A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for the ‘Gun Rights’ Category

Grandstanding Is Easier When You’re Shielded from Consequences

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Advocates for gun control are in a virtuousness competition. This competition has lead to some rather hilarious moments. For example, the Eden Prairie City Council here in Minnesota attempted to demonstration its virtuousness by proposing a resolution that would ask firearm sellers in the city to not sell ascetically offensive firearms. The entire debate was meaningless because of state preemption, which prevents municipalities from passing their own gun control laws, but it allowed the city council to broadcast to the world how virtuous they are.

Now the St. Louis Park City Council, also here in Minnesota, is considering stepping up the game by outright violating state preemption:

Some St. Louis Park City Council members have set their sights on a state law that limits cities from creating gun restrictions.

After discussing gun laws with students from St. Louis Park High School at a May 21 study session, Mayor Jake Spano said, “We’re openly discussing flouting state law and getting sued. I’m not interested in picking fights for no reason, but at the same time this has got to stop.”

They realize that doing so would get them sued so why would they even consider such action? Because if they go through with their plan and they are inevitably sued, they don’t have to suffer the consequences. The St. Louis Park City Council members won’t have to payout if they lose such a lawsuit, the tax payers in St. Louis Park will.

Grandstanding is easier when you’re shielded from consequences. When city council members do something that gets the city sued, they get to sit back and relax while the city pays for lawyers and, if the city loses the court case, pays out the fine. The icing on the cake is that while the city is paying out for the members’ grandstanding, it is also still paying their salaries.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 17th, 2018 at 11:00 am

Moving in the Correct Direction

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Sometimes it seems like the United States is the sole remaining country that at least has its head somewhat screwed on straight when it comes to gun laws (and considering how restrictive the gun laws in the United States are, the bar is set absurdly low). Fortunately, there are signs of improvement in other countries from time to time. The Czech Republic, for example, is moving in the correct direction:

The lower house of the Czech parliament has agreed to alter the constitution so that firearms can be held legally when national security is threatened.

The amendment gives Czechs the right to use firearms during terrorist attacks.

It was passed by the lower house by a big majority, and is likewise expected to be approved by the upper house.

The move by parliament is a challenge to EU gun control rules which restrict civilians from possessing certain kinds of semi-automatic weapons.

Moving gun laws in a sensible direction and telling the European Union to go pound sand? Double win!

Governments throughout history have tried to varying degrees to monopolize violence. Not once has this strategy succeeded. Every time it has been attempted the result has been that the government and those willing to ignore the law have enjoyed a duopoly on violence. That means that the fools who abide by the law are easy prey for the duopolists and, predictably, end up being preyed upon. Usually the fools who abide by the law eventually tire of being preyed upon and decide to ignore the law, which sometimes even results in the overthrow of the government (but then the revolutionaries once again demonstrate their foolishness by establishing another government so that the vicious cycle can be repeated). Perhaps the Czech Republic can avoid that situation by giving the law abiding fools the option to defend themselves.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 17th, 2018 at 10:30 am

Cody Wilson: 1, Department of Justice: 0

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When Cody Wilson demonstrated the futility of gun control once and for all but publishing specifications for a 3D printable handgun, the United States government was displeased. It didn’t like the idea that the language of the Second Amendment, namely the part that says “shall not be infringed,” might actually be enforceable by its subjects. In response to Wilson’s antics, the federal government tried to censor him. Wilson decided to sue on the argument that censoring 3D printer specifications was an infringement of his First Amendment rights. The Department of Justice (DoJ), the body of the government that tried to censor Wilson and got sued for its shenanigans, finally gave up:

Two months ago, the Department of Justice quietly offered Wilson a settlement to end a lawsuit he and a group of co-plaintiffs have pursued since 2015 against the United States government. Wilson and his team of lawyers focused their legal argument on a free speech claim: They pointed out that by forbidding Wilson from posting his 3-D-printable data, the State Department was not only violating his right to bear arms but his right to freely share information. By blurring the line between a gun and a digital file, Wilson had also successfully blurred the lines between the Second Amendment and the First.

“If code is speech, the constitutional contradictions are evident,” Wilson explained to WIRED when he first launched the lawsuit in 2015. “So what if this code is a gun?”

The Department of Justice’s surprising settlement, confirmed in court documents earlier this month, essentially surrenders to that argument. It promises to change the export control rules surrounding any firearm below .50 caliber—with a few exceptions like fully automatic weapons and rare gun designs that use caseless ammunition—and move their regulation to the Commerce Department, which won’t try to police technical data about the guns posted on the public internet. In the meantime, it gives Wilson a unique license to publish data about those weapons anywhere he chooses.

