Category Archives: Guns

Shooting Irons!

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.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

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

Here’s a lesson for sporting-goods retailers:  Don’t be a Dick’s.  Excerpt:

Dick’s Sporting Goods may no longer sell hunting-related gear and products.

The CEO for the sporting goods retailer said Thursday that the company was doing a trial run in 10 locations, pulling all hunting merchandise and replacing it with other items.

“Though it’s too early to discuss performance, we’re optimistic these changes will better serve the athletes in these communities,” Dick’s CEO Edward Stack said in a conference call, as reported by JSOnline.

The reason for the new approach may be because sales in that department have plummeted across all of Dick’s 732 stores.

“Specific to hunt, in addition to the strategic decisions made regarding firearms earlier this year, sales continued to be negatively impacted by double-digit declines in hunt and electronics,” said Lee Belitsky, chief financial officer.

Dick’s sadly underestimated the impact of their support of gun control laws, and their virtue-signalling policy changes in not only removing but destroying semi-auto rifles in their inventories.

I’ve purchased precisely one gun from Dick’s, long before any of these shenanigans started up.  They had a sale with a really good price on new Browning Citoris, so I bought my 12 gauge Satin Hunter from them.  That was in 2007, I haven’t set foot in a Dick’s since, and never will.

There are plenty of folks out there like me.

Alienating a key constituent in your target market rarely ends well.  Heard much from the Dixie Chicks lately?  No?  Well, now Dick’s is apparently following the Dixie Chicks model.  Piss off a big part of your target market and see how it ends up.

As my grandfather used to say, you can teach ’em, but you can’t learn ’em.

Rule Five Mass Gun Confiscation Friday

The idea of a massed, forcible confiscation of guns has been kicked around here in these virtual pages.  It’s entertaining brain-fodder, as certainly a significant proportion of gun owners would not comply.  Here, from author and pro-gunner Larry Correia, is one of the better dissections of this issue I’ve seen to date.  A few excerpts follow, with my comments.

So today I’m writing this for my left leaning friends and readers, in the hopes that I can break down the flaws in this argument. I’m going to try not to be too insulting. Accent on try… But I’ll probably fail because this is a really stupid argument.

So, bear in mind, Mr. Correia is directing the comments that follow to the would-be gun-banners.

First, let’s talk about the basic premise that an irregular force primarily armed with rifles would be helpless against a powerful army that has things like drones and attack helicopters.

Like, say, the Viet Cong.

This is a deeply ironic argument to make, considering that the most technologically advanced military coalition in history has spent the better part of the last two decades fighting goat herders with AKs in Afghanistan and Iraq. Seriously, it’s like you guys only pay attention to American casualties when there’s a republican in office and an election coming up.

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Barack Obama launched over five hundred drone strikes during his eight years in office. We’ve used Apaches (that’s the scary looking helicopter in the picture for my peacenik liberal friends), smart bombs, tanks, I don’t know how many thousand s of raids on houses and compounds, all the stuff that the lefty memes say they’re willing to do to crush the gun nut right, and we’ve spent something like 6 trillion dollars on the global war on terror so far.

And yet they’re still fighting.

And:

Let’s be super generous. I’m talking absurdly generous, and say that a full 99% of US gun owners say won’t somebody think of the children and all hold hands and sing kumbaya, so that then you are only dealing with the angriest, listless malcontents who hate progress… These are those crazy, knuckle dragging bastards who you will have to put in the ground.

And there are 650,000 of them.

To put that into perspective, we were fighting 22,000 insurgents in Iraq, a country which would fit comfortably inside Texas with plenty of room to spare. This would be almost 30 times as many fighters, spread across 22 times the area.

And that estimated number is pathetically, laughably low.

But here’s the real kicker, when it comes to how just a small percentage of the population – with the help, almost certainly, of a not-insignificant portion of the military and police – could do a lot with a little to fuck things up for everybody:

The scariest single conversation I’ve ever heard in my life was five Special Forces guys having a fun thought exercise about how they would bring a major American city to its knees. They picked Chicago, because it was a place they’d all been. It was fascinating, and utterly terrifying. And I’ll never ever put any of it in a book, because I don’t want to give crazy people any ideas. Give it about a week and people would be eating each other (and gee whiz, take one wild guess what the political leanings of most Green Berets are?).

Similar dinner conversation once, with a bunch of SWAT cops from a major American city, talking about how incredibly easy it would be to entirely shut down and utterly ruin their city, with only a small crew of dedicated individuals and about forty eight hours of mayhem and fuckery. (And guess what their political leanings were? Hint, most of them were eager to retire because they’d been treated like shit by their liberal mayors, and take their pension to someplace like Arkansas).

Read the whole thing, by all means.  Now, don’t think for a moment that the gun-ban advocates haven’t thought of these things as well; if they have three IQ points to rub together they’d have to know what kind of hell they’d be unleashing by even trying.

But there are other ways to deal gun owners a death of a thousand cuts, and you’re seeing some of those in the works now.  Like the “red flag” proposals, which give local law enforcement the power to confiscate guns by force from anyone who they have reason to believe presents some danger – anyone think that this will never be abused?  Anyone worried about enabling government at any level to strip someone of a Constitutionally recognized natural right based on hearsay?

How about a punitive tax on ammo, powder and primers?  Gun-banners have already started talking about going after ammo – after all, guns aren’t much use without ammo – and hell, they wouldn’t have to ban ammo, all they would have to do is find a way to make it horribly expensive to make primers.

