Category Archives: Guns

Shooting Irons!

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Constitutional carry, meaning legal concealed handgun carry with no permit required – is it coming soon to a state near you?  Well, probably not to our own beloved but increasingly purple Colorado, and certainly not to ever-more-loony Californey, where I am temporarily hanging my hat.  But Alaska, where we plan to relocate in the not-too-distant future, has this law, and the practice is gaining ground.  Excerpt:

“The eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end,” President Trump claimed on Friday while addressing a National Rifle Association gathering in Atlanta. “No longer will federal agencies be coming after law-abiding gun owners.”

Well, that’s a relief. I was afraid the feds were risking repetitive strain injuries. It’s time for them to change things up and bash on some other freedoms. Somehow, I’m sure we can count on them to do just that.

But relief for self-defense rights might well be a thing, especially outside the nation’s capital. Look, for example, at the growing ranks of states recognizing people’s right to discreetly carry weapons without first seeking government approval.

That’s a practice I sometimes jokingly call “New York carry,” though I inevitably confuse people when I do. New York doesn’t encourage carrying a gun without a permit, they protest! Well, actually, it kind of does. When I worked in New York City in the 1990s, getting permission to just legally own a handgun was an ordeal (which I’ve described elsewhere), and a carry permit was out of the question for anybody who wasn’t well connected. For a while, I worked a job that had me returning to my apartment at 4th Street and Avenue B—a gentrifying but still sketchy neighborhood at the time—in the wee hours of the morning. The criminals, along the route, it seemed, had never received the memo about the city’s restrictive gun laws. Believe me, I carried.

In 1980 and 1981, I had a part-time job repossessing cars, which gig took me frequently into south Chicago, Gary and those types of environs.  Not comfortable territory for a lily-white Iowa farm boy; so yes, I carried, a massive .45 caliber horse pistol shoved into my waistband under an ancient Army trench coat.  I never used it or even displayed it, but I was comforted for having it, and if I had ever needed it I’d have needed it damned bad.

It’s common among the pro-Second Amendment community to point out that the Second is our carry permit; it does, after all, state a right to keep and bear arms, a right upheld by the Supreme Court.  But the law is frequently an ass, and most states still don’t recognize this principle.  It’s better in my estimation to get the permit and be within the law; but I’d much rather have the Constitution recognized to its original intent.

As George Carlin once said, “if you don’t like the weather, move!”  Giving up Colorado for Alaska will be a big move for Mrs. Animal and yr. obdt. – but the move to a freer state will be worth the trouble.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks again to Pirate’s Cove and The Other McCain for the Rule Five links!

Amazingly, (or perhaps not) murders in the United States are highly concentrated in a few locations; mostly urban.  Excerpt:

The United States can really be divided up into three types of places. Places where there are no murders, places where there are a few murders, and places where murders are very common.

In 2014, the most recent year that a county level breakdown is available, 54% of counties (with 11% of the population) have no murders.  69% of counties have no more than one murder, and about 20% of the population. These counties account for only 4% of all murders in the country.

The worst 1% of counties have 19% of the population and 37% of the murders. The worst 5% of counties contain 47% of the population and account for 68% of murders. As shown in figure 2, over half of murders occurred in only 2% of counties.

Here’s the primary map, reproduced from the linked article:

It doesn’t take a genius to note that many of the most murder-intensive counties are also those with strict gun control laws; look, for example, in southern California and the environs around Chicago.

Look also at the predominantly rural counties, where gun ownership is high but the murder rate is low.

My grandfather used to say “the kids that grow up along the river are never the ones that drown.”  Born in 1898, Grandpa was a man of a different era, but his wisdom here still applies.  When you are talking firearms, folks who live with and use them legitimately in their lives are not the ones committing crimes with firearms.  Criminals are, and they will continue to do so no matter what laws are passed – as witness the Godfather Rahm Emmanuel’s Chicago.

Not that this will stop the anti-gun Left from screeching for more useless gun control laws.  The mantra continues to be “if statism doesn’t work, we just need to statist harder!

Maybe, just maybe, instead of gun control, we could look at goon control?

Animal’s Daily CCW News

Because you shouldn’t have to walk that far to set someone on fire.

