Category Archives: Guns

Shooting Irons!

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to Pirate’s Cove, Bacon Time and The Other McCain for the Rule Five links!

Meanwhile:  Beta O’Rourke, the lily-white silver-spoon Irish soy-boy with the fake Hispanic nickname, has tried to explain why gun owners would meekly hand over their AR-15s to the government.  Excerpts, with my comments:

Just when we think Beto O’Rourke can’t put his foot any further into his mouth, he proves us wrong… again. After saying he would have mandatory buybacks of all AR-15s, O’Rourke doubled down, saying he know people would follow the new law, should it become a reality. 

Sure, because we know  how it will be enforced – selectively, and only when there is a political point to be made.

“My confidence is in the people of this country. Go into a gun show in Conway, Arkansas and listening to the owners of AR-15s and the vendors of AR-15s, many of whom, you can imagine, didn’t agree with my proposal, but each of whom was willing to at least have the conversation, some of whom said, ‘Look, you know what? I have an AR-15. Don’t need it. Would gladly sell it back or destroy it,'” O’Rourke told MSNBC’s Joy Reid. “All of them seem like they’d follow the law. We are a nation of laws. It’s part of what defines us and distinguishes us from the rest of the world.”

Beta has never heard that from anyone in a gun show, anywhere, ever, unless they were winking or crossing their fingers.  I suppose, if he came in with a retinue of cameramen and reporters and demanded to know if attendees would “obey the law, if we passed it,” they probably said, “Oh, yeah, sure we would – we’d hand in any guns that survived our inevitable tragic canoeing accident.”  One expects they would be about this honest:

“I believe that America will comply with the law and I believe that there will be a due process in devising the law in the first place, where we listen to stakeholders, all concerned and affected,” he explained. “But do not allow the delays that we’ve seen that have lasted decades to stop us from finally acting on this.”

Australians have not complied with these sorts of laws.  New Zealanders have not complied with these sorts of laws.  Canadians have not complied with these sorts of laws.  And if you want to see open defiance of any such law, boy, howdy, forget those guys, and you just wait and see how Americans won’t comply.

“I don’t want to give into the hype or some of the scare tactics out that have been employed to stop us from even considering this in the first place, much like we don’t go door-to-door to enforce any law in the United States. In fact, I don’t think we do that for any law in the United States,” O’Rourke said with a smirk. “This would not be something that we’d do and I only raise that, Joy, because others have said, you know, this is something we would fear if there were mandatory buybacks program. No, we expect people to follow the law. And that’s certainly what I believe will happen.”

With that last sentence Beta has proved himself to be a bigger idiot that I had previously thought.

Here’s the thing about laws like this that Beta either doesn’t understand or is lying about:  These laws aren’t intended to affect criminals.  They won’t.  Anyone with the IQ of a stuffed iguana knows they won’t.  It’s not possible to make murder any illegal-er, and it’s not possible to get weapons out of the hands of criminals.  No, the intent of laws like this was foreseen by Ayn Rand decades ago:

“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.”

Control, True Believers.  It’s always about control.  With politicians in general – both sides – it’s always about control.  Understand that, and you understand the problem.

Rule Five Cause Analysis Friday

We all already know about the latest shooting spree by a nutbar, this one in Texas; I’m not going to rehash that.  But instead, even as politicians scramble to climb onto the still-warm bodies to RHEEEEE for more gun laws that won’t be enforced, I’d like to talk a little bit about cause analysis.

Now, to preface this:  I’ve been a self-employed independent consultant for fifteen + years.  A big part of that work involves teaching the employees of major corporations how to solve problems, which means teaching people how to identify causes; several large corporations have and do pay me significant money to teach their people how to identify and address the root causes of problems.

So, how does one go about solving a problem like the criminal use of guns?  Well, one might start by noting one of the primary rules of cause analysis:  The tool is never the cause.

