states — only New York and Massachusetts bans them — and some 5,000 martial arts schools train their users. The devices are even carried by police in California and Colorado.

Carried by police?  Really?

Archery may be affected.

This case is interesting to me, at least, not because I give two hoots about nunchuks – I don’t – but because it expands the concept of “arms” beyond guns.  By defining arms to include two sticks connected by a bit of cord or chain, they have made it more difficult for those who would restrict the Second.

We’re not just talking about guns anymore, folks.  Take this decision to its logical conclusion, and you have to include archery tackle, all manner of martial arts gear, replica swords, all sorts of things.  And all of those things have people who enjoy using them and don’t want them restricted.

And if you don’t think the government would restrict archery tackle, look at what’s happening in Britain right now with knives.

Animal’s Daily Gun Registration Fails News

A while back the People’s Republik of Boulder passed an ordinance demanding owners of nebulously-defined “assault weapons” register, surrender or move their arms out of the city.  So far the city has registered 85 weapons, which would seem to indicate most Boulder gun owners responded with “fuck off, slavers!”  Excerpt:

With only 21 days left to go before the certification period closes, a total of 86 certificates have been issued (there are just over 100,000 residents in the college town). Two of those certifications were for the same firearm shared by a husband and wife (for some reason), that means only 85 guns have been certified so far.

City Attorney Tom Carr, who drafted the law to try to fit “the council’s vision,” openly admits that it’ll be difficult to enforce.

“I can’t imagine a way to do proactive enforcement,” Carr said. “Obviously, there’s no circumstance where we go door-to-door and ask people if they’ve violated the law. So, I think it would mostly be responsive.”

Carr also “thinks” a lot of other things about the law he’s written:

“The code gives officers discretion,” Carr said. “For example, if the weapon was discovered during an investigation of a crime of violence, I would think that it is more likely to be seized. If the investigation was for something more administrative in nature, I would expect most officers would advise the person of the law and how to comply.”

Boulder resident John Ramey, who worked together with Councilwoman Mirabai Nagle to propose an alternative to the ban, made the following statement via email when the law was being proposed:

“By definition, effective governing must be practical and enforceable. When something isn’t enforceable, like the war on drugs, that’s a huge sign that the underlying legal model doesn’t match the actual problems and realities.”

Take a good look at that last sentence.  Boulder has done precisely this; created a law that is impossible to enforce.  In fact it’s worse, it is a law that potentially – indeed, almost certainly – makes criminals out of formerly law-abiding citizens.  Feature or bug?  Ayn Rand may have foreseen it:

“Did you really think we want those laws observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We want them to be broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against… We’re after power and we mean it… There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Reardon, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”

Boulder has done some stupid shit; this is really just the latest in a long string.  And, sadly, the rest of the once and former Colorado may not be far behind in the Stupid Sweepstakes where gun control is concerned, despite growing evidence that the would-be gun-grabbers proposals simply don’t work.

Forewarned is forearmed.

It’s not just Colorado.  New Yorkers’ compliance with their misnamed “SAFE Act” is so low as to be barely noticeable.

So where does this end?  On the one hand, when new laws have no effect, or a negative effect, on lowering crime, pols clamor for more laws, with which the formerly law-abiding increasingly show disregard; thus spawning calls for more restrictions, which piss off more gun owners who reply by refusing to comply…

Odds are this won’t end well.