Former New York mayor and present-day hoplophobe and generally clueless busybody Michael Bloomberg is piling in to try to stop national CCW reciprocity.  Excerpt:

Everytown for Gun Safety and its billionaire founder and funder, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, have pledged to spend $25 million to prevent national concealed carry reciprocity from becoming law on Capitol Hill, to increase their gun control efforts in state capitols and to oppose pro-Second Amendment candidates in the rapidly approaching 2018 midterm elections. It’s a whole lot of astroturf.

We know the good news. We have elected a President who has pledged to respect our citizens’ right to keep and bear arms and we have a new Supreme Court associate justice who has said he will respect the Heller decision reaffirming the individual right to keep and bear arms.

As a result, gun owners may think that they can rest easy. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. The true believers of the gun control movement will never rest. We have said this before, but it bears repeating. We can never let down our guard.

Underpinning so much of the gun controllers’ arguments, and this is particularly evident in their fight against national concealed carry reciprocity, is the conflation of the legal ownership of firearms with the criminal misuse of guns. It’s a dishonest astroturf tactic that appeals to a political base that has no familiarity with firearms, but it does not ring true.

Just as the gun control groups inveighed against the increase in concealed carry permits on a state-by-state basis, they now argue that national reciprocity will result in increased crime from sea to shining sea.

Every time.  Every single furshlugginer time a state legislature proposed opening up their CCW laws, wet-pants types like Bloomberg claimed crime rates would skyrocket.  Every time, every furshlugginer time, they were wrong.  They’re wrong now.

Jackwagons like Bloomberg don’t seem to be able to differentiate between law-abiding CCW permit holders, which demographic has a lower rate of criminal offenses than the population at large, and criminals – who don’t give a shit about permits and carry any gun they like anywhere and everywhere they please.

There are many reasons to favor national CCW reciprocity.  Pissing off Bloomberg isn’t a major reason; but it would make a nice fringe benefit.

Animal’s Daily Armed and Fabulous News

Armed and Sexy.

Armed and Fabulous were apparently the words of the day at CPAC.  Excerpt:

Lawyer Kristi McMains was getting into her car after work when the stranger tackled her. “I fought like hell,” McMains says. “I was doing all that I could, and I still couldn’t get him off of me. .. That’s why I grabbed my gun.”

McMains was one of five women speaking on a Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) panel Friday titled “Armed and Fabulous: The New Normal.” Joining her were gun advocate and writer Antonia Okafor, Kimberly Corban of the National Rifle Association (NRA), Ms. Wheelchair USA 2013 Ashlee Lundvall, and Townhall.com‘s Katie Pavlich, as moderator. Together they extolled the virtues of female firearm ownership as a means for self-protection and slammed liberal feminists who object to their pro-gun stance.

Okafor, who twice cast ballots for Barack Obama before voting Trump in the last election, told the crowd at CPAC that “real female empowerment” must include firearms and the protection of Second Amendment rights.

Education and empowerment are “the crux of the feminist movement, right?” asked Corbin. “Well, we want women to be educated and empowered” about firearms, and yet “we’re being shamed for it.”

My own dear Mrs. Animal has never really considered herself a “feminist” in the generally accepted vernacular of today’s discourse, but she sure as hell is empowered; a former U.S. Army officer, recipient of a Bronze Star for her leadership in setting up and running a new type of inter-service medical facility in the first Gulf War, now a mother of four and a small business owner.  And that’s in addition to being a CCW permit holder and a pretty damn good pistol shot.  She never leaves the house without either a Ruger LCP or her S&W M&P Compact at her side.

And yes, True Believers, empowerment is solely the province of the individual.  Nobody can do it for you; “movements” are not the source of empowerment, neither is government.  Only an individual can empower him or herself.

That’s the difference between dependence and self-reliance; the difference between waiting for someone to do something for you, and taking responsibility for doing something yourself.

That’s liberty, folks.

Animal’s Daily Second Amendment News

One state at a time – New Hampshire now has Constitutional Carry.  Excerpt:

“New Hampshire now joins an ever-growing number of states in passing constitutional carry,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “Despite the best efforts of Michael Bloomberg-funded groups to distort the truth, the New Hampshire legislature and governor stood strong for freedom.”