Ultimately, root cause is defined as “The fundamental underlying condition absent which the nonconformity would not have occurred.” To analyze the various possible causes and arrive at an ultimate root cause, the cause investigator should consider several things:

  • The investigation should uncover a series of events or facts that led up to the nonconformity. Root cause typically lies at the beginning of this chain of events. Keep asking ‘why?’
  • Test possible causes; take one possible cause at a time and compare it to your investigative tools.  Now this isn’t easy when dealing with major social trends or criminal acts, as the streets and alleys of the nation aren’t laboratories.  But we can move on to:
  • A tool, be it physical, procedural or software, is never a cause. Root causes are always due to one of two things, both of which have their source in how a process is managed:
    • Someone has made a mistake, error or omission, (qualitative) or
    • There is too much variation in the performance of the product or the process (quantitative.)
  • How do you know when you have found the root cause? Some hints include:
    • Patterns found in the data lead to one cause.
    • Following the chain of events runs the questioner out of “whys.”
    • Multiple lines of inquiry lead to one result.
    • One possible cause shows up in several places.
    • The cause being examined is a systemic cause, not a specific cause.

However, the final determination should consider one thing: An incident  is an action; by the rules of cause and effect, the cause is likewise an action; an action requires an actor. Therefore, a root cause is always at the point where some person or group of people made a decision. A decision to act (or not to act) is always at the heart of every incident.  Is this cause qualitative or quantitative?  Without having done a thorough analysis, I’d guess the former; something in the minds of these assholes has gone badly wrong, and were they unable to get a gun, as we have seen in other incidents, they would turn to a pressure-cooker bomb, an automobile, a can of gasoline or some other tool, because the tool is never the cause.

Of course, nobody in the political world wants to think this deeply about a problem, and honestly, very damn few voters want to either.  Nobody is interested in finding out why these assholes are making the decision to shoot a bunch of people; they are too focused on doing something highly visible and emotionally driven.  So they call for more laws that won’t be enforced, and more bans on “assault weapons” that they can’t even define.

And the cycle will just keep going.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Red flag laws are generally a bad idea.  They are a symptom of a malady pols on both sides of the aisle are all too likely to indulge in nowadays – the pathological need to be seen as “doing something.”  In fact, these laws violate a number of Consitutionally-guaranteed rights.  Excerpt:

Under pressure to “do something” about mass killings, some Republican politicians have followed their Democrat counterparts by endorsing red flag laws. These laws authorize confiscation of firearms if a judge finds the owner poses a risk to himself or others.

But the history of red flag laws should make those politicians reconsider.

Modern red flag laws deny gun owners prior notice or a chance to defend themselves against an initial confiscation order. A judge may issue the order after an uncontested hearing. In some states, the person seeking the order is held to a relatively low burden of proof.

This disregard for due process would be wrong even if red flag laws were proven effective. But the few studies on the subject suggest they are not. One study even concludes that these measures may increase rape.

In politics, if we know a proposal doesn’t serve its advertised purpose, then the advertised purpose usually is not the real one. In this case, the dominant motive seems to be to take guns away from people, despite the undeniable role of firearms in self-defense and crime prevention.

Ironically, by adopting the term “red flag law,” promoters inadvertently admitted their real motive is not safety.  This is because the phrase “red flag law” has been proverbial for an enactment masquerading as a safety measure but really passed for more sinister reasons.

These laws violate our Bill of Rights guarantees in several ways:

  • 4th Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures
  • 5th Amendment guarantees of due process
  • 6th Amendment right to confront an accuser.

But, at least, politicians can claim to have “done something.”

As we’ll examine in more depth on Friday, there is little or no impetus at any level of government to actually identify the underlying causes of things like mass shootings – and nobody in politics or media seems to give an ounce of crap about the death tolls in places like Baltimore or Chicago, which experience the equivalent of a highly-publicized mass shooting on any given weekend.

Instead, the media’s concern is ratings, and the pol’s concern is grandstanding.  Facts be damned.

It’s a fine damn pass we’ve come to.

Goodbye, Blue (Labor Day) Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to Pirate’s Cove, Bacon Time and The Other McCain for the Rule Five links!  Thanks also to our blogger pals Doug and Ed over at The Daley Gator for the linkback.  If The Daley Gator isn’t on your blogroll, it should be.

On Saturday last I took my new (old, made in 1942) Winchester Model 12 Black Diamond to the trap range.  I shot two rounds of 12-yard singles, hitting 23 and 23.  Not too bad, considering it’s the first time I fired the gun.  A couple of things  stood out:

  1. In those years, when Winchester said “Full choke,” they meant full-damn-choke.  The choke on that gun is as tight as a bull’s ass in fly season.  On a lot of my hits I was just ticking the edge of the bird.  You have to be right on the bird to dust it.
  2. The straight-grip stock will take some getting used to.  I’ve only owned shotguns with what we think of as standard pistol-grip stocks.
  3. The big wide rib and contrasting beads make picking up the birds quickly almost ridiculously easy.