Realistically, the DoJ had no choice by to relent. As soon as it tried to censor Wilson’s 3D printer designs, the Streisand effect kicked and ensured that the files were obtained by so many people that censorship became impossible. Beyond Wilson’s case, the DoJ was also fighting a losing battle because even if it managed to censor his designs, anybody with an Internet connection could upload their own designs. The DoJ is one agency that only has authority here in the United States. The Internet is a global communication network. The odds of a single agency winning against a global network are pretty much zilch.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 12th, 2018 at 11:00 am

Welcome to America

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A man from New Zealand flew to the United States with the intent of attacking a teenage girl. Not surprisingly he received the hospitality for which Americans are famous:

Troy George Skinner, 25, was shot in the neck by the girl’s mother after smashing his way through a glass door.

Goochland County Sheriff James Agnew said the man was also armed with a knife, duct tape and pepper spray.

He travelled over 8,500 miles (13,500km) after the girl stopped speaking to him online, police say.

Welcome to America, asshole.

As with most humans, I enjoy stories where characters get their comeuppance. If gun control advocates had their way, it’s likely this story would have been far different. While Skinner probably wouldn’t have gotten away with his crime, there would have been a far higher chance that he would have succeeded in perpetrating his attack. As somebody who enjoys reading stories about assholes like this being shot before they can perpetrate a violent crime, I’m glad gun control advocates haven’t gotten their way.

Written by Christopher Burg

June 27th, 2018 at 10:30 am

Using Government Programs Against Themselves for Fun and Profit

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I always enjoy it when government agencies give us little people enough rope to hang them with. In the pursuit of disarming as many people as possible, many police departments throughout the country host gun “buy back” (I’m putting the term in quotes because one cannot buy back something that they didn’t previously own, which makes the term utter nonsense) programs where people are offered a pittance in exchange for any firearms. Oftentimes these “buy backs” are done in a no questions asked manner, which means a murderer could turn in a firearm they used to murder somebody and not only would the evidence be destroyed by the police but the murderer would also receive some amount of payment. Win-win!

Fortunately, gun owners have identified a fatal flaw in this “buy backs.” Since the law enforces hosting these events will pay for any firearm, “buy backs” are great places to turn broken or cheap homemade firearms into cash for other uses:

GRAND CROSSING — A gun rights group plans to use its profits from a Chicago Police “gun buyback” event to send children aged 10 to 16 to a shooting camp hosted by the National Rifle Association.

[…]

Gun turn-ins are joint efforts between the Chicago Police Department and community organizations and are intended to be used to “get guns off the street,” said Anthony Guglielmi, a Chicago Police spokesman. Community members can bring in guns and give them to the police in exchange for $100.

The guns Boch turns in at the events are “mostly scrap,” he said: They’re usually old and unusable, but even the newer ones that the Guns Save Life members turned in were all “broken down, all non-firing, missing parts and pieces.” Some appeared to have been through fires or rusted beyond use, he said.

[…]

Boch said his organization’s members have gone to buybacks in and around the city for years. He estimates they’ve made about $12,000 from various buybacks over the years, and he dismissed the trade-in events as “symbolism over substance.”

I love the fact that money donated by a gun control organization is being used to teach children how to shoot firearms. That’s adding insult to injury.

Gun control advocates will, of course, flip out about this and claim that gun owners are interfering with programs to make communities safer by getting dangerous guns off of the streets. To that I will say two things. First, “buy backs” don’t get dangerous guns off of the street. Dangerous guns are those in the hands of people who would use them against other humans beings outside of self-defense. No criminal is going to turn their primary source of income in for a measly $100 and no law enforcer is going to turn in their guns to the very program that they’re running. Second, if your tactic is so poorly thought out that it can be exploited this easily, it should exploited. It’s foolish to think that your opponent is going subsidize you by not exploiting your stupidity and poor planning.

Written by Christopher Burg

June 21st, 2018 at 11:00 am

A Proper Response

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I’m of the opinion that everybody should have the best means available to them to defend themselves. I believe having the best means of self-defense available is especially important for those who may face violence because of who they are. People who fall under the LGBT label, for example, have a higher chance of being attacked, which is why stories like this warm my heart:

“I don’t want to get beaten to death, stabbed and burnt alive,” a slight woman with long blond hair and a checked shirt says. “I want a gun to feel equal.”

She is a member of one of the United States’ fastest-growing gun clubs, the jauntily named Pink Pistols.

Two years after the massacre at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, gay, lesbian and transgender Americans are nervous. According to the Human Rights Center (HRC), a US LGBTI advocacy group, 52 gay people were murdered in the US last year because of their sexuality, and 28 transgender people met the same fate.

Of course, gun control advocates will say that these individuals shouldn’t need a means of self-defense. I do agree with that sentiment. However, I don’t believe that people should operate under ideas of what they believe should or shouldn’t be the case, they should operate under what is the case. What is the case is that there are people who will attack and even murder individuals for their sexuality and gender identity. Furthermore, if individuals who fall under the LGBT umbrella continue to arm themselves, they will likely create an environment where they are less likely to be attacked.

