Monday, April 23, 2018

Toplansky: Chipping Away at the Second Amendment

Eileen F. Toplansky has an excellent article today on how the government is constantly Chipping Away at the Second Amendment. In the process, she cites a somewhat forgotten piece that should receive wider reporting by the Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (JPFO). The JPFO report makes the case that the Gun Control Act of 1968 is derived from the Nazi Weapons Law of 1938.

Toplansky uses the results of the JPFO report to remind that citizens always lose their rights the same way, first through disarmament.  Once accomplished, the Left can do what it wants because you will have no defense. (To those who feel that somehow the military is so overwhelmingly powerful that the puny weapons we have are nothing against tanks and nuclear bombs, let me remind that most of the military's "shock and awe" will be unusable against a civilian population already oppressed by its policies.  Imagine the PR war waged against the Israeli government by the "Palestinians" and how that has turned world opinion against them.  Now imaging news gets out of children killed in a raid by U. S. troops, or a neighborhood of innocent people destroyed in a bombing raid by the U.S. Air Force.)

The Second Amendment is the guardian of the other 9 amendments in the Bill of Rights recognized as Granted to us by our Creator.  If someone proposes to repeal that Amendment, I do not think it too strong to say that that person is a traitor to the People.  However, I do not want them imprisoned, though that is what they deserve.  Rather, if one or another of the many gun free paradises on earth will not have them, I suggest that board a Navy ship and sail from port to port like The Man Without a Country. Like him, no one will be allowed to mention the United States in their presence. For it is clear that they truly hate this country and its people beyond measure.

Revelation Comes True as Big Banks Target Your Rights

And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
Revelation 13:17

Daniel Greenfield, AKA Sultan Knish has an article on the Left's latest attempt at gun grabbing today entitled Big Banks Target Bill of Rights. While Greenfield doesn't say so in his article, it is clear that if they can get away with denying people funds for legal purchases of firearms and accessories, they can eventually decide what rights you have depending on your ideology. For example, if you belong to the wrong church, they could deny you the right to donate to your church. The Catholic church, for instance, because it stands against abortion, could be on the list of organizations to which you would not be allowed to write a check, because your check would be denied. And while you can use cash today, cash may be limited in the near future as well.
The American people lent $45 billion to Bank of America during the bailout. That bailout came with a hefty $100 billion guarantee against losses on toxic assets.
That money came from American taxpayers. It came from gun owners and non-gun owners. But Bank of America has warned that it will refuse to lend money to manufacturers of “assault-style guns”. It had previously announced it was edging away from the coal business to fight global warming.
Citigroup got $476 billion in cash and guarantees: the most of any bank. Now Citibank is repaying the generosity of the American people by requiring its clients to impose their own gun control policies on their stores. Impose gun control on your customers or Citibank will discriminate against you.
Next up is Wells Fargo. The stagecoach brand has said that it’s up to the government to impose gun control, but that it is discussing gun safety with its clients. That’s not enough for outraged activists. The American Federation of Teachers, an organization that runs on extorting money from teachers and taxpayers, warned Wells Fargo that it had to choose between firearms manufacturers and the AFT.
As a conservative, I am sympathetic argue that these are private companies, and therefore they can set their own policies, and do business with whom they like. But that there's a problem. The banks willingly took taxpayer funds. That coupled with the fact that these are publicly traded companies meaning many of their shareholders may not be in agreement with these policies. Perhaps the Justice Department should look into these companies more closely, as I am sure there are laws that spell out that they can not discriminate against legitimate businesses trading in legal products. Perhaps the breakup of such large accumulations of power, particularly when it is used against such tiny companies.

You need to read the whole thing, but if the Left gets away with denying people the ability to exercise their Second Amendment rights, they will use the tactic to deny pretty much every other right. A conservative news organization needs a revolving line of credit just like CNN does, In that way they can control what you hear or read. They can make it difficult for a conservative to run for office by controlling where you spend you money or to whom you may donate.
The left is not against big banks. It is against freedom.
Every institution exists only as a means for the left to exercise its power, to impose collective systems and tear down individual rights. It is only opposes businesses to the extent that they represent individual initiative and personal freedom. But it will rule the country and enforce its will on us by any means.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

The Left is determined to have a civil war, part 2

I continue to be concerned that the country is heading towards a civil war.  There seems to be no common ground any more.  We used to disagree on methods to achieve the goals, but agreed on the goals themselves.  I remember when we could have a good and rousing debate, then go out for coffee and a good dinner and laugh with each other.  Today, not so much.  I am not too keen to share a meal with someone who has just called me a racist, a Luddite, a knuckle dragger, etc.

