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POST CHRISTMAS MUSINGS — 34 Comments

  1. Mas,

    Black Friday is the shopping day after Thanksgiving not New Years. An easy slip to make since New Year’s Day is close upon us.

    Your general point about the Prohibition mindset is absolutely valid. I would define a Prohibitionist as any individual who identifies a manmade object or substance as so harmful that the manufacture, use or trade in said object or substance must be strictly forbidden by law. Typically, these individuals have a world-view which seeks to always shield mankind, himself, from any blame for the evils of the world by transferring that blame to the identified object or substance.

    In effect, the identified substance or object becomes a “whipping boy” or “scapegoat” in the mind of the prohibitionist that stands in and excuses some type of human failing. For certain mind-views, such a scapegoat is absolute necessary (psychologically) so that the prohibitionist can maintain their world-view. Prohibition thereby acts as a shield or a security blanket to a certain type of mind.

    Alcohol, narcotics, tobacco, firearms, etc. have all served this purpose. It is not a coincidence that there is a Bureau of Alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives in the U.S. Government. This Bureau’s sole purpose is to service the needs of the Prohibitionist World-view of the Left. Witness that these are all items that the left has tried or would like to ban. Indeed, these items are not otherwise related (i.e. why group tobacco and firearms for example – we don’t use match locks anymore!). The BATFE is simply a “catch-all” agency created for this purpose by a left-leaning government.

    A Prohibitionist can never settle for half measures. Once one falls into the mindset that an object or a substance embodies evil, then the only solution is to get rid of it to the maximum extent one possibly can. The Temperance movement could not stop with just banning products that were more than 50% proof, for example. They ultimately insisted that even beer and wine, with a low alcohol content, must go too.

    The same is true for the gun-grabbers. Any talk of “commonsense” measures is nonsense. They might start out with semi-automatic rifles and handguns but they will end up with draconian restrictions or bans on all firearms and ammunition. The mindset that an object is, in itself, evil will ideologically drive them to that end.

    I have seen arguments that the anti-gun movement is “different” from the old alcohol prohibition movement in that the anti-gunners only want “commonsense” restrictions rather than a total ban. These type of arguments are totally false and disingenuous. Commonsense restrictions is just “code words” in anti-gun speech for prohibition or (at least) as close as they can get to prohibition. The mindset that created the “Prohibition of Alcohol” is EXACTLY the same mindset that is trying to create the “Prohibition of Firearms”. Truly, those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it!

  2. I buy ammo by the case. It’s less expensive that way. Ya gotta save a buck anyway you can these days.

  3. I won’t comment on the stupidity of anti gunners and their BS. Only makes my BP go too high.

  4. TN-MAN, you nailed it: those people are all about empty symbolism.
    And thank you for the Black Friday catch,which you correctly diagnosed. I appreciate you sharp-eyed readers! Is now fixed.

  5. I believe we’re going to see many more of these ammo ban/restriction initiatives. Honestly, I’m surprised it’s taken them this long. There is no way to reason with these types, since emotion-fueled ideology knows no reason.

  6. Here in Virginia we have the pre-Christmas backstab by the state attorney general, who has declared that as the result of an “audit” (which he doesn’t seem inclined to make available to the taxpayers of this state…hmmm…) he will be rescinding concealed-carry reciprocity with 25 states. Supposedly it’s because the permit requirements for those 25 states are “too lax”. He absurdly suggested that drug dealers and convicted felons could get permits in states like North Carolina and Florida. Pfah.

    This will of course also cause us Virginia CC permit holders to lose carry rights in those states since they will probably retaliate by likewise rescinding reciprocity.

  7. We were just getting a little more ammo on the shelves; I smell another hoarding spree coming!

  8. In the 1990s Democrats learned that speaking out against the Second Amendment was the way to lose elections. In the early 1990s, crime was a problem, but most terrorism was overseas.

    Now we have a bad economy, worries about different Doomsday scenarios, and domestic terrorists who use guns and bombs, as well as “normal” crime to worry about. Those who want to ban guns are not thinking pragmatically. Guns have probably never been more popular in America than they are now, especially with women.

    I’ll quote Pete Seeger to the Democrats, “When will they ever learn, when will they ev……..er learn?” That’s from the song, “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?”