I’m going to like this gun a lot, even if it is, as a dedicated trap gun, kind of a one-trick pony.

Model 12 Black Diamond

It’s Labor Day, so before we get on with all the nothing we’re planning to spend today doing, here are a few links.

Why do people believe in curses?  Well, I can think of two reasons:  Ignorance and stupidity.  Pretty much the same reasons people think of socialism as an effective economic system.

What it feels like to eject from a plane.  Not something I’ve ever been tempted to try, personally.

Amazon lists unauthorized cell phone signal boosters.  Unauthorized?   OMG UNAUTHORIZED!  We need more government over here STAT!

And on that note, we wish you a safe, happy and restful Labor Day.

Animal’s Daily Random Notes News

We had an evening flight last night and I have an early morning teleconference in an hour or so, so today it’s random notes and links.

Upside:  Mrs. A and yr. obdt. are home in Colorado for the long weekend.  I have a new shootin’ iron, a 1942 Winchester Model 12 Black Diamond trap gun, so I’ll be going out to the club to shoot a few rounds of trap; watch these virtual pages for a report.

Now, on to the links:

Our species, it has long been known, once went through a pretty tight genetic bottleneck.  Now there are some more details about what may have caused that bottleneck.

Crows are getting high cholesterol.  From cheeseburgers.  Yes, really.

Elsewhere, feral hogs are, well, making pigs of themselves.  As a public service, I offer aid to any landowners with feral hog problems; I have a good rifle and am willing to arrange a time to come remove some of the beasts in question.

Taxes are going up in many states, but the roads still suck.

From one of my fellow Glibertarians, some thoughts on competition and the public sector.

Also, if you aren’t reading the morning and evening links over at Glibertarians, you ought to be.  There’s a wealth of other good content as well, plus you can read the comments without losing IQ points, which is more than I can say for most poltical/social commentary sites.

Today’s purely gratuitous totty is for blogger pal and long-time reader Andrew Pearce; Andrew, I believe you spotted the young lady in the center here in Tuesday’s post:

And on that note, we return you to  your Thursday, already in progress.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

This time, Florida Man isn’t the one who comes off looking like an asshole.  Excerpt:

Just last week, a man in Florida had his firearms confiscated simply because he had the same name as a criminal. That’s right. A man was stripped of his Second Amendment right…because the police failed to differentiate a law-abiding citizen with a thug.

According to Ammoland, Jonathan Carpenter received a certified letter from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services saying his concealed handgun permit had been suspended for “acts of domestic violence or acts of repeat violations.”

Carpenter was forced to go to the Osceola County clerk’s office to have a form filled out stating he wasn’t the person law enforcement was looking for. At that point, the clerk instructed Carpenter to speak with the sheriff’s office.

From Ammoland:

The Sheriff’s office supplied Carpenter with a copy of the injunction. In the statement, the plaintiff stated that she rented a room out to a “Jonathan Edward Carpenter” and his girlfriend. She alleged that this Carpenter was a drug dealer who broke her furniture and sold her belongings without her permission. He had a gun, and she feared for her life. She was not sure if the firearm was legal or not.

Carpenter had never met the woman in question and never lived at the address listed in the restraining order. Moreover, other than being white, he looked nothing like the man the terrorized the woman.

The man in question is 5’8. Carpenter is 5’11. The alleged drug dealer is 110lbs. Carpenter is over 200. The man has black hair. Carpenter is completely bald. Last but not least, the man in question is covered in tattoos, and Carpenter only has a few.

Even though it was evident they had the wrong man, Carpenter was forced to hand over his firearms. There was no hearing or any kind of court proceeding. 

This is so stupidly unconstitutional it’s not even funny.  Here’s the Fifth Amendment:

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Jonathan Carpenter was deprived of his property without due process.  No judge was involved.  No court order was filed.  Carpenter had no opportunity to confront his accuser.  The accuser wasn’t even talking about him, just some asshole who happened to have the same name.

Red Flag laws are the subject of much discussion right now.  Proponents of those laws – in both parties – assure us that the law-abiding citizen has nothing to worry about; that due process will always apply; that nobody’s property will be capriciously confiscated.

Well, tell that to Jon Carpenter.  He has a long road, a great deal of expense, and a nebulously defined path ahead to get back his own damn property that the government had no business taking in the first place.

And if he had refused to comply, the Osceola County authorities would have flung him into a cell.