John Hawkins has listed 7 Forces Driving America Toward Civil War over at Townhall.com today. The 7 Forces are 1) A post Constitutional era, 2) Tribalism, 3) Federal Government Too Powerful, 4) Moral Decline, 5) The Debt, 6) Lack of a Shared Culture, and 7) Gun Grabbing. I think all of these forces are part of the problem, and sometimes separating them is difficult, so I applaud Hawkins for attempting to do so.  For example, the Tribalism he mentions also has to do with the Lack of a Shared Culture.  But two of the seven forces need to be addressed first, if we are ever to find common ground on the rest: the Post Constitutional era and Gun Grabbing.

The idea of a "living Constitution" began gaining ground at the turn of the 20th century.  Courts. impatient for changes they wanted to see, began interpreting the Constitution in ways that turned the original meaning of the Founders on its head.  Progressives also believed that they could slowly turn the ship of state by slowly implementing and expanding the principle of stare decisis into court rulings such that one turn away from the Constitution would eventually cause a further turning away in a later case. With an accumulation of such decisions the Constitution could be made to say whatever someone wanted it to say, all without resorting to the slow, difficult process of amending the Constitution. But why amend the Constitution when the words can actually mean anything we want them to mean, as should by the deconstructionists? In fact though, words do have meaning, and the meaning is fairly accessible in the case of the Constitution because it was publicly debated, and written about at the time.

One of the problems that exacerbates a too powerful Federal government is that too many cases that are not legitimately the governments business are decided by the Supreme Court.  For example, same sex marriage is not the Federal governments business and should not have been decided by the Supreme Court, or indeed any Federal court.  Each State should have its own laws on this matter.  Similarly, the abortion issue should have been left up to individual States to decide, and the Federal courts should have turned down the "opportunity" to meddle in it.  If the courts all interpreted to Constitution as originalists, returning to the words of the Founders each time, though of course recognizing any amendments that have been made, there we would have more of a shared culture.

The other problem is gun grabbing.  Every time there is a mass shooting, or a school shooting, the gun grabbers come and dance in the blood of the victims and accuse an estimated 80 million Americans of being responsible for the heinous act.  Those 80 -100 million Americans though, had nothing to do with the crime, have never been to the crime scene, did not give the shooter either a weapon or encouragement.  At the same time, there are far more gang shootings every day in cities like Chicago, that nobody takes notice of, even though many of them are similar aged children and young adults.  To people in the gun culture this looks like hypocrisy.  Chicago disarms the law abiding citizen, fails to protect its citizens, and treats those caught carrying a prohibited weapon, though otherwise law abiding, as more harshly than actual crimes like rape, murder, and gang activities.  This also seems like hypocrisy.

The world has seen too many cases of governments first disarming its citizens, and then committing mass  murders of undesirable citizens and genocides of entire peoples.  Lenin, Stalin, Hitler,Mao, Pol Pot, the Castros and on and on.  Liberals may not be aware of this history, but we in the gun culture are all too aware.  When Hawkins writes:
Another thing that seldom seems brought up is that large numbers of conservatives would see this as a prelude to the government’s use of force against the citizenry. When it is discussed on the Left, there seems to be an assumption that lone resisters might get into firefights with dozens of police or soldiers, as opposed to ganging up with other formerly law-abiding Americans to waylay gun confiscators, politicians and anti-gun activists at THEIR HOMES in guerrilla actions that would be silently applauded and supported by hundreds of millions of Americans concerned about their freedom.
Of course we are concerned for ourselves, and our loved ones.  But we are concerned about you too. 

It is possible to live, if not in harmony, at least at peace with one another.  It has been done before, I don't know if it is too late to turn back, or not, but we must try.

