Archive for February, 2006

February 28, 2006

Blog Reader Survey

BlogAds is having their annual survey of blog readers. Head on over and participate. Make sure you tell them I sent you in question #22.

Lawn Care Bleg

I have encroaching crab grass that has taken over roughly half of my backyard. How do I deal with it?

ATF Hearings

The Hammer of Truth has a lot on of info and analysis of the ATF hearings, including snippets of testimony. Meanwhile, Bitter tells us that the Brady Bunch is standing by its original claim that breaking the law is OK if it’s under the guise of sensible gun control.

Quote of the day

On gun locks:

Locks only work where they’re attached: proper training works everywhere.

Big Government Thought Process

From reader Addison, the war on Wal-Mart is heating up. But this isn’t really a post about the War on Wal-Mart, rather it’s a post about this bit of wisdom from the .gov:

Mr. Hubbard noted how effective splitting the difference can be in moving legislation toward a larger goal. “If you give up 80% of what you want to get 20%,” he said, “after five years you will have nothing left to give up.” Mr. Hubbard also noted a quirk in the system that made raising taxes and expanding the Medicaid rolls attractive. With the federal government paying half or more of every dollar spent on Medicaid, states were essentially leaving federal dollars on the table by not expanding the program.

Wal-Mart is falling victim to a war of attrition. But that’s how everything is treated by the .gov that they don’t like. There will never be a repeal of the fourth amendment. The war against it is to nitpick under the guise of reasonable and to keep at it until it is merely a quaint novelty item written by some old dudes over 200 years ago. Same with taxes and gun regulations. At last count, the tax code was 653 sections and near 1,400,000 words. I never thought it was a nefarious plot to just grow the tax code into the monstrosity that it is. In the past, I’d always thought that such attrition was merely the nature of the leviathan that is our .gov or, more reasonably, a function of bureaucratic bungling. Now, thanks to Mr. Hubbard, there are those who engage in this nonsense intentionally. One inch at a time.

Weekly Check On The Bias

Jeff has the latest in anti-gun bias in the media.

Win a gun

In an effort to raise awareness of the second amendment, the The Tiger Town Observer‘s editor Andrew Davis is having a raffle for an AK and a Marlin rifle:

An independent student newspaper at Clemson University that last week published Danish cartoons of Muhammad is sponsoring a drawing this week for an AK-47 assault rifle, stirring some student and faculty protests.

Andrew Davis, editor-in-chief of the conservative tabloid The Tiger Town Observer, said his purpose is to celebrate the Second Amendment’s guarantee of the right to bear arms.

Kids today.

Self defense and pacifism

Tim says he won’t own a gun because he’s a pacifist. Blake says you can be an armed pacifist. I concur. As someone who is generally armed, I can tell you that I will not use a weapon if the only thing I risk losing is material wealth. I could care less. I have insurance. However, the threat of violence to me or my loved ones will be met with force. That said, a couple of Tim’s ideas leapt out at me:

The fact that my wife “naturally” does not consider reacting to violence with violence fills me with wonderment and awe. Honestly—if someone on the highway cuts her off and flips her the bird, Sue just smiles and waves at the aggressive driver. I admire her so much for that. For whatever reason, the notion of countering violence or aggression with compassion is a relatively new concept for me. However, it is a concept that I buy into with my entire body, heart, mind, and soul.

This passage implies to me that he was, at least until recently, the kind that would engage an aggressive driver in a bit of aggression himself. If that’s the case, it’s probably for the best that you not arm yourself. Full disclosure: When someone flips me off in traffic, I blow them a kiss too but it’s because I’m a smart ass and not out of compassion. Additionally, he says:

It seems reasonable to me that if I am futzin’ around with a firearm or some other kind of lethal weapon, whether that weapon is on my person, in my vehicle, under my bed, or wherever, then I am probably concerned more with fear than I am with loving and caring about my family and other ones who are dear to me.

This is the kinder gentler way of saying that gun-nuts are scared folks with little penises. And it doesn’t fly. Sure, some folks like me (a self professed gun nut) do seem preoccupied with guns and that’s only because I think they’re fun. It’s a hobby. But in the event I was not a gun nut, I’d very likely still own a handgun for home defense because, here in the real world, idealism isn’t worth a squirt of piss when it comes to defending those I love. And it is not that I’m scared or in fear or this ridiculous notion that I’m scared more than I love my family. It’s realism. Study after study has shown that active armed resistance is the best way to deal with a violent situation. More:

Speaking only for myself, Sue and I have a home security system, and we have security systems in our vehicles. In the past, I have had my material possessions ripped off—it isn’t the greatest feeling in the world, but, after all, they are only replaceable material possessions. In moments of meditation, the worst thing I can think of would be for harm to come to someone I love. Yes, that would be tragically painful. On the other hand, I nonetheless cleave to the belief that countering violence with violence is not a solution to the problem of fear.