Sununu’s signature on SB 12 makes New Hampshire the 12th state to allow constitutional carry.  New Hampshire joins its northern New England neighbors Maine and Vermont, both of which allow constitutional carry.  

Sponsored by Sen. Jeb Bradley (R-3), Senate Bill 12 will repeal the license requirement to carry a concealed pistol or revolver, unless a person is otherwise prohibited.  For those who choose to obtain licenses, SB 12 will also increase the length of time in which a license is valid from four years to five years.

 It’s accepted by many, if not most, in the shooting sports community that the Second Amendment is our carry permit.  That’s probably not the most accurate way to interpret the Second Amendment, though; like all the other items in the Bill of Rights, the Second enumerates a natural right that the government is not allowed to interfere with; it in no way permits us to do anything.  It actually refutes the need for a permit.

But, as the Bard said, the law is frequently an ass, and the fact is that in most states today you can be locked up for bearing arms without government permission.  But the momentum seems to be moving in the right direction now.  New Hampshire is just the latest on the list.

Hopefully national CCW reciprocity will be next.

Animal’s Daily 2nd Amendment News

Well, whattya know; the second guy from the top at BATFE wants to roll back some gun restrictions.  Excerpt:

The second-highest ranking official at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives recently authored a proposal to modify and reduce gun regulations in the United States.

The 11-page “white paper,” obtained by the Washington Post and drafted by the ATF’s associate deputy director and chief operating officer Ronald B. Turk, includes but is not limited to the following proposals: removing restrictions on the sale of suppressors; conducting a study concerned with lifting the ban on imported assault weapons; and requiring a higher amount of crime guns to be traced back to specific dealers before the federal government asks for additional information from those dealers.

Turk writes in the introduction to the paper, entitled “Options to Reduce or Modify Firearms Regulations,” that “these general thoughts provide potential ways to reduce or modify regulations, or suggest changes that promote commerce and defend the Second Amendment without significant negative impact on ATF’s mission to fight violent firearms crime and regulate the firearms industry.”

“This white paper is intended to provide ideas and provoke conversation,” Turk continues, “it is not guidance or policy of any kind.”

Turk also reminds that while his paper does not focus on enforcement or regulation, those are still “extremely important” parts of the ATF’s mission.

The Washington Post reports that ATF spokeswoman Jan Kemp said Turk’s proposals do not represent the views of the agency.

“It’s simply his opinion,” said Kemp, “and it’s to generate dialogue.”

Well, it would seem to have succeeded in generating dialogue – I mean, here we are, dialoguing.   So while we’re here, let’s look at the proposals.

  1. Removing restrictions on the sale of suppressors.  Hell yeah – we just discussed this recently, so I won’t repeat the arguments, but this is a good idea.
  2. Conducting a study concerned with lifting the ban on imported assault weapons.  Also a good idea – the fact is that crimes are almost never committed with rifles of any kind, and isn’t ‘crime’ always the argument of anti-gunners?  Except, of course, when it’s ‘need,’ as in “nobody needs an assault rifle!”  That last is an argument (whether it be made about guns, SUVs or steaks) that is antithetical to liberty, and should be rejected out of hand.
  3. Requiring a higher amount of crime guns to be traced back to specific dealers before the federal government asks for additional information from those dealers.  Again, a good idea; gun dealers are already the subject of an extensive background check before becoming gun dealers and periodically again while gun dealers.

Of course, this is just one BATFE guy’s personal opinion, and will likely come to nothing.  Still – it’s nice to see some common sense coming out of the massive Imperial bureaucracy for a change.

Animal’s Daily Sounds of Silence News

No suppression here.

Been thinking of a suppressor for your favorite shooting iron, but have been deterred by the onerous Class III paperwork and fees?  Relief may be on the way, for your ears and wallet both.  Excerpt:

Rep. Jeff Duncan (SC-03) along with Rep. John Carter (TX-31) have introduced a bill called the Hearing Protection Act, which moves to eliminate a $200 tax and nine-month approval process on suppressors. Guns are loud, and these legislators are trying to spare some ears from permanent damage.