Friday, April 20, 2018

A Doctor Gets it Wrong on Guns

Retired physician William D. Bezdek gets it wrong.  In a letter to the editor of the Bakersfield Californian, he gets the reason for the existence and use of guns in general, and concealed carry in particular, all wrong. In his article entitled The NRA needs to radically change in order to pass sane gun laws, he states several times that the only purpose of a gun is to kill.
Guns are machines designed for the sole purpose to kill. Target practice is an exercise to improve the efficiency of killing and is not a primary function of design. Hunting is killing.
This leads me to my second consideration. There are about 36,000 auto deaths per year and about 34,000 gun deaths each year, so why not ban autos? Autos are designed to provide transportation. Deaths from autos are a consequence of their faulty use. Guns are designed to kill. Faulty use of guns just makes them more efficient killers. Logically, if you ban autos because they kill, you lose their primary design feature — i.e. transportation. If you ban guns because they kill, you also ban their primary design feature — i.e. killing. The symmetry of the argument completely breaks down when you reason that because people die in crashes cars should be banned, but holds when you reason that because guns kill people, they should be banned.
Of course, he gets his statistics wrong, but we will set that aside. We have seen automobiles used as weapons, killing many people deliberately. Yes, their true purpose is transportation, and to carry large amounts of material from place to place in the case of trucks, but when they are used to deliberately kill as many people as possible, it is fair to wonder why if the government proposes gun control, they do not also propose car control. But that society makes the calculation that the intended use of an automobile, transportation, out weighs the negative uses and abuses of automobiles is entirely rational.  When people make these arguments, they know they are absurd but make absurdities to mock absurd gun control arguments.  Dr. Bezdek here makes absurd arguments for gun control, and deserves to be mocked.

He notes that since the design purpose of a hunting weapons is to kill,and that therefore this is not a legitimate use. I disagree, however. The purpose of hunting is nominally to put food on the table. That you have to kill to do so does not take away from the fact that the actual purpose is to keep body and soul together. He may argue that meat can be placed on the table by farming the animals, but they are still killed.  He just shops out the killing to others.  Of course, since he has not personally killed any creature, I guess he is entitled to pat himself on the back, but morally he is as guilty as a hunter nonetheless.  And morally, eating only vegetables still requires the killing of plant life, and countless worms and other creatures living in the soil.    That such creatures are small, and relatively defenseless only makes the moral argument that much stronger.

 So now we turn to the true topic on which he writes.  The idea that guns are for killing people.  As far as defensive uses of the gun, the purpose is not to kill, but to deter others from attacking and possibly killing oneself. The gun is a tool, and is used by the person who wields it to do a job.  In self defense courses, we talk about using the gun as a means to stop the threat, not to kill. Stopping the threat can be merely letting the assailant know you have a gun, and if he persists will use it.  If the situation escalates, you may be forced to  display the gun or to draw it to the ready position, again warning the assailant away.  Further escalation may mean you  actually have to point the gun at the assailant while shouting at him to back off, or drop his weapon.  Finally, if all else fails, you may be required to shoot the gun. Of course shooting the gun may involve the assailant's death, but that was not intended.
The NRA began circulating the idea that the Second Amendment guaranteed an individual’s right to own guns in the mid-1950s. In an increasing crescendo of propaganda, this idea became so successful that the Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller, and in McDonald v. Chicago established the right for individuals to bear arms. But there was a proviso that laws could be passed to control the use of arms.
Here he is rewriting history to agree with his notions of what gun laws should be. The Second Amendment has said what it says since the Constitution was ratified in 1788 and the first 10 amendments were added in 1791. The meaning of the Second Amendment was not seriously questioned until the early 20th century, when people began to propose that the amendment only applied to the military, or specifically to the National Guard. But the National Guard did not exist as such before 1903. Before that time, the National Guard existed as the various State and territory militias. Of course, at that time the full time Army was a token force, and relied upon the militias of the States for men trained to war. And who made up the militias? Every able bodied many between the ages of 16 and 60. Before the modern era, the only real question anyone had was whether a specific weapon was of use in a war. The Miller court didn't think a short barreled shotgun was of much use, but then a panel of nine judges is hardly expert on what is or is not useful militarily.

Dr, Bezdek consistently gets everything wrong on guns.  Putting the best spin on it, one can suppose that he naively believes that guns can be confiscated from upward of 100 million legal gun owners.  Of course HE won't be doing it, but as many as 3-9 million will have to be killed in the process, and one assumes he believes that is necessary.  Breaking a few eggs, eh?  Does he also believe that even though drugs are routinely smuggled into the country and onto the streets of every American city, that somehow guns will not be?  If so, why?  His own state of California is over run with illegal aliens, any number of which could also bring in a gun or two.  Nobody seems to be stopping them.