There are easily a thousand ways to tax, regulate and annoy the gun-owning population to the point where a fair number of them will just give it up as a bad job.  That will dry up the pool of people who care about the Second Amendment, which will allow for even more onerous regulation and legislation…

…See where I’m headed with this?  I’d almost rather they try to just ban guns outright.  At least then we’d get the damn thing over with quickly.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Tomorrow being Thanksgiving, we’ll have a placeholder post.  Regular posts will resume as usual for Rule Five Friday.

Short post today, as family pre-Thanksgiving activities beckon, but here’s a happy ending for you.  Excerpt:

Tan Ho, the owner of Spokane’s Hai’s Mini Mart, told KXLY he stays ready to defend himself, keeping both a handgun and a machete at close reach under the counter.

Ho, who told reporters he had previous experience scaring off an armed robber about a year ago, refused to be a victim when confronted last Tuesday at the shop when facing off with a man holding a knife and demanding money.

“I pulled out my gun — like this — and I pointed it right at him, and he ran,” said Ho. When prompted, he showed off his handgun, which looks to be an IWI Jericho 941 that he keeps in a leather thumb break holster attached to the counter.

There’s video:

I love a happy ending.  Happy Thanksgiving, True Believers!  We’ll catch you all on Friday.

Rule Five Service Rifle Friday

The Army is examining a revolutionary new type of rifle, one that was designed and built in a Colorado Springs garage.  Excerpt:

The Army adopted its battle rifle in 1963 and has spent 55 years looking for a replacement for the M-16 and its variants.

They might have found it in Martin Grier’s Colorado Springs garage. Grier, a self-described inventor who has worked at a local bed and breakfast, built the new “ribbon gun” with a hobbyist’s tools. It looks like a space-age toy drawn by a fifth-grader.

But goofy origins and cartoon-looks aside, this could be the gun of the future. The Army is studying Grier’s gun and has ordered a military-grade prototype.

The specifications are incredible, four 6 mm barrels cut side by side within one steel block. New ammunition blocks fired by electromagnetic actuators that could theoretically give the weapon a firing rate of 250 rounds per second.

And then there’s the feature no soldier would turn down. “It’s called a power shot,” Grier said.

That’s the shotgun feature of this sniper-shot, machine-assault gun that can send four bullets simultaneously whizzing toward an enemy at more than 2,500 mph.

Now:  Color me skeptical.  Here’s the pros and cons of this admittedly fascinating new design.

Pros:

Four bullets with one shot; that’s cool.  Not sure how useful it would be, but it’s cool.

The ammo blocks look like they’d be pretty good heat sinks; the advantage of brass cases, one that military testers learned in playing with caseless ammo in small arms, is that they carry excess heat away from the weapon.  These would do that even more.

Cons:

Electrical actuation.  What happens if your battery goes dead and supply is out of replacements?

Ammo block.  From the photos in the article, the four-round blocks look considerably heavier than four rounds of conventional ammo.

EMP – maybe?  The weapon would have to be EMP hardened, which isn’t impossible but adds to cost and design challenges.

All in all, I’d give this one a pass.  Inventor Martin Grier rightly points out that weapon design hasn’t changed much in a long, long time (even the M-16’s design plan goes back to the late Fifties) but there’s a reason for it; modern firearms designs are robust, practical, and they work.

This rifle is interesting and I’d welcome the chance to play with one, but carry one in combat?  Hard no.

Animal’s Daily Gun Advertising News

In California, a certain class of legally operating businesses selling a perfectly legal product were prohibited from advertising that perfectly legal product.  No longer.  Excerpt:

Back in 2014, four California gun dealers sued the the woman who was then acknowledged by presidential proclamation as the nation’s best-looking attorney general over a law that prohibited gun stores from displaying images of guns. On their stores. Or their signs.

Now, according to a press release from the Calguns Foundation, a federal judge has ruled that California’s law is a violation of the gun dealers’ First Amendment rights. Here’s that press release:

SACRAMENTO, CA (September 11, 2018)­­­­­­ – Today, federal Judge Troy Nunley ruled that a California law banning licensed gun dealers from displaying handgun-related signs or advertising is unconstitutional and violates their First Amendment rights. The lawsuit, Tracy Rifle and Pistol v. Becerra, is supported by Second Amendment civil rights groups The Calguns Foundation (CGF) and Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) as well as industry association California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees (CAL-FFL).

California Penal Code section 26820, first enacted in 1923, banned gun stores from putting up signs advertising the sale of handguns — but not shotguns or rifles. “But,” the court held today, quoting from the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s landmark Second Amendment 2008 opinion in D.C. v. Heller, “the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table.”

Imagine that.  A judge determined that states (and, presumably, other levels of government) can’t just wave away a Constitutionally-defined right by passing a law.

It’s important to note that this is a First Amendment case, not a Second Amendment case, but that doesn’t make it any less significant to gun owners.  Would-be gun controllers aren’t above chipping away at the edges of the Second Amendment, and stupid laws like this one do precisely that, by singling out gun retailers over all other legal businesses for special government-imposed restrictions on their right to advertise their legal wares.

California Penal Code section 26820 was of a piece with laws singling out firearms manufacturers for legal liability for the use of their wares in a crime, an onus placed on no other manufacturer of legal products, anywhere.  The anti-gun crowd sells this as “exempting gun makers from product liability,” which is a pernicious lie; gun makers are subject to precisely the same liability for faulty products as any other manufacturer.  What the gun banners is the equivalent of allowing families of people killed by drunk drivers to sue General Motors.  It’s stupid, it’s wrong, and it’s an attempt to curtail the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.

So was California Penal Code section 26820.  This was a bad idea and a bad law.  It’s a travesty that it remained on the books for 95 years.   But it’s gone now.