  9. What grinds my gears are the people who say that we can’t blame all Muslims for the acts of a few radicals, but have no problem blaming all gun owners for the insane acts of a few, especially if you happen to own an AR, why you must be a murdering bastard in waiting!

  10. Enjoy Every Sandwich, it is being speculated that the Virginia Attorney General did this in part to pay back Michael Bloomberg for the millions of dollars he spent in campaign contributions to anti-gun candidates there in Virginia.

  11. But look on the “bright” side. For a criminal carrying a revolver, twelve rounds is plenty of ammo to pull an armed robbery.

    Any bets on whether LEOs, including retired ones, would be exempt?

  12. i really enjoy shooting IDPA matches. If I couldn’t purchase the necessary ammo under such absurd gun laws, I wonder if I could get into reloading to get around the devious gun law.

  13. Amongst the noncommittal gun vs anti gun individuals that I know, the most shocked response I get is when I mention that over 40% of Americans own guns.

    I swear I hear gears turn in their mind, a light of recognition that the mainstream press lies in pursuit of an anti gun agenda goes off like a firework.

    They realize they have been lied to. Trust is gone and replaced with what other basic facts have I been lied to about realization. It is priceless.

    I have been surmising that these are a lot of these increases in sale are first time buyers. We are winning!!

  14. Dear Mas,
    Those linear indications in her photograph are chem trails, nano particles of aluminum and barium, which have been sprayed globally, continuously, for 16 years that I have witnessed and longer per http://www.geoengineeringwatch.org/ The official term the D.O.E. uses is Indirect Direct Aerosol Spraying.

    Regarding musings, H.R. 4269 is seeking to establish that “shall not be infringed” does not mean that it is “unlimited” in order to incrementally regulate the right to keep and bear arms. Registration is also proposed in the bill.

    Your books, In the Gravest of Extremes and Stress Fire are vital to my gun-worthiness. It is with great appreciation that I thank you for writing them. By the time I can walk back from the mailbox, I have read your article in the Backwoods Home Magazine current issue. If you ink pen gets dry, 2016 topics might include heavy barrels, effect of rifling and porting on rifled slugs and 2-3/4 vs 3″ shell ballistics.

    The more valued comments this blog receives the more valued it becomes.

  15. We have to get smarter and start using the anti’s tactics against them. Such as the proposed legislation (practically speaking, it probably won’t get anywhere, but it’s a good idea) to strip Va. Gov. Terry McAwful’s security detail of their weapons.

    For years we have been seeing the liberal elitists pushing laws that restrict us but from which they are exempt. WE may not own the means with which to defend ourselves, but THEY can surround themselves with armed security…to protect themselves from we the rabble. The parallels to the old Soviet Union are clear. In Moscow there were special lanes in the street that were reserved for only high party officials. Those officials had special stores where only they were allowed to shop. Travel was restricted, internal passports were required.
    Is this what they want?

    I was in Brooklyn, NY a few years ago and met a man, a Jew who got out of the Soviet Union back in the 70’s. He became a citizen and you have never met a more patriotic American. He had a giant American flag on the wall of his office and pictures of Ronald Reagan beside it. He was absolutely livid at the direction this country is headed. He said (in his accent), “Deese f***ing lee-bo-rals haff no idea vat dey are do-ink! I haff lived vit dis system! I KNOW how bad it iss! Vat iss da matter vit dem?”
    I had no answer.

  16. MichaelJT’s comment made me think of how we are fighting the public relations battle. The NRA is doing a great job with their Public Service Announcements on TV. Those PSAs are well thought out, well presented, and well produced. It’s great to see commercials for guns and ammo products as well. Most of those commercials are on hunting channels, but the Henry Rifle Company advertises on “regular” channels. I think the Henry Rifle Company even had a commercial run during a recent Super Bowl.

    I’d like to see a bunch of billboards running two photos next to each other on major highways passing through American cities. The photo on the left has the victims of the Islamic State dressed in orange jumpsuits, kneeling on the beach in front of the black-clad terrorists, who are about to behead them. The photo on the right shows an American family posing with their guns, and smiling. No text is necessary.