The fact of the matter is that the problem has always been people, not the tools they use.  More people are killed every year with fists and feet.  I won't suggest that therefore fists and feet should be banned, another absurdity.  Rather, we need to find ways to deal with people who commit crimes.  If we are not going to execute them, then we should ensure that if someone can not be trusted with a gun, (or fists, feet, cars, etc) that they can not get out of prison, or the insane asylum.  David Codrea's dictum still holds that if a man can not be trusted with a gun, he should not be allowed in public without a custodian.  Why?  Because such a man, or woman, will always have a gun.  That's just how things are. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Adventures in Reloading the .38 Super Auto Round Redux

Back on March 13, I had a post entitled Adventures in Reloading the .38 Super in which I mentioned that I had a new load based on using Hodgdon Lil'Gun powder. The powder's burn rate is substantially slower than typical pistol powders. As a result, if I understand the physics, the powder releases the gases more slowly, such that it is still expanding as the bullet reaches the end of the barrel, pushing the bullet as fast as it will go. Additionally, the slow burn rate means that the bullet starts moving before the pressure builds too much behind it, so it keeps the pressure from building too high.

Yesterday I got to the range.  I had meant to go during the following week, but various things kept getting in the way.  Anyhow, I had 50 rounds loaded with 124 grain plated bullets and 12.5 grains of Lil'Gun.  Theoretically, the bullets should have had a muzzle velocity of 1315 feet per second (fps) but I don't have a ballistic chronograph, so I am forced to take Hodgdon's word for it, as it was their data on which I was relying.  From my purely subjective evaluation, the recoil was more than I experienced with other loads and with commercial rounds I had tried.  The flash was certainly greater, and the report was louder, but it was very controllable.  This must be what the early adopters of the 1911 platform in .38 Super Auto must have felt.  Remember, this round could penetrate steel car bodies, that .38 Spl could not.  By contrast, typical carry ammo today would be something like Federal American Eagle 115 grain JHP at 1130 fps.

After my range session, I noted another .38 Super shooter who shoots competitively around the country, as well as teaching and coaching at our range.  We discussed various loads for the .38 Super.  I mentioned 130 grain bullets coupled with 6.0 grains CFEPistol.  He noted that he had used that as well, and it was a very economical powder to use for people who shot a lot.  He also mentioned that the .38 super could be driven to 1400 fps with Lil'Gun.  And maybe that is the powder that buffalo Bore is using to achieve 1450 fps with a 124 grain bullet.

 In other news, Alien Gear Holsters has the Top Ten 1911 Upgrades people make to their weapon. What Sam Hoobler is talking about here is a pistol built to the specifications of the iconic M1911A1 pistol that served our military through two World Wars, Korea, and Vietnam.  The 1911 platform is now over a hundred years old, and yet it shows no signs of slowing down.  It's all steel and wood design creates a heavy gun, to be sure, but that weight also helps absorb some of the recoil.  The straight back trigger and the relatively close to the bore axis of the grip mean less felt recoil.  On the downside, it does carry less ammunition than many plastic fantastics.  Glocks of course are fine weapons that do the job quite well,  But for some of us, there is no substitute for the feel of a 1911.

However, the 1911 is not perfect.  Hoobler discusses how to improve on a good design to make it better.  Go have a look.

Monday, April 16, 2018

I Pray the Thin Reed I Grasp is Stronger than the Ferocious Forces Arrayed Against It.

I have been, shall we say, pessimistic about the future of America and gun rights of late.  And not just me.  Others, with more experience in the gun rights movement have expressed similar pessimism.  It seems as if the Left is winning.  David French, of the National Review is the one optimist I have seen here.  David French has written a surprisingly upbeat article entitled  Why the Left Won't Win the Gun Control Debate. Of course, this was written on March 5, 2018, and as of now, on April 16, a number of new laws are on the books, and many more are proposed. Further, our Republican "friends" appear to have betrayed the gun rights movement. National Reciprocity is probably dead for another generation. This despite the fact that no CCW holders were involved in any of the mass shootings of the last few years.
Last week I wrote a long essay in The Atlantic that represented my best effort to explain “gun culture” to those who may be more hostile to gun rights than, say, the typical reader of National Review. I began by describing threats to my family and how a person’s decision to carry a weapon is often directly tied to personal experience of real danger. Today, my friend Bethany Mandel published a similar essay in the New York Times, describing how her mother once chased off an intruder with a gun and how she herself decided to buy a gun when her family was threatened during the 2016 presidential campaign.
...snio...
Yet the responses to both essays have helped demonstrate why the Left keeps losing on guns. It simply can’t persuade a rational, reasonable adult who’s experienced a threat that they’re safer without effective means of self-defense. Indeed, the effort to make this case is so often rooted in condescension or ignorance that it’s deeply alienating.
He goes on to debunk the "reasons" given for why he is wrong to arm himself against dangers he can clearly see. The first thing the Leftist typically bring up is that his decision to carry a weapon is based on "fear," and that this is somehow illegitimate. But as he points out most of us accept wearing a seat belt when riding in a car as a precaution against an accident. This is the same type of "fear and paranoia" based reasoning that also goes into making the decision to be armed. So, if it is wrong to take precautions with a weapon, is it also wrong to take precautions by using seat belts?  Another versions of this argument projects that carry a weapon must mean you want to shoot somebody.  But if carry a weapon makes you a bloodthirsty maniac, does wearing a helmet and leathers make a motorcyclist a daredevil?