No one I know is intimating that countering violence with violence is a solution to the problem of fear. Rather, countering violence with violence is a solution to the problem of violence. Again, the implication is that those who choose to be prepared are scared. Perhaps in some hippie, tree-hugging fantasy land where houses are painted with pixie dust and the streets are made of lollipops, this plan might work. But here in the real world, I’ll trust a gun over the compassion of a robber/ rapist /mugger /murderer any day.

My advice: You should hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.

Transformer

MGI has introduced their modular AR-15 weapon system. You can see some detailed pics here. You can buy it here. It’s a neat concept. The lower receiver has interchangeable magazine wells so the weapon can take either AR-15 magazines or AK-47 Magazines. It also has a quick change barrel system so that you can swap between your 5.56 and 7.62X39 barrels. It basically gives you one AR-15 that can fire multiple calibers. Interesting concept. However, I see no prices listed and I’d say for the price of that thing, you could just buy two AR-15s.

Illinois Assault Weapons Ban

Looks like it’s a no go:

The head of the Illinois Senate said Monday that lawmakers are unlikely to approve an assault weapons ban — one of Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s priorities — this spring.

“I don’t think anything will happen with that (this year),” said Senate President Emil Jones Jr., D-Chicago. He said the measure would be “very difficult to pass” through his chamber.

And it’s still amusing to watch the press peddle this lie:

The federal ban on manufacturing and importing certain military-style weapons expired in September 2004. Since Congress did not reinstate it, each state must decide whether to impose its own ban.

Wrong. It was a limit on the number of aesthetic features which weapons that look like military-style weapons could have.

Just Compensation

Unless you want to debate what exactly that just compensation is:

When Brian Adamek bought a couple hundred acres of rich black land soil from his father two years ago, he says he was planning for his future and the future of his wife and 3-month-old son.

But his dreams may be dashed if the city follows through with its plan to expand a nearby landfill by using its power to condemn his property for what city officials consider the greatest public good.

[snip]

City officials approached Adamek about his property a year and a half ago, offering $630 an acre for land he said he bought for $730 an acre from his father just a few months prior. Failure to accept that offer, Adamek said he was told, could mean he could get absolutely nothing for it should the city move forward with the authority enabled to them under the powers of eminent domain.

Public good is not public use. And the threat of taking the land and not paying seems a bit of an overreach.

February 27, 2006

Free rock with every purchase

Not every day you see a TeeVee commercial for a gun store. Heh.

Neat Quiz

Take this survival quiz. According to it, I’d be dead in the event of terror/crime and a dog or shark attack. I disagree with its assessment of dog attacks and dealing with criminals. But different strokes.

Sign of the times

Ya know, when the skin heads are a better model for public behavior than the alternatives, society has some issues.

No SBR engraving requirement

The guys at Uzi Talk asked the ATF if, as reported by everyone including me, an SBR was required to be engraved when made my an individual out of an existing firearm. They ATF said it was not required. Cool. They have a scan of the letter.

Update: Some snark in the comments at Uzi Talk:

And the ATF says, that Oly Arms can replace M16 receivers, oh wait no they say they can’t sorry, you guys who had your receivers replaced with post 86 manuf. recievers are grandfathered, wait we will have to review that opinion.

The ATF says you can’t have a short barrel TC and a Buttstock and rifle barrel kit. Oh wait they changed thier mind.

The ATF says you can’t have a home based, FFL, and you must provide a floor plan of your shop to the ATF with the locations of your firearms. Wait a minute we were just making shit up again, nevermind.

The ATF says that inline muzzle loading rifles are modern firearms because they ignite with modern primer ignition, oh wait we change our minds again but we are sure that 209 shotgun primers are actually ammunition and convicted felons can not buy shotgun primers. Check with us next week to be sure.

The ATF says the lower receiver of an AR15 is a firearm the upper receiver is parts. The ATF says the lower reciever of a FAL is a spare part and the upper receiver is a firearm. The ATF says the pistol frame of a Browning buckmark is a firearm and the barrel/slide assy. is a spare part. The ATF says the grip fram of the Ruger 22 pistol is a spare part, and the barrel/slide assy. is a firearm.