According to CNN Money, the federal government started restricting them in 1934 with the National Firearms Act, aimed at controlling gang violence. As gang violence continues to rise in today’s world, the legislation was clearly unsuccessful.

Current regulations are supposedly meant to keep suppressors out of the hands of criminals, but criminals, for the most part, do not even use suppressors. They can’t afford them, they are cumbersome to carry, and they don’t actually make gunshots silent.

For those who have watched too many James Bond or “Bourne” movies, and believe silencers actually “silence” guns, here’s a bit of perspective:

Your eardrum ruptures at about 150 decibels.

An unsuppressed AR-15 is about 165 decibels, and a suppressor will reduce that by about 30-35 decibels, to about 125 or 130. An unsuppressed shotgun sounds off at about 145-165 decibels, and a suppressor can bring it down to about 137 decibels. Meanwhile, a suppressed pistol is about 125db.

Many online sources state that the threshold for pain is about 120db, and that a nearby jackhammer rates at 130db, so how can anyone argue that a silencer actually enables criminals to get away with gun violence? Unless you’ve attended one too many rock concerts or lost your hearing aids at church, you’re going to hear the blast whether you try to or not.

Now, this bill doesn’t completely deregulate suppressors – it just removes them from the Class III/NFA list, making buying a suppressor just like buying a rifle, shotgun or handgun.  You’ll have to go through the same background check system that you go through buying a firearm.  So the “easy access for criminals” argument just won’t fly.

Neither does the “we should be more like Europe” argument.  In most European countries, suppressors are freely sold, and their use is encouraged – in some places required – as a courtesy to one’s neighboring landowners when one is hunting or engaging in a little target practice.  So why not here?

Crimes committed with suppressed firearms, even where they are are readily available, are so infrequent as to be almost non-existent.  There’s no rational reason to oppose this bill.

But then, would-be gun-banners have never been long on rationality.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

File this under “stupid to the point of blindness:”  Senator to Trump: Do The ‘Unpredictable’ and Support Gun Control.  Excerpt:

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said Congress is “complicit” in the deaths of Americans due to gun violence and he encouraged President-elect Trump to do the “unpredictable” with gun control measures.

“Shortly, we’ll have a new president unlike President Obama – hardly committed to the cause of ending gun violence, but there is a moment of opportunity here. And my hope is that newly elected President Trump will use this opportunity much as President Nixon did in going to China,” Blumenthal said during a press conference on Capitol Hill with family members of gun violence victims and survivors. “It’s a Nixon to China moment for Donald Trump when he can defy the expectation, do the unpredictable – he likes doing the unpredictable – respond to a rally, which he also likes to do, and the rally is the America people who are clamoring and demanding action.”

“Donald Trump has a legacy moment,” the senator added. “When he can seize this opportunity, a historic opportunity, do the right thing and adopt these common-sense measures: background checks for every gun purchase, a ban on terrorists buying guns and ending the immunity, the legal immunity, unprecedented, unknown to any other industry for gun manufacturers. These are your ideas, Donald. We’ll give you credit for them.”

Let’s subject a few of Senator Blumenthal’s statements to the our patented Lefty-to-English Universal Translator(TM):

Statement:  “It’s a Nixon to China moment for Donald Trump when he can defy the expectation, do the unpredictable – he likes doing the unpredictable – respond to a rally, which he also likes to do, and the rally is the America people who are clamoring and demanding action.”

Translation: “My cocktail party friends are clamoring and demanding action.  I have no idea what the America(sic) people want.”

Statement:  “When he can seize this opportunity, a historic opportunity, do the right thing and adopt these common-sense measures: background checks for every gun purchase…”

Translation:  “I know we already have background checks mandated by law for every purchase from a Federally licensed dealer, but I want to mandate them for private purchases, a law that will be essentially impossible to enforce and which will be roundly ignored, but it will make liberals feel good.”

Statement:  “…a ban on terrorists buying guns…”

Translation:  “…a restriction of a fundamental Constitutional right by unelected bureacrats with no due process involved whatsoever…”

Statement:  “…and ending the immunity, the legal immunity, unprecedented, unknown to any other industry for gun manufacturers.