If that’s not a horrendous injustice, I don’t know what is.

Animal’s Daily Hunting Handgun News

Before we start, go forthwith to Glibertarians and read the latest in my Allamakee County Chronicles series.

Now, moving on:  Last night I stumbled on this article over at Guns.com – The Best Handguns for Hunting.  Now, I carry a sidearm routinely when out and about my business in forest and field; a sidearm, to my thinking, should be something that can be carried in a belt holster all day with minimum inconvenience.  If you need more punch, pack along a rifle.  A handgun should be just that, a handgun, not a pocket rifle.

Guns.com has some other ideas.  Well, I have some comments on that.  Here are the five, with my commentary:

First:  The Nosler M48 Independence.   Sorry, but this isn’t a handgun.  You can’t pack this around in a holster.  This is a cut-down rifle.  I honestly can’t see the point of this kind of thing; it seems like it would be as much trouble t pack around as a rifle, and with that being the case, why not just pack a rifle?

Second:  The Ruger Super Redhawk.  Now this is at least a handgun, well-suited for holster carry, at least in the trim shown.  Ruger does produce these in some rather sillier versions, with elongated barrels, muzzle brakes, bipods and so forth.  But in the short-barreled trim shown, it is at least portable, although in some of the calibers offered it might be a big handful.

Third:  The Remington 1911 R1 Hunter.  Now this is more my idea of a sidearm, and the R1 Hunter is available in the walloping 10mm round, which doesn’t seem too popular these days but which packs almost a .44 Magnum-level punch.  And the 1911 pattern – well, damn few weapons have a better history for durability and reliability.

Fourth:  The Magnum Research BFR.  Now this is a perfectly ridiculous object.  Chambered in rounds including the .45-70, .30-30 and .500 S&W, this thing weighs as much as a lightweight rifle and has to be an order or two of magnitude more difficult to shoot.  If I need that much power, I’ll grab my Marlin Guide Gun, also in .45-70, but much more manageable – and only a little bit less portable.

Fifth:  The Smith & Wesson 460.  Most of what I said about the BFR applies here as well, but the Smith lacks the versatility of chambering in big-punch rifle cartridges, making it even less versatile and no more portable.

Of the five, only two of them are really handguns, and one of those only marginally.

The 25-5, in the middle.

Long-term readers of these pages know my preferences in sidearms.  My favorite (left, middle) is my big Smith & Wesson 25-5, mid-Seventies vintage, .45 Colt.  This great piece (along with the .45 Colt Vaquero, also pictured) can be easily packed in a belt holster all day, and packs enough punch for most jobs you’d ask of a sidearm.  My favored load is a 255-grain hard cast Keith-type slug over 8 grains of Unique – do not try that load in an old Single Action Army, Colt New Service or anything but a modern revolver – and that will blow through a railroad tie or, from personal experience, lengthwise a big Iowa farm-country whitetail.

That’s enough handgun for just about anything.

Animal’s Daily Touch of Perspective News

Be sure to check out the latest in my Allamakee County Chronicles series over at Glibertarians!

Meanwhile:  It’s time to inject a little perspective into the discussions around mass shootings.  Notes on Liberty‘s

How to count victims of mass shootings has become – strangely enough- controversial. Nevertheless, I am quite certain that shootings, specifically, of strangers for other than greed, or jealousy, or disappointed love have not caused 10,000 deaths in any of the past few years, not even close.

Do you agree; do you see where I am going?

So drunk drivers kill many more people – about 10,000 annually – than mass shooters. The victims of the ones are just as dead as the victims of the others; the loss and grief associated with the ones must be similar to those associated with the others. The deaths from one cause seem to me to be as meaningless as the deaths from the other. (That’s by contrast with the death of a firefighter in the line of duty, for example.)

A rational collective response should give priority to the avoidance of the many deaths from drunk driving over the much fewer deaths caused by mass assassins. Yet, the public reactions of the left are exactly the reverse of those rational expectations. In part, this inversion of priorities is due to the magnification the media affords mass shootings but not the slow massacre on the roads. In part, it may be due to the sometimes concentrated nature of the death tolls by mass shooting. This explanation, however, has only limited value because the small death toll at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, for example, was given much more publicity than is conceivable for any drunk driving accident with three lethal casualties.