 The next line of attack comes in the form of "you are more likely to injure yourself or someone you love than to defend yourself from a criminal." This argument was first given the illusion of scientific authority when Kellerman published his supposedly statistical studies in the early 1990s.  These have been thoroughly debunked however.  In any case, as French points out, another's irresponsibility does not negate my rights. 
Moreover, another person’s irresponsibility is irrelevant to the existence of my fundamental liberties. I don’t surrender my free-speech rights because another person uses theirs to troll Twitter. I don’t surrender my right to free exercise of religion because another person joins a cult. I don’t surrender my inherent and unalienable right to self-defense because a man across town decides to kill himself.
Then, of course, if the Left deigns to concede that perhaps you might have a point, they start telling you what you "need," or more appropriately, what you don't need. You don't need a "high capacity magazine" or an "assault weapon." Indeed, what you "need" is a shotgun. No doubt you should always first fire a warning shot, even though that is illegal.
But these arguments fall apart the instant one considers the real world. If the most reasonably foreseeable threat is from a person with a semi-automatic handgun and a large-capacity magazine, then how is it possible that you “need” less? When the gun-control lobby tells gun-owners what they “need,” what they’re saying is that law-abiding citizens should be outgunned in their own homes.
French concludes that the Left will lose the debate because it is hard to convince a normal American that he is safer without an effective means of defense than with one. However, when I see recent polls that show 30% of democrats want to repeal the Second Amendment, presumably so they can take the guns away, I have to pause. Gun rights, properly understood, should not be a political issue at all. When Bush was in power, Leftists thought he would become a dictator.  Weren't they interested in having arms in case he wanted to send out his secret police as hit squads against them?  Obama was our first openly Marxist president, and certainly scared the bejeesus out of the right with his rhetoric.  We did not want to give up guns, and indeed Obama was thought to be the greatest gun salesman the industry had seen.  Now, with Trump, and his constant tweets that scare Leftists, I would think they might feel a need to have a concealed carry permit just in case.  But no, the Left seems to want to take away guns from the law abiding.  One can not help but think this is a typical ploy, not unlike Lucy who always pulled the football from Charlie Brown at the last moment.  They want to trick us into giving up our guns, while they keep theirs.

I can only hope the Left is once again overplaying their hand, and that we will be saved by God's grace.  I pray that the thin reed I grasp is stronger than the ferocious forces arrayed against it.   

Sunday, April 15, 2018

CCW Truths That May Be Hard to Face

I occasionally hang out at The Firearms Blog which contains firearms industry news as well as opinions such as the one highlighted today in which the author, on Miles, thinks CCW Truths Clash "Self Defense Ammo" Solutions. His point is that for 80% of CCW holders who go to the range on a catch as catch can basis, who train only intermittently if at all, and who compete seldom, does it make sense to purchase a box of expensive "self defense ammo" and then be afraid to use it?

He is not entirely wrong.  I have often thought that the speed with which my 230 grain .45 Auto bullets are traveling is too slow to reliably open up.  Still, one takes full advantage of every perceived advantage on can get, right?  But looked at in the cold harsh light of reality, it may not matter all that much.  The situation with CCW ammunition and carry equipment is much like bicyclists.  Every rider wants the latest technology from super light frames and skinny tires to the latest in index shifting.  But not all riders can take full advantage of all that.  Most would be better off spending their limited budget on less technology, and spending more time out pedaling.  But where's the fun in that?