  17. To Marc-Wi: I tried to comment on my own journal to vent some blood pressure but several attempts to load the WashPo article to cut/paste choked my computer and actually caused Internet Explorer to shut down an attempt to restart each time. Of course, what this tells me is that even my computer could not take such rampant idiotic bullshit seriously and that the machine itself choked trying to swallow something that stupid…and instead of getting riled up this late at night I chose instead to laugh at the idiots.

    A co-worker of mine is Portuguese and grew up under Socialist dictators. He will talk to me but no one else how he is genuinely afraid because he sees exactly the same things happening as when he was growing up.

    I have faith that in God’s Plan I’ll be where I am supposed to be when I’m supposed to be when, but there are too many nights when I recall Election Night 2008 and the chants of “O-Ba-Ma! O-Ba-Ma!” in my neighborhood of this University town. When I hear shouting and yelling outside I can’t help but feel a little edgy and wonder when it might be more than drunken students…

    “Praise the Lord, and pass the ammunition
    Praise the Lord, and pass the ammunition
    Praise the Lord, and pass the ammunition
    and we’ll all stay free!”

    PS Thanks for listening, folks. Just knowing that there’s a “community” of like-minded people out there (even if we’ve never met IRL) lets me know I’m not alone, and that truly helps me sleep better at night 🙂

  18. The POTUS continues his efforts to stimulate the left-wing prohibitionist fringe. See this article:

    http://www.vnews.com/news/nation/world/20259390-95/obama-expected-to-close-gun-show-loophole-by-executive-order

    More propaganda and spin from the left. They love to word-smith terms like “Gun Show Loophole” and, naturally, the left-wing press loves to parrot whatever terms they make up!

    Of course, the only thing that this will “stimulate” is firearm and ammo sales.

    Gun owners absolutely need to turn out in 2016 and elect pro-gun legislators and a new Pro-gun POTUS. A stinging defeat is the only thing that will make an impression on these rabid gun-grabbers. Even then, the effect will only be temporary since the left-wing media will quickly find other excuses to explain why they lost!

    Still, for the sake of the 2A, they need to lose and lose BIG TIME in 2016!

  19. Mas, that is the thinking here in Virginia. It’s not as if Virginia voters were clamoring for this! Indeed, we didn’t know it was coming.

    And the governor and AG certainly can’t claim that these out-of-state permit holders have caused so much as one lick of trouble.

  20. Stupid? Because it’s based on a fake safety argument?

    Sure it’s stupid, just like passing restrictions to require abortion doctors to have hospital admitting privileges or abortion clinics to meet the same standards as outpatient surgical facilities are stupidly based on fake safety arguments to protect the mother.

    Fortunately, the anti-choice folks have demonstrated to the anti-gun folks how _not_ to go about passing such laws, crowing in public (especially on the campaign trail and in legislator’s websites and interviews) and at the legislative hearings how they’re really to control abortion. So long as they hold the line, “nope, nope, nope, these laws are for safety and safety only; maybe they’re stupid, but if they advance safety just one little bit with no intent to control guns (no, none at all, zero, zip, hey, we love guns, they just need to be made more SAFE, yeah, that’s the ticket)” then they’re serving a legitimate — and constitutional — public purpose.

    On another timely issue: Open carry goes into effect here in Texas on Friday. Our local newspaper covered the law and what you can and cannot do fairly thoroughly, but said that state officials have said that citizens should call 911 if they see someone carrying openly and “feel worried or threatened” though they “recommend” that the caller should say why they feel that way. The news is also reporting that websites have been set up to report businesses whose exclusionary signs don’t meet the state requirements and are, therefore, invalid and open carry advocacy groups are encouraging people to carry there in defiance of the defective signs.

    Stupid? As Forrest Gump said, stupid is as stupid does.

  21. By now we/ve all heard of how college students are demanding “safe areas” and policies that make it a punishable offense to say or do anything that offends anyone else.

    I suggest we turn that tactic back on them. A frequent gun-grabber tactic is to state that all gun owners are heartless, careless, thoughtless, and in particular have no compassion for the victims of mass shootings. Them’s fightin’ words, brother! I suggest when we hear them, we respond with a threat of lawsuit for slander, and for using allegations that we find offensive to the extreme, and thus a violation of our civil rights.