The ATF says model rockets motors over 1/4 oz of solid fuel is a destructive device requiring registration, oh never mind they are just rocket motors after all. The ATF says if a firearm fires more than one projectile with a single pull of a trigger it’s a machinegun, but a 12ga shotgun shooting 12 pellet 38 caliber with one pull of the trigger is not a machinegun. The ATF says a rifles bore weapon over 50 caliber is a destructive device, but 12ga rifled barrels shooting slugs, and 600 and 700 nitro express, well our banker friends like to hunt with those so they are sporting rifles, but a Boys 55 rifle is destructive even though a boys converted to 50BMG is more powerfull it’s non-destructive.

See a pattern here. ATF gives opinions, congress and legislature make laws.

An ATF opinion is not worth the FFL newsletter it is written on.

Heh.

Indicative of racism?

I’ve been pondering the reasons why some media outlets have refused to run the Mohammed cartoons. The only reason I can conclude is that they’re pussies. See, they’d trot out pictures of Kanye West as Jesus or Piss Christ or whatever else may offend Western religious groups without batting an eye. Why is that? Is it because offending Christians rarely results in mass riots, firebombing buildings and stoning people? I think so. I think they either fear more riots or, more likely, themselves becoming targets of this zealous nonsense. I think their refusal may be racist.

That is not to say that all Muslims are violent and prone to such things. Of course, some Christian folks have been known to firebomb abortion clinics.

Update: And to be clear, the allegation of racism is meant to be snarky. But the allegation that they’re pussies is not.

Guns through New York/Jersey

It’s accepted wisdom among folks who travel with guns not to go through New York or New Jresey or any of the airports. Even though you may go out of your way to lawfully transport a secured and unloaded firearm, the overzealous laws there require the police to arrest you for it. Said policy is being legally challenged:

The Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs, Inc. (ANJRPC) announced that it has commenced a lawsuit against the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and one of its police officers for wrongfully arresting and imprisoning for nearly five days a 57-year old Utah man delayed at Newark Airport by a baggage error while traveling from Utah to Pennsylvania.

The lawsuit seeks more than $3 million in damages for civil rights violations and a permanent injunction forcing the Port Authority to follow Federal law on interstate transport of locked, unloaded firearms that have been secured in luggage and declared by law-abiding citizens.

The Utah man, Gregg Revell, a real estate broker and family man with no criminal record and a Utah firearms permit, was flying alone from Salt Lake City, UT to Allentown, PA to retrieve a car he bought and drive it home. He was travelling with a firearm for personal protection. As required by Federal law, the firearm was unloaded, cased, locked and inside his luggage when he declared it at check-in in Salt Lake City on March 31, 2005.

Due to an airline-caused baggage error, Mr. Revell missed his connection from Newark to Allentown and had to stay overnight in New Jersey. When he checked in at Newark Airport the next morning to complete his travels, he again declared his firearm, as required by FAA regulations. He was then arrested for possession of a firearm without a New Jersey state license, and imprisoned in Essex County jail for five days until his family arranged bail, which had been initially set unusually high at $15,000 cash (no bond).

But Mr. Revell’s travels were protected by the Firearms Owner Protection Act, a Federal law passed in 1986 to protect law-abiding citizens who travel with firearms. (See 18 U.S.C. § 926A.) That law trumps state and local gun laws and protects interstate travel with firearms under certain circumstances, all of which were present in Mr. Revell’s case. Several months after the arrest, all charges were withdrawn and the prosecutor’s case administratively dismissed.

Via Gun Law News.

Tacoma Mall Shooting Update

It takes balls to claim you shot someone in self-defense when you were busy shooting up a mall:

Brendan “Dan” McKown, the most seriously injured of the Tacoma Mall shooting victims, disputed Dominick Sergio Maldonado’s claim that he shot McKown in self-defense.

“My gun was out of sight, and he had a gun out,” said McKown, a stand-up comic who worked as a store manager at the mall. “When he brought his weapon up on me, that’s when I drew. Admittedly, I had my hand on my gun.”

Besides, he said, it’s “kind of hard to claim self-defense when you’re shooting up the mall.”

Indeed, prosecutors say Maldonado would have no self-defense claim, even if his version of events were true. Legally, if someone is the first aggressor, self-defense isn’t an issue.

Maldonado is an idiot.

Eminent Domain Laws in Tennessee

This looks promising:

It might be the most popular idea in the Tennessee General Assembly this session.

Lawmakers from both parties have introduced a flurry of bills to restrict government from using eminent domain to seize property and turn it over to private developers.

There have been 59 bills filed to limit the use of eminent domain – dozens each in the House and the Senate, submitted by both Democrats and Republicans.

Lawmakers say the issue is one of the first things their constituents want to talk about, and there’s broad support for the idea across parties and interest groups.