Translation:  “…and making gun manufacturers the only class of manufacturers to be legally liable for criminal use of their products; they now are only subject, like every other manufacturer, to liability for failure of their products through manufacturing flaw or design flaws, but fuck that, we want them hit harder.”

The gist of Blumenthal’s rant:  “Americans are buying guns in record numbers, gun ownership is at an all-time high while crimes committed with firearms are at near-historic lows, and outside of a few of our major cities our violent crime rate is lower than Sweden’s; but I don’t think Americans are smart enough to own guns responsibly.”

Fortunately the chance of The Donald’s taking any of his statements to heart are essentially zero.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

It begins; House Republicans have formed a Second Amendment caucus.  Excerpt:

A group of House Republicans formed the Congressional Second Amendment Caucus on Thursday.

The group, headed by Rep. Thomas Massie (R., Ky.), said the caucus plans to draft and sponsor pro-gun legislation in the upcoming Congress.

“Caucus members will lead efforts in the House of Representatives to pass meaningful firearms legislation and protect Americans against infringements of the Second Amendment,” the group said in a statement.

Massie said the election of Donald Trump and Republican majorities in both houses of Congress were the catalyst for the formation of the caucus.

“The recent election results present us with a new opportunity to advance pro-gun legislation and reverse the erosion of the Second Amendment that’s occurred over the last few decades,” he said. “I look forward to working with the new president and this determined group of conservatives to promote a pro-gun agenda.”

In addition to sponsoring and supporting pro-gun bills, the caucus said they also plan to invite firearm experts, constitutional scholars, and pro-gun groups to speak to them regularly.

Imagine that – having people who actually know something about guns to testify on legislation affecting guns and gun owners.  What a concept!

Concealed-carry reciprocity is part of what may be accomplished with the soon-to-be-installed President and Congress.  We may also see some meaningful attempts to improve the national background check database; it’s likely that the “no fly, no buy” issue will come up again, and here’s a matter for concern, since during the election President-elect Trump voiced support for this policy, depriving American citizens of a Constitutionally defined right with no due process.

That’s a troubling idea.

Rule Five Reciprocity Friday

2016_12_09_rule-five-friday-1This time – this time we may actually have a chance of getting this thing passed, and President-elect Trump made it part of his campaign platform, so he’ll sign it; concealed-carry reciprocity!

The whole thing’s pretty simple.  The summary of this bill states:

Amends the federal criminal code to authorize a person who is not prohibited from possessing, transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm under federal law, and who is carrying a valid, government-issued identification document containing that person’s photograph and a valid permit issued by any state to carry a concealed firearm, to possess or carry a concealed handgun (other than a machine gun or destructive device) in any other 2016_12_09_rule-five-friday-2state that permits residents to carry a concealed firearm, in accordance with the restrictions of that state. Makes presentation of facially valid documents prima facie evidence that the individual has a license or permit as required.

The bill’s sponsor, North Carolina Republican Rep. Richard Hudson, said:

Our Second Amendment right doesn’t disappear when we cross state lines, and I plan to introduce legislation in the first days of the 115th Congress to guarantee that. The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 is a common sense bill to provide law-abiding citizens the right to conceal carry and travel freely between states without worrying about conflicting state codes or onerous civil suits,” Hudson wrote in a statement to The Daily Caller. “As a member of President-elect Trump’s Second Amendment Coalition, I look forward to 2016_12_09_rule-five-friday-3working with the administration to advance policies that support and protect our right to keep and bear arms.

I see very little reason to oppose such a bill, but plenty of wet-pants types will.  Expect the usual hand-wringing and cries about shootouts over parking spaces and the like, even though the bill very clearly states that the armed citizen has to comply by all laws of the state they are in, and they they have to carry a government-issued ID to prove they are who the permit says they are; one unclear point there, as my Colorado CCW Concealed Handgun Permit is a government-issued photo ID.

2016_12_09_rule-five-friday-4The folks who cause problems with concealed guns are most assuredly not CCW permit holders, and many if not most of them are already “prohibited from possessing, transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm under federal law.”  In other words, they are not law-abiding to begin with, and laws against concealed carry won’t stop them.

This is a law with a great deal of sense behind it.  That’s probably why the anti-gun Left will fight so hard to stop it becoming law.

2016_12_09_rule-five-friday-5