The problem with having policy discussions around mass shootings is simply this:  These are high-profile, highly-publicized events, often carried out with a type of firearm that the majority of the population has no familiarity with.  To make matters worse, would-be gun-banners and much of the mass media have been successfully characterizing these firearms as “assault weapons,” a term which is loosely based on cosmetic features and is, essentially, meaningless.

A little perspective is in order.  You are more likely to be killed by lightning than to die in a mass shooting.  While every incident is horrible and every death resulting from these is a tragedy, it’s very likely that it is precisely this sensationalizing of the issue that leads to more nutbars thinking of a mass shooting as a way to gain undying infamy.

There are a few things being proposed that make sense:  Improving, for example, how mental illness diagnoses feed into the FBI’s background checks database.  But Congress spending days and weeks arguing how to fiddle with regulations on rifles (that are almost never used in crimes) that look nasty?  That’s a waste of their time and our money.

But then, Congress has always been good at wasting their time and our money.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

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

Robert Stacy McCain has some interesting thoughts on the President’s responses to demands for a “conversation” on guns.  Excerpt:

I admit to some mild anxiety over Trump going wobbly regarding guns. Then I read Surber:

President Trump is playing Democrats again. They want to make gun control an issue. He said, OK, and took control of the gun control debate. The debate will be on his terms and in his language. That is power positioning.

The mopes at the Post and Matt Drudge thought they could divide President Trump from his supporters with the report on the NRA warning the president on guns.

I knew in an instant what was happening. I knew Democrats would lose because President Trump never engages the enemy without first winning the battle. I also knew the president, a busy man, had outsourced the terms of the Democrat surrender to the NRA.

Whatever deal is made will have the NRA’s approval.

I knew because of the First Squeal Rule. Whenever decisions are made privately, the loser is the one who goes public first in an effort to save face.I see a lot of musing on how President Trump is so adept at playing 3-D chess with his political opponents, who are legion.  But I don’t think it’s 3-D chess as much as the South Park version of roshambo; they kick him square in the nuts, he kicks them back square in the nuts twice as hard.

It’s a curious thing, though; one wonders if the quoted Surber is really correct.  The Overton Window has shifted quite a bit; President Trump is, politically, a 1980’s moderate Democrat on many policy issues.  As a New Yorker he doesn’t really have a personal investment in the Second Amendment.  He talks strongly on protecting our Second Amendment and has so far been strong on the subject, but I’m wondering how strong he’ll stick of Congressional Republicans start going wobbly.

The NRA has screwed its courage to the sticking-point on this issue.  But will the President?  That remains to be seen.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to Pirate’s Cove, Bacon Time and The Other McCain for the Rule Five links, and to our blogger pals over at The Daley Gator for the shout-out!  And thanks also to Robert Stacy McCain’s link-compiler Wombat-socho, for this amusing response to our last Rule Five Friday post on why socialism sucks:

Moving right along:  I love a happy ending.  Excerpt:

This is the moment a homeowner pulled his gun on two teens who tried to rob him in his own front yard.

The suspects had allegedly been terrorizing the Tulsa, Oklahoma, with a spate of robberies on Wednesday, when they approached the victim. 

Surveillance footage, shot from a doorbell camera, showed the man, who is not named, responding by casually pulling a gun out of his pocket and aiming it at the two robbers who fled to their car. 

Police caught up with the getaway car as the suspects were fleeing the scene, and there was a brief chase before the teens crashed.

Andrew Payton, 20, and a 17-year-old were arrested at the scene of the crash but their 15-year-old accomplice fled.

But here’s where things went south:

The teen was running through a neighbor’s backyard when he opened fire on him. The juvenile is not seriously injured.

Zachariah Cook claimed that the boy was running at him when he shot him, then refused to speak any more to the cops.

He has been arrested on a complaint of shooting with intent to kill. Police said there is a chance the homeowner used justified force, and the judge may decide to drop the charge.

I have a funny feeling the judge won’t dismiss the charge.  If the kid was running at Mr. Cook aggressively, yelling and gesturing, then, maybe.  But if he was just jumping fences and cutting through yards as he fled, and the Cook just happened to be in his path, well, then that’s a bad shoot.

I hate to second-guess anyone in this kind of a situation.  It’s impossible for us to know how things played out and what Mr. Cook may have been confronted with.  But given what we know now, it smells a bit.

The good news, though, is that a gang of punks is off the street – and maybe, just maybe, having an older gent pull a gun on them will result in them re-thinking some of their life choices.

I’m not too optimistic about that last part.