Written by Christopher Burg

June 21st, 2018 at 10:30 am

Some Days Aren’t Your Days

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Some days are destined to not be your days. That’s probably how Christopher Raymond Hill felt a few days ago:

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WSVN) — Police say a man who tried to carjack two people was thwarted after the victims both pulled out guns to protect themselves.

What kind of America do I want to live in? One where a carjacker tries to carjack two separate vehicles and gets a gun pulled on him by both would-be victims.

It’s also worth noting that Florida has castle doctrine. According to gun control advocates, castle doctrine leads to the streets overflowing with blood due to all of the people legally shooting each other. Even though Hill was posing an immediate threat to the lives of the people he was trying to carjack, neither one of them gunned him down. Despite what gun control advocates often claim, most people aren’t looking for an excuse to gun another human being down. In fact most people seem to prefer avoiding violence if necessary. It is only when pushed into a corner that most people are likely to retaliate violently and even then the general preference appears to be avoiding violence is possible.

Written by Christopher Burg

June 14th, 2018 at 10:30 am

Your Corporate Overlords

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When people think gun control, they usually think of legislators passing laws to prohibit gun sales and ownership. But legislation is just one of many ways to control commerce. Intuit, the company that makes QuickBooks, has thrown a wrench into the operations of several gun stores:

A number of businesses were recently interrupted, without warning, after the company refused to process orders of gun-related sales, according to the New York Post.

Intuit is claiming that it hasn’t purposely cancelled any transactions, its service can be used to purchase firearms, and it is working diligently to get to the bottom of this. Who knows what the truth is? But I do want to take this opportunity to once again reiterate my belief that gun companies need to consider starting their own bank. Several banks have attempted to wield their influence by interfering with the firearm market. The only way to guard against such interference is to cut third-party banks out of the equation.

Corporations aren’t strangers to interfering with matters outside of their business. Large corporations can wield a tremendous amount of control. The silver lining is that, unlike government, corporations can be cut out of business markets.

Written by Christopher Burg

June 13th, 2018 at 11:00 am

Posted in Gun Rights

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I’ve Been Told this Never Happens

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Whenever a gun control advocate is demanding that innocent gun owners be punished after a mass shooting, gun rights advocates point out that individuals carrying guns are the best defense against mass shootings. Usually this results in the gun control advocate claiming that such an event never happens:

An armed citizen gunned down a shooter at an Oklahoma City restaurant on Thursday, killing him, police said.

A man walked into Louie’s Grill & Bar and opened fire, striking two people. As the gunman was fleeing the scene, a bystander armed with a pistol confronted the shooter and fatally shot him outside the restaurant, Oklahoma City Police Captain Bo Mathews told reporters.

“Right now, all I know is that it was just a good Samaritan that was there and looks like he took the right measures to be able to put an end to a terrible, terrible incident,” Mathews said.

Since it’s CNN, I’m not surprised that the article used the verbiage “gunned down” but the fact that CNN ran this story at all is a bit surprisingly.

The key to reducing casualties in a mass shooting scenario is response time. The sooner armed resistance can be made against the shooter, the sooner the shooter will either kill themselves (a very common result in mass shooting scenarios) or disregard bystanders as they fight for their life. The fastest possible response time comes from somebody at the location when the shooting begins, which means the best way to decrease the number of casualties caused by a mass shooter is to allow individuals to carry a firearm on their person so that there’s a higher probability of an armed individual being at the location when the shooting starts.

Written by Christopher Burg

May 25th, 2018 at 10:00 am

Going from Smart to Stupid

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Last year the National Rifle Association (NRA) appointed Pete Brownell, the CEO of Brownells Inc., as its president. It was a smart decision. Brownell comes off as a reasonable human being and is a strong advocate for gun rights. This year the NRA decided to perform a complete 180 degree turn and elected a public relations nightmare:

Oliver L. North, who became a household name in the 1980s for his role in the Iran-contra scandal, will become the next president of the National Rifle Association, the gun rights organization said Monday.

The gun control crowd is already having a field day with this decision and I don’t blame them. It looks a bit hypocritical when an organization that talks insistently about “responsible gun ownership,” “law-abiding citizens,” and “enforcing the laws that already exist” has a bona fide weapon smuggler as its president.

Supporters of the NRA are trying to spin this by pointing out that the Iran-contra fiasco happened a long time ago but that is irrelevant. Time tables don’t matter in the realm of public perception. All that matters is whether gun control advocates are able to convince enough people that North’s previous actions are still relevant in the context of gun politics. If they can accomplish that, the NRA will face even more opposition.

Written by Christopher Burg

May 11th, 2018 at 10:30 am