  22. It is interesting to study the firearm prohibitionist mindset. It is also necessary (even if it makes your stomach queasy) since, as Sun Tzu pointed out over 2500 year ago, one must know the enemy.

    Consider this article:

    http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2015/10/gun-control-is-the-only-way-out.html?mid=yahoohealth

    The first thing one notices is that it is political opinion masquerading as “science”.

    Second, it commits the fallacy of “No other options”. It, in effect, argues that gun control (aka firearm prohibition) is THE ONLY OPTION to move forward. In real life, there are always other options.

    Third, it subscribes to what I call the “trickle down” theory of firearm prohibition. This is similar to the theory of trickle down economics which states that giving tax breaks to the rich so that they can become the super-rich is good. It will stimulate the economy and the wealth thus created will “trickle down” to the middle class.

    In a similar way, trickle down firearm prohibition states that if you disarm the law-abiding and do your best to eliminate all firearms from society, you will “eventually” reach a point where criminals and mass-murders will not be able to lay their hands on a firearm with which to commit their crimes. So, disarmament will “trickle down” even to law-breakers.

    In other words, we should suppress the civil liberties of 300 million Americans so as to eventually disarm a small minority of dangerous criminals and mass-murderers.

    Left-wing politicians are highly critical of trickle down economics. I remember one commenting that it was like saying “that the best way to feed the birds was to give more oats to the horse”.

    It is truly ironic that the left despises the trickle down theory when it is applied to economics but they absolutely love it when it is applied to firearm prohibition. I fail to see how anyone can do that without lapsing into Orwellian Double-Speak.

    My view of both theories is consistent. What I say is don’t trickle on me!

  23. @TN_MAN: You say, “The first thing one notices is that it is political opinion masquerading as ‘science’.”

    Since you decry the lack of real science in this issue, would you support the position advanced by two NRA members, one a Republican ex-congressman from Arkansas and the other the ex-director of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to substantially increase the funding for research “to build an evidence base to advance the science of gun-violence prevention”? They say:

    “We have also come to see that gun-violence research can be created, organized and conducted with two objectives: first, to preserve the rights of law-abiding citizens and legal gun owners and, second, to make our homes and communities safer. Well-structured research can be conducted to develop technologies and identify ways to achieve both objectives. We can get there only through research.

    “Our nation does not have to choose between reducing gun-violence injuries and safeguarding gun ownership. Indeed, scientific research helped reduce the motor vehicle death rate in the United States and save hundreds of thousands of lives — all without getting rid of cars. For example, research led to the development of simple four-foot barricades dividing oncoming traffic that are preventing injuries and saving many lives. We can do the same with respect to firearm-related deaths, reducing their numbers while preserving the rights of gun owners.

    “If we are to be successful , those of us on opposite sides of this issue will have to do a better job of respecting, understanding and working with each other.”

    “How to protect gun rights while reducing the toll of gun violence” https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/time-for-collaboration-on-gun-research/2015/12/25/f989cd1a-a819-11e5-bff5-905b92f5f94b_story.html

  24. As a coda to my post to TN MAN above, I’d also like to point out that research sponsored and supported by both sides of an issue can be of benefit to both sides. There is a fascinating article, “False Impressions” in this month’s issue of Texas Monthly magazine:

    http://www.texasmonthly.com/articles/false-impressions/

    which describes how a commission established by the Texas Legislature, the Texas Forensic Science Commission, has become the nation’s leading examiner of both the application of forensic science in criminal law (that is, for example, how and how well and by what standards crime labs work) and, more relevant here, the examination of whether forensic techniques such as hair analysis, bite mark analysis, and mixed-DNA analysis are reliable or are junk science. It has gained its reputation by scrupulously bringing in and listening thoroughly to all the stakeholders — expert witnesses, their professional associations, defense attorneys, prosecuting attorneys, victim advocates, innocence project advocates, and others — and making its recommendations based strictly upon the best and most current scientific research and upon review of thousands of pages of trial transcripts to determine how the forensic results are being presented in court. Because of its objectivity, the stakeholders tend to cooperate fully with the commission even though some previously-trusted forensic techniques have been put into serious question.

    A model such as this could substantially improve what we know about violence committed with guns.