Good to see pressure put on them.

“In Tennessee, property rights almost rise to the level of being sacred,” said Rep. Joe Fowlkes, D-Cornersville, vice chairman of a joint committee studying eminent domain. “When people think that their private property might be taken from them and given to another person, it stirs them up.”

I don’t think it’s almost, I think it is.

Odd gun bleg

Yesterday at the gun show, I saw the most odd beast of a gun. It was some evil black rifle looking contraption that had a shotgun barrel up top and a 5.56Nato barrel down below. One trigger operated both and you selected which to fire via a little switch. I should have written the name down but didn’t. Can’t remember what it’s called to link to it. If anyone knows, let me know.

I’m not interested in buying one just thought it was odd.

Update: Thanks to Tam, it’s a Crossfire (other link here). Odd looking thing.

An Angel Gets Its Wings

Charles picked up a new toy. One of these. Charles, post pics!

It is amusing to me that when the Century CETMEs came out, they could be had for about $300. At the recent gun show, they were going for $500 plus. Not sure if it’s that dealers had no idea what they were or if they were just trying to rip folks off.

Accidental firearm deaths

They are surprisingly low. Jeff says:

If people really want to be safe, they should get rid of all their furniture!

Heh.

Suppressors in the woods

The Denver Post writes:

It was called Senate File 79, a proposed law that would have allowed hunters to carry automatic weapons such as machine guns into the woods. And to equip those guns with Godfather-style silencers.

Which conjured up some negative images. People using the silenced guns for poaching of wildlife, for example. And, of course, the image of the Soprano family vacationing in Wyoming, being insulted by an elk and having it whacked.

However, the proposal went on to say that while hunters – who make up more than half the population in this wildlife-rich state of just more than 500,000 people – would be allowed to have the automatic weapons and silencers, it would remain illegal to actually use them for hunting.

People have these morbid fantasies that sound suppressors were regulated as part of the 1934 National Firearms Act due to mafia style hits or some such. Actually, they were regulated because people at the time of The Depression were using them to hunt on restricted Federal land to avoid getting arrested.

Suppressors do serve a safety function because the report of a firearm can do significant damage to your hearing. When hunting, other hearing is just not desirable as you can’t hear other things in the woods. Makes sense to me to allow them for hunting. In other countries, suppressors aren’t regulated that extensively and there are suppressor only ranges to avoid hearing loss and to keep from annoying your neighbors.

More Scalia on guns

Good:

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia fondly remembers carrying a rifle around New York as a boy and says outdoorsmen should attack the idea that guns are used only for crimes.

[unnecessary reference to Cheney hunting removed – what media bias?]

“The attitude of people associating guns with nothing but crime, that is what has to be changed,” Scalia told the audience of about 2,000.

“I grew up at a time when people were not afraid of people with firearms,” said Scalia, noting that as a youth in New York he was part of a rifle team at the military school he attended.

Location, location, location

In Illinois, there is a bill to ban manufacture of weapons that look like assault weapons. There a some pretty prominent gun makers there, like ArmaLite and Les Baer. I’ve never understood why manufacturers operate in such states, you have Colt in Connecticut and S&W in Massachusetts as well. And it seems only reasonable that it’s only a matter before the powers that be turn their sights on you and, in Illinois, they have.

So, to all you gun makers out there, consider moving to a free state.

RINO Sightings

The latest are up at Ex-Donkey.

February 25, 2006

Quote of the Day

The happy feet edition:

Josh Sugarmann, executive director of the Washington D.C.-based Violence Policy Center, said his group backs the law and handgun bans generally but that it chose not to participate in the San Francisco case because of a lack of resources.

Registering my fingers

Can you spot the machine gun in this picture:

Look close. It’s the shoe string. Notice the metal tab? It contains a serial number. That is a post 1986 dealer machine gun registered in the NFA’s NFRTR database as a machine gun. It was subject to significant paperwork and made by a special occupational taxpayer.

Someone once asked the ATF if such a device was a machine gun. They said it was. So, some smart ass made and registered one. It works similarly to bump firing except it uses the charging handle of the Mini 14 (instead of the guns recoil) to which it is attached to reactivate the trigger once it has been reset. In short, pull the key ring for full-auto fire.

Similarly, I’m pondering writing a letter to the ATF to ask them if I should have my finger registered because I know how to bump fire a semi-automatic rifle.

Guns, guns, guns!

The Carnival of Cordite is up for your weekend gunblogging pleasure.

More on the myspace kid

Reader James tells us the kid bears a resemblance to a shooting suspect.