  25. After numerous readings of my earlier comment I came to the conclusion that someone may mistakenly think that I am one of those people who lump all Muslims into the same group as the radicals. I had been reading a news article by a local college prof. that was denigrating Trump for his call to stop the immigration of Muslims. The prof. was blaming people who lump all Muslims together and yet this obvious liberal enjoys doing the same thing to all gun owners. In some quarters, being an NRA member should be enough to put you on the no-fly list!

  26. @Dave (the liberal, non-uncle one):

    I fully agree with the point you made. The appeal to “safety” have been one of the foremost tools used to suppress freedom around the world. As you noted, it has been used to suppress the pro-choice position although it has also commonly been used to suppress freedom of speech and, as Mas noted above, the right to keep and bear arms.

    As Benjamin Franklin observed (and I quote): “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

  27. @Dave (the liberal, non-uncle one):

    The problem with doing research, on the effects of firearm ownership in a free-society, is that it is such a polarizing issue. If a researcher is politically left-wing, then he will have a strong (even subconscious) bias toward making a link between guns and violence.

    If the researcher is right-wing, his or her subconscious bias will be toward finding that there is no link or finding positive benefits from firearms ownership.

    The reason that the NRA pushed to shut down funding for such research is that so many in academia tend to be left-wing and the inherent left-wing bias of the researchers was producing (in effect) anti-gun material that had questionable scientific basis.

    If one sets out to “prove” something, one will probably find a way to do it. Researchers tried proving that alcohol was a poison back in the Prohibition period too.

    I would support true, un-biased scientific research but the gun control issue is so pervasive and polarizing that I have my doubts that such research can be produced in America today.

    Your own question (in your above post) shows the problem. You asked: Would you support….research “to build an evidence base to advance the science of gun-violence prevention”?

    Do you even see how loaded your question is? Research for what? Gun-violence prevention?

    The very term “gun violence” is indicative of left-wing bias and a left-wing worldview. It is saying:

    1) Guns cause violence. They are the main problem.
    2) Therefore, the focus of the research is to come up with an approach that will control/limit/de-fang guns so as to prevent them from causing so much violence.
    3) Conclusion: any such research cannot help but produce results geared to supporting a gun-control position.

    So, to answer your question directly, I ABSOLUTELY DO NOT SUPPORT any research geared toward “gun-violence prevention” since I KNOW it will be biased and non-scientific. Just as the article that I linked to was biased. Which is why I said it was political opinion masquerading as science.

    I would support true, un-biased, scientific research. However, this is something that is mighty scarce when it comes to the gun control (aka firearm prohibition) issue.

    Finally, I would point out that the gun control issue is ideological not scientific. Any research produced that establishes a link between guns and violence will be attacked by the right. Any research produced that disproves such linkage will be attacked by the left. The concept that good research will change minds on this issue is false. The gun control issue can never be settled by research (scientific, biased or somewhere in between). All the numerous studies and books produced on the issue, to date, have only acted to harden positions on both the right and left.

    Therefore, such research is really a waste of resources if one expects to base policy upon it. On gun control (aka firearm prohibition), ideology trumps science and it always will.

  28. What does “gun violence” refer to? Does it refer to very young children accidentally getting harmed by guns? No, that doesn’t happen very much. Does “gun violence” refer to gun owners using guns to commit suicide? No, and they could just find another way to commit suicide without guns.

    “Gun violence” refers to first degree murder with firearms. Who is doing most of the murdering? We hear that it is gangs in big cities that do most of the “gun violence.” Are these gangs made up of Eskimos, grandmothers, teenage Spanish-speaking girls or chess players from Greenland? No, but the term “gang” refers to bad people, who are often criminals. So “gang violence” and “gun violence” is basically bad people killing other bad people. To me, bad people killing good people would be a problem, but bad people killing bad people is not a problem. “Gun violence” should probably be called “gang violence.”

    Imagine I live in a small neighborhood. One neighbor is a gun owner who has lots of guns. His heart is not evil, so I don’t need to be afraid of his guns. Another neighbor has a large garage, in which he stores a tank. The guns on the tank work. But, this neighbor does not have an evil heart, so I am not afraid of his tank. Another neighbor has a secret room built many feet below his basement. In this reinforced room he keeps an atomic bomb. No one knows it is there, and my neighbor is a nuclear physicist. His heart is not evil, so I am not afraid of him keeping a nuclear device under his property. But I have one neighbor who is evil. I don’t want him to have a car with which he could run me over. I don’t want him to have a gun, I don’t even want him to have a knife or a hammer. He could harm me with anything. This is the man I am afraid of, because his heart is evil.

    As we all know, the gun isn’t evil, it is the trigger finger that’s connected to the heart or mind that is evil and dangerous.

  29. @ Old Fezzywig,

    To link the word “Violence” with any other word, such as “Gun”, “Gang”, etc., is an attempt to associate violence with something other than human beings. It is an attempt to shift the responsibility for such violence away from individual responsibility and toward some sort of social force (i.e. firearm ownership rates, street gang activity, etc.).

    Therefore, such linkage is inherently a form of left-wing thinking. As I have pointed out on multiple occasions in this very blog, a left-wing person is one who holds a world-view that all evils spring from external social forces rather then from humanity itself, The left-wing worldview is founded upon a belief in the inherent “Goodness” of mankind. Therefore, to hold individual humans accountable for their actions (without recourse to placing the blame upon some external social force) is the highest violation of left-wing political correctness. It is simply incompatible with the left-wing world-view.

    The fact that you even believe that it is possible for a man to have an “evil heart” puts you at odds with the left-wing worldview. Only a politically right-wing or moderate individual could possible believe that a human can be evil “in his heart”. To qualify as a “left-winger” you must hold that all human hearts are “born pure” and will remain pure unless they are corrupted by some kind of external social force such as poverty, ignorance, racism, drug abuse, child abuse, weapon ownership, etc.

    Therefore, to use and to think in terms of “gun violence” is to adopt left-wing thinking. Terms like “gun violence” or “gang violence” are (or should be) meaningless to individuals who have a moderate to right-wing worldview.

    They are part of the lexicon of left-wing thought. Unfortunately, they are parroted so often by the left-wing media that they are falling into common use even by non-leftwingers. Such is the power of propaganda and repetition.

  30. Or “gun violence” is simply shorthand so one does not have to write out “violence committed by people with guns” every time one wants to refer to it. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. There’s far more projection of position and fears onto the term and straw man creation by the pro-gun faction than is ever meant or consciously or unconsciously implied by the anti’s.

    I don’t use it here because I don’t want to trigger the unproductive rants that it causes. And you’ll note that the only time I have used it, above, is in a quote by someone else (with half of that someone, I would note, being a pro-gun advocate and both halves of that someone being NRA members). When I needed to refer to the idea myself, I said “violence committed with guns.”

  31. @ Dave (the Liberal, non-Uncle one):

    I fully agree that the term “gun violence” can have a double-meaning. That is part of the insidious appeal of the term to the left. That is what makes this term so valuable as a left-wing propaganda tool. That is why the left-wing biased media spout it day and night. Why every single story or article on this issue, by the main-stream media, instinctively uses this term every chance they get.

    To people with a moderate to right-wing political outlook, it can simply mean that segment of human violence that involves the use of firearms. No doubt, the pro-gun advocate / NRA Members you referenced intended to us the term in that sense.

    However, to the left, the term embodies a more enhanced meaning which I explained in my post above. It becomes a short-cut statement of left-wing political philosophy. It is declaring that “Guns cause Violence. They are the source of Violence. They are a major problem”.

    When any moderate or right-wing person adopts this term as an easy shortcut to discuss the gun control /firearm prohibition position, they are unwittingly playing into the hands of the left. They are adopting the lefts own propaganda term. They are giving credence to the left-wing world-view.

    I hope that this explains why the use of this term is a “sore spot” for me and why I bristle whenever someone unthinkingly uses it. They may think that they only mean “violence committed with guns” but it can also be taken as a surrender to left-wing thought and as an acknowledgment that “Guns cause Violence” which is NOT what a typical political moderate or right-winger meant to imply.

    Thus, the use of this term is vague and imprecise and should be avoided in the gun control/firearm prohibition debate. At least, by those who are not left-wing and do not wish to invoke the maximum